November 4, 2011

Celebrating Catholic School Values

Archbishop Emeritus Buechlein honored for his support of Catholic education

Bishop Christopher J. Coyne presents an award for Archbishop Emeritus Daniel M. Buechlein to his niece, Anne Wilmes, during the Celebrating Catholic School Values Awards Dinner on Oct. 26. The award recognized the archbishop for making Catholic education a priority during his 19-year tenure as the spiritual leader of the archdiocese. The archbishop was unable to attend the dinner. Also in the photo are, left, Harry Plummer, executive director of Catholic education and faith formation for the archdiocese, and Art Wilmes, Anne’s husband. (Photo by Rob Banayote)

Bishop Christopher J. Coyne presents an award for Archbishop Emeritus Daniel M. Buechlein to his niece, Anne Wilmes, during the Celebrating Catholic School Values Awards Dinner on Oct. 26. The award recognized the archbishop for making Catholic education a priority during his 19-year tenure as the spiritual leader of the archdiocese. The archbishop was unable to attend the dinner. Also in the photo are, left, Harry Plummer, executive director of Catholic education and faith formation for the archdiocese, and Art Wilmes, Anne’s husband. (Photo by Rob Banayote)

By John Shaughnessy

During an evening celebrating the values of Catholic schools, Archbishop Emeritus Daniel M. Buechlein was saluted for making Catholic education a priority during his 19 years as the spiritual leader of the archdiocese.

The recognition came through a five-minute video that was shared during the Celebrating Catholic School Values: 2011 Scholarship and Career Achievement Awards Dinner on Oct. 26.

The video showcased many of the contributions that Archbishop Buechlein made to Catholic education in the archdiocese before he resigned on Sept. 21 because of health challenges.

“Archbishop Daniel did so much to foster Catholic schools in our community, and we can’t begin to thank him for his support,” Bishop Christopher J. Coyne told the 800 people who attended the dinner at the JW Marriott Hotel in Indianapolis.

“Archbishop Daniel did it through the work of advocacy and through the work of Catholic education, and he did it with all of you. He was able to do what he did through the generous support from parishes, from families and givers who recognized what a value Catholic schools can be—not only to the Catholic community, but [also] to all those whom we serve.”

During Archbishop Buechlein’s tenure, 26 Catholic schools in the archdiocese received recognition as Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence from the U.S. Department of Education, more than any other diocese in the country.

Two new Catholic schools were also built in urban areas in Indianapolis—a rarity among Catholic dioceses across the country in the past two decades.

The Celebrating Catholic School Values Award Dinner was also started during the archbishop’s tenure. In the past 16 years, the event has raised more than $4.6 million to provide tuition assistance for disadvantaged students who want to attend archdiocesan schools.

Archbishop Buechlein wasn’t able to attend the dinner. After the video was shown to the audience, Bishop Coyne presented a plaque honoring the archbishop to his niece, Anne Wilmes. †

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