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Church Clips by Dolores Madlener

Dolores Madlenera column of benevolent gossip

  • Pastor’s Pooch

    — A dog isn’t just “man’s best friend”—sometimes it can be a life coach. Society of the Divine Word Father Rick Andrus, pastoring St. Elizabeth Parish (E. 41st St.) and St. Anselm’s (S. Michigan) lives alone in the rectory . Alone, except for his black Lab, Shadow , 12 years old, and a yellow Lab, Tiger , 4. Andrus says he’s learned from them not to be tied to paperwork or reading for too many hours without getting up and stretching, or tossing a ball in play, or getting outside. In fact, the pets have him on a nightly “ritual” of dogwalking in any weather around St. Elizabeth’s. Andrus describes them as “extremely friendly,” and says they look like good guard dogs, and like to bark. Andrus says, “As long as you’re not thunder or fireworks, they’re happy to see ya.” On hot days they enjoy chewing ice cubes in their drinking water, and playing in two plastic wading pools in the back yard. Andrus is moved by the pooches’ enthusiasm for friendship and finding fun in simple things.
  • Rel. Ed or CCD?

    Joe Paprocki , catechist at Most Holy Redeemer Parish (Evergreen Park) and brother of Bishop Thomas Paprocki , has authored his 10th book, this one, “ The Catechist’s Toolbox: How to Thrive as a Religious Education Teacher .” Published by Loyola Press , it’s flying off the shelf with a second printing of 15,000 copies. Joe writes about his ministry as a catechist on his blog at
  • Parish potpourri

    St. Giles Parish (Oak Park) is celebrating its 80th birthday with a Parish Block Party Sept. 16. . . . St. Cletus Parish (La Grange) will dedicate a new parish shrine, “ Madonna Della Strada ” at the 11 a.m. Mass Sept. 23. It’ll be a tribute to the many outreach programs parishioners maintain to assist those in need. . . . The Southwest Suburban W.O.W. (Widow and Widowers) has moved from St. Michael Parish (Orland Park) to Sacred Heart Parish Center , (Palos Hills.) . . . Boy Scout Troop 904 in St. Edward Parish (W. Sunnyside) collected 41 backpacks and items to put in them for homeless veterans. They also raised over $500 to help 75 vets keep warm during the winter. (One out of every four homeless men in the U.S. is a veteran. Fortyseven per cent are from the Vietnam era; 89 per cent received honorable discharges. Seventy-six per cent suffer from alcohol, drug, or mental health problems.) . . . St. Alphonsus Parish (W. Wellington) is starting a prayer chain with petitions being passed along via positive phone calls to private pray-ers. . . . There’s a new Mother Teresa Memorial Shrine at St. Mary of Celle Parish (Berwyn). Dedicated on Sept. 8, the new statue of Mother Teresa is surrounded by memorial vigil lights that will burn for a year, with a plaque bearing the name of each deceased. . . . An exercise group at St. Anthony Parish (Roseland) meets each evening in the parish hall, Monday-Friday. They mean business. . . . An historical moment for St. Alexander Parish (Palos Heights) as it installed officers of the new St. Theodore Guerin Knights of Columbus Council 14057.
  • Ida equals Inspiration

    Sister Ann Ida Gannon is an icon to her beloved BVMs , to Chicago and beyond. Now celebrating her 75th jubilee in the community she joined in 1932, she later taught here at St. Ferdinand Grade School (W. Barry), at St. Mary High School (W. Grenshaw) and Mundelein College , which she would later guide as president. (It merged with Loyola University in 1991.) A trailblazer at the right time in history— intelligent and gracious—she sat on the board of corporations like Sears, PBS and Northern Illinois Gas, preparing the way for future professional women. Gannon never lost her dignity as a religious and has said, “I didn’t want men to feel that we were trying to be like them. …Women bring their own qualities.” The 10-year old “ Ann Ida Gannon, BVM, Center for Women and Leadership ” on the campus of Loyola Chicago, is dedicated to supporting and strengthening women’s leadership—and named for an inspiration.
  • Da Bears

    – The football staff at St. Patrick High School (W. Belmont) offered a Monday Night Football for Women clinic again this year for girlfriends or wives of football nuts and their grandmas. This year 25 women lined up on the field, ran plays and learned a fumble from a forward pass. (This how-to clinic is for women too chicken to just hide the remote.) . . . Sister Jean Kenny and eight classmates just celebrated their “ruby juby” (40th anniversary as a Sister of Providence ). Known as “ The Super Bowl Sister ,” she e-mailed Clips last month with her season forecast and believes da Bears will win their division and repeat as NFC Champs—“If all their starters stay healthy,” she adds. Kenny’s also blogging about the Bears in USA Today , and was contacted by NFL Films for an upcoming story about passionate fans.
  • Playing cat and mouse?

    Diana , a kind reader from St. Genevieve Parish (W. Altgeld) has gently corrected the name translation of cat “ Miszka ” ( Clips Sept. 2-15, 2007). I sought an objective authority: Barbara Otto , responsible for our Polish newspaper “ Katolik .” Otto explained: “Myszka” in old Poland, now part of Ukraine and Belarus, meant “Teddy Bear.” Today’s Polish translation (Diana is correct) would be “mouse.” Father Bohula translated his cat’s name as “Teddy Bear,” and Father knows best.