Diocesan Life Articles

  • Religious order sisters celebrate milestone years of service

    Catholic Times is pleased to recognize the following religious order sisters who have lived in or served in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois and are celebrating a significant jubilee in 2019. The following biographies were compiled from information submitted for publication by the religious orders.   Read More
  • Father Tracy is new chaplain for Illinois Army National Guard

    Father Tracy is new chaplain for  Illinois Army National Guard The Illinois Army National Guard officially has a Catholic chaplain to serve the men and women who serve our country. Father Mark Tracy of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois was officially sworn in as a commissioned officer during a swearing-in ceremony April 29 at Camp Lincoln in Springfield.   Read More
  • Diocese honors educators and catechists for years of service

    At the end of each school year, catechists in parish school of religion (PSR) programs and teachers in Catholic schools in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois are honored for special service anniversaries. Honorees for 2018-2019 receive a certificate. The catechist certificates are signed by Bishop Thomas John Paprocki and Christine Malmevik, director of the Office for Catechesis. Teacher certificates are signed by Bishop Paprocki and Brandi Borries, superintendent for Catholic Schools. Overall, 146 certificates were issued. Catechists Ashland St. Augustine Parish Troy Smith, 5 years Beardstown St. Alexius Parish Alejandra Borjas, 10 years Camerina Castro, 10 years Blincia C. Read More
  • Literacy tutors sought for reading impaired inmate students

    At Mass we hear verses like Matthew 25:36: “I was in prison and you visited me” and Luke 4:18: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives … .” Have you been waiting for an invitation? The Diocese of Springfield in Illinois has been asked to partner with the Lutheran Social Services of Illinois, in expanding a correctional literacy program throughout our diocese. The SOARING Inmates Helping Inmates (SIHI) program assists offenders helping other offenders to read at a higher Read More
  • Defending the truth: the facts the media doesn’t report

    If you turned on the news or opened a paper a few weeks ago, you may have seen some jarring headlines about a new report that includes nearly 400 “abuser priests” from the state of Illinois. The news stemmed from a Chicago press conference by Jeff Anderson, a Minnesota-based litigator, who issued his “Anderson Report,” which lists names of accused priests ― names of priests that are already publicly available. So, what was new about his report? Nothing. Unfortunately, the media bought it. Worse, media reports failed to recognize some glaring admissions by Anderson. Read More
  • Woman of Distinction event set for June

    The eighth annual Woman of Distinction Mass and banquet will be held Saturday, June 1. This event is hosted by the Springfield Diocesan Council of Catholic Women. Each parish in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois is asked to select an honoree in appreciation for their leadership and service to church and community. The celebration begins with 10 a.m. Mass, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield. The honored women will be presented a certificate by Bishop Thomas John Paprocki and recognized at Mass. Read More
  • Way of the Cross to be held Good Friday

    The annual Good Friday Way of the Cross for Peace and Justice will be held on April 19, beginning at noon at the Supreme Court Building at 2nd and Capitol. The 90-minute prayerful walk remembers Jesus’ passion and its connection with the sufferings of injustice experienced by God’s people in our world today. Join with others in this ecumenical experience of prayer. Read More
  • Remembering St. Teresa teacher

    Remembering St. Teresa teacher Joan Biebel would introduce herself with an instruction about how to say her last name. She would say, “It’s like Justin Bieber with an L instead of an R.” She would then proudly state, “I was the original J Biebs,” with a chuckle and smile. Mrs. Biebel just came to St. Teresa High School in Decatur in August of 2018. She poured herself out to others whether it was a kind smile, an encouraging word, or an offer to help. The real place of impact that Mrs. Biebel had was on retreats, like Kairos. She had an ability to make Read More
  • What is the Protecting God’s Children program and why do we need it?

    April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time to build heightened awareness to prevent child sexual abuse. Christ calls upon each of his followers to protect everyone, especially our children and most vulnerable, from harm. When it comes to preventing child sexual abuse, we must first know the facts: The statistics of this atrocious crime are overwhelming. Each of us must keep our eyes and ears open to identify dangers to children. To recognize and stop child sexual abuse, screening and education through training is critical. Faith-based trainings that are true to the teachings of the Catholic Church are Read More
  • Candidates, catechumens take part in special liturgy

    Candidates, catechumens take part in special liturgy On the weekend of March 9-10, which was the first weekend of Lent, 247 people came to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield to take part in the Rite of Election and the Call to Continuing Conversion. That number included 103 catechumens, 45 uncatechized Catholic candidates and 99 baptized Christian candidates. They were accompanied by priests, deacons, RCIA leaders, sponsors, godparents, families and friends who traveled with them.   Read More
  • Funeral Mass celebrated for mother of Bishop Paprocki

    Funeral Mass celebrated for mother of Bishop Paprocki Veronica Mary Paprocki, the mother of Bishop Thomas John Paprocki, bishop the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, passed away on March 13, in Chicago. She was 91 years old. She was beloved wife of the late John H. Paprocki Jr.; loving mother to Ramona (Joseph) Bellino, James (Candace) Janda, Bishop Thomas John, Edward (Lori) Ashe, John L. (Michelle), Ronald (Carol), Joseph (Joanne), Allen (Kim), and Ann (Robert) Dickmann; cherished grandmother of 17; proud great-grandmother of 14; fond aunt of many nieces and nephews; dear sister to the late Florence Osuch, Raymond Bonat, and Eugene Bonat; sister-in-law to Marian Jacobs, Roseann Read More
  • A Mother's Love ... What it is like to raise a priest

    A Mother's Love ... What it is like to raise a priest Mothers are the beating heart of a family and the backbone of society. They are also the reason for our priests in more ways than one. Catholic Times Editor Andrew Hansen spoke with two mothers of young priests in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois about what it’s like being the parent of a priest, what they saw in them at a young age, and advice they have for other mothers with young boys.   Read More
  • Capitol shut down due to large pro-life crowd

    Something that hasn’t occurred in years at the Statehouse happened March 20: The building was temporarily shut down – no one was allowed in. That’s because the Statehouse was at capacity due to the thousands of people from across the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois and other dioceses in the state advocating and rallying for life inside. Read More
  • Encountering Jesus at SEEK Conference

    Encountering Jesus at SEEK Conference The SEEK Conference, held in Indianapolis from Jan. 3-7, was all about encountering something more. It was about encountering Jesus. The conference was hosted by FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, and offered so many amazing opportunities for college-aged Catholics. Every day included Mass, dynamic speakers, the opportunity for adoration and confession, and exploring the church deeper through many different vendors.   Read More
  • Sanctity of life is universal argument for a safe environment

    When I worked in Rome for the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, the Commission received permission from the Holy Father to have episcopal conferences celebrate a National Day of Prayer for the victims/survivors of sexual abuse. Upon sharing this powerful healing opportunity, some responded saying the problem of sexual abuse did not exist in their country and having such a day of prayer would cause shame. Since sexual abuse exists everywhere, in every corner of the world, with the rich, the poor, the highly educated, the illiterate, the young and old alike, I personally felt a strong argument Read More
  • SDCCW to hold Lenten retreat

    What is your Passion? All women are invited to attend the 2019 Springfield Diocesan Council of Catholic Women Lenten retreat April 2-3 at Villa Maria Catholic Life Center on Lake Springfield. Presenters at the retreat are Father Michael Friedel, spiritual advisor of SDCCW and parochial vicar at Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, and Marlene Mulford, retired director of Communications for the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois and spiritual director to women. Read More
  • HSHS at 40

    HSHS at 40 Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) is commemorating the 40th anniversary of its incorporation, which took place on Dec. 26, 1978. Recently, a celebration was held at the System Services Center in Springfield, to recognize the vision and leadership of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis and the historic milestone.Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) is commemorating the 40th anniversary of its incorporation, which took place on Dec. 26, 1978. Recently, a celebration was held at the System Services Center in Springfield, to recognize the vision and leadership of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis and the historic milestone.   Read More
  • Praying for the unborn during these 40 days

    Lent is meant to be a time of prayer and penance and for many members of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois this Lent will also be a time to use those 40 days to stand up for life.   Read More
  • Community proves what prayer can accomplish

    In Effingham, a 40-Day Prayer Campaign for Life has already seen great success. The campaign, originally co-lead by Loretta Koester (who was 86 years old at the time) and Valerie Kemme, was begun in January 2012. Since Koester’s death two years ago, Kemme has been the sole leader for the campaign. “Loretta passed away at the age of 91, but she co-led the campaign even in the months before she passed away,” says Kemme. “What an example of fortitude!” Read More
  • Hicks named new leader of HSHS St. Mary’s

    Hicks named new leader of HSHS St. Mary’s Michael Hicks has been named president and CEO of HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital in Decatur. He will begin serving in his role on April 1. Hicks comes to St. Mary’s after spending more than two decades with UChicago Medicine: Ingalls Memorial, a non-for-profit in the Chicago area. He most recently served as the senior vice president and chief operating officer. Hicks is a hospital executive with a proven track record in inpatient, outpatient and service line development. The first several years in his career were spent working in the healthcare sales field. Read More
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