Choice for St. Thomas More principal decides to stay at Mahomet

CHAMPAIGN — The administrator expected to be The High School of St. Thomas More’s next principal has decided to keep his current job in the Mahomet-Seymour School District.

Churches renovating, expanding

CHAMPAIGN — Several local churches are embarking this summer on expansion and renovation projects of $400,000 or more.

— Apostolic Christian Church has begun a $925,000 renovation of its building at 1401 Devonshire Drive, C.

— Friendship Lutheran Church of Joy has plans for an expansion, estimated at $750,000, of its building at 3601 S. Duncan Road, C.

Local monsignor leaving 'home'

CHAMPAIGN — A priest who has shepherded the largest Catholic parish in Champaign for nearly a decade is leaving to head a Catholic high school in Peoria.

Monsignor Mark Merdian, pastor at St. Matthew Catholic Church since 2003, has been reassigned as president of Notre Dame Catholic High School in Peoria, effective June 27.

Salvation Army leadership changing

CHAMPAIGN — The Salvation Army of Champaign County will have a change of leadership next month.

Envoys Michael and Kris Fuqua are being transferred to the Salvation Army in Willmar, Minn., after four years of leading the local Salvation Army and pastoring its church here.

Scholar inspired by reply: 'I am a citizen'

Not long ago, noted religion scholar Martin Marty heard an interview on National Public Radio about a generous doctor who had continued working for free in poor communities after retirement.

When asked why, the doctor replied, "Because I am a citizen."

Provena foundation launches grants for nonprofit groups

URBANA — Provena Covenant Medical Center Foundation has launched a new grant program for area nonprofit groups, with the aim of addressing community health problems such as obesity and domestic violence.

The new program, nicknamed "FAITH Squared," is expected to make grants of $5,000 to $50,000.

C-U Jewish community marks completion of its first Torah

CHAMPAIGN — Crammed into an overflowing living room in the Chabad Center for Jewish Life on Sunday, dozens of faithful onlookers suddenly fell into silent anticipation.

Illini Torah celebration March 4 2012


The Chabad at the University of Illinois celebrated the completion and dedication of the Illini Torah in  Champaign, IL.  Sunday, March 4, 2012.   After the Siyum Sefer Torah, the ceremonial completion and dedication of a hand-written Torah, was followed by a parade down Fourth St and Green St to the Illini Union for a meal and dancing.  

Mega Work-a-Thon at Empty Tomb March 2012

 Volunteers for Empty Tomb built 100 clothes cupboards for kids at the Apostolic Life Church in Urbana, IL.  Saturday, March 3, 2012.  The cupboards give the kids a place to store their clothes, shoes, books and things.  289 volunteers registered to do the work. The long term goal is to make 500 cupboards.

Empty Tomb seeks volunteers for project to help children

CHAMPAIGN — Kids need a place to keep their clothes and school books, and the Christian service organization Empty Tomb hopes to provide hundreds of needy children with something they don't have — cupboards of their own.