Lex Cordis Caritas - The law of the heart is Love

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February 26, 2012
Earlier this month, I traveled to Rome with the bishops of our region (Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin) for meetings with the Pope Benedict XVI and other Vatican officials. These are periodic meetings that bishops are expected to make every few years to report to the Holy See on the various ministries of our dioceses. This is called an ad limina visit because one of its primary features is a visit to the tombs of the Apostles, St. Peter and St. Paul.
February 12, 2012
Two weekends ago (Jan. 26-29), I was blessed to be able to attend the Cursillo weekend at Quincy University. It was very inspiring to see the deep faith of the speakers and the way that Cursillo was able to help people to deal with their struggles in life, change their lives to be more committed to Jesus, and put their faith into action. Because it was such a memorable experience, I would like to tell you more about it.
January 29, 2012
Last November, President Barack Obama assured Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, that he would rein in his administration’s attempts to require virtually all private health plans to include coverage for all FDA-approved prescription contraceptives, abortion pills and female sterilization procedures. These requirements were included in an “interim final rule” issued on Aug. 1, 2011 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). These were listed among “preventive services for women” that all health plans would have to include without co-pays or other cost-sharing — even if the insurer, the employer or other plan sponsor, or the woman herself object to such coverage. There have been many protests, including formal comments filed with HHS by many organizations and a petition signed by over 430 Catholic leaders. The president sought to assure Archbishop Dolan and all the bishops of the United States that our concerns were unfounded.
January 15, 2012
As the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins on Wednesday, Jan. 18, it is helpful for us to take note of some trends about Christianity in the world. While the secular media often portray Christianity in an unfavorable light, there is much good news about the spread of Christianity in the world that you may not have heard about.
January 01, 2012
Recently I participated in a meeting between Illinois Gov. Patrick Quinn and several other Catholic Bishops of Illinois. Some reports of this meeting have been inaccurate or incomplete. Since I was present for this meeting, I would like to set the record straight.
December 17, 2011
We are now just a few days away from celebrating Christmas. In the week leading up to the 25th of December, the Gospel readings for daily Mass set the stage for the Nativity of Our Lord. The Gospel passage for Dec. 19 tells of the appearance of the Archangel Gabriel to Zechariah to deliver the good news that his formerly barren wife Elizabeth would give birth to a boy who would come to be known as John the Baptist. On Dec. 20 the angel Gabriel again makes an appearance in the Gospel of St. Luke, now appearing to Mary to tell her that she would conceive a son by the power of the Holy Spirit and give him the name Jesus. The Gospel reading for Dec. 21 tells of Mary’s visitation to her cousin Elizabeth and the joy they share in the expectation of the birth of their sons. Mary’s prayerful response recounted on Dec. 22 is her canticle that we call the Magnificat, her joyful praise of God for the unborn babies in their wombs.
December 04, 2011
On Monday, Dec. 12, here in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois we will have an "Evening of Repentance and Prayer for Those Harmed in the Church," in which we will ask God's healing for those who have been harmed in the church, express our repentance for those sins, and seek God's mercy and forgiveness.
November 20, 2011
As has been widely reported, next weekend marks the introduction of the new English translation of the revised Roman Missal. Much information and catechesis about the new version of prayers that we use at Mass and the reasons for these changes has been shared in print, from the pulpits of our churches, and in classes, seminars and workshops. My purpose here is not to try to explain it all to you or even summarize it in these brief remarks, but rather simply to give you my perspective on this as your bishop.
November 06, 2011
In answer to our prayers, God has blessed us with an increase in candidates for vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Twenty-nine women from around the country recently participated in a fall retreat hosted by the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George (the Alton Franciscans) for a weekend of prayer and discernment. Also, this past Aug. 15 three young women entered their novitiate and two made first vows. It is encouraging to see this increased interest in the life of consecrated women religious. Last weekend another transitional deacon was ordained for our diocese, our third this year, which means that these three men are scheduled to be ordained priests next spring.
October 23, 2011
This weekend I am in Rome for the 30th anniversary of the dedication of the Polish Home of the John Paul II Foundation, which was dedicated by Pope John Paul II himself in 1981 as a pilgrimage house for visitors from Poland. Since the death of Pope John Paul II, the John Paul II Foundation has taken on the added function of serving as a research center of his pontificate. I have the privilege of serving as vice chairman on the board of directors of the John Paul II Foundation. Oct. 22 is also being observed in Rome and in Poland with votive Masses on the anniversary of his inauguration as Pope.