2014 Archive

  1. November 16

    Languages: Español
    Story lines, ours and God’s

    Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Every year, on Thanksgiving Day, we stir up again our reasons for living in gratitude: the gift of life and of new life in Christ, the gift of family and friends, the gift of meaningful work, of housing, food and the preservation of dignity. This year, in the Archdiocese of Chicago, we have reason to be grateful for a new archbishop, Blase Cupich, shortly after his installation at Holy Name Cathedral on Nov. 18.

  2. November 2

    Cardinal George reflects on Respect Life Month

    Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, the month of October has been so filled with unique events for our archdiocese that the regular rhythm of the church's year of grace, of the liturgy, has been somewhat obscured in my own consciousness, and perhaps this has been the case for others as well. This column plays catch-up.

  3. October 19

    Languages: Español | Polski
    A letter from Cardinal George

    Last weekend I was back in Yakima, Washington, to dedicate a gymnasium named in my honor at a high school I helped to get started while I was still bishop there. In Rome, the Synod on the Family was beginning, and it helped me to reflect once again on how the church is a family, a special kind of family, sharing Christ’s own life. A bishop has a familial relationship to the diocese he serves, and I felt, for those few days in Yakima, back with a family of which I had once been part.

  4. October 5

    Languages: Polski
    The Most Rev. Blase Joseph Cupich: ninth Archbishop of Chicago

    The Holy Father, Pope Francis, has graciously appointed as ninth Archbishop of Chicago the Most Rev. Blase Cupich, presently the Bishop of Spokane, Washington. The process sometimes seemed lengthy, perhaps, but the Holy Father acted when he felt he had enough information to make the right choice for our archdiocese.

  5. September 21

    Languages: Polski
    Celebrating lives of service, two Sundays in a row

    Last Sunday, Holy Name Cathedral was filled with couples who had come to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their marriage. (See photos on page 6.) Rejoicing with them, it was clear to me how they had been transformed by the grace of the sacrament of matrimony. Reading their own accounts of how they solved problems and faced difficulties together, of what they judged to be the best part of being married (companionship); of how their faith had strengthened their marriages, it was also clear to me what was the source of the joy so evident last Sunday. For 50 years, in good times and in bad, their love for one another was rooted in their encounter with Christ.

  6. September 7

    Languages: Español | Polski
    A tale of two churches

    In 1996, when I was archbishop of Portland in Oregon, I read about the life and work of my first predecessor as archbishop there, Francis Norbert Blanchet. He was a French Canadian who came as a priest to the Pacific Northwest in 1836 and was named archbishop of the Oregon Territory in 1845. Only Baltimore, Md., was an archdiocese in this country at that time, and the Holy See decided there should be another archdiocese in the quickly developing western part of the newly expanded country. (Illinois had become a diocese, headquartered in Chicago, around the same time, in 1843.)

  7. August 24

    Languages: Español | Polski
    A fair wage for fur trappers

    In 1996, when I was archbishop of Portland in Oregon, I read about the life and work of my first predecessor as archbishop there, Francis Norbert Blanchet. He was a French Canadian who came as a priest to the Pacific Northwest in 1836 and was named archbishop of the Oregon Territory in 1845. Only Baltimore, Md., was an archdiocese in this country at that time, and the Holy See decided there should be another archdiocese in the quickly developing western part of the newly expanded country. (Illinois had become a diocese, headquartered in Chicago, around the same time, in 1843.)

  8. August 10

    Languages: Polski
    The war that didn't end all wars

    This month the world remembers the outbreak of the First World War (1914-1918). Among the books I explored in the bookcases at home when I was a small boy, a good number were written as contemporary interpretations of the First World War. My father was in high school when the war ended, and perhaps he had a special interest in the events reported in the news when he was a boy.

  9. July 27

    Languages: Español | Polski
    Eucharist and evangelization

    Recent popes have often reminded all of us that we are called to preach the Gospel everywhere. The tag word now is the “new evangelization.” Telling the world who Christ is has been the mission of the church for 2,000 years. It will continue to be her mission until Christ returns in glory to judge the living and the dead.

  10. June 29

    Languages: Español | Polski
    American freedom and the Catholic Church

    The month of May, in Catholic devotional life, is dedicated to honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary. The forms of popular devotion are both traditional and contemporary. They include the Rosary, in which the mysteries of Jesus' life with her are contemplated, and the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in which her titles are recited. These two prayers are the core of May devotions in parishes and schools and, still, in many homes.

  11. June 15

    Languages: Polski
    Fathers and families

    When Fathers’ Day began to be celebrated, it was more or less taken for granted that a child knew who was his or her father. That is not always the case now and, as we celebrate Fathers’ Day this year, it might be good to look again at what the absence of fathers in their lives does to children.

  12. June 1

    Languages: Polski
    Unity with Christ through the sacraments

    The month of May is filled with sacramental celebrations throughout the archdiocese. In the parishes, youngsters receive the Lord for the first time in Holy Communion. Teenagers and adults are confirmed to strengthen the faith that was first given them as pure gift in the sacrament of baptism. Many weddings are celebrated, in which Christ himself joins a man and woman for life in a union that reflects Christ’s own relationship to his church.

  13. May 18

    Languages: Español |Polski
    Mary’s month

    The month of May, in Catholic devotional life, is dedicated to honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary. The forms of popular devotion are both traditional and contemporary. They include the Rosary, in which the mysteries of Jesus’ life with her are contemplated, and the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in which her titles are recited. These two prayers are the core of May devotions in parishes and schools and, still, in many homes.

  14. May 4

    Languages: Polski
    Saints in the life of the church

    The canonization on Mercy Sunday of Sts. John XXIII and John Paul II brought into focus Christ’s purpose for his church: to make the world holy by bringing us into his friendship. God’s great goodness has become clear once again in the lives of two popes who governed the church during the lifetime of many of us. We have been witnesses to the grace of God working itself out in the life and ministry of these two pastors of the church.

  15. April 20

    Languages: Español | Polski
    Holy Week and the Holy Land

    The Holy Land is often referred to as “the fifth Gospel.” Just as the pages of the four canonical Gospels speak to us of Jesus, his work and his times, so does the land where he was born, lived quietly for 30 years, acted publicly through preaching and healing to tell people of God’s plan for the salvation of the world, the place where he was crucified, died, was buried and rose from the dead, speaks to all who see it.

  16. April 6

    Languages: Polski
    Lent 2014: the ecology of sin and grace

    Lenten observance removes us from distractions that would impede our movement towards God. We put aside frivolous pleasures and even food and material goods in order to strengthen our relationship to God. Lent helps us put everything into proper perspective.

  17. March 23

    Languages: Español | Polski
    Lent 2014: Going to the margins of the archdiocese

    Pope Francis has often encouraged us to look at things from the perspective of the “margins,” so that no one is overlooked or ignored. For many, perhaps most Catholics, the center of their lives as Catholics is their parish. This is where we hear the Gospel preached each Sunday, where we receive the Lord himself in Holy Communion, where we encounter believers we know best. This is the common base for outreach through works of mercy. The parish, along with the family, is the experience of church that forms us most effectively. It is the center.

  18. March 9

    Languages: Español | Polski
    Lent: Taking stock of our lives

    Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Pope Francis, in his Lenten Message for 2014, writes about Gospel poverty. Poverty, he explains is a way of being one with Christ, who “became poor, so that by his poverty we might become rich.” Poverty, the pope writes, is Christ’s “way of loving us, his way of being our neighbor, just as the Good Samaritan was neighbor to the man left half dead by the side of the road. What gives us true freedom, true salvation and true happiness is the compassion, tenderness and solidarity of his love.”

  19. February 23

    Languages: Español | Polski
    The pope and Valentine's Day

    Recent popes have taken to meeting with engaged and newly married couples to emphasize the importance of the family as the basic unity of society and church. To say, since the Second Vatican Council, that the church is a “communion of communions” is to say that the church is a family of families, as is society in general. To say this places one in some tension with the prevalent idea of marriage as, primarily, a means of personal growth and fulfillment for two partners.

  20. February 9

    Languages: Polski
    Who's that bishop above the door of City Hall?

    If you’re in Copenhagen, Denmark, it’s St. Ansgar, a French monk and bishop who preached the Gospel in the ninth century in what is now Denmark. Eventually, the Danes and the Swedes and the Norwegians converted to the Catholic faith. Centuries later, during the Protestant Reformation, the kings took over the church and transformed it into a department of state, using its organization and wealth to create the absolute nation states that destroyed medieval civilization.

  21. January 26

    Languages: Español | Polski
    Who we are: relationships and choices

    Behind many of the conflicts in public life and even in the church in our day lies a difference in the understanding of who we are as human beings. This is an issue deeper than the particular battle lines over sexual morality, the nature of marriage, the history of the sacrament of Holy Orders and the exercise of authority in both the home and the church.

  22. January 12

    Languages: Español | Polski
    Accountability and transparency

    This January, as was announced a month ago in a press conference by a plaintiff’s lawyer, documents relating to the sexual misconduct of 30 priests of the archdiocese will be released as part of settlement agreements over the past years. All these incidents were reported over the years to the civil authorities and claims have been mediated civilly. Almost all of the incidents happened decades ago, perpetrated by priests whom neither I nor many younger clergy have ever met or talked to, because the priests were either dead or out of ministry before I came to Chicago as archbishop.