Skip to content

More Items from the Calendar

On March 28, 1933, Joseph Elmer Ritter was ordained (in those days they were ‘consecrated’) auxiliary bishop of Indianapolis at the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul. Ritter had been appointed titular bishop of Hippo and auxiliary to Bishop Joseph Chartrand on February 3rd. His consecration was officiated by Bishop Chartrand, assisted by Bishop Emmanuel Ledvina of Corpus Christi and Bishop Alphonse J. Smith of Nashville, both of whom were former priests of the Diocese of Indianapolis. Ritter had been named Vicar General of the Diocese of Indianapolis two days after the announcement of his appointment as auxiliary, on February 5, 1933. Perhaps Bishop Chartrand knew his time was limited, and in fact, it was. He died in December of 1933.

Upon the death of Chartrand, Ritter was named Bishop of Indianapolis on March 24, 1934. Ritter had an enormous impact on the this (Arch)diocese, the Archdiocese of Saint Louis as well as the universal Church. There was a time when Ritter’s name was mentioned as a possible candidate for Pope. Ritter was the last Auxiliary of the Archdiocese before Bishop Christopher Coyne was named last year.

Also on this day, the Diocese of Vincennes, officially became the Diocese of Indianapolis. For all intents and purposes that move took place about 20 years previously, in 1878, when Bishop Francis Silas Chatard became the fifth bishop of Vincennes. (He was, of course, also the FIRST Bishop of Indianapolis). By apostolic brief dated March 28, 1898, the title of the diocese was changed to that of the Diocese of Indianapolis, with the episcopal see in the city of Indianapolis. Although the bishop’s official residence was changed, the patron of the diocese remained St. Francis Xavier, the title of the Old Cathedral at Vincennes.

Upon his appointment in 1878, Bishop Francis Chatard was directed to fix his residence at Indianapolis. Although the site of the cathedral and the title of the see were continued at Vincennes, Bishop Chatard used St. John the Evangelist Parish in Indianapolis as the cathedral. Even after the see was moved to Indianapolis in 1898, St. John’s continued as the pro-cathedral until the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul was completed in 1907. St. John the Evangelist Parish, established in 1837, was the first parish in Indianapolis and Marion County.

You can read more on Saint John’s in a previous post. There are also a number of sites featuring items (particularly the architecture) on St. John’s. Simply perform a Google search.


Categories: Postings.

Comment Feed

No Responses (yet)

Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.