For three years, Pete Joergensen has been attending Mass at churches throughout the diocese. His goal is to celebrate the Eucharist in every parish in the Diocese of Belleville. He says his pilgrimage has helped him fill the hole in his life caused by the death of his wife Virginia, while giving him a new appreciation for the Catholic community in which he lives.
This summer marked the end of an era at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Belleville, as Dennis York stepped down from a 59-year career as organist and music director. For decades, his musicianship and his leadership of the church choirs created a sacred setting for Masses and other important events in the life of the Cathedral parish and the Diocese of Belleville.
In these days of school consolidation, it is truly a joyous occasion to dedicate the opening of a new Catholic school — or as they are called these days — a Catholic education and activity center. Hundreds of parishioners of Immaculate Conception, Columbia celebrated that joy as they attended Mass and the Rite of Dedication …
Immaculate Conception Church perches on Kaskaskia Island, a tiny outpost of Illinois on the western side of the Mississippi River. For more than three months this summer, its perch got a bit lonelier, as rising floodwaters covered the main road into the town, cutting off the church from most of its congregants.
We are facing a national crisis in the United States. As a Catholic Bishop striving to live by and teach the good news of justice and peace proclaimed by Jesus of Nazareth, I am compelled to name this truth. It is, in some way, a crisis of gun violence.