Mt. Vernon Register-News from Mt Vernon, Illinois on December 24, 1968 · Page 29
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Mt. Vernon Register-News from Mt Vernon, Illinois · Page 29

Mt Vernon, Illinois
Issue Date:
Tuesday, December 24, 1968
Page 29
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I ~ TUESDAY, DECEMBER 24, 1968 , .0 THEREGISTElt-NEWS — MT. VERNON. ILLINOIS 3-C 3 Churches Own Building; Protestants Out In The Cold No Christian Unity Today At Birtlh Place Of Jesus By RODNEY BINDER , Associated Press Writer BETHLEHEM (AP) — The ghosts of Christmases past haunt the birthplace of Jesus, but the spirit of Christian unity is hardly discernible. Here, where the first cries, of a baby born in a stable gave birth to an era, the celebrations of that night emphasize Christian distension. . For a start, there are three main*'Christmases: Dec. 25 for *Rom$n :Catholics and Protestants^. Jan. 7 for the Greek Orthodox; and Jan. 19 for the Armenians.' Bethlehem basks in E ; month of festive cheer—four weeks of booming souvenir gales, garnishings of holly and, »if times, the pi'ickly squabbles of. priests. A rigid status quo—"Each to his own," explained Deputy ftfayor George S. Diek—governs celebrations from Christ's birthplace down the fertile valley to the field where the angel appeared to tell the shepherds the n£ws. The 1,600-year-old Church of the Nativity, a massive, squat basilica of stone, lead and gold, sits over the grotto, the traditional manger. The Greeks own most of it. The Catholics won a share in 1852, and a southern slice went to the Armenians. All sects can say High Mass somewhere under-the sprawling roof. The biggest celebrations are Dec. 25 when Bethlehem's population of 25,000 is usually doubled by pilgrims. The festivities follow an inflexible script. The Catholic Church of St. Catherine, built; cheek by jowl with the, Church, of the Nativity, has a High Mass led by the patriarch, Msgr. Alberto Gori bf •Jerusalem. ; A procession winds its way to the grotto below the basilica. The Greeks, have given;permission—but the Catholics must hot stray from their prescribed route. During Turkish rule, explained the deputy mayor—who once was a tourist guide- priests laid small, round, hard peas on their precincts so that any trespasser would encounter a nasty fall on the cold stone floors. These days squads of police line the route between the giant pillars of the basilica—below windows which only the Catholics are permitted to clean—to the cave where tradition says Jesus was born. The actual spot of the birth is owned by the Greek Orthodox, so the Catholics can -only say prayers there. They can, however, hold High Mass in the niche where Mary laid her baby to rest, which they own. The official schedule carries a baleful reminder: "During the Latin (Catholic) services a Greek Orthodox dragoman and sexton stand on the right and the Armenian sexton on the left "The police officer in charge watches from immediately behind the Latin representative and a party of police constables and ^edt 3Mtay the cheerful slow of Christmas ' candles be reflected in your heart and brighten the New year with joy and contentment. THE INA STATE BANK OFFICERS, DIRECTORS and EMPLOYEES Ina, Illinois stand on the southern end of the -J staircase ... immediately behind the police officer in charge." The police officer in, charge,; to insure the strictest neutrality,' is a Moslem Arab working for the Israelis, who have controlled access to Bethlehem since June 1967. Out in the cold, literally, are the Protestants—who have only been allowed to take part at all since the British mandate. They are in a courtyard adjoining the basilica, singing carols and praying under the frosty skies. "If it rains heavily," said the deputy mayor, "they are allowed inside the Orthodox chapel. But it is small and only a few can crowd in." Other Protestants, perhaps distrusting the good will of the weather at this time, pray inside the YMCA building a few blocks away. Services are also held in the segregated Field of the Shepherds. As each denomination claims it owns the only true spot where the angel appeared, the field is divided among them. The mayor's office greets Christmas with open arms. It is big business. The Church of the Nativity, crowned by crosses studded with colored light bulbs, stands against a street of soui*venir shops selling Bethlehem mother of pearl and carved wood. There are 21 souvenir stores in town. Fourteen more will come with the new municipality building planne dfor one side of the Manger Square. The square will have a hew touch this Christmas. A giant tree, which graced the town opposite the police station, died two years ago. Last year its dead branches were hung with lights and tinsel. "This year we shall have a new one," the deputy mayor disclosed with pride. "The Israelis are growing one for us at Tel Aviv." Cyprus Swamp Covered Southern Tip Of State tomed manner. Their roots are but it is not an eVergreei; Tb<£ j in water, their broad bases and ;soft- needles and the -thin fpeenj; the projecting "knees" arev.dis- stems on.,'which, irtey^aw';ar^ tinctive, their feathery hpi rise panged fair off~in* autorhn. The;; into the sun. If one drives south';ones are ball-shaped, much like?; on Route 45 to Metropolis in 1 those 4 of tfce redwood* to, whicl|; the low-country along the Ohio, it is related The\.haid ,&ffable?< LOTS OF BRASS is represented here.. Itrs a giant bass tuba on display in Kraslice, a Czechoslovakia n town noted for its production of musical instruments. The huge horn stands about nine feet high and if straightened out would be about 40 feet long. 1 Where Route 45 heads at.a;^. d ft „ m i+ th . Mmlar me ww-country aion^ ttie Ohio, : h. is I slant southeast from Vienna to!, a ItM "\. \ * u . • he may see some of, the last,wobd is called the "Wood eter-' iMetropolis at the Southern; to grotesque cypress Knees;, 0 r thc cyptcsses Not many are nftl" because of its lasting pro-*' 'of Illinois and then proceeds!|. he vast ; buttresses oases or big - as recently ais twenty- perties" in contact.- with the& \ across the Ohio River to Padu-. Ulp . g , ™ spinel wtiei> fi vc years ago great numbers earth. For . this 4 reason much' jean, there once lay one. him- ,0 balance ons of weight m G f big cypresses were cut - 0 f the .southern Illinois cypress 1 jdrcd thousand acres bf virgin I !\ per£e ,£' ly """"f u "Plight pus- but siill ilouris.iin^ in the re- was cut into railW ties. creo- ; ! Cypress Swamp. In «ho r»-w4 «\' I,,on - , e ln ' nKS °, ,l,e ^" • m-lning swamps J here -is a- heart- soted for further impregnability-.; of George Rogers dark It was press€s ,a P e ]' e ? grandly up. up. ._ enmg remnant of young growth, n-inst. decay', and wr*$ used HT -an almost impenetrable wilder- soma of inem one hundred Another excellent stand of- bald ,i 10 wetter places where rail? ness traversed bv an Indian and Mty feet above the swamp cypress, many of good size, is roads' cross what once WPS the- trail which led "through the " nd tne , "W** P arts , of ™? on and around Horsehshoe . Is- Big Swam of southern TMnois:.: yrcen shadow of thc cypresses ,vees the feathery rcedlcs sent tand State Game Reserve four-'. • / >-"- to higher ground and thence ft soft,• glow down , CPn miles north of Cairo, where! - / folk _ _ r bv thei „K; to Kaskaskia. ,nt0 the dnrk w " ers - «'lld geese By tons of thousands J?™ 0 J, 0 £f One hundred rears later, die -o.-o.-o- spend the winter. . . hor ™ \«**?< at * .< Bi« Swamp was doomed. With- Men came in boats and saw- -o- -o- -o in five years, between 1885 and cti ° n ,he b 'S n-ces afcuve the T ) lc bald cypresses once grew 1891.< <if the finest .trees water line, then floated them,j n regions ; n America and Euin Illinois were tVUcd and the ( out of the swamp. The swamp rope where none have grown : whole swamp area was a deso-! was drained' and farms were :for millions of years. Before j glacial times they were found The bright, young executive on his way up should keep in mind that it's possible to run/ out of ladder. * * * late waste. This was no ... easy ! laid out in the rich black muck, process. Unlike lumbering in 1 A "d when the big swamp was drier country, men could not destroyed there vanished one come on foot among the cypres-1 for the true primeval wildcx-- ses. Ox carts could not enter incsses of the middle west — they would have sunk up I There still are spots in Uli- to their eyes in the muck. Water j nois , however, where a few stood from a few inches to seve- i really large and majestic blad ' ral feet deep, and there pro- 1 cypresses grow in their accus- Friends says his girl is like- all the way to the- Arctic, Today > a Christmas cookie — sweet, only three species remain* the j. but nutty, bald cypress which reaches its best growth in the South, the pond cypress," a smaller tree of Florida, and the huge cypress of Mexico. Bald cypress (Taxo- dium distichum) is Q—Can any of .the asteroids', be seen with the nakfed eye? A—The only One that ever be-i; comes bright enough',is Vesta, a conifer, 1 the third largest in size, By PHIL PASTORET First in the office and last to go home—that can be a sign of an industrious, dedicated worker. It can also-be a sign that everyone else might well lock their personal mail up before leaving. * # * It is true that a new broom sweeps clean — if the guy on th^ handle knows anything about sweeping. * * * The conceited fellow sees I to I with himself on everything. * * * We're not the least bit worried about traveling to Europe this coming summer; what bugs us is getting up the price of a weekend at the nearest resort. GUILTY OR INNOCENT The defendant came forward at his trial to plead guilty. Said the judge, "Why didn't you plead guilty at the very beginning and save us all a lot of time?" The crook replied, "I thought I was innocent, but that was before I heard the evidence against to Oar Wonderful Community ...We'd like to sKake the hand* of every one ol you. We'd like to wish you all a personal Merry Christmas. But, please take the thought for tke act and accept lincere good wishes for Health, our an Happiness and Prosperity now and always JACKSON & MARTIN "The Friendliest Folks In Town" 212 N. 10th St. Did 244-1510 1306 BROADWAY ' Mt. Vernon JOHN MAN ION, JR. PHONE 242-5684 SHIRLEY WATSON MARILYN BARKER MARVIN GILL ; : , : ' 1 JAMES HOLLENKAMP, . »,

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