December 23, 2005

Archdiocese experiences generous responses, losses and miracles in 2005

By Brandon A. Evans

During 2005, the Archdiocese of Indianapolis lost several priests, but also began planning for the future of the Church in central and southern Indiana.

Nationally and internationally, 2005 was a big news year for the Catholic Church and, besides coverage of those events, The Criterion recorded several moments of local importance.

Listed below are 10 of the major archdiocesan stories from 2005.

• Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein opens the Cause of Canonization of his predecessor, Bishop Simon Bruté.

This September, one of the dreams of Archbishop Buechlein was realized when he, along with the official postulator from Rome, opened the Cause of Canonization of the Servant of God Simon Bruté, the first bishop of Vincennes (which later became the Archdiocese of Indianapolis).

The process is now unfolding as investigators examine the life of the late bishop to determine if he lived a life of heroic virtue. After that, the quest will begin for miracles attributed to Bishop Bruté’s intercession.

• The Cause of Blessed Mother Theodore Guérin moves forward twice.

The Canonization Cause of the foundress of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods passed two major milestones this year, less than a decade after she was beatified by Pope John Paul II.

A medical commission found no medical explanation for a miraculous cure attributed to her intercession and a theological commission approved the miracle. The theological commission also found that “there was nothing contrary to faith or morals in the life” of Blessed Mother Theodore, which opens her Cause to its final phases after nearly 100 years.

• Legacy for Our Mission campaign is announced.

The archdiocese officially unveiled a new capital stewardship campaign titled Legacy for Our Mission: For Our Children and the Future as a way to ensure that the mission of the local Church stays vibrant in the coming years.

The resources raised in the campaign in the coming years will go directly to benefit such priorities as parish capital and endowment needs, Catholic education, retired priests, seminarians, Catholic Charities and Catholic cemeteries.

• The archdiocese loses eight of its diocesan priests.

The year was a difficult one for the clergy of central and southern Indiana as they saw eight of their fellow priests die. They had led lives of dedication to the Catholics of the archdiocese.

Those priests were Monsignors Francis Tuohy, John Ryan and Louis Marchino, and Fathers William Stineman, John Dede, Justin Martin, Clarence Waldon and Edward Gayso.

• Parish staffing study is released.

The recommendations of a parish staffing study were released to address the needs of parishes over the next seven years in light of the decreasing number of priests and an increasing number of Catholics in the archdiocese.

The study was a result of two years of planning with 700 pastors, parish life coordinators and parish lay leaders.

• Five Catholic schools are named Blue Ribbon Schools.

Once again, the Catholic schools of the archdiocese showed their excellence as five schools were honored as No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education.

With six schools honored last year and four the year before, the Archdiocese of Indianapolis has more Blue Ribbon schools than any other dioceses in the United States.

• Year of the Eucharist celebration is held despite rain.

An archdiocesan celebration to honor the Year of the Eucharist to be held at Victory Field in Indianapolis was moved at the last minute to St. John the Evangelist Church due to severe storms. Despite the rains and strong winds, more than 1,000 people participated in the scaled-back celebration.

The celebration was the centerpiece of a year of Eucharist-focused news stories in The Criterion on varying aspects of Catholic life.

• Archdiocese participates in the response to two major disasters.

Archdiocesan parishes, schools, individuals and Catholic Charities gave generously to relief efforts for the Asian tsunami disaster and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Catholics in the archdiocese gave the Mission Office more than $1.5 million in response to both disasters, not to mention the funds raised in money and supplies for both Catholic Charities and other relief efforts.

• Deacon aspirants take the next step and become candidates.

The 25 men studying to become the first permanent deacons ordained for the archdiocese formally stated their intention to continue their formation.

The candidates have completed one year of academics, formation, spiritual direction and parish ministry. They will continue their formation for two more years and are to be ordained in 2008.

• New archabbot is elected for Saint Meinrad Archabbey.

On the last day of 2004, during a secret election, Benedictine Father Justin DuVall became the ninth abbot and sixth archabbot of Saint Meinrad Archabbey.

He succeeds Archabbot Lambert Reilly, who resigned after serving the community for nine years as the monks’ spiritual and temporal leader. Archabbot Justin’s election marked the end of a year of celebration for the 150th anniversary of the founding of the monastery. †


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