September 14, 2016 // Uncategorized

Around the Diocese: September 18, 2016

As part of a class project, on Aug. 23 St. Elizabeth Ann Seton first graders in Fort Wayne were each given a pink balloon with a note attached. At a given moment, they released the balloons into the sky and a drone tracked the movement of the released balloons. The activity was designed to investigate how far they would travel; people who found the balloons were asked to contact teachers and let them know where the balloon landed. The students tracked the directional and distance data on a map and will compile a book about the balloons’ journeys.

Center for Spirituality announces fall lecture series

NOTRE DAME — The Center for Spirituality at Saint Mary’s College has announced the fall Endowed Lecture Series, titled “Faith, Hope, and Dialogue in Public Life.” Both lectures are free and open to the public.

Monday, Sept. 19, 7:30 p.m., Vander Vennet Theatre, Student Center — “Faithful Citizenship and the Message of Pope Francis: Directions and Dangers for American Catholics,” by John Carr, director, Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life, Georgetown University

Tuesday, Sept. 27, 7:30 p.m., Vander Vennet Theatre, Student Center — “Can We Talk?: Catholics, Politics, and the Search for Common Ground,” by Julie Hanlon Rubio, PhD, professor of Christian ethics, Department of Theological Studies, Saint Louis University

Every year, CFS invites world-renowned scholars to Saint Mary’s College to share their wisdom on contemporary religious issues and to address broader issues of how faith and reason interact. The Saint Mary’s College Annual Endowed Lecture Series Fund sponsors the lectures. For more information on CFS and the lectures, call 574-284-4636.

Immaculate Conception presents Divine Mercy series

AUBURN  — Immaculate Conception Church, 500 E. Seventh St., will offer adult religious education sessions during the fall semester, with the theme “Divine Mercy in the Second Greatest Story Ever Told.” This topic is especially appropriate as the Church continues to celebrate the Year of Mercy. Each session will be from 9-10:15 a.m. on Sunday mornings, immediately following the 8 a.m. Mass. Dates began Sept. 11 and will continue through Dec. 11, with various topics that develop variations relating to the theme of Divine Mercy. Visit for more information.

USF Jesters director invited to speak in Pittsburgh

FORT WAYNE — Allison Ballard, director of the University of Saint Francis Jesters program, recently spoke as part of the Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability Conference in Pittsburgh, Penn.

The Jesters program was selected for a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts that will fund an initiative to allow people with intellectual/developmental disabilities to work alongside professional arts instructors as part of the Jesters program. This commitment to creating a solid infrastructure within the program is one reason why Ballard was invited to the LEAD conference. According to NEA spokesperson Lauren Tuzzolino, Jesters is a “model arts program that focuses on people with disabilities.” She has been highlighting the program to state arts agencies “so others could be more informed and inspired by the great work that is possible.”

Sponsored by the University of Saint Francis since its founding in 1978, Jesters is a performing group composed of individuals with mild to severe developmental or physical disabilities ranging in age from 6 to adult.

Life Lunches series encourages conversation on life issues

NOTRE DAME — A series of three Life Lunches will be held during the fall semester to bring together students, faculty and staff to discuss human dignity topics led by theology, political science and law professors. Hosted by the Institute for Church Life, the lunchtime seminars provide an opportunity to discuss life issues in an informal setting.

The Life Lunch remaining dates during the fall semester are Oct. 10 — Political Science Professor Phillip Munoz, “Slavery and Abortion: The Lincoln-Douglas Debates and Human Dignity” and Nov. 15 — Law School Professor Paolo Carozza, “International Development, Maternal Mortality and Abortion.”

Lunch begins at noon in 300 Geddes Hall. Lunch is provided and limited to 20 people. Registration is required.

For more information visit

New leadership at Our Sunday Visitor

HUNTINGTON — Our Sunday Visitor has expanded its leadership team to serve the changing needs of Catholics and Catholic organizations.

Greg Willits was named editorial director as of June 22. As editorial director, Willits oversees the quality, design and reach of OSV’s published content.

He was most recently the executive director for the              Archdiocese of Denver’s Office of Evangelization and Family Life Ministries. Prior to that, he hosted a daily, three-hour radio talk show on SiriusXM’s The Catholic Channel, called the “Catholics Next Door,” with his wife, Jennifer.

Willits was one of the earliest adopters and most dedicated proponents of new media for Catholic evangelization in the U.S., through his involvement with Star Quest Production Network and the Catholic New Media Conference. He is also a founder of the Rosary Army apostolate and the author of two published books: “The New Evangelization and You: Be Not Afraid,” and “The Catholics Next Door: Adventures in Imperfect Living.”

Scot Landry joined OSV as chief mission officer on May 9, taking on responsibility for representing, executing and upholding the mission, identity and values of Our Sunday Visitor with ultimate responsibility for all publishing and editorial initiatives.

Landry has served in leadership for Catholic organizations for the past 10 years. His background includes operating the Good Catholic Leadership Group, a Catholic consulting and leadership coaching firm; serving as president and executive director of Catholic Voices USA; and before that, serving as cabinet secretary for institutional advancement and then cabinet secretary for Catholic media in the Archdiocese of Boston. He is the author of “Transforming Parish Communications: Growing the Church through New Media.”

Joe Wikert started his role as president of publishing on Jan. 4. He focuses on transforming the format and distribution of published content to serve the needs of Catholics. He is an active blogger on Digital Content strategies, offering ideas and recommendations for the creation and distribution of rich content.

Before joining OSV, Wikert was the director of strategy and business development at Olive Software, the leading digital reading platform for the most widely read newspapers and periodicals in the U.S. Prior to Olive Software, he was general manager, publisher and chairman of the Tools of Change conference at O’Reilly Media Inc. He managed each of the editorial groups at O’Reilly, as well as the Microsoft Press team and the retail sales organization. Before joining O’Reilly, he was vice president and executive publisher at John Wiley & Sons Inc., in their professional and trade division. During his tenure at Wiley he oversaw the acquisition of the WROX and Sybex publishing groups.

Kyle Hamilton was named chief executive officer of Our Sunday Visitor in August, 2015. He has been with Our Sunday Visitor for 30 years, starting as an industrial engineer for Noll Printing Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of OSV. For the past 13 years, while serving as president and general manager of the Offertory Solutions division, he led the acquisition of six companies that significantly increased OSV’s market reach with parish offering envelopes and fund raising services for parishes and dioceses. In addition, these investments diversified OSV with technology services for parishes and dioceses in the areas of online giving and website and mobile app content management platforms.

The OSV Senior Executive Leadership Team also includes:

Linda Teeters, vice-president of finance and treasurer, 12 years at OSV; Terry Poplava, executive director of marketing and sales, nine years at OSV; Tim Shoup, executive director of manufacturing, 13 years at OSV; Frank Thomas, executive director of information technology, three years at OSV; Tina Burnau, director of customer satisfaction, 19 years at OSV; and Cheryl Moore, director of human resources, four years at OSV.

Disaster case management volunteers needed 

SOUTH BEND — Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend is seeking volunteers to assist with disaster case management services to individuals and families affected by recent torrential rain and flooding in South Bend and surrounding areas. To date, 937 homes have been affected by flooding in this area and the availability of Small Business Association Disaster Loans have been announced by Governor Pence.

In collaboration with state disaster case management representatives from Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and the Michiana Long Term Flood Recovery Group (MLTFRG), our local Catholic Charities will be providing ongoing coordination and training for volunteer case managers who will provide support and services over the next eighteen months to those impacted by flood damage, including families displaced from their homes.

Appropriate characteristics for volunteer case managers include the stamina to work long hours, ability to thoroughly and accurately complete detail-oriented paperwork and capacity to listen and respond with empathy to individuals impacted by a traumatic situation. There are currently two levels of volunteers needed:

Level 1: immediately available. Volunteers are needed from Sept. 9-20 to assist with completing intake and assessment forms for possible assistance.

Level 2: extended availability.  Volunteers are needed to train as Disaster Case Managers.  Possible commitment of up to 18 months.  Training will be provided.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Catholic Charities South Bend office at 574-234-3111. Monetary gifts are greatly appreciated and will expand our capacity to serve those impacted by this natural disaster in our own Diocese.  Donations can be made online at or mailed to 1817 Miami St., South Bend, IN 46613.  Prayers are appreciated.



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