Prayer, fasting, and almsgiving are the three tried and true ways that Christians have prepared for Easter over the centuries. When Ash Wednesday comes, we may feel overwhelmed or unprepared for this great spiritual season. Here are 10 tips for making this Lenten season a time of growth in holiness.
Student demand for Illinois’ tax credit scholarships is at an all-time high. This school year, 481 students in 30 schools across the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois received a scholarship to attend Catholic school thanks to $1,485,527 in generous donations.
Dive Deep, the official podcast of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, has launched season six. Several area priests join hosts Andrew Hansen, Amber Cerveny, and Father Chris House this season for several episodes as the crew covers topics ranging from Lent and the Gospel of Mark to free will and Fatima. Dive Deep is available on all the popular podcasting platforms. Go to dio.org/podcast to listen and subscribe so you never miss an episode.
June 6, 1944. Then 23-year-old Jasper Madonia joined 156,000 soldiers in one of the most heroic days in American military history — the Normandy landings, referred to as D-Day. The pivotal Battle of Normandy lasted from June to August and ultimately paved the way for the liberation of Europe from Nazi Germany during World War II.
Despite cold temperatures, more than 150 students and other lay Catholics from across the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois hit the streets of downtown Springfield to march for life Jan. 29, raising their voices for the voiceless and protesting unjust laws that attack the dignity of human life. Passing the Statehouse, Illinois Supreme Court building, and Governor’s Mansion, Bishop Thomas John Paprocki led the group in peacefully praying the rosary for an end to abortion and a greater respect for human life. This year marked the 48th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Jan. 22, 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.
If there was a mother who approached you and needed assistance, would you know where she could go for help? Mothers often devote themselves to their family and are ready to make sacrifices for their children. Yet, many expectant and parenting mothers face challenges such as: lack of support from the father, financial strains, and pressures from family and friends. Pregnant and parenting moms in need are in our parishes and in our communities. Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone in the parish community knew where a pregnant or parenting woman could find help?
Lent is the 40-day, penitential season of preparation for Easter. It begins on Ash Wednesday (Feb. 17) and ends with the paschal triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday, April 1-3). “Each year, through Mother Church, God gives us this joyful season when we prepare to celebrate the paschal mystery with mind and heart renewed … as we recall the great events that gave us new life in Christ,” Pope Francis said.
The Springfield Diocesan Council of Catholic Women (SDCCW) is offering four $500 scholarships to recognize outstanding Catholic female high school seniors. Applicants will be judged on how they exemplify the SDCCW’s mission values of leadership, faith, and service.
EFFINGHAM — Raymond A. “Bud” Probst, of Effingham, the father of Father R. Dean Probst of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, passed away on Dec. 7, at Lutheran Care Center in Altamont. He was 95 years old.
Raymond was born on March 31, 1925, in Island Grove, the son of Leo and Helen (Verdeyen) Probst. He married Gertrude M. Bloemer on July 12, 1947, and she preceded him in death on Oct. 31, 1992.
GODFREY — Two St. Ambrose School students were recently celebrated for being winners in the annual Missionary Childhood Association (MCA) national Christmas artwork contest. Mya Pickens and Kenzie Ingram were both recognized during an outdoor assembly when Donna Moore, director for Pro-Life, Missions and Special Ministries, visited the school a few weeks ago.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the March for Life pilgrimage will look a different this year. Tony Cerveny, the director of Youth and Sports Ministry and Sister M. Veritas Wilks, FSGM, the director of Youth and Women’s Ministry at the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, will be leading events in Washington, D.C., for the March for Life Jan. 28-29 for the people of our diocese.
Have you ever been asked to do something out of your comfort zone? Over five years ago, due to family adversity, my sister asked me if her then 14-year-old daughter Angela could move from Wisconsin to Springfield to live with me and attend high school in Springfield. I felt God tugging at my heart to accept this new challenge. Also, I did not want to arrive at heaven’s pearly gates and have God say, “I gave you an opportunity to help someone and you refused.” I knew this was the right thing to do. Of course, I reminded God that one of the reasons I did not get married and have children was because I did not want to raise a teenager. God had the last laugh on that idea.
Since 2015, the Billiken Teacher Corps (BTC) at Saint Louis University has placed new teachers in some of St. Louis’ hardest to staff Catholic schools. Beginning in 2021, the program will send teachers to St. Patrick Catholic School in Springfield. This is the first time the BTC has partnered with a school outside of the St. Louis metropolitan area.
With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, children are facing additional stress related to school, lack of sports and interaction with peers, and many new routines. Managing the stress and anxiety of so much change looks different for each child within each family.
There is a lot to learn about the spiritual life. There are different stages, types of prayer, virtues, and strategies for being Jesus’ disciples. However, we could condense being a disciple or saint simply to one word: Yes. To be a saint is to be one who constantly says “yes.” Conversely, rejecting God or his plan, sinning, or stepping off the path of discipleship could be condensed down to one word: No.
It’s a Saturday morning as rain pours down in Springfield. A steady wind and chillier than expected temperatures add to the misery outside. Yet there, on the corner of North Fifth and Carpenter streets, sits an elderly man with a sign: “Homeless. Anything helps.” You can hardly see his face as he tries to take some sort of cover while the rain is pelting him. Cars are driving by. No one is stopping. No one really looks. Help seems hopeless. It’s a Saturday morning as rain pours down in Springfield. A steady wind and chillier than expected temperatures add to the misery outside. Yet there, on the corner of North Fifth and Carpenter streets, sits an elderly man with a sign: “Homeless. Anything helps.” You can hardly see his face as he tries to take some sort of cover while the rain is pelting him. Cars are driving by. No one is stopping. No one really looks. Help seems hopeless.
A few years ago, I began praying for those in purgatory as I drove by any cemetery that I came upon. A series of, one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory Be prayers was a carryover from my days in the Knights of Columbus honor guards. We would do this series at every funeral wake we were asked to stand guard at. It was our way of a sendoff to a brother or sister. To me, it made a lot of sense to remember, that as Catholics, we believe that Jesus destroyed the power of death by his resurrection. As St. Paul states, “If then, we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him.”
Since the beginning of 2020, a wave of fear has swept across our nation and world as we have wrestled with the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, in the United States, a summer of turmoil regarding racial issues has added another layer of fear, anxiety, and frustration for many. Mix in the uncertainty of academic and social structures available to our children and that leaves many moms and dads fearful of what lies ahead for their families.
GODFREY — Bob Baird, the new principal of St. Ambrose School in Godfrey, says he is “very proud” of the parent community response to the school’s Saints Helping Heroes program, that recognizes and thanks local heroes with tokens of appreciation.
“This is a staff-led program that is organized by one of our PreK teachers, Lisa Jacobs,” Baird said. “The program was created last year to honor local firefighters and we have expanded this year to recognize and honor a group, organization, individual, or family each month.”