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News Digest

Issue of May 10 – May 23, 2009The 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

Holy Name to reopen Aug. 1

Holy Name Cathedral will reopen Aug. 1 "barring any unforeseen difficulties with reconstruction," according to Father Dan Mayall, pastor of the cathedral parish.

The cathedral sanctuary has been closed since a Feb. 4 fire, of still undetermined origin, seriously damaged the roof and the attic. The 134- year-old cathedral suffered severe water damage to the pews, the plaster decorations and the pillars.

Holy Name Cathedral parish continues to offer Masses and other services in the Parish Center Auditorium and other locations on the campus. During the closing, weddings have been moved mostly to the nearby St. James Chapel located in the Archbishop Quigley Center. For additional information about Holy Name Cathedral, schedules and the restoration fund, please visit

McGuire receives award

Dominican Sister Joan Monica McGuire, director of the archdiocesan Office for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, received the James E. Fitzgerald Award from the Catholic Association of Diocesan Ecumenical and Interreligious Officers April 29. The award is given for "outstanding contribution and service in the work of Christian unity and interreligious understanding and cooperation."

McGuire was appointed director of the archdiocese's Office of Ecumenism in 1987. The announcement took place in Phoenix at a special luncheon during the National Workshop on Christian Unity, which gathers hundreds of church officials and religious leaders each year. The award acknowledges lifetime achievement in the promotion of Christian unity and interreligious understanding.

News Digest

Pope asks for prayers for Holy Land trip

Preparing to visit the Holy Land, Pope Benedict XVI asked for prayers for his trip, for peace in the region and for the suffering Palestinian people.

Reciting the "Regina Coeli" prayer May 3 with thousands of visitors in St. Peter's Square, the pope said he would make the May 8-15 trip to Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories as a "pilgrim of peace, in the name of the one God who is father of all."

Benedict prays for those hit by swine flu

Pope Benedict XVI encouraged the people of Mexico to keep their faith in God, who will help them as they face a deadly flu outbreak.

After praying the "Regina Coeli" with pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square May 3, the pope expressed his spiritual closeness to all those hit by the swine flu, which is spread by human contact.

Catholic bishops urge participation in 2010 census

Through the Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is partnering with the U.S. Census Bureau to encourage participation in the Census 2010, in order to reach hard-to-count communities.

"By reaching out to more than 25,000 parishes and missions, we hope to trumpet the importance of being counted as well as channel interested persons toward employment as census takers," said Beverly Carroll, assistant director for African American Affairs of the Secretariat.

ND won't give medal after Glendon rejects the honor

The University of Notre Dame announced April 30 it will not award its prestigious Laetare Medal during the May 17 commencement ceremony after Mary Ann Glendon, former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, turned down the honor.

Glendon cited growing controversy over President Barack Obama's presence at this year's event as the reason for her rejection of the award.

On life issue, Cardinal George says Obama on 'wrong side of history'

President Barack Obama is a "very gracious and obviously a very smart man" but he is on the "wrong side of history" when it comes to his fervent support of abortion rights, Cardinal George told the 2009 Louisiana Priests Convention April 21. Cardinal George, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, told 200 priests from the seven dioceses of Louisiana that, while he wants Obama to succeed in his efforts to right the economy, enhance world peace and help the poor, the president needs to understand that the Catholic Church will not allow the life issue to be abandoned.