EFFINGHAM — Raymond A. “Bud” Probst, of Effingham, the father of Father R. Dean Probst of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, passed away on Dec. 7, at Lutheran Care Center in Altamont. He was 95 years old.
Raymond was born on March 31, 1925, in Island Grove, the son of Leo and Helen (Verdeyen) Probst. He married Gertrude M. Bloemer on July 12, 1947, and she preceded him in death on Oct. 31, 1992.
GODFREY — Two St. Ambrose School students were recently celebrated for being winners in the annual Missionary Childhood Association (MCA) national Christmas artwork contest. Mya Pickens and Kenzie Ingram were both recognized during an outdoor assembly when Donna Moore, director for Pro-Life, Missions and Special Ministries, visited the school a few weeks ago.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the March for Life pilgrimage will look a different this year. Tony Cerveny, the director of Youth and Sports Ministry and Sister M. Veritas Wilks, FSGM, the director of Youth and Women’s Ministry at the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, will be leading events in Washington, D.C., for the March for Life Jan. 28-29 for the people of our diocese.
Have you ever been asked to do something out of your comfort zone? Over five years ago, due to family adversity, my sister asked me if her then 14-year-old daughter Angela could move from Wisconsin to Springfield to live with me and attend high school in Springfield. I felt God tugging at my heart to accept this new challenge. Also, I did not want to arrive at heaven’s pearly gates and have God say, “I gave you an opportunity to help someone and you refused.” I knew this was the right thing to do. Of course, I reminded God that one of the reasons I did not get married and have children was because I did not want to raise a teenager. God had the last laugh on that idea.
Since 2015, the Billiken Teacher Corps (BTC) at Saint Louis University has placed new teachers in some of St. Louis’ hardest to staff Catholic schools. Beginning in 2021, the program will send teachers to St. Patrick Catholic School in Springfield. This is the first time the BTC has partnered with a school outside of the St. Louis metropolitan area.
With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, children are facing additional stress related to school, lack of sports and interaction with peers, and many new routines. Managing the stress and anxiety of so much change looks different for each child within each family.
There is a lot to learn about the spiritual life. There are different stages, types of prayer, virtues, and strategies for being Jesus’ disciples. However, we could condense being a disciple or saint simply to one word: Yes. To be a saint is to be one who constantly says “yes.” Conversely, rejecting God or his plan, sinning, or stepping off the path of discipleship could be condensed down to one word: No.
It’s a Saturday morning as rain pours down in Springfield. A steady wind and chillier than expected temperatures add to the misery outside. Yet there, on the corner of North Fifth and Carpenter streets, sits an elderly man with a sign: “Homeless. Anything helps.” You can hardly see his face as he tries to take some sort of cover while the rain is pelting him. Cars are driving by. No one is stopping. No one really looks. Help seems hopeless. It’s a Saturday morning as rain pours down in Springfield. A steady wind and chillier than expected temperatures add to the misery outside. Yet there, on the corner of North Fifth and Carpenter streets, sits an elderly man with a sign: “Homeless. Anything helps.” You can hardly see his face as he tries to take some sort of cover while the rain is pelting him. Cars are driving by. No one is stopping. No one really looks. Help seems hopeless.
A few years ago, I began praying for those in purgatory as I drove by any cemetery that I came upon. A series of, one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory Be prayers was a carryover from my days in the Knights of Columbus honor guards. We would do this series at every funeral wake we were asked to stand guard at. It was our way of a sendoff to a brother or sister. To me, it made a lot of sense to remember, that as Catholics, we believe that Jesus destroyed the power of death by his resurrection. As St. Paul states, “If then, we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him.”
Since the beginning of 2020, a wave of fear has swept across our nation and world as we have wrestled with the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, in the United States, a summer of turmoil regarding racial issues has added another layer of fear, anxiety, and frustration for many. Mix in the uncertainty of academic and social structures available to our children and that leaves many moms and dads fearful of what lies ahead for their families.
GODFREY — Bob Baird, the new principal of St. Ambrose School in Godfrey, says he is “very proud” of the parent community response to the school’s Saints Helping Heroes program, that recognizes and thanks local heroes with tokens of appreciation.
“This is a staff-led program that is organized by one of our PreK teachers, Lisa Jacobs,” Baird said. “The program was created last year to honor local firefighters and we have expanded this year to recognize and honor a group, organization, individual, or family each month.”
A novena to honor the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary will be celebrated Nov. 30-Dec. 8 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception each evening at 7 p.m. except on Dec. 8 when the novena will conclude with the 5:15 p.m. Mass for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. Each evening, there will be a holy hour consisting of exposition, a liturgy of the Word, homily, rosary, and Benediction with the novena prayer and the recitation of the Litany of Loreto after reposition. A novena to honor the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary will be celebrated Nov. 30-Dec. 8 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception each evening at 7 p.m. except on Dec. 8 when the novena will conclude with the 5:15 p.m. Mass for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. Each evening, there will be a holy hour consisting of exposition, a liturgy of the Word, homily, rosary, and Benediction with the novena prayer and the recitation of the Litany of Loreto after reposition.
It’s known as the Cathedral of the Prairie — St. Patrick Catholic Church in Pana. Finished in 1926, the history of this Catholic community goes back several generations.It’s known as the Cathedral of the Prairie — St. Patrick Catholic Church in Pana. Finished in 1926, the history of this Catholic community goes back several generations.
Due to precautions regarding COVID-19 and the restriction of visitors to the Chiara Center in Springfield, the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis’ Franciscan Nativity events will be an on-line experience this year via ZOOM on Dec. 4, 5 and 6. The events will be free and open to the public, and guests may request a ZOOM link for each event by sending an email to before 4 p.m. for the particular event that is of interest.
The Department of Children and Family Services enhanced and streamlined its online reporting system and optimized its website for easier submissions through mobile phones to make reporting allegations of neglect and abuse even easier for the public and mandated reporters. The updated site has improved entry fields, clearer instructions, and fewer necessary clicks, reducing the time required to make reports and providing a convenient alternative to calling the 24-hour hotline.
GLEN CARBON — Students, faculty, staff, school families, members of the Knights of Columbus, priests, and Bishop Thomas John Paprocki all celebrated the beatification of now Blessed Father Michael McGivney at Father McGivney Catholic High School in Glen Carbon Oct. 31 with Mass and a light reception.
‘Marriage is between a man and a woman’ Pope Francis has said
Last month, media from around the world ran a story indicating Pope Francis said that he supports civil unions during an interview in the recently released documentary Francesco. The headlines and stories created a stir around the globe, especially among the Catholic faithful. Questions about the context of the interview, what Pope Francis really said, what quotes did not make it into the documentary, and differing translations and opinions added to the chaos. Some even wrongly speculated Pope Francis was conveying his support for same-sex relations or approving of same sex-couples adopting children. This added to the confusion.
Once again, this year, people have the opportunity to help students in Catholic schools and receive a tax credit at the same time, thanks to the Invest in Kids Act. And in 2020, more than any time since the scholarship tax credit program was passed by the House and Senate and signed by the governor, more donations are needed to help Catholic school families in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois.
QUINCY — John Hogan, a veteran of the United States Navy, is a true gentleman of the “Greatest Generation.” He is a man of few words, but of great faith, and has handed down a clear legacy of faith, family, generosity, and hard work to all those who know him. Almost always wearing his Navy hat, Hogan was proud to serve our country during World War II and resides at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy alongside hundreds of others who have served in the Armed Forces. He is a life-long Catholic.
QUINCY — Trying to figure out a way to disguise nine metal plates that were put into a brick wall at the parking lot at the Church of St. Peter in Quincy, Msgr. Leo Enlow, pastor, had one of those moments you could only describe as providential.
“After much thought and prayer, it came to me to have a display of Venerable Father Augustine Tolton’s life since he was a member of our parish,” Msgr. Enlow said. “So, I was looking around for an artist and one of our parishioners, Tim Haubrich, who runs PAM printers and Sunday Missal Service (in Quincy), was interested in researching and using his talents to bring to life Father Tolton’s life.”
ALTON — Father Peter J. Donohoe, 95, died peacefully on Oct. 26, at his home surrounded by family. He was the oldest diocesan priest in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois and celebrated 70 years of priesthood in May.