Letter from Msgr. Schaedel for bulletin of June 10, 2001

Dear Parishioners,

Welcome to La Chiesa Del Santo Rosario, Holy Rosary Church! It’s the weekend of our eighteenth annual Italian Street Festival. We welcome the hundreds of parishioners, former parishioners, and visitors who will be with us at the Italian Parish of Indianapolis. A special welcome to the Italian delegation here in Indianapolis to participate in the 2001 World Police and Fire Games this coming week!

We also welcome the Catholic Choir of Indianapolis who is providing the music for our Saturday Masses on festival weekend. Thank you for being with us.

This weekend we celebrate "Trinity Sunday." As Catholics, our Faith is based in the unfathomable mystery of the Blessed Trinity—Father—Son—Holy Spirit. They are three Persons in one God. Here at Holy Rosary, we continue to do that work—leading people to the love of the Trinity.

"La Chiesa e il tempio del Signore, la porta del cielo; venite, dopo una settimana di cure terrene, dopo tante fatiche, dopo tante tristezze, dopo tanti patimenti, riposate le vostre membra, rigenerate il vostro spirito alle fonti della grazia, innalzate la vostra mente a Dio, ringraziatelo dei benefizzi ricevuti nella creazione e nella vita quotidiana, domandategli forza per poter vincere tutte le lotte della vita, per poter godere dei frutti della redenzione."

These are the words of our founding pastor, Msgr. Marino Priori. Msgr. Priori founded Holy Rosary over ninety years ago on May 2, 1909. Translated from the Italian, here is what Msgr. Priori said:

"The church is the temple of the Lord, the gate of heaven. Come after a week of earthly cares, after so much toil, after so many sorrows, after so much pain. Rest your limbs. Regenerate your spirit at the sources of grace. Raise your mind to God; thank Him for the benefits received through His creation and in daily life; ask for strength so you can win all of life’s struggles, and be able to possess the fruits of redemption."

What beautiful words! They were true then and they are so true today. We thank God and thank Monsignor Priori and all the thousands of men and women who have gone before us. They made Holy Rosary what it is today. It is truly "the temple of the Lord and the gate of heaven."

The end of the last century saw many changes here. We have shared pastoral leadership with one or two other parishes at the same time. We’ve been fearful that we would be closed or merged with another church. In fact, one of the reasons that the Italian Street Festival began eighteen years ago was the fear that our parish would no longer be able to make it financially. What a turnaround we have made!

It seems to me that Holy Rosary is stronger today than she has been for some time. Our numbers will never be what they were thirty or forty years ago. The interstate highway and the corporate expansion in our surroundings changed things radically. Yet there is also a kind of re-birth in new housing in this general area. This neighborhood is historic and we are proud of it.

But now Holy Rosary has two priests: one part-time pastor and a full-time associate pastor. We have three Masses every weekend. One of these is the traditional Latin Mass. We have at least one Mass every single day. Confessions are heard before every Mass—seven days a week.

Our next major project will be the installation of an elevator. Many of our long-time parishioners find it had to make it up and down the front steps to enter the church. Our plans to build an elevator shaft within the east bell tower of the church. They are out now for contractors’ bids. The elevator will have the capacity to take folks to the main floor of the church, the choir loft, and Priori Hall downstairs. This was the main focus of our successful "Legacy of Hope, From Generation to Generation" campaign.

Speaking of campaigns, each year every parish in the archdiocese participates in the annual Stewardship Program of the archdiocese and the annual United Catholic Appeal. Each parish is given a goal. Parishes are invited to give all of part of the money raised over the goal to archdiocesan home missions.

Guess which parish in the entire South Deanery (fourteen parishes) is giving the largest amount to home mission needs? Holy Rosary! Yes, "little old" Holy Rosary! We are the smallest parish in the South Deanery—yet we are the most generous in giving to the needs of other parishes that cannot make it on their own. We were once in that boat. But, as they say, "We’ve come a long way, baby." As your associate pastor and pastor, Father Duvelius and I are very proud of Holy Rosary’s continued generosity and willingness to see beyond just ourselves. God bless you all.

The best thing about the parish today is our loyal parishioners. They make the whole thing work. Many of them have moved from the neighborhood, but a good number of them still live within walking distance. We have several new young families. They work hard to keep our parish alive.

We proudly help sponsor Central Catholic School for elementary students and Roncalli High School. Many of our parishioners’ children also are educated through Catholic Home Schooling. The Catholic Home School students and their families celebrated their end of the academic year Mass here in May. Let the record show that Holy Rosary does even more than its part to support Catholic School education. We are pleased to be able to do it. I celebrated the final Mass of the school year with the Central Catholic students last week. They were ready to see summer vacation begin! Enjoy.

Naturally, the biggest single event of the year is our Italian Street Festival. Runner up would be the Saint Joseph’s Table in March to benefit youngsters who otherwise could not attend a Catholic School.

I am proud of the fact that not only are we paying our own bills, but we reach out to others (like families at Central Catholic School of our archdiocesan home missions). Within the past year:

Our parishioners knew what Stewardship was long before the term became popular. You will meet most of them at the Italian Street Festival this weekend. It’s amazing how the largest festival in the city comes together with just one meeting! People know what to do and they do it!

Next weekend we welcome to Holy Rosary Father Joseph Bragotti of the Comboni Missionary Fathers. (They used to be called "the Verona Fathers." Bishop Comboni was their founder; they were founded in Verona, Italy.) Father Joseph will preach at all of the Masses and ask for our assistance for his missionary community. After all I’ve said above, there is actually no need for me to ask you to be generous.

Sunday, June 17th will be the feast of Corpus Christi. We will have the traditional outdoor procession through the neighborhood with the Blessed Sacrament immediately following the 12:15 p.m. Mass that day.

June also brings the official start of summer and summer vacations. Let’s remember that the serious obligation to attend Sunday Mass is for fifty-two Sundays a year—without exception—unless one is ill or truly prevented from attending Mass.

Being on vacation is not an excuse. How in the world does one take a vacation from God? Some people will claim that they were out of town and could not find the church. If people want to find a certain restaurant or shop, they sure do it. The same should be true for the church. Plan ahead.

A group called Mass in Transit has information about churches and Mass times all over the United States. It’s a great service, available twenty-four hours a day. Their phone number is 800-627-7846. You need to have the zip code of where you are going, which you can obtain from any post office or from travel brochures. You will receive the name of the church, phone number, address, and times of the Sunday and weekday Masses.

Sorry this letter is doubly long-winded this week. I am extremely proud of all that we have accomplished and continue to accomplish here at Holy Rosary. Our regular folks have heard much of this before, but I wanted our visitors to know about it as well.

We are alive; we are strong. We are interested in being known as a parish where the beautiful Liturgy of the Church is celebrated with beauty, dignity, and grace. Here is where we get the energy and grace to respond generously to God’s call to love one another. Holy Rosary continues to be for all who come to her doors "the temple of the Lord, the gate of heaven." I think our founding parishioners and Monsignor Priori would be proud. I know I am.

Faithfully yours in God’s Providence,

Monsignor Joseph F. Schaedel, V.G., Pastor