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Chatard ordained

On this day (June 14), in 1862, in the midst of the U.S. Civil War, whkich was raging in the United States, Francis Silas Marean Chatard was ordained a priest in Rome.

Born in Baltimore on December 13, 1834, Chatard was baptized Silas Francis Marean. The “Marean” being his mother’s maiden name. The Chatard family were well known in Baltimore and there are still members of his family living there.

Here is the Wikipedia entry for Chatard:

Silas Francis Marean Chatard (1834-1918) was a Roman Catholic Bishop of Indianapolis in the United States.

He was born Francis Chatard in Baltimore, Maryland on December 13, 1834. Raised in a prominent family in Baltimore, he attended Mount Saint Mary’s College (now Mount Saint Mary’s University), receiving a doctorate in medicine.

Soon afterward, he received a revelation and began studying at the College of the Propaganda at Rome to become a priest. He was ordained on June 14, 1862, and received a Doctor of Divinity degree from the college the next year.

Following his graduation, he served as Vice-Rector of the Pontifical North American College in Rome. In 1868, he became rector of the college. On March 26, 1878 he was named Bishop of the Diocese of Vincennes, in Indiana. At his consecration in Rome on June 14, 1878, he switched his first and middle name, taking the name of Francis Silas. (The name Marean was his mother’s maiden name.) He was installed in the cathedral at Vincennes on August 11, 1878 and he went almost immediately to Indianapolis, arriving there on August 17, 1878.

Chatard had not been bishop very long when, in 1883, he was rumored as the new Archbishop of Philadelphia. That appointment never took place for reasons unknown. Chatard did have some impact on the American Church, however. He aligned himself with the more conservative wing of the Church, led by Michael Corrigan of New York and others. The more progressive wing was led by the likes of Cardinal Gibbons and Archbishop Ireland.

While bishop, he oversaw the movement of the Episcopal see of the diocese of Vincennes to Indianapolis in 1898. Following the move, he was named as the first bishop of the newly-renamed diocese of Indianapolis. When he died on September 7, 1918, at the age of 83, he did so having enormously changed the face of the Catholic Church in Indiana. His body was interred in the crypt of the cathedral of Sts. Pete and Paul in Indianapolis. On June 8, 1976, Bishop Chatard’s remains were transferred from the cathedral to the Calvary Cemetery, Chapel Mausoleum, Indianapolis.

The diocese of Indianapolis was split in 1944. The old see city of Vincennes was made part of the new diocese of Evansville with Indianapolis being raised to the status of Archdiocese. [1]

In the 1960s, establishment for Bishop Chatard High School began. The high school is highly populated nowadays, located in Indianapolis, Indiana.


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