May 6, 2011

What was in the news on May 5, 1961? Historic priesthood ordination for Archdiocese of Indianapolis

By Brandon A. Evans

50 Year LogoThis week, we continue to examine what was going on in the Church and the world 50 years ago as seen through the pages of The Criterion, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Here are some of the items found in the May 5, 1961, issue of The Criterion:

  • Thirteen will be ordained for archdiocese on May 7
    • “Two members of the class have already been ordained. The total of 15 ordinands represents the largest single ordination class since the present boundaries of the archdiocese were established in 1944. Fourteen were ordained in 1957, and the same number in 1958.” [Editor’s note: Among the men ordained was “Rev. Gerald A. Gettelfinger,” who went on to become vicar general and, in 1989, was ordained the bishop of Evansville. His retirement was accepted by Pope Benedict XVI last week. “Rev. Timothy Sweeney, O.S.B.” was also part of the class, and would go on to be elected archabbot of Saint Meinrad Archabbey.]
  • Landmark doomed: Little Sisters look for new home site
  • U.S. Catholic population tops 42 million mark
    • “NEW YORK—There now are 42,104,900 Catholics in the 50 United States. The 1961 Official Catholic Directory just issued here by P.J. Kenedy and Sons, publishers, reported the total represents an increase of 1,233,598 over last year, and a 10-year increase of 13,470,022 or 47.04 per cent, over the 28,634,878 Catholics reported in 1951. … The directory recorded 136,953 converts to the Catholic faith in 1960. An increase in 886 in the number of clergy brought the total of priests to 54,682, the largest ever recorded, the directory said. There now are 33,141 diocesan priests, an increase of 572, and 21,541 priests of religious communities, an increase of 314, the directory reported. It lists 1,675 newly ordained priests.”
  • Castro plans to take over schools
  • Social reform: Reds and conservatives on the college campus
  • Marian professor completes work on translation
  • Editor describes Spain as ‘land of contrasts’
  • Thomas J. O’Brien will be ordained for the Tucson diocese
    • “The Rev. Thomas J. O’Brien, a son of St. Catherine Parish in Indianapolis, will be ordained for the Diocese of Tuscon by Archbishop [Paul C.] Schulte in ordination ceremonies at St. Meinrad on May 7. … He attended St. Catherine grade school, and completed his seminary studies at St. Meinrad. [Editor’s note: Father O’Brien went on to be ordained a bishop in 1982 by Pope John Paul II. He was appointed to lead the Diocese of Phoenix, Ariz., which he did until his resignation in 2003.]
  • Plan salary hikes for lay teachers
  • End myths, nostalgias, Churches are advised
  • Asks rejection of raise in newspaper mail rate
  • Apathy of the laity deplored by newsman
  • Royal couple extended warm welcome by pope
  • Cardinal McIntyre denies need for school aid plan

(Read all of these stories from our May 5, 1961, issue by logging on to our special archives.)

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