The Catholic Conference of Illinois produces occasional videos on public policy issues important to the Church. Our YouTube channel can be found at https://www.youtube.com/user/CatholicConfIL.
We also post videos of Catholic interest.
Cardinal Cupich of the Archdiocese of Chicago has recorded an inspiring video message on unity in these trying times, reminding us, “This is a time to be gentle with one another, and accompany each other emotionally. … And this is a moment to deepen our own spiritual lives as members of the body of Christ by making a commitment, as I do today for you, that we will pray for each other.”
Bishop Malloy has recorded an encouraging video regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that, “This is a moment that’s different than anything we’ve gone through in our lifetime. But we’re reminded by St. Paul, hope never disappoints — and even in the midst of challenges and fears of the unknown.”
Catholics from across the state today joined an Environmental Lobby Day at the Illinois Capitol sponsored by the Illinois Environmental Council, Sierra Club and Faith in Place. Participants asked lawmakers to sponsor a resolution honoring Pope Francis’ 2015 ground-breaking encyclical Laudato Si’, as well as support legislation creating a program for low-income residents to get access to clean, affordable water in light of the recent water crisis in Flint, Michigan.
Catholic Conference of Illinois Executive Director Robert Gilligan testified today before the Illinois House Human Services Appropriations Committee on the impact the state budget impasse is having on Catholic Charities agencies and the people it serves throughout the state. The state has been without a budget since July 1, 2015. Stephanie Johnson, director of government relations for Catholic Charities of Chicago, also testified. On the date of the hearing, Catholic Charities of Chicago was owed $18 million by the state, mostly for in-home services for senior citizens, keeping them out of a more costly nursing home.
Vatican officials today released a beautiful video outlining the underlining principles of Pope Francis’ new encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si’.
Catholic Conference of Illinois Executive Director Robert Gilligan today testified before an Illinois House panel charged with finding solutions to teen violence, noting innovative methods being used by Catholic schools and parishes.
Gilligan told the bipartisan panel of lawmakers on the Violence Prevention Task Force that a school in the Peoria diocese recently implemented an anti-bullying program that trains students to recognize bullying among their peers. Read more about that program here.
He also noted that St. Agatha’s parish in Chicago was using “peace hubs” for conflict resolution for such offenses as petty thefts, instead of turning to the juvenile justice system.
“It’s the principle of restorative justice,” Gilligan said.
House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, called for the formation of the task force in January, citing recent findings in a new report on the December 2012 shootings at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school. Connecticut’s Office of the Child Advocate in its report noted “weaknesses and lapses in the educational and healthcare systems’ response and untreated mental illness” played a role in the continued mental deterioration of the gunman, Adam Lanza. Lanza walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed 26 people and then himself.
The task force also heard testimony from child welfare advocacy groups, social service agencies, education officials, mental heath experts, law enforcement, and other religious groups.
Students from across the state in the fall of 2014 completed a 15-month prison ministry leadership program developed by the Catholic Conference of Illinois and Lewis University in Romeoville. Fr. Chris Reuter, O.F.M., of the Belleville diocese celebrated a commissioning Mass for the students at Sancta Alberta Chapel on the Lewis campus in November 2014. The students will now coordinate other prison and jail ministry volunteers in their respective dioceses.
Archbishop-designate Blase Cupich held a press conference on Sept. 22, 2014, two days after he was named the successor to Cardinal George. He had been attending a seminar sponsored by Catholic Extension. He shares his thoughts on the Church’s mission.