November 2015 issue of The Courier

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St. Elizabeth of Hungary November 17

November 2015


Official Newspaper of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Winona, MN

is a C e l e b r at i o n o f L i f e November is National Adoption Month

Brian and I (Kay) met at college in the fall of 2002. We were married in August of 2005. While dating, we talked about our goals and dreams for having a family. We both want at least 2 kids and are open to more. After trying for a few years to have children of our own, we went to the docby: Brian, Kay and Alyssa

tors to investigate why we were having trouble conceiving a child of our own. After many tests, the doctors informed us that there was not a clear reason why we were unable to conceive a child. This answer has been frustrating for Brian and me. We were hoping to hear a definite yes or no from the doctors. A “yes” or “no” Celebration of Life, cont'd on pg. 17

Over 1000 Gather for Reboot! Live! Event

Read the story on page 12!

INSIDE this issue

Final Synod document backs Church teaching, beauty of family

read the details on page 7

Insights from a loving father, Church's newest Saint

more on page 4

Meet our new Seminarians! meet Neal on page 15

Pope Francis Watch

The Courier Insider


Pope Francis: Synod was about affirming family, indissoluble marriage

Articles of Interest

Insights from a Loving Father

page 4

Religious Life: Prayer & Asceticism

page 4

Pastoral Planning: It's for Everyone!

page 5

Pilgrims Share Their Experience

page 6

Cardinal O’Malley: California Legalization of Assisted Suicide

Vatican City - Pope Francis inside the Synod hall during meetings on the Synod on the Family in Vatican City on October 21, 2015. Credit:© L'Osservatore Romano

“a Great Tragedy for Human Life”

page 6

Celebration of Marriage

page 6

Final Synod Document Backs Church Teaching

pages 7

Diocese Welcomes Monica Herman

page 8

Called to Generosity

page 8

Jubilee Year of Mercy

pages 10

Logo for the Year of Mercy

page 11

Reboot! Live! Power of One Invitation

page 12

Vatican City, Oct 24, 2015 / 01:10 pm burying our heads in the sand.” page 13 (CNA/EWTN News) - At the conclusion Rather, he said, it was about listening Catholic High Schools Homecoming of the 2015 Synod on the Family, Pope to the voices of families and pastors, page 14 Francis emphasized that the gathering and seeing reality through God’s eyes Pacelli Walkathon Event Success had been about recognizing that society to offer hope and encouragement in a Meeting the New Seminarians page 15 is founded on the family and marriage world of growing crisis and pessimism. as the permanent union of one man and Throughout the synod, Pope Francis page 16 one woman. The synod, the Pope said in said, the expression of differing opinions Wisdom of “Laudato Si' ” his closing message, “was about urging allowed for “rich and lively dialogue” page 17 everyone to appreciate the importance and “offered a vivid image of a Church Adoption is the Loving Option of the institution of the family and of which does not simply ‘rubberstamp,’ page 18 marriage between a man and a woman, but draws from the sources of her faith National Life Chain Event based on unity and indissolubility, and living waters to refresh parched hearts.” page 18 valuing it as the fundamental basis of “It was about showing the vitality of Events society and human life.” the Catholic Church, which is not afraid page 19 This year's Synod on the Family, to stir dulled consciences or to soil her Obituaries which runs from Oct. 4-25, is the second hands with lively and frank discussions Spotlight Film Released in November page 20 and larger of two such gatherings to about the family.” take place in the course of a year. Like The Church’s duty is to proclaim Officials its 2014 precursor, the focus of the God’s mercy and love, calling call men 2015 Synod of Bishops is the family, this to conversion and salvation, the Holy The Most Rev. John M. Quinn, Bishop of the Diocese of Winona, time with the theme: “The vocation and Father said. However, this does not announces the following: mission of the family in the Church and detract from the importance of formula, the modern world.” laws and divine commandments, he Appointments: The Pope explained that the said. Rev. Joseph Pete, appointed Courage and EnCourage Chaplain for the gathering “was not about finding “Indeed, it means upholding all the Diocese of Winona, effective October 2, 2015. exhaustive solutions for all the more the laws and commandments difficulties and uncertainties which which were made for man and not vice challenge and threaten the family, but versa.” Child Abuse Policy Information rather about seeing these difficulties Pope Francis also referenced the 1985 Synod, and uncertainties in the light of the speaking of the need for an “inculturation” that Diocese of Winona - Child Sexual Abuse Policy Information Faith, carefully studying them and Pope Francis & the Synod, cont'd on pg. 20 The Diocese of Winona will provide a prompt, appropriate and confronting them fearlessly, without The Courier is the Official Publication of the Diocese of Winona 55 West Sanborn, P.O. Box 588, Winona, MN 55987 Vol 106 - 11

Most Reverend John M. Quinn, Publisher Theresa Martin, Associate Editor Monica Herman, Editor Telephone: 507-454-4643 Fax:507-454-8106 E-mail: Subscription Rates: $5 per year in the U.S. Parishioners in the Winona Diocese subscribe through their parish.

Periodicals postage paid at Madelia, MN Postmaster. (ISSN 0744-5490) Publishing Schedule: Monthly - Deadline for advertising & articles is the 10th of the month prior. (ISSN 0744-5490)

November, 2015 w The Courier

compassionate response to reporters of sexual abuse of a child by any diocesan agent (employees, volunteers, vendors, religious or clergy). Anyone wishing to make a report of an allegation of sexual abuse should call the Victim Assistance Coordinator at 507454-2270, Extension 255. A caller will be asked to provide his or her name and telephone number. Individuals are also encouraged to take their reports directly to civil authorities. The Diocese of Winona is committed to protecting children, young people and other vulnerable people in our schools, parishes and ministries. The diocesan policy is available on the diocesan web site at www.dow. org under the Safe Environment Program. If you have any questions about the Diocese of Winona’s implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, please contact Peter Martin, at 507-858-1264, or

Give Thanks to the Lord Dear Friends in Christ,

Rejoice in Hope Bishop John M. Quinn of the most humbling yet joyful experiences I have is witnessing your response to God’s call to help with the needs of each other and the needs of the Church. So many of you place your

faith. Death will claim every living person and thing. Jesus Christ is our hope and His victory over sin and death reminds us that life does not end in death. In the first preface for the dead in the new missal are the beautiful words, “Indeed for your faithful, Lord, life is changed not ended, and when this earthly dwelling turns to dust, an eternal dwelling is made ready for them in heaven.” Be sure to pray for our beloved dead in purgatory during this month of the Holy Souls. I am greatly comforted that if I am not ready to be in God’s presence after death, there is time for purification so that divine love can break fully into my life and Christ can be the center of all my relationships. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. Synod on the Family The Ordinary Synod on the Family 2015 has now concluded. The final document of the Synod was a beautiful affirmation of marriage and family and a need for sensitive pastoral care. Please read an explanation of this document on page 7 of this issue of The Courier. Let us continue to pray for the Holy Father as he takes


this document and through prayer will discern what the next steps should be. During his visit to the United States, Pope Francis was always asking people to pray for him. Let us honor that request daily. Gratitude As we celebrate Thanksgiving, I want to take a moment to share just a few of the many reasons my heart is so grateful. First, I am grateful for God’s indomitable love in Christ, which called me to priesthood. I am grateful to every single person that has supported me along my spiritual journey, especially to all of you who pray for me and support my ministry as your bishop. I am grateful for our priests, deacons, and religious brothers and sisters of the past and present. Without their ‘yes,’ without their total commitment to Jesus, the Church could not continue its public ministry. Thank you for offering your lives. I am grateful for our seminarians, the young men discerning a call to the priesthood of Jesus Christ. They are true hope and a bright light to all. Life November is National Adoption Month. I am thankful for the gift of life we each have received

from God. What a beautiful gift of family life a couple can give to an orphaned or abandoned child when they open their hearts to adoption! We want women in crisis pregnancies to know there are other options. I want to thank Catholic Charities especially for all their efforts in helping generous couples and these wonderful children find each other. This is a great service in living out our prolife belief, that we are not merely against abortion but we are for life! I am so grateful to all who are involved in the adoption ministry; may God bless your work as you continue to be a light of hope to those in need. Vocations Awareness Week, Nov. 1-7 National Vocation Awareness Week (NVAW) is an annual week-long celebration of the Catholic Church in the United States dedicated to promote vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and consecrated life through prayer and education, and to renew our prayers and support for those who are considering one of these particular vocations. We continue to pray for vocations in our diocese and we extend our most sincere “Welcome!” to the new seminarians at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary, whom you will be introduced to over the next few issues of the Courier. I also extend congratulations to the young women in our diocese who have entered consecrated religious life or taken vows this

From the Bishop

November is the time that our nation has chosen to ‘give thanks’ for our countless blessings from God. Please allow me to let you know how grateful I am for all of you, the faithful of the Diocese of Winona. One

gifts, your resources, your time – yourselves – at God’s service in and through the Church. For this, I am truly grateful. All Saints Day The Feast of All Saints reminds us that our lives are destined for union with God in heaven. On November 1, the Church celebrates the countless numbers of men and women who behold the mystery and beauty of the Trinity in heaven. Saints are ordinary people who loved God and loved people in an extraordinary way and desired holiness more than anything in this world. I know I have lived with saints, worked with them and learned from them. A priest friend often preached that Saints are sinners who kept trying. So, don’t give up! Jesus Christ gave us the Eucharist, the Sacrament of Penance and the other Sacraments to transform our hearts so that we can become servants of God in this world and, one day in heaven, behold the beauty, the glory and the love of the Triune God so we can one day take our place in the communion of Saints. Month of the Holy Souls On November 2, the Church celebrates All Souls’ Day and prays for those who have gone before us marked with the sign of

year in their orders. The spiritual life of the

Bishop, cont'd on pg. 15

Bishop's Calendar November 3, Tuesday 7:45 a.m. – Teach at SMU – Winona 11 a.m. – Mass – DOW Priest Retreat - Winona November 4, Wednesday 2 p.m. – Mass of Installation of Most Rev. James Johnston Jr. as Bishop of Kansas City, Missouri November 5, Thursday 7:45 a.m. – Teach at SMU – Winona 7 p.m. – Seminar on the Council of Trent at SMU - Winona November 6, Friday 6:30 a.m. – Lauds and Mass - IHM Seminary - Winona November 8, Sunday 2 p.m. – Confirmation with Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Easton; St. Casimir, Wells; St. John the Baptist, Minnesota Lake; St. Teresa, Mapleton; St. Joseph, Good Thunder; St. Matthew, Vernon Center – to be held in Easton at

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish. 7 p.m. – Mass – Newman Center - Mankato November 10, Tuesday 7:45 a.m. – Teach at SMU – Winona 7 p.m. – Ecumenical Prayer Service on Encyclical “Laudato Si” – St. John the Evangelist Church – Rochester November 11, Wednesday 1 p.m. – Holy Hour 2 p.m. – Bishop’s Cabinet Meeting 5 p.m. – Mass and Dinner with SMU Christian Brothers of the Midwest – Winona November 12, Thursday 7:45 a.m. – Teach at SMU – Winona 12:10 p.m. – Mass for Deceased Clergy – St. John the Evangelist Church – Rochester November 13, Friday USCCB Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis –

Baltimore, Maryland November 15, Sunday USCCB Committee on Education – Baltimore, Maryland November 16, Monday November 18, Wednesday USCCB General Meeting Baltimore, Maryland

– –

November 19, Thursday 7:45 a.m. – Teach at SMU – Winona November 22, Sunday 5:30 p.m. – Vespers and Thanksgiving Dinner at IHM Seminary - Winona

December 1, Tuesday 7:45 a.m. – Teach at SMU 11 a.m. – Presbyteral Council – Albert Lea December 2, Wednesday 11 a.m. – Minnesota Catholic Conference – St. Paul 7 p.m. – Nostra Aetate Celebration – Minneapolis December 3, Thursday 7:45 a.m. – Teach at SMU 1 p.m. – Holy Hour 2 p.m. – Bishop’s Cabinet Meeting

November 23, Monday 4 p.m. – Sacred Heart Major Seminary Board Meeting via telephone conference

December 4, Friday 6:30 a.m. – Lauds and Mass at IHM Seminary – Winona 12:10 p.m. – Mass for intention of “Reparation for a Culture of Violence and Disrespect for Human Life” – Cathedral of the Sacred Heart Parish –Winona

November 24, Tuesday 7:45 a.m. – Teach at SMU – Winona

December 5, Saturday 5:15 p.m. – Confirmation – St. John the Baptist Parish – Mankato November, 2015 w The Courier

Insights 4

f ro m a L ov i n g F at h e r … a n d t h e C h u rc h ’ s N e w e s t S a i n t

also parents of the beloved Saint and Doctor of the Church, St. Thérèse of Lisieux. While Therese was still in the convent, her aunt Céline Guérin wrote to her, “Ah! It is because, little Thérèse, your parents are among those we may call saints and who merit bringing forth saints…" You were able to read about the virtues of his saintly wife who we featured in September; we will now focus on the faith of a father, the profound and immense faith of St. Louis Martin, the holy man who helped nourish the faith of “The Little Flower.” St. Louis Martin was born in France in August 1823. Thinking he had a religious vocation, he tried to join a religious community in the Swiss Alps, but was unable to complete his first task of learning Latin and soon realized his vocation was elsewhere. He found his vocation with St. Zélie Martin. In 1858, they met and were soon married. Zélie remarked that when she first passed him, she heard a still small voice that said, “He is the one I have prepared for you.” Their marriage was a wonderful example of the domestic church, one which couples today can look to as an example. Reflective of his Sr. Paul Mary undying devotion to his wife, he abandoned his business of watchmaking to help Zélie in her laceRittgers, R.S.M. making business. Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect Director of the Congregation for Saints' Causes, said that they serve as an "extraordinary witness of conjugal and family spirituality." In a letter to his wife, whom he calls his “dear friend,” St. Louis Inspiring Talks at St. James Coffee! writes, “I had the happiness of receiving Communion…which is like a little heaven Office of Faith Formation brings in Theresa Martin to on earth. I also lit a candle for the intention speak at SJC in Rochester. Join us! of our entire family. I kiss you with all my November 10 at 7 p.m. heart, while waiting for the happiness of Raising a Little Flower: how to raise being with you again,” and signed it lovingly, holy children from the examples “Your husband and true friend, who loves of Ss. Louis & Zélie Martin. you for life." In a time when marriage itself December 18 at 7 p.m. is under question, their marriage becomes all One Holy Family Can Change the the more a model for our time. St. Louis experienced great joys and sorWorld: from the nativity through Theresa Martin rows in both his marriage and in parentpresent day, even one holy family Catholic author, hood; within three years, his two baby boys, can be a powerful light of hope in wife, & mother of a five-year-old girl, and a six-and-a-halfa dark world. six boys

Faith Formation

The immense impact fathers have on the faith of their children is unquestionable. As Pope Francis recently said to fathers, “I ask that you have the grace to be very close to your children, letting them grow, but being by their side. They need you, your presence, to be there, your love!” We in the Church were blessed on October 18, 2015, to have gained another Saint who was just that – a loving, devoted father who valued his vocation and worked to instill a love of God in his children. Dads now have one more patron to look up to in their immensely important role within the family, this man is St. Louis Martin. He and his wife, Zélie are the first married couple in the history of the Church to have been canonized together, and are

week-old little girl all died. He would also lose his wife when St. Thérése was only 4 years old. Despite these trials there was nothing that could alter his confidence in the greatness of God's plan. As he later wrote to a friend, “I recently mentioned my five daughters to you, but I forgot to tell you that I have four others who are with their holy Mother up above where we hope to join them one day!” St. Louis' youngest child, St. Thérése, often described her father as the holiest of men in her letters and expressed her love to him each time she wrote. The connection between this father and daughter was beautiful and unwavering. St. Thérése would often refer to her father as "My Dear King" and St. Louis referred to her as his “little Queen”. She once wrote, "When I think of you, dear little Father, I naturally think of God, for it seems to me that it is impossible to see anyone more holy than you on the earth." St. Louis was a tender, joyful, and devout father, who cared for his children immensely. His beloved wife died in 1877, and he went on to lovingly raise his five daughters. Regarding this, Thérèse wrote, St. Louis Martin, cont'd on next page

Religious Life: Prayer & Asceticism By: Sister Marie Faustina Wolniakowski, RSM Blessed Paul VI said, “Faithfulness to daily prayer always remains for each religious a basic necessity.” In truth, religious life cannot exist without prayer, for prayer is the life of the new heart (CCC 2697). As many Religious can confirm, it was through prayer that they encountered their personal invitation from Our Lord to grow in a deeper intimacy with Him. The Religious is constantly invited to share and give their life to God, and this can only happen through a life of prayer. Just as in any other relationship, unity cannot grow unless you converse, so in prayer a Religious grows in a deeper knowledge and love of God. This is key for living religious life because the source of their life should always be Life itself, and this is only possible by a life of communion. Prayer is that togetherness spent with our Beloved, our communion with Him. And as knowledge and love grows deeper, the Religious begins to learn that through the conduit of prayer, God becomes all. He becomes the Teacher, the Friend, and the Beloved. Every encounter through prayer provides the grace to respond. Prayer disposes your heart to the voice of God working in you. Whether it is reading Sacred Scripture or working in the apostolate, this continued togetherness exemplifies any authentic communion, both sharing and giving your own heart, while receiving the other’s heart. In the case of Religious, it is the Sacred Heart of Jesus, bonded through the profession of vows and united in prayer. Prayer for Religious, however, is not only personal but communal as well. Communal prayer can be lived through the Church and the Religious Community. In the life of the Church, Religious experience communal prayer in the beauty of the sacraments, above all in the Eucharistic sacrifice. The reception of the Blessed Sacrament is the “source and summit” of Religious prayer, November, 2015 w The Courier

and of the entire Christian life. In the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Religious receives the Heart of Jesus. This is the profound beauty of the prayer of the Church. Each particular Institute is also a unique way in which Religious experience communal prayer. The Rule of Life or Constitutions outline the forms of communal prayer; this includes the praying of the liturgy of the hours, the Rosary, etc. Faithfulness to communal prayer not only unifies the members of the Religious Community but that of the whole Church, gathered together in the Mystical Body of Christ. In addition to the primary importance of prayer, Religious life should exemplify a life of asceticism. The call to perfection is supernatural; it can only be accomplished through God’s grace and the desire to fulfill His will. Nevertheless, this does not mean Religious are exempt from the painful realities of the effects of Original Sin. The significance of asceticism is outlined in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “The way of perfection passes by way of the Cross. There is no holiness without renunciation and spiritual battle. Spiritual progress entails the ascesis and mortification that gradually lead to living in the peace and joy of the Beatitudes.” (CCC 2015). The life of asceticism provides the source of daily conversion (cf. Essential Elements 28), the small, step by step process to strip our inordinate desires for that of God’s will. Religious Life affords the ability of asceticism to take on many forms, both interior and exterior; however, it is not so much the act of asceticism that provides progress, but the purity of intent in which the act is performed. Jesus himself relates, “I desire mercy not sacrifice.” Both prayer and asceticism are essential to religious life, for it is through these means the religious grows in union with the Most Holy Trinity and is able to fruitfully build up the Kingdom of Heaven for the glory of God.

Pastoral Planning: It's for Everyone! by: Msgr. Richard M. Colletti, Vicar General/ Chancellor, and Leandra Hubka


has the means (financial and human) of sustaining the Church’s full mission, its ministries and pastoral programs as well as its temporal affairs. The parish’s membership is increasing, or at least remaining reasonably steady. In our current Vision 2016 Planning Process we continue to build on the last planning process of 1997 that stated, “the Catholic Church’s mission is evangelization, the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ for the salvation of all people through the word of God, worship, service and stewardship.” In life – and parish life is no different – it’s always easier to go with the flow and continue with the status quo. But it’s important for us to occasionally take stock of where we are, where we want to be, and decide on steps to get us there. St. Catherine of Siena said, “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire!” Are we and our parishes striving to be who God wants us to be? How can we better proclaim the Gospel to the world and live out our faith in our families, parishes, and society? Pastoral Planning assists us in more clearly identifying our mission in the world and how we can live that out. Thus, Pastoral Planning is indeed for everyone.

Vision 2016

As the Diocese has been progressing through the Vision 2016 process these past 9 months, we have found that many people assume “Pastoral Planning” is only for those parishes that are moving to oratory status or are re-clustering with a new set of parishes. However, this is far from the case! Pastoral Planning in general, and Vision 2016 in particular, is used to help parishes and dioceses asses where they are now in terms of people, programs, assets, strengths, and weaknesses, and then come up with a plan to become more vibrant and vital Catholic communities using the resources at hand. Pastoral Planning always involves change, which can be challenging. It’s easy and comfortable to stick with the status quo and continue as we have in the past, because “that’s the way we’ve always done it!” However, sometimes we need to look seriously at what is and isn’t working, and figure out how that will influence our plans for the future. What are we doing well that we can make even better? How can we best use our time and energy for the good of the Church? This is the reason we are asking all parishes in the Diocese to come up with a Pastoral Plan to submit to the Bishop by February 2016. Some parishes have an ongoing Pastoral Planning process or team at their parish, so they will simply need to synthesize their recent planning into the 3-year plan that Vision 2016 calls for. Others may have never done any Pastoral Planning and might feel a little intimidated at the process. However, the Vision 2016 Guidebook (found at can help parishes walk through the process and outline their plans for

the next 3 years, and the Vicar General’s Office is able to answer questions parishes may have about their Pastoral Plans. The Pastoral Plan takes a detailed look at many aspects of parish life, including Quality of and Participation in Liturgy and the Sacraments; Stewardship of Time, Talent and Treasure; Quality of and Participation in Faith Formation; Quality of and Participation in Pastoral Care and Social Justice Ministries; Welcoming, Honoring and Integration of All Parishioners; Engagement and Effectiveness of Parish Trustees, Finance Council and Pastoral Council; Manageable Work / Ministry Load for Priests (and Deacons); Vocations to the Priesthood; Use of Adoration Whenever We Gather; and Parish Ministry and Meeting Operational Needs. The Pastoral Plans will outline the current status of the parishes in all these (and more) areas, and then set goals for how parishes can improve in each aspect of parish life. This will help parishes to look seriously at where they are now and how they would like to grow as a parish. Our 1997 Diocesan document, "Parishes and Ministry Among God’s People in the Diocese of Winona," reminded us that a parish is a vibrant, definite, stable community of the faithful, centered around the Eucharist. The parish as a vibrant community carries forward the work of Christ with joy and enthusiasm, freely sharing its faith in word and deed. The parish as a definite community attends to the pastoral care of all God’s people in its territory, organized in such a way that it can carry out the Church’s mission faithfully and effectively. The parish as a stable community

St. L o u i s M a r t i n , cont'd from pg. 4

“Papa's very tender heart joined a truly motherly love to the love that it already possessed.” He spread his devout faith to the whole world – by nourishing the faith of his children and helping them become saints, in particular through fasting, abstinence, daily Mass, and frequent confession. Each of his five daughters would enter the convent, which I can attest to from experience is quite a sacrifice for such a devoted father, but he continued to be overjoyed at the faith of his daughters. After St. Thérése had entered the convent, her father wrote, “Thérèse, my little Queen, entered Carmel yesterday! God alone could demand such a sacrifice, but He’s helping me so powerfully that through my tears, my heart abounds with joy.” He would later write when his next daughter entered the convent, “Come, let us go together to the Blessed Sacrament to thank the Lord who has given me the honor of taking all of my children.”

Fathers truly can find in him the true joys and sorrows of a life lived for the Lord – which will ultimately bear fruit for ages to come through their children. May we all be strengthened by the holy life of St. Louis Martin, as we look to him for examples of true love, trust in God's divine providence, and unwavering faith. I rejoice in the fact that the Church, especially fathers, have been given another wonderful Saint to intercede for our needs and to model for us the path to holiness! I encourage marking your calendar for the Diocese’s first Men’s Conference taking place in Rochester on April 2, 2016, in which this important role of men within the Church is highlighted. Also, if you’d like to learn more about St. Louis Martin, his daughter Céline wrote a beautiful book about him entitled, “The Father of the Little Flower: The Sister of St. Therese Tells Us about Her Father.” November, 2015 w The Courier

Life, Marriage & Family


Our Pilgrims Share Their Experience "We waited for 4 hours in the streets of Philadelphia waiting to go through security so we could attend the papal mass. We were frustrated and tired, but when we heard the Our Father being recited from the far-off loudspeakers, we held hands and lifted them up in prayer. Then every pilgrim around us gave the Sign of Peace. It was uplifting to know, even from the outskirts, we all could share our faith together. The Catholic Church is alive and well!!" Sue Anderson, Austin. "How blessed I am to be a Catholic and be able to meet my Brothers and Sisters from other countries and the US and to share in the Eucharist with all of them; to See Pope Francis in the popemobile and to be able to see people whose books I have read and seen on the computer and EWTN. - Ann Bronk, Plainview.

Celebration of Marriage

"I really did not expect the reaction to the trip that my husband and I had. We thought that it would be just another trip, but we were completely surprised by the impact it had on both of us. It was one of the most calming and restful trips we have ever taken. Sure we walked a lot, but it did not seem to matter, we always had a little bit more energy to make it to another event/speaker. And the best of all was seeing the Pope and receiving his blessing. It was a oncein-a-lifetime experience. All the people on our Winona pilgrimage were so kind and friendly." - Bob & Sue Heinz, Cottage Grove. "The Good News from the World Meeting of Families is that the Catholic Church is alive and well! Bursting with life which has energized those of us privileged to attend-from the beautiful liturgies, the wonderful presenters, the multitude of families present, and the diverse cultures present. Of course, the pinnacle event was the holy presence of Pope Francis who inspired us with the wisdom of his words and the fortitude and spirit of his love and care." Sharon Pecachek, Dodge Center.

Peter Martin, STL Director

Are you or a loved one experiencing same sex attraction and looking for answers? Diocese of Winona Office of Life, Marriage & Family 55 West Sanborn Street Winona, Minnesota 55987 (507) 858- 1264 E-mail:

EnCourage -- a ministry dedicated

to the spiritual needs of parents, siblings, children, & other relatives and friends of persons who have same-sex attractions -- is also available. Chapters are active and meeting monthly. Contact us for information! November, 2015 w The Courier

Over 30 couples joined Bishop Quinn in Pipestone for the annual Anniversary Mass. The couples renewed their wedding vows and received a special blessing on their marriages. The annual Mass is a wonderful opportunity to recognize the beauty of the sacrament of Matrimony. Couples traveled from around the diocese; from newlyweds to those celebrating 67 years of marriage, all were edified by the way that God has worked through them in order to share His love to the world!

Cardinal O’Malley: California Legalization of Assisted Suicide “a Great Tragedy for Human Life”

WASHINGTON—Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), responded on October 6 to Governor Jerry Brown’s signing of the new California law legalizing assisted suicide. Cardinal O’Malley called the governor’s decision “a great tragedy for human life,” and a tragedy “compounded by confusion among those who supported this law.” “A government that legalizes assisted suicide sends the terrible message Pope Francis has so eloquently warned us against, that there is such a thing as disposable people,” Cardinal O’Malley said. “I am sure the Catholic Church in this country will redouble its efforts to protect innocent life at its most vulnerable stages, and to promote palliative care and other real solutions for the problems and hardships of terminally ill patients and their families.” The full text of Cardinal O’Malley’s statement follows: “Governor Brown’s decision this week to sign a bill legalizing doctor-assisted suicide in California is a great tragedy for human life. As a result, in all the West coast states, seriously ill patients suffering from depression and suicidal feelings will receive lethal drugs, instead of genuine care to help alleviate that suffering. The tragedy here is compounded by confusion among those who supported this law. For example, Governor Brown said he signed this law because it should not be a crime for a dying person in pain to end his life. But suicide itself is a tragedy, not a crime. The crime is for people in authority such as physicians to facilitate the deliberate deaths of other, more vulnerable people. That crime will now be permitted in California. And where such “assistance” is legal, most people taking the lethal drugs do so not because of pain but because they feel they are helpless and a “burden” on others. The state of California in effect is now confirming this judgment. A government that legalizes assisted suicide sends the terrible message Pope Francis has so eloquently warned us against, that there is such a thing as disposable people. With the bishops of California I grieve for this deeply flawed action. I am sure the Catholic Church in this country will redouble its efforts to protect innocent life at its most vulnerable stages, and to promote palliative care and other real solutions for the problems and hardships of terminally ill patients and their families.” For more information on the bishops’ advocacy against assisted suicide, including their 2011 statement, “To Live Each Day with Dignity,” see: Editor’s note: Physician Assisted Suicide is already being contemplated for our own State of Minnesota. Please join the Minnesota Catholic Advocacy Network at to learn more about how you can build a stronger culture of life here in Minnesota. See page 18 for details of an upcoming event to attend!

Final Synod Document Strongly Backs Church Teaching, Beauty of Family Life

male and female; because of this man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” It recalls how “God united the hearts of man and woman who love each other and unites them in unity and indissolubility. This means that the goal of married life is not only to live together forever, but to love each other forever!” “In the freedom of the ‘yes’ exchanged between a man and woman in marriage, the love of God is experienced and made present,” the document continued, explaining Vatican City - October 21, 2015. Inside the Synod hall during meetings on the Synod on that it is God who sustains this union through the Family in Vatican City on October 21, the Holy Spirit, even when it fails. Emphasis 2015. Credit: © L'Osservatore Romano was placed up front on the indispensable role families play in the Church, with paragraph 2 of the document recalling Pope Francis’ affirmed in the document was the Church’s stance on words to families Sept. 27 while at the World Meeting homosexuality, which was one of the most contested of Families in Philadelphia. issues of last year’s synod, particularly in the final “So much was God's love that he began to walk document. with humanity, he began to walk with his people, until This year, however, the topic of homosexuality it came time to mature and he gave the greatest sign was almost completely removed, apart from one paragraph on the pastoral care of families who live with persons that have homosexual tendencies. “A special attention” ought to be given to accompanying families in such situations, paragraph 76 of the document said. It reiterated that “every person, independently of their sexual tendency, must be respected in their dignity and welcomed with respect,” but clarified that “there is no foundation whatsoever to assimilate or establish analogies, even remotely, between homosexual unions and God’s design for marriage and the family.” Synod fathers called ideological colonization in this regard “unacceptable in every case,” as well as the pressure local Churches often face to succumb to the secular push allowing for gay “marriage.” The final document also backed Church teaching on life issues, such as abortion and contraception. In paragraph 33, it is reiterated that all human life “is sacred because, since its beginning, it involves the creative action of God.” “The biotechnical revolution in the field of human procreation has introduced the ability to manipulate the generative act, rendering it independent of the sexual relationship between a man and woman,” the document read. By undergoing this manipulation, “human life and parenthood have become modular and separable realities, subject mainly to the wishes and desires of individuals or couples, not necessarily heterosexual and in a regular marriage.” Only God “is the Lord of life from it's beginning to it's end,” the document continued. “No one, under any circumstance, can claim for themselves the right to directly destroy an innocent human being.” Openness to life was also underlined as an “intrinsic requirement of married love.” While an unfortunate mentality has diffused in society which reduces procreation “to individual gratification or that of the couple,” the synod fathers stressed that children are always a blessing, and are especially loved by Christ. The beauty of marriage and the family was expressed throughout the document, with strong references to marriage indissolubility from the beginning to the end. Quoting Pope Francis’ Oct. 4 homily for the opening of the synod, paragraph one of the document emphasized that “God didn't create the human being to live in sadness or to be alone, but for happiness, to share his path with another person that is complimentary.” “From the beginning of creation God made them

Life, Marriage & Family

By Elise Harris, Vatican City, Oct 24, 2015 / 04:39 pm (CNA/EWTN News) - With a twothirds majority vote, the more than 200 bishops gathered for the Vatican's synod on the family supported Church teaching on hot-button issues such as homosexuality and communion for divorced and remarried persons. The Vatican's synod on the family was opened by Pope Francis Oct. 4, and it will close Oct. 25. This year's event follows the theme “The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and the modern world,” and follows 2014's extraordinary synod on the family, which focused on pastoral challenges involved in family life. This year's discussion tended to be reduced in Western secular media to two issues: communion for divorced-and-civilly remarried, and Church teaching and pastoral care regarding homosexuality. However, actual topics brought up during meetings were much broader, with synod fathers touching on themes such as domestic violence, violence against women, incest and abuse within families, marriage preparation and pornography. A closing news conference at the Vatican Oct. 24 reported a sense of collegiality among the global bishops. Only two of the 94 paragraphs showed a disparity in the voting, both of them surrounding the topic of pastoral care for divorced and remarried persons. Despite the calls by some for the Church to change its doctrine by allowing divorced and civilly remarried Catholics without an annulment to receive communion, the synod’s final report upheld current Church teaching and practice on the issue. “It’s therefore the responsibility of pastors to accompany the persons concerned on a path of discernment according to the teaching of the Church and the guidelines of the bishop,” paragraph 85 read. While there was an overall support for the Church’s teaching and current pastoral practice to remain in place, the document also stressed that divorced and remarried couples are baptized persons who must be “more integrated into the Christian community,” while “avoiding every occasion of scandal.” “The logic of integration is the key to their pastoral accompaniment,” paragraph 84 said, explaining that their involvement in the Church “can be expressed in different ecclesial services.” Synod fathers emphasized a process of careful discernment in considering which of the areas of exclusion in the liturgy, pastoral, educational and institutional framework of the Church can be done away with for divorced and remarried Catholics. In some countries, for example, divorced and remarried persons are not only asked to abstain from communion, but also from teaching catechesis and from being godparents. Divorced and remarried individuals were encouraged to make an examination of conscience, asking themselves “how they behaved toward their children when the marriage entered into crisis; if they were tempted to reconcile; what the situation is for the abandoned partner; what consequences does the new relationship have on the rest of the family and the community of faithful; what example this offers to the youth who must prepare for marriage.” Pastoral discernment and accompaniment of such individuals must direct them “to the awareness of their situation before God.” In paragraph 86, it was noted that consulting with a priest helps form a correct judgement “on what hinders the possibility of full participation in the life of the Church and on the steps that can foster it and make it grow.” Also


of his love: his Son,” the document read. “And where did he send his Son? To a palace? To a city? To make an impression? He sent him to a family. God entered the world in a family.” In paragraph four, synod fathers said that the family, founded on the marriage of a man and woman, is the “magnificent and in-substitutable place” of love and the transmission of life. Synod fathers said they are able to see the reality of families today across the globe with “renewed freshness and enthusiasm” when looking back with the gaze of Christ. With the help of the Holy Spirit, pastors, in the knowledge that no family is perfect, can discern “the paths with which to renew the Church and society in their commitment for the family founded on the marriage between a man and woman.” “The Christian announcement that concerns the family is truly a good news,” they said. On Saturday a spokesman for Cardinal George Pell – head of the Vatican's economy secretariat – said in a statement that the prelate was “very pleased with the document.” “It expresses well what the current pastoral practice and teaching of the Church are on sexuality, marriage and families,” the statement read. “No doctrinal developments, no doctrinal surprises, no doctrinal backflips. No changes in praxis or discipline,” but rather a “beautiful commendation of large families and of the witness of happily married spouses and their children as agents of evangelization.”

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Diocese Welcomes Monica Herman Monica Herman of Arcadia, Wisconsin, is the new Director of the Office of Development for the Diocese of Winona. She was raised in Albert Lea and later moved to Worthington where she graduated from high school. She attended Viterbo University and obtained a B.A degree in Business Administration. She also attended St. Mary’s University of Minnesota – M.A. in Philanthropy and Development. Monica spent the last five years working for the Hospital Sisters Health System at Sacred

Heart Hospital in Eau Claire, WI, and St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chippewa Falls, WI. Monica and her husband Alan live in Arcadia, WI, and are empty nesters. They have two children in college. Peter is a senior at Winona State University and their daughter Madeline is a sophomore at the University of Minnesota in Rochester. “I am delighted to serve in the role of Director of Development here for the Diocese of Winona. I grew up in the Diocese, as did my husband. We are both very passionate about our faith and the work of the Church. I truly felt called to “come back home” and to do everything in my power to help in building a culture of philanthropy.”

Monica is featured here with her husband Alan and their children Peter and Madeline.

Called to Generosity

Monica Herman Director

What it means to respond to God's love by: Leisa Anslinger

How generous is generous?

As a child, I often wondered about my mother’s generosity. We had little money, and my parents worked hard. Yet my mother always seemed to give her time and attention to people. I just didn’t get it! Now, I understand that my mother knew the generosity of others in many ways through the years. She was a woman of deep faith whose thankfulness for God’s love called from her a tangible response. As her gratitude grew, so did her generosity. Now, I am grateful for the lessons I learned from my mother, lessons of generous and selfless sharing.

What does generosity have to do with our lives in faith?

We might be thinking, “But isn’t it enough to go to Mass on Sunday and put a little money in the collection, or give to a local charity?” How generous is generous, after all? This is where generosity is connected to gratitude: as we become more mindful of the many ways we are blessed with life, love, resources and more, we also face the need to be more generous. Generosity is the fitting response to God’s overwhelming love!

The challenge:

We may not like to admit it, but we are surrounded by a culture that values “me first.” Even when we have decided to grow as a good November, 2015 w The Courier

steward, we will be tempted to think, “But I earned the money -- it’s mine to do with what I want,” or “Enough is enough -- I need more time for myself !” And such thoughts or comments will find plenty of reinforcement from the world around us. We will have to be committed to continue on our path to a more generous lifestyle. Still, when we really give this thought, we realize that each of us has a need to give selflessly. It is in such giving that we find meaning, purpose, and holiness.

which we live.” (SDR, 42). Just as generosity is tied to gratitude, it is also tied to trusting God in all things. Growing in trust is an intersecting point where faith and life meet. We learn to trust that God who has given us every good gift will be with us in all things. We grow in a desire to give generously in response to such great blessings. This life of trust, gratitude and generosity is a way of living as a follower of Jesus. Jesus, who gave attention to those who were sick and suffering, the lonely, and those in need of spiritual companionship; Jesus, who even when tired and in need of time for himself, “stopped everything” to teach those who came seeking him; Jesus, whose very life was poured out in sacrifice for our sake and for that of the whole world. How can we not respond by giving of ourselves, our time and attention, our talents and resources? To grow in generosity is to see ourselves as a reflection of Christ, called to share Christ’s presence with others, as we surely are!

As we become more mindful of the many ways we are blessed with life, love, resources and more, we also face the need to be more generous.

Practical Ways to Grow in Generosity, cont'd on next page

Let’s get practical.

Growing in a generous spirit is not something that will happen over night. It is much more likely to take place one step, one decision to share after another. We will also find many more opportunities for generosity once we begin looking for them. We will consider practical steps toward generosity on the reverse of this sheet. Let’s be spiritual. “Christian stewards respond in a particular way to the call to be a disciple. Stewardship has the power to shape and mold our understanding of our lives and the way in

“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. ... By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (Jn 13: 34a-35)

We have not yet reached the goal for the Catholic ministries Appeal for 2015. Your generosity and stewardship is greatly appreciated as we work toward funding the ministries of the Diocese.

Contributions can be mailed to:

Catholic Foundation of Southern Minnesota PO Box 588 Winona, MN 55987-0588


Practical Ways to Grow in Generosity, cont'd from previous page “God’s Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom, subject to decline and decay; it is the everlasting Kingdom of the life to come. But that ‘life to come’ is in continuity with this present life through the human goods, the worthy human purposes, which people foster now. And after people have done their best, God will perfect human goods and bring about the final fulfillment of human persons.” (SDR, 21)

Generosity begins with a desire that grows into an act: a desire to give in response to what one has been given; an act of giving that expresses one’s gratitude and trust. Here are some practical ideas for ways to grow in generosity:

Give first to God:

Give God the first fruits of your time in prayer and by making and fulfilling a commitment to spend your time wisely and willingly with your family, by fulfilling your work responsibilities, and by serving in your parish and community; give God the first fruits of your financial resources by making and fulfilling a pledge of financial stewardship to your parish as well as other organizations.

Give time, prayer, attention:

Generosity in time and attention to God and others will transform us; begin and end each day in conversation with God; pray for those who have asked for your prayers, and for those whose needs are known only to God; give your attention to someone who is alone; find a need that your time and talent can fill, and fill it!

Give financially or materially:

Jesus spoke often about money, not because he placed an over-emphasis on

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financial wealth, but because he understood how money can take hold of us. Search your heart about this. What material resources do you have that another may need? What financial resources can you share, even beyond what may seem comfortable? Make a commitment to stretch a bit. If you truly do not have financial resources to share, find a way to be generous with your time; you will likely find that you don’t miss that money or time as much as you might expect, and that



Generous is as generous does

giving in such a way is satisfying.

Give sacrificially:

The mission we share in Jesus’ name is that of bringing the Good News to the world. This Good News is the message of undying, sacrificial love. We are created in God’s image, meant to be a reflection of Jesus who is perfect, generous and self-giving. Like our Lord, we must open our hearts to the will of the Father, who desires that all human, physical, spiritual, emotional and material needs be met. We know that such needs will be met through the sacrificial generosity of good and faithful stewards.

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Jubilee Year of Mercy


Jubilee Year

Why do we need a Year of Mercy? To understand the answer to this question, we will examine parts of the document (Papal Bull) that proclaimed the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy.

Title of the Papal Bull: Misericordiae Vultus Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy Jesus Christ is the face of the Father's mercy. These words might well sum up the mystery of the Christian faith. Mercy has become living and visible in Jesus of Nazareth, reaching its culmination in him. Reason for proclaiming Jubilee Year of Mercy We need constantly to contemplate the mystery of mercy. It is a wellspring of joy, serenity, and peace. Our salvation depends on it. Mercy: the word reveals the very mystery of the Most Holy Trinity. Mercy: the ultimate and supreme act by which God comes to meet us. ... At times we are called to gaze even more attentively on mercy so that we may become a more effective sign of the Father's action in our lives. For this reason I have proclaimed an Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy as a special time for the Church; a time when the witness of believers might grow stronger and more effective.

Reason for starting the Jubilee Year of Mercy on the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. The Holy Year will open on 8 December 2015, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. This liturgical feast day recalls God's action from the very beginning of the history of mankind. After the sin of Adam and Eve, God did not wish to leave humanity alone in the throes of evil. So he turned his gaze to Mary, holy and immaculate in love (cf. Eph 1:4), choosing her to be the Mother of man's Redeemer. When faced with the gravity of sin, God responds with the fullness of mercy. ... I have chosen the date of 8 December because of its rich meaning in the recent history of the Church. In fact, I will open the Holy Door on the fiftieth anniversary of the closing of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council. The Church feels a great need to keep this event alive. ... We recall the poignant words of Saint John XXIII when, opening the Council, he indicated the path to follow: "Now the Bride of Christ wishes to use the medicine of mercy rather than taking up arms of severity." Mercy as a key word that indicates God's action toward us. As we can see in Sacred Scripture, mercy is a key word that indicates God's action towards us. He does not limit himself merely to affirming his love, but makes it visible and tangible. Love, after all, can never be just an abstraction. By its very nature, it indicates something concrete: intentions, attitudes, and behaviours that are shown in daily living. Mercy is the very foundation of the Church's life. Mercy is the very foundation of the Church's life. All of her pastoral activity should be caught up in the tenderness she makes present to believers; nothing in her preaching and in her witness to the world can be lacking in mercy. The Church's very credibility is seen in how she shows merciful and compassionate love. The Pope draws from John Paul II's encyclical Dives in Misericordia (Rich in Mercy): Let us not forget the great teaching offered by Saint John Paul II in his second Encyclical, Dives in Misericordia, which at the time came unexpectedly, its theme catching many by surprise. There are two passages in particular to which I would like to draw attention. First, Saint John Paul II highlighted the fact that we had forgotten the theme of mercy in today's cultural milieu: "The present-day mentality, more perhaps than that of people in the past, seems opposed to a God of mercy, and in fact tends to exclude from life and to remove from the human heart the very idea of mercy." ... Furthermore, Saint John Paul II pushed for a more urgent proclamation and witness to mercy in the contemporary world: "It is dictated by love for man, for all

November, 2015 w The Courier


that is human and which, according to the intuitions of many of our contemporaries, is threatened by an immense danger. The mystery of Christ ... obliges me to proclaim mercy as God's merciful love, revealed in that same mystery of Christ. It likewise obliges me to have recourse to that mercy and to beg for it at this difficult, critical phase of the history of the Church and of the world." This teaching is more pertinent than ever and deserves to be taken up once again in this Holy Year.

The Church's call during the Jubilee Year of Mercy: The Church makes herself a servant of this love and mediates it to all people: a love that forgives and expresses itself in the gift of one's self. Consequently, wherever the Church is present, the mercy of the Father must be evident. In our parishes, communities, associations and movements, in a word, wherever there are Christians, everyone should find an oasis of mercy. Key scripture for the Jubilee Year: "Be merciful just as your Father is merciful" (Lk 6:36). We want to live this Jubilee Year in light of the Lord's words: Merciful like the Father. The Evangelist reminds us

of the teaching of Jesus who says, "Be merciful just as your Father is merciful" (Lk 6:36). It is a programme of life as demanding as it is rich with joy and peace. ... Merciful like the Father, therefore, is the "motto" of this Holy Year. In mercy, we find proof of how God loves us. He gives his entire self, always, freely, asking nothing in return. He comes to our aid whenever we call upon him The Pope's burning desire that during this Jubilee, the Christian people may reflect on the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. It is my burning desire that, during this Jubilee, the Christian people may reflect on the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. It will be a way to reawaken our conscience, too often grown dull in the face of poverty. And let us enter more deeply into the heart of the Gospel where the poor have a special experience of God's mercy. Jesus introduces us to these works of mercy in his preaching so that we can know whether or not we are living as his disciples. Let us rediscover these corporal works of mercy: to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, heal the sick, visit the imprisoned, and bury the dead. And let us not forget the spiritual works of mercy: to counsel the doubtful, instruct the ignorant, admonish sinners, comfort the afflicted, forgive offences, bear patiently those who do us ill, and pray for the living and the dead. This is to be a "Year of the Lord's favour" or "mercy": A "year of the Lord's favour" or "mercy": this is what the Lord proclaimed and this is what we wish to live now. This Holy Year will bring to the fore the richness of Jesus' mission echoed in the words of the prophet: to bring a word and gesture of consolation to the poor, to proclaim liberty to those bound by new forms of slavery in modern society, to restore sight to those who can see no more because they are caught up in themselves, to restore dignity to all those from

M e rcy

whom it has been robbed. The preaching of Jesus is made visible once more in the response of faith Christians are called to offer by their witness. May the words of the Apostle accompany us: He who does acts of mercy, let him do them with cheerfulness (cf. Rom 12:8). The season of Lent during this Jubilee Year is to be lived more intensely, with emphasis on the Sacrament of Reconciliation: The season of Lent during this Jubilee Year should also be lived more intensely as a privileged moment to celebrate and experience God's mercy. How many pages of Sacred Scripture are appropriate for meditation during the weeks of Lent to help us rediscover the merciful face of the Father! ... The initiative of "24 Hours for the Lord," to be celebrated on the Friday and Saturday preceding the Fourth Week of Lent, should be implemented in every diocese. So many people, including the youth, are returning to the Sacrament of Reconciliation; through this experience they are rediscovering a path back to the Lord, living a moment of intense prayer and finding meaning in their lives. Let us place the Sacrament of Reconciliation at the centre once more in such a way that it will enable people to touch the grandeur of

God's mercy with their own hands. For every penitent, it will be a source of true interior peace. During Lent, Pope Francis will send out Missionaries of Mercy: During Lent of this Holy Year, I intend to send out Missionaries of Mercy. They will be a sign of the Church's maternal solicitude for the People of God, enabling them to enter the profound richness of this mystery so fundamental to the faith. There will be priests to whom I will grant the authority to pardon even those sins reserved to the Holy See, so that the breadth of their mandate as confessors will be even clearer. They will be, above all, living signs of the Father's readiness to welcome those in search of his pardon. ... I ask my brother Bishops to invite and welcome these Missionaries so that they can be, above all, persuasive preachers of mercy. May individual dioceses organize "missions to the people" in such a way that these Missionaries may be heralds of joy and forgiveness. Goal of conversion in mind for those involved in criminal organizations and in corruption: May the message of mercy reach everyone, and may no one be indifferent to the call to experience mercy. I direct this invitation to conversion even more fervently to those whose behaviour distances them from the grace of God. I particularly have in mind men and women belonging to criminal organizations of any kind. For their own good, I beg them to change their lives. ... The same invitation is extended to those who either perpetrate or participate in corruption. This festering wound is a grave sin that cries out to heaven for vengeance, because it threatens the very foundations of personal and social life. Corruption prevents us from looking to the future with hope, because its tyrannical greed shatters Mercy, cont'd on next page

Local Events!

The planning for our diocese’s celebration of the Jubilee Year is underway, and various events and activities will be held throughout the year. Some highlights of the diocesan jubilee celebration will include the following: t The Opening Mass for the Jubilee Year will be held at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart on Sunday, December 13, the Third Sunday of Advent. At the Mass, there will be a formal opening of the Holy Door for the Jubilee Year at the Cathedral. The Holy Door offers a ritual expression of conversion, as one seeks to pass from sin to grace in moving through this sacred door. The Holy Door will serve, in the words of Pope Francis, as “a Door of Mercy through Check Back in the upcoming issues which anyone who enters will experience the love of God who consoles, pardons, and instills hope.” of The Courier for more information On that same Sunday, Doors of Mercy will also be opened at designated parishes and church institutions across the diocese. These will include parishes about the diocesan "Holy Doors" for named after the “Sacred Heart” (as this devotion flows from God’s merciful love). the Jubilee Year and for other Local These will also serve as pilgrimage sites in the diocese for the Holy Year. t Local “24 Hours for the Lord” observances offering special opportunities Events for the Jubilee Year! This to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation in parishes of the diocese during the Lenten season. Pope Francis reminds us that “God forgives Year is an invitation to change all, and God forgives always.” He exhorts us to “never tire of asking forgiveness.” our hearts by placing them A major focus for the Jubilee Year will be on celebration of the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. To have the courage and the humility to confess our within the Merciful Heart sins is, in the Pope’s words, a “gift from God.” “Being touched with tenderness by his hand and molded by his grace allows us to draw near to the priest without fear for our sins, but of Jesus. with the certainty that we will be accepted by him in the name of God…. After confession we are reborn.” t Special diocesan “Jubilee of Mercy” Days (early June), held with gatherings: w for our priests and seminarians on Friday, June 3 w for deacons, and their wives and pastors, on Sunday, June 5 w for all laity, religious, and clergy at regional sites across the diocese on Wednesday, June 8 -- Friday, June 10. The three days on June 8, 9, and 10 will feature morning, afternoon, and evening programs offering time for worship and liturgy, education and enrichment, and service and charity. More details on all of these gatherings will be forthcoming. t Other Jubilee events and activities – for families, for youth, for catechists, for those who are ill and persons with disabilities, for prisoners, etc. – will be held throughout the year, as Pope Francis has directed. More information on our diocesan plans will be provided in the coming weeks. There is also a Vatican web page for the Jubilee of Mercy, under the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization: http://www.

M e rcy ,

c o n t ' d f ro m p r e v i o u s pag e

the plans of the weak and tramples upon the poorest of the poor. Granting of indulgences for the Jubilee: A Jubilee also entails the granting of indulgences. This practice will acquire an even more important meaning in the Holy Year of Mercy. God's forgiveness knows no bounds. In the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God makes even more evident his love and its power to destroy all human sin. Reconciliation with God is made possible through the paschal mystery and the mediation of the Church. Thus God is always ready to forgive, and he never tires of forgiving in ways that are continually new and surprising. ... To gain an indulgence is to experience the holiness of the Church, who bestows upon all the fruits of Christ's redemption, so that God's love and forgiveness may extend everywhere. Let us live this Jubilee intensely, begging the Father to forgive our sins and to bathe us in His merciful "indulgence." Towards the end of the bull, Pope Francis turns to Mary, Mother of Mercy: My thoughts now turn to the Mother of Mercy. May the sweetness of her countenance watch over us in this Holy Year, so that all of us may rediscover the joy of God's tenderness. No one has penetrated the profound mystery of the incarnation like Mary. Her entire life was patterned after the presence of mercy made flesh. The Mother of the Crucified and Risen One has entered the sanctuary of divine mercy because she participated intimately in the mystery of his love. After Mary as the Mother of Mercy, Pope extends his thoughts to the saints and blessed ones who have made divine mercy their mission in life. In this regard, he singles out St. Faustina: Our prayer also extends to the saints and blessed ones who made divine mercy their mission in life. I am especially thinking of the great apostle of mercy, Saint Faustina Kowalska. May she, who was called to enter the depths of divine mercy, intercede for us and obtain for us the grace of living and walking always according to the mercy of God and with an unwavering trust in his love. How the Pope ends his bull: In this Jubilee Year, may the Church echo the word of God that resounds strong and clear as a message and a sign of pardon, strength, aid, and love. May she never tire of extending mercy, and be ever patient in offering compassion and comfort. May the Church become the voice of every man and woman, and repeat confidently without end: "Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old" (Ps 25:6).

11 Jubilee Year of Mercy

The Year of Mercy comes to the Diocese of Winona!

Logo for the Year of Mercy

The logo and the motto together provide a fitting summary of what the Jubilee Year is all about. The motto Merciful Like the Father (taken from the Gospel of Luke, 6:36) serves as an invitation to follow the merciful example of the Father who asks us not to judge or condemn but to forgive and to give love and forgiveness without measure (Lk 6:37-38). The logo – the work of Jesuit Father Marko I. Rupnik – presents a small summa theologiae of the theme of mercy. In fact, it represents an image quite important to the early Church: that of the Son having taken upon his shoulders the lost soul demonstrating that it is the love of Christ that brings to completion the mystery of his incarnation culminating in redemption. The logo has been designed in such a way so as to express the profound way in which the Good Shepherd touches the flesh of humanity and does so with a love with the power to change one’s life. One particular feature worthy of note is that while the Good Shepherd, in his great mercy, takes humanity upon himself, his eyes are merged with those of man. Christ sees with the eyes of Adam, and Adam with the eyes of Christ. Every person discovers in Christ, the new Adam, one’s own humanity and the future that lies ahead, contemplating, in his gaze, the love of the Father. The scene is captured within the so called mandorla (the shape of an almond), a figure quite important in early and medieval iconography, for it calls to mind the two natures of Christ, divine and human. The three concentric ovals, with colors progressively lighter as we move outward, suggest the movement of Christ who carries humanity out of the night of sin and death. Conversely, the depth of the darker color suggests the impenetrability of the love of the Father who forgives all. November, 2015 w The Courier

Youth and Young Adults


Reboot!Live!ThePower of OneInvitation submitted by: Beverly Miller, Youth Minister, Ss. Peter & Paul Parish, Mankato “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” Luke 5:4 I remember the first time I ever really prayed over this scripture. It was at a retreat I attended in Winona back in 2011. I arrived at the retreat one day after making the decision to quit my ministry position at my home parish. I had probably never felt so discouraged or so positive that giving up was the right thing to do. Possibly a thought and feeling that goes through the minds and hearts of many people through the course of events in their lives from time to time. Especially those who are trying to do God’s will in their life. Needless to say, this scripture touched me deeply in a personal way because of my circumstances at the time. In prayer, it seemed like I received an undeniable message from ‘the Boss’ that I wasn’t seeing the bigger picture (His picture) and that He very much was not wanting me to leave that

events see an increase in new members as well as a dramatic increase in participation in their parish ministries. We excitedly look forward to seeing those results in Mankato as well! All the proceeds made from this Reboot event go directly to Chris’ Turn the Tide initiative. This initiative is being created and implemented to be offered FOR FREE to those who are on the fringes of the faith. To help them engage better not only in the ritual of the Mass, but in the love behind it and in the life that proceeds from it. College Jon Nivem leads music at the Reboot! Live! event.

Chris Stefanick inspires over 1,000 attendees at the Reboot! Live! event in Mankato.

ideas for the coming year, this Reboot! Live! ‘invitation’ stood out like a diamond! It seemed to seriously be an answer to prayer. How could a person not jump at this opportunity to bring in Chris Stefanick FOR FREE? All we have to do is get enough people to come! No problem, I thought, having faith in the scripture that was shared with me 3 ½ years prior – “Put out into Ben Frost the deep water and lower your nets for the catch.” Director It turned out that 6 months later, through the power of invitation, prayer, grass-roots evangelization, and the public knowledge of what a truly amazing speaker Chris Stefanick is, nearly 1000 people bought tickets for specific ministry which I had just left. Mankato’s Reboot! event held on September 30, 2015, at The truth that this particular Gospel message left in the Fitzgerald Middle School campus gymnasium to hear my heart that evening filled me with strength and gave Chris speak on the power, beauty, and truth of the Gospel! me the determination to patiently, but excitedly, wait This was truly a grace-filled evening. Busloads of youth and anxiously look for that one particular ‘fishing’ outing and adults of all ages from the Dioceses of Winona, New invitation He had promised me would come. Ulm and the Archdiocese of St. Paul packed Fitzgerald’s Last spring, 3 ½ years later, the invitation came in the gymnasium to hear Chris’ message about the beauty of form of a new venture, which nationally known speaker the Gospel and the Catholic faith. They left 2 ½ hours later Chris Stefanick has been providing across our country, – on fire – talking about what a great experience this was called Reboot! Live! As I was searching for youth ministry for them, asking about how they can get more involved, and inquiring when Mankato will be holding another event like this! It was truly a grace and a blessing to have the presence of Ben Frost, Chris Stefanick and Jon Niven to make this evening a gift to these 1000 people. I found the beauty of hosting a real life Catholic Reboot! Live! event is that the graces to be found begin to show up long before the actual date the event takes place and continue long after the event is over. Our community began experiencing graces within two months of the conception of the idea to hold this Reboot! event. There is power and strength not only in the Gospel message, but also in the unity of His people! Chris Stefanik gave our community the opportunity to have a unified effort in accomplishing something that would benefit all five area churches and the Loyola Catholic School system. It provided us a launching board with an even larger net to throw into the deep together next time. The blessings and fruits from this event will continue in the months and years to come at our Mankato area parishes and beyond. Chris Stefanick shared with us that parishes which have held Reboot! Live! November, 2015 w The Courier

campuses will be targeted with this initiative in a dramatic way as over 80 % of Catholics STOP practicing their faith by the age of 23. You can learn more about this initiative and how to support it by visiting this web site: http:// Of all the good that has come from this one invitation,

I believe the unity and cooperation that was birthed from this event was by far the biggest grace and blessing I’ve witnessed so far! If there is one thing that is true, it is this: It may only take the faith and determination of one person to go out one last time to cast in the net even though everyone is telling them it will do no good, but it takes the unity and strength of the WHOLE COMMUNITY to be able to lift the nets back into the boat once God fills them up! I thank God for bringing this unity to life in our Mankato community and pray that God continues to inspire more and more people throughout our country to look beyond what we can see with our own eyes, to the bigger picture He is inviting us into …giving them the strength to “Put out into the deep.”


Cotter Schools celebrates Homecoming with excitement.

Catholic Schools

Lourdes High School celebrates their 2015-2016 Homecoming! Students participated in many fun events and honored their homecoming royalty. 2015-2016 Homecoming Royalty: The students L to R: Diana Banzon, Brianna Winkels, Clare Buntrock, Elle Pollock, Elizabeth (Lizzy) Bauer, Jack Thull, Teagan McDermott, Carl Olson, Isaac Plager & Tanner Fiek

Loyola Catholic School Homecoming Court: the students in the back row are, left to right: Matthew Naples, Noah Rajtar, Ester Archer (queen) Andy Sharpless (king) Jackson Dehen, Harry Orcutt, Jon Sadaka. Those in the front row are, left to right: Katerina Vetter, Karla Krmpotich, Tatyana Beck, Mykenzie Henriksen, Ally Cardamone-Rayner

Homecoming 2015

Featured here are Pacelli's King and Queen of the Homecoming Court.

The Pacelli Homecoming Court: Front Row Girls: Hannah Nelson, Faby Rodriguez, Sarah Holtz. Back Row Boys: Daniel Bollingberg, Jordan Cotter, Braden Kocer, Jacob Kramer

November, 2015 w The Courier


Pacelli Ride It, Race It, Walk It Event Success!

Catholic Schools

by: Laura Marreel, Principal Pacelli Catholic Schools

For over 40 years Pacelli Catholic schools has had an annual fall fundraiser to help support the cost of classroom teaching and supplies. The Pacelli WALKATHON has taken many forms in the past, from a day of walking 37 miles around Austin with the entire school, to cleaning up trash around Austin's downtown and Mill Pond, to the community wide event that was held last weekend at Todd Park in Austin. Every year, our students canvas the community to raise pledges to help support the great programs that are offered at Pacelli. To help raise awareness and celebrate the community of Austin, this year we

Marsha Stenzel Superintendent

invited everyone out for a race, pancake feed, and carnival! Our first annual Ride It, Race It, Walk It, 5K 10K run, bike, walk on Saturday, October 3, was a huge success! With almost 200 participants, there was something for every member of the family. Families walked the 5K with little ones in strollers, kids and adults could bike the 10K for a competitive race, and avid runners competed in the 5K & 10K to improve their time. The Austin Trails provided a beautiful fall backdrop, and the mood was simply happy and healthy! Luke Hoeppner, Shelley King, and Sarah Nelsen were the male and cofemale first place finishers for the 5K run, Nathan Drees and Kayla Christopherson were the male and female first place finishers for the 10K run, and Luke Weaver and Emma Keenan were the male and female first place finishers for the 10K Bike race! Congratulations to all finishers! All that healthy activity built up a hunger only pancakes could cure! The Knights of Columbus put on one of their famous pancakes feeds in the Izaak Walton November, 2015 w The Courier

cabin from 8 to 12 noon. They had a record number of customers, forcing a few grocery runs midmorning! We are so grateful for the continuous support the Knights of Columbus provides to Pacelli Catholic Schools and to the community of Austin! The fun did not stop there! Pacelli's School Board organized the most entertaining Fall Festival in town, complete with an inflatable obstacle course, over 20 games for all ages, a very popular dunk tank, face painting, PRIZES, and more! From stuffed animals, to snack cakes, to Bounce World passes, this carnival was fun for ALL ages! A special thank you goes out to the Austin Bruins Hockey players and Bruiser who came out to give away tickets, take pictures with kids, and continuously dunk Mr. Steve King, Pacelli Alum and Austin City Council Member, in the freezing cold dunk tank!

This event, combined with the pledges earned by our students, and the generosity of the parish members of St. Augustine, St. Edwards, and Queen of Angels Catholic Churches in town,

helped us raise over $29,000! These much needed funds go right back to programming and classroom needs at Pacelli, such as our fantastic K12 art program, 4-12 band and orchestra, educational field trips, science lab materials, and so much more! We want to thank the community of Austin for allowing us to showcase our excitement for education, love of family, and passion for healthy activities! Thank you to our event's major business supporters: Hy-Vee, Games People Play, The City of Austin, Simplified Technology Solutions, The Austin Bruins, and the Knights of Columbus. We thank the hard work of the event chairs, Robyn Bickler and Krista Kahle, and their families. Thanks goes out to all Pacelli parents, volunteers, School Board, Booster Club, students, and staff for making this such a successful fall fundraiser. Finally, we thank all who came out to participate in the first annual Ride It, Race It, Walk It 5K, 10K, Pancake Breakfast, and Family Fall Festival! We hope to see you all again next year!

Meeting the New Seminarians

Neal Abbott

outside the church. He was calling me to be His priest. I began attending daily mass whenever possible and going to confession more frequently, I became more active in Luther’s Catholic Student Community, and that fall I began teaching 7th and 8th grade religious education classes at St. Benedict’s in Decorah. It was in my increased involvement within the Church and a growing appreciation for the needs of its faithful that I found renewal in my faith life. God was working in my heart, patiently asking me to finally listen to His call and consider the priesthood. What a wonderful story. Were there moments of doubt after this? If so, how did you overcome them? Last fall in my senior year at Luther College, I remember a particular instant especially in my discernment of whether or not to enter seminary. ... There was a campus career day coming up, and the night before it I was super excited—I had my suit picked out, a schedule for who I was going to visit with, updated résumés sitting on my desk, and I thought I was ready to go. The next morning, I’m standing there in my dorm in my suit looking in the mirror and not really recognizing who I was looking at. I knew in that moment that God wasn’t calling me down the path I had long thought I was destined for—of a stable job, marriage, and a family—no, the pit in my stomach and the ache in my heart were telling me otherwise. I emailed Fr. Thompson, our vocation director, the next day. A month later I had committed to applying to the seminary to study for the Diocese of Winona. Of course, I faced doubt about my decision in the days and months that followed, but, with the support of my family, close

friends, St. Benedict’s in Decorah, and my home parish St. Bernard’s in Stewartville, I put my faith in God and trusted that He would get me to seminary—and He did just that! Can you share with us any favorite devotions of yours? One of the most enriching parts of seminary formation so far has been the development of my own personal prayer life. As a pretheologian, it is recommended that I set aside between a halfhour to an hour of time for prayer outside of Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours, and it has been through this daily giving of myself to a time of peaceful, quiet reflection that has transformed my relationship with God. ... Whether it’s getting up a little earlier than usual to pray a rosary or read from Scripture, heading over to a local parish for a few moments of prayer on your lunch break, or even just setting up a crucifix in your room before bed and giving that last hour of your day to the Lord, establishing a consistent routine of quiet, peaceful, and personal prayer can be life-changing. Are there people who have been most influential in your life that helped you along the path? My family, both immediate and extended, has been the most influential contributors to my path. My parents, especially, raised my brother and me in an environment where our faith wasn’t just something we did on Sunday mornings; it was what defined our life every day. They taught us to pray, they taught us to put God first, and they showed us the importance of giving of ourselves for the benefit of others. I also, of course, have to mention the encouragement of my former pastors at St. Bernard’s, Fr. Greg Havel and Fr. Matt Fasnacht, and my current pastor Fr. John Wilmot, in addition to my pastor during



my four years at Luther College and St. Benedict Parish in Decorah, IA, Fr. Phil Gibbs. These men all encouraged me to further discern my vocation and saw the potential in me to serve God as His priest, and for their support I will be forever grateful. If someone asked you for advice on whether or not he/she should consider a religious vocation, what would you say? I would encourage anyone discerning a religious vocation to pursue it—even in the moments where the doubt and the fear inevitably creep in—because it is through that continued pursuit that God will make more clear His desire for your life. Become as involved in your parish life as you can, frequently receive the Sacraments, volunteer in your community, and pray, pray, pray! And finally, what do you most look forward to in this upcoming year? I’m most excited this year to finally give my life over to the Lord and His will. ... I’m confident that God will continue to work in my heart and develop me into a better man through a deepening of my prayer life and an increased understanding of the philosophy, morality, and theology of the Church—that one day, Godwilling, I will be able to be His priest and give my life to the people of the Diocese of Winona as their servant.


Neal Abbott is from Stewartville, Minnesota. Neal, please tell us about your family; what was it like growing up? I grew up attending St. Bernard parish every weekend with my loving parents, Brian and Barb Abbott, along with my younger brother, Nathan. My parents were the ones who instilled the importance of the Catholic faith into our lives, as well as our grandparents on both sides of the family and many others within our extended family who encouraged the practice of the faith in our everyday lives. The community of St. Bernard’s was also incredibly nurturing in the formation of my faith. When do you think the very first seed of a priestly vocation was planted in your life? Without question, the first seed of a priestly vocation was instilled in me from an early age in the pews (or really, rows of seats in our old church) of St. Bernard’s. I remember as early as fifth grade some of my fellow

schoolmates, some not even Catholic, asking me if one day I wanted to be a priest. A profound influence on my childhood was Fr. Greg Havel—he was a priest who radiated joy in everything that he did, and he was always there for both myself and my family in the Sacraments and in the everyday ups and downs of life. The joy and peace that I found in church was always appealing to me, and I really believe that was Christ subtly beckoning me, inviting me to one day consider being His priest. How did that sense of vocation develop from a glimmer to entering the seminary? In high school I started to feel a stronger draw toward the priesthood, but I wasn’t at a stage in my life where I was ready to make that kind of a decision, so I more or less let the call sit idle for a few years. Yet, while in a lot of ways I could tell I was resisting God’s call for my life, He was always there quietly, persistently asking me to consider the priesthood. It wasn’t until the last couple years of my undergraduate studies at Luther College that I really began to feel that call becoming more prominent in my spiritual life. I studied in Italy and France for a month during my junior year, and it was there that I really grew in appreciation for the universality of the Catholic Church. One day in Florence, a beggar outside of a church actually mistook me for a priest, calling to me, “Padre, Padre!” At the time I tried to shake that encounter off as happenstance and I had some good laughs about it with friends later (the advisor on my trip referred to me as Father Neal for the remainder of our time abroad, to my chagrin), but the more that I reflected on that moment, the more I saw Jesus in that poor man

cont'd from page 3

Diocese of Winona is edified by their prayers and loving sacrifice. It is when we hear and follow the path God has set before us that we find true joy in our life. Like these seminarians and consecrated sisters, let us pray that God’s real joy shines out through us in our vocation and let us continue to pray that all young men and women might hear God’s call in their lives and have the courage to follow Him. Stewardship The recognition that all we have is a gift from God is the liberating reality that begins our lives as Christian stewards. Jesus is our model of stewardship. His perfect self-emptying example is beyond our grasp yet it is our duty and within our power as His disciples to be generous stewards… giving freely of our time, talent and treasure. As St. Paul reminds us, “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully…God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Cor 9:6-7). Thank you for being a cheerful giver. One of my roles as your Bishop is to communicate a vision and extend an invitation to you to realize that you are no less than “God’s

co-workers” (1 Cor 3:9), with your own unique roles in His creative, redemptive, and sanctifying work. I take this responsibility seriously and so does my Curia. I want you to know that we are aware of your response to God’s call - your ‘yes’ to our Lord – just like that of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who after Jesus most perfectly teaches the meaning of discipleship and stewardship. I thank you for all your gifts to the Church. As I conclude this message, I want to say once again that my heart is truly filled with gratitude towards all of you. Thank you for the love you share through your gifts of time, talent and treasure. I entrust you to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, praying that your stewardship will lead you one day to hear the Master’s words: “Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Mt 25:34).

Sincerely in Christ, Most Rev. John M. Quinn Bishop of Winona November, 2015 w The Courier

Lay Formation


Practical & Spiritual Wisdom of “Laudato Si' ” “Many things have to change course, but it is we human beings above all who need to change. We lack an awareness of our common origin, of our mutual belonging, and of a future to be shared with everyone. This basic awareness would enable the development of new convictions, attitudes and forms of life. A great cultural, spiritual and educational challenge stands before us, and it will demand that we set out on the long path of renewal.”

It is most fitting that the weekend I sat down to read Pope Francis’ encyclical, “Laudato Si’ ~ On Care for Our Common Home,” was the weekend of the Gospel reading known as “The Rich Young Man.” When asked by “a man” what he must do “to inherit eternal life,” Jesus instructs him, “Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come follow me.” On hearing this, the man’s “face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.” (Mark 10:17-22). I couldn’t help but feel, in reading our Holy Father’s encyclical, that he was echoing Jesus’

November, 2015 w The Courier

- Pope Francis, “Laudato Si’ ~ On Care for Our Common Home,” n.202 message to this man. Only, now, the message was being directed to me. And, I was being challenged to turn away from my many possessions, and to turn decisively to follow more truly the path of Christ. It is, as the Pope states clearly, a path of simplicity, a path of love for and commitment to the poor and marginalized, a path of service and self-sacrifice, and a path of care for all of God’s creation. And, ultimately, it is also a path of “joy and peace.” It would be very difficult, in this short space, to summarize in any meaningful way the content of this encyclical – a 45,000+ word document! (I would very much encourage you to read the full text for yourself. But, if you aren’t able to do so, there are many fine summaries of the document available online. One such overview is available at the Vatican’s “news. va” web page.) My intention here, and in next month’s column, is rather to highlight some of the heart of its message, and to capture a little of its spirit and tone. Having read my introduction, you might wonder – if you haven’t yet read the encyclical – what simplicity, service, self-sacrifice, and commitment to the poor have to do with environmental issues. In Pope Francis’ mind and heart, they have everything to do with how we live on and treat our earthly home. At the core of this document is our Holy Father’s conviction that how we care for God’s creation cannot be separated from all of the other aspects of our faith. To live our faith authentically is “to live in communion with God, with others and with all creatures.” At the heart of our faith is belief in “one God who is Trinitarian communion,” and that the creation of our Triune God reflects this divine communion by being fundamentally “a web of relationships.” To be human is to live in relationship, and to be a follower of Christ is to live our relationships with the love, care, integrity, and respect which gives honor to the Father, the “Creator of All Things.” With this theological foundation in place, it is important to note that much of this document is focused on the very practical and real situation we are facing today. The Pope writes that such “theological and philosophical reflections” must be “grounded in a fresh analysis of our present situation, which is in many ways unprecedented in the history of humanity.” The topics in the first chapter, “What Is Happening to Our Common

Home,” seek to develop such a “fresh analysis” of what we’re facing in today’s world: “pollution and climate change;” “the issue of water;” “loss of biodiversity;” “decline in the quality of human life and the breakdown of society.” It is not “a pretty picture,” as they say, and Pope Francis is clear and frank in his analysis of our environmental situation.

Todd Graff Director

For example, with reference to pollution, he writes: “Each year hundreds of millions of tons of waste are generated, much of it non-biodegradable, highly toxic and radioactive, from homes and businesses, from construction and demolition sites, from clinical, electronic and industrial sources. The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth.” (#21) [italics added]. In what follows he seeks to trace a path forward that acknowledges honestly the dire situation we face and looks to draw on our best and truest human resources and instincts to address these most challenging issues. In these chapters, Pope Francis: • reflects on the call to care for creation as developed in the scriptures (Chapter Two) • examines the roots of “the ecological crisis” as found in materialism, consumerism, and the dominance of a “technocratic paradigm” (Chapter Three) • describes an “integral ecology” which affirms the interconnectedness of all creation (Chapter Four) • outlines approaches and policy directions which seek to build a “dialogue” and “global consensus” needed to “help us escape the spiral of self-destruction which currently engulfs us” (Chapter Five). In the final chapter, Pope Francis reflects on an “Ecological Education and Spirituality” which allow us to be formed in faith as good stewards of creation. It is a very rich reflection, and I will explore it in more detail next month. Deo Gratias! “Yet all is not lost. Human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start, despite their mental and social conditioning. We are able to take an honest look at ourselves, to acknowledge our deep dissatisfaction, and to embark on new paths to authentic freedom. No system can completely suppress our openness to what is good, true, and beautiful, or our God-given ability to respond to his grace at work deep in our hearts.” - Pope Francis, Laudato Si’ n.205

Adoption is the Loving Option A Celebration of Life, cont'd from the front page


Adoption – A Wonderful Way to Build a Family

Catholic Charities

Thinking about Adopting? Want to learn more about Adoption?

would have made the next step much clearer. We decided to keep trying to conceive a child of our own. Brian and I talked about adoption, but never set a timetable or deadline for making a decision. After years of not being able to conceive, with prayer and guidance, we decided to choose adoption Catholic Charities offers Adoption to grow our family. Informational Meetings at its various office Our adoption journey started in early 2012. Brian and I decided to choose Catholic Charities locations to help families get the answers they as we wanted an agency that was local. We felt comfortable working with Catholic Charities after need about the adoption process. watching the experience of two couples from our church. Both families had adopted multiple children through Catholic Charities. We sent in our application and had our background checks comCall your local office for more information pleted. We were then contacted by a social worker and began the paperwork process. During our Rochester – 507-287-2047 Mankato 507-387-5586 journey we met with our social worker, completed paperwork, and completed the home study. The Winona – 507-454-2270 Worthington 507-376-9757 home study involves many questionnaires, discussions with a social worker, and finally a visit to our home. We were approved and ready to adopt a child on September 26, 2013. We were placed on the waiting list and added to Catholic Charities' website as a couple ready to adopt. As months passed we continued to pray and wait for God to bless us with a birthmother who would choose us to be the parents of her child. During our wait Catholic Charities hosted “while you wait” informational meetings. The topics range from hearing about the adoption experience from other couples to a car seat class. These meetings were also a nice way to meet other couples that were on the same journey. On Friday August 29, 2014, I received a voice message from our social worker to give her a call back as she had You know that life is a gift from God. You also know that the a birth mother that wanted to meet us. I called back and set up a meeting for September 8, 2014. My husband gift often comes at difficult times. You can help precisely at and I were so thrilled and nervous to meet the birth mother. The meeting went very well. The birth mother let us those times. Catholic Charities’ Mother and Child Assistance know that she would like to have Brian and I be the parents of her child. During our first visit, we learned that the Fund helps pregnant women and women with babies with birth mother was expecting around Christmas. She asked us at the meeting if we wanted to join her for the doctors’ rent, medical expenses, educational assistance, doula serappointments and ultrasounds. Brian and I said, “Yes.” On September 15, 2014, we attended our first ultrasound vices, child care assistance and parenting education. It helps with her and were able to see the baby. At this appointment we found out she was expecting a girl. Brian and I birthmothers carry their baby to term by providing the direct feel that one of the most rewarding experiences that happened on our adoption journey was the ability to follow support they need to work through difficult situations that the birth mother to her doctor appointments. We are extremely grateful and view that opportunity as a “once-inthey and their baby may face. Hear the moving testimonies a-lifetime” experience. of women who benefited from this fund: We had some time to get to know the birth mother before her due date. We met up multiple times outside of "The Mother Child Assistance Fund will help me get the doctor appointments at different restaurants. Between meetings we would text back and forth to exchange caught up on my rent so I will not get evicted and information. During one of our meetings we discussed our “good faith agreement.” This agreement is between the be able to raise my baby in a stable environment." birth mother and the adoptive parents on contact after the baby is born. We have chosen to have an open adop“When I am trying to do all of the right things for tion. During our wait, we had started getting items to set up a nursery. After being chosen to adopt, our efforts myself and my child, sometimes I need extra help moved a little faster. Brian even made a dresser/changing table. Birth mother’s due date was originally December that I can’t give myself. The Mother Child Fund can 25th, but the due date was moved to December 17th. The 17th passed and then the doctor decided to schedule help me to stay on track.” an induction on December 22nd. “The Mother Child Assistance Fund is greatly needOn the 22nd I went to work. My husband went to be with birth mother and her mom. On my lunch break ed in our community. I am a single mother of 4 I decided to go see how the process was going. Birth mother said that the contractions were 3 minutes apart. unable to work and can feel very alone and overI decided that I was not going to return to work and that my leave of absence was going to start. Brian and I whelmed. This fund is a blessing that I will never forget and helps provide security for me and my were in the room with birth mother and her mom during Celebration of Life, cont'd on pg. 19 children.” “The Mother Child Assistance Fund will help me get What you can do for us this holiday caught up with my bill and it will better my chances describes our adoption season is to say a quick prayer for our son’s to get a home for me and for when my baby comes. experience perfectly: birthmother who helped remind us what Christmas Having a home will help me to succeed in my goals.” “Everyday holds the is all about. Her unselfish decision provided us with the “The Mother Child Assistance Fund will help me possibility of a miracle.”Our stay responsible and help me in my time of need best Christmas present ever.” children are and will always with rent. I always paid my bills on time but this We send be a constant reminder of month I am going to have a baby. This would help our daughter’s the beauty of adoption.” me stay on the straight and narrow.” birthparents a letter and picture every few The Mother and Child Assistance Fund is supported by generAdoption has been a blessed event months, and each ous donations. To help, please send your donation to: in our lives. We can’t imagine loving anyone as night we pray and offer Catholic Charities Mother & Child Assistance Fund much as our child. He has been the joy of our lives thanksgiving to God for 111 Market St. PO Box 379 and has allowed his parents the opportunity of having her birthparents bringing Winona, MN 55987 a family. We are extremely grateful to his birthmother so much joy to Visit our website at for Pregnancy, for bringing him into our world. our family. Parenting and Adoption Information or call 1-800-222-5859.

Life is a Gift. You Can Help.

Quotes from Families

Adoption Day Celebration! Date: Saturday November 21 (Registration and gathering at 11 a.m.) Time: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Potluck lunch, Bring a dish to share! Beverage & dessert provided. Cookie Decorating: 12 p.m. Entertainment: 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Place: Church of St Bridget: 2123 County Rd 16 SE, Rochester, MN 55904

RSVP: To Jenny by November 13 507-387-5586 ext. 2 or Please include number of family attending. November, 2015 w The Courier

Action with Prayer

St. Mary’s Church, Winona offers a Mass for Life and Marriage on the first Thursday of the month, at 5:15 p.m. Holy Hour of Prayer for Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty The monthly Holy Hour for Life, Marriage, and Religious Freedom in Winona will be held on the first Saturday of the month. Please join us November 7, at 8:30 a.m. at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Winona. The Blessed Sacrament will be exposed and a beautiful rosary will be offered, along with prayer and reflection. Gather in the Adoration Chapel. Everyone is welcome. Prayer Vigil and Public Witness Against Abortion y children Semcac Clinic is a delegate of Martin. Planned Parenthood. Please consider joining to pray from orld: from 3-4 p.m. each Tuesday in front of Semcac one holy at 62 E 3rd Street in Winona Contact: Patti in a dark Woodworth (507) 429-4636.

Events in the Diocese


Parish Events St. Mary, Geneva November 1, join St. Mary's for a Soup and Pie Fundraiser. Free-will donation. Located 2 miles north of Maple Island on County Road 30. Or from Geneva, 5 miles east on County Road 35, turn south on County road 30 for 1 mile. Call 507.438.1939 for more info. St. Peter, Hokah On Sun., November 8, will host a presentation on The Saint John's Bible at 2pm. This event is free and open to the public. St. Peter alumna Diane von Arx Anderson will share with you her journey working on this 12-year project. For further information: contact St. Peter's at 507-894-4944 or Diane (612-825-6520). This presentation is appropriate for adults and school age children. Handicap accessible. Basilica of St. Stanislaus Kostka, Winona Fall Festival will be held November 21 & 22 in the church hall. Roast Pork dinner served on Sun. from 11 to 1 p.m. Both days will

offer a quilt raffle, children’s games, basket, candy and Harvest Blessing booths. Sat. starts after the 4 p.m. Mass. Sun. after the 10 a.m. Mass. Big Ticket drawing at 5:30 p.m. Immaculate Conception, St. Clair Winter Festival, Dec. 5 from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Christmas Cookie & Holiday treat sale 10 12. Choose from a huge array of Christmas Cookies sold for $5 per pound. Also enjoy an assorted pre-priced delicious holiday treats. A Cutest Cupcake contest will be held during the festival. There will be St. Nicholas fun for the kids in the religion building. After cookie shopping enjoy a warm soup and sandwich luncheon 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. The raffle tickets may be purchased the day of the Festival. The raffle drawing will begin at 12 noon. Everyone is welcome.

Other Events

"Raising a Little Flower: how to raise holy children from the examples of Ss Louis & Zélie Martin." Come hear Theresa Martin speak on November 10 at 7 p.m. at St. James Coffee in Rochester sponsored by the Office of Faith Formation. Organ Concert, Church of St. John the Evangelist, Rochester will be held on Sunday, November 22, at 4 p.m., featuring Dr. James Kibbie, Chair of the Organ Department at the University Local community members gathered on Sunday, October 7 (Respect of Michigan. Dr. Kibbie maintains a full Life Sunday) for the 28th National Life Chain event in Winona. An hour schedule of concerts, recording, and festival engagements throughout North America was spent in prayer for our country and to witness to the over 58 million and Europe, including appearances at the pre-born lives lost to abortion. Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, Royal Festival Hall in London, Dvorak Hall in Prague, and Lincoln Center in New York. His recital in Rochester will include works by Buxtehude, J.S. Bach, Händel, Brahms, Guilmant, Eben and Dupré. Open to the public – free-will offering. “Life, Death, & Everything In-Between” The Minnesota Catholic Conference will be speaking at St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Fairmont on November 11 at 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.; St. Mary Catholic Church in Worthington on November 17 at 6:30 p.m.; and St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Mankato on November 18 at 6:30 p.m. Join us to explore how we can better live with and for one another in our homes, Hispanic Priests/Sacerdotes Hispanos: communities, and the Padre Luis Alfonso Vargas: Capellán del public square through the lens of what Pope Francis Decanato de Worthington. Padre Octavio Cortez IVE: Vicario Parroquial de

National Life Chain Event

Life insurance, annuities, IRAs* and member advantages from a company that shares and honors your Catholic faith Sara Bartosh, FIC (507) 329-2942 Adrian, Heron Lake & nearby

Kevin Downie, FIC (507) 202-5304

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Jamie Hansen, FIC (507) 459-2669 Winona & nearby

Every step, every journey, we’re there for life.

Mike Matuska FIC, LUTCF

(507) 345-1324

Tel. 507-341-0403

Padre José Morales: Capellán del Decanato de Rochester. Tel. 507-329-2931 Padre Mariano Varela IVE: Párroco de “SS. Peter and Paul” en Mankato. mvarela@ Tel. 507-388-2995 ext 103

“Ss. Peter and Paul” en Mankato Tel. 507-388-2995

Padre Raul Silva: Pastor de "Queen of Angels" en Austin, "Our Lady of Loretto" en Brownsdale, “All Saints” en New Richland, “St. Aidan” en Ellendale, “St. Mary” en Geneva. padreraulsilva@

Mankato, St. James

Roger Reitmaier, FIC (507) 454-4979

Spanish Mass Schedule

St. Charles & nearby

Albert Lea, St. Theodore, Spanish Mass, 11 a.m., every Sunday.

Mankato, Ss. Peter & Paul, Spanish Mass, 1 p.m., every Sunday.

Susan Stenzel

Austin, Queen of Angels, Spanish Mass at 11 a.m & 5 p.m. Sunday.

Owatonna, Sacred Heart, Spanish Mass, 1 p.m. every Sunday.

Dodge Center, St. John Baptist de La Salle, Spanish Mass, 11 a.m., every Sunday.

Pipestone, St. Leo, Spanish Mass, 2:30 p.m., every Sunday

CHFC, LUTCF, FIC (507) 282-1793 Rochester, Adams


© 2015 Catholic United Financial Home Office: St. Paul, MN *Catholic United IRAs are individual retirement annuities. November, 2015 w The Courier

SUBMISSION for the calendar

and his predecessors refer to as “integral Please note: submission deadline ecology.” Event and is the 10th of the month prior to the materials are FREE. month of publication. All submissions Good will donations must be sent electronically on our webaccepted. Visit http://www.mncc. site: org/ and click on or by emailing: “Events,” or call 651and by the deadline in order to assure 227-8777 for more receipt and possible inclusion in the Events Calendar. information. "One Holy Family We thank you for understanding that due to space limitations, Can Change the World:" not all events nor story submissions will fit; however, we strive to Come hear Theresa include as many as possible. Thank you! - Courier Staff Martin speak on December 18 at 7 p.m. at St. James publication The Courier, working out of the Coffee in Rochester sponsored by the Office diocesan pastoral center in Winona. This is a of Faith Formation. part-time position (approximately 30 hours/ week), benefit eligible position. One needs to be knowledgeable of publishing programs Job Openings such as InDesign, Photoshop, as well as Associate Editor for The Courier Acrobat, Word and Excel. Applicant must Do you like what you see in our newspaper? be a faithful Catholic and in good standing Would you like to join our team? The with the Church. For more information go Roman Catholic Diocese of Winona is to or email cover letter and currently seeking an Associate Editor for its resume to

Lake City, St. Mary, Spanish Mass, 6:30 p.m., every third Saturday.

Rochester, St. Francis of Assisi, Spanish Mass, 12 noon, every Sunday & 7 p.m. every Thursday.

Madelia, St. Mary, Spanish Mass, 10 a.m., every Sunday.

St. Charles, St. Charles Borromeo, Spanish Mass, 11:30 a.m., every

Sunday. St. James, St. James, Spanish Mass, 12 p.m., every Sunday. Waseca, Sacred Heart, Spanish Mass, 11:30 a.m., every Sunday. Windom, St. Francis Xavier, Spanish Mass, 12 p.m., every Sunday Worthington, St. Mary, Spanish Mass, Saturday at 7 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.

A Celebration of Life,

mother was able to hold Alyssa for the first time that evening. We spent most of our time in birth mother’s room so she could spend as much time as she needed to with Alyssa. It was also a nice way to meet birth mother’s family. The next day we took pictures with birth mother and her family. Our social worker came to complete paper work. A prayer service was held in the hospital. It was a very emotional time, but it was beautiful. Birth mother wanted to have some time alone with Alyssa before discharge. We gave her time alone and she then asked us to come into the room. She handed Alyssa to us and said I have given you two the greatest Christmas gift. We shed some tears and hugged. We have enjoyed having an open adoption with Alyssa’s birthmother. Every few months we meet up to visit and give birth mother pictures of Alyssa. She is very special to us and we thank her for giving us the wonderful gift of parenthood. Alyssa is now crawling everywhere. She wakes up every morning with a great big smile when she sees mom or dad walk into her room. Of course, that puts an even bigger smile on our faces. She loves to feed herself. We haven’t found a food that she doesn’t like. Trust me, we have tried. She eats broccoli, peas, pork n beans, and even taco casserole. I think Alyssa’s liking of spicy food comes from her birth mother who had no problems eating spicy food while pregnant. Brian and I would like to thank Catholic Charities for all the work they do in facilitating adoptions. From helping adoptive parents prepare for a new son or daughter to working with birth mothers in making plans for their children. We would also like to thank those who help and support birth mothers in making their decision and supporting them after an adoption takes place.

19 In the Diocese

her labor. As contractions increased, my husband went outside the room to wait for baby girl’s arrival. I stayed in the room along with the birth mother’s mom. After a couple pushes baby girl was born quickly at 1:27PM. All 8 lbs 4 oz and 20.5 inches of her were healthy. I was able to cut the umbilical cord. Birth mother had chosen to have baby girl come to me immediately after delivery. I held her close, looked into her eyes and was immensely in love with her. Brian was able to hear everything that went on from outside the door. After birth mother and the room were cleaned up, Brian came into the room to meet our baby girl. Birth mother had asked “what are you going to name her?” We chose to name her Alyssa Ann. We both liked the name Alyssa and her middle name was after our mothers' names. Brian’s mother is named Diane and my mothers’ name is JoAnn. After a few minutes of pictures we moved next door to our own room where they checked on Alyssa for 2 hours. Alyssa took her first couple ounces of formula like a pro. Brian and I started calling our family and friends to inform them that Alyssa had arrived. After two hours we moved to a post-partum room. Alyssa stayed in our room but we were able to walk over to visit birth mother. Birth

cont'd from page 17


Sr. Joseen Vogt

Sister Joseen Vogt, 93, a Franciscan Sister of the Congregation of Our Lady of Lourdes, Rochester, Minnesota, died at Assisi Heights Sunday, October 18, 2015. Celestine Caroline Vogt was born February

25, 1922, in Waseca, Minnesota, to Joseph A. and Elizabeth (Krupp) Vogt. She entered the Sisters of St. Francis in 1940 from Sacred Heart Parish, Adams, Minnesota. Sister Joseen made first vows in 1943 and Perpetual Vows in 1946. In 1954 she received a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and in 1963 a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the College of St. Teresa, Winona, Minnesota. Further education included an MS in Biology from Notre Dame University in 1967 and an MA in Curriculum Development from Goddard College, Plainfield, VT, in 1989. Following her novitiate with the Sisters of St. Francis, Sister Joseen taught elementary and secondary students at several schools in Minnesota: Sleepy

Eye, St. Kilian, Austin, Waseca, Iona, Currie, and Wilmont. She also taught in Watertown, South Dakota, St. Juliana’s in Chicago, and Wehrle in Columbus, Ohio. From 1974 to 1976 she taught science at Preston Girls High School in Thornbury, Australia. It was there that her life made a dramatic change. For nearly three decades, S. Joseen would live and teach and set up teacher training and English language schools in some of the world’s most troubled countries. She found work through the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone, West Africa, where she established teacher training centers in villages across Sierra Leone. She did similar work at a refugee camp in Bataan, Philippines, and on the Thailand/Cambodia border.

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Through her experiences she came to know the struggles of the poor and the kind of physical suffering she had not imagined possible. Beginning in 1993, Sister Joseen worked through the Catholic Office of Emergency Relief and Refugees (COERR) in Battambang, Cambodia. She was instrumental in starting the COERR Language Skills Center in Battambang, with an early enrollment of 120 students in 1994. Today the school serves 4980 adults and children from age six and up at three sites. In 2001 she returned to the United States and in the intervening years made several trips to Battambang as a consultant to COERR. In 2013 she attended the graduation and dedication

of the new school building in Battambang. Sister Joseen has documented many of her experiences in several volumes of her book: Itchy Feet. Since 2007 Sister Joseen offered her services at Hawthorne Education Center teaching adult literacy until her retirement in March 2015. Sister Joseen is survived by her religious Congregation, with whom she shared life for seventy-five years, and by a brother Leonard (Evelyn) Vogt of Rose Creek, Minnesota, and by several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, three brothers: Julius, Earl, and Clement, and by four sisters: Esther Meyer, Elizabeth Wiggins, Viola Rauen, and Florence Stephani.

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November, 2015


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Spotlight Film Pope Francis and Released in the Synod, November cont'd from page 2

Press Release: Diocese of Winona, MN - The release of a new movie featuring past cases of sexual abuse recounted by the Boston Globe has once again brought to our attention the terrible events which have occurred within the Church. While the movie is centered on actions which occurred in the Boston area, it may perpetuate feelings of pain and suffering throughout the country, including our own diocese. All cases of sexual abuse are tragic and our deepest sympathies go out to those who have been harmed at the hands of someone they had every right to trust, a member of the Catholic priesthood. No words can express the profound sorrow, shame, and disappointment we feel regarding cases of abuse in our diocese. It is our prayer that through our actions and the continued grace of God that victims will find the healing they so rightly deserve. The Diocese of Winona remains committed in its efforts to holding the highest standards of safety and transparency so to protect all of God's children. We echo the words of Pope Francis upon his visit to the United States when he said “Never Again” to the failures of the past which allowed for the grave sin of abuse to occur.

Masses of Reparation for Sins

Many parishes throughout the diocese are committed to offer consolation to the Heart of Christ through a Mass of Reparation. Please go online to to see the complete Mass list.

Vatican City - Pope Francis walking in the rain to the hall of the Synod of Bishops on October 12, 2015. Credit: © L'Osservatore Romano

transforms cultural values by integrating them in Christianity. Such inculturation, he said, “does not weaken true values, but demonstrates their true strength and authenticity, since they adapt without changing; indeed they quietly and gradually transform the different cultures.” In addition, the pontiff noted “dogmatic questions clearly defined by the Church’s Magisterium” and spoke of the importance of “defending the family from all ideological and individualistic assaults.” Concluding, he quoted the words of St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI in emphasizing the role of mercy in the Church. “In effect, for the Church to conclude the Synod means to return to our true ‘journeying together’ in bringing to every part of the world, to every diocese, to every community and every situation, the light of the Gospel, the embrace of the Church and the support of God’s mercy!”

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