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Pastor's Message



The October 24 Cathedral GALA at the Four Seasons was a lot of fun! We always describe the annual event as the biggest parish fundraiser, but we also advertise it as the best parish party of the year.  This time, those who worked so hard to put the party together outdid themselves.  The financial accounting is underway; but I cannot let another weekend pass without thanking the GALA 2014 planning committee – Dan & Mary Aregoni, John Bradshaw, Katherine Mart, Donna Ciszewski, Mary Canavan, Mark Davino, Jeff & Amy Greene, Darren Milanowicz, Linda Nardone, Sonia Riordan, Milli Striegl, Jay Tremblay, Alan & Sarah Walker, Barbarara & Bob Weeks, Arlene & Jack Wymer plus staff members Morgan Henington, Maureen McInerney, and Michele Peltier.  I am grateful to everyone on that list for the way the whole team took such pride in doing their excellent job.  When does the work begin on GALA 2015?  I am certain it already has.  I know the date

is circled on my calendar - Friday, October 30, 2015, at the Four Seasons. I will be looking for you.



I think the highlight of the night happened when our excellent auctioneer Andy Imholte worked up the bidding war on a dinner for six to be held at the rectory’s 6th floor dining room featuring a meal served by that world-renowned master chef, Father Lou Cameli. Believe me, this will not be a weenie-roast!  And it better not cost the amount of money bid by two champions who both were awarded the prize by the auctioneer. Certainly, Holy Name Cathedral’s ministries will benefit from the staggering $20,000 raised on that one item. Two parties of six will dine like Italian royalty. 



While we are talking about the rectory dining room, it is time to consider the newest place at the dining room table, the one soon to be occupied by Archbishop Blase Cupich.  I presume most parishioners are aware that, on October 22, the Archdiocese announced that Chicago’s new Archbishop would make 730 N. Wabash his primary residence. A committee will soon be formed to determine how to best use the traditional home of the Archbishop about a mile north of the Cathedral at State Parkway and North Avenue.  Soon, however, Archbishop Cupich will move into the apartment formerly occupied by the beloved Bishop Timothy Lyne in honor of whom the building, renovated in 2010, was dedicated.  Exactly when the Archbishop will move in is yet to be determined.


Most parishioners are not familiar with what it means to live in a rectory/priests’ house, particularly one as big as the one at Holy Name.   Right now, eight priests live here.  At a recent meeting of those planning the Archbishop’s installation, one of the Chicago pastors chided me by declaring, “Why shouldn’t the new boss live there?  Just about every other priest already does!”  It is true that we have more priests living here than almost every other parish

in Chicago.  It is even true that the four of us who work full-time for Holy Name (Fathers Zamora, Cambe, Boivin, and I) are likely more than are assigned to any other local parish.  There are two elevators in this rectory.  I never lived in a rectory with an elevator before I moved in here.


The priests do not, however, live as a family.  There are eight two-room apartments equal in size. Each hall looks like the hallway of a hotel.  Each suite has a bath and a good-sized closet.  At the end of each of the two floors which the priests occupy, there are storage areas for every resident.  Currently, seven of the Cathedral’s priests – Fathers Boivin, Cambe, Zamora, Fajardo, Woestman, Cameli, and Moriarity – occupy seven suites.  The eighth belongs for this year to Deacon Adam Droll who serves as a deacon on the weekends while he completes his seminary education and formation at Mundelein Seminary during the week. Deacon Adam will be ordained a priest for his home diocese, San Angelo, Texas, in the springtime.  There are two guest rooms, each with adjoining baths, on each of the residential floors.


Returning to the dining room, it is the one area the Cathedral priests commonly use.  There will be a place at the table for the Archbishop.  The 6th floor includes a giant-sized, wooden table with large wooden chairs that, I suspect, have been there a while.  Like high school kids in an unassigned-seating cafeteria, each of the current resident priests has a regularly-claimed spot that gets saved for him as long as we expect him to be at the meal. Four Mexican Oblate Sisters of Jesus the Priest staff the kitchen.  Their community has been a part of the Chicago Church since they moved into Niles College Seminary in 1961.  They came to work at Holy Name in 2001.  In doing most of the food shopping and preparing meals, they are invaluable.  The nuns set out breakfast cereal the previous evening.  The Fathers all know where the milk, bowls and silverware are kept.  I think all of us know how to handle a toaster, too.  If one of us needs an egg or bacon fried, one of the Sisters will be there for an hour after 8:00am Mass. Lunch is available on the kitchen stove from 12:00-1:30pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  Hot dogs, sloppy joes, omelets, hamburgers, stuffed peppers, pizza, tacos, or Italian sausages are alternately there along with cold cuts, salad, and a homemade soup.  Dinner is served at 6:00pm.  Anywhere from one to six of us are at the table most nights except Wednesdays (the Sisters’ day off) and Sundays when they set out a buffet-style hot meal in the kitchen at noon and leave us on our own for dinner leftovers. Most Chicago rectories do not employ a cook anymore. The main value of the Oblates, however, is that they pray for priests and for vocations to the priesthood.


There is a living room on the 6th floor, too.  It gets used for more formal dinners, for some social gatherings of a Cathedral priest with his friends, for the priest prayer groups that some Cathedral priests join; the present crew is not into sitting around together, watching TV, and chomping on popcorn.  The office in which I prepare couples assigned to me for marriage is adjacent to the living room. Where do the Sisters live?  They have the third floor with a quaint chapel and rooms equal in size to most of the priest rooms.  Our laundry is at one end of the 3rd floor.  Access to the living quarters is secured by wonderfully secure key fobs.  The second floor is familiar to many active parishioners as the location of most of our meeting rooms.  The first floor is the home, not only of the public lobby, but many of the staff offices.


The apartment in which I live and that which soon will belong to Archbishop Cupich each are 945 square feet – two full rooms, a washroom and a storage room.  By far, it is the largest quarters in which I ever have lived, bigger than those of the others in the house.  Still, is that where the Archbishop of Chicago should live?  It was Archbishop Cupich’s choice.  The Archdiocesan statement said the Archbishop had a desire “to reside in a place where he could be most effective in serving all the people in the Archdiocese of Chicago.  When his schedule permits, the Archbishop intends to say daily Mass at the Cathedral.  The location also provides easy access to his office at Archbishop Quigley Center, as well as everything Chicago has to offer in everyday life in the City.”  After the death of Bishop Lyne, I left his quarters vacant, expecting its possible use after the change of administration.  I did not expect the Archbishop to claim the key.  I also did not expect his question.  “Is it OK if I move into the Cathedral rectory?”  After 13 years, my job as pastor of the Cathedral surprises me every day.  Never did I imagine that my Archbishop would pose that question to me.  Let me answer.


Archbishop Cupich, welcome to Holy Name Cathedral parish.  The Parish Council will schedule the next NEW PARISHIONER PARTY soon.  You’re invited. You are one of us. 



    Msgr. Dan Mayall