February 9, 2018

Religious sisters remember archbishop’s help and support

Sisters of various religious orders were present for the funeral Mass of Archbishop Emeritus Daniel M. Buechlein at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral on Jan. 31. Standing for the recessional hymn in this photo is a row of Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, wearing white veils. Among the religious sisters in the row behind them are three Missionaries of Charity, wearing white veils tucked into dark coats. Behind them wearing tan habits are two sisters and one postulant of the Daughters of Holy Mary of the Heart of Jesus, from Steubenville, Ohio. In the bottom row, right, are Little Sisters of the Poor in gray veils, and one postulant wearing a white veil. (Photo by Natalie Hoefer)

Sisters of various religious orders were present for the funeral Mass of Archbishop Emeritus Daniel M. Buechlein at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral on Jan. 31. Standing for the recessional hymn in this photo is a row of Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, wearing white veils. Among the religious sisters in the row behind them are three Missionaries of Charity, wearing white veils tucked into dark coats. Behind them wearing tan habits are two sisters and one postulant of the Daughters of Holy Mary of the Heart of Jesus, from Steubenville, Ohio. In the bottom row, right, are Little Sisters of the Poor in gray veils, and one postulant wearing a white veil. (Photo by Natalie Hoefer)

By Natalie Hoefer

Sisters of several religious orders honored the memory of Archbishop Emeritus Daniel M. Buechlein at his funeral Mass on Jan. 31 at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis.

Some knew him personally, others were present out of respect. But all spoke of the tremendous support he offered to their religious communities.

Below are thoughts and insights from the members of some of those religious orders who attended the funeral Mass.
 

Sister Jane Marie Klein, Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration, Mishawaka, Ind.
“I went to school with Archbishop in Jasper [Ind.] at [the former] St. Joseph grade school, and we have a common aunt and uncle and cousins. Obviously, I’ve known him a long time. Beyond that, we have a hospital here in Indianapolis [Franciscan Health Indianapolis]. He’s just been a true friend and support in our Catholic health care ministry for many, many years, always there and available when we needed him. What a legacy. He just forever was in leadership and gave it his all. His episcopal motto was to ‘Seek the Face of [the Lord].’ And he’s there, he’s seeing it.”
 

Sister M. Salvinette, superior of the Missionaries of Charity, Indianapolis (the order founded by St. Teresa of Calcutta was invited to the archdiocese by Archbishop Buechlein in 2000)
“[Archbishop Buechlein] was really a great channel for us to come here. It’s not only here—he also invited our sisters in Memphis, so he was like a part of our family of the Missionaries of Charity. He was like a real spiritual father to us, really. … And also we had the blessing of going twice to see Archbishop recently [at Saint Meinrad]. We feel like we were able to do something for him, being there for him, because he was a great support for us from the ‘80s in Memphis.”
 

Sister Ushatta Mary, superior of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Indianapolis (the order was invited to the archdiocese by Archbishop Buechlein in 1998)
“He was a most important person for our life here in the United States. … I still remember standing here [in the Archbishop Edward T. O’Meara Catholic Center in Indianapolis] and talking with him and Msgr. [Joseph F. Schaedel, then-archdiocesan vicar general] when we came here. He was a great father for us. He was always available for us, always ready to make us feel at home. … He visited us many times. On a Palm Sunday, he even came and celebrated Mass for us at our house. We always remember his paternal care. … In the ministry of education and health care, he was an important part of our life and helping us spread our charism here. He helped us to study at Marian [University in Indianapolis] and get credentials for doing some work here. … There is so much sadness in my heart. Without him and his support, we could not [have done] anything.”
 

Sister Mary Ann Koetter, subprioress of the Sisters of St. Benedict at Our Lady of Grace Monastery, Beech Grove
“Archbishop Daniel was a powerful advocate for the archdiocesan Catholic schools, which are very near and dear to the hearts of the Sisters of St. Benedict in Beech Grove. So many of the sisters taught in schools around the archdiocese, and we are grateful for his commitment to and support of education. It was certainly out of respect for his leadership and his years dedicated to the people of God that I wanted to represent our community at his funeral liturgy. The [funeral] Mass was truly a fitting and sacred celebration.”
 

Sister Cathy Campbell, Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, St. Mary-of-the-Woods
“I was a campus minister here in the archdiocese from 2007-2011, and appreciated the fact that the archbishop met yearly with the high school seniors as a very special moment for them, to remind them of what it meant to be a graduate of a Catholic school. … I always found him to be a very warm, pastoral type of leader. I was very sad when he had his stroke and had to retire.”
 

Sister Cecilia, Little Sisters of the Poor, Indianapolis
“I wanted to attend his funeral because he’s done so much for our congregation and for the Little Sisters in general. He’s always supported religious life very strongly, and he would visit our home for the elderly poor [St. Augustine Home for the Aged in Indianapolis]. He would come and talk to the residents, [and] have Mass for them.”
 

Postulant Emily Schafer, Daughters of Holy Mary of the Heart of Jesus, Steubenville, Ohio
“I went to St. Lawrence grade school and Bishop Chatard High School [both in Indianapolis]. I knew Archbishop Buechlein mostly through his visits to the schools, and then primarily through his being the one who confirmed me when I was in high school. … God’s providence lined it up so that [she and two of her religious sisters] had the blessing of being able to come here and to [participate in] this Mass for him.” †

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