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Weekend Calendar

Today, January 8th, is the 154th anniversary of the establishment of the Diocese of Fort Wayne. By decree of Pope Pius IX, the northern half of the state became the Diocese of Fort Wayne, the boundaries being that part of the state north of the south boundaries of Fountain, Montgomery, Boone, Hamilton, Madison, Delaware, Randolph, and Warren counties. The remaining southern half of the state made up the Diocese of Vincennes, embracing 50 counties. It covered an area of 18,479 square miles extending from the north boundaries of Marion and contiguous counties to the Ohio River and from Illinois on the west to Ohio on the east.

Of course, we know that in 1878, when Francis Silas Chatard was named Bishop of Vincennes, he moved his residence to Indianapolis. In 1898, the Diocese was moved to Indianapolis officially.

In 1944, Indianapolis was made an archdiocese. The anniversary of that event was mentioned on this site. The dioceses of Lafayette-In-Indiana and Evansville were created then. The diocese of Gary came in 1957.

With all the shifting population, it wouldn’t surprise me if more changes were made in the future. As was mentioned in the recording of the reading of the decree in 1944, it is sometimes needed. To paraphrase the decree of 1944, when the governance of souls and the circumstances of time and place require it the Pope can change boundaries etc.

Also on the calendar this Monday, January 10th is the 19th anniversary of the death of Archbishop Edward T. O’Meara. Born in Saint Louis and ordained by our own Archbishop Ritter, O’Meara served the Archdiocese of Indianapolis for about 13 years as Archbishop.

I’ll repeat the New York Times obituary which ran on January 11, 1992:

INDIANAPOLIS, Jan. 11 – Archbishop Edward T. O’Meara, who headed Catholic relief efforts for war and disaster victims around the world, died Friday at his home here. He was 70 years old.

Archbishop O’Meara, the spiritual leader of the 200,000 Roman Catholics in the Indianapolis Archdiocese, was found last summer to be suffering from pulmonary fibrosis, a lung disease.

The illness led him to resign in September as president and chairman of Catholic Relief Services, an agency in Baltimore that was created to help refugees during World War II and was expanded to a worldwide relief organization. Last year it distributed $230 million in aid to 74 countries.

He was elected to the first board of directors of Catholic Relief Services in the 1970″²s and became the agency’s president in 1987. Son of Irish Immigrants

Archbishop O’Meara, who headed a 39-county archdiocese that covers most of the southern half of Indiana, traditionally delivered the invocation before the Indianapolis 500 automobile race.

The son of Irish immigrants, he was born in St. Louis on Aug. 3, 1921, and was ordained there in 1946. He attended Kendrick Seminary in St. Louis and in 1952 earned a doctorate in theology at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome.

He was named auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of St. Louis in 1972 and was installed as the fourth Archbishop of Indianapolis in 1980. He died 12 years to the day after his installation.

In an interview shortly after his installment, Archbishop O’Meara said his affinity for the Catholic Church was rooted in his childhood.”I can never remember a time when I wasn’t drawn to it,” he said.”I liked to be around the priests. I liked what they did. I admired their wholesome life.”

Archbishop O’Meara left no immediate survivors.


Categories: Postings.