Local News Archive
Print Issue: January 4, 1979
1978 -- A Very Good Year
By Michael Motes
North Georgia Catholics joined the people of the world during the past year in mourning the death of two popes, shaking their heads in disbelief at the horrors in a remote Guyanese settlement called Jonestown, and lamenting IRS intervention with a would-be free Catholic press.
But they also rejoiced as white smoke rose again in the Vatican; basked in the prospects of peace in the Middle East, and began applauding the visual delights of the celluloid Superman.
Elsewhere in this issue we find accounts of the top stories of 1978 concerning the nation and the world -- but what about some of the major happenings in our own domain?
The Archdiocese of Atlanta has had unparalleled growth during the past 12 months. Weve seen a local boy become bishop and four other local clergy receive Vatican honors. The welcome mat has been put out for world-renown religious leaders. And an arsonists bomb almost destroyed one our most historic churches.
Chronologically, here are some of the major news events that occurred in our archdiocese:
The year began with Monsignor Patrick J. OConnor, priest, Georgian, Vocation Director, being named Man of the Year and the nations top Catholic news story of 1977 being Communion in the Hand.
Another honor came for Monsignor R. Donald Kiernan with his appointment as Archimandrite of the Melkite Diocese of Newton by Melkite Bishop Joseph Tawil, In recognition of his service over the years to the Melkite Community of Atlanta.
Christ the King School celebrated its 40th anniversary and Father Richard Lopez began his first year as Director of Vocations.
The death of Hubert Humphrey was editorialized, as was the importance of generously supporting the annual Charities Drive, which had as its goal $350,000.
Archbishop Donnellan joined in the search for a new President of the Catholic University of America, by appointment to CUAs Presidential Search Committee, and Sacred Heart Church was taking on a new look during extensive renovation.
Governor George Busbee paved the way for Catholic Schools Week by signing a proclamation in praise of our schools.
After years of work, the new $3 million St. Josephs Hospital was dedicated, with Archbishop Donnellan placing a time capsule at the cornerstone and Senator Herman Talmadge delivering the key-note address.
Joining Bishop William R. Cannon of the United Methodist Church and Bishop Bennett J. Sims of the Episcopal Church of Atlanta, Archbishop Donnellan signed a formal statement in support of the Panama Canal Treaty.
Top religious figures were visitors: Apostolic Delegate Archbishop Jean Jadot to address members of the National Organization for the Continuing Education of Roman Catholic Clergy meeting in Atlanta, and Leo Cardinal Suenens, Archbishop of Malines-Brussels and Primate of Belgium, arriving for an Ecumenical Service at the Cathedral of St. Philip.
Neighboring Bishop Raymond Lessard of Savannah was serving as liaison between U.S. Bishops and married Episcopalian priests seeking Catholic ordination.
Saint Francis of Assisi Mission Church in Blairsville purchased its first property, located on Highway 78 between Blairsville and Young Harris.
Erudite Father Jeremy Miller, OP, explained schism among both Catholic and Protestant Churches, and the BULLETIN launched a new feature, the MAGAZINE, a monthly pictorial which began with a focus on the work of Sisters Roberta Sutton and Marcella Meyer among the aged.
Monsignor Eusebius J. Beltran, Vicar General and pastor of St. Anthonys, was named Bishop of Tulsa, Oklahoma, by Pope Paul VI.
Named to succeed him as Vicar General was Monsignor John F. McDonough, Administrator of the Cathedral.
Six Southern Bishops, including Archbishop Donnellan, issued a statement on the Union Management dispute of the J.P. Stevens Co.
Honors went to every Catholic in the archdiocese for making the Charities Drive go over the top for the tenth consecutive year; and, in Athens, a special honor went to Edward Fetchtel, Jr., for his 15 years of service to Saint Marys Hospital.
We learned of a growing number of Korean Catholics in the area when the MAGAZINE observed the work of Father Benito Soh, OSB, himself a native of Korea.
Looking back, we observed the tenth anniversary of the death of Archbishop Paul J. Hallinan.
A two-part interview with world-wide Charismatic leader Cardinal Leo Suenens was a BULLETIN exclusive and covered a variety of timely Church matters.
The Georgia Association of Educators had a Catholic President with the election of Odell Owens, Jr.; a parishioner of Saint Bernadettes in Cedartown.
Gwinnett County got a new Catholic parish with the establishment of the Snellville Mission. At the helm was Father Terrance Kane. Union and Town Counties Catholics were shown an artists drawing of the new Saint Francis of Assisi Church to be.
Full details of the Ordination of Bishop Beltran completed the news of the month, with the final page being the MAGAZINE focus on Father Lopez and Vocations.
More signs of expansion when All Saints in Dunwoody celebrated its first anniversary by unveiling the architects concept of the proposed parish complex and the Fairburn Mission celebrated Mass for the first time.
Newly-ordained Fathers Jorge Cristancho and Stephen Naas received their first parish assignments; administrative duties were given Father Stephen Churchwell by the Metropolitan Tribunal; Father James Miceli became the new Assistant Chancellor, and Monsignor Michael Manning announced his retirement after 42 years as a priest.
Events concerning youth showed that Atlanta had an increase in the number of students enrolled in religious education classes and that Boy Scout Troop 21 of OLA parish had received the Bishops Trophy for excellence in Scouting.
Archbishop Donnellan was surprised when the MAGAZINE highlighted his 10 years in Atlanta.
A month of the old and the new:
Ground was broken for a new Parish Center at St. Gerards and a new three-story addition to Saint Marys Hospital in Athens.
Saint Anthonys marked its 75th anniversary with special guest past-pastor, now Bishop Beltran, and Sacred Heart parishioners were stunned at the $250,000 arson damage to the just completed renovation work.
Monsignor Joseph Cassidy, retired from Atlanta, was cited in Savannah as Georgia Regional Hospitals Outstanding Volunteer of 1978 for contributing 1,763 hours of his time to the hospital.
Glenmary Father Gerald Peterson returned to Georgia as pastor of Saint Marks in Clarkesville.
Growth of the Church in Cobb County resulted in the establishment of a new parish in the Bishop Lake Road area and the expansion of Transfiguration in the Kennesaw-Acworth section of the county. Respectively, priests in charge were Fathers Thomas J. Carroll, MS, and Raymond Horan.
A first for the Hispanic community was the new Spanish news program sponsored by Catholic Social Services on WABE-FM Radio.
The death of Pope Paul VI was covered in a Special Edition and Viva il Papa! heralded the reign of John Paul I a short time later.
Martha the computer took over archdiocesan bookkeeping and granted the BULLETIN an exclusive interview.
The oldest Catholic Church in Georgia, Our Lady of Purification Church in Sharon, founded about 1790, was down to membership of 12.
NEWSVIEW shows a puzzled Archbishop Donnellan accepting an empty golf bag as a 10th anniversary gift from the priests of the diocese. An explanation on the where-abouts of the clubs was left to Father Hardy.
Specials included Miss Lillian Carters personal reflection on her visit with Pope Paul VI shortly before his death; a two-part series on The Church In Kenya by Father Richard Kieran, and a supplement on John Paul I.
The Fairburn Mission was officially named Saint Matthews and the Pro-Life Office announced the formation of two new committees to combat abortion legislation.
Priests in the spotlight were Monsignor Kiernan, elected President of the Georgia Association of Police Chaplains and member of the State Crime Commission, and Monsignor Cassidy, who reminisced on his 55 years in Georgia.
Atlanta vincentians were hosting the 75th annual convention of the international charitable organizations, with Cardinal Humberto Meidros of Boston as key-note speaker.
The magic of television was shown in the use of TV monitors to aid surgeons at Saint Josephs Hospital and the MAGAZINEs look at the TV Mass.
In stunned disbelief, the death of a Supreme Pontiff was again mourned. The warm human qualities of Pope John Paul I were recalled by Archbishop Donnellan, and a front page eulogy commented, His 800 hours were magical moments of Papal remembrance.
Surprise -- Polish Cardinal is John Paul II was a banner headline announcing the election of the first non-Italian Pope in 455 years when Polish Cardinal Karol Wojtyla became the 264th Successor of Saint Peter.
The many-faceted work of The United Way was the MAGAZINE topic.
Top news of the month were Papal Honors for Monsignors McDonough and Kiernan as Protonotaries Apostolic, and Fathers Burtenshaw and Hardy as Monsignors.
Father Thomas Carrolls mission got a name -- Saint Annes -- and Monsignor Burtenshaw got out of the Federal Pen -- as a reporter, not an inmate.
Saint Pius X High School welcomed friends and alumni to a 20th anniversary homecoming and Saint John Chrysostom Melkite Church opened its doors to visitors in connection with the feast day of its patron saint.
The U.S. Bishops elected Archbishop Donnellan their treasurer. Old Saint Josephs Infirmary fell victim to the wrecking ball. And the children at the Village of Saint Joseph smiled for the MAGAZINEs camera.
We welcomed a new priest with ordination of Father Joseph Peacock, who immediately began his duties as an assistant at Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Top parish news included the naming of Saint Oliver Plunkett as patron saint at Snellville and groundbreaking at Saint John Neumann in Lilburn after a years hard work.
A new ministry to Divorced and Separated Catholics was beginning locally.
The year ended with the MAGAZINEs behind-the-scenes look at Monastic life in Conyers.