1994 Jan 16 – 2nd Sun Ord (Bulletin Letters)
Fr. Frank, The Teacher:
New year’s greetings! The new year starts off busy for me, as it has the last four years. For the months of Jan and Feb., I am teaching a Social Ethics class at the Buena Vista Center (BV), out of Ia. Western Community College, two nights a week, Monday and Wednesday.
Teaching this ethics class always stretches me. Part of the class content is the teacher, “Fr. Frank”. I spend the first night telling the students my life story and the next night I present my World View, the philosophical and spiritual bases for why I do resistance work.
The medium age of students enrolled at BV is 35. There are many working class, single parent students, who hold down full time jobs, are raising their children along with trying to get an education. They are just normal ordinary people making extraordinary sacrifices to get a better education. It has been a privilege working with them for the last four years.
Of course, I tell them how and why I became a priest, but mostly I tell the story how I came to work for peace and justice. Each time I do this I’m forced to reexamine who I am and what I’m all about. It is a good discipline for me. I really enjoy getting to know the students. The money I earn from teaching this class will be use to finance my trip to El Salvador in March.
This year, I’m also teaching the St. Alberts First Graders. Every Monday morning I spend 20 minutes in three different 1st grade class rooms. At first, I was very unsure of myself. I’ve never consider myself much of an elementary grade teacher. I’m still no pro. Luckily, I can’t get in too much trouble in 20 minutes and the teachers are close at hand should I need help. Mostly, I’ve been reading specially written Bible Stories to the students. I’m half way through the school year now and I’m more confident with the children. We all seem to be enjoying our time together. I know I’m having a lot of fun with the kids. My time with them is a high point of my week.
94 01 16 –
A New Bishop, A New Era for the Des Moines Diocese:
Next week Bishop Joseph Charron will be officially instal as the Bishop of the Des Moines Diocese. His coming to our diocese is greeted with mixed feelings. For many, myself included, the Bishop Bullock years were not the best years for our diocese.
In the last six years a lot of good will and basic trust has been lost within the diocesan structures. There is much reconciliation and healing needed within our diocesan church. Bishop Charron has a formidable task waiting for him in Des Moines. First reports on Bishop Charron are all very good. As good as Bishop Charron may well be, he still can’t do what needs to be done by himself.
Please pray with me that with the coming of Bishop Charron a new era for our diocese will begin, one marked with a spirit of good will and mutual respect for all people in our Catholic family. May Bishop Charron come to be a true leader for our diocesan Church, a Bishop that leads with his people and for his people. And may we, his people be open to where he leads us, as we all, Bishop and people try to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.