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Archdiocese Of Indianapolis And St. Meinrad Celebrate Archbishop Daniel

Archbishop Charles C. Thompson of Indianapolis stands behind the altar as four brother bishops process into St. Meinrad Archabbey's Church of Our Lady of Einseideln for the Feb. 1 Mass. The Message photo by Tim Lilley

Indianapolis Archbishop Charles C. Thompson spoke fondly of his mentor and friend, Archbishop-emeritus Daniel M Buechlein, during the Feb. 1 Memorial Mass for Archbishop Daniel at St. Meinrad Archabbey. The Jasper native, 79, died Jan. 25 in the archabbey infirmary.

“Archbishop Daniel chose ‘Seek the Face of the Lord’ as his episcopal motto,” Archbishop Thompson said during his homily. “That is not a bad motto to live life and serve God.”

St. Meinrad Archabbot Benedictine Father Kurt Stasiak served as principal celebrant for the Mass. Concelebrants included Archbishop Thompson, several brother bishops, and priests of the Archabbey, the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and the Diocese of Evansville.

In addition to Archbishop Thompson, concelebrants included Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville; Bishop Christopher J. Coyne of Burlington, Vt., who served as Auxiliary Bishop of Indianapolis from 2011 until his 2015 installation as the shepherd of the Diocese of Burlington; Bishop Peter A. Libasci of Manchester, N.H., a St. Meinrad alumnus, and Bishop-emeritus J. Terry Steib of Memphis, Tenn., who succeeded Archbishop Daniel in 1993 as shepherd of the West Tennessee diocese after his appointment as the fifth Archbishop of Indianapolis. Evansville priests concelebrating included Father John Boeglin, Father Mike Madden, Father Dave Martin and Father Frank Renner.

“This was a man who truly sought the face of the Lord,” Archabbot Stasiak said as he welcomed those who filled the Archabbey’s Church of Our Lady of Einsiedeln to standing-room-only for the Mass. “Today we celebrate 79 years of his life with us, and his entrance into eternal life with God, his parents and all the saints.” The Archabbot also offered a special welcome to Archbishop Daniel’s brother Charlie and his wife, Marge.

“I would have taken a bullet for Archbishop Daniel because I know he would have taken one for me … and for all of you,” Archbishop Thompson said. Earlier in his homily, he recalled something Pope Francis said during a Mass in Rome last summer when he blessed and presented palliums to archbishops – including Archbishop Thompson and two others with ties to the archdiocese and southern Indiana – Cardinal Joseph Tobin, now archbishop of Newark, N.J., and Archbishop Paul Etienne, a son of Tell City and the archdiocese.

“Pope Francis said to us, ‘Spend your lives for the flock; imitating the Good Shepherd, who bears you on his shoulders.’ Today, we pray for our brother Daniel. He spent his life for all of us in the name of the Lord. May he gaze eternally on the face of the Lord.”

Interment immediately followed Mass in the Archabbey Cemetery.

At the beginning of his homily, Archbishop Thompson shared that Pope Francis had sent a formal message of condolence and prayers to the people of the archdiocese and the monks of St. Meinrad on Archbishop Daniel’s passing.

The celebration of his life began in Indianapolis on Jan. 30 with a Vigil Service at Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis. Archbishop Etienne served as homilist. Archbishop Thompson concelebrated Mass the next day at the cathedral. Bishop Joseph M. Siegel of Evansville and other Indiana bishops joined Cardinal Tobin, Bishop Coyne and others to concelebrate. Cardinal Tobin served as homilist for that Mass.