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The Mass of Remembrance Honoring and Praying for Our Faithful Departed with Great Love


ovember is ushered in each year by the feasts of All Saints and All Souls. During these special memorials, Catholics around the world remember those who have gone before us in the pursuit of heaven. Here at Ascension, these departed loved ones are honored annually through a special Mass of Remembrance. “Each year on Nov. 2, the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed, we hold the Mass of Remembrance,” Director of Music and Liturgy Julie Ternes says. “It is a Mass honoring and praying for the people from our parish who have died in the past year. Those who have died are honored with a lit candle bearing their name and date of death and special mention in the Prayers of the Faithful during Mass.” Though open to any member of the parish, Julie says special invitations are sent out to the families of parishioners who have died within the past 12 months. This is a way to remind them that they are not alone in their grieving while also reminding them of the hope of the resurrection. “The presence of members of our faith community at this Mass is a comfort to those families that are grieving the loss of their loved one,” Julie says. “When they look around at Mass, they realize they are not alone in their grief. Prayer, especially the Mass, is the most powerful way we can support others.” Remembering the dead in this way is also an important part of our Catholic faith.

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Inside November 2020

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Honoring Our Departed at the Remembrance Mass on Nov. 2

“What’s in It For Us” May Surprise You

4 Meet Parishioner Joe Schon Answering the Vocational Call in the Seminary 6 Meet Cathy and Duane Hruby: Serving God and Ascension Parish From the Very Beginning

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Remembrance Mass

Parishioners who have died this past year and who will be honored at our upcoming Remembrance Mass on November 2.


Rhonda Schettler, † 10/27/19

Joseph Haag, † 11/20/19

Isabel Glass, † 12/9/19

Jonathan Aman, † 12/13/19

Mildred Schall, † 1/14/20

Raymond Napierkowski, † 1/17/20

Florence Ternes, † 1/18/20

Barbara Piatz, † 1/25/20

Richard Heard, † 3/5/20

Caroline Schaff, † 3/7/20

Arthur Sieglock, † 3/17/20

Elizabeth Wolff, † 8/1/20

Helen Stark, † 8/5/20

Dominic St. Peter, † 8/16/20

John Schatz, † 12/15/19

Judith Fleckenstein, † 12/24/19

Pius Kelsch, † 1/11/20

Lucille Bosch, † 1/27/20

Terry Ratts, † 2/6/20

Donald Nichols, † 2/17/20

Genevieve Berg, † 4/3/20

Louis Schlosser, † 6/9/20

Avett Mitchell Hennessy, † 7/14/20

Dorothy Rebel, † 7/21/20

Robert Krogren, † 9/4/20

James Hoynes, † 9/19/20

David Wetzel, † 10/2/20

Leo Fleckenstein, † 10/3/20

A Letter from our Pastor

“What’s in It For Us” May Surprise You Dear Parishioners,


ou already know that our parish is committed to living as intentional disciples of Christ through the holistic practice of stewardship. What you may not know is that one of our inspirations and mentors is the late Msgr. Thomas McGread of the Diocese of Wichita. Who was Msgr. McGread? Msgr. McGread was a humble, servant priest who created a model for how stewardship should be practiced — both here and in many Catholic parishes across the country. What began simply with Msgr. McGread applying his stewardship principles at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Wichita — where he served as pastor for 31 years — has become a way of life for our parish family and for thousands of Catholics around the nation. With such an incredible blueprint from this visionary priest, how could we go wrong? We have truly embraced stewardship here at Ascension, and for that, I am blessed and grateful. From the beginning, however, the question “What’s in it for us?” had to be on our minds as our efforts to educate parishioners and promote the stewardship way of life were introduced. At first, “What’s in it for us?” seemed to center on what people were willing to do to give back to God as part of practicing their faith and living as disciples of Jesus Christ. While this is important, there is so much more to it. The truth is, “What’s in it for us?” is really about “What’s in it for you?” “What’s in it for you?” perhaps is best explained as one simple principle — cultivating a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. When Christ calls us to discipleship, He is also calling us to be faithful stewards of our time, talent and treasure. Our gratitude for these gifts is best expressed through giving a portion of each back to

God. Thus, stewardship becomes a way of life that is also the way to holiness. Our relationship with Christ is what we get in return. Our efforts as a parish to promote the spiritual benefits of active stewardship are designed to foster a deeper relationship with God for all of us. Membership in a parish family should encourage, support, and celebrate that relationship with the living God, first and foremost. Everything else flows from that. If we are not focused on our relationship with God, then what will define our spirituality? If we have embraced the blessings of stewardship as a practical way of being the disciples we are called to be, we will in turn know a deeper relationship with Christ. We celebrate Thanksgiving this month, which truly is a stewardship holiday since stewardship begins with an attitude of gratitude. I am truly thankful for all that is done here at Ascension, and for the many parishioners willing to do so much. In closing, let me share one final thought to help you realize the gift that our parish is to each and every one of us. Be grateful for all you have. Be generous in giving something back to God. Be faithful stewards, and you will have done both. That is what’s in it for you, and in turn, that is what’s in it for us! And don’t forget — God has been doing this for centuries. We’re just the latest and most fortunate recipients. Happy Thanksgiving, and may God bless you and your family. Sincerely yours in Christ, Msgr. Jim Braaten Pastor


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s November kicks off with National Vocation Awareness Week, it is the perfect time to take a moment and thank God for the men and women He has called to the priesthood and religious life. Here at Ascension, we are blessed to have a young parishioner who has just started to answer that call and follow a path to the priesthood. We are delighted that Joe Schon is now in his first year of study at Saint John Paul II Seminary in Washington, D.C.! Joe has been a parishioner at Ascension since 2012 when his family moved here from the Spirit of Life Parish in Mandan. While he was a student at St. Mary’s Central High School, Joe heard the echoes of a call he had first experienced as a young child. “There was an initial call when I was in second or third grade,” he says. “There was an assignment where I wrote that I wanted to be a permanent deacon and be married. Then [the call] kind of went away until my junior year of high school. We have an event called ‘The Rock’ and during adoration, I got another call to go. I started going to daily Mass more after that, and during Lent, I did a 40-day Mass challenge and went to Mass every day. “Then I went to Rome with my school, and I dedicated that trip to discerning the priesthood,” Joe adds. “That November, my mom’s cousin became a bishop and we all traveled to the ordination. So through all those things, a very clear call came.” Reflecting on their son’s path to the seminary, Joe’s parents, Troy and Deb Schon, realize that there were signs that Joe had a uniquely strong connection to their Catholic faith from early on. “When Joe was about 3, he made a cross out of Play-Doh and said, ‘Jesus died on the cross,’” Deb recalls. “Then when he was in public school, he had to write a report, and he chose to write on St. Benedict. So, things like that were just kind of little inklings [of his vocation].” Religious vocations have been an important part of life in the Schon family. In addition to Deb’s cousin, Bishop Austin Vetter, who serves


Answering t

Parishioner Joe Schon

as a bishop in Montana, the Schons also have a nephew that attended seminary for some time before discerning a different vocation. With these experiences in their family background, both Deb and Troy — as well as Joe’s three older siblings — have been fully supportive of Joe as he follows a call to the priesthood. Deb is thankful that Joe has decided to pursue seminarian studies, knowing that God will use Joe’s time in seminary to continue shaping him into the man he was made to be.


the Vocational Call in the Seminary “I just want him to be open to whatever God wants him to do, and I want him to enjoy the experience of a new environment and new friends,” she says. “I want him to learn about himself — the good, the bad, and the ugly, all the things he needs to work on. I think every priest has a calling about what they specialize in. He will start defining what he will do as a priest, what it is that he is called to do as a priest.” Troy is also excited for Joe and the wisdom he is sure to gain over the next several years. “I think being around that group of young men is really going to help him mature because there will be some older ones, too,” Troy says. “I think whenever we get to see him, we’ll be able to see how he’s grown into becoming a man. It will be interesting to see how it changes him.” As he pursues a vocation in the Church, Joe looks forward to learning and growing by leaps and bounds along this journey to the priesthood. “I’ve been told not to expect anything, but I want to just grow, as a man, and spiritually and academically as well,” Joe says. “I think there will be a lot of great things happening. I’d ask the parishioners at Ascension for their prayers. Prayers always help! And I give my prayers for them as well — my prayers for the community.”

Seminarian Joe Schon (back left) with his family

“I’ve been told not to expect anything, but I want to just grow, as a man, and spiritually and academically as well. I think there will be a lot of great things happening. I’d ask the parishioners at Ascension for their prayers. Prayers always help! And I give my prayers for them as well — my prayers for the community.” — JOE SCHON

Seminarian Joe Schon with his parents, Troy and Deb


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Serving God and


t’s pretty remarkable how far a community can come in a relatively short time. When it comes to our history at Ascension, it’s amazing to recall how Masses were held at the Kirkwood Plaza Theater back in the 1970s. For longtime parishioners Cathy and Duane Hruby, those memories come back quickly. “We’ve been here from the beginning when Mass was held at the theater,” says Cathy. “What I remember was a lot of people came in with their shopping bags to go to church, and then they left again. It was quite different.” Originally from Mott, N.D., Cathy grew up in a faithful Catholic family, attending Catholic school through the eighth grade. Moving to Bismarck after high school, Cathy met and married Duane Hruby — the couple, who have four children, six grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren, celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary this past June. Both Duane and Cathy have served our community in many ways over the years. From the beginning, Duane was involved with the Knights of Columbus, serving several terms as Grand Knight, and now, as a lifetime member of the Fourth Degree. He has also served as an usher. Cathy was one of the founding members of the Ladies of Ascension and served as the group’s first President, as well as in many other roles over the years. “[The Ladies of Ascension] started out with maybe about 10 ladies or so and we thought, ‘Let’s do this for our community and our pastor and wherever we’re needed,’” Cathy says. “We always did great things for our parish community — we had a lot of bake sales and tried to help out however we could. From the sales, we furnished the community hall and lots of different projects.” Giving to those in need was also a priority to the Hrubys, who spent many years helping with Christmas Eve Dinners, Spring Dinners, meals for the poor and homeless, and Meals on Wheels. 6

Duane and Cathy Hruby have served our parish community in many ways, since our humble beginnings in the 1970s.

“What we like best is being able to serve people and to see the delight in their eyes to get a free meal,” Cathy says. “When we serve the poor, they’re so grateful.” Today, Cathy continues to be involved as she is able, serving as a lector and Rosary leader for daily Mass, helping with votive candles at Church, St. Mary’s High School carnival, funeral luncheons, the Circle of Friends support group, the Catholic Daughters of America, our prayer line, and even

Ascension Parish From the Very Beginning helping office staff with stuffing envelopes and bulletins. Although Duane’s health sometimes makes it difficult for him to get out, he continues to support the parish in prayer. Cathy encourages her fellow parishioners to consider finding ways to become involved in the life of the parish and experience the sense of Ascension as a “second home” that she and Duane have found. “I am praying that more people will get involved in different projects at the church,” she says. “There are always ways to help out — people are always needed. It’s just normal, beautiful things we could do for the church and for God. People should give it consideration, give a little of their time to God.”

“I am praying that more people will get involved in different projects at the church. There are always ways to help out — people are always needed. It’s just normal, beautiful things we could do for the church and for God. People should give it consideration, give a little of their time to God.” — CATHY HRUBY

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Cathy and Duane Hruby for their many years of generous service to our parish community, and for helping to preserve our cherished memories of the humble beginnings of Ascension Catholic Church. We are grateful for you!

UPCOMING EVENTS November 2 - 7 p.m. All Souls Day Mass of Remembrance November 14-15 and November 21-22 Angel Tree will be setup in Community Room between all Masses

November 14-15 and November 21-22 Ladies of Ascension will be having their annual Nut Sales in the Community Room between all Masses November 26 Thanksgiving Day Mass at 8 a.m.


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Permit #164 Bismarck, ND

Church of the Ascension 1905 S 3rd St. | Bismarck, ND 58504-7118 701-223-3606 | www.ascensionbismarck.org

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The Mass of Remembrance For though death has separated us physically, we as a Church still remain joined together mystically. Our prayers have the ability to help souls in purgatory obtain the beatific vision of God (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1032) while their prayers help sustain us during life’s trials. “Praying for the dead is an important part of our Catholic beliefs,” Julie says. “We are also instructed by the Spiritual Works of Mercy to comfort the sorrowful and pray for the living and the dead. Although we do this throughout the year by mentioning those who have died in the

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Prayer of the Faithful each Sunday, we do it in a special way at this Mass of Remembrance.” This year’s Mass of Remembrance will take place on Monday, Nov. 2, at 7 p.m. All are invited to help us honor the memory of our deceased members while also supporting their loved ones left behind. “It is a special time for Ascension Parish to show our compassion for the family and friends of those who have died,” Julie says. “We know it has been a difficult year for them and we want to acknowledge that and offer our support.”

If you would like more information, please contact Julie Ternes at 701-223-3606.


Saturday, 5:00 p.m. | Sunday, 8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m. Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. | Holy Days: 8:00 a.m., 7:00 p.m.

Stewardship is the grateful response of a Christian disciple who recognizes and receives God’s gifts and shares these gifts in love of God and neighbor.

Profile for Catholic Stewardship Consultants

Ascension Catholic Church Newsletter — November 2020  

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