On February 21, 2016, Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich went to Chinatown's St. Therese Chinese Catholic Church to celebrate the Chinese New Year. According to the Chinese calendar, 2016 is the year of the monkey.
Following Chinese pagan traditions, the lion and dragon dances at the New Year's eve celebration are meant to drive away evil spirits and bring good luck for the future year. Above and below first row, we see Cupich inside the church blessing a monster representing the lion.
In the second row, the Chicago Archbishop concelebrates a Mass on an altar with several pagan symbols. The dragon, which dominates the front of the altar, represents good luck; the two black and gold labyrinths set on each end of the altar symbolize the flow of cosmic forces that one must try to balance but always ends in the same way: a shadowy life in the underworld. The incense burner at the side of the altar is to offer appeasement for the suffering souls of the ancestors – a pagan animist practice.