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Evansville, Indiana
July 24, 1998     The Message
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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Jul _Priests reflect on new parish assignment: By PAUL R. LEINGANG Message editor Father Donald Ackerman "just about fell off his chair" when he opened up the Sunday paper June 2l. He saw a full page ad with his picture in it. Across the top, in large type, were the words, "Thank you, Father Ackerman for twelve years of your life!" It ing he received was impressive. "Kids came running up, want- ing to help me move in," he said. He looks forward to working in the parish, where he has already discovered that "the spirit of friendship is very sincere. It's a good gift, a good Christian gift," he said. Father William Traylor is the newest pastor at the church where he grew up, St. John the Baptist Church, Vincennes. Father Traylor was born in St. Francisville, across the river from Vincennes in Illinois, on May 2, 1950. He studied for the priesthood at St. Meinrad and in Louvain, and was ordained on April 30, 1976, at his parish church in Vincennes. That same parish church is where he received his First Com- munion, made his first Confes- sion, and where he was con- firmed. "It's where I was formed in the faith, and now I get to Serve it as the pastor," he said. He described his assignment as "sort of a real opportunity to pay back, an opportunity to show some grati- tude to the people who have sus- tained this place through my childhood and up to today." FATHER KENNETH BETZ St. James, Haubstdt at St. Meinrad, and was ordained May 27, 1965. As part of his transition from parish to parish, Father Betz was able to make the move to his new home, and then squeeze in a two- week vacation. Father Joseph Erbacher has not yet unpacked and arranged all of his personal items in "this enormous, great big house" in Montgomery. But having served the area from 1976 to 1983, he is very familiar with the area. "I don't need to learn the land- marks and the road," he said. And he finds it "kind of amaz- ing" that he knows so many of the families in the area. The only difference is the age of the people. "We've all grown in age, wis- dom and grace," he said. Chil- dren now in religious education are the children of the students he remembers from his earlier years of service there. The people have "strong faith, strong family ties, they're very religious people," he said. "I love it." Father Joseph Erbacher is the FATHER DONALD ACKERMAN St. Mary, Ireland "That was beautiful," Father Ackerman said. "They surprised me." Jim Zeigler, at Ewing Printing in Vincennes designed the ad. Some at the parish had talked about getting a full page ad and having everyone in the parish sign it -- but Zeigler said that would have been impossible. So he came up with the idea of a full page picture, along with some carefully chosen words. "People in Vincennes sure thought a lot of him, especially at St. John's," said Zeigler. "He's a great guy. He'll be successful wherever he goes." Zeigler is a St. John parishioner and chairman of the parish finance council. In the Sun-Commercial adver- tisement, the parishioners thanked their former pastor "fogkgoming to St. John's when we were $265,000 in debt and in the next 12 years leaving us debtless, with money in the bank." They thanked him, too for leading the effort to make $675,000 worth of improvements to the building and grounds, and for a won- derful 150th year celebration. "Thank you for the countless Baptisms, Weddings and Con- versions to the faith, and most of all for being an all-around great guy and wonderful example for us to live by," the ad concluded. The parishioners wished Father Ackerman "Good luck on your next success story," which they described as "Lucky Ire- land." Zeigler said, "We hate to lose him," but said it was hard to be too sad about someone "going back to near where he's from." Father Ackerman is a native of Jasper. He was born there June 4, 1935, and baptized at St. Joseph Church. After studies at St. Mein- rad and Innsbruck, he was ordained a priest March 18, 1961. He arrived at the parish in Ire- land last Friday night, following a trip to Innsbruck and Rome. A softball game had just ended at the parish grounds, and the greet- new pastor of parishes in Mont- gomery and Cannelburg -- Daviess County parishes in 'familiar territory. Father Erbach- er served as temporary admin- istrator of St. Peter, All Saints land St. Patrick churches in the mid-1970s. He was pastor of All Saints and St. Patrick from 1979 through 1983, and administra- tor of St. Mary, Barr Township from 1981 to 1983. Father Erbacher was born July 18,1945, in PoseyviUe, where his family attended St. Francis Xavier Church. His seminary years were spent at St. Meinrad, St. Marys College in St. Mary, Ky., Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans and the Pontifical College Josephinum School of Theology in Worthington, Ohio. He was ordained March 25, 1972. FATHER HENRY 17 KUYKENDALL Nativity, Evansville Holy Spirit, Evansville In his new role, Father Ifuy! endall sees himself as haviga position similar to an orche leader -- "you play nO 1 ment yourself, but your r enable and empower othe Parish "Town Hall Meet were held July 19 at both ch es to help find harmorlY fc parishioners and staff merr One of the first and noticed changes schedule. Two three, will be weekend at each Father tinues FATHER JOSEPH ERBACHER St. Peter, Montgomery All Saints, Cannelburg Father Henry Kuykendal has served as pastor of Nativity Church, Evansville, since 1988. He also has the new responsi- bility of being pastor of Holy Spirit Church. Father Kuykendall Nov. 4, 1939 in Ky. His family Evansville. His ies were at St. Mary'S Ky., St. Maur's Fordham University York, and Sacred Heart of Theology in Hales Wisc. He was ordained 1986. See PRIES1 FATHER WILLIAM TRAYLOR St. John, Vincennes Father William Traylor returns from five years in Belgium and a sabbatical. In Belgium he was pastor of the parish at the Amer- ican College Catholic Universi- ty in Louvain, from 1992 to 1997. Father Traylor has just com- pleted a sabbatical, which fol- lowed a five-year assignment as pastor of the Catholic parish at American College in Louvain, Belgium. "I'm still unpacking boxes," he said. "I'm pulling things out of storage that have been in storage for six years." Returning to his home parish does not mean he knows every- body in the parish. "Practically I left here'when I was 14, when I went away to seminary," he said. "So there are lots of names that are familiar but in terms of who the people are, I have to learn who they are today." Father Kenneth Betz, who had been pastor of St. Mary, Ireland, since 1982, is the new pastor at St. James Church, Haubstadt. Father Betz is also a native of Jasper. He was born Nov. 1, 1939, and bap- tized at St. Joseph Church. He prepared for the priesthood Smart people know retirement is not just having the freedom to do what they want. It is also having the money needed to do what they want. To be certain you will have the money requires a smart financial strategy that beginS many years in advance. Hilliard Lyons can show you the strategies to start building the financial side of your retirement so you can enjoy the freedom side without worry. 329 Main St. , Evansville, IN 47708 (812) 426-1481 (888) 426-1481 HILUARD LYON, I.J.B. Hi]liard, W.L. Lyons, Inc. Member NYSE andS.