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Bushnell priest’s Nativity village ‘hobby’ invites people deeper into ‘living reality’

"Christ was born just like any other child. . . . This is not God pretending to be a human being. It is God who becomes one of us," says Father Patrick O'Neal, whose Fontanini Nativity village has 300 figurines and about 60 structures. (Provided photo)

BUSHNELL — Anyone who wants to know what Father Patrick O’Neal’s hobby is need only visit St. Bernard Church, where he is the pastor, and walk down the center aisle. Throughout Advent he has been sharing his Fontanini Nativity village, complete with 300 figurines and about 60 structures, with parishioners and members of the community. […]

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WIU Newman Center students fill CCD teaching need at St. Bernard, Bushnell

Sophie Peterson, Joe Hoerdeman and Maggie Wallace are students from the St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Newman Center at Western Illinois University who are completing a year of teaching CCD at St. Bernard Parish in Bushnell. (Provided photo)

BUSHNELL — When St. Bernard Parish here switched from a home-based faith formation program to a classroom setting for religious education a year ago, Father Dominic Vitaliano turned to college students at Western Illinois University in Macomb to help fill a need for teachers. It turned out to be a winning idea, not only for […]

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