It’s a Wednesday morning on the campus of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE). For most college students, that means class, grabbing something to eat, or maybe sleeping in. But for dozens of Catholic students, it means praying the rosary and celebrating Mass on campus at the Fuller Dome.
“Mass on Wednesday is great because you get to recharge your faith life in the middle of the week, which is super awesome and helps me get through the week,” said Nick Berkenbile, a student from Edwardsville. “Confession, adoration, you name it, they have it.”
The Illinois Army National Guard officially has a Catholic chaplain to serve the men and women who serve our country. Father Mark Tracy of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois was officially sworn in as a commissioned officer during a swearing-in ceremony April 29 at Camp Lincoln in Springfield.
If you turned on the news or opened a paper a few weeks ago, you may have seen some jarring headlines about a new report that includes nearly 400 “abuser priests” from the state of Illinois. The news stemmed from a Chicago press conference by Jeff Anderson, a Minnesota-based litigator, who issued his “Anderson Report,” which lists names of accused priests ― names of priests that are already publicly available. So, what was new about his report? Nothing. Unfortunately, the media bought it. Worse, media reports failed to recognize some glaring admissions by Anderson.
Something that hasn’t occurred in years at the Statehouse happened March 20: The building was temporarily shut down – no one was allowed in. That’s because the Statehouse was at capacity due to the thousands of people from across the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois and other dioceses in the state advocating and rallying for life inside.
One of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois’ own, Father Augustine Tolton, continues to move toward sainthood. The cause for beatification and canonization of Servant of God Father Tolton, the nation’s first black priest — who served and is buried in Quincy — advanced recently in Rome.
On Feb. 5, the theological consultants of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints unanimously approved that his cause move forward.
Students from Covington Catholic School in Kentucky went to the March for Life, advocating for the most defenseless among us — the unborn. When they left Washington, it was those students who felt defenseless after a barrage of inaccurate reporting in the mainstream media and attacks on social media hit them like a ton of bricks.
A viral video showed one of the students, Nicholas Sandmann, and Nathan Phillips, an activist for indigenous people’s causes, confronting each other. The video showed Phillips beating a drum while Sandmann stood there with his group. At one moment, Sandmann smiled. Someone took that picture. And in that moment, everything changed.