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  • Why do I have to go to a priest for God to forgive my sins? Why can’t I just tell God directly?

    Why do I have to go to a priest for God to forgive my sins? Why can’t I just tell God directly? One of Jesus’ key ministries was the forgiveness of sins, something He often associated with simultaneous miracles of physical healing. See Lk 5:17-26, where Jesus forgives the paralytic his sins, and then heals his paralysis. Every time He forgave, Jesus personally, intimately, and life-changingly encountered the person suffering from their sins, and this is something He wants to do for us as well! By His death and resurrection, Christ has redeemed us, conquering sin and death, and He wanted this healing and forgiving ministry to continue, so he entrusted it to the Apostles and consequently, to the Church.  One Scripture Read More
  • It has been a long time since I have been to confession. Before I even go, what should I do first?

    It has been a long time since I have been to confession. Before I even go, what should I do first?  From my experience as a confessor and one who also goes to confession regularly, a good preparation before confession is the key to making a good confession. Think about any time you have had to have a serious conversation with somebody, especially one that might be difficult. There is no way you would go into that conversation unprepared. The anxiety of the situation could seriously compromise your ability to get your points across. But, if you prepare ahead of time, even though the nerves are there, you will be in a much better position to communicate your message.  We all Read More
  • Going to confession. A step-by-step instruction

    Going to confession. A step-by-step instruction 1. PREPARATION: Before going to confession, take some time to prepare. Begin with prayer asking the Holy Spirit to shine His light into your heart. Ask that you can see yourself, and your life, since your last confession as He sees you. Then ask yourself whether you have — in your thoughts, words, and actions — neglected to live Christ’s commands to “love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind,” and to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Mt 22:37, 39)?  As a help with this examination of conscience, you might review the Read More
  • ‘Burden lifted.’ Three things to keep in mind that can help alleviate your fear of going to confession

    ‘Burden lifted.’ Three things to keep in mind that can help alleviate your fear of going to confession  My sophomore year of college, a fraternity buddy invited me to a retreat, and I begrudgingly said “yes.” I am really glad I went, because I went to confession for the first time in a long time. After confessing all my sins and by the grace of God holding nothing back, I remember a brief silence. Was the priest mad? Was he going to tell me I should leave the retreat? I still remember looking up and him smiling, then he said, “Burden lifted” and offered me penance and absolution. That encounter with God’s mercy changed the whole direction of Read More
  • I am discouraged that I confess the same sins over and over when I go to confession. What advice do you have for me?

    I am discouraged that I confess the same sins over and over when I go to confession. What advice do you have for me? First, we look for God’s grace. As sin tends to shame us into silence and then convince us to quit the spiritual struggle altogether, that you acknowledge discouragement and ask for help prove God is already subverting the cycle of sin you mention.  Second, it is vital we familiarize ourselves with our ascetic tradition. By closely reading the Scriptures and vigilantly observing the human person, the Church has developed means to accurately diagnose and interrupt the progress of temptation.  For example, early Christian ascetics identified five progressive stages of evil as well as possible remedies to halt their advancement. Memorizing Read More
  • A view from the other side of the screen. What priests think when hearing a confession

    A view from the other side of the screen. What priests think when hearing a confession  I had been a priest for a very short time when I was in the old-style confessional on a Saturday afternoon. A young family came in and the mother and the father went into the two side doors. Their young son, who had received his first Communion recently, not knowing quite what the procedure was, opened the middle door. And there I was! We began the ritual, and I was overwhelmed by his childlike innocence and complete trust in God’s mercy and love. That child opened my heart to love this sacrament more than ever.  The Father invites us to Read More
  • I am ready to go to confession! Where can I go?

    I am ready to go to confession! Where can I go? Remember, you can always call a parish and schedule your confession with a priest if these days and times do not fit your schedule. SPRINGFIELD  Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception  Sunday, 4-4:45 p.m.  Monday-Friday, 4:15-5 p.m.  Saturday, 9-10 a.m., 2:30-3:30 p.m.    Blessed Sacrament  Monday-Friday, 7:30-7:45 a.m.  Saturday, 7:30 a.m.- 7:45 a.m., 3-4 p.m.    Christ the King  Sunday, 4-4:45 p.m.  Monday-Friday, 6:30 a.m.-6:50 a.m. Wednesday, 5-5:45 p.m.  Saturday, 3-4 p.m.    Little Flower  Saturday, 3:30-4:30 p.m.    St. Agnes  Saturday, 3-4 p.m.    St. Aloysius  Saturday, 3:30-4 p.m.    St. Joseph  Saturday, 3:15-4 p.m.    St. Katharine Drexel (Sacred Read More
  • Can you please explain the suffering servant from the book of Isaiah?

    Can you please explain the suffering servant from the book of Isaiah? Can you please explain the suffering servant from the book of Isaiah?Pat in Ramsey “The suffering servant” is a famous passage from Isaiah 53, which theologians claim is a messianic prophecy about Jesus. It talks about the suffering this “servant” will endure, however, to get the full picture, you need to look at four Songs of the Servant of the Lord.  The four Songs of the Servant of the Lord (Is 42:1-9; Is 49:1-7; Is 50:4-11; Is 52:13-53:12) describe the mysterious figure of the “Servant of God” who in some respects resembles Israel — the Servant of the Lord from many Read More
  • Founder of HSHS Passes Away

    Founder of HSHS Passes Away A Cinderella story of a visionary who went from the kitchen to the board room Sister Marianna Kosior, OSF, age 99, passed away on Dec. 11, 2021 at St. Francis Convent, Springfield. Sister Marianna was the founder of Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS), a multi-institutional health care system in 14 communities in Illinois and Wisconsin with 15 hospitals, health centers and clinics, physician partners, and colleagues. In the early 1970s, “Sister Marianna found herself responsible for 12 Catholic hospitals at a time of considerable flux in sponsorship and organizational arrangements within Catholic health care,” said Sister Jomary Trstensky, OSF, chair, Read More
  • Three things you didn't know about Christmas

    Three things you didn't know about Christmas By DAVID BERTAINASpecial to Catholic Times 1. Why is Dec. 25 the date for Christmas?  Matthew and Luke are the only two Gospels that mention the birth of Jesus Christ. Although they do not provide a clear date for Jesus’ birth in their narratives, they did leave implicit clues. As Christians began to be interested in celebrating Jesus’ birth as a special feast date annually, they used the Gospels to calculate Dec. 25 as the specific date for the Nativity.  In Luke 1:9, the Gospel author notes that Zechariah “was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, Read More
  • Hey, Father! What is the distinction between Venerables, Blesseds, and Saints?

    Hey, Father! What is the distinction between Venerables, Blesseds, and Saints? Laura in Springfield The titles of Venerable, Blessed, and Saint are given at various stages to those whom the Catholic Church is considering for canonization, the title of Saint, of course, being the last one. Once a local bishop receives permission from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome to investigate the life of a person who has died and who had a reputation for holiness, the title of Servant of God is given to the person. The bishop then begins a formal inquiry into the biography of the Servant of God to be certain he or she Read More
  • St. Francis Solanus - Quincy

    St. Francis Solanus - Quincy By ANDREW HANSENEditor  Founded by the Franciscan friars from Germany in 1860, St. Francis Solanus Parish in Quincy is rich in history and deeply Catholic. The church, built in 1885, is home to beautiful statues, gorgeously colored Stations of the Cross, a towering ceiling that makes you look up toward heaven, and a high altar unlike any in the diocese. “This church is so spectacularly built, so well appointed, and so beautiful,” said Father Steven Arisman, pastor. “They put so much effort into making sure it lasted and truly it has because all these years later, it is still standing.”  Read More
  • Christmas Mass Schedule

    Christmas Mass Schedule SPRINGFIELD  Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception Christmas Eve, 4 p.m., 7 p.m.;  Midnight; Christmas Day, 9 a.m.  Blessed Sacrament Parish Christmas Eve, 4:30 p.m., 8 p.m., 11 p.m.; Christmas Day, 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m. Christ the King Parish Christmas Eve, 4 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 10 p.m.; Christmas Day, 9:30 a.m. Little Flower Parish Christmas Eve, 4:30 p.m., 10 p.m.; Christmas Day, 9 a.m. St. Agnes Parish Christmas Eve, 4:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m.; Christmas Day, 10 a.m. St. Aloysius Parish Christmas Eve, 4:30 p.m.; Midnight; Christmas Day, 7 a.m. St. Francis Cabrini Parish Christmas Eve, 7 p.m.; Christmas Day, 9:30 a.m. Read More
  • What happens when we dip our fingers in holy water and make the Sign of the Cross?

    What happens when we dip our fingers in holy water and make the Sign of the Cross? There are a couple of things that happen. First, we are reminded of our baptism. The blessed water, which fills the baptismal fount, calls to mind for us that we were immersed in water or had water poured over our head as infants or perhaps as adults when we came into full communion with the Church at the Easter Vigil, in the case of non-baptized persons.  We recite the doxology, the holy names of the persons of the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to remind us that we were baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity. We Read More
  • Beauty Series - St. Patrick in Decatur

    Beauty Series - St. Patrick in Decatur By ANDREW HANSENEditor In 1908, St. Patrick Catholic Church in Decatur opened to feelings of awe and glory. Today, its splendor continues to radiate and makes people look around in amazement.  “The moment you walk into the church, you are drawn to how massive it is, how high the ceiling is, how wide the transepts are,” said Father Chris Comerford, pastor. “Everyone who comes looks up and takes it all in, and it gives you that sense of ‘wow.’ It is a great way of being drawn into the immensity of God too.”  In 1908, the church, located on Eldorado Read More
  • Twice blessed! Several diocesan priests remember growing up as twins

    Twice blessed! Several diocesan priests remember growing up as twins By DIANE SCHLINDWEINManaging Editor Just before Christmas, people who are twins celebrate National Twins Day on Dec. 18. It is estimated that 1 in 250 pregnancies will naturally result in twins, which makes being a twin rather unique.  In the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, several priests grew up with a twin, including Father Brian Alford, Father Dean Probst, Father Rafal Pyrchla, Father Dominic Rankin, and Father Michael Trummer. Interestingly, all these priests have a fraternal twin and all but Father Pyrchla have twin sisters. Many people know that Father Michael Trummer has a brother very close to his age Read More
  • Hey, Father! What can you say about people who leave Mass after the final blessing, but before the priest processes down the aisle and into the vestibule?

    Hey, Father! What can you say about people who leave Mass after the final blessing, but before the priest processes down the aisle and into the vestibule? Hey, Father! What can you say about people who leave Mass after the final blessing, but before the priest processes down the aisle and into the vestibule?Phil in Maryville  On one level, the Mass has technically ended. So, on one level, it is good that people are at least waiting for the final blessing to be over. It is better than leaving even earlier. With that being said, the priest processing out and everyone singing the recessional hymn is part of the Mass, at least in a loose and practical sense.   I guess the question is: What is the reason people Read More
  • St. Elizabeth Parish in Granite City celebrates 150 years

    St. Elizabeth Parish in Granite City celebrates 150 years By ANDREW HANSEN  Editor  GRANITE CITY — Three separate churches, two different cities, one parish. St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish in Granite City has a rich history in our diocese, and this year marks their 150th anniversary.  The parish began with farm families that lived in the area in what is now Madison County. About 20 families gathered in a house in 1870 for the first Mass. Seeing the need for a church, one was constructed in Mitchell for ,900 with the cornerstone laid on Oct. 7, 1871, the Feast of the Holy Rosary.  Fast forward to the 1950s and with the Read More
  • Grafton celebrates 150 years of Catholicism at St. Patrick Church

    By MARTHA CAREY Special to Catholic Times   GRAFTON — In Grafton, a small river city that is located at the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers, you will find St. Patrick Church. The arrival of Jacques Marquette, SJ (sometimes known as Pere) and his fellow explorers to the area in 1673 is significant to the town of Grafton and the Catholic community there: To the town because it marked the first recorded appearance of anyone in the Illinois territory. To the church because these men were Catholics, one of them, Marquette, a Jesuit missionary priest. On Dec. 8, 2021, St Patrick Read More
  • Ten ways to make your Advent more joyful

    Ten ways to make your Advent more joyful By FATHER DOMINIC VAHLING Special to Catholic Times   Rejoice! This word echoes throughout our churches and in our hearts as we sing the Advent song, O Come, O Come, Emmanuel. Follow these 10 tips for a more joyful Advent.  Don’t miss the season — Stores and radio stations have been playing Christmas music since Nov. 26, but Advent should not be skipped. Advent increases our desire and longing for the coming of the Savior.  Listen to Advent music — We have a rich tradition of Advent hymnody. Look up songs such as, O, Come Divine Messiah, On Jordan’s Bank, Come, Thou Long Expected Read More
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