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Evansville, Indiana
March 10, 1995     The Message
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March 10, 1995

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10, 1995 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 'nda Bell el YANN HUGHES Ssage staff writer Friday, when Valinda the altar at Church, Evans- wedding rome Mattingly, will bring 81 with her. And iction that she's "Year-old bride-to-be says she's 'following God's plan' to go, as she ons ng day, her on white dresses, guest lists, reception. But the midst of she stops she's not a simple life corn- Work, devotion to and dedication to Where she has years, the ered with per- members and and popes. 79-year-old n her living ands they nt at to them. both. Le Westside of en they were kids, Jerome's father had an ice route and he would deliver ice to Valinda's family home. Sometimes, Jerome would ac- company his father on the route. "He knew all my family and I knew all his family," Valinda says. After high school, Jerome joined the service, and later married and moved to Illinois. He and his wife had one son and he was widowed a few years ago. Valinda dated quite a bit after she graduated from high school, but she never married. She says she was pretty seri- ous about one boy, but he was a Baptist, and she felt the gap between the religions was too great. "People make fun of me when I say this, but I just started praying that we would stop going together." As a young woman, she also felt a special pull to take care of her parents, a pull that tightened when her father died unexpectedly. "What it all boiled down to was that I didn't feel like get- .ting married then," she says. While the single life was the life she chose, there still were many lonely moments. That all changed a few months ago, when she walked into an Evansville funeral home to pay her respects to Jerome's sister. "I always go to the funeral home, because I know what it means to me." Al- though she and Jerome didn't talk too much at the funeral home, he called her at home a few days later. She thought he had the wrong number. "He wanted to know if he Could come over and visit. When he came over, we talked and talked. We learned our families had lived in the same house at different times." After +several trips to Evansville, and numerous calls, Jerome pro- posed. "He said, 'I would like to marry you.' I said that I didn't know. I'd never been married." Valinda called a close friend, Father Joseph Clauss, a priest of the Diocese of Evansville now living in California. He told her that he had been pray- ing for her iecause he was worried about her living alone. "He said, 'I've been praying, but I didn't know Lwas pray- ing for Jerome.'" After the proposal, she began "talking to God, asking him to guide me." Soon, she accepted Jerome's proposal, believing it was God's will for her. "I believe God has guided me. We are both really happy and "we love one an- n Heights hosts second annual Challenge Championship in the partici- nd annual p was Heights rand. The and [rl 'burgh Holy Spirit's team consisted of Nathan Eatmon, Emily Stewart, Heather Townsend and Jessica Baumgart. Richard Hoar, Nathan Ju- lian, John Webster and Abby Johnson represented Holy Re- deemer. Jason Provence, Kyle Buehner, Chris Ames and Kyle LeClere were St. John team members. Jared Hamilton, Phil Klaus, Kyle Brames and Matt Kuntz represented Holy Family School. St. Bernard's team was com- posed of Aaron Benton, Eric Lindauer, Brock Symon and + Chris Keown. amily, Rock- corn- sixth, stu- e St. John eel placed ,re drawn interna. and So- academy and fa- IIlem Tim and Mitch Kyle Buehner, right, holds the microphone for Jason Provence as he answers a question during the second an- nual Teen Challenge Championship at Marian Heights Academy, Ferdinand. The two are students at St. John the Baptist School, Newburgh. NT I II IIIII Hi-Tech Sheet Metal Inc. Residential, Industrial & Commercial Heating & Cooling Installation Sales & Service i 422.9242 1 .... Operated by Michael and Patricla Koch 15 S. Third Avenue, Evansvil]e Ili ii il I I I MILLER & MILLER "Funeral Pre-Planning Since 1940" 424-9274 I II I I I other." Since they became engaged, Valinda's life has taken a new direction. Besides her new dia- mond ring, she also has a new family. She calls Jerome's son "our son" and she's getting to know her soon-to-be grandchil- dren. It's been a whirlwind ro- mance, and she's had a lot to do to get ready for her wed- ding. "I feel so dumb," the bride-to-be says, "because I have to ask so many people so many questions." With the wedding one week 3 away, the couple is busy pick- ing out the readings for the Mass, checking the final arrangements for the recep- tion, and adding people to the invitation list. "When we call people with the news, we ask them, 'Are you sitting down?'" As she stops to reflect, Valinda says, "In my later years, I would think that maybe I should have married. But now I think this is the way that it's supposed to be. "It's in God's plan. That's why I said yes." Jerome Mattingly and Valinda Bell are preparing to ex- . change wedding vows next Friday at Resurrection Church, Evansville. The bride is 81 and her soon-to-be husband is 79. -- Message photo by Mary Ann Hughes i i iii Followig is a feature in the Message, designed to help draw together the People of God in southwestern Indiana. Readers are invited to submit information about people who may benefit by some extra prayers and attention. * Father Roman Heerdink, a retired priest of the Diocese of Evansville, is hospitalized at Welborn Hospital in Evansville. His address is Welborn Hospital; Room 6105, 401 SE 6; Evansville IN 47713. Karen Riordan recently married Paul Stewart. She is the principal at Sts. Peter and Paul School, Haubstadt, and the former principal at St. Theresa School, Evansville. Please send information for PEOPLE WE CARE ABOUT to Mary Ann Hughes, The Message, P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724. i i i iii i + i CbMFLETE INSURANCE SERVICE+ Auto! Home! Fire & Life! Your Personal Service Agent James L. Will Ins. Agency Inc. 925 W. Franklin Street 425o318; i ii IIII IIIII I II I I II I I j . Elementary School Principal Position Holy Trinity School is a 38-year-old Catholic school offering a Pre-School -- 8th grade program. Located in the mountains of Southeastern Kentucky, the 100+ students are from all faiths. Dedicated, experienced staff: active parent support group, Fully accredited by the State of Kentucky. Diocesan Salary Scale. Qualifc.ations: Certified or willing to be certified in the State of Kentucky. Deadline: Apdl 10, 1995. Resumes should be sent to: Search Committee Holy Trinity School 2536 South Highway 471. Harlan, Kentucky 40831. Fax: (606) 573-6315. IIII I III III I i I i