Michael Hoerner

Catherine A. “Cathy” Furkin, a longtime employee of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, died on April 27 at St. John’s Hospital. She retired in 2019 after 25 years of service. Over the years, she was secretary for the Office for Stewardship and Development and an executive assistant for the Office of the Chancellor and Pastoral Planning, the Office for Communications and Catholic Times.

Springfield Dominican Sister Charlotte Rebbe died April 10 at Sacred Heart Convent in Springfield. She was born Charlotte Ann, in Petersburg in 1934, to John and Marguerite Heflin Rebbe. In 1960, she made profession of vows at Sacred Heart Convent.


Sister Augusta Sperl, OSF, of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis died on April 2 at St. Francis Convent in Springfield. She was 97 years old.

Sister Augusta, the former Bernadine Elizabeth Sperl, was born in Springfield on March 8, 1923, the daughter of August and Elizabeth Beckman Sperl. She entered the congregation on Sept. 8, 1939 and professed her religious vows on Oct. 4, 1942.

NEW ORLEANS — Sister Mary Patrice Clifford, OSU, died peacefully on March 29 in New Orleans. She served many years in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois.

The daughter of Connell and Mary Eunice Clifford, Sister Mary Patrice was born Lillian Patricia Clifford on Sept. 2, 1935, in Oak Park. After her family moved to New Orleans, she attended Ursuline Academy there, graduating in 1953. She entered the Ursuline community that summer and professed her vows in 1956.

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois has launched a new community service called the “Catholic Charities COPE Line” for people who are experiencing situational stress and anxiety related to the coronavirus outbreak. The service is free of charge and available to the public for people living in the 28-county service area of the Springfield diocese.

JACKSONVILLE — Citing his “dedication and outstanding job,” the Jacksonville Correctional Center has honored Father Tom Meyer, pastor of Our Saviour Parish in Jacksonville, as an Honorary Volunteer of the Year.


Why do I have to go to Mass every Sunday?

It’s eerie, in a way, to be sitting out on my porch with the smell of freshly mown grass and the sight of flowering trees and look across at an empty church parking lot as we make our way through the coronavirus pandemic. I’ll be honest, it feels a little weird to be writing about why we have to go to Mass every Sunday when the faithful are not able to come to Mass! I’ll still answer the question, but I wanted to be authentic about the approach and wonder if the context may even allow for a deeper, or at least unique, perspective.

Springfield Dominican Sister M. Stephanie Kapusta died on March 24 at Sacred Heart Convent in Springfield. She was born in Benld, in 1928, to Peter and Magdalene (Koniak) Kapusta, who named her Leona. In 1951, she made her profession of vows at Sacred Heart Convent.


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.

I want to go to confession, but I can’t due to the coronavirus. What is this I hear about making a perfect contrition?

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