Parents of infants already know their babies to be special gifts, but this month many newborns in central Illinois will be getting a sweet little gift of their own simply because they were born in February.
That’s because three HSHS hospitals — St. John’s in Springfield, St. Francis in Litchfield and St. Mary’s in Decatur — are all recognizing heart month by having the tiniest patients raise awareness about preventing heart disease. Every baby born in these three hospitals during February will receive a red onesie that will help make parents and loved ones aware of heart disease.
Two participants from the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois received the Catholic Spiritual Mentorship Program certificate from the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas Holy Family School of Faith.
Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann presented certificates on Jan. 14 to Deacon Eugene Uptmor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Mattoon and Marlene Mulford of Little Flower Parish in Springfield.
QUINCY — Quincy University has announced a $300,000 gift to its financial recovery campaign from the Franciscan Province of the Sacred Heart. The Friars founded what was then St. Francis Solanus College in 1860 and have continued their financial support and service through present day Quincy University.
40 Days for Life returns to Springfield beginning March 1 and will feature “40 days of prayer, fasting, peaceful vigil and community outreach,” according to Claudia Connelly, local coordinator. “We pray that these efforts will help mark the beginning of the end of abortion in Springfield.”
ROME — Seminarian Michael A. Berndt of St. Francis Solanis Parish in Quincy was conferred the Ministry of Lector Jan. 15 in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception in Rome.
As part of the rite, Bishop Paul Tighe, adjunct-secretary to the Pontifical Council for Culture, placed the lectionary in the hands of each candidate which contained the readings used in the celebration of the Mass for the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.
In remarks following the Jan. 22 prayer service that began the preparation phase of the diocesan synod, Bishop Thomas John Paprocki reinforced some important elements.
WASHINGTON (CNS) — Participants in the annual March for Life always have two vivid memories: the brisk January chill on the streets of the nation’s capital, and the long bus ride.
For some, such as the 600 marchers affiliated with the University of Mary in Bismarck, N. D., the march will be a culmination of successful organizing and youthful enthusiasm in addition to substantial outside donations. Others struggle with raising money for a single busload of about 50.
Each year between Christmas and New Year’s, seminarians of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois travel to Villa Maria Catholic Life Center on Lake Springfield for two days of fellowship and reflection before returning to their studies in January.
“It’s an intentional reason so they can be together as, God willing, our future priests and also to be with the bishop,” said Father Brian Alford, director of Vocations and pastor of St. Jude Parish in Rochester. “The more they have that familiarity and comfort with the bishop, the better we all work together as a presbyterate under the direction of our bishop.”
QUINCY — Quincy University has made significant progress toward its $7 million financial recovery fundraising campaign with the announcement of a $1 million investment from an anonymous donor. The campaign is nearly 30 percent to its five-year goal in just three months.
The Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George will celebrate the first profession of one novice and the diamond jubilee of Sister Mary Gabriel Gibbons during Mass at 9:30 a.m. on Feb. 2.
Bishop Thomas John Paprocki will be the main celebrant of the Mass at St. Francis Convent, Alton. He will be joined by other bishops and priests.
“I would like to point out one success story of our sending antiseizure medications to a 13-year -old girl in Santiago. Her family could not afford the medications and she was unable to attend school. We sent at least six months worth of levitiracetam with ER Abroad from Sherman. They go there twice a year. She is in school now.”
At age 90, Louis G. Kubacki knows how important it is to read and appreciate the words penned by saints and church leaders. That’s why, last month Kubacki — who lives in the Joliet diocese — presented Bishop Thomas John Paprocki with a book of quotes for use in parish bulletins throughout the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois.
CHICAGO — The Catholic Conference of Illinois (CCI) recently announced the publication of a new booklet offering guidance on end-of-life health plans, Encouraging End-of-Life Conversations: A Catholic Perspective on Advance Directives.
Advance directives are legal documents that outline medical treatments an individual wants — or not — as they grow older or reach a health status in which they cannot speak for themselves. The documents also allow individuals to appoint an agent to carry out their wishes.
Under the watchful eyes of Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois and Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Perry of the Archdiocese of Chicago, the remains of Servant of God Father Augustus Tolton were unearthed on Dec. 10 in St. Peter Cemetery in Quincy. It was the most recent development in the process that began in 2010 for Father Tolton’s beatification and canonization.
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.
VIRDEN — In celebration of its more than 100 years of parish life, Sacred Heart Parish in Virden is releasing a pictorial history book as well as a companion DVD.
The book is titled Blessings Without Number. Parish secretary Marcella Rosier has compiled photographs, news articles and family stories to make up the 500-page soft-cover, full-color book. She credits Sacred Heart parishioner Joe Maynerich for collecting and labeling photographs from the beginnings of the parish, which was chartered in the early 1900s by Slovak immigrants. “It is really a scrapbook of our parish family,” says Rosier.
Last month the Office for Youth and Young Adult Ministry in the Department for Vocational Services hosted two events for young people: Diocesan Youth Days and the Diocesan Youth Conference.
Diocesan Youth Days took place from Nov. 6-10 and were hosted in different regions of the diocese, said Kyle Holtgrave, associate director for Youth and Young Adult Ministry. A total of 424 middle and high school students attended the Youth Days, which are meant to continue to build on St. John Paul’s vision of celebrating the young church.
Chiara Center is hosting the 10th annual Franciscan Nativity Festival — a display of more than 100 Nativity sets — a significant majority of which are new to the annual event. The event is free and open to the public on Friday, Dec. 2 from 2-7 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 3 and Sunday, Dec. 4 from noon-4 p.m. at Chiara Center, 4875 LaVerna Road, Springfield, on the grounds of St. Francis Convent.
On the date that we in America honored members of the armed forces on Veteran’s Day, Sister Gabrielis Hu, OSF, had another reason to celebrate. It was her 105th birthday and she was recognized at St. Francis Convent in Springfield. However, her date of birth has always been an easy one to remember. She was born Nov. 11, 1911 — that’s 11/11/11 — in Wuchen, Shandong Province, China.
DECATUR — Approximately 900 people attended the 2016 Diocesan Adult Enrichment Conference (DAEC), which was held Nov. 4-5 at the Decatur Conference Center and Hotel. This was the 20th biennial event and was entitled “Harvesting the Fruits of Discipleship.” Attendees participated in prayer services, listened to keynote speaker Greg Willits, took part in breakout sessions and were also encouraged to visit the 40 booths of exhibitors who were at the event.
Weeks before the Chicago Cubs made history by winning the World Series after 108 years Father Chuck Edwards wondered out loud, “Wouldn’t it be something if the Cubs played the Indians? It’s been so long since either of them has won.”
As it turned out Father Edwards, who is director of Stewardship and Discipleship and pastor of St. Augustine Parish in Ashland, was correct in his prediction. Moreover, as a Cubs fan for 50 years, he is one excited guy. He watched the final game of the World Series with some friends at the Knights of Columbus 364 Hall in Springfield. Since the game went into overtime and there was a rain delay, he got home late and admits he was “really tired” when he got up early Thursday to celebrate daily Mass that morning.
Bishop Thomas John Paprocki has announced to pastors and his curia staff to begin preparations for a diocesan synod to be held next year. Among the bishop’s mandates for the synod is to put in diocesan statute his vision of defining the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois as a “stewardship and decipleship” diocese.
Just in time for holiday decorating and Christmas gift-giving, St. Joseph’s Home of Springfield has released its latest city ornament. The annually-released collectible pays tribute to yet another historic place in the capital city: the Lincoln Depot, also known as the Great Western Railroad Station. It also celebrates President Abraham Lincoln’s farewell address.
VANDALIA — Rich in history, Vandalia served as the state capital of Illinois from 1819 until 1839 when a young legislator named Abraham Lincoln led the effort to move the seat of state government to Springfield where it remains today. Located just off Interstate 70, one of the busiest highways in the country, Vandalia, population 7,000, is the unlikely home to a worldwide ministry of prayer, healing and reconciliation.
On Tuesday, Nov. 22 at 7 p.m., members of the combined choirs of two west side Catholic churches, Blessed Sacrament and Christ the King, will present a pre-service concert of sacred music at Sacred Heart Church, 730 S. 12th St. in Springfield. Musical selections include Mozart’s Ave Verum, Franck’s Panis Angelicus, and Palestrina’s Sicut Cervus, in addition to other works. The concert is a tribute to St. Cecilia, known as the patron saint of musicians and poets, whose feast day falls on the same date.
The late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin is remembered fondly by Catholics for, among other things, his courageous end-of-life battle with cancer. Bishop Thomas John Paprocki speaks often with reverence for the prelate for whom he served as chancellor of the Archdiocese of Chicago. He is also revered by Father Myles Sheehan, SJ, who lauded the late prelate as he began his Oct. 15 presentation following the White Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.