Galesburg Catholic 

Galesburg Catholic Parishes

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Please click HERE to read the article "Stop hiding from the truth," says WI Bishop in epic Sermon by Lindsey Kettner. Reccommended by Father Miller.

"Over the course of nearly nineteen minutes, Bishop Ricken laid it all on the table—racism, abortion, the sexual abuse crisis, immigration, the pandemic. He passionately and fearlessly addressed the things that need to be said, even if the culture doesn’t want to hear them"

Bishop Chairman Comments on Paycheck Protection Program

July 10, 2020

WASHINGTON – Following the publication of a national news story on Catholic churches receiving loans through the Paycheck Protection Program, Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, issued the following statement in response:

“The Catholic Church is the largest non-governmental supplier of social services in the United States. Each year, our parishes, schools and ministries serve millions of people in need, regardless of race, ethnicity or religion. The novel coronavirus only intensified the needs of the people we serve and the demand for our ministries. The loans we applied for enabled our essential ministries to continue to function in a time of national emergency.

“In addition, shutdown orders and economic fallout associated with the virus have affected everyone, including the thousands of Catholic ministries -- churches, schools, healthcare and social services -- that employ about 1 million people in the United States. These loans have been an essential lifeline to keep hundreds of thousands of employees on payroll, ensure families maintain their health insurance, and enable lay workers to continue serving their brothers and sisters during this crisis.

“The Paycheck Protection Program was designed to protect the jobs of Americans from all walks of life, regardless of whether they work for for-profit or non-profit employers, faith-based or secular.  

“Despite all of this, more than 100 Catholic schools have announced that they plan to close, with hundreds more facing an uncertain future. Businesses, hospitals, schools, and churches all across the country are facing many of the exact same problems.  

“We will continue advocating for everyone negatively affected by this terrible pandemic, praying for all the sick, for all who have died and are in mourning, and especially the poor and vulnerable at this time of great need.”

Examples of the USCCB’s advocacy on COVID relief, which encompassed the needs of all of the poor and vulnerable, may be found herehere, and several letters are linked here.

Dear Members of the Galesburg Catholic Community:  

With great joy, our prayers have been answered. As you know, we've been searching for a principal at our school.  Over the last several weeks in conversations with Father Miller, Bishop Jenky, and Dr. Weiss, the conversation has been about the needs of the school and where that solution best comes from.  Out of that conversation, Bishop Jenky and Dr. Weiss both thought that the best fit for the current time is me.   I am happy to accept the assignment as principal of Costa Catholic Academy.  While I will still remain the parochial vicar in the parishes in Galesburg and Abingdon, I will also assume the role of principal at the school effective today.  I am excited about this opportunity and think it will be a great opportunity for growth and bridging for our parish communities and our school community.  

I come to the position as the principal with a Master of Arts degree in Divinity and a Master of Arts degree in Moral Theology.  I have received training in Mental Health First Aid, and I am currently pursuing another Master of Science degree in Educational Leadership.  I've spent the last 19 consecutive years as a student, teacher, and administrative team member in our Catholic School system.  Before coming to Costa, I've been assigned to and loved the opportunity to serve in the schools at St. Michael the Archangel in Streator, Marquette Academy in Ottawa, and Peru Catholic School in Peru. Additionally, I served for a three-year term after I was ordained on the Diocesan Education Commission for the Office of Catholic Schools.  

I am looking forward to the opportunity to spend dedicated time in our school building and in our classrooms.  In my time here, I have been greatly impressed by our faculty and look forward to working with these excellent teachers.  I am also excited to spend more time with our students and families as we journey together in the academic and spiritual formation of our children.  

I know there are many questions swirling about what the upcoming school year will look like and when we'll know about that.  Rest assured, we are working on finalizing plans for re-opening our school building for the 2020-2021 academic year.  As of now, at the recommendation of the Office of Catholic Schools and the Office of the Bishop, we will plan to open five days per week.  We'll work to ensure that our school remains a safe environment for our faculty, staff, students, and families, and that appropriate precautions are taken during this continued time of public health crisis.  I hope to finalize these details and share that plan with you with the next couple of weeks, if not sooner.   I can tell you now though, our Back to School Night is scheduled for Tuesday, August 18, from 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM, and our first day (half day) back in the classroom will be Thursday, August 20.  

Please know of my continued prayers for you and for the year to come.   Please pray for me because you need holy priests, and I will pray for you because I need holy people.  

God love you, 

Fr. Jacob M. Rose 
Principal, Costa Catholic Academy
Parochial Vicar, Galesburg Catholic Parishes



Dear Parishioners,

It would be fair to say that we have been through a strange Lent and an unusual Easter season but it looks like this coming Pentecost Sunday will usher in some welcome spiritual restoration. We can open our churches for personal prayer and outdoor Masses will be allowed in which you do not have to stay in your car. [See details below*] These new opportunities present new challenges which we welcome as part of what it means to go forward. There has been plenty of waiting and wondering what’s next and when. One thing we have learned is that the reopening process can be slow and meticulous. I want to thank Father Rose for spearheading the implementation process that we continue to receive from our diocese, and for all of you who have responded to the invitation to be part of the reopening volunteer crew. I am very proud of how the Knights of Columbus have stepped up to help and be of service during this time. It has been so encouraging to experience the solidarity that we have had in praying together and being united in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist albeit not physically present to each other. And what a joy to be able to give you Holy Communion again. You have shown that we can put up with the temporary odd circumstances surrounding these sacred moments and keep our focus on the Lord Jesus who has promised; “I am with you always.”.

As we prepare to celebrate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the birthday of the Church this coming Sunday, let us pray for those gifts of the Holy Spirit that we are most in need of - to keep going forward on this journey. In the words of the Corona Virus Prayer to Holy Virgin of Guadalupe: “In this time of trial and testing, teach all of us in the Church to love one another and to be patient and kind. Help us to bring the peace of Jesus to our land and to our hearts.”

Father Bill Miller

*IHM church will be open 24/7. Please use side entrance across from the rectory. [We cannot yet open the Adoration chapel.]

St Patrick’s will have Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on Wednesdays from 10am to 4pm beginning this Wednesday, June 3rd.

Outdoor Mass will begin this Sunday, May 31st, 10am at the Costa parking lot. You will have the option to stay in your car or sit on the grass. Please bring your own chair.

Divine Mercy Sunday Update from our Parish

Sunday is Divine Mercy Sunday, and we begin the 2nd week of Easter

The Easter octave concludes with Mercy Sunday. This feast of Divine Mercy was instituted by Pope Saint John Paul II and is the fulfillment of our Lord’s request that He made known through St Faustina. Jesus called this Polish nun “secretary of my Mercy”. As we continue to endure the restrictions and confinement that goes with this menacing virus, we need to call on God’s mercy and to be secretaries of His mercy to one another. Mercy is love and goodness that goes beyond what is required or deserved. Mercy is compassion – the willingness to enter into the suffering of another. We are all dependent on God’s mercy and should find joy in recognizing Divine Mercy at work even in difficult situations. We are called to share our own testimonies to His mercy and eagerly look for ways to be practitioners of this mercy.
To be truly open to the workings of Divine Mercy, we need to be in the present moment and be present to the Lord. This means, for one thing, don’t get stuck counting the days of our confinement and don’t anticipate how many more days we have to go. Believe me, I know that is easier said than done! Still, it is well worth the effort for when we are present to His Presence in the present, we find freedom and peace.
During this temporary but already long deprivation of the Sacraments, many have become more appreciative of sacramentals. One such sacramental that we are making available is Holy Water. Beginning this Sunday, there will be a dispenser of Holy Water under the canopy of the Corpus Christi church north entrance (where we have been making available missalettes and other prayer aids.). Please bring your own container and use the holy water to bless yourself, your children, your home – just like you do in church – dip your finger in the blessed water and make the sign of the cross in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. In these times it would be good to bless yourself at the beginning of the day, whenever you have to leave your house, and before you go to sleep.
Also, can I light a candle for you? Just email me at and put "CANDLE" in the subject line. Then if you like, tell me your name, the person [living or deceased] or intention for which the candle is to burn, and in which church you want the candle lit. (The candle offering will be on the honor system that you can take care of when our churches are reopened.)
Your priests are glad to do whatever we can for you, and we are most grateful for your prayers and encouragement. Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His mercy endures forever. Amen. Alleluia.
Father Bill Miller

What's Happening this Week?

Sunday Mass
Divine Mercy Sunday
Father Rose will preside at the Sunday Mass which will be streamed at 10 AM
from the parish here:

Galesburg Catholic YouTube

Galesburg Catholic Facebook

Galesburg Catholic Families Facebook group

THANK YOU to all of you who have continued to support our parishes during this time by either sending in contribution envelopes or dropping them off at the parish offices or using the Online Giving platform that has been set up for us from the Diocese of Peoria. If you've not been able to contribute or still wonder how you can, you can use the Online Giving option (please consider adding 3% to your contribution) to cover the processing fees from the credit/debit card companies) or you can drop off or send contributions to the parish offices.

Reminder: The offices are still functioning in some capacity. The secretaries are working from home and Father Miller and Father Rose are continuing the functions of the parish offices should you need anything.

"Even if, for whatever reason, we are unable to have access to our churches and chapels, we must remember that our homes are an extension of our parish, a little Church into which we bring Christ from our encounter with Him in the bigger Church. Let our homes, during this time of crisis, reflect the truth that Christ is the guest of every Christian home. Let us turn to him through prayer, especially the Rosary, and other devotions. If the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, together with the image of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, is not already enthroned in our home, now would be the time to do so. The place of the image of the Sacred Heart is for us a little altar at home, at which we gather, conscious of Christ’s dwelling with us through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit into our hearts, and place our often poor and sinful hearts into His glorious pierced Heart – always open to receive us, to heal us of our sins, and to fill us with divine love. If you desire to enthrone the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, I commend to you the handbook, The Enthronement of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, available through the Marian Catechist Apostolate".  (Cardinal Raymond Burke)

Lent – a privileged time; the coronavirus is an opportunity for us to practice our spiritual disciplines of prayer, almsgiving, and fasting.

Many years ago, during one of Bishop O’Rourke’s visits to me in the hospital, I was lamenting (complaining) that the medical problems/pain/hospitalization were cutting into my Lent and that I was unable to practice my usual Lenten disciplines.

Bishop O’Rourke provided me this guidance (paraphrased):

“Jeanne, the nature of life is such that sometimes we don’t need to go looking for Lenten spiritual disciplines, something

to give up.  Sometimes the opportunity for Lenten spiritual disciplines come our way. The current threat to your health, the procedures and the pain, the isolation of illness – these crosses are yours to carry during this Lent. Your Lenten discipline is to allow them to be your prayer and to do so

with faith in our Lord Jesus, and His cross.”

This year, the corona virus is a heavy cross for our world, it is also an opportunity for our Lenten practices of prayer, almsgiving, and fasting. May we view our current situation through the lens of and as part of our 40-day journey with our Lord Jesus. 

“We Adore You, O Christ, and We Praise You. Because by Your Holy Cross, You Have Redeemed the World”

 (by Jeanne Whalen - used with permission)

Pope Francis took up the question that many of the faithful are wrestling with as they are under lockdown with churches closed: What about confession?

The Holy Father addressed the issue March 20 during his homily at morning Mass

"I  know that many of you go to confession before Easter… Many will say to me: ‘But Father…I can’t leave the house and I want to make my peace with the Lord. I want Him to embrace me… How can I do that unless I find a priest?’

Do what the catechism says. It’s very clear. If you don’t find a priest to go to confession, speak to God. He’s your Father. Tell Him the truth: ‘Lord. I did this and this and this. Pardon me.’ Ask His forgiveness with all your heart with an act of contrition, and promise Him, ‘afterward I will go to confession.’

You will return to God’s grace immediately. You yourself can draw near, as the Catechism teaches us, to God’s forgiveness, without having a priest at hand."


 When you have to go out for essentials consider picking up a missalette.  Missalettes are available in a container on the steps (under the canopy) at the North entrance to Corpus Christi church.  These include the current ones that run through until Palm Sunday and the new ones that begin April 5th.   They can be a big help as you follow daily Mass on one of the many streaming opportunities throughout the day including EWTN and, and for your own personal prayer.
This week in our parishes...
Dear Parishioners,

 Our primary concern is the holiness, health, and safety of our parishioners. We are praying for all who have been impacted by the current health crisis, especially the sick and their caregivers. The spread of COVID-19 has truly impacted our parish, our community, and our country. We will continue to communicate with you about our parish events and activities as often as possible so that you are aware of what is going on.

Our primary role is to provide for the spiritual and pastoral needs of the faithful. Additionally, as members of the broader community, we are committed to participating in the larger response by our cities and state. Bishop Jenky’s decision to dispense from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass, as well as the canceling or curtailing of all other liturgical events and gatherings, was based on the CDC and state government guidelines. Local priests are to provide for the needs of their parishioners within these parameters.

We must continue to pray and support those most vulnerable – the poor, those with less stable employment, and parents who need to work and are unable to find childcare. In a special way, we want to support the elderly, the sick, and shut-ins who may feel isolated and lonely. In the spirit of Lent, we must all embrace the works of mercy with zeal and to practice a spirit of gratitude and generosity to others.

Please know that we are committed to continuing the good work of our parishes and the Church at this time. We want to thank each of you for the many ways you support our mission and ask that you please continue to support the work of our Church. Our parish is dependent upon your weekly financial gifts to continue its ministries in this critical time of crisis when we are not able to come together for Mass. Please consider using this time to transition to online giving. using this link. OUR DIOCESE HAS CREATED AN ONLINE GIVING OPPORTUNITY WHERE ONE CAN SELECT THEIR PARISH TO DESIGNATE THE DONATION.  Click here for the link or check out the attached video for an overview of the system from Father Rose.   

We are grateful for the help of our diocese in making this as easy as possible. Our parishes will receive a weekly check on Tuesdays from the online donations, and we will receive a breakdown of who donated and how much so can keep track of your contributions for your annual tax statements. A special thank you to those who have mailed in their contribution. If that works best for you, you are welcome to continue doing so.

On that same note, this coming weekend of March 28/29 was slated for the official kickoff of the Annual Diocesan Appeal.  However, Bishop Jenky has postponed the appeal at this time.  If you would like to learn more about the good works our diocese does, you are invited to visit to watch the video, submit a prayer request, and/or make a donation.  

I also ask you to be mindful of hackers that will surely try to take advantage of people during this crisis.   Please know, I or any of the other priests will never ask for any favor, request gift cards, or solicit any kind of financial information from you via text or email.  If you do receive such a solicitation, it is not from me – it is a scam!

Join me in prayer for the repose of those who have died, for the recovery of those who are sick, for the strength of healthcare workers and caregivers, and for an end to this health crisis. Please be assured of my prayers for all of you, our parishioners, and know that we are here for you.

Sincerely yours in Christ, 

Father Bill Miller

You’re invited to celebrate the

Corporal Works of Mercy

Do you have loved ones in a nursing home or long-term care facility? Our parish celebrates Mass at local nursing homes and long-term care facilities on a periodic basis. If your loved one or friend is a resident of any of the following, please feel free to join us to Mass at the listed time. Look for further details in future bulletins to find out Mass times scheduled. Also, to receive updates about changes, cancellations, or quarantines that effect the scheduled Mass times that have been printed in the bulletin please TEXT the message NURSINGHOME to 84576.


Due to COVID-19, area nursing homes are not allowing visitors into any facility. 

 Therefore, Mass celebrated in nursing and residential facilities are temporarily suspended. 

 Please stay tuned for a resumed schedule.   

March 16, 10:30 AM – 

March 23, 10:30 AM – 

April 6, 10:00 AM – 

April 13, 10:00 AM – 

April 20, 10:30 AM – 

April 27, 10:00 AM – 

Your Mother would like to have a word with you...

"Do not let anything afflict you, and do not be afraid of any illness or accident or pain. 
Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? 
Is there anything else that you need?"
               (Our Lady of Guadalupe to St Juan Diego)


We are all reeling from the news that  Masses are canceled for the time being in an effort to help contain the spread of the Coronavirus. What are we to do? First of all, we must keep praying and pray even more than usual, especially for those who are suffering the most from this epidemic. Our churches and our Adoration Chapel are still open. Come and visit Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. You are welcome to take home a missalette that has all the Mass prayers and readings for each day. I encourage you to watch Mass on TV and online and to make frequent “Spiritual Communions”. A prayer for that can be found on the back of the missalette.   Additionally, since it would have been the weekend for our Deacons to preach, you can find those linked below.  Also, The Word Among Us has opened all of their daily Mass readings and reflections which are usually available by subscription.  Those reflections from The Word Among Us can be found here:

Reach out by phone and by sending cards to those who are isolated. Remember Our Lord’s promise; “Where 2 or more are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” [Mt18:20] And even when you are alone, he wants you to know that he is with you always. [Mt 28:20] This is not the Lent we would have chosen but it is the one we have been given. It has the potential to be a very holy, grace-filled time. Prayer, self-denial, and self-giving are required in these times more than ever. Let’s storm Heaven for an end to the Coronavirus and for public Masses to resume soon. We priests will still be able to offer Mass privately every day and you will be especially close to us when we do. We also lift up those who must make difficult decisions for the well being of others. Under the protective mantle of our Blessed Mother may we not carry this virus, and even more importantly may we not carry fear, panic, worry or anger. As I told our children at the Costa school Mass this past Friday – Look to Jesus. Think of others.

Father Bill Miller

A Message from our Pastor

Like most offices, our parish offices are closed at this time. We are still taking phone calls and answering emails. I've included a list of the parish phone numbers and emails. If you have questions or concerns please contact us. 
          Please continue to reach out by phone and social media to those who may feel particularly alone at this time.  Keep checking for updates on live streaming of Masses,etc. Remember our churches are open during regular hours and our Divine Mercy Adoration chapel is open 24/7. We have been asked about the best way to give your parish offering. 
       Different options are being looked into but for now consider mailing in your contribution or placing it in the votive candle  slot at your church during open hours. All your priests are doing well. Thank you for your concern and prayers. 
            Under Our Lady's protective mantle may we continue to say No to panic and Yes to prayer as we keep our gaze on the Lord Jesus and think of others.

Father Bill Miller
Homily by Deacon Michael Crummer [1/19/20] 
posted by Father Miller

On January 24th 17 of our area students and 10 adults will be participating in a rally & march in Washington, DC marking the 47th anniversary of the infamous Supreme Court decision, Roe v Wade.

This reminds me of a story about a missionary couple, Bob and Pam. Parents of 4 children already, Pam became pregnant with the family’s 5th child. Just prior to this pregnancy Pam took some rather high-powered antibiotics to fight off a life threatening infection caused by contaminated drinking water. Immediately, Pam became aware that the pregnancy was not normal. Doctors determined that the placenta was detached from the uterine wall, thus depriving the fetus with needed oxygen and nutrients. The doctor’s choice was simple—the baby would be still-born; so have an abortion now. As people of faith, Bob and Pam’s choice was simple—abortion was not an option. Though described by Pam as “skinny” at birth, the child was fine. Thankfully, this similar story is told over and over again. Regrettably, the opposite of this story is also told over and over again. In fact, it has been argued that one of the most dangerous places in America today, is in the Mother’s womb.

Every generation is going to be faced with a new temptation to believe the lies of Satan. Though, we are thoroughly convinced that abortion is a sin, we must continue to preach this truth to the next generation. 2 weeks ago one of our Students for Life spoke before Mass; saying she was raised in a Pro Life home. Statistics tell us, not all our young people are so fortunate. We must not lose another generation to the belief that abortion is a “right”, or that it is none of our collective business, that it is between a woman and her doctor. That it is Not a sin against God.

From the book of Job:

If I have dismissed the case of my male or female servants when they made a complaint against me, what could I do when God stands up [to judge]? How should I answer Him when He calls [me] to account? Did not the One who made me in the womb also make them? Did not the same God form us both in the womb?

The primary argument that Job makes is that he has given fair and honest treatment to ALL human life—even his slaves. He recognized that God was the maker of ALL.

Biologically, we know that life requires a man and a woman; but we also know that no life comes into being without God as the author of that life. Not only this, but we are made in the image of God. We are the pinnacle of God’s creation.

God not only knew us before we were born, He was already at work making us unique. There has never been another person like you. Every person ever conceived has a uniqueness given to them by the hand of God. When that life is snuffed out, that uniqueness is snuffed out.

There are many reasons that abortion is wrong. But ultimately, abortion is wrong because it is an assault on the person-forming work of God in the womb. This is God at work doing what He alone can do; creating a person in his own image; and to attack this little person being completed by God is to attack God.

What about Bob and Pam’s baby boy—the pregnancy the doctors said to terminate? That little skinny boy grew up. He is now 32 years old, 6’3” and weighs 235 pounds. His family calls him Timmy. You know him as Tim Tebow— quarterback of the Florida Gators and New York Jets; Heisman Trophy Winner, and arguably among the greatest College football players ever to play the game. A very unique, and a very faithful individual.

The taking of the life of the unborn – is a very important issue. It is not just a social issue, or a woman’s issue, or a health issue. It is a God issue.

To be Pro-God is indeed to be Pro-Life.

I’ll finish my words today with words from the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King:

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stand at times of challenge and controversy…There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor political, nor popular; but must take it because his conscience tells him it is right… Never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person …is at stake. Society’s punishments are small, compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way…

Our lives begin to end, the day we become silent about things that matter”.

9/12/19 UPDATE 
Greetings from Recovery Central on this beautiful feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary. With gratitude for your continued prayers, I want to let you know that things are going well. This has certainly been a lesson in appreciating the basics of life like eating, sleeping, walking, going to the bathroom- all of which are where they should be at this stage or better. I’m at peace and embracing this time to rest and pray. I will be asking Mother MARY at my Mass today to take care of you as she has taken care of me. Yours in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, Father Bill 

9/6/19 UPDATE on Father Miller:  Surgery went well yesterday for Fr. Bill. 
Surgery and recovery was about 5.5 hours, but he’s happily in his room. His patient room overlooks our Cathedral, and where his room sits is quite possibly one of the closest patient rooms to the tomb of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. 
Please keep praying for Father!

My dear prayer warriors,
Greetings on the Solemnity of St Crescent whose intercession we invoke especially for all our children.
Tomorrow, Wednesday, will mark 9 days until my surgery so I wanted to reach out to you with heartfelt thanks for your prayers and to give you some specific intentions that are on my heart which can form part of a novena- along with the prayer you have already received. [Prayer cards will be available this weekend at all the Masses]
In simple summary form, please pray with me that I will come through the surgery cancer free and complications free. More specifically that I will have no infections, no colostomy and no loss of digestive function.
Let us also lift up in prayer my surgeon and his team.
When I find out the time of my surgery I will pass that along to you.
Updates will also be posted here on the day of surgery, September 6th and the days following.
Gratefully yours in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary,
Father Bill Miller


Dear prayer warriors,

First of all, thank you for the outpouring of prayers on my behalf. This past weekend I attended a conference at the beautiful shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, WI. It also served as a mini retreat. I prayed there for all those who are praying for me. One prayer already answered is that my CT scan showed no signs of cancer spreading. The surgery to remove a section of the lower colon is set for September 6th at St Francis Hospital. As you accompany me on this next leg of the journey, please join me in praying that our Lord prepares me in soul, mind and body for a successful surgery and recovery.
Father Bill Miller

Dear prayer warriors,

I come to you with a personal request for your spiritual support for something that I am facing. I recently had a routine removal of a few polyps from my colon. The biopsy found cancer cells in one of them. It appears to be caught at an early stage but there are still unknown aspects as to how well contained it is. I have had my first round of medical appointments and have a CT scan and blood work coming up. Surgery is likely. Those who have had this diagnosis know that it comes as quite a blow with a wave of uncertainties. At the same time I have received some tender assurances from our Heavenly Mother as this began to unfold. The biopsy was taken on the feast of our Lady of Perpetual Help, the very day that Archbishop Sheen’s body was on it’s way to the cathedral. My first appointments were on the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The doctor who did the biopsy said; ”Someone saved your life.” The oncologist told me: “Someone is looking after you.” The following is offered as a proposed prayer. Be assured of my prayers for all those who are praying for me. As my mom has often said; “What would we do if we couldn’t pray?”

Gratefully yours in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary,

Father Bill Miller

Sacred Heart of Jesus,

We pray for Your healing touch

upon the body, mind and soul of our pastor, Father Bill Miller.

We ask You to remove any fear or anxiety, and

fill him with the peace that You alone can give.

We place him completely in Your hands, Lord Jesus, trusting in Your love and care for him.

May his recovery be swift, his strength renewed,

and his health restored.

For You, Lord, are the Divine Healer with Divine Mercy.

Our Mother of Perpetual Help, we place this priest of yours in your care, that he may be with you, hand in hand and heart to heart.

Venerable Fulton Sheen, assist him to carry this cross in such a way that will strengthen his priestly fatherhood and enable him to serve faithfully for many years to come. 


Corpus Christi's 2019 Daily Cash Giveaway WINNERS!!!

Date:                             $25                                    $50                                         $150

7/1/19                           Dave West                        Pat Simpson                            Mike Anderson

7/2/19                           Lori Shepherd                   L. Christian                             Anna Ellsworth

7/3/19                           Alex Zhorne                      Susan Bruns                          Mike Anderson

7/4/19                          Jerry Albright                     Jackie Stone                           Kay Miller

7/5/19                          Lois Jones                         Gary Dalegowski                    Jack Soper

7/6/19                          Jami Isaacson                    Brie Hankes                 Sandy & Pete Johnson

7/7/19                        Manuel Lopez III                   Kathy Quigley                          Leslie Turner

7/8/19                          Vicky Toland                      Theresa Lundeen                    Kathy Quigley

7/9/19                        Shirley Tompson                  Jeanne Zhorne                    Kim Hasselbacher

7/10/19                      Gray Dalegowski                 Sue Carson                             Kris Woods

7/11/19                      Lisa Pomazal                        Muffy Gustafson                   Connie Steele

7/12/19                      Jake Fell                               Cecilia Polillo                            Dixie Jones

7/13/19                      Angie Maurizi                        Jacob Wolf                         Marvin Carpenter

7/14/19                    Julie & Greg Johnson              John Cullura                          Lily Hicks

7/15/19                     Susie McGraw                       Irene Ponce             Jeff & Sandy Pemberton

7/16/19                    Marvin Carpenter                    Mike Larson                          Greg Toland

7/17/19                     Joe & Beth Wells                    Sam Wong                          Manuel Lopez III    7/18/19                    Alfred  Gonzalez                     Fr. Rose                              Wayne Milehan 

7/19/19                    Jerry Albright                           Wm. Burgland                     Kim Rohman 

7/20/19                    Jack Soper                              Susie McGraw                   Jim Ortery  

7/21/19                   Gary Dalegowski                      Mary Lopez                        Anna Ellsworth

7/22/19                    Kim Hasselbacher                   Lou Wilder                        Doug & Terri Moore

7/23/19                   Marty Stevenson                      Michele Heifner                    Carl Polillo

7/24/19                     Joe Kennedy                           Robin Hatch                        Don Shadensack

7/25/19                    Sue Carson                              Pete Widolff                        Jeanne Zohrne

7/26/19                    Hilma McDorman                      Chuck Maurizi                      Zan Carter

7/27/19                    Joe Kennedy                            Rose Chase                         Angie Widolff

7/28/19                    Margaret Peterson                   Sue Carson                         Stacy Monti

7/29/19                    Bess Cratty                             Jeffrey Hallesy                    Jerry Hise

7/30/19                    Mark Olson                              Tom Hoben                           Suzie Chase

7/31/19                   Robert Mitchell                         Cynthia Edmonson               Tiffany Leffler

Congratulations to all the winners! 

Mother Daughter Tea 2019


In May, after years of study, one man will be ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Peoria. During his years of preparation for this vocation, he was supported by family and friends – and by everyone who made a gift to the Annual Diocesan Appeal. When you make a gift to the Appeal, you help meet the cost of priestly formation and education, since a portion of Appeal funds are used for this purpose. Please support our seminarians by making a gift to the Annual Diocesan Appeal next weekend.


If you wish to make a donation on your pledge next weekend or to pay your contribution in full, please make your check payable to the Catholic Diocese of Peoria.  Reminder statements are sent monthly from July to February.  Donations may also be made by signing up for automatic deduction by credit or debit card, by direct debit or online.  May God continue to bless our Diocese and the services and programs provided by the ADA.


A note from the Pastor on Winter and Weekday Masses:

We are very blessed to have Masses offered daily in our area. These include scheduled Masses in our churches as well as Masses offered privately by our retired priests and those offered weekly at Costa. This winter has packed some hard punches of bad weather that have already affected a few of those scheduled weekday Masses. As you may have heard, in the interest of everyone’s safety and for the sake of a clear policy – when school is canceled then Mass that day is canceled. Be assured that those Mass intentions are always still offered by one of the priests of our area.

We should all unite ourselves spiritually to every Mass being offered daily in our community and throughout the world*. When health or weather prevents you from attending Mass, make a Spiritual Communion**. It’s also a good practice to watch the Mass on TV and to prayerfully go over the Mass readings of that day. Here are two recommended prayers:

Morning Offering*

O Jesus,
through the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I offer You my prayers, works,
joys and sufferings
of this day for all the intentions
of Your Sacred Heart,
in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world,
in reparation for my sins,
for the intentions of all my relatives and friends,
and in particular
for the intentions of the Holy Father. Amen.

Act of Spiritual Communion**

My Jesus,
I believe that You
are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment
receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.

St. Josephine Bakhita, you were sold into slavery as a child
and endured untold hardship and suffering.
Once liberated from your physical enslavement,
you found true redemption in your encounter with
Christ and his Church.
O St. Bakhita, assist all those who are trapped in a state of slavery;
Intercede with God on their behalf
so that they will be released from their chains of captivity.
Those whom man enslaves, let God set free.
Provide comfort to survivors of slavery
and let them look to you as an example of hope and faith.
Help all survivors find healing from their wounds.
We ask for your prayers and intercessions for
those enslaved among us.


A little sin or a lot of virtue?

Sometimes, it only takes a little sin to lead to greater sin. I think we have seen this played out in a grave way in the Church throughout the past months. Sin is a slippery slope; it promises a lot, but always leaves us empty and wanting.

Check out this two-minute video reflection about how small sins can have a big impact on your life, and, conversely, how prayer can change your spiritual life for the better.

Instead of giving into sin, why not intentionally work to grow in virtue? Here are three simple steps to prioritizing virtue growth in your life.

Help us spread the good news: join us in sharing our evangomercial of the month! This month's featured ad is "Epic 2.0." Click to watch and please take a moment to share via email or through your social media platforms. This is one simple but powerful way to evangelize with us every month; thank you for your continued participation in our mission!

And, if you want to support the airing of this evangomercial or other ads on TV and online, click here.

God bless you!
Tom Peterson and the Catholics Come Home team

P.S. If you're a parent or grandparent, or have a little child in your life whom you love, check out this beautiful new board book, edited by CCH Communication Manager Katie Warner. Cloud of Witnesses: A Child s First Book of Saints will be your child's favorite introduction to friendship with the saints in heaven and maybe even yours, too! Filled with simple but profound lessons from well-known saints, each page provides the young child with a short, memorable quote accompanied by a beautiful illustration of the saint who spoke or wrote it. It makes a perfect little gift for All Saints Day coming November 1. It's now available at and on Amazon, though we always recommend checking your local Catholic bookstore first! 

Rachel’s Vineyard weekends for healing after abortion are offered throughout the year in locations across the United States and Canada, with additional sites around the world. Rachel’s Vineyard is a ministry of Priests for Life.  The Catholic Diocese of Peoria sponsors two retreats each year which are open to men and women of all faith backgrounds.

The program is an opportunity to examine your abortion experience, identify the ways that the loss has impacted you in the past and present, and helps to acknowledge any unresolved feelings that many individuals struggle with after abortion. Because of the emotional numbness and secrecy that often surrounds an abortion experience, conflicting emotions both during and after the event may remain unresolved. These buried feelings can surface later and may be symptoms of post abortion trauma.

A Note From Father Bill

My dear people,

You are indeed dear to me and I thank you for all your prayers, support and encouragement. They have meant even more as we endure very disturbing reports of scandals rocking our beloved Church. I have chosen to write to you as it takes me three Sundays to make the rounds of all the Masses, and frankly I had to come to terms with my own emotions about all this. I have been dismayed, disheartened, disgusted and left with a lingering disquiet within. So much of what we have been hearing about is so far removed from my own experience of priesthood and seminary life and yet I know that it is all too real for too many. My heart goes out to all those for whom this crisis opens up wounds that robbed you of peace, joy and trust in your Church. No doubt our Lord was thinking of you when He promised to wipe away every tear.

These words of St Paul to the Romans keep coming to mind: “Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.” [Rm 12:21]We do this by keeping our focus on our good Lord and by increasing our prayer and good deeds. I know that I have found the need to spend more time on my knees.

As your pastor and spiritual father I am asking you to join me this Monday, August 27th, the feast of St Crescent, in a DAY OF PRAYER AND FASTING that will conclude with a MASS OF REPARATION at 6pm in Corpus Christi church. A holy hour of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament will follow. PLEASE COME! United in prayer and penance we can make a positive contribution towards the purification of the Church on earth in our time.

As we pray together at the end of each Mass to St Michael the Archangel for the freedom of the Catholic Church in America, let’s include not only freedom from attacks by the enemies of the Church but also freedom from sin and iniquity within the Church that hinders her mission of advancing the kingdom of God.

Thanking you in advance for joining me Monday evening and commending you to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary,

Father Bill Miller

Please Note:

With sadness we announce that Father John Baptist has been reassigned to the parishes in Peru, Illinois. Our bishop has asked him and us to make this sacrifice because of a great need that has come about unexpectedly there, and we have more priests in our area than there.

We will miss Father John Baptist very much as he has already become part of our community. Our prayers go with him as he makes this transition. Father will be moving this coming Thursday. He will be celebrating the 8:15am Masses at IHM Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of this week.

Ongoing Meal Train for our Galesburg Priests


We would like to offer one healthy and homemade meal per week to 

Father Miller, Father John Baptist, and Father Riordan to support them in their busy schedules and say thank you for all they do for us.

To keep the process efficient, we will organize the meals around one day per week and have one central drop off location.  We are hoping it also fosters some shared dinners for them!  

If you are interested in participating or would like more information, please contact Jenn Moffitt at 309-621-3995 or


Taken July 19, '18 by Brian Prescott 

of Sacred Heart, Abingdon 

Invest in the Kids Act - Illinois Tax Credit Scholarships! For every $1 you donate this year you get 75% back as a tax credit for taxes paid in 2019! This is a Win-win for Costa! Call 345-3151 for directions to apply on line at : MyTaxIllinois ( to apply to contribute. Please visit our website at for more detailed information now! Program is expected to max out in mid January of 2018 so please apply now!


Birth Date: February 14, 1990 

Parish Location: Holy Family, Lincoln 

Year entered the Seminary / Class of: Entered in 2013, Class of 2019 

Studying at: Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Emmitsburg, MD 

Why did you become a seminarian? I became a seminarian because I believe the Lord wants me to become His priest. After deepening my faith in college, I had done just about as much discerning as one man can do outside of the seminary. I tried running from and avoiding the Lord’s call, but I never found peace in running away from Him. Eventually, I gave up and prayed the prayer Jesus prayed in the garden: “Not my will but Thine be done.” It’s a prayer I pray everyday.

Before you entered the seminary, what were you doing? Before I entered seminary, I studied history and philosophy at the University of Illinois and served as an RA at the Newman Center on campus. I also worked at a meat market.

November 16, 2017 at Saint Joseph Cemetery -photo courtesy of Father Miller

2017 National Vocations Awareness Week

November 5-11, 2017

Did you know that in our country, compared to 50 years ago, there are 20,000 fewer priests and 130,000 fewer religious sisters? At the same time, the Catholic population has continued to grow steadily. Many factors have contributed to the decline: growing secularism, a lengthened period of adolescence, attitudes about celibacy, etc. During Vocation Awareness week, please pray that young people in today’s society will hear and respond to God’s call. And do your part to encourage them to consider the priesthood and religious life.

Prayer for Vocations  

God our Father, You made each of us
to use our gifts in the Body of Christ.
We ask that You inspire
young people whom you call to
priesthood and consecrated life
to courageously follow Your will.

Send workers into Your great harvest
so that the Gospel is preached,
the poor are served with love,
the suffering are comforted,
and Your people are strengthened
by the sacraments.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.


One Vocation Leads to Another:

“Let us not forget that Christian marriage is a vocation to holiness in the full sense of the word, and that the example of holy parents is the first condition favorable for the flowering of priestly and religious vocations.” Pope Benedict XVI

Generous Single Lives in Christ:

The Church recognizes that some people, for various reasons, are not called or cannot live in vocations such as marriage or consecrated life. Nonetheless, the Catechism says “they can contribute greatly to the good of the human family” (#2231). “Some live their situation in the spirit of the Beatitudes, serving God and neighbor in exemplary fashion.” (CCC1658).

National Vocation Awareness Week (NVAW) is an annual week-long celebration of the Catholic Church in the United States, dedicated to promoting vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life


October 13th the 100th Anniversary of

 Our Lady of Fatima


“Will you tell me your name?”

(Saint Lucia)


I am the Lady of the Rosary.

(Our Lady)


"I have many petitions from many people. Will you grant them?" (Saint Lucia)


Some I shall grant, and others I must deny. People must amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins. They must not offend our Lord any more, for He is already too much offended! (Our Lady)


"And is that all you have to ask?" (Saint Lucia)


There is nothing more. (Our Lady)


As the Lady of the Rosary rises toward the east she turns the palms of her hands toward the dark sky. While the rain had stopped, dark clouds continued to obscure the sun, which suddenly bursts through them and is seen to be a soft spinning disk of silver.


"Look at the sun!"


From this point two distinct apparitions were seen, that of the phenomenon of the sun seen by the 70,000 or so spectators and that beheld by the children alone. Lucia describes the latter in her memoirs.


After our Lady had disappeared into the immense distance of the firmament, we beheld St. Joseph with the Child Jesus and Our Lady robed in white with a blue mantle, beside the sun. St. Joseph and the Child Jesus seemed to bless the world, for they traced the Sign of the Cross with their hands. When, a little later, this apparition disappeared, I saw Our Lord and Our lady; it seemed to me to that it was Our Lady of Sorrows (Dolors). Our Lord appeared to bless the world in the same manner as St. Joseph had done. This apparition also vanished, and I saw Our Lady once more, this time resembling Our Lady of Carmel. (Taken from 100 Years of Fatima-EWTN)


Oct 13th-In Our Parish Community


Corpus Christi will be open 7am –7pm with opportunity to venerate the icon of Our Lady of Fatima.


Costa-Mass at 1:30 in the chapel.


IHM will have their final Marian Holy Hour to close the Centenary of Our Lady of Fatima. The Rosary will be prayed –7pm


PLEASE PRAY on October 10 at 1pm our time for the following intention from the office of the Most Reverened Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C., Bishop of Peoria

October 4, 2017 +Feast of St. Francis of Assisi To the Priests, Deacons, Religious and Laity of the Diocese, You may remember Archbishop Sheen’s niece, Joan Sheen Cunningham, petitioned the New York Court to allow for the transfer of the remains of Venerable Sheen to Peoria. The Court decided in favor of Ms. Cunningham’s petition. The New York Archdiocese appealed this decision. On October 10, 2017 at 2:00 p.m., the Court will address the appeal in this matter. Patricia Gibson has been involved tremendously in the case guiding Joan’s attorneys in New York and preparing for the oral argument in New York next week. I strenuously request for your prayers for the Appellate Court to side in favor of Joan’s petition. A favorable ruling supporting Joan’s petition will be a great step towards bringing Sheen to Peoria and advancing his Beatification. Next week is a crucial step in the Sheen’s Cause. So much prayer is needed. Please pray for our success next week at the Appellate hearing in New York. God bless you and may Our Lady pray with us and for us. 

 Sincerely yours in Christ, 

Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C. 

Please click on the link above to view the letter from the Most Rev. Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C. which was included in the bulletins the weekend of September 16th & 17th.

According to the information in this blog post, on the night before he was ordained on April 27, 1918, Saint Maximilian Kolbe made a retreat and wrote out the following bullet-point plan for his life. As you will see, he was committed, determined, and serious about his walk with Christ.

This regimen of spiritual discipline undoubtedly prepared him for his fruitful ministry and martyrdom. While St. Maximilian wrote this for living out his vocation to the priesthood, his words and admonitions easily apply to all Christians who are part of the Church Militant.

St. Maximilian Kolbe was a Franciscan friar and priest who had a deep devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. He was martyred by the Nazis at Auschwitz on August 14, 1941. He is the patron saint against drug addiction and drug addicts, imprisoned people, political prisoners, journalists, families, and the pro-life movement.

For more information on St. Maximilian Kolbe please click on the link below.

By Gretchen Filz


Austin Bosse

Birth Date

October 15, 1986

Parish Location

St. Matthew, Champaign

Year entered the Seminary/Class of

Entered in 2015, Class of 2021

Studying at
Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Emmitsburg, MD

Why did you become a seminarian?

After college, I began to develop a solid prayer life and began to immerse myself in the sacraments by going to regular confession and daily Mass. After couple of subtle moments of hearing God calling me, I began to investigate and read about the priesthood. It wasn’t until going on a retreat and opening my heart to do the will of God that I was able to hear with certainty that God wanted me to be his Priest. It has been a long journey, but I have come to realize that I will never be truly happy or satisfied until I am doing the will of God, and for me that means going to seminary in order to further my discernment.

Before you entered the seminary, what were you doing?

I worked as an operations manager for Frito-Lay for four and a half years.

An interesting fact about you

I grew up on a feedlot in northeast Kansas and enjoy hunting and snowboarding.


Date:                                   $25                                                           $50                                                   $150

7/1/17                        # 1160- Efren Guel                             #1042 -Angie Widolff                          # 1234 Bob Davison

7/2/17                        # 1258-Kristi Rupert                          #1498 -Julie Stevenson                        #688 Travis Cutts 
7/3/17                        # 1126 -Fr. William Miller                 # 1125 -John Bicego                             #906 -Mike Hayes   

7/4/17                       #173  -Boyd Kisler                             #471 -Karen Patrick                            # 760 -Steve Bates

7/5/17                        # 1420-Pat Pendergast                      # 403 -Mark Zhorne                             #  1250  -Dave West

7/6/17                      # 1429- Sheryl Hinman                       # 1075 -Devin McGarry                       #948 - Rita Wiegand

7/7/17                       #1114-Caroline Moffit                        #-1109 -Patty Johnson                         #889 - Mike Reed

7/8/17                       # 231 -Ron Currier                          # 1202 -Cindy Edmonson                       # 1152 -Anne Taylor

7/9/17                       #972 Julie Butler                               #1304 Matt Alvarado                             # 526  Jane Allen

7/10/17                    #1003 -Tom Maloney                        # 1071 -Michael Strom                         # 500 -Carol Harris

7/11/17                    #1456 Katie Shamon                          # 905 Mike Davison                              #1066 Dick Maranville

7/12/17                    #853 Bill Struck                                 #141 -Chris Polillo                                  # 1336 Mary Wright

7/13/17                    # 616 Carolyn Hise                             # 550 Jerry Toland                               # 1216 Jackie Piper

7/14/17                   # 903 Art Jorganson                           # 407 Jean Kostelecky                          # 1331 Steve Eisemann

7/15/17                   # 884 Doug & Terri Moore                 # 933 Kim Rohman                                # 1295  Vince Luna

7/16/17                  # 994 -Jackie S                                   # 151  Pat Kane                                     # 1129 Greg Toland

7/17/17                  # 81 Joe Wilson                                   # 513  Ann Hix                                       # 1290  Connie Goodrich

7/18/17                   # 1282 Fr. Bob Spilman                       # 121   Ron Theobald                           # 739  Rebecca Cabrera

7/19/17                  # 507  Kelly Kane                               # 780 Krista Cantarini                           # 648 Lorraine Gottenborg

7/20/17                 # 1454 Joe Thompson                           # 403 Mark Zhorne                             # 695 Sallie Dodd

7/21/17                  # 1055 Joy Morland                             # 1246 Ed Henson                              # 101 Mark Varnold

7/22/17                # 416 Terrris Martin                               # 430 Michael Leon                              # 946  Rita Wiegand

7/23/17                # 903 Art Jorganson                               # 1084 Elizabeth Ewing                         # 1238 Jaci Fitchpatrick

7/24/17                # 392 Julie Wynne                                # 768 Mary Beasley                               # 681 Tim Hasten

7/25/17               # 263 Patsy Bates                                 # 7  Wayne Ensley                                  # 443 Jackie Piper

7/26/17               # # 1061 Steve Godsil                          # 988 Kat Miller                                     # 620 Gail Horton

7/2717                # 388  Pat Luna                                   # 922 Gayle Webb                                 # 394 Garnie Workheiser                

7/28/17               #1149 Lee & Rod Gray                       # 1144 Janet VanFleet                            # 1326 Steve Eisemann

7/29/17               # 6 Joe Indelicato                                # 837 Laura Meyers                              # 786 Donna Eiker

7/30/17              # 1475 C Medina                                # 889 Mike Reed                                   # 755 Jeanette Baker

7/31/17               # 256 Michelle Terpening                   # 1392 Skip Ensley                                 # 897 Steve Fransene

Thank you to everyone who made this fundraiser a success!

Let’s face it: saying the Rosary isn’t always easy, but maybe we can try a bit harder to pray it more often. here. Here are some great tips...let’s get praying that Rosary! 
Tips to Pray the Rosary Every Day 
♦ Carry a Rosary in your pocket 
♦ Say it while you wait (for example, at the bus stop) 
♦ Recite the Rosary while doing chores or while you work out. 
♦ If you’re upset, pray for the situation that worries you. 
♦ Pray while you walk and think of the people in your life. 
♦ Use each mystery to ask for a particular intention. 
♦ If you can’t pray a whole Rosary at once, break it into parts. 
♦ Say it in moments of sadness or spiritual drought. 
♦ Use images and music. The Rosary is a contemplative prayer. 
♦ Fall asleep praying the Rosary. It is better than counting sheep.
5 Ways to Make Mary’s Month (Extra) Special May is here. Here are five quick and easy ways to honor Mary this May. 

1. Set up a May Altar. Reserve a place for Mary in your home or even at your workplace. It could be a stand alone altar with a picture or statue or the corner of a desk or dresser with a picture of Mary. It’s not how fancy it is that matters, rather it’s the fact that it makes your heavenly Mother especially present to you. Out-of-sight-out-of-mind is often the case with many of our devotions. Keeping Mary present will urge you to honor her more frequently throughout the coming weeks. 

2. Take the “Fresh Flower Pledge.” Pledge to make certain that you keep fresh flowers on your May altar throughout the month. It can be a bouquet from the florist, a bunch from your garden, wildflowers you gathered on a hike, or even a simple, single stem. It’s the gesture itself, not the extravagance of the blooms that counts most. Think about how happy a mom is when her child brings her a flower—even if it’s a crumpled up dandelion from the lawn. That’s how Mary is with you. She’ll cherish whatever you give her, not for what it is but for the fact you gave it to her. 

3. Learn a new Marian prayer. No matter how many Marian prayers you know by heart, there are always more to learn. And, each Marian prayer shows a different facet of our Lady, which will be a boost to your knowledge of, and love, for her. It doesn’t have to be a long prayer; it just has to be a prayer that’s new to you. 

4. Read about Mary. Daly spiritual reading is always a marvelous idea. It helps you carve out time for God as well as helping you to grow spiritually. So, why not choose a book about the Blessed Virgin Mary for your spiritual reading this May? Even if you spend just 10-15 minutes a day, it’s absolutely better than not reading about her at all. 

5. Attend Saturday morning Mass. Even if it’s your day to sleep in, do yourself (and Mary) a favor and give up a little of that “me” time to go to Mass on Saturday mornings during May. Throughout the year, daily Masses on Saturdays typically are dedicated to the Blessed Virgin. The readings and prayers are Mary-orientated and showcase an array of her qualities, characteristics, and importance. Even if you make it to only one Saturday Mass this May, you’ll still benefit and it still will be a beautiful act of love for the Mother who has been devoted to you since before you were even born. 

Whether you do one, some, all the above or come up with something different, just please do something to honor Mary during her month. You’ll be delightfully surprised at the way it will change your heart and your relationship with the Queen of Heaven and Earth. It’ll make this May extra special for both of you. 

Marge Fenelon, National Catholic Register (taken from St. Patrick's bulletin)


The prayer battle must precede every other battle for justice and peace. Only by winning the battle of prayer can we win all the other battles in the world, including those in our own personal lives. Often, we hear it said: “All we can do now is pray.” It is so true! Particularly when, instead of despairing at the situation in our lives and in the world, we summon the courage to pray. But this way of speaking does not do justice to God. In reality, prayer should be not the last resort – but the very first thing we do. Prayer can change the world. Prayer brings God back into all our actions – as He will not involve Himself without our invitation. Prayer is a powerful force. It can suspend the laws of nature and overcome every obstacle, for it is a participation in the almighty power of God. When we involve ourselves in the course of events through prayer, we actually change the relation of cause and effect in the world. When we intervene in prayer, God’s grace comes in to play, transforming the complex interplay of destructive forces. But God does not simply want us to beg Him to intervene; rather, He wants to give us, through prayer, the dignity of sharing in His divine work.

Prayer does not always come easily – in fact, it can be very hard work. But the more we pray, the more we find joy in prayer. St. Teresa of Avila teaches us that prayer can be “a simple uplifting of the soul to God, to frequent converse with Him, to an intimate friendship with the One who loves me infinitely.” Those who pray in this way will begin to change in their very being and in all they do. I cannot pray sincerely for peace and yet do nothing to bring about peace. I cannot pray for the hungry or those who eke out their lives in misery and do nothing to help.

May we make space for God in our lives – as He is waiting, 24 hours a day, to hear from us.

{from an article by Fr. Martin Maria Barta who is with Aid To The Church}

Fr. Michael Pica, Fr. Tom Otto and Fr. Adam Cesarek stopped by Costa Catholic Academy on Tuesday morning during their Priests Pedaling for Prayers-here is the link from The Galesburg Register Mail. The Catholic Post had a four page insert covering the Priests journey. Please click on this link to see some of their journey! Keep praying! Priests Pedaling for Prayers-Diocese of Peoria!
 (These statistics are from a survey of seminarians and junior clergy from the Peoria Diocese) 
> 58% attended at least 1 year of Catholic school 
> 50% were active in a Catholic Newman Center 
> 58% attended Emmaus Days before entering seminary 
> 45% said a parish priest first made them think about the call 
> 89% said Eucharistic Adoration had a positive or very positive impact on their decision 
> 87% had parents who were married in the Church 
> Age when they heard the call: 
5 or Under: 5% 
 6 ~ 13: 32% 
14 ~ 18: 21% 
18 ~ 21: 32% 
 22+ : 10%
RCIA class at Rite of election in Peoria Sunday, March 12, 2017

My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,


As we enter into this Lenten season, the Church once again invites us to use this opportunity to share more fully in the Paschal Mystery of Jesus Christ. It is essential that we cultivate a deeper sense of prayer, fasting and almsgiving to better offer our lives to Our Lord. As we make our way through the Triduum and to that glorious day of the Lord’s Resurrection, I pray that all of us will be ever more attentive to our spiritual devotions and especially to the Word of God during these forty days. May the guidance of the Holy Spirit assist us in our Lenten journey.




Lent is the principal season of penance in the Christian year. Priests, religious and laity are strongly urged to develop and follow a program of voluntary self-denial,

attentiveness to prayer, and especially to works of charity and mercy.


Everyone of 14 years of age or over is bound to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday, March 1, 2017, and all the Fridays of Lent.


Everyone 18 years of age and under 59 years of age is bound to fast on Ash Wednesday, March 1, 2017, and Good Friday, April 14, 2017.


On these two days of fast and abstinence, Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, only one full meatless meal is allowed. Two other meatless meals, sufficient to maintain strength, may be taken according to each one’s needs, but together they should not equal another full meal. Eating between meals is not permitted on these two days, but liquids including milk and fruit juices are allowed. When health or ability to work would be seriously affected, the law does not oblige.


To disregard completely the law of fast and abstinence is a serious matter.


May our Lenten journey bring us closer to the cross and our Resurrected Savior


+ Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C.






By: Fr. Tom Otto / Immaculate Conception - Monmouth

Ambitious. Crazy. Exciting. Painful. Zealous. These are perhaps a few of the words to describe an idea that originated in the mind of our diocese’s newest priest, Fr. Michael Pica (affectionately known as “Padre Pica”). Still too young and too enlivened by the Holy Spirit to distinguish possible from impossible, Padre Pica proposed to Fr. Adam Cesarek and me that we ride our bicycles across the entire Diocese of Peoria. The. Entire. Diocese. In case you are unaware, our diocese stretches from Iowa to Indiana, so riding the entire width of our diocese means riding all the way across the state of Illinois! He suggested that the point of the ride would be to stop at parishes and schools along the way to talk about the vocation of the priesthood. Given our love for both the priesthood and cycling, Fr. Adam and I immediately and wholeheartedly agreed…without quite realizing just how colossal of an undertaking this would be!

Well, several months and reality-checks later, we are still on track for the first-ever event that we have dubbed: “Priests Pedaling for Prayers: A Vocations Awareness Ride.” (Our goal was to keep the name shorter than the ride itself…we barely succeeded.) <Watch for Part II in 2 weeks)

As Catholic Schools Week continues we congratulate Father Bill Miller, named the 2016-17 Distinguished School Pastor by the diocesan Office of Catholic Schools. He is pictured with kindergarten class members during a recent visit to Costa Catholic Academy in Galesburg. Read more about Father Miller in our story at:…/putting-children-first-fr-mil…/ 

Msgr. Ernie and his fellow Veterans are honored during Catholic Schools Week at Costa Catholic Academy.

Sainthood candidate may be coming home; court ruling favors Sheen family


The Supreme Court of the State of New York today ruled in favor of the family of Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen regarding their request to allow the transfer of the sainthood candidate’s remains to Peoria, where he was raised and ordained a priest.


Archbishop Sheen’s heroic virtue and life of sanctity were recognized in 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI, who granted him the title “Venerable.” The Diocese of Peoria has said that, with progress already made in the cause and pending the approval of Pope Francis, a beatification could be celebrated in the near future after the arrival of the remains at St. Mary’s Cathedral, where a crypt is being prepared for his re-interment.


5 Tips to Keep Your Faith Alive 1. Phone a friend you can count on Whenever you’re struggling, tell a friend. You don’t need to tell them everything, but talking to them might help you. 2. Phone a heavenly friend Find out if there’s a Patron Saint for your particular struggle and ask him/her for prayers. 3. Keep a rosary with you Let it act not as an accessory but as a constant reminder of Mary’s “yes” to God even when it was tough. 4. Change your wallpaper Change the background on your cell and computer to an inspiring verse or quote that might help you. 5. Other alternatives Whenever you feel tempted, have an activity planned like heading to the gym or playing an instrument

Got joy?

Rejoice! No matter how hectic life might be, the Church is calling us to take a deep breath and rejoice in the closeness of our Savior’s birthday and His closeness to us year round. Rejoicing is meant to be a way of life for the followers of Christ. St Paul tells us REJOICE ALWAYS. We might say well that’s a nice idea but you have no idea what I’m going through right now; how can I rejoice? Well remember that St Paul was no stranger to sufferings of all kinds; violence against him, fighting within his circle of people, disasters like being shipwrecked, problems like not having enough of the basic necessities of life and being dependent on the charity of others even though he was working hard as a tent maker, all the while proclaiming the Gospel. Yet he says rejoice ALWAYS.

Still, with all the suffering in the world, all the divisions and dangers, all the problems in our own lives and in those of our dear ones, how could we be asked to rejoice always? Well the key is to rejoice always IN THE LORD. We can rejoice always in the Lord because the Lord is always there and His victory over sin, suffering and death is guaranteed. This rejoicing is the fruit of faith in Christ and trust that He will never abandon us, and no matter what, His kingdom is going to come, His will is going to be done. We know how the story finishes so we can live with the drama and uncertainties of whatever chapter that we are in.

This kind of rejoicing is often not easy and does not come naturally. It is supernatural and so it requires God’s grace that come to us through the Sacraments and prayer. This rejoicing is not dependent on our feelings but is a choice, a decision that we have to keep making and remaking when whatever brings us down. One way to train ourselves to take the path of putting our joy in the Lord is to redirect misplaced joy in other things or other persons. If the Lord is our constant then we can actually enjoy the things of this world and find joy in others without being so easily devastated when they do not fulfill our unrealistic expectations of a happiness they were never meant to bring us on their own.

This is a wonderful paradox: it is not that we put aside things as joy-givers but that we put them aside as the source of our joy. It is certainly not that we feel disappointed in persons and put them aside. No, it is that we go beyond that to the One who will never fail us.

So it is faith in the Lord that gives us joy, faith that the Lord really knows what He is doing. Once convinced of that, it is no longer necessary that we understand or like everything that is going on in our lives. It is enough to be certain in faith that God understands exactly what He is doing. And we rejoice. Who could not rejoice in the Lord to know that this is our God and that He knows what He is about.

Now this is not a “sit back – who cares” approach to life. After St Paul says; “Rejoice in the Lord always”, he goes on to say; “In prayer make all your needs known to God”. So God wants us to tell Him over and over again what our needs are. “Go and tell God what He already knows” is what the Apostle is basically saying. Tell him all about the things that He is completely aware of. God wants to be told by us the needs that He knows much better than we ever could. (If you are a parent I’m sure you get this; you want your children to tell you their needs, not because you don’t know them but because it is good for them to express themselves and it does your heart good to hear it.)

So if you want to rejoice, you must have faith in the Lord. But then you must keep bringing your limitations before Him, and your failures and your disappointments and your heartaches. This rejoicing in the Lord always and petitioning the Lord always brings with it a loving acceptance of my own limits and that of others. It must be so. If it were not, we might have many gods instead of the one true God.

This is the mystery of joy that we are to celebrate and ponder. What we will learn is that He is drawing us all, He is calling us to know that there is really nothing stable outside Himself, and that in Him and in Him alone is the explanation of all things. Already as we ponder things in this way we begin to experience a serenity coming into our very pain, whatever it may be, that this is an all-loving God who is reminding us where we are all going. We are moving steadily step by step each day toward this end, this goal. This is what He wishes to say to us: in Him alone all find their home. Something begins to come into our stricken hearts, that we are all going home. The more we are in the Lord on this earth, the more we are already at home.

Let us sing then with all our hearts “tidings of comfort and joy” and may our lives be a hymn of “Joy to the world”. For all joy is in God, and when He allows us to be disappointed in things or in others or in ourselves, He is only saying what He told Paul to say to us: REJOICE IN THE LORD.

This reflection draws much from the book, Come Lord Jesus by Mother Mary Francis [Ignatius Press] and was inspired by the theme of the 3rd Sunday of Advent and the words of St. Paul to the Philippians 4:4; "Rejoice in the Lord always."   Father Bill Miller

Pope Francis Family Devotional

Take a few short minutes every day to grow in faith together as a family, with Rebecca Cherico's new book, Pope Francis Family Devotional. Join us as Rebecca shares how you'll be inspired by a quote from the Holy Father and a simple reflection to spark discussion. Rebecca will  guide you on ways to use the Pope Francis Family Devotional at dinner time to deepen prayer and conversation. Or at breakfast or bedtime as the perfect start or close to each day's activities. If you've been looking for a simple but structured way to add reflection and prayer into your family's life, Pope Francis Family Devotional is a godsend.           Dec. 19, 2016: 11- Noon Central


by: Fr. Timothy D. Hepner, CDOP / Office of Vocations

I have been blessed to travel to our Newman Centers, high schools, grade schools and parishes and connect with men who have potential vocations. I have been humbled to see their virtue and their prayer lives. I have also been moved to prayer by the obstacles placed before them: a culture, friends, and sometimes even families who can’t comprehend why a man would “throw his life away” for the priesthood. I don’t blame these people. Their objections make perfect sense according to the world’s rationale. But because of their influence, men who are discerning often suffer, and sometimes even waver in following through on their call.

That is why we are continuing our efforts to promote vocational awareness in schools, parishes, and especially families. Fifty years ago, discerning a vocation was commonplace and expected among Catholics. Every Catholic boy and young man should be open to the possibility of the priesthood, and every family should see that as a possibility - and even rejoice at it. For this reason, I’m also asking all of you to pray for the families of men who are called to seminary. Pray for open hearts, softened and enlightened by the Holy Spirt. Pray also for these men to have courage to say “yes” to Christ and embrace the awesome call before them despite the obstacles they face.

After a year of “fishing” for vocations, I have been blessed to spend time in the depths and in the sacred space of young people’s experience of Christ. I ask you to help me continue setting out into the deep by persevering in prayer and in your own spiritual life. Do you practice Lectio Divina every day? Are you able to visit the Blessed Sacrament or attend daily mass during the week? Do you pray the rosary and meditate on the mysteries of Christ’s life? Is confession a regular part of your life? Through all these things we develop an interior life and, unconsciously affecting those around us, draw them into the deep waters of grace as well. This is how we promote vocations, by making it possible for young people to hear that mysterious voice in the silence of their hearts. We can’t give what we don’t have, so we will never teach young people to pray if we ourselves haven’t put in the effort. And when you pray, please keep in mind those of us who work for vocations.

Finally, I ask you to consider participating in some of the events that are planned in the next few months and publicized inside this newsletter. In particular, I want to invite you to attend the Vocations Apostolate Workshop on January 21, 2017. Please contact us if you would like to be involved in planning these or future events. Above all, on behalf of Bishop Jenky and the entire diocese, thank you for your work in promoting vocations to the priesthood! (see the archived page for part 1).


by: Fr. Timothy D. Hepner, CDOP / Office of Vocations

In the middle of the summer, I found myself sitting at a Mexican restaurant with about eight men from one of our Catholic high schools. The food wasn’t that great, but the conversation was. Before I knew it, we had been there about three hours, joking, talking about the faith, and discussing the problems of the world. I was very impressed by these men. Not only did they know their faith, but they had a personal relationship with Christ. Eventually it felt natural for me to ask, “What do you guys think your vocations might be?” A few answered “Marriage,” one said, “I might be called to be a priest, I’m not sure.” But one young man looked at me with eagerness and confidence and simply said, “Priesthood.” Surprised at his boldness, I asked, “What makes you say that.” He said, “I don’t know. I can’t explain it.”

Many young men in our diocese are experiencing a mysterious tug at their hearts toward something very countercultural and impractical. Despite the cynicism and anger that pervades our country, these young men, intelligent and aware of the world, are ready to joyfully give themselves to discernment for the priesthood. And I have been blessed enough to witness the initial stirrings of the Spirit in their hearts.

When any priest tells his vocation story, there is always an inexplicable element—an interior movement that can’t be reduced to words. This is why, from the beginning, the Holy Spirit has made me realize that my job as vocation director is to “set out into the depths.” I’m not a salesman or an army recruiter. While I do challenge men to be open to the priesthood, I never give undue pressure. My goal is to build relationships, to give them tools for prayer and discernment, and to fan into flame whatever holy desires they have. In a word, my main job is discipleship.




Dear St. Joan of Arc, you who led the armies of France to victory when called by God to save your land from the domination of foreign aggressors, we call upon you now that the courage and strength you showed in rallying the French troops may inspire courage and strength in the people of the United States to oppose all attempts by our government to undermine our democracy and erode our liberties as a free people.


Please for our sake invoke the assistance of the holy ones who God sent to call you to action: St. Margaret, St. Catherine and the Archangel St. Michael. With your intercession and the prayers of these saints, may the Holy Spirit pour forth on our people the gift of wisdom and knowledge of the truth, that we will be given light to vote in the coming election only for those who will serve the sacred cause of life, freedom of conscience and deliverance of our country from the prevailing forces death, darkness and lies.


We thank you for hearing our prayer and beg you to inspire us to be warriors in the defense of life, light and justice as the Spirit of God inspired you so long ago.


St. Joan of Arc, defend us!

St. Joan of Arc, pray for us!

St. Joan of Arc, lead us to victory!




Download this free e-book on helping your children make good use of the neand protect them from the serious dangers that go with internet access. This is  provided by COVENANT EYES that also produces tools for internet accountability  and filtering. Go to

Meet Our Seminarians

Deacon Lee Brokaw

Birth Date: January 23, 1986

Parish Location: St. Patrick's Raritan

Year entered the Seminary/Class of: Entered in 2011, Class of 2017

Studying at: Mount St. Mary's Seminary Emmitsburg, MD

Why did you become a seminarian?
The decision to enter seminary is a deeper search to allow God to show me if He wants me to be His priest. I love Jesus and want what He wants for my life. I believe it is in this where I will have the greatest impact for Him and His Church, and find the most fulfillment.

Before you entered the seminary, what were you doing?

I served three years as a FOCUS missionary, one year at Benedictine College and two years as the team director at Missouri State University.

An interesting fact about you: I enjoy working on our family farm in western Illinois.


By Cynthia Trainque


‘Many Catholics rightly complain about the absence of silence in the celebration of our Roman liturgy. It is important, therefore to recall the meaning of silence as a Christian ascetical value, and therefore as a necessary condition for deep, contemplative prayer, without forgetting the fact that times of silence are officially prescribed during the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, so as to highlight the importance of silence for a high-quality liturgical renewal. Cardinal Robert Sarah


Indeed. Catholics do ‘rightly complain’ about the lack of silence at Mass because silence is both a form of prayer in itself and it is also the opening one needs in order to pray.

Silence as a Christian Ascetical Value –Personal Prayer

You may be wondering, Just what is asceticism? Isn’t that some necessary thing for monks and nuns who hardly get to see much beyond their own monastic enclosures? What does that have to do with the average person in the pew?

According to His Eminence Cardinal Robert Sarah, the (71 yr old) Prefect of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the sacraments (one of the offices within the Roman Curia) wrote this in his essay, Silence in the Liturgy, published in Italian in L’Osservatore Romano on 1/30/2016:

Asceticism is an indispensable means that helps us to remove from our life anything that weighs it down, in other words, anything that hampers our spiritual or interior life and therefore is an obstacle to prayer. Yes, it is indeed in prayer that God communicates his Life to us, in otherd words manifests his presence in our soul by irrigating it with the streams of of His Trinitarian Love: the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit, and prayer is essentially silence.

One must practice coming to that necessary silence in order to be receptive to the seed of God’s must find that place of “good soil” where it can ‘produce a crop.’ It matters not whether that seed is as a ‘mustard seed’ for we know that it grows into one of the largest of bushes. Personal silence of this sort is vital for those times in the Liturgy where silence is a response to God’s word. All of the grea saints were great prayers...or became great prayers. Not all began their journeys as masters of prayer. Many struggled with it for years. St. Teresa of Avila and others wrote books on it.

Silence is Necessary for Prayer;

Silence is necessary as a form of prayer itself. It is a searching for and a response to the Living God. If I enter into prayer, of what good is my endless prattle if I am never quiet to hear God’s reply? If one spouse of a married couple talks endlessly to the other, how will s/he hear the reply of the other? The same is said for the great “conversation” between God and the individual at Liturgy. The worship of the Father in and through the Son by the power of the Holy Spirit is an act so holy that it demands times of silence—the silence of adoration, the silence of contentment, the silence of profound awe. Silence is an act of is total receptivity. The individual—the soul— is made for God like a flower pot is made for growing plants. Plants grow in silence and their very beginnings are hidden deep within the “womb” of rich soil. Silence changes us. We need the sacred “action” of silence.

Returning to the above-mentioned article by Cardinal Sarah, he says this about silence as a condition for prayer:


The Gospels say that the Saviour himself prayed in silence, particularly at night. (Lk 6:12) or while withdrawing to deserted places (Lk 5:16; Mk 1:35). Silence is typical of the meditation by the Word of God; we find it again particularly in Mary’s attitude toward the mystery of her Son (Lk 2:19, 51. The most silent person in the Gospels if of course, St. Joseph; not a single word of his does the New Testament record for us.


Didn’t Mary “ponder these things in her heart”? Perhaps Mary was not at synagogue or at some level of formal prayer when the Angel Gabriel appeared to her.—but she was at deep silent prayer. One who has been schooled in the ways of God can easily enter into prayer even whilst sweeping the floor or spinning wool into yarn. St. Paul exhorts us to “Pray without ceasing.”


Silence as Important Component of the Liturgy;

All parishes should allow for silence in the Church as soon as one enters into it, for to enter into a Catholic Church is to pull back the door into heaven itself. But alas, too many churches are more and more like meeting places of gossip and idle chit-chat before Mass. We sometimes fail to give any acknowledgement that Jesus is still present in the reserved Eucharist.

On the door to the Monastery of the Sisters of the Precious Blood in Manchester N.H. is a sign which says, “For the sake of Jesus present in the tabernacle kindly maintain silence in the this place”.

In the Old Testament the (minor )prophet, Habakkuk declared to the people of ancient Israel in his oracle of the same name: “the LORD is in his holy temple; silence before him, all the earth!” The prophet Zephaniah likewise calls for silence: “Silence in the presence Lord GOD!...Yes, the Lord has prepared a sacrifice…” If these two prophets called for silence before the presence of God how much more should we, the people of the New Testament, be silent before Jesus present in the tabernacle—Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.


In his article, Silence at Mass, David Philppart describes silence as “akin to these: the silence that gestates between people who know and love each other so well that words are not always necessary; the awe filled silence evoked by an encounter with beauty; the calm quiet that befalls those who gaze, listen or touch with their hearts as with their eyes, ears and hands.”


Further in the same article he says “The liturgy’s silence is

communal. The assembly keeps a communion of quiet. Each one tries to the best of his/her ability to be still, but it is more than just a bunch of individuals not saying or doing anything coincidentally. It is the Body of Christ listening for and attending to the voice of God.”

And again, “Silence in the liturgy is silence kept on purpose. It is deliberate and therefore active. It’s not an interlude, not an intermission, not an interruption of the action. At its time, it is the action: We keep the silence. ‘Be still and know that I am God,’ the psalmist sings. Silence in the liturgy is the active attending to God that Samuel showed when upon being awakened from his


Documents Shared on Website.

Shirley Plaag RCIA Talk

Msgr Ernie's Jubilee Homily at the Cathedral during the Bishop's Mass

 June 23, 2016

---Bishop Jenky,-and my brother priests:-Praise,-honor,-glory,-and thanksgiving to our Lord, Jesus Christ, who called us to Holy Orders!

---I hereby extend my heart-felt congratulations, especially to Father Bob Hoffman and to Father Tom Kelly, who celebrate their 60th Jubilee,-and to you, who join me in celebration of our 50,-40, and 25-year Jubilees,-and to you, Father Pica, as you begin your Priestly life!

---The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,-before you were born I dedicated you,---a prophet to the nations I appointed you.”

---What the Lord said to Jeremiah, I believe He said to each and every one of us in Holy Orders!

-We are prophets,-called by God to speak in God’s Name, and to deliver God’s message to everyone.

---And so,---here I find myself,---delivering God’s message to a Cathedral full of my brother Priests, who deliver God’s message to everyone!

---When I was asked to give this homily,-I really didn’t know what I’d talk about,-and so it was suggested I say something about my vocation.

---Now each of us has his own vocation story,-but,-with your indulgence,-I’ll share with you just a very short part of mine,-because I believe it has a valuable message in it for everyone!

---If I were asked why God chose me to be a priest,-my answer would be that of St. Paul, in 1 Cor. 1:26ff:-“God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise,-and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong,-and God chose the lowly and despised of the world,-those who count for nothing,-to reduce to nothing those who are-something,-so that no human being might boast before God.”

---While growing up,-I had a poor scholastic background, which resulted in my developing a terrible inferiority complex.

---When God called me to the priesthood as an adult,-I seriously thought He had to scrape the bottom of the barrel to get me!---I responded to God somewhat as did Jeremiah:-“Ah, Lord God!-I know not how to speak;-I am--too dumb!”--But the Lord answered me:---Say not, “I am too dumb.”---“To whomever I send you, you shall go;-whatever I command you, you shall speak.---Have no fear, because I am with you.”

And I believed God!

---Two incidents stand out in my mind, which represent the whole of my Seminary experience:

1) Soon after I began the Seminary, a good priest said to me,-“Ernie, why don’t you get out?-I’ve always had trouble preaching,-and I know you will, too!”-I felt discouraged,-but I said to him,-“Father,-I believe God called me to the priesthood,---and I know he’ll always give me what I need!”

2) A couple of years before my ordination, the Rector of the Seminary called me into his office and asked me, “What is a priest?”---I said, “A priest is a man called by God to offer Mass,-to administer the Sacraments,-to teach,”---and he interrupted me to say that I had no qualifications to teach.-He said that a priest is a leader,-but that I had no qualifications of leadership!

---As he went on to tear me down,-I thought he was using “reverse psychology” on me,---but he was serious!

---When finished, he asked what I intended to do when I got out of the Seminary,---and I asked him if he thought I could dig a ditch straight?

---He suggested I go into nursing, or some sort of janitorial work.-Although I felt very discouraged, I asked him,---“If my bishop accepted me back in the Seminary the next year,-would he accept me back there?”---He looked shocked,-but he told me IF my bishop accepted me,-then he would accept me back there the next year.---I looked at him and said,-“I’ll see you next year!”---As it turned out to be,-my bishop did accept me back at that seminary the next year!

---Well,-even though I had a constant struggle to fight-off discouragements,-I was finally ordained to the priesthood, on May 22, 1966!

---The “message of God” in my vocation story is this:---“In spite of the many, many difficulties and bouts of discouragements you experience,-I give you everything you need to-persevere to the end-in your efforts to fulfill My will for you!”

---My hope is that this homily may be a helpful inspiration to all who are struggling to fight-off discouragements,-and that it be a reminder to us all,-that if God calls us to anything,---then no one,---nor anything,-will ever prevent it from happening!

---We pray with the Psalmist:-“In you, O Lord, I take refuge;-let me never be put to shame.-In your justice rescue me, and deliver me;-incline your ear to me,---and save me.”---Amen!

---And God answers:-“Have no fear, because I am with you.”

God Bless you all!