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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
August 16, 1996     The Message
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August 16, 1996

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August 16, 1996 The Message --for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana I Sister Jane Nesmith begins ministry at St. John By PAUL R. LEINGANG Message editor Sister Jane Nesmith is on the phone. It rings again when she hangs up: A businessman stops by to discuss an ad on the back of the parish bulletin. It's a busy morning at the office -- and the new Pastoral Life Coordinator hasn't even officially started her ministry at St. John Church, Evansville. Sister Nesmith's appointment was official Aug. 14. She came to Evansville from Seattle Aug. 2, Spent some days unpacking and Soon began to do some of the pre- liminary work of running the parish. She took time out for an inter- View with the Message, Aug., 12. "I feel very excited about being here," she said. She is ready to face the chal- !lenge of being the first PLC at lthe parish, which was estab- ! lished in the early 1940s to serve , the Black Catholics of the area. , ] I'm an adventuresome per- leon, ready to meet the chal- len e.' 1. ] g ."shesaid. is,  Her readiness, however, does ;u- ]aot mean that she has all of the ch l[lans for the parish worked out lie advance. Such plans will take ]hape after a series of listening tc pessions and meetings with for- ,, raer parish leaders. She plans to bring to the steer- ing committee "some ideas and suggestions that will help us to move into the year's program. The steering committee will serve-"until such a time as we can set up a parish council." A discernment weekend will be scheduled, so she and the members of the parish can see what they have, what they want to keep, what they need, and who might be able to provide leadership in the future. Another important event in the life of the parish is being planned for the weekend of Sept. 21 and 22, when a Revival is being planned. Father Glenn Parker, a Redemptorist priest, will come to St. John to preach that weekend. He has a "power- ful evangelistic and healing ministry," according to Sister Nesmith. The revival weekend will con- clude with a Unity Celebration on Sunday, Sept. 22. Sister Nesmith will have help with the telephones and other office tasks, too. She planned to hire a secretary from the parish to work in the office at the rec- tory. Sister Nesmith is a member of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. She en- tered that community in 1964. Her experience includes teaching, lenge of parish ministry comes partly from her own experience of leadership in the African- American community, and partly from the commitment she has already found within the community at St. John. She noted that "several people have been able to keep things going, very beautifully," in the parish. Will the parish achieve "sta- bility" under her guidance? Sta- bility is not what Sister Nesmith expects. "There is always more beyond where we are," she said. "There is always more to the Kingdom of God, always more to be given, always more to be gotten." "Struggle is part of the jour- ney," she said, adding that the struggle for African-American Christians, African-American Catholics, has always been more graphic. Looking back at her own life, she said she sees a lot of suc- cesses, for which she gives God glory and praise. But she also sees that there was a lot of strug- gling, too. "As African-American Catholics, struggle is part and parcel of our lives," she said. Although she noted that Evansville is a much smaller city than Seattle, New Orleans, Mil- waukee or Detroit -- some of the I @ 3 I Sister Nesmith plans to form a youth ministry, music, parish cities where Sister Nesmith has |Steering committee, to advise ministry and retreat work. worked -- "I feel at home here ier on the needs of the parish. Her readiness to face the chal- in the Black community." SISTER JANE NESMITH Judge rules Cleveland school voucher experiment constitutional By PATRICK HYIAND Franklin County Common lic money to be used for tuition system, would cause irreparable harm Pleas Judge Lisa L. Sadler ruled at religiously affiliated schools. The vouchers are available to the nearly bankrupt Cleve- I atholic News Service July 31 that the state's plan to The experimental project pro- only to families meeting federal land schools by diverting public vides tax dollars -- up to $2,250 per student -- to pay 90 percent of the tuition costs at 48 private schools approved by the state. They also could be used for pri- vate tutoring for students who want to stay in the public school Cr.EVELAND (CNS) -- A judge has given 48 private schools -- 31 them Catholic  the green accept students through school voucher plan be- this fall. give money to parents who want their children to attend private schools in the city does not vio- late the constitutional separation of church and state. The plan could become the first in the nation to allow pub- ly PAUL R. LEINGANG Message editor Bauer to retire, parish plans farewell reception Pather Francis J. Bauer, pas- St. Bernard Church, Gib- County, for the past 27 will retire Sept. 1. Father 82, will move to Villa the retirement home for priests, in Evansville. farewell reception, open to public, is planned at hall, on Sunday Aug. at 2 p.m. Cake and punch be served, according to Brown, president of the FDIC insured 1o $100,000 5.9500 Minimum Interest deposit rate $5,000 Jone00 Altar Society. Father Bauer is an Indi- anapolis native, born March 4, 1914. He the second offour chil- dren of Charles G. and Ida Maley Bauer. After completing his high school, college and the- ology studies at St. Meinrad Seminary, he was ordained a priest by Bishop Joseph E. Rit- ter of Indianapolis on June 2, 1941. Father Bauer spent the first two years of his priesthood as as- sistant pastor of St. Catherine Church, Denver, Colo. He re- turned to Indiana in 1943, and was appointed assistant pastor of Assumption Church, Evansville. In 1947, Father Bauer be- came the first resident pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church, Oakland City. Subsequently he was named pastor of St. James Church, St. James, in 1951, and of St. Agnes Church, Evansville, WHOLESALE . RETAIL CUSTOM PROCESSING MERKLEY & SONS PACKING CO., INC. 3994 W. 180 N. 482-7020 [ i FATHER FRANCIS J. BAUER in 1959. He guided construction of a new school building during his pastorate at St. Agnes. Since June 27, 1969, Father Bauer has served as pastor of St. Bernard Church, where he guided restoration of the church after a fire in 1974, construction of a new rectory in 1974, and renovation of the church in 1990. In addition to his parish work, Father Bauer has also served the diocese as director of the Apostleship of Prayer; chaplain of the Evansville Deanery Coun- cil of Catholic Women; diocesan consultor; member of the priests' personnel board, and member of the priests' senate. poverty guidelines. According to Bert Holt, administrator of the Cleveland Scholarship and Tu- toring Program, the average family income for voucher re- cipients is $6,597. The Ohio Legislature bud- geted $5.25 million from the state's Disadvantaged Pupil Im- pact Aid program for 2,000 scholarships in the first year of the program. A lottery was used to select recipients from the 6,500 applications. Only children in kinder- garten through third grade are eligible for the vouchers in the first year of the program. The Ohio Federation of Teachers, the Ohio Parent- Teachers Association and civil libertarians went to court to prevent the program's imple- mentation. They claim it vio- lates state law by effectively funding religious schools with tax dollars. They also claim it money to private schools. Sadler's ruling rejected those arguments. "Whether viewed on the face of the statute or as it is applied, the program does not appear to pose any of the dangers the Supreme Court was concerned with in those cases striking doom programs which resulted in di- rect aid to sectarian schools," the judge wwote. "It is clear that any effect on those students remaining in the public school system is purely speculative,  she added. "It is simply impossible at this point to say whether the effect of the scholarship program will be to deprive those students who do remain in the public school s of a fair educational opportunity." Opponents of the plan said they ould appeal Sadler's rul- ing and seek a higher court order to halt the program before it begins. People we care about... Following is a feature in the Meage, designed to help draw together the People of God in southmestern tndiatm. Readers are invited to submit information about people who may ben. efit by some extra prayers and attention. * Services for Emma Kitten Schipp, 88, were held Aug, 16 at St. Ferdinand Church, Ferdinand, with burial in the church cemetery. She is the mother of Father Ralph Schipp of Evansville. Survivors also include a son, Thomas Schipp of Ferdinand, and a daughter, Arlene Fleck of Louisville. Mrs. Schipp died Aug. 12 at St. Joseph Htal inHunt, ingburg. Please send information for PEOPLE WE CARE ABOUT to Mary Ann Hughes, The Message, P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN, 477"24. RUDER Morgan Ave.