• Lila Rose, president of Live Action, speaks at the opening of the seventh annual Friends for Life Boot Camp held at the University of Saint Francis, Fort Wayne on July 15.

    FORT WAYNE — Lila Rose, the energetic and dynamic president of Live Action, kicked off the seventh annual Friends for Life Boot Camp held at the University of Saint Francis, Fort Wayne, last weekend.

    Rose is best known as the UCLA student who went undercover, posing as an underage pregnant teenager in a relationship with a 31-year-old man and exposing illegal activities at Planned Parenthood facilities across the nation, including Indiana. Now a college graduate, she does pro-life work full time and speaks from the heart about life issues.

    Rose’s opening remarks were directed to those in the audience, both adults and young people, who are interested in presenting the case for life in a persuasive and effective manner. The boot camp, which followed and continued throughout the weekend, featured pro-life training for high school and college students and drew 120 registrants — the best crowd ever — from across the state.

    “Our generation has been targeted by the abortion industry,” said Rose.

    She explained that, not only were young people of her age at risk of being aborted years ago, but now are being bombarded by pro-choice messages urging abortion of their own babies.

    Her awareness of the abortion proceedure began at age nine, she said, when she read about it and wondered, “How can anyone do that to a baby?” Later, she learned about Roe v Wade.

    Upon learning that more than 3,000 babies were being aborted each day in the U.S., she wondered again, “Is there something to do?”

    She asked God to use her in the pro-life effort and said, “It’s been a crazy adventure since then.”

    Rose’s first “targets for truth,” she said, were her 40,000 fellow UCLA students. Although the university’s health center was said to be performing 2,000 pregnancy tests annually, there appeared to be no pregnant women on campus.

    “What were they telling students?” she asked herself.

    Feigning pregnancy in a personal visit to the campus health center, she received no support for her supposed condition and only was given the option of abortion. She then decided to take her investigation to a Planned Parenthood clinic five minutes from her dormitory, where she received the same advice. The counselor advised her to “just pick a date” for her abortion.

    With that appalling experience in mind, Rose launched an all-out attack on the abortion industry in general, and Planned Parenthood in particular, using her own money at first, then that of grass roots supporters, in a pro-life campaign that has spread like wildfire.

    She founded Live Action, an organization that uses Facebook, Twitter and other social media to spread the pro-life message to young people, and it has quickly become the largest media organization in the country.

    The most recent Live Action project goes even further by exposing complicity by Planned Parenthood in child slave rings. A video Live Action put on YouTube shows a counselor advising a person on ways to skirt the laws against child prostitution. Rose was horrified by this discovery and is more determined than ever to put a stop to these abuses.

    Live Action literature calls the organization “a youth led movement dedicated to building a culture of life and ending abortion, the greatest human rights injustice of our time.”

    “We are all touched so closely by abortion,” said Rose.

    People in the audience are missing children, missing grandchildren, missing cousins. In fact, many young people in the audience wore T-shirts with the message, “one-fourth of my generation is missing,” providing stark affirmation of her words.

    In closing, Rose exhorted her listeners, “Don’t be afraid to talk to people about your beliefs. Continue to have hope. We are on the winning side.”

    Posted on July 27, 2011, to:

  • From left, Holy Cross Sister Mary Louise Full, first councilor, sings with soon-to-be perpetually professed Sisters Jacinta Katusabe, Lillian Nyakaisiki and Verónica A. Fajardo at the vigil.

    NOTRE DAME — Years of discerning, learning, experiencing and praying came to completion for Holy Cross Sisters Jacinta Katusabe, Lillian Nyakaisiki and Verónica A. Fajardo when they prayed at the vigil, walked in procession with their sisters of Holy Cross and then professed their perpetual vows in the congregation on July 16.

    The internationality of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross was woven throughout the celebration in the Church of Our Lady of Loretto at Saint Mary’s, Notre Dame.

    At the vigil the evening before, Sister Mary Louise Full, first councilor, reflected on “the sense of mystery” surrounding the call to religious life and the meaning of the vows. The three sisters then shared their individual journeys to Holy Cross.

    The next morning, African drums summoned the sisters to begin the festive procession to the church. Led by a ribbon banner, bells and tambourines, the sisters processed singing “Ave Maris Stella” and formed an honor guard on the walkway to the church alongside the flags of the eight countries in which the congregation ministers.

    Following the second banner, Sisters Jacinta, Lillian and Verónica approached the church steps, vows in hand. They were flanked by Sisters Joan Marie Steadman, president, and Margaret Mary Nimo and Ruth Marie Nickerson, area coordinators of Africa and North America, respectively. All were welcomed at the church entrance by Holy Cross Father Michael Connors who presided at the celebration.

    Sister Sharlet Ann Wagner, general secretary, offered the reflection on the Word in Spanish and English, with greetings to the families of Sisters Jacinta, Lillian and Verónica.

    She said, “Jesus gives all of us a promise in today’s Gospel ‘Those who remain in me and I in them will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.’ But if it is true that without Him we can do nothing, it is also true that with Him, we can do all things.”

    To the three sisters making final profession, Sister Sharlet said, “If you continue to take to heart and live the words of the Gospel and the vows that you make … you and Holy Cross together will have produced fruit in abundance. By this is God glorified.”

    After the three sisters prostrated on Ugandan prayer mats during the Litany of Saints, each read her vows, which were accepted by Sister Joan Marie.

    In the blessing, Father Connors prayed, “Today it is right that your house should echo with a new song of thanksgiving for these sisters of ours.”

    Posted on July 27, 2011, to:

  • chart

    The parent application process for acquiring school choice awards has been announced by the Indiana Department of Education. Parents seeking information on enrollment of a child in Catholic schools should contact the school principal.

    The Scholarship Granting Organization of Northeast Indiana, (SGO) located at the Catholic Schools Office, will award $300,000 to 1,000 eligible kindergarten students of parents who meet income guidelines higher than those listed in the chart above. Any parent of a child entering kindergarten should contact the principal to complete a FACTS Grant in Aid Assessment form. Parents can complete a paper application form acquired from the principal or go online to www.factstuitionaid.com. Parents of kindergarten children should complete the application as accurately as possible. Each application will have to be accompanied by the parent’s federal income tax return, W-2 forms and supporting documentation for non-taxable income. Parents should allow 2-4 weeks for the processing. Faxed or copied applications will not be accepted. Parents should keep copies of all documents submitted. There is no SGO application deadline; however, most awards are expected to be prior to the first day of school.

    SGO awards will be provided to eligible first grade students who have attended a public-school kindergarten last year as well. All students receiving SGO awards in kindergarten and those who attended a public-school kindergarten last year who plan to attend Catholic school first grades in 2011-2012 will qualify for a school choice scholarship (voucher) from grades 1-12 and 2-12. Elementary vouchers can equal up to as much as $4,500 per child applied to tuition and fees; high school vouchers could be awarded for as much as $6,400 depending on family income, household size and the location of the residence of the child. Vouchers may be awarded to each eligible child in the family who attended a public school in 2010-2011. Additional private foundation awards may provide additional tuition assistance to kindergarten students with SGO scholarships.

    The Catholic Schools Office has set a target to admit 25 new eligible students in each building for the 2011-2012 academic year. Parents should enroll children as early as possible due to some space limitations in crowded schools.

    Questions should be directed to the principal or Connie Bruner at the Catholic Schools Office, (260) 422-4611 ext. 3351 or e-mail cbruner@diocesefwsb.org. Principals have information about foundation awards that can supplement SGO awards in many schools.


    Posted on July 13, 2011, to:

  • In the spring of 2011, the Catholic Youth League (CYO) lost a longtime friend and well-respected football coach, Robert Joseph Houser. Coach Houser died at the age of 80.

    The coach donated over 35 of his years on the sidelines at St. Peter and Most Precious Blood parishes, with the bulk of his years at Queen of Angels, and touched countless young men’s lives while winning ballgames.

    Houser attended Most Precious Blood School and St. Charles Seminary, then played football for the St. Joseph Athletic Club. He was employed by Schenkel and Sons before starting his own company, Robert J. Houser and Son Contractors, which he owned for 50 years.
    Houser was a member of Queen of Angels Parish where his family made their home in the shadows of the church property. He was active in the Queen of Angels Choir and both the Bishop Dwenger and Central Catholic Booster Clubs. Houser also spent countless hours volunteering at St. Joseph Hospital and with the Knights of Columbus.

    Most recently, he and his wife Mary, had made St. Michael’s in Waterloo their home parish after retiring to the lake in 1997. In addition to his wife of 60 years, Houser is survived by his six children 13 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

    Son, Joe, recalls being the water boy for his father’s teams long before being old enough to play the game. When it was his time, the linebacker/fullback chuckled remembering, “Dad was always a little tougher on us boys, careful not to show any favoritism.
    “Dad was very passionate about the game of football. After our games on Sundays we would come home and watch more games on the black and white,” he continued.

    Joe and his brother John, both went on after their Queen of Angel days to play for Bishop Dwenger High School and John continued his sports career at Wabash College.

    Tom Topp, who played quarterback for Houser from 1968-1971 at Queen of Angels described his former mentor as a good motivator and well-respected coach.

    “Mr. Houser always had a sense of humor in his message. I thought the world of him and can not say enough about him,” Topp said.

    As an adult, Topp kept in touch with Houser and spread the word of his death to fellow teammates across the country. “We all agreed what an influential role model Coach Houser was growing up and what a privilege it was to play for him,” Topp summarized.

    Also on Topp’s team that lost to St. Andrew/St. Peter in the city championship game their seventh-grade year was halfback/lineman, Tim Murphy. Like Topp, Murphy agreed that Coach Houser was a fun-loving guy.

    “He liked to joke around.  We had a lot of fun, but always worked hard,” said Murphy. In 1969, Murphy’s family moved just a couple of blocks from the Housers. Shortly after, Murphy’s father passed away. Murphy recalled, “Mr. Houser took me under his wing and has always been like a father-figure to me.”

    Houser and Murphy stayed in contact long after grade school football.

    “When my wife and I got married and lived in our first home we had him do work in our driveway,” Murphy added.

    Over the years, special people have made the CYO what it is today. Bob Houser was certainly one who shaped and molded youth sports with his time and dedication to athletics and young people.

    Posted on July 13, 2011, to:

  • Standing left to right in the photo are St. Mary of the Assumption, Decatur, building committee members Bill Fullenkamp and Tim Barkey, pastor Father David Voors, committee member Tony Isch, and the owners of Darling Construction, Ron and Tom Darling.

    DECATUR — St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church of Decatur recently held a Blessing of the Grounds ceremony for the new parish hall that is currently under construction. Father David Voors offered the blessing that was attended by members of the parish following the Saturday, July 9, evening Mass. The general contractor for the project is Darling Construction, owned by parishioners Ron and Tom Darling, and Moake Park Group of Fort Wayne is the design architect.

    The project is the culmination of the St. Mary’s Building On Our Heritage capital campaign, which began in the fall of 2004. The campaign raised funds for the Legacy of Faith Endowment established by the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, the new St. Joseph Catholic School gymnasium that was completed in the summer of 2009, and the parish hall that is planned for completion in the spring of 2012. The hall will include a central gathering space, two large meeting rooms with an adjacent kitchen area, bookstore, SCRIP office, adoration chapel, men’s and women’s restrooms and storage space. 

    Posted on July 13, 2011, to: