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Evansville, Indiana
August 2, 1996     The Message
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August 2, 1996

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Evansville East Deanery will be a By PAUL It. LEINGANG Message editor Following is the seventh report in a series, reporting the propos- als of a task force on the parishes in the Evansville East Deanery. Statistics and staff names are taken from the 1996 Diocesan Yearbook and Directory. Recap By the year 2005, 44 priests will be available to serve the parishes of the Catholic Diocese of Evansville, according to a pro- jection used by members of the Future Parish Staffing Task Force. To deal with that projected re- ality, the task force made several recommendations: 1) link two parishes, to be served by one priest- pastor and one pastoral life coordinator; 2) group three or more parishes under the guid- ance of shared pastoral staff, and 3) convert some churches into or- atories where Mass would be cel- ebrated only occasionally. Current parishioners whose church became an oratory would travel to another church for Sun- day Mass and the sacraments. They would however, continue to support the oratory, to maintain the building in good condition. And if the parish had established a cemetery, the obligation for perpetual care would have to be met. Evansville East Deanery There are II parishes in the Evansville East Deanery. The task force recommends moving St. Theresa Church from the Evansville West Deanery into the Evansville East Deanery. Currently, there are 12 dioce- san priests and two Benedictine priests serving the 12 parishes which would be part of the new structure. In 2005, the task force expects only six diocesan priest and one Benedictine priest to be available. Four Pastoral Life Co- ordinators should be hired to pro- vide parish leadership, according to the proposal, and Holy Trinity Church should become an ora- tory. Other needs for Catholic pres- ence and sacramental ministry in the deanery include Memorial High School, six parish elemen- tary schools, campus ministry at the University of Evansville, and chaplains at St. Mary Medical Center. All of the parishes in the dean- ery are in Evansville, with the exception of St. John Church, Daylight. Daylight: St. John It's not rare for a pastor to move from parish to parish. It is very unusual, however, for a parish to move to a new location, as did St. John Church, formerly of Elberfeld in Warrick County and now at Daylight in Vender- burgh County. The move was made to make way for surface coal mining. What was established in 1868 was changed forever in 1985. "Bittersweet memories were put aside when the church build- ings were cold and later demol- ished," wrote Joanne Bohrer and Father James Brune, describing the situation for a parish publi- cation. "The spirit of a true fam- ily of God. came forth, surfacing stronger than ever in the real- ization that FAITH is not founded in structure, but comes from within each individual." German Catholics and the pastor of St. Wendel, Father Charles Exel, established the parish in 1868. A two-room log building was bought and used as a school. From 1871 to 1875, priests from St. Mary Church, Evansville, trav- eled to Elberfeld. Father Alexan- der Koesters was the first resident pastor, in 1875. A new brick church was dedi- cated in 1895. A new rectory, con- vent and school were built in the 1920s. Parish growth continued at E1- berfeld in the new Diocese of Evansville, established in 1944. Father Raymond Reising, now a retired priest of the diocese, was pastor of the parish in 1954. A new school was built in 1955, and enrollment topped 200. In 1965, the parish had an as- sistant pastor, Father Charles Pfeiffer. For two years -- and only two years in its entire his- tory- the parish had two priests. As the coal mines closed in, however, everything changed. In 1976, with enrollment less than 50, the school was closed. Msgr. Clarence Schlachter began negotiations with AMAX Coal Company to sell the prop- erty. Father James Brune, ap- pointed pastor in 1984, concluded negotiations a year later. For the next 20 months, church services and CCD classes were conducted at the McCutchenville United Methodist Church. The new St. John Church in Daylight was dedicated in 1987 by Bishop Francis R. Shea. The new facilities are located in a po- tential population growth area, on the northern portion of Green River Road, near 1-164 and along Indiana Highway 57. Father Robert Deig, who cele- brated his seventy-first birthday on July 28, is the current pastor. He was appointed in 1995. The parish staff includes Bob Vollmer, pastoral as- sociate, music minis- ter, DRE, and Ce- . celia Jarboe, parish secretary. Weekend Masses are celebrated Satur- days at 5:30 p.m. and Sundays, 7:30 and 10 a.m. - The recommendation for the fu- ture is for a PLC to handle day-to- day needs of the parish. The corn' munity is to be linked with Good Shepherd Church, Evansville, where a priest-pastor 'is recom- mended. Evansville: Good Shepherd One of the churches named in honor of titles given to Jesus Christ, Good Shepherd Church was established in "Father Hangman's Bean Patch" in 1955. The first gymnasium-style church is now used as a gymna- sium, and the growing parish worships in a new church, com- pleted in 1991. Sisters of Providence taught in the school when it opened in 1958 with 217 students. 1995-96 enrollment was 253. Benedictine Church. Later, a mobile home served as his rectory. Today, there are 667 families in the parish (1,904 persons.) The parish is in an area where the population is expected to in- crease. According to the task force pro- posal for the future, a priest-pas- . tor will continue to reside at Good Shepherd, while also pro- dding sacramental ministry for the community at Daylight. Father Ted Tempel, 59, is the pastor. He was appointed in 1993, succeeding Father Ken- neth Herr, who is now in a full- time position at Memorial High School. Good Shepherd parish staffin- cludes Deacon Ed Wilkerson, pastoral Associate and DRE; Cyril Will, Deacon; Kristin Gilles, music minister; Kathy Wilkerson, bookkeeper, and LaDonna Nalin, parish secre- tary. Weekend Masses are cele- brated at 5:30 p.m. on Saturdays; Sundays at 7:30 and 10:30 a.m. Evansville: Holy Spirit The first church building was a renovated riding stable; the first rectory was a converted garage, at Holy Spirit, estab- lished on what was once the site of the Grey Mount Riding Sta- bles in 1952. In 1961, Father James Hill, with the blessing of Bishop Henry Grimmelsman, set out with an army of 115 workers, to go door-to-door in a fund-raising campaign for a new church. Their goal was to raise $150,000 in six days. They made it, with $2,100 to spare, in commitments from the Catholic families in the parish. The new church was dedicated in October 1962. The school, staffed by Sisters of St. Benedict, had opened in 1956. By the time the church building was completed, the school enrollment had hit 458. The parish today numbers n 2005, the task force expects only six diocesan priest and one Benedictine priest to be available. / some 629 families (1,511 per- sons). Donna Halverson is new principal of the school, which has 12 teachers and 186 pupils. Father Thomas Kessler, 46, is the pastor. Parish staff includes Benedic- tine Sister Joan Scheller, pas- toral associate; Emily White- head, music minister, "and Pat Rennie, parish secretary. Weekend Masses are cele- brated Saturdays at 4 p.m. and Sundays at 8 and 10:30 a.m. The future parish staffing task force recommends that a priest- pastor continue to reside at Holy Spirit, with additional responsi- bilities for the neighboring parish, Nativity, where a PLC is recommended. Evansville: Nativity The youngest parish in the city of Evansville, Nativity Church, Sister Mary Celestin Maurer is was established in 1962. Con- the principal, with 15 lay teach- struction of the school and audi- ers in the K-8 school, torium-style church was begun In the early years, Father with groundbreaking ceremonies Hannigan, lived at Holy Rosary in October 1962. Benedictine Sis- St. Joseph -- PLC St. Theresa -- Pastor St. Mary Pastor St. John PLC * Holy Trinity -- Oratory Present 12 Diocesan Priests 2 Order Priests ters from Ferdinand, along with three lay teachers, welcomed the first students to the school in September 1963. (The school was closed at the end of the 1970-71 school year.) Father Walden Schiffer was the first pastor. Today, Father Henry Kuyk- endall, 56, is pastor of Nativity Church; he was appointed to this first pastorate in 1990. Parish staff includes Francis- can Sister Jane McConnell, pas- toral associate and DRE; Judy Mills, music minister; Janet Jenkins, parish resource man- ager, and Dottie Schnapf, evan- gelization director. There are 283 fam- ilies in the parish (681 persons). The religious edu- cation program serves 119, 18 pre-school, 88 elementary, and 13 high school pupils. Weekend Masses are celebrated Saturdays at 5 p.m. and Sundays, 8:30 and 11 a.m. Inthe future, a PLC will be as- signed to Nativity, according to the proposals of the future parish staffing task force. The parish will be linked with a neighboring parish, Holy Spirit, where a priest-pastor is recommended. Evansville: St. Mary Father John Ferdinand Viefhaus was the first pastor of the German-speaking commu- nity at St. Mary, Evansville, in 1866. The school was built first, with construction getting under- way in 1866. The church was dedicated in late 1867, and first used on January 1, 1968. The closing of nearby As- sumption Cathedral in 1964 brought 150 new families to St. Mary. After Assumption was razed to make way for downtown development, St. Mary became the oldest standing Catholic Church building in Evansville. Church restoration was com. pleted in the late 1980s, parish celebrated a new ministry center mer school building earlier year. Father Stephen P. 48, is pastor of St. The parish staff includes a ter for Christian Darlene Boyd, and Sister Mary sociates; Deacon Jim Bob Temme, liturgical coordinatOr; Boettcher, parish fonso Tenreiro, music and Sally Duncan, parish tary and bookkeeper. There are 606 families persons) in the parish. The religious gram serves 58 pupils : mentary and 7 high dents. Weekend MasseS are 4 Saturdays; Sundays at lO and 4 p.m. The future parish force envisions a three parishes St. John and Holy force recommends that pastor be assi Church, a PLC to that Holy Trinity be an oratory. Evansville: St. john In the 1930s, in the Evansville Mass in the school Assumption Church. dianapolis sent Father Herman start the parish. St. John Church was in 1941. It was name of the patron saint o }I Fendrich, the cigar. owner who contributed toward  con church. A later gift made possible the parish facilities. The school, which in 1955, later tion of Marian Day special education