Kokomo, Indiana Catholic parish offers more than pray, pay, go away.

St. Joan of Arc’s youth group has more than 100 kids in it.

“We have a really vibrant faith community here,” Bath said.

But there’s always work to do. The church is constantly searching for ways to strengthen the faith of practicing Catholics, bring back the non-practicing Catholics and find those who have no faith tradition at all, Bath said.

The catholic school — which serves both St. Joan and St. Patrick Church — is a good avenue for that.

Second-grader Aubrey Lewis talked Thursday about her Lenten sacrifice. She gave up candy this year and her parents gave up meat.

This is Aubrey’s second year at Sts. Joan of Arc & Patrick School, and it’s a special one for her family.

They all decided to convert to Catholicism this year. During the Easter Vigil, they will officially become members of the church.

Bath said 11 people are joining St. Joan this year.

For Aubrey’s family, it all started at the school.

Bath said she thinks kids who grow up in the Catholic school are less likely to drift away from the church as young adults.

Their religious education helps them understand what they’re doing at Mass and why. And at the school, they learn it’s OK to have open discussions about faith and Christ, she said.

“When you’re formed in the faith, it takes root in you,” she said.

Beyond the school, the diocese has implemented other programs. Sometime soon the bishop — the leader of the diocese — will host a lunch for young adults in the church. He will meet with them to hear questions and concerns and share stories, Bath said. It’s a way to give them a voice.

Kokomo also just hosted the Holy Family Catholic Conference, a weekend event with games, speakers and workshops for Catholics of all ages.

Bath said it was meant to strengthen the church family by making it feel more like a tight-knit community.

“It makes a big difference when you don’t just walk in, worship and leave,” she said.

Link

A current-day case of apparent demonic activity and subsequent exorcism in Gary, Indiana

devil 4  memling  the devil

Read more to see what actually transpired and why the handling of these types of things is best left to the experts.

The Amazing Handel Messiah: Praising and Thanking God with all the Heavenly Hosts.

handelmessiah

by Doug Lawrence

This was not turning out to be your average Sunday!

We were at Mass when day turned to night around noon on Sunday, November 17th, as a fast-moving cold front swept through the State of Illinois, spawning a number of powerful tornadoes and (unknown to us, at the time) almost totally devastating the town of Washington, located about one hundred twenty miles southwest of our suburban Chicago area church. (Please pray for the citizens of Washington, Illinois.)

After Mass, the plan was to drive to Indiana, along with a few close friends, to attend the semi-annual Handel Messiah experience at the Ancilla Domini Chapel, near the town of Plymouth. (Admission is free.)

The storm was moving east at a brisk, sixty miles per hour, so it looked like we would be OK – if I didn’t drive too fast! Other than a flood, a traffic accident with detour, numerous power outages and occasionally outpacing the storm and driving right into the tail end of it, we got there relatively quickly and without serious incident.

Despite the strong, biting winds that followed in the wake of the storm (and a pesky, local power outage that for a time, threatened to cancel the event) the place was jammed – with standing room only! Fortunately, we had VIP reserved seats, courtesy of a friendly local priest. In fact, we were seated right up front, a mere twenty feet from the choir and the soloists – and virtually sitting in the orchestra!

ancilla domini chapel

The 500 Seat Neo-Gothic “Chapel” Is Awesome!

From the official website:

The Annunciation scene above the main altar is an imported carved work. The scene is very significant to the Poor Handmaids because it symbolizes the Sisters’ charism and name. The statues represent Mary and the angel in dialogue (Luke 1:26-38). The angel is expressing God’s call to Mary to be the Mother of the Messiah, Jesus. Mary responds humbly of her desire to participate in God’s plan of redemption. She is willing to serve as mother of the Savior. Mary answered the angel, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done to me according to your word.” The Latin words “Ancilla Domini,” mean “Handmaid of the Lord.” From this title Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ take their name. 

The Messiah was masterfully conducted by Dr. David K. Lamb of Columbus, Indiana. The robust and expansive choir consisted of Poor Handmaid Sisters and volunteers from the surrounding area. Professional soloists from the Chicago Lyric Opera turned in a truly extraordinary performance, while members of the South Bend Symphony Orchestra provided the soul-stirring musical accompaniment.

This was no small effort! Preparations and rehearsals must have taken weeks or months, as “Messiah” is a daunting technical piece, in addition to being awesomely inspirational.

I was able to follow along as the violin section flawlessly performed their parts, reading from a score that was virtually black with tiny musical notes and symbols, trilling constantly up – then down – then up, some more. I didn’t know it was even possible for human fingers to work that fast – or for so long a time. Some of the musicians appeared to have committed the entire work to memory – a truly masterful achievement – and no doubt, a labor of love.

As for me and mine – I doubt we will ever think of Christmas the same way, again – because now we know what it must have been like to experience the Heavenly Hosts singing God’s praises over the rolling plains of Bethlehem, that first Christmas night!

hostsshepherds

Hallelujah (Alleluia) to the Lord, God of Hosts!
Alleluia (Praise God) all you people!

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of [his] government and peace [there shall be] no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.  (Isaiah 9:6-7)

More about The Messiah by George Frideric Handel 

All about Alleluia

A few nice close-ups of the chapel and sanctuary (Flickr)

Indiana man gives his local Planned Parenthood location “the ax”.

INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) – Police on Thursday arrested a man who said he opposed abortion and charged him with breaking into an Indiana Planned Parenthood clinic and causing extensive damage with an ax.

Benjamin Curell, 27, of Ellettsville was charged with felony burglary and criminal mischief. Police said they found Curell at about 3:50 a.m. inside the building after he allegedly damaged equipment with an ax and splashed red paint.

Link

Editor’s note: It sounds to me like Ben might have just been trying to help them redecorate. Those places are known for being kind of dreary looking and out of date. The red paint was certainly a thoughtful touch, since it would tend to cover up/hide most of the actual blood spatter. And while there is no justification for breaking the law … if that’s what actually happened … it’s hard to feel too badly about somebody’s office and equipment getting chopped up, when it’s their gruesome business to routinely kill and chop-up real live babies.

Crossroads pro-life walker was praying the Rosary when he was hit by a car and killed.

July 20, 2012 (LifeSiteNews,com) – A young man praying the rosary while participating in the Crossroads Pro-Life walks across America was killed when struck by a car in Indiana early Friday morning.

Andrew Moore, 20, of California, was walking along U.S. 40 near Stilesville, Indiana at 5 a.m. when the incident occurred, according to IndyStar.com. Moore died at the scene.

Read more

Editor’s note: Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners. Now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Indianapolis, Indiana: 23,000 young Catholics attending three-day meeting.

More than 23,000 Catholic teens from across the country will gather in Indianapolis for what organizers call a three-day experience of prayer, community and empowerment. (November 17-19)

Topics at the conference will range from chastity to bullying, prayer, social justice, dating, Catholic identity and using social media to share faith experiences.

National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry