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I received the news about Archbishop Daniel Buechlein's resignation (e.g. request for retirement) as rather bitter-sweet. On one hand, I am happy that the Holy Father recognizes the seriousness of the archbishop's poor health and is relieving him of the pressures and stress that can only worsen his health problems at this point. Also, both Archbishop Daniel's request and the Holy Father's acceptance acknowledges the pastoral care needs of the Archdiocese; namely, the clergy, religious and laity, as well as all the ministries and services provided to so many people. On the otherhand, I know that Archbishop Daniel would have liked to have completed his tenure as the Ordinary of Indianapolis until the canonical retirement age of 75. He has been such a devoted, prayerful, hard-working and faithful monk, priest and bishop.
On a personal note, I have known Archbishop Daniel since I entered seminary in August 1983, when he was the President-Rector of St. Meinrad Seminary. I served as his administrative assistant during my deacon year. When he was ordained as Bishop of Memphis, in March 1987, I served as one of the two deacons. He then preached the homily at my Mass of Thanksgiving as a priest, in May 1987. When he was installed as Archbishop of Indianapolis, in September 1992, I served as one of his two priest-chaplains. Throughout the years, I have also served as one of his canonical advisor on several sensitive issues. He, in turn, has been a tremendous friend, inspiration and somewhat of a spiritual father figure in my life. Of course, most recently, he preached the homily at my episcopal ordination, in Evansville, on June 29 of this year. This will come as no surprise, but I would have enjoyed working with him as the metropolitan of Indiana Province of bishops. He is a very descent, holy man of God. He is a man of tremendous integrity, courage, faith and humility.
I am aware of his intentions to retire at St. Meinrad Archabbey, which is, of course, half-way between Evansville and Louisville. I hope to visit him from time to time, to continue our friendship and benefit from his great wisdom. Please join me in keeping Archbishop Daniel and the Archdiocese of Indianapolis in prayer.
+Charles C. Thompson, Bishop of Evansville