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The Catholic Mirror
Des Moines, IA
January 21, 2000     The Catholic Mirror
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January 21, 2000

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The Catholic Mirror, Jan. 21, 2000 1 1 ad was wrong Arecent advertisement placed in several Midwestem papers by It~,~Office of the President, Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, a written response from Bishop Joseph L. ChmTon, C.PP.S. '!~ advertisement from the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, w~ aPl~ared in the Dec. 9 issue of the Des Moines Register, ~ part: 'The Roman Catholic Church teaches thai some- tl~more than trust in Christ is necessary for us to be saved. It ~.that we are able to merit, through our works, eternal life for ourselves and others. We believe thi# teaching obscures the work of Jesus Christ and clouds the central message of the Bible." The advertisement, also placed in Milwaukee, Minneapolis andKansas City newspapers, among others, explained that the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod could not support the recent agreement on justification signed by the Lutheran World Federation and the Vatican. In response to the ad Bishop Charron sent a letter to the Register's editor which was ublished Dec 30 , p . The text of the bishop's letter read, in part: =,., ~q~; Missouri Synod's message, said, in part: 'The Roman l~cnaX~lic Church teaches that more than trust in Christ is necessary I or .us to be saved. It teaches that we are able to merit, through our ]WOrks, eternal life for ourselves and others.' | ~ statement is in error. The Catholic Church believes that is a free gift from God ... Catholics believe we are saved only by God s love and hur good.ess." " . Li -hop Philip Hougen of the Evangelical Lutheran Church il~'ea also wrote a letter supporting the agreement. unnin Revs' game on Feb. 21 ['he "Runnin Revs" will meet the "Serra All-Stars" in a fun has- ~a~e at 7 p.m. on Feb. 21 at Dowling High School to help and promote vocations to the priesthood. nnin Revs" are a team of priests and seminarians from ~~v~a~rCity, Kan. who go on the road and put on benefits for sem- ,;They will play a team -- the local "Serra All-Stars' -- pri- Y made up of the best 7th and 8th grade boy basketball players me Catholic schools of the diocese. About 30 young people ~gned up so far to play. Dowling Dance Team will perform before the game. There no charge to attend. Chapel prison Continued from Page 1 A number of people say there are problems with using the gym for worship. Worship time has to be scheduled in between other uses, Chairs have to be set up on tarps to protect the wood floor. Worship services are inter- rupted by garbled public announcements. There isn't enough room for all the women who want to attend special events. Services are hurried so the next group can use the gym. Connie Ziller, of Panora, goes to the prison on Thursdays to lead a choir plus some week- ends for worship services with her husband, Richard Ziller, a deacon of the diocese. The keyboard is on a stage and the residents sing from the gym floor. The stage is also occupied by a weight bench, pool tables and library books stored away. Plus, noise from the" public address system and other activi- ties is disturbing, she said. "More than once there's been vacuuming going on right out- side the gym," she said. A NEW CHAPEL would not only alleviate some of these problems but it would also pro- p addresses chapel fund tishop Joseph L. Charron written a letter em'ouraging people of the Des Moines rese to support the effort to e ,,money for a "sacred :f at the Iowa Correctional ItUtion for follows: Women. The text My Dear People, When Jesus was describing to his disciples some of the cri- teria by which his followers would be judged, he basically asked them if they had given food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, clothed the naked, wel- comed the stranger, comforted the sick and visited those in prison (Matthew 25). As you and I reflect on that list, the one that is probably the hardest to fulfill is visiting those in prison. For obvious secu- rity reasons, visiting pris- oners is not always possi- ble. But we can fulfill that mandate of Jesus in so many ways that are help- ful to those in prison. All ~ "~ for more Information of us should include the ll~dfled ,, I imprisoned in our prayers. ] - ~c, expedenced teachers IFrom time to time there ~] "l~~ld classes- I are service projects which ": 'J I NUTS. a.n'L or p.m. ~" 4~mA'~Id ~S [ can be done to help those li~~x' ~ ~ F'd. am. ~" o.m. iin prison or their families. l-Ustorner Appreciation Week January 24 - 29 20% Off All PurchasesDuringtheWeek Inspiration Bookstore 115924~.,DesHoines,~50311 [ ~15} 274-1009 or ~ h'o~, 1 -[$88} 799-.1272 of the conditions and atmos- phere in our prison systems and advocating for conditions that are conducive to rehabilitation and growth, would be a practi- cal work of justice on our part. In our diocese we have a weekly presence and ministry at the Women's Correctional Institution in Mitchellville and the men's facility in Clarinda. The county and city jails are visited as well. A Residents Encounter Christ (REC) retreat program has been held regularly for the past 20 years at the women's facility in Mitchellville. This year I wish to bring to your attention a special project being endorsed by all the Catholic bishops of Iowa and leaders of many other denomi- nations in the state. We would like to build a chapel for the women at Mitchellville. They currently have to use the gym- nasium for Mass and it is often in competition with other events occurring in the same space at the same time. A very high pro- file group of significant leaders in the state has also endorsed :!! Inmates Elizabeth Pitsor (Halcrow), Avis Blair, Kathy Tyler and Sylvia Burns show the gym that doubles as a worship space for them. Behind them there is weight-lift- ing equipment, a pool table, and library facility. The women would like a quiet place set aside for worship, reli- gious education and counseling. Photo by Anne Marie Cox vide space for religious commit- tees, education groups, and a quiet area where women could grieve, advocates for the sacred space say. Gene Jager, a deacon and the jail/prison ministry coordinator for the Diocese of Des Moines, said encouraging spirituality and faith may help reduce recidivism, or the chances of inmates committing crimes again once they're released. While some people may not want to give money for a sacred space for those convicted of a crime, Jager said they need to this campaign and are working for its success. The chapel, which will include a worship area, offices and meeting rooms, will cost about $600,000. Since this is a state-wide project, the goal should be reachable. I am ask- ing each parish to take up a spe- cial collection the weekend of February 12/13. I also encour- age anyone who is capable of making a sizeable gift to contact their pastor or the diocesan office of jail-prison ministry. As we celebrate our annual Jail-Prison Ministry Awareness Sunday this year, let us keep in mind the wonderful spiritual gift we could offer the women prisoners at Mitchellville. A sacred place of prayer could help them make significant changes in their lives and give them hope for the future. With appreciation for all your generosity, I am Sincerely yours in Christ, Most Reverend Joseph Charron, C.PP.S. Bishop of Des Moines 4 Youth 2000 Eucharistic Centered Retreat Youth and Young Adults, ages 13-30 Jan. 28, 29, 30, 2000 Sacred Heart School, Boone, IA To register call (515) 387-1102 I L. remember the call for forgive- ness and reconciliation. Residents of the prison have their own explanations for why they'd like an interfaith chapel. Sylvia Bums, a Methodist who was expected to be released in January, said, "Those of us who have chosen to be rehabilitated and have God in our lives need a chapel." It provides a place for spirituality, she said. Elizabeth Pitsor (Halcrow), a Native American, said some of the symbols of her spirituality are locked up in a box. Instead, she said they should be on dis- play where they can inspire. "Sometimes my faith isn't that great and I need to look up and see something when I pray," she added. Avis Blair, a Seventh Day Adventist, will spend the rest of her life at the prison. She was a rebel when she entered, she said. But through her faith jour- ney, she has changed her life. She hopes to be a model for other women who will one day walk away from the prison. Having a sacred space may help in that effort to turn women around, she said. A CHAPEL WOULD BE A place to go to strengthen "yourself with God so that you don't come back... To me, that's the core of what it's all about," she said. Kathy Tyler, a Catholic also sentenced to life in prison, said a chapel would better facilitate the celebration of sacraments such as baptism. And a sacred space would allow the women to hold funeral or memorial ser- vices in a better manner. "I would like to think I could have my funeral Mass here if God chooses to have me here the rest of my life," she said. She hopes that her funeral Mass isn't celebrated in the gym under the volleyball net. Tyler asked, "What do you think Christ would want for us.'?" Bums answered, "Happiness. Joy. Letting us learn his word. He wants us to feel rice, have a spiri- tuality within ourselves and know he's with us no matter where we ~L t