June 3, 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

Local woman heeds pope’s call for ecological education

A student examines a honey comb under a microscope during an educational event May 15 at the Southwest Conservation Club. Experiential learning is the hallmark of the organization’s programming.By Lauren Caggiano

A Bishop Luers educator is raising awareness about the benefits and importance of honeybees and honey through educational programming.

Megan Ryan, a special-education teacher and environmentalist, has married the two interests with the formation of the Southwest Honey Co. in Waynedale. In short, at the heart of this organization is conservation, beekeeping, education and fundraising.

Ryan and business partner Alex Cornwell have been acquainted for some time. Both grew up in and around nature at the 31-acre Southwest Conservation Club off of Bluffton Road—the future home of their endeavor. When the opportunity presented itself to transform their mutual passion into a business, the details seemed to “fall into place,” as she put it.

Southwest Honey Co. is the fruits of many months of labor. The end product is affordable, “adventure-style” educational programming for children K-12, and adult social events—all of which will further the organization’s mission of supporting the honeybee population. Youth programs are scheduled for Tuesdays and Wednesdays in June and July at the Southwest Conservation Club. Adult workshop dates will be announced soon.

Parents can expect hands-on activities that pique their children’s interest and encourage experiential learning and exploration.  In her words, they are “little adventurers,” whose natural curiosity can be satiated by the programming.

“We really want students to walk away excited about pollinators,” said Ryan. “(We want them to realize) you don’t have to be a beekeeper to help the bees.”

Speaking of help, it comes full circle in a way.  Ryan has several hives on site that provide honey to be sold as a fundraiser in support of the apiaries and the Southwest Conservation Club.  Ryan touts the medicinal benefits of honey, noting that they use all-natural practices.

Though Ryan is doing her part to save the bees, there’s a larger and disturbing trend that has many scientists worried. On a global level the bee population is declining due to diseases and invasive pests. If left unaddressed, experts believe it will drastically change the world as we know it because of all of the hard work the honeybee does.

And that work translates into serious economic returns. The value of honey bee pollination to U.S. agriculture is more than $14 billion annually, according to a Cornell University study. Crops from nuts to vegetables and as diverse as alfalfa, apple, cantaloupe, cranberry, pumpkin, and sunflower all require pollinating by honeybees.

Ryan sees this stark reality as a wake-up call from God to change our ways. She cites the Adam and Eve story, when God gave humans dominion over all plants and animals. In order to be truly pro-life, “you have to care about all of it,” she said. That means respecting and caring for all forms of life—not just human beings.

Photo caption: A student examines a honey comb under a microscope during an educational event May 15 at the Southwest Conservation Club. Experiential learning is the hallmark of the organization’s programming.
 

(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

Newly installed ‘Baby Box’ gives infants a fighting chance to live

Father Chris Stanish, of Queen of All Saints, blesses a Safe Haven Baby Box during the dedication ceremony April 28. Members of the Knights of Columbus Honor Guard and Monica Kelsey, founder and president of Safe Haven Baby Box, look on as the nation's second baby box was installed and is operational at the Coolspring Volunteeer Fire Department, just south of Michigan City. (Bob Wellinski photo)By Bob Wellinski

A LaPorte County fire station became the second location in the state and nation to install and make available a Safe Haven Baby Box.       

The high-tech box allows a mother or guardian to safely and anonymously leave an infant in the climate-controlled box in accordance with the Indiana Safe Haven Law.

Once the door is opened and the baby is placed inside on the cushioned pad, three alarms alert emergency personnel within 30 seconds. Responding emergency personnel retrieve the infant, who is then transported to a hospital.

Monica Kelsey, founder and president of Safe Haven Baby Boxes, spoke during the dedication ceremony Thursday April 28 at the Coolspring Volunteer Fire Department.

“This is an amazing day in history to launch the second safe haven baby box in the state of Indiana.” Monica told the crowd.

The first box was installed at the Woodburn (Ind.) Fire Department, where she is a firefighter/paramedic.

Coolspring fire chief, and Queen of All Saints parishioner, Mick Pawlik credits his department members for their effort in bringing the baby box to the department, located just south of Michigan City.

“I’m proud of these guys they took a stand and we’re going to be one of the first departments in the nation to have this.” Pawlik said. “This is an opportunity for a child to live. It’s an opportunity not to put them in a ditch or leave them unattended. If we can save one life with this box, the world will be forever changed. The life is already here, let’s keep it going.”

Photo caption: Father Chris Stanish, of Queen of All Saints, blesses a Safe Haven Baby Box during the dedication ceremony April 28. Members of the Knights of Columbus Honor Guard and Monica Kelsey, founder and president of Safe Haven Baby Box, look on as the nation's second baby box was installed and is operational at the Coolspring Volunteeer Fire Department, just south of Michigan City. (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

2016 Summit for Youth and Young Adult Ministers: Share wisdom to meet each parish’s unique needs

“Every parish has its own culture based on the charisms and the life of the parish,” said Paul Mach, youth ministry coordinator for the Diocese of Joliet, Ill. “Different programs work for different parishes.” (Photo by Caroline B. Mooney)By Caroline B. Mooney

KOKOMO — “Take a frame and put your parish picture inside it. Different programs work for different parishes,” Paul Mach said. “Young adult ministry is not saying, ‘Oh, I came up with this great new idea.’ It’s asking others, ‘How did you do that at your parish?’ and then you try to fit it into your own picture frame.”

Approximately 30 young adult and youth ministers gathered to hear Mach, youth ministry coordinator for the Diocese of Joliet, Ill., speak at the 2016 Summit for Youth and Young Adult Ministers on May 17 at St. Joan of Arc Parish.

He spoke on “Developing Leadership in our Youth and Young Adults.”

The day was organized by Evelyn Burton, associate director for youth formation in the diocesan Pastoral Office for Catechesis.

“It’s in your hands to take what you need from this gathering,” Mach said. “Use the wisdom that is in this room and share your wisdom.”

He said that over the years, the age for “adolescents” has changed from those who were just graduating from eighth grade, to high school, and “now we look at adolescents as those up to ages 23 to 25. It’s expanding what we are doing. They still need care, a connection and guidance from us.

“I think we need to help define an age — around 32 to 35 — and help young adults understand what a parishioner is instead of forming more groups for them,” Mach said. “We need to get them involved in the parish. How do we help them understand the stages of being involved in parish life? We need to help some of those who are excited about their faith and always want to do stuff.”

He said that those who work in ministry for the Church do so because they are passionate about it.

“Passion comes from the leader,” he said. “It’s the Holy Spirit calling.

“When we think of stressful things, we need to turn a negative into a positive and ask God for help,” Mach said. “Our gifts may not fit all the needs. We expect a person in charge to be everything, but that’s not realistic. We need others to help us.

“You need to know your strengths and weaknesses and surround yourself with people who have those strengths,” he said. “Every parish has its own culture based on the charisms and the life of the parish.

“Youth ministry is a challenge,” Mach said. “We can meet with young adults who want to help with programs now, but they may be gone and we can’t count on them in six months. We have to consider how we design programs to accommodate transition.”

Groups shared the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the area of leadership in their parish ministries.

Strengths included: the support of parishioners and pastors; learning more about and developing faith through ministry; working face-to-face with volunteers; helping youth meet Jesus personally; and developing new leaders to encourage them to take over.

Weaknesses were cited in areas including: retaining people in leadership roles; being organized; and recognizing and developing the various levels of volunteers.

Opportunities in leadership in parish ministries included: helping people grow in their faith through training; coming together to develop a vision for youth and young adults; asking the older generation and youth what’s needed; listening to those being ministered to as to what they think they need versus what leaders think they need.

Threats the groups noted included: parish understandings of youth ministry; youth often just seen as manpower in the parish; and indifference toward the challenge of sports and time required.

Photo caption: “Every parish has its own culture based on the charisms and the life of the parish,” said Paul Mach, youth ministry coordinator for the Diocese of Joliet, Ill. “Different programs work for different parishes.” (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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