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 stjosephstmary.formed.org, 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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1 Corinthians 2:1-16

Paul begins the second chapter on the issue of wisdom. There are two types of “wisdom” he talks about. There is the conventional human wisdom, and then there is the wisdom of God. By the conventional human wisdom, Paul admits he did not share with the people. Everybody likes the idea of people sharing quick one-liners as a tidbit of wisdom. We open the fortune cookies at the Chinese restaurants and have our daily calendars that remind us of some wise saying. Most of these sayings may be helpful to an extent. We take it in, ponder it for a second, and feel better or somehow a little smarter. Then we go on with our lives. Continue reading


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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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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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Starting Our New COVID-19 Response Team

We are putting together a COVID-19 Response Team for those who are vulnerable to the virus and need to stay away from public activity. Since all public Masses are cancelled, we will also need to address those issues. Please be patient as we put together a plan to help serve you through all of these trials.
We plan on sending messages through email and regular mail as an initial contact, and will follow up with calling every person on our parish lists. During the phone calls, we hope to address any needs you may have and see what we have the ability to do from there. At minimum, we hope to be a companion through this time.
We are also looking at supplying some help through technology like the Parish App, website and Facebook.
Please spread the word and tell others to let Fr. Barr know if they would like to be contacted. That way we can be certain that everyone is taken care of. Fr. Barr can be reached at 815-232-8271, ext. 7.


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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