A Letter from the Most Reverend Louis Tylka, Bishop of Peoria
March 27, 2022
Dear Friends in Christ,
Just over two years ago, the world entered an unprecedented time as the coronavirus pandemic began. No aspect of our lives went untouched, including the practice of our faith. From the onset, the Diocese of Peoria, in consort with the other dioceses in the State of Illinois, implemented protocols intended to protect the health and wellbeing of our brothers and sisters—especially the most vulnerable among us. I take this opportunity to acknowledge and honor all the sacrifices that were made, and to thank you for your cooperation and understanding.
Now, having reached a point where many of the safety protocols are able to be lifted, the time has come to rescind the dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass. This will occur on Palm Sunday, April 10, 2022. Each year on this occasion, we mark Jesus’ triumphant entrance into Jerusalem as we begin Holy Week. This year, it will also mark our Church’s triumphant renewal of Sunday worship. Having borne the cross of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Holy Week is a most fitting time to enter anew into the death and resurrection of Jesus and experience the renewed life of the Church as we celebrate the source and summit of our lives as Catholic Christians—the Most Holy Eucharist.
During the past couple of years, many of our parishes began the praiseworthy practice of streaming their Masses and other liturgical events. I am glad to know that a number of our churches will continue this practice for the benefit of our sick and homebound. However, it must be noted that watching Mass on TV or via the Internet - even when it is live-streamed-does not fulfill the Sunday obligation. As has always been the case, those who are ill or homebound - along with those who care for them - are not obliged to attend Mass. Furthermore, charity indicates that if you are contagious, you should stay home.
We have all suffered through this pandemic together; therefore, it will be a great blessing to fully welcome back all our brothers and sisters to Mass, particularly for our beautiful and deeply significant liturgies of Holy Week and Easter!
My dear friends, let us continue to pray for one another as many still struggle with matters related to the coronavirus pandemic. We pray that Jesus’ healing touch may come upon those who continue to suffer.
Mary, Mother of the church, pray for us!
Peace and Prayers,
†Most Reverend Louis Tylka
BISHOP OF PEORIA
Prayer to St. Joseph
Hail Guardian of the Redeemer Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.To you God entrusted His only Son; in you Mary placed her trust; with you Christ became man.
Blessed Joseph, to us too, show yourself a father and guide us in the path of life. Obtain for us grace, mercy and courage, and defend us from every evil. Amen.
Holy Hour for Vocations
(Every First Monday of the Month)
St. Valentine Church @ 6:30 pm
Confession time will also be available.
We strongly encourage support and readership of our diocesan newspaper, The Catholic Post.
We hope all members of our parish will use this valuable resource for Catholic living and unity in our diocese. Subscribe via credit/debit card online at thecatholicpost.com, or call (309) 671-1550, or send a check to:
The Catholic Post, PO Box 1722, Peoria, IL 61656.
The subscription cost is $30.
My Jesus, I believe that You are Present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love you above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacra-mentally, come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.
Pray for Vocations
GOD OUR FATHER, we thank You for calling men and women to serve in Your Son's Kingdom as priests, deacons, and consecrated persons. Send Your Holy Spirit to help others to respond generously and courageously to Your call. May our community of faith support vocations of sacrificial love in our youth and young adults. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who lives and reigns with You in the Unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever. Amen. (www.usccb.org/vocations)
St. Joseph Catholic Church seeks to be a welcoming, Christ-centered, spirit-filled and nurturing Catholic community that fosters the love of God, leads all into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, and builds the Kingdom of God in the heart of Peru, Illinois. The Catholic Community of St. Joseph will welcome and serve our brothers and sisters, nurture their spiritual growth, share Christ's light, spread the Good News and build the Kingdom of God through the Eucharist, the Word of God, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
The tide of emigrants from the German-speaking territories of Europe ran high during the middle of the nineteenth century due to crop failures and unsettled political environs. Lured by the rich farmland, an opportunity to work in the coal mines or on the canal, and the desire to be with others from their homeland, many people came to live in Peru, Illinois. They brought with them their Catholic Faith and, for a time, were ministered to and educated by the Vincentian Fathers from St. Patrick’s Church in LaSalle, which was established in 1838.
It was during this time of early settlement, that some of the ancestors of our present parishioners attended night catechism classes at the Hogsback (on the Little Vermillion River) or at New Dublin (which the Oglesby area was called). Due to the long trek from Peru to LaSalle, and the increasing numbers of German-speaking parishioners, the Vincentian Fathers saw the wisdom of assigning to them a missionary who was able to speak their language and establish a permanent church in Peru. So it was that Father Kramer, CM, determined to build a mission church dedicated to St. Joseph where the new arrivals from Germany could be ministered to in the language of their forefathers.
The cornerstone for our church was laid and the church was completed that same year. “St. Joseph Church’ was written in the stone over the front door, along with Father Cossman’s name. Father Cossman chiseled his name out himself, stating that the church belonged to God and the parishioners! Men of the parish collected throughout town for the cost of what was to be the “town” clock. On that basis, they persuaded the city to put power lines to it, without being metered.
St. Joseph’s became a parish on perpetuity with the approval of Pope Leo XIII.