Issue of December 21st – January 3rd
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Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, Christmas is remembered and celebrated in many ways. As a child, it’s the surprise and the gifts that mark the day. As a young person, it’s the planning that goes into each gift as, for the first time, you can spend your own money to buy gifts for others. As a parent, it’s the delight and happiness of children that leave the strongest impression. As an older adult, it’s often the unity of the family that brings the most satisfaction. All of these are good, but each is only a part of something bigger. The more basic question is: what does Christmas mean to God?
On a frosty Friday afternoon, more than 400 Catholics gathered on Federal Plaza at Adams and Dearborn streets in downtown Chicago to publicly celebrate the Eucharist in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
They came wrapped up in scarves, hats and thick winter coats. They came pushing strollers with children bundled up inside and holding banners bearing Our Lady of Guadalupe’s image. They came bearing roses to lay at the feet of Mary at her shrine. And they came and came by the tens of thousands, late into the cold, December night and throughout the next day to celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe at the shrine at Maryville in Des Plaines.
Walking in the steps of Mary and Joseph
More than 1,000 people crowded onto the sidewalks around Holy Name Cathedral Dec. 14, walking in slow procession to reenact the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem before the birth of Jesus.
This life is passing, not meant to last. While on earth, as the Baltimore Catechism so simply stated, we must know, love and serve God, in preparation for eternal life.
For the first time, the Archdiocese of Chicago will have an “institutional” presence on the city’s South Side. Cardinal George noted this development Dec. 10 at the dedication of the Cardinal Meyer Center, 35th Street and Lake Park, which will serve as one of two pastoral center locations for the archdiocese.
Robert Shack, 81, has never counted the number of Masses in which he has participated. Being a parish music director for 60 years, playing one Mass every day and at least three every Sunday would make the number over 31,000 Masses he’s been a part of in his adult life.
The Apostle wants us, not to simply admire the accomplishment of Christ, but rather swim in it, participate in it
In a previous article, I considered the life and times of Paul the Apostle, the great saint whom Pope Benedict XVI has invited us to examine with special attention this year. In this piece, I would like to explore the teaching of this pivotal figure.
If you have a Jesuit in the family or enjoy Chicago history, check out “Born in Chicago: A History of Chicago’s Jesuit University,” (Loyola Press, $25) by Ellen Skerrett — a thorough account of Chicago’s Jesuit university, founded in 1870 by the “Hollander” Father Arnold Damen.
“The Day the Earth Stood Still,” is a remake of the 1951 movie by the same title. The latest version has kept many — even seemingly outdated — elements of the 1951 film, most likely as a reverential nod to sci-fi film history, but the story-line is also very similar. What’s new is the new threat to planet Earth.
Representatives and clergy from parishes in the Archdiocese of Chicago joined theology students on Friday for a workshop, “That All May Worship: Creating the Inclusive Community,” cosponsored by Pathways Awareness and the Emmaus program at Catholic Theological Union. Participants learned from the moving stories told by a panel of clergy and lay people living with disability.
Collenane Cosey displays her faith on the wall, in the form of an oversize marble and resin rosary and a clock with the face of the Virgin Mary. They are mounted over the TV where she watches Mass from the chapel at St. Joseph Village, the Northwest Side nursing home where she lives.
Issue of December 7th – December 20th
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50 years ago, a fire killed 92 children and three nuns at Our Lady of the Angels School
Ninety-five people — 92 students and three teaching nuns — died in the fire that rampaged the second floor of the north wing of the Our Lady of the Angels School on Dec. 1, 1958. The tragedy, painstakingly documented in the book “To Sleep with the Angels” by David Cowan and John Kuenster and the subject of many magazine articles, books and films, led to reforms in the fire code for schools across the country and dramatic changes in school construction and fire-alarm systems in Chicago.
But more than bricks and mortar were affected: The people of the parish, especially the hundreds of students who were in the school, its surrounding neighborhood and the whole city still bear the marks of the fire.
The people who packed Holy Family Church on Roosevelt Road Nov. 30 were in large part, older and graying. Their faces were often somber and teary, matching the dark rainy weather outside.
They came to remember the sunny, cold Dec. 1 of 1958, when 92 children and three Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary perished in a fire at Our Lady of the Angels School. The congregation included many survivors of the fire, as well as the loved ones of those who died, and firefighters and police and others who just thought it was important to remember.
Sister Maureen Therese Thiel, BVM, remembers seeing black smoke pouring out of Our Lady of the Angels School 50 years ago. She could see it from Annunciation School, about four miles away, where she was teaching first grade at the time.
At 8 p.m., she learned from television reports that three of her fellow Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVMs), whom she knew personally from her close ties to Our Lady of the Angels Parish, had died, along with many children.
Using holy water gathered from the Marian shrine of Lourdes, France, during the archdiocesan pilgrimage earlier this year, Cardinal George blessed the offices of the Archbishop Quigley Center on Rush and Pearson streets at a prayer service and dedication on Nov. 19.
Aiding others in need is the path to salvation, according to Gospel
People who are watching the stock market, the unemployment rate and other economic indicators to assess the state of the economy are finding out what people who work with the poor already know: There are more people who need help, and, apparently, fewer people willing or able to give it.
The legacy of Cardinal Joseph Bernardin lives on in the work and life of John H. White, a Chicago Sun-Times photojournalist and Pulitzer Prize winner who was a friend of the archbishop.
White has photographed Muhammad Ali, Nelson Mandela, President Jimmy Carter, Pope John Paul II, President-elect Barack Obama, to name just a few, but it’s the cardinal that he returns to most.
Audiences at Chiesa Nuova will hear no homilies or talks aimed at persuading them to come to church. Instead, the performances staged in the converted coachhouse consist only of beautiful music and other artistic endeavors, beautifully performed.
Romances are very difficult to create on screen today. Why? Because to maintain romantic tension, the lovers have to be kept apart by something, and hardly anything is taboo in our postmodern culture.
It is not surprising that the most theologically astute pope in centuries should declare a year of St. Paul, for Paul is quite properly seen as the first great theologian of the Christian church. In fact, it’s been said that all of theology is but a footnote to Paul, a consistent reconsideration of the same questions that he asked and answered.
Issue of November 23rd – December 6th
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Type in “Nazareth to Bethlehem” on Google Maps and the result is 10.9 miles or 19 minutes by car. Surprising. But oh, turns out that’s in Pennsylvania. If you search that trek for Israel, the result is just under 2 hours to cover the 97 miles over modern roads.
I’ll bet St. Joseph — young and strong St. Joseph — could have made the round trip on his own in a week, but the baby was due at any time, and being a gentleman he wouldn’t think of leaving Our Lady alone. What a bitter disappointment when he was told, “Sorry, there’s no room for you.”
In this world of 24/7 information overload, Catholics can learn how to be literate and mindful of the what they consume through technology
Do you know what the Catholic Church’s position is on abortion? Helping the poor? You probably do. How about the Catholic Church’s “official” position on the media? (By media we’re referring to the whole enchilada: media content, technology and culture.) Not so sure? You’re not alone.
Cardinal George presided over U.S. bishops fall meeting
Baltimore (CNS) — At the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Nov. 10-12 fall general assembly in Baltimore, the bishops:
■ Heard their president, Cardinal George, acknowledge the historic significance of the election of President-elect Barack Obama and pray that the incoming president will be able to succeed in his task for the good of all.
Cardinal George statement: ‘The common good is not the sum total of individual desires and interests’
“If the Lord does not build the house, in vain do its builders labor; if the Lord does not watch over the city, in vain does the watchman keep vigil.” (Ps 127:1)
As the Catholic bishops of the United States gather in Baltimore and as servants of Jesus our hope, we bring with us our concern for people in our dioceses, and we want to express our active support and solidarity with all those who are being hurt by the current economic crisis. As pastors and bishops, we see the many human and moral consequences of this crisis.
There is much more to the sacrament of holy orders than the average Catholic probably realizes. Yes, it’s the sacrament by which a man becomes a priest, but there are actually three degrees or levels to the sacrament: deacon, priest and bishop.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The turmoil that we are experiencing in today’s economy affects each family across the archdiocese, the country, and around the globe. Uncertainty is pervasive amidst mounting job losses and home foreclosures combined with shrinking investments and savings balances. Families are concerned for their futures, as most marketplace indicators are suggesting that even more difficult times are still to come. I offer my prayers of support and hope for you all, especially those most immediately and directly impacted by the recent turn of economic events. We should pray as well that the present government and the incoming administration succeed in their efforts to face the economic crisis.
By all accounts, Children of Peace School is a success story.
The Catholic school, now a ministry of Notre Dame de Chicago Parish, was originally formed by the consolidation of schools at the now-closed Holy Trinity and St. Callistus parishes and Holy Family Parish.
Several observances of the 50th anniversary of the Our Lady of the Angels School fire are planned. The fire, which occurred at about 2:30 p.m. Dec. 1, 1958, took the lives of 92 students and three BVM sisters who were teachers.
At the height of his ministry, St. Paul had great resources to draw upon, especially his own rich education in the Scriptures of Israel and in the rabbinical tradition of interpretation. He may have even kept carefully preserved notes about the Lord’s suffering, or maybe a list of Jesus’ own sayings.
How do you change the culture? By changing hearts. That’s what Raymond Arroyo, host of the Eternal Word Television Network’s “World Over Live” told those in attendance at the annual Catholic Citizens of Illinois Annual Dinner Nov. 6 at Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace.
There can never be too many Holocaust movies. It’s true there are many different “holocausts”: the Armenians, Rwanda, the Ukrainians, the pre-born, etc., but the Jewish Holocaust is quintessential, at least for modern times. The Nazis employed and developed technologies to make human extermination a science. The great modern project of paradise-on-earth-via-science-and-technological progress was twisted almost beyond repair, and instead, created hell on earth.
Issue of November 9th – November 22nd
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Cheers rang from the rafters as eighth grade students from Park Ridge’s St. Paul of the Cross School spearheaded an All- American Political Rally. It came with all the bells, whistles, hoopla and work known to any political organization.
Joining in the excitement were the school’s student body, family members, neighbors and local elected officials.
The rally was part of the eighth graders’ curriculum about the U.S. political system. During their two-month effort, they gained a feel of what it was like to be a candidate, member of a political convention and what it takes to organize a campaign.
Parents who send their children to Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Chicago have expressed their belief — through their time, tuition payments and commitment — that Catholic schools offer a superior education.
Schools’ superintendent draws hope from the kids
I keep seeing the faces. Like my dad’s old slide projector, like the photo DVD edited by a graduating class for their ceremonial farewells, I keep seeing the faces. Rapid fire, freeze frame. Faces.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “Heaven, the Father's house, is the true homeland toward which we are heading and to which, already, we belong” (No. 2802).
Catholics from throughout the Archdiocese of Chicago, including university students, are invited to a day-long bioethics symposium sponsored by the Integritas Institute on Nov. 21.
First, the good news: There are 258 Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Chicago. A full 96 percent of seniors who attend Catholic secondary schools graduate, and 95 percent of those graduates go on to college.
In an interview with Cardinal George, we asked him about a recent newspaper editorial that questioned the relationship between the Archdiocese of Chicago and a priest of the Diocese of Wilmington, Del. The Cardinal made the following comments:
From now until June 29, 2009, Chicago-area Catholics can receive purgatory time off for good behavior.
OK, not exactly.
St. Paul wrote these words to the Philippians: “I give thanks to my God at every remembrance of you, praying always with joy in my every prayer for all of you, because of your partnership for the Gospel from the first day until now” (Phil 1:3- 5), but surely intended them for all who have devoted themselves to spreading the Gospel.
Father Patrick Desbois doesn’t seem a likely candidate to confront the forces of evil.
The French priest speaks quietly, with a heavy accent, and a sincerity that stamps each word with the note of truth.
“One has to knock on the doors of people’s consciences and make them feel welcome, without judging them. Jesus did not judge when he proclaimed the good news, he just made them feel welcome.”
When Archbishop Sigitas Tamkevicius was in the seminary in Kaunas, Lithuania, in 1957, he was drafted into the Red Army for three years of compulsive military service.
Catholic Relief Services works against cruel labor ‘recruiters’
The faces of human trafficking in Brazil, the largest country in South America, and in Moldova, a tiny nation in the former Soviet Union, could hardly be more different.
Our faith intersects with our culture everyday and everywhere. In the news media, on TV and radio, on the silver screen, in the mall and stores, at dinner parties and events on the sports field, just to name a few. When you look at life through the lens of your Catholic faith, you can see this intersection everyday and everywhere.
The DVD “Millions” (from the 2004 British movie) is perfect for the month of November when we remember the faithful departed and for the recent remembrances of All Saints and All Souls days. For fans of the black-and-white classic, “Miracle of Marcellino,” “Millions” could be considered an update for the 21st century.
As Chicago surpassed New York and Los Angeles for number of murders this year, Catholics in the city attended an annual memorial Mass for victims of violence at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, 4500 S. Ashland Ave., in the Back of the Yards neighborhood.
Amate House celebrates with huge food drive
“Amate” means to love. Amate House is a program for young adult volunteers spreading love all around the Archdiocese of Chicago. The Latin verb “amate” suggests that this love is experienced in an action, not just through a romantic feeling. This is precisely the way in which every summer, since 1984 a new group of young adults understands love toward our neighbors.
Author offers practical tips for today’s parents
Igrew up biblically deprived. Unfortunately, many of us Catholics did. Our parents are not to be blamed, however. For many years, Catholics were simply not encouraged to read the Bible.
Issue of October 26th – November 8th
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One hundred and thirty-six parishes will receive checks totaling just over $2 million by Nov. 1 from the Annual Catholic Appeal. That money will help parishes pay for unexpected repair bills, help retire loans from the archdiocese and provide nest eggs for future capital improvements.
“We’re doing God’s work with it,” said Father David Ryan, pastor at St. Francis de Sales Parish in Lake Zurich, which will receive a rebate of more than $67,000.
On an October Friday afternoon, Father Dan Mayall sat in his office in the Holy Name Cathedral rectory, looking at seven message slips requesting anointing of the sick for patients at nearby Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He had just returned from one meeting, and was due to meet with staff at Frances Xavier Warde School in a half-hour. The anointing would have to wait until that meeting was over. “Fortunately, none of them look like they are in immediate danger,” said Mayall, the cathedral’s rector and pastor.
Holy Cross Parish in Deerfield is truly sharing the wealth. Parishioners are not just giving money from their wallets; they are also giving their time and their compassion to help the students at St. Malachy School, 2252 W. Washington St., on the West Side of Chicago.
For more than 30 years, Holy Cross and St. Malachy have shared a relationship. Parish Sharing, a program through the archdiocesan Office of Peace and Justice, links parishes to one another across economic, racial and geographic lines for the purpose of building relationships and community.
Nearly 2,000 Catholic school teachers, catechists and other parishioners spent time Oct. 17-18 learning how to read, be inspired by and use Scripture as they instruct and form young people and adults in the faith.
The participants in “Called by Name, Transformed by the Word,” this year’s Chicago Catechetical Conference at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, could choose from a variety of enrichment workshops or classes for certification as a catechist.
The Park Ridge City Council appeared to move closer to approving language that would allow an overnight homeless shelter in the village, as several residents spoke in support of a compromise solution to put such a shelter in the village’s public service center.
It couldn’t come soon enough for James Olsen, a man who identified himself as homeless when he addressed the council Oct. 20.
“Please approve this,” he said. “Then I could get a place to sleep and a hot meal one night a week.”
Both the Feast of All Saints and the Feast of All Souls evolved in the life of the Catholic Church independently of paganism and Halloween. However, elements of pagan practices were perhaps “baptized” by some cultures or attached themselves to the celebration of All Saints and All Souls.
Along with the Feast of All Saints developed the Feast of All Souls. The church has consistently encouraged the offering of prayers and Mass for the souls of the faithful departed in purgatory. At the time of their death, these souls are not perfectly cleansed of venial sin or have not atoned for past transgressions, and thereby are deprived of the beatific vision (what we understand as the clear intuitive vision of God granted to those in heaven). The faithful on earth can assist these souls in purgatory in attaining the beatific vision through their prayers, good works and the offering of Mass.
During a visit to Chicago, Arturo Mari shares insight into legacy of John Paul II
After having spent 51 years photographing six popes, Arturo Mari hung up his cameras last year, retiring as the Vatican’s official photographer.
Mari, 68, the main photographer for L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, began his career at age 16, working for an agency on an assignment to photograph Pope Pius XII wearing a crown and being carried on a gestatorial chair at a beatification ceremony.
He documented Pope John XXIII announcing his plans to convoke the Second Vatican Council. And he was in St. Peter’s Square in 1981 to capture the image of Pope John Paul II lying in his secretary’s arms after being shot.
He recently visited Chicago on the anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s election to the papacy and spoke to staff writer Alicja Pozywio.
Max McLean’s Screwtape is one guy you don’t want looking at you with affection.
McLean, who adapted Christian author C.S. Lewis’ “The Screwtape Letters” for the stage with Jeffrey Fiske, starred in well-received productions in New York and Washington before bringing his vision of hell to the Mercury Theater in Chicago.
Faith and reason are not mutually exclusive, speakers at an Oct. 11 symposium at the Adler Planetarium told participants.
“Do you believe in the Big Bang or divine creation? Do you believe in evolution or divine creation?” asked Jesuit Father William Stoeger, an astrophysicist at the Vatican Observatory. “It should be an ‘and’ in those sentences, and, of course, the answer to both those questions is ‘yes.’
Pornography addiction is one of the most difficult addictions to overcome because not only is the body addicted to its own chemicals and hormones, but at times, no outside stimulus is needed, one has only to recall the pornographic images already stored in one’s brain. It’s not fair.
Another reason porn is so addictive is the incredible, diabolical ease with which one becomes hooked. You don’t have to buy anything. Pornography is not illegal. You don’t have to leave the house. It’s portable if you do leave the house. It’s available 24/7. No one will know if you’re using it, at least at first. And, if you use a computer at all, you’re going to see porn whether you want to or not. You will be solicited. It’s not fair.
Issue of October 12th – October 25th
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It’s the talk in the office, on the train, in the store, among friends and family. What will be the fallout of the economic crisis and what does the future hold? There is a near palpable sense of fear and worry among people today.
Will my retirement money be OK? What about our investments? We’ve saved money for our children’s college fund but now it’s dwindling. What do we do? Is my job safe?
So you want to be a catechist in the Archdiocese of Chicago?
You’ll be joining more than 10,000 volunteers — yes, all of them are unpaid — who live their faith by sharing it with up-andcoming generations.
Parishes throughout the archdiocese have gotten their religious education classes under way for the year and have more than 100,000 children enrolled, according to the Office for Catechesis and Youth Ministry. Exact numbers for this year are still being compiled
The violence against Christians far away in India hits home here in Chicago. Several hundred Indian-American Christians gathered at the Syro-Malabar Catholic Cathedral in Bellwood on Sept. 28 to raise awareness about the Christians murdered and terrorized in the Indian state of Orissa over the past month. Hindu extremist mobs have murdered Christians, vandalized churches, destroyed homes and burned convents, orphanages and schools.
Christians from several denominations gathered outside the church not to cry for revenge but to plea for an end to the violence and a restoration of peace in the region.
When Father Irenaeus St. Cyr came on horseback 175 years ago to celebrate the first Mass in the Sag area in rural Illinois, probably no one realized that they were participating in a historic moment.
That unusual Eucharist offered in a log cabin situated on an Indian trail was the beginning of the oldest Roman Catholic church building in the Archdiocese of Chicago. The log cabin soon became the first St. James Church at Sag Bridge. After 20 years, workers on the Illinois canal, who became the first parishioners, moved the cabin up the hill to land donated by John Sullivan and James Murphy and started building a church made of yellow limestone.
About 150 people gathered on Chicago’s Northwest side to pray during a kickoff for the “40 Days for Life Chicago Campaign” vigil on Sept. 24.
Organizers are asking volunteers to pray for the sanctity of life round-the-clock for 40 days, until Nov. 2. It’s part of a national campaign taking place in 170 cities in the United States.
“We already have 34 of the 40 days covered,” said Mary-Louise Kurey, director of the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Respect Life office, noting it will be hard for volunteers to show up at 2 or 3 a.m. when the weather gets chilly.
As the church in the United States marks Respect Life Month, we explore the tough issues surrounding conception
October is Respect Life Month. For many years, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has dedicated October to promoting the sanctity of human life from the moment of conception until natural death. Abortion and euthanasia involve the deliberate killing of innocent and vulnerable human beings. They are direct attacks on the foundation of justice and therefore are at the focus of the bishops’ concerns.
Other life issues addressed during Respect Life Month include: embryonic stemcell research and human cloning, vaccines derived from the tissue of aborted babies, capital punishment, artificial reproductive technologies and the promotion of chastity, post-abortion healing, and morally acceptable fertility treatments. The Respect Life Office of the Archdiocese of Chicago addresses these matters through education, public policy involvement, prayer and pastoral care programs.
In the following pages, readers will meet hundreds of men and women who have been called to dedicate their lives to God and his people as members of religious congregations.
Each congregation has its own charism, from the Poor Clares, who live in cloistered monasteries and live lives of prayer, to the many teaching and nursing orders. Listed with the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate is Cardinal Francis George, who entered the order 50 years ago, and served as a college professor and a leader of the congregation before Pope John Paul II appointed him first a bishop in Yakima, Wash., then an archbishop in Portland, Ore., and finally cardinal archbishop of Chicago.
This issue of the Catholic New World is dedicated to those celebrating their 25th and 50th anniversaries of religious life. Some who are celebrating other anniversaries – 60th, 70th and even 75th – also are listed because they were not included in our April issue, when most of their peers were honored.
We honor and thank all of them for their love and service.
If you think eucharistic adoration and rap or hard rock can’t mix, think again. Catholic Underground has come to Chicago.
Originally founded by the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal as a cultural apostolate, Catholic Underground — an evening of eucharistic adoration, music and fellowship for college students — is a direct response to a call begun by Pope John Paul II and continued by Pope Benedict XVI — that the Gospel must be in conversation with culture. How can we best accomplish this goal? By integrating Gospel values into music, art and culture while maintaining the integrity of the mysteries of faith.
Issue of September 28th – October 11th
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As the rain kept falling the weekend of Sept . 12-13, Bobby Walls of Dolton knew the water would come up in her basement. That’s why she doesn’t really keep anything on the floor.
But her teenage foster-daughter wasn’t so lucky, losing several pairs of shoes and clothing that she had left in baskets on the basement floor. The water ended up a little shy of knee-deep, said Walls, who was back at work at Catholic Charities’ South Suburban Office Sept. 17.
Upcoming World Synod of Bishops on the Bible calls to attention to increased interest in the Word of God by Catholics in the archdiocese
St. Jerome said, “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.” Pope Benedict XVI has echoed these words several times since ascending to the chair of Peter and has called together the world synod of bishops to discuss the importance of the Bible in today’s church Oct. 5-26.
Our own Cardinal George will participate in the month-long gathering at the Vatican. The last synod of the world’s bishops took place in 2005 on the Eucharist.
Catholics have a better familiarity with the Bible than they often think they do because if they attend Sunday Mass for a three-year span, they hear almost the entire Bible read to them. We may not be able to quote chapter and verse like other Christians, but we know the stories.
Over the past few decades, Catholics have taken up reading some important literature.
While Protestants have been reading the Bible since Luther, “until the Second Vatican Council there wasn’t that much interest on the part of Catholics. That’s changed quite a bit,” said Patrick Redington, interim director of the Chicago Catholic Scripture School that will be celebrating its 10th anniversary next year.
More than 200 laypeople were honored for their service to the Archdiocese of Chicago and to their parishes at a special prayer service and ceremony Sept. 21 at Holy Name Cathedral.
Seven people received the Bishop Quarter Award, named for the first bishop of the then-Diocese of Chicago. The episcopal vicar of each vicariate nominates the recipient from his area; Vicariate I, which includes Lake County and the Northwest suburbs, honored two people.
The Christifideles Award was given to people from 141 parishes, including many married couples, two groups including parents and an adult child and one brother-sister pair. Christifidelis recipients are nominated by their pastors.
Catholic Campaign for Human Development aids Little Village group
The Near West Side Chicago neighborhood of Little Village is starving for green space for its children to play and be safe. Right now there is only one community park in an area that is home to 95,000 people.
But that soon may change with the help of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. CCHD is an annual nationwide collection organized by the U.S. bishops that, for 37 years, has “funded low-income controlled empowerment projects around the country and has educated Catholics “about the root causes of poverty within the context of Catholic social teaching,” according to the USCCB Web site.
The Catholic Bishops of Illinois released the statement “Our Conscience and Our Vote,” on Sept. 22 to help prepare Catholics for the upcoming election and further participation in the political process. The statement is available at the Catholic Conference of Illinois Web site, www.catholicconferenceofillinois.org, and was sent throughout all the Catholic dioceses in Illinois. For more information, call (312) 368-1066..
Issue of September 14th – September 27th
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Cardinal George was in the news locally Sept. 8-9 following the release of Kerry Kennedy's book "Being Catholic Now," which features an interview with Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke that criticizes him. Burke, who served as interim chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' National Review Board for two years, said that in 2003 Cardinal George withheld information that he was housing in his residence a priest accused of sex abuse in Delaware. She said he wasn't "honest with me."
Cardinal George said this is not true. He issued a statement following news reports of the book's release. "After the Dallas [2002 U.S. bishops'] meeting, I stated publicly that there was no priest in ministry in Chicago who had against him a substantiated claim of sexual abuse of a minor. That statement was true when I made it and it is true now," the statement said.
"The priest from Delaware was not transferred to Chicago. He was never in ministry here. He was someone I had known for several years. At the time, I was unaware of all the details of his situation; but since he let me know that a question had been raised about his past, I invited him to stay in my house rather than a parish when he came to Chicago while his own diocese was deciding whether or not he should be in ministry," the statement continues. "I deeply regret that the story and the facts continue to be misrepresented. To the best of my knowledge, I have been honest in every public and private statement I have made about the sexual abuse issue," the cardinal said.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, In the midst of a lengthy political campaign, matters of public policy that are also moral issues sometimes are misrepresented or are presented in a partial or manipulative fashion. While everyone could be expected to know the Church's position on the immorality of abortion and the role of law in protecting unborn children, it seems some profess not to know it and others, even in the Church, dispute it. Since this teaching has recently been falsely presented, the following clarification may be helpful.
Leaders of several Catholic elementary and high schools gathered with Dominican Sister Mary Paul McCaughey Sept. 3 to publicly pledge their efforts to work for peace in their schools and communities.
The “Pledge for Peace” gathering, to which reporters were invited, was held at Children of Peace School, 1900 W. Taylor St.
Pornography addiction, subtle anti-Catholicism, the secularization of America, and faithful citizenship were among the topics covered at the Chicago archdiocese’s first Catholic Men’s Conference, Sept. 6, at the Stephens Convention Center in suburban Rosemont.
One of the biggest problems facing the church today — “telling the real Catholic story” at a time of so much misinformation — is also one Catholic men can play a major role in solving, according to speakers Carl Anderson, national head of the Knights of Columbus, and author and motivational speaker Matthew Kelly.
Lay ecclesial movements enhance spiritual life.
There’s something in the Catholic Church for everyone. That is particularly the case with lay ecclesial movements. Do you have a devotion to Mary and the apparitions at Fatima? Check out the Blue Army. Feel called to enrich your marriage and the marriages of others? You might try Worldwide Marriage Encounter.
These type of movements, which date back to the founding of the church, were bolstered by the Second Vatican Council’s “Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity” that gave clear support for laypeople to organize around different charisms (gifts from the Holy Spirit) and take a more direct role in manifesting the kingdom of God on earth. In simple terms, lay movements bring together Catholics of various walks of life who feel called to a certain type of ministry or spirituality. They do not include lay religious orders such as the Secular Franciscans or the personal prelature Opus Dei
Congregation sees new art, repairs, improvements
Holy Name Cathedral reopened for weekend Masses Aug. 30 with full pews, a newly-buffed shine on the wood ceiling and terrazzo floor and tapestries showcasing the “IHS” symbol of the Holy Name of Jesus and the traditional symbols of the four evangelists.
Still hanging in the sanctuary were the five galeros — the red hats from each of the Chicago cardinals who died in office. By tradition, they will stay until they disintegrate, and they stayed through six months of construction and repair of the ceiling.
Students and faculty at St. James School in Arlington Heights were among the last of the more than 100,000 Catholic school students and teachers to return to classes this school year, opening Sept. 2.
But they had a good reason. Parish and school leaders scheduled the September opening to give workers enough time to finish creating new facilities that will eventually bring all the students together on the west side of busy Arlington Heights Road.
Without fuss or fanfare, almost 100,000 young people burst into Catholic classrooms, most of them at least a week before Labor Day.
Actually, I thought about a huge shindig at Navy Pier — but worried how long it would take for Lake County students to get there … and if bringing buses from Catholic schools over 200 blocks south of the city would be disruptive of precious study time and further strain school budgets.
Three Catholic schools recognized
What would any parent think hearing their child talk to another child about: “some sauce, juice, brown sugar or a horse?”
Nothing would be really alarming or shocking. The conversation might seem a little goofy, but not alarming. Not everybody knows that those words, among many others, are slang words for drugs. Not everybody knows either, that last year nearly 10 percent of Illinois teenagers age 12 to 17 reportedly used drugs and 74 percent of Illinois 10th graders said it would be easy to get alcohol if they wanted it. Two-thirds of these teenagers said it would be easy to get marijuana.
Issue of August 31st – September 13th
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With the presidential election right around the corner, Catholics are called to evaluate candidates and policies through the lens of the Gospel
Knowing our elected officials and the candidates is only a small part in fulfilling our duty to be a faithful citizen. Elections are not only about who is pursuing which office, elections are largely about issues. As Catholics we have a duty to be a faithful citizen by considering the issues from a Catholic perspective. To help guide Catholics in evaluating how issues intersect with Catholic social teaching, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has published a document called, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” (www.faithfulcitizenship.org).
The fascination with a search for truth was the reason Margaret Lekan knocked at the Dominican Sisters’ convent door one day in 1995 in Krakow, Poland. This search led her to later become Sister Margaret.
Since that time, she has studied theology at the Catholic University of Lublin in Poland, then at Gannon University in Pennsylvania, where she was sent by the Dominican Order. After finishing the first semester there, Lekan transferred to Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, where she finished both her bachelor’s and master’s degree in theology.
With the launching of the Pauline Year for St. Paul’s 2,000th birthday, many works of art depicting the Apostle’s life are coming out of storage.
These paintings, mosaics and sculptures rarely present what Paul called “my former life in Judaism.” Artists prefer the drama that begins with the stoning of Stephen. Paul never forgot that he was “a persecutor and a blasphemer and a man of arrogance” who had received mercy. “I persecuted the Church of God” is a comment we find St. Paul mentioning again and again in the Acts of the Apostles and in his own letters.
Throughout our country, Catholic men have been gathering for conventions in Boston, Cincinnati, St. Louis along with men’s events in other major dioceses and archdioceses. On Sept. 6 at the Daniel Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, the Archdiocese of Chicago will join these efforts to provide Catholic men with an opportunity to grow in their faith, to unite with other Catholic men and to renew the vitality of their vocations as husbands, fathers and single Catholic men.
Issue of August 17th – August 30nd
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The Archdiocese of Chicago announced Aug. 12 that it had reached settlements totaling $12.7 million with 16 people who said they were sexually abused by 11 different priests.
The archdiocese and the attorneys for the plaintiffs also released the transcript of Cardinal George’s Jan. 30 deposition in the cases of several victims.
While 190 Chicago pilgrims journeyed to France with Cardinal George, thousands more participated “at home”
Jeffrey Novak went to Lourdes hoping for a miracle. Novak, 44, had been diabetic for 30 years and has suffered a litany of complications: kidney and pancreas transplants, amputated toes, triple heart bypass surgery. Now his kidney is failing again, he’s having heart trouble and he suffers from neuropathy, causing pain and swelling in his legs.
When he signed up to join the Archdiocese of Chicago’s pilgrimage to Lourdes for the site’s 150th anniversary he was hoping “more for a physical cure,” said the St. Juliana parishioner.
One hundred twenty-five years ago, Archbishop Patrick Feehan founded St. Mary’s Training School for Boys in what was then a rural area near the Des Plaines River.
The school was intended to offer a home to the boys roaming the city in the wake of the Great Chicago Fire, some homeless, some parentless, all at loose ends.
Issue of August 3rd – August 16th
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From Polish rappers to an experiment with duct tape to Bishop Paprocki singing a Linkin Park song, World Youth Day 2008 Chicago Style reverberated with the energy of young people.
About 800 people, mostly teens and twenty-somethings, gathered for the one-day event at St. Hyacinth Basilica on Chicago’s Northwest Side July 19.
Normally, the Archdiocese of Chicago encourages young people to travel to the city in which World Youth Day is being held. Since the long distance to Sydney made for an expensive plane ticket, however, the Archdiocese organized this event for young people who didn’t make it to Australia.
At the Chicago event, young people spent part of the afternoon in faith workshops, called catechetical sessions, and most of the evening in church. They also participated in a talent show, which featured a Polish rap group, a Mexican folkloric dance troupe, a singer from Ghana and many others. Faithbased performers, including singer Sal Solo and the band Ten Cities, also took the stage and got kids dancing.
Work to continue as daily Masses stay in Parish Center
Holy Name Cathedral will reopen on a limited basis Aug. 30.
The cathedral building, closed since March, will open for weekend Masses while construction continues.
Daily Masses will continue to be held in the parish center so that workers can have unfettered access to the cathedral building, said Father Dan Mayall, the rector/pastor.
Eileen, a mother of four from the western suburbs, has always relied on her faith, attending daily Mass since she was a student at Marquette University in Milwaukee, and praying the rosary every night with her family.
So when her daughter Cecilia became ill seven years ago, it was natural to turn to her faith.
Now the Make-A-Wish Foundation is making it possible for the whole family, who asked that their last name not be used to protect Cecilia’s privacy, to travel to Lourdes, France, with the Archdiocese of Chicago’s 150th anniversary jubilee year pilgrimage.
Charities offers affordable care in former school
For Jose Garcia, the childcare center located on the grounds of St. Mary of Celle in Berwyn was a lifesaver that fell from the heavens in the middle of an ocean of desperation.
When Garcia found himself unemployed, the first thing he thought of was his own bad luck and of Angelo, his 3-year-old, “and now where will I get the money to pay for someone to watch him?” he asked himself.
Issue of July 20th – August 2nd
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It started in April, when headlines screamed “36 shootings, 9 homicides” over the course of one weekend. Since then, the violence has continued, with news of shootings nearly every day.
The violence has touched the Catholic community, with Catholic school students and adult Catholics among the victims, and violence occurring near and sometimes even on church property.
Pope Paul VI’s historic encyclical declared contraception immoral
Certainly the older generations remember the vivid reactions, all around the world not only in secular circles, but also among Catholics, evoked by the encyclical by Pope Paul VI on moral values with regard to transmitting human life, titled Humanae Vitae.
July 25 marks 40 years since it was published. The occasion was the reason for Pope Benedict XVI to confirm the encyclical’s relevance in today’s world during a special international scientific congress, titled “Custodians and Advocates of Life,” held at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome, in May.
Following in the footsteps of St. Bernadette
About 180 Catholics from the Archdiocese of Chicago will join their brothers and sisters in faith from all over the world in celebrating the 150th anniversary of the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary to St. Bernadette in August.
Cardinal George will lead the Chicago pilgrimage. This spiritual journey, titled, “Our Lady of Lourdes: A Message of Grace, Hope and Joy,” was open to people of all ages from all areas of the archdiocese, with special encouragement to people in need of healing.
Catholics from the Archdiocese of Chicago can take part in an “at home” Lourdes pilgrimage at Chicago-area churches and shrines Aug. 1-8.
The series of celebrations is designed to unite the faithful here in prayer with the participants of the Archdiocese of Chicago Lourdes Pilgrimage 2008.
Holy Rosary Church survived for 126 years, through an arson fire, a changing neighborhood and the wrath of railroad tycoon George Pullman, who opposed its presence in the far South Side Pullman neighborhood he built.
But Holy Rosary couldn’t survive red ink, and the parish merged last month with nearby St. Anthony of Padua Church in ceremonies marked by both tears and smiles. The new parish goes by the St. Anthony name.
Following in the footsteps of St. Bernadette
St. Paul is one of the best-known personalities of the ancient world — a historian’s dream come true. Not only do we have some of his own letters, we also have an account of his life’s work in the Acts of the Apostles (attributed to St. Luke). Paul is referred to in other ancient writings within 50 years of his death, and by that point his own letters were copied and distributed so far and wide that he would have been amazed.
Because of this, we have a better idea of Paul’s life than we do of many major figures of the Roman Empire. We certainly know more about Paul than we do, humanly speaking, about Jesus, who left no personal writings at all.
Issue of July 6th – July 19th
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Polish Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, archbishop of Krakow, spent three days making pastoral visits to Chicago’s Poles
Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, Archbishop of Krakow, visited the Windy City June 27-29 and provided Catholic Poles with a historically memorable feast. As a friend and long-term personal secretary to their beloved Pope John Paul II, Cardinal Dziwisz came to Chicago as a guest of Cardinal Francis George and Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Paprocki, the liaison to Polish people in Chicago.
Chicago was one of a few places the Polish cardinal visited while traveling to North America for the International Eucharistic Congress in Quebec City, Canada, as a representative of the Polish Bishops’ Conference.
Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz’s visit to the city was highly anticipated within the Archdiocese of Chicago and the Polish community. The former secretary of the beloved Polish pope shared his thoughts with the Catholic New World on life with Pope John Paul II and his life now as archbishop of Krakow by responding to written questions.
The audience of about 200 people at the June 26 groundbreaking for the new Christ the King Jesuit College Preparatory School included movers and shakers, prominent business leaders, civic leaders, officials and church prelates.
The speakers on the dais included Cardinal George, the pastor of more than 2.3 million Catholics in the Archdiocese of Chicago, and Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley.
But the person who got the most attention when she approached the microphone was 13-year-old Shaquocora Henderson, a recent eighth-grade graduate from KIPP-Ascend Charter School, who is among the 120 students who will make up Christ the King’s founding class.
God calls each of us to be soldiers of Christ. We are challenged to boldly proclaim the Gospel, and as Pope Benedict XVI recently reminded us, even in the most challenging of settings — the streets of the world.
Soldier-saints like Joan of Arc and Ignatius Loyola knew they could not withstand battle without protection. Neither can we engage in the dramatic spiritual battle that surrounds us unless we arm ourselves.
Through baptism, we become adopted sons and daughters of God. Yet, the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that: “by the sacrament of confirmation, [the baptized] are more perfectly bound to the church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed (No. 1285).”
Issue of June 22nd – July 5th
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From June 29, 2008, to June 29, 2009, the universal Catholic Church will celebrate the Jubilee Year of St. Paul
Pope Benedict XVI previously announced a special jubilee year dedicated to St. Paul, saying the church needs modern Christians who will imitate the apostle’s missionary energy and spirit of sacrifice.
The pope said the Pauline year will run from June 28, 2008, to June 29, 2009, to mark the approximately 2,000th anniversary of the saint's birth.
“Dear brothers and sisters, as in the (church’s) beginning, today, too, Christ needs apostles ready to sacrifice themselves. He needs witnesses and martyrs like St. Paul,” the pope said earlier this year.
The Pauline year will feature numerous special liturgies and events in Rome, the pope said, but should also be celebrated in local churches and in the sanctuaries, religious orders and other institutions that have a special link to St. Paul.
In a special way, the Pauline year will be ecumenical, reflecting the saint’s commitment to the unity and harmony among all Christians, he said.
The Catholic New World will offer stories throughout this special year highlighting the famous apostle’s influence in the Archdiocese of Chicago and among its people
When Pope John Paul II’s righthand man steps off a plane in Chicago on June 27, he’ll warmly remind Catholics here of the late pontiff.
He’ll also reach out to Chicago’s Polish Catholics in his role, since 2005, as Archbishop of Krakow, Poland.
Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz’s visit will strengthen the bonds between Poles here and the church in Poland, said Bishop Thomas Paprocki, who serves as the Archdiocese of Chicago’s liaison to Polish Catholics.
Drivers have had to dig deeper and deeper into their pockets to fill their gas tanks in recent months — and that includes people who drive for charity.
Al Kaczmaryn has been delivering Meals on Wheels for Catholic Charities in Lake County for eight years. He started driving two days a week; now he does two routes — a total of 22-24 people — five days a week.
Gas was a bit less expensive then — somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.50 a gallon — but Kaczmaryn isn’t one to count the cost. He’s never figured out how much his volunteer driving costs, and he’s not about to try now. But he is happy to be driving a four-cylinder Nissan that gets good mileage, he said.
Zaid Jazrawi has owned businesses his entire life, but never one like The Ark Cafe and Treasures at 1209 N. Noble St.
“It is my first business after my conversion. That is why I always trust in Jesus and Mary in prayer” he said.
Parallel to the vision of the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church a block away, The Ark hopes to be a safe haven where people can simply “be,” outside of everyday chaos. Unlike the silence that will characterize the future Sanctuary, The Ark offers a space to unite in friendship and community.
Issue of June 8th – June 21th
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St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish presents iconic monstrance as part of new Divine Mercy shrine
Nine years of prayer, work and faith culminated on the Feast of the Visitation, May 31, when curtains parted in the sanctuary of St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, 1351 W. Evergreen Ave., to reveal an iconic monstrance of Our Lady of the Sign, Ark of Mercy.
It’s just the beginning, however, of what will be the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy, the official shrine to the Divine Mercy devotion in Chicago.
The Archdiocese of Chicago welcomed eight new permanent deacons May 25.
The men were ordained by Cardinal George at St. Cletus in La Grange after they completed years of preparation and discernment. The men now will minister to their parishes by assisting at Mass and celebrating sacraments such as baptism and matrimony, preaching homilies and engaging in acts of service.
Catholics join members of other faiths in march, vigil for immigration reform
About 1,000 people made their way into Chicago’s historic Holy Family Church May 29, singing and praying as they walked — one woman on her knees — to declare that “We are all God’s family,” and ask that immigration policies that separate families be changed.
The people came from Chicago and its suburbs, with groups of Latinos and Anglos mingling as they walked in procession from the John Paul II Newman Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago, 700 S. Morgan St. to Holy Family, 1080 W. Roosevelt Road, a distance of a little more than a half-mile.
After nearly a week of controversy, Cardinal George told Father Michael Pfleger, pastor of St. Sabina Parish, to “take a couple of weeks of leave” to “put recent events in some perspective.”
The cardinal’s June 3 statement, reprinted on this page, noted that Pfleger did not agree that stepping away from the parish temporarily was the right move.
For the past few years, we’ve taken you on a spiritual tour through the area with the Catholic Guide to Chicago. This year we wanted to explore how much we all love Mary by taking a look at the expressions of honor for her throughout the Archdiocese of Chicago, and there are many.
Issue of May 25th – June 7 th
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Cardinal passes on advice to new priests during ordination; families come to celebrate
Minutes after being ordained, Father Przemyslaw Wojcik stood beaming with happiness and granting his first blessing to well-wishers.
He felt charged up after a joyful ordination ceremony on May 17. “It was this unbelievable feeling of being part of the mission of Jesus Christ,” he said.
Wojcik said he felt some spiritual, sacred moments during the ceremony when the priest candidates prostrated themselves, laying on the floor in a gesture of humility. The choir sang out the names of the saints, and Wojcik said he could feel the saints’ energy.
“It wasn’t just us praying, it was all the saints praying,” he explained.
They had plenty of human company. More than 150 priests attended the ordination ceremony, starting the day with a dignified procession into St. Juliana Church, 7201 N. Oketo Ave., Chicago. They were followed by the archdiocesan bishops and Cardinal Francis George, while hundreds of family members and friends of the priest candidates filled the rest of the pews. These ordinations took place at St. Juliana because Holy Name Cathedral is undergoing repairs
In ceremonies May 29 at 7:30 p.m. at St. John Cantius Church, 825 N. Carpenter St., Cardinal George will ordain two professed members of the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius as priests for the Archdiocese of Chicago.
The Canons Regular of St. John Cantius is a Catholic religious community of priests and brothers founded in the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1998. Members devote themselves in parish ministry to a restoration of the sacred in liturgy, art, music and church history.
The Second Vatican Council declared that taking part in the Eucharistic sacrifice (Mass) is the “source and summit” of the whole Christian life. Further, the council documents teach that through the action of the Eucharist human beings offer Jesus, who is the Divine Victim, to God along with themselves.
In making this declaration, the council cited a sentence from John’s Gospel that implies that the Eucharist is meant to strengthen and make real our relationship with God. “And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself” (Jn 12:32).
Once nearly closed, St. John Berchmans finds ways to attract families in growing community
Three years ago in February, Allan Syc, a corporate attorney from the northern suburbs, read in the Chicago Tribune that St. John Berchmans School — from which he had graduated in 1961 — was to close.
In her home across the street from the school, Angie Garza, heard the same news.
The school was one of 23 whose closures were announced the same day. Its enrollment, at 240 students, was higher than many of the soon-to-close schools, but it bore a debt of $300,000 to the archdiocese.
And while neither Syc nor Garza had any formal relationship with the school at that time, both came out for a community meeting on whether — and how — the school could be saved.
St. Monica Catholic Academy on the Northwest Side looks like lots of other Catholic schools: clean and neat, with lots of student-created artwork on the walls.
But the seeds of an idea are germinating, beginning to grow and bear fruit.
St. Monica is the first environmental academy in the Archdiocese of Chicago, with a curriculum its faculty wrote in cooperation with education experts from the Chicago Botanic Garden.
Cardinal George was to highlight the school’s efforts at a press conference May 22 with new Catholic schools superintendent, Dominican Sister M. Paul McCaughey, leaders from the Chicago Botanic Garden and the city of Chicago.
Each year, Memorial Day is observed in Catholic cemeteries throughout the Archdiocese of Chicago with special field and memorial Masses. This year’s schedule is as follows:
Issue of May 11th – May 24th
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Come, Lord Jesus
Thousands attend Charismatic event
If Norma Ibarra were to summarize how she would characterize the Hispanic Charismatic Renewal Conference held recently at the University of Illinois-Chicago Pavilion, she would say it in a word: healing.
Many of the nearly 10,000 of the faithful who attended the twoday conference at this university location came charged with faith.
Churches in the archdiocese are no strangers to cultural diversity.
But that doesn’t make it any easier for people of different cultures to understand one another, to welcome one another and to offer the pastoral services parishioners need.
Precious Blood Father Robert Schreiter explored the difficulties of “Ministering in a Culture Not Your Own” in an April 29 presentation at Sacred Heart Parish in Palos Hills. The presentation was hosted by Centro Espiritu Santo, a formation center of the Archdiocese of Chicago in Vicariate V that works to improve leadership formation for Hispanic ministry.
“There is no clear answer on this,” Schreiter said.
Cardinal George is expected to ordain 11 new priests for the archdiocese May 17 at St. Juliana Church, 7201 N. Oketo. The men are a diverse group, with five from Poland, two from Tanzania, two from Mexico, one from Colombia and one from Ecuador. All accepted the Archdiocese of Chicago’s invitation to leave their homeland and minister to the church here.
The men are a younger group than those ordained in recent years, with an average of about 29.5 years old. Last year’s class of 13 had an average of nearly 33. They were welcomed as young men at Abramowicz Preparatory Seminary, for seminarians coming from Poland; Tuite House, for African-American and African young men discerning a call to the priesthood; and Casa Jesus, a house of discernment for young men from Latin America. The Catholic New World congratulates them.
When Mary Cunningham marched in the festive Chicago Nurse Parade in 1958, the fanfare of the marching bands and the applause of spectators made for a fun day she still remembers.
She returned May 4 to the place where it all began, Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica, 3121 W. Jackson Blvd., for a Mass marking the 50th anniversary of the last Nurse Parade. The parade made a big impression. “You were so proud to be a nurse,” said Cunningham, of Park Ridge, of that parade on May 9, 1958.
Issue of April 27th – May 10th
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Viva il Papa!
Pope brought a message of joy and hope to U.S.
Benedict XVI achieved objectives critical to future of Catholic Church in America
On his first trip to the United States, Pope Benedict XVI achieved three objectives that could be considered critical to the pastoral future of the American church.
First, the pope brought a certain closure to the priestly sex-abuse scandal that has shaken the church for more than six years, expressing his personal shame at what happened and praying with the victims.
Second, he set forth a moral challenge to the wider U.S. culture on issues ranging from economic justice to abortion, but without coming across as doctrinaire or bullying.
When Pope Benedict XVI came down the stairs from the chartered Alitalia Boeing 777 - nicknamed "Shepherd One" by journalists and air-traffic controllers - that brought him and his entourage from Rome April 15, he was greeted by Catholic school students singing "Happy Birthday," military personnel and their family members waving gold-and-white Vatican flags and warm greetings from President and first lady George W. and Laura Bush.
Dozens, if not hundreds, of Chicagoans added their voices to the warm welcome to Pope Benedict over his six-day visit to Washington, D.C. and New York.
It was hard to miss our own Cardinal George among those traveling with Pope Benedict XVI on his trip to the United States. As president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal George was the official bishops' representative to the pontiff during his six days here. The cardinal was among the few to receive him upon his arrival, to sit with him during meals and join him at the altar during the celebration of the Eucharist.
He shared with the Catholic New World some of the highlights of the visit.
From the moment "Shepherd One" landed at Andrews Air Force Base on April 15 I was glued to my television in my room at Mundelein Seminary. As I surfed through the channels, all had the same images; the 265th successor of St. Peter making his way down the stairs from the papal plane with zucchetto in hand and in a very unlikely stride for an octogenarian. I followed his steps in Washington, D.C. through the wonders of television and Internet, and on April 17, I took a plane from O'Hare International Airport headed to New York. Among the things that I packed in my carry-on bag were all the remarks the pontiff had made up to that time. I read carefully each one, as deep down I was getting ready to experience first hand the unity of the supreme shepherd together with his flock.
Young adult shares how seeing pontiff in New York inspired hope in Christ and courage to live in him
"Dear friends, only God in his providence knows what works his grace has yet to bring forth in your lives and in the life of the Church in the United States." With these words, Pope Benedict XVI began to close his homily at Yankee Stadium on April 20, and in a greater sense, encapsulate the entire message of his apostolic journey. When we heard our Holy Father was coming to the United States, we had a great desire to welcome him and bring his message back to Chicago. Young adults face an immense challenge to escape from the noise of our culture in order to hear God's voice. In light of this, Pope Benedict's message of hope comes at a crucial time for all of us.
Pope visits Cardinal Dulles
Pope Benedict XVI took a few moments out of his demanding schedule for a private meeting April 19 with one of America's pre-eminent theologians, the ailing, 89-year-old Cardinal Avery Dulles.
Ben Mazzone felt the presence of someone with him this Easter as he prayed during Mass at St. Benedict Church on Irving Park. He felt the presence of the woman whose lungs he now breathes with. All he knows about her is that she was young, and she died in Buffalo, N.Y. "I believe in the communion of saints," Mazzone said. "I will meet her one day." Mazzone lit a candle for her April 10 at "Let Yourself Begin Again," a candlelight ceremony at Loyola University Medical Center's Paul V. Galvin Memorial Chapel for organ transplant patients and their families to honor and remember their donors. The event recognized National Donate Life Month.
Issue of April 13th – April 26th
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He is coming!
This week, Pope Benedict XVI will make his first visit to America since his election in 2005. It's an exciting time for Catholics in the United States.
On April 20, Yankee stadium will be brimming with a crowd expecting something other than baseball. They will come to see Pope Benedict offer Mass, just days after his 81st birthday, during his first visit to the United States. This Mass event is being organized by the Archdiocese of New York and the tickets for this event were dispersed throughout U.S. dioceses. They received more than 150,000 requests for only 46,000 available tickets.
When Pope Benedict XVI steps off the plane in Washington, D.C., one of the first people to greet him will be our own Cardinal George. As president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the cardinal will greet the pontiff on behalf of all the U.S. bishops. He will also travel with the pope during his time here. The Catholic New World asked Cardinal George to share some of his insights on Pope Benedict XVI and his trip.
Here is the Vatican text of Pope Benedict XVI's message, in English and Spanish, to Catholics in the United States. The pope will visit the U.S. April 15-20.
From the huge windows of his office overlooking St. Peter's Square, Pope Benedict XVI's chief liturgist can, and does, keep track of every detail that goes into preparing a papal liturgy. The papal venues in the United States are not directly under his nose, but Msgr. Guido Marini still knows every detail of the two evening prayer services and three Masses Pope Benedict will celebrate in Washington and New York April 15-20.
Repairs to roof structure to take longer than anticipated With Holy Name Cathedral closed until further notice, organizers of several events are scrambling to find alternate sites, while the clergy and pastoral staff work to maintain service for worshippers in other buildings. Weekend Masses are being celebrated in the parish center auditorium, with daily Masses in the parish center's lower level club room. Baptisms are celebrated in the cathedral chapel - which remains open during repairs to the main building - and confessions are being heard in the chapel at Casa Jesus, which occupies a former convent building next door to the cathedral.
It was Thanksgiving Day of 1937 at a football game when they first met. He was out on the field and she was a cheerleader for the opposing team. "She was my rival - I booed the first time I saw her!" said James D. Lee of St. Clotilde's parish. He and his wife, Florence, were honored by the archdiocese as the longest-married black Catholic couple in Chicago. "Later on that night, I saw her at a dance, and I didn't boo this time - I asked her for a dance."
"Live in me, Lord, for I may be the only Jesus this generation may see; I will be flesh for you if you will be spirit for me." These words, from the song "Live in Me Jesus" by Calvin Bernard Rhone, transformed John and Pamela Ashford's marriage. The couple from St. Ailbe Parish, 9015 S. Harper Ave., spoke at the archdiocese's Black Marriage Day prayer service on March 30 at St. Clotilde Parish, 8430 S. Calumet Ave. The event brought together black couples married for more than 50 years, and any other couples wishing to attend, for a renewal of vows and a celebration of successful marriage.
Issue of March 30th – April 12th
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Journey through Holy Week In baptism, the Lord gives us his greatest gift In the last lines of Matthew's Gospel, the risen Jesus instructs his disciples to "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Mt 28:19). This mandate has a sense of urgency and necessity because the ultimate fulfillment and destiny of all human beings is to be in communion with God and one another.
When looting and fires broke out on the West Side after the death of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Catholics throughout Chicago mobilized and aided victims When St. Malachy's School had a reunion two years ago, a lot of the people who came back didn't even recognize the old neighborhood, said Fred Jones when asked what had happened to one of the worst-hit areas during the riots following Rev. Martin Luther King's assassination 40 years ago this month. Until about 10 years ago, large parts of Lawndale were still a patchwork of burned out lots and empty storefronts, "and now you've got homes starting at $250,000," said Jones, a retired teacher who helps out these days at St. Malachy's front office.
In the last lines of Matthew’s Gospel, the risen Jesus instructs his disciples to “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28:19).
It’s a chilly morning, and the eight young women in the former convent at Our Lady of Victory Parish are off to a slow start. After morning prayer and breakfast, they are seated in a circle to talk about the day ahead, when they will take the Gospel to the streets.
They are among several dozen young people dispersed to about a dozen parishes in Chicago for a Holy Week “Youth Mission,” organized by Regnum Christi, an apostolic movement affiliated with the Legionaries of Christ.
Issue of March 16th – March 29th
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Converts to the faith share their journeys to the church
Each year during the Easter Vigil Mass, people of various backgrounds, religious and otherwise, step up to the altar - after months of religious instruction - and proclaim that they want to be members of the Catholic Church. They enter into the fold in what is for many, a very moving moment. Conversion is a journey we are all on and it doesn't end until death. But we can learn from each other along the way. The Catholic New World spoke to two recent converts and to some soon-to-be converted to gain insight into what attracts people to our faith.
Eighteen Chicago public school students have been killed by gun violence since the school year started in September. One is too many, according to Father Michael Pfleger, pastor of St. Sabina Parish, Mayor Richard M. Daley and a group of religious leaders, public officials and parents of slain children who gathered at St. Sabina March 11 to announce two initiatives under the banner of "Save Our Children."
Defying danger, Father Matt Foley, pastor of St. Agnes of Bohemia in Chicago's Little Village, has decided to go to Iraq to "bring the Word of God" at a time when "prayer and faith are indispensable." An inconsolable mother who still cries over the death of her son in Afghanistan was what compelled Foley to make the decision to volunteer as an Army chaplain.
On Good Friday this year, worshippers in at least one congregation in the Archdiocese of Chicago are expected to hear a Latin prayer that has sparked ongoing discussion among Catholics and Jews about what the church really is praying for. The text, made available only in Latin with no official translations, begins: "Let us pray for the Jews. May the Lord our God enlighten their hearts so that they may acknowledge Jesus Christ, the savior of all men," according to a translation from Catholic News Service.
Issue of March 2nd – March 15th
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Called to conversion
RCIA candidates participate in Rite of Election
Rosa Jimenez from Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish holds up the Book of the Elect during the Rite of Election at Holy Name Cathedral on Feb. 17.It was one of five ceremonies held at the cathedral for people who will become Catholic or complete their sacraments of inititation at the Easter vigil. Overall, about 2,200 adults are expected to come into full communion with the church: 500 to be baptized, 500 who have been baptized in other denominations to become Catholic and 700 Catholics to receive First Holy Communion and confirmation.
As of Feb. 26 Holy Name Cathedral was closed for repairs. Extensive safety measures have been taken and structural fixes will be made at the historic church located at 735 N. State St. All Masses, including Sunday Masses, will be moved to the cathedral's Parish Center auditorium, according to a statement from the archdiocese's Office for Communications. "It was certainly not the news we wanted to hear," said Father Dan Mayall, pastor of Holy Name Cathedral. "We're still hopeful that the place will be open by Easter."
Dominican Sister M. Paul McCaughey, a graduate of Catholic schools in the archdiocese, will take the reins as superintendent of Catholic schools July 1. McCaughey, who currently serves as president of Marian Catholic High School in Chicago Heights, will make the transition from leading one high school with about 1,500 students to an archdiocesan system with 98,000 students in 217 elementary and 39 secondary schools. "It's going to be interesting," said Mc- Caughey, a member of the Dominican Sisters of Springfield. "I plan to go and see some representative schools within the system, and to make myself available during the transition."
Bishops Garcia-Siller, Kane and Paprocki reflect upon their ministry and learning
March 19, 2003, was a chilly, damp day in Chicago, the kind of day when the dark skies made the city seem an inhospitable place. But inside Holy Name Cathedral, the welcome could not have been warmer for three new auxiliary bishops who were ordained. With worshippers packing the pews and shoulder to shoulder along the walls, two favorite sons - Thomas J. Paprocki and Francis J. Kane - and newcomer Gustavo Garcia-Siller became the newest shepherds of the church in Chicago.
Exhibit looks at how Catholics influenced Chicago
In June of 1926, more than a million Catholics came to Soldier Field and the University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein for the 28th International Eucharistic Congress. The Catholic school children that made up the choir for the opening Mass alone numbered 60,000. The event was "a very public attempt to blend Catholic and American cultures, and it was a statement about the coming of age of an immigrant church," according to the Oct. 17, 1999, edition of the Catholic New World. So when the Chicago History museum decided to mount an exhibit on "Catholic Chicago," researchers and curators had a lot of material to work with. The exhibit opens March 8 and will run through Jan. 4, 2009, with sections on the historical role of parishes in the city, the role Catholic schools have played, how Catholic communities support their members, worship in the city and changes in the church since the 1960s.
By participating in these celebrations, we experience the Lord's saving, redeeming presence
I teach a class in the sacraments for the archdiocesan deacon and lay ecclesial minister formation programs. Each year, in the first class, I ask for a definition of the word sacrament. Without hesitation more than a few people respond, out loud, in unison: "an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace." This is, as many will recognize, the answer to question number 574 in the Baltimore Catechism ("What is a sacrament?") The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines a sacrament using the same formula, expanding it slightly: "The sacraments are efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the church, by which divine life is dispensed to us" (No. 1131). We believe that in the celebration of the sacraments, something happens. The sacraments are not simply ceremonies. Certainly they are liturgical celebrations, and we hope that they are celebrated as beautifully as they possibly can be.
Issue of February 17 th – March 1st
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Parish continues to reinvent itself
In April 1833, Chicago wasn't much more than a small frontier settlement, a collection of houses and commercial buildings surrounding Fort Dearborn. It was not yet a town, let alone a city.
But it housed enough Catholics to petition Bishop Joseph Rosati of the Diocese of St. Louis for a priest to start a parish.
"We, the Catholics of Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, lay before you the necessity there exists to have a pastor in the new and flourishing city. We count about 100 Catholics in this town. We will not cease to pray until you have taken our important request into consideration," their petition said.
St. Mary of the Assumption was born May 5, 1833, when Father John Mary Ireneaus St. Cyr arrived and celebrated the first Mass in a log building near the Sauganash Tavern, where he was staying. Shortly thereafter, a log building was built at State and Lake streets for worship.
Nicaragua, Israel, Uganda and Spain all in one night. A dream: 365 days in 365 different places, each destination a new opportunity to experience Christ made flesh in our world today. "Forget about it," the dreamer was told by his spiritual director. "If you can forget about it, then it was nothing; but if it keeps coming back to your heart, then it is something of the Spirit, and we need to pay attention to it." He could not forget.
Issue of February 3rd – February 16th
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Young and old stand up and speak out against the culture of death on 35th anniversary of Roe v Wade
Jesus, youth, prayer and religious vocations were the dominant themes of the archdiocese's 2008 March for Life Pilgrimage to Washington, D.C. And, of course, witnessing to the dignity of life for the unborn on the 35th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion. It's dubbed a pilgrimage by the archdiocese's Respect Life Office and it truly is. High school and college students, chaperones, priests and individual laypeople boarded five charter buses on Jan. 20 at St. Lawrence O'Toole Parish in Matteson, following a send off Mass with Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Paprocki - and settled in for the long-haul 12-hour, over-night bus ride to Washington, D.C.
Marcia Berke has been trying to put some balance in her students' lives in more ways than one.
The new physical education department chair at Resurrection High School, 7500 W. Talcott Ave., recently bought four "bosu" balls and four rocker boards with part of the $1,140 grant she got from the Illinois Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.
St. Xavier University, billed as Chicago's oldest, was founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1846, there was no doubt as to what made it a Catholic institution, or, more specifically, a Mercy institution.
Even 50 years ago, students and visitors would have seen a uniformly Catholic student body and sisters in habits in classrooms and hallways, said Mercy Sister Sue Sanders, the vice president for heritage and mission
Issue of January 20th – February 2nd
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St. Gregory School goes the extra mile to reach out to refugees
Finding a new home here Thierry Mubugora is a soft-spoken young man, who fidgets with his calculator while he searches for words in English. "I like St. Greg's," he said. To explain why, he switches to speaking French and turns to Catholic Charities' caseworker Dagmara Drazewska for the translation. "There were fights in his old school every day," she translates.
Suburban sixth-graders get a whirlwind tour of faiths The sixth-grade students of St. Mary School in Riverside pad quietly up the stairs, through a hallway and into a temple building at the Chicago Greater Hindu Temple in Lemont. They gather in a room with shrines to various deities set into the walls, and watch quietly while a priest with a towel around his waist bathes one of the statues of the deities. The guide explains who the various deities are, and that they have more than one name. The way they are worshipped also varies by geographical region, he explains, because the practice of Hinduism grew up over more than 6,000 years in local communities that did not always have much contact with one another.
When Fintan Shiltz's parents got the phone call a little after midnight Dec. 26, it was the Christmas gift they had been waiting for. Their youngest child, born Sept. 18, would get the new heart he needed to survive. But Mark and Gina Schiltz knew their gift came with an incredible price: another family had lost their baby on Christmas Day.
The Archdiocese of Chicago is in compliance with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops charter for child sexual-abuse prevention following a 2007 audit by The Gavin Group. A letter sent to Cardinal George from William Gavin of The Gavin Group, dated Jan. 1, 2008, stated "the conclusions reached as to the compliance of your archdiocese with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People are based on the completeness and accuracy of the information furnished by the archdiocese.
Issue of January 6th – January 19th
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Works of mercy focus of cardinal’s Christmas Day
Christ told his followers in Matthew 25 to feed the hungry, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, visit the sick and imprisoned and bury the dead. Catholics call these “works of mercy.”
On Christmas Day, Cardinal George focused on the works of visiting the sick and imprisoned when he celebrated Mass for men detained in Cook County Jail’s maximum-security Division 10 and blessed children hospitalized in Chicago’s Children’s Memorial Hospital.
San Rocco Oratory will be OK.
That’s the prevailing message a few weeks after a Dec. 23 electrical fire damaged much of the Chicago Heights building.
“As long as we stay together as we have all these years we’ll be OK,” said oratory member Vera DiMaggio, 51, of St. John, Ind.
Relic reawakens spirit of Mother Cabrini’s mission
On the 90th anniversary of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini’s death, Dec. 22, the Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii held a Mass to end a tour of the relic of her arm bone. For the past six months, this remnant of America’s first saint has been brought to many churches, reaching each of the Archdiocese of Chicago’s vicariates.
“It has been an opportunity to share the gift that Mother Cabrini is to us, to deepen our consciousness of her spirituality,” said Missionary Sister of the Sacred Heart Joan McGlinchey, the archdiocese’s vicar for religious and also a member of the congregation’s general consulate in Rome.
Pope Benedict XVI and Iraq War top Catholic news in 2007
The national debate over immigration issues was the top religious news story of 2007 and Pope Benedict XVI was the top newsmaker, according to an annual Catholic News Service poll.
Catholic response to the war in Iraq took second place among the 30 news stories on the ballot, while developments in the stem-cell field came in third.
Pope Benedict dominated the newsmakers list. President George W. Bush was a distant second, followed by Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta. The poll was the 46th annual survey of CNS client newspapers