March 8, 2013

Father Patrick Beidelman appointed to lead spiritual life and worship secretariat

By Sean Gallagher

Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin has appointed Father Patrick Beidelman as executive director of the archdiocesan Secretariat for Spiritual Life and Worship.

The appointment took effect on March 1. Father Beidelman succeeds Charles Gardener, who retired last December after leading the secretariat for many years.

As a result of this appointment, Father Beidelman also joins the Management Council, a group of the senior managers in the administration of the archdiocese, which meets regularly with Archbishop Tobin.

“It’s humbling and exciting to work with Archbishop Tobin, who has begun his ministry as our archbishop in such a prayerful and faith-filled way, and in a way that’s been such a very fine beginning,” said Father Beidelman of his new appointment.

For now, Father Beidelman will divide his time between the new ministry assignment and his service as vice rector and director of formation at Bishop Simon Bruté College Seminary in Indianapolis.

“That’s the piece that makes this new opportunity for me bittersweet,” Father Beidelman said. “I have really come to appreciate how special that ministry is, working with young men who are seeking to uncover God’s call in their life and being formed in such a way that they can respond by laying their lives down in service to the Church.”

As he begins his new ministry, Father Beidelman spoke in appreciation of the service that Gardener gave to the secretariat.

“The particular gifts and abilities that he brought to leadership in this secretariat served it well for so many years,” Father Beidelman said. “I know that I’ll bring my own abilities, gifts and style that hopefully will pick up the ball where he laid it down and maybe move it down the field a little bit.”

Father Beidelman ministered as archdiocesan director of liturgy within the secretariat twice—from 2005 to 2007, and from 2009 to the present. From 2007 to 2009, he did graduate studies in liturgical theology at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome.

In addition to carrying out the duties of that previous position, Father Beidelman will also focus on spirituality and the new evangelization.

He sees a close connection between promoting a greater and deeper understanding of the Church’s liturgy, which he described as “the fullest and best expression of our faith,” and the new evangelization.

“So much flows from and back to our liturgical life within our faith family,” Father Beidelman said. “So it is naturally the point at which we would encourage people to connect with us—people who might be away from the Church, who have no Church home, or whose faith has grown tepid.

“In the midst of all of those folks, it’s a place where we can rekindle in them living their faith actively and intentionally.” †

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