SPECIAL REPORT: The Catholics of Chicago
A wide-ranging portrait of one of the area’s most important institutions, spiritual home to more than three million people.


At A Crossroads, by Marcia Froelke Coburn and David Zivan
With a myriad of challenges and new leadership in Rome, the Catholic Church here faces a time of dynamic change. PLUS: From the 17th-century Jesuits to today, an overview of Chicago’s Catholic roots by Geoffrey Johnson


The Missionary Returns, by Geoffrey Johnson
Some priests have called him Francis the Corrector, but Cardinal George’s rigorous manner and deep faith can mask the subtlety of his thinking and the buoyancy of his personality.


Steeple Chase, by Amber Holst
Seven parishes suggest the range of people, styles, and worship in the archdiocese. PLUS: What’s the real estate worth? by Dennis Rodkin


Voices in the Church
A fire department chaplain, an advocate for ordaining women, the local exorcist, a devout attorney, and an abuse victim-just a few of the Chicagoans who represent the diversity of backgrounds and concerns under the Catholic umbrella


Happy U., by Alexander Russo
Once an undistinguished urban outpost, DePaul University is vibrant and growing-the largest Catholic university in the country, with some of the happiest students anywhere.


He Stayed . . . She Left, by Kevin McKeough and Amber Holst
A priest reflects on the completion of his first year in a parish-and a former postulant looks back on why she gave up her vocation.








Musician Kevin O’Donnell scores; the Art Institute installs a new curator of architecture and design; the best chocolate treats in town; five model students, fresh out of Chicago’s fashion design institutes; Victoria Lautman chats with Bret Easton Ellin; how to make Prairie Grass Cafe’s delicious apple pie; the Gap’s latest retail venture and what it reveals about the shopping habits of Chicagoans; more. Plus: Style Sheet, The Shopper and Sales Check


How We Spend, by Clare La Plante
Chicago may still be a shot-and-a-beer kind of town, but it has also become a city of wine drinkers, judging by the stats. And a city of online shoppers. PLUS: Where Chicago ranks among the most expensive cities in which to live


Reporter | Doctors with Borders, by Katherine Millett
Until recently, there was no limit on the number of hours medical residents were expected to work at teaching hospitals. Now, rules cap their workweek at 80 hours. They may get more rest and make fewer mistakes, but are patients better off?


Deal Estate, by Dennis Rodkin
Breaking Away star trades her South Loop house for a California B&B; pricey East Lake Shore Drive offering has a tragic past; shedding some light on Printers’ Row; new life for the DuPage County Courthouse


Nightspotting, by Sarah Preston
Jet Vodka Lounge, the latest from nightlife mogul Marc Bortz, lands in the Weed Street area and features-what else? -vodka flights. PLUS: Action heats up under the disco ball at Ballo, the new Italian spot in River North.




The Closer, by Jeff Ruby
The TV series entitled The Closer enjoyed the highest-rated cable premiere ever-and it’s not the only thing riding on this column’s coattails.


On the Town




During September: No one who saw the national prayer service, beamed worldwide from Washington, D.C., in the aftermath of 9/11, could forget Denyce Graves; her soothingly melodious voice was balm for a nation in pain. But this month, in a complete turn-about, the mezzo-soprano transforms herself into a fiery Gypsy temptress in Carmen, Lyric Opera’s first production in its new season.
Marquee: A preview of coming attractions


Food & Drink


Dining Out | Cities on the Edge, by Dennis Ray Wheaton
Alinea and Moto, Chicago’s uppermost forward-thinking restaurants, duke it out with their ultramodern counterparts in New York City: Per Se and WD-50.


The city’s definitive guide to Chicago’s top restaurants| This month: Six new and updated listings, including Kaze and Vermilion
Dish: The ten hottest restaurants right now; Q&A with Christophe David, the promising new chef at NoMI; gossip and more