Around the Diocese for October 18, 2015

Students from St. Aloysius School, Yoder, offered send-off greetings and thanks to World War II and Korean War veterans who flew to Washington, D.C., on Oct. 7 for the Honor Flight. The students arrived for the departure from Fort Wayne International Airport.

Bishop Luers mission trip impacts the lives of many

FORT WAYNE — In anticipation of their mission trip to Haiti, Carrie Bubb, alumna from the class of 1988, asked the Bishop Luers’ cheerleaders if they could help put together hygiene kits that could be distributed by Bishop Luers’ students to children in orphanages in Haiti.

On July 23, the cheerleaders met in the cafeteria and assembled over 500 hygiene kits that included wash cloths, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, as well as other items such as combs, deodorant, shampoo, body wash, hair accessories and lotion.

The items and bags were donated by Bishop Luers’ students, cheerleaders, local dentists and Fort Wayne community members.

The washcloths and expertise on the kit asembly were provided by Marta Flaherty, grandmother of four Bishop Luers’ alumi, Abby (Guyll), Jacob, Hannah and Matthew Malloy. Flaherty has worked with the poor for many years and makes hygiene kits for the Rescue Mission and Ave Maria House. She supports food pantries, including the one she started many years ago, Manna From Heaven, in Peoria, Illinois. Putting together the packets was a wonderful experience to minister to Jesus in the face of the poor.
The 14 Bishop Luers students left for Haiti to deliver the hygiene kits along with other donations and to immerse themselves into the Haitian culture. “Many of the Haitians were moved to tears of joy,” noted Grace Everett, a Bishop Luers’ senior who helped distribute the hygiene kits to churches and homes. The Luers’ students also spent time painting the grade school, installing playground equipment, praying together and participating in the children’s activities.

National Council of Catholic Women celebrates 95th anniversary convention in Orlando

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Nearly 700 attendees of the 2015 National Council of Catholic Women’s annual convention in Orlando, Florida, were surprised by the guest appearance of Mickey Mouse and a special presentation on the 95 years of NCCW history by Mary Matheus at the 95th birthday luncheon celebration. Held at the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista from Sept. 9-12, the NCCW convention is the annual gathering of women leaders from Catholic women’s organizations in parishes and dioceses throughout the United States.

“Celebrating 95 years of history and the program packed with training, speakers and fun generated the excitement to draw this exceptional gathering of Catholic women to Orlando,” said Sheila Hopkins, newly installed NCCW president and co-chair of the convention.

The opening liturgy was celebrated at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe by NCCW Episcopal Liaison Bishop James V. Johnston, Jr., Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau (recently appointed Kansas City-St. Joseph), and concelebrated by Bishop Gregory L. Parkes of Pensacola-Tallahassee. Friday’s liturgy honoring deceased members of NCCW was celebrated by Bishop John Noonan of Orlando.

The closing liturgy, celebrated by Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami, included the installation of the 2015-2017 officers of NCCW — President Sheila Hopkins, Tallahassee, Florida; President Elect Maribeth Stewart, West Haven, Connecticut, and Secretary Jean Kelly, Elm Grove, Wisconsin. Mary Matheus, from Longwood, Florida, was elected to a second term as treasurer last year. An additional 48 priests, spiritual directors and friends of NCCW attended the liturgies including Bishop David R. Choby of Nashville, who concelebrated the Saturday liturgy.

Keynote speakers included Dr. Carolyn Woo, president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services; Richard Doerflinger, associate director of the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; Marybeth Hicks, marketing director for FAITH Catholic and Brandon Vogt, content director for Bishop Robert Barron’s Word on Fire Catholic Ministries. Training sessions were conducted by the three commissions — spirituality, leadership and service — and training for new council presidents was offered by the Leadership Training Development Team.

At the closing session of the convention, new province directors from several areas of the United States were installed. Disney entertainer Billy Flanigan, currently playing the part of Nemo at Walt Disney World, entertained at the closing banquet.

The 2016 Convention will be held Sept. 7-10 in Indianapolis. Women of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend will have a great opportunity to help strengthen Jesus’ Church through the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women. For information, contact Laraine Bennett at 703-224-0990 or email lbennett@nccw.org.

St. Joseph County Right to Life to hold annual benefit dinner

SOUTH BEND — The St. Joseph County Right to Life invites the community to their 24th annual benefit dinner in the theme, “Adoption and a Celebration of Families,” on Thursday, Oct. 29, at the Joyce Center at the University of Notre Dame. Social hour begins at 5 p.m. followed by the dinner and program at 6:30 p.m.

The keynote speaker, Ryan Bomberger, is an Emmy award winning creative professional and national speaker on adoption advocacy. Bomberger’s powerful personal story of being adopted by a multi-racial family after his biological mother was raped is a truly heroic witness to the power of the pro-life message to change lives.

For more information and to register, call 574-232-LIFE, or visit prolifemichiana.org.

Scholarship dinner helps Ancilla College student

DONALDSON — The third annual Changing Lives Scholarship Dinner will be at 6 p.m. at Swan Lake Resort Friday, Nov. 6. The event will include a social hour followed by a Cornish game hen dinner, prepared by the exceptional culinary staff at Swan Lake Resort. A variety of silent and live auction items will also be available to bid on during the evening.

Participants may register online at ancilla.edu/changelives.

The evening’s events will include presentation of two of the college’s highest honors —the Ancilla Award and the Sister Mary Dolores Outstanding Alumni Award. This year  John Chandler will receive the Ancilla Award. Chandler was born in Chicago and his family has had a presence in Donaldson, Marshall County, for six generations.

Chandler serves as vice-president of Saint Ignatius College Prep in Chicago. He was a member of the Ancilla College Board of Trustees from 2003-2013 and has served as board chairman from 2007-2013.

The Sister Mary Dolores Outstanding Alumni Award will be presented to Randall Danielson (’77). Danielson is the owner of Johnson-Danielson Funeral Home in Plymouth and is a current member of the Ancilla College Board of Trustees, having served since 2006.

Current students will be on hand to chat with attendees and several will speak about how scholarships have impacted their education at Ancilla College.

Funds raised from this event will help provide need-based grants and scholarships to worthy students to attend Ancilla College, who otherwise might not be able. During the 2014-15 school year, 92 percent of Ancilla students received financial assistance in the form of grants, scholarships or awards. In addition, the college spent more than $1 million of its own resources to help students with their tuition and other costs of education. At last year’s event, thanks to community support, nearly $33,000 was raised to help students.

For sponsorship opportunities including donations to the live auction or gift baskets, visit the Ancilla College website, www.ancilla.edu.

Trinity Health seeks dismissal of lawsuit related to pregnancy services

WASHINGTON (CNS) — A Michigan-based Catholic health care system planned to seek dismissal of a lawsuit by a civil liberties organization challenging the emergency services it provides to pregnant women.

Officials at Trinity Health Corp., of Livonia, Michigan, said in a statement that the system’s 88 hospitals across the U.S. provide quality health care under the “Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services” developed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The lawsuit filed Oct. 1 contends that Trinity Health violates provisions of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act and the Rehabilitation Act by denying the full range of emergency care, including pregnancy termination when necessary.

“A federal court already dismissed a similar ACLU claim, and we will seek dismissal of this suit for the same reason,” the Trinity Health statement said. “The ethical and religious directives are entirely consistent with high-quality health care, and our clinicians continue to provide superb care throughout the communities we serve.”

The directives state, “Catholic health care ministry witnesses to the sanctity of life ‘from the moment of conception until death.’”

The civil liberties organization claims in the suit that health care decisions in Trinity Health’s hospitals are made in accordance with the ethical and religious directives rather than on sound medical practice in violation of federal law.

Saint Joseph Health System is a not-for-profit organization of Trinity Health.

“We’re taking a stand today to fight for pregnant women who are denied potentially life-saving care because doctors are forced to follow religious directives rather than best medical practices,” Brooke A. Tucker, ACLU of Michigan staff attorney, said in a statement. “Catholic bishops are not licensed medical professionals and have no place dictating how doctors practice medicine, especially when it violates federal law.”

The suit contends that proper care must include abortion if it is the best possible procedure to save a woman’s life or to ease severe pain and suffering when pregnancy complications arise. It cited cases in which women who were denied an abortion became seriously ill and suffered severe pain.

The case is the latest by the ACLU challenging Catholic hospitals on its practice of not terminating pregnancies or offering health services conflicting with church teaching on life.

An ACLU-backed lawsuit by a Muskegon, Michigan, woman who claimed that church doctrine caused her to receive improper care that led to a miscarriage in 2010 was dismissed in July by a federal court judge. The ACLU filed a notice of appeal with the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

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