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

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r] --2005 Priests PLCs Were built. School, which was nsolidated Ltem from 1933 to closed in 1973. Sullivan Sullivan, is Sullivan Coun- pas- also cares for St. in neigh- County. Father serves as a state prison Task Force recommendations staffing that continue to :hurch Should become 225 families, listed at religious serves and high rtts. St. L Secretary. on Oll and 10 a.m. Was estab- ,.ad it contin- of St. Haute, That's the O'Dono- to the Was built replaced by a and multi- in 1980. items in is the Henry J. to drive miles each 'and bring the :i!iiii+ ii!!!i i;!?!! i!iiii!!i!!'i!iiiiiiiiiiiiii/' iiiii:i  ...... +,i!!iiiiiiiiiiii+!il; : sa.craments to the sick. Vincennes Three parishes are located in Vincennes, the historic commu- nity on the Wabash which was the center of Catholicism in the Northwest Territory. Three more parishes are located near Vin- cennes in Knox County, at St. Thomas and in the Highland area in the south, and at Bicknell to the north. The six parishes, currently have six priests, a sacramental priest who celebrates Sunday Mass at St. Thomas, and a PLC, also at St. Thomas. The parish- es in Vincennes also operate a Catholic school system with over 500 pupils: In 2005, only three priests will be available for the six parishes. Two full time PLCs and one half-time PLC are rec- ommended to help provide the needs of the Catholic families. St. Vincent de Paul, just south of the city, is included in the diocesan directory as one of the parishes of Vincennes. The loca- tion was formerly known as High- land, and its history includes a seminary in the early years of the Diocese of Vincennes and an orphanage which continued into the early years of the Diocese of Evansville. Bishop Celestine de la Hai- landiere was building a house for himself two miles from Vin- cennes, where he planned to retire. Plans changed, and the frame house was completed in 1851 as St. Charles Seminary. In 1860, Bishop St. Palais moved the orphanage for boys from Vincennes to Highland, and re-named it in honor of St. Vincent de Paul The girls' orphanage was moved from Vin- cennes to Terre Haute, and later to Indianapolis and then to Highland. Through all the changes, nearby Catholics attended Mass, first at the seminary chapel, and later at the orphanage chapel. When the orphanage was closed in 1972, the church community continued with their "new" parish. Father Albert Scheller is the pastor of the parish, which cur- rently lists 110 families, or 380 individuals. Parish staff includes Bonny Ready, DRE, and music minis- ters Sara Bilskie and Mary Nowaskie. Masses are celebrated on Sat- urdays at 5:30 p.m., and on Sun- days at 10 a.m. The religious education pro- gram serves 67 students of pre- school, elementary and high school age. The parish staffing task force recommends linking St. Vincent de Paul with the Old Cathedral -- a sharing of staff which recalls the way things were prior to 1853, when priests from the Cathedral served the needs of the orphans and their neigh: bors. The proposal calls for a pastoral life coordinator to serve St. Vincent. Sacred Heart Church, newest of the Vincennes parishes, was established in 1908. Father John Becher, an assistant at nearby St. John Church, was the first pastor. He served 46 years, until his death in a car accident in 1954. A combination church and school building served the parish in .1909. The new church was dedicated in 1924. A new parish school, dedicated_ in 1961, was later sold to the public schools. Students from Sacred Heart and other parishes in the city went to the new Flaget Ele- mentary School and Rivet Junior and Senior High School, starting in 1973. Father James Blessinger is the pastor of the parish. Fran- ciscan Sister Barbara James is pastoral associate and DRE. Marcia Johanningsmeier is the parish secretary. Sacred Heart has 589 fami- lies, or 1,463 individuals. The religious education program serves 106 students. St. John the" Baptist Church was established in 1847 to serve the needs of German families living in Vincennes. For most of the first 75 years, pastors were German- or Swiss-born priests. Father C.O. Bosler, born in Rockport, was the first Ameri- can-born priest; he was pastor from 1923 to 1938. The current parish school building, completed in 1953, is now operated as part of the con- solidated Catholic schools. Father Donald Ackerman is the pastor of the parish, which lists 816 families, or 2,090 indi- viduals. Staff includes Lynn Carie, DRE and youth minister; Gloria Kiefner, music minister, and Dottle Lane, parish secre- tary. The religious education pro- gram serves 144 students. Weekend Masses are cele- brated Saturdays at 5:30 p.m. and on Sundays at 7, 8:30 and 11 a.m. The task force recommends linking St. John the Baptist with St. Thomas Church, south of the city in Knox County. The recommendation is for a priest- pastor at St. John, and a half- time PLC at St. Thomas. The Basilica of St. Francis Xavier (the Old Cathedral) is the oldest parish in Indiana. Land was acquired in 1732; parish records begin in 1749. St. Francis Xavier, named in honor of the patron saint of a French missionary, became the cathedral church for the Dio- cese of Vincennes, established in 1834. The first church served as the Masses are celebra QnSat, .... meeting ro+0m where Gor ......... +. uraays at 6 p.m. and on Sun- Rogr Clark negotiated thesur: days at 8 and 10:30 a.m. The parish staffing report rec- ommends that Sacred Heart and St. Philip Neri, north of Vin- cennes at Bicknell, be linked together. A priest-pastor is rec- ommended for Sacred Heart, and a PLC at Bicknell. The church building which serves the St. Joan of Arc worshipping community at Jasonville is rec. ommended to be chhnged to an oratory, or chapel, where Mass would be celebrated only on special occasions. The file photograph, above, shows the church building in 1988. render of the British-held fort at Vincennes, during the American Revolution. America's first public school teacher, Father John Francis Rivet, is buried in the church yard. The old Cathedral, the "Cra- dle of Catholicism" in Indi- ana, currently has 521 fam- ilies, or 1,127 individuals: There are 101 students in the religious education pro- gram. Father John Sclfipp is pas- tor. Father Robert Nemergut i associate pastor. Parish staff includes Rose Marie Marsh, coordinator of reli- gious education, Randy Crismore, music minister. and Kimberly Wolfe, parish secreta . Rivet High School. which serves the Catholic families ofall parishes in Vinoennes, is located at the Old Cathe- dral. Richard Kapiszka is the principal of the school, which has 17 leachers and 218 pupils in grades 6 through 12. Flaget Elementary School is located at St. John the Baptist Clurch. Deidra Schleicher is principal of the school, which has 17 teachers and 290 pupils in the K-5 program. The parish staffing task force calls for linking the Old Cathedral with St. Vincent de Paul just south of the city, with a priest- pastor at the Old Cathe- dral and a PLC at St. Vin- cent.