George P. Matysek Jr. has been a member of the Catholic Review staff since 1997, serving as a staff writer, senior staff writer, assistant managing editor and now web editor.

A graduate of Our Lady of Mount Carmel High School in Essex, George holds a bachelor's degree in history and writing from what is now Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore and a master's degree in history from UMBC.

A winner of more than 50 regional, national and international journalism awards from the Maryland-Delaware-D.C Press Association, the Catholic Press Association, Associated Church Press and National Right to Life, George has reported from Guyana, Guatemala, Italy, Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary.

Happily married and living in Rodgers Forge, George is the proud father of two daughters. 

Reach George at and follow him on Twitter @ReviewMatysek




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I have know Sister Anthony and her family all of my life. Like Sr. Anthony, the whole family is truly God loving people. Happy 100 Sr. Anthony and may God continue to bless you. Love you. Pearl


Happy birthday Sister Anthony from your great niece Lauren. The undated photo is Sr. Anthony with her mother and 9 of her siblings.


Cardinal Shehan and the repose of JFK’s ‘great soul’

U.S. President John F. Kennedy, his wife, Jacqueline, and their children, Caroline and John Jr., are seen on Easter Sunday in 1963, months before the president's Nov. 22 assasination. (CNS photo/Reuters)

When Lee Harvey Oswald gunned down President John F. Kennedy 50 years ago today in Dallas, Baltimore’s Cardinal Lawrence Shehan was far from home attending meetings of the Second Vatican Council in Rome. That didn't stop him from feeling the impact of one of the most shocking moments of the 20th century.

A Nov. 22, 1963, statement released on behalf of Cardinal Shehan asked for prayers for the eternal repose of President Kennedy, whom the cardinal said died “like the bravest of soldiers in the pursuit of his duties.” The cardinal also asked for prayers at every Mass, and “to solemnize the day of his burial with a Requiem Mass for the repose of his great soul.”

CR File Photo“Remembering the bitterness that poisoned our nation a century ago after the death of President Lincoln, let us pray for the strength to resist the inevitable temptation to hurl reckless charges of culpability against any segment of our people,” the statement said. “At his inauguration, President Kennedy summoned each of us to ask what we might do for our country. Our best tribute to him now is to determine, more resolutely than ever, that our nation will remain wise and united in the difficult days ahead.”

In the cardinal’s absence in Baltimore, Auxiliary Bishop T. Austin Murphy sent a Western Union Telegram  to the White House expressing “sincere sympathy” to Mrs. John F. Kennedy Nov. 22, 1963.

“Masses and prayers are being offered in all the churches of the Archdiocese of Baltimore for the repose of the soul of President Kennedy(,) for you, your children and all the members of your family,” the 3:21 p.m. telegram said in capital letters. 

The first lady acknowledged the acts of kindness of Baltimore Catholics with a card sent to the cardinal that said simply, “Mrs. Kennedy is deeply appreciative of your sympathy and grateful for your thoughtfulness.”

The first lady’s card and Bishop Murphy’s telegram are held in the archives of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

(The card immediately above is courtesy Associated Archives of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. The photo of Cardinal Shehan is a CR file photo)


11/22/2013 10:08:38 AM
By George Matysek