A Note from Gail Quinn

A Note from Gail Quinn. It is with both trepidation and excitement that I announce my retirement from St. John Neumann. After nearly 30 years of working for the Diocese of Rockford in different parishes, it’s time for me to choose a different path on this life journey. Apparently, I don’t like to do things in half measure as I will also be relocating to Charlotte, North Carolina!  Two of my six children live in the Carolinas’s the other four and their families are in this area so I will be back often. 
I think it would be fair and accurate to say that life has challenged me during my time at St. John Neumann. In my nearly 15 years at SJN, I lost my husband, my mother, my father, my father-in-law, and my dear friend Fr. Gillespie. Through all of it, there were people of St. John Neumann that walked beside me, and I will be forever grateful. I am so thankful for the friendships made; my life will be forever enriched by having known you. I wasn’t even looking for a job when this one became available, but I believe God put me where I needed to be. I want to thank all my co-workers both past and present for the opportunity to know them and for the work we were able to accomplish together.  
I thank Fr. Rich for hiring me and most especially Fr. Peck for retaining me and allowing me to continue to help him with his temporal duties in this parish. It has truly been my honor and my privilege.
On to the next chapter……. with much love and appreciation Gail Quinn 

Information from the Office of Vocations, Diocese of Rockford

A Note from Bishop USCCB, October 12, 2022

2nd Collection for those impacted by Hurricane Ian

The funds collected in this special appeal will become part of the Bishops Emergency Disaster Fund and will be used to support the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for pastoral and reconstruction needs of the Church as well as the efforts of Catholic Charities USA and Catholic Relief Services, the official relief agencies of the U.S. Catholic Church, as they and their local agencies/partners respond to immediate emergency needs and aid in long-term rebuilding and recovery efforts. Funds will be used in response to the hurricanes and the impact of subsequent flooding and tornadoes and any other disasters that occur and will be distributed where they are most needed. However, if such purpose(s) become unnecessary, impractical, or impossible to fill, USCCB may use such contributions for other emergency disaster relief where it is most needed as determined by the Committee on National Collections using its emergency response protocol.

Thank you in advance for your kind cooperation and assistance for those in great need. God bless you for your generosity.

A Letter from Fr. Peck, September 28, 2022

Dear Parishioners,
The one thing that is constant in this world is change. That has been reinforced over the past two years dealing with COVID. It continues today.
But change can be refreshing, the newness opens possibilities and challenges us to assess what is really important in our lives.
Then there are changes that are needed to enrich an experience.
We as a faith community must always be alert to the need for change when change is proposed to help us be a better, more God-centered family.
Some have been easier than others. Some things that have changed are now being considered the new normal. God and bad.
Our Sunday Masses are one of the things that have changed. We have not gotten back to the numbers attending pre-COVID. Our volunteer force is down as well. All understandable.
However, because of this, we are not able to adequately serve our parish as we would like. In order to better serve our faith community, we are proposing to change our Mass times to better align and utilize our resources to meet the needs of our parish family.
Beginning January 1, 2023, our new Mass times will be: Saturday, 4:00 pm; Sunday, 8:00 am, 9:30 am, and 11:00 am. These changes were proposed after much prayer and discernment. They are a result of the times we are facing. It was not an easy decision, but a necessary one.
Our hope is that this will increase our attendance at each Mass; better employ our volunteers and allow them to attend Mass as parishioners occasionally, and better serve our parish needs.
In Christ,
Fr. Peck

Press Release from the Bishop - 6/24/22

Bishop Malloy issues statement on SCOTUS decision on Dobbs vs Jackson. Read statement here.

New Directives from the Bishop - 8/27/21

Dear St. John Neumann Family,

What else can I say but a BIG thank you!! We have been under stay-at-home orders for more than ten weeks. As your pastor, I had numerous concerns from the beginning of our campus closure. I was concerned for your spiritual nourishment and physical health. I was concerned that we about staying engaged as a community, meeting the needs of those struggling, praying that our elderly did not feel forgotten, and keeping the parish running financially. It has been a whirlwind of transition for us all. I want to thank you, our parishioners, for the numerous ways you have stepped up to support St. John Neumann.

Financially, April was a full month of no public masses, and the fact that we received about 71% of the budgeted collection is outstanding. We were able to obtain a Small Business Administration loan under the Paycheck Protection Program, which ensures paying our staff through  mid-June. I am overwhelmed by your generosity and support, and I am extremely grateful.

The parish staff quickly shifted to working from home to support our community and me in new ways — adapting as the situation required. I am thrilled with their love for God and the community and how they have poured themselves out for us all. To a person, our staff adapted quickly to the unforeseen. They have done an outstanding job. I am immensely thankful.

Our maintenance staff cleaned and disinfected every square inch of our campus. Now that we are reopening for limited public Masses, they continue to help keep things going. I am thankful for their dedication and care.

Please know that we are assessing everything. We are cutting expenses so that we are ready for the eventuality of when PPP does run out. Your continued and consistent support to SJN will help us prepare for the future. If you have not already, please do sign up for Online Giving. Your support is uplifting. I thank you for trusting us to lead you safely through these times as we continue to adapt to the circumstances.

Most importantly, let us continue to pray for each other and allow the Lord to draw us closer to Him and one another. Jesus is the answer to everything. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!

In the Risen Jesus,

Fr. Peck

Wednesday, April 1

SJN’s Pastoral Ministry during COVID-19. These times of isolation call for new kinds of ministry with you, our brothers and sisters in Christ. As a staff, we have targeted 10 new ways to share Christ’s love and triumph with each other (see PDF below). These methods of ministry have at their heart keeping our community healthy and honoring the shelter-in-place guidelines of our government. We have been working to bring these new methods up-to-speed over the last two weeks. Know that you are in our prayers, that we miss you, and that we want you to stay healthy and close to Jesus, Our Lord. A special thanks to the Archdiocese of Washington, who provided the starting point for us in adapting these ideas to our community. Click here for PDF.

Plenary Indulgences

The Holy See recently granted a plenary indulgence to the faithful suffering from Coronavirus, who are subject to quarantine by order of the health authority in hospitals or in their own homes if, with a spirit detached from any sin, they unite spiritually through the media to the celebration of Holy Mass, the recitation of the Holy Rosary, to the pious practice of the Way of the Cross or other forms of devotion, or if at least they will recite the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer and a pious invocation to the Blessed Virgin Mary, offering this trial in a spirit of faith in God and charity towards their brothers and sisters, with the will to fulfil the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer according to the Holy Father’s intentions), as soon as possible.

As well as to Health care workers, family members and all those who, following the example of the Good Samaritan, exposing themselves to the risk of contagion, care for the sick of Coronavirus according to the words of the divine Redeemer:  “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (Jn 15:13), will obtain the same gift of the Plenary Indulgence under the same conditions.

And to those faithful who offer a visit to the Blessed Sacrament, Eucharistic adoration or reading the Holy Scriptures for at least half an hour, or the recitation of the Holy Rosary, or the pious exercise of the Way of the Cross, or the recitation of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, to implore from Almighty God the end of the epidemic, relief for those who are afflicted and eternal salvation for those whom the Lord has called to Himself.

The Holy Father, Pope Francis, also announced after the Angelus prayer on Sunday, March 22, that this coming Friday, March 27, at 6:00 pm, he will preside over a moment of prayer on the sagrata of Saint Peter’s Basilica, before the empty square.  He invites everyone to participate spiritually through the means of communication. We will listen to the Word of God, we will lift up our supplication, we will adore the Blessed Sacrament, with which at the end, he will give the Urbi et Orbi blessing, to which will be connected the possibility of receiving the plenary indulgence.

A plenary indulgence validly obtained, grants the remission of all temporal punishment due to sin.

A plenary indulgence is obtained by: 

-carrying out one of the external acts listed above

-sacramental confession (as soon as possible)

-receiving Holy Communion (as soon as possible)

-praying for the Holy Father’s intentions

Perfect Contrition

Where the individual faithful find themselves in the painful impossibility of receiving sacramental absolution, it should be remembered that perfect contrition, coming from the love of God, beloved above all things, expressed by a sincere request for forgiveness (that which the penitent is at present able to express) and accompanied by votum confessionis, that is, by the firm resolution to have recourse, as soon as possible, to sacramental confession, obtains forgiveness of sins, even mortal ones (cf. CCC, no. 1452).

Perfect contrition means a sorrow for sin out of love for God.  It does not mean being “perfectly sorry.”

Perfect contrition is sorrow for sin out of love for God and His goodness, whereas imperfect contrition (while still a gift of God) is sorrow for sin due to a fear of hell, judgment and punishment (CCC 1452-1453).

Act of Spiritual Communion

 It is a beautiful and praiseworthy tradition to recite an act of spiritual communion when one is unable, for whatever reason, to receive Holy Communion.  Below is an act of spiritual communion composed by Saint Alphonsus Ligouri.

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 sacramentally,  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.

More information from the Diocese of Rockford 

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Dear St. John Neumann Parishioners,

We ask all parishioners to direct donations of food or other items directly to the organizations in our community, such as Hesed House, Lazarus House and Salvation Army.  Do not bring physical donations to the parish. Please bring your items to either of these locations. The people who are served by these organizations are still in great need.

Salvation Army
Hesed House
Lazarus House

A special note about your Sunday offertory: 

  • The parish and diocese are committed to continue to pay its staff even though our offices are closed. Guided by the mission of Christ, we feel we must do this.
  • The building, though closed, must still be maintained with water, lights, and other utilities.
  • Like everyone, we still have bills to pay from previous purchases even though we have halted all non-essential orders.
  • Most importantly, we are continuing outreach efforts to the homeless, hungry, and needy in our community via direct monetary and other donations. These children of God will most particularly be hurt by the extenuating circumstances of this pandemic.

As always, we depend on your weekly offertory to make these essential activities happen. We still need your continued donations. Further, if you are blessed to be able to dig deeper and offer more than normal, your help is needed now.

We urge all parishioners to move to our Online Giving resource so that the parish does not lose its revenue to fund outreach ministries, salaries, and other essential efforts. Online Giving will help sustain our Church. It allows you to make your donations, payments, and pledges via your smart device or computer. You can contribute using direct withdrawal (ACH) or credit cards. There is no need to contact your bank or the parish office. The payments are flexible; you can start, stop, and change your contributions at any time. The web site adheres to banking security standards. 

To sign up for Online Giving, visit the following web site and choose “Create New Account” above. Be sure to remember your user name and password. Signing up for Online Giving will ensure that the parish can continue its ministry efforts during this difficult time.

You will continue to be in my prayers: for hope and healing. Your parish is with you in these uncertain times.

In Christ,

Fr. Peck