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Joseph Chartrand Ordained

September 24th marks the 116th anniversary of the ordination of Joseph Chartrand. Born in Saint Louis, Missouri on May 11, 1870, he studied at St. Meinrad Seminary and was accepted into the Diocese of Vincennes, (which became the Diocese of Indianapolis in 1898).

Chartrand was ordained by Bishop Chatard on September 24, 1892 in Indianapolis. In 1910 he was appointed Vicar General. The Auxiliary Bishop of Indianapolis, Denis O’Donaghue, was named Bishop of Louisville and Chartrand was then named Coadjutor, which puts that person into the official role of successor to the current bishop. Chartrand was consecrated bishop on September 15, 1910 at the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul in Indianapolis.

He became the Bishop of Indianapolis upon the death of Bishop Chatard on September 7, 1918 and he was installed on September 25, 1918.

Chartrand was known for his charity and many stories are told of his care and concern for the students at Cathedral High School.

In May of 1925 Chartrand was named Archbishop of Cincinnati. John Timothy McNicholas was named Bishop of Indianapolis. These appointments never came to pass and by July, they had been switched around. This short announcement in Time Magazine simply says Chartrand was re-appointed to Indianapolis.

The reason for the switch has never been clear. Some have speculated that Chartrand was embarrassed by the financial situation in the diocese and others say he just loved his diocese. That reason could be the key since another Time Magazine article from 1932 mentions Chartrand’s presence at the consecration of Francis Spellman as Auxiliary Bishop of Boston. (Of course, he went on to become Cardinal Archbishop of New York). In the footnote, the arcle mentions many of those present and says:

Indianapolis’ Bishop Joseph Chartrand, probably closer in contact with his flock than any other

Chartrand died on December 8, 1933. He was buried in the crypt of the Cathedral and was moved to Calvary Mausoleum in 1976.

You can read more about the McNicholas-Chartrand switch by looking through the Text & Miscellaneous section of this site.


Categories: Postings.