Over a recent weekend, it wasn’t exactly business as usual at Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Bourbonnais, IL. Bishop_ConlonSm2

Oh sure, there were regular liturgies and all of the activities that go on at the busy parish of more than 2,000 families, but one thing was different: Bishop R. Daniel Conlon came calling and he immersed himself in nearly every aspect of parish life.

“He is seeking to visit every parish in the diocese over a seven year period,” says Fr. Jason Nesbit, CSV, associate pastor.

Over the course of the weekend, Bishop Conlon visited the Conlon visits with parish womenschool and offered a Mass for students and faculty. He also visited the sick, heard confessions, met with the parish council and other groups throughout the parish, and attended a ministry appreciation event. As a culmination, he celebrated all of the weekend Masses.

“It was such an exciting morning at church,” parishioner Rose Bailey said, “with a beautiful mass presided by our very own Bishop of the Joliet Diocese. Bishop celebrating Mass

“In my lifetime, I cannot remember a bishop ever doing that at just regular Masses,” Rose added. “It was very cool.”

At one point, Bishop Conlon stopped in on a parent meeting at Bishop McNamara High School, that was organized to share information and answer questions about the new school organization.Founding100_0001_crop

It brought his visit full circle, at least for the Viatorians. Just over 50 years ago, another bishop came calling at Maternity BVM: Bishop Martin D. McNamara, for whom the high school is named. His visit then marked 100 years of Viatorians serving in Bourbonnais.