Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

Apostolic Nuncio Leads Solemn Evening Prayer

Bishop Joseph M. Siegel receives greetings from Gabriella Unfried, right, a fourth-grader at Holy Rosary School in Evansville, during Solemn Evening Prayer. The Message photo by Peewee Vasquez

Editor’s note: The full text of Bishop Siegel’s homily appears in this issue. Audio of the homily is also posted to the Diocese of Evansville’s YouTube channel.


Archbishop Christoph Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the U.S., led Solemn Evening Prayer at St. Benedict Cathedral in Evansville on Dec. 14, the eve of Most Rev. Joseph M. Siegel’s installation as the sixth Bishop of Evansville.

As part of the service a representatives of many groups from across the diocese formally greeted Bishop Siegel and welcomed him to Evansville. A complete list of those who greeted him appears in this issue.

A crowd of more than 600 heard Bishop Siegel use a portion of his homily to relate a story about St. John Vianney.

“There is a story about St. John Vianney, a holy pastor who lived in 19th century, that relates how the saint got lost travelling to his first parish assignment in the tiny French village of Ars,” Bishop Siegel said. “He met a young boy from the village along the way, who gave him directions. In response, he said to the lad, ‘You have shown me the way to Ars.  I will show you the way to heaven.’

“While with the wonders of a GPS, I didn’t get lost coming down here to Evansville, my responsibility as bishop, and that of all our pastors, will still be the same as that of the sainted pastor – to help lead the people of this Diocese to heaven.”

Bishop Siegel also talked about the commission we all received at Baptism.

“We were all given the commission at our Baptism – to go out and evangelize as missionary disciples, proclaiming by our words and by the example of our lives, our faith in the Lord Jesus,” he said. “We are called to work with all people of good will, to build a culture of life, justice, peace, and goodness in our communities and in our world.

“More than ever, our society needs to heal wounds of divisions, and to work together to serve the common good. We are called to be those instruments of peace and reconciliation. It will be my responsibility, together with our priests and deacons, to help equip you for this work of evangelization and service. “

Bishop Siegel greeted those in attendance following the service.