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News Digest

Issue of September 16 – September 29, 2007
The following items are condensed. For the complete articles, please read the print edition of The Catholic New World. To subscribe, call (312) 534-7777.

News Update

New Jesuit high school to open

The Chicago Province Jesuits announced Sept. 12 that it will open a new Catholic high school using the Cristo Rey model in the fall of 2008. Christ the King Jesuit High School will serve students from the Austin area and surrounding neighborhoods on the West Side, said Jesuit Father Chris Devron, who will be the school’s president.

Devron, who has worked in education in primarily African-American communities since the 1990s, said the school will welcome a freshman class next year to a temporary facility at Washington Boulevard and Central Avenue. The following year, the school hopes to open its permanent building at 5058 W. Jackson Blvd., sharing a campus with Chicago Jesuit Academy, a middle school for boys, on the site of the former Resurrection Parish.

Neighborhood surveys showed great support for the school, which will use the Cristo Rey model of having students attend classes four days a week and work at an entry-level corporate job the fifth day. The students’ work pays most of their tuition, as well as giving them valuable experience. The model was pioneered in Chicago at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Pilsen and has been replicated across the country, including at St. Martin de Porres High School in Waukegan.

Despite the need to raise $20 million in a capital campaign and to find operating funds for the first five years, Devron said the biggest challenge is to get the message out to the community that “this is really going to happen. They’re not necessarily used to new schools opening in their neighborhood.”

“I don’t see any enormous challenges,” said Devron, a Palatine native. “This is a project that has been blessed by God.”

News Digest

Rabbi: Pope’s expertise helps relations with Jews

Pope Benedict XVI’s theological expertise will help bring Catholic-Jewish dialogue to a deeper level, said a U.S. rabbi.

Rabbi Eugene Korn, executive director of the Center for Christian-Jewish Understanding at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., said that with Pope Benedict “we have a great man now who can blaze the theological trail” left behind by his predecessor, Pope John Paul II.

Pope: Share clean technologies

Industrialized nations “must share clean technologies” with developing nations, as well as curb the demand for goods that damage the environment, Pope Benedict XVI said.

Countries with emerging economies and undergoing rapid industrialization “are not morally free to repeat the past errors of others by recklessly continuing to damage the environment,” the pope said in a written message to environmental and religious leaders meeting in Greenland.

Vicar general clarifies stand on Amnesty International

Father John Canary, the vicar general for the archdiocese, wrote a letter Aug. 27 asking pastors, parish staff members and school principals to make sure they are no longer affiliated with Amnesty International.

The human rights agency recently changed its position on abortion from one of neutrality to one advocating for access to abortion in some cases and calling for its decriminalization in all cases.

Couples celebrate golden wedding anniversaries

When nearly 600 couples celebrated 50 years of matrimony at Holy Name Cathedral Sept. 9, Barbara and Edward Bright were among them.

Now living in Glen Ellyn, the couple grew up in the former Resurrection Parish on the West Side, graduating from high school in 1953 and marrying four years later.

Catholic school educators gather for celebration, thanks

When more than 6,000 Catholic school teachers, principals and staff members gathered Sept. 10, Cardinal George took the opportunity to thank them all for the work they do.

“This is the first time in my 10 years here that I have had the opportunity to speak to many, if not most, of the teachers and principals in our Catholic schools at one time,” the cardinal said, looking into the nearly full seating areas at the UIC Pavilion. “A gathering of the whole school system is not so infrequent in dioceses not so large as ours. Because of that, we lose a forum where everyone can be thanked at any one time.”

Five years after Dallas charter, church ready to move forward

It’s been five years since the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops first approved the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and the accompanying Essential Norms.

In that time, all the dioceses in the United States have created the policies and procedures they need to be in compliance, said Teresa Kettlekamp, the executive director of the USCCB’s Office of Child and Youth Protection.