The December 2015 issue of The Courier

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Two Special Inserts:

Jubilee Year of Mercy • Day of Prayer & Fasting



Nativity of Our Savior December 25

December 2015

Official Newspaper of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Winona, MN

“The Lord

is at

The following are excerpts from an Advent homily by His Holiness, St. Pope John Paul II.

“Advent is the liturgical season that prepares us for the Lord's birth, but it is also the time of expectation for the definitive return of Christ for the last judgement, and St. Paul refers, in the first place, to this second coming. The very fact that the conclusion of the liturgical year coincides with the beginning of Advent suggests that "the beginning of the time of salvation is in some way linked to the "end of time." This exhortation typical of Advent always applies: "The Lord is at hand!"” (n. 1) “In today's liturgy the prospect of Christ's coming at Christmas, so near now, seems to prevail. The echo of joy at the Messiah's birth resounds in the Magnificat, the canticle that wells up in Mary during her visit to the elderly wife of Zechariah. Elizabeth greets Mary with the words: "And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord" (Lk 1:43-45). Advanced in age and by now beyond all hope of possible motherhood, Elizabeth had realized that the extraordinary grace granted her was closely linked to the divine plan of salvation. The son who was to be born of her had been foreseen by God as the Precursor called to prepare the way for Christ (cf. Lk 1:76). And Mary replies with the words of the Magnificat, repeated in the responsorial psalm today: "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden.... He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name" (Lk 1:46-49).” (n. 2) “John the Baptist's witness re-echoes in the Advent verse: "The Lord is at hand!" The different perspectives of the night of Bethlehem and the baptism in the Jordan converge in the same truth: we must shake off our inertia and prepare the way of the Lord who comes.” (n. 3) “My hope is that the Good News of Christ will enter every home and help families to rediscover that only in Christ can man find

Hand!" An Affront to Human Dignity

salvation. In him it is possible to find the interior peace, hope and strength necessary to face life's various situations each day, even those most onerous and difficult. In the letter accompanying the Gospel, I recalled that Jesus is not a figure of the past. He is the Word of God who even today continues to shed light on man's path; his actions are the expression of the Father's love for every human being. "The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring glad tidings to the lowly, to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and release to the prisoners, to announce a year of favour from the Lord. (Is 61:1). In the synagogue of Nazareth, at the moment of beginning his public ministry, Christ will apply these words of the prophet Isaiah to himself. Today he repeats them for us during this liturgical assembly, and in repeating them he invites us to rejoice again with the words of Isaiah: "I rejoice heartily in the Lord, in my God is the joy of my soul; for h e The Lord is at Hand, cont'd on pg. 16 h a s

By: Elise Harris, Vatican City, Nov 15, 2015 / 05:55 am(CNA/EWTN) On Sunday, Nov. 15, Pope Francis again expressed shock and sorrow for Friday’s terror attacks in Paris, condemning the acts as an “affront to human dignity,” and encouraging attendees to find hope in Jesus. “I wish to express my deep sorrow for the terrorist attacks which on Friday evening covered France in blood,” the Affront to Human Dignity, cont'd on pg. 7

We Pray for Paris, France We Pray for Beirut, Lebanon We Pray for all affected by Terrorism We Pray for Peace Lord, have mercy on us and on the whole world

INSIDE this issue

Opening our Hearts in Mercy read more on special programs on page 6

Logic Classes with Mr. Bridges read about this new unique class on page 9

St. Adrian Man joins the Capuchins read more on page 14

Pope Francis Watch

The Courier Insider

Francis: the 2 Pope Eucharist satisfies our every hunger

Preparing for the Jubilee Year of Mercy

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Religious Life: Mission in the Light of the Gospel

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Pastoral Planning: FAQ Part II

page 5

The Family and Our Culture

page 6

Merciful Programs

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Answering Your Questions

page 8

Donor Bill of Rights

pages 8

Logic Classes with Mr. Bridges

page 9

Pastor Appreciation St. Casimir’s School

page 9

St. Theodore Snapshots

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NCYC - Here I Am Lord

Credit: Elisa Pires via JMJ Rio 2013 via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

By Elise Harris, Vatican City, Nov 13, 2015 / 02:17 pm (CNA/EWTN News).For Pope Francis, the Eucharist is all that can satisfy humanity’s deepest hungers and longings, and is a source of hope, joy, and zeal in leading others to Christ. “Human beings all over the word today need nourishment. And this nourishment is not just to satisfy physical hunger,” the Pope said in his Nov. 10 video message for the opening of India's 50th National Eucharistic Congress, being held in Mumbai. In addition to food, human beings also hunger for love, immortality, affection, being cared for, forgiveness, and mercy, he said. All of these hungers find their satisfaction in one thing: “the bread that comes from above,” Francis stressed, explaining that “Jesus himself is the living bread that gives life to the world.” The Pope sent his video message to those participating in India's National Eucharistic Congress, being held in Mumbai, which will run Nov. 12-15 and reflects on the theme “Nourished by the Eucharist to nourish others.” ..."The love of Christ, he said, “is not a matter of the past,” but is meant to remain alive and present in the heart of each person. Also in India, Christ is important not only for the country’s Christian minority, but for “the millions of people who have come to know and love him as an inspiration of love and self-sacrifice.” The Eucharist, Francis continued, puting his own homily at Corpus Christi

Articles of Interest

Meeting the New Seminarians

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“Laudato Si'" - Living a ‘Theology of Ecology'

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this year, “actualizes the covenant that Catch the "Spirit" page 13 sanctifies us, purifies us and unites us in the marvelous Communion with God. CC Director Receives MAVA Award page 13 Thus we learn that the Eucharist is not only a reward for the good but also the St. Adrian Man Joins the Capuchins page 14 strength for the weak and for sinners.” However, the Pope noted that the Advocate for Educating the Poor page 15 Eucharist doesn’t end with consuming the body and blood of the Lord. Dedication at the St. Aloysius Cemetery page 15 Partaking in the sacrament also leads us Deaconate Candidacy Mass page 16 to have solidarity with others, he said. “Communion with the Lord is after page 8 necessarily a communion with our fellow Year of Mercy Special Insert brothers and sisters. And therefore the center of The Courier one who is fed and nourished by the Day of Prayer & Fasting Special Insert very body and blood of Christ cannot remain unaffected when he sees his Officials brothers suffering want and hunger,” Francis explained. Once nourished by The Most Rev. John M. Quinn, Bishop of the Diocese of Winona, the Eucharist, those who receive it are announces the following: called to bring the joy of the Gospel Appointments: Mr. Scot Berkley, appointed to the to those who haven’t yet received it, Rev. Mr. Leonard Fuller, granted Senior Catholic Charities Board of Directors, for and to give hope to those who live in a 3-year term, effective Nov. 2, 2015. Deacon status, effective Oct. 18, 2015. darkness and despair. “In the Eucharist the Lord makes Rev. Joseph Hennen, appointed Mrs. Joann Fagan, appointed to the us walk on his road; that of service, of Parochial Administrator for Nativity Catholic Charities Board of Directors, for sharing, of giving,” Francis said, adding of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in a 3-year term, effective Nov. 2, 2015. that if shared, the little that we have Harmony, Assumption of the Blessed Ms. Kathy Lesnar, appointed to the and are then “becomes riches, for the Virgin Mary Parish in Canton, and St. Olaf Catholic Charities Board of Directors, for power of God – which is the power Parish in Mabel, from December 1, 2015, a 3-year term, effective Nov. 2, 2015. of love – comes down into poverty to to June 30, 2016. transform it.” Pope Francis closed his message by praying that the Child Abuse Policy Information congress would be a beacon of light for all of India and Diocese of Winona - Child Sexual Abuse Policy “the harbinger of great joy and happiness,” as well as Information an occasion for all Indians to come together in unity The Diocese of Winona will provide a prompt, appropriate and and charity. compassionate response to reporters of sexual abuse of a child

The Courier is the Official Publication of the Diocese of Winona 55 West Sanborn, P.O. Box 588, Winona, MN 55987 Vol 106 - 12

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.

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December, 2015 w The Courier

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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

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Rejoice in Hope Bishop John M. Quinn and how important it is to be prepared. The message is the same – be prepared because you do not know at what hour you will stand before God in judgment. Advent also is a time to

look back and remember his first coming, when He was born of the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem. During Advent, there are no decorations in our churches, except the Advent wreath. The sounds of Christmas and all the beautiful decorations, however, surround us everywhere else. Christmas trees, lights and holiday gatherings fill our December calendar but the Church invites us into Advent - a time of reflection and prayer. We will be caught up in the sights and sounds and traditions of Christmas, but don’t miss out on the graces of Advent. Advent, then, is a time of quiet, a time of prayer. Visit a church and pray before the Blessed Sacrament and the love of God will flood your heart. Even more intense will be your encounter with the Eucharistic Lord if you spend time in Adoration during the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. If you’re like me, then Advent is the perfect time of year for us. It’s a time of waiting, a time of patience. We need to learn how to wait patiently, to wait for the celebration of the Incarnation like Mary, who waited patiently on the promise of the Lord. This is such a mysterious gift, that the Son of God became one of us and took

upon himself our humanity to redeem us. Advent is a way to open up in us a space in our hearts for prayer and quiet gratitude. On these December days, when daylight is less, I am also reminded to get my life in order, to prepare to meet the Lord when he calls me home after death. When my life is over, I will meet the Lord and, one day, at the end of time Jesus Christ will return in glory and transform all of creation. In that spirit and in this special Year of Mercy, I encourage you to receive the Sacrament of Penance during Advent. Going to Confession, receiving the Eucharist and walking through one of the Holy Doors in our diocese will grant you a plenary indulgence. This is a rare and precious gift that we can all receive this Christmas! Hope in Face of Terror I was deeply troubled by the terrorist attacks in Paris as well as the attacks just prior in Beirut. Please join me in praying for the souls of the victims who died, the recovery of the ones wounded, for their families and friends, and all who have been affected by this offense against humanity. It is easy to become discouraged in times such as these, but it is now that we must look to

our Savior. He is our hope! He is the door to heaven and eternal peace. U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Once again I met with my brother bishops of the United States, as we do every November, for three days for prayer, discussion of matters of pastoral concern, and to identify priorities. We unanimously approved the document “Create in Me a Clean Heart: A Pastoral Response to Pornography.” There is a great concern for the widespread problem of pornography in our culture today; virtually everyone is affected by it in some way. So many people are in need of Christ's abundant mercy and healing. Our hope is that the statement can serve as a foundation and catalyst for increased pastoral attention to this challenge at the national and local level. The bishops also voted on Faithful Citizenship, Revise Strategic Priorities. We also affirmed the need to protect the dignity of every person, particularly in light of the refugees from Syria. We must look at strengthening the already stringent screening program, but we should continue to welcome those in desperate need. Day of Prayer and Fasting December 4 has been


dedicated as the “Statewide Day of Fasting and Prayer in Reparation for a Culture of Violence and Disrespect for Human Life.” At the Cathedral, there will be Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament after the 7:00am Mass through noon in the main church, as well as the Sacrament of Reconciliation from 10a.m. until noon.I will preside at the 12:10 p.m. Mass and Adoration will resume again after Mass ,in the Cathedral Perpetual Adoration chapel, for the intention of respect for human life and an end to violence in our world. I invite you to join me at the Cathedral or offer that day of prayer and fasting in your own parish or home. Jubilee Year of Mercy The Year of Mercy begins in this month and we have been given the most precious gift this Christmas – the gift of an abundance of God’s mercy. Please, don't be afraid, come to confession. It does not matter what you have done or how long it has been since your last confession. God is waiting to pour out his mercy upon you. Please see the special insert in this issue of the Courier detailing the special Holy Doors in our diocese and how to obtain the gift of a plenary indulgence. I look forward to taking this journey of the Jubilee Year of Mercy with you. May you have a holy and blessed Advent.

From the Bishop

Dear Friends in Christ, Advent: a Time of Preparation The season of Advent is a time of prayerful waiting for the day the Lord will return in glory at the end of time. During November, several times we heard Jesus talk about the end of the world,

Sincerely in Christ, Most Rev. John M. Quinn Bishop of Winona

Bishop's Calendar December 1, Tuesday 7:45 a.m. – Teach at SMU 11 a.m. – Presbyteral Council – Albert Lea

Disrespect for Human Life” – Cathedral of the Sacred Heart Parish, Winona 2 p.m. – DOW Finance Council Meeting

5:30 p.m. – Mass and Guadalupe Story and Dance – Waseca Federal Medical Center

December 1, Tuesday 7:45 a.m. – Teach at SMU – Winona 11 a.m. – Presbyteral Council – Albert Lea

December 5, Saturday 5:15 p.m. – Confirmation – St. John the Baptist Parish, Mankato

December 11, Friday 1 p.m. – Winona Area Pastors Planning Meeting

December 2, Wednesday 11 a.m. – Minnesota Catholic Conference – St. Paul 7 p.m. – Nostra Aetate Celebration – Minneapolis

December 6, Sunday 4 p.m. – Advent Reconciliation Service – Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Winona

December 12, Saturday 4:30 p.m. – Holy Hour, Vespers, Dinner and End of Year Skits – IHM Seminary, Winona

December 3, Thursday 7:45 a.m. – Teach at SMU – Winona 1 p.m. – Holy Hour 2 p.m. – Bishop’s Cabinet Meeting 5:30 p.m. – St. Vincent de Paul Soup and Bread Supper – St. John the Evangelist Church, Rochester December 4, Friday 6:30 a.m. – Lauds and Mass at IHM Seminary – Winona 8:30 a.m. – Advent Radio Show – Winona Radio 12:10 p.m. – Mass for intention of “Reparation for a Culture of Violence and

December 8, Tuesday 7:45 a.m. – Teach at SMU – Winona 12 p.m. – The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary Patronal Feastday Mass – SMU, St. Thomas More Chapel, Winona December 9, Wednesday 11 a.m. – Deans Meeting – St. Theodore Church, Albert Lea 6 p.m. – Youth Rally – St. Peter and St. Paul Parish, Mankato December 10, Thursday 7:45 a.m. – Teach at SMU – Winona 9:30 a.m. – Holy Hour 10:30 a.m. – College of Consultors Meeting

December 13, Sunday 8:30 a.m. – Mass – St. Mary Church, Winona 10:30 a.m. – Mass and Opening of the Holy Doors – Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Winona 5 p.m. – Christian Brothers and Winona Deanery Priests Dinner December 14, Monday 8 a.m. – Final Exam – SMU, Winona December 15, Tuesday 10:30 a.m. – Mass at Callista Court Assisted Living Facility – Winona 6 p.m. – Saint Mary University

Christmas Dinner – Winona December 16, Wednesday 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Day of Gathering and Reflection with the DOW Curia – Winona December 17, Thursday 12 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Advent Day of Recollection with DOW Priests and Deacons – Owatonna December 18, Friday 1 p.m. – Holy Hour 2 p.m. – Bishop’s Cabinet Meeting 7 p.m. – Mass with Filipino Community – St. John the Evangelist Church, Rochester December 20, Sunday 10:30 a.m. – Mass at Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Winona December 24, Thursday 9 p.m. – Christmas Eve Mass at Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Winona December 25, Friday 10:30 a.m. – Christmas Day Mass at Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Winona December, 2015 w The Courier

Preparing for the Jubilee Year of Mercy Faith Formation


Are you ready for all the blessings and graces that will be showered upon the world during this year? I think one of the easiest ways to open ourselves to the graces that the Lord desires to pour into our hearts is by practicing the works of mercy. As we are told in Scripture: “He who has two coats, let him share with him who has none and he who has food must do likewise…If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled," without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit?’” (James 2:6). St. Simon of Cyrene comes

Inspiring Talks at St. James Coffee! Office of Faith Formation brings in Theresa Martin to speak at SJC in Rochester. Join us!

"One Holy Family Can Change the World." December 18 at 7:30 p.m. "What can I do to make a difference in this world? I am just one person. We are just one, little family." The answer will surprise you! Come join us to learn from the Saints how the little you give can make a great difference. Theresa Martin Catholic author, wife, & mother of six boys

to mind as I reflect upon the works of mercy. Let us ask ourselves, “How can I help to carry the cross that someone else is being faced with at this moment?” I found a list of ideas of the corporal works of mercy from Lisa Cotter at FOCUS. I’ve taken my favorites from her list and added a few of my personal favorites: Feed the Hungry - Donate and/or volunteer at a soup kitchen. - Take a meal to one who is ill or had a baby. - Consider keeping a gift card with you to hand out to people you encounter who are in need. - Keep granola bars to give to people in need. Give Drink to the Thirsty - Pass out water bottles to the homeless. - Pay for the coffee of the person behind you. - Take water to a neighbor doing yard work. - Donate baby formula to local pregnancy center. Clothe the Naked - Go through your closet and give away what you don’t need. Encourage your kids to participate. - Host a clothing drive and donate the items. - Knit or sew baby blankets for a pregnancy help center, or scarves/ hats for homeless shelter. Shelter the Homeless - If you are able, volunteer to help build a home – for example, Habitat for Humanity. - Volunteer to help in the upkeep of a shelter. - Send a care package to an orphanage. - Host a fundraiser for a family working towards adoption. Visit the Sick and the Imprisoned - Visit the elderly in a nursing home. You will bring joy! - As an extraordinary minister, bring the Eucharist to the homebound. - Visit a seriously or terminally ill parish member. - Support and/or participate in ministries for the incarcerated. - Donate bibles to a prison. - Support programs that provide holiday gifts for prisoners and their families, and also pray for the inmate and their families. Bury the Dead - Offer food for a funeral. - Help a widow or widower in need. - Visit the cemetery and pray for the dead. - Donate to ministries that offer free Catholic burials. - Pray at an abortion clinic for the lives lost to abortion.

Counsel the Doubtful - Work at being optimistic and avoiding cynicism. - Respond to cynicism, and doubt with hope. - Be articulate about your own hopes. Instruct the Ignorant (those who don’t know) - As a parent, you have been gifted with the incredible responsibility of bringing your children into relationship with the Lord and the Truths of the Catholic Faith, and also to help lead them in their path toward heaven. The school, the

Jesus also remarked to St. Faustina, the apostle of Divine Mercy: “When you approach the confessional, know this, that I Myself am waiting there for you ... Tell souls that from this fount of mercy souls draw graces solely with the vessel of trust. If their trust is great, there is no limit to My generosity...Let the greatest sinners place their trust in My mercy."

faith formation teacher – not even the pastor or priest – is meant to be the primary educator of your child…that has been entrusted to you as part of your task of being a Mom or Dad. We must remember, “You cannot give what you do not have.” So I encourage you to learn more about the faith. Does your parish have adult faith formation? If not, ask about it. Learn the faith so that you can live it and model it to your children! - Commit yourself to learning about the Catholic faith and share your understanding.

Mission in the Light of the Gospel By: Sister Marie Paul Lockerd RSM, DO, RSM

“That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you may have fellowship with us; and our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ” (1 Jn 1:3). The entire mission of the Church is to bring persons into communion with Jesus and through Jesus into communion with God the Father. The image of Jesus’ disciples being grafted onto the vine is a clear image of mission. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit” (Jn 15:5). Saint John Paul II in his Apostolic Exhortation, Christifideles Laici,(32), states that “communion and mission are profoundly connected with each other, they interpenetrate and mutually imply each other, to the point that communion represents both the source and the fruit of mission: communion gives rise to mission and mission is accomplished in communion. It is always the one and the same Spirit who calls together and unifies the Church and sends her to preach the Gospel ‘to the ends of the earth.’ (Acts 1:8).” The entire mission of the Church is to evangelize. All persons in the Church are called to evangelize the Gospel. We are all called to proclaim the truth of Jesus’ redemptive mission. We are called to our own conversion to serve Jesus who is Truth and to invite others to share the joy and the hope of knowing Jesus Christ who will show us the Father. This is the first and prime mission. Saint Paul in his second letter to Timothy states: “Preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching. For the time December, 2015 w The Courier

is coming when people will not endure sound teaching,” (2 Tim 4:2-3). We have need in our day for the mission of proclaiming the truth of the Gospel. There is a spiritual poverty that goes deeper than physical poverty. It is the poverty of not knowing the hope to which Christ calls us. There is a poverty in not believing what Jesus taught and there is a poverty in not loving as Christ loved. Jesus was the prime example of mission being a gift of self. Saint John Paul II quoted many times, “man can only find himself in a true gift of self” (Gaudium et Spes # 24:3) and “Jesus reveals man to himself and makes his supreme calling clear” (GS #22:1). Mission proceeds from love of Christ to the point of desiring to give of oneself for the sake of Christ. At that point we will be able to receive the Grace to be led by the Holy Spirit into knowing how, when, and where to give of ourselves. Religious men and women are called to a particular mission first to witness to the spousal love of God. Saint John Paul II described spousal love as a reciprocal gift of self and a reciprocal receiving of the other. Consecrated persons are called to witness by their faith and love to the fulfillment in heaven when there will be no marriage between man and woman. In the fulfillment of heaven there will be a spousal participation in the inner life of the Trinity. Married couples bear witness to the love of the Trinity in this life and Consecrated persons bear witness to the love of the Trinity in the life to come. Both are called in this life to conform themselves to Christ. Then in whatever works they do, they will bring the love of Christ to the world.

Sr. Paul Mary Rittgers, R.S.M. Director

Admonish sinners - This is certainly challenging, but let us read Scripture, “My brothers, if anyone among you should stray from the truth and someone bring him back, he should know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins” ( James 5: 19-20). - Courageously yet compassionately call people and institutions to be faithful to the teachings of the Church. - Surrounded by people who gossip? Walk away, or draw their attention to the positives. Comfort the afflicted - This is one we can all do! First and foremost through prayer. Then, even a smile or a few words of encouragement makes a huge impact. - Walk with others through their pain. - Offer words of encouragement. - Be present to those who are struggling or in emotional pain or despair. - Offer sympathy to those who are grieving. Forgive offenses willingly - Let’s start with those closest to you for this one. Is there any way that you could extend the mercy you have received from the Lord to someone in your family? Is there someone with whom you have not spoken in years – or perhaps you spoke to them 10 minutes ago – that might need to hear “I’m sorry” or maybe even “I forgive you.” As we are told in 1 John 4:20, “Whoever claims to love God yet hates his brother is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.” So, our challenge is this: find the person in your life that you have the hardest time dealing with, or hold ill feelings toward, and show them in a special way the love and mercy of God through your actions. Bear wrongs patiently - Work at being less critical of others. - Give people the benefit of the doubt and always assume the good of the other person. - Pray for those who have wronged you. Pray for the living and the dead - Offer daily prayers for those with terminal illnesses and for those who have died. - Talk to your priest about having a Mass offered for the soul of a deceased relative or friend. - Pray for the poor souls in purgatory. - Give someone a “spiritual bouquet” as a gift. I’m sure that you can think of many more ideas that could be added to this list. Find something that enlivens you, and then go do it! You can also contact Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Winona at (507) 454-2270 or for even more information. During this Jubilee Year of Mercy, I encourage you to discuss ways in which you and your family can incorporate the works of mercy into your life. Most importantly, I encourage you to experience the Lord’s mercy in your own heart through the Sacrament of Penance. As the Lord tells us in Luke 15, “…There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance…I tell you, there will be rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Pastoral Planning: Vision 2016 Frequently Asked Questions Part II December is a time of expectation, as in Advent we look forward to the birth of Christ and his second coming. It is also a time of looking ahead to the end of our year-long Pastoral Planning process. All of the clusters experiencing significant change are now concluding their 3rd or 4th cluster meeting. The parishes moving to oratory status have completed their inventories and parish histories. We appreciate all the hard work that is going on at the parish level by our clergy, parish staff, and lay leaders, who have been participating in Vision 2016 meetings since this past January. We are on schedule to receive the Pastoral Plans from parishes and clusters by the end of February. These recommendations will be reviewed by Bishop Quinn, the Diocesan Presbyteral Council, and our Diocesan Pastoral Planning Team. Following Bishop Quinn’s approval of parishes’ recommendations, the changes will be implemented on July 1, 2016. To assist in this final stretch of Vision 2016, we are including the following Frequently Asked Questions Part II, a continuation of the Frequently Asked Questions published this summer. Q: Can parishes within a cluster share a pastoral council? A: All parishes within a cluster are encouraged, but not required, to form a cluster pastoral council, made up of representatives from all the parishes. Q: Can parishes within a cluster share a finance council? A: No. According to canon law, all parishes must have separate finance councils. Q: Do oratories have a finance council or trustees? A: No. Oratories are not parishes and thus do not have a finance council, pastoral council, or trustees. The finances used for maintaining an oratory will be managed by the finance council of the receiving parish (with representation from parishioners of the now-oratory). Q: Can members of a parish becoming an oratory have a say in the future of the oratory? A: Yes. Once a parish becomes an oratory, it will be managed by the receiving parish, and financed by a line-item in the receiving parish’s budget. However, the Pastoral Plan can recommend that a certain percentage of the receiving parish’s finance council be made up of those who were formerly parishioners of the oratory. In addition to proposing the make-up of the finance and pastoral councils, the Pastoral Plan can also spell out the type of consensus needed for certain decisions (e.g., unanimous or super majority for making decisions regarding the oratory). Q: Will the receiving parish pay for the upkeep of the oratory? A: No. While the receiving parish will be responsible for managing the care of the oratory with a special line-item fund, the money in this oratory budget will come from the oratory’s current assets, or funds

specially raised for the specific purpose of caring for the oratory. If there are not sufficient funds to continue maintenance, liability insurance, and other ordinary expenses for the oratory, the receiving parish is not expected to maintain the oratory with its own funds. Q: Do parishioners of a parish moving to oratory status automatically become members of the receiving parish? A: All parishioners whose parish is merging with another parish are incorporated as members of the receiving parish. This is because the receiving parish assumes responsibility for all persons and items of the parish becoming an oratory, including the registration database. However, some parishioners may wish to register at a parish other than their receiving parish. Thus, receiving parishes are to contact all new members, informing them of the change in registration and offering them the opportunity to switch their registration to a different parish if they wish. The exact method of reaching out to parishioners and making requested registration changes is to be determined by each receiving parish and to be presented as part of the Pastoral Plan. Q: If a parish prefers to close a church building instead of become an oratory, how much can we expect razing the building to cost? A: Costs of razing vary, especially in regards to the material of the building. While some church buildings can be burned, others cannot. If a parish wishes to close a church building in July 2016, and not become an oratory, the parish leaders should get bids as to how much razing would cost. If the parish would like to propose selling the building instead, parish leaders are encouraged to start exploring whether there are interested buyers. The Bishop has the final authority for the razing of a building and/or the sale/lease of any building and property. Q: If a parish closes a church building, can it donate some of its assets to a charity of its choice? A: The first priority for parishes that are closing its church buildings are mandatory expenses, such as razing, assessments, current debt, perpetual care of cemeteries, etc. If the parish leaders believe they will have remaining money once the necessary bills are paid, they can propose to the Bishop how they would like to distribute the remaining funds, whether to the receiving parish, or to some other entity. Designated gifts such as may be in a building fund or endowment typically require legal review and opinion to the Bishop prior to any action. Q: Are oratories allowed to have communion services? A: Lay-led communion services are only for rare and extenuating circumstances, as determined by the Bishop. While oratories are welcome to host a variety of prayer and social events, people are expected to attend Sunday and regular daily Mass at a nearby parish. Q: Will a new pastor change the liturgy schedule and/or Pastoral Plan? A: If a cluster receives a new pastor in the summer of 2016, he will be apprised of the cluster’s plan. All priests of the Diocese are aware of the work that is going into these plans, and new pastors will be strongly encouraged to not make any major or immediate changes to their new cluster’s Pastoral

Plan. Q: Do we need to include school, enrollment, and school district information in our due diligence binder? A: No, although this information is listed in the due diligence section of the Vision 2016 Guidebook, there is no reason that you need to include this information in your due diligence binder at this time. Q: Will our cluster leadership team need to do any additional work on our pastoral plan after the 4th cluster meeting? A: After cluster meeting 4, clusters will hopefully have all their goals and all or most of their action steps figured out. However, leaders will then need to format their cluster’s information as described below, for submission to Bishop Quinn. Q: Does the Diocese need a copy of our parish’s inventory? A: Please include a copy of your inventory in your Pastoral Plan that you submit to Bishop Quinn in February 2016. The original is for the parish’s records at the receiving parish. Q: Does the Diocese need a copy of our parish history? A: No, the parish history is for the oratory and receiving parish, to help record and pass on the memory and history of the oratory and its former parishioners. Q: Will we receive guidance for maintaining our cemeteries, as parishes move to oratory status and re-cluster with other parishes? A: Yes. The Diocese of Winona Office of Cemeteries is currently working on information for pastors and parish leaders, in regard to cemetery associations and maintenance during the Vision 2016 Pastoral Planning process. It will be sent out as soon as it is completed. Q: What is the format of the Pastoral Plan that we are supposed to submit to Bishop Quinn? A: The Pastoral Plan mostly consists of the work done at cluster meetings 3 and 4. For the final submission of your Pastoral Plan, please use the following format:

Vision 2016

by: Msgr. Richard M. Colletti, Vicar General/ Chancellor, and Leandra Hubka


Vision 2016 - Recommended Parish Cluster Pastoral Plan for ________ Recommended Liturgy Schedule (effective July 2016): Recommendations Regarding Pastoral Council(s): Recommendations Regarding Finance Council(s): Recommendations Regarding Use of Oratory(ies): Recommendations Regarding Care and Maintenance of Cemeteries:

Please attach: 1. Current Condition and Goals for the Parish Cluster (Pages 29-31 of the Vision 2016 Guidebook) 2. Parish Cluster Action and Accountability Worksheet (Pages 32-34 of the Vision 2016 Guidebook) 3. Copy of Inventories of Sacred and Secular Goods December, 2015 w The Courier

Life, Marriage & Family


The Family and Our Culture The Synod on the Family recently concluded their discussion on the importance of the family in today’s culture. We very much look forward to the results of their fruitful discussion (which most likely will come from Pope Francis after he has reviewed their work). When discussion of this topic takes place by the average person, I often hear it said: “it’s so hard these days to raise a family in this culture… you used to be able to turn on the TV without worrying about what the kids would hear or see, but that’s not the case anymore!” As a father of young boys, I could not agree more. However, compared to many of our Christian brothers and sisters throughout the world, we have it pretty good (for example, we are not being persecuted to the point of death). Perhaps what we could say about our culture that has changed is the comfort level of being Catholic. Recent data has pointed out that there is a higher percentage of Americans who, in the Religion category, choose “none.” It is indeed the case (many of us have experienced it first-hand), that

Peter Martin, STL Director

to a relativistic culture such as ours, practicing your faith can be considered “hostile” and “insensitive.” What can a family do? Are we doomed to be outcasts because we’re one of the few on the block that gets dressed up to go to church on Sunday? No, we’re not doomed, we’re blessed! “Blessed are those who are

persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5, 10) One thing we can do is recognize that our job is to get to Heaven, not to fit in. Oftentimes people think the role of the New Evangelization is to fit in and make our faith comfortable to those around us. Christ didn’t seem to agree: “If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you.” (John 15, 18-19) The task that the family has is not to merely tolerate the culture that we live in, but to shape it! We shape culture by living our lives as faithful Catholics who model our lives on Jesus Christ Himself. Let’s look at what the Church has already said about the family and its role in the culture: “A society built on a family scale is the best guarantee against drifting off course into individualism or collectivism, because within the family the person is always at the center of attention as an end and never as a means. Without families that are strong in their communion and stable in their commitment, peoples grow weak. In the family, moral values are taught starting from the very first years of life, the spiritual heritage of the religious community and the cultural legacy of the nation are transmitted. In the family one learns social responsibility and solidarity.” (Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 213) Here we see precisely the value of education within the family. When we are taught how to love, first by the example of our parents, and then by the practice of loving our siblings, we can confidently go into the world and practice that same love. As the Year of Mercy begins, Pope Francis, in a similar way, spoke about the importance of how families can introduce the role of mercy. Starting with the words from the Lord’s Prayer: “forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us,” Pope Francis recognizes that: “it is not possible to live without forgiveness, or at least you cannot live well, especially in the family…. If

we learn to say we are sorry immediately and to offer mutual forgiveness, the wounds are healed, the marriage is strengthened, and the family becomes an increasingly solid home, that resists the shocks of our evils, great and small.” Pope Francis continues: “If we learn to live this way within the family, we will also do so outside, wherever we find ourselves. It is easy to be skeptical about this…. Indeed, it is precisely by receiving God’s forgiveness that, in turn, we are able to forgive others.” This is precisely the role of the family in our culture. We can shape our culture by bringing good into the world. We can do that when we strengthen our families. Pope Francis encourages us by saying: “…it is essential that, in an at-times-pitiless-society, there be places such as the family where we can learn to forgive each other.” (Audience: November 4, 2015) As we prepare to celebrate the Birth of Christ, we cannot help but think of the way that one family changed the course of history. During this Year of Mercy, may we all take extraordinary means to show forth the Mercy of Our Father, first within our family, and then throughout the world!

Merciful Programs

During this Jubilee Year of Mercy, the Office of Life, Marriage & Family would like to highlight two of its programs that are particularly full of mercy and love. Project Rachel (seen to the left) is the post-abortion healing ministry of the Catholic Church. It was founded in 1984 in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee by Vicki Thorn. At this time, Project Rachel is in more than 110 diocese in the United States with more ministries forming. This diocesan based ministry is composed of a network of specially trained clergy, spiritual directors and therapists who provide compassionate one-on-one care to those who are struggling with the aftermath of abortion. Project Rachel is designed to provide confidential and skilled help to each individual who comes to the ministry. Project Rachel is an outreach of the Catholic Church, but it is open to anyone who is struggling after an abortion loss. It is able to help women and men; parents, grandparents, siblings, friends and others whose lives have been impacted by an abortion loss. The second program that shows particularly mercy and love is Courage and EnCourage (ad can be seen to the right on page 7). Courage is an international apostolate of the Catholic Church, which ministers to persons with same-sex attractions. It can help persons to move beyond the confines of the homosexual label to a more complete identity in Christ. EnCourage is a Roman Catholic apostolate for parents, friends and family members of loved ones with same­sex attractions. EnCourage is a faithful witness to Catholic teaching on sexual morality which meets the needs of its members with charity and compassion. EnCourage does not embrace the necessity of changing a loved one’s sexual attraction to seek support from our ministry. EnCourage helps members to focus on their own spiritual development with the goals of achieving peace and complete trust in God’s Providence and His love for us and for the ones we love. EnCourage offers a supportive, confidential environment to share feelings, experiences, information and guidance for maintaining healthy relationships with our loved ones with same­-sex attractions. In this Year of Mercy, the Office of Life, Marriage & Family invites you to take advantage of these apostolates and share them with those in need. December, 2015 w The Courier

Affront to Human Dignity, cont'd from pg.1

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:

Pope Francis blesses a child during his papal visit to Prato, Tuscany and Florence on November 10, 2015. Credit: © L'Osservatore Romano

cry out “Allahu Akbar!” – Arabic for “God is Great!” as the violence unraveled. In his reflections on the day’s Gospel, Pope Francis focused on Jesus’ description of the end times in the day’s Gospel, taken from Mark Chapter 13. Among the apocalyptic signs Jesus mentions are wars, famines and cosmic catastrophes, such as the darkening of the sun and the moon. However, the Pope emphasized that these elements “are not the essential part of the message.” The heart of Jesus’ message, Francis said, “is himself; the mystery of his person and of his death and resurrection, and his return to the end of time.” Our ultimate goal is to encounter the Risen Lord, he said, explaining that “we aren't waiting for a time or a place, but we're going toward a person: Jesus.” Because of this, our main concern shouldn’t be how or when the signs will occur, but rather to be ready, and focused on how we should live and act today, he said. He turned to the parable Jesus tells his disciples of the fig tree that sprouts and grows leaves when the summer is near. What the image shows us, he said, is that “the prospect of the end doesn't distract us from present life, but makes us look to our days with a perspective of hope.” “That virtue is so hard to live: hope. It's the smallest of the virtues, but it's the strongest,” he said, adding that our hope is found in a concrete person: “the face of the Risen Lord.” Jesus’ victory at the end times will be the triumph of his Cross, Francis said. It is

the proof that self-sacrifice done out of love for another is “the only victorious power” and the only stable point in the midst of the tragedies and turmoil of the world. In addition to being the final destination of our earthly pilgrimage, Jesus is also a constant presence in our lives, he said, explaining that Jesus references the future as a means of inspiring his disciples to live the present better. “(Jesus) stands against false prophets, against the visionaries who perceive that the end of the world is near, and against fatalism,” the Pope said, explaining that in every age the Lord seeks to rescue his disciples from “curiosity, dates, projections, horoscopes,” and to help them focus on the present. In off-the-cuff remarks, Pope Francis asked how many of those gathered read daily horoscopes. He told them not to answer aloud, but to respond “internally.” For those who read it, Francis told them instead to turn to Jesus, “who is with you,” adding that “It's better. It will be better for you.” The Pope closed by stressing the importance of being vigilant, and warned against the extremes of either impatience or “drowsiness,” as well as the temptations to either look too far into the future or remain too attached to the present, without thinking about our final destination. “Even to this day there is no shortage of natural and moral disasters, nor of adversity and hardships of every kind,” he said, and reminded attendees that the Lord is the “only guiding light that refreshes our steps.”

Life, Marriage & Family

Pope said in his Nov. 15 Angelus address. “Such barbarity leaves us shocked and makes us wonder how the human heart can conceive and carry out such horrible events, which have shaken not only France but the entire world.” Speaking to pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope said that when faced with such “intolerable” acts of violence, one “cannot but condemn the disgraceful affront to human dignity.” Francis assured his closeness to French president Francois Hollande, as well as to the families of the dead and wounded, entrusting them to the mercy of God. “I wish to forcefully reaffirm that the path of violence and hate can never solve the problems of humanity!” he said, adding that “to use the name of God to justify this path is blasphemy.” He prayed that Mary would protect and watch over France, Europe and the entire world, and paused for a moment of silence before leading pilgrims in praying a Hail Mary. The Pope’s comments come in wake of the worst terrorist attack Europe has seen since the Madrid train bombings of 2004, when Islamic extremists killed 191 people. On Nov. 13 eight Islamic terrorists carried out a violent siege across Paris, targeting bars, restaurants, a concert hall and a football stadium in the heart of the city. It was the deadliest attack on French soil since WWII, killing at least 129 people and leaving 352 injured, 99 of whom remain in critical condition, Reuters news reports. Eyewitnesses reported hearing the terrorists


Medical Services: Medical Quality Pregnancy Tests and Limited Obstetrical Ultrasounds Support Services:

Lay Counseling, Mentoring, Education, Earn While You Learn Appointments: All of our services are free and confidential M, W, R 11:00-3:00 and T 1:00-7:00 1331 Warren Street Mankato, MN 56001 Call 507.625.2229 or Text 507.508.0817 “Engaging with hope and unconditional support”

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! December, 2015 w The Courier



Answering Your Questions “Why have I not gotten my pledge the last few months?” “What are all of these things I reminders Part of our assessment has been the auditing of the pledges and gifts. It is imperative that when we communicate with you, we have the utmost confidence am giving too”? that the information we are providing is accurate. Since joining the Diocese of Winona a short time ago, I am asked the same couple of questions:

Seminarian Burse – this is an appeal that Bishop Harrington started to support the Diocese of Winona Seminary students. This appeal is a Diocesan appeal, not an appeal from the Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary. The funds raised help to financially support all Diocese of Winona seminary students with their room and board. Catholic Ministries Appeal – this broader appeal supports the ministries of the Diocese of Winona, including Catholic Charities, Lay Formation, Youth and Young Adult Ministry, Vocations, Life, Marriage & Family, Faith Formation, Catholic Schools, Sunday TV Mass and The Courier. The Catholic Ministries Appeal is annual and typically begins in February each year.

Rooted in Faith – This is a five-year Capitol Campaign that began in 2013 and Donors support the funding needs of the Priest Pension Fund, renovating the Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary, and their parish. Since beginning as the Director of Development and Communications, we have been working diligently on reconfiguring our processes and procedures so that we can be better stewards of your gifts. One example we found where we could practice better stewardship is in donation processing. We no longer use a thirdparty vendor in processing donations but instead now handle all gifts internally. This is just one change that we made and believe the transition has gone very smoothly.

Donor Bill of Rights PHILANTHROPY is based on voluntary action for the common good. It is a tradition of giving and sharing that is primary to the quality of life. To assure that philanthropy merits the respect and trust of the general public, and that donors and prospective donors can have full confidence in the not-for-profit organizations and causes they are asked to support, we declare that all donors have these rights:

I. To be informed of the organization's mission, of the way the organization intends to use donated resources, and of its capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purposes.

Masses of Reparation for Sins in the Diocese Many parishes throughout the diocese are committed to offer consolation to the Heart of Christ through a Mass of Reparation.

Please go online to visit

to see the complete Mass list. December, 2015 w The Courier

We have recently completed the audit and reconciliation of the 2015 Catholic Ministry Appeal; as a result, we just recently sent out the Catholic Monica Herman Ministry Appeal pledge Director reminders. By now you should have received the latest reminder. If you have not yet received your pledge remittance, please contact us. We are now in the closing stages of the audit and reconciliation process of The Rooted in Faith Campaign; we expect to be mailing out your reminder in the very near future. My philosophy has always been that “every dollar received by a donor is a gift” and for every gift we receive we need to honor that sacrifice by thanking you and letting you know the impact that the gift makes in the community. I understand that this has not always been the practice. I apologize for any confusion or inconvenience we may have inflicted, and promise we will do a better job of thanking you, our donors, for the gifts that you have entrusted to us. I welcome your thoughts, feedback and questions. Please feel free to contact me: or (507) 858-1276.

II. To be informed of the identity of those serving on the organization's governing board, and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgment in its stewardship responsibilities. III. To have access to the organization's most recent financial statements. IV. To be assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given. V. To receive appropriate acknowledgement and recognition. VI. To be assured that information about their donations is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by law.

VII. To expect that all relationships with individuals representing organizations of interest to the donor will be professional in nature. VIII. To be informed whether those seeking donations are volunteers, employees of the organization or hired solicitors. IX. To have the opportunity for their names to be deleted from mailing lists that an organization may intend to share. X. To feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful and forthright answers. donor-bill-of-rights.aspx

Jubilee Year


M e rc y

Special Insert - December, 2015

Opening of the Holy Door By: Fr. John Sauer

On December 13, 2015, Bishop Quinn will join bishops across the world in opening a Holy Door at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona. This holy door will be a focus of our diocesan observance of the Year of Mercy. The Holy Father will open the Holy Door at St. Peter’s Basilica on December 8, 2015 and the Holy Door at the Cathedral of St. John Lateran on December 13. In the papal bull announcing the Year of Mercy, Pope Francis writes, “I will have the joy of opening the Holy Door on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. On that day, the Holy Door will become a Door of Mercy through which anyone who enters will experience the love of God who consoles, pardons, and instills hope.“ A holy door or porta sancta has been used since the fifteenth century as a ritual expression of conversion. Pilgrims and penitents pass through it as a gesture of leaving the past behind and crossing the threshold from sin to grace, from slavery to freedom, and from darkness to light. Often these rituals are associated with prayer, pilgrimage, sacrifice, confession, and indulgences. But the door finds meaning only when the believer associates the door with Christ. Jesus is the Door! In the words of Pope Francis, “There is only one way that opens wide the entrance into the life of communion with God: this is Jesus, the one and absolute way to salvation. To him alone can the words of the Psalmist be applied in full truth: ‘This is the door of the Lord where the just may enter’ (Ps 118:20).” Saint John

Paul II offers a similar exhortation: "To focus on the door is to recall the responsibility of every believer to cross its threshold. To pass through that door means to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord; it is to strengthen faith in him in order to live the new life which he has given us. It is a decision which presumes freedom to choose and also the courage to leave something behind, in the knowledge that what is gained is divine life [cf. Mt 13:44-46]” (Saint John Paul II, Incarnationis Mysterium, 8, in the year 2000). John’s gospel clearly depicts this relationship between Jesus and us. “Amen, amen, I say to you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life, and have it more abundantly” (John 10:7-10). It is fitting that a Holy Door be situated within a church building. The door of the Church is the ianua ecclesia – “the silent witness to all the moments of our lives” (USCCB, About the Jubilee Door, 1999). Often sacramental rituals begin at the door – here, the priest or deacon welcomes the parents as they bring their child for baptism; here, he greets the bride and groom as they begin the wedding liturgy; here, he greets the catechumens at the Rite of Acceptance; and, finally, the priest greets the casket at the beginning of the funeral liturgy. In addition to the Holy Door at the Cathedral, Bishop Quinn has asked those parishes dedicated to the Sacred Heart as well as the Sacred Heart Care Center in Jackson and the motherhouse of the Franciscan sisters in Rochester to inaugurate a holy door so that pilgrims from across the diocese will have access to the graces and indulgences that can be gained by processing through a holy door. Parishes and individuals will be provided information on how to make a pilgrimage to the holy door sites. This is an extension of the grace of mercy which God bestows upon us through this special jubilee observance. As Pope Francis stated in extending his invitation, “Therefore, let us create Holy Doors in our cathedrals or other significant churches which can be worthy symbols of Christ and a welcome invitation to seek Him within our communities of faith.” Source: the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions.

Inside the Issue

Announcement of the Jubilee of Mercy

read the Pope's words on page 2

Holy Doors in the Diocese of Winona!

read more on page 4

To Walk Through a Holy Door

read the reflection on page 4

Frequently Asked Questions Q. When does the Year of Mercy begin? “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. And 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. Mercy will always be greater than any sin, and no one can place limits on the love of God who is ever ready to forgive” (Pope Francis, Misericordiae Vultus #3).

Q. When does the Year of Mercy conclude?

The Year of Mercy concludes on November 20, 2016 --

the Solemnity of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.

Q. Does the Year of Mercy have a theme?

“Merciful like the Father” is the ‘motto’ of this Holy Year. This is a shortened version of the verse in Scripture, “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36). The Pope wrote, “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. What a beautiful thing that the Church begins her daily prayer with the words, “O God, come to my assistance. O Lord, make haste to help me” (Ps 70:2)! The assistance we ask for is already the first step of God’s mercy toward us. He comes to assist us in our weakness. And his help consists

Answering Questions, cont'd on next page

Jubilee Year of Mercy


Announcement of the J u b i l e e Y e a r o f M e rc y March 13, 2015 ~ Saint Peter Basilica, Rome "Dear brothers and sisters, I have often thought of how the Church may render more clear her mission to be a witness to mercy; and we have to make this journey. It is a journey which begins with spiritual conversion. Therefore, I have decided to

announce an Extraordinary Jubilee which has at its centre the mercy of God. It will be a Holy Year of Mercy. We want to live in the light of the word of the Lord: “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful” (cf. Lk 6:36). And this especially applies to confessors! So much mercy! This Holy Year will commence on the next Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and will conclude on Sunday, 20 November 2016, the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe and living face of the Father's mercy. I entrust the organization of this Jubilee to the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, in order that it may come to life as a new step on the Church’s Pope Francis places a flower on a tomb after journey in celebrating Mass at Rome's Verano Cemetery on the feast of All Saint's Day on November 1, 2015. her mission Credit: © L'Osservatore Romano to bring the Gospel of



cont'd from pg 1 of insert

in helping us accept his presence and closeness to us. Day after day, touched by his compassion, we also can become compassionate towards others” (Pope Francis, Misericordiae Vultus #14).

Q. How is this Jubilee Year of Mercy different from other Jubilee Years?

Traditionally, a jubilee year is celebrated to mark twenty-five years or fifty years or an important anniversary, such as the 2000th anniversary of the birth of Christ in 2000. But Archbishop Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, makes some important distinctions: “In order to avoid any misunderstanding, it is important to reiterate that this Jubilee of Mercy is not and does not intend to be the Great Jubilee Year of 2000. Therefore, any comparisons lack validity, for every Holy Year possesses its own unique nature and aims. “It is the Pope’s desire that this Jubilee be celebrated in Rome as well as in the local Churches; this will give due focus to the life of individual Churches and their needs, in such a way that the initiatives will not place an extra burden on local Churches, but will blend into their calendars and usual activities very naturally. “Also, for the first time in the history of the Jubilee tradition, there will be an opportunity for individual dioceses to open a Holy Door – the Door of Mercy – either in the Cathedral or in a church of special significance or a shrine of particular importance for December, 2015 w The Courier

pilgrimages. “Similarly, it is easy to cull other characteristics from the Bull of Indiction that will make this Jubilee unique. From the very beginning, however, the call to mercy breaks with the traditional pattern. The history of Jubilees has been marked by their occurrence every 50 or 25 years. The two Extraordinary Jubilees fell on anniversaries of Christ’s redemptive act (1933, 1983). This Jubilee, however, is based upon a theme. It will build upon the central content of the faith and intends to call the Church once again to its missionary priority of being a sign and witness in every aspect of its pastoral life.”

Q. Are there other special days which our diocese should celebrate? Pope Francis has named special days of jubilee throughout the year – for youth, for workers and volunteers of mercy, for prisoners, for deacons, for priests, for the sick and persons with disabilities, etc. In addition, there are special events, e.g., “24 Hours for the Lord,” with special emphasis on the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. It is the intention of the Holy Father that these be celebrated also in dioceses throughout the world. From information provided by the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions (FDLC), “Resources for the Year of Mercy ~ Part I: An Introduction to the Year of Mercy.” Contact: / 202-635-6990

mercy to each person. I am confident that the whole Church, which is in such need of mercy for we are sinners, will be able to find in this Jubilee the joy of rediscovering and rendering fruitful God’s mercy, with which we are all called to give comfort to every man and every woman of our time. Do not forget that God forgives all, and God forgives always. Let us never tire of asking forgiveness. Let us henceforth entrust this Year to the Mother of Mercy, that she turn her gaze upon us and watch over our journey: our penitential journey, our year-long journey with an open heart, to receive the indulgence of God, to receive the mercy of God."


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Day of Prayer Fasting in Reparation for a Culture of Violence Initiative’s goal is to become people of peace, healing By Joe Towalski

When a series of undercover videos was released this past summer showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing the harvesting and sale of tissue and organs from aborted children, many people were taken aback by the callousness with which the people in the videos spoke about human life. “It really shocked the conscience,” said Jason Adkins, executive director of the Minnesota Catholic Conference (MCC). The videos prompted discussion among Minnesota’s bishops about ways in which Catholics and others of good will could join together to stand against violence — the kind documented in the videos, but other types as well. Gun violence, domestic violence, abortion, ongoing efforts to legalize assisted-suicide, using violence as a means of conflict resolution — all of these are serious societal problems that diminish the “culture of life” the Church is called to build, Adkins said. In response, the bishops are organizing a “Day of Fasting and Prayer in Reparation for a Culture of Violence and Disrespect for Human Life.” It will be observed in each Minnesota diocese on a day in December or January chosen by each bishop. Resources for the day are available from MCC, the public policy voice of the Catholic Church in Minnesota. They include suggestions for prayer intentions, acts of reparation (see sidebar) and legislative advocacy. “Everything from a Church perspective and from a Christian perspective starts in prayer,” Adkins said. “There is no better thing we can do in the Church then to come together as a community and reflect individually — and collectively — about this culture of violence and the way we have contributed to creating it.” “That’s why it’s important to make acts of reparation, which are prayers in repentance for our own sins but also for the sins of others,” he said.

The hope is that these prayers will inspire people to take positive, concrete actions in their own lives and in their communities in support of life from conception until natural death, Adkins said. MCC is promoting advocacy on two specific public policy issues as part of the day’s observance: 1) state legislation that would require licensing and inspection of abortion facilities; and 2) ratification of the Comprehensive NuclearTest-Ban Treaty, an effort supported by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. But the actions people can take aren’t limited to these two efforts, Adkins said. In conjunction with the Year of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis, the corporal and spiritual works of mercy are good ways to share the love of Christ and promote nonviolence. “Building a culture of life is rooted in a consistent ethic of life,” Adkins said. “This happens when we go out and serve others — from taking the time to care for an elderly person so that they don’t feel like they’re a burden, to working for the well-being of people with disabilities, to helping women in need, especially in difficult domestic situations.” It also happens, for example, when individuals and families reassess their entertainment choices and say no to violent movies, shows and video games. “There are so many ways we can build a culture of life,” he said. The goal of acts of reparation and, ultimately, the day of fasting and prayer is to help repair what is broken in our lives and in society. “These actions help us to become people of peace and a people of healing,” Adkins said. “That’s what this is really about: How do we become people of peace instead of contributing to the culture of violence?” Joe Towalski is editor of The Visitor, newspaper of the Diocese of St. Cloud.

ideas for acts of reparation

As a child of God, we each have an opportunity to help satisfy the justice of God by making reparation for our own sins and the sins of others. 1. Go to an abortion clinic and pray, or set aside an hour today to pray for those who are struggling with a decision of life or death for their unborn child. 2. Make an act of faith, hope or love. ( 3. Pray the Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. 4. Spend an hour with the Blessed Sacrament in adoration. 5. Increase your knowledge about important life issues. Here are some resource examples: • Women’s health and marriage prospects have suffered from more than 40 years of nationally legal abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy. Learn more in “Life Matters: Roe Plus 40” ( • Learn how some methods of conceiving a child pose serious concerns in “Life Matters: Reproductive Technologies” ( • Read about some of the challenges, concerns and joys on a couple’s journey of adopting a child in “An Adoption Love Story” ( 6. Pray the rosary, or even just a decade, today for someone who has hurt or disappointed you, and ask for the grace to forgive that person. 7. Smile. Ask God today for the grace to be extra joyful and to share your love for Christ with those who most need that encouragement today. 8. Use Facebook or another form of social media to post something that builds up the culture of life. 9. Take time to write a handwritten note to someone who is lonely or needing encouragement. 10. We can sometimes forget how blessed we are to have many of our daily com-

forts. Give up sleeping with your pillow tonight. 11. Today, ignore your sweet tooth. Make healthy eating choices. 12. Make a “quiet hour” today, turning off all electronic devices (cell phone, iPod, computer, television, radio, video game system) and retreat to your room. Spend some time in prayer or prayerful reading. 13. Clean a room in your house without being asked or without telling anyone. Pray for your family members while you clean, “and your Father who sees in secret will repay you” (Matthew 6:6). 14. Read about a Church teaching you do not understand in the catechism. 15. Make an honest assessment of your “giving finances” — Are you giving too little? Make a resolution to give a set weekly or monthly donation to your parish or favorite local charity. 16. Say three Hail Marys for your parish priest. Without our priests, we could not have the Mass or the sacrament of reconciliation. 17. Pray for your deceased relatives and for those who have no one to pray for them. 18. Spend quality time with a family member or friend. Offer to help them with something with which they need assistance. 19. Go to confession — today, if possible! — or during this week. Before you go, look up St. Faustina and learn a little about the message of Divine Mercy she shared during her life. 20. Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet for those who are suffering the loss of a child through abortion, or through any act of violence, asking that they find healing and peace.

— Minnesota Catholic Conference


Day of Pra

December 2015

Building a

Deacon Wayne Wittman, left, of St. Paul, a Navy veteran, stands with Dave Logsdon, president of Veterans for Peace, Chapter 27, and Robin Monahan, a VFP member.

Culture of


Submitted photo

Veterans group seeks to build culture of peace, heal wounds of war By Frank Lee Wayne Wittman enlisted in the Navy after high school and fought in the Korean War. But all the deacon in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis wants now is peace. “I was part of the World War II culture and that meant that we were all very, very patriotic, and I was excited about service,” Wittman said of his enlistment in 1948. Wittman belongs to Veterans for Peace, which was founded by American veterans in 1985 in response to the nuclear arms race and U.S. military interventions in Central America. The 86-year-old Catholic from St. Paul is not alone in seeking peace after the conflict. Greg Boertje-Obed of Duluth is a member of another Veterans for Peace chapter. The Army veteran entered the medical service corps in 1981 and was assigned to a combat engineer battalion in Fort Pope, Louisiana; he served as a supervisor of field medics. “Part of my job was to prepare to fight and win a nuclear war … and that led to my crisis of conscience — studying the Bible, reading the writings of Dorothy Day — and that led to my declaring to my superiors that I wouldn’t shoot anyone,” Boertje-Obed said.

Veterans for Peace

Wittman’s ship participated in the amphibious invasion of the Korean city of Incheon in September 1950, resulting in the recapture of the South Korean capital of Seoul. “I was an active opponent to the Vietnam War. And at that time, it was not very patriotic to be opposed to our government and what they were doing in Vietnam,” Wittman said. “I had enough exposure to military culture and military operations to look beyond what we were being told,” he said of his opposition to the Vietnam War. Veterans for Peace grew to more than 8,000 members in the buildup to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 and consists of veterans, military family members and allies. “I was critical of what we were doing as I have been pretty much since then in terms of military solutions to political problems,” said Wittman, who was a political science major. “That seems to be our way of dealing with issues, and it’s very unproductive.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that “all citizens and all governments

are obliged to work for the avoidance of war” (2266). It adds, “However, as long as the danger of war persists and there is no international authority with the necessary competence and power, governments cannot be denied the right of lawful self-defense, once all peace efforts have failed.”

Catholic faith

According to Veterans for Peace, the international organization is dedicated to “building a culture of peace, exposing the true costs of war, and healing the wounds of war.” “As a Catholic, I honored and valued and was attracted to the faith because of [its] position on life, and because of that, I became a critic of killing,” Wittman said. “The Catholic Church, and as Catholics, we put a great emphasis on the gift of life.” Veterans for Peace consists of 120 chapters, including those in Vietnam, the United Kingdom and Ireland. In the last three decades, it has led or participated in over 60 peace delegations to Latin America, Vietnam, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. “Jesus says to love your enemies,” BoertjeObed said. “Jesus says to Peter, ‘Put down your sword. Those who live by the sword will die by the sword,’ and that all spoke to me very strongly when I was in the military when I was reading those passages.” The 60-year-old volunteers at Hildegard House Catholic Worker with his wife, Michele Naar-Obed, a member of Christian Peacemaker Teams; CPT members are invited to regions experiencing lethal conflict to help with human rights and violence reduction. “I spent a lot of time in Iraq,” she said. “I spent a lot of time with Muslims, and I learned that those social justice teachings, those Beatitudes are not owned by the Catholic Church but are very universal teachings … about the sacredness of life.” Naar-Obed, a 59-year-old Catholic, was planning to speak at a Veterans for Peace event on Veterans Day even though she is not a veteran. “I can’t help but feel that God would cry looking at the way we treat each other in violent situations,” she said. “I feel connected to God through our interactions with each other … and I hope we can connect in a way that would make God proud or make God happy.”

Minnesota’s Catholic bishops have asked that Catholics and others come together to pray for an end to violence. Their efforts are part of building a “culture of a life,” which means looking with mercy and compassion at the faces of each human person from conception to natural death. There are numerous examples across the state that demonstrate ways that people are carrying out that witness. Here are just a few.


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Sagrada Familia center By Kristi Anderson The Visitor

Odilon and Sara Jabana were certain they were headed for divorce when ily member urged them to try a marriage-healing program at Sagrada Fam family services center and ministry of St. Stephen Parish in South Minneap Very hesitantly and with little hope for reconciliation, the Jabanas decid attend weekly meetings and pray with mentor couples at Sagrada Familia. “The witness from these couples touched our hearts,” Odilon said, “and several meetings we accepted that we needed to open our hearts to God a him do his work.” As the Jabanas were working through their marriage issues, Odilon was i to attend a men’s support group called “Hombres Fuertes,” which transla “Strong Men.” “At that point I knew that I needed all the help that I could get, so I join group for a year,” he said. “The marriage healing program and the men’s gave me strength and hope but most importantly, it helped me to unde that we shouldn’t struggle along. God is right there, ready to come to our tance if we just ask and allow him to heal us.” Sagrada Familia, which means Holy Family, offers two core services – f services and pregnancy services. The family side provides healing in mar and encourages parents to be the primary educators of their children. Viviana Sotro, the center’s executive director explained, “Many of the fa we serve are Latino,” she explained, “and many of them endured suffer their home countries and came looking for a better future. But they are still ing those wounds. Through the family center, we heal individuals so we ca families. We also heal marriages. In order for the family to be healthy, we n have healthy spouses.” Sotro, who moved to Minnesota from Argentina with her husband, Adri 2002, recognized a need for services like these in the Latino communities Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis when she and Adrian began work Hispanic ministry there. However, when Father Joseph Williams, pastor of St. Stephen, asked her involved with opening a center, she said it was a call from God that she

ayer & Fasting

The Courier


Catholic Charities program helps women choose life

Dianne Towalski


atholic Charities of the Diocese of Winona has been viding immediate assistance to women in crisis pregcies since 2006 through a 24-hour hotline. y calling the hotline number, the client is connected to of several licensed social workers, who can assess the e of pregnancy, provide accurate information about the y’s stage of development and explain the services and urces that are available. ogram social workers can then meet in person with h parents within 48 hours of initial contact, said Bob ba, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Dioof Winona. “No matter what the situation, care and p is there — quickly.” he hotline, part of Catholic Charities’ Pregnancy, Parng and Adoption program, is made possible by a grant m the Minnesota Department of Health. Our experience with the hotline is that with help many men will choose life for their unborn child,” said Valerie ningham, Pregnancy, Parenting and Adoption director. ey are often scared, alone and unsure of their future.” hrough the hotline, pregnant women also can be coned with financial assistance through the organization’s her-Child Assistance Fund. They are often in a tough financial situation and are nking the only alternative is to terminate the pregnanCunningham said. “They don’t have a rainy day fund help them get through an unexpected financial conn. When we can offer financial assistance through our her-Child Assistance Fund they are able to get through immediate crisis and we can help with a plan for their y.” n 2014, parishes in the Winona diocese raised $46,000 he Mother-Child Assistance Fund, which was then able rovide help for more than 100 women with rent, medi-

“One cannot overemphasize the importance of responsiveness in providing real help. If one wants to support, encourage and assist women in carrying their pregnancies to term, one, absolutely, must respond quickly and in person with relevant help.” Bob Tereba

cal expenses, educational assistance, doula services, child care assistance and parenting education. “One new mom that was helped said, ‘it is much needed help during a time in my life that I never expected would be so difficult,’” Cunningham said. Social workers frequently get only one opportunity with a pregnant woman to offer abortion alternatives before she makes a decision, Tereba said. “One cannot overemphasize the importance of respon-

siveness in providing real help,” he said. “If one wants to support, encourage and assist women in carrying their pregnancies to term, one, absolutely, must respond quickly and in person with relevant help.” For Tereba, that means providing help and hope to people across a wide range of circumstances. “We clearly demonstrate our mission to bring God’s love to all persons; including those who are born and those who are not yet born,” Tereba said.

r offers hope and healing to families needs,” she said.

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Odilon and Sara Jabana attended Mass Nov. 8 at St. Stephen Parish in South Minneapolis with their daughters, Wendy, Francisca and Maria.

want to answer. “I wasn’t looking for a career change,” she said, “but Father Joseph was persistent…Then I prayed and I recognized that, ‘OK, God, I know you want to use me to answer my own questions about how to provide those services that are needed.’ ” The center offers material assistance to pregnant women and families but Sotro said it goes much deeper than that. “You can get diapers, you can get a crib, but what do you do with those spiritual wounds? If you give a pregnant mother only diapers and you don’t help her to be a happy pregnant mother, to value the sanctity of life, she can’t see the value of the child. We need to go beyond her material needs and provide for her spiritual

As the organization began developing those core services, another need surfaced. “We needed to make an official effort to reach out to Latino men,” Sotro said. “Women are more open to ask for help and so we were getting a lot of wives and women coming to our services and asking for healing and guidance. But we noticed that even though they were coming and making the effort, they were still sad because they would go back home and encounter the same situations.” In 2014, Sagrada Familia declared the “Year of the Fathers.” They increased their efforts to reach out to the men of the community through the Hombres Fuertes program which Odilon is part of. “Something very beautiful happened,” Sotro said. “When the men began to open their hearts and compare themselves to Christ, immediately they were reflecting on fatherhood and what being a true man means. “It helps them to grow in virtue and to make the changes they needed to make in their own lives. I think they felt like someone was listening to them. Some have never talked about their experiences before. For many men, this was the first time they felt comfortable to talk about it,” she said. At least 54 men have gone through the program and many of them, Sotro said, are now stronger husbands and fathers as well as active members in the parish, including the Jabanas. “These programs led me to an encounter with Christ and a profound desire to receive the sacraments,” Odilon said. “After a year of faith formation and marriage preparation my wife was welcomed in the Catholic faith, we celebrated our sacramental wedding and two of my children were baptized.” Odilon says that God has done great things for him and his family. “I know that if my family and I stay closer to him, all will be good,” he said. “We are serving at St. Stephen’s with joy and take every opportunity we have to share the many blessings we have received. We are joyfully expecting our fourth child — one more blessing from God. We are striving to live a joyful and faithful life [that] we can only do with God’s help.”


December 2015

Day of Prayer & Fasting

The Courier

prayer intentions Adam and Eve to care for one another and to be stewards of creation. But when we separate ourselves from your loving care for us, we are capable of violence against our brother, as Cain and Abel show. Protect the vulnerable in our midst, particularly women and children, and free them from the bondage of violence and fear. R: Amen

Prayers for the victims of violence Preface: Lord Jesus, a culture of violence has engulfed our nation and has left many victims in its wake. We pray now for some of those who have been affected, and ask you to bless all victims of violence as we keep the souls and intentions of affected persons in our hearts and prayers. For the unborn victims of abortion: Let us pray for all the unborn victims of abortion; that these innocent children who die without baptism may be welcomed into the Father’s house, where they may enjoy everlasting peace and reconciliation with those responsible for taking their life. Prayer in silence. Then the celebrant says: Almighty and ever-living God, who in Christ Jesus makes all things new, bring new and eternal life to those children whose lives were unjustly shortened because of fear, despair, malice or selfishness. Welcome the unborn victims of abortion into your kingdom where they may experience the fullness of life. We ask this through the intercession of Mary, our Mother, patroness and protector of the unborn. R: Amen For the innocent victims of war: Let us pray for the innocent who have died as a result of war; that they may be remembered in our hearts and in our consciences as a testimony to the fact that war is always a tragedy and should strenuously be avoided. Prayer in silence. Then the celebrant says: Lord Jesus Christ, you are the prince of peace. Plant within our hearts a determination to speak out against unjust wars, so that the suffering of the innocent may not increase and the fabric of peace between nations not be torn. May Our Lady, Queen of Peace, intercede on our behalf and obtain for us the graces we need to become people of peace. R: Amen For the victims of gun violence: Let us pray for those who have been murdered in senseless acts of gun violence; that they may come to know in the kingdom of heaven a place of light, peace and refreshment, where swords have been turned into ploughshares. Prayer in silence. Then the celebrant says: Almighty and Eternal God, you are the desire of the everlasting hills. We long for a day when we need not await in anxiety the next mass shooting, because peace reigns in the hearts of all people. Transform the hearts of the troubled, the mentally ill, the angry and the afflicted, that they may not be fooled by the Tempter to embrace the false allure of violent killings. Through Christ our Lord. R: Amen For the victims of sex trafficking and pornography: Let us pray for those who have been exploited in body and soul by the greed and lust of others; that they may experience healing to know again that they are created in the image and likeness of God, and that their lives are of inestimable worth. Prayer in silence. Then the celebrant says: Lord Jesus Christ, son of the Living God, how often it is that we believe a lie about ourselves and others because we fail to see your face in each person we encounter. Heal our brokenness, pain, shame and guilt, and restore us to new life in you. R: Amen For the victims of domestic violence: Let us pray for the victims of domestic violence, that they may not experience the gifts of home and family as places of danger and fear, but instead as places of love, solidarity and compassion. Restore in their soul the knowledge that they are lovable and loved infinitely by you. Prayer in silence. Then the celebrant says: Almighty God, Creator of heaven and earth, you made

For the victims of child sex abuse: Let us pray for the victims of sex abuse, and, in particular, children abused by clergy and teachers. That they may find authentic justice, but also hope, healing and renewed trust in schools and houses of worship. Prayer in silence. Then the celebrant says: God our Father, hear our cries as we agonize over the harm done to our brothers and sisters. Breathe wisdom into our prayers, soothe restless hearts with hope, steady shaken spirits with faith. Show us the way to justice and wholeness, enlightened by truth and enfolded in your mercy. Holy Spirit, comforter of hearts, heal your people’s wounds and transform our brokenness. Grant us courage and wisdom, humility and grace, so that we may act with justice and find peace in you. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. R: Amen.

Prayers for mercy

Lord Jesus Christ, your mercy is infinite and stretches wide, like your hands on the wood of Calvary, to embrace all of us. We know that to experience your mercy is to truly encounter your face, and when we experience your mercy, we are able to share that with others. Through your mercy, and the mercy we extend in your name, may those who fear that they are unforgivable and undeserving of your mercy, as well as those who do not believe they are in need of mercy at all, come to know your loving and healing embrace. For mothers and fathers broken by the memory of a child lost to abortion: That through the intercession of the Mother of God, the gentle and merciful love of God may heal their innermost being. We pray to the Lord. R: Lord, have mercy on us and on the whole world. For those in the abortion industry: That, like others before them, they come to see that, despite what they may believe are good intentions, they are perpetrating a grave injustice that ends the life of the unborn person and wounds the parents of the baby who is aborted. That they instead may become advocates in defense of life, and transform the hearts of many. We pray to the Lord. R: Lord, have mercy on us and on the whole world. For organ traffickers, for those who buy and sell the remains of aborted children, and for those who engage in illegitimate biomedical research that destroys human life: That they may come to know the dignity of the human person, in body and soul, and the sanctity of human life from conception until natural death. We pray to the Lord. R: Lord, have mercy on us and on the whole world. For those who produce and peddle pornography: May all people reject pornography and discover the true meaning of love through an encounter and relationship with Christ. We pray to the Lord. R: Lord, have mercy on us and on the whole world. For all of us: When we have failed to build an authentic culture of care and culture of life by not acting in solidarity with others through participating in the social and political life of the community. May God instill in us the desire to offer authentic social friendship by making the sacrifices necessary to become a truly faithful citizen and to limit the proliferation of violence in society. We pray to the Lord. R: Lord, have mercy on us and on the whole world. For the merchants of violence in all its forms: That those who create and peddle violent entertainment and pornography; those who exploit others through prostitution; and those who are involved in the arms trade may see the way in which their pursuit of profit undermines the dignity of the human person and the well-being of their communi-

ties. That they may reject these trades and discover the true meaning of love through an encounter and relationship with Christ. We pray to the Lord. R: Lord, have mercy on us and on the whole world. For the perpetrators of violent crime: That those who terrorize others and their communities by resorting to violence and crime, those who have committed violent crimes, and those who produce and traffic illegal drugs may seek forgiveness and mercy from their victims. May they offer restitution and make reparation in their communities, and may they work to reach others trapped in a life of crime. We pray to the Lord. R: Lord, have mercy on us and on the whole world. For military personnel at every level: That those who struggle or despair because of the way in which they discharged their duties, or because of the guilt they may hold for being complicit in acts of aggression, may experience God’s healing hand and work to become people of peace and help others do the same. We pray to the Lord. R: Lord, have mercy on us and on the whole world. For this nation: That we recognize our sins and seek reparation for when our nation has used violence and unjust war to: resolve political disputes; impose our will on others; manipulate foreign policy; facilitate commerce; and attack human dignity, such as in the practice of torture. May we constantly strive to be a people of peace and a city on a hill — one that uses the power of reason to achieve a just and peaceful world, and one that holds leaders accountable when they resort to violence.

Prayers for justice

Almighty God, Creator of all things, if we want peace, we must work for justice. You ask each of us to seek justice, to love mercy and to walk humbly. As we extend your mercy to those who have sinned, we also work for justice, which is a right ordering of relationships among persons and between communities. May we never forget that the work of justice requires first that we are in right relationship with you — because there is no brotherhood of man without your Fatherhood. For an end to the use of the death penalty in the United States: That responsibility, restoration and rehabilitation, rooted in hope found in Christ Jesus, become an enduring feature of our criminal justice system. We pray to the Lord. R: The peace of Christ, in the reign of Christ. For an end to the use of war as a means of conflict resolution: May we proclaim with Pope St. John Paul II, “War, never again!” We pray to the Lord. R: The peace of Christ, in the reign of Christ. For the abolition of nuclear weapons: May weapons that are intended to target civilian populations and to unleash destruction that can wipe out whole nations be obliterated from our arsenals. We pray to the Lord. R: The peace of Christ, in the reign of Christ. For an end to racism in all its forms, especially acts of police violence that undermine the trust between a community and its citizens. We pray to the Lord. R: The peace of Christ, in the reign of Christ. For an end to abortion and a halt to the expansion of physician-assisted suicide: May our judges and elected officials create a legal regime in which life is protected in all stages of its development, from conception to natural death. We pray to the Lord. R: The peace of Christ, in the reign of Christ. Lord Jesus Christ, you are the prince of peace. When we forget you, and forbid you from reigning as king in our hearts and in our lives, a regime of violence and a throwaway culture persists and grows. May you become sovereign in our hearts, in our homes, in our churches and in our society, so that the peace of Christ may flourish in the reign of Christ. We ask all this in your name. Amen.

Year of Mercy Calendar of Events January

On the first Friday… [or on another Friday of the month] Diocesan “Holy Hour” (at 3:00 pm, the “Hour of Great Mercy”) [Site TBD] [There will be a designated site in the diocese for the monthly holy hour, but other parishes and church institutions are also encouraged to celebrate a monthly “holy hour” during the Jubilee Year.] January 31 - February 6, 2016 Catholic Schools Week

In Rome and the Universal Church… Tuesday, December 8 (Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception) Opening of the Holy Door of Saint Peter’s Basilica “I will have the joy of opening the Holy Door on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. On that day, the Holy Door will become a Door of Mercy through which anyone who enters will experience the love of God who consoles, pardons, and instills hope.” (Pope Francis, Misericordiae Vultus # 3) Sunday, December 13 (Third Sunday of Advent) Opening of the Holy Door of the Basilica of Saint John Lateran and in the Cathedrals of the world In the Diocese… Sunday, December 13 • Opening Mass (10:30 am – at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Winona) • Opening of the Holy Doors (at the Cathedral and at “Sacred Heart” sites across the diocese)

February On the first Friday… [or on another Friday of the month] Diocesan “Holy Hour” (at 3:00 pm, the “Hour of Great Mercy”) [Site TBD] February 2 Closing of the Year of Consecrated Life (at IHM Seminary, Winona) [hosted by RSM Community] Lent 2016 “24 Hours for the Lord” (24 hours of confession offered at parishes/ parish clusters during Lent)

March On the first Friday… [or on another Friday of the month] Diocesan “Holy Hour” (at 3:00 pm, the “Hour of Great Mercy”) [Site TBD]

April On the first Friday… [or on another Friday of the month] Diocesan “Holy Hour” (at 3:00 pm, the “Hour of Great Mercy”) [Site TBD] April 2 Diocesan Men’s Conference (at Lourdes High School, Rochester) April 3 Divine Mercy Sunday April 24 “Jubilee for young boys and girls” (ages 13-16)

May On the first Friday… [or on another Friday of the month]

Jubilee Year of Mercy

In December...

In 2016...


“On the same [Third] Sunday [of Advent], I will announce that in every local Church, at the cathedral – the mother church of the faithful in any particular area – a Door of Mercy will be opened for the duration of the Holy Year…. Thus the Jubilee will be celebrated both in Rome and in the Particular Churches as a visible sign of the Church’s universal communion.” (Pope Francis, Misericordiae Vultus # 3)

Diocesan “Holy Hour” (at 3:00 pm, the “Hour of Great Mercy”) [Site TBD]

June On the first Friday… [or on another Friday of the month] Diocesan “Holy Hour” (at 3:00 pm, the “Hour of Great Mercy”) [Site TBD] Diocesan “Jubilee of Mercy” Week June 3 - “Jubilee for priests” (at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Winona) June 5 - “Jubilee for deacons” (at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Winona) June 8-10 - “Jubilee of Mercy” Days (for laity, religious, and clergy)

July On the first Friday… [or on another Friday of the month] Diocesan “Holy Hour” (at 3:00 pm, the “Hour of Great Mercy”) [Site TBD]

July 26-31 World Youth Day – “Jubilee for young people”

On the first Friday… [or on another Friday of the month] Diocesan “Holy Hour” (at 3:00 pm, the “Hour of Great Mercy”) [Site TBD] Date TBD... Catechetical Day

“Hour of Great Mercy”) [Site TBD] Date TBD... Diocesan Women’s Conference (with an emphasis on Our Lady, Mother of Mercy) “Marian Jubilee” Date TBD... White Mass (possibly with parishes offering Healing Masses and Anointing of the Sick) “Jubilee for those who are ill and for persons with disabilities”



On the first Friday… [or on another Friday of the month] Diocesan “Holy Hour” (at 3:00 pm, the “Hour of Great Mercy”) [Site TBD] September 25 Catechetical Sunday – “Jubilee for catechists”

On the first Friday… [or on another Friday of the month] Diocesan “Holy Hour” (at 3:00 pm, the “Hour of Great Mercy”) [Site TBD] November 6 - “Jubilee for prisoners” November 13 Closing Mass (at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Winona) Closing of the Holy Doors Mass (at the Cathedral and at “Sacred Heart” sites across the diocese)


October On the first Friday… [or on another Friday of the month] Diocesan “Holy Hour” (at 3:00 pm, the

December, 2015 w The Courier


Jubilee Year of Mercy


The season of grace which is the Jubilee of Mercy, will naturally be characterized by the possibility of obtaining the plenary indulgence through certain pious exercises culminating in entering through the Holy Door, the Door of Mercy. These pious exercises will accompany the prayer and celebration of the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist as concrete signs of conversion and “immersion” in the Mercy of the Father.

Visit the Holy Doors in the Diocese of Winona

Having Crossed the Doorway

Once they have crossed through the Holy Door or Door of Mercy, or have fulfilled one of the other conditions under which Pope Francis has granted the Jubilee Indulgence (for example, for the sick, for the imprisoned, or for anyone who carries out in person a work of mercy), in addition to the usual conditions which require a heart well-disposed for the grace to bring its desired fruits, the faithful should stop in prayer to fulfill the final actions asked for: the profession of faith, and prayer for the Holy Father and his intentions. The latter should be at least an “Our

Father” – the prayer in which Jesus himself taught us to turn as children to the Father – but it could possibly be more. In particular, taking into consideration the spirit of this Holy Year, it is suggested that pilgrims recite the lovely prayer of Pope Francis for the Jubilee, and that they conclude the time of prayer with an invocation to the merciful Lord Jesus (for example, “Merciful Jesus, I trust in You”). From information provided by the Vatican at the web site of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization

Cathedral of the Sacred Heart – Winona Sacred Heart Church – Adams Sacred Heart Church – Brewster Sacred Heart Church – Hayfield Sacred Heart Church – Heron Lake Sacred Heart Church – Owatonna Sacred Heart Church – Waseca Our Lady of Lourdes Chapel (at Assisi Heights) – Rochester Sacred Heart Mercy Health Care Center Chapel – Jackson The chapel at Sacred Heart Hospice in Austin, is also designated as a “special site” for the jubilee year. Although it will not have a Holy Door nor be a pilgrimage site, its residents and guests may receive an indulgence by visiting the chapel when the other conditions for the indulgence are met.

To Walk through a Holy Door - a Reflection By: Theresa Martin It was January of 2000 and, now Saint, Pope John Paul II had just opened the “Porta Sancta” (Holy Door) for the Jubilee Year. I had the privilege to be studying abroad in Rome that fall. I was honestly clueless about what a Holy Door was and why it should be important to me. Even the word "indulgences" registered in my mind as a negative word, but the truth was, I had no idea what it actually meant. As it was slowly explained to me, there were a few things that had to be done, but when they were, and you walked through the Holy Door in good faith, your debt of purification time in purgatory is taken away (which is what is meant by plenary indulgence). If you died then, you’d go straight to heaven. I had my doubts. Is this some kind of good luck charm or superstition? I thought, I am just supposed to do those things and poof! Just like that time in purgatory is removed? I did understand the need for purgatory. Sin to your soul is like breaking a window. You are very sorry you broke it and the Father truly forgives you. Yet, the window is still broken. The time is purgatory is like the need to fix or replace the window. So, I admit, I was very skeptical; however, I decided I couldn’t miss this chance, so I committed myself to get the indulgence. I went to confession; attended Mass and also did the extra act of faith requested. This required some effort on my part. We followed a guide who went from Church to Church and gave a spiritual reflection in each one. My legs were tired; my feet were sore, but I prayed at each Church. We then made our way to St. Peter's Basilica and had to wait in a long line to go in through the Holy Door. Each minute that passed by left me asking whether this was worth it. There were pilgrims from every nationality, December, 2015 w The Courier

St. Pope John Paul II during the opening ceremony of the Holy Door. (2000)

some kinder than others, all with the same goal. When we arrived at the Holy Door, a great calm came over me. It was as if the ordinary and extraordinary met.

It's just a door. Though this particular Holy Door was an enormously large one, in the end, it is just a door. And yet, God uses the ordinary to bring us to Himself. He uses bread to give us His body, water to wash our sins away, chrism to anoint us with the Holy Spirit. In a subtly powerful way, the holy door points us to the true door to heaven, which is Christ Himself. As normal and miraculous as the daily sunrise, I walked through the door and entered the Church to pray. As I prayed, I felt that peace that comes after a good Confession. I realized that these steps we had to do were not just buttons to press, but they were actions that changed you. Going to Confession, receiving the Eucharist at Mass, participating in an act of faith, and walking through the door, were not merely actions I took, but events that changed me – if I let them. I would encourage everyone to make time at some point this year and visit one of the Holy Doors. Make a pilgrimage of it. Don't miss this profound opportunity to receive an abundance of God's merciful grace! Pope Francis knows this is what our world needs - a year of mercy - and this is what you and I need as well. I plan to take full advantage of our Holy Door (maybe more than once)! Pope Francis also made it super easy. What you need to do is: Confession, Eucharist, walk through the Holy Door. It is also suggested that you pray the Year of Mercy prayer or another profession of faith prayer. Saying the rosary together with your pilgrimage group would be a beautiful addition to your Holy Door experience. As I prayed that day in St. Peter's Basilica, the peace of the Holy Spirit swelling in my heart and tears rising in my eyes, I thanked our Lord for His great mercy in allowing such a gift to His children. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Logic Classes with Pastor Appreciation Mr. Bridges St. Casimir’s School

prayers since my life and ministry are only as fruitful as the people praying for me.” - Cook Him a Meal: Find out his favorite meal and make it for him. - Write Him a Note Expressing Your Gratitude: “It is very powerful to hear somebody describe exactly HOW the thing I said or did was so fruitful for them. It is a reminder that Jesus is a lot bigger than me, and he can do great things with the little I have to offer.” - Say Thank You: “Thank the priest for every service. Even something as simple as saying ‘Thank you for your ministry and I will pray for you’ can mean a great deal.” - Invite Him Over: “It’s nice when people think to invite me to family gatherings, even special birthdays or anniversary celebrations.” - Strive for Holiness: “There’s nothing more exciting for a priest than witnessing holiness in the lives of the people to whom he ministers; not only is that an experience of grace that his labor is bearing fruit, but it’s also tremendously edifying in his own pursuit of holiness.”

submitted by: Teresa Chirpich The students of St. Casimir’s School in Wells recently honored their pastor, Father Andrew Vogel, in celebration of National Pastor Appreciation Day which was celebrated on October 11th. In doing so, the older students presented Father with a “Spiritual Bouquet” in which each student created a flower and wrote a blessing for Father upon it. The younger students had created a poster in which they each made a sheep from cotton balls and cutout of their hand to follow the theme of the sheep and the good shepherd. What can you do to show appreciation for your priest or pastor? When a group of parish priests were asked, “How can your parishioners best let you know that they are thankful for you and the work you do?” the following suggestions were given: - Pray for Your Priest: “The most important thing a parishioner can do for his/her priest is to pray for him. It’s a great joy to know of

Catholic Schools

Rhetoric, and his studies of Thomas Aquinas and Cardinal Henry Newman, to Pacelli High School. Three days a week, a small class of upper level high school Mr. Frank W. Bridges is an iconic students meet with this gentle gift of figure in Austin, MN. With years of knowledge in a Logic & Rhetoric Class. experience and expertise in the areas The deeper level thinking has challenged of English, Speech, Biology, Physics, and these students to work beyond their Theatre Arts, working with students at comfort zone, giving them a true Riverland Community College and St. college level experience, in the comfort Thomas University, he has a vast amount of their own library. Patrick Murphy, a of knowledge to share. Frank Bridges sophomore at Pacelli Catholic Schools spent a large portion of his career says, “He is not only teaching us the as the Director of Theater for Austin aristotelian syllogism, but we also learn Community College (now Riverland from his life experiences. He regularly Community College). He is a published talks about Cardinal Henry Newman, author, experienced traveler, and devout Thomas Aquinas, and Aristotle and their involvement in Logic. We are Catholic. This past summer, Mr. Bridges felt currently learning about rhetoric and a calling to bring his love for Logic and the enthymeme. It has been an honor to learn from Mr. Bridges not only in Logic but also his Marsha Stenzel experiences. I know Superintendent my classmates and I have learned more in Logic this quarter than we could have ever imagined.” submitted by: Laura Marreel, Principal, Pacelli Catholic Schools


St. Theodore Students Snapshots

Celebrate Veteran's Day

3rd & garten r e ag. fl d e in K ting th a e r c s Grader

St. Theodore students had a chance to learn about veterans this week. First, they spent time learning about what a veteran is. Then our 4th and 5th Graders spent time learning about relatives or others that served in the military. The information they found was shared with their classmates in a report. The lesson was also carried into their Phy. Ed. class on Veteran’s Day. They were asked to choose a common game that people or children may play. Then they were given a challenge. The challenge was to play the game with a disability. Some were to be a in wheelchair, others were missing limbs, or lost sight. This activity was to help them understand that some service men and women made a sacrifice while serving our country. Through these activities they learned why it is important to “Thank a veteran for their service” on Veteran’s Day.

Fr. Scepaniak br in close as he give gs the children up the hom the school mas ily during ses.

"Thank you for your service!" Preschool students playing with a "Mass" kit Mrs. Appel bought for her classroom. December, 2015 w The Courier

NCYC - Here I am Lord

Youth and Young Adults


“And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me.’” (Isaiah 6:8) These are the reflections of the prophet Isaiah so long ago, but these words have fresh meaning for 23,000 Catholic teens who gathered in Indianapolis for the 2015 National Catholic Youth

"Amazing Grace"

Ben Frost Director

December, 2015 w The Courier

Conference. This scripture passage served as the theme for the week and it offered a framework that both inspired and challenged those in attendance. This inspiration and challenge is rooted in the reality that God has a plan for each of us and that plan sends us forth on mission to transform our hearts and change the world around us. This idea of mission is something that seems to be prominent in our Church today. As we look at our Holy Father Pope Francis and his language as he travels the world, there are many overtones of mission-based activity. All too often we are eager to say the words “Here I am Lord,” but when it comes to our response, our silence can say “Send someone else.” This was precisely the message laid before the thousands of young people at NCYC. The inspiring talks, lively music, service opportunities and sacraments sewed seeds of courage and trust. These presentations were wonderful not only because they were entertaining, but more importantly, because those on stage were sharing their stories of being called on mission to serve the Lord. Our own diocese was well represented in this experience. One hundred and twenty five youth and adults participated and there was a great spirit of unity among the group. We began our conference experience in the best way possible by celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with the other dioceses in the Midwest region. Bishop Kettler of St. Cloud presided over the Mass and we were blessed to have Steve Angrisano lead the music. The Eucharist is a perfect way to start a week based on mission. Our teens received our Lord, and were given the grace to go out and become saints. That is the witness that lies before each and every one of us whether we are at a huge conference or in a small town parish. The same Jesus Christ dwells within us through the Eucharist and we are sent out to share the love of Christ with

22,000 Catholic teenagers gather at Lucas oil stadium in Indianapolis.

everyone. Our group had much to reflect upon on our way back to Minnesota. How would we process this message of hope and mission? Would we be willing to say “Here I am Lord, Send me?” Will we have the courage to trust in the Lord and become the saint we are made to be? That question is before every human heart. We all have this choice. We all are called to be saints. It’s not easy, but it is worth it!

Meeting the New Seminarians

Michael Churchill

decided to start praying the Rosary on a daily basis. From starting this devotion I realized the importance of faithfulness to daily prayer. Secondly, I have realized over time that I was becoming more patient, joyful, and welcoming. These graces are fruits of the mysteries of the Rosary that Mary has granted me which opened me up to the life that Christ wants me to live, and not my own. Who were the most influential people in helping you discern this vocation? There is so great a number of people I can include in this question! First, I think of my parents, Steve and Marie, who got all ten of us to church every Sunday and my mom who taught most of us two different grades of religion class. I think, too, of my Viterbo Campus Minister, Emilio Alvarez and Viterbo Chaplain, Fr. Conrad Targonski, OFM. I came to these two men frequently with questions and they gave me great advice. They challenged me to pray, to listen and to respond with love. And of course I had so many wonderful friends who shared the love of our faith. These friendships allowed for us to talk freely about our faith, to challenge each other, to hold each other accountable to the faith and to pray for each other. What advice would you give to a young man or woman considering a vocation to the priesthood or consecrated life? I would love to encourage them with four words: Trust, Surrender, Believe and Receive. These four words have a significant meaning to me and my time as a Camp Gray counselor. First we must learn to trust that God has a plan for each of us and to trust that His plans are greater and will lead us to true happiness and joy. Second; learn to surrender, to allow God to work through us in our everyday lives and actions. Surrender to the desires of the world and cast yourself at the foot of the Cross. Third, believe in His Resurrection and His power to work through our hardened hearts. And fourth, to receive the great mercy, love, and joy that He desires to bestow upon you in your vocation. Be not afraid! A life in Christ devoted to serving the people is a great and wonderful adventure. Now that you have lived in the seminary for almost a semester, has your outlook changed? Looking at Seminary years ago was a scary thought as I thought it meant giving up so much. Since I have visited and moved in, my view is completely turned around. I rarely look at what potential things I am giving up but rather look at what I am currently receiving. I am receiving a great education that takes me to a deeper understanding of our faith. I am receiving Jesus everyday, which is an indescribable gift. I am receiving abundant graces and blessings in prayer and fraternity. I am receiving more now than I could have ever imagined. Finally, what do you look forward to for this upcoming year? There is much I look forward to in this first year and the years to come. I look forward in getting to know each of my brother seminarians as well as grow in communion with each other. I look forward to learning a lot more about our

Catholic faith so that I can bring this to my home and to my friends to share the awesomeness of our faith. I look forward to taking more personal time to pray and serve others. I look forward to the unknown ways God

Levi DeLong



After that retreat, I started praying more about my vocation and tried to be intentional about listening to where God wanted me to follow Him. I never heard Him speak directly to me but I started to get much more involved with our Campus Ministry, going to daily Mass as often as my schedule would allow, and serving within the community. My faith grew as I surrounded myself with fellow students who shared the same love for our Catholic faith. I also took on leadership roles as I began to lead Campus Ministry retreats, prayer services, and Mass services. Ultimately as my love for Jesus grew through prayer, strong friendships, service and in sharing my love for Jesus, so did the seed of a priestly vocation. After being an assistant director on a retreat my Junior year, I felt a great pull on my heart to start taking priesthood Michael Churchill is from Dexter, more seriously, so I started meeting with Minnesota. a spiritual director monthly. That summer Michael, please tell us about your I worked at Camp Gray, a Catholic camp family; what was it like growing up? in Reedsburg, WI. Here I got to share I am the ninth child of ten kids- 5 my love for Christ daily with my friends boys and 5 girls! (Sarah, Adam, Rebecca, and young high school students. When Peter, Kathryn, Emily, Andrew, Alexander, I returned to school for my senior year Me, Michelle.) I also have one nephew I knew God was working on my heart. and two nieces, with another nephew I officially decided to apply at a large on the way. Growing up in the Churchill Catholic college student conference last household was a little wild and crazy at year in Nashville, TN. During a Matt times, but it was also so wonderful. There Maher concert I was filled with profound was always someone around to talk to joy and confidence and I told myself and play with. As a family, we worked several times “I can do it. I can be a together, played together and prayed Priest.” As Director of the same Viterbo together often. My parents Steve and retreat a year later, I got to share my plans to apply for Seminary to all who were present. The joy in my heart as Rev. Will Thompson well as all the retreatants Director confirmed in my heart I was on the correct path. The spark that the priest started in my heart my Freshman year had turned into a wildfire of love for Marie were certainly supportive of our Jesus and for the desire to serve Him as faith formation. They got all ten of us to His priest. church every Sunday at Saint Finbarr in What were some of the steps you Grand Meadow, where we would all sit in went through after first thinking of the front pew. (When we all get together Seminary to having just entered? Were now with our growing family, it usually there doubts? How did you overcome? takes two pews!) My mother also taught My initial thoughts of Seminary were most of us second and eighth grade that priesthood is great but I can’t do religion classes. it - I have always thought about having When do you think the very first seed ten children of my own one day! I feared of a priestly vocation was planted in the thought of discerning out and then your life? not knowing what to do after. As I grew I think seeds of a priestly vocation in knowledge of what the priesthood is, started to be laid in middle school and I began to be more open to it. I thought high school when I started to realize I would graduate from nursing school just how much I loved the Catholic faith. and work for a few years, and if I still However, the definitive seed that I recall thought about it after that, then I would happened on a retreat my freshman do it. However I must have realized that year of college at Viterbo University. A this was selfish. One of my biggest fears priest sat down at my breakfast table and also was that I was not smart or faithful very bluntly asked if I had ever seriously enough. These doubts that entered in considered the priesthood. In response I were mostly overcome through prayer, admitted that I had never given it serious spiritual direction and talking them thought. I do not recall the rest of the out with my friends. My thoughts have conversation but from that moment on since changed, of course! Seminary is a I started to question it a lot more and I challenge but I love it. I am living with started praying for God to reveal to me profound purpose and joy. my vocation. I was eager to know so that What spiritual devotion was most I could serve God in whatever way He helpful and why? wanted but I wanted to know for sure it In an unknown way I believe Mary has is what He wanted. been the most helpful Spiritual devotion Can you tell us more about how that that helped me discern my vocation. seed grew? Going into my Junior year of college I

will work in me. Most importantly, I look forward to the growth in this intimate relationship with Jesus, as I continue to surrender to Him and His plans for me, so that one day, God willing, I will be a priest of Jesus Christ, willing and ready to serve His people in the Winona Diocese. Levi DeLong, I am from Sacred Heart Parish in Waseca, Minnesota. Levi, please tell us about your family; what was it like growing up? I am from a family of four originally, now in a family of six. I’m the oldest in my family. It’s hard to describe my family growing up because I have been through so much change. When I was 10, my father passed away from his second open-heart surgery and three years later, my mother remarried to a farmer where I received a much bigger part of my family. My family was a good Catholic family, and it has continued to be that way. When did you seriously begin to think about discerning the priesthood? And how did your vocation develop from that first seed to entering the seminary? The first time I actually thought seriously about it was on the Epiphany of the Lord in 2014. During the blessing of the Eucharist, I had a thought come into my mind because I didn’t know what I wanted to do after high school. I thought “What if I was a priest?” Immediately, a deep calming washed over me and after mass, I talked to Father Gregory Leif about it. From there, I started to meet with him and I had spiritual direction. What were the steps you personally went through after first thinking about the seminary to having just entered it? Were there moments of doubt? How did you overcome those? I didn’t really question it that day. Slowly, I started to realize what kind of decision I was committing to and tried to not think about. I thought long and hard about it. Of course, moments of doubt Seminarians, cont'd on pg. 16 December, 2015 w The Courier

Lay Formation


“Laudato Si'" - Living a ‘Theology of Ecology'

In last month’s column, I provided an overview of Pope Francis’ recent encyclical, “Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home.” It is a document which offers us both a very practical and a truly spiritual wisdom. God’s creation, our “common home,” is under assault, Pope Francis warns us, and a conversion of our hearts and of our public and political life is critically needed to address this ecological crisis. It is essential, though, that we do not understand “ecology” to be the world outside of ourselves. Our Holy Father speaks again and again of an “integral ecology” which unites the world of matter and created realities to the world of the spirit and transcendent meaning. If our hearts and our understanding of the meaning of our lives are disordered, then the way we live in relation to one another, to creation, and to God will be disordered. The disorder of the “internal desert,” as Pope Benedict described it, leads directly to the “external desert” of a world threatened by environmental destruction. So, what is the way out of the desert? Pope Francis reflects on this in the final chapter of his encyclical, which is entitled “Ecological Education and Spirituality.” In this chapter, he outlines a “theology of ecology” (my phrase, not his) to bring our Catholic

December, 2015 w The Courier

“The external deserts in the world are growing, because the internal deserts have become so vast.” - Pope Benedict XVI, “Homily for the Solemn Inauguration of the Petrine Ministry” and Christian teaching, tradition, and spirituality to bear on the contemporary needs and challenges facing us and our world. Creation and Incarnation. Our world, in all its wonder and beauty, reflects its Creator. God, our Creator, is both “one” and “three.” The unity of the “one” and the “three” is found in the communion of the persons of the Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Creation reflects its Creator, who is a Trinity of divine relationships. To honor God’s creation is, then, to recognize and honor our relatedness to God, to one another, and to the entire created world. This is a sacred responsibility. But, the Creator not only loved his creation into being. He became one with it – “And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14). Thus, the matter (or material) of creation becomes a means of embodying and revealing the divine Creator. As Pope Francis writes, “He [God] comes not from above, but from within, he comes that we might find him in this world of ours” (#236). How essential, then, that we honor Christ in the creation he became part of. Sacramental Signs. Our understanding of Creation and Incarnation leads us naturally into our Church’s sacramental celebration. “The universe unfolds in God…. The ideal is not only to pass from the exterior to the interior to discover the action of God in the soul, but also to discover God in all things” (#233). Through our sacramental worship of God, the elements of the natural world – water, oil, fire, touch, bread and wine, etc. – become the transcendent signs of God’s redeeming love. T h e Eucharist is the fullest expression of our sacramental life. Not only did God “ b e c o m e flesh,” he offers his flesh, his body, “as food for his creatures. The Lord, in the culmination

of the mystery of the Incarnation, chose to reach our intimate depths through a fragment of matter…. The Eucharist joins heaven and earth; it embraces and penetrates all creation” (#236). And so, as in the Eucharist, we cannot separate our earthly lives and our home in this world from our eternal lives and our heavenly home. “Ecological Conversion” ~ “Joy and Peace.” Given the foundation of our Church’s teaching regarding Creation and the Incarnation, and given our worship of our Creator through sacramental signs, how should we then live in our common home? We need, in Pope Francis’ words, to develop an “ecological spirituality.” As with any authentic spirituality, conversion is needed. We must first turn away from “compulsive consumerism,” and from “every form of self-centeredness and selfabsorption.” Recognizing our “errors, sins, faults and failures” in this regard, we must then seek and pray for the grace which “leads to heartfelt repentance and desire to change.” And, this conversion must take place both within the individual and within the community. Such a conversion will foster within each of us, and within our communities, “a spirit of generous care, …a recognition that the world is God’s loving gift, and that we are called quietly to imitate his generosity in self-sacrifice and good works, …[and] a loving awareness that we are not disconnected from the rest of creatures, but joined in splendid universal communion” (#220). The fruits of this conversion are most practical in our “daily actions,” as Pope Francis describes them: dressing warmly so as to use less heat; not using disposable dinner ware; conserving our water resources; recycling and reusing items; car-pooling and taking public transportation; planting trees; etc. (#211). Such individual actions must necessarily be accompanied by communal actions (in terms of business practices, civic life, and public policies) that seek to “halt environmental degradation” and “encourage a ‘culture of care’.” Though some “tend to ridicule” such concerns and

actions, and others remain “passive,” Pope Francis states clearly that “living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue” (#217). But, more than this, to choose the path of simplicity and to practice Saint Thérèse’s “little way of love” – i.e., the “simple daily gestures which break with the logic of violence, exploitation and selfishness” (#230) –

Todd Graff Director

is to truly find “the joy of our hope.” Deo Gratias! “Even now we are journeying toward the Sabbath of eternity, the new Jerusalem, toward our common home in heaven…. In the meantime, we come together to take charge of this home which has been entrusted to us, knowing that all the good which exists here will be taken up into the heavenly feast. In union with all creatures, we journey through this land seeking God…. Let us sing as we go. May our struggles and our concern for this planet never take away the joy of our hope.” (Pope Francis, “Laudato Si’ ~ On Care for Our Common Home,” #243, #244)

Catch the "Spirit" by: Mary Alessio, CC Director of Advancement Charities serves the spiritual, mental, and physical need of the diocese. There are many whose lives are made bearable by their services. • Our history with Catholic Charities goes way back, but its most important connection was with your help with our family and the pregnancy of our youngest daughter. She was a student and CC helped us with comfort and support. God bless you for what you do! • My husband had a pretty tough time when his first marriage fell apart. He will always be indebted to Catholic Charities for the counseling and moral support he received after his divorce. He learned a lot about himself and feels he became a better person and subsequently a great husband. (He’s not a Catholic.) • I was left as the sole parent and provider of seven children many years ago. Living on a farm, we had enough to eat, but other necessities of life were harder to provide. Years later I became the beneficiary of a relative’s estate. As a Spirit Circle member I can now help some less fortunate people and give them the boost they need to live a little better. Pope Francis recently told us the Spirit of Christmas is emulating Christ. We’re called to bring God’s love to the poor and marginalized of our time. After reading these comments, I think you’ll agree with me that the mission of Catholic Charities aligns very closely with the spirit of Christmas. The St. Francis prayer reminds us that “it is in giving that we receive.” That reality helps sustain the spirit of Christmas in each one of us every day of the year. We're sending our hopes that you and your family are blessed with the spirit and immense joy of Christmas now and throughout the Holy Year of Mercy! If you would like additional information regarding Catholic Charities Spirit Circle, please email Mary Alessio/Director of Advancement—malessio@ or call 1-507-281-6606.

(L to R) Michael Mass, Catholic Charities; Jaime Renner, Corporation for National and Community Service; Jennifer Halberg, Catholic Charities; Robert Tereba, Catholic Charities; Mary Alessio, Catholic Charities; Sue Degallier, Catholic Charities; Loretta Schlaak, Catholic Charities.

Maplewood, MN— The Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration recognized Robert Tereba, Executive Director of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Winona with the Excellence Award for Executive Leadership at the MAVA Annual Meeting on November 5, 2015. The MAVA Award for Excellence in Leadership was established to reinforce the importance of strong executive leader and volunteer program relationships. The award honors an executive leader who demonstrates cooperative, supportive, enthusiastic and well-defined relationships with the volunteer program. During Bob’s fifteen years of leadership, Catholic Charities has been recognized leader in providing competent, compassionate social services throughout 20 counties in southern Minnesota. Through seven regional and field offices, Catholic Charities provides a wide range of social services, including: Clinical Counseling; Pregnancy, Parenting, and Adoption services; Child Advocacy; Emergency Financial Assistance; Parish and Community Social Action; Common Good Retired and Senior Volunteer Program; Guardian/Conservator Services for Adults; MediAppS (Medication Application Service); and Refugee Resettlement services. While all agency programs benefit greatly from Bob’s encouragement to mobilize volunteers and his ongoing support for volunteerism, Bob added Common Good RSVP to the agencies’ portfolio for this purpose specifically in 2004, directly supporting the agency’s mission which states: “Believing in the sanctity of the human person and the dignity of human life, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Winona works to serve all people and make conditions of our Minnesota heartland more fully human: by calling people to minister to each other, by reaching out to the disabled, the marginalized, the alienated, and the stranger, and by laboring for social justice.” Bob envisioned to improve many lives by mobilizing volunteers for the common good.

Eleven day

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13 Catholic Charities

Are there really people out there who live the true “spirit” of Christmas and hold it in their hearts every day of the year? To shed light on this question, I decided to reach out to a group of individuals who embrace a “spirit” of compassion and great joy—our Spirit Circle donors. I asked what draws them to the mission of Catholic Charities. To my delight, I received numerous emails, notes, and letters. I am honored to share a small sample of what they had to say: • Our family has been touched by the generosity of Catholic Charities. As a father I witnessed the care and love of Catholic Charities and how they uphold the dignity of those they serve. I truly believe in their mission and believe they make a difference in the lives of those in need. My wife and I feel blessed to be in partnership with your work and mission. • Catholic Charities assisted us in successful marriage counseling and four years later helped us with the adoption of our two children. Later, for a period of ten years, we served as foster parents for newborns to give back a little of ourselves to Catholic Charities • When I served my country in Vietnam I witnessed good works done by missionaries, and I feel Catholic Charities does the same work in the U.S. that missionaries do in foreign countries. • I believe in the mission of Catholic Charities. I have relatives who were Catholic Charities clients and I feel they were served well. • Being a Catholic Chaplain within a hospital setting, frequently with those dealing with mental health issues and/or addictions, Catholic Charities is often there for them before and after as they deal with the difficult issues in life. • As senior citizens we are not in need of many of the services of Catholic Charities, but we believe that every dollar given to God comes back to us ten-fold. Catholic

Director Bob Tereba Receives MAVA Award

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508-340-9370 855-842-8001 Carmela Manago Executive Director December, 2015 w The Courier

Action with Prayer

Events in the Diocese


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 December 5, 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 & Public Witness Against Abortion Semcac Clinic is a delegate of Planned Parenthood. Please consider joining to pray from 3-4 p.m. each Tuesday in front of Semcac at 62 E 3rd Street in Winona Contact: Patti Woodworth (507) 429-4636.

homemade cookies and candies; purchase for $6 per pound. St. Francis of Assisi, Rochester Feast of our Lady of Guadalupe:

Please note: submission deadline is the 10th of the month prior to the month of publication. All submissions must be sent electronically on our website: or by emailing: and by the deadline in order to assure receipt and possible inclusion in the Events Calendar. We thank you for understanding that due to space limitations, not all events nor story submissions will fit; however, we strive to include as many as possible. Thank you! - Courier Staff


Parish Events

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 prepriced 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. Immaculate Conception, Kellogg Will host their 14th annual Christmas Cookie Walk on Saturday, December 12 beginning at 9 a.m. Choose from a wide variety of

SUBMISSION for the calendar

St.Adrian Man Joins the Capuchins

Crucifixion, La Crescent Will host Crucifixion Parish's 8th Annual: Christmas Gift and Craft Showcase on December 5. Crucifixion School Auditorium. Craft Fair is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 40+ Vendors, Free Admission, Many Door Prizes, Food and Baked Goods available.

Other Events

Milwaukee, WI (October 29, 2015) -- Michael Dorn, native of Adrian, MN, has joined the postulancy program of the Capuchin Franciscan friars. "As a social worker, I have tried spending my life as a service to others," Michael explains. "After working with folks in recovery from addictions, I knew I was being called to a deeper commitment in my relationship with God and therefore with other people, especially the marginalized. I was blessed to live with the Capuchins for eight months before joining them. It's a life of community, prayer, and action. I now see that I have always had a Franciscan heart." Late last year Michael's second cousin, Capuchin Fr. Rupert Dorn passed to eternal life along with his uncle Glenmary Fr. Jerry Dorn. Michael feels supported by them to carry on the family call to religious life. Michael is providing ministry to the Benedict Center, an interfaith agency that works with victims, offenders and the community to achieve a system of criminal justice that is fair and treats every person involved with dignity and respect. There are currently 175 friars serving in the province. The Capuchin Province of St. Joseph is headquartered in Detroit and serves Capuchin ministries worldwide. www.

"One Holy Family Can Change the World:" "What can I do to make a difference in this world? I am just one person. We are just one, little family." The answer will surprise you. Come hear Theresa Martin speak on December 18, at 7:30 p.m. at St. James Coffee in Rochester; sponsored by the Office of Faith Formation. Traditional Latin Mass One Prayer Service for Life, Sacred Heart, Owatonna January 17, 3 p.m. Prayer Service for Life at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. The 3 p.m. Prayer Service is preceded by a March for Life Mankato, Ss. Peter & Paul, first Saturday of the which begins at 2 p.m. The prayer service is held five days prior to month, 9 a.m. the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal throughout the U.S. This prayer service Wabasha, St. Felix, weekly. Saturday 8 a.m. is open to all who wish to pray for the legal protection of unborn Chatfield, St. Mary's, first and third Sunday of children. the month, 1 p.m. Benedictine Center Issues Call to Artists The Benedictine Center is issuing a call to Minnesota artists to participate in its fifth annual Juried Art Show The Televised Mass planned for January 27 thru March 4. The submission deadline is January 13. Awards totaling $375 will be Offered as a service for the homebound and elderly. Every distributed to the top three winners. Contest rules, Sunday on the following stations: KTTC-TV, Channel 10, guidelines and entry forms, can be found on www. Rochester at 9 a.m. KEYC-TV, Channel 12, Mankato at Click on the Benedictine Center tab and then “Art & Spirituality.” Or call 651-777-7251; 7:30 a.m. Donations for the continuation of this program email: may be sent to: TV Mass, PO Box 588, Winona MN 55987. Hispanic Priests/Sacerdotes Hispanos: Thank you for your donations to the TV Mass

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 Mankato, St. James

Roger Reitmaier, FIC (507) 454-4979

Padre Octavio Cortez IVE: Vicario Parroquial de “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@

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. December, 2015 w The Courier

Padre Luis Alfonso Vargas: Capellán del Decanato de Worthington. 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

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.

Tireless Advocate for Educating the Poor submitted by: Kathy Gatliff


submitted by: Cathy Schleck

as she traveled throughout the country. When she could not return, her speeches to the graduating classes were recorded and posted to YouTube, so the students could receive her blessings. After returning to Rochester, however, her teaching ministry did not end. She began teaching English at Hawthorne Education Center in Rochester. One of her students was a former Colombian soldier receiving treatment at the Mayo Clinic. He had been injured in a blast, resulting in severe facial disfigurement with no eyes. Sister Joseen crafted blocks with letters raised in cording so he could recognize the alphabet by touch. Her tutoring ended in March, 2015, when her health prevented her from continuing with her active schedule of 5 hour days, four days a week at Hawthorne. Cambodians still hold her in reverence as a teacher, a grandmother figure, and a heroine. They held services to pray for her during her illness, and scheduled meetings via Skype to tell her how much they loved her. After learning of her death, they held services in the church she used to attend. The current director of the school in Cambodia, her former student, traveled to visit her and award her with a certificate in these final months. He returned again to attend her funeral on October 28 to pay his final respects, serving as an ambassador for all those who could not attend.

In September 2014 , a group of people gathered at St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Elba to discuss the possibility of replacing the wall in the cemetery, which had been built in 1939. A committee was formed with St. Isidore Catholic United Financial members, parishioners, and family members of the deceased. Their first decision was to replace the deteriorating wall and build a new wall that looked as much like the 1939 wall as possible. In addition, the decision was made to have the angels, crucifix and small altar refurbished and put back in place. In March 2015, letters were sent to 350 potential donors including family members of people buried in the cemetery, people who had purchased burial plots and parish members. Drawings were made of the planned project and placed in the church. The committee chose the building materials, reviewed bids from potential contractors, and chose the contractors for the project. On June 1, 2015, a group of thirteen men took down the 1939 wall and removed the debris. Later in June, the new wall was poured and a stone mason

In the Diocese

Sister Joseen Vogt, a Rochester Franciscan, who died on October 18, 2015, at the age of 93, is being remembered as a tireless advocate for educating the poor. She began her ministry as a science teacher, with degrees in education and biology. In 1974, she started teaching at a girls’ school in Australia. During this time, she had the opportunity to visit Hong Kong. It was there, at a shipyard, where she took a single snapshot that changed the course of her life. Once the photos were developed, in the shipyard photo, she saw a young girl in ragged clothing staring at her, as if to say, “What will you do for me?” From that moment on, she focused on helping to educate the poor and joined the Peace Corps. Her service included 10 years in Sierra Leone assisting with the establishment of teacher training centers in remote villages throughout the country. After that, she traveled to Thailand and taught at a Cambodian refugee camp operated by the Catholic Office of Emergency Relief and Refugee, for those who had escaped the Kymer Rouge’s reign of terror. Later, she moved to Cambodia and began working to establish an English language school, creating all the training materials from scratch. That school opened in 1993, in Battambang, Cambodia, with 120 students. Today, the school has expanded to three sites, educating nearly 5000 students. In 2003, after spending nearly 30 years overseas, Sister Joseen returned to the United States and to Assisi Heights. She made a few visits to Cambodia over the past decade to preside at commencement exercises and to attend ribbon-cutting ceremonies for the new school sites. She was often recognized on the street

Dedication at the St. Aloysius Cemetery

placed field rock on the wall. The words, "BLESSED ARE THE DEAD WHO DIE IN THE LORD" were placed on the back of the wall. The angels and Jesus were re-painted and a new cross was made from steel. They were mounted onto the new wall in late July. During the month of August, the landscaping around the wall was completed. A time capsule was placed in the wall which contains information about the project and St. Aloysius Catholic Church. The plaque over the time capsule reads, "THIS MEMORIAL IS DEDICATED TO THOSE PARISHIONERS, FAMILIES AND FRIENDS OF ST. ALOYSIUS CEMETERY, WITHOUT WHOM THIS MEMORIAL WOULD NOT BE POSSIBLE. 2015." On Sunday, September 13, 2015, the new wall at the cemetery was dedicated at the 10 am mass by Bishop Emeritus Bernard Harrington and Father Kurt Farrell. About 175 people attended this celebration mass. Following the mass, the annual Fall Festival was held at the church.

December, 2015 w The Courier


The Lord is at Hand, cont'd from page 1

clothed me with a robe of salvation, and wrapped me in a mantle of justice" (Is 61:10). The prophet's joyful proclamation is echoed in what St. Paul writes in the passage from his Letter to the Thessalonians we have just heard. Isaiah affirms: "I rejoice heartily in the Lord" (Is 61:10), and Paul exhorts: "Rejoice! The Lord is at hand!" (cf. Phil 4:4-5; 1 Thes 5:16, 23). The Lord Jesus is at hand at every moment of our life. He is at hand if we consider him in the perspective of Christmas, but he is also at hand if we look at him on the banks of the Jordan when he officially receives his messianic mission from the Father; lastly, he is at hand in the perspective of his return at the end of time. Christ is at hand! He comes by virtue of

December, 2015

• The Courier

For All your Christmas Needs come to 529 Main St., La Crosse, WI (Across From The Cathedral) 1-800-433-9162

the Holy Spirit to announce the Good News; he comes to cure and to set free to proclaim a time of grace and salvation, in order to begin, already on the night of Bethlehem, the work of the world's redemption. Let us therefore rejoice and exult! The Lord is at hand; he is coming to save us. Amen!� (n. 5-6)

Deaconate Candidacy Mass

Bishop John M. Quinn joins Msgr. Cook in celebrating the Deaconate Candidcay Mass on September 12. 1st row: Msgr. Cook, Bishop Quinn; 2nd row: Scot Berkley, Michael Zaccariello, Terry Smith, Robert Miller, Bill Keiper; 3rd row: Randy Horlocker, Steven Landsteiner, Scott Schwalbe, Frank Cesario, Kevin Aaker, Jack LaValla. Please pray for the candidates!

Seminarians , cont'd from pg 11 always come up, and also beautiful people come in when you start to think about it. It took a complete year and a half before I finished all of the paper work because the doubts continued. I started to go on some dates during this time and realized that I needed to go to seminary. The doubts are always there, but that is in almost any decision, right? I am here to find out if the doubts are false or true. What spiritual devotion has been most helpful to you as you discerned? And why? Praying with the Gospel everyday because I fluctuate in my moods and God always has the right words to help me stay afloat. Are there people who have been most influential in your life that helped you along the path? Who are they and how did they help you? Two people: the friend that I dated was one of the most influential people in my life and my mother. The girl showed me how to keep committed to everything I do, including my faith, and how there are many ways to love. My mother because she influenced me in that she has always been there, through times of trouble and times of celebration. What advice would you give to a young man or woman considering a vocation to the priesthood or consecrated life? If you have any inkling, talk to your priest. They will help you in any way they know how and will help you seek the right path. I would do it if you are considering because you will grow so much in your faith even if you just try it. Has your outlook changed now that you've finally moved in? In what way? My outlook has changed in that I am not as strong as I thought I was. I mean, it is hard to know fully what you are getting into and God has a way to make you vulnerable. And finally, what do you most look forward to in this upcoming year? I look forward to the connection I will have with God also with my brothers here at the seminary. It will be a year of growth in any way God will bring me.

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