Indiana, Catholic Church in
INDIANA, CATHOLIC CHURCH IN
A state in north central U.S., in the Middle West, bounded on the north by Lake Michigan and Michigan state, on the east by Ohio, on the south by the Ohio River, and on the west by Illinois and the Wabash River. The capital and largest city is Indianapolis. Agriculture predominates in the central part of the state, with some industries in its smaller cities. Since 1905, after U.S. Steel and other corporations built mills in and near Gary and East Chicago, the heaviest industries have centered in the northwestern counties. In 2001 Catholics were about 13 percent of the state's population—759,239 in a total population of 5,908,407. They were served by five dioceses that constituted the ecclesiastical province of Indianapolis, namely, the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, Fort Wayne-South Bend, Evansille, Lafayette, and Gary.
History. It is not known just what tribes inhabited the region before the pioneer explorations, but shortly after the French explorers and missionaries reached the western Great Lakes, Algonquian tribes had moved south of the Great Lakes. From the northwest came the Miami, Potawatomi, Kickapoo, and Ouia; and from the east came remnants of the Delaware and Shawnee. During the French period (c. 1680–1763), water routes through the area connected French Canada with Louisiana, and centers for fur trading were established at Fort St. Joseph, Fort Wayne (then Fort Miami), and Ouiatenon, near the site of the present Lafayette; Vincennes, at the site of the present city of that name, was the most important center. By the Treaty of Paris of 1763, the region east of the Mississippi was ceded to England by France and was then ruled as part of Quebec under Gov. Thomas Gage. Although English traders and pioneers had begun to infiltrate the region, the inhabitants were predominantly French at the outbreak of the American Revolution. George Rogers Clark captured Vincennes assisted by Pierre gibault, the Canadian missionary who served the Illinois missions. Indiana was part of the Northwest Territory established by the Ordinance of 1787. In the war of 1812 the power of the native tribes in the area was destroyed. After Ohio, Illinois, and Michigan were cut off as separate states, the territory of Indiana was reduced to its present dimensions and received into the Union as the 19th state on Dec. 11, 1816.
Missionary Activity. The northern region of what was to become the state of Indiana fell under the jurisdiction of the bishop of Quebec from 1674 to 1789. The earliest missionaries to travel to the area, visited near South Bend, on the St. Joseph River, in 1679, and was attended later by Jesuits from the old St. Joseph mission near what is now Niles, Michigan. After the suppression of the Society caused the Jesuits to withdrew from the missions along the St. Joseph River, priests based in Vincennes where the French had established a fort, visited the area, including Gibault, who signed the St. Joseph baptismal register; Louis Payet, who conducted Christmas services at Fort Miami in 1789; and Jean Rivet, who visited Indians in the area. After the American War of Independence, the state-to-be fell under the jurisdiction of Bishop John Carroll of Baltimore from 1789 until 1810 when the Diocese of Bardstown, Ky., was established. After 1808,
missionaries from Bardstown and Louisiana served Vincennes where John Leo Champomier, resident pastor from 1823 to 1831, constructed St. Francis Xavier Church, which became the cathedral when Vincennes was established as a diocese in 1834. It was there that Simon brutÉ, was installed as the first bishop, Nov. 5,1834.
Diocese of Vincennes. Bruté's new diocese embraced all of Indiana and the eastern third of Illinois until the Diocese of Chicago was created in 1843. For his scattered flock he had only one church, an academy founded by the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, Ky., and one priest. Although several missionaries were laboring in the diocese, only Simon Lalumière was permanently attached to it. After making a visitation of his diocese, Bruté went to Europe for aid and returned with 18 missionaries, including several Eudists. Before his death in 1839, Bruté established a college and seminary and continued the local academy, staffing it with the Sisters of Charity from Emmitsburg, Md.
Bishop Bruté was succeeded by his vicar-general, Celestine de la Hailandière, who was consecrated in Paris on Aug. 18, 1839. The new bishop returned to Vincennes with additional clerical recruits and the promise of foundations by the Sisters of Providence and the Congregation of Holy Cross, both of the Diocese of Le Mans, France. The sisters, under Mother Theodore guerin founded the convent of St. Mary-of-the-Woods, Ind., in 1840; opened an academy; and established a number of schools. The Eudists opened St. Gabriel College in Vincennes, and the seminary was reorganized and expanded. In 1844, Hailandière summoned the first diocesan synod. Despite his vigilance in checking tendencies toward trusteeism, he experienced many other difficulties, including that of Roman Weinzoepfel (a local aspect of American nativism 1842–44), the departure of the Eudists, and the closing of their college. He resigned in 1847 and returned to France (where he died in 1882). His successor was also French-born, Stephen Bazin of Mobile, Ala., but his episcopate lasted less than a year (Oct. 24, 1847–April 23, 1848).
Bishop Bazin was succeeded in January 1849 by his vicar-general Maurice de St. Palais, who was a major figure
in the Church of Indiana for the next 28 years. During St. Palais' long tenure, the Catholic population, swelled by German immigrants, increased rapidly. St. Palais went to Europe (1851–52) and secured the establishment by the Benedictine Abbey of Maria Einsiedeln, Switzerland, of St. Meinrad (1854) in Spencer County, Ind., which became an independent abbey in 1870. The monks opened a college and seminary. In 1867 Benedictine sisters from Covington, Ky., established Immaculate Conception Convent and eventually an academy in nearby Ferdinand. Through the instrumentality of Francis Joseph Rudolf similar developments occurred in Oldenburg, Franklin County, where in 1851 Sister Teresa of Vienna founded a convent of Franciscan sisters who also opened an academy. In 1866, the Franciscan friars of the Cincinnati, Ohio, province took the first steps toward establishing a monastery that served as a house of studies until 1958, when the institution became a brothers' training school. In the same district, Brothers of Christian Instruction from France conducted St. Maurice Institute from 1857 to 1862. In Vincennes he established an orphanage for girls (1849) and one for boys (1850). In 1860 the latter was moved to Highland, Ind., and in 1876 the girls were sent to St. Ann Orphanage in Terre Haute, Ind. St. Charles Seminary, which the bishop reorganized in 1853, was abandoned, when in 1860 he sent the college students to St. Thomas, Ky., and in 1866, the seminarians to St. Meinrad.
In the period following the Civil War, large churches were erected in the growing cities, notably St. John in Indianapolis and Assumption in Evansville. In Indianapolis the Sisters of Providence, who had managed a hospital during the war, conducted St. John Infirmary for some time, while in Evansville, the Sisters of Charity of Emmitsburg opened St. Mary Hospital (1872). The Conventual Franciscans in 1872 were placed in charge of two parishes in Terre Haute where for a few years they conducted St. Bonaventure Lyceum. On property that they later acquired at Floyd Knobs in the southern part of the state, they established a training school for brothers and, in 1910, Mt. St. Francis College, a minor seminary. In 1873 the Little Sisters of the Poor and the Sisters of the Good Shepherd established their foundations, and in 1875 the Franciscan friars of the St. Louis Province established a monastery and Sacred Heart parish. Also in 1875 a diocesan weekly, the Indiana Catholic and Record, was begun.
Meanwhile, missionary activity in northern Indiana had begun in earnest with the arrival at St. Joseph mission of Father Stephen Theodore badin in September 1830. From there, Badin visited the Native Americans at Twin Lakes, near the present Plymouth, Ind., and the German and Irish Catholic workers on the canals between Fort Wayne and Terre Haute, Ind. On Feb. 2, 1833, Badin secured a charter for the St. Joseph Orphan Asylum from the Indiana state Legislature. In Kentucky he obtained two Sisters of Charity for this asylum, which he built in 1834 on the site of the future University of notre dame. The sisters did not stay long and the orphan asylum was soon abandoned. After 1839 St. Joseph mission was attended by priests from the Diocese of Detroit, Mich., until the arrival of Edward Sorin, CSC, who founded the University of Notre Dame on Nov. 26, 1842. The eastern part of the region was being cared for by Rev. Louis Mueller in Fort Wayne and the western part by Rev. Irenaeus Saint Cyr from Chicago. Augustus Martin and Claude François made Logansport the center of their missionary activity, with other missions established at Lagro, Peru, Lafayette, St. John's, and Huntington.
In 1857, in response to a petition of the first provincial council of Cincinnati (the Diocese of Vincennes since 1850 had been a suffragan see in the Province of Cincinnati), the Diocese of Fort Wayne was erected, confining the Diocese of Vincennes to the southern half of the state. The first bishop of the new diocese, Germanborn John Henry Luers, was ordained in 1846 and did pastoral work in Cincinnati, Ohio, until his consecration on Jan. 10, 1858. Arriving in his diocese, the new bishop found 26 churches and 20 priests. The Catholics were mostly Irish laborers and some German immigrants who settled along the Indiana-Ohio state line. Notre Dame was a boarding school for boys and St. Mary's an academy for girls. Besides the priests, brothers, and sisters of Holy Cross at Notre Dame, there were the Sisters of Providence of Terre Haute, who conducted parish schools, and the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, who immigrated from Germany to Hessen Cassel in 1863 and later went to Fort Wayne and Donaldson, conducting orphanages, hospitals, and schools.
Luers died suddenly on June 29, 1871, and was succeeded by Joseph dwenger, CPPS, who was consecrated in Cincinnati on April 14, 1872. During his administration, he established a diocesan school board and added many parish schools. A new orphanage for boys was established near Lafayette in 1875 and one for girls in Fort Wayne in 1886. In 1891, at his invitation, the Fathers of the Precious Blood began St. Joseph's College near Rensselaer. Dwenger died on Jan. 22, 1893, and Bp. Joseph Rademacher of Nashville, Tenn., was transferred to Fort Wayne on July 13. His brief episcopate was characterized by an increase in the number of churches, missions, and schools. He also remodeled the cathedral before his health became impaired in 1898. His death on Jan. 12, 1900, ended a long illness during which his vicar-general, J. H. Guendling, was administrator of the diocese.
Move to Indianapolis. Chatard. In 1878 Francis Silas chatard was named as the successor of St. Palais, who died the previous year. Chatard established the episcopal residence in Indianapolis, while the cathedral and the title of the see were continued at Vincennes. Synods were held in 1878, 1880, 1886, and 1891. Although the bishop adopted a rather rigorous attitude toward secret societies, he encouraged Catholic societies of national character. A mutual insurance company for church property in the diocese was formed in 1883 and functioned until its liquidation in 1950. Chatard's most progressive efforts affected the clergy: he sent a number of seminarians to European institutions; established irremovable rectors, diocesan courts, and deanery conferences; ordered an annual collection for aged and infirm priests; encouraged a Clergy Relief Union, organized in 1894; and founded a St. Michael Society to ensure Masses for deceased clerics. He secured permission for the use in the diocese of the Calendar of the city of Rome, necessitating a special Ordo that developed into a Year Book.
In 1889, after a fire at St. Meinrad, the commercial department of the college was transferred to Jasper, where it became Jasper Academy (later in 1933 it was reestablished in Aurora, Ill., as Marmion Academy). In 1909 the high school and the college were distinctly separated at St. Mary-of-the-Woods. The Sisters of Charity of Emmitsburg founded St. Vincent Hospital, Indianapolis, in 1881, and the Poor Sisters of St. Francis Seraph of Perpetual Adoration from Lafayette opened hospitals in Terre Haute (1882), New Albany (1901), and Beech Grove (1913). In Evansville the Little Sisters of the Poor established a house in 1882 and the Poor Clares a convent in 1897.
By an Apostolic Brief dated March 28, 1898 the title of the diocese changed to Diocese of Indianapolis, making it the episcopal see. In 1906 SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral was built in Indianapolis, complete except for the façade, which was added in 1936.
Chartrand. Joseph Chartrand, who had been appointed coadjutor in 1910, succeeded to the see when Chatard died in 1918. The new bishop applied the decrees of Pius X regarding Holy Communion with enthusiasm and success and zealously promoted vocations to the priesthood. In 1921 the Daughters of Isabella opened St. Elizabeth Home in Indianapolis for working girls, and the Knights of Columbus of Indiana founded Gibault Home for delinquent boys near Terre Haute. Conducted at first by diocesan priests, this last institution was given to the charge of the Brothers of Holy Cross in 1934. In 1926 the Sisters of Providence opened Ladywood School in Indianapolis, which superseded the academy at St. Mary-ofthe-Woods. Several high schools were built throughout the diocese, including Reitz Memorial High School, Evansville, and Cathedral High School, Indianapolis.
Margaret Mary Hospital, conducted by the Sisters of the Poor of St. Francis of Hartwell, Ohio, was opened in Batesville, Ind., in 1932. The Carmelite Monastery of the Resurrection, founded in New Albany, Ind., in 1922, was reestablished in Indianapolis in 1932, and members of this monastery founded the Carmel of St. Joseph in Terre Haute in 1947.
Noll. John Francis noll, then editor of the Sunday Visitor and pastor in Huntington, Ind., was consecrated by Cardinal G. W. Mundelein on June 30, 1925. Noll established seminary burses for the education of poor boys of the diocese; built a new orphanage for boys at Fort Wayne to replace St. Joseph Orphanage in Lafayette; created a diocesan Catholic Charities Board with centers in Fort Wayne, South Bend, Gary, and Hammond; and established a diocesan Council of Catholic Women and a Catholic Youth Organization. He set up Bishop Noll High School in Hammond and St. Joseph High School in South Bend, and combined the high schools in Fort Wayne into one Central Catholic High School.
Noll was honored with the title of archbishop ad personam on Sept. 2, 1953, but suffered a stroke shortly after.
Pursley. Bishop Leo A. Pursley, who had been named auxiliary to Noll on July 22, 1950, became apostolic administrator of Fort Wayne on Feb. 21, 1955. After Noll's death on July 31, 1956, Pursley was appointed to the see and installed as its sixth bishop on Feb. 26, 1957.
Ritter. A native of New Albany, Ind., Joseph E. Ritter, was named auxiliary bishop in 1933 and upon Chartrand's death a year later succeeded him as ordinary. Ritter became the first archbishop of Indianapolis when, by decree of Pope Pius XII in December 1944, Indianapolis was made a metropolitan see.
Despite the economic depression of the 1930s, Ritter enlarged the diocesan curia, instituted three new deaneries, and created a number of new offices and committees, including a superintendent of schools, a Church music commission, and a rural life board, and reorganized Catholic Charities in the diocese. In 1934 the Jesuits established West Baden College for the scholastics of the Chicago province, and in 1937 the Franciscan Sisters of Oldenburg opened Marian College for Women in Indianapolis. Under Ritter's direction 14 new parishes and missions were established, but the action for which he gained national attention was the initiative he took in integrating the Catholic schools. In 1946 Ritter was transferred to the Archdiocese of St. Louis and named a cardinal in l961.
The same decree that elevated Indianapolis to archbishopric status created the Dioceses of Evansville and Lafayette. To form the Diocese of Evansville 12 counties in the southwestern part of the state bordering on Illinois were carved out of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. The first bishop, Henry J. Grimmelsman served until he retired in 1965 (he died June 26, 1972) and was succeeded by Bishop Paul F. Leibold (1966–1972). Four counties in the southern part of the Diocese of Fort Wayne were detached to form the Diocese of Lafayette. The first bishop, John G. Bennett who had been pastor in Garrett, Ind., was appointed the first bishop (1945–1957). A year before he died, Bishop John Carberry was appointed coadjutor with right of succession. Carberry was transferred to the diocese of Columbus (1965–1968) and later became cardinal and archbishop of St. Louis (he died June 17, 1998). In 1956 the western part of the Diocese of Fort Wayne was separated to form the new See of Gary, with Andrew G. Grutka as first bishop. Bishop Grutka retired in 1984 and was succeeded by the auxiliary bishop of Greensburg, Pa., Norbert F. Gaughan who retired in 1996. (Bishop Grutka died Nov. 11, 1993; Bishop Gaughan, Oct. 1, 1999.)
Catholic Institutions of Higher Education. Indiana is home to the University of Notre Dame du Lac (established, 1842, sponsored by the Congregation of the Holy Cross), the nation's premier Catholic university, and Saint-Mary-of-the-Woods College (established 1840, sponsored by the Sisters of Providence), the nation's oldest Catholic liberal arts college for women, and Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame (an all-women college sponsored by the Sisters of the Holy Cross, madeleva [Wolff], Mary). Other Catholic institutions of higher learning in the state include the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne (sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration), Saint Joseph's College, Rensselaer (sponsored by the Society of the Precious Blood) and Marian College in Indianapolis (sponsored by the Sisters of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis).
Bibliography: h. a. alerding, A History of the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Vincennes (Indianapolis 1883). c. blanchard, History of the Catholic Church in Indiana, 2 v. (Logansport, Ind. 1898). t. t. mcavoy, The Catholic Church in Indiana, 1789–1834 (New York 1940). j. h. schauinger, Cathedrals in the Wilderness (Milwaukee 1952). m. c. schroeder, The Catholic Church in the Diocese of Vincennes, 1847–1877 (Washington, D.C.1946). j. p. donnelly, Pierre Gibault, Missionary, 1737–1802 (Chicago 1971).
[t. t. mcavoy/