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

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VIII The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana, State of the Diocese had 143 professed Christians who came into to full communion with the Catholic Church and received the Sacrament of Confirmation. There is another element that you must consider. That is the number of young people who receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. This past year alone, I visited 39 sites and confirmed 1,305 of our young people. Through the programs of preparation ff)r confirmation and their challenge to service, they have indeed been evangelized, and by their witness of service, they have given an example for the rest of us to follow. We must also acknowledge the uncounted programs of evangelization in our diocese. There are the prominent movements in our diocese that flourish as efforts to evangelize our own mem- bers. They include Cursillo, the Charis- matic Renewal, Christ Renews His Parish, and the Christian Family Move- ment. There is the long-standing effort of the Legion of Mary to evangelize by example. For young people, there is Teens Encounter Christ. We also have a Catholic presence through Campus Min- istry at the University of Evansville, University of Southern Indiana and Vin- cennes University. There is a wonderful program, Landings, which welcomes home those who have been away from the Church for whatever reason. It has had excellent participation in our dio- cese. There are those of our community who tirelessly evangelize by example. In our diocese, there is a very lively St. Vincent de Paul Society found in all of our larg- er communities and many parishes. The Family Life Center at St. Anthony in Evansville is another example. In our diocese, as elsewhere, there are the ministries to those who are ill and incarcerated. Our chaplains, parish priests, deacons and laity touch many who are open to evangelization. I should remind you that this population in our diocese  including those in hospitals and detention centers  is not small. The state prison at Carlisle, Indiana, is of great concern for us, not to mention the county jails in our diocese. Let us be reminded that prisoners, inmates and residents  they are people too. Strengthening of marriage and family life Concern for marriage and family life has long been central to the work of Catholic Charities in our diocese. The issues surrounding abortion in our coun- try and our local efforts to support life at all levels have been uppermost in the work of Catholic Charities in recent years. Pro-life activities have been inten- sifted and we, through Catholic Chari- ties, are very much a part of right-to-life activities in our local communities. Not only do we celebrate Respect Life Sun- day, but we are also making special efforts to stem violence, an act against life, at home, at school, in the market- place, and, yes, in church. Marriage is one of two social sacra- ments. It is a gift to the individuals who commit a life of fidelity to each other, but it is also gift to the community. The fam- ily is the basic unity of all society, hence, marriage is both a private and public matter. Providing adequate preparation for couples wishing to marry is a most important work of Catholic Charities. They provide Pre-Cana, and coordinate Tobit Weekends, as proximate prepara- tion which complements the work of pas- toral leaders at the parish. There is an effort to expand the presence of Sponsor Couples and to provide education in Nat- ural Family Planning. The work of our Diocesan Tribunal assists individuals seeking to have mar- ri'/iges rctifie,4; a the.Ghr;h, ThiGpa6 ,, |  a l ca,endar )'eat alone, our'lnuh:iieSff with 401 marriage cases. In the last two years, the staff of our Tribunal has been able, with intense effort, to shorten the time between the filing of a marriage case and obtaining a decision. They have accomplished this along with assum- ing heavier responsibil- ities within the Province of Indiana since Evans- ville is the court of appeal for the Diocese of Gary. This arrange- ment replaces the Regional Tribunal. Catholic Charities staff members have con- centrated their efforts in providing greater ser- vices through outreach initiatives in the deaner- ies outside of Evansville. More counseling oppor- tunities are available serving the Jasper, Vin- cennes and Washington Deaneries. There is extended counseling service in our schools. In this way young people are assisted and thereb), family life is supported and strengthened. Catholic Charities also serves as lead agent for social justice concerns, partic- ularly the care of the poor in our urban areas. The staff collaborates with other local United Way Agencies in providing services to the community at-large. This effort includes not only family counseling but also assistance to the bereaved par- The newborn triplets of Bill and Shannon Helfrich are baptized at St. Philip Philip, by Father David Fleck. The infants are Margaret, Elizabeth and Matthew .... ticularly those whose lives have been touched by abortion through Project Rachel counseling. There is the wonderful annual cele- bration of Golden Wedding Jubilees. Each year the number of participants has grown, and in fact, it is a celebra- tion of 50-years and beyond. It has proven to be one of the strongest wit- nesses to marriage fidelity in our time and place. This too is coordinated by Catholic Charities staff. Vocations to pri and religious life It is no secret that over the last 31 years a the numbers of ordained our diocese. The work for Future Parish realities. It has been on average, one neW Father Kenneth Steckler recent. Efforts by our and the team working ue. Called by Name and are programs a es and schools to ner of speaking, who appear to have the gious life and priesthood. Recently we have begun Over 1,000 people attended the fourteenth annual diocesan Jubilee Cele- bration at Holy Redeemer Church, Evansville last October. The celebration honors couples who have been married 50 years or more; Catholic Chari- ties coordinates the celebration. Henry and Pauline Will of Evansville have ben-married 69-years, ............................................. ! Following studyin Theology * Joe St. Meinrad Meinrad, Ind.; Joseph, Ill.; Home Pariah - St. Celestine , , Eugene Schlvdtti gy - H, Sacred ology, Hales Parish - St. Don II, St. Meinrad St. Meinrad Boniface, Q lege - III, St. Meinrad, Ind,; Rosy, Max St. Meinrad Ind.; Home ...... cennes. Keith St. Meinrad Ind.; Home Tours, Siberia, St. Meinrad Ind.; Home ingburg. "Joht Meinrad Home Parish County.