March 11, 2016

Catholic News Around Indiana

Compiled by Brandon A. Evans

Diocese of Evansville

Women Of The Church National Conference Planned For October

Logo for the Women of the Church: Strength of the Past. Hope for Tomorrow. A Catholic Leadership ConferenceBy Special To The Message

Registration is now open for “Women of the Church: Strength of the Past. Hope for Tomorrow. A Catholic Leadership Conference.” The national conference will be held Oct. 7-9 in Ferdinand. 

Responding to Pope Francis’ call for “a more incisive female presence” in the Church, Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology, St. Meinrad, and the Sisters of St. Benedict of Ferdinand are co-hosting the conference, which will be held at Monastery Immaculate Conception in Ferdinand. 

The conference seeks to recognize and support the many ways that women participate in the mission of the Catholic Church. Three nationally known speakers will be featured at the national gathering: 

- Dr. Carolyn Woo, president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services, will speak on “Working for a Better World: God, Neighbor, Self.” 

- Dr. Kathleen Sprows Cummings, director of the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism at the University of Notre Dame and an associate professor of American studies and history, will speak about models of Catholic women’s leadership. 

- Sr. Mary Catherine Hilkert, OP, professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame, will be speaking on “Go and Tell: The Testimony of Women and the Faith of the Church.”

Bishop Charles C. Thompson of Evansville and Archbishop Joseph Tobin of Indianapolis also will participate in the program. Topics for the breakout sessions will include leadership formation, vocational discernment, spirituality, Catholic health care, youth ministry, the Benedictine charism, and cultivating leaders for a multicultural Church. 

The conference is designed for women and men in the Church, including professional lay ecclesial ministers, scholars, teachers, youth and campus ministers, parish leaders and volunteers, healthcare providers and social workers, religious and those discerning a call. Conference participation will be limited to 300. 

Early-bird registration is now open, at $150 per person, through July 14. The regular conference rate is $190. For the complete schedule and to register, visit www.womenofthechurch.org.
 

(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

Teen reception of first Communion meant ‘coming home’

Alexander Broom , Bishop Luers senior, poses with Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades following her full reception into the Catholic Church on Jan. 28.By Kay Cozad

A number of high school youth from across the diocese have been eagerly preparing to enter the Catholic Church with the reception of the sacraments. They have found a home in the Church through their high school Rite of Christian Initiation of Teens (RCIT) program offered through each school’s Campus Ministry.

Alexandra Broom, a senior at Bishop Luers High School in Fort Wayne, was raised Christian, but did not attend a church regularly. As a child she learned about the Catholic faith through her grandmother, but by 13 had accepted a friend’s invitation to the Methodist Church where she was baptized and confirmed. Soon she found herself investigating other faiths but remained unfulfilled.

“Once I started coming to Luers, my knowledge of Catholicism grew tremendously. I considered converting to Catholicism before attending Luers. However, the four years of a Catholic environment with excellent teachers and helpful friends guided me to come to know the Truth easily,” she said.

Broom’s discernment took a full six years. “The Catholic Church was the first place I really felt myself connect to God on a regular basis and understood His truth. With this realization, I decided to become Catholic,” she said, adding that she began her preparation with Meg Hanlon, the head of Bishop Luers’ religion department.

So along with five other Bishop Luers students, “Every Wednesday we would meet after school and discuss the Catholic faith and confirm this was the right path for me. We practiced receiving the sacraments, chose our patron saint’s name (St. Joan of Arc), chose a sponsor (my grandma, Lynn Parsons), and grew closer to God as a group. Mrs. Hanlon really furthered our knowledge and was very encouraging the entire journey,” she said.

The culmination of her formation experience had her welcomed fully into the Catholic Church with first Communion and Confirmation conferred by Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades during his pastoral visit to Bishop Luers at a Mass on Jan. 28.

Broom’s first Communion was a homecoming she said. “Receiving the Eucharist meant I was coming home. I was finally partaking in the ultimate sacrifice for all of our sins. I was taking responsibility for my sins and thanking God by accepting Him into my temple so He can heal me and strengthen our relationship. It was an overwhelming sense of grace to receive my first communion,” she said.

Photo caption: Alexander Broom , Bishop Luers senior, poses with Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades following her full reception into the Catholic Church on Jan. 28.
 

(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

Diocese begins journey of faith toward first-ever synod

Bishop Donald J. Hying prays before the altar during the Liturgy of the Eucharist at the Mass for the Declaration of the Synod at Holy Angels Cathedral in Gary on Feb. 27. The declaration officially initiated the historic synod process. (Anthony D. Alonzo photo)By Marlene A. Zloza

GARY—Hundreds of the faithful filled Holy Angels Cathedral on Saturday to begin “walking together” toward the Diocese of Gary’s first-ever synod, attending a special Mass celebrated by Bishop Donald J. Hying.

The formal processional included more than 50 diocesan priests, deacons and seminarians who gathered with parishioners from throughout Northwest Indiana to join in the Mass and hear the Proclamation of the Diocesan Synod by Father Brian Chadwick, judicial vicar of the diocese.

Bishop Hying explained the purpose of the synod in a 24-page pastoral letter dated Feb. 25, the 59th anniversary of the diocese. In it, he described the synod as “a dynamic experience allowing all to gather, pray, converse, discern and plan a future that will truly be a fruit of the Holy Spirit and will guide us for years to come.”

In his homily that Saturday, Bishop Hying reiterated that the synod “is the work of the Holy Spirit,” and noted the day’s scripture readings spoke “powerfully of our unity with Christ.”

“ ‘We’ is the operative word,” Bishop Hying said in reference to Christ’s joining with his people, the Church. “He wants to unite us to fulfill his mission, the mission of his Church.”

Bishop Hying called all Catholics of the diocese to participate in synod activities that will include parish sessions for reflection and insights this fall and deanery gatherings next winter to discuss parish feedback and priorities, all leading to the synod itself on Pentecost in 2017, followed by implementation of the ideas brought forth.

Bishop Hying described the synod – from ancient Greek meaning “walking together” – with the image of the Church walking together “to fulfill the work of Christ.” In the formal process, he said, “the entire diocese comes together to know where Christ is leading us into the future.”

After visiting “every church, every school, every hospital” of the Diocese of Gary within a year of being installed as its fourth Bishop in Jan., 2015, Bishop Hying expressed his love for Northwest Indiana and its people.

Photo caption: Bishop Donald J. Hying prays before the altar during the Liturgy of the Eucharist at the Mass for the Declaration of the Synod at Holy Angels Cathedral in Gary on Feb. 27. The declaration officially initiated the historic synod process. (Anthony D. Alonzo photo)
 

Service for bereaved comforts, reminds of heavenly journey

St. Matthias Hope Ministry committeeman Tim Kreke (right) helps locate personalizaed candles for bereaved guests at the second annual "We Remember" service at the Crown Point church on Feb. 21. Ministry members offered an ecumenical program of scripture reading, song and other commemorations for those who have lost a child. (Anthony D. Alonzo photo)By Anthony D. Alonzo

CROWN POINT—The passing of a loved one, whether the loss occurred 20 years ago or 3 months ago, is universally recognized as one of life’s most heart-wrenching chapters. The bereaved instinctually try to manage, yet the fellowship of the faithful can help those “lift up the cross” of their sorrow.

Fellowship and spiritual guidance were offered to dozens seeking to heal, look forward, and memorialize their loved ones at the second annual “We Remember” ecumenical service at St. Matthias Church in Crown Point.

Prayer, poetry and scripture readings were provided for sometimes-tearful guests in a setting featuring soft light, candles and choir-led music. Catholic and Protestant clergymen invoked God’s blessings to send his “angel of consolation.”

The gathering, especially designed to help those who have suffered the loss of a child, was coordinated by the Helping Our Pain Ease Ministry, part of the greater Hope Ministry at St. Matthias.

Deacon Gregory Fabian from St. Matthias welcomed visitors and introduced guest speakers to the “Always on our Mind, Forever in our Heart” service. He spoke of themes from St. Matthew, “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.”

Registered participants each carried a blue candle, personalized with the name of their deceased family member or friend, and then lit it from a candle at the steps of the sanctuary.

The Rev. John Starr of Crown Point spoke of the departed in terms of their journey home to a loving God. 

Starr told guests that God was like the father in the Parable of the Prodigal Son, who, while his boy was living a rebellious lifestyle, was all the while listening for his footsteps coming up the drive.

 “How many days and hours he stood on that porch looking down that dusty road, waiting for his boy to come home, and when he saw him, the father could not contain himself,” Starr said. “With joy bursting in his heart, he ran to get his son.”

Wittenberg Village chaplain Rev. Cory Wielert spoke about the loss of his daughter, Ann Louise Wielert, just hours after her birth 10 years ago. His yet-to-be-resolved feelings of anger were not toward God, but rather the “sin of Adam.”

The Lutheran minister quoted Romans 6:23 and reminded the audience that death is a result of man’s unfaithfulness.

Yet through Christ’s death and resurrection, God created life eternal for our loved ones. Our departed are like the saints, or faith heroes of ages past, he said.

Photo caption: St. Matthias Hope Ministry committeeman Tim Kreke (right) helps locate personalizaed candles for bereaved guests at the second annual "We Remember" service at the Crown Point church on Feb. 21. Ministry members offered an ecumenical program of scripture reading, song and other commemorations for those who have lost a child. (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

No news briefs are available this week

 

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

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