February 8, 2013

Parish, religious community donate items for Bishop Bruté seminary chapel

By Sean Gallagher

When the seminarians at Bishop Simon Bruté College Seminary in Indianapolis come to its chapel to pray, they are surrounded by signs of prayer of Catholics across central and southern Indiana who have gone before them.

Many of the furnishings of the seminary’s renovated and expanded chapel were donated from the former St. Ann Parish in Terre Haute, which was closed last year.

And the chapel’s principal crucifix was donated last year by the sisters of the Carmelite Monastery of the Resurrection, who previously lived in the seminary and now reside on the grounds of the motherhouse of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis in Oldenburg.

The chapel’s pews, holy water fonts, tabernacle and sanctuary lamps came from St. Ann, which donated the items shortly after its final Mass on May 20, 2012.

Providence Sister Constance Kramer, parish life coordinator of St. Ann Parish at the time of its closing, visited the seminary last month to see how the items were being used in its chapel.

“I was thrilled to know that young men who were discerning a call to priesthood and making a choice to live in community,” said Sister Constance, “would sit in our pews and enjoy the energy I believe these pews had absorbed for over 50 years from the faith-filled members of the community of St. Ann Parish.”

Father Robert Robeson, rector of Bishop Bruté, is glad to welcome visitors to the seminary who have contributed to the priestly formation of the seminarians through their donated furnishings.

“It’s really a testament to the degree to which the parishes of our archdiocese have supported the seminary,” said Father Robeson. “The furnishings have been anointed by the prayers of the people that we’ll serve.”

The crucifix given to the seminary by the Carmelite sisters who used to live in the seminary is attached to a hand-carved wood altar piece, called a reredos, that stands behind the chapel’s altar, which was previously used in the personal chapel of Indianapolis Bishop Joseph Chartrand, who died in 1933.

“It’s just perfect. It’s like a jewel in a signet ring. It’s just perfect there,” said Carmelite Sister Jean Alice McGoff about the placement of the crucifix.

Seminarian Anthony Stange, a senior at Bishop Bruté and a member of St. Lawrence Parish in Lawrenceburg, appreciates that he is constantly reminded in the seminary’s chapel of the prayers of the faithful throughout the archdiocese.

“We’re not just creating a whole new space from scratch,” said Stange. “We’re really compiling pews, a tabernacle and a crucifix from so many other worship spaces.

“They bring with them a history of worship. They have a meaningful past that is inspiring our future so that we can continue in the steps of those who have gone before us in their worship and praise of the Lord.” †


Related story: Renovated seminary chapel a ‘study hall’ in which to seek ‘wisdom and light’

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