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An Apostolic School Opens in Indiana
Legionaries purchase a campus formerly used as a novitiate for Holy Cross brothers and more recently as a boarding school for boys.

Misa de apertura de la apostólica de Indiana
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.

“Apostolic 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.

Apostolic schools could be compared in some extent to schools specializing in athletics or music for gifted students. In this case
Apostólica de Indiana, vista del pórtico de entrada
Front entry
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.

“This type 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,” he explained.

For the future, the school will come to closely resemble Immaculate Conception Apostolic School in Center Harbor, N.H. Established
Corredor interno de la apostólica de Indiana
A courtyard
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 something else.

“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
Gimnasio de la apostólica de indiana
The gym
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 of God.”

The Rolling Prairie campus will begin this fall with 7th and 8th grades and add more students as the years progress.

“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 added.

* * *

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 this history.

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 famous.

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.

When the Holy Cross Brothers switched the campus to LeMans Academy in 1968, they added some new structures, including a gymnasium.

LeMans Academy 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.



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Sponsored by the congregation of the Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement, Copyright 2011, Legion of Christ. All rights reserved.

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