The miracle in Bonnie Engstrom’s awe-inspiring “61 minutes” book is (very) local

Reviewed by Nancy Piccione Bonnie Engstrom’s new book is literally awe-inspiring. “61 Minutes to a Miracle: Fulton Sheen and a True Story of the Impossible” is part page-turning medical mystery story; part spiritual memoir, about faith, acceptance, and openness to the Holy Spirit; and part primer on the fascinating process of “saint-making” in the church. […]

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‘Waking Up White’ leads to much needed lessons, personal examination on racism

Debby Irving, left, is the author of "Waking Up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race."

Reviewed by Sister Mary Core, OSB About two years ago, I read about Debby Irving’s book, “Waking Up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race.” I thought, “Interesting title. I ought to read that.” Why? Because I wondered whether I myself was unintentionally racist. I had grown aware of my thoughts around race. […]

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Bishop Barron confronts sexual abuse crisis in ‘Letter to a Suffering Church’

Reviewed by Matthew Vander Vennet Throughout the church’s history, there have been times when she must go through a process of purgation and purification. While remaining the spotless Bride of the eternal Bridegroom, she also remains made up of human beings who continually fall short and are in constant need of reform. Bishop Robert Barron, […]

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Local author’s ‘Stacy and Tracy’ are taking children on adventures in virtue

Georgette Ghantous Williams of St. Philomena Parish in Peoria is author of the new children's book "The Adventures of Stacy and Tracy: How to Turn Gossip into Kindness."

  Stacy and Tracy are fictional young sisters who are taking children and adults alike on adventures in virtue. For decades found only in the imagination of Georgette Ghantous Williams — as well as her seven children and 19 grandchildren who delight in her lesson-teaching storytelling — Stacy and Tracy are fast making friends around […]

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‘Be Brave in the Scared’ memoir urges trust in God during life’s most difficult days

Reviewed by Nancy Piccione  There’s a well-known, if not necessarily true, story about St. Teresa of Avila, the 16th-century mystic Carmelite. The account goes that when experiencing a physical setback (I heard it once as when she fell off her horse into the mud), she complained to God, and he told her, “Fear not! This […]

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In new book, LaSalle County priest explores God’s role (if any) in suffering

Father Augustin Kassa, SMA, is parochial vicar of St. Mary in Grand Ridge, St. Patrick in Seneca, St. Theresa in Earlville, St. Joseph in Marseilles, and St. Patrick in Ransom.

EARLVILLE — Father Augustin Kassa, SMA, dedicates his new book “to the suffering members of the body of Christ.” That’s a wide target audience, since everyone — from victims of terrorism and poverty to those confronting their own illness or that of a loved one — experiences pain and suffering in their lifetimes. And the […]

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Author and blogger has suggestions for Catholic living throughout the year

The cover for "The Catholic All Year Compendium: Liturgical Living for Real Life" by Kendra Tierney.

By Bonnie Engstrom Easter is just around the corner and most of us have a good idea of what we’ll be doing to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord. Mass, family, ham, rolls, an egg hunt, lots of chocolate. But what about the next day, and week? And how will you celebrate Easter for the […]

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Meet a Reader: Sr. Diane VandeVoorde, OSF

Sister Diane VandeVoorde, OSF

How we know you:  I am a Heading Avenue Franciscan and I live in West Peoria.  Since I am a member of a diocesan community I’ve been in these parts doing ministry for many years.  I currently serve as the liturgist and organist for my community as well as teach in the deacon/safe formation program. […]

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Lenten reading suggestions to draw close to the cross of our Savior

By Katie Bogner Lent: It’s a time to give up and take up. Alongside your Lenten sacrifices, we suggest you take up one of these powerful books as a guide to draw you closer to the Cross of our Savior. The Cries of Jesus from the Cross: An Anthology, by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, from […]

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