My family and I were part of the diocesan pilgrimage last month to Philadelphia for the VIII World Meeting of Families. Sept. 22 through Sept. 25 was the Congress portion of the meeting and it was a marvelous lineup of some incredible presenters already familiar to American Catholics: Bishop Robert Barron, Dr. Scott Hahn, Dr. Janet Smith, Professor Helen Alvaré, Christopher West, Chris Stefanick, Dr. Gregory and Lisa Popcak, Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers just to name a few. Some others who were likely unknown to most American Catholics were Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle (Archbishop of Manila, Philippines), Pastor "Rick" Warren (Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif.) and Erika Bachiochi (independent scholar and speaker). These and countless others were "diamonds in the rough" ready to be discovered by WMOF Congress attendees.
DECATUR — Catholic Charities of Decatur has added three new members to the advisory board. Natalie Beck, Janet Ernst and Lynn McElroy began their three year terms in September.
GRANITE CITY — Just like last year, brisk autumn winds greeted hundreds of participants Oct. 3 who joined Bishop Thomas John Paprocki, pastors and the Knights of Columbus in Granite City to pray the rosary and "peacefully and prayerfully" sing and walk to The Hope Clinic for Women, the only facility within the diocese's borders that performs surgical abortions.
COLLINSVILLE — The faith community of Ss. Peter and Paul Parish in Collinsville will celebrate a four-day parish mission experience from Oct. 18-21. The principal message of the mission will take place each evening at 7 p.m. in the church, located at 207 Vandalia. Each talk will be followed by fellowship.
Media coverage of Pope Francis' announcement that priests worldwide will be able to absolve women who had abortions caused widespread confusion since, according to Bishop Thomas John Paprocki, most priests in the United States, including the Springfield diocese, already have such authority in the sacrament of reconciliation.
If your phone rings it may be your parish pastor or parish facilitator calling you about becoming one of our diocese's over 600 lay leaders who will join in leading efforts to help the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois become a "Total Stewardship Diocese."
Now that the new school year is under way, nearly two dozen diocesan seminarians are settling in to their studies at a number of different seminaries, says Father Brian Alford, director of Vocations.
QUINCY — On Oct. 3, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., the St. Elizabeth of Hungary Fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order is sponsoring a Day of Reflection at St. Francis Solanus Parish Center, west of 18th and Elm streets in Quincy. The theme for the day is "In Touch with God: Three Ideas from St. Francis."
Daily events occurring throughout the Diocese.
Special observances in the Year of Concecrated Life are approaching. In a letter earlier this summer to pastors, parochial administrators, other parish officials and major superiors, Bishop Thomas John Paprocki encouraged parishes and schools to celebrate consecrated life during the week of of Sept. 13-20. On the evening of Sept. 20, Bishop Proprocki will celebrate vespers, or evening prayer, with religious of the diocese at 6:30 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield.
Women who will be attending the 87th annual SDCCW Convention this year will be traveling to Paris — Illinois, that is — at the invitation of the Decatur Deanery of the Springfield in Illinois Diocesan Council of Catholic Women. The theme for the convention is "We are the Children of God," says Joyce Knodle, convention registration chair.
The parishes of St. Elizabeth in Marine, St. James in St. Jacob and St. Jerome in Troy are hosting a mission the last week of September, titled "Awaken Our Hearts" and featuring the highly claimed musician and presenter Vince Ambrosetti.
GLEN CARBON — The leadership team that spearheaded the fundraising and oversaw construction of the new Father McGivney Catholic High School building will thank the community at a dedication ceremony on Sunday, Aug. 30 at 2:30 pm. A pivitol part of the ceremony will be when Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois will bless all areas of the facilities including the building, grounds and even the parking lots. McGivney officials said the dedication is open to the public, and all are welcome to tour the school and meet the families of the school.
The Office for Catechesis of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, in conjunction with local parishes, is pleased to offer faith formation courses for adults in locations across the diocese. These courses, which are open to everyone, are designed to help Catholics grow in their faith, respond to questions about the church, and make faith-filled decisions in their lives.
ST. LOUIS — On Aug. 12, the Holy Family School Band from Decatur and their supporters traveled to Busch Stadium as the band performed the Star-Spangled Banner before the evening St. Louis Cardinals baseball game. The students wore red T-shirts emblazoned with "Carter" and the number 33 in honor of Adam Carter who was a student at Holy Family.
With the 2015-2016 school year just under way, 10 elementary schools in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois are depending on new leaders — nine principals and one interim acting administrator — to guide them in a positive direction.
Many of these individuals were in the schools over the summer months and most of them were at the Catholic Pastoral Center in early August, attending the annual new principal's meeting.
Don't know where Mass is at your campus? The following list provides updated names of local campus ministries and other relevant information for students to maintain and grow their Catholic faith during the college years.
Catholic school teachers will take a fresh look at their religious education materials this school year, as a step in the process of adopting new religious education standards promulgated by the diocesan Office of Catechesis.
Members of the diocesan Black Catholic Commission attended the Archbishop Lyke Conference held June 23-27 in San Antonio, Texas. The annual event addressed the liturgical needs of the black Catholic community. We invited them to reflect on their time together and the conference theme, "I am Black. I am Catholic. I am Here."
The Springfield in Illinois Diocesan Council of Catholic Women (SDCCW) has awarded $500 scholarships to five young women, all recent high school graduates. The annual awards are given to those who best exemplify the values of DCCW by bringing spirituality, leadership and service to their school, parish and community.
TEUTOPOLIS — The Franciscan Friars of the Sacred Heart Province will hold an information session for all interested men, ages 18-40, on Sunday, Aug. 23 from 2-4 p.m. The gathering will be held at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Teutopolis in St. Clare Hall (on the east side of the church). Brother Thom Smith, OFM, vocation director, will host the event with the Friars of St. Francis of Assisi Friary.
Totus Tuus, the weeklong parish-based Catholic summer mission program for youth in grades 1-12, recently wrapped up its seventh year in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. Totus Tuus is Latin for "Totally Yours" and was the motto of St. Pope John Paul II. The program is dedicated to sharing the Gospel and promoting the Catholic faith through catechetical instruction, Christian witness, vocational discernment, Marian devotion, and eucharistic worship. The theme for this year's Totus Tuus was "Virtues and Beatitudes" and young people focused on the Sorrowful Mysteries of the rosary.
More than 30 Catholic teens spent a week improving their prayer life and leadership skills at the annual Catholic Leadership Institute (CLI), held July 11-16 at the Villa Maria Catholic Life Center on Lake Springfield. The retreat featured daily Mass and Liturgy of the Hours, personal prayer time, talks and small group discussions on discipleship and leadership.
Aa group of local disciples from St. Paul Church decided to continue the Christian ministry in Ghana by spreading "the Good News."
Parishioners adopted the Ghana parish several years ago, and continue to support it with prayer and with the continued development of the St. Therese Development Youth Center.
GIRARD — Growing up at St. Patrick Church, Gigi Mayernick remembers admiring the statue of Our Lady in the outdoor grotto. Family pictures show her at the foot of the statue, smiling at first holy Communion and as a young woman of 18. However, looking back Mayernick says, "As a little girl, I thought Mary needed a little bit of color."
The international women's ministry Endow (Educating on the Nature and Dignity of Women) is coming to the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois in late summer. Over the last weekend in August, the Office for Marriage and Family Life, led by director Carlos Tejeda, will be hosting Endow for three events.