|His Eminence Francis CardinalGeorge, Archbishop of Chicago|
Last month while having coffee with Nat Wilburn, Headmaster at Sacred Heart Schools Chicago he mentioned that Francis Cardinal George would be coming to the school in the New Year to celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany(*) with the students and I would be welcome to join them for mass.
So this afternoon I returned to the school and witnessed the gym filled with over 700 students, faculty, staff, a few board members, RSCJ and guests that gathered to attend the Epiphany Mass celebrated by His Eminence Francis Cardinal George, Archbishop of Chicago.
The Cardinal and I greeted one another in the hallway as I hung my coat. We first met in May 2000 when I served as a member of the Barat College Board of Trustees and the Cardinal received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at the Commencement Exercises. We last saw one another in 2008 when the Cardinal was being interviewed by Chicago History Museum President Gary T. Johnson as part of the Catholic Chicago exhibit. (To view the interview click here)
As many know, the Cardinal was undergoing chemo therapy for a recurrence of cancer discovered last August. He told the students how last year the doctors had advised against being near kids and how happy he was to be at Sacred Heart and celebrate this special feast day with them.
I sat in the back and was impressed with the attentive behavior of the young girls and boys as the Cardinal delivered his homily and spoke of the Three Wise Men bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. He also spoke of the importance of truth and love and from my perspective left us all with a very uplifting message.
Afterwards as the students headed back to their classrooms many of the adults walked over to the beautiful Driehaus Center for refreshments and an opportunity to meet His Eminence. I especially enjoyed visiting with Liz Hartigan Connelly, Chair of the Board of Trustees for Sacred Heart Schools Chicago and board member Maureen Sippel as well as many of the wonderful administrators and staff.
It was a special afternoon and I am grateful to have been invited. And, to our dear Francis Cardinal George, I will pray that your health continues to improve and I wish you many blessings this New Year!
(*) Note: The actual Feast of the Epiphany was on January 6, 2013