By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
July 12, 2018
Girls and young women attending St. Therese Camp make a trip to the Poor Clares Corpus Christi Monastery for Mass with Bishop David Malloy and a visit with the cloistered nuns in the Rockford Diocese.
 
ROCKFORD—The annual St. Therese Camp brought 57 campers of all ages together with 15 religious sisters and four postulants the last week in... Read More
July 12, 2018
DIOCESE—Three openings exist on the Diocesan Pastoral Council (DPC), one each for a lay representative from the Aurora, Freeport, and Rockford deaneries. 
 
Prospective members may nominate themselves for three-year terms that begin with the Sept. 8, 2018 meeting. 
 
The council addresses matters of pasto... Read More
July 12, 2018
FREEPORT—The inaugural “Toast of the Town,” a fundraiser organized by The Legacy Foundation for Aquin Catholic Schools, will be Aug. 25. It will be held in the Grand River Hall on the sixth floor of the Rawleigh Building, 101 S. Liberty Ave., here.
 
The evening of drinks, dining, laughs and live and silent auction begins at 5 p.m. with ... Read More
By Pat Szpekowski, Observer Correspondent
July 12, 2018
ST. CHARLES— “I don’t have a string of degrees after my name, money in my pocket, or miles of travel, but I have been given many blessings,” said Sister Judy Nickels, OSF, as she reflected on her retirement and 32 years of active ministry at St. John Neumann parish, here.
 
The news of Sister Judy’s retirement evoked shared m... Read More
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
June 21, 2018
ROCKFORD—One word at a time, students from the Cathedral of St. Peter, St. Bernadette, St. Edward, and St. James schools revealed an invitation to join them at their new school during a scheduled recreation night at Sinnissippi Park, June 14.
 
A crowd of more than 50 parents, students, Joint School committee members, teachers and priests gathered t... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
June 21, 2018
ROCKFORD—Mary Gavan quotes Winnie the Pooh (author A. A. Milne) to summarize her upcoming retirement this summer after 44 years of service at Boylan Central Catholic High School: “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
 
“Although I would say I am blessed rather than merely lucky,” she adds.Read More
June 21, 2018
GREEN BAY, Wis.—The Observer won a record number nine awards in the annual  newspaper competition of the Catholic Press Association for the United States and Canada. 
 
Among them was second place for general excellence for newspapers of 25,000 circulation or less, the second year in a row for that honor. 
 
... Read More
June 21, 2018
POLO—Parishioners of St. Mary Parish, here, have selected Nancy Adams to receive the 17th annual Woman of the Year Award. 
 
She and her husband, Jim, have been active in the parish for 26 years. They have one daughter, Abby, and a granddaughter, Everlie. 
 
Over the years, Adams has been a devoted and fa... Read More
By Pat Szpekowski, Observer Correspondent
June 14, 2018
CRYSTAL LAKE—It was a day of familiar faces, big smiles, and the exchange of experiences and memories for everyone who attended the St. Thomas the Apostle Parish 50th anniversary celebration of the Oak Street church dedication on June 9.
 
More than 175 people attended the Mass with celebrant Msgr. Daniel Hermes, pastor, and concelebrated with paroc... Read More
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
June 14, 2018
DIOCESE—Saying goodbye and reflecting on the past topped the agenda for the Diocesan Pastoral Council during its regular quarterly meeting, June 9. But also on the agenda were hellos to new leadership followed by more goodbyes as some councilors concluded their terms of office.
 
The June meeting marked the last for DPC executive secretary Dr. Micha... Read More
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
June 7, 2018
Some parents choose to move their children ahead of 2019-20 new school opening, leaving too few students to keep west side school open. Registered families are invited to make an early move to St. James campus.
 
ROCKFORD—St. Bernadette Parish announced this week that students and families at St. Bernade... Read More
June 7, 2018
ROCKFORD—Kevin Fuss is now the Director of Research and Planning in the Diocese of Rockford. 
He is replacing Dr. Michael Cieslak, who held the post for more than three decades before retiring June 1. 
“I found that the diocese offers something very unique in today’s world, and that is the opportunity to combine professional work wi... Read More
June 7, 2018
ROCKFORD—After 26 years as a theology teacher at Boylan Central Catholic High School, here, Jim Heim has had to leave his position due to symptoms of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
 
He and his wife, Socorro, and the family have decided that he will remain in their... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
June 7, 2018
ROCKFORD—The morning of June 2 was “one of those moments (when) heaven touches earth,” said Bishop David Malloy at a packed Cathedral of St. Peter shortly before ordaining one man to the priesthood and three to the transitional diaconate.
 
In his homily, he spoke first to Robert Blood, John Kladar and Charles Warren, saying that “... Read More
June 7, 2018
ROCKFORD—Deacon Robert “Bob” A. Bracken, 89, of Rockford, passed away Saturday, May 26, 2018. 
Born June 27, 1928, in Akron, Ohio, he was the son of Harold B. and Mary A. (Jamison) Bracken. He married Lois R. Schultz May 22, 1949, in Kewanee.
 
Deacon Bracken was a member of Holy Family Parish, and was ordained as a p... Read More
June 7, 2018
DIOCESE—The St. Timothy Youth Award is a national recognition award given to youth by the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry in collaboration with the Diocese of Rockford Catholic Education Office. 
The award is frequently given near graduation.
It is the highest recognition from the NFCYM to a teen who demonstrates the following qualit... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
June 7, 2018
AURORA—The homily and talks were upbeat, but there was predictable sadness as St. Therese of Jesus School in Aurora hosted its final all-school Mass on May 30.
 
“We gather here to celebrate 93 amazing years at St. Therese,” said Father Ernesto Caicedo, a Missionary of the Sacred Heart priest who began service at the parish ... Read More
June 7, 2018
AURORA—St. Therese of Jesus, St. Peter, Our Lady of Good Counsel and St. Joseph schools are combining to create one new, two-campus school called Pope St. John Paul II Catholic Academy, here.
 
The campuses will be located at St. Joseph (north) and Our Lady of Good Counsel (south) and will begin serving students this fall. 
 ... Read More
Parishes Enter School Agreement
Pastors from eight Rockford parishes ink an agreement to support a new school scheduled to open in the 2019-20 academic year.
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
May 31, 2018
ROCKFORD—Eight pastors gathered May 15 at Bishop Lane Retreat Center, where several were on retreat, to sign an historic agreement to form and to financially and spiritually support a new school in Rockford. The new school will be located on the campus of St. James Parish. 
 
Pastors from the Cathedral of St. Peter, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Be... Read More
May 31, 2018

Flags and a sign greeted those coming to Calvary Cemetery May 28 for the annual Memorial Day Mass celebrated by Bishop David Malloy.

Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus escort the bishop to a tent where Mass was held on the hot, but slightly breezy morning.


Guests shared coffee and donuts frosted with white icing and red, white and blue sprinkles after the Mass.<... Read More

May 31, 2018
ROCKFORD—Father Kyle Manno begins service as the new director of vocations for the diocese on June 18. 
 
Born in Arlington Heights, he attended Palatine High School, Northern Illinois University and St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein. 
 
He was ordained to the priesthood on June 4, 2016, by Bisho... Read More
May 31, 2018
Father Carl Beekman, St. Mary, Sycamore
 
Father Carl Beekman will be the new pastor at St. Mary Parish in Sycamore beginning June 18.
 
Born in Terre Haute, Minn., he attended Bedford North Lawrence High School in Bedford, Ind., Indiana University, the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now Universit... Read More
May 31, 2018
Msgr. Daniel Hermes
 
Msgr. Daniel Hermes will retire on June 18.
 
Born in Dixon, he attended Newman Central Catholic High School, St. Meinrad College and Seminary, and later earned a master’s degree in Community Mental Health from Northern Illinois University. He was ordained to the priesthood by... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
May 31, 2018
AURORA—“He was the perfect altar server,” said Franciscan Sister Kathryn Frankovich who came from Lemont to the ordination of her former student as he became Father Antony Maria Minardi, OSB, on May 26 at Marmion Abbey.
 
She was serving as director of religious education at Plano and Yorkville in the Joliet Diocese when the future pries... Read More
By Louise Brass, Observer Correspondent
May 24, 2018
Why do Catholics create artwork featuring saints, Our Lady, and Jesus Christ, and display these works prominently? Why is making icons called “writing icons?” And, how do we know how to depict the holy ones?
 
It all boils down to tradition — and a lot of research.
 
The term “writing icons”... Read More
May 24, 2018
The Rev. Msgr. Daniel J. Hermes, V.F. — Pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, Crystal Lake, Ilinois, to retire with the permission of The Most Rev. Bishop, effective Monday, June 18, 2018.
 
The Rev. Paul M. Lipinski — Pastor of St. Mary Parish, Sycamore, Illinois, to retire with the permission of The Most ... Read More
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
May 3, 2018
St. Edward joins the previous three-school collaboration as St. James is tapped to be home to the yet-to-be-named new school. Eight parishes will support it spiritually and financially.
 
ROCKFORD—The effort to strengthen Catholic elementary schools in the city of Rockford, became larger and stronger, announced the Diocesan... Read More
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