The Hospital Sisters of St. Francis celebrated the Jubilee of eight sisters on June 4 in St. Francis of Assisi Church in Springfield. The Mass was celebrated by Bishop Thomas John Paprocki. Father John L. Ostdiek, OFM, who resides at St. Clare’s Villa in Alton, was the homilist. “And now with a Jubilarian’s eye, look back on how the years in your religious life and ministry matured, blossomed in full,” Father John said in his homily. “Think back to your ministry, ‘To heal the broken-hearted … to bring good news to the poor … to tell the people that the Lord will save them.’ (Isaiah 61:1-11). Through countless efforts to care and even cure, you brought Jesus’ story of the Good Samaritan, the story of St. Francis of Assisi caring for lepers, and the example of many, many Hospital Sisters, into reality.”
From Dec. 8, 2015 through the feast of Christ the King on Nov. 20, Catholics around the world are celebrating an Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy as decreed by Pope Francis. The jubilee began with the opening of the Holy Door of the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome and concludes with closing the same Holy Door. The faithful are invited to pass through the Holy Door as a sign of spiritual pilgrimage and receive a plenary indulgence.
“The honor and glory belongs to God alone for all of the contributions of our honorees, but we rejoice in the fact that they have said ‘yes’ to God’s will in their lives ... .”
So said Bishop Thomas John Paprocki in recognizing more than 60 recipients of Our Lady of Good Council Women of Distinction awards who gathered for Mass on June 18 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. “Along with ... Mary’s obedience to God’s will, these honorees encourage all of us to be more open to his working through us, not to draw attention to ourselves, but to give glory to him ...”, continued Bishop Paprocki.
Poor junior high kids! They’re often too old to feel cool at Vacation Bible School and too young to go on big mission trips that older teens enjoy. They’re overlooked to serve as lectors, greeters and eucharistic ministers. They truly are in a “middle” place.
We as older members of church would be wise to see that we have a rich opportunity to form the “young” church in a unique way. Young people are still open to a fuller “Yes!” to God as members of the wider church. Because there are few opportunities to help form young disciples, the Timothy Retreat boasts the ability to provide a vibrant faith experience for sixth-, seventh- and eighthgrade members of our parish communities. So where did the Timothy Retreat come from?
Last year the church celebrated the 50th anniversary of the closing of the Second Vatican Council. Next year the church will celebrate another golden anniversary in its life when she celebrates 50 years since the renewal of the permanent diaconate as one of the fruits of the council. From the earliest days of the church, as we see in the Acts of the Apostles, the diaconate was at the heart of the church’s mission in modeling the servanthood of Christ. Deacons were the conscientious co-workers with the Apostles and the bishops who succeeded them. However, around the fifth century, the presence of deacons as a permanent order of the clergy gradually disappeared in the western church.
Bishop Thomas John Paprocki will ordain 11 men to the permanent diaconate on Saturday, June 25 during 10:30 a.m. Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. The class of 2016 is the fourth permanent deacon class to be ordained in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. Previous classes were ordained in 2007, 2009 and in 2012. With this class ordained the Springfield diocese will have 57 deacons. A few of these deacons were ordained elsewhere but now serve in this diocese.
ST. LOUIS — Diane Schlindwein, associate editor of Catholic Times, has added to her list of peer recognitions.
The Catholic Press As sociat ion (CPA) selected Schlindwein’s January 2015 profile of Sister M. Pauletta Overbeck, OP, for second-place in the “Best Personality Profile: Non-Weekly Diocesan Newspaper, Circulation 25,001 or more” catagory at the organization’s annual awards banquet June 3 in St. Louis.
Daily events occuring throughout the Diocese.
Charlene S. Aaron begins June 1 as the new chancellor of St. John’s College of Nursing in Springfield. She succeeds Brenda Jeffers who is retiring. “Dr. Aaron will be an asset because of her distinguished experience with nursing education,” said E.J. Kuiper, president and CEO of HSHS Central Illinois Division. “She is passionate about educating students to be great nurses and increasing diversity of nursing students and faculty members.”
Bishop Thomas John Paprocki joined the other Illinois Catholic bishops last month in sending a letter to Illinois House members to reject House Bill 4013 and its call for public funding of abortions. House Bill 4013 passed the House Human Services Committee on a partisan 8-6 vote in March 2015, but was sent back to the Rules Committee after a short availability for a vote on the House floor.
The 2016 class ordained to the priesthood were about 17 when they first considered a vocation to the priesthood. Seven in 10 (70 percent) say they were encouraged by a parish priest, a friend (48 percent), parishioners (46 percent) and mothers (42 percent). On average, they lived in the diocese for which they will be ordained for 15 years before entering seminary. Religious ordinands knew the members of their religious institute an average of five years before entering.
The annual Our Lady of Good Counsel: Women of Distinction Award and Luncheon will be held on Saturday, June 18 beginning with a 10:30 a.m. Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield.
The Washington Province of Discalced Carmelites recently granted the establishment of the St. Joseph, Faithful Guardian of Carmel Group in Quincy — the first and only Carmelite group in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois.
Father Arnaud Devillers, FSSP, is the group’s spiritual assistant. They meet the first Saturday of each month at St. Rose of Lima Parish Hall.
Priests in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois will gather on Tuesday, May 3 at Villa Maria Catholic Life Center on Lake Springfield for the annual Priests’ Jubilee Celebration with Bishop Thomas John Paprocki. This year’s special presenter is Msgr. Ross Shecterle, president-rector of Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology in Franklin, Wis. Msgr. Shecterle is a priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and has his Ph.D. in pastoral counseling from Loyola College in Maryland.
On the Friday within the Octave of Easter, Bishop Thomas John Paprocki ordained four seminarians to the transitional diaconate during an evening Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield.
Hundreds of people were at the April 1 Mass to support Michael Friedel, Ronnie “Ron” Lorilla, Rafal Pyrchla and Wayne Stock as they received the sacrament of holy orders, ordaining them to the order of deacon as a transitional step toward being a priest for the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois.
Father Joseph F. O’Reilly Jr. died April 5, just days before the 67th anniversary of his ordination as a priest for the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. He was 93 years old.
Born Dec. 17, 1922, he was the son of Joseph and Frances (Reiss) O’Reilly. He was ordained at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on April 17, 1949, by Bishop William A. O’Connor.
In 1970, married couples with children constituted 40 percent of American households. By 2012, that figure had fallen to less than 20 percent. Thus it is timely and fitting that His Holiness Pope Francis has issued his post-synodal apostolic exhortation on Love in the Family bearing the Latin title, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love). The title is taken from the document’s opening line, “The joy of love experienced by families is also the joy of the Church.”
More than 400 people came to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on April 3 where Bishop Thomas John Paprocki presided at a celebration of the Divine Mercy.
The afternoon prayer service included eucharistic exposition, Divine Mercy Chaplet, Liturgy of the Word, The Praises of the Divine Mercy and the sacrament of reconciliation. Eight priests heard confessions.
Pro-life advocates from across the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois kicked off the annual Life Advocacy Day April 6 at the Capitol on the positive note that a House bill that would have allowed pharmacists the ability to prescribe birth control pills failed resoundingly in committee the previous day.
On Friday, April 1 Bishop Thomas John Paprocki ordained four seminarians to the transitional diaconate during 6 p.m. Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield. During the last weeks of Lent, Michael Friedel, Ronnie Lorilla, Rafal Pyrchla and Wayne Stock took time to share their thoughts on their upcoming ordinations.
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 the age of 7 and older). This year, in 60 parishes and one university within the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, 288 people came to the Easter Vigil to celebrate rites that joined them to the Catholic Church.
Although the Easter Vigil is the normative time for the baptism of adults and children of catechetical age (about the age of 6 or 7 and older), it is not the only time the Roman Catholic Church “makes” new Catholics. Infants of Catholic parents are regularly baptized soon after birth.
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.
Seniors scheduled to graduate this spring from Catholic high schools throughout the diocese who are members of Catholic Athletes for Christ (CAC) were challenged by a former professional soccer star turned Catholic priest with the words of Pope St. John Paul II who once said that “sports are the school of moral virtue.”
Father Chase Hilgenbrinck, a Quincy native and now a priest of the Peoria diocese, is a former American professional soccer standout following an illustrious career at Clemson University.
Over 500 people from all around the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois were at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on the evening of March 22 as Bishop Thomas John Paprocki concelebrated the chrism Mass.
The chrism Mass is held annually in cathedrals all over the world during Holy Week. It is during this Mass that priests, who gather with their bishop in the sanctuary to concelebrate, publicly renew the promises they made at their ordinations.
The people of St. Joseph Parish in Benld will celebrate the 100-year parish jubilee on Saturday, April 9. Bishop Thomas John Paprocki will celebrate Mass at 4 p.m. Msgr. Lawrence Auda, pastor emeritus; Father Michael Haag, pastor; Father Marianna Sathuluri, parochial vicar; Father Patrick Gibbons, Father Charles Edwards and Father James Neuman will be concelebrating. Father Brian Alford will be master of ceremonies at the Mass and Deacon Sean Caveny will serve as deacon. A dinner (requiring reservations) to be held at JoDanni’s Amore Restaurant in Benld will follow the Mass.
During Holy Week, which begins on Palm Sunday (March 20), Lent ends and the Easter triduum begins. The triduum is a single three-day celebration of the Paschal mystery. It opens with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday evening, has its center in the Easter Vigil and closes with Vespers — or Evening Prayer — on the Sunday of the Resurrection.
SILVIS — Jesus “Jessie” Vasquez-Sierra, the mother of Father Angel Sierra of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, passed away Feb. 25 at home surrounded by her family. She was 95 years old.