"The opportunities that our seminarians have to be with one another and with the priests of our diocese are special times."

So said Father Brian Alford when asked for a takeaway from the winter gathering of seminarians, held each year between Christmas and New Year's while they are on break from their studies. Except for two studying in Rome, more than 20 seminarians attended the gathering Dec. 29-30, 2015.

When Lucy DeFrain was born at HSHS St. John's Children's Hospital in December 2009, she weighed 1 pound, 4 ounces. She was born at 27 weeks. In the first 30 days of her life, parents Megan and Dr. Chad DeFrain were told more than once that their baby may not survive.

Sunday, 24 January 2016 14:28

Friend(s) of Catholic education

The award is named "Friend of Catholic Education," but in the case of the McClains, it's friends ... with an "s."

The family of Elmo "Mac" and Margie McClain will be recognized Feb. 6 at the eighth annual "Friend of Catholic Education Award" dinner at the Quincy Quality Inn & Suites. The award is given annually by the Quincy Catholic Elementary Schools Foundation (QCES) to recognize significant contributions to Catholic schools in Quincy.

Sunday, 24 January 2016 14:25

New leadership at FMCHS

Father Jeffrey Goeckner has been named the first ever president of Father McGivney Catholic High School (FMCHS). He will continue in his current positions as pastor of St. Boniface Parish in Edwardsville and Dean of the Alton Deanery.

Penney Porter, the owner of Habitat for Humanity of Sangamon County's 99th build known as the "Pope Francis house," was able to move into her new home just in time for Christmas and New Year's.

Bishop Emeritus Daniel L. Ryan passed away on Dec. 31, 2015 in Naperville. He was 85 years old.

He was born Sept. 28, 1930 in Mankato, Minn., to Leonard "Pat" and Irene Ruth Ryan. His family moved to Springfield in 1943, where he briefly attended Blessed Sacrament School and then began his freshman year at Cathedral Boys School.

Sacred Heart-Griffin High School recently announced that 37 seniors have been recognized as 2016-17 Illinois State Scholars.

Father McGivney Catholic High School Principal Mike Scholz recently announced that three of the 17 students from the graduating Class of 2016 at FMCHS have been recognized as Illinois State Scholars.

Christ the King Parish in Springfield hosted a Christmas Festival Sing-a-Long on Dec. 20 in the Parish Center which highlighted the Christmas story as told through carols, Scripture and witnesses of personal relationships with Christ.

Sunday, 10 January 2016 12:52

A corporal work of mercy: feed the hungry

The temperature on the late December morning was brisk, like most winter mornings. Dozens of people were waiting outside for the St. John's Breadline to open and begin serving a nutritious hot lunch. For some, it would be their only meal that day.

VIRDEN — Sacred Heart Parish in Virden recently celebrated 40 Hours of eucharistic adoration, held in advance of the just-opened Jubilee Year of Mercy that was officially proclaimed by Pope Francis.

Sunday, 13 December 2015 10:47

Discipleship is your greatest gift

All around the diocese I have come to encounter many profound examples of "Discipleship as a way of life." Loretta Koester is one of them.

In 1987 I moved to Effingham and from my first days of ministry there I heard of this woman of faith, defender of Life. It is one thing to say "I am pro-life" (which is good), but to be one who totally commits their life to defending human life from womb to tomb is true.

Twenty-four Sacred Heart-Griffin choral and band students were selected for the 2015 ILMEA District Festival in Macomb at Western Illinois University on Nov. 14 and are eligible for All-State Selection in mid-December.

Sunday, 13 December 2015 10:43

Church reconstruction project receives award

The Immaculate Conception (St. Mary) Church reconstruction project was recently submitted by HBD Construction, Inc., to the Associated General Contractors of Missouri (AGCMO) for the 2015 Construction Keystone Award.

The Keystone Award honors the achievement of member firms and their employees in building the facilities that support and enhance quality of life. The awards are in recognition of the skill, teamwork and spirit of innovation needed to address project-specific challenges to jobsite safety, communications, diversity and quality of construction.

Three women who reside in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois are being trained to instruct in the Creighton Model FertilityCare™ System (CrMS) of Natural Family Planning (NFP), according to Carlos Tejeda, director of The Office for Marriage and Family Life. The future fertility care practitioners (FCPs) are Sue Deakos in Edwardsville, Kate Pruemer in Effingham and Melinda Osborn in Springfield.

Sunday, 29 November 2015 12:26

Father Harman named rector

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki announced on Nov. 23 that Father Peter Harman has been appointed rector of the Pontifical North American College (PNAC) in Rome effective Feb. 1, 2016.


Father Michael Ewert, OFM, died Nov. 12 at St. Francis Convent in Springfield. Father Michael, son of Michael and Ruth (Wilman) Ewert was born Aug. 16, 1932 in Dubuque, Iowa and baptized Joseph Michael.

Chiara Center is set to present its Franciscan Nativity Festival, a display of more than 100 Nativity sets, Dec. 4 from 2-7 p.m., and Dec. 5-6 from noon-4 p.m. The event is held annually at Chiara Center, 4875 LaVerna Road, Springfield on the grounds of St. Francis Convent, the home of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis.

Sunday, 29 November 2015 12:19

Twenty-third annual novena begins Nov. 30

The Marian Center of Springfield is sponsoring the 23rd annual Novena to the Immaculate Conception beginning Monday, Nov. 30 and continuing through Tuesday, Dec. 8, which is the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception.

The faith community of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Quincy will celebrate a four-day parish mission from Dec. 6-9. The principal message of the mission will take place each evening at 7 p.m. at the church at 2223 St. Anthony Road, with fellowship following.

Key Club at Sacred Heart-Griffin High School in Springfield has just completed its "biggest project of the year," said Key Club President Elsie Andres, a junior at SHG.

LITCHFIELD — HSHS St. Francis Hospital celebrated the 140th anniversary of the arrival of the Hospital Sisters in Litchfield with a special gala held Nov. 7. The theme was "Celebrating Our Legacy" and was sponsored by the HSHS St. Francis Foundation. Gold sponsors for the event were HSHS St. Francis Hospital Auxiliary and Litchfield Family Practice.

EFFINGHAM — The public is invited to attend a free concert by the St. Hildegard von Bingen Schola at HSHS St. Anthony's Memorial Hospital's Chapel on Sunday, Dec. 6 at 4 p.m. The schola is a small choir of young women, 12 to 18 years old, who sing choral music focusing particularly on Gregorian chant and a cappella polyphonic compositions. The group, directed and founded by Barbara Konrad, is named after German Benedictine nun Hildegard of Bingen, acclaimed for her writings on music and medicine.

HIGHLAND — Dedicated St. Paul parishioners took their cue from Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si' by doing their part earlier this month to be more sensitive to the condition of the Earth and the environment.

Sunday, 15 November 2015 12:12

Bishop shares vision of the diocese

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki delivered to priests at their annual convocation in September his reflections on some of the most important matters facing the diocese. He also recently shared with the curia at the Catholic Pastoral Center in Springfield his self-described "state of the diocese."

Quincy University has recently announced the launch of a $25 million comprehensive campaign titled "Forever Forward." To date, more than $15 million has already been raised. The comprehensive campaign is the first of its kind in university history.

Sunday, 15 November 2015 12:02

Twelve Baskets Full — an update

A local non-profit organization first profiled in Catholic Times last year has begun making the difference it promised in the healthcare of those with no access to general medications.

Twelve Baskets Full, Inc. of Springfield last month accepted its first-ever donation of medications, many of which were sent on a mission trip to Honduras. The Sangamon County Sheriff's office made the donation.

Sacred Heart-Griffin High School will present "Football Legends: Life Lessons," with featured speakers Dave Casper, Steve Sylvester and Ken Leonard on Thursday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. in the SHG Springfield Dominican Hall Theatre, 1200 West Washington.

Effingham Catholic Charities and HSHS St. Anthony's Memorial Hospital are cooperating in a couple of programs to benefit the health of area residents.

Sunday, 15 November 2015 11:52

Parish mission set for Staunton

STAUNTON — The faith community of St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Staunton will hold a four-day parish mission from Nov. 15-18. The principal message takes place each evening in the church at 7 p.m.

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