February 12, 2010

Indianapolis parish hosting annual Lenten speaker series

By Sean Gallagher

Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish, 520 Stevens St., in Indianapolis, will host its 10th annual Lenten speaker series titled “Spaghetti and Spirituality,” on Feb. 24, and March 3, 10 and 24.

Before dinner and each week’s presentation, the Blessed Sacrament will be exposed for adoration following the conclusion of the traditional Latin Mass at noon. Another Mass, celebrated in English, will start at 5:45 p.m.

A light, meatless pasta dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. at Msgr. Priori Hall. Each presentation will begin at approximately 7:15 p.m. and ordinarily conclude by 8:30 p.m.

The only exception to this schedule will occur on March 10, which will take place during Holy Rosary’s annual 40 hours devotion, during which Father John Hollowell, chaplain of Cardinal Ritter Jr./Sr. High School in Indianapolis, will give his “Reflections of a Novice Priest in the Year of the Priest.”

On that day, a solemn celebration of the traditional Latin Mass will begin at 5:15 p.m. Benediction, a solemn closing of the 40 hours devotion and a sermon by Father Hollowell will begin at 6:30 p.m. The Spaghetti and Spirituality dinner will conclude the evening at 7:30 p.m.

Father Hollowell, who also is in residence and gives sacramental assistance at St. Malachy Parish in Brownsburg, was ordained last June.

Bruce Konicek, who has coordinated the Spaghetti and Spirituality series for the last nine years, said that participation has grown dramatically over that time.

Nine years ago, approximately 150 people attended each session. Now, each session is filled with approximately 275 people.

Konicek also noted that surveys filled out by attendees show that people from nearly 50 parishes, most of them in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, attend Spaghetti and Spirituality.

“It may be just one person [from a parish] at one session,” he said. “But that’s kind of how I measure success. With their comments, they say, ‘This is what makes our Lent. We look forward to this every Lent.’ ”

On Feb. 24, Tim Staples, a staff apologist with the El Cajon, Calif.-based Catholic Answers, will give a presentation titled “The Ministerial Priesthood—Demonstrating What a Priest Is by What a Priest Does.”

This presentation, combined with Father Hollowell’s reflection during the March 10 conclusion to the 40 Hours devotion, gives a definite focus on the priesthood to Spaghetti and Spirituality this year, which Konicek said is appropriate for the Year for Priests.

He hopes the fact that two of the four sessions this year focusing on the priesthood will help families encourage openness to such a vocation in their sons.

“Families make priests through God’s grace,” Konicek said. “The Church and those families are strengthened through the Mass. And the Mass is led, obviously, by a priest.

“… We need good priests. And we need to focus, not just on simply asking for more vocations to the priesthood, but we parents are to foster that priesthood in our families.”

Konicek said Father Hollowell’s participation in the series will help those who attend to do just that.

“I think it’s important to listen on a more personal, one-on-one basis,” Konicek said. “This will be a good chance for families to hear more about his personal choices, his personal reflections on things and how he became a priest. But also, being that he’s young, I hope our younger participants who are thinking about the priesthood can identify with him.”

On March 3, Catholic author Benjamin Wiker will give a presentation titled, “Did Darwinism Lead to Euthanasia, Eugenics and Abortion?”

Wiker, who earned a Ph.D in theological ethics at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., is the author of several books, including The Darwin Myth: The Life and Lies of Charles Darwin.

Konicek said he expects Wiker to show how various interpreters of Darwin used his theory of evolution “to justify the abortion or eugenics movement” and how eugenics is in the historical roots of the work of Planned Parenthood.

Eugenics is a scientific field that aims to improve the human species by selective breeding but which, for several decades, has been criticized by many Church officials and others in the scientific community for fundamental ethical problems.

On March 24, John Pepino, a professor of classical languages, patristics and Scripture at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Denton, Neb., will give a presentation titled, “Doorsteps Apologetics: When Missionaries Come Knocking.”

Konicek said that Pepino will help his listeners both learn the basics of their faith and strategies of how to respond to door-to-door missionaries who have misconceptions about Catholicism.

(Those interested in attending any of the presentations are asked to call Holy Rosary Parish at 317-636-4478 by no later than 5 p.m. on the Monday prior to each seminar. To get more information about Spaghetti and Spirituality or to register for each session online, log on to www.holyrosaryindy.org/spaghetti.html.)

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