October 28, 2005

Hillenbrand children honor parent’s faith
by paying for adoration chapel

By Sean Gallagher

The new chapel in which members of St. Louis Parish in Batesville began perpetual eucharistic adoration on Oct. 15 is a testament of the faith and love of the Eucharist of several generations of the Hillenbrand family who have lived in the southeastern Indiana town.

The five children of Gus and Nancy Hillenbrand, members of St. Louis Parish, were the donors who made possible the building of the chapel, which has seating for up to 20 people.

Several other people donated the funds for the amenities inside the chapel.

Lisa Tuveson, a member of St. Louis Parish and one of the donors of the building of the chapel, said that their financial support of the chapel is a sign of her and her siblings’ gratitude for their parents’ “unwavering faith” that was passed on to them.

“It was a faith that was always there,” she said. “I’m not saying that we always had really great times. We had some hard times and some hard things that happened in the family, but we knew that God was with us.”

But it wasn’t until well after Tuveson and her siblings committed to funding the chapel that they learned it would include another testament to their family’s deeply rooted faith.

In 1903, the donors’ great-great-grandfather, John Hillenbrand, gave the funds for two side altars in St. Louis Church. One of the altars serves as the altar on which the Blessed Sacrament is exposed in the new adoration chapel.

The side altar was removed from St. Louis Church in 1987 and was given to Denis and Pat Schrank, members of Holy Family Parish in nearby Oldenburg. The couple had been married at the altar 25 years earlier.

For the 18 years that followed, the Schranks kept the altar—which was more than 20 feet tall—in the hayloft of the barn on their Franklin County farm.

In the summer of 2004, the Schranks were selling homemade ice cream at a booth at Batesville’s Firemen’s Festival when Father Daniel Mahan, pastor of St. Louis Parish, purchased some ice cream and began to talk with the couple.

During the course of their conversation, the Schranks told Father Mahan about the side altar, not knowing of his parish’s plans to have a perpetual adoration chapel.

Father Mahan asked the Schranks if they would be willing to give the altar back to the parish for use in the chapel. They agreed.

“It’s the perfect place for that,” Pat Schrank said. “We don’t need an altar on the farm.”

The Schranks were among the first adorers of the Blessed Sacrament when perpetual adoration began at the parish on Oct. 15.

Weberding’s Carving Shop, Inc. in Batesville made changes to the altar so that it would fit within the new chapel.

Now that eucharistic adoration has begun in the chapel, Tuveon hopes that it will be not just be a sign of gratitude for the faith of her and her siblings’ ancestors, but also will nurture those who are yet to be born.

“I know how much my parents and how much we benefited from the generations before us,” she said. “Hopefully, the generations to come will greatly benefit from this adoration chapel.” †


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