Area Catholics say Pope Francis brings joy

Monsignor Gregory Ketcham, director and head chaplain at St. John's Newman Center on the University of Illinois campus, said his first reaction when he learned about the selection of a new pope was a feeling of joy.

"There is a great deal of joy in knowing that the Holy Spirit has brought us this individual who will provide everything our church needs," he said.

Local Catholic leader confident in church's future after Benedict resignation

A local religious leader said that Catholics have nothing to fear after Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation on Monday, effective at the end of the month.

Monsignor Gregory Ketcham of Saint John's Catholic Newman Center at the University of Illinois said he was startled when he first heard about the pope's decision, but understood why he's resigning.

Donors sought for women's refuge

CHAMPAIGN — Greta Henry sees women in the midst of crisis pregnancies and women trying to escape abusive relationships.

Many of these women need a real refuge, she says, and her organization, Living Alternatives Pregnancy Resource Center, is asking donors to help provide it.

St. Mary's parishioners get a last look at school

WESTVILLE — Parishioners of St. Mary's Church in Westville were invited to walk the halls of the parish's school for the last time on Sunday afternoon.

The 107-year-old Catholic grade school closed in May 2010, due to declining enrollment and financial support despite efforts by parents, parishioners and community members to keep it open.

Greek Orthodox leaders seek resolution from legislators on Turkey

CHAMPAIGN — Greek Orthodox church leaders are hoping state legislators will pass a resolution calling on Turkish officials to "loosen up on their secular stronghold" and allow for more religious freedom abroad.

Living Christmas Tree Cantata 2012

Photos from the annual Living Christmas Tree Cantata was performed at the St. Paul Lutheran Church in Sadorus, IL. on Sunday, December 9, 2012.    

Trinity Lutheran Live Nativity 2012


The live nativity at Trinity Lutheran in Urbana on Saturday, December 8, 2012. 

Life Remembered: Priest made everyone feel special

RANTOUL — The Rev. Stanley Malinowski loved football. He loved the outdoors. But he loved people even more, according to Carolyn Taylor, who worked with him at St. Malachy Catholic Church in Rantoul for 25 years.

Rantoul and Thomasboro area residents are mourning the death of Father Malinowski — a man who many say had the knack of making everyone feel special.

Dedication for church's new home Saturday

MONTICELLO — The Bible says that "where two or three gather" in God's name, he will be there with them.

But when you're packing 80 to 100 people into an 1,800-square-foot space, it's still time to move.

Catholic Charities has new take on old mission

CHAMPAIGN — To feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless.

Catholic Charities of Peoria once partnered with the state to provide services for the poor and vulnerable because that partnership was in keeping with its mission.