Pope Francis has issued his letter for World Day of the Sick which is observed on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016. Bishop David Malloy will observe the day in this Year of Mercy with a special Mass and anointing at 9:30 a.m. Presence St. Joseph Center Nursing Home, 659 E. Jefferson St. in Freeport.
Click Below for the Papal Letter:
English | Español
Fun Week Ahead
Date: January 29, 2016
Best wishes for a wonderful Catholic Schools Week to all our Catholic schools.
See today's issue of The Observer for photos of Catholic school students living their faith, knowledge and service.
Mass a Prayer for Life After Cancelled Trip
This group of NIU students who had planned to travel with the diocese to the annual March for Life in Washington D.C. joined in at a Jan. 20 Mass at St. John Neumann Church in St. Charles, originally to be a send-off for the pilgrims. The Mass, celebrated by Bishop David Malloy, welcomed some those pilgrims, friends and families and several parishioners, including religious education students. The Mass was followed by a pizza dinner and socializing.
More about this event and the March itself in the Jan. 29 issue
"Do you think dad was watching today?" Lou Bachrodt III speculated just before having his picture taken in front of the new Lou and Irene Bachrodt Center for Health and Fitness at Boylan Central Catholic High School in Rockford. The center was dedicated on Jan. 19 and blessed by Bishop David Malloy. In the late 1950's, Lou and Irene Bachrodt were asked by Bishop Loras T. Lane to chair the campaign to build Boylan. Their family provided a $1 million fund matching challenge for the construction of the newest addition to the school, an 18,100 square foot, two-court practice gymnasium.
See more in the Jan. 29 issue of The Observer.
Warm Hearts, Cold March
A group from the Newman Center at Northern Illinois University was among those that came from the Rockford Diocese to participate in the March For Life Chicago on a frigid Sunday afternoon, Jan. 17. The rally, which included Archbishop Blase Cupich, was held before the march itself, says Kathy Berkes of the Life and Evangelization Office at the Diocese of Rockford, who attended with her husband. One group that Berkes noticed didn't come this year were the protesters. Some 300 had been anticipated.
More photos coming soon in the next Observer, Jan. 22.
Nine Days for Life
January 16th is the 1st day of #9DaysforLife! Join thousands across the country in prayer: www.9daysforlife.com
Courage and EnCourage Being Launched in Diocese
Courage is an international apostolate begun in New York in 1980 that ministers to persons with same-sex attractions. Members support one another in growing in their faith and living in accord with the Catholic Church's teaching. Father Phillip Kaim has been appointed as chaplain for the brand new group in the Diocese of Rockford. If you think Courage is for you, email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The EnCourage apostolate is a support group for parents, family and friends of those with same-sex attraction. If you think EnCourage
might be for you or someone you know, contact its chaplain, Father
Ryan Browning, at email@example.com.
Articles on both programs will be coming soon in The Observer.
Special Emergency Collection to help Flood Victims
In response to a special request from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop David Malloy is asking the people of the Rockford Diocese to join in a special collection this weekend, Jan. 9-10. The collection will help all those impacted by severe weather and historic flooding throughout the South and Midwestern regions of our country. This special, one-time collection will be taken up at all Masses this weekend in all parishes of the diocese and will be sent to Catholic Charities USA for both immediate and long term needs of those affected by the storms, especially the poor.
Click here to read Bishop Malloy's letter
Jubilee Year Pilgrimage
Father Joel Lopez, parochial administrator of Christ the King Parish in Wonder Lake, led a group of parishioners on its first Jubilee Year of Pilgrimage Dec. 15. They went to St. John the Baptist Parish in Johnsburg to pass through the McHenry Deanery holy door, and also participated in the sacrament of confession, a holy hour, Mass, rosary and ended the day with a visit to sing Christmas carols for residents at a nearby nursing home facility.
A Day to Listen to God
Bishop David Malloy kicked off the Dec. 27-28 Vocation Retreat with an evening Mass at in the chapel at Bishop Lane Retreat Center. About 20 young men came to spend close to 24 hours in discernment of God's call to them. The first-ever event designed by Father Keith Romke, vocation director, included plenty of time for prayer as well as opportunities to visit with the 10 seminarians who volunteered to spend part of their vacation assisting with the retreat.
More photos and information coming soon in the Jan. 8 issue of The Observer.
Christmas Mass for Inmates
In what has become an annual tradition, Bishop David Malloy celebrated Mass on Christmas morning for inmates at the Winnebago County Jail. About two dozen men and two Catholic correctional guards joined the bishop in an empty cell block to sing Christmas songs and hear the Good News of Jesus' birth.
More photos coming soon in the January 9 Observer.
Laity 'Missioned' at MSC Mass
Richard Salazar of St. Mary Parish, DeKalb, was among thirteen men and women who read and signed commitment statements on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, Dec. 8, during Mass at the headquarters of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart in Aurora. These new Lay Missionaries of the Sacred Heart will now discern their initial work of service as missionaries so that "The Sacred Heart of Jesus be loved everywhere!"
See more in The Observer's Dec. 18 edition
Opening the Holy Doors of Mercy
On Gaudete Sunday, the Third Sunday of Advent, Bishop David Malloy opened the main entrance doors of the Cathedral of St. Peter. This "Door of Mercy" for the Jubilee Year of Mercy was one of eight that were opened in the Diocese of Rockford that day, one in each deanery and a special set of holy doors at the Poor Clares Corpus Christi Monastery.
Read about these doors, their locations and purpose in the Dec. 18 issue of The Observer, and see also the link to the Jubilee Year of Mercy on the diocesan website.
Winter Retreat Offers Time for Vocations Prayer
High school and college age young men are welcome to a Rockford Diocese Vocations Office Winter Retreat, Dec. 27-28 at Bishop Lane Retreat Center near Rockford. The retreat will provide lots of time for prayer and reflection as well as a few talks from Father Keith Romke (pictured here at the October Youth Summit) and seminarians. Opportunities to chat with seminarians will also be provided. Space is limited to 25; cost is $50.
Information/registration at 815/399-4300 or at RockfordDioceese.org/Vocations
Keeping Kids Warm This Winter
Members of the Holy Family Knights of Columbus Council #13123 in Rockford, and its Ladies Auxiliary, donated and distributed three boxes of coats to refugee children from Iraq, Syria, Burma and Congo on Dec. 2. Many families come to be resettled in Rockford but do not have sufficient winter clothing. Also distributed were hand-knit scarves from one of the ladies in the auxiliary.
40 Days for Life
The kick-off rally for 40 Days for Life was held on Sept. 19 in front of the Planned Parenthood in Aurora, along East New York Street. Speakers included Eric Scheidler, pictured here. See more photos and an article about the rally as experienced by Kathy Berkes, pastoral care coordinator for the diocesan Life and Evangelization Office in the Sept. 25 issue of The Observer. On the same page you will find a list of Life Chains coming Oct. 4 in locations across the Diocese of Rockford.