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Church Clips by Dolores Madlener

Dolores Madlenera column of benevolent gossip

  • Pounding the pavement —

    St. Cyprian (River Grove) is a parish of walkers — for charity. Some 200 walkers (80 were St. Cyprian School kids) raised more than $24,000 in last month’s charity walk-a-thon. They have a great motivator, pastor Father Gene Gratkowski , who always “leads the pack.” Now in its third year, this time part of the money raised goes towards painting the parish pavilion.
  • Esteemed Sisters —

    Mercy Sister Cathleen Cahill , administrative director of pastoral ministry at St. Xavier University , received the Lay Ministry Mentor Award on May 31, presented annually to a person who has furthered lay ministry in the arch . . . . Sister Francine Lagocki, CSSF , principal of St. Richard School (S. Kenneth), will retire after 58 years of service to Catholic education, the past 12 as their popular principal. . . . Sister Mary Finnegan , a Sister of Mercy for 48 years, was honored last month on her 25th anniversary as principal of St. Angela School (N. Massasoit). Even though the parish church closed five years ago, the school and Sister Finnegan, with the help of Big Shoulders , is soldiering on. The Chicago City Council surprised Sister by designating North Massasoit Avenue from West Division to West North Avenue in the Austin area, as “ Sr. Mary Finnegan Avenue .”
  • Honor first, coffee second —

    The Web site for Soldiers Angels had information recently on a 12-year patriotic outreach by Green Beans Coffee and its unique dedication to the men and women in the U.S. military. In more than 60 cafes from Afghanistan to Qatar and bases stateside, all branches of the military who sign up and drop in are treated to free quality coffee, tea, music and relaxation through donations from grateful Americans. It’s called “ Cup o’ Joe for a Joe ” (and Jane ). Contribute as little as two bucks, or buy a reloadable coffee card in denominations starting at $20. You can also send a note to a recipient who’s serving our country. I’ve gotten a couple of e-mail “thank you’s” from soldiers. Just go to A portion of the profits also goes to charities like Soldiers Angels.
  • Want to be needed? —

    Marillac House and Notre Dame Mission Volunteers in Chicago have started a mentoring program for children of incarcerated parents. The kids need mentors and extra attention, aka love. Can you offer an hour a week, for a year? Apply, attend a training session, gain a new young friend and change your world. You’ll be screened before being matched with someone and have assistance to answer your questions when you need it. If you’re curious, call Kristin Miodonski at (773) 732-1449, or visit
  • Keeping vigil —

    When the Ambassadors of Mary hold their all-night vigil at Catholic Charities chapel (N. LaSalle) June 19, the 8:30 p.m. rosary will be led by Capt. Jeff Heinz of the Chicago Fire Department , and of Immaculate Conception Parish (N. Talcott). Heinz, who just earned his masters of theology degree from the University of Notre Dame, will also give a witness.
  • Play ball —

    St. Barnabas (S. Longwood) families will be buying some “peanuts and Cracker Jack” June 11 when they head to U.S. Cellular Field for the White Sox/Tigers game. . . . St. Celestine Parish (Elmwood Park) has its own “ Cross Town Classic ” fundraiser. Fans of our two city teams have been tossing change in strategically placed empty water jugs bearing team logos. The rivalry will help parish teens traveling to the National Catholic Youth Conference in Kansas City in November. The loot will be counted as everyone is together watching the “real” Cross Town Classic June 28 on jumbo screens in the gym eating stadium food, wearing team gear.
  • ‘Guest’ —

    for a copy of the words to “ Little White Guest ,” include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.