February 13, 2009

Mass to mark anniversary of Archbishop Shulte’s death

By Mary Ann Wyand

Remembered as a visionary spiritual leader, the late Archbishop Paul C. Schulte served the Church in central and southern Indiana for 24 years and contributed his expertise to the Second Vatican Council in Rome during the 1960s.

The noon Mass on Feb. 17 at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis will commemorate the 25th anniversary of Archbishop Schulte’s death and honor his contributions to the archdiocese.

Msgr. Joseph F. Schaedel, vicar general, will be the principal celebrant for the Mass.

Benedictine Father Julian Peters, interim administrator of the cathedral, said it is appropriate to remember Archbishop Schulte as well as the other archbishops and bishops during this year marking the 175th anniversary celebration of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.

“Scripture says it is a noble thing to pray for the dead,” Father Julian said. “Especially in this anniversary year, I think it is an opportune time to remember those men who were the chief shepherds and pastors of the diocese.”

Archbishop Schulte was installed on Oct. 10, 1946.

“For a number of years, Archbishop Schulte certainly left his mark on the archdiocese as a builder [of parishes and Catholic schools],” Father Julian said. “It is appropriate to offer a prayer of thanks for his service to this local Church and helping us to become who we are, and to once more commend him to the loving mercy of God and pray for his eternal rest.”

Many parishes and schools in suburban areas of Marion County exist because Archbishop Schulte foresaw the future population growth and demographic changes then bought land in a number of outlying areas.

Archbishop Schulte also supervised the construction and development of the four interparochial high schools in the Indianapolis deaneries. Bishop Chatard, Cardinal Ritter, Roncalli and Father Thomas Scecina Memorial high schools in Indianapolis were established during his tenure.

“He also left a significant mark on international Church history with his participation in the implementation of the Second Vatican Council,” Father Julian said. “Certainly, that’s a significant piece of any diocese’s history.”

As a Father of the Second Vatican Council during the 1960s, Archbishop Schulte helped make many of the liturgical decisions that have shaped the Catholic Church in modern times.

He died on Feb. 17, 1984, at the St. Augustine Home for the Aged in Indianapolis. His body is interred at the Calvary Cemetery Mausoleum in Indianapolis. †

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