St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

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

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Protecting God’s Children Requirements

This article was published in the bulletin for the weekend of July 15-16.

The month of July starts the tightening of the belt in protecting God’s children in our diocese and throughout the United States. This is all part of the promise the bishops have made to the faithful for accountability, transparency and in making a difference in the safety of our children. The Bishops now ask us to do our part in making the Church the safest place on earth, as it should be. Continue reading

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New Parish App

St Mary and St Joseph Churches have an App! What is an app? App is short for application. It is a program that is downloaded onto a mobile device, such as a smart phone or tablet. The parish app is a small program for all smart phones and tablets that allows the parishioners access to better communication, events, payers, and spiritual life.

 We currently have on our app the church bulletins, calendar of events, daily readings, link to our blog site (web site), prayers, contact info, instant messages on events, reminders when it is your weekend to serve at the Mass, information on the sacraments, and a brief introduction of our staff. We hope to add more information for you, such as the weekend homilies, and teachings of the Church.

You can also download the App by the following instructions:

Text oneinfaith1 to 555888 for Apple devices
Text oneinfaith2 to 555888 for Android devices

You can also find the apps using the following links.
Google Play store
iTunes Store

 To stay connected to our parishes, just do a search on the app store of your device. For Android, it is the “Play Store”. For an iPhone or iPad it is the “App Store”. Do a search on the search bar by typing in, “St Joseph and St Mary Parishes”. The parish app should be close to the top on the list. The icon is a blue triangle with an inner triangle that glows in a different color. When you click on that icon, the left side of the Triangle should say “St. Mary’s” and the right side should say “St. Joseph’s”, while the middle glowing part should say “One in Christ”. This is the correct app, so you can tap on the “Install” button. The app should install onto your smart phone or tablet. A similar screen will pop up with a button that says, “Open”. Tap on the “Open” button and the app program will open.


 The services that are current should be in the squares below the circle with the triangle in it. We are working on getting more available to you. One such service is Messages. To keep connected to the community, we suggest you select those areas of communication for which you would like to receive messages for. To do this, you will notice three horizontal lines on the top left corner of the screen. Tap on those lines and a short menu will open. Tap on the “Notifications” tab. These are the selections available for you to receive notifications: Events, Funerals, General, Holiday Mass Schedule, Liturgy Volunteers, Religious Education, Spirituality, and Youth. To turn on or off the notifications for any of the options, simply tap the right side of the screen that corresponds with the service you wish to be notified of. The switch on the screen should turn blue when you turn it on.

 We hope you will enjoy the rest of the app. We will be developing it further and hope to serve you better.

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St. Faustina Actress Interviewed By WFRL Radio

Freeport Illinois-  Maria Vargo of Saint Luke Productions was recently interviewed by Sherry Gibson of local radio station WFRL, Freeport. We are grateful to WFRL for granting this interview and it is with pleasure that we present it below.

Faustina: Messenger of Divine Mercy, a live one-woman production performed by actress Maria Vargo of Saint Luke Productions, will be presented in St. Joseph Church on Sunday, March 5th at 4:00 p.m. Experience this timely and gripping drama of Saint Faustina whose personal encounters with Jesus have inspired a world-wide devotion to Christ’s Divine Mercy. The production is suitable for ages 13 and up.  Continue reading

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Renewing Our Parishes

We look forward to the Mass, open meeting and Adoration tonight as we begin to renew our parishes to fulfill the mission Jesus has given us; to bring others closer to Jesus our Lord and Savior. All parishioners are invited this evening. We will begin with Mass (5:30pm), asking Jesus to send the Holy Spirit upon us to discern God’s holy will for us and the courage to do His will. Then we will have the open meeting (About 6:15pm) with a presentation and discussion. After the meeting we will have adoration of the Blessed Sacrament till 8:30pm in further discernment and asking Jesus to be with us as we bring others closer to Jesus.

Praise God He has been so good to us. We look forward for Him to bless our work even more! We love you Jesus!


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Forest of the Witches

“Forest Of The Witches”  is A Fantasy Adventure 30 Years in the Making

Updated information in this review.

ProLifeCorner-  Annarae –  It might seem strange to see a review of a book titled JPS 150x“Forest of the Witches” presented on the Pro Life Corner, but this is a delightful and adventurous book that will appeal to early teens and adults alike.  With witches in the title you might think it’s another typical adventure geared toward kids and having an occult theme.  Not So!!

The tale begins with 11  year old Patrick at the bedside of his dying grandfather.  Grandfather gives Patrick a bag of magic jelly beans so he will be able to go through the Forest of the Witches to the Valley of the Leprechauns in search of the pot of gold.  When Grandfather passes away, young Patrick embarks on the most dangerous adventure of his young life.  On his journey, he encounters many evil characters, wild animals, and many more tribulations.  But Patrick doesn’t travel alone.  Along the way he discovers he has his own guardian angel to assist him.  Together they battle many evil forces and the magic jelly beans come in handy in surprising ways.  Each page seems to get more exciting and sometimes scary, but it’s hard to put the book down.  You just want to find out what happens next.

The story shows the triumph of good over evil and will delight readers both young and old.

John P. Shippert, the author of “Forest of the Witches”, told stories to his children (he has 10) and their friends as they were growing up.  Years later they still recall those adventures.  I can only hope that this is the first of many “Never-ending Tales”.  I look forward to the next one.

As a plus Mr. Shippert illustrated all the pictures in the book, a skill he mastered as an art teacher in the public school system where he taught for over 30 years.

“Forest of the Witches” may be purchased on Amazon as a digital download to laptop, tablet, or smart phone. A paperback edition will soon be available for order online from Amazon books. The kindle version is available now.    Here’s the link: Amazon book-Forest of the Witches

This wonderful adventure book would make a great gift for that child who loves to read and enjoys adventure.  Simply go  to the above Amazon page and click on Give as Gift on the right side.

If you follow the link above “Forest of the Witches”  is available on Kindle books for only $2.99

Free Kindle Reader

Did you know it is not  necessary to have a Kindle pad in order to read Kindle books.  There is a free app available for smart phones as well as pc’s, and Android  Simply get the download, set up a Kindle account and enjoy the many wonderful books offered by them.

Soon this book will be available for purchase in paperback. The illustrations in the paperback will be in black and white, in the Kindle version they will be in full color.

Download the free Kindle Reading App to start reading Kindle books on your PC, tablet or smartphone.

240DPI Cover 730x

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Holy Hour and Healing Service

divine mercy color large clearThis Friday is the First Friday of the month. We will be having a Holy Hour and Healing Service on Friday the 2nd of October at 5pm in St Mary Catholic Church in Freeport.

The Holy Hour and Healing service is for anybody who wishes to come. There will exposition of the Blessed Sacrament for adoration. There will also be prayers for healing and individual blessings for each person. The healing can be for anyone who needs physical, emotional or spiritual healing. People may stand in proxy for those who cannot attend. You do not have to be Catholic to attend or receive the benefits God gives.