The Catholic Parish of St. Isidore, encompassing the churches of St. Celestine (Celestine, IN) and St. Raphael (Dubois, IN) is located in the rolling hills of Northeast Dubois County in Southern Indiana, near Patoka Lake. Our two Churches are united in faith, family and community. Please join us in worship!

Mission Statement - We, the parish of St. Isidore, witness to the world the love of Christ we have received in the Sacraments, and we invite others to personally experience the Grace of God through prayer, acts of service, and spiritual formation.

Entries in Fr. Eugene Blog (13)

Friday
Aug312018

From the Desk of Fr. Eugene

From Bishop Robert Barron
Founder, Word on Fire Catholic Ministries

Why Remain Catholic? (With so much scandal)

In light of the recent scandals, I know many people are wondering whether they should remain in the Catholic Church. And I totally get that; the outrage is warranted.

But in this time of crisis, I beg you not to flee, but to fight--not violently, with the weapons of the world, but with the weapons of the Spirit. We need you.

Wednesday
Jun202018

From the Desk of Fr. Eugene

What are the benefits or impact of marriage preparation?  Here are the top conclusions of a nation-wide study done by The Center for Marriage and Family.

1. The vast majority of individuals who participated in marriage preparation programs view the experience as valuable early in their marriage. 93.8% of respondents in their first year of marriage agree that marriage preparation was a valuable experience; 74.8% in their second year offer the same judgment. Overall, almost two-thirds (66.3%) perceive marriage preparation as a valuable experience, 26.6% of them as a very valuable experience. The other third (33.8%) perceive it as less than valuable, 8.2% of them strongly.

2. The perceived value of marriage preparation declines significantly over time. Is it simply that memory fades? Is it that the benefits erode with time? Is it that marriage preparation prepares couples for the tasks they face early in their marriages, but not for the tasks they face later? If the last is the case, and we hypothesize that it is, it indicates the need for booster programs throughout the various developmental stages of a marriage.

3. Marriage preparation is judged most valuable when it is done by a team of clergy, lay couples and parish staff. Clergy working alone with a couple is currently the most common format for marriage preparation, but couples judged this format significantly less valuable than a team format. Their commentary was interesting, if predictable: "Priests who don't marry . . . just don't know what marriage is really like." A team approach which does not include a clergy representative, however, was also judged less valuable than a team with a clergy member.

4. The topics addressed in marriage preparation that were perceived as being of most value were the five Cs: communication, commitment, conflict resolution, children and church (values and sacramentality). A sixth C, career and especially dual career, was among topics perceived as least helpfully covered. This suggests enhancing all six Cs to the maximum, and especially the dual career marriage which is currently so prevalent.

 

God bless,

Fr. Eugene

 

     A question that seems to come up often in marriage preparation is, “Why is the Catholic Church against us living together before being married?” 

This is a question that seems to be asked often.  Many couples believe that it allows them to get to know each other better and know what it will be like to live with their future spouse before they are married.  Studies show that couples who live together before marriage have a greater chance of divorce (33 % greater chance of divorce) than those who don’t live together before marriage.  One of the obvious reasons for not moving in together before marriage is that it is much harder to break off a relationship that has gone wrong when your living together versus not living together.  Another reason for the higher divorce rate is the ability for sexually intimacy to bind couples together emotionally.  The months and years spent prior to one’s marriage should be a time of serious discernment.  By having sex during this courtship period, couples hinder their ability to look at each other clearly and objectively.  A third reason for higher divorce is that cohabiting undermines commitment.  If a partner finds enough faults in the other, he or she is free to leave.  The desire to enter a ‘test run’ shows a lack of faith in one’s love for each other.  On one hand, the couple is saying that they desire complete intimacy, but on the other hand they want to leave a way out if their partner does not measure up.  This sows seeds of doubt and distrust from the start.  Also, studies show that couples who cohabitate before marriage have a greater chance of marital conflict, domestic abuse, and be less sexually satisfied.  If one is living together, they should consider cease living together until they marry.

     Now with this all said, “Can couples who live together and have successful and happy marriages?”  The answer is yes they can and do.  I usually also comment that to the cohabitating couple who are getting married that I am glad you are making things right with God.  However, there are greater risks with cohabitation and studies show this by secular institutions just as Christian organizations.   

 

God bless,

Fr. Eugene

Friday
Sep222017

From the Desk of Fr. Eugene

Catholic College Information

I am a member of the The Cardinal Newman Society.  They promote and defend faithful Catholic Education.  They provide excellent information on why choosing a faithful Catholic college would be valuable.

In addition to looking at the “big picture,” they also explore more practical considerations in My Future, My Faith, such as these:
 

Tuesday
Jun272017

From The Desk of Father Eugene

     As most of you have heard that Bishop Thompson will become the next Archbishop of Indianapolis and he will be installed on July 28.  Between now and then, Bishop Thompson’s title will change from bishop to administrator for our diocese.  At Mass in the Eucharistic Prayer, he will be referred to as, “Charles our administrator,” or “our administrator Charles.”  After July 28, a priest from our diocese will be the administrator until a new bishop has been named.  This priest is picked by seven priests from our diocese who are called ‘consulters.’  Consulters have been chosen by the bishop for this role of picking a priest to lead during this time of transition.  A question many may ask is, “How is a Bishop appointed?”  The ultimate decision in appointing bishops rest with the pope, and he is free to select anyone he chooses.  But how does he know whom to select?  The process for selecting candidates for the episcopacy normally begins at the diocesan level and works its way through a series of consultations until it reaches Rome.  An Apostolic Nuncio is much like an ambassador and there is one for each nation.  The Apostolic Nuncio will gather names of priests from that area from bishops and priests.  They also ask about the needs of the particular diocese in regards to leadership. Eventually three names of priests are given to the Apostolic Nuncio.  He then sends them to Rome to a department called, the “Congregation for Bishops,” which then looks over the names and makes a recommendation that is then sent to the Pope.  The Pope can refuse all three choices and ask for a new set of names or choose from the three.  If you want to see in greater detail the steps of how a bishop is chosen look under the USCCB website and search, “How Bishops are appointed.”

 

     How long will it be before a new bishop is named?  No one knows for sure but Cardinal Tobin, the last bishop of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, left for his new assignment in New Jersey around the beginning of the new-year and a successor was named in mid-June with installation occurring July 28.  Please pray to the Holy Spirit for our next Bishop along with Charles our administrator.

 

                                                God Bless, Fr. Eugene

Thursday
Sep152016

From The Desk of Fr. Eugene

Transgender Bathrooms?

From The Catholic Answer; September/October 2016 Volume 30, No. 4

What is the Church’s official teaching about transgender bathrooms? There does not seem to be a clear answer about all of this.

There is no such thing as being “transgendered” from any biblical or Catholic perspective.  Thus there is no official teaching about something that doesn’t even exist, let alone about bathrooms.  What we can do is apply Catholic principles to address the deep confusion that has arisen about something so clear and basic as one’s sex.

The human person has a sex (not a gender), and God assigns that sex.  Scripture says, in creating us, “[God] created them; male and female he created them’ (Gn 1:27). Our bodies are therefore a revelation of who and what God created us to be.  No amount of clothes, cosmetics or surgery can alter the fact that we are male or female right down to our DNA.

Transgenderism is one of the stranger manifestations of the sexual confusion of our times.  It is a form of Gnostic dualism wherein a person can claim that he has an “identity” wholly separate from anything indicated by his body.  This amounts to a reduction of the human person to his thoughts or feelings, and a stepping back from reality as clearly indicated by the body.  It also denigrates the body and the witness it makes to us of who and what we are.

And yet the glory of the human person is to unite the two aspects of God’s creation, the spiritual and the material.  So precious is the bodily dimension of the human person that Christ took to himself a full human nature: body and soul.  He did not simply come among us as a ghost or mirage.  He walked among us in our full nature, offered His body on the altar of the cross, and raised up His full humanity and glorified it.  To reduce our bodies to a mere tool, or a sort of prison (where a man is “trapped” in a woman’s body), or to mutilate in surgically is a grave offense against what God has wrought.  Since our body is a revelation from God of who and what we are, to ignore its voice or overrule what God says is a sign of the pride of our days.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches: “man and woman have been created, which is to say, willed by God: on the one hand, in perfect equality as human persons; on the other, in their respective beings as man and woman. ‘Being man’ or ‘being woman’ is a reality which is good and willed by God…..  In their ’being-man’ and ‘being-woman,’ they reflect the Creator’s wisdom and goodness” (No. 369, emphasis in original).

Those who struggle with their sexuality as given by God deserve our sympathy and care.  But in no way can we participate in confirming them in a very great error and dep confusion.  Only the truth, as God has declared it, will set us free.  We therefore must resist and teach against the “gender ideology” of our times, which seeks to replace what God has wrought with vain imaginings that both confuse and demean the true glory of the human person.

Thursday
Mar242016

Celebrating the Jubilee Year of Mercy

What is a Holy Year?

Last April, on the vigil of Divine Mercy Sunday, the Second Sunday of Easter, Pope Francis announced the coming of an Extraordinary Jubilee Year, also known as a holy year.  The purpose of this year-long celebration is to give Catholics the opportunity to reflect on God’s mercy for all his children – each one of us, individually and collectively – and to help us recognize that we are called to be merciful to others.  The Scriptural theme of the Holy Year is taken from Luke 6:36: “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”

The Holy Year began on December 8, 2015 – the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  It will come to a close on the last Sunday in Ordinary Time, November 20, 2016, the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe.

Traditionally, since 1300 AD, holy years have been celebrated by the Church every 25 or 50 years.  The last jubilee year was convened in 2000.  It was known as the “Great Jubilee.”  However, popes may also designate special jubilee years whenever appropriate.  These holy years are called extraordinary jubilee years.  The last extraordinary jubilee year was held in 1983, called to celebrate the 1,950 years that had elapsed since the death and resurrection of Jesus.  It was convened by St. John Paul II.

The opening date of the Year of Mercy has great significance.  Pope Francis wrote that the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception “recalls God’s action from the very beginning of the history of mankind.  After the sin of Adam and Eve, God did not wish to leave humanity alone in the throes of evil.  And so he turned his gaze to Mary, holy and immaculate in love, choosing her to the Mother of man’s Redeemer.”

The pope also emphasized that December 8 has special meaning in recent Church history because it marks the 50th anniversary of the closing of the Second Vatican Council, a time (as the pope said) when the “walls which for too long had made the Church a kind of fortress were torn down and the time had come to proclaim the Gospel…(a time when) the Church sensed a responsibility to be a living sign of the Father’s love in the world.

Thursday
May142015

Announcing Our New Parish Name

Effective July 1, 2016 the Parishes of St. Celestine and St. Raphael will merge into one.  We are happy and pleased to announce the name of our new Parish will be St. Isidore the Farmer.   The church building names will remain the same.  So you will attend church at St. Celestine Catholic Church or St. Raphael Catholic Church.  But the people will be members of St. Isidore Catholic Parish.

St. Isidore is the patron saint of farmers, good harvest, and humble work in the fields of the Lord.  St. Isidore is also the patron saint rural communities.

The feast day of St. Isidore is May 15.  Click HERE to read more about St. Isidore the Farmer.

Wednesday
Oct012014

From The Desk of Father Eugene

Below is the information of the new phase of the strategic plan of St. Peter Celestine and St. Raphael Parishes from Bishop Thompson of the Diocese of Evansville.  

Parish Reorganization Announcement

Friday
May092014

From The Desk of Father Eugene

May like October is a month where we honor or recognize Mary in a special way.  Some interesting facts about Mary are that she was born in Nazareth and lived there most of her life.  Her birthday is celebrated September 8 and her parent’s names are Joachim and Anne.  Mary was born without original sin because to carry Jesus, the Son of God, she needed to be free from sin.  Some of Mary’s most famous titles are: Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus, Mother of the church, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Grace, Queen of Heaven, and Lady of Fatima.  Mary was approximately 13 or 14 years old when she gave birth to Jesus.

We honor Mary and hold her in a special place in the Church but we do not worship her.  We only worship Christ and His Father.    

Friday
Feb282014

From The Desk of Father Eugene

     Two new films are coming out that might be good choices for the Lenten season.  ‘Son of God’ just opened at some local cinemas.  This film has earned tremendous endorsements from across the Catholic and Christian landscapes.  This film is the first motion picture about Jesus life since ‘Passion of the Christ’ by Mel Gibson.  Donald Cardinal Wuerl Archbishop of Washington, D.C. states that ‘. . .that the movie brings alive the pages of the Gospel in a way that helps visualize what those who lived at the time of Jesus might experience.”  The Archbishop goes on to say, ‘My hope is that those who see the movie might be touched with the story of Jesus and drawn to rediscover the Gospel account, and rejoice in its saving message.’  Archbishop Jose H. Gomez comments, ‘It has been nearly 50 years since a major motion picture has been made about the whole life of Jesus.’  The movie is PG13 because of violence including passion scenes.

     Another movie that will be coming out in the near future is ‘Mary of Nazareth.’  This movie will be shown at Showplace Cinemas East in Evansville at 1 pm April 5, 6, 12, and 13.  It does not have a rating but it is not recommended for children under 13 due to the blood & violence.  The newest film on the life of the Blesses Virgin Mary (www.MaryFilm.com) depicts what it may have been like for the Mother of God and those around her also.  Through the film there is the Divine Secret kept between Mary and Jesus and their love is so pure and tangible.   Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI pointed out that ‘Mary of Nazareth is the woman of Here I am, giving herself completely over to the Divine Will.’  The pope comments that this yes that Mary makes is seen over and over again the film.

God bless,
Fr. Eugene