CHARLESTON — Deacons play an integral part in the life of our church. Whether it’s weddings, baptisms, reflecting on the Sunday readings, or providing spiritual advice and encouragement, the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois is blessed to have 56 permanent deacons ministering to the faithful.
These men are raising children, working full-time jobs, and staying present to their wives, all while serving the church. It can be a challenging lifestyle, but one every deacon says is rewarding and joyful.
After serving 63 years in Japan, a Hospital Sister of St. Francis has returned home to America and Springfield. Sister Elreda Huser, OSF, came to Springfield earlier this year to celebrate the 100th birthday of her sister, Sister Elvon Huser, OSF, in March. While she had intended to remain in the United States until September and then return to Japan, she has requested to remain here permanently.
On June 6, Bishop Thomas John Paprocki issued a decree barring Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton from receiving holy Communion in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois and advising all Illinois Catholic lawmakers who supported extreme abortion legislation to not present themselves to receive holy Communion. The decree came as these lawmakers showed obstinate and persistent support for promoting and advancing the evil of abortion.
EDWARDSVILLE — The Springfield Diocesan Council of Catholic Women (SDCCW) will hold its annual convention on Wednesday, Sept. 25. Different deaneries traditionally take turns hosting the event. This year the Alton deanery is hosting, so the convention will be at St. Boniface Church, 110 N. Buchanan in Edwardsville.
The Key Club at Sacred Heart-Griffin High School, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Springfield, has installed its new student officers for the 2019-2020 school year. Amanda Brown was installed as club president. Additional officers include Vice-President John Schmidt Jr., Secretary Anna Shea, Statistical Secretary Payton Nicoud and Treasurer Caroline Braud. The Key Club at Sacred Heart-Griffin High School, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Springfield, has installed its new student officers for the 2019-2020 school year. Amanda Brown was installed as club president. Additional officers include Vice-President John Schmidt Jr., Secretary Anna Shea, Statistical Secretary Payton Nicoud and Treasurer Caroline Braud.
As we celebrate Natural Family Planning (NFP) Awareness Week July 21-27, Catholic Times is highlighting the physical, spiritual, and psychological benefits of NFP, the health risks associated with birth control, and the reasons why the Catholic Church promotes NFP.
So, what is NFP? The United States Council of Catholic Bishops writes that NFP is an umbrella term for certain methods used to achieve and avoid pregnancies. These methods are based on observation of the naturally occurring signs and symptoms of the fertile and infertile phases of a woman’s menstrual cycle. Couples using NFP to avoid pregnancy abstain from intercourse during the fertile phase of the woman’s cycle. No drugs, devices, or surgical procedures are used to avoid pregnancy.
Natural Family Planning (NFP) refers to the scientific, fertility-awareness based methods of — you guessed it — family planning. Unlike artificial contraception, NFP takes an all-inclusive approach and is proven to work better than its synthetic counterparts.
On July 21, Chris Malmevik, the director of the Office for Catechesis, will observe her 25th anniversary at the Springfield Catholic Pastoral Center. The very next day she will begin her retirement, bidding farewell to friends in the Springfield office and in parishes throughout the diocese.
Although her titles have changed over the years, Malmevik, who is a member of St. Joseph Parish in Springfield, says she always has been responsible for faith formation and catechesis and all that they involve. It is something she understands well.
PEORIA ― A little more than a week after the mortal remains of Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen were transferred from St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City to St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria, on July 6, Pope Francis formally approved a miracle attributable to Archbishop Sheen’s intercession, paving the way for Archbishop Sheen’s Beatification, which will grant him the new title of “Blessed.”
ALTON — The Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George will celebrate the first profession of a novice and the reception into the novitiate of three postulants during holy Mass at 10 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 2.
Bishop Thomas John Paprocki will be the main celebrant of the Mass, held at St. Mary Church in Alton. He will be joined by several bishops and local and visiting priests.
Collinsville — The ladies of Ss. Peter and Paul Parish in Collinsville invite you to Women’s Day 2019: “Prove it, God! And he did.” The event will be held Saturday, Aug. 10 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the parish fellowship hall, 207 Vandalia in Collinsville.
Nationally known speaker Patty Schneier will be on hand to describe her journey of discovery, repentance and renewal. The presentation will be enlivened by the strong sense of God’s presence, the power of his Word, and the amazing way he worked to bring a “cafeteria Catholic” to conversion. Through song, Scripture, and journal writing, Schneier will share the story of her challenge to God and his daily response.
An eight-week crash course in learning the Italian language. That’s what seminarians at the Pontifical North American College in Rome go through before they start attending classes in the “Eternal City.” Those classes are taught in Italian. While it is a daunting task to learn a new language in a new city so quickly, for seminarians from the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, it’s worth the stress to be chosen to study among the saints in Rome.
How you can help build a home for someone in need?
When you think of the tools you need to be a disciple, do you think of a hammer or saw? Yes, being a disciple can require labor, hard work, and even a little sweat. This fall, you are called to be an active disciple with your mmer, saw, sweat, and all! That’s because parishes from the Springfield deanery are coming together and partnering with Habitat for Humanity of Sangamon County for a Catholic Build.
For Quincy native Father Peter Harman, there are plenty of perks of living full-time in Rome: the food, culture, history, and architecture for starters. Then, there is living within a five-minute walk of St. Peter’s Basilica, not to mention living among the saints, in the heart of the church universal. That said, there is still no place like home.
The ceiling of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield is inspired from the ceiling of St. Mary Major in Rome, a papal basilica that houses a spectacular and large piece of the Holy Crib, where Jesus lay after his birth in Bethlehem.
Ashley (Puglia) Noronha’s mantra is to live in the present and to simply follow God’s plan. Little did she know, that plan was for a world-wide adventure. After attending Springfield’s Christ the King School and graduating from Sacred Heart-Griffin High School in 1992, she went off to the University of Dayton in Ohio. While working in the world of marketing in Milwaukee after college, she received a master’s in theology.
Springfield — As part of Religious Freedom Week (June 22-30), the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois is hosting Denise Burke, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, to discuss the issue of religious freedom, current attacks on this fundamental right, how people can fight back, and victories in the courts.
St. John’s College of Nursing in Springfield will begin a Nursing Preparatory Pipeline Program (NP3) this fall for high school students. The program will give participants a sneak peek into the nursing profession and will provide them with early mentors within the Springfield nursing community.
Rome – Father Augustine Tolton of Quincy, the nation’s first black priest and once a slave, was proclaimed “Venerable” by Pope Francis, making Father Tolton one step closer to being declared a saint by the Catholic Church.
Now that Father Tolton has been declared Venerable, the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois is exploring having a shrine to honor Venerable Father Tolton. One possible location could be the now-closed St. Boniface Church in Quincy. An announcement on that could come later this year.
Quincy — Area Catholics and others devoted to Servant of God Father Augustine Tolton will commemorate the 122nd anniversary of his death with a pilgrimage procession on Saturday, July 6.
Father Tolton, the nation’s first black priest, died in 1897 and is interred in St. Peter Cemetery in Quincy, where he was raised and from where he left to study for the priesthood in Rome. He returned to Quincy as a priest in 1886 and ministered in the Gem City until he left for Chicago in 1889. The cause for the canonization of Father Tolton is under way.
The Black Catholic Commission of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois is hosting a workshop focusing on the life and impact of black people in the Bible. Sister Addie Walker, SSND, director of Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas, will conduct the workshop at The Villa Maria Catholic Life Center in Springfield at 1903 E Lake Shore Drive on Lake Springfield.
CALHOUN COUNTY — Getting around Calhoun County, must less the region, has been a lesson in patience for the residents there, as flood waters have wreaked havoc on several communities along the Illinois River. For weeks, there has been one way in and one way out, by car. A drive from Hardin to Alton usually takes less than an hour. Now, it takes three to four with the Joe Page Bridge in Hardin closed. During the Great Flood of 1993, it took four months for that bridge to reopen.
GRAFTON — Heavy rains this spring have caused the Mississippi River to flood, reaching near record levels, and wreaking havoc for communities along the river. In Grafton, the inside of St. Patrick Catholic Church is currently under a couple of feet of water. Parishioners and community members worked tirelessly May 29 and 30 to build scaffolding and lifted pews, the altar, and other items to the choir loft to keep those items dry. The scene was reminiscent of the Great Flood of 1993, shown here on the cover of Catholic Times that summer.
Boys and girls ages 7 through 17 interested in beefing up their hockey skills and boosting their spiritual lives at the same time are encouraged to register for the Catholic Hockey Camp, coming to the Nelson Center in Springfield June 17-19.
Players will learn hockey skills, techniques, strategy and receive leadership development from several experts in the sport, including Christopher and Richard Gomez, brothers who played on the University of Illinois Illini club hockey team and Tim Healy, who played college hockey at St. Norbert College. Off-ice activities include daily Mass, faith and motivational talks, eucharistic adoration, opportunities for confession, and daily rosary walks.
QUINCY — On May 5, the Secular Order of the Discalced Carmelite group of St. Joseph, Faithful Guardian of Carmel of Quincy, celebrated the clothing of two of their members in a ceremony presided over by their spiritual assistant, Father Arnaud Devillers, FSSP, of St Rose of Lima Parish, Quincy. They are Katherine Rehmsmeyer of Hannibal, Mo., and Mary Voorhis of Quincy.QUINCY — On May 5, the Secular Order of the Discalced Carmelite group of St. Joseph, Faithful Guardian of Carmel of Quincy, celebrated the clothing of two of their members in a ceremony presided over by their spiritual assistant, Father Arnaud Devillers, FSSP, of St Rose of Lima Parish, Quincy. They are Katherine Rehmsmeyer of Hannibal, Mo., and Mary Voorhis of Quincy.
Sixteen Illinois residents, including 11 from the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, made their formal commitment as associates of the Dominican Sisters of Springfield during a ceremony at Sacred Heart Convent on May 5.
They recently completed a nine-month program of formation in Dominican life, history, spirituality and mission provided by the Dominican Sisters for Christian women and men since 1990.
Seventy-three women from throughout the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois were honored as “Women of Distinction” at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception June 1 by Bishop Thomas John Paprocki. The annual award ceremony was followed by a luncheon at the Northfield Center where the ladies, their families, their parish priests, deanery spiritual advisors and the 2019 diocesan scholarship winners were celebrated.
In 2010, Danielle Loftus of Springfield was involved in a jet-ski accident that left her with a severe brain injury — unable to speak or eat and limited in her movement. Over the past nine years, the Loftus family, parishioners at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Springfield, have asked the community for prayers and relied on their faith and humor to care for Danielle, who is now 23. Catholic Times Editor Andrew Hansen sat down with the Loftus family, parents Lynell and Jeff, and their other daughters Taylor and Rachel, to talk about how Danielle is doing today, how prayers have helped, and how their faith and humor are the backbone of their family.
It’s a Wednesday morning on the campus of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE). For most college students, that means class, grabbing something to eat, or maybe sleeping in. But for dozens of Catholic students, it means praying the rosary and celebrating Mass on campus at the Fuller Dome.
“Mass on Wednesday is great because you get to recharge your faith life in the middle of the week, which is super awesome and helps me get through the week,” said Nick Berkenbile, a student from Edwardsville. “Confession, adoration, you name it, they have it.”
On April 28 the Dominican Sisters of Springfield capped a week of common study, prayer and contemplation — called a General Chapter — by electing to leadership the sisters who will animate their common life and mission for the coming five years. Earlier during the meeting, they signaled the direction for ministry for the coming five years by affirming A Prayer for the Life of the World.
Re-elected as prioress general of the congregation is Sister Rebecca Ann Gemma, OP, who has led the Springfield Dominican Sisters during the 2014-2019 term. Sister Rose Miriam Schulte, OP, was elected as vicaress, and Sisters Mila Diaz Solano, OP, and Marie Michelle Hackett, OP, will serve as second and third councilors.