By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
April 20, 2017

ROCKFORD—The annual Chrism Mass was held on Holy Thursday, April 13, at the Cathedral of St. Peter.

It welcomed people from throughout the Diocese of Rockford who represented their respective parishes and other Catholic entities to receive the holy oils to be used throughout the coming year.

In his homily, Bishop David Malloy told of a mute Parisian janitor played... Read More

April 20, 2017

AURORA—Beginning at Sacred Heart Parish and ending at St. Nicholas Parish, the Stations of the Cross were reenacted in what has become an annual Good Friday event, here.

The crowds of people who followed along increased at each station. Participating parishes included: St. Joseph, Sacred Heart, St. Rita of Cascia, St. Therese of Jesus, St. Peter, St. Mary, Our Lady of Good C... Read More

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
April 20, 2017

ROCKFORD—Following his morning Mass at the Cathedral of St. Peter, Bishop David Malloy again brought Easter Sunday Mass to Winnebago County Jail inmates along with a message of hope — and a couple of assignments for attendees.

“I know most of you have Bibles,” he said, encouraging the men to read during the coming Easter week all four Gospel accounts of the... Read More

By Lynne Conner, Observer Correspondent
April 20, 2017

ROCKFORD—People wanting to deepen their faith this Lent had a rare opportunity March 29.

More than 75 people visited the Poor Clare Colettines Corpus Christi Monastery for a chapel tour and slide presentation by Mother Abbess Maria Dominica Stein.

The event was part of “Engaging Lent,” a six week lecture series sponsored by Rockford Urban Ministries.... Read More

April 19, 2017

Young Observer -- 'Her heart goes out'

Marian Key Club, members honored at convention

Freeport schools honor March students of the month

Global Catholic population tops 1.28 billion; half aare in 10 countries

Stamps to mark Pope Bendict's birthday, Fatima apparitions

Egypt's attacks won't stop pope's visit for peace, says Vatican official

Most important and costliest medicine? Love, pope tells patients

Papal almoner opens laundry service for the poor

April 13, 2017

DIOCESE—“I think it’s fabulous,” said one parishioner, who was among a stream of penitents at St. Patrick Church in Rochelle, after receiving the sacrament of reconciliation on Be Reconciled Day, April 5.

The special day gives people an extra push, she said. “It’s good to have a day set aside to go to confession. I heard Bishop Malloy on the rad... Read More

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
April 13, 2017

ROCKFORD—Palm Sunday, April 9, brought the pageantry of palms to the start of Holy Week.

At the well-decorated Cathedral of St. Peter, Bishop David Malloy celebrated the 7:30 a.m. Mass. “Each year when we read the Passion, we’re reminded ... in a fundamental element (that faith) is not for the fainthearted,” he said.

The Passion of Jesus has all ... Read More

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
April 13, 2017

MCHENRY—On March 21, images of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary were enthroned at Montini Middle School, here, following an all-school Mass celebrated at St. Mary Parish by its pastor, Father David Austin.

Father Austin spoke of the enthronement of the two images as a matter of giving them “a special place, a special home” in the school.... Read More

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
April 6, 2017

DIOCESE—About 50 people from the Diocese of Rockford joined 50 others from the dioceses of Springfield and Belleville on March 29 to encourage their state representatives to vote no on House Bill 40.

“If passed, the bill will allow for public funding of abortions, coverage for abortions in state health plans, (and) funding of organizations that perform abortions, like ... Read More

By Penny Wiegert, Editor
April 6, 2017

ELGIN—Parents from Elgin area Catholic schools gathered April 3 at St. Edward  Central Catholic High School to learn about the key findings and data, gain insights, and share feedback about the next steps in the Faith Forward Strategic planning process for diocesan Catholic schools.

Parents and parishioners of St. Joseph, St. Laurence and St. Mary met with Michael Kagan... Read More

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
April 6, 2017

SPRINGFIELD—Cathy Weightman-Moore, director of the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program for Catholic Charities, received the Culture Change Champion award from the Illinois Pioneer Coalition in March.

She was honored for her ongoing efforts to promote best practices at long-term care facilities.

Weightman-Moore has worked for Catholic Charities since 1985 and became h... Read More

By Lynne Conner, Observer Correspondent
April 6, 2017

ROCKFORD—About 18 local companies were on hand for a hiring event hosted by the St. Elizabeth Catholic Community Center on March 21.

The event was co-sponsored by Catholic Charities, Goodwill and the Workforce Connection.

“This is not just a job fair, but a hiring opportunity for many who attended today,” said Emily Schwartz, an employment specialist w... Read More

April 6, 2017

AKRON, Ohio—“Chosen (Custody of the Eyes)” will make its debut appearance April 9 at the Athens International Film and Video Festival in Athens, Ohio, as a competition feature. “Chosen” was selected from 2,000 submissions.

The film is one of the outcomes of a 12-year collaboration between the cloistered Poor Clare Colettines of Rockford and Abbie Rees... Read More

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
April 6, 2017

By Amanda Hudson
News Editor
ALGONQUIN—Bishop David Malloy was honored by the Rockford Diocesan Council of Catholic Women on March 22 during a luncheon at the Golf Club of Illinois in Algonquin.

The DCCW holds the event every other year at various locations throughout the diocese.

Bishop Malloy spoke after the meal about the challenge to find volun... Read More

March 23, 2017

The Rev. Ronnie B. Custorio, OSA — to be Parochial Vicar at St. Nicholas Parish, Aurora, Illinois, effective Saturday, April 1, 2017
Given at the Chancery,
March 14, 2017.

March 23, 2017

Guide to Confession
The sacrament of penance, or confession, brings about a change of heart through God’s mercy and forgiveness. Experience the Lord’s compassion through the sacrament of penance, which is made up of the following parts:

Before Confession

How to Make a Good Confession

Confe... Read More

March 23, 2017

MCHENRY—In January, 14 ImaBridge team members made the organization’s 12th mission trip to Nigeria.

The charitable organization based in the Rockford Diocese (see box, below right) delivered supplies and visited several Nigerian villages to fulfill its mission of providing health, education, clean water and improving the economy in rural areas.

Read More
March 23, 2017

DIOCESE­—On Ash Wed-nesday, third grade students at St. Andrew School in Rock Falls decorated their paper hearts for the Heart to Heart program sponsored by The Junior Observer and the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women.

During Lent, the students have been praying, making sacrifices, and donating money for school supplies for the children in the Diocese of Chulucanas in ... Read More

March 23, 2017

ROCKFORD—Boylan Central Catholic High School senior Bridget Bishop has been named an Honorable Mention recipient to the 24th Annual IHSA All-State Academic Team.

The IHSA received nearly 475 nominations from member schools this year.

Bishop was one of 50 who were selected for honorable mention.

Nominees must possess a minimum GPA of 3.50 on a 4.0 scale ... Read More

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
March 16, 2017

ST. CHARLES—Chase Hilgenbrinck was 25-years-old when he reached what he saw as the Michael Jordan pinnacle of success. His Chilean soccer team had won the national championship.  

Chile takes soccer seriously, he told a good-sized crowd of parents and sports-loving students on March 5. It was the final event of the annual “Here I Am Lord” vocations conferenc... Read More

By Penny Wiegert, Editor
March 16, 2017

ROCKFORD—About 170 parents gathered at Boylan Central Catholic High School here, March 8, for a meeting about specific data gathered as part of the Faith Forward strategic planning process for Catholic schools in the diocese.

The data shared by Tom Heding of the Meitler Consultants was specific to the Catholic schools at the Cathedral of St. Peter, St. Bernadette and St. Jam... Read More

By Elizabeth Palmer, Observer Correspondent
March 16, 2017

What is it?

815Catholic is a group of young adults seeking to foster a community of individuals in which they can grow together in faith and fellowship.

815Catholic does not push a program, or a “cookie-cutter” model of what it means to be Catholic or some new Christian clique.

“We simply want to live life to the fullest (Jo... Read More

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
March 9, 2017

DIOCESE—The 2016 International Appeal is coming to parishes this weekend, March 11-12.

This combined collection brings together several efforts that assist the Catholic Church around the world as well as in the Diocese of Rockford.

The two diocesan collections are the Catholic Elementary... Read More

March 9, 2017

(A few names were submitted after the program went to press on Feb. 24 and are not included here.)

  Catechumen       ⇒ Candidate

Algonquin
St. Margaret Mary -- ⇒ Matt Menarek, ⇒ Daniel Wartsb... Read More

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
March 9, 2017

ROCKFORD—“The ‘I’ in Christ” is this year’s overall theme at the Cathedral of St. Peter School, here, and the theme has been expanded to include Lent.

Principal James Burns said that the theme is geared to remind students to act more like Jesus.

At the school’s Ash Wednesday Mass on March 1, student representatives processed up ... Read More

By Penny Wiegert, Editor
March 9, 2017

DIOCESE—Are you a volunteer at your parish or school? Then you have probably been asked to agree to a background check and to complete the Virtus online Protecting God’s Children training program.

Members of parish groups like the Knights of Columbus, Altar and Rosary societies and Home and School organizations have also been asked to complete the requirements for the ... Read More

March 2, 2017

ALGONQUIN—While the official challenge for this year’s Shamrock Shave at St. Margaret Mary Parish, here, may be “cops versus firemen,” there is another reason to support the annual effort, March 11.

Parishioner and former “shavee” Talia Freund, 14, is among those fighting cancer this year.

Talia was diagnosed with Metastatic Ewing&rsq... Read More

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
March 2, 2017

ROCKFORD—The regular “all-hands” meeting of Catholic Charities in the diocese on Feb. 24 welcomed speakers on the multifaceted issues of justice and human trafficking.

Bishop David Malloy opened the meeting in the Fellowship Hall at the Cathedral of St. Peter. Justice is “first and foremost” something rendered to God and what He created, he said.

... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
March 2, 2017

GENEVA—“The Bishop wears the zucchetto or skullcap as a sign of his total commitment to God,” read a classmate of Michael Mlot as a bright rose zucchetto was placed on his head.

Step by step, St. Peter parochial administrator Father Jonathan Bakkelund continued vesting the fourth grader as Boy Bishop of the Day with cross, ring, miter, stole, crozier and a cope &... Read More

March 2, 2017

BATAVIA—Anyone who has gone to Mass at Holy Cross Parish recently has already heard about the new Lent program there: Holy CrossFit!

The brainchild of its pastor, Father James Parker, Holy CrossFit is a series of challenges for the 40 days of Lent. Each is aimed at improving spiritual, emotional, physical, and intellectual health.

“The last several years Cro... Read More

March 2, 2017

The Rev. Ronnie B. Custorio, OSA — at the nomination of his Provincial Superior and by appointment of The Most Reverend Diocesan Bishop, to be Parochial Vicar pro tempore at St. Mary of the Assumption Parish, Maple Park, Illinois, effective March 1, 2017.
Given at the Chancery, Feb. 27, 2017

Rev. Mr. Julio Rosado — with permiss... Read More

Aurora Woman’s Dedication to The Needy Changed the City
Memoir to Showcase the Gentle Spirit of Marie Wilkinson
By Louise Brass, Observer Correspondent
February 23, 2017

AURORA—Calcutta had Mother Teresa. Aurora had Marie Wilkinson.

While St. Teresa of Calcutta is known world-wide and Marie Wilkinson is not, their love of God and neighbor, and their joyful and persistent action to improve the lives of others, was similar in many ways.

Making sure the people received food and clothing or jobs, if that was their need, and working fo... Read More

By Pat Szpekowski, Observer Correspondent
February 23, 2017

MCHENRY—Building a new life to escape long-term poverty is not easy, but the innovative Hope Takes Action program in McHenry has become a beacon of hope for those individuals who seek positive change.

A group of six men and women from McHenry County, ranging in age from 43 to 64, took the challenge and became the program’s first “investigators.”

... Read More

February 23, 2017

Hope Takes Action is an educational/mentoring program with a mission to empower individuals to transition to self-sufficiency with community support.

It is a program of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, which provides financial assistance to people in need. The three Roman Catholic churches in McHenry — St. Mary, St. Patrick and Holy Apostles — and the First United M... Read More

February 16, 2017

DIOCESE—This year, the Friday of Catholic Schools Week was also the Feast of St. Blaise.

St. Blaise, bishop and martyr, lived in the fourth century in Turkey and Armenia. For a time Blaise lived in a cave to escape persecution.

On his feast the church recalls a miracle cure associated with him and celebrates the blessing of the throats. Blaise apparently saved the... Read More

February 16, 2017

AURORA—It’s been a year and a half since Aurora Central Catholic High School made its case for campus expansion.

At the time, Father F. William Etheredge, chief administrative officer, had been at the school 14 years.

“We’ve grown rather significantly since I first got here,” he said. Enrollment then was under 350 and now is “very clo... Read More

February 16, 2017

DIOCESE—Singers are welcome to join the Rockford Diocese Chorale beginning this weekend with rehearsals for Lent events. Each rehearsal lasts one and a half hours. Dates, locations and times are:

Feb. 18: 10:30 a.m., St. Catherine, 845 W. Main St., West Dundee

Feb. 24: 7 p.m., St. Peter, 1891 Kaneville Road, Geneva

March 2: 7 p.m., Cathedral of St. Pete... Read More

By Penny Wiegert, Editor
February 9, 2017

AURORA—The strategic planning process for Catholic schools in the Diocese of Rockford is in its consultation  phase in some areas of the diocese.  

On Feb. 6, representatives from the Diocese of Rockford and the Meitler consulting group of Milwaukee met with Catholic school parents and parishioners of St. Peter, St. Therese of Jesus, St. Joseph and Our Lady of Good... Read More

February 2, 2017

EAST DUBUQUE.—St. Mary School here will remain open despite an announcement to close made during a meeting on Jan. 24.

Father Dean Smith, pastor of St. Mary Parish here and Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Menominee, announced the decision to discontinue elementary education at St. Mary School as of May 26, the last day of classes this year.

About 100... Read More

By Pat Szpekowski, Observer Correspondent
January 26, 2017

ELGIN—One way that the mission of faith formation is being accomplished with success in Catholic schools in the Rockford Diocese is through the “Catholic Household Program.” Both St. Mary School in Elgin and Holy Cross School in Batavia are using the program.

St. Mary instituted the program in 2013, one year after Barbara Colandrea arrived as principal.  Read More

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
January 19, 2017

ROCKFORD—Students from each of the deaneries of the Diocese of Rockford were awarded $600 scholarships on Dec. 15 at the Diocesan Administration Center.

The annual scholarships come from a foundation begun by the late Bishop Arthur J. O’Neill. He started it with funds collected for him by Catholic schools in 1994 when he retired.

This year’s award winn... Read More

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