January 8, 2016

Catholic News Around Indiana

Compiled by Brandon A. Evans

Diocese of Evansville

Source Summit … 'make the most of it'

"This weekend has been an opportunity for you," Bishop Charles C. Thompson tells 2016 Source Summit attendees. "Make the most of it. The Message photo by Tim Lilley.By Tim Lilley

More than 450 young people and young adults attended the 2016 Source Summit Retreat at Reitz Memorial High School March 11-13, and approximately 85 adults attended the adult retreat on March 12 at Annunciation Parish’s Christ the King campus in Evansville. They enjoyed opportunities for Eucharistic Adoration, the Sacrament of Reconciliation and presentations from noted Catholic musicians John Michael Talbot and Kara Klein.

During the March 13 closing Mass in the Memorial High School gym, Bishop Charles C. Thompson suggested that the collective opportunity Source Summit provides has a foundation in the day’s Gospel reading – the story of the woman caught in adultery – and the “bullies” who used her to try to undermine Jesus.

Bishop Thompson asked those at Mass why they think people act like bullies, then condensed the several good answers he received. “Bullies are people who exploit someone else’s weaknesses to take the focus off their own vulnerabilities,” he said. “Who are the bullies in the Gospel? The Pharisees. Who is being bullied?  The woman caught in adultery … and Jesus. Actually, they’re using the woman to exploit Jesus – which is even worse because they dehumanized her.

“I’ve always been fascinated by this story,” the bishop continued. “They said they caught the woman in adultery. Where’s the guy involved in this story? Did you ever wonder whether he’s one of the people holding a stone? “They bring her before (Jesus), and they ask Him what should be done. ‘The law says … she should be stoned.’

“Imagine, in the midst of all that chaos, the calmness of Jesus,” Bishop Thompson said. “When things are going all chaotic in our lives, then things aren’t going right, it’s important to remember the calmness of Jesus – the peace of Christ in our lives. So here’s that chaotic moment, and Jesus is calmly writing on the ground. And finally, when they push him on what’s to be done, we know that great line from him, ‘Let one without sin cast the first stone.

“And of course, what do they do? They walk away,” the bishop added.

The bishop explained to the young people who spent the weekend in the retreat – and the families and friends who joined them for the Sunday Mass – that Jesus offered reconciliation to everyone in the story.

“There’s a great line about this story of the woman caught in adultery,” he added. The line is, ‘this is where human misery meets divine mercy.’ Pope Francis says the Sacraments are not awards for the perfect; they’re medicine for the sick. Many of you had the opportunity to celebrate prayer, Adoration, the Mass and reconciliation – all of those different ways to receive medicine.

This is an opportunity to let go of our self-righteousness, let go of anger … guilt,” Bishop Thompson said. “This weekend has been an opportunity for you. Make the most of it. Allow your lives to encounter, time and again through Word and Sacrament, the Divine Mercy of God … Jesus Christ, who is the face of the Father’s Mercy.

“This is your opportunity. Make the most of it.”

Photo caption: "This weekend has been an opportunity for you," Bishop Charles C. Thompson tells 2016 Source Summit attendees. "Make the most of it. The Message photo by Tim Lilley.
 

(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

No news briefs are available this week

 

(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

Holy Name parish embraces chance to spend 24 Hours with Christ

Holy Name parishioner Henry "Hank" Walkowiak, 9, colors religious-themed art at the Cedar Lake parish's 24 Hours with Christ initiative on March 4. Youngsters participated in supervised activities while most adults prayed in the church. (Anthony D. Alonzo photo)By Marlene A. Zloza

CEDAR LAKE—As parishioners of all ages entered Holy Name Church throughout the night March 4 and into the day March 5, Franciscan Father Ed Tlucek couldn’t help but smile.

The parish’s 24 Hours with Christ was succeeding beyond all expectations, just as the pastor had hoped. “People responded very well, with our ministries represented by a full complement of members,” Father Tlucek said after catching up on sleep Sunday night. “There were eight to 10 people in the church praying even in the wee hours of the morning.

“We started planning last October, after the Holy Father asked us (all parishes worldwide) to have this program,” Father Tlucek recalled. “There is something so attractive about it, and we thought it would be a wonderful way to engage the commissions and ministries as well as the parishioners.”

As with the 40-hour devotions that churches often host, said Father Tlucek, ministries and families were asked “Can you watch just one hour?” as Jesus asked his apostles, and the congregation responded. “All you have to do is challenge people,” he added, “and this was an attractive challenge.”

Deacon Tom Kubik called the 24-hour event “a powerful experience for everyone to come to pray and for adoration,” while lector Shannon Yardley, a Purdue University Calumet student, said “It’s great to. . .take time to really think of Christ without being distracted.”

The entire schedule of services was screened near the altar in a PowerPoint presentation prepared by parish Music Director Cindy Varenkamp. “It showed a minute-by-minute schedule, hymns and all, and really kept us on target,” Father Tlucek noted.

While some parishes hosted an evening of Eucharistic Adoration or evening and morning prayers, Holy Name embraced a full 24 hours of activities – both in the sanctuary and downstairs in the church hall, where Youth Minister Mary Joan Dickson organized children’s activities with a purpose. “We are encouraging kids, and adults can join us, to come in and learn that through activities you can also pray,” she said.

While parishioners upstairs opened the 24 Hours with Christ with the Stations of the Cross in Spanish and English, downstairs the youngsters used crayons and markers to create greeting cards for nursing home residents, homebound parishioners and parish members in the military.

“They’re doing good works, which is part of being a disciple of Christ,” Dickson explained.

Photo caption: Holy Name parishioner Henry "Hank" Walkowiak, 9, colors religious-themed art at the Cedar Lake parish's 24 Hours with Christ initiative on March 4. Youngsters participated in supervised activities while most adults prayed in the church. (Anthony D. Alonzo photo)
 

Shelter provides a place to sleep, food and the support of those who care

Bishop Donald J. Hying listens to Geg Garner, one of the men staying at the Men's Homeless Shelter Saturday Feb. 20. Bishop Hying visited the shelter, located in the basement of Michigan City's Sacred Heart Church, looking to be a conduit for assistance to help the shelter. A stack of mats and a closet of blankets will be laid out to provide bedding for the men. (Bob Wellinski photo)By Bob Wellinski

Richard Cortelyou, 57, thought he had it all. But poor decisions and unfortunate circumstances sent his life into a downward spiral.   

“All it took was one bad day and I lost everything,” Cortelyou said. “Never in my life did I ever think I’d be here.” 

Cortelyou became choked up, eyes glistening with tears, and had to pause a moment as he told Bishop Donald Hying his story. Their conversation ended with a handshake and a comforting hug from the bishop.

“I’m a good man. I’ve fallen on hard times,” Cortelyou humbly remarked.

Bishop Hying visited the Men’s Homeless Shelter in Michigan City on Saturday Feb. 20 where he spent time with the men staying at the shelter, listening to their stories and offering words of comfort and encouragement.

“I see Christ in them,” Bishop Hying insisted. “That’s the challenge for us in faith: See Christ in disguise in every person we meet, especially those who need our attention and our help. So Christ is right here, waiting for us to reach out and help.”

Bishop Hying said going to shelters helps put him in touch with reality. “Selfishly, it helps me to be grounded in what’s real.”

He also spent time talking with site coordinator Harrison Holtkamp, volunteers, and those who contributed as they prepared the night’s dinner of chicken, mashed potatoes, salad, vegetables and pasta casserole. Hying was discerning what help the shelter might need so he can be a conduit for assistance. Holtkamp used the visit as an opportunity to tell the bishop of the center’s plight: a shortage of funds and volunteers.

The bishop, Holtkamp and the men all praised the volunteers and those who contribute by serving those in need.

Nearly seven years ago, the hall - located in the basement of Sacred Heart church in Michigan City -- became an emergency winter shelter for homeless men. The center is open Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday nights from Oct. 15 through April 15. I provides the men a meal at night and also in the morning. All the food is donated and the shelter averages 25 men a night, Holtkamp said. The center has 33 mats and, on occasions when the need is great, men have slept on chairs.  Holtkamp said the majority of his men are there because “they are just down on their luck; those who have lost a job.”

Holtkamp and Cortelyou emphasized this plight could happen to anyone. As both men explained, some people are a mere few paychecks away from being bankrupt.

“I really have good men here,” Holtkamp said. “They’re here to get some food, to get out of the elements, get a good night’s sleep and to get some good camaraderie. We offer all that.” He said the men help out around the shelter and take care of each other.

Photo caption: Bishop Donald J. Hying listens to Geg Garner, one of the men staying at the Men's Homeless Shelter Saturday Feb. 20. Bishop Hying visited the shelter, located in the basement of Michigan City's Sacred Heart Church, looking to be a conduit for assistance to help the shelter.  A stack of mats and a closet of blankets will be laid out to provide bedding for the men. (Bob Wellinski 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

Indiana Holy Family Catholic Conference marks 10th anniversary: ‘You can really see God’s hand in this’

Susan McGriff and four of her six children: Madison, Mychael, Matthen and Makenna.By Caroline B. Mooney

KOKOMO — The 10th annual Indiana Holy Family Catholic Conference drew 505 people from 130 families, eight dioceses, 33 parishes and four states for a faith-filled weekend of talks, fellowship and prayer on March 12-13 at Kokomo High School.

“There is joy all around this year. It’s perfect that our 10th anniversary is the Year of Mercy,” said Kelli Conlon, director of family life at St. Patrick Parish and a coordinator of the event. “You can really see God’s hand in this. The entire weekend has been an outpouring of God’s merciful love, from the joy of all the volunteers who come back every year to the many repeat families who attend. It’s perfect that Father Ted Dudzinski, V.G., got to be with us on the 10th anniversary since it was his vision and passion that made this possible.”

The event is organized by St. Joan of Arc and St. Patrick parishes. Approximately 300 volunteers help.

“It’s very heartening to know that families would come to strengthen their knowledge, faith in God and community,” said Father Dudzinski, who had the idea for the conference in 2005 while serving as pastor of St. Patrick Parish. “There is something for people of all ages.”

The weekend offered catechesis, reconciliation, Eucharistic adoration, music, a Kids’ Corner for 3- to 11-year olds, programs for high school and middle school students, and babysitting for children under 2.

Mass was offered on Saturday with Bishop Emeritus William L. Higi as the main celebrant. On Sunday, Father Dudzinksi was the main celebrant with concelebrants Father Matthew Arbuckle, administrator of St. Joan of Arc; Father David Hasser, diocesan vocations director, Father Haan and Father Monoco.

Golden Voices, a student choir from Guerin Catholic, sang during Sunday Mass.

“It is terribly important that we continually seek to find ways that we can develop a personal relationship with Jesus because at the end of the day nothing else will make sense,” Father Dudzinski said in his homily. “Sometimes it is not very Catholic to talk about personal relationships with Jesus. In fact, we have to know him intimately because from that relationship we know that we are his beloved sons and daughters and then we understand the mission and the way that he desires to transform the world.”

In a talk on “Prayer as Growing Intimacy with God,” Father Scott Traynor, rector of Saint John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver, asked, “What is intimacy all about?”

“If you are in a relationship with someone else, you know each other’s thoughts, opinions, and how you see things,” he said. “We have chosen to reveal these things to each other. When we talk about our relationship with God, he has made himself known.

“We think God already knows our thoughts, but when he calls us to intimacy with himself, he invites us to entrust to him our thoughts, feelings and desires,” Father Traynor said. “That’s a real key habit to growing in intimacy.”

Photo caption: Susan McGriff and four of her six children: Madison, Mychael, Matthen and Makenna.
 

Blessing of Easter foods a taste of treasured traditions

Father Gerald Borawski and Karen and Dan Held pose for a photo with some of the items that are part of the couple’s Easter traditions from Karen’s Polish heritage. (Photo by Caroline B. Mooney)By Caroline B. Mooney

LAFAYETTE — Many European Easter customs were brought to America by immigrants, only to be lost over time.

But for Karen Held, Easter is a time to honor her Polish heritage. That includes making the Easter Sunday meal from scratch.

“We still carry on my childhood traditions today,” Held said. “Most important was having the food blessed on Holy Saturday.”

She and her 10 siblings grew up near Buffalo, N.Y. She married Dan Held 39 years ago and they have two grown children. The Helds attend St. Mary Church, Frankfort.

“My family is German and didn’t have any big heritage traditions,” her husband said. The couple started dating while in high school. He has embraced his wife’s Easter customs. 

“I remember being at Karen’s house after Easter morning Mass,” Dan said. “Some of the neighbors would just sit and watch her family eat their meal because it was so big.”

During Lent, the couple begins preparation for their Easter feast.

“Danny and I made 12 pounds of kielbasa this year, though in the past we have made 20 pounds,” Karen said. “I also make pierogi, white borscht, breads, poppy seed rolls and lamb (shaped) cake.”

Father Gerald Borawski, a native of Cleveland, also grew up in a family that was strongly rooted in its Polish heritage. Now retired, he is in residence at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Lafayette.

“The area in Poland where my grandparents came from was very poor,” he said. “Church was one thing that kept them together. In this country, we still have a tight Polish community — we haven’t forgotten our traditions. When Pope John Paul II came to America, he encouraged us to keep our traditions up.”

Father Borawski still has many relatives in Poland and has visited at least 20 times.

A Polish bishop bestowed the honorary rank of “Canon” on him in 2002. The honor was given in recognition of the priest’s efforts to smuggle religious items into Poland during the Communist era.

Photo caption: Father Gerald Borawski and Karen and Dan Held pose for a photo with some of the items that are part of the couple’s Easter traditions from Karen’s Polish heritage. (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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