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Commemorating 75 Years of Catechesis, Evangelization and Service

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75th Anniversary

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Welcome to the 75th anniversary of the Diocese of Joliet!

Our diocese was founded on December 11, 1948. For an entire year, we will highlight the great accomplishments of our past and how we were founded in faith, while being called to witness now and in the future, and continue to be sent forth to serve

On December 11, 1948, His Holiness Pope Pius XII established the Diocese of Joliet-in-Illinois. The foundations of our faith reach back to the French missionary explorers, Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet, who shared the message of the Gospels, evangelizing as they moved from settlement to settlement. It was during their time with the Native American people called the Illinois, that the Catholic faith took root and matured.

Today, our diocese is filled with people called to continue that first movement of evangelization and missionary discipleship. As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Diocese of Joliet, we give our utmost gratitude to God for all the abundant blessings that He has bestowed on every person from the time of the first missionaries until today. We acknowledge and celebrate all peoples, living and deceased, who make our diocese strong in faith and compassion, with a heart of service for all people.

75th Anniversary (Accordion)

These special liturgies, uniting the faithful of the diocese in the celebration of Mass, serve as personal encounters with Christ and other Catholics as we worship, pray, and give thanks to God. Attendance at the opening and closing Masses is limited, but all in the diocese are invited and encouraged to attend the regional liturgies. 

Opening Liturgy

Bishop Hicks was the celebrant of the opening liturgy at the Cathedral of St. Raymond Nonnatus at 6 p.m. on Monday, December 11, 2023. A reception followed in the Cathedral Commons. The 75th Anniversary Responsorial Psalm was featured at the liturgy, and jubilee banners and prayer cards were distributed.

Honored guests included (shown, left to right): Mar Joy Alappatt (Bishop of the St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Eparchy of Chicago), Bishop Michael McGovern (Diocese of Belleville), Bishop Christopher Glancy, CSV (Belize), Bishop Louis Tylka (Diocese of Peoria), Bishop Ronald Hicks (Diocese of Joliet), Bishop Joseph Siegel (former auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Joliet, current bishop of Diocese of Evansville), Bishop Benedict Venedykt Aleksiychuk (Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Chicago), Auxiliary Bishop Mark Bartosic (Archdiocese of Chicago), and Abbot Austin Murphy, OSB (St. Procopius Abbey).

Livestream recording

View photos and videos

Regional Liturgies

Three liturgies will be celebrated in various parts of the diocese to bring people together in celebration of our anniversary. Bishop Hicks will celebrate the Masses, along with priests from the local areas. Receptions will follow each of the liturgies, featuring entertainment and food for purchase.

June 22, 2024
4 p.m. at Bishop McNamara High School in Kankakee (Ford, Grundy, Iroquois and Kankakee Counties)

September 14, 2024
4 p.m. at Montini Catholic High School in Lombard (DuPage County)

September 28, 2024
4 p.m. at Lewis University in Romeoville (Will and Kendall Counties)

Closing Liturgy

The closing liturgy will be held at the Cathedral of St. Raymond Nonnatus at 4 p.m. on Sunday, December 8, 2024. A reception will follow in the Cathedral Commons. Representatives from all parishes and religious institutions in the diocese will receive information regarding attendance at the liturgy.

A copy of the 75th Anniversary Commemorative Book (see below) will be distributed.

Livestream link

From November 25 through December 3, 2023, members of our diocese will have the opportunity to participate in a novena of prayer to St. Francis Xavier, our patron saint. The Novena of Grace is used with permission by the Jesuit Institute UK

Full Novena

Blessing of St. Francis Xavier Statue

December 3, 2023 at 1 p.m.
Blanchette Catholic Center
16555 Weber Road, Crest Hill, IL 60403

On the Feast of St. Francis Xavier, and the final day of the novena, a statue of the saint was blessed at the Blanchette Catholic Center. The statue serves as a constant reminder of the patron saint of our diocese, since its founding in 1948. Bishop Hicks blessed the statue at 1 p.m. that day in an open ceremony so that all could witness the moving event.

Theology on Tap

Three Young Adult (21–39) events will be held to enrich your faith, build community, and grow relationships with Jesus Christ and peers. Bring all your friends and join us for appetizers, drinks, faith and fellowship! All events will be held from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Blanchette Catholic Center in Crest Hill (16555 Weber Road). Click on the dates below for more details. 

  • Wednesday, April 17 
    Featuring Mike Gormley, the Lay Evangelist
    Michael currently serves as the Mission Evangelist for Paradisus Dei, a ministry dedicated to helping men, couples, and families discover the superabundance of God. He is also the founder and creative director of LayEvangelist.com and the co-host to two successful Catholic podcasts: Catching Foxes and Every Knee Shall Bow.
  • Thursday, June 13
    Featuring three newly ordained priests of the diocese: Reverends Jeremy Leganski, Alex Lorang, and Jared Rutnicki
    Fathers Jeremy, Alex, and Jared were ordained to the priesthood in May 2023. They are excited to share their vocation stories as well as remark on the tenents of the current celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the Diocese of Joliet: founded in faith, called to witness, sent forth to serve.
  • Thursday, October 24
    Featuring Most Reverend Ronald Hicks
    Bishop Ron Hicks was ordained to the priesthood in 1994. He served at several parishes in the Archdiocese of Chicago before serving as regional director at Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos in El Salvador. He was Dean of Formation at Mundelein Seminary before he was appointed Vicar General, then auxiliary bishop. He was named bishop of the Diocese of Joliet in 2020.

The Beauty of Holiness

Friday, May 24, 2024
Holy Family Catholic Church
600 Brook Forest Avenue
Shorewood, IL  60404

On the 20th anniversary of Saint Gianna Beretta Molla’s canonization, Dr. Gianna Emanuela Molla shares the powerful and inspiring example of her most beloved Saint Mom and Holy Dad.

More details

National Eucharistic Revival

In celebration of the National Eucharistic Revival, there will be opportunities for people to come together and grow in their understanding of the Blessed Sacrament, culminating with the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage (Chicago, June 28–30, 2024) and the National Eucharistic Congress (Indianapolis, July 17–21, 2024). 

This national congress—the first to be held in 83 years—will be a pivotal moment in both American history and the legacy of the Catholic Church. Tens of thousands of pilgrims are expected, but space is limited. 

Register for the National Eucharistic Congress

Service Day

During the month of October, 2024, all parishes and various religious entities will be asked to celebrate a day of service. On these days, all will be encouraged to join together to reach out and respond to the various needs of the people in their community. It will be left to each community to develop its own plan of action as to how it will spend this day and/or even month. A suggestion is that all participating will attend a morning mass and then be sent out to serve others. Ideally, if this takes place on a Saturday, they could then come back to the parish for the Saturday evening mass and to then share with each other their experiences later. All parishes will receive a list of suggested activities in order to help them plan what they might do.

June 1, 2024
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Lewis University
1 University Parkway, Romeoville, IL 60446
Cost: $75/person

This exciting, first-of-its-kind youth event will be held at Lewis University on June 1, 2024, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. An unforgettable day conference dedicated to transforming the lives of 8th to 12th graders (current 7th to 12th graders) into passionate and joyful disciples, participants will:

  • Engage with national keynote speakers
  • Experience uplifting praise and worship
  • Deepen their faith through Eucharistic adoration
  • Find renewal in Reconciliation

Details, Registration and Promotional Material

75th Anniversary Calendar

Through the Catholic Extension Society, 75th Anniversary Calendars for 2024 will be made available to the parishes in the diocese. Each month will feature photos and information regarding the historical background of the diocese, along with significant dates for the 75th Anniversary. English and Spanish versions of the calendar will be available through parishes in November. 

2024 Anniversary Calendar PDF

Catholics have been putting their faith into action for 75 years in the Diocese of Joliet — and we have a lot to celebrate! The Diocese of Joliet is producing a 14-part series for our 75th Anniversary. Justin Reyes, who leads the Department of Catechesis and Evangelization, and Michelle Dellinger, director of communications, will co-host the series, interviewing a wide variety of clergy, religious, and parishioners across the diocese. New episodes are released on YouTube and podcasts platforms the first Monday of each month. Find it anywhere you get your podcasts, and be sure to hit follow or subscribe so you never miss an episode!

75th Anniversary Podcast (audio only)

75th Anniversary Podcast (YouTube video)

Three custom lesson plans have been developed for all diocesan schools and religious education programs. The interactive curriculum includes:

  1. Introduction to the 75th Anniversary  An overview of dioceses and structure of the church, diocesan timeline, St. Francis Xavier prayer, top-ten facts about the Diocese of Joliet, and a physical scavenger hunt with prizes.
  2. Eucharist (Lent 2024)  Connection to the upcoming Eucharistic Congress and ways to participate.
  3. St. Francis Xavier (Advent 2024)  Connection to acts of service and how Eucharistic living calls us in mission, with options to participate in October service days.

Lesson Plans PDF

Jubilee Prayer Cards

Parishes of the diocese have jointly written the Jubilee Prayer—a constant thread of unity for all in the diocese—to be said in churches, schools, religion education classes and homes. Prayer cards in English, Spanish, Polish, Korean and Vietnamese were distributed at the opening liturgy for parishes throughout the diocese. 

Prayer Cards

Responsorial Psalm

Music directors within the diocese submitted compositions based on guidelines established by the Office of Divine Worship. The National Pastoral Musicians Joliet Chapter Board selected a psalm from the entries to be established as a common prayer throughout the year. The winning psalm was composed by Ellen Coman, Director of Sacred Music at St. Irene Parish in Warrenville. 

Files for Download (Save PDFs in browser; open and right-click JPGs to save)

75th Anniversary Commemorative Books

This publication will include history, photos, and information on all parishes, schools and religious institutions that comprise the Diocese of Joliet. Each parish will receive a copy at the closing liturgy in 2024, and we hope to offer a digital version as well. 

75th Anniversary T-Shirts

Celebrate in DOJ style! Custom T-shirt orders will be placed online by individuals, with pick-up options at local parishes. Attendees of the regional liturgies will be encouraged to wear the shirts, which will include the 75th anniversary logo. 

Thank you for promoting the 75th Anniversary of the Diocese of Joliet! Files will be added below throughout 2023–2024, and periodically will be sent to parish staff. 

The logo and JPGs below will open in a pop-up window; right-click on the image to save. The PDFs will open in a new browser window; click the download icon in the upper-right to save.  

Logos

For church bulletins (print PDFs)

  • 75th Launch—full page (8.5"x11")
  • 75th Launch—half page (8.5" x 5.5")
  • November 4/5 Novena of Grace—full page (8.5"x11")
  • November 4/5 Novena of Grace—promo (4"x2.5")
  • December 2023 75th Anniversary Timeline—full page (8.5"x11")
  • February 2024 75th Anniversary Promo—half page (8.5"x5.5")

For social media (digital JPGs)