JPII and the Jews

CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER, July 19 — Duquesne University students will enjoy a special campus treat this summer — a major exhibit exploring the warm relations between Pope John Paul II and Jews.

“A Blessing to One Another: Pope John Paul II & the Jewish People” is on display through Aug. 11 at the Pittsburgh university, before moving to the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York.

The exhibit shows both the church and the synagogue in John Paul’s hometown of Wadowice, Poland, as well as a replica of the Krakow Ghetto gate and other Holocaust artifacts. It concludes with a display documenting his interfaith initiatives.

“He’s our Pope, too,” John Hexter, head of the Cleveland chapter of the American Jewish Committee, told the Plain Dealer after visiting the exhibit. “I think he belongs to the world.”

The Hoosier Saint

SOUTH BEND TRIBUNE, July 22 — A portrait of Mother Theodore Guerin, the founder of St. Mary of the Woods College who will be canonized in October, now graces the Indiana governor’s office.
Mother Theodore established the college — the oldest Catholic liberal-arts college in the United States — near Terre Haute in 1841.

At a July 21 ceremony, Gov. Mitch Daniels hailed Mother Theodore’s selfless and pioneering spirit.

“I don’t know anybody who has anything but reverence for the people who have led the Catholic Church and led the faith,” Daniels said, “and those who have attained this remarkable rank — the first Hoosier to be honored in a way that Mother Theodore soon will be — that ought to be a source of incredible pride to all of us and that’s why we’re here today.”

Valedictorian Sues

ASSOCIATED PRESS, July 14 — School officials at Foothill High School in Henderson, Nev., literally pulled the plug on valedictorian Brittany McComb’s commencement address when she started talking about her Christian faith.

Now she has retaliated by filing suit in the U.S. District Court of Nevada against the principal, assistant principal and the school employee who allegedly disconnected her microphone. The lawsuit seeks a declaration that the officials’ actions violated McComb’s rights under the First and 14th Amendments.

McComb told the Associated Press that she was warned Christian references would not be tolerated in her June 15 speech, but said she couldn’t keep silent about her faith.

“I wanted to say why I was successful, and what inspired me to keep going and what motivated me,” said McComb. “It involved Jesus Christ for me, period.”

ASU’s Good Problem

THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC, July 24 — Arizona State University’s All Saints Newman Catholic Center has the sort of problem a chaplain likes to have.

The center is attracting so many students that it plans to break ground this fall on a new $5.7-million building to accommodate the overflow crowds.

Currently, more than 1,800 people attend Mass at the center each weekend — and even more are expected when the new building is finished.

The two-story structure will have a 220-seat social hall on the ground floor, with a 650-seat chapel on the second floor. It will also contain a 700-square-foot Eucharistic adoration chapel.