Welcome to Holy Family!


Welcome and thanks for visiting the website of Holy Family in Athens, Illinois. My name is Fr George Nellikunnel and I am proud to be the pastor of this vibrant parish.  I hope you enjoy your visit to our website and find the information here useful.  I also hope that you will become a part of our community of faith, by your presence and participation in the Eucharist as well as our many activities.

Coronavirus Update

Communion Service Scheduled for May 30th at Holy Family and May 31st at St. John Vianney  

In order to maintain proper social distancing regulations, there will be several communion services held back to back.  Please click HERE for the NEW letter explaining the minor updates to the procedure for the Communion Service.  Below you will find the link to sign up for a designated time slot.  You may also call the office to sign up.  



Is Mass Cancelled?

In response to Bishop Paprocki’s call for a diocesan fast from the Eucharist, effective March 18, 2020 and until further notice, the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois has replaced all public Masses and liturgical celebrations with private Masses, celebrated by priests “sine populo,” that is, with no congregation physically present. The Catholic faithful are dispensed from their Sunday obligation until further notice. 

Father George or Father Maurice will continue to celebrate Mass privately at the Altar of both our churches praying for all parishioners. 

What about my Scheduled Mass Intention?

The private Masses at both SJV and HF Churches will still be offered up for the particular Intention for that day, such as the repose of the soul, for healing, or for other special intentions that have been scheduled or requested.  Mass Intentions can still be requested by email at parish@sjv.dio.org or by phone at 217-523-3816.

Are All Church Activities Cancelled?

All other activities have been cancelled at St. John Vianney and Holy Family Parishes until further notice including:  Knights of Columbus Fish Fries, Youth Catholic Faith Formation Classes for all grade levels, RCIA, Youth Group Meetings, Adoration, and Bible Study.

Is the Parish Office Open?

The Parish Office is closed to the public.  However, you may reach the office by email at parish@sjv.dio.org or by phone at 217-523-3816.

Are the Church Buildings Open?

Due to the Illinois Governor’s Stay at Home Order, our church buildings will remain closed to the public.  Father George & Father Maurice express their deep concern for all parishioners' health and safety, keeping you all in their constant prayers.  You are encouraged to stay safe and pray and watch Mass at home.

Can I Receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation?

The Sacrament of Reconciliation can be requested by calling the parish office at 217-523-3816 to make an appointment.

Where Can I Find Online Mass and Prayer Resources?

While you are not able to attend Mass, you are strongly encouraged to study the scripture readings found at http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/, watch the mass on ETWN TV or online, and make a spiritual communion in lieu of reception of the Blessed Sacrament, pray the rosary, and to pray in particular the Holy Virgin of Guadalupe prayer for the Coronavirus situation in our country.

Mass will be livestreamed at 7:00am every day from the Cathedral on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/spicathedral/ and then can be replayed anytime afterwards. Several other churches are also offering livestreamed Masses.  A list can be found at https://www.dio.org/masslivestreams.  This list also includes additional spiritual resource links.

An Act of Spiritual Communion

My Jesus,

I believe that You

are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.

I love You above all things,

and I desire to receive You into my soul.

Since I cannot at this moment

receive You sacramentally,

come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You.


How Can I Support the Church at This Time?

Thank you for you continued support during this time while we are not able to celebrate Mass together in our communities. 

Donations and Collection Envelopes for both SJV and HF can be sent in the mail to Parish Office, P.O. Box 229, Sherman, IL 62684.

Online donation links for both parishes can be found at the at https://parishgiving.dio.org/support.html.  Donations for St. John Vianney can be made at the parish website sjv.dio.org by clicking on the Give Online with WeShare in the white box.  Donations for Holy Family can be made at the parish website hfa.dio.org by clicking on the Give Today in the blue box.

Where Can I Get More Information?

For the most up to date information please check https://www.dio.org/coronavirus and follow https://www.facebook.com/diospringfield/ on Facebook.    Please contact the parish office by email at parish@sjv.dio.org or by phone at 217-523-3816 with any questions or concerns. 

What about Confirmation, First Communion, & First Reconciliation?

All Confirmations and First Holy Communions in the Diocese of Springfield are cancelled through December, 2020.  A new schedule will be established.  We understand that the postponement of these sacraments of initiation is deeply disappointing to all involved.  We also appreciate the desire for clarity on the rescheduling, but it simply will not be possible to work it out at least for several weeks.  We beg for patience as this is sorted out, as all those involved are doing the best they can in times of uncertainty and unprecedented change and disruption.

In addition, the 2nd Grade Reconciliation originally scheduled for April 5th at St. John Vianney will be rescheduled.