Cardinal Returns to Church

NEW YORK--Cardinal John O'Connor, who was released a week ago from a hospital following surgery to remove a brain tumor, joked with 2,500 worshipers yesterday at St. Patrick's Cathedral, where he delivered the homily for the Mass.

"There have been so many prayers, so many cards, so many messages," said O'Connor, 79. "It's impossible for me to keep up, but I'm told we're making a lot of money for the archdiocese selling flowers."

At the Mass in honor of Labor Day, he noted that his father was a union member, who worked applying gold leaf to ornate architectural designs, and quipped: "When there was serious consideration of this, I insisted that my casket have a union label."

Thurmond Hospitalized for Tests

Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.) was admitted to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center for tests and observation after complaining of feeling weak.

Thurmond, 96, the oldest senator, was admitted Saturday night and is expected to be released this afternoon, said Thurmond's press secretary, John DeCrosta.

Thurmond's last disclosed hospitalization was Aug. 22 at Walter Reed, two days after a brief stay at a hospital in Columbia, S.C., where he had collapsed at a University of South Carolina reception.

DeCrosta said the senator has made about five previously unreported trips to the medical center on weekends in the past three months for a variety of complaints. He said none required an overnight stay or caused him to miss any work or Senate votes.

"I'm not planning to die soon," Thurmond told the Charleston, S.C., Post and Courier in a recent interview. "I expect to serve my term out." It ends in 2002.

Addenda

* BEVERLY HILLS--The 19-year-old son of the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team shot and wounded a childhood acquaintance late Saturday after a scuffle, police said. Scott Sterling shot Phillip Scheid Jr., 19, hitting him in the leg, after Scheid attacked him with a knife at the Sterling mansion. Sterling told police he fired the gun in self-defense.

* NEW YORK--Grand Central Terminal was evacuated and train service halted because of smoke from a fire in a subway tunnel beneath the landmark. Two people were treated for smoke inhalation from the fire, which authorities said started in building materials in a storage room on the Lexington Avenue subway line and was under control within an hour.

* BOSTON--Frederick Law Olmsted, a founder of American landscape architecture who designed New York's Central Park and the "Emerald Necklace" of parks around Boston, was honored with a 33-cent stamp from the U.S. Postal Service, featuring a John Singer Sargent portrait of Olmsted, a photograph of Central Park and two of his landscape plans.

CAPTION: O'Connor