Catholic New World: Newspaper for the Archdiocese of Chicago

Church Clips by Dolores Madlener

a column of benevolent gossipDolores Madlener
  • The best things are free -

    Mundelein Seminary will be the site at 2 p.m. May 6 of a free concert. They have cleverly combined two important ethnic holidays: Cinco de Mayo (May 5, a national holiday in Mexico) and May 3 (Polish Constitution Day). Performing artists will be the Lira Singers, who specialize in Polish music and dance, and the Cuerdas Clasicas string ensemble who play traditional Mexican instruments and sing. The program will also include American folk, patriotic songs and Marian hymns.

  • It's logical -

    The American Life League has begun a year-long petition drive asking President Bush to officially declare March 25 the "Day of the Preborn," beginning with March 25, 2008. Judie Brown, president of ALL figures, "Every human being's life begins at fertilization and the U. S. Constitution guarantees the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness ..." It's the latest step in a move towards an official Day of the Preborn in the USA. Other organizations like the Knights of Columbus are also supporting the efforts. At least six countries already celebrate it. The petition is available online at www.DayofThePreborn. com. The Feast of the Annunciation, March 25, is recognized by Catholics and many other Christians as the day to celebrate the silent beginning of the life of Jesus Christ as a member of the human race.

  • Tonsorial treat -

    Pope Benedict XVI has a great head o' hair (and a deeply rooted orthodoxy, too). As a witty gift, someone from a parish in the arch, treated their Rome-bound pastor to a surprise tonsorial appointment at the pope's barbershop some weeks ago.

  • Something different -

    Came across a spiritual Web site recently: The formal name: Secretum Meum Mihi is a quote from the WWII martyr St. Edith Stein. When asked why she became a Catholic, the Jewish convert wrote that Latin phrase for "My secret is mine." Stein is the inspiration for this contemporary spirituality for Catholic women. The woman who originated the Web site and its newsletter, Kristin West McGuire, converted to Catholicism 15 years ago. She is still in the throes of celebrating "my deep appreciation of the intellectual riches of the Church; of my spiritual union with Jesus in the Eucharist!" The monthly newsletter seeks out "the fruit of the mystery of each woman's spirituality." Each issue has an interview with a Catholic woman of note, a Bible study, book review, historical sketch, a specific prayer intention and a feature article. You can even download a 10-page sample copy. Here's a taste from February: BIBLE STUDY: Martha and Mary Duke it Out: Who Wins? / PRAYER INTENTIONS: For Women who Suffer from Depression / HISTORICAL SKETCH: St. Rose of Lima and the Inquisition /BOOK REVIEW: "Silence," by Shusaku Endo. Clips just says "take a look."

  • Encore! -

    DePaul's Theatre School Awards for Excellence in the Arts honorees this year are actors Alec Baldwin, Pam Grier, Michael Rooker, and Shirley R. Madigan of the Illinois Arts Council. Rooker, who has acted in over 40 films, will be presented with his alma mater's prize April 18. All monies raised at the theatre school's gala goes towards financial aid for students. Rooker, raised in Chicago, a life-long White Sox fan, threw out the first pitch during pre-game ceremonies April 17 at U.S. Cellular Field.

  • People can surprise you -

    According to first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, the singer known as The Incomparable Hildegarde, with her signature long white gloves, was the "First Lady of the Supper Clubs" in the 1940s. The Catholic girl from Milwaukee often had her best silk and satin gowns made into vestments for missionary priests. She died at 99 a couple years ago, as a third-order Carmelite.

  • Parish potpourri -

    Geoff Pautsch, music director at St. Mary of Perpetual Help Church in Bridgeport, and wife Felicia have a new baby daughter, Elizabeth Anne, born March 22. She was welcomed by her two brothers, Nicholas and Anthony. . . . Catherine "Katie" Hollahan, 92, still sharp as a tack mentally, prepares and mails out St. Gertrude's (N. Granville) parish bulletin each week. Now that she's moved to the Methodist Home (W. Foster) the bulletin work is brought to her instead of her going to the rectory. . . . St. Juliana Parish (N. Osceola) congratulated two new Eagle Scouts, Willam Dombai and Thomas Hanusiak. They did some heavy duty service projects to earn the distinction. Less than 4 percent of scouts achieve this rank. . . . St. Linus Parish (Oak Lawn) welcomes everyone in decorating the church on Holy Saturday. Some years helpers' ages have ranged from 7-94.

  • Sister Nancy in DVD -

    If you missed Sister Nancy Murray's one-woman live show as St. Catherine of Siena, when she was in town, the 1 hour and 40 minutes is now available for $35 from: Adrian Dominican Sisters, c/o Sister Nancy Murray, OP / 1257 E. Siena Heights Dr., Adrian, MI 49221

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News Digest

Issue of April 15th–28th, 2007
The following items are condensed. For the complete articles, please read the print edition of The Catholic New World. To subscribe, call (312) 655-7777.

News Update

Interfaith lecture set for April 30

In honor of his tenth anniversary as archbishop of Chicago, Cardinal George will present a lecture entitled "Gratitude for the Past, Hopes for the Future" April 30 at Holy Name Cathedral Parish Center. The event will be from 7-9 p.m. and will include a conversation with leaders of other faith traditions.

The four panelists will include His Eminence Metropolitan Iakovos from the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago; Bishop Paul R. Landahl from the Metropolitan Chicago Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; Rabbi Ellen W. Dreyfus, the past president of the Chicago Board of Rabbis; and Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni, research professor of law at the DePaul University College of Law.

The event is free. Please RSVP by April 16 by phone (312) 751-5325 or e-mail [email protected].

'Younger adults' must be reached

The U.S. Catholic Church's relationship with younger adults is problematic, says a newly published study by four leading sociologists of religion.

In one recent survey "just over half of American Catholics said that young adults' lack of participation in the church is a serious problem," the 205-page book says. That concern was reflected not just by older Catholics, but even by nearly half of the younger adult Catholics surveyed, it says.

The new book is titled "American Catholics Today: New Realities of Their Faith and Their Church." It was co-authored by William V. D'Antonio, James D. Davidson, Dean R. Hoge and Mary L. Gautier.

News digest

On Easter, pope laments wars, 'slaughter' in Iraq

In his Easter message, Pope Benedict XVI lamented the countless wars, disasters and horrors ravaging the world, including "the continual slaughter" in Iraq and the situation in the Darfur region of Sudan.

"Natural calamities and human tragedies that cause innumerable victims and enormous material destruction are not lacking" in the world, he said in his April 8 message, broadcast to millions of people in more than 65 countries.

The pope highlighted his concern for all those suffering from exploitation, hunger, disease, terrorism, kidnappings and the "violence which some people attempt to justify in the name of religion."

New project offers a place for vets to call home

In 1996, Lester Richardson was on top of the world. The young Navy veteran had spent his time in service as an aviation electrician at Jacksonville Naval Air Base, graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology and landed a job with Motorola.

It seemed, he said, like the good times would never end.

But then Motorola slashed its workforce in 1999, and he was laid off. He found work with a cable company-AT&T Broadband-but soon they were bought out and he lost that job, too.

All the while, he was trying to keep up a lifestyle he couldn't really afford even when he was working.

"I was living beyond my means," he said. "And I was financially ruined."

Parishioner's group finds kids' 'Hidden Talents'

It wasn't hard to come up with the name "Hidden Talents" for a youth group. Jeff Kenny believed the kids he was working with had talent; they just didn't know it yet. He had the key to unlocking the treasures each child possessed.

His proof: This spring Hidden Talents begins production on its ninth play, "High School Musical."

Kenny, a social worker, knows the key is relationships. As a husband, father and mentor he puts his beliefs into action. Once an athlete at St. Laurence High School, Burbank, he passed that love of sports to his children, along with a "can do" spirit.

Medical Missionaries of Mary celebrate 70th anniversary

It was on the Sunday after Easter 70 years ago that the Medical Missionaries of Mary were founded by Marie Martin.

An Irish woman who had already spent years in Nigeria, she returned to Ireland and found a small group of people who wanted to found a missionary congregation. She returned to Nigeria to continue her work, and was thought to be on her deathbed in Nigeria when she professed vows in the new congregation April 4, 1937.

Catholic Charities staffer lived civil rights history

Mary Bell does not believe in living in the past nor holding ill-will towards anyone. But the memories of growing up black in segregated Alabama during the 1950s remain.

"I try not to think about the bad things that happened to my family and me but learn from them," said Bell, case management assistant at Catholic Charities Northeast/Northwest Elder Abuse Case Management. "I've never been a prejudiced person and try to understand those who treated us poorly. Thinking otherwise would only make me a bitter individual."

Bell was number six in a family of 12 children.

"Even though our family was poor, we were very close," said Bell. "But once any of us stepped outside our yard, that love changed to fear. We were always called names other than those given us at birth."

Annual Justice Day scheduled for May 12 in Oak Park

The third annual Archdiocesan Justice Day will be held May 12 at St. Giles Parish, Oak Park, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The theme of this year's conference will be "The Challenge of Christian Faith and Social Justice: Globally and Locally."

Two important social justice issues the conference will focus on are immigration reform and housing.

New study on TV food advertisements and kids

Ten years ago, the Pontifical Council for Social Communications issued a document called, simply, "Ethics in Advertising."

The document condemned advertising oriented toward children which "intrudes upon the parent-child relationship and seeks to manipulate it to its own base ends."

Catholic Conference of Illinois criticizes HPV vaccination mandate

Catholic leaders in Illinois are speaking out against proposed legislation that would require all girls entering sixth grade in the state to be vaccinated against the human papillomavirus, or HPV, saying the mandate could have an adverse moral impact on minors.

Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in June 2006, the vaccine, marketed as Gardasil, protects against four HPV strains that are responsible for 70 percent of fatal cervical cancers and 90 percent of contagious sexually transmitted diseases, according to Curtis Allen, a spokesman for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"The HPV vaccine can be a responsible way to protect young women from the horror of cervical cancer," said the Catholic Conference of Illinois, the public policy arm of the Catholic Church in state, in a statement on its Web site.

Catholic school teacher brings Civil War to life

Civil War soldiers and today's teenagers would have had a lot in common, students at St. Matthias/Transfiguration learned recently during a morning-long encampment in their school's front yard.

"I teach the kids the war was fought by people just like them. Although the average age was 17 to 19, many 14 to 16-year-olds also served," said eighth-grade history teacher Steve Adams, also known as Sgt. Andrew Gleason, Company C, 5th Georgia Infantry in a Civil War reenactment group.