Skip to content

Finishing the Month of March

Certain months seem to have a lot of activity with regard to Indiana Catholic History. March is one of those busy months, perhaps because of the end of winter, and the end of Lent, and the beginning of spring, and the arrival of Easter. So, as we complete this month we find the following:

1) March 25 — On this day in 1837, Fr. Antoine (Anthony) Deydier was ordained at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral in Vincennes, by Servant of God Simon Gabriel Brute. It was Holy Saturday.This was a special time for the Diocese of Vincennes not only because the first ordination in the new Cathedral of St. Francis Xavier had taken place a few weeks earlier, but also because Rev. Mr. Deydier, a man who had been ordained a deacon in 1812, was finally being ordained a priest.
Why did Deydier wait so long? No one seems to know for sure, however, there are some possible explanations. Deydier was born in 1788 and he left his native France on June 10th, 1810 on the same vessel as Simon Brute’. After his ordination to the diaconate he refused ordination to the priesthood and he taught for four years at Mount St. Mary’s eventually ending up in Albany New York as a private tutor. Apparently his association with Brute at Mount St. Mary’s is what led him eventually to his priestly ordination. After his ordination as a priest he was sent to Evansville where, except for a money collection tour, he remained. Much of his time was taken up ministering to the workers on the Wabash and Erie Canal. Deydier’s life in Evansville was not one of leisure. Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, foundress of the Sisters of Providence, St. Mary of the Woods wrote in her journal”So extreme was his poverty and so complete his destitution, that I shall run the risk of being accused of exaggeration in describing it.” Deydier also combed the southwestern part of the state, seeking out Catholics. He remained in Evansville until 1859, when he retired to the”Highlands” at Vincennes. He died in 1864. For more information on the Church in Evansville and Fr. Deydier in particular, see: Humble Beginnings-The Catholic Church in Evansville, Indiana

2) March 25 — On this date, or at least on Palm Sunday, 1736, Fr. Antoninus Senat was burned at the stake by Indians. He was pastor of St. Francis Xavier, Vincennes. This was according to Henry Cauthron in his history of St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, Vincennes, Indiana 1 Fr. Herman Alerding, in his History of the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Vincennes questions whether Senat was, indeed, pastor and “That Father Senat, a Jesuit, was pastor of Vincennes is mere conjecture. Still, it is presumed that he was, for the reason that he accompanied ‘Vincennes’ the commander of the fort…” 2

3) March 26, 1878 — Rev. Francis Silas Marean Chatard is named fifth Bishop of Vincennes. He was born in Baltimore on December 13, 1834 and ordained at Rome, June 14, 1862. He served as Vice-rector of the American College, Rome, 1862-1878. When he was named bishop, Chatard took the name Francis Silas. He was consecrated in Rome on May 12, 1878. He was “installed” in the cathedral at Vincennes on August 11, 1878. He did not stay in Vincennes, however and he arrived in Indianapolis on August 17, 1878, serving as Bishop of Vincennes for 20 years before the diocese was transferred to Indianapolis on March 28, 1898. He died at Indianapolis on September 7, 1918. His body was interred in the crypt of the cathedral, Indianapolis. On June 8, 1976, Bishop Chatard’s remains were transferred from the cathedral, Indianapolis, to the Calvary Chapel Mausoleum, Indianapolis.

4) March 30, 1826 — On this day, Rev. John B. Champomier laid the cornerstone of the present St. Francis Xavier Cathedral in Vincnennes. It was a Thursday according to Henry Cauthorn 3

  1. Cauthorn, Henry S. 1892. St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, Vincennes, Indiana. [Place of publication not identified]. p.228 []
  2. Alerding, Herman Joseph, 1845-. History of the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Vincennes. Indianapolis, Carlon and Hollenbeck, 1883. p.54[]
  3. Ibid. p.228 []

Categories: Postings.

Comment Feed

No Responses (yet)

Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.