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August 14, 1998     The Message
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14, 1998 i The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Opening doors to a lifetime of faith many area Directors of Reli- gious Education. Locally, Brescia College in Owensboro, St. Meinrad College in St. Meinrad, and the LIMEX program through University of Loyola in New Orleans with local classes at the Catholic Cen- ter offer university level study options. "We have 70 people at Brescia taking undergraduate courses in pastoral ministry or theology," said Benedictine Sis- ter Geraldine Hedinger, diocesan director of the Office for Adult Formation. "And 27 adults in the LIMEX program pursuing mas- ter's degrees in pastoral studies and religious education." too By ANN M. ENNIS i: Special to the Message History. The Cate- Parenting. Topics for formation classes are with possibilities excitement. The standard night Lenten pro- are expanding to year- night and Sunday faith sharing, social and study groups. More and more the truth is :discovered that Catholi- is a lifetime journey of gr0wth _ growth doesn't end confirmation or high according to Sister Hedinger hopes these numbers translate into even more adult formation programs and projects. "Not many parish- es have strong, ongoing adult formation, yet," she said. But many parishes do have some exciting projects, she added. To help idea development, Sister Hedinger and her staff are indexing some of the more inter- esting and accessible materials the Catholic Center's Media Center has to offer. "We have previewed quite a few materials on adult formation and there are some good ones. These would be courses or discussion groups that are not too long, not too dif- ficult and are easy to use," she said. Her office plans to put this previewed list of free materials ; -- or so many DREs that end, continuing youth involvement in reli- high school on cards to distribute to parishes this fall. "We want to say that 'these are programs already here and available. Please try them.'" More will be offered as people gain confidence in leading the sessions, she said. "There is a real fear of giving the wrong answers to questions. But any individual doesn't have all the answers. If you get a tough issue, you can offer to get the answer and bring it back to the next meeting." The important thing is to get in there and try, Sister Hedinger said. "The Church depends on adults living an adult, well- informed faith. It is not just about reaching the kids," said Benedictine Sister Jeanne Voges, pastoral associate at St. John the Baptist-Newburgh. "We have young want to remain involved. They are the of our church," said Benedictine Sister Rachel Neveu, Boonville. Many area parishes assure a role adults to continue their faith growth by actively using students and recent graduates to assist with youth education programming m CCD, vacation bible t celebrations are a few examples. is not only on teaching the kids, but how faith . DRE of St. Ferdinand, allowing the young adults to share their faith and discussion, the parish allows them to gain said. on youth and young adult ministry, please contact the Youth and Young Adult 424-5536, ) 637-1731. " " rations for pope's St. Louis p has planner on the run ' By JEAN M. SCHILDZ Catholic News Service LOUIS (CNS) -- Meet is, if you can up with him. the man with the Con- who's got the job of assisting Stika, chancellor St. Louis Archdiocese, the planning team Pope John Paul Group, a firm that is most wide- for producing major events around the including shows for of the biggest names in country-and- pop and Christian addressed in preparing for the pope's visit, according to Leitnen "It does boggle the mind to the extent of just how complex this project is. It is incredibly challenging and exciting as well," he added. The pope's visit is believed to be "the largest event that will have occurred in St. Louis since the World's Fair," Leitner said. "We will be presenting our- selves to His Holiness and to the world." Both as a spiritual opportuni- ty and as a media event, the pope's visit "will help bring St. Louis in focus for ourselves," said Leitner, a Catholic who attends Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis. The planning team broke everything down by the pro- posed events, Leitner explained, which included a Mass at the Trans World Dome, a youth rally at the Kiel Center and management of crowds along- side streets where the pope will pass. "Within the various events are such technical aspects as sound, video, lighting, staging and the design elements within that," he said. "Other factors to consider, he continued, will be the staWmg" such as the ratio between secu- rity and ushers; the use of vol- unteers; the design and produc- tion of tickets; invitations that must go to certain people; and special needs of people to be considered for every event. In addition to all that will be the planning for the media cen- ter. "The needs of the media, from basics like tables and chairs to telephone lines, fax lines, satel- lite uplinks, it's just astonish- ing," Leitner said. As for the weather, Leitner said he has faith that it's going to work out. "January is so vari- able here. I remember shirt- sleeve weather and, of course, ice storms in the past. But I'm generally an optimist in these circumstances." The best thing about most of the key events, Leitner noted, is that they will be held indoors. Nevertheless, the planning team at Contemporary Group "will become great friends with the National Weather Service," he predicted. "Rain would be o downer, but it won't stop things; and the cold, while unpleasant, won't stop the hundreds of thousands of people who will be out on the streets to greet His Holiness, wherever he mightbe." "I think it's going to be a remarkable gathering of peo- ple,".Leimer said ............ F firm, Leitner will Orchestrate the events of stay in St. Louis in 3 going to take an enor- for the entire of St. Louis," he St. Louis Review, the "It's a opportunity, thrilled to be a took six people just to develop a list that need to be allowed adults to think that they finished their faith education when they finished Catholic school or Religious Education. It is important for adults in the next century to be educated, to pass along their faith," she said. At St. Ferdinand, Ferdinand, DRE Mickie Paulin successful- ly tried a six-part church his- tory series. "We did it for free by using people within the parish or from St. Meinrad who came over to talk about sections of history that they had knowledge about. It was very well received," Paulin said. "Parishes can offer a lot in adult formation by drawing from the wisdom of the parish. A lot of people among us have knowledge, wisdom and abil- ities to teach us about our faith," she said. Logistics, such as researching a time that's best for your parish or a content suitable to parish needs, must be considered. Connie SchnapL DRE at St. John, Newburgh, surveyed the needs of her parish as part of her LIMEX studies. "I found a strong desire for family activities. Adults want formation, but they want to do it with their kids, to share their faith," Schnapf said. With that knowledge, St. John Church offered family programs -- tours of St. Meinrad, visits to a local soup kitchen, Epiphany parties and more. Other programs at St. John Church have been a Lenten study of Vatican II, presented by Sister Voges. And also a series called "Walking Humbly with My God" during Lent. We try a lot of different things," Schnapf said. "I am not finished yet. We'll see what hap- pens." What happens is sometimes a small ripple rather than a wave of enthusiasm, but nevertheless Benedictine Sister Rachel Neveu, DRE at St. Clement, Boonville, is convinced: "People thirst for adult formation." St. Clement offers ongoing Sunday morning Faith and Scripture sharing with a group of about 10 persons. Also offered is Monday evening Bible study. "This is more like a class and Sister Hedinger leads it," Sister Neveu said. "A section of the bible is picked and Sister Hedinger offers background of the text and history. The group discusses it." The Catholic Social Action Committee leads the Rosary every Saturday for about a half dozen people. "As we progress, the Church laity will be called to taken on roles that priests and sisters assumed until recently. What we offer at St. Clement is a start," Sister Neveu said. And she has seen people grow in confidence as well as in their faith. "This growth leads to great involve- ment on all levels," she said. Knights o 1St. John grant [ William Tenbarge, Indiana Grand Secretary of the Knights [ of St. John International, presents a check for $500 to i Eugene Schmitt, a seminarian preparing for the pries?oodL [ in the Diocese of Evansville. Schmitt is a Poseyville resi I dent studying at Sacred Heart School of Theology InHales I Corners, W'm. The Knits of St. John International pre- [ sented similar grants to two other seminarians, one in in | Baltimore, Md., and the other in Owerri, Nigeria. A check ] for $3500 was presented to SL V'mcent de Paul National, at [ the Ymight international convention at Fort Mitchell, Ky., | July 17. i |