National Catholic Reporter
The Independent Newsweekly
Issue Date:  August 1, 2003


Studs Terkel, 91, a legendary Chicago radio personality and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, will see one of his books turned into a play by “Friends” star David Schwimmer. The production based on Terkel’s 1992 book Race: How Blacks and Whites Think and Feel About the American Obsession runs through Aug. 24 in Chicago. Over the last couple of years, Schwimmer has brought renewed attention to Race by featuring the book cover in a few scenes on “Friends.” Terkel said that his own 14-year-old niece picked up the book for the first time after she saw Schwimmer reading it.

Sr. Norris Nawab, a Presentation sister and chair of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Major Religious Superiors Leadership Conference in Pakistan, testified before a U.N. human rights commission in Geneva, Switzerland, on forced labor in Pakistan. The commission has been opposing what it calls a shameful record of child labor, prostitution, bonded labor and human trafficking in Pakistan.

Bernadette Gietka, desperate to find financing for a musical she was writing to celebrate the sanctity of life, said she prayed to God, “It would benefit you to make me rich.” Three weeks later, she bought what turned out to be the winning ticket in the Mega Millions interstate lottery game. A parishioner of Holy Rosary Church in Baltimore, Gietka, 54, has pledged to tithe 10 percent of her $112.8 million lottery winnings to local parishes and charities and to promote religious life. The musical will be her top priority, she said. “If it’s not finished in two years, I’ll be in trouble with you know who!”

Antwone Fisher, a movie screenwriter, was among 11 winning writers honored July 10 at the 29th annual Humanitas Prize. Fisher wrote the screenplay for “Antwone Fisher,” a drama based on his own life about a sailor with an explosive attitude who is guided by a Navy psychiatrist to find the courage to stop fighting and start healing. Judges said the film showed “the honesty it takes to face past hurts and move forward.” The Humanitas Prize was created in 1974 by the late Paulist Fr. Ellwood Kieser to foster film and television scriptwriting that enriches and entertains.

Sr. Patricia A. Cruise, a Sister of Charity who has been working with Indian children in South Dakota, has been named president of Covenant House, the shelter program for homeless and runaway youths. She is to take over the post in New York Sept. 1, succeeding Sr. Mary Rose McGeady, a Daughter of Charity who became president of Covenant House in 1990 and turned 75 years old in June. Covenant House reported serving more than 66,000 youths last year with a budget of $120 million.

Charles Mahon, 71, has retired as editor of The Catholic Virginian, Richmond’s diocesan newspaper, after more than 38 years at the paper. During his tenure as editor, he supervised the publication of an estimated 1,500-plus issues of the newspaper. He covered the final session of the Second Vatican Council. “That was an exciting time and it set the direction for me,” Mahon said. “After the council, much had to be done in the local church to carry out the mandate for renewal.”

National Catholic Reporter, August 1, 2003

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