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Bishop de la Hailandiere Consecrated

On this day, August 18, 1839, Celestine de la Hailandiere was consecrated as the Second Bishop of Vincennes. He was on a recruitment trip in France for the Diocese. He already received word of his appointment as Coadjutor with right of succession, at the end of May, 1839, but he was not aware of the death of Brute until the end of July, 1839, about one month after the fact. Ironically, Bishop Brute never knew that Hailandiere had been named his coadjutor since he was dead by the time the news arrived in Vincennes. Hailandiere chose to send his new recruits on to Indiana while he stayed in France for his own consecration. Father Gorman writes:

“Toward the end of July, however, de la Hailandiere received the information which changed his course. The Republican, the ship on which he intended to sail, brought the dispatch that Brute was dead. Automattcally, de la Hailandiere was bishop of Vincennes. Like Brute he had some doubt concerning his fitness for the position and in his perplexity he approached a venerable Sulpician, Father M. Mollevaut, in whom he had supreme confidence. He discussed his misgivings as well as the danger to the diocese which a protracted delay in the succession would entail. The result of the consultation was that de la Hailandiere determined to send his colony on ahead while he remained in Paris to be consecrated with Father Morlot by Bishop de Forbin-Janson. The choice of the occasion and the consecrating bishop was not a coincidence. The zealous and genial Charles Augustus Comte de Forbin-Janson, Bishop of Nancy and Toul and Primate of Lorraine, was one of the most distinguished prelates in France and from his family had acquired great wealth. Ordained in 1811, he was intensely interested in missionary activity both in France and in other countries. On June 6, 1824 he had been consecrated in Paris by the Bishop of Rouen, assisted by two American prelates, Bishop John Cheverus of Boston and Bishop Edward Fenwick of Cincinnati. … Bishop de la Hailandiere was consecrated in an imposing double ceremony in the chapel of the Sacred Heart Convent in Paris by Bishop de Forbin-Janson, assisted by Bishop Blancuart de Beilleul of Versailles and Bishop John Louis Le Mercier of Beauvais, in the presence of the Papal Legate, the archbishop of Chalcedon, the archbishop of Irenopolis, a Catholic of the Greek Rite, a vicar general of New Orleans and the American consul.” 1

  1. Unpublished History of the Catholic Church in Indiana[]

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