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Last updated 07/21/2016 11:58 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

Benedictine Sisters Of Ferdinand Receive National Grant

By Special To The Message

The Support Our Aging Religious nonprofit organization announced on July 5 that it had awarded a grant to the Benedictine Sisters of Monastery Immaculate Conception in Ferdinand to fund the installation of a security system.

The Benedictines are among 52 religious organizations in 17 states that will receive almost $1 million in SOAR! Grants to assist aging Catholic religious-order priests and religious. They will benefit 2,770 men and women religious whose average age is 78. The grants total $983,167.

SOAR! grants assist religious communities in caring for their senior members. Grants cover expenses for basic needs such as handrails, hospital beds and emergency call systems. As a result of this assistance, many more Catholic Sisters, Brothers and religious-order Priests will be able to continue to age in place and remain at home with their religious communities. These grants help ensure the safety and dignity of men and women religious.

"We are grateful to SOAR! donors for making it possible to assist these elderly Catholic religious women and men in dire need. In our time of need, they have helped us in our school and hospital communities, in our parishes, and through their prayers," said Kathryn Pirrotta Caballero, chairperson of the SOAR! board. "As we celebrate SOAR's 30th anniversary, we give thanks for the work of these elderly women and men and for the generosity of our faithful donors."

As the cost of care continues to rise, the majority of men and women religious lack adequate funding for retirement. Meanwhile, the number of religious to support them in the workforce is dropping. A recent study projected that by 2020, religious ages 70 and older will outnumber those ages 69 and younger by four to one.

Members of the organization’s board of directors hand-delivered grant checks to many congregations around the country.

A group of concerned lay people founded SOAR! in 1986 to help ensure the financial stability of Catholic religious congregations in the care of their elderly and infirm members. In the past 30 years, SOAR! has awarded 1,115 grants worth more than $16 million to congregations across the country.

'We Are Called To Be The Soul Of This Nation'

By Tim Lilley

Father Alex Zenthoefer, pastor of Annunciation of the Lord Parish in Evansville, challenged those who attended the July 4 cluster Mass at Holy Spirit Church to live a witness of their faith for the good of our country.

“We are called to be the soul of this nation, which would otherwise get lost in political pursuits and economic strategies,” Father Zenthoefer said during his homily. “Our presence … a presence of joy and peace and hope … our presence reminds our fellow citizens and those who seek refuge here that the greatness of this nation lies in the fidelity of its people to the God who has filled us with such great gifts.”

Annunciation Parish and Holy Rosary Parish in Evansville celebrated the cluster Mass. Father Bernie Etienne, pastor of Holy Rosary, served as principal celebrant. Father Zentohoefer, Annunciation Associate Pastor Father Pascal Nduka and Holy Rosary Associate Pastor Father Ambrose Wanyonyi concelebrated. Deacon Jose Garrido and Deacon Jerry Pratt Jr. assisted.

“The United States has been a place of hope, a place of promise and a place of new opportunities,” Father Zenthoefer said. “We are abundantly blessed in this land by God and by those who have given their lives to defend it. And yet there are many who do not experience hope and promise and opportunity in our land. There are many who sleep under our spacious skies that feel only the burden of life and the pain of loneliness.”

He called on those in attendance and the faithful across our diocese and our nation to be witnesses to God’s love and mercy through our lives and our service to others.

“This is not a day for us to celebrate the fact that we can do whatever we want,” he said. “This is a day for us to celebrate that God has chosen us as his people. This nation needs us; it needs us to live well, and to be faithful to the people that God has called us to be. Today, let’s celebrate especially our freedom from sin, and our freedom to love and worship God, and to give ourselves for the sake of our brothers and sisters.”

The Mass included a collection that will be provided to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul for its efforts in Evansville and across the diocese.

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

Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend

TV Mass celebrates anniversary year

By Stephanie A. Patka

2016 marks the 30 year anniversary of the local TV Mass that is broadcast in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. The ministry of the TV Mass was designed with the sick and homebound in mind. While the televised Mass is never considered a replacement for Mass at one’s parish, it can be a help to those in hospitals, nursing homes or living alone and unable to travel.

Not only is the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend the only Indiana diocese to continue the televised Mass ministry, but it also is one of few dioceses to offer two local televised Masses to reach both ends of the diocese media markets. While the location has changed over the years, Mass is now broadcast every Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m. on WNDU, Channel 16 in South Bend and WFFT, Channel 55 in Fort Wayne. Mass is also live-streamed through the diocesan website and previously streamed Masses can be viewed online 24 hours a day. Mass in Fort Wayne is celebrated at the chapel at the University of St. Francis and in the special set designed specifically for the TV Mass at the WNDU studios in South Bend.

The inaugural TV Masses were celebrated on the first Sunday of Advent, Nov. 30, 1986, by the late Bishop John M. D’Arcy in Fort Wayne and by the late Auxiliary Bishop Joseph R. Crowley in South Bend. At the time, Bishop D’Arcy said that he wanted to reach every person and that the “purpose of this Mass is to bring Christ into the living rooms of all our people.” Since the beginning, priests of the diocese have celebrated the weekly TV Mass and will typically bring parishioners to participate in the live liturgy as proclaimers, servers, musicians and choral groups.

The importance of the ministry of the TV Mass is also reflected in the dedication and enthusiasm of the over 20 volunteers in both locations that serve on a regular basis.

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

Diocese of Gary

Hospitals host events to celebrate new beginnings

By Marlene A. Zloza

Franciscan Alliance hospitals hosted several National Cancer Survivor Day events last month to celebrate life and raise awareness of issues related to cancer treatment and research.

Franciscan St. Anthony Health-Michigan City kicked off the observance June 2 with a Hawaiian-style luau at its Woodland Cancer Care Center.

A butterfly release, signifying new beginnings, was a highlight of the program that attracted about 100 survivors and guests. The event also featured testimony from breast cancer survivor Susann Pangerl, of Grand Beach, Mich., who recalled how she learned she had been stricken with the disease, and lauded the services she received from the Woodland staff.

Staff members and other speakers also provided information on cognitive issues and treatment, cancer-related fatigue and psychosocial and emotional issues. Musical entertainment and refreshments were also enjoyed.

Approximately 170 attendees were on hand June 5, the actual date of the observance,  at a “Savor the Sweet Life” ice cream social hosted by Franciscan St. Margaret Health-Dyer and Hammond in celebration of National Cancer Survivors Day. Bingo games, a sundae bar, a candy table and raffle prizes were included at Briar Ridge Country Club in Schererville. Participants offered words of praise to hospital representatives.

Franciscan St. Anthony Health-Crown Point welcomed about 30 participants and guests to its second annual Cancer Survivor’s Day Canvas Painting Party in the Marian Education Center on June 5. The afternoon event was termed a “time to create and celebrate” for those who have faced the potentially deadly disease.

They were guided by Tracy Tauber, an MRI staff member who owns a painting party business but donated her services along with staffers from the hospital’s Breast Cancer Center to coach participants in painting a tropical island seascape. In addition to encouragement, the group was also treated to sandwich wraps, snacks and soft drinks.

“Each painting is unique, because they are painting the scene the way they see it,” said St. Anthony nurse navigator Joan Filipowski, of Lowell, referring to stormy skies, windblown trees, blazing sunsets and calm seas.

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

Archdiocese of Indianapolis

Focusing on Jesus: Teens, young adults hope World Youth Day pilgrimage deepens their life of faith

By John Shaughnessy

Katie Sahm recalls the moment as “a glimpse into heaven.”

It happened on the white sand of Copacabana beach three years ago.

As the waves rolled toward the shore of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Sahm joined the 3 million young people from around the world who had come there, all of them kneeling together in silence on the sand during a time of eucharistic adoration.

In that moment, all the major struggles, all the setbacks, all the rain that marked the earlier days of World Youth Day Rio faded away.

“That silence and hearing the waves was like a glimpse of heaven,” recalls Sahm, associate director of the archdiocese’s Office of Young Adult and College Campus Ministry. “It was like we were really in heaven in that moment. All the struggles made the focus about Jesus and coming together as a universal Church. It was just a beautiful outpouring of faith and trust.”

As another World Youth Day approaches—this time in Krakow, Poland, on July 25-31—youths and young adults from across the archdiocese are preparing for a pilgrimage that they hope will provide a similar experience of transformation and deepening faith.

At 16, Emily Whitehead has been looking forward to World Youth Day for months—“because I want to experience God on a different level.”

“My hope for the pilgrimage is to grow in my faith, meet new people from all over the world, and to learn more about the history of Catholics,” says Emily, a member of All Saints Parish in Dearborn County. “I’m hoping it will help me appreciate my Catholic faith even more than I already do.”

Gail and Alex Ocana have made World Youth Day in Krakow such a priority that, before their wedding last September, they set up an account so that wedding guests could contribute to their pilgrimage fund as a wedding gift.

“We felt we were meant to take this pilgrimage to help us grow our faith as we begin our new life as a married couple,” says Gail, who is 28. “Our faith is very important to us as a couple, and is an integral part of our marriage. I think we’ve both been pretty lost at times in our lives when we didn’t take our faith seriously. Now, I don’t think I could get through my day-to-day life without it. This pilgrimage will be incredibly meaningful in strengthening us on our faith journey.”

Teens get a taste of life in the seminary during Bishop Bruté Days

By Sean Gallagher

The teenage boys from across the state of Indiana and beyond who participate in Bishop Bruté Days get to pray, learn about the faith and themselves, and have fun in the process.

It’s not unlike what daily life is like at the archdiocesan-sponsored Bishop Simon Bruté College Seminary in Indianapolis, which has annually held the vocations retreat and camping experience for teenage boys since 2005.

And that’s part of the purpose of Bishop Bruté Days, to help young men get a taste of what life is like in the seminary.

That’s what Joseph Yoder, a member of St. Joseph Parish in Jennings County, experienced when he attended Bishop Bruté Days on June 14-17 at the seminary.

“I’ve been considering the priesthood for a long time, really,” said Joseph, who will be a home-schooled high school junior in the fall. “And I wanted a deeper view of what seminary life is like. I’ve learned and seen a lot about what’s going on here. I like it.”

The camp drew a record number of participants this year at 55, bringing in teenage boys from as far north as South Bend and as far south as Louisville, Ky.

From within the archdiocese, participants came from eight of the 11 deaneries and from 17 parishes.

The large group of teenagers participating in this latest Bishop Bruté Days was encouraging to Father Joseph Moriarty, who was vice rector of the seminary when it occurred. On July 6, he began his ministry leading the seminary as its rector.

“It renews my hope in the fact that men are discerning and they’re discerning from an early age, as I did when I served at Mass and sometimes reflected on what it would be like to be a priest,” said Father Moriarty. “Whether they become priests or not, it’s important to them to have God within their lives. To me, that’s an incredible witness, both of what their parents have done and what they’re doing.”

This year’s Bishop Bruté Days was the last major event at the seminary overseen by its founding rector, Father Robert Robeson, who will become pastor of Most Holy Name of Jesus Parish in Beech Grove on Aug. 1.

“I’m going to miss it,” Father Robeson said. “I love working with the kids. It gets better every year. The kids are so endearing. I get to know them really well.

“They’re just so earnest about their desire to learn, to grow in their faith and do better in serving God.”

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

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