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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
July 24, 1998     The Message
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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Jul' preparing lay leaders for priestless S By PAUL R. LEINGANG Message editor "Oh, no," she said with a sigh of surprise. It was her answer to the question, "When you were growing up, did you ever think you'd be doing something like this?" "Something like this" is lead- ing a Catholic community in prayer when the unplanned absence of a priest makes it impossible to celebrate Mass. And Barbara Forehand from St. Clement Church, Boonville, is one of the people who are now certified in the Diocese of Evansville to take on such a parish role and responsibility. What she and others are to do, as a matter of fact, is not just "something like this." A specif- ic plan has been established, a ritual to follow, with directions on what to do, when to do it. A workshop July 11 at St. John Church, Daylight, helped the new prayer leaders to go through the ceremony and to learn about the gestures they should use. At the heart of it all, beyond the practical tips on when to start and what to say, was the principle "that we are a Eucharistic people," said Fore- hand. Anti just as strongly as we acknowledge that Jesus is pre- sent in the Eucharist, she said, we want to stress the truth "that God is also present in other ways m in the Word and in the gathering of the people." Participants at the workshop heard from the presenter, Father William Deering, that conse- crated hosts from an earlier Mass should not be held over just in case a priest may not be able to get to the church for a Sunday Mass. Instead, the cer- tified leader at a parish should preside over a service using Scripture, prayers of petition and the Lord's Prayer. Extra hosts are consecrated at a Mass, in order to have them for the sick or for those who can't get to the celebration, said Father Deering. People who receive communion at Mass should be receiving the host consecrated at that Mass, he said. Father Deering is diocesan director of worship and RCIA. He said that the parish coordi- nator should be able to engage many of the same parishioners who would ordinarily be involved in the Mass. "The same altar servers can light the candles," Father Deer- ing said. "The lector can' pro- claim the Scriptures. The choir can sing." But while the same parish community will assem- ble, the chances are growing more and more quickly, that at some time in the near future, a priest may be absent. The workshop was designed to help people prepare for just that eventuality -- one that Mike Waninger had already experienced. Waninger, from St. Martin Church, Chrisney, recalled that Mass could not be celebrated in his parish one Sunday, "because the priest's cab had broken down. Waninger trains and coordi- nates the altar servers and was at the church when he learned that there would be no priest there for Mass. He then contact- ed one of the people in the parish who had been trained to lead the community. Now, he too is one of seven people certified as a leader at St. Martin Church. James Gelarden, another St. Martin parishioner, was also among the workshop participants. "I've never done this before," Gelarden said, "but at the rate things are going [with the priest shortage], it's very possible that this will be happening." Father William Deering presents a workshop about priestless Sundays. Father Deering is dioce- san director of worship and RCIA. Message photo by Paul R. Leingang Wade Funeral Home 119 S. Vine Street, Haubstadt, IN 768-5210 Call about pre-need counseling. Robert J, Wade IIIII I I I i III 486-3977 Just off Hwy. 50 in Montgomery, IN Alan J. Wade II i ii FIRST FEDERAL Savings and Loan Association Washington & Loogootee All You Care To Eat Buffet Dining FAMILY STYLE DINING AND A LA CARTE BANQUET ROOMS AVAILABLE PRE-ARRANGED AMISH TOURS FLEA MARKET EVERY TUES. & WED. Browse The Village Shops Every Monday Seniors receive 15% offl I i I i ii i !iTi! !! / Attending the priestless Sundays workshop Martin Church, Chrisney; Barbara Forehand, St. Boonville, and Mike Waninger, St. Martin Church -- Message photo by Paul R. "The laity has to be more involved," said Waninger. He has been serving Mass since he was eight years old, and con- siders what his is doing now to be a logical progression of responsibility. Forehand, Gelarden and Waninger spoke with the Mes- sage in informal interviews fol- lowing the workshop. All three, in their thirties, remembered when the Church seemed so very different. "There was always a priest," said Gelarden. "The Mass was in Latin, and women and men were kept at a distance," Forehand added. The three newly certified leaders quickly agreed that they liked the present-day Church a lot better m even with the shortage of ordained clergy. "In some ways, the priest shortage has brought people together," said Gelarden. He agreed with Waninger that more and more lay people could and should be getting involved in the Church. He and his wife, Jennifer, are coordinators of religious edu- Family and Business Insurance Needs Home Fire and Theft Auto Product Liability Contractors Commercial Auto Office/Stores Workers Comp ONB/HELFRICH INSURANCE 2121 W. Franklin Street, Evansville, Indiana 47712 (812) 423-4(H6 cation at St. Martin. Forehand is tary at the Catholic Boonville. And as an parishioner, lector and pating Jayperson, she present-day celeb much more engaging Latin Mass she watching as a child. When a priest presid she is a lector or faithful in the pe/Vs, "I like I am celebrating the now," she said. It was an ironic one regard, as the people certified to parish in celebrating service when to preside and there is n0 That's why it was for her to hear the the workshop, fact present in the among the people go together. Want to learn more? the Office of Worship 424-5536, or toll-free  (800) 637-1731. shop is in the Ed. L. Lee Mortuary 101 North Meri, IN