Archbishop’s summer 2005 columns focus
on life of Bishop Bruté

The following links are taken from the introductory column (click here) of Archbishop Daniel Buechlein's summer series. Click here for an explanation of this series

1) A childhood shaped by life during the French Revolution—Gabriel Simon Bruté was born in affluence, but even as a child was forced to live his Catholic faith with extraordinary discretion.

2) Gabriel Simon’s academic and medical background—He was an outstanding student and became a distinguished medical doctor.

3) Vocation to the priesthood and missionary aspirations—Only later did Gabriel Simon Bruté de Rémur discern a vocation to priesthood—in spite of his mother’s strong and vociferous objections.

4) Missionary to the United States: Priestly ministry in Maryland—Father Bruté wrestled with the desire to be a missionary to the Far East like St. Francis Xavier, but as a Sulpician priest he was sent to the United States instead. The focus of his ministry was that of theologian and teacher.

5) Ministry at Emmitsburg, Md.—During his sojourn at Mount St. Mary’s in Emmitsburg, the spirituality and holiness of Father Bruté caught the attention of Elizabeth Ann Seton, who was later canonized for her holiness and charity. Father Bruté had become her spiritual director.

6) A Pastor at heart—While he was highly respected as a theologian by the first bishops of the United States, Father Bruté was sought out for his sacramental ministry, pastoral wisdom and spiritual direction.

7) Father Bruté ministers to a future saint—The life of the future bishop of Indiana was intimately tied to that of a future canonized saint for 20 years.

8) Father Bruté is called upon to lead a new diocese in Indiana—In October 1833, the bishops at the Second Provincial Council of Baltimore sent the name of Father Simon Bruté to Rome to become the bishop of a new diocese to be erected in Indiana and Eastern Illinois—the Diocese of Vincennes.

9) Bishop of Vincennes, 1834—Against his protestations and efforts to refuse his appointment as bishop of Vincennes because of what he considered severe pastoral, spiritual and physical limitations, Simon Bruté was named bishop of Vincennes in 1834. He had only two priests and one on loan to help found the diocese.

10) Five years of effective ministry—As we will see, our first missionary bishop found peace of soul and accomplished extraordinary results in ministry in a short five years.

11) The poverty and holiness of Bishop Bruté—A friend, Bishop Benedict Flaget of Bardstown, said: “An American missionary had to be able to live on nothing and cook it himself.”

12) The illness and death of a simple bishop—Bishop Bruté was buried in borrowed clothes. His last words were those of Jesus on the Cross: “Sitio. (I thirst).”

13) The process for the cause of canonization—On Dec. 4, 1891, while visiting Vincennes, Cardinal Gibbons said: “Worthy citizens of Vincennes, you need not go on pilgrimages to visit the tombs of saints. There is one reposing here in your midst, namely, the saintly founder of this diocese, Right Reverend Simon Bruté.”

On June 3, Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein began a series for the summer in his weekly “Seeking the Face of the Lord” column on the life and ministry of Bishop Simon Bruté—the first bishop of what is now the archdiocese.

Earlier this year, Archbishop Buechlein initiated the beginning steps to open an official cause for canonization of Bishop Bruté, who was born on March 20, 1779, and died on June 26, 1839. The cause was officially opened on Sept. 12.

“Elements of his life and ministry can serve as a framework for reflections on the meaning of his virtues for us Catholics some 160 years later. I truly believe he is a blessing and a grace for our local Church,” said Archbishop Buechlein.

Above are listed all of the columns that the archbishop wrote -- a booklet of the columns will be available from the archdiocese later this year.

Click here to go the homepage of archbishop's columns


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