1997 Jan 19 -2nd Sun (Bulletin Letters)
Vocations Awareness Week
This week the diocese is observing Vocations Awareness Week. In both our first reading from 1 Samuel and from the Gospel of John, someone’s timely advice is need to help another get in touch with their call form God. The young prophet Samuel needed the priest Eli’s wise console to stop and listen to God’s voice. And Jesus’s first two disciples, were John the Baptist’s disciples before the Baptist sent them on to Jesus.
A vocation to serve the Church is a very very special life calling. Is there anyone you know who might have such a calling? Have you ever talked to them about it? A few words from you may be all they need to hear to get them started on a vocation to the priesthood or religious life. Think about it….
Lenten Lectionary Program
Responding to several peoples inquiries, we are going to have an evening Lenten Lectionary Study Group meet every Monday at 7:00 p.m. in Rectory during Lent. This will be a wonderful opportunity for people interested in learning more about the bible who are not able to be with us for our weekly morning Lectionary Study Group. We will be using the “Share The Word” program put out by the Paulist Fathers. It is designed to cover the up coming weekend Mass scripture passages. Our first session will begin Monday night Feb. 17 and continue every Monday until March 24th. Anyone interested in joining this effort please sign up on the list provided in the back of each Church.
97 01 19
Governor, “The Death Penalty is Murder!”
Three Catholic Workers and myself draped a banner which read “Death Penalty Is Murder” over the spectators first row balcony railing at the State Capitol Building during Governor Terry Branstad’s State of the State Address, Tuesday morning January 14, 1997.
We waited until Governor Brandstad mentioned his intentions to reinstate the death penalty before silently standing up and unfolding the banner over the balcony railing. The banner was exposed for the whole assembly to see for but a few seconds before two State Troopers apprehended it.
We agree before hand to hold on to the banner and refuse to leave until being drag out of the chambers or be arrested. The first State Trooper to reach us, told us to, “Let go of the banner or you’ll be arrested.” We continued to hold onto the banner and started to negotiate with the first Officer, when the second State Trooper came upon us from our other side and snatch the banner away from us.
At that point I released about 25 half page leaflets over the balcony railing. The leaflets fell unto the main floor, where state legislatures and press people were seated. As soon as I did this, the first State Trooper said, “O.K. Your arrested” and he escorted me out of the assembly. None of the other three were arrested.
I was immediately placed in custody, taken out of the State Capitol Building and transported in a State Trooper’s car to the Polk Co. Jail.
At the Polk Co. Jail, I was finger printed, photographed and booked on a misdemeanor charge of “Willful Disturbance”. My bail was set at $650 dollars.
Norman Searah was my designated support person. If arrested I planned to bail out of jail. In keeping with previous bail amounts from past protest, I had given him $150 cash to bail me out if needed. We never expected a $650 bail. Norman had to go to his savings account and take out half of his Salvation Army Christmas Bell earnings to cover the rest of my bail. Four hours latter I was a free man. Thank God for good friends.
My first court appearance is set for 1 p.m. Thursday Jan. 23rd at the Polk Co. Court House in Des Moines. I am currently trying to line up a friendly attorney to take my case.
I do not anticipate having to serve much, if any, jail time because of this effort. I will of course keep you posted about what comes next.
The Death Penalty Is Murder
“We are hear today to protest Governor Barndstad’s intention to reestablish the Death Penalty in Iowa. We believe it is never right to take a human life. To this there are no exceptions. We the urge our Catholic Governor to truly be consistent in his defense of life.
Governor Brandstad stop using the death penalty as part of a political strategy designed for winning votes. Truly be the Pro Life Governor you proclaim to be. The death penalty is murder.”
The statement on leaflet distributed at the Governor’s State of the Sate Address, Jan. 14, 1997 by the Des Moines Catholic Worker Community