MERRILLVILLE – A former pastor at Queen of All Saints and an Indiana State Prison chaplain – whom a local Catholic school spokesman calls "one of us" – has been named to administer the Diocese of Gary until a new bishop is selected.

The College of Consultors of the Diocese has elected the Rev. Michael J. Yadron, who currently serves as pastor of St. Thomas More in Munster, to serve as Diocesan Administrator until a new Bishop of Gary is chosen by Pope Francis, a process for which there is no set timetable.

Canon law required the College of Consultors to elect an administrator within eight days of the diocesan see being vacant, which occurred when Bishop Donald J. Hying was installed as Bishop of Madison, Wisconsin, on June 25, according to Colleen Rabine, spokeswoman for the Diocese of Gary.

Father Yadron will continue in his ministry as pastor of St. Thomas More while serving as administrator, she said.

A spokesman for Marquette Catholic High School said officials there are pleased with the news.

"We are very pleased at the news of Fr. Mike's appointment as Diocesan Administrator," Bradley Collignon said. "While we will miss Bishop Hying's leadership, it is gratifying to know that another strong advocate for Catholic education – particularly Catholic secondary education – will be filling this vital role within the Diocese.

"Fr. Mike's connections to Michigan City and Marquette Catholic, stemming from his time as pastor at Queen of All Saints, mark him as 'one of us' and we look forward to working with him again."

Shortly after being elected administrator, Yadron celebrated a Mass for the intention of the people of the Diocese of Gary with the College of Consultors and diocesan pastoral staff. He "expressed his commitment to collaborate while 'serving from behind the scenes'," Rabine said.

“The faithful can be assured that canon law provides for the absence of a bishop,” Yadron said. “Immediately upon the vacancy of the see, the College of Consultors were empowered to oversee diocesan operations. As the administrator, it becomes my responsibility to make certain the diocese continues to function until a new bishop is named.

”According to Canon Law 427, a diocesan administrator has the obligations and most of the power of a diocesan bishop. The administrator is to help the diocese function as it has been under the previous diocesan bishop and to refrain from innovation," he said. "The principle guideline for the administrator is continuity."

Qualifications for a diocesan administrator include being a priest who is older than 35 and is "outstanding in doctrine and prudence," Rabine said. He must reside in the diocese.

Yadron was born in East Chicago, and attended St. Mary Parish in Griffith. He was educated at St. Meinrad College in St. Meinrad, Indiana, and St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Illinois. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 28, 1983, at Holy Angels Cathedral in Gary, with Bishop Andrew Grutka presiding.

His previous assignments included serving as chaplain of the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City from 1991-94; and serving as pastor of Queen of All Saints from 1994-98.

He also served as chaplain and director of Camp Lawrence in Valparaiso; curate at St. John Bosco in Hammond; instructor at Bishop Noll Institute in Hammond; associate director of CYO; temporary administrator of Ss. Monica & Luke in Gary; chaplain of Carmelite Home for Boys in Hammond; administrator and pastor at Holy Trinity in Gary; temporary Associate Pastor at St. Mary in Griffith; pastor at St. Maria Goretti in Dyer; and director of Diaconate Formation.

“I have every confidence that the diocesan pastoral staff, College of Consultors, priests, religious, deacons and laity will come together to pray and work as we await the pope’s announcement of the fifth bishop of Gary," Yadron said.

The diocesan College of Consultors includes the Rev. Brian D. Chadwick, the Rev. Douglas J. Mayer, Dean of Porter Deanery; the Rev. Charles A. Mosley, Dean of Gary/North Lake Deanery; the Rev. Jon J. Plavcan; the Rev. Ian J. Williams, Dean of Laporte/Starke Deanery; and Yadron, Dean of South Lake Deanery.

RailCats to honor Bishop Hying

GARY – The Most Rev. Bishop Donald Hying presided over the Diocese of Gary for four years until he was reassigned to Madison, Wisconsin. But he will return to Northwest Indiana on Tuesday, Aug. 6, to preside over the U.S. Steel Yard for Mass, a birthday party, baseball game and even a bobblehead.

The Diocese of Gary and the Gary SouthShore RailCats are inviting all Catholics – And baseball fans – to Bishop Hying's Birthday Bash & Farewell Celebration, which will begin with a 5 p.m. Mass. Gates will re-open at 6 p.m. ahead of the 6:45 p.m. ceremonial first pitch – to be thrown by the bishop. The RailCats and Fargo-Moorhead will then begin their regularly scheduled game at 7:10 p.m.

Fans have multiple ticket options that include dining and/or drinks packages. There will be a three-hour unlimited buffet including BBQ pulled pork, hot dogs, hamburgers, baked beans, snacksand water. A game ticket with the buffet is $30, while a ticket, buffet, and beer/wine package is $45.

Limited edition Bishop Hying Bobbleheads will be available for $20 each. A game ticket without any of the extras is $10. Tickets can be purchased online at bit.ly/bishopbirthday until Aug. 2, or in person at the Diocesan Pastoral Center at 9292 Broadway in Gary by July 24.

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