Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

Bishop Dedicates Habitat 'Faith Build'

Faith Build coordinators and Knights of Columbus Craig Blessinger, left, and Deavron Farmer look on with Bishop Joseph M. Siegel as new Habitat for Humanity-Evansville homeowner Terri Kendall completes the ceremonial ribbon cutting. The Message photo

Bishop Joseph M. Siegel blessed and helped dedicate Habitat for Humanity-Evansville’s 470th house – the Faith Build – in a midday ceremony on Jan. 6. The build marked the first coordinated by members of nine Knights of Columbus councils in Southwestern Indiana.

Craig Blessinger of Auxilio Council 16454 and Deavron Farmer of Council 565 (St. Boniface and All Saints) coordinated the Knights’ participation in the build, which was funded by an anonymous donor who currently lives in Ohio. Other Knights’ Councils that joined Nos. 16454 and 565 to help with the build include Nos. 7544 (St. Benedict Cathedral), 12541 (Holy Redeemer), 14673 (Good Shepherd), 15092 (Annunciation), 2215 (Haubstadt), 8746 (Newburgh)and 14659 (St. John the Evangelist-Daylight).

“Thanks to Habitat, the Knights of Columbus and all who made this possible,” Bishop Siegel said. “we hope and pray that the Lord Jesus Christ will send his angels to guard over and protect this home, that it might become a place of hope, joy and peace.”

New habitat homeowner Terri Kendall, a member of Mount Vernon First United Methodist Church, has earned a Master of Divinity Degree from Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Ky. She read Matthew’s Gospel account of the Epiphany (Matthew 2: 1-12), which was celebrated this year on the weekend of Jan. 6-7.

“The Bible tells us that the Magi came to see Jesus in a house, but Jesus really never had a house throughout his life,” Kendall said. “He was born in a stable. And soon after the Magi departed, Joseph had a dream that led him to take Jesus and Mary to Egypt to flea King Herod.

“We also read in the Bible that Jesus said, ‘Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head’ (Matthew 8:20). I am grateful to Him for providing the house for me. I’m grateful to the Knights of Columbus, and to the bishop for joining us. I’m grateful to Habitat, my mom, the core (building) crew, the members of Mount Vernon First United Methodist Church, and to the other Habitat partners who worked on this house to gain sweat equity toward their own homes.”

“It takes a lot of hands to build a home,” Habitat-Evansville Executive Director Beth Folz said in agreement. “And we have the best volunteers in the world!”

Blessinger talked about all of the details that came together, seemingly through Divine Intervention, through the Knights’ involvement. He learned of Evansville-area Knights’ Councils’ shared interest in the possibility of a Habitat build. He met Farmer, who suggested they have lunch with Benedictine Sister Jane Michele McClure, Major Gifts Officer for Habitat-Evansville. It was during that meeting that the Knights learned of the Faith Build to be fully funded by that anonymous donor.

“We sometimes think of things like these s coincidences,” Blessinger said. “But they are not. Terri, God has put you here as a homeowner.”

After Bishop Siegel led prayer, blessed the home and sprinkled holy water throughout, Kendall, Folz and Blessinger spoke. Habitat-Evansville board member Brian Hawkes presented Kendall with some gifts, and Donna Milam presented her with a toolbox full of home-maintenance tools donated by Dottie Schauss. Schauss’ toolbox donations have become traditional elements of Habitat-Evansville dedications.

Core Crew member Kathy Knapp presented Kendall with the keys to her new home, and Bishop Siegel concluded with a prayer immediately following Kendall’s ceremonial ribbon cutting.

The 2017 Catholics for Habitat Build is set for dedication in the coming weeks. The Message will provide coverage of that event.