Changing of the guard in Chicago

Francis Cardinal George, OMI. Photo by Rich Hein for the Chicago Sun-Times.

Francis Cardinal George, OMI. Photo by Rich Hein for the Chicago Sun-Times.

On Friday, Nov. 14, I attended weekday Mass. The experience was bittersweet.

It was the 12:10 liturgy at Chicago’s Holy Name Cathedral. The main celebrant was Francis Cardinal George, OMI, the retiring archbishop of Chicago.

I sat along the central aisle. I tried and failed to ignore cameramen from local media outlets who had set up for a good shot. As the organ thundered “The King of Love My Shepherd Is,” a phalanx of clergy marched within inches of me.

There were deacons and priests in white stoles, most bearing the red-eagled coat of arms of the archdiocese. There were the auxiliary bishops, some familiar to me and some not, all wearing tall white miters. And finally there was the Cardinal, in his red zucchetto and white-and-burgundy chasuble.

He was unsmiling, purse-lipped, and on crutches. George, who is suffering from his third bout with cancer, has a tumor pressing on nerves and veins. It makes it painful for him to walk, on top of the polio-related limp he has endured for more than sixty years anyway. A seminarian altar server, hands veiled in a vimpa, carried the Cardinal’s crosier for him.  Continue reading

The pope wants to know. So tell him.

sinceyouaskedAs of noon eastern time, members of several progressive Catholic organizations were holding a press conference in Baltimore. The purpose: encouraging the U.S. bishops to consult and dialogue with the laity on important issues. We have the pope at our back on this one:

In preparation for the Extraordinary Synod on the Family to be held Oct. 5-19, 2014, the Vatican has asked national bishops’ conferences around the world to seek the opinions of Catholics on a number of church teachings including contraception, same-sex marriage and divorce. Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary general of the Vatican’s Synod of Bishops, asked the bishops’ conferences to commence a survey “immediately as widely as possible to deaneries and parishes so that input from local sources can be received.”

Parishes. Local input. That means us. That means you.

And there’s an app for that. Or at least a survey. So go take the survey, and read all the details, at:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SynodOnFamilyUS

(h/t Call To Action Facebook page)