High noon on June 28 brought hundreds of freedom-loving Catholics and non-Catholics to a citadel of secular power, the state capital building in Springfield, for a bold display of religious freedom. It was the midway point of Fortnight for Freedom, the yearly observance of religious freedom sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
COLLINSVILLE — “There were struggles along the way and there were challenges for us as we began this journey of how we would face the reality of a highway and how it would affect our entrance,” said Father John Beveridge, pastor of Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Collinsville. “And we realized that the Lord was there all along the way telling us to take that next step, to be couragous, don’t be afraid, continue to open ourselves up to his grace, I am there for you always.”
The statement below was released within minutes after the May 10 Illinois Senate passage of House Bill 40 on behalf of the five Illinois Catholic bishops by the Catholic Conference of Illinois.
Regulars at the weekday 5:15 p.m. Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception are often joined by visitors to the Lincoln sites in the state capital. On May 16, they were also joined by an impressive array of state and local officials.
Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois began the annual Red Mass by welcoming among others, Gov. Bruce Rauner, Chief Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier, other Illinois Supreme Court justices, House Speaker Michael Madigan, members of the General Assembly and local civic leaders.
Eliot Kapitan is tidying up his notoriously book-filled and paper-filled curia office as he retires after nearly 29 years of service to the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois.
A native of South Dakota, Kapitan is a graduate of Notre Dame Seminary and Graduate School of Theology in New Orleans, and is known professionally — and affectionately — for his strict attention to liturgical accuracy and detail.
“Having spent 15 years in Catholic schools, my faith life has become the foundation of my life,” Madi Connors said confidently during her testimony at the Catholic Athletes for Christ (CAC) Springboard event in Springfield.
“In having the privilege of going to Marquette [Catholic High School], I have the opportunity to speak openly of my faith and my relationship with God.”
Bishop Thomas John Paprocki greeted those who gathered March 29 for Life Advocacy Day at the Capitol with a post-election legislative take on the snake tempting Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
“The devil is the father of lies and just as the snake [the devil] tempts Eve and Adam to eat the forbidden fruit … the devil lies about abortion and he lies about its impact,” said Bishop Paprocki.
Like its flashy television sibling, your chance of finding the right radio station that delivers the niche programming you enjoy continues on its upward trajectory. Perhaps the ultimate “niche” programming is religious programming. And Catholic radio, more specifically, is growing, albeit at a much quieter (think “contemplative”) pace.
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.”
“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.”