1988 March 27 – Palm Sunday (Bulletin Letters)
APRIL 12th COURT DATE: The Federal Government came down with indictments for seven of the line crossers from the December 28th witness – and I am one of them. Our court date is set for Tuesday morning at 9:00 a.m., April 12th. It is a relief that a date has been set. Now, with a date set, comes a whole new set of anxieties. I fully anticipate being tried and sentenced on the 12th. I will waive the right to an attorney, stipulate to the facts, which, in the eyes of the court, will be seen as a guilty plea. In my statement before the judge, I will show no contrition for my witness and will inform the judge of my unwillingness to cooperate with any terms of probation. I suspect the judge will not look kindly on this attitude and sentence me to jail. To accept any form of probation would be an acceptance of guilt. I maintain the guilty party is the Mission of SAC and not those who cross lines. The maximum time I can be sentenced to is six months, which, in the Federal system comes to about four and a half months, discounting good time. I am in the process of scheduling a substitute priest to cover weekend masses. Bishop Bullock will give final approval to this scheduling and assign a priest as temporary administrator to St. Anne’s and Holy Family parishes.
Despite the delay in the indictments, I am grateful that I will be with you for EASTER! The dramatic events surrounding the last days of Jesus’ life, his acts of resistance, arrest, trials, sentencing and execution take on added significance for me this year. The opportunity to celebrate the Passion, Death and Resurrection with you will be a great boost to my spirits as I anticipate my own imprisonment.
I know the prospect of my being in jail does not sit well with many. For some our efforts at SAC are foolhardy and irresponsible. I understand that Catholics of good faith do – and will – differ on these issues of war and peace. To be sure my actions at SAC and my stand in court are my own. They represent convictions and beliefs formed from my life experiences and worldview. They are deeply rooted in the values and ethics I have received from my family, my faith, and my country.
It’s no fun being in jail. They are not nice places to be. I do not relish the thought of being separated from the people I love and serve in Harrison County. It particularly pains me to know I will miss the important moments in the lives of some of you. Moments in normal times a pastor should and ought to share with his people. But I do not see these as normal times. The nuclear arsenals and their intended use are so threatening to human life that extraordinary efforts are called for. The line crossing and my stand in court are my sincere attempts to respond in these uncommon times. I wish it were different. I wonder if it’s enough?
FRANK’S PRETRIAL EUCHARSTIC CELEBRATION & RECEPTION:
There will be a mass and reception Monday, April 11th at 7: 30 p.m., at St. Anne’ s. All are welcome to help send me off to trial and points beyond. Your supportive and prayerful presence would be greatly appreciated.
AMERICAN BISHOP’ S OVERSEAS APPEAL: Inserted in this weeks’ bulletin is the envelope for the American Bishop’ s Overseas Appeal Fund. This is the U.S. Catholic Bishop’s fund for the poor of the world. Please be generous in your giving. Your contributions extend the caring hands of our Bishops into the world.
(Frank, I’m not going to correct this unless you want me to)
Last Saturday, we took’ three car loads – 12 kids’ ‘and. 5 adults’ -to’ the Catholic Worker House in Des Moines for.a full, day af work. . It was,.the maj 0’1″ service project far the St~ Anne IS’ Confirmation class. We did major cleaning prajectsj’I’hav:ed furniture and did yard work. We helped serve lunch ‘and distributed faod at the free” faad stare. .It was ,a great introduction to the Catholic Worker movement. The ,follawing are’ some ‘brief impressions hy same af.the falks’wha made the trip…I reallylikedgatng to’ the’ Catholic WO,rker ‘Hause. . I metnew.peaple, helped peaple and got a ‘gaadfeelin:g fra:m it.;. I really. fecI for the peaple who h~ve taliveindiffere~t shelte~s 0’1″ anthe:streets~’ , When. we gave outfaad’ in the “free” food store, I ‘really .f.~ltgaod.I . was happy that the stOres would give them manylaaves of .breaJ, mIlk, packet pies, treats and d.oughnuts. . I feel that what these volunteers’ dO’ in thewarkerhause takes. A lot of care and tiride’r standing. I ~nvy, thevalllntce’rsfor theircaringa’nd understanding~ ”
We learned inar,e abaut the peaple an the stre~ets;..T.here. are ‘peaple whO’ don It h.aveT. V. and all the gaad things we. do. So’ we shat,lld help them by sharlngour wealth. Thepea.ple there’ were really nice’. It was. ‘fun ‘beingw’lth everybody and helping. I’d, li’ketO’ gO’
When I .w,as’.in ‘De’s; Moin.es at the: ‘worker.hous,e.. I re;a.liiedhow: lucky’ lam to’ hav~ .a hame ‘ta:llve lri..a f,am11y to’ \;are far me… and faod an ‘thEUR ” table everynigbt. Same pe’ople w.ould de almastanythingto have what, I dO’, and thank G,od far it.
ThIs is what I experienced whe.nI wentt.a Des Maine,s’ on Saturday,. ..fi1e.rch 19th, to’ W’orkat tpe,Cath,alicWorker HO:use. Far the.day.. I L’eally faund aut haw the less, ,fO’rtunant i1 ves’~ I ttow, apprecia’te what-‘.l have’.,’ I alsO’ saw. the l.ove they, have for thas’e whO’ come in far mtichn~e<ic.d, aad and she.! terduring the .day. ‘Kay ‘Btg:g;ersta ff
The day was spent sha..ring laughs, WOI’ks and’ faod. ,We, gat to.. knaweach ather a li.ttlebett’er.’We were educated on the ‘philosaphy and pracedures af t.he CatbalicWarker House. You have to’ admire the staff there for the strength:afthe1rcanvlctlans.” The worke’r hause’is a tatal way af11fe ,soclally’..politica!llyan<~1n termsaf wqrk, . family and l1r’estyle. , ‘…’, u:r came away with a betterund,erstandlng af the econamics invalved with . the plight O’f the pO,ar. It Is wonderful to. .help feed and clathe them, but the ‘pL’dble:msa~e bigge!’ thant’ha.t.
. Mary Lynn Espenml1Ier