Sunday, 19 April 2020 13:14

Mother of Father Bergbower passes away

EFFINGHAM — Donna Bergbower, Father of Father Dan Bergbower, passed away on March 25 at Lakeland Rehabilitation and Health Care Center in Effingham. She was 85.

Donna was born on June 26, 1934, in Scottsbluff, Neb., daughter of the late Leo and Gertrude (Pieper) Lager. She married Don Bergbower on Nov. 25, 1955 in San Diego.

Sunday, 19 April 2020 12:42

Honoring our teachers

Presenting the first annual St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award finalists

We asked everyone from across the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois the following questions: What teacher in our Catholic schools is making a big difference in the classroom? What teacher goes above and beyond, someone whose impact is deep and personal? What teacher authentically lives out what it means to be Catholic and instills our faith into his or her students? What teacher embodies St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, who founded Catholic schools in the United States?

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. The Diocese of Springfield in Illinois continues its efforts to prevent child sexual abuse. Through appropriate educational trainings and screening of all staff and volunteers, our prevention mission continues. Although this year-round job is non-stop, Child Abuse Prevention Month is a time to highlight these efforts.

Vicki Schmidt of Springfield may be feeling like she needs the patience of a saint as she awaits the eventual dedication of a very special statue that she and her family commissioned two years ago as a tribute to her parents Robert J. and Donna Bozarth Schmidt. The dedication of the life-size bronze statue of St. Teresa of Calcutta was to have taken place on April 26, at Blessed Sacrament Church in Springfield, however the coronavirus pandemic has put the ceremony on hold. For the time being, the statue is being safely housed in an indoor facility.

It’s still hard to be believe we have now had several weeks without Masses available to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic. No one could ever have imagined this sort of thing happening. Public health restrictions have modified our day-to-day activities dramatically.

When the going gets tough, the faithful get going. That’s just what has been happening in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois since mid-March, when the threat of the coronavirus shut down Catholic schools and public Masses were no longer available until further notice. For the past several weeks, students have been remote learning, schools have been posting updates on social media, and many parish priests have been LIVE streaming Mass and rosaries.

It sometimes happens in life that we have a great desire to receive the Eucharist but for whatever reason we cannot receive it. Such situations might include a severe illness, an imprisonment, a failure to properly prepare for holy Communion, or the unavailability of the holy Mass, or the current situation with Masses closed to the public due to the coronavirus. Some of these situations are occasional and others longstanding. If we find ourselves in such a situation, what are we to do?

Sunday, 05 April 2020 12:53

Trust in times of trial

Having been in New York City on Sept. 11, the experience of recent weeks feels like walking back through that moment, but in slow motion and at lower volume. Efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus have brought life, as we know it, nearly to a grinding halt. In addition to health concerns, the economic impact has now added financial concerns as well. We certainly are living in a remarkable time of uncertainty, change and anxiety. In this moment, however, our Lord’s words in the following passage from Matthew’s Gospel offer great consolation and guidance:

Sunday, 05 April 2020 12:51

What is the triduum?

During Holy Week, which begins on Palm Sunday (April 5) Lent comes to an end before the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, which is the beginning of the Easter triduum. The three chronological days are liturgically one day and form what the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops calls “the summit of the Liturgical Year.”

One year after becoming Catholic, Effingham’s Rebecca McIntire is more joyful than ever.

This Easter, the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois is set to receive more than 200 peopleThis Easter, the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois is set to receive more than 200 peopleinto the Catholic Church.  Effingham’s Rebecca McIntire was in their shoes just last year. Catholic Times checks in with her to see how things are going, what she loves about the faith, and what we can learn from  her conversion story.

JACKSONVILLE — Lent is an important time to repent and reevaluate one’s life, especially in high school. Every day high schoolers face stress and hardships. They must overcome the temptations of life while finding themselves and their place in the world and in Christ. That’s why students at Routt Catholic High School in Jacksonville are focusing on identity during the Lenten season.

In 2015, Janet Chipman, an English teacher at Routt, began making a Lenten devotional booklet written by and for Routt students. Her brainchild continues to touch the lives of its readers. This year Chipman asked her freshmen and seniors to explore their identity in Christ.

Our priests need our prayers and they need them consistently. That’s the mission behind Seven Sisters, a prayer group at Sacred Heart Parish in Effingham. As part of the Seven Sisters Apostolate, which has local groups in parishes throughout the world, the Effingham group started in January of 2018.

QUINCY — Quincy University’s Board of Trustees entrusted Brian McGee, Ph.D., with Quincy University’s mission during a formal ceremony Feb. 28. Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois joined other religious leaders, city officials, community leaders, and members of the campus community in celebration at the official inauguration of Quincy University’s 24th president in St. Francis Solanus Chapel.

Sunday, 08 March 2020 14:42

‘I’m finally free of fear’

It was the lowest point of her life – having two abortions. Broken and hating herself, the Catholic Church and Rachel’s Vineyard came to her aid, setting her free. Now, Betty Parquette is telling her story to show all vulnerable and scared women, there is hope and healing. 


On the weekend of Feb. 29-March 1, the first weekend of Lent, approximately 200 men, women and children from 50 parishes in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois came to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception to take part in the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion. That number included catechumens, uncatechized Catholics and baptized Christian candidates. They were accompanied by priests, deacons, RCIA leaders, sponsors, godparents, families and friends.

Since I was a kid, I have had a great relationship with chocolate. We just go together. Throughout our relationship there have been very few rocky moments. The chocolate hits my taste buds and it’s like heaven melting in my mouth. Now, do I think heaven is that sweet? No, I think it’s better! However, I do hope there is chocolate in heaven.

Unfortunately, on Jan. 1, chocolate and I decided we needed to take a break. It wasn’t anyone’s fault; it was just one of those decisions that hurts a little but is for the better. Have you ever had a relationship like that?

In addition to chocolate, I took a break from quite a few other foods. Last week when I was in Mass, with my stomach rumbling a little bit and as I was consuming the Eucharist, I thought, “This tastes like heaven.” In that very moment it hit me, it was a piece of heaven!

I took two things away from that moment. One, it’s easy to forget the miraculous event that is occurring at Mass: a glimpse of heaven right there for us to consume every day if we so choose. Christ is coming to us, to the inside of our very core. The second is a reminder that fasting really does allow us an opportunity to bring Christ closer.

For me, I know it is easier to focus on what is not there, the empty stomach or the item being denied from me instead of focusing on what I am gaining. Certainly, not just better health, but in this instance, Christ himself.

I don’t know if chocolate and I will end up back together, although I highly suspect we will. What I do know is that my true soulmate is found in the Eucharist at Mass.

Amber Cerveny is Marketing Communications and Community leader for the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois.

Sunday, 08 March 2020 10:44

SDCCW to honor Women of Distinction

The ninth annual Women of Distinction Mass and luncheon is scheduled for June 13. This event is hosted by the Springfield Diocesan Council of Catholic Women. Each parish in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois is asked to select an honoree in appreciation for her service to God, parish and community.

QUINCY — Quincy Notre Dame High School recently announced that QND senior Meredith Siebers has been named to the 2020 IHSA All-State Academic Honorable Mention Team and her twin brother Luke Siebers is among the 10 finalists for the “This I Believe” essay program, sponsored by the National Public Radio (NPR) Illinois and the Rotary Club of Springfield Sunrise.

During the week of March 8-14, the Dominican Sisters of Springfield celebrate the blessings of their consecrated life and ministry and invite the public to experience the lives of Catholic sisters more directly.

For the Dominicans, the week is an opportunity to share the joy that comes from lives dedicated to seeking God, walking with others, and responding together to the needs of the world.

Father Michael Gaitley, MIC, best-selling author of 33 Days to Morning Glory, will give a talk about God the Father at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Springfield on Thursday, March 19 from 7-8 p.m. During the free event that’s open to the public, Father Gaitley’s presentation will center around this book that emphasizes a total consecration to the Father through Jesus based on the Gospel of John. The book 33 Days to Morning Glory will be available for purchase, and Father Gaitley will also sign books after the talk.

There is much excitement in the air as the Sacred Heart-Griffin (SHG) High School Music Department prepares for the 2020 spring musical, Mary Poppins, which will bring the SHG Dominican Hall Theatre to life Friday, March 20-Sunday, March 22 and Friday, March 27-Sunday, March 29. This is the first time that a high school has performed Mary Poppins, the musical, in Central Illinois.

Sunday, 23 February 2020 19:52

St. Jude relic to visit St. Aloysius Parish

St. Jude Thaddeus, Apostle of the Lord and preacher of the Good News, is the patron of hope and of difficult situations. This Lent, through the intercession of St. Jude, all are welcome to join the parishioners of St. Aloysius Parish in Springfield as they pray for God’s grace in letting go of what keeps us spiritually “stuck” in the quagmire of life’s difficulties.

Sunday, 23 February 2020 16:14

SDCCW to hold Lenten retreat

All women are invited to attend the 2020 Springfield Diocesan Council of Catholic Women (SDCCW) Lenten retreat March 24-25 at Villa Maria Catholic Life Center on Lake Springfield. Father Brian Alford, pastor of St. Jude Parish in Rochester and vocation director for the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, will serve as retreat master.

Sunday, 23 February 2020 16:13

SDCCW scholarship competition opened

The Springfield Diocesan Council of Catholic Women (SDCCW) is offering four $500 scholarships to recognize outstanding Catholic female high school seniors. Applicants will be judged on how they exemplify the SDCCW’s mission values of leadership, faith and service.

Sunday, 23 February 2020 16:10

Lent begins Feb. 26

Journey with us at

Lent is the 40-day, penitential season of preparation for Easter. It begins on Ash Wednesday (Feb. 26) and ends with the paschal triduum Holy Thursday (April 9), Good Friday (April 10) and Holy Saturday (April 11).

Sunday, 09 February 2020 08:47

Extraordinary Catholics

In honor of Black History Month, here are some examples of extraordinary Catholics who are black and who advanced our faith and are models for discipleship today. In honor of Black History Month, here are some examples of extraordinary Catholics who are black and who advanced our faith and are models for discipleship today.

Sunday, 09 February 2020 17:46

Father Carberry passes away at age 92

QUINCY — Father John P. Carberry, a priest of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois for nearly 40 years, died on Jan. 21 at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy. He was 92 years old.

He was born on May 15, 1927, in Springfield, to Thomas and Margaret (Sullivan) Carberry and they preceded him in death.

Limited number of tickets available; Blackhawks vs. Blues game to follow

CHICAGO — Bishop Thomas John Paprocki, known as “The Holy Goalie,” along with Chicago Blackhawks alumni, will take to the ice for the 10th annual “Hockey with Bishop Paprocki” at the United Center in Chicago on Sunday, March 8 at 2:10 p.m. to benefit Catholic Charities Legal Services (CCLS), which provides free legal assistance in civil matters to those with little to no income living in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois.

Sunday, 09 February 2020 17:40

Hundreds from diocese attend March for Life

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Amid the throng of hundreds of thousands of people carrying banners and signs in the nation’s capital on Jan. 24 at the 47th annual March for Life were close to 500 members of the faithful of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. The Springfield diocese was represented by Bishop Thomas John Paprocki, a number of priests, religious sisters and seminarians, other adult chaperones and of course, hundreds of youth.

Bishop Paprocki met the pilgrims in Washington, D.C., celebrating a Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica, visiting with various diocesan groups and then taking part in the march.

Jersey County couple created game in 2018

JERSEY COUNTY — It was the impact of saints and their stories that led David and Kendel Williams to the Catholic faith in 2010 in St. Louis. After moving to Brighton, in Jersey County in 2017, the couple, who has six children, now call Ss. Peter and Paul in Alton their home parish.

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