Catholic New World: Newspaper for the Archdiocese of Chicago

Church Clips by Dolores Madlener

a column of benevolent gossipDolores Madlener

  • Pastor’s pooch

    Annie, part Lab and part shepherd, was a gift from a parish family and the runt of the litter. She belongs to Father Fred Pesek, pastor at St. Ann’s (Lansing). Born during Game 2 of the World Series, Oct. 23, 2005, “so the White Sox is her favorite team,” he says. Her favorite drink is water with ice cubes; fave food: dry Eagle Holistic Chicken and Rice. Can she fight? “Annie licks everyone who comes to our parish office,” Pesek says. She’s good with other dogs, even those who don’t like her, and is a pal of the school kids. She’s partial to St. Francis and the pastor (there are no associate pastors). “Annie enjoys sitting at the front door, looking out the screen. She counts the cars going west on Ridge Road and barks if they drive too fast or their radios are too loud. Who needs the Lansing Police when you got Annie?” Pesek’s one complaint: “She seemed to get more Christmas gifts last year than I did!” (Are you a pastor? Got a pooch or other pet variety? Let Clips know.)
  • Tintinabulation

    — The Angelus will chime at noon and 6 p.m. each day, followed by music, now that the Bells of St. [Margaret] Mary’s (W. Chase) are no longer silent. Church bells or chimes can be problematic electronic gizmos. Thanks to a parishioner’s generosity, a brand new Maas-Rowe system has been installed at St. Margaret Mary’s and will strike the hour and half-hour from 8 a.m.-6 p.m., as well as five minutes before Mass, toll at funerals and peal at weddings.
  • ’Rithmetic

    — A 13-year-old homeschooler in California won the National Spelling Bee competition this year. He’ll be taking calculus in the fall, according to his mom. While only 3 percent of kids are homeschooled, they make up 15 percent of the finalists in our spelling and geography bees. It took a few decades, but colleges and universities that used to snub homeschoolers are now accepting them with open arms, without insisting they first attend junior college. Because homeschoolers’ rights are still opposed in some areas by school superintendents and others, parents formed the Home School Legal Defense Association in 1983, which has 54,000 member families today.
  • First American citizen saint

    — This interesting tidbit is on the Web site of Mary Seat of Wisdom Parish (Park Ridge): “In 1903 the Passionist Religious Order built a monastery at Harlem and Talcott. While it was not a parish church, neighboring families were able to attend Mass at the monastery. Mother Frances Cabrini had a 160-acre farm in Park Ridge in the area of Northwest Highway and Potter. She invited the Passionist priests to say Mass on her grounds in exchange for fresh vegetables. In 1911, Father Augustine [Scannell], a Passionist, was commissioned to found a mission church, which became St. Paul of the Cross. (Mother Cabrini often attended Mass in its old frame church.)”
  • Parish potpourri

    St. Matthias Parish (W. Ainslie) is ever in “marketing” mode. One recent promo is, if you bring their current bulletin into certain eateries in Lincoln Square, you’ll get a discount. More fine establishments are expected to get on board. . . . St. Alphonsus Parish (Prospect Heights) is proud of the school’s seventh-grade girls’ track team that took the State Championship recently in the 4 x 100 meter relay. . . . Transfiguration Parish (Wauconda) is gearing up for World Youth Day 2008. A year away, it will take place in Sydney, Australia, and high school through college-age students will participate with youth leaders and adults. . . . St. Anthony Parish (Roseland), celebrated the feast of St. Anthony of Padua June 9-10 with an outdoor Eucharistic procession.
  • The butler did it?

    — Anyone have an idea for a play, but haven’t written it yet? There’s a “one-page play contest” at 4:30 p.m. July 14 during the Irish Fest. There can be up to four characters and the theme should relate somehow to the Irish or Ireland. Call the Irish American Heritage Center (N. Knox), at (773) 282-7035 for more info.
  • Go figure

    — Author/behavioral economist Arthur Brooks says he was “shocked” by the results of his survey on “Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism.” He had to conclude the religious Right gives more in “every measurable way” than the secular Left. Some critical factors were church attendance, two-parent families, the Protestant work ethic and a skeptical attitude toward government social services. Brooks also researched what people do apart from their paid work, why they do it and its economic impact.
  • Spiritual powerhouse

    The Ministry of Praise, begun in the arch by merry Mercy Sister Mary Charla in 1979, unites sick, handicapped, homebound and elderly into a body offering their prayers, sufferings, joys and sacrifices to God for the parish and universal church. Those physically unable to attend the commissioning Mass (where they receive a certificate of membership, prayer book and cross) can be commissioned in their homes. Ministry of Praise has opened a new Web site, at, or call (773) 586- 1223 for more info.
  • More Reasons

    “Why I’m a Believer in Eucharistic Adoration” continuing the conclusions cited by Bob Kloska, campus minister: “Adoration helps me to be faithful to prayer even though I’m usually tired or distracted.”
  • Internet wisdom

    — “Inside every older person is a younger person wondering, ‘What the heck happened?’”

Send your benevolent gossip to Church Clips, 640 N. LaSalle St., #390, Chicago, IL 60610; or e-mail to [email protected].

News Digest

Issue of June 24 – July 7, 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

Free summer speaker series

St. Francis Borgia Parish continues its Monday night Summer Speaker Series, at 7:30 p.m. July 16, with Kris Garstki, teacher, DRE and religion consultant at the Archdiocese Office for Catechesis, speaking on “Sacraments: Seeing the Unseen”; July 30, with Father Michael Knotek, pastor of St. John De La Salle Parish, “Cultivating and Maintaining Your Prayer Life”; and on Aug. 13, Joe Paprocki, author and associate director of catechetical services at Loyola Press, speaking on “Living the Mass.”

The series is free in the Father Stokes Center, 8025 W. Addison St. For more information, call (773) 625-1705.

Teachers receive energy grants

Eight teachers in the Archdiocese of Chicago have received grants through BP’s A+ for Energy program. The grant money totaled $70,000. The awards are for creative classroom, after-school, extra-curricular or summer activities involving energy education and conservation. In addition to the grant award, the winning teachers will attend a three-day energy training conference.

The winners from the archdiocese and their project titles include Jillian Houghton from Resurrection High School, “Probing Energy Across the Curriculum”; Beth Polich from St. Barbara School, “Watt’s the Deal with Light Bulb Efficiency?”; Maureen Fallon from St. Scholastica Academy, “Biomass: The Time Is Now”; Joan Smigielski from St. Turibius School, “Energy Activity Day”; Cheryl Tolish from Infant Jesus of Prague School, Flossmoor, “Solar or Wind, The Great Debate”; Fran Pelrine from Notre Dame High School for Young Men, Niles, “Solar & Wind Energy: The Future Begins Now”; Marcus McKinley from Fenwick High School, Oak Park, “Turning Red to Green”; and Nancy Ramig from St. Michael School, Orland Park, “Solar Energy Expo.”

News Digest

Pope discusses pre-Vatican II rite

Pope Benedict XVI spent about an hour with an international group of bishops June 27 discussing his decision to allow greater use of the Tridentine Mass.

Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston, who attended the meeting, confirmed to Catholic News Service that the purpose of the encounter was to inform the bishops about the coming papal document and help ensure its favorable reception.

Cardinal O’Malley and Archbishop Raymond L. Burke of St. Louis were the only bishops from the United States participating, sources said.

Pope declares Pauline year

Pope Benedict XVI announced a special jubilee year dedicated to St. Paul, saying the church needs modern Christians who will imitate the apostle’s missionary energy and spirit of sacrifice

The pope said the Pauline year will run from June 28, 2008, to June 29, 2009, to mark the approximately 2,000th anniversary of the saint’s birth.

Vicariate I now divided into 6 deaneries

New deaneries have been established for Vicariate I, effective July 1. The vicariate will be re-divided into six deaneries. Previously, Vicariate I was separated in just two deaneries.

New deans have been appointed to oversee the deaneries. They will report to Bishop George Rassas, the auxiliary bishop for Vicariate I.

Former NJ priest becomes new evangelization leader

The Department of Evangelization, Catechesis and Worship has a new leader, Father Richard Hynes.

Hynes took over as director of the office July 1 after serving as pastor of St. John of the Cross in Western Springs for 11 years.

Here’s Sr. Stephanie’s letter No. 2 from Tanzania

Resurrection Sister Stephanie Blaszcyzynski, former president of Resurrection High School, left Chicago in December to open a boarding school for girls in the remote village of Buturu, Tanzania.

Sister Stephanie’s assignment in Africa is the result of the international chapter of her community’s decision to reach out to a poor country as part of its mission. Two Resurrection priests in the Mosoma Diocese of Tanzania invited the congregation to open a school there. Less than 5 percent of Tanzanian children finish high school and less than 2 percent of girls go to high school.

Natural Family Planning week coming up

Natural Family Planning Awareness Week begins July 22, according to its sponsors, Diocesan Development program for NFP and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

To help parishes promote and raise awareness, they have created a poster with the theme, “Life: A Gift of Married Love.” Posters measure 17x22 inches and are available at no cost in English and Spanish.

Parish discusses enforcement as immigration bill fails

As senators gave up on passing a comprehensive immigration reform bill this year, a Catholic parish in Waukegan was hosting a meeting to discuss the way the current law is enforced.

A reported 1,500 people crowded into Holy Family Church June 27, with thousands more outside, for a town hall-style meeting with Waukegan Mayor Richard Hyde to learn more about a resolution the Waukegan city council approved the previous week, allowing the city to apply for special enforcement powers from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.