Visitors from Ohio were at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield one afternoon this summer, admiring the stained-glass windows and striking beauty of the church. They were also given a rare treat: beautiful organ music, filling the church with rich sounds. Little did they know it was a 14-year-old playing, who had just picked up the organ in February.
EDWARDSVILLE — On April 20, 2019, 42-year-old Deegee Kienstra of Edwardsville officially became Catholic, receiving three sacraments at the Easter Vigil at St. Mary Parish in Edwardsville: baptism, confirmation and Communion. The road to that powerful day is filled with moments where the Holy Spirit planted seeds of inspiration.
It became a spectacle in Springfield week after week this past summer as thousands of people packed the Knights of Columbus Hall on Springfield’s west side and other satellite locations, hoping to be the big winner in the Knights of Columbus Council 364’s Big Raffle, which grew to $625,000. This, after the fund had been growing for two years because week after week, the person selected never correctly picked the jackpot square. (The game originally started with 100 squares, and each week one would be eliminated until the jackpot square was correctly chosen.) Finally, last month, Cindi Fleischli’s ticket was drawn and she picked the jackpot square.
It was a unique energy inside the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield on Sept. 19 as 700 people, Catholics and non-Catholics, from across the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, came to give their lives a recharge. Chris Stefanick, a nationally known Catholic speaker, presented REBOOT!, an experience of learning how to better apply the beauty and genius of the Gospel to every aspect of life.
In the 1880s, Pope Leo XIII had just finished celebrating Mass when he stopped dead in his tracks and saw something that shook him to the core: A vision of demonic spirits, gathering on Rome, came alive before him. A further account says the pope also heard two voices, that of God and of Satan. Satan boasted to God that he could “destroy the church” but asked God for 100 years and more power to do so. God responded, permitting it. After this vision, with a pale and fearful look, Pope Leo XIII immediately composed the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel and decreed that it be said after Masses throughout the world.
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.
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.”
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.
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.