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By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
June 30, 2016

JOHNSBURG—“I had this dream,” said Bishop David Malloy to the congregation at St. John the Baptist Church on June 26.

He deliberately paused, and the crowd chuckled.

Many had seen the fire truck parked outside the church as firefighters slowly swung an enormous crane in a dry run of what was soon to come.

The bishop’s dream had him loo... Read More

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
June 30, 2016

ROCKFORD—Bishop David Malloy celebrated Mass in the chapel at Corpus Christi Monastery here on June 21 for the St. Therese vocations camp.

The camp, held annually for girls and young women, includes a variety of activities — some just for fun, some to introduce campers to religious life, and some to provide time for participants to pray and begin to learn how to ask Go... Read More

By Louise Brass, Observer Correspondent
June 30, 2016

HUNTLEY—When memories of serious hurts won’t go away, giving those thoughts to God can make things right, said Dawn Eden, a best-selling Catholic author and journalist. That, coupled with sincere prayer, should be done as soon as painful memories surface, Eden said.

She knows — she’s been hurt.

But no one should expect  painful memories to s... Read More

June 30, 2016

The Rev. Alexander Matabajoy — to be Parochial Vicar at Sacred Heart Parish, Aurora, Illinois, effective Monday, June 27, 2016.

Given at the Chancery, June 27, 2016

June 30, 2016

Seasoned Observer -- Boxing Love

Algonquin pilgrims visit LaCrosse shrine

Father Johnson Lopez, pastor at St. Patrick Parish, Rochelle, and a Colombian  soccer fan, welcomed his Colombian soccer team at Soldier Field

Brotherly embrace: Pope, Armenian leader highlight Christian unity

U.S. Supreme Court strikes down regulations on Texas abortion clinics

By Louise Brass, Observer Correspondent
June 23, 2016

STERLING—Volunteers who distribute food to hungry children are heroic, says Darrin Driscoll, a veteran of the second Iraq War, during a Let’s Feed Our Children free lunchtime distribution.

The meals go to children who normally would receive free or discounted lunches at school.

“I’ve seen heroes in Iraq and Afghanistan ... but I’ve seen mor... Read More

June 23, 2016

The Rev. Canon Benjamin  I. Coggeshall — at the nomination of his Provincial Superior and by appointment of The Most Reverend Diocesan Bishop, to be Rector of St. Mary Oratory, Rockford, Illinois, effective Friday, July 1, 2016.

Given at the Chancery,  June 15, 2016

June 23, 2016

AURORA—Rosary High School senior Alexis Yager, a member of the Rosary Beads swim team, will be competing at the 2016 U. S. Olympic Swimming Trials in Omaha, Nebraska, June 26 through
July 3.

She has qualified in four events:

  • - 400 Individual Medley (competion June 26)
  • - 100M Breaststroke - (competion June 27)<... Read More
June 23, 2016

To Help Let’s Feed Our Children

Sterling area volunteers for the Let’s Feed Our Children free lunch program may add their names to the sign-up sheet in the narthex at Sacred Heart Parish, 2222 Avenue J.

Volunteers from Sacred Heart will be packing and distributing free lunches at Macedonia Baptist Church in Sterling during the month o... Read More

June 23, 2016

ST. LOUIS—Catholic media in the Rockford Diocese took home several awards from the annual Catholic Media Conference, here.

Among honors from the Catholic Press Association was a first place for best coverage of a routine, sacramental event. The award for “Be Reconciled Again Draws People to Confession,” went to the reporting team of Amanda Hudson, The Observer ne... Read More

June 16, 2016

Bishop David Malloy issued this statement regarding the deaths in Florida last weekend:

I ask all people to join with Archbishop Kurtz, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, who said that “Waking up to the unspeakable violence in Orlando reminds us of how precious human life is. Our prayers are with the victims, their families and all those affected ... Read More

By Penny Wiegert, Editor
June 16, 2016

DIOCESE—Members of the Diocesan Pastoral Council, spent a sunny Saturday morning taking up the weighty issue of vision, governance and enrollment for Catholic schools.

The ongoing strategic planning process, now called “Faith Forward, Building our Blueprint for Catholic Schools,” was the centerpiece of the DPC’s regular meeting June 11.

Michael K... Read More

June 16, 2016

Father Kyle Manno, who was ordained June 4, returned to Christ the Teacher University Parish in DeKalb on June 12 to offer his first Mass in sign language as a priest.

As a student at Northern Illinois University, Father Manno was a member of the parish and began his vocation discernment there.

Msgr. Glenn Nelson who, in addition to being Vicar General and Moderator of ... Read More

June 16, 2016

DIOCESE—Seven members of the Diocesan Pastoral Council completed their terms of service at the June 11 meeting.

“As they say in the game shows, we have lovely parting gifts for you,” Bishop David Malloy joked as he presented each retiring member with a wooden crucifix that he had blessed.

“Seriously,” said Bishop Malloy, “This is just... Read More

Parade of Famous People Marches On
Students Recreate Favorite Project to Honor Retiring Fourth-Grade Teacher
By Natalie Droeske, Observer Correspondent
June 16, 2016

AURORA—With the closing of the 2015-2016 school year, Mary Ellen Bender of St. Rita of Cascia School will retire after 30 years of dedicated service to the school and church.

But among her “infamous” projects is a parade of famous persons.

For the project, students research a famous person and give a presentation to other classes.

Her studen... Read More

June 16, 2016

AURORA—Women from St. Joseph Parish, here, inspired by the Year of Mercy and women from St. Patrick Parish in Maytown, have created dozens of clothing items for needy children.

Seamstresses were Irene Geltz, Rita Lempa, Cindy McManamon, Lynne Monaco, Lenore Blatner, Kathleen Hettinger, Joan Lutz, Carolyn Michels and Pat Oleck.

Their efforts started with a December... Read More

Joy Overflows at Ordination
Three Men Begin Service as Priests of the Rockford Diocese
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
June 9, 2016

ROCKFORD—Speculating that God’s angels rejoice not just over one sinner who repents but also over one new priest, Bishop David Malloy began his homily saying, “Perhaps on a day like this, when there are three of you, not just one, the joy of heaven is such that God is asking his angels to ‘Hold it down over there.’ ”

Before, during and af... Read More

June 9, 2016

DIOCESE—Father James Father Keenan, pastor of St. Mary Parish here, has been appointed Vicar Forane of the Sterling deanery. His appointment by Bishop David Malloy is effective, June 20.

Father Keenan succeeds Msgr. Thomas Dzielak who served the deanery for 15 years.

Each vicar forane, or dean, is responsible for the common pastoral activity in his area of the dio... Read More

By Louise Brass, Observer Correspondent
June 2, 2016

NAPERVILLE—Brian McCaskey’s journey through the worlds of sports, business, and health challenges has shown him good days and bad days.

Through it all he has learned to surrender each day to God.

The senior director of business development for the Chicago Bears talked of his ups and downs, wins and losses at a business breakfast program sponsored by Relevant... Read More

June 2, 2016

AURORA—On May 15, the Catholic Church celebrated its anniversary, and to mark the occasion St. Rita of Cascia parishioners wore outfits representative of their cultures during the 10:15 a.m. Mass.

“St. Rita Parish is recognized by its cultural diversity,” said Father Oscar Cortes, parochial administrator.

“We have parishioners who come from diffe... Read More

June 2, 2016

DIOCESE—This year, 125 students in the Rockford Diocese are being honored with the St. Timothy Award.

It is given to youth by the National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministry in collaboration with the Diocese of Rockford Education Office.  

It is the highest recognition from the federation that a diocese can confer on a junior or senior high ... Read More

May 26, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Father Michael Fuller, has been named executive director of the Secretariat of Doctrine and Canonical Affairs of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

The appointment was made May 24 by Msgr. J. Brian Bransfield, USCCB General Secretary, and is effective Aug. 8.

“I congratulate Father Fuller on the news today of his appointment to... Read More

By Louise Brass, Observer Correspondent
May 19, 2016

DEKALB—For students, final exams can be filled with stress, anxiety, nerves on high alert and sometimes even hunger in the middle of the night.

But those needs can be filled during the week-long “24 Hour Study!” program at Newman Catholic Student Center at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. The program is held twice a year during finals.

From May ... Read More

By Sharon Boehlefeld, Features Editor
May 19, 2016

ROCKFORD—Perhaps fittingly, a cancer center named for a vibrant woman is home to the American Cancer Society’s newest wig boutique.

And, except that it lacks a wash sink, walking in is like entering a small hair salon just off the entrance to the OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center’s Patricia D. Pepe Center for Cancer Care. The boutique, formerly housed at the cance... Read More

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
May 12, 2016

ROCKFORD—On May 5, St. Anthony College of Nursing held an official ribbon cutting for two new simulation labs in the lower level of the Guilford Square campus on Featherstone Road.

The obstetrics (OB) lab features mannequins of a baby and of a pregnant woman. Students can practice assessments and treatments when, for example, the “baby” turns blue or the “w... Read More

By Louise Brass, Observer Correspondent
May 5, 2016

OREGON—Exactly 125 years to the day when the cornerstone of St. Mary Parish was laid in Oregon, Bishop David J. Malloy concelebrated Mass at the historic building, telling the congregation they are the link between the past and the future of the Roman Catholic Church.

April 30 marked the day, and many members of the 300 families of St. Mary attended a dinner at the newly ren... Read More

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
April 21, 2016

ROCKFORD—“We have families who are similar, and who are also very different,” says Chris Hawes as she reflects on the never-ending need for foster parents.

Hawes supervises the licensing department for foster parents at the Rockford office of Lutheran Social Services of Illinois. She has been with LSSI for 14 years.

General meetings were held in the pa... Read More

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
April 21, 2016

PALOS HEIGHTS—Many of the ups and downs of foster care have been part of Laura Barkley’s life and joy in her five years as a foster parent.

She and her husband, Craig, initially fostered through the Rockford LSSI office until they moved to Palos Heights in 2013. They now foster through an office in Augustana.

Craig works in information technology, and Laura ... Read More

March 31, 2016

ROCKFORD—Abbie Reese is continuing her collaboration with the Poor Clare Colettines of Rockford.

Her book, “Dedicated to God: An Oral History of Cloistered Nuns,” was the first selection for The Observer’s One Diocese, One Book program.

She expects the documentary film, “Chosen (Custody of the Eyes),” will be ready for release this ye... Read More

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
March 18, 2016

MCHENRY—Blessed Mother Teresa’s quote about “doing little things with great love” is an inspiration for Father Godwin Asuquo, a priest of the Rockford Diocese.

His love of sharing stories, food and culture of his native Nigeria, mixed with a hungry college student, prompted the beginning of an organization called ImaBridge Africa.

Ima is pronounc... Read More

February 26, 2016

ROCKFORD—The Diocese of Rockford began airing a new program for the Year of Mercy on WREX-TV Channel 13, here,  Feb. 21 at 6 a.m.

The new program replaces Real Faith TV, which had been broadcast Sunday mornings before the weekly 6:30 a.m. Catholic Mass produced by the Rockford Diocese.  

“You Did It To Me” is a five-part miniseries featuring ... Read More

By Louise Brass, Observer Correspondent
February 19, 2016

ST. CHARLES—When it comes to dating violence, teens who recognize the “red flags” of danger — like constant blaming, extreme jealously and constantly texting or calling by a boyfriend or girlfriend — can escape and find a safe zone.

That could save their lives, said Jim Kintz, domestic violence and abuse victims’ advocate of St. Peter Parish in ... Read More

By Lynne Conner, Observer Correspondent
February 5, 2016

ROCKFORD—“This is not your grandfather’s pro-life movement” is just one of the slogans that Eric Scheidler has seen in his work as a pro-life advocate.

The irony of this message is not lost on Scheidler, who was the keynote speaker at the annual pro-life banquet held at Holy Family Parish Jan. 29.

Scheidler is the executive director of the Pro-Li... Read More

By Sharon Boehlefeld
February 5, 2016

ROCKFORD—The health — or illness — of a marriage is at the heart of an annulment, Msgr. Glenn Nelson told  more than 75 people, Jan. 31.

“In-valid,” he said, stressing the end of the word “doesn’t mean (a marriage is) not real. It was in-valid.

It was injured from the beginning.”

Read More
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