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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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Benedictine’s ‘eclectic’ Christmas village puts Nativity at the center of it all

Sister Mary Core, OSB, said it delights her to watch children enter into “the wonderland of little houses and people and motion” of her Christmas village at St. Mary Monastery in Rock Island. (Provided photo)

ROCK ISLAND — Benedictine Sister Mary Core didn’t start out to make a Christmas village that enchants children and adults who visit St. Mary Monastery from late Advent through the Christmas season. It just sort of happened. What is more intentional is the focus on why Christmas is such a meaningful — as well as […]

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Spring Valley parish prays for pastor critically injured in automobile accident

Father Robert Spilman

Father Robert Spilman, pastor of Nativity of Our Lord Parish in Spring Valley, remained in critical condition at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria on Tuesday after sustaining injuries in a two-vehicle accident on March 17 on U.S. 6 east of Princeton. A prayer service for his recovery took place after 6:30 p.m. Stations […]

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