Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

Feels Like Home

Trisha Hannon Smith

What makes a church or school home?


I grew up attending Mass each week at St. Mary Parish in Kouts, Ind., a tiny town on the outskirts of the Chicagoland area: the same church my ancestors helped build after a tornado destroyed the original building in the early 1900’s. My grandmother was our church organist. I received the sacraments of baptism, reconciliation, first communion, confirmation and marriage in the same parish as my father and grandfather before him.  Much more than wood, tile and bricks, St. Mary’s was my community and home.


After establishing our home in Evansville, my husband and I began to search for a parish. We were church-hoppers in our early days of marriage. We found ourselves at Mass one weekend amidst an overflowing crowd of hundreds: a children’s choir was leading worship. The choir made up of fourth through seventh graders not only sang with angelic voices, but accompanied the singing with a chorus of handbells. The music was sincere and prayerful.


It reminded me of home.


We had attended Mass at this parish a few times previously, but something about that Children’s Mass made me focus on worship through the lens of a parent.  I imagined in that moment my children as part of the choir.  It left an indelible impression. That moment was one of many factors we weighed as the years passed and the time came to decide where our sons would attend school.


I believe strongly that God will put each of us where we are meant to be if we are open to hearing his call.  


We are abundantly blessed in the Diocese of Evansville with 45 parishes, 22 elementary schools and 4 high schools.  Each of these has their own unique identity based on their community and facilities.  This is not a “one size fits all” diocese.


Where do you belong?


On Feb. 1, the schools within the Diocese of Evansville will be opening their doors from 5-7 p.m. local time for the annual Diocesan-wide open house.  


For those of you seeking your perfect fit, your home, I hope you consider visiting one or more schools on the evening of Feb. 1.  If you are considering Catholic school for your family, this is the perfect chance to see first hand how Catholic education provides for the young people of our parishes.


It can be difficult to find that right fit, especially when you have been blessed with a loving community that once was home.  But that right fit is out there.  Let yourself be open to that first impression, that call. Embrace all of the blessings that change can bring to your life.


Pope Benedict XVI once said, “A good school provides a rounded education for the whole person. And a good Catholic school, over and above this, should help all its students to become saints.”


Ask any of our local principals and I’m sure they’d tell you the number of “saints” are few and far between; but all are welcome.


The Diocesan wide open house is from 5-7 p.m. local time on Feb. 1. All are invited to tour schools, meet teachers, learn about tuition assistance and ask questions.  If you’d like to learn more about the Diocese of Evansville Catholic Schools, please visit