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Deacon Dionesotes found path to priesthood led through a garden

Deacon Daniel Dionesotes presents the oil for the Sacred Chrism at the Chrism Mass this year at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria. He will be anointed with the oil at his ordination May 27. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

By Paul Thomas Moore l The Catholic Post It was a tipping point in Deacon Daniel Dionesotes’ decision to become a priest and happened a decade ago as he took in the beautiful garden surrounding St. Joan of Arc Chapel at Marquette University in Milwaukee, where we was enrolled in business studies. It suddenly dawned […]

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Deacon Hopper: Profound encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist planted seeds

Deacon Nathan Hopper assists Bishop Louis Tylka at the altar after being ordained a transitional deacon last May. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

Deacon Nathan Hopper had started to think he was growing out of the faith during his sophomore year in high school when Jesus made it clear he had other plans for the young man. He went on a retreat with the LifeTeen group at his home parish, Epiphany in Normal, and on the first night […]

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Deacon Wille: The Lord has prepared me for this from the very beginning

While visiting his alma mater, St. Philomena School in Peoria, this week, Deacon Patrick Wille got involved in a number of activities at a school assembly. Among them was seeing how fast the students could get ready for Mass, including putting on vestments and setting the altar. Here, second-grader Aidan Williams demonstrates his best prayer posture for Deacon Wille. (Provided photo)

Deacon Patrick Wille said he felt like the Lord was preparing him for the priesthood from the very beginning of life. It just took him some time to realize it. “When my mom was pregnant with me, she brought me to the adoration chapel at St. Philomena,” his home parish in Peoria, he said. “As […]

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Local artist goes with flow of Holy Spirit

Taryn Watkins presents her painting of the Holy Spirit to the man who commissioned it, Bishop Louis Tylka. (Provided photo)

There is so much to learn about the Holy Spirit just by gazing at Taryn Watkins’ new painting of the third person of the Holy Trinity. You can’t help but do that since it hangs above the tabernacle in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit at the Spalding Pastoral Center in Peoria. “I’m always excited […]

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‘Distinguished’ Morton pastor makes relationship with students, staff priority

Msgr. Gerald Ward, pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church and School in Morton, visits with (from left) kindergartners Ella Hughs, Elijah McKinley, and Thomas Lopko. He has been named the Distinguished Pastor of the Year by the Office of Catholic Schools. (The Catholic Post/Paul Thomas Moore)

By Paul Thomas Moore “I will miss the enthusiasm of the students.” Msgr. Gerald Ward is discussing what life will be like when he moves to senior status in June, after serving 41 of his 44 years of priesthood in parishes affiliated with schools. For his service to Catholic education, Msgr. Ward has been honored […]

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‘Distinguished’ Monmouth principal enjoys serving ‘great little community’

Randy Frakes, principal at Immaculate Conception School in Monmouth, is flanked by daughters Joanna and Lexi as they stand behind the sign erected by the parish to congratulate him on being named the Distinguished Principal of the Year by the Office of Catholic Schools. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

MONMOUTH — There’s something about Immaculate Conception School here that attracts and fosters talent. Principal Randy Frakes has been named the Distinguished Principal of the Year by the Office of Catholic Schools and is the third person associated with the school to be singled out. His predecessor, Katherine Bennett, was honored with the same award […]

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‘Distinguished’ Rock Island teacher gives thanks for her mentors, students

Debbie Marlier works with a group of seventh-graders on punctuation and grammar drills at Jordan Catholic School in Rock Island. She said interacting with the students keeps her young at heart, even after 46 years. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

ROCK ISLAND — Debbie Marlier is being recognized as the Distinguished Teacher of the Year by the Office of Catholic Schools, but she knows that what she has been able to accomplish over the last 46 years at Jordan Catholic School and its predecessors is due to the outstanding teachers and mentors in her life. […]

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Bishop Tylka will ordain three transitional deacons May 20

The seminarians who will be ordained transitional deacons on May 20 are (from left) Jacob Martini, Johnathan "Jack" Swoik and Nicholas Conner. (Composite photo/Office of Priestly Vocations)

Three seminarians of the Diocese of Peoria will move one step closer to the priesthood when they are ordained as transitional deacons on Saturday, May 20, at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria. The Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. by Bishop Louis Tylka. The public is invited, but seating is expected to be limited. […]

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Why do we venerate relics of the saints?

By Father Anthony Co My father loved to walk around in the woods. While in the woods he would often find neat-looking branches or discarded lumber. At home, he would whack on them with a Filipino machete to turn them into walking sticks or other things. When my dad died there were only a couple […]

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Pope Francis says retired Pope Benedict is ‘very sick’; asks people to keep him in prayer

Retired Pope Benedict XVI is pictured with Ratzinger prize winners Joseph H. H. Weiler, a professor of law at New York University School of Law, and Jesuit Father Michel Fédou, professor of dogmatic theology and patristics at the Centre Sèvres of Paris, at the Mater Ecclesia monastery at the Vatican Dec. 1. (CNS photo/courtesy Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Saying that retired Pope Benedict XVI was “very sick,” Pope Francis asked people to offer special prayers for him. “I would like to ask all of you for a special prayer for emeritus Pope Benedict,” Pope Francis said at the end of his weekly general audience Dec. 28. The 95-year-old retired […]

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