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College student ‘beatitudes’

Editor’s note — In conjunction with our Back to School section this week, we offer this reflection for college students contributed by Sister Margie Lavonis, CSC, a writer and editorial assistant for the Sisters of the Holy Cross in Notre Dame, Ind. We hope it will be clipped and shared with the many young people […]

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Enter with joy, if not dance

Whatever one thinks of the way Jillian Peterson and Kevin Heinz choreographed their wedding party’s recent trip down the aisle of a church in Minnesota, all can agree it was creative and joyful. For those who haven’t seen the week’s most popular YouTube video or excerpts of it on the national news, the ushers, bridesmaids, […]

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State of our (marriage) unions

Mary Olson knows a thing or two about marriage. The 93-year-old Farmer City resident has been in the same one for 75 years. (See story, page 1.) While she advises couples considering marriage to “make sure you’re ready to be married for life,” she’s troubled by the number of marriages that are ending in divorce. […]

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Pray for a priest every day

My wife and I have a priest in the family. We’ve “adopted” him. In fact, he’ll be joining us, usually around dinner time, each night for the next year. He just won’t know it. And we are far from alone. Hundreds have already responded to a prayer-for-priests initiative announced last week by the religious community […]

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Faces behind the numbers

What began as a month of celebration for Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Peoria is ending with days of trepidation as Illinois politicians consider drastic cuts in social service spending as one way out of an historic budget crisis. There are a lot of numbers to digest to even begin to understand the situation, […]

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A privileged pilgrimage

It was a Sunday morning unlike any other in the long, rich Catholic history of the Illinois Valley region. Every hour on the hour, from 8 to 11 a.m., parishioners with heavy hearts gathered June 14 at one of four beloved churches for a final regularly scheduled weekend Mass. Because the churches are all located […]

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Dragged through the blood

What image comes to mind when the phrase “anti-abortion activist” is voiced or seen in print? For far too many in recent days, it is the police mug shot of Scott Roeder, who dragged the good name of pro-lifers everywhere through the blood when he fatally shot Dr. George Tiller while the notorious late-term abortionist […]

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Season of congratulations

Congratulations. Way to go. We’re so proud of you. Thank you. Great job! Look what your efforts have done. Awesome accomplishment. God bless you. You rock! Any and all of the above are appropriate on so many occasions during this month of family, parish, school, and religious community celebrations. May began with first Communions that […]

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Worth a thousand words

On the Catholic News Service Web site one can find the full text of every speech or homily Pope Benedict XVI gave during his historic visit to the Holy Land. And there are powerful, inspirational words throughout, such as his proclamation at the Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem that the church will work tirelessly “to ensure […]

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Counting blessings: #1) Mom

I really like the theme of this year’s Annual Diocesan Appeal, “Count Your Blessings.” Is there a more healthy spiritual practice? Yet, when was the last time we actually tried to list our blessings? We tend to be grateful in spurts. We appreciate our blessing of health when it’s threatened; our blessing of employment when […]

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