June 28, 2013


Witnesses to history

It’s not every day that we get to witness history.

But here in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and throughout the worldwide Church, we’ve seen plenty of it through the first half of 2013.

A papal resignation. A new shepherd for the universal Church. A second Fortnight for Freedom, a two-week period of prayer and action from June 21 through July 4, to address the current challenges to our religious liberty in the U.S.

While all these life-changing events touch us as Catholics and people of faith, some would argue that the most important history-making event for the life of the archdiocese is taking place this weekend as our shepherd, Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin, receives his pallium from Pope Francis on the feast day of Sts. Peter and Paul.

The special Mass on June 29 at St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican is significant because the pallium symbolizes Archbishop Tobin’s communion with Pope Francis, and his role as the shepherd of the Church in central and southern Indiana. The archbishop is a faith leader entrusted to care for his people, and especially, those who have slipped away or become lost.

During his first seven months as our shepherd, Archbishop Tobin has witnessed moments of joy and moments of sadness. He celebrated Mass in each of our 11 deaneries. He participated in a Jan. 25 pro-life Mass and march in Indianapolis.

He welcomed new members to the Church, celebrated confirmations with young people and faced the challenging task of continuing the implementation of Connected in the Spirit, a pastoral planning process which is assisting the archdiocese as it moves forward to carry out its mission today and in the future. The implementation has resulted in the closing and merging of some parishes.

As you will read in this week and next week’s issues of The Criterion, Archbishop Tobin views the pallium pilgrimage to Rome as a journey of humility and faith.

With that in mind, we are encouraging readers to visit the archdiocese’s website, www.archindy.org, from now through July 1, to receive daily updates on the pilgrimage.

Though most of us will not be there in person, we can still stay connected with those visiting the Eternal City and pray for our shepherd and all the pilgrims participating in this once-in-a-lifetime journey of faith.

We pray that God keeps them all safe, and that they, and each of us, grow in our lives of faith as we witness history.

—Mike Krokos

Building bridges in our local Church

You could hear the emotion in Mary Lamperski’s voice as she talked about her experience in a weeklong Spanish immersion program earlier this month.

“It’s a humbling experience to learn a new language,” she said on June 6. “This week has helped me to get through the fear and reluctance to learn.”


Though we live in the 21st century, that word may well sum up how some people still feel about people who don’t speak their native language.

Add cultural differences, and you begin to see the wall that is created among some groups.

But Lamperski and other participants in the Spanish immersion program offered by the archdiocesan Office of Hispanic Ministry took a huge step forward in building bridges between cultures.

May we have the courage to follow their example, and take similar steps to help strengthen our Church community.

—Mike Krokos

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