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Pastor's Message



In 1964, Paul VI was the Pope; Albert Cardinal Meyer was the Archbishop of Chicago (his is the galero or ceremonial red hat to the far left on the Cathedral ceiling); Msgr. Patrick Hays was the rector of Holy Name Cathedral; and Karol Wojtyla was named Warsaw’s Archbishop. Pope Paul announced that the Second Vatican Council would

re-convene.  Politically, President Lyndon Johnson defeated Senator Barry Goldwater to win his own

4-year White House term; Richard J. Daley was Mayor of Chicago; Otto Kerner was Illinois Governor; Everett Dirksen and Paul Douglas were the US Senators from our State.  The Civil Rights Act was signed; the 24th Amendment banning Poll Taxes in Federal elections passed; Martin Luther King won the Nobel Peace Prize.  President Johnson announced a “War on Poverty”; the Vietnam War escalated.  Tokyo hosted the summer Olympics, Innsbruck the winter Olympics; New York City opened the World’s Fair.  UCLA had an undefeated college basketball season; Texas beat Navy in the Cotton Bowl for the NCAA football title; the Cleveland Browns won the NFL Championship; the St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series; the Toronto Maple Leafs hoisted the Stanley Cup, the Boston Celtics were NBA Champs, Arnold Palmer won the Master’s Golf Tournament, Northern Dancer was the first Canadian-bred thoroughbred to win the Kentucky Derby, and

newly-declared Muslim Muhammad Ali defeated Sonny Liston for boxing’s heavyweight championship.  Hello, Dolly, Fiddler on the Roof, and Funny Girl all opened on Broadway.  The top movies of 1964 were Mary Poppins, Dr. Strangelove, My Fair Lady, Goldfinger, and Fistful of Dollars.  Top five records were I Wanna Hold Your Hand (Beatles), She Loves You (Beatles), Hello, Dolly (Louis Armstrong), Oh, Pretty Woman (Roy Orbison), and I Get Around (Beach Boys).  Television’s Emmy Awards were a sweep for Dick Van Dyke (best comedy actor), Mary Tyler Moore (best comedy actress) and The Dick Van Dyke Show (best comedy series).  Born in 1964 were Jose Canseco, Marisa Tomei, Sandra Bullock, Nicolas Cage, Barry Bonds, and Michelle Robinson Obama.  Gracie Allen, Peter Lorre, Harpo Marx, Douglas MacArthur, and Herbert Hoover died.  A postage stamp cost a nickel; a gallon of gas was 30-cents; average American annual income was $6,000; and an American home went for $13,050.  I graduated 7th grade and started 8th.


Also sometime in 1964 at a Catholic Church somewhere in the world, each of over 400 married couples who will join us at Holy Name Cathedral Sunday afternoon exchanged their vows.  Cardinal George will help them renew those vows during a joyful liturgy. The entire Archdiocese of Chicago congratulates those celebrating their Golden Wedding Anniversary during 2014.  Their celebration of a lifetime sacrament inspires all of us.  During this weekend, I am scheduled to celebrate the marriage of Steven and Lauren right here at Holy Name.  I will point to those who, in front of the same altar, mark their blessed place 50 laps ahead of that newly-married couple on the way to heaven.  I also will invite them to return to Holy Name Cathedral in 2064 to celebrate their 50th Anniversary.  Does “2064” sound funny?  Imagine how odd “2014” sounded to the newly-weds of 1964!  If you see any of them Sunday, ask them.



Next weekend, a second basket will be passed after Communion for the support of the Archdiocesan Seminaries.  The collection will help the major seminary in Mundelein, Illinois, and St. Joseph’s College Seminary on the Rogers Park campus of Loyola University plus the seminaries for immigrants from Poland (Abramowicz Seminary) and Latin America (Casa Jesus).  They are located on the Cathedral campus at Chicago & Wabash.  The major seminary has an interesting history.  It began right on the city block where you picked up your bulletin today.  The University of St. Mary of the Lake was founded in the 1846; the “Lake” in the title was Lake Michigan, about five blocks closer to us in those days.  The school did not last long on this location.  The seminary re-opened, however, in 1921 in the northwest suburbs and has continued there ever since.  Five present Cathedral priests – Fathers Boivin, Moriarity, Fajardo, Zamora, and I – are alumni of Mundelein Seminary.  Father Cameli served several years on the faculty. Today it consists of a pre-theology program to bring students up to the academic requirements in Philosophy and to begin formation.  Four years of graduate level courses as well as an intensely focused formation and prayer life follow.  The world-famous Father Robert Barron, master of the Word on Fire evangelization media and the producer and host of the acclaimed Catholicism video series, serves as the seminary’s tenth rector.  Students from around-the-world study at Mundelein.  The program is excellent, but not inexpensive.  The college seminary, St. Joseph, is affiliated with Loyola University.  Students live in a new residence hall and attend most of their classes at Loyola majoring in Philosophy.  Father Paul Stein, who served two years (2005-2007) as associate pastor and Liturgy Director at Holy Name Cathedral, is rector of St. Joseph.  Casa Jesus and Abramowicz Seminary moved onto our block in 2006.  Both have produced several of Chicago’s finest priests and even one Bishop, Auxiliary Bishop Alberto Rojas.  The students at all four seminaries often help us at Holy Name Cathedral by serving special liturgies, especially those involving Cardinal George.  Please be generous in making a contribution to Chicago’s seminaries next weekend.  Extra envelopes are available at the Cathedral doors.  If you give to the seminaries, I think you will be doing a good thing.



“What does the altar at Holy Name Cathedral have in common with Pope Francis?”  First, consider a word about the altar.  An altar is the representation of Christ Himself.  The Prayer of Blessing of the Altar says, "May this altar be the place where the great mysteries of redemption are accomplished, a place where your people offer their gifts, unfold their good intentions, pour out their prayers, and echo every meaning of their faith and devotion."  Our altar at Holy Name Cathedral easily is the largest altar at which I ever have offered Mass. A six-ton monolithic block of red-black Rosso Imperiale di Solberga granite forms the table top of the altar. The pedestal is encircled by a bronze bas-relief depicting Old Testament sacrifice scenes. These precursors of Christ’s sacrifice are Abel’s offering of the first sacrifice; the priest Melchizedek giving bread and wine; Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac; and the Prophet Elijah receiving bread and water from the Angel of the Lord for strength to continue on his journey. The altar contains relics from St. John the Apostle and St. Timothy, the patron saints of the archbishop (John Cardinal Cody) and of the pastor (Bishop Timothy Lyne) when our altar was crafted, installed (with a crane!), and consecrated in 1969.  What does it have in common with Pope Francis?  Both are from Argentina.



"The Cross, is wood which lifts us up and makes us great ... The Cross uprooted us from the depths of evil and elevated us to the summit of virtue" - St John Chrysostom


September 14 is the liturgical day that honors the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.  St John Chrysostom, bishop and “golden-mouth” preacher of the early Church who is quoted above, was celebrated in the prayers of Saturday, September 13.


    Msgr. Dan Mayall