St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

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

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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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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.

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Prayer to Mary During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Corona Virus prayerFrom Our Holy Father, Pope Francis
O Mary, you always shine on our path as a sign of salvation and of hope. We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick, who at the cross took part in Jesus’ pain, keeping your faith firm. You, Salvation of the Roman People, know what we need, and we are sure you will provide so that, as in Cana of Galilee, we may return to joy and to feasting after this time of trial. Help us, Mother of Divine Love, to conform to the will of the Father and to do as we are told by Jesus, who has taken upon himself our sufferings and carried our sorrows to lead us, through the cross, to the joy of the Resurrection. Amen

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Schedule during the Corona Virus

The Mass schedule will go on, even though they will not be celebrated publicly. The Masses will be streamed live on the Facebook pages respective to where the Mass is celebrated. That means that if the Mass is celebrated at St Mary Church, it will be streamed live on the St Mary Facebook and vice versa. The stations of the cross will also be streamend live as well as many other prayers that I pray as a priest every day. You can call in for confessions and set up a time. I am offering confessions at the regular times standing at the curb at St Mary’s church and St Joseph I will be at the Holy Family Statue in the courtyard area between the Church and the rectory. I do not want the virus to be spread by contact in the confesional with so many people coming in and out. I am looking at being in that same courtyard area at St Joseph Church for the previously scheduled “Be Reconciled Day”, Wednesday,  April 1. You may come and join me and go to confession. I plan on being out there all day. (Click more for the updated schedule) Continue reading

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MARCH 16, 2020; Corona Virus Temporary Policy

As the Diocese of Rockford continually monitors guidance and directives from local, state and national health agencies to help mitigate the spread of the coronavirus in our diocesan communities and in the greater United States, we wish to inform you of additional measures being taken by the Diocese of Rockford to curtail crowds and social contact. In addition to the directive to postpone or reschedule all non-essential, non-sacramental gatherings until further notice, the Diocese of Rockford has issued the following new directives: Continue reading

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Unfortunately, The Diocese of Rockford Life Advocacy Day scheduled for Wednesday, March 25, at the Capitol Building has been cancelled due to the coronavirus threat.

We encourage everyone to join the Illinois Catholic Advocacy Network (I-CAN) to receive future notifications and Action Alerts issued by the Catholic Conference of Illinois. Visit to join now.


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Make Your Own Crucifixes

Join us for a meditation on the Jesus crucified. Fr Barr will lead a three-week series of Bible readings, excerpts from the diary of St Faustina and chant while you make your own crucifix. You paint Jesus, give Him His wounds, wipe His face like Veronica and nail Him to the Cross. These meditations will be on three consecutive Thursday nights: March 12, 19 and 26, from 6:30-8:00pm in the Holy Family Community Center.