Fr. Larry Voelker
The Mission Statement of Holy Cross Parish, where Fr. Larry Voelker was Pastor, states: "Holy Cross Parish is People Striving To Offer Worship That is Connected to People's Lives and Proclaims That Everyone is Worthy to Be Here. Throughout his priesthood, Fr. Larry, has demonstrated his belief in these principles. While he devoted his time to the needs of parishioners, he also saw "parishioners" to mean all people who have spiritual needs which usually encompasses physical needs as well. He had been available to numerous neighborhood groups and civic and community organizations to which he had given his time and talent. Those talents were used as an extension of his role as priest, counselor, friend and a person who understood the message of social justice and how we must be God's presence to His people living in physical and spiritual poverty. In the late sixties, while serving as Associate Pastor at St. Patrick's Parish, Fr. Larry helped organize and was director of the United Southside Community neighborhood organization. This group and others with which he had been associated, recognized people's basic rights to food, decent housing and the need to live in a community where they are free from fear and can raise their children. They worked with residents, civic and government agencies to raise awareness and develop programs for neighborhood improvement. From 1973-1976, Fr. Larry served as coordinator of the Archdiocesan Indiana Catholic Conference on legislative issues and was the Director of Catholic Charities from 1976-1981 while serving as well in positions as pastor and parish administrator. Peace was his daily intention at Mass and Father supported the Indianapolis Church Federation through participation in the Prayer Network for victims of violent death. Involvement with ecumenical ministerial teams was a priority when he was associated with several parishes. They supported one another spiritually and share the common concerns of their congregations. Fr. Larry lent his support to Habitat for Humanity which built a house in the Holy Cross area the summer of 1999 and volunteered for Caulk of the Town which winterizes houses each year on the near eastside. Neighborhood people, catholic and non-catholic alike, were given support in their community involvement by Fr. Larry's presence and active participation. While the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry was located at Holy Cross, Father was regularly present to offer encouragement to staff, volunteers and those who came in need of food. Bringing the wisdom of many years in "Catholic" social services, he was a member of the new St. Vincent de Paul "Client Choice" Food Pantry which serves neighbors in ten parishes. Priests are sought out for their "religious expertise" and as a leader of God's people. Fr. Larry modeled this role with a calmness which reflected his personal prayer life and a mission of recognizing the "worthiness" of all. This was especially shown in his work as the director of spiritual formation for the deacon formation program of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. For more than thirty years he was a living witness to the love of Christ. We were grateful for his gifts and faithfulness. Father is survived by his sister, Beverly Green; nephews, Rex Ralston (Patricia), John Ralston (Teresa); nieces, Elizabeth Green (Randall), Rebecca Cleary (Mark), Katherine Mahurin (Larry); 18 great nieces and nephews; 11 great great nieces and nephews.Memorial donations are requested to Holy Cross Church, 125 N. Oriental, Indianapolis, IN 46202 or Dove Recovery House for Women, 14 N. Highland Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46202. Online condolences may be shared with the family at: orileyfuneralhome.comPublished in the Indianapolis Star on June 15, 2010"