The day after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., Dr. Bill Moredock, principal of Little Flower School in Springfield, made a point to visit with his middle school students. As both a school leader and clinical psychologist, it was important that he understood how students were feeling and just how much they knew about the tragic event.
On the weekend of Feb. 17-18, which was the first weekend of Lent, 274 people from 53 parishes and one university came to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield to take part in the Rite of Election and of the Call to Continuing Conversion. They were accompanied by priests, deacons, RCIA leaders, sponsors, godparents, families and friends who traveled with them.
Since the Cathedral isn’t large enough to hold all the people scheduled to come to the see city that weekend, people from Springfield and the immediate surrounding areas took part in the Saturday evening liturgy. Those who reside more than 50 miles away were there on Sunday afternoon.
Sometimes religious vocations seem to run in families. And for that reason the year 2018 is bound to be one that the Rankin family of Quincy will always remember.
Just a few days into 2018, on Jan. 3, Sister Mary Thomas of the Holy Name of Jesus, OP, made her solemn profession of vows at the Dominican Monastery of St. Jude in Marbury, Ala. She shares a sacred vocation with her twin brother, Deacon Dominic Rankin, who will be ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois on May 26.
On Dec. 30 at St. Aloysius Church in Springfield, Bishop Thomas John Paprocki ordained James Dodge to the permanent diaconate for the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. Concelebrating the Mass that day were Msgr. David Hoefler, Msgr. John Ossola, Father Christopher House, Father Brian Alford, Father Daren Zehnle, Father Clinton Honkomp, OP, and Father James Isaacson, SJC. Deacon Larry Smith and Patrick Hutt were masters of ceremonies and Deacon Dominic Rankin proclaimed the Gospel. Also in attendance were a dozen deacons from the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, as well as some seminarians.
The Catholic Charities Christmas Appeal campaign is under way and — with the help of people who choose to donate this Christmas season — will meet its goal to raise $250,000 across the diocese.
“The appeal went out Nov. 29,” said Amber Cerveny, development coordinator at Catholic Charities. As of mid-December $73,500 had already been raised. Cerveny says Catholic Charities would like to hit the goal by the end of January.
On Nov. 26, the Solemnity of our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, Bishop Thomas John Paprocki celebrated a Mass to officially close the fourth diocesan synod for the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. The synod had been under way since its official opening on April 11 at the chrism Mass.
About 200 people — including a number of religious sisters and brothers, many lay people of all ages and several large young families — were in attendance at the 2 p.m. Mass, which was concelebrated with over 30 priests from all over the Springfield diocese. Approximately a dozen permanent deacons of the diocese participated as well.
Just in time for Thanksgiving, students at Sacred Heart-Griffin High School in Springfield prepared baskets of donated food for distribution to many needy families in the Springfield area.
“The SHG Key Club, under the direction of theology teacher and club moderator, Dan Wilson, rallied the entire student body, faculty and staff to gather 150 baskets filled with Thanksgiving dinner essentials and 150 turkeys for Catholic Charities to help those in need this season,” said Amanda Mandeville, director of Enrollment Management and Communications at SHG.
Approximately 120 people of all ages gathered on the steps of the Illinois State Capitol Building in Springfield at noon on Saturday, Oct. 14 to pray the rosary and to say The Prayer to the Guardian Angel of the United States, The Angelus, The Prayer to St. Michael, and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, among other prayers at the Annual Prayer in the Public Square.
Those gathered were joining 21,750 other groups who were meeting in various places to say the rosary together that day, said organizer Donna Berte. One Hail Mary was prayed for each of the 50 states and an extra Hail Mary was added to each decade for additional territories of the United States.
Bishop Thomas John Paprocki concelebrated the annual White Mass for health care professionals at 4 p.m. on Oct. 14 at Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Concelebrating the Mass with Bishop Paprocki were Msgr. David Lantz, Father Fredrick Chima Mbiere and Father Charles Hart, OFM. All three priests are involved with ministering with people who are in the health care ministry or who are patients at hospitals. Deacon William E. Kessler, the bishop’s delegate for health care professionals, proclaimed the Gospel.
TUSCOLA — When Father Angel Sierra was named pastor of Forty Martyrs in 2015, he came on board during a landmark year — the 150-year anniversary of the Tuscola parish. Because he was aware of the timing, Father Sierra wondered how the parishioners would like to celebrate. It wasn’t long before he discovered that the people hoped to refurbish the church, which was built in 1925 and had last been refurbished in 1978.