Visit the website of the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana

Last updated 08/12/2016 9:46 AM

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

A Golden Opportunity: Mater Dei Grad Manages Social Media For Rio Olympics

By Katelyn Klingler

Samantha Dewig, a 2009 graduate of Mater Dei High School, will serve as NBC’s Social Media Manager during the 2016 Summer Olympic, which open Aug. 5 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

After graduating from Mater Dei, Dewig attended Indiana University, earning a degree in Sports Communication in 2013.  She worked for IU and Georgia Tech before landing her current position as Interactive Media Manager for the Atlanta Hawks.  

Because it’s the off-season for basketball, when Dewig saw a posting for positions with NBC during the network’s Olympic coverage, she was able to apply while maintaining her job in Atlanta.  

Dewig said that her work as NBC’s Social Media Manager for the Olympics will contribute to an effort to amp up digital coverage of the games. The network has outsourced a lot of digital work, creating opportunities like that afforded to Dewig.  NBC is “pushing to be super digital this year,” she said.  “Their goal is to make this the biggest social media event in history.”

Dewig has been attending meetings in New York City to become acquainted with the rest of the media team and with NBC’s culture and personality – an essential part of her role since, as she says, “Every sport, every media company has a voice.”

During the games, Dewig will be at NBC’s offices in New York City. She will primarily work with advertisers to integrate advertising content into social media coverage in a sleek and seamless way.  In doing so, she will also interact with Olympic athletes over social media.  She will manage content on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.

Since coverage begins at 7:30 each morning and will continue into late-night talk shows, Dewig’s days will be long; however, she happily trades an off-season of relaxation for one of such exciting opportunity.  In fact, Dewig said that the position is particularly opportune and fitting because it reminds her of why she chose a career in sports communication.  “When I first decided I wanted to work in sports, it was during the Beijing Olympics,” she said.  

While Dewig emphasizes that every job and environment has shaped and influenced her, she says that takes her Indiana roots and Midwestern friendliness with her wherever she goes.  They will serve her well.

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

Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend

Diocesan pilgrims jubilant at World Youth Day

By Stephanie A. Patka

Traveling to Poland for the 31st World Youth Day with Pope Francis were 137 pilgrims from the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. The theme of World Youth Day during this Jubilee Year of Mercy was “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.”

It was so fitting to celebrate that theme in the country of Poland, which shared with the world two of the greatest saints of mercy, St. John Paul II and St. Faustina Kolwaska. But the theme of mercy wasn’t limited to these two impactful figures of our Catholic heritage. It permeated the lives of all of the saints pilgrims were able to encounter along the way, including Blessed Jerzy Popieluszko, St. Maximilian Kolbe and many others.

It’s difficult to encapsulate the entire WYD experience into a single article, video, picture or story. We offered intercessory prayers to Mary to join us as we pursued encounters with Jesus in both the large, glorious basilicas, and in small ways, alongside our friends and with relics of saints. There was laughter, song and jubilant fraternity through miles of walking. We also clung desperately to our rosaries as we prayed and mourned the dead of Auschwitz. Moments of quiet opened pathways for individual time with Jesus in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. And large Masses, Stations of the Cross and prayer vigils with not only our diocese, but millions of young people from all over the world, brought to life a new meaning of the phrase “universal church.”

It wasn’t until Krakow that we started to hear English spoken more frequently. Yet we stood alongside those from other countries as the Holy Mass was celebrated in other languages. We could see the physical bodies that make up the universal church speaking in different languages, yet professing the same faith. It produced an inescapable and almost indescribable joy.

Estimates are that 300,000 people attended the opening Mass in Blonia Park in Krakow. It was a sobering call to stand in solidarity and support for our brothers and sisters who are living in countries, unlike the United States, where they are at greater risk for practicing and keeping their faith.

Part of our journey included going to places of tragedy and struggle. We learned of ancient kings, queens and bishops who influenced Poland’s religious history: like St. Stanislaus, who was martyred while saying Mass, and St. Jadwiga, who helped convert Poland to Christianity. Out of those efforts was borne a culture of devotion to Mary and a patriotic duty to protect the faith. It was this history that formed the young man Karol Woylyta a crusader of God’s Divine Mercy. We felt a connection when we visited Wadowice, his birthplace and hometown. We celebrated Mass at his home parish where he was baptized, received his holy first Communion and was confirmed.

By stepping into these historical places of persons of such great faith, we experienced the shared history of Catholicism.

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

Diocese of Gary

Catechetical workshops energize young Catholics this summer

By Marlene A. Zloza

At four Diocese of Gary parishes this summer, the Totus Tuus traveling road show rolled into town, headlined by instructors Emily Morton, Rachel Kwain, Bobby Maletta and Robert Ross. Serving as their own road crew, the four college students who trained for a week at an Iowa workshop unloaded their gear, moved in with host families and set up shop, hosting week-long workshops by day for youngsters in grades 1 to 6, and in the evening for teens in grades 7 to 12.

Their curriculum was the fourth pillar of the Catechism of the Catholic Church – the Lord’s Prayer  – and The Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary, and their methodology included everything from traditional classroom discussions to praying the Rosary aloud together to relay races that involved arranging flashcards featuring the verses of the Our Father in the correct order.

By all accounts, the reviews are glowing.

“It’s like vacation Bible school on steroids – that was our selling point,” said Father Thomas Tibbs, pastor, in describing the Totus Tuus catechetical program that came to St. Mary in Kouts for a week last month.

“It is delightful, the children are having a very good time. . .they are getting a very good experience with their religion, and sharing some fun, too,” Father Tibbs added.

For Melissa Canelo, a seventh-grader at Nativity of Our Savior in Portage who attended evening sessions at St. Francis Xavier in Lake Station in mid-June, the lessons were enjoyable and enlightening. “I like how they break things down for us, like the Our Father,” she said. “It’s a fun way to learn how we pray, and they explain a lot.”

Maureen Pinho, of Valparaiso, whose middle school sons Nicholas and Joseph attended evening sessions at St. Francis Xavier, said she is pleased that the workshop was built around the papal motto of St. Pope John Paul II, which translates into “Totally Yours” and speaks to “consecrating ourselves to Jesus and Mary.”

“I want my kids to have that traditional, orthodox Catholicism,” Pinho said. “I was glad my sons liked the first night and wanted to come back.”

In addition to lessons on Pentecost, contrition and thanksgiving, sessions for younger participants included the sacrament of reconciliation, daily Mass - including learning how to serve Mass and rehearsing hymns – games and lunch, with “Water Day” closing out the fun on Friday afternoons.

“I like games and church the best,” said 10-year-old Jocelyn Hall. “I’ve served Mass, and I like the games because we are always encouraging each other, whether we are on the same team or not.”

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

Archdiocese of Indianapolis

High school seniors advise incoming freshmen on how to make the most of their experience

By John Shaughnessy

At 17, high school senior Jack Lockrem doesn’t hesitate when he begins to share his advice for helping an incoming freshman make the most of her or his high school experience:

“One of the best ways to make the most of your high school experience is to try, at least once, something completely out of your comfort zone—whether it’s an extracurricular activity, a challenging class or a class you normally wouldn’t think of taking.”

That’s exactly what Jack did at the beginning of his junior year at Bishop Chatard High School in Indianapolis. As someone who has gained the spotlight in leading roles in his school’s theater productions, Jack laughingly acknowledges, “I’ve never been a star athlete.” Still, he followed his friends’ suggestion to join the cross country team.

“It was excellent, and I’m running my senior year. It’s something I proudly wear on my chest,” Lockrem says.

“When I joined cross country, it helped me become a better friend with some people and create friendships with other people I normally wouldn’t hang out with. By trying something different, you may end up finding something you’re passionate about, and you’ll find a great community there.”

Carson Hambrick’s passion flows as she shares her advice to incoming high school freshmen.

“Enjoy the little things,” says Carson, a senior at Father Michael Shawe Memorial Jr./Sr. High School in Madison. “I am now a senior and thinking about graduating this coming year makes me extremely sad because I wish I had appreciated more of my high school career. I remember being a freshman, and just counting down the days until I was a senior and just ready to be at the top.

“Another piece of advice I would give is to never, ever put things off. If you have a task that has a deadline or that’s important, just get it done. Turning in a project or a paper that only reflects half your talent—because you waited until the last minute—is never worth it. You will do yourself a favor getting a head start on homework and other projects, and your grades will definitely reflect your hard work.”

Jacqueline Kennedy has seen the rewards of that “high focus, hard work” approach in her first three years at Father Thomas Scecina Memorial High School in Indianapolis.

“I want all freshmen to know that they need to take every opportunity to improve themselves, to give 100 percent of their effort in all that they do, and to always hang onto their faith, as it will help them persevere,” the Scecina senior says. “Even if all their hard work doesn’t produce immediate effects, it will all pay off in the end, sometimes in the most unexpected ways.”

Pilgrims experience ‘spirit of peace and joy’ during World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland

By John Shaughnessy

Following the closing Mass of World Youth Day in Poland with Pope Francis on July 31, some young people from the Archdiocese of Indianapolis walked more than eight miles—in the rain—to get back to their buses.

When they arrived at the airport in Prague to begin their return flight to Indianapolis, 35 young adults from the archdiocese learned that their connecting flight to Paris had been canceled and rescheduled for a day later because of a strike by employees of Air France airlines.

Yet despite such setbacks and struggles, the enduring memories of World Youth Day for the 104 youths and 64 young adults from the archdiocese are marked by the “spirit of peace and joy” that prevailed during the seven days at the end of July—when more than 1.6 million young people from around the world came together to celebrate and deepen their Catholic faith.

“A lot of things could happen when you get together a group of more than 1.6 million people—chaos, tension, violence, protests, clashes,” said Father Eric Augenstein, the director of vocations for the archdiocese and a leader of the archdiocesan pilgrimage to World Youth Day in Krakow. “But this gathering was marked by a spirit of joy and peace that can only be because it had the Gospel of Jesus Christ at its center.”

Father Augenstein was among six priests from the archdiocese who concelebrated the closing Mass with Pope Francis. The others were Fathers Dustin Boehm, John Hollowell, Jonathan Meyer, Martin Rodriguez, and Dominican Father Raymond-Marie Bryce.

“The first line of Pope Francis’ homily struck me the most,” Father Augenstein recalled. “He said that we have all come to Krakow to encounter Jesus Christ. We might be tempted to think that we were there to encounter the Holy Father, or the many saints of Krakow—like St. John Paul II and St. Faustina —or the young people gathered from all over the world. But those encounters were only significant and lasting if they led us to encounter Jesus Christ.

“And it seems that many of us did have profound encounters with Jesus Christ during our days in Krakow. There was a heavy emphasis on the sacraments and on mercy, and the joy of the multitude gathered from all the nations wasn’t just a party or a concert or a meeting place. The Holy Father and the events of World Youth Day really helped direct our focus to Jesus and the Church.”

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

XHTML | CSS | 508 | Site design by 7 Leaf Design, © 2013

The Catholic Moment, v2.0