From Rome to Rockford

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New Deacon Celebrated

Seminarian Sean Grismer, center, was ordained to the transitional diaconate in Rome on Oct. 1. Present for the celebration were, from left, Fathers Ervin Caliente, Jared Twenty, Jonathan Bakkelund and Keith Romke, director of vocations. Grismer is one of three men scheduled to be ordained as priests for the Rockford Diocese next year.

(Photo provided)




By Pat Szpekowski, Observer Correspondent
October 9, 2015

Parishes from the Mississippi River to the Fox Valley stood in support of National Life Chain Sunday, Oct. 4.

The dreary cold fall weather didn’t deter the impassioned participants for this year’s event.

In all parts of the Rockford Diocese hundreds of men, women, children and clergy took part.

Rep... Read More

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
October 9, 2015

ROCKFORD—Hamed Mustafa Al Hammawi speaks of two groups of people in his home country of Syria: those who are “with the government” and those, like him, who are not.

He talks also about snipers on rooftops, sudden arrests, and consequences for those who gathered earlier in the Syrian war to ask for their rights and... Read More

By Sharon Boehlefeld
October 9, 2015

ROCKFORD—Catholic Charities is always ready to spread the word about the challenges facing refugees who come into the Rockford Diocese.

Janet Biljeskovic, program director of Refugee Resettlement Services, recently took the story to members of the International Affairs interest group of the Rockford Branch of American Associa... Read More

October 9, 2015

AURORA—St. Rita of Cascia Parish, here, participated in the 2015 St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP) Walk for the Poor, Sept. 26 at Fabyan Forest Preserve in Geneva.

A group of parishioners joined Father Oscar Cortes, parochial administrator, during the walk.

This year, to make the walk more appealing to donors, Father Cort... Read More

October 7, 2015

Forever Family -- Healing 5 Wounds of the Heart

DeKalb CDA to Host Annual Luncheon Oct. 12

Pet blessing were held around the diocese Oct. 3 in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, patron of animals

Students chosen as 'Stewards of the Month' for September at st. Mary School, Elgin, were honored

St. Mary sixth,seventh and eighth-grade religion class students at St. Mary School, Sterling, invited Sterling Police and Whiteside County Sheriff's Departments.

Kindergareners at St. Rita School, Rockford, pose for a photo with their special "cut-out image" of Pope Francis during his U.S. visit

Protesters arrested while reading Encyclical

Vatican Clarifies Pope's Meeting with Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis

Serra Canonization Should awaken mission spirit, says head of extension

Pope has been invited to Canada, but Vatican says nothing confirmed

After monthlong strike, Chrisitan schools open in Isreal

Pope appeals for commutation of death sentences

European Catholic groups pledge to back Sustainable Development Goals

China's media focus on Xi, black out papal visit to U.S.




By Penny Wiegert, Editor
October 2, 2015

Pope Francis had much to say during his apostolic visit to the U.S. Sept. 22-27.

He spoke to millions in person, through broadcast and social media. His messages were heard by clergy, religious, lay people, Catholics and non-Catholics.

Bishop David Malloy, who personally greeted the Holy Father during his visit to Washin... Read More

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
October 2, 2015

PHILADELPHIA—The City of Brotherly Love welcomed people from all over the world during the World Meeting of Families Congress, Sept. 22-27, including two women from the Diocesan Administration Center in Rockford.

Jennifer Collins, director of the Office of Life and Family Evangelization (LiFE), attended the Congress itself, c... Read More

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
October 2, 2015

ST. PAUL—The crowds were both blessing and blockade for seminarian Charles Fitzpatrick during a whirlwind trip to Washington D.C. and Philadelphia that he won in a raffle last spring at a house party for seminarians.

He traveled with 11 other seminarians and two priests to both cities with some hope of seeing Pope Francis.Read More

By Father Keith Romke
October 2, 2015

Father Keith Romke is director of the Diocese of Rockford Vocations Office. He agreed to talk about how someone finds a vocation and about what’s new in the office. Below are some of the questions that were posed to Father Romke's and his responses.

Q... Read More

October 2, 2015

The Rev. Jorge Bravo, CS—at the nomination of his Provincial Superior and by appointment of Bishop David Malloy, to be Parochial Vicar of St. Joseph Parish, Harvard, Illinois, effective Oct. 1, 2015.

Given at the Chancery, Sept. 23, 2015

By Penny Wiegert, Editor
September 25, 2015

BATAVIA—Police were called to Holy Cross Parish and School, here, early Sept. 17 after Deacon Larry Motyka discovered signs of a break-in.

As Deacon Motyka arrived to prepare for Mass he found broken glass and signs of entry in both the parish and school office and called police.

There was no forced entry into the ... Read More

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
September 25, 2015

ROCKFORD—“Engaging and Evangelizing Families in Faith” was a day designed to be “filled with insights and great ideas,” said John McGrath, Education Department director, as he welcomed a room filled with school principals and parish directors and coordinators of religious education Sept. 17.

Dr. Jo Ann... Read More

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
September 25, 2015

AURORA—Kathy Berkes, pastoral care coordinator for the Office of Family Life and Evangelization, says the 40 Days for Life Aurora Kick-off Rally on Sept. 19 began at a “dark and dreary” 9 a.m. on land bordering East New York Street, close to Aurora’s Planned Parenthood Center.

But when Kingsley Kwayisi, grad... Read More

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
September 25, 2015

CRYSTAL LAKE—The annual Women of Inspiration banquet sponsored by the McHenry Deanery Council of Catholic Women honored 13 women from 12 parishes Sept. 20, at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish hall.

Each woman was introduced, many with enthusiasm and a list of ways they serve their parish and community.

The word &ldqu... Read More

September 25, 2015

ALGONQUIN/MCHENRY —More than 50 voices from two parishes — St. Margaret Mary in Algonquin and Church of Holy Apostles in McHenry — will unite for two evenings to perform liturgical and inspirational music.

Performances will be:

â–ş Oct. 9, 7 p.m., at St. Margaret Mary, 111 S. Hubbard, Algonquin, an... Read More

September 25, 2015

AURORA—St. George Byzantine Catholic Church is hosting a fall iconography workshop Oct. 5-9 at the church, 720 Rural St., here.

This is an introduction to the liturgical art of the Christian East by iconographer Phillip Zimmerman.
The icon to be written is St. Nicholas (left).

Painting and presentations wil... Read More

September 25, 2015

FREEPORT—There is still time to buy raffle tickets to help the Madonna Renewal Center, a pregnancy care center to be operated by  the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, here.

An anonymous donor has given the sisters  a completely original 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air, four-door car with approximately 79,000 miles, a... Read More

By Penny Wiegert, Editor
September 11, 2015

DIOCESE—As the U.S. cities of Washington, D.C., New York, and Philadelphia prepare for the apostolic visit of Pope Francis, Bishop David Malloy will also be packing his bags.

Bishop Malloy is one of the 35 bishops and archbishops in the U.S. designated to represent the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in welcoming... Read More

More Space Means More Service
Rescue Mission Wants to Help More Women, Children
By Lynne Conner, Observer Correspondent
September 11, 2015

ROCKFORD—Following the Biblical command of “Do unto others … ,” the Rockford Rescue Mission is expanding its outreach to women and children with the construction of Pitney Place.

Named for one of the Rescue Mission’s founders, Nadine Pitney, the 25,000 square foot $7 million addition is being p... Read More

September 4, 2015

St. Margaret Mary: Albert and Elaine Helfert, 65; James and Barbara Woeste, 50; Daniel and Kathleen Kielbasa, 50; Dennis and Karen Downing, 50; George and Helen Jost, 50; Jim and Janice Hanson, 25
St. Patrick:... Read More

By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
September 4, 2015

ROCKFORD—Mother Maria Dominica, abbess for Rockford’s Poor Clare Colettines, agrees that the first-ever “Come and See” retreat at Corpus Christi Monastery provided young women with both an opportunity and a sense of “safety in numbers.”

It was a unique couple of days, something the nuns decided t... Read More

June 5, 2015

ROCKFORD—Editing is underway for Chosen (Custody of the Eyes) — a collaborative film made with and focused on the Poor Clare Colettine nuns in Rockford.

For the month of June, you can help fund post-production by making a donation to a fundraiser online: Read More

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