July 15, 2005

Msgr. Louis Marchino, retired priest,
died on July 12

By Mary Ann Wyand

Msgr. Louis H. Marchino, the second oldest priest in the archdiocese and the founding pastor of Holy Family Parish in New Albany, died at 6 a.m. on July 12 at the Providence Retirement Home in New Albany.

He was 92 and had recently suffered a stroke.

Msgr. Marchino celebrated the 65th anniversary of his ordination in May 2004.

Calling is scheduled from 3 p.m. until 8 p.m. on July 14 at Holy Family Church in New Albany, with a prayer vigil and rosary at 7 p.m., and from 9 a.m. until 10:45 a.m. on July 15.

The Mass of Christian Burial will celebrated at 11 a.m. on July 15 at Holy Family Church in New Albany.

Msgr. Joseph F. Schaedel, vicar general and pastor of Holy Rosary Parish in Indianapolis, is to be the principal celebrant. Father Harold Ripperger, pastor of St. Mary Parish in Lanesville, will be the homilist.

Burial will follow at Holy Trinity Cemetery in New Albany.

Msgr. Marchino retired on July 6, 1983, as the longtime pastor of Holy Family Parish and was living in New Albany at the time of his death.

Diocesan priests and other friends remembered Msgr. Marchino for his smile, sense of humor, love of golf and willingness to provide sacramental assistance to parishes during his retirement.

Father Ripperger said Msgr. Marchino taught him to play golf and they became great golf buddies over the years.

Recently, Msgr. Marchino invited Father Harold Ripperger, Father William Ripperger and Father Joseph McNally to his home for dinner, where they shared golf stories.

When Holy Family Parish celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, Father Gerald Burkert, a former pastor, praised Msgr. Marchino for his leadership in the New Albany Deanery parish.

“I fell into a wonderful situation because of Father Marchino,” Father Burkert said. “He was helpful and always supportive.”

Father Burkert, who is now the pastor of Holy Name of Jesus Parish in Beech Grove, also remembered Msgr. Marchino for being “instrumental in getting the parish debt paid off. He was well-organized and a sound financial manager.”

The same esteem for Msgr. Marchino came from Father Wilfred “Sonny” Day, the current pastor of Holy Family Parish, who said his “respect for the foundation that Msgr. Marchino put down in his 30 years as pastor increases with every passing day.”

Louis Henry Marchino was born on Dec. 21, 1912, in Vincennes, Ind., to Peter and Sophia (Brommelhaus) Marchino. He graduated from St. John School and Gibault High School in Vincennes then enrolled at the former Saint Meinrad College and completed his theology degree at Saint Meinrad School of Theology. He also studied at the Navy Chaplain School at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va.

He was ordained to the priesthood by then-Bishop Joseph E. Ritter on May 30, 1939, at Saint Meinrad Archabbey Church.

Father Marchino celebrated his first Mass on June 4, 1939, at St. John the Baptist Church in Vincennes, which was then a part of the Diocese of Indianapolis. The Diocese of Evansville was erected in 1944.

His first assignment on June 24, 1939, was as associate pastor of St. Celestine Parish in Dubois County.

On Sept. 13, 1940, he was named associate pastor of the former Holy Trinity Parish in New Albany.

On June 25, 1943, he began service as a chaplain with the U.S. Navy during World War II. After the war, he resumed his service as associate pastor of Holy Trinity Parish.

On March 17, 1953, he was appointed to establish a new parish on the west side of New Albany, which was named Holy Family Parish. He was named the founding pastor of Holy Family Parish on May 30, 1954, and served there for 29 years.

On Nov. 25, 1975, he was named administrator of St. Mary Parish in Navilleton while retaining his assignment at Holy Family Parish.

Pope John Paul II conferred the title of Prelate of Honor upon Father Marchino on Aug. 26, 1997. Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein invested him with this title during a liturgy on Jan. 18, 1998, at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis.

Although Msgr. Marchino had vision problems in recent years, he assisted at more than 75 parishes during his retirement years.

In an article published in The Criterion last year, he said that his years at Holy Family Parish went by quickly.

“It seemed to me that way,” he said, “because I was so happy.” †


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