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."

LITCHFIELD — Brianna Rogers is the 2015 recipient of the Dr. Adarsh A. Kumar Continuing Medical Education Scholarship that is administered by the HSHS St. Francis Hospital Auxiliary. Brianna, the daughter of Craig and Trisha Rogers of Litchfield, is pursuing a degree in speech pathology. 

Sunday, 09 August 2015 16:58

SDCCW gives awards to five Catholic women

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.

Inspired by a call to grow in holiness, Deacon Eugene Uptmor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Mattoon is among more than 100 attendees of the two-year Catholic Spiritual Mentorship Program at the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas. This is the largest class since the program began in 2011.

"Around the world … the threat [to religious freedom] is immediate and deadly, as when the terrorists of the Islamic State murder Christian martyrs for an international audience," said Matthew J. Franck of the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, N.J. "In other places the threat seems at first to be trivial by comparison … as when our Catholic Charities adoption services lose their state licenses because they will place children only with families headed by a married man and woman, or when the federal government threatens the Little Sisters of the Poor with crippling fines because they will not compromise their witness to the church's teaching on contraception."

On June 20 the Springfield in Illinois Diocesan Council of Catholic Women (SDCCW) presented the fourth annual Our Lady of Good Counsel Women of Distinction Award to 67 women. More than 500 people attended the 10 a.m. Mass celebrated by Bishop Thomas John Paprocki, which was followed by a luncheon at Northfield Inn and Conference Center.

PEORIA — Sister Mary Lenore Highland, OSF, professed perpetual vows as a Sister of St. Francis of the Immaculate Conception during a Mass on June 11 at the motherhouse chapel on Heading Avenue. She is the daughter of the late Elmer and Eleanore Highland of Chicago.

With the new school year starting in just about a month, Stacie Reichensperger is ready for the challenge as the new associate superintendent for Catholic schools. An educator for 20 years, she joined the office in late June and succeeds Marilyn Missel who retired earlier this year.

QUINCY — Quincy University exceeded its $1 million QU Fund goal for the fifth straight year, with more than $1,093,000 raised. The QU Fund supports technology upgrades, campus enhancements and faculty development, as well as the endowment which ensures the university's longevity. Giving increased 5 percent over 2013-14 with a 3 percent increase in giving participation by alumni and friends.

DECATUR — The Friends of St. Mary's Hospital has changed their name to HSHS St. Mary's Foundation to better reflect their role as the philanthropic arm of the Decatur hospital.

Sunday, 12 July 2015 12:27

SHG coach receives award

Springfield's Sacred Heart-Griffin High School head football coach Ken Leonard is the recipient of the 2015 Randy Walker Doing Great Award. This special award is given annually since 2008 on behalf of the American Football Coaches Foundation (AFCF) and the Randy Walker family to recognize an Illinois high school football coach who has served as a role model and life mentor for youth both on and off of the field.

After an absence of four years, Diocesan Music Day will return to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield on Aug. 1 from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

"It is our hope that participation in the Music Day will once again make this an annual event," said Eliot Kapitan, diocesan director of the Office for Worship and the Catechumenate.

Giving by Illinois second highest among U.S. states

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — As Catholics throughout the United States prepare for Pope Francis' visit this summer, the Knights of Columbus has been preparing in a special way, with record-setting charity.

Editor's note — On the occasion of beginning his fifth year as bishop, I invited Bishop Thomas John Paprocki to reflect on five questions. His responses follow, edited only for space. SM

Laudato Si', On the Care of Our Common Home is addressed to "every person living on this planet"(§3). Pope Francis is calling on the world to accompany this event with renewed attention to environmental degradation and to remember that "the world we have received also belongs to those who will follow us." Pope Francis calls this "intergenerational solidarity," which he says "is not optional, but rather a basic question of justice"(§159). The Holy Father said of his encyclical, "Let us pray that everyone can receive its message and grow in responsibility toward the common home that God has entrusted to us."

Thirty-one central Illinois organizations that benefit people living in poverty received grants from the Diocesan Campaign for Justice and Hope (DCJH) sponsored by the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. The awards were given out by Bishop Thomas John Paprocki during a luncheon June 8 at the Cathedral Atrium in Springfield hosted by the Office for Social Concerns and Respect for Life.

Sister Lillian Marie Brown of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis died on June 17 at St. Francis Convent in Springfield. She was 92 years old.

Sister Lillian Marie was born in Denver on June 30, 1922, the daughter of Edward and Lilly Morgan Brown. She entered the congregation on Sept. 8, 1953, and professed her religious vows on Oct. 4, 1956.

Thanks to the grand generosity of an anonymous benefactor, a large pledge from HSHS St. John's Hospital in Springfield, and other donations, a hard-working Springfield grandmother soon will be living in a new home in Springfield.

An anonymous donor gave Habitat for Humanity of Sangamon County $60,000 to go toward the total home-building cost of $100,000, says Executive Director Colleen Stone. The Habitat for Humanity build for the 99th family — known around the area as the "Pope Francis house" — is set to start early in the fall.

LITCHFIELD — HSHS St. Francis Hospital's St. Clare Center Food Pantry received the Agency of the Year Award for 2015 from the Central Illinois Foodbank. The award was given at the Foodbank's annual agency conference held in Springfield in May. The theme for the conference was "Growing Forward."

DECATUR — HSHS St. Mary's Hospital received the 2015 Greenhealth Partner for Change Award by Practice Greenhealth, the nation's leading health care community that empowers its members to increase their efficiencies and environmental stewardship while improving patient safety and care through tools, best practices and knowledge.

During a Mass on May 17, the Dominican Sisters of Springfield welcomed 14 new Dominican associates — women and men who have made a personal commitment to accompany the Springfield Dominican Sisters on a life-long journey of prayer, study and preaching. Since 1990 more than 300 other Springfield Dominican associates in the United States and Peru have come to share the Dominican spirit and mission of preaching the Word and witnessing Gospel values.

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