• Sacred Heart Parish

    St. Henry Parish

    St. Henry Parish boundaries extended

    By Tim Johnson

    See Decrees regarding both parishes here.

    FORT WAYNE — Sacred Heart Parish in Fort Wayne will become a “personal parish,” serving the faithful who worship according to the extraordinary form of the Latin rite, and the boundaries of St. Henry Parish, Fort Wayne, will be extended to include the territory of Sacred Heart Parish. The announcement was made at both parishes at all Masses on Oct. 1-2. The changes take effect on Sunday, Nov. 6.

    On that date, Father George Gabet of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter and chaplain of the St. Mother Theodore Guérin Latin Mass Community, will become pastor of Sacred Heart Parish. Father Daniel Durkin will continue as pastor of St. Henry Parish and will offer Holy Mass in English according to the ordinary for the Latin rite at 4 p.m. on Saturdays at Sacred Heart Church.

    In a letter to parishioners of both parishes, Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades noted, “It is my hope and prayer that these decisions will benefit and strengthen both St. Henry and Sacred Heart parishes.”

    “I care deeply for the spiritual and pastoral good of all the parishioners,” Bishop Rhoades said in the letter. “I want both parishes to be viable for the future and both churches to remain open.”

    “I ask for your cooperation and support, so these changes will proceed smoothly and help strengthen the Church’s mission in southeast Fort Wayne,” he added.

    According to canon law, “As a general rule a parish is to be territorial, that is, one which includes all the Christian faithful of a certain territory. When it is expedient, however, personal parishes are to be established determined by reason of the rite, language, or nationally of the Christian faithful of some territory, or even for some other reason” (Can 518).

    In an email interview with Today’s Catholic, Father Gabet said, “The St. Mother Theodore Guérin Community will benefit greatly by Sacred Heart becoming an extraordinary form (Latin Mass) personal parish.”

    “First of all, it will give the Fort Wayne area members greater canonical stability with all the rights and responsibilities that the designation ‘parish’ entails canonically within the Catholic Church as  a whole,” Father Gabet said.

    “It will also give more autonomy than just a ‘community’ within the particular Church itself,” he added. “We can therefore more easily set the Mass schedules and make other decisions regarding the church.”

    Father Gabet said that as an apostolate of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, the Society of Apostolic Life that will provide the bishop with priests specifically trained in the extraordinary form for not only the Mass, but also all the sacraments, “the ‘parish’ status raises us higher than being seen simply a ‘community.’ Due to the greater stability of ‘parish’ status, we also become more important in the eyes of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter especially in regards to priest assignments and financial assistance if this is ever necessary,” Father Gabet added.

    “Finally, this also gives great hope to our South Bend members that we will eventually get another priest to help the apostolate grow,” Father Gabet said, “and that they, too, may one day become a personal parish in a church in the South Bend area.”

    Father Gabet explained to Today’s Catholic that the current code of canon law states that the Tridentine Latin Mass, now known as the extraordinary form of the Roman rite, is different from the “ordinary” form, and therefore can be the reason for establishing a personal parish.

    The St. Mother Theodore Guérin Latin Mass Community was established by Bishop John M. D’Arcy in response to Pope Benedict XVI’s Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum and the request from the Latin Mass communities in Fort Wayne and South Bend who desired that the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter establish an apostolate in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, and to supply priests in full communion with Rome to offer the Latin Mass and sacraments in the extraordinary form.

    The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, at the request of Bishop D’Arcy, sent a priest in March 2008 to celebrate Mass and then established the St. Mother Theodore Guérin Community. This community would subsist within the diocesan parishes of Sacred Heart in Fort Wayne and originally St. John the Baptist Church in South Bend, and then later transferred to St. Patrick Church in South Bend.

    The community at Sacred Heart consists of 55 families or 165 registered parishioners and approximately 110 parishioners at St. Patrick Church, South Bend.

    The Latin Mass has attracted young families in both Fort Wayne and South Bend. “This past year at Sacred Heart we had 12 baptisms,” Father George said. “The average age of our parishioners is 29. This certainly bids well for the future.

    The Latin Mass is offered every day at Sacred Heart in Fort Wayne and every Sunday and holy day at St. Patrick in South Bend. Mass times at Sacred Heart, Fort Wayne, are 7:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 p.m. Friday, noon on Saturday, and 11:30 a.m. on Sunday.

    At St. Patrick Church, South Bend, Mass is celebrated every Sunday at 7:45 a.m. and on holy days at 7 p.m.

    For longtime parishioners of Sacred Heart, “the main way we hope that Sacred Heart will serve its parishioners is by keeping the Church viable as a Catholic Church. The demographics of the southeast side of Fort Wayne have definitely changed since Sacred Heart first was opened shortly after World War II,” Father Gabet said.

    With many industries closing and people moving to the suburbs, parishes such as Sacred Heart in most dioceses would close.

    “Fortunately, Bishop Rhoades recognizes the attachment and the desire of the faithful to the church they and their parents helped build,” Father Gabet said. “The current plan is evidence of the fact he wishes to keep a Catholic presence on the southeast side as long as this is even remotely possible.”

    “The extraordinary form draws people from as far away as Ohio and Michigan to the southeast side of Fort Wayne,” Father Gabet explained. “Many of the St. Mother Theodore Guérin Community, including my family, have been parishioners of Sacred Heart for the past 20 years when Bishop D’Arcy permitted the Latin Mass to be offered there. This certainly has helped keep Sacred Heart in the black.”

    Father Gabet added, “Besides simply helping to keep Sacred Heart Church viable, a 4 p.m. English Mass will be offered by Father Dan Durkin, pastor of neighboring St. Henry Parish. Bishop Rhoades has made this possible in response to the English Mass parishioners’ request to keep at least one English Mass at Sacred Heart. In addition, some of the community events that now occur at Sacred Heart will still be available, such as the South Side Seniors events and the St. Vincent de Paul Society.”

    “As pastor, I will still be serving the same amount of people within the boundaries of the new St. Henry’s, as I served before from two parishes,” said Father Durkin. “The parishioners of the new St. Henry’s will be challenged to work together so the genuine needs of the people will continue to be served. We can never presume we will be having this visible presence here on the southeast side of Fort Wayne without our sharing of our time, talent and treasure, living our faith, involved in a new evangelization of the people that live here. We even look forward to welcoming back to St. Henry’s those who used to be active parishioners in this area.”

    “St. Henry’s has been serving about 148 families previous to this change. We really need as many as possible to build up this parish and get involved in our various ministries,” Father Durkin continued. “Since the new St. Henry’s will still have a good number of long-lasting, faithful people, it’s exciting to know how open we are to new faces helping in any way possible.”

    “We first want to let everyone know we will be changing our Mass schedule at St. Henry’s, to complement the one 4 p.m. English Mass that I will continue to have at Sacred Heart,” Father Durkin said. “We plan to no longer have the 5:30 p.m. Mass at St. Henry’s on Saturday. On Sundays our Masses will be at 8 and 10:30 a.m. with religious education in between.”

    “On Nov. 6, we plan to have fellowship/reception and an open house after our Masses with a special emphasis on asking everyone how we can meet their needs,” Father Durkin said.

    “We will be extending a special invitation to our neighbors on the southeast side of Fort Wayne, asking new and old parishioners to join us! The music will be very special that day,” he emphasized.

    “The new St. Henry’s will continue to serve its longtime St. Henry’s community by doing all that we been doing along with the additional services that will are being offered out of our facilities.  We are a mighty busy parish working in the Lord’s vineyard,” Father Durkin concluded.

    Father Gabet extended an invitation of the longtime parishioners to stay at Sacred Heart and “try the Latin Mass. After all, it was the Mass their parents knew and which many of them grew up with and which created so many saints down through the ages,” he noted.

    Posted on October 5, 2011, to:

  • CHICAGO (CNS) — Television viewers across the country will get a glimpse into the rich history, culture and tenets of the Catholic faith this fall when 90 public television stations across the country air episodes of a series called “Catholicism” that was developed by a Chicago priest.

    The series is hosted by Father Robert Barron, who runs the Chicago-based Word on Fire ministry. It includes 10, hourlong DVDs, leader and group study guides and a 300-page stand-alone book of the same title. Episodes also will be broadcast on the Eternal Word Television Network.

    The priest’s goal was to show the history and treasures of the Catholic Church. The series was filmed in high-definition and spans more than 50 locations in 15 countries.

    The global media ministry Word on Fire — which aims to “educate and engage the culture” — pitched all 10 episodes of “Catholicism” to PBS, but the network opted to run four shows: the revelation, God becomes man; the mystery of God; Mary, the mother of God; and Peter and Paul as missionaries. (Check local listings.)

    No money was exchanged under the agreement, Father Barron said, and Word on Fire will promote the full DVD set and program at the end of each episode.

    Father Barron, a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago and a professor of faith and culture at the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary, said he was surprised PBS agreed to air “Catholicism.”

    “I thought that maybe they would think it was too Catholic. They loved it right away,” he told the Catholic New World, Chicago’s archdiocesan newspaper.

    The goal of “Catholicism” has always been to evangelize the culture, and media seemed the best vehicle to accomplish that, he added.

    The priest also wants to reach people outside of the Catholic Church, such as fallen-away Catholics, secularists, non-Catholics and disinterested Catholics.

    “That’s why I love that PBS is broadcasting it,” he said.

    The program has a good chance of reaching people who are not part of the Church because it is a high-quality series done in an inviting way, said Eileen Daily, assistant professor at the Institute of Pastoral Studies at Loyola University Chicago.

    “One of the biggest issues with evangelization is getting people not to put up a wall before your message gets to them,” said Daily, whose study includes using art for religious education. People will be more open to the message in “Catholicism” because it looks like the rest of the shows they are used to seeing on television, she said.

    Posted on October 5, 2011, to:

  • By Tim Johnson

    SYRACUSE — “Catechetical Institute Day (CID) is a great day for anybody who is a catechist, RCIA coordinator or youth minister,” says Deacon Jim Tighe, the director of the Office of Catechesis that sponsors the day.

    The 21st Annual Catechetical Institue Day, which will take place Nov. 5 at Wawasee Middle School, in Syracuse, will adopt the theme “The Eucharist: Embracing the Source and Summit of our Faith.”

    Dr. David W. Fagerburg, a professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame, will be the keynote speaker. Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades will celebrate Mass for the participants.

    “We are excited to offer 44 different workshops including 30 workshops presented in English and 14 workshops presented in Spanish,” Deacon Tighe says. “Workshops will be presented by a variety of skilled catechists including: pastors, directors of catechesis, teachers and others who have devoted their lives to catechesis.”

    Catechesis comes from the Greek word, “echo,” notes Deacon Tighe. He says catechesis is not just about studying, rather, it is shared by the people who have faith experience. And the workshop leaders experience the faith as well as share it with others.

    “As we have done in the past, this year we will be incorporating workshops that address catechesis for a wide variety of topics, age groups, catechetical situations and needs,” he adds. “A few workshop titles include: ‘Family Catechesis: Helping Parents Be Catechists,’ ‘Planning a Catechetical Lesson Centered Around the Mass,’ ‘How to Make a Good Confession: There’s an App for That,’ and ‘Enseñando a los Niños a Orar.’”

    The goals of the workshops, Deacon Tighe says, are to improve skills, learn more about the faith,  or enhance one’s own formation.

    “It’s catechesis of the catechist,” Deacon Tighe adds.

    One of the highlights, he says, is the exchange of ideas and gathering with other catechists from across the diocese, especially at the luncheon.

    “Catechists from different parishes mingle at lunch, talk, swap notes and stories,” Deacon Tighe notes. “It’s a great informal dialogue.”

    But the purpose of the day is to “spiritually recharge and fire up” the participants.

    The day begins at 7:30 a.m. with check in, followed by the the welcome and keynote at 8 a.m., and the celebration of Mass at 9:15. Presentations, workshop sessions and lunch follow the Mass. The registration fee is $15 per adult and $6 per additional family member. The fee includes morning refreshments and a box lunch.

    The registration deadline is Oct. 21. For additional information visit the website: www.diocesefwsb.org/diocesan-offices/catechesis-office/ and download the PDF brochures for Catechetical Insitute Day.

    Posted on October 5, 2011, to:

  • Offertory gift bearers Pinkie and Dick Louden greet Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades from wheelchairs at a Mass that began the sixth annual Disabilities Retreat at St. John the Baptist Church, Fort Wayne, on Saturday, Oct. 1.

    By Kay Cozad

    FORT WAYNE —  It was a special day of reflection and fellowship for those in attendance at the Retreat for Persons with Disabilities held at St. John the Baptist Church on Saturday, Oct. 1.

    The retreat, in its fifth year, is designed for all levels of ability and offers catechesis, a shared meal and Mass.

    This year the retreat was a little different in comparison to those held previously, said Pinkie Louden, St. John parishioner and facilitator of the day. Louden, who is herself confined to a wheelchair, called this year’s retreat for the disabled an “abbreviated retreat.” But even with the relaxed time frame the day was packed with special features.

    The retreat began with registration at 9:30 a.m., followed by a special Mass at 10 a.m. celebrated by Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades, in St. John the Baptist Church. His homily focused on the feast of St. Therese.

    Although St. Therese lived only 24 years, she was declared one of the great teachers of the Church by Blessed Pope John Paul II. The pope referred to her as an “expert in the science of love.”

    Bishop Rhoades referred to St. Therese’s own suffering — the death of her mother when Therese was only four years old; the death of four siblings; the mental illness of her father.

    But Bishop Rhoades reminded the 50 people present for the retreat to do as Therese did — offer suffering for others and continue to be witnesses of love, witnesses of hope.

    Following the Mass the retreatants, ranging in age from early 20s to 70s, were delighted to move to the St. John Parish activity center where, along with the bishop, they were welcomed to a banquet table laden with luncheon foods. Fruit salads, meat and cheese trays, donations from Pizza Hut and Chick-fil-A, along with donated cookies and various homemade desserts made a satisfying meal to share.

    Louden said, as organizer of the retreat, she does not ask for money from the parish and is grateful to all who donate their time, talent and treasure to provide food and service for the day. The 12-member committee that assists Louden with the retreat is mainly comprised of St. John parishioners and volunteer their time and energy each year, along with parents and benefactors, to make the retreat for the disabled a success.

    Louden was especially appreciative of the bishop’s presence there this year and said, “He’s so approachable. … He seems to be really interested in people with disabilities. It’s so good for him to interact with the kids.”

    The participants, whose disabilities range from physical to intellectual to spiritual, were an attentive audience when Bishop Rhoades spoke with them personally during lunch.

    Bob Odell, a member of Most Precious Blood Parish in Fort Wayne, had polio in 1949. He now has post polio syndrome and has been in a wheelchair since 1988.

    Christine Lybrook, a member of St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Fort Wayne, was born with cerebral palsy and weighed two pounds at birth. She organized a similar retreat — after which the St. John retreat is modeled — at St. Vincent Parish. Lybrook fell a couple of years ago and is no longer able to walk.

    Following the shared meal, Deacon James Fitzpatrick was on hand to offer a reflection on the Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Sorrows. He spoke of the suffering of the Blessed Mother and connected it with personal sufferings, especially those of the disabled.

    Deacon Fitzpatrick said, “The Church must minister to all of its members and those with disabilities are not to be excluded. The Blessed Mother is our mother. She is the mother of all of us, not just some of us.” Each retreatant received a medal, meditation pamphlet and holy card from Deacon Fitzpatrick.

    Of the retreat he said, “This retreat allows those with challenges to be ministered to in a way that befits their abilities. Just as we minister to the young, old, sick and the healthy, so must the Church do so for these men and women, who also hunger for a deeper knowledge of their faith.”

    After discussion of the Blessed Mother there was time for the participants to play Bingo, a favorite activity among the group. Donated prizes included stuffed animals, religious items and gloves.

    The Retreat for Persons with Disabilities is not only a day of spiritual reflection and fellowship but also a call to get involved. Louden said, “I’ve been trying to get the disabled more involved in the parish. We hope this gets them up and going. They are so much an important part of the Church — just like everybody else.”

    Posted on October 5, 2011, to:

  • By Kay Cozad

    For more photos from the conference visit the photo gallery.

    FORT WAYNE — A powerful message of mercy and forgiveness was witnessed by more than 800 women from throughout the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend at the Arise Women’s conference on Saturday, Sept. 24.

    The conference, titled “Offer Forgiveness and Receive Peace,” was sponsored by the Office of Spiritual Development and Evangelization and cosponsored by Redeemer Radio AM 1450. It enjoyed a new and larger venue for its faith-filled audience at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum this year.

    The Arise conference, in its second year, began with a special Mass of Holy Mary, Queen and Mother of Mercy celebrated by Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades, who wore a chasuble depicting Mary of Czestochowa. In his homily, Bishop Rhoades reflected on the mercy of God and how Jesus reveals that message in the Gospels.

    “The message of divine mercy is at the heart of the Gospel which our world so desperately needs to hear,” Bishop Rhoades said. “This is the message which our speakers today will share with us.”

    Bishop Rhoades reminded the rapt audience that “We honor Mary today as the Mother of Him who was Mercy Incarnate. She has given to the world Mercy Himself and she shares in this attribute of her Son. She teaches us the gracious love and mercy of her Son and she intercedes for us with the merciful love of a mother for her children.”

    Those words were brought to life in the inspiring account shared by the day’s first speaker, Rwandan genocide survivor Immaculee Ilibagiza, whose DVD and detailed personal testimony spoke of the traumatic events that took place in 1994 when she and seven other women went into hiding in the cramped bathroom of a pastor’s home in Rwanda in an attempt to escape death. After 91 painstaking days she was able to escape and subsequently learned that most of her family were among the close to a million people who had been brutally murdered by Hutu militia extremists. In her powerful testimony, the passionate mother of two spoke of the stringent process of deepening her prayer life that culminated in her decision to forgive the man who murdered her mother and brother.

    “The rosary brought me to see the grace of forgiveness,” said Ilibagiza humbly, admitting her deep fear of and anger toward the militia men.

    Over time, as she meditated on Christ’s passion, she realized that the murderers were “blinded by hatred … and had clouded judgment.” She came to understand that God is the Father of all and said, “If you need mercy — why not the killer? … Forgiveness brings peace and freedom.”

    She went on to describe how she became an author and speaker who is passionate about sharing her story of mercy, hope and love and has written several books, including New York best seller “Left to Tell; Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust” (Hay House, 2006). Proceeds from her work go to her Left to tell Chariable Fund which directly benefits children orphaned by the genocide. Additionally, she and her one remaining brother have returned to the ruins of her parents’ home and rebuilt it into a community house of peace and hope.

    Concluding the first session, Ilibagiza admonished the audience that “no matter what happens, hold on to God. Know there is always hope. If you are conflicted about whether you want to be right or be kind, choose kindness.”

    The humble message of love and forgiveness was not lost on the women in attendance. Rhonda Noll of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Fort Wayne was touched by Ilibagiza’s story and said, “It was amazing — all the horrible things that happened to her and that she can go back and forgive. She rebuilt her parents’ home and is still reaching out. It’s touched me how she’s made this her purpose.”

    Immaculate Conception, Auburn, parishioner, Carleen Park agreed that Ilibagiza’s testimony was “an eye opener.” She said, “We’re so busy everyday that we sometimes don’t take the time to see our blessings.”

    Throughout the day the sacrament of Penance was offered in an adjacent area by 13 confessors from around the diocese. Book and vendor tables offering various Catholic items and events were also available, as was a book signing by Ilibagiza.

    Following lunch, sister of the Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Sister John Sheila Galligan, professor in the Department of Theology at Immaculata University in Pennsylvania, spoke on secular vs. Christian forgiveness.

    Her enthusiasm  and humor defused the heavy subject of sin and mercy when she described how as we rage, resent and ruminate about what others have done to us, we can become sad and angry. “Usually the person who hurt us is someone we know,” Sister Sheila said. “So we can become sad and angry. I made up a word that is both — smad!”

    She described secular forgiveness as being about “me,” whereas Christian forgiveness is always about the other. “It’s not just for me. It’s a gift I freely give to the other. … It’s a gift, because they don’t deserve it,” said Sister Sheila.

    And, she said, even if the other does not respond to the gift, it becomes a release from all the bitterness of unforgiveness. “Then you leave it to God,” she said.

    Sister Sheila cautioned the women that forgiveness is sometimes a long process to be worked through, beginning with acknowledging the intensity and duration of one’s anger. “We have to address that first,” she said, adding that only then can forgiveness take place.

    One practical tool that Sister Sheila offered was instruction on a blessing prayer, where the other’s name is inserted into the prayer of well wishes. Sister Sheila’s assignment to the women present was to “pray for two people you love who have hurt you, for the next month.”

    “Sometimes they change,” she said with a smile. “But we always change!”

    Sister Sheila’s message, with its practical application, was thought provoking for many of the women in attendance.

    Barb Williams, parishioner at St. Pius X Parish in Granger was invited to the conference by her daughter Melanie, who saw it as a “mother-daughter bonding time to grow in faith together.” Williams said, “I was looking forward to sister’s talk about the practical ways to bring forgiveness to daily living. We need to live our lives with forgiveness.”

    Retta Kohrman of St. Charles Parish in Fort Wayne agreed and said, “God wants us to get into the depths of faith, love and mercy — not just the surface.”

    Following a short break the women returned to once again hear Immaculee Ilibagiza speak, this time on her experience with Our Lady of Kibeho, who appeared to eight young people in a remote village near her home prior to the genocide.

    Ilibagiza, who holds a rosary throughout her presentation, spoke of Our Lady’s messages informed through the students that insisted that “we pray sincerely and with forgiveness.” Kibeho is the first Vatican-approved Marian site in Africa.

    Ilibagiza went on to explain that in her country dancing accompanied many ceremonies and that Our Lady of Kibeho was charmed by the dancing of the children gathered in the village.

    The powerful message of love and mercy was then performed on stage and in the audience as Ilibagiza asked the women of the conference to come to their feet and dance with her to music of her country. In closing, the gracious and compassionate Ilibagiza pledged, “May God heal our hearts. … I will keep you in my heart.”

    A recently released documentary “If Only We had Listened,” produced by Immaculee Iligabiza and Sean Bloomfield reveals the miracles and prophecies of Kibeho. The informative and moving documentary is now available on DVD. For more information visit www.kibeho.net.

    To learn more about Immaculee Ilibagiza and her powerful message of forgiveness and hope visit www.immaculee.com.

    Posted on September 28, 2011, to: