The Catholic Charities Christmas Appeal campaign is under way and — with the help of people who choose to donate this Christmas season — will meet its goal to raise $250,000 across the diocese.
“The appeal went out Nov. 29,” said Amber Cerveny, development coordinator at Catholic Charities. As of mid-December $73,500 had already been raised. Cerveny says Catholic Charities would like to hit the goal by the end of January.
On Nov. 26, the Solemnity of our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, Bishop Thomas John Paprocki celebrated a Mass to officially close the fourth diocesan synod for the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. The synod had been under way since its official opening on April 11 at the chrism Mass.
About 200 people — including a number of religious sisters and brothers, many lay people of all ages and several large young families — were in attendance at the 2 p.m. Mass, which was concelebrated with over 30 priests from all over the Springfield diocese. Approximately a dozen permanent deacons of the diocese participated as well.
Just in time for Thanksgiving, students at Sacred Heart-Griffin High School in Springfield prepared baskets of donated food for distribution to many needy families in the Springfield area.
“The SHG Key Club, under the direction of theology teacher and club moderator, Dan Wilson, rallied the entire student body, faculty and staff to gather 150 baskets filled with Thanksgiving dinner essentials and 150 turkeys for Catholic Charities to help those in need this season,” said Amanda Mandeville, director of Enrollment Management and Communications at SHG.
Approximately 120 people of all ages gathered on the steps of the Illinois State Capitol Building in Springfield at noon on Saturday, Oct. 14 to pray the rosary and to say The Prayer to the Guardian Angel of the United States, The Angelus, The Prayer to St. Michael, and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, among other prayers at the Annual Prayer in the Public Square.
Those gathered were joining 21,750 other groups who were meeting in various places to say the rosary together that day, said organizer Donna Berte. One Hail Mary was prayed for each of the 50 states and an extra Hail Mary was added to each decade for additional territories of the United States.
Bishop Thomas John Paprocki concelebrated the annual White Mass for health care professionals at 4 p.m. on Oct. 14 at Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Concelebrating the Mass with Bishop Paprocki were Msgr. David Lantz, Father Fredrick Chima Mbiere and Father Charles Hart, OFM. All three priests are involved with ministering with people who are in the health care ministry or who are patients at hospitals. Deacon William E. Kessler, the bishop’s delegate for health care professionals, proclaimed the Gospel.
TUSCOLA — When Father Angel Sierra was named pastor of Forty Martyrs in 2015, he came on board during a landmark year — the 150-year anniversary of the Tuscola parish. Because he was aware of the timing, Father Sierra wondered how the parishioners would like to celebrate. It wasn’t long before he discovered that the people hoped to refurbish the church, which was built in 1925 and had last been refurbished in 1978.
ROME — Diocesan seminarian Dominic Rankin was one of 31 seminarians from the Pontifical North American College who were ordained to the transitional diaconate Sept. 28, in Rome. Deacon Rankin is a member of St. Rose of Lima Parish in Quincy and is the son of Mark and Stephanie Rankin.
Bishop James F. Checchio, Bishop of Metuchen — rector of the North American College from 2006 to 2016 — was the ordaining prelate, celebrating the Mass at the Altar of the Chair of St. Peter, in the Papal Basilica of St. Peter, in the Vatican.
Approximately 200 people from throughout the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois were in the pews of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on the afternoon of Sept. 17, as Bishop Thomas John Paprocki celebrated the Mass for Couples Married 50 Years or More.
The annual celebration included a Mass, reception and an opportunity to have photos taken with Bishop Paprocki. It was attended not only by many couples who are celebrating 50 years of marriage this year, but others who had been married even longer. In some cases, children and grandchildren came along to celebrate with them.
ROME — Dominic Rankin, a seminarian for the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois who is studying at the North American College in Rome, was to have been ordained to the diaconate on Sept. 28 at 9:30 a.m. Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica.
The ordination Mass was to have taken place at the Altar of the Chair, celebrated by Bishop James F. Checchio, of Metuchen. “He was the rector at the North American College my first year-and-a-half there,” Deacon Rankin says. “The altar is the one on the far back wall (behind the main altar that only Pope Francis uses) and below the famous window of the Holy Spirit.”
With the new school year now under way, two dozen seminarians are either settling in for the school year, or serving in parishes, says Father Brian Alford, director of Vocations for the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois.