COVID-19 pandemic sends seminarians back to diocese, but discernment continues

Seminarians of the Diocese of Peoria are pictured with Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C., Father Patrick Henehan, vocation director of formation, and Father Timothy Hepner, vocation director of recruitment, in this photo taken last August at St. Mary's Cathedral in Peoria. (Provided photo/Nellie Gould)

When colleges and universities across the country suspended in-person classes for the rest of the semester to prevent transmission of COVID-19, the seminarians studying for the priesthood for the Diocese of Peoria were sent home, too. That doesn’t mean their discernment has been suspended, according to Father Patrick Henehan, diocesan vocation director of formation. In […]

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Msgr. John Prendergast, 74, dies; Streator native was U.S. Army chaplain, pastor

Msgr. John Prendergast is pictured in a 2015 file photo. (The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody)

Msgr. John Prendergast, a senior priest of the Diocese of Peoria and a highly decorated former U.S. Army chaplain, died at Christian Buehler Home in Peoria on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. He was 74. Burial took place at St. Mary Cemetery in Msgr. Prendergast’s hometown of Streator — a community he served for nearly a […]

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Unusual confessional provides welcome consolation at Peoria Notre Dame

Since the students at Peoria Notre Dame High School couldn't come into the school for confession, Father Corey Krengiel, chaplain, brought the sacrament to them on March 19, using the baseball dugout as his confessional. Here he offers absolution to a student behind a blanket screen who braved the rain to come. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems

For three hours on Thursday afternoon, the baseball dugout at Peoria Notre Dame High School became a confessional for students, parents and friends of the community who said the sacrament of reconciliation was a welcome relief during a very strange time. “For a lot of our students, the school is kind of their touchstone with […]

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Priests get directives on Mass, sacraments during this ‘difficult moment in history’

Priests of the Diocese of Peoria are shown at last May's Mass of Ordination for Father Daniel McShane at St. Mary's Cathedral. (The Catholic Post file/Tom Dermody)

“I suspect that we shall remember these times for the rest of our lives.” So wrote Msgr. Philip D. Halfacre, vicar general, in a letter to priests of the Diocese of Peoria after Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, suspended all Masses March 13 because of coronavirus concerns. The letter to priests included a series of […]

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Deacon Charles “Chuck” Murray, 99, dies; served St. Joseph in Pekin for 27 years

Deacon Charles Murray

PEKIN — A graveside service is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 21, at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery here for Deacon Charles “Chuck” Murray, who served St. Joseph Parish as a permanent deacon for 27 years until his move to senior status in 2015. Deacon Murray died on Saturday, March 14, 2020, at Autumn […]

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Live streamed Masses keep central Illinois family of faith connected

St. Matthew Church in Champaign is one of several churches around the Diocese of Peoria that has arranged to live stream Masses while public liturgical celebrations in central Illinois are suspended in an effort to prevent possible transmission of the COVID-19 coronavirus. (The Catholic Post file photo/Jennifer Willems)

Public celebrations of the Mass may be suspended for the foreseeable future, but parishes across the Diocese of Peoria, as well as St. Bede Abbey in Peru, are making it possible for people to stay connected to their family of faith in central Illinois and beyond by following the example of Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen. […]

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‘Abundance of caution’ led to closing of Catholic schools in diocese March 16-20

Maureen Bentley, principal at St. Thomas the Apostle School in Peoria Heights, discusses an art project with two members of the kindergarten class in this Catholic Post file photo. The Office of Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Peoria has directed its 42 elementary and secondary schools to close March 16-20 because of coronavirus concerns. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

Citing an “abundance of caution” after the World Health Organization termed the COVID-19 coronavirus a pandemic on March 11, the Office of Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Peoria has directed its 42 elementary and secondary schools to close March 16-20. The directives were sent to the principals, school pastors and chaplains March 12 after […]

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Pastor, new club ensure that Abp. Sheen’s parents are remembered at St. Mark, Peoria

Msgr. Brian Brownsey, pastor of St. Mark Parish in Peoria, stands at the church’s high altar. He is now referring to it as “the Sheen Altar” because Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen celebrated several Masses on it, including the funeral liturgies for his parents in 1943 and 1944. (The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody)

Seventy-seven years ago, Msgr. Fulton Sheen offered the funeral Mass for his mother, Delia, at St. Mark Church in Peoria. On Saturday, March 28 — the anniversary of her death — Mrs. Sheen will be the intention when the 8 a.m. Mass at St. Mark is offered on the same altar. Doing so is a […]

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Eucharistic adoration ‘cut me to the heart,’ says RCIA candidate from Morton

Henry Wefer, who is preparing to be received into the church at St. Monica in East Peoria at the Easter Vigil, enjoys a moment with Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC. “He was very quick to a joke, which I think suits him well,” he said of the bishop. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

While many people who attended the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion were at St. Mary’s Cathedral for the first time, it has become something of a spiritual home for Henry Wefer from Morton. In fact, it was encountering Jesus in the Eucharist during adoration that brought him to where he is now. […]

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Sr. Mary Jane, 90, shares children’s wisdom in ‘Whatever Happened to the Sandbox?’

Longtime educator Sister Mary Jane Wallace, OSB, holds her newly published book, “Whatever Happened to the Sandbox? Enjoying the Creative Wisdom of Children.” (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

ROCK ISLAND — When you’re teaching classes with 45 and 60 students at a time, it doesn’t take long to amass a large collection of stories that amuse and inspire. Sister Mary Jane Wallace, OSB, tells some of her favorites in a new book, “Whatever Happened to the Sandbox? Enjoying the Creative Wisdom of Children.” […]

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