Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

Bishop Siegel Begins Service To The Diocese Of Evansville

The Message photos by Peewee Vasquez

Just a few minutes into the Dec. 15 Installation Mass for Most Rev. Joseph M. Siegel at St. Benedict Cathedral in Evansville, Archbishop Christoph Pierre addressed the sixth bishop of our diocese.

“You are called by the Holy Spirit to serve Almighty God and the people of the Diocese of Evansville, in faith and in love, as their shepherd,” Archbishop Pierre said. “Are you willing to serve the people of this diocese in the tradition of the apostolic faith of the Church?”

Bishop Siegel responded, “With faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and with the love of God in my heart, I do accept the pastoral care of the people of God in the Diocese of Evansville. I resolve to serve faithfully the spiritual needs of this local Church.”

A crowd of more than 800 joined Archbishop Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the U.S., in proclaiming “Thanks be to God” before breaking into a long ovation.

Archbishop Pierre and Archbishop Charles C. Thompson of Indianapolis then led Bishop Siegel to the Cathedra – the traditional seat of the bishop in the diocesan cathedral – and another ovation ensued.

“As I said on the day my appointment was announced, I don’t come with any preconceived plans or strategies, “Bishop Siegel said during his homily. “In this first year, I look forward to listening, and learning, and seeking the wisdom of the clergy, diocesan staff and various advisory councils in the Diocese, especially as to how we can best implement the goals and objectives laid out in the 2016 Diocesan Pastoral Plan.

Earlier, Bishop Siegel talked about his role as shepherd of our 12-county Catholic community.

“I hope to fulfill my role as shepherd of this diocese in the manner described by Pope Francis,” he said, “that is to lead you, to mark out the road ahead by my example, teaching, and preaching.  To walk beside you, accompanying you in the joys and struggles of your lives, as you strive to live out the moral and ethical teachings of the Church, in challenging situations you encounter each day.

“And to follow, making sure no one gets left behind, and always being ready to seek out the lost, to invite back those who have left the practice of their faith, to help to bring healing and reconciliation to these alienated from the Church for any reason.”

A large group of Bishop Siegel’s family – siblings, and nieces and nephews – traveled from Joliet for the installation. A large group of staff from the Joliet diocese also attended.

LeSEA Broadcasting of Indianapolis produced a live telecast of the Mass that was carried by CatholicTV, EWTN, and Evansville’s NBC affiliate, WFIE-TV, on its digital channel 14.2 - MeTV. That channel is available on four cable systems across the diocese, which made the telecast available to thousands of households. Two Catholic radios stations – WTJW in Jasper, Ind., and WIAH in Evansville, also broadcast the Mass live. Several online outlets also provided live-streams of the Mass, including CatholicTV, EWTN, the Diocese of Evansville, WFIE-TV, the Evansville Courier & Press, and the Dubois County Herald.

LeSEA’s broadcast will be available on the Diocese of Evansville’s YouTube channel in the near future.