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Church Clips by Dolores Madlener

Dolores Madlenera column of benevolent gossip

  • Chicago Connection —

    EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network) did wall to wall coverage of every public papal event during the Holy Father’s visit. Mother Angelica’s ministry is part of the miracle of Pope Benedict’s visit to the USA. She made it possible for so many of us to “be there” with him, every step of the way, by watching on EWTN. How fitting the day of the pope’s Mass at Yankee Stadium was Mother Angelica’s 85th birthday. Leave it to a little “cloistered” nun to get a multi-million-dollar communications enterprise off the ground. And what was her media inspiration? Her visit to the arch’s fledgling but state-of-the-art TV studios back around 1980. She told herself, “I’ve got to get me one of these,” and in 1981 she launched EWTN.
  • ‘Christ Our Hope’ pilgrimage —

    The “ Vatican National Anthem ” played by the Marine Band on the White House lawn for the pope, and at other sites, was composed by Charles Gounod of “ Ave Maria ” fame. It’s really apontifical march (like “ Hail to the Chief ” rather than a “ Star Spangled Banner ”). If the melody sounded familiar, years ago it was a popular church recessional hymn in the USA. It’s lyrics went: “Praise ye the Father, Let every heart give thanks to Him! / Praise ye the Father, Who is ever kind and merciful. / Praise ye the Father, Who gives us all our benefits, / O King of glory, all the earth proclaims Thy majesty,” etc. Anyone remember it? . . . Among the 58,000 worshippers in Yankee Stadium were about 400 pilgrims from the arch , with “pews” overlooking third base. Their giant banner:” Chicago Catholics Love Pope Benedict XVI ” was the handiwork of Sandy Klaud of Our Lady of the Ridge Parish (Chicago Ridge) and Mary Rita McKenna , teacher at St. Gabriel’s School (W. 45th St.). Klaud, who works for New World Publications. brought 80 St. Benedict medals with her and McKenna carried 200 rosaries to be blessed in the stadium and brought home to friends. Security let them through. In the words of Pope Benedict, they will remember their encounter with the vicar of Christ, “Forever und ever.”
  • Pro-Life T-shirt Day —

    The nation’s 6th annual National Pro-Life T-Shirt Day is April 29. The brainchild of the American Life League , its purpose is to get people to think of the child as a person from the moment of fertilization, rather than “a lump of tissues.” Heritage House is an online catalogue of pro-life items, including T-shirts. My favorite, printed like an eye-test chart says: “If you can read this, you were not aborted. 1/4 of our generation weren’t so lucky. Choose Life.” They are found at or (800) 858-3040.
  • Parish potpourri —

    St. Patrick Parish (Wadsworth) said a farewell to their youth minister of 20 years, Mary Ann Brinkmann , who has decided to retire. . . . St. Matthew (Schaumburg) parishioners baked batches of oatmeal, peanut butter, chocolate chip and sugar cookies (with love and prayers), as an expression of Christian charity for residents in Stateville Prison in Joliet. The cookies were dropped off in zip-lock bags to the church the weekend of April 19-20 as part of the parish’s Kairos Prison Ministry project and were delivered to their destination by other volunteers. . . . Father Ed McLaughlin returned to St. Michael Church (Orland Park) where he spent 21 years of his adult life, to be a guest presider for a Sunday evening liturgy series April 13. . . . Redemptorist priests and School Sisters of Notre Dame joined old friends at a welcome home Mass April 27 at St. Alphonsus Church (W. Wellington) as part of its 125th jubilee celebrations. . . . St. Bede Parish (Ingleside) had Cardinal George out to bless and dedicate its new Faith Formation Center April 6. . . . St. Ann Parish (S. Leavitt) will have its very first grade and high school reunions in 100 years on May 9, with special honors going to the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth . (See Page 33)
  • ‘To be or not’ —

    If you have a one-page play inside you, here’s a chance to get it out. There’s a contest, and Irish American Heritage Center’s panel of judges will select the best entries. Final presentation will be at Irish Fest , July 11-13. It must be original, for a general audience, Irish themes preferred, comic or dramatic. Entry should be on one sheet of 8.5 x 11, with font size no smaller than 9 pt. Include a brief bio and your contact info. Submit it as a Word document to by May 31. Call (773) 282-7035 for more info.