Due to COVID-19 restrictions in March 2020, the Illinois Department of Corrections closed all prisons, jails and work camp access to clergy and lay volunteers who were providing Catholic service ministry to detainees and those incarcerated. On August 24, 2021, Father Nick Junker, pastor at St. Mary the Immaculate Conception in Mt. Vernon, enthusiastically posted on Facebook that he celebrated Mass at the Big Muddy River Correctional Center in Ina. This was the first time in more than 18 months that the men at Big Muddy could receive the sacraments.
For Ken and Barb Kenney, the next chapter of their lives began in 2012. Barb had been married to Tom for 39 years before he died in 2005. They lived in Chesterfield, Mo. After his death, Barb moved to southern Illinois to be closer to family and started attending St. Clare of Assisi Catholic Church in O’Fallon. Ken had been married to Jeanne for 43 years before her death in 2011.
The Diocese of Belleville may be small population-wise, but it has been blessed to have been home to many remarkable, saintly people. Two of these saintly people, Joe Hubbard, now retired as director and founder of Catholic Urban Programs, and the late Sister Ann Connolly, ASC, were recognized for their selfless service with the Catholic …
“Sometimes we plant seeds, literally and figuratively. We establish connections and hope that something grows from that.” These words were shared by Sister Barbara Hudock, ASC, who is celebrating her 50th jubilee as an Adorer of the Blood of Christ this year. Sister Barbara said this when talking about the “Be a Blessing Garden” project located at the Adorers’ Ruma Center in Ruma, bwut the heart of these words could apply to her 50 years as a woman religious. At age 70, Sister Barbara is not working full time. She recently completed 12 years in leadership positions for the Adorers – as an ASC councilor for the United States Region (2006-2012) and ASC regional leader (2012-2018). From 1973 to 2006, she served in education.
The “gravity” of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and “the lack of availability of alternative vaccines,” are “sufficiently serious” reasons to accept the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, the chairmen of the U.S. bishops’ doctrine and pro-life committees said Dec. 14. “Receiving the COVID-19 vaccine ought to be understood as an act of charity toward the other members of our community,” they said. “In this way, being vaccinated safely against COVID-19 should be considered an act of love of our neighbor and part of our moral responsibility for the common good.”