Newspaper Archive of
Arkansas Catholic
Little Rock, Arkansas
July 15, 1990     Arkansas Catholic
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July 15, 1990

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PAGE 2'"Ai KANSAS"CATFIOLic "iULY '15, TIVE i ehad herhu ban " ILater, she was in an auto accident and Okay. I should've outgrown it years ago but I still play my car radio loud enough to pulverize concrete. My feet are too old for it, but I still wear three-inch heels. And I still have a problem with my language when I get angry. So I shouldn't get too bent out of shape about the way folks dress (or don't dress) for Mass. Given my own shortcomings in the decorum depart- ment, I'm in no position to complain. But, gee whiz, folks, when is enough going to be enough? The only way I can tell if people are coming from or going to the tennis courts before or after Mass is if the person is sweaty and disheveled, he or she is coming from the courts, catch- ing a quick Mass before heading home. If the person looks like an anti-perspi- rant or a shampoo commercial, he or she is headed for the courts as soon as he or she gets Communion and ducks out the side door. Tank tops are fun, too, especially the flourescent green ones worn by 45-year- old women wearing thongs and cotton baggies. The men more often look like they're coming or going from or to the golf course, because their shirts often have little alligators on them and their shorts are often plaid, in colors of soft pink, bits,/purple and a hint of green. These people wouldn't be caught dead at the office or the club, or wher- ever it is they go, dressed the way they dress for Mass. In my work, I frequently attend non- Catholic religious services. No other Christian denomination - bar none - would tolerate the sacrilege Catholics commit when they shuffle into Mass, announcing with their clothes that they've been pulled away from some- thing really important- like running the track or sunbathing. Like I said, I'm no beacon of tradi- tion in the decorum department. But I do know bad taste and resentment against the Church when I see them. These folks are full of both. DKH ARKANSAS CATHOLIC is publl~K148 tlmu a year, for $12 per year. by the Cathoflc ~ of Little Roc~ Aduuum= Cathollc, Inc., 2500 N. Tyler St., Little Rock, All 72207 (501) 664-0340 [FAX (501) 664-g075]. PUBH~IrdR: I~=t I~v./t~l~,w J. McDonald, Blimp MANAGING EDn'oR: I~. ~ J. EDITOR : Del~rsh HIIlimd ADVERTISNG I MARKETING DIRECTOR : non IL Hsll PROOUCTION MANAGER: Rev. Jim Schrstz CI~ULITION ;E~ : AgnN K~Ii| Th~ a== pmt~ p~d ,,t Ut~ Rock AR. POSTMASTER : ~ ~ d ~ to: A~ CATHOLIC, PO BOX 7417, LITTLE ROCK, AR 72217. Bush riga hou~ ateS:3Oto4, Mondty- Friday. ~ on ~ ~ ~, ~ ~ ~. ~ m ~,,,~ In M~ ~ ~ J~n~ ~, ~ N. T~, ~ ~ AR, ~7. ~i~i~i~ To subscribe, send coupon with check for $12 to the above address. Name .Z ress Padsh wasn't able to come to Mass for three months. Then, she moved away, and went to Sunday Mass on her crutches. She expects to be handicapped for several months. When she went to Mass no one greeted her. No one even acted like they saw her. She felt very alone, and wondered if the Church was as cold as she felt that Sunday morning away from her old parish. Friends suggested that the transition to a new parish always leaves one with that feeling of being unnoticed and ignored. But she wondered if she would be able to make herself go to Mass there again the next Sunday. She mentioned having once gone to a Protestant church and being warmly greeted and welcomed by various members of the congregation. Why don't we Catholics do that? There may be several alibis, but not many good reasons. The principal al- ibi for not greeting a stranger may be No one really knows why Catholics are so shy about greeting strangers at Mass that with several Masses, the people may think this is someone who usually attends the Saturday evening, Mass, and so doesn't need a greeting or welcome at this morning's Mass. But even then, such a person would like to feel web Fr. David FIusche, OSB comed by others present. "I was a stranger and you welcomed men doesn't have much meaning for many in a Catholic Sunday congregation. Some parishes have tried to overcome this by designating greet- ers to welcome everyone, and that is a good step. But it is only a step along the way of making the stranger feel rdally welcome by the con- gregation. The woman thought that this by itself would be artificial, that the rest of the congregation may feel like it's up to the greeters and continue to ignore people like her. She said that greeters could probably only offer her a Good Morning" and then turn to the next person and repeat "Good Morning," which is about as much as a designated greeter can do. What she missed was someone in the congregation saying, rIello. I see you are alone, would you care to sit with US?" No one really knows why Catholics are so shy about greeting strangers at Mass or other parish functions. lics do all right at greeting and ring briefly with friends before or Mass. But strangers are greeted silent questions: "Who is that?" "Probably someone from the o'clock." Divorced people feel this keenly, especially when their stances have made it necessary for to start life over again in a place. It takes a lot of faith and ruination for them to integrate selves into a different con The woman I referred to has kind of faith and determination. recently received a note from her which she wrote, "I am going to get something started, maybe." Why not try to help her and the other strangers like her by them feel welcome and inviting to something extra like a parish don, a Scripture study group prayer group, and taking them parish hall for coffee where this is after the Mass. Or something. thing. But don't let them feel out in cold when they come to worship pray with you. They are probably s and self-conscious, but apart from or Ms. Aloof, they will appreciate attention, and the odds are that name isn't Aloof. Is that the name the rest of us? (Fr. David Flusche, OSB, is a contTiJ tor to lrm int.) Dolores CreTan When our daughter was in junior high, she read a biography of Albert Schweitzer in which he submit- ted our compas- sion for others is directly propor- tionate to our ability to leave a worm struggling on the sidewalk after a rain. Shortly thereaf- ter, Teresa went jogging after a rain. She passed a struggling worm, remembered Schweitzer, and inter- rupted her jogging rhythm to go back. Disliking intensely to touch creepy things of any sort, she hesitated. Laboriously, she shuffled two leaves together and using them as a stretcher lifted the worm onto the lawn and ran on. A block later, she saw another worm struggling on a sidewalk. "I stopped and looked at it for a minute," she told us, "and then I said, 'Forget it'." We've laughed many times over her story but it aptly serves as a metaphor for the phrase "compassion fatigue," which is becoming a part of our social jargon. Simply defined, compassion fatigue means we get weary of feeding the hungry, hearing about the homeless, and caring about those in the Third World. We want to do our part and then have it done. When it isn't done and we're called upon again and help, we get weary of the cause. passion fatigue sets in. "I've already given," becomes tired cry. Je've had this problem long. When will we stop hearing it?" We grieve with those who have See "Curran," next " I KNOW WE GAVE I ACFt OTHER THE SIGNI OF PEACE. wELL FI, ENF_. v rT" NE3