The annual St. Therese Vocation Camp at Bishop Lane Retreat Center in Rockford welcomed 53 campers from the Rockford and Joliet dioceses for four days of prayer, talks, fellowship and fun. The camp welcomed new and returning campers from grade 7 through college. On a sunshine-filled July 17, water balloon games and a water relay were enjoyed after Mass and before daytime prayer and lunch. Six religious orders of sisters participated, and the camp was also staffed by lay chaperones and two seminarians, as well as Father Keith Romke and Dorothea Barger from the diocesan Vocations Office.
See more photos in the July 21 issue of The Observer.
Father Basil Yender, O.S.B. 1943 – 2017
Father Basil Yender, O.S.B., age 74, a Benedictine monk of Marmion Abbey, Aurora, Illinois, after suffering a long illness, died peacefully in the Lord the morning of July 16, 2017. He is survived by members of his monastic community and his brother George (Gayle). He was preceded in death by his parents, George and Adeline (Seban) and by his sister Kathleen.
Father Basil was born on June 8, 1943, was baptized Ronald at St. Brendan Church in Chicago. After attending St. Dorothy Church grade school in Chicago, he attended Marmion Military Academy in Aurora, Illinois and graduated in 1961. He entered Marmion Abbey as a novice in 1962 and professed his vows as a monk of Marmion on August 10, 1963. He earned a B.A. in Philosophy at Saint Procopius College. Father Basil then did his studies for the priesthood at Saint Procopius Seminary and later at the Pontificium Athenaeum Anselmianum, Rome, Italy, receiving a Licentiate in Sacred Theology. He was ordained a priest on August 7, 1971. In 1975 he earned a Masters Degree in Secondary School Administration degree from DePaul University, Chicago.
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A Worldwide Day to Party
On World Refugee Day, June 20, Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Office hosted a social evening at St. James Parish Hall in Rockford. Refugee families, Charities’ staff and volunteers mingled with dignitaries including Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara, Sheriff Gary Caruana, Father David Beauvais, and two U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops staff members. All enjoyed assorted dishes from many countries.
More in the July 7 edition of The Observer.
New Church Continues Elburn Footprint of Faith
The new St. Gall Church in Elburn was dedicated the afternoon of June 11 by Bishop David Malloy at a Mass celebrated also by several priests from the Diocese of Rockford. The bishop spoke of the parish history, which spans several generations and church locations, noting that Masses held in people’s homes began the parish’s “footprint” of faith in the area. The new church includes elements such as the stained glass windows from the former church on Shannon Street. The Stations of the Cross come from the church prior to the Shannon Street church. Pictured here is the anointing of the altar.
Memorial to Serve Profound Purpose
On May 24, Bishop David Malloy dedicated and blessed a simple, elegant memorial at St. John the Baptist Catholic Cemetery in Somonauk. The stone at Mary’s Garden of Holy Innocence and a rock bench before it now provide a place for families to mourn the death of their children under 21 weeks’ gestation who died due to miscarriage or ectopic pregnancies. Tiny caskets (padded ‘burial cradles’) are available for those children’s remains. Families have the option to have their baby’s name and birth year engraved on the granite tablet pictured here, whether or not those children were buried at the site. This service is available to parishioners and any family in the community regardless of faith. Except for engraving, the costs will be covered by St. John the Baptist Parish.
See more in the June 2 issue of The Observer.
Bishop David J. Malloy to Ordain Two Men Into Priesthood for the Diocese of Rockford
ROCKFORD--On Saturday, May 13, at 11 a.m., Bishop David Malloy will ordain two men to the priesthood for the 11-county Diocese of Rockford. The Sacred Rite of Ordination will take place in the Cathedral of St. Peter, 1243 N. Church Street, Rockford. Bishop Malloy will be joined by all priests and permanent deacons as he confers the sacrament of Holy Orders.
The men to be ordained to the sacred priesthood are:
Rev. Mr. Colin Easton, age 33 —Colin is the son of Michael and Amy Easton of Caledonia. He was raised in Rockford and attended St. Bridget Parish in Loves Park. He attended Rock Valley College and Franciscan University, Steubenville, Ohio and worked at Mauh-Nah-Tee-See Country Club during the summers. He has one brother. He completed seminary studies at the University of St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein.
Rev. Mr. Robert Gonnella, age 28—Robert is the son of Robert Gonnella of South Elgin and Patricia Carroll of LaQuinta, Calif. His home parish is St. Patrick in St. Charles. He attended Aurora University. He has a twin sister and three brothers. He completed seminary studies at Saint Paul Seminary at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minn.
The ordination ceremony will be open to the public. Key portions of the ceremony will be streamed live on the Diocese of Rockford Facebook page.