What You Need to Know about Communion and
Coronavirus In the Rockford Diocese
 
 
 
 
 

It is recommended that we all be particularly vigilant about practicing preventative measures as suggested
by health officials at home, in the work place and in our places of worship.

 Wash your hands often
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Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
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Avoid contact with sick people
Stay home if you are sick
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Cover mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing
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Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
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And of course, your continued prayers for the sick and their caregivers is always encouraged.

 
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Diocese, State Plan to Resume Mass
Diocese of Rockford part of statewide measures to return to safe worship
May 21, 2020
ROCKFORD—In a letter written May 13 to the priests and the Catholic faithful, Bishop David Malloy announced the plan to bring the public back to Mass in church. 
 
Bishop Malloy, along with the bishops of the Chicago Province, developed a multi-p... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
May 21, 2020
PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti—The Haitian Project (THP), a ministry with ties to the Diocese of Rockford through its president emeritus, Deacon Patrick Moynihan, is focused on education of an academically-talented and motivated student population to help build up a Haiti where justice and peac... Read More
May 21, 2020
DIOCESE—An executive summary and the plan to reopen the Rockford Diocese for Masses, sacraments and other worship were released May 13. This summary includes guiding priciples and plan basics for the entire Chicago Province.
 
Executive summar... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
May 21, 2020
SOMONAUK—Father Kevin Butler, pastor of St. John the Baptist, was inspired by two particular stories when he arranged a Marian procession around the town on May 13, the feast of Our Lady of Fatima.
 
The first story was from the fifth century about Po... Read More
May 21, 2020
DIOCESE—Each spring for the last 45 years, the Diocese of Rockford has conducted an annual appeal to help fund its work in the 11 northern-most counties of Illinois.
 
This year is an exception. Thanks to the coronavirus and the havoc it has caused to... Read More
DeKalb Distillery Switches To Making Hand Sanitizer
Family company adjusts its business during pandemic
By Louise Brass, Observer Correspondent
May 14, 2020
DEKALB—Locating hand sanitizer during the coronavirus pandemic is a problem that is becoming easier to overcome thanks to the efforts of Whiskey Acres Distillery Co., which has switched the focus of its operations to meet the need.
 
Jamie Walter, pre... Read More
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
May 14, 2020
BELVIDERE—Besides precious human lives, there have been other victims of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some businesses, large and small are finding it hard to withstand the closures and financial toll of measures in place to help mitigate the virus. 
 
May 14, 2020
AURORA—On May Day Sisters Nancy Ulrich, Joan Korte and Rita Mary Phalen ventured out into their neighborhood with prayer bows to connect with the neighbors.
 
All School Sisters of St. Francis, they are residents at Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in ... Read More
May 14, 2020
On March 6 and 7, Mercy for the Starving held its third St. Charles MobilePack event.
 
More than 600 volunteers from the two St. Charles parishes — St. Patrick and St. John Neumann — pack meals destined for Third World countries.
May 14, 2020
AURORA—“In dire need” was how an official described the food pantry at Holy Angels Parish in Aurora recently.
 
On April 30 and May 1, community donors rallied to restock the pantry with dried pasta and sauces, paper products, diapers and ... Read More
May 7, 2020
Bishop David Malloy uses a laptop in his chapel to join bishops in the United States and Canada on May 1 to rededicate both countries to Mary. Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, led the prayer of reconsecration May 1 at 2 p.m. Centr... Read More
Aurora Catholic Loses Fight to COVID
Coronavirus sadly completes vows for couple and strengthens family faith
By Margarita Mendoza, El Observador Editor
May 7, 2020
AURORA—“In sickness, in health and until separated in death ... .” 
 
Sadly, Pedro Rodriguez and Martha Martinez fulfilled this part of the promises they made March 25, 39 years ago because of the coronavirus. Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
May 7, 2020
CRYSTAL LAKE—St. Thomas the Apostle Parish here is not the Angelicum, but seminarian Ryan Nooraee isn’t complaining.
 
His 14-member junior class from St. John Vianney College at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul was supposed to spend the... Read More
May 7, 2020
ROCKFORD—While all but essential workers are being asked to stay at home to contain the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), OSF HealthCare is expanding its response strategy to offer care to patients without the need for them to leave home.
 
Pand... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
May 7, 2020
AURORA—The coronavirus may have derailed Aurora Central Catholic High School’s biggest fundraiser of the year, but hopes are high that the replacement for “ACC Super Saturday Night” will raise needed funds and be lots of fun as well.
 
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
May 7, 2020
ROCKFORD DEANERY—Chairperson Mary Jo Keffer had to take on a couple of extra duties because of the coronavirus, but otherwise the annual Catholic Women’s League Easter Basket Project went on as usual.
 
The CWL has provided the Easter baskets fo... Read More
Diocesan Ministries Keep On Keeping On
Bishop Malloy joins St. Elizabeth volunteers to distribute food to those who need it in Rockford
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
April 30, 2020
Serving those most in need has never been more important than in this time of shuttered businesses, churches and gathering places. 
 
St. Elizabeth Catholic Community Center in southwest Rockford has remained active but in a new way. And during the sta... Read More
By Lynne Conner, Observer Correspondent
April 30, 2020
DIOCESE—As priests and parishes in the Rockford Diocese adjust to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s no surprise that the stay at home directive has also hit most ministries. 
 
Across the diocese, retreats, workshops, seminars and other disciples... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
April 30, 2020
ROCKFORD—Stuffed bunnies started a parish ministry that now is helping some area workers avoid the coronavirus.
 
A little more than 10 years ago Pam Moore, a parishioner at St. Rita in Rockford, received a donation of kits to make toy bunnies.
... Read More
Priests Volunteer To Care for Patients
21 on call to bring sacrament of the sick to those with COVID-19
By Margarita Mendoza, El Observador Editor
April 23, 2020
Caring for the sick has always been part of the priestly ministry, but it becomes difficult during a pandemic.
 
The Diocese of Rockford has assigned 21 priests —at least two in each of its seven deaneries — to attend to people who are sick or d... Read More
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
April 23, 2020
DIOCESE—On April 17, during his daily news briefings on the coronavirus, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced that all schools in Illinois would remain closed for the duration of the 2019-2020 school year.
 
Immediately following the governor&rsq... Read More
April 23, 2020
WEST DUNDEE—In seeking ways to cope with the Covid-19 crisis, parishioners at St. Catherine of Siena Parish here found a way to support their pastor, Father Matthew DeBlock.  
 
“I just knew that Father DeBlock, like all of our other p... Read More
April 23, 2020
DIOCESE—Every April, organizations serving children and youth, including Catholic dioceses, parishes, and schools, participate in National Child Abuse Prevention Month to highlight the importance of protecting minors from abuse.
 
The last Sunday of A... Read More
April 23, 2020
MCHENRY—Deacon Walter Freund, 91, a life-long resident of McHenry, died at his son’s and daughter’s-in-law home in Emory, Texas, on Wednesday, April 15, 2020. 
 
He was born on Jan. 15, 1929, in McHenry, to Walter John and Olive Gertr... Read More
Priests Lighten Up with a Bit of Video Fun
In Loves Park, questions answered with a light touch
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
April 23, 2020
Joy and laughter are what the “Ask the Priests” creators —Father Sean Grismer and Lauren Wright — are aiming for. And they are most pleased to hear those words used to describe the first six episodes of their Facebook feature. 
 
By Pat Szpekowski, Observer Correspondent
April 23, 2020
AURORA—Parishioners at St. Joseph in Aurora recently answered the question “What are you doing spiritually while in self quarantine?” Several responses were printed in the March 29 parish bulletin. 
 
They shared websites, books, medi... Read More
Bishop Malloy Celebrates Holy Week
As Catholics in the Rockford Diocese are restricted to their homes, Bishop David Malloy fills cathedral with faith.
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
April 16, 2020
DIOCESE—On Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday night and Easter Sunday Bishop David Malloy stood at his chair, or Cathedra as it known, in the Cathedral of St. Peter in Rockford. 
 
This year his words fell into an echo and his eyes saw onl... Read More
April 16, 2020
If you listened to the livestream of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday night from the Cathedral of St. Peter, you heard a very different sound during the consecration.
 
One viewer thought someone dropped something during the broadcast.&n... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
April 16, 2020
The Poor Clare Collettine nuns in Rockford have experienced two big changes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
“As far as lifestyle, day-to-day, there’s no impact,” says Mother Maria Dominica Stein, PCC. 
 
Read More
April 9, 2020
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
 
As we celebrate the Feast of Easter, we are reminded of the words of Pope Francis on Palm Sunday.  Speaking of the sacrifice of Jesus, the Holy Father said, “How did the Lord serve us? By giving his life for us. ... Read More
Diocesan Offices are Closed And Busier Than Ever
Staff keeping up with business as usual in an unusual time
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
April 9, 2020
DIOCESE—On March 17 the Diocese of Rockford began doing business as usual in a not-so-usual way. 
 
On that day, the Feast of St. Patrick, Bishop David Malloy announced that due to concerns regarding the spread of the coronavirus, public Masses w... Read More
Parishes, People Carry On While
Faith practices mix with fun to keep Catholics healthy spiritually and mentally during the stay-at-home quarantine.
By Margarita Mendoza, El Observador Editor
April 9, 2020
DIOCESE—The need for gathering in the communion of faith has brought out the creativity of men and women consecrated to God and to the service of their Church. 
 
Lay Catholics are also finding ways to show and share their faith and hope from hom... Read More
April 9, 2020
Divine Mercy Sunday, the second Sunday of Easter, will be April 19. 
 
The Divine Mercy Novena, nine days of prayer, begins on April 13. (Find details in Resources below right.)
 
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, ... Read More
Parishes Adapting
In the Rockford Diocese, parishes are trying new ways to help the faithful while Illinois “Stays at Home.”
By Pat Szpekowski and Louise Brass, Observer Correspondents
April 2, 2020
DIOCESE—With the COVID-19 crisis impacting the faithful throughout the diocese, parish staff members and ministries are taking steps — sometimes in most unfamiliar and now, new ways such as Facebook pages and websites — to both care for and communicate with their parishione... Read More
Art in Our Churches
Reflecting the Salvation of Holy Week
By Louise Brass, Observer Correspondent
April 2, 2020
It’s no easy task to attempt to reflect the beauty and drama of important Roman Catholic feasts throughout the year by decorating churches with meaningful and impactful designs.  
 
But many dedicated parishioners throughout the diocese are ... Read More
By Louise Brass, Observer Correspondent
April 2, 2020
When it comes to decorating churches for special feasts and seasons, there are no particular rituals to follow, but there are some guidelines to correlate with the artistic endeavors of those who volunteer their time and talent to the cause.
 
Everything sh... Read More
Holy Week Alone: A Cross We Bear
Under the threat of COVID-19 spreading, Bishop Malloy and Pope Francis cancel public Holy Week services.
By Observer Staff
March 26, 2020
DIOCESE—As orders from the federal and state governments changed almost daily, Bishop David Malloy of the Rockford Diocese, changed his guidance to parishes to comply. Both he and Pope Francis have cancelled public Holy Week services.
 
In a letter he... Read More
Pews Lightly Filled in Diocese
Despite Bishop Malloy’s immediate dispensations for the ill, older and fearful parishioners, many opt to attend Masses.
By Pat Szpekowski, Observer Correspondent
March 19, 2020
DIOCESE—The first weekend, March 14 and 15, of the new coronavirus guidelines for Mass issued by Bishop David Malloy set the tone at churches around the diocese.
 
At weekend Masses, diocesan Catholics learned of the bishop’s decision last week ... Read More
By Lynne Conner, Observer Correspondent
March 19, 2020
ROCKFORD—Just hours before Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker closed all Illinois public and private schools in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bishop David Malloy and the Rockford Diocese Education Office released a statement closing Catholic elementary and high schools throu... Read More
March 19, 2020
Set the tone 
 
Use a calm, reassuring voice. This will help your children see how you are trying to cope and will help them do the same. They learn best from watching how you handle situations. 
Share accurate info... Read More
March 17, 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
March 12, 2020
DIOCESE—Sometimes we hope God answers our prayers and sometimes we know God answers them.
One of those times happened right before Lent at the Diocesan Administration Center.
 
A regular fixture in the chapel at the DAC is a basket fill... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
March 12, 2020
ROCKFORD—Bunches of blue and silver pinwheels cover one side of Heather Dunaway’s cubicle — an upcoming, tangible reminder for the parish and school staffs of the Diocese of Rockford that April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. 
 
Read More
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
February 20, 2020
EAST DUBUQUE—Father Peter Snieg, pastor of St. Mary Parish here and Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Menominee, announced to teachers, parents and parishioners on Feb. 14 that St. Mary Parish elementary school will close at the end of this school year.
 ... Read More
It’s All About God’s Love
Friends and ‘Brothers’ Travel ‘The Way’ Together in Spain
By Margarita Mendoza, El Observador Editor
February 13, 2020
Whoever finds a friend finds a treasure, says the Bible In Sirach 6:14.
 
Justin Skeesuck and Patrick Gray’s friendship is proof of that. Skeesuck is confined to a wheelchair. He used to live a normal life until he had a car accident when he was a tee... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
February 6, 2020
DIOCESE—Girls now have another option in addition to Girl Scouts and American Heritage Girls.
 
In 2018, the Boy Scouts of America became Scouts BSA and began accepting girls into the program. 
 
A May 2018 comm... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor and Margarita Mendoza El Observador Editor
January 30, 2020
ST. CHARLES—Father Jeremy Trowbridge celebrated the Jan. 22 send-off Mass at St. John Neumann Church here for pilgrims to the March for Life in Washington, D.C. 
 
Two full busses from the Diocese of Rockford traveled to the Jan. 24 event.
... Read More
January 30, 2020
WASHINGTON (CNS)—What you don’t comprehend about the marching portion of the March for Life until you’re in it is — even though it appears somewhat unorganized at the start — it’s an intensely polite and orderly experience despite its immense size.
... Read More
January 16, 2020
When a priest becomes a bishop, he wears particular vestments and insignia to designate his office. Different vestments and insignia are required depending on the liturgy, ceremony, or event being celebrated.
 
Bishop David Malloy of the Dioces... 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
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