April 24, 2009

175th Anniversary Mass

A guide to the 175th Anniversary Mass for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis

Thousands of Catholics from throughout the Archdiocese of Indianapolis will gather on May 3 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the archdiocese. This special anniversary Mass is the culmination of a yearlong celebration. During the Mass, nearly 3,000 young people and adults will receive the sacrament of confirmation.

Following are some questions and answers about the celebration.

What are we celebrating?

It has been 175 years since Pope Gregory XVI established the Diocese of Vincennes, which became the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, on May 6, 1834. We look back in gratitude to our first bishop in Indiana, Bishop Simon Bruté, St. Theodora Guérin, and all the clergy, religious and lay people throughout the years who made great sacrifices to pass on to us the Catholic faith we enjoy today.

Our celebration at Lucas Oil Stadium is an opportunity for all Catholics in the archdiocese to celebrate the Eucharist together and to give thanks to God for the many blessings he has bestowed upon our archdiocese over the past 175 years. This celebration also is a time for all Catholics in the archdiocese to hear their call in the Holy Spirit to participate in the Church’s mission to evangelize and to spread the Good News of our salvation.

Where will the 175th Anniversary Mass be held?

It will take place at 3 p.m. on May 3 in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Who is invited?

All Catholics in the archdiocese are invited. We also welcome all Catholics from outside the archdiocese and any non-Catholics who want to celebrate with us.

How many people are expected to attend?

As many as 40,000 people.

Do I need a ticket to get in and are there assigned seats?

No one needs a ticket to enter the general seating in the stands. The confirmation candidates and their sponsors will be seated by parish on the floor along with other people being recognized and special guests. There also will be seating for persons with disabilities. All others may sit where they wish in the stands.

How early can I enter the stadium?

The doors will open at 1 p.m.

Will there be any entertainment before the Mass?

Music will be performed before the Mass starting at 1:30 p.m. by a special Archdiocesan High School Jubilee Choir, the St. Monica Spanish Choir, Holy Angels Mass Choir and the African Catholic Ministry Drummers. Videos will be shown highlighting the history of the archdiocese.

Who will celebrate the Mass?

Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein and 19 other bishops and abbots from around the country, including Cardinal Francis George, archbishop of Chicago. Priests of the archdiocese will concelebrate.

How long will the Mass last?

Approximately two hours.

How will nearly 3,000 people be confirmed?

There will be at least 40 stations where the candidates will receive the sacrament.

Will everyone be able to receive Communion?

Yes. There will be more than 200 Communion stations.

Does this Mass fulfill my Sunday obligation?


Is the archdiocese doing anything special for the confirmation candidates?

In addition to bringing all the confirmation candidates together for this celebration, each candidate will receive a rosary and case.

Will I be able to see what’s going on if I’m sitting in the stands?

A large stage will be set up to place the altar on. The Mass also will be shown on giant screens in the stadium.

How will the diversity of the archdiocese be reflected in the celebration?

Readings, prayers and music will be proclaimed and sung in English and nine other languages.

Will there be any special music during the Mass?

The text of the opening hymn, “Come and See the Many Wonders,” was composed specifically for the 175th anniversary of the archdiocese by Benedictine Father Harry Hagan of St. Meinrad Archabbey.

Will a collection be taken up during Mass?

Yes. Those wishing to make a tax-deductible contribution to help support the 175th Anniversary Mass can make out a check to the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. †

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