Issue of June 10 – June 23, 2007
From Michelangelo to Rembrandt, from the ancients to the moderns, artists have used their gifts to express the divine. That tradition has lasted for millennia, and continues into the present. Its legacy is visible in the churches and chapels of the Archdiocese of Chicago, which-while not winning the fame of the Sistine Chapel-offer worshippers an opportunity to enter into the mystery of God and faith with a variety of works.
Twanna Bolling has long felt a call from God. She considered religious life, both contemplative and active, but that was not the perfect fit. Bolling was called to a more unusual vocation—life as a consecrated virgin. On June 2, Cardinal George celebrated the consecration of Bolling as a Virgin Living in the World at the Monastery of the Holy Cross. Years ago, Bolling began to discern if she was being called to contemplative religious life. “There was a lot there that made sense and was me,” she said. “But there was enough there that I thought, uh-uh, this isn’t me.”
It was like a wedding Mass. The bride was nervous, waiting outside the open doors of the Monastery of the Holy Cross at 3 p.m. June 2. Her attendants fussed with her white floor length gown, lovingly sewn by an aunt. Relatives and friends sat anxiously in the small gothic church, sans air conditioning, as a string quartet played a Haydn Opus. But it wasn’t your typical wedding. The bride, Twanna Patrice Bolling, didn’t wear a veil—no one would “give her away”—and she was waiting for Cardinal George, who would officiate at her consecration ceremony of a virgin living in the world.
Jamie Kuzniar, a counselor at Guerin College Preparatory High School in River Grove, knew the statistics. On an average weekend, 138 people across the nation are killed in alcohol- or drug-related car crashes. She did not want one of Guerin’s students to be part of those statistics on any weekend. But homecoming, prom and graduation weekends were particular times of temptation. Kuzniar spent about 100 hours researching possible programs that would make an impact on students and discourage them from making destructive decisions.
All 217 Catholic elementary schools in the Archdiocese of Chicago will remain open for the 2007-08 school year. The May 22 announcement stated that no schools would close or be consolidated for the first time in 45 years. The only Catholic high school to close is Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary. The closure of the high school seminary was announced in September.
Laurel wreaths— Fr. Jim Keating of St. Michael’s Church (South Shore), received an Honorary Alumnus Award from Annunciata Parish (E. 111th St.) “for dedicated service to the East Side Community.” . . . Father Tom Dore of St. Giles Parish (Oak Park) completed his 24th annual “Chicago on Foot Tour.” Sounds easy, but he does it the hard way: with the whole 8th grade class (60 kids) from St. Giles School…
We had two graduations to go to this year. One was my nephew’s college graduation— the first of his generation in our family. We made the road trip to Peoria with Tony’s parents—Matt’s grandparents—and enjoyed his hospitality at a backyard barbecue the evening before the big event. The other was a more intimate affair, Frank’s kindergarten graduation.
Ed Kantowicz is no stranger to Chicago history, or to the Catholic Church in Chicago, with all its parishes and people. Kantowicz, who has written extensively on local topics over decades, wrote the book on Cardinal George Mundelein, “Corporation Sole.” So when the director of the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Archives and Records Office, John “Jac” Treanor, wanted to do a coffee-table book on the history of the archdiocese and its parishes, he called on Kantowicz…
There has always been an “immigrant spirit” at St. Paul’s. Founded for Slovak families in the southeast section of Chicago Heights, it struggled to exist. Eventually they named it for a priest in Wisconsin who encouraged their efforts to have a parish of their own. Today’s simple brick church and hall, built in 1929, is again home to newcomers, mostly young Mexican families—over 300 baptisms yearly and 400 kids in religious education.