July 1, 2016

Catholic News Around Indiana

Compiled by Brandon A. Evans

Diocese of Evansville

On Target: Diocesan Students Prepare To Compete In World Archery Competition

Members of the Saint Agnes Parish archery team smile for a photo during the National Archery in the Schools Program national championships, at which they placed first in the elementary school division. Submitted photo.By Katelyn Klingler

Young people from multiple parishes in the Diocese of Evansville are competing for world archery titles June 24-26 in South Carolina.

In the past several years, archery has exploded in popularity across the nation, attracting diverse groups of students and gaining spots in school athletic programs. Many of our own diocesan schools have adopted the sport and have been met with great success—even at the national level.  

The National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) held its national championships May 12-14 in Louisville, Ky. More than 12,500 archers from grades 4-12 shot in three competitions: the bullseye competition, in which students hit a traditional target; the IBO 3D challenge, in which students shoot foam animal targets; and the Centershot competition, specifically for Christian schools and church youth groups.  

Students from the diocese competed in all three national championships.

St. Agnes Grade School’s team competed in the elementary-school division of all three events. The team placed first in the national Centershot competition.  This was the first year that St. Agnes has offered archery. Assistant coach Jacob Mayer said that next year, the school will sponsor two teams: an elementary-school team and a middle-school team. He expects to see even more students interested in the program after witnessing this year’s success.  

Mayer said that the program has elicited a very positive response from the school community. “The school has really come behind us and supported us,” he stated. “The parents have really come on board.” Mayer also noted that the program has garnered support in the greater community. “The experience traveling, shooting on bigger stages; it’s generated a lot of excitement around the west side of Evansville, watching these kids compete.”

The team is currently preparing to participate in the NASP world competition, which will be held June 24-26 in Myrtle Beach, S.C. According to Mayer, 4,000 archers from 11 countries (including the U.S.) will compete.  

Photo caption: Members of the Saint Agnes Parish archery team smile for a photo during the National Archery in the Schools Program national championships, at which they placed first in the elementary school division. Submitted photo.

Bishop Opens Fifth Fortnight For Freedom

Deacon Thomas Kempf, second from left, reads the Gospel (Matthew 7:6, 12-14) during the June 21 Mass at St. Benedict Cathedral that opened the Diocese of Evansville's observance of the 5th Fortnight for Freedom. The Message photo by Tim Lilley.By Tim Lilley

Bishop Charles C. Thompson opened the Diocese of Evansville’s observance of the fifth Fortnight for Freedom by celebrating Mass at St. Benedict Cathedral on June 21. The observance opens annually on that date and concludes on July 4.

“This year’s Fortnight theme, ‘Witnesses to Freedom,’ highlights the witness of martyrs and others who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power,” Bishop Thompson said in his homily. He mentioned St. John Fisher, St. Thomas Moore, St. John the Baptist, Sts. Peter & Paul and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome.

The bishop suggested that these martyr-saints lived a Christian witness found somewhere between those who persecute and kill in the name of religious cleansing, and those who persecute and kill in the name of religion itself.

“Both extremes are detrimental to religion and humanity,” Bishop Thompson said.

“One of the founding principles of our nation is that of religious freedom as a fundamental human right,” he added. “It is our duty to ensure that this basic right, which includes both worship and service, is not reduced to being a mere privilege limited by all sorts of suffocating conditions and unreasonable limitations.”

The bishop opened his homily by recalling Pope Francis’ historic speech before a joint session of the U.S. Congress during his September 2015 visit to the U.S.

“In his remarks to congress,” Bishop Thompson noted, “the Holy Father commented, ‘In a word, if we want security, let us give security; if we want life, let us give life; if we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities. The yardstick we use for others will be used for us.  The Golden Rule always reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development.’”

The bishop also recalled that Pope Francis referred to President Abraham Lincoln as “The guardian of liberty” and stressed the need for “safeguarding religious freedom” along with other freedoms.

“Through the grace of baptism, strengthened by the Sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist, we have what it takes to make the difference in defense of the very principles of religious liberty to preserve all that we hold as sacred in our nation and world,” Bishop Thompson said. “Each of us has a voice.  Each vote counts.  Each has a right to be heard.  And each of us has a responsibility to advocate for freedom of conscience, standing as ‘Witnesses to Freedom.’”

Photo caption: Deacon Thomas Kempf, second from left, reads the Gospel (Matthew 7:6, 12-14) during the June 21 Mass at St. Benedict Cathedral that opened the Diocese of Evansville's observance of the 5th Fortnight for Freedom. 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

GIVEN 2016: Young women embrace their feminine genius

Megan Gettinger at GIVEN with Sister Elizabeth, Franciscan Sisters T.O.R of Penance of the Sorrowful Mother.By Molly Gettinger

Our lives are an unmerited gift from God the Father, fashioned in His image and loved into being. God has given us unique gifts to be embraced. We are called to respond by developing and sharing our gifts. In allowing our gifts and the desires of our hearts to be manifest in and for the world, we become who we are created to be.

This was the message of GIVEN 2016: Catholic Young Women’s Leadership Forum. June 7th through 12th, GIVEN brought together 300 young women in their 20s for a week of faith formation, networking, and leadership training. Gathering on the campus of Catholic University of America in Washington D.C., these women attended dynamic talks, spent time in prayer, and developed initiatives that will allow them to further recognize and utilize their unique gifts.

Among the attendees was South Bend resident Megan Gettinger, Holy Cross College Hall Director and mother of two toddlers. Applying after learning about the conference via social media, Megan was drawn to the theme of the gifts each person has been given and how one can be a gift to the world.

Megan shares that “The role of women in the Church and the feminine genius are two topics I am always eager to learn more about, so the entire premise of the conference appealed to me. I loved learning more about the Theology of Woman and how to more effectively develop and use my gifts for the service of the Church and the world.”

Sister Mary Gabriel, SV, GIVEN event chair, shares that GIVEN invited religious sisters “to be for young women, regardless of vocational call, what women religious have been through the centuries: a supportive, encouraging, and formative presence for young women as they launch their own response to the gift of their lives.”

Each day began and ended with the opportunity for adoration, and Mass was offered midday. Participants met daily in a small group with a religious sister. Attendees listened to talks on a range of topics, including “Reclaiming the gifts of God,” “Receiving the Gift of the Kingdom,” and “Finding Balance in Life.” Megan describes the conference as “a packed week that felt like a hybrid of a college course, job training, retreat, and meet and greet.”

Photo caption: Megan Gettinger at GIVEN with Sister Elizabeth, Franciscan Sisters T.O.R of Penance of the Sorrowful Mother.

New Women’s Care Center blessed

Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades blessed the newest Women’s Care Center located at 4600 West Jefferson Blvd., in Fort Wayne on Tuesday, June 6. With him are Bobby Williams, Ann Manion, board president and Ann Koehl, director.By Stephanie A. Patka

FORT WAYNE — It was standing room only during the Mass that celebrated the blessing of the Chapel of the Visitation and the new Women’s Care Center located at 4600 West Jefferson in Fort Wayne. Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades celebrated the Mass on June 6 for over 75 people and at the conclusion, blessed the new building which marks a significant growth in the service of the agency.

“I couldn’t have chosen a better Gospel for this occasion of the blessing of this new Women’s Care Center, the Gospel of the Beatitudes,” Bishop Rhoades said in his homily. “They describe the attitudes and actions of Jesus Himself in His life and they describe the attitudes and actions we are called to have or do as His disciples.”

Bishop Rhoades went on to describe the Women’s Care Centers as true oases of mercy, places where women who may be in crisis, perhaps tempted to do harm to themselves and their unborn babies, perhaps experiencing hopelessness or despair, rejection or helplessness, here receive compassionate help and merciful love.

Bishop Rhoades reminded the attendees of a significant Beatitude, especially for the Jubilee Year of Mercy, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” He continued, “Mercy involves an inward identification with those in need and an outward action of kindness and generosity toward them. That is what it means to be merciful.” Bishop added that the work of the Women’s Care Center carries out this mission through their work, “It is not judging the soul of the person, but identifying with the other in their need, in their suffering, and then helping them. Mercy is connected to love.”

The leadership of the Women’s Care Center believes that the new location and new chapel will help serve more women and more babies in Allen County. Longstanding volunteer and Board President Manion stated her appreciation for the blessing that is the new building and chapel, “It’s really gratifying. We are already serving 1 in 4 babies in Allen County. With this kind of flagship center and the Holy Eucharist on site, we are going to expand beyond that.”

Photo caption: Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades blessed the newest Women’s Care Center located at 4600 West Jefferson Blvd., in Fort Wayne on Tuesday, June 6. With him are Bobby Williams, Ann Manion, board president and Ann Koehl, director.

(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

Knights honor teen from Fishers parish as state’s ‘Youth of Year’

By Caroline B. Mooney

FISHERS — Being named the Indiana Knights of Columbus Catholic Youth of the Year was a great way to cap off Dinara Heidler’s high school career.

“When I found out that I won the award, I was very excited,” said Heidler, a member of St. Louis de Montfort Parish in Fishers. “I am very honored to get such a prestigious award.”

She was nominated by Knights of Columbus Council 6923, which is on the campus of St. Louis de Montfort. At the annual state convention, Heidler received a $1,500 scholarship. 

“Dinara is truly a witness of the Gospel and a real light to those around her,” said Reid Leazier, St. Louis de Montfort high school youth minister and confirmation coordinator. He has known Heidler since she was in the seventh grade.

“She is discerning of God’s will, and is always using her gifts and talents to better the world around her,” he said. “Our parish has been blessed by Dinara and her family, and we are absolutely proud to have them here.

“Dinara is a standout candidate for this scholarship because of her level of dedication, faith and leadership,” Leazier said. “She has been highly active in youth ministry for the last seven years. She helped form a ministry for upper class high school students called the Daughters of Wisdom, participates in annual retreats, leads small groups, and strives to make our parish youth ministry impactful and inviting to the area youth. She sings in the choir, serves at Mass, and is a greeter at Mass.

“As her youth minister, I can authentically share that she has been a gift and an inspiration to have in our ministry over all of these years,” he said, “and we are going to miss her when she heads to college this fall.”

Leazier noted that while faith is her foundation, Heidler also has garnered community and academic awards. She was on a leadership team for Riley Dance Marathons, served in community food pantries, and donated time at the Fishers YMCA.

Her parents, Kathleen and Steve Heidler, were proud to hear that Leazier wanted to nominate Dinara.

“When we saw the lengthy and detailed application, we hoped Dinara had the time to fill it out. And of course she did,”. “When we received the phone call that she had been chosen as Youth of the Year, we were so happy and amazed,” Steven said. “We knew the competition was tough, as there are many outstanding youth out there. To have our daughter chosen for such an honor made us feel so humble and grateful.”

Photo caption: Dinara Heidler, a parishioner of St. Louis de Montfort Parish in Fishers, was nominated for the state award by Knights of Columbus Council 6923. (Photo provided)

Eight members of the Purdue Catholic Men’s group share adventure, faith in wilderness trip

(Photo provided)By Caroline B. Mooney

WEST LAFAYETTE —The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota is an outdoorsman’s paradise. No motorized vehicles are allowed on the more than 1,000 pristine lakes and rivers along the Canadian border, with access between lakes only by canoe and portages.

Eight members of the Purdue Catholic Men’s group from St. Thomas Aquinas Parish recently went on a five-day trip there, paddling 35 miles through the waters. They were led by Grant Freeman, assistant director of campus ministry, and Father Timothy Combs, OP, associate pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish.

“My inspiration for the trip is the age-old truth that nature is the first book of divine revelation, supported by my own experiences of the outdoors and the example provided by (diocesan vocations director) Father David Hasser’s expeditions with the seminarians,” Freeman said. “This was a mission to do things that are going to engage the mind, the body and soul.”

“The hardship of our journey (which really only counted as ‘hardship’ by first-world standards) forged bonds of brotherhood between the eight of us and inserted a salutary dose of realism into our pious conversation,” Father Combs said. “Of course, with eight guys, there was plenty of shallow banter as well. Celebrating Mass in such a spectacular setting is a magnificent experience.  Elevating the consecrated Host and gazing at it against the backdrop of the majestic sky is a remarkably contemplative experience to have as a priest.  Everyone ought to take a trip like that at least once in their lifetime, and regularly if at all possible.”

Six Purdue undergraduate and graduate students responded to the trip callout: Alex Burton, Schafer Knostman, Joey Nield, Zach Schreiber, Steven Swandono, and Peter Thompson.

After an approximately 11-hour drive to Minnesota, they were given equipment by professional outfitters. The men brought their own clothing and any comforts – knowing they would have to carry their belongings in backpacks.

Camping, hiking and fishing were part of Freeman’s childhood, and he says that was a blessing given to him by his father.

“I was taught how to go out into nature and pay attention to the way nature works so I could work in harmony with it,” he said. “Fishing isn’t just about catching fish. Start chasing them and you’ll realize that you’re the one that’s hooked, not the other way around! It really gives some insight into our relationship with God. If you’re ready for it, amazing adventures happen. On the other hand, if you aren’t trying for Him, you’ll definitely miss Him, even when the opportunity is literally right in front of you.”

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

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