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‘Humbled and honored’: An interview with the new abbot of St. Bede Abbey

Abbot Michael Calhoun, OSB, who was elected on July 13 to lead the Benedictine community at St. Bede Abbey in Peru, stands in front of the monastery’s door. His abbatial blessing is planned for Saturday, Sept. 3, and will be conferred by Auxiliary Bishop Robert J. Lombardo, CFR, of Chicago. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

PERU — After being known as Father Michael for 20 years, it may take some time for Abbot Michael Calhoun, OSB, to get used to his new title and responsibilities. But that is what the monastic community at St. Bede Abbey elected him to do on July 13. His abbatial blessing will be conferred by […]

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Largest Emmaus Days in a decade as 162 encounter Jesus, consider vocations

Father Chase Hilgenbrinck, diocesan vocation director for recruitment, leads an Emmaus Days session outside St. John’s Catholic Newman Center at the University of Illinois in Champaign. (Provided photo)

That 162 boys and young men took part in the four sessions of Emmaus Days this summer in the Diocese of Peoria — the most in a decade — was “incredible.” But there was another number even more satisfying to the seminarian leaders of the vocation awareness retreats sponsored by the diocese’s Office of Vocations. […]

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Diocese hosts Teens Encounter Christ leaders; Geneseo catechist honored

Bishop Louis Tylka is surrounded by those attending TEC Encounter 2022 after the opening Mass at St. John's Chapel in Champaign. The national gathering was held July 15-17. (Provided photo)

CHAMPAIGN — With about 60 leaders from 20 Teens Encounter Christ communities around the country converging on St. John’s Catholic Newman Center July 15-17, there was plenty of joy to go around as they prayed, learned and laughed together. That joyful, fruitful ministry doesn’t come from running nonstop, however. That’s why TEC Encounter 2022 focused […]

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Pope Francis arrives in Canada focused on elders and on repentance

Pope Francis greets residential school survivor Alma Desjarlais of the Frog Lake First Nation and Chief Greg Desjarlais of the Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations, during a welcoming ceremony with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, looking on at center, and Mary Simon, governor general, (not pictured) at Edmonton International Airport on July 24. The pope was beginning a six-day visit to Canada. (CNS/Paul Haring)

By Cindy Wooden / Catholic News Service EDMONTON, Alberta (CNS) — After a flight of more than 10 hours from Rome, Pope Francis landed in Edmonton and met briefly at the airport with Indigenous leaders, Canada’s governor general and prime minister before heading to the local seminary for a rest. Governor General Mary Simon and […]

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Sacred Heart, Moline, breaks ground for Gathering Center, honors pastor’s jubilee

Breaking ground for the new Gathering Center at Sacred Heart Church in Moline on July 17 are (from left) Dave Coene, Sandy Madison, Andrew Dasso, Missy Gasiorowski, Peter Murray, Don Lewis, Jim Watson, Connie Morris, Jim Harl, Father Matthew Cole, parochial vicar, and Father Mark DeSutter, pastor. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

MOLINE — Remembering where they’ve been, rejoicing in where they are, and ready for what’s ahead, members of Sacred Heart Parish here broke ground for a Gathering Center last Sunday, July 17. The ceremonial turning of dirt followed a Mass of Thanksgiving for the formal start of construction for the new building and the 40th […]

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Fr. Michael Calhoun, OSB, is elected the ninth abbot of St. Bede Abbey in Peru

Newly elected Abbot Michael Calhoun, OSB, of St. Bede Abbey in Peru stands between Abbot Philip Davey, OSB, (left), whom he succeeded, and Rt. Rev. Jonathan Licari, OSB, who oversaw the election on July 13 as the abbot president of the American-Cassinese Congregation of Benedictine Monasteries. (Provided photo)

PERU — Father Michael Calhoun, OSB, has been elected the ninth abbot of St. Bede Abbey. He succeeds Abbot Philip Davey, OSB, who served as spiritual leader of the Benedictine community here since 2011. “I feel humbled and honored to serve the St. Bede community as its abbot. I pray for God’s grace to strengthen […]

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Totus Tuus summer program is energizing youth in 24 parishes across the diocese

Seminarian Thomas Williams interacts with Emory Thais and Zoey Mitchell as they “Go Bananas” at the end of the day on June 22. This is the first year Totus Tuus has been at St. Philomena in Monticello. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

MONTICELLO — Little surges of energy can be felt all over the Diocese of Peoria this summer, accompanied by prayer, song and laughter — lots of laughter. It’s the result of a youth program called Totus Tuus and for parishes still rebuilding after COVID-19, it’s a godsend. “We just couldn’t do anything for the last […]

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On her 108th birthday, Camilla Hopper requested the greatest gift: a Mass

Camilla Hopper is flanked by Father Austin Bosse and Deacon Patrick Wille after a special Mass celebrated on July 5 --- her 108th birthday --- at Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Leonore. (Provided photo/Eliza Smith)

LEONORE — When you’ve had 108 birthdays, you’re entitled to make your gift requests known. For Camilla Hopper, perhaps the oldest Catholic in the Diocese of Peoria who turned 108 on July 5, that list was short and the same as her request a year ago: a special Mass that she and about 20 members […]

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Bloomington parish, Knights lend hands, funds for Habitat for Humanity house

Bishop Louis Tylka and others place their hands on a wall of the newly built Habitat for Humanity house at 707 W. Locust St. in Bloomington during a prayer of blessing on July 9. The bishop is flanked by Father Dustin Schultz, pastor, and Father Martin Mwongyera, parochial vicar, of St. Patrick Church of Merna in Bloomington, which sponsored the home-building project with the rebate money from the parish’s Annual Diocesan Appeal. At far left is Roger Scott, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of McLean County. (The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody)

BLOOMINGTON — Standing in a circle of support in the living room of his family’s new home during blessing ceremonies on July 9, Fidele Makala offered a litany of gratitude. “Our family would like to express how excited we are for this blessing,” said Makala, moments after receiving the keys to a house built by […]

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Amanda Connon is director of diocese’s new Office of Information Management

Amanda Connon, director of the Diocese of Peoria's new Office of Information Management, is pictured in her office on the second floor of the Spalding Pastoral Center in Peoria. (The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody)

“I’m like a super-nerd,” says Amanda Connon. “I love organizing things.” Bishop Louis Tylka saw that skill in Connon as she recently did volunteer work gathering information and creating databases for the Diocese of Peoria. And he recognized the high school music teacher would be a good candidate to help solve some shortcomings in how […]

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