December 1, 2022
DIOCESE—On Dec. 8, we honor the feast day of Mary, the Immaculate Conception. It is a holy day of obligation devoted to the conception of Mary without sin. 
 
Mary, the Immaculate Conception, is the patroness of the United States and, on a smalle... Read More
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
December 1, 2022
HUNTLEY—How can you celebrate the beginning of a new liturgical year, mark Advent, give thanks, share talent, celebrate Christ and focus on the hope and joy of Christmas?
 
Gather together for a concert of heavenly music, that’s how.
Read More
Early-Morning Advent Mass To Honor the Blessed Mother
“Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the Just One.”
December 1, 2022
GENEVA—St. Peter Church in Geneva will hold a special Advent Mass, Rorate coeli, in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Thursday morning, Dec. 15, at 6:45 a.m. The celebrant is Bishop David Malloy.
 
The Rorate Mass is a Votive Mass in honor of the Vi... Read More
December 1, 2022
STERLING—During the season of Advent, parishes throughout the Sterling deanery will hold communal penance services to help parishioners prepare for Christmas. 
 
Some penance services are private and open only to the hosting parish, but others ar... Read More
Megan Peterson, Features/Multimedia Editor
December 1, 2022
BATAVIA—Mike Pacer, a member of Holy Cross Parish in Batavia, knows a little something about looking for different perspectives. The father of four, including diocesan priest Father Nathan Pacer, spent 14 years as a successful trial lawyer in Chicago — and then left.
By Father Nathan Pacer, St. Patrick, St. Charles Parochial vicar
December 1, 2022
A few years ago,  my grandparents  downsized on their Christmas decorations and allowed my brothers and me to pick out some of the ornaments for our own collections. 
 
One of the ornaments I chose had been a gift from my great-aunt, now deceased... Read More
November 24, 2022

ROCKFORD—On Nov. 21, St. Elizabeth Catholic Community Center distributed turkeys, potatoes and trimmings for a Thanksgiving dinner to people in need who had signed up the previous week.

Additional meats were donated, so some patrons had the option of receiving a ham or beef ro... Read More

By Lynne Conner, Observer Correspondent
November 24, 2022
DEKALB—Men from all over the diocese gathered for some good news at the 27th annual Great Lakes Men’s Conference on Nov. 19 at the Holmes Student Center on the campus of Northern Illinois University. 
 
“Since the event wasn’t h... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
November 24, 2022
GENOA—Many dozens of people showed up at St. Catherine of Genoa Parish on a blustery wintery Monday morning, Nov. 21, for Mass with Bishop David Malloy and the blessing of the new parish Stations of the Cross outside.
 
The first station is located in... Read More
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
November 24, 2022
BATAVIA—One of the first events as part of the Diocesan Phase of the National Eucharistic Revival will take place on Dec. 5.
 
Holy Cross Parish will host a presentation by Father Tim Anastos of the Archdiocese of Chicago. Father Anastos is one of 58 ... Read More
Worth the Wait - First Week of Advent - Nov. 27
‘The Night is Advanced; the Day is at Hand’
November 24, 2022
Advent Reflection
Father Jeremy Trowbridge
SS. Peter and Paul Parish, Cary
Pastor
 
Embarking upon a new year of prayer we listen closely to the... Read More
By Lynne Conner, Observer Correspondent
November 24, 2022
LOVES PARK—When the mourners are gone and the funeral is but a memory, the grief remains. 
But the prayerful presence of one group at St. Bridget Church has made it possible to honor deceased parishioners and support their families. 
 
... Read More
Patricia Szpekowski, Observer Correspondent
November 17, 2022
AURORA—As part of its evangelization efforts to bring the truth and light of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist to its parish family and community in this first year of the National Eucharistic Revival, St. Peter Parish in Aurora hosted the Eucharistic Miracle Exhibit in its ... Read More
Patricia SzPekowski, Observer Correspondent
November 17, 2022
AURORA—With the enthusiasm of shared sisterhood and deep memories, over 70 Rosary High School alumnae gathered together for an awards luncheon and the school's 60th anniversary celebration on Nov. 12.
 
Rosary High School, a Catholic, college-prep... Read More
‘Those Who Have Ears Ought to (Be Able) to Hear'
New Technology Helping More Diocesan Parishioners
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
November 17, 2022
ROCKFORD—Father Carl Beekman, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish, here, was familiar with hearing loop technology before having it put in place at St. Anthony’s this fall.
 
Some years ago, he had a similar system installed at SS. Peter and P... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
November 17, 2022
ROCKFORD—“I tell people (about our reunions) and they say, ‘Your GRADE school?!’” says Vicky Blunt Oakley, a member of the Class of 1962 at St. Edward School, here, which celebrated its 60th reunion on Nov. 12 at Lino’s Italian Restaurant in Rockford.Read More
November 17, 2022
ROCKFORD—Michael O’Neill, a member of Holy Family Parish in Rockford, began a spiritual journey in March as the “Miracle Hunter” in the new travel series “Explore with the Miracle Hunter,” airing on EWTN television.
 
On ... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
November 10, 2022
ROCKFORD—For the 29th year, Catholic women who serve in their parish were honored by their parish families and their own families and friends at a banquet, held this year on Nov. 6 at Franchesco’s Ristorante, here.
 
Sponsored by the Rockford De... Read More
‘Praying for the Dead Gives Hope to the Living
Message at Annual Cemetery Mass …
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
November 10, 2022
WINNEBAGO—Bishop David Malloy used the thoughts from 2 Maccabees, that it is good to pray for the dead, during his All Souls Day Mass celebrated inside the mausoleum at Calvary Cemetery, Nov. 2.
 
Bishop Malloy and about 50 others stood among the dead... Read More
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
November 10, 2022
ROCKFORD—The agenda for the Diocesan Pastoral Council was changed a few days before their meeting at the request of Bishop David Malloy who wanted to discuss a document released by the Vatican on Oct. 27.
 
The “Working Document for the Continen... Read More
Long-Time Catechist Continues On
God Calls … Bernadette Spurr
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
November 10, 2022
GALENA—“It’s been quite a journey, quite a pilgrimage, and it could be challenging at times. But that’s my life. All those dear children … ”
 
Bernadette Spurr, 76, has no intention of retiring from her service as a cate... Read More
November 10, 2022
DEKALB—Celebrating Catholic Schools, the Lenten tradition of eating fish instead of meat, Hispanic traditions and burying the dead were all subjects for which The Observer and El Observador were recognized by the Northern Illinois Newspaper Association, (NINA), Oct. 27.
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
November 3, 2022
LOVES PARK—The Catholic Women’s League is known for its annual Blanket Workshop where members of its sewing guild organize a roomful of adults ready to cut and tie the ends of what becomes fleece blankets to keep a variety of people warm.
 
This... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
November 3, 2022
ARCHIVES—As Veterans Day 2022 approaches, Father Lonergan’s service in the military comes to mind.
 
Born in Polo in 1884, Father Joseph Michael Lonergan has the distinction of being the first priest ordained in the Diocese of Rockford after its... Read More
November 3, 2022
ST. PAUL, Minn. (CNS)—St. Paul resident Susan Neuville spoke at a news conference Sept. 13 against a July 11 ruling by Ramsey County District Court that struck down six abortion laws, including the law requiring that parents be notified at least 48 hours before an abortion is performed... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
October 28, 2022
DIOCESE—Only once every three years, Catholics from the Diocese of Rockford are invited through the diocese to donate to the Archdiocese for the Military Services (AMS), USA.
 
The collection at parishes across the diocese will be held Nov. 5-6, the w... Read More
October 28, 2022
ROCKFORD—Father Salvatore J. Guagliardo died on Friday, Oct. 21, 2022, at St. Anne Place here, where he was a resident.
 
Father Guagliardo was born on May 4, 1929, in Rockford to Margaret and Vincent Guagliardo. 
 
Read More
October 28, 2022
ROCKFORD—To honor the saints, students of Boylan Central Catholic High School and eighth-grade students of diocesan grade schools in Rockford will come together for an art show in the Boylan Central Catholic High School library on All Saints Day, Nov. 1, with an opening reception at 3:... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
October 28, 2022
MCHENRY—“Notable in their 90s” parishioners were honored on Oct. 23 at St. Mary Parish, here.
 
The idea to recognize the faith and accomplishments of those older parishioners came to Kathy Godlewski after morning Mass one day when she saw... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
October 28, 2022
ROCKFORD—Boylan Central Catholic High School unveiled its new “Vincent E. McGuire Performance Center” on Oct. 20 with a ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony. 
 
The athletic center is named after long-time teacher, coach, dean of st... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
October 28, 2022
ROCKFORD—Dozens of people gathered on a chilly Tuesday evening, Oct. 18, to mark the beginning of St. Peter (Cathedral) Parish’s 100th year.
 
Bishop David Malloy and Father Kenneth Anderson, rector, were assisted by Deacon Robert Mitchison at t... Read More
October 20, 2022
DIOCESE—In early October, Vicar General Msgr. Glenn Nelson sent a letter to parish pastors and parochial administrators of the Diocese of Rockford requesting a special collection in the wake of Hurricane Ian.
 
His memo on behalf of Bishop David Mallo... Read More
October 20, 2022
ST. LOUIS, Mo.—The North American Vocation Team (NAVT) of the School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) invites young adults ages 18 and older to a monthly Zoom meeting for evening prayer on Tuesdays at 7 p.m.  
 
The online evening prayer, begun ... Read More
October 20, 2022
DIOCESE—Parishes throughout the diocese gathered during September to pray for anyone contemplating suicide, those who have died by suicide and for those grieving the loss of a loved one to suicide. 
 
Parishes offered prayer services, some biling... Read More
Rosaries Galore " Prayed and Made
God Calls … Bernadette Furon
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
October 20, 2022
You might say she comes by it naturally. Bernadette Furon can’t recall a time when the rosary has not been in her life.
 
“It was part of my life through my mother, who prayed it constantly,” she says. As children, she and her three brothe... Read More
October 20, 2022
DEKALB—The 27th annual Great Lakes Catholic Men’s Conference, which draws thousands of men to be inspired in their Catholic faith, is set for Nov. 19 at the Holmes Student Center on the campus of Northern Illinois University, DeKalb. 
 
The... Read More
October 20, 2022
DIOCESE—At the 38th annual diocesan Knights of Columbus Round Table Recognition Dinner on Sept. 28, three Knights were honored: 
 
-- Father Christopher DiTomo of Council 11666 in Huntley;
 
-- Joseph ... Read More
October 20, 2022
HUNTLEY—Patricia “Patty” Driscoll-Shaw was drawn to the Adrian Domincans sisters when she was only six years old. She says that while walking to school, she “loved walking behind the sisters and carrying their books and hearing them laugh.”
 ... Read More
October 20, 2022
BATAVIA—National Vocation Awareness Week, Nov. 6-12, is dedicated to promoting vocations in the priesthood, diaconate and religious life. One order in the Diocese of Rockford, the Servants of the Holy Heart of Mary, will hold three discernment events as part of this week. 
... Read More
October 20, 2022
SPRINGFIELD—In the 2015 encyclical Laudato Si’, Pope Francis wrote that climate change “represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day.”
 
Recently, the Dominican Sisters of Springfield took up that challenge b... Read More
By Penny Wiegert Editor and Dennis Sadowski Catholic News Service
October 13, 2022
DIOCESE—As reported in June of this year, (The Observer, June 14) the results of the feedback from diocesan Catholics were brought together, summarized and forwarded on to be included in the National Synthesis. Kevin Fuss, diocesan director of Research and Planning and point person for... Read More
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
October 13, 2022
BATAVIA—The first in a series of talks to be held around the Diocese of Rockford has been set for Dec. 5 at Holy Cross Parish here.
 
According to Father Jonathan Bakkelund who, as diocesan director of the Office of Divine Worship, is the local Euchar... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
October 13, 2022
Long-time prolife leader Kevin Rilott was 10 years old when Roe v. Wade came about in 1973. 
 
He, of course, “had no clue,” he says. “First thing I remember (about prolife) was at Boylan (Central Catholic High School), I saw informat... Read More
Seminarian Runs Marathon with a Mission
Diocesan seminarian runs Chicago Marathon to support the Mission of Our Lady of the Angels
By Megan Peterson, Features/Multimedia Editor
October 13, 2022
DIOCESE—When diocesan seminarian Bailey Peterson was a freshman at St. John Vianney College Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., the spiritual formation staff challenged him to begin a daily exercise routine to develop discipline. 
 
“Stuff like th... Read More
By Margarita Mendoza, Editor El Observador
October 13, 2022
OSWEGO—Jorge Torres, a high-performance athlete and member of St. Rita of Cascia Parish in Aurora, didn’t realize that a leg fracture he suffered while playing soccer would one day save his life. 
 
“I lost my leg with a bone cancer &... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
October 6, 2022
ROCKFORD—The Cathedral of St. Peter was packed for the Rite of Ordination of Deacons on Sept. 24 as 17 men were ordained permanent deacons for the Diocese of Rockford.
 
The men, seated in rows on either side of Bishop David Malloy, were individually ... Read More
Mission Appeal Combines Many Causes into One
Oct. 8-9 Mission Appeal Weekend
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
October 6, 2022
DIOCESE—The third combined appeal in the Rockford Diocese this year will take place Oct. 15-16 at parishes throughout the diocese.
 
Instead of holding nine weeks of separate collections at parishes, this one collection benefits the following appeals:... Read More
By Lynne Conner, Observer Correspondent
October 6, 2022
ROCKFORD—Fellowship, flags, fundraising, faith and fun highlighted the 24th annual Ecumenical Benefit Brunch, held Oct. 1 at the St. Bernadette Parish Center. The event, back after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, is a joint effort by the Rockford Deanery Co... Read More
October 6, 2022
DIOCESE—The Rockford Diocese was recently granted a chapter in the Association of Catholic Mental Health Ministers. The Northcentral and Northwest Illinois Chapter covers the entire Diocese of Rockford. 
 
Founding members are Cathy Weightman-Moo... Read More
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
October 6, 2022
ROCKFORD—Bishop David Malloy, through the diocesan Office of Charitable Giving, gave thanks to all those who assist the Church through their generosity as members of the Perpetual Light Society.
 
The expression of gratitude began Sept. 29 at Holy Fam... Read More
Priests ‘Praise the Lord’ Before Cubs ‘Play Ball!’
The 2022 Major League Baseball season, now ending, gave two diocesan priests the chance to “step up to the plate” to celebrate Mass.
By Lynne Conner, Observer Correspondent
October 6, 2022
CHICAGO—Father Keith Romke, pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Crystal Lake loves two things in life: Jesus and the Chicago Cubs. So when he got the opportunity to merge both loves this season, it was truly a grand slam.
 
“I’ve b... Read More
By Lynne Conner, Observer Correspondent
October 6, 2022
LOVES PARK—The Greater Rockford Filipino American Catholic Community gathered in song, prayer and fellowship to celebrate the Feast of San Lorenzo Ruiz, Sept. 25, at St. Bridget Parish. 
 
St. Lorenzo Ruiz is honored as the patron saint of the Ph... Read More
October 6, 2022
GALENA—Norma Jean Kirpes, a longtime member of Court Isabella #572 of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas, marked over 70 years of service on Sept. 2. Kirpes joined the Catholic Daughters of the Americas Nov. 18, 1951. Members of the court presented her with a 70-year pin at her hom... Read More
Patricia Szpekowski, Observer Correspondent
September 22, 2022
MCHENRY—Sixteen “Catholic Women of Inspiration” were honored this year by the McHenry Deanery, Rockford Diocesan Council of Catholic Women (DCCW), for quietly and selflessly serving as true role models keeping their parishes active and strong.
 
<... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
September 22, 2022
ROCKFORD—The annual Catholic Women’s League Mass for Peace and September luncheon began at 10 a.m. on Sept. 14 at Holy Family Church.
 
The Mass was celebrated this year by Msgr. Gerald Kobbeman, who reflected in his homily about the “amaz... Read More
By Margarita Mendoza, Editor El Observador
September 22, 2022
AURORA—According to the Diocesan Planning Office, at present it is estimated there are more than 400,000 Catholics in the Rockford Diocese, and of those 42% are Hispanic.
 
That number is the result of decades of immigration. Hispanics in the diocese ... Read More
September 22, 2022
WOODSTOCK—Through the month of October, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP) chapter at St. Mary Parish will run a “Share the Bounty” table at the St. Joseph Center, 312 Lincoln Ave. 
 
Local gardeners are asked to bring extra pr... Read More
September 22, 2022
DIOCESE—During September, Catholic Charities invited parishes to hold Living Rosary events to pray for those contemplating suicide, those who have died by suicide and those who are grieving losses to suicide.
 
Living rosaries that will be celebrated ... Read More
September 22, 2022
ROCKFORD—Catholic Charities will provide educational materials about mental health and continue efforts to pray and care for those contemplating suicide, those who have died by suicide and those who are grieving losses to suicide.
 
Mental Hea... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
September 15, 2022
DEKALB—Christ the Teacher Parish was the setting for a gathering of around 45 Parish Respect Life Coordinators (PRLC) on Sept. 10, where they also were formally commissioned for their work on behalf of life.
 
The event was sponsored by the Life and F... Read More
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
September 15, 2022
DIOCESE—National Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15-Oct. 15, celebrates Hispanic-heritage peoples from numerous countries, people from the U.S., from our closest neighbors in Mexico to other Central and South American countries and the Caribbean as well as the European country of Spain.... Read More
September 15, 2022
WINNEBAGO—Around 25 members of St. Bridget Parish in Loves Park and others met at Calvary Cemetery, Sept. 10, to commemorate the more than 64 million children killed by abortion and to pray for future protection for life. 
 
Msgr. Stephen Knox sp... Read More
September 1, 2022
– Cavern Open Hangout: -- Tuesdays, 3-6 p.m., for high school students to work on homework, have a snack and hang out with friends. Guests are welcome. 
 
Read More
July 14, 2022
Recent public reports suggest that efforts are being made to open a facility providing abortion services in the city of Rockford. In this moment following the recent Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, I urge all the faithful and people of good will throughout the Diocese of Rock... Read More
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