What is the Bruté Society
It is an honorary association of southwestern Indiana Catholic lay persons who have been recognized by their fellow parishioners as outstanding models of Christian stewardship. The Society was established in 1990 as an official activity of the Diocese of Evansville, Indiana. That year, the charter Bruté Society members numbered 58, and 32 parishes chose to participate. In 1999, the tenth anniversary celebration featured 130 candidates from 56 parishes.
Origin of the Name
The Society is named for Bishop Simon Bruté who was appointed the first bishop of
Vincennes in 1834. At that time, the territory of the Vincennes Diocese included all of
Indiana as well as about one-third of Illinois. The name "The Bruté Society" represents
the rich spiritual and historical heritage of the present Diocese of Evansville.
Purposes and Goals of the Society
The Bruté Society was established to accomplish several related purposes:
1) to acknowledge and give thanks for exemplary Christian stewardship demonstrated by individual members of
the parishes of the Diocese of Evansville.
2) to promote an ever-deepening commitment to stewardship as the way of life for all Catholics of southwestern
3) to give public witness to the unity of all parishes of the Diocese of Evansville.
4) to provide an annual inspirational celebration for the Catholic Church of southwestern Indiana.
Who is Eligible?Membership in The Society is limited to lay persons who are registered members of one
Who Selects Candidates for Membership?
Under ordinary circumstances, the Parish Council is responsible for selecting its parish candidate or candidates for membership, subject to the approval of the pastor. Each parish is responsible for establishing its own process for selecting its candidates.
Criteria for Selection:
Any individual or couple whom a Parish Council would consider to nominate for membership
in The Society should possess these minimum qualities and characteristics:
1) a life style that would generally be described by fellow parishioners as that of a "good Christian."
2) an exceptional commitment to the principles of good stewardship. This is usually shown
over a period of time through selfless giving of one's time, talent, and/or treasure to the
life and work of a parish community.
3) an individual or couple whom fellow parishioners would be proud to have represent their parish by being
accepted as members of The Bruté Society.
Since many parishioners in each parish possess these minimum qualities, each Parish Council should seek out those few parishioners who stand out from the rest: those whose devotion and dedication to the parish can best and simply be described as "extraordinary." It is from this group of outstanding parishioners that a Parish Council would select its candidate(s) for membership each year.
Deadlines for Selection and Notification of Candidates
The published deadline for submitting the name(s), address(es) and phone number(s) of
parish nominee(s) to the Office of Stewardship and Development is September 1 each year.
Candidates receive a packet of materials which fully explains The Bruté Society and contains all necessary information about the initiation ceremony.
Initiation of New Members
New members are initiated into The Bruté Society at a ceremony held on a Sunday afternoon in the Fall at St. Benedict Cathedral. The initiation ceremony consists of a festive prayer service during which candidates are called forward to receive "The Simon Bruté Medal" and a frameable certificate from the Bishop.
The Simon Bruté Medal
The medal has been fashioned from the official diocesan stewardship logo. This logo depicts the three stewardship "T's" (Treasure,Time, and Talent) presented in a way that looks like three people arrayed in a triangle. At the center stands the powerful symbol of the cross representing the core of our Christian faith. The words "The Bruté Society" ring the inner design to show that Brute society members are, first and foremost, good stewards.
As we hoped in 1990, membership in The Bruté Society has become the most prestigious diocesan honor for lay Catholics in southwestern Indiana.