St. Monica Catholic Church Newsletter — Mar 2023

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Monday, Wednesday, & Friday: 9 a.m.

Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday: 5:30 p.m.

Saturday: 11:30 a.m.

Saturday Anticipation Mass: 5:00 p.m.

Sunday: 8 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m. (Spanish), 3 p.m. (Spanish), 6 p.m. (Bilingual)

Mass in French, 2nd Sunday of each month: 4:30 p.m.



(317) 253-2193

Catholic Schools Week 2023 Students and Faculty Share in Celebrating Gifts and Blessings of Catholic Education

Every day of Catholic education is a gift to the students, the parish, and the Church — but once a year, we take a week to celebrate that gift. Catholic Schools Week, observed by Catholic schools nationwide, is a chance to savor what makes St. Monica School special and to appreciate how our students are growing in faith. As we wrap up our celebration from the end of January, Principal Eric Schommer has a few thoughts to share about what makes St. Monica and Catholic education special.

Daily life at St. Monica School looks a little different from a secular school. Catholic social teaching and faith formation are the norms for our students. Their faith goes hand-in-hand with both their academic growth and their development as capable and kind young men and women.

“Faith formation is a part of all our daily activities to

St. Monica Catholic Church 6131 N. Michigan Rd. Indianapolis, Indiana 46228-1298
MARCH 2023
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Abusinessman sells some property for a nice profit. A woman retires from a 20-year career at age 43. A high school student discovers he has an exceptional talent for playing the piano. What do they have in common?

Each person has recently received a windfall — an unusually large gain of money, time, or talent. Now each must answer a question — what to do with this newfound gain?

The businessman, already somewhat financially successful, finds that the profit from the sale of rental property is unexpectedly large. For the first time, he feels an urge not to save it, but to share it. The next Sunday, even though he already contributes to his parish, he puts a larger sum in the offertory basket. He also knows of a local charity that supports low-income mothers and mails them a generous donation.

After her retirement from the Air Force, a woman finds she has a large amount of time during the day. Her husband works full-time and her two children are in high school. She hears a quiet voice asking, “How can you give back for all that you have received?” She calls her pastor and explains that she has the time to play a significant role in a parish ministry. He asks her to re-invigorate their

newcomer’s ministry and visit each new family, to which she happily agrees.

In his high school music class, a 10th-grader discovers an amazing talent to play piano. After encouragement from family and friends, he joins the ensemble at the Sunday morning Mass. He even volunteers to play at special functions at the parish when needed.

In all three cases, the businessman, retiree, and student have received something of value, and have made deliberate choices to share it with others, particularly within their parish.

Of course, it could have been different. The businessman could have taken an especially extravagant vacation. The woman could have done any number of things with her free time (couldn’t we all?). The young pianist could have used his talent to form a band or make a recording. And the truth is that they can still do all those things. But having received such wonderful gifts, their gratitude compels them to share a portion of them. After all, what do they lose by sharing what was already a gift to them from God?

We’re all gifted and are called to share on a daily basis. But when the big blessings come, let’s pray for the grace to be even more generous than ever.


Reflections on Lent and Stewardship From Pope Benedict XVI

Dear Parishioners,

With the passing from this life of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on Dec. 31, it seems fitting to share with you some of his teachings and reflections on Lent, as we walk our Lenten journeys.

Pope Benedict was a lifelong scholar, a priest for 71 years, and pope from 2005 to 2013. Throughout his papacy, he offered us all a treasure trove of reflections, prayers, and advice for our Lenten journeys and constantly reminded and encouraged us during this 40-day journey to increase our faith and charity. In other words, through conversion of heart, we must intensify our commitment to stewardship with the sharing of our gifts during Lent.

In his final Lenten message as pope in 2013, Benedict wrote:  “The celebration of Lent… offers us a valuable opportunity to meditate on the relationship between faith and charity: between believing in God — the God of Jesus Christ — and love, which is the fruit of the Holy Spirit and which guides us on the path of devotion to God and others.”

While Lent is a time when we tend to ramp up our prayer lives, Pope Benedict always pushed us to do even more, and he encouraged us to take the next step as good and faithful stewards. He explained how faith leads to charity, which is a response to God’s love for us, urging us to use our renewed faith by sharing our time, talent, and treasure with others.

He wrote:  “The entire Christian life is a

response to God’s love. The first response is precisely faith as the acceptance, filled with wonder and gratitude, of the unprecedented divine initiative that precedes us and summons us. And the ‘yes’ of faith marks the beginning of a radiant story of friendship with the Lord, which fills and gives full meaning to our whole life. But it is not enough for God that we simply accept his gratuitous love. Not only does he love us, but he wants to draw us to himself, to transform us in such a profound way as to bring us to say with Saint Paul: ‘it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me’” (cf. Gal 2:20).

Pope Benedict continued his 2013 Lenten message, saying:  “For its part, charity ushers us into the love of God manifested in Christ and joins us in a personal and existential way to the total and unconditional self-giving of Jesus to the Father and to his brothers and sisters. By filling our hearts with his love, the Holy Spirit makes us sharers in Jesus’ filial devotion to God and fraternal devotion to every man” (cf. Rom 5:5).

With gratitude for Pope Benedict XVI’s service to our Church, I invite you to reflect on his teachings and messages on Lent as you continue your own Lenten journeys with trust and joy.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Want to read more from Pope Benedict XVI on the Lenten journey?

Pick up his 2006 book, Journey to Easter: Spiritual Reflections for the Lenten Season, and his 2012 book, Lent with Pope Benedict XVI: Meditations for Every Day.

A Letter From Our Pastor

THE CHARISMATIC PRAYER MINISTRY: A Place to “Discover Our Lord’s Great Love and Mercy”


Rosales joined St. Monica in 2012, and during an annual Life in the Spirit Seminar, she felt Christ speaking to her directly and calling her to the Charismatic Prayer Ministry.

“My first impressions of St. Monica were of the parish’s warmth and brotherhood,” Miriam says. “Then I felt the call of the Lord to this ministry. It is an important ministry to me and others because we have formed a family between us through prayer.”

St. Monica’s Charismatic Prayer Ministry began in 2007 to offer faith community members an opportunity for an authentic meeting with and conversion to Christ.

“It began so that people could have an encounter with the Lord,” Miriam says. “You realize that there can be a conversion if you allow the Lord Jesus Christ to mold you. In this way, you can discover the great love and mercy that the Lord has towards us.”

The group meets on Fridays at 7 p.m. in the church, and all community members are welcome to join. During the gatherings, people come together for communal prayer, lifting their hearts and minds up to the Lord through song, as well as engaging with His Word and with each other.

“We meet to praise, adore, and bless the Lord together,” Miriam says. “We are catechized as we read the Scriptures and share our testimonies of conversion with each other.”

Through the group, faith community members are particularly brought closer to Christ as different parishioners share stories of their conversion.

“Through those testimonies, they too are invited to live their sacraments so that they can live in the graces of God,” Miriam says. “We have formed a family, and we accompany each other in our conversions. Through prayer, we intercede before God our Lord for each other in any situation in our lives.”

If you’re seeking an intimate encounter with Christ through prayer, consider attending the Charismatic Prayer Ministry on Friday evenings. Though the group is primarily facilitated in Spanish, everyone is welcome.

“The prayer group is a current of grace in the Church and for the Church,” Miriam says. “It is often a gateway for many people who need to meet with God.”

For more information about the Charismatic Prayer Ministry, contact Miriam Rosales at 317-599-9420 or

“It began so that people could have an encounter with the Lord. You realize that there can be a conversion if you allow the Lord Jesus Christ to mold you. In this way, you can discover the great love and mercy that the Lord has towards us.”
— Miriam Rosales

THE SACRISTAN COMMITTEE: Faithful Stewards of the Mass and Our Church

WhenKim Isakson was asked to fill the role of sacristan during COVID, she didn’t realize what a blessing it would be in her life. With her natural inclinations for organization, tidiness, and dedication to the task at hand, she settled into the role of caring for the church so her fellow brothers and sisters in Christ are able to enjoy the beauty of the house of God.

“When I was thinking about the definition of a sacristan, I realized you have to go back a little further and ask, ‘What is our church?’” Kim says. “Our church is made up of the faithful community. But we also have a physical space that is God’s house. The sacristan’s job is to do the behind-the-scenes work and make sure that it is cleaned, prepared, and ready for all of the things that happen in this sacred space.”

There are many ways that sacristans care for the church. Sacristans make sure that there are enough hosts and wine for the month. They order palms for Palm Sunday or other special items throughout the year and ensure that all linens, vestments, and albs are washed, dried, and ironed properly. Sacristan duties also include tidying the pews after weekend Masses, placing all furniture within the parish space in the proper spots, and dusting and vacuuming the spaces. They water the plants and care for the flowers that are in the different chapels in the church.

“There is a lot of upkeep work needed to be done routinely to keep our parish home looking well cared for,” Kim says. “Our dedicated maintenance staff works so hard and these are some of the ways that we as members of the community help them. Involving families with children is a great way to show responsibility for our church and teach them that you don’t have to be retired to be an active member of the community.”

Many of these duties can be filled in different ways by many different people. The members of the Altar Guild are able to help in whatever ways they desire. Perhaps one member is capable of washing the linens and another can do the ironing. Tidying the pews and dusting them is a great opportunity for a family with

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Even youth can help in taking care of the church. Gabriela Jimenez dusting and cleaning


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young children to help with the upkeep of the parish. A member of the community who attends adoration could take a few minutes each week to care for the flowers in the chapel or water the plants in the church. Those involved in this ministry can help in any capacity in which they are able to commit.

“When I was young, I would admire all of the beautiful things in the church, but I never put any thought into who cares for all of these things,” Kim says. “It is one of those jobs that is very important. The work is often unseen but if it isn’t done, the impact is noticed very quickly.”

New members of the committee will meet with

Kim to learn the tasks involved in their particular jobs. Anyone interested in becoming a part of this ministry can contact Kim. For any Spanish-speaking parishioners, contact Julia Arciniega at the parish office to set up a time to meet with both Kim and Julia to receive any information or training needed.

“We are on sacred ground surrounded by holy things,” Kim says. “That in and of itself is so special. I will be in the church when it is dark and quiet, and I am getting to spend time with the Lord, serving Him by caring for His church. The longer that I do this, the more I realize how special this is.”

Catholic Schools Week 2023

support a continuous understanding of how to live our lives in faith and in Christ,” Mr. Schommer says.

“The integration of Catholic social teaching in all aspects of learning creates a robust, hands-on approach to faith formation,” Mr. Schommer says. “Future leaders, colleagues, and friends are developed in Catholic school.”

The children who are formed in Catholic schools are the future of the Church. One day soon, the world will rely on them to be the hands and feet of Christ. They will take on leadership roles in parishes and build on the great foundation we are giving them through their education. The relationship between the parish and the school is vital.

“Historically, parishes with schools thrive when the school thrives and struggle if the school struggles,” Mr. Schommer says. “This symbiotic relationship demonstrates the reason parishes should support their schools. St. Monica School is a ministry of St. Monica Parish and, as such, is not separate but an integral part of the life of the parish.”

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The prayers and support of parishioners are key to sustaining our school, whose mission has led to us supporting students from all backgrounds.

“We have the desire to educate all types of learners,” Mr. Schommer says. “We have developed a strong support system to include academic, social-emotional, and spiritual growth through programming and staff professional development.”

Catholic Schools Week was a break from our normal routine simply to celebrate with our students and community all the good that is being done throughout the year. The week had days set aside to highlight gratitude for our community, our students, and our staff.

Catholic Schools Week may be over, but we pray that the joy and the gratitude carry us through the rest of this school year.

“We hope that Catholic Schools Week provided our students with the knowledge that they are in a community that values them and their growth,” Mr. Schommer says.

To learn more about St. Monica School, visit our website at

For more information, contact Kim Isakson at 317-517-0578. Spanish-speaking parishioners are encouraged to contact Julia Arciniega at 317-253-2193.