• By Tim Johnson

    Click here for the details.

    Today’s Catholic has announced an exciting new partnership that has been formed between Collette Travel and the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend with Today’s Catholic Travel. The travel initiative offers pilgrimage opportunities to local priests, parishioners and the Catholic community.

    The inaugural pilgrimage will be the “Shrines of Italy” tour that includes 11 days and 15 meals. According to Tracy Edwards, district sales manager at Collette, tour pilgrims will experience Rome, Assisi, San Giovani Rotondo, the ruins of Pompeii, and much more, including opportunities for Mass and taking part in the papal audience while in Vatican City.

    Two groups will depart on Nov. 10, 2015, with provisions for air out of Chicago for those in South Bend and air out of Detroit for those in the Fort Wayne area. Additionally, transportation to and from the airport will be included from a single pick up point in each city.

    Edwards notes, “Other gateways are available upon request for those friends and family members outside of this region that wish to travel with you.”

    Each Today’s Catholic Travel pilgrimage will include a local priest from each city to act as host. Father Terry Coonan, parochial vicar of St. Pius X Parish in Granger, will be the travel host for the South Bend departure for the upcoming “Shrines of Italy” tour and Father Andrew Budzinski, director of vocations and parochial vicar of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Fort Wayne, will host the Fort Wayne departure of the trip. Fathers Coonan and Budzinski will serve as spiritual hosts allowing for additional insight as the groups experience the roots of Catholicism. Each priest will have the opportunity to celebrate Mass in historical basilicas on the tour as well.

    Sean McBride, Secretariat of Communications for the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend says of the new venture, “We’re very excited to offer this program to the faithful of the diocese. We’ve partnered with a very reputable company that offers travel programs specific to Catholics, and we are hopeful that this inaugural trip will be a great way to begin a long-standing tradition of Today’s Catholic pilgrimages. We look forward to offering two trips per year to many destinations around the world, with many of our diocesan priests acting as travel hosts.”

    Informational meetings about the tour will be held in Fort Wayne and South Bend for those interested in learning more. In Fort Wayne, the informational meeting will be held at St. Vincent de Paul Parish, 1502 E. Wallen Rd., Fort Wayne, on Thursday, Nov. 13, at 6:30 p.m. In South Bend, the informational meeting will be held at St. Pius X Parish, 52553 Fir Rd., Granger, on Tuesday, Nov. 25, at 6:30 p.m.

    Posted on October 28, 2014, to:

  • Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades blesses the entrance of the Deacon Joseph Zickgraf Community Center adorned with the portrait of the church and public servant with holy water at the dedication ceremony on Oct. 19. The community center is located north of St. Paul of the Cross Church in Columbia City and will serve the church and the wider community with its space.

    COLUMBIA CITY — A dream that has been in the making for a decade has now come to fruition. St. Paul of the Cross Parish in Columbia City has completed construction on the long awaited Deacon Joseph Zickgraf Community Center. Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades celebrated Mass and officiated at a blessing ceremony for the center on Sunday, Oct. 19.

    The original building plans began with former St. Paul of the Cross Pastor Father Larry Kramer in 2004. The $1.1 million funding cost for the construction of the center was raised over the past decade with the Legacy of Faith and second collections taken at the church. Groundbreaking was held on Oct. 19, 2013, the vigil of the feast of St. Paul of the Cross.

    The Deacon Joseph Zickgraf Community Center is located just north of the church and offers a kitchen and dining area that will seat 300 people, and a multipurpose gathering space that doubles as a modern gymnasium. The center also provides room for the food pantry and St. Vincent de Paul Society and has the capacity for teleconferencing.

    In his homily at the Mass, Bishop Rhoades congratulated the congregation, including six of Deacon Zickgraf’s children, on the completion of the project and thanked them for their generosity, “Thank you for your generous donations to the parish that made this dream become a reality. I know this was a dream of your former pastor, Father Larry Kramer, so let us remember Father Larry in our prayers today.”

    Bishop Rhoades reminded parishioners that the community center was to be named in memory of Deacon Joseph Zickgraf, “So let us also remember Deacon Joe and also his wife Judy in our prayers today. I didn’t know Deacon Joe since he died before I became bishop here, but many have told me about his wonderful diaconal ministry.”

    Bishop Rhoades spoke of a letter that Bishop (John M.) D’Arcy wrote to Deacon Joe’s wife Judy after Joe’s death in which he wrote: “What can I say about Joe and you? His service at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, in Huntington and in Columbia City, was outstanding. He brought honor to the Office of Deacon and to the diocese. He loved serving on the Board of Catholic Charities. He was a joy to be around and, of course, a great public servant as mayor of Columbia City. None of this could have been done without you, Judy, because you were his support and his strength.”

    “So, to the children of Joe and Judy, how wonderful it is to have you here today at this celebration,” said Bishop Rhoades.

    Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades speaks to the congregation at the dedication Mass for the new Deacon Joseph Zickgraf Community Center on Oct. 19. The community center is located north of St. Paul of the Cross Church in Columbia City and will serve the church and the wider community with its space.

    Bishop Rhoades spoke of the Gospel message to render to Caeser what is his and to God what is God’s. “It is important for us to reflect on the teaching of Jesus in light of our culture today. Our Lord guides us on how we are to reconcile our obligations as members of civil society with our obligations as members of His Kingdom. ‘Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caeser and to God what belongs to God.’”

    He exhorted the congregation, “Today’s Gospel reminds us of our responsibilities as disciples of Jesus to be involved in the public arena where policies and laws are debated and enacted. Our faith and our consciences must inform our political choices. It is seriously wrong to separate morality from public policy or to claim that the separation of Church and state means removing God and moral truth from civil life.”

    Bishop Rhoades told those gathered that in rendering to God what is God’s, the faithful at Mass offer their lives, prayers, praise, sufferings and works, “united with those of Jesus and His offering of Himself on the cross. This is the great gift and mystery of the Eucharist.”

    Following the Mass, the blessing ceremony was held where parishioners and others gathered to celebrate the tribute to the man who served as deacon at St. Paul Parish for many years. Among those gathered were six of Deacon Zickgraf’s children.

    Pat Zickgraf, son of the deacon and parishioner of St. Paul, said, “My father dedicated his life to serving other people, from young till the day he died. He answered the call to serve in World War II, … served as veteran service officer in Whitley County, … and three terms as mayor.”

    As a member of the building committee of this particular project at the parish, Pat Zickgraf said, “It’s exciting to have this kind of addition to our church. It will enhance the ministry of helping the youth and will be a social place for the parish.” Of the center’s name he added, “It’s very humbling and gratifying. It’s quite an honor.”

    Father Gary Sigler, pastor of St. Paul of the Cross Parish, was happy to see the completion of the center and to have had the blessing by Bishop Rhoades. He was also excited to have the church and wider community come and see the new facility as St. Paul of the Cross celebrated its patronal feast day of Oct. 20 throughout the weekend.

    Father Sigler said though the center’s name was set before he was assigned to St. Paul Parish it is a good fit to honor the man who meant so much to the area. “Deacon           Zickgraf was an important part of this parish. He served three terms as mayor of Columbia City. The center is named in honor of his contribution to the parish and his leadership.”

    The Deacon Joseph Zickgraf Community Center, located just north of St. Paul of the Cross Church in Columbia City, was dedicated and blessed in a special ceremony officiated by Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades on Oct 19.

    The Deacon Joseph Zickgraf Community Center is intended to be of use now for various activities and events, among them youth activities, basketball and volleyball games, wedding receptions and fundraising breakfasts and dinners, as well as a polling place for future elections.

    “I’m excited to see what the future holds. It’s what the parish will have to discover,” said Father Sigler, who intends to contact the Red Cross to offer the center as space for future blood drives in the area as well.

    St. Paul of the Cross Parish’s fall festival was held in the newly dedicated Deacon Joseph Zickgraf Community Center as its inaugural event following the blessing ceremony on Oct. 19, where parishioners and others shared dinner, games and other activities.

    Posted on October 21, 2014, to:

  • October 14, 2014

    I appreciate this opportunity to share my thoughts about the midterm report from the Synod of Bishops, a report that has been the subject of many news reports and commentaries.

    I must begin with the declaration issued by the Vatican today in light of the reactions in the media to yesterday’s report. The Holy See Press Office reiterated that yesterday’s report is “a working document which summarises the interventions and debate of the first week and is now being offered for discussion by the members of the Synod gathered in the small groups.” The Vatican explained that “often a value has been attributed to the document that does not correspond to its nature.” I think this is very important to keep in mind.

    I do not think it is accurate to say that there is a “seismic shift” taking place in the Church on issues that are being discussed. I agree with Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, one of the Synod delegates, who said that the document is a draft and did not represent any kind of “earthquake” in Church teaching.

    I think it is important to look at the whole report and not just a few excerpts. It is important to see the affirmation of Church teaching on marriage and the family and the importance of pastoral care of the family. At the same time, clearly there is a lot of debate, not on doctrine, but on how the Church welcomes, reaches out, and assists those who live in what we consider to be “irregular situations,” such as cohabitating couples, divorced and remarried couples, and same-sex couples. How do we reach out with God’s love and mercy to those living in situations that fall short of the ideals of the Gospel? There is a lot of debate going on regarding this issue. There seem to be disagreements among the bishops at the Synod regarding solutions to the pastoral challenges facing the Church, especially in the West, because of the increased numbers of people not living according to the Church’s teaching on marriage and the family.

    In my opinion, it is good to study and debate how the Church might do a better job in making people in the above-mentioned irregular situations feel welcomed as brothers and sisters in the Church. Here in our diocese, we have been working hard in this area. We have ministries for the separated, divorced, and the divorced and remarried and for persons with homosexual inclinations. I don’t want anyone to feel excluded from the warmth of the Church’s love which should mirror the love of Christ. I think many of the bishops at the Synod are also concerned with the language the Church uses in regards to persons living in irregular situations, language that may alienate, rather than attract, people.


    # # #


    Declaration of the Director of the Holy See Press Office on behalf of the General Secretariat of the Synod:


    The General Secretariat of the Synod, in response to reactions and discussions following the publication of the Relatio post disceptationem, and the fact that often a value has been attributed to the document that does not correspond to its nature, reiterates that it is a working document, which summarises the interventions and debate of the first week, and is now being offered for discussion by the members of the Synod gathered in the Small Groups, in accordance with the Regulations of the Synod.


    The work of the Small Groups will be presented to the Assembly in the General Congregation next Thursday morning.

    Posted on October 14, 2014, to:

  • The faithful gathered with Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades on Oct. 1 outside the South Bend abortion clinic to pray the rosary and mark the opening of Respect Life Month. The rosary was organized by the diocesan Office of Family Life.

    By Chris Lushis

    SOUTH BEND — To commence Respect Life Month, Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades led over 200 participants in a Rosary for Life outside the South Bend abortion clinic on the evening of Oct. 1. The event, which was organized by the diocesan Office of Family Life, emphasized the importance of being united in faith and grounded in prayer to bring about holy action in the world.

    Bishop Rhoades highlighted the importance of praying the rosary together; reminding those present of the eternal hope in the triumph of Christ’s Resurrection.

    “It is a great joy to see so many of you here today,” Bishop Rhoades said. “We are surrounding the abortion clinic with this pro-life circle: we have the Women’s Care Center, the Life Center with the Blessed Sacrament present at the Divine Mercy Chapel, and the St. Joseph County Right to Life Office. This place is surrounded by prayer and people working for the cause of life. We will be victorious, and the Lord of Life will be victorious.”

    The Office of Family Life offered participants various ways to show support for mothers, children and families through the distribution of pro-life materials and by offering 100 roses to the women present, memorializing the lives that have been lost at the Women’s Pavilion on Ironwood Circle. Bishop Rhoades also commented on the special day chosen to pray this rosary, the Memorial of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux.

    “She was the ‘Little Flower,’ and these flowers, which represent unborn babies who have been aborted, also remind us of St. Thérèse as we ask for her strong and powerful intercession for life and that of our Blessed Mother as we pray this rosary together.”

    Bishop Rhoades led those present in reciting the glorious mysteries, offering a brief intention before each decade, including for all people who have experienced the pain of losing a family member or loved one, for all who struggle with addictions, for the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to open hearts and minds to the Gospel of Life, for all mothers who have suffered and died at the hands of abortion providers, and that all mothers might come to know the beauty of their vocation.

    To close the rosary, Bishop Rhoades prayed aloud words from St. John Paul II’s encyclical “Evangelium Vitae” (“The Gospel of Life”), asking the Blessed Mother to “look upon and bestow all people with the love and grace to accept the Gospel and have the courage to bear witness to it, in order to build a civilization of truth and love, to the praise and glory of God, the Creator and lover of life.”

    Many families and students were present for this joyous occasion, highlighting the importance of community involvement in promoting the dignity of human life. Bishop Rhoades expressed his gratitude to those gathered together and remarked on the number of students in attendance.

    “I am thrilled to see so many young people and students from Holy Cross College, Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s, Marian High School, Saint Joseph High School, homeschools and public schools, novices and postulants of the Sisters of St. Francis, and members of the Knights of Columbus,” he noted. “Your presence here gives us all great hope for the triumph of the Gospel of Life in our country and in our world.”

    Holy Cross College students were invited by Bishop Rhoades to lead the opening and closing hymns for the congregation. Kieran Krenz, a Holy Cross freshman who sings the choirs of both Holy Cross and the University of Notre Dame, remarked that the event was a “very good affirmation for those who are passionately striving toward the same goal of obtaining justice for the dignity of human beings.”

    Additionally, Michelle Roy, the Holy Cross College student president of the Pro-Life Club exclaimed that the rosary was a “great experience to come together with the local community and be able to pray with our bishop. As a small Catholic school it is truly special to be recognized by Bishop Rhoades and to see that he appreciates our efforts to defend life.”

    Lisa Everett, co-director for the Office of Family Life, offered her gratitude to Bishop Rhoades for suggesting the event and explained how it is a necessary component for building a culture of life. She said, “The four pillars of the bishop’s pro-life outreach are education/evangelization, pastoral care, political advocacy and prayer. Some people may feel called to one specific pillar, but all four are necessary for the success of the pro-life movement, especially for those in the Church.”

    Bishop Rhoades concluded the evening by encouraging those present to make the most of the month of October, which is designated both as Respect Life Month and the Month of the Holy Rosary.

    “What a beautiful thing it would be to make a resolution to pray the rosary every day during this month, or at least one decade each day,” he said. “Our Lady certainly hears our prayers. Continue to pray and continue to work to serve the Gospel of Life in a variety of ways. May God bless all of you for your commitment to this holy cause.”


    How to pray the rosary

    WASHINGTON (USCCB) — The rosary is a Scripture-based prayer. It begins with the Apostles’ Creed, which summarizes the great mysteries of the Catholic faith. The Our Father, which introduces each mystery, is from the Gospels. The first part of the Hail Mary is the angel’s words announcing Christ’s birth and Elizabeth’s greeting to Mary. St. Pius V officially added the second part of the Hail Mary.

    The mysteries of the rosary center on the events of Christ’s life. There are four sets of mysteries: joyful, sorrowful, glorious and –– added by Pope John Paul II in 2002 –– the luminous.

    The repetition in the rosary is meant to lead one into restful and contemplative prayer related to each mystery. The gentle repetition of the words helps us to enter into the silence of our hearts, where Christ’s spirit dwells. The rosary can be said privately or with a group.

    The five joyful mysteries are traditionally prayed on the Mondays, Saturdays and Sundays of Advent:

    • The Annunciation

    • The Visitation

    • The Nativity

    • The Presentation in the Temple

    • The Finding in the Temple

    The five sorrowful mysteries are traditionally prayed on the Tuesday, Friday and Sundays of Lent:

    • The Agony in the Garden

    • The Scourging at the Pillar

    • The Crowning with Thorns

    • The Carrying of the Cross

    • The Crucifixion and Death

    The five glorious mysteries are traditionally prayed on the Wednesday and Sundays outside of Lent and Advent:

    • The Resurrection

    • The Ascension

    • The Descent of the Holy Spirit

    • The Assumption

    • The Coronation of Mary

    The five luminous mysteries are traditionally prayed on Thursdays:

    • The Baptism of Christ in the Jordan

    • The Wedding Feast at Cana

    • Jesus’ Proclamation of the Coming of the Kingdom of God

    • The Transfiguration

    • The Institution of the Eucharist


    Praying the rosary

    Familiarize yourself and/or your group with the prayers of the rosary.

    Make the Sign of the Cross.

    Holding the crucifix, say the Apostles’ Creed.

    On the first bead, say an Our Father.

    Say three Hail Marys on each of the next three beads.

    Say the Glory Be

    For each of the five decades, announce the mystery, then say the Our Father.

    While fingering each of the ten beads of the decade, next say 10 Hail Marys while meditating on the mystery. Then say a Glory Be.

    (After finishing each decade, some say the following prayer requested by the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima: “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who have most need of your mercy.”)

    After saying the five decades, say the “Hail, Holy Queen, followed by this dialogue and prayer:
    V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
    R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Let us pray: O God, whose Only Begotten Son,
    by his life, Death, and Resurrection,
    has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life,
    grant, we beseech thee,
    that while meditating on these mysteries
    of the most holy rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
    we may imitate what they contain
    and obtain what they promise,
    through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

    Posted on October 7, 2014, to:

  • Deacon Marc R. Kellams from the Archdiocese of Indianapolis speaks at the dinner following the Red Mass in Fort Wayne on Sept. 24.

    FORT WAYNE — Following an ancient custom dating back to the 13th century, attorneys, law professors, high ranking government officials, guests and others who work in the legal field, gathered at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on Wednesday, Sept. 24, for the celebration of the Red Mass.

    Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades celebrated the Red Mass, which gets its name from the red vestments of the celebrant. The vestments represent the tongues of fire of the Holy Spirit, and from the brilliant scarlet robes worn by the Lord High Justices of the Middle Ages.

    The Mass is celebrated to invoke divine guidance and strength during the coming term of court, and is celebrated in honor of the Holy Spirit as the source of wisdom, understanding, counsel and fortitude; these gifts of the spirit being essential in the dispensation of justice in the courtroom, as well as in the individual lawyer’s or civil servant’s office.

    Assisting at the Red Mass as a special guest was the Honorable Marc R. Kellams, Circuit Court Judge in Monroe County, Indiana, and deacon of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. He serves St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Bloomington. Deacon Kellams spoke after the Mass on the topic, “The Balance of Faith and Profession.”

    Deacon Kellams has been a member of the bar for 36 years. He was ordained to the diaconate in 2008.

    He said keeping the two roles of judge and deacon separate has not been near the challenge one might think.

    “Fortunately, my judicial responsibilities as a criminal court judge do not include actions that force me into ethical dilemmas,” he said at the talk following the Red Mass dinner in the Archbishop Noll Catholic Center.

    Deacons are visible while fulfilling their sacramental duties — serving at Mass, baptizing infants, witnessing weddings and participating in various roles at funeral and committal services.

    “The true ministry of a deacon however is one of service,” Deacon Kellams said. “Acts Chapter 6 tells of the need of deacons to assist the apostles to serve the widows. Thus the first deacons were chosen to be of service so that the apostles could better fulfill their responsibilities.”

    Each deacon has a particular diaconate vocation. “Mine is to the elderly and the sick,” he said. “I visit hospitals, eldercare facilities and the homebound. I coordinate a cadre of volunteers, and I spend time with the dying and their families.”

    The death of his daughter nearly five years ago to brain cancer has given him special skills and a keen insight into dying “that helps me be of service to those suffering the end times,” he said.

    Deacon Kellams asked those gathered if they think of their public service as a calling, and asked, “And even further have you ever contemplated that the work you do has at its center a touch of the divine?”

    He quoted Thomas L. Shaffer, professor emeritus at the University of Notre Dame, who mused in his book “American Lawyers and Their Communities”: “We American lawyers learn to look at the community of the faithful, rather than from it. We stand in the courthouse looking at the church. We see the particular people, even when we claim to belong to it, from the point of view of the government. When we are able to change the place where we stand, when we walk across the street and look at the courthouse from the church, we notice a couple of things about the way the government in America regards the community of the faithful.”

    Deacon Kellams asked, “Do we actually consider our public self and our private self as dual personalities in the body of one person, both secular and religious at the same time?”

    The judge added, in Shaffer’s book, “Faith and the Professions,” he actually came to the conclusion that those who practice law had the responsibility to be moral teachers.

    “For a long time I tended to look at my faith as a matter separate from my profession, as something that shaped my private life, something that I shared with family and others of like mind,” the deacon said. “But how is it that one is able to so abstractly divide a life?”

    “If we are being honest, most of us in public service are here for the simple and often stated motive that we want to be of service to others; that we want to share our talents for the betterment of humankind,” he noted. “And so it is that the lessons of our faith, even if never spoken, and certainly never out-rightly attributed — at least by most of us — are intrinsically and fundamentally a part of who we are, and thus of what we do and how we do it.”

    Deacon Kellams said, “The Catholic Church is not just an organization I belong to. It is not just something I am or do for one hour every week. It is instead at the very heart of who I am and how I function. Now do not misunderstand, I’m not one to speak in religious terms, ‘Christ-speak’ as I call it, dropping the Lord’s name in my comments, and I do not display my faith in a professionally public way, or even in symbolic ways — and in fact I tend to distrust those in the profession who do. I choose instead to follow the instruction in Matthew, Chapter 6, that says: ‘Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.’”

    “I have also never held the belief that my faith was to be used as a tool, never to be used as a mechanism for changing others, by judicial influence or worse by judicial fiat, into something I found more acceptable,” Deacon Kellams said. “Instead I have endeavored to look upon my faith as a way of influencing and changing the very essence of who I am, not only as a pathway to eternal salvation, but as a way of life; and that through my life I might serve as a positive influence to others.”

    “Heaven knows, how often I have failed at that undertaking,” he said, “but as Blessed Teresa of Calcutta so gratefully taught, ‘God does not call us to be successful, but to be faithful.’”


    Red Mass planned for Basilica of the Sacred Heart

    NOTRE DAME — Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades will celebrate the South Bend Red Mass at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, on the campus of the University of Notre Dame, on Monday, Oct. 6, at 5:15 p.m. A reception will follow at the Eck Hall of Law, Eck Commons (second floor). The public is invited.


    Posted on October 1, 2014, to: