Msgr. James Wolf
This past Tuesday, Sept. 7, we commended Msgr. Jim Wolf, the pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Warsaw, to the Lord in a beautiful Funeral Mass concelebrated by over 60 priests and attended by several hundred parishioners at Sacred Heart Church. Bishop D’Arcy preached a beautiful homily at the Mass. I was the principal celebrant and offered some reflections at the end of Mass. We conveyed our heartfelt sympathy to Msgr. Wolf’s dear sisters, Mary and Carolyn, and his sister in-law, Sue, and dozens of nephews and nieces and great nephews and nieces.
There were many tears at the funeral as so many people were touched by Msgr.’s Wolf’s goodness and kindness. He was a devoted priest for 41 years. He served in many assignments, including vicar general of our diocese. For the past 10 years, as pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, he guided his people with wisdom and love. I was personally blessed to have come to know Msgr. Wolf these past several months. He was a gentle and humble shepherd after the heart of Christ, the Good Shepherd. He carried the cross of illness with firm faith and trust in the Lord. His priestly heart reflected the love of the Heart of Jesus.
May Msgr. Jim Wolf, who served the Lord and the Church so faithfully as a priest, be granted the reward of his labors, the fullness of life promised to those who preach Christ’s holy Gospel!
Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center, Mishawaka
On Sept. 1, I made my first visit to Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center, a beautiful new facility in Mishawaka. Sister Laureen Painter, the Vice President for Mission Integration, welcomed me to the hospital and showed me the chapel of Our Lady of Fatima, where Mass is celebrated daily for patients and hospital workers. I then met with the Interim President and CEO, Mr. Thomas Reitinger, who explained to me the many services and programs of the Medical Center.
Saint Joseph Regional is truly a state-of-the-art Catholic Medical Center. I visited the various units, including the oncology section, the heart center, the neo-natal unit, the surgical area, etc. It was amazing to see the new technologies in medical care.
Dr. Daniel Dwyer, the senior vice president of Trinity Health System, of which Saint Joseph’s is a part, accompanied Mr. Reitinger and me on the tour. Trinity Health was created by the consolidation of the Holy Cross Health System and Mercy Health Services in the year 2000. The Holy Cross Health System had been formed when the health care organizations sponsored by the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross were united back in 1979.
The Sisters of the Holy Cross founded Saint Joseph Hospital in South Bend, back in 1882. It was the first institution in South Bend to care for the sick. Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center carries on the rich tradition of the Sisters in its Catholic mission. I was impressed not only by the new technology I saw, but also by the personalized care offered to the patients at Saint Joseph’s. May this wonderful institution continue to serve the sick in the spirit of the Gospel of Jesus!
Holy Cross Chapel at Notre Dame’s School of Engineering
On Sept. 1, I celebrated Mass with the blessing of the new Holy Cross Chapel and the dedication of its altar at the Stinson-Remick Hall of Engineering on the campus of the University of Notre Dame. It is a beautiful chapel! I was captivated by the four stained-glass windows representing persons so intimately connected to Notre Dame and the Congregation of Holy Cross: St. Joseph (the patron of the Holy Cross Brothers), Our Lady of Sorrows (patroness of the Holy Cross Congregation), Blessed Basil Moreau (founder of Holy Cross), and Blessed Brother André Bessette (soon to be the first canonized saint of Holy Cross).
Many thanks to Dr. Peter Kilpatrick, the dean of Notre Dame’s College of Engineering, for his vision and leadership in the chapel project. This may be the only School of Engineering in the country, perhaps in the world, with a chapel!
If you are visiting Notre Dame, I recommend that you stop and see the Stinson-Remick Hall of Engineering, the newest engineering structure on the campus. It houses the Center for Nano-Science and Technology, the Notre Dame Energy Center, and several laboratories and classrooms. This impressive building was dedicated the day after the chapel blessing.
Women’s Care Centers in South Bend
On Sept. 2, I had the good fortune of visiting the three Women’s Care Centers in South Bend. Bobby Williams, director, and Ann Manion, president, gave me a great tour of these wonderful facilities. These centers truly provide a beautiful service of the Gospel of Life. Thousands of women are helped and served at these centers. Only our Lord knows how many thousands of babies have been saved by these services! It was wonderful to learn about the incredible support given to so many women who might have had abortions if it had not been for the love and the help of the Women’s Care Centers. I thank the many employees, volunteers and benefactors of our Women’s Care Centers in St. Joseph, Allen, Elkhart, and Marshall counties. I learned that over 40 percent of newly pregnant women in St. Joseph County receive services from the centers there.
The loving attention given to every woman who enters these centers is a witness to the Gospel of life, the Gospel of love. The care centers are places of compassion. They help women to choose life and provide them with all kinds of help, from prenatal care and maternity clothing, to baby needs, like diapers and cribs. They provide parenting classes for the mothers, and for the babies’ fathers as well.
I offered a prayer of blessing at each of the centers I visited, praying for the staff, volunteers and benefactors, and for all the women and babies whom they serve. May God bless these centers of life and love with His abundant grace!
St. Jude School, South Bend
Another joyful school visit, this time to St. Jude School in South Bend on Sept. 3, the feast of St. Gregory the Great. At Mass, I preached to the students about true greatness and what made Pope Gregory “great,” reflecting on the teaching of Jesus that the greatest are those who serve. In fact, one of the titles of the pope that began with Gregory the Great is “servant of the servants of God.”
Many thanks to Father John Delaney, the pastor of St. Catherine of Siena Parish, and to Mr. Stephen Donndelinger, the principal of St. Jude School, for their gracious hospitality! It is very edifying to witness first-hand the good news of Catholic education. Visiting the classrooms after Holy Mass, I enjoyed seeing the enthusiasm of the children for their faith and also the excellent education they are receiving, thanks to the dedicated teachers and staff.
Installation of pastor at Holy Family Parish, South Bend
On Sept. 5, I celebrated Mass and installed Father Dominique Carboneau as pastor of Holy Family Parish. During the beautiful liturgy, the parishioners warmly received their new pastor whom many remembered serving there some years ago as a seminarian during the summer. I was happy to meet Father Carboneau’s family and so many parishioners who attended the Mass and the reception afterwards.
Every pastor is called to teach, sanctify and guide the people entrusted to his pastoral care by the bishop. He is called to serve in imitation of Christ, the Good Shepherd. May our Lord bless Father Carboneau as he begins his new pastorate! And may our Lord bless the parishioners of Holy Family and its growth as a community of faith, hope and charity!
Dedication and blessing of Brookside Mansion at the University of Saint Francis
On Sept. 8, the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I celebrated Mass at the Trinity Hall Chapel at the University of Saint Francis. The chapel was packed with members of the university community and several Sisters of Saint Francis of Perpetual Adoration. After the Mass, we enjoyed lunch together. Lunch was followed by an outdoor celebration of the dedication and blessing of the restored and renovated Bass Mansion, the first building of the university, now called the Brookside Mansion.
The weather was beautiful as we gathered for the dedication ceremony. It was interesting to learn about the history of the mansion and the Bass family of whom several descendants were present. The university choir provided inspiring music for the event. Sister Elise Kriss, president of the university, spoke and thanked the generous benefactors of the restoration. If you visit the University of Saint Francis, I recommend that you stop by and visit this beautiful and historic landmark of Fort Wayne.
I can’t complete this column without congratulating the Fighting Irish football team for their first victory under their new coach, Brian Kelly. I enjoyed the game and all the festivities on Sept. 4. I know we also have many Purdue graduates and fans in our diocese, so my condolences to the Boilermakers! I am writing this column before the ND-Michigan game, but I hope we are seeing the beginning of a winning streak!
The best news. Delivered to your inbox.
Subscribe to our mailing list today.