Catholic New World: Newspaper for the Archdiocese of Chicago

The first ten years…

  1. 1997

    1. Named Archbishop of Chicago April 8, installed May 7
    2. Travels to Vatican to receive the pallium in June
    3. Travels to Paris for World Youth Day in August
    4. Serves as grand marshal of the German-American Von Steuben Parade Sept. 20.
    5. Releases first pastoral letter, on evangelization, in October

    Cardinal James A. Hickey of Washington D.C. and Cardinal John J. O’Connor of New York attend the installation of Archbishop Francis George May 7, 1997.

    Catholic New World/Sandy Bertog

    Cardinal James A. Hickey and Cardinal John J. O'Connor
  2. 1998

    1. Elevated to cardinal by Pope John Paul II Feb. 21
    2. Ordains Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Perry in June
    3. Writes first Catholic New World column Sept. 13

    Cardinal George receives the red hat from Pope John Paul II during the consistory ceremony in St. Peter's Square Feb. 21.


    Cardinal George receives the red hat from Pope John Paul II
  3. 1999

    1. Makes 10-day interfaith pilgrimage in February to Istanbul and Rome with Orthodox Metropolitan Iakovos
    2. Holds “teaching evenings” in each Vicariate
    3. Signs collaboration agreement with Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico City, who was made a cardinal with him, opening a partnership between the two archdioceses
    4. Opens Bishop Abramowicz Preparatory Seminary in August

    Cardinal George and Orthodox Metropolitan Iakovos set off on a 10-day pilgrimage to Istanbul and Rome Feb. 14, 1999.

    Catholic New World/SandyBertog

    Cardinal George with Orthodox Metropolitan Iakovos
  4. 2000

    1. Opening of the Jubilee year Jan. 1
    2. Illinois Conference of Catholic Bishops releases the pastoral letter "Moving Beyond Racism: Learning to See with the Eyes of Christ" in April
    3. Creates the Office for Racial Justice in June
    4. Celebrates the vigil Mass for Corpus Christi June 24 on the "Field of Faith" at Solder Field, where "prayers flowed like rain." An estimated 30,000 people attended, despite wet weather, which the cardinal quipped was the "most effective sprinkling rite in the history of the Catholic Church"
    5. Attends Jubilee year World Youth Day in Rome in August
    6. Helps lead the "Way of Faith" pilgrimage around the lake at University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary in September

    Cardinal George prepares to celebrate the Corpus Christi Vigil Mass June 24, 2000, at Soldier Field. The "Field of Faith" was among the special events for the jubilee year.

    Catholic New World/David V. Kamba

    Cardinal George at the Field of Faith
  5. 2001

    1. Kicks off "Sharing Christ's Gifts" Millennium capital campaign in January after promising pilot program
    2. Ordains Auxiliary Bishop Jerome Listecki
    3. Directs Lenten retreat for Pope John Paul II and the Curia in March
    4. Issues "Dwell in My Love," a pastoral letter on racism, in April
    5. Joins archdiocese in responding to Sept. 11 with prayers, efforts to help
    6. Joins Illinois bishops in releasing "Facing the End of Life" pastoral letter in May
    7. Launches Liturgical Institute at University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary
    Cover of the Dwell in My Love pastoral letter on racism
  6. 2002

    1. Responds to growing scandal of clerical sexual abuse of minors which starts with Boston Globe series
    2. Bishops adopt the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and the Essential Norms at USCCB June meeting in Dallas; Cardinal George one of four bishops to go to the Vatican to work out details in light of canon law; norms receive final approval at November meeting in Washington
    3. Celebrates fifth anniversary in May. Photo above appeared on the cardinal's fifth anniversary edition of The Catholic New World
    4. Works with Catholic schools and parishes to resolve dispute about the admission of St. Sabina to Southside Catholic Conference from May to September
    5. Attends World Youth Day in Toronto in August
    Cardinal George profile
  7. 2003

    1. Releases report in February showing 55 credible allegations of clerical sexual abuse against minors received in previous 10 years, but none since 1991
    2. Announces Millennium Campaign finished pledge period with $220 million in promised donations Ordains three new auxiliary bishops —Thomas Paprocki, Gustavo Garcia-Siller and Francis Kane—the same day U.S. forces begin bombing Baghdad
    3. Creates Office for the Protection of Children and Youth in September, which starts Virtus training for staff, clergy and volunteers
    4. Holds first “Festival of Faith” at Navy Pier Oct. 30-Nov. 2

    Cardinal George and bishops from the Archdiocese of Chicago celebrate the closing Mass of the first "Festival of Faith" Nov. 2, 2003. The 4-day event filled with workshops, liturgies and exhibits drew nearly 17,000 participants from Chicago and surrounding areas.

    Catholic New World/Karen Callaway

    Cardinal George celebrating the closing mass of the first Festival of Faith
  8. 2004

    1. Archdiocese is reported to be in “full compliance” in first clergy sexual abuse audit in January
    2. Elected vice president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
    3. Rededicates archdiocese to Mary of the Immaculate Conception in December

    Cardinal George examines a document at the opening of the midyear meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Chicago. Topics on the two-day public agenda included priestly formation, a pastoral letter on world mission, a statement on Catholic schools, clergy sexual abuse and U.S. adaptations of the Roman Missal.

    CNS/Karen Callaway

    Cardinal George at a USCCB meeting
  9. 2005

    1. Announces a restructuring plan for Catholic schools, with plans to close 23. Eighteen of them closed.
    2. Pope John Paul II dies April 2; Cardinal George participates in funeral rites, conclave that elects Pope Benedict XVI April 19
    3. Immigration reform effort begins in May
    4. Leads eucharistic procession from the Chicago Hilton to Grant Park for Benediction service Aug. 5
    5. Attends World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany, in August
    6. Unveils Genesis plan for Catholic schools

    Cardinals, including Cardinal George (top, center), join in the celebration of the funeral Mass for Pope John Paul II in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican April 8.

    Cardinal George at the funeral mass for Pope John Paul II
  10. 2006

    1. Ordains Auxiliary Bishop George Rassas Feb. 2
    2. Holds second “Festival of Faith” in February
    3. February-April, authorizes the restructuring of the archdiocesan response to sexual abuse allegations in the wake of the arrest of Father Daniel McCormack on charges of molesting boys at St. Agatha Parish and Our Lady of the Westside School
    4. Undergoes surgery for bladder cancer July 27 at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood. Released from the hospital Aug. 15 after suffering some complications, including post-operative bleeding and infection.
    5. Announces closure of Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary Sept. 19
    6. Makes first public appearance after surgery Sept. 26 at the launch of Katolik, the only Polish-language diocesan newspaper in the United States

    Cardinal George introduces Katolik, the new Polish-language newspaper of the Archdiocese of Chicago, at a reception Sept. 26. The announcement was the cardinal's first scheduled public appearance following surgery for bladder cancer.

    Catholic New World/Sandy Bertog

    Cardinal George introducing Katolik