Diocesan Life Articles

  • Sangamon County judge green lights HB 40

    Sangamon County judge green lights HB 40 After listening to 90 minutes of oral arguments from defenders and opponents of taxpayer-funded abortion in Illinois, it took Judge Jennifer M. Ascher less than 10 minutes on Dec. 28 to rule that House Bill 40 would take affect, as scheduled, on Jan. 1, 2018. Opponents of the new law quickly filed an appeal of the ruling. “We respectfully disagree with the court’s ruling,” said Peter Breen, Thomas More Society special counsel. “The Illinois Constitution was clearly violated here.” Read More
  • Deacon Dodge ordained to permanent diaconate

    Deacon Dodge ordained to permanent diaconate 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. Read More
  • Catholic Charities Christmas Appeal will help many

    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 0,000 across the diocese. “The appeal went out Nov. 29,” said Amber Cerveny, development coordinator at Catholic Charities. As of mid-December ,500 had already been raised. Cerveny says Catholic Charities would like to hit the goal by the end of January. Read More
  • Bishop Paprocki closes fourth diocesan synod

    Bishop Paprocki closes fourth diocesan synod 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 Read More
  • Springfield diocese joins others suing to stop House Bill 40

    Case filed in Sangamon County on taxpayer-funded abortion law The Diocese of Springfield in Illinois has joined a coalition of pro-life organizations and legislators in filing suit against state officials to stop the implementation of House Bill 40. “I am grateful to the Thomas More Society for bringing this lawsuit on behalf of Illinois taxpayers, county and statewide pro-life organizations, several Illinois legislators from across the state, and the Catholic Diocese of Springfield in Illinois,” said Bishop Thomas John Paprocki. “It is despicable that the Illinois General Assembly passed this bill requiring taxpayers to pay for abortions and shameful that Read More
  • Parents, donors urged to heed tight schedule of new scholarship tax credit

    New program begins Jan. 1, 2018 One of the final actions of the extended spring session of the General Assembly was the passage of the Invest in Kids Act which, among other things, will allow Illinois taxpayers to receive a scholarship tax credit for making donations for scholarships to private schools — Catholic or otherwise — in Illinois. Emergency administrative rules to implement the five-year pilot program were published late last month ahead of the Jan. 1, 2018 launch date when donations to scholarship granting organizations (SGO) can begin where donors can  receive a 75 percent credit toward their state Read More
  • SHG Key Club, girls’ swim team join in to feed the hungry

    SHG Key Club, girls’ swim team join in to feed the hungry 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. Read More
  • Taylorville sixth-graders spread the word about saints

    Taylorville sixth-graders spread the word about saints TAYLORVILLE — Sixth-graders in Cathy Schaeffer’s class at St. Mary School have embarked on a new adventure to add to their studies on saints called “Paint My Saint.” Following the tradition of previous years, each student chose a saint to research and write about — and they also created Google Slides presentations to present to all grade levels at their K-6 school. Read More
  • Schools make historic donation to Holy Family Food Pantry

    Just over eight tons of food was collected and donated to Holy Family Food Pantry in Springfield during Springfield Catholic Charities’ “Super Food Drive Challenge.” During October, six Catholic elementary schools in Springfield (St. Aloysius, St. Agnes, Christ the King, Little Flower, Blessed Sacrament and Cathedral) collected food each week from students and families.  Read More
  • City ornament celebrates LLCC anniversary

    City ornament celebrates LLCC anniversary For 25 years, celebrating the Christmas season with the “Official City Ornament” has been a beloved Springfield holiday tradition for both current and former Springfield residents. Moreover, from Ossie Langfelder to Jim Langfelder, each Springfield mayor has participated in the unveiling of the annual ornament which is a fundraising project to support St. Joseph’s Home of Springfield. Now, in honor of Lincoln Land Community College’s 50th anniversary, the 2017 ornament celebrates a half-century of community college education. Read More
  • St. Aloysius: becoming a discipleship parish

    St. Aloysius: becoming a discipleship parish Informed by the Gospel of St. Matthew 25: 31-46 — “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me,” — the parishioners at St. Aloysius Church in Springfield have been reaching out to those most in need. Read More
  • Prayer in the Public Square draws participants to steps of Capitol

    Prayer in the Public Square draws participants to steps of Capitol 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 Read More
  • Former diocesan social concerns leader passes away

    Former diocesan social concerns leader passes away Mary Susan “Sue” Eck Morris passed away on Oct. 5. She was born in Springfield on July 8, 1937, the daughter of Albert and C. Olive Pfeffer Eck, and sister of Al (Nancy), John (Linda), and Sara (Jim, deceased) O’Rourke. She attended Blessed Sacrament Grade School and Sacred Heart Academy in Springfield. When she was a senior in high school, she met Jim Morris, who attended the University of Notre Dame. She enrolled at St. Mary’s College for their equestrian and chemistry programs. The couple dated throughout college and wed at Blessed Sacrament Church, Springfield in 1958. Read More
  • Father Jeff Goeckner: a ‘great preacher’

    Father Jeff Goeckner: a ‘great preacher’ ST. LOUIS — More than 350 guests were in attendence Oct. 19 to see Father Jeffrey Goeckner, pastor of St. Boniface Parish in Edwardsville, named a “great preacher” by Aquinas Institute of Theology. The 23rd Annual Great Preacher Award dinner recognized Father Goeckner and St. Louis area priest, Father Edward Stanger of suburban Ballwin, Mo. Read More
  • Obituary - Sister Agatha Niebrugge, PHJC

    Obituary - Sister Agatha Niebrugge, PHJC Sister Agatha Niebrugge (Zita Therese), PHJC, passed away on Oct. 4 at the Catherine Kasper Home in Donaldson, Ind. Sister Agatha was born in Effingham on Aug. 11, 1928 to Anthony and Anna (Aulenbrock) Niebrugge who preceded her in death along with her siblings Paul, Lawrence (Dorothy), Alphonse, Martha Muehlenfeld (Joe), Johanna Spracklin (Bernard), Ambrose (Dorothy), Father Herman, Dolores Bede (Stockman), Mary Ann, Anna Marie, Father Richard, and Bernard. Her brother Tony Niebrugge survives along with sister-in-laws Barbara, Dolores and Margaret Niebrugge. Sister Agatha noted in her biography, “Needless to say, Father and Mother had sufficient opportunities to practice parenting.” Read More
  • CCLS lauds winning attorney and winning case

    CCLS lauds winning attorney and winning case EDWARDSVILLE — Ask anyone associated with Catholic Charities Legal Services (CCLS) and they’ll tell you attorney Christopher Hunter lives up to the motto lex cordis caritas, the law of the heart is love. Hunter, of the firm, Hunter and Johnson, P.C. in Godfrey, was recognized with the inaugural Lex Cordis Caritas Award for his “service and devotion to the principles of pro bono representation of low income individuals in need of legal services.” He accepted the award from Bishop Thomas John Paprocki following the Red Mass at St. Boniface Parish in Edwardsville on Oct. 15. Read More
  • White Mass held for health care professionals

    White Mass held for health care professionals 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. Read More
  • New secular Franciscans professed in Decatur fraternity

    New secular Franciscans professed in Decatur fraternity DECATUR — Recently, Gloria Guy of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Decatur; George Menard of Immaculate Conception Parish, Shelbyville; and John Shields of Holy Cross Parish, Champaign made their profession as Secular Franciscans in the Secular Franciscan Order at St. Mary’s Hospital chapel in Decatur. Father Dennis Koopman, OFM, celebrated the Mass with the assistance of Deacon John O’Brien. Read More
  • Week of Nov. 5-11 focuses on vocations awareness

    The Catholic Church in the United States will celebrate National Vocations Awareness Week on Nov. 5-11. It is an annual event and special time for parishes throughout the U.S. to actively foster and pray for a culture of vocations to the priesthood, diaconate, and consecrated life. Read More
  • New drama on Father Tolton comes to diocese

    New drama on Father Tolton comes to diocese Tolton: From Slave to Priest, a theatrical one-man drama performed by actor Andrae Goodnight, begins the first of six performances throughout the Springfield diocese on Nov. 7 in Effingham. There is no admission charge; however, a free-will offering will be taken up at all performances. According to Saint Luke Productions, the new production, based on the life of Quincy priest Father Augustus Tolton, is a “compelling true story of courage, forgiveness, and reconciliation [that] resonates deeply with modern American audiences.” The production runs approximately 90 minutes, and is suitable for middle school age and up. Read More
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