Bishops: Getting COVID-19 vaccine is ‘act of charity,’ supports the common good

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.”

Pope Francis appoints Father John Iffert of the Diocese of Belleville as Bishop-elect of Covington

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Roger J. Foys, 75, from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Covington and has appointed Father John Iffert, a priest of the Diocese of Belleville as Bishop-elect of Covington. Bishop-elect Iffert currently serves as vicar general and moderator of the curia for the Diocese of Belleville. The appointment was publicized in Washington, D.C. on July 13, 2021, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

New seminarian’s vocation journey began on trip to Holy Land

For Ben Baker, it started in 2019 during a spring break trip to the Holy Land with students from the University of Illinois. Baker, whose home parish is St. Joseph in Olney, graduated from the University of Illinois in December 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering. At that time, he contacted the Diocese of Belleville asking to be accepted into the seminary. There currently are six seminarians in the diocese.

Bishop to ordain one man to transitional diaconate May 22

When Thomas Lugge is ordained by Bishop Michael McGovern as a transitional deacon May 22, he will begin the final year of formation before ordination to the priesthood. The transitional diaconate will be Lugge’s entry into the clerical state, which means he will become a member of the clergy. Bishop Michael McGovern called Lugge “a wonderful young man” and said he looks forward to ordaining him to the sacred priesthood next year.