South Texas Catholic (Corpus Christi, Tex.), Vol. 19, No. 44, Ed. 1 Friday, May 4, 1984 Page: 4 of 16
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May 4,1984 • 4
Today I saw a
gull not flying
By William G. Bilton
STC executive editor
Stress, it seems, is at the source of many of our maladies to-
There are the obvious “major” stresses that affect us whether
we are aware of it or not—the threat of nuclear war, the in-
crease of international terrorism, the incessant airings of con-
flict and violence.
There are also the much more personal insecurities that arise
from the high incidence ol crime and disrespect for life. There
are the daily stresses of merely driving to work and back, or
shopping or going to school. For many people, the necessary
business of trying to make a good living can be very stressful.
But by far the greatest threat to the harmonious functioning
of the whole person—body, mind, and spirit—lies, 1 believe, in
the areas of self-esteem and human relationships. The simple
business of getting along well together in a way that is suppor-
tive and not destructive to our self-respect and sense of worth
can become remarkably stressful. Emotional reaction to such
stress can throw the whole body—and mind—out of kilter.
The very mobility of our lives deprives us of the time to take
stock calmly and objectively and remind ourselves of what is
important in the Christian view and what is not. Sometimes just
trying too hard to do what we feel is right, or is expected of us,
can take serious toll. We must take time to consider what is
good for us on a personal level, spiritually and emotionally.
One weekend afternoon, shortly after moving to Corpus
Christi, I was sitting near a window in my apartment writing a
letter to a friend. I happen to raise my eyes to the window and
saw framed there one of the sea gulls so plentiful along the
Texas Gulf Coast. It hung quite motionless, high above the
ground—wings fully extended—facing into the brisk wind. It
was not fighting against the force of the wind but seemed to be
leaning against it. The wings neither dipped nor flapped.
After a while the wind dropped and the gull slipped sideways
with a slight realignment of its wings, caught the new current
and soared slowly and with infinite grace in a leisurely arc
before vanishing from my sight.
It seemed to me to be very significant, but for the moment I
could not think why. Later, the thought occured that I had
witnessed an act of complete confidence and trust in the laws
and powers of nature. Knowing the way of the wind, the gull
gave itself over to its aerodynamic lift and accomplished the ap-
parent miracle of remaining in motionless suspension against
all laws of gravity.
Perhaps what I saw of significance in that moment of wonder
was a reflection of the need we creatures have to ease from striv-
ing and struggling against the squalls of life and lean on the
wind of the Spirit, allowing ourselves to be uplifted and moved
and supported and carried.
In this age of constant motion, constant electronic chatter
and noise, constant alarm, we do appalling damage to ourselves
when we neglect to lean on the Spirit of God and let Him hold
and lift and sweep us off our feet into the peace and calm of His
That day I saw a gull not flying on the wind and it lent wings
to my spirit.
Official newspaper of rhe Diocese of Corpus Christi Published 45 times a
veat . Subscriptions S7 annually
Bishop Thomas J. Drury
Staf! i inter /J,arrdt>
Bishop Rene H. Gracida
(,'tn illation IA dvfrtt * i nt>
William G. Bilton
Exetutire Editor and (icnrrat Manager
Staff 11 nir/r>('.<!’f>u \ ( hti lt
Office Address: 1200 Lantana St.
Corpus Christi, TX 78407
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 4983,
Corpus Christi, TX 78469
Secwpd class postage paid at Corpus Christi, TX (US PS-540-8601)
Unionism meeting employer
opposition, authors say
By Msgr, George G. Higgins
NC News Service
I cannot resist calling attention to the best
book published in recent years on the subject of
labor-management relations: What Do Unions
Do? by Richard B. Freeman and James L.
Medoff, both of Harvard University (Basic
The vast majority of books on this subject are
quite theoretical and tend to start from a
preconceived notion about the impact of
unionism on the economy. This or.e, by contrast,
is an empirical study based on computerized data
from thousands of individuals and business
establishments. It tells in statistical detail what
unions actually do, not what the authors think
unions ought to do. It clearly shows, on the basis
of verifiable evidence, that contrary to public
belief unions play a crucial and largely beneficial
role in improving workplaces, increasing porduc-
tivity and reducing inequality in our economic
The book also demonstrates that the majority
of unions in the United States are truly
Why is it then, the authors ask, that private-
sector unionism is currently on the decline in the
United States? Mainly, in their opinion, because
of widespread legal and illegal employer opposi-
tion to unionism. For this reason, Freeman and
Medoff favor legal changes that would make it
easier to unionize. They believe that steps should
be taken to limit the power of management to op-
pose unionization, returning to workers a greater
say in choosing to unionize or not.
In developing this argument, the authors point
out that the decline of unionism in the United
States contrasts sharply with the steady increase
in unionism in other countries, notably in
Canada. In their judgment the reason is that
Canadian labor law makes it much more difficult
for employers to conduct lengthy, well-funded
campaigns against unions before and during
The legal changes in U.S. labor law advocated
by Freemand and Medoff parallel those incor-
porated into the so-called Labor Law Reform Bill
of 1977-1978. The purpose of that bill was to
make it easier for unions to organize new
establishments. The bill also would have penaliz-
ed employers who violate the law by unfair labor
practices. In short, the purpose of the bill was to
make the National Labor Relations Board work
more efficiently, quickly and equitablv.
Unfortunately the bill was defeated, if only by
a very narrow margin. It was defeated because
the National Association of Manufacturers and
the U.S. Chamber of Commerce—indeed the
entire business community—waged what the
authors have described as “holy war” against it.
It is difficult to understand why the bill met
with such fierce opposition, even from experienc-
ed management negotiators.
Collective bargaining, far from being a threat
to the American enterprise system, is essential to
Diocese thanked for
check to CHD
I wish to thank the people of the Diocese of
Corpus Christi for their continuing and generous
support of the Campaign for Human Develop-
ment. A check for $9,319 has been received here
at the national office. This amount is the three-
quarter portion to be distributed nationally to
self-help projects controlled by the poor
themselves and designed to remove the causes of
Since 1970, the Diocese of Corpus Christi has
received 14 national CHD grants totaling
$314,950 for a return of 257 percent.
The continued generosity of the people of your
diocese fulfills the spirit of the words of Pope
John Paul II: “Christians are called by God to be
involved in the world in order to transform it ac-
cording to the Gospel. These duties involve
positively contributing to the establishment of
just laws and structures that foster human
CHD provides an opportunity for us to make
the same option Jesus did, to live in solidarity
with the poor, the wounded, the marginaied, and
those considered “least” in our society.
On behalf of the entire CHD family, I express
sincere thanks also to Bishop Rene H. Gracida,
and to Monsignor Robert Freeman, your
Father Marvin A. Mottet
Campaign for Human Development
Holy Thursday evening
I think having only an evening Mass on Holy
Thursday should be changed. There are many
people for one reason or another who can’t at-
tend Mass at night...they don’t drive at night, or
scared to go out at night, work at night, attend
school at night, etc. These same people may be
the same ones that attend Mass regularly during
the week, and on this very special day, they
Is this a diocese regulation, or does this come
directly from Rome? I think in either case, so-
meone should help get this changed.
We try to help the elderly, but this is directly
EDITOR’S NOTE: The rubrics (rules for con-
duct of a liturgical service) in the Sacramentary
state that according to the Church ’$ ancient tradi-
tion, the Mass of the Lord’s Supper (<is celebrated
in the evening, at a convenient hour, with the full
participation of the whole community. ” The
Easter Tridium begins with the evening Mass of
the Lord’s Supper, reaches its high point in the
Easter Vigil and closes with evening prayer on
Easter Sunday. The Easter Tridium emphasizes
unity; it is the celebration of the going of the Lord
Jesus from this mortal life to the newness of unen-
ding Risen Life and our here-and-now participa-
tion in His passage from death to life. To main-
tain the unity of the Easter Tridium, the Church
has traditionally began in the evming.
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Bilton, William G. South Texas Catholic (Corpus Christi, Tex.), Vol. 19, No. 44, Ed. 1 Friday, May 4, 1984, newspaper, May 4, 1984; Corpus Christi, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth840372/m1/4/: accessed January 21, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .