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Church Clips by Dolores Madlener

Dolores Madlenera column of benevolent gossip

  • St. Paul’s on the road again —

    A 14-foot tall statue of St. Paul stood for years outside the Daughters of St. Paul convent, a few blocks from the ferry boat terminal on Staten Island, N.Y. But on Jan. 25, the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul , the 2,000-pound bronze work of art journeyed through the streets of the Island with a NYC Police Dept. escort to the provincial house and publishing hub of the Society of St. Paul . Thanks to support from the Ancient Order of Hibernians , Knights of Columbus , Catholic War Vets and local businesses, the unique statue (there’s just one other like it in the world) is in a more visible location on Victory Boulevard.
  • Up, up and away —

    Four students from St. Robert Bellarmine School (N. Austin) will appear on TV’s “ This Old House ,” on PBS . They’re part of a “family friendly” episode of “ Ask This Old House ” that airs Feb. 14 (then repeats three times on Sunday and three times on Wednesday). Host Kevin O’Connor shows the kids how to make a rocket launcher from a plastic water bottle. It was filmed last October, and the four kids (in kindergarten, seventh, fifth and second grades) are all from one family. Look out NASA , here they come.
  • Lent online —

    You can participate in the Lenten e-mail retreat provided by Kolbe House , the arch’s jail ministry. Each Monday, starting March 2, you’ll get a short reflection written by one of the chaplains, suggested Scripture passages to read, actions to do and a short prayer to pray daily. Theme is forgiveness/ reconciliation. Just send an e-mail to kolberetreat@ Your address won’t be shared. Check out their Web site at . . . Loyola Press is offering a free women’s online Lenten retreat based on Vinita Hampton Wright’s latest book, “ Days of Deepening Friendship .” Sign up by visiting
  • Milestones —

    Eileen Frehe Gull , mom of Tom Gull , national sales consultant at J.S. Paluch Co. , will turn 90 on March 9. It’s a birthday she shares with her daughter, Peg , and grandson, Chris . They’ll celebrate as a family at Ascension Church (Oak Park) at the 11 a.m. Mass March 8. Mrs. Gull was baptized as an infant at Our Lady of the Angels (N. Hamlin), graduated in 1937 from Providence High and walked down the aisle of St. Angela’s (N. Massasoit) as a bride. Let’s hear it for birthday cake and longevity! . . . There may be something in the holy water at St. Mary’s Home (N. Lakewood), staffed by the Little Sisters of the Poor . They will soon have seven centenarians under their roof. Residents Georgette Steiner and Mary O’Farrell will be celebrating 100th birthdays shortly. They’ll join “senior” resident Charlotte Watkins who turned 100 on President Obama’s inauguration day. Watkins, an African-American, is the oldest member of the Third Order of St. Francis .
  • Turning green —

    Chicago’s own Kathleen Keane, musician, singer, composer, stepdancer, actress (you saw her in “ Road to Perdition ” and “ Cinderella Man ,”) will perform with Joe Cullen’s band at the Irish American Heritage Center (N. Knox) at 9 p.m. March 7. Check out their St. Paddy’s events at (773) 282-7035. For Chicago’s Gaelic Park programs, go to www.chicagogaelic or call (708) 687-9323.
  • Pray the ‘Way’ —

    Award-winning actor Liam Neeson is the narrator of a Lenten CD called “ Praying the Way of the Cross,” produced for the Redemptorists of Denver. Neeson reads the intro and prayers for each of the 14 Stations written by St. Alphonsus Liguori , founder of the order. Neeson was moved by the missionary work in the Amazon and Nigeria being done by the Redemptorists. Proceeds from the CD will support their work. It is $16.95+S&H from Little Lamb Music , at (800) 231-1207 or at
  • Parish potpourri —

    Edwina Skolmoski is part of the busy team that cleans St. Thecla’s Church (W. Devon) on Monday mornings. She’s the go-to-person because Edwina has been volunteering on Mondays for 20 years. . . . Bishop William P. Callahan , OFM, Conv ., auxiliary bishop of Milwaukee visited Queen of Martyrs Parish (Evergreen Park) Feb. 7. His niece is Melissa Weydeman-Wagner , president of their A&R . . . . Father Tom Rzepiela , pastor of St. Thomas of Villanova (Palatine) will receive the Msgr. Hillenbrand Award from members of the Christian Family Movement (CFM) Feb. 21, for his work and support on their behalf through the years.
  • Witness for defense —

    Father Mike Pfleger , pastor of St. Sabina’s (W. 78th Place), will defend Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ ,” as a reverent look at Christ’s final hours, in a debate with Columbia College film and video faculty member Dan Rybicky during Cinema Slapdown , 7 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. March 13, at Film Row Cinema (S. Wabash).