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News Digest

Issue of September 30 – October 13, 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

Abramowicz endowment at $3 million

Bishop Abramowicz PreparatorySeminary now has a $3 million endowment, due to the generosity of donors and matching gifts from the archdiocese.

Father Richard Klajbor, the rector, announced that the seminary had met its $1 million fundraising goal for the endowment at its annual dinner Sept. 9. Cardinal George had previously promised $1 million in matching funds from the Millennium Campaign, and the archdiocese added $1 million to be transferred from the Quigley Seminary endowment fund.

The income from the endowment—about $150,000 a year—will cover close to 75 percent of the seminary’s expenses, Klajbor said.

Bishop Abramowiz Preparatory Seminary is a house of formation for seminarians from Poland who come to serve the church in the Archdiocese of Chicago. The young men live there for a year or more, learning English and becoming accustomed to American culture, before continuing their seminary studies.

By the end of this academic year, Klajbor expects there will be 20 priests working in the diocese who have passed through Bishop Abramowicz Seminary, whch was founded in 1999.

Chaldean bishop at Iraqi benefit

Chaldean Catholic Bishop Ibrahim N. Ibrahim will be featured at an Oct. 21 benefit for Iraqi Christians at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church at 1850 W. 131st St. in Palos Park. The event is jointly hosted by the Chaldean, Ukrainian and Byzantine Catholic communities of the Chicago area.

The 12:30-3:30 p.m. event includes a banquet of Iraqi food, a keynote presentation by Bishop Ibrahim and a marketplace of religious items, many of them from the Middle East.

Cost is $25 per person and $50 per family. Child care is available. Registration is required. Proceeds go to a Catholic hospital in Baghdad and to develop catechetical materials for people who cannot attend Mass regularly because of the danger.

For information, visit or call Carson Lauffer at (815) 726-9175.

News Digest

Fight against terror must not harm rights

Pope Benedict XVI warned politicians against undermining the foundations of democracy in their fight against terrorism.

“Terrorism is a serious problem whose perpetrators often claim to act in God’s name and harbor an inexcusable contempt for human life,” he told a group of politicians promoting Christian democracy.

Countries have a right to defend themselves, he said, “but this right must be exercised with complete respect for moral and legal norms, including the choice of ends and means.”

Children must be guided early on with God’s law, says pope

Young children must be guided from a very early age with moral law so that they will have direction as they weather life’s storms and resist its temptations, Pope Benedict XVI said.

“God’s law must be impressed on the soul from the beginning ‘like on a piece of wax,’” the pope said, citing the teachings of St. John Chrysostom at his Sept. 19 weekly general audience.

Legislative issues still unclear

As summer turned to fall, Catholic public policy advocates were urging parishioners to keep paying attention to the Illinois legislature, especially its actions that impact Catholic schools and the families that use them.

While the state budget is supposed to be set in the spring, the legislature did not pass a spending plan this year until Aug. 10. On Aug. 23, after the budget was passed, Gov, Rod Blagojevich used a line-item veto to remove about $463 million in spending—cuts he described as “pork.”

New victim assistance coordinator aims to help

When Matt Hunnicutt first interviewed for a job with the Archdiocese of Chicago, he didn’t know exactly what Victim Assistance Ministry did.

And when he was asked to consider the position as coordinator of Victim Assistance, he wasn’t sure he wanted to take it.

Hunnicutt, a licensed clinical social worker, had worked for 15 years for Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago, and was most recently in charge of child abuse and neglect investigations. His office was eliminated in June when Catholic Charities closed its foster care program.

Creating crosses a labor of love for Dominican professor

There is a small wooden box on Dan Beach’s desk—a box that he made.

And there are wooden crosses in the classrooms where he teaches, in the newly dedicated Parmer Hall at Dominican University in River Forest. Beach, the chairman of the university’s psychology department, made all of them, too.

Judge won’t force city to allow clinic opening

Pro-life groups opposed to the opening of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Aurora welcomed a federal judge’s refusal to order city officials to let the clinic open pending an investigation of how the organization obtained its building permits.

Abortion opponents have been protesting the new clinic because surgical and medical abortion procedures will be among the reproductive health care services performed there.

Parish hosts synagogue’s High Holy Days services

Our Lady of the Brook Church in Northbrook took on a slightly different sound in September, as prayers were sung in Hebrew and the shofar sounded.

The parish hosted the Northbrook-based Shir Hadash Reconstructionist Synagogue’s High Holy Days services in its worship space, after working through archdiocesan channels to get permission.

Two parishes, two priests, joining two continents

This is the story of two parishes six miles apart in the Archdiocese of Chicago joined in a special way with two other parishes on the continent of Africa. St. Joseph in Libertyville has an associate pastor from Tanzania, Father Val Laini. St. Mary of Vernon, in Indian Creek, had a seminarian from Mundelein, Hilary Muheezangango, serving in the parish during his diaconate. He had grown up in Uganda during the violence of Idi Amin.