September 18, 2009

Catholic News Around Indiana

Compiled by Brandon A. Evans

Diocese of Evansville

Bishop Gettelfinger, ICC director urge Ellsworth to support health care reform

Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger and the executive director of the Indiana Catholic Conference, Glenn Tebbe, stop outside the federal building in Evansville Sept. 8 after meeting with Rep. Brad Ellsworth, D-Ind. (Message photo by Paul R. Leingang)By Paul R. Leingang (Message editor)

Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger and the executive director of the Indiana Catholic Conference, Glenn Tebbe, met Sept. 8 with Rep., Brad Ellsworth, D-Ind., on the topic of health care reform.

The half-hour meeting, in the morning of the day Ellsworth returned to Washington, was held at Ellsworth’s office in the Federal Building in downtown Evansville.

Tebbe said after the meeting he was “pleased to see how committed he [Ellsworth] was to our issues about health care,” and that he understood the Catholic positon that abortion is not health care, and that conscience must be protected.

At the meeting, Ellsworth said he was pro-life, and that he would not vote for a bill if he had an inkling that abortion would be in it.

Tebbe said Ellsworth “seemed to have a strong commitment to health care reform, without getting trapped into something contrary to Church principles.”

Tebbe provided a copy of a statement issued by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, which supported “genuine health care reform” that would not be used to mandate abortion coverage in private health plans, expand abortion funding, override state laws that limit or regulate abortion, and endanger existing laws protecting the conscience rights of health care providers.

Tebbe also urged Ellsworth to support health care coverage for legal immigrants. Ellsworth had said that he had heard a lot of comments from people who believed that some people in poverty did not deserve coverage, and that immigration was another hot issue.

Photo caption: Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger and the executive director of the Indiana Catholic Conference, Glenn Tebbe, stop outside the federal building in Evansville Sept. 8 after meeting with Rep. Brad Ellsworth, D-Ind. (Message photo by Paul R. Leingang)


The Message begins 40th year of publication

By PAUL R. LEINGANG (Message editor)

The September 4 issue of the Message begins the fortieth year of newspaper service to the people of the Diocese of Evansville. Newspapers have played a significant role throughout the history of the diocese.

• The Indiana Catholic and Record, published in Indianapolis, reported on Nov. 24, 1944, that Pope Pius XII had named the Right Rev. Henry Joseph Grimmelsman as the first Bishop of Evansville.

• On Oct. 5, 1956, the Southwestern Indiana Edition of The Register (provided through an agreement with the Denver Register) headlined a front page story, “Bishop Wishes Paper to Go Into Every Home of Diocese.” Bishop Grimmelsman stated that the diocese had selected the Register, with a local news section, to be the official diocesan journal.

• On Jan. 5, 1968, Catholic homes received the first of yet another new weekly newspaper, the Evansville Edition of the Criterion, published in Indianapolis. Father William Muller and J. Jeff Hays were identified as the editors of the local portion of the paper.

• The first issue of the Message was dated Oct. 2, 1970, with new Bishop Francis R. Shea the publisher and Father Joseph Ziliak the editor. Father Ziliak made a strong and lasting connection with the Catholic Press Association and with NC News Service (now Catholic News Service).

The first three papers were broadsheet — similar to the size of most daily newspapers. The Message was —and remains — a tabloid, the size many Catholic newspapers in the nation have chosen over the past 40 years.

Among historic events reported by the Message was the retirement of Bishop Shea, and the installation of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger, on April 11, 1989.

(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

Huntington youths deepen liturgical and service life

By Kay Cozad

HUNTINGTON — The youth at Ss. Peter and Paul Church have not been sitting idle this summer thanks to their dynamic parish youth program.

In addition to the regular weekly high school small group meetings, after-school middle school ministry, youth group Sunday gatherings, service opportunities, retreats and dodge ball Sundays, under the guidance of Jerid Miller, pastoral associate for youth ministry, adult formation and R.C.I.A. and Jon Stotts, pastoral associate for youth ministry and liturgy, 10 Huntington North High School students had the opportunity to travel on a Young Neighbors in Action (YNIA) mission trip to serve the poor.

The YNIA summer mission program, according to Miller, is threefold. First, it “gives youth an experience of broader church by gathering with other Catholic youth from across the country.” It also “provides hands on service experience” and lastly it puts that “experience into the context of Catholic social teaching.” Miller says, “It challenges the participants to go back home and get involved in service to those in need in their community.”

Five students were assigned to Miller, who accompanied the group to Cincinnati, where they worked at Visions, a daycare facility that supports poor urban families. Stotts accompanied five other students to Baltimore where they painted offices and served lunches to the homeless at the Franciscan Center, an outreach agency that provides emergency assistance to those in need.

All the teens returned home with a renewed desire for service opportunities and were anxious to get to work within their own community.

Miller says, “To begin we are focusing on the needs of our parish families and the elderly trying to identify those in our own parish community that are in need.”

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

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