Around the Diocese: January 31, 2016

Nora Jackson, social studies teacher at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic School, Avilla, accepts a Celebrate Cultural Diversity Grant for $2,000 from the Noble County Community Foundation represented by Linda Speakman-Yerick. Jackson wrote the grant in hopes of broadening the students’ studies of African-American, Asian and Hispanic culture through the use of books, games, visitors, guest speakers, food and other materials. The study will begin during Catholic Schools Week, Jan. 31 through Feb. 6, and continue throughout the rest of the school year.

St. Mary of the Assumption, Avilla, to host mission

AVILLA — St. Mary of the Assumption, Avilla, will host a parish mission Feb. 7-10. Franciscan Father David Mary Engo will celebrate the weekend Masses at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 6, and 8 and 11 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 7.

Father Engo will present “God-The Father of Mercy,” on Feb. 7 at 6 p.m.; “Jesus-The Face of Mercy on Monday, Feb. 8, at 6:30 p.m.; “Sacrament of Mercy” with Reconciliation service on Tuesday, Feb. 9, at 6:30 p.m.; and Ash Wednesday Mass celebrated on Feb. 10, at 7 p.m., with the theme “Leaving the Message of Mercy.”

USF Jesters preparing spring performance

FORT WAYNE — The Jesters of the University of Saint Francis will present their annual spring performance on March 12 at 6 p.m. and March 13 at 3 p.m. at the North Campus auditorium, 2702 Spring St. Tickets are $10 and are available now. Call the School of Creative Arts (SOCA) at 260-399-7700, ext. 8001 for information.

The theme of this year’s show, “Believe You Me,” is about the evolution of ideas. Performers use music, dance, theatre, visual art and puppets to follow the adventure of an idea from its initial seed thought to its eventual demise or manifestation. Four lead character profiles are based on real people with disabilities in the greater Fort Wayne community who have successfully pursued a meaningful idea.

Throughout the show, good ideas and bad ideas are personified as characters. In light of the 25th anniversary of the American Disabilities Act, “Believe You Me” celebrates the ADA as an idea that provides people with disabilities a vehicle that supports an array of other ideas.

Sponsored by the University of Saint Francis since 1978, the Jesters is a performing group of people with mild to severe developmental disabilities. The purpose of the Jesters is to enhance quality of life for people with disabilities by engaging them in the creative arts. The vision is to develop self-expression, self-esteem, socialization and other life skills while providing learning opportunities to the USF community and the community at large.

Redeemer Radio offers broadcasts for Catholic Schools Week

FORT WAYNE — Redeemer Radio has announced its broadcast lineup for the upcoming 2016 Catholic Schools Week. Each year Redeemer Radio highlights select diocesan schools during the national Catholic Schools week beginning on Jan. 31. Redeemer Radio’s special coverage will run Monday, Feb. 1, through Friday, Feb. 5.

This is the first year that 95.7 FM, covering greater Michiana, will be highlighting local diocesan schools in their listening area. 106.3 FM, greater Fort Wayne, and 89.9 FM, corner of northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio, will also be highlighting schools in their local listening area. Tune in to hear from the principals, teachers and students as they talk about Catholic Schools, and the value of Catholic education.

On 95.7 FM, listeners will hear from St. John the Baptist, South Bend, Our Lady of Hungary, South Bend, St. Anthony de Padua, South Bend, South Bend Light of Learning Luncheon, and Marian High School, Mishawaka.

Then, on 106.3 FM and 89.9 FM, will be broadcasting Fort Wayne Light of Learning Luncheon, St. Vincent de Paul, Fort Wayne, St. Louis Besancon, New Haven, Bishop Luers High School, Fort Wayne, and St. Aloysius, Yoder.

All school broadcasts will begin at 8 a.m. following “Redeemer Mornings” except on the respective luncheon days, which will be aired at noon. Listen live during Catholic Schools Week on the radio, and online at RedeemerRadio.com.

Notre Dame launches initiative for better Catholic preaching

NOTRE DAME — Last April, Pope Francis ordained a group of 19 priests, urging the new clergymen to serve more than to rule their parishioners, and above all, not to bore them.

“Let this be the nourishment of the people of God,” the pope said during the ordination ceremony in St. Peter’s Basilica, “that your sermons are not boring, that your homilies reach people’s hearts because they come from your heart, because what you say to them is what you carry in your heart.”

Most Catholic churchgoers could well understand why the pope felt it necessary to warn against boring homilies, but the University of Notre Dame’s John S. Marten Program for Homiletics and Liturgics has now embarked on a unique project specifically designed to strengthen Catholic preaching.

Holy Cross Father William A. Toohey, Notre Dame Preaching Academy, a five-year initiative funded by the Lilly Endowment of Indianapolis, has enrolled its first cohort of 23 priest-participants from Notre Dame’s founding religious order, the Congregation of Holy Cross, as well as from the archdioceses of Indianapolis and Louisville, Kentucky; and the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.

The new program will make use of an online learning and discussion course, numerous group discussions, coaching from homiletics experts and even assessments from some of the hundreds of people to whom the priests preach each week.

According to one of the program participants, Father Jeff Nicolas, rector of the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Louisville, “One of the elements that helped to recruit priests to participate is the chance to have a Notre Dame homiletic expert evaluate and help them with their preaching.”

“The greatest strength is the collaborative nature of this endeavor,” said Holy Cross Father Michael E. Connors, director of the Marten Program. “Preachers will self-assess and design their own goals for improvement; peer‐learning groups will both support and critique each other; congregations will offer their input; and homiletic experts will coach priests in what life‐giving preaching looks like.”

According to Karla J. Bellinger, associate director of the Marten Program, the new program aspires “to create a rich community of learning to fortify the fruitfulness of Sunday preaching. In piloting this style of learning we hope, eventually, to make quality preaching improvement resources available to any priest or deacon wherever he is in the world; also to localize preaching support, so that clergy learn to help each other grow.”

The John S. Marten Program in Homiletics and Liturgics was established at Notre Dame in 1983 with a gift from John S. and Virginia Marten of Indianapolis.

Dismas, Inc., names Brown new CEO

SOUTH BEND — Dismas, Inc., a nonprofit organization that oversees transitional housing programs for men and women returning from incarceration in South Bend and Nashville, Tennessee, has selected Gerald Brown as its new chief executive officer.

Brown brings more than 10 years of non‐profit management, development and financial management experience to the organization.

Brown will lead strategic planning and oversee all fundraising and marketing initiatives.

Maria Kaczmarek, executive director of the South Bend Dismas House, shared, “Mr. Brown’s talents and skills will be an asset to both the Nashville and South Bend Dismas Houses.”

Brown says, “I am truly honored to serve the South Bend community. I look forward to working with the South Bend staff, volunteers and residents so together we can strengthen the Dismas program to further enrich the lives of returning offenders and raise the public’s awareness about the great work Dismas does in the community. I look forward to the opportunity and the privilege of supporting people in their greatest time of need.”

Since opening in 1986, the Dismas House of South Bend has served more than 1,000 former offenders, who shared the 118 year-old historic home with more than 100 student residents from area colleges. Nationally, almost 70 percent of former inmates are rearrested within three years and 50 percent return to prison. Since 2012, only 18 percent of former offenders who completed the Dismas program in South Bend have returned to prison.

USF School of Creative Arts to host workshop for high school students

FORT WAYNE — The School of Creative Arts at the University of Saint Francis will host a workshop for regional high school art and music students and teachers on Friday, Feb. 19, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Rolland Art and Visual Communication Center off Leesburg Road and the Music Technology facilities at the USF North Campus, 2702 Spring St.

Each student will participate in one of seven workshops with a full-time faculty member: Web and multimedia, animation, drawing, music technology, illustration, sculpture, ceramics and photography. The school is also offering workshops for high school teachers, free of charge, in visual arts and music technology. Workshops are followed by a portfolio review for interested individuals. For more information, contact the School of Creative Arts at 260-399-8064.

The School of Creative Arts (SOCA) is an accredited school by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

Posted on January 27, 2016, to: