October 28, 2016

Cardinal-designate Tobin will say ‘thank you’ to archdiocese with Dec. 3 Mass and reception

By John Shaughnessy

Archbishop Joseph W. TobinWhen Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin learned on Oct. 9 that Pope Francis had named him as one of 17 new cardinals, he quickly thought of the impact that the people of the archdiocese have had on his life.

“I want to be able to say thank you to the people for helping make me who I am,” said the cardinal-designate, stressing how pleased he was that Pope Francis was allowing him to continue as the spiritual leader of the Church of central and southern Indiana.

“What four years has done for me is that this wonderful Catholic community spread across 39 counties has gone from ‘the archdiocese’ to ‘my people.’ I don’t mean that in a proprietary way at all. They have a claim on me, and I have a claim on them.”

Cardinal-designate Tobin will be sharing his gratitude with the people of the archdiocese in a special celebration on Dec. 3, a celebration that will begin with a Mass at 11 a.m. in SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis. Dec. 3 is also the feast day of St. Francis Xavier, principal patron of the archdiocese.

A reception and a receiving line with the cardinal-designate will follow in the Archbishop Edward T. O’Meara Catholic Center across the street from the cathedral. The Mass and the reception are both open to the public.

The celebration in the archdiocese will come exactly two weeks after Pope Francis installs the archbishop as a cardinal in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome on Nov. 19. He will be the first cardinal to lead the archdiocese.

“The Mass of celebration for Archbishop Tobin on Dec. 3 is important in a couple of ways,” says Annette “Mickey” Lentz, chancellor of the archdiocese. “One, it will be the opportunity for guests from all across southern and central Indiana to celebrate the Eucharist with him and congratulate him, especially the people who would not be going to Rome.

“It’s also a testament that he serves the local Church of central and southern Indiana. And we want to recognize this historic event in the archdiocese. It also gives people the opportunity to let him know how proud they are of him—and the guidance and service he has rendered to us in these past four years.”

No tickets or reservations are required for people to attend the Mass and/or the reception. The reception, which is being sponsored by Franciscan Health, will feature light refreshments and live music.

“This is history in the making,” Lentz noted. “There’s an element of excitement from people for his being named a cardinal. At the same time, I see how humble he is about it. He is also honored by it.” †

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