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Church Clips by Dolores Madlener

Dolores Madlenera column of benevolent gossip

  • Grace-full evening —

    It was a respect life gala with 600 guests at Drury Lane, Oak Brook Terrace Nov. 15. The Chastity Education Initiative dinner featured opening remarks by Cardinal George. Keynote speaker
    Cardinal Francis ArinzeCardinal Francis Arinze
    Cardinal Francis Arinze, retired Nigerian archbishop and Vatican official, was introduced by Respect Life director Mary-Louise Kurey.
    Mary-Louise KureyMary-Louise Kurey
    While stating the unfortunate consequences of promiscuity, from broken relationships to disease, the archbishop reminded young people, “No one ever died of chastity.” He admitted the “use of the gift of freedom is a challenge.” In the end, he thanked his audience for its “positive initiative to help teens, college students and young adults.” The Chastity Education Initiative is the largest program of its kind in Illinois. The Advocacy for Life Award was presented to Msgr. Robert Dempsey of St. Philip the Apostle Parish (Northfield).
  • Rites revisited —

    St. Odilo Church (Berwyn) will have traditional carols and chant sung by its schola at 10:30 p.m. Dec. 24. The priest will then celebrate the 11 p.m. Christmas Eve English Mass facing the cross in the same direction as the congregation. Pope Benedict is said to be encouraging this view from the pew, called “ad orientem,” historically translated, “toward the East.” Stay tuned.
  • Parish potpourri —

    Ebullient funny man and writer Mike Houlihan joins the Dooley Brothers for a variety show of songs ‘n’ stories 8 p.m. Dec. 19 at the Irish American Heritage Center (N. Knox) for a “Houli-Dooley Christmas.” Coincidentally they all drop their weekly envelopes in the basket at St. Luke’s (River Forest). Later the same night Channel 11 will air Houlihan’s film “Tapioca” with Ben Vereen and Second City’s Tim Kazurinsky, “a comic tale of redemption.” . . . Here come the Boy Scouts of St. Ann Parish (Lansing). Young Mark Kristl’s Eagle Scout project was a handsome terrace landscape upgrade. Many hands completed the first phase last fall. . . . Kids in St. John Brebeuf School (Niles) have put finishing touches on their artwork for the Illinois Knights of Columbus poster contest to “Keep Christ in Christmas.” . . . Parishioners were invited to an open house displaying the recently rehabbed first and second floors of St. Dorothy’s former convent (E. 78th St.). Sections will be rented by Genesis Housing Development Corp., and the rest used for parish meetings and tech classes for teens. . . . St. Barnabas (S. Longwood) will display 30 charming treasured crčches Dec. 12-13 in their Holy Spirit Chapel.
  • Keeping Christmas real —

    The First Noel,” a new story book in child-friendly language,
    The First Noel Cover“The First Noel,” telling it like it was before Rudolph
    sticks closely to the ancient Bible account. It flows from Gabriel’s message to the Magi to ugly King Herod and the Holy Family’s escape into Egypt, their return to Nazareth, and Joseph the carp enter carving a toy for Jesus. All the artwork is precious too, especially a drawing of Mary and Joseph’s Jewish wedding reception. (They made such a happy couple.) From Pauline Books & Media, (312) 346-4228.
  • Sheen shines —

    To mark the 30th anniversary of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen’s death, there will be a worldwide celebration of Masses Dec. 9 to spur his cause for canonization. Laity sparked the idea to ask priests to offer their Masses across the globe. Even Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Vienna is on board. The vicar general of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services has also agreed to ask military chaplains around the world to join with him. The retired publicist of TV comedian Milton Berle has lined up about 25 priests to celebrate a memorial Mass. Like so many, she became a Catholic because of Archbishop Sheen.
  • Congratulations —

    St. Rita High School Mustangs are 2009’s City Prep Bowl champs.