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Pastor's Message



In just a little over four weeks, Blase Cupich will be installed as the ninth Archbishop of Chicago.  Most Chicagoans are aware that Pope Francis accepted Cardinal Francis George’s request for retirement last month and appointed the 65-year old Bishop of Spokane, Washington, to teach, govern, and sanctify Chicago’s Catholics. 


The ceremonies on November 17, 18, and 19 at

Holy Name Cathedral are being carefully planned along with accommodations, meals, receptions, invitations, and travel arrangements.  There is an eleven person committee under Vicar General Bishop Francis Kane meeting weekly and bouncing numerous emails back and forth to make the event as spectacular, as smooth, and as beautiful as possible.  All of Chicago’s priests are being invited to Monday evening, November 17th’s Liturgy of the Word Service during which Archbishop Cupich officially will enter his Cathedral.  There are plans for a pre-liturgy procession of representatives of Chicago’s most numerous ethnic communities. As Holy Name’s shepherd, your “much-beloved” pastor accompanied by the Vicars will greet the Archbishop at the door beginning the liturgical procession.  During the subsequent simple liturgy, the Archbishop will be greeted by major civic leaders

of Illinois, Cook County, Lake County, and Chicago.  He will receive official welcome from representatives of the major religions.  Also offering public greetings will be those from the Presbyteral Council, the College of Consulters, the Archdiocesan Finance Council, the Youth Council, the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council and many other official advisory groups.  On Tuesday the Cathedral will be very full with an expected 150 bishops, hundreds of priests, the Chicago seminarians, Chancery officials, and a multitude of guests personally invited by the Archbishop himself including his rather large family of sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews.  Presiding will be the Papal Nuncio to the American Church, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò,

until the official appointment by the Pope is read and Archbishop Cupich takes his seat in the cathedra, the chair of the Archbishop. We expect the Mass to be widely televised in Chicago.


There will be two additional liturgies on Wednesday.  In the morning religious sisters, religious brothers, and representatives of recognized lay ecclesial movements will pray with Archbishop Cupich.  Finally, on Wednesday evening, the Archdiocesan deacons, their wives, and accredited lay ecclesial ministers will pray Vespers with the new Archbishop.


Many times I have written about how Holy Name Cathedral has two distinct identities that I think we balance pretty well.  We are a Cathedral, and we are a parish.  That double identity is not true of every Cathedral.  Yet sometimes our Cathedral hat takes precedence over our parish hat.  So I am sad to say that I will be really surprised if there are any “general admission” spaces for these ticketed liturgies. However, be patient.  I am confident that after Archbishop Cupich gets settled, Holy Name Cathedral parish is going to see a lot of him.  In my early conversations with the Archbishop, I get a strong sense that he really considers his Cathedral to be his parish.



Looking at the plaque in the Cathedral vestibule that lists the “Ordinaries” (chief bishops) of the Diocese and Archdiocese of Chicago, a puzzled parishioner asked me why Cardinal George was not listed.  Very observant!  He was listed until we removed his line to enable the craftsmen to add the closing year of his administration. We also ordered a new line -  MOST REV. BLASE J, CUPICH, 2014 – .  The list will be complete again before November 18.



Cardinal Francis George is scheduled to celebrate two more Masses at Holy Name between now and the installation of his successor.  Sunday, November 2, will be “The Commemoration of the Faithful Departed”, All Souls Day.  No matter the day of the week, November 2 always includes Masses for all the dead. Cardinal George will offer the 5:15pm Mass on All Souls Day with a grand musical accompaniment including an orchestra and our great choirs.  If you are a 5:15 Sunday regular and prefer a simpler, 60-minute Mass, try one of the other seven Masses (5:15 & 7:30pm Saturday; 7:00, 8:15, 9:30, & 11:00am and 12:30pm) that weekend.  If you want a more inspirational, albeit more elaborate musical setting that Sunday, the 5:15pm Mass with Cardinal George on November 2 will be for you.  The Cardinal also will be the main celebrant at 12:10pm Mass on Friday, November 14, which is the annual remembrance of priests who have died in the past year as well as Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, Cardinal George’s predecessor.  This year November 14 actually will be the 18th anniversary of Cardinal Bernardin’s death.



I referred earlier in this piece to the CATHEDRA.  That is the chair that gives a Cathedral its title.  The cathedra is the bishop’s teaching chair; every Cathedral has one.  No other Church in Chicago has a cathedra.  Ours was part of our 1968-1969 renovation replacing a previous, more ornate throne. The present chair is simple, made of wood with three images visible on the back – Christ (center), Peter (left), Paul (right).  Archbishop Cupich, by the way, will sit in that chair for the first time on November 18, the annual Memorial of the Dedication of the Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul in Rome.  A couple years ago, we added the episcopal, bishop’s crest on the wall behind the chair.  That crest will be changed before Bishop Cupich becomes just the fifth man ever to sit in that cathedra during ceremonies since it was crafted in 1969 - (1) John Cardinal Cody, Archbishop at the time of the renovation and the man who ordained me a priest; (2) Joseph Cardinal Bernardin (1982-1996); (3) Francis Cardinal George who was installed on May 7, 1997; (4) the most famous person ever to visit Holy Name Cathedral, St. John Paul II, during a prayer service (October 4) and a concert (October 5) in 1979; and (5) Archbishop Blase Cupich.



Wednesday, October 22, will be the first celebration of the universal Feast of St. John Paul II.  He was canonized along with Pope St. John XXIII last April 27.  Often a saint’s day is designated as the one on which he died.  John Paul in 2005 died on April 2, a date that sometimes falls within Lent or during Holy Week.  To give John Paul a date available for assured commemoration, October 22, the date of the Mass celebrating his Pontifical inauguration in 1978, was chosen.  Through the intercession of St. John Paul II, pray for the Church, especially the Church of Chicago in whose Cathedral a saint prayed.




    Msgr. Dan Mayall