The other day I went to visit the grave of one of my Shelbyville predecessors, Fr Vincent Bacquelin. No doubt he will be a key intercessor for me here. Here is some good info on him from Indiana Catholic History:
This Wednesday, September 2nd, marks the 169th anniversary of the death of Father Vincent Bacquelin, a priest of the Diocese of Vincennes. A true “Pioneer” priest in Indiana, he was born on December 1, 1811 at Clermont-Ferrand, France. He was part of the group that came with Bishop Brute from France to Indiana in 1836.
Bacquelin was a seminarian at the time and he was sent to Mount St. Mary’s in Emmitsburg. He was ordained there on April 25, 1837 by Bishop Brute. In August of 1837, Brute sent him to minister to what basically consisted of central and south central Indiana. Based at St. Vincent’s in Shelby County, Bacquelin visited Rush, Shelby, Bartholomew and Marion County. He formed the first community at Indianapolis. He also worked as far as Cambridge City and Richmond.
In addition to all his other duties, Fr. Bacquelin also gave the annual retreat to the Sisters at Saint Mary of the Woods, including (Saint) Mother Theodore. Sister Mary Borromeo Brown describes it in her history1
“The annual retreat was approaching, this year as all during the early years to be preached by one of the good French priests of the diocese, Father Vincent Bacquelin. This pious, devoted and zealous young priest had come to America with Bishop Bruté’s colony in 1836.
It seemed, however, that many of the early missionaries, especially those who seemed to be so zealous, died before their time. While on a sick call on September 2, 1846 in Rush County, Fr. Bacquelin was thrown from his horse against a tree and was killed instantly. He was buried at St. Vincent’s Shelby County.
History of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary of the Woods, New York: Benziger Brothers, 1949 [↩]