When members of the Class of 2020 began the school year last August, they never could have foreseen how their high school days would end. However, with the resilience of youth, the devotion of their teachers and principals, and a lot of faith, they made it through the tough time that was COVID-19, spending the last quarter of high school, not sitting in a classroom, but learning from home.
For the most part, teachers had only a few days to get ready to teach online. It could not have been easy, but Alaina Cribbett of Marquette Catholic High School in Alton, says she felt teachers were up for the challenge. “Most of the teachers had something set up beforehand, so we pretty much immediately went right into it,” she said. “For classes we did almost all Google Classroom, but the meetings were on Zoom.”
The Springfield Diocesan Council of Catholic Woman (SDCCW) recently announced the names of four young women from the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois who each were awarded a $500 scholarship.
“What a wonderful group of young women we have in our diocese,” said Myrna McKee, chair of the SDCCW scholarship committee. “In all, 71 young women applied for the scholarships and they were all winners: scholars, musicians, artists, talented athlete, active in church, schools and community, loving daughters and sisters. They are the future of the Catholic Church and are already disciples of Jesus. We offer congratulations to the four winners who joyfully represent our holy, Catholic youth.”
The Glory Be prayer is hundreds of years old. The author did not know that the world will end when the sun goes nova in a few billion years, reducing earth to a burnt-out cinder. The last line is “world without end.” Why don’t they change it to maybe “heaven without end”?
— Tom in Granite City
In the Creed we recite, “He rose again from the dead.” This seems to indicate that he rose before? Can you clarify?
— David in Jacksonville
The killing of George Floyd has caused upheaval across the nation. Racism and discrimination have been tolerated for too long and have infected all areas of American society. Grappling with these injustices is a difficult, necessary process. Peaceful demonstrations are rightfully drawing attention to these issues. However, some interlopers are exploiting protests by instigating havoc, which distracts attention away from the important issues at hand.
These protests are different; they have cut across all segments of society. More white people are protesting side-by-side with their black brothers and sisters than before. People of all generations are speaking out in a united voice, exposing the racism and discrimination infecting our country. Nations across the world have joined in solidarity, protesting these injustices. People are more open and vocal than ever regarding their views and support for the black community than in the past. This is refreshing and needed.
The discriminatory treatment that people of color experience can no longer be denied. Technology has brought to the surface the disparaging treatment of blacks. The world now sees, and our country is finally acknowledging the disparate treatment and frequent violent acts against people of color. Although this may be an uncomfortable realization, we must recognize and confront racism rather than sweep it under the rug until the next unjust action.
The sacredness of life is the upmost priority of the Catholic Church. The Bishops of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) have condemned the killing of George Floyd and call us to stand up to work to reform structures that extinguish the equal dignity of all people. We cannot profess respect for life while ignoring the pervasiveness of racism. We have a responsibility to respond and speak out against actions that are antithetical to the Gospel of Life.
We can begin our efforts by praying, learning, and taking action. Pray for peace, justice, and an end to racism. Learn about racism. Read Open Wide Our Hearts, a pastoral letter written by the USCCB. Discuss it with others. Come together with those of differing backgrounds and seek an understanding of one another. Join organizations that support people of color. Exercise faithful citizenship by voting. Be the agent against hatred and division. This is how we bring about change.
Prayers are offered for the repose of the soul of George Floyd and to his family, as well as to all affected by the current events. May there be peace.
This article was collaboratively written by members of the diocesan Black Catholic Commission: Gale Borders, Frida Fokum, Donna Moore, Renee Saunches, Lorna Simon, and Carmen White.
Sister Mary Frances Lutty, OSF, 98, of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, died on May 30 at St. Francis Convent in Springfield.
Sister Mary Frances, the former Anna May Lutty, was born in Pittsburgh on July 26, 1921, the daughter of Frank F. and Josephine M. Fichter Lutty. She entered the congregation on Feb. 2, 1950 and professed her religious vows on Oct. 4, 1952.
Sister Rose Duchesne Noelke, OSF, 100, of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, died on May 30, at St. Francis Convent, Springfield.
Sister Rose Duchesne, the former Leona Mary Noelke, was born in Washington, Mo., on April 22, 1920, the daughter of the late Henry and Rose Barbara Gerritson Noelke. She entered the congregation on Sept. 23, 1949 and professed her religious vows on June 13, 1952.
Student demand for Illinois’ tax credit scholarship is at all-time high. This past school year, 377 students in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois received scholarships valued at $1,073,290.31 thanks to generous donations to Illinois’ tax credit scholarship program. When you learn, however, that 1,326 students in our diocese applied, it’s clear the demand is far exceeding the supply.
Can Catholics practice yoga?
— Tessie in Effingham
I suspect that many of us, although we are finding plenty to keep us occupied during our time at home, are coming up with lists of things we want to do when it will be possible to circulate socially again.