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Evansville, Indiana
January 17, 1997     The Message
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January 17, 1997

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0 ': The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Good Shepherd bingo raises $12,500 mr parish in. By DIANE COLLINS Special to the Message "'This is absolutely marvelous," said Marilyn Wassmer, at a fund raising event tbr a priest work- ing in Russia. "Father Myron and his people are struggling so hard, and this is certainly the largest contribution they have ever received." Wassmer is the sister of Father Myron Erring, one of two Catholic priests serving over a million people in Vladivostok, Russia. Wassmer runs the cafe- teria at Good Shepherd Church, Evansville, where the event, a special New Year's Day Bingo, was held. Marlene and Paul Hassel- brink, sister and brother-in-law of Father Erring, and other fam- ily members joined with over 60 parishioners at the benefit. They raised $12,500. Father Effing is an Evansville native and a graduate of Mater Dei High School. Wassmer remembers that her brother, even when he was a young boy of seven or eight, talked about going to Russia. "This was back in the late '40s when Communism was at its peak," she said. "Nobody talked about going to Russia, except Myron." Father Effing was recently interviewed on a Saturday morn- ing radio program, "Under the Radar," on WGAB FM, Evans- ville. He described the conditions he and his congregation were fac- ing. "When the communists finally came to Vladivostok in 1933, they destroyed all but three church buildings. Holy Mother of God Church was spared because it was newly built. For 60 years the church was used a storage facility, until we reclaimed it in 1993. It took the government three years to process our paper- work and return all the property to the parish." During those three years, Father Effing and another priest lived in a stable next to the church building where they held daily Mass and ran the parish. "The people here are suffering terribly," he said. "Many have not been paid for six months or more. But they remember how oppres- sive conditions were under Com- munism, and they are willing to suffer for the freedoms they have received, especially the freedom to worship." Father Effing's passion for Russia is one of his earliest child- hood memories. "I remember begging for a globe for Christmas one year so that I could learn as much about the country as possible," he said. "I knew that some day God would send me there." "When Communism fell in the late 1980s, Father Erring applied to several religious orders seek- ing to establish a mission in Rus- sia. None would entertain his offer, so he founded his own reli- gious order, received approval from the Vatican, and went in search of parish looking tbr priests. He considers Holy Mother of God parish in Vladivostok to be his home. ',All my life I've waited for this. God had a plan for me and these people. I'm home and I'll be here for the rest of my life." Father Effing's parish runs a catechetical radio program, spon- sors a weekly one hour television show, is publishing religious edu- cation materials for children, and does a "Meals on Wheels" type of program for senior citizens. "The needs are great, and we are truly appreciative of all the support we have received from my hometown," said Father Eft- ing when he was informed of the contribution. "When I tell the people here how the people in the United States prayed, for decades, for an end to Communism and for their conversion, many of them weep. They thought that when they were suffering no one knew, and L ill iiI i' r Anne Woodruff and Steve Cooper," Shepherd Pastoral Council, present a ing's family w sisters, Marilyn Wassmer 'selbrink, and brother-in-law Paul no one cared. Your support is often all that we receive. I send my love to all of you, to all of Evansville. Keep us in your prayers." Father Effing and his parish are not the only recipients of the generosity of Good Shepherd Church. "We are a tithing parish," said Father Ted Tempel, pastor. "We are fortunate to have the bingo revenue and we are committed to community we receive. Good over $60,000 ] ous local For more Father out to his lene and Neat.Boutique, Lilly to give about $5 million to Indianapolis Catholic By PETER AGOSTINELLI Catholic News Service INDIANAPOLIS (CNS)-- The Lilly Endowment has announced a new program that will give approximately $5 million to Catholic schools in and around Indianapolis, making it the largest single grant Lilly ever has made to Catholic education. Lilly officials said in Decem- ber the endowment has reserved up to $15 million for an "invita- tional matching grant program" for private elementary and sec- ondary schools in Marion Coun- ty, which covers Indianapolis. Lilly, a leading funder of reli- gious research in the United States, estimated that about one-third would go to Catholic schools. The purpose of the matching grants is to support capital pro- ects related to academic facili- ties and equipment in schools that are not government sup- ported. "Lilly Endowment has once again shown itself for the good citizen it is," said Indianapolis Archbishop Daniel M. Buech- lein. "Its care for and involve- ment in the Indianapolis area continues to demonstrate its founders' concern for reinvest- ing its resources in this commu- nity." The archbishop told The Cri- terion archdiocesan newspaper that one of the greatest difficul- ties facing Catholic and other private schools today is making needed capital improvements without government funds. He said the Lilly program would be "an enormous help to us as we reach out to individuals and cor- porations.., for assistance in meeting our schools' capital needs." VOUR FAMILy PHARMACy Stratman's Pharmacy City-Wide Delivery 413 Locust Street John and Judy Stratman 425-5293 Please Support Message Advertisers I PAUL'S PHARMACY Paul Mayer, Owner 2345 W. Franklin St. 425-4364 Oak Hill Pharmacy Prescription Specialists Hwy. 62 and N. Weinbsch Ave. LARRY SCHULTHEIS, Prop. 425-442"2 II Plaza Pharmacy Newburgh Plaza Shopping Center Fast Prescription Service Ken and Rebecca Hacker 853-7141 Daniel J. Elsener, executive participating schools must two-yeareffrt director for Catholic education secure matching funds in gifts commitment in Indianapolis, said all arch- and pledges by Oct. 31, 1998, diocesan and parish-sponsored but pledges are payable through schools in Marion County must Dec: 31, 1999. submit a formal application for Archbishop Buechlein said the grants to the Office of Lilly's announcement came at a Catholic Education by March good time for the archdiocese, 15. The archdiocese then will which is now planning "for a submit them to Lilly. major capital campaign to Eligible schoola include 29 address capital needs in parish- parish-sponsored elementary es, schools and archdiocesan schools and four archdiocesan agencies." high schools w Bishop Chatard, Enrollment at Catholic schools Cardinal Ritter, Roncalli and in Indianapolis is growing steadi- Scecina Memorial. Two other ly, according to Elsener, and since Catholic high schools that are most already are at capacity, privately owned and operated-- there is gi"eat pressure on physi- Cathedral and BrebeufPrepara- cal facilities and equipment. tory -- may apply directly to the He called the timing of the endowment, grants program "most providen- According to the program, tial" in terms of the archdiocese's schools in the "We believe the single in breaking ty," he told we in maj, ment use( Catt Archbishop that be good grants. that our to produce well- community tributing force," he DUBOIS COUNTY BANK MEMBER OLD NATIONAL BANCORP Member FDIC YOUR FIVE STAR SERVICE BANK ii I u SCl DEWIG PACKING FRESH MEAT BEEF AND HAUBSTADT, INDIANA We wil! be c., month of Reopen Sa Febru,ary 1,