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Children’s ADA to support Totus Tuus, Emmaus Days, Priests Pedaling for Prayers

The sight of three bicycling young priests energized school communities around the Diocese of Peoria the last two springs. This year, young Catholics will have a chance to support the Priests Pedaling for Prayers in a new way even before the ride begins. The pedaling priests are one of three vocations programs that will benefit […]

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Gradual process took him to seminary and now he tells others: ‘Be not afraid’

Nicholas Conner, a graduate of Holy Family School in Peoria and Peoria Notre Dame, was accepted as a seminarian for the Diocese of Peoria last year and is studying at Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland. (Photo by Nellie Photography)

Nicholas Conner tried to ignore it, but God’s call to explore the priesthood wouldn’t go away. “In moments of prayer and contemplation, that’s how it would always come back,” said the Peoria native and graduate of Holy Family School and Peoria Notre Dame. “I could never shake it.” Now he doesn’t want to. Accepted as […]

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Priests Pedaling for Prayers reach finish line, recall blessings of 275-mile trek

Members of the track team from Holy Cross School in Mendota ran with Father Michael Pica, Father Tom Otto, Father Adam Cesarek and Deacon Matt Levy as they completed last year's Priests Pedaling for Prayers ride across the Diocese of Peoria. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

After riding through snow, wind and rain for much of the first three days, the Priests Pedaling for Prayers started to pick up some sunshine on the fourth day of their 275-mile journey and finished strong on “a perfect day” in Mendota on April 20. That seemed appropriate in the middle of the Easter Season, […]

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Diocese is blessed with 9 new seminarians as vocation awareness seeds take root

The nine men accepted as seminarians for the Diocese of Peoria last fall all have different stories. The good news of their vocation interest is "obviously the work of prayer and the great support of the people of the Diocese of Peoria," said Father Patrick Henehan, vocation director of recruitment.

Seeds planted at last year’s Hundredfold Workshop to raise awareness of vocations have started to blossom, with nine more men accepted as seminarians for the Diocese of Peoria. Sent to Mount St. Mary Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, last fall were: Chip Chipman of St. Patrick Church of Merna, Bloomington; Nathan Hopper of Epiphany, Normal; Justin […]

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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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Emmaus Days drew 136 this summer to consider God’s plan for their lives

High school freshmen and sophomores from around the diocese pray the rosary during Session III of Emmaus Days at Peoria Notre Dame High School. This was the first year Notre Dame hosted two sessions of the vocation awareness summer retreats. (Provided photo)

More than 130 boys and young men were challenged to seek Christ and His plan for their lives during four Emmaus Days vocation awareness retreats this summer sponsored by the diocesan Office of Priestly Vocations. While the first two sessions for college-aged men and juniors and seniors in high school took place at Nazareth House […]

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Priests complete ‘incredible’ ride across diocese to inspire prayers for vocations

After riding a little more than 340 miles over five days, Father Michael Pica, Father Adam Cesarek and Father Tom Otto stand just inside Indiana on April 28, bringing “Priests Pedaling for Prayers” to a close. Behind them is one of the support vehicles that accompanied them on the joureny to raise prayers for and awareness of vocations. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

After riding their bicycles a little more than 340 miles over five days, three young priests of the Diocese of Peoria sailed across the Indiana state line on April 28, bringing “Priests Pedaling for Prayers” to a close. “It does seem a little surreal,” said Father Tom Otto of Monmouth at journey’s end. “Things like […]

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Pedaling priests to bike across diocese April 24-28 seeking vocation prayers

In training for their 350-mile ride across the Diocese of Peoria, (from left) Father Tom Otto, Father Adam Cesarek and Father Michael Pica pause long enough for a photo in front of the Spalding Pastoral Center in Peoria. (Provided photo/Amy Chovan, Office of Priestly Vocations)

Being a priest has made Father Michael Pica, Father Adam Cesarek and Father Tom Otto so happy that they are preparing to share their joy with people from Rock Island to Danville — literally. The three priests will spend the Second Week of Easter riding their bikes 350 miles across the Diocese of Peoria to […]

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Seminarian Danny McShane strives to be transformed by God’s love, share it

Danny McShane of Lincoln is studying to be a priest for the Diocese of Peoria at Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland. (Photo by Nellie Photography)

Danny McShane already has a wealth of experience to bring to priestly ministry. A seminarian at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, he organized Mount2000, a eucharistic retreat offered entirely by the seminarians for more than 1,000 high school students, this year. For the last two summers, he has been responsible for running Emmaus […]

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College students take ‘next step’ in discerning God’s plan at retreat

As part of the Next Step Discernment Retreat, students were invvited to meet individually with the priests, married couple and consecrated women present. Here Theresa Ponichi visits with Sister M. Karolyn Nunes, FSGM. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was part of “Vocations 2017,” a special section of the March 26 edition of The Catholic Post. To see the entire section, click on the Post’s “E-Edition” link. CHAMPAIGN — God has a unique plan for each person’s life and 80 college students spent a recent Saturday considering what that might be […]

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