First auxiliary bishop for Indianapolis since 1933 ordained

INDIANAPOLIS (CNS) — A witness to mystery. That is how Indianapolis Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein described Bishop Christopher J. Coyne in a homily that he delivered just minutes before he ordained the Boston archdiocesan priest as the first auxiliary bishop for the church in central and southern Indiana since 1933.

“In a secularized world that believes only in what it sees, by your consecration and by what you do, Bishop Coyne, you will be a witness to mystery,” Archbishop Buechlein said during the March 2 liturgy at St. John the Evangelist Church in Indianapolis.

“The very life and identity of a bishop — and of priests — are rooted in the order of faith, the order of the unseen and not in the secular order of values.”

In a sense, the 1,000 people who filled the oldest Catholic church in Indianapolis also witnessed mystery during the two-hour ordination Mass. When Archbishop Buechlein, co-ordaining Bishops Paul D. Etienne of Cheyenne, Wyo., and Richard G. Lennon of Cleveland, and the 15 other bishops present for the liturgy prayerfully laid their hands on the head of Bishop Coyne, they continued a ritual that the apostles themselves used to call down the Holy Spirit upon those who would succeed them in their mission of proclaiming the Gospel to all nations.

“We can all be good administrators, liturgists, preachers, healers, teachers, good and friendly guys,” Bishop Coyne said in remarks after Communion. “But if we’re not about spreading the good news of salvation in and through the Catholic Church, then we’ve missed the point of our ministry.”

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