Catholic New World: Newspaper for the Archdiocese of Chicago

Church Clips by Dolores Madlener

a column of benevolent gossipDolores Madlener

  • All roads lead to Lourdes?

    - Cardinal George will be spearheading United States preparations for the 150th anniversary of the apparitions at the Shrine at Lourdes, France. He is honorary chairman of Friends of Lourdes USA, a lay organization dedicated to building awareness of the jubilee year in this country, through an informational Web site : www.friendsoflourdes The anniversary begins Dec. 8, 2007 and concludes Dec. 8, 2008. So stay tuned.
  • Say again?? -

    "The Red Hat Society" is a women's social organization that sets out to prove there is "fun after 50." Members planned to celebrate their ninth anniversary in downtown Chicago April 21-22. Part of the program was a special "Mass Under the Red Hats" at Holy Name Cathedral (N. State). The connection apparently was the five red galeros suspended over the sanctuary. Those are the broadbrimmed, ornamental hats given by the pope to the arch's past five cardinals. The hats remain there until they turn to dust, a reminder that all earthly glory is passing.
  • Parish potpourri -

    On April 22-23 St. Giles Parish (Oak Park) made it possible to drop off outgrown Communion dresses and suits. The slightly used outfits will go to a needy West Side parish. . . . The pastoral staff at St. Norbert's (Northbrook) will use May 15 at 7:30 p.m. as an opportunity for a "friendly, non-intimidating, educational session" to explain how to pray the rosary and answer questions about the devotion. It couldn't hurt. . . . It ain't Chopin, but it is the Polka Mass, celebrated not only in St. Peter's Basilica with Pope John Paul II at the high altar in 1983, but also at 10:30 a.m. May 20, in St. Isidore Church (Blue Island). . . . St. Edward Parish School (W. Sunnyside) wanted to honor all the Springfield Dominican Sisters who taught or attended the school, and who currently live in Springfield, Ill. So school board president Debra O'Shea and Sr. Marie Michelle Hackett, school administrator, recently presented the award in person to nearly 20 sisters at the Springfield motherhouse. . . . St. Dorothy (E. 78th St.) parishioner Naomi Wilson turned 98 years young recently. . . . Father Modest Odama of St. Joachim Parish (E. 91st St.), who just earned his doctorate at Loyola University, was once a pupil of one of the arch's lay missionaries, Sherry Meyer, in Arua, Uganda. Meyer will be back in her hometown of Indianapolis for a mission appeal visit in June.
  • 'Birth' days -

    They just sang the best known song in the world for Pope Benedict- "Happy Birthday to You," for his 80th birthday April 16. Pope John Paul the Great was born May 18, 1920, on a day of an eclipse of the sun. His funeral took place two years ago during a solar eclipse-and his patron was the Blessed Mother, "a woman clothed with the sun." . . . Maria and Tom Zabiega of St. Mary of the Angels Parish (N. Hermitage) are proud to announce the birth at 3:06 a.m. April 22 of Stanislaw Andres, their 7 pound 12 ounce baby boy. Dr. Tom is vice president of the Catholic Physicians Guild of Chicago.
  • Band of brothers -

    The Marist Brothers of the Schools have a new Web site that presents "Real Stories" of its religious as well as lay partners. While spotlighting the variety of work done by members around the world, it also highlights a successful specialized program for educationally challenged kids that's in operation at Marist High School here (W. 115th St.). The site: aims in part, of course, to attract new members, but the stories of this outstanding band of brothers is uplifting for all of us and worth perusing.
  • Walkin' the walk -

    When the Beverly Breast Cancer Walk steps off at 8 a.m. May 13 from Ridge Park, 9600 S. Longwood, the Walsh Family will be walkin' the walk. Last year mom Rita Walsh got 400 of her closest family members and friends to join her. The team raised more than $15,000. This year, her cancer now in remission, Rita will try to beat her own record. She says doing the walk through the Beverly area has a neighborhood feel-residents get into the spirit by decorating their houses and play energizing music to keep things rolling. The walk will benefit nearby Little Company of Mary Hospital's purchase of a digital mammography machine for its Breast Health Center in Evergreen Park.
  • One thing you'll never hear in church-

    "Hey, it's my turn to sit in the front pew!"

News Digest

Issue of April 29 th–May 12th, 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

Police march

The annual St. Jude Police League March will be held May 6 in Chicago. The march will begin at 8 a.m. at Solidarity Drive, located near the Adler Planetarium, and proceed south along Museum Campus Drive through Gold Star Park. The march will end with a service at Gold Star Memorial Park, just east of Soldier Field. This event pays tribute to every deceased Chicago Police Officer who ever served, particularly those killed in the line of duty. The St. Jude Police League is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. Claretian Father James Tort founded the group when he was pastor at Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Food Fast retreat

Catholic youth from the Midwest will participate in the Catholic Relief Services Midwest Region's first annual Food Fast weekend May 18-19. Those who participate in this weekend retreat will fast in solidarity with those who live in hunger and poverty. A Food Fast coordinator's manual, which includes suggested activities, prayers and reflections for the fast, can be obtained by calling (312) 733-5124 or e-mailing [email protected].

News digest

Cardinal George's focus on becoming an evangelizing church

When I was asked to write this article about Cardinal George's efforts at evangelization during his 10 years in Chicago, I realized it would be challenging.

When Archbishop Francis George came back to his hometown to be our archbishop, I was, like most parish priests, very heavily invested in my own responsibilities as a pastor, and not too aware of what was happening on the archdiocesan level. Like many others in our great city, I had been drawn into the events of Cardinal Joseph Bernardin's death from cancer, and the witness to his faith that enveloped those final months. I had seen Catholics, people of other faiths, and people with no particular faith at all drawn into the process of his dying the human death we all face.

Cardinal is committed to anti-racism initiatives

When Cardinal George arrived in the Archdiocese of Chicago in April 1997, the city was reeling from the vicious beating of a 13-year-old black boy by the name of Lenard Clark, who was riding his bike with a friend through the Armour Square neighborhood, home of White Sox Park, by three young white men who were graduates of a Catholic high school. This unprovoked hate crime, which left Lenard in a coma, was not the first hate crime to besmear the landscape of Chicago and undoubtedly would not be the last, but it was one of the most vicious and the perpetrators were Catholic.

Cardinal George visited Lenard Clark and was deeply saddened and troubled by this horrific event. He anxiously awaited the recommendations of the United for Racial Justice Task Force formed by Bishop Raymond Goedert, vicar general and interim administrator of the archdiocese following the death of Cardinal Joseph Bernardin in November 1996. The report was to help the archdiocese formulate a plan of action.

Cardinal emphasizes respect for life

Cardinal George continues to teach not only the Catholic values of respect for life, but also to take a stand publicly and forcefully to defend those values.

Over the past 10 years, the cardinal has been a consistent voice against capital punishment. In 1998, when the Illinois state legislature introduced a non-binding resolution calling for a moratorium on the death penalty, the newly appointed Cardinal George agreed to testify in committee hearings. "That had never happened before, where a cardinal would come to the legislature and testify, open himself up to all sorts of questions," said Deacon George Brooks, then advocate for the Kolbe House and an expert on capital punishment. "I don't think the cardinal ever realized how much impact he had," Brooks added. "People realized how serious the Catholic Church was about this matter, and that made a difference."

Ecumenical, interfaith relations enjoy growth

"I am Francis, your neighbor." With these words, the new Archbishop of Chicago greeted the faithful gathered for his installation at Holy Name Cathedral on May 7, 1997. Guests from many churches and religions of Chicago attended and heard these words. Ten years later, to many of them and to many others, Cardinal Francis George, O.M.I., is neighbor.

Within days of the installation, the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago, a Covenant partner of the archdiocese, welcomed its new neighbor at a vesper service. A few months later, the new archbishop celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Covenant between the archdiocese and the Metropolitan Chicago Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Priestly life among cardinal's priorities

Cardinal George makes time for priests, seminarians

When Cardinal George arrived in Chicago in 1997, two of the first things he did were to hold a reception for the priests of the archdiocese and to visit Mundelein Seminary, where most priests of the archdiocese get their last four to five years of theology education and priestly formation.

When he spoke at a symposium on the nature of the parish in July 2006, he said he feels most himself, as a bishop, when he is celebrating Mass with his priests around him.

Cardinal encourages time spent with Blessed Sacrament

In keeping with his usual straightforward manner, Cardinal George leaves no doubt about his feelings regarding eucharistic adoration. In May 2000, he wrote in his Catholic New World column that to speak disdainfully of adoration is "to speak heretically," and "to dismiss Eucharistic adoration is to weaken the faith."

At the time the cardinal came to Chicago, 23 parishes in the archdiocese had chapels with eucharistic adoration offered on a regular basis. Nine offered perpetual adoration, meaning the Blessed Sacrament is visible in a chapel and open for prayer 24/7.

Cardinal stands on national, international stage

Catholics in the Archdiocese of Chicago have come to know Cardinal George as their bishop on a personal level, as he has made a point of visiting nearly every parish in the archdiocese and generally will stay and greet everyone who wishes to meet him.

But he is well known far beyond the boundaries of the archdiocese, both from his time as a bishop in the Pacific Northwest, and, within church circles, from his time as vicar general of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

Youth ministry: Preparing the future of the church

During his 10 years in the Archdiocese of Chicago, Cardinal George has recognized the need for comprehensive youth ministry and well-trained youth ministers in order to prepare future church leaders.

"I really see the cardinal as a visionary. He is interested in preparing the next generation of leaders," said Maria Sedano, director of the Office for Catechesis and Youth Ministry. "The younger generations are going to be the future priests, the future lay leaders, the future Catholics."

Connecting with college students, faculty

Catholic universities moved into the spotlight after Pope John Paul II released "Ex Corde Ecclesiae," a document on Catholic higher education. In 1999, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops approved guidelines for how "Ex Corde Ecclesiae" should be implemented at Catholic universities in the United States.

There was a fair amount of controversy when the Vatican requested in 2001 that theology professors seek a mandatum from their bishop, or church approval of what they are teaching.

Social Justice: Serving others in the archdiocese and beyond

Social justice work covers a wide spectrum of issues and concerns. Catholic Social Teaching serves as a guide for how to approach some of these issues. Cardinal George has been supportive of many social justice initiatives, both in the archdiocese, the nation and the world.

Locally, the cardinal has supported efforts to gain affordable healthcare and housing in Chicago, according to Nicholas Lund-Molfese, director of the archdiocesan Office of Peace and Justice.

Cardinal uses role as 'public intellectual' to teach

As the Archdiocese of Chicago pauses to celebrate the 10th anniversary of our diocesan bishop, one area essential for understanding Cardinal George's contribution is his intellectual work. Of our previous bishops, only Cardinal Albert Meyer brought a similar academic background, but his episcopate was devoted to the Second Vatican Council and shortened by his early death.

Cardinal George has engaged the role of public intellectual in a unique way from all of his predecessors as Archbishop of Chicago. A great part of the Lord Jesus' public ministry was devoted to teaching. Indeed, the teacher-disciple relationship we see in the Gospel narrative was common in the ancient world. Disciples followed teachers because of the attractive power of their words. Sometimes this was merely because of the charismatic personality of the teacher. But the teachers who are remembered by history are the ones for whom the attractive power was in the truth of their teaching. Socrates is one example. If we view teaching in this second way, the role of the teacher is to propose the truth. After that, truth makes its own claim.

Liturgical Institute-cardinal's legacy of renewal

If the two goals of education are teaching the individual and building community, the Liturgical Institute, a new branch of the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary, is achieving both.

Founded by Cardinal George in the fall of 2000, the Liturgical Institute is his baby, and its outstanding record is another jewel in the cardinal's pectoral cross.

The institute exists to renew the rich liturgical life of the church for future generations, through education, conferences and special projects.

Ecclesial movements, new communities, in archdiocese

When Pope John Paul II joined with 500,000 members of the church's lay ecclesial movements and new communities in St. Peter's Square on Pentecost Eve, 1998, the ripples of that gathering touched the shores of the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Cardinal George addressed a first-ever gathering of the movements and new communities here on March 18, 2000, at Trinity High School, River Forest.

Schools of the future

Cardinal wants schools to be Catholic, academically excellent and affordable

Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Chicago have a long and proud history of educating students to the highest levels academically while forming them to live their lives as disciples of Christ.

That's a mission Cardinal George is committed to continuing, despite difficulties paying for the schools and keeping them affordable for parents, said Nicholas Wolsonovich, superintendent of schools for the archdiocese.

They knew him back when ...

When word came from Rome that the Archbishop of Portland, Ore., had been named to Chicago, many local Catholics were surprised to learn that their new archbishop was actually a Chicagoan who was returning to his hometown. Others knew all along that Archbishop Francis George was from the Windy City. They had known him from his childhood days on West Byron Street, his school years at St. Pascal and his visits to family and old friends on the Northwest Side.

Outside the archdiocese, his appointment to one of the largest sees in the United States was applauded by those who had studied or worked with him "way back when," before he held the titles of bishop, archbishop or cardinal. Whether they call him "Frannie" or "Francis," they shared some of their memories.

St. Pascal's proud of its 'favorite son'

Photos of Cardinal Francis George hang in the vestibules of many churches in the Archdiocese of Chicago, but only one parish can claim to be the place where the archbishop "met the Lord and came to know who he is and his love."

That parish is St. Pascal's, where the young Francis George received his first Holy Communion in 1945 and was confirmed in 1950. Inside its sanctuary the former altar boy was ordained and offered his first Mass in 1963.

Cardinal follows Jesus' model in service to poor

When Christ washed the feet of his disciples, he took the role of a lowly servant-and then told his followers to do the same for each other. "If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another's feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do." (Jn 13:14-15).

With this mandate, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who gave his life for our salvation, taught us how to care for the least among us, how to be the servant of all-how to live the charity of Christ.

Chicago's Poles find 'good neighbor' in Cardinal George

In his homily at his installation as archbishop of Chicago on May 7, 1997, Cardinal George introduced himself as, "Francis, your neighbor." This was in reference to the fact that he grew up in Chicago at St. Pascal Parish on the Northwest Side. In his 10 years as archbishop of Chicago, Cardinal George has indeed been a good neighbor, especially to the Polish-American community.

One of the first acts of pastoral ministry upon his arrival as archbishop was to visit and administer the sacrament of the sick to Auxiliary Bishop Alfred Abramowicz, who was dying of cancer. Prior to his death, Bishop Abramowicz described his dream for the establishment of a preparatory seminary to train candidates from Poland to become priests for the Archdiocese of Chicago. That dream was realized when Cardinal George established such a program in 1999 and named it after the late Bishop Abramowicz.

'A dignified life, a Good Shepherd, one Hispanic ministry'

This year's theme for the ninth Annual Hispanic Ministry Awards Banquet, mentioned above, is symbolic of the relationship between our beloved pastor Cardinal Francis George and the Archdiocesan Hispanic Ministry. On this, his 10th anniversary as cardinal of our local church, we wish to indicate the many ways he has supported the Latino community. The Hispanic Ministry, the vehicle by which we intentionally bring the Hispanic brethren to a fuller participation in our local church here in Chicago, is seen again and again by our spiritual father as a blessing and a source of vitality.

A conversation begins ...

Cardinal George speaks to the faithful in his own words

Cardinal George's 1st column

Sept. 23, 1998

When I came to Chicago over a year ago, I wanted to continue my custom in Portland and Yakima of writing a regular column for the diocesan newspaper. This is a good device for creating a conversation between bishop and people.

Pope calls St. Augustine 'model of conversion'

Paying homage to one of the most important figures of the church, Pope Benedict XVI prayed at the tomb of St. Augustine and called him a "model of conversion" for Christians of all ages.

Although conditioned by the passions of youth and the habits of his time, St. Augustine sought the truth-and that led him inevitably to faith, the pope said at a Mass April 22 in the northern Italian city of Pavia.

Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act upheld by court

Abortion opponents lauded the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision April 18 upholding the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act.

President George W. Bush, who signed the ban into law in 2003, called partial-birth abortion an "abhorrent procedure" in an April 18 statement from the White House.

"Today's decision affirms that the Constitution does not stand in the way of the people's representatives enacting laws reflecting the compassion and humanity of America. The partial-birth abortion ban, which an overwhelming bipartisan majority in Congress passed and I signed into law, represents a commitment to building a culture of life in America," said Bush.

Virginia Tech mourns dead at candlelight vigil April 17

Faint strains of "Amazing Grace" floated across the Virginia Tech campus as about 10,000 students, teachers and family members gathered on the Drillfield April 17 for an evening candlelight vigil, ending their second day of grief and mourning for 33 slain students and teachers.

Two hours before the 8 p.m. vigil, several priests joined about 60 Catholic students for a Mass at the Newman Center, where students had drifted in and out all day, looking for a bite to eat or someone to talk to about the multiple murders that have shaken their community.

Center helps Ecuadoreans break cycle of poverty

Carlos Gomez was 9 years old, working in a plaza in this mountain city, when a tall, lanky American priest stopped for a shoeshine and a chat, then offered him a free meal.

Gomez said he and the other shoeshine boys "didn't believe him, because he said the food wouldn't cost anything, and we knew that everything in life has a price."

Curiosity won, and Gomez accompanied Jesuit Father John Halligan, a New York native, to a center for working boys that the priest had started beside the Jesuit high school in Ecuador's capital. Gomez not only got a meal but also had a chance to play with other boys.