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I Fell Twice On The Way Of The Cross

In His torturous walk to Golgotha, Jesus fell three times.  Each time someone helped Him to rise and continue on.  Simon of Cyrene picked up the Cross and eased its weight on the shoulders of Christ.  Another helper, Veronica, wiped his brutalized face with her towel.  She didn’t know Him but only saw a man in need of help.

Saint Veronica, by Hans Memling Via Wikipedia

Saint Veronica, by Hans Memling
Via Wikipedia

My first fall took place in the Tomb of Christ in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.  Only five people can fit into the small chapel of the tomb.  Because of a lack of oxygen, I slumped to the floor in a faint.  With much care, my friends carried me out to fresh air.  On my way back to my Residence, my second fall happened at the V Station.  I hit the street suddenly without warning.  No harm came, only an increase in weakness.

A taxi with the driver waiting for a fare stood only ten yards away.  What a blessing!  Again my friends helped me by putting me into the front seat of the taxi.  The driver drove up the steep, narrow street for a block to my residences at the II Station of the Cross.  The Lord had taken good care of me, with my friends at the tomb, and the taxi cab driver.  I gave him $20.

The address of my residence was Ecce Homo (Behold The Man), Via Dolorosa 41, Jerusalem.  Via Dolorosa means The Sorrowful Way, with reference to the Way of the Cross.  All of us could add those words, Via Dolorosa, to our address, no matter where we live.  Each one of us is carrying a cross; life allows for no exceptions.  The invisible cross might be a sickness, a heartbreak, family situation, fears, worries, or harmful addiction, such as indifference to God, a revengeful spirit.  Many people lack employment.

Plan to be a Simon of Cyrene or a Veronica to people we meet each day.  Give others a spirit of hope by our kindness and loving ways.  I can help others in many different ways – with a smile, a word of advice, an offer of friendship, by sharing a book, listening with a patient ear.  Live out the Via Dolorosa dream.

                        Fr. George Mc Kenna

July 28, 2013 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Chicago Midway Airport Chapel

Wednesday marks the 25th Anniversary of the first Mass at the Chicago Midway Airport.  The message below appeared in Our Lady of The Snows’ bulletin back in 1988 when the Chapel was still in the dream stage.  It is proof that faith, trust in the Lord, and the power of prayer can help us reach our Impossible Dreams!

The current Midway Airport Chapel.  For the first 14 years, the Chapel was very mobile, moving to any open gate. On April 14, 2002, this permanent chapel was dedicated by Cardinal Francis George.

The current Midway Airport Chapel. For the first 14 years, the Chapel was very mobile, moving to any open gate.
On April 14, 2002, this permanent chapel was dedicated by Cardinal Francis George.

The Chicago Midway Airport Chapel

A few weeks ago, I wrote of my vision of an Interfaith Chapel at busy Chicago Midway Airport for the spiritual uplift of the airlines’ personnel and of travelers moving through its concourses.  Determined to get a hearing for this idea of a Chapel, I left word with the Deputy Commissioner of Aviation, the Manager of Midway, of my willingness to give time on a daily basis to the spiritual needs of the Midway people.

Later, in the meeting with the Manager, I spoke about “the wild idea of an Airport Chapel.”  “On the contrary”, he responded, “it sounds like a good idea.”  Mentioning the necessity of clearing the project with his superiors, the Deputy Commissioner encouraged me to obtain permission for this possible ministry from Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, the Archbishop of Chicago.

After several months of communications with the Archbishop’s office, I received the permission from the Cardinal, through his Chancellor, to take on the Airport Ministry.  I was to keep my present work and position as Associate Pastor of Our Lady of The Snows and to give as much time possible to the Midway work.  The Chancellor mentioned on the phone that the Cardinal was “very enthusiastic” about the possible opening of a Chapel at Midway, since the Cardinal uses the Airport frequently on his business trips to the East Coast.

With two hurdles taken care of, only one remains.  The manager of Midway seeks to find a suitable place in which to locate the Chapel, no easy task, because of the influx of many airlines which are using up much of the available space.  If and when the Chapel does open, our Pastor at OLSnows, has generously promised the former altar and tabernacle used in our parish Church during the first 25 years of its existence.

I ask for your generous prayers for the success of this venture, one filled with unlimited possibilities of spiritual good for many of the thousands of people using the Midway services each day.  Pray to St. Joseph, asking him to help the manager and his engineers locate a fitting place for this House of Worship.  I always prayed to St. Joseph when traveling in foreign countries to help me obtain a place to sleep at night.  He never failed me!                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                           Fr. George Mc Kenna

July 21, 2013 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , | 5 Comments