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Deanery leaders look forward to working with new shepherd

dicoesan crest

Diocese of Gary coat of arms

 

       Welcoming Bishop Robert J. McClory to the Diocese of Gary are the leaders of the four deaneries, the Dean Rev. Michael J. Yadron of the South Lake, Dean Rev. Charles A. Mosley of Gary/North Lake, Dean Rev. Ian J. Williams of LaPorte/Starke and Dean Rev. Douglas J. Mayer of Porter.

      “We welcome our brother, our shepherd, our guide, our bishop to the Diocese of Gary,” said Father Michael Yadron, the pastor at St. Thomas More in Munster who served eight months as diocesan administrator. “We are thankful that you are here and are grateful for your ‘yes’ when asked to become a bishop. Know that you are in the prayers of all the Catholics in Northwest Indiana.

      “On behalf of the Southlake Deanery (the parishes in Cedar Lake, Crown Point, Dyer, Griffith, Highland, Lowell, Merrillville, Munster, Schererville and St. John), we look forward to working with him, celebrating the faith with him and supporting him in his ministry to us,” Father Yadron added. “For the past eight months, we have been without a shepherd and that experience has given us a keener understanding of the need for a bishop. We hope that he will be with us for many years and we ask for God’s blessings upon him.

      “Our experience of ‘Church’ is so often nothing more than the local parish,” said Father Yadron. “When the bishop comes to our parishes for pastoral visits, to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation, or for other liturgical events, our view of the Church is expanded. We are challenged to see that there is much more to the Church than our own parish, our own deaneries and our own diocese. We understand that we are part of a global community under the guidance of our Holy Father who represents Jesus Christ. Thus, we truly are brothers and sisters in the Lord.”

      The Gary/North Lake Deanery, as explained by Dean Rev. Charles A. Mosley, “is made up of some of the older parishes in the diocese and many are aging and face the problem of how to grow. This is not to paint a picture of doom; the people of our deanery love their parishes and the Church, and they are hardworking people who want to grow in faith and numbers. 

      “We are rich in culture and in love of the Church, and we welcome Bishop McClory,” added Father Mosley, pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and St. Catherine of Siena, both in Hammond, and dean of all parishes in Gary, Hammond, East Chicago, Whiting, Lake Station and New Chicago.

      “I find hope in our new bishop’s experience with minority communities. Urban ministry can be a moment when we can show Christ to those who sometimes feel left behind or forgotten. We look forward to working with Bishop McClory in finding new ways to bring people to the Church and reach our youth and young adults.

      “With a large minority population, we want to share our gifts with the diocese, and just like many parishes facing hard economic times, we face them with hope and determination.

      Since we are mostly an urban deanery of small (in population) parishes, we look to working more as a cluster of parishes and on a deanery scale, maybe creating a deanery youth ministry as opposed to separate parish ministries,” Father Mosley explained. “We want to put our often limited resources to the best use possible.

      “I am impressed with the bishop's excitement and his offering of the love of Christ to all,” Father Mosley added.

      “I am honored to welcome Bishop McClory to the diocese. We look forward to coming to know and love our new shepherd,” said Dean Rev. Ian J. Williams, on behalf of the Catholics of the LaPorte/Starke Deanery.

      “The two counties of the deanery encompass 925 square miles and form the eastern half of the diocese, extending from Michigan City and the sandy shores of Lake Michigan in the north to small towns and farmland in the south,” said Father Williams, pastor of the LaPorte parishes of Sacred Heart, St. Joseph and St. Peter. “The deanery includes 14 parishes/missions, three primary schools and one high school. We are also home to the Legionaries of Christ Sacred Heart Apostolic School (a minor seminary) and Sharing Meadows, a residential community serving mentally challenged and other-abled adults. Of the 14 parishes/missions, 12 are in some form of a cluster with one pastor serving multiple parishes.  

      “LaPorte/Starke looks to Bishop McClory to provide strong and loving guidance as we face the challenges and opportunities present in our Church today,” Father Williams added. “The joy and excitement expressed by parishioners when it was announced that we would soon have a bishop is a testament to our deep need and desire for a shepherd. Bishop McClory, thank you for embracing your call to episcopal ordination and becoming our bishop.” 

      Dean Rev. Doug Mayer has been praying for Bishop McClory at Mass with both the parish and school communities at St. Paul in Valparaiso, where he serves as pastor.

      Assigned to campus ministry and parish ministry in Porter County since 1988, Father Mayer leads the Porter Deanery, which comprises 12 parishes. He expressed optimism at Bishop McClory’s appointment, citing “his experience in administration – both at the diocesan and parish levels. Given the bishop’s experience with Catholic schools, I’m hopeful that his experience will translate into a clear vision for the future of Catholic education in the diocese.”

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