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‘Distinguished’ Rock Island pastor always ‘a big fan of Catholic education’

Msgr. Mark Merdian, pastor of St. Pius X in Rock Island, shows students from Jordan Catholic School what can be found in a sacristy. "As a priest, you're always teaching," said the Distinguished Pastor of the Year. (Provided photo)

ROCK ISLAND — Most Wednesday afternoons you can find Msgr. Mark Merdian at Jordan Catholic School, where he teaches religion. He had the seventh-graders before the Christmas break, and is working with the eighth-graders this semester. It’s not really an option for him. “Ever since I’ve become a pastor, I’ve made a commitment to teach […]

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Schools’ office names distinguished principal, pastor, and teacher of year

Dr. Noreen Dillon is congratulated by students at St. Mark School in Peoria on Principal Appreciation Day after learning that she had been named Distinguished Principal of the Year by the diocesan Office of Catholic Schools. Also recognized were Msgr. Mark Merdian, pastor of St. Pius X School in Rock Island, as Distinguished Pastor of the Year, and James Taber, longtime science teacher at Central Catholic High School in Bloomington, as Distinguished Teacher of the Year.

In the season of thanksgiving, the Office of Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Peoria is recognizing three people who have given many years of service to Catholic schools. They are Msgr. Mark Merdian, pastor of St. Pius X School in Rock Island, Distinguished Pastor of the Year; Dr. Noreen Dillon of St. Mark School […]

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Sacred Heart, Moline, reenacts historic 1919 cornerstone laying celebration

Msgr. Mark Merdian, vicar of the Rock Island Vicariate, waves as he portrays Belgian Cardinal Désiré Joseph Mercier in an Oct. 20 reenactment of ceremonies that took place 100 years ago when the cornerstone of Sacred Heart Church in Moline (seen in the background) was blessed. Helping to recreate the cardinal's arrival at the close of a parade was a vintage 1917 Velie automobile owned and driven by Sacred Heart parishioners Neil and Perrine West. (The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody)

MOLINE — A century after a “great historical event” took place at the corner of 17th Avenue and 13th Street, it happened again. And while that wasn’t really World War I hero Belgian Cardinal Désiré Joseph Mercier waving to cheering crowds that lined both sides of 17th Avenue, the joy and the hope for the […]

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‘Humanae Vitae’ conference speakers urge courage in living teaching on sexuality

Damon Owens, keynote speaker for a dicoesan conference celebrating the 50th anniversary of Blessed Paul VI's encyclical "Humanae Vitae," makes a point during one of his three presentations Aug. 18 at the Spalding Pastoral Center in Peoria. (The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody)

Acknowledging that to question contraception in today’s culture is “like talking against toothpaste and deodorant,” speakers at a diocesan conference celebrating the 50th anniversary of “Humanae Vitae” invited Catholics to approach the issue with an open heart and faithfully follow Blessed Paul VI’s “clear and true teaching on the meaning of human sexuality.” “I invite […]

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Diocese sets conference Aug. 18 to revisit ‘Humanae Vitae’ on its 50th anniversary

Pope Paul VI is pictured in this undated photo. In conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the late pope's landmark encyclical, "Humanae Vitae," the Diocese of Peoria is sponsoring a daylong conference Aug. 18 to explain why the teaching remains more relevant than ever. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

It may be 50 years old but don’t let the age of “Humanae Vitae,” the groundbreaking document by Pope Paul VI, fool you. It’s more relevant today than ever before, according to diocesan officials who are planning a conference for Saturday, Aug. 18, to help people understand why. Sponsored by the diocesan Office of Respect […]

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At Jubilarian Mass, priests of the diocese mark milestone years of loving, serving

Father Stephen Willard, pastor of St. Patrick in Washington and St. Monica in East Peoria, sings the Hymn of Thanksgiving, "O God, Beyond All Praising," at the annual Jubilarian Mass on June 21. One of six priests celebrating 25 years of ordination this year, Father Willard will soon begin a new assignment as pastor of St. Vincent de Paul, Peoria. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

Love was at the heart of Msgr. Mark Merdian’s homily at the annual Jubilarian Mass on June 21 — the love that Jesus has for all people and the love that priests are called to give in imitation of the Good Shepherd. “In every parish where I have loved my people as Jesus loved and […]

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‘Sewing for Jesus’ binds Jordan Catholic, Rock Island, with school in Tanzania

Ann McConachie of the Amka Afrika School Foundation talks to members of Sewing for Jesus, a club at Jordan Catholic School in Rock Island, about the Tanzanian children and school they are assisting. The retired teacher took the sundresses the Jordan students made to the East African nation May 23 and will remain until Aug. 9. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

ROCK ISLAND — Beating the heat is something the children of Amka Afrika School in Babati, Tanzania, work at most of the year. They will have help soon, however, thanks to the children of Jordan Catholic School and Sewing for Jesus. The club, started last September by fourth grade teacher Debbie Patronagio, taught the students […]

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