June 17, 2016

Catholic News Around Indiana

Compiled by Brandon A. Evans

Diocese of Evansville

Nearly 100 Years Of Ministry And Care

Holy Rosary Pastor Father Bernie Etienne, Bonnie Ambrose, and Charles Voight celebrating at the reception of the Mass of Thanksgiving. Photo by Trisha Hannon Smith.By Trisha Hannon Smith

Bonnie Ambrose and Charles (Charlie) Voight have seen generations of students pass through their classrooms at Holy Rosary Catholic School.  Many of those former students joined the duo’s co-workers, friends and families for a June 5 Mass of Thanksgiving and reception to pay homage to these teachers with careers that span nearly 100 years as they enter retirement.

Ambrose has taught in the Catholic schools for 50 years. Voight follows closely behind with 47 years of service. Both have chosen to retire as they’ve taught – together, as a team.  

”We do honor Bonnie and Charlie for their witness – no small witness in our world,” said Holy Rosary Pastor Father Bernie Etienne. “Holy Rosary Parish has been the happy beneficiary of the time you’ve shared. What you did is not teaching, it was a ministry of care.”

Ambrose and Voight provided the staff of Holy Rosary with leadership blessed with humor and consistent faith in Jesus Christ.  Through difficult times and joyful times they proved the work important and worth the dedication of a career.

“What has always remained steady and true is their unwavering dedication to Catholic education and their ministry at Holy Rosary,” Principal Joan Fredrich told the crowd at the Mass of Thanksgiving. “Whether you sit in a desk in their classrooms, teach across the hall, partner with them in a parent-teacher conference, collaborate with them for a project…whether you clean their classroom or experience their support from the office…you learn so much from their example.  You learn support, partnership, sacrifice. “

As Father Etienne mentioned in his homily, Ambrose and Voight have made a difference. “And all of us are better, much better, because of it.  You don’t do this for as long as you have done it without passion about sharing the faith.” Father Bernie continued, “Nobody would do what you do without a true vocation with passion, and I am so grateful you have been willing to do that for us. The influence you’ve had is hard to imagine.”

The retirees, joined by their spouses, children and grandchildren, shared many memories with guests at a reception held after mass.  Guests signed special pictures for them to show gratitude.  Gifts were on display, including student-created handcrafted rosaries and one-of-a-kind collages depicting Holy Rosary School.  

The Holy Rosary Community holds great gratitude and love for these two retiring teachers. As Father Etienne stated, “This is your home, and you’ll always be a part of us.”

Photo caption: Holy Rosary Pastor Father Bernie Etienne, Bonnie Ambrose, and Charles Voight celebrating at the reception of the Mass of Thanksgiving. Photo by Trisha Hannon Smith.
 

(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

New career ministry helps those seeking jobs

By Lauren Caggiano

FORT WAYNE — A new ministry at St. Vincent de Paul in Fort Wayne is focused on catering to the needs of local jobseekers.

There is a spiritual component of job searching — something co-organizer Molly Roman wanted to address with the ministry.

Roman moved back to Fort Wayne after being away for several years and wanted to find a way to give back while building on her experience in the business world. So she approached Father Dan Scheidt at St. Vincent’s with her idea and was able to gain some momentum. She met with several volunteers who were interested in helping — many of which were in Human Resources or management. The end result is the Career Ministry program.

The group has met several times and has taken a variety of formats. For example, in May they had a speaker who led an exercise based on two books. And in February they hosted mock interview sessions. Volunteers helped critique jobseekers’ answers. They’ve seen a great interest when speakers have been part of the program.  They’ve had as many as 20 attendees at some sessions.

According to Roman, regardless of the format, everyone receives career coaching and resume review. The intent is to be a positive, nurturing and supporting environment. Anyone is invited, regardless of faith or religious background. They approach job seeking in a holistic way.

“Our goal in this ministry is to really give people help and hope,” she said. “We look at the person and not at the resume.”

Discouragement can block progress and Roman and her team want to remove any barriers to success. Speaking of success, Roman said she hopes the ministry can connect jobseekers with employers in a variety of industries.  She said she would love to recruit more volunteers, especially those with hiring experience. The more volunteers, the more people they can help.

Parishioner Lizzy Klee is one jobseeker who has benefited from this ministry. She currently works two part-time jobs, but is looking for something full-time.

“I went (to the program) one evening, had an enjoyable time, and learned some tips to help me with my resume and future interviews,” she said. “Molly asked for my resume so she could forward it to potential employers. I interviewed with one man a few weeks later as a result.”

Fellow parishioner John Taylor speaks highly of the ministry and volunteers. He said he found the team to be talented and experienced — offering “useful tips and advice for career seeking skills, resume building, interviewing skills, etc.”

He also acknowledged the spiritual aspect. The ministry was a source of comfort in times of uncertainty for him.
 

(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

Women surrounded by love and respect as they raise themselves up

Sherita Brewer, Sojourner Truth House development services manager, tells prospective local donors that a bottle of soap or shampoo can be a God-send for a homeless person, during the Coffee & Conversation session at the ministry for at-risk women in Gary on April 21. (Anthony D. Alonzo photo)By Marlene A. Zloza

GARY—“This place is like no other,” said client Marilyn Myles to a group of 30 potential supporters last month at Sojourner Truth House, most of whom wholeheartedly agreed after touring the facility and meeting staff members of the day center for homeless and at-risk women and their children.

“The difference here is that there is so much love, so much caring,” said Myles, who admitted that “too many abusive relationships” led to her being homeless and “sleeping on the streets in Chicago” before a religious sister at a soup kitchen brought her to STH.

“They have some great programs, and if they don’t have the resources you need, they will send you to those resources,” Myles added. “They treat us all with dignity and respect.”

After surviving in temporary housing and completing months of training and classes – in everything from basic reading and math skills to stress management and yoga – Myles is “on my way back to becoming a productive citizen of society again” thanks to STH.

Myles proudly held up the key she received a day earlier at STH, sponsored by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ. “I will be moving into my own apartment tomorrow, and Monday I start school in the Hospitality program at Ivy Tech (Community College).”

As Myles freely spoke about her struggles and her recovery, staff members including Sister of St. Agnes Peg Spindler, STH executive director, beamed with pride.

“We are just so blessed. . .with so many wonderful partnerships,” Sister Peg said of the resources for homeless women and children who arrive on the doorstep at 410 W. 13th Ave.

Each new client is assigned a case manager to evaluate their needs and direct them to township, church, or another housing agency. Clients set goals and attend classes Monday through Thursday, visit a food pantry crammed with cases of donated nonperishables, and “shop” the STH Boutique for a new wardrobe.

Support Services Coordinator Twyla Burks offers a big smile and organized racks of donated – sometimes new - clothing, jewelry, shoes, purses and underwear. Donations, accepted 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays (“We ask that they be clean and in season”), are sorted and shelved.

Clients are assisted in obtaining birth certificates and ID’s, use phone and laundry facilities, receive meals, get health screenings, borrow library materials, watch training videos and check the jobs bulletin board. With mothers in class, children attend the Child Enrichment Center, where infants through high schoolers find stability and a customized educational plan.

Photo caption: Sherita Brewer, Sojourner Truth House development services manager, tells prospective local donors that a bottle of soap or shampoo can be a God-send for a homeless person, during the Coffee & Conversation session at the ministry for at-risk women in Gary on April 21. (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

‘Men in Black’ take the field: It’s priests vs. seminarians in softball showdown

Priests and seminarians of the Lafayette diocese play in the first Men In Black Serra Series softball game on June 4 at the Kokomo Municipal Stadium. Hundreds of fans turned out for the event, despite the rainy weather. Proceeds from the game benefited the diocesan Seminarian Fund. (Photo by Bob Nichols)By Caroline B. Mooney

KOKOMO — Incessant rain didn’t dampen the spirits of priests and seminarians of the Lafayette diocese as they faced off in the first ever Men In Black Serra Series softball game on June 4. Nor did it deter approximately 530 fans from cheering on their favorite teams.

“Kokomo Serrans as well as Serrans from Lafayette worked to organize the game,” said Todd Richey, president of the Kokomo Serra Club.

“Serrans are in love with the faith and want to help foster and support religious vocations,” he said. “We want to allow people who aren’t in the Serra Club to get to know our seminarians and priests, and this is a fun way to do that. We also want to use this as a recruiting tool for young men to see that these guys can get out there and have a fun time.”

Tensions were high, as a rivalry began in January when the teams met in an energetic basketball game that ended with a victory for the seminarians.

This time, the priests brought their A-game.

Father Joshua Bennett, who was first at bat, hit a home run that set the tone for the game.

The priests’ team won with a score of 26-4. Father Bennett was named Most Valuable Player for his team, and Deacon Michael Bower was the seminarians’ MVP.

The game was played in the Kokomo Municipal Stadium and benefited the diocesan Seminarian Fund. Tickets and T-shirts were sold, and raffle prizes included softballs autographed by both teams and a 50/50 cash prize.

Bishop Emeritus William L. Higi threw the ceremonial first pitch, taking some liberties as he moved closer and closer to the catcher, Father Matthew Arbuckle, administrator of St. Joan of Arc Parish, Kokomo.

“The die was set when Father Bennett started the game off with a home run,” Bishop Higi said. “This was a good kickoff to what we hope will be an annual contest.”

Photo caption: Priests and seminarians of the Lafayette diocese play in the first Men In Black Serra Series softball game on June 4 at the Kokomo Municipal Stadium. Hundreds of fans turned out for the event, despite the rainy weather. Proceeds from the game benefited the diocesan Seminarian Fund. (Photo by Bob Nichols)
 

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

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