a column of benevolent gossip
Saints among us —Servant of God Father Augustus Tolton
The very first issue of “The New World” in 1892, carried a free calendar of events page. It was called “Parish News Notes,” a lot like today’s “Around the Archdiocese.” It gave Chicago Catholics an idea of what was happening, from bazaars and concerts to lectures and devotions. In a November issue that year, there is actually a notice that (now Servant of God) Father Augustus Tolton, the first black priest ordained for the United States, was to be the speaker in a program hosted by St. Monica’s Aid Society on the South Side. The notice reads, “Father Tolton’s lecture will be the main feature of the evening,” and invites pastors and people from all parishes to attend the benefit. “The proceeds are for the erection of a church for the Colored Catholics of this city.” And 120 years later he is on his way to sainthood.
Then there’s (Venerable) Father Solanus Casey, born Bernard Francis Casey in Oak Grove, Wis., sixth in an Irish family of 10. He left the farm as a teenager to work in the midwest as a logger, street car operator and prison guard. He was ordained a Capuchin in 1904 in Detroit. His job was monastery door keeper and he met thousands of people in all walks of life. They say, “Father Solanus was ready to listen to anyone, at any time, day or night.” That will definitely make you a saint. He died at the age of 86 in 1957. The Father Solanus Guild maintains a website at www.SolanusCenter.org that gives more information about this humble mystic. There’s a pilgrimage to the Solanus Casey Center and his tomb in Detroit, on the way to shrines in Canada. The motor coach trip Oct. 25- 28, departs from Our Lady of Victory Church (W. Agatite). Contact Rick Ryan at (773) 577- 4974.
Go Leo Lions! —
In his Sept. 12 column in the Chicago Trib, John Kass, in the midst of the CPS strike, visited 87-year-old Leo High School, where students were busy learning. Kass was impressed: “A South Side school where 100 percent of the students graduate, and 100 percent are accepted to college. A Roman Catholic all-boys school that draws from poor and working-class neighborhoods, a school where there are no cops or metal detectors, no gang recruitment, no fear.” Amen, John.
Honoring the do-ers —St. Joseph Parish prays for women religious and brothers Oct. 11.
When St. Joseph Parish (N. Orleans) holds its “Prayer Service of Thanksgiving” for nuns and brothers” Oct. 11, parishioners will honor their call to promote the Gospel. By choosing the road less traveled, they’re in a league of their own.
Sister Madonna Buder of Spokane, Wash., also epitomizes commitment. In August 2012 at age 82, she finished the Ironman Triathlon for the second time. (In 2005, at age 75, she became the oldest woman to complete the grueling swim, bike and marathon fete.) Known as “The Iron Nun,” she’s the author of “The Grace to Race.” (Buder is a Sister for Christian Community, a non-canonical, ecumenical organization of women founded in 1970.)
Catholic Citizens of Illinois will present its St. Thomas More Award for Catholic Citizenship to (Iron Woman?) Eileen Dolehide Oct. 17. Mother of eight children, with 46 grandchildren, married to Dr. Bob Dolehide, Eileen’s a registered nurse, and helped found the Illinois Right to Life Committee. She’s a Birthright of Chicago board member, active with Port Ministries, works with the arch’s Respect Life Office, and is a Dame of Malta. (Birthright’s slogan can’t be improved on: “Give life a chance and we’ll help you every step of the way.”)
Parish potpourri —
St. Michael’s in Old Town (N. Cleveland) is looking for singers for its Holiday Pops Chicago concert. No auditions. Rehearsals begin Oct. 9, 7 p.m., concert date is Dec. 8, 7 p.m. Contact Maestro Scott Arkenberg at (773)206-6785 or sjarkenberg@ ameritech.net. . . . The local Life Chain on Respect Life Sunday, Oct. 7, will stretch across the sidewalk in front of St. Gilbert Church (Grayslake) from 2-3:30 p.m., as it stretches “across the nation.” . . . Something a little different — teen ministry at St. Mary Parish (Mundelein) will be selling fall pumpkins and gourds after Masses Oct. 13-14.
Halfway there —
While most people are thinking end-of-summer, South Siders are thinking, “Southside Irish Parade on March 10, 2013.” They had a fundraiser in Merrionette Park Sept. 15, dubbed “Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day!” The Larkin and Moran Brothers entertained.
Send your benevolent gossip to Church Clips, Catholic New World, P.O. Box 1979, Chicago, IL 60690-1979; or e-mail to email@example.com.