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Canton parish ‘home’ for Christmas as damaged St. Mary Church reopens

St. Mary Church in Canton was packed on Sunday, Dec. 17, for the first Mass it has hosted in 13 months. A major restoration was necessary after the church was damaged in a nearby natural gas explosion that rocked the city's downtown on Nov. 16, 2016. Father Daniel Ebker, pastor, is using the original high altar until a new altar of sacrifice that has been ordered arrives. (The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody)

CANTON — Celebrating Mass in their church for the first time in 13 months gave members of St. Mary Parish here an additional reason to rejoice on Dec. 17, known as Gaudete (Rejoice) Sunday. “We’re not finished by any long shot,” said Father Daniel Ebker, pastor, of the long restoration process required after the church […]

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“Ferdinand” (Fox)

The animated character Ferdinand appears in the movie "Ferdinand." The Catholic News Service classification is A-I, general patronage. (CNS/Blue Sky Studios)

By Catholic News Service Good values help to redeem a somewhat padded plot in this animated adaptation of Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson’s 1936 children’s classic “The Story of Ferdinand,” directed by Carlos Saldanha. Escaping the confines of the stable in which he and other bulls are prepared for their fateful confrontation with a matador, […]

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“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (Disney)

John Boyega and Gwendoline Christie star in a scene from the movie "Star Wars: The Last Jedi." The Catholic News Service classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. (CNS/Disney)

By Catholic News Service Engrossing sci-fi epic in which the leading general (Carrie Fisher) of an embattled group of rebels sends a messenger (Daisy Ridley) to the distant planet on which her brother (Mark Hamill), a famed warrior, is living in self-imposed exile to summon his help in the desperate struggle against their fascistic enemies […]

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Fr. Don Miller, OFM, Peoria native, former Franciscan vocation director, dies at 72

Father Donald Miller, OFM

CINCINNATI, Ohio — Father Donald Miller, OFM, a Peoria native and former vocation director for the Order of Friars Minor of the St. John the Baptist Province, died on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017, at St. Margaret Hall here. He was 72. Father Don’s body was to be received at 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, at […]

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Quick turnaround, but no ‘two-for-one’ Masses as Christmas falls on a Monday

People exchange a sign of peace during Christmas Eve Mass. (CNS file/Daniel Soñé)

By Carol Zimmermann, Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) — Although Christmas this year is the day after the fourth Sunday of Advent, Catholics looking to count a Sunday evening Mass Dec. 24 for both that Sunday obligation and Monday’s Christmas Mass obligation will have to think again. The U.S. bishops already saw this coming at […]

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Chillicothe nurse says special delivery of healthy baby made for her best Christmas

Geneva Wallace of Chillicothe served as a certified registered nurse anesthetist at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria for much of her 42-year career. Now retired, she takes great joy in hooking rugs and teaching others to do the same. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

CHILLICOTHE — Early one cold December morning, long before the sun filled the sky, a baby boy was born. No, not that baby. This birth took place just south of Chillicothe, but it was still the best Christmas present Geneva Wallace ever received. On that Christmas Eve, the child made it clear that he was […]

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Benedictine’s ‘eclectic’ Christmas village puts Nativity at the center of it all

Sister Mary Core, OSB, said it delights her to watch children enter into “the wonderland of little houses and people and motion” of her Christmas village at St. Mary Monastery in Rock Island. (Provided photo)

ROCK ISLAND — Benedictine Sister Mary Core didn’t start out to make a Christmas village that enchants children and adults who visit St. Mary Monastery from late Advent through the Christmas season. It just sort of happened. What is more intentional is the focus on why Christmas is such a meaningful — as well as […]

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St. Joseph School, Pekin, donates 77 ‘Boxes of Joy’ to children living in poverty

Members of the eighth grade confirmation class at St. Joseph School in Pekin are shown with Box of Joy packages they prepared for distribution through Cross Catholic Outreach to children living in poverty. (Provided photo)

PEKIN — Children living in poverty in Haiti, Guatemala, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic will have a brighter Christmas, thanks to the 180 students at St. Joseph School in Pekin. Led by the eighth grade confirmation class, the students prepared 77 gift boxes as part of the Box of Joy Ministry of Cross Catholic Outreach. […]

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As witnesses to Christ, we must change our lives, prepare the way of the Lord

Sharon Priester

By Sharon Priester Third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday)/Dec. 17 Isaiah 61:1-2a,10-11; (Psalm) Luke 1:46-48,49-50,53-54; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24; John 1:6-8,19-28 This week, the Third Sunday of Advent, the Gospel begins with “A man named John was sent from God.” Who is this John? Why did he come? As we listen, we hear that he came for […]

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St. Bede Academy raises $100,000 for Annual Fund and serves needy on #GivingTuesday

St. Bede Academy students Olivia Wojcik, Maeckenzie Mrowicki, Gaby Garcia, Eva Cattani, and Veronica Lopez promote some of what the school offers as part of a #GivingTuesday campaign Nov. 28 that raised more than $100,000 for the St. Bede Annual Fund. (Provided photo)

PERU — St. Bede Academy here raised a record $100,000 on Nov. 28 during a global day of giving promoted primarily via social media and known by the hashtag #GivingTuesday. “The outpouring of generosity and overwhelming kindness from our St. Bede family with more than 190 donations has made an incredible impact on the St. […]

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