Home » Cathedral » Bulletin » Pastor's Message

Pastor's Message



Francis Cardinal George, Archbishop of Chicago, is scheduled to offer the 12:10pm Mass on First Friday, August 1.  You are most welcome to join him in prayer.  Meanwhile, check-out the “Prayer of Transition” composed by lay members of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council on page 3 of this bulletin.  It is a very topical and well-written expression of thanksgiving for what Cardinal George has meant to the Chicago Church; of hope that the Cardinal will find new ways to make Chicago’s Church even stronger; and of anticipation awaiting Pope Francis’ choice of our next Archbishop.  Our own Parish Council has used that prayer at each meeting since it was drafted; our staff has used it, too.  Make it a part of your daily prayers.



In mid-summer, I often take the opportunity to answer various questions about the Cathedral’s parish life that sometimes we mistakenly presume can be answered by anyone who is a Holy Name regular.


Is the parking lot across State Street operated by Holy Name Cathedral?  Yes…and No.  From Friday evening through Sunday and on every weeknight evening, Monteray Security is employed by Holy Name to supervise the lot.  Anyone coming to a regularly scheduled weekend Mass at the Cathedral, as long as there is room, is welcome to park a car in our lot.  Guests at weddings are welcome as well for both the rehearsal and the wedding itself.  Even Friday evening rehearsals with guests going to a rehearsal dinner in the area are usually allowed to leave the car in the lot during dinner as long as the family checks with the priest or deacon ahead of time.  (That is an advantage over weddings scheduled for the St. James Chapel at the Quigley Center on Rush Street; they may not use the Cathedral lot for either the rehearsal or the wedding, and their guests must pay to park in a neighborhood lot.)  Leaving cars in the lot during the wedding receptions is not allowed for Cathedral weddings; we need the lot for later weddings and for the 5:15 and 7:30 Vigil Masses.  The smaller lots facing Dearborn are ours, too.  They are accessed through the mid-block alley off either Superior or Chicago.  Yes and No?  The NO applies to weekdays.  The Archdiocese controls the lots on weekdays when most of the parked cars belong to employees of the pastoral center (who all have stickers in their windshields) or identified guests with business at the Pastoral Center on Rush Street. The southeast corner of the lot, protected by fencing, is used by the Cathedral employees with windshield stickers, folks with appointments at the Cathedral offices (we tell the guard who we expect), funeral-goers, and scheduled Mass-goers only during the Masses. You cannot go to 7:00am Mass and then to breakfast; or 12:10 Mass, then shopping. Msgr. Pat Hayes, my predecessor in the 1950s & 1960s wisely bought most of that block; the Archdiocese since then has acquired more.  Someday, there will be below-ground parking, income-producing retail space at ground level, condos or rentals (also income generating), maybe office space, and a plaza across State Street.  When?  Not during my time at Holy Name.  However, the day will come.  I just pray that the powers-that-will-be never hide our historic Cathedral behind a wall of buildings on State.  If you have questions about parking, please ask me or my right-hand, Administrative Chief of Staff and Deacon Stan Strom.


Is there a “chapel” at Holy Name?  Yes.  Most people have never seen the chapel constructed in 1968-1969 in back of the sanctuary on the right/south side.  The best time to see it is on 1st and 3rd Fridays when it is open from 8:30 until after the 5:15pm Mass for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament ending with Benediction conducted by one of our deacons.  Originally it was added to the Cathedral during the ’68-69 renovation for baptisms and small Masses. Although most baptisms with more in attendance now are held in the Cathedral itself, small gatherings (less than 40) can be accommodated cozily in the chapel.  Small FXW school Masses, lightly attended funerals, wakes, private weddings, staging of decorations before Easter and Christmas, Adoration, some of the Cardinal’s press conferences, and the location of Father Greg Sakowicz’s the over 25-year “play-by-play” call of the Cathedral’s Midnight Mass of Christmas have been at home in the chapel.  This First Friday, check-out the chapel.


What’s an “Ambry”?  Several years ago, a three-box, traditional confessional in the front right/south corner of the Cathedral was converted to three booths with windows on the top portion which displayed large vases containing the sacramental holy oils.  That is the Ambry.  Those oils are blessed each spring on Tuesday of Holy Week by the Archbishop and distributed to the parishes, chapels, and hospitals of the Archdiocese after that grand liturgy.  At the Cathedral, we keep the extra supply.  The Oil of the Catechumens is used at baptism with its promise that those about to be baptized will perceive things as Christians perceive them – never limited by sin, never limited by death, but “as they really are – infinite” (William Blake – The Marriage of Heaven and Hell). The Oil of Chrism is placed the head of one baptized, on the forehead of one Confirmed, on the hands of a man ordained a priest, over the head of a man ordained a bishop.  The Oil of the Sick is administered during the Anointing of the Sick, on the head and on the hands.  Those are powerful sacramentals stored at the Cathedral.


What is the story behind the great organ in the west gallery of Holy Name Cathedral? Given generously in 1989 by Alice O'Malley Robinson on her 101st birthday in loving memory of her late husband, William Dunwoody Robinson, the Flentrop Organ is Holy Name Cathedral’s principal instrument. The entire organ was handmade at the workshops of Flentrop Orgelbouw in Zaandam, Holland, including the hand carved decorations, pipe shades and gilded facade pipes. The organ case is made entirely of solid French oak, quarter-sawn. Both the playing action and the stop action are mechanical. The wind system consists of three wedge-bellows, supplying a wind pressure of 78mm for the manuals, and 80mm for the pedal. The temperament is equal at A-440. The instrument comprises 71 stops, 117 ranks, 5,558 pipes, distributed over four manuals and pedal. Manual compass 56 notes, pedal compass 30 notes, flat pedalboard.  Dr. H. Ricardo Ramirez and David Jonies are the full-time musicians who regularly play the Flentrop. This year, it is 25 years old, our silver treasure.


Was there ever a regularly-scheduled foreign language Mass at Holy Name?  I don’t think so.  Still, in the 1960s and 1970s, there were many Hispanic households living near Holy Name. When Father Timothy Lyne started as administrator of the parish in 1966, he had two South American Augustinian priests stationed here to handle requests for Spanish-language marriages, funerals, and baptisms.  When those priests boldly requested Cardinal Cody to give them the administration of a parish to conduct and support their ministry, the Cardinal refused.  He phoned Father Lyne, administrator of the Cathedral, and told him he just fired his Spanish-speaking Augustinians.  Lyne was in a panic.  Cardinal Cody asked, “Who do you want?”  Father Lyne asked for Father Joe Kinane, a Chicago priest well-versed in Spanish.  Look in the sacramental records of Holy Name Cathedral from 1966-1970, and you will see Father Joe Kinane’s name attached to hundreds of marriages, funerals, and baptisms involving people whose names ended in “Z” – Rodriguez, Ruiz, Hernandez, Ramirez, Vazquez, Sanchez, and others.   The neighborhood has changed again.  There certainly are Hispanics, some of our more prominent parishioners.  Yet there is little need for Spanish-language Sacraments. 


Let’s give tribute to Father Joe Kinane, the frustrated Augustinian priests, and those who gave service to Holy Name Cathedral of multi-ethnic yesteryear.



    Msgr. Dan Mayall