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This blog is devoted to covering the both the archdiocesan pilgrimage to the canonization of Blessed Mother Theodore Guérin in Rome and the celebrations here in Indiana. This blog will be running from Oct. 11-22, 2006.
The individual posts on this weblog will be posted below with the latest updates listed nearest to the top. All questions or submissions should be sent to email@example.com.
Mary Ann Wyand was there, and is currently working on a story about it for the October 27 issue of The Criterion. Until then, you can see photos from the Mass on this blog.
Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 11:49 a.m. on Monday, October 23, 2006
With the pilgrims safely back home, our Italy coverage on this blog has come to an end. But all the canonization events are not yet over: this Sunday there will be a Canonization Eucharistic Liturgy of Thanksgiving at 1:30 p.m. in the Church of the Immaculate Conception at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods (this event is by ticket only because of demand -- the public is invited to participate over closed-circuit television at designated sites at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods). Two reporters will be there covering the event, and news and photos will be posted here on Monday, Oct. 23.
There will also be a public open house at the Woods from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 21.
So check back then for our final posting!
Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 2:17 p.m. on Friday, October 20, 2006
The Criterion has just produced one of its most unique issues ever -- special double edition containing 16 pages of our regular coverage and 16 pages of special St. Theodora coverage. The issue is printed on high-quality paper and is intended as a keepsake edition.
Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 7:03 p.m. on Thursday, October 19, 2006
After a week of witnessing how human freedom and God’s grace can come together to make miracles, the ultimate abuse of freedom—Judas’ betrayal of Christ—was laid before us.
Today our pilgrimage group attended Pope Benedict XVI’s Wednesday general audience held in St. Peter’s Square.
I went to a general audience in the Paul VI Hall in 1993. That auditorium holds a few thousand people. How things have changed. At least half the square was filled today for the audience. Pilgrims from all over the world came to see the pope and listen to the final installment in his reflections on the lives of the apostles.
We arrived approximately two hours before the start of the audience and were able to secure seats along the side of one of the front sections of the general seating. We soon learned that these were very good seats indeed, at least if you want to see the pope up close. At about 10:30, he drove by slowly in his popemobile. I was able to get several decent photographs of him.
After several months of presentations on the holy apostles, Pope Benedict spoke today about the one apostle, Judas Iscariot, who is not a saint and is, according to some theological traditions, the one person that we know with some certainty is in hell.
(The rest of this post contains more about the papal audience, along with information about the Mass of the day, the catacombs of St. Priscilla, Piazza Navona, the Basilica of Santa Sabina and a concluding reflection.)
Posted by Sean Gallagher at 7:06 p.m. on Wednesday, October 18, 2006
On the one hand, they’re people around whom we feel comfortable. They’re down-to-earth. Their idealism appeals to our inherent ambition for the good. But they also seem very accepting of human weakness.
On the other hand, they’re people who, if we contemplate them for any length of time, make us feel uncomfortable. In their radical way of life built on Gospel values, they reveal the many shams in our own.
Ultimately the mysterious paradox in these saints and in them all is rooted in the mystery of Christ. The saints show Christ to us and we are both attracted and repelled. Which force (toward or away) we finally choose will make all the difference.
These things were on my mind as the archdiocesan pilgrimage approached Assisi this morning. As we wound our way through the hills of Umbria, I considered how the beauty of the countryside of the region could easily lead a spiritually sensitive man like Francis to discern the hand of God in the splendor of creation.
I felt even more convinced of this 18 years ago in my first visit to Assisi. At that time, my group approached the town from the north and drove around the large Lake Transimeno. The beauty of the wooded hills and the serenity of the lake were, at the time, a powerful one-two punch that took my breath away. Even now I can recall with ease the beauty of that drive. Today’s approach to the town, while not as dramatic, was still quite charming.
Posted by Sean Gallagher at 5:08 p.m. on Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Father Rick Eldred, pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Bedford and St. Mary Parish in Mitchell, joined other archdiocesan priests in concelebrating the canonization Mass for St. Theodora Guérin on Oct. 15 in St. Peter's Square.
He had his camera with him and was able to take a few pictures before and during the Mass. The photo gallery linked to below contans those pictures.
Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 11:57 a.m. on Tuesday, October 17, 2006
The archdiocesan pilgrimage spent its morning on Oct. 16 at the majestic Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls.
Although St. Peter’s Basilica, in my opinion, is in a class by itself, St. Paul Outside the Walls has to be my favorite church among the rest in Rome. Yes, it is only a 19th century reconstruction of the original basilica that burned to the ground in 1823, but it just seems to have a solid, confident, yet quiet grandeur to it.
Perhaps this is so because of its “forest of great columns” as described by The Companion’s Guide to Rome, the giant paschal candle that stands guard in front of the main altar, the portraits of all the popes that look down upon its visitors or the grand mosaics of Christ, four of his apostles, and other saints found in the apse, or the cloister courtyard attached to the church, with its many columns covered in mosaics.
All these elements by themselves would lead the sensitive visitor into an attitude of prayerful contemplation. But the presence of the tomb of the great mystic apostle St. Paul binds all of them together and adds even profundity to the meaning of the great basilica.
This day, it was the occasion for prayer but of a more strictly joyous than meditative nature. Most of the church’s transept was filled with worshippers who came together for a Mass of Thanksgiving to celebrate the canonization of St. Theodora Guérin.
Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein was the primary celebrant. He was joined by all of the other bishops of Indiana, the bishop of the diocese of St. Theodora’s hometown in France, and several priests.
(Post continues with descriptions of the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica.)
Posted by Sean Gallagher at 7:20 p.m. on Monday, October 16, 2006
Still want the very latest? Go to the Yahoo! News Search.
Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 1:25 p.m. on Sunday, October 16, 2006
St. Mary of the Woods played host to a second mass at 4 p.m, this time for the youth of the archdiocese. Three hundred youth, parents, and families arrived in the early afternoon for tours of the grounds to learn about different parts of the life of St. Theodora. One of the highlights for most was the opportunity to see the remains of the saint which had brought up and placed to the left of the sanctuary.
The Mass involved a number of youth from different parts of the archdiocese. Representatives from each of the eleven deaneries processed in with banners and members of the Archdiocesan Youth Council assisted in the liturgy as readers, extraordinary ministers of holy communion and gift bears. During his homily, Father Meyer told the youth that St. Theodora was a woman of "pep." Pep, he said, stood for providence, evangelization, and perseverance. He encouraged them to make this an example of how to live their lives.
It was a great sight to see the many young people together for this event. I can imagine that St. Theodora, the educator, would have been thrilled to see these young Catholic students from all over the archdiocese gathered today in faith. I would say it is evidence of the success of her great efforts in Catholic education in Indiana. (Permanent link to this post)
Posted by Katie Berger at 11:01 p.m. on Sunday, October 15, 2006
St. Theodora Guérin, the foundress of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI at St. Peter’s Square in Rome on Oct. 15, which is Sister Agnes Pauline’s 90th birthday.
It was a birthday wish—and a longtime dream—come true, Sister Agnes Pauline said after an 11 a.m. eucharistic liturgy at the Church of the Immaculate Conception at the motherhouse that coincided with the formal canonization Mass at the Vatican.
The motherhouse church was filled for the liturgy, which included a brief message from the Sisters of Providence on pilgrimage in Rome.
Both before and after the Mass, sisters and guests waited in line to venerate the remains of the French-born missionary sister who became the eighth U.S. saint, and Indiana's first, earlier in the day.
Images and artwork of St. Theodora were on display at the Providence Center and Shrine of Our Lady of Providence, and new road signs decorated portions of U.S. 150 that have been renamed “St. Mother Theodore Guerin Memorial Highway.”
The canonization was “icing on the cake” for Sister Agnes Pauline, who couldn’t believe that this historic and spiritual event happened on her birthday.
This weekend’s Mass was a prelude to the Canonization Liturgy of Thanksgiving on Founder’s Day, Oct. 22, which will include Providence sisters who journeyed to Rome for the ceremony. (Permanent link to this post)
Posted by Mary Ann Wyand at 6:07 p.m. on Sunday, October 15, 2006
October 15, 2006 is and will be a great day in the history of the Catholic Church in Indiana and, indeed, for all Hoosiers. For it was on this day that Pope Benedict XVI, before a tremendous gathering of the faithful that filled most of St. Peter’s Square in Rome, solemnly declared Mother Theodore Guerin a saint—the first in the history of the Hoosier state.
The archdiocesan pilgrimage arrived at the square at 7:30 a.m. for the 10 a.m. liturgy. Although more than 2 hours early, the pilgrims joined thousands of other pilgrims from many different countries who were also making their way to the liturgy.
Because everyone going into the square had to go through metal detectors, there was quite a crush of people moving toward the entrances and many in the pilgrimage were cut off from each other.
That separation only increased when we finally entered the square and met other worshippers entering it from other locations. My wife and I were able to get seats just 12 rows back from the front of the main seating area. There were other folks near us from the archdiocese and others with a love of our newest saint.
I was expecting others from the pilgrimage to join us there, but that never materialized. Halfway through the Mass I located a small group in the seating section behind us. But I learned from them that others among the pilgrimage group were seated far back behind the obelisk in the center of the square.
Nevertheless, after speaking with many of our pilgrims after the liturgy, as well as some members of the Sisters of Providence, I quickly learned how moving a day this was for all of us.
Posted by Sean Gallagher at 1:13 p.m. on Sunday, October 15, 2006
Here's some news from today:
And in case you're wondering about the name change from "Blessed Mother Theodore Guérin" to "St. Theodora," go read the explanation that was printed in The Criterion.
(Thank to writer Amy Welborn, who found the first two links)
Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 11:07 p.m. on Saturday, October 14, 2006
Later today our blog should have up:
I have not seen the canonization Mass yet, but plan to catch some on EWTN's Internet feed at noon today (this is a change from what was reported earlier). I'm sure our reporter, Sean Gallagher, will have some wonderful things to say about what must have been a very moving Mass for the many Hoosiers at St. Peter's Square this morning.
St. Theodora, pray for us!
Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 11:07 p.m. on Saturday, October 14, 2006
Archdiocesan Catholics who have access to the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) will be able to watch the Oct. 15 canonization Mass of Blessed Mother Theodore Guérin.
The live broadcast from Rome will begin at 4 a.m. on Oct. 15. A rebroadcast of the Mass will start on the network at 12 p.m. the same day.
Those who do not get EWTN on cable can go to their Web site and try to access their live streaming teleivsion feed. It can be accessed by going to the "Television" tab at the top, selecting "Live TV - English" and then the connection type and speed that you'd like.
If any local Indianapolis channels are broadcasting the Mass, I will try to post it here. (I'm not sure if any Terre Haute stations are doing the same.)
Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 9:55 p.m. on Saturday, October 14, 2006
Calling Rome “the eternal city” is not a cliché. There is some real meaning to it. There are, to my knowledge, no churches in the United States that 500 years old. In Rome, there are scads of them and they aren’t really that new.
My wife and I ventured out at 7 a.m. to a church more than 1,000 years old—the Basilica of Santa Pressede, just across the street from the Basilica of St. Mary Major, one of the four major basilicas of Rome (the other three are St. Peter’s, St. John Lateran, and St. Paul Outside the Walls).
We were happily surprised to meet upon entering it Msgr. Frederick Easton, archdiocesan vicar judicial, and Father Thomas Schliessman, pastor of St. Rose of Lima Parish in Franklin and Holy Trinity Parish in Edinburgh. (Meeting friends unexpectedly in anywhere is usually a treat. Doing so in a city thousands of miles from home is a godsend.)
The church building is more than 1,000 years old and most of its interior has not been changed since then. It is small and doesn’t overpower its visitors. But its ancient mosaics in the beautiful Byzantine style are evocative of the deep faith of those who were responsible for putting them there and inspired me to pray for a growth in my own.
A visit to St. Mary Major followed. There we met up with the pilgrimage group. Archbishop Buechlein was the primary celebrant for Mass in one of the church’s side chapels. Msgr. Joseph F. Schaedel, archdiocesan vicar general, was the homilist.
Posted by Sean Gallagher at 5:18 p.m. on Saturday, October 14, 2006
I've been putting off doing this because it seems like it takes me forever to gather links (I don't know how other bloggers pull it off so seemingly effortlessly), but here is the first of what will probably be two or three similar posts over the next week attempting to gather news from around the country about this canonization. (A thank you ahead of time to bloggers who've done some of this already, in particular Amy Welborn).
Keep in mind that neither myself nor the archdiocese necessarily supports the content of any of these stories -- I am merely presenting them as a demonstration of the spectrum of coverage:
Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 2:53 p.m. on Saturday, October 14, 2006
Its primary attraction is that it houses a Eucharistic miracle. In 1730, a silver pyx containing hundred hosts was stolen from the church. There was an outcry in the town about the crime. A few days later the hosts were found in an alms box in another church in Siena.
They taken out with care and solemnly brought back to the basilica. They were not consumed afterwards and have miraculously maintained their original condition now for more than two centuries. Numerous scientists have examined them and have been unable to give a natural explanation for the phenomenon.
At the conclusion of the morning’s Mass, Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein blessed the assembled pilgrims with the monstrance that contain the hosts. Afterward, the pilgrims were invited to come forward and pray in adoration before them.
The Catholic Church already views every celebration of the Eucharist and Christ’s continuing presence in the Blessed Sacrament as not only any miracle but as the miracle par excellence, the one that stands at the heart of the life of faith.
For many of the pilgrims, the opportunity to pray in the presence of this Eucharistic miracle only increased their appreciation for this supreme gift of Christ to the Church.
Following the conclusion of Mass, the pilgrims went on a walking tour of Siena that included visiting the Campo and the Duomo.
After lunch, they went to another Tuscan hill town, San Gimignano. It is primarily known for its many medieval buildings, including more than a dozen towers that its various families built in the 13th and 14th centuries.
Although we had only about an hour to visit this town, it was a special treat. We had a chance to get some more gelato and to listen and watch a pair of colorful street musicians in San Gimignano’s Piazza de Cisterna.
From Tuscany, we drove back south and had a hearty supper at a winery on our way back to Rome.
We’re on the road now and are looking forward to a good night’s rest. (Permanent link to this post)
Posted by Sean Gallagher at 5:59 p.m. on Friday, October 13, 2006
UPDATED! There are, of course, other blogs devoted to this canonization. In case you haven't been to any others, here's a few to check out:
If you know of any others, let me know by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org and I may post them here.
Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 4:58 p.m. on Friday, October 13, 2006
The staff of our official archdiocesan newspaper is hard at work preparing for a special edition of The Criterion that will run the end of next week and be largely dedicated to the canonization. The keepsake edition of the newspaper will be largest issue that has been printed since the death of Pope John Paul II.
This week's issue already contains five news stories about Mother Theodore, all of which have been published to the online edition:
Also, from our archbishop, Daniel M. Buechlein, who is leading the pilgrimage in Italy right now:
In addition, to promote the launch of our new archdiocesan site, and to make up for slowed updating in the past month, The Criterion is making available online each Friday in October the full contents of the most recent issue. You can browse our October issues in our online archives.
Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 3:14 p.m. on Friday, October 13, 2006
Sean has sent some more photos.
According the pilgrimage itinerary, today is to be spent as such:
"Walking tour of Siena; lunch on our own in Siena; depart to and arrive in and tour San Gimignano; depart for Rome; eat supper on the way; arrive in Rome around 7 or 8 p.m."
Sean said that he would send along a blog post later today, and has already sent more photos from the tour in San Gimignano that I will put in this photo gallery later today. Until then, enjoy some more of scenic Siena!
Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 12:07 p.m. on Friday, October 13, 2006
The archdiocesan pilgrimage made their way to Italy in three groups. The one that I was in arrived first in Siena at approximately 1 p.m. local time. (See photo gallery)
After walking together to that great medieval town’s Piazza del Campo, we split up to have lunch on our own and then a couple of hours to walk about on our own.
The beautiful weather (sunny, with temperatures in the low 70s) made walking about the enormous piazza a real pleasure. It is one we shared with many other tourists as well as those people of all ages who live in Siena.
After eating a quick lunch on the go, my wife and I walked to Siena’s Cathedral, known as “Il Duomo,” built during the High Middle Ages. Although its façade was undergoing a good amount of work, its exterior, seen from many parts of this hilly town, is striking with its alternating rows of white and dark marble, its tall bell tower and its large dome.
Posted by Sean Gallagher at 7:01 p.m. on Thursday, October 12, 2006
Continental flight 40 from Newark to Rome arrived at about 7:50 a.m. Rome time. Approximately 30 archdiocesan pilgrims on that flight cleared customs and got their bags quickly enough that we were on the road to Siena an hour later.
This being a pilgrimage, the first order of business once we were introduced to our tour guide was to pray the rosary, in which we were led by Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein.
I’m more than a bit tired after failing to catch some shut-eye on the flight, but I’m going to try to follow the advice of our guide and not take a nap on our trip north and only go to sleep this evening. (Permanent link to this post)
Posted by Sean Gallagher at 3:10 p.m. on Thursday, October 12, 2006
Our cabin is starting to buzz again after most everyone had a few hours of shuteye. Unfortunately, I was not one of them. I ordinarily have a difficult time sleeping on airplanes. My current seat, on an aisle, made it more difficult, with people walking by usually brushing up against me. I have a feeling that I’ll really be dragging later on today.
For here, it’s a little after 7 a.m. Back where we started, it’s around 1 a.m.
So, in a way, I’ve been keeping vigil over the past few hours. I watched a monitor in our cabin matter-of-factly tell me that we were traveling more than 600 mph and that the temperature just a matter of feet away from me outside of the plane was a mere -67 degrees Fahrenheit.
Posted by Sean Gallagher at 3:10 p.m. on Thursday, October 12, 2006
It has been said that the Catholic Church is “the great both-and”. It is both human and divine. It is found in both time and in eternity. It is both perfect and in constant need of reform.
And it is both local and universal.
This last paradoxical characteristic of the Church has been in my mind as I have sat here in the C concourse of the sprawling Newark International Airport.
Posted by Sean Gallagher at 1:08 p.m. on Thursday, October 12, 2006
10:00 a.m.—One of three waves of pilgrims from the archdiocese is gathering for the flight to Newark, NJ and then on to Rome. It’s a gray, dreary and rainy day in Indianapolis but excitement seems to be in the hearts and minds of the pilgrims as they look forward to a sunny landing in Italy and ultimately to the canonization of Indiana’s first saint.
Pilgrimages, though, are ambivalent affairs. While there are many opportunities for spiritual enrichment—this one featuring the canonization of Blessed Mother Theodore Guérin in St. Peter’s Square—there are also crosses to bear through the voyage. The first one that many of us will face will be a very long day of traveling—nearly 17 hours in all to get to Rome (once one takes into account time changes)—and then another bus ride through the Compagna north of Rome and through the hills of Tuscany to arrive at our final destination in Siena where we will spend one night.
Posted by Sean Gallagher at 1:08 p.m. on Thursday, October 12, 2006
I've just gotten some messages from Sean Gallagher, which means that the pilgrims are safely in Siena (and probably enjoying what I understand to be a simply fabulous time of year in Italy).
He has begun sending some posts for this blog and I'll post them shortly.
Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 12:51 p.m. on Thursday, October 12, 2006
Even though most of us can't travel to the pilgrimage in person, we can at least go with the pilgrims in spirit. In that vein, Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein has made a list of prayer intentions for each day of the archdiocesan pilgrimage.
The list below shows the date and place where the pilgrims will be celebrating Mass each day, followed by what they will be praying for. Please join the pilgrims and many others in prayer each day:
Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 7:43 a.m. on Thursday, October 12, 2006
Right now, pilgrims from the archdiocese are on their way to Italy -- in the air as I write this. The first stop on the pilgrimage will be Siena, where our reporter Sean Gallagher will send back two blog entries that he's already written, as well as anything that he's gathered from Siena.
If you're interested in what the exact itinerary of the pilgrimage is, you can download this file:
You can also read a recent story about the pilgrims preparing to leave.
Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 7:59 p.m. on Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Maybe you want to brush up on your knowledge about Mother Theodore, or maybe this is the first time you've heard of her and you want to know what this canonization is all about.
Or maybe, like me, a little background reading can serve as a good way to get excited about a historic event.
No matter the reason, our archdiocesan Web site, along with The Criterion Online Edition, has pulled together years worth of news coverage and biographical information about Blessed Mother Theodore Guérin and put it in one place for you. Spend a little time at www.archindy.org/guerin to learn about the woman that Pope Benedict XVI is going to proclaim to the world as a saint.
On our Mother Theodore site, you'll find:
So don't wait for the weekend -- check it out now and get ready for her canonization on Oct. 15.
Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 8:20 a.m. on Wednesday, October 11, 2006
This blog is being launched the same day as our brand-new archdiocesan Web site.
It's my hope that after you look around on this blog, that you browse the rest of our site and check out all the new features.
In the coming days, we'll be posting lots of background information and articles about Blessed Mother Theodore Guérin, news and photos from celebrations at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, and even more news and photos from a reporter that we have on the archdiocesan pilgrimage to Italy for Mother Theodore's canonization.
The canonization of a Catholic from the United States has only happened seven other times in our nation's history, and our archdiocese is proud that Blessed Mother Theodore performed so much saintly ministry right here in Indiana.
So bookmark this page, share it with friends and be ready to check back often to get the very latest news.
Posted by Brandon A. Evans at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, October 11, 2006
This blog is being run with the help of several Criterion staff members: