Thursday, July 09, 2009

St. John Neumann's stole to be Obama gift to Pope

St. Jude Liturgical Arts Studio

The stole that President Obama will give to Pope Benedict XVI was once draped around St. John Neumann's body. The DiCocco Family St. Jude Shop also had a chair built for the pontiff.
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The Philadelphia Inquirer
Posted on Thu, Jul. 9, 2009

By Kristin E. Holmes
Inquirer Staff Writer

The owners of the DiCocco Family St. Jude Shop are getting to be experts at this. When there's a presentation for the pope, call the store in Havertown.

Twice in the last 15 months, the store owners have been tapped for their Benedict XVI know-how.

The first time, they helped supply a specially made chair the pope used during a U.S. visit. This time, they assisted the White House in finding a gift for him.

That present will be given to Benedict as part of President Obama's visit to the Vatican tomorrow.

The box will contain a stole that had been draped around the enshrined body of St. John Neumann in Philadelphia for nearly 20 years.

"It's a sacred gift," said the Rev. Kevin Moley, pastor of the National Shrine of St. John Neumann in Northern Liberties. "I'm glad [the administration] asked St. Jude, and St. Jude asked us, because it represents the U.S. and Rome. We should all be pleased and thankful."

White House officials declined to confirm the gift or discuss the matter before the meeting tomorrow.


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