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Remembering those…

So many times here, I’ve focused in on those men and women who are known, at least to some. Obviously names like Guerin, Brute, Hailandiere, etc.

Then, there are the lesser known, those ‘saints’ who are my favorites, at least they are on my top 40. Names like Deydier, Lalumiere, Petit, Corbe, etc.

Then, there are those who are virtually unknown. It isn’t that I have ignored them, but rather, there is little or no information about them. One of these persons would be Fr. Joseph Hamion. Born in Alsace, France in 1814, he was ordained on August 16, 1840 1 by Bishop Hailandiere. He (among others) was recruited to help with the German speaking Catholics.

Fr. Hamion came to Indiana along with a very notable cast of others. August Bessonies, August Martin, later the first Bishop of Natchitoches Louisiana (now Alexandria), were all part of a group of men recruited by (then Vicar General) Célestine de la Hailandière on his visitation to France in 1839. It was during this visit that Bishop Brute died and Hailandière was named as his successor.

In his memoir, Bessonies mentions Fr. Hamion:

“It may not be amiss to give here the names of those that composed the colony. We had two priests, Rev. Aug. Martin and Rev. Ducoudray; two deacons, Hippolite Dupontavice and Aug. Bessonies; one subdeacon, Roamn Weinzoepfel; three in the minor orders, John Gueguen, Francis Fisher and Hamion 2

His first assignment was as assistant to Fr. Julian Benoit at St. Augustine’s in Fort Wayne. This parish also included a number of missions all across the area of northern Indiana.

Hamion died on May 8, 1842 in Logansport. The cause of his death isn’t known, however, it was apparently unexpected since he was mentioned by Fr. Anthony Deydier in his sermon to the diocesan synod in 1844:

“And the dear M. Hamion the last whom we have lost; would he have been so quickly spent had he not inherited the zealous spirit of his worthy Bishop? He counted his life for loss, so he might gain souls to Jesus Christ; and he showed, even in the ravings of his delirium, that in that missionary heart of his re retained nothing but God-God alone. 3

Fr. Hamion is buried in an unmarked grave in Logansport Indiana, in the old 9th street cemetery. 4

  1. Alerding: History of the Diocese of Vincennes, p.227[]
  2. Alerding: History of the Diocese of Vincennes, p.488[]
  3. Alerding: History of the Diocese of Vincennes, p.184[]
  4. Stineman/Porter: Catholic Clergy in Indiana, p.43[]

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