Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Chicago’s Old St. Patrick’s Church hosts prayer service for women religious

Hundreds of women religious together with their supporters filled Old St. Patrick’s Church outside of Chicago’s Loop the evening of May 10 for a Prayer Service to celebrate and remember all the good works, holiness and kindness of religious sisters past and present. Father Tom Hurley, Old St. Pat’s pastor welcomed the throng with a story of Sr. Carolyn, a Sister of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who, he said acted as a “bridge” for school kids. By this he meant that Sr. Carolyn actually used her back as a bridge to help students escape from the December 1958 Our Lady of the Angels School fire that killed 92 children and 3 nuns. That metaphor echoed throughout the service––that our religious sisters act as a bridge to God.

“Blessed Are They: A Celebration of Women Religious” was in the planning stages by parish staff for some time, but as Fr. Hurley noted in his opening welcome, an unforeseen event speeded up the timing of the service.

The service took on the tone of a rally with long rounds of applause, whistles, and foot-stomping from the congregation as organizers and other lay people told stories, both humorous and profound, of their experiences and interaction with the sisters in schools, hospitals, soup kitchens and wherever the sisters minister––they often doing the “heavy lifting” for the Church.

The service concluded with a blessing by the congregation of the sisters who were asked to gather in the sanctuary. Finally, the sisters held out their arms to bless the crowd. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Beware of… Girl Scouts

Not content to be censuring women religious leaders, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops is investigating the Girl Scouts. While the bishops are concerned with any possible affiliations between Girl Scouts and any non-Christian, relativistic, pro-choice groups such as Planned Parenthood, they are probably also suspect of any organization that promotes female leadership.
This inquisition inquiry will be conducted by the bishops' Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth. It will look into the Scouts' "possible problematic relationships with other organizations" and various "problematic" program materials, according to a letter sent by the committee chairman, Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Fort Wayne, Ind., to his fellow bishops. The bishops' conference provided a copy of the letter to The Associated Press, but otherwise declined comment.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Bourgeois: A Prophet Without Honor

In another case of “a prophet is not without honor except among his own household...” (Mark 6:4), Fr Roy Bourgeois will be delivering a commencement address on the southside of Chicago. However, it won’t be at the Catholic Theological Union (CTU), but  about a mile away at the Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS). CTS is an affiliate of the United Church of Christ. Bourgeois was invited for this honor based on his living the gospel values of peace, justice and equality. Ironically, Bourgeois is currently in conflict with the Vatican, and subsequently with his Maryknoll order, for his public support of women’s ordination in the Roman Catholic Church. He was excommunicated latae sententiae for his participation in a women’s ordination ceremony in August 2008.

More Sad Than Funny...