• Dr. Edward Sri was the keynote speaker at the Institute for Catechetical Formation for Fort Wayne area Catholic schoolteachers on Feb. 24. The event, held at Bishop Luers High School, was coordinated by the Office of Catechesis and included Mass celebrated by Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades. Sri is the co-founder of FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, and serves as the provost and professor of theology and Scripture at the Augustine Institute’s Master’s program in Denver, Colo.

    Edward Sri offers a biblical walk through the Mass at workshops in Mishawaka, Fort Wayne

    By Tim Johnson

    FORT WAYNE — “The Mass is the most biblical way to worship God,” noted Dr. Edward Sri, a nationally-known, dynamic Catholic speaker who appears regularly on Eternal Word Television Network and has authored many books.

    Sri offered those attending his recent workshops in Mishawaka and Fort Wayne a unique tour of the liturgy and traced the biblical roots of the prayers of the Mass.

    He began with the first prayer of the Mass — the sign of the cross, and spoke in depth on its biblical roots.

    “It is a prayer (the sign of the cross) that has tremendous roots in Scripture,” Sri said.

    He explained, “In the Bible, when we call on God’s name, we are invoking His presence.”

    “We are calling on God’s presence, and His name, and our help,” Sri told Catholic teachers who were attending the Institute for Catechetical Formation day, organized by the Office of Catechesis and held at Bishop Luers High School in Fort Wayne on Feb. 24.

    Sri related how the sign of the cross goes back to the Old Testament Prophet Ezekiel.

    In Ezekiel’s time, he was living in a cultural crisis in Jerusalem. The majority of Jews were no longer truly following God’s ways. They were Jews who went to temple, but they were formed more by the pagan culture around them.

    At the time, they were living immoral lives and worshipping false gods. God announced to Ezekiel that there would be a judgment on the city unless the people repented, and the Babylonians would take the Jewish people away and make them slaves.

    Things were bleak, but God showed Ezekiel that there were some who wanted to remain faithful and this way of life was not working.

    “And these faithful ones are going to be given a mysterious spiritual mark on their forehead. And this mark is going to be a sign of protection, a sign of fidelity,” Sri related.

    This sign that God gave is the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, the “taw,” which happens to look like a cross.

    “The earliest Christians saw that (“taw”) as a prophetic foreshadowing of the ritual sign of the cross that we make,” Sri explained. “And that background from Ezekiel 9 can shed light for us when we make the sign of the cross.”

    “This isn’t just some ritual,” Sri said. “It is a powerful thing.”

    “Just like in Ezekiel’s time, we live in a period of cultural crisis,” he noted. “There are many people today who don’t want to go along with the immoral ways of living in the world around us. And we desire to follow God. We want to have strong marriages. We want to raise godly children, virtuous children. We want to form children in Catholic schools to live differently, to be light in this world, salt of the earth.”

    “When we make the sign of the cross,” Sri related, “one of the things we are … saying (is), ‘Lord, God, I want to follow You. I want to follow Your standards to happiness.’ … ‘And I want to follow Your standards for marriage and family life, not what the world says family life is going to be like, because we know that’s not working.’”

    Sri pointed out two things that we do when we make the sign of the cross.

    First, “We are saying, ‘God, I love You. I want to be faithful to You, not in the ways of this world,” he said.

    “Secondly, when we make the sign of the cross, we are saying, ‘God, I want to call on Your help and protection in my life,’” Sri said. “Protect me in my life. Protect me from all harm, from danger, from sin, from temptation.”

    One of the very practical things that the faithful can take away from the sign of the cross, Sri related, comes from looking at what the early Christians did.

    “When the early Christians made the sign of the cross, they didn’t do it just before prayer, or Mass, or just before they said, ‘bless us O Lord,’” Sri said, “They prayed the sign of the cross all throughout the day.”

    One early Christian said the sign of the cross should be made on all occasions: “Over the bread we eat, over the cups we drink, in our comings and our goings, in our sleep, in our lying down, in our rising up.”

    “The sign of the cross is a powerful safeguard, for it is a grace from God, a badge of the faithful and a terror to the devils,” the early Christian added.

    “It other words, it is that sign of faithfulness, but it is also a mark of protection,” Sri said.

    He offered some practical advice to those attending the talks.

    “The sign of the cross is something you can turn to throughout your days whenever you are facing a struggle, a trial or a temptation,” Sri noted.

    When those difficulties arise throughout the day, Sri encouraged the teachers gathered at the formation day to make the sign of the cross.

    “That’s what the early Christians did,” he said. “They turned to the sign of the cross to find strength, to persevere in their sufferings and trials.”

    When faced with temptations, or struggles with certain sins, “It is a great time to turn to the sign of the cross for Jesus’ help,” Sri said. When one catches himself in these struggles, “say Jesus’ name in your head, and trace the sign of the cross over your heart very simply,” encouraged Sri, “and find God to help you not go down that road. …”

    The second practical point Sri encouraged was for parents to trace the sign of the cross over their children’s heads. “It’s a beautiful thing every morning to bless your children and every night before they go to bed,” Sri, a father of six, shared.

    Sri’s talk continued with the rich biblical background of the Mass, especially with the new translation that has been recently implemented in the English-speaking countries.

    Sri, who has authored “A Biblical Walk Through the Mass: Understanding What We Say and Do In the Liturgy,” which explains this background of the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist, is available through Ascension Press.

    Posted on March 7, 2012, to:

  • Marian High School right to life members stand with the diapers collected during the “Diaper War” with Saint Joseph’s High School that they will deliver to Women’s Care Center in South Bend.

    By Trish Linner

    SOUTH BEND — The second annual “Diaper War” between Marian and Saint Joseph’s high schools was held Friday, Feb. 24. The students collected diapers to be donated to the Women’s Care Center.

    “Last year, between both schools, we collected a three-to-four month supply for the Women’s Care Center,” said right to life teacher and co-moderator Tom Dlugosz from Marian High School. “We are so happy to do this; we are committed to supporting their efforts to help women and their children.”

    The students who bring diapers in on collection day get to enjoy a “dress down day,” and the right to life group advertises the collection day through posters and announcements for a couple of weeks to help get the word out.

    “It’s a fun competition between the schools, but in the end it’s really about how many diapers we collect to help women in our community,” said senior Ellen Nagy, one of the officers of the Marian High School Right to Life group.

    Another officer, senior Jenny Seng agreed saying, “We have a really active group here at Marian. When I joined it was a lot of seniors only. Now we have a lot of freshmen and sophomores and have about 50 members. This event has great student support for a great cause.”

    Both schools have energetic right to life groups and actually stayed at the same hotel in Washington, D.C., in January when they traveled to the annual National Right to Life March at the capital. “The kids got to hang out and get to know each other. It was really nice,” said Dlugosz.

    The gathering and counting of the diapers are done by the right-to-life student members. Then the diapers are bagged and delivered to the Women’s Care Center by the administrations. The winner of the diaper war is announced during the annual basketball game between Marian and Saint Joseph’s. This year that game took on special significance as it was the last game played at the Saint Joseph’s Alumni Gym.

    “We may be rivals on the court,” said Marian Principal Carl Loesch, “But we are friends off the court and we are honored to join efforts with Saint Joseph’s to support this great organization.” Marian went on to win the basketball game over Saint Joseph’s, 64-49.

    Saint Joseph’s won the diaper war last year, but it was a double victory for Marian this year, which collected 26,794 diapers. In total the schools donated 49,764 diapers.

    “We are so thankful to our students’ generosity to Women’s Care Center,” said director of development at Marian, Alicia Redinger.

    According to Bobby Williams, the director of the Women’s Care Center Foundation, 40 percent of all babies born in St. Joseph County receive some sort of assistance from the Women’s Care Center.

    “We distribute, free of charge, hundreds of thousands of diapers each year. We are always in need of additional contributions to fill this tremendous need. It is a blessing that the students of Saint Joseph’s and Marian put their hearts and souls into this friendly competition each year. Their efforts are truly pro-lifein deeds” … and not just words. Our volunteer President Ann Manion and I are especially grateful to Principal Carl Loesh and Principal Susan Richter for their incredible support and leadership as well,” said Williams.

    The Women’s Care Center now has 18 locations in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. To help them help area women choose life visit www.womenscarecenter.org.

    Posted on March 7, 2012, to:

  • St. Peter, St. Mary parishes offer mission

    FORT WAYNE — St. Peter and St. Mary parishes of Fort Wayne will hold a combined parish Lenten mission from Sunday, March 25, to Tuesday, March 27, at 6:30 p.m. each evening. Franciscan Father David Mary Engo will preside at all three services with the topic of “Reconciliation.” The March 25 session will focus on “Reconciliation with God” and will be held at St. Mary Parish. The March 26 session will be held at St. Peter’s and will focus on “Reconciliation with Others” with the sacrament of Reconciliation to follow. On March 27 at St. Mary’s the topic will be “Reconciliation with Self.” Refreshments will be served following Sunday and Tuesday services in St. Mary’s Oechtering Hall.

    St. Thomas the Apostle offers mission

    ELKHART — Franciscan Father David Mary Engo will conduct a parish mission for the community at St. Thomas the Apostle, Elkhart, with the theme of “Behold Your Mother, Behold Your Son.” Topics each evening at 7 p.m. will be: Sunday, March 11 – God the Father; Monday, March 12 – Mary, our Mother; Tuesday, March 13 – Reconciliation (with confessions); Wednesday, March 14 – Eucharist. All are welcome.

    Christ the King hosts Lenten parish mission

    SOUTH BEND — Christ the King Parish, located at 52473 S.R. 922 in South Bend, is hosting a parish mission, March 11-13, at 7 p.m., in the church.

    Each day of the mission will explore the call to practice “truth in love” from Eph. 4:15, through prayer, reflection and song. The mission will be incorporated within evening prayer with a different priest offering the reflection each night.

    Holy Cross Father Peter Jarret will speak Sunday, March 11. Noted author Holy Cross Father Ken Grabner will lead Monday, March 12, and Father Daryl Rybicki will speak Tuesday, March 13.

    The mission will begin with Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament Sunday from 1:30-4:30 p.m. Adoration will be celebrated from 9 a.m. to noon on Monday and Tuesday. There will be an opportunity to participate in the sacrament of Reconciliation on Tuesday evening. For more information call the parish office at (574) 272-3113.

    Sacred Heart Parish offers mission

    WARSAW — Sacred Heart Parish, located at 125 N. Harrison St. in Warsaw, will hold a parish mission titled “Gather Your People,” March 11-15, at 7 p.m. each evening.

    The schedule of speakers and topics include: March 11, Father Jason Freiburger — “Faith and Service”; March 12, Father James Seculoff — “Communion of Saints”; March 13, Father Gary Sigler — “Prayer”; March 14, Father Edward Erpelding — “Reconciliation”; and March 15, Bishop John M. D’Arcy — “Eucharist.”

    The mission will be held in the church. For those unable to attend the evening sessions, morning sessions will be held Monday through Thursday from 9:15-10:15 a.m. in the Living Well Center facilitated by Sister Joan Hastreiter.

    For information call the parish office at (574) 267-5842.

    Most Precious Blood Church to host mission

    FORT WAYNE — Most Precious Blood Church in Fort Wayne will hold a parish mission themed, “One Family in Christ” from March 19-21. Topics each evening at 7 p.m. will be: Monday — March 19, “Divine Adoption”; Tuesday, March 20 — “Forgiveness”: Wednesday, March 21 —  “The Eucharist: Our Daily Bread.”

    St. Michael offers parish retreat

    WATERLOO — St. Michael the Archangel Parish, located at 1098 County Road 39, Waterloo, will offer a retreat on Sunday, March 18, from 1-5 p.m.

    The speaker will be Meg Hanlon, head of the theology department at Bishop Luers High School in Fort Wayne, and a diocesan catechist for the Education for Ministry and Catholic Educator Programs. Her topic is “The Role of the Laity.”

    For information or to register call Bobbie Charleswood at (260) 868-5661 or Sharon Garman at (260) 927-1768.

    Posted on February 29, 2012, to:

  • Irv and Bonnie Kloska have passed their commitment to stewardship on to their 12 children.

    By Denise Fedorow

    SOUTH BEND — For generations of the Kloska family of Elkhart, stewardship of time, talent and treasure has been a way of life. Irv and Bonnie Kloska raised 12 biological children, one adopted child (now deceased) and nurtured 11 foster children in their nearly 50 years of marriage.

    The high school sweethearts moved to the area from Grand Rapids, Mich., and first attended Holy Cross Church in South Bend before moving to Elkhart where they’ve been parishioners at St. Thomas the Apostle Church for 40 years.

    Irv said when it comes to stewardship, “The first thing you tend to think of is financial. But it’s a lot more than that. It’s time, talent and treasure.”

    He said he personally likes to think of the big picture of stewardship and admits that’s partially because with raising such a big family they had to make their money stretch.

    “We put 12 kids through Catholic schools and college — that’s why I’m still working,” Irv said.

    The couple believes that sending their children to Catholic schools and colleges has been a form of stewardship and they continue to support Catholic education. Irv said multiplied by the number of children it equals about 200 years of Catholic education and hundreds of thousands of dollars. Aside from supporting education and their parish, other favorite charities include the Women’s Care Center in South Bend and Food for the Poor. They also sponsor a child in the Dominican Republic through Christian Foundation for Children and Aged (CFCA).

    Investing in children

    Irv and Bonnie feel part of their stewardship is raising a big family in the Catholic faith, taking in foster children and sponsoring children.

    “We believe that was our contribution to society — wanting to help children who needed it,” Irv said.

    “It was good for our children,” Bonnie said. “They were able to “mother” the little infants and they knew they were here only temporarily.”

    They almost always took in babies as foster children with the exception of their son Johnny, who they eventually adopted and who lived with them until he died in a car accident six or seven years ago at the age of 20. Twice they took in single mothers and their children that Bonnie met at the Women’s Care Center.

    Irv Kloska stands by the grotto to Our Lady in the yard of his Elkhart home.

    The couple always prayed the rosary with their family during Lent but after their first visit to Medjugorje in 1988 that family rosary became a daily event and they continue to pray the rosary daily.

    “Now every one of our kids prays the rosary with their families — even little ones can sit still for one decade,” Bonnie said. “The rosary is an extremely important tradition in our lives and we’ve handed out hundreds of rosaries.”

    Stewardship of Prayer

    The Kloskas have served their parish in just about every ministry over the years, giving of their time and talent where they could. These days their stewardship of time and talent is mainly through a ministry of prayers for healing.

    Irv said in 1997, through a variety of means, he was made aware of a gift to pray for healing for others.

    “People have come to us from all over and we’ve gone lots of places. It gives us an opportunity to evangelize as it seems as if most are non-Catholics or lapsed Catholics,” he said.

    “We tell everyone what Catholics really believe about Mary and about the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist,” he said. “Everyone gets a rosary and an Immaculate Mary medal.”

    They have countless stories of the Lord healing these people and in many cases, conversions to the Catholic faith have taken place as well.

    Eucharistic Adoration is also very important to the Kloska family. Irv was instrumental in the design of the adoration chapel at St. Thomas and memorial funds for their son Johnny went to the building fund for the chapel.

    Second generation

    Irv and Bonnie’s children — Theresa Thomas, Cheryl Murphy, Karen Swick, Robert Kloska, Lisa Marino, Jennifer Nolan, Michael Kloska, Jeffrey Kloska, Mary Kloska, William (BJ) Kloska, Cathy Downey and Joey Kloska — are all very involved in their individual parishes, schools, school boards and various servant ministries.

    “I’m so proud of them and how they’re living their Catholic faith,” said Bonnie. “I told them the worst thing they could do to hurt us would be to leave the Church.”

    Daughter Lisa Marino has been the RCIA instructor at St. Matthew Cathedral in South Bend for the past 12 years, but has been an RCIA instructor for 20 years since she got out of college. Daughter Cheryl Murphy ran Catholic Charities in Elkhart until she married and began her family. Their son Bobby is in charge of campus ministries at Holy Cross College in South Bend. Cathy Downey and her husband taught at Saint Joseph’s High School and her husband is a football coach. Theresa Thomas writes for Today’s Catholic and has published a book. Karen has foster children and BJ found an “app” for his phone so when he is traveling on business he can find the nearest Catholic Church within walking distance to attend Mass.

    Mary has done missionary work in Tanzania and is now a hermit with an official blessed hermitage.

    “Dad always told us, ‘To those who have been given much, much is expected and you’ve been given everything,” she said.

    The Kloska children were taught that just by the grace of being born in America with all the abundance and religious freedom they’ve been given much.

    Cheryl said her stewardship heritage is not surprising because “You are formed by what you grow up with,” she said.

    She doesn’t remember her parents ever using the term “stewardship.”

    “We watched our parents; they lived it. We were aware that they supported the Church financially. They opened their home to foster children. You see it and you’re formed by it,” she said.

    She said she and her husband Mike try to do the same thing with their six children by the way they share their faith, time and almsgiving. She said there have been years when it’s been easy to give to the Church and charities, and years when it hasn’t. She gave an example of a time when the family they sponsor through CFCA needed to rebuild their mud hut home and Cheryl’s dishwasher was broken and she was pregnant at the time. They chose to go without a dishwasher for nine months so they could send extra money to the family.

    “For those months I washed dishes by hands it was a reminder to pray for the family. It made me feel more connected,” she said.

    Her husband is a graphic designer so the children have been able to witness him using his talents to serve the Church.

    Many of the Kloska’s 56 grandchildren are also carrying on the legacy of servitude. The Murphy children range in age from four to 14. The 14-year-old daughter volunteers at the Women’s Care Center and is waiting to be old enough to do some things on her own. “She really loves it,” her mom said.

    The Murphys also take their children to the pro-life march at the courthouse each year. They’ve taught their children that it’s their responsibility to share their faith, explain and defend it.

    “When your children can see how you approach problem solving using your faith — you can’t buy that kind of example for your kids,” Cheryl said.

    Mary said stewardship is more than just writing a check. “It’s walking that extra mile — going to the store with someone in need and shopping with them. And when you don’t have enough, praying for generous people to step up.”

    Bonnie said the entire family pulls together and gets on the same page when God is nudging one of them in a certain direction.

    Her husband Irv summed it up with this statement, “Stewardship does not only have to do with the Church, but it also has to do with the Body of Christ.”

    Posted on February 29, 2012, to:

  • Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, shown here in this April 2, 2010 file photo delivering the homily during the Good Friday service in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, was the keynote speaker at a recent celibacy symposium sponsored by the Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame and the Committee for Doctrine of the USCCB.

    By Ann Carey

    NOTRE DAME — The preacher to the Pontifical Household in the Vatican headlined an impressive lineup of speakers at a Feb. 15-17 symposium at the University of Notre Dame that examined priestly celibacy.

    Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa started the event with a keynote talk that called for a deeper understanding of celibacy based on biblical and theological roots so that celibacy is seen as “a freely accepted commitment and a gift of grace,” not simply a functional discipline that frees a man for ministry.

    Msgr. Stephen Rossetti, a psychologist who has studied the priesthood, closed out the symposium with the good news that a solid majority of priests embrace celibacy as a benefit to their priesthood, especially those with a good understanding of the theological-Scriptural basis for celibacy.

    In between the opening and closing speakers, two archbishops and several theologians spoke about the biblical and theological roots of celibacy and how a richer understanding of celibacy results in happier priests who are better able to shepherd their people.

    Archbishop Allen Vigneron of Detroit presented a paper on “The Virginity of Jesus and the Celibacy of His Priests.” The archbishop said that the people of God need to be educated about the worth of priestly celibacy. The fact that Jesus lived in a state of virginity is “a sure point of reference” to understand the tradition of celibacy in the Church, he explained.

    The covenant between God and His people is nuptial, he continued, for God espouses His people, and Jesus gave His virginal self to the Church and to no one else. Thus, celibate priests share this identification with Christ and serve as heralds of the new evangelization.

    Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle presented his paper on “Celibacy and the Pastoral Ministry of the Priest.” He said that the mystery of the Lord is revealed in priestly celibacy in four ways: By being a man of prayer and staying close to God; by living celibacy as an abiding presence of Jesus and as a sign of single-hearted commitment to loving God and His people; by being a good father to his pastoral family, making a gift of himself to the Church; and by his participating in the sacrifice of Christ through the Eucharistic celebration.

    Mary Healy, an associate professor of Sacred Scripture at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, spoke on the biblical foundations of celibacy. She said that in the Old Testament, celibacy as a religious ideal did not exist because marriage and children were considered a “primordial blessing.”

    However, in the New Testament the entirely new concept of a “fruitful virginity” was introduced at the Annunciation, she explained. Later, Matthew, the evangelist, speaks of remaining unmarried for the kingdom of heaven as a gift given by God. And Jesus Himself implies that celibacy for the good of the kingdom is rooted in His own mystery, “the God who desires to wed His people,” with the ministry of the disciples being a participation with Jesus, the bridegroom, she said.

    Jesuit Father Joseph Lienhard, professor of theology at Fordham University, traced “The Origins and Practice of Priestly Celibacy in the Early Church.” The reasons for embracing celibacy in the early Church were threefold, he explained: eschatological — celibacy for the sake of the kingdom; theological — the Church is the bride of Christ who brings forth children from the font of Baptism, and the celibate priest is committed fully to the bride Church; and Christological — the priest acts in the place of Christ, who is a model for celibacy.

    Msgr. Michael Heintz, director of the Master of Divinity Program at Notre Dame and rector of St. Matthew Cathedral in South Bend, talked about “Celibacy and Human Formation.” He said that too often celibacy is discussed only in terms of sexual renunciation. Rather, celibacy should be viewed positively as a charism, a gift, a grace that is freely and joyfully chosen so that the priesthood can be shared with, and on behalf of, others.

    Father Carter Griffin, vice-rector of Blessed John Paul II Seminary and director of vocations for the Archdiocese of Washington, spoke on “The Fatherhood of the Celibate Priest.” We are accustomed to thinking of Jesus as the Son, he said, but Jesus is also a father in his own right, for the virginal Jesus acts as a father in providing physical and spiritual food, teaching, healing, protecting and generating children for the kingdom of Heaven.

    Thus, the celibate priest, who is configured to Christ, is appropriately called “Father,” for he is a sanctifier, teacher and shepherd who begets children for eternal, heavenly life. It is the “greatest privilege” of a priest to exercise this supernatural fatherhood, Father Griffin said.

    “In an age that struggles with priestly identity, this is a compelling and refreshing way to grasp our identity as priests,” he said, for celibacy is “not a burden, but a gift to be treasured.”

    The final presentation of the symposium was given by Msgr. Stephen Rossetti, clinical associate professor at The Catholic University of America, where he also is associate dean for Seminary and Ministerial Programs. He is author of the book “Why Priests are Happy: A Study of the Psychological and Spiritual Health of Priests” (Ave Maria Press, 2011).

    Msgr. Rossetti said that his studies show that priests are happier than their lay counterparts, and he has the data to prove it. His 2009 survey showed that 92 percent of priests expressed happiness with their lives. Likewise, 75 percent of priests say that celibacy has been a grace for them, while only 15 percent said they would marry if the Church allowed it. The youngest priests were the most supportive of celibacy, which he attributed to the younger men being more theologically conservative and better trained in a richer understanding of celibacy during seminary.

    As priests become more knowledgeable in this area, celibacy is disappearing as “a hot-button issue” among clergy in the United States, Msgr. Rossetti said.

    The symposium was sponsored by Notre Dame’s Institute for Church Life and the Committee for Doctrine of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, with the assistance of Lilly Endowment’s Sustaining Pastoral Excellence Program. Ave Maria Press will publish a book containing the symposium papers this fall that will be available from the publisher and most booksellers.

    Posted on February 29, 2012, to: