Catholic New World: Newspaper for the Archdiocese of Chicago

Cardinal serves parishioners
at his last anniversary event

By Kristin Peterson
Staff writer

In the last event for the celebration of his 10th anniversary, Cardinal George thanked and honored approximately 200 parishioners at a June 24 dinner in the courtyard at Holy Name Cathedral.

During the afternoon event, the church leaders became the servants. Cardinal George, along with several bishops and priests, donned aprons and scuttled around the courtyard, bringing dishes of food to the tables and individually serving each parishioner.

Each bishop or priest was assigned a table to serve. As Auxiliary Bishop Timothy Lyne said in his welcome, this would be a unique dinner. “It isn’t everyday that you get a bishop to serve you food,” the retired bishop said.

Cardinal George welcomed the guests and explained the significance of this last anniversary celebration.

“In a sense, from my perspective, it is the most important celebration,” the cardinal said. “At other events we were being thanked and honored. This afternoon is a time to get together with people from parishes in the archdiocese, those who have been faithful witnesses to the Lord.”

Cardinal George emphasized Jesus’ call for the master to become the servant. “Once in a while we have to take quite literally what the Lord tells us,” Cardinal George said. “It is a great joy for the priests, bishops and myself to serve you this afternoon.”

Those invited to this special event were honored to attend such a close and intimate dinner with the cardinal. It was a chance for them to be thanked for all of their work.

Deacon Xavier Carrera and his wife Cecilia from Church of the Holy Spirit in Schaumberg attended the dinner.

“It is an honor to be here close to our main pastor. It makes me feel that I am better off going into my ministry,” Xavier Carrera said. “It is a once in a lifetime experience. There are so many Catholics and only a few people in this group here.”

Ruby Moses and her daughter, Gwen Fitzpatrick, both worship at St. Agatha Parish and run the food pantry at the parish, which feeds about 600 people a month. Moses has run the pantry for over 40 years and Fitzpatrick has helped out since she was 14.

“I’m more than excited.” Fitzpatrick said about the chance to attend the dinner. “I’ve never seen [Cardinal George] up close and personal before.”

The cardinal is recognizing those who are giving their time to the church, Fitzpatrick said. “He is meeting up with the people who are in the community, doing the work,” she added.

Jim and Ann Malone both grew up in Chicago and have been parishioners at Queen of Angels parish for 56 years. They were married at the parish and have been involved in several ministries. Jim Malone has led many organizations at the church. He is also a Nicodemus minister and a lector.

The couple brings Communion to the homebound, and they help count the church collection. They were both excited to attend this event. “It’s amazing. I was pleased when father asked us,” Ann Malone said.