The Courier - February, 2016

Page 1

Special Insert:

Jubilee Year of Mercy



Memorial of Saint Agatha February 5th

February 2016

Official Newspaper of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Winona, MN

Mercy in the M arching for life , Consecrated both near and far Life

Braving subzero temperatures, several faithful from the Owatonna area marched and prayed for a greater respect for life on Sunday, January 17. The marchers made their way from St. Joseph's Church to the Annual Prayer Service for Life, presided over by Bishop Quinn at Sacred Heart Church in Owatonna. Read stories from this year's state and national marches on page 6.

"In my prayer and reflection on these two Years of Grace, what kept flooding my mind was God’s immense love, which is at the forefront of the Consecrated Life, as stated by St. John Paul II in an address to women religious: “You are truly witnesses to Christ's love.” And this same love is shown to all people through God’s mercy." Read the whole story on pg. 4

INSIDE this issue

Stewardship in the New Year

more on page 8

Acts of Mercy this Lent

more on page 2

Catholic School Updates

more on page 9

Pope Francis Watch

The Courier Insider


Pope calls for concrete acts of mercy this Lent

Articles of Interest

Consecrated Life and Mercy_____________________

page 4

Mary, the Joy and Hope of Religious Life____________

page 4

The First Step to Good Communication

page 5


Marching on the State Capitol ____________________

page 6

Crowds Brave Monster Storm ______________

page 6

Stewardship in the New Year ________________

page 8

Year of Mercy Special Insert

after page 8

Accredited Once Again _________________________ page 9 Year of Mercy at Pacelli ________________________ page 9 The Year of Mercy in Rome______________________ page 10 Pope Francis venerates the cross on Good Friday 2015. Credit: L'Osservatore Romano.


Celibacy Is a Gift

page 11

The Human Face of God's Mercy

page 12


page 14


make God irrelevant and reduce man to raw material to in which she “prophetically sings of the mercy whereby be exploited.” God chose her,” the Pope recounts. In his 2016 Lenten message, Pope Francis called the The Pope went on to explain how the illusion can He describes Mary as the “perfect icon of the Church faithful to place special emphasis on the spiritual and link back to the “idolatry of money,” leading to a lack of which evangelizes, for she was, and continues to be, corporal works of mercy this Lent, taking into account the concern for the poor “on the part of wealthier individuals evangelized by the Holy Spirit, who made her virginal current Jubilee Year of Mercy. and societies.” womb fruitful.” “God’s mercy transforms human hearts; it enables “They close their doors, refusing even to see the Pope Francis then reflected on the history of mercy us, through the experience of a faithful love, to become poor,” he said. as seen in the covenant between God and the people of merciful in turn,” the Pope wrote in the short document, “For all of us, then, the season of Lent in this Jubilee Israel. released Tuesday by the Vatican. Year is a favourable time to overcome our existential “God shows himself ever rich in mercy, ever ready to The spiritual and corporal works of mercy, the pontiff alienation by listening to God’s word and by practising treat his people with deep tenderness and compassion, said, “remind us that faith finds expression in concrete the works of mercy.” especially at those tragic moments when infidelity everyday actions meant to help our neighbours in body Pope Francis stressed that “the corporal and spiritual ruptures the bond of the covenant, which then needs to and spirit: by feeding, visiting, comforting and instructing works of mercy must never be separated.” be ratified more firmly in justice and truth,” he said. them.” “By touching the flesh of the crucified Jesus in the “Here is a true love story, in which God plays the role “On such things will we be judged,” he said. suffering, sinners can receive the gift of realizing that of the betrayed father and husband, while Israel plays the The title of this year's message was drawn from the they too are poor and in need,” he said. unfaithful child and bride.” Gospel of Matthew: “I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,” “This love alone is the answer to that yearning for “This love story culminates in the incarnation of God's and has the subtitle: “The works of mercy on the road of infinite happiness and love that we think we can satisfy Son,” who the Father has made “mercy incarnate,” the the Jubilee.” with the idols of knowledge, power and riches.” Pope said, citing the Jubilee Bull of Induction. In the message, signed the Feast of St. Francis of The Pope warned against constantly refusing “to “As the Son of God, he is the Bridegroom who does Assisi, Oct. 4 2015, the Pope said those who are truly open the doors of their hearts to Christ who knocks on everything to win over the love of his bride, to whom he poor are the ones who believe themselves to be rich. them in the poor,” as such consistent refusal on the part is bound by an unconditional love which becomes visible “This is because they are slaves to sin, which leads of the “proud, rich and powerful” leads to condemnation. in the eternal wedding feast.” them to use wealth and power not for the service of God This year's Lent will begin Feb 10 with Ash Wednesday, Pope Francis reflected how it is through mercy that and others, but to stifle within their hearts the profound when the Church will send out “Missionaries of Mercy” God restores his relationship with the sinner. sense that they too are only poor beggars,” he said. – priests with the faculties to pardon sins in cases “In Jesus crucified, God shows his desire to draw near “The greater their power and wealth, the more this otherwise reserved for the Holy See – as part of the to sinners, however far they may have strayed from him. blindness and deception can grow,” he said. Jubilee Year. In this way he hopes to soften the hardened heart of his Pope Francis recounted the parable of the poor man In the opening section of the message, Pope Francis Bride.” Lazarus who would beg at the door of the rich man. centered his reflection on Mary as the image of the Pope Francis concluded the message by calling on Lazarus represents Christ, the Pope said, and therefore Church's evangelization, “because she is evangelized." Mary's intercession during the upcoming Season of Lent. “the possibility of conversion which God offers us and The Pope began by reiterating the call for mercy to be “Let us not waste this season of Lent, so favourable a which we may well fail to see.” celebrated and experienced in a particular way this Lent, time for conversion!” This blindness “is often accompanied by the proud citing the Bull of Indiction for the Jubilee Year of Mercy. illusion of our own omnipotence,” he observed. “The mercy of God is a proclamation made Such an illusion can take “social and political forms,” to the world, a proclamation which each Child Abuse Policy he explained, citing as examples the “totalitarian systems Christian is called to experience at first hand,” of the twentieth century.” he said. Diocese of Winona - Child Sexual Abuse Policy In modern times, this illusion is seen in “the ideologies After receiving the “Good News” from the Information of monopolizing thought and technoscience, which would angel Gabriel, Mary proclaims the Magnificat The Diocese of Winona will provide a prompt, appropriate and compassionate response to reporters of sexual abuse of a child by any diocesan agent (employees, volunteers, vendors, religious The Courier is the Official Publication of the Diocese of Winona or clergy). Anyone wishing to make a report of an allegation of 55 West Sanborn, P.O. Box 588, Winona, MN 55987 sexual abuse should call the Victim Assistance Coordinator at 507Vol 107 - 02 454-2270, Extension 255. A caller will be asked to provide his or her name and telephone number. Individuals are also encouraged Most Reverend John M. Quinn, Publisher to take their reports directly to civil authorities. The Diocese of Bryan Rodriguez and Nick Reller, Associate Editors Winona is committed to protecting children, young people and Monica Herman, Editor other vulnerable people in our schools, parishes and ministries. The diocesan policy is available on the diocesan web site at www.dow. Telephone: 507-454-4643 Fax:507-454-8106 E-mail: org under the Safe Environment Program. If you have any questions Subscription Rates: $5 per year in the U.S. Parishioners in the Winona Diocese subscribe through their parish. about the Diocese of Winona’s implementation of the Charter for Periodicals postage paid at Madelia, MN Postmaster. (ISSN 0744-5490) the Protection of Children and Young People, please contact Peter Publishing Schedule: Monthly - Deadline for advertising & articles is the 10th of the month prior. Martin, at 507-858-1264, or (ISSN 0744-5490) February, 2016 w The Courier

A Time of Preparation Ash Wednesday

Rejoice in Hope Bishop John M. Quinn fasted for 40 days and 40 nights in order to grow in holiness. As we abstain, or “give up” things, we make room for another essential component of our Lenten journey: prayer. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the highest form of prayer, and I encourage people to make a special effort to attend daily Mass during Lent.

March for Life I was so pleased that we had pilgrims from the Diocese of Winona attend both the national March for Life in D.C. as well as the statewide March for Life in St. Paul at the end of January, on the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade. They gathered to join thousands from all across the State of Minnesota and across the nation who were there to stand up for the dignity of every human life, which begins at the moment of conception. They stood in loving witness to the lives of more than 58 million unborn children who have been aborted since the legalization of abortion in 1973. I am deeply moved by stories of all

the young people, especially those from the Diocese of Winona, who stand up for life and are willing to bring their faith out into the world. I want to thank Peter Martin, our diocesan Director of the Office of Life, Marriage & Family, and Ben Frost, our diocesan Director of Youth and Young Adults, who organized and led the pilgrimage from our diocese to Washington, D.C. It is so important to have the courage to bring our faith out into the world even knowing there may be resistance. We hope you will join us next year!

World Day for Consecrated Life World Day for Consecrated Life is February 2. In 1997, Pope Saint John Paul II instituted a day of prayer for women and men in consecrated life. This celebration is attached to the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord on February 2nd. This Feast is also known as Candlemas Day, the day on which candles are blessed to symbolize Christ who is the light of the world. So too, those in consecrated life are called to reflect the light of Jesus Christ to all peoples. The celebration of World Day for Consecrated Life is transferred to the following Sunday in order to highlight the gift of consecrated persons for the whole Church. The Diocese of Winona is greatly enriched by the presence, love and work of so many consecrated brothers and sisters. I am also so pleased to see the number of our parishioners who are in formation for Consecrated Life (you can see their photos on the back page of this issue). Please pray for all those who have made commitments in the consecrated life, and be sure to thank them on their special day. May they continue to be inspired by Jesus Christ and respond

generously to God's gift of their vocation.

Catholic Schools National Catholic Schools Week is the annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States. It starts the last Sunday in January and runs all week (January 31 February 6 this year). The theme for National Catholic Schools Week 2016 is “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.” Schools typically observe the annual celebration week with Masses, open houses and other activities for students, families, parishioners and community members. Through these events, schools focus on the value Catholic education provides to young people and its contributions to our church, our communities and our nation. The Diocese of Winona is truly fortunate to have 22 elementary schools, 4 high schools, many preschool programs attached to a school and 4 separate preschool programs. Many of them will have special programs in observance of Catholic Schools Week. Watch for the announcements of events in your area and join with students, parents and staff to participate in Catholic Schools Week. I have a great passion for our Catholic schools. I believe they are the most effective method for communicating the faith to the next generation and showing them how to live the faith. Catholic schools have high academic standards and they graduate students who are prepared to be active, positive and contributing members of their communities. Thank you for your support of our schools. From pre-school to graduate school, I believe our qualified and gifted educators and staff offer the best educational opportunities available anywhere in the diocese. For most, it requires

a significant sacrifice to send children to private school, especially in a difficult economy like today. Through a scholarship from the Diocese of Winona Foundation Seeds of Faith Tuition Assistance Fund, sending your child to one of our many schools may be more realistic than you think. Please inquire at your local school as to who is eligible and how to apply.

Pastoral Planning: Vision 2016

3 From the Bishop

The season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 10, as a time of preparation for the Feast of Easter. The reasons are taken from St. Matthew’s Gospel and the Book of Joel and call us to free our lives from the attachments of sin and renew our lives in holiness through fasting, prayer and almsgiving. We fast to imitate Christ as He

I hope you will consider doing this. By letting the Lord Jesus come into your heart in the Eucharist you will surely change in ways that will amaze you. Of course, there are many other ways we can pray; we can make the Stations of the Cross, spend an hour in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at any of our Perpetual Adoration chapels in the diocese, pray the Divine Office, or join a Lenten study or prayer group. Time spent in prayer will allow Christ the opportunity to reveal Himself as our Lord and Savior. Lent is also a special time of almsgiving, which means supporting the Church and the poor financially, as well as with our time and talents. There are countless ways we can show love of neighbor in our parishes and communities. Through almsgiving, we grow in the virtue of poverty by becoming less attached to things. My prayer for you is that during this Lenten journey, you will find time for silence and prayer “in the desert” to conform your will to the will of the Father, so that you too can say, “Not my will, but Thy will be done.”

I want to extend my sincere gratitude for everyone who has been participating in the Pastoral Planning meetings and sessions. Especially to those of you in parishes that will undergo change, I know that there has been a great amount of effort on your part to work with the planning committee. Thank you. We walk through this process step by step together. Let us continue to pray for the gifts of wisdom, courage and hope. Under the protection of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, our Mother, may we discern what is best for the diocesan church and all the faithful of southern Minnesota. We walk forward together in hope!

Most Rev. John M. Quinn Bishop of Winona

Bishop's Calendar February 1, Monday 1:00 pm – Mass – St. Mary's Parish School, Caledonia

February 8, Monday 4:00 pm – Board of Trustees – Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit

Meeting 4:45 pm – Vespers and Mass – IHM Seminary, Winona

February 2, Tuesday 11:00 am – Mass for Consecrated Life – IHM Seminary, Winona

February 10, Wednesday 7:00 pm – Ash Wednesday Mass – Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Winona

February 18, Thursday Ordination and Installation of Most Rev. James Powers, Diocese of Superior, WI

February 12, Friday 7:45 am – Teach at St. Mary's University

February 19, Friday 7:45 am – Teach at St. Mary's University

February 13, Saturday 1:00 pm – RCIA Rite of Election – Resurrection Church, Rochester 4:30 pm – Mass for World Day of the Sick – St. Mary Hospital Chapel, Rochester February 14, Sunday 3:00 pm – RCIA Rite of Election – St. Mary Church, Worthington

February 21, Sunday 10:00 am -- Mass -- St. Charles Borromeo Church, St. Charles 11:30 am -- Spanish Mass -- St. Charles Borromeo Church, St. Charles

February 3, Wednesday 9:30 am – Mass – Loyola Schools, Mankato February 4, Thursday 10:00 am – Mass – Rochester Catholic Schools – Lourdes High School, Rochester February 5, Friday 7:45 am – Teach at St. Mary's University 10:30 am – Mass – Winona Area Catholic Schools and Cotter – St. Stanislaus Kostka Basilica, Winona February 6, Saturday 6:00 pm – Winona Area Catholic Schools Gala – Signatures Restaurant & Event Center, Winona

February 16, Tuesday 11:00 am – Presbyteral Council – Albert Lea February 17, Wednesday 9:30 am – Holy Hour 10:30 am – College of Consultors

February 23, Tuesday 11:00 am – Holy Hour 12:00 pm – Deans Meeting – Albert Lea February 24, Wednesday 10:00 am – IHM Finance Council 2:30 pm – Holy Hour for Vocations February 27, Saturday 7:00 pm -- Guest Speaker -- Divine

Mercy Conference of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul -- Faribault February 28, Sunday 10:00 am – Mass – St. Mary of the Lake, Lake City 6:00 pm -- Mass -- Holy Spirit Church, Rochester February 29, Monday 7:00 pm -- Visit Sprecial Religious Education -- Lourdes High School, Rochester March 3, Thursday 8:30 am -- Winona Radio Live Lenten Message 11:00 am -- Anointing Mass at St. Anne Extended Health Care -- Winona 5:30 pm -- Bio-Ethics Committee Meeting -- Rochester March 4, Friday 7:45 am – Teach at St. Mary's University 2:00 pm – Bless St. Benedict Memory Unit – Madonna Towers, Rochester 3:00 pm – Bless new Benedictine retirement facility - Byron

February, 2016 w The Courier


The Convergence Life and the Year

Faith Formation

This February 2 concludes the Year of Consecrated Life. Because the Year of Mercy and the Year of Consecrated Life overlap, I was recently asked how the two are related. For Religious Sisters of Mercy, this relationship—contained in the title of our institute—should be obvious. But there is so much to consider! I do not have an official explanation from the Holy Father, but I certainly have one from my heart. In my prayer and reflection on these two Years of Grace, what kept flooding my mind was God’s immense love, which is at the forefront of the Consecrated Life, as stated by St. John Paul II in an address to women religious: “You are truly witnesses to Christ's love.” And this same love is shown to all people through God’s mercy. The immensity of this love is incomprehensible, and

of the Year of of Mercy

it is most evident in the mercy God has shown us through His Son. As Pope Francis states in Misericordiae Vultus (The Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy), “In short, the mercy of God is not an abstract idea, but a concrete reality with which he reveals his love as of that of a father or a mother, moved to the very

Credit: El Pueblo Catolico/James Baca


depths out of love for their child.” As consecrated men and women, we are called to bask in the radiance of God’s mercy and then to show that mercy to everyone we encounter. In this Jubilee Year, all the faithful have been reminded of our call to show God’s mercy, but we must first receive that mercy ourselves. Only when our hearts have been touched and enveloped by the love of God, and only when we ponder the extent to which He will go to win our hearts—only then can we exude such love and mercy to others. I think it comes down to a statement from St. John Paul II in his encyclical Vita Consecrata: “Those who let themselves be seized by this love cannot help abandoning everything to follow him” (18). So, how are these Years of Grace related? Those called to the Consecrated Life live as witnesses to the transforming power of God’s love and mercy,

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

"In this Jubilee Year, all the faithful have been reminded of our call to show God’s mercy, but we must first receive

that mercy ourselves."

but this is not something that is limited to only those who are consecrated to the Lord. Hopefully throughout this Year of Mercy, all the faithful will come to understand the love of Christ and the transforming power of His mercy. We need only submit ourselves to His will; for His plan is greater than any plan we could have for ourselves!

Mary, the Joy and Hope of Religious Life By SISTER MARY RAPHAEL, RSM

It is especially in Mary, Mother of God and Mother of the Church, that religious life comes to understand itself most deeply and finds its sign of certain hope. She, who was conceived immaculate because she was called from among God’s people to bear God himself most intimately and to give him to the world, was consecrated totally by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit….She is the Mother of religious in being Mother of him who was consecrated and sent, and in her fiat and magnificat religious life finds the totality of its surrender to and the thrill of its joy in the consecratory action of God. (“Essential Elements of Religious Life”, #53) Mary was consecrated from before her birth–conceived without sin–to prepare her for her vocation as Mother of God, Theotokos, Ark of the New Covenant. In her ready acceptance of her vocation—“Behold, the handmaid of the Lord”—and the joyful alacrity of her mission of mercy to Elizabeth, we see a template for religious life at its core: love, devotion, faith in God’s unfailing care. We see also a model for the vowed life of poverty, chastity and obedience. Mary’s life as a model for religious life is further demonstrated in the following quotation from St. John Paul II’s Redemptionis Donum: How poor she was on Bethlehem night and how poor February, 2016 w The Courier

on Calvary! How obedient she was at the moment of the Annunciation and then—at the foot of the Cross—even assenting to the death of her Son, who becomes obedient “unto death”! How dedicated she was in all her earthly life to the cause of the Kingdom of Heaven through most chaste love! (“Redemptionis Donum”, # 17) A deepening relationship with Mary is a great aid to all religious men and women. We need her as our Mother, our sister, our friend and our advocate before her Son as we strive to “bear God” more generously in our missions. This we can share in common with our brothers and sisters in every state of life! A religious sister once said to me, “If you want a relationship with Our Lady, just ask her!” I have found this to be true. Just ask her! She is our Mother. She will help us become closer to her, and through such closeness, we will become closer to her Son.

"A religious sister once said to me, 'If you want a relationship with Our Lady, just ask her!' I have found this to be true."

What's the first step to good communication? Listening, Pope says

Pope Francis greets pilgrims during his general audience June 24, 2015. Credit: Daniel Ibañez/CNA. Vatican City, Jan 22, 2016 / 05:53 am (CNA/EWTN News).- by Elise Harris

For Pope Francis, the ability to listen is the first requirement for good communication, which is something he said should never exclude, but must provide an encounter rooted in mercy and welcome. “We must first listen. Communicating means sharing, and sharing demands listening and acceptance,” the Pope has said, adding that to listen “is much more than simply hearing.” Hearing, he said, is about “receiving information, while listening is about communication, and calls for closeness. Listening allows us to get things right, and not simply to be passive onlookers, users or consumers.” Francis noted that really listening to someone “is never easy,” and that many times “it is easier to play deaf.” To listen requires “a sort of martyrdom or self-sacrifice,” because it means “paying attention, wanting to understand, to value, to respect and to ponder what the other person says,” he continued. “Knowing how to listen is an immense grace, it is a gift which we need to ask for and then make every effort to practice.” Francis’ words were part of his message for the 50th World Day of Social Communications.

Announced Sept. 29, 2015, the theme of the message is “Communication and Mercy: A Fruitful Encounter.” World Communications Day takes place each year on the Sunday before Pentecost, and is the only worldwide celebration called for by the Second Vatican Council in the 1963 document Inter Mirifica. This year the day will be celebrated May 8. The Pope traditionally releases a message for the day on the feast of St. Francis de Sales, patron saint of writers, journalists and the Catholic press. In his message, Pope Francis stressed that both what we say and how we say it “ought to express God’s compassion, tenderness and forgiveness for all. Love, by its nature, is communication; it leads to openness and sharing.” He said we are called to communicate with everyone “without exception,” adding that the Church has a special task, in her words and actions, of conveying mercy and touching people’s hearts. Communication also has the power to build bridges between both individuals and groups, as well as foster an environment of inclusion in society, he said, explaining that this is possible in both the material and the digital world.

“Our words and actions should be such as to help us all escape the vicious circles of condemnation and vengeance which continue to ensnare individuals and nations, encouraging expressions of hatred.” Words spoken by Christians, even in the cases when “they must firmly condemn evil,” must always encourage communion, and “should never try to rupture relationships and communication.” Francis also offered his thoughts on the language used in political and diplomatic discourse, saying it would “do well to be inspired by mercy, which never loses hope.” He urged those with institutional and political power, as well as those responsible for forming public opinion, to always be attentive to the way they speak to others who think and act differently, and to those who have made mistakes. “It is easy to yield to the temptation to exploit such situations to stoke the flames of mistrust, fear and hatred,” the Pope said, explaining that courage is needed “to guide people towards processes of reconciliation.” He also expressed his hope that the language of the Church’s pastors would never suggest an attitude of “prideful and triumphant superiority over an enemy, or demean


those whom the world considers lost and easily discarded.” “I would like to invite all people of good will to rediscover the power of mercy to heal wounded relationships and to restore peace and harmony to families and communities,” Pope Francis said. The Pope expressed his hope that modes of communicating would help overcome the rigid mindset that segregates sinners from the righteous. While “we can and we must judge situations of sin – such as violence, corruption and exploitation,” we must never “judge individuals, since only God can see into the depths of their hearts,” he said. It is our task to admonish those who err and to denounce the evil and injustice of certain ways of acting, for the sake of setting victims free and raising up those who have fallen,” Francis observed, but stressed that only words “spoken with love and accompanied by meekness and mercy can touch our sinful hearts.” Turning to the digital world, Francis said that emails, text messages, social networks and chats can all be very human ways of communicating. “It is not technology which determines whether or not communication is authentic, but rather the human heart and our capacity to use wisely the means at our disposal,” he said, noting that digital communication is a meeting place where we can either encourage or demean each other. He said that the internet “can help us to be better citizens,” and that access to digital networks is coupled by a responsibility for our neighbor, “whom we do not see but who is nonetheless real and has a dignity which must be respected.” Pope Francis closed his message by emphasizing that the encounter between communication and mercy will only be fruitful if it generates a sense of closeness that cares, comforts, accompanies and celebrates the other. “In a broken, fragmented and polarized world, to communicate with mercy means to help create a healthy, free and fraternal closeness between the children of God and all our brothers and sisters in the one human family.” February, 2016 w The Courier

March for Life draws successful pilgrimage 6 Life, Marriage & Family

On Wednesday, January 20th, a busload of students, their chaperones and a few priests hit the road for the annual March for Life Pilgrimage to Washington, D.C. What would possess almost 50 people to cram into a bus and travel across country for almost 24 hours straight? Their heartfelt desire to be a voice for the voiceless! Since 1974, the first anniversary of Roe v. Wade, people have made their way out to Washington, D.C. to peacefully protest the landmark decision that legalized abortion of innocent children, a decision that has taken the lives of over 58 million babies in America. The Diocese of Winona has been organizing the pilgrimage for several years. The Office of Life, Marriage & Family and the Office of Youth and Young Adults welcome the opportunity to be present among the hundreds of thousands of youth from all over the country. “I only wish we could take more people each year,” says Peter Martin, Director of the Office of Life, Marriage & Family. “Being there is proof that our nation is a Pro-Life nation!” Ben Frost, Director of the Office of Youth and Young Adults, says, “It’s incredible to see the youth show up to this

event. It is proof that it’s only a matter of time before we overturn Roe v. Wade. The youth of today recognize the destruction of abortion, not only to the preborn child, but to the mother, the father and the siblings!” As in any pilgrimage, prayer plays a central part. “We prayed a novena together, rosaries, morning prayer, but most importantly, we all celebrated the Eucharist together,” said one young participant. Another shared, “My favorite part of the whole pilgrimage was when we were kneeling down in Eucharistic Adoration with thousands of other youth…I prayed so fervently for the women who feel like they have no other option and I prayed for the doctor in a way that I never have in the past.” Even though the bus ride can be quite a sacrifice, the participants were encouraged to offer that sacrifice up for the babies. “It was my first time going, and my friends finally convinced me to go. I’m so glad they did! What an amazing experience! I’m definitely going again next year!” It can be frustrating to realize that this was the 43rd March for Life, but there is no doubt that great strides have been made in the Pro-Life Movement. We beg everyone to join us to continually pray for a greater respect for all human life and, specifically, that Roe v. Wade will be reversed and a Culture of Life will once again become a part of the fabric of the United States of America!

Peter Martin, STL Director

Massive crowds brave monster storm at March for Life Washington D.C., Jan 22, 2016 / 01:36 pm (CNA/EWTN News).Despite weather forecasts calling for what might end up being the worst blizzard in over a century, tens of thousands flooded the nation’s capital Friday to support the dignity of life. Rosalie Rwamakuba, a 20-year-old woman from upstate New York, told CNA that she wants “to march for those who can’t.” “I’ve been wanting to come on the March for Life for a long time. I think it is a really important cause, because the value of life is nothing nowadays,” she said. “I think we should take a stand.” “All life, no matter how conceived, or how the child comes out, is valuable. We’re all unique. There’s never going to be anyone like you, there never was anyone like you.” Eighteen-year-old Benjamin Swanson traveled from Nebraska to attend the march because he wanted to fight the complacency that so many people have toward abortion. He recalled how a girl in his sophomore high school class left early for Christmas break. When she came back and people asked where she had been, she casually responded that she had gotten an abortion. “It just shocked me how … it didn’t even phase people that she was gone having an abortion. It was almost just like she was getting her wisdom teeth or tonsils out,” Swanson said. “The reason why I march is really because I don’t want abortion to become a norm … I don’t want to have any unborn child not have their story told. Everyone deserves a chance to live.” He also noted the importance of supporting women in difficult pregnancies. When his sister got

We are excited to highlight one of our keynote speakers for the Men’s Conference. Peter Herbeck is the vice president and director of missions for Renewal Ministries of Ann Arbor, Michigan. He has been actively involved in evangelization and Catholic renewal throughout the US, Canada, Africa, and Eastern Europe for more than thirty years. Peter is a co-host for the weekly EWTN television programs The Choices We Face and Crossing the Goal. He also hosts the daily radio show Fire on the Earth. He is a frequent conference speaker, has authored When the Spirit Comes in Power and When the Spirit Speaks, and has produced CDs and booklets about discipleship and life in the Spirit. Peter holds a B.A. in Philosophy from St. Thomas University in St. Paul, Minnesota and an M.A. in Theology from Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit, Michigan. Peter and his wife Debbie have four children and live in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Rochester and Mankato February 10 - March 20 Sign up for vigil hours at

some groups to cancel their trips this year. Nonetheless, huge crowds spilled out across the National Mall as thousands upon thousands of marchers – primarily young people – braved the blizzard to show their support for life. Patrick Koehr, a sophomore at the University of Notre Dame, serves on the school’s March for Life Commission and was planning to lead a group of over 800 students – the largest yet, he said. However, the Pilgrims from the Diocese of Winona attend a youth rally and administration was concerned about Mass for Life before joining the March for Life in Washington. liability with the blizzard warning, and the pregnant her first semester of college, their anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision trip ended up getting aunt kicked her out of the house, he said. Had that legalized abortion throughout the councanceled.“But I’ve been in the march every she not had a support system, “she probably try. In recent years, estimated attendance at year of my life – including when I was a fetus – wouldn’t have chosen to keep her baby and I the march has ranged from 250,000 to more so I couldn’t miss it,” Koehr told CNA. Instead wouldn’t have my nephew.” than half a million. he drove down to D.C. with a few friends to Held every year on or around Jan. 22, the Weather forecasts of up to 30 inches of attend. March for Life in Washington, D.C., marks the snow beginning the day of the march forced Massive Crowds, cont'd on page 15


Life, Marriage & Family

Meanwhile, in St. Paul... Students from Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona (above) and St. Mary's School in Owatonna (right) composed just a fraction of the Catholic faithful who represented the Diocese of Winona at the Minnesota Sate Capitol on January 22 for the 42nd annual MCCL March for Life. The march, organized by Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, coincides with marches across the country each year to promote the protection of the unborn. This year marks the 43rd anniversary of the US Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision to legalize abortion.

February, 2016 w The Courier


Stewardship in the New Year:

Making Commitments to the Lord

Monica Herman Director


Reprinted with permission from the International Catholic Stewardship Council.

Stewardship is a commitment of mind and heart to the Lord; a way of life that needs constant renewal and transformation. This time of year has always been one of looking forward to a new year, reflecting on the changes we need to make in our lives and resolving to follow through on those changes. Perhaps those who seek to make resolutions to be better stewards might find inspiration in one or more of the following examples: Stewardship of Prayer: Resolve to

strengthen your relationship with the Lord through prayer. Notice how often you pray and what hinders you from praying. If you are a beginner, commit to short, daily prayer times.

Stewardship of Family: Resolve to set

aside more time to stay connected with your family. Eat dinner together, schedule regular dates with your spouse, plan family outings, and go to Mass together. Practice patience and forgiveness.

Photo Credit: CNA

Stewardship of the Parish Family:

Resolve to serve your faith community in some way this year such as at liturgy, in the parish’s outreach or education and formation efforts. Is it time to enhance your generosity to the parish?

Stewardship of Money: Resolve to ren-

der sacred your annual budget. Reprioritize your financial goals to ensure that the Lord comes first in your spending. Take positive steps to improve your financial health.

Stewardship of Work: Resolve to be

faithful to your daily, work-related tasks and offer them up to the Lord. Cultivate your skills. Deepen your knowledge. Be mindful of how you are building the Kingdom of God.

Stewardship of Mind: Resolve to keep

your mind active. Commit to being more informed on the issues of the day. Read your Bible. In this presidential election year in the United States, become even more familiar with Catholic social teaching.

those medical and dental checkups. Adopt healthier eating habits. Add exercise and other physical activity to your daily routine.

Stewardship of Neighbor: Resolve to be a person of hospitality and mercy. Make time and space for others who enter your life. Be more aware of those times when a neighbor, co-worker, fellow parishioner or stranger, needs a moment of kindness, a little attention or an affirming gesture on your part.

Stewardship of Possessions: Resolve

Stewardship of the Poor: Resolve to

Photo Credit: CNA

Stewardship of Health: Resolve to get

to possess a little more “lightly” this year. Consider ways you can reduce the amount of all that stuff you own. Distinguish between those items that are necessary and those that are considered luxurious and unnecessary. February, 2016 w The Courier

live with more compassion and in solidarity with those less fortunate. Remember the poor in prayer, and commit to helping relieve in some way the plight of those who are impoverished or marginalized.

Thank you to all of those

who supported the Catholic Ministries Appeal for 2015! The Catholic Ministries Appeal for 2016 will launch during the weekend of April 3rd. A few parishes have elected to start a little earlier, and some a little later.

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

EnCourage -- a ministry dedicated

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

Jubilee Year


"Hail Mother of Mercy... Mother of Forgiveness"

M e rcy

Special Insert - February, 2016


Homily by His Holiness, Pope Francis, on the Solemnity of Mary

January 1, 2016—Basilica of St. Mary Major

“Salve, Mater Misericordiae!" With this invocation we turn to the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Roman Basilica dedicated to her under the title of Mother of God. It is the first line of an ancient hymn which we will sing at the conclusion of this Holy Eucharist. Composed by an unknown author, it has come down to us as a heartfelt prayer spontaneously rising up from the hearts of the faithful: “Hail Mother of mercy, Mother of God, Mother of forgiveness, Mother of hope, Mother of grace and Mother full of holy gladness." In these few words we find a summary of the faith of generations of men and women who, with their eyes fixed firmly on the icon of the Blessed Virgin, have sought her intercession and consolation. It is most fitting that on this day we invoke the Blessed Virgin Mary above all as Mother of mercy. The door we have opened is, in fact, a Door of Mercy. Those who cross its threshold are called to enter into the merciful love of the Father with complete trust and freedom from fear; they can leave this Basilica knowing – truly knowing – that Mary is ever at their side. She is the Mother of mercy, because she bore in her womb the very Face of divine mercy, Jesus, Emmanuel, the Expectation of the nations, the “Prince of Peace” (Is 9:5). The Son of God, made incarnate for our salvation, has given us his Mother, who joins us on our pilgrimage through this life, so that we may never be left alone, especially at times of trouble and uncertainty. Mary is the Mother of God, she is the Mother of God who forgives, who bestows forgiveness, and so we can rightly call her Mother of forgiveness. This word – “forgiveness” – so misunderstood in today’s world, points to the new and original fruit of Christian faith. A person unable to forgive has not yet known the fullness of love. Only one who truly loves is able to forgive and forget. At the foot of the Cross, Mary sees her Son offer himself totally, showing us what it means to love as God loves. At that moment she heard Jesus utter words which probably reflected what he had learned from her as a child: “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Lk 23:24). At that moment, Mary became for all of us the Mother of forgiveness. Following Jesus’ example and by his grace, she

herself could forgive those who killed her innocent Son. For us, Mary is an icon of how the Church must offer forgiveness to those who seek it. The Mother of forgiveness teaches the Church that the forgiveness granted on Golgotha knows no limits. Neither the law with its quibbles, nor the wisdom of this world with its distinctions, can hold it back. The Church’s forgiveness must be every bit as broad as that offered by Jesus on the Cross and by Mary at his feet. There is no other way…. Let us, then, pass through the Holy Door of Mercy knowing that at our side is the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Holy Mother of God, who intercedes for us. Let us allow her to lead us to the rediscovery of the beauty of an encounter with her Son Jesus. Let us open wide the doors of our heart to the joy of forgiveness, conscious that we have been given new confidence and hope, and thus make our daily lives a humble instrument of God’s love.”

Opening Our Hearts to Works of Mercy

read more on page 2

Events for the Year of Mercy

read more on page 3

Pilgrimage Parish Profile Since the Jubilee Year of 1500, Holy Doors have been opened at all four of the Major Basilicas in Rome. The Basilica of Saint Mary Major is one of the oldest churches dedicated to the Mother of God, and the largest in the world. So it was particularly appropriate that the Pope chose the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God to open its Holy Door for this Jubilee Year. read more on page 4

(Photo Credit: CNA)

Stewards of God's Mercy Leisa Anslinger Co-director, Catholic Life and Faith group

Have you ever noticed that we begin every celebration of the Eucharist with a penitential rite? After our opening song, which helps to gather us as a community in worship, we immediately ask for forgiveness for the ways in which we may have sinned since the last time we were together. When we think about it, this is an appropriate way to begin Mass, with an acknowledgement that we often miss the mark as Christian disciples. Doing so frees our hearts and minds to be open to all that we will hear and do throughout the liturgy. What we may miss, however, is that when we pray, “Lord, have mercy,” we are as much declaring that God is a God of mercy as we are asking for that mercy for ourselves. This perfect start to our celebration, therefore, celebrates and

places us in the presence of our merciful God. In announcing this Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, Pope Francis says that “we are called to gaze even more attentively on mercy so that we may become a more effective sign of the Father’s action in our lives.” (Misericordiae Vultus, #3) The first step in growing as people of mercy is to recognize that we are in need of mercy ourselves. Like beginning Mass with a penitential rite, our spiritual growth begins with an acknowledgement that we are broken, sinful people, not to dwell unnecessarily on our failings, but rather to celebrate the salvation which is offered through Jesus Christ, to which we are called to witness. At this beginning of the year of our Lord, 2016, let us resolve to grow as stewards of God’s mercy in the coming year. The good steward is attentive to the many blessings he

Stewards, cont'd on next page


O p e n i n g O u r H e a rt s to t h e W o r k s o f M e rcy

Jubilee Year of Mercy

Visit the Sick ~ Instruct the Ignorant

"It is my burning desire that, during this Jubilee, the Christian people may reflect on the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. It will be a way to reawaken our conscience, too often grown dull in the face of poverty. And let us enter more deeply into the heart of the Gospel where the poor have a special experience of God’s mercy." -Pope Francis, Vultus, #15



The Corporal Works of Mercy are found in the teachings of Jesus and give us a model for how we should treat all others, as if they were Christ in disguise. They "are charitable actions by which we help our neighbors in their bodily needs" (U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults). They respond to the basic needs of humanity as we journey together through this life.

The Spiritual Works of Mercy have long been a part of the Christian tradition, appearing in the works of theologians and spiritual writers throughout history. Just as Jesus attended to the spiritual well-being of those he ministered to, these Spiritual Works of Mercy guide us to "help our neighbor in their spiritual needs" (U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults).

Visit the Sick

Instruct the Ignorant

Those who are sick are often forgotten or avoided. In spite of their illness, these individuals still have much to offer to those who take the time to visit and comfort them. • Give blood • Spend time volunteering at a nursing home – Get creative and make use of your talents (e.g. sing, read, paint, call Bingo, etc.)! • Take time on a Saturday to stop and visit with an elderly neighbor. • Offer to assist caregivers of chronically sick family members on a onetime or periodic basis. Give caregivers time off from their caregiving responsibilities so they can rest, complete personal chores, or enjoy a relaxing break. • Next time you make a meal that can be easily frozen, make a double batch and give it to a family in your parish who has a sick loved one.

Learn about our faith and be open to talking with others about our beliefs. There is always something more to discover about our faith. • Go on a service trip or short-term mission trip. No time? Donate to support others on their service trip. • Volunteer to help with religious education programs at your parish. • Invite someone to go to Mass with you this weekend. • Know your faith! Read through the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults to find out more about the Catholic faith and how to live it.

cont'd from pg 1 of insert receives and is generous as a response in gratitude. The more we recognize God’s mercy, living and acting in our lives, the more we will come to know ourselves as disciples who are called to share mercy with others. How do we know God’s mercy? Often, mercy comes to us through the actions of others. Think about the friend or family member who overlooked anger, moodiness, or selfishness during the rush of Christmas preparations; remember times when someone has forgiven you, without your even needing to ask for forgiveness. This is mercy! In recalling these moments, we become more aware of mercy which is shown to us in the everyday circumstances of our lives, and we learn how important being stewards of God’s mercy can be to others. This month, make a list of the many ways you have been shown mercy, in your past, and in recent weeks. Then, resolve to intentionally share mercy in your daily interactions with others. February, 2016 w The Courier

Living the Year of Mercy

Practical suggestions to help you walk more virtuously through the Jubilee Year In his Bull of Indiction announcing the Year of Mercy, Misericordiae Vultus, Pope Francis offers a series of practical suggestions for how Catholics should celebrate the Jubilee Year. In this and the coming issues, we will offer one of these practical suggestions drawing from an article by Emily Stimpson, a contributing editor for Our Sunday Visitor.


In the late third century, St. Augustine penned the first known spiritual autobiography, “Confessions.” The book told of the recently ordained Bishop of Hippo’s journey from unbelief to belief, from lust to chastity, and from love of self to love of God. The tale captivated readers then, just as it captivates readers now. It also set the mold for all similar stories of conversion that would follow. Through the centuries, conversion stories have challenged, comforted and encouraged millions of men and women on their journey to God. They offer enduring and concrete examples of God’s

mercy in the lives of individual believers. They remind us that no one is beyond the reach of God’s mercy, and they help us better understand our personal journey to holiness. Above all, conversion stories witness to the fact that we all are called to conversion. Whether we were born and raised Catholic or not, every person must reject the world and give his heart to the Lord. Without choosing Christ once and then repeatedly thereafter — there can be no discipleship. There can be no living faith. For those reasons and more, conversion stories are central to the forthcoming “24 Hours for the Lord” initiative. During that time, and throughout the Year of Mercy, the Church wants the faithful to revisit famous converts of days past as well as familiarize themselves with more recent converts. Their testimonies of grace offer us guidance in how to give our own testimony of grace. They also offer us, as Pope Francis wrote, “a new chance to look at [ourselves], convert, and believe” (Misericordiae Vultus, No. 21).

Year of Mercy Calendar of Events

March 4

Diocesan Holy Hour--3 pm (the “Hour of Great Mercy”), Sacred Heart Parish, Owatonna April 1 (or another April Friday) Diocesan Holy Hour--3 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, Site tbd)

MAY 6 (or another May Friday) Diocesan Holy Hour--3 pm (the “Hour of Great Mercy”) [Site TBD]

JUNE 3 (or another June

Friday) Diocesan Holy Hour--3 pm (the “Hour of Great Mercy”) [Site TBD]

Diocesan Jubilee of Mercy Week • June 3 – Jubilee for priests (Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Winona) • June 5 – Jubilee for deacons (Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Winona) June 8-10 – Jubilee of Mercy Days (for laity, religious, and clergy)

In February... In Rome and the Universal Church…

Tuesday, February 2 (Presentation of the Lord and World Day for Consecrated Life) Jubilee for Consecrated Life and the closing of the Year for Consecrated Life – St. Peter’s Basilica

Wednesday, February 10 (Ash Wednesday)

Sending forth of the Missionaries of Mercy* – St. Peter’s Basilica

Monday, February 22 (Chair of Saint Peter)

Jubilee for the Roman Curia

*“During Lent of this Holy Year, I intend to send out Missionaries of Mercy.... These will be priests to whom I will grant the authority to pardon even those sins reserved to the Holy See.... They will be, above all, living signs of the Father’s readiness to welcome those in search of his pardon. They will be missionaries of mercy because they will be facilitators of a truly human encounter, a source of liberation.” --Pope Francis, Misericordiae Vultus # 18

Closing of the Year of Consecrated Life-Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary, Winona

Season of Lent (Ash Wednesday is February 10) “24 Hours for the Lord” (24 hours of Confession offered at parishes/parish clusters during Lent)

Friday, February 12 Diocesan Holy Hour**--3:00 pm – at Our Lady of Lourdes Chapel, Assisi Heights, Rochester

The Sacred Heart Mercy Healthcare Center, in Jackson, and Sacred Heart Church, in Adams, also hold Holy Hours on the first Friday of each month at 11:30 am and 3:00 pm, respectively. **“In order to be capable of mercy, therefore, we must first of all dispose ourselves to listen to the Word of God. This means rediscovering the value of silence in order to meditate on the Word that comes to us. In this way, it will be possible to contemplate God’s mercy and adopt it as our lifestyle.” --Pope Francis, Misericordiae Vultus # 13

September 25

Catechetical Sunday

July 26-31

Date TBD

AUGUST 5 (or another August Friday) Diocesan Holy Hour--3 pm (the “Hour of Great Mercy”) [Site TBD]

and World Day for Consecrated Life)

another September Friday) Diocesan Holy Hour 3 pm (the “Hour of Great Mercy”) [Site TBD]

Diocesan Holy Hour--3 pm (the “Hour of Great Mercy”) [Site TBD]

World Youth Day

Tuesday, February 2 (Presentation of the Lord


OCTOBER 7 (or another October Friday) Diocesan Holy Hour 3 pm (the “Hour of Great Mercy”) [Site TBD]

JULY 1 (or another July Friday)

In the Diocese…

Jubilee Year of Mercy

In 2016...


Women’s Conference (with an emphasis on Our Lady, Mother of Mercy) – “Marian Jubilee”

Date TBD

White Mass February, 2016 w The Courier

Pilgrimage Parish Profile


Holy Doors and Sacred Heart Parish, Pilgrimage Sites in the Adams

Jubilee Year of Mercy


parish of Sacred Heart, Adams, was split from that of Saint John the Baptist, Johnsburg, in 1886. At that time, there were over 150 families belonging to the Johnsburg parish. Bishop John Ireland, of the Saint Paul Diocese, facilitated the split of the parish on September 12, 1886, with the purchase of four lots in Adams for a dollar. In 1886, a church was constructed on this site. Father Nicholas Schmitz of Johnsburg, who directed these activities, served as the first pastor of the parish while attending to his duties in Johnsburg. A rectory was constructed west of the new church. In 1902, plans were finalized for the construction of a new church. The church, an impressive red brick structure on a limestone foundation, was built facing east. The design of the church shows an influence of the Gothic style of architecture. On August 15, 1902, while in Adams to confirm a group of 105, Bishop Joseph Cotter also presided at the ceremony for the laying of the cornerstone. Construction proceeded on the church throughout the year and into the winter. The old frame church was moved directly south of the new church and was placed on a new foundation and remodeled into a school. The living quarters for the sisters were constructed on the rear of the schoolhouse. A new rectory was constructed in 1915. Bishop John Ireland purchased the lot for the new rectory in 1889 for $25 from John and Catherine Lawler. A new rectory was built in 1950, with the sisters converting the old rectory into a convent. A new school of four classrooms and a large auditorium was constructed in 1951. The present rectory was purchased in 1967 with the old rectory being converted into a school library, meeting rooms, and classrooms; an addition of four classrooms was built on the west side of the school. In 2011 Sacred Heart School added a daycare and kindergarten to its current grades of one through eight. Father Clayton Haberman served from 1969-1974, and he was responsible for having extensive care and maintenance done to the exterior of the church. Other pastors were: Fathers James Russell 1974-1975, William Bertrand 1975-1981, Robert Herman 1981-1985, Andrew Kreidermacher 1985-1991, Virgil Duellman 1991-1994, Gregory Leif 1994-2004, James Seitz 2004-2009, and Thomas Loomis 2010-2013. Father Swaminatha Pothireddy is currently serving as the parish pastor.

Diocese of Winona

Cathedral of the Sacred Heart – Winona 360 Main St.--Winona, MN 55987 507-452-4770

Sacred Heart Church – Adams

412 W Main St./P.O. Box 352--Adams, MN 55909 507-582-3120

Sacred Heart Church – Brewster

(served by St. Francis Xavier Parish, Windom) 516 10th St./P.O. Box 187--Brewster, MN 56119 507-842-5584

Sacred Heart Church – Hayfield

(served by St. Columbanus Parish, Blooming Prairie) 150 NE 2nd St./P.O. Box 27--Hayfield, MN 55940 507-477-2256

Sacred Heart Church – Heron Lake

(served by St. Francis Xavier Parish, Windom) 321 9th St./P.O. Box 377--Heron Lake, MN 56137 507-793-2357

Sacred Heart Church – Owatonna

810 S Cedar Ave--Owatonna, MN 55060 507-451-1588

Sacred Heart Church – Waseca

111 4th St. NW--Waseca, MN 56093 507-835-1222

Our Lady of Lourdes Chapel (Assisi Heights) – Rochester 1001 14th Street NW, Ste 100--Rochester, MN 55901 507-282-7441

Sacred Heart Mercy Health Care Center Chapel – Jackson 803 4th St.--Jackson, MN 56143 507-847-3571

Jubilee Web Page and Contacts

The diocesan web page for the Jubilee includes information about the meaning of the Jubilee Year and about our diocesan celebration of the year. The address for the diocesan Jubilee web page is: If you have any questions about our diocesan plans for the Jubilee, please contact Fr. John Sauer in the Office of Divine Worship ( / 507-451-1588), Sister Paul Mary Rittgers RSM in the Office of Faith Formation ( / 507-8581273), or Todd Graff in the Office of Lay Formation ( / 507-858-1270).

February, 2016 w The Courier

Generally, information on Mass times and contact information for each of the parishes is available online at the diocesan web site ( and at the individual parish websites. A group planning a pilgrimage to one of these sites is asked to first contact the pilgrimage parish/institution regarding its plans and the arrangements needed.

Accredited, Once Again


for the students of Minnesota for its member schools. MNSAA is governed by a member-elected Board of Directors that bases its accreditation on a school’s evaluation through a self-study process. Schools are accredited based on their compliance with a set of rigorous standards which identify essential personnel, instruction, facility, curriculum, governance, and marketing policies and practices that are considered necessary for an effective school. The accreditation process includes the creation of a visionary and focused strategic plan and an onsite visit by a team of educators from member schools. Accreditation with MNSAA relies heavily on how the individual school defines its mission and the way it seeks to accomplish that mission.

Catholic Schools

The Minnesota Nonpublic School Accrediting Association (MNSAA) has renewed the accreditation of St. Mary’s Catholic School in Worthington for the eligibility period of 2016 to 2023. Accreditation is a voluntary method of quality assurance with a goal to evaluate, validate, and improve each school’s quality. MNSAA is a federally and state sanctioned nonprofit association for accrediting nonpublic schools in the State of Minnesota. The Association’s mission is to be a catalyst for enhancing the quality of K-12 nonpublic education in Minnesota through a comprehensive process of accreditation. The agency helps schools provide quality nonpublic education


Marsha Stenzel

MNSAA salutes St. Mary’s Catholic School’s commitment to providing outstanding education to the children of its community. MNSAA will continue to provide guidance to the St. Mary’s School through an annual review of its strategic plan.

The Year of Mercy at Pacelli Catholic Schools By Laura Marreel, Principal

Pope Francis said, “ We are called to look beyond, to focus on the heart, to see of how much generosity everyone is capable,” and Pacelli Catholic Schools is capable. From the playful giggles of our Shamrock Zone child care center to the Pacelli seniors, so close to graduation, The Year of Mercy has put us on a mission to look beyond, focus on the heart, and see how much generosity we are capable of. In December, Pacelli 2nd and 3rd grade students filled a mitten tree with warm weather gear for those in need. Our elementary students visited numerous nursing homes in Austin to spread the joy of the season with their voices, caroling for the residents. Pacelli Middle and High School students brought in over $1500 in one week to purchase presents for many families they “adopted” for Christmas, and an anonymous donor added another $2000 to that total because they were so moved by the generosity they saw in our students. Finally, a group of tenth grade students organized a Christmas Ball at a local nursing home, treating the residents to a Saturday night of treats, games, and dancing! In January, our students continued their mission of mercy with a Christmas Tree

recycling project to help the community as well as the environment. Each year, Pacelli students, staff, alumni, and friends gather to map out the city of Austin, pile in trucks, pick up every Christmas tree in town, and bring them to local farms to recycle. Our Shamrock Zone child care students have declared every Thursday “Thoughtful Thursday.” From cards of thanks to our police officers, to locker signs for our athletes, they are joyfully spreading random acts of kindness throughout the community. We have also come together to support a staff member’s young daughter who fell very ill in December. Students have raised money through an out of uniform day, halftime shooting competitions during basketball games, even a group of sixth grade girls have started selling bracelets to raise money to help this family and their daughter’s long road to recovery. The greatest grace of mercy is that it is contagious. When service is a way of life for students, they start to become empowered to look at issues in society and wonder, “How can I help?” And, to us at Pacelli Catholic Schools, this is the most important lesson we can teach. You can find us at our website,, or like us on Facebook to see more student-led projects throughout this Holy Jubilee of Mercy! February, 2016 w The Courier

Youth and Young Adults


Vatican Holy Door Opens for the ‘Year of Mercy’ Their dedication to prayer and Christian ideals helped me keep focused on the purpose of the pilgrimage. Each member of our group brought along special prayer requests from friends and family, which we honored and presented at various times during our pilgrimage. There were individuals here in the Diocese of Winona who prayed for Kathy and me while we were in Italy on our pilgrimage. To those individuals, and especially Fr. Joe Fogal, our pastor at Pax Christi in Rochester, we thank you for your prayer support for a successful and safe pilgrimage.

Guest Columnist, Richard Frost Rochester

As Pope Francis announced the opening of the Holy Door for the ‘Year of Mercy’, my wife, Kathy, and I traveled to the Vatican to participate in the Papal Mass and Opening of the Holy Door. We planned our pilgrimage with three long-time friends from the Duluth Diocese. Although we were only five of several thousand individuals passing through the Holy Door, we Ben Frost Director

were part of something that seldom happens in Church history. It was an honor and privilege to physically pass through the Holy Door at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, and there were so many other highlights of the pilgrimage. We had the opportunity to visit multiple historic churches as well

February, 2016 w The Courier

Credit: Richard Frost

as the U.S. Bishops’ Office in Rome and the North American College where select seminarians are sent for additional college training. We toured the excavations which took place in the 1940’s under St. Peter’s Cathedral in the Vatican. It was there that the remains of St. Peter were discovered and where his remains are still resting. I was awe struck by the abundance of artistic paintings, sculptures and relics that fill the churches of Rome. We happened upon a church which had a relic of Padre Pio and as we entered the church found ourselves walking in at the beginning of a prayer service, and concluded with the faithful called up to the sanctuary in procession where the relic was touched to our heads. Afterwards, we gave credit to the prompting of the Holy Spirit for that spiritual blessing. Pilgrimages to the Vatican have been a spiritual activity for the faithful for hundreds of years. My experience was enhanced by those long-time friends with whom I traveled.

Celibacy is a Gift Rev. Will Thompson Director

Pope John Paul II recognizes that the consecrated life is not the most popular choice of vocation today. “Many people today are puzzled and ask: What is the point of the consecrated life? Why embrace this kind of life, when there are so many urgent needs in the areas of charity and of evangelization itself, to which one can respond even without assuming the particular commitments of the consecrated life?” For over a year now the Church has celebrated the Year for Consecrated Life, considering these questions. Many articles have been included in The Courier reflecting on different aspects of consecrated life, and now we have come to the end of this year focusing on this specific vocation. I hope you have taken some time to consider what it is that consecrated life adds to the life of the Church. One area that I propose for further reflection is our attitude toward celibacy. Many of Saint Pope John Paul II’s questions above can be directed to the promise of celibacy made by consecrated souls and priests. What is the point of celibacy? Why do so many good people choose to be celibate when a positive example of family life is so needed? I have often

have simply realized that our gift for relationships is different. My hope for the Year of Consecrated Life is that it provided opportunities to consider some aspects of faith and life in the Church that may be uncomfortable for most. Consecrated life is not meant for all, but is a sign for all of total union with God. May the blessings of this year remain with you and continue to deepen your faith and gratitude in God!

11 Vocations

�n his conclusion to Vita Consecreta, Saint

heard questions about celibacy as well as comments that show how many people do not understand celibacy as a gift. Most of the time these comments come off as moments of pity or, worse, condescending comments. The two most frequent comments I hear about celibacy are about church practice and personal happiness. Many people wonder why the Church “makes” consecrated persons and priests be celibate. This assumption, however, leaves out the reality that we choose to be celibate. Yes, it is a requirement, but not a surprise! Jesus spoke several times about celibacy, though he didn’t use that term. He talks about “choosing to be like a eunuch for the sake of the Kingdom” and “whoever can accept this ought to accept it.” Celibacy points to our heavenly relationships when we will neither marry nor be married but make a total self-gift to God. Celibacy is a reminder here on earth of union with God that is undivided and complete. Other comments about celibacy come out of what I think is a genuine gratitude for the gift of marriage. In different ways, I hear people say, “It’s too bad you can’t be married.” While this comment is meant to be positive, it is similar to saying, “It’s too bad you didn’t marry someone else.” Celibacy is a choice and a gift. It is not a state in life to be pitied. Consecrated persons make the choice to be celibate, and they do so, ideally, out of love and joy. I always thought I would be married, and it certainly was an option. I and many others

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. February, 2016 w The Courier


THE HUMAN FACE OF GOD’S MERCY "Jesus Christ is the face of the Father's mercy...Mercy has become living and visible in Jesus of Nazareth."

Lay Formation

(Pope Francis, Misericordiae Vultus, #5) “Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s mercy.” So begins the “Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy” (entitled Misericordiae Vultus or “The Face of Mercy”), the statement by which Pope Francis formally declared the Jubilee Year and described its purpose. It is valuable for us, as we enter more deeply into this year, to examine Pope Francis’ vision for this Jubilee Year and to reflect on its roots in the Church’s scriptures and tradition. Todd Graff Director

Our Merciful God Saint Thomas Aquinas taught that God manifests his omnipotence (“all powerfulness”) by exercising mercy. An ancient liturgical prayer of the Church invokes God, “who reveal[s] your power above all in your mercy and forgiveness.” Again and again, the Old Testament speaks of our great and all-powerful God as being “patient and merciful.” As the Psalmist attests: • “He executes justice for the oppressed; he gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down…. The Lord watches over the sojourners, he upholds the widow and the fatherless” (Psalm 146:7-9). • “He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds… The Lord lifts up the downtrodden” (Psalm 147:3, 6). • In all of God’s actions, we give praise “for his mercy endures forever” (Psalm 136).

The Face of the Merciful Father Our all-powerful and all-merciful God is then revealed fully and definitively in the gospels. We come to understand and experience God’s mercy most truly by looking at Jesus of Nazareth, who “by his words, his actions, and his entire person reveals the mercy of God” (MV, #1). God’s mercy, then, has a human face – it is the face of Jesus. The mission and ministry of Jesus Christ, received from the Father, is to reveal “the mystery of divine love in its fullness.” As

February, 2016 w The Courier

the First Letter of John states, and as Pope Benedict reminded us in his encyclical, “God Is Love” (1 John 4:8, 16; Deus Caritas Est). This love and mercy of God is “not an abstract idea.” It manifests itself in Jesus’ ministry in very concrete ways as he: • cures the sick, heals the lame, and frees the possessed (e.g., cf. Mark 1:32-34 and Matthew 15:30) • provides bread and fish for his hungry followers (Matthew 15:32-38) • restores the life of the grieving widow’s son (Luke 7:11-15) • reaches out and welcomes the sinner and the outcast (Luke 5:27-32). In summary, the “signs” Jesus works, “especially in favor of sinners, the poor, the marginalized, the sick, and the suffering, are all meant to teach mercy. Everything in him speaks of mercy. Nothing in him is devoid of compassion” (MV, #8).

Matthew’s gospel has a debt forgiven by his master, but then refuses to forgive the debt owed him by a fellow servant. The master strongly rebukes the “wicked” servant, and Jesus concludes the parable by teaching that each of us must “forgive … from [our] heart.” Pope Francis further spells out the implications of this parable: “Jesus affirms that mercy is not only an action of the Father, it becomes a criterion for ascertaining who his true children are…. Pardoning offenses becomes the clearest expression of merciful love, and for us Christians it is an imperative from which we cannot excuse ourselves” (MV, #9). Next month, we will explore more deeply the challenge Pope Francis offers to the Church and to her members to proclaim and give witness to Christ – the “Face of Mercy” – to our sisters and brothers in this Jubilee Year. Deo Gratias!

Parables of Mercy He teaches clearly of this abundant mercy of the Father not only through his deeds, but also by his words. Through his parables, Jesus offers powerful and moving images of this: • the loving and forgiving father who welcomes back his “prodigal son” (Luke 15:11-32) • the compassionate Samaritan who stops to assist and care for a fellow traveler lying wounded along the roadside (Luke 10:25-37) • the caring owner who leaves his flock to seek out one lost sheep (Matthew 18:12-14). And, in another parable (Matthew 18:2135), Jesus teaches clearly that this same mercy is also to be lived out by his followers in their own lives. T h e “ruthless servant” of

“As we can see in Sacred Scripture, mercy is a key word that indicates God’s action towards us. He does not limit himself merely to affirming his love, but makes it visible and tangible. Love, after all, can never be just an abstraction. By its very nature, it indicates something concrete: intentions, attitudes, and behaviors that are shown in daily living. The mercy of God is his loving concern for each one of us.”

-Pope Francis, Misericordiae Vultus, #9


February, 2016 w The Courier

Events in the Diocese


Action with Prayer

Other Events

SUBMISSION for the calendar

St.Mary’s Church, Winona offers a Mass for Life and Marriage on the first Thursday of the month, at 5:15 p.m.

Institute of Lay Formation Spring Session II - The Sacraments: The Faith Celebrated (IV) February 6 at Pax Christi Parish, Rochester

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.

Holy Hour of Prayer for Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty February 6th The monthly Holy Hour of Prayer for Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty will be held on the first Saturday of the month from 8:30 am to 9:30 am (after the 8:00 am Mass) at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, 360 Main Street, 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

Traditional Latin Mass Mankato, Ss. Peter & Paul, first Saturday of the month, 9 a.m. Wabasha, St. Felix, weekly. Saturday 8 a.m. Chatfield, St. Mary's, first and third Sunday of the month, 1 p.m.

The Televised Mass Offered as a service for the homebound and elderly. Every Sunday on the following stations: KTTC-TV, Channel 10, Rochester at 9 a.m. KEYC-TV, Channel 12, Mankato at 7:30 a.m. Donations for the continuation of this program may be sent to: TV Mass, PO Box 588, Winona MN 55987. Thank you for your donations to the TV Mass

Institute of Lay Formation Spring Session II - The Sacraments: The Faith Celebrated (IV) January 30 St. John Vianney Parish, Fairmont TEC 66 Fitzgerald School Mankato, Feb 13th - 15th TEC is a three-day retreat weekend based on the Paschal Mystery: the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Pathways TEC brings teens and adults together to be participants in encountering Christ as the family of God. Institute of Lay Formation Spring Session III - The Sacraments: The Faith Celebrated (V) February 20 St. Catherine Parish, Luverne Institute of Lay Formation Spring Session III - The Sacraments: The Faith Celebrated (V) February 27 Pax Christi Parish, Rochester

InterMISSION February 27, 2016 5:15pm – Mass, dinner to follow 7:30pm – 9:30pm InterMISSION Cost: Free Will Offering Pax Christi Church / 18th Ave NW, Rochester

Hispanic Priests / Sacerdotes Hispanos Padre Luis Alfonso Vargas: Capellán del Decanato de Worthington. Tel. 507-341-0403

Padre Mariano Varela IVE: Párroco de “SS. Peter and Paul” en Mankato. Tel. 507388-2995 ext 103

Padre José Morales: Capellán del Decanato de Rochester. jloralesr2008@ Tel. 507-329-2931

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.

Spanish Mass Schedule Albert Lea, St. Theodore 11 a.m., every Sunday Austin, Queen of Angels 11 a.m & 5 p.m. Sunday Lake City, St. Mary 6:30 p.m., every third Saturday Madelia, St. Mary 10 a.m., every Sunday Mankato, Ss. Peter & Paul 1 p.m., every Sunday Owatonna, Sacred Heart 1 p.m. every Sunday Pipestone, St. Leo 2:30 p.m., every Sunday February, 2016 w The Courier

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

Rochester, St. Francis of Assisi 12 noon, Sundays & 7 p.m. Thursdays St. Charles, St. Charles Borromeo 11:30 a.m. Sundays St. James, St. James, Spanish Mass, 12 p.m., every Sunday Waseca, Sacred Heart 11:30 a.m., every Sunday Windom, St. Francis Xavier 12 p.m., every Sunday Worthington, St. Mary 7 p.m., Saturday & 11 a.m., Sunday

InterMISSION February 28, 2016 3:30pm – 5:30pm InterMISSION, dinner to follow St. Adrian Catholic Church, 512 Maine Ave, Adrian

Massive Crowds, cont'd from page 7

Directly preceding the march, a rally on the National Mall featured speeches by religious, cultural and political leaders. March for Life president Jeanne Mancini reflected on the theme of this year’s event: “Pro-life and pro-woman go hand-in-hand.” “A woman’s capacity to have a child is an incredible, beautiful and amazing thing. It’s something inherent to women,” she said, adding that it is degrading when women are treated as though their capacity to bear children is “a liability.” “Abortion is not good for women – psychologically or physically … science and research strongly support this reality,” Mancini continued. “I don’t want any woman to ever have to go through that.” For Yohanka, a Cuban woman who now lives in Florida, the march is personal. Raped repeatedly by her stepfather in Cuba, she was forced to have an abortion as a teenager. A year later, she again became pregnant from rape, and this time gave birth to a son. “He’s an amazing son. He’s my life. He’s actually the only son that I was able to conceive because I never got pregnant

ever again,” she told CNA. “He’s 25 years old (now). My husband adopted him as his own.” Yohanka explained that she came to the march to stand up for those conceived in what are known as “exception” cases. When people say that abortion is ok in cases of rape and incest, she hears them saying that her son would be better off dead. “Why should my son pay for the crime of somebody else? Why should he be killed just because someone decided to rape me? He is my child, he has nothing to do with what happened,” she said. “I regret my first abortion and I will always regret it,” she continued. “I didn’t have much of a choice. I was a child, and I was dragged (into the abortion clinic) by someone who was in authority…It wasn’t my choice, but it was my son or my daughter. God knows.” Ann Marie Coyle of Rockford, Illinois, said that she sees abortion as pitting mothers against their children, creating an opposition that is unfair to both. Coyle views the annual march as an important source of strength and support for pro-life participants. “I think it’s important for us to be united in this country and to know that we’re not alone, because the

media doesn’t promote life, and to know that there are thousands of people out there…and that we’re not alone in this battle,” she told CNA. This idea of unity also made a strong impression on Brother Elias, a 20-year-old member of the Legionaries of Christ. Attending his first march this year, he said he was struck by the sheer numbers of people in the crowds, as well as their enthusiasm. “It’s been amazing seeing how many people really believe that life is worth living,” he said. “Even though there may be difficulties, crosses, things that are hard, life is worth living because of love.”


February, 2016 w The Courier

February, 2016


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