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The Catholic New World
News Digest: Week in Summary
Issue of April 1, 2007

The following items are condensed. For the complete article, please read the print edition of The Catholic New World. To subscribe, call (312) 655-7777.

NewsUpdate

Local Golden Apple winners
Father Joseph Ekpo, a teacher at Fenwick High School in Oak Park, was one of 10 high school teachers in the Chicago-area to receive the 2007 Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching. The winners were announced March 15. Ekpo is originally from Nigeria, and he teaches history, ethics and moral theology at Fenwick.

Each of the 10 Golden Apple Award winners will receive a tuition-free fall-term sabbatical at Northwestern University; a personal computer from Apple; $3,000; and membership in the Golden Apple Academy.

In addition, John Naisbitt, a graduate of Saint Xavier University, also received the Golden Apple Award. Naisbitt teaches history at Hinsdale Central High School.

In addition to the winners, Golden Apple for the first time is recognizing teachers of distinction. These teachers will be recognized for their teaching contributions and will participate in the Golden Apple programs. Robert Rodey, a history teacher at Marian Catholic High School in Chicago Heights, was recognized as a 2007 Golden Apple Teacher of Distinction.

Lubich's works focus of panel
The Bernardin Center for Theology and Ministry and the Focolare Movement will co-host a panel discussion on "Spirituality for the 21st Century: Reflections on Essential Writings of Chiara Lubich," from 10 a.m.-noon April 14 at Catholic Theological Union assembly hall, 5416 S. Cornell Ave.

The event's panel includes, Father Thomas Baima, University of St. Mary of the Lake; Scott Alexander, director, Catholic-Muslim Studies at CTU; Sister Jamie Phelps, professor of systematic theology, Xavier University, New Orleans, La.; Imam Ronald Shaheed, Sultan Mohammed Mosque, Milwaukee, Wis.; Ronald Ramer, associate professor of education, Aurora University; and Michel Vandeleene, editor of "Essential Writings," and professor of spiritual theology, Teresianum University, Rome.

Admission is free. For more information, call (773) 285-2746 or e-mail midwest.focolare@sbcglobal.net .

News

Leading by example
Vatican official shares Christ's love, material gifts
Like most archbishops today, Archbishop Paul Cordes' ministry includes teaching, preaching, administering the sacraments and lobbying.

But his hands-on experience takes place where people suffer most from war or natural disasters, and his lobbying often is with presidents and prime ministers of countries suffering massive death tolls and situations of serious injustice.

Pope: Hell is real, eternal
God's mercy and love are great, but those who reject him should know that hell "exists and is eternal," Pope Benedict XVI said.

The pope made the comments during a visit March 25 to a Rome parish that serves a predominantly immigrant population, including the city's Filipino community.

In a sermon, the pope focused on what has become a running theme of his pontificate: the importance of divine love.

Archaeology adds to our faith
Only faith can convince us of the religious truth of the Bible, but archaeology helps us understand the society and culture of ancient Israel, the world in which the Bible came to be, according to Franciscan Father Leslie Hoppe. Hoppe offered an afternoon of instruction and insight on the Bible and archaeology to 60 people at a Chicago Catholic Scripture School event March 24 at Sacred Heart Parish in Palos Hills.

Hoppe, a former professor of Old Testament at Catholic Theological Union who has participated in archaeological digs in Israel and written books and articles on biblical archaeology, described the development of biblical archaeology since its beginning in the nineteenth century.

Gandhi's grandson talks nonviolence
Arun Gandhi learned firsthand from his grandfather, Mohandas K. Gandhi, that nonviolence begins in the heart of each individual. Arun Gandhi explained his grandfather's philosophy of nonviolence at the March 20 opening lecture for the "Peacemaking in an Age of Terror" conference at Loyola University Chicago.

The conference ran from March 20-22 with lectures, panel discussions and film screenings focused around issues related to war, weaponry, international relations and peacemaking strategies.

Rabbi offers a 'Jewish view of Jesus' in annual lecture
The church should stop trying to erase all references to anti-Semitism from its teaching materials, a prominent rabbi told an interfaith audience at the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies.

Too many younger Catholic laypeople know little or nothing about this "shadowy" side of the Christianity's past, said Rabbi Michael Cook, who gave this year's Cardinal Jospeh Bernardin Jerusalem Lecture. He warned that unless the past is known and understood, relations between the two faiths may always be less than ideal.

Faith foundation aids young people
Father Robert E. McLaughlin was a well-known pastor in the Archdiocese of Chicago, serving for many years at Holy Name Cathedral. In his ministry, McLaughlin was especially dedicated to young people. When McLaughlin died in January 2005, a group of friends wanted to honor his work. They founded the Robert E. McLaughlin Faith Foundation to benefit the faith lives of young people.

> Front Page

Church Clips by Dolores Madlener
Dolores Madlener
a column of benevolent
gossip
 

Parish potpourri — St. Juliana Parish (N. Osceola) now has a street sign, “Father Phil Dressler Way,” honoring its pastor emeritus. . . . Graziano’s Restaurant on Touhy hosted a benefit night for St. Margaret Mary School (W. Chase) recently. They donated 25 percent of any meal purchased by SMM supporters. Was that the entire sixth-grade girls’ basketball team seen munching their veggies at Graz’s? . . . St. Viator Parish (W. Addison) had every reason to celebrate Josephine “Jo” Sullivan on her 100th birthday March 9. She has given 79 years of commitment to her parish! . . . St. Dorothy (S. Eberhardt) grad Courtnye Nicole Jackson went to Tuskegee University, got her doctorate in veterinary medicine at age 24, and recently completed her post doctorate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She’s the first black female to complete the program and Jackson’s also written a novel. . . . Transfiguration Parish (Wauconda) teen volunteers will act out “Shadow Stations of the Cross.” A different experience. . . . Fabulous flutist Anna Belle O’Shea in Queen of Martyrs Parish (Evergreen Park) spent five days last month at a Benedictine monastery in Erie, Pa., where two of her former teachers live. O’Shea chaperoned a group of students from her alma mater, St. Joseph College, Rensselaer, Ind. They volunteered in Erie’s inner-city ministries sponsored by the Benedictines. . . . Parishioners at St. Catherine- St. Lucy (Oak Park) have official laminated name tags to wear for weekend Mass. As a fellowship project of the parish Pastoral Council, the tags are a tool to jog the memory as well as help build community.

Values matter — If you’re a Catholic social worker and you’d like support and direction in your profession based on church teachings, you aren’t alone. There’s now a network. “Catholic Social Workers National Association” wants to support competent social workers “living out their baptismal call to be the hands and feet of Christ.” It’s new and based in Indianapolis. Check out its practical Web site at www.cswna.org to find out its scope and to register.

Junior clips — Passengers in a police patrol car usually have nothing to brag about, but this was a treat for students of Incarnation School (Palos Heights). Michael, Caroline, Abigail and Kevin Graham raised $190 for the missions and won a ride to school in the squad. Last year Incarnation led all grade schools in the arch in mission donations. . . . The game of marbles is not Jurassic. Fifth-graders at St. Albert the Great School (Burbank) just read a story called “Marble Champ” and afterwards went outdoors for a marble tournament. But wait, a girl, Michelle Budz, was crowned the Marble Champ!

Go figure — Consider these statistics from Poland’s most popular Catholic magazine: Most of the religious vocations in the world eminate from dioceses in Poland’s rural southeast. Ninety-nine per cent of these Catholics believe in God and the resurrection; 87 per cent believe in the real presence in the Eucharist and 89.5 percent are opposed to abortion. Over 95 percent are active in their parish and 44.6 percent contribute generously. In northern dioceses like Warsaw (still more “Catholic” than any other country in Europe!) 89.7 percent believe in God; 56.8 percent believe in the true presence; 11.6 percent consider themselves deeply religious and just 35 percent are opposed to abortion with 17 percent active in their parish. The Clips reader who sent the article concludes that where Catholics are taught Church doctrine, they are active in their faith, follow the church’s moral guidelines, help their parish financially and produce more religious vocations.

Hallmark — One aspect that makes Holy Family (Inverness) unique is it has its own successful gift shop. Probably the most striking feature of the church is its “Cross of New Life,” the world’s largest piece of acrylic art at its dedication in 1997. It depicts Jesus reaching out in compassion from a free form cross. After many requests, the gift shop now carries replicas. One 16 inches high on a lighted base is $199; a 33-inch replica is $5,000. For more info, call Jan at (847) 922-1290.

Sheer poetry — Edgar Allan Poe, who wrote many a morose and chilling verse, also penned a poem called “Hymn” to the Blessed Mother. Clips reader Mario Ditata sent it in: “At morn, at noon, at twilight dim, Maria! Thou hast heard my hymn! In joy and woe, in good and ill, Mother of God, be with me still. When the hours flew brightly by, and not a cloud obscured the sky, my soul, lest it should truant be, thy grace did guide to thine and thee. Now when the storms of fate o’ercast darkly my present and my past, Let my future radiant shine with sweet hopes, of thee and thine.” April is National Poetry Month.

Speaking of jubilees — The Sisters of Life novitiate in the Bronx, N.Y., just welcomed five new postulants. The community, founded by Cardinal John O’Connor, is consecrated for the “protection and enhancement of the sacredness of human life.” They wear simple religious garb with a white veil. The newest entrants range in age from 22 to 31 and hail from Arizona to Massachusetts. All university grads, one studied at Yale, another at the U.S. Naval Academy. The “favorite pastime” of these newcomers range from Irish dancing to hiking and volleyball. For more information, go to www.sistersoflife.org.

Bravo! — When the William Ferris Chorale marked its 35th anniversary some weeks ago, it was with “background music” of rave reviews for its two latest re-issue CDs. The Chicago Classical Recording Foundation praised the recordings, and the Web magazine “Audiophile Audition” called the late Bill Ferris’ musical performance of “Messe Solennelle,” “so good that it will take its rightful place among the great choral recordings”

Send your benevolent gossip to:
Church Clips
721 N. LaSalle St.,
Chicago, IL 60610
or via e-mail.

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Movies at a Glance
Capsule reviews of movies from the U.S. Catholic Conference's Office for Film and Broadcasting, judged according to artistic merit and moral suitability.