Compiled by Brandon A. Evans
Diocese of Evansville
Brother of Evansville priests: Father Paul Etienne is named bishop of Cheyenne, Wyoming
By Mary Ann Hughes (Message staff writer)
There was great joy tinged with sadness in Tell City this week as the news spread that native son and pastor Father Paul D. Etienne has been named the eighth Bishop of Cheyenne, Wyo.
Publication of the appointment, made by Pope Benedict XVI, was announced in Washington, D.C., Oct. 19, by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
Bishop-elect Etienne will be installed and ordained a bishop on Dec. 9. He succeeds Bishop David L. Ricken, who was named Bishop of Green Bay, Wis., in July.
Early Monday morning, when Kay Etienne, the bishop-elect’s mom answered the phone call from the Message, her first words regarding her son’s appointment were, “Oh, God is good to this gang.”
Paul is the second of her six children. Two of her sons are parish priests in the Diocese of Evansville. Father Bernie Etienne is pastor at Holy Rosary Church in Evansville and director of the diocesan Vocations Office. Father Zach Etienne is pastor at St. Mary Church in Ireland. A daughter, Nicolette, is a Sister with the Benedictines at Our Lady of Grace Monastery near Indianapolis.
Another son, Rick, is the former director of youth ministry for the Evansville diocese; he is married and lives in Newburgh. Her youngest child is Angela Kellems who is married and lives in Evansville.
Paul Etienne is the bishop-elect’s dad. He said that his son had a private dinner with both parents last Saturday night to tell them the news.
“I told him I was excited for him. I had no doubt that someday he would be a bishop, but didn’t think it would be this soon.”
He laughed as he suggested that the Diocese of Owensboro might have been a better choice. Bishop John McRaith retired there in January. “It’s 40-minutes from our house in Tell City, but I’m sure he’ll do a good job in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
“I’m happy for him. It’s a wonderful place too.”
Teacher surrounded by prayer during chemotherapy treatments
By Mary Ann Hughes (Message staff writer)
Elizabeth Murray believes there is a purpose for everything in life, and that means she sees God’s hand in everything — both good and bad.
She felt his hand on her when she and her husband, Tom, chose Evansville as their home in 1993, and she felt it when she was hired to teach at St. Joseph School in Vanderburgh County, and then at Good Shepherd School in Evansville.
Those have been the blessings.
That belief has also been with her during the very, very hard times.
Three years ago, she found a lump in her breast. It was cancer. She underwent chemotherapy, and in August of 2008 she had surgery followed by radiation.
In April of 2009, she had a “clear scan.” But in August, during the first week of school, a new scan found more cancer in her body, this time in her lungs. Her doctors explained that “basically I will spend the rest of my life putting it at bay.”
As the news spread through the Good Shepherd School community, parents and students began attending a weekly prayer service in the church chapel. “The first week there were six students,” she said, “and last week there were 25 students and five parents.”
“You know the prayers of young children are innocent, and they go directly to the ears of God,” Elizabeth said. “I know everyone is praying for me, and I feel totally wrapped in prayer.”
She believes that because of all the prayers “I’ve never felt afraid or hopeless. I have bad days, but I can’t imagine going without all this prayer.”
On Wednesdays, Elizabeth goes to Mass in the morning at Good Shepherd before going for chemotherapy treatments. Her students are at Mass with their standard substitute teacher Lucy Ashley, Good Shepherd’s media coordinator.
When Elizabeth returns on Thursdays there is a gift on her desk. She’s received a prayer blanket, cards, scrapbooks, pictures, pink boxing gloves, snacks to take to chemotherapy, cozy socks — “anything pink.”
Fighting cancer has given her a clearer focus, she says. “You tend to think ‘I will do that later.’ One thing has changed: I don’t put things off anymore.”
Her faith has stayed the same. “I’m a firm believer that you are called to do certain things, and this is what I’m called to do right now.”
She now believes that “you have to let students know what is the most important thing in life: a relationship with God and a relationship with their family. Schoolwork is not at the top. Getting priorities straight is important.”
Photo caption: Elizabeth Murray, a language arts teacher at Good Shepherd School in Evansville, holds a prayer blanket given to her by her students. (Message photo by Mary Ann Hughes)
(For these stories and more news from the Diocese of Evansville, log on to the website of The Message at www.themessageonline.org)
Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend
Chapel rededicated to honor St. Mother Theodore Guérin
By Tim Johnson
FORT WAYNE — It was an anticipated day of rededication. Bishop John M. D’Arcy rededicated the MacDougal Chapel in honor of St. Mother Theodore Guérin on Oct. 16. Joined in the celebration of Mass by Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception rector Father Robert Schulte and assisted by Deacon Fernando Jimenez, who will be ordained Saturday, Oct. 31, to the priesthood, Bishop D’Arcy spoke in his homily about living stones and the offering of oneself.
“We consecrate marble and wood in order that our hearts be consecrated. … The whole idea that the holy Eucharist is making present the Lord’s sacrifice that all those present will become a living sacrifice,” Bishop D’Arcy said. “The whole idea of holy Communion points towards the offering of oneself to God as Jesus Christ offered himself, which means seeking his will and doing it.”
In this Year for Priests, Bishop D’Arcy spoke of St. John Vianney, patron of priests, that “every time he offered Mass, he offered his whole self to God.” He encouraged priests and the faithful to offer themselves to God and to do his will.
Bishop D’Arcy noted the purpose of the chapel was tell God “I give you everything I have — myself.”
The chapel was originally built with the intention that the Blessed Sacrament would be exposed 24 hours a day. Adoration, after Friday Masses, is still an active part of the chapel.
“Adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament is like a continuation of the Mass,” Bishop D’Arcy noted. “He is present and so we continue to offer ourselves, for our families and our children and to do his will.”
He spoke of Mother Theodore’s devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. Mother Theodore and her sisters spent days in silence until they knelt in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.
Photo caption: Bishop John M. D’Arcy prays at the altar during the rededication of the MacDougal Chapel in honor of St. Mother Theodore Guérin on Friday, Oct. 16. The chapel has been renovated.
Saint Joseph’s High School cellist takes his music to Paris
By Judy Bradford
SOUTH BEND — Austin Huntington is a mellow guy, soft-spoken, not a lot of drama.
But he can tell you exactly what playing the cello does for him.
“It’s an outlet for expressing emotions that are really hard to express in real life. It’s kind of like a funnel, combining all the emotions into one note. And if you add up all the notes, that’s your personality.’’
He’s taking that cello-playing personality to Paris this week when he performs at the Rostropovich Cello Competition, an international event bringing 86 cellists from all over the world. Huntington is one of only six Americans invited to compete.
“It’s held only every four years, and it’s named after Mstislav Rostropovich, who died since the last one was held,’’ says Huntington, a sophomore at Saint Joseph’s High School. “So, this will be the first one to be held without him.’’
Huntington, 15, son of a physician and a registered nurse, has been playing the cello since the age of four. He started with private Suzuki lessons and became a member of the South Bend Youth Symphony at age 8. By the age of 10 he was the symphony’s principal cellist.
He continues to take private lessons in Chicago and rehearses every week with the Chicago Youth Symphony.
“I’m kind of a big klutz, so I don’t do sports. The cello fills in that gap,” Huntington says. “But it’s like sports in that you have to work hard at it, and you do get rewards for that hard work.’’
Photo caption: Austin Huntington, 15, is in Paris this week and next to perform at the Rostropovich Cello Competition. The sophomore at Saint Joseph’s High School, South Bend, is one of only six Americans invited to the competition.
(For these stories and more news from the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, log on to the website of Today’s Catholic at www.todayscatholicnews.org)
Diocese of Gary
A real STITCH
HOBART — “I feel fine,” Helen Unger said recently, just a few months after her 90th birthday. Speaking from her apartment, where walls are covered with family photographs and assorted artwork, Unger puts aside her crocheting material as she prepares for supper and TV’s “Wheel of Fortune” game show. Unger watches “Wheel” as she crochets for charity. Although she’s been knitting for years, she’s been doing afghans for cancer patients and surgery caps for children for the past two years.
After reading an article about crocheting for medical centers, Unger made some phone calls. In return, she’s received donated material for making afghans and some blankets. She estimates making 90 afghans and 518 surgery caps.
How long does it take to make one afghan or cap?
“It’s hard to judge,” said Unger. “I spend a couple hours a day doing that.”
Some of the afghans go to cancer patients, while others go to area organizations serving the needy. Some afghans are sold, with proceeds going to the Cancer Resource Center in Munster. “Helen’s work is lovely. It’s professional,” said Bomberger. She cites Unger as an example of what one person can do to inspire others to get involved. Bomberger explained that hospital departments may request afghans. “If people are waiting for a procedure and it’s chilly, the afghans can be a source of comfort and warmth,” she said. Crocheting afghans and surgery caps, Unger said, “makes me feel good, because I’m contributing something. You’re helping people.”
Photo caption: Helen Unger displays some of her knitting work at her Hobart home. (Tim Hunt photo)
(For this story and more news from the Diocese of Gary, log on to the website of the Northwest Indiana Catholic at www.nwicatholic.com)
Archdiocese of Indianapolis
Connecting art and faith: Historic Catholic artwork and artifacts are celebrated in ‘Sacred Spain’ exhibit
By Mary Ann Wyand
Stunning. Inspirational. Unforgettable.
“Sacred Spain: Art and Belief in the Spanish World,” a unique, one-time exhibition at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, is an incredible assembly of 17th-century Catholic artwork and artifacts from Spain and Latin America.
Free admission to the temporary exhibit—which opened on Oct. 11 and continues through Jan. 3—was made possible by a $1 million grant from the Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation. Tickets are required, and are available at the information desk inside the main museum entrance.
Ronda Kasl, senior curator of painting and sculpture before 1800 and a museum staff member for 17 years, said “Sacred Spain” is “an exhibition I’ve wanted to do for a very long time.”
During a tour of the exhibit on Oct. 8, Kasl said her “interest in this subject comes out of a long-standing preoccupation with how works of art function in the context of belief, which is slightly different from the ways in which works of art are typically viewed in art museums.”
This exhibit was specially created for the Indianapolis Museum of Art, she said, and provides viewers with the opportunity to reflect on the original context, use and significance of historic, religious artwork and artifacts from Spanish-speaking countries explained on bilingual labels.
“These are functional objects,” Kasl explained. “They weren’t made strictly for decoration. They were made to convey meaning. The Church in the 17th century … had very precise notions of how works of art should function in religious practice.
Photo caption: Indianapolis Museum of Art conservator Christina Milton O’Connell works on restoring the “Virgin of Guadalupe” to prepare the painting for display in the museum’s new “Sacred Spain: Art and Belief in the Spanish World” exhibition. The oil on canvas painting was created by an unknown artist in Mexico in about 1700. (Submitted photo/courtesy Indianapolis Museum of Art)
(For this story and more news from the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, log on to the website of The Criterion at www.CriterionOnline.com)
Diocese of Lafayette
One sister’s story: from ‘ski bum’ to a bride of Christ
By Kevin Cullen
CARMEL — Ten years ago, Margaret Mitchel was an industrial engineer who called herself a “ski bum.”
Now she is Sister Margaret Mary Mitchel, OSF, a fully-professed member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration.
In her former life, she stopped going to Mass … but her love of Christ won out.
Sister Margaret Mary, 42, formerly of Carmel, made her perpetual vows in August after eight years of preparation. The Mass was celebrated in Mishawaka by Bishop John M. D’Arcy of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, and concelebrated by 24 priests.
“It was just so beautiful to think that they all came to celebrate with us. I was humbled by that,” she said in a phone interview from the motherhouse in Mishawaka.
She remembered thinking, “I am linking my life to God, and offering myself as his bride.”
“It was a beautiful, humbling experience to know that God had called me,” she said.
Family members knew she would become a nun someday, said her sister-in-law, Cathy Mitchel, a parishioner at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.
“When I met her, she just radiated joy. She has always been a giver, a very generous person with her time and resources,” she said.
Since witnessing the profession ceremony, “I don’t think I’ve stopped smiling,” Cathy Mitchel said. “I am so happy she is where she is supposed to be. When you see that in somebody else, it lifts your heart and spirit.
“That (religious) community is completely welcoming. It is like when you marry into a family that is joyful and fun. They have a spirit about them,” she said.
Sister Margaret Mary’s unusual professional background “brings thinking ‘outside the box’ to the order,” Cathy Mitchel said. “She has a very good, positive, ‘we can do that’ approach to things.”
Photo caption: Sister Margaret Mary Mitchel, a Sister of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration, smiles as she leaves the Mass at which she made her perpetual vows.
(For this story and more news from the Diocese of Lafayette, log on to the website of The Catholic Moment at www.thecatholicmoment.org) †
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