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Obama to give pope a stole

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Redemptorists provide historic stole for Obama to present to pope

You got to hand it to the Redemptorists, Baltimore Province. They get swept up in the Madoff scandal, losing a lot of dough, but don't miss a beat. They've secured the delivery by President Barack Obama of a stole that was placed on the remains of St. John Neumann, a Redemptorist himself. It's a terrific coup on the Redemptorists' part, not too mention the fact that they've put an excellent spin on the word "stole."

"During President Barack Obama’s July 10 meeting with Pope Benedict XVI, he will present the pope with a stole that was placed on the remains of St. John Neumann."

"It's a delight that something of one of our Redemptorist saints would be given to our Holy Father," said Fr. Patrick Woods, provincial of the Redemptorists' Baltimore province, which is headquartered in Brooklyn, N.Y. "We're delighted as Americans that our president is visiting the Holy Father and delighted that something belonging to our province would be given to him."

Fr. Woods said in a statement that the stole was an appropriate gift because it symbolizes the priesthood that was "at the heart of St. John Neumann's life as a Redemptorist." He also said the stole, placed on the saint who had worked extensively with immigrants, was symbolic of the new wave of immigration in the United States and the Redemptorists’ continued service to these groups.

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And here's the story behind the stole.

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