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Church Clips by Dolores Madlener

Dolores Madlenera column of benevolent gossip

  • Caroling hath charm —

    Teens from St. Thomas of Villanova Parish (Arlington Heights) personally delivered “ Carol-o-grams ” to households from 6-9 p.m. Dec. 21. For $7 parishioners could order the surprise musical holiday cheer for friends or family. Part of the proceeds went to the area food pantry. . . . There was caroling on Dec. 22 at the fifth annual “ Empty Manger ” memorial led by Eric Scheidler of the Pro-Life Action League at abortion clinics in the arch and DuPage County. The carolers gather around an empty manger that symbolizes the hope of new life as well as the emptiness of abortion. Some expectant mothers have actually changed their mind on hearing “Silent night, holy night.”
  • Oh-oh —

    Just when we thought we had a resting place for those used greeting cards, St. Pascal Seniors have announced they are “no longer accepting used Christmas cards.” They will still accept cancelled stamps, however, for the Sisters in Joliet. Remember, our Latin-linguist friend, Patrick J. Keleher, wrote a Latin “absolution” in 2005 for guiltless tossing of old cards: “ Misereatur tui epistulaarum sumptuosarum Hallmarcarum aliarumque abiciendarum, perducat te ad vitam aeternam. Amen. ” The ending is, “Having been forgiven, may he bring you to life everlasting. Amen.”
  • A bit o' cheer —

    For the first time in the history of all-Ireland, the country now has three cardinals. Archbishop Sean Brady of Armagh (Northern Ireland) was one of 23 cardinals recently named by Pope Benedict . He was educated at St. Patrick’s College , Maynooth, and the Irish College , Rome, where he was ordained in 1964.
  • Idea exchange —

    Teens are preparing for the sacrament of confirmation at Our Lady of Hope Parish (Rosemont). Apart from class time, they also meet one Sunday a month for a year to confront faith in action. They’ve visited Amate House , gone to Mass at Maryville and helped with the area CROP Walk . In December, they heard “witness talks” by different individuals. They included a Habitat for Humanity coordinator, a missionary from Africa, a Benedictine University student who was honored at the White House , a USA Special Olympics coach and a paraplegic whose life completely changed a few years ago after an accident.
  • Only the best —

    When Italian film and opera director Franco Zeffirelli , 84, wants to give you some tips, do you turn him down? That’s the dilemma for Pope Benedict’s close aides. Does the pope need an image consultant, who’s a devout Christian, to tweak his robes (“too sumptuous ...”) or his manner (“does not smile much ...”)? The director of “ Tea with Mussolini ” and “ Callas Forever, ” among other films, wants to be of service.
  • People news —

    OnTrack Singles , a Catholic singles group for a good number of years, with its base at St. Mary, Star of the Sea’s Duggan Hall (S. Kilbourn), has decided to disband at the end of 2007. For their countdown of events, call Steve Doyle at (708) 268- 9482 after 6 p.m. . . . D’ja know, the Little Sisters of the Poor St. Joseph’s Home (Palatine), has had the retired Bishop of Little Rock, Ark., Bishop Andrew McDonald , as its chaplain since he stepped down from the episcopate in 2000? Known endearingly as “the man from Savannah,” and the 11th of 12 children, he’s famous for his jokes and contagious laughter, as well as for being a gifted writer and historian.
  • Clean-funny —

    Catholic comedy legend Tim Conway , 74, best known for his 11 seasons on the Carol Burnett Show , is still working. He’s produced two new DVDs: “ Thou Shalt Laugh ” and “ Thou Shalt Laugh2 .” They feature Conway as emcee for five Christian comics, including Patricia Heaton and “dumb blonde” Victoria Jackson , from SNL . Each DVD is $19.99 at www.thou, or discounted at Maybe a gift for Valentine’s Day : comedy the whole family can enjoy. There’s also a DVD of Conway and Harvey Korman called “ Together Again ,” with the pair doing new comedy sketches.
  • Mom's a pro, too — has a story from the Gainesville Sun about University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow . (He’s the first sophomore in the NCAA to win the Heisman Trophy as best football player in the U.S.) While it may sound like a Bill Stern Sports Newsreel ” story, apparently doctors tried to convince Tebow’s mother to abort him. Tebow’s parents were Christian missionaries in the Philippines back in 1985. Pam Tebow contracted a parasite that called for medication that could injure her unborn baby. She refused an abortion, as a Christian, in the hope her son would be born without the disabilities physicians predicted. She gave birth to a healthy little boy in August 1987.
  • Parish potpourri —

    The pilgrim virgin statue of Our Lady of Fatima will be at the home of Toni Caruso , 2831 W. Estes, now through Jan. 6, in St. Margaret Mary Parish (W. Chase). Rosary will be prayed at 2:30 p.m. daily, except Dec. 25. . . . Holy Rosary Parish (E. 113th) held Steppers dance lessons on Sundays for a few weeks before their Christmas Steppers dance Dec. 22. (It’s called Chicago Style Stepping , here, and in other parts of the country it’s Jazz dance, the Cakewalk, Jitterbug or the Swing.). . . . St. Sabina Parish (W. 78th Place) gave out 600 turkeys Dec. 15. In December they provided food and toys for over 3,500 people. . . . Music minister Alan Bukowiecki at St. John Fisher Parish (S. Fairfield) is musical director for the show “ Altar Boyz ” currently playing at the Drury Lane Water Tower . It satirizes boy bands. . . . They say it lessened the inconvenience of worshipping in the gym while renovations were going on in St. Linus Church (Oak Lawn), to witness Msgr. John Cardiff , pastor emeritus, ride in on his scooter, clad in his vestments ready to celebrate Mass.