Francis Cardinal George: … a mistake is not a cover up.

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Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This January, as was announced a month ago in a press conference by a plaintiff’s lawyer, documents relating to the sexual misconduct of 30 priests of the archdiocese will be released as part of settlement agreements over the past years. All these incidents were reported over the years to the civil authorities and claims have been mediated civilly. Almost all of the incidents happened decades ago, perpetrated by priests whom neither I nor many younger clergy have ever met or talked to, because the priests were either dead or out of ministry before I came to Chicago as archbishop.

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Editor’s note: Shortly after things came to light, we had a chance to ask the Cardinal what happened in the Daniel McCormack affair.  It seems that Cardinal George was away at the Vatican when local  supervision of McCormack proved insufficient. Obviously, mistakes were made.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine in Des Plaines, Illinois is expecting up to 100,000 celebrants over the next two days

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CHICAGO, IL (December 6, 2013) – This overnight celebration honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas, will begin with an opening Mass on Wednesday, December 11, at 4 p.m., at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, 1100 North River Road in Des Plaines.  The Mass will be celebrated by Fr. Marco A. Mercado, Archbishop’s Delegate for Hispanic Ministry and Rector of the Shrine.  The lighting of the traditional “Antorcha Guadalupana” or “Guadalupe Torch” will take place at 10 p.m.

Throughout the two-day celebration, Masses will be offered every two hours in the Shrine’s outdoor grotto and in the gymnasium. The outdoor mass celebrated at the grotto will be shown live in a tented area outside the gymnasium.  Music and Folkloric dances in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe will also be held indoors throughout both days. . A large food tent, located in between the outdoor grotto and the gymnasium, will be available as a warming center.  Another large heated tent will be available directly outside the gymnasium.

After the lighting of the Guadalupe Torch, pilgrims, representing dozens of parishes throughout Cook and Lake counties, will light their own torches and participate in the Guadalupe Torch Run.

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Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe 

1170 North River Road
Des Plaines, IL 60016
Phone: (847) 294-1806 Fax: (847) 294-1981
A Shrine of The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago IL

photo: YouTube

Chicago’s Cardinal George warns of same-sex marriage ‘consequences’.

“The Pope was not speaking about approving gay marriage. To use his words against his teaching, as they were used on the floor of the State House of Representatives of November 5, is less than intellectually honest,” George writes.

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If you liked Aunt Gene’s 1955 Chevy, you’ll love her parish church!

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Photos from the St. John of God Church Golden Jubilee Magazine
1957 – Chicago, Illinois

by Doug Lawrence

In a recent post, I mentioned my Aunt Genevieve, the 1955 Chevy Bel Air that she won in the church raffle, and my feelings about Pope Francis. Today, I want to share with you some details about Aunt Gene’s extraordinary parish church.

Chicago’s St. John of God Church was richly and beautiful constructed in order to suitably host the Real Presence of Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God – and to truly inspire the faithful (predominantly Polish Stock Yard workers, at that time) to lift their hearts and minds to God. (How’s that for a novel idea?) I was baptized there, in 1953.

The proverbial “little slice of Heaven on Earth”, it became immediately clear to all who entered that this was no ordinary venue. Of course, “they” don’t build beautiful churches like this anymore – nor does St. John of God Church exist anymore – except for the bell towers, which were salvaged and incorporated into the newly constructed St. Raphael the Archangel Church, located about 50 miles northwest of the city.

Built in 1907, St. John of God Church stood for slightly more than a century before it was demolished – a victim of changing neighborhood dynamics. This short video provides a look at the magnificent interior furnishing and design elements. The church was a real “jewel”!

This thirty-one second video shows the demolition site, which sadly, looks like a “war zone”.  Today, due to rampant and largely uncontrolled street gang activity, it IS a war zone! 

St. John of God Church to me, seems like a metaphor for the post-Vatican II era. Once upon a time, we Catholics had beautiful churches, close-knit communities and firm, universally accepted beliefs and practices, in accord with almost 2,000 years of sacred and apostolic Tradition and nearly two millennia of the finest theology, philosophy and scholarship the world had ever known.

Catholics around the globe shared a common faith, a common language and a common liturgy – which was, at the time, a most uncommon thing! There was a certainty which accompanied our Catholic faith that was at once, both reassuring and challenging. Things weren’t perfect, but they were very good!

Then – everything changed – and for no particularly good reason!

Now, many of our churches look more like gymnasiums; belief in the Real Presence is waning; it’s tough to get a straight answer about matters of faith from our priests and bishops; Catholic schools and universities tend to be Catholic in name only; we’ve squandered more than two billion dollars paying for the misdeeds of scores of wayward clerics; Catholic religious orders are no longer willing to follow orders; a caricature of The Simpson’s,”Crusty the Clown” runs the U.S. Bishop’s Conference (USCCB); our new pope often sounds more like a certain Chicago politician (POTUS) than the Vicar of Christ; and things in general, seem to be crumbling to dust, before our very eyes!

But to close this essay on a high note, watch the four-minute video about the new St. Raphael the Archangel Church, located in Antioch, Illinois, which is an amazing resurrection story, in itself! (Video link 4:41) 

With God, all things are possible!

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Sketch of the new St. Raphael the Archangel Catholic Church
in Antioch, Illinois which incorporates the bell towers from
Saint John of God Catholic Church, formerly located in Chicago, IL
and more…

Renewed Priests for Life Pro-Life Training Announced

Presentations include Archdiocese of Chicago, EWTN, and the Vatican

This week and next, Priests for Life is announcing new efforts in the pro-life education of the clergy and laity. Building on the work of the last two decades, Priests for Life will present renewed initiatives to train people how to live out their commitment to protecting human life. “The pro-life effort is not simply a cause, a movement, or a political position,” explained Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life. “All that has its place. But pro-life is, at its core, a spirituality. The Gospels and the teachings of the Church not only teach us why we are pro-life; they teach us how to live it. There are specific virtues we need, and these virtues shape pro-life activity and strategy.”

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Editor’s note: Father Pavone is one of the most inspiring pro-life speakers in the entire world. This ought to be a great program.

Archdiocese of Chicago upcoming event for those who want to be freed from alcohol, drug, pornography or sexual addiction.

Complete information/flyer (PDF)

Submitted by Chuck H.

A huge group of Catholic pilgrims – numbering in the tens of thousands – gathers today at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, NW of Chicago.

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December 12, 2012

Father Marco Mercado is director of the Archdiocesan Office of Hispanic Catholics.

“We expect a lot of prayers, a lot of devotions, a lot of families,” he said. “A very nice family environment, a very prayerful one.”

As many as a 100,000 faithful could gather today.

Link

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