|Chicago Tribune Photo during interview|
I didn't know Cardinal George of Chicago all that well. It is only through his writings, speeches, and news articles that I became familiar with him as a Cardinal, pastor, and priest. I had worked with his predecessor, Cardinal Bernadin as part of the Catholic Conference of Illinois representing the Diocese of Springfield-in-Illinois. I must admit that I was, and still am, quite a fan of Cardinal Bernadin. So, when he died and Bishop George was appointed to Chicago, I was skeptical about what he would be like.
Well, I was not disappointed at all! In Father Barron's fine article about Cardinal George, he enumerated many of the accomplishments of Cardinal George, but what stuck me most, and what I observed over his years as the leader of the Archdiocese, was how he confronted modern society with the calm passion of our Catholic faith and showed us how to live in this society while retaining our Catholic values. He showed us how to live; he taught us how to remain faithful to our faith; he explained why we must remain faithful; he challenged those who compromised our trust in priests by strongly addressing those who had strayed from the true path; and, he led us to a deeper understanding of the challenging, yet fruitful theology explained to us by Pope St. John Paul II, the Great.
Even though I didn't know him well, I celebrate his ministry and hope that I can live up to his expectation for us as faithful Catholics in the United States.
May the perpetual light shine and May God Give You Peace, Cardinal Francis George.