Claire Kenney
Freelance Writer
September 29, 2017 // Parish

Parish builds relationships with intentionality

Claire Kenney
Freelance Writer

Father Glenn Kohrman

Led by Father Glenn Kohrman, its ninth pastor, Holy Family Parish leans on the members of its faith community as a cornerstone for demonstrating what the Catholic faith calls its children to do — live out the Gospel.

Holy Family’s Parish Life webpage states, “A deeper understanding (of the faith) can lead to a more intimate relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and through the Trinity to the Church and our family, friends, neighbors, parish, and community.” The South Bend parish’s mission mirrors this idea. “Holy Family Parish, following the example of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, will create a welcoming environment to foster a deeper understanding of our mission as followers of Christ, where we gather to worship God, aspire to learn all that is true, and share it through our interaction with our local community, our world, our students, and all the members of our parish,” it reads.

This statue of the Holy Family visualizes the importance that Holy Family Parish puts on family relationships, as well as on the relationships between parishioners and with members of the local community. — Provided by Holy Family Parish

As part of this philosophy to channel community in an effort to grow in faith, parish members and leadership actively work to ensure they offer activities and resources to cultivate relationships between fellow members.

“We strive to make opportunities available from our weekly morning Bible study to the mission of our parochial school,” Father Kohrman said. “We have organized our parish council to try and address pastoral concerns, liturgy, social concerns and outreach, good stewardship, education and evangelization.”

Other activities include social justice ministries, men’s and women’s groups, youth ministry, and the parish choir. The parish also has a family prayer tree so that members can pray for each other — yet another method for infusing support into the parish family.

During his four years at Holy Family, Father Kohrman has witnessed firsthand the benefits of fostering community among parish members. One recent event is particularly cemented in his mind.

When the teenage son of a family within the parish passed recently, Holy Family offered a tremendous sense of support to that family.

“Thousands of people came to support the family and it was decided to have the vigil service while people were visiting the family,” Father Kohrman said. “So many people were comforting the family, praying for the young man and the family for their profound loss. It was a very moving experience for me.”

Father Kohrman described it as an example of “how tragedy can be so impactful” and bring a community together.

Jim Niespodziany, who has been the business manager at Holy Family for nearly 25 years and a parishioner of Holy Family since 1974, can also attest to the close-knit nature of the Holy Family community. He has witnessed this parish attribute through a variety of Holy Family events and activities and says parish members are regularly willing to lend a hand.

“Our parishioners are very dedicated in supporting the church and in volunteering for all parish functions,” Niespodziany explained. “We recently had our parish picnic in which each family brought a dish. We had enough food to serve over 200 in attendance. (When) we built a new church … our parishioners were asked to pledge, we received the total cost of the new church.”

Holy Family has been a diocesan parish for nearly 75 years. It was named a parish in 1945, and the present structure of the church was built in 2000. The year 2020 will mark the 20th anniversary of that building, and the parish plans to celebrate the anniversary with some updates.

Holy Family
56405 Mayflower Rd.
South Bend, IN 46619-1517


Mass Times:
Sunday: 7, 9, 11 a.m.
Saturday: 5 p.m.
Holy Day: 8 a.m.; Vigil 6 p.m. 
Weekday: M 6 p.m., T, F 8 a.m.

Sat. after 8 a.m. Mass, 11 a.m.-noon; 4-4:45 p.m.

Adoration: Saturday after 8 a.m. Mass; First Friday 12:30-5 p.m.

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