September 7, 2007

Catholic News Around Indiana

(Editor’s Note: This week, we begin an occasional feature with news from other dioceses in Indiana.)

Diocese of Evansville

Speaker recalls chaotic times following Columbine massacre

FORT BRANCH— They were having a romping, stomping good time at Holy Cross Church in Fort Branch in the Evansville Diocese on Aug. 29 until Steve Angrisano started talking about one of the grimmest times of the 1990s: the massacre at Columbine High School.

He’s a nationally known singer, songwriter and storyteller, and he was in Fort Branch for a youth mission.

He started his program with a playful version of “Simon Says,” and soon he had everyone in the church rocking with his version of “Jesus Loves Me.”

He prayed with his audience, saying, “I don’t know why you are here, but I think we have a God who knew 2,000 years ago that you would be here.”

Angrisano lives in Colorado, and his home is about three miles away from Columbine High School.

There were students in the Holy Cross audience who didn’t have a memory of those tragic events back in 1999, so he told them what had happened. On an April day, two students entered Columbine High School and killed 12 students and a teacher. They wounded 24 others before committing suicide.

“I could never describe for you what happened,” he said, because it was “chaotic.”

He remembers being in a group of about 30 people, waiting for news. Someone’s cell phone rang, and she told the group, “Val died.”

“I know what wailing looks like,” Angrisano said, “as 30 people crashed to the ground.”

Val was a young girl from his parish.

Fortunately, the news was incorrect. She was critically wounded, but she did survive.

A few years later, at a Mass for graduates at their parish, Val spoke about her experience in the high school library that day.

She told parishioners that she just did the best she could to stay alive. She tried to “be small” in a corner of the room, but one of the gunmen walked up to her, put a gun to her head, and asked, “Do you believe in God?”

Realizing that her answer might be her last words on earth, she said, “Yes. Yes, I do.”

He asked, “Why?”

And she responded, “Because that’s what my parents taught me, and now I believe it for myself.”

He shot her 12 times.

“She was bleeding to death,” Angrisano said. “She tied a sweatshirt around her waist, and when they weren’t looking she crawled out of the school.

“We saw a lot of miracles that day.”

Dicoese of Fort Wayne-South Bend

Founder of Congregations of Holy Cross to be beatified

NOTRE DAME—The religious family of Holy Cross sisters, brothers and priests has announced the solemn beatification of their founder, Father Basile-Antoine Marie Moreau, which will take place in Le Mans, France, from Sept. 14-16.

Holy Cross religious and their guests from around the world will gather in Le Mans to participate in the events surrounding the beatification. The opening ceremonies will take place at the parish church of Laigné-en-Belin, Father Moreau’s birthplace, on the morning of Sept. 14. That evening there will be a prayer vigil in Le Mans at the Church of

Notre-Dame de Sainte-Croix, the conventual church of the Holy Cross family, built by Father Moreau.

On Sept. 15, Mass and the Rite of Beatification will be celebrated in the Centre Antarès. Bishop Jacques Faivre of Le Mans will be the main celebrant. Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Vatican Congregation of the Causes of the Saints, will represent Pope Benedict XVI and present the official papal decree proclaiming Basile Moreau as blessed.

At Notre Dame, the Sisters of the Holy Cross will celebrate the beatification with prayer services on Sept. 8, 14 and 15. On Sept. 16, Bishop John M. D’Arcy of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving in the Church of Our Lady of Loreto at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame. †

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