Newspaper Archive of
Arkansas Catholic
Litlte Rock, Arkansas
March 15, 1974     Arkansas Catholic
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March 15, 1974
 

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PAGE 8 THE GUARDIAN, MARCH 15, 1974 1st Installment of Alan Patteson's "Odyssey of A Soul" .. A Poignant Lectur00 described as a non-Ca ., was an extremely pesi dynamic man and he uI (Following is the first installment of the text of a lecture, "The Odyssey of A Soul," delivered recently by Mr. Alan Patteson of Jonesboro, Ark., in the Lecture Series sponsored by the Religious Education Department of the Diocese of Little Rock. The full text will be published by The Guardian to give all readers an op- portunity to share the thoughts of the speaker). I know that it's considered bad form for a speaker to belittle his credentials and still lay claim to an audience's at- tention. But it's important that you know at the outset that I travel completely without portfolio for anything even remotely considered a "Theological Series." I have absolutely no theological background and none of my remarks will contain even a hint of a thesis, antithesis, or a synthesis. I have for most of my adult life been interested in in- terreligious and interracial affairs and I've been associated with a number of organizations which I felt were devoted to improving those relationships. But I have always held my myself in a learning position, and I have served those organizations as a committed volunteer and certainly in no way as a professional in the area of human relations -- religious or racial. When a copy of the brochure KNIGHTS of COLUMBUS Insurance Rep. JOHN E. BUSH ALL FORMS OF LOW PERSONAL COVERAGE LIFE - HEALTH - ACCIDEN2 For Entire Family PH. Little Rock 847-0142 Rte. 1, Box 813El Benton I for this series arrived, I realized that I'd chosen what surely must be the most of- ficious sounding title in the entire series: "Prejudice, Human Unity, .and Christian Reconciliation." Obviously, experts have written volumes on each of the areas in that title, and lifetime theological careers probably have been spent on just one subtopic. But George needed a topic for the brochure and I jotted down my immodest title not so much because I intended, or was competent, to develop them systematically, but more to suggest three in- terrelated areas which concern me personally in trying to develop an integrated philosophy of life instead of existing in unrelated, sometimes contradictory, compartments. Had I focused on human unity, I would have dwelled: 1. On the fact that there is longing among men of all persuasions for universal human com- munity, but that the reality of human unity rests on intuitive knowledge and not empirical evidence. Like church unity it is ultimately a matter of faith; 2. That the Christian faith holds that the purpose of God the Father is to bring all persons into a state of personal reconciliation with Himself and with one another; and therefore the primary task of the Church in history is to be the bearer of that reconciling work. Church unity is to serve human unity. These points I accept as given. License to Ramble For Home Loons - Call - ; George Berg Member j Christ:e King  Bus. 565-0311  Res. 225-8957 _ xLsi cLez.a..1L a.vinp 3rd & Spring - Little Rock But when George (Wildgen) invited me to speak, he granted me license to ramble in whatever fashion I wanted as long as it was generally in the area of brotherhood. I men- tioned that it would be very difficult for me to talk about brotherhood in: this particular setting without focusing on the disunity and lack of brotherhood manifest in the current polarization in the Church. I felt this would be doubly hard for me because a few year ago I had pulled to the perimeter of the institution for my own tranquility -- partially from fatigue, partially from pique, and partially because I felt that I had become coun- terproductive. I'd always had a serious facade but a happy, optimistic interior. My humor was becoming too sardonic and I didn't like what was hap- pening to me. George responded that my experience was not unique and that it might be good if I came and expressed myself along these lines. I gathered that I might even be allowed a primal scream if necessary. background -- partially to open up dialogue, and partially to recall some experiences which we may have shared in com- mon, or very differently, and which may explain in part where we find ourselves today as Catholics in a transitional church; because I'm convinced that we have to begin all over again as Roman Catholics today to dialogue with one another, to acknowledge one another as brothers, to love one another as brothers, and to rebuild unity within our own distressed community before we can ever again reach out credibly in love and service to others. Born in Jonesboro I was bern in Jonesboro in 1928, the product of four generations of mixed marriages -- all in northeast Arkansas. The rural missions apparently produced a very different product than the heavily Catholic urban areas of this country. Priests sent to the Arkansas missions even in my lifetime have expressed astonishment at what they considered "Protestantized Catholicism." But they have been no more appalled than I was as a young 0dult to discover that -- from whence they came -- there were such things as "hyphenated Catholics" and that almost a separate ecumenical movement was needed to reconcile Polish- Catholics, Irish-Catholics, German-Catholics, and Italian- Catholics before you could talk credibly about reunion with other churches. This type of "ethnic" or "ghetto" Catholicism I knew nothing about. As a child I knew only that we were United States Catholics and that we were united with other Catholics in the world through our com- munion with the Bishop of Rome. Today, I have a sociological interest in these ethnic groups and some historical appreciation for their STEINWAY PIANOS FOR THOSE WHO WANT THE FINEST GERALD NEAL 3417 W. 12th, Little Rack 106 Ouachffa, Hot Springs 319 W. Main, Jacksonville contributions to the Church in the United States, but I'm personally more concerned with the essentials and the universal implications of our faffh than with the cultural and folk Catholicism of an ethnic community. I did grow up with the Catholic fortress mentality characteristic of the period, but the impact of that mentality was softened first by the fact that my father was Protestant, second by the fact that I entered school years after the AI Smith campaign and was married with five children before the Kennedy campaign. Though anti-Catholicism may have been still rampant in the rural areas, in Jonesboro and similar towns it was not something I experienced personally as my parents and teachers before me obviously had. I can claim no psychic scars from anti- Catholicism. Seventy-five to eighty percent of my friends, relatives and acquaintances were Protestant, and I could recite a litany of courtesies extended me over the years specifically related to my Catholicism. Even the few remarks I recall in retrospect seemed so outrageous at the time that I had taken them to be jokes. Then, too, this was a period when there was a great deal of surface good will in this country. Will Herberg, in his book "Protestant, Catholic, Jew," noted that if religious pluralism was not yet quite accepted as the norm, it was being at least acknowledged that there were three ways to be a good American - as a Catholic, as a Protestant, and as a Jew; hardly a civic event could be held without the token priest, minister, and rabbi simultaneously gracing the platform. And yet it was a period when people generally did not discuss religion in depth. LaDrot Sewing Center Family Machines-Industrial Repairs and Service 1508 So. University 666-7187 You could know the most in- timate details of almost every facet of the life of your closest friend and yet often have no insight into the innermost religious philosophy which basically made him tick. My mother is Catholic. My father, as I mentioned, was Protestant and was completely supportive of our religious education. Ours was a home where authority was assumed - there never was any doubt about who was boss. But it was not an authoritarian household. We were not only allowed but encouraged to have opinions and to speak up. And the authority was so heavily laced with love that each of the five of us grew to maturity secretly believing he was the favorite. And that's a neat trick to pull offl My personal relationship with God, the devotional and sacramental aspects of my religious life, were nourished in the Catholic community through my mother. It's a rich heritage and one I've deeply cherished even when I've oc- casionally strained at the yoke. But it was actually through my father's personal example that I eventually learned that there were social implications to the Christian Gospel-- that it was not enough simply to say "Lord, Lord," but that it involved "doing the will oftheFather." and some rather explicit things are said about that in Matthew intensely being non-entity -- by what he rather than what he really have never comfortable with since, or any realize that it em rhetoric of exclusion. I spent eight parochial school in under the Benedictine $ knew none of the simple nuns who so portrayed in the 40's and the 50's. I hard working, dedicated women individual fact that myI preceding gene Catholics have significant roles States society on a is largely preparation by thesel and women like this entire country. was secure in the love parents, I knew that I was loved by -- not with a vague, detached love but real personal love: specific person I was. and respected them in return; and I still do (To Be Continued Nexl Since 1905 Little Rock's largest Chapel and Family Room for a memorable Rosary Service. Beautiful sur" roundings for peace of mind, I HEALEY& FUNERAL DIRECTORS Ample Parking PHONE (501) 664-4433 5800 WEST TWELFTH LITTLE ROCK, ARK. 72204 Join the STAG Line Staa,00 B E E F:  EMMETT HOFFMAN Distributor Greater Little Rock Guide PIKE PLAZA Economy Drug Pike Plaza Shopping Center DAN SARNA, Reg. Pharm. Member St. Mary's Parish 2700 Pike Ave. - 374-3785 North Little Rock, Ark. Bumpass CLEANERS& DYERS "Porsonallzed Work" C.C. BUMP.4..qS, OWNER 9.909 W. Markham Telephone 663-8200 Y41r * Open Fdday Nights LAY--A--WAY LakebKl Shopping I assure you that I'm not here to give a primal scream. And if I any of my remarks have a 7 I[[ . ! ffON I I HATHCOTE I ..,r l I sharp edge I hope you will k / ELECTRICAL I '1, DRUG CO. Ill Upholstery & Draperies  "1 I _-.gI^L-L% I remember, as Phillip Scharper f CONTRACTORS I o.,..,.o, o I ||Mllllll I once said, "that mine is a voice 4020 Bruno Rd., Little Rock [ q'" Phone 753-6161 I   IV""l" " "v I floating from the pew" and not Licensed -- Bonded -- Insured i 4214 MacArthur Drive rJlO M LARGE I North Little Rocks Ark. SELECTION  j] [ I |-I'|..,dVS' I a voice shouting from outside Phone 565-4674 I ln' N .:,flll I t l.d v -- . I the church door. ; I lil4) OF FABRICS "/or NOTES /![d I |  &, Shina Pador I It's not easy to find the logical | |I-- - - ..... .. | perspective from which to TEDFOR0 I  | l "The Shop DRUG STORE | |.el[t w"m'm. I speak to this particular group I / of Quility" | ]   _V.wJ. 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