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Catholic News Around Indiana

Catholic News Around Indiana logoThe Catholic newspapers of the five dioceses of Indiana -- Evansville, Fort Wayne-South Bend, Gary, Indianapolis and Lafayette -- have agreed to share news stories with each other on a regular basis. They are compiled by Brandon A. Evans.

Sometimes these new stories appear in the print edition of The Catholic Moment; many more will be appearing here.


Diocese of Evansville

Diocesan Catholic Schools Family Celebrates New Year

By Tim Lilley (The Message Editor)

More than 450 administrators, teachers and staff from the Diocese of Evansville’s 28 Catholic schools traveled to Resurrection Parish on Aug. 4 for a true family gathering.

Maybe that should be families’ gathering.

“The theme for the Catholic school year here is ‘A Family of Families’ … ‘Una Familia de Familias’ … and we have all sorts of families,” Bishop Thompson said. “The presbyterate – all of our priests – is a family. Clerics – our priests and deacons – represent a family.”

“Our parishes are families,” he continued, “and our schools are families. And all these families make up one family – the Church; and a greater family – the family of God.” 

The bishop noted that every family is called to be holy, and he talked about the Holy Family. “Without Christ at the center, He, Mary and Joseph would not be the Holy Family. And since all families are called to be holy, Christ must be at our center.” 

He discussed the Mass’ first reading, in which the prophet Jeremiah calls out a false prophet (Jeremiah 28: 1-17). “Families today are dealing with a lot of false prophecies, Bishop Thompson said. “We must be Christ-centered to see all of them.” 

He then talked about the gospel – Matthew 14:22-36 – in which Jesus walks on water. “Peter, as you know, got out of the boat. He began to sink when he took his focus off Jesus because of the wind distracting him. 

“What are the winds in our lives?” Bishop Thompson asked. “Peter, in that moment, had the clarity of mind to cry out, ‘Jesus, save me.’ The hand of Jesus is there for all of us.” 

“In our Catholic schools, we are forming young minds and bodies and hearts to be good citizens and good Christians,” he said. “Our goal is the kingdom of God and the salvation of souls; and everything else pales in comparison to that.”

(For news from the Diocese of Evansville, log on to the website of The Message at

Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend

CRS: Global High School program

By Kay Cozad

FORT WAYNE — Bishop Dwenger High School has recently partnered with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in an innovative initiative to help raise awareness of global issues right in the Fort Wayne community. The CRS: Global High School program, formally known as iNeighbor, began in 2011 when six specially chosen high schools from around the country were invited to join its initiative to build global solidarity. Each invited school completed an application for participation approval and was required to send one administrator and one faculty member to participate in international immersion experiences to see firsthand how CRS’s programs are changing lives. Currently the CRS: Global High School program has grown to include 15 schools.

Bishop Dwenger began their partnership with a workshop on social justice given by a CRS representative. This year Bishop Dwenger Principal Jason Schiffli and theology teacher Melissa Wheeler, who is also the diocesan representative for CRS appointed by Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades, traveled as part of a 10-person delegation to Ghana July 7-16. Their mission, said Schiffli, was to visit remote villages in Ghana, one of the 100 countries around the world where CRS programs are successfully promoting health and hygiene programs for the people there.

“It was not a mission team,” says Schiffli. “We didn’t build or dig. It was a delegation to see the programs and how they were organized and planned.” The successful programs are changing lives and communities, he reports, adding that the purpose of the trip was to bring information back to the school community to raise awareness.

An initial training was held in Baltimore, the location of CRS headquarters, for Schiffli, Wheeler and the other four high school representatives, two from Philadelphia and two from New Orleans, prior to their travels to Ghana.

The delegation arrived in Accra, the capital of Ghana, then traveled to northern Tamale where more “traditional communities” comprised of villages with chiefs were located. In the adobe-hut-lined villages the team found water supplies or boreholes shared by more than one village with women transporting water baskets on their heads, sometimes for miles.

Youths connect at Catholic Youth Summer Camp

By Denise Federow

MILFORD — Young people in grades 4-6 and representing 23 parishes across the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend connected with each other, nature and the Lord when they attended Catholic Youth Summer Camp, held this year at Camp Alexander Mack in Milford on the shores of Lake Waubee, July 20-25.

The theme for the camp was “Were Not Our Hearts Burning?” based on Luke 24:32. Dave and Jan Torma, the camp directors, reported 55 campers and 15 all-volunteer staff participated in the fourth annual weeklong camp.

“It’s been a wonderful blessing,” Jan said. “The children get a typical camp experience with activities like canoeing, archery, campfires and crafts, and we also integrate our Catholic faith within the camp experience.”

Campers attended daily Mass before lunch, celebrated by priests that included Fathers Bob Lengerich, Daryl Rybicki, Daniel Scheidt and Terry Coonan. Campers raised the flag each morning to honor their country, learned about the saint of the day, memorized Scripture, and ended each night with a campfire.

Campers participated in Eucharistic Adoration on Thursday afternoon. Fathers Bob Lengerich, Christopher Lapp, Daniel Whelan and James Bromwich offered the sacrament of Reconciliation.

Torma said the campers had the opportunity to sand and decorate Ashiko drums that they played to one of their theme songs, “This Beating Heart” and performed for Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades when he celebrated Mass on Friday, the last day of camp.

Bishop Rhoades thanked the campers for inviting him and told them he’d been looking forward to visiting them.

“To have a camp where you can also pray, have a lot of fun, but also deepen your faith is a beautiful thing,” Bishop Rhoades said.

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

Diocese of Gary

At Omni camp, youths with diabetes identify with others

By Steve Euvino

SCHERERVILLE—They’re dribbling the ball, shooting layups, and learning to move their feet. They’re laughing with other children and acting like any other children at a basketball camp.

These children, ages 5-18, have one thing in common – diabetes.

For three days, these children and their parents got to spend time with each other. They made some new friends and picked up a few basketball skills. They also learned they’re not alone. Other kids their age have diabetes and they can still have fun and be athletic.

The Moses E. Cheeks Slam Dunk for Diabetes Basketball Camp came June 23-25 to Franciscan Omni Health and Fitness-Schererville, where families learned more about the disease from nurse educators and vendors in a structured and supportive atmosphere.

With campers having type 1 or 2 diabetes or being pre-diabetic, youngsters had their blood sugar tested throughout the morning sessions. Then it was back to the court, where members of the Chicago Bulls Training Academy instructed the 30 participants.

While a key element of the camp is education, “it’s really a time for kids to play, have fun,” said Bridgette Koselke, a certified diabetes educator and registered dietician, “and enjoy being a kid with other kids with the same disease.”

The camp, in its fourth year at Omni, began in 2005 and is named for the late Moses Cheeks. The father of former NBA player and coach Maurice Cheeks, the elder Cheeks had pancreatic cancer and type 1 diabetes and helped plan the first two camps, said Monica Joyce, camp director.

Joyce cited the emotional value of the camp for children, who said they “felt normal” playing sports with their peers.

“I love to teach kids,” said Eric Minor, lead instructor for the Bulls Training Academy. “Basketball is a good way to reach them and provide them mentoring.”

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

Archdiocese of Indianapolis

Priest, young adults collaborate on film about Church’s teaching on same-sex attraction

By Sean Gallagher

Father John Hollowell had a problem. The teenagers he taught at Cardinal Ritter Jr./Sr. High School in Indianapolis a few years ago accepted nearly everything that he taught them about the Catholic faith—except the Church’s teachings on one topic.

“When I taught on the issue of homosexuality, I was shocked by the reaction of the students and how angry and upset they were at the Church’s teaching,” said Father Hollowell, now pastor of Annunciation Parish in Brazil and St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Greencastle. “As soon as I started talking, it was clear that they were not even listening to what I was saying.”

The students’ reaction mirrors the high level of acceptance of gay and lesbian relations among young people. According to a 2012 Gallup poll of people ages 18-34, nearly two-thirds said that gay and lesbian relations were morally acceptable, more than any other age group polled.

And in a Gallup poll completed earlier this year, nearly 80 percent of people 18-34 years old supported redefining marriage to accommodate same-sex couples—nearly 25 percentage points higher than the next highest supporting age group.

The results of this latest poll were announced around the same time that Father Hollowell and the young adult filmmakers at the Indianapolis-based Blackstone Films released The Third Way, which tells the stories of several people with same-sex attraction, but who seek to live according to the Church’s teachings on homosexuality.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church holds that having same-sex attraction is not in itself sinful, and that homosexual people should be accorded the respect that belongs to all people.

At the same time, it notes that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered” because they cannot result in the creation of a new life and “do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity” (#2357).

It also calls people with same-sex attraction—and all unmarried people—to lives of chastity.

These teachings and the grace-filled striving of people with same-sex attraction to live them out are presented by the makers of film as the “third way” to look at homosexuality. They see it as standing in contrast to the two other ways of viewing this issue offered by society—total acceptance or rejection of people with same-sex attraction.

Father Hollowell came up with the idea for the film after failing to find an effective teaching resource to help reach young people on this controversial topic, and present to them the Church’s “third way.”

To view The Third Way: Homosexuality and the Catholic Church, log on to

(For news from the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, log on to the website of The Criterion at

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