The full text of the homily at the funeral Mass in Odell for Msgr. William Watson

Father Thomas Taylor gives the homily at the May 3 funeral Mass for Msgr. William Watson at St. Paul Church in Odell. (Screenshot from Watson-Thomas Funeral Home livestream)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Following is the full text of the homily at the May 3 funeral Mass at St. Paul Church in Odell for Msgr. William Watson. (See obituary here.) The homilist was Father Thomas Taylor, who served with Msgr. Watson at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Peoria Heights for 12 years. An archived video […]

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Pope: Honor martyrs by remaining faithful, working for a better Iraq

Pope Francis signs a book with a message for Syriac Catholics at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Deliverance in Baghdad March 5. Also pictured, from left: Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan, Syriac Catholic Archbishop Ephrem Yousif Mansoor Abba of Baghdad and Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako of Baghdad. (CNS/Vatican Media via Reuters)

BAGHDAD (CNS) — Visiting a Baghdad cathedral “hallowed by the blood of our brothers and sisters” murdered in a terrorist attack that shook the world, Pope Francis said their sacrifice must motivate faith and a commitment to working for the common good. The Syriac Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of Deliverance, sometimes referred to as […]

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Pope says he cannot disappoint Iraqis, asks prayers for March 5-8 trip

Women stand near a poster of Pope Francis in Baghdad on March 3. Pope Francis plans to visit Iraq March 5-8. (CNS photo/Khalid al-Mousily, Reuters)

By Cindy Wooden / Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS) — On the same day that 10 rockets hit an air base in Iraq, Pope Francis said he had to travel to the country because he could not disappoint them. “The Iraqi people are waiting for us; they awaited St. John Paul II, who was […]

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Author Joyce Heiple hopes the memories she shares awaken others to God’s grace

GERMANTOWN HILLS — Joyce Heiple knows well enough by now that if God wants something, she’ll get the message if she’s willing to listen. That’s what she hopes her new book, “Grace Through the Seasons,” will help others do, too. She’s so attentive to God’s grace because “it’s what’s made me who I am,” she […]

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Distinguished Pastor: Father Zilimu sees Kewanee school as vital to parish

Father Johndamaseni Zilimu, pastor of Saint John Paul II Parish and Visitation Catholic School in Kewanee, stands by a depiction of Jesus outside a classroom at the school. He has been named Distinguished School Pastor of the Year for his work in bringing the children at Visitation closer to Jesus. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

KEWANEE — A longtime passion for mathematics has taught Father Johndamaseni Zilimu many things, including the winning equation for life. The only way things add up for him is to put his vocation to the priesthood and ministry to the people of God first and everything else second. He uses the same formula for guiding […]

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Street near St. Mary’s Cathedral to receive honorary title “Bishop Sheen Dr.”

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen is pictured in an undated file photo. (CNS)

A three-block section of N.E. Madison Avenue in Peoria from the Spalding Pastoral Center to St. Mary’s Cathedral will soon bear the honorary title of “Bishop Fulton Sheen Dr.” The public is invited to a brief ceremony in front of the cathedral, 607 N.E. Madison, at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 4, during which the […]

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Distinguished Teacher: Kathy Mazander makes learning fun at St. Mary, Kickapoo

During at-home learning, Kathy Mazander of St. Mary's School in Kickapoo found a way to keep her students excited by wearing different hats and accessories. (Provided photo)

KICKAPOO — Rolling with day-to-day change is something Kathy Mazander is used to. As the teacher of a combined first and second grade classroom at St. Mary School here, keeping lots of little minds engaged at different levels requires fast thinking and an element of fun. At-home learning over the last year has added a […]

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