2007 Archive

  • Issue of December 23 th – January 5 th

    Clergy and religious speak out on justice

    Priests, religious voice ongoing support for immigration reform

    The season of Advent is one of joyful hope and anticipation.

    The Priests for Justice for Immigrants, who now number nearly 200, held an Advent press conference to issue a pastoral "invitation and challenge" to the people of the Archdiocese of Chicago and to draw attention to the plight of undocumented immigrants in their

    Angels help turn former parish into mission

    Since 1958, Chicagoans have associated the name "Our Lady of the Angels" with the horrific fire that took the lives of 92 school children and three BVM sisters in the parish school.

    In the years following the fire, the Italian families that populated the parish in the late 1950s moved out, as black families moved in and some real-estate agents played on the fears of the remaining white residents - a pattern of panic peddling repeated all over the West Side.

    Cardinal blesses memorial to OLA fire victims

    For the better part of 50 years, there has been no visible marker at the former Our Lady of the Angels Parish for the fire that took 95 lives on Dec. 1, 1958. There is a statue where many of the children are buried at Mount Carmel Cemetery, and one at Holy Family Church that once stood in the rebuilt school building. The statue was removed after the building was leased by a public charter school.

    On Dec. 8, Cardinal George blessed a new memorial on the lawn of the former rectory that now serves as the Our Lady of the Angels Mission. The granite memorial features a statue of Mary as Our Lady of the Angels flanked by two tables listing the names of the 92 children and three nuns who died.

    Report shows solid finances

    The Archdiocese of Chicago's Pastoral Center finished fiscal year 2007 with net assets of nearly $180 million, its strongest financial position ever, only two years after posting a negative $59 million balance.

    "This is excellent news," said Tom Brennan, the director of finance. "Everything was favorable."

  • Issue of December 9 th – December 22 nd

    Mother Guadalupe

    For many Catholics, Mary – as she appeared to St. Juan Diego in 1531 – is a confidant, guide and special friend

    Tens of thousands of people will come to the Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel-Maryville for the festivities surrounding the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe Dec. 12. Some will come for the spectacle, some will come to learn about the cultural aspects, but many will come because of a deep and abiding attachment to the Virgin who appeared to a Mexican native on the hill of Tepeyac in 1531.

    Chicago's own Guadalupe shrine

    Here come Santa's helpers

    On the cover: Firefighter Cornell Walker tosses down a box of toys to Emergency Medical Technician George Dowling during the 9th annual "Toy Parade" in Chicago on Dec. 1. Thousands of toys for needy children cared for by Catholic Charities were delivered to the I.B.E.W. Local 134 Hall on Washington Boulevard.
    Catholic New World/Karen Callaway

  • Issue of November 25 th – December 8 th

    New title, same archbishop

    George is first cardinal to be elected as conference president since 1971. The U.S. bishops Nov. 13 elected Cardinal George as their president and Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas of Tucson, Ariz., as their vice president. Using an electronic voting system, the bishops voted on the second day of their Nov. 12-15 fall general meeting in Baltimore. Cardinal George won on the first ballot with 188 votes, or 85 percent.

    Violence no more

    As Catholics, we must help

    wrongdoers find the right path

    On Oct. 30, Auxiliary Bishop Gustavo García-Siller celebrated a Mass for victims of violence at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in the Back-of-the-Yards neighborhood. He read dozens of victims’ names, and met with their family members and loved ones.

    On Oct. 31, another victim was added to the roll: Leticia Barrera, shot in gang crossfire as she returned home from trickor-treating with her three children. She was four months pregnant, and it was her 32nd birthday.

    Bishop García-Siller led her wake service at St. Michael the Archangel Parish Nov. 5, 48th St. and Damen Ave. “He just wrapped this whole thing up in the Word of God,” said Father Thomas Cima, St. Michael the Archangel’s pastor.

    Presence of Christ felt during powerful moments at service

    When more than 500 people crowded into St. Michael the Archangel Church Nov. 5 for the wake service for Leticia Barrera, they did more than offer their condolences to a suffering family (husband, Manuel Flores; and their children, Evelyn, 6, Manuel, 4, and Jessica, 2). “You could see the solidarity of the people,” said Bishop Gustavo García-Siller. “They were able to stand for the value of life.”

    Archbishop visits to cement bonds

    Archbishop Roberto González- Nieves was born in New Jersey, but shortly thereafter, moved to Puerto Rico with his family. Since then, the Archbishop of San Juan, Puerto Rico, has traveled back and forth between the island and the mainland United States many times.

    Priest’s new book on law of sacraments is for parishes

    Does someone want to know how to get a new godparent? Or why there are so many more annulments than in the past?

    Those are among the questions that the Office for Canonical Services fields from parish priests, deacons and lay workers, said Oblate Father William Woestman, associate vicar for canonical services.

    The answers, plus many more, can be found in Woestman’s new book, “Canon of the Sacraments for Parish Ministry.”

    “I wrote it because there was a need for it,” Woestman said.

    “We get these questions all the time in the office, and if they had this book, they could find the answer.”

  • Issue of November 11 th – November 24 th

    Cabrini relic finishes Chicago tour

    ‘Dem bones, ‘dem bones. We Catholics have a tradition of venerating them. Ones of saints, that is.

    Over the centuries, various faiths -- including Catholicism -- have venerated relics, or objects related to deceased holy people, as a way of remembering the person and inspiring personal belief. For the past six months, the arm bone of Chicago’s own “citizen saint,” Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini, has made its way around to a half dozen area churches. Next month, the faithful will join Cardinal George in marking the end of this pilgrimage and the 90 th anniversary of Mother Cabrini’s death at an 11 a.m. liturgy Dec. 22 at the Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii, 1224 W. Lexington St.

    Sign of school’s pride

    For 50 years, Children of Peace/Holy Trinity School has offered special service and outreach to children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing and their families. The unique facility is the only Catholic school in Illinois which ministers to the needs of hearing-impaired youngsters and those with normal hearing.

    “We are unique in that our school has two divisions,” said Arlene Redmond, principal of Children of Peace School and supervisor of Holy Trinity Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing program. “A large percentage of our children with special needs are Catholic and their parents want them to be in this setting.”

    Catholic New World introduces new editor

    Let’s get to heaven

    Please allow me to introduce myself.

    My name is Joyce Duriga and I am your new editor for the Catholic New World.

    Born in Detroit, raised in Pittsburgh, I come to you by way of Fort Wayne, Ind., where I worked as associate editor for the national Catholic newsweekly Our Sunday Visitor.

    Everyone always says they are excited to start a new job, but I truly am excited. The Archdiocese of Chicago has such a rich history and its people are a microcosm of the larger U.S. church. Lots of important and interesting stories to tell here. Yep, I’m definitely excited to join your faith community.

    There is also a dedicated and talented staff here at the Catholic New World. Check out some of their names in our masthead in the bottom right hand corner of Page 2. We are all in this together to share the Good News working through God’s people here in Chicago.

    But, at the end of the day, this whole journey is all about falling deeper in love with the Lord and getting home to heaven. And though that takes a lifetime, it’s my prayer that we can get a little bit closer to reaching that goal together.

    Now that we’re acquainted, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line at jduriga@archchicago.org.

  • Issue of October 28 th – November 10th

    Making ends meet

    Senior services provide pieces of the puzzle

    Ofelia Calayag’s face crinkles easily into a smile when she opens the door to her studio apartment in an Uptown senior building to welcome guests. The door sports a homemade paper American flag—symbol of adopted country—and a cross bedecked with curly ribbon.

    While Calayag’s income level is above the poverty line ($9,570 for a household one, over 65 years old), but it isn’t enough to cover her expenses.

    Many other seniors are below the poverty line, more than 272,617 in Illinois in 2005, according to Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago. Catholic Charities, which last year provided services to 239,046 senior citizens, is highlighting the problem with “Honor Your Father and Mother: Seniors in Poverty,” a white paper released at its annual meeting Oct. 24.

    Muslims, Catholics break bread together at iftar

    Prostrated, they pray. Palms down, faces to the floor, knees folded beneath and then straightening to stand and bow, Muslims and Catholics move in time together with the supplications of sung Arabic. Then gathering at set tables, the prayer continues, “God is great. Come to prayer. God is one.” Sunset had arrived, and with it the time for iftar, or breaking fast.

    On Oct. 9, Muslims shared iftar with Catholics from the Archdiocese of Chicago. The meal was an end to the daylong fasting of Ramadan, when Muslims abstain from food, drink (water included) and sexual relations. Hosted by the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago and the Islamic Society of the Northwest Suburbs, the 9th Annual Catholic Unity Ramadan Dinner was an opportunity for dialogue between the two faith traditions.

    Pope: Fatima tells us Gospel is path to peace

    The heart of the message of Fatima is that following the Gospel is the path to authentic peace, Pope Benedict XVI said in a message broadcast Oct. 14 at the Marian shrine.

    Marking the 90th anniversary of the last apparition of Our Lady of Fatima to three young children, Pope Benedict said the shrine continues to echo Mary’s call to “her children to live their baptismal consecration in every moment of their existence.

    Pope names 23 cardinals, including two from U.S.

    Pope Benedict XVI named 23 new cardinals, including U.S. Archbishop John P. Foley, grand master of the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher, and U.S. Archbishop Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, the first cardinal from a Texas diocese.

    The pope announced the names at the end of his weekly general audience Oct. 17 and said he would formally install the cardinals during a special consistory at the Vatican Nov. 24.

  • Issue of October 14th – October 27th

    Congratulations!

    These pages contain the names of more than 200 religious sisters, brothers and priests who have served or are serving in the Archdiocese of Chicago. They include teachers and nurses, pastors and principals. While the short descriptions of their lives in ministry cannot do justice to their years of service and prayer, they give a glimpse of the dedication shown by these women and men. This is the second issue this year honoring our religious jubilarians; the first; in April, honored people celebrating special anniversaries of 60 years or more. A few of them are included in this issue as well, if the Catholic New World did not get them in the earlier publication.

    To all of them, congratulations.

    From Baghdad to Chicago, Redemptorist finds faith

    Twice in his life has Fawaz Kako heard the airplanes overhead, the bombing and shooting and screaming of an air raid on Baghdad. The first time he was only 10, a young boy hiding beneath his desk and fleeing with his family to a safer place. The second time he sought to provide comfort as a Redemptorist brother, a worker in the Catholic Church to which so many flocked for shelter. Kako's life as a Redemptorist has brought him from Iraq to Germany and now to Chicago, where he is studying at the Catholic Theological Union.

    Marching to her own drummer
    Nurse finds vocation, new career

    Like many young women today, the Congregation of St. Joseph’s Sister Chris March had a successful career and all the things that go with it—money, car, social life. But the registered nurse felt something was missing.

    “I was working at a well-know Chicago teaching hospital for more than six years, had my own checkbook, apartment, car and all the things you’d expect a career person to have,” she said. “I went out with friends. We saw practically every live theater production that came to Chicago but despite it all, I fell something was missing in my life. I kept having this ‘inkling’ to join a religious community.”

    Brother celebrates 50 years in freedom

    Brother Leon Leba counts each new day as another blessing, another miracle that he still is alive. The Hong Kong-born jubilarian—celebrating 50 years as a Christian Brother—almost lost his life while imprisoned for 6 ½ years in North Vietnam.

    Leba and his family, which includes six brothers and one sister, moved to Hanoi, Vietnam during World War II. He and his siblings went to schools operated by the Christian Brothers.

    Leba was so moved by the care and education received from the Christian Brothers that he decided to enter their community at age 13..

    Conference: All liturgy should be directed to God

    The best liturgy is one where every aspect is directed toward God, according to speakers at an Oct. 5 and 6 conference at the Liturgical Institute at University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary.

    "Ten Things Your Parish Needs to Know About the Liturgy" spoke to lovers of the Catholic liturgy through 10 talks and a keynote speech touching on different aspects of the liturgy.

    Archdiocese applauds lay people for service

    Each year, the Archdiocese of Chicago honors lay people who have brought God into their communities with the Bishop Quarter Awards, for those who have given service in their vicariates, and the Christifidelis award, for those who have served their parishes.

  • Issue of September 30th – October 13 th

    Respecting Life:
    Affirmed by Science and Faith

    October is Respect Life Month, when the church throughout the United States focuses on the sanctity of human life from conception until natural death. For 2,000 years, the Catholic Church has boldly proclaimed this truth: That every human being is a precious gift, made in God’s image and likeness, to be cherished and protected by all, no matter how broken, unformed, guilty, or “unplanned” that human being might be. Respect Life Month addresses the full span of life issues, from abortion to embryonic stem cell research to euthanasia to the death penalty. From an unborn child to an elderly individual with severe disabilities, we see God’s image and likeness in these people, regardless of how “inconvenient” our utilitarian society might judge them to be.

    5 Ways To Respect Life

    As Catholics head into Respect Life month, the Catholic New World offers five ways people can show their respect for life: pray to end abortion, advocate for abolition of the death penalty, support parents who find out their unborn children have conditions such as Down Syndrome, volunteer in a hospice program and learn about stem cells. The stories on these pages highlight people who are following those paths.

    School superintendent to leave by end of year

    Catholic school Superintendent Nicholas M. Wolsonovich will leave by June.

    Wolsonovich, who has served as superintendent since 2001, said Sept. 24 that he decided to leave because the time was right for him and for the archdiocese.

    CCHD strives to break the cycle of poverty in Chicago

    Chords bursting with soul reverberated throughout the church as the gospel choir belted, “I’m going home to live with God.”

    It was those without homes and other necessities that brought people together for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development grant awards ceremony at Old St. Mary’s Church on Sept. 20. Collectively, $533,000 was given to 21 different organizations working to end poverty and homelessness in Chicago.

  • Issue of September 16th – September 29th

    Where we pray

    Catholics in the Archdiocese of Chicago find room to pray in nearly every place and every circumstance, but some places are special. Some places seem to draw hearts and minds closer to the Lord, whether through their beauty or the meaning they have in the lives of the people who come there.

    Cardinal to lead pilgrimage to Lourdes in 2008

    In 1858, young Bernadette Soubirous saw a vision of the Virgin Mary in a grotto near her home in Lourdes, France.

    The Virgin, dressed in white, appeared 18 times between Feb. 11 and July 16, and always urged penance. When asked, she identified herself as the Immaculate Conception.

    Catholic League football a matter of tradition

    In its “Golden Age,” Chicago Catholic League football could fill Soldier Field. It’s not at that level anymore now that it competes with so many other activities, according to a sampling of city and suburban high school coaches, but it is alive and well.

  • Issue of September 2nd – September 15th

    Welcome Back!

    Catholic school students return to class

    All 257 Catholic elementary schools in the archdiocese of Chicago opened their doors and welcomed students back at the end of August.

    Program helps children recover from Katrina trauma

    Schoolchildren in the New Orleans area suffering emotionally from the effects of Hurricane Katrina are benefiting from a new faith-centered mental health program aimed at helping children exposed to trauma from natural and manmade disasters.

    Despite some successes, health care system in New Orleans continues to face challenges

    What began nearly two years ago as a temporary health care site operating off of a card table on a New Orleans sidewalk has developed into a permanent primary care clinic serving more than 12,000 patients since Hurricane Katrina struck.

    Peruvians join in prayer near quake's epicenter

    A subdued crowd of several hundred residents and rescue workers gathered in the main plaza of Pisco to pray with a top Vatican official who had come to remember victims of the mid-August earthquake

     

  • Issue of August 19th – September 1st

    Polish faithful make 20th annual pilgrimage to Czestochowa shrine

    More than 5,000 people gathered in St. Michael Church (South Shore) early on the morning of Aug. 11. They came in shorts and sneakers, T-shirts and bandannas.

    Intercontinental connection

    Suburban parish joins efforts of church in Peru

    Palos Heights and Moquegua, Peru, are worlds apart, but in some ways, are very close.

    St. Juliana’s freshens up

    St. Juliana Parish on the Northwest Side will start the new school year with a fresh coat of paint and bright and clean fixtures thanks to the efforts of dozens of volunteers.

    Protecting children and youth

  • Issue of August 5th– August 18th

    How healthy is Catholic health care?

    Hospital’s pending sale raises questions
    Catholic health care is in a period of transition. A lot has changed since religious congregations began hospitals and clinics in America in the 19 th and early 20 th centuries.

    HIV/AIDS ministry network meets one last time

    Twenty years after it began, the National Catholic AIDS Ministry Network held its final annual conference July 27-28.
    Members of the network spent much of their time reflecting on its accomplishments and looking for ways to move forward to continue HIV/AIDS ministry in the Catholic Church.

    ComPadres offer a ministry of comfort, hope and Xboxes

    When Father John Barkemeyer left his post as pastor of St. Cajetan Parish in 2003, he thought it would be a leave of absence from the archdiocese. A member of the Army Reserve, he was activated for a tour of duty in Iraq and Kuwait as a chaplain.

     

  • Issue of July 22nd – August 4th

    Greater use of Tridentine Mass may
    ‘promote unity’

    In an effort to promote unity in the church, Pope Benedict XVI issued an apostolic letter July 7 allowing for greater use of the Tridentine Mass, the traditional Latin rite that predates the Second Vatican Council.

    Sunny day sundae
    Camp program aims to teach, inspire kids

    What do water by the bucketful, a human sundae and total devotion to the Lord have in common? A lot, on the last day of “Totus Tuus,” a kind of parish mission as day camp at St. Stephen Deacon and Martyr Parish in Tinley Park.

    Program welcomes three priests from Latin America

    The Archdiocese of Chicago said “bienvenidos” to three Latin American priests this month as part of a new pilot program to help them get acclimated to ministry in the United States. The five-day program aims to give priests coming in from Mexico and Central and South America an overview of ministry in the archdiocese and life in the United States. The priests were accompanied by Father Claudio Diaz, the director of Hispanic Ministry, and Bishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller, episcopal liaison to the Hispanic community.

     

  • Issue of July 8 th – July 21st

    FINDING GRACE
    The Power of Prayer

    “For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.” -St. Therese of Lisieux

    Cardinal serves parishioners
    at his last anniversary event

    In the last event for the celebration of his 10th anniversary, Cardinal George thanked and honored approximately 200 parishioners at a June 24 dinner in the courtyard at Holy Name Cathedral.

    McCormack pleads guilty;
    sentenced to 5 years in prison

    Father Daniel McCormack pleaded guilty July 2 to five counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse stemming from charges that he molested five boys between the ages of 8 and 12 at St. Agatha Parish and at Our Lady of the Westside School between 2001 and 2005. He was immediately sentenced to five years in prison.

     

  • Issue of June 24th – July 7th

    Opening the door to confession

    Confession, according to Father Dennis Lyle, is a lot like going to the dentist. Few people look forward to it, and in many, it can cause a high degree of fear and anxiety. But the more often you go, Lyle said, the easier it gets—and not only because you know what to expect. Rather, it helps keep your spiritual health up, so that each visit is less of an ordeal. “If you go to the dentist for a cleaning every six months, chances are they’ll catch any minor problems and fix them,” said Lyle, rector/president of University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary.“ But if you wait 20 years, you’re going to be in for all the drilling and tooth-pulling and everything else that nobody likes.” Pope Benedict XVI compared confession to regular housecleaning in a catechetical session with children in 2005. Without regular cleaning, he said, the dirt builds up, and we become lazy and learn not to see it.

    Catholic Health Association offers message of faith

    Catholic health care institutions should wear their faith on their sleeves, as it were, according to a panel at the 92nd Catholic Health Assembly in Chicago June 19. The assembly, which brought nearly 1,100 leaders from the hospitals, nursing homes and health systems that make up the Catholic Health Association to the Marriott Magnificent Mile in Chicago June 17-19, included presentations and workshops on ethics, pastoral care, leadership and improving access to health care.

     

  • Issue of June 10th – June 23rd

    Sacred art: The language of the soul

    From Michelangelo to Rembrandt, from the ancients to the moderns, artists have used their gifts to express the divine. That tradition has lasted for millennia, and continues into the present.

    Woman becomes archdiocese's fifth consecrated virgin

    Twanna Bolling has long felt a call from God. She considered religious life, both contemplative and active, but that was not the perfect fit. Bolling was called to a more unusual vocation—life as a consecrated virgin. On June 2, Cardinal George celebrated the consecration of Bolling as a Virgin Living in the World at the Monastery of the Holy Cross.

    ‘Like a wedding …’

    It was like a wedding Mass. The bride was nervous, waiting outside the open doors of the Monastery of the Holy Cross at 3 p.m. June 2. Her attendants fussed with her white floor length gown, lovingly sewn by an aunt. Relatives and friends sat anxiously in the small gothic church, sans air conditioning, as a string quartet played a Haydn Opus.

    ‘Grim reaper’ aims to save teenagers’ lives

    Jamie Kuzniar, a counselor at Guerin College Preparatory High School in River Grove, knew the statistics. On an average weekend, 138 people across the nation are killed in alcohol- or drug-related car crashes.

    All elementary schools to remain open

    All 217 Catholic elementary schools in the Archdiocese of Chicago will remain open for the 2007-08 school year.

     

  • Issue of May 27th – June 9th

    Praying with Mary

    Most Catholics have at least a handful of rosaries, given at milestones such as first Communion or confirmation. Some are inexpensive, made from plastic beads and string. Some beautiful chain rosaries have crystal or glass beads; and corded rosaries have knots for beads. In addition, there are rosary bracelets, decade rings and single decade rosaries. The rosary beads are a way of keeping us on track as we say the prayers of the rosary and reflect on the life of Jesus.

    Religious women, men support immigrant ‘brothers and sisters’

    Representatives from the Sisters and Brothers of Immigrants signed a commitment statement during a May 18 press conference in the chapel at Holy Name Cathedral.

    Anniversary Mass a day to remember

    On a gloriously sunny afternoon, a capacity congregation filled Holy Name Cathedral’s 1,100 seats to celebrate Cardinal George’s 10 years as Archbishop of Chicago.

    Campaign donations add up

    Parishioners and pastors responded to this year’s Annual Catholic Appeal as never before, and set the year-long campaign off to its best beginning ever.

     

  • Issue of May 13th – May 26th

    Star students find many ways to shine

    St. Francis de Sales High School senior Sean Kendall Keith Brooks could have made his life easier by transferring to a nearby school when he moved to his mother’s south suburban home. But he decided the education St. Francis provided was too important a factor in his future success, so he made the commitment to spend nearly an hour and a half traveling each way from south suburban Lynwood to Chicago’s South Ewing Street, where the school is located.

    Thousands turn out for immigration reform rally

    About 150,000 people—mostly immigrants themselves—turned out for a May 1 march and rally to demand reform of the United States’ immigration system. Many of the marchers carried signs in English and Spanish, calling for “No more raids,” and proclaiming, “We are workers, not criminals.” Marchers also focused on keeping families together, a frequent issue in that nearly a third of an estimated 6.3 immigrant families without legal status have at least one child who is a U.S. citizen.

    13 men to be ordained for archdiocese

    Cardinal George is expected to ordain 13 new priests for the archdiocese May 19 at Holy Name Cathedral. Ranging in age from 26 to 42, all have long vocation journeys—and most had to travel long distances to get here. Four are from Poland, four from Tanzania and Kenya, two from Mexico and two from Peru—and one was born here in Chicago.

     

  • Issue of April 29th – May 12th

    Cardinal reflects on 10 years as archbishop here

    As he prepared to celebrate his 10th anniversary as Archbishop of Chicago, Cardinal George sat down at his residence to reflect on his time here. Earlier that day, the Tuesday of Holy Week, he had celebrated the Chrism Mass, the annual liturgy at which sacred oils were consecrated for the coming year. He was heading into a full schedule of liturgies and celebrations during the Triduum and Easter-a schedule unexpectedly cut short when he injured his hip in a fall during the blessing of Easter baskets at St. Ferdinand Parish Holy Saturday.

    A timeline of the first ten years…

    Catholic Charities to close foster care program

    Decision hinges on settlement, inability to purchase liability insurance

    Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago has begun dismantling its foster care program after announcing that it will stop providing foster care services as of June 30. The decision, which Catholic and state welfare officials called "tragic," came after Catholic Charities was unable to get liability insurance for its foster care program.

     

  • Issue of April 15th – April 28th

    From darkness to light

    Walking the path from Holy Week to Easter

    Catholics from all corners of the archdiocese made the journey through Holy Week with processions and prayers, starting with memorials of Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Holy Tuesday brought the annual Chrism Mass, when the holy oils that will be used throughout the year were consecrated, and priests washed the feet of their parishioners on Holy Thursday, in imitation of Jesus' service to his disciples at the Last Supper.

    New Catholics enter church at Easter Vigil

    With fire and water, Christ and his people are born to new life. Catholics throughout the archdiocese welcomed the news of the resurrection the evening of April 7 at Easter Vigil Masses, which begin with the kindling of the fire to light the Paschal candle. That light spread through the darkened churches, in imitation of the Light of Christ dispelling the darkness of sin and death. While all Catholics present renew their baptismal promises at the vigil and all the other Masses of Easter, for many, the evening represents a first step into new life. More than 500 people were expected to be baptized at vigil Masses, while 575 Christians baptized in other traditions and 750 Catholics who had not completed the sacraments of initiation were to receive Communion and confirmation.

     

  • Issue of April 1st – April 14th

    Life lessons
    A vocation is not a one-time decision Most vowed religious men and women have a vocation story—a story that explains why and how they decided to commit to a religious life. Agnesian Sister Susan Seeby has two vocation stories. She entered the Felician Sisters in 1985 at the age of 30 and three years ago she began the process of transferring her vows to the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes. The transferring of her vows will become official during an April 15 ceremony.

    Child abuse prevention month
    Parishes and schools all over the Archdiocese of Chicago once again will distribute blue ribbons in April and encourage worshippers and students to think about ways to prevent child abuse and to remember its victims.

     

     

  • Issue of March 18th – March 31st

    Stations of the Cross
    In the years of the early church, Christian pilgrims would travel to Jerusalem to walk the Way of the Cross. Now, Catholics around the world retrace the steps of Jesus through the Stations of the Cross in their own churches or communities. Stations of the Cross is a Catholic devotion that has a rich history and can take many different forms.
    Since the 4th century, pilgrims would come to the Holy Land and visit places connected to Jesus' life, said Richard McCarron, associate professor of liturgy at Catholic Theological Union. “The pilgrims would come back (to Europe) and recreate these experiences,” McCarron said. By the 5th century, shrines were erected in Europe to that represent some of the shrines in Jerusalem.

    Quigley's great goodbye
    March 11 was a “bittersweet” day for Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary and its community of faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends, said Father Peter Sneig, the school's president and rector.
    The Archdiocese of Chicago's high school seminary will close its doors in June after 102 years of educating young men who are considering the priesthood. On March 11, Quigley hosted “The Great Goodbye” to give everyone an opportunity to visit the school one last time.

    Praying for justice for immigrants
    It was a cold day with a biting wind when about 30 people gathered on Federal Plaza to raise a cross and pray the rosary for immigrants.
    The vigil, sponsored by Priests for Justice for Immigrants, was the first of the six Lenten Wednesday gatherings at which members of the faithful joined the priests in praying for the needs of immigrants and for comprehensive immigration reform.

     

     

  • Issue of March 4th – March 17th

    Faith in higher education?
    Colleges and universities offer religious education to Catholics and others

    Colleges feed students’ hunger for religious knowledge
    Catholic colleges and universities around the United States have become increasingly diverse in recent decades, but that doesn’t mean they take their Catholic identity less seriously. Making sure Catholic colleges and universities are truly Catholic was the point of “Ex Corde Ecclesiae” (“From the Heart of the Church”). Pope John Paul II’s apostolic constitution on Catholic Universities. Promulgated in 1990, the document was implemented in the United States in 1999. The document calls on Catholic universities to be faithful to the Christian message while reflecting on human knowledge “in the light of the Catholic faith.”

    Catholic universities reach out to other faiths
    In a diverse society, Catholic colleges and universities now attract more than just Catholic students. Catholic universities provide support for students from different religious traditions and opportunities for all students to engage in interfaith dialogue. “Rooted in our Catholic tradition, we have a responsibility and a gift to reach out to our neighbors of other faiths,” explained Javier Orozco, the associate director of religious diversity at DePaul University. He said this interfaith dialogue is especially important in a university atmosphere. Catholic universities provide practical support for students of other faiths. Usually, the campus ministry offices will offer pastoral support for faith groups on campus, space for students to worship and pray and assistance with planning events.

     

     

  • Issue of February 18th – March 3rd

    Ashes to ashes
    Lenten season of penance,
    preparation begins

    Ash Wednesday falls on Feb. 21 this year, and Catholics must consider what sacrifices to make, how to serve others and how to grow closer to God during the season. Every year, Catholics focus on prayer, fasting and almsgiving during Lent, traditions that have roots in the early Christian church. The tradition of fasting in preparation for the Easter celebration likely comes from the time of the early church, when catechumens would fast before receiving the sacraments of baptism and Communion, according to Dennis Martin, associate professor of historical theology at Loyola University.

    Lenten Remembrance
    Byzantine Catholics pray for the dead on All Souls Saturdays
    When faithful of the Byzantine Catholic Rite observe Lent, their practices include an increase in fasting, prayer and almsgiving, just as in Roman Catholic communities. But Byzantine Catholics—who are in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church—add another layer: prayer specifically for the souls of their loved ones who have died.

    Bridgeport’s Terabithia
    Seated in front of a display of “Bridgeport’s Terabithia,” author Katherine Paterson read first from “Bridge to Terabithia,” the 1978 Newbery Award-winning novel that was released as a Disney film Feb. 16. Paterson gave whiny Maybelle, desperate but stoic Jess and imaginative Leslie each their own voices, despite suffering from a cold. Her audience of fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-graders at Bridgeport Catholic Academy listened raptly, before launching a series of questions about how Paterson became a writer and what made her write this particular book.

  • Issue of February 4th – February 17th

    Feeding the spirit
    Volunteers find joy in helping

    There are no shortages of opportunities to serve your neighbor in the Archdiocese of Chicago. With hundreds of parishes and schools, organizations that serve the poor, immigrants, disabled people and others, those who want to put their resources to work need only look for an opportunity.

    Volunteering … to be holy
    “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”
    Mk 12:30-31
    When Jesus gave his followers the great commandment, he forever bound believers to the community of people around them, and required them to do what they could to help. “Why do we have to serve our neighbor?” said Father Michael Fuller, an instructor in Christian life at the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary. “The short answer is because Jesus told us to.”

    Pro-lifers march for life here, and in Washington
    Catholics from the archdiocese of Chicago made their voices heard on Roe v. Wade Jan. 20-22, the weekend of the 34th annual March for Life.
    Many pro-life advocates who could not travel to Washington D.C. gathered the afternoon of Jan. 21 for 12:30 Mass at Holy Name Cathedral, then had their own march to the Water Tower at Michigan and Chicago avenues, where they held a vigil.
    Despite competing with the Chicago Bears' NFC Championship game, the event drew about 100 people, according to Emily Hergenrother, one of the organizers. Participants included Knights of Columbus; staff and volunteers from the Women's Center, a crisis pregnancy center; and students from Moody Bible Institute.

     

     

  • Issue of January 21st – February 3rd

    New schools growing up
    News of Catholic schools closing seems to have dominated the news in recent years, but that’s not the whole story. Several schools have opened in the Archdiocese of Chicago, serving students from the Northwest suburbs to the South Side of the city, most starting at the youngest grades and adding a year as their oldest classes get older.
    The leaders of those schools have some advice for anyone wanting to start a Catholic school: dream big, and believe in what you are doing.

    Catholic schools have faith in service
    Kathleen Barton, principal of St. Juliana School, is an idea person. She, like many of her Catholic school peers, finds unique ways to combine service along with faith in the classroom. One of her best, she said, happened when she invited teachers to create individual outreach projects for Advent instead of asking them to participate in one school-wide activity. “We have a very creative staff at St. Juliana, many of whom are involved in social justice projects after school hours,” Barton said. “I thought it would be interesting to see what our teachers could create that would prepare our children for Jesus’ birth and help others in a tangible way.”

     

     

  • Issue of January 7th – January 20th

    Resolutions 2007: A new beginning
    It’s the time of year when health clubs start advertising heavily, trolling for people who in a weak-willed moment will sign a contract to go exercise—and, in many cases, never set foot inside the gym after Jan. 15.
    Something about the New Year sparks us to take a look at our lives, re-evaluate and make a commitment to do better, to be better. Some are superficial (how many want to lose 5 pounds?), some are serious and health-related (anyone trying to keep a resolution to quit smoking?), and some are spiritual.
    Those are the ones the Catholic New World is most interested in. What will you do to lead more faith-filled life? To make the world better? To improve your relationship with God? How do you want the world to change?

    Pope offers Christmas greetings
    Celebrating Christmas at the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI said the world still needs a savior, despite technological advances that make humanity consider itself the “self-sufficient master of its own destiny.”
    At Midnight Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, the pope said the birth of Christ should focus attention on all the suffering and abused children in contemporary society.
    Later, in a Christmas Day blessing “urbi et orbi”—to the city of Rome and the world—he said recent developments like space travel, genetic engineering and the Internet only accentuate man’s need for spiritual salvation.

    Top stories of 2006
    2006: A year of hurt, hope and
    healing

    Top stories included cardinal’s health, clergy sex abuse, immigration Catholics in the Archdiocese of Chicago donated more money to the church in 2006, but slightly fewer of them attended Mass.
    The faithful kept giving in a year bookended by publicity about allegations of clerical sexual abuse, starting with the arrest of Father Daniel McCormack in February.