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Archbishop Tobin Installed as 6th Archbishop of Indianapolis

December 3, 2012 — On this, the Feast of St. Francis Xavier, patron of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin was installed as the 12th Bishop and 6th Archbishop of Indianapolis, formerly the Diocese of Vincennes.

Archbishop Tobin

Archbishop Tobin, in his homily, said that he brought along three friends. St. Paul, St. Francis Xavier and Servant of God Simon Brute. How appropriate it was to mention our beloved Bishop Brute!! Archbishop Tobin quoted from Bishop Brutés first pastoral letter which was sent to the people of Vincennes and Indiana (as well as the eastern half of Illinois), the day after his consecration as bishop, in Saint Louis on October 29, 1834. So, it is appropriate to provide you with Bishop Brutés pastoral, in its entirety: (‘bold’ text is what Abp. Tobin quoted)

Simon, by the grace of God and the appointment of the holy see, bishop of Vincennes, to the faithful of our diocese. Grace be unto you from God the Father and the peace of our Lord, the Savior Jesus Christ.

Beloved brethren. Divine Providence sends me among you as the first bishop of the newly-erected diocese of Vincennes. Through the unanimous call of the bishops assembled in council in Baltimore last year, and the appointment of the common father of the faithful, Gregory XVI, the vicar of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on earth, as expressed in his bull of May last, unworthy as I am of so great an honor, and of myself unequal of the charge, my only trust is in God; and, therefore, earnestly calling for your prayers, that I may obtain His Divine assistance, I come to be your chief pastor. I come to be a first link in the succession of those who, for ages to come, we do so trust in God, are destined to attend their co-operators in a divinely instituted ministry to your spiritual wants and those of your future progeny.

When you are thus entrusted to our care by the great Shepherd of our souls, the warning of the Apostle of the nations, to us and to our successors in the same charge, in the bosom of the Catholic church, is to be received with the sacred mixture of fear and confidence that it necessarily creates. “Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock over which the Holy Ghost hath placed you bishops to rule the church of God which he hath purchased with His own blood.” Saying ” yourselves are all the flock,” the divine word, my brethren, forcibly marks that the interest and duty, both of the pastors and flock are the same: To live in the same obedience and fidelity to their Lord and his church, having made it an inseparable allegiance; to embrace his law, receive his grace and save together their souls for the life to come. For, my brethren, every day spent on this earth makes us draw nearer and nearer to eternity and that judgment of God that awaits every one of us. Amidst all the anxieties and distractions of the present life, a last day is approaching. Death will soon bid us go and leave all the occupations, pains and pleasures of this world, to be shared by other passengers, like ourselves, passengers of a day. Death will soon call us to “stand at the tribunal of Christ” to receive from him the sentence of condemnation, happiness or misery through that immense eternity.

Yes, beloved brethren, let one common interest and purpose cement our union in Christ; to save together our souls. To reach heaven and avoid hell is our common aim, to live a good life and do penance (for who needs not penance?) our common duty. Giving glory to God and cherishing peace with all is our consolation on earth; “faith, hope and charity, these three things”, must prove our whole treasure, as they are the only certain pledge of real and lasting happiness.

Such, my brethren, is the whole object and seal of our union in Jesus Christ. He came to save us on the cross; we will trust and serve him as our Lord and Savior. He taught first his divine doctrine, then instituted his church to preserve it unchangeable to the end of time. We will, the pastor and flock, with one heart, follow his doctrine, obey his only true church, the sacraments of his grace, and, above all, the Eucharistic sacrifice; we will ever consider it as the richest legacy of his love, established by him for our blessing; therefore, neither to be neglected nor abused. Our baptism we will faithfully remember; in penance, through sincere confession and contrition, we seek the remedy of our sins; in communion, the support and joy of our souls.

Your bishop, beloved brethren, entering thus on his duty, begs humbly and earnestly your prayers, and entreats also fervently the God of Mercy to bless you; to fill you with that spirit of peace, charity and piety which has the best promises, both of the present time and of the life to come. Jesus Christ said: ” I am the way, the truth and the life.” May he ever find the pastor and the flock his faithful followers and receive them together in the kingdom of his glory; may he give rest to those who have gone before us, your departed friends, for whom we shall henceforth unite our prayers to yours, especially at the divine sacrifice.

With you, we shall honor the saints who reign triumphantly in heaven, call for their protection and that of the angels, to whom, says the divine word, our Lord ” hath given charge over us, to keep us in all our ways.” We place our cathedral under the special protection of St. Francis Xavier, the whole diocese under that of the glorious mother of God, the Blessed Virgin Mary, toward whom it was, in all ages, the spirit of the church that all Christians should entertain the most tender devotion.

Beloved brethren, “we are the children of the saints,” as we pass on earth to go and meet them in heaven. Permit me, then, to conclude with these few words more of the divine scriptures: “The grace of God and Savior hath appeared to all men, instructing us that, renouncing iniquity and worldly desires, we should live soberly and justly and piously in this world, waiting for the blessed hope and the coming of the glory of the great God and our savior Jesus Christ * * * a people acceptable, pursuing good works * * * he who shall persevere to the end shall be saved * * * the grace and peace of our Lord be with you.”

Given at St. Louis the day after our consecration, 29th, Oct./ month, 1834. (29 October 1834) SIMON, Bishop of Vincennes.


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