August 4, 2017

Archbishop eager to learn ‘rhythm of the archdiocese’

Archbishop Charles C. Thompson raises the Eucharist during Mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in New Albany on July 30. (Photo by Sean Gallagher)

Archbishop Charles C. Thompson raises the Eucharist during Mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in New Albany on July 30. (Photo by Sean Gallagher)

By Natalie Hoefer

It was one of his few periods of quiet in four days, but Archbishop Charles C. Thompson still took time on July 30 to share his reflections on his installation as shepherd of the Church in central and southern Indiana.

“It’s been a whirlwind,” he admitted, shortly after he celebrated Mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in New Albany. “Actually, the last four weeks have been a whirlwind.”

But in the center of the whirlwind were abundant blessings.

“The whole thing was moments of grace,” he said. “Just the beauty of the liturgy; all that people put into this to pull it off; connecting with people I haven’t seen in a while, some since prior to my ordination [as bishop] in Evansville. Then to meet all the different young people, older people, the various religious in the archdiocese—it was all grace.”

In the midst of all the activities from July 27-July 30 that marked his installation and first weekend of official duties, Archbishop Thompson said he still found “quiet moments in the chapel” in his new Indianapolis home, “moments where I could be quiet and in prayer, reminiscing about it all, going back through the events. It’s all been very profound.”

(Related coverage: Photo Gallery)

Now that the incense has dissipated and the visiting friends, family and bishops have returned home, Archbishop Thompson is ready to “get in a routine,” he said.

His next steps as shepherd of the Church in central and southern Indiana are to “get to know the people, the places, what we do and how we do it,” he said. “I want to learn the life of the archdiocese and the rhythm of the archdiocese, and hopefully get into a routine myself.”

He looks forward to meeting the Catholics of central and southern Indiana “as soon as I can,” he said.

“One thing I did in Evansville was go to the deaneries and meet the leadership early on. I hope to do that soon as well,” he added.

Meanwhile, he hopes to find time in his new routine for running, his preferred method of stress release.

He was happy to note that Indianapolis is predominantly flat.

“I like to run—but I don’t like to hurt,” he quipped.
 

(Full coverage of the July 30 Mass that Archbishop Charles C. Thompson celebrated at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in New Albany will appear in the Aug. 11 issue of The Criterion.)

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