Diane Schlindwein

DECATUR — Approximately 900 people attended the 2016 Diocesan Adult Enrichment Conference (DAEC), which was held Nov. 4-5 at the Decatur Conference Center and Hotel. This was the 20th biennial event and was entitled “Harvesting the Fruits of Discipleship.” Attendees participated in prayer services, listened to keynote speaker Greg Willits, took part in breakout sessions and were also encouraged to visit the 40 booths of exhibitors who were at the event.

Weeks before the Chicago Cubs made history by winning the World Series after 108 years Father Chuck Edwards wondered out loud, “Wouldn’t it be something if the Cubs played the Indians? It’s been so long since either of them has won.”

As it turned out Father Edwards, who is director of Stewardship and Discipleship and pastor of St. Augustine Parish in Ashland, was correct in his prediction. Moreover, as a Cubs fan for 50 years, he is one excited guy. He watched the final game of the World Series with some friends at the Knights of Columbus 364 Hall in Springfield. Since the game went into overtime and there was a rain delay, he got home late and admits he was “really tired” when he got up early Thursday to celebrate daily Mass that morning.

Just in time for holiday decorating and Christmas gift-giving, St. Joseph’s Home of Springfield has released its latest city ornament. The annually-released collectible pays tribute to yet another historic place in the capital city: the Lincoln Depot, also known as the Great Western Railroad Station. It also celebrates President Abraham Lincoln’s farewell address.

Continuing a tradition that has lasted for more than three decades, Blessed Sacrament Parish in Springfield is again offering PSR for Exceptional People, a weekly Catholic study gathering for developmentally disabled children and adults. All developmentally disabled individuals — children and adults — who are at least 7 years old and live in the Springfield diocese are welcomed. 

A pilot program intended to benefit women and children who live in developing countries or who are suffering from poverty will run for three months in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, thanks to Vicki Dhabalt Compton, director of the Office for the Missions. The program, entitled Women of Mercy, has been approved by Catholic Relief Services and will run in October, November and December.

With the 2016-2017 school year now under way, six Catholic grade schools in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois are under the direction of new principals.

Brandi Borries, who recently took on the position of superintendent of schools, led the principals in a day-long meeting at the diocesan Catholic Pastoral Center on Aug. 2. “I am looking forward to a great school year with a super group of new administrators who’ve joined our wonderful team of experienced principals,” says Borries.

Blessed Sacrament School in Springfield held an unusual raffle this summer which required Father Jeff Grant to take his first-ever helicopter ride. “The things you do as a pastor,” Father Grant joked at the conclusion of a June Sunday Mass as he made an announcement that more raffle chances were still available.

The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception was filled on the morning of June 25 when Bishop Thomas John Paprocki ordained 11 men to the permanent diaconate for the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. Those men are: Deacon James Robert Baxter, Deacon William Jeffrey (Jeff) Beals, Deacon John Douglas Kay, MD, Deacon Thomas Scott (Scott) Keen, Deacon Gregory Maynerich, Deacon James Michael Melton, Deacon Dominic Anthony (Mick) Palazzolo, Deacon Ricky Joe Schnetzler Sr., Deacon Neil Wayne Suermann, OFS, Deacon Jay William Wackerly Sr., and Deacon Jeffrey Kenneth Wolf.

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki will ordain 11 men to the permanent diaconate on Saturday, June 25 during 10:30 a.m. Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. The class of 2016 is the fourth permanent deacon class to be ordained in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. Previous classes were ordained in 2007, 2009 and in 2012. With this class ordained the Springfield diocese will have 57 deacons. A few of these deacons were ordained elsewhere but now serve in this diocese.

Priests in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois will gather on Tuesday, May 3 at Villa Maria Catholic Life Center on Lake Springfield for the annual Priests’ Jubilee Celebration with Bishop Thomas John Paprocki. This year’s special presenter is Msgr. Ross Shecterle, president-rector of Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology in Franklin, Wis. Msgr. Shecterle is a priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and has his Ph.D. in pastoral counseling from Loyola College in Maryland.

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