By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
January 18, 2018
ROCKFORD—After almost four decades of service to the Diocese of Rockford, Michael Cieslak, Ed.D., diocesan director of Research and Planning, is set to retire on June 1.
 
He served in religious education at Our Lady of Good Counsel, Aurora, for a year and at St. Patrick Parish, Rochelle, from 1974 to 1981, then earned a doctorate in Research and Ev... Read More
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
January 18, 2018
ROCKFORD—The Faith Forward Strategic Plan, which outlines objectives and goals to strengthen Catholic education throughout its 11-county region has been the foundation of some important work for schools throughout the diocese.
 
As previously reported in The Observer, several areas of the Rockford Diocese have been of particular concern including Ro... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
January 18, 2018
DENVER, Col.—Lisa Rubin-Johnson, 98, suffered a heart attack on Dec. 7, 2017, and died that same day.
 
Born to Angelo and Catherine Paluzzi on Oct. 3, 1919 in Rockford, her given name was Florence Louise. She changed her name to Lisa after graduating from Rockford Central High School and beginning her career.
 
Th... Read More
January 18, 2018
CHICAGO — Father Luke Poczworowski, OFM Conv., died Jan. 10, 2018, here. He was 80.
Born in Chicago on Dec. 16, 1937, to Stanley and Mary Poczworowski, he was raised in St. Michael the Archangel Parish. 
 
After graduating from Mount Carmel High School, he entered the novitiate of the Conventual Franciscans in Lake Forest.
... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
January 11, 2018
While some took vacations in the last few weeks, the Vocations Office didn’t, using the time to be “fishers of men.” The annual diocesan winter retreat for young men was a chance for quiet reflection about their futures. And crowd-pleasing antics from priests and seminarians on basketball courts entertained Catholics of all ages during the Christmas season.
... Read More
January 11, 2018
A front page Observer photo this week shows Pope Francis giving a figurine of the baby Jesus to an altar server at the conclusion of Christmas Eve Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican Dec. 24.
 
But, somewhat blurred in the center of the background, is one of the Diocese of Rockford’s own seminarians.
 
January 11, 2018
DIOCESE—The National Appeal, the first of the 2018 Combined Collections for the Universal Catholic Church, will take place at parishes of the Diocese of Rockford the weekend of Jan. 20-21.
 
The Rockford Diocese continues its tradition of bringing several annual appeals into one collection — for a total of three collections, plus one appeal to... Read More
By Margarita Mendoza, El Observador Editor
January 11, 2018
ELGIN—Historic. This is how priests and parishioners at St. Laurence in Elgin consider the very first Mass offered completely in Spanish on Jan. 6, attended by about 100 people.
 
“It is very nice to see new faces and families and, it is historic. It gives me hope,” said Father Andrew Mulcahey, pastor. 
 
... Read More
January 11, 2018
SPRINGFIELD—After Illinois’ new Invest in Kids scholarship program attracted more than $36 million in pledged contributions on  Jan. 2, Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed and amended a companion bill, the Chicago Tribune reported Jan. 9.
 
The program aimed to give low- to middle-income students opportunities to attend  non-public schools that... Read More
January 11, 2018
ROCKFORD—St. Rita Parish, here, hosted a Knighthood Degree day for District 48 of the Knights of Columbus on Nov. 19. Twenty-eight men completed their journey to full Knighthood. 
 
Dignitaries from both Supreme and state organizations  also attended to honor Knight Ed McMahon on his lifetime of service to the Knights of Columbus. Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
January 11, 2018
ROCKFORD—“A lot of people forget about us in here,” said Robert, an inmate at the Winnebago County Jail who came for 9 a.m. Mass and sat alone for an hour before the Mass helpers arrived for the 10 a.m. Mass.
 
Even so, Robert called this sixth Christmas Mass celebrated by Bishop David Malloy at the jail, “such a blessing.”... Read More
January 11, 2018
DIOCESE—The ballplayers walked away from the third game banged up and even a little bloody.
An officials’ time out in the second half was to see if anyone had a bandage in a pocket or purse. Someone did.
 
Diocesan priests in the God Squad took all three basketball games from the seminarians, 69-60, 61-41 and 72-62.
By Pat Szpekowski, Observer Correspondent
December 21, 2017
WEST DUNDEE—Christmas angels do exist. They can be found at St. Catherine of Siena Parish, here, and its sister parish, St. Mary of Gilberts, and at St. Ignatius of Loyola Parish in Spring, Texas. 
 
Located 1,078 miles apart, parishioners in both states formed a special bond this Christmas and have given each other gifts of faith, hope, and ch... Read More
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
December 21, 2017
DIOCESE—After the Faith Forward Strategic Plan for Catholic schools in the Diocese of Rockford was completed and shared with the public, there was  still much work to do.
 
Task Force groups were formed in some areas of the diocese where schools were experiencing significant struggles with finance, enrollment and population shifts in the neighb... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
December 21, 2017
ROCKFORD—“This is always a special day,” Michael Kagan, superintendent of schools, said as he welcomed this year’s Bishop O’Neill Scholarship Award winners, their principals and family members on  Dec. 14.
 
When Bishop Arthur J. O’Neill retired, Kagan explained, he chose to establish the scholarship to help with t... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
December 14, 2017
ROCKFORD—“We feed you and then you work!” said Rosie Scalise Sheridan, co-chair with Linda Stoinski, as they welcomed around 120 women to the 2017 blanket workshop sponsored by the Catholic Women’s League (CWL).
 
The Dec. 7 event at St. Rita Parish began with a Mass for Deceased Bishops, Priests and Religious of the diocese. Fathe... Read More
December 14, 2017
MERRITT ISLAND, Fla.—Deacon Eugene “Gene” Reilly, 82, died in his Florida home on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017. 
 
He was born in the Bronx, New York on July 21, 1935, to Eugene and Grace Reilly. 
 
He served his country in the Korean War. 
 
He moved his fami... Read More
Scholarships ‘Invest in Kids’
What You Need to Know About the Tax Credit
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
December 7, 2017
DIOCESE— Earlier this year, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law, the “Invest in Kids Act.” Through this new law, Illinois children enrolled in private schools will have access to new scholarships. 
 
The scholarships offered through this program could cover 50 to 100 percent of a student’s tuition and eligible charg... Read More
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