September 13, 2013

Catholic News Around Indiana

Compiled by Brandon A. Evans

Diocese of Evansville

Purse Party Raises Funds For Haitian School Children

Linda Feulner and Karen Hinderliter examine purses before guests arrive for the third annual Haiti Purse Party. Both are members of the committee which raises funds for St. James Parish in Plaine du Nord, Haiti, a parish which has been adopted by St. Joseph Parish in Vanderburgh County. (Message photo by Mary Ann Hughes)By Mary Ann Hughes

Can empty purses provide the funds to feed hungry school children?

Yes, they can. In fact, those empty bags can provide the funds to feed hundreds of students for weeks at a time.

Last week, nearly 200 people gathered in downtown Evansville to attend the third annual Haiti Purse Party. They came with their wallets open and their check books ready, and at the end of the event, over $16,000 had been raised to feed the children who attend school at St. James Parish in Plaine du Nord, Haiti.

Karen Hinderliter is a kindergarten teacher at Corpus Christi School in Evansville and a member of the Haiti Purse Party committee. She explained that Evansville area businesses and individuals donated "new and gently-used" designer and faux designer purses of all sorts for the Haiti Purse Party.

Hinderliter noted that the event, which included lunch and both a silent and a live auction of the purses, has grown from 120 guests in its second year to nearly 200 this year.

The funds which were raised will go directly to St. James Parish, which has been partnered with St. Joseph Parish in Vanderburgh County for about 30 years. Last year's proceeds were used to purchase books for the elementary school students in the parish. This year, the money will be used to purchase food for the 500 students enrolled in the elementary school there and the 200 students in the high school.

In an Aug. 16 Message story, Butch Feulner is quoted as saying, "The schools had been providing a hot meal of rice and beans on a regular basis -- until the source of their food supply basically dried up.

“For many of those students, that meal wasn't just the only hot food they got all day; it was the only food they got. We are going to use the money we raise this year to help them get the food they need to continue providing healthy nutrition to the students."

Photo caption: Linda Feulner and Karen Hinderliter examine purses before guests arrive for the third annual Haiti Purse Party. Both are members of the committee which raises funds for St. James Parish in Plaine du Nord, Haiti, a parish which has been adopted by St. Joseph Parish in Vanderburgh County. (Message photo by Mary Ann Hughes)
 

(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

Burmese-American Catholics gather for Fort Wayne national conference

Following the Mass with the Burmese community Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades, center, and Msgr. Robert Schulte, right, admire a chasuble that Archbishop Charles Bo, left, from Rangoon, Burma, gifted to Bishop Rhoades.FORT WAYNE — Hundreds of Burmese-American Catholics gathered for the fourth annual National Conference of Burmese-American Catholics held this year in Fort Wayne. The four-day conference opened Friday, Aug. 30, and concluded Monday, Sept. 2.

The conference program began Aug. 31 when close to 1,000 Burmese-American Catholics, from across the country and as far away as Australia gathered at Bishop Dwenger High School for breakfast and morning prayer by Master of Ceremonies Father Peter Dee De, part-time associate pastor at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. The 80 Burmese Catholics registered in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend were in attendance as well. Conference attendees were welcomed with a presentation on youth activities and a special youth dance.

Keynote speaker and Mass celebrant Archbishop Charles Bo, of the Rangoon Diocese in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), joined the throngs of Burmese-Americans gathered to enrich their faith and connect with others. The day was laced with cultural music and prayer, talks for youth and adults, and participants took advantage of the opportunity for Eucharistic Adoration, rosary recitation and Confession.

The archbishop spoke to the assembly in the morning before the 11 a.m. Mass about values that included identity, trust, gratitude and love.

Archbishop Bo is cognizant of the struggles this assembly has experienced in their migration to and resettlement in the U.S. Speaking to Today’s Catholic before the conference the archbishop said, “They themselves face a terrible culture-shock and many find it hard to adjust.” He cited challenges such as lack of education, home-sickness, lack of stamina for resettlement and the language barrier.

Archbishop Bo commended the U.S. assistance to his people, saying, “The local Church in Fort Wayne is trying its best to take care of the migrants and resettlement. Since our Burmese Catholics have to start from zero, I think it would need much time and attention to do it enough. We thank the American leaders and clergy they offered.”

Photo caption: Following the Mass with the Burmese community Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades, center, and Msgr. Robert Schulte, right, admire a chasuble that Archbishop Charles Bo, left, from Rangoon, Burma, gifted to Bishop Rhoades.

 

Harms of pornography to be discussed in upcoming conference

Logo from the Ignite the Light in a World Darkened by Pornography conferenceBy Tim Johnson

FORT WAYNE — “Nearly every priest will say that pornography is the most frequent sin mentioned in Confession. Pornography is a destroyer of spiritual lives. It is also a destroyer of marriages and families,” said attorney Patrick Trueman, the president of Morality in the Media (MIM) and former chief of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice from 1988 to 1993.

Trueman, Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades and nationally recognized experts from Reclaim Sexual Health — will be speakers at the Ignite the Light in a World Darkened by Pornography conference to be held at the North Campus of the University of Saint Francis on Saturday, Oct. 5. The conference is open to adults and teens aged 14 and older.

Topics covered will include the harms of pornography, brain science behind the addiction to pornography, case studies of those harmed, pathways to healing for individuals and families and information on how to insulate individuals and families from the effects of pornography.

In an email interview, Trueman told Today’s Catholic, “One survey from a few years ago indicated that pornography is a factor in more than half the divorces in this country. The reason why pornography is so destructive is found in its addictive nature. Many men and women, and even children are addicted to pornography, and like any addiction, the substance addicted to becomes the driving force in the one addicted. Thus, family life and work life become secondary to the driving desire for pornography. Those addicted act out and thus, extra marital affairs, prostitution and sexual abuse follow.”

The conference will minister to several audiences. Trueman noted the following should attend, “Parents wishing to protect their family from the harms of pornography, individuals suffering from the harms of pornography, those wishing to protect society from pornography — especially community and spiritual leaders.”

“Also, this conference will be beneficial to young adults looking to avoid pornography before it leads to life-long problems, such as addiction,” he encouraged. “Young couples are affected by the harms of pornography more so now than ever before and marriages are suffering as a result.”
 

(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

Ad campaign seeks to touch mothers’ hearts while saving lives

St. John the Evangelist fourth-grader Peyton Brach shows WFLD-TV meteorologist Tammie Souza his father's barometer on May 22 during Souza's visit to the school. Souza spoke about her career and the weather to SJE grades 4 and 5. (Michael McArdle photo)By Steve Euvino

MERRILLVILLE—One parish is working to involve other parishes, groups, and individuals in a positive, pro-life billboard campaign. Dubbed “Billboards for Babies,” the campaign has a simple goal: touch mothers’ hearts and save lives.

According to organizer Julie Peterson, the mission is to save the lives of babies in Northwest Indiana by reaching out to their mothers through these billboard messages and offering them a telephone number to call for help, guidance, and support.

“As Christians, we have been called to create a passion for life to protect all the defenseless children,” Peterson stated in one of several bulletin announcements that kicked off the pro-life campaign.

Peterson, from St. John the Evangelist, St. John, explained this campaign for life allows parishes within the Diocese of Gary to work for a common spiritual goal of saving babies by securing strategically placed billboard messages around Northwest Indiana.

Already eight parishes have collaborated on the effort, which will have four billboards running at one time; 36 locations have been secured through June 2014.

Working with Lamar Advertising, Peterson said billboards will be posted at some point in Merrillville, Gary, Hobart, Lowell, St. John, Schererville, Crown Point, East Chicago, Valparaiso, Chesterton, and Hammond.   

Although messages and images vary, each billboard has a brief message (e.g., “Children are a gift”), an image of an infant, and a toll-free phone number. That number is to the National Life Center, which offers support and service to any girl or woman who suspects she may be pregnant. Through its national toll-free hotline, NLC can connect or network with more than 3,500 pregnancy centers nationwide. All calls are confidential.

The messages are intentionally simple, Peterson said. Billboards, Peterson added, are being targeted for areas of high visibility. One sign, at U.S. 30 and Clay Street near Merrillville, averages 116,000 hits, or views, weekly.

Photo caption: St. John the Evangelist fourth-grader Peyton Brach shows WFLD-TV meteorologist Tammie Souza his father's barometer on May 22 during Souza's visit to the school. Souza spoke about her career and the weather to SJE grades 4 and 5. (Michael McArdle 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

One teacher’s story: Journey of faith leads to Catholic classroom

Stacy Kocab with her first-grade students in Kokomo: “I love what I do. I love teaching. ... Faith and work make me more peaceful and less stressed. It makes me feel complete. I felt that I was missing something, and that feeling is sort of gone.” (Photo by Kevin Cullen)By Kevin Cullen

KOKOMO — It’s the eighth day of school. Little Jack, Grace, Courtney and their 17 classmates are learning their letters with the help of Stacy Kocab, a new first-grade teacher at Sts. Joan of Arc and Patrick School.

To make things easier, the lines on the board are colored pink, cream and brown ... like ice cream.

“OK,” Kocab says, slowly forming a lower-case “t” with a marker. “We start at strawberry, come down to chocolate, then across at vanilla!”

The children follow along on their own little boards and smile with accomplishment.

The students like the energetic Ms. Kocab, and the feeling is mutual. After nine years as a public school teacher in Florida and Kokomo, she recently returned to her roots: first, the Catholic faith, and now, Catholic education.

Kocab sees her work as a calling, another step in a faith journey that has transformed her life. If someone had told her, just two years ago, that she’d be attending daily Mass and working in a Catholic school, she wouldn’t have believed it.

“I had been away from Mass since college, and I felt guilty about that,” she says. “Mass is so different if you look at it from a different point of view.”

Kocab is from a Catholic family and attended St. Agatha School in Pittsburgh through the fifth grade. Like millions of other young adults, Kocab slowly fell away from the Church after college. She rarely went to Mass, and skipped confession for approximately 15 years.

Then she met Lisa, a former teaching colleague and an active, devoted Catholic. Lisa introduced Kocab to recordings by Matthew Kelly, a well-known Catholic author and lecturer.

She started attending Sunday Masses with Lisa during Advent 2011. She participated in a “Catholics Coming Home” program, returned to confession during Lent 2012 and began receiving the Eucharist again.

Her spiritual awakening, she said, “made me really realize that money and things are not everything. The more I listened and learned, I realized that it is a part of life, but it is not life.”

Kocab said that she enjoys working in a Catholic environment, in which religion, religious pictures, crucifixes, prayer and Christian values are part of every school day.

Photo caption: Stacy Kocab with her first-grade students in Kokomo: “I love what I do. I love teaching. ... Faith and work make me more peaceful and less stressed. It makes me feel complete. I felt that I was missing something, and that feeling is sort of gone.” (Photo by Kevin Cullen)

 

Clinic’s name honors doctor’s dedicated service

Dr. Mary Ludwig, center, and her husband, Paul, attend an open house at the Crawfordsville clinic named in her honor. (Photo provided)By Caroline B. Mooney

CRAWFORDSVILLE — As a child, Mary Ludwig knew what it was like to be poor and hungry with no access to medical care. As an adult, she spent decades giving the less fortunate what she had lacked.

The Dr. Mary Ludwig Montgomery County Free Clinic will open its doors this month. It replaces the Well Baby Clinic of Christian Nursing Service (CNS) founded in Crawfordsville in 1968, which offered the uninsured of Montgomery County free health care.

The clinic board wanted to name the clinic for Ludwig as a tribute to her lifelong dedication to providing free health care to people of Crawfordsville and surrounding communities.

Ludwig, 87, is a member of St. Bernard Parish here. A native of Harrison, N.Y., she received a bachelor’s degree from the College of New Rochelle in 1948 and a medical doctorate from the University of Virginia in 1958.

She was not available for an interview because of health reasons, but in a letter written in 2012, Ludwig said, “When the opportunity came to set up a free pediatric clinic in the Milligan Presbyterian church on Mill Street I was very excited and my husband and family were very supportive. … A group of eight women organized to form the Christian Nursing Service of which the free clinic was born. Volunteers were eager to help and the doors were open to the community in the fall of 1968. The community backed it, those in need used it, and volunteers kept the clinic alive and well.”

The clinic operated on an annual budget of $140,000 after starting with $10.

Ludwig’s daughter, Julie Bergfors, said that her parents moved to Crawfordsville so her father, Paul Ludwig, could open an ophthalmology practice. The couple retired in the 1980s.

“My mom had her hands full, but in the meantime, a group of women, knowing she was a doctor, approached her about starting a health care organization for the poor that would go to people’s homes,” she said. “Mom suggested a clinic instead. It was privately funded – no questions were asked, there were no restrictions, anyone could come.

“She loved it – thrived on it,” Bergfors said. “Being able to help families was something she related to. My dad was always a big supporter and he was so proud of her.  She worked at the clinic two days each week, but she was on the phone 24 hours a day with questions, answering anything people needed. She was always willing to help others.”

Photo caption: Dr. Mary Ludwig, center, and her husband, Paul, attend an open house at the Crawfordsville clinic named in her honor. (Photo provided)
 

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

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