On the weekend of March 9-10, which was the first weekend of Lent, 247 people came to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield to take part in the Rite of Election and the Call to Continuing Conversion. That number included 103 catechumens, 45 uncatechized Catholic candidates and 99 baptized Christian candidates. They were accompanied by priests, deacons, RCIA leaders, sponsors, godparents, families and friends who traveled with them.
Lent is meant to be a time of prayer and penance and for many members of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois this Lent will also be a time to use those 40 days to stand up for life.
Carrying rosaries and signs and wearing identifiable hoodies, scarves and warm outerwear, Bishop Thomas John Paprocki, hundreds of young people, dozens of adults, several seminarians and members of the clergy from the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois walked for life in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 18. The theme of this year’s March for Life was “Unique from Day One: Pro-life is Pro-science.”
Just in time for holiday decorating and gift-giving, the 2018 Official City of Springfield Ornament was recently unveiled at a press conference in the Governor’s Mansion. Springfield Mayor James Langfelder; Maxine Bergman, executive director of St. Joseph’s Home; and Justin Blandford, curator of the Governor’s Mansion, participated in the unveiling event.
This year’s ornament features the recent renovation of the Governor’s Mansion and the Illinois Bicentennial. It is the 26th ornament in the City of Springfield series that celebrates hometown landmarks and events. This 2018 ornament is unique because it is the result of a partnership between St. Joseph’s Home and the Illinois Governor’s Mansion Association. Therefore, the proceeds from the sale of the ornament will benefit both organizations.
TANZANIA — While many college-age students are returning to their families for the holidays, Sacred Heart-Griffin High School (Springfield) graduate Isabella Farris is spending her first fall and winter since her 2018 graduation far, far from her home. Isabella, known as Izzy to her family and friends, is in the midst of a “gap year” that has her stationed — for now — in Tanzania, East Africa.
In Tanzania, Isabella is volunteering at the St. Nicholaus Children’s Center. The center is a Catholic residential home for orphaned, disabled and vulnerable children, operated by the Bukoba Catholic Diocese and founded by Stefanie Köster, director and German lay associate, and Sister Anne Carlino of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis in Springfield.
This Veterans Day we remember a priest of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, Army chaplain Father Terrence Thomas Brady, who 75 years ago gave his life while ministering to his fellow soldiers. A native of Mt. Sterling who was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop James A. Griffin on April 24, 1938, Father Brady was just 30 years old when he died in World War II.
A notice sent to his fellow priests by Msgr. Michael A. Tarrent, who was chancellor for the diocese, said Father Brady was the first casualty among diocesan priests serving the Armed Forces. The heroic priest’s story was printed over several editions of the Western Catholic, which was at that time the name of the Springfield diocesan newspaper.
On Oct. 15, the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception was filled with enthusiastic students and faculty members from all over the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois for the annual Mission Mass. Representatives from a great number of Catholic schools and parishes in the diocese traveled to the Cathedral to attend Mass. Some of the groups took time to look around the Cathedral and to have their pictures taken with Bishop Thomas John Paprocki, who was the main celebrant.
Concelebrating with Bishop Paprocki were Msgr. David Hoefler, vicar general, and Father Angel Sierra. Deacons were Deacon Patrick O’Toole, who is director of the Office for the Missions and Deacon Terry Ellerman. The choir from St. Aloysius School in Springfield led the music at the Mission Mass and St. Mary School in Taylorville assisted with the liturgy. Patrick Hutt was the master of ceremonies.
As Bishop Thomas John Paprocki remarked at the beginning of the Mass for Couples Married 50 Years or More, the afternoon of the first full day of autumn was beautiful both outside and inside the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield. It was a joyful day, he said, not just because the weather was near perfect on Sept. 23 but also inside the church hundreds of people were there to celebrate the beauty of long marriages.
A great number of the couples taking part were married in 1968 and celebrating their golden wedding anniversary this year, but some had been married much longer. Moreover, many of the couples came to the Mass with family members, who were there to celebrate with them. During the Mass the couples renewed their commitment to marriage and received a special blessing from Bishop Paprocki.
The Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, members of a multi-cultural Franciscan congregation with headquarters in Germany, are currently hosting a meeting of their international congregation at St. Francis Convent in Springfield. The meeting began Sept. 6 and will run through Sept. 22, said Brian Blasco, director of Communications and provincial archivist.
DECATUR — The Diocesan Adult Enrichment Conference (DAEC) will be held on Sunday, Sept. 30 and Monday, Oct. 1 at the Decatur Conference Center and Hotel, 4191 US 36 West in Decatur. The theme of this year’s DAEC is “Who Do You Say That I Am?”