Church in Cambridge invites prayers for priests on Sundays

CAMBRIDGE — Visitors now have more time to pray for the clergy of central Illinois in the only church named for the patron saint of parish priests in the Diocese of Peoria.

Father John Burns has announced that St. John Vianney Church, 313 S. West St., will remain open between the 8 a.m. Mass and the 5:30 p.m. Mass each Sunday during the Year for Priests. He said he will be available for the sacrament of reconciliation for an hour before the evening liturgy.

In addition, an 8 a.m. Mass is planned for the first Thursday of every month and will be followed by exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.

Father Burns, who was named pastor in August, said parishioners are also discussing ways to enhance the statue of St. John Vianney to include St. Philomena in some way. He explained that St. John Vianney often prayed for St. Philomena’s intercession and attributed much of what he did to that prayer.

In fact, when Father Burns was discerning his vocation to the priesthood he went to St. John Vianney Church in Bettendorf, Iowa, and prayed for guidance from both saints.

Reading up on St. John Vianney, Father Burns said he discovered many important dates that they will try to observe during the year. Among them is the saint’s birthday of May 8, which he shares with Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, whose cause for sainthood is being promoted by the Diocese of Peoria.

Declared by Pope Benedict XVI, the Year for Priests began on June 19, the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, and will end on June 19, 2010. The pope said the year was designed “to deepen the commitment of all priests to interior renewal for the sake of a stronger and more incisive witness to the Gospel in today’s world.”

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the death of St. John Mary Vianney, also known as the Cure of Ars. Pope Benedict said the saint’s witness of spending hours in prayer before the tabernacle inspired his parishioners to do the same and eventually led them to rediscover the meaning and beauty of the sacrament of reconciliation. In time, he would spend as many as 16 hours a day in the confessional.

SPALDING PASTORAL CENTER | 419 NE MADISON AVENUE | PEORIA, IL 61603 | PHONE (309) 671-1550 | FAX (309) 671-1595
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