Diocese’s priests meet

EAST PEORIA — Among the things on the mind of Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, as he spoke at the conclusion of Priests Assembly Days on Wednesday afternoon were two items on nearly everyone’s mind around the country: the Nov. 4 election, and the emerging crisis in financial markets.

First, with just about three weeks until the election, pastors and parochial vicars need to remind their parishioners of the moral obligation to vote, Bishop Jenky told the gathering of priests from around the diocese at the Embassy Suites Conference Center.

For guidance, he said, Catholics can look to the statement of the Catholic Bishops of Illinois, “Our Conscience and Our Vote,” and his own statement on the election. (Both were published in the Sept. 28 edition of The Catholic Post.)

Second, with the nation facing economic turmoil, the principles of good stewardship will be all the more important for priests, the bishop said, advising his priests to be prudent as they oversee parish finances.

Last but not least on Bishop Jenky’s mind was gratitude.

“God bless you all,” he said. “I know how much you do and how hard you work,” he added, mentioning how often he receives praise and positive feedback about priests when he visits parishes.

In a short question-and-answer session, the bishop talked about the Assembly Days’ focus on the diaconate. Msgr. Eugene Morris, director of the Office of the Permanent Diaconate of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, was the featured speaker during the two-day gathering, tracing the history of the permanent diaconate and the relationship between priests and deacons in a series of talks.

The assembly days also included breakout sessions on Tuesday on immigration matters and the approaching election, a Mass on Wednesday morning and other opportunities for prayer and fraternity.

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