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By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
May 26, 2016

ROCKFORD—“We trust in the love and strength of Him who calls us,” said Bishop David Malloy as he welcomed all to the Ordination of Deacons on May 21 at the Cathedral of St. Peter.

Seminarians Colin Easton and Robert Gonnella IV became transitional deacons during the rite, which included promises made, a litany of supplication, laying on of hands, prayer of ordina... 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

May 26, 2016

ROCK FALLS—Even as he works to help Father Richard Russo become familiar with life at St. Andrew Parish,  here, Msgr. Thomas Dzielak looks forward to his retirement. He will begin the new phase of his life June 20.

His initial plans are to live at and assist the people of St. Mary Parish in Maple Park, and of SS. Peter and Paul Parish in Virgil.

At Bishop Dav... Read More

May 26, 2016

DIOCESE—Twelve priests have accepted assignments as pastors of parishes in the Rockford Diocese. Eleven are diocesan priests and one is a priest of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual (OFM Conv).

The parishes and priests who will be their pastors are:

Sacred Heart, Marengo
Father William Antillon will become pastor of Sacred Heart ... Read More

By Penny Wiegert, Editor
May 26, 2016

DIOCESE—Putting a picture on a process is the idea behind the tagline and logo for the diocesan strategic planning process for Catholic schools.

“The new logo is just one more step in defining our mission and vision in this planning process,” said diocesan Superintendent of Catholic Schools, Michael Kagan.

The graphic was designed by PR Strategies and ... Read More

May 26, 2016

Father William Collins
Father William Collins hails from Chicago, attending St. Brendan Grade School and Quigley Preparatory Seminary. He continued his studies at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein and St. Procopius Seminary in Lisle.

He was ordained to the priesthood on May 26, 1956 at St. Joseph Parish in Aurora by Bishop of Joliet Martin ... Read More

May 26, 2016

Msgr. Gerald Kobbeman
Msgr. Gerald Kobbeman hails from Sterling and is a graduate of Newman Central Catholic High School. His higher education included St. Ambrose College in Davenport, Iowa, where he received a bachelor of arts degree, and North American College in Rome, Italy, where he received his Licentiate of Sacred Theology in June 1967.

He wa... Read More

May 26, 2016

60 years
Sister Arturo Cranston, OP
Sister Arturo is celebrating the 60th anniversary of her profession of vows as a Sinsinawa Dominican.

Her home parish is the Shrine of the Sacred Heart in Washington, D.C. She earned a B.A. at Rosary College and a master’s degree in music from Pius XII Institute in Florence, Italy. Her main area of m... Read More

May 25, 2016

Junior Observer -- Jesus restores a blind man's sight

RDCCW women's retreat June 24-25

Elgin 8th-grader takes Peaches history to D.C.

Polo names 'Women of the Year'

CDA winners on to Nationals

St. Rita plans Holy Doors trip

N.Y. Martyrs' Shrine could get new owners

2018 tri to Ireland for pope

Pew survey of Mideast Muslims: Religion less central to those in Israel

Archbishop offers prayers at memorial Mass for men, women in uniform

Pope rules Vatican review needed to set up diocesan religious order

Slovak nun, shot in South Sudan, dies in Nairobi hospital

Couples frustrated as adoptions end

People of faith must advocate for religious liberty, says House speaker

South Carolina legislature passes bill to ban abortions at 20 weeks

Brazilian churches change Sunday practices due to swine flu outbreak

Annual report details the USCCB Charter audit

Group plans to end 11-year presence at closed Massachusetts church

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

May 19, 2016
  • The Rev. Msgr. Thomas L. Dzielak, VF — Pastor of St. Andrew Parish, Rock Falls, Illinois, to retire with the permission of the Diocesan Bishop, effective Monday, June 20, 2016.
  • The Rev. William R. Antillon — to be Pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, Marengo, Illinois, effective Monday, June 20, 2016.
  • The ... Read More
May 19, 2016

GENEVA—St. Peter Parish here is bringing back a ministry geared toward young adults, 19-39. The parish introduced The Catholic Brew ministry last summer.

The name plays on a definition of brew meaning “a mixture of events, people, or things that interact to form a stronger whole.”

This first event will be June 3 at the parish beginning at
7 p.m... 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

May 19, 2016

WOODSTOCK—Marian Central Catholic High School will host an open house to honor retiring administrator, Charles Rakers.

Over the 19 years that Rakers has been at Marian Central, he has served as principal, director of academics and personnel, and dean of students.

Students, families and alumni are welcome to come to wish Rakers well in his retirement.

Th... Read More

May 19, 2016

AURORA—Albert Rechenmacher, son of Ronald and Gretchen Rechnebacher of Batavia, has been awarded a National Merit Scholarship for $2,500 in the 61st annual program.

Rechenmacher was one of 2,500 scholarship winners chosen from more than 15,000 finalists.

Rechenmacher is in the top 10 percent of Marmion’s Class of 2016.

He is also the academy&rsquo... Read More

May 19, 2016

ROCKFORD—Brett McAllister became head coach of the boys’ basketball program at Boylan  Central Catholic High School May 12.

McAllister will be the seventh head coach of boys’ basketball in school history.

He joined the Boylan faculty in July 2009 in the Social Sciences department.

Under the leadership of Mike Winters and Steve Goers, he... Read More

By Sharon Boehlefeld, Features Editor
May 12, 2016

ELBURN—A dozen pairs of feet slogged through a muddy field full of young winter wheat to plant shovels at the site of the new St. Gall Church May 4.

Father Karl Ganss, who was pastor of the parish from 2003 to 2012 and is back as parochial administrator, led the hard-hatted group toward signs that mark the site at the corner of Illinois Rt. 47 and Hughes Road in Kane County.... Read More

May 12, 2016

WEST DUNDEE—On June 20, you can golf “fore” a good cause at the second Eileen Strong golf outing at The Golf Club of Illinois, 1575 Edgewood Dr. in Algonquin.

The event will both honor and benefit paralyzed local mother and wife Eileen Reedy.

Registration begins at 9 a.m. with a shotgun start at 11 a.m. Cocktails, dinner and auction events will round o... Read More

May 12, 2016

Priests from around the Diocese of Rockford gathered on May 3 at St. Rita Parish in Rockford to celebrate the 2016 priest jubilarians of the diocese.

Msgr. Daniel Deutsch celebrated the Mass, expressing regrets from Bishop David Malloy who was attending the ordination of Bishop James Checchio of Metuchen, N.J., the recent rector of the Pontifical North American College.

... 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

Record Caritas Crowd Helps Kids
30th Luncheon Continues Tradition
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
May 5, 2016

ROCKFORD—A record crowd filled dining rooms at Giovanni’s, here, on April 27 for the 30th annual Caritas luncheon to benefit youth programs at St. Elizabeth Catholic Community Center.

The event, sponsored by the diocesan Catholic Charities auxiliary, theme this year was “Children: Precious as Pearls.”

Youngsters from the St. Elizabeth preschool w... Read More

By Lynne Conner, Observer Correspondent
May 5, 2016

ROCKFORD—A life-long member of St. Anthony of Padua Parish, active community volunteer and devoted mother, grandmother and great-grandmother only begins to describe the many facets of Angelene “Angie” Germano’s vocation.

She is passionate about her Catholic faith, her family, her community and her Italian heritage. For all these reasons and more, Germano wa... Read More

May 5, 2016

ROCKFORD—The Diocesan Chorale, under the direction of Feargal King, welcomes members for its next two spring performances. Both events will be on Saturdays at the Cathedral of St. Peter here.

The first will be at the transitional diaconate ordinations at 11 a.m. May 21. Rehearsal call  will be at 9:30 a.m.

The second event will be the priesthood ordinations a... Read More

May 5, 2016

ROCHELLE—“I want it. Lord, I want more of you. Jesus, I want a miracle. Jesus, be real to me.”

Patti Mansfield, an internationally known lay Catholic speaker from New Orleans, La., uttered these words 49 years ago as she sat in the small chapel in The Ark and the Dove Retreat Center near Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pa., on Feb. 17, 1967.

Mansfie... Read More

May 5, 2016

DURAND—Deacon Richard “Dick” Mulcahey will be honored for 20 years of service to the St. Mary/St. Patrick Parish of Durand/Irish Grove.

A reception in his honor is scheduled after 10:30 a.m. Mass May 15 at St. Mary Parish, 602 W. Main St., Durand.

Deacon Mulcahey was ordained by Bishop Thomas G. Doran on April 24, 1996.

He has served at his ... Read More

May 5, 2016

CRYSTAL LAKE—Linda Couri will be the keynote speaker at the Magnificat Spring Prayer Breakfast, June 11, here.

A former Planned Parenthood employee who has both professional and personal experience with abortion, Couri is now pro-life and solid in her recommitment to the Catholic faith.

She will present an inside prospective on the pro-choice mindset with the hope... Read More

May 5, 2016

AURORA— Stephen Thurlow, Marmion Academy’s band director for 33 years, will direct his final concert May 12 during the Marmion Academy Fine Arts Forum.
Forum activities will begin at 6 p.m. in Marmion Academy’s Alumni Hall gymnasium 1000 Butterfield Road.

Thurlow began his work at Marmion in 1983. Previously, he had taught three years with the Madison Are... Read More

Mercy Leading 2016 Appeal
Diocesan Appeal Weekend April 30-May 1
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
April 21, 2016

DIOCESE—“God’s Mercy Leads Us” is the theme of the upcoming 2016 Diocesan Appeal. The appeal supports the work of the Diocese of Rockford at the diocesan level.

Diocesan administration includes ministries that give nuts-and-bolts assistance to parishes, such as the Department of Finance/Administrative Services, which provides accounting and data processing,... Read More

By Penny Wiegert, Editor
April 21, 2016

ELGIN—A new principal and superintendent has been named for St. Edward Central Catholic High School here.

Barb Villont, a familiar face in the educational system of the Rockford Diocese will begin duties at the school July 1.  Her appointment was announced April 20 at St. Edward and at her current school, Marian Central Catholic High School in Woodstock.

Vill... Read More

By Margarita Mendoza, El Observador Editor
April 21, 2016

ROCKFORD—For a couple of months Terri Hill, program director at St. Elizabeth Catholic Community Center here, has been painting the walls in the center with “positive messages.”

Hill wants “a welcome environment for the people who come in here, because I don’t want this place to look so institutionalized,” she said. “I want people to feel ... 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

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
April 21, 2016

GALENA—The Cologne Cathedral in Germany captivated St. Mary parishioner Ron Fox a few years ago.

He talks in awe of the commitment it took for artisans to build that mountainous cathedral without the advantage of modern machinery.

A second trip overseas introduced him to the myriad artistic details of the churches in Rome.

The beauty of those details, F... Read More

By Louise Brass, Observer Correspondent
April 21, 2016

WOODSTOCK—Saving the monarch butterfly from extinction means promoting plants that support its annual journey from Mexico, through the United States to Canada, say members of the Care of Creation Team at Resurrection Parish in Woodstock.

It’s all about saving our common home, as promoted by Pope Francis, said team member Mary Taradash during an Earth Day celebration at... Read More

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
April 21, 2016

BATAVIA—A quote from Bilbo Baggins in “The Lord of the Rings” fits the story of Mike and Lori Pacer quite nicely: “You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no telling where you might be swept off to.”

Looking back, Lori Pacer sees the Holy Spirit at work in how she and her husband have been brought to this point as ... Read More

By Penny Wiegert, Editor
April 21, 2016

AURORA—“It’s a small world” isn’t just a cliché or a Disney tune. When people connect with each other through faith, service and culture, the world doesn’t seem so huge and unfamiliar.

When people come together by better understanding each other, they build friendships and sometimes a whole lot more.

And a whole lot more is exa... Read More

By Penny Wiegert, Editor
April 21, 2016

DIOCESE—The data is in and on schedule.

That in a nutshell is where the diocese is in its Strategic Planning Process for Catholic Schools.

A report from the Meitler group, the professional strategic planning firm hired to consult with the Rockford Diocese, was presented to the steering committee on April 14. That committee includes Bishop David Malloy, department ... Read More

By Pat Szpekowski, Observer Correspondent
April 14, 2016

WOODSTOCK—It was a morning of reverence, prayer, song and total commitment to Mary. One could nearly feel Mary’s presence and the showering of graces given from a loving mother’s approval.

More than 50 members of the Legion of Mary from the Rockford Diocese gathered at St. Mary Parish in Woodstock on April 9 to celebrate the Acies, an annual ceremony designated t... Read More

How will I know?
Discernment house helps women hear the call in their hearts
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
April 14, 2016

“Sometimes people will ask me what is the point of the Nun Run and other vocations events,” says Father Keith Romke, diocesan director of the Vocations Office. “My response is always the same: without them I might not be a priest as I am a product of our summer vocations camps!  

“I guess you could respond by asking why kids go to baseball, engineering... Read More

April 14, 2016

John Sentovich carried the cross for the 11th station during Pope Francis’ Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) at the Colosseum this year.

He is the father of Rockford Diocese seminarian Nick Sentovich, who is studying for the priesthood at the Pontifical North American College in Rome.

One of Nick’s professors helped plan the event. The family, parishioners at Ho... 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
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
November 13, 2015

AURORA—“This is an important day for the Diocese of Rockford,” said Michael Kagan, superintendent of schools, to a group of priests, principals and other lay school leaders the morning of Nov. 5. “For the first time in our 105-year history, we are going to be embarking on … a plan, a blueprint for (diocesan) schools for at least the next 10 years,” Kagan ... Read More

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