“Scecina needs to be where it is and serve the youth of its parishes and neighborhoods.”
Before his passing into eternal life a few days ago, Archbishop Emeritus Daniel M. Buechlein, OSB, spoke and prayed these words countless times during his tenure as Archbishop of Indianapolis.
Archbishop Daniel was valiant in his commitment to what we call home missions and shared ministries. A home mission is a mission here at home. It could be 50 miles away or it could be in my own backyard. A shared ministry is a ministry that requires the shared or collective support of the Church and wider community in order to exist and thrive.
Archbishop Daniel talked the talk of home missions and shared ministries. More importantly, he walked the walk.
Archbishop Daniel saw Scecina as an excellent example of both a home mission and a shared ministry. He acted fervently upon his vision. His commitment to center-city and urban Catholic education, including to Scecina in particular, was unmatched and tireless. He was a national Church leader for his effectiveness in leading fund development initiatives that raised significant amounts of money for home missions and shared ministries. His gift of leadership always was directed to benefit people in need, never to make life easier for himself. While his efforts no doubt fulfilled him, they required almost unhuman levels of focus and willpower.
Archbishop Daniel is an immensely impactful figure in the Scecina Memorial High School of today. From 1998 to 2008, Scecina benefited from archdiocesan development initiatives that he led. These programs helped Scecina’s physical infrastructure, faculty support, and endowment growth.
During his tenure, the school and/or the archdiocesan administration contemplated the possible relocation of Scecina on three different occasions. Each time, the archbishop’s conclusion was the same. His prayerful reflection and numerous consultations led him to conclude that Scecina has a vibrant mission and ministry in this neighborhood for young people of diverse walks of life.
I had the unique privilege of working directly under Archbishop Daniel from 2000 to 2008, and indirectly from 1998 to 2000. I saw, heard and felt his commitment every day. My life would never be the same, nor would the lives of countless other people.
Archbishop Daniel taught me much about prayer, compassion, gratitude, courage, patience, humility, relationships, synthesizing the distinct hopes and needs of seemingly countless constituents, and commitment to family. A very learned and accomplished man, he was a simple and pure man in the very best sense of the words.
May we all reflect on how we can further appreciate the wisdom and vision of this great man and continue or expand our commitment to living his legacy.