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Arkansas Catholic
Litlte Rock, Arkansas
October 1, 1994     Arkansas Catholic
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October 1, 1994

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ARKANSAS CATHOLIC October 1, 1994 Page 11 Opinions They come in threes They say that things come in "threes." When people you know die, that's What they say, "they come in threes." As I sit at my desk after returning from my third vigil or funeral service in as many days, that is what I remember, "they COme in threes." First there was Lucilla Warren, a mem- ber of Holy Souls Church, a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother --- truly loved by her family and mourned by her friends. Then there was Louie "Nonno" Belotti, 83 years of age, a good and gentle man. At his funeral one of his grandchildren read a letter to him, 'q)ear Nonno, do you know how much we love you?" It was a beautiful and touching tribute to a man deeply loved by so many. And the third was a good friend to many people, Nancy Younts Halter of North Little Rock. My uncle taught her in her youth at St. Mary School in North Little Rock, and I taught her daughter at Mt. St. Mary Academy. The bond felt by the hundreds who attended, worshipped, and gave thanks at her service was not only one of faith but also of love for a genuinely good soul whose sufferings Went without complaint, and who will be missed beyond words. It is now the beginning of the fall sea- son; the air will be cooler, the days will be shorter, and the trees will change color. It is a season in which many of us Will take a ride into the hill country of Our natural state, observe God's work in creation -- with a thousand different changes in process, and taking in a deep breath - say, "My it's so good to be alive?" It seems somewhat ironic that the most colorful season of the year, when many of us feel most alive, is actually the dying of nature around us: the grass will turn brown, the flowers will no longer bloom, the trees will lose their colorful leaves; and, as quickly as it began, fall Will end with winter. Yet, we know that spring will return; and when I think now of Lucilla, Louie and Nancy, I am reminded that, like the trees, God has called them in this sea- Son, along with all of our loved ones, to .experience a season that will usher forth into eternal life, with the hope of spring and resurrection just on the horizon. ---FIM ARKANSAS CATHOLIC PUBUSHER Most Rev. Andrew J. McDonald, Bishop MANAGING EDITOR ~'~"~* Fr. Albert J. Schneider I~',~:',nl EDITOR PRO TEM Fr. Francis I. Malone ~ =~ EDITORIAL/PRODUCTION MANAGER Penny T. Boy~r CIRCULATION MANAGER Agnes Knittig ADVERTISING/MARKETING MANAGER Ron M. Hall ADVERTISING ASSISTANT Pearl Cia EDITORIAL/PRODUCTION ASSISTANT N~.ancy C. Moore A Mission For All As we progress into the final months of the sesquicentennial celebration, we are moving from celebrat- ing the memory (what has been) and the moment (the present life), into celebrat- ing the mission (what is to come) of this diocese. Actually, in celebrating the memory and moment we have been celebrating the mission. For the diocese was born and has grown out of the mission of the Catholic Church. This diocese was founded from the zeal, sweat and faith of the priests, religious and lay people who came to Arkansas to live the gospels and to evangelize. That is the same mission we have as Catholics in the Church today. It is the only mission this diocese has had, or ever will have. Building churches, Masses, con- fessions, and helping the poor and hun- gry are some of the objectives, some of the means, toward accomplishing the goal of evangelization. One of the problems of explaining mis- sion is the problem of defining evangeli- zation. Two definitions are: (1) A gentle caring approach of sharing our Catholic faith through kind words, education, for- giveness, personal witness and positive action; (2) The everyday living of ones faith in a way in which Jesus becomes a reality in the lives and exlberiences of all people one touches. Sometimes it's easier to explain evan- gelization in a negative way. It is not just going from house to house talking about Jesus. It does not require you to force the Gospels or your values on others. The mission of the Diocese of Little Rock is "ev- eryday evangeliza- tion." Through the loving, caring Gospel-inspired actions, words and examples of every Catholic in this diocese,Jesus becomes real to believ- ers and non-believers. They come to be- lieve and the kingdom grows. In our homes, neighborhoods, work- places and the world, each Catholic is making an effort everyday, every moment, to bring Jesus into his or her relation- ships and actions. Only in this way will the Church in Arkansas grow, the king- dom come, and the reign of God be fulfilled. Evangelization is not only talking about others being evangelized. Every Catholic's primary mission in life must be to evan- gelize ourselves. If we are to effectively bring Jesus into our environment, we must have an active, intimate relation- ship with God and the Gospels. That means each Catholic's mission is to de- velop a plan to nurture his or her rela- tionship with Jesus by improving his or her prayer life; reading of scripture, reli- gious and spiritual writings; becoming more familiar with the Church's doc- trines; working with the poor, homeless and disadvantaged; receiving the sacra- ments; sharing our faith with others in our parishes, etc. To help bring the "mission" of the diocese more to life, the Sesquicenten- nial Mission Committee has identified a program to help Catholics within our dio- cese prepare and participate in the mis- sion of the diocese. This program is called "Go and Make Disciples." It follows the U.S. bishop's plan for Catholic evangelization and is a "user- friendly" program for any individual, group or parish to develop a personal, group and/or parish evangelization plan. Many parishes have identified a coor- dinator to implement this program in their parish during October, the month designated "Mission Month" by Bishop Andrew J. McDonald. A1F Catholics should plan to partici- pate. A handout, "Everyday Evangeliza- tion," has been provided to all parishes to help you better understand evangeli- zation and realize that we are "already doing it." If you, your group or parish desire more information about "Go and Make Disciples," you should contact the dioc- esan Sesquicentennial Office or Lay Min- istry Office, 664-0340. (Henry Tuck ~dtes from Little Rock.) Need for people to share our lives deep, basic 66"]" call,him Lobo," the poorly-dressed man said. He gently I ruffled the white wolf-dog s fur. Lobo wagged his tail and seemed to smile. '%ge've been together a lot of years." Then after a moment's pause he added, "He's all the family that I've got." They had driven up in a rattle-trap old Chevy packed with their belongings. "We're headed south," the man had said. "Winter gets cold when you live in your car like we do." The two of them come to mind every now and then. Not only because of Lobo's beattty I've never seen a more beautiful dog but also because of the heartbreaking loneliness in his master's voice as he confided, "He's all the family that I've got." No one should have to say that. Today's first reading reminds us that we need more than a Lobo. Although it specifically addresses marriage, the passage is really speaking about something very deep and basic -- our need for other people to share our lives. Without companions and friends our lives are empty indeed. Even hermits need other people! Some Pharisees once questioned Jesus about divorce. The answer He gave was clear and definite. It sounds harsh, but it is not as condemn- ing as it appears. His point for us is that people should Work to make their marriages succeed rather than do things that will guarantee their failure. The same is s/m Toa, true for all of our healthy, life-giving Fr. W'dliam Gould relationships with other people. Genesis 2:18 - 24 Hebrews 2:9 - 118 Mark 10:2 - 165 You will notice that Jesus did not claim this would be easy. We know the difficulties, especially in a culture which denies the worth of lifetime commitments and accepts self-centeredness and instant gratification as cardinal virtues. Good relationships need hard work! But they are worth it when you consider the alternative. "I call him Lobo. He's all the family that I've got."