Welcome to the Reading Room

Here are some news stories and articles which might be of interest to you. I've posted the opening section, and if you want to read more, you can click on "Read the whole article" to go to the original item. You'll find a variety of things here -- current news, political analysis, opinion pieces, articles about religion -- things I've happened to read and want to share with you. It's your Reading Room, so take your time. Browse. You're certain to find something you'll want to read.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Sorrowful Mother, Joyful Children

by Fr. Matthew Gamber, S.J.

When I told my father that I was going to visit and write about the Basilica of Our Lady of Sorrows on Chicago’s West Side, he told me about his aunt Esther.

Every Friday during World War II the devout Catholic mother took a street car, commuter train and two buses from the suburbs to the city to pray the Sorrowful Mother novena for the safety of her two soldier sons and the whole country.

It turns out that my great-aunt Esther was not alone on those Fridays. When I went to the basilica, I learned that she was usually joined by more than 70,000 fellow “novenites” who made the weekly pilgrimage to join in the novena started by Servite Father James Keane in 1937. They usually had to wait in line for hours, wrapping around the imposing edifice on West Jackson Boulevard, a few miles from Chicago’s Loop, before they could attend one of the 38 separate Friday services.

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Fr. Phillips is the founding pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church, the first Anglican Use parish, established on August 15, 1983. Not that there is any confusion, but he is on the left, shown in his younger, less gray-headed days.