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Another new bishop and the “Mons”…

Today, May 17th — The history of the Catholic Church in Indiana is, once again, seeing changes. By the end of June, every bishop in the State of Indiana, save two, will be “new”. As a reminder, there are five dioceses in Indiana. The metropolitan see, Indianapolis, and four suffragan sees — Gary, Lafayette-in-Indiana, Fort Wayne-South Bend, and Evansville. The Bishop of Gary (Dale Melczek) and the Archbishop of Indianapolis, (Daniel Buechlein) have both served since 1992.

Of course, this all began with ONE diocese — the Diocese of Vincennes, which covered the entire State of Indiana as well as the eastern half of Illinois. It was on this day, May 17, 1839, that Celestine de la Hailandiere was named Coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese of Vincennes. Hailandiere was in France at the time, seeking assistance for the young diocese. By the time word got to Bishop Brute, he was already dead. Hailandiere was consecrated at Paris on August 18, 1839.

We also celebrate on this day, (and it has nothing to do with bishops, but with Indiana Catholic history), in 1921, Msgr. John J. Doyle was ordained. Msgr Doyle wrote “The Catholic Church in Indiana 1686-1814” in 1976. He died in 1985. This web site is dedicated to his memory. In the foreword to his book, he said:

“It is my hope that the reading of the story told here may awaken the desire, latent in almost every heart, to understand what we are by discovering how we came to be, and to stir up the ambition to preserve for those that come after us the memory of the works worthy of emulation that God preformed by the hands of those that went before us, while we strive to deserve our heritage”


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