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Church Clips by Dolores Madlener

Dolores Madlenera column of benevolent gossip

  • We get letters

    — A newspaper, like the one you’re reading, is bound to have many loyal Catholic readers. Lucille Mollan Hamilton is one of ours. Clips phoned her after her recent subscription renewal. Even though Mrs. Hamilton, 100, moved to El Paso, Texas, a year ago, we learned there are many places in the arch to which she remains loyal. A former St. Henry (N. Hoyne) parishioner from about 1949 until last year, she continues to send them her church envelope. St. Gertrude (N. Granville) was her home parish, where she was taught by the BVM Sisters . “I’m a BVM product all the way back,” she says, and Mrs. H. is a charter member of Immaculata High School , taught by the same sisters. She recalls the first day it opened, “The school wasn’t built then, they used a mansion.” She was in its first graduating class in 1925, and received the first “ Sr. Mary Emilita Award ” in 1978. Every issue of her Catholic New World is read carefully, and then she puts it out on the table at her retirement residence for someone else to read. (Those BVMs taught her well!)
  • Dons of Notre Dame

    Notre Dame High School (Niles) for young men inducted 32 alumni into the inaugural Hall of Honor Sept. 30. Recognized for their commitment since high school to faith, scholarship and service, the honored alumni include president of the Chicago Cubs John McDonough ’71, Pat McCaskey ’67 of the Chicago Bears and Jim Pankow ’65 of the rock group “ Chicago .”
  • Parish potpourri

    — “ Dinner with the Cardinal ” is the big draw for Holy Name Cathedral’s (N. State) Oct. 5 benefit dinner and live auction at the River East Art Center . One of the prizes is literally dinner with Cardinal George at parishioner John Miller’s River East home. . . . Musician Roxanne Avila , brand new director of music and liturgy at St. Emeric Parish (Country Club Hills), took the job and took Andrew Packer as her lawful wedded husband, all in September. He’s director of percussion at Marian Catholic High School . . . St. Viator Parish (W. Addison) dedicated a new mosaic mural and gardens Sept. 22. . . . Kristina Black’s “dream came true.” She was able to play with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra during its 10-day performance tour of Eastern Europe this summer, thanks to support she received from some fellow parishioners in St. Joan of Arc Parish (Skokie) . . . . Charette and Pat at St. Dorothy Parish gym (S. Eberhardt) will begin leading workout classes Mondays and Thursdays 7-8 p.m. at $20 per month. . . . Any parish have more organized bridge players than St. Barnabas (S. Longwood)? While their purpose is to be social and have fun, they also make a hefty contribution to the parish. Their “casual” bridge marathon has 72 players in five units. . . . St. Nicholas Parish (Evanston) packed nine boxes of used stuffed animals from its recent rummage sale, and shipped it overseas for kids in Iraq.
  • Historical moment

    Sister Margaret Mary Kowalczyk, CSFN , known affectionately as “ Sister Maggie,” is a devotee of country & western music. She is also principal of St. Symphorosa School (S. Austin). Her favorite performer is the top box office attraction these days, Kenny Chesney . Her favorite among his hits is “ Living in the Fast Lane .” Driving in to school one morning recently, she happened to flip from Relevant Radio to US-99 , the C&W station. They announced a contest to determine who got to come into the station and meet Chesney. To be a winner you had to get a big name to vouch for you. Sister got a St. Sym’s alum to call in, Congressman Dan Lipinski . The rest is history.
  • Milestones

    Bella Voce turns 25. Chicago’s premier preservers of the art of choral polyphony will loosen up for an evening of cabaret singing Oct. 4 at the Cliff Dwellers Club . Call (312) 479-1096 for tickets. . . . Sr. Rose Anna Vonder Haar , former principal at Notre Dame High School for Girls (N. Mango) from 1953-59 is the oldest Sister of Notre Dame in the congregation. She will be 100 Oct. 21. Former students and well-wishers can send her a greeting at 699 E. Columbia Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45215. . . . The Franciscans’ Sacred Heart Province (that includes the arch ) has begun a year long celebration of its 150th anniversary marking the moment the first friars arrived from Germany.
  • Spice of life

    Isabella , 11 , and Olivia Gerasole , 9 , students at Pope John XXIII School (Evanston), got a big spread in the Sun- Times last month. Their good news was the publication of their first book, “ The Spatulatta Cookbook .” They also were seen on NBC’s The Today Show ,” and will have their own PBS cooking show in the not-too-distant future.
  • A garage raising

    St. Mary of Vernon Parish (Indian Creek) built their new storage garage the old fashioned way—with parishioners, sweat and tools. Deacon Phil Pagnotta oversaw the project and saw it get done this month. The space will be shared between Sharing Hands Furniture Ministry and the parish.
  • Giving up the keys

    — It was just a replacement job for high school student Annette Szynal , 47 years ago. But she was so good, St. Hedwig Church (N. Hoyne) hired her as full time organist/music director on Feb. 1, 1960. She has decided to step down from the organ bench Sept. 16. Szynal has worked under 13 different “changes of the guard,” including 11 pastors and two administrators.