April 30th, 2011
04:10 PM ET

Chicago family credits Pope John Paul II with personal miracle

By Elizabeth Chmurak, CNN
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(CNN) - Christopher Lukasik was building shelves when a metal rod hit his eye, tearing about a third of his optic nerve fibers and leaving everybody from his doctors to his family wondering whether he would ever see again.

Lukasik's mother began to pray to Pope John Paul II, who will be beatified Sunday. The ceremony at Vatican City is the penultimate step towards the late pontiff's sainthood.

"All I could think about is to pray to Pope John Paul II. I just felt him with me and I knew he would be the one that would heal my son," said 67-year-old Joanna Lukasik of Chicago, who grew up near the late pontiff's hometown of Wadowice, Poland. "I was driving to the hospital and I was begging him and crying and begging him to save his vision and that's what happened."

Doctors say he was lucky. Lukasik's mother says it was a miracle.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Illinois • Pope John Paul II • Vatican

February 9th, 2011
10:26 AM ET

Muslim group awaits decision on Willowbrook, Illinois mosque

The DuPage County Board has put off today's scheduled vote on a controversial proposal to build a new mosque near Willowbrook, Illinois. The issue has been sent back to a Development Committee, which will take it up next Tuesday.

The Muslim Educational Cultural Center of America, or MECCA, wants to build the new prayer center, school and recreation center in a residential neighborhood.

Members currently hold their prayer services in cramped quarters near a K-Mart store on Plainfield Road.

Read the full story on WGNTV.com
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Illinois • Islam • Muslim • Uncategorized

October 30th, 2010
05:10 PM ET

LGBT-friendly synagogue a target of intercepted packages, leader says

The Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago says area synagogues began taking

A small Chicago synagogue dedicated to serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community may have been one of the intended destinations of two packages intercepted abroad that were packed with explosive material, a co-president for the congregation said Saturday.

Or Chadash, a congregation of about 100 people, held its Sabbath services Friday with security out in full force.

"It was unnerving, [but] we carried on as normal," Or Chadash's co-president, Lilli Kornblum, told CNN.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Illinois • Judaism • United States

October 29th, 2010
03:06 PM ET

Chicago synagogues warned to watch for suspicious packages

Synagogues across metropolitan Chicago, Illinois, began taking "appropriate precautions" Friday after a warning by security officials to watch out for suspicious packages from abroad, according to a Jewish Federation spokeswoman.

While there were "no identifiable or specific threats," an FBI official in Chicago said suspicious packages addressed to U.S. destinations found on cargo planes abroad warranted the precautions.

"Since two of the suspicious packages that were intercepted were addressed to religious institutions in Chicago, all churches, synagogues and mosques in the Chicago area should be vigilant for any unsolicited or unexpected packages, especially those originating from overseas locations," said FBI Special Agent Ross Rice.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Illinois • Judaism • United States

About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.