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
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Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
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Avoid contact with sick people
Stay home if you are sick
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Cover mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing
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Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
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And of course, your continued prayers for the sick and their caregivers is always encouraged.

 
The Observer salutes the 2020 Graduating Class 
Photos of graduating seniors from Aquin Central Catholic, Aurora Central Catholic,
Boylan Central Catholic, Marian Central Catholic, Marmion Academy, Rosary High School,
Newman Central Catholic, St. Edward Central Catholic and St. Anthony College of Nursing.
View online at: http://observertoo.rockforddiocese.org

 

By Penny Wiegert, Editor
October 15, 2020
DIOCESE—Bishop David Malloy announced in a letter to all priests Oct. 8 a list of changes to the “Back in His Presence” guidelines issued in June of this year. The guidelines are part of the ongoing efforts to help mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus among the ... Read More
October 15, 2020
CHICAGO—Father Perfecto Vasquez died at Loyola Hospital here Oct. 5, 2020, after a long illness. He was 73.
 
Father was born on Sept. 6, 1947, in Binan, Laguna, in the Philippines to Perfecto M. Vasquez, Sr., and Paz Lim-Aco. 
&nb... Read More
By Margarita Mendoza, El Observador Editor
October 15, 2020
CHICAGO—As the processing of conclusions from the 2018 national V Encuentro continues around the nation, a regional session, called an in service, was held Sept. 26 online.
 
About 100 people from Region 7, which includes Illinois, Indiana and Wiscons... Read More
Holy Family Remembers Unborn
Memorial blessed during Prolife Month
October 15, 2020
ROCKFORD—A recently installed prolife memorial at Holy Family Parish here was blessed after the 8:45 a.m. Mass on Oct. 9. 
 
The statue is modeled after a painting created around 1580 by the Italian painter Scipione Pulzone whose work was titled ... Read More
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
October 15, 2020
DIOCESE—The coronavirus pandemic may have claimed many casualties in the way of gatherings and events but the diocesan-wide Ministry Day was not one of them. 
 
In fact, according to organizer Kevin Fuss, “the 16th annual Ministry Day, held... 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
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
October 15, 2020
A college that’s a good fit for you should have the following characteristics.
 
Academic fit
 
You want to be challenged, but being in over your head is not helpful. Or, if your academic ability is ... Read More
When They Want You, Do You Want Them?
How to decide once you’ve been accepted
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
October 15, 2020
As you apply and prepare for college, the first main concern will be: Will I get in anywhere? 
 
Should you be blessed to receive offers of admission from a number of colleges, then how do you choose? Your considerations might include:
&... Read More
October 15, 2020
Sisters of Providence
 
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Ind.—The Sisters of Providence will host their first-ever virtu... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
October 8, 2020
NORTH AURORA—Blessed Sacrament Parish celebrated its 50th anniversary with an anniversary Mass on Oct. 4, attended by 44 founding families, parish staff, finance and parish council members, and parish ministry leaders. 
 
That 10:30 a.m. Mass was... Read More
October 8, 2020
Blessed Sacrament Parish — the only parish in the Rockford Diocese under that title — was dedicated in North Aurora by Bishop Arthur J. O’Neill on Oct. 18, 1975.
 
The parish actually began five years earlier, on Oct. 4, 1970, with Father ... Read More
October 8, 2020
Father Perfecto Vasquez Dies
Father Perfecto L. Vasquez died Oct. 5. Funeral details are online at https://www.rockforddiocese.org/.
By Junno Arocho Esteves, Catholic News Service
October 8, 2020
VATICAN CITY—After a tumultuous year due to the coronavirus pandemic, eight U.S. candidates for the priesthood were ordained deacons at the Vatican.
 
Among them was Rockford Diocesan seminarian James Linkenheld.
 
D... Read More
October 8, 2020
ELGIN—The St. Edward Central Catholic High School 31st annual Tidal Wave fundraiser was a five-day online auction and raffle in July instead of the usual April gathering.
 
Totals from this year’s Tidal Wave included $100,000 from silent and liv... Read More
October 8, 2020
ADRIAN, Mich.—Two Adrian Dominicans who served in the Diocese of Rockford are among sisters who celebrate jubilees this year.
 
Sister Alma Marie Messing, OP, 75 years
 
Sister Alma Marie Messing, OP... Read More
October 8, 2020
CHICAGO—Members of the 109-year-old Catholic Press  Association have recently voted to change its name to Catholic Media Association.
 
The Observer is a long time member of the association.
 
... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
October 1, 2020
ROCKFORD—“We are here for your ordination in the midst of the COVID outbreak,” said Bishop David Malloy the morning of Sept. 26 at the Cathedral of St. Peter as 13 men, accompanied by a few family members, gathered to be ordained as permanent deacons for the Diocese of Rock... Read More
Annual Mission Appeal Final Request for the Year
Oct. 17-18 Mission Appeal Weekend
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
October 1, 2020
DIOCESE—“Missionaries are still on the move, still serving, but perhaps in new ways,” says Bishop David Malloy in his letter announcing the annual diocesan Mission Appeal.
 
Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
October 1, 2020
Close to 30 masked men got off a bus at the Pontifical North American College Aug. 20, beginning a new student orientation that kept as many traditions as possible in a 14-day quarantine.
 
Among them was Diocese of Rockford seminarian Jeffrey Filipski who ... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
October 1, 2020
ROCKFORD—Michael O’Neill has spoken at several parishes in the Rockford Diocese over the past few years.
 
We know him as the Miracle Hunter through the projects he has produced, most of which have been about apparitions of the Blessed Mother an... Read More
October 1, 2020
DIOCESE—October is Respect Life Month and parishes around the diocese will be holding prayer sessions and public witnesses, including Life Chains.
 
Due to COVID-19, the Life Chain has two official dates, according to the lifechain.org website.
... Read More
‘From Crisis to Calling’
Ministry Day 2020 to Be Different in More Ways Than One
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
September 24, 2020
DIOCESAN—Like so many things this year, Ministry Day will take on a different look in that it will not be held in person. But being held virtually isn’t the only thing that will be different this year.
 
Ministry Day will be themed “From C... Read More
September 24, 2020
On Sept. 12, a parishioner of St. Bridget in Loves Park placed flowers at a memorial for aborted babies in Calvary Cemetery, west of Rockford.
 
The parish joined pro-life Americans throughout the country for the eighth annual National Day of Remembrance fo... Read More
September 24, 2020
WASHINGTON—Father Michael Fuller, a priest of the diocese of Rockford, has been nominated as a candidate for general secretary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). 
 
Father Fuller currently serves as the executive director of the ... Read More
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
September 24, 2020
DIOCESE—Prompted by Hurricane Laura and the West Coast wildfires Bishop David Malloy, on behalf of the Diocese of Rockford, sent an emergency contribution for the humanitarian, long-term recovery, and Church needs arising from these  natural disasters in the United States. ... Read More
September 24, 2020
DIOCESE—One opening exists on the Diocesan Pastoral Council (DPC) for a lay representative from the Freeport Deanery. 
 
The deanery may be identified by consulting the diocesan map at Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
September 24, 2020
Deacon David Zarembski’s wife, Elizabeth, is having a harder than usual time with communication during the pandemic.
 
Hard of hearing, she reads lips and, of course, store clerks and restaurant workers are all wearing masks. When she asks them to rem... Read More
September 24, 2020
AURORA—“Tutors and students began to arrive Thursday, Sept. 10, and everyone is very happy to be here!”
 
That was the fall report from Dominican Sister Kathleen Ryan, founder and director of the Dominican Literacy Center in Aurora.
... Read More
September 24, 2020
DIOCESE—Several fundrasers traditionally held in the Rockford Diocese in the early fall have new looks this year.
 
The Knights of Columbus intellectual disabilities fundraisers (the Tootsie Roll drives)  have mostly been held.
&nb... Read More
September 24, 2020
DIOCESE—Donna Hayes, Ecclesiastical Notary for the Diocese of Rockford’s Tribunal, started work Sept. 15, 1970. 
 
“My plan 50 years ago was to work just one year, but I guess God had other plans for me,” Hayes said. 
... Read More
Sun Shines as St. Edward Catholic Prepatory Academy Opens Its Doors
New School Launches with Fresh Paint, New Equipment, Masks and Social Distance
By Margarita Mendoza, El Observador Editor
September 17, 2020
ELGIN—Students, teachers and parents from St. Edward Catholic Preparatory Academy in Elgin have two powerful reasons to be excited. 
 
First of all, they are part of a brand new concept of school in the Diocese of Rockford — the fusion of a... Read More
September 17, 2020
DIOCESE—Catechetical Sunday is a day to honor teachers of the faith. This year’s theme is “I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you.”
 
In the Rockford Diocese, long-term awards will be given to catechists who are being ... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
September 10, 2020
AURORA—Marmion monk Theodore Haggerty was ordained to the priesthood on Saturday, Sept. 5.
Restrictions due to the 
 
COVID-19 pandemic ranged from the soft whirr of a touchless sanitizer dispenser to Father Theodore’s sister... Read More
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
September 10, 2020
ELGIN—Students, parents and staff of the new St. Edward Catholic Preparatory Academy here were notified just before the holiday weekend that summer vacation would last a little longer thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.
 
Principal Dr. Kathleen Miller... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
September 3, 2020
ROCKFORD—Members of the Permanent Diaconate Class of 2020 were admitted to the ministry of acolyte on Saturday morning, Aug. 29 at the Cathedral of St. Peter.
 
Father Kenneth Wasilewski, director of the permanent diaconate for the diocese, teased the... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
September 3, 2020
ROCKFORD—Kristina Riedelsperger, administrative assistant for Ministry Formation, says that the department created a Virtual Orientation Day presentation, “since we have too many people to meet the 50-or-less requirement for an in person meeting.” 
 ... Read More
Time for Postponed Holy Land Collection
Pope Francis sets Sept. 13 for collection usually held on Good Friday
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
September 3, 2020
DIOCESE—With Holy Week celebrations closed to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic in many countries including the U.S. and Italy, Pope Francis announced at the Vatican on April 2 that he was postponing the traditional Good Friday collection for the Holy Land to Sept. 13. ... 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
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
September 3, 2020
WOODSTOCK—Marian Central Catholic High School here notified its parents and staff on Aug. 31 that the school would put its e-learning plan in place from Sept. 2-14. The plan is being activated due to new positive cases of COVID-19 and a large number of others at the school exposed to t... Read More
August 27, 2020
Three congregations who are present in the Diocese of Rockford are part of 16 Dominican congregations from New York to California that joined together to address climate change and its effects on marginalized communities disproportionately impacted by global warming.
 Read More
August 27, 2020
Election procedures vary from county to county in the Rockford Diocese. Links to each county clerk’s election information are listed here.
 
Boone County
August 27, 2020
Workers continue construction of the new garden on the Cathedral of St. Peter campus in Rockford.
 
A covered drive-up area near the old school has been removed to make way for new landscaping.
 
Work on the grounds cleare... Read More
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
August 20, 2020
DIOCESE—By now Catholics in the 11-county Rockford Diocese are used to diocesan protocols for attending Mass in a pandemic. 
 
While it is far from a preferred method of worship, everyone is adjusting to signing up for Mass, wearing a mask, being... 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
Catholic School Teachers Perform Ministerial Roles
Bishops laud SCOTUS decision that California schools could not be sued
July 16, 2020
WASHINGTON (CNS)—Two U.S. bishops said they welcomed the Supreme Court’s 7-2 ruling July 8 which said California Catholic schools could not be sued for job discrimination in firing teachers. The bishops said the decision “rightly acknowledged” the limit on state autho... 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—On Feb. 13, two new abortion bills were introduced in the Illinois General Assembly. 
 
They are House Bill (HB) 2467: Parent Notice Abortion- Repeal, and HB 2495: The Reproductive Health Act.
 
“T... 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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