Holy Family Breaks Ground
Next phase of Rockford parish’s improvements to focus on church building.
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
October 17, 2019
ROCKFORD—The groundbreaking outside Holy Family Church the morning of Oct. 11 will soon lead to site work to expand the parking lot and foundation work for new construction of a fellowship hall and multi-purpose room attached to the Rockford church, not to mention first floor bathrooms... Read More
October 17, 2019
SOUTH ELGIN—Deacon Gregory P. Stevens, 75, died Friday, Oct. 4, 2019, in his home here. 
 
He was born June 7, 1944, in Chicago the son of Henry and Dorothea Golchert Stevens. 
 
He was a member of St. Thom... Read More
Grades, Safety Key Topics at Diocesan Schools Gathering
School Institute Day first to assemble elementary through high school teachers, administrators
By Sharon Boehlefeld, Features Editor
October 17, 2019
ROCKFORD—Giving Catholic school students the same chances as others was the focus of a diocesan school institute day Oct. 11 at Boylan Central Catholic High School here.
 
Grades, what they mean, how fair they are and how to make them honest was the t... Read More
Messmer’s Promise: ‘You Will Meet Damien’
Gunshot wound inspires Messmer to pray to Father Damien for healing. Now he presents the life of the saint in one-man play.
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
October 17, 2019
Wayne Messmer became “obsessed”  with Father Damien De Veuster a short time after he heard of a play about him that was written in 1977.  Father Damien was a priest who ministered from 1873-1889 to those with Hansen’s Disease, more commonly known as leprosy.
... Read More
By Louise Brass, Observer Correspondent
October 17, 2019
DEKALB—It was a day of celebration Oct. 13 at the Newman Catholic Student Center at Christ the Teacher University Parish here, when Cardinal John Henry Newman, a 19th century educator, theologian, writer and convert, was officially named a saint during ceremonies in Rome.
Living Christ’s Teaching in the World
Newman CCHS grad shares her faith at home and abroad.
By Louise Brass, Observer Correspondent
October 10, 2019
The message that we all belong to “one human family regardless of our national, racial, ethnic, economic and ideological differences,” was not lost on Rachel Hermes as a teenager at Newman Catholic High School in Sterling.
 
Hermes says that Cat... Read More
Third Combined Collection for This Year Coming Soon
Mission Appeal Weekend, Oct. 19-20
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
October 10, 2019
DIOCESE—The third combined collection of 2019, the annual Mission Appeal, will take place in parishes across the Diocese of Rockford the weekend of Oct. 19-20.
 
The collection brings together what otherwise would be seven separate collections. They i... Read More
By Margarita Mendoza, El Observador Editor
October 10, 2019
HUNTLEY— The word of God has been the same during thousands of years but what “we have to examine ... is the way we approach the world (today),” said Deacon Keith Strohm, the main speaker during diocesan Ministry Day, Oct. 3 at St Mary Parish, here.
 Read More
Reaching Out to Help
Former prostitute now helps homeless women and men, sex trafficking victims and needy
By Lynne Conner, Observer Correspondent
October 10, 2019
ROCKFORD—“We’ve got the Catholics here, we’ve got the Lutherans here and now we’ve got the addicts and the prostitutes here,” quipped Carly Rice, founder of Miss Carly’s Community Outreach in Rockford.
 
Rice was re... Read More
By Louise Brass, Observer Correspondent
October 10, 2019
DIXON—The remains of 2,246 aborted babies discovered recently in the Illinois home of a deceased Indiana abortion doctor, were memorialized Sunday in Dixon by participants in the Life Chain gathering along Galena Avenue.
 
Life Chain Organizer Margare... Read More
Herrmann’s Dedication Honored
St. Edward CCHS names Walk of Champions for coach, teacher, principal and superintendent
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
October 3, 2019
ELGIN—On a rainy Sept. 27, St. Edward Central Catholic High School honored Paul Herrmann who served at the school since 1975 until what may be his final retirement.
 
But you never know. Herrmann has, after all, retired before, twice, and was called b... Read More
October 3, 2019
ROCKFORD—“Of all that I have done in my professional career, the calling to bring St.  Damien to life, is a voice that I simply cannot ignore,” said Wayne Messmer, well-known professional speaker and the renowned “Voice of the National Anthem” for Chicago s... Read More
By Sharon Boehlefeld, Features Editor
October 3, 2019
ROCKFORD—”What’s missing?” asked Matt Schwartz  as he challenged his audience to wade through tenets of “moderated therapeutic deism.”
 
This was among the first points he made during the day-long Educational Leaders... Read More
By Sharon Boehlefeld, Features Editor
October 3, 2019
ROCKFORD—In an area of the world that produces 20% of its oxygen and holds 20% of its flowing water, there are few Catholics among the indigenous population.
 
The missionary needs of the Church in the Amazon region of South America is just one of the... Read More
Diocese Sends Help to Bahamas
Thanks to ‘Your Generosity’
September 26, 2019
DIOCESE— The Diocese of Rockford is sending emergency assistance to the Archdiocese of Nassau to assist those devastated by the prolonged landfall of Hurricane Dorian, Sept. 1-3. The official death toll stands at 50 with hundreds or more still officially listed as missing. 
... Read More
By Louise Brass, Observer Correspondent
September 26, 2019
MAPLE PARK—Four women from four parishes in the DeKalb Deanery were honored as Women of Inspiration Sept. 22 at a dinner at Sorrento’s Restaurant here.
 
Bishop David J. Malloy and priests from local parishes, along with numerous representatives... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
September 19, 2019
WOODSTOCK—On Sept. 16, the Marian Central Catholic High School office was busy as office staff continued discovering what was and wasn’t working after a Sept. 9 lightning strike at the school. 
 
The staff had been allowed in at the end of ... Read More
By Pat Szpekowski, Observer Correspondent
September 19, 2019
GENOA—St. Catherine of Genoa Parish has experienced numerous locations and challenges since its humble beginnings as a mission church in 1912, and well before, in this farmland community. 
 
With sacrifices by former pastors, priests and parishio... Read More
September 19, 2019
AURORA—On Sept.1, Boy Scouts of America Troop 26 celebrated its 100th anniversary chartered by Holy Angels Parish in Aurora. 
 
The troop attended 11 a.m. Mass together followed by a banquet downstairs in Connor Hall. 
 <... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
September 19, 2019
DIOCESE—Two-and-a-half-years-ago, when Tina Antolak read a notice asking for volunteers for the Special Religious Development —  SPRED —program at her Crystal Lake parish, she hesitated.
 
“I’d never worked or spent any le... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
September 19, 2019
LOVES PARK—This year’s Perpetual Light Mass and dinner was held on Thursday, Sept. 12, at St. Bridget Parish.
 
Bishop David Malloy celebrated the Mass with Msgr. Stephen Knox, with Deacon Greg Urban assisting. 
 
... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
September 19, 2019
MCHENRY—Seventeen women were honored by parishes in the McHenry Deanery at a banquet on Sept. 15, at Church of Holy Apostles here.
 
Over 325 people socialized, applauded parish honorees and partook of a buffet featuring chicken and Italian beef hoagi... Read More
In the Habit
Habits ‘Should Mark Us’
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
September 12, 2019
Brother Theodore Haggerty, OSB, is one of the younger monks at Marmion Abbey, scheduled to be ordained to the priesthood next year.
 
He and Benedictine Father Joel Rippinger talk about the “great witness value” of their habits.
&... Read More
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
September 5, 2019

Rockford’s newest Catholic school exceeds projected student count for its first year. All Saints Catholic Academy opens doors Aug. 28 at its downtown campus at St. James Parish, with fresh colors and new backpacks.

ROCKFORD&mdash... Read More
Messmer’s ‘Damien’ to Highlight 1st ‘A Moveable Feast’ Fundraiser
Catholic Charities begins new event in Rockford, plans to take its story on the road in 2020.
September 5, 2019
ROCKFORD—Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Rockford welcomes Wayne Messmer, the renowned “Mr. National Anthem” of major and minor league Chicago sports teams, to Rockford’s Nordloff Theater Oct. 24.
 
He will present one show only... Read More
August 15, 2019
A retreat is an intentional time away from your daily life.
 
It can make room for you to experience a new awareness of the presence of God. For generations, people have gone on spiritual retreats to encounter God and experience spiritual renewal.
Read More
August 15, 2019
Whether done at home or elsewhere, personal retreats can be helpful and spiritually refreshing. 
 
Get away from your usual surroundings if possible. A change of scene most often results in a change of mind-set. Do this even if you live alone. For a sh... Read More
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
August 8, 2019
ROCKFORD—The paint is dry, the floors and windows are squeaky clean, the staff is anxious and the doors are ready to open wide for students at All Saints Catholic Academy on Aug. 28.
 
Head of Schools, Renee Payne said Aug. 1 that supplies and equipme... Read More
August 8, 2019
Name: All Saints Catholic Academy
 
First day: Aug. 28, 2019
 
History: ASCA is located at 409 N. First Street on the campus of St. James Parish, the first Catholic Church... Read More
By Lynne Conner, Observer Correspondent
May 2, 2019
ROCKFORD—Those “who began a good work” in the life of Boylan Central Catholic High School alumnae, Amanda Clement, are sharing in the performer’s success as Clement made a visit to her alma mater April 29. 
 
She spoke to choir ... Read More
By Louise Brass, Observer Correspondent
April 11, 2019
MAYTOWN—St. Patrick would be proud! The people of the church named for him in Maytown have kept faith with the founding families and maintained the church building through thick and thin for 100 years.
 
Although the population in the area has thinned... Read More
By Louise Brass, Observer Correspondent
April 11, 2019
MAYTOWN—The roots of St. Patrick Parish in Maytown go back almost 180 years, and the founding families planted those roots deep.
 
This parish was started in 1840, before the Civil War. The first Mass was said in the home of William Dolan, just a few ... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
April 4, 2019
SPRINGFIELD—It was a busy day March 20 at the State Capitol as an estimated 4,000 pro-life advocates from around Illinois gathered to lobby their elected officials and participate in an afternoon rally against bills that are moving through the House and Senate that would radically dere... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
March 7, 2019
“Katie” has an inner joy that sparkles out, particularly when she talks about God.
 
Her deep happiness, rooted in God’s mercy, is hard won. Now in her mid-50s, Katie continues to recover from her two abortions, the first done when she was... Read More
March 7, 2019
DIOCESE—Bishop David Malloy asked that his Feb. 28 letter about abortion laws in Illinois be read at all weekend Masses on March 2 and 3. The text of the letter follows:
 
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
 
Read More
March 7, 2019
Abortions laws are in flux in the United States, ranging from a New York law that allows abortion up to delivery to a Missouri law that bans abortion when the heartbeat of an unborn child can be detected.
 
Catholic News Service reports new abortion legisla... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
February 28, 2019
ROCKFORD—“People want to talk with us because we have a wife (and maybe) children,” said Deacon Ignacio Felix.
 
Deacon Thomas Petit agreed. “People see us (as someone who) has walked in their shoes,” he said. “They think... Read More
February 21, 2019
DIOCESE—On Feb. 13, two new abortion bills were introduced in the Illinois General Assembly. 
 
They are House Bill (HB) 2467: Parent Notice Abortion- Repeal, and HB 2495: The Reproductive Health Act.
 
“T... Read More
February 21, 2019
DIOCESE—A vote is expected on Feb. 25 in the U.S. Senate on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (S. 311/H.R 962). 
 
If passed, it would require health care providers to care for an abortion survivor as they would any newborn.
... Read More
November 15, 2018
ROCKFORD—The Diocese of Rockford on Nov. 14, released a list of those priests, deacons, and religious against whom a substantiated allegation of sexual abuse of a minor has been reported.
 
The list includes the names of six diocesan priests, one perm... Read More
November 15, 2018
“With all my heart I seek you; do not let me stray from your commandments. In my heart I treasure your promise that I may not sin against you.” (Ps 119:10-11)
 
In January 2004, the Diocese of Rockford published a four-page report to th... Read More
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