St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

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


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Symbolism in the Church #9

In St Joseph Church, there is a special feature that you would not find in many places. Above the tabernacle, where many times we place a crucifix, is what is called a rotunda. It is part of the façade of the reredos that changes according to the season. I call it a rotunda because in the reredos, the rotunda spins around to show three different facades: one for ordinary time, one for advent and lent, and another for Christmas and Easter time. So the rotunda adds to the diversity of the reredos to apply to the various times of the year. When we first got this high altar and reredos in 2011, it had many different layers of paint on it. These layers were carefully taken off in order to find out what the original design of the painting was. This is what we attempted to paint on it. There were a few adaptations to it, but for the most part it was done the same way it was originally painted for St Mary’s Church in Dubuque, which is now closed. Continue reading


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Symbolism in the Church #6

The high altar does not stand alone like the front altar. Most noticeably, it has what is known as the reredos. They are decorations that extend from the back of the altar to help focus on the sacrifice on the altar, the same sacrifice that lives in the tabernacle. Ours here at St Joseph is very rich in symbolism and teaching moments, more than in most I find.
First, the gold reminds us of the majesty of God. It is most evidently a golden palace. How many grandparents take their grandchildren to church here and the kids get it? It’s a great castle! Yes, a great golden castle for Jesus. That is truly where He lives, at the very center, the tabernacle. And in this majestic castle, we are invited to live, too, because in this castle there are many rooms for us (John 14:2-3). Jesus has prepared a room for you. Which room is it? Are you like the foundation or pillars and sturdy? Are you close to the heart of God, in the center? Has God risen you to lofty heights? Or are you by the arms of the reredos, always in His embrace? Or are you by the slain lamb from the long suffering of this life? … Continue reading


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The Symbolism in St Joseph Church #2

The three spires of St Joseph Church should remind us of Mount Calvary on that Good Friday as Jesus was crucified with the two thieves, each one to the other side and Jesus in the middle. But instead of on Mount Calvary, St Joseph is on Piety Hill.
The white of the church is the symbol of purity. How every time when we enter this church for Mass or confession, Jesus purifies us of our sins. It is a place where His mercy is found without failure. Even when we come to adoration or any other event, we are raised up to Him who saves us and we are made whole once again. Somehow, when He lifts us up, we are purified and all the evils of this world no longer matter; we are with our God. How good it is to be raised up to His heart! Continue reading


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Our Lady of Fatima is Coming to Our Parishes

We have the special graces that the very statue of Our Lady of Fatima that Sister Lucia had commissioned to be made will be visiting us. Sister Lucia was one of the three children who saw the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1917 in Fatima, Portugal. Continue reading


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Join Us for a Parish Potluck

 The sun is out, and we should be too! We’re having a party, and inviting you! Everyone’s coming, you should be there! Bring your family, and a dish to share!
Join us for a parish potluck at St. Joseph Church after the 10:30 Mass on Sunday, June 10. Weather permitting, there will be seating outside and fun and games for the kids! Sign up to bring a dish to pass – see Zak Zovko after all 10:30 Masses until the event. Bring hot or cold dishes, or desserts. Beverages will be furnished.
Cost is $2.00 per person at the door. To sign up a dish by phone, call Connie Kronberg: 815-297-2138.


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Liturgy Schedule for Holy Week

Thursday Evening Mass

  • in St Joseph at 5:30pm
  • in St Mary Church at 7pm in Spanish

Good Friday Services

  • Veneration of the Cross in St Mary Church at 12:10pm
  • St Mary Youth Living Stations of the cross on St Mary grounds (Outside) at 2pm
  • Passion of the Christ viewing in the Holy Family Community Center at 3pm
  • Veneration of the Cross in St Mary Church at 7pm in Spanish

Easter Celebrations

  • 4 pm Vigil Mass in St Joseph Church
  • 7pm Vigil Mass in St Mary Church in Spanish
  • 8am Sunday in St Mary Church
  • 10:30am Sunday Mass in St Joseph Church
  • 1pm Sunday Mass in St Mary Church in Spanish


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Want to Learn More About the Bible?

 PaulOf course you do!! We all do!! A Ten Lesson Audio Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Matthew from St. Paul Center will be led by Fr. Timothy J. Barr on Saturdays from 10:30am until noon at the Holy Family Community Center. Continue reading