April 1, 2016

Catholic News Around Indiana

Compiled by Brandon A. Evans

Diocese of Evansville

No news briefs are available this week

 

(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

Celebrating well: Lamb cake bakers take tradition to new level

Felician Sister Anthony helps out the St. Adalbert’s Sisters’ Auxillary frosting lamb cakes, which are made from a secret recipe.By Jennifer Miller

For the past hundred years, the St. Adalbert’s Sisters’ Auxiliary has baked beautiful, handmade lamb cakes for Easter. For the past fifteen years, they hosted a bake sale to financially support their beloved Felician Sisters. From butter molds and mini bunny cakes to chili and a full Polish lunch, every dish and dessert is homemade by a loving volunteer. Saturday, March 19, they had a line out the door starting at 7:30 a.m.

What is traditionally an Easter treat in Polish communities, the lamb cake is actually one of a few Easter symbols.  Butter molds, of baby lambs or bunnies in modern times, also are popular. Connecting their family’s table of the domestic church with that of the parish’s altar of the Church, these lamb symbols were meant to subtly remind the faithful of what they just celebrated that Easter morning at Mass, the resurrection of Jesus, the Lamb of God.

“We were more of ham people, or sausage, rather than lamb, for the main meat of Easter dinner,” Sister Anthony explained, “so many of our traditions centered around the lamb décor, remembering Jesus.”

Keeping and carrying on the Polish traditions is truly an act of love. President of the Sisters’ Auxiliary, Elaine Sizemore personally bakes all of the cakes in her double ovens at her home, eight at a time, four in each oven. Her family, mother Theresa Zakowski and sisters, Diane and Linda, as well as long time volunteer Judy Plonski, organizes and energetically volunteers time and experience to this incredible undertaking. In fact it is Zakowski’s cake recipe that is used for the base of the lamb cake. It is an old fashioned pound cake, made from scratch, baked in a two-piece mold.  Sizemore and her young niece mix and pour the batter into the face side of the lamb mold and it rises while baking into the rump of the ‘animal.’ Each is then wrapped in plastic, numbered, and packed in plastic bins, until they are carried to the cafeteria and parish hall of St. Adalbert’s for frosting and decorating.

Once there, groups of the Sisters’ Auxiliary come together for multiple evenings to complete the lamb cakes, box them and prepare for the sold out bake sale. Using Elaine’s personal frosting recipe that she developed from pastry school when she was fourteen, they cover the lamb cakes with beautiful pure white ‘furry’ coats. With a frosting tip and bag, they expertly and quickly frost each cake, attach to a base and decorate them. Raisins become the eyes and nose, a red hot candy is the mouth, green colored shredded coconut is the grass on which the lamb sits and colored jellybeans dot the grass like colored Easter eggs. Finally a red ribbon is tied around the neck and a flag, of the Risen Christ, is attached in the rump.  Traditionally Polish or Vatican flags were associated with the lamb cakes, but the sisters have always chosen the American flag to proudly wave on their lamb cakes.

Butter molds are the other “lamb” specialty that the Sisters’ Auxiliary offers. Both small and large sizes, in lamb or bunny shapes, are another unique tradition that can serve functionally and practically for the Easter dinner, as well as religiously as a reminder of the sacrifice of the mass just celebrated. 

Photo caption: Felician Sister Anthony helps out the St. Adalbert’s Sisters’ Auxillary frosting lamb cakes, which are made from a secret recipe.
 

(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

No news briefs are available this week

 

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

 

Diocese of Lafayette

Visiting teacher brings Year of Mercy lessons to Lafayette school

Sister Mary John Pultorak, OSF, teaches students at St. Boniface School during her recent service in Lafayette. At right: Joy Bosma, Andrew Boggess and Elizabeth Buczkowski show some of the handmade booklets about the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. (Photos by Caroline B. Mooney)By Caroline B. Mooney

LAFAYETTE — Students in grades 4-6 at St. Boniface School have been learning about the Year of Mercy with visiting teacher Sister Mary John Pultorak, OSF.

“There is so much to teach about mercy — I tried to put things at the students’ level and teach them what mercy is and what a Jubilee Year is,” she said. “Interactions with the kids have just been wonderful — they’re so good.”

A novice with the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration, Mishawaka, Sister Mary John was recently in Lafayette for two months. A native of the Chicago area, she taught at both St. Boniface and Central Catholic Junior-Senior High School.

“Sister Mary John was sent here to experience what it means to be on a mission,” said St. Boniface Principal Sister Lenore Schwartz, OSF. “She did an excellent job in the classrooms. She is very good, competent and kind with the children. She really likes them and they like her.”

Sister Lenore asked the novice to come up with a special unit on the Year of Mercy.

“She taught students about the Holy Door and they will take a field trip to St. Mary Cathedral to go through the door there,” she said.

“Sister is really faithful, always helps me and encourages me to follow God’s path,” said fifth-grader Elizabeth Buczkowski. “She’s good at singing — she taught us a song for the Year of Mercy. She talked to us about ways we can do things — like we can’t always go to the food pantry, but we can make our family meals and pray for loved ones. She helps me pay better attention in Mass because now I understand more parts of the Mass.”

Sister Mary John explained that in the first year as postulants, women see what religious life is like.

“The next two years are the novitiate, which I am in,” Sister Mary John said. “The first year for a novice is more contemplative, and the second year is apostolic — you see what it’s like working. I am getting ready to make vows and decide if I truly wish to do this for the rest of my life. My experience in Lafayette will help me decide.”

In August, she will make vows for three years, and “after that, by the grace of the Holy Spirit and discernment, I will make perpetual vows for two years,” Sister Mary John said.

“When St. Boniface School asked me to come here, I was pleasantly surprised,” she said. “I had thought I might work with older kids, but I was honored to be asked to come here because this is the first school where our sisters worked.”

Photo caption: Sister Mary John Pultorak, OSF, teaches students at St. Boniface School during her recent service in Lafayette. At right: Joy Bosma, Andrew Boggess and Elizabeth Buczkowski show some of the handmade booklets about the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. (Photos by Caroline B. Mooney)
 

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

Local site Links:

Like this story? Then share it!