Society of the Divine Word Chicago Province • Techny, Illinois
Office of Education, Recruitment & Formation


December 2020
 ... and on earth peace, good will toward men. Luke 2:14 (KJV)






Special Interest


Parish Excellence Awards

During the Parish Excellence Summit held this November (2020), awards were bestowed on over 40 parishes recognizing "their strong practices during the pandemic" in maintaining their parish communities, ministries and liturgies. The list of award categories and videos of each winning parish is available on the Parish Excellence website. Maybe you'll pick up an idea or two from them for your parish. Read...


Vatican Nativity goes "Old School"
Zelda Caldwell

This year's nativity scene in St. Peter's Square features larger-than-life-sized pieces created between 1965 and 1975 by high school students in the Abruzzo region of central Italy. Read...


Ontario church builds "tiny homes" for the homeless
J-P Mauro

During the first winter of the world pandemic, St. Mary's Parish in Kitchener, Ontario has constructed 24 "tiny homes" to provide shelter—and proper social distancing—for some of the area's homeless. The 8 ft x 10 ft homes were built by volunteers and funded by a local contractor. Read...


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A Merry and
Blessed Christmas to All

The Office of Education, Recruitment
and Formation Staff

Featured this month ...

Need a grant to attend an online workshop, purchase a book relevant to your ministry, or renew your professional association memberships? The Education Office has them (grants) available. Check out what others have done at On the Trail

Anti-bullying procedures are discussed at Child Protection

There's a review of visa validity dates, deferred inspection sites, and Canada's Electronic Travel Authorization program at Immigration Alerts

There's "good reads" and a growing number of event listings at Datebook Plus

Vaccines lead the topics at Health & Wellness

Find out how to access the USCIS' newly updated Policy Manual aImmigration Resources

Moving ahead ...

December 8, 2020
(The Feast of the Immaculate Conception)
Festival of Lights
At dusk in Lyon, France, Catholics light up their windows with candles in what has become known as the Festival of Lights. Read...

December 17, 2020
Wright Brothers Day
Orville and Wilbur Wright's first successful flight in a heavier-than-air, mechanically propelled airplane is celebrated especially at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina each year. Visit

January 1, 2021
(The Solemnity of Mary)
New Year's Day
Year 2021 is a non-leap year, with 365 days. The most recent leap year is right now—2020! The next is 2024. The reason for the leap year is to reconcile the earth's orbit around the sun. By adding days to the year the season stay in step with the months for each year.

February 15, 2020
President's Day
Several states still have individual holidays honoring the birthdays of Washington, Abraham Lincoln and other figures, but President's Day is now popularly viewed as a day to celebrate all U.S. presidents—past and present.  Read...

February 17, 2021
Ash Wednesday
Ash Wednesday is celebrated on the Wednesday seven weeks prior to Easter. This Christian observance marks the first day of Lent and the start of approximately six weeks of fasting, penance, and alms giving.

March 2, 2021
Dr. Seuss's birthday
The author of Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas was born on this day in 1904. A little known fact about Theodore Seuss Geisel was that he also invented the word "nerd" (circa 1950).

March 15, 2021
ides of march
The "Ides" are specifically the fifteenth day of the months of March, May, July, and October. Julius Caesar was not warned "beware the Ides of March" back in 44 B.C. It's a misnomer along with two other myths regarding his assassination. Read...

April 1, 2021
April fools' day
Don't believe everything you read on the internet. But, just the same, here—as listed on the internet—are ten of the best April Fools' Day pranks (as compiled by Todd Leopold, CNN). Read...

April 4, 2021
Easter Sunday

Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. Alleluia! Alleluia!

May 12, 2021
National Limerick Day
Celebrate the day by creating your own limerick. Edward Lear would be proud. Who's Edward Lear? Read...

May 23, 2021

The seventh Sunday after Easter:
On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
(John 20:19)


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Office of Education, Recruitment & Formation
Society of the Divine Word   |   Chicago Province  |  1985 Waukegan Road  |  Techny, Illinois 60082  |  Tel: 847.272.2700