Monday, November 6, 2017

Nov. 9-12: Rosary High School presents "The Sound of Music":

AURORA--Rosary High School will come alive with The Sound of Music as the school presents this heart-warming musical November 9-12 at Rosary’s McEnroe Auditorium, 901 N. Edgelawn Dr. in Aurora.

The Sound of Music has captured the hearts of audiences of all ages. This classic and endearing musical is based on the true story of Maria Rainer, a spirited young postulant who was sent to serve as a governess for Captain Von Trapp, a widower with seven children. Rodgers and Hammerstein's inspirational musical features favorites such as "Climb Every Mountain," "Edelweiss," "My Favorite Things," "Sixteen Going on Seventeen," and, of course, "The Sound of Music."

The production team includes Megan Drahos, producer, vocal and orchestra director, and director Laura Biancalana, both teachers at Rosary High School.

The cast, crew, and pit orchestra includes more than 90 students from Rosary High School and Marmion Academy in Aurora.  Music is provided by members of the Rosary Symphony Orchestra, the Rosary Chamber Orchestra, and the Marmion-Rosary Band, as well as some local musicians. Several Rosary faculty and staff members will make a cameo appearance as abbey nuns.

Show dates are Thursday, November 9, at 6 pm; Friday, November 10 at 7 p.m., Saturday, November 11 at 7 p.m., and Sunday, November 12 at 2 p.m. Show tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students and senior citizens.

Saturday evening features a pre-show wine reception with hot hors d'oeuvres, an opportunity for photos with the cast, and a dessert reception during intermission. A family Picnic in Vienna is planned for Sunday at Noon. Pre-registration is required. Both events are fundraisers sponsored by the Rosary Fine Arts Boosters.

Tickets are available online at Tickets may also be purchased by mail and in the Rosary school office. An order form can be found online. For additional information, call the school at (630) 896-0831.

This production marks the fifth time Rosary has staged The Sound of Music in its 55-year history. Cast members from previous shows in 1970, 1979, 1989 and 2009 have been invited and will be recognized at the performances and at the surrounding special events. If you were in one of these shows, please contact the school to let us know you'll be attending at

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Oct. 15: Celebrity organist to perform at St. Catherine of Siena

WEST DUNDEE— Organ maestro Hector Olivera will perform at 3 p.m., Oct. 15, at St. Catherine of Siena Parish, 845 W. Main St., here.
The concert is free but donations to subsidize future organ concerts will be appreciated.
Olivera is a world-renown improviser who can spontaneously generate imaginative, complex compositions. 
As the son of an organist, Olivera started playing the organ at age 3 and entered the Buenos Aires Conservatory at age 6. 
He grew up without access to much printed/published organ music. As a boy, he listened to and transcribed great organ symphonies and concertos.
As an adult, he has played every important organ in every distinguished church and concert hall in the world.
He is known for astonishing keyboard velocity and his savant like musical gifts.  He has been known to say, “Hold onto your hats, this is going to be loud and fast”.
Olivera's concert is being co-sponsored by Allen Organs and Allen Organs of Chicago (Bolingbrook). 
Info: 847/426-2217.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Oct. 14: Erie hosts chicken bar-b-q

St. Ambrose Parish will host a chicken bar-b-q on Oct. 14. Serving will be from 4 to 6 p.m. in the church hall at the corner of Fifth and Main streets.
One-half or one-quarter chicken will be swerved with potato salad, cole slaw, dinner roll, dessert and beverage for a donation.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Oct. 1: Join a Life Chain on Respect Life Sunday

October is Respect Life Month.
Show your support of life -- from conception to natural death -- by joining a Life Chain at a parish near you.
These parishes in the Rockford Diocese have told us they're hosting a Life Chain.
AURORA: 2:30 p.m.; all area churches; meet at East New York Street and Oakhurst Drive. Info: Chuck Jones, 630/896-3826.
BELVIDERE: 2 p.m., St. James; meet at State Street bridge; pick up signs in Salvation Army parking lot. Info: Dennis Sullivan, 815/793-1386
DIXON: 1:45 p.m., all area churches, sponsored by Lee County Right to Life; meet at shelter in John Dixon Park on Galena Avenue at Chamberlin. Signs available. Join prayer group. Info: Margaret Brechon, 815/288-1156,
ELBURN: 1:30 p.m., St. Gall, 43W885 Hughes Road. Rosary before Life Chain; serving angel food cake and beverages afterward (in honor of Guardian Angels Day Oct. 2). Info: Darlene Biggs, 630/365-6030,
FREEPORT: 12 noon, Aquin Catholic Schools PAWS, for all area parishes; meet at West Avenue and Stephenson Street. Info: Connie Gogel, 815/275-9831,
GENEVA: 2 p.m., St. Peter; meet at corner of Illinois Rts. 64 and 25. Info: Kathy Rizzo, 630/610-0027,
MARENGO: 12:30 p.m., Sacred Heart Parish; meet at corner of Illinois Rtes. 20 and 23.  Info: Barbara Weidner, 815/601-8800,
MCHENRY: 2:30 p.m., McHenry Life Chain for McHenry parishes; meet at Richmond Road and Illinois Rte 120. Signs available at St Mary, 1401  N. Richmond  Road. Prayers at 2:20 p.m. Info: Karen Verr, 815/355-5481
RICHMOND: 2:30 p.m., St. Joseph, 10519 N. Main. St.; signs provided, arrive early to choose a sign. Info: Laura Brumm, 262/374-9338, BRUMMLL@LIVE.COM
ROCKFORD: 2 p.m., area parishes; meet at Holy Famiily, corner of Highcrest and Alpine roads. Signs available. Info: Joann Lewis, 815/978-1239,
ST. CHARLES: 2 p.m., St. John Neumann; meet at corner of Illinois Rt. 64 and Kirk Road. Gather early for blessing; refreshments available afterward. Signs provided; bring chairs and blankets (optional). Info: Rebecca Hendershott, 847/309-5656,
WONDER LAKE: 11:15 a.m., Christ the King Church; Hancock Drive at Wonder Lake Road; meet at Subway parking lot to pick up signs. Info: 815/653-2561

National info:

Oct. 3: Boylan hosts Notre Dame Club speaker

Father Ron Nuzzi, a priest of the Youngstown Diocese in Ohio will speak at Boylan Central Catholic High School in Rockford on Oct. 3. His talk is sponsored by the Notre Dame Club of Rockford.
Father Nuzzi's talk is titled "Only the Strong Can be Gentle: Toward Spirituality for Leadership."
He is a senior director in the Alliance for Catholic Education at Notre Dame University. He is also affiliated with the University of Dayton and St. Louis University.
Admission is free and open to the public. Doors of the auditorium will open at 6:30 p.m. Father Nuzzi's talk will begin at 7 p.m.

Oct. 14: Learn to identify, help victims of domestic abuse

Gloria Lange will discussion identifying forms of domestic abuse and ways to help families caught up in it at a presentation Oct. 14 at St. Peter Parish, 1891 Kaneville Road in Geneva.
The discussion will begin with refreshments at 9 a.m., with the talk beginning at 9:30 a.m.
Lange is a licensed clinical social worker, Catholic therapist and registered nurse.
The session is sponsored by the Domestic Abuse Ministry of St. Peter Parish.
Babysitting is available.

Oct. 7: Red Ribbon Fair

Boylan Central Catholic High School will be the site of the annual Red Ribbon Fun Fair, 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Oct. 7.
The family fair promotes drug prevention and wellness through games and other activities. There will be pizza samples (while supplies last) and a chance to screen a t-shirt that says, "Be a Buddy ... Not a Bully."
The free fair begins with a ceremony honoring Rockford Firefighters at 10:30 a.m.
Schools in the Rockford Diocese are among supporters of the fair.
Boylan is at 4000 St. Francis Dr. in Rockford.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Oct. 27: Human Trafficking Seminar

Katariina Rosenblatt
The Rockford Diocesan Council of Catholic Women is hosting "Tackling the Issue of Human Trafficking," a seminar on Oct. 27, at Giovanni’s, 610 N. Bell School Road in Rockford.  
Featured speaker will be Katariina Rosenblatt, PhD, LLM,  a victim and survivor of sex trafficking who founded a survivor to survivor outreach and mentoring program called There is H.O.P.E. for Me.   
Also presenting is Rockford Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (RAASE) a group that helps survivors, showing them a way out of “The Life.”
After lunch a panel of law enforcement and social service professionals will be moderated by Paul Logli.
The program runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.   
Reservations are $25, which includes lunch. Send a check payable to RDCCW to Trafficking Committee, PO Box 976, Roscoe, IL 61073.  
For more information email:  
Registration deadline is Oct. 19.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Oct. 1: Belvidere to hold Life Chain


(Observer file photo)
The 21st annual Belvidere Life Chain will be Oct. 1, 2-3:30 p.m. 
Organizers are asking everyone to gather at the State Street bridge to form a Life Chain and focus awareness on the evils of abortion. 
It is an opportunity to spend an hour and half in silent prayer and publicly witness to God's gift of life and His love for all. 
Signs will be provided and parking is available at Salvation Army's parking lot. 
If you have any questions, call Dennis Sullivan at 815/93-1386.

Note: We inadvertently included this Life Chain event in the St. Vincent de Paul Society Friends of the Poor Walks in the Oct. 22 issue of the paper. We apologize for the error.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Oct. 8: Newman Center celebrates namesake

The Newman Center at Christ the Teacher University Parish at Northern Illinois University will celebrate the Feast of Cardinal John Newman Oct. 8 at 4 p.m., starting with a 5K run.
The run will start and end at the Newman Center, 512 Normal Road in DeKalb.
When the first runners return, the festival will begin.
Local businesses and organizations will have booths with free food, samples, games and items for sale. Musicians will perform from 4:30 to 7 p.m. The Newman missionary team will host games, including bags, ultimate Frisbee, baskeball and volleyball.
A presentation about Cardinal Newman will begin at 7 p.m., followed by Mass at 9 p.m.
Learn more at

Oct. 7: Ecumenical brunch focuses on human trafficking

“Human Trafficking: Move it! Speak it! Pray it! Stop it!” is the topic of the 21st annual Ecumenical Benefit Brunch on Oct. 7 at Trinity Lutheran Church, 200 North First St., in Rockford.
Guest speaker is Kimberly Ackmann, deputy court administrator for the 17th Judicial Circuit Court of Illinois. 
Jimmie Getter and Sam Thomas of Rockford Sexual Assault Counseling, Inc., and Brittney Fry of Rockford Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, will hold a question-and-answer session.
Registration is at 8:30 a.m. The brunch and program will run from 9-11:30 a.m. Cost is $10, and optional donations of travel-size toiletries will benefit local agencies.
The annual brunch is co-sponsored by the Rockford Deanery Council of Catholic Women and the Northern Illinois Synod, Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, as one way to honor a covenant made in 1992 by the late Bishop Arthur J. O’Neill of the Rockford Diocese and former Bishop Ronald K. Hasley of the Northern Illinois Synod of ELCA.
The brunch is open to men and women of all faiths. Reservations are due by Sept. 29. Send checks payable to RDCCW to Peg Hyser, 3512 Swan Tr., Rockford, IL 61103. For more info, call 815/997-3780.

Oct. 9-10: Belvidere to host parish mission

St. James Parish in Belvidere will be hosting a Parish Mission on Oct. 9-10. Their guest will be Mother Olga of the Sacred Heart. Mother Olga will also visit with the children of St. James School during her visit. 
Heralded as the Mother Teresa of the Americas, this Iraqi-born holy woman survived four wars before coming to the States and eventually becoming a U.S. citizen. In 2009, she received permission from Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley to start a new apostolate called Nazareth House on the campus of Boston University. Nazareth House is a place of discernment and prayer for young women. 
In 2011, the cardinal entrusted to her the mission of establishing a new religious community of sisters in the Archdiocese of Boston, the Daughters of Mary of Nazareth, an apostolic community that is also contemplative and making an impact, not only in Boston, but throughout the states.  
One of her most recent notable speaking engagements took place at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast where she spoke alongside Vice President Mike Pence.  
Mother Olga tells a powerful message to the Church and to our nation. 
Join St. James parishioners in welcoming her at 7:00 p.m., Oct. 9 and 10 at St. James, 402 Church St. in Belvidere. 

Welcome to What's Up Plus

Several years ago, the late Bishop Thomas G. Doran approved a cost-saving measure for The Observer. He allowed us to skip editions on fifth Fridays. But this has invariably led to missed items. So this blog is a way we can try to fill those gaps. We hope you like this addition to The Observer's online offerings.
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