Bishop's norms - pdf
Bishop promulgates norms for
July 19, 2009
To Priests, Deacons, Religious, and to All the Faithful,
The presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament is
at the center of our faith and of the devotional life of our Catholic
In recent years, the place of the tabernacle in our churches has become
a source of controversy. This should not be. The Eucharist, whether we
are referring to its celebration or to the place of reservation, should
always be a means of unity and communion, and never of division.
The place of the tabernacle in our church should reflect our faith in
the real presence of Christ, and should always be guided by church
My experience is that our people, with their instinct of faith, have
always desired that the tabernacle be central and visible. They find it
confusing when the tabernacle in their churches is not visible, and if
Because of my responsibility to foster the devotional life of our
people, and to keep it sound, I have asked our Office of Worship to
prepare norms for the placement and design of the tabernacle in this
diocese. These norms were brought before the Presbyteral Council, the
Liturgical Commission and the Environment and Arts Committee. Suitable
refinements and improvements were prepared.
These norms are promulgated to the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend on
June 14, 2009, the feast of Corpus Christi, the Body and Blood of the
Lord. They will be effective on Aug. 4, 2009, the feast of St. John Mary
Vianney, the patron saint of priests, in whose honor the present Year
for Priests has been dedicated by the Holy Father Benedict XVI.
I urge all priests to follow these norms carefully and completely, and
most importantly — to foster devotion to the Blessed Sacrament.
Sincerely yours in our Lord,
Most Reverend John M. D’Arcy