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
Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
Avoid contact with sick people
Stay home if you are sick
Cover mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

And of course, your continued prayers for the sick and their caregivers is always encouraged.


Changing Plans
Pandemic effects challenge Boylan grads during start of college
By Lynne Conner, Observer Corresondent
April 15, 2021
ROCKFORD—Last fall four members of the Class of 2020 from Boylan Central Catholic High School here were planning to go to college during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
With their first semester of college now completed, these grads and their parents r... Read More
April 8, 2021
DIOCESE—Bishop David Malloy celebrated several Masses on Easter Sunday to end the Triduum, the holiest  three days of the Liturgical Year.
One was a pre-recorded Mass from his chapel (see photo, right), a practice he began a little more than a ... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
April 8, 2021
ROCKFORD—This year’s Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday welcomed priests of the diocese and gave them the additional duty of bringing the holy oils back to their parishes.
In non-pandemic times, laity are invited to be present and receive the oils. ... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
April 8, 2021
DIOCESE—Although attendance was limited, Good Friday services were held throughout the Diocese of Rockford much like usual.
One significant difference was the manner of veneration of the crucifix. Instead of having the congregation come forward to t... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
April 8, 2021
BELVIDERE—The annual Acies of the Legion of Mary welcomed about 45 people from several areas of the diocese on March 27, to St. James Church, here.
Masks, social distancing and prayers done without touching the Legion’s Vexillum — a stan... Read More
Rally for Parental Notice April 10
Rockford group to stand and pray at busy city intersection
April 8, 2021
ROCKFORD—Concerned citizens in Rockford will hold a rally in defense of Illinois’ Parental Notice of Abortion Act on April 10 at noon. 
The rally will take place at the intersection of Riverside Boulevard and Mulford Road, and participant... Read More
By Lynne Conner and Pat Szpekowski, Observer Correspondents
April 1, 2021
DIOCESE—One of the first innovations Bishop David Malloy brought to the Rockford Diocese when he arrived was an annual day of confessions during Lent. 
He envisioned a day when Catholics would be able to go to any parish near their home or work... Read More
April 1, 2021
DIOCESE—On March 23, the Diocese of Rockford updated its list of priests against whom a substantiated allegation of sexual abuse of a minor has been reported. 
The update was the result of the Rockford Diocese being made aware that a religious ... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
April 1, 2021
AURORA—Mary Ann Wolf was born and raised a parishioner at St. Joseph Church here.
“I’m 90 years old,” she says. “I was born here, made all my sacraments here and graduated from the school. My husband (also a St. Joseph School... Read More
April 1, 2021
The mother parish of St. Joseph in Aurora was St. Nicholas, which was a considerable distance to walk for some German families living in northeast Aurora. 
A meeting on July 17, 1898, in consultation with St. Nicholas’ pastor, Father Charles Sc... Read More
On Easter Sunday, Rejoice
Easter Reflection
by Father Jonathan Bakkelund Pastor, St. Peter, Geneva Director of the Office of Divine Worship
April 1, 2021
Christ is Risen! Alleluia! Alleluia! Just as He said! Alleluia! Alleluia!
There is an ancient Easter Homily also called the Hieratikon written by St. John Chrysostom at the end of the fourth or beginning of the fifth century. It is obligatory for Orthodox... Read More
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
March 25, 2021
MACHESNEY PARK—Bishop David Malloy was one of 288 appointments  at the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic at OSF Rock Cut here March 17. 
In honor of the Feast of St. Patrick, Bishop Malloy wore a green mask as he waited in line for his first dose of... Read More
March 25, 2021
DIOCESAN—After last year’s pandemic-caused delay, the annual Pontifical Good Friday Collection is returning to Good Friday.
The collection is taken up in parishes during Good Friday services and forwarded to the Holy Land Franciscans to suppor... Read More
by Father Sean Grismer Parochial Vicar, St. Bridget, Loves Park
March 25, 2021
I recognize that roller coasters are not everyone’s cup of tea, but for me they are exhilarating. 
With that said, the worst part is that slow, clanky, long climb up to the first drop. Then there is that momentary pause as you stare down... Read More
March 25, 2021
DIOCESE—One of the most important missions for a bishop is to reach the people in his pastoral care. 
Bishop David Malloy, like so many diocesan priests and their staffs, had to think of new and creative ways to fulfill the mission of outreach during lockdowns and c... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
March 25, 2021
ROCKFORD—Claudia Broman began service at the Diocese of Rockford as its new Charitable Giving Director on March 15.
She brings a wide variety of experience to the position, most recently as development director of Warhawk Catholic, which is the Cath... Read More
March 25, 2021
FREEPORT—Like many organizations, Madonna Renewal Center here had to cancel all its 2020 fundraisers due to pandemic restriction.
The center provides support for pregnant women and their children.
To raise funds ... Read More
March 25, 2021
AURORA—The Marmion Academy mathematics department hosted its 18th annual Junior High Mathematics Contest last month. 
Usually held on the campus in Aurora, this year’s contest was held virtually.
Over ... Read More
Come to confession March 24.
Visit a Catholic Church near you.
March 18, 2021
 I want to personally invite all Catholics to the sacrament of confession anytime on Be Reconciled Day, Wednesday, March 24.  
Whether it’s been a few months or many years, com... Read More
Praying for Peace
Bishop joins Burmese community at Mass for the Asian country
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
March 18, 2021
ROCKFORD—There are more than 180 Burmese who have been parishioners at St. James Church in Rockford for over a decade.
They and those in the greater Burmese community who attend other Christian churches came together the evening of March 13 at St. J... Read More
March 18, 2021
Myanmar, or Burma, is in South East Asia. Its neighbors include Thailand, Laos, Bangladesh, China and India. It has a population of about 54 million, four percent Christians. 
The country gained independence from Britain in 1948. It was ruled by the ... Read More
by Father Oscar Cortes, Pastor, St. Rita of Cascia, Aurora
March 18, 2021
‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.”
— John 12:23 
Dear brothers and sisters, during these days of Lent we... Read More
March 18, 2021
AURORA—”There’s No Place Like Home” is the theme for Rosary High School’s 20th annual Candlelight Ball.
It will be both an in-person and virtual event to raise money for the school on March 27. 
 Read More
March 18, 2021
AURORA—Two Marmion Academy seniors have been named finalists in National Merit Scholarship competition.
Ryan Bennett of Sugar Grove and Nicholas Wilson of North Aurora are among the top 15,000 high school students nationwide who are finalists in the... Read More
March 18, 2021
AURORA— The 25th annual “Super Saturday Night” will be an online “Silver Lining” celebration beginning April 29, and running through May 1.
Aurora Central Catholic High School’s online fundraising event features a silen... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
March 11, 2021
Holy Family Parish is taking a deliberate approach to welcome
less engaged Catholics back after pandemic
... Read More
March 11, 2021
DIOCESE—Bishop David Malloy sent a letter about the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to pastors in the Rockford Diocese on March 8.
He explains that getting a vaccine is a moral good, but if there is a choice, it is morally just to opt for the... Read More
Lent Reflection
Remember You Are Not Alone
by Father Kenneth Anderson Pastor, St. Thomas Aquinas, Freeport Dean of the Freeport Deanery
March 11, 2021
So often, as we sit back to watch our favorite football team on a Sunday afternoon, the camera pans over the crowd, to zoom in on that one person. 
It is that one individual holding a poster aloft, which is inscribed John 3:16 — “For God ... Read More
March 11, 2021
WASHINGTON—In response to the military coup in Myanmar, Bishop David Malloy of Rockford, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on International Justice and
Peace, expressed solidarity with the people of Myanmar... Read More
March 11, 2021
PEORIA (CNS)—In a celebration blending religious and civic pride in one of Peoria’s most famous and influential historic residents, the street outside St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria was given the honorary designation of “Bishop Fulton Sheen Avenue” Feb. 4.
... Read More
Losing Odds
Innocent entertainment or source of stress: March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
March 4, 2021
Finding a bus trip to a casino isn’t too difficult in the 11 counties that make up the Rockford Diocese. 
In the eastern portion of the diocese, Aurora and Elgin both have popular casinos while just beyond the border to the west, Dubuque, Iowa, is home to another ri... Read More
March 4, 2021
CHICAGO—Rockford runner, Sister Stephanie Baglia, FSE, is again seeking runners for Team OLA in the upcoming Bank of America Chicago Marathon.
Money raised through the marathon helps the Mission of Our Lady of the Angels (via the Franciscans of the ... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
March 4, 2021
DIOCESE—The annual International Appeal will be collected in parishes of the Rockford Diocese the weekend of March 13-14.
The appeal provides Catholics of the diocese with an opportunity to support many works of mercy and charity around the world. I... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
March 4, 2021
Rosie Scalise Sheridan created her first in-home St. Joseph altar after a health battle.
“In 2001, I was diagnosed with breast cancer,” Sheridan says. “My prayers were to St. Joseph to get me through. I promised to build him an altar. My... Read More
March 4, 2021

These parishes provided information about their St. Joseph celebrations. Check with your parish for other activities.

St. Patrick -- March 19

St. Joseph’s Table: after 8 ... Read More
March 4, 2021
AURORA—Aurora Central Catholic High School’s spring musical will go on with pandemic protocols.
“Bright Star,” written by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, will be staged March 12-13 at 7 p.m. and March 14 at 3 p.m.
Ph... Read More
February 25, 2021
Just in time for the Year of St. Joseph, St. John Neumann Parish in St. Charles added a grotto dedicated to the saint.
It was built in November 2020 in the  southwest corner of the church parking lot.
Does your pa... Read More
February 25, 2021

Principal Brenna O’Hearn and teachers from St. Margaret Mary School in Algonquin received their shots and cards after receiving their first doses of COVID-19 vaccines at Huntley High School recently.

Also baring their arms are Michael Kagan, superintendent, and Vito DiFrisco, ... Read More

Parental Notification Being Challenged in Illinois
Quick action needed to reach state legislators
February 25, 2021
DIOCESE—The Catholic Conference of Illinois has issued an action alert regarding HB1797, which seeks to repeal Illinois’ Parental Notification of Abortion Act.
A message from the Diocesan Life and Family Evangelization Office says the bill sho... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
February 18, 2021
WOODSTOCK—St. Mary Church welcomed parishioners back into the church the weekend of Feb. 6-7 after extensive renovations were completed right on schedule.
The project began Dec. 26 and has used funds dedicated solely to, and available for, church be... Read More
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
February 11, 2021
DIOCESE—For safety’s sake, Ash Wednesday, Feb. 17, this year will look and even sound a bit different. But the public witness and meaning of entering into the holy penitential season of Lent remains the same.
In an effort to continue safety pr... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
February 4, 2021
DIOCESE—The coronavirus has affected businesses of many kinds, and some of the impacts have fallen on the funeral industry say Catholic owners of funeral homes in the diocese and by staff of the Catholic Cemeteries Office.
Two employees at the Catho... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
February 4, 2021
St. Joseph Parish in Apple River began after early Catholics in the area had been attended by priests from Galena and Freeport. 
One missionary, Father Peter Corcoran, supervised the building of a church in Apple River in 1863. The first resident pas... Read More
January 28, 2021
DIOCESAN—With some reduction in the rate of spread of COVID-19 throughout Illinois, gathering restrictions are loosening.
On Jan. 19, Bishop David Malloy sent letters to the priests of the diocese outlining the newest diocesan adaptations to the ong... Read More
January 21, 2021
There are seven parishes in the Rockford Diocese dedicated to the foster father of Jesus.
During this Year of St. Joseph, The Observer will highlight each of the parishes.
The first alpabetically by town — St. Jo... Read More
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
January 21, 2021
DIOCESE—Catholic schools in the Diocese of Rockford, like all other organizations and individuals, were challenged by the ongoing global pandemic.
Everyone from the students to the administration had to find new routines and adapt to new ways of giv... Read More
January 21, 2021
March 12, 2020 -- Illinois closes schools -- Governor J. Pritzker closes Illinois elementary and high schools in response to the growing COVID-19 ... Read More
Life Mass to be Live and Virtual
Together strong: Pro-life beliefs unite March for Life participants despite COVID restrictions
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
January 14, 2021
HUNTLEY—Traditionally at this time of year, the diocese along with a variety of schools and parishes would be preparing for a pilgrimage to the annual March for Life in Washington, Jan. 27-29.
But like most other large gatherings, the annual March i... Read More
January 14, 2021
I join wholeheartedly the statement issued by Archbishop Jose Gomez, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops denouncing the recent violence at the U.S. Capitol building. 
For months, and years in some cases, our pol... Read More
January 7, 2021
As we conclude 2020 and look forward to the New Year, I take this moment to offer my prayers for all the faithful, friends and all those present in the Diocese of Rockford.
Much has already been said about the sadness and challenges to life, livelihood an... Read More
By Margarita Mendoza, El Observador Editor
December 17, 2020
DIOCESE—The celebrations of sacraments continue, churches are open and adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic circumstances by practicing biosecurity and physical distancing since May 25 when the gradual reopening of the parishes in the Diocese of Rockford began.
... Read More
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
December 10, 2020
DIOCESE—Patrick Winn is retiring after nine years of directing the mission and activities of the 10 programs under the umbrella of Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Rockford. 
While it is always difficult to see a good person go, Winn is han... Read More
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
December 3, 2020

For centuries, clergymen and members of monastic orders have worked with plants that have been grown and hybridized when religious communities were often remote or cloistered requiring self-reliance and by-products from plants.

The cycle of the seasons goes hand in hand with liturgi... Read More

COVID Changes Ongoing
Parishes and schools adapt to keep people as safe as possible
November 26, 2020
DIOCESE—As COVID-19 cases continue to be identified throughout Illinois, including in the 11 counties of the Rockford Diocese, parishes and schools have nimbly adapted to keep people healthy while continuing to provide worship and education opportunities. 
 Read More
Diocese Updates COVID Guidelines
Rockford Diocese Adopts Holiday Schedule for Schools, Cancels Basketball
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
November 12, 2020
DIOCESE—All Catholic elementary and high schools in the Diocese of Rockford will follow a special holiday and remote learning schedule already announced in the Diocese of Peoria and the Archdiocese of Chicago.
According to the Rockford Diocesan Offi... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
October 15, 2020
DIOCESE—It is safe to say that in spite of COVID-19 restrictions, priestly discernment continues.
God, after all, doesn’t take vacations and continues to gently call the men he hopes will say “yes” to His dream for them as priests.... 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
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
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 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
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—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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