One weekend a month for the past several months, the diocesan Office for Marriage and Family Life in conjunction with the Retirement Peace Project have been offering Retirement Peace University sessions for individuals or couples over age 50. There is still time to sign up for the next weekend session, which is scheduled to run March 19-20 at the Catholic Pastoral Center, 1615 W. Washington St., in Springfield.
Nearly 250 men woke up early Feb. 20 to take part in a Catholic Men's Prayer Breakfast here. This year's annual event was billed as "Fathers in a New Era."
The workshop began with morning Mass celebrated by Father John Paul Klein, OMV, in the historic St. Mary Catholic Church. After Mass the men adjourned to the cafeteria where master of ceremonies Zip Rzeppa recalled some of the lows and the highs of his colorful life and career. Rzeppa is well remembered by many metro-east viewers from his former stints as a popular St. Louis sports broadcaster.
Over the first weekend of Lent, 290 people from 62 places in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois came to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception to take part in the Rite of Election of Catechumens and of the Call to Continuing Conversion of Baptized Catholics. They were accompanied by the priests, deacons, sponsors, godparents, families and friends who traveled with them. Those who came to the see city on Sunday dealt with less than desirable road conditions as several inches of snow fell that day, followed by freezing rain.
The Springfield Diocesan Council of Catholic Women (SDCCW), an affiliate of the National Council of Catholic Women, is again offering leadership scholarships that recognize outstanding female high school seniors.
Four $500 scholarships will be awarded to applicants who exemplify SDCCW's mission values of leadership, faith and service, said Mary Ann Scopel, scholarship chair. This is the 16th year that scholarships such as these have been offered, she said.
Quincy University students have access to a newly renovated physics lab thanks to a generous grant from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.
The Center for Science renovation is one of seven major projects for which QU is raising funds as part of the university's Forever Forward Comprehensive campaign.
Jessica Foersterling, a fifth-grade teacher at St. Mary's School in Alton, has been selected as one of Challenger Learning Centers "Inspiring Teachers."
Nominated by a fellow teacher as someone who inspires her students, to pursue a lifelong engagement in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), Foersterling and other honorees were recognized in St. Louis on Jan. 28, which was the 30th anniversary of the loss of the space shuttle Challenger and its crew.
When Pope Francis declared 2016 the Jubilee Year of Mercy, he urged Catholic churches worldwide to keep their doors open to all.
The pope may not have envisioned how that would unfold at one church in particular in Springfield. The music ministry of Blessed Sacrament Church is keeping its doors open on a mission to unite, inspire, uplift, heal, comfort and challenge — by bringing people together in the creation and performance of time-honored works of music.
St. James Catholic Church will hold a parish mission beginning with the regular weekend Masses on Feb. 27-28 and continuing nightly on Monday, Feb. 29 through Wednesday, March 2 at 6:30 p.m. The theme of the mission will be "Here I Am, Lord: Becoming an Intentional Disciple."
The season of Lent begins this year on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 10, and ends just prior to the evening Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday, March 24, when the Paschal Triduum begins. Lent is the principal penitential season in the church year.
Three college students from parishes in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois were among those who shared in more than $2,800 in the Father Yunker Student Assistance Fund for the current academic year. Scholarship recipients must be of Lithuanian ancestry, be an active member of the Catholic Church and currently enrolled in an accredited college or university.
"On Feb. 10, the highly successful 40 Days for Life campaign returns to Springfield with 40 days of prayer and fasting, peaceful vigil and community outreach," said Claudia Connelly, coordinator of the local campaign. "We pray that these efforts will help mark the beginning of the end of abortion in Springfield."
Parish organizers of pilgrimages to the 2016 March for Life in Washington, D.C., from throughout the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois drastically altered their plans as an intense low pressure system developed into a classic "nor'easter" that enveloped the nation's capital in monumental snowfall beginning on Jan. 22.
Fasting from meat on Fridays during Lent helps us "acquire a mastery over our instincts and freedom of heart." (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2043). Fasting is meant to free us. It helps us feel our physical hunger, and in turn, our spiritual hunger for the infinite love found only in God.
More than 250 central Illinoisans signed up for the annual trip to the nation's capital for the 2016 March for Life Youth Pilgrimage.
Buses departed early in the day Jan. 20 from various points throughout the Springfield diocese. Twenty-three groups representing 27 parishes or congregations were on board, including one group from the neighboring Diocese of Peoria.
"The opportunities that our seminarians have to be with one another and with the priests of our diocese are special times."
So said Father Brian Alford when asked for a takeaway from the winter gathering of seminarians, held each year between Christmas and New Year's while they are on break from their studies. Except for two studying in Rome, more than 20 seminarians attended the gathering Dec. 29-30, 2015.
The award is named "Friend of Catholic Education," but in the case of the McClains, it's friends ... with an "s."
The family of Elmo "Mac" and Margie McClain will be recognized Feb. 6 at the eighth annual "Friend of Catholic Education Award" dinner at the Quincy Quality Inn & Suites. The award is given annually by the Quincy Catholic Elementary Schools Foundation (QCES) to recognize significant contributions to Catholic schools in Quincy.
Father Jeffrey Goeckner has been named the first ever president of Father McGivney Catholic High School (FMCHS). He will continue in his current positions as pastor of St. Boniface Parish in Edwardsville and Dean of the Alton Deanery.
Bishop Emeritus Daniel L. Ryan passed away on Dec. 31, 2015 in Naperville. He was 85 years old.
He was born Sept. 28, 1930 in Mankato, Minn., to Leonard "Pat" and Irene Ruth Ryan. His family moved to Springfield in 1943, where he briefly attended Blessed Sacrament School and then began his freshman year at Cathedral Boys School.
Sacred Heart-Griffin High School recently announced that 37 seniors have been recognized as 2016-17 Illinois State Scholars.
Father McGivney Catholic High School Principal Mike Scholz recently announced that three of the 17 students from the graduating Class of 2016 at FMCHS have been recognized as Illinois State Scholars.
All around the diocese I have come to encounter many profound examples of "Discipleship as a way of life." Loretta Koester is one of them.
In 1987 I moved to Effingham and from my first days of ministry there I heard of this woman of faith, defender of Life. It is one thing to say "I am pro-life" (which is good), but to be one who totally commits their life to defending human life from womb to tomb is true.