St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

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

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Smile Ministry

The Smile Ministry names are in the back of the church. Please take a name and send a Fall greeting!

Do you know someone who can’t get out and needs a smile sent their way to brighten their day? Ask them if they would like to have their name put on our Smile list. They will be sent a greeting at each holiday throughout the year. Call the office to add a name to our list.

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Want to Become Catholic? Not Confirmed?

Come to our RCIA (Rite of Catholic Initiation for Adults) classes starting Sunday, September 8. The classes are from 12:30pm-2:00pm every Sunday in the rectory at St Joseph Church. We will be going over the basic teachings of the Catholic Church with Fr Barr and our deacons. We will learn about the Catholic understanding of the Bible, the sacraments, prayers, traditions and practices. Come and discover the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith and of the love our Lord Jesus has for you.

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Symbolism in the Church #20

The Millennial Cross is located in the foyer area above the enclosed bulletin board to the right as you enter the building. This cross was made in commemoration of the new millennium (the year 2000). Pope John Paul II saw it as a new era of holiness that we are all called to bring God’s goodness to all the world. Jesus and His triumph over sin and death, hence the cross, was the symbol he chose as the symbol of His mercy and the new era of reign. It is to be a reign of mercy, reconciliation and peace. It is to be all a part of the new evangelization and the Church’s role and contribution to society. It involves all Catholics in whatever state in life they are in. All Catholics are called to take part. Jesus is calling even you today. Have you stopped to hear His voice? Continue reading

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Symbolism in the Church #19

Two other images we have in the back of the Church are some relief work on orange boards. These came from the old high altar. When they took down the old high altar, these were preserved, but it was decided to have them sand blasted for the antique look. It did more damage than good, but we still have them. We had asked about getting them refurbished by a company in Madison that does this. They said they could not do it because there was too much damage. Continue reading

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Symbolism in the Church #18

Another image we have of Jesus in the foyer area is the Infant of Prague. I do not know when this image was brought here to St Joseph Church, but it has been here for quite a while. There is no specific information as to when the original statue of the Infant of Prague was made. In Spain, around the 1300s, there were similar images made with a wood base carved, covered in wax. It came on the radar for devotion, as it was said St Theresa of Avila had it for a while. There were political connections between Spain and Germany that were fostered, and along with it, devotion to the child Jesus. That would explain the devotion in the German Tradition. It went through wars and mishandling in the 1600s and ended up in Prague. Many miracles have been attributed to the original image in Prague. The original looks more like a doll than a statue because of the wax, but is not something to play with as it is very fragile. Continue reading

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Symbolism in the Church #17

As soon as you come in the door of the foyer area, there is a painting above the glass doors as you are facing into the church. It is a picture of Jesus with His hands down towards those who are sick and poor. It reminds us of how Jesus has compassion for the sick and poor. This is a place where they can come and receive consolation from our merciful Lord. So often we think of those who do not suffer as blessed. However, when we read Matthew, Chapter Five, verses three through twelve, we start to understand that it is specifically people who suffer who have God’s support. Continue reading