Francis Cardinal George — perhaps the only true one-time “American Papabile” — R.I.P.

The Statement from the Archdiocese of Chicago:

Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 12.19.09 PM

I had the privilege and honor of being received into the Church along with my wife by Cardinal George at the Easter Vigil in 2000. He generously made time to visit our RCIA group when we were both candidates and later, as sponsors, and I was able to meet him and chat with him briefly several times. I was impressed by his brilliance, and humility. This is sad news.

Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 12.37.14 PMA lot of good Chicago Catholics noticed his appearance on the Loggia of St. Peter’s after the election of Benedict XVI in 2005. His expression was described as pensive or anxious, and reporters later asked him what it was that he was feeling or thinking in the moment that he was caught on camera.

My recollection is that Cardinal George answered that looking out onto the square, he reflected how the various man-made institutions had come and faded into mere memory over the life of the Church — the Roman Empire, the various European kingdoms, and all the other great powers that at one point or another seemed virtually indestructible. “Where are they now?”, he asked. Only the Church survived when other forces appeared so much more unstoppable.

This answer never put an end to speculation that he had received some votes in the conclave, enough to pray for Benedict to have a long pontificate. By any stretch, it would have been amazing for an American cardinal to receive any votes, much less a block of them. If true, by the time of the 2013 conclave he most likely was more serene, aware that his cancer and age would save him from such a burden. But a number of Chicago Catholics, including myself, would not have been dismayed at all, but rather delighted (and confident in the Holy Spirit’s guidance) with a Pope George.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI turns 88 today, and celebrates properly!

This is my new favorite photograph in all of creation, posted on Zenit.org’s Facebook feed:

I am happy to see His Holiness looking well and happy, surrounded by fellow countrymen and accompanied by his brother, Georg. It would be a great privilege to share such a moment in Benedict’s presence. Say a prayer of thanksgiving for him today, and ask God to grant him a happy and healthy 88th year!

My wife’s the Best…..

For the past few months, Mrs. Q has been traveling to Palo Alto one weekend a month with a good friend to train to become a catechist for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. This month her friend couldn’t go, so we packed up the kids in the car and brought them down, hitting a few sites that we’ve been meaning to visit:

The Shrine of St. Francis in San Francisco:  Then we headed over to Chinatown for lunch. The seafood is always FRESH:  We have one son who already thinks he might have a vocation to the priesthood, and a wonderful seminarian friend who showed us around St. Patrick’s in Menlo Park (picture below is in the main chapel): Then, we got back to the hotel, and Mrs. Q suggested she take the kids up to bed and that I should….. 

Having the life, huh?  

Poem for Holy Saturday: Limbo

Limbo

The ancient greyness shifted
Suddenly and thinned
Like mist upon the moors
Before a wind.
An old, old prophet lifted
A shining face and said:
“He will be coming soon.
The Son of God is dead;
He died this afternoon.”

A murmurous excitement stirred all souls.
they wondered if they dreamed-
Save one old man who seemed
Not even to have heard.

And Moses standing,
Hushed them all to ask
If any had a welcome song prepared.
If not, would David take the task?
And if they cared
Could not the three young children sing
The Benedicite, the canticle of praise
They made when God kept them from perishing
In the fiery blaze?

A breath of spring surprised them,
Stilling Moses’ words.
No one could speak, remembering
The first fresh flowers,
The little singing birds.
Still others thought of fields new ploughed

Or apple trees
All blossom-boughed.
Or some, the way a dried bed fills
With water
Laughing down green hills.
The fisherfolk dreamed of the foam
On bright blue seas.
The one old man who had not stirred
Remembered home.

And there He was
Splendid as the morning sun and fair
As only God is fair.
And they, confused with joy,
Knelt to adore
Seeing that He wore
Five crimson stars
He never had before.

No canticle at all was sung.
None toned a psalm, or raising a greeting song,
A silent man alone
Of all that throng
Found tongue-
Not any other.
Close to His heart
When embrace was done,
Old Joseph said,
“How is your Mother,
How is your Mother, Son?”

-Sister Mary Ada
The Reign Of Mary -Vol. XXV, No 76