Catholic Times is pleased to recognize the following religious order priests, religious sisters and religious brothers who have lived in or served in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois and are celebrating a significant jubilee in 2018.Catholic Times is pleased to recognize the following religious order priests, religious sisters and religious brothers who have lived in or served in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois and are celebrating a significant jubilee in 2018.

These people surely deserve our thanks, respect, admiration and prayers for selflessly and courageously answering the call to serve God’s people. Read on to see if you recognize someone who has made a difference in your life or in the life of someone you know.

At the end of each school year, educators and catechists in parish schools and religious education programs in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois are honored for special service anniversaries.

Honorees for 2017-2018 receive a certificate. The catechist certificates are signed by Bishop Thomas John Paprocki and Christine Malmevik, director of the Office for Catechesis. Educator certificates are signed by Bishop Paprocki and Brandi Borries, superintendent for Catholic Schools. One hundred and seven certificates were issued.

Longtime observers know that an adjournment date means little, since no bill ever, really dies in Springfield. Lawmakers still have plenty on their plates. Here’s a rundown of some items of interest to Catholics in the Springfield diocese and the other dioceses statewide.


Priests in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois will join Bishop Thomas John Paprocki for the annual Priests Jubilee Day on Tuesday, May 8 at Villa Maria Catholic Life Center on Lake Springfield.Priests in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois will join Bishop Thomas John Paprocki for the annual Priests Jubilee Day on Tuesday, May 8 at Villa Maria Catholic Life Center on Lake Springfield.


Sunday, 29 April 2018 14:04

St. Mary School announces closure

MATTOON — Bishop Thomas John Paprocki has given the go ahead for St. Mary School in Mattoon to close at the end of the current school year.

Sunday, 29 April 2018 12:50

Official Appointments

Official appointments from the Office of the Bishop

Sunday, 29 April 2018 12:47

Gala fills ballroom with supporters

Friends of St. Joseph’s Home filled the Crowne Plaza ballroom in Springfield recently in a show of support of the home’s Continuing Care Fund, used by the Sisters of St. Francis of the Immaculate Conception to provide financial support to long-term residents who sometimes outlive their own, ergo “Forget-me-not.”

Established in 1903, St. Joseph’s is the largest ministry of the Peoria-based religious order and continues uninterrupted as seven sisters in residence provide leadership and inspiration to more than 80 residents in sheltered, intermediate and memory care. The sisters provide spiritual counseling and individualized care in a respectful environment that supports each resident’s beliefs while reflecting the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi.

Sunday, 29 April 2018 12:43

Funeral Mass held for Father Trojcak

Father Ronald Trojcak passed away peacefully on April 4 in London, Ontario, Canada. He was surrounded by his loving friends and caretakers. The son of Michael Trojcak and Rita Falk Trojcak, Father Trojcak was born in Taylorville on Aug. 21, 1935.

As a teenager, Father Trojcak entered the University of Illinois where he studied music from 1952 to 1955 — and his love for music continued throughout his life. He then entered the seminary at Notre Dame and moved to St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein in 1955. Following his ordination on May 26, 1962 by Bishop William A. O’Connor he served at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Effingham from 1962 to 1965, then at St. Patrick Parish in Decatur from 1965 to 1968. In Decatur, he became deeply involved in social justice issues and civil rights.

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.

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis has named nine new members, including Teresa M. Kettelkamp of Cathedral Parish in Springfield, to the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. Kettelkamp is a retired Illinois State Police  colonel and former executive director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection.

Peter Chineke and Austin Quick, two seminarians from the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois were among those bestowed ministries with fellow students at Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in Indiana.

Chineke was received into the ministry of acolyte by Archbishop Charles Thompson of Indianapolis. An acolyte assists a deacon or priest in the celebration of Mass by attending to the needs of the altar and may distribute Communion as an auxiliary minister. As an acolyte, Chineke may also be entrusted with the public veneration of the Blessed Sacrament.

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.

Novice Joseph Wagner professed his temporary vows as a Benedictine monk in a ceremony on Jan. 20, at Saint Meinrad Archabbey, St. Meinrad, Ind.

He has completed his novitiate, a year of prayer and study of the Benedictine way of life. As is the custom during the profession of vows, he chose a religious name. Novice Joseph is now Brother Stanley.

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.

For more than 300 excited young people and adults, the pilgrimage to the nation’s capital began on or about Jan. 17 via dozens of chartered motor coaches. Once there, they became part of the estimated 300,000 voices raised to support life at the 44th annual March for Life on Jan. 19.

“What an incredible witness for life!” declared Kyle Holtgrave, diocesan director of the Office for Youth and Young Adult Ministry in a pre-march letter to parishes.

It often happens that persons present themselves, or are presented by others, to receive a blessing at the time others approach to receive holy Communion. While the beginning of this practice is a bit hard to pin down, it seems to have begun in the United States in the late 1980s or early 1990s out of a desire to help those who cannot receive holy Communion for one reason or another feel included. 

Sunday, 07 January 2018 13:59

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.”

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.

Sunday, 10 December 2017 12:55

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 permanent deacons of the diocese participated as well.

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 Gov. Rauner broke his promise to veto it. I pray that this litigation will lead to reversing this disgraceful law.”

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 income taxes.

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.

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.

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. 

Sunday, 10 December 2017 12:40

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.

Sunday, 10 December 2017 12:27

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.

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.

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.

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.

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