A Word from Our Pastor

Life From Another Perspective


Dear Friends in Christ,


This past Wednesday, September 20th, Bishop Hying asked all the priests of the Diocese of Gary to gather with him for an important conversation about how to best minister to the needs of the people of the Diocese. We met from 10:00 until 3:00 in the afternoon discussing the number of parishes, ministry services, and the dwindling number of priests to care for each of these vital and spiritually significant ministries.


For years now there has been talks and debates about how to handle the so called priest shortage. The evidence, largely based on the number of existing priests and number of seminarians to be ordained, clearly demonstrated that less and less priests would be available to serve the people of Diocese of Gary. The same number of parishes and same expectation of services would become impossible to manage. Fr. Richard Ameling, who has sadly long since past, continually would ask his brother priests to enter into meaningful conversations in order to create a plan of action that could meet the challenges that would soon over take the Diocese.


Now the time has come to meet the challenge with wisdom, understanding, courage and grace. Besides the priests discussing this matter, parishioners too must take a long look at their situation and ask how they can help to resolve this dilemma. We must work together as priests and laity to create a solution that will best serve the Catholic population of Northwest Indiana.


I am offering an organic methodology for addressing this reality. I believe we should look at the relationships between parishes and form stronger bonds between them. The days of parochialism has to die. We can no longer be separate parishes just doing whatever we did in the past. Church is really a family. We should be looking at family models to gather ideas. I am recommending the notion of “Sisterhood.” What if we look at our two parishes (St. Helen’s & Holy Spirit) as two sisters? Each place is unique just like two sisters have different qualities, traits, and talents yet are still linked by the common bond of family lineage.


I am asking each parishioner from Holy Spirit and St. Helen to begin thinking in terms of their sisterhood with the other parish. Activities should include both parishes. Learning opportunities should be shared. Worshiping together would be a good thing. So let us make a pledge to try to work together to bring about a stronger bond of sisterhood between the parishes of Holy Spirit and St. Helen.


Fr. Tom





About Father Tom

Father was raised in Griffith, Indiana. He attended St. Mary’s School in Griffith and Bishop Noll High School. After graduation he attended St. Meinrad Seminary. He was then sent to Rome to study for five years, coming home with a Masters degree in Spirituality. His first pastorate was at St. Edwards in Lowell and his second was at St. Mary of the Lake. We were blessed to have him assigned to our parish in June 2010 following the retirement of our founding pastor, Fr. Joseph Murphy.


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  1. Mike Murphy says:

    Hi Father Tom,

    Congratulations on the Blackhawks win … what a great team and playoff run !

    It’s been 9 months since Lou passed away and Rose is keeping busy but certainly has some difficult days. However, her faith is strong and she has a good support team. I hope you are well and that all is running smoothly in the Parish.

    Now, let’s see those Cubs make a run for it !

    Take Care,


  2. Beverly A. Rinkenberger says:

    I would like to suggest that signs be placed up by/near the dumpster in the back lot.
    Many times when I have come to dump paper in the dumpster, there is other things in the dumpster – such as, cardboard, toys furniture, wood, etc.
    Also, when I have put cardboard, plastic, and cans in the other dumpsters, there also is
    other things in their such as, wood, riding toys, and furniture.
    Something needs to be done. Maybe info in the bulletin, signs outside by the dumpsters showing what each dumpster is for, and maybe signs saying no furniture, barbeques, toys, etc.