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July 19, 1996     The Message
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July 19, 1996

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Jasper Deanery will be at By PAUL R. LEINGANG Message editor Members of the Future Parish Staffing Task Force have pre- pared proposals for each of the seven deaneries in the diocese, based on a projection that only 44 priests will be available in 2005. To care for the Catholics who now attend 73 parishes in the diocese, the task force proposed 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. Convert a parish church building to a chapel or oratory. Following is a summary of the task force recommendations for the Jasper Deanery. Statistics and names of parish staff mem- bers are taken from the 1996 Diocesan Yearbook and Direc- tory. Jasper Deanery There are 15 parishes in the Jasper Deanery, but the future parish staffing task force calls for re-aligning four of the parishes with the Newburgh Deanery. Recommended for this change are four parishes south of 1-64: Mary, Help of Christians, Mariah Hill; St. John Chrysos- tom, New Boston; St. Joseph, Dale, and St. Nicholas, Santa Claus. Currently; in the 11 parishes remaining, all in Dubois County, there are 12 diocesan priests and two Benedictine priests. In 2005, seven diocesan priests, two Bene- dictines and three pastoral life coordinators would serve these parishes. Standing alone, with a priest- pastor, would be the following: Holy Family, Precious Blood, and St. Joseph, all in Jasper; St. Mary, Ireland, and St. Ferdi- nand, Ferdinand. St. Joseph would be the exception, the only parish in the diocese, to have two priests. St. Mary, Huntingburg, and St. Henry, St. Henry, are to be linked, with a priest-pastor at Huntingburg and a PLC at St. Henry; St. Anthony, St. Anthony and Sacred Heart, Schnellville, would be linked, with a priest pastor at St. Anthony and a PLC at Schnellville. St. Peter Celestine, Celestine and St. Raphael, Dubois, would also be linked, with a priest-pas- tor at St. Celestine and a PLC at Dubois. Jasper: Holy Family Parish territorial lines were drawn up in 1947 for the second of three parishes in Jasper, Holy Family Church. At the time of the formal decree of parish es- tablishment: a year later, there were 221 families (1,031 per- sons). Father Othmar Schroeder was the founding pastor. The first building was the school and tem- perary church. The new church building was dedicated Dec 30, 1979, on the Feast of the Holy Family. The parish now numbers 932 families (2,597 persons). Father John Boeglin was appointed pas- tor in 1994. Weekend Masses are cele- brated on Saturdays at 5 p.m and on Sundays at 6:30, 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. Parish staff includes Deacon Charles Seifert; Providence Sis- ter Nancy Brosnan, DRE; and parish secretaries, Jan Hasenour and Virginia Knies. The religious education pro- gram has a total of 127 pupils in pre-school, elementary and high school. Pam Bell is principal of the parish school, which has 22 teachers and serves 271 pupils in grades Pre-K through 8. The task force recommends that Holy Family have a priest- pastor. Jasper: Precious Blood *Only three pastors have served the newest of the parishes in Jasper since its establishment in 1954. The future parish staffing task force recommends that a priest-pastor continue to be assigned in the future. Father Ralph Endress was the founding pastor. The first build- ing was a School with an at- tached gymnasium to be used as a church; living space was also provided in the first building for the pastor and for the Sisters of Providence who taught in the school. (The convent and priest's house were built 10 years later.) When the school opened in 1957, there were 201 families in the young parish. When Msgr. Leo Conti was named pastor in 1977, the parish had grown to 324 families. Latest figures show parish membership at 606 fami- lies (1,866 persons). Father Joseph Kane, pastor since 1980, is currently leading the parish in a new church build- ing project. Weekend Masses are cele- brated on Saturdays at 6 p.m., and on Sundays at 8 and 11 a.m. Parish staff includes Provi- dence Sister Mildred Giesler; pastoral associate; Ann Lechner, youth minister; Pam Schneider, DRE; Providence Sister Gloria Memering, music minister; and parish secretary and treasurer, Doris Seng. The religious education pro- gram serves a total of 291 stu- dents in pre-school, elementary and high school. Ron Pittman is the principal of the parish school, which has 11 teachers and 183 pupils, in grades Pre-K through 5. Jasper: St. Joseph There were only five Catholics in Jasper in 1834. Two years later, a dozen new immigrant families came from Germany. A log church building completed in 1838 was too small by 1840. A brick church which was com- pleted in 1841, but by 1844, the number of families had doubled again. St. Joseph was established in 1837. Father Joseph Kundek was the first resident pastor in 1838. Father Kundek also established parishes in Ferdinand, Celestine, Rockport and Fulda. In 1854, he persuaded the monastery of Ein- siedeln, Switzerland, to send two monks to found what is now St. Meinrad Archabbey. St. Joseph Church was the only parish in Jasper until 1947, when Holy Family was estab- lished. Precious Blood was started in 1954. The population of Jasper and surrounding communities re- mains heavily Catholic -- at Ire- land, Dubois, Celestine, Schnel- lville, St. Anthony, St. Henry, Ferdinand, and Huntingburg, which are all in Dubois County. Parish membership at St. Joseph is listed at 1,908 families (4,476 persons). The task force recommends a priest-pastor and an associate pastor be assigned to the parish -- the only parish in the diocese which may expect to have two priests in 2005. Father Patrick Foster, pastor since 1991, has two associates. Father Michael Allen, a former military chaplain, has served at" the parish since 1995. Newly-or- dained Father Kenneth Steckler will move to the parish, Aug. 14. Father Bernard Etienne, who was an associate at St. Joseph since 1993, was appointed pastor of St. Joseph, Princeton, this year. His installation was held Sunday, July 14. Catholic education has been a prominent mission of the parish since its establishment, in a parish school, through a cooper- ative arrangement with the pub- lic school system, and in an ac- tive religious education program. The religious education pro- gram currently lists 22 children in pre-school, 629 in the elemen- tary grades, and 119 in high school. School Sister of Notre Dame Therese Mary Rebstock is the coordinator of religious edu- cation. Dana Hoffman is coordi- nator of high school religious ed- ucation, and Sharon Vogler is coordinator of adult education. Parish staff includes Benedic- tine Sister Mary Jane Kiesel, minister to the sick and elderly; Steven Shaner, music minister; Ralph Propes, social copcerns li- aison, and parish secretaries Barbara Schutz and Linda Foisy. Weekend Masses are cele- brated on Saturdays at 5:30 p.m. in the summer, 4 p.m. in the win- ter; and on Sundays at 6, 7:30, 9 and 11 a.m. Ireland: St. Mary Presbyterian families of Scotch-Irish descent were the first to settle in the community which was named to honor the homeland of many of the first ar- rivals, in the early decades of the nineteenth century. Many years later, German Catholics moved to the area. St. Mary Church was established, and a church and school were completed in 1891. Throughout its century-plus lifetime, the parish has built new buildings, renovated existing buildings, and found ways to use older buildings for new purposes. An older school building was re- cently remodeled, to provide meeting space for various parish needs. Father Kenneth Betz is the pastor. He was appointed to St. Mary in 1982. Weekend Masses are cele- brated on Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. and on Sunday at 7, 9 and 10:30 a.m. Parish staff includes Marilyn Mundy, DRE; Thomas and Bar- bara Schrader, youth ministers; Charlene Sermersheim, music minister; and Aline Brescher, parish secretary. There are 735 families in he parish (2,398 persons). The reli- gious education program serves 27 pre-school, 396 elementary and 119 high school age stu- dents. St. Joseph, Jasper-- Precious Blood-- Holy Family- Pastor St. Mary, Huntingburg St. Henry 11 Present Diocesan Priests 2 Order Priests St. Mary will continue to have a resident priest-pastor, accord- ing to the task force proposal. Huntingburg: St. Mary In the late 1850s, most people in Huntingburg were unaware of the real reason for the purchase of a parcel of land, according to the parish history. After the land was purchased by a confidential agent, the town residents were invited to an open meeting at the Lutheran Church -- where they found out about the plans to build a Catholic Church on the site. The land purchase was engi- neered by Benedictine Father Bede O'Connor, one of the two monks who came from Ein- siedeln, Switzerland, to establish what is now known as St. Mein- rad Archabbey. At the time, he was pastor of St. Joseph Church, Jasper, following the death of the famed church pioneer, Father Joseph Kundek, in 1858. During the open meeting, the Catholic priest was so persuasive "that the Protestants no longer put any obstacle in our way and several of them even supported us with contributions," parish history reports. St. Mary Church at Hunting- burg was completed in 1861, and staffed by Benedictine priests from St. Meinrad. Benedictine Father Plus Klein has served as pastor since 1987. Daughter of Charity Sister Catherine Madigan, the current DRE, is leaving the parish this summer. Replacing her as DRE will be Daughter of Charity Sis- ter Barbara Riely. Parish staff also includes Susan Yost, youth minister; John Schum, music minister, and Ruth Dittmer, parish secretary. St. Mary lists 1,013 families ((2,775 persons). There are 30 pre-school, 345 elementary and 86 high school students in the re- ligious education program. The parish religious education center was built as a grade school in 1901 and expanded in 1922. The "new school" built in leased to the Dubois poration. Weekend Masses brated on Saturdays and on Sundays at a.m. A Mass brated the first month at 7 p.m. St. Mar3 a Benedictine pastor, according to force proposal, but also have ities for the Catholic  at St. Henry, where a posed. St. Henry: St. HenrY The name of the the community honors Abbot siedeln, SwitzerlanC home of the Benedictine Father Foffa. The parish was 1862; the in 1863. The "new completed in 1910. The school from 1973. The teachers dominantly diet from Monas Conception. Benedictine. Ellspermann is pointed in 1991. eludes Benedictine Hohl, pastoral as! Benedictine Sister.. Uebelhor, Parish families (582 gious education] total of 137 el Weekend brated on and on' SundaYS a.m. The be linked ingburg. The Benedictine Hc Henry..