• Confessions in all parishes of the diocese 6-8 p.m.

    Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades has designated Thursday, March 5, from 6-8 p.m., “as the date and time for all the churches of our diocese to be open for prayer and (I) am asking all our priests to hear individual confessions during that two-hour time period,” the bishop wrote in a past letter to priests.

    The initiative is called “The Light Is On for You” and will offer Catholics of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend the availability of the sacrament of Reconciliation.

    Confession provides an opportunity to set aside sinful ways and to draw closer to the Lord.

    For those who need special assistance in going to Confession, contact Mary Glowaski of the Secretariat for Evangelization and Special Ministries at mglowaski@diocesefwsb.org or call 260-399-1458 for accommodations.

    “The Light Is On For You” is endorsed by the U.S. bishops and is an invitation to all Catholics of the diocese to stop in church for prayer and provides the opportunity for Confession. The program began in the Archdiocese of Washington and has been adopted by other dioceses with much success. With this program, all parishes in a diocese open their churches on a particular evening for Confessions.

    “The Light Is On For You” is for Catholics who frequent Confession, but is also an opportunity for Catholics who may be reluctant to come to the sacrament, have been away for some time, or just find it difficult to get to a Saturday afternoon Confession time. It is an opportunity for Catholics to reconnect with Christ and His Church.

    For those who have been away from the sacrament for some time, churches will have Reconciliation brochures available for helpful “how-to” guidance.

    The faithful are encouraged to invite their family and friends who have been away from the sacrament to take part.

    “Imagine the sense of welcome and hope they would experience if they walked into a church filled with people praying and meditating in silence in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament,” one bulletin promotion announcement said.


    Haven’t Been to Confession in a While? 

    Interested, but worry you don’t remember how to give a good Confession? No problem. Simply click here for helpful guidance. Then, stop by any Catholic church in the diocese on Thursday, March 5, from 6-8  p.m., for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and quiet prayer.

    Lenten Penance Services (will be updated as more become available)

    • St. Dominic, 803 W. Bike St., Bremen, will have their Lenten Parish Reconciliation Service on Saturday, Feb. 28, at 10 a.m. Confessions in both Spanish and English.

    • St. Therese Parish, 2304 Lower Huntington Rd., Fort Wayne, will have their Lenten Penance Service on Tuesday, March 3, at 7 p.m. as part of the parish mission.

    • St. Mary of the Lake, 124 College Ave., Culver, March 7 at 10 a.m.; and another service March 10 at 7 p.m. at the Culver Military Academy Chapel

    • St. Joseph Church, 226 N. Hill St., South Bend, March 10 at 7 p.m.

    • Queen of Peace, 4508 Vistula Rd., Mishawaka, March 10 at 7 p.m.

    • St. Paul of the Cross, 315 S. Line St., Columbia City, March 10 at 7 p.m.

    • Immaculate Conception, 500 East Seventh St., Auburn, March 11 at 7 p.m.

    • St. Thomas the Apostle, 1405 N. Main St., Elkhart, March 14 at 11 a.m.

    • St. Michael the Archangel, 1098 County Road 39, Waterloo, March 15 at 5 p.m.


    Posted on February 17, 2015, to:

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    Posted on February 10, 2015, to:

  • FORT WAYNE — The life of St. Maximilian Kolbe will come to the stage at the University of Saint Francis Robert Goldstine Performing Arts Center in a live production of Leonard Defilippis of St. Luke Productions. The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend and Redeemer Radio are the sponsors for the two performances set Saturday, Feb. 28, at 1 and 7 p.m.

    Admission is $10 for the lower level, $5 for the upper level, $15 for a family pass on the upper level. The production is suitable for ages 10 and up.

    Tickets are available through parishes, the Cathedral Bookstore in the Archbishop Noll Catholic Center in Fort Wayne or through email at district15@indianakofc.org.

    The one-man live production of “Maximilian: Saint of Auschwitz” holds a powerful message for the culture, at a time when religious freedom and values are under attack. The drama poignantly illustrates the life of Maximilian Kolbe, a Polish Catholic priest whose amazing life of service to the Church and courage in the face of attacks against his faith, led to his imprisonment in the Auschwitz concentration camp. He was forced into slave labor, tortured and finally came forward to take the place of a married man, who was condemned to death by starvation.

    The newly updated production of Maximilian is a perfect drama for present times, offering the faithful courage and a real sense of hope. Proving that death is not the end, but only the beginning, this story is one of sacrificial love and ultimately, of martyrdom for the Catholic Church. St. Maximilian Kolbe has a powerful yet cautionary message for all — to not take the freedoms for granted, but rather defend them.

    Since it’s re-opening in July 2012, over 25,000 people across America have witnessed the live drama, which includes technological artistry in the form of a majestic orchestral soundtrack, full professional lighting and a video backdrop that sets the story in a historical yet relevant context.

    In a letter to the faithful, Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades said, “I am very happy that the play ‘Maximilian: Saint of Auschwitz’ will be performed twice here in Fort Wayne on Saturday, Feb. 28. I encourage the faithful to attend one of the performances to learn about the life and martyrdom of Saint Maximilian Kolbe.”

    The bishop noted, “When I was a seminarian in Rome, I attended the canonization Mass of Father Kolbe by Pope John Paul II in St. Peter’s Square. Later as a bishop, I visited and prayed in the cell where Father Kolbe died in Auschwitz from an injection of carbolic acid. This great priest and martyr of the 20th century has been an inspiration to me and countless others of courageous witness of Christ, selfless love and passionate devotion to the Immaculate Virgin Mary.”

    “I hope you are able to attend the play,” he added. “I hope that many in our diocese will be inspired by the life and death of this ‘Saint of Auschwitz.’”

    The proceeds will benefit the diocesan Seminarian Vocation Fund. Visit the www.diocesefwsb.org/Maximilian for more information.


    Posted on February 4, 2015, to:

  •  By Chris Lushis

    Click here for more photos from the march

    WASHINGTON — With enthusiasm and hope, individuals from throughout the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend united their voices and footsteps on Jan. 22 with hundreds of thousands in support of the protection of life from conception to natural death. Five hundred students from the diocese joined nearly 700 more from the University of Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross College, and endured the more than 12-hour journey to the nation’s capital with a combined 25 buses to stand in solidarity in defense of life.

    On the morning of the march, Masses sponsored by the Archdiocese of Washington were offered at both the Verizon Center and the D.C. Armory. At the armory, where Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades served as concelebrant, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston exclaimed, “How beautiful it is to see so many young people saying ‘yes’ to life!”

    These young pilgrims then ventured to the National Mall, joining with an estimated 500,000 supporters to hear words of encouragement from various pro-life leaders on keeping the energy and spirit of life alive beyond the march. Speakers included Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, president of the USCCB, Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, Congressional members from both parties and Rev. Sammy Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, who offered the concluding prayer for the rally.

    Pro-life defenders of all ages then began the walk to the United States Supreme Court building, where in 1973, the Court decision on Roe v. Wade declaring abortion legal has since led to the death of over 50 million unborn children. These supporters marched together triumphantly, demonstrating their advocacy for those without a voice of their own.

    Some spoke of their amazement at the response of so many committed participants. Kathy Heckber, a parishioner of St. Aloysius, Yoder, shared her thoughts on the event. “Thousands of people marched with signs defending life. Many were praying, singing and chanting as they walked,” she said. “I was really impressed to see so many young adults. Seeing them gives me hope that one day this will end.”

    Many students spoke of their excitement and gratitude for having been able to take part in the march.

    Emma Rotkis, a junior at Saint Joseph High School, South Bend,  on her third March for Life shared, “It is inspiring to see so many people giving voices to those who have none. It is even more moving when you realize that some of the loudest voices come from the hearts of our young generation.”

    Hannah Toepp, a freshman at Marian High School in Mishawaka, revealed, “My experience on the March for Life was extremely prayerful and spiritually involved. We were elbow to elbow singing and praying the rosary along the way to show the world our support for life.”

    Emma Gettinger, a Marian senior, added, “It was awesome to have the experience to see so many others excited about their faith.”

    Claire, a parishioner from Immaculate Conception, Auburn, said, “The thing that stood out to me the most was the joy of everyone. It was a totally somber occasion, but at the same time it is like a big Catholic family reunion; everyone just has so much joy and hope that we can end this terrible problem.”

    Young parishioners of St. Paul of the Cross, Columbia City, added their thoughts as well.

    “It was pretty cool how everyone came together in a peaceful protest, essentially taking over the whole street but in a very friendly way, uniting with people across the country for such a great cause. It was also interesting to see former rape victims and those who shared that they regretted their abortions.” Stacey Quinn said. “It’s just so powerful, it brings tears to my eyes, seeing everyone bravely stand and talk about how they are against this huge issue and how much we just need it to stop.”

    Afterwards, students from the diocese returned to their temporary parish accommodations for an evening of community and reflection as they shared pizza and gathered in the churches of St. James and St. Ann to hear speeches on forgiveness, mercy and renewal. Reconciliation services accompanied by praise and worship music were offered during Eucharistic Adoration for both diocesan groups. Father Andrew Budzinski, vocation director, led those from Fort Wayne, and Franciscan Father David Mary Engo spoke to those from South Bend.

    Towards the end of the prayers, Father Engo invited all those present who were open to discerning a vocation to the religious life or Priesthood to come up and pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Fifteen young men and women bravely knelt before Christ in the Eucharist as Father Engo led the group in praying for them, emphasizing the importance of showing support for those who are open to following God’s will in their lives.

    Brianna Strong, a parishioner of St. Gaspar, Rome City, was one who responded to this invitation.

    She shared, “I always have the thought in the back of my mind of Jesus calling me to join the religious life, but sometimes as a teenager, we have the struggles to want to plan and control our life, which can get in the way of what God wants us to do.”

    Strong, who has been discerning throughout the last year, further shared that she has received “great support and advice from the Sisters of Perpetual Adoration (Mishawaka) and Franciscan Friars Minor in discerning what God is asking. I keep praying to discover where He will lead me.”

    On Jan. 23, Bishop Rhoades celebrated Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. While this Mass had originally been scheduled primarily for those who had traveled from his diocese, it instead became another example of Catholic unity and shared participation in the life of the Church as diocesan groups from New Orleans, Louisiana, Nashville and Knoxville, Tennessee, Jackson, Mississippi, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Ogdensburg, New York, attended as well.

    The amount of participation surprised even Bishop Rhoades, who exclaimed, “I was planning to celebrate Mass for 500 people, not 5,000!” He expressed his gratefulness for their attendance and his joy that so many were able to partake in the Mass together.

    Diocesan priests Father Chris Lapp, Father Jason Freiberger, Father Terry Coonan, Father David Mary Engo, Father Andrew Budzinski and Father Drew Curry were concelebrants with Bishop Rhoades. Students from Marian High School, senior David Schena II, the president of the Pro-Life Club, and junior Abbey Zielinski, proclaimed the readings and intercessions.

    Afterwards, students from the diocese shared their joy at being able to participate in such a unique event.

    David Kelty, a senior at Bishop Dwenger High School, Fort Wayne, who carried the processional cross as altar server, exclaimed, “How often do you get to serve at the national shrine with Bishop Kevin Rhoades? It was a privilege I will never forget. Serving Mass is a humbling experience on its own. When you add the beautiful basilica with our bishop in the context of the pro-life mission, it was exhilarating!”

    Karena Parish, also a senior at Bishop Dwenger, enthusiastically remarked, “seeing all those priests and people at Mass just fills me with joy. It makes me feel like our faith is so much bigger and more incredible than ever before. It was also hard not to get distracted by the church’s beauty. Then after Mass, seeing men and women in religious orders, some of which I didn’t even know existed until today — these are the most joyful people I’ve ever met. They are such a witness of holiness!”

    Before returning to Indiana, students also were able to travel to Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary in Emmittsburg, Maryland, to visit those from the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend who are studying for the Priesthood.

    Posted on January 28, 2015, to:


    Posted on January 20, 2015, to: