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Church Clips by Dolores Madlener

Dolores Madlenera column of benevolent gossip

  • Flu ‘Booo’ —

    There are heavily-trafficked sacred shrines in many European churches. They now display warning signs reminiscent of a mini-plague: “Don’t kiss the statue and don’t touch the holy water.” (Then why have the holy water in the font, right?) Speaking of festivals: They had a different kind of festival in Sydney, Australia, last weekend. Called a “Festival of Dangerous Ideas,it was held in the Sydney Opera House. The main attraction was a debate between atheist Christopher Hitchens and Cardinal George Pell of Sydney. Each man spoke on different days (so the roof wouldn’t cave in). Brilliant Pell, with quotes from Aristotle and Einstein, dubbed God “a first-rate mathematician,” and also got the best reviews. Spotlighting more than 50 speakers and performers, the “thinking person’s” weekend festival was designed to have “moments of outrage, as well as stimulate, provoke and engage people in wider discussion.”
  • Parish potpourri —

    Old St. Mary’s (S. Michigan) is looking for Legos for their after-school program. All sizes and shapes needed. Contact Julie at (312) 363-8897. . . . St. George Parish (Tinley Park) hosted a talk last month by Kathy Kelly, poverty and peace activist, with Voices of the Wilderness and Voices for Nonviolence. . . . St. John Brebeuf Parish (Niles) will be entertained Oct. 12 by Richard Crowe, professional ghost hunter and spooky tour guide. . . . St. Gertrude (W. Granville) Knitting Ministry recently made afghans for Afghani children of war. . . . North Side families enjoying Queen of Angels (W. Sunnyside) 100th anniversary did fun stuff like karaoke contests, a chili cook-off and an oldfashioned apple pie-baking contest. . . . “Speed dating” is now an annual event at St. Alphonsus Parish (N. Wellington). Their young adults meet a slew of singles for two to three minutes, have refreshments and make new friends.
  • Rough riders —

    Pope Benedict greeted some 200 pilgrims of all ages on the feast of St. Francis, Oct. 4. The travellers started out from Assisi Aug. 10 on donkey carts and mules, headed for the papal summer palace 140 miles away. Each cart had a different religious or cultural theme. The pilgrims, from various European countries, were dressed in costumes like ancient muleteers. Why? To remember and emphasize the “Road of St. Francis” the route the saint traveled in 1208 from Assisi, to ask Pope Innocent III for permission to start his order .
  • Recalling a pro-life warrior:

    St. Linus Parish Pro Life Group (Oak Lawn), the first one in the arch, was founded in the early 1970s by then pastor Msgr. John Cardiff. A faithful member of Priests for Life, he counseled pregnant women and couples traumatized by abortion, led prayer sessions outside abortion clinics through the years, even when he was using a walker. Pictured above with Msgr. Cardiff are founding members (left to right) Virginia Lyle, Sheila Bettinardi, (Vicariate V pro-life coordinator who presented the plaque), Dolly McDonald, Mary Aducci, Mary Roache, Helen Witous and Nancy Czerwiec. Msgr. Cardiff died Oct. 3 at St. Linus Rectory.