October 6, 2017

Seminary honors supporters during ‘Celebrate Bruté’ event

Archbishop Charles C. Thompson speaks on Sept. 21 on the grounds of Bishop Simon Bruté College Seminary in Indianapolis to approximately 170 of its supporters during its “Celebrate Bruté” event. (Photos by Sean Gallagher)

Archbishop Charles C. Thompson speaks on Sept. 21 on the grounds of Bishop Simon Bruté College Seminary in Indianapolis to approximately 170 of its supporters during its “Celebrate Bruté” event. (Photos by Sean Gallagher)

By Sean Gallagher

Daily life at Bishop Simon Bruté College Seminary in Indianapolis is marked by its seminarians taking classes at nearby Marian University and praying, sharing meals and recreation time with each other and the seminary’s formation staff.

With a record enrollment of nearly 50 seminarians from one religious community and 10 dioceses—including 13 from the Archdiocese of Indianapolis—there are many more people sharing this common life than when Archbishop Emeritus Daniel M. Buechlein established it in 2004.

On Sept. 21, though, many more people were at Bishop Bruté. The approximately 170 people who attended the seminary’s “Celebrate Bruté” event support the archdiocesan-sponsored college seminary.

Archbishop Charles C. Thompson spoke to the attendees during a dinner on the seminary’s grounds, noting how much Bishop Bruté has grown in the 13 years since its founding.

“It flourishes because, as important as it is to have a wonderful formation team and seminarians,” he said, “it also takes an entire Church to make this happen, to keep it going and to provide good, solid, well‑formed, holy priests for our Church. Thank you all for being a part of that.”

Two of those supporters were Steve and Ann Wessel, members of St. Simon the Apostle Parish in Indianapolis and parents of archdiocesan seminarian Charlie Wessel, who is a junior at Bishop Bruté and at Marian.

Steve and Ann spoke to the attendees after a video was shown featuring their son speaking about the priestly formation that takes place at the seminary.

“We like to say he goes to college but that he lives in the best fraternity in the world of brothers in Christ,” Ann said. “Our lives have become enriched through the opportunities that the seminary and his discernment have afforded us.

“None of this would have been possible without Charlie’s priestly discernment. His path has enriched ours, and his becoming a seminarian has enlarged our personal Catholic community and our relationship with God. Without Bruté [seminary], we wouldn’t be here tonight.”

Another supporter of the seminary at the event was Carl McClelland, a member of the Serra Club of Indianapolis, which promotes vocations to religious life and ordained ministry.

For many years, he has helped lead an annual Serra Club-sponsored pilgrimage of eighth graders to Bishop Bruté that can help the teenagers see the priesthood as a real future possibility for themselves.

“The eighth graders find out that the seminarians aren’t much different at all than they are,” said McClelland, a member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Indianapolis. “Today, they’re getting an opportunity to see these young men as seminarians. That’s wonderful. That would not happen if this was not here.”

Father Joseph Moriarty, rector of Bishop Bruté, gave thanks in remarks for the chance to live at the seminary. He is the successor of its founding rector, Father Robert Robeson.

“I can’t say enough about the privilege that it is to live in this house with these men,” said Father Moriarty. “Father Bob used to say in my first three years here as vice rector, ‘Joe, this is a happy place.’ And, indeed, it is. That is the expression of the life of God in these men.”

Archbishop Thompson reflected on the motivation that moves supporters of the seminary.

“You’re here because you love the Church,” he said. “You’re here tonight because you love the priesthood. Whether you say a word to me or not, I know that’s why you’re here—your love for the faith, your love for the Church and your love for the Eucharist and the priesthood.

“So I thank you for that gift. Whether I thank you or not, you know that your reward is something more than my gratitude. It’s the kingdom of heaven, the gift of salvation.”

At the end of the gathering, seminarian Andrew Alig, a sophomore at Bishop Bruté, spoke about having so many visitors to the seminary that he calls home.

“It’s nice to see how many people there are who care about what we do here. It’s exciting to see,” said Alig, a member of All Saints Parish in Dearborn County. “It kind of makes you want to take it more seriously, knowing that these people are spending their time and effort so that you can have good formation.”

(To learn more about Bishop Simon Bruté College Seminary in Indianapolis and how to support it, visit bishopsimonbrute.org.)

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