St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

What's new for St Joseph and St Mary Parishes!

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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.

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Updated Message from the Bishop

Office of the Bishop

March 26, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As we continue to respond to the spread and the danger of the coronavirus, I write once more to offer a word of encouragement. Many exceptional steps have been taken both in the Church and in the wider society, in an effort to protect individuals from exposure to the virus or from becoming a carrier that might expose others.

As Catholics, we recognize a particular obligation to see Christ in every moment of our lives, both the good and the challenging. Every sacrifice that we make is another step on our way to choosing for Christ, and therefore for eternal life in heaven itself.

We are a people of hope and trust in the Lord. Jesus has told us that His true followers are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. That means that we have received not only the gift of faith, but also the responsibility that comes with that gift. The current moment challenges us to live as those who truly believe that Jesus has not left us alone, but is with us even more closely when difficulties arise. Others, especially those who are fearful, ill, lonely or without faith, need to have our witness, especially now.

As the coronavirus problem is projected to intensify in the coming days, I write to convey to you some further dispositions to address the projected spike in cases and the longer timeframe that appears to be anticipated for protective measures. To that end:

1) Through Easter Sunday (up until and including Easter Sunday), all Masses are to continue to be celebrated privately without the presence of the faithful.

2) I also take this opportunity to extend the dispensation given to all the faithful from the obligation of attending Sunday Mass through Easter Sunday.

3) All adoration chapels are now to be closed in order to increase our response to protect the faithful from the spread of the coronavirus.

Given the continuing unavailability of the sacraments to the faithful except in grave circumstances, there is a widespread feeling of longing to be with Christ and with the Church. It is important that we continue to recognize the ability of Jesus to be close to us even in such an exceptional time.

I have asked Father Jonathan Bakkelund, Director of the Office of Divine Worship of the Diocese of Rockford, to prepare some thoughts on the Plenary Indulgences that the Vatican has made available at this time, as well as means for a spiritual communion when Eucharistic communion is not available, and likewise the richness of making a perfect act of contrition when sacramental reconciliation cannot be accessed. His very helpful comments are attached.

Please know of my prayers for all of you during this unprecedented time. I ask for your prayers as

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend David J. Malloy Bishop of Rockford


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Take Advantage of the Technology

Going stir crazy? We hope that you may stay healthy. We pray that all those who have health conditions will not take the risk of getting the virus. To help accommodate you and to help you not have to watch the same old thing on TV and the internet, we have some things that may help lighten up your life as well as inform you.
cropped-layout-mockup-2-done-jpg-5WEBSITE – I will continue to put on updates about the COVID-19 virus and other spiritual things on the website. There is an option to “follow” the website. When you “follow” the website, you automatically get an email whenever anything new is put on the website. It is a way to keep up-to-date.
SJ outsideFACEBOOK SM outside– Stephanie has been a great help and puts up many inspirational posts consistently for the St Joseph Facebook. Angela takes care of the St Mary Facebook and has done a wonderful job. Both will be a great connection to your community. I hope by the time you receive this, that I will have figured out how to stream the Mass live on Facebook. Just go to the Parish Facebook at the time Mass is normally scheduled. If it is not on, then I have not figured it out yet. As Our Lady tells us, Pray, Pray, Pray. I also hope to be able to stream the Stations of the Cross and possibly the rosary. The location may change to keep things interesting and you may have a Deacon or one of the Sisters lead in prayer. Fr Diego is also looking into doing something in Spanish.
App-icon PARISH APP – You can keep the parish app as a resource. Access to the bulletin is on the app as well as the Sunday homilies, Bishop Barron talks, Top of the Morning with Bishop Malloy, access to the FORMED app, prayers, the readings of the day for Mass, and reflections that may inspire. We are looking at getting the streamed Masses on the app as well. The parish app also can give you reminders that there is something going on like a streamed Mass, or if there are messages from the Bishop.
The simplest way to get the parish app is to go on your smart phone or tablet and download the My Parish App from the Play Store for an Android or App Store for an Apple. When the app is downloaded, on the upper right corner of the home screen, there are three lines: click on the three lines. You might see St Joseph and St Mary Parishes, click on that and you will be at our parishes’ app. If our parishes are not on the list, click “Find a Parish.” If you are in Freeport or close by, St Joseph and St Mary Parishes should be on the list, so click on that. Note that the My Parish App will know where you are at and will only pull up the Parishes that are near you, so it will not pull up parishes that are out of state. If you are out of state, then you will have to search for the parish.
FORMEDFORMED is a great resource to help get you through cabin fever. You can access it online or through your smart phone. There are many movies, kids’ shows, a bible studies series called “Lectio,” classes, books, and audios both in English and Spanish. This may be great entertainment and education that might help you keep your sanity.
To get this service free, go to, click “register” and enter your name, email address and desired password. From there you can watch and enjoy everything available. However, if you are accessing through a smart phone or tablet and not through a computer, you will want to download the app from the play store or app store. If you have problems, just give me a call. As I learn more about this service, I hope to be able to help you. — Fr. Barr

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We still need your help!

Our parishes are going to be hit hard financially with no Mass availability and no collection.
Please continue to be generous and give.
You can send a check in the mail or sign up for online giving by going to the parish’s website.
There you can give once, or put yourself on a schedule so that we can rely on your gift.
Thank you for your generosity. 

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Repent and Believe

The Mass is on the St Mary Facebook. Bulletins are available in the Breezway at St Joseph Church and in a plastic box by the handicap ramp at St Mary church. If you would like, i can put one in your maibox, or bring to your door. Call me< Fr Barr and leave a message with your name and address. If you would like to have communion brought to you, give me a call and leave a message. God Bless you!

Fr Barr

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Easter FlowersWith the uncertainty of when we will be able to reinstate our Masses, we are forced to reconsider how we will be handling the Easter flowers for our churches. We have been in contact with Deininger Floral. Everyone is being affected by this, and although there is no good answer at the moment, Deininger’s will help accommodate the churches as best they can when that time arrives.
We will still take orders for Easter flowers; we just cannot guarantee that we will be able to get exactly what we have requested.