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News Digest

Issue of December 23– January 5, 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

Crowning Jesus

Cardinal George will crown a statue of the Infant Jesus during a Latin Mass, at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 29, at the Shrine of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, 6401 S. Woodlawn Ave. The antique wooden sculpture from southern Spain will be the central piece above the future high altar of the historic landmark church that is undergoing restoration. The event will also mark the beginning of regular Sunday Masses at the once-shuttered church. Priests of the Institute of Christ the King will celebrate the traditional form of the Latin Rite Mass. Designed by architect Henry Schlacks in the 1920s, the edifice has been known as “St. Clara Carmelite Church” and later as St. Gelasius Church.

Christians unite

Christians around the world celebrate the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity from Jan. 18-25. Chicago Catholics are invited to attend the 8th Annual Chicagoland Ecumenical Prayer Service and to bring a delegation from their church, school and neighborhood. The service will be held Jan. 20 at 4 p.m. at Christ Community Church (Church of God in Christ), 1151 E. 170th St., South Holland.

News Digest

Threaten family, threaten peace, pope says in annual message

Anything that threatens the traditional family threatens peace, because the family “is the first and indispensable teacher of peace,” Pope Benedict XVI said.

In his annual message for the Jan. 1 celebration of the World Day of Peace, the pope also said the responsibilities learned and the joys and struggles shared within individual families must be mirrored on a global level because everyone is part of one human family.

Wanted: Spiritual moms for our priests

With a letter to the world’s bishops and a 40-page illustrated brochure, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy is encouraging eucharistic adoration for the holiness of priests and is recruiting “spiritual mothers” to pray for priests and for vocations to the priesthood.

Flossmoor parish’s finances under scrutiny

Father William E. Killeen has stepped aside as pastor of Infant Jesus of Prague Parish in Flossmoor while the archdiocese conducts an audit of the parish’s finances and the Cook County State’s Attorney investigates whether money is missing.

Cardinal George wrote a letter to the parish, which was read at Masses Dec. 15-16, expressing gratitude to Killeen for stepping aside voluntarily to allow the audit to be as transparent as possible.

Report looks at church response to abuse

Although the church has taken positive steps in its response to the clergy abuse crisis, more needs to be done, according to a five-year report on the crisis released Dec. 13 by the National Review Board, the lay group that oversees the U.S. Catholic bishops’ compliance with child protection policies.

The report, addressed to U.S. Catholics on the fifth anniversary of the board’s establishment, called the church’s response to the abuse crisis “impressive” but also noted that its “work is only beginning.”

Drury Lane owners continue efforts to give back to community and to religious women

When more than 1,000 Catholic sisters make their way to Drury Lane Oakbrook Terrace Dec. 27 for an evening of dinner and theater, they will have a new host to thank: Kyle De Santis.

The 29-year-old assumed leadership of the Drury Lane complex in Oakbrook Terrace and the Drury Lane Water Tower theater in August, after the deaths of his grandfather, the legendary Tony De Santis, in June, and his aunt, Diane Van Lente, in August.

Letter from Sr. Stephanie

Resurrection Sister Stephanie Blaszcyzynski, former president of Resurrection High School, left Chicago nearly a year ago to begin a new challenge, the opening of a boarding school for girls in the village of Buturu, Tanzania.

Two Resurrection priests in the Mosoma Diocese of Tanzania invited Sister Stephanie’s congregation to open a school there.

‘Sacred Concerts’ give musical glory to God

On a brisk, winter Chicago night with the lights along Michigan Avenue twinkling nearby and shoppers making their way through aisles and aisles of potential presents in downtown stores, jazz fans gathered inside Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph Dr., to listen to the Chicago Jazz Ensemble perform “The Music of Duke Ellington: Featuring Ellington’s Sacred Concerts.” They came on Dec. 14 to hear God praised through the talent of a jazz legend who used his gift of music in a sacred way.

Ellington’s “Sacred Concerts” are three performances of a mix of jazz, blues, gospel, choral, spiritual music and dance with Scripture passages woven in and out.

Blessed Celine lives on

In her final days, no longer able to speak, she wrote, “In God there is happiness forever.” She was a mother, a religious, a widow and a foundress. Today, she is blessed — the Blessed Celine Borzecka, who began the Congregation of the Sisters of the Resurrection.

Borzecka (1833-1913) was beatified on Oct. 27 in Rome’s St. John Lateran Basilica, bringing her legacy to the fore for those who live by her example.

World ‘sorely needs’ Benedict’s message

Gift of hope is one of the best a Christian will ever receive, chaplain says

First he wrote about love. Now, Pope Benedict XVI writes about hope.

In the second major teaching document of his pontificate, the pope reflects upon the stunning love God has to offer through hope and faith. In order to better understand our professor-pope’s writings, the Catholic New World asked Father Timothy Fiala, a chaplain at the Pope John Paul II Center at the UNiversity of Illinois at Chicago, to break down the message.