Friday, May 18, 2018

May 22: Aquin CCHS opens assembly to the public

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FREEPORT--Aquin Catholic Schools, here, welcomes families, friends, and community members to join them for a special program at 10:45 a.m. May 22.  Lt. William Gleason will share his heroic and inspiring message.
 Lt. Gleason a highly decorated retired New York City Fire Department lieutenant and a World Trade Center rescuer. 
Lt. Gleason will talk about his experience on Sept. 11, 2001, and the time after the rescue and recovery operation. Lt. Gleason brings a positive inspirational message of hope from tragedy
His talk will be in the Aquin Central Catholic Junior/Senior High School auditorium. Visitors should use the Galena Street entrance.

Monday, April 2, 2018

April 7: Flea Market at St. Mary’s in Sycamore

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SYCAMORE--As warmer days approach, it means garage sale season is right around the corner. But you don’t have to wait for a nice day or drive all over for some good finds! Stop by St. Mary’s in Sycamore Flea Market on Saturday, April 7. Not only will you find some treasures you will be supporting a wonderful cause. Proceeds from this event will go towards St. Mary’s Youth Ministry 2018 Summer Mission trip.

“We would like to invite you to join our teens and our vendors for a day of shopping fun!  The Parish Activity Center will be filled with antiques, housewares, unique gadgets, holiday decor, baked goods, and much more,” explained Carolyne Schoen, St. Mary’s Youth Minister.

If you are spring cleaning and would like to donate items for the Flea Market, you can drop them off at 322 Waterman Street on April 2-3 between 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. or April 4-6 from 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Please note that clothes, large appliances, large furniture, electronics or gaw-powered equipment will not be accepted.

About 20 students will be going to New Orleans as part of a Catholic Heart Work Camp (CHWC) in June.  CHWC is an organization that offers quality service camps, serves people in need, and spiritually enriches the lives of Workcamp participants. Examples of work projects include painting, home maintenance and repairs, neighborhood revitalization, indoor/outdoor clean-up, helping with children in daycare centers for low income families, helping at centers that distribute food for the needy, and above all restoring hope to those who have none.

St. Mary’s Flea Market will be on Saturday, April 7 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 322 Waterman St. in Sycamore. For more information call Carolyne Schoen at 815/501-5480.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Illinois becomes a diocese in 1843

As Illinois celebrates its bicentennial this year, The Observer will present occasional features from Rockford Diocese history books.

The Provincial Council that assembled in Baltimore in May, 1843, finding that from the very great spread of the Catholic Church several additional Bishops were needed, passed a decree recommending the formation of the new Sees of Chicago, Illinois; Little Rock, Arkansas; Hartford, Connecticut; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and the Apostolic Vicariate of Oregon Territory. The recommendation of this Council was immediately acted upon in Rome, and accordingly in the following year the Apostolic letters for the consecration of the three new Bishops arrived in New York. They were consecrated on March 10, 1844 (including) the Rt. Rev. William Quarter, D.D., for the Diocese of Chicago.
When the new Bishop arrived in Chicago, accompanied by his brother, the Rev. Walter J. Quarter, the almost total absence of priests presented a disheartening problem, (says) the author of the Life of the Rt. Rev. William Quarter, D.D. (p. 48) ... .

Exerpts from the bishop’s diary  tell some of the early history of Catholicism in northern Illinois.
First Bishop of Illinois
August 8 (1844). The Bishop set out in company of Rev. Walter J. Quarter for Galena; arrived about 12:30 a. m. Saturday morning. The Rev. Ostlangenberg said an early Mass; after Mass saw the Rev. Petiot; preached on Sunday at 10 o’clock and in the afternoon. On Monday morning at 9 o’clock administered the Sacrament of Confirmation in the Church of Galena to about forty-two persons. It was the first time the Bishop administered this Sacrament; some were converts to the Catholic faith.
August 18. On Sunday morning, the feast of St. Joachim, the Bishop officiating pontifically at 6:30 o’clock Mass, conferred the order of Deacon on the Rev. Thomas O’Donnell and at the same Mass raised to the dignity of the priesthood the Rev. Messrs. John Brady and John Ingoldsby.
August 27. Today the Rev. John Brady set out for Galena, where he is to officiate as assistant pastor to the Rev. Mr. Petiot.
September 8. Rev. Mr. Ingoldsby left in the afternoon on a mission to Aurora.
April 7 (1845). The Rev. John Brady of Galena and the Rev. P. McMahan of Donnelly’s Settlement are here on a visit.
September 27. Died on Saturday morning, the 27th of September, the Rev. John Faughan, pastor of Elgin, in the forty-second year and three months of his age. R. I. P.
Source: 1924 Complete History Book of the Diocese of Rockford

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

April 14: 29th Tidal Wave for St. Edward CCHS

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St. Edward High School Celebrates Service at 29th Annual Fundraiser

Tidal Wave: La Vita Bella Dinner, Auction tickets on sale until April 1

ELGIN--St. Edward Central Catholic High School will host its 29th annual benefit gala on Saturday, April 14, 2018 at the Chicago Marriott Northwest, Hoffman Estates starting at 5:30 p.m.  Tidal Wave: La Vita Bella, chaired by parent volunteers, Vito and Maria Corso, celebrates the “beautiful life”
surrounding St. Edward Central Catholic High School students and families.
Attendees will enjoy dinner, drinks, silent and live auctions for more than 300 items, including vacation packages to Las Vegas and Sonoma, Cubs tickets, outdoor grills, a big screen TV, spa and restaurant gift certificates, and more. 
Tickets are $150 per person, or $1,350 for a table of 10, and can be purchased through April 1 by calling 847-741-7535, ext. 123.
Proceeds from the event benefit academic advances and provide scholarship funds for students in need to attend the nonprofit, college preparatory, Catholic high school located in Elgin, Ill. Founded in 1941, St. Edward Central Catholic has a legacy of academic excellence, with 96 percent of 2017 graduates attending a college or university and 4 percent enrolling in technical schools. Thirty percent of students receive a financial scholarship through the St. Edward Central Catholic Guardian Angel scholarship fund.
During the gala, St. Edward Central Catholic will celebrate members of the community who provide unwavering service to the 76-year-old college preparatory high school, including:
-          Ted Meyers, Class of ’78, Alumnus of the Year:  A fourth-generation lawyer and partner with Meyers and Flowers Trial Lawyers, Meyers exemplifies the qualities and values of a St. Edward Central Catholic education.  
-          Jackie Tabbert, St. Gregory the Great Award:  The St. Gregory the Great Award recognizes a St. Edward Central Catholic faculty member for his or her commitment to students’ education. Serving as the school’s culinary and fashion arts instructor for more than 25 years, Tabbert has influenced the career paths of many St. Edward students and remains beloved among the alumni.
-          Frank Celarek, Loyal Order of St. Edward Award:  Honoring a volunteer who goes above and beyond, the Loyal Order of St. Edward Award will be presented to Frank Celarek of Elgin. An active member of the Boosters’ Club and a steadfast advocate of St. Edward Central Catholic, Celarek has remained a champion for the school long after his children graduated.
-          Joe Bero and Son Plumbing and Piping, Patron of the Year:  Joe Bero Plumbing and Piping has been a supporter of St. Edward Central Catholic for multiple generations. This award recognizes the company’s commitment to the school and its students.

Friday, March 23, 2018

March 24, 25, 30: Passion play in Genoa

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GENOA--"The Mystery of the Passion of Christ" is a dignified, dramatic, theatrical performance of the Christ's Passion that will be performed at St. Catherine of Genoa Parish, 340 S. Stott St., here. 
Performed by 100 volunteers from Catholic and non-Catholic churches in the DeKalb Deanery and the surrounding area, the play promotes, evangelizes, educates, and makes its audience aware of the events surrounding the Easter Triduum based on the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and on the principles and doctrines of the Catholic Church. The Passion 
Performances will be at 1 p.m. on March 24; 3 p.m. on Palm Sunday, March 25; and 4 p.m. on Good Friday, March 30.
Cost: a donation
Info: Carole Serotzke at (815) 784-2355,

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

March 17: First of Chrism Mass chorale rehearsals

Changes made in rehearsal schedule

ROCKFORD—Diocesan Chorale director Valerie Oestry says one rehearsal for the March 29 Chrism Mass had to be switched due to a conflict. 
The revised schedule is as follows:
Saturday, March 17, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at St. Catherine of Siena Parish, 845 W. Main St., West Dundee
Thursday, March 22, 7-9 p.m. at Cathedral of St. Peter, 1243 N. Church St., Rockford
Thursday, March 29, 9 a.m. call for 11 a.m. Chrism Mass, at Cathedral of St. Peter, 1243 N. Church St., Rockford
There is no rehearsal on Saturday, March 24, in Rockford.  
Oestry sent these changes after the March 16 issue of The Observer went to press.
SATB vocalists are welcome to join the chorale and the Marian Central Catholic High School choir for the Mass.

Monday, March 5, 2018

March 10: Holy Angels Seraphim Ball in Aurora

AURORA-Holy Angels School here will hosts its 12th annual Seraphim Ball, March 10, 2018 at 6 p.m. at Pipers Banquets. 
This year’s Ireland-inspired theme, “Grand and Green,” promises to be a whale of a time for all. The gala will provide student parents, parishioners and local community members with a fun-filled way to celebrate and support a school committed to the spiritual formation and education of children in the Fox Valley area for over 100 years.
Guests will enjoy an evening of fundraising, music and spirits—including hors d’oeuvres, a three-course dinner, a live deejay, raffles, silent and live auctions, and a premium open bar—all while supporting Holy Angels Catholic School.
The school will also raffle off a $3,500 tuition credit for the 2018-2019 school year. Raffle tickets are $30 each or four for $100 and will be available for purchase from now until March 10th. All proceeds will benefit Holy Angels School and the winner does not need to be present to win. Classic or themed formal wear is encouraged (black or green tie optional). 
When: 6 p.m. silent auction and open bar, followed by dinner at 7 p.m.
Where: Pipers Banquets, 1295 Butterfield Road, Aurora
Cost: Tickets are $100 per person. 
Info: April Ray at or Cathy Medernach at

March 15-18: Annual 'Nun Run'

ROCKFORD--Registration ends March 8 for the Diocese of Rockford Vocation Office annual Spring Nun Run. The "run" will be held March 15-18. Stops will be a various religious communities in Nebraska.
The vocational discernment “Nun Run” is for women, 17 years of age, college age and older who are interested in a religious vocation. They will be visiting sisters and nuns of different orders with different apostolates, hearing talks on discernment and religious life, spending time in prayer with our Lord, and meeting, sharing and praying with the sisters.
Cost is $90 and space is limited.
Registration deadline: March 8
Info: Vocations Office, 815/399-4300, ext. 375;; or Click on Nun Run in What's Happening on the left side of the webpage.

March 9: Time to Pick Mr. Marmion

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AURORA--On Friday, March 9, Marmion Academy's Student Council along with the Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) Program will host Mr. Marmion, a mock talent/beauty show to benefit charity. Three students from each class will compete in four different events and a panel of faculty and student judges will determine who will win the coveted 2018 Mr. Marmion crown! Several additional students will also showcase their unique talents throughout the evening.
This year's Mr. Marmion contestants are seniors Louie Auriemma of North Aurora, Austin Flanagan of Naperville and Jack Kirtley of St. Charles; juniors Christian Henkel of Batavia, Isaias Ponpa of Aurora and Ben Saloga of Sugar Grove; sophomores William Dietz of Geneva, Ben Okolita of Geneva and Joshua Pura of Naperville; and freshmen Ryan Fitzgerald of West Chicago, Zachary Hoschouer of North Aurora and Warren Swanson of Batavia.
Money raised through this event will be donated to benefit cancer research programs through St. Baldrick's Foundation and the Illinois Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Show time is at 7 p.m. at Marmion Academy's Alumni Hall located at 1000 Butterfield Road in Aurora. Tickets are $7 each or $5 if purchased in advance. To purchase tickets in advance, please contact Mark Malkowski at 630-897-6936 ext. 296 or email:
Mr. Marmion is a community event; all current students, prospective students, family members, friends and community members are invited to enjoy the show and support a wonderful cause.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Feb. 26: Call-in Day for Dreamers

Diocese of Rockford joins USCCB in National Effort

ROCKFORD--The Diocese of Rockford joins with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ president, vice president, and migration chair in encouraging Catholics to join in a National Call-in Day for Dreamers on Feb. 26. Below is the press release issued by the USCCB regarding this event. View a related video at

USCCB President, Vice President, and Migration Chair Announce National Call-in Day for Dreamers for Feb. 26

WASHINGTON—Late last week, the Senate failed to achieve the 60 votes needed to move forward with debate on legislation to provide relief to Dreamers. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, USCCB president; Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, USCCB vice president; and Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, together issued the following statement:
"We are deeply disappointed that the Senate was not able to come together in a bipartisan manner to secure legislative protection for the Dreamers. With the March 5 deadline looming, we ask once again that Members of Congress show the leadership necessary to find a just and humane solution for these young people, who daily face mounting anxiety and uncertainty.
"We are also announcing a National Catholic Call-In Day to Protect Dreamers. This coming weekend, we will be asking the faithful across the nation to call their Members of Congress next Monday, Feb. 26, to protect Dreamers from deportation, to provide them a path to citizenship, and to avoid any damage to existing protections for families and unaccompanied minors in the process.
"Our faith compels us to stand with the vulnerable, including our immigrant brothers and sisters. We have done so continually, but we must show our support and solidarity now in a special way. Now is the time for action."

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Galena sees first Catholics in northwest Illinois

As Illinois celebrates its bicentennial this year, The Observer will present occasional features from Rockford Diocese history books.

In 1820, just two years after Illinois was made a state, rich lead mines in northern Illinois gave rise to the town of Galena, “the cradle of organized Catholicity in the Diocese of Rockford.” Pioneers in the area were Irish Catholic immigrants. Bishop Joseph Rosati, D.D., had barely settled in St. Louis when the Catholics of Galena, also called Fever River, sent a letter dated April 29, 1827.  In the phrasing and spelling of an older English, it read in part, “The solicitude of the numerous body of Catholics assembled in this section of country inspires them with a confident hope that their numbers and their zeal for our holy Religion will entitle them to your favorable notice.
“Their means, to support a Priest, are ample, their dispositions are, certainly, corresponding with their means, and they rely with confidence, that, considering these two essential requisites, they are entitled to that favourable notice.”
It was signed by a committee of Patrick Walsh, Patrick Hogan, James Foley, John Foley and Michael Byrne, several names still common in the diocese.
After the exchange of several letters, in September, 1830, Father Joseph Lutz was sent to Galena and Prairie du Chien, Wis. When Father Lutz came to the territory that is now the Rockford Diocese, he was sent as a missionary.
The bishop of St. Louis sent the first regular pastor, Father John McMahon, to Galena on Aug. 22, 1832.
Source: 1924 Complete History Book of the Diocese of Rockford

Drawing of Galena in the19th Century.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Feb. 1-23: Check out FORMED

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DIOCESE--FORMED is an online platform that provides access to Catholic audio talks, movies, ebooks, and video-based studies from trusted providers like the Augustine Institute, Ignatius Press, Catholic Answers, the Knights of Columbus, St. Paul Center, Sophia Press and more.
All parishes in the Diocese of Rockford have free access to through Feb. 23.
For this free trial, simply go to and click LOGIN. Then enter email and password formed#18 in the spaces shown above. Click submit and look around.
Look for Catholic faith features in English and Spanish.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Feb. 15: Creighton fertility discussion in Rockford

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ROCKFORD--OSF Institute for Women’s Health and Fertility will offer an introductory session to the Creighton Model Charting System The system is a means to help married couples avoid or achieve pregnancy, or help married or single women monitor their gynecological health naturally and effectively.
Creighton Model is a charting system with a user effectiveness rate of 96.8 percent. As a women learns to chart her cycle, NaPro Technology provides medical and surgical treatments to address reproductive and gynecologic abnormalities. These treatments don’t just mask abnormalities, the goal is to eliminate them completely.
As a Catholic health care system, OSF believes in offering alternatives to contraception and artificial reproductive technologies that are safe, effective and consistent with their commitment to the sanctity of life.
There is no cost to attend the session on Feb. 15 in the OSF St. Anthony Medical Center Foundation Room at 5666 E. State St., but registration is requested. (The session will be repeated March 15.)
Info: Mary O’Grady, RN, CFCP, 815/332-3015, mary.e.o’;