Week of Dec. 25

Graphic to promote applications for Totus Tuus Missionaries Every year, Totus Tuus, a popular program for Catholic students in grades first through twelve come to parishes all around our diocese. The Diocese of Springfield is now hiring Totus Tuus Missionaries for the summer of 2024!

*Please put this image in your bulletin/e-blasts and encourage faithful college-aged men and women to apply!

Religious Awards for Scouts – Scouts of all ages can earn religious patches, emblems and recognitions through the Catholic Committee on Scouting. Activities include the Rosary, the lives of saints, Mary, the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy and more. Emblems and Recognition awards are available for members of Girl Scouts USA Boy Scouts of America. See dio.org/scouts for details. Or call Kyle Holtgrave at the Catholic Pastoral Center, (217) 698-8500, ext. 154.

Poland > Effingham > U.S. Citizen – Fr. Michal Rosa’s unique story – Fr. Michal Rosa, pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Effingham, became a U.S. citizen July 7. It’s a journey he would have never imagined, growing up in Poland. So how did this all happen, how did Bishop Paprocki play a role, what does Fr. Rosa think of America, what does he miss the most about Poland (besides family), and what aspects of our faith does he wish America prioritized more? We Dive Deep with Fr. Michal Rosa. Go to dio.org/podcast or youtube.com/diospringfield or search “Dive Deep” on all the major podcast platforms to listen and subscribe.

Click here to download a graphic to include in your bulletins

MCA Christmas Artwork Contest:  Calling All Young Artists – Missionary Childhood Association (MCA) has an annual Christmas Artwork Contest for students from K-8th grade.  Entries should be sent to the Office for the Missions no later than January 31, 2023.  For information on submitting an entry go to:  https://dio.org/missions/missionary-childhood-association

Culture of Life Essay Contest:  National Right to Life is having an essay contest for middle and high school students.  For essay prompts and information to submit essays go to:  https://www.nrlc.org/wp-content/uploads/nrlc-essay-contest-2024-updated.pdf.  Essays are being accepted from December 20, 2023 to January 21, 2024.  Essays must be postmarked by January 21, 2024.   

Gospel Mass and Soul Food Luncheon:  SAVE THE DATE:  In recognition of Black History Month, all are invited to a Gospel Mass and Soul Food Luncheon, hosted by the Black Catholic Commission. Sunday, Feb. 25, 10 a.m., Church of the Little Flower, Springfield. The Soul Food Luncheon follows Mass.

Pray to Protect Human Life:  Join others from across the country in praying the 9 Days for Life annual novena, January 16-24, 2024.  The novena is for the protection of human life. Each day’s intention is accompanied by a short reflection and suggested actions to help build a culture of life.  Sign up at:  www.respectlife.org/9-days-signup.

Project Rachel:  Help for women and men to heal from the pain of abortion.  For assistance call 1-877-RACHEL-5. 

Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat:  Retreat for people affected by abortion, September 27-29, 2024, Villa Maria Retreat Center.  Cost is $150.  Scholarships are available for those not able to pay the full registration fee.  Please let others know about this healing opportunity.  For more information  call 217-698-4456, or email projectrachel@dio.org.

Save the date for the Illinois March for Life and Mass – Wednesday, April 17, 2024. Mass, 10 a.m., Sangamon Auditorium, on the UIS Campus, 1 University Plaza, Springfield. Noon, rally in front of the State Capitol, followed by a march around the State Capitol complex. The Mass, rally and march are intended for 7th-12th graders, college students, and adults. More details coming.

Attend the National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis July 17-21 – This summer, join tens of thousands of passionate Catholics will travel from every corner of the U.S. to experience the healing power of Jesus Christ, present in the holy Eucharist at the National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis. Soak in the Presence of Jesus alongside people of all walks of life – a vivid image of the universal Church. You will participate in beautiful liturgies, lifting your voice in prayer alongside world-class musicians, hear from the most influential Catholic speakers of our day, and make history as part of the first National Eucharistic Congress in nearly 100 years. This is the beginning of a new chapter of faith in America. Will you be there? Register at eucharisticcongress.org. 

Here is a graphic to pair with it

Retreat for married couples offered – Worldwide Marriage Encounter presents weekend experiences for married couples to rekindle romance, enhance meaningful communication, and deepen and renew commitment. Sign-up now! For more information or to apply, go to wwme.org or call Terry & Eric Engholm at 314-649-7317. Next ones:

2/2/2024 – 2/4/2024, St. Peters, MO

3/15/2024 – 3/17/2024, Cape Girardeau, MO

4/5/2024 – 4/7/2024, St. Peters, MO

Here is a logo you can use as well


December 31, 2023
The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

“…as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must forgive.” –  colossians 3:13

Forgiving is one of the hardest things for people to do.   We can’t give what we don’t have.  We need to receive God’s mercy and forgiveness first before we can give it to others.  Go to the sacrament of Reconciliation and receive God’s mercy and forgiveness.   Then, share the gift of forgiveness with someone – a family member, a friend or a co-worker.  Pick up the phone or text someone right now. 

January 7, 2024

Epiphany of the Lord

“They fell down and worshipped him.  Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” – Matthew 2:11

Notice the order of events in the Magi’s visit.  First, they knelt before Jesus and prayed to Him.  Then they presented Him with their gifts.  We, too, must take time to pray before we present our gifts to the Lord.  We never know what God may be asking us to share!

January 14, 2024

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them, ‘What are you looking for?’”  – John 1:38

When we recognize who we are, it’s easier to find what we are looking for.  Once we see ourselves, and others, as children of God, we spend less time looking for the material comforts of the world.  Instead, our hearts long for something deeper that can only be filled by God.  Ask God daily how He wants you to live the life He intended for you.

January 21, 2024

3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”  – Mark 1:17

Jesus’ call to “follow me” is a call to all Christians!  The call is in the here and now, in our present circumstances, not when we think we are “ready” or have everything in order.  Good stewardship of our God-given gifts means that things aren’t always going to go according to our schedule, but that God has a much better plan in store for each of us.

January 28, 2024

4th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Brothers and sisters:  I should like you to be free of anxieties.”  – 1 Corinthians 7:32

How much anxiety do we bring upon ourselves by constantly worrying about not having enough or attaining more things?  God won’t necessarily give you everything you want, but He will provide everything you need.  Try this – use the word “pray” instead of the word “worry” in the future.  Then spend your time praying instead of worrying.

February 4, 2024

5th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed…He told them, ‘Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also.  For this purpose have I come.’”
                                                                                                                                                   – Mark 1:35, 38

In today’s Gospel reading we see a perfect example of stewardship.  Jesus gives His time to do all that God wishes – healing the sick and preaching.  But before He begins, Jesus takes time to be alone with God in prayer.  It is through prayer, spending time with God, that we are given the graces needed to do what He wishes us to do.  Praying before acting is a great habit to develop.

February 11, 2024

6th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Brothers and sisters, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.”
                                                                                                                                                                          – 1 Corinthians 10:31

Do a quick check of your priorities.  Where does God rank in that list?  If He’s not first, you have some work to do.  Putting God first in everything helps us from putting other “gods” (like our pride, ego, money and possessions) before God.  Before making a decision, ask yourself, “I’m I going this for the glory of God or for the glory of me?” 

February 18, 2024

1st Sunday of Lent

“After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God….” – Mark 1:14

Have you ever thought about how difficult it must have been for Jesus to go to Galilee, knowing that John had just been arrested for teaching the same message that He was proclaiming.  It took great love and trust for Jesus to do what the Father had sent Him here on earth to do.  In the same way, living a stewardship lifestyle takes great love and trust from us.  We must be willing to surrender completely to God, trusting that He will always give us all that we need to fulfill His plan for us.

February 25, 2024

2nd Sunday of Lent

“’Here I am!’ he answered.”  – Genesis 22:11

It is easy to say, “Here I am, Lord,” when we are kneeling in church.  But how easy is it to say “Here I am, Lord,” when a neighbor needs our help, or when we are invited to join a parish ministry, or when we are asked to provide financial support?  Often times we are called when it’s not convenient for us.  Discipleship is not easy, most of the time it will make us uncomfortable and vulnerable.

March 3, 2024

3rd Sunday of Lent

“You shall not carve idols for yourselves in the shape of anything…” – Exodus 20:4

How many “gods” do you put before God?    “Idols” do not always take the shape of physical things, things we can touch and feel.   Those are easy to recognize.   Many times they take the form of things we cannot touch and are much harder to spot like pride, power, ego, time, comfort or health.  Pray for God’s help to prune our vices and to grow in virtue. 

March 10, 2024

4th Sunday of Lent

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son…” – John 3:16

Of all the wonderful gifts that God has given to us, the gift of His own Son is truly the greatest.  How can we ever thank God for a gift like that?  God does not ask us to sacrifice our own precious firstborn, but He does ask that we are grateful and generous with our God-given gifts.  That we nurture and develop our gifts, and in gratitude, generously give back with increase our time in prayer, our talent in charitable works and our treasure to support the mission and ministry of our parish and greater Church.

March 17, 2024

5th Sunday of Lent

“I will be their God and they shall be my people.”  – Jeremiah 31:33

What does it mean to be God’s people?  It means we recognize that everything we have and everything we are belongs to God.  We aren’t “owners” of anything, we are merely “stewards” of the gifts God has given us.  It means we are willing to use our gifts and our lives to care for our family, our neighbors and for people we don’t know, just as God cares for each of us.

March 24, 2024

Palm Sunday

“Pilate again said to them, ‘Then what shall I do with the man whom you call the King of the Jews?’  And they cried out again, ‘Crucify him.’” – MARK 15:12-13

Jesus told us “whatever you do for the least of my brothers, you do for me.”  Every day we are presented opportunities to help someone.  Every day we have the opportunity to see the face of Jesus in others and be the face of Jesus to others.  Every day we pass by someone in need.  Pray for the strength and courage to be the answer to someone’s prayer.

March 31, 2024

Easter Sunday

“Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.”  – COLOSSIANS 3:2

On this day we thank God for His Son, Jesus, who died, rose and opened the gates of heaven for us.  We celebrate and sing “Alleluia.”  Let’s try to keep the joy of this Easter season in our hearts throughout the year!  Pray daily and listen for how God is calling each of us to joyfully use our gifts to fulfill His salvation plan.