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Cathedral to host Rite of Election, Call to Continuing Conversion Feb. 20, 21

Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, greets Donald Kotsikpa, a catechumen from Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Silvis during last year's Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion at St. Mary's Cathedral in Peoria. Facilitating the introduction is Deacon Al Angelo. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

In what may be one of the most normal signs of Catholic life in the Diocese of Peoria after a difficult year, those who are preparing to celebrate the Easter sacraments will gather at St. Mary’s Cathedral for the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion next weekend, the first weekend in Lent. Bishop […]

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Bloomington sixth-grader Bryce Smeltzer already shows a big heart for service

With a donation from an out-of-school sponsor, Bryce Smeltzer was able to buy enough stockings and small gifts for 100 residents at a nearby retirement community so they would know they were not forgotten at Christmas. Helping were parents Michael and Shannon Smeltzer and younger brother Lucas. (Provided photo)

BLOOMINGTON — When Bryce Smeltzer gets bored he doesn’t look for trouble. He gets creative. Good thing, too. A burst of creativity last fall enabled the Corpus Christi sixth-grader to provide 100 stockings filled with small gifts for the residents at Westminster Village, a retirement community just across the street from the Bloomington school. The […]

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Bishop Tylka visits Peoria Heights school virtually for Catholic Schools Week

Coadjutor Bishop Louis Tylka offers a blessing for the Feast of St. Blase on the middle school students at St. Thomas the Apostle School in Peoria Heights during a virtual visit for Catholic Schools Week on Feb. 3. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

PEORIA HEIGHTS — Many of the Catholic Schools Week activities that involve visitors had to be curtailed this year, but where there’s a will there’s a way. With determination and a little creativity, Coadjutor Bishop Louis Tylka was able to make a virtual visit to St. Thomas the Apostle School on Feb. 3. Students in […]

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Catholic Schools Week celebrations continue despite pandemic realities

Student Council members Mitch Sager, seventh grade, and Reese Welker, eighth grade, hand out decorated cups filled with hot chocolate mix, mini marshmallows and peppermint candies as a token of gratitude to members of St. Mary Parish in Kickapoo as Catholic Schools Week begins. A few of the activities planned by the Diocese of Peoria's 42 Catholic elementary schools, high schools and academies are listed below. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

KICKAPOO — It was all about gratitude as Catholic Schools Week kicked off on Jan. 31 around the Diocese of Peoria. At St. Mary Church here, those warm wishes were accompanied by a decorated cup filled with a packet of hot chocolate mix, mini marshmallows and peppermint candy all wrapped up in cellophane and a […]

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Meet the diocese’ s 2020-2021 distinguished education principal, teacher and pastor

From left to right are Jane Barrett of Seton Catholic School in Moline, Distinguished Principal of the Year; Kathy Mazander of St. Mary School in Kickapoo, Distinguished Teacher of the Year; and Father Johndamaseni Zilimu, pastor of Saint John Paul II Parish and Visitation Catholic School in Kewanee, Distinguished Pastor of the Year.

In its Catholic Schools Week section published Jan. 31, The Catholic Post profiled the 2020-2021 outstanding principal, teacher and pastor named in early November by the diocesan Office of Catholic Schools. Following are links to the profiles of Jane Barrett of Seton Catholic School in Moline, Distinguished Principal of the Year; Kathy Mazander of St. […]

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Distinguished Pastor: Father Zilimu sees Kewanee school as vital to parish

Father Johndamaseni Zilimu, pastor of Saint John Paul II Parish and Visitation Catholic School in Kewanee, stands by a depiction of Jesus outside a classroom at the school. He has been named Distinguished School Pastor of the Year for his work in bringing the children at Visitation closer to Jesus. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

KEWANEE — A longtime passion for mathematics has taught Father Johndamaseni Zilimu many things, including the winning equation for life. The only way things add up for him is to put his vocation to the priesthood and ministry to the people of God first and everything else second. He uses the same formula for guiding […]

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Distinguished Teacher: Kathy Mazander makes learning fun at St. Mary, Kickapoo

During at-home learning, Kathy Mazander of St. Mary's School in Kickapoo found a way to keep her students excited by wearing different hats and accessories. (Provided photo)

KICKAPOO — Rolling with day-to-day change is something Kathy Mazander is used to. As the teacher of a combined first and second grade classroom at St. Mary School here, keeping lots of little minds engaged at different levels requires fast thinking and an element of fun. At-home learning over the last year has added a […]

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Distinguished Principal: Jane Barrett feels ‘blessed’ to do what she loves at Seton

Taking temperatures and screening students for good health are now all in a day's work for Jane Barrett, principal of Seton Catholic School in Moline, as she greets the children each day. (Provided photo)

MOLINE — Jane Barrett always wanted to be a teacher. She remembers playing school with the neighborhood kids in the basement of her childhood home and even then her mother would say, “I swear you got that kid through first grade!” “I always loved kids,” she said. “It’s just something that I was very blessed […]

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First walk for life at St. Mary of Lourdes, Germantown Hills, takes unique paths

The first-ever walk for life at St. Mary of Lourdes in Germantown Hills took people past the monument for the unborn in the parish cemetery. Here Ileen Grebner, director of faith formation (left), stands with members of the Verdun, Cox and Hogan families and their friends. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

GERMANTOWN HILLS — In some ways, the first-ever walk for life at St. Mary of Lourdes Parish last Sunday was like any other walk for life in that people braved the cold of a January day to show their support for human life from the moment of conception until natural death. That doesn’t mean it […]

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Mass for the Unborn: Now is the time to ‘live the Beatitudes, change the world’

With a bronze image of Our Lady of Guadalupe on his left and the banner for the Diocese of Peoria's Respect Life Ministry on his right, Father William Miller offers the homily for the Mass for the Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children on Jan. 22 at St. Mary's Cathedral. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

Mourning the lives ended by abortion, those who attended the Mass for the Unborn at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria on Jan. 22 were encouraged not to give in to despair, but to trust that God hears and answers prayers. “These times are giving us a great opportunity to live the Beatitudes; to change the […]

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