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A Tale of Two Bishops

This week marks the remembrance of two of the most important figures in Indiana Catholic Church History. The first is, of course, Servant of God, Simon Gabriel Brute whose ordination anniversary takes place on June 11th. At least that is what I believe.

June 11 (or perhaps June 10th) is an important day in the history of the Catholic Church in Indiana. On this day in 1808 Simon William Gabriel Brute de Rémur was ordained to the priesthood (or was it June 10th?) There is a debate, albeit among only a few, about the day that Brute was actually ordained. brute2 It was ‘probably’ June 11th, but some sources say he was ordained on the 10th of June. See the explanation below.

Regardless of what day it was, we celebrate and give thanks to God for Servant of God, Simon Gabriel Brute, and we continue to pray for his eventual canonization. We invite you to pray the prayer to the left and to pray it often. We also encourage you to make a donation, however big or small to the Archdiocesan fund to further Bishop Brutés Cause.

In addition to the date issue, there is also the issue about the place he was ordained. He was ordained in Paris, in the Church of St. Sulpice. Some sources say he was ordained in his hometown of Rennes. That is incorrect.

Here are a few quotes, from various sources, concerning Brutés Ordination date:

    The 2014 Archdiocesan Directory — Born in Rennes, France, March 20, 1779. Ordained priest at Rennes, June 11, 1808. Consecrated bishop of Vincennes in the cathedral at St. Louis, MO, October 28, 1834, by Bishop Benedict Joseph Flaget of Bardstown, assisted by Bishop Joseph Rosati of St. Louis and Bishop John Baptist Purcell of Cincinnati.

    Father Robert Gorman’s History of the Catholic Church in Indiana — At the age of twenty nine he was ordained June 10, 1808 and shortly after was received into the Society of St. Su1pice.

    Father Albert Ledoux, in his 2005 dissertation, The Life and Thought of Simon Brute, Seminary Professor and Frontier Bishop said: “If one includes the time that Brute spent taking preliminary theology courses prior to his formal entry into the seminary, his formation lasted five years. …While Bayley did not know the date of Brutés deacon ordination, we can surmise that it took place half way between his subdiaconate and his priestly ordination, which occurred in Paris on 11 June 1808

    WikiPedia — He was ordained a priest on June 11, 1808,

    New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia — Ordained priest on the 11th of June, 1808,

    Catholic — Ordained June 11, 1808

    Sr. Mary Salesia Godecker, in her biography of Bishop Brute — Brute’ was ordained on June 10, 1808 at the church of St. Sulpice in Paris. He was ordained by the Right Reverend Andre’, the retired Bishop of Quimper. His first Mass was celebrated at the altar of the Blessed Virgin in the Seminary of St. Sulpice on Trinity Sunday, June 11, 1808.

    Alerding’s History of the Diocese of Vincennes — he was ordained Priest in the parish church of St. Sulpice by Msgr. Andre, the retired Bishop of Quimper, on the Saturday before Trinity Sunday, 1808.

    Brute’s”Memoirs” by Archbishop Bayley say that he was ordained on the Saturday before Trinity Sunday in 1808. That would mean JUNE 11th, according to a perpetual calendar and almanac, Trinity Sunday, in 1808, was 12 June.

    Manuscripts located in the Indianapolis Archdiocesan Archives, which appear to have been written by Brute say”Ordained Priest on the 10th of June 1808″³.

    Father Vincent Eaton, former archivist of the Society of St. Sulpice, of which Brute was once a member says, in a 1983 document, that Brute was ordained on June 10, 1808.

    The “Biographical Cyclopedia of the Catholic Hierarchy of the United States 1784- 1898 — A Book for Reference in the Matter of Dates, Places and Persons, in the Records of our Bishops, Abbots and Monsignori by Francis X. Reuss [Milwaukee, Wis : M. H. Wiltzius & Co, Publishers. 1898] says June 11, 1808.

Regardless of when and where the Saintly Bishop was ordained, please say the prayer for the canonization of Bishop Brute, which you find to the left of this article.

The second important even of this week is the anniversary of the death of Cardinal Joseph Elmer Ritter.

On June 10, 1967, Cardinal Joseph Elmer Ritter died in Saint Louis. The Archdiocesan Directory gives a brief description of his Church life:

Born in New Albany, IN, July 20, 1892. Ordained priest at Saint Meinrad, May 30, 1917. Named rector of the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul,Indianapolis, in 1924. Appointed titular bishop of Hippo and auxiliary to the bishop of Indianapolis, February 3, 1933. Consecrated in the cathedral at Indianapolis, March 28, 1933, by Bishop Chartrand, assisted by Bishop Emmanuel Ledvina of Corpus Christi and Bishop Alphonse J. Smith of Nashville. Made vicar general of the Diocese of Indianapolis, February 5, 1933. Bishop of Indianapolis, March 24, 1934. Installed as first archbishop of Indianapolis, December 19, 1944, by Archbishop Amleto Giovanni Cicognani, apostolic delegate to the United States. Transferred to St. Louis by virtue of apostolic letters dated July 20, 1946. Formally installed in the Cathedral of St. Louis, October 8, 1946. Proclaimed and created a cardinal by Pope John XXIII on January 16, 1961. Died at St. Louis, June 10, 1967. Buried in Calvary Cemetery, St. Louis, MO.

Here are two clippings from the Terre Haute Tribune, June 10, 1967:


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