Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

Diocese Honors Young People Willing 'to Be Christ-like For The Sake Of Others'

Bishop Charles C. Thompson stands with the 2017 St Maria Goretti Youth Distinction honorees following the March 12 Mass and awards ceremony at St. Benedict Cathedral in Evansville. The Message photo by Tim Lilley

During his homily for the 2016 St. Maria Goretti Youth Distinction Mass, Diocese of Evansville Bishop Charles C. Thompson told the 48 honorees that they “obviously have shown a willingness to step out of your comfort zones; a willingness to risk; a willingness to be Christ-like for the sake of others.”

Nine priests of the diocese concelebrated the March 12 Mass at St. Benedict Cathedral with Bishop Thompson. They included Father Kenneth Betz, Father Sudhakar Bhastati, Father Tony Ernst, Father Zach Etienne, Father Jason Gries, Benedictine Father Godfrey Mullen, Father Jeff Read, Father Eugene Schmitt and Father Lowell Will. Deacon Joseph Siewers assisted.

Discussing the day’s readings, Bishop Thompson said, “The prophets came to call the people of Israel to fidelity. But time and time again, the people were disobedient.

“So here is Jesus, the fulfillment of the law and prophets. He is the one who is holy, he is the one who is obedient. He is the one who will be faithful to the very end – not just in times of glory and joy, and when it is easy, but he is also faithful and continues his mission to his very death. As we honor St. Maria Goretti today, we remember that she, too, remained faithful, steadfast in that mission of holiness to her very death.

“Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI made the statement that ‘the measure of a human person is ultimately realized in suffering,’” the bishop continued. “It’s easy to be nice, helpful and pleasant, and smiling when what we’re doing is popular, well-received and easy. Evidently, there is something that people have seen in you … some semblance of this example of St. Maria Goretti; of that Christ-like willingness to give of yourselves, to sacrifice, even to suffer for the sake of the needs of others.

“As we gather here today, let us be nurtured and reminded that whatever challenge is before us, the glory of God is the final word for those who, like Jesus and St. Maria Goretti, faithfully and obediently follow that path; that glory is for us as well.”

Following are the 2017 St. Maria Goretti Youth Distinction honorees. They are listed by parish.

Payton Cron, Annunciation, Evansville; Ariel Dietz, Annunciation, Evansville; Logan Kuhn, Corpus Christi, Evansville; Lauren Singer, Corpus Christi, Evansville; Kade Boeglin, Divine Mercy, Saint Anthony; Hailey Thayer, Divine Mercy, Saint Anthony (altar server during Mass); Maria Sermersheim, Good Shepherd, Evansville; Jonathan Paul Shafer, Good Shepherd, Evansville; Veronica Bittner, Holy Cross, Fort Branch; Jacob Murphy, Holy Cross, Fort Branch; Jacob Gorman, Holy Redeemer, Evansville (second Lector during Mass); Alexis Underwood, Holy Redeemer, Evansville;

Alex Maxfield,  Holy Rosary, Evansville; Kristen Zint, Holy Rosary, Evansville; Sarah Monesmith, Precious Blood, Jasper (first Lector during Mass); Bryce Siegel, Precious Blood, Jasper; Isabel Greubel, Ss. Peter and Paul, Haubstadt; Landon Mayer, Ss. Peter and Paul, Haubstadt; Camden Flagg, St. Benedict Cathedral, Evansville; Caroline Guth, St. Bernard, Rockport; Maria Rust, St. Bernard, Rockport; Holden Keith Hunt, St. Boniface, Evansville; Emma Bracher, St. Clement, Boonville (gift bearer during Mass); Shelby Pund, St. Francis of Assisi, Dale;

Jacob Lewis Anderson, St. Francis Xavier, Vincennes; Megan Jane Herman, St. Francis Xavier, Vincennes; Eli Betz, St. Isidore, Celestine; Cole Scherzinger, St. Isidore, Celestine (gift bearer during Mass); Julia Angermeier, St. James, Haubstadt; Lauren Ziliak, St. James, Haubstadt; Nolan Durcholz, St. John the Baptist, Newburgh; Austin Fonseca, St. John the Baptist, Newburgh; Jonathan Reed, St. John the Evangelist, Daylight; Mary Russ, St. John the Evangelist, Daylight; Kyle Mehringer, St. Joseph, Jasper; Sydney Traylor, St. Joseph, Jasper;

Payton Halbig, St. Joseph, Princeton; Sydney Weiss, St. Joseph, Princeton; Benjamin Waninger, St. Martin I, Chrisney; Nathan Bromm, St. Mary, Huntingburg; Daniel Pund, St. Mary, Huntingburg; Cameron Egler, St. Mary, Ireland; Amber Leinenbach, St. Mary, Ireland; Nikki Hutchcraft, St. Mary, Sullivan; Rachel Elizabeth Krieger, St. Matthew, Mt. Vernon; Noah Thomas Rapp, St. Matthew, Mt. Vernon; Taylor Goebel, St. Philip, Mt. Vernon; and Martin Seifert, St. Philip, Mt. Vernon.