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Benedictines in Rock Island hope ‘virtual monastery’ tour leads to in-person visits

The Virtual Monastery Experience gives visitors an opportunity to see what St. Mary Monastery in Rock Island offers so they will feel more comfortable coming in person and perhaps considering religious life. (Provided photo/Mandle Design Inc.)

ROCK ISLAND — It’s a question Sister Stefanie MacDonald, OSB, is asked often when people find out she lives in a monastery: “Can I go there?” “They think they can’t go in,” said Sister Stefanie, director of vocations for the Benedictine Sisters of St. Mary Monastery in Rock Island and a preschool teacher at Our […]

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Benedictines host interfaith prayer service to ‘Keep Todas Familias Together’

Sister Sandra Brunenn, OSB, prioress of St. Mary Monastery in Rock Island (second from left), and guests are silent as the monastery bell tolls, calling them "in sadness to stand in solidarity with our suffering brothers and sisters" as an interfaith prayer service begins July 14. Sister Mary Core, OSB, (at left) serves as the master of ceremonies. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

ROCK ISLAND — With joined hearts and voices, the Benedictine Sisters of St. Mary Monastery and 60 women, men and children prayed last Saturday morning for the families that have been separated at the U.S. border and all those “who have fled their homes seeking freedom, employment, justice and peace.” “As we pray today for […]

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Artistically illustrated Bible volumes to be displayed in 2018 at Illinois Wesleyan

This is a page from one of seven books that make up the Heritage Edition of The Saint John's Bible. Two volumes of the artistic work will be displayed this year at the Ames Library at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington. (CNS/Bob Roller)

BLOOMINGTON — Throughout 2018, people in central Illinois will have an opportunity to see and explore the word of God in a new and exciting way when two volumes of the Heritage Edition of The Saint John’s Bible come to Illinois Wesleyan University. From January through June, “Gospels & Acts” will be displayed at the […]

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Sr. Mary Jean Feeney, OSB, Ivesdale native and longtime teacher, dies at 98

Sister Mary Jean Feeney, OSB

  ROCK ISLAND — A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated for Sister Mary Jean Feeney, OSB, at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, March 29, in the chapel of St. Mary Monastery. Burial will follow in Calvary Cemetery, Rock Island. Visitation is planned from 4 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 28, at the monastery, […]

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Funeral Mass at St. Bede Abbey for Father Ambrose Hessling, OSB

Father Ambrose Hessling, OSB

PERU — A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Jan. 4 at St. Bede Abbey Church here for Father Ambrose (Bernard) Hessling, OSB, a monk and priest of St. Bede Abbey. Father Ambrose died Saturday evening, Dec. 31, 2016. He was 85. Abbot Philip Davey, OSB, of St. Bede presided at the funeral liturgy. Interment […]

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Peoria native who has served in Mexico for 66 years renews vows as relatives visit

Led by her grandnephew Father Vincent Giiacabazi, SJ, Sister Mechtild Swearingen, OSB, left, renews the vows of her religious profession at Pan de Vida Monastery in Torreon, Mexico. (Provided photo)

Our Lady of Guadalupe is a thread running throughout Peoria native Sister Mechtild Swearingen’s remarkable 66 years of ministry in Mexico. The 1941 graduate of the Academy of Our Lady in Peoria, born Nora Jean Swearingen, was praying to Our Lady of Guadalupe when — in 1950 as a young  member of the Benedictine Sisters […]

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Father Harold Datzman, OSB, granted senior status; will return to St. Bede

Father Harold Datzman, OSB, is in St. Joseph Church in Peru, which he has refurbished with the help of parishioners. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

PERU — Expressing his gratitude for years of “generous service to the Diocese of Peoria,” Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, has granted senior status to Father Harold Datzman, OSB, pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Peru. Father Harold, 78, will return to St. Bede Abbey and be succeeded by Father Jacob Rose, who has been […]

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“Here I Am, Lord” composer shares stories, gift of music at Quad Cities appearances

Dan Schutte, who has written and recorded music as part of the St. Louis Jesuits and continues to compose liturgical music, told "those who minister at the Lord's Supper" that the most important thing they can do is to help the faithful "give thanks and praise to God, who has given us so much." (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

DAVENPORT, Iowa — Composer Dan Schutte was welcomed to the Christ the King Chapel at St. Ambrose University like an old friend as he led people through an evening of music and reflection on April 8. He made it clear from the beginning, however, that it wasn’t going to be a concert. “The music I’ve […]

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Benedictines, St. Ambrose to host Dan Schutte concert, workshop April 8, 9

Dan Schutte

ROCK ISLAND — A concert by composer Dan Schutte and workshop that will focus on how music can enhance liturgy will also help the Sisters of St. Benedict of St. Mary Monastery to establish a scholarship fund at Benet House Retreat Center to serve those in need. Partnering with them is St. Ambrose University Campus […]

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Catholic Sisters’ billboards on environmental awareness are politcally timely

This billboard, one of 22 sponsored by Catholic Sisters in the Upper Mississippi River Valley, is located in Rock Island. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

  ROCK ISLAND — With the eyes of many political analysts trained on Iowa, where the caucuses will be held Feb. 1, Catholic Sisters in the Upper Mississippi River Valley are hoping to catch a few of them with billboards reminding candidates, delegates and voters that care for the environment matters. “I see it as […]

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