Parish Catalyst is a creative leadership learning community collaborating with 11 other leadership teams from across the United States. Sharing best practices with these parishes, as well as instruction and insight from prominent leaders in the Catholic Church, the goal of Parish Catalyst is to imagine and stretch current visions of ministry and to develop and implement a specific strategic plan with a core goal of intentional discipleship.
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.
Bill Glover brought his expertise as the former chief information officer for the Archdiocese of Baltimore to his role as one of the presenters at the Diocesan Information Systems conference (DISC) hosted this year by the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois.
Almost daily, headlines scream of financial institutions, cell phone companies and even governments contending with online theft and breaches of personal information. Millions of dollars are spent on patches and other corrective measures.
Hacking goliaths like Target and Bank of America is one thing. But what about your parish? What happens if your diocese is hacked?
ALTON — The Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George will celebrate the profession of final vows, first vows and the reception into the novitiate of several sisters during Mass at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 2.
Three junior professed sisters will make their final profession of vows, three novices will make their first profession of vows and one postulant will be received into the novitiate.
Bishop Thomas John Paprocki will be the main celebrant of the Mass, celebrated at Immaculate Conception (St. Mary) Church, Alton. He will be joined by other bishops and priests.
COLLINSVILLE — The women of Ss. Peter and Paul Parish in Collinsville will be putting the recently-constructed church gathering space to good use late this summer when they host their annual Women’s Day celebration.
This year’s event, “Miracles of our Faith,” will take place on Saturday, Aug. 26 from 8 a.m. through 1:30 p.m. in the newly-blessed fellowship hall in the basement of the gathering space, which is located at 207 Vandalia St. The main speaker at the event will be Catholic Radio hostess and award-winning author Elizabeth Ficocelli.
The National Council of Catholic Women (NCCW) recently sponsored a pilgrimage to Italy to visit holy sites and a papal audience.
Thirty-nine women (and a few husbands) from parishes across the United States participated in this historic pilgrimage.
Arriving in Venice, the group toured St. Mark’s Basilica to revere the remains of St. Mark and take a gondola ride that evening. On to the Basilica of St. Anthony in Padua, this gave the ladies an opportunity to light a candle in thanksgiving for good husbands or to find a good husband; a tradition of the Basilica.
QUINCY — The church record, its pages yellow and age-withered, at St. Peter Catholic Church in Brush Creek, Mo., documents that on April 1, 1854, Augustus Tolton was born. It reports the baby’s baptism nearly two months later on May 29. In a final note — enclosed in parentheses, the baby’s status was disclosed: (Slave of Stephen Elliott).
Born a slave and spirited by his mother, Martha, to freedom in 1862, the man that child became was honored by pilgrims in a procession and prayer service in Quincy on Sunday, July 9. It was the 120th anniversary of his death. Today, Father Augustus Tolton is on a path to sainthood in the church. His gift of joy as he endured a life of physical and emotional suffering — even in his own church — attracted the participants.
On July 10, Blessed Sacrament School in Springfield awarded prizes in in its second “Golf Balls from Heaven” raffle.
Father Jeff Grant, pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish, released the numbered golf balls from a helicopter over the driving range at Illini Country Club at approximately 6:45 p.m. Six hundred tickets, representing six hundred numbered golf balls, were sold for $50 each.
GODFREY — The Knights of Columbus Council 7804 and St. Ambrose Parish in Godfrey are hosting a presentation called “Fatima 2017: 100 Years Later, Mary’s Triumph, Our Hope, a Final Warning” on Saturday, Aug. 19. The event begins at 7 p.m., at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 1713 Stamper Lane in Godfrey.
High noon on June 28 brought hundreds of freedom-loving Catholics and non-Catholics to a citadel of secular power, the state capital building in Springfield, for a bold display of religious freedom. It was the midway point of Fortnight for Freedom, the yearly observance of religious freedom sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
QUINCY — Archer Daniels Midland Co. recently donated $2,000 through its “ADM Cares” program to the Ladies of Charity in Quincy. The donation will help provide high protein additions to the food baskets distributed by the organization.
“We find it increasingly difficult to keep up with the need for meat and other high protein foods,” said Jane Haas, president of Ladies of Charity of Quincy. “With the help of ‘ADM Cares,’ we have been able to meet these demands and greatly enhance the value and quality of the food we give.”
ST. LOUIS — The Ursulines of the Central Province installed a new leadership team during a blessing ceremony held June 2 in the provincial offices in St. Louis. Team members are Sister Rita Ann Bregenhorn, OSU, provincial; Sister Maria Teresa de Llano, OSU, councilor; and Sister Jean Hopman, OSU, councilor.
COLLINSVILLE — “There were struggles along the way and there were challenges for us as we began this journey of how we would face the reality of a highway and how it would affect our entrance,” said Father John Beveridge, pastor of Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Collinsville. “And we realized that the Lord was there all along the way telling us to take that next step, to be couragous, don’t be afraid, continue to open ourselves up to his grace, I am there for you always.”
At least 100 people were on hand on the afternoon of June 27, when HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Springfield broke ground on its new outpatient center for women and children that will house providers from SIU Medicine, HSHS Medical Group and St. John’s Hospital.
Those in attendance included leaders from all three of the places as well as several members of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis community, a number of physicians, personnel from varied areas of the hospital, Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder and others from the Springfield community.
On Saturday, May 27, Bishop Thomas John Paprocki will ordain four men to the priesthood for the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. The ordination Mass is set for 10:30 a.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield. As they finished up their years in the seminary and preparation for the priesthood Deacons Michael Friedel, Ronnie Lorilla, Rafal Pyrchla and Wayne Stock took time to share their thoughts on their upcoming ordinations.
The statement below was released within minutes after the May 10 Illinois Senate passage of House Bill 40 on behalf of the five Illinois Catholic bishops by the Catholic Conference of Illinois.
Regulars at the weekday 5:15 p.m. Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception are often joined by visitors to the Lincoln sites in the state capital. On May 16, they were also joined by an impressive array of state and local officials.
Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois began the annual Red Mass by welcoming among others, Gov. Bruce Rauner, Chief Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier, other Illinois Supreme Court justices, House Speaker Michael Madigan, members of the General Assembly and local civic leaders.
PORTLAND, Ore. — There are many issues pertaining to justice and mercy in relation to doctrine, canon law and pastoral practices regarding marriage and divorce that have arisen, said Bishop Paprocki, from two documents issued by Pope Francis: first, his Apostolic Letter, Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus, by which the canons of the Code of Canon Law pertaining to cases regarding the nullity of marriage were reformed, effective Dec. 8, 2015; second, his Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitae, on love in the family, issued March 19, 2016.
Women seeking no cost pregnancy testing and ultrasound, or low cost limited sexually-transmitted disease (STD) testing can now receive those services through a mobile medical unit (MMU), driven and parked around Springfield by First Step Women’s Center. A registered nurse sonographer is available to serve women, with no appointment required.
The Dominican Sisters of Springfield welcomed 28 new associates — and expressed gratitude to Sister Paul Mary Janssens, OP, who is leaving leadership of the program after 11 years of service — during Mass at Sacred Heart Convent Chapel on May 7. Sixteen associates are residents of the diocese. They hail from Springfield, Bluffs, Auburn, Jacksonville, Illiopolis and Pana. Other new associates are from around Illinois and Jackson, Miss., where the Dominican Sisters sponsor St. Dominic Health Services.
EDWARDSVILLE — “The Mass was a huge success!” reports Kelly Bonk in describing the first ever Mass in memory of miscarried babies on April 19.
“The numbers really surprised us,” said Bonk. “We had hoped to remember 10 babies and were shocked when we receieved the names of 60 to remember with candles and prayer cards.”
Bishop Thomas John Paprocki proclaimed May 20 as a “successful first session of our fourth diocesan synod.”
More than 220 parish delegates to the synod began the day in prayer with Bishop Paprocki. In his homily, Bishop Paprocki made clear who presents the major hurdle facing the synod.
“ … the evil one will try to prevent us from achieving our spiritual goals and growing in God’s grace. He will do this in subtle ways, not with a frontal assault, but through apathy, discouragement and fear.” The entire homily is available on the diocesan website www.dio.org and then click on Bishop Paprocki’s Homilies and Speeches.
Eliot Kapitan is tidying up his notoriously book-filled and paper-filled curia office as he retires after nearly 29 years of service to the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois.
A native of South Dakota, Kapitan is a graduate of Notre Dame Seminary and Graduate School of Theology in New Orleans, and is known professionally — and affectionately — for his strict attention to liturgical accuracy and detail.
The sixth annual Our Lady of Good Counsel Women of Distinction Award and Luncheon will be held Saturday, June 17, beginning with 10:30 a.m. Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield.
The event is hosted by the Springfield in Illinois Diocesan Council of Catholic Women (SDCCW). Each parish in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois is asked to select a “Woman of Distinction” to be recognized by Bishop Thomas John Paprocki during Mass. Following the Mass a recognition luncheon for honorees, family members, friends and parish priests will be held at the Sangamon Prairie Reception Center in Chatham.
EFFINGHAM — HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital’s Wound Healing Center has again been recognized nationally with two awards for its clinical excellence and patient satisfaction. The awards were presented by Healogics, the largest provider of advanced wound care services.
The Center recently received the Robert A. Warriner III, M.D. Center of Excellence Award, for meeting the highest quality standards for the sixth year in a row. The award is named for Warriner, a pioneer in wound care and the former chief medical officer for Healogics.
Aaron Puchbauer assumes the position of president and chief executive officer of HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital in Shelbyville on May 15. Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) announced his appointment last month.
“It has long been a goal of mine to serve in a rural hospital,” Puchbauer said. “I deeply believe in the faith-based mission of HSHS and look forward to the opportunity of serving at Good Shepherd Hospital.”
Acting on Pope Francis’ declaration of the Year of Mercy, the Franciscan Friars of the Sacred Heart Province have been collecting funds to dig wells in Africa. Remembering that one of the corporal works of mercy is to “give drink to the thirsty,” the friars decided to provide wells in areas where the Franciscans are serving, specifically in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and in South Sudan.
CHICAGO — The head of the public policy arm of the state’s Catholic bishops lamented Illinois House passage of legislation authorizing the use of taxpayer money to pay for elective abortions for Medicaid recipients and state employees.
Robert Gilligan, executive director of the Catholic Conference of Illinois, criticized lawmakers for turning a moral argument into campaign fodder. “Elected representatives today chose raw politics over the innocent lives of the unborn,” Gilligan said.
At the end of each school year, educators and catechists in parish schools and religious education programs in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois are honored for special service anniversaries.
Honorees for 2016-2017 receive a certificate. The catechist certificates are signed by Bishop Thomas John Paprocki and Christine Malmevik, director of the Office for Catechesis. Educator certificates are signed by Bishop Paprocki and Brandi Borries, superintendent for Catholic Schools. One-hundred thirty-nine certificates were issued.
“We appreciate and congratulate these dedicated catechists and teachers for their ministry of discipleship formation,” said Borries and Malmevik, in a joint statement. “We pray for God’s blessing on them always.”