The perfect partnership

Ed and Cathy Tinder will be recognized for their service to Catholic education at the 10th Annual Inspirational Insights

Cathy and Ed Tinder. *Submitted photo

Combined, Ed and Cathy Tinder have almost 90 years of service to Catholic education.

That service will be recognized when the Tinders are named Catholic Persons of the Year at Southside Catholic Business Professional’s 10th Annual Inspirational Insights event on Aug. 31, 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Primo South Banquet & Conference Center, 2615 National Ave., Indianapolis.

“They both really deserve it,” said Ben Brown, SCBA president. “When we choose a Catholic person of the year, we’re looking for someone that has had an overall impact to a large group of people. Both of them are wonderful people. They are great examples of what it means to be a Christian.”

Ed grew up on the Southside, attending Holy Name of Jesus Catholic grade school, St. Jude Catholic school for one year and Chartrand High School, now Roncalli. He went to Butler University on a football scholarship. After he graduated in 1971, he accepted a job at Roncalli to teach social studies and coach several sports, primarily football. It was there that he met Cathy.

“When she came to teach at Roncalli, I was quite smitten,” Ed said. “I spent some time trying to figure out how to get her to go out with me. I met her at the back door once and said some friends are going out after the ball game, would you be interested in joining us? I grouped it. It’s paid off. We were married 43 years this past June 15, with three children and six grandchildren.”

Cathy, who had attended Bishop Chatard High School, began teaching home economics at Roncalli in 1973.

“I had some bad teachers and I had some good ones,” Cathy said. “I thought we needed more good ones. I thought that I could make a difference for some of the kids. So that’s what I did. I had a rocky road in my childhood. There were a couple teachers that made a big difference and could make me smile. I wanted to make sure more kids had that opportunity.”

In 1980, Ed took a full-time job with the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) – Indianapolis, where he had worked part time three years prior. CYO offers athletic and educational programming for area youth. He became executive director in 1984.

“The CYO is just an extension of the catholic education,” he said. “It’s another one of the youth ministries and another one of the components in the Catholic church. We’re all basically in the same business and that is developing young kids to be good, Christian individuals and offer service to the community they live in. We educate, we develop and we prepare them for the path to good, Christian citizenship and eventually the path to heaven.”

Ed retired from the CYO this spring. Cathy retired as a family and consumer science teacher from Roncalli after 43 years, for health reasons, in June 2016.

They will be recognized together for that service at Inspirational Insights.

“There is no greater example of a Catholic school educator than my wife,” Ed said. “I am so proud to be receiving some recognition with her. It has been the ultimate partnership in every way, shape and form, especially serving the Catholic church.”

He continued, “As CYO director, I’ve gotten various awards and recognition at different levels. But I always felt in every case, I am representing an organization. I am receiving this recognition because of the CYO. In my wife’s case, that’s different. She is part of this award and it is solely her. There are sacrifices beyond anything anybody could know that she made as a teacher at Roncalli High School.”

Cathy said she was surprised to be included, “I know there are an awful lot of good people out there that deserve the same recognition. I just did what I loved. I always believed in what I was doing and I felt that it was the right thing for me and hopefully it was better for the kids. I liked teenagers, what I was doing, the craft and skills. In a Catholic school, it’s such a different environment. We pray, we have mass. We gather together which is good to keep in a teenager’s life. I feel lucky that I found a job that I loved.”

Both said they could not have been as successful as they were without the support of one another.

“It’s been teamwork since the beginning,” Cathy said. “We both were involved with our faith, with our jobs. It was easy to appreciate what each of us was doing and what we were putting into it because we believed the same thing. We both knew that we wanted our faith to be on top. There were many times where we had to give up extra time and energy in order to fulfill that, but it was okay because were were both headed in the same direction. We certainly could not have done it without each other.”