November 30, 2012

Seminarians in Rome enjoy meeting new archbishop

Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin, center, poses on Oct. 31 at the Pontifical North American College in Rome with archdiocesan seminarians who receive their priestly formation there. They are, from left, seminarian Matthew Tucci, a member of Holy Family Parish in New Albany; transitional Deacon Douglas Marcotte, a member of St. Michael Parish in Greenfield; transitional Deacon Martin Rodriguez, a member of St. Mary Parish in Indianapolis; and seminarian Anthony Hollowell, a member of Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ Parish in Indianapolis. (Submitted photo)

Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin, center, poses on Oct. 31 at the Pontifical North American College in Rome with archdiocesan seminarians who receive their priestly formation there. They are, from left, seminarian Matthew Tucci, a member of Holy Family Parish in New Albany; transitional Deacon Douglas Marcotte, a member of St. Michael Parish in Greenfield; transitional Deacon Martin Rodriguez, a member of St. Mary Parish in Indianapolis; and seminarian Anthony Hollowell, a member of Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ Parish in Indianapolis. (Submitted photo)

By Sean Gallagher

Some of Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin’s newest friendships were formed less than two weeks after Pope Benedict XVI announced that he would be the sixth archbishop of Indianapolis.

After visiting Indianapolis for an introductory press conference and other events around the archdiocese, Archbishop Tobin returned to Rome. While there, he had lunch with four archdiocesan seminarians who are receiving their priestly formation at the Pontifical North American College.

“I was very impressed by his humbleness and his ability to relate to everyone,” said transitional Deacon Martin Rodriguez. “He was eager to know about our backgrounds as well, and it almost felt like it was him that was happy to finally meet us. Of course, we were very happy to meet him too, but he treated us like we were the rock stars.”

Transitional Deacon Douglas Marcotte also appreciated the personable way that Archbishop Tobin was open not only to him and his fellow archdiocesan seminarians, but also to others at the college.

“He has a great way with people,” said Deacon Marcotte, a member of St. Michael Parish in Greenfield. “He met several people during his time at the college for lunch, and what I noticed the most was the way in which he took the time to really listen to everyone.”

Seminarian Matthew Tucci, in his first year at the North American College, simply appreciated that Archbishop Tobin made it a point to come and visit him and his brother seminarians.

“It was a blessing for Archbishop Tobin to take time out of his busy schedule to visit us at the North American College,” said Tucci, a member of Holy Family Parish in New Albany. “I really appreciate the great respect he has for both the presbyterate and laity of the archdiocese as well as the interest he has in central and southern Indiana in general.

“He has a tremendous amount of trust in the people of the archdiocese, and that trust gives me great hope for the future.”

Deacon Rodriguez, a member of St. Mary Parish in Indianapolis who was born in Mexico, was impressed with Archbishop Tobin’s linguistic skills and openness to other cultures.

“He knows Spanish really well,” Deacon Rodriguez said. “He even has a Mexican accent and … knows the culture pretty well. He said he feels at home when he is working with Latinos.

“He even likes spicy food. I offered [him] some of my hot sauce, and [he] told me it was tasty.”

Deacon Rodriguez is looking forward to the day next May when Archbishop Tobin will ordain him to the priesthood with Deacon Marcotte and transitional Deacon John Kamwendo, who is in formation at Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in St. Meinrad.

“I actually felt like I got a new father,” Deacon Rodriguez said. “Since the moment he was officially announced in Indianapolis, but especially when he spoke Spanish off the cuff [at the Oct. 18 press conference], I looked forward to meeting him. Now that I know he will [ordain me to the priesthood], I am very much looking forward to serving under his leadership.”

Deacon Marcotte similarly feels confident about the future of the Church in central and southern Indiana.

“I couldn’t be more pleased with who the Holy Father chose for us,” he said. “Everyone that I have talked to here in Rome that knows Archbishop Tobin has said that we couldn’t have gotten a better man.

Archbishop [Emeritus] Daniel [M. Buechlein] is certainly a tough act to follow,” Deacon Marcotte said, “but I believe there are many great years ahead for the archdiocese with Archbishop Tobin at the helm.” †

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