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Issue of April 27th – May 10th
Photos of the Week
Viva il Papa!
Pope brought a message of joy and hope to U.S.
Benedict XVI achieved objectives critical to future of Catholic Church in America
On his first trip to the United States, Pope Benedict XVI achieved three objectives that could be considered critical to the pastoral future of the American church.
First, the pope brought a certain closure to the priestly sex-abuse scandal that has shaken the church for more than six years, expressing his personal shame at what happened and praying with the victims.
Second, he set forth a moral challenge to the wider U.S. culture on issues ranging from economic justice to abortion, but without coming across as doctrinaire or bullying.
When Pope Benedict XVI came down the stairs from the chartered Alitalia Boeing 777 - nicknamed "Shepherd One" by journalists and air-traffic controllers - that brought him and his entourage from Rome April 15, he was greeted by Catholic school students singing "Happy Birthday," military personnel and their family members waving gold-and-white Vatican flags and warm greetings from President and first lady George W. and Laura Bush.
Dozens, if not hundreds, of Chicagoans added their voices to the warm welcome to Pope Benedict over his six-day visit to Washington, D.C. and New York.
It was hard to miss our own Cardinal George among those traveling with Pope Benedict XVI on his trip to the United States. As president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal George was the official bishops' representative to the pontiff during his six days here. The cardinal was among the few to receive him upon his arrival, to sit with him during meals and join him at the altar during the celebration of the Eucharist.
He shared with the Catholic New World some of the highlights of the visit.
From the moment "Shepherd One" landed at Andrews Air Force Base on April 15 I was glued to my television in my room at Mundelein Seminary. As I surfed through the channels, all had the same images; the 265th successor of St. Peter making his way down the stairs from the papal plane with zucchetto in hand and in a very unlikely stride for an octogenarian. I followed his steps in Washington, D.C. through the wonders of television and Internet, and on April 17, I took a plane from O'Hare International Airport headed to New York. Among the things that I packed in my carry-on bag were all the remarks the pontiff had made up to that time. I read carefully each one, as deep down I was getting ready to experience first hand the unity of the supreme shepherd together with his flock.
Young adult shares how seeing pontiff in New York inspired hope in Christ and courage to live in him
"Dear friends, only God in his providence knows what works his grace has yet to bring forth in your lives and in the life of the Church in the United States." With these words, Pope Benedict XVI began to close his homily at Yankee Stadium on April 20, and in a greater sense, encapsulate the entire message of his apostolic journey. When we heard our Holy Father was coming to the United States, we had a great desire to welcome him and bring his message back to Chicago. Young adults face an immense challenge to escape from the noise of our culture in order to hear God's voice. In light of this, Pope Benedict's message of hope comes at a crucial time for all of us.
Pope Benedict XVI took a few moments out of his demanding schedule for a private meeting April 19 with one of America's pre-eminent theologians, the ailing, 89-year-old Cardinal Avery Dulles.
Ben Mazzone felt the presence of someone with him this Easter as he prayed during Mass at St. Benedict Church on Irving Park. He felt the presence of the woman whose lungs he now breathes with. All he knows about her is that she was young, and she died in Buffalo, N.Y. "I believe in the communion of saints," Mazzone said. "I will meet her one day." Mazzone lit a candle for her April 10 at "Let Yourself Begin Again," a candlelight ceremony at Loyola University Medical Center's Paul V. Galvin Memorial Chapel for organ transplant patients and their families to honor and remember their donors. The event recognized National Donate Life Month.
Bishop Timothy Lyne keeps his office in Holy Name Cathedral's rectory, celebrates Mass at the cathedral daily, offers pastoral guidance to parishioners and, as vicar for senior priests, ministers to the needs of retired clergy members. Never mind that at 89, he is one of them. "I always liked being a priest," Bishop Lyne said. "And since I always liked being a priest, I was always happy."
I traveled more than 700 miles and did not go to the papal Mass at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., April 17.
Catholic New World photographer Karen Callaway and I drove from Chicago to Washington to cover the pope, and she got some great photos, both at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and at Nationals Park.