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.

ST. LOUIS — Pallottine Renewal Center, the retreat center in St. Louis' North County, has named Marillyn Webb, as its new executive director. She assumed the role in April.

Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church will celebrate its feast day with Mass on June 28 at 10 a.m. at the Liberty Bank Amphitheater along the Mississippi River. The celebration will be filled with music from the church choirs as well as representatives from various organizations including the Boy Scouts and the "God Squad" youth group.

Sunday, 14 June 2015 15:42

SHG names two men to 2015 Hall of Fame

On May 24, at the graduation ceremony for the Class of 2015, Sacred Heart-Griffin High School inducted Simon R. Cory and Paul John (PJ) Staab II into the SHG Hall of Fame. They were recognized for the exemplary ways in which they integrated the mission of SHG into their lives.

HSHS St. John's Hospital in Springfield and HSHS St. Anthony's Memorial Hospital in Effingham each have been awarded the 2015 Greenhealth Partner for Change Award. The award is given 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.

TEUTOPOLIS — The 41st Annual Day of Prayer for Life will be held Wednesday, June 24, at St. Francis Church, 203 E Main St., Teutopolis. All are welcome to come and pray for renewed respect for all human life, and in reparation for our nation allowing 57 million pre-born human lives to be ended by abortion since 1973.

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki will again lead the public in a prayer rally in front of the Illinois state Capitol on Tuesday, June 23 at noon. In the event of rain, the rally will be held in the Howlett Building auditorium.

Participants in the Prayer Rally for Fortnight for Freedom will assemble at the Lincoln statue on South Second Street and Capitol Avenue.

CHICAGO — Illinois Catholic bishops have updated their 1999 publication on gambling in light of the possibility of an expansion of gambling (SB 1382) to help address the dismal finances of both the state and the city of Chicago.

Media reports indicate that a city-owned casino in Chicago is being considered, in addition to four other casinos located throughout the state and smaller so-called "satellite" casinos in central and southern Illinois. Additionally, slot machines may be allowed at horse-racing tracks.

QUINCY — What began as a short conversation at a parish meeting ended up with one large Quincy family making international news.

According to his daughter, Donna Lane, Leo Zanger was talking to a friend from St. Rose of Lima Parish in March and commented that he and his wife Ruth were about to become grandparents again — for the 100th time! Thinking that this kind of event would be newsworthy in a town where the Zangers are already very well-known, that man passed the information on to a reporter at the Quincy Herald-Whig.

On Saturday, May 23, Bishop Thomas John Paprocki will ordain four men priests for the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois during 10:30 a.m. Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Recently, Deacon Samuel Bagyo Jr., Deacon Adam Prichard, Deacon Martin Smith and Deacon Jason Stone — all who are completing their theology studies at Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein — shared with Catholic Times how they look forward to serving in the future.

Sunday, 17 May 2015 18:01

Father Weitzel passes at age 88

Father Eugene J. Weitzel, CSV, a priest of the Viatorian community, died April 30 in Rushville at age 88.

He was born March 5, 1927, in Chicago, the son of Frank and Frances Julia Quinn Weitzel. He graduated in 1945 from Cathedral Boys High School in Springfield. Father Weitzel pronounced his first vows with the Clerics of St. Viator in 1951 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1959.

Two Sacred Heart-Griffin High School students will present their Silver Cross Recitals in voice on May 17.

Catholic Athletes for Christ (CAC) in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois held its first ever "Senior Springboard" event April 26 in the Jim Belz Gymnasium at Sacred Heart-Griffin High School in Springfield. Originally begun with professional athletes, Bishop Thomas John Paprocki said that he and other American bishops believed getting much younger people involved in CAC would provide early benefits.

Lincoln Land Community College named Sister M. Gianna Nazar, FSGM, of Springfield its 2015 Outstanding Graduate at the annual Student Recognition Ceremony May 5.

Sister M. Gianna was honored as Outstanding Graduate based on grade point average, leadership, motivation, service to others and ability to overcome obstacles. She graduated May 15 with an associate in applied science degree in radiography.

At the end of each school year, educators and catechists in parish schools and religious education programs in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois are honored for special service anniversaries.

World and national media attention focused on the capital city May 1-3 for the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's final funeral and laying to rest in Springfield's historic Oak Ridge Cemetery, second only to Arlington National Cemetery as the nation's most visited cemetery precisely because the remains of the martyred 16th president rest there.

Catholic Times is pleased to recognize the following religious sisters and priests who have lived in or served in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois and are celebrating a significant jubilee in 2015.

The rainy and chilly weather outside did nothing to dampen the joy felt on Saturday, April 25 as Bishop Thomas John Paprocki ordained two third-year seminarians to the transitional diaconate during Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield.

GLEN CARBON — As construction of the new Father McGivney Catholic High School (FMCHS) continues, this year's annual appeal is concentrating on funds to furnish and equip the new building when students return for the new school year on Aug. 20, 2015.

Priests in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois will gather on Tuesday, May 12 at Villa Maria Catholic Life Center on Lake Springfield for the annual Priests' Jubilee Celebration with Bishop Thomas John Paprocki. The special presenter for the day will be Bishop Joseph Perry of the Archdiocese of Chicago, who is the official postulator for the cause of canonization for Father Augustus Tolton. He will speak on Father Tolton's priesthood.

The fourth annual Our Lady of Good Counsel: Women of Distinction Award and Luncheon will be held Saturday, June 20 beginning with Mass at 10 a.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield. The event theme is "Christ Be Our Light" and is hosted by the Springfield in Illinois Diocesan Council of Catholic Women (SDCCW).

The Franciscan Friars of the Sacred Heart Province will hold an information session for all interested men, ages 21-40, on Sunday, May 17 from 2-4 p.m. at Our Lady of Angels Friary, 4849 LaVerna Road in Springfield.

HSHS St. John's Hospital in Springfield was recently recognized for two separate aspects of hospital care. The hospital was named one of Illinois' 10 "Best Value Hospitals" and also received an award for cancer care.

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