On the morning of Sat., Aug. 12, St. Agnes Cathedral in Springfield, the diocese celebrated the ordinations of Mike Fritz and Jim Walter to the Permanent Diaconate. The two men recently completed formation and studies through a program sponsored by the neighboring Diocese of Tulsa. The ordination marked a significant point in the vocational journey of the two men who each have their own story to tell. While some commonalities are shared between Deacon Fritz and Deacon Walter-—devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and praying the rosary, and to the Deacon-Martyr St. Lawrence, for example—their careers, families, and discernment processes have given both a unique set of experiences that will undoubtedly benefit those whom they serve in ministry. Read more
The annual Catechist Institutes held in the diocese this year focused on the theme of “Catechists as Missionary Disciples,” delving into concepts related to authentically putting into practice the theology of the New Evangelization. Religious educators in the diocese gathered for the institutes on Sat., Oct. 14, at Holy Trinity Parish in Springfield and on Sun., Oct. 22, at St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Cape Girardeau. Read more
‘Behold, I make all things new …’
Drawing from the verse from Revelation 21:5, the theme of this year’s Steubenville Mid America Youth Conferences focused on the power of God, His Church, and the sacraments to truly ‘elevate’ modern society and all peoples to holiness. More than 8,000 young Catholics gathered together in the JQH Arena on the campus of Missouri State University, Springfield, the weekends of July 14-16 and July 21-23 to ponder that message and celebrate their faith.
Colby Elbert ordained a priest June 2
Bishop Edward M. Rice ordained Colby Elbert, age 33, a priest a week after fellow seminary classmate Fr. Joseph Stoverink, on Fri., June 2, at St. Peter the Apostle Parish in Joplin. The church was packed with people and excitement as area priests and Bp.-Emeritus John J. Leibrecht concelebrated the liturgy.
Elbert expressed enthusiasm and missionary zeal as he begins his priestly ministry. He also professed his trust in God and “whatever doors may open for me.” Read more
Joseph Stoverink ordained a priest May 26
Following a slight-but-steady trend of “homegrown” men who have been ordained priests for southern Missouri, Fr. Joseph Stoverink is the fifth ordination in the diocese since 2015, the third by Bp. Edward M. Rice. His ordination took place the evening of Friday, May 26—the Memorial of St. Philip Neri, priest—in his home parish of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Cape Girardeau. Just having served a year as a deacon, Stoverink recently completed his seminary studies at St. Meinrad Seminary in Indiana. Stoverink, age 28, is the fifth of six children to Al and Carol Stoverink, of Cape Girardeau. Read more
Bishop Edward M. Rice celebrated the Rite of Ordination of Brian J. Straus to the Sacred Order of Deacon on Friday evening, May 19, in St. Agnes Cathedral, Springfield. Hundreds of family, friends, and faithful were in attendance, including many diocesan priests and permanent deacons who participated in the liturgy.
The Mirror interviewed Rev. Mr. Brian Straus: Read more
‘Mary’s triumph through Jesus’
The Marian Association of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau hosted another conference to encourage spiritual growth, particularly through devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, at St. Mary Cathedral in Cape Girardeau on April 28-29. More than 100 people attended the two-day event that featured presentations by Deacon Patrick O’Toole (Diocese of Springfield, IL), Mark Kiser (convert, evangelist, and parishioner of St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Ozark), Fr. Chris Alar (Marians of the Immaculate Conception), John Horvat, II (American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property), and Gregory Thompson (diocesan Marian Association). Read more
‘Sowers of joy and healing through acts of love’
The Diocesan Council of Catholic Women (DCCW) held its annual Spring Assembly April 21-22 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Springfield. The gathering focused, in part, on the necessity of being “sowers of joy and healing through acts of love,” and featured presentations on the apparitions and messages of the Blessed Virgin Mary, pro-life ministries, and the importance of the home being a “domestic church,” among other topics.
Internationally-acclaimed Catholic speaker and author Chris Stefanick came to Our Lady of the Lake Parish in Branson on Wed., April 5, to conduct one of his many “REBOOT! Live!” events that are being held around the country this spring. “Reboot” presentations center around a practical exploration and understanding of our faith and all the ways it’s meant to impact our lives, often complicated by technology and indifference.
“From the moment we come out of the womb, we come out looking for love,” Stefanick said. “The desire for love drives us to do many things. It drives us to want to be successful, and it drives us to want to be noticed, because we want love.” Read more
Youth of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau were challenged to pick the “right way” to “travel” toward eternal salvation during the 24th annual Diocesan Youth Conference March 25-26 in West Plains. Tying-in with the theme “Through the Narrow Gate,” based on Matthew 7:13, presenters at the conference provided the attendees with valuable insights and counsel on how to navigate through the journey of life in ways that lead to true sanctity. Read more