Diocesan Life Articles

  • Called and sent: Six men ordained priests by Bishop Paprocki

    Called and sent: Six men ordained priests by Bishop Paprocki It was a joyous occasion at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception June 19 as Bishop Thomas John Paprocki ordained six men priests. The six were part of a class of eight, representing the largest class of new priests in our diocese since 1964. The priests will begin their first assignments July 1 in parishes across the diocese. Catholic Times asked each of the newly ordained why they chose the priesthood. Read More
  • Staying, studying at home unprecedented end of high school for Class of 2020

    Staying, studying at home unprecedented end of high school for Class of 2020 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 Read More
  • SDCCW announces scholarship winners

    SDCCW announces scholarship winners 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 0 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 Read More
  • Pure joy: Public Masses return in diocese

    Pure joy: Public Masses return in diocese Before 8 a.m. Sunday Mass even began at St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Chatham on June 7, a mother sat with her husband and children in one of the open pews, silently wiping away tears of emotion. A few minutes later, Father John Nolan greeted the people with a genuine, welcoming smile, telling parishioners he was reminded of the old rhyme: Here’s the church, and there’s the steeple. Open the doors and see all the people! “It is so good to see all of you, the people,” he said. Kira Scherschel came to Mass at St. Joseph the Worker Read More
  • Celebrating 10 Years

    Bishop Paprocki reflects on his decade leading the faithful in our diocese On April 20, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Bishop Thomas John Paprocki to be the ninth bishop of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. Then, on June 22, 2010, Bishop Paprocki was installed as bishop of our diocese during Mass by Cardinal Francis George, Metropolitan Archbishop of Chicago, at a packed Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield. Read More
  • Bishop Paprocki answers 10 questions from readers across diocese

    Catholic Times asked the people of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois to submit questions for Bishop Thomas John Paprocki to answer for his 10th anniversary of being named bishop of our diocese. Here are those questions with Bishop Paprocki’s answers: Read More
  • EIU’s Newman Center: Helping students grow in faith for 80 years

    EIU’s Newman Center: Helping students grow in faith for 80 years CHARLESTON — In 1939, Father Thomas Connolly and Dorothee Coleman had the vision to gather 13 students in her living room to form and shape a community that has grown and changed over these past 80 years. One constant amidst all these changes: inviting students, faculty, and staff into transforming relationships with Christ and one another. Milestone years like this one are an excellent occasion to pause and ask ourselves what kind of church and what kind of community do we want to be on the campus of Eastern Illinois University (EIU)? We catch a glimpse of this from a note left Read More
  • Chain reaction of fellowship

    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 Read More
  • Seed that was planted has blessed Brown family, diocese

    Seed that was planted has blessed Brown family, diocese This year, an aunt and her niece will observe the anniversary of their profession of vows as members of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis. Sister Leola Brown, OSF, will observe 80 years of profession while Sister Ritamary Brown, OSF, her niece, will observe 60 years of profession. “Sister Leola, my aunt, and I are the products of faith-filled Irish Catholics,” Sister Ritamary said. “Throughout our lives, we were melded by strong traditions: May altars, family rosary during Lent, prayers before meals and bed time, and intercessory prayers for people in need. Having shared family experiences has given us deep pillars for our Read More
  • Religious Freedom Week to feature critical updates from Statehouse, local doctor

    Religious Freedom Week to feature critical updates from Statehouse, local doctor Join the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois as we celebrate and promote our religious liberties. Religious Freedom Week is June 22-June 29, and the diocese will host speakers on its online platforms to discuss religious freedom, what issues will be coming to the forefront, and what you can do to fight back. Read More
  • Message from diocesan superintendent of schools regarding next school year

    When our schools began last fall, no one could have anticipated how they would end this spring. In spite of the unexpected circumstances we found ourselves in due to the COVID-19 virus, the Catholic schools in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois were still able to provide over 10,000 students with an exceptional faith-based education. Thanks to the tireless efforts of our administrators, teachers and school staff, our students and their families were able to stay connected and not miss a beat in the learning process. We are so grateful for their endless dedication to our students and their ability Read More
  • During pandemic, Mission Outreach shows global church mission in action

    During pandemic, Mission Outreach shows global church mission in action Forty-foot shipping containers, containing crucial medical supplies to help doctors and nurses, are on their way to Fiji, Liberia, Ghana, Pakistan, South Sudan, Nigeria, Bolivia, Uganda, Tanzania, Jamaica and Ethiopia, thanks to Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach. Founded in 2002 by the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis in Springfield — Mission Outreach packages and delivers medical supplies and equipment around the world, mostly to poorer countries. Since the pandemic broke out, activity has increased dramatically. Read More
  • Pleasant Plains food pantry assists rural clients

    Pleasant Plains food pantry assists rural clients PLEASANT PLAINS — Bill Mowder, a parishioner at St. Augustine Parish in Ashland, has found a significant calling in his retirement. As coordinator of Helping Hands Food Pantry in Pleasant Plains, he and other volunteers make sure that about 60 families a month get the food they need to survive and thrive. Read More
  • Raising kids is tough. Raising kids during a pandemic, even tougher

    Raising kids is tough. Raising kids during a pandemic, even tougher The coronavirus pandemic has brought stress to new levels for many families as parents try to balance working from home, completing schoolwork and countless Zoom meetings, keeping the children occupied all day, and staying on top of all the new government guidelines. Throw in the fact that even before the pandemic, raising children in a world full of secular temptations, was already a daunting task. Read More
  • Father Tracy prepares for basic training with Illinois National Guard

    Father Tracy prepares for basic training with Illinois National Guard EFFINGHAM — Father Mark Tracy, parochial vicar at St. Anthony Parish in Effingham and St. Mary Parish in Shumway, has already been preparing his body and mind before he heads off to complete basic training with the Illinois National Guard June 3 through Sept. 3. Over the past several months, he has been working out and running, even competing against students in a sit-up contest at St. Anthony Grade School during Catholic Schools Week. Read More
  • Covenant Network’s new Springfield station gets big signal boost

    Covenant Network’s new Springfield station gets big signal boost Will include locally produced Catholic content Catholics in and around the Springfield area are now more easily able to listen to Catholic radio programming provided by Covenant Network. On May 18, the St. Louis based Catholic radio network launched a full power FM station, 88.9 FM - WTTT, which will give listeners a stronger signal around the greater Springfield area. Read More
  • How you can help our students, receive a tax credit, and provide Catholic education

    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 125,073,290.31 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. Read More
  • ‘I know I am where I am supposed to be, and it was God who brought me here.’

    How Regina Villafuerte’s beautiful voice, amazing musical talents, and her trust in God brought her from Mexico to Effingham EFFINGHAM — If you were to make the drive between San Juan del Rio, in the State of Querétaro, in Mexico to Effingham, your journey would encompass 1,787 miles and it would take you 28 hours — without stopping. That’s how far away 29-year-old Regina Villafuerte is from where she was born. Villafuerte’s amazing journey from Mexico to Effingham can only be described as providential. Villafuerte has been the director of music at St. Anthony of Padua for about a year now (she Read More
  • A joyous occasion: Diocese officially has two new priests

    Before being ordained priests, Deacons Pawel Luczak and Piotr Kosk prostrate themselves before the altar at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield May 2 as a sign of humility and submission to God. Later in the Mass, the two were ordained priests by Bishop Thomas John Paprocki. “I believe that I am really chosen by God to be a priest,” Father Kosk said. “As a young man, I felt that this is the way I should follow. I know how important the work of priests is and how badly people need the sacraments and the maternal protection of Read More
  • Longtime diocesan employee passes away

    Longtime diocesan employee passes away Catherine A. “Cathy” Furkin, a longtime employee of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, died on April 27 at St. John’s Hospital. She retired in 2019 after 25 years of service. Over the years, she was secretary for the Office for Stewardship and Development and an executive assistant for the Office of the Chancellor and Pastoral Planning, the Office for Communications and Catholic Times. Read More
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