Archbishop Shelton J. Fabre installed four priests of the Archdiocese of Louisville as the Collegial Chapter of Canons for the Shrine of St. Martin of Tours Sept. 16, telling them the shrine should be a field hospital, welcoming and healing the wounds of all.
In May, Archbishop Fabre designated St. Martin of Tours Church, 639 S. Shelby St., a diocesan shrine.
During the solemn Vespers service, the archbishop installed the canons: Father Paul Beach, rector of the shrine; Father David Carr, vice-rector; Father Frederick Klotter, pastor of Holy Spirit Church and a former pastor of St. Martin, and Father Dennis Cousens, a retired priest of the archdiocese and also a former pastor of St. Martin.
As canons, they are being entrusted with the shrine to perform liturgical functions and to support it, Archbishop Fabre told the priests during his homily. He said he knew they would do so “out of great love.”
When pilgrims come to the shrine, they will be burdened with the “many cares and concerns of life,” the archbishop said. The shrine is not a “divine courthouse” to render judgment, he said, but instead a place that welcomes all like the “field hospital” Pope Francis has described as the universal church.
The shrine should welcome all and be seen as “a field hospital for all in the battles of life,” Archbishop Fabre said.
The Shrine of St. Martin “stands as a silent yet powerful sentinel of what’s true and good,” said Archbishop Fabre. “It reminds us of the deposit of faith we embrace in the name of Jesus.”
Too often, he noted, individuals tend to place their faith in “transitory” things.
The shrine “stands as light in the darkness to remind us that we’re called to center our lives on things that are eternal and true,” he said.
The archbishop urged the chapter of canons to “challenge those who come to root themselves anew in a relationship with Jesus and his church,” he said. “It’s holy ground and reminds us that we must root ourselves in the word of God and the sacraments.”
During the service, the archbishop vested Fathers Beach, Carr, Cousens and Klotter with the mozetta (a short cape) and presented each a pectoral cross.