|Fr. Scott Reilly presides the eucaristic concelebration on July 16.|
Rolling Prairie, Ind., July 16, 2005 – The Legionaries
of Christ held an Open House and Mass on the
campus of their newest apostolic school to introduce themselves to
their new neighbors, including families, local clergy and local media.
Thanks to the generosity of numerous benefactors, the Legion officially
purchased the 51-acre campus July 8. It now becomes new
Sacred Heart Apostolic School, a boarding school for boys who
want to become priests, which will be the twentieth apostolic
school the Legionaries run worldwide and the third in the
United States. There is one in Center Harbor, N.H., another
in Colfax, Calif., and also one in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada;
the rest are in countries throughout Latin America and Europe.
Schools testify that God is still calling young men to
the priesthood and that the Church is alive with youth
who want to serve the Lord in his vineyard,” said
Fr. Scott Reilly, LC, territorial director for the Legionaries of
Christ. Fr. Reilly, a native of Kankakee, Ill., oversees the
Legionaries’ operations in most of the United States and Canada.
schools could be compared in some extent to schools specializing
in athletics or music for gifted students. In this case
the “special gift” is spiritual, a possible calling to the
priesthood. Not everyone who attends will go into the priesthood
but it makes for a great environment for those who
feel they may have a calling.
“I myself graduated from our
apostolic school in New Hampshire,” Fr. Reilly said, “and became
the first American-born Legionary priest to have graduated from an
apostolic school. I loved every minute of it.
of vocational discernment school isn’t for everyone. The Lord calls
whom he wants, when he wants and how he wants.
I am happy to say he called me early in
life, when I was sixteen years old. There are many
bishops in the Church who have attended similar schools called
minor seminaries and have fond memories of their times there,”
For the future, the school will come to closely
resemble Immaculate Conception Apostolic School in Center Harbor, N.H. Established
in 1982, the Center Harbor campus in the hills overlooking
scenic Lake Winnipesaukee, is home to some 140 boys in
grades 7 through 12.
Many of the students at the Legion’s
New Hampshire school come from the Midwest, so families like
Bryan and Cindy Casper of Argos, Ind., welcome the possibility
that their sons and others’ could soon receive the same
quality of education at a nearer location.
The Casper’s older son,
Alex, attended the New Hampshire school and is now at
home, deciding if his future path includes the priesthood or
“Alex knows he received a great education and a
great foundation in his faith, which is valuable no matter
what the future holds,” said his father, Brian Casper. “Our
younger son, Bryce, is still studying at the Apostolic School
in New Hampshire. He loves it, too.”
“As I know from
my own experience, our apostolic schools are all about a
healthy balance in life of academics, prayer, sports, fun and
service to others,” Fr. Reilly explained. “We’ve been very blessed
to find campuses that are perfectly suited to balancing the
various elements a boy needs to grow into a man
The Rolling Prairie campus will begin this fall with
7th and 8th grades and add more students as the
“I am very grateful to Bishop Dale Melczek
for his permission to begin this apostolic school within the
Gary Diocese and have truly felt his pastoral support
from the inception and I am glad Sacred Heart Apostolic
School will be part of the Gary Diocese,” Fr. Reilly
* * *
Additional details about the site:
Sources at the
Michigan City library indicate the 51-acre campus has had a
fascinating and varied history over the past century, but the
new Sacred Heart Apostolic School will rekindle many aspects of
In 1907, a local inventor, Dr. Edward Rumely, opened
the Interlaken School, a place where boys aged 9 to
18 learned educational principles Dr. Rumely acquired while studying at
the University of Freiburg in Germany. The first students lived
in tents while constructing their own classroom buildings. With the
U.S. involvement in World War I against the Germans, the
Interlaken School closed almost a swiftly as it had grown
The U. S. government then acquired the property and
opened Camp Roosevelt, an army training ground for World War
I troops. In the winter of 1917, the flu epidemic
hit the camp particularly hard; the government declined to release
the number of soldiers who died there.
In 1932-33, the
Brothers of the Holy Cross constructed the main building still
standing on campus to serve as their novitiate, the first
part of formation in joining their religious congregation. The stately
architecture was modeled after a monastery near Rome and provides
a nearly ideal setting for prayer, work and study –
all the aspects of religious and priestly formation.
Holy Cross Brothers switched the campus to LeMans Academy in
1968, they added some new structures, including a gymnasium.
closed in 2003, and a team of local buyers purchased
the 700-acre property at auction in 2004. The Sacred Heart
campus comprises only 51 of those acres; the owners plan
to retain the rest of the acreage for their own
purposes, including use of the property’s 40-acre lake.