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Andrew Hansen

Sunday, 22 December 2019 10:02

Give the gift of education

How you can help our students, receive a tax credit, and provide Catholic education

Student demand for Illinois’ tax credit scholarship is at an all-time high. This school year, 377 students in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois received scholarships valued at $1,073,290.31 thanks to generous donations to Illinois’ tax credit scholarship program. When you learn, however, that 1,326 students in our diocese applied, it’s clear the demand is far exceeding the supply.

Why Catholics need to believe in gift in front of them

After Mass on Aug. 15, 1996 at a parish in Buenos Aires, Argentina, a woman approached the priest saying that she found a consecrated Host in the church. The priest — following proper procedures in such a case — placed the Host into a glass of water so it would dissolve and put the Host into the tabernacle. Days later, to the priest’s amazement, the Host appeared bloody and had a flesh-like appearance.

INDIANAPOLIS — Nearly 180 students, chaperones, and priests from all over the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois joined more than 20,000 people from across the country for the National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) in Indianapolis Nov. 21-23.

“If there is ever one event a high schooler should attend, it’s NCYC,” said Tony Cerveny, director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the diocese. “The work of the Holy Spirit was profound — from adoration to the speakers, to the music to the message, NCYC was an incredible experience and left a positive impact on our students.”

As Sabrina Carter works with students in the Ball-Chatham School District as a psychologist, a job that brings her joy and the satisfaction of personally helping the lives of young people, it’s not uncommon for her to think about her own life and the selfless gift given to her. What would her life be like today if it weren’t for this gift? How much pain would she be in? Would she even be alive?

It all started in 2015. After going to her doctor with stomach pains, tests determined she had Stage 3 kidney disease. Over the next year and several visits to doctors in places like Chicago and St. Louis, no one could determine why her kidneys were failing and getting worse by the day.

Veterans are the backbone of our great nation. Their sacrifice, dedication to freedom, and helping the people of the world — we are forever indebted to their service.

The Diocese of Springfield in Illinois is blessed to have several priests who also served our country. One of those is Father Stephen Thompson, pastor of Holy Family Parish in Mt. Sterling and St. Thomas Parish in Camp Point.

Father Thompson embodies honor, courage and commitment, values that have deep meaning to him as a Marine. He served our country for four years in the early 1990s as an E-4 corporal as a data communications operator. He served in the Persian Gulf War under Desert Shield and Desert Storm with the 1st Marine Division and the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit under the United States Navy on the U.S.S. Okinawa.

ST. JOSEPH, MICH. — During 22-year-old Amber Robinson’s senior year at college at Northern Illinois University, she knew she wanted to do missionary work but didn’t know where. Today, the Glen Carbon native who attends Ss. Peter and Paul Parish in Collinsville finds herself in St. Joseph, Mich., working directly with youth, challenging these vulnerable Catholics “to love Christ and embrace the life of the church.”

Sunday, 10 November 2019 10:21

Diocesan planning study under way

Parishioners encouraged to attend Focus Group meetings and/or participate in online survey

The Diocese of Springfield in Illinois has launched a planning study to determine the level of support for a diocesan-wide capital campaign.

Representatives from the Steier Group, a Catholic development and fundraising firm, will be conducting interviews in the diocese until mid-November. They are seeking feedback on support for seminarian education throughout the diocese.

Sunday, 13 October 2019 09:22

Using his talent for the church

Springfield teen learning to play organ at Cathedral

Visitors from Ohio were at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield one afternoon this summer, admiring the stained-glass windows and striking beauty of the church. They were also given a rare treat: beautiful organ music, filling the church with rich sounds. Little did they know it was a 14-year-old playing, who had just picked up the organ in February.

EDWARDSVILLE — On April 20, 2019, 42-year-old Deegee Kienstra of Edwardsville officially became Catholic, receiving three sacraments at the Easter Vigil at St. Mary Parish in Edwardsville: baptism, confirmation and Communion. The road to that powerful day is filled with moments where the Holy Spirit planted seeds of inspiration.

 

Springfield Catholic schools are big winners

It became a spectacle in Springfield week after week this past summer as thousands of people packed the Knights of Columbus Hall on Springfield’s west side and other satellite locations, hoping to be the big winner in the Knights of Columbus Council 364’s Big Raffle, which grew to $625,000. This, after the fund had been growing for two years because week after week, the person selected never correctly picked the jackpot square. (The game originally started with 100 squares, and each week one would be eliminated until the jackpot square was correctly chosen.) Finally, last month, Cindi Fleischli’s ticket was drawn and she picked the jackpot square.

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