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. 

Asks the faithful  throughout diocese to participate in historic synod

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.

Chicagoland supporters marched Jan. 15 for annual commemoration of Roe v. Wade

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.

Sunday, 25 December 2016 17:30

Diocesan youth events attended by hundreds

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.

Father John C. Sullivan, OFM, died in home hospice care at the Franciscan Motherhouse in Springfield on Nov. 7. He was 84 years old. He was born Aug. 25, 1932 in St. Louis, the son of John C. and Florence (Bene) Sullivan.

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.

Sunday, 27 November 2016 15:02

Sister Gabrielis celebrates 105th birthday

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.

‘Meaningful’ community living in the works

Young adult women looking for a meaningful alternative to living with their parents, sharing an overcrowded rental or an expensive, noisy college dorm may find what they’re looking for at St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Parish in Springfield.

Sunday, 27 November 2016 14:58

Marathon man, er ... bishop

PHILADELPHIA — Bishop Thomas John Paprocki ran his 22nd marathon on Nov. 20 by completing the Philadelphia Marathon.    “That makes 22 marathons in 22 years,” said Bishop Paprocki.

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.

Physician-Jesuit speaks after White Mass

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.

ST. MEINRAD, Ind. — Father Christopher House, chancellor of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois and pastor of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, has been named to two advisory boards at Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology.

DECATUR — Catholic Charities of Decatur has added four new members to their Advisory Board.  Karen Barding, Laura Birschbach, Scott Bundy and Barb McElroy began their three-year terms in September.

A few years ago at our annual Priest Jubilee Day, Bishop Edward Rice, then Auxiliary Bishop of St. Louis, was asked to offer some reflections on the priesthood.He made a point that really stuck in my mind. He told all of us that we were all vocation directors. What he was saying is that all of the priests share in the responsibility for promoting vocations. In my time as the diocesan vocation director, I am more convinced than ever that these words are true. The vast majority of the men who approach me about a vocation have already been working with a priest that they know and trust. It is only after that important work of accompaniment and encouragement that a young man is sent in my direction.

Sunday, 02 October 2016 21:12

QU sets freshman record

Quincy University welcomed 287 freshmen to campus for the new school year — the largest class in more than two decades and a three percent increase over 2015. In addition, QU enrolled 88 transfer students along with 669 returning full-time undergraduate students for a total full-time undergraduate population of 1,044. Including part-time undergraduate and graduate program students, the overall enrollment for the 2016-2017 academic year stands at 1,171.

Continuing a tradition that has lasted for more than three decades, Blessed Sacrament Parish in Springfield is again offering PSR for Exceptional People, a weekly Catholic study gathering for developmentally disabled children and adults. All developmentally disabled individuals — children and adults — who are at least 7 years old and live in the Springfield diocese are welcomed. 

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