Bishop Spalding would appreciate the sacrifices made for school in Chillicothe
On Aug. 25, the Diocese of Peoria will pause to commemorate 100 years since the death of its founding bishop, John Lancaster Spalding. Details of the Founder’s Day Mass and related celebrations, which also serve to mark the restoration of St. Mary’s Cathedral, are found on here.
We hope many can take part in order to “rediscover” our cathedral, give thanks for the good work of many to preserve and further beautify it for God’s glory, and learn more about Bishop Spalding.
Among the legacies left by Bishop Spalding is our Catholic school system. During his years as shepherd (1877 to 1908) dozens of Catholic elementary and secondary schools were established across central Illinois at great sacrifice by the faithful, parish pastors, and members of religious communities.
Bishop Spalding believed the sacrifices made for Catholic education “prove the living force of our faith.” He would appreciate the sacrifices being made around the diocese today as schools are set to reopen. Perhaps nowhere is the spirit of sacrifice more evident than in Chillicothe, where St. Edward Parish rallied in a matter of days to raise nearly a half-million dollars to save its beloved elementary school. (See story, page 24.)
Catholic schools exist, wrote Bishop Spalding, because the “great heart of the people beats God-ward.” The great heart shown by St. Edward Parish and School should inspire all of us to further sacrifice to support our Catholic schools. — Thomas J. Dermody