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Evansville, Indiana
July 5, 1996     The Message
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July 5, 1996

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Princeton Deanery will be a By PAUL R. LEINGANG Message editor Following is the third in a series of reports on parish staffing. Statistics and staff names are taken from the 1996 Diocesan Yearbook and Direc- tory. Recap During 18 months of gather- ing ideas and information from parish and deanery leaders in the Diocese of Evansville, members of the Future Parish Staffing Task Force drew up proposals for the year 2005. The proposals were pre- sented to the Priests' Council, to priests and pastoral life co- ordinators at a presbyterate meeting, and to the Diocesan Pastoral Council. The task force chairman, Fa- ther Joseph Ziliak, also pre- sented the recommendations to the diocese at large, in a series of three regional meetings held at Vincennes, Evansville and Ireland, during June. The task force has projected that 44 priests will be avail- able for parish ministry in 2005, to care for Catholics who now attend 73 parishes. Three steps were recom- mended: Link two or more parishes, to be served by one pastor and one pastoral life coordinator or other staff. Cluster multiple parishes with one or more priests and additional staff. Convert a parish church building to a chapel or oratory. Deanery and parish leaders are being asked to use the pro- posals and develop a plan. Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfin- ger said he expects the Wash- ington Deanery to have a plan in place by May 1997, and to have plans in place at two more deaneries by 1999. Princeton Deanery The Princeton Deanery, one of the smaller deaneries in the diocese, will become even smaller in the future if the rec- ommendations are followed. The deanery currently in- cludes seven parishes, but the task force recommends realign- ing the boundaries so that St. Francis Xavier, Poseyville, would be part of the Evansville West Deanery. The parish in Poseyville would have a pastor, who would also be responsible for priestly ministry in New Har- mony. The six parishes recom- mended to remain as part of the Princeton Deanery cur- rently have six diocesan priests; each parish has a pas- tor. In the future, however, the expectation is that only four priests will be available. They would be assigned to St. Joseph, Princeton; St. James, near Haubstadt at St. James; Sts. Peter and Paul, Haub- stadt, and Holy Cross, Fort Branch. A half time PLC or other parish staff member would help to serve the needs of Catholics at Blessed Sacra- ment, Oakland City, and at St. Bernard, Gibson County. In presenting the proposals, the task force chairman, Fa- ther Ziliak, acknowledged that St. Joseph Church Blessed Sacrament Church the impact of the new Toyota plant was still to be deter- mined. Toyota is building a truck factory in Gibson County, south of Princeton and north of Fort Branch, along U.S. Highway 41. The most recent population projections available from the state were completed prior to the Toyota announcement. Some changes in the parish staffing plan may have to'be made as the impact of Toyota becomes more clear. As recommended currently, however, the four parishes on U.S. Highway 41 will have res- ident pastors. Those four parishes each have a Catholic school. Princeton St. Joseph was established as a mission in 1855 and as a parish in 1867. The church building took its current shape in 1979 when major renovation work began on what had been an auditorium and a tempo- rary church. The first parish church, ded- icated in 1867, was replaced in 1897. A parish school opened in 1898. According to the 1996 Year- book and Directory, the school currently has nine teachers and 92 pupils. Patricia Endi- cott is the principal. Father James Koressel, pas- tor since 1990, is leaving this month to become pastor of St. Clement Church, Boonville. Father Bernard Etienne, who was ordained in 1993, will be the new pastor in Princeton. Father Etienne will also con- tinue as diocesan vocations di- rector. Parish staff members in- clude Sister Melanie Rauh, P.H.J.C., who serves as pas- toral associate, music minister and - DRE, and Chris Matthews, parish secretary. There are 511 families, or 1,454 individuals, listed in the parish. The religious education program serves a total of 94 students in pre-school, elemen- tary and high school. Masses are celebrated on weekends at 6 p.m. on Satur- day and at 8 and 10 a.m. on Sunday. According to the proposals made by the future parish staffing task force, a priest- pastor would continue to reside at St. Joseph. The parish would be linked with Blessed Sacrament, Oakland City, where a half-time PLC or other staff person would assist. Oakland City Blessed Sacrament was es- tablished as a mission in 1923, and as a parish in 1948. Oak- land City is at the eastern edge of Gibson County, on Indiana Highway 57. In the early ;1900s, the pas- tor of the church at Snake Run would come north once a month to celebrate Mass at a Catholic family home in Oak- land City. In 1922, however, donations were collected and a chapel was completed in January 1923. According to parish his- tory, construction was opposed by the Ku Klux Klan. Mass was celebrated by vis- iting priests, until 1947, when Father Francis Bauer was ap- pointed as the first resident pastor. Father Alfred Niehaus, who followed as pastor, guided construction of the current church building, which was dedicated in May 1955. The parish at Oakland City currently lists 96 families, or 296 individuals. Father Felix Preske, a priest from another diocese, is the ad- ministrator of the parish. Fa- St. Blessed Holy Cross, : St. Bernard, Gibson Sts. Peter and Paul, Hau Present 6 Diocesan Priests St. James Church ther Preske, a native of south- ern Indiana, returned to the area after his retirement. Staff members include Bar- bara Verley, DRE; Lynn Will, youth minister; Jim Hook, music minister, and Mary Sives, parish secretary. The religious education pro- gram serves 55 students in pre-school, elementary and high school. Masses are celebrated on weekends at 6 p.m. on Satur- days and at 9 a.m. on Sunday. If the deanery proposal is adopted, a half-time PLC would care for the day-to-day needs of the parish at some time in the future. The parish has had experience with a PLC; Deacon Richard Preske and Deacon Robert Hayden, both of Evansville, have served St. James, in the past as ordinators. In served and Sts. tersburg. was had to different time serve the tw! land City use tral tersburg Eastern year around- As ment Joseph, the same