March 4, 2022

2022 Archdiocesan Legacy Gala

Three touching stories capture the theme of Legacy Gala: gratitude

Archbishop Charles C. Thompson poses for a photo with some of the archdiocesan seminarians at the Legacy Gala at the JW Marriott hotel in Indianapolis on Feb. 25. (Photo by Rob Banayote)

Archbishop Charles C. Thompson poses for a photo with some of the archdiocesan seminarians at the Legacy Gala at the JW Marriott hotel in Indianapolis on Feb. 25. (Photo by Rob Banayote)

By John Shaughnessy

A young mother who is losing her sight to glaucoma—and who once lived in Holy Family Shelter in Indianapolis—shares the story of how she is rebuilding her life with the help of Catholic Charities.

A young man who had to flee his homeland in Africa because of threats on his father’s life talks about his poignant journey to becoming a seminarian and placing his life in God’s hands.

A family devasted by the random killing of their 24-year-old son and brother embraces the joy of his life by creating a scholarship in his honor.

These three touching stories were shared with the nearly 800 people who attended the archdiocese’s Legacy Gala on Feb. 25 at the JW Marriott hotel in Indianapolis—a celebration that honored Msgr. Paul Koetter and served as a fundraiser for the archdiocese’s Catholic Charities, Catholic schools and the formation of seminarians. (Related story: Gala celebrates a beloved priest and three ministries that draw people to God)

Featured during a video presentation, the three stories shared the common theme of the Legacy Gala: gratitude.

Gratitude for the gift of life.

Gratitude for the blessing of family, friends and even strangers who touch our lives with light, love and hope.

Gratitude for the presence of God in our lives and in the world.

‘Be the light for other people’

The theme of gratitude and the connection with God and others was first expressed during the gala by Trivia Hervey, a young mother who has found a new home and made a new life with the help of Catholic Charities.

“I’m stable for the first time in my life,” Hervey said. “I’m grateful.”

After Hervey shared her story, the executive director of Catholic Charities in the archdiocese talked about the difference that the agency makes to people in central and southern Indiana.

“Pope Francis says that among the darkness in our world right now, we need to be able to see the light in people, but also we need to be able to be the light for other people,” said David Bethuram. “And that’s what we do at Catholic Charities.

“The men and women who serve—both volunteer and staff—we are that light. We want to be that light for those who come to us in darkness, who have lost a job, who are unable to feel as if they are able to do it on their own, who are depressed, a senior who is lonely, a child that feels like they are unwanted. They’re all people that have light in them.”

Bethuram thanked everyone who contributes to Catholic Charities’ continuing effort to offer hope and dignity to people in need.

“It’s so important that you are able to share not only just your treasures, but to share your gifts and talents with us at Catholic Charities. It’s a way of you shedding your light upon those who need to see the light in themselves.”

‘It was God’s plan for me’

Seminarian Evrard Muhoza also shared his life story of transforming darkness into light.

He grew up in the East African country of Burundi in the midst of a civil war. When his father, a public official, received assassination threats, the family fled to the United States in 2010 after being granted asylum here. Muhoza’s personal journey eventually led him to Bishop Simon Bruté College Seminary in Indianapolis, as a seminarian for the Louisville, Ky., Archdiocese.

“I’m very happy where God has taken me,” he said. “Ever since I came here, I think it was God’s plan for me. He decided to call me to become a seminarian.

“This place is very special in the way they help us to discern what God is calling us for. And I’m very grateful for that.”

As the rector of the college seminary, Father Joseph Moriarty also shared his thanks for everyone who provides financial contributions and prayers of support to help the archdiocese educate and form young men like Muhoza as priests.

“Evrard is a sign that vocations and the Church are universal,” Father Moriarty said. “Without priests, we would not have the Eucharist. And without the Eucharist, we cannot function as a Church. We are grateful for your support of vocations.”

From heartbreak to hope

Steve and Cheryl Shockley know the darkness in the world, having lost their 24-year-old son Jack in an unprovoked, random killing in August of 2020. Still, the couple from Christ the King Parish in Indianapolis is striving to add light to the world, because that’s the way the youngest of their three children lived his life.

“He lived a full, happy life, and it should be celebrated,” Cheryl said.

To honor Jack, the Shockleys established a scholarship in his memory through the archdiocese’s Catholic Community Foundation. The scholarship is given annually to a graduate of a center-city Catholic grade school in Indianapolis to help the student continue his or her education in a Catholic high school. The scholarship also includes the offer of a mentor to the student, to help guide him or her through high school.

The first scholarship recipient— Xochitl (pronounced So-Chee) Murillo—is in her freshman year at Roncalli High School in Indianapolis. And Jack’s sister, Grace Liegibel, is her mentor.

“Stories like Xochitl’s take place every day within our schools where students are given an opportunity to have a high-quality academic education that is instilled deeply in the Gospel values,” said Brian Disney, the superintendent of Catholic schools in the archdiocese.

“These opportunities are because of generous donors like you, generous people like the Shockleys who took the tragedy in their life and have turned it into something good.”

The theme of gratitude and connection echoed through the celebration. †

 

Watch the video of the 2022 Legacy Gala here

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