August 28, 2009

Catholic News Around Indiana

Compiled by Brandon A. Evans

Diocese of Evansville

New deacons commit to ‘the totality of it all’

The candidates for diaconate lie prostrate on the floor of the main aisle while the choir and the congregation sing the Litany of Saints. This act is intended as a sign of total submission to God, unworthiness for the office, and complete dependence on God and the prayer of the Mystical Body of Christ. (Message photo by Paul R. Leingang)By PAUL R. LEINGANG (Message editor)

As 12 men and their families waited in anticipation of ordination to the diaconate, Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger invited them to consider “the totality of it all.”

The ordination, at St. Benedict Cathedral in Evansville, was celebrated Aug. 15, the feast of the Assumption.

Bishop Gettelfinger, in reflecting on the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, asked the congregation to reflect on what it meant when Mary said “yes” to the invitation to be the Mother of God.

“She was being obedient,” he said, “embracing the totality of what it was to be mother.” She had to embrace all that followed, birth, changing diapers (or whatever they used in those days, he said), dealing with a precocious child at age 12, the trauma of his being rejected even by those who loved him, and finally the joy that he was resurrected.

He reminded the candidates that they and their spouses had already embraced obedience to the vocation of married life, “the totality of it all,” and now the 12 men were being called to accept another challenge: “to be a servant” and to “embrace the totality of what it means to be a deacon.”

Father Jean Vogler, diocesan director of the permanent diaconate, presented the 12 candidates to the bishop.

Each candidate then approached the bishop, knelt before him and made a series of promises. They resolved to discharge the office of deacon with humble charity in order to assist the priestly order and to benefit the Christian people, maintain and deepen their spirit of prayer, to celebrate the Liturgy of the Hours, and “to conform your way of life always to the example of Christ, of whose Body and Blood you are ministers at the altar.”

Photo caption: The candidates for diaconate lie prostrate on the floor of the main aisle while the choir and the congregation sing the Litany of Saints. This act is intended as a sign of total submission to God, unworthiness for the office, and complete dependence on God and the prayer of the Mystical Body of Christ. (Message photo by Paul R. Leingang)


7,138 students — overall Catholic school enrollment is down by 283 students

By MARY ANN HUGHES (Message staff writer)

“Our first day will end in two hours,” said Char Bennett, principal at St. John the Baptist School in Newburgh. “It sure went fast! Each student pulled the rope on the bell in front of church to open the school year. They were thrilled.”

Newburgh students and students in Catholic schools throughout southern Indiana are now all back in school, and there’s a brand new private Catholic high school in Jasper. It’s named John Paul the Great and Elizabeth Flatt is the principal.

This year, all of the schools in the Diocese of Evansville will be using the theme “We Are Called.”

First day enrollment for Catholic schools in the Diocese of Evansville is 7,318, according to Donna Halverson, diocesan director of schools. This year’s figure is a decrease of 283 compared with last year’s enrollment figure of 7,601. This figure does not include students at John Paul the Great, operated as a private school.

Read the full story at for a first day of school enrollment report, on a school-by-school basis, gathered from information provided by the Catholic Schools Office, along with information submitted to the Message by principals.

(For these stories and more news from the Diocese of Evansville, log on to the website of The Message at


Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend

Bishop celebrates Mass opening Year for Priests

Bishop John M. D'Arcy opens the Year for Priests Tuesday, Aug. 4, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.As the Catholic Church observes the official close of the Year of St. Paul, it looks forward as it opens the observance of the Year for Priests. Pope Benedict XVI recently declared this year a time for the sanctification of priests — those shepherds who bring the sacraments and much more to their flocks.

The Year for Priests was launched in Rome on the feast of the Sacred Heart and will end on the same feast day in 2010. This special yearlong observance is in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the death of St. John Mary Vianney, Curé of Ars, formerly the patron saint of parish priests and recently by papal decree, the patron saint of all priests.

John Vianney was devoted to the sanctification of his parish and was instrumental in the spiritual renewal of France, despite great opposition.

The official launching in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend of this noteworthy year took place on Aug. 4, the feast of St. John Vianney, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Fort Wayne, when Bishop John M. D’Arcy concelebrated a special Mass with close to 40 priests of the diocese. The community was invited to attend.

The near-full cathedral was adorned with a prominently positioned table holding a handsome statue of St. John Vianney as well as a relic of the saint. Ceremonial incense filled the air, while the bishop and priest dressed in golden vestments completed the picture.

In his homily, Bishop D’Arcy made clear that this year designated for priests was not for elevation or separation of the priests, but rather for the sanctification of priests that they might become even “more dedicated and prayerful.” He went on to recount the history of St. John Vianney, who was devoted to the Eucharist.

Photo caption: Bishop John M. D'Arcy opens the Year for Priests Tuesday, Aug. 4, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.


Today’s Catholic news Web site launched

A screenshot of the new site.By Tim Johnson

FORT WAYNE—Evangelization—it’s the proclamation of Christ and his Gospel by word and the testimony of life, in fulfillment of Christ’s command, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. All of us are called to evangelization.

On Aug. 13, Today’s Catholic will revealed a revamped and expanded tool of evangelization: a new Web site at

While the old site covered news mostly posted in the Today’s Catholic newspaper, the new Web site will stay more current with late-breaking news, story updates, action alerts and Catholic news from across the state of Indiana.

Site visitors will find easy links to sign up for a digital (PDF) copy of the newspaper, as opposed to the print version, that can be e-mailed rather than postal delivery. For those who wish to be green, the digital version does not require newsprint—fewer trees are cut down—and digital cuts down on production and delivery costs (less gasoline).

Throughout the week, after the paper has gone to press, stories update. The site will update these stories as necessary. Oftentimes, background pieces offer additional insights to stories and they may not fit into the space provided in the newspaper. The Web site will accommodate such pieces.

The site will have graphics that will easily link visitors to upcoming events posted on the diocesan calendar, to the weekly Today’s Catholic Podcast, to U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ movie reviews, and a diocesan video gallery.

 The site also accommodates slide shows where visitors can view additional photos of diocesan events.

Francie Hogan, diocesan Web site coordinator, says, “I am so excited to see this news site come to fruition. It has been in the planning stages for quite some time, and it will be a definite improvement in our ability to reach even more people with the good news of the diocese.”

The Nichols Company in Fort Wayne designed the site.

Photo caption: A screenshot of the new site.


Parishes offer Catholic presence and care for Hispanics

SOUTH BEND — Father Christopher Cox grew up in a close, caring, Catholic neighborhood where, he laughs, “If you did something wrong, your parents knew about it before you got home.”

He’d like to see the west side neighborhoods surrounding St. Adalbert and St. Casimir parishes become more like that again.

Originally Polish, the area is now largely Hispanic. But it is also the area with the most abandoned homes, highest rate of poverty and diminished infrastructure in St. Joseph County.

“I would like to see this area get back to dense relationships, and what I mean by that is a place where people live in a home for a good period of time, where they know their neighbors and have quality relationships with them.”

Both churches host programs that keep people invested in the parish, observing what Father Cox calls “the sacramentality of the neighborhood.”

Although time constraints prevented him from doing the barrio (neighborhood) Masses this summer, he looks forward to holding them next summer, outdoors on the streets followed by potluck dinners.

“They really give us a chance to talk with people about their concerns, and also to plug the (St. Adalbert) school and the value of a Catholic education.”

English-as-a-second language classes, computer classes and counseling Latinos on everything from budgeting to their rights are just a few of the other programs. Used, donated computers are revamped with open-source, license-free software and then given away to needy families.

(For these stories and more news from the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, log on to the website of Today’s Catholic at


Diocese of Gary

Future priest appreciates parish life, preparing homilies

Story by Debbie Bosak

MUNSTER — The notion of becoming a priest came early to Deacon Ted Mauch. "I was very young – first or second grade — and was already telling people I wanted to be a priest," Deacon Mauch recalled. "That thought always seemed to be there."

Ordained a transitional deacon this past June, Deacon Mauch begins his final year of theological studies at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit this fall and hopes to be ordained a priest in June 2010. As part of his formation, Deacon Mauch has spent several summers locally learning the ins and outs of parish work.

This year he has enjoyed the added responsibilities of the diaconate: assisting at weddings, presiding at baptisms and graveside committal services, visiting nursing homes and preaching at daily Mass.

"It's been an awesome experience and I've been very happy to exercise every aspect of my diaconal ministry for which I was ordained," Deacon Mauch said, noting that not all of his classmates have been so fortunate.

When asked what he has enjoyed the most about his summer experience, Deacon Mauch pointed to preaching. "I just love it. I love preparing and praying over the readings," he said. "You know, after a few days, you realize that this is something you'll be doing everyday. There's plenty to say, but it can be overwhelming."

(For these stories and more news from the Diocese of Gary, log on to the website of the Northwest Indiana Catholic at

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