Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SR0574
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Full Text of SR0574  103rd General Assembly



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2    WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois Senate wish to
3congratulate the Diocese of Springfield on the occasion of its
4centennial anniversary of the transfer of the diocese from
5Alton to Springfield; and
6    WHEREAS, On October 2, 1923, Pope Pius II translated the
7diocesan See from Alton to Springfield; the pope named James
8Aloysius Griffin, the pastor of St. Mary Nativity Catholic
9Church in Joliet, the bishop who would be responsible for
10moving the chancery from Alton to Springfield; he arrived in
11Springfield on February 28, 1924; and
12    WHEREAS, Bishop Griffin was installed as the bishop at St.
13Mary's Church, which served as the pro-cathedral of the
14diocese for the next four years; in 1927, he launched the
15Cathedral Campaign to raise money to replace the aging
16Cathedral building; and
17    WHEREAS, Bishop Griffin assisted Cardinal George Mundelein
18in planning and hosting the 28th International Eucharistic
19Congress in Chicago from June 24 to June 26, 1926, where
20hundreds of thousands of Catholics were in attendance; and
21    WHEREAS, After the congress, Bishop Griffin hosted several



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1cardinals, archbishops, and bishops in Springfield for the
2Central Verein Convention on June 2, 1926, where he led
3attendees on a pilgrimage to the tomb of Abraham Lincoln; and
4    WHEREAS, Bishop Griffin dedicated and opened the newly
5constructed Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, with the
6dedication ceremonies taking place from October 14 to October
716, 1928; and
8    WHEREAS, From 1932 through 1937, during a labor dispute in
9Springfield known as the Coal Miner's War, Bishop Griffin
10attempted to negotiate fair wages for workers in the various
11mines throughout the diocese; and
12    WHEREAS, Bishop Griffin died on August 5, 1948, leading
13Pope Pius XII to appoint William Aloysius O'Connor to be the
14next bishop of Springfield on December 28, 1948; he arrived in
15the city on March 16, 1949; and
16    WHEREAS, After St. Anthony's Hospital in Effingham was
17destroyed by a fire on April 4, 1949, Bishop O'Connor oversaw
18the updating of hospitals and diocesan properties to prevent
19future fire disasters, establishing the Office of Insurance to
20assist in this endeavor; and
21    WHEREAS, In 1959, Bishop O'Connor was able to attend all



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1four sessions of the ecumenical council, known as Vatican II;
3    WHEREAS, In 1969, Bishop O'Connor established the Office
4for Worship and the Office for Catholic Education, the first
5of many curial agencies created to assist parishes and other
6Catholic institutions in the diocese; and
7    WHEREAS, On July 22, 1975, Bishop O'Connor submitted his
8retirement, and Pope Paul VI appointed Joseph A. McNicholas as
9the next bishop in Springfield; and
10    WHEREAS, Bishop McNicholas was a staunch civil rights
11advocate, and he was a leader in school desegregation and
12helped organize the Martin Luther King Day Breakfast; as a
13priest and auxiliary bishop in St. Louis, his assignments
14included serving on the Health & Welfare Council of St. Louis,
15the National Association of Social Workers, the Missouri Child
16Welfare Commission, and the National Office of Black
17Catholics; and
18    WHEREAS, In 1976, Bishop McNicholas implemented a
19diocesan-wide pro-life program in response to the 1973 Roe v.
20Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision; and
21    WHEREAS, Bishop McNicholas' episcopacy was short lived



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1when he died suddenly on April 17, 1983; his predecessor,
2Bishop O'Connor, died that same year on November 14, 1983; and
3    WHEREAS, Pope John Paul II appointed Daniel Ryan as the
4next bishop of the Diocese of Springfield, and he was
5installed on January 18, 1984; and
6    WHEREAS, In July 1995, facing a declining number of
7priests, Bishop Ryan oversaw the Parish Pastoral Plan,
8designed to study the status of parishes and priests across
9the diocese and offer solutions for long-term parish vitality;
11    WHEREAS, On October 19, 1999, the Vatican announced the
12retirement of Bishop Ryan and the appointment of Bishop George
13J. Lucas as his successor; a priest of the Archdiocese of St.
14Louis, he was the first appointee to be ordained as a bishop in
15the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield; and
16    WHEREAS, Bishop Lucas launched the endowment campaign
17Harvest of Thanks-Springtime of Hope to ensure long-term
18viability of the diocese, including supporting the work of
19Catholic Charities, assisting in the formation of seminarians
20and deacon candidates, and providing aid for the care of
21retired priests of the diocese; and



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1    WHEREAS, The Diocese of Springfield celebrated the 150th
2anniversary of its founding with Jubilee 2003, an event that
3officially began on December 9, 2002; the diocese held a day
4long celebration at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, where an
5estimated 20,000 Catholics from all over the diocese attended
6on June 28, 2003; and
7    WHEREAS, In May 2007, Bishop Lucas initiated the Built on
8Faith-Renewed in Hope campaign to raise the $11 million
9dollars needed to restore the Cathedral of the Immaculate
10Conception; and
11    WHEREAS, On July 22, 2009, Bishop Lucas was appointed the
12Archbishop of Omaha, becoming the first bishop of the Diocese
13of Springfield to be appointed to archbishop; and
14    WHEREAS, On April 20, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI appointed
15Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of the Archdiocese of Chicago as
16Bishop Lucas' successor, and he was installed as the ninth and
17current bishop of the Diocese of Springfield on June 22, 2010;
19    WHEREAS, In 2017, Bishop Paprocki guided the diocese
20through the Fourth Diocesan Synod with the goal of convincing
21clergy and the laity to make a heartfelt commitment to
22stewardship and discipleship as a way of life; and



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1    WHEREAS, Bishop Paprocki has made the connection between
2sports and faith as a focus of his ministry, writing two books,
3Holy Goals for Body and Soul: Eight Steps to Connect Sports
4with God and Faith and Running for a Higher Purpose: Eight
5Steps to Spiritual and Physical Fitness; and
6    WHEREAS, Bishop Paprocki currently serves as an adjunct
7professor of Law, Business, and Bioethics at Quincy
8University's Oakley School of Business; he also serves on the
9Illinois Catholic Health Association Board and as the chairman
10of the Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance
11for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; and
12    WHEREAS, Thousands of Catholics from across the Diocese of
13Springfield will join Bishop Paprocki as he celebrates Mass at
14the first Eucharistic Congress at the Bank of Springfield
15Center in Springfield on October 28, 2023; therefore, be it
17ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we congratulate the
18Diocese of Springfield on the occasion of its centennial
19anniversary of the transfer of the diocese from Alton to
20Springfield, and we recognize the contributions bishops of the
21diocese have made to the community throughout the years; and
22be it further



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1    RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
2presented to the Diocese of Springfield as a symbol of our
3esteem and respect.