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Burials and Births…

There are two items at the end of the November calendar that need to be mentioned. They are, in many ways, tied together.

The first event occurred on November 22, 1882. It was the burial of the Right Rev. Célestin René Laurent Guynemer de la Hailandière, or Bishop Hailandière to the rest of us. The second bishop of the Diocese of Vincennes was interred in the Old Cathedral in Vincennes more than six months after his death and 35 years after his resignation.

When he died in 1882, Francis Silas Chatard was the fifth bishop of Vincennes, living in Indianapolis. If Hailandière had remained bishop, who knows what would have happened to our diocese? What would have happened to the St. Palais, or the Chatards? Would there have continued to be an exodus of priests, like Michael Shawe? Would Mother Theodore Guerin have left the diocese.

In all fairness to Hailandière, he was certainly a man who was concerned about his diocese and his Church. It is easy for us to criticize him now. I was dismayed to read some of the stories about St. Mother Theodore when they referred to Hailandière as some sort of evil man. He was not. Of course, he certainly had his personal problems. He was probably one of those people who can never be told they are wrong.

After his resignation on July 16, 1847, Hailandière spent some time in New Orleans, then returned to his ancestral home in France. He died on May 1, 1882.

The other occasion worth noting in November was the establishment, on November 28, 1843, of the new diocese of Chicago. This was, of course, during the time that Hailandière was the bishop. The Diocese of Vincennes held the entire state of Indiana, and the eastern half of Illinois, including Chicago. Once the new diocese was established, and it’s first bishop, William Quarter, arrived in May of 1844, Vincennes gave up that territory.

Chicago is now, of course made up of 2.3 million Catholics and is one of the largest dioceses in the United States.


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