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“What did you do this summer?” These students served others on mission trips

Those taking part in a mission trip to rural Pennsylvania with the CREW youth group from St. Patrick Parish in Urbana pose for a selfie in front of a cross at the Anawim Community, a congregation of Sisters based in Frenchville. (Provided photo)

As schools reopen and Catholic students from central Illinois are asked by classmates “What did you do this summer?,” hundreds will be able to answer that they served others by taking part in mission trips. “What makes mission trips so special is the ability to live out the faith through the call to service,” said […]

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“The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature” (Open Road)

Animated characters appear in the movie "The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature." The Catholic News Service classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. (CNS/Open Road Films)

By Catholic News Service Frenzied but bland animated children’s comedy pits a corrupt mayor (voice of Bobby Moynihan) against the band of animals (their leaders voiced by Will Arnett and Katherine Heigl) who inhabit his city’s main park as he schemes to bulldoze the space, and turn it into a profit-making amusement concern. Respectable themes […]

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“The Glass Castle” (Lionsgate)

Naomi Watts and Woody Harrelson star in a scene from the movie "The Glass Castle." The Catholic News Service classification is A-III -- adults. (CNS/Lionsgate)

By Catholic News Service Film version of Jeannette Walls’ 2005 memoir of her impoverished childhood tries to put a cheery gloss on everything, as if all the excruciating history was somehow not as bad as it seemed at the time. Together with her alcoholic, wannabe-engineer father (Woody Harrelson) and failed artist of a mother (Naomi […]

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“Annabelle: Creation” (Warner Bros.)

Stephanie Sigman stars in a scene from the movie "Annabelle: Creation." The Catholic News Service classification is L -- limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. (CNS/Warner Bros.)

By Catholic News Service Despite a pattern of irrational behavior from those confronting the figurine-haunting demon at the center of this horror prequel, there are some old-fashioned shivers awaiting those grown viewers willing to brave its fleeting scenes of graphic gore. In 1950s California, a group of displaced orphans (most prominently Talitha Bateman and Lulu […]

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Catholic Charities distributes school supply backpacks in Peoria, Bloomington

Megan Gibson holds a backpack designed for an elementary school girl, while her brothers Benjamin (left) and Luke prepare to add paper, notebooks and folders. All three attend St. Patrick School in Washington and Luke earned service hours for confirmation by helping other students get ready for school. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

Families who visited the Catholic Charities food pantry in Peoria on Aug. 1 got a pleasant surprise when staff offered them the opportunity to pick up backpacks filled with school supplies for their children and grandchildren. There were 150 backpacks available at the food pantry that day, with another 75 being distributed through the Hispanic […]

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St. Matthew, Champaign, welcomes new principal; set to open preschool

"It's almost like a dream come true -- my passion of being an educator and still being able to practice my faith daily," says Michelle Biggs, the new principal of St. Matthew School in Champaign. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

CHAMPAIGN — St. Matthew School is poised to start a preschool next week and new principal Michelle Biggs couldn’t be a better fit — she has national board certification in early childhood education. “Things happen for a reason and God opens doors when you least expect it,” she said. A teacher and assistant principal in […]

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Imagination, faith blossom at outdoor classroom at Epiphany School, Normal

Preschool pupils and their siblings enjoy the opportunity to dig in the dirt in the new outdoor classroom at Epiphany Catholic School. (Provided photo)

NORMAL — Digging in the dirt. Rearranging blocks of wood and pieces of tree trunks. Walking a balance beam. Playing a large wooden xylophone. Climbing from one platform to another. Getting up close and personal with insects. This may look like play, but there’s some serious learning going on in the new Nature Explore Classroom […]

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What is eclipsing God’s light in us?

As we approach the rare solar eclipse that will be seen from coast to coast on Aug. 21, the stories cautioning about how to view it and marveling at the wonder of the celestial event will multiply. From a spiritual perspective, some will say the eclipse is a harbinger of the end times. That’s not […]

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OSF HealthCare may acquire Presence Health hospitals in Urbana, Danville

Pending approvals, the agreement would result in OSF HealthCare taking ownership of Presence United Samaritans Medical Center in Danville, left, and Presence Covenant Medical Center in Urbana. (Provided photos)

URBANA — OSF HealthCare and Presence Health have signed a Letter of Intent for OSF HealthCare to take ownership of Presence Covenant Medical Center in Urbana and Presence United Samaritans Medical Center in Danville. The two organizations are currently finalizing the agreement — announced Aug. 8 — and will then seek all necessary regulatory and […]

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Moving from fear to faith, finding God

Sharon Priester

Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time/Aug. 13 1 Kings 19:9a,11-13a; Psalm 85:9,10,11-12,13-14; Romans 9:1-5; Matthew 14:22-23 In this week’s first reading from 1 Kings, we hear about Elijah, a man many of us would have envied. He had a deep faith in God and was able to face down the prophets who were followers of Baal. He […]

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