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September 14, 1990     The Message
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September 14, 1990

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September 14, 1990 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Bishop's Forum .... |11 By BISHOP GERALD A. GETFELFINGER St. Nicholas community to become a parish For nearly a quarter of a century, Catholics in the environs of Santa Claus, Indiana have come together to celebrate Eucharist, to worship together. The Catholic Diocese of Evansville af- firmed them by providing priestly ministry con- sistently and continuously since its inception under Bishop Leibold in the late 1960s until the present day. There has been growth, although officially, all members of the St. Nicholas worshiping communi- ty have belonged to other parishes, most notably Mary, Help of Christians in Mariah Hill. The members of St. Nicholas worshiping com- munity indicated to me interest in being esta- blished as a parish. In response, I pledged to make a decision in the matter to remove the ambiguity concerning their status since I was unwilling for them to permit the erection of buildings without first dealing with the larger issue: Is St. Nicholas to be a parish or not? To arrive at a decision, I set up a process that would help me to make a decision based on the best information available. I appointed a task force. I charged it to review available data and make a recommendation about the future of the communi- ty. It was to base its recommendation on both con- crete informatioh about the worshiping community of St. Nicholas and the collective wisdom of the members. Available information included census and financial data and results of consultation with Mary, Help of Christians to which most members of St. Nicholas belong and the other contiguous parishes. The task force submitted its recommendation to me on July 11, 1990. It follows: "'St. Nicholas Chapel community be estab- lished as a parish no sooner than August 31, 1991, and no later than August 3I, 1993 on the condi- tions that: 1. The members accept and work with a Pastoral Administrator appointed by the Bishop. 2. The number of households, after a possible period of decline, rebound to its present ]eve]. 3. Financial support be increased to sustain the new leadership." The next step called for consultation with the Diocesan Priests' Council and Diocesan Finance Council. This is required according to the univer- sal law of the Church. That was done on August 17, 1990. In joint meeting, the combined councils recommended that I "conditionally" establish St. Nicholas as a parish. The "parishioners" would have to fulfill the conditions before St. Nicholas could become a parish. These included their will- ingness to accept a non-ordained person as pastoral administrator having the pastoral care of the parish and demonstrate their ability to finan- cially bear the burdens of being parish. This means care for its own needs as well as participating in the financial support of the diocese. Having carefully studied the report of the task force and having heard the counsel of both Diocesan Councils of Priests and Finance, I reached a decision on August 31, 1990 as prom- ised. DECISION St. Nicholas worshiping community is to be canonically established as a parish. It will be known as St. Nicholas Parish. The foundation date is to be December 6, 1991, the patronal feast day. The bishop will appoint as soon as possible a full time pastoral administrator having the respon- sibility for the pastoral care of the worshiping community. The Holy Eucharist will be regularly celebrated in St. Nicholas Parish. Provisions will be made by the diocese as coordinated by the pastoral administrator. The boundaries of St. Nicholas Parish will be drawn by the Catholic Diocese of Evansville no later than December 6, 1990. The full time pastoral administrator, in keep- ing with the diocesan guidelines for building and renovation, shall appoint a committee of parishioners to initiate planning for a new church to be dedicated under the patronage of St. Nicholas. The site of the new church is to be deter- mined by the bishop after hearing the recommen- dation of the parish and consultation required by the universal law of the Church. DIRECTIVES TO ST. NICHOLAS COMMUNITY The current pastoral administrator, following the announcement of the parish boundaries of St. Nicholas, shall direct a door-to-door meeting with parishioners within the boundaries. The purpose is to indicate to the members of the household their membership in the new parish since all who live within its boundaries are members. Further, it pro- vides the opportunity to relate the implications of being a parish community. This, of course, must include a discussion of the financial support re- quired of each household to not only be self- sufficient as a parish but to assume the responsible position of belonging to the larger church. The St. Nicholas community is to initiate a stewardship program. This is necessary in ord to guarantee sufficient volunteers to assist the pastoral administrator; sufficient funds to meet the operational budget which includes diocesan sup- port; to gather funds for the building of a church; to share the goods of'the earth, to share time, to share gifts with others beyond the boundaries of the new parish. Appropriate repair and ongoing maintenance of St. Nicholas Chapel is to be made to satisfy the needs of the community until a new church is built. Lastly, the St. Nicholas Community, through its pastoral administrator is to make to me, the Bishop, monthly financial reports as well as pro- gress reports on membership and stewardship from September 1990 through August 1993. AN INVITATION It is with joy that I invite all parishes collec- tively and individual members of the faithful to pray for our brothers and sisters of St. Nicholas who have expressed their will to become a perma- nent and vibrant parish community within the diocese. With such courage and willingness to spread the gospel and celebrate as community and to serve others, we should all be encouraged and renewed. HOMEMADE AMISH C00KINGI y.AMILY-STYLE DINNERS & 00UFFET FLEA MARKET & FARMERS MARKET Wednesdays lust off US 50 Montgomery, Indiana $,resl/rt'Sea Antiques, Collectables, Hand.crafted & Homemade Items For More Information Call (812) 486-3354 __ .. _ __  ..;-- _' _ ... -'"-- = ..... Talk on Catholic worship starts interfaith series By PAULLEINGANG be at Temple Adath B'Nai Message Editor Israel, Evansville, on Sunday, Sept. 7. Rabbi Arthur J. Abrams "Getting to Know You" is the will lead a presentation ex- title of a series of interfaith plaining the harvest celebration meetings jointly sponsored by of Sukhot and other Jewish Adath B'Nai Temple Israel, the holidays. Catholic Diocese of Evansville, A forum exploring the Evansville Area Council of Islamic faith will be presented Churches and the Islamic at the Islamic Center, Center of Evansville. Evansville, Sunday, Nov. 11. Four sessions, each from 7 The Islamic Society of p.m. to 9 p.m., will explore the Evansville will also hold an various faith traditions, accor- open house of the mosque, ding to Father James Sauer, one library and other facilities, of the planners. Saturday, Nov. 10, and Sunday, The first meeting, to be held Nov. 11, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at St. Theresa Church on Sun- day, Sept. 16, is "Why "Protestantism: One faith, Catholics Worship the Way We why so many varieties?" is the Do." Father William Deering, presentation planned at St. director of worship for the James United Methodist Catholic Diocese of Evansville, Church, Evansville, Sunday, will explore the Jewish roots of Dec. g. Baptist, Episcopal, Catholic worship and common Lutheran, Methodist and threads with Islam. Presbyterian representatives "The Jewish Holidays" will will participate. Golden anniversary Herbert and Thelma (Datzman) Welte of Evansville will celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary with a Mass of Thanksgiving at 10 a.m. Sept. 23 at St. John Church, Daylight. A celebration dinner for the immediate family will follow the Mass. The couple was married Sept. 24, 1940 in St. John Church, Elberfeld. They have two children, Suzanne Byers and Dan Welte, both of Evansville, and four grandchildren. Welte is a retired farmer.