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December Calendar

December is passing quickly and I wanted to include some items from the calendar for this month.

Today, December 8th, marks the anniversary of the death of Bishop Joseph Chartrand. He was born in Saint Louis, studied at St. Meinrad and joined the Diocese of Vincennes. He was noticed by Bishop Chatard and moved through the ranks of the clergy and eventually succeeded Chatard as Bishop of Indianapolis. He was a very complex individual. While Bishop of Indianapolis he was named Archbishop of Cincinnati, but he declined it, choosing to remain in Indianapolis. There has been a lot of speculation as to ‘why’, but no one seems to know for sure. The best explanation came from the late Msgr. John Doyle, former archivist of the Archdiocese, who said it was because of his love for Indianapolis and because of the financial situation of the diocese. Chatard wanted to clear the financial situation up and was apparently embarrassed by it. This was during the time of the Great Depression in the United States.

December 13th marks the birthday of Bishop Francis Silas Marean Chatard. His baptismal name was Silas and he changed it to Francis upon his becoming a bishop. Marean was his mother’s maiden name. Chatard began his episcopal career as the Bishop of Vincennes and he was responsible for moving the see to Indianapolis. He was born in Baltimore, Maryland and his family had connections with Elizabeth Seton. His father, Ferdinand Chatard, attended Mount Saint Mary’s with Elizabeth Seton’s sons. Silas attended school at Mount Saint Mary’s as well. His sister, Juliana was a member of the Sisters of Charity at Emmitsburg. Chatard’s birth came just 5 1/2 short weeks after Bishop Simon Brute took possession of the Cathedral in Vincennes.


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