We received a letter from our Bishop this past week talking about some very important ministries we all participate in through the Catholic Services Appeal. Sometimes, we do not think a great deal about the Diocese of Gary, at least, until we need it.  SS Peter and Paul Parish was particularly helped by the Diocese last summer with the demolition of the old church structure. For thirteen years SS. Peter and Paul parish was not able to pay the astronomical costs that a building demolition demands. Unfortunately, the building deteriorated with holes in the roof that was an embarrassing eyesore in our town. Especially through the work of Fr. Jon Plavcan the Diocese of Gary made our project one of three such demolitions at a reduced cost, and the Diocese even assumed 80% of that price. With the monies the Diocese of Gary refunds from the Catholic Services Appeal to the parishes, SS. Peter and Paul will be able to pay the $30,000 some cost in roof repairs this year, and St. Joan of Arc will have some funds for emergencies.


Both of our parishes are founding supporters of food pantries and Migrant Worker supplies. With the Diocese of Gary we participate in providing thousands of meals to people in trouble. More importantly, the Diocese has ministries which help people become self-supporting and independent. I am particularly proud, as should be all pro-life persons, with the Broadway located south of Route 30 Women’s Health Center which offers free ultrasounds that have saved the lives of many babies, convincing their mothers that these pre-born children were, in fact, alive beings. I will be speaking with you in a later letter or bulletin articles about other aspects of the Catholic Services Appeal

which are important to me. It is fair for you to ask how much my commitment is to this appeal, and I am pledging $1,250 to St. Joan of Arc and a second $1,250 gift through SS. Peter and Paul. I participate in a controversial Diocesan ministry which is the Marriage Tribunal: we attempt to determine that a particular marriage that ended in divorce was not the type of relationship that Jesus meant by a binding marriage. Our ministry is meant to provide justice for people who may have been

abused, cheated, or otherwise unreasonably presented with an inhuman caricature of marriage, a derivation from God’s design. Last year there were four people working at the Tribunal, but today we have two employees working there along with the volunteer contributions of your pastor and other priests. I bring this up to assert that the Diocese of Gary is always reviewing how it ministers, what changes are needed, and how resources can best be used. On the other hand, it could be as

fairly said that my work in the Tribunal has allowed the Diocese of Gary to loan me out to our parishes!


Look forward, then, to being a part of the work of our Diocese, and be proud to hear about the wonderful things you and I are accomplishing with our fellow Catholics for Christ around Northwest Indiana.