Each year between Christmas and New Year’s, seminarians of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois travel to Villa Maria Catholic Life Center on Lake Springfield for two days of fellowship and reflection before returning to their studies in January.
“It’s an intentional reason so they can be together as, God willing, our future priests and also to be with the bishop,” said Father Brian Alford, director of Vocations and pastor of St. Jude Parish in Rochester. “The more they have that familiarity and comfort with the bishop, the better we all work together as a presbyterate under the direction of our bishop.”
“I would like to point out one success story of our sending antiseizure medications to a 13-year -old girl in Santiago. Her family could not afford the medications and she was unable to attend school. We sent at least six months worth of levitiracetam with ER Abroad from Sherman. They go there twice a year. She is in school now.”
Under the watchful eyes of Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois and Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Perry of the Archdiocese of Chicago, the remains of Servant of God Father Augustus Tolton were unearthed on Dec. 10 in St. Peter Cemetery in Quincy. It was the most recent development in the process that began in 2010 for Father Tolton’s beatification and canonization.
Bishop Thomas John Paprocki has announced to pastors and his curia staff to begin preparations for a diocesan synod to be held next year. Among the bishop’s mandates for the synod is to put in diocesan statute his vision of defining the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois as a “stewardship and decipleship” diocese.
VANDALIA — Rich in history, Vandalia served as the state capital of Illinois from 1819 until 1839 when a young legislator named Abraham Lincoln led the effort to move the seat of state government to Springfield where it remains today. Located just off Interstate 70, one of the busiest highways in the country, Vandalia, population 7,000, is the unlikely home to a worldwide ministry of prayer, healing and reconciliation.
The late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin is remembered fondly by Catholics for, among other things, his courageous end-of-life battle with cancer. Bishop Thomas John Paprocki speaks often with reverence for the prelate for whom he served as chancellor of the Archdiocese of Chicago. He is also revered by Father Myles Sheehan, SJ, who lauded the late prelate as he began his Oct. 15 presentation following the White Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
Best-selling author and founder, editor of CatholicMom.com, Lisa Hendey, spent the weekend of Sept. 9-10 in Springfield as the featured speaker at two separate events.
“A lot of people think that I’m going to come and say ‘technology is evil, we must ban it from our homes,’” said Hendey as she began her Sept. 9 presentation sponsored by the Knights of Columbus Holy Family Council 4179 and the diocesan Office for Youth and Youth Adult Ministry at the K. of C. Lake Club. “The truth is that the church is all over this [technology] including Pope Francis’ personal use of technology. It’s good for us who want to be on the front lines of sharing the Good News to understand the opportunity that exists in the digital realm.”
The Jubliee Year of Mercy sacred art exhibition came to a close Sept. 17. Winners were announced in August when the exhibit opened at the Quincy Art Center. Organizers acknowledge and thank the Quincy Art Center and Director, Jen Teters; Betsy Dollar, director, Springfield Art Association; and Victoria Dhabalt Compton, director, diocesan Office for Missions. Sher Lanham, Karen Boshart and Jeff Boshart were also tireless in their art exhibit committee work.
Since 2012, Catholic dioceses throughout the United States arrange special obeservances and rallies to highlight the importance of defending religious freedom. This year, Fortnight for Freedom began on June 21 — the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More — and concluded on July 4 — Independence Day. Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois is largely credited with originating the concept of Fortnight for Freedom that was eventually adopted by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
From Dec. 8, 2015 through the feast of Christ the King on Nov. 20, Catholics around the world are celebrating an Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy as decreed by Pope Francis. The jubilee began with the opening of the Holy Door of the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome and concludes with closing the same Holy Door. The faithful are invited to pass through the Holy Door as a sign of spiritual pilgrimage and receive a plenary indulgence.