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Peoria principal shares credit with team, community for top schools honor

During a classroom visit, St. Mark principal Noreen Dillon works on a word game with first-grader Tommy Tomlins. Helping people discover their strengths and use them is one of the reasons she went into teaching. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

Dr. Noreen Dillon accepts that she has been named the Distinguished Principal of the Year by the Office of Catholic Schools, but says, “It really had nothing to do with me.” “It had more to do with the really good team I’m working with and the families that we have here supporting the school, and […]

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‘Distinguished’ Rock Island pastor always ‘a big fan of Catholic education’

Msgr. Mark Merdian, pastor of St. Pius X in Rock Island, shows students from Jordan Catholic School what can be found in a sacristy. "As a priest, you're always teaching," said the Distinguished Pastor of the Year. (Provided photo)

ROCK ISLAND — Most Wednesday afternoons you can find Msgr. Mark Merdian at Jordan Catholic School, where he teaches religion. He had the seventh-graders before the Christmas break, and is working with the eighth-graders this semester. It’s not really an option for him. “Ever since I’ve become a pastor, I’ve made a commitment to teach […]

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Galesburg senior calls on pro-lifers to defend life wherever opportunity arises

Gerard Remmes, a senior at Galesburg High School and president of Students for Life there, receives his first place award in the Knox County Right to Life essay contest from Roxanne Flesher. It was presented at the Festival of Life in Galesburg on Oct. 27. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following essay was written by Gerard Remmes, a senior at Galesburg High School and president of Students for Life there. It answers the question, “What can we do to promote respect for all human life in Illinois after the passage of the extreme abortion law?” and took first place in the Knox […]

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Special song prepared at Geneseo school for Priests Pedaling for Prayers

Father Adam Cesarek gives high-fives to the students at St. Malachy School in Geneseo as the Priests Pedaling for Prayers head to Visitation Catholic School in Kewanee Sept. 30. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

GENESEO — To prepare for a visit from the Priests Pedaling for Prayers and their companions, students at St. Malachy School learned a song written by music teacher Elizabeth Hulsbrink. “It came to me off the top of my head,” she told The Catholic Post before Father Tom Otto, Father Adam Cesarek, and Father Michael […]

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Respect Life Conference: End of life issues becoming more prevalent, complicated

Father Alfred Cioffi responds to a question from Loreto Xavier of Bloomington during his session on end-of-life issues at the Diocese of Peoria's Respect Life Conference on Sept. 14. On a stand next to the speakers were relics of St. Catherine of Siena (left) and Pope St. John Paul II, patrons for the conference. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

Saying everyone will face decisions about care at the end of life sooner or later — if not for themselves, then for someone they love — Father Alfred Cioffi started a conversation about some of those issues with participants at the Respect Life Conference on Sept. 14. The beginning of life is known and occurs […]

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Respect Life Conference: Include men when discussing abortion, healing

Father John Verrier laughs as his friend, keynote speaker Kevin Burke, begins his talk at the Respect Life Conference on Sept. 14 at the Spalding Pastoral Center in Peoria. The co-founder of Rachel's Vineyard Ministries, Burke is a pastoral associate of Priests for Life. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

When it comes to abortion, women may have the procedure but that doesn’t mean men are exempt from the pain, said Kevin Burke, co-founder of Rachel’s Vineyard Ministries for post-abortive women and a pastoral associate of Priests for Life. He said well-meaning people may ask, “Why is this important?” or “Why should we care?” “The […]

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Respect Life Conference: Trafficking goes against everything God desires for us

Sister Mary Angela Alexander, RSM, director of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and Catholic Relief Services of the Diocese of Phoenix, addresses human trafficking in a talk Sept. 14 at the diocesan Respect Life Conference in Peoria. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

While many people wouldn’t include human trafficking on a list of respect life issues, it goes against everything that God desires for his people, according to Sister Mary Angela Alexander, RSM, the last speaker of the day. “Everything that you have heard before — abortion, racism, sexism, absent fathers, the breakdown of relationships between men […]

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Respect Life Conference: Addiction to internet porn is rampant, treatable

Sister Mary Angela Alexander, RSM, looks on as Sister Marysia Weber, RSM, answers a question about the neurobiology of addiction to internet pornography during a question-and-answer session at the Diocese of Peoria's Respect Life Conference on Sept.14. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

Saying that she never intended, as a woman religious, to spend so much time looking at internet pornography, Sister Marysia Weber, RSM, noted that it is one of the most common addictions in the world. “I have been looking at this topic for 15 to 20 years and every single time I look it up, […]

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Respect Life Conference: Ryan Bomberger urges youth, adults to be ‘factivists’

Speaking to the junior high and high school students during the schools session of the Respect Life Conference on Sept. 13, Ryan Bomberger engaged them in quizzes as he did some myth busting about what organizations that promote abortion are saying. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

The first thing Ryan Bomberger did in his session with students from around the Diocese of Peoria on Sept. 13 was to have them stand, look at one another, and say, “I’m glad you’re alive.” Those words are very important for the man who was conceived in rape, but carried to term and placed for […]

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‘The Real Presence’ — the 19th Festival Letter of Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC

INTRODUCTORY LETTER: September 16, 2019 To the priests, deacons, seminarians, religious, teachers, catechists, sponsors, parish leaders, our Catholic movements and organizations, and all the faithful of the Catholic Diocese of Peoria:  I am releasing my 2020 Festival Letter at this early date in the hope that it may at least in some ways assist a […]

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