Week of July 17

New, free-to-watch documentary features Central Illinois miracles and incredible stories of faith – In a world full of selfishness, hardships, and despair, more and more people are asking, “God, are you up there?” God is Alive, an original documentary, created and produced by the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, answers that question in an adventurous, impactful, and local way, and that will inspire and energize your faith life. God is Alive takes viewers to Jerseyville, Springfield, Peoria, Quincy, and Decatur and features five stories of incredible faith/miraculous events that you will be surprised to learn about and touch on many things people struggle with such as prayer, feeling unforgivable, and dealing with an incredible hardship.To watch the documentary, go to dio.org/documentary.

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Priest runs Boston Marathon in 6:35/mile (under 3 hours)! – It is one the most prestigious marathons in the U.S., the Boston Marathon. Runners must quality for it. Our Father Dominic Rankin not only competed, but completed it in under three hours (6 minutes and 35 seconds per mile)! How did he do it? We discuss with him the physical and spiritual components of running the Boston Marathon. Go to dio.org/podcast or search Dive Deep on all the major podcast platforms to listen and subscribe.

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You are invited to a historical diocesan-wide celebration at the BOS Center in Springfield – To celebrate the Diocesan Year of the Eucharist and the 100th anniversary of the transfer of the See city from Alton to Springfield, the Eucharistic Congress is taking place Saturday, October 28 at the BOS Center in Springfield. This dynamic experience will include nationally recognized Catholic speakers, adoration, confession, and Mass. The arena will be packed with thousands of Catholics from across the diocese. To attend, contact the parish office as each parish in the diocese is given a specific number of available seats. You can inquire about reserving a seat through the parish office starting July 1, or if you are interested in volunteering, you can register now! For more information on the event or volunteering or financially supporting/sponsoring the event, visit dio.org.

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Got cereal? – St. John’s Breadline in Springfield needs donations of cereal to help fight food insecurity, starting with the most important meal of the day! All donations can be brought to the back service delivery door every day from 7 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Celebrate 150 years with the Dominican Sisters of Springfield – The Springfield Dominican Sisters are pleased to welcome you to Sacred Heart Convent for a celebratory Mass in honor of the 150th anniversary of the founding of their community. Please join them at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 19, 2023, at Sacred Heart Convent Chapel, 1237 W. Monroe Street, Springfield. RSVP by August 1 is appreciated. This may be made either with a phone call to 217-787-0481 or at springfieldop.org/150years/. With plenty of off-street parking and a building accessible to everyone, you will be warmly and gratefully welcomed. For those unable to be present, a live-stream is offered at springfieldop.org/livestream/.

Know someone who would make a good deacon or thinking about it?

Called to serve? Come and seeAll men discerning a vocation to the diaconate are invited to a weekend experience at the Villa Maria Catholic Retreat and Conference Center on Friday, September 8 (4 p.m.) through Saturday, September 9, (2 p.m.). During the weekend, you will meet the men and wives currently in formation, proctor classroom lecture, join in meals, and have social time. In addition to attending Mass with the deacon candidates and wives, you will participate in the Liturgy of the Hours and Morning and Evening Prayer. Wives of men discerning a vocation are invited and strongly encouraged to attend.  

To register for this event please use this link form.jotform.com/231135196152046.

Wonder what it’s like to be a Catholic sister? Come and see – More women than you might realize sense God drawing them toward a life of fulfillment and happiness as Catholic sisters. Often, they miss the opportunity to explore because they aren’t sure what to do once tuned in to this prayerful intuition. Walking the path of vocation discernment begins, for many women, with a “Come & See” weekend at a residence of Catholic sisters. The Dominican Sisters of Springfield, Ill., have eleven such events scheduled throughout 2023-2024. There are six in-person weekends and five virtual events planned for September 2023 through December 2024. Single Catholic women ages 21-45 are welcome to register for any—or more than one—of each event. The first event is in-person September 15-17, 2023. Registrations for that and all events are now being accepted at springfieldop.org/comesee.

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Visit the Cathedral in Springfield or Ss. Peter and Paul Church in Alton, receive an indulgence! – The diocesan-wide Year of the Eucharist going on now has a heavenly treasure of our Catholic faith attached to it. Bishop Thomas John Paprocki received permission from the Holy See, granting a plenary indulgence to those who make a pilgrimage to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield or Ss. Peter and Paul Church in Alton (the “Old Cathedral”) now through Dec. 8. One must also partake in the other usual conditions to receive this indulgence by going to Confession, receiving the Eucharist, and saying prayers for the intention of the Pope. These acts “may be carried out several days preceding or following the performance of the prescribed works. But it is more fitting that communion and the prayer for the pope’s intentions take place on the day the work is performed” (Handbook of Indulgences, Norms for Indulgences, 23.3). An indulgence a gift and grace that remits the temporal punishment due to a sin.

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

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 one:

8/4/2023 – 8/6/2023 – St. Peters, MO

9/29/2023 – 10/1/2023 – St. Peters, MO

12/1/2023 – 12/3/2023 – St. Peters, MO

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July 9, 2023
14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”  –  Matthew 11:30

When we think of being good stewards, we may think that God is asking too much of us when He calls us to generously share our time, talent and treasure.  However, we must remember that we are not “owners” of anything, we are merely “stewards” of the gifts God has given us.  All He is asking is that we give back a small portion, in gratitude, of what He has already given to us.

July 16, 2023
15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word but then the cares of the world and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit.”  –  Matthew 13:22

Does the lure of riches and material goods choke God out of your life?  Are you so caught up in earthly activities that you have no time for God?  Gratitude and generosity are virtues that we should strive to do on a daily basis.  Every decision we make either takes us one step closer to God or one step further away.  What we receive at Mass every Sunday should be shared with others all the other days of the week as well.

July 23, 2023
16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field…He who sows good seed is the Son of Man, the field is the world, the good seed the children of the kingdom.”  –  Matthew 13:24, 37-38

As children of God, we are all “good seeds”.  We are blessed by God with the potential to accomplish much good in the world.  We fulfill God’s plan when we spend time in prayer every day, use our skills to help others and share our financial gifts to help build God’s kingdom on earth.  Through our example of gratitude and generosity we sow “good seeds” on earth and ultimately help each other get to Heaven!

July 30, 2023
17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.”  –  Romans 8:28

Do you really trust God?  Do you really believe that God will provide all that you need?  Faith is a challenge for everyone at times.  Putting our trust in God, in everything we do, in good times and in bad, means that God’s plan for our lives may be quite different than what we planned.  When one door closes, another one opens.  Trust in God, His plan is always better. 

August 6, 2023
The Transfiguration of the Lord

“…then from the cloud came a voice that said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.’”  –  Matthew 17:5

When Peter, James and John heard this they immediately fell prostrate to the ground and they “were very much afraid.”  We, too, may respond the same way when we hear God’s voice.  How many times do you become fearful when invited to participate more fully in the life of the Church?  Or, when someone says something negative about the Church, are you afraid to respond?  Remember, we too, are beloved sons and daughters of God; Jesus is there to help us, but we need to listen.

August 13, 2023
19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“He said, ‘Come.’  Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus.”  –  Matthew 14:29

When you hear Jesus calling, do you responded immediately and trust that He knows what He’s doing?  If so, you are walking on water!  When we say “yes” to Jesus, we feel the power of his presence in our lives.  We can feel the freedom it gives us!  Listen how Jesus is calling you to live the extraordinary life He has intended for you.

August 20, 2023
20th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable.”  –  Romans 11:29

God has a special mission in mind for each of us.  He has given us the gifts we need to accomplish that mission.  We are called to be good stewards by using those gifts to do the work that He has planned for each of us.  If we deny our gifts or fail to use them as God calls us to use them, then some part of His work will be left undone.  Each of us has a part in God’s salvation plan.

August 27, 2023
21st Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Or who has given the Lord anything that he may be repaid?”  –  Romans 11:35

St. Paul reminds us of a central fact of stewardship.  We cannot give God anything – He already owns it all.  God made everything, including us.  Since we are made in His image, we too, are called to be generous.  How we use our God-given gifts becomes our gift back to Him.  Gratitude for all we have been given opens our hearts to joyful generosity!  And, through our generosity, we just may be the answer to someone else’s prayer.

September 3, 2023
22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

“What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?”  –  Matthew 16:26

St. Francis of Assisi said, “Remember, you are what you are in the eyes of God, and nothing else.”  We often forget this stewardship wisdom when we spend all of our time, talent and treasure to gain more of the world’s riches.  We need to set our priorities based on God’s values and not the values of the material world. 

September 10, 2023
23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

“You, son of man, I have appointed watchman for the house of Israel…”  –  Ezekiel 33:7

Many of us are generous with our gifts.  However, many of us are not generous in proportion to the gifts we have been given.  How often do we give at the minimum level required?  Remember, the Lord calls us to nurture and develop our gifts and to give back with increase.  He calls us to be generous with all the gifts, especially the one that means the most to us.

September 17, 2023
24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“For if we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord; so then, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.” – Romans 14:8

This is the essence of stewardship – everything we have and everything we are is a gift from God.  We aren’t “owners” of anything, we are merely “stewards” of the gifts that God has given us, especially our very own lives.  Pray to God, daily, and ask Him how He is calling you to the live the life that He intended for you.

September 24, 2023

Stewardship Awareness Sunday in the Archdiocese of St. Louis
25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last”.  – Matthew 20:16

You’ve heard the saying “it’s not where you start, but how you finish.”  This certainly applies to this Bible passage.  We have a responsibility not only for our own lives, but for the lives of others as well.  We are called to generously share our gifts with others, not hoard them for our own use.  Our sincere gratitude and cheerful generosity will help us live “God-centered” lives and not “self-centered” lives.