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Church Clips by Dolores Madlener

Dolores Madlenera column of benevolent gossip

  • School days —

    St. Robert Bellarmine School (N. Austin) set up a “ We Love Our Kids Day ” May 20, with students inviting one or more grown-up guests as a treat. . . . When Queen of Martyrs School (Evergreen Park) had a similar “ Special Person Day ” recently, first-grader Frances Balto invited a nun from a neighboring Mercy Retirement Residence. When asked why she invited Sister Evelyn Marie Paznek , a 60th anniversary jubilarian in her Mercy habit and veil, Frances explained, “Because she’s the only nun I know.” And she was the first nun many of the students had ever met. ... Joyce Carani will retire after 25 years at St. Mary School (Buffalo Grove). She spent 23 of those years teaching fourth grade. . . . They’ll soon celebrate “ Mr. Schmitt Day ” at St. Mary’s (Buffalo Grove). When Frank Schmitt retires June 1, he will have taught “generations” in his 42 years at the school, in studies from math to German. He had an influence as a coach as well. . . . Dominican Sister Nancy Murray returned to her alma mater, Regina Dominican High School (Wilmette), recently in her one-woman show “ Catherine of Siena .” The Chicago Trib just featured her as well .
  • Idea exchange —

    Oro et Creo ” has nothing to do with cookies and crayolas — well, somewhat maybe — it means “ Pray and Create .” Its a group for artists who belong to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish (West Belmont). They may be seasoned artists, lapsed ones or neophytes who just have a yen to try self-expressing in a sketchbook. It’s by artists for artists who want to be closer to God and inspire each other. Nice idea, huh?
  • Parish Potpourri —

    St. George Parish (Tinley Park) celebrated the 15th anniversary of its Holy Family Perpetual Adoration Chapel . Parishioners actually fashioned it from a part of the rectory garage. . . . Couples wanting to get acquainted in St. Alphonsus Parish (W. Wellington) have an opportunity at “ Dinner with 12 Strangers .” The monthly potluck style gatherings are hosted in a parishioner’s home and each attending couple brings a side dish to share. . . . St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish (Oak Lawn) has teens lined up to help parishioners with yard cleanup and mulching. The free-will donations will help fund this year’s mission trip for the kids.
  • Nuns are ‘prophetable’ —

    Maripat Donovan had an idea in 1993 and asked her friend Vicki Quade to develop what turned into a blockbuster: “ Late Nite Catechism .” They became talented partners in a theater production company, using their Catholic education profitably. Quade’s first of three comedic/nostalgia works, “Catechism,” has netted more than $2 million for various orders of retired sisters over the years and is a national/ international hit. Its 17th year anniversary performance at 8 p.m. May 30 at the Royal George will feature six of the “nuns” who have made the role their own over time. Like real nuns, each will demonstrate her own unique personality — habit or not. (Box office: (312) 988-9000)
  • ‘Guest’ Quest —

    The search for a copy of the words and music to yesteryear’s First Holy Communion hymn, “ Little White Guest,” brought some touching responses — one reader in Park Ridge sent the lyrics and a note saying she still recites this “very beautiful prayer” daily after receiving the Eucharist. Another reader remembered part of the hymn, but recalled vividly singing it “on First Communion Day at Holy Cross Church , at 64th and Maryland in 1937.” Another recalled it from her First Communion Day, “May 17, 1943” at St. Clare of Montefalco Church (W. 55th St.). Others sent self-addressed stamped envelopes for the lyrics. Mary Fuerst’s request in Clips (April 12-25) touched “a chord.”
  • People potpourri —

    Maryville Academy (Des Plaines) named retiring Des Plaines mayor “ Tony Arredia its director of government relations. He’s served as football and baseball coach for St. Viator High School (Arlington Heights) and grew up in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood. . . . Richard Driehaus , alum of St. Margaret of Scotland School (S. Throop), St. Ignatius and De Paul University, hosted his eighth-annual Driehaus Awards for Fashion Excellence this month showing off designs created at several area art schools including Dominican University (River Forest).