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Church Clips by Dolores Madlener

Dolores Madlenera column of benevolent gossip

  • Count down —

    Nevermind that 93.9 FM

    started playing Christmas songs Nov. 1, Jim Finnegan and Terry Hodges are already gathering their God Squad . Chicago’s lifelike Nativity Scene will be erected from 9-10:30 a.m. Nov. 24 at Daley Plaza . Union volunteers will donate their time once again in building this sole religious symbol in our downtown area. Come for the set-up and stay to hear the bell choir from Santa Maria del Popolo Church (Mundelein) from 10 a.m.-noon. The creche will be there in all its wonder for four weeks. Other cities have been successful following the example of the God Squad, despite the secular world kicking and screaming like a baby, over the Baby.
  • Parish potpourri —

    St. Celestine’s

    (Elmwood Park) Nov. 16 fundraiser has prizes like pastor Father Larry Sullivan serving one of his dinners; and teachers who have donated activities like taking children to lunch and the movies! No greater generosity, eh? . . . Sts. Peter and Paul Church (S. Halsted), contrary to gloomy rumors, is not closed. Mass is being celebrated: 6:45 a.m. weekdays; 4 p.m. Saturdays; 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Sundays. So lift up your hearts, and come back. It’s the homiest little church in the arch . . . . St. Michael Church (Orland Park) is now celebrating a 12:30 p.m. Sunday Mass in Spanish to provide for the Spanish-speaking in the area. . . . The Ladies Auxiliary of the Knights of Columbus #3806 at St. Andrew Parish (Calumet City) celebrated their 50th anniversary Oct. 21. . . . Juan Lorenzo Himojosa of St. Nicholas Parish (Evanston) is executive director of Solidarity Bridge , the Chicago Catholic Medical, Enterprise and Education Mission that helps people in Bolivia, South America. Recently, a local medical-mission team of 15 people spent 10 days in Bolivia’s tropical highlands, along with retired pastor, Father Bob Oldershaw as chaplain. Parishioners helped defray expenses and supported them through prayer. . . . St. Barnabas Rectory , (S. Longwood), a rambling frame English manor house built in 1893, is one of this year’s Chicago Painted Ladies . It was chosen among 50 entrants by the Chicago Paint & Coatings Association . Purchased by the parish around 1924, it looks grand and welcoming and got new windows and siding in 2006. It’s current hues are cream with green and maroon trim. . . . Turkey, trimmings and homemade desserts are on the house Thanksgiving Day, 1-3 p.m. Nov. 22, at the “ Free to Gobble ” dinner served at St. Julie Billiart Parish Center , 7399 W. 159th St., Tinley Park. Must RSVP to Merilee , at (708) 429-6767 . . . Old St. Mary’s (S. Michigan) is inviting college students in the Loop and south Loop, attending Columbia , Roosevelt , Robert Morris , DePaul and others to worship at this, their “home parish” while at school. Paulist Father Bob Cary is their staff contact. . . . Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish (W. Belmont), approaching its 121st anniversary, has guided tours explaining the interior of its awesome edifice. . . . Claude Zaba and Jim Mullaney were recently installed as Grand Knight and Deputy Grand Knight of the Marian Council KCs at St. Joseph Church (Homewood). . . . St. Dorothy Parish (S. Eberhardt) has signed Jukube Felton as music minister. Felton comes from St. Ethelreda Church (S. Paulina) which closed some months ago.
  • Saints and solace —

    The papal household

    preacher, Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa , had such an interesting take on All Saints Day recently. In case you missed it: “Scientists have been sending signals into the cosmos, hoping for a response from some intelligent being on some lost planet. The Church has always maintained a dialogue with the inhabitants of another world — the saints. That is what we proclaim when we say, ‘I believe in the communion of the saints.’ “Even if inhabitants outside the solar system existed, communication with them would be impossible, because between the question and the answer, millions of years would pass. Here, though, the answer is immediate because there is a common center of communication and encounter, and that is the risen Christ,” he writes. “All around us, nature strips itself and the leaves fall, but meanwhile, the feast of the saints invites us to gaze on high; it reminds us that we are not destined to wither on this earth forever, like the leaves.”
  • Idea Exchange —

    One west suburban

    parish initiated a second collection several years ago on one Sunday each month to raise funds for capital needs. It was successful and helped to pay for some major projects. Now a smokestack on one of the parish buildings need to be repaired to the tune of $37,000. Not to worry, it will be paid in full from the capital improvement fund already collected. No special collection necessary. That’s stewardship!
  • Creative juices —

    De La Salle Institute

    alum, Jenna Bruno , will be playing the lead as Helen Keller in Lewis University’s production of “ The Miracle Worker ,” Nov. 15-18 in Romeoville. Bruno is a St. Daniel the Prophet (W. 54th St.) parishioner. . . . LeAnn Thieman , co-author of “ Chicken Soup for the Nurse’s Soul ” and for the Caregiver’s Soul and for the Grandma’s Soul (there’s a trend here) will have “Chicken Soup for the Catholic Soul ” in publication in December 2008. She’s collecting true stories “sharing the power and promise, hope and happiness of being Catholic.” She wants Clips readers to share their “heart-warming, humorous and powerfully moving stories.” Deadline is Dec. 15. Submit 1,000 words or less by e-mail to: If your story gets into print, a 50-word biography goes with it, and $200 for your effort.