Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

St. Meinrad Chooses Ferdinand Parish For Young-adult Program


St. Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology has chosen Christ the King Parish in Ferdinand as one of 16 parishes representing 13 dioceses in five states to participate in its all-new Young Adult Initiative. The program is funded by a $1.38 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to improve parish outreach to young adults and better engage them with the Catholic Church.


“Father Jack and I are happy that St. Meinrad selected Christ the King Parish,” said Kacie Klem, Parish Catechetical Leader, of her discussions with Christ the King Pastor Father Jack Durchholz regarding the four-year program. “What an amazing opportunity this provides to reach out and evangelize to an age group that is very disenfranchised with the Church. I think of it as ‘the lost age group’ within in the Catholic Church.”

Klem said a spring meeting at St. Meinrad will give representatives of all 16 parishes a chance to meet and learn more. “ In this first year (of the four-year program), we will be forming a core team and determining specific needs for our parish,” she offered. “In my mind, we are in the conceptual stage. The first gathering at St. Meinrad in late May will be very helpful to all of us.”


In addition to Christ the King, parishes that will participate in the program for the next four years include:


  • Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, Knoxville, Tenn., Diocese of Knoxville
  • Church of the Holy Angels Parish, Indianapolis, Archdiocese of Indianapolis
  • Holy Family Parish, Brentwood, Tenn., Diocese of Nashville
  • Holy Spirit Parish, Bowling Green, Ky., Diocese of Owensboro
  • Immaculate Conception Parish, La Grange, Ky., Archdiocese of Louisville
  • Mary Queen of the Holy Rosary Parish, Lexington, Ky., Diocese of Lexington
  • Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, Jeffersonville, Ind., Archdiocese of Indianapolis
  • Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, New Albany, Ind., Archdiocese of Indianapolis
  • St. Alphonsus Liguori Parish, Zionsville, Ind., Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana
  • St. Augustine Parish, Lebanon, Ky., Archdiocese of Louisville
  • St. Bartholomew Parish, Columbus, Ind., Archdiocese of Indianapolis
  • St. Cecilia Parish, Cincinnati, Ohio, Archdiocese of Cincinnati
  • St. Clare of Assisi Parish, O’Fallon, Ill., Diocese of Belleville
  • St. John the Evangelist Parish, St. John, Ind., Diocese of Gary
  • St. Monica Parish, Mishawaka, Ind., Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend


Parishes range in size from 259 households to 2,578 households.


“We went through a lengthy but thorough selection process and prayerful discernment to find a wide variety of parish settings and situations,” said Michal Horace, director of the St. Meinrad Young Adult Initiative. “The partner parishes include small, mid-size and large parishes, as well as rural, urban and suburban parishes. Many of the partner parishes have multicultural congregations.”

Parishes will explore the demographics of their communities, learn more about today’s young adults (ages 23-29) and develop innovative strategies to better meet the spiritual needs of the young adults in their parish.


“The overwhelming response we received to our call for applications is proof that the Church is paying attention to the needs of young adults,” said Tammy Becht, director of the Office of Youth and Young Adult Formation at Saint Meinrad. “I think that outreach and ministry to the young Church is going through a time of rediscovery and redefinition. We’re honored to be part of the New Evangelization by creating dialogue and an atmosphere that focuses on the young Church with these 16 congregations.”