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New school year brings excitement to Peru Catholic, brief delay in Quad Cities

Welcoming students back to Peru Catholic School on Aug. 17 is principal Julie Schmitt, who holds the door for Ainsley and Brynn Grilc. Enrollment remains steady at 166 students this year, she said. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

PERU — Some tears were shed as 3- and 4-year-old preschool pupils said goodbye to their parents and faced their first day at Peru Catholic School on Aug. 17, but it wasn’t long before backpacks were unpacked and everyone was celebrating being with friends old and new. The scene is being repeated at the 42 […]

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Mask mandate compliance brings mixed emotions as school prepare to reopen

The 42 Catholic schools in the Diocese of Peoria will follow Gov. JB Pritzker's mandate for universal masking in all schools in Illinois, from pre-kindergarten through high school, according to a statement released Aug. 4 by Dr. Sharon Weiss, superintendent. (Catholic Post file photo/Jennifer Willems)

With Gov. JB Pritzker’s Aug. 4 announcement that students, teachers and visitors in all schools and day cares in Illinois would be required to wear masks, regardless of vaccination status, has come mixed emotions for parents enrolling their children in the 42 Catholic elementary and secondary schools of the Diocese of Peoria. That includes disappointment […]

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Refurbished pipe organ to be blessed, recital set Aug. 29 at St. Mary, Rock Island

Chris Versluis, who has been playing the organ at St. Mary Church in Rock Island for 22 years, sits at the new console of the refurbished instrument on a recent Saturday afternoon. "The keyboard is still the same, so it still feels like home," he said. (Provided photo)

ROCK ISLAND — On any Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning a clear, powerful, vigorous voice proclaiming the glory of God can be heard coming from St. Mary Church here — and bringing parishioners right along with it. That voice belongs to the newly refurbished Wicks pipe organ that will be blessed on Sunday, Aug. 29. […]

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Virtual Catholic Charismatic Renewal Conference puts spotlight on God’s love

Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, welcomed participants to the Diocese of Peoria's 35th Catholic Charismatic Renewal Conference, held virtually again this year, by encouraging them to witness to what the Holy Spirit had done in their lives, especially to young people.

COVID-19 continues to make its presence felt, but so does the Holy Spirit. Those who attended the Diocese of Peoria’s 35th Catholic Charismatic Renewal Conference found that reason enough to celebrate and Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, encouraged them to do so. “The Holy Spirit is essential to our life of faith in the Catholic […]

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Students, staff, families draw new administrators to diocesan schools

New administrators who will be greeting students as they return to class in the days to come around the diocese include: (from left) Michael Struna, Sandy Davis, Lauren Booth, Kathryn Frakes, Kelly McLaughlin, Jennifer Kamradt, Katie Coulter, Barbara Rew, and Anthony Corapi. Brief profiles can be found on this page and in the next issue of The Catholic Post. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

Students in seven Catholic schools around the Diocese of Peoria will find new faces in the principal’s office when they return to class this week. Assistant principals have been welcomed at two schools and a new model of collaborative leadership is bringing a chief operating officer to one diocesan high school. The new principals are […]

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Catholic schools in Diocese of Peoria will comply with Pritzker mask mandate

The 42 Catholic schools in the Diocese of Peoria will follow Gov. JB Pritzker's mandate for universal masking in all schools in Illinois, from pre-kindergarten through high school, according to a statement released Aug. 4 by Dr. Sharon Weiss, superintendent. (Catholic Post file photo/Jennifer Willems)

Citing the high transmission rates of the Delta variant of COVID-19 and the fact that vaccines have not yet been approved for children younger than 12, Gov. JB Pritzker on Aug. 4 announced a universal mask mandate for all schools and day cares. It is effective immediately and applies to everyone regardless of vaccination status. […]

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Totus Tuus is rejuvenating parishes and youth across the diocese this summer

Instructed to scream if anyone tried to take the bucket of “water” Rose Kirchgessner put down on the gym floor at Blessed Sacrament in Morton, Totus Tuus participants sound the alarm as costumed Zach Williams reaches for it. As it turns out, the bucket contained the day’s blue “covenant strings” for their wrists. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

MORTON — Vacation Bible School took a vacation at Blessed Sacrament Church this summer so young parishioners could try a new way of engaging their Catholic faith, and Totus Tuus proved to be just what they needed, said Msgr. Jerry Ward, pastor. “I think coming out of the pandemic — or, hopefully, getting close to […]

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Catholic Women’s League of Peoria elects officers, gives $15,500 to charities

Officers and directors serving the Catholic Women's League are (from left): Ann Gerardo, Vicki Rocke, Sandy Gasparovich, Sally Jacobsen, Patricia O'Connell, Beth Bussan, Joan Weber, and Melane Picl. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

Crediting prayer and “God’s grace and guidance,” members of the Catholic Women’s League of Peoria, Illinois, celebrated July 20 as they gathered in person for the first time since COVID-19 shut everything down. The annual meeting, which included a boxed lunch, was held in the parish hall of St. Philomena Church in Peoria. “We tried […]

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Biking for Babies missionaries crossing diocese supported by a mom from Dunlap

Clare Eckard waves as Biking for Babies missionaries ride through Peoria County on their way to St. Mark Church in Peoria for Mass and a potluck. "There's a lot of people who are sore, but that's part of it. It's a joy," she said of the 600-mile ride. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

Hannah Cottingham of Dunlap cries when she thinks of the lives lost because women are told they can’t achieve their dreams and be mothers at the same time. “I’m living it. I’m a teacher, which is my dream, and I’m a mother,” she said, wiping away tears. “I’m doing Biking for Babies for the moms […]

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Handwriting champion from LaSalle finds cursive ‘helps me think better’

Hanna Waszkowiak holds the journal and medal the Trinity Catholic Academy student received as a fifth grader for winning the state title in the 2021 Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest. (Provided photo)

LASALLE — Texting and email may rule the day in terms of communication for many people, but don’t count out handwriting just yet. Hanna Waszkowiak certainly hasn’t and it took the Trinity Catholic Academy student to a state title in the 2021 Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest. She was named the top fifth-grader in Illinois for […]

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