St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

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Symbolism in the Church #34

The next window is an image of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It can easily get confused with the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Immaculate Heart of Mary is depicted as wrapped with roses, whereas the Sacred Heart has thorns around it. The Immaculate Heart has a sword that pierces it from the top, whereas the Sacred Heart of Jesus has already been pierced and shows two or three drops of blood coming out of the pierced heart. This Immaculate Heart of Mary has three flowers coming out of the top of the heart whereas the Sacred Heart of Jesus has a cross with the flames coming out of the top. These are three distinctions between these images. There are many of these images in the stained glass. There are even more images of the Sacred Heart.
Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is directed to Mary, the Mother of Jesus. It is not to be confused with worship. As Catholics we honor Mary because she is the mother of Jesus. Jesus is our Lord and God. Jesus also gave us to her as her children, and so we must honor her as our spiritual mother as the commandment states: “Honor your father and mother” (Ex 20:12). This is backed up by what Mary herself said under the direction of the Holy Spirit: “From this day all generations shall call me blessed” (Lk 2:48). In this image we see the sword piercing the heart. As Simeon had predicted, Mary’s heart was pierced when Jesus’ heart was pierced (Lk 2; 34 &35). Mary’s heart would contain sorrow, yet she would be blessed. How could she not be blessed with such a Son. Continue reading

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FACC Christmas Basket Blessing

The Freeport Area Church Cooperative has completed the sign-up for its annual Christmas Basket Blessing. As there has been an increase in sign-ups, the FACC is asking St Joseph Church to provide 300 boxes of macaroni and cheese and St Mary Church to provide 300 cans of green beans to help fill the baskets. Please bring your donations to church by Sunday, December 16.

Delivery of the baskets to those who signed up will be Saturday, December 21, from 10:00am until completed. We will deliver from the Holy Family Community Center. Volunteer delivery drivers are needed.

If you have any questions concerning this year’s Christmas event, contact Dean Wright at FACC at 815-233-0435 or by email at

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Venerable Fulton Sheen to Be Beatified Dec. 21 in Peoria

The Diocese of Peoria, Ill., said, ‘It seems entirely fitting that the Beatification will take place at the end of this 100-year anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood.’ …