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Emotional tribute as end of school year in diocese marked with Mass, luncheon

Patti Simmons hugs Father Kyle Lucas after the chaplain's emotional tribute to her husband, Randy Simmons, who was honored posthumously as the 2019 Distinguished Principal of the Year. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

When it comes to leaving a legacy, perhaps there is none better than “to let Jesus Christ be known and loved,” and that’s how the principals and pastors of schools around the Diocese of Peoria remembered a dear friend and colleague gone too soon. “I think Randy Simmons’ legacy is that you go to Peoria […]

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United in prayer, grief, Peoria Notre Dame honors generosity of Coach Sean Gillen

Peoria Notre Dame alumnus and coach Sean Gillen went into cardiac arrest on May 6 and died this weekend. He made it possible for others to live by donating his organs through Gift of Hope. (Photo/Peoria Notre Athletics)

In life, Sean Gillen was joyful, determined and generous, and that didn’t stop after his death on May 11. The Peoria Notre Dame graduate and assistant coach made the decision to help others by being an organ donor. On Saturday afternoon, a purple flag bearing the logo of Gift of Hope was raised in his […]

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#PNDtogether: A grieving community unites in prayer, love, remembrance

In the week between Randy Simmons' Feb. 19 death and Feb. 26 funeral, students at Peoria Notre Dame High School found creative ways to support and encourage one another, and pay tribute to their beloved principal. (Provided photo)

The morning after his death, Randy Simmons was remembered during an all-school Mass at Peoria Notre Dame High School, where he had served as principal for six years. Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, was the main celebrant for the liturgy and in his homily he called Simmons “a gifted educator” and man of strong faith. […]

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Msgr. Ketcham’s influence on vocations recalled by young priests, seminarians

Msgr. Gregory Ketcham celebrates Mass at St. John's Chapel in Champaign in this file photo from St. John's Catholic Newman Center. Msgr. Ketcham, who died Feb. 8 at the age of 50, was known for promoting vocations in the way he lived the Gospel and celebrated Mass. (Provided photo/Greg Taylor)

In more than two decades of ministry, Msgr. Gregory Ketcham touched countless lives. Among them were the many students at St. John’s Catholic Newman Center in Champaign who discerned their vocation to the priesthood, consecrated life and holy marriages from the way he celebrated Mass and boldly proclaimed the Gospel with his life during his […]

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