In February, Gov. J.B. Pritzker unveiled his budget plan for the upcoming fiscal year that begins July 1, proposing a cut to the Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship program that allows low-income and working-class students to receive scholarships to Catholic and other nonpublic schools.

On Friday of Easter Week, April 9, Bishop Thomas John Paprocki ordained two seminarians to the transitional diaconate for the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. The ordinations of Deacon Zach Samples and Deacon Paul Lesupati took place at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield.

Sunday, 18 April 2021 17:44

Honoring our teachers

Presenting the second annual St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award

We asked everyone from across the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois what Catholic teacher in our 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?

PETERSBURG — With four young biological children to raise, St. Peter parishioners Jesse and Monique Sullivan lead busy lives, yet for the past 18 months they have welcomed foster children into their love-filled household.

The bishops of the six dioceses in Illinois have written a letter urging lawmakers to reject legislation that would repeal Illinois’ Parental Notice of Abortion law. The bishops ask the faithful to contact state lawmakers and urge them to vote “No” to House Bill 1797 and Senate Bill 2190. Read their letter to learn how this legislation would harm women and protect human traffickers.

How you can help

On March 23, Bishop Thomas John Paprocki and Donna Moore, director of the Office for the Missions welcomed dozens of school children from the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois for the Mission Mass. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, attendance in the Cathedral was much lower than at the usual annual Mass — normally the Cathedral is full — however, many school students watched the Mass on a live-stream.

Identical pieces of legislation pending at the Illinois statehouse would help protect human traffickers while simultaneously harming victims of rape, incest, or other sexual violence. The legislation would repeal the Parental Notification Act, an Illinois law that requires a parent or legal guardian to be notified when a minor under the age of 18 seeks an abortion (the law now is only for notification, not parental consent).

On the Friday of Easter Week, April 9, Bishop Thomas John Paprocki will ordain two seminarians to the transitional diaconate for the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. The ordination will take place at 6 p.m. Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

St. Ignatius of Loyola encouraged a way of praying among his followers that involved engaging our imagination — to picture yourself as a character in the story, hearing the words that are exchanged, meditating on the look that crosses Jesus’ face, or imagining what it must have been like in the crowd as they witnessed Jesus crucified. As we contemplate the greatest mysteries of our faith in these holy days, it can be good to ask ourselves: What do I see and hear as I pray with these Scriptures?

The first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox is a day more commonly known as Easter Sunday. With the new life of spring comes the new life of Christ. As the earth awakens out of its winter slumber, here are 10 ways to help your soul do the same during the Easter season.

Sunday, 04 April 2021 14:15

Church welcomes 71 new members

The Easter Vigil is the premier time each year for making of Catholic adults through the celebration of the sacraments of Christian initiation. This year in 32 parishes and at one university, 71 people will have come to the Easter Vigil to celebrate rites that will have joined them to the Catholic Church.

St. Mary parishioner in Edwardsville shares her conversion story

EDWARDSVILLE — She was raised in the Lutheran Church and attended Lutheran schools, but for Kirsten Tucker of Edwardsville, the decision to become Catholic had been in the back of her mind for a while. Today, the 56-year-old teaches at St. Mary School in Edwardsville — and little did she know that taking that job at St. Mary would be the driving factor to her joining the Catholic Church.

Fear is all around us. From the pandemic and bad economic news to job insecurity and family stress, your life may be full of anxiety right now. Women needing to step back from the noise of the secular world, a refreshing reset, or a spiritual boost are invited to “Freedom from Fear,” a women’s overnight retreat May 1 to May 2 in Springfield.

Providing you eight steps to spiritual and physical fitness

In Running for a Higher Purpose, Bishop Thomas John Paprocki, a marathon runner and hockey player, shares how running unlocks not only physical benefits but also profound spiritual wellbeing.

DECATUR — Jerry Allan Smith, father of Father Marty Smith, a priest of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, passed away March 16 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Decatur with his family by his side. He lived in Mt. Zion and was 77 years old.

It is a Thursday afternoon at Serenity Manor, a senior living facility in Springfield. Some residents are taking naps. Others are watching television. For five faith-filled Catholics, they are meeting in a room to receive Our Lord in the holy Eucharist from Father Peter Chineke, parochial vicar at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

St. Mary parishioner in Taylorville shares her conversion story

TAYLORVILLE — For decades, Lucia Snow of Taylorville described herself as a “spiritual person.” But things started to change in 2017. That’s when she and her family moved close to St. Mary Church and School in Taylorville. Two of her children enrolled in the school and “fell in love with the Catholic faith” she says. Soon, they were baptized, along with her two daughters at the time.

The three days of the sacred triduum are the bridge connecting Lent to the 50 days of Easter. Intended to be lived as a whole, these three days: Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday’s Easter Vigil are the encapsulation of the Lord’s life, death, and resurrection that we are called to embrace each day of our lives. While the liturgies of these days (while seen as one) each contain unique remembrances from our Lord’s life, they remind us that ultimately our faith is not about history. It is about God’s saving action, beyond all time, being made present for our participation. Our “triduum experience” can only be richer if we make the sacrifice to participate all three days.

Sunday, 21 March 2021 10:45

What is the triduum?

During Holy Week, which begins on Palm Sunday (March 28) 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.”

Sunday, 21 March 2021 10:38

It’s time … welcome back to Mass

Answers to your questions about Bishop Paprocki’s modified dispensation, effective April 11

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki announced that, effective April 11, Divine Mercy Sunday, the general dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and holy days will be modified to be limited to the following groups:

Totus Tuus program launches in June, July across diocese

After a year of the pandemic, children are probably itching to get out of the house, socialize, and have fun. Parents are probably just as eager to have their children try some new experiences. This summer, the Office for Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois is excited to have Totus Tuus, a fun and faith-filled experience, coming to several parishes across the diocese in June and July.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) are urging Catholics to avoid taking the one-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine if other options are available saying that it “raises questions about the moral permissibility of using vaccines developed, tested, and/or produced with the help of abortion-derived cell lines.”

SPRINGFIELD — HSHS Illinois Home Care is holding a food drive in March for the Catholic Charities food pantry to help those struggling with food insecurity.

It all started with an ice cream cone.

Over eight decades ago two teenagers — Kincaid native Victor Lanzotti and Taylorville native Lucille Russell — met on the town square in Taylorville. When Lucille suggested that Vic buy her an ice cream cone, Vic had a flirty response: “Sure, but just the nickel one so you won’t get fat!” As it turns out, Lucille got her ice cream and Vic got the girl.

Sunday, 07 March 2021 00:26

SHG students form pro-life club

Earlier this school year Sacred Heart-Griffin High School students began putting their faith into action by standing up for life — literally. The Cyclones for Life Club meets not in a school classroom but rather by gathering on the sidewalks outside Planned Parenthood in Springfield.

Ss. Mary and Joseph parishioner in Carlinville shares his conversion story

CARLINVILLE — He is a union ironworker. He travels to work on windfarms, bridges, metal buildings, hospital expansions, and stadiums. During his young career, coming home from work, or during other occasions of thought, Eddie Ray says he considered getting baptized. Over the years these thoughts filled his mind and soul which slowly led him to becoming more of a faith-filled person he says — but it was meeting his wife, Lauren, that would ultimately lead him to Catholicism.

Sunday, 07 March 2021 00:16

Fifty years in service of the church

Margaret Antenan has been working for the Catholic Church in Springfield for 50 years including 15 years at Blessed Sacrament Parish. She started teaching at Sacred Heart Grade School in Springfield for 15 years. Antenan taught mostly second and third grades. For two years after that, she was principal at Sacred Heart Grade School. After Sacred Heart Grade School closed in 1987, she started work in parish administration for St. Patrick Parish and Sacred Heart Parish and continued as they merged into St. Katharine Drexel Parish. In 2005, then-Father David Hoefler (now Msgr. Hoefler), pastor of Blessed Sacrament, offered her the job of office manager. She has been in that position ever since.

HIGHLAND — Her picture is full of rich colors, unmistakable joy, and a deep reverence for Jesus, not to mention, it is also just a beautiful creation. But ultimately, the artwork captures the essence of keeping Christ in Christmas. It is those reasons why Camille Winkler, a third-grader at St. Paul Catholic School in Highland won first place in the national “Keep Christ in Christmas” poster contest sponsored by the Catholic War Veterans of the United States.

Every Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday on Springfield’s east side, you can witness the compassionate and giving face of Christ. That’s when volunteers with the St. Martin de Porres Center hand out food and clothing to dozens of individuals and families in need.

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