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News Digest

Issue of November 11 – November 24, 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

Chicago native named bishop

A Chicago native and the spiritual director at the North American College in Rome has been named auxiliary bishop of Milwaukee by Pope Benedict XVI.

Conventual Franciscan Father William P. Callahan will be returning to Milwaukee, where he was rector and pastor of St. Josaphat Basilica from 1994 to 2005.

The announcement was made in Washington D.C., Oct. 30.

Bishop-designate Callahan, 57, graduated from St. Mary Minor Seminary in Crystal Lake, Ill., in 1968 and attended junior college in Chicago for a year. He continued his education at the Chicago Franciscans’ St. Bonaventure novitiate in Lake Forest and Jesuit-run Loyola University in Chicago.

Glendon to be ambassador

President George W. Bush will nominate Mary Ann Glendon, a U.S. law professor and president of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, as the new U.S. ambassador to the Vatican.

The White House made the announcement late Nov. 5. The nomination is official when Bush sends it to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which will hold a hearing before sending the nomination to the full Senate for confirmation.

Glendon, a Catholic, said in a Nov. 6 statement that she hoped that her “background in international legal studies, together with my familiarity with Catholic social thought, will aid me in continuing the fruitful dialogue that presently exists between the United States and the Holy See” on a variety of issues. Those issues include human rights, religious freedom, human trafficking, development and “the fight against hunger, disease and poverty,” she said.

News Digest

Pope prays for cardinals, bishops who died in past year

Although they held important positions of responsibility at the Vatican or in their local churches, the cardinals and bishops who died within the past year were special because they were friends of Jesus, Pope Benedict XVI said.

During a Nov. 5 memorial Mass at the Altar of the Chair in St. Peter’s Basilica, the pope offered prayers for the eight cardinals, two heads of Eastern Catholic churches and 126 bishops who died in the previous 12 months.

Christian families must work to safeguard other families

Each Christian family has a vocation to reach out and support other families and to work for political policies that respect and safeguard the family, Pope Benedict XVI said.

“Before the many social and economic, cultural and religious challenges that contemporary society must face,” he said, strong families that reach out to others are “a sign of hope and an encouragement.”

Convicted Jesuit faces new charges of sexual abuse

A prominent Jesuit and convicted sex offender now faces federal charges of taking a minor out of the country in order to have sex with him.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Arlander Keys. on Nov. 6 released Father Donald J. McGuire on $50,000 bail on the condition that he be confined to his Oak Lawn home, with electronic monitoring and two third-party monitors, and that he have no contact with anyone under 18 years old.

‘Children Matter’ tries to help kids feel they belong

Belonging — the sense that they are a valued and needed part of something — can help children value themselves and make them less vulnerable to all kinds of harm, from bullying at school to sexual abuse.

That’s why the Children Matter Network Web site features information this fall on how to help children develop a sense of belonging, said Patty Zacharias of the Office for the Protection of Children and Youth.

Politics, religion, music among issues bishops tackle this week

When the U.S. bishops meet this week, they will debate and vote on how Catholics should participate in the political process, what Catholic high school students should learn in religion classes and how to best ensure that liturgical music is both doctrinally sound and pleasing to the ear.

They also will begin a new era in the history of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops by electing a new president and vice president, voting on revised bylaws and filling several committee posts created by the USCCB restructuring process.

Remembering all souls

Jean Wesolowski knows the communion of saints.

The Schiller Park woman has lost 10 family members in the last six years, including two of her brothers, a sister, a sister-in-law, a brother-in-law, a niece and nephew.

For much of the past six years, Wesolowski, 73, has spent her days at various relatives’ homes, caring for them and their loved ones as they struggled with illness.

Now she spends much of her time visiting the cemeteries where they are buried, tending their graves.

Volunteers get new kind of education

A small fire blazes on a pan of garlic bread. Everyone stops. After a few seconds, a thin stream of water shoots across the room as a squirt gun extinguishes the flaming bread. Laughter erupts among the group of 14 volunteers gathered to relax and reflect at a dinner with Father Scott Donahue, president and CEO of the place where they live and work.

The MercyWorks volunteers are college graduates committed to a year of work at the Mercy Home for Boys and Girls, which is dedicated to caring for neglected, hurting youth aged 11-20. The majority of volunteers work as supervisors and mentors to the boys and girls who live in nine group homes.

Pope John XXIII School blazed trail of cooperation

In 1986, when the parish schools at St. Mary and St. Nicholas in Evanston were combining, the whole idea of a consolidated parochial school was an experiment, at least in the Archdiocese of Chicago.

It hadn’t been done much here, and no one knew how or if it would work, and what to do to make the school a part of two worshipping communities.

Former football pro uses influence for pro-life causes

Christopher Godfrey had what he calls a conversion experience during his first year of playing professional football. It changed his life forever.

“I was just taking life for granted,” said Godfrey, now an estate planning attorney. “I was in Green Bay at the time. It was the third time I was cut in my first year of playing football. After the phone call, I went to clean out my locker, then fell down on my knees and said, ‘Lord, you are the boss. Whatever you want me to do I will.’”

Conference offers enrichment

This year’s Chicago Catechetical Conference takes place Nov.16- 17 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont. The conference, co-sponsored by the Office for Catechesis and Youth Ministry, the Office of Catholic Schools and the Office for Divine Worship, has “Encountering the Living Christ” as its theme.

All of the keynote speakers and presenters will reflect on ways to meet Jesus in prayer, liturgies and the events of daily life.

Conference information is available at the Office for Catechesis and Youth Ministry web site: or by calling (312) 243-3700.

Where to begin with the Bible

The weekend of Nov. 10-11 is Bible Sunday in the Archdiocese of Chicago, a day designed to encourage Catholics to pray and study Scripture.

How can people begin, as individuals and as members of a parish, to understand the Bible more?

An essential first step is to read a Catholic introduction to the Bible. These books answer the basic questions many beginners have about the origins, development, organization and larger story of the Bible.

‘Other sports’ draw attention in Catholic schools

Football and basketball—and now soccer—may be the Catholic League’s “big three” sports. But for a growing number of students, lacrosse, golf, tennis and even bowling are where it’s at.

Just ask Drew Stevenson, lacrosse coach at St. Ignatius Prep, who grew up in upstate New York where the game—which he considers “the greatest sport on earth”—was invented by the Iroquois Indians.

One of the many good things about lacrosse—perhaps best described as hockey with attitude—is that “there is no typical player. You don’t even need to be very big. Just fast and aggressive,” said Stevenson. “A good coach can find a place on the 10-man team for just about anyone, as long as they’re good athletes.”