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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
December 13, 1991     The Message
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December 13, 1991

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2 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Magic of Words December 13 By FATHER |OSEPH L. ZILIAK As,'- ,ciate Publisher Parishioners making history at St. Nicholas Church Congratulations to the people who comprise the faith community at St. Nicholas parish at Santa Claus! St. Nicholas was officially estab- lished as a parish in the Diocese of Evansville last Sunday. Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger read the offi- cial statement stablishing the parish during the solemn ceremonies held at the Holiday Village Community Center. With a twinkle in his eye worthy of the kindly gentleman whose name is at- tached to the town, Bishop Gettelfinger listed the boundaries in all their stilted detail. He also incorporated a simple little hand- word-eye image that most of us learned in our childhood. With fingers entwined and facing in- ward toward the palms he intoned, "Here's the church." Then raising the index fingers together, he continued, "Here's the steeple." Opening the hands, he concluded, "Open the doors and here are the people." He asked the little children to join him in the image, which he had taught to them on Sept. 11, 1990, when he announced a desire to name St. Nicholas a parish and gave them a year to pre- pare. The children obviously had not forgotten the image since they readily joined the exercise and repeated the words in unison. It wasn't hard to imagine that 20 years from now those same young boys and girls will be teaching that simple little hand work to their own children. Many of them present Sunday will probably always associate the saying and the image to their time at St. Nicholas. They will also remember that their bishop played the game with them. It was some 24 years ago that Father Fidelis Jent, O.S.B., began a ministry to the area around Santa Claus. At first it was a summer ministry to serve the numbers of visitors to Santa Claus Land (present day Holiday World), Lake Rudolph, and Lincoln State Park. He envisioned a national shrine to the Nativ- ity on some 500 acres of ground between Lincoln State Park and Santa Claus. He felt that the shrine to the newborn Christ Child would fit well with the Christmas and Santa Claus theme nearby. The first parcel of ground for his dream is the 29-acre plot currently known as the Outpost, the camp operated by the Vocations Office of the diocese. A church was to be built there to serve the campers from the Santa Claus and Lincoln State Park areas. By the time I was named to serve the area, the people of St. Nicholas were gathering at St. Paul's Evangelical Church at Santa Claus. That remained our place of worship until 1983 when the parish center building (the former Santa's workshop and later a sound studio) became tile church. The next step is to build a new place of wor" ship on property located along Highway 245 be- tween the medical center and community center. Bishop Gettelfinger sent a shockwave through the congregation when he mentioned that possibly a Catholic school might be in their future. And why not? In those early days of 21 years ago we counted some 35 households. A number of those were weekenders only. Now approxi- mately 125 households are registered in the parish. My vision for St. Nicholas was threefold dur" ing my tenure from 1970-1980. First, it was to be a people of prayer and faith. Second, the people would have to provide strength and guidance to one another - a strong emphasis on peer ministry' Third, a permanent facility for worship would be needed at least by 1990. Last Sunday was, indeed, a day of fulfillment and recognition for a people of faith firmly on line toward the future. I prayed especially for SiS" ter M. Terence Knapp, pastoral administrator, for wisdom and courage as spiritual leader of her  people. I prayed for the people - young and aid" who are making history at St. Nicholas. I prayed for those not present - some who have died, sor0 who were unable to be present because of dis- tance or health. God's blessings on all of us as we continue our journey of life and faith. Golden Jubilarians Joseph J. and Mariana (Martin) Elpers of Evansville will cele- brate their fiftieth wedding anniversary Dec. 15 with a famil' ' dinner at WoWs Bar.B-Q Inn. The couple was married Ma I ' 24, 1941. at St. Wendel Church, St. Wendel. They are the par. ents of 11 children, Bernard and John, both of Haubstadt, and Joseph, Jerome, Eugene, Richard, Ronald, Kathleen Will, Eileen Rausch, Carol Ham and Teresa Roberts, all of Evansville. They have 26 grandchildren. One grandson, Don Will Jr., is deceased. They have one great-grandchild. Elpers is retired from Emge Packing Company in Fort Branch. I I I1[ ii i I - - AUTO TOPS, SEATCVERS ' BOATCOVERS STEREO SALES & INSTAI.TIONS Washington Auto Trim 27 Years Service 254-3943 hWY 50 EAST, BEHIND UPS CENTER EUGENE WELP, OWNER , ... i m iiiii 00Dubois County Bank YOUR FIVE STAR SERVICE BANK I I Around Continued from page 7 Tony Richardt, food and sup- plies; Cathy Osborne, schedul- ing; Rita Kautzman, finances; Earl Wells, booth transportation, Steve Markin and Dave Lottes, booth chairpersons. Anniversaries at Sacred Heart Congratulations to couples at Sacred Heart Church, Vincennes. celebrating December wedding anniversaries: Hugo and Betty Roeilgen, 42 years; James and Betty Levell, 46 years; lames and Bettye McCormick, 45 years; Arnold and Betty Pea, 46 years; John and Pat Coulup, 40 years; John and Eva Fields, 47 years; Thomas and Lucille Grannan, 54 years. 46 years Congratulations to Harold and Betty Sanders, members of St. Joseph Church, Evansville, who celebrated their 46th wedding .l00YfE, f :.i  : Why delay making '"":,  this inevitable decision? fOi; Phase II of S Families, pref,  signifihce 6f: low arrangements proteCf$ : I i iiiiili:  >i if! II:: i l i to: (812) Name Address J anniversary Decen]ber 11. Please send informati AROUND THE Mary Ann Hughes, The P.O. Box 4169, 47724. The deadline for 9 a.m. the Friday publication. i Peoples Trust CompanY 59 SOUTH MAIN STREET P.O. BOX 191 MNTON, INDIANA 47441 HWY. 231 SOUTH JASPER, INDIANA 47546 PHONE: 812-482-3800 "THE ONLY /!:i" I I : i! ' i