INDIANAPOLIS — Archbishop Joseph William Tobin was installed as the sixth archbishop of Indianapolis on Monday, calling on Catholics to live the Gospel as a personal encounter with Jesus.
“What we will do together as a Church we will do with passion, the passion that characterized our patron, St. Francis Xavier,” he said at the Dec. 3 installation Mass at Indianapolis’ Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul.
“We will do whatever the Lord asks us to do in bringing the Good News, especially to those who have the least chance of doing it, for those who live on the margin of things, for those who have been hurt by the Church, for those who feel themselves to be forgotten,” Archbishop Tobin told the congregation.
The installation Mass took place in the presence of many bishops, priests, vowed religious, the lay faithful and representatives from government and other religions. The archbishop is the oldest of 13 children, and many of his relatives attended the Mass.
Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the apostolic nuncio to the U.S., told the archbishop that he prayed that, like the missionary St. Francis Xavier, “your apostolic labors for the sake of the Gospel and the New Evangelization will bear much spiritual fruit in this portion of the Lord’s vineyard.”
The nuncio read Pope Benedict XVI’s apostolic letter that appointed Archbishop Tobin to Indianapolis. The letter said the new archbishop is endowed with “proven qualities of mind and heart” and cited his experience in Church matters.
Archbishop Tobin, 60, previously served in the Vatican at the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, where he helped oversee the more than 1 million men and women who are vowed religious.
He is a Redemptorist priest and served as the order’s superior general from 1997 to 2009.
In his homily, the archbishop examined the nature of love. He said that love isn’t “simply an obligation,” but “a way of loving the one who has made us his or her beloved.”
Catholics do what they do “not simply because we’re obeying rules,” he explained.
Citing Pope Benedict XVI, he said the Gospel cannot be presented “first and foremost as a list of moral obligations.” Rather, it is “an encounter with a Person, Someone who has loved us first, and Someone who asks us to continue his loving presence in the world.”
Archbishop Tobin’s new archdiocese has nearly 228,000 Catholics. He succeeds Archbishop Daniel Buechlein, who retired in September 2011 for health reasons.