a column of benevolent gossip
Mail call —Father Chris Doering, chaplain with 82nd Airborne Division in Afghanistan.
Army chaplain Father Chris Doering, (former pastor of Our Lady of Victory on W. Agatite), currently serving with the 82nd Airborne in Afghanistan sends this: “Greet ings to all: We’re down to the last couple of days of deployment here, and there are smiles all around the battalion. Some count the days, others the hours, or the meals yet to be eaten, the number of showers, etc. Yesterday a soldier said, “Only 7,338 miles to go!” Ouch! But that’s the distance from Kandahar to Fort Bragg, N.C., one journey I am glad to make.
“For the past year, we’ve gotten used to the work routines and learned to live without a lot of comforts. We miss family, friends, familiar surroundings, but sometimes it’s the simple things we miss. One soldier said the other day, ‘I miss silverware!’ (We use plasticware).
“Our counterparts from the 3rd Infantry Division are here. They’re in the driver’s seat in terms of day-to-day operations. It is nice to be a passenger and leave the driving to them.
“This is the last email of this deployment. I am set to return to the Center of the Army Universe, aka Fort Bragg (true to their name). We return a little older, hopefully a little wiser, and with gratitude.
“Thanks to all of you who offered prayers, sent care packages, cards and letters. They helped sustain me for the past year. Keep all the troops in your prayers. For my Chicago friends, I will return to the greatest city in the world around mid September for a couple of weeks. Blessings, ‘Padre’ Chris Doering”
One blog at a time —
Father George McKenna, 93, just celebrated the one year anniversary of his latest apostolate — his blog: fathermckenna. wordpress.com. He’s former pastor of St. Barnabas (S. Longwood) and St. Catherine of Alexandria (Oak Lawn). He also founded the chapel at Midway Airport in 1988, has written four books, is famous for 3-minute homilies, visited the Holy Land 27 times, and shot a 76 at Westgate Golf Course on his 75th birthday. With the other retired priests at Bishop Lyne Home, he celebrates 8 a.m. Mass in their chapel each day, praying for the arch.
St. Alphonsus Parish (Prospect Heights) has a Transportation Ministry. However, volunteers don’t just pick up folks who need a ride to church on weekends. Fellow parishioners provide transportation seven days a week, even for medical appointments, for neighbors unable to drive.
Lederhosen fest? —Oktoberfests are all around the archdiocese.
Is your parish having an Oktoberfest? According to tradition, the first one was held in Munich, Germany, on Oct. 12, 1810, when Crown Prince Ludwig married the fetching Princess Therese of Saxony. Their wedding reception was so terrific it became an annual event with universal appeal. Today Cincinnati, Ohio, with some 700,000 partygoers, is tied with Munich for the biggest Oktoberfest in the world. (Eat your hearts out, Southside Irish!) The 16- day fest is supposed to start the third weekend in September, and gets its name from the month in which it ends — go figure. Only major wars and cholera epidemics have interrupted the yearly (beer) celebration in Munich. But nothing stops it in “Zinzinnati.”
Tired of “Annie” or “Grease” for school or parish Thespians? The G. K. Chesterton Theatre Co. has original two-act, full-length plays portraying heroic characters, premiered and run on the West Coast to sold-out audiences. Scripts cost $10 — like “Viva Cristo Rey,” about 1920’s Mexico, with 12 characters; “Claude Newman,” an inspirational event in a Mississippi prison, eight characters; or “The Pearl of York,” on Jesuits and the Reformation, 11 characters, and other titles. Visit gkctheatre.org or call (310) 462-5141.
Parish potpourri —
St. Benedict the African East (W. 66th St.) is proud their parishioner Sheila Travillion is the new president of the Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women. . . . St. Francis de Sales parishioners (Lake Geneva, Wis.) call its locale “the playground for Chicagoland Catholics.” They want us to know their Fall Fest and pig roast is Sept. 16. Call (262) 248-8524 for more info. . . . Knights of Columbus Maria Council in Park Ridge, needs volunteers Sept. 21-22. Tootsie Roll “Make a Difference Days” help support non-profit organizations like SPRED programs, Special Olympics and local churches. Call St. Paul of the Cross (Park Ridge) parishioner Henry Jarosz at (847) 692-7864 and tell him when you can help and where.
Send your benevolent gossip to Church Clips, Catholic New World, P.O. Box 1979, Chicago, IL 60690-1979; or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.