Mosaic speaks louder than words

Washing of the feet
Project manager: Kerin Buntin

When we enter into a holy and sacred place, weather it is a church or simply the place where we are standing, the ground becomes holy and blessed by our presence. No Pope or heroic person makes the ground any holier than you.

Sacred art inside and outside Catholic churches is meant to draw you in, closer to Jesus.

Notre Dame in Paris drew in millions of people in an astounding way. When any building unexpectedly burning down, there is sadness, no doubt, but when a 226 foot church built in 1163 that was constructed throughout generations of families burns down, there is emotional, physical and spiritual loss.

The fact that the fire happened during Holy Week and that it was seemingly due to renovations is not happenstance.

The Notre Dame fire is nothing short of a burning reminder that speaks today as much as it did hundreds of years ago. We have to turn away from darkness into the light of Christ. We have to turn away from sin just as our ancestors did, so the next generation has an example to follow. That is what faith is! Scripture says, “do as I have done for you.” John 13:14:15

The challenge is how will we wash someone else’s feet today? How will we reflect Christ to the world.




Mission trips to Mexico continue to be a ‘hidden gem’

Published by the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana • The Catholic Moment • December 23, 2018


Guerin Catholic students find faith abounds at soup kitchen

Published by the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana • The Catholic Moment • March 21, 2019


Feeding people and being fed are essential human experiences that can form our spiritual lives by being personally involved. As we begin to invite God to the table, miracles can start happening.

The act of feeding the poor is one of the fundamental truths that our faith teaches in the corporal works of mercy, feeding the hungry and giving water to the thirsty (Matthew 25:31-46).

There is a deep history behind the soup kitchen at Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis that dates back to the Great Depression in the 1930’s. The need was prevalent and people started serving others by handing out peanut butter sandwiches. Today the need continues to grow byserving 3,200 meals and providing food pantry items to over1,080 clients each month.

Since 2009, Guerin Catholic High School students haveresponded favorably to the invitation to serve the homeless, the needy, the poor and the marginalized by offering food, respect, encouragement, prayers and goodwill at the Cathedral soup kitchen.

Typically a group of 10-20 students caravan to Indianapolis to share in the service opportunity on the fourth Saturday of each month.

Senior, Carson Burton from Saint Maria Goretti parish conveyed “the ministry is a good and noble act. The smile on each face is enough to know that God is truly active in our life and in the lives of those around us.” Carson has been involved in the Cathedral Soup Kitchen since he was in fourth grade. His mom was a volunteer and she inspired him to get involved. Carson has loved being involved, he returns often because he enjoys the love that is expressed by the people they serve. Like most people, Carson is aware of how dire their circumstances are, yet the joy and gratitude in these people’s hearts is overwhelming. Carson noticed, “some of the most faithful people I know are the people we serve. They love God as if it is as easy as breathing. It is astounding every time I volunteer there.”

Carson Burton furthered, “I frequently have conversations with many of the guests. Most people are extremely friendly, and willing to share their stories. One of the guests, Sam, used to help in the kitchen. He was always very friendly and energetic. Some of the most genuine and beautiful prayers I have ever heard were spoken by Sam before a meal. I will never forget the stories and the amazing faith he shared with everyone he met.”

Additionally, Cason Burton and his family of seven once arrived when no one else was there to help. It was a unifying experience that brought their family closer and exposed them to a culture that they have come to love. Carson noted, “serving at the kitchen has deeply affected my faith life. Many times, I struggle to see God’s light through the darkness of the surrounding culture. Whenever I visit the kitchen, I understand that God is truly present. He is listening and truly loves me, and the best way I can reciprocate that love is to serve those who are in need. However, it sometimes feels like the guests are doing a greater service to me by spreading the joy of God’s love to all.”

Sophomore, Sarah Dilley from Saint Luke United Methodist Church started serving her freshman year for what she thought would be the service hour obligation but she has continued to serve monthly ever since. Sarah looks forward to the fellowship of the people and enjoys the fact that it is a faith-based organization. “We pray before the meal and we pray for the people by name after the meal” she stated. Sarah invites others to serve at the soup kitchen because of the little things they do that that make such a big impact, like Saint Mother Theresa once said, “We cannot do great things on this Earth, only small things with great love.”

One gentleman told Sarah and her friend about a book that he was writing. He said, “the book is based on himself. The story centers on a man that was just released from jail who wanted to attend Ivy Tech Community College because he wanted to further his education in his favorite city of Indianapolis.”

That same gentleman also said how thankful he was for everyone who cleaned up after the meal. When all the guests were gone, just a few volunteers were still listening and he shared, “no one has ever really listened to my book idea and mydream of becoming an author.” Sarah mentioned, “I will never forget that moment, I felt so honored that he confided in us about his aspirations.”

Freshman, Caleb Jennings from Saint Louis de Montfort Church served at the Cathedral soup kitchen with his dad for the first time this year. Caleb noticed an overwhelming sense of gratitude when he was serving meals, he mentioned, “just being present made a difference in their day.”

The soup kitchen strives to be a bridge for those more fortunate so they may better understand the needs of the guests and provide time, help and assistance to the program directly or indirectly. The soup kitchen provides a welcoming site for students to serve the poor and instill in them a life long commitment to helping the poor. Donations are always needed, as are volunteers for shopping, cooking, serving and preparing food pantry bags on a daily basis.

Jesus taught that providing the basics to those most in need has a remedial effect on our own personal brokenness. Scripture reminds us, “Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me” (John 12:26).

For more information on the Cathedral Soup Kitchen call 317-632-4360


Kerin Buntin is the author of an online blog titled Embrace Your Faith Journey; she is a blessed wife and mother; and the founder of Peace Love Pilgrimage.



Indiana families welcome french exchange students

Published by the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana • The Catholic Moment • front page • November 25, 2018

France and America have a strong and profound history of friendship, particularly in Indiana. St. Theodore Guerin was born in France in 1798, laid to rest in Indiana in 1856 and canonized in 2006.

The first and only Indiana saint has numerous namesake schools, patronages, tributes and awards, including a memorial highway sign along U.S. Route 150 in her honor.

The co-patron of the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana words might be more prevalent today than ever before: “Love the chil- dren first, then teach them.”

Some northcentral Indiana families whose children attend St. Theodore Guerin High School in Noblesville and Central Catholic Junior- Senior High School in Lafayette have put the words of St. Theodore Guerin into action by opening their hearts and their homes to “Inspired Gateways” French Catholic exchange students.

The primary role of a host family is to share the Catholic faith with the next generation of leaders, and to be willing to discover common values and history that bring prominence to the Universal Church.

David and Teresa Cramer, parishioners of St. Lawrence Church, Lafayette, responded to the opportunity to share their faith. The Cramers were the first French Catholic host family in Central Catholic history. Because they hosted foreign exchange students previously, and had traveled to visit their older son who studied at Harlaxton College in Grantham, England, they wanted to provide a unique opportunity for their younger son.
(Continued on page 9)

We could not have received a more wonderful gift’ (Continued from Page 1)
For their younger son to learn about French culture. The Cramers took their
French exchange student, Archibald Lecointre, to Chicago to experience various sights and sounds, including a jazz musician; and they attended a Pacers game when native French- man Nicholas Batum and the Charlotte Hornets played at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. “We thoroughly enjoyed every day with Archibald,” David Cramer said. “It was like leaving my own family when I left
Indiana,” Archibald said, “I hope the Cramers will come to France.”

Maggie and Paul Hunkler, from St. Maria Goretti Parish in Westfield, hosted Clementine Crussol. “It was a very special month for the Hunckler fam- ily and we could not have received a more wonderful gift than to spend it with Clementine, especially Thanksgiving,” Paul Hunkler said. One unexpected result from their experience was the invitation that their daughter, Danielle, a student at Guerin Catholic High School, received to visit France. The international trip expanded the girls’ friendship. Being a host family helped their family grow, learn and make connections that otherwise would not have happened.

The hardest part for the Mosters was saying good- bye when it was time for the visiting students to go back to France. However, their daughter, Caroline, and son, Ethan, traveled to France to stay with their French companions over the summer.
“The experience changed the trajectory of our family life,” Brenda Moster said. “We could never have pro- vided a trip to France for our kids without the friendships they cultivated. This was so much more than vacationing in France on our own!”
The most impactful part of hosting for the Moster family was sharing their faith.

When Tamara and Jimmy Dulin, parishioners at St. Elizabeth Seton Church in Carmel, said “yes” to hosting a French Catholic student, they never realized the generosity of friendships and travel opportunities that would emerge.
During the summer of 2018, their daughter Ali, a junior at Guerin Catholic, spent one week in France with the family of Maylis Luzzatto-Guiliani.
It was such an incredible experience that the Dulins felt called to host another French Catholic student in the fall of 2018.
In the summer of 2019, Ali will travel back to France and Italy for two months and visit Maylis’ grand- mother on Lake Como, in Italy.

James McNeany, principal of Guerin Catholic High School, said, “The partner- ship between ‘Inspired Gate- ways’ and Guerin Catholic High School has been a blessing to our school. It is part of our mission state- ment to be committed to serving diverse backgrounds which serves the greater Church and enriches our overall school environment.” While in Indiana, some French Catholic students also visit the Shrine of St. Theodore Guerin, located at the motherhouse of the Sis- ters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, near Terre Haute.

It is good and holy to remember the words of St. Theodore Guerin: “You will be happy yourself in making other happy.”
St. Theodore Guerin, pray for us!

Kerin Buntin has a master’s degree in pastoral theology and can be reached on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn or at info@


’Young Life’ is evangelization opportunity for adults

Published by the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana • The Catholic Moment • Guest Column • December 16, 2018. Page 9.


Have you ever heard of Young Life? If you said “no,” that makes two of us!

When my husband, Eric, and I entrusted our teenage daughter, Shannon, to the care of friends while we traveled to Italy for 10 days, we arrived home excited to share our Vatican highlight — Eric captured Pope Francis’ hand clasped with mine on our 25th wedding anniversary.

But before I said a word, Shannon enthusiastically inquired if she could attend Young Life camp.

I was thinking to myself, “What is Young Life camp and where is it?” Eric, the avid CPA in the family, was eager to learn how much it would cost. The moral of our story is: God works miracles every day if you are still enough to recognjze them.

We quickly surmised that Young Life is much more than a worldwide, week- long summer camp, it is a weekly gathering at a public place and it’s all about Jesus!

Eric and I never had the experience of attending summer camp, so the idea was new to us. Camp just wasn’t a thing growing up in our generation, or so we thought.

We didn’t know Young Life has been around for generations. Founded in 1938, it is a worldwide ministry reaching more than 1.7 million high school students, middle school students, col- lege students, students with disabilities, teen moms and military, every year.

Witnessing Shannon’s undeniable love for Jesus and that of her friends from various high schools and nearby churches sparked our interest, and suddenly there was no turning back. Eric and I jumped into Young Life eager to share our gifts. Eric was excited and sur- prised to find out that more than 200 dads show up on a given Monday night to play basketball with their kids!

Young Life is a not-for-profit Christian organization that focuses on real rela- tionships with adults who care about teenagers. Young Life represents more than 4,000 staff and 40,000 volunteers ministering in more than 80 countries around the globe.

While the Church calls all baptized Christians to work together to proclaim the Gospel and promote the common good, Young Life is ready to partner with the Catholic Church in an ecu- menical gift exchange:
• Young Life exists because of adult leaders that want to live their faith out- side the four walls of a church.
• Young Life leadership is open to any adults 18 years or older with a desire to engage in the ministry dri- ven by the vision — that every adolescent will have the opportunity to know Jesus and grow in their faith.
• Young Life leaders are willing to demonstrate authentic, faith-based friendships and share the love of Jesus by mentoring teenagers.

Young Life groups throughout Indiana are thriving, but there is huge potential for enormous growth in high schools and middle schools. Some areas that are active throughout the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana include, but are not limited to, Muncie, Lafayette, Lebanon, Zionsville, Carmel and Fishers.

Ian Faulkner, the Fishers area Young Life director, emphasized that Young Life does not and cannot replace the Church. Young Life adult leaders simply walk along- side teens and point them back to the Church. The overall goal is to engage Catholic speakers and Catholic adult leaders to share their faith journey by incorporating the sacra- ments and the saints with Young Life teens.

Pope Francis describes evangelization: “Christians must be willing to move where the Spirit leads them and not be benchwarmers on the sidelines of efforts to evangelize. A ‘couch potato’ evangelization doesn’t exist. Get up and go! Be always on the move. Go to a place where you must speak the word of God.”

There are many Church documents that have been written by previous popes about evangelization in the Catholic Church, and there is a long history of how Catholics should evangelize the faith. Throughout every age, the Catholic Church’s greatest joy and challenge is to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus in ways that engage, inspire and challenge indi- viduals and the culture at large.

Young Life is on the cutting edge of youth ministry by adapting to the ever- changing world of kids today. The first forum, being organized by the National Leadership Team for Young Life in collaboration with the Diocese of Brooklyn in New York, is under the leadership of Auxiliary Bishop James Massa. It is an invitation for pastors, priests, youth ministers.

The invition is to Young Life leaders, parents, bishops, diocesan staff, teachers and administrators to come to the historic gath- ering in New York City on Jan. 24-26, 2019.

The idea is to have a team of Indiana adults represent- ing both Young Life and the Catholic Church in New York. We want people there, and particularly the right people — bridge builders, evangelizers, those who have a passion for Jesus, for kids and for the Church.

The experience will foster unity and relationship, the ability to really get to know each other, and cast a com- mon vision for reaching the next generation of teens.

Joe Reitz, former Indianapolis Colts player and parishioner at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish, Carmel, shared his support for a Young Life Indiana team. He said, “Faith was first throughout my football career and serving others is at the heart of my life. My first responsibility is to God, to be a loving and servant Christian.”

Butler University men’s basketball coach LaVall Jordan was a Young Life keynote speaker saying, “My wife, Destinee, and I support Young Life and are grateful for the positive faith journey that it is providing for our three daughters.”

The Indiana team is growing. This is a defining moment in the Catholic Church. How will you respond? Registration information may be found at https://younglifecatholic

You can learn more about how to get involved in your local Young Life by entering a zip code into the Young Life locator on the Web site

Kerin Buntin has a master’s degree in pastoral theology; a freelance journalist and founder of Peace Love Pilgrimage, her greatest blessing is wife and twice-blessed mom. Follow Kerin Buntin on Twitter and LinkedIn.

God’s test is my testimony and it turned my passion into a purpose



I want to share with you why the feast day of Saint Louis de Montfort is so important to me. 

My husband, Eric and I responded to God’s call 18 years ago when we moved from Chicago to Fishers, Indiana. 

Like many of you, Saint Louis de Montfort became our home away from home, a place where friends quickly became family.

I am always amazed at God’s perfect timing especially when you look back upon a situation that was once difficult and later can see the many graces of God at work.

Seven years ago while I was studying for my masters degree in pastoral theology, I was being treated for an illness at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota; it was about the same time that my mom was robbed, beaten and strangled in her Chicagoland home by an intruder. When I arrived at ICU, I knew my mom was going to be okay because when she heard my voice whispering a Hail Mary into her ear, she immediately responded by squeezing my hand. Because she was breathing with the help of a ventilator she couldn’t speak a word.

It was an incredibly painful time physically, emotionally and spiritually. I prayed that God would give me some sort of a sign.

The next thing I knew the doctors told me that my surgery would be on April 28…..the feast day of SLDM. A sure sign!

Someone told me to ask the surgeon if he would pray with me before my surgery and the last thing I remember was praying a Hail Mary.

When I woke up from surgery, by the grace of God, my husband Eric and our 2 young children were surrounding me. Of course I was thinking “am I all better? What did the doctors say?” Eric didn’t know the answer, so he responded by showing me a text on my phone. It said:

“the Saint Louis de Montfort staff prayed the rosary today for your healing.”

Another incredible sign!


When I asked, God gave me the signs that I needed to see! There was no doubt in my mind that God was calling me to a deeper relationship with Him through the intercession of Saint Louis de Montfort. 

Throughout the healing process, as if I didn’t have enough grad school books, I started to read the writings of St. Louis de Montfort, most notably his book on Marian Consecration. I learned ….. SLDM was born in 1673 in France and died at the age of 43 and he was a Priest for 16 impactful yrs. 

TODAY, nearly 300 years after the death of Saint Louis de Montfort, he is known as THE pioneer of Mariology, the study of Mary the Mother of God; a degree offered at catholic universities throughout the world. Incidentally, Fr Leo Patalinghug our keynote speaker tonight studied Mariology in Rome, under JPII.

Saint Louis de Montfort is one of the earliest and greatest promoters of the rosary and his writing influenced Saint John Paul II so much that Pope John Paul II dedicated his entire pontificate and his papal motto to Mary, citing the words of Saint Louis de Montfort. Pope JPII credited Saint Louis de Montfort in his encyclical on the rosary stating that the writing of SLDM marked a turning point in his life.

I believe that signs are everywhere but we have to BE still to recognize them. When I picked up National Geographic magazine in the grocery store check out line, I saw MARY



on the cover of June 2018 as a sign that our world is desperately in need of messengers to pray the rosary. I know first hand what an incredible feeling it is to be on the receiving end.

My hope and my prayer is that when you leave here tonight you will recognize a saint working in your life, like Saint Louis de Montfort did in mine. Thank you.



French Patron Celebration Honors Mary, Our Mother

Originally published in the May 2018 Newsletter for Saint Louis de Montfort Catholic Community. Fishers, Indiana.

7D4AE222-D314-4A46-8E94-8CEBAA662D57.jpegFew Catholic priests have led a life as fascinating as our featured guest and keynote speaker, Father Leo Patalinghug. He studied Mariology (Mary, the Mother God) at the Pontifical University in Rome under Pope Saint John Paul II; and not only did he have everyone filled with laughter and joy; he captivated the SOLD-OUT audience with the reasons why he is a “Mamma’s Boy!”

  • “It is hard to capture the beauty and essence of the evening in words!” Rosie Zatkulak
  •  “The French Provencal Bistro dinner and candlelight rosary was a creative way to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the founding of Saint Louis de Montfort” Deborah Mader.
  • Mary Owen said, “I loved the French themed food, it was delicious and more tasteful than anything I have ever made at my house.”
  • Christopher Kennedy said, “The rosary was the highlight, I felt an amazing warmth and sense of community.”
  • Many people asked why are we celebrating 40 years? Fr. Pat said, “Why not?! Because I won’t be here in ten years and this is a momentous way to celebrate our patron, to Jesus through Mary.”

World renown chef, Fr. Leo Patalinghug celebrated the feast day Mass sharing “what binds us together and what binds God to us, is food.” The Gospel (John 15:1-8) came to life with a fruitful, energetic message about pruning so that we can all bear good fruit in our lives.

The Knights of Columbus chefs prepared the French menu with Fr. Leo while a photo collage wall highlighted the last 40 years, coupled with a video that introduced the life of Saint Louis de Montfort from his birth in 1673 to his death at the age of 43. Known as the pioneer of Mariology, Saint Louis de Montfort was a priest for 16 impactful years.

Bishop Higi sent a letter of gratitude to Saint Louis de Montfort parishioners, while the historian and founder of the parish, Judy and Dave Kinder highlighted the tough times that brought us to where we are today. Prominent symbols of the evening were displayed at each place setting that included a glow in the dark rosary ring and the Saint Louis de Montfort consecration prayer on a holy card; all 250 people in the tent joined together to recite the prayer.

The candlelight rosary was a highlight of the holy and sacred evening, a replica of the candlelight rosary that takes place every night in Lourdes, France and Fatima, Portugal. Did you know Mary is on the front cover of National Geographic June 2018 issue? Maybe that is a sign that our world is desperately in need of messengers to pray the rosary.

Each person held a candle and joined in prayer for the intentions in the silence of their heart, and for the prayer intention names announced prior to each mystery, including family, friends, former St. Louis de Montfort priests, bishops and Pope Francis. The Joyful Mysteries were led by Fr. Pat, Fr. Leo, Fr. Derek Aaron (Our lady of Mount Carmel), and former Associate Pastor, Fr. Dave Hellmann (Saint Laurence in Muncie), one decade was spoken by a guest in French.

The real beauty was Our Beautiful Blessed Mother watching over us and protecting us with her mantle from a pillar on the stage!