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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
December 23, 1994     The Message
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December 23, 1994

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2 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana B Tony Bonta: Building on foundation of fa Co oi ese orville Following is a personal pro- file, part of an on-going series about people and places in the Diocese of Evansville, during the fiftieth anniversary year. By PAUL R. LEINGANG Message editor "From the very beginning, faith, family, friends and food were the four most important parts of my life," said Tony Bonta, the acting director of Catholic Campus Ministry at the University of Evansville. Bonta -- "Anthony M. Bonta" on his resume -- and "Tony" among the people he works with -- is 29, a native of Hobart, Ind., and an Evansville resident since 1993. His parents, Elaine and Tony, are of Slovakian and Italian descent -- each with deep roots in Catholicism. "My maternal grandmother had a deep devotion to the Blessed Virgin," Bonta said. "My paternal grandparents God, help u.s. During this festive celebration of the birth of Your Son, Jesus... Gad, our Savior, help us remember that Your Son spent His first nine months on this earth in the womb of the Virgin Mary as an unborn child. God, help us stop the overwhelming flood of abortions in our country. Help us act responsibly and decisively to bring about respect for all human life from its beginning until its natural end. God, show us how we can give even more support to pregnant women and girls who need comfort. God, teach us how we can help end the epidemic of teenage pregnancy. God, bless our efforts to introduce young men and women to You as Creator and Savior - which is the foundation for healthy self-respect. God, supply us with patience and love - and with the strength we need to do what is right, no matter what the cost. In the name of Him whose birth is the reason for this season. Amen. Bist Gerald A. Gelfinger Bob Vollmer Bill Peroni Mr. Mike Claypool Chuck Stepeoe Father RoOert Oeig DaM Rinehart Rev. Darrell Yeager Brenda Steproe Father Plus Klein, O.S,B. Chuck Tipto Father Eugene Schroeder Rev. John Lovelace Father Grog Chamberhn, O.S.B Steve Wyatt Rev. Jeff Gaskit[ Pastor Stevan Schwambach Sister Mary Agnes Sern Father Henry Kuykandall Rev. John Hatctr Pastor David Schwambach Father Godfrey Mullen, O.S.B. Father Dick Wiideman Msgr. Cad Shetler Pastor RR, Schwambach St. Martin Church, Wh Deacon Glltert Fehr Rev. Steve Wyatt Pastor Teresa A. Patchin Pastor John M. Hatcher Deacon Francis Hillenbrand Abundant Life Assembly of God Pastor Judith K. Griesemer Father August Busch Father Joseph Kane Fat Jim Saue: Pastor Tim Reist Father Greg Spencer Father Ken Butz Sr. Man/louise Uebelhor Bob Seymore Father John Leller Rev, Dale Culbertson Man/Ann Miles Rev. James Hamilton Pastor Troy Buulware Dana Culbertson Barbara Forehand Ray Akin Pastor Steve Pittman Mank Gemer Mike Deeg Holy Sp Pastoral Team Pastor Joe Diaz Tn Bowling Spence Downs Father Joseph Zitiak Ray. Andy Fuller Rev. A.D, Van Hoose Charlie Gearharl Fat Gene Heerdink Rev, Bret Nicholson Ray. Rick Van Hoose Colin Kerr St. Mary Church, Shoals Father Theodore Tempe Nancy Van Hoose David Niednag Mike Claypod Deacon Ed Wilkerson Rev. Ray Brown Lou Rodriguez Mike Duke St. Manj Cetestin Maurer, O.S.B. Nancy Brown Steve Stewart Father John Briedanbach LaDonna Nalin Rev. Alan Shelby Pat Townsend Sr. Clei'Wemer, Ost: Father Frarces R. Allega Sheila Shey Debbie Wholxey Father Donald C. Oilger Father Phil IO,':,llein Ders Gill Pastor & Mrs. Donald Wells Rev. Walter Ullman Father Patr Foster Rhonda Gill Mr. & Mrs. Alfred L. Stewart Father Ray Brenner Father Michael AI Marie Brand',, Mr. & Mrs. Rodney Uley Deacon Joe Schapker Father Bernard Etienne Eva Key Mr. & Mrs. Jim Abney Msgr. Clarec,e Schlacter Rev. Edwin Backwood Sr. Jennifer Miller, O.S.B. Winston & Shirley Foerster Father Jean Vogler Jack Amey Lynn IJbelho Mr. & Mrs. Richard Wilson Msgr. Cance Lindauer Tim Bussey Father Kenneth Graet Fa'r Sy Loehdein Fair Jim Koress$ Todd Bussey Father Tom Kessler Rev. Geofl Hush Father James Brune Dan Hendricks Father William Sct,enk Paid for by Vanderburgh County Right to Life also stressed the importance of faith in our lives." Bonta said that living with my paternal grandparents for most of my life, I was given a solid foundation of faith and values which would help shape the rest of my life." Except for a few years -- kindergarten, first grade, and first year college, Bonta at- tended Catholic schools. After completing St. Bridget School in Hobart, and Andrean High School in Merrillville, Ind., he went to St. Meinrad College, where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in Philosophy in 1987. In May 1994, Bonta earned a Masters of Divinity from the University of St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein, Ill. "The lessons I learned, the experiences I had and the friends I made as a result of at- tending Catholic schools have been invaluable to me," Bonta said, about his early education in northern Indiana. "I built on the foundation of faith and values given to me by my family," he added. "I also have grown to appreciate and treasure the exciting aspects of the Catholic Church as well as the struggles people have." His seminary years "helped me gain a deeper appreciation of spirituality and liturgy," Bonta said. "In addition, I learned a great deal from the people I was able to meet in ministry. They taught me the true meaning of faith and ser- vice." During his ministry, he said he also "learned how many people had been hurt by the Catholic Church," and it has been his personal mission "to help reconcile these incidents through ministry and/or educa- tion whenever possible. I also want to help people get in touch with the excitement and richness of the Catholic faith." Bonta's work experience in- cludes teaching theology at Bishop Nell High School in Hammond, Ind., and involve- ment in pastoral ministry at Mundelein. From April 1992 to August 1994 he worked at Col!ege in the ment. "During Meinrad I learned about ing back to the gave so much to said. "These helped me keep in the needs of adults in the met many thought of greater and formation lege age brought me [to the from St. Bonta describes as "volleyball, studying history, visiting h sites, Italian re( cussing fa people." As a result UE, students have] in a New.Year'S New Man's cleaning Party, the University diana, the crea FAITH group, C All Souls Day to name a ties and events. Bonta said he is Peer Minister Boener, Chris Jacobo and Be "Without them Nicholson and hart, it would to have so much: much happen." Acting director's " U of E campus min I am excited to join the Uni- versity of Evansville commu- nity. Having lived in Evansville for over a year now and having worked closely with many mem'bers of the U of E Office of Admission staff, I have grown fond of the Univer- sity of Evansville. As Director of the Newman Center my goals are to: offer support to U of E stu- dents, faculty and staff. carry on the proud tradition of religious life here at U of E. promote the vision of the Catholic Church and collabo- rate with other religious de- nominations on campus. foster the Faith can be the college work ministers and facilitating Catholic mation of a through weekly Euchal charistic projects, social simple to increase Newman Center q to take ownerf .... man Center. MILLER & "A family can