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Last updated 04/18/2014 10:04 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

Seeking Protection Against 'storms, Pestilence, Destruction'

By Mary Ann Hughes (Message Managing Editor)

Father John Boeglin grew up on a farm near St. James Parish in rural Haubstadt. He now owns a farm in that area; it’s where he plans to retire someday.

He’s the pastor at Holy Family Parish in Jasper and also the diocesan Rural Life director. It’s clear from talking with him that farming is dear to his heart. That’s why he’s promoted Rogation Day events almost every year since 1988.

This year, Rogation Day was held March 20 at St. Anthony Church in St. Anthony. There was a procession from the school into the church, and then Bishop Charles C. Thompson celebrated Mass.

About 250 attended. “It was amazing,” Father Boeglin said, noting people came from all 11 parishes in Dubois County as well as from Evansville, Fort Branch and Haubstadt.

The word “rogation” comes from the Latin word “rogare” which means “to ask,” and Rogation Day celebrations date all the way back to early Christian days. The first Rogation Day in the Diocese of Evansville was held on July 11, 1988, in Ferdinand “after six weeks of no rain,” Father Boeglin remembers. “People were pleading with me.”

The tradition became established over the years as farmers in the diocese brought their seeds and soil for a blessing at the end of the annual Rogation Day Mass.

Every year, participants recite the Litany of St. Isidore, the patron saint of farmers, asking for protection again “storms, pestilence and destruction,” he said.

There is always a procession, calling to mind the “journey of life, that we journey with Him in prayer,” and remembering Jesus processing to Jerusalem.

Next year, Rogation Day will be held on April 9 at Sacred Heart Church in Schnellville.

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

Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend

‘Corazon Puro’ missionaries inspire Hispanic youth

MILFORD—A powerful bilingual youth retreat, titled “Youth Walking with Christ,” hosted by the Hispanic Ministry of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend took place at Camp Mack the weekend of March 29-30. Over 250 Hispanic youth from around the diocese attended.

The weekend began on Friday with Mass and a session led by Father Agustino Torres, a Franciscan Friar of the Renewal priest, who provided a religious figure for the youth in attendance.

Saturday, March 29, sessions on themes relevant to current day issues were addressed including family values, abortion, homosexuality, media and dressing in moderation. And more than a dozen diocesan priests with Hispanic Ministry parishes participated in the Reconciliation services making the sacrament of Confession available for the youth.

An informative lecture for parents about the themes covered with their children, and an exhortation to verbally tell their children how much they are loved was shared by Father Torres as well.

Denise, one of the “Corazon Puro” missionaries, also spoke to the parents about the importance of giving their children more quality time. She shared her personal experience of how an excessive amount of time on computer games brought her 12-year-old son to a nervous breakdown — bringing family life to a renewal through counselors and “real” time between parent and son.

Sunday, March 30, had the youth role-playing the various themes of the weekend. The closing Mass, celebrated by Father Torres, was packed with parents, grandparents, siblings and several diocesan community leaders. During the Mass, a family healing prayer was presented by Father Torres to those in attendance during which the children asked their parents for forgiveness and the parents asked their children for forgiveness in return.

Pure Hearts “Corazones Puros” missionaries and their priest were filled with hope, informing those in attendance, “The Fort Wayne-South Bend youth are an example for the youth on the East Coast of the United States” where their headquarters are located. Enid Roman, director of Hispanic Ministry of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, appreciated the over 29 chaperones who willingly gave their time to the youth throughout the weekend.

Beneficial effects of marriage discussed at conference

By Ann Carey

NOTRE DAME — An April 3 student-organized conference on the definition and importance of civil marriage focused on the beneficial effect marriage has on society, and most especially on the most vulnerable members of society: children and the poor. It was the first of what is hoped to be an annual conference sponsored by Students for Child-Oriented Policy, a new University of Notre Dame student group focusing on promoting public policies that give primary consideration to how those policies will affect children.

The Presiding Bishop of the International Communion of Evangelical Churches, Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr., opened the conference. The senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Washington, D.C., he has been in the forefront of advocating for traditional marriage, and he related some of the “battles” he and like-minded leaders have engaged in to protect the institution of marriage.

Small, well-organized groups of activists, he said, have succeeded in changing marriage laws well ahead of public attitudes and have mounted challenges to traditional marriage in the media, in the courts, in doctrinal attacks within churches and in the schools.

Bishop Jackson said that marriage is important to him as “a personal covenant, a sacred trust” between him and his wife of 37 years, but it is even more than that: “It is a foundational stone of our culture, and I believe that without it, there will be some tremendous consequences,” he said.

“When marriages are devalued, we find that around the world several things happen: When gay marriage or alternative marriages are allowed, then people start marrying later in life, out-of-wedlock births increase, divorces increase, and there is a fragmentation of not only the family structure but the sense of connection that kids have with their family. It creates all kinds of problems in our world.”

One of the arguments used for same-sex marriage, Bishop Jackson said, is that it is a civil rights issue. He explained that is an inaccurate comparison because the civil rights movement was based on prejudice about a person’s skin color and revolved around lack of opportunity for justice, fair wages and jobs, and access to housing, education and health care. None of those issues impact gays, he said, and in fact, people declaring themselves to be gay are often featured and praised in the media and are often treated as a special group.

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

Diocese of Gary

Message for teens at TAPT XXVI: ‘God will help you keep it together’

By Steve Euvino

VALPARAISO—"The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive." Robin Rock shared that message with teens at TAPT XXVI the weekend of April 4-6 at Camp Lawrence.

A Chicago radio personality and member of St. Mary, Kouts, Rock recounted a fatal auto accident from October 2008 in which her daughter was the driver. After the daughter was sentenced to 30 days in jail, Rock searched for ways to come to terms with all her emotions and feelings of guilt.

Then, while attending a reconciliation service at a Catholic Youth Xperience several years ago, Rock heard a powerful message: In spite of all that has happened, what makes your judgment better than God's?

"It changed me," Rock said. "God forgives. I am forgiven."

Rock then forgave all those involved in the accident and legal proceedings. "To move forward, I had to do that," said the mother of three young women. "I know I did what God called me to do."

Speaking to 48 high school teens, "TAPTsters," and 40 staff members, Rock reminded them, "When things go wrong and you're all alone, you're not. God is with you. God will help you keep it together. All you have to do is ask."

Bishop Dale J. Melczek, among the clergy participating in the Saturday night reconciliation service, added, "Jesus carries your difficulties with you. You're never alone. We're sinners. We're called to grace, and God never tires of forgiving."

TAPT (Teens Are People Too) is a weekend retreat for high school youth. As Kevin Driscoll, diocesan youth coordinator, explained, TAPT is a "powerful journey exploring the Incarnation, ministry, death, and resurrection of Christ, paying particular attention to Lenten themes."

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

Archdiocese of Indianapolis

2014 Indiana Catholic Women’s Conference: ‘An opportunity to get together as women of faith’

By Natalie Hoefer

Promoting modesty as true beauty through a secular fashion magazine.

Sharing rare stories of St. Padre Pio as relayed by his personal assistant.

Revealing Christ’s own words on the grace and mercy bestowed through confession and the Eucharist.

These topics formed the foundation for the ninth Indiana Catholic Women’s Conference hosted by the Marian Center of Indianapolis on March 22 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis.

During the event, more than 300 women from central and southern Indiana, and even from Chicago and other areas outside the archdiocese, listened to three powerful speakers: Verily magazine co-founder Janet Sahm; Julia Calandra-Lineberg of the National Center for Padre Pio; and Our Lady of Mercy Sister Caterina Esselen.

Sahm is an Indianapolis native and graduate of Bishop Chatard High School in Indianapolis. After interning for Elle magazine, she co-founded Verily magazine and, a secular fashion magazine to promote modesty, true beauty and self-worth in women.

“Modesty invites women to come to believe in their own self-worth and to dress in a way that reflects their own worth.

“Many think of modesty only in terms of helping protect our brothers in Christ. That is certainly part of it. In Love and Responsibility by Pope John Paul II, he has a whole chapter on modesty. There’s one sentence that just burned in me: ‘First and foremost, modesty is good for the woman herself.’ There’s no relationship to men in that sentence, no mention of how we need to protect them. It’s good for you, regardless.”

Our Lady of Mercy Sister Caterina Esselen is a member of the order to which St. Faustina Kowalska belonged—the saint who is known for spreading the Divine Mercy devotion and whose visions from Christ were recorded in The Diary of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska.

“Jesus said to St. Faustina this about confession: ‘Tell souls where they are to look for solace—that is, in the tribunal of mercy, the sacrament of reconciliation. There, the greatest miracles take place.

“ ‘[C]ome with faith to the feet of my representative, and reveal to him one’s misery, and the miracle of Divine Mercy will be fully demonstrated.’ ”

‘The Light Is on for You’ shines across archdiocese

By John Shaughnessy

In leading “The Light Is on for You” initiative across the archdiocese, Bishop Christopher J. Coyne believed the spotlight focus on the sacrament of penance would be a success if it deepened the faith of just one person.

So he was obviously pleased when he approached St. Simon the Apostle Church in Indianapolis on April 2 and found 20 people already lined up to confess their sins—15 minutes before the scheduled starting time.

“As the night progressed, I was worried that there were people waiting for over an hour to see me,” Bishop Coyne said. “I started to apologize because they had to wait. They said, ‘No, that’s fine. I prayed for an hour. It was just great.’ They didn’t seem to mind waiting.”

That scene and that reaction were repeated across the archdiocese on April 2 as priests were available in most parishes or parish clusters across central and southern Indiana to share the sacrament of reconciliation. “The Light Is on for You” effort represents the light that stays on in a reconciliation room when a priest offers the sacrament.

While confessions were scheduled to be held across the archdiocese from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., a number of priests stayed much longer to accommodate people.

At St. Pius X Church in Indianapolis, Fathers James Farrell, John Kamwendo and Keith Hosey stayed 30 minutes longer to be there for people who began to line up outside the church 10 minutes early.

“We were able to spend a little more time with each person,” said Father Farrell, pastor of St. Pius. “There were several folks who hadn’t come for a long time. It was a very fruitful sacramental experience for them.”

That deeper connection was also experienced by Father Eric Augenstein as he heard confessions “for two hours straight” at St. Agnes Church in Nashville.

“The fact that all the parishes were doing it at the same time reinforced the unity of the archdiocese,” said Father Augenstein, the sacramental minister at St. Agnes Parish and director of vocations for the archdiocese. “It reinforced that this is important for the whole Church.”

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

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