Our Priests at St. Matthew are invested in the spiritual development of our students. They provide our students with religious instruction and guidance about our Catholic Faith on a weekly basis. Often, they are seen at morning drop-off, lunch and sporting events interacting with everyone. Their presence is a blessing and greatly enhances the wholistic opportunities for our students.
- Msgr. Stanley Deptula ~ Pastor
- Fr. Andru O'Brien ~ Parochial Vicar ~ Chaplin of the High School of St. Thomas More
We are blessed to have three Sisters teaching at St. Matthew. They belong to the order of the Sisters of Saint Francis of the Martyr St. George.
- Sr. Bethany Marie ~ 2nd-4th Grade Religion Teacher
- Sr. Mary George Brown ~ Music and Band Teacher
Our Sisters have been involved in the education of children and youth since the time of our foundress, Mother M. Anselma. She and the first Sisters began their work in Thuine, Germany. In the 1920’s our congregation began its mission in the United States when our Sisters came to St. Louis, Missouri and began assisting with Father Dunn's Newsboys Home.
Our education apostolate in America began in earnest in the 1980's. Now we teach at several schools throughout the United States. The Sisters assist in forming children as young as six weeks old in our St. Francis Day Care Center to teaching at the college level. We have been serving in the Peoria Diocese for over 20 years and have been stationed at St. Matthew School, here in Champaign, since 1995. We began serving at the High School of St. Thomas More in 2014.
As spiritual mothers, we seek to bring the hearts of these children and young people to the Heart of Christ. Rooted in our call as Brides of Christ, we work to share our love of the Church and her sacraments with our students and their families by cultivating a Catholic culture and spreading the New Evangelization.
It is within the Franciscan tradition that we live, supporting the Church and following the Gospel of Jesus Christ. At the very center of our consecrated life is our union with the Heart of Jesus Christ,
renewed and deepened through our encounter with Him in community and personal prayer. It is only through this union that we personally encounter the Merciful love of Christ
in order to make it visible to the world through our service. The Gospels, the Church’s tradition, and the witness of the Saints proclaim this mystery. In our community, participation in this mystery takes the form of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
WHERE DID THE SISTERS’ ORDER COME FROM?
Our Congregation began all the way back in 1869, when Mother M. Anselma Bopp, in collaboration with Father John Gerhard Dall, founded the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George in Thuine, a small village in northwest Germany. Father Dall had requested that Sisters come to Thuine to serve his people and establish a home for needy children and the sick. His dream was realized in 1857 with the arrival of two Sisters of the Holy Cross from Strasbourg: Sister M. Anselma and Sister Marianne.
Animated by the Spirit of Christ, Sister M. Anselma placed herself utterly at the disposal of God’s will. In a spirit of true faith-filled obedience, Sister M. Anselma carried out the separation from her original Congregation to serve the people of Thuine, who lived in extreme poverty. From these humble beginnings a new congregation emerged.
Now in the third millennium, the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George, like St. Francis, have listened and have heard God’s call to take an active part in rebuilding His Church. The Sisters, looking on Him Whom they have pierced, take the charism entrusted to them and strive to make His merciful love visible through their service to others in a variety of apostolic activities – hospital work, care of the elderly, education, day care, religious education, parish work, and social services. In the spirit of Mother M. Anselma, the Sisters continue to seek to know God’s will for them as they strive to serve His people.
- Founded in 1869 in Germany
- About 110 Sisters in America, 1200 Sisters worldwide today
- Our American Motherhouse is in Alton, IL.
- Sisters hail from most of the States across the United States.
- We have 14 mission houses throughout the United States and Cuba.
- We are a pontifical congregation because are Sisters are stationed worldwide in Japan, Brazil, Indonesia, East Timor, Germany, The Netherlands, Albania, Italy, Cuba, and of course, the USA.
- We serve in a variety of apostolates such as teaching, nursing, and pastoral work. http://www.altonfranciscans.org
Spiritual Formation and Development
- We participate in Exposition/Adoration/Benediction
- Attend Mass with the residents at the Windsor of Savoy
- The St. Matthew staff pray a Rosary together.
- We promote the virtues of kindness, respect, optimism, generosity, honesty, prudence, patience, responsibility, and morality.
Special Celebrations and Events
- All School Living Rosary
- Saint Parade
- Grandparents Mass, Fathers Mass, Mothers Mass
- Catholic Schools Mass with the Diocese
- Advent Wreath Prayer & Lighting
- Advent Program
- Stations of the Cross and Shadow Stations
- As a school community, we donate our time, talent and treasure to many charitable organizations. Our service projects include but not limited to the Crisis Nursery, Daily Bread Soup Kitchen, Humane Society, Adopt-a-Family, American Heart Association, YMCA and many other various organizations.