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Evansville, Indiana
June 28, 1996     The Message
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June 28, 1996

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Vincennes Deanery will be By PAUL P LEINGANG Message editor Recap Proposals from the Future Parish Staffing Task Force call for some dramatic changes in order to provide sacramental ministry for the Catholic Church in southwestern Indi- ana. A proposal has been submit- ted for each of the seven deaner- ies in the diocese. Meetings of priests and parish staff mem- bers were held to receive sug- gestions within each deanery. The task force members pro- jected that 44 priests would be available for parish ministry in 2005 -- less than 10 years from now. To care for the Catholics who now attend 73 parishes in the diocese, the task force pro- posed the following steps: * Link two or more parishes, to be served by one pastor and one pastoral life coordinator or other staff. This is the solution recommended for most of the parishes in the diocese. * Cluster multiple parishes with two priests and additional staff. This is the solution rec- ommended for the Washington Deanery. Convert a parish church building to a chapel or oratory. This is the solution recommend- ed for Holy Trinity in Evansville; St. Joan of Arc, Jasonville, and St. Mary, St. Michael and St. Patrick, all in Daviess County. At an oratory, Mass might be celebrated on feast days and at special events; members of the worshipping community would regularly attend Mass at a nearby parish. Following is the second in a series of reports. Statistics cited and the names of staff members listed are taken from the 1996 Diocesan Yearbook and Directo- ry. Much of the information about parish histories is taken from a collection of articles pub- lished by the Message in 1989. Vincennes Deanery Eight diocesan priests cur- rently reside in the Vincennes Deanery and serve its 10 parish- es. In addition, one diocesan priest, Father Mark Kurzendo- erfer, is assigned to provide sacramental ministry at St. Thomas Church, Knox County. Two pastoral life coordi- nators are also active in the deanery. They are Benedic- tine Sister Diane Fischer, who lives and ministers at Holy Name Church, Bloom- field, and Deacon Joseph Sturgis, who serves St. Thomas Church, Knox County. In 2005, according to the task force projection, five diocesan priests and four pastoral life coordinators will serve nine parishes. The church building at St. Joan of Arc, Jasonville, would become an oratory. Sacramental service for the current worshipping community at Jasonville would be provided by the priest assigned to St. Mary Church, Sullivan. The task force recom- mends that the following parishes be linked, each with a pastor and a pastoral life coordinator: St. Peter, Linton, and Holy Name, Bloomfield; Sacred Heart, Vincennes, and St. Philip Neri, Bicknell; and the Basilica of St. Francis Xavier (old Cathedral) and St. Vincent de Paul, Vincennes. The task force also recom- mends that St. John the Baptist and St. Thomas be linked, with one priest-pastor and a half- time pastoral life coordinator. Bicknell St. Philip Neri Church was established in 1908 in Bicknell, north of Vincennes in Knox County. The city is named for John Bicknell, who founded the community in 1869. Early settlers, attracted by mining jobs, included persons of French, Polish, Italian, Hun- garian, Welsh and English ori- gin. The parish history reports that a priest from Vincennes came to celebrate Mass monthly in private homes or in a public hall for the 12 Catholic families who lived in the area in 1907. Priests from Vincennes con- tinued to serve the parish in its early years. Father William Lensing was the first resident pastor, appointed in 1934. The parish today lists 148 families, or 411 individuals. Father Timothy A. Tenbarge, appointed in 1990, is the pastor. Parish staff includes Cathy Kelle r, Joyce Villwock and Carol Wampler, coordinators of reli- gious education; Cristel Butrum is the parish secretary. Religious education programs serve a total of 77 students of pre-school, elementary and high school age. Weekend Masses are cele- brated on Saturday at 5 p.m. and Sunday at 9 a.m. The task force proposal calls for a return to the early history of the parish. According to the proposal, the parish in Bicknell and Sacred Heart Church, Vin- cennes, would share a priest- pastor and a PLC. The priest would reside at Sacred Heart. Bloomfield Holy Name Church, Bloom- field, is the first parish in the Diocese of Evansville to be served by a pastoral life coordi- nator. Benedictine Sister Mary Terrence Knapp was appointed Father Donald Ackerman, pastor of St. John Church the Baptist Church, Vin- cennes, is Dean of the V'mcennes Deanery. to that position by Bishop Fran- cis R. Shea in 1983. At that time, the position was known as "Pastoral Administrator." Benedictine Sister Diane Fis- cher, appointed in 1991 by Bish- op Gerald A. Gettelfinger, is the current PLC. Father Hilary Vieck, pastor of St. Peter Church, Linton, is the pastoral modera- tor. Holy Name Church is a rela- tively new parish in the diocese. It was established in 1959, with the appointment of Father Eugene Heerdink as pastor of the parish in eastern Greene County. Building projects over the years have steadily improved on what was available at the begin- ning -- a farm house for a rec- tory and a chicken house which was converted into a parish hall. The current facilities include the church, classroom space for religious education and living quarters. There are 125 families, or 320 individuals, in the parish. Staff includes Sue Yake, coordinator of religious education; Robert Holz, music minister; Mary Jo Gries, youth minister, and Richard Wetzel, financial man- ager. The religious education pro- gram serves 64 elementary and high school age students. Masses are celebrated on Sat- urdays at 6:30 p.m., and on Sun- days at 9 a.m. The task force recommenda- tion is for a continuation of the current arrangement. Holy Name is linked with St. Peter, Linton, with a priest-pastor at Linton and a PLC at Bloomfield. Jasonville St. Joan of Arc is one of the smallest worshipping communi- ties in the diocese, with 25 fam- ilies, or 52 individuals listed. But more people from Jasonville came to a recent parish staffing report than any of the other parishes in the Vincennes area. Parishioners and their pastor, Father Kenneth Graehler from St. Mary Church, Sullivan, agree that the community is very active and alive. While Father Graehler cur- rently travels from Sullivan each weekend to Jasonville, the task force proposal calls for a kind of reversal of that process. The rec- ommendation is that the church at Jasonville would become an oratory, with Mass cele- brated there only occasion- ally. Parishioners would travel to Sullivan for Mass on the weekends. The current church build- ing at Sullivan was intend- ed to be a "temporary struc- ture" when it was built in 1908. Father Adam Baron served Catholics in Linton and Jasonville in the early years, and his successors continued to serve both communities until recent years. St. Joan of Arc became a mission of St. Mary, Sulli- van, in 1982. A parish cen- ter was built in 1985. Volunteers from the parish take care of the buildings and grounds. Although the communi- ty is small, parishioners say there are frequent crowds from a nearby state St. Peter, : :! Holy Name, Sacred Heart, Vinc St. Philip Neri, ......... St. John, Vincennes--- : St. Thomas, Vincennes 1/2 #,,:,,;,::;, St. Francis .... :!i!i!iii!iiiiiii:ii!iiiiii!iii!  St. Vincer park on many summer week- ends. Mass is celebrated on Sat- urdays at 5 p.m. Linton St. Peter Church, Linton, has a long history of sharing parish staff with nearby com- munities. Through most of this century, priests at Linton have served Catholic communities at Jasonville and Bloomfield. The future parish staffing task force recommends continu- ing shared staff, with a priest- pastor at Linton and a PLC at Bloomfield. St. Peter was established in 1901. Many families in the area trace their roots to Eastern Europe and France. Their ances- tors came to work in area coal mines. The current church building was built in the middle of Vati- can II, according to Father Ronald Zgunda, who served as pastor from 1986 to 1990. Parish buildings were refurbished in 1988. A school was part of the parish mission for many years, first in 1909, in a frame building near the church. In 1956, the parish purchased an unused public school building. The parishno longer operates a school, and that building has been sold. A religious education program currently serves 79 students. Father Hilary Vieck, appoint- ed in 1990, is the pastor of the parish. He also serves as pas- toral moderator at H01y Name, Bloomfield. Parish staff at St. Peter includes Deborah Wright, DRE and parish secretary; and Donna Lannan, music minister. There are 234 families, or 560 individuals listed. Masses are celebrated on Sat- urdays at 5 p.m. and on Sun- 8 Diocesan 1 Sacr 2 PLCS:, ii , . :i I days at 10:30 p.m, St. Thomas St. Thomas County, s has and Deacon toral life from his horn! Father Mark te Dei High the eling to St. at Mass every For 23 yea rs, weather, Mlanuted her home ulate St. ThomaS. 5. panion from panied The religiq gram serves school, . :.. school: St. or 221 The future is linked Church, pastor cennes; care for the the St: dent pa! Father served his 1955 to tor The 1843, pastor: i"q twentieth