A list of opportunities for Advent prayer, study, renewal and more in diocese

The first candle of the Advent wreath is seen lit. Advent begins on Nov. 28. (CNS/Katie Rutter)

Advent Sunday Vespers planned in Peoria

The Heart of Peoria Catholic Community will host a series of Advent Vespers, starting on the First Sunday of Advent, Nov. 28, at St. Mary’s Cathedral, 607 N.E. Madison Ave. There will be exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at 4 p.m., followed by Evening Prayer at 4:30 p.m. and Benediction.

The Vespers will continue on the Second Sunday of Advent, Dec. 5, at St. Bernard Church, 509 E. Kansas; the Third Sunday of Advent, Dec. 12, at Sacred Heart Church, 504 Fulton St.; and the Fourth Sunday of Advent, Dec. 19, at St. Joseph Church, 103 S. Richard Pryor Place.

“The Eucharist” will be explored Dec. 9 and 16

Sister Rachel Bergschneider, OSB, and Dr. Ted Wolgamot will give two presentations on “The Eucharist” at Holy Family Church, 3720 N. Sterling Ave., in Peoria. The first session, which will take place on Thursday, Dec. 9, will focus on “Catholic Understanding of the Eucharist Based on Sacred Scripture.” The second session, set for Thursday, Dec. 16, will look at “The Eucharist as the Center of Our Daily Life.”

Both sessions will be offered twice: from 1 to 2:30 p.m. and from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Reservations are not required, but are appreciated and may be made by calling the Holy Family parish office at (309) 688-3427.

Organizers cited the 2019 study by the Pew Research Center that found one-third of U.S. Catholics agree with the Catholic Church that the Eucharist is the body and blood of Christ. The goal of the series is to help people strengthen their knowledge and beliefs in the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

Urbana parish hosting Advent Vespers

Msgr. Stanley Deptula, pastor of St. Matthew in Champaign and St. Boniface in Seymour, will be the homilist at an Advent Solemn Vespers Service on Sunday, Dec. 12, at St. Patrick Church, 708 W. Main St., in Urbana. Sponsored by the parishes of the Champaign Vicariate of the Diocese of Peoria, it will begin at 6 p.m.

The celebrant will be Father Anthony Co, pastor. Father Edward Ohm, assistant chaplain at OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria, will be the concelebrant.

In addition to Msgr. Deptula’s reflection, the Vesper service will include prayers and psalms sung in English using Gregorian psalm tones that will be easily accessible for congregational participation. The cantor will be Dr. Franklin Gallo, director of music and liturgy at the Urbana parish.

Live Nativity, ‘Journey to Joy,’ in Orion

The Mary, Our Lady of Peace Youth Group in Orion will hold its second annual live Nativity, “Journey to Joy,” on two Saturdays, Nov. 27 and Dec. 11, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. It will be a drive-through event on the church grounds, 1402 10th St. The cost is $10 per vehicle, with proceeds going toward the youth group’s summer mission trip.

Cursillo Advent program starts Nov. 29

Cursillo is inviting people to join them in “Praying with Imagination in Advent” on Mondays, Nov. 29, and Dec. 6 and 13. Sessions in the Rekindle Advent Program will be held at 7 p.m. at Blessed Sacrament Church, 1020 S. First Ave., in Morton, and include prayer, music and the rosary.

People may come to Blessed Sacrament or watch the livestreamed sessions on the Peoria Cursillo Office Facebook page. The link can also be found at peoriacursillo.org. Those who attend in person are asked to wear a mask.


Sisters of Humility offer Advent retreat Dec. 3-5

“Dwelling Within, Bursting Forth” is the theme for an Advent retreat that will be given Dec. 3-5 at Our Lady of Prairie Retreat, a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of the Humility of Mary in Wheatland, Iowa. The facilitator will be Sister Kathleen Sadler, a member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Clinton, Iowa, who is a retreat facilitator and certified spiritual director.

The cost is $150 for those who wish to stay overnight and covers lodging and meals. The cost for commuters is $60.

For more information or to register, send email to olpretreat@chmiowa.org or call (563) 336-8414.

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