“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” (Disney)

Diego Luna, Felicity Jones and Jiang Wen star in a scene from the movie "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story." The Catholic News Service classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. (CNS/Lucasfilm Ltd.)

By Catholic News Service Interstellar derring-do is the order of the day in this rousing prequel to the 1977 kickoff of the “Star Wars” saga. With the evil Empire — served, most prominently, by a computer-generated projection of the late Peter Cushing and Ben Mendelsohn — on the verge of deploying a weapon so powerful […]

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Pekin teacher, blogger designs liturgical season coloring book for free download

Katie Bogner, a fifth grade teacher at St. Joseph School in Pekin, has designed a Coloring Book of the Signs and Symbols of the Liturgical Seasons. The Advent and Christmas drawings were colored by Olivia Draher and Addison Goessman.

PEKIN — With Advent comes the beginning of a new church year, and Katie Bogner has given families a new way to walk through it together. A fifth grade teacher at St. Joseph School, Bogner has designed a Coloring Book of the Signs and Symbols of the Liturgical Seasons. The book, as well as ideas […]

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Msgr. Pricco granted senior status; has guided Macomb parish nearly 40 years

Msgr. Richard Pricco, pastor of St. Paul Parish in Macomb since 1977, is pictured with a tabernacle in the parish rectory. (The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody)

MACOMB — When Msgr. Richard Pricco came to Macomb in 1977 he reassured members of St. Paul Parish, who had seen a rare revolving door of priests that year, that “I’m going to be here for five years.” Nearly 40 years later, still guiding St. Paul’s and approaching his 80th birthday and 55th anniversary of […]

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St. Mary, Kickapoo, ‘the place for me,’ says one of diocese’s ‘Distinguished Teachers’

Sally Martin enjoys the playfulness of "my 10 little men" at St. Mary School in Kickapoo. "They're my energy," she said. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

KICKAPOO — Walking into a classroom of 52 third-graders might seem like a daunting task, but for Sally Martin it was a defining moment in a career that has spanned five decades. Another came this month when Martin, who teaches a combined class of third- and fourth-graders at St. Mary School, was named one of […]

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Catholic Conference of Illinois booklet encourages end-of-life conversations

CHICAGO — A new booklet offering guidance on end-of-life health planning from a Catholic perspective is being offered by the Catholic Conference of Illinois. “Encouraging End-of-Life Conversations: A Catholic Perspective on Advance Directives” is available for free download in English, Spanish or Polish at “End-of-life care can be a difficult conversation to have with […]

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With help of Rock Island parish, Alleman students, peace finds the Kabunze Family

The Kabunze Family gathers in front of the fireplace of their Rock Island rental home, where stockings for each of them hang on the mantle. They are (from left), Enock, Annuarite, Maombi (mother), Solange, Filipo, Kasaika (father), Sarah, Grace, Riziki and Alfa. (Provided photo)

ROCK ISLAND — It isn’t uncommon to pray for peace on earth during the Christmas Season, but few people appreciate that gift in the way Kasaika and Maombi Kabunze do. The couple, who escaped from the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2005 with two small children, have spent the last 11 years in a […]

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Joseph — an icon of God’s fatherhood — models strong, silent, sacrificial life

Father Timothy Hepner

By Father Timothy Hepner Fourth Sunday of Advent/Dec. 18 Isaiah 7:10-14; Psalm 24:1-2,3-4,5-6 (7c,10b); Romans 1:1-7; Matthew 1:18-24 In Advent, Jesus, Mary, and John the Baptist get top billing. But in this last Sunday of the season, the humble figure of St. Joseph quietly enters the scene. Joseph, husband of Mary, has no words to […]

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Archbishop Myers hospitalized after hip surgery; marks golden jubilee Dec. 17

NEWARK, N.J. — Archbishop John J. Myers of Newark, former bishop of Peoria who will observe the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood on Dec. 17, was hospitalized last week for surgery to repair an injury to his hip. The Diocese of Peoria had planned to celebrate Archbishop Myers’ jubilee and approaching retirement […]

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Peoria native who has served in Mexico for 66 years renews vows as relatives visit

Led by her grandnephew Father Vincent Giiacabazi, SJ, Sister Mechtild Swearingen, OSB, left, renews the vows of her religious profession at Pan de Vida Monastery in Torreon, Mexico. (Provided photo)

Our Lady of Guadalupe is a thread running throughout Peoria native Sister Mechtild Swearingen’s remarkable 66 years of ministry in Mexico. The 1941 graduate of the Academy of Our Lady in Peoria, born Nora Jean Swearingen, was praying to Our Lady of Guadalupe when — in 1950 as a young  member of the Benedictine Sisters […]

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