Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

Diocese Welcomes 125 To The Bruté Society


“Truly beloved brethren: May charity and innocence abound with all. May prosperity and security dwell in our borders. May the happiness and contentment, the common zeal for the public good, and the universal, mutual good feeling which I have witnessed and shared with gladness of heart since I came to devote the remainder of my days to your service, forever be fostered by all” (Servant of God Simon Bruté, pastoral letter, 10 August 1835).

The Diocese of Evansville honored 125 people from parishes across our 12 counties who have lived Bishop Bruté’s call during the Nov. 4 Bruté Society Induction Mass, which was hosted by Good Shepherd Parish on Evansville’s east side. Bishop Joseph M. Siegel concelebrated the Mass with 18 priests of the diocese.

The bishop talked about the first bishop of Indiana, calling him someone who literally served his people “until he had nothing else to give.” He expressed his gratitude to the inductees and all members of the Bruté Society for all they do and have done to further the mission of the Church – especially through serving others, from the unborn to the elderly.

In his homily, the bishop talked about the inundation of information and messages that we all receive, which can leave us wondering what it really means to be Catholic. In the day’s Gospel reading, Jesus responds to a question from one of the scribes by reciting the two greatest commandments – love the Lord God above all else, and love your neighbor as yourself.

Bishop Siegel emphasized that there is a “non-exclusive solidarity” when it comes to our neighbors, saying that whoever we meet in life is our neighbors – including foes and those we may not like. He added that loving our neighbor must necessarily flow from our love and worship of God.

He saluted the Bruté Society inductees, saying that, with God’s grace, they had committed themselves to living out God’s commands.

The worship aid and program for the event included a description of the Bruté Society medal and the meaning of its design. It notes that “Bruté Society members are, first and foremost, good stewards of the blessings they have received from God.”

The booklet also included the following: “John Quincy Adams called Bishop Bruté ‘the most learned man of his day in America.’ His pioneer spirit and devotion and dedication to the Church in what would become our diocese make Bishop Bruté an excellent model of Christian stewardship and the namesake for The Bruté Society.”

Immediately following his homily, Bishop Siegel presented individual medals to inductees. At the end of the prayers of the faithful, he offered a special blessing for inductees and all members of The Bruté Society.

Editor’s note – the full list of honorees will appear in the all-diocesan issue of The Message on Nov. 16.