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.

Schlarman relocating 7th, 8th grades next year

DANVILLE — Starting next school year, Schlarman Academy seventh- and eighth-graders will be housed at the Catholic school's secondary education campus at 2112 N. Vermilion St.

The academy's board recently approved the relocation to alleviate some overcrowding at the elementary education campus at 1304 N. Walnut St., among other reasons.

Congolese priest impressed by C-U

URBANA — Father Zephyrin Nsimba came here from the Congo and likes what he sees.

A mission worker for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kinshasa, Nsimba came here to meet with and celebrate Mass with Congolese residents — he said there are many here — and help organize a massive clothing drive for his troubled nation.