Bishop McGovern reflects on his first six months as Bishop of Belleville

Bishop Michael McGovern celebrated six months as Bishop of Belleville on Jan. 22. The Messenger recently asked Bishop McGovern to reflect on the challenges and accomplishments during those six months. You were installed as the ninth bishop of Belleville on July 22, 2020, during a global pandemic. As a new bishop, I suppose leading a …

Through the spirit of Juan Diego, Mater Dei reaches out to Hispanics

Alejandro Avalos and his wife, Gabriela De La Cruz, both immigrated from Mexico as young adults. They met in the United States. After they were married, they settled in Albers, where they live with their two children, Ana, a freshman at Mater Dei Catholic High School in Breese, and Alejandra, a 5th grade student at Albers Elementary School. “When Ana was younger, it was a dream to send her to Mater Dei,” Avalos says. “With the help of scholarships, Ana has the opportunity to attend Mater Dei and learn the Catholic values my wife and I want her to grow up with.

Retirement short-lived for ‘retiring’­ Vicar General McEvilly

Msgr. John Wallace McEvilly, 81, was fairly certain he wouldn’t be taking up golf upon his retirement. A priest for 56 years, Msgr. McEvilly retired last fall as Vicar General after 15 years. Father John Iffert assumed those duties on Oct. 1. Retirement was short-lived, however, for soon after, Bishop Michael McGovern tapped him to be his special assistant, and then he was assigned pastoral duties at St. Bernard Parish in Albers and St. Damian Parish in Damiansville at month’s end.