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January 31, 1997     The Message
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January 31, 1997

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X The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana .State of the Diocese Spring Deanery Assemblies--- part of the planning process By PAUL R. LLINGANG Message editor "Pastoral planning is a process whereby we develop goals and objectives to accomplish the mission of the Church," said Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger in a letter to pastors and pastoral life coordinators in the diocese. His letter" accom- panied a schedule of the Deanery Assemblies for this year. The assemblies are part of the diocesan planning process. First of all, each parish is asked to identify up to three major needs as they relate to the diocese. A parish might use a council meeting, a parish assembly, a staff meeting or some other means to determine the three major needs. Parishes are then asked to send in summaries of their needs Iby March 31 this year). Summaries will be coordinated by Judy Neff, diocesan chancellor, and dis- tributed to the parishes within each deanery'. In preparing the summaries, parish respondents are asked to tell what the need is, why it is a need, and what may be some possible ways to meet the need. Three representatives from each parish, along with pastors or pastoral life coordinators, are invited to participate in the DeaneD" Assemblies, which are scheduled in April. Participants will discuss the needs of the parishes, and come up with the most important needs of a deanery. The seven deans of the diocese will assess the information from the assemblies; the Diocesan Pastoral Council will consult with the bishop on the needs and their priorities, and the bishop will establish priorities for action. Deanery Assemblies were established as part of the planning process last year. Among the priorities established was the need for lay leadership training. The information from the assemblies helped spur the development of the new Office for Adult Formation. Assemblies this year are scheduled on weekday evenings, at 7 p.m., local time, at six locations in the diocese:. • Vincennes and Princeton Deaneries: Old Cathedral Parish Center, Vin- cennes, Wednesday, April 16. • Newburgh Deanery, St. John School gym, Newburgh, Monday, April 21. • Jasper Deanery, Precious Blood, Endress Hall, Jasper, Tuesday, April 22. • Evansville East Deanery, Catholic Center, Wednesday, April 23. • Washington Deanery, St. John, Loogootee, Monday, April 28. • Evansville West Deanery, Catholic Center, Wednesday, April 30. within our diocese. The program is fund: ed on an annum basis through the Catholic Parishes Campaign, formerly the ADA and Bishop's Fund. In short, the cost of retirement for our lay per- sonnel is spread across the diocese. The amount of money required to fund it on an annual basis is determined actuari- ally. Due to under-funding in prior years, significant increases had to be made in the early 1990s to insure the solvency of the fund. Some of you may recall the trauma that those increases caused. It is important to note that the fund- ing needs for the retirement program are driven by the employing entities, i,e. parishes and institutions. The cost, how- ever, is shared by all the parishes despite the number of lay employees. Deacons and lay persons employed by the diocese participate in this pro- gram. Religious brothers and sisters employed by the diocese do not. The annual cost for our lay retire- ment program is the single largest item in our annual Catholic Parishes Cam- paign. This must be kept in mind when decisions about hiring additional employees are made. Without going into a long history of the plan for lay medical insurance, beginning in September 1995, each employing entity is required to pay an established informational fee (premium) for each of its lay employees (including deacons, religious brothers and sisters). The choice to participate in the program rests with the employee, however, the parish or institution must pay the fee regardless of an employee's decision to participate. The program provides for dependent coverage, however the parish or institution is not obliged to pay costs for dependents. In conclusion, please note the differ- ences in the method of funding our per- sonnel benefits. At the same time, I ask you all to accept my thanks for your patience and cooperation in these mat- ters and ask your continued support in Annual diocesan planning and budgeting cycle This will be brief in that you will find in the appendices two documents relat- ing to planning and budgeting. One details the cycle for planning. The other is the summary report of the Spring Deanery Assemblies reflecting the needs felt by the faithful throughout the dio- cese. There is both a caution and a frus- tration inherent in the process of iden- tifying needs and the ability to meet them. There is the need to acknowledge that the staff of the Catholic Center serves to maintain programs that are in place, I reference the last section alone relating to personnel benefits. Further, the evolutional stages of items estab- lished by synodal actions demand regu- lar attention and cause frustration when goals and objectives are not met according to expected schedules. Plan- ning requires disciplined decision mak- ing. It demands that priorities be estab- lished in keeping with available resources, both financial and personnel. The pain comes when new priorities require the letting go of former ones. I want to take this opportunity to express my gratitude for all ofyou who participate in the life of our church at the parish and institutional level. Your collaboration is central to fulfilling our mission. It is my joy to indicate to you my pride in the wonderful professional leaders we have in our diocese. My appreciation for their witness to service is immeasur- able. Looking to the future Our Holy Father has calle4 all of us to be conscious of the coming of the third millennium of Christianity. He speaks and writes so often of the "new evange- lization." He has invited us to celebrate these years leading up to the jubilee£ome .................. year. ........ • As I mentioned earlier, for some rea- son oi" other, I have difficulty becoming passionate about the word evangeliza- tion for I recognize that there is so much " be done to encourage those who have ah'eady been evangelized through bap- tism. But I suspect that is precisely the point that the Holy Father is nmking. The new evangelization includes all of" us. We therefore must renew our" ener- gies to do personal study, and reflection on the Gospel so as to translate our faith into action. Further, by word and exam- ple, we must reach out to the lapsed members of our faith, the under- churched, the un-churched and the non- believers in our midst. In short, we are already in the vineyard. It is time to go to work, There are two areas of Catholic life in our diocese I would like to single out for particular work as we anticipate the third millennium. They are the two great social sacraments, with emphasis on the first. Marriage is, in my estimation, the greatest of the two social sacraments. It is through marriage that life is trans- mitted, the very life that God has cre- ated. It is through the loving coopera- tion of our parents that God chose to give life to you and to me. It is through the natural institution of marriage that families come into being. Jesus elevated it and made it sacred through the Sacra- ment of Matrimony. It is from the fam- ily that all other vocations flow including the second social sacrament, that of Holy Orders. There is no question that there is a shortage of ordained priests as we com- pare the statistics even of the recent past. We must not allow ourselves to look to the past or even the present in this matter. Unless there is perceived value ofpnestly servcd and ofvocatmns in the home and as evidenced in the lives of those of us who are priests, we will find ourselves without the services of the ordained priest. The need for priests in our diocese belongs to us. We must not allow ourselves to "look beyond our boundaries" for help. We are not a missionary territory, for we have" received the Gospel. The Church provides its people with bishops and consecrates them to service in the third of the Holy Orders. The Church has had from its earliest begin- ning the sacrament of the Holy Order of Deacon. In the next year, there will be a consultat al of tbrmation for permanent deacons deacon is one who is service of the tical and temporal We are blessed with t Vowed Religiot diocese. They five marily by their lives what they do. ness are gfift to us. There is a r gle men and commit themselves the community, in the Often their presence their ministry is quit nonetheless sacred community is blessed Our children and youth, look to us ance. They not cally emulate are the "child they are no less Jesus the Child whose I ing. We must examples of witness withthe rnitted to us..We must Note: The text cese was prepared Gettelfinger, ing of parish leaders, ' A scheduled byterate, Nov. 20, Bishop Gettelfinger  the funeral of Bernardin The text sage has ty: ment. The origin-  the following • Vision for Catholic Diocese • Statistical ery Assemblies, 1996. • Annual i Budgeting Cycle • Vital Statistics Diocese of Evansville Copies of the are available munication, Box 4169, Evansville, Deacons serve the Diocese of Twenty-two deacons are active in the Diocese of Eva J Holsworth, diaconate coordinator, said several ongoing education programs have been scheduled for them. Deacons are invited to a session with Father John Buckle at 8. Father Buckle, a scripture scholar, will give a reflection on Lord, which is open to catechists and other interested persons At a later date, Father Brian Holtz of Evansville and the Diocese of Springfield, Ill., will give a workshop for deacons the Rites of the Catholic Church." Deacons serve in various ways. Following are the assignments: " • Joseph V. Blankenberger, St. Wendel, St. Wendel. • James Cavera, St. Mary, Evansville. • Lancaster Dow, Jr., unassigned. • Gilbert Fehrenbacher, St. Joseph, Vanderburgh County. • David Franklin, Corpus Christi, Evansville. • Richard Grannan, St. Agnes, Evansville. ,.,  • Donald Haag, Sts. Peter and Paul, Petersburg. • Stephen Hall, Holy Cross, Fort Branch, and St. • Robert A Hayden Jr., unassigned. • Francis Hillenbrand, St. Joseph, Vanderburgh County. • Thomas Holsworth, diaconate coordinator, and St. MarY, • Tom Lambert, St. Clement, Boonville,  : • Gerald D. McFalI, on medical leave. • Michael Morris. St. Simon, Washington. • Richard Preske, pastoral associate, Holy Rosary, • Joseph Schapker, Resurrection, Evansville. • Joseph Seibert, St. John, retired • Charles Seifert, Holy Family, Jasper. • Joseph Sturgis, pastoral life coordinator, St. Thomas, IOOX • Robert Thurgood, Holy Rosary, Evansville. • Edward Wilkerson, Good Shepherd, Evansville. • Cyril Will, Good Shepherd. Evansville.