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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
January 31, 1997     The Message
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January 31, 1997

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VI The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana -State of the Diocese The Catholic community in Vincennes is renovating the Old Cathedral Grade School building, which is located next to Rivet High School, Vincennes. church at St. Philip to accommodate the growth of the parish. Plans to build a parish center at Holy Name in Bloom- field are being made. Church building is under discussion at St. Clement, Boonville. Initial planning is underway for building at St. Agnes and Holy Spirit in Evans- ville, and at St. Peter Celestine in Celestine. There are massive plans to meet our interparochia] educa- tional needs of tomorrow. These include new buildings and reno- vations of both Evansville Catholic Interparochial high schools. The Catholic Communi- ty of Washington is embarking on new buildings and renovation of current structures for the Washington Catholic Schools. The Catholic Community of Vincennes is expanding its education facilities by renovating the Old Cathedral grade school, idle for many years, to meet the current enrollment needs. These are very healthy signs. Howev- er, to be able to provide fhnding for all of them through the Diocesan Deposit and Loan Fund as we have in the past, will require much patience and cooperation on the part of all. The Outpost has been recently accred- ited by the Indiana Camping Associa- tion. The upgrade of this facility is an assurance to parents that not only is there safety, but the program is equally sound. FATHER NUNNING Information management and communications There is no question that the ability to manage parish information and to com- municate with each other has left us with our minds swimming. We are caught in the mind-set of "I do it my way" and "You do it your way." The fact of the matter is that technology has given us the tools to free priests and pas- toral leaders from minding the excruci- ating details of financial and records management. Not only have we reached that point in the development of technology, but we now also have ways to communicate with each other in virtually an instant -- whereas the tools of the past took much more time and allowed for many more opportunities for error. To manage parish records, I asked that all parishes use the Parish Data Systems (PDS) program for parish census and contribution. Most parishes are using that system. Parish records may not be perfect, but they have never been better. Some of those parishes are also using a com- mon PDS financialpackage. It too provides easier and more accurate record keeping than ever before, not to mention its ability to track check writing, bookkeeping and provide his- torical data for budget planning. In keeping with the explod- ing nature of available tools which free people to do people things I appointed a task force to study the use of technology for us in our diocese. The mem- bers of the task force were given the basic charge to explore how we could use technology to better serve the people of the Diocese of Evansville. The Task Force has fin- ished its study. I have just recently appointed two task groups to follow up with their work. Father John Davidson has agreed to lead a group to assist in the "how" of connecting electronically to alleviate the use of paper transmission of information when and if it makes sense, i.e. the use of the Internet mode of communication. The second task group, led by Father David Nunning, will rec- ommend standards for the use of both hardware and software. In short, this group will provide guid- ance as to "what hardware and software" to buy in order to give solidarity and communications abil- ity to all parishes in the diocese. Currently, to put it frankly, every parish is left to do its "own thing." An illustration miy be useful. Perhaps, you recall that not too long ago, those who wanted to use video tapes had to decide between the Beta format and the VHS format. Then there were those of us who had Eight-track tape players in our cars when the recording industry decided that the cassette tape format was more efficient. You have observed the outcomes which demonstrate the need for common standards. Keep in mind that technology is valu- able only when it serves to free men and women to do more directly the ministry of service to God's people. Stewardship and development The Office of Stew- ardship and Develop- ment has the dual responsibility of assist- ing parishes to adopt stewardship as a way of life and to provide a vehicle to assist parish- es to meet their obliga- tion toward the dioce- san budget. You may recall that I asked for a change in the title of the so-called diocesan appeal. When I arrived, the annual tool for meeting the diocesan "tax" upon parishes for services was called the "Bish- op's Fund." I felt it to be misleading since it is a tool to assist parishes to meet their own oblig- FATHER DAVIDSON ation to support diocesan efforts. Through the efforts of our Office of Stewardship and Development, the dio- cese provides a vehicle for parishes not only to meet their diocesan tax, but also to gather funds for parish needs. This vehicle removes the need to seek outside counsel to gather funds for specific needs. The work of this diocesan office is one of the services the parishes pay for, through their financial support of the diocese. The Office of Stewardship and Devel- opment also assists parishes with the challenge of conversion. Stewardship is a way of life, not a program for giving. If all of our people were true stewards of time, talent and treasure, we would not need a proliferation of fund raisers. It is my conviction that not only could we do what we need for ourselves, we would also be able to reach far beyond our- selves -- and that is the true test of stew- ardship. At this writing there are 35 of our 73 parish- .... es that have committed themselves to parish stewardship. This is a most encouraging note. The Office of Stew- ardship and Develop- ment was responsible for putting into place the Catholic Founda- tion of Southwestern Indiana. This founda- tion now has its own director. The Catholic Foundation makes it possible for parishes to pool perpetual endowments with others to gain the greatest benefit for all. The Foundation assists in long-term needs particularly evident in the perpetual care of ceme- teries and upkeep of parish buildings, especially parish There are also diocesan-wide ..... Shea bequeathed a which has been used endowment in his name ration of young men fo: There is also a Endowment, vide for the porting. There is a by a gift of National Endowment for assist in san budgeting.  Please note that dation of South intended to replace tb and Loan Fund. ments are irrevocable est from them is Through t of Stewardship also provided a parishes to bers who exem of time, talent November we ever of new members nized by their own standing examples time, talent and Stewardship Roger Doone, a parishioner at Holy Name Church, recipient of the diocesan Brutd Award. The annual Bishop Gerald  Gettelflnger. INSURANCE AGENCY 464-5993 DENNIS K. FELDHAUS Mater Dei Class of '70 GEORGE P. HELFRICH Mater Dei Class of '69 , "'We support Catholic We are a small enormous when we and talent that so manY tribute to the life ofour  First, I challenge the persons and expended by members for the life of the the members nizations including the council and all its jAME