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media/Cathedral of St. James, South Bend, March 2016.jpg
Cathedral of St. James, South Bend
The Episcopal Church in St. Joseph County has its origin as early as 1840, when visiting clergy conducted occasional services in South Bend. On 7 August 1840, the South Bend Free Press noted, "The Rev. Mr. Manna of the Episcopal Church will preach at the Presbyterian Church in this town on Sunday at 3 o'clock p.m." Bishop George Upfold, the first bishop of Indiana, also made occasional visits.
New impetus for a church began in 1867, when the Rev. Frank M. Gregg, rector of St. Paul's, La Porte, visited during the summer and conducted services on Sunday afternoon at Shively Hall. As winter approached, Bishop Upfold dispatched the Rev. Richard Brass of St. Paul's, Mishawaka, to hold services in the afternoons at the Dutch Reformed Church, a half block north of the present Cathedral. Brass organized St. James Episcopal Church informally on 15 December 1867, appointing a committee to act as a vestry that included Hiram Doolittle as senior warden, George S. Reed as junior warden, and C. W. Guthrie, S. R. King, George W. Matthews, Dwight Deming, and Col. Norman Eddy. The name of St. James was chosen three days later.
Bishop Joseph Talbot, Bishop Coadjutor of Indiana, visited South Bend in the fall of 1867 and again in February 1868. He recruited a Nashotah House graduate, the Rev. George P. Schetky of St. John's Church, Philadelphia, to be the first rector in July 1868. On 6 July, the informal vestry, never properly organized, petitioned Upfold for "approval, consent, and permission" to formally organize the parish of St. James according to diocesan canons. Permission was granted three days later, and the first official vestry was formally seated on 28 July at a meeting in the director's room of the First National Bank.
Despite Schetky's best efforts, the new parish got off to a shaky start, and by October, the vestry voted that it was "inexpedient to continue the effort to maintain an Episcopal Church in this city." Schetky resigned in January 1869, lamenting in a letter his "regret for which language has no expression for the sad results of this reserved attempt to establish and build up the Church in this growing city." The vestry still praised him for his efforts. Later that year, the Rev. Frank Gregg of La Porte returned to South Bend to see what could be done for the fledgling church, and despite the fact that services were poorly attended, he resolved to build a church edifice as a way of firming up its presence. A small women's group had continued to meet in private homes, and the spark for the church had refused to die. Accordingly, the congregation built a small wood frame chapel on Wayne Street east of Lafayette Boulevard for $2,200 under the direction of Gregg, J. Beeson Brownfield, S. R. King, and C. W. Guthrie. Services began under Gregg's direction in September, but he soon departed, and Bishop Talbot sent the Rev. William Richmond as a missionary in 1870 with the understanding that the congregation could not guarantee his salary. Richmond reorganized the parish and had a new vestry elected on 10 April 1871. C. M. Heaton became senior warden and Hiram Doolittle was junior warden. The first Sunday School class was confirmed by Bishop Talbot on 12 May 1871, and the number of communicants increased from 16 to 36. A Sunday School picnic, the first of the parish, was held on 6 July.
Believing that the location of this first church was not suited for its growth, the vestry decided in 1872 to move the building to the northwest corner of Lafayette and Jefferson boulevards after purchasing a lot with a small brick house (used as a rectory) for $5,400. On 20 February 1873, the church reopened and a cabinet-style pipe organ was installed at a cost of $400. In November 1877, Bishop Talbot returned for a visitation, confirming four and ordaining the Rev. Alfred T. Perkins, who became the new rector.
St. James continued to struggle for a number of years, but Bishop David Knickerbacker, Talbot's successor, refused to allow the parish to close. Schuyler Colfax, the Vice President of the United States under Ulysses S. Grant, was a member of the congregation and gave it an important level of support. When he died in 1885, his family presented the church with a processional cross in his honor. In 1891, the Rev. Augustine Prentiss became rector at a salary of $1,300 a year, and he brought much-needed stability. The vestry decided in September 1892 to build a new church, and Corwin B. Van Pelt, the junior warden, was authorized to purchase a lot on the west side of Lafayette Boulevard between Washington and Colfax streets. Mrs. Marian Van Pelt gave much of the money for the construction. The congregation under the leadership of Prentiss's successor, the Rev DeLou Burke, broke ground on 1 June 1894, and the cornerstone was laid just over a month later on St. James Day, 25 July. The South Bend Daily Times reported: "The St. James Episcopal Church congregation on this St. James Day have every reason to be proud and thankful over a result of long years of effort to give that congregation a church structure commensurate with the needs of Episcopalians of South Bend and in every way an architectural ornament of our city."
The new Gothic Revival brick edifice, located at 117 North Lafayette Street, was designed by the architectural firm of Austin & Parker and held its first service at midnight on Christmas Eve, 1894. The following day a Christmas service was held at 10:30, and a dedication service was conducted on 13 January 1895. Burke's successor, the Rev. Francis Milton Banfil, a New Hampshire native, served as rector from 1898 to 1909, and during his tenure the pledge system of envelopes was adopted, the mortgage reduced, and many fine pieces of furniture and art were added to the parish. He left in 1909 after suffering a nervous breakdown.
More improvements followed in the mid-twentieth century. In 1929, the parish completed its first parish hall, known as Cathedral Hall, in the undercroft of the church. The Bishop White Memorial Chapel, later known as the Chapel of the Holy Angels, was remodeled in 1944, as was the baptistery, given in memory of the Rev. Lawrence Cecil Ferguson, who served as rector from 1928 to 1942.
St. James did not become the cathedral of the diocese until 1957 during the episcopate of Bishop Reginald Mallett. When the diocese was founded, Trinity Church Michigan City was designated the cathedral on 25 April 1899. However, the first bishop, John Hazen White, found himself at odds with Trinity's vestry over a number of matters, leading to his decision to move to South Bend in 1912 (when he served as rector of St. James) and split his time there and at his lakeside home at Wawasee. On 4 November 1917, Trinity Michigan City ceased to be the cathedral, and for many years the diocese was effectively without one. Under White's successor, Bishop Campbell Gray, plans were drawn up for a new cathedral in Mishawaka, but due to the onset of the Great Depression, all efforts to raise money for construction were shelved. St. Paul's Mishawaka served as the pro-cathedral during Gray's episcopate, but that designation would survive only a few years into his successor's epsicopate. Bishop Mallett decided to move his residence from Mishawaka to South Bend in 1946, purchasing with a combination of his own and donated funds a house at 2117 East Jefferson Street. Four years later in 1950, he announced that St. Paul's Mishawaka would no longer serve as the pro-cathedral. While he did not affix blame on St. Paul's, Mallett clearly preferred South Bend as his See city.
In 1956 at an Annual Council Meeting in South Bend, Mallett announced that he had accepted the offer of St. James Parish to become the new cathedral. The vestry of St. James had purchased the United Fund Building next door in 1953 and began converting into potential office and educational space for the diocese. It became known as Cathedral House. Mallett was enthroned at the new cathedral on 20 January 1957, and the Very Rev. Robert F. Royster was made the new dean. The St. James Building was purchased in 1962 as a gift from Mrs. Leon B. Slaughter, and the interior was extensively renovated in 1964 after a gift from Mr. and Mrs. Bert K. Patterson.
Since the 1960s, the cathedral has undergone a number of other renovations, including a significant project in 2010 under Dean Brian Grantz. During the 1980s under the episcopate of Francis Gray, an adjacent building was acquired and leased to St. Margaret's House, a day center for women in need in the community. Three deans, the Rev. Robert Bizzaro, the Rev. Frederick Mann, and the Rev. Brian Grantz, all made major contributions to the life of the cathedral. In 2018, during the episcopate of Bishop Douglas Sparks, the old office building was gutted and refurbished to accommodate a newly renovated office to better serve the needs of the growing diocesan staff.
Robert J. Center, Our Heritage: A History of the First Seventy-five Years of the Diocese of Northern Indiana (South Bend: Diocese of Northern Indiana, 1973).
Anonymous, "A Short History of St. James Cathedral," typescript, undated.
Richard Brass, 1867
George Patterson Schetky, 1868-1869
Frank Mark Gregg, 1870
William Richmond, 1870-1877
Alfred Thomas Perkins, 1877-1879
Francis B. Dunham, 1881-1884
John Plummer Derwent Llwyd, 1885
Frederick Towers, 1885-1887
Frederick Thompson, 1887-1890
Augustine Prentiss, 1891-1892
DeLou Burke, 1893-1896
William Charles Hengen, 1897-1898
Francis Milton Banfil, 1898-1909
Walter Simon Howard, 1910-1912
Bishop John Hazen White, 1912-1920
Howard Russell White, (vicar), 1912-1920
Robert James Long, 1920-1923
John Maurice Francis, 1923-1928
Lawrence Cecil Ferguson, 1928-1942
Don Herbst Copeland, 1943-1953
William Paul Barnds, 1953-1956
Robert Frank Royster, 1956-1969
Robert Ayres MacGill, 1970-1975
Robert Bizzaro, 1975-1992
Frederick Earl Mann, 1993-2004
Martin Irving Yabroff, 2004-2007
Brian Glenn Grantz, 2008-
"A Look Back: Cathedral of St. James," South Bend Tribune, 6 April 2015
Parish Register, 1868-1900
Parish Register, 1868-1900 (alternate digitizing)
Parish Register, 1899-1937
Parish Register, 1899-1935 (alternate digitizing)
Parish Register, 1937-1942
Parish Register, Index of Communicants
Parish Register, 1943-1953
Parish Register, Marriages, 1949-1989
Parish Register, Confirmations, 1950-1986
Parish Register, Baptisms, 1953-1989
Parish Register, Marriages Index, 1931-1939
Parish Register, Burials, 1962-1988
media/Reginald Mallett portrait208.jpg
Reginald Mallett, Third Bishop
Of the eight episcopates that have characterized the first 120 years of the Diocese of Northern Indiana, that of Reginald Mallett, the third bishop, stands in many ways as the most difficult and turbulent. Mallett came to office during the middle of World War II, and his authoritarian leadership style and personal prejudices brought strain to much of the diocese, in spite of the paradox that it grew significantly under his troubled administration. This irony makes the Mallett years with all of its flaws the most challenging to appreciate among those of his predecessors and successors.
When Bishop Campbell Gray died unexpectedly in 1944, there were no organized plans in place for a successor. The diocesan archdeacon, Ven. J. McNeal Wheatley of Trinity Fort Wayne, enjoyed strong popularity with the laity but not with his fellow clergy, nearly all of whom disliked his leadership style. At a Special Council held in South Bend on 28 June 1944, a divisive meeting was held that included a resolution calling for investigating a possible reunion with the Diocese of Indianapolis, but it was declared out of order. Seven priests were nominated for bishop, but none secured a majority. The Rev. Robert J. Murphy of St. Mark's Church in Howe received sufficient clerical votes on the eleventh and twelfth ballots, while Wheatley led the lay order on fifteen consecutive ballots. When it became obvious that the meeting was deadlocked, it adjourned for a month.
At a second convocation on 26 July, the Rev. Reginald Mallett of Grace and St. Peter's Church in Baltimore received the necessary clerical and lay support on the first ballot. Mallett had no idea he was under consideration for bishop, and when he received the call notifying him of the election, he thought at first it was a joke.
James Reginald Mallett, who never used his first name, was born at Fernbank, Ohio, on 27 February 1893, the son of the Rev. Frank James Mallett and Mary Emily (Long). His father had been a prominent and respected priest in North Carolina and Ohio. Reginald attended Erasmus Hall in New York, received his Bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina in 1915, and then attended General Theological Seminary, graduating in 1918 during World War I. He was ordained to the priesthood later that same year by Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire of North Carolina. He then served several parishes in North Carolina, including St. John's in Wilmington. He married Lucy Atkinson Murchison, known to her friends as "Miss Lucy," on 12 February 1924. As the granddaughter of the late Bishop Thomas Atkinson of North Carolina, Lucy came from an old Episcopal family and was warmly remembered across the diocese for her hospitality, graciousness, and keen sense of humor. They would adopt a son, Reginald II, who was later ordained a priest by Bishop Mallett in 1960.
Mallett had gone on to serve several parishes, including canon of Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland, Ohio; rector of Holy Trinity, Greensboro, North Carolina; rector of Christ Church, Chattanooga, Tennessee; and rector of Grace Church in White Plains, New York. He then had a long stint at Grace and St. Peter's Church in Baltimore, beginning in 1936, where he solidified his reputation as a strong Anglo-Catholic, a qualification that brought him to the attention of Northern Indiana as a compromise candidate for bishop. His consecration took place at St. James Church, South Bend, on 25 October 1944. A reporter for a Protestant newspaper, The Chronicle, complained about the copes, miters, candles, and incense at the service, writing, "Oh, it was very, very Catholic, and blessings were as thick as gooseberries in July."
In 1944, the diocese was still suffering from the dual effects of the Great Depression and World War II. It had just nineteen parishes and ten missions, only fifteen active clergy, and 199 total confirmations had been celebrated. The diocese paid to the national church a quota of just $3,500. When asked about what his new policies would be, Mallett said, "I made up my mind that it should be to change things as little as possible and to learn in these days of changing conditions how to plan hopefully for the future." He would continue Bishop Gray's focus on the Eucharist as the centerpiece of the liturgy every Sunday, and even those not confirmed, he believed, should be present and worship at Holy Communion even if they could not fully partake.
Early on, Mallett took a strong interest in evangelism and wanted to see a rise in the total number of confirmations across the diocese. No new parishes had been added to the diocese since Christ Church, Gary, in 1908. The new bishop challenged his priests and laity to achieve a ten percent yearly growth in the total number of communicants, doubling the national average of just five percent. His challenge came at an opportune time, just as veterans were returning from the war, starting families, and launching the Baby Boom generation. By 1946, every parish in the diocese met its annual financial assessment, having both a seat and vote at the annual convention. Northern Indiana followed only the dioceses of Florida and South Florida in the rate of growth. "From having been on its last legs during the Depression," said one writer, "the Diocese enjoyed considerable advance in the post-war world."
Having had his institution at St. James Church in South Bend, Mallett took a liking to that city and decided to sell the bishop's residence in Mishawaka and move there. He purchased a house at 2117 East Jefferson Boulevard, paying a third of the cost himself and using donations from his former parishioners in Baltimore for the remainder. In 1950, he announced that St. Paul's in Mishawaka would cease to have its pro-cathedral status, and he eventually accepted the invitation of St. James to become the new cathedral. Its vestry agreed to purchase a nearby building for use as diocesan office space. Between 1950 and early 1957, however, the diocese operated without a cathedral. The bishop had an oratory for celebrating Mass and an office in his official residence. On 30 January 1957, Mallett was formally enthroned as bishop, and the status of St. James officially changed.
If Mallett's liturgical and evangelical styles proved a good fit for his times, his leadership style did not. By his own acknowledgement, he was not a good speaker. Though he had a sense of humor, the new bishop was also authoritarian in his relations with his fellow clergy, and within a short time turned his back on several priests and made them outcasts. Some observers concluded that the behavior was decidedly unchristian and not befitting the chief pastor of the diocese. According to Robert Center, "While he was a devoted pastor to many of his clergy, there were some who, for good reason or ill, were persona non grata. There were alienation and ill-conceived hostility among them. Assigning the culpability for this pastoral breakdown would be difficult. But as any priest knows all too well, a sense of alienation is destructive of the pastoral relationship. Until the day of Bishop Mallett's death, some deep wounds were never healed. There was a price to be paid for this unhappy situation. It cost the bishop in terms of his spiritual well being, cost some of the clergy a warm relationship with their father-in-God, and cost the diocese in terms of as shadow which hovered over the diocesan family."
Part of the problem undoubtedly stemmed from Mallett's personality. Soon after becoming bishop, he became accustomed to giving orders and having them unquestionably obeyed without any attempt at collegiality. In 1947, he ordered, without first requesting, that William Sheridan leave Marion and assume the rectorship of St. Thomas, Plymouth. Sheridan obeyed and gave Mallett his stalwart support. Similarly, when the mission of St. Michael and All Angels was founded in South Bend, the bishop ordered all parishioners of the Cathedral living east of Twyckenham Avenue to join the new church and terminated their membership at the Cathedral without their consent. He forbid them to return to the Cathedral.
The same obedience did not hold at Trinity, Fort Wayne, where its rector, James McNeal Wheatley, the diocesan archdeacon who had almost been elected bishop, displeased Mallett with his independence. Without consulting Wheatley beforehand, Mallett eliminated the archdeacon office and ordered him by mail to take charge of the chaplaincy of Howe School and chairmanship of the Diocesan Council. Wheatley refused curtly in a replying telegram, infuriating the bishop. In 1947, when open conflict erupted at Trinity Fort Wayne, Mallett did nothing to intervene until Wheatley had resigned. However, in the wake of the departure, the conflict produced a deeply divided parish, half of whom despised the bishop. Once at a meeting, in an effort to challenge his heavy-handed approach to personal relations, a vestryman had called him "Reggie," much to his displeasure. The bishop excommunicated the senior warden after he urged fellow Wheatley supporters to withhold their pledges and refusing to recognize Peter Langendorff as priest-in-charge. Indeed, Mallett developed such a strong dislike for Fort Wayne that years later, when conducting a rehearsal for a confirmation class, he warned the teenagers, after ordering them to kneel, that they were required to kiss his ring during the ceremony: "Do you know how I got my name? I am Bishop Mallett, and if any of you fails to kiss my ring, I will hit you on the side of the head with a mallet." It was not spoken as a joke, and many youths later recalled being terrified of him.
Contrasted with this attitude was the friendly sentiment Mallett felt for Christ Church Gary, its retiring rector, the Rev. James E. Foster, and the incoming rector, the Rev. James Curtis. Photographs show him sharing laughs with the priests and with Mrs. Curtis in a parish that was clearly much closer to his heart. Those whom the bishop liked remembered him and his wife, Miss Lucy, as friendly, affectionate hosts, who thought nothing of hosting fifty faculty members of Howe School for dinner in their large home. He enjoyed playing the parlor organ in his home, and the bishop and his wife often hosted various diocesan ECW groups, where the members recalled him playing. With certain priests he maintained close friendships, even Horace Varian, whom he defrocked for sexual impropriety, and kept in contact for years afterward.
Bishop Mallett took an interest in acquiring Central Normal College in Danville, Indiana, and in partnership with Bishop Richard Kirchhoffer of the Diocese of Indianapolis, hoped to turn the school into a liberal arts Episcopal college. In 1946, its president, Edgar Cummings, had approached both dioceses about its purchase. It had five buildings and assets of $300,000. Upon approval by both dioceses, the new school was called Canterbury College. In spite of high hopes of both bishops for its success, they both came to realize that the amount of money needed to sustain the school proved too great to be sustained with the available budget. Moreover, the liturgical styles of the two dioceses differed so greatly that Mallett and Kirchhoffer, who disliked each other personally, could seldom agree on strategy for the school. After years of struggling membership, the school closed permanently in 1951.
Mallett and his wife continued to extend hospitality to those priests and families in the bishop's good graces by sending invitations to the bishop's home for overnight retreats, as well for picnics at Lake Wawasee in the summers. The diocese was able to acquire additional land in 1951 when Bishop White's daughter, Mrs. George Doubleday, presented two cottages as a gift. For those whom the bishop liked, these lakeside events were warm and well-remembered for the hospitality provided. Some priests and congregations were frozen out of these events, however. In 1956, the Rev. Harold Kappes of Holy Trinity, South Bend, a popular priest with his parish, was abruptly removed from his post without explanation. Mallett always invited the African American congregation of St. Augustine's in Gary, and when his neighbors complained to him, he defended the invitation by saying they were part of his church and always welcome here.
The Baby Boom years led to significant growth in the diocese, but it was uneven. New missions were formed, and some older congregations grew while others experienced little change. The Church of the Good Shepherd, East Chicago, a mission of long-standing, was admitted as a parish in 1956, followed in quick succession the following year by St. Michael and All Angels, South Bend, and St. Andrew's, Long Beach (now Michigan City); by St. Andrew's, Valparaiso, in 1960, and by St. Augustine and St. Barnabas in Gary, both in 1961. In 1956, Mallett had cautioned against a new, larger building for St. Augustine's, telling its rector, Wallace Wells, that the plans initially drafted by Chicago architect Edward Dart were "too ambitious for a colored congregation." The congregation raised the funds anyway ($100,000) for a smaller building designed by Dart, and they did receive some diocesan financial support.
New diocesan missions were begun during this era with Mallett's encouragement, including St. Christopher's at Crown Point, St. Charles the Martyr at Butler, St. Peter's at Rensselaer, and Holy Family at Angola. Of these four, only Butler would close. Two parochial missions also were founded, including St. Alban's, a mission of Trinity Fort Wayne, and St. David's, a mission of St. John the Evangelist in Elkhart. Mallett also supported the Benedictine monks who had taken charge of Valparaiso, urging them as a matter of personal growth to establish their own self-sustaining priory at Three Rivers, Michigan. In 1961, the diocesan convention approved the creation of the Diocesan Expansion Fund with the goal of raising $200,000. The goal was to provide low-cost loans out of the fund for parishes planning to make renovations. Some felt this sum was far too low, and because of poor planning, there was no follow up to help shepherd the campaign to its conclusion. Nevertheless, the growth was real. In 1963, Northern Indiana had 22 parishes, 12 missions, and was paying a national quota of more than $24,000.
Bishop Mallett also took an interest in the church overseas. He and his wife made a number of foreign trips. In 1956, the Archbishop of Canterbury sent him with two other Anglican bishops on a secret mission to Spain, where they consecrated the Rev. Santos Molina as bishop of the Spanish Episcopal Church. The church there had been persecuted under the Franco regime, and it faced extreme hostility as a non-Catholic church. Mallett was deeply satisfied with the success of this trip and securing the Anglican Church's future in Spain.
Miss Lucy died in 1959, and by 1961, Mallett's own health began to fail. He was diagnosed with cancer, and according to Robert Center, "the constant pain and intensive treatment required effected a definite change in his normal personality." He called for the election of a Bishop Coadjutor on 12 December 1962, and March 1963, Walter Conrad Klein was elected. He retired the following October, moved back to North Carolina, and died there in 1965.
Rev. William Sheridan, then rector of St. Thomas Church in Plymouth and later bishop, commented: "[Bishop Mallett] suffered from as many weaknesses as you and I, being human. But side by side these weaknesses, there was great human warmth, kindness, and profound charity." For several years in the late 1960s the diocese ran a summer camp for youth named the Bishop Mallett Camp, but by the 1970s, perhaps due to his unpopularity, the name was changed to the Bishop White and Bishop Gray camps. Mallett's primary legacy remains the growth the diocese enjoyed under his leadership, even though the laity and clergy should take most credit for that accomplishment.
Order of Service for the Consecration of the Reverend Reginald Mallett ... 25 October 1944