Just in time for holiday decorating and gift-giving, the 2018 Official City of Springfield Ornament was recently unveiled at a press conference in the Governor’s Mansion. Springfield Mayor James Langfelder; Maxine Bergman, executive director of St. Joseph’s Home; and Justin Blandford, curator of the Governor’s Mansion, participated in the unveiling event.

This year’s ornament features the recent renovation of the Governor’s Mansion and the Illinois Bicentennial. It is the 26th ornament in the City of Springfield series that celebrates hometown landmarks and events. This 2018 ornament is unique because it is the result of a partnership between St. Joseph’s Home and the Illinois Governor’s Mansion Association. Therefore, the proceeds from the sale of the ornament will benefit both organizations.

TANZANIA — While many college-age students are returning to their families for the holidays, Sacred Heart-Griffin High School (Springfield) graduate Isabella Farris is spending her first fall and winter since her 2018 graduation far, far from her home. Isabella, known as Izzy to her family and friends, is in the midst of a “gap year” that has her stationed — for now — in Tanzania, East Africa.

In Tanzania, Isabella is volunteering at the St. Nicholaus Children’s Center. The center is a Catholic residential home for orphaned, disabled and vulnerable children, operated by the Bukoba Catholic Diocese and founded by Stefanie Köster, director and German lay associate, and Sister Anne Carlino of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis in Springfield.

EFFINGHAM — With $2.8 million raised to date, Sacred Heart Parish in Effingham announced Dec. 3 it has far exceeded its own idea of what was possible in its Renew & Rejoice capital campaign.

In September, parish boosters announced an ambitious goal of $2.3 million needed to renovate and expand the church’s worship space and enable Sacred Heart Parish to complete all of their plans with no long-term debt.

This Veterans Day we remember a priest of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, Army chaplain Father Terrence Thomas Brady, who 75 years ago gave his life while ministering to his fellow soldiers. A native of Mt. Sterling who was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop James A. Griffin on April 24, 1938, Father Brady was just 30 years old when he died in World War II.

A notice sent to his fellow priests by Msgr. Michael A. Tarrent, who was chancellor for the diocese, said Father Brady was the first casualty among diocesan priests serving the Armed Forces. The heroic priest’s story was printed over several editions of the Western Catholic, which was at that time the name of the Springfield diocesan newspaper.

On Oct. 15, the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception was filled with enthusiastic students and faculty members from all over the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois for the annual Mission Mass. Representatives from a great number of Catholic schools and parishes in the diocese traveled to the Cathedral to attend Mass. Some of the groups took time to look around the Cathedral and to have their pictures taken with Bishop Thomas John Paprocki, who was the main celebrant.

Concelebrating with Bishop Paprocki were Msgr. David Hoefler, vicar general, and Father Angel Sierra. Deacons were Deacon Patrick O’Toole, who is director of the Office for the Missions and Deacon Terry Ellerman. The choir from St. Aloysius School in Springfield led the music at the Mission Mass and St. Mary School in Taylorville assisted with the liturgy. Patrick Hutt was the master of ceremonies.

JACKSONVILLE — Our Saviour Parish in Jacksonville will be holding a women’s prayer breakfast on Saturday, Dec. 1. The day will begin with Mass at 8 a.m. at Our Saviour Church and then continue at Hamilton’s 110 for the breakfast and speaker. This is the fourth year for the annual event.

The breakfast is open to all interested women and tickets are $15.

Sunday, 28 October 2018 14:32

Long married couples celebrate together

As Bishop Thomas John Paprocki remarked at the beginning of the Mass for Couples Married 50 Years or More, the afternoon of the first full day of autumn was beautiful both outside and inside the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield. It was a joyful day, he said, not just because the weather was near perfect on Sept. 23 but also inside the church hundreds of people were there to celebrate the beauty of long marriages.

A great number of the couples taking part were married in 1968 and celebrating their golden wedding anniversary this year, but some had been married much longer. Moreover, many of the couples came to the Mass with family members, who were there to celebrate with them. During the Mass the couples renewed their commitment to marriage and received a special blessing from Bishop Paprocki.

WASHINGTON (USCCB) — The Catholic Church in the United States will observe National Vocation Awareness Week, Nov. 4-10. The annual event, sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations is a special time for parishes to foster a culture of vocations for the priesthood, diaconate and consecrated life.

Sunday, 28 October 2018 14:25

Making the unexpected choice

A 20-something couple comes in to ThriVe Metro East for confirmation of pregnancy. They admit this: They are not ready to be parents. There has been no prenatal care and they have no insurance. Moreover, they are struggling with substance abuse and are recently homeless and jobless. Their world is crashing in around them.

The potential birth mom thinks she may be “feeling movement.” All the pregnancy options and educational brochures are explained. The couple voices adoption and states everyone around them would support this decision.

Sunday, 16 September 2018 17:07

Hospital Sisters host international meeting

The Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, members of a multi-cultural Franciscan congregation with headquarters in Germany, are currently hosting a meeting of their international congregation at St. Francis Convent in Springfield. The meeting began Sept. 6 and will run through Sept. 22, said Brian Blasco, director of Communications and provincial archivist.

“The Catholic Church has a moral obligation to provide its parishioners and the public a complete and accurate accounting of all sexually inappropriate behavior involving priests in Illinois.”

So began the Aug. 23 statement by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan in joining Missouri’s and a growing number of state attorneys general seeking information from Catholic dioceses in the wake of the explosive grand jury report in Pennsylvania regarding priests’ misconduct.

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.

Sunday, 02 September 2018 12:24

QND exceeds $6 million goal

Quincy — The “Campaign for Quincy Notre Dame” exceeded its goal of $6 million by more than $400,000.

The five-year capital campaign included the construction of the east wing, housing two new science labs, an expanded physical science classroom, two additional classrooms and new offices for the principal and guidance counselors. Additionally, the campaign completed ongoing campus revitalization projects.

Sunday, 02 September 2018 12:17

SDCCW to hold 90th annual convention

All Catholic women and guests are invited to attend the 90th annual Springfield in Illinois Council of Catholic Women Convention to be held Wednesday, Sept. 26 at Ss. Mary and Joseph Catholic Church in Carlinville. Registration and a continental breakfast begin at 8 a.m. The convention runs from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This year’s theme is “Love and Peace.”

Sunday, 02 September 2018 10:30

DAEC set for Sept. 30-Oct. 1

DECATUR — The Diocesan Adult Enrichment Conference (DAEC) will be held on Sunday, Sept. 30 and Monday, Oct. 1 at the Decatur Conference Center and Hotel, 4191 US 36 West in Decatur. The theme of this year’s DAEC is “Who Do You Say That I Am?”

Sunday, 02 September 2018 10:26

Sins of Adam and Eve repeated through the ages

The script for what caused the Springfield race riot was written eons before 1908: the story from the Bible everyone knows, be they Jew or Gentile. Tempted by Satan himself, Eve ate the forbidden fruit. When challenged by Adam, Eve shifts the blame and Earth’s first residents began their lives of deception; lives they passed on to their own children and future generations of Earth’s inhabitants.

MARYVILLE — Father Dominic Garromone, OSB, known as the “bread-making monk,” will give a demonstration at St. John Neumann School in Maryville on Saturday, Sept. 8 at 1 p.m. He is appearing to help raise funds for improvements to the two Catholic cemeteries in Troy. He is presenting “One Dough, Three Ways” and will demonstrate how to make and then prepare three recipes from the single dough.

The Office for Vocations recently hosted 21 high school students from throughout the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois at Villa Maria Catholic Life Conference and Retreat Center on Lake Springfield for Called and Sent.  The Office for Vocations recently hosted 21 high school students from throughout the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois at Villa Maria Catholic Life Conference and Retreat Center on Lake Springfield for Called and Sent.

In 2018, Totus Tuus celebrated its 10th summer catechizing young people in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois and beyond, says Kyle Holtgrave, director of the Office for Youth and Young Adult Ministry. “This year we held 22 sessions,” he says. “There were 16 in this diocese, and others held at Scott Air Force Base, in the Belleville diocese and also in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.” 

Totus Tuus is a parish-based catechetical program for children grade school through high school. The week-long Catholic summer parish missions are dedicated to sharing the Gospel and promoting the Catholic faith through catechetical instruction, Christian witness, vocational discernment, Marian devotion and eucharistic worship.

Sunday, 05 August 2018 18:29

Decatur mayor now at HSHS St. Mary’s

DECATUR — Julie Moore Wolfe has recently assumed the executive directorship of philanthropy, advocacy and community relations at HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital in Decatur.

Her main responsibility is leading fundraising efforts through the foundation. Additionally, she joins the HSHS Central Illinois Division’s advocacy team, working with other local elected officials on various efforts pertaining to the Catholic health system. Moore Wolfe also assists with community and media relations.

Hundreds of kids in the Springfield area are learning about their faith lives and having a great time this summer, thanks to Vacation Bible School leaders and their many assistants. Moreover, because it’s always good to save time and money, several parishes have been taking turns using one VBS package and passing on some locally-produced decorations as well.

This year Blessed Sacrament Parish, Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception Parish, St. Agnes Parish and Christ the King Parish — all in Springfield — and St. Jude Parish in Rochester have been sharing the Group kit, called Shipwrecked, Rescued by Jesus. St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Chatham, which is just south of Springfield, is using the same package and sharing it with other churches.

Sunday, 08 July 2018 17:56

Our first, most cherished liberty

This article’s title adorned the banner behind Bishop Thomas John Paprocki as he spoke to a gathering in the Cathedral Atrium after Mass on June 24 (above) to celebrate religious freedom, a weeklong event of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Issues of religious freedom are many in Illinois and beyond, according to Bishop Paprocki who sits on the Bishops’ standing committee on religious freedom.This article’s title adorned the banner behind Bishop Thomas John Paprocki as he spoke to a gathering in the Cathedral Atrium after Mass on June 24 (above) to celebrate religious freedom, a weeklong event of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Issues of religious freedom are many in Illinois and beyond, according to Bishop Paprocki who sits on the Bishops’ standing committee on religious freedom.

On June 23, the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis celebrated the Jubilee — the anniversary of first profession of vows — of nine sisters in St. Francis of Assisi Church. The Mass was celebrated by Bishop Thomas John Paprocki and Father Richard W. Weltin was the homilist.


BEARDSTOWN — On Saturday, July 14, St. Alexius Church in Beardstown will be celebrating the 180th anniversary of its establishment with a 4 p.m. Mass celebrated by Bishop Thomas John Paprocki, with other priests concelebrating. Following Mass there will be a church picnic and celebration at the parish hall.


Sometimes life doesn’t go as planned, but with prayer, perseverance and some assistance from caring individuals, new good things can happen. That’s what the Springfield Dominicans have discovered with the launching of a new ministry of mutual support for young women.

The mission of Cor Unum — which is Latin for “one heart” — includes opening a house in Springfield to welcome women for prayer, community, socializing and for a few women, a place to live. Plans for this new ministry originally began in 2015 but were stalled in 2017 when original housing plans fell through.

Sunday, 27 May 2018 16:17

Five men to be ordained to priesthood

On Saturday, May 26 Bishop Thomas John Paprocki was to have ordained five men to the priesthood at an ordination Mass set for 10:30 a.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield. As the men finished up their preparations for ordination, here is what Deacons Robert Johnson, Aaron Kuhn, Dominic Rankin, Mark Tracy and Deacon Brother Adam Zawadzki, OP Miss, had to say about their future lives as priests.

A Minneapolis firm has assumed management of St. Joseph’s Home in Springfield. The 84-bed facility was founded in 1903 by the Sisters of St. Francis of the Immaculate Conception.

“We are happy to draw on the expertise of Health Dimensions Group … in our mission to provide the aging and their families with compassionate and individualized care … ,” said Sister M. Lenore Highland, OSF, administrator. “We believe that this change in management will allow our mission to continue into the future.”

The Diocese of Springfield in Illinois is embarking on a project to digitize and index all of the sacramental records of the diocese that are considered accessible for genealogical research. With the passage of time, sacramental records are considered open for genealogical research. This is no different than state vital records (births, marriages and deaths) which also have access restrictions removed after a certain period of time. In fact, for years, the diocese has provided access to sacramental records prior to 1931 for genealogical research.

Access has not always been easy. Some books are too fragile and many do not have an index. Searching for someone to assist also takes time and effort by a parish and archives staff.

Sunday, 27 May 2018 12:13

Women of Distinction event set

The deadline is near to register for the Our Lady of Good Counsel Women of Distinction Award and luncheon on Saturday, June 16.

The day begins with Mass at 10:30 a.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield where the honorees selected by their parish will be recognized by Bishop Thomas John Paprocki. Afterward a luncheon will be held at the Northfield Conference Center in Springfield.

Page 7 of 70