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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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Mass, Holy Hour set at cathedral Jan. 22 for legal protection of the unborn

A statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe, long a symbol of the pro-life movement, is carried into St. Mary's Cathedral in Peoria in this photo from a previous Mass for the Legal Protection of the Unborn. This year's Mass and Holy Hour is set for 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 22. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

As the 48th anniversary of the Supreme Court decisions legalizing abortion approaches this Friday, Jan. 22, people are planning to stand up for human life in a variety of ways, including a Mass and Holy Hour at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria. It will begin at 6:30 p.m. with Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, as […]

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Catechist Katie Bogner takes children, families ‘Through the Year with Jesus’

Katherine Bogner holds the cover art for her new book to be released in mid-February by Emmaus Road Publishing. A popular blogger, she is director of religious education at Immaculate Conception Parish in Lacon and junior high faith formation teacher at St. Philomena School, Peoria. (Provided photo)

Reviewed by Nancy Piccione I wanted to write that Katherine Bogner’s new book is a “back to basics” approach to living out the Catholic faith, using liturgical seasons and weekly Gospel readings as framework. But that would underestimate the rich and multilayered resource that Bogner, a local teacher with a global reach online, has created […]

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Deadline nears for tributes to Catholic education heroes of this pandemic period

The Catholic Post will celebrate heroes in education in a section devoted to Catholic Schools Week. We invite readers to tell us about teachers, principals and staff members who have gone above and beyond during this challenging time of pandemic. CNS/Valaurian Waller)

Heroes don’t seek praise, but they deserve gratitude for all that they do on behalf of others. Among those who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic are those who are doing everything they can to provide a good education for thousands of young people across the Diocese of Peoria, as well as formation in the […]

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Bishop Jenky opens 2021 by urging all to draw nearer to, and then proclaim, Jesus

"In this Year of Grace 2021 and for the rest of our lives, let us all in various and individual ways, try again to make room in our hearts for Jesus," writes Bishop Jenky in his 2021 Festival Letter. (The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody)

Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, opened 2021 by encouraging everyone in the Diocese of Peoria to renew their faith in Jesus and then “boldly share this faith with everyone they meet.” In his 19th and what is expected to be his final Festival Letter, titled “Jesus,” the bishop counters “these days of COVID, confusion, quarantine, […]

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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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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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Statement of the Diocese of Peoria regarding Covid-19 Vaccines

Nurse Savanah Crull receives the Pfizer COVID -19 vaccine from Clinical Practice Coordinator Hannah Harrison at OSF HealthCare St. Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington on Dec. 18. (OSF HealthCare photo)

The Diocese of Peoria released the following statement on Dec. 22, 2020: As you have most likely been made aware, the United States Bishops have approved the use of the Moderna and Pfizer Covid-19 Vaccines for Catholics (see The Catholic Post, Sunday, December 20, 2020, page 5) as an “act of charity” in light of […]

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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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