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St. Mary Church in Lexington damaged by fire; Masses temporarily moved to Chenoa

Charred pews, smoked-stained walls and holes in the flooring are seen following the April 28 fire at St. Mary Church in Lexington. (The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody)

LEXINGTON — An early morning fire on April 28 caused extensive smoke and flooring damage to St. Mary Church here and will likely close the church for several months of restoration. “There’s a lot of disbelief — total shock” said Father David Sabel, pastor, in describing initial parishioner reaction to the apparently deliberately set fire […]

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Pope calls for monthlong global prayer marathon in May for end of pandemic

A health care worker wearing personal protective equipment pulls a patient suffering from COVID-19 on a stretcher outside Guru Teg Bahadur hospital in New Delhi on April 24. COVID-19 is claiming thousands of lives daily in India. (CNS/Reuters)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis has called for a global prayer marathon for the entire month of May, praying for the end to the pandemic. “The initiative will involve in a special way all shrines in the world” in promoting the initiative so that individuals, families and communities all take part in reciting the […]

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Catholic leaders across U.S. see Chauvin verdict as a call for more action

People in New York City are seen near a makeshift memorial April 20 after jurors issued their verdict convicting former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd. CNS/Eduardo Munoz, Reuters)

By Carol Zimmerman / Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) — Although Catholic leaders across the country called the April 20 jury verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial a moment of justice, they also stressed there is still a lot of work to do to move toward healing. Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda of Minneapolis and St. […]

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Rosary rally for police draws nearly 100 to downtown Ottawa park on April 17

Father Gary Caster leads about 100 people in the rosary and other prayers for the protection and guidance of police on April 17 at Washington Square Park in Ottawa. The public square rosary was one of many across the United States on a theme planned months in advance by the organization America Needs Fatima. (The Catholic Post, Peoria/Tom Dermody)

OTTAWA — Before leading nearly 100 people who gathered April 17 in Washington Square Park here in the rosary and other prayers for the protection and guidance of police, Father Gary Caster acknowledged this is “a difficult time in our country.” The April rally was one of many across the United States whose theme was […]

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Second-graders at Trinity Catholic Academy, LaSalle hear from Pope Francis

Students in Barb Crew's second grade class at Trinity Catholic Academy in LaSalle wrote letters to Pope Francis and received a reply on April 19 (being held by William Orteza). It came at a good time, since they were preparing to make their First Reconciliation that evening and had asked for the Holy Father's prayers. (Provided photo)

LASALLE — Second-graders at Trinity Catholic Academy had a little extra prayer support as they received the sacrament of reconciliation for the first time on April 19. It came in the form of a letter from Pope Francis himself. Accompanying the letter, sent by Msgr. L. Roberto Cona of the Vatican Secretariat of State, was […]

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Hispanic ministry eases vaccine anxiety for 400 Spanish-speaking at LaSalle clinic

Registered nurse Candice Espinoza administers the Moderna vaccine against COVID-19 to Constantino Ramirez, one of 400 recipients during a daylong clinic for the region’s Spanish-speaking community coordinated by the LaSalle and diocesan Hispanic ministry. (Provided photo)

LASALLE — Father Fabian Alberto Cabarcas Rua was first in line April 6 to receive a vaccination for COVID-19. Nearly 400 more of this region’s Spanish-speaking population would follow during a daylong clinic at the Flamingo Banquet Center here. “We put him there so people could see him, so they would not be afraid,” said […]

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Easter 2021 resurrects hope, joy: “It’s so wonderful to see all of you here!”

Marc Prosper Awuya lights his candle from the Paschal Candle held by Father Donald Levitt, pastor, at the beginning of the Easter Vigil at Christ the King in Moline. He would make a profession of faith, be confirmed and receive the Eucharist for the first time at the liturgy. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

MOLINE — As he looked out at Christ the King Church here during last year’s Easter Vigil, Father Donald Levitt only saw the photos of parishioners that were taped to the pews. It was the beginning of the pandemic and public celebrations of the Mass were suspended. What a difference a year makes. “It is […]

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Prayers for renewal of the church, priestly ministry voiced at Chrism Mass

As Deacon Ed Mallow kneels before him holding the vessel with the Oil of the Sick, Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, blesses it at the Chrism Mass at St. Mary's Cathedral in Peoria. It is one of three oils that were blessed March 30 and will be used in sacramental anointing at parishes around the Diocese of Peoria in the coming year. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

As the Chrism Mass returned to its rightful place during Holy Week, Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, said it was a “special blessing” to be able to gather with the priests and representatives of the religious and laity “to pray for the renewal of the life and all the works of our local church.” He […]

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New diocesan retreat center taking shape; will be named Sacré-Coeur

Deacon Terry Stalsberg, newly hired executive director, is pictured March 11 at the construction site of the Diocese of Peoria’s Sacré-Coeur Retreat Center. Built on the site of the former Nazareth House near Magnolia in Putnam County, the new retreat center will feature 70 guest rooms in the four-story structure at left, a conference center and dining hall seen behind Deacon Stalsberg in the center, and the main chapel at right. It is scheduled to open in August. (The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody)

MAGNOLIA – The sounds of hammers and circular saws break the natural quiet of the wooded bluff above the Illinois River in rural Putnam County where for five decades thousands have sought peace and an encounter with God. When the seekers return in August, they will again find the reflective space long provided by King’s […]

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Holy Week, Easter liturgies may look a little different, including at cathedral

This image of the Crucifixion is from St. Vincent's Cemetery on LaSalle's north side. Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday, March 28. (The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody)

While it was not possible to celebrate Holy Week and Easter in church last year, when COVID-19 had just been declared a worldwide pandemic, parishes around the Diocese of Peoria are preparing to come together now as Holy Week begins. At St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria, some of those liturgies will look a little different. […]

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