Around the diocese: December 18, 2016

2017 diocesan directories arrive

FORT WAYNE — The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend 2017 Directory is now available for purchase from the Office of Communications. Orders can be placed online at www.diocesefwsb.org/directory. The directories  may also be purchased at the Cathedral Bookstore, downtown Fort Wayne or at the St. John Paul II Center, Mishawaka. For more information or to request an order form, call Geoff Frank at 260-422-4611.

Earthworks programs will continue

DONALDSON — During the last several months, Earthworks has been going through major transitions and actively planning for the future.

Earthworks is an environmental education ministry located at The Center at Donaldson. Its mission is to teach, demonstrate and promote the interconnectedness of all creation. Earthworks is an advocate for environmental education and serves as a resource for local communities that seek to live in harmony with nature. In collaboration with the Lindenwood Retreat and Conference Center, it will continue to offer children’s summer day camps for children 6 to 10 years old. Dates identified for the 2017 weekly summer day camps are June 12 to July 28.  Registration will begin in April. In addition, it will also offer new customized programs to meet the needs of the individual groups it serves.

Earthworks’ office is now located in Lindenwood at P.O. Box 1, Donaldson, IN 46513. Cheri Ringer, Coordinator of Earthcare Education, can be contacted at earthworks@poorhandmaids.org or 574-935-1746, or for more information see Earthworks’ website at www.earthworksonline.org.

Building Bridges of Faith program now online

FORT WAYNE — The Jewish Federation of Fort Wayne, 5200 Old Mill Road, held an opening program for the photographic exhibition, “Building Bridges of Faith: Photographs of Papal Visits to the Holy Land, 1964-2014.”

Rabbi Yehiel Poupko spoke on “The Advancement of the Roman Catholic Church’s Relations with the Jewish People under the Stewardship of John Paull II, Benedict XVI and Francis.”

Special guests included Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades, Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend; Sister Elise Kriss, president and CEO, University of Saint Francis; and Itay Milner, deputy consul general of Israel to the Midwest.

The exhibit runs through Dec. 15. The program, including speakers, is now available online at http://fwjf.org/Events/BuildingBridgesofFaith.aspx.

Holy Hour offered for children

Photo provided by Father Daniel Whelan

HUNTINGTON — On the Solemnity of Christ the King, Father Daniel Whelan offered a children’s holy hour at St. Felix Catholic Center in Huntington. About 100 people attended, including many children. Father Whelan gathered the children around the monstrance for prayer and songs, and they prostrated themselves before the Lord. The Holy Hour was sponsored by St. Mary Catholic Church in Huntington.

Knights and community come together to make Christmas brighter

St. Thomas the Apostle students and Heritage Girls Olivia Fullhart, center, and Ciara Wood were happy to help fill boxes with food items to help make others’ Christmas a little brighter this year. Shown with the girls is Jackie Fullhart, leader and Olivia’s mom. The Knights of Columbus of Elkhart have sponsored the food-gifting event for 32 years.

A  visit to the Knights of Columbus hall on East Lexington St. in Elkhart Friday night, Dec. 9, was as busy a place as one might imagine Santa’s workshop to be this time of year. Hundreds of volunteers from all over Elkhart County had come to work a well-oiled assembly line, where boxes were filled with food for families in need.

This is the 32nd year that the Knights of Columbus has provided Christmas baskets for people in Elkhart, Goshen, Middlebury, Bristol, Nappanee and Wakarusa, covering the county.

The Knights of Columbus Council 1043 includes members from St. Vincent de Paul and St. Thomas the Apostle Churches in Elkhart. Knights from St. John the Evangelist in Goshen also joined in.

Phil Kile, 4th Degree member of the Knights, said this year the effort yielded 500 “baskets” — which meant the busy volunteers filled 1,000 boxes, because each family or individual received two boxes of food. The Knights do all of their own fundraising and purchase a lot of the food, but they also received donations of canned and dry foods. Bimbo’s Bakery in Elkhart donated 5-pound hams and bread.

In past years the Knights rented warehouse space to assemble the baskets, but empty warehouse space is hard to find since the economy improved. So the Knights adjust their operations inside of the very limited space in their hall, and staggered times for volunteers to come in.

Photos by Denise Federow

According to Kile, a lot of families come to volunteer because parents want their children to have a charitable service experience. Several area school sports teams were also working together to fill the boxes.

“It’s become kind of a social event for some of them,” Kile said.

Joe Tinervia, trustee for the Knights, said the effort started with just 12 families, years ago, and up until about three years ago they delivered all the boxes. Now, the different groups who provide the names of the needy come to pick the boxes up and deliver them. Kile said they baskets are also provided for senior citizens at the Council of Aging.

Young people who were busy working, like Maddie Cross from Goshen High School’s softball team, said she liked “volunteering in the community to help others.” Matthew Early, a St. Thomas student, said he was there to help others in the community who “don’t have a meal this Christmas.”

Parochial Vicar Father Zachary Barry of St. Vincent de Paul Church, Elkhart, blessed the baskets at the beginning of the work night.

— Denise Federow

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