December 1, 2016

ROCKFORD—Men in high school and college who are interested in the priesthood may take part in a winter vocations retreat “Thy Will Be Done.”

The retreat will open with Mass celebrated by Bishop David Malloy and Father Keith Romke, vocations director.

During the retreat, participants will talk with Bishop Malloy, Father Romke and diocesan seminarians.... Read More

December 1, 2016

Rosary High School Beads swim team has taken first place in the state for the second year in a row.

A parade and pep rally Nov. 20 celebrated their back-to-back state championships.

Team members and coaching staff are Mackenzie Adkins, Sarah Woodford, Emily Ryan, Camryn Streid,  Alexis Yager, Sydney VanOvermeiren, Kathryn Mueller, Samantha Laurich, Julie Bottarini,... Read More

By Sharon Boehlefeld, Features Editor
December 1, 2016

ROCKFORD—Seventy-five years ago on Dec. 7, Japanese war planes attacked the U.S. military base at Pearl Harbor  in Hawaii.

Catholics in the Rockford Diocese, as well as across the nation, immediately geared up for service and prayer.

Back then, The Observer was published on Sunday, and the Dec. 7, 1941, front page was full of pretty normal fare, although war ... Read More

December 1, 2016

AURORA-Beginning Dec. 3, several parishes in the Aurora Deanery will be hosting the annual Our Lady of Guadalupe novena in a style similar to the Simbang Gabi celebration of Filipinos in the Rockford Diocese.

Dates, times and parishes for Mass and novena are:

Dec. 3, 6 p.m., Sacred Heart, 771 Fulton St.

Dec. 4, 7 p.m., St. Rita of Cascia, 750 W. Old Indian Tr... Read More

December 1, 2016

AURORA—A project that began last January at St. Therese of Jesus School has borne fruit. Well, literally, it’s borne seeds.

Fourth- and fifth-graders, who are 9- and 10-years-old, organically planted heirloom seeds of bell peppers and three kinds of tomatoes in January.

In May, with plants approaching two feet tall, they transplanted the seedlings into Earth... Read More

December 1, 2016

St. Bridget School’s  Team  A took first place in the annual Boylan Central Catholic High School Scholastic Bowl for students attending elementary school in the area.

This year there were 10 teams from five Catholic schools.

The Loves Park team garnered nine wins and no losses in the tournament.Team B scored five wins and four losses.

The seve... Read More

November 30, 2016

Seasoned Observer -- Mary's Musical Life

Castro's death provokes mixed reactions

Belvidere students gather food for parish pantry

St. Charles knights bake, sell, donated pies

Volunteers from St. Bridget Parish in Loves Park serve lunch at Carpenter's Place in Rockford Nov. 15

75 years since a 'Day ... in Infamy' launched a generation into history

Preparing for Christmas reminds us of its meaning

Travel with Joseph and Mary in Las Posadas

Bless your tree

Pope asks scientists to find solutions for climate, drug war

Life lost, Illinois church and other buildings damaged in natural gas explosion

Drought persists in Madagascar

People worldwide invited to 'digitally dedicate' cathedral's glass panels

Tennessee bishop offers prayers, pastoral outreach after tragic bus crash

Bishop of Rwanda ask forgiveness for Catholics' role in 1994 genocide

HHS contraceptive mandate in limbo awaiting action by new administration

USCCB president appoints Maronite Catholic Bishop as CRS chairman

November 24, 2016

ROCHELLE—Catholic evangelist and accomplished musician, Bill Richart, presented a day filled with songs of praise, worship and instructive talks to nearly 50 people who traveled from around the Rockford Diocese and from as far away as Bloomington.

They gathered in the St. Patrick, Rochelle, parish hall on Nov. 12, for a day of renewal, “Gateway to Glory, A Day of Prais... Read More

November 24, 2016

DIOCESE—Parishes in the Rockford Diocese celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe in a variety of ways.
Some offer a novena leading up to the feast day, Dec.12.

Some offer “las mañanitas” — a birthday-like song for Our Lady — and Masses on the feast day.

At several parishes, there are also receptions at one or more of the gatherings.<... Read More

By Pat Szpekowski, Observer Correspondent
November 17, 2016

CRYSTAL LAKE— The sixth annual McHenry County Catholic Prayer Breakfast held at the Holiday Inn, here, Nov. 12, was filled with the richness of faith and the encouragement of hope for more than 500 people who attended.

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone was primary Mass celebrant and keynote speaker. Born in San Diego, he was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as the ninth Archbish... Read More

November 17, 2016

ROCKFORD—The 17th Advent Bible Lecture Series will begin on Nov. 27.

The three-part series features John McGrath, diocesan director of Faith Formation, who has selected “Receiving the Word of God at Mass this Advent” as his topic.

Sessions will run from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall at the Cathedral of St. Peter, 1243 N. Church St. in Rockford.... Read More

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
November 11, 2016

WINNEBAGO—Calling it a “unique annual celebration,” Bishop David Malloy shared a bit about the people he had recalled that morning when waking from sleep.

His two predecessors — the late Bishops Thomas G. Doran and Arthur J. O’Neill — were high on that list, along with his father, grandparents and deceased priests of the diocese.

Thos... Read More

By Louise Brass, Observer Correspondent
November 11, 2016

LOMBARD—During a recent visit to northern Illinois, Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese of the Military Services-USA, cited a vital need for more chaplains, recalled their presence since the time of George Washington and warned of threats to liberty that lurk in the not-too-distant future.
His talk, “Defending Religious Liberty in the Military Services,” w... Read More

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
November 3, 2016

ROCKFORD—Sacraments mingled with inspirational talks and a hefty amount of noisy fun at the fourth annual diocesan Youth Summit, Oct. 30, at Rock Valley College, here.

Keynote speaker, Connor Flanagan, told   the crowd about the life questions he asked in high school and the answers he found during his college years, answers that all revolved around Jesus.

... Read More

By Penny Wiegert, Editor
November 3, 2016

DIOCESE—For the past 11 months, the administration and school leaders in the Diocese of Rockford, with expertise of professional consultants from the Meitler group of Milwaukee, Wis., have worked to form a new vision and practical plan for a stable and healthy future of Catholic education in the diocese.

To guide plan development, a Catholic Schools Planning Committee was es... Read More

November 3, 2016

AURORA—Father Philip M. Kremer, OSB, 86, a Benedictine monk of Marmion Abbey, died Friday, Oct. 28, 2016.

Father Philip was born on Nov. 14, 1929, and was baptized Leo at Holy Trinity Parish in St. Louis, Mo.
He graduated from McBride High School in St. Louis in 1947 and then attended St. Louis University for two years, receiving a BA at St. Procopius College in 1954... Read More

November 3, 2016

Bishop David Malloy (kneeling, left) was among six people from the Diocese of Rockford to be invested in the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem at a Mass on Oct. 23 at St. Isaac Jogues Church in Hinsdale.

The other new members from the Rockford Diocese are: Robert Anthony and Ann Gabrielle Hyler, St. John Neumann Parish, St. Charles; Joyce Marie Romke of St. Thoma... Read More

By Sharon Boehlefeld, Features Editor
November 3, 2016

ROCKFORD—Though the imprisoned in the Rockford Diocese represent just a small portion of the incarcerated people in the U.S., there is still a need for Catholics in jail and prison ministry here.

On Oct. 27, a group of area Catholics gathered at St. Rita Parish in Rockford to learn both about the need for the ministry and the requirements to be a prison minister.

... Read More

By Penny Wiegert, Editor
November 3, 2016

ROCKFORD—They say one of the certainties of life is change. And that was certainly part of the message presented at the annual Ministry Day on Oct. 21.

Featured speaker Father Dominic Grassi told the group gathered in Wahl Hall at St. Rita Parish in Rockford that “the Church has to change.”

He also outlined why and how parish staffs could create that c... Read More

October 27, 2016

DIOCESE—Bishop David Malloy is asking diocesan Catholics to help with two special collections.

Hurricane relief

Donations to assist with relief from Hurricane Matthew will be collected at Masses Oct. 29-30.

“As we know, the recent occurrence of Hurricane Matthew had devastating human consequenc... Read More

Pray for the Souls, Honor The Bodies of the Dead
Cemetery to Aid Needy With Burials
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
October 27, 2016

ROCKFORD—The Catholic Church believes in treating the human body with dignity, including after death.

The Church teaches that bodies, no matter the form, must be buried or entombed. A deceased human body was, after all, a home for the Holy Spirit.

The Catholic Cemeteries Office in the Diocese of Rockford has been working to provide a new option for the unburied, c... Read More

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
October 20, 2016

ELBURN—On the feast day of St. Gall, Oct. 16, the cornerstone was blessed for St. Gall Parish’s new church, under construction about a mile south of the current church’s location at the northern edge of downtown Elburn.

At 11 a.m., before parishioners and guests traveled down the road for the blessing, Bishop David Malloy celebrated Mass, joined by St. Gall paroc... Read More

By Pat Szpekowski, Observer Correspondent
October 20, 2016

ELGIN—Alumni, students, staff and supportive community members celebrated St. Edward Central Catholic High School, here, at a number of 75th anniversary events Oct. 15.

Activities included an afternoon open house, a Mass at St. Laurence Parish in Elgin with Bishop David Malloy, Father Andrew Mulcahey, pastor, and Father Andrew Deitz, parochial vicar of St. Patrick Parish in ... Read More

By Margarita Mendoza, El Observador Editor
October 20, 2016

ELGIN—“We are one Church,” said Bishop David J. Malloy in the ceremony marking the Jubilee of Mercy, Oct. 15 at Elgin Community College. More than 2,000 people, most of them Hispanics, were congregated to share their faith and look for God’s mercy.

Even though the Year of Mercy continues through the Feast of Christ the King on Nov. 20, the day-long celebrat... Read More

By Margarita Mendoza, El Observador Editor
October 13, 2016

ROCKFORD—Not a lot of people can say they have actually met, worked and assisted  at the canonization of someone they knew.

One of those few people is Dr. Anthony B. D’Souza, a Rockford psychiatrist who met the church’s newest saint, Mother Teresa, when he was just 8-years-old.

“I was born and raised in Kolkata,” he said. “My nex... Read More

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
October 6, 2016

ROCKFORD—The annual Presbytery Day on Sept. 20 brought priests from around the diocese together to hear from Father Michael White and Tom Corcoran, authors of “Rebuilt” and “Tools for Rebuilding.”

Both guest speakers serve at Church of the Nativity in Baltimore. Their books and talks are based on their experiences and experiments in their parish.

... Read More
Refugees Want Work, School for Kids
Rockford University Welcomes UN Speaker on World Day of Peace, Sept. 21
By Sharon Boehlefeld, Features Editor
October 6, 2016

ROCKFORD—Education for their children and jobs for themselves are at the top of the list of needs for the refugees of the world.

Melissa Fleming stressed that at two appearances at Rockford University Sept. 21, World Day of Peace.

Fleming is the communications director and chief spokesperson for the United Nations High Commission on Refugees. Her Rockford visit wa... Read More

By Pat Szpekowski, Observer Correspondent
September 22, 2016

By Pat Szpekowski
Observer Correspondent
ST. CHARLES—When Pope Francis opened the Jubilee Year of Mercy nearly one year ago, his hope was to spur Catholics to be merciful to others. He called for the faithful to embrace and live the theological virtues of faith, hope and love by expressing them through the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.

As for the Cor... Read More

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