• Saint Joseph’s High School announces vision of new state-of-the-art facility will be realized
    SOUTH BEND — Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades has given approval for construction to begin on June 1 of a new Saint Joseph’s High School (SJHS) at the former site of Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center.

    The official groundbreaking ceremony will be held on Friday, June 10, at 1 p.m. at the site of the new school.

    Principal Susan Richter said, “It is with great pride and excitement that this announcement is shared with the Michiana community. And it is with deep gratitude that we thank Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center for the gift of land and their enduring support of our vision for the future of Saint Joseph’s High School. We also thank The Most Reverend John M. D’Arcy, bishop-emeritus of the diocese, for his initial approval of this ambitious campaign.”

    “I wish to express my deep appreciation to all who have worked so hard and sacrificed so generously to make this ‘dream’ of a new Saint Joseph’s High School a soon-to-be accomplished reality,” said Bishop Rhoades. “Over a thousand generous donors have made pledges to this important campaign. I am deeply grateful to these donors, alumni and other supporters of the noble and holy mission of Saint Joseph’s High School. I pray that the Lord will continue to bless this project as we continue the capital campaign and begin the construction in June.”

    “A project of this magnitude cannot succeed without the dedication and investment of many people,” Richter added. In addition to the medical center and Bishop D’Arcy, thanks also go to the Sisters and Brothers of Holy Cross, the University of Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s College, Mayor Steve Leucke and the City of South Bend, and the unwavering support of the diocese.

    Heading the “Forward in Faith Campaign,” Jeff Boetticher, chief advancement officer at SJHS, assembled a professional and dedicated team to drive the campaign to this day of celebration. Jim Schellinger and CSO Architects, the Chicago-based consulting firm Campbell and Company, the “Forward in Faith” Steering Committee — led by chairs Al and Mary Harding and Kevin and Maryjo Kelly— and School Board President Matt Edmonds have spent the past year committed to the realization of this shared vision.

    “It is the tireless efforts of these people who have generated the excitement, contacting countless alumni, present and future Saint Joe families, and friends asking them to join in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Richter said. “We thank all those who invested in the future of Saint Joseph’s High School, from our visionary donors who launched us on this successful path to every person who donated to ‘Forward in Faith.’ We will be forever indebted to you and we all can share in the accomplishments of the past year.”

    Tremendous progress recently has been made in the fundraising, allowing construction to start immediately. This will enable Saint Joseph’s High School to open the doors of the new, state-of-the-art high school in August of 2012, thereby limiting maintenance expenses for the current facility to just one school year, Richter explained.

    Saint Joseph’s High School will continue to move “Forward in Faith” celebrating what has been accomplished and completing the challenges that still lie ahead. The school will be changing its address, but the spirit and tradition of excellence in faith, service and academics will live on and thrive at 453 Notre Dame Ave. Even the new address speaks to those traditions. The “53” in the new address is to honor the 1953 opening of the current Saint Joseph’s High School.

    Posted on June 1, 2011, to:

  • COLUMBUS — The Bishop Dwenger girls’ rugby team captured the state title on Saturday, May 21, at Richard Wigh Fields in Columbus, Ind. Bishop Dwenger High School defeated North Central team in the Division II Championship Game with a score of 14-7.

    The Bishop Dwenger girls’ rugby team captured the state title on Saturday, May 21, at Richard Wigh Fields in Columbus. Bishop Dwenger High School defeated North Central team in the Division II Championship Game with a score of 14-7. The team includes the following: front row, Bri Campbell, Aly Cox, Lindsey Tippmann, Jenna Fowler and Samantha Freistroffer; second row, Colleen McCann, Tori Tippmann, Reagan Stout, Katelyn Stout, Brittney Giant and Maddie McCarthy; third row, Sarah Wusterbarth, Catie Martino, Brie Rahrig, Rachel Dick, Amy Nicola and Molly Werling; and fourth row, Coach John Porter, Maddie Irmiter, Olivia Perez, Coach Edward Nelson and Coach Isaac Hall.

    Brie Rahrig was named most valuable player for the championship game. Members of the all-state team from Bishop Dwenger are Brie Rahrig, Bri Campbell and Olivia Perez.

    This group of young women just formed their team this year. Led by Coach John Porter, the Lady Saints had a fantastic start and finish to their inaugural season, including an undefeated record of seven wins, no losses and one tie. For Porter, who had previously coached the boys’ rugby team, this was his 100th rugby win for the Saints.

    Bishop Dwenger High School hosted an all-school assembly on Thursday, May 26.

    Posted on June 1, 2011, to:

  • The Most Reverend Kevin C. Rhoades, Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend, has announced the following changes in priestly assignments, effective June 21, 2011:
    • Reverend Kevin Bauman, from Parochial Vicar, Saint Vincent de Paul Parish, Elkhart, to Pastor, Our Lady of Hungary Parish, South Bend.

    • Reverend Lourdino Fernandes, from Pastor, Blessed Sacrament Parish, Albion, to Pastor, Saint Rose of Lima Parish, Monroeville.

    • Reverend Polycarp Fernando, from Pastor, Saint Dominic Parish, Bremen, to Parochial Vicar, Saint Vincent de Paul Parish, Fort Wayne.

    • Reverend Msgr. Bernard Galic, to Vicar Forane for Region E of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, while continuing as Pastor, Saint Aloysius Parish, Yoder, and Director of Office of Vocations.

    • Reverend Mark Gurtner, JCL, from Adjutant Judicial Vicar to Judicial Vicar of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, and from Pastor, Saint Anthony de Padua Parish, South Bend, to Pastor, Our Lady of Good Hope Parish, Fort Wayne.

    • Reverend Charles A. Herman, from Administrator, Holy Family Parish, South Bend, to Pastor, Holy Family Parish, South Bend. Father Herman continues as Pastor of Saint John the Baptist Parish, South Bend.
    • Reverend Vincent Joseph, V.C., to Parochial Vicar, Holy Family and Saint John the Baptist Parishes, South Bend.

    • Reverend John Klimczyk, from Parochial Vicar, Saint Hedwig and Saint Patrick Parishes, South Bend, to Pastor, Blessed Sacrament Parish, Albion.

    • Reverend Jeffery Largent, from Pastor, Saint Monica Parish, Mishawaka, to Pastor, Little Flower Parish, South Bend.

    • Reverend Bob Lengerich, from Parochial Vicar, Saint Pius X Parish, Granger, to Pastor, Saint Dominic Parish, Bremen.

    • Reverend Msgr. Bruce J. Piechocki, JCL, from Judicial Vicar of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, and from Pastor, Our Lady of Good Hope Parish, Fort Wayne, to Pastor, Saint Monica Parish, Mishawaka.

    • Reverend David Ruppert, from Pastor, Saint Therese Parish, Fort Wayne, to Pastor, Saint Anthony Parish, South Bend.

    • Reverend Lawrence Teteh, CSSp, from Pastor, Our Lady of Hungary Parish, South Bend, to Pastor, Saint Therese Parish, Fort Wayne.

    Posted on May 25, 2011, to:

  • Father Guertin marks 50 years of priesthood

    SOUTH BEND — Fifty years after Donald Guertin abandoned his engineering studies for the priesthood, he’s still serving the Lord with his many talents.

    Holy Cross Father Guertin was born in Detroit, Mich., on Oct. 27, 1928, to a family that also included two more boys, and a girl. He graduated from St. Francis Xavier High School in Ecorse, Mich., in 1946, and studied at Chaffey College in Alta Loma, Calif., before joining the U.S. Navy and submitting to four years of flight training.

    After being discharged from the Navy, Father Guertin enrolled at the University of Notre Dame with the intention of studying engineering. Now, he said, he sees that God had other plans for him.

    “I took one of those lectures we were required to attend, and, well, I took a step back and took a wider view of things,” he said of his first year.

    He altered his original plans, enrolled in Old College and set out on the road to become the only priest in his family. Father Guertin made his first vows after attending Sacred Heart novitiate in Minnesota, then returned to Notre Dame and graduated in 1957. Four more years at Holy Cross College in Washington, D.C., followed, and he was ordained a priest at the Sacred Heart Basilica on June 7, 1961.

    Twice the Lord put Father Guertin in the role of pastor at Little Flower Parish, South Bend — once from 1962-66 and again from 1997-2001. He also served as an assistant at Christ the King Parish, and as one of several pastors of St. Joseph’s Parish in Mishawaka from 1968-1974.

    At. St. Joseph’s, he enjoyed being a part of important transitions that were happening.

    “The parish priests and members of the parish introduced the changes coming from the Second Vatican Council, such as the liturgical changes and shared parish leadership, by initiating a parish council, parish board of education and social justice efforts,” he remembered.

    “It was a plan proposed by parishioner Robert Skudlarek that involved religious education for all ages and for the parish elementary school to serve the integration of the neighborhood by opening the parish school to neighborhood children who were unable to afford the full tuition.”

    But Father Guertin began to feel a call to help in a more specific way. In 1974 he began to study counseling psychology and received a master’s degree, which led to his appointment to the Family and Children’s Center in 1976.

    “I wanted to develop some additional abilities to serve, and I thought psychology would be helpful,” Father Guertin explained.

    For the last five years, Father Guertin, 82, has worked part time with the Spiritual Care Department at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center as a priest visitor to the sick. He is also on a rotation with two other priests, Father Tom McNally and Father David Link, to celebrate a weekend Mass at the prison in Michigan City.

    Now a resident of Our Lady of Fatima House in South Bend, he enjoys his semi-retirement by running around St. Mary’s Lake — weather permitting. He also plays tennis, a sport he enjoys so much that he wishes he’d never taken time off, he said.

    He added that he is grateful for his blessings, which have come at every assignment and in every location.

    Continue reading…

    Posted on May 25, 2011, to:

  • Provides a unique graduation gift for college-bound students
    SOUTH BEND — College Connection for Catholics (CCC), a program of the USA Council of Serra International and NET Ministries, unites college students with the Catholic faith on campuses. CCC is designed to connect incoming Catholic college freshmen with the Catholic presence on or near their campus, with the goal of helping the students stay active in their faith.

    Serra International was formed in 1936 as a lay Catholic organization to support the vocations to the priesthood and community life (sisters and brothers) through activities such as this and prayer.

    The program, which launched a new website in 2010, has become a premier national outreach program for the USA Council of Serra International and NET Ministries. It is a major step in helping promote Catholic campus ministries on college campuses. The College Connection for Catholics website features over 1,100 colleges across the nation; plans include increasing this number to 1,500 this year. CCC has generated positive responses from students, campus ministers and diocesan officials about its goal to reach this critical age group that is most likely to lose their faith.

    Several hundred members of Serra Clubs have spent the past six years developing the CCC program. They have gathered data which confirms that only 15 percent of incoming Catholic freshmen are practicing their faith by the time they graduate.

    More than 1.2 million Catholic students enter college life each year. Ninety percent of them attend a secular campus where it is difficult for Catholic ministries to reach them without knowing who they are. Members of Serra Clubs coordinate with their local diocese, Catholic high schools and parishes to obtain the names of graduating seniors and provide them with information about the Catholic presence at their college of choice. The clubs also provide Catholic campus ministry officials with these students’ names and information, so they can invite them to Catholic events and liturgies.

    The Serra Club of South Bend, composed of Catholic men and women devoted to the fostering and supporting of vocations to the priesthood and religious life was formed in 1946. The purpose of CCC, to keep the young people who enter colleges connected to their Catholic heritage, is related to Serra and so the club is using its resources to further the efforts of CCC to the local youth.

    Saint Joseph and Marian high schools have been enlisted to assist in obtaining the needed information on graduating seniors. This information will be forwarded to the Catholic Ministries program at the student’s college of choice. This will make it possible for the campus’s Catholic ministry group to contact the students at the beginning of their freshman year to invite them to participate in the programs and liturgical activities of the ministries.

    According to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., if campus ministries reached just 10 percent more of the nearly 5 million Catholic college students across the United States and kept them active in their faith, it would add approximately 500,000 practicing Catholics to dioceses across the country.

    “I can’t think of a better way to make an impact on the Church and the world than by reaching people who are at the very beginning of their careers and connecting them deeply to their Catholic faith,” said Father David Konderla, director and pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Center at Texas A&M.

    Father James J. Bacik, who ministers to students at the University of Toledo, and author of “Empowered by the Spirit,” a campus ministry document for the U.S. bishops in 2006, said getting the names of Catholic students coming to the university from Serra Clubs is “like gold in our pockets. It is a great help in our ministry. These students are the future leaders of society and of our Church.”

    Robert McCarty, executive director of the National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministers, said the College Connection program responds to the U.S. bishops’ goals for Catholic youth ministry: “To call young people to live as disciples of Jesus Christ,” and to “draw young people to responsible participation in the life, work and mission of the faith community.”

    For more information, the Serra Club of South Bend may be reached by contacting either: Dr. Frank C. Toepp,  chairman, South Bend CCC at (574) 272-1897 or e-mail at franktoepp@comcast.net; or Stephen Elek, Jr., communications, South Bend CCC, at (574) 291-0550 or e-mail at selekjr2@comcast.net.

    Posted on May 25, 2011, to: