Date: March 6, 2014
By: Penny Wiegert
Bishop David Malloy distributed Ashes during Mass at the Cathedral of St. Peter. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent--a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption.
Following the example of the Ninevites, who did penance in sackcloth and ashes, our foreheads are marked with ashes to humble our hearts and remind us that life passes away on Earth. We remember this when we are told...
"Remember, Man is dust, and unto dust you shall return."
Ashes are a symbol of penance made sacramental by the blessing of the Church, and they help us develop a spirit of humility and sacrifice.
Diocese of Rockford Welcomes New RCIA Candidates and Catechumens During Rite of Election Ceremonies
Date: March 3, 2014
By: Rev. Joseph Naill
Over the weekend the Diocese of Rockford welcomed over 500 Catechumens and Candidates in three Rite of Election ceremonies held at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Rockford. These Catechumens and Candidates are part of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults in parishes throughout the diocese. The Rite of Election is the enrollment of names of all those seeking the Sacraments of initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist) in the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil to be held on April 19, 2014.
During the Rite of Election, the Catechumens, (those to be baptized) publicly expressed their desire for Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist to Bishop Malloy and had their names recorded in the Book of the Elect. They are now called "the elect" until they are received into the Church at the Easter Vigil, the Saturday evening before Easter Sunday. This special celebration calls those preparing for Baptism to express their desire for the Lord and, in response, the Church urges them to use the season of Lent as a real opportunity for deepened prayer and preparation.
The candidates (those who have been baptized in other Christian denominations and who seek full communion in the Catholic Church, and those Catholics who are completing their sacraments) were also welcomed during this ceremony by Bishop Malloy for their continuing journey to full communion to the Church. This means they will receive the sacraments of confirmation and/or Eucharist at the Easter Vigil.
To learn more about RCIA visit www.RockfordDiocese.org/rcia
The full list of names from the Rite of Election ceremonies will be published on Thursday in The Observer.
Rockford Diocese Invites People to Confession Through New Lenten
'Be Reconciled' Initiative
Date: February 28, 2014
DIOCESE OF ROCKFORD-- Recognizing the need for God's grace and forgiveness in the lives of Catholics, the Diocese of Rockford is launching "Be Reconciled", an initiative to make the Sacrament of Reconciliation more available this Lenten season.
Bishop David J. Malloy has asked the 105 parishes in the 11-county diocese to add Wednesday, April 9 to their regular Lenten confession calendar and, where possible, to offer confessions that day from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. It is being called "Be Reconciled" day. A letter announcing the effort will be read at all parish Masses March 1 and 2.
You can watch Bishop Malloy's invitation video below or click here to visit the "Be Reconciled" website.
Program to Tell How Rockford's Refugees
Get Resettlement Help
Date: February 25, 2014
Rockford Register Star
By: Brian Leaf
ROCKFORD - It may take three days of travel to get from a camp in central Africa, Afghanistan or Burma to northern Illinois.
And 350 refugees make that trip each year, fleeing war or political strife in their homelands for new lives and opportunities in a land that is known for them.
Most refugees in the region get resettlement help from the Rockford Catholic Diocese. Diocesan officials will explain how newcomers get here and what happens when they arrive at a meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday at Brooke Road United Methodist Church, 1404 Brooke Road.
Many refugees come with little more than what they are wearing. That's a problem at this time of year when refugees are whisked out of warm-weather countries where shorts and sandals are the norm.
When they arrive here, Catholic Charities officials meet with refugees to figure out their immediate clothing needs, said Patrick J. Winn, director of Catholic Charities for the Rockford Diocese.
Click Here for the Full Article
Continents Converge as Pilgrims Celebrate Creation of New Cardinals
Date: February 25, 2014
Catholic News Service
By: Carol Glatz
VATICAN CITY - The tasseled felt hats of German horse riders and the brightly colored head wraps of women from the Antilles were just a few of the signs of the universality of the Catholic church on display as pilgrims celebrated the creation of new cardinals.
South Koreans and Canadians, Ivorians and Italians mixed and mingled as they celebrated their countrymen being elevated to the College of Cardinals during an informal gathering in the Vatican's Paul VI hall this afternoon.
"This is pure, unadulterated joy for me to see my uncle made a cardinal," said Rosemarie O'Mard, who left behind snow and ice storms in Queens to come to Rome to see Cardinal Kelvin Felix of Castries, St. Lucia in the Antilles, receive the red biretta.
"But to me he's my Uncle Kelvin," she told Catholic News Service, recalling how she grew up with the new cardinal because his father - her grandfather - raised her until she was 13.
Click Here for the Full Article
Bishop to Teen Offenders: You Are Remembered
Date: February 21, 2014
By: Amanda Hudson
ST. CHARLES-Under a sign that read "Character- What you say or do when no one else is looking," Bishop David Malloy celebrated Mass and encouraged 35 young men at the Illinois Youth Center to realize that "we can't forget you."
Asking how many were Catholic, the bishop said that he was "delighted to see you, Catholic or not," before explaining the rules for receiving holy Communion and how to signal him to bestow an individual blessing upon them instead. He began his homily with an apology for the nearly 20 months between his ordination as bishop and his first Mass at this facility.
"I should have been here sooner," Bishop Malloy said. "It is important to come and be here with you."
Click Here for the Full Article
We Must Support Marriage As a Sacrament While Aiding Those Whose Vows Were Not Valid
Date: February 18, 2014
By: Bishop David J. Malloy
It's no secret that one of the greatest challenges to contemporary life centers on marriage.
Pope Francis commented on the challenges of marriage last week when speaking to visiting Polish bishops. He noted that the family should be the fundamental cell of society where we learn to live together through our differences, to belong to each other and where the faith is transmitted from parents to children.
Instead, Pope Francis decried, the modern secular vision of marriage is an arrangement for affective gratification that can be established or modified as anyone or as individuals may desire. In short, marriage is increasingly being promoted as being separate both from God and from the realities of nature that are foundational for human existence.
Click here to read more...
Catholics Mark One Year Since
Pope Benedict XVI's Resignation
Date: February 12, 2014
The Catholic Church on Tuesday marked one year since Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI became the first pope since the Middle Ages to resign. Pope Francis tweeted his continued support in a message saying "Today I ask you to join me in prayer for His Holiness Benedict XVI, a man of great courage and humility," The Vatican's spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, joined in the tributes to Benedict, saying that the February 11, 2013 resignation had been "a great act of government that affected the life of the Church".
There were no ceremonies held in the Vatican, in line with the discretion shown by the German pope, who has been living a quiet life in a former monastery inside the Vatican walls since retiring. "We discovered the real face of Benedict XVI after his act: the affection, the gentleness," Vatican Radio said. Benedict himself offered his successor, Pope Francis, a thumbs up in a recent letter writing "I'm grateful to be bound by a great identity of views and a heartfelt friendship with Pope Francis. Today, I see my last and final job to support his pontificate with prayer."
Click Here to Follow Pope Francis on Twitter
February 11, 2014 - World Day of the Sick
Faith and Charity: "We Ought to Lay Down Our Lives for One Another"
Date: February 10, 2014
By: Thomas Mark
Every year on the commemoration of Our Lady of Lourdes, February 11, we celebrate the World Day of the Sick. Pope Francis has commended this 22nd annual celebration to the intercession of Mary, so that she will help those who are sick to live their own suffering in communion with Christ.
The theme for this world day, Faith and Charity: "We ought to Lay Down Our Lives for One Another", specifically calls attention especially to the sick, but just as important, to all those who provide them with care and treatment. Pope Francis' message begins "The Church recognizes in you, the sick, a special presence of the suffering Christ."
We pray on this occasion of the World Day of the Sick, mindful of the suffering of those who are sick and of the heroic and compassionate efforts of those who follow Christ in the ministry of healing.
Click Here for Pope Francis' Message for the World Day of the Sick
Pope's Lenten Message for 2014 Focuses on
Poverty and Sacrifice
Date: February 4, 2014
At a press conference Tuesday morning, the Vatican released Pope Francis' Lenten Message for 2014. His message concentrates on poverty and in particular, Christ's poverty. The theme is drawn the Second Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians, "He became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich" (cf. 2 Cor 8:9). Pope Francis suggests Christ's choice for poverty suggests a positive dimension for the state of being poor. "It is his way of loving us, his way of being our neighbor, just as the Good Samaritan was neighbor to the man left half dead by the side of the road." The poverty of Christ "is the greatest wealth".
Click Here for Pope Francis' Entire Lenten Message en Español
Boy and Girl Scouts From Around the Diocese Receive Their
Religious Awards at Annual Scout Sunday Mass
Date: February 3, 2014
By: Thomas Mark
The Rockford Diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting held their annual religious scouting awards ceremony yesterday at the Cathedral of St. Peter. Diocesan Scout Chaplain Rev. Matthew McMorrow celebrated the Mass and presented the awards. This yearly celebration, held on the Sunday before the anniversary of the founding of the Boy Scouts of America, recognizes the achievements of many Catholic Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, American Heritage Girls and adult volunteers from throughout the Blackhawk Area Council.
Over 75 recipients ages seven to seventeen received various Catholic unit awards and the other faith building awards. Several additional awards, including the St. George Emblem for outstanding contributions to the spiritual development of Catholic youth in Scouting, were presented to exceptional adult volunteer and troop leaders.
Click Here For More Information on Scouting within the Diocese
Click Here for Photos from the Event
Press Release Regarding Recently Announced Lawsuit
Date: January 31, 2014
ROCKFORD, IL - Kathleen Gibbons has filed a lawsuit alleging she was abused by two priests and a man identified as a religious brother while she was a student at Holy Family School more than 30 years ago. She is seeking monetary compensation from the Diocese of Rockford.
Click here to read the press release
Diocesan Representatives Brave Winter Storms and Cold to Give Witness at March for Life 2014
Date: January 23, 2014
By: Thomas Mark
Young pilgrims travelled hundreds of miles from all around the U.S., through winter weather conditions and travel delays to attend the 41st annual March for Life in Washington D.C. yesterday and speak out in defense of the unborn. With a large winter storm earlier in the week and a second polar vortex passing through, the determination of all participants, including the several hundred representatives from the Diocese of Rockford, couldn't be chilled as they marched with other pro-lifers to change abortion laws and promote a culture of life in the U.S.
Pope Francis even sent his own message of support to all of the marchers via his Twitter account saying "I join the March for Life in Washington with my prayers. May God help us respect all life, especially the most vulnerable."
Click on the links to Follow the Diocese of Rockford Marchers on Facebook and Twitter
Bishop Malloy Blesses the Pilgrims From the Diocese Before They Depart for the March for Life
Date: January 20, 2014
By: Thomas Mark
Bishop Malloy celebrated a special send-off Mass last night with the pilgrims from the diocese before they left for the 2014 March for Life in Washington, D.C.
With approximately 400 representatives from the Diocese of Rockford travelling to the march, he exhorted the pilgrims to be "missionaries for life". Channeling Pope Francis in his charge to "make noise", Bishop Malloy said "when you go on this march, you will be witnessing to the world and you will be making noise about the Goodness of God and about the right that others have to have their life respected."
Click Here to Watch the Send-off Mass
Click Here to Follow the Diocesan Pilgrims in Washington on Twitter