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Evansville, Indiana
July 17, 1998     The Message
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July 17, 1998

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By MARY ETTA KIEFER, O.S.B. Message staff July 11, was an day in the lives of the Benedict of Ferdi- It was the Feast of St. founder of the 1500- and the day cho- Sister Joella Kid- eleventh prioress of guests included , heads communities of Indiana, friends nd Benedictines install eleventh prioress and family of the prioress-elect and friends of the monastery. The procession included Benedictine Prior Tobias Col- gan of St. Meinrad Archabbey, Sister Ruth Fox, President of the Federation of St. Gertrude (a national Benedictine organiza- tion of communities), Benedic- tine Father Matthias Neuman, chief chaplain for the sisters at Ferdinand, and Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger, who presided at the Eucharistic Liturgy. The assembly was welcomed by Prioress Kathryn Huber. Sis- ter Fox delivered a reflection at the time of the homily, during the Liturgy of the Word. Sister Fox also presided at the Rite of Installation. After taking her oath of office, the new prioress was presented with two symbols of her new station: a Holy Bible and the Rule of Benedict. The federation president made a formal Decla- ration of Canonical Office, and Prioress Joella Kidwell addressed the assembly to pledge her energy and commit- ment to her new role as servant- leader. Members of the commu- nity were then invited to approach individually and offer the prioress their acceptance, support and obedience. As the sisters came forward, vocal music was provided by monks of St. Meinrad Archabbey. The Prayer of Blessing was pronounced by Sister Fox and the standing assembly raised their hands to join in the bless- ing. The blessing was followed by the Liturgy of the Eucharist. The joyous celebration was marked by choral and instru- mental music in keeping with Sister Ruth Fox, president of the Federation of St. extends a blessing over the new prioress, as former Sister Kathryn Huber and all the members of the com- the blessing ceremony. -- Message photo by Kathy Kane, O.S.B. the Mass ended, proceeded to St. Benedict Hall, where a reception was held for the new prioress. A second reception was held in St. Benedict Hall July 12, and the general public was invited to meet (he new prioress. The new prioress, Benedictine Sister Joella Kidwell, pledges her energy and commitment to the community at Fe/dinand. -- Message photo by Kathy Kane, O.S.B Jasper priest comforts Ritzert family at tragedy HUGHES e staff writer last Friday morning, Kenneth Steckler a call that no one 'ants to receive. on the phone news that there was a situation in a )er Road in !and that neighbors had shots. They asked if Would come over y with fami- Father Steckler is the associ- ate pastor at St. Joseph Church, Jasper. By the time he arrived, police were trying to make con- tact with anyone in the house which is owned by Theresa Ritzert. By mid-morning, the deci- sion was made to enter the home. Inside, police discov- ered the bodies of John Ritzert, 30, Jarod Ritzert, 6, Brandi Riz- ert, 3, and Sean Tilk, 12. The police believe that John Ritzert entered the home and shot his two children and stepson and individuals? articles, essays and commentary items from are at the editor's discretion. Pages 4 and dedicated to the publication of commentaries, background reports, official texts and opin- as well as letters and comments from the Catholic the Message. Telephone (812) 424-5536 or toll-free in (800) 637-1731;fax (812) 424-0972; e-mail message@dim Mailin,q address! P.O. Box 4169, Evansville IN then killed himself. Throughout the day, Father Steckler remained with the fam- ily, according to Father Patrick Foster, St. Joseph pastor. "He spent a lot of time with the fam- ily. He has been a big support to them." Last weekend, Theresa Ritzert issued a statement in apprecia- tion for "all the love and prayers sent to my children, my family and myself." She said she believes she will "eventually pick up the remain- ing pieces of my life and live on. My children would want me to cherish their memories and be comforted to know that they are with the Lord in Heaven." She encouraged others to "always cherish your family and friends and each minute you have with them. Once they are gone, everything else 'doesn't matter.' The love you exchange betv,.een famil); friends and the Lord should be 'all important." A funeral Mass for the three children was held Tuesday at St. Joseph Church, Jasper. Father Steckler officiated. "There is a lot of sadness and crying," said Father Foster. Services for John Ritzert were held Wednesday at St. Theresa Church, Evansville, with Father Ted Tempe] and the parish pas- toral team officiating. Pope says Sunday prayer and rest are a human need, a religious obligation By CINDY WOODEN Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Sunday prayer and rest is a human need and a religious obligation, Pope John Paul II said in a new apostolic letter. In the letter published July 7 at the Vatican, the pope focused on "the duty to keep Sunday holy, especially by sharing in the Eucharist and by relaxing in a spirit of Christian joy and fra- terrdty." the Lord") reaffirmed church teaching that Catholics must attend Sunday Mass and that other Sunday activities should be in harmony with the sacred character of the day. While not criticizing store openings, entertainment and sporting events on a Sunda the pope said all people have a right to a day of rest, and the Sunday See POPE page 3 L , . A Subprioress ........................ Page 2 150 Years in Ferdinand ................ Page 3 Conversion of Jane Roe ................ Page 5