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COVID-19 pandemic sends seminarians back to diocese, but discernment continues

Seminarians of the Diocese of Peoria are pictured with Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C., Father Patrick Henehan, vocation director of formation, and Father Timothy Hepner, vocation director of recruitment, in this photo taken last August at St. Mary's Cathedral in Peoria. (Provided photo/Nellie Gould)

When colleges and universities across the country suspended in-person classes for the rest of the semester to prevent transmission of COVID-19, the seminarians studying for the priesthood for the Diocese of Peoria were sent home, too. That doesn’t mean their discernment has been suspended, according to Father Patrick Henehan, diocesan vocation director of formation. In […]

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Diocese’s schools now closed through April 13; e-learning plans implemented

Aimé Blankenship, a first-grader in Abby Brancaleon’s class at St. Patrick School in Washington, practices the skills she’ll need for e-learning before all Catholic schools in the Diocese of Peoria closed at the end of the day on March 13. The schools will remain closed through Easter Monday, with online learning beginning March 31. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, has directed that all Catholic schools in the Diocese of Peoria remain closed through Easter Monday, April 13. The announcement was made March 23 in conjunction with a letter from the bishop informing the faithful that public Masses would continue to be suspended through Easter Sunday. The schools are scheduled […]

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Unusual confessional provides welcome consolation at Peoria Notre Dame

Since the students at Peoria Notre Dame High School couldn't come into the school for confession, Father Corey Krengiel, chaplain, brought the sacrament to them on March 19, using the baseball dugout as his confessional. Here he offers absolution to a student behind a blanket screen who braved the rain to come. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems

For three hours on Thursday afternoon, the baseball dugout at Peoria Notre Dame High School became a confessional for students, parents and friends of the community who said the sacrament of reconciliation was a welcome relief during a very strange time. “For a lot of our students, the school is kind of their touchstone with […]

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Spiritual hunger awakened by suspension of Masses can lead to growth, grace

As public celebrations of the Mass continue to be suspended, many people are finding spiritual comfort and consolation in the Masses that are being livestreamed by parishes around the Diocese of Peoria. (The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody)

As the faithful adjust to the new reality of watching Masses that are being live streamed from their churches or rectory and convent chapels in an effort to prevent transmission of COVID-19, many are wondering what they should be doing as they sit in front of their computer, television or cellphone. Father Jacob Rose advises […]

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Live streamed Masses keep central Illinois family of faith connected

St. Matthew Church in Champaign is one of several churches around the Diocese of Peoria that has arranged to live stream Masses while public liturgical celebrations in central Illinois are suspended in an effort to prevent possible transmission of the COVID-19 coronavirus. (The Catholic Post file photo/Jennifer Willems)

Public celebrations of the Mass may be suspended for the foreseeable future, but parishes across the Diocese of Peoria, as well as St. Bede Abbey in Peru, are making it possible for people to stay connected to their family of faith in central Illinois and beyond by following the example of Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen. […]

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‘Abundance of caution’ led to closing of Catholic schools in diocese March 16-20

Maureen Bentley, principal at St. Thomas the Apostle School in Peoria Heights, discusses an art project with two members of the kindergarten class in this Catholic Post file photo. The Office of Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Peoria has directed its 42 elementary and secondary schools to close March 16-20 because of coronavirus concerns. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

Citing an “abundance of caution” after the World Health Organization termed the COVID-19 coronavirus a pandemic on March 11, the Office of Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Peoria has directed its 42 elementary and secondary schools to close March 16-20. The directives were sent to the principals, school pastors and chaplains March 12 after […]

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Eucharistic adoration ‘cut me to the heart,’ says RCIA candidate from Morton

Henry Wefer, who is preparing to be received into the church at St. Monica in East Peoria at the Easter Vigil, enjoys a moment with Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC. “He was very quick to a joke, which I think suits him well,” he said of the bishop. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

While many people who attended the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion were at St. Mary’s Cathedral for the first time, it has become something of a spiritual home for Henry Wefer from Morton. In fact, it was encountering Jesus in the Eucharist during adoration that brought him to where he is now. […]

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285 continue faith journey at Rite of Election, Call to Continuing Conversion

Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, greets Donald Kotsikpa, a catechuman from Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Silvis during the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion on Feb. 29 at St. Mary's Cathedral in Peoria. Facilitating the introduction is Deacon Al Angelo. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

Henry Wefer of Morton can’t wait until the Easter Vigil, when he will be confirmed and receive the Eucharist for the first time. “It’s what I want more than anything,” said the 18-year-old college freshman, who will be received into the Catholic Church at St. Monica in East Peoria on April 11. “I’m burning for […]

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Sr. Mary Jane, 90, shares children’s wisdom in ‘Whatever Happened to the Sandbox?’

Longtime educator Sister Mary Jane Wallace, OSB, holds her newly published book, “Whatever Happened to the Sandbox? Enjoying the Creative Wisdom of Children.” (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

ROCK ISLAND — When you’re teaching classes with 45 and 60 students at a time, it doesn’t take long to amass a large collection of stories that amuse and inspire. Sister Mary Jane Wallace, OSB, tells some of her favorites in a new book, “Whatever Happened to the Sandbox? Enjoying the Creative Wisdom of Children.” […]

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