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Evansville, Indiana
July 12, 1996     The Message
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July 12, 1996

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8 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana July 12, Newburgh Deanery will be affe By PAUL R. LEINGANG Dale, and St. Nicholas, Santa L! Message editor Claus. I' As a group, the parishes of Following is the fourth in a series of reports on the propos- als from the Future Parish Staffing Task Force. Parish staff names and statistics are taken from the 1996 Diocesan Yearbook and Directory. Recap the deanery are among the most active in new construc- tion and renovation projects. In the 1990s, a new church, school addition, and priests' house were completed at New- burgh and construction of a new church began at Santa Claus. The church at Chrisney was renovated. A larger wor- ship space -- perhaps, a new church -- is being considered at Boonville. New parish facili- ties were completed at Mariah Hill and are under way at Dale. The Future Parish Staffing Task Force projected 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 dio- cese, the task force proposed to link two or more parishes with one priest and a pastoral life coordinator or other staff per- son, to cluster several parishes under combined leadership, and to convert some churches into oratories where Mass would be celebrated only occa- sionally. Newburgh Deanery The task force recommended several changes in the parish deanery affiliation throughout the diocese. Recommendations included St. Theresa, now in the Evansville West Deanery, to be moved into the Evansville East Deanery; and St., Francis Xavier, Poseyville, currently in the Princeton Deanery, to be moved into the Evansville West Deanery. The largest change in dean- ery make-up, however, is rec- ommended for the Newburgh and Jasper deaneries. The task force calls for re- aligning four parishes south of 1-64, which are now in the Jasper Deanery and aligning them with the Newburgh Deanery: Mary, Help of Chris- tians, Mariah Hill; St. John Chrysostom, New Boston; St. Joseph, Dale, and St. Nicholas, Santa Claus. With deanery realignment, the Newburgh Deanery would have nine parishes, up from the current five. Seven diocesan priests, one Benedictine and one pastoral life coordinator currently serve the nine parishes pro- posed for this deanery. In 2005, the projection is that the parishes would be staffed by five diocesan priests, one Benedictine and three pastoral life co- ordinators. St. John, Newburgh, would have a priest-pas- tor. St. Clement, Boonville, would have a resident priest-pastor, who would also serve St. Rupert, Red Brush, where a pastoral life coordinator would handle day-to-day needs. A resident priest-pastor at St. Bernard, Rockport, would work together with a pastoral life coordinator at St. Martin, Chrisney. Four parishes would be clustered, with two dioce- san priests, a Benedictine priest and a pastoral life coordinator: Mary, Help of Christians, Mariah Hill; St. John Chrysostom, New Boston; St. Joseph, Boonville Among the parishes already undergoing significant changes in leadership is St. Clement, Boonville. St. Clement has a new pas- tor this month, Father James Koressel, who succeeds the for- mer pastor, Father James Sauer. Father Sauer, who came to Boonville in 1990, is now pas- tor of Holy Rosary Church, Evansville. Father Koressel was pastor of St. Joseph, Princeton, from 1990 until his recent appoint- ment to St. Clement. Benedictine Sister Geraldine Hedinger, pastoral associate at St, Clement, has recently been appointed the diocesan Direc- tor of the Officer for Adult For- mation; she will continue to work and reside at Boonville. Planning is temporarily on hold, on how to handle the need for more spac e for com- munity worshipping at St. Clement. The current church building was completed in 1882; the tower was added 10 years later. For many years earlier, Mass had been celebrated at private homes in the area. After the church was built, Mass was cel- ebrated there, by visiting priests from Evansville, Chris- ney, Rockport or Saint Mein- rad. Following extensive coal mining in this century, and the resultant loss of families who sold their land and moved away, the nearby parishes of Chrisney and Red Brush be- came missions of St. Clement. Land reclamation is begin- ning to reverse the population shift in portions of Warrick and Spencer Counties. St. Clement facilities include the church, a rectory, a con- vent and a school which was opened in 1952 and is now used for religious education and parish meeting space. Parish staff includes Deacon Thomas Lambert; Sister Hedinger, pastoral associate and DRE; Jackie Libbert, De- lene M. Black and Maggie Phillips, coordinators of reli- gious education; Mary An Miles, pastoral associate and RCIA coordinator; Benedictine Sister Mary Louse Uebelhor, music minister, and Barbara Forehand, administrative as- sistant. The parish has 565 families, or 1,675 individuals. The reli- gious education program serves 243 students in pre- school, elementary and high school. Weekend Masses are cele- brated on Saturdays at 5 p.m. and on Sundays 7:30 and 10 a.m. The task force recommends that St. Clement continue to have a priest-pastor, who will work together with a pastoral life coordinator at St. Rupert, Red Brush. Chrisney St. Martin Church was started in 1866, with about a dozen immigrant German fam- ilies. Benedictine priests from Saint Meinrad-visited the area and provided sacramental ser- vice. A cooperative arrangement of sharing clergy is a long tra- dition at St. Martin. Among the arrangements reported in the parish history is the story of Father John Book, who spent two Sundays a month in Rockport, one Sunday a month at Red Brush, and one Sunday a month at Chrisney. The first church was in nearby Centerville. The parish moved to Chrisney in 1898, and the current church was built. Restoration was re- cently completed during the pastorate of Father Paul Roos (1989 to 1995) Father Gordon Mann is the current pastor. Father Mann, ordained in 1992, was appointed to the parish in 1995. He is one Father Joseph Ziliak, pastor of St. John Church, Newburgh, is dean of the Newburgh Deanery. He also chaired the Future Parish Staffing Task Force. of the five active priests in the diocese ordained since 1990. Parish staff at St. Mar- tin includes Nora Weber, coordinator of religious education, and Devonna James, youth minister. The parish has 130 fami- lies, or 361 individuals. The religious education program serves 65 stu- dents of elementary and high school age. Weekend Masses are celebrated on Saturdays at 7 p.m and on Sundays at 8 a.m. (Father Mann also presides at Mass at St. Nicholas, Santa Claus, where Benedictine Sister Mary Terence Knapp is St. Clement Pastor St. Rupert- St. John, Newburgh -- St. Bernard, Rockport---" St. Martin, Present 7 Diocesan Priests 1 Order Priest 1 PLC the pastoral life coordinator.) The future staffing proposal links the parishes at Chrisney and Rockport. A priest-pastor would reside at St. Bernard, and a pastoral life coordinator would serve St. Martin. Dale Several families at Mariah Hill began-in 1895 to push for a church at Dale. They over- came some resistance -- that Dale was too close and did not need its own church -- and the new parish was established in 1909. Parish history reports that the church cornerstone was laid during solemn ceremonies, with Bishop Denis O'Donaghue preaching in English and Benedictine Father Maurice Wagner of Mariah Hill speak- ing to the families in German. Benedictine priests from Chrisney provided sacramental ministry at the new parish, continuing into the 1970s, the time of the last Benedictine pastor, Father Patrick Shaugh- nessy. Father James Blessinger, a diocesan priest now pastor of Sacred Heart Church, Vin- cennes, was named pastor at Dale in 1980. Father Joseph Kirsch, pastor from 1987 to 1992, is no longer ,active in priestly ministry. Father Eugene Heerdink was appointed pastor in 1992. Father Heerdink, who spent over 10 years in South Ameri- can mission work, is also the coordinator of the Spanish Speaking Apostolate. As in the beginning, two lan- guages are again in use. Week- end Masses at St. Joseph are in English on Saturdays at 5:30 p.m, and on Sundays at 8 and 10 a.m. The 11:30 Mass on Sunday morning is celebrated in Spanish. Parish staff includes Nancy Hovarter, DRE; pat brew, music minit Donna Milner, The parish has or 985 individuals. gious education serves 171 elemen high school studentS. Ground was broken' 30 for a new building, vide religious rooms, parish mee parish social space. Mariah Hill The communit: name to the postal official to German script Maria Hilf words of "MarY, HelT tians." the area first dinand Church, pleted their own church at Mariah The current was built in the disrupting the struction. The n, building was ere and above the ture. Benedictine Ferdinand tal mi pastor was Father William the first diocesan appointed in Father rent pastq which lists individuals. Parish sta Jochim and music ministers;. bookkeeper, and secretary. The gram serves pre-school, high brated on , LI :!,i