By the time you read this column, our new parish website should be up and running. Please check it out: www.stcharlesfortwayne.org. I will point out a few highlights from the homepage: We have a design that will fit on cell phones as well as computer screens; we have a beautiful picture of our parish at prayer (with the pastor’s bald spot barely showing!); we have a series of three “Upcoming Events” on display, which will change with time. We also have the capability to put a colored banner over the homepage when there is urgent news, such as cancelations with a snowstorm. Next week I’ll point out other highlights from the website.
This weekend Bishop Rhoades is ordaining a dozen men to the diaconate. These are married men who are not preparing for priesthood, but will serve the Church for years to come as deacons. What is unusual about this ordination is that all twelve speak Spanish as their first language. Over the past four years, they have been studying, undergoing spiritual direction, and taking part in retreats and spiritual conferences, all in Spanish. They will be invaluable in ministry to our brothers and sisters who are struggling to learn English.
This is a good reminder that the Catholic Church in our country is a church of immigrants. A hundred years ago, we would have found parishes in Allen County where people were speaking various languages. German was spoken at St. Mary’s, St. Paul’s, St. Peter’s and St. Joseph Hessen Cassel. French was spoken at St. Vincent, St. Louis Besancon, and St. Rose Monroeville. Polish was spoken at St. Hyacinth. Italian was common at St. Joseph. The Irish brogue was standard at St. Patrick’s. The word “catholic” means universal. We are a Church that has spread around the globe and we see in our diversity the beauty of God’s family.