September 25, 2009

Catholic News Around Indiana

Compiled by Brandon A. Evans

Diocese of Evansville

Parishes, schools, ready for H1N1 virus

By Paul R. Leingang (Message editor)

Catholic parishes and schools are prepared for the H1N1 virus.

Catholic schools will cooperate with their county health departments, according to Donna Halverson, director of the Catholic schools office.

As for the celebration of sacred liturgies at the parishes, “There is no need to suspend Communion from the chalice, the shaking of hands at the Sign of Peace, or other forms of physical contact at this time,” according to Matt Miller, diocesan di-rector of worship.

The Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Evansville will follow the direction of their respective County Health Departments. Each county will have different plans for containing the H1N1 virus. Our schools will work in cooperation with them.


Habitat for Humanity: Volunteers come together for 2009 Catholic Build

Walt Egenmaier, a parishioner at St. John Church in Daylight, cuts wood during the 2009 Catholic Build for Habitat for Humanity. (Message photo by Mary Ann Hughes)By Mary Ann Hughes (Message staff writer)

It’s a sunny Saturday morning on a tree-filled street near downtown Evansville, and the sound of steady hammering fills the air. The carpenters have arrived at the 2009 Catholic Build for Habitat for Humanity.

They are wearing tool belts and hats, jeans and work boots. Today, their job is to cut some wood and frame the rooms.

Kristie French is the only woman volunteer this morning. She says she’s been involved with Habitat since 2001. “My husband lost his job, and was in a deep state of depression. Habitat board members called him and said, ‘Rick, come help. We need your help.’

“It was a life saver for him. He needed something to do. He got me involved, and we’ve been coming ever since.

“What we have gained from this is priceless.”

She’s learned a lot about home construction, and discovered that she enjoys roofing. “We do everything. I like power tools.”

The volunteer experience is “fun,” she said, adding that it’s very rewarding to help people.

The house that is being built on East Oregon Street will soon become the home for Michelle Roach and her two daughters, 13-year-old Glenteria and 10-year-old Giashia. They currently live in a two bedroom apartment.

“I felt like I was ready to call something home,” Michelle said. “I heard about the Habitat program from my aunt about a year ago.”

When Michelle learned that she was approved for a Habitat home, it was “overwhelming,” she said, adding that her daughters are “happy. They can’t wait to have their own bedrooms.”

As part of the program, Michelle is required to give 300 hours in sweat equity to Habitat projects. That means “assisting at the site, hammering nails, taking out trash and painting.

“I think it’s a great opportunity. It’s a nice opportunity for low income families. It’s affordable for me.”

Photo caption: Walt Egenmaier, a parishioner at St. John Church in Daylight, cuts wood during the 2009 Catholic Build for Habitat for Humanity. (Message photo by Mary Ann Hughes)

(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

Science at the service of life: Father Tad Pacholczyk lectures in South Bend

Bishop John M. D’Arcy joined the noted theologian and neuroscientist, Father Tad Pacholczyk, at the Sept. 11 banquet where Father Pacholczyk spoke on “Science at the Service of Life.”By Ann Carey

NOTRE DAME — In our technological society, many competing claims are set forth about the correct relationship between science and religion, with some people arguing that science and religion are incompatible.

Father Tad Pacholczyk addressed those claims in a talk here Sept. 11 in which he explained that “Science and religion need each other precisely because they meet in the human person.” As a theologian as well as a scientist with a doctorate in neuroscience, Father Pacholczyk is director of education and a staff ethicist at the National Catholic Bioethics Center.

Father Pacholczyk used a lively slide presentation to talk about “Science at the Service of Life” at a banquet hosted by the diocesan Office of Family Life in McKenna Hall on the University of Notre Dame campus.

He first discussed common misconceptions about the relationship between science and religion. The claim that science can directly find God, or prove his nonexistence is false, he said, because “God is hidden, nonmaterial and transcendent.” However, scientists can “find” God indirectly as they carry out their research, the priest said, citing several famous scientists who reported that the sciences enabled them to see the power, wisdom and goodness of God.

The second misconception is that supernatural action is a legitimate subject of scientific inquiry.

Another misconception is that the scientific method is the only way to acquire truth. Some people are tempted to reduce all ways of knowing to the scientific method because so much has been learned that way, he said. However, this is a materialist view that dismisses the existence of God, divine revelation and a natural grounding in ethics, as well as the concept that humanity can participate in a reality that transcends itself. The domain of science has inherent limitations, he continued, and the failure to grasp that is a “common intellectual error.”

Photo caption: Bishop John M. D’Arcy joined the noted theologian and neuroscientist, Father Tad Pacholczyk, at the Sept. 11 banquet where Father Pacholczyk spoke on “Science at the Service of Life.”


Anniversary couples celebrate with special Mass, reception

By Bonnie Elberson

FORT WAYNE — Couples observing their 25th or 50th wedding anniversaries this year gathered Sunday afternoon for a special celebratory Mass at Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Fort Wayne with Bishop John M. D’Arcy as presider. Afterwards, they and family members in attendance enjoyed a reception with refreshments, socializing and picture taking at the nearby Grand Wayne Center.

The cathedral was filled nearly to capacity as Bishop D’Arcy spoke of the love of Christ for his people and how that love is expressed between man and wife. He reminded them, “This Mass is about renewing the gift of oneself to God and to one another … love each other as Christ loves his church.”

Bishop D’Arcy also reminded his audience of the declaration of Pope Benedict XVI making this the Year for Priests, as it is the 150th anniversary of the death of St. John Vianney, patron saint of parish priests. He asked couples to reflect on the important role of priests in their own lives, from the one who officiated at their wedding to those who hear their confessions, dispense sage advice and baptize their children. “There is no holy marriage without priests,” he said.

Finally, an expectant hush filled the cathedral as the anniversary couples were asked to rise, “renew the sacred moment” and reaffirm their marriage vows to each other. Bishop D’Arcy congratulated them, saying, “You have remained faithful and exhibited responsibility.”

Later, many of the anniversary couples who attended the ceremony confirmed the importance of faith in their long-time marriages.

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


Diocese of Gary

Human life & Dignity

Story by Steve Euvino

MERRILLVILLE — “Open wide and say ‘Ah.’” If only health care reform was that simple. If only everyone was on the same page as to how health care in this country should be reformed. On one hand, most Americans like their medical care. Eighty-five percent of U.S. citizens have insurance. The competitive nature of this nation’s private sector provides an incentive for innovation and improvements in health care. Federal programs such as Medicare and Medicaid do provide a safety net for many of the elderly, the poor, and the disabled.

On the other hand, an estimated 47 million Americans have no medical insurance.

Health insurance premiums continue to rise — the U.S. spent $2.2 trillion in medical care in 2007 — and those costs are predicted to double within 10 years.

Others predict that the Medicare Trust Fund will be insolvent by 2019. Increased costs of mandated health insurance benefits have caused some companies to hire part-time instead of full-time employees.

Also, these higher insurance costs to employers place job candidates with multiple dependents at a disadvantage in a competitive market.

In addition, individuals with pre-existing conditions who most need medical care may be denied the means to acquire it.

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann and Bishop Robert W. Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Ks., included the above figures in a joint pastoral statement in August. They and other clergy are calling upon President Barack Obama and Congress to enact health care reform built on these truths: “that all people in every stage of human life count for something; that if we violate our core beliefs we are not aiding people in need, but instead devaluing their human integrity and that of us all.” 

In his letter in this week’s Northwest Indiana Catholic, Bishop Dale J. Melczek writes: “The Church has an important contribution to make to the current discussions about health care reform. It is our responsibility to form consciences and to stimulate, in the words of Pope Benedict XVI, ‘greater insight into the authentic requirements of justice.’”

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

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