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

 

By Penny Wiegert, Editor
August 13, 2020
ELGIN—The new school opening in Elgin could be called a bridge. Because, for the first time in the Diocese of Rockford, Catholic elementary and Catholic high school education programs are being formally and directly connected through the creation of the St. Edward Catholic Preparatory ... 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 Penny Wiegert, Editor
August 13, 2020
DIOCESE—Catholic schools in the Rockford Diocese are making final preparations to welcome students in person this month. Full plans and guidelines during this time of pandemic have been posted both on the Catholic Education website and linked on the Diocese of Rockford website.
... Read More
August 13, 2020
AURORA—After a hiatus since March due to the pandemic, Aurora's nonprofit Dominican Literacy Center will resume English tutoring and citizenship classes in September.
 
Sister Kathleen Ryan, OP, center director, said new tutoring students have bee... 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

A shrine at St. Bernadette Parish on Rockford’s west side has been vandalized a second time on July 24.

The first time the parish’s roadside shrine was vandalized, someone allegedly took a hammer to it and broke the body of Jesus. So the parish repaired it. Then, early o... 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
August 6, 2020
Crews from Stenstrom Construction work on preparing the ground on the Cathedral of St. Peter campus for a new prayer garden.
 
A statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe will be placed in the prayer garden.
 
Pavers will be install... Read More
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
July 23, 2020
ROCKFORD—Families, a few friends and some diocesan priests and seminarians gathered at the Cathedral of St. Peter as Aaron Downing and John McFadden took one step closer to the diocesan priesthood July 18.
 
“It has taken a while longer than we ... Read More
July 23, 2020
The Rev. James C. Canova — to be Parochial Vicar at St. Rita Parish, Rockford effective Aug. 1, 2020.
 
The Rev. Lisandro E. Cristancho — to be Parochial Vicar at St. Mary Parish, Elgin and St. Patrick Parish, S... 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
July 23, 2020
DIOCESE—The Northern Illinois Food bank serves several of the Rockford Diocese’s 11 counties. Scheduled August mobile food deliveries in the diocese are:
 
Boone County
Aug. 1: 10-11:30 a.m., 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
July 16, 2020
ROCKFORD—One of the many things delayed by the coronavirus outbreak, spread and subsequent stay-at-home order was construction of a prayer garden honoring the Blessed Mother on the Cathedral of St. Peter campus. 
 
After the former chancery and c... 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
July 16, 2020
The Observer recently received three books from Sophia Institute Press to share with our readers. 
 
“Conquering Coronavirus: How Faith Can Put Your Fears to Rest&rdquo... Read More
Insurance Plans Need Not Cover Birth Control
After years in legal battles, SCOTUS says religious exemptions are OK
July 16, 2020
WASHINGTON (CNS)—In a 7-2 decision July 8, the Supreme Court upheld regulations by the Trump administration giving employers more ability to opt out of providing contraceptive coverage in their health plans.
 
The decision, written by Justice Clarence... 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
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
July 9, 2020
The Observer recently focused some of its news space to the unrest in the U.S. centered on the death of George Floyd, a Black man, at the hands of white police officers. This incident brought the issue of racism to the front of our newspapers, television screens, online news feeds and even o... Read More
July 9, 2020
DIOCESE—Catholic Scouting is adapting its religious awards training this year. 
 
The Catholic Committee on Scouting in the Blackhawk Council is inviting all Catholic Scouts to work on their Ad Altare Dei and Pope Pius XII  awards on line.... Read More
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
July 9, 2020
DIOCESE—Just as the country was preparing to celebrate Independence Day, the Rockford Diocese Catholic Education Office was preparing to open Catholic schools on time this fall.
 
A plan for reopening was sent to all principals in the diocese before t... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
July 2, 2020
FREEPORT—Father Kenneth Anderson, pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Freeport, grew up on the west side of Rockford at a time when it was changing into a place with families of many races.
 
“We had an excellent opportunity to engage with pe... Read More
July 2, 2020
Prejudice, although often irrational, is an act of our minds. We “pre-judge” people, places and things frequently, making decisions and acting without taking time to closely examine facts. That of course can lead to bad decisions and harm us or others. Sometimes prejudice works a... Read More
July 2, 2020
by Father David Beauvais
Retired priest of the Rockford Diocese
 
Catholics are now in a sacred moment in our country that challenges us to reflect on our parishes and our proud histories. Think of y... Read More
June 25, 2020
DIOCESE—Fourteen priests in the Rockford Diocese recived new pastoral assignments from the chancery this month.
 
Such changes are traditionally announced near the ordination of new priests and take effect in July. 
 
<... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
June 25, 2020
SUGAR GROVE—Father Robert Jones, pastor of St. Katharine Drexel Parish in Sugar Grove, points to the patroness of his parish as a model for addressing racism in America.
 
St. Katharine, he says, “devoted her life to teaching children. She was e... Read More
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
June 25, 2020
The Catechism of the Catholic Church is not lengthy in its treatment of the topic of racism. But what it tells Catholics is powerful and to the point.  In a nutshell, racism is incompatible with God’s design.
 
The color of one’s skin, the ... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
June 25, 2020
Do You Feel Racist?
Do you have racist tendencies that are hidden even to yourself? Even if you have never directly insulted or attacked people of another race, these questions might show you that you may have a prejudiced or racist way of looking at others.
&nb... Read More
June 18, 2020
The Rev. Ryan Browning — to be Pastor of St. Thomas More Parish, Elgin, effective July 1, 2020.
 
The Rev. Christopher DiTomo — to be Pastor of St. Mary Parish, Huntley, effective July 1, 2020.
&n... Read More
DPC Discusses COVID-19, Racism
COVID distancing leads to first ever virtual meeting
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
June 18, 2020
DIOCESE—The world-wide health crisis of COVID-19 has not only changed the way the world operates, but it also seems to be shaping how we plan, at least in the short term. 
 
Also poised to change our world-view are the protests and calls for chan... Read More
June 11, 2020
Father Reichardt chose an antique chalice for his ordination.
 
“I found a French antique dealer through a mutual friend who specializes in high quality antique church (and)sacred items. We just started emailing and he had a slew of chalices. I love t... Read More
June 11, 2020
Parishes across the Diocese of Rockford are working to accommodate more parishioners.
 
All parishes of the diocese have now been certified to open for 30% of building capacity as long as social distancing is maintained.
 
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
June 4, 2020
DIOCESE— Bishop David Malloy issued a letter June 1 to diocesan pastors authorizing them to move to the second phase of reopening for public Mass celebrations beginning with Masses on June 6-7.
 
The second phase allows for more people at Masses. ... Read More
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
June 4, 2020
SOUTH BELOIT—After offering Catholic elementary education in the northern most part of the Rockford Diocese for the last 63 years, St. Peter Parish School here will close.
 
The news was announced in a letter released to families May 20 by St. Peter p... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
June 4, 2020
DIXON—Seminarian James Linkenheld has been living at the North American College and studying at the Gregorian University in Rome for three years. He is on track to be ordained a transitional deacon later this year in Rome.
 
Such a setting provides op... Read More
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
June 4, 2020
DIOCESE—Bishop David Malloy joined bishops around the country in decrying the racism and violence that played a part in the death of George Floyd.
 
Floyd was an unarmed black man pinned down by a police officer kneeling on his neck in Minneapolis May... 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
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
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
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
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
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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