Monday, June 3, 2019

June 5: Scout award classes begin

Religious awards classes: 7-8:30 p.m. (Wednesdays starting June 5 through September); St. Bridget, 600 Clifford Ave. Scouts in the Blackhawk Area Council will be studying for their Ad Altare Dei (seventh- though ninth-grade) and Pope Pius XII (10 th- through 12 th-grade) awards. Additional classes in planning for Crystal Lake, Cary and Sterling areas. 
Cost: $6 for book; $14 for medal. 
Info: Cindy Chiodini,

Monday, April 29, 2019

An open letter from Bishop David Malloy: Act for Your Faith

Read Bishop David Malloy's letter about the Rockford Diocese's attempt to maintain use of its property for religious purposes. Then, join others in complying with his closing request: I invite you all to contact the members of the City Council before May 6 at I also invite as many as are able to attend the next meeting of the full Rockford City Council set for May 6 at 5:30 p.m., at City Hall, 425 E. State St. in Rockford.

TOP RIGHT: The building today has missing windows and boarded up doors (not seen in this photo).
BOTTOM RIGHT: In 1929, the Diocese of Rockford created a facade with an extension around an old brick house on its Court Street property to use as a chancery.
(Observer photos/diocesan archives)

Act for Your Faith

I write today to ask the people of this diocese to join me in asking the members of the Rockford City Council to vote to deny the petitions filed by the Friends of Ziock to landmark the former chancery, former convent and the Cathedral of St. Peter School, all located on the Cathedral of St. Peter campus in Rockford.
Because the Cathedral of St. Peter School is still in use by its kindergarten through eighth-grade students there is no current plan other than to finish the school year. Both the former convent and chancery have been vacant for many years. 
Potential uses for these buildings have been discussed repeatedly over the years. According to laws and procedures of the Church, possible uses and decisions about these properties have been discussed with the appropriate commissions. The Cathedral of St. Peter pastoral and finance councils voted to raze the former convent after being cited for four code violations by the City of Rockford. The parish determined that the cost to repair and continually maintain a building that has outlived its usefulness was a financial burden to the parish. 
The Diocese of Rockford came to the same determination about the former chancery. And so, to minimize the disruption caused by demolition and to save costs, it was decided by the diocesan finance and presbyteral councils to raze the chancery at the same time. 
To fulfill requests to beautify the campus in accord with our religious faith, we commissioned plans for the old chancery space that would include prayer gardens and a grotto honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary under her title of the Immaculate Conception who is patroness both to the Diocese of Rockford and the United States. Another prayer garden honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe would also be constructed in place of the former convent. In addition, up to 24 parking stalls would be added. 
These public prayer spaces would extend the public expression of our faith both to the Cathedral parishioners and all who visit the Cathedral from all 11 counties that make up our diocese. These beautiful renovations would enhance the neighborhood far more than vacant buildings for which we have no ministerial use and which we cannot afford to maintain.
Those who oppose our plan to raze these unused, decaying and costly buildings have suggested they be allowed to develop them for commercial or public residential use. This of course would require the diocese and the Cathedral parish to sell or lease the campus land not to mention the buildings. The breaking up of the cathedral campus would not fulfill the mission of the Church which rightfully and lawfully has owned the property since the turn of the 20th century … long before the petitioners were even born. And landmarking the buildings would thwart our plan to create an outdoor grotto and prayer garden to exercise the faith and would impede future use by the Diocese of Rockford and the Cathedral of St. Peter, which is the spiritual center of our diocese and spiritual seat of the Bishop of Rockford. 
Some have criticized us for wanting to use our land for parking for the Cathedral parish but this is a need for our parishioners and our guests as we saw last week during Holy Week. Selling off part or all of the Cathedral campus would certainly not address this need. In fact, it would hinder the access and decimate any future plan for the Cathedral parish.
Most importantly, the buildings are old, but they are not historic. They were used by the diocese and its offices but they are not churches and they are not sacred spaces. 
However, landmarking the buildings requires that we preserve them, and denies our right to determine the best use of our buildings and property as we have since the diocese was established. We believe the footprint of these old buildings will be filled with many hours of sacred prayer and religious celebration. 
So I ask the people of all 11 counties of this diocese to join me in asking the Rockford City Council to deny the petition for landmark status, thereby allowing the Church to continue to use its land and buildings to further the faith now and in the generations to come as it has in generations past.

I invite you all to contact the members of the City Council before May 6 at I also invite as many as are able to attend the next meeting of the full Rockford City Council set for May 6 at 5:30 p.m., at City Hall, 425 E. State St. in Rockford.

Monday, April 1, 2019

April 4, 6, 13: Diocesan Chorale rehearsals for Chrism Mass

DIOCESE--Singers (SATB) may join the Rockford Diocesan Chorale for its performance at the Chrism Mass, April 18, at the Cathedral of St. Peter,  1243 N. Church St. in Rockford. Rehearsals are:

THURSDAY, APRIL 4:   ST. PETER, GENEVA - 7:00 to 9:00 PM in the McCORMICK ROOM.  Go in the narthex and take the elevator downstairs.  You will see a sign for the McCormick Room.  I will also post signs.



THURSDAY, APRIL 18, CHRISM MASS:  CALL at 8:30 AM to REHEARSE.  Short break at 10:00 AM for about 30 minutes or so, then Mass at 11:00 AM.

Please be ready at rehearsal to practice the Tallis "If Ye Love Me."  If you have not already joined the Schola, please let me know at the rehearsal that you are interested.  Requirements:

1.  Be able to read music, ability to stay on pitch in a small group of singers, and confidence singing in a small group (12-16 vocalists).

2.  Commitment to learn your part outside of rehearsal.  Our rehearsal time is to solidify the choral sound, NOT to teach parts.

3.  Preferred if you had some experience singing polyphony and Latin, but if you haven't we will teach you.

4.  Willingness to stay after scheduled regular rehearsal time for about 30 minutes to practice with the others.

STILL IN NEED OF AN ALTO SECTION LEADER!  ​If you or anyone you know is an alto, has the ability to read music, is strong in sight-reading, and is a leader vocally, please have that person send me an e-mail or call me at the Cathedral.

INFO: Valerie Holland, director of music for special events, Diocese of Rockford​,

Thursday, March 28, 2019

April 2: Church sex abuse discussion

ROCKFORD--A discussion, "Sex Abuse in the Catholic Church," will be held at 6:30 p.m., April 2, at Rockford University's Fisher Memorial Chapel. 
Father Beauvais
The discussion will be led by Father David Beauvais, long time priest and retired pastor of St.James Parish, and moderated by Kevin Hass, Rockford Register Star metro editor.
Dick Kunnert, who is the former victim assistance coordinator for the Rockford Diocese, and Ruth Kolpack, a former pastoral associate of St. Thomas in Beloit, Wis., will also contribute to the discussion.
This panel may provide perspective and answers to those perplexed about the issues surrounding the abuse.
The program is free and open to the public. Sponsors are Rockford Urban Ministries and the Dominican Associates of Sinsinawa.

What: Sex Abuse in the Catholic Church
When: Tuesday, April 2, 2019, 6:30 p.m.
Where: Fisher Memorial Chapel, Rockford University

April 6: Dixon KC hosts cookout

DIXON--From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 6, the Dixon Knights of Columbus Council 690 will have a cook-out fundraiser at Oliver’s Corner Market in Dixon.  The money raised will be for the Catholic Education Scholarship fund.  
Workers are needed for the event.  Volunteers shousd call  Tim Oliver at 815.440.8360 if they can help during any part of the day. Setup will start about 8:30 a.m. 
They are also asking people to bring baked goods for the accompanying bake sale. 
The menu will include ribeye steaks, pork chops, hamburgers, hot dogs, and brats.  
Everyone is invited to stop by for lunch.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

March 28: Asylum seekers talk in Rockford

ROCKFORD--Holy Family Parish, 4401 Highcrest Road here, will host a talk about asylumn seekers at 7 p.m. March 28. Speakers will be parishioners Linda Zuba, an attorney who has worked at an imigrant detention center in Texas, and Patrick Winn, director of Rockford Diocese Catholic Charities.
Discussion will cover topics, including:
Why do they flee their countrie?
Which countries are they primarily coming from?
What is asylum?
Who qualifies for asylum?
What is happening now at the southern border with asylum seekers?
There will be a chance to ask questions.
Info: 815.398.4280

April 5: Chosen performing at Rosary HS

(Photo provided)
AURORA--Chosen, a high-energy band playing today’s popular Christian music, will perform an evening of Contemporary Praise and Worship Music at 7 p.m. April 5 at Rosary High School's McEnroe Auditorium, 901 N. Edgelawn Dr., here.
The band is made up of Andy Divin (guitar/vocals), Larry Jennings (guitar), Melissa Silvia (vocals),  Kristin Fitzgerald (vocals), Todd Whittmer (guitar), Michael Barbel (bass), Dennis Owen(guitar/vocals), and Rosary's own Scott Wade (drums). 
Chosen formed about nine years ago when these musicians answered God's call to share His abundant love and grace through the gift of music, Wade said. "Leading praise and worship music for some Masses at St. Mary Plano and St. Patrick Yorkville has been the base and heartbeat of our band."
Free, open to the public. Doors open at 6 pm. 

Monday, March 25, 2019

April 1: Cemetery clean up in Tampico

Cemetery Cleanup is April 1 at St. Mary Cemetery in Tampico. Please remove winter decorations. Also, grave blankets need to be removed immediately to prevent grass kill.
Info: St Mary Rectory, 815.438.5425

April 7, 12-14: Passion play in Genoa

(Observer file photo)
St. Catherine of Genoa Parish will present a full, theatrical performance of Christ’s Passion based on the Gospels at 2 p.m. April 7, 1 p.m. April 13, 2 p.m.  April 14 and 4 p.m. April 19 at  at 340 S. Stott St. in Genoa. 
The photo is from the 2018 play.Donations will be accepted. 
Info: 815.784.2355

April 5-7: "Animal Farm" at Marian CCHS

(Mattias Zomer/Pexels)
Marian Central Catholic High School drama department will present George Orwell's "Animal Farm" at 7 p.m. April 5 and 6 and at 2 p.m. April 7. The school is at 1001 McHenry Ave. in Woodstock.  Directors are Christine Connell and Kasey Gallagher. They say the audience will be intrigued to watch the characters transform in full view on stage in the Marian CCHS auditorium. Tickets can be purchased 30 minutes before show time at the school box office. Cost is $10 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens.

April 6: Women's retreat in Morrison

St. Mary Parish, 13320 Garden Plain Road in Morrison, will host a Lent retreat from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on April 6. The topic is "Becoming a Woman of God." The retreat will lead participants to become the whole, holy and authentic self that God made them to be.
Cathleen Filipski will lead the retreat. She is serving in spiritual ministries through Scripture and prayer. She is a wife and mother of six children.
RSVPs are requested to plan for refreshments and lunch. Call 815.772.4890 or visit

Friday, March 22, 2019

March 24-28: St. Mary in Elgin hosts parish mission

(Photo provided)
St. Mary Parish in Elgin, 400 Fulton St., is having a parish mission beginning at 6:30 p.m. March 24, and continuing each eveining through March 28. The name of the mission is "Companions on the Journey" and the mission speaker is Father Peter Schavitz, CSsR, a Redemptorist priest from Chicago. 
Admission is free. Transportation and child care will be available at no cost. 
Each session will be followed by a social gathering in Binsfeld Hall featuring refreshments with a different food theme each night. 
Everyone is invited to attend.

Date: March 24, 25, 26, 27, 28
Time: 6:30-8 p.m.
Location: St. Mary, 400 Fulton St., Elgin, IL

Info: Chris Mattoon at (847) 888-2828
Web Site:

Friday, February 22, 2019

Feb. 27 and March 2: Diocesan Chorale rehearsal changes

Because both parishes needed to schedule funerals, the Feb. 27 and March 2 Diocesan Chorale rehearsals ahead of the Rite of Election have changed. 
The new schedule is:
Wednesday, Feb. 27: 7-9 p.m. at St. Peter in Geneva
Saturday, March 2: 12:15-2 p.m. at St. Catherine of Siena in West Dundee
Thursday, March 7, 7-9 p.m. at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Rockford.
The mandatory call for March 9 is still at 8:30 a.m. at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Rockford.
Info:Valerie Holland, choir director,