Spring Valley parish prays for pastor critically injured in automobile accident

Father Robert Spilman

Father Robert Spilman, pastor of Nativity of Our Lord Parish in Spring Valley, remained in critical condition at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria on Tuesday after sustaining injuries in a two-vehicle accident on March 17 on U.S. 6 east of Princeton.

A prayer service for his recovery took place after 6:30 p.m. Stations of the Cross at the parish on Wednesday evening.

Meanwhile, Father Adam Stimpson, chaplain of Peoria Notre Dame High School in Peoria, was scheduled to preside at the parish’s observance of the Paschal Triduum and Easter Sunday.

Father Timothy Hepner, diocesan vocation director of recruitment, was celebrant of the parish’s 4:30 p.m. Mass on Saturday, March 19, and addressed the assembly prior to beginning the Palm Sunday liturgy.

As he requested their prayers for Father Spilman, Father Hepner suggested that during Holy Week parishioners specially meditate on Jesus’ sufferings as they pray for their pastor.

The sadness and concern of parishioners was evident, Father Hepner told The Catholic Post this week.

On Palm Sunday, Father Paul Meismer, a senior priest residing in Granville, celebrated parish Masses.

According to published reports, the accident occurred at 8:58 p.m. Thursday at 25573 U.S. 6 in Shelby Township. The driver of the other vehicle was reportedly not injured.

Father Spilman, 68, is a native of Galesburg. He was ordained in 1996, and has served in Spring Valley since 2004, when he became pastor of the former St. Anthony Parish. He also served as pastor of the former Sts. Peter and Paul and Immaculate Conception parishes before the Spring Valley faith communities merged to form Nativity of Our Lord in 2013.

During the Chrism Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria on Tuesday, Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, asked all — including priests gathered from throughout the diocese — to remember Father Spilman in prayer. “May God’s will be done and may God watch over him and his family,” prayed the bishop.

Cards may be sent to Father Spilman via Nativity of Our Lord Parish, PO Box 150, Spring Valley, IL 61362.

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