Last updated 03/07/2014 11:00 AM
Catholic News Around Indiana
The 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.
Brockman Family Contributes 24 Handmade Quilts
It was a happy scene that Catholic Charities' Director Sharon Burns and Event Planner Kathy Wilkerson walked into on a recent Saturday afternoon at Evansville’s Nativity Church. Twenty-four handmade baby quilts hung over the doors to the sanctuary – and four members of the Brockman family beamed as they watched the visitors' reactions.
"Eighty-something" Frances Brockman, quilt matriarch of the crew, hid in the corner, insisting she didn't want special attention. Two of her three quilting daughters, Susan Tenbarge of Haubstadt (mother of seminarian Tyler Tenbarge) and Linda Carman of Evansville (she quilts for the Glory of God) showed the quilts. Kendra Tenbarge, 27, of Haubstadt, noted how a couple of the quilts had "Jesus Loves Me This I Know" embroidered in the binding. Marsha Brockman, the maker of a colorful Purple Chevron quilt, was not able to join the gathering.
The 24 quilts will join more than 50 others made by church quilting groups and individuals across the diocese, and will be auctioned in late May to raise money to fund Catholic Charities' outreach, education and counseling programs. To view all of the quilts and find out how you can buy a ticket to the auction events to be held on May 28, visit www.charitiesevv.org/babyquilts.
(For news from the Diocese of Evansville, log on to the website of The Message at www.themessageonline.org)
Cardinal Ouellet highlights Notre Dame symposium on faith, reason and human dignity
By Christopher Lushis
NOTRE DAME — “Educating our young people to see further than the stars and deeper than the Internet is the great challenge of today’s educators who must form men and women free of scientistic and fundamentalistic prejudices, capable of promoting the dignity of the human person in the name of faith and reason,” said Cardinal Marc Ouellet in the keynote speech at the Symposium on Pastoral Issues in Science and Human Dignity held at the University of Notre Dame on Feb. 12.
This conference, as stated by the university, “sought to help bishops and their diocesan educational officials explore some of the fundamental theoretical issues in the relationship between science and religion, as well as the practical issues that flow from their interaction.”
Cardinal Ouellet’s speech focused on three crucial aspects concerning the debate of faith and reason: the state of the sense of human dignity today, the origins of the anthropological crisis and the ecology of the human person.
Cardinal Ouellet began by indicating, “We have only to examine the argumentation for legislation regarding abortion, research of human embryos, artificial reproduction and genetic manipulation to note the decline of the perception of the sacred character of the human person. We see the progressive imposition of a social and political rhetoric that no longer interprets human dignity on the basis of the profound nature of the person, but rather, on the basis of his conditions of life and states of consciousness.”
Furthermore, Cardinal Ouellet added, “We witness a growing conflict between a religious vision and a secularist, pragmatic vision of human dignity.”
Citing Pope Benedict XVI’s “Caritas in Veritate,” Cardinal Ouellet indicated “as the anthropological questions becomes more and more dramatic, we become obliged to choose between two types of reasoning: reason open to transcendence, or reason closed within technological eminence.”
He added that this becomes increasingly problematic when “educational institutions, such as the family, the school and the university, are assaulted by cultural currents in which a technocratic mentality reigns, imposing conditions that make intellectual access to transcendence very difficult. Even if they are protected by religious practice, our contemporaries are so marked by technological imperialism that a fundamental sense for human dignity gradually begins to fade.”
Men told to be strong in prayer at Rekindle the Fire conference
By Tim Johnson and Christopher Lushis
FORT WAYNE — Over 1,200 men from the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend and beyond were encouraged to leave the Rekindle the Fire Fourth Annual Diocesan Men’s Conference with an action plan to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. The conference, held Saturday, Feb. 22, at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne included dynamic speakers who encouraged the men to be men of prayer, spiritual leaders — heroes — and to be ambitious in spiritual pursuits.
Father Andrew Budzinski, the parochial vicar of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Fort Wayne, served as the master of ceremonies for the daylong conference. He told the conference attendees to spend the day in prayer and discernment and to focus on one concrete way they will encounter Jesus the following year.
Msgr. Michael Heintz, rector of St. Matthew Cathedral in South Bend, opened the conference’s first morning session. Msgr. Heintz used the teaching of theologian Alexander Schmemann and spoke about the distinguishing feature of who we are as a race — which Schmemann called “homo adoros” — “we can worship, we can praise and glorify God, that we can give our very selves back to God in prayer. That’s what makes us unique. That is most fully who we are.”
“You and I are fully who we are when we are engaged in the praise and worship of Almighty God,” Msgr. Heintz noted.
Sometimes there are things that deter that full commitment.
“The Eucharist should format our lives,” Msgr. Heintz said. No other work, apostolate, ministry, activity, charity work in the Church is as effective as the Eucharist, he added.
“Prayer is not an activity that we manage like a stock portfolio or an exercise regimen,” Msgr. Heintz said. Those things do not have a living relationship, he noted. “But with prayer we are talking about a living relationship with God.”
And prayer affects everything about our day, he said.
He encouraged the men to recognize their daily rhythm of life, realize what that rhythm looks like and then develop good habits of prayer life within that rhythm.
Morning commutes can be a good time to pray the rosary or listen to Scripture. Or perhaps the morning shower is that time.
He encouraged the men to set a space in their home — for example a chair that is away from distractions — to be a space for prayer.
He told the men to pray even in those moments when they are not feeling it.
(For news from the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, log on to the website of Today’s Catholic at www.todayscatholicnews.org)
Another ‘just do it, Joyce’ moment leads to end of overnight retreats at Bethany RH
By Steve Euvino
EAST CHICAGO – A retreat experience led Sister Joyce Diltz to one ministry. Now, more than two decades later, another retreat experience had led her to another decision.
After more than 21 years of offering retreats and spiritual direction at Bethany Retreat House, Sister Joyce, a Poor Handmaid of Jesus Christ, has decided that, as of May 16, Bethany Retreat House will no longer offer overnight retreats.
Sister Joyce will continue to provide ongoing spiritual direction and facilitate dream groups and other reflection groups. Individuals are welcome for daytime retreats, with group day retreats and workshops offered occasionally. The spiritual reading library will continue to operate, and the bookstore will go on for the present time.
The decision to let go of overnight retreats came during a retreat and was independent of any other reasons, Sister Joyce explained.
Because it was such a compelling experience in retreat, I didn't need reasons to make the decision. I made it as a response to God's 'word' in my retreat," Sister Joyce said.
Bethany is a small ministry, said Sister Joyce, who wears many hats to provide retreat space for guests. A one-woman operation with a part-time assistant, Sister Joyce occasionally takes the bookstore on the road to faith-based events, including diocesan workshops.
"As I've sat with the decision, trying to understand the rationale, I've realized that the 'push' it's always taken to have people for overnights here is more than is healthy for me at this point," Sister Joyce said.
Bethany Retreat House opened in August 1992 in a tri-level residence used by St. Catherine Hospital staffers before they could find a permanent residence.
Named for the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, a place of hospitality that Jesus visited, Bethany Retreat House is a "'little house' in the city where people find quiet space and help in learning to recognize and respond to the 'voice within,'" as its brochure states.
When Sister Joyce first thought about opening a retreat house, it was a "just do it, Joyce" moment, she recalled. Everything about Bethany, she said, has been decided through prayer and inspiration, and this latest decision is no different.
"Retreats are a big part of what we do here, but it's not the only thing," Sister Joyce said. "It seems this is the right time."
(For news from the Diocese of Gary, log on to the website of the Northwest Indiana Catholic at www.nwicatholic.com)
Knights, Catholic Athletes for Christ sponsor football combine for Special Olympians
By Sean Gallagher
Jerry Moore took the handoff and ran hard with the football to his left, flashing into the end zone ahead of chasing defensive players.
Celebrating a two-point conversion after his team had scored a touchdown, Jerry spiked the football and did a joyous end zone dance.
That moment capped a fun-filled morning on Feb. 22 for Special Olympics athletes from across central Indiana at the Indianapolis Colts practice facility in Indianapolis.
“It was really exciting for all the athletes and the parents to see this,” said Jerry, a Special Olympics athlete from Cicero, Ind. “This has just been a great experience. I hope that they do this again.”
The athletes participated in the same kind of drills that were taking place that same weekend at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis where hundreds of the country’s top college football players showed off their talents during the annual National Football League (NFL) Scouting Combine.
Fewer eyes watched the drills and flag football game that took place at the Colts practice facility.
But that didn’t matter to the Special Olympians, who had fun running the 40-yard dash and doing the broad jump and other combine-like drills.
The event was co-sponsored by Catholic Athletes for Christ and the Knights of Columbus.
Founded in the 1960s by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports organization for people with developmental disabilities.
Sporting a No. 12 Andrew Luck Colts jersey, Special Olympian Bradley Johnson of Whiteland was happy to play football on the Colts’ practice field.
“It’s cool. I’m a huge Colts fan,” Bradley said. “I’d like to see them win the Super Bowl.”
But he also had in mind the real purpose behind the event.
“It’s fun,” Bradley said. “Special Olympics is all about having fun.”
Former Indianapolis Colt backup quarterback Jim Sorgi said the Special Olympics combine was just as important as the NFL Combine.
“They’re both the same in my eyes,” said Sorgi, a member of St. Susanna Parish in Plainfield. “You’ve got the elite athletes who are going out and trying to make a living at the Combine downtown. And you have athletes here who just want to go out and have fun. That’s what it’s all about.”
RSVP matches retired and senior persons with volunteer opportunities
By Natalie Hoefer
GREENWOOD—When Carolyn Crowell retired, she looked forward to doing “nothing.”
“My first year of retirement, I decided I worked all my life so I didn’t want to do anything, and that’s what I did,” said the 69-year-old former health care worker.
“Now I’m getting kind of bored. ‘Nothing’ is nice for a while, but then you need something,” said Crowell.
The something she chose was a nearby volunteer opportunity working with immigrants on their language skills.
It’s an opportunity she said she would not have discovered without the help of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP).
RSVP is a national volunteer network for people ages 55 and older. It is a service of Senior Corps, a group of programs administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service federal agency (CNCS).
“RSVP is a clearinghouse of volunteer opportunities,” said Monica Woodsworth, director of RSVP of Central Indiana, a branch operated by Catholic Charities Indianapolis that covers Hamilton, Hendricks, Johnson and Marion counties.
“Depending on what the volunteers are interested in and how much time they want to spend, it’s our job to help them find a good fit in the community.”
The benefits to those ages 55 and older who volunteer are numerous, according to studies cited in CNCS literature.
Such benefits include improved physical and mental health, enhanced longevity, reduced chronic pain, reduced depression and anxiety, increased independence and self-esteem, and improved quality of life.
Woodsworth said the process starts with a background check and review of references because “volunteers could work with our most vulnerable citizens, like the elderly and children.”
Next, she said, “we give them information to look through and see what their options could be, and let them prioritize what they want to do.”
Volunteer opportunities include anything from Catholic Charities services to community programs, said Woodsworth.
And RSVP is non-denominational.
“You don’t have to be Catholic to volunteer with RSVP,” she said. “It’s open to anybody.”
(For news from the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, log on to the website of The Criterion at www.CriterionOnline.com) †