New Adoration Chapel Blessed
St. Patrick Parish in Dixon honors St. John Paul II
By Louise Brass, Observer Correspondent
December 12, 2019
DIXON—“A great celebration” is how Bishop David Malloy described the opening of the St. John Paul II Perpetual Adoration Chapel at St. Patrick Church here during the morning Mass, Dec 4. The Mass was attended by many parishioners and students from the parish school.
... Read More
December 12, 2019
ST. CHARLES—Father Edward F. Gillespie died Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, here. He was born on April 1, 1931, in Chicago to Edward Gillespie and Mary Agnes O’Byrne Gillespie. 
 
Father Gillespie attended St. Mary Seminary in Baltimore, Md., where h... Read More
December 12, 2019
WASHINGTON (CNS)— The Catholic faithful across the United States are being invited to pray for Pope Francis as he celebrates 50 years as a priest.
 
The jubilee of his ordination is Dec. 13, a weekday in Advent and the memorial of St. Lucy. He was ord... Read More
December 12, 2019
AURORA—Show and tell with a big impact.
 
That’s what a visitor to Aurora’s Holy Angels School might have called a program there Nov. 13.
 
About 50 fifth graders made oral reports and 22 tabletop display... Read More
December 5, 2019
WASHINGTON (CNS)—Bishop David Malloy, the new chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, has echoed Pope Francis’ renewed call to global nuclear disarmament. The pope spoke of the issue during his Nov. 23-26 pastoral visit to Japan.
<... Read More
December 5, 2019
Bishop David Malloy doned his red trimmed apron to help other volunteers at the annual Thanksgiving luncheon Nov. 20 at St. Elizabeth Catholic Community Center in Rockford.
 
Blue-shirted volunteers, members of the St. Vincent de Paul Society from St. Mary ... Read More
December 5, 2019
DIOCESE—Four parishes in the Rockford Diocese will host “Lourdes Virtual Pilgrimage Experience™” soon.
 
Dates and parishes hosting the free events are:
 
Huntley
Read More
December 5, 2019
On Nov. 13, Father Max Lasrado, pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish in North Aurora, celebrated a Remembrance Mass for the deceased founding parishioners of the parish.
 
Attending were over 30 founding parishioners,  Wednesday night religious education... Read More
December 5, 2019
AURORA—More than 100 people gathered at St. Rita of Cascia Parish in Aurora to pray for families that had suffered the loss of a child in a miscarriage, fetal death or the death of a baby or a young child.
 
At the Oct. 28 bilingual Mass  parishi... Read More
December 5, 2019
The Great Lakes Catholic Men’s Conference reached the quarter-century mark with this year’s event at the Holmes Student Center on the campus of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. The conference, which draws hundreds of men each year, grew out of efforts by a group of men fro... Read More
December 5, 2019
The Knights of Columbus Cardinal Bellarmine Council 4849 at Holy Angels in Aurora hosted a Blue Mass on Nov. 7 to honor all first responders for their dedication and courage day in and day out, especially in light of the Henry Pratt Company shooting in February.
 
... Read More
December 5, 2019
Patrick Winn, director of Catholic Charities in the Rockford Diocese, and Cathy Weightman-Moore, director of Catholic Charities’ Long Term Care Ombudsman program, visited with trainers Shelly Carlson, Criminal Justice Systems manager for the Minnesota Elder Justice Center, and Ann Laat... Read More
November 21, 2019
ROCKFORD—Father Francis E. McDonnell, S.T.L., age 92, died Nov. 14 at Presence Cor Mariae here. He was born on Feb. 21, 1927, in Sterling to Thomas J. McDonnell and Margaret A. Weber. 
 
He attended St. Mary Seminary in Baltimore, Md., where he r... Read More
By Margarita Mendoza, El Observador Editor
November 21, 2019
S ince a girl died in a terrible accident and was revived thanks to the presence of a statuette of the Immaculate Conception, many miracles have been attributed to the small figure. 
 
The statue was originally donated by a friar almost four cen... Read More
By Father Keith Romke
November 21, 2019
So, here we are again at the start of a new Advent, this season in which we place special focus on preparing our hearts for the coming of Jesus. We look back at Jesus’ coming at Christmas, we prepare to receive Him each time we come to Mass, and we prepare our hearts for the day in whi... Read More
November 14, 2019
BALTIMORE—Bishop David Malloy was elected the new chair of the Committee on International Justice and Peace for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. 
 
Bishop Malloy was elected over Bishop Jaime Soto of the Diocese of Sacramento, in... Read More
November 14, 2019
CHICAGO—Former Rockford resident, Sister Stephanie Baliga, FSE, is again seeking “hometown help” for her team to run to support charity.
 
Sister Stephanie was known for her running when she was a student at Auburn High School in Rockford ... Read More
November 14, 2019
GENEVA—The Catholic Store in Geneva recently has become the Catholic Corner, moving to a new location and evolving into a gathering space for groups that make rosaries, for caregivers’ coffee times, for book events and monthly devotionals as well as offering a variety of Catholic... Read More
November 14, 2019
AURORA—The Knights of Columbus Marquette Assembly 188 hosted a Fourth Degree Exemplification for the Northern Illinois District Knights of Columbus at Aurora Central Catholic High School on Oct. 19. 
 
The Fourth Degree of the Knights of Columbus... Read More
Deacon: Be ‘Contagiously Catholic’
Catholic radio host and speaker brings his message to the McHenry County Catholic Prayer Breakfast Nov. 2.
By Louise Brass, Observer Correspondent
November 7, 2019
CRYSTAL LAKE—A Catholic’s duty is to watch for an opening, get his or her foot in the door, toss in some seeds of faith, and let God do His work. Be “contagiously Catholic.”
 
That is the theory of Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers, co-host... Read More
November 7, 2019
DIOCESE—The latest class of graduates from the diocesan Ministry Formation Program were honored at a ceremony Nov. 3 at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Rockford.
 
The program is provided by diocesan Department of Educational Services. John Jelinek is t... Read More
November 7, 2019
DIOCESE—During its regular meeting Nov. 3, the Diocesan Pastoral Council learned about a new way to do catechesis.
 
“Engaging the family” and giving them the tools and support necessary to pass on the faith, values and morals of the Catho... Read More
November 7, 2019
MAYTOWN—Since 2011, women from St. Patrick Parish here have been making “Little Dresses for Africa.”
 
Meeting every Wednesday, the group and friends have  constructed 5,029 dresses for girls and hundreds of britches for boys.
... Read More
By Margarita Mendoza, El Observador Editor
October 24, 2019
CHICAGO—The best practices of Catholic stewards were shared during the 57th International Catholic Stewardship Council’s annual conference Oct. 6-9 here. 
 
It was “an opportunity to be inspired by speakers, presentations, and worksho... Read More
October 24, 2019
SANDWICH—The Student Ministry Team from Christ the Teacher University Parish in DeKalb, led by parish minister Denise Sanders, brought the truth of God’s love for each human life to the 2019 Illinois Right to Life booth at the Sandwich Fair.
 
A... Read More
October 24, 2019
Aquin Central Catholic Junior/Senior High School in Freeport hosted its 20th annual combined reunion Sept. 28 for classes graduating in 1927-1969.
 
Honored classes were the class of 1949 (70 years),  the class of 1959 (60 years), the class of 1969 (50... Read More
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
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
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
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—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
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
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
A Subscribers Guide to Reading
The Observer Digital Edition.

- Click Here -

Learn how you can share that 'special year' in your life
by sponsoring The Observer archive pages!

(Click here to check them out)
For more info on sponsorships email observer@rockforddiocese.org

Subscribe/Renew Now to The Observer Digital Edition