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Most Rev. Lawrence Sabatini, C.S., Pastor of Holy Rosary Church

Chicago, IL (March 13, 2007)- Most Rev. Lawrence Sabatini, Chicago's only Italian-American Bishop, celebrates 50 years of priestly ordination at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, March 18 at a Mass at Holy Rosary Church, 612 N. Western Ave. Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., Archbishop of Chicago, will be the main celebrant.

Bishop Sabatini has been pastor of Holy Rosary since June 1, 2000 after Cardinal George asked the Scalabrini Missionary to lead the onetime Italian parish on Chicago's near northwest side. However, before Bishop Sabatini began as pastor, he first traveled to Mexico to immerse himself in the Spanish-language customs and traditions practiced by Holy Rosary's now all-Hispanic parishioners.

Bishop Sabatini was born in Chicago to Italian immigrants, and was called to the priesthood as a fourth grade altar server at Santa Maria Addolorata's parish school. The Scalabrini Fathers who ran the church had such a big impact on Sabatini that, by the time he returned to the U.S. after studying in Rome in the late 1950's, he joined the Order of St. Charles, also known as the Scalabrini Missionaries.

Between 1960 and 1972, Sabatini taught at Scalabrini missions in Staten Island, NY, where he worked with the area's troubled youth. In 1971, he was transferred to British Columbia and was eventually consecrated Bishop of Kamloops in 1978 at Vancouver's Holy Rosary Cathedral. Sabatini retired from active ministry in 1999, and returned to Chicago.

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