September 26, 2016

International organ virtuoso, Diane Bish, will perform a concert to dedicate the new Father Edward Seisser Memorial Organ at St. Catherine of Siena Church, West Dundee, on Oct. 2 at 3 p.m.. The concert is free. Bish will be feted at a reception immediately following the concert.

Bish has more than 500 episodes of her travelogue and music series, The Joy of Music, broadcast weekly ... 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

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
September 22, 2016

CRYSTAL LAKE—Fourteen women in 13 parishes of the McHenry Deanery seem to have the blending of the biblical sisters Mary and Martha figured out.

Honored on Sept. 18 at a dinner sponsored by the McHenry Deanery Council of Catholic Women, the 14 were cited for their service to their parishes and communities — and for the example of their faith.

Many of the pri... Read More

By Tony Carton
September 22, 2016

SHANNON—Following the World Trade Center Twin Towers tragedy of 2001, Shannon resident Laverne Keppen suggested holding a Blue Mass to honor the men and women who died on Sept. 11 that year.

Since that time, St. Wendelin Parish and the Shannon Fire Department have staged the event honoring first responders.

“The Roman Catholic Church has a tradition of prayi... Read More

By Louise Brass, Observer Correspondent
September 22, 2016

DEKALB—The 24 hours of prayers in the presence the Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima, at St. Mary Church, culminated with Mass and the singing of favorite Marian hymns.

When it was time for the statue to leave, parishioners said a fond farewell, waving white handkerchiefs symbolizing the defeat of evil.

“This was life changing,” said Annalisa McMast... Read More

September 22, 2016

DIOCESE—Catechists are being honored cross the Diocese of Rockford by parishes and schools for outstanding service and longevity.

The Bishop O’Neill Award is given to recipients only once.  Recipients should be faithful Catholics who deserve recognition for outstanding service.

The award, named for the late Bishop Arthur J. O’Neill is given in rec... Read More

September 22, 2016

CRYSTAL LAKE—The next Magnificat Prayer Breakfast will be held on Oct. 22,  starting with 8:30 a.m. seating and a program, 9 a.m.-12 noon at D’Andrea Banquets and Conference Center, 4419 Northwest Hwy., here.

Featured speaker will be Father Robert Thorn from Wausau, Wis., where he is pastor of St. Matthew and Holy Name of Jesus parishes.

Father Thorn gr... Read More

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
September 22, 2016

ROCKFORD—Principals, directors of religious education and others who share the faith in parishes and schools across the Diocese of Rockford came together for the annual Educational Leaders Day on Oct. 15 at St. Rita Parish hall, here.

Dr. Joseph White, author, psychologist, a team member developer of the “Alive in Christ” religious curriculum from Our Sunday Visi... Read More

September 21, 2016

Junior Observer -- 'Israelites worship a golden calf'

Algonquin students receive notebooks

St. Edward Central Catholic H.S. marks 75 years

Woodstock parish remember 911

Diocesan native, Sister Kathleen Holland of Scales Mound, is among the new leaders for the Sisters of St. Francis of Clinton, Iowa

Pope highlights sanctity of life in Year of Mercy visits

Sharing the expertise: Papal advisers on abuse expand reach, influence

Changing Canon law, pope brings Latin and Eastern practices closer

Vatican: Abortion, attempted suicide always obstacles to ordination

CRS announces agency veteran as new SEO

Archbishop rejects claim religious liberty used as excuse to discriminate

Best way to fight terrorism is to welcome refugees, pope says

Vatican ruling: abortion, attempted suicide always obstacles to ordination

Cardinal says group's 'deceptive' ads promote abortion as a 'social good'

Study puts dollar value on organized religion in the U.S. at $1.2 trillion

Papal diplomats celebrate jubilee, attend talks on gender, Islam


By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
September 15, 2016

ROCKFORD—Bishops, priests, deacons, religious and laity gathered Friday morning, Sept. 9, to pay respects and pray for Bishop Thomas G. Doran during a wake and funeral Mass at the Cathedral of St. Peter.

Others gathered the evening prior for evening prayer and a wake service, also at the Cathedral.

On Friday, Bishop David Malloy served as homilist and, along with ... Read More

September 15, 2016

DIOCESE—Throughout the United States and Canada, on Sunday, Oct. 2, National Life Chain Sunday will again draw church congregations to local sidewalks for prayer and public witness. The mission is now in its 29th year of joining hearts in prayer for an end to abortion.

Life Chain applies a Code of Conduct and is entirely peaceful. The 2016 Chains will bring the ministry&rsqu... Read More

September 15, 2016

ROCKFORD—As The Observer reported back in April, author Abbie Reese is continuing her collaboration with the Poor Clare Colettines of Rockford.

Her book, “Dedicated to God: An Oral History of Cloistered Nuns,” was the first selection for The Observer’s One Diocese, One Book program.

She followed that up with the documentary film, “Chosen (C... Read More

September 15, 2016

ROCKFORD—The 20th Annual Ecumenical Brunch takes place this year on Saturday, Oct. 8, registration at 8:30 a.m., brunch and program from 9-11 a.m, at St. Bernadette Parish Hall, 2400 Bell Ave., here.

Featured speaker is Janet Biljeskovic, Director of Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Office in the Diocese of Rockford. Her talk will walk listeners through the process of... Read More

September 15, 2016

DIOCESE—“I felt there was something wrong with me for being as affected by my abortion as I was,” says one woman. “I couldn’t speak about it to anyone for such a long time, and if I did they all agreed that

I didn’t do anything wrong. … So I went where I consider to be underground emotionally … I wished I had been warned in advance... Read More

By Owen Phelps
September 15, 2016

I was fascinated by him from the first day we met, back in August 1983. We were as different as night and day, and yet we resonated in a way I doubt either of us ever fully understood.  Surely not me.

Then-Father Thomas Doran knew his history. He knew his church. He knew a lot. He knew how to assert himself. And he knew when to defer. It wasn’t often.

Eleven ... Read More

Bishop Doran Dies Sept. 1
Funeral Mass to Be Sept. 9 at Cathedral of St. Peter
September 8, 2016

ROCKFORD—Bishop Emeritus Thomas George Doran, D.D., J.C.D., died peacefully at his residence in Presence Cor Mariae, Rockford, on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016. He was 80 years old.

Bishop Doran was born on Feb. 20, 1936, in Rockford, to Robert J. and Gretchen (Durst) Doran.

He attended St. James Pro-Cathedral Grade School graduating in 1950. He attended Campion Jesuit ... Read More

September 8, 2016

ROCKFORD—The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops asked that a Day of Prayer for Peace in Our Communities be celebrated on the feast of St. Peter Claver, Sept.  9, and to serve as a focal point for the work of a new task force formed this summer after recent national incidents of violence and racial tension.

Due to the death and funeral of Bishop Emeritus Thomas... Read More

September 8, 2016

ROCKFORD—Rethinking the way we aid the poor is crucial, according to the documentary “Poverty, Inc.”

The 2014 release won more than 50 film festival honors. It will be shown free at Holy Family School gym, 4407 Highcrest Road, at 6:30 p.m., Sept. 16.

The film, which includes interviews with people in 20 countries, focuses on the problems with tradition... Read More

September 8, 2016

The Rev. Steven P. Clarke — Parochial Administrator of St. Joseph Parish, Harvard, Illinois, by decree of The Most Reverend Diocesan Bishop, has been incardinated as a priest of the Diocese of Rockford, effective Aug. 25, 2016.

The Rev. Jorge Lozano — to be Parochial Vicar at St. Joseph Parish, Elgin, effective Thursday, Sept.... Read More

By Pat Szpekowski, Observer Correspondent
September 1, 2016

WOODSTOCK—This year’s annual parish picnic at St. Mary Parish, here, Aug. 27, took on an added layer as it coincided with the concluding celebration of St. Mary Catholic School’s 100th anniversary.

Bishop David Malloy celebrated a bilingual Mass with Father Burt Absalon, pastor, and Father Jhakson Garcia, parochial vicar, in honor of the school’s final cent... Read More

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
September 1, 2016

AURORA—Women of the Aurora Deanery were honored by their parishes at a banquet Sunday evening, Aug. 28, sponsored by the deanery Council of Catholic Women.

The women were honored for the many ways they serve at their parishes and in the community at large. “She is always willing to give quietly of herself to make a difference in the lives of others,” says one nom... Read More

September 1, 2016

DIOCESE—Since March 20 and continuing until December 2017, the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Fatima is making a 21-month journey across America, honoring the 100th anniversary of the apparitions at Fatima.

It will be in the Rockford Diocese Sept. 11-15.

The tour is part of a nation-wide call to prayer and penance for peace in our nation and conversion of ... Read More

September 1, 2016

ROCHELLE—Seven years ago, St. Patrick Parish, here, began  a corporal work of mercy, an outreach program to feed the hungry.

It began with supper being served on the first Monday of each month. Through the years, the need for this service grew and is now offered every Monday evening from 5 p.m. until 6 p.m.

On the first, third and fourth Mondays, St. Patrick ... Read More

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
September 1, 2016

A 40-year tradition of great bargains will come to an end after this year’s Barn Sale on Sept. 17-18 at the Kane County Fairgrounds.

Chairperson Lisa O’Leary Volk says the sale will look the same this year with the exception of mostly behind-the-scene efforts made to sell the infrastructure.

“We own (and are selling) semitrailers and a moving truck,&rd... Read More

Rock the Block
Crystal Lake Hosts Love Your Neighbor Tour and Party
By Pat Szpekowski, Observer Correspondent
September 1, 2016

CRYSTAL LAKE—Neither a light sprinkle nor a pouring downpour dampened the spirits and camaraderie of the inaugural block party at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish here Aug. 27.

Parishioners and neighbors mingled in the large parking lot filled with games for the kids, s’mores, food trucks and beverages.

A stage covered for protection was in-waiting for the even... Read More

September 1, 2016

ELGIN—St. Joseph School here partnered with Elgin Public School District U-46 to provide two weeks of summer reading intervention support for 24 St. Joseph students at no cost to the students.  

The classes were held at St. Joseph School and taught by teachers from the school:  Carol Norman (kindergarten-second grade), Greg Lange (third-fifth grade), and Jean Wagne... Read More

By Margarita Mendoza, El Observador Editor
August 25, 2016

Love was in the air at St. Mary in Huntley where 242 couples participated in the annual Silver and Gold Mass, at which people from around the Rockford Diocese honor couples celebrating special anniversaries.

Bishop David Malloy celebrated the Mass and blessed the couples celebrating a milestone in their marriages.

As they were greeted in the narthex, couples received ce... Read More

August 25, 2016

The Rev.  Moises A.  Apostol — to be Parochial Administrator of St. John the Baptist Parish, Savanna, Illinois, and SS. John and Catherine Parish, Mount Carroll, Illinois, effective Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015.
Given at the Chancery, Aug. 18, 2016

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
August 18, 2016

ROCKFORD—The Department of Educational Services will undergo a three-part structural change this fall that also involves the Life and Family Evangelization (LiFE) Office.  

Effective Sept. 1, the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry will be moved from the education department to the LiFE Office.  

Michael Kagan, superintendent of Catholic Schools and... Read More

August 18, 2016

AURORA—A new reliquary display at St. Therese of Jesus in Aurora was blessed by Father Michael Miller, MSC, pastor, after the 4 p.m. Mass July 9.

For many years the church has had several relics but they were never on display. After the death of Ann Prisco in 2014, her family approached Father Miller about making donations to the parish in her honor, as well as honoring thei... Read More

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
August 11, 2016

ROCKFORD—Changes made to an Illinois law that protects health care providers from participating in morally-objectionable procedures such as abortion has some members of the pro-life community fighting the law, scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1.

But the head of the Illinois Catholic Church’s public policy arm says the original proposed changes “would have gutted&... Read More

August 11, 2016

A firm grounding in the faith is, perhaps, the most obvious benefit of a Catholic school education, but it isn’t the only one.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is “the largest nationally representativ​e and c​ontinuing assessment of what America’s students know and can do in various subject areas,” according to its website.

Read More
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