January 29, 2016

Catholic News Around Indiana

Compiled by Brandon A. Evans

Diocese of Evansville

Catholic Schools Celebrate National School Choice Week

Principals and administrators from the Diocese of Evansville's 26 Catholic schools prouodly display a banner for National Schools Choice Week during their Jan. 15 meeting at the Catholic Center in Evansville. The Message photo by Tim LilleyBy Dr. Daryl Hagan (Diocesan Superintendent Of Schools)

Diocese of Evansville Catholic schools will join other schools, organizations and individuals from across the country to celebrate National School Choice Week 2016.  NSCW will take place from Jan. 24-30, 2016, and will be the world's largest-ever series of education-related events. The celebration is to raise awareness of K-12 education options for children and families. 

According to NSCW President Andrew Campanella, the exponential growth of National School Choice Week, which began in 2011, tracks closely with the growth in public interest in – as well as support and demand for – K-12 educational opportunity.

"From 150 events in 2011 to 15,000 events in 2016, the growth in enthusiasm surrounding National School Choice Week demonstrates that Americans in communities across the country recognize, more than ever before, the importance of ensuring that all children have the opportunity to learn and to pursue their own American dreams," Campanella said. "Many parents use the Week to begin looking for new schools or education environments for their children, while many others use the platform provided by National School Choice Week to speak out in favor of greater educational opportunities."

Hoosier families are blessed to have school choice through Indiana’s School Choice Scholarship Program. Indiana is committed to providing all children access to quality educational opportunities. The scholarship program, commonly referred to as the voucher program, provides scholarships to eligible Indiana students to offset tuition costs at participating schools. Students must satisfy both household income requirements and student eligibility criteria to qualify.

Photo caption: Principals and administrators from the Diocese of Evansville's 26 Catholic schools prouodly display a banner for National Schools Choice Week during their Jan. 15 meeting at the Catholic Center in Evansville. The Message photo by Tim Lilley
 

Feb. 7 Is 'Fat Sunday' In Evansville

Members of the All Saints Parish A-Men's Club work hard during the 2015 pancake breakfast, including Gene Kempf cooking hash browns. All Saints Parish photo)By Tim Lilley

All Saints Parish and its “A-Men’s Club” bring “Fat Sunday” to Evansville. From 8 a.m. to Noon CT at the St. Anthony of Padua campus on Feb. 9, club members will be serving a hearty breakfast for a great price, with all proceeds going to fund improvement projects at the parish’s St. Anthony of Padua and St. Joseph campuses.

“We tried a pancake breakfast two years ago, and enjoyed pretty good success that first year,” said parishioner Deavron Farmer, who serves as A-Men’s Club president. One of our members spoke up at our regular meeting and said we ought to make it a breakfast buffet, so that’s what we’re doing this year. The menu will include scrambled eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy, mixed fruit and, of course, pancakes. Guests will enjoy the buffet and their choice of beverage for $7 per person.

“We have replaced the garage door at St. Anthony and replaced storm doors,” Farmer said. The group also funded some gutter work, and is expanding its list of projects to include needs on the St. Joseph campus, which is located at the northeast corner of Washington and Garvin streets.

Farmer got involved with the men’s group shortly after he and his wife began attending St. Anthony Parish. “I am an Evansville native, grew up Baptist and attended the Baptist school through eighth grade,” he said. “Mom sent me to Mater Dei for high school. I graduated from the University of Southern Indiana, and I married a ‘cradle Catholic’ from Jasper.

He recalled that neither of them enjoyed active faith lives – until about 2 ½ years ago. “We decided we needed to begin going to church again regularly, and my wife mentioned that she passed by this beautiful old church just about every day,” Farmer said. “That was St. Anthony; and the minute we entered the church the first time, we felt instantly that it was the most awesome place.”

They began attending Mass weekly at St. Anthony, and Farmer began the RCIA program. He entered the Catholic Church formally about six months later.

“At the parish, I asked whether there was a men’s group,” Farmer recalled. “There was a core group of 6-8 who met regularly, and I began attending.” It wasn’t long until the group had heard more than a few good ideas from Farmer – so they elected him the new president!

“I told them I thought we needed a true purpose,” he said, so the group moved forward with a focus on small improvement projects around the St. Anthony campus. “We did not have a lot of experience, individually or collectively, when it came to undertaking various projects – but we all believed we could successfully raise money to pay professionals to complete the projects we identified.”

The group has proven that with their “Fat Sunday” pancake breakfasts, and they’re stepping it up with this year’s breakfast buffet. “At our last meeting before the event, one of the positions we’re going to fill is ‘emergency runner,’” Farmer said. “We will have someone ready to make runs for groceries in case we start getting low on items after we start serving.”

(Photo caption: Members of the All Saints Parish A-Men's Club work hard during the 2015 pancake breakfast, including Gene Kempf cooking hash browns. All Saints Parish photo)
 

(For news from the Diocese of Evansville, log on to the website of The Message at www.themessageonline.org)

 

Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend

Marian student Brynn Harty sings joyfully at International Congress of Pueri Cantores in Rome

Marian High School student Brynn Harty stands in front of St. Peter’s Basilica during her visit to Rome where she sang with the international Pueri Cantores choirBy Kay Cozad

GRANGER — “He who sings, prays twice,” is a renowned quote attributed to St. Augustine of Hippo from the third century and one young Granger woman is taking his thoughts to heart. Brynn Harty joined her rich, melodic voice with 5,000 other youth from around the world to sing sacred liturgical music at the 40th International Congress of Pueri Cantores in Rome over the Christmas holiday.

The fourth child of Don and Melissa Harty, active parishioners of St. Pius X Parish in Granger, Marian High School freshman Brynn has been singing since she can remember. She recalls with joy performing in musical theater as far back as kindergarten. “Singing has always been my thing. I love it,” she said. By fourth grade, she was asked by her parish music director to participate in the inaugural Pueri Cantores choir performance in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend and has performed with the choir for five years. “Pueri Cantores let’s me do what I love and praise God at the same time!” said Brynn.

This bright and faith-filled young singer currently serves as cantor and altar server at St. Pius X Parish and is a member of the liturgical choir at Marian High School.

Pueri Cantores, which is Latin for “young choristers,” is a century-old practice established first in France in 1907, when a special boys’ choir was formed there to sing during liturgy, and reestablished in 1944 as an international organization. With the Second Vatican Council, girls’ choirs were permitted to participate and currently there are over 40,000 youth from 37 countries that sing in Pueri Cantores.

Pueri Cantores got its start in

the United States in 1953 with the American Federation Pueri Cantores and provides opportunities for school-aged youth choirs from all backgrounds to participate in liturgical music.

Last year the Hartys became aware of the 40th International Congress of Pueri Cantores and surprised Brynn at her eighth-grade graduation from St. Pius X School with a book on Rome and the chance to participate. Though there was no choir participating from this diocese, Melissa learned through the American Federation Pueri Cantores that a small choir of girls from Peoria, Illinois, would be traveling to Rome. After learning that Brynn had been involved in Pueri Cantores for five years, the director in Peoria, James Marck, welcomed her to his choir with open arms.

Brynn made the ninth member of the choir of girls ranging in age from first grade to high school. Of the girls there she said, “It was a small choir so I got to know them and bond with them. It was fun to be with them.” They would add their number to the 1,000 Americans who would travel to Rome for the experience of a lifetime.

Photo caption: Marian High School student Brynn Harty stands in front of St. Peter’s Basilica during her visit to Rome where she sang with the international Pueri Cantores choir.
 

(For news from the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, log on to the website of Today’s Catholic at www.todayscatholicnews.org)

 

Diocese of Gary

Legacy of civil rights pioneer inspires bishop, faithful to peaceful action

Corrion Davis, 16, a Wirt/Emerson Visual and Performing Arts High Ability Academy sophomore from Gary recites the "I Have a Dream" speech at the 9th annual Tribute to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at Holy Angels Cathedral in Gary on Jan. 10. King famously delivered the anti-racism speech at the Lincoln Memorial in August, 1963. (Anthony D. Alonzo photo)By Anthony D. Alonzo

GARY—At the 9th annual Tribute to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Bishop Donald J. Hying spoke about the timeless nature of the civil rights pioneer’s message and sought input on how the Church can continue to be at the heart of combating social ills.

Holy Angels Cathedral, filled with the soaring spiritual sounds of the concert choir of the Wirt/Emerson Visual and Performing Arts High Ability Academy, hosted dozens of Gary-area residents for the King tribute on Jan 10.

Between musical interludes and prayerful invocations, King’s landmark 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech was delivered, not by a professional orator as in recent years, but by a Wirt/Emerson sophomore.

Sixteen-year-old Corrion Davis of Gary summoned a deep, bellowing tone to dramatically recite King’s 1,600-word anti-racism speech, originally delivered more than 52-years ago at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.  

“Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation… One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we've come here today to dramatize a shameful condition,” Davis read.

Davis continued with King’s words of urgency: “Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.”

Bishop Hying told the Gary faithful that King’s message would endure because it was and is aligned with the Gospel of Jesus Christ: “His power and his transforming legacy still reaches us today,” Bishop Hying said of King.

Comparing King’s 1950s and 60s activism to an aikido martial artist’s traditional approach of “disarming his opponent,” and even sharing a laugh after a confrontation, Bishop Hying implored today’s activists to stay the course of non-violence.

“Dr. King was also an aikido wrestler because in a world that responded with violence and threats and hatred to his cause of civil rights, he responded with non-violence, he responded with forgiveness, he reacted with mercy,” Bishop Hying said. “He ceaselessly said the only power that can quell the hatred in our world is the power in love.”

Photo caption: Corrion Davis, 16, a Wirt/Emerson Visual and Performing Arts High Ability Academy sophomore from Gary recites the "I Have a Dream" speech at the 9th annual Tribute to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at Holy Angels Cathedral in Gary on Jan. 10. King famously delivered the anti-racism speech at the Lincoln Memorial in August, 1963. (Anthony D. Alonzo photo)
 

(For news from the Diocese of Gary, log on to the website of the Northwest Indiana Catholic at www.nwicatholic.com)

 

Diocese of Lafayette

Hospice gowns created with care and prayer at sewing project in Kokomo

More than 150 volunteers gathered at St. Joan of Arc Parish in Kokomo on Jan. 9 to create colorful hospital-style gowns for hospice patients. It was a “ministry of presence” project for the parish for the Holy Year of Mercy. (Photo by Kevin Cullen)By Kevin Cullen

KOKOMO — More than 150 excited volunteers, 32 sewing machines and a dozen steam irons joined forces at St. Joan of Arc Parish on Jan. 9 to create 60 colorful hospital-style gowns for terminally ill hospice patients. Another 60 gowns were partially constructed.

It was the first-ever “In Stitches with Deb” church event, sponsored by St. Vincent Hospice with the help of Chad Grube, coordinator of adult faith formation at St. Joan of Arc and St. Patrick parishes. It was a “ministry of presence” project for the Holy Year of Mercy.

“You are going to bless people you will never see,” founder Deb Zent told the volunteers gathered in a basement room filled with fabric, tables and equipment.

Zent, a St. Vincent Hospice nurse, started making gowns for hospice patients three years ago at home. She and a few friends and family have made more than 300, but she hopes to work with area church groups to make many more at what she calls “sewing parties.”

Each patient gets two gowns, free of charge.

“A little card will say, ‘This gown was made by volunteers for St. Vincent Hospice, St. Joan of Arc Church and St. Patrick Church … because you matter,’” she said. “(The patients) will know that people prayed for them as it was being constructed, and their families will, too. I just gives me goosebumps.”

“Pray for every person who wears each gown, and feels wrapped in the holy spirit of God,” she said.

Grube said that the response was so positive that he’d like to repeat the event twice a year. He and others will tweak the assembly process and recruit groups and individuals – both Catholic and non-Catholic — to join in.

Hospice patients usually live no more than a few months. The goal is to keep them comfortable. They typically are cared for at home by family members, friends and hospice workers. Because the patients are sometimes bedridden, incontinent and weak, caregivers struggle with regular pajamas.

Hospital gowns, open in the back and secured by ties, make things easier, but they are often stiff and drab. The soft, pre-washed cotton and cotton flannel prints that Zent uses for her gowns are colorful and cheerful. Patients and their families love them.

“During the Year of Mercy, it’s a great of idea to extend that loving touch to hospice patients as they face the scariness of hospice,” said Father Matthew Arbuckle, administrator at St. Joan of Arc Parish. Gowns bring “that soft touch, that loving touch.”

Photo caption: More than 150 volunteers gathered at St. Joan of Arc Parish in Kokomo on Jan. 9 to create colorful hospital-style gowns for hospice patients. It was a “ministry of presence” project for the parish for the Holy Year of Mercy. (Photo by Kevin Cullen)
 

Dream, legacy of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. live on

An image of the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is displayed before a Jan. 18 program at Saint Joseph’s College. (Photo by Caroline B. Mooney)By Caroline B. Mooney

RENSSELAER — Bitterly cold weather kept people inside, but a symbolic march snaked through the halls of Saint Joseph’s College Rev. Charles Banet, C.PP.S. Core Education building on Jan. 18 to kick off a program honoring the legacy of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“Celebrate the dream of Martin Luther King today, a society where the lion and the lamb lay down together, where children of all races and backgrounds will come together in harmony,” said Father Tim McFarland, CPPS, Saint Joseph’s professor of religion.

He spoke to kick off the march, held to honor Rev. King’s birthday.

“We give thanks for the qualities that shaped Dr. King’s life — the strong sense of justice that regarded all people as having importance in God’s eyes,” Father McFarland said. “For the unshakable belief in love and gentleness that would not permit him to turn to violence to achieve his dreams.”

In proclaiming Jan. 18 as Martin Luther King Awareness Day, Rensselaer Mayor Stephen Wood encouraged the entire community to join together in becoming Dr. Kings throughout the year by fulfilling the dream this great leader anticipated for all mankind.

“Martin Luther King was a visionary leader of the civil rights movement,” he said. “He helped our country realize the importance of holding onto ideals of equality, tolerance and justice for all. … He said, ‘I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they are not judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.’ A phrase that will live in his remembrance forever. An ideal for all mankind. And only as a unified people can keep this dream alive by living in peace and harmony and respect for others.”

“Today we joyfully celebrate the birth, life and long-lasting legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” said Saint Joseph’s President Robert Pastoor. “Intelligence plus character – that’s the goal of a true education. Why do we care whether or not we have diversity? What difference does it make to have diversity at our school?

“Diversity expands worldliness, enhances social development, prepares students for the future of their success and for work in our global society,” he said. “Diversity increases knowledge base, promotes creative thinking, enhances self-awareness, and enriches the multiple perspectives developed by a liberal arts education.

“However, our education can’t only be about diversity,” Pastoor said. “It must, Dr. King noted, also be about character. … What do we want people to say about us? Are we people of character who try to love and serve humanity? That is Dr. King’s legacy. Can we live up to that legacy?”

Photo caption: An image of the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is displayed before a Jan. 18 program at Saint Joseph’s College. (Photo by Caroline B. Mooney)
 

Birthright of Delphi finds a new home: ‘You are going to a friend’s house’

Holly Stewart, director of Birthright of Delphi since 1999, stands on the porch of the house that will be the new home for the organization. (Photo by Caroline B. Mooney)By Caroline B. Mooney

DELPHI — For 22 years, Birthright of Delphi has helped women in crisis pregnancies.

As of Feb. 1, in a “miracle on Main Street,” the office will move from its current cramped space into a house, providing much needed room and privacy.

“This is not just a house — it’s a home filled with love and joy,” said Suzanne Gardiner, board member of Birthright of Delphi. She started the organization in 1993 with the help of Holly Stewart. “We know it’s God’s work because it’s lasted for 22 years. If we help one person, it’s all worth it.”

Birthright is an international non-profit charitable organization started by Louise Summerhill in Toronto, Canada, in 1968. Its goal is to provide love and support to women facing unplanned pregnancies.

It has grown to include more than 500 offices in Canada, the United States, and Africa, as well as a 24/7 North American toll-free helpline. Birthright is supported by volunteers and private donations. The organization points out alternatives to abortion, and helps women carry their babies to term.

Birthright of Delphi was chartered in 1994 and has relied upon generous volunteers and benefactors to remain open. All funding has come through donations and fund-raisers. It is the only crisis pregnancy center in Carroll County and also serves women in White County.

“We believe it is the right of every pregnant woman to give birth, and the right of every child to be born,” said Holly Stewart, director since 1999. “We talk to women with respect and dignity. We figure out their needs, who they have in their lives as a support system and what can the community and Birthright do to help. We become a friend and make a plan. That is one thing we love about having a house as well — you are going to a friend’s house; it’s not sterile.

“This is God’s work and he always provides,” she said. “I can’t not do this — it’s too important of an issue. It amazes me how God stretches things so we always have plenty. We never know who is going to walk through the door and what message they carry out when they leave. We hope they shed light to others and the good we try to do is carried out further.”

Birthright services are free, confidential, and available to any woman regardless of age, race, religion, marital status or financial situation.

Photo caption: Holly Stewart, director of Birthright of Delphi since 1999, stands on the porch of the house that will be the new home for the organization. (Photo by Caroline B. Mooney)
 

(For news from the Diocese of Lafayette, log on to the website of The Catholic Moment at www.thecatholicmoment.org)

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