Sunday Homilies

from Father Kevin Laughery, Troy St. Jerome and St. Jacob St. James Parishes, Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. Note: Comments from this page do not reach me; instead, email:

The Podcasts

Last Saturday at Visitation, parishioners experienced a "Sunday Celebration in the Absence of a Priest."  It happens that we have ritual books for leading this sort of service; I am leaving them in the sacristies this weekend.  In weeks to come I will plan for one or more training sessions for parishioners willing to be designated to lead a "SCAP."  If it is at all possible, we want to avoid having to resort to SCAP; but, as Saturday proved, we need to be prepared for emergency situations.

The Region 12 (ourselves, Chatham, Auburn, Virden, Girard) planning group met on Wednesday; we will meet again on Wednesday, September 15, 6:30 pm, at our parish office building in New Berlin.  Before too long, you will begin to see in the bulletin a number of regular communications regarding shared activities and ministries, including coordinated schedules for Christmas and other holy days of obligation.

Vacation Bible School in Franklin will take place Sunday, August 1, through Thursday, August 5, 6:00 - 8:00 pm, at Franklin Christian Church.  Franklin is only the second town I've pastored (the first was Girard) where several churches collaborated on VBS.  This is a very powerful sign of willingness to seek unity among Christians.  In 2011 it will be Sacred Heart's responsibility to designate a VBS coordinator.  Thanks to all Sacred Heart parishioners who are working to make the 2010 VBS possible.

The weekly confession schedule has now been implemented.  The bulletin will always state explicitly whether or not I will be available on the coming Saturday.  Whenever there is a visiting priest, there are no scheduled confessions times.  The schedule is: 8:00 - 8:30 am at Visitation; 8:45 - 9:45 am at Sacred Heart; 9:30 - 10:00 am at St. Sebastian; 10:20 - 11:00 am at St. Mary.

An initial meeting in preparation for the Franklin Christmas Musical will be held Wednesday, August 11, 7:30 pm, at Franklin Christian Church.

Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 12:51pm CST

After a couple of head-scratching sessions with my recording device, I have succeeded in getting the thing to work again.  I'll post my August 1 homily and we'll be back in business!

Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 12:48pm CST

Paragraph 2267 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church discusses the right of society to make use of the death penalty; it mentions qualifications which render almost nonexistent the situations in which capital punishment is necessary.  We must stress this teaching as our state legislators consider the possibility of abolition of the death penalty.

Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 2:58pm CST

Last evening I attended the Songfest of the Franklin Area Service Association at the United Methodist Church.  Sacred Heart parishioners can be proud of the fact that our parish participates in this organization.  I'm interested in learning more about the activity of this organization.

I have learned that members of the Christian Church are attempting to organize Vacation Bible School for the week of August 2.  If you have worked on VBS in the past, you will probably be hearing from someone.  We must remember that it will most likely be our responsibility to provide a director for the 2011 VBS.

Feedback: I would advise emailing me at, instead of leaving a comment on this blog.  I am being deluged with dozens of apparently automated comments per day.

Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 10:26am CST

This morning I found that my recording device was completely unresponsive, not giving any sign of life, even after a battery change.  I'll work on finding alternate means for recording my Sunday homilies.

I am receiving comments regarding changes in the weekend Mass schedule.  So far I have not received much feedback on the prospect of moving Saturday Mass at Visitation from 4:30 pm to 4:00 pm.  There seems to be a good deal of contention, however, over the Sunday schedule.  Thus far I have received numerous communications attesting to the difficulty of getting young families ready for 8:00 am Mass, and the aggravated difficulty if Mass should be scheduled earlier.  I have not heard many compelling arguments against changing 9:30 at St. Mary.  I will be publishing my decisions on Wednesday, August 4.  Until then, please give me your ideas. is an online resource which all of us can use to familiarize ourselves with the new English translation of the Order of Mass, which will go into effect the weekend of the First Sunday of Advent, November 26-27, 2011.  In May I attended one of the workshops on the new Roman Missal offered by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.  In weeks to come I will take a little time before the homily to focus on some of the changes in language and the reason for these changes.

Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 4:50pm CST

Hello parishioners of the four parishes, 

I am going to use this blog ( as the fastest and most convenient way to put my thoughts in writing.  I welcome parishioners' email addresses; please send your addresses to me at

On this blog I post not only text, but also recordings of Sunday homilies.  If you want to set up an RSS feed so that you know when I've updated the blog, the address is

I have become aware of an immediate need in Franklin regarding Christian initiation for a young lady seeking to be received into the full communion of the Catholic Church.  I would like to develop a team whose purpose will be to work with such persons and prepare them to become Catholic Christians.  I am interested in receiving word from parishioners who are interested in engaging in this activity.

Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 9:13am CST

I am afraid that I could not readily put my hands on the iRiver in order to record this weekend's homily.  (I still have a lot of organization to do in my new rectory.)  I talked about how the word religion has shrunk in esteem, about the importance of the distinction when people say "I'm not religious, I'm spiritual" (religion as being bound to some practice -- one might say "stuck," vs. spirituality as spontaneous response to the presence of God in our lives), how Moses and Jesus today call us to a natural, spontaneous exercise of religion/spirituality; and I also threw in the controversy (Arians asserting that Jesus is not God) facilitated by St. Paul's expression today of Jesus being "the first-born of all creatures."

Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 5:52pm CST

Dear parishioners, 

My name is pronounced LOFF-ree or LAW-free (this last is an apt pun, since I am a church lawyer who sometimes would like to find a law-free zone, if such exists).  I answer to Fr. Kevin.


Before and after Masses seems to me a bit too casual, and could keep me from plain old visiting with parishioners after Mass.  I propose the following schedule for Saturday mornings:

8:00 to 8:30 am at Alexander Visitation BVM; 8:45 to 9:15 am at Franklin Sacred Heart; 9:30 to 10:00 am at Waverly St. Sebastian; 10:15 to 11:00 am at New Berlin St. Mary.  

It appears that I will have to wait until Saturday, July 31 to put this into effect.  Mission Co-op is July 24-25.  Whenever there is a visiting priest, I announce in the bulletin that there are no scheduled confession times that Saturday, but of course individuals always have the right to ask the priest to hear one's confession.  I may not offer the schedule every Saturday; the bulletin will say definitely whether the schedule will be in effect for the coming Saturday.

Weekend Mass schedule: 

An hour and a half between Mass start times makes for far too tight a schedule.  It is my plan, effective Saturday, August 14, to set the schedule as follows: 

Sat. 4:00 pm at Visitation; 6:00 pm at St. Sebastian; Sun. 8:00 am at Sacred Heart; 10:00 am at St. Mary.  

Please let me know your thoughts on these proposals.

Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 12:37pm CST

Hello to my new parishioners!  The task of moving was accomplished on Monday and Tuesday, June 28 and 29.  As of Thursday, July 1, I am taking a little vacation.  I look forward to presiding at Eucharists on the weekend of July 10 and 11 as well as to a new schedule of weekday Eucharists.  

On the evening of Wednesday, June 30, a number of representatives of our parishes attended the pastoral planning meeting for Region 12 (ourselves, Chatham, Auburn, Virden, Girard) to keep discussing how we will be in collaboration in our region.  From one point of view, the region has already accomplished its task.  With Fr. Angel's move from the parishes, my arrival, and Fr. Daren Zehnle's taking on Auburn in addition to Virden and Girard, we have reached the goal of having three priests in the region instead of four.  Now, however, we must continue our discussions about how to collaborate.  It was noted that the "Quad Parishes" already have a history of self-understanding as a pastoral unit.  This history is something we can build upon.  The next meeting of Region 12 is set for Wednesday, July 28, 6:30 pm, at the Holy Cross Parish Center, 125 East Washington, Auburn.

Category:Sunday Homilies -- posted at: 9:50am CST