Articles:

Fr. Thomas Kelly, 89, dies; private funeral Mass planned at St. Anthony, Bartonville

Father Thomas Kelly is pictured at Independence Village in Peoria in 2016 prior to observing the 60th anniversary of his priestly ordination. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

A private funeral Mass was planned at St. Anthony Church in Bartonville for Father Thomas F. Kelly, a senior priest of the Diocese of Peoria and a former pastor of St. Anthony Parish as well as St. Columba Parish in Ottawa. Father Kelly, who also served for 14 years in campus ministry at the University […]

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Letters from Army chaplain killed in Korea reveal a life of heroic service

The handwriting of U.S. Army chaplain Father Herman G. Felhoelter, OFM, is seen in an excerpt from a letter to the Biggs family, members of St. Boniface Parish in Peoria. The letter, dated Feb. 25, 1945, was penned in France and tells of his ministry to soldiers during World War II. Father Herman would be killed five years later while tending to wounded soldiers on a battlefield in Korea.

By Alexis Lavin EDITOR’S NOTE: The author is an adjunct professor of history at Illinois Central College and a volunteer at the Archives of the Diocese of Peoria. When I tell my students that history is fascinating, I am usually confronted by distinct expressions of disbelief. The majority of them think that history is boring, […]

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Long-awaited welcomes begin for 285 in our diocese being received into church

Father Robert Lampitt, head chaplain at St. John’s Catholic Newman Center in Champaign, baptizes graduate student Yoo Kyung Go as sponsor Ellie Porath assists during a special Mass on June 27. Two more were baptized, confirmed and received Eucharist for the first time that morning, while arrangements were made to receive another 13 students later that day and over the summer. The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems

It was a long time coming, but the 285 women, men and children chosen by God as his own are now being welcomed into the Catholic Church through the Easter sacraments at parishes around the Diocese of Peoria. Following guidelines regarding safety and social distancing, pastors are baptizing, confirming and giving Communion to people who […]

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Profiles of the three priests granted senior status after decades of service

The three priests granted senior status early this summer by Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, have offered diverse service to the Diocese of Peoria — and beyond — during their combined 134 years of active priesthood. The Catholic Post interviewed Msgr. Steven P. Rohlfs, P.A., Father David Heinz, and Father Michael Pakula for profiles of […]

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Father Pakula is granted senior status; his path followed God’s ‘crooked lines’

Father Michael Pakula poses near a statue of St. Malachy, the patron of the parish in Geneseo where he has served as pastor for 25 years. His 47 years of priestly service also included a long stint on the Diocesan Tribunal and seven years as a part-time hospital chaplain. (The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody)

GENESEO — When Father Michael Pakula moves to senior status on July 8 after nearly 47 years of priestly service, including the last 25 years as pastor of St. Malachy Parish here, he could write a book looking back on what he calls his “checkered life.” “But I’m not going to,” claims Father Pakula, 76. […]

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Father Heinz is granted senior status; grateful for the ‘privilege’ or priesthood

Father David Heinz is pictured outside St. Anthony Church in Bartonville. The Kickapoo native has guided the Bartonville faith community since 2002, and formerly served as pastor of St. Thomas, Philo; St. Mary, Westville; St. Bernard, Peoria, and Holy Trinity, Bloomington. (The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody)

BARTONVILLE — Father David Heinz has celebrated Mass on a bus crossing the Alps, on a riverboat table in the middle of the Nile, on a large rock in Minnesota, and in hotel rooms around the world. So the fact that his 43-year active priestly career is winding down with Father Heinz celebrating weekend Masses […]

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Msgr. Rohlfs is granted senior status: influenced priests of diocese and beyond

Msgr. Steven P. Rohlfs, P.A., addresses a Seminary Family Weekend at Mount St. Mary's in Emmitsburg, Marlyand. Msgr. Rohlfs, who spent 11 years as rector of the nation's largest Catholic seminary and also held many diocesan leadership roles, has been granted senior status. (Provided photo/Mount St. Mary's Seminary)

ST. PAUL, Minnesota — It’s safe to say that Msgr. Steven Rohlfs, P.A., has played some role in the life of every priest of the Diocese of Peoria for almost four decates. Whether as vocations director, vicar general, teacher, administrator, spiritual director, or as rector of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Msgr. Rohlfs’ influence has been […]

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Lacon Franciscans to sell, but will continue serving, St. Joseph Nursing Home

Even though the Daughters of St. Francis of Assisi will no longer own St. Joseph Nursing Home, the facility they founded in Lacon 56 years ago, they will continue to work and provide ministry on the campus.

LACON — Lacon Rehab and Nursing will become the new owners of St. Joseph Nursing Home on July 15. The Daughters of St. Francis of Assisi, who founded the home 56 years ago, said the decision to sell was difficult and came after “an extensive discernment process.” “It is important to know that even though […]

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Stop the toppling: We Catholics love our statues, saints, and all children of God

A vandalized statue of St. Junipero Serra in San Francisco is seen June 19, 2020. The Spanish Franciscan founded several missions in what is now California. (CNS/David Zandman via Reuters)

We wouldn’t venture a guess at the total number of life-sized statues located on Catholic properties throughout the Diocese of Peoria. It is certainly in the hundreds and likely in the thousands. Most are inside churches and chapels, hospitals, schools, etc., while others are outside in cemeteries or on parish and institution grounds. Made of […]

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In the Spirit of Christ are life and rest

Shawn Reeves

By Shawn Reeves 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time/July 5 Zechariah 9:9-10; Psalm 145:1-2,8-9,10-11,13-14; Romans 8:9,11-13; Matthew 11:25-30 I have bouts with insomnia. Often my mind can find no rest. Problems, planning, tasks, and obligations weigh it down and push sleep away. It is a frustrating and fatiguing phenomenon. In our first reading, God announces a message […]

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