February 16, 2011 // Local

Bishop Rhoades visits St. Augustine Parish

Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades celebrated Mass and made his first pastoral visit to St. Augustine Church in South Bend on Feb. 13. In the photo are Nick Jones, at left, who assisted Bishop Rhoades at Mass, Holy Cross Father Leonard Collins, pastor of the church, and Bishop Rhoades.

By May Lee Johnson

SOUTH BEND — There was clearly a feeling of excitement at St. Augustine Catholic Church on Sunday morning. Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades was coming and when he arrived he didn’t disappoint.

And as soon as he spoke, Bishop Rhoades immediately captured the hearts of not only the congregation but the children as well.
Bishop Rhoades made his pastoral visit to St. Augustine on Feb. 13 when he celebrated Mass and met the congregation. It was the bishop’s first pastoral visit to the small multicultural parish in South Bend.

“I felt very welcomed here at St. Augustine’s,” Bishop Rhoades told Today’s Catholic. “Coming to St. Augustine reminds me very much of a church that I pastored in Pennsylvania. It was a lot like this parish. I was also very impressed by the fact the teenagers are very involved and engaged in the Mass. I love the different styles of music as well. I’m hoping to talk with some of the young people about vocations.”

With the progress of the new Saint Joseph’s High School, Bishop Rhoades expressed his desires that more minority students attend Catholic grade schools to continue their education into the Catholic high schools in South Bend or Mishawaka.
“That is something we are going to have work on,” Bishop Rhoades said.

In his homily, Bishop Rhoades spoke about the Sermon on the Mount from St. Matthew’s account where Jesus talked about the Ten Commandments. The bishop touched on three points — anger, being honest and lust. He challenged the people to not only live the commandments internally, but externally as well.

The bishop also shared with the St. Augustine congregation some of the confusion from the previous week concerning an iPhone, iPad and iPod Confession application, which Bishop Rhoades offered an imprimatur. He said it was a good tool for Confession but it soon erroneously ballooned that Catholics could make Confession over the iPhone. “No you may not make confessions over the phone,” he said. The congregation laughed with him.

Holy Cross Father Leonard Collins, pastor of St. Augustine, said the bishop’s visit was an important part of getting to know his flock.
“We were honored to have him visit with us,” Father Collins said. “From the look on his face with the way the parishioners all welcomed him, he was happy to be here, too.”

“What I like about the bishop’s visit was that he took time to take a picture and talk with us,” said James Taylor. “He just seemed to be so grand in his hat and vestments but he was still a nice person.”

Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades gives Communion to Ayari McDonald, a freshman at Marian High School. in Mishawaka. Bishop Rhoades made his pastoral visit to St. Augustine Church on Feb. 13.

Ayari McDonald, 14, a freshman at Marian High School in Mishawaka was pleased to get to greet Bishop Rhoades. “His (visit) here made everyone get more involved in the (Mass),” she said. “He did an amazing job and told me he looked forward to confirming me.”

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