By Tony Carton, Observer Correspondent
June 26, 2015

DIXON—Childhood innocence quickly fades when children grow up in cramped spaces without knowing “home” as a place of safety and joy.

Parents do the best they can, but long hours at work only leads to fewer hours spent with the family and at some point the house of cards will collapse.

That’s where... Read More

Faith, Hope, Prayer Still Sustain Former Hostages
30 Years After the Hijacking of TWA 847
By Lynne Conner Observer Correspondent
June 26, 2015

Alleluia!

A one word headline from The Observer July 12, 1985, announced the return of religious pilgrims from the Rockford Diocese after 17 days in captivity at the hands of Hezbollah terrorists.

Thirty years after the hijacking of TWA flight 847, former hostages say this crisis shaped, deepened and revitalized... Read More

June 26, 2015

DIOCESE—From north to south, tornadoes caused damage in areas of the Rockford Diocese June 22.

Again parish churches were spared, although, as of press time Tuesday, there were reports of other structural damage in towns from Menominee in far northwest Jo Daviess County to Sublette in far south central Lee County.

... Read More

June 26, 2015

FREEPORT—Presence St. Joseph Center will host its annual Summer Jubilee June 28, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., at 659 E. Jefferson St., here.

The highlights of this year’s event will be a display from the archives of St. Vincent Home for Children.

There will be campus tours, a display of St. Vincent’s archives, live ... Read More

June 26, 2015

GALENA—Msgr. Everett J. Hiller, died Sunday, June 21, 2015, at Midwest Medical Center here after a long illness.

He was born on Feb. 3, 1924, in McHenry, to William and Susan (Schmitt) Hiller.

Msgr. Hiller attended Sacred Heart Seminary, Geneva, and continued to St. Mary Seminary, Baltimore, Maryland. He was ordain... Read More

June 24, 2015

Junior Observer

Diocesan Administration Center will be closed July 3 in honor of Independence Day

Father Jacob Valle, ordained May 23 in the Peoria Diocese, offers his Mass of Thanksgiving at Christ the King Church in Wonder Lake on May 31.

Seventh graders at St. James School, Rockford, designed and built toothpick bridges in their math and science classes.

July 2015 calendar of prayer intentions and scripture readings

Pope Francis' Encyclical reminds us to take good care of our common home

What do do? The pope's practical tips for helping the environment

All creation sings God's praise, but people are silencing it, pope says

Pope appoints administrator for St. Paul Archdiocese

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
June 19, 2015

SOMONAUK—A weekend of Masses and fun events rounded out St. John the Baptist Parish’s sesquicentennial.

Wine and hors d’oeuvres followed the June 13 evening Mass, and all were welcome after the June 14 8 a.m. Mass to enjoy a continental breakfast. The 10:30 a.m. Mass June 14 was followed by a parish picnic at near... Read More

June 19, 2015

In 1837, a mail route was established from Chicago to John Dixon’s residence on the Rock River, and this route crossed the southern end of DeKalb County. A log hut was built for a station at the crossing of Somonauk Creek and given the name of Somonauk.

Traveling missionaries made it a regular stopping place. In 1853 the rail... Read More

June 19, 2015

An estimated 700 people dined-in or carried-out strawberry treats and more at Strawberry Fest June 17 at St. Joseph Parish Hall in Lena. Diners feasted on pulled pork or barbeque sandwiches, baked beans, potato salad and chips, beverages and a choice of a piece of strawberry pie, a sundae or a shortcake.

Father Andrew Skrobutt, pas... Read More

DPC Urges Faith As Priority One
Offers Advice for Upcoming Catholic Schools Planning Process
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
June 19, 2015

ROCKFORD—Faith was unanimously chosen as a top priority for diocesan Catholic schools by the Diocesan Pastoral Council.

The DPC meets quarterly to address matters of pastoral concern raised by Bishop David Malloy. Bishop Malloy also at times, invites the council itself to raise matters that may be forwarded to the Presbyteral... Read More

June 19, 2015

ROCKFORD—Four openings exist on the Diocesan Pastoral Council for a lay representative from each of the following deaneries: DeKalb, Freeport, Rockford and Sterling.

An opening also exists for a young adult representative from the central part of the diocese, meaning either the Rockford or DeKalb deaneries.

Prospec... Read More

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
June 12, 2015

ROCKFORD—After processing into a filled Cathedral of St. Peter surrounded by sacred music and sunlight, Bishop David Malloy remarked that “a day like this” was rather akin to the heavenly adoration described in the Book of Revelation and a reminder “of the glory of God whom we are all called to worship.”

... Read More

June 12, 2015

Msgr. Thomas Bales, pastor of St. Patrick Parish, Amboy, St. Flannen Parish in Harmon, and St. Mary Parish in Walton, will retire on June 15.

Born in Dixon, he attended Dixon High School, St. Ambrose University in Davenport and Illinois State University in Normal. He completed his theology studies at St. Francis Seminary in Milwauk... Read More

June 12, 2015

Three diocesan priests are accepting pastoral responsibilities with recent assignments.

St. Patrick, Rochelle

Father Johnson Lopez became pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Rochelle on April 13, 2015.

Born in Arauca, Colombia, he studied philosophy at the University of San Buenaventura in Bogota ... Read More

By Margarita Mendoza, El Observador Editor
June 12, 2015

T o celebrate Corpus Christi, Father Jesús Domínguez pastor of St. Joseph Parish, decided to invite Father Fernando

Echeverri to lead a healing weekend in the Elgin parish.

On June 6, about 400 people gathered for a healing retreat in the school gym.

Most sought a cure for their bodies or ... Read More

June 12, 2015

ROCKFORD—The installation of officers and a potluck supper completed the spring season in May for the Rockford Deanery Council of Catholic Women.

Father Kenneth Stachyra, Spiritual Advisor, installed Nancy Farrell, Holy Family, Rockford, president; Paula Black, St. Mary, Pecatonica, vice-president; Jeanette Gawronski, Church ... Read More

June 12, 2015

NORTH AURORA—Sister Rose Marie Weber, OSF, is retiring at the end of June after 45 years of service at Blessed Sacrament Parish, 801 Oak St., here.

Sister Rose Marie also is celebrating 60 years as a School Sister of St. Francis.

An open house in her honor is scheduled June 28, 2-4 p.m., in Blessed Sacrament Parish... Read More

June 5, 2015

The Observer honors the graduates of 2015 with an 8 page salute.

June 5, 2015

Bio's of Rev. Mr. Ervin Caliente and Rev. Mr. John McNamara. The two will be ordained to the priesthood, Saturday, June 6.

Rev. Mr. Ervin Caliente

Transitional deacon Rev. Mr. Ervin M. Caliente was born in the Philippines on April 6,... Read More

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
June 5, 2015

ROCKFORD—Right after thanking those gathered for the annual Memorial Day Mass at Calvary Cemetery, Bishop David Malloy gave thanks also for the sunshine, even as it mixed with clouds and wind.

Effects of the storms that hounded the Mass the past two years could be seen by where people sat this year. The north side of the aisl... Read More

By Lynne Conner Observer Correspondent
June 5, 2015

ROCKFORD—The Knights of Columbus motto, “In service to one, in service to all” strikes a resounding chord in Bob Grzelak’s life.

Grzelak was recently named Illinois Knight of the Year.

“I truly was excited to the point that I could hardly believe it,” Grzelak said of the honor. “... Read More

June 5, 2015

Born in Chicago and raised in Aurora (St. Therese Parish), Father John Fahnestock, MSC, made his vows as a Missionary of the Sacred Heart on Sept. 13, 1965.

He attended Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Shelby, Ohio, and the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1971.

From 1971-1972, Fa... Read More

June 5, 2015

All 800 seats were occupied and a festival atmosphere prevailed at the Arcada Theater in St. Charles (below) for the first regional showing of “Full of Grace.”

The film from St. Charles-based Outside da Box is about  Mary and the early days of the Church. Writer and director Andrew Hyatt spoke after the film about ... Read More

June 5, 2015

ROCKFORD—Editing is underway for Chosen (Custody of the Eyes) — a collaborative film made with and focused on the Poor Clare Colettine nuns in Rockford.

For the month of June, you can help fund post-production by making a donation to a fundraiser online: http://igg.me/at/Custo... Read More

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
May 22, 2015

ROCKFORD—Plans were for Calvary and other diocesan Catholic cemeteries to continue to bury the very poor even as State of Illinois budget cuts eliminated the monetary assistance for those burials earlier this year.

However, that state budget item has been restored in the last few weeks, Carol Giambalvo says.

Giamba... Read More

May 22, 2015

ROCKFORD—The Catholic Women’s League held its annual Mass for Peace on May 13 at the Poor Clare’s Corpus Christi Monastery, here.

Bishop David Malloy celebrated the Mass and installed the organization’s officers to serve in the coming year. They are President Mary Jo Keffer of Holy Family Parish, Vice Presid... Read More

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
May 22, 2015

ROCKFORD—The annual Jubilee Mass for priests in the Diocese of Rockford was held May 12 at St. Rita Parish.

Bishop David Malloy celebrated the Mass and joined his priests at the luncheon that followed in Wahl Hall.

In his homily, the bishop spoke to his priests about giving thanks for the jubilarians and “for... Read More

Boylan CCHS Breaks Ground
Construction Begins on Lou and Irene Bachrodt Center
By Lynne Conner Observer Correspondent
May 15, 2015

ROCKFORD—Bishop David Malloy joined school dignitaries in breaking ground for a new athletic facility at Boylan Central Catholic High School on May 12. The Lou and Irene Bachrodt Center for Health and Fitness is the first phase of a three phase project, part of Boylan’s Imagine Campaign.

At the groundbreaking ceremony, ... Read More

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
May 15, 2015

ROCKFORD—Bishop David Malloy expressed his thanks to police and fire department personnel at a Blue Mass on May 11 at the Cathedral of St. Peter.

He said the event was “a little like Mother’s Day” where people make special efforts to tell their mothers “Thank you.”

The Mass, he said, r... Read More

By Margarita Mendoza, El Observador Editor
May 15, 2015

Often, when we think about priests, we focus on their role  in the Church, their service to God and to others. We forget sometimes that our priests have lives as human beings, too.

That is the case with Father Carlos Monsalve, parochial vicar of St. Monica Parish in Carpentersville.

He enjoys his time off cooking, a... Read More

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
April 24, 2015

ROCKFORD—Msgr. Glenn Nelson heads up an important, but mostly-hidden ministry in the Diocese of Rockford: the Deaf Apostolate.

Msgr. Nelson has a special place in his heart for those whocommunicate through American Sign Language (ASL).

The diocesan deaf community, he says, gathers together to celebrate holy days wh... Read More

By Lynne Conner Observer Correspondent
April 24, 2015

 ROCKFORD—What do you want to be when you grow up?

It’s a question that everyone has considered at one time or another and a favorite question for parents and relatives to ask young children.

For Catholics, the question is not so much ‘what do you want to be’ as it is ‘what are you call... Read More

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