Opportunities for spiritual enrichment offered around diocese as Lent begins

Bible studies, parish missions, and retreats are just some of the offerings parishes and institutions have planned to help Catholics on their Lenten journey. (CNS/Octavio Duran)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Parishes and Catholic organizations around the Diocese of Peoria are planning special activities for the penitential season of Lent, which began on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 14. Following are just some of the opportunities made known to The Catholic Post, listed in order of date. This round-up will be updated as new activities are made known. To add an event to this list, email cathpost@cdop.org.

Click here for a list of fish frys and Lenten dinners.

Bible study, speaker series planned in Germantown Hills

GERMANTOWN HILLS — St. Mary of Lourdes Parish is offering two opportunities for spiritual growth and reflection during Lent.

The first is a Bible study on “Exodus: Called to Freedom,” which will be held on Wednesdays, starting Feb. 7, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the parish hall at 424 Lourdes Church Road, Metamora. The cost is $25 for materials.

For more information or to register, contact Ileen at (309) 383-4460 or igrebner@stmarylourdes.org.

The second opportunity is the parish’s annual Lenten soup supper and speaker series, which is planned for five Mondays, beginning on Feb. 19. The soup suppers start with prayer at 6 p.m. and will be held in the parish hall. The speaker for each evening will be introduced at 6:30 p.m.

This year’s speakers and their topics are: Feb. 19, Tina Sondag, “A Call to Holiness”; Feb. 26, Joyce Heiple, “The Wall”; March 5, Katie Bogner, “At the Foot of the Cross”; March 12, Anna McMahan, “Praying Without Ceasing: A Guide to a Prayerful Lent”; and March 19, Sister Betty Jean Haverback, OSF, “St. Joseph: A Model of Faith.”

Reservations are not required. A free-will offering will be accepted each evening for the Spring Bay Food Pantry.

Stations, confessions available at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Peoria/ cathedral

Stations of the Cross will be prayed on all the Fridays of Lent, beginning Feb. 16, at St. Mary’s Cathedral, 607 N.E. Madison Ave., in Peoria. The sacrament of reconciliation will be available at 6 p.m., with Stations starting at 7:15 p.m.

Toluca parish hosts reflection on ‘7 Penitential Psalms’

TOLUCA — Father Patrick Greenough, OFM Conv., will present an afternoon of prayer and study on the “Seven Penitential Psalms” on Saturday, Feb. 17, in the parish hall of St. Ann Church, 311 W. Santa Fe Ave. It will be held from 1 to 4 p.m.

Participants are welcome to stay for the Saturday Vigil Mass, which follows at 5 p.m.

Father Greenough is the pastor of St. Ann Parish, as well as St. John the Baptist, Lostant; St. Patrick, Minonk; and St. Mary, Wenona.

Steve Ray to lead parish mission at Silvis church Feb. 19-20

SILVIS — Author and Catholic apologist Steve Ray will lead a Lenten parish mission the evenings of Monday, Feb. 19, and Tuesday, Feb. 20, at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 800 17th St.

Both evenings begin with Mass at 6:30 p.m., followed by a talk by Ray at 7 p.m. The public is invited.

Steve Ray

The topic on Monday will be “The Eucharist: Become What You Eat,” while on Tuesday evening Ray will explore “What Must I Do to be Saved?”  Each evening ends with a half-hour for questions at 8 p.m.

Ray, who has traveled to the Holy Land more than 100 times to film documentaries or lead pilgrimages, is author of books including “Crossing the Tiber,” “Upon this Rock,” and a commentary on St. John’s Gospel.

The mission is hosted by Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish as well as St. Patrick Parish in Colona. The public is invited. There is no charge to attend, but donations are welcome. Ray’s books and DVDs will be available for purchase.

More background on Steve Ray can be found at his website, catholicconvert.com.

Lenten day retreat offered in Champaign Feb. 21

CHAMPAIGN — The Servants of the Holy Heart of Mary are sponsoring a Lenten day retreat for women and men on Wednesday, Feb. 21, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. It will be hosted by their Mercy Community at 301 N. Wright St.

The presenters will be Sister Charlene Cesario, SSCM, and Judy Bumbul, spiritual ministries director.

The cost is $25 or a free-will offering and includes lunch. Registration is limited to 30 participants and must be made by Feb. 16.

For more information or to register, contact Sister Charlene at (217) 841-2916 or charlenemec@sbcglobal.net.

‘Lenten Lectio Experience’ presented Feb. 24 in Morton

MORTON — The Bishop’s Commission on Women is planning a “Lenten Lectio Experience” for Saturday, Feb. 24, at Blessed Sacrament Church, 225 E. Greenwood St. It will begin with Mass at 9 a.m.

Fr. Timothy Hepner

Leading the exploration of “lectio divina” or “divine reading” will be Father Timothy Hepner, vocation director of recruitment for the Diocese of Peoria. His talk about how to incorporate Scripture into daily prayer will take place from 10 a.m. to noon.

Light refreshments will be served.

There is no cost to attend, but a free-will offering will be accepted. To register, send an email with your name to Kimberly at bcw.cdop@gmail.com or text/call her at (309) 265-8514.

Peoria Heights series explores ‘The Four Faces of Jesus’

PEORIA HEIGHTS — Each Gospel tells a story of Jesus and speakers will explore “The Four Faces of Jesus” as part of the Lenten adult education series at St. Thomas the Apostle Church, 904 E. Lake Ave. Each session will be held at 7 p.m. in the lower level of the church.

The dates, topics and speakers for the series include:

  • Feb. 27, “The Gospel of Mark,” Ted Wolgamot, a member of the parish who holds a master’s degree in sacred theology and a doctorate in clinical psychology.
  • March 6, “The Gospel of Matthew,” Msgr. Jason Gray, pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle and judge in the diocesan Tribunal.
  • March 13, “The Gospel of Luke,” Sister Rachel Bergschneider, OSB, longtime pastoral associate at St. Thomas the Apostle.
  • March 20, “The Gospel of John,” Msgr. Doug Hennessy, a senior priest of the Diocese of Peoria who resides in Bloomington.

For more information, call (309) 688-3446.

Franck’s ‘Seven Words of Jesus’ offered March 3 in Urbana

URBANA — “The Seven Words of Jesus on the Cross” by composer César Franck will be presented on Saturday, March 3, at St. Patrick Church, 708 W. Main St. It will begin at 7:30 p.m.

The soloists, a choir with members from local churches and the community, and an orchestra will perform under the baton of Dr. Franklin Gallo, director of music and liturgy at St. Patrick. He also serves as a guest conductor, clinician, conference presenter and composer.

For more information, contact the parish office at (217) 367-2665.

Day of recollection focuses on healing power of sacraments

Sr. Maria Suso, OP

Fr. Eric Bolek

“Sacraments for the Journey of Life” is the theme for a Lenten day of recollection that will be held Tuesday, March 20, at the Spalding Pastoral Center, 419 N.E. Madison Ave., in Peoria. It is being sponsored by the Eucharistic Apostles of Divine Mercy Cenacle of Peoria.

The day will focus on the healing and nourishing power of Jesus in the sacraments of the Eucharist, penance, and anointing of the sick.

Featured speakers will be Sister Maria Suso Rispoli, OP, a member of the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, who teaches at Peoria Notre Dame; Father Eric Bolek, parochial vicar at St. Jude Parish in Peoria; and Father John Verrier, pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Brimfield and St. James Parish in Williamsfield. He is also the director of the Eucharistic Apostles of Divine Mercy Cenacle.

Fr. John Verrier

In addition, Sister Teresa of the Apostolic Sisters of St. John, Princeville, will lead a Holy Hour of song and meditation.

The day begins with registration at 8:30 a.m. and includes Mass, lunch, eucharistic adoration, the rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet. The sacrament of reconciliation will be available.

The cost of $20 covers lunch, materials and the book “Walk Humbly with Your God.” The deadline for reservations is March 12.

Checks made payable to Divine Mercy Cenacle of Peoria may be sent to Janice Lukich, 20806 N. Sequoia, Chillicothe, IL 61523. For more information, call Arlene Heinz at (309) 868-9061 or Ellen Kleczek at (309) 208-6001.


SPALDING PASTORAL CENTER | 419 NE MADISON AVENUE | PEORIA, IL 61603 | PHONE (309) 671-1550 | FAX (309) 671-1595
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