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Death of Cardinal Ritter

On June 10, 1967, Cardinal Joseph Elmer Ritter died in Saint Louis. His biography is, hopefully, not new to us. The Archdiocesan Directory lists his biography:

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. 1

Cardinal Ritter was, of course, the 7th Bishop of Indianapolis and the first ARCHbishop of Indianapolis. It has been more than a half-century since his death, but his legacy looms large. From his desegregation of the Catholic schools in Indianapolis 17 years before the Supreme Court ruling, to his desegregation, amid much resistance, 2 in Saint Louis are still remembered. His birthplace in New Albany pays tribute to his childhood and the large mosaic in the Cathedral in St. Louis shows his attempt to draw all people together. Saint Louis University has a website called Arch City Religion 3 the link will take you to a good article about Cardinal Ritter and toward the end of the article is a full picture of the mosaic.

Joseph Cardinal Ritter was a man who was way ahead of his time. His motto was “Work hard, pray hard — but don’t worry.”

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


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