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Catholic Northwest Progress
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November 29, 1963     Catholic Northwest Progress
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November 29, 1963

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2--THE PROGRESS Jr FHdaY, Nov. 29, 1963 The church and the Kennedys America Buries Her First Catholic president World Mourns 00:For Nation's Fallen0000.00Chief WASHINGTON (NC) Nov. 25 -- Requiem Mass for John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th Pres- ident of the United States and the first Cath- olic to occupy the Presidency, was offered .while the nation and world mourned. Hundreds of dignitaries of .Church and State filled St. Matthew's Cathedral here to pray for and honor the 46-year-old Chief Executive who was slain by an assassin's bullet in Dallas, Tex, Twenty-seven chiefs of state or heads of government were among the 1,200 persons at the low Mass. Other delegates brought the number of countries represented to 53. And throughout the country Americans joined in prayer for Mr. Kennedy in response to President Lyndon B. Johnson's proclamation of a "national day of " " mourmng. Mr. Johnson's proclamation said in part: "I earnestly recommend the people to assemble on that day in their respective places of divine worship, there to bow down in submission to the will of al- mighty God, and to pay their homage of love and rev- erence to the memory of a great and good man. "I invite the people of the world who share our lp'ief to join us in this ,day of mourning and dedi. cation." Churches across the nation reported large attendance at memorial services. Hundreds of thousands in the capital paid their respects by visiting the remains in the Capitol rotunda and witnessing the sad procession to St. Matthew's. Richard Cardinal Cushing of Boston, a longtime friend of President Kennedy and his family, offered the requiem Mass November 25 in the domed, red brick cathedral in downtown Washington, only a few blocks from the White House. It was the Cardinal who officiated at the wedding on September 12, 1953, of John Fitzgerald Kennedy and ,lacqueline Lee Bouvier. The Cardinal gave the invocation at the inauguration of President Kennedy on Jan. 20, 1961. 0nly last August I0 Cardinal Cushing offered the 'Mass of the Angels," requiem for infants, in his pri- Vate chapel for Patrick Bouvier Kennedy, infant son of the President and the First Lady. The child had died two days after birth.  Present in the sanctuary during the shnple ser- vice in which the Church commends the soul of the deceased to God was Archbishop Egidio Vagnozzi, Apostolic Delegate in the United States, who rep- resented Pope Paul Vl as Ambassador Extraordinary. Among other prelates present were Archbishop Pat- rick A. O'Boyle of Washington and Auxiliary Bishop Philip M. Hannah of Washington. Both returned from the Second Vatican Council. Also in the sanctuary were Auxiliary Bishop John I. Maguire of New York, representing Francis Cardi- nal SpelLman, and Auxiliary Bishop T, Austin Murphy of Baltimore, representing Archbishop Lawrence J. Shehan of that neighboring city. At the conclusion of the Mass, Bishop Hannah mounted the cathedral's pulpit and observed that "the most ..... ' approprmte commemoration of the "heart- breaking event" would be to review the sources of the late President's ideals as he had expressed them in his public remarks. Bishop Hannah quoted Biblical phrases used by President Kennedy and read from his inaugural ad- dress in ringing tones. i Cardinal Cushing, while giving the final absolution of the body, offered a private prayer, saying: "May the'Angels, dear Jack, lead you into Paradise . . ." Statesmen present, most of whom walked inn sol. emn procession from the White House to the cathedral, included former Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and Harry S. Truman; Prince Phillip of Great Britain and British Prime Minister Home; Belgian King Baudouin; Irish President De Valera; President De Gaulle of France; Soviet First Deputy Chairman Mikoyan; Phil- i ippine President Macapagal, German Chancellor Er- hard and Mayor Brandt of West Berlin. The requiem Mass followed a weekend of mourning. [. For the preceding 21 hours the.President's body lay in state in the rotunda of the Capitol Building. Thous- ands of men, women and children of every race, color and creed filed past the bier topay their last respects. Many persons, some of whom waited as long as 10 hours to get into the Capitol, sadly made the sign of the cross as they filed past the body. Groups of Sisters and priests were among those passing the bier even as midnight approached. i REQUIEM for a President in Washington, D.C. (top photo) and in Seattle (bottom photo). Richard Cardinal Cushing, Arch- bishop of Boston, celebrated a low pontifical requiem Mass for President John F. Kennedy in St. Matthew's Cathedral, Washington. In St. James Cathedral, the Most Reverend Thomas E. Gill, V.G., Auxiliary Bishop of Seattle, was celebrant Monday at a solemn pontifical requiem Mass. The flag.draped catafalque stands in the center aisle. Before being taken to the Capitol, the body lay in the East Room of the White House. The casket was draped with an American flag and the catafalque was covered in black. A large crucifix bearing an ivory figure of Christ was at the foot of the casket, which was flanked by four candles and decorated with a bouquet of white lilies and carnations. When the body was brought to the White House at 4:25 a.m. from the Naval medical center in Beth- esda, Md., a prayer was offered by a priest waiting there. Two priests remained throughout the night to pray for the President. As Saturday, November 23, dawned, more priests drawn from the Washington archdiocese and the nu- merous houses of studies related to the major Cath. olic universities arrived. All during the hours the body was in the East Room where dignitaries came to pay their respects, two of the priests knelt in prayer near the casket. Later in the morning, a private requiem Mass was offered in the East Room by Rev. John ,1.. Cavanaugh, C.S.C., former president of Notre Dame University and a family friend. Mrs. Kennedy and the two Kennedy children, Caro- line and John Jr., were present, as were family mem- bers and close friends. i Europe Grieves For President --Archbishop By THE MOST REVEREND THOMAS A. CONNOLLY Archbishop of Seettle Via Western Union ROME, Nov. 26--God rest John Fitz- gerald Kennedy, the late, beloved-in-all- lands president of the United States. May the hand of the good Lord rest lightly upon him and sustain his sorrow. ing widow and her wee baixns and support all his family in their tragic hour of deep grief and heartache. It has, indeed, been a sad and sorry week and I am sure that many of you have scarcely recovered from the emotional stress and strain under which you have been laboring during these dismal, doleful days. The whole series of harrowingly tragic events is still barely believable. The President of the United States, cut down in the heyday of his political career by an assassin's bullet; a brilliant executive with a zest for Kfe, for adventure, for achieve. meat; a world leader with a supreme devo- tion to duty and an all-embracing love for mankind; a loving husband, an affectionate father, a devoted son; a man of attractive physical appearance, of distinguished learn. ing, of charming and magnetic personality, of a genial and delightful sense of humor. Name anything you like in this line and he had it and in the twinkling of an eye, he lay practically lifeless on the floor of his official limousine, his bleed- ing head cuddled in the lap of his young wife. The heart of this ancient Eternal City throbbed in sympathy with the people of the United States when the horrendous reports of last Friday night were finally verified. The first dispatch merely alluded to the fact that the president had been shot or shot at in Texas but it was not too long before the tragic news was broadcast as true and reliable, that the President of the United States had been assassinated. (Continued on Page 3) Soon after, President Johnson left the White House for a special unannounced service which he had re- quested in St. John's Episcopal church, across Lafay- ette Park from the White House. The Rev. John C. Harper, rector, prayed for the dead President and his successor. President Kennedy's body was borne from the White House to the Capitol the following day in a horse-drawn caisson, accompanied by a military guard of honor and preceded by clergymen of var- ious faiths on foot. Before the remains left the White House November 24 another private Mass was offered in the East Room. The celebrant was Rev. M. Frank Ruppert, an assis- tant at St. Matthew's. Mrs. Kennedy, her children and close friends again were present. As the tragic procession proceeded to the Capitol, the caisson bearing the President's body was accom- panied by these clergymen: Dean Francis F. Sayre of the National Protestant Episcopal Cathedral, Msgr. John Spence, director of education, Catholic Archdio- cese of Washington, and Rev. Theodore Dunusiar, pas- tor of Holy Family Ukrainian Catholic Byzantine Rite Church. A rabbi scheduled to take part failed to arrive from his home in Chicago in time. On Sunday morning, the cortege proceeded from the Capitol to the White House and then to St. Matthew's Cathedral. As it arrived, Cardinal Cushing appeared at the cathedral's main door, flanked by altar boys and priests. He came out from under the doorway, draped in black and gold, and went down the steps to speak to Mrs. Kennedy. He kissed the flag on the casket and offered expressions of comfort to the late Presi- dent's two children. During the Mass, whose details were explained for millions watching television by Rev. Leonard Hurley, a Washington priest, the hymn, "Ave Maria," was sung by Italian soloist Luigi Vena of Boston. Vena, who had sung it at the Kennedy wedding, sung it again at the request of the President's widow. (Continued on Page 3) MEMORABLE days for a Catholic family: U.S. Ambassador to England Joseph P. Kennedy (top photo), his wife and children were granted an audience by Pope Pius XII March 20, 1939. The President-to-be is second from left, back row. Richard Card- inal Cushing of Boston (bottom photo) is shown after baptizing Christopher George, son of Attorney General and Mrs. Robert F. Kennedy at Hyannisport, Mass. The President's warm smile reflects the family's happiness. THE late President takes the oath of office January 20, 1961 from Chief Justice Earl Warren. MR. Kennedy, his successor, then Vice President, Lyndon B. Johnson, Mrs. Johnson and Evangelist Billy Graham attend prayer-breakfast of congressional wives after the inauguration. KEY moments in President Kennedy's political life came amid Protestant settings. In his 1960 presidential campaign, he addressed (top photo) 500 clergymen of the Ministers Asso- ciation of Greater Houston and delineated his thoughts on separation of Church and state. In what must have been a heart-warming moment for the young leader, Dr. E. S. James of Dallas (bottom photo), clergyman-editor, came to the White House last February to tell Mr. Kennedy that "it was a pleasure" to note that religious bias had been scrupulously avoided by the a&ninistration. The Baptist minister had previously opposed election of a Roman Catholic president.