There will be Mass offered Monday – Memorial Day – at each of the Catholic Cemeteries of the Chicago Archdiocese. Cardinal George will say the Mass at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in southwest suburban Alsip at 10:30am. The Cathedral’s Father Lou Cameli will be the celebrant at 10:30am at St. Boniface Cemetery, 4901 N. Clark, the closest Catholic Cemetery to Holy Name. Catholic Charities’ Director Msgr. Michael Boland will offer the Mass also at 10:30am at Ascension Cemetery, 1920 Buckley Road in northwest suburban Libertyville. Those annual Masses, mostly outdoors, are beautiful liturgies especially when the first summer holiday’s weather invites prayer. See the web page for Catholic Cemeteries of Chicago for the times, locations, and celebrants of other Memorial Day Masses. Inside Holy Name Cathedral, we will celebrate the Eucharist at 8:00am, 12:10pm, and 5:15pm. The Msgr. Ignatius McDermott Foundation invites all to an extra Cathedral Mass at 10:00am on Monday. Msgr. McDermott was a champion of the poor, the street people, the addicted. Leave some time on Memorial Day to pray – for the needy, for the sick, for the dead, for those in military service, for their families, for peace, and for a summer of blessing.
Last week was quite a packed week at Chicago’s Cathedral. From Friday, May 17, through Thursday, May 23, on our schedule appeared first an all-afternoon rehearsal for the next day’s priesthood ordination. At that grand, two-hour-plus Saturday liturgy, ten new priests were ordained by Cardinal George in front of a full-house. A visiting priest squeezed-in a wedding late that afternoon. On Sunday, fourteen men were ordained to the diaconate for the Archdiocese at another spectacular liturgy. On Monday came the evening Confirmation of over 100 adults by the hands of the Cardinal, Bishop Frank Kane, and Bishop Ray Goedert. Tuesday evening, I was honored to preside and preach at the graduation liturgy for the men of St. Patrick High School, the 152-year old all male, north side high school administered by the Brothers of the Christian Schools. The ceremony included the closing of State Street where the celebration joyously poured out into the night. The Brothers’ South Side school took over the last two nights. Wednesday, the girls of De La Salle Institute’s Lourdes campus graduated at Mass. Thursday night, it was the DLS boys’ turn. On Thursday, I offered the Mass; School President, Servite Father Paul Novak preached (as he did on Wednesday as well); and lifelong Holy Name Cathedral parishioner and Notre Dame University-bound Michael Fuchs, a faithful volunteer as well as dedicated sacristan, delivered the valedictory speech. Michael embodied Holy Name as both an active parish and the wider church’s Cathedral. There was also a memorial Mass offered on a weekday afternoon by Father Boivin plus the three hours of confessions and the 35 regularly scheduled Masses during those 7 days. I calculate that, even though there was so much happening in the way of public prayer, during some of the 105 hours that the doors were open, there were people quietly saying their private prayers, too. Holy Name Cathedral is the place where Chicago goes to pray. Last week, we really lived up to our world-famous reputation.
What is happening with the Parish Pastoral Council discernment? Throughout April, PPC members briefly spoke at all Masses encouraging parishioners to submit their names as volunteers for membership on the Parish Council or one of the four Commissions that organize the ministries, services, and programs of the Cathedral parish. With three-year commitments, a third of the volunteer lay leadership rotates off the roster each year. Candidates have been interviewed by members of the Council plus the leadership of the Commissions. Their recommendations were submitted to me and to a sub-committee of the Parish Council. We met last Thursday to slot the candidates. I have given our selections to my secretary Dawn Swanson who will contact each interviewed candidate this week. If you are one of those chosen to join the lay leadership, I thank you and pray that you still are ready and willing. The letter or email message sent to you will include important dates – new member orientation evening (Monday, 7/15); the first Commission meeting date which you will be expected to attend (in August); and the full lay leadership planning morning date (Saturday, 9/14) when the Parish Council and all the Commissions come together with me to plan and coordinate the coming year. PLEASE, MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO ATTEND ALL THREE MEETINGS. Present members of the Commissions and PPC, circle that Saturday, September 14 morning date. That date is for you. I want you at that meeting. It’s important. Meanwhile, I thank the PPC Committee led by Ara Cook who organized this year’s discernment. You did great work!
Monday, May 27, will be the 55th anniversary of the death of Samuel Cardinal Stritch – 2nd Cardinal, 4th Archbishop, and 9th chief bishop of Chicago. Coming to us from Milwaukee, previously bishop of Toledo (where he was youngest bishop in the USA), Stritch was a Nashville native. His gentle southern lilt never disappeared. He governed our Church in an era (1940-1958) when Catholic numbers were strong; and we expanded our parish institutions into the suburbs, especially around the city’s collar. Still, Stritch was a pioneer, insisting that the racial segregation that infected post-WW II Chicago itself should never be a blotch on the Chicago Catholic Schools. He promoted progressive, lay-inclusive Catholic Action programs that still influence the Church. Cardinal Stritch offered 18 year’s-worth of Masses under the ceiling of Holy Name Cathedral. He was buried from Holy Name on June 3, 1958. His galero (the ceremonial red hat that adorns the sanctuary ceiling above the altar) is the one to the far right. I know. When we were closed after the 2009 fire, I climbed the 8-story scaffold and touched it. Look at it today and on Monday. Pray for Chicago’s Cardinal Stritch. He was one of us.
I am sad to report that Holy Name Cathedral is about to lose a respected member of our priest crew. Father Brian Welter has been appointed Director of Spiritual Life at Mundelein Seminary, the graduate school of formation and education for men preparing for the Chicago Archdiocesan priesthood. He will live at Mundelein. For the last three years, Father Welter has been the Vocations Director, helping to cultivate, evaluate, and discern vocations to the local presbyterate. While doing that difficult job, he lived at Holy Name. He offered Masses, heard confessions, covered on-call hospital Sundays, cooperated with the other unusually large number of priests in our house, and continued to practice a respected ministry. While Father Welter was looking for priestly vocations, he also successfully modeled a priestly vocation. At the Cathedral, he quickly earned a reputation as a popular homilist and a comfortable personality. For five previous years, Father Welter was the well-regarded associate pastor at southwest suburban St. Elizabeth Seton Parish in Orland Hills. I was honored to be his “mentor” during those years. An alumnus of Streamwood HS and Bradley University, Father Brian, prior to entering the seminary, earned his living as a carpenter – Jesus’ profession! He will be essentially absent from Holy Name after this week. However, he will graciously return to offer the 11:00am Mass on Sunday, June 9, when the post-Mass Coffee-in-the-Courtyard will be dedicated by the Parish Life Commission to Father Welter. Drop by on June 9 after the 11:00 Mass to wish him well.
Three persons; one God…In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God and the Word was of God…Begotten not made, consubstantial with the Father…He (the Spirit) proceeds from the Father and the Son…Receive the Holy Spirit…Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit…I baptize you in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…I absolve you of your sins in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen…God bless all of us on Trinity Sunday! Make the Sign of the Cross.
Msgr. Dan Mayall