St. Peter Catholic Church Newsletter — May 2023

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PAGE 3 A Letter From Our Pastor

PAGE 4 End-of-School-Year Picnic Offers a Celebration Full of Excitement and Fun for Students

PAGE 6 The True Meaning of the Word “Stewardship”

PAGE 7 Spiritual Direction Brings Focus and Illumination to Our Journey with God

GET TO KNOW PARISHIONER MINDEE MILLER Providing a Strong Example of Faith and Stewardship Through Service

Mindee Miller knows our St. Peter community well. After all, she’s been a parishioner here her whole life.

“I went to St. Peter School, Quincy Notre Dame, and Quincy University,” she says.

A single mother to four adopted children, Mindee has worked in the Information Systems department at Blessing Hospital for 30 years. Her children are Lucas, Lydia, Matthew, and Maggie. Mindee has helped out by serving in their schools.

“I help at school, sometimes in the lunchroom, and I’ve been a room mother and planned the school picnic for a few years,” she says. “I love being at school with my kids.”

Since our parish has moved our focus towards stewardship in a more intentional way, Mindee began to feel the pull to become more involved in the parish. Being more introverted created some challenges, but Mindee says she has pushed herself out of her comfort zone in order to serve in our community.

“I’m trying to overcome this introverted-ness,”

she says. “I want to sign up for more ministries.” Last year, Mindee got involved as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion (EMHC) and now

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Mindee Miller wishes to pass on to her children the importance of serving in the parish community.


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enjoys serving in this capacity. It was challenging at first, but she says it has gotten easier over time.

“I like doing it now, but about a year ago I took that leap and I overcame some shyness to do it,” she says. “I enjoy it a lot now. I just really wanted to become more involved in the Mass.”

Mindee also prepares food for funeral dinners and participates in our parish events with her children.

“I love our parish,” she says. “Any time there’s an activity, like the picnic or s’mores fun, my kids and I love to go and spend time with our parish family.”

Her daughter, Lydia, is involved as an altar server, and her son, Matthew, plans to become an altar server after his First Communion this year. Mindee wishes to pass on to her kids the importance of serving in the parish community.

“It’s important to me to set a good example for my kids so they learn to give their time, talent, and treasure,” Mindee says. “And it’s definitely made me a better person to volunteer for different things. Sometimes I’ve gone out of my comfort zone and I’d encourage others to do so too. Try new things and get involved.”

Passing on her faith is also something Mindee prioritizes with her children. Most nights before bed, she blesses their foreheads with the sign of the cross.

“One of my favorite things is to pray with my little kids at bedtime,” she says. “We say a prayer and then ask who they want to pray for. It’s sweet and thoughtful to see what they come up with. Sometimes it starts some discussion on world problems and keeps us up a little later at night, but it’s so important to share that spiritual time with them as they grow.”

“It’s important to me to set a good example for my kids so they learn to give their time, talent and treasure,” Mindee says.

Mindee Miller has enjoyed helping out by serving in her children’s schools. A single mother to four adopted children, Mindee Miller has worked in the Information Systems department at Blessing Hospital for 30 years. Mindee Miller celebrates Christmas with her family.


Dear Parishioners,

May is Mary’s month. For centuries, Catholics throughout the world have included special devotions to the Blessed Mother in their activities during May. Best known, I’m sure, is the widespread and ever-popular practice of crowning an image of Our Lady with flowers during the month.

May is a beautiful month, full of renewal and hope. The March winds and the April showers have done their work, and the spring flowers are in bloom. Even though the earliest signs of spring have passed, May doesn’t quite have the look or feel of summer. It is spring at its finest! And it’s not only the flowers or trees that show new life in May. For many students, May is the month to prepare for graduations, and these students will soon move on to new phases in their lives.

And of course, May is a month of joy for all of us who claim the Church as our spiritual home. We spend the whole month this year in the Easter season, which closes with Pentecost on May 28. The joy of the Resurrection, the glory of the Ascension, and the descent of the Holy Spirit are the themes that fill our Christian calendar.

But as we rejoice with Mary at her Son’s triumph over sin, Satan, and death, we remember her faithfulness to God’s will throughout her life. Indeed, she can be viewed as the model Christian steward. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops pointed to her in its pastoral letter on stewardship: “After Jesus, it is the Blessed Virgin Mary who by her example most perfectly teaches the meaning of discipleship and stewardship in their fullest sense” ( Stewardship: A Disciple’s Response , 41).

Let us follow her example of total dedication to God as we rejoice in the blessings He gives us this month!

In Christ,




Anyone who has been in a school setting knows that, for students, the last few days of school are filled with so much excitement for summer break that they can hardly focus on schoolwork. On the very last day of school, St. Peter School elementary students are given to opportunity to embrace the excitement and spend the last half day of school doing what kids do best — have FUN!

This tradition has been going on for many years at St. Peter School and thanks to helpful and generous stewards, the students get to spend the last day playing games, enjoying snacks and treats, and having a lot of fun with their friends!

“The students have the opportunity to have fun with all of their friends, not just those in their grade level,” says Roberta Hutson, school secretary. “When you are in a classroom, you have to sit and be quiet and pay attention. Here, they get to let their hair down and enjoy the last day of school. It really is just a celebration of everyone!”

The last day of school begins with Mass in the church. Afterward, students return to their classrooms with the parent chaperones. From there, weather permitting, they head outside to enjoy a multitude of games, activities, and snacks. In years past, they have enjoyed different softball or volleyball games, water balloons, chalk, and a pool of bubble mix. Last year, they even had a relay race. In addition, there is a photo booth filled with props and the students can take home the pictures.

“The photo booth is always a huge hit!” says Mindee Miller, a parent volunteer who has organized this event for the past several years. “It is a great keepsake for the kids and they have a fun time trying on the props and taking fun photos with their friends.”

One of the parishioners of St. Peter




provides DJ services and many of the kids spend a lot of the day dancing and singing along to the music. Some of the treats that they have had in past years include shaved ice, popsicles, popcorn, nachos, hot dogs, and chips.

“This day is just about spending one last day having fun with their friends,” Mindee says. “We enjoy providing the activities but they really don’t even care what they are doing. They are just having fun and enjoying themselves.”

“The celebration can be a little bittersweet,” Mrs. Hutson says. “You are saying ‘goodbye’ to the people you see every day during the year and the teachers are saying ‘goodbye’ to their students.”

This day of celebrating a complete and fruitful year is a fun one, but helpers are always needed. The hours go towards the parent’s required service hours and it is a great day of excitement with the kids.

As another school year wraps up, we share the joy of the children in our parish school as we celebrate another successful school year!

To find out how you can help with this fun event, contact Roberta Hutson in the school office at 217-223-1120.



There is a stigma attached to the word “stewardship” in some Catholic parishes, likely because many pastors and parish leaders mistakenly equate stewardship to money. But a true steward knows that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Stewardship is a biblical principle that has nothing to do with money. Nineteen of the main parables of Christ relate directly to stewardship. And, in those parables when Christ speaks of stewardship, He never mentions raising money. Surprised?

Stewardship simply means being grateful for all of God’s blessings. Everything we have — each breath we take on earth, the tremendous talents we possess, and our ability to earn income to sustain ourselves — all stem from God. We come into the world with nothing and we leave with nothing.

Recognizing this and being grateful for our bountiful blessings is the first step of stewardship. Once these realizations fall into place, we are then eager to find a way to respond to God’s generosity and embark upon a stewardship way of life.

And stewardship is just that, a way of life. It is not like a TV show to which you can tune in whenever the mood strikes and shut off when you are no longer interested. It is truly a way of living.

Yet, the mere word “stewardship” has gotten a bad rap over the years — and not just by us laypeople.

According to the late stewardship pioneer Msgr. Thomas McGread, when a pastor speaks about money during his homily, 75 percent of the congregation immediately stops listening. However, did you know that tithing is mentioned in the Old

Testament 39 times, and in the New Testament 11 times? Tithing is biblically based, and it simply means to give a portion of our gifts back to God.

In 1992, when the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops were forming the Pastoral Letter on Stewardship, they originally didn’t want to title it Stewardship: A Disciple’s Response.

“Instead, they wanted to just call it A Disciple’s Response, with the reason being that they felt ‘stewardship’ meant money,” said Msgr. McGread before his passing in April 2013. “I convinced them at the time that ‘stewardship’ is a biblical term and it is our job to explain what a steward is. Before the Pastoral Letter, most of us didn’t understand the spiritual dimension of stewardship.”

So, how do we go about sharing the spiritual dimensions of stewardship with fellow parishioners and lay leaders?

First of all, Msgr. McGread cited the importance of being hospitable and discovering the needs of parishioners. He felt that when parishioners were welcomed and their needs were met, they were fulfilled and felt a sense of belonging to their parish. This, in turn, creates ownership. Once parishioners felt like they were part of the parish, they wanted to respond by sharing their time, talent, and treasure to help make it the best parish community possible.

And, as parishioners support their parish with all of their resources out of gratitude, the entire parish blossoms. Prayers increase, ministries grow, and yes, the offertory increases. These blessings are natural outcomes of living a stewardship way of life and they are why we must always remember the true meaning of the word “stewardship.”



You may have heard of the term “spiritual direction.” But what is it, exactly?

According to the Benedictine Peace Center in Yankton, S.D., spiritual direction is defined as “an ancient practice of meeting regularly with a guide to reflect on your relationship with God. The spiritual director listens prayerfully, raises questions, and gently supports the directee. Spiritual direction helps one focus and intensify their journey with God.” This exact definition informs our own Spiritual Direction Ministry here at St. Peter’s. Martha Rapp and Rick Davis are the two certified spiritual directors who make up this ministry.

Martha has been a spiritual director for over a decade. She had a conversion experience in 2002 that started her on the path, and she completed her spiritual director certification in 2012.

“That experience changed my life,” she says. “I became aware that God is real and is absolute love. He wants to have a relationship with each and every one of us.”

Rick became certified in October 2020. With two spiritual directors as parishioners, he decided it was time to start a ministry. Spiritual direction is provided to individuals and small groups at no charge. Most people and groups meet once per month.

“The goal is to develop an intentional relationship with God,” Martha says. “It’s learning to see how God is active and present in our lives. It’s opening our hearts to enter into a transformative relationship with God.”

Rick says the opportunities for what to explore through spiritual direction are endless — maybe you want to improve your prayer life or become more aware of God’s presence in your life.

“You could be in a spiritual rut and looking for a way out or for ways to grow,” Rick says. “Maybe you’re questioning

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Rick Davis is a spiritual direction leader here at the parish.
Martha Rapp provides spiritual
“It’s a gentle, transformative process. It opens us up to ourselves, other people and creation as a whole. It’s so incredible. It changes how we see the world and think and choose to be informed by God.”

2600 Maine Street

Quincy, Illinois 62301



God’s will for your life. These are all great areas to pursue.”

Martha and Rick say that going through spiritual direction takes a big commitment, but the rewards are truly impactful.

“It’s a gentle, transformative process,” Martha says. “It opens us up to ourselves, other people, and creation as a whole. It’s so incredible. It changes how we see the world and think and choose to be informed by God.”

“Within the context of spiritual direction, a person has the opportunity to talk openly and

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confidently about their relationship with God and areas related to their prayer life,” Rick says.

There are moments in Scripture, such as the appearance on the road to Emmaus, when Jesus went unrecognized — “but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him” (Luke 24:16).

In turn, spiritual direction can provide that bit of help that leads you to see God in your midst.

Martha says three people are working in a spiritual direction relationship — the companion, the person being companioned, and the Holy Spirit.

For more information on spiritual direction, please call the parish office at 217-222-3155. Office staff can connect you to Martha Rapp or Rick Davis.

Weekend Masses

Saturday: 5:00 p.m.,

Sunday: 8:00, 9:30 and 11:00 a.m.

Weekday Masses

Mon-Sat: 8:00 a.m., except for Wednesdays: 8:30 a.m.


Saturday: 7:30-7:50 a.m., 3:30-4:30 p.m. or by appointment