Recently in Diocese of Peoria Category

Hurry, Hurry, Hurry


This is Mama-Lu. Chris usually edits my posts so please excuse any problems and the absence of my special font color. I'll have him fix it when he get home tonight [fixed--ed]. Since these are time sensitive and I forgot before he left, I'm flying solo.

  1. Time is almost up to register for the Smart Martha Seminar taking place at St. Matthew's in Champaign on November 15th. Learn new ideas about having a faith-filled family and managing your house. Plus, spend the day with other women who are trying figure these things out too.

    For more info, visit the Smart Martha website, and to register go to our parish website

    I've heard good things!

  2. Scoot on over to Seaside Tales for a chance to win one of my duck puppets. Enter by Friday!

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More on Fr. Layden

| | Comments (2)

This report paints a much less benign and much more disturbing picture.

An informant working with the UI police officers investigating Layden told a Champaign County judge Wednesday that he has known Layden since 2007 and used cocaine with him "40 to 50 times" in the last seven months in Layden's office in the Newman Center, 604 E. Armory Ave., C, and in Layden's residence in the rectory across the street at 1007 S. Sixth St., C.

The informant spelled out for Judge Harry Clem his relationship and contacts with Layden in order for police to obtain search warrants for Layden's office and residence. Clem issued those warrants Wednesday, and UI police investigators searched the office and residence and collected several items of evidence, including about 3 grams of powder cocaine, Interim UI Police Chief Jeff Christensen said...

First Assistant State's Attorney Steve Ziegler said in court Thursday that the UI police monitored a cocaine purchase by the informant from Layden on Sept. 4. That alleged transaction occurred in a garage at the Newman Center after Layden obtained drugs from his car, according to Ziegler.

Police also monitored the informant in a Sept. 9 purchase of cocaine from Layden. On that day, Ziegler said, the informant met Layden at the Newman Center to arrange a buy. Layden then drove to another location in Urbana where police believe he picked up the drugs, then returned to the Newman Center. He then sent a text message to the informant saying the drugs were ready for delivery.

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First off, I'm not ignoring the last few comments left on the posts below about Summorum Pontificum and the traditional mass in this diocese. I've just spent way too much time composing posts, reading comments and responding. I'll most likely take the weekend off from the subject and get back to it next week.

Second, a commenter down below asked:

Is Msgr Soseman going to offer the TLM anytime soon? I should hope so.. he knows it well....

I was a bit surprised to find in my email a response from Monsignor Soseman:

Could you add that I do offer the Latin Mass, usually more than once a week.

The Sunday Mass is offered at St. Mary of the Woods in Princeville at 7:30 in Summer, and soon to switches to 11:15 for the Winter. I know for people in the city of Peoria, Princeville is like on the moon, but the Church is only about 17 minutes from the Shoppes at Grand Prairie. (people in Chicago sometimes drive for 2 hours for the Traditional Mass)

Thanks, if you could do this for me.

God Bless,

Msgr. Soseman

I'm closing comments on this post. If you have something to say about this, please look him up on the diocesan website and contact him that way.

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I started replying to individual comments, but it got too long so I'm posting again.

For the record, I don't think Fr. Z is being unfair. I'll even admit my initial reaction was harshly negative towards the Peoria memo, but as I thought about the context of the memo and the concrete situation of our priests here, I chilled out and came to see it as fair to priests and parishioners alike.

Since I'm not interested in quarreling point by point, let me respond to the general objections:

  1. Permission - Some seem to think that the bishop has no right to ensure that priests have a minimum competency in offering the Extraordinary Form (EF) of mass. I disagree. No bishop has reason to doubt that his priests are able to celebrate the Ordinary Form (OF) because they get trained on it in seminary and do it all the time. Most priests have no idea how to offer the EF and it's a lot more complicated then the OF. The bishop has the responsibility to safeguard the sacraments in his diocese. That may be the "Party Line," but it's also true.

    I said in my original post that I understand that some bishops will use this as a roadblock. If Bishop Jenky does that, it will be unfortunate. But the document itself gives every indication that this is not the case. The document states that means will be made available for priests that want to learn.

    It makes sense to assume, by the way, that this is not just for priests at the five parishes where the EF wil be regularly offered. Therefore the bishop is not confining the EF to those parishes. What is unreasonable about this again?

    I would just like the doubters on this point to explain the following sentence uttered by Cardinal Castrillon-Hoyos: "It is the parish priests who must open the doors to those priests that, having the faculty, go to celebrate." Particularly explain the word "faculty."

  2. Numbers - I read Fr. Z every day, I respect his opinions and will readily concede that he knows far more about this than I do, but just because he says a coetus can be as small as three doesn't make it so. Now, as far as I know, the most authoritative word is Cardinal Castrillon-Hoyos, who states in this 30 Days interview that no minimum number was ever established. OK, great, but the point is that various people have suggested numbers up to 300, and not all of them are flaming libs out to stick it to trads. I do wish the Peoria memo had cited which cardinals gave those numbers, but I don't disbelieve the statement. This argument comes very close to calling at least Fr. Deptula and possibly the bishop flat-out liars. Is somebody bold enough to make that claim and lay out the indisputable proof? Or can everybody just please clam up on this point?

    Again, it is important to point out that the memo is partially meant to address concerns raised by priests. Further, it states that "All of the requests that have come to the attention of the Office of Divine Worship or the Bishop’s Office have been from individuals or very small groups."

    One can well imagine the situation: "I'm a pastor of two parishes and I have two families that want the Latin mass. I already say 3 masses (sometimes 4) on a weekend. What do I do?" Tell me, knowers of all, is it better that the priest:

    a) change one of the two masses a parish has to the EF,
    b) schedule himself into violation of canon law by adding another Sunday mass, or
    c) kindly refer the families to the nearest regular celebration of the EF?

    Yes, there are other possibilities, like the one mentioned by the commenter below: that these groups of people could find a retired priest who can say the mass for them. But how many 80 year old priests are there itching to do this? That might be a great solution for some parishes, but you're still going to have situations where the pastor can't accommodate the requests, for reasons having nothing to do with a lack of generosity or hatred of traditionalists. What do they do? Well, in the Diocese of Peoria, they will soon have five regular parishes to which they can refer parishioners.

    What I think grates on people is that to an extent the memo assumes that priests will not be able to accommodate the people who want the EF. Well, folks, welcome to the... um... 1970s. If you even have a pastor, you should be grateful. The only way to change this is to have more babies and pray that they're called to the priesthood.

  3. Imposing the EF - Many people are put off by this language: "Parishioners need not fear that the Traditional Mass will be imposed on them or that they will be "surprised" by a pastor arbitrarily choosing to change the way that Mass is celebrated in a parish."

    I was too when I first read it. But then I looked at things from the eyes of the average parishioner who wasn't constantly refeshing the page on the morning of July 7. The Catholic who learned about the motu proprio from an AP story headlined "POPE BRINGS BACK LATIN MASS." And then I envisioned those people inundating their pastors and bishops with phone calls. And then I understood and chilled out. This is a reassurance that if you like the mass you go have, it's not going away anytime soon.

    The way some of these people react, it's as if Bishop Jenky had proclaimed:

    No one is being told to attend the traditional Mass unless they want to. Everything will be as it was in the parishes, with respect to the Mass according to the Novus Ordo. There will be traditional Masses only in parishes where it has been duly requested by interested persons and where there is a priest who is qualified to celebrate it."

    (Oh by the way, there's that pesky language about the priest being "qualified" to celebrate the EF). I wonder what liberal rabble-rouser said that?

I wish people would take a deep breath and look at the document for what it is. No priest is going to impeded from offering the EF so long as he learns do it properly, and those parishioners whose pastor cannot for whatever reason accommodate their desire for the EF have 5 different parishes they can attend.

The fact of the matter is that concretely, not much is going to change for reasons entirely independent of the bishop. Every priest is going to celebrate at least one Sunday mass in each of his parishes in the OF. If they have a Mass left to say, they may or may not say it in the EF depending on how many people in the parish want it, how big that parish is in general, how available the EF is in the immediate area.

Furthermore, I am aware of some of the problems traditionalists have had in this diocese, and I feel for them. I'm also not declaring that Bishop Jenky is now and forever Friend of the Traditionalists. I am also saying that it appears that he;s making an earnest effort to balance the requirements of the Summorum Pontificum and the desires of many Catholics for the EF of mass with the needs of priests and the preference of theat vast majority of parishioners who aren't all that interested in the EF. But when I see them rend their garments in disgust at what is a fairly positive reaction by the diocese to Summorum Pontificum, I have to think they're letting their hatred of the bishop get in the way of appreciating the vastly increased access they will have to the EF.

Finally, please do see Brandon's second comment in my original post, where he maks some good points and has kind words to say about both Fr. Deptula and my pastor.

Good night.

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U of I Newman Center in the Catholic Post


This week, my diocesan newspaper leads with the building project at St. John's Catholic Newman Center at the University of Illinois.

The expansion is needed because St. John’s Catholic Newman Center, which serves about 12,000 Catholic students at the University of Illinois, does not have enough residence hall space for students who would like to live there, nor meeting space for its many ministries and social outreaches.

When completed, the new 127,000 square-foot structure will add 316 beds. The hall will have two wings, one six stories in height and the other three. It also will include a second floor outdoor terrace, a 300-seat cafeteria, and a Newman Club where students can study and socialize.

The new building is expected to be finished by July 2008, when the project’s second phase -- an extensive renovation of Newman Hall -- will begin. Plans for the renovation are now being finalized, and the formal kick-off of a fundraising campaign will be announced at the end of the summer, said Randall.

(That first link will expire when the next issue comes out, so go to their archive page if you're reading this after July 20.)

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CDOP-ites Will Appreciate

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Christmas Message from My Bishop

"Glory to God in the highest and PEACE to His people on earth!"

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

On every great feast day and on almost every Sunday of the year, the song of the Christmas angels echoes down the ages in the Church’s sacred liturgy. As we celebrate the almost incomprehensible mystery of the Incarnation of God, this greeting takes on special meaning.

"Peace" is the message of Jesus Christ -- from his Birth to His Resurrection. Yet, we know that the peace of Christ is not "given as the world gives peace." First and foremost, the peace of Christmas is a peace that comes from reconciliation. Today, the lost are invited home. The alienated are welcomed. And sinners are offered the grace of communion with the God who loves them beyond all telling.

This same grace that restores the longed-for union of God and mankind, also empowers each of us to live in harmony with our brothers and sisters. The Christ Child comes with peace for the whole world. While we know that war, violence and hatred are all too common in our world, our communities and even our families, Christmas peace is still possible -- one heart at a time.

As we celebrate this holy season, I pray that each of us may enjoy the warm community of family and friends -- glorifying God for the gift of His Son, the Prince of Peace.

Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC

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New Religious Community in My Diocese!


The Diocese of Peoria officially welcomed a newly established association of women Religious -- the Franciscan Sisters of John the Baptist -- on Tuesday during a Mass of Temporary Vows at St. Mary’s Cathedral...

The new association consists of 10 women Religious who until recently belonged to the Congregation of the Daughters of St. Francis of Assisi, American Province, which is based at St. Joseph Convent in Lacon...

The Sisters will adopt white habits in place of the black and white habits they wear now. They presently wear medals that signify their membership in the association.

According to Sister Salezia, in July 2005 a group of Daughters of St. Francis of Assisi nuns moved to the Motherhouse of the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis in East Peoria, and in September 2005 the group began working at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria.

"Working in a hospital opens one to different kinds of people and a wider field of service," said Sister Salezia.

That was one factor that led to the Sisters’ renewal of their vows as members of a new community separate from their previous one, she said.

Full story from my diocese's paper here.

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Zenit has a report of a Mass celebrating 70 years of priesthood for Father Marie-Dominique Philippe, founder of the Community of St. John. For Peoria folks, that's the same Brothers of St. John who have a priory in Princeville. The Community's website can be found here and the US Website is here.

I was poking around the webpages, and it seems Fr. Antoine of the Illinois group has several books published - primarily aimed at cultivating devotion to the Eucharist amoung children - that may be worth checking out.

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Sad prayer request


A priest I know and worked with has been removed from ministry due to past allegations of sexual abuse. Please pray for him, his parishes, his alleged victim(s), and all who will be hurt and scandalized by this news. U of I alumni who want info can drop me an email or just google it.

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Changes at Newman


Today, it was officially announced that Monsignor Stuart Swetland will be leaving the Newman Foundation at the University of Illinois.

Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, has named Father Gregory Ketcham, presently pastor of St. Philomena's Parish in Peoria, to guide campus ministry efforts serving more than 10,000 Catholic students at the university and another 3,000 at Parkland College in Champaign.

Father Ketcham will succeed Msgr. Stuart Swetland, Newman director for the past nine years, who has accepted a position on the faculty of Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md. Msgr. Swetland will direct the pre-theologate program and teach homiletics at the nation's second largest Catholic seminary.

The move is effective June 14.

Monsignor Swetland came to Newman the year I went through R.C.I.A there. He was one of three priests who had a great effect on me in my first few years of being fully Catholic and I had the good fortune of being able to work for him as a sacristan. I know the Newman Foundation will greatly miss him. But Newman's loss is the Mount's gain. He is a natural teacher and a great homilist, so this will be a good position for him.

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This page is a archive of recent entries in the Diocese of Peoria category.

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