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By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
August 18, 2016

ROCKFORD—The first Bishop of the Rockford Diocese, Peter J. Muldoon, invited the Poor Clare Colettine nuns here because he wanted “a beating heart of prayer to accompany and even to guide the work of the diocese,” said Bishop David Malloy at a Mass for the sisters 100 years later.

In his homily at Corpus Christi Monastery on the feast of St. Clare, Aug. 11, Bisho... Read More

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
August 18, 2016

ROCKFORD—The Department of Educational Services will undergo a three-part structural change this fall that also involves the Life and Family Evangelization (LiFE) Office.  

Effective Sept. 1, the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry will be moved from the education department to the LiFE Office.  

Michael Kagan, superintendent of Catholic Schools and... Read More

August 18, 2016

ROCKFORD—Msgr. William J. Clausen, STL, died Aug. 15 at Presence Cor Mariae Center, here, where he was a resident. He was 80 years old.

Msgr. Clausen was born on June 25, 1936, in Freeport, to John Thomas and Cecilia Margaret Pettit Clausen.

He attended St. Thomas Catholic High School in Rockford from 1950-1952 and Sacred Heart School in Geneva from 1953-1955.

... Read More
August 18, 2016

AURORA—A new reliquary display at St. Therese of Jesus in Aurora was blessed by Father Michael Miller, MSC, pastor, after the 4 p.m. Mass July 9.

For many years the church has had several relics but they were never on display. After the death of Ann Prisco in 2014, her family approached Father Miller about making donations to the parish in her honor, as well as honoring thei... Read More

August 18, 2016

Nick Doherty, now Brother Ignatius Pio Mariae, made his final vows as a Franciscan Friar of the Renewal on Aug. 7. Father John Paul Ouellette, received Brother Ignatius Pio Mariae Doherty’s perpetual vows.

A cousin to Bishop Timothy Doherty of the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana, he grew up in Holy Family Parish in Rockford.

He joined the Franciscan Friars of the ... Read More

August 18, 2016

Sister Anna Joseph Van Acker, OP, made her final profession of vows as a Dominican Sister of St. Cecilia Congregation in Nashville, Tenn., on July 25.

She was among nine young women who made their perpetual profession of the simple vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience as Dominican sisters. Sister Anna Joseph  is a former member of St. Patrick Parish in Aurora.

... Read More

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
August 11, 2016

ROCKFORD—Changes made to an Illinois law that protects health care providers from participating in morally-objectionable procedures such as abortion has some members of the pro-life community fighting the law, scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1.

But the head of the Illinois Catholic Church’s public policy arm says the original proposed changes “would have gutted&... Read More

OLGC Summer Camp a Success
After Staff and Parents Evaluate, Repeat Possible Next Year
By Louise Brass, Observer Correspondent
August 11, 2016

AURORA—The first summer camp held at Our Lady of Good Counsel School here was ranked a success, according to Karen Behrns, the principal at the school.

The summer camp was also the only one being held by a parish in the 14-parish Aurora Deanery, said Father Timothy Mulcahey, pastor of OLGC and parochial administrator of the school.

Besides offering fun in an educa... Read More

By Louise Brass, Observer Correspondent
August 11, 2016

DEKALB—While candles flickered and glowed below a painting of Our Lady of Guadalupe, 35 people recited the Rosary Sunday afternoon at St. Mary Parish in DeKalb for the 27th annual International Living Rosary.

Participants volunteered to “be a bead.”

Sandi Schmidt, president of the St. Catherine of Genoa  Parish Council of Catholic Women, gave part... Read More

August 11, 2016

ROCKFORD—St. Rita Parish, here, will be offering The Catholic’s Divorce Survival Guide series, beginning at 6:30 p.m., Sept. 6, at the church at 6254 Valley Knoll Dr.

The 12-week program features a 30-minute DVD each week that covers topics from shock to forgiveness, annulment to remarriage or staying single and much more.

The program costs $20. Financial ai... Read More

By Sharon Boehlefeld
August 11, 2016

NORTH AURORA—To celebrate Blessed Teresa of Kolkata’s upcoming canonization, Blessed Sacrament Parish here will screen “The Letters: The Untold Story of Mother Teresa.”

The free show will begin at 6:30 p.m. in Holy Family Hall at the church, 801 Oak St. It runs about two hours.

Those attending should bring  lawn chairs for seating.

... Read More

August 11, 2016

Students and parents at several schools in the Rockford Diocese are meeting new school leaders as the school year gears up. While some are new faces, others are already familiar to their school families.

The Observer invited each of the newcomers to answer a few questions. Those who have already responded are introduced here. Look for more information as we receive it.

... Read More

August 11, 2016

A firm grounding in the faith is, perhaps, the most obvious benefit of a Catholic school education, but it isn’t the only one.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is “the largest nationally representativ​e and c​ontinuing assessment of what America’s students know and can do in various subject areas,” according to its website.

Read More
August 11, 2016

Forever Family -- Welcome Neighbors

Members of the Aurora Knights of Columbus Cardinal Bellarmine Council 4849 cleaned up a segment of Orchard Road on July 16.

A Mass offered at Father Michael Morrissey was held at the Apple Canyon Lake clubhouse on July 24

Pope names panel to study women deacons

Western government aid said not to reach minorities

Parish Guide on Ecology gives practical ideas

Training prepares dioceses for terrorism, mass shootings, other disasters

Maryland Catholic church becomes place of refuge in catastrophic flood

Body of Seminarian found, had rescued a woman from drowning

Bombing of Aleppo destroys hospitals, traps civilians, including kids

Forgive others and find peace, pope says during brief visit to Assisi

Archbishop Gregory to chair USCCb task force on race




Look! Up in the Sky! It’s ... a Drone!
Aerial Imagery Captures Diocesan Property
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
August 4, 2016

ROCKFORD—Getting a heavenly view of diocesan buildings is now easier done than said thanks to drone technology and an owner willing to offer some flight time.

Enrique Mendoza spent about an hour at the Diocesan Administration Center July 26 taking aerial video and still photography of the center.

He is the owner of Ollin Technology LLC of Elgin. His company is ded... Read More

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
August 4, 2016

ROCKFORD—Canon Benjamin Coggeshall is happy to be back in Illinois and assigned to St. Mary Oratory.

The 34-year-old grew up outside the city of Quincy, in Adams County. He credits his mother for opening the door to his vocation in a very simple way.

When he and his brothers speculated about what they wanted to be as they grew up, she would say, “Well, you n... Read More

August 4, 2016

ROCKFORD—Father Mieczyslaw Wit, OFM Conv., began his service as pastor at St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish in Rockford on July 1.

Born Jan. 1, 1969, in Dzików Stary, Podkarpackie Region, Poland, Father Wit, attended elementary school in Horyniec Zdrój, Poland.

From 1984-1988 he attended the Franciscan Minor Seminary (high school) in Legnica, Poland.

... Read More
August 4, 2016

ROCKTON—Deacon James B. Hudzinski, 64, of Rockton died Sunday, July 24, 2016, at his home.

He was born Aug. 20, 1951, in Rockford, the son of John and Eileen Hudzinski. He married Anne Marie Roper at Christ the Teacher University Pairh in DeKalb on Oct. 25, 1975.

He graduated from Rock Valley College and attended Northern Illinois University.

Deacon Hud... Read More

August 4, 2016

ROCKFORD—Valerie Oestry, new director of the Diocesan Liturgial Chorale, invites newcomers to join the chorale for its next liturgy, the annual Rockford Diocese Silver and Gold Mass, Aug. 21, slated for 2:30 p.m. at St. Mary in Huntley.

Dates for rehearsals for the Mass are Aug. 12, 13, 19 and 20. Times will vary and locations are being arranged.

Read More
August 4, 2016

Bishop David Malloy visited the Stateline Catholic Youth gathering July 31 at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Freeport.

He chatted with brothers Kenton and Michael Johnson, St. Thomas Aquinas parishioners.

When Kenton told the bishop he plans to study biology in college, Bishop Malloy said that was his major too, adding “And I became a priest. You should think about ... Read More

Plans for Building Project Ok’d
St. Joseph Parish in Elgin Starts Fundraising for Bigger Church
By Margarita Mendoza, El Observador Editor
July 21, 2016

ELGIN—When it appeared there was a decrease in the number of parishioners attending Masses, Father Jesus Dominguez, pastor of St. Joseph Parish here, broke with the paradigm of loss and launched into a plan to build a new church with greater capacity.

He had  noticed a number of parishioners had begun to avoid going to St. Joseph because the building couldn’t hand... Read More

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
July 21, 2016

ROCKFORD—“It’s fabulous,” said Terri Swegle as she expressed her appreciation for the diocesan Office of Vocations summer camps.

She and her husband, Mark, brought their son, David, up from their Dixon home to the First Call Camp for young men in high school and college. Although it was David’s initial First Call Camp, he and his parents are familiar ... Read More

Pray for Priests
Loves Park Parish Revives 40 Hours
July 21, 2016

LOVES PARK—St. Bridget Parish, here, is adapting a Catholic tradition — more than 500 years old — to pray for priests of the Rockford Diocese.

Called Quarant Ore or Forty Hours, it is continuous adoration of the Blessed Sacrament for a 40-hour period.

Forty Hours organizers encourage other individuals and parishes in the diocese to join them in the dev... Read More

July 14, 2016

This year from July 10-13, the Jeremiah Days Vocation Camp welcomed 28 boys for activities, games, prayer and talks from seminarians and priests.

On Monday morning,  seminarian John Kladar organized an obstacle course, demonstrating each task before the relay event began.

Campers jumped rope, tossed balls and checkers into containers, shot hoops, stacked game piece... Read More

July 14, 2016

JOLIET—The Diocese of Rockford Catholic Charities was among four Catholic Charities organizations honored by Presence Health, a Catholic health system, with its 2016 annual INSPIRE Award.

Also honored were Catholic Charities from the Archdiocese of Chicago, the Diocese of Joliet and the Diocese of Peoria.

The Presence Health INSPIRE Award honors leaders or organiz... Read More

July 14, 2016

The Rev. Alejandro del Toro, S.T.L. — Pastor of St. Patrick Parish, Rockford, Illinois, to be also Bishop’s Delegate for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, effective Friday, July 1, 2016.

The Rev. Ryan B. Browning, S.T.L. — Parochial Vicar of St. Bridget Parish, Loves Park, Illinois, to be also Censor Librorum for the Diocese... Read More

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
July 7, 2016

ROCKFORD—“How right and just it is for us to be here this morning,” said Bishop David Malloy as he began the 8 a.m. Mass in honor of 100 years of the Poor Clares in the Diocese of Rockford.

In his homily, the bishop acknowledged that the Corpus Christi Monastery Chapel was filled to overflowing with people of all ages from near and far before he spoke about the &... Read More

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
July 7, 2016

“Born free, as free as the wind blows … born free to follow your heart.”

Singing a couple of lines as he began his homily for the Dec. 8 feast of the Immaculate Conception, Father Joel Lopez says he was hoping that Mary, born free of original sin, would come to his listeners’ minds whenever they heard that song.

“Sometimes I sing during my... Read More

July 7, 2016

DIOCESE—The annual Rockford Diocese Silver and Gold wedding anniversary Mass is scheduled for 2:30 p.m., Aug. 21, at St. Mary Parish in Huntley.

Couples celebrating the milestone wedding anniversaries of 25, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70 or more years of marriage in 2016 are invited to the Mass, which will be celebrated by Bishop Davi... Read More

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
June 30, 2016

JOHNSBURG—“I had this dream,” said Bishop David Malloy to the congregation at St. John the Baptist Church on June 26.

He deliberately paused, and the crowd chuckled.

Many had seen the fire truck parked outside the church as firefighters slowly swung an enormous crane in a dry run of what was soon to come.

The bishop’s dream had him loo... Read More

By Louise Brass, Observer Correspondent
June 23, 2016

STERLING—Volunteers who distribute food to hungry children are heroic, says Darrin Driscoll, a veteran of the second Iraq War, during a Let’s Feed Our Children free lunchtime distribution.

The meals go to children who normally would receive free or discounted lunches at school.

“I’ve seen heroes in Iraq and Afghanistan ... but I’ve seen mor... Read More

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