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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Pandemic cited among causes as diocese’s schools see an 8.2% enrollment decline

Students were welcomed back to in-person instruction at St. Mary School in Pontiac on Jan. 11. Each class was blessed by Father Adam Cesarek, pastor, and there were gifts and a complimentary lunch for the staff and an ice cream treat for the students. The Pontiac school was one of 11 Catholic elementary schools in the Diocese of Peoria to see an increase in enrollment in the last year. (Provided photo)

In an academic year made difficult by COVID-19, enrollment has provided another challenge for the 42 Catholic schools of the Diocese of Peoria. According to enrollment figures submitted to the NCEA Data Bank for 2020-2021, there are 9,107 students in diocesan schools — a decline of 8.2 percent. That includes a drop of 193 students […]

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Area pro-life proponents finding new ways to mark Roe v. Wade anniversary

Even though Central Illinois Right to Life will not be holding its annual Sanctity of Human Life Rally or walk for life around the Federal Courthouse in Peoria this year, supporters seized a recent opportunity to make a stand for life. As 2020 was coming to an end, several people from the organization stood on the Adams Street pedestrian overpass along Interstate 74 in Peoria and held pro-life signs for drivers on both sides to see. “We got a lot of affirmative honks,” said Dan Bohan, CIRTL vice president. (Provided photo)

There are many things that have changed across Central Illinois due to COVID-19, but respect for human life isn’t one of them. That has made it necessary for parishes and respect life groups to look for new ways to provide a witness. At St. Mary of Lourdes in Germantown Hills, for example, parishioners will hold […]

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Unique calendar will help Bishop Tylka pray for each parish by name in 2021

These are among the parishes that Coadjutor Bishop Louis Tylka has pledged to pray for by name in January 2021. The full January list is found at the end of this story, and The Catholic Post will publish Bishop Tylka's specific parish and religious community prayer intentions and corresponding dates each month.

Prayer is powerful and Coadjutor Bishop Louis Tylka has found from personal experience that the more specific you can make it the better. That’s why he’ll be praying for each parish of the Diocese of Peoria by name throughout the coming year with the help of a new prayer calendar. “I think it will help […]

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Catholic schools of diocese may return to in-person instruction as early as Jan. 5

Catholic schools around the Diocese of Peoria used a variety of ways to keep students engaged after they returned to remote learning only on Nov. 18. At Visitation Catholic School in Kewanee, for example, principal Wayne Brau and the teachers took turns reading books to the students, with videos posted to the school's Facebook page. Here, Mr. Brau shares his favorite book, "The Story of Ferdinand." Teachers may be reading stories directly to the students again as permission has been given to start in-person instruction on Jan. 5.

Catholic schools of the Diocese of Peoria have been given permission to return to in-person instruction as soon as Jan. 5, if their pastors, principals and chaplains deem it safe and advisable to do so. The announcement was made by Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, and Coadjutor Bishop Louis Tylka in a letter dated Dec. […]

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Groveland man recalls getting his Notre Dame diploma from a future pope, saint

Timothy Gorman of Groveland, a member of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Morton, received his 1960 University of Notre Dame diploma in liberal arts from the future St. Pope Paul VI.

GROVELAND — Sometimes you don’t know you’re making history until you look back. In Timothy Gorman’s case it was way back to June 5, 1960, the day he received his diploma in liberal arts from a future pope and saint at the University of Notre Dame. “Our great president, Father Theodore Hesburgh, had invited sitting […]

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Bishops read Christmas stories, offer video blessings to school communities

As “elves” Philip Lee and Ben Wilson look on, Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, reads “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” which is better known as “’Twas the Night Before Christmas,” by Clement Clarke Moore. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

It wasn’t possible for Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, and Coadjutor Bishop Louis Tylka to visit all of the 42 schools of the Diocese of Peoria to read a Christmas book or two so they did the next best thing — they made videos that were shared with the school communities on Dec. 21. Bishop […]

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Pastoral care teams stand on hospital ‘holy ground,’ offer light in dark times

Deacon Joe Knapp, pastoral care manager at OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria, blesses a new OSF facility in this Catholic Post file photo. While there are heartbreaking things within hospital walls -- especially in this time of pandemic -- "our fellow mission partners spread a lot of light because they live the mission,” says Deacon Knapp.

COVID-19 is a constant presence. Daily newscasts begin with reports of how many people have fallen ill or died since the last report and hospitals are limiting visits in an attempt to keep everyone as safe as possible. “It’s a very intense time,” acknowledges Deacon Joe Knapp, pastoral care manager at OSF HealthCare Saint Francis […]

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Parishes across the diocese prepare to celebrate Christmas in pandemic year

Father Andru O’Brien, parochial vicar for St. Jude Parish in Peoria, celebrates an evening Mass in the church parking lot last month. St. Jude is among the parishes in the Diocese of Peoria planning parking lot Masses or Communion services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day as one option to celebrate Jesus’ birth as a parish community while also keeping people safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Courtesy photo/Daryl Wilson)

Christmas has always been a time of joy and reverence as we welcome the Christ Child into our lives again. If parishes around the Diocese of Peoria have their way, that will continue to be the case — with more than a little creativity thrown in for good measure. “Even though there’s craziness going on […]

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