Bishop Edward M. Rice was joined by area clergy, religious, and many joyful parishioners as a Mass of Thanksgiving was offered June 18 for the 125th anniversary of Sacred Heart Mission Church, Thayer. Read more
The annual Catholic Scouting Awards ceremony was held in Old St. Vincent Chapel of Ease, Cape Girardeau, on May 2, with Fr. Allan Saunders, pastor, presenting the awards to the youth. The Scouts receiving Catholic Scouting awards included youth who were from St. Mary of the Annunciation Cathedral Parish and St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Cape Girardeau, Immaculate Conception Parish in Jackson and St. Paul the Apostle Parish in North Little Rock.
Father Patrick Nwokoye is the Diocesan Chaplain for Catholic Scouting.
Open to all youth campers going into grades fifth through ninth, the 43rd annual season of Camp Re-NEW-All has begun, with the young people at Camp St. Vincent completing five days of fellowship, recreation, study, skits, sacraments, and crafts. Thanks to all of you who contribute to the annual Diocesan Development Fund and those of you who participated in the Capital Endowment Campaign. Your donations make possible these great opportunities for our young people. Thank you, too, to all the volunteers (grades 10th through adult), clergy, and seminarians who take time to be present at camp. Bishop Edward Rice celebrated Mass with the youth in Fredericktown on Mon., June 26.
Please keep our young people in prayer as they grow in faith, in love of our Lord, and closer to one another at Camp Re-NEW-All.
The Catholic bishops in the US want to form a Church of missionary disciples on fire to spread the joy of the Gospel to their communities. For that purpose, they are convening the “Convocation of Catholic Leaders: The Joy of the Gospel in America.”
To be held July 1-4 in Orlando, FL, it will be a gathering of thousands of Catholic leaders working in dioceses, apostolates, and movements across the country.
This appears to be the first national-scale response anywhere to Pope Francis’ 2013 apostolic exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium” (“The Joy of the Gospel”), where he asked the faithful “to embark upon a new chapter of evangelization marked by this joy.” Read more
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
I was recently privileged to celebrate four Masses of Thanksgiving to mark the successful completion of the diocese’s first-ever Capital Endowment Campaign. I remain so grateful for the opportunity for us to gather, as a Diocese, in St. Mary Parish, Joplin; St. Agnes Cathedral, Springfield; Sacred Heart Parish, Poplar Bluff, and St. Mary Cathedral in Cape Girardeau in order to give thanks to God and for me also to express my gratitude to you for your participation in this historic endeavor. Whether as a donor or as one who helped organize the solicitation for the campaign in your parish, it took the cooperation and participation of so many parishioners to make this campaign a success. As we look back now, we can see beyond all the strategic planning, all the meet and greets, all the phone calls and pledge cards and realize that the capital campaign wasn’t really about the capital campaign: It was about faith and trust. 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
The US bishops have launched a Website and video to mark the beginning of this year’s Fortnight for Freedom, focusing on religious freedom issues both at home and abroad. The Fortnight for Freedom takes place June 21-July 4.
The video, about 10 minutes long and viewable on the Fortnight for Freedom Website, features a number of legal, religious, and other personalities discussing the importance of religious liberty. Read more
At this moment, I find myself fulfilling one of the most important, challenging, and privileged tasks I have been given as bishop of this diocese—that of making pastoral appointments for our priests. I am pleased to announce the pastoral appointments which will take effect on Thu., July 6, 2017, unless otherwise noted. We welcome Fr. John Sullivan from the Archdiocese of Chicago and the international priests who will be joining our presbyterate from the Heralds of Good News (HGN) and the Dioceses of Nellore and Gunter, all of which are located in India. Please keep these priests in prayer as they take up their new appointments and responsibilities in the Church of Southern Missouri: Know that I depend on everyone’s prayers as well. I thank these men for their fulfillment of past responsibilities. Read more