Bishop Thomas John Paprocki used a March 10 press conference at the Catholic Pastoral Center to discount the recent assertion that two so-called "predator priests" held positions in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois years ago.

Sunday, 22 March 2015 17:58

Father Yunker 2014-15 awardees named

The current school year marked the return of available funds to award more than $2,700 in the Father Yunker Student Assistance Fund. Recipients of the college scholarships must be of Lithuanian ancestry, be an active member of the Catholic Church and currently enrolled in an accredited college or university.

Third year theology student Braden Maher of St. Anthony Parish, Effingham, was among 17 seminarians who made their deacon promises on March 5 in St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel at St. Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology.

On Feb. 15, the Springfield Area Young Adult Mass (YAM) celebrated its seventh anniversary. Msgr. John Ossola celebrated the Mass.

"It's truly amazing how far we've come since our first Mass seven years ago," Brad Baker, YAM Board president said. "This was a vision of several young adults in Springfield, to bring a young adult ministry to our area that would help bridge the gap between college and parish life, and to see the success is very rewarding."

SPRINGFIELD — Fourteen organizations in central Illinois have been awarded more than $21,000 in grants from Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Rice Bowl and the Office for the Missions of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. The grants assist organizations in providing food for the hungry in various parts of the diocese according to Vicki Compton, director of the Office for the Missions.

Several Springfield area jurists and attorneys joined state and local office holders and politicians at a Red Mass celebrated March 10 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield.

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki wore red vestments in honor of the Holy Spirit whose wisdom and guidance is sought for judges, lawyers and civic leaders. Bishop Paprocki, himself a civil and canon lawyer, delivered the homily and expressed his desire that it become an annual opportunity available especially to members of the General Assembly and the Illinois Supreme Court, both of which were in session,

JACKSONVILLE — Our Saviour Parish will host a parish mission Sunday, March 22 through Wednesday, March 25 at 7 p.m. Mass will also be said each morning of the mission at 7 a.m.. in the upper convent sanctuary.

Sunday, 22 March 2015 17:12

Obituary - Sister M. Lucille Mertes, OP

SPRINGFIELD — Sister M. Lucille Mertes, OP, died March 10. She was 99 years old. A funeral Mass and Rite of Committal was held on March 14, with Father Peter Witchousky, OP, presiding. Burial followed at Calvary Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Dominican Sisters Retirement Fund, 1237 W. Monroe, Springfield, IL 62704.

Sunday, 22 March 2015 17:10

Franciscan info session in Effingham

EFFINGHAM — The Associates of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis are hosting an information session on Monday, March 30 at 4 p.m. in the home of Carol Gapsis, 1003 N. Parkview St., in Effingham.

CARLINVILLE — Over 60 young people and their adult chaperones attended this year's Diocesan Youth Conference, held March 7-8 at Lake Williamson Christian Conference Center in Carlinville. The theme for the weekend was "Lord, you have the words of eternal life" and came from the Psalm from that weekend's Mass.

Truly the Lord was present in our midst, just as he promised, when on Ash Wednesday, March 1, 1995, we began perpetual adoration in the chapel at St. Mary's Hospital. This momentous time in the life of the church in Decatur, and the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois began on that day when Jesus' love and mercy poured into our hearts. We felt that day, the beginning of the great season of Lent that we would burst with joy as we prayed with praise and thanksgiving for this great gift. The chapel was filled to capacity with priests, Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, staff of St. Mary's Hospital and parishioners from all over the city for the prayer service which inaugurated the perpetual exposition of the sacrament. A small prayer group prayed for seven years for this day, and now it was finally realized. Not too many years after, newly-appointed Bishop George Lucas would write in his Catholic Times column that when he visited the chapel to make a visit, he "found something wonderful there." He continued to encourage eucharistic devotion here and throughout the Springfield diocese during the years of his episcopal ministry.

Over the first weekend of Lent, 312 people from 61 parishes and two university campuses attended the Rite of Election of Catechumens and of the Call to Continuing Conversion of Baptized Catholics. They came to the see city in spite of nearly a foot of snow that fell early in the day on Saturday and the bitter cold temperatures on Sunday — and they were accompanied by the priests, deacons, sponsors, godparents, families and friends who traveled with them.

Highland — Vocations are indeed alive and well in Highland and the Springfield diocese.

The Highland Knights of Columbus are very active as they continue their quest to support activities such as Respect For Life, the Newman Fund, and vocations of seminarians, sisters, those seeking vocation of religious life and priests.

Sunday, 08 March 2015 10:05

Red Mass set at Cathedral

On Tuesday, March 10, Bishop Thomas John Paprocki and the St. Thomas More Lawyers Guild of Springfield invite people to the Red Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield.

With an eye toward the eighth World Meeting of Families (WMOF) later this year, the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois has launched a new adult enrichment series during Lent in support of the family.

Sunday, 08 March 2015 09:56

Convent contents to be auctioned

SHIPMAN — Religious items and furnishings from the Ursuline convent and chapel in Alton will be auctioned at 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 10, at Harman Auction Service and Storage in Shipman.

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki has announced that a questionnaire available at the diocese's website will be part of the 2015 Ordinary Synod of Bishops in Rome next October. The theme of the assembly is "The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and Contemporary World."

The Holy Spirit has chosen to lead our diocese in a direction that will greatly impact our local Catholic Church. It is all about "discipleship," the personal call inviting each of us to enter into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ who calls us to be his modern day disciples. For those who embrace this call it becomes a "total way of life."

Sunday, 22 February 2015 08:18

SDCCW opens annual scholarship competition

The Springfield Diocesan Council of Catholic Women (SDCCW) is offering Diocesan Leadership Scholarships that recognize outstanding Catholic female high school seniors. Four $500 scholarships will be awarded this year. According to scholarship chair Mary Ann Scopel, applicants will be judged on how they exemplify DCCW's mission values of leadership, faith and service.

Sister Marcelline Koch, OP, speaks about advocacy, what she found among displaced Christians, minorities

A delegation of three U.S. Dominican Sisters recently returned from a 10-day journey to Iraq that was meant to be a show of solidarity with their Iraqi Dominican counterparts. Not surprisingly, they came home with the determination to advocate — to speak out for displaced Christians and minorities in that country and also for refugees who are in Jordan and Syria.

For the fifth year in a row, Springfield Right to Life is sponsoring a local 40 Days for Life prayer vigil in the see city. This year the vigil began on Ash Wednesday and will conclude on Palm Sunday, March 29. The peaceful vigil is being conducted from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week during the 40 days, on the sidewalk in front Planned Parenthood at 1000 East Washington St.

Bishop-elect Fernand Cheri, OFM, will be ordained Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of New Orleans at St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans on March 23.

The Diocese of Springfield in Illinois was extremely well-represented at the Jan. 22 March for Life in Washington, D.C., said Becky Bauerle, youth minister for Mother of Perpetual Help Parish in Maryville.

The season of Lent begins this year on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 18, and ends just prior to the evening Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday, April 2, when the Paschal Triduum begins. Lent is the principal penitential season in the church year.

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki will once again be fending off fast flying pucks for the benefit of the Catholic Charities Legal Services (CCLS) program. The annual fundraiser, "Hockey with Paprocki" is slated for Wednesday, Feb. 11, at 7 p.m. at the Nelson Center in Springfield's Lincoln Park.

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki will celebrate a farewell Mass Feb. 15 honoring Bishop-elect Fernand "Ferd" Cheri, OFM, recently named an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of New Orleans.

Award-winning broadcaster Drew Mariani, host of the Drew Mariani Show, heard weekdays on Relevant Radio, will be the keynote speaker at WDCR 88.9 Decatur Catholic Radio's fourth Annual Dinner, Feb. 10 beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Decatur Conference Center, 4191 U.S. 36 West, Decatur.

Sunday, 08 February 2015 13:37

CRS Rice Bowl offers Lenten recipes

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.

Sixth-graders from Springfield Catholic grade schools, a few Sacred Heart-Griffin High School students and a number of school leaders were on hand Jan. 20 at St. Agnes School to take part in a gathering to celebrate National School Choice Week, which happened this year Jan. 25-31.

Pope Francis has named Franciscan Father Fernand "Ferd" Cheri III, a New Orleans native and director of campus ministry at Quincy University (QU), as an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of New Orleans. The appointment was announced Jan. 12 in Washington by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

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