April 22, 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

The Notre Dame Evangelium Vitae Award goes to Little Sisters of the Poor

The Evangelium Vitae Medal was presented to the Little Sisters of the Poor for their ministry to the elderly and poor and their courage in standing for religious freedom in the face of the federal government’s contraception mandate. Bishop Kevin Rhoades greets the Little Sisters of the Poor after Mass in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Notre Dame.By Ann Carey

NOTRE DAME — A standing ovation in a packed Basilica of the Sacred Heart greeted the Little Sisters of the Poor who were on campus April 9 to receive the Evangelium Vitae Award for outstanding service to human life. The Little Sisters operate 30 homes in the United States that offer health care and assisted living for more than 13,000 low-income seniors.

The award has been presented annually since 2011 by the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Ethics and Culture. Awardees are announced on Respect Life Sunday in October, with the honor being conferred the following spring.

The 2016 award event took place about two weeks after the Little Sisters had appeared before the United States Supreme Court, where they are challenging a government mandate that requires employers to offer employee health insurance that includes contraceptives, sterilizations and abortion-inducing drugs.

The unusual standing ovation erupted early in the homily of Fort Wayne-South Bend Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades at the Mass preceding the award banquet. He alluded to the First Reading from the Acts of the Apostles, comparing the witness of the sisters to the witness of the apostles who were called before the Sanhedrin and told to stop teaching in the name of Jesus:

“At this Mass, there is a community of sisters with us who, in the face of a terribly unjust mandate of our federal government, have stood up, and by their actions have said what Saint Peter and the apostles said to their government in the earliest years of the Church: ‘We must obey God rather than men,’” the bishop observed.

“I wish to say to the Little Sisters of the Poor who will receive the Evangelium Vitae medal this evening, thank you for your courageous witness!”

The enthusiastic ovation then erupted in the congregation heavy with Notre Dame students.

Bishop Rhoades went on to encourage the rest of those in attendance, “When human laws contradict God’s laws, believers are called to obey God even if disobeying human authority will cost them social advancement, their livelihood, or their lives.” Bishop Rhoades drew connections between the words in the Acts of the Apostles to life today. “St. Peter’s words in today’s reading are a rallying cry in many situations in which people are pressured to violate their consciences by human laws or commands.” He continued, “It is good to ask ourselves: where did the first disciples find the strength to bear witness to Christ?  What was the source of their joy and courage to preach and live the Gospel in the midst of so many obstacles and even violent persecution? We learn from Acts that the only explanation is the presence of the Risen Lord with them and the action of the Holy Spirit in their lives. They were enabled to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, to witness to Him with their lives, and to share in His sufferings with joy.”

Photo caption: The Evangelium Vitae Medal was presented to the Little Sisters of the Poor for their ministry to the elderly and poor and their courage in standing for religious freedom in the face of the federal government’s contraception mandate. Bishop Kevin Rhoades greets the Little Sisters of the Poor after Mass in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Notre Dame.
 

(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

Pope’s challenge to protect “our common home” is keynote topic

Students and staff listen to the keynote speech, "Can you Hear The Eco? Relationships: A Good Planet is Hard to Find," by Precious Blood Father Kevin Scalf based upon Pope Francis' encyclical "Laudato Si'," as the Humanities Festival opened April 4 at Calumet College of St. Joseph. (Marlene A. Zloza photo)By Marlene A. Zloza

HAMMOND—Noting that “All we do is in service for the greater glory of God,” keynote speaker Father Kevin M. Scalf, C.PP.S. opened the fifth annual Humanities Festival at Calumet College of St. Joseph on April 4 by calling on students to answer “a summons to become better, to become more, and to become the young men and women that God wants you to become.”

Special Assistant to the President for Mission and Ministry and a board member at the college, Father Scalf kicked off the six-day celebration of the humanities with “Can You Hear the Eco? Relationships: A Good Planet is Hard to Find,” a study of Pope Francis’ encyclical “Laudato Si’ on Care for Our Common Home,” issued last May. Reflecting the festival theme “Creation,” the address offered an outline for “a new lifestyle” that leads to a “New Covenant between Humanity and the Environment.”

In “Laudato Si’,” said Father Scalf, “the pope urges an ecological spirituality that will ‘motivate us to a more passionate concern for the protection of the world’ and calls for a ‘profound interior conversion.’”

Addressing practical issues that threaten the health of planet Earth, Father Scalf listed among the pope’s concerns: climate change and pollution, the loss of biodiversity, the depletion of natural resources, a decline in the quality of life, a breakdown of society, and global inequality.

“The pope challenges all persons to take stock of the way they treat all things,” Father Scalf said of the encyclical. “The way we treat the environment and animals has something to say about the way we treat other humans.”

Photo caption: Students and staff listen to the keynote speech, "Can you Hear The Eco? Relationships: A Good Planet is Hard to Find," by Precious Blood Father Kevin Scalf based upon Pope Francis' encyclical "Laudato Si'," as the Humanities Festival opened April 4 at Calumet College of St. Joseph. (Marlene A. Zloza 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

Major projects outlined at four Franciscan Alliance hospitals

Terry Wilson, president and CEO of Franciscan St. Elizabeth Health, discusses projects at hospitals in Lafayette, Crawfordsville and Rensselaer. (Photo by Kevin Cullen)By Kevin Cullen

LAFAYETTE — To address high patient demand and modernize educational facilities, Franciscan Alliance will spend more than $80 million at hospitals in Lafayette, Crawfordsville and Rensselaer between now and 2019.

The projects, announced at an April 6 press conference, include:

  • A $60 million investment at Franciscan St. Elizabeth Health - Lafayette East, including construction of another patient care tower at the six-year-old facility;
  • An $11 million investment in Franciscan St. Elizabeth Health - Lafayette Central, the former St. Elizabeth Hospital, including a $6 million relocation of the St. Elizabeth School of Nursing;
  • A new, $10 million emergency department at Franciscan St. Elizabeth Health - Crawfordsville;
  • A $4 million technology and imaging upgrade at Franciscan Health - Rensselaer.

Parts of Franciscan St. Elizabeth Health - Lafayette East, which opened on Creasy Lane in February 2010, are “essentially run at capacity most of the time. We’re excited about the opportunity to expand,” said Terry Wilson, president and CEO of Franciscan St. Elizabeth Health. The new tower is scheduled to open in January 2018.

“Whenever you build a new hospital, you make educated guesses about the market and the services you will provide ... about how medicine will change, and about who will end up in larger markets like Indianapolis or Chicago,” he said.

“We projected this hospital would be big enough,” he said, and in some areas, it still is. But overall, it operates at 80-85 percent capacity, and that makes it “more difficult to provide outstanding service ... there are days when we’re 90-100 percent full in the medical-surgical parts of the hospital.”

The need to expand became evident two years ago. Plans have been developed over the past 18 months, said James Siemers, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Franciscan St. Elizabeth Health.

As evidence of the space shortage, he said, the size of the surgical waiting room will be doubled, to seat up to 80 patients.

By adding 52 new patient beds to the existing 187, the hospital hopes to operate at 70 percent capacity. That will make it “much more competitive for patients and physicians,” Wilson said.

Photo caption: Terry Wilson, president and CEO of Franciscan St. Elizabeth Health, discusses projects at hospitals in Lafayette, Crawfordsville and Rensselaer. (Photo by Kevin Cullen)
 

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

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