June 26, 2015

Fruit of Connected in the Spirit includes new daily Mass schedule for downtown Indianapolis parishes

Nick Lesch, left, and Jake Firestine kneel in prayer during a Feb. 11, 2013, Mass at St. John the Evangelist Church in Indianapolis. Beginning in July, four parishes in downtown Indianapolis, as a result of the archdiocese’s Connected in the Spirit planning process, will coordinate their daily Mass schedules and offer more opportunities for the sacrament of reconciliation. (File photo by Sean Gallagher)

Nick Lesch, left, and Jake Firestine kneel in prayer during a Feb. 11, 2013, Mass at St. John the Evangelist Church in Indianapolis. Beginning in July, four parishes in downtown Indianapolis, as a result of the archdiocese’s Connected in the Spirit planning process, will coordinate their daily Mass schedules and offer more opportunities for the sacrament of reconciliation. (File photo by Sean Gallagher)

By Sean Gallagher

For over a century, four parishes have served the faith needs of the large number of people who live, work in or are visitors to downtown Indianapolis.

Beginning on July 6, the parishes of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral, St. John the Evangelist and St. Mary will coordinate their daily Mass schedule and offer more opportunities for the sacrament of reconciliation. (See more details here)

The collaboration is the fruit of the Connected in the Spirit planning process, which took place in the four Indianapolis deaneries over a 16-month period ending in May 2014 and promoted greater collaboration among parishes in order to carry out their mission more effectively.

“Coordinating our Mass schedules will better enable downtown parishioners and visitors to avail themselves of the sacraments at various times of the day,” said Father Carlton Beever, pastor of St. Mary Parish. “This will provide the opportunity to participate in the Eucharist before work, at lunch time and at the end of the day.”

Holy Rosary Parish will offer Mass on Monday-Friday at 7:30 a.m. with confession offered for 30 minutes before Mass. St. Mary Parish will have a noon Mass on Tuesday-Friday, with confession afterward. St. John Parish will offer Mass at 12:10 p.m. on Monday-Friday with confession available from 11 a.m.-noon. And Mass will be celebrated at 5:15 p.m. at the cathedral on Monday-Friday, with confessions heard afterward.

St. John Parish is the only downtown church where there is a change in its Saturday evening and Sunday Mass schedule. The Saturday vigil Mass moves from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., and the second Sunday morning Mass moves from 11 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Father Patrick Beidelman, rector of the cathedral, said he hopes the “deeper collaboration” among the parishes will promote “greater vibrancy in faith” for members of the parishes and those who visit the churches.

“We’re motivated now to work together,” he said. “This is the most concerted effort I’ve seen in the 10 years I’ve been associated with the cathedral, from my first time as rector up until now.”

Coordinating the new daily Mass schedules for the four parishes took some work, Father Beidelman said. The four pastors met about eight to 10 times over the past seven months to work through all the details.

“It really involved us trying to figure out what we each thought our individual communities needed,” he said. “All of us are making some kind of sacrifice. That’s not easy.

“You have to speak not only to the people in your parish, but also to your regular visitors to your parish and help them to take ownership of the idea that us working together, even though it might involve a sacrifice here and there, is going to serve a broader group of people by us uniting in the promotion and coordination of Mass schedules.”

Father Beidelman said that offering additional opportunities for the sacrament of confession was one of the first things the four pastors discussed.

That was, in part, due to the long lines for confession that have existed for years at St. John, which has long offered confession Monday-Saturday from 11 a.m.-noon.

“We were trying to find ways to alleviate some of the stress on that particular location,” Father Beidelman said. “The opportunity for confession has increased exponentially in the downtown area.”

Father Beever hopes that the four parishes will collaborate in other ways. He noted that they will have a monthly gathering similar to Theology on Tap at Nine Irish Brothers, a pub on Massachusetts Avenue in downtown Indianapolis.

“We’ll have some social time, as well as a presentation and discussion of current issues of our Catholic faith,” he said. “This will bring together members of all four parishes in a greater connectivity.”

Father Beidelman, too, looks forward to greater collaboration among the four faith communities in the months and years to come.

“I hope this is just the beginning,” he said. “I hope that we find other ways, as the parishes that serve downtown Indianapolis, to be united, not only in the coordination of Mass schedules, but perhaps devotional activities like processions and celebrations during Holy Week—things that could give a very powerful witness to the wider community.”
 

(For more information on the Connected in the Spirit planning process, visit www.archindy.org/connected.)

Local site Links:

Like this story? Then share it!