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.

 
The Observer salutes the 2020 Graduating Class 
Photos of graduating seniors from Aquin Central Catholic, Aurora Central Catholic,
Boylan Central Catholic, Marian Central Catholic, Marmion Academy, Rosary High School,
Newman Central Catholic, St. Edward Central Catholic and St. Anthony College of Nursing.
View online at: http://observertoo.rockforddiocese.org

 

‘From Crisis to Calling’
Ministry Day 2020 to Be Different in More Ways Than One
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
September 24, 2020
DIOCESAN—Like so many things this year, Ministry Day will take on a different look in that it will not be held in person. But being held virtually isn’t the only thing that will be different this year.
 
Ministry Day will be themed “From C... Read More
September 24, 2020
On Sept. 12, a parishioner of St. Bridget in Loves Park placed flowers at a memorial for aborted babies in Calvary Cemetery, west of Rockford.
 
The parish joined pro-life Americans throughout the country for the eighth annual National Day of Remembrance fo... Read More
September 24, 2020
WASHINGTON—Father Michael Fuller, a priest of the diocese of Rockford, has been nominated as a candidate for general secretary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). 
 
Father Fuller currently serves as the executive director of the ... Read More
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
September 24, 2020
DIOCESE—Prompted by Hurricane Laura and the West Coast wildfires Bishop David Malloy, on behalf of the Diocese of Rockford, sent an emergency contribution for the humanitarian, long-term recovery, and Church needs arising from these  natural disasters in the United States. ... Read More
September 24, 2020
DIOCESE—One opening exists on the Diocesan Pastoral Council (DPC) for a lay representative from the Freeport Deanery. 
 
The deanery may be identified by consulting the diocesan map at Read More
September 24, 2020
DIOCESE—One opening exists on the Diocesan Pastoral Council (DPC) for a lay representative from the Freeport Deanery. 
 
The deanery may be identified by consulting the diocesan map at Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
September 24, 2020
Deacon David Zarembski’s wife, Elizabeth, is having a harder than usual time with communication during the pandemic.
 
Hard of hearing, she reads lips and, of course, store clerks and restaurant workers are all wearing masks. When she asks them to rem... Read More
September 24, 2020
AURORA—“Tutors and students began to arrive Thursday, Sept. 10, and everyone is very happy to be here!”
 
That was the fall report from Dominican Sister Kathleen Ryan, founder and director of the Dominican Literacy Center in Aurora.
... Read More
September 24, 2020
DIOCESE—Several fundrasers traditionally held in the Rockford Diocese in the early fall have new looks this year.
 
The Knights of Columbus intellectual disabilities fundraisers (the Tootsie Roll drives)  have mostly been held.
&nb... Read More
September 24, 2020
DIOCESE—Donna Hayes, Ecclesiastical Notary for the Diocese of Rockford’s Tribunal, started work Sept. 15, 1970. 
 
“My plan 50 years ago was to work just one year, but I guess God had other plans for me,” Hayes said. 
... Read More
Sun Shines as St. Edward Catholic Prepatory Academy Opens Its Doors
New School Launches with Fresh Paint, New Equipment, Masks and Social Distance
By Margarita Mendoza, El Observador Editor
September 17, 2020
ELGIN—Students, teachers and parents from St. Edward Catholic Preparatory Academy in Elgin have two powerful reasons to be excited. 
 
First of all, they are part of a brand new concept of school in the Diocese of Rockford — the fusion of a... Read More
September 17, 2020
DIOCESE—Catechetical Sunday is a day to honor teachers of the faith. This year’s theme is “I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you.”
 
In the Rockford Diocese, long-term awards will be given to catechists who are being ... Read More
September 17, 2020
BETHLEHEM, Penn.—Father Frank John Timar, a priest for the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, 87, died on Sept. 10, 2020, at Holy Family Manor, Bethlehem, Penn. 
 
Father Timar was born in Nazareth, Penn., on Dec. 27, 1932, to Frank and Angela (Pe... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
September 10, 2020
AURORA—Marmion monk Theodore Haggerty was ordained to the priesthood on Saturday, Sept. 5.
Restrictions due to the 
 
COVID-19 pandemic ranged from the soft whirr of a touchless sanitizer dispenser to Father Theodore’s sister... Read More
September 10, 2020
Four more women who served in the Rockford Diocese are celebrating jubilees this year.
 
Sister Myra Lambert, SSCM — 60 years
 
The Servants of the Holy Heart of Mary designated the week of July 26 t... Read More
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
September 10, 2020
ELGIN—Students, parents and staff of the new St. Edward Catholic Preparatory Academy here were notified just before the holiday weekend that summer vacation would last a little longer thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.
 
Principal Dr. Kathleen Miller... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
September 3, 2020
ROCKFORD—Members of the Permanent Diaconate Class of 2020 were admitted to the ministry of acolyte on Saturday morning, Aug. 29 at the Cathedral of St. Peter.
 
Father Kenneth Wasilewski, director of the permanent diaconate for the diocese, teased the... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
September 3, 2020
ROCKFORD—Kristina Riedelsperger, administrative assistant for Ministry Formation, says that the department created a Virtual Orientation Day presentation, “since we have too many people to meet the 50-or-less requirement for an in person meeting.” 
 ... Read More
Time for Postponed Holy Land Collection
Pope Francis sets Sept. 13 for collection usually held on Good Friday
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
September 3, 2020
DIOCESE—With Holy Week celebrations closed to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic in many countries including the U.S. and Italy, Pope Francis announced at the Vatican on April 2 that he was postponing the traditional Good Friday collection for the Holy Land to Sept. 13. ... Read More
Catholics Coping with COVID Not Just a Problem in the U.S
Reflections from ‘across the pond’ on keeping the faith afloat in hazardous times
By Louise Brass, Observer Correspondent
September 3, 2020
The Ark of Peter, as the Roman Catholic Church is often called, has had a bumpy sojourn through history in many areas of the world, including in England, in bygone centuries. 
 
But the closing of churches this year for health and safety during this la... Read More
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
September 3, 2020
WOODSTOCK—Marian Central Catholic High School here notified its parents and staff on Aug. 31 that the school would put its e-learning plan in place from Sept. 2-14. The plan is being activated due to new positive cases of COVID-19 and a large number of others at the school exposed to t... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
September 3, 2020
DIOCESE—The decision to postpone the final Women of Inspiration dinner in 2020 recently was made by the Rockford Deanery Council of Catholic Women (RDCCW).
 
It was the second date change for the deanery banquet, which had traditionally been held in J... Read More
Aurora Dominicans Receive $20,000 Grant
Money to be used for new literacy center books
By Sharon Boehlefeld, Features Editor
August 27, 2020
AURORA—The Dominican Literacy Center here has been awarded a $20,000 grant from the Aurora Women’s Empowerment Foundation (AWEF).
 
Sister Kathleen Ryan, center director, said, “We’re so grateful for their grant and we’re looki... Read More
August 27, 2020
Three congregations who are present in the Diocese of Rockford are part of 16 Dominican congregations from New York to California that joined together to address climate change and its effects on marginalized communities disproportionately impacted by global warming.
 Read More
August 27, 2020
Election procedures vary from county to county in the Rockford Diocese. Links to each county clerk’s election information are listed here.
 
Boone County
August 27, 2020
DIOCESE—The 2020 Youth Summit will not be held this fall.
 
The summit, hosted by Bishop David Malloy, has been held annually for the past several years. But Phase 4 guidelines for a safe COVID-19 reopening in Illinois prohibit gatherings of more than... Read More
August 27, 2020

On Aug. 16, the St. Rita Knights of Columbus Council 7624 in Rockford held a Silver Rose prayer service in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Each year, eight Silver Roses begin a pilgrimage through Canada, the United States, and Mexico.

Eventually, the roses reunite at the ... Read More

August 27, 2020
Workers continue construction of the new garden on the Cathedral of St. Peter campus in Rockford.
 
A covered drive-up area near the old school has been removed to make way for new landscaping.
 
Work on the grounds cleare... Read More
‘But the Lord Was Not in the Wind’
Parish and parishioners roll with storm’s aftermath
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
August 20, 2020
ROCKFORD—A verse from 1 Kings, the first reading at Sunday Masses, Aug. 9, seems to have predicted what Holy Family Parish here would experience the next day.
 
Storms and tornadoes that blew like a hurricane through parts of Rockford the after... Read More
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
August 20, 2020
DIOCESE—By now Catholics in the 11-county Rockford Diocese are used to diocesan protocols for attending Mass in a pandemic. 
 
While it is far from a preferred method of worship, everyone is adjusting to signing up for Mass, wearing a mask, being... Read More
August 20, 2020
Seminarians Jeff Filipski, Grant Colburn, and Eric Schreifels were accepted as worthy candidates for the sacrament of Holy Orders Aug. 13.
 
Bishop David Malloy administered the rite of candidacy at the Blessed Sacrament Chapel inside the Diocesan Administr... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
August 13, 2020
ROCKFORD—The social aspects of COVID-19 were clear during the annual Mass for the feast of St. Clare at the Poor Clare Colettine Monastery in Rockford on Aug. 11. 
 
Bishop David Malloy celebrated the Mass as usual, with assistance from Father Ni... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
August 13, 2020
LOVES PARK—Father Sean Grismer spoke about Peter’s attempt to walk on water as he addressed the candidates and catechumens at St. Bridget Church on Sunday afternoon, Aug. 9.
 
A fisherman belongs on his boat, he said, paraphrasing for that futur... Read More
By Lynne Conner, Observer Correspondent
August 13, 2020
ROCKFORD—The resiliency shown by the Class of 2020 in handling cancelled senior milestones like prom and graduation is being tested even further as they navigate plans for higher education. 
 
Some recent Boylan Central Catholic High School gradu... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
August 13, 2020
ROCKFORD—Kevin Winn, 31, is at a point in life where his whole life is up in the air —and it will be interesting to see where it will settle into place.
 
In May, Winn finished five years at Arizona State, graduating with a Ph.D. in Educational ... Read More
One Pandemic Storm Leads to Many ‘Boats’ of Experiences
McHenry parish plans live and online event to help get all “boats” on better course.
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
August 6, 2020
MCHENRY—“I’m not think-ing we’ll solve any problems. I just want people to know we are all walking together,” says Father Paul White, pastor of Church of Holy Apostles.
 
His parish is holding a virtual and in-person program on... Read More
August 6, 2020
Editor’s note: Patrick Winn, director of Catholic Charities, compiled this information for The Observer.
 
ROCKFORD—Anyone can be at risk of being taken advantage of by a scam and scammers are now using fears driven by the COVID-19 pand... Read More
August 6, 2020
DIOCESE—Catholic high schools in the Rockford Diocese have found ways to congratulate this year’s senior classes. Among them are Sterling’s Newman Central Catholic High School and Elgin’s St. Edward Centrral Catholic High School.
 
<... Read More
A Moveable Feast Moving Across Diocese in 2021
2020 gathering planned for Aurora falls victim to coronavirus
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
July 23, 2020
AURORA—The successful Catholic Charities’ fundraiser last year in Rockford will move to Aurora in the fall of 2021.
 
A Moveable Feast fundraising event originally was planned to be a 2020 event in this city located in the southeast corner of th... Read More
Auxiliary Disbands After Many Years
Variety of circumstances lead to end of Caritas
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
July 23, 2020
ROCKFORD—June 22 marked the official end of the Catholic Charities Auxiliary.
 
Formed in 1987, the Auxiliary had raised over $530,000 for children’s programs at Catholic Charities, mostly through its annual luncheon fundraiser, Caritas. The fun... Read More
July 16, 2020
As contributions come in for the Rockford Diocesan Annual Appeal, many include prayer intentions.
 
The intentions are included in the petitions at Masses offered in the chapel at... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
July 16, 2020
ROCKFORD—Between July 5 and 6, someone vandalized a crucifix at St. Bernadette Parish in Rockford.
The little roadside shrine is located near the corner of Rockton and Bell avenues, facing the west side Mercy Health Hospital. 
 
Th... Read More
Catholic School Teachers Perform Ministerial Roles
Bishops laud SCOTUS decision that California schools could not be sued
July 16, 2020
WASHINGTON (CNS)—Two U.S. bishops said they welcomed the Supreme Court’s 7-2 ruling July 8 which said California Catholic schools could not be sued for job discrimination in firing teachers. The bishops said the decision “rightly acknowledged” the limit on state autho... Read More
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
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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