• FORT WAYNE — This summer, University of Notre Dame student and Bishop Dwenger High School graduate Mariel Lee has been selected to launch one of the Fort Wayne branches of Ivy Insiders, an innovative SAT/ACT preparation program that was started by undergraduates at Harvard University in 2003 and has since grown into a national test prep leader thanks to the highest student score improvements in the industry.

    Using the first-hand insights of top college test-takers to help high school students beat standardized tests, Revolution Prep selects student-entrepreneurs from the country’s top colleges to return to their hometowns each summer to manage and teach their SAT/ACT prep businesses.

    Ivy Insiders’ programs deliver unmatched results due to three key differentiators: brilliant instructors, an intensive format, and outstanding results.

    The college-aged instructors are selected for their 99th percentile SAT scores and experience as mentors and role models to high school students. These instructor-mentors provide a personalized approach that targets each student’s problem areas and customizes instruction to every student’s needs.

    The program’s structure provides intensive delivery of a three-week period during which students can avoid the typical school-year distractions and focus entirely on the SAT or ACT. And, over the last eight years, Ivy Insiders programs have helped nearly 10,000 students achieve SAT score improvements of 254 points and ACT score improvements of 4.4 points on average-nearly twice the improvement achieved by traditional test prep companies.

    According to the company’s founders, the reason Ivy Insiders has had so much success is that it takes a student-centered approach to the test. The Ivy Insiders curriculum approaches the SAT like a game to be beaten and exposes students to some of its best players — top-tier undergraduates who beat the exam themselves. By simplifying the test’s content, spinning it like a game, and focusing on results, it produces score jumps that are unprecedented.

    Additional information is available by contacting Lee at the following: mariel_lee@ivyinsiders.com, or (260) 241 2368. Visit www.revolutionprep.com/ivy/mariel_l for course information or to enroll.

    Lee is offering four free events this summer, including practice SAT and ACT exams and two test-taking tips and strategies workshops: a mock SAT exam on Tuesday, June 14; a SAT workshop on Thursday, June 16; a mock ACT exam on Thursday, June 23; and an ACT workshop on Thursday, June 30. The events will be held at Bishop Dwenger High School.

    Another Notre Dame student, Brennan Fitzgerald, of Huntington, is also excited to bring this innovative approach to test preparation to Huntington. See www.revolutionprep.com/ivy/brennan_f for his bio and schedule of free events and courses.

    Posted on June 8, 2011, to:

  • Tournament co-hosts Don McArdle and John Tippmann are shown in the photo. The Tippmann-McArdle Women’s Care Center Classic held May 23 raised more than $100,000 for the Women’s Care Center.

    FORT WAYNE — The first annual Tippmann-McArdle Women’s Care Center Classic held Monday, May 23, at Sycamore Hills Country Club, has raised more than $100,000 for the Women’s Care Center.

    The Texas Scramble tournament featured eight gold sponsors, four silver sponsors and 28 bronze sponsors in addition to 64 hole sponsors. Thirty-two foursomes played in the tournament that was won by the Glenbrook Dodge/Mercedes Benz Fort Wayne team (gross) and Tire Rack team (net). Closest-to-the-pin winners were David Dimberio and Pat Miller.

    Proceeds from the tournament support the Women’s Care Center, a pregnancy resource organization whose mission is to help pregnant women choose life, and to support and educate new mothers. The organization offers one-on-one birth preparation, a nine-week “Baby Basics” program, goal counseling, parenting classics, and a crib club to earn vouchers redeemable for cribs, car seats, baby clothing and diapers.

    “Right now we are serving about 65 women per day, every day. The support we are receiving through this tournament is greatly needed and appreciated,” remarked Anne Koehl, the center’s director.

    To learn more about the Women’s Care Center Foundation contact Executive Director Bobby Williams at (574) 274-0313.

    Posted on June 8, 2011, to:

  • Deacon Terrence Coonan, left ,poses with his brother Deacon Matt Coonan.

    By Kay Cozad

    FORT WAYNE — Deacons Matt and Terrance Coonan Jr., are much more than biologically-linked brothers. They are now brothers of the faith as well. The two close-knit siblings, the third and fourth of eight children of Terry and Terri Coonan, have recently completed their seminary studies for priestly formation and now anticipate their ordination into the Holy Priesthood on June 11 with Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Fort Wayne.

    Like the now revered Ratzinger brothers, Pope Benedict XVI and Father Georg Ratzinger, who together celebrate their 60th anniversary of ordination into the Priesthood this year, the Coonan brothers agree that their vocations are a testament to the importance of family. “It will be joyful to make this life gift on the same day,” says Matt.

    The seeds of priestly vocation, nurtured by their faith-filled family, were planted early by the “joyful witness of the parish priests” who joined in many of the Coonan family events over the years. Terrence, better known as “Tink,” remembers the family friends as men who lived out their vocations as priests with lots of joy. “They were a good witness for planting seeds,” he says.

    But despite the brothers’ fraternal bond and vocation call, each has his own very distinct style and personality. Matt, older by four years, speaks and moves with fast-paced energy, while Tink, though as articulate as his brother, demonstrates a more soft-spoken, gentle demeanor. Both, however, display an exuberant passion for Jesus Christ and the Catholic faith.

    When speaking of the differences between the two, both brothers note that they each received their call to the priesthood in very unique ways. Matt, who remained active in youth ministry at his home parish of St. Vincent de Paul, even after his graduation from Bishop Dwenger High School, studied business marketing at Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne. “I desired to serve the Church, and lead teens to Christ. But I always thought I’d be married and a youth minister at the parish level,” he says, noting that “he didn’t pray about it much then.”

    After earning his bachelor’s degree Matt began a career with a local printing company. As he continued assisting with youth ministry, however, he began to understand the importance of the priest in ministry. “I saw the example of the priests, especially with the sacraments. It was an amazing awakening!” he recalls, adding, “It was a clear call from God.” Matt applied to seminary studies in the fall of 2004.

    Tink relates that his vocational call was discovered over time. Through his high school years at Bishop Dwenger, Tink prayed fervently for his life direction. “I tried to be open,” he says. Studying computer engineering at the University of Dayton left him feeling unfulfilled. And with his involvement with the local youth group he began to desire something more. “I wanted to be involved in fostering my faith and faith in other people,” he says. His application process to the seminary began in the fall of 2005.

    Both brothers entered the seminary in spring of 2005, Matt to study theology at Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio, and Tink to finish his undergraduate degree in philosophy at Immaculate Heart of Mary College in Minnesota. Those two years of separation fostered growth in self identity for both that led to an even deeper fraternal bond. Matt says, “We communicate all the time, have similar sports interests and mutual friends. But we cherish the time we are separate as well.”

    Both men found fraternity at the seminary as well as exemplary religious studies and have recently graduated with a master of divinity degree from the Pontifical College Josephinum. Both men hold a sacred theology bachelor’s degree as well.

    Part of their priestly formation involved preparing to be ordained as transitional deacons for the Catholic Church, which took place at Pontifical College Josephinum on April 25, 2010. Both brothers, now deacons, recall the day as one that held great meaning, as Bishop John M. D’Arcy, bishop-emeritus of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, conferred Holy Orders. “We made a life choice on April 25,” says Deacon Matt, “Embracing our vocation with our whole heart. … It will be coming to fruition at the Ordination of Holy Orders.”

    Deacon Matt spent the summer of 2010 at Most Precious Blood Parish, Fort Wayne, preaching, witnessing marriages, performing Baptisms and learning from the parish priests. “It was a joy to be there,” he says.

    Deacon Tink was assigned to St. Michael in Plymouth, where he gave homilies, officiated at marriages and Baptisms. “Baptizing the first baby was phenomenal! It was a very important thing for me to establish a relationship with them (the parishioners) through the pulpit,” he recalls. “The two priests were supportive. I learned a little about the priestly life and serving God’s people.”

    As for the upcoming joint Ordination into the Priesthood on June 11, the brothers admit to being a little nervous, but not about the ordination itself. “We’re not nervous about our vocation,” says Deacon Matt confidently, “but the unknown of what’s to come.” Deacons Matt and Tink Coonan are happy to be home and ready to serve the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.

    “It’s a new stage in life,” adds Deacon Tink. “I’m very anxious and excited to begin to serve God’s people for the rest of my life.”
    Expectations for their ministry? None, they each humbly admit, except to serve the diocese and grow in deeper communion with the Lord. But they say, they will always support each other in their priestly ministries wherever they are assigned. “We’re already close,” says Deacon Matt, “He’s (Tink) one of my closest friends.”

    Soon-to-be Father Matt will celebrate a Mass of thanksgiving at 7 p.m. on June 11 at St. Vincent de Paul Parish following his ordination. The following day, June 12, soon-to-be Father Tink will celebrate his Mass of thanksgiving at St. Vincent de Paul Parish at 2 p.m. Both newly-ordained brothers will be present at each other’s Mass of thanksgiving and will enjoy a week together with extended family at a lake in Michigan before beginning their assignments within the diocese.

    Terry and Terri Coonan pose in their backyard with the patriarch and matriarch of the family, Coach and Dolly Coonan. Terry and his parents can be found working out together at the Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne gym where he is employed as an “IT guy,” while Terri spends her days at Parkview North.

    Coonan family grateful two sons answered God’s call

    FORT WAYNE — Walking through the front door of the Coonan home, less than a mile west of St. Vincent de Paul Parish, one will see many concrete signs that a faith-filled Catholic family fills its walls. On one wall, baptismal records framed to commemorate the day each child was baptized. Next to it, a photo family tree gifted by the children to their parents one Christmas and across the room a collage of plaques depicting the spiritual meanings of each family member’s name. The wall, like the faith-life of the family which dwells there, has grown and changed many times, and in many ways over the years.

    Terry and Terri Coonan were married 35 years ago at St. Vincent de Paul Parish where Terry has been a lifelong member. The convent and seminary life were not new to either Coonan. At the age of 4, Terri, the youngest of three children born to Agnes and Birdell Jones, saw her older brother leave for the seminary and her sister join the convent. Terry and one of his brothers also spent time at the seminary. Although none of these family members remained in the religious life, Terry understands the priesthood is not an occupation, but a calling — a vocation to be discerned.

    Terry was born the third son of 10 children to William “Coach” and Dolly Coonan. Coach explained, “Terry decided to become the ‘father’ of his family, not the ‘father’ of a parish.”

    The first of the Coonans to go by Terry, William was the patriarch’s given name.

    Young Terry explained, “Dad was nicknamed Terry after New York Giant’s great, Bill Terry. He was a great baseball player at Indiana University, the first athletic director at the University of Saint Francis and the first inductee into their Hall of Fame.”

    The father-son pair coached together a good many years at St. Vincent as well. The legendary coach won many titles on various basketball courts over the years, but will be recognized by many, along with his wife and matriarch of the family, as pillars of the St. Vincent de Paul Society and their parish community at St. Vincent.

    As a young married couple Terry and Terri set out to get involved in the life of their parish. Over the years, many of their favorite activities have included Marriage Encounter, Small Christian Community, Christ Renews His Parish and assisting with the RCIA program, just to name a few.

    Terry described, “The kids grew up knowing that every Sunday night Mom and Dad would meet with their Small Christian Community group called ‘Come Lord Jesus.’ It was not only the couples that bonded during these years, but also the children of the couples.”

    Terri added, “Once a month, the adults would sing to the elderly at a nearby nursing home, while the kids colored pictures for them.”

    The Coonans attribute their boys’ attraction and empathy today towards the elderly, in part, to this early and regular exposure. “We focused on prayer, faith and action for the foundation of our family life,” Terry summarized.

    The Coonans have been blessed with eight children: Patrick, Audra, Matt, Terrence (Tink), Tricia, Katie, Kasey and Tommy, a wonderful son-in-law and three grandchildren. In addition to the ordination of not one of their sons, but two, this spring will mark several reasons for grand celebration — the kindergarten graduation of granddaughter Ashlyn, the first of the next generation to attend St. Vincent de Paul School. And the Coonans just made their final tuition payment after sending all eight children through St. Vincent and then Bishop Dwenger High School from which their youngest, Tommy, will be graduating.

    In addition to their Catholic education, the Coonan children have been very involved in athletics and with their parish youth group program, Life Teen.

    Tink, four years younger than Matt, was athletically gifted and always included by his older brothers. His strengths were basketball, baseball and his killer flip-throw in soccer, while Matt was an all-conference cross-country runner at Bishop Dwenger and a musically gifted member of the marching band.

    Like many siblings, the Coonan brothers are alike in their upbringing but so unique in their personalities and character traits.
    Terri shared, “Tink is very laid back while Matt is more gung-ho. It is fun now for Terry and I to compare them to different priests we know commenting that Tink is more like Father So-and-So and Matt like another. We knew there was something special going on with Tink (who, at the time, was a sophomore studying engineering at the University of Dayton), but it was Matt who threw us the curve ball,” she continued.

    Matt stayed in town while earning his business degree and had a huge passion for working with the young and serving in a leadership role with the Life Teen group and planning the semiannual retreats.

    Terri marveled, “He just came home one night and told us he was going to the seminary. And he added, ‘don’t be surprised if Tink goes with me!’”

    Looking back, both parents felt that being apart the first two years of their schooling enabled the boys to create their separate identity. Recently when both boys were honored at their alma-mater all-school assembly, one stuck to the five-minute speech limit and one did not. Matt took the microphone out into the students, while Tink stayed behind the podium.

    Terri summarized, “The boys are both so very different with very different amazing gifts and strengths.”

    Terry and Terri credited the prayers of the boys’ grandparents as making a huge impact in the lives of their children. “Mom (Dolly) is a prayer warrior,” described daughter-in-law Terri. “She has been responsible for praying daily for vocations in our parish for many, many years.”

    She is also responsible for making the vestments both boys will wear for their first Mass.

    The two senior Coonans have taken their assignment very seriously and have been reaping much success from their parish. But they insist it has been Terry and Terri who have done an exemplary job of creating a home that would foster and encourage vocations.

    Other instrumental figures in the faith-life of the Coonan boys have been priests like Father Mark Gurtner, Father Joseph Gaughan and Msgr. John Kuzmich.

    “I remember clearly what Father Mark said to me upon his arrival at St. Vincent when the boys were just in grade school. I introduced myself and said we had four sons. It was nothing short of prophetic, when he simply stated, ‘You must give two,’” the teary-eyed mother recalled.

    Another memory dad Terry won’t forget is after Matt came up with an idea to start a Wednesday night ministry life group and Msgr. Kuzmich predicted, ‘There will be many vocations come out of this.’”

    Terry added, “We have been very blessed with priests who have been great models of how vibrant and faith-filled priest life can be.”

    All of the siblings will be present at the ordination, along with the grandparents, aunts, uncles and many other extended family members and friends from near and far.

    “We are all hyped up and very excited. It will be a big bash and just beautiful,” younger sister Katie envisions.
    Nearing the final semesters of her elementary education studies at Marian University, Katie explains, “Being in a transitional stage in my life, Tink and Matt are very inspiring examples to me of how they have sought out God’s will for their lives and not their own.”

    She feels that Matt is the goofy and lighthearted one of the bunch who is instrumental in drawing the family together. Katie has followed Tink’s path in sports while looking up to his godly example among his friends.

    Tommy, who was only around kindergarten age when his brothers were still living at home full-time, feels ‘very blessed’ to have both Tink and Matt joining the priesthood. Early memories of sharing a room with his older brothers include that Tink was addicted to video games and Matt liked Metallica.

    When asked what they were feeling about the upcoming “wedding,” as Terry refers to the ordination event, Terri shared, “We are really still in shock. Since the diaconate, it has really started to hit us. Our parish is crazy nuts about this all and it is so cool that our boys belong to everyone here (St. Vincent) now.”

    Both Coonans were cautious along the six-year journey but were thrilled when “Matt told us at the diaconate, ‘This is it. There is no turning back now. We are giving ourselves to Christ for the rest of our lives,’”

    But Terry pointed out, that ‘proud’ might not be the right word to use. He said, “Yes, we are very proud of the boys, like we are all of our children, but grateful might be a more appropriate description.”

    Terry humbly admitted, “We are full of gratitude. We are grateful to God for calling the boys. We are grateful to the boys for answering the call. And we are grateful to the community for supporting them.”

    He continued, “There have been so many praying for them. One family with all daughters even ‘adopted’ them when they went to the seminary and has sent them monetary gifts during their journey on a regular basis. Another family has set their cell phones to chime at 6:11 each day to remind them to pray for the Coonan brothers who will be ordained on 6/11 (June 11). Others have caught on and many now stop to pray when their cell phones ring.”

    It has been an incredible journey for the Coonan family and the best is yet to come.

    Posted on June 1, 2011, to:

  • Shown The newly-named Blessed John Paul II Center on the campus grounds of Marian High School in Mishawaka.

    FORT WAYNE — After a year of study and consultation, Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades has announced a major reorganization and restructuring of the curia of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend which will become effective on July 1, 2011.

    “The diocesan curia consists of those institutions and persons which furnish assistance to the bishop in the governance of the entire diocese, especially in directing pastoral activity, in providing for the administration of the diocese and in exercising judicial power” Canon 469.

    Last fall, Bishop Rhoades appointed a task force to study the functioning of the 21 diocesan offices and departments, all of which had reported directly to the bishop, and possibilities for increased coordination, collaboration and efficiency in operations. The bishop discussed the task force recommendations with the Diocesan Finance Council and the Presbyteral Council and made modifications before adopting the new structure.

    The reorganization involves the clustering of offices within Secretariats directed by Secretaries and within the offices of two assistants to the bishop, one in Fort Wayne and the other in South Bend. Bishop Rhoades has appointed Father Jason Freiburger as his assistant in Fort Wayne and Fred Everett as his assistant in South Bend.

    Msgr. Robert Schulte will continue to serve as Vicar General and as Moderator of the Curia. As Vicar General, Msgr. Schulte assists Bishop Rhoades in the governance of the whole diocese. As Moderator of the Curia, Msgr. Schulte, under the authority of the bishop, coordinates and oversees the operations of the diocesan curia. A major responsibility entrusted by Bishop Rhoades to Msgr. Schulte in the reorganized structure is to assist him in matters relating to the clergy. This responsibility is entrusted to a Vicar for Clergy in most other dioceses.

    The Diocesan Curia will include four Secretariats with particular offices and ministries situated within each Secretariat. Bishop Rhoades has appointed a Secretary to oversee each of the new secretariats. Dr. Mark Myers will head the Secretariat for Catholic Education. Mary Glowaski will head the Secretariat for Evangelization and Special Ministries. Joseph Ryan will head the Secretariat for Administrative Services. Harry Verhiley will head the Secretariat for Stewardship and Development.

    Some diocesan offices are also being consolidated in the new structure. The Office of Youth is being combined with the Office of Young Adult and Campus Ministry. The Cathedral Bookstore and Diocesan Services Agency are being combined into one office. The Office of Communications and Today’s Catholic will also be joined.

    Bishop Rhoades has also decided to add three ministries to the Diocesan Curia which will be part of the Secretariat for Evangelization and Special Ministries: Disabilities Ministry, Prison Ministry, and Project Rachel. Though new offices will not be established, the Secretary for Evangelization and Special Ministries will oversee these areas.

    Bishop Rhoades anticipates cost savings from the restructuring, particularly through sharing of personnel and resources within each Secretariat. He also looks forward to new efficiencies in communications with him and within the curia.

    Bishop Rhoades will meet regularly with the Secretaries and Bishop’s Assistants, together with the Vicar General and the Judicial Vicar. These eight people will constitute the new “Bishop’s Cabinet.” This Cabinet, under the bishop’s direction will ensure the coordinated pastoral activity of the curia and provide the forum for regular communication with the bishop and among diocesan offices.

    Bishop Rhoades commented that the diocesan curia exists to assist him in the governance of the diocese and ultimately serves the needs of the people of God in our parishes, schools, and other institutions of the Church. “The changes are being made to foster good service, good communication, and good stewardship,” the bishop added. He expressed gratitude to all who serve in the curia as well as the members of the task force and all involved in the consultation process: “I have been edified by the hard work and cooperation of everyone involved.”

    Posted on June 1, 2011, to:

  • 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: