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Last updated 06/25/2015 2:18 PM

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

Benedictine Sisters changing lives through Camp Marian

By Kate Bittner (The Message Intern)

The Benedictine Sisters of the Monastery Immaculate Conception in Ferdinand are changing the lives of young girls through Camp Marian. It’s a powerful experience for all those involved, even though it seems like a simple summer camp.

This year’s theme was “We Are One Body;” and by the end of the camp, they all felt strongly united together in Christ, and learned to see each other with deep respect and compassion as family.

Campers had an exciting time with one another and try things that they’ve never experienced before. Sleeping in a tent for a couple of nights is a favorite for many, along with trying archery for the first time. They also prayed the Liturgy of the Hours like the sisters do, and they learned about the lives of some influential Benedictine saints.

First-time counselor Anna Tucker from St. Anthony Parish in Evansville said, “Through an exciting week of meeting new friends and catching up with old ones, we learned to become one body in Christ.”

Getting to meet new people and learning to work together cultivates life skills for campers and counselors alike. They are given the opportunity to grow into leaders and they take these life lessons back to their own schools and communities. 

“I love sharing our Benedictine charism with the campers and counselors. I think one of the benefits of Camp Marian is that it allows young girls that may not have any connections with religious to meet us and get to know some of us,” said Camp Director Sister Jill Reuber, who has helped with the camp since the summer of 2003 and has a heartfelt passion for it. “Each time I work a camp I feel that we have shared who we are as Sisters of St. Benedict of Ferdinand, Indiana, with those who come. I may not see how we have touched a life, but I know in some way we have made a difference in a young girl’s life.”

This year included a poignant, spiritual experience for those in attendance because Benedictine Sister Brenda Englert passed away while the camp was underway. Campers and counselors saw first-hand how the Benedictines come together as a united family to honor their dead and celebrate their rebirth into eternal life.

Benedictine Sister Teresa Gunter, director of vocations for the order and a major contributor to the camp, said that one of her favorite things about Camp Marian is that “these girls come from all around the Dioceses of Evansville, Louisville and Indy; they come as scared little kids and leave as young women who have made friends.”

 “She’s just amazing,” Sister Teresa said of Camp Director Sister Jill. “She’s been a true moving force, being open and more inviting to having more counselors and campers and making camp bigger and better than ever.”

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

Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend

South Bend Mass celebrates 150th anniversary of the city

By Tim Johnson

SOUTH BEND — The faith-filled 150-year history of South Bend was celebrated at a Mass May 31 at Saint Joseph High School. Originally planned as an outdoor Mass at Father Bly Field at Legihton Stadium, inclement weather relocated the faithful indoors to the Saint Joseph High School gym. Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades celebrated the Mass for the 150th Anniversary of the City of South Bend.

Saint Joseph High School’s location has historical significance in South Bend’s 150-year history.

Saint Joseph Hospital was erected by the Sisters of the Holy Cross in 1882 on the current site of Saint Joseph High School. Although South Bend was already 17 years old, the hospital was the first institution in the city to care for the sick. It was directed by Civil War veteran Sister Mary Edward and staffed by other Sisters of the Holy Cross, lay nurses and five volunteer physicians.

Today, it is not uncommon for Saint Joseph High School students — and even their parents and grandparents — to have been born on the hospital property where they now attend high school.

The Saint Joseph High School property, being the former site of Saint Joseph Hospital, was also the location of Notre Dame football legend George Gipp’s famous purported deathbed speech where he told Knute Rockne to tell a future team to “Go out there and win one for the Gipper!”

Michiana parishes provided the talent for a diocesan strings, woodwinds and brass orchestra for the Mass and prelude. And a diocesan choir provided the sacred music for the Mass, all directed by Jeremy Hoy, music director at St. Pius X Parish, Granger.

Bishop Rhoades’ homily incorporated the day’s feast, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, and then captured the history of the Catholic faith in South Bend.

He spoke of the earliest French missionary priests who celebrated the first Masses in the area in the late 1600s. And French Jesuits brought the faith to the native Potawatomis.

“Today’s celebration would not be complete without our remembrance of the first native Catholics of this region, the Potawatomis,” the bishop said.

Year of Consecrated Life celebrated

By Ann Carey

NOTRE DAME — Scores of men and women who are members of religious orders serving in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend nearly filled the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on May 31 for a Vespers service led by Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades.

Vespers, also called Evening Prayer, is part of the Liturgy of the Hours, also known as the Divine Office. Bishop Rhoades invited all men and women in consecrated life to the Vespers service as part of the celebration of 2015 being proclaimed the Year of Consecrated Life by Pope Francis. Laity also were invited to attend.

Bishop Rhoades entered the darkened basilica carrying the Paschal Candle down the center aisle. Once at the front, he and basilica rector, Holy Cross Father Peter Rocca, shared the flame from the candle with the congregation. As the flames gradually were relayed from candle to candle, the faces of hundreds of consecrated persons were illuminated.

The basilica’s community choir led the enthusiastic congregation for the hymns, prayers and psalms of Vespers for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. As Felician Sister Mary Catherine Ryzewicz, an administrator at St. Adalbert School in South Bend, told Today’s Catholic after the service: “It was a very lovely service, very inspiring, especially to see so many participating so wholeheartedly; you could feel the rafters shaking just a little.”

Sister Lois DeLee, who is director of vocations, novices and postulants for the Immaculate Heart of Mary Province of the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration, was the Scripture reader. Holy Cross Brother Joseph Fox, rector of St. Joseph Chapel on the Holy Cross College campus, read the intercessions.

In his homily, Bishop Rhoades said that ever since Pope Francis designated 2015 as the Year of Consecrated Life, he had wanted to gather in prayer with the consecrated men and women in the diocese. Citing Pope Francis, he noted that “consecrated life is not an isolated or marginal reality in the Church.”

Rather, consecrated life is a deep part of the very life of the Church, he continued, saying that fact is evident in this diocese, which is home to some 800 consecrated men and women of 31 religious institutes. Furthermore, six of those religious institutes have their generalates or provincialates in the diocese.

“The marvelous activity of religious men and women shines forth as instrumental to the growth of the Church in our diocese since its very beginning and even prior to the establishment of the diocese in 1857. The consecrated life has been deeply a part of the life of our diocese and continues to be so today,” 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

Local Church history book serves as guide map for ‘wonderful adventure’

By Steve Euvino

HIGHLAND—When Father Dominic Bertino wrote “In the Presence of Angels” for the golden jubilee of the diocese, he probably never thought his history of the Diocese of Gary would serve as a guide map for a St. James the Less couple.

Since buying the book in 2007, Frank and Madeleine Holub have devoted their weekends, whenever possible, to visit a different church or two.

Of the 73 churches in the diocese, the Holubs have 17 left to visit, as of early June. The couple attends Mass, introduces themselves to clergy and parishioners, makes a donation to the parish, and asks the priest to sign their book.

“It has been a wonderful experience,” Madeleine said, calling this pilgrimage one of the best things she and Frank have done in their 58-year marriage. “We are looking forward to finishing our wonderful adventure together.”

Using the book, technology, and the telephone, Frank tries to match up nearby parishes whose Mass schedules enable him and Madeleine to visit more than one church on a given Saturday or Sunday. 

“I try to plot things out,” Frank said. “How many churches can I hit in one day? Usually two. I look for the closest one and work my way around it.” 

Along the way, the Holubs have attended Masses celebrated in English, Polish, Spanish, Lithuanian, Croatian, and Hungarian. They have a stack of bulletins, as Frank records each parish visited.

“Each church was a new, pleasant experience,” Madeleine said, noting the varied architecture, statuary, artwork, lighting, choir lofts, sound systems, and liturgical music.

At St. Casimir in Hammond, the couple met Father William O’Toole, who, upon learning that Madeleine is part of St. James’ Prayer Warriors (a prayer group for special intentions, utilizing the Internet), asked her to pray for him and his parish.

Recalling the Spanish Mass at St. Casimir, Madeleine wrote, “The music and singing were beautiful – the kind that makes you choke up and silently cry. We didn’t understand what they were speaking, but it didn’t matter … the main part was the same.”

Frank and Madeleine have been very touched by the warmth and friendliness they have encountered.

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

Archdiocese of Indianapolis

Relationship between archdiocese, Indian diocese builds ‘appreciation of worldwide Church’

By Natalie Hoefer

On the southern tip of India is the town of Palayamkottai, about an hour’s drive from the Indian Ocean—and about 9,000 miles from the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.

Yet despite that daunting distance, faith communities in India and Indiana have been brought together through their shared connection of a saint, a parish priest and especially the town’s St. Xavier Cathedral Church.

In 1973, the then-110-year-old parish church was designated the cathedral of the newly formed Diocese of Palayamkottai.

While there was no doubt of its beauty, the structure—which still serves as a parish church—was never intended to meet the demanding needs of a diocesan cathedral. What was spacious and elegant 152 years ago is now too small and has become structurally unsafe.

Father Jegan Peter, associate pastor of St. Luke the Evangelist Parish in Indianapolis, can testify to the cathedral’s space limitations and run-down state.

“Recently they found that they couldn’t do electrical work safely. It’s not safe enough for a person to work in. There are a lot of cracks in the walls and ceilings.”

Although Father Peter was raised and ordained in India, he received his priestly formation at Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in St. Meinrad.

His placement at the southern Indiana seminary was not random. As result of an arrangement struck between the Diocese of Palayamkottai and the Archdiocese of Indianapolis in 2005, the Indian diocese sends one to two seminarians to Saint Meinrad every one to two years. The archdiocese covers a large portion of their expenses.

In turn, after gaining a few years of pastoral experience in India, the Saint Meinrad-educated priests of Palayamkottai Diocese return to the Archdiocese of Indianapolis to serve as priests for five to seven years.

The year of Father Peter’s ordination is about the time Bishop A. Jude Paulraj of the Palayamkottai Diocese said he started investigating the possibility of constructing a new cathedral to replace the run-down, inadequate space of St. Xavier Cathedral Church.

When the two-year construction project began early this year, Father Peter asked Msgr. Schaedel if there was anything the parish could do to help.

Msgr. Schaedel decided to make the Indian cathedral construction project the cause for one of the Lenten second collections.

The effort raised about $22,000—an additional fundraiser for the cathedral brought in an estimated $15,000-$20,000.

Archbishop Tobin blesses new shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe

By Leslie Lynch (Special to The Criterion)

NEW ALBANY—Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin visited St. Mary Parish in New Albany on May 17 to bless its new Our Lady of Guadalupe shrine during a noon Mass that was celebrated in Spanish.

The event marked another step in the process of integrating St. Mary’s English- and Spanish-speaking communities, according to parish leaders. The effort began last July when Franciscan Father Thomas Merrill was appointed St. Mary’s pastor.

Father Thomas is the first priest assigned to shepherd both the English- and Spanish-speaking congregations who worship at St. Mary. The Hispanic community at the parish has grown to more than 100 families with roots throughout Central and South America.

Diversity continues to play a key role in the parish’s life of faith. The creation of a dedicated shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe near the existing shrine of Mary’s apparition at Lourdes, France, is a tangible sign of that universality.

“I always saw the community as one since we both worship the same God, have the same Mother, and ask the guidance of the same Spirit,” said deacon candidate Martin Ignacio, who is also a member of St. Mary Parish. “But the shrine has brought a sense of belonging to something bigger.”

“Our Mother protects us, all her children,” added Carolina Moran, 16. “A person can go to the room and be with her now.”

A procession at the beginning of Mass included youths who recently received their first Communion or received the sacrament of confirmation. Each placed red or white carnations and roses in vases to adorn the new shrine for the blessing.

Archbishop Tobin was the principal celebrant of the Mass, with Father Thomas concelebrating. Transitional Deacon Nicolás Ajpacajá Tzoc assisted at the liturgy.

The shrine took shape from a space that had once been a confessional, then served for a number of years as a storage area, said Father Thomas. The priest recognized the potential of the room, particularly its marble and stained-glass elements. Moving the shrine from its previous crowded location in a corner also created a more permanent and inviting place for prayer. The new configuration places both the existing and new shrines to Mary in complementary locations within the sanctuary.

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

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