Scott Mulford

GRANITE CITY ­­— Just like last year, brisk autumn winds greeted hundreds of participants Oct. 3 who joined Bishop Thomas John Paprocki, pastors and the Knights of Columbus in Granite City to pray the rosary and "peacefully and prayerfully" sing and walk to The Hope Clinic for Women, the only facility within the diocese's borders that performs surgical abortions.

Media coverage of Pope Francis' announcement that priests worldwide will be able to absolve women who had abortions caused widespread confusion since, according to Bishop Thomas John Paprocki, most priests in the United States, including the Springfield diocese, already have such authority in the sacrament of reconciliation.

Special observances in the Year of Concecrated Life are approaching. In a letter earlier this summer to pastors, parochial administrators, other parish officials and major superiors, Bishop Thomas John Paprocki encouraged parishes and schools to celebrate consecrated life during the week of of Sept. 13-20. On the evening of Sept. 20, Bishop Proprocki will celebrate vespers, or evening prayer, with religious of the diocese at 6:30 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield.

GLEN CARBON — The leadership team that spearheaded the fundraising and oversaw construction of the new Father McGivney Catholic High School building will thank the community at a dedication ceremony on Sunday, Aug. 30 at 2:30 pm. A pivitol part of the ceremony will be when Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois will bless all areas of the facilities including the building, grounds and even the parking lots. McGivney officials said the dedication is open to the public, and all are welcome to tour the school and meet the families of the school.

After an absence of four years, Diocesan Music Day will return to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield on Aug. 1 from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

"It is our hope that participation in the Music Day will once again make this an annual event," said Eliot Kapitan, diocesan director of the Office for Worship and the Catechumenate.

Thirty-one central Illinois organizations that benefit people living in poverty received grants from the Diocesan Campaign for Justice and Hope (DCJH) sponsored by the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. The awards were given out by Bishop Thomas John Paprocki during a luncheon June 8 at the Cathedral Atrium in Springfield hosted by the Office for Social Concerns and Respect for Life.

Catholic Athletes for Christ (CAC) in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois held its first ever "Senior Springboard" event April 26 in the Jim Belz Gymnasium at Sacred Heart-Griffin High School in Springfield. Originally begun with professional athletes, Bishop Thomas John Paprocki said that he and other American bishops believed getting much younger people involved in CAC would provide early benefits.

World and national media attention focused on the capital city May 1-3 for the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's final funeral and laying to rest in Springfield's historic Oak Ridge Cemetery, second only to Arlington National Cemetery as the nation's most visited cemetery precisely because the remains of the martyred 16th president rest there.

GLEN CARBON — As construction of the new Father McGivney Catholic High School (FMCHS) continues, this year's annual appeal is concentrating on funds to furnish and equip the new building when students return for the new school year on Aug. 20, 2015.

Officials from the University of St. Mary of the Lake traveled from Mundelein to Springfield's Catholic Pastoral Center March 26 to inspect and take possesion of what they described as an "impressive" collection of canon law books printed prior to the First Code of Canon Law in 1917.

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