Maria Palazzolo, daughter of Paul and Suanne Palazzolo of Springfield, has been chosen to participate in the prestigious Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar Program at the University of Notre Dame this coming fall.

Catholic Athletes for Christ (CAC) in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois held its first ever Senior Springboard event April 26 at the West Campus of Sacred Heart-Griffin High School in Springfield. Catholic high school senior athletes from throughout the diocese were honored and their parents, principals, athletic directors, and CAC moderators and facilitators were also recognized.

Officials from the University of St. Mary of the Lake traveled from Mundelein to Springfield's Catholic Pastoral Center March 26 to inspect and take possesion of what they described as an "impressive" collection of canon law books printed prior to the First Code of Canon Law in 1917.

On Saturday, April 25, Bishop Thomas John Paprocki will ordain two men to the transitional diaconate during 10 a.m. Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield. Paul Bonk and Braden Maher are both completing their third year of theology training and will be vested that day.

PARIS — Carolyn Louise Harmon, mother of Father Barry J. Harmon of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, passed away on Holy Thursday, April 2 at Paris Community Hospital. She was 75 years old.

QUINCY — The Quincy Catholic Elementary Schools (QCES) Foundation is accepting applications for the 2015 Newcomer's Scholarship. The Newcomer's Scholarship is a partially need-based full-tuition scholarship that is awarded annually to one student in grades K-8, either Catholic or of another faith, whose family does not currently have any children enrolled in one of Quincy's four Catholic elementary schools: Blessed Sacrament, St. Dominic, St. Francis or St. Peter.

ROCHESTER — "Incarnation" is the blessed truth that God entered into our earthly existence in the person of Jesus Christ; forming our way of being in this world. Just as Jesus is fully present to us in the bread and wine, so too our faith must take on concrete form so that others can see, hear, taste, smell and touch this reality.

Sunday, 19 April 2015 17:01

In Unison — Where art meets heart

Young musicians and artists from Blessed Sacrament Parish in Springfield will present a combination concert and fine arts exhibit on Sunday, May 3 at 4 p.m. Under the direction of Blessed Sacrament's music director, Jody Kienzler and art teacher, Ruth Ficke, In Unison will benefit the construction of an outdoor prayer grotto in the parish of Ss. Peter and Paul in the Tamale archdiocese of Ghana, Africa. Tamale is Ghana's third largest city, located in the northern part of a country whose total population is 24.2 million, of which 13.1 percent are Catholics.

Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach will host its seventh Annual World's Fair on April 25. The event, featuring the cuisine of South America, begins at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 7 p.m. and will be held at the organization's headquarters, 4930 LaVerna Road, Springfield. The World's Fair showcases the international work of Mission Outreach along with its midwest partners and those in 87 countries around the world.

We, the Catholic bishops of Illinois, write in regard to House Bill 4013, legislation which is a radical departure from longstanding Illinois health policy. As it allows taxpayer money to pay for abortions and funds grants to organizations that advocate for and perform abortions, we ask that you join us in opposing it.

Illinois Catholic health and social service agencies have a major, positive impact on the quality of life for many citizens in Illinois.

Hundreds of people from all over the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois were in attendance when Bishop Thomas John Paprocki concelebrated the chrism Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on the evening of March 31.

On April 9, 2015, the nation will mark the 150th anniversary of the surrender ceremony at the Appomattox Court House, which came to symbolize the beginning of reconciliation throughout the United States for a nation torn apart by civil war. The terms of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's surrender were intentionally lenient as President Abraham Lincoln wanted to demonstrate to people in the South that they had a place in America. Confederate troops were paroled, allowed to keep their side arms, horses, their possessions and urged to return to their homes.

COLLINSVILLE — The annual Women's Day, sponsored by the ladies of Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Collinsville, will highlight the Lady of Guadalupe Shrine in Mexico and the miracles that occurred there in 1531. The event, entitled "Our Lady of Guadalupe, Arrange the Roses in Our Lives," will take place on Saturday, April 18 from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. at the K.C. Hall on Route 157 in Collinsville.

Sunday, 05 April 2015 09:32

Church welcomes 323 new members

The Easter Vigil is the premier time each year for the making of Catholic adults through the celebration of the sacraments of Christian initiation. For the purposes of baptism, "adults" are those of catechetical age (about 6 or 7 years) and older. This year, in 64 parishes and two universities within the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, 323 persons will have come to the Easter Vigil to celebrate rites that joined them to the Catholic Church.

Adults and older children, who have been raised in other Christian churches, can become Roman Catholic outside of the Easter season if they have already been baptized. The parish can celebrate the rite of Reception of Baptized Christians into the full communion of the Catholic Church whenever readiness for the sacraments is established. This liturgy usually takes place at Sunday Mass in the parish. The candidate makes a profession of faith using the Nicene Creed (the one Catholics proclaim each Sunday), is then confirmed by the parish priest, and comes to the Eucharistic table to eat and drink the Body and Blood of the Lord.

More than a dozen cloistered nuns are experiencing their first Easter in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, just six months after relocating their Dominican Monastery of Mary the Queen from Elmira N.Y., to an area of Sacred Heart Convent, the long-time home of the Dominican Sisters of Springfield.

NEW ORLEANS — Let the record show that never in the nearly 300-year history of St. Louis Cathedral have Catholics seen a dancing bishop.

But when Bishop Fernand "Ferd" Cheri made his first remarks to the nearly 1,000 people gathered for his ordination as auxiliary bishop March 23, the native son couldn't resist breaking into spirituals and even moving a few body parts.

Sunday, 22 March 2015 18:30

God will not be outdone in generosity

RAYMOND — Eighty-two diocesan priests listened, discussed and inquired about the spirituality of stewardship and discipleship as a way of life during their Spring Gathering March 10-11 at the Magnuson Grand Hotel and Conference Center near Raymond. Three priests and two laypersons from the Diocese of Wichita were their guests and presenters.

During Holy Week, which begins on Palm Sunday (March 29), Lent ends and the Easter triduum begins. A single three-day celebration of the Paschal mystery, the triduum opens with the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday evening, has its center in the Easter Vigil and closes with Vespers (Evening Prayer) on the Sunday of the Resurrection.

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.

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