In a pleasant surprise for African-American Catholics in Indianapolis, a reorganization plan for the Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis has resulted in positive benefits for the city’s two remaining historic African-American Catholic Parishes. Black Catholics in Indy had been apprehensive about the reorganization plans.
In other archdioceses across the country Black Catholic churches, called parishes, have been closed or forced merged with other parishes. They was concern that could happen in Indianapolis. But while three Indianapolis Catholic parishes are being closed (Holy Trinity, Holy Family, St. Bernadette) the historic Black parishes will continue. In a series of decisions announced by Archbishop Joseph Tobin, the parishioners of Holy Angels Catholic Church have been granted permission to rebuild a new church to replace their historic structure which was torn down nearly two years ago because of its deteriorating condition. In addition, both Holy Angels and St. Rita’s Catholic Church will remain open as individual distinct parishes, but the two churches will “share” a pastor or priest.
The decisions were announced by Archbishop Tobin was part of Connected in the Spirit, a 16 month long intensive series of discussions to determine how the Church would, in the Archbishop’s words, “Discern where God is leading the Catholic Church in central and southern Indiana and determine how the Archdiocese of Indianapolis should change its structures in order to carry out its mission today and in the future” According to the Archbishop the process which involved church clergy and lay leaders and church members made recommendations based upon such factors as demographic shifts, concentration of parishes in a limited geographical area, declining church attendance, decrease in clergy needed to staff parishes and a review of facilities.
As part of the mission of both Holy Angels and St. Rita is to continued to maintain their role as voice of Black Catholic Community. Specifically the two churches and their members are encouraged to help “Enhance the voice of the Black Catholic Community in Indianapolis and the Archdiocese” and “Incorporate the gifts of the Black Catholic Community into the Mission of the Archdiocese”. Interviewed on Afternoons with Amos, Holy Angels’ Pastor Father Kenneth Taylor talked about the renewed mission of both Holy Angels and St. Rita’s and said it was part of the Catholic Church’s renewed effort to bring Christ’s Life and Hope to Indianapolis neighborhoods, including the African-American community. Click the Link To Read Details of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis Connected in the Spirit Plan. Connected in the Spirit Recommendations Click the Audio Player to hear Amos’ Interview with Holy Angels Pastor Father Kenneth Taylor; the Statement of Archbishop Joseph Tobin on the Rebuilding of Holy Angels Church and his Full Statement on the Archdiocese reorganization. ©2014 WTLC/Radio One. Special Thanks to Tim Johnson for Production Assistance
Archbishop Tobin Statement On Holy Angels Rebuilding – Runs 27 Seconds Archbishop Tobin Statement On Connecting in the Spirit. Runs 19 Minutes – Amos’ Interview With Father Kenneth Taylor of Holy Angels – Runs 20 Minutes