• The bishop and deacons stand together with the newly ordained deacons on the cathedral plaza after a Mass of Ordination on Saturday, May 20. In the front row, from left, are Deacon Eric Burgener, newly ordained Deacon Patrick Hake, newly ordained Deacon David Huneck, newly ordained Deacon Nathan Maskal, Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades, newly ordained Deacon Thomas Zehr, newly ordained Deacon Jay Horning and Deacon Dennis Di Benedetto. In the back row are seminarian altar servers. — Joe Romie

    By Deb Wagner

    Click here for more photos from the ordination.

    Diocesan seminarians Nathan Maskal, of St. Charles Borromeo Parish, Thomas Zehr, of Our Lady of Good Hope Parish, Jay Horning, of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, and Patrick Hake and David Huneck, both from St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Fort Wayne, were ordained to the diaconate Saturday, May 20, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Fort Wayne.

    Seminarian Patrick Hake gives the thumbs-up signal as he and the four other diaconate candidates begin processing to the front door of the cathedral before the Mass of Ordination to the diaconate.

    A full cathedral included celebrant Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades, concelebrating diocesan priests and visiting priests, diocesan deacons and seminarians and area Knights of Columbus. Also attending the joyful celebration were members of several other religious communities, as well as parents, families and friends of the five candidates.

    The Rite of Ordination during the Mass began after the Gospel, during which each man was formally chosen for ordination. Father Andrew Budzinski, vocations director, publicly attested to the worthiness of each of the elect and presented all the men to Bishop Rhoades.

    After the homily, Hake, Horning, Huneck, Maskal and Zehr individually declared their promises to assume the responsibility of the office of deacon. These promises included celibacy, and respect and obedience to Bishop Rhoades and his successors. A cantor from the Cathedral Choir sang the litany of saints while the elect lay prostrate on the sanctuary floor of the cathedral in front of the altar.

    After the litany and in silence, Bishop Rhoades laid his hands on the head of each of the elect in accordance with the apostolic tradition, then solemnly recited the Prayer of Ordination. Then each newly ordained deacon was vested with the diaconal stole and a long, wide-sleeved tunic called a dalmatic. Afterwards the bishop handed each of the five deacons the book of the Gospels, symbolizing their task to proclaim the Gospel in liturgical celebrations and to preach the faith of the church in word and deed.

    Bishop Rhoades then bestowed the traditional gesture known as the fraternal kiss of peace, thereby welcoming the new deacons into their ministry. Afterwards, all the other deacons present also welcomed the newly ordained in this fashion.

    In his homily, Bishop Rhoades affirmed that Hake, Horning, Huneck, Maskal and Zehr “will be configured to Christ, who made himself the deacon or servant of all. They will share in Christ’s mission and grace in a special way, as they are marked with the diaconal character. Before they are ordained priests next year, God-willing, it is important that they first serve as deacons. And when they are ordained priests, they will still be deacons, since the priestly character will not erase their diaconal character.

    “Jesus the priest was always the servant,” he continued. “And so it is with us. Underneath, this chasuble I am wearing a deacon’s dalmatic, the vestment of the deacon, which reminds me that as a bishop, I am also still a deacon.”

    The five candidates lay prostrate on the floor of the sanctuary while the congregation sings the Litany of Supplication to the saints.

    He also spoke to the five men about how they are examples of chastity, saying: “Today you commit yourselves to observing celibacy for the rest of your lives. This is a witness to Christ, who was celibate.  You will live this state of life, which Jesus himself lived: celibacy for the sake of the kingdom, so that you can serve God and his people with an undivided heart. Your chaste celibacy is to be a sign of pastoral charity and an inspiration to it, as well as a source of spiritual fruitfulness in the world. You will be freed more completely for the service of God and his church. Your consecration and commitment to celibacy is not a consecration to individualism or to a life of isolation. You are making a promise to put yourselves completely and unreservedly at the service of Christ and his body, the church. You receive this celibacy as a gift, a gift for others, not unlike the gift a husband receives in marriage to give himself to his wife and children. Through celibacy, you do not become aloof from interpersonal relationships. On the contrary, you enter into a deep relationship with Christ and, through him, with those whom you will serve.”

    Bishop Rhoades then referenced the second reading of the day, from St. Peter. “As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace. Whoever preaches, let it be with the words of God; whoever serves, let it be with the strength that God provides.” He said the deacons will be good stewards through preaching God’s word and serving God and his church. The deacons were asked to open themselves to the graces of the sacrament of holy orders every day, because “everything you do is to be done not for your own honor or popularity, but for the glory of God.”

    Posted on May 23, 2017, to:

  • By Mariam Schmitz

    Click here for more photos from the event.

    Click here to read the homily from Bishop Rhoades.

    A procession around the block at St. John’s followed the anniversary Mass.

    On Saturday, May 13, about 500 people gathered at St. John the Baptist parish, Fort Wayne, for a special morning that kicked off the 100th anniversary celebration of the Fatima apparitions. A clear blue sky greeted the faithful as they arrived at the church, just hours after Pope Francis canonized two of the Fatima shepherd children, St. Francisco and St. Jacinta.

    Mass began with the Bishop Luers High School choir raising their voices in song while a statue of Our Lady of Fatima, carried by four Franciscan Friars Minor, processed down the church’s main aisle, flanked by Knights of Columbus standing at full attention. Three children dressed as the Fatima seers followed the statue. Servers, deacons, con-celebrating priests and Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades rounded out the procession as the smell of incense slowly filled the church.

    May 13, 1917, started off more simply for 10-year old Lucia dos Santos, 9-year old Francisco Marto and his sister, 7-year old Jacinta Marto. They were tending their family’s sheep when they saw a bright flash of light and were subsequently greeted, for the first time, by Mary. It was also on this day that the shepherd children joyfully accepted their mission to bear sufferings in reparation for sins and as supplication for the conversion of sinners.

    Bishop Rhoades focused on this first apparition in his homily. He noted the significance of the radiant light shining from Our Lady, which penetrated and comforted the souls of the children after they accepted their mission. “They had received the light of Christ’s truth and love through the Blessed Mother, and they would spread that light. They would live as children of the light within the darkness of the world,” he said.

    Bishop Rhoades then reflected upon the astonishing way the children lived out their vocation and mission. “Francisco and Jacinta put into practice, in their very short lives, all that Our Lady taught them about prayer, sacrifice, suffering and reparation. Lucia would too, for the next 87 years of her life.” Francisco, he said, “had the Holy Spirit’s gift of piety and was so fervent in his prayer and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.”

    Jacinta, the younger sister of Francisco, was so incredibly impacted by the vision of hell in the third apparition that “she offered herself completely for the salvation of souls. This little girl, who died at the age of 9, reached the heights of sanctity.” Lastly, he pointed out the request Our Lady made at all six Fatima apparitions: to pray the rosary every day.

    “Let’s ask Our Lady, through the rosary, to pray for us as we strive to live as children of the light in the dramatic struggle between light and darkness, between good and evil. Two little children, now saints, show us the way: prayer and sacrifice and penance.”

    When Mass ended, the rosary was prayed while the holy Eucharist was exposed. The Fatima prayers and a consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary prayer followed. After Benediction, a Marian procession began outside the church and ended in the parish hall with coffee and donuts for everyone.

    The diocesan division of the World Apostolate of Fatima worked with the diocese in planning the day’s events. “It was a great celebration to mark the 100th anniversary of this incredible apparition that helped the world understand that God is real” and to “re-orient it back to Christ in simplicity and love and truth and goodness and beauty,” said the division’s spiritual director, Father Glenn Kohrman. Ida List, the division’s president, added: “I was absolutely amazed at the hundreds of people filling the church. The Lord gave us such a beautiful and glorious day.”

    Among the faithful in attendance was a strong Franciscan presence, consisting of about 60 Franciscan Friars Minor as well as religious from the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration.

    As part of the centennial celebration some parishes in the diocese will celebrate additional anniversary Masses on the 13th of each month, from June through October. The celebrations will include Mass, a talk on that month’s apparition, the rosary, exposition and benediction, Fatima prayers, a Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary or a Marian procession. In addition, the Franciscan Friars Minor will make a walking pilgrimage, carrying a statue of Our Lady of Fatima, across the diocese Oct. 7-13. Look for details in Today’s Catholic and at www.fatimafwsb.org.

    Posted on May 15, 2017, to:

  • Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades speaks to parishioners at a vesper service held on the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker at St. Joseph Church in Roanoke.

    By Jennifer Miller

    What began as a small gathering of immigrant German and Irish Catholics in the Indiana frontier in the 1840s has grown and remained faithful to God’s call, developing into a close-knit parish. St. Joseph Catholic Parish of Roanoke celebrated its 150th anniversary on Monday, May 1.

    “Our parish is vibrant. For the 4 p.m. vigil Mass on Saturday, they show up at 3 p.m. for a seat! It is nice and full,” said pastor Father Dale Bauman. He describes his parish as a “small, country parish, with a good, active population.”

    A highlight of the parish for Father Bauman is the faith community that has formed at St. Joseph. Although parishioners are of a variety of cultural backgrounds — German, Polish, Irish and African-American — they are all one body in their Catholic home.

    Click here for more photos from the event.

    Some of the active lay groups in the parish are a Right to Life group; Meals for Seniors; a Men’s Club and Ladies Club; as well as liturgical groups serving at Mass, such as the lectors. Ministers at St. Joseph offer a variety of church music, on organ and piano. They follow the liturgical seasons and, during Lent, include Latin hymns in the celebration of the Mass.

    The parish initially grew out of necessity, as German and Irish immigrants moved west following development in the 1830s of the Wabash-Erie Canal and St. Louis Railroad. Missionary priests who traveled between Fort Wayne and Lafayette first met their spirituals needs. Father Julian Benoit was one of the priests who would celebrate Mass in private homes.

    Mary stands on the cornerstone of the original St. Joseph Church, amid flowers planted in her honor.

    The need to pastor the faithful grew, and by the 1850s a small frame church was built on the southeast corner of 4th and Main streets in Roanoke, with the help of Father Fuchs. Fire later destroyed the building. It was rebuilt but in 1867, a few years after the end of the Civil War. The young diocese then bought a brick building at the corner of 6th and Main streets that had been built by the Presbyterian Church. It was in this building that the parish was formally established. Father William Woeste became the first resident pastor of Roanoke in 1870; in 1873, a parish cemetery was purchased.

    In 1882 and for the next 40 years, the parish was a mission parish of St. Catherine’s. In 1907, Bishop Herman Aldering rededicated the church after a choir loft and new stained glass windows were added.

    Slowly but surely, it grew. A brick rectory was added in 1924 so that a priest could live in Roanoke, with St. Catherine’s as his mission. During the Depression years, the Sunday collection basket would yield as little as 18 cents.

    Major church repairs took place in the early 1940s, including the church tower, which had been struck by lightning. In May of 1944, Bishop John F. Noll celebrated the parish’s diamond jubilee.

    Ground was broken in May of 1969 for a new brick church, located behind the old one. The first Mass was held on Palm Sunday of 1970. Bishop Leo A. Pursley later consecrated it, on June 21, 1970. At the time, there were 132 families in the parish.

    Additional property was purchased, and the old rectory converted for parish and office use. As of 1986, 380 families called St. Joseph their parish home. In 1992, Bishop John D’Arcy celebrated the church’s 125th anniversary at the top of the hill in Roanoke. The parish then had about 240 families, a decrease from 1986 attributed to the establishment of nearby St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish.

    To mark the occasion of its 150th anniversary, on the May 1 feast day of St. Joseph the Worker, members of the parish and Father Bauman prayed the Divine Office and Evening Vespers with Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades. There was a light supper following. The Franciscan Friars Minor, of the St. Felix Friary in Huntington, also joined the faithful in giving thanks to God for their dear parish.

    During remarks given that evening, Bishop Rhoades reflected: “It is a day to remember the humble carpenter of Nazareth, your patron saint, the earthly father of Our Lord. St. Joseph not only cared for and watched over Jesus, he also taught him his trade of carpentry. We can contemplate in our imagination St. Joseph in his workshop at Nazareth, teaching Jesus, sharing with him his craftsmanship, and also his faith in God.

    “Today is (also) the first day of the month of May, the month of Mary. So today, as we celebrate St. Joseph the Worker, we also think of his beloved wife, the holy Mother of God. St. Joseph and the Blessed Virgin Mary shared a single common center of attention: Jesus. With commitment and tenderness, they watched over Jesus.

    “As good and holy parents, they taught him and they nurtured his growth. It’s amazing to consider their vocation: to accompany and nurture the growth of the Son of God made man,” the bishop continued. “They did so with deep faith and profound love. They prayed with him. Imagine that! They prayed the psalms with Jesus, like we prayed the psalms this evening. Prayer together is such an important and precious task of the Christian family. It strengthens families and family life. How important it is that parents teach their children to pray, to start and end the day with a prayer. Imitating Mary and Joseph, parents teach their children to know and to feel the friendship and the love of God.

    “One hundred and fifty years ago, the first parishioners of St. Joseph Parish, with deep faith in Jesus and with devotion to St. Joseph and the Blessed Mother, gathered in prayer,” he recounted. “They worked hard to build this parish here in Roanoke. It was then, in 1867 that this parish, St. Joseph in Roanoke, was established. The 1860s were a time of incredible growth all over the diocese, new parishes and churches throughout the whole diocese. Religious communities also came from Germany to serve here, joining the French Congregation of Holy Cross that had come here in the 1840s. It’s also important to remember that the 1860s were the years of the Civil War and many men entered military service from Indiana. It was in this pioneer period of our diocese’s history that St. Joseph Parish began.

    “As we remember the past with gratitude, we also look to the present and the future. The words of St. Paul to the Colossians in our reading this evening give us good advice. St. Paul writes: “Whatever you do, work at it with your whole being. Do it for the Lord rather than for men, since you know full well you will receive and inheritance from him as your reward. Be slaves of Christ the Lord.” As you look to the future, may you be inspired by these words, words that were lived by the pioneers of this parish: to work with you whole being for the Lord, believing in the promise of an inheritance from him.”

    “When we think of work, we can think of St. Joseph the Worker. With St. Joseph as your example and guide, I pray that you will indeed work hard for the good of this parish, especially in your mission of evangelization, spreading the faith, and reaching out to this community with works of mercy. May St. Joseph, along with our Blessed Mother, inspire you to walk in the way of holiness, to serve the Lord with all your strength, and to generously support this parish with your stewardship. May all you do be for the glory of God!”


    Posted on May 10, 2017, to:

  • Bishop Kevin Rhoades, Father Matthew Hovde, CSC, newly confirmed University of Notre Dame students and their sponsors and instructors pose for a group photo following a confirmation Mass at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on April 30. — Matt Cashore

    Posted on May 2, 2017, to:

  • Click here for more photos from the event.

    Holy Cross priests Father Michael Palmer, left and Father Ryan Pietrocarlo stand with Bishop Arthur J. Colgan, CSC, auxiliary bishop of Chosica, Peru, following their ordination to the priesthood Saturday, April 22 at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Notre Dame.

    NOTRE DAME — With abundant joy and thanksgiving, the United States Province of the Congregation of Holy Cross celebrated the ordination of two new priests on Saturday, April 22, at 2 p.m. at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, located on the campus of the University of Notre Dame. The Most Reverend Arthur J. Colgan, CSC, Auxiliary Bishop of Chosica, Peru, conferred the sacrament of holy orders on Father Michael Patrick Palmer, CSC, and Father Ryan Joseph Pietrocarlo, CSC. The ordination Mass was streamed live on the Internet at Ordination-live.holycrossvocations.org.

    On Aug. 27 deacons Palmer and Pietrocarlo professed perpetual vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and committed themselves to the common life and apostolic work of the Congregation of Holy Cross.

    In acknowledgement and celebration of their ordination, Father Thomas J. O’Hara, CSC, Provincial Superior of the United States Province of Priests and Brothers of the Congregation of Holy Cross, reminded deacons Palmer and Pietrocarlo of Constitution 5:52, which is most suitable for their unique paths within the congregation: “We live our consecration in many lands and cultures. Our commitment is the same wherever we are, but we seek to express it in a manner rooted in and enriched by the varying contexts and cultures in which we live. In this way, we hope to make our witness and service more effective for the kingdom.” (Constitutions of the Congregation of Holy Cross, 5:52) “The seed of service and witness you’ve planted during your time in formation is now further nourished by your ordination as priests. Let now the effect take root and continue to blossom as you carry out your ministries,” added Father O’Hara.

    Father Michael Patrick Palmer is the fourth of seven sons of Warren and Victoria Palmer of Berkley, Mich. He entered formation with the congregation in 2007 and professed first vows on July 28, 2012.
    Prior to his ordination as a transitional deacon, Palmer served as a religious education teacher at St. Adalbert Parish, South Bend, 2010-11; as hospital chaplain and Catholic Charities volunteer in Colorado Springs, Colo., from 2011-12; and as a novice in residence at St. Ignatius Martyr Parish in Austin, Texas, in 2012. From 2012 to 2013 he served as a volunteer at the Logan Center in South Bend, then as a RCIA team member at Christ the King Church, South Bend, 2013-14. During his pastoral year he served as assistant hall director and campus ministry team member at the University of Portland, 2014-15. In 2015 Deacon Palmer entered chaplain training at the U.S. Army Chaplain School in Fort Jackson, S.C., then served in marriage preparation at Christ the King Church, South Bend, 2015-16. He earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy at the University of Notre Dame in 2011 and his M.Div. from the same in 2016.

    As he prepared for ordination day, Deacon Palmer reflected on the charism of Holy Cross and how his understanding of it has changed since he entered the congregation.

    “In our constitutions, we speak of ‘crossing borders of every sort’ and embracing the hope of the cross wherever it is found. When I first entered Holy Cross, I had no idea just how far-reaching it was. I didn’t even know Bangladesh was a real country! I was content to think of the congregation as confined to the South Bend area.

    “But, once I had been in formation for a few years and began to meet brothers and priests from Mexico, Chile, France, East Africa — and, yes, Bangladesh — I was awed at the great mission that Holy Cross had embraced to serve God’s people.

    “Simply put, every human being who has ever drawn breath has also known the cross. Suffering, oppression, and despair doesn’t care about language or borders or race; thankfully for us, neither does the hope of Christ.

    “This charism became real for me when I joined the Army Chaplain Corps nearly three years ago – following a Holy Cross tradition that began in the Civil War.

    “Our call to follow the cross across all borders certainly rings true in the military, where men and women often have no one to turn to in the midst of suffering. The shadow of the cross looms large. If God wills it, I hope to go into active duty and bring the sacraments to our brothers and sisters, no matter where they are.”

    Deacon Palmer served his diaconate year at Christ the King Church, South Bend, and his first Mass as a priest was celebrated on April 23 at the parish. He will also celebrate Mass at his home parish, National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica in Royal Oak, Mich., at 10:45 a.m. on May 21, followed by a reception.

    Father Ryan Joseph Pietrocarlo, CSC, is the older of two children of Joe and Karen Pietrocarlo of East Rochester, N.Y. While serving his diaconate at St. Adalbert/St. Casimir parishes in South Bend, he looked forward to his ministry with great anticipation.

    “What attracted me to Holy Cross in the beginning still attracts me today — and that is the diversity of ways to serve the church. I am excited to see how the Holy Spirit will guide me throughout my life to serve His people. I love entering people’s lives and walking with them on their journeys of faith. To help people come to Jesus Christ and the fullness of life that He gives us. I know my greatest challenge will be facing those resistant to that call or those who have experienced great difficulty, making them question that truth. It is then that the message of the cross as our only hope can prove most powerful.

    But I am humbled by God, who has called me. I look forward to serving His people and His church as a priest, and being able to celebrate the sacraments, especially the Eucharist and the sacrament of reconciliation. The priority of my life will be to administer the sacraments and share in the great conviction that the fullness of our faith and our lives can be found in them.”

    Prior to his diaconate year, Pietrocarlo served as a volunteer at Holy Cross House, Notre Dame, 2007-08; as a chemistry tutor for First Year of Studies, Notre Dame, 2008-09; as catechist at Christ the King Parish, South Bend, 2010- 11; as a volunteer at André House, Phoenix, 2011; as chaplain at Penrose Hospital, Colorado Springs, Colo., 2011-12; then in music ministry and as catechist at Our Lady of the Woods Parish in Woodland Park, Colo., 2012-13. Deacon Pietrocarlo volunteered at Stone Soup Community in South Bend, then served in marriage preparation at Christ the King Parish, 2013-14. He served his pastoral year at Nuestra Madre Santíssima de La Luz Parish, Guadalupe, Nuevo Leon, México 2014-15, then served in adult faith formation at St. Adalbert/St. Casimir Parishes, South Bend, 2015-16.

    He earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Notre Dame in 2011 and received his M.Div. from the same in 2016. He entered formation with Holy Cross as an Old Collegian in 2007. He made his first profession of vows on July 28, 2012.

    Father Pietrocarlo celebrated his first Mass as a priest on April 23 at St. Adalbert Church, South Bend, followed by a reception at St. Adalbert Catholic School. He also celebrated Mass at Morissey Hall Chapel on the campus of the University of Notre Dame at 10 p.m. the same day.

    Posted on April 25, 2017, to: