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The Catholic New World
News Digest: Week in Summary
Issue of January 7, 2007

The following items are condensed. For the complete article, please read the print edition of The Catholic New World. To subscribe, call (312) 655-7777.


Migration week theme set
"Welcoming Christ in the Migrant" is the theme of the U.S. Catholic Church's National Migration Week Jan. 7-13. "I invite you to welcome Christ in the migrant through prayer, education and parish outreach," said Bishop Gerald R. Barnes of San Bernardino, Calif., chairman of the bishops' Committee on Migration. He said Jesus' biblical admonition that what one does to a stranger is done to him "is particularly timely" in the current immigration debate. He urged Catholics to become involved in the Catholic immigration reform initiative described on the Web site www.justiceforimmigrants.org.

Pray for Christian unity
The Seventh Annual Chicagoland Ecumenical Prayer Service for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity will be at 4 p.m. Jan. 21 at Fourth Presbyterian Church, 126 E. Chestnut St. A reception will follow the service. The preacher will be Bishop Hee-Soo Jung, Northern Illinois Conference, United Methodist Church.


Chicago Jesuit on Newsweek's list of success stories 2007
Newsweek magazine has named Jesuit Father John P. Foley, president of the national Cristo Rey Network of Catholic high schools, among "the people to watch in the year ahead." Two other religious figures-Episcopal Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and Muslim professor Ingrid Mattson-also made the magazine's gallery of 20 figures to keep an eye on in 2007 in various fields, from politics to sports, religion to entertainment, and education to business.

March for Life events planned
Throngs of teenagers, college students and others are preparing for a marathon weekend, all in the name of life. The Respect Life Office of the Archdiocese of Chicago once again is organizing a bus trip to Washington D.C. for the 34th annual March for Life Jan. 22. The march brings together pro-life advocates from around the country for a rally on the Mall and march to the steps of the Supreme Court to protest the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which made abortion legal in all 50 states.

Students at Northern to get Catholic housing option
Beginning next fall, students at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb will be able to choose a Catholic housing option. The privately owned University Plaza dormitory in DeKalb will include a floor created especially to house Catholic students to be run by the Diocese of Rockford. Msgr. Glenn Nelson, pastor at Christ the Teacher University Parish in DeKalb, lived in his university's residence halls in the 1980s without a Catholic roommate.

Relations with Islam tops list of Catholic stories
Pope Benedict XVI's remarks on Islam in Regensburg, Germany, followed by his bridge-building trip to Turkey have opened a new chapter in the Vatican's 40-year dialogue with the Muslim world. The relationship between Islam, Catholicism and the Western world topped the list of stories cited by editors of Catholic newspapers. Other top stories were the push for immigration reform and the war in Iraq. For more on the top stories of 2006, see Pages 17-19. As the pope made clear when he stood and prayed next to a Muslim cleric in Istanbul's Blue Mosque, he wants to emphasize that members of both faiths worship the same God and share many religious values. In Turkey, he expressed his deep respect for Muslim believers.

Iraq: Many asking what's next
The war in Iraq has raised questions baffling religious and political leaders during 2006 as more information surfaced and often resulted in more confusion. Is Iraq in a civil war? Should the United States "cut and run" or "stay the course?"

U.S. church faced more financial troubles in 2006
Last April Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston called his archdiocese's financial condition "dire." In October the Diocese of Davenport, Iowa, filed for bankruptcy protection because of clergy sexual abuse lawsuits.

Evangelization by burrito
Some college students barely know how they'll feed themselves let alone 800 others during the year. University of Dayton student Joe Melendrez is using meals he won in a local Chipotle contest to spread his school's Catholic mission of leading through service. Melendrez recently won three burritos a day for a year plus four 20-burrito parties.

Raising Seeing Eye puppies helps teen serve others
It is not often that one sees a dog in church. But Karmen isn't just any dog. Escorted to St. Matthias Church in Somerset by Meredith Kollmer, Karmen is in training to become a Seeing Eye dog. And Kollmer, 18, isn't just any Seeing Eye puppy-raiser. She has raised eight Seeing Eye puppies since she was 10 years old.

> Front Page

Church Clips by Dolores Madlener
Dolores Madlener
a column of benevolent

"Na na na na hey hey hey ." - Ron Kittle, former steel worker from Gary, Ind., who became a White Sox star known for his homerun power, (1982-'86, '89, '91) will be honored with the Mary Potter Humanitarian Award at Little Company of Mary Hospital's Crystal Heart Ball Feb. 3. Kittle founded Indiana Sports Charities in 1989, and hosts an annual celebrity golf outing to raise money for cancer research and development at five area hospitals.

Parish potpourri - Father Edward Wilhelm of St. Michael Church (N. Cleveland) will mark his 60th jubilee as a Redemptorist Jan. 14. They have been eventful years: 30 in Brazil, 10 in Fargo, N.D., and 20 in Old Town. . . . St. Linus Parish (Oak Lawn) has collected half a million pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald House at Loyola Children's Hospital. They need 767 pounds to make a million and they are just over the 400-pound mark. . . . Talk about "punctual," George Serena of St. Thomas of Villanova Parish (Palatine), new director of parish blood drives, recently gave his 110th unit of blood. . . . Parishioners at Immaculate Conception Parish (W. 44th St.) said farewell to the Sisters of St. Casimir who served there for 84 years. Goodbyes included a special Mass and program with Lithuanian folk dancing and ethnic foods Dec. 9.

God's 'underdogs' - Father Don Woznicki, of St. Norbert Parish (Northbrook) hosted actor Sylvester Stallone recently in the city for a faith-based leaders conference on his latest movie, "Rocky Balboa." Stallone, now a serious Catholic, says it's not a boxing story-"It's a spiritual journey." The movie has surprised critics with its heart, and has done surprisingly well at the box office. Woznicki, who saw a pre-screening, says, "See it," it carries a "message for people of faith of all ages."

They report - Fox News Report did a cable segment Christmas Day spotlighting the Shrine of Christ the King Sovereign Priest (S. Woodlawn). It aired as part of a story on the growth of the Latin Mass in the United States. Located in the former St. Clare and the more recent St. Gelasius Church in Woodlawn, Latin Mass is celebrated at 9:30 a.m. Sundays. The Institute of Christ the King, canonically formed in 1990, has 35 houses in 10 countries, 50 priests, and over 60 seminarians.

Chicago connection: The Dec.-Jan. issue of "True Girl" (new magazine of faith, life, and fashion for Catholic teenage girls), has features like a pointed quiz, "Are you a Gossip?" and an article about 13 college students who took turns walking through 12 states to spread a pro-life message. There's also an interview with "Sister M & M," pastoral associate at St. Michael the Archangel Parish (S. Damen). A Daughter of St. Mary of Providence, Sister Margaret Mary Schissler talks about her vocation and daily life as a multi-tasking religious. (Is there any other kind?) For a gift subscription at $18.75 (or a single issue $3.99), go to truegirlonline.net, or call (219) 324-2780.

Reminder - The Women's Center reminds us January, 2007 marks the 34th anniversary of the legalization of abortion in our country. About one baby every 30 seconds has its life snuffed out. The center, a pregnancy resource site, helped some 5,000 women and their families in 2006, offering them a choice other than abortion, as well as counseling, material help, friendship and prayer support. If you have infant's wear, swings, cribs, gently used kids' winter clothing size five and up, or maternity clothes, call (773) 794-1313.

Not extinct after all! - Whatever happened to kids' church envelopes? That was one way nuns kept track of who went to Mass and who ducked. St. Joseph's Parish (Libertyville) has a new wrinkle. Smiley Face designed envelopes for young children-The S.S. Noah series with animals and the arc-and Go For It series for older children. There's even a LifeFire Teen set that addresses a teen topic with a Scripture verse. Young children are encouraged to share their good deeds, older kids their time and talent. Any coin of the realm donated (preferably earned or from an allowance) goes to three charities chosen by the children.

Cheers - 2006's "Catholic High School Honor Roll" listing the 50 best Catholic secondary schools in America includes in the top 25 academically, St. Rita of Cascia in the arch and Providence (New Lenox, Diocese of Joliet). Selection was based on demonstrated commitment in categories of academic excellence, Catholic identity, and civic education. Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Academy and Boylan Catholic (Rockford Diocese) were also in the top 25. Nearly 1,300 Catholic high schools were invited to apply. For a list of the top schools in each category, go to www.chshonor.org. The Honor Roll is an independent project of the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty, an international research and educational organization based in Grand Rapids, Mich. Catholic college presidents and Catholic scholars made up the independent judges. For more on Acton, go to www.acton.org.

Top 10 - One of the Top 10 Reasons the Bible Wasn't Written by College Students: It would have been Five Commandments, double-spaced and printed in a large font.

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


Movies at a Glance
Capsule reviews of movies from the U.S. Catholic Conference's Office for Film and Broadcasting, judged according to artistic merit and moral suitability.