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The Catholic New World
News Digest: Week in Summary
Issue of September 26, 2004


Respect Life events slated

The archdiocesan “Celebration of Life Mass” celebrated by Cardinal George Oct. 2 will kick off a series of events marking October as Respect Life Month.

The 5 p.m. Mass at St. Juliana Parish, 7200 N. Osceola Ave., will include a special commissioning ceremony for Respect Life committee members and parish coordinators.

There will be several other events during October to mark the month’s special theme. These include the annual Lost Child Pilgrimage and Mass of Hope and Healing at the Shrine of our Lady of Pompeii, 1224 W. Lexington Ave., Oct. 16-17. This weekend is a commemoration of hope and healing for all parents who have lost a child through any means, including illness, suicide, abortion, miscarriage, stillbirth, said Mary-Louise Kurey, archdiocesan Respect Life director. The annual Mass of Healing and Hope will be celebrated at 2 p.m. Oct. 17 by Bishop Raymond Goedert, archdiocesan vicar general pro tem.

On Oct. 23 Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., will present “The Impact of Abortion on Women and the African-American Community.” She will speak at 10 a.m. at the Chicago Room of the University of Illinois’ Student Union. For information: call (312) 787-5355 or visit www.archchicago.org/departments/respect_life/respect_life.shtm.

National honor for archives head

John (Jac) Treanor, archdiocesan vice chancellor and director of the Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Archives and Records Center, has received the Society of American Archivists’ 2004 Sister M. Claude Lane, O.P., Memorial Award.

The award is sponsored in conjunction with and funded by the Society of Southwest Archivists. The award was presented Aug. 6 at the group’s meeting in Boston.

Treanor was honored for the advances made since he was named in 1986 to direct the archdiocesan archives and records management program. He was cited for having transformed a small, inaccessible collection into one of the largest diocesan archives in the world, including proving an “open access policy” in which records are available to researcher and administrator alike. Treanor is a founding member and former president of the Association of Catholic Diocesan Archivists.



Church’s anti-poverty efforts rooted in Chicago

Nearly 35 years ago, the Catholic bishops of the United States decided they needed a national response to poverty, one which would empower poor people to change their own lives and teach those not living in poverty to open their eyes to the poor people among them.

Thus was born the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the official domestic anti-poverty program of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. But the roots of the program, and its elements of respect and dignity for all people, stretch far back before that, into the years of the Great Depression, on Chicago’s Northwest and West sides.

That was where Bishop Michael Ryan Dempsey grew up. Tapped as the first director of CCHD only two years after being made a bishop, he lived and worked among people struggling to get by for almost his whole life.


Home mission dioceses facing new challenges

In many ways, mission dioceses in the United States need what they’ve always needed, say their bishops: enough money and people to provide the basics.

They need money to build adequate worship space, to feed and support priests and to pay lay ministers who can help form children and adults, to educate seminarians who can be shepherds to their people.

But now they face new challenges, including a huge influx of immigrants from Latino countries, the joint gift and burden of new technologies that can both help and hinder communication and the call to develop lay leadership.

Those were among the messages about 50 bishops from mission dioceses delivered to the leaders of the Catholic Church Extension Society.


Real Presence Association marking Year of Eucharist

The Chicago-based Real Presence Association is helping to celebrate Pope John Paul II’s Year of the Eucharist. (See story, Page 19.)

The association works throughout the United States and internationally. During the next year, the association’s work will become even more vital, since Pope John Paul II has declared the special year celebrating the Eucharist, beginning in October.

The “Year of the Eucharist” will begin at the 48th International Eucharistic Congress Oct. 10-17 in Guadalajara, Mexico, a week-long celebration of the Lord’s continued presence. It will continue with a variety of local conferences, liturgies, and celebrations throughout the United States, ending next October at the Synod of Bishops at the Vatican.


Women’s council awards scholarship

Speaking to Chicago’s Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women at its annual luncheon Sept. 11, Cardinal George encouraged women to “hand on your faith to your children and grandchildren, because faith conquers fear.”

The council seeks to do just that, with a college scholarship fund started last year. Each year, one young woman receives a $4,000 scholarship over four years, based on an essay and letters of recommendation. Elizabeth Pastuovic of St. Mary Parish, Buffalo Grove, was the first winner. She is a freshman at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


‘Guardian angels’

Pioneering program trains volunteers as advocates for ailing seniors

A Catholic medical facility in northwest Indiana is training people to be concerned about the needs of seniors particularly seniors whose cognitive skills might not be too sharp and who have no family members to act on their behalf.

St. Margaret Mercy Healthcare Centers has initiated Volunteer Advocates for Seniors, the first program of its type in the state, from whom it has received recognition and legislation to support this service for incapacitated seniors. It could also be the first program of its type in the nation, according to the hospital and members of the legal community.


$1 million recovered from former pastor who skimmed SW parish

A priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago has admitted skimming more than $1 million from St. Bede the Venerable Parish over five years. The money has been recovered.

Father Brian Lisowski, 49, resigned in July as pastor of the Southwest Side parish after an incident of “inappropriate personal conduct outside the parish.” Following the resignation, parish staff and archdiocesan financial services officials noted an immediate increase in the cash counted at the weekly collections and began an investigation which included interviews with the former pastor.


Develop collaborative style, pope urges U.S. bishops

In the wake of the sex abuse scandal, U.S. bishops should be open to a more collaborative style of governance that shares responsibility with lay Catholics, Pope John Paul II said.

A consultative approach should not be seen as an abandonment of episcopal authority or a concession to democracy, but as a necessary way of strengthening a bishop’s effectiveness, the pope said.


Pope begins a renewed focus on the Eucharist

After an intense quarter-century of teaching, writing and traveling, Pope John Paul II is going back to the basics with a renewed focus on the Eucharist.

He has convened a special eucharistic year that begins in October. Last year he wrote an encyclical extolling the Eucharist as the source and culmination of the church’s life. He has convened a Synod of Bishops on the same topic for the fall of 2005.


Seminary offers ‘Journey with John’

Homilists and parishioners alike will find themselves stretched and challenged as they “Journey with John” in the next liturgical year, Passionist Father Donald Senior told an audience of priests and lay people at St. Joseph College Seminary Sept. 14.

Senior referred to John’s account of the life of Jesus, the primary text for the coming year, as a “Gospel in which a child can wade and an elephant can drown.”


Burke: ‘Great virtue and great sin’

Spending the past two years on the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ lay review board probing the clergy sex abuse scandal was both a “life-altering experience” and “an opportunity to see great virtue and great sin,” the panel’s outgoing interim chairman, Justice Anne Burke, said last week.

It also has been a very frustrating time from start to finish, now that a nun has been named to what was supposed to have been an all-lay panel by Bishop Wilton Gregory over the objections of Burke and other review board members.


Religious vocation leaders focus on fidelity to Christ

The more than 500 people who gathered at the National Religious Vocations Convocation in Chicago Sept. 9-13 left “with their hearts burning within them.”

“It really was a major success,” said Holy Cross Brother Paul Bednarczyk, the executive director of the National Religious Vocations Conference, which sponsored the meeting at the Chicago Marriott O’Hare.

Participants included vocation directors, community leaders and sisters, priests and brothers under the age of 40, all focused on the theme, “Fidelity to Jesus: A Paradigm of Hope.”


Rebuilding and reaching out

Catholic-sparked interfaith program serves Waukegan needy

Buildings which might have been shuttered or sold following Holy Family Parish’s move to a new Waukegan location are vibrant and alive, a continuing Catholic presence in a depressed neighborhood.

Their transformation to an outreach center was scheduled to be celebrated at a series of events beginning Sept. 26. The first three weekends will honor members of Lake County religious communities—10 Catholic, eight Protestant and one Jewish—who support Holy Family’s mission financially or through volunteer labor. At 6 p.m. Oct. 17, Bishop Jerome Listecki will bless the facility and Waukegan city officials will participate in its dedication.


Finding God in woods and fields

Door County retreat center offers an ‘environment’ for prayer

Wisconsin’s Door County, home of countless hidden treasures, holds a gem of special interest to seekers of a more spiritual bent. St. Joseph Retreat, just off Highway 42 at the edge of Kangaroo Lake in Bailey’s Harbor, has been painstakingly designed to enrobe retreatants in solitude, beauty, and peace.

The center, on 400 acres of lakefront, forest and rolling hills, offers pathways through woods and around waving fields of oats. Perennial gardens proliferate, with areas for viewing. A labyrinth is mowed each summer in the back field, providing a path for meditation. Inside, the rooms are brightly lit with windows and skylights. A conference area includes an indoor fire pit for late-night chats and discussions.




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Church Clips by Dolores Madlener
Dolores Madlener
a column of benevolent gossip

Cavalry to the rescue — When a senior couple from Queen of Martyrs Parish (Evergreen Park) were attacked in a cemetery on a recent summer Sunday morning, they went public with their experience. Now the Cook County Sheriff’s Department is following up with new metal warning signs in cemeteries, and with printed handouts for senior clubs to distribute. It’s common sense: don’t go to the cemetery by yourself; be alert when exiting your vehicle; lock valuables in your car’s trunk; keep your cell phone handy; and dial 911 about anything suspicious.


On the road again — Each year a group of pro-life college students starts walking to save lives and change hearts. Known as Crossroads, the group uses its cross-country walk to raises awareness about its cause. This summer there was one trek from San Francisco and one from Los Angeles, both converging on Washington D.C. They hope next summer to include one from Seattle to Boston and down the East Coast, as well as a walk through Europe to World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany. Crossroads began at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, 10 years ago. Walkers say they’re following the pope’s call to America’s youth to “preach the Gospel of Life from the rooftops.” . . . Though plenty of believers worldwide still make the pilgrimage across Spain to the northern city of Santiago de Compostela out of religious devotion, there’s a new atmosphere elbowing its way in. With thousands of young back-packers trekking on foot, bicycle or horseback all or part of the 420 miles to the final resting place of St. James the Apostle, rock bands were inevitable. This summer pilgrims or adventurers (the jury is out) got to hear Lou Reed, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Bob Dylan in Santiago concerts. The Queen of Spain walked the walk this special Holy Year for pilgrims (because the saint’s feast fell on a Sunday, July 25). So did President George W. Bush’s blond daughter, Jenna, with some college friends and bodyguards. They averaged 19 miles a day, completing about 100 miles.


Parish potpourri — Needlers at St. Norbert Parish (Northbrook) are used to crafting afghans for the kids at Mercy Home for Boys and Girls. With another building ready to house 50 more boys needing an afghan of love, their knit-ones-purl-twos or crochet hooks are flying. . . . St. Athanasius Parish (Evanston) hit the jackpot (of generosity and hard work) recently with a parish rummage sale. Instead of their $30,000 goal, they cleared about $40,000!


Savor the season(ing) — At almost the end of the backyard barbecue season, a tidbit to enjoy with the hot dogs: Pope John XXII, in the 1300s, was so fond of mustard (he was a Frenchman), that he created a Vatican position—”grand moutardier du pape” (mustard-maker to the pope)—and then gave his nephew the job. And in 1866, Jeremiah Colman, who founded Colman’s Mustard, became mustard maker to Queen Victoria. The Greeks and Romans used mustard for scorpion stings or on their mutton.


Ready for prime time? — Author-priests are invited to “compile their strongest, most informed Scripture-based homilies” and submit them for publication. The projected series of books to be called “River of Faith,” will be dedicated to Christ, the Divine Pelican. The initiators of the project, based in Ontario, call themselves The Pelican Group. The experienced editors will edit, format and market the manuscripts for publication and distribution to mainline book stores. “Never has the need been greater for priests to reassert their leadership. A generation tormented by myths of the Internet, film and television is starving for certainty,” so states their press release. The group’s e-mail address is: pelicangroup333 @bellnet.ca; or phone (708) 742-0423.


Color me Catholic — The bulletin of St. Mary, Star of the Sea (S. Kilbourn) and the newsletter of Misericordia (N. Ridge) have gone four-color. We’ve got a trend.


Junior Clips — R. J. McMahon, president of St. Martin de Porres High School, (Waukegan), the first Catholic high school to open in Lake County in 40 years, celebrated his 40th birthday recently. Roberta, his wife, and their family threw him a party. They suggested guests bring fully equipped backpacks for the school’s 100 new freshmen and sophomores. Bishop Jerome Listecki officially “blessed the backpacks” on the first day of school. . . . The new high school has something else to crow about: Former Mayor of Waukegan Bill Durkin volunteers as one of its school bus driver.


Nurses for life — The National Association of Pro-Life Nurses now has a monthly chat room on the fourth Tuesday each month. Discussions will be on bioethical issues nurses face in the workplace. The NAPN promotes respect for every human life from conception to natural death. It affirms destroying a life, for whatever reason and by whatever means, does not meet the ideals and standards of good nursing practice. The chat room is on the NAPN Web site: www.nursesforlife.org.


Happy noshing — About 250 close friends of Father Edwin Bohula, pastor emeritus of St. James at Sag Bridge (Lemont), gathered in Burr Ridge Aug. 29 for a surprise birthday party. Probably a first: Father heard confessions and celebrated Mass for the party-goers. This group of well-wishers are already planning something special for next year to mark retired U.S. Navy chaplain Bohula’s 50th anniversary of ordination and 75th birthday!


Holy Smoke — Jazz at Holy Family Parish (W. Roosevelt) is a new tradition. More than 700 fans recently contributed $25 a ticket to the parish outreach and community service fund to hear name bands perform funky, classic and contemporary jazz at the parish’s second annual Jazz Festival. Having survived the Chicago Fire of 1871 (and a potentially dangerous blaze last year), the church is learning “hot” can be a good thing, you dig?

Send your benevolent gossip to:
Church Clips
721 N. LaSalle St.,
Chicago, IL 60610
or via

Send your benevolent gossip to:
Church Clips
721 N. LaSalle St.,
Chicago, IL 60610
or via


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