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Evansville, Indiana
June 7, 1996     The Message
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June 7, 1996

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Pope accepts resignation (,f bishop Gau GARY, Ind. (CNS) -- Pope John Paul II has accepted the resignation of Bishop Norbert F. Gaughan of Gary, effective June 1, it was announced by the Gary Diocese. The bishop turned 75 on May 30. Under church law, bishops must submit their resignations upon reaching 75. The last seven years of Bishop Gaughan's tenure, which began in 1984, were marked by health Priests problems. He suffered a mild stroke in 1989. A second stroke in 1992 affected his mobility and speech, and required him to have 24- hour care. He was later confined to a wheelchair and limited his work to several office visits a week and occasional appear- ances at diocesan functions. His successor is Bishop Dale J. Melczek, 57, who has been apostolic administrator of the Gary Diocese since 1992 and coadjutor bishop with the right of succession since last October. Bishop Melczek becomes the third bishop of the diocese. Born in Pittsburgh in 1921, Bishop Gaughan attended Catholic schools there and stud- ied for the priesthood at St. Vin- cent College and Seminary in Latrobe, Pa., earning a master's degree in 1944. He later earned a doctorate in philosophy from Continued from page 1 "We've got to work together on things like religious educa- tion, parish functions, all the daily activities," he said. Father Spencer looks to the future where he sees "a spirit of cooperation" throughout the Washington Deanery, among the parishes and among the priests, pastoral life coordina- tors and other members of parish staff. Father Spencer, the son of David and Kinko Spencer, was born in New York Sept. 25, 1956. His family moved to Columbus, Ohio when he was two, and later, to Cincinnati. After earning a business degree at Xavier College, he worked for five years as an accountant, be- fore making the decision to study for the priesthood. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Evansville May 19, 1989. His first assignment was as associate pastor of St. Ferdinand Church, Ferdinand. Subsequent assignments included Holy Rosary Church, Evansville, as associate in 1991, and Mary, Help of Christians. Church, Mariah Hill, as pastor in 1992. Working at more than one parish is not a new experience for Father Spencer. While serv- ing as pastor at Mariah Hill, he was also pastoral moderator at St. Nicholas Church, Santa Claus, where he worked to- gether with Benedicti,ne Sister Mary Terence Knapp, the pas- toral life coordinator. While pas- tor and pastoral moderator, he also served as a member of the diocesan Vocations Team. Sister Diane Fischer celebrating anniversary Benedictine Sister Diane Fis- cher, pastoral life coordinator of Holy Name Church, Bloomfield, will celebrate 40 years of vowed religious life with a special liturgy at Holy Name Church, June 13. The liturgy at 6:30 p.m. will be followed by a reception in the community room Sister Fischer, the daughter of Edna and William Fischer, was born in French Lick, Ind., Oct. 20, 1936. Her parents and an older sister, Ann Mings, now live in Louisville, Ky. Another sister, Rose Marie Teti, lives in Los Angeles, Calif. Sister Fischer entered the Benedictine community at Monastery Immaculate Concep- tion, Ferdinand, in 1954, and professed her vows on June 13, 1956. After receiving a bachelor's degree from St. Benedict Col- lege,Ferdinand, and a master's from Indiana State University, Terre Haute, she began her teaching career at Christ the King in Evansville. She also taught at Holy Redeemer, Evansville; Dubois South Side, Dubois; St. Thomas, Vincennes, and St. Anthony, St. Anthony. She also taught at Pine Ridge School, Birdseye, from 1976 to 1980, while doing church min- istry at Holy Family, Jasper, from 1978 to 1980. Sister Fischer was Vocation Director for her community from 1980 to 1985, while also teach- ing at Marian Heights Academy. In 1985, she began a year of study in California, and com- pleted her Masters in Applied Theology in 1989. Sister Fischer has been in pastoral ministry for 10 years, first at Holy Angels, New Har- mony (1986-1990) and in part- time ministry at St. Matthew, SISTER FISCHER Mt. Vernon (1988 -- 1990). Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger appointed her as pastoral life co- ordinator of Holy Name Church in January 1991. the University of Pittsburgh. Following his 1945 ordination for the Pittsburgh Diocese, Bishop Gaughan was assigned to parishes in Uniontown and Greensburg, Pa. He later served the new Diocese of Greensburg in several diocesan posts, in- cluding chancellor and vicar general. He was ordained auxiliary bishop of the Greensburg Dio- cese in 1975, and was named the second bishop of Gary in 1984. During the early years of his tenure, Bishop Gaughan intro- duced eucharistic ministers in parishes, reorganized the mar- riage tribunal, established a missions office and provided adult education programs for Catholics. In 1986, he moved diocesan operations from offices at the cathedral in Gary to a new $1.3 million Pastoral Center in Mer- rillville, a move he said would provide "high visibility and greater communication and ac- cessibility" for Catholics in Northwest Indiana. When committees working on the first diocesan pastoral plan wanted to restore the perma- nent diaconate in 1989, Bishop Gaughan said he was "opposed in conscience" to ordaining per- manent deacons because he wanted "to promote the laity." "There is nothing a deacon can do, except liturgically, that a trained lay person cannot do," he sd at the time. The bishop wrote a column for several diocesan newspapers and other publications, includ- ing Our Sunday Visitor, Cos" monweal, Catholic Twin CL, cle and the National Catholic g" publish.e_d ister He also books "Shepherds me "Troubled Catholics: The Lessons of Discontent. As chairman of the ops' Committee on tions, 1979-82, played a leading tablishment of the America, a national system that was year. A native of ]: Melczek comple ted training at SS. Methodius in Mich., and theologY St. John Provincial Plymouth, Mich. , He holds a mister s tion from the troit and has work in liturgY at the ..... sity of Notre Dame. Ordained for Archdiocese in Melczek served at Warren, Mich., held several including When jutor last October, czek said he mitment to the Gary and that the recommit itself evangelization, the Catholics and to young people who ceiving any religious or formation." Notice to Message ReaderS: The 1996-97 Message subscription a close. Persons who are in doubt about the scriptions are encouraged to call the Message 5536. Sister Mary Etta will be glad to determine renewal status. Subscribers are Message office informed of any changes in dresses. New and renewal subscriptions to the  ' throughout the year for a cost of $17.50 for 51 who have not renewed their subscriptions, this 7, 1996, will be the last one mailed to their homeS. Suspects arrested, pastor with video camera cre He said some parishes may not have realized that money had been stolen. He speculated that at some parishes, money from votive candles or from a poor box may be collected by more than one person. In such a case, one person may presume some one else already picked up the money, and no will realize that money was stolen. Sgt. Wagner said he believed the amounts of money involved ranged "from a couple of dollars to nearly a hundred." A report of the incident was M&S Fire & Safety Equip. Co. Inc. Over 25 years sales and service in the Tri-state 670 E. Franklin 424-3863 being made cese of ing dioceses including Ci ington, boro, a Belleville, Ill. Custom PoST over 2 AnY DAVIESS Hwy. 4rni. 81 By PAUL R. LEINGANG Message editor capturing the theft on videotape, Father Fleck was able to provide investigating officers with a de- scription of the couple and their car, and the license plate num- ber. Indiana Trooper Frank Smith spotted the car on a frontage road not far from St. James Church near Interstate 64 on May 31. Spotting the car was either"a stroke of luck or divine inter- vention," Sgt. Wagner said. Trooper Smith arrested the two and took them to the Posey County jail at Mt. Vernon, Ind., where they were held pending their first court appearances June 3. Dennison is charged with two counts of theft; Smith with one count. Bond was set at $2,500 for An Ohio couple is accused of stealing money from one Catholic Church in southwestern Indi- ana, and may be involved in thefts from at least seven more Catholic churches in the Diocese of Evansville, according to Indi- ana State Police Sgt. Gregg Wagner. 29-year old James Dennison and 38-year old Linda Smith, both of Cambridge, Ohio, are ac- cused of taking money from St. Philip Church, St. Philip. Father David Fleck, the parish pastor, set up a videotape system after he suspected that some one was breaking into the box used to hold the money given for votive candles. After COMPLETE INSURANCE SERVICE Auto! Home! Fire & Life! Your Personal Service Agent James L. Will Ins. Agency Inc. each of the suspects, after they entered pleas of not guilty to the Class D felony charges at Posey County Circuit Court. The pair is due back in court on June 13. The charges were filed in con- nection with two incidents of theft reported at St. Philip Church. No other charges have been filed, but at least seven other churches across the dio- cese may have lost money, ac- cording to Sgt. Wagner. He said inquiries were also being made in another state, but he declined to identify that other state. 1925 W. Franklin Street 425-3187 301 MAIN ST, VINCENNES, IN 47591