The Courier - December 2019

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Christmas Day December 25

December 2019

Official Newspaper of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Winona-Rochester, MN |

Migrants in Our Midst Welcoming the Stranger A Lesson in Solidarity � Las Posadas and



�n October 5 and 7, at Good Counsel in Mankato and at St. Mary’s University in Winona, about 280 people from across the diocese gathered for the Fall Social Concerns Day. In the morning, participants watched the film Abrazos, which tells the story of immigrant children

from Worthington, who returned to Guatemala to meet their grandparents for the first time. Afterwards, many of the children in the film were present to share what that experience was like for them. The conversation continued over a delicious meal of tacos and churros. After lunch, the film’s director, Luis Argueta, spoke for Migrants, cont'd on pg. 4

he story of Christ’s birth has been told and retold for many generations, but in the Hispanic culture, notably in Mexico and Guatemala, it comes to life each year through the celebration of Las Posadas. The celebration commemorates the difficult journey of Mary and Joseph from Nazareth to Bethlehem and their search for a warm place to stay the night. “Posadas” is Spanish for lodgings. For nine days preceding Christmas, the celebration includes a re-enactment of Mary and Joseph’s search for lodging. Two people dress up as Mary and Joseph and a group joins them outside a home to sing a traditional song with various verses asking for lodging. The group inside sings their response, repeatedly refusing lodging. When finally it is made clear that the person asking for lodging is to be the mother of God, a warm welcome is sung and the group is allowed to enter to the joyous song “Entren, Posadas, cont'd on pg. 4

INSIDE this issue

Reading for Snowy Days and Nights page 6

Love: 'The One Possession of Christ's Disciples' page 7

Embracing a Child's Love for All page 15

The Courier Insider

Church Must Convert from 2 Cultural, Ecological Sins, Amazon Synod Concludes By COURTNEY MARES and HANNAH BROCKHAUS

VATICAN CITY, Oct 26, 2019 (CNA) The Amazon synod final document, published Saturday, laid out the need to define “ecological sins” while calling the Church to walk new paths of “integral conversion.” “We propose to define ecological sins of commission or omission against God, one’s neighbor, the community and the environment,” paragraph 82 of the final document states. “They are sins against future generations and are manifest in acts and habits of pollution and destruction of the harmony of the environment.” “No believer, no Catholic can live their life of faith without listening to the voice of the earth,” Bishop David Martínez de Aguirre Guinea, apostolic vicar of Puerto Maldonado, Peru explained at a press conference to present the final document Oct. 26. “If we are going to face the problem, then we have to change,” Cardinal Michael Czerny, special secretary for the synod, added. Czerny, who also serves as under-secretary of the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, warned that the “good news” will not necessarily reach people in the Amazon “if we continue doing what we have been doing.” The final document for the Synod of Bishops on the Pan-Amazon region calls for a new fourfold expression of “integral conversion” for the Church in the Amazon: pastoral, cultural, synodal, and ecological. These are framed in terms of “new paths of conversion” in the chapter titles for each of the subjects. “New paths” are a way of saying “change,” Czerny said. “Without conversions, we are repeating what we have done before ...but there is no real change.” “We have brought our tradition into play so that we can find a way forward,” he said. For the pope, the most important necessary change is “pastoral change.” The 33-page document, was approved article by article by a two-thirds majority vote on Oct. 26. It is the result of a three-week meeting in Rome during which the synod’s 181 voting members, together with representatives from indigenous communities, religious orders, lay groups and charities, discussed a range of issues concerning the region, spread across nine countries. In ordinary sessions of the Synod of Bishops, delegates are elected by the world's bishops conferences. In the special session for the pan-Ama-

zonian region, all attendees were by special invitation. The document was drafted by a committee of experts and special secretaries, assisted by a drafting committee elected from among the synod fathers. The draft text was presented to the assembly on Friday night, and various amendments were proposed and debated during the approval process. The final synodal document has no teaching or binding authority of its own. Pope Francis said in his closing remarks in the synod hall on Saturday that he will write a postsynodal exhortation, to hopefully be published before the end of the year. Ecological Conversion

In addition to the synod document’s proposal to change universal Church discipline on clerical celibacy and create new roles for women, it also contains strong exhortations on environmental issues and the rights of indigenous peoples. On the topic of integral ecology and the environment, the document references the threat of exploitation of the Amazon and its peoples. It also criticizes as "scandalous" the criminalization of Amazonian ethnic communities whose rights are threatened, it says, by public policies favoring the exploitation of natural resources. These projects "exert pressure on ancestral indigenous territories" and are accompanied by "widespread impunity throughout regarding human rights violations." The document notes the Church's teaching on the inviolability of the human person, which is created in the image and likeness of God. The synod fathers propose giving support to "fair" sustainable development initiatives, though it does not name specific initiatives. "The Amazon is in the hands of us all, but it depends mainly on immediately abandoning the current model that is destroying the forest, not bringing well-being and endangering this immense natural treasure and its guardians,” the report states. It goes on to say it is "incumbent" on the Church to help protect the Amazon by being an "ally" of the local communities, "who know how to take care of the Amazon, how to love and protect it." The indigenous peoples are “asking the church to become their ally and the answer of the church is yes,” Czerny said. “With the Amazon burning, many more people are realizing that things have to change. We cannot keep repeating old responses to urgent problems,” Czerny said. “The ecological crisis is so deep that if

Amazon Synod, cont'd on pg. 16

The Courier is the official publication of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester 55 West Sanborn, P.O. Box 588, Winona, MN 55987 Vol 110 - 12

Most Reverend John M. Quinn, Publisher Matt Willkom, Editor Nick Reller, Associate Editor Telephone: 507-858-1257 Fax:507-454-8106 E-mail: Publishing Schedule: Monthly - Deadline for advertising & articles is the 10th of the month prior. (ISSN 0744-5490) December 2019 w The Courier w

Articles of Interest

A Mission in Tijuana..._____________________5 Reading for Snowy Days and Nights_________6 Love: 'The One Possession of Christ's Disciples'_7 Create in Me a Clean Heart_______________8 ...Feast of Our Lady of Loreto..._____________9 Catholic Schools Updates_________________10 Wait in Watchful Hope____________________12 Your Year-End Giving Makes a Difference____13 The Amazon Synod..._______________________14 Embracing a Child's Love for All_________15 Global Headlines__________________________16 National Headlines_________________________17 Diocesan Headlines_______________________18 Diocesan Calendar________________________20 Officials The Most Rev. John M. Quinn, Bishop of the Diocese of WinonaRochester, announces the following appointments: Canonical Administrator Rev. Michael Cronin: appointed Canonical Administrator of Winona Area Catholic Schools, effective November 1, 2019.

The Holy Father's Intention for

December 2019 The Future of the Very Young

College of Consultors Rev. Timothy Biren: appointed to a five-year term on the College of Consultors, effective November 7, 2019. Finance Council Rev. Timothy Reker: appointed to a five-year term on the Diocese of Winona-Rochester Finance Council, effective November 7, 2019. Presbyteral Council Rev. Matthew Wagner: appointed to a three-year term on the Presbyteral Council, effective November 7, 2019.

That every country take the measures necessary to prioritize the future of the very young, especially those who are suffering.

Rural Life Chaplain Rev. Msgr. Richard Colletti: appointed Rural Life Chaplain for the Western part of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, effective October 30, 2019. Military Service Rev. Adam McMillan: with permission of Bishop John M. Quinn, released for service in the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, effective October 11, 2019.

Child Abuse Policy Information The Diocese of Winona-Rochester will provide a prompt, appropriate and compassionate response to reporters of sexual abuse of a child by any diocesan agent (employees, volunteers, vendors, religious or clergy). Anyone wishing to make a report of an allegation of sexual abuse should call the Victim Assistance Coordinator at 507454-2270, Extension 255. A caller will be asked to provide his or her name and telephone number. Individuals are also encouraged to take their reports directly to civil authorities. The Diocese of Winona-Rochester 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-Rochester’s implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, please contact Mary Hamann at 507-858-1244, or

Where to Find the Courier •

Hard copies of the Courier are available in the churches of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester at the first weekend Masses of each month.

An online version may be viewed at /offices/ courier/index.html

To be added to (or removed from) the home delivery list, readers should send their names and addresses to:

Diocese of Winona-Rochester The Courier 55 W Sanborn St. Winona, MN 55987 or

Let God Renew Your Heart and Soul! Advent

As we enter this Season of Advent, the Lord invites us to open our hearts to the Triune God and His love for us. It is a busy time of year, when our calendars are packed with commitments, and we are pressured to live up to many, often unrealistic, expectations. However, amidst the demands of life, our Lord Jesus Christ calls us to take time to grow deeper in our relationship with Him, who became incarnate for our sake. Prayer - One of the most fundamental steps in deepening our relationship with the Lord is taking regular time for prayer. Prayer is a time for us to rest in the Lord’s presence, letting go of all our worries and fears by placing them in His hands and listening to what He has to say to us. Praying before the Blessed Sacrament is especially

Rejoice in Hope Bishop John M. Quinn Bishop's Calendar

powerful, whether it’s stopping by your parish church for a quick visit with Jesus on the way home from work, or spending an hour each week in a nearby Adoration Chapel. Jesus is waiting for you in the Eucharist, and making the effort to be with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament will bring you closer to our Triune God, and will be a blessing in your life and the lives of those around you. The Lord can never be outdone in generosity, and prioritizing time for prayer will bring a peace and clarity that the world can never give. Confession - Celebrating the Sacrament of Penance and seeking the Lord’s forgiveness for the ways we have not loved Him and others, is another important part of our conversion of heart this Advent. When we humbly approach the Lord in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we open our hearts to the Lord’s transforming love and mercy, and allow Him to draw us closer to Himself. Our Triune God desires an intimate relationship with each one of us, and this is accomplished not only through a dedicated life of prayer, but also through identifying and confessing our sinful thoughts and actions, which lead us away from God. Going to Confession can be hard, because it goes against our human pride to admit our faults, but it is necessary in order for our relationship with God to be renewed and restored, and our soul to be unburdened and cleansed. Pope Francis himself has admitted that, “It’s true that when we go to the confessional, we feel a bit of embarrassment, and that happens to everyone, to all of us, but we have to recall that this shame is also a grace that prepares us for the embrace of the Father, who always forgives and always forgives everything.” This Advent, I encourage you to seek out the opportunity to celebrate the Sacrament of

December 3, Tuesday 11 a.m. - Holy Hour & Deans Meeting - St. Theodore Church, Albert Lea 3 p.m. - Clergy Personnel Committee Meeting - St. Theodore Church, Albert Lea December 4, Wednesday 11 a.m. - Minnesota Catholic Conference St. Paul Chancery, St. Paul December 5, Thursday 10:30 a.m. - Anointing Mass - St. Anne Extended Health Care, Winona 1 p.m. - Holy Hour & Bishop’s Cabinet Meeting December 6, Friday 8 a.m. - Teach at SMU 12 p.m. - Rochester Serra Club Luncheon Madonna Towers, Rochester

Penance, whether at a communal Reconciliation Service, a parish’s normally scheduled time, or by making a private appointment with a priest. Let the Lord’s love renew your heart and soul this Advent, so that through the Sacrament of Penance you may be better spiritually prepared to welcome Christ at Christmas. Beatification of Br. James Miller, FSC

On December 7, Br. James Miller, a Christian Brother who once studied at St. Mary’s University in Winona, will be beatified and thereafter known as Blessed James Miller, FSC. The beatification ceremony will take place in Huehuetenango, Guatemala, which is where Br. James served before being shot to death in 1982 at the age of 37. In November 2018, Pope Francis declared Br. James a martyr for the faith. Br. James was born in Stevens Point, WI, and will be the first De La Salle Christian Brother from the U.S. to be beatified. He taught in St. Paul, and in Nicaragua and Guatemala in Central America. In Guatemala, he was also instrumental in creating opportunities for young people to learn technical and leadership skills, helping the indigenous people to rise out of oppression and poverty. Despite the danger he faced there, he was filled with trust in our Triune God and shortly before his death he wrote, “I pray to God for the grace and strength to serve Him faithfully among the poor and oppressed in Guatemala. I place my life in His Providence. I place my trust in Him.” Blessed James Miller, pray for us! Real Presence Radio

On December 12, Real Presence Radio will hold its annual fundraising banquet at the Mayo

December 8, Sunday 10:30 a.m. - Mass & Blessing of Stained Glass Window - St. Marys Hospital Chapel, Rochester 4 p.m. - Communal Advent Reconciliation & Penance Service - Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Winona December 10, Tuesday 11 a.m. - Holy Hour & Presbyteral Council St. Theodore Church, Albert Lea 5:30 p.m. - Mass - Our Lady of Guadalupe Celebration - Federal Correctional Institute, Waseca December 11, Wednesday 6:30 a.m. - Lauds & Mass - IHM Seminary, Winona 11 a.m. - Catholic Higher Education Working Group Conference Call 5:30 a.m. - Mass and St. Vincent de Paul Soup & Bread Supper - St. Joseph Church, Owatonna

Civic Center in Rochester. Dr. David Anders, host of “Called to Communion,” author of “The Catholic Church Saved My Marriage,” and Director of Catholic Education and Lifelong Formation for the Diocese of Birmingham, AL, will be the keynote speaker. Real Presence Radio broadcasts from several different radio stations in the Midwest, including 970 AM out of Austin, and its mission is to assist the Catholic Church in drawing all people to the knowledge and love of Jesus and His Church through the medium of Catholic Radio. More details on this event, including registration, can be found on the Events page of the diocesan website, www. Evangelization Initiatives

This past year, many people from across the Diocese of WinonaRochester observed a novena of prayer and fasting, for the intention of evangelization of southern MN. This initiative, which was held on the third Friday of the month for nine consecutive months, ended on November 15. Each of these days a parish hosted a Mass and / or Holy Hour, and prayers were offered for the intentions listed on the diocesan website. These included praying for those who have drifted away from the Church; that people will recognize their vocations and live them out gratefully and fully; and that we as a people of God will be authentic and humble witnesses to the joy of the Gospel. Although this novena of days of prayer and fasting is now complete, it is important to continue to pray and work for the evangelization of southern MN, sharing the good news with those we meet, so that all might come to experience the fullness of joy found by living a sacramental life in the Church.

December 12, Thursday 5:30 p.m. - Real Presence Catholic Radio Fundraising Social & Banquet - Mayo Civic Center, Rochester

December 14, Saturday 4:30 p.m. - Holy Hour & Vespers - IHM Seminary, Winona 6:00 p.m. - Dinner & End of Semester Skits IHM Seminary, Winona December 15, Sunday 10:30 a.m. - Mass - Third Sunday of Advent Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Winona 5 p.m. - Evening Prayer with SMU Christian Brothers and Winona Deanery Priests Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Winona December 18, Wednesday 11 a.m. - Annual meeting with Ascension Health - Pastoral Center, Winona 6 p.m. - Faculty & Staff Holiday Dinner - St. Mary’s University, Winona


Christmas is a wonderful opportunity to reach out to former or non-Catholics, since this is one of the few times when parishes are full with people who don’t normally come to Mass on Sunday. Outreach could take place in many ways, such as going caroling in the neighborhood and inviting people to Christmas Mass, having welcome sheets in the pews to introduce people to the parish, ensuring hospitality ministers / ushers are friendly and ready to help with any logistical needs such as hearing assistance and handicap seating, and having parishioners available after Mass to answer any questions and provide information about contacting or registering with the parish. Oftentimes, all people need is a simple, warm, and genuine invitation, to bring them back to the Church. As disciples of Jesus Christ, we should be eager to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19) as He commanded. This Christmas, I hope you will consider not only how you will celebrate Christ’s birth with your family and friends, but also how you can invite others to experience the joy of knowing Christ and His Church not only at Christmas, but all through the year. Blessed are all of you! Sincerely in Christ,

From the Bishop

�ear Friends in Christ,

Most Rev. John M. Quinn Bishop of Winona-Rochester

December 19, Thursday 10:31 a.m. - Real Presence Catholic Radio Guest via Telephone 1 p.m. - Holy Hour & Bishop’s Cabinet Meeting December 20, Friday 7 p.m. - Annual Simbang Gabi Mass with the Filipino Community - Co-Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Rochester December 24, Tuesday 9:30 p.m. - Christmas Eve Mass - Co-Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Rochester December 25, Wednesday 10:30 a.m. - Christmas Day Mass Co-Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Rochester January 1-3, Wednesday - Friday FOCUS Leadership Summit - Phoenix, AZ

December 2019 w The Courier w


Posadas, cont'd from pg. 1

peregrinos”(“Enter, pilgrims”). Inside there are prayers (often the rosary) and the celebration continues with a piñata, aguinaldos (bags of treats for the children) and refreshments. When possible, the Posadas are celebrated in a different home each evening, but at other times it is celebrated in a church facility with different groups organizing it each evening. In other countries, such as Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador, the nine days of preChristmas prayers are simply called “The Novena." These celebrations call us to reflect: Who is being denied lodging in our society today?

• Thousands of persons at our southern border, often families with children, who are seeking asylum in the U.S. but are told to wait in Mexico.

• Refugees seeking a country in which to find safety and a new life who are denied that place in the U.S. because the administration has drastically reduced the number of refugees we will accept. • Asylum seekers in detention, kept in cages – lodging without dignity.

• DACA recipients and Dreamers (persons brought here by their parents when they were under 16 years old) who live in fear of deportation. • Children still separated from their parents, denied “lodging” with those parents.

Let us pray and do our part so that all worthy requests for lodging will receive the response “Entren, Perigrinos." Sr. Ruth Snyder, OSF, belongs to the Sisters of Saint Francis in Rochester.

Las Posadas y Acogiendo al Extranjero Por SR. RUTH SNYDER, OSF

La historia del nacimiento de Jesús ha sido con"Mary and Joseph" seek lodging at a prior year's Las Posadas procession held at Assisi Heights.

Migrants, cont'd from pg. 1

a bit about how the trip and the film came about, and the panel answered follow up questions about their daily life in Minnesota. The day came to a close with the screening of The U-turn, another Luis Argueta film, about immigrant women and children in Postville, IA, who spoke out about the abuses committed against them, and were able to obtain U Visas in return for their testimony. While the day was filled with many moving stories and eye-opening insights, there is one story that I will never forget. It is the story of Eugenio. Everyone who immigrates to America leaves behind family that they may never see again. Some, who are in particularly difficult circumstances, are forced to leave their own children behind, because of the perilous journey. Growing up in America, Eugenio’s father always told him he had a brother who had been left with family in Guatemala. But he struggled to accept this.

December, 2019 w The Courier w

tada por muchas generaciones, pero en la cultura hispana, especialmente en México y Guatemala, toma vida cada año a través de la celebración de Las Posadas. La celebración conmemora el viaje de María y José desde Nazaret a Belén y su búsqueda de un lugar para pasar la noche. Durante nueve días antes de Navidad, la celebración incluye una recreación de esta búsque-

In Abrazos, he spoke about his change of heart: “Before I went to Guatemala, I didn’t believe I had a brother. But now I know I have a brother.” Something about these words rang true for me and, I suspect, for each person in attendance that day. One of the seven themes of Catholic Social Teaching highlighted by the USCCB is Solidarity. Pope St. John Paul II had this to say about it: [Solidarity] is not a feeling of vague compassion or shallow distress at the misfortunes of so many people, both near and far. On the contrary, it is a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good; that is to say to the good of all and of each individual, because we are all really responsible for all [emphasis added].

In the polarized and negative news media of today, it’s easy to get stuck in categories of ‘us’ and ‘them.’ In our hardness of heart, it’s easy for us to ask the question "Who is my neighbor?" Eugenio’s breakthrough moment is a good reminder for us as well: Our Heavenly Father calls all people his children. That means every one of us can truly say:

da. Dos personas se disfrazan como María y José. Un grupo se une a ellos fuera de una casa para cantar una canción tradicional con varios versos pidiendo alojamiento. Otro grupo dentro de la casa canta su respuesta, rechazando repetidamente su pedido. Cuando finalmente se aclara que la persona que solicita el alojamiento va a ser la madre de Dios, entonces se permite al grupo entrar cantando alegremente “Entren, Peregrinos”. Después hay oraciones y la celebración continúa con una piñata, aguinaldos (bolsas de golosinas para los niños) y refrigerios. Cuando se es posible, las Posadas se celebran en un hogar diferente cada noche, pero en otras ocasiones se celebran en la iglesia con diferentes grupos que las organizan cada noche. En otros países como Colombia, Venezuela y Ecuador, los nueve días de oraciones previas a la Navidad, simplemente se llaman "La Novena". Esta celebración nos llama a reflexionar: ¿A quién se le niega el alojamiento en nuestra sociedad hoy? • Miles de personas en nuestra frontera sur, muchas con niños, que buscan asilo en los Estados Unidos, pero se les dice que tendrán que esperar en México. • Refugiados que buscan un país donde puedan encontrar seguridad y una nueva vida, pero no están siendo recibidos por los EE. UU. porque la administración ha reducido drásticamente la cantidad de refugiados que acepta.

• Solicitantes de asilo que están detenidos, (en jaulas - alojamiento sin dignidad). • DACA recipientes y “Dreamers” (personas traídas aquí por sus padres cuando tenían menos de 16 años) que viven con miedo a la deportación. • Los niños aún separados de sus padres sin el "alojamiento" con sus familias. Entonces, oremos y hagamos nuestra parte para que todas las solicitudes de personas dignas de alojamiento reciban la respuesta "Entren, Perigrinos."

“‘Now I know I have a brother’ in Guatemala." Let us ask God, the Father of all, for the grace to open our eyes, our arms, and our hearts to our brothers and sisters in distress, whether they are living on the other side of the street, or the other side of the world! Isaac Landsteiner is Catholic Charities' coordinator of parish social ministry for the Mankato Deanery, and a member of the Diocesan Social Concerns Committee.

Spreading Joy of the Gospel, Fighting Throwaway Culture Jason Adkins

Executive Director Minnesota Catholic Conference

ecently, I was blessed to accompany members of Our Lady of Lourdes’ (Minneapolis) parish justice and charity commission on a visit to its sister parish in Tijuana, Mexico: a mission run by the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. As migration-related advocacy has been a significant focus of our work at Minnesota Catholic Conference over the past decade, I thought it important to travel to the U.S.-Mexico border to encounter the realities faced by those living and migrating there. My experience at the mission made the themes in Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (“The Joy of the Gospel”) come alive. A Church That Goes Forth to the Peripheries

The missionary call of the Oblates is to go where no one else will. Pope Francis calls this going to the peripheries. He states:

Each Christian and every community must discern the path that the Lord points out, but all of us are asked to obey his call to go forth from our own comfort zone in order to reach all the ‘peripheries’ in need of the light of the Gospel (EG 20).

The Tijuana mission is in the heart of the poorest parts of Tijuana, out in the desert hills where the cartels have made significant inroads. The area has grown significantly as people have migrated there in search of work and, in some cases, the opportunity to eventually cross the border. Yet, there is little work that pays a living wage; U.S., Korean, and Chinese companies have moved in and pay around

$70 a week for 48 hours of work—embodying what Pope Francis calls the “economy of exclusion,” where the poor do not fully share in the fruits of their labor, and are treated as "the outcasts, the leftovers” in a “throwaway culture.” The problems fueled by these tumultuous economic conditions are significant: poverty, substance abuse, crime, human trafficking, family fragmentation, abortion, psychological trauma, serious environmental degradation, and substandard housing. Into this plight, the Oblate fathers go, bringing the light of Christ. The motto of their founder, St. Eugene de Mazenod, is simple, yet profound: We must lead men to act like human beings, first of all, and then like Christians, and, finally, we must help them to become saints.

Therefore, the mission—a collaboration of the priests and laity—sponsors, among other things, an orphanage; visits to the poor and elderly in which they provide food, clothing, and other goods; a school for children with disabilities; a roof repair team; scholarship programs for young adults; and migrant and refugee services. Mass is said in 17 chapels across the mission territory, and a dynamic youth ministry serves hundreds weekly, nurturing, through a life of prayer, service, and formation, Catholic leaders who have become part of the mission outreach and yearn to bring others to Christ. Living the Joy of the Gospel Among the Poor

The Tijuana mission overcomes the false divide found in so many ministry efforts to the poor—which sometimes either focus exclusively on proclaiming the Good News without attending to the whole person, or solely on politics and structures, forgetting that man does not live by bread alone. Instead, the mission lives Pope Francis’s directive that “pastoral ministry in a missionary style ... has to concentrate on the essentials, on what is most beautiful,

Cristo Rey is an 80-foot statue overlooking Tijuana from the top of San Martin de Porres Catholic Church.

5 Faith in the Public Arena

A Mission in Tijuana

most grand, most appealing and at the same time most necessary. The message is simplified, while losing none of its depth and truth, and thus becomes all the more forceful and convincing” (EG 35). Indeed, loving God in prayer, word, and sacrament, and the love of neighbor lived through the spiritual and corporal works of mercy, are at the center of the Tijuana mission. The joyful witness of the missionary fathers and their associates, and the way in which they are transforming the physical and, often, spiritual deserts around them, helps us see the integration of proclamation and service—the life of charity rooted in an overwhelming evangelical impulse to share the gift of faith—what Pope Francis calls the Church as a “field hospital.” The mission in Tijuana, and other places like it, are opportunities to experience the heart of Pope Francis’s message:

Whenever we encounter another person in love, we learn something new about God. Whenever our eyes are opened to acknowledge the other, we grow in the light of faith and knowledge of God. If we want to advance in the spiritual life, then, we must constantly be missionaries. The work of evangelization enriches the mind and the heart; it opens up spiritual horizons; it makes us more and more sensitive to the workings of the Holy Spirit, and it takes us beyond our limited spiritual constructs (EG 272).

Protect Freedom of Religion and Association on Campus

Student organizations on college and university campuses should be able to select leaders who share the organizations’ goals. Would it make sense to force College Democrats to allow a Republican to lead the organization? Must the Libertarians admit Democratic Socialists to leadership positions? Of course not. Yet religious groups - including Jewish, Muslim, and Catholic groups - are being kicked off campuses for requiring that leaders uphold the teachings of the group. This is not only a matter of fundamental freedoms. It’s also a matter of common sense. The Equal Campus Access Act of 2019 protects ALL students by withholding certain federal funding from public universities that discriminate against religious student groups. Tell your senators and representatives to support H.R. 3243/S.1168, the Equal Campus Access Act! You can call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected with your members of Congress. December 2019 w The Courier w

Missionary Discipleship


Reading for

Snowy Days and Nights

� recently read that Norwegians are happiest during their very cold and dark win-

ter months (a statement that struck me as odd; I still identify as a Southerner!). A study indicated the reason why was a cultural attitude to embrace the good things about winter. One was skiing. One was the beauty of winter in Norway. And the third was enjoying the warm and cozy elements of the season. While I think this presumes you can get warm and cozy (you have a home, you have heat), if you have that possibility, thank God for it and help another in that need. But I want to offer suggestions for warm and cozy activities: books to read on evangelization and Missionary Discipleship. Get a book, get a blanket, get a hot drink, and let’s read! 1. If winter is a quieter time for you, it is an ideal time to focus on books on prayer. Discipleship depends on daily prayer. There is no small number of such books! However, I recommend Fr. Jacques Phillippe’s Fire and Light: Learning to Receive the Gift of God (Scepter Publishers, 2016). Anything by Fr. Phillippe is worth reading—he is a modern spiritual master who writes in short, accessible, but profound ways. This book is fairly new and focuses on how to open oneself to prayer and receive God. This may have been a lesson we didn’t learn as children in our catechesis—but it changes the experience of prayer in radical ways. I highly recommend it. 2. Again, in the prayer vein: 33 Days to Merciful Love: A Do It Yourself Retreat for Consecration to Divine Mercy. I recently read this and am re-reading it… it’s extremely well done. Given my age, it’s rare that I read a book now that has new insights. This book does, in spades. What is the meaning of faith? Blessing? Mercy? Devotion? It’s all here, packed in a daily reading for 33 days that connects with St. Therese de Lisieux.

3. In the evangelization vein: Catholic Street Evangelization: Stories of Conversion and Witness, edited by Steve Dawson. These stories are from team leaders active in St. Paul Street Evangelization and it’s just an inspiring read. Taking chances for the Lord reaps real fruit.

Catholic sacramental recovery fellowship for those seeking freedom from unhealthy attachments. Austin, Queen of Angels Church, 7 p.m. Thursdays. Winona, St. Casimir Church, 6:30 p.m. Mondays. More information: December 2019 w The Courier w

4. The Urgency of the New Evangelization: Answering the Call by Ralph Martin. This excellent book explains what the new evangelization is, the reality on the ground in the USA, and why it matters.

5. Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus by Sherry Weddell. This book is a modern classic in missionary discipleship. It both evaluates the data in the USA regarding church attendance vs. intentional discipleship, and proposes how to gauge your own and others on the path to intentional discipleship, in order to help us live out the fullness of our call. Warning: the first four chapters are depressing but honest. Read it for the rest, which is a beacon of hope for all Christians in America. 6. Making Missionary Disciples: How to Live the Method Modeled by the Master by Curtis Martin. This short, readable book is a direct how-to in fostering and growing mission-fueled disciples, a few at a time. Martin is one of the founders of FOCUS, and the book speaks from that perspective and experience of proposing Jesus Christ to college students. 7. Made for Mission: Renewing Your Parish Culture by Tim Glemkowski. While this book is angled more toward those working in churches, anyone invested in a parish could benefit from reading this book—because every lay person is part of the solution. Many parishes do not have internal cultures living up to what they could be. This book is about challenging the prevailing culture of a parish to encourage and foster a vibrant, honest, hospitable, loving family of God.

8. Ablaze: Five Essential Paradigm Shifts for Parish Renewal by Dcn. Keith Strohm. This book is similar to Made for Mission, but focuses upon how you assess the level of discipleship in your parish and “mental changes” needs to happen to raise the level of discipleship as job #1.

9. Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), Pope Francis – if you have not read this apostolic exhortation of Pope Francis, you need to do so. It deserves to be read slowly and with intention. It is the contemporary push for missionary discipleship in a papal document. It is ideally read with…

Susan Windley-Daoust

Director of Missionary Discipleship

Let's Read Together! The office of Missionary Discipleship is offering online book clubs for two of the books listed here (Fire and Light: Learning to Receive the Gift of God and Made for Mission) during the month of January into early February. These book clubs will be led by Susan Windley-Daoust. If you are interested, get the book and email Michele Klein ( indicating you want more information. We will use Zoom technology to videoconference these book clubs; you can use your smartphone or a laptop with camera and microphone. You can even use your regular phone to just listen in. We hope you can participate! 10. Evangelii Nuntiandi (On Evangelization in the Modern World), Pope St. Paul VI. This apostolic exhortation, written on the heels of the Second Vatican Council, is a gem of concise teaching on why and how we the Church must evangelize in an increasingly secular world. Though it dates to 1975, it does not feel dated in the least. This is a limited list, but does include recent and deeply relevant books that help us live out what it means to go and make disciples of all nations in today’s age. Pick one or two or more and enjoy! Blessed advent and Merry Christmas to all!


Todd Graff

Director of Lay Formation & RCIA

Thus says the Lord: I will take from your bodies your stony hearts and give you natural hearts. I will put my spirit within you. You will be my people, and I will be your God -Ezekiel 36:26-28

�reetings of peace, and a blessed Advent! This morning in our chapel at the Diocesan Pastoral

Center (where my office is located), Monsignor Tom Melvin, vicar general and moderator of the Curia, celebrated a Mass for Charity (one of the Masses “for various needs and occasions” in the Roman Missal). The scripture quote above, from the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel, is the entrance antiphon for the Mass. The first reading at Mass was from St. Paul’s letter to the Romans, where he writes: “Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law” (Romans 13:8). In the Gospel reading, Jesus states: “[E]veryone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33). In his homily, Monsignor Melvin wove these two readings together in a profound way. He told us that what God desires is our love – our love, first, for Him, and, then, our love for others through our love for Him. Bishop Robert Barron echoed this in his daily scripture reflection on this Gospel reading: “The heart of the spiritual life is to love God and then to love everything else for the sake of God.” And, in the final sentence of his homily, Monsignor summed it up beautifully in these words: “Love is the one possession of Christ’s disciples.” "Why speak of love?" one might ask. We all know that we’re called to love God and to love our neighbor. What’s left to say? I have been thinking of love, and the lack of it, among Christ’s disciples in our Church today. On a more or less ongoing basis over the past few years, there have been many Catholics (particularly here in the United States) who have been quite harsh and mean spirited publicly toward one another, more generally, and toward our Holy Father, more specifically. If we believe that “God is love” (1 John 4:8) – and we do – then these divisions and hostilities among us serve as a powerful counter witness to this fundamental belief of our Catholic faith. In his general audience on October 9, Pope Francis reflected on the story of Saint Paul as described in the Acts of the Apostles. I find his words to be very instructive in terms of the situation facing our Church today, so I will highlight a few of his points for our reflection. First, Pope Francis speaks of the activities of the young Saul (St. Paul, before his conversion), and describes him as “uncompromising” and “one who manifests intolerance towards those who think differently from himself.” Indeed, Saul witnesses the stoning of St. Stephen (Acts 7:58) and consents to his execution (Acts 8:1). He is “trying to destroy the church” (Acts 8:3) and “breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord" (Acts 9:1).

In Pope Francis’ view, Saul “makes his own political and religious identity absolute and he reduces the other to a potential enemy to be fought.” In him, “religion had been transformed into ideology: religious ideology, social ideology, political ideology.” Just to be clear, our Holy Father is not denying the evil that is in our world and that we must oppose. He cites Saint Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, which speaks of “the world rulers of this present darkness” and “the spiritual hosts of wickedness” (Ephesians 6:12). But, after “being transformed by Christ,” Saint Paul has come to understand that “one must not fight against people but rather the evil that inspires their actions.” Even while Saul seeks to destroy the Church, “the Lord is on his trail in order to touch his heart and convert him to Himself.” He is struck down on the way to Damascus, and comes to understand that his persecution of Christ’s followers is persecution of Christ himself. He repents and is baptized, beginning “a new life … accompanied by a new gaze upon God, upon himself and upon others, who from enemies, have now become brothers and sisters in Christ.” In a very direct fashion, Pope Francis calls each of us to question the angry and hostile spirit of “Saul” within ourselves: “How do I live my life of faith? Do I seek to encounter others or am I counter to others? Do I belong to the universal Church (the good, the bad, everyone) or do I have a selective ideology? Do I adore God or do I adore dogmatic formulations? How is my religious life? Does the faith in God that I profess make me friendly or hostile towards those who are different from me?” The path away from the divisions and hostility, and mean spiritedness, that afflicts much of our Church’s life today is to put our faith fully in our God who is love, and to allow His grace to transform our hearts – as His grace transformed the heart of Saul.

Pope Francis, in concluding his audience, draws on the words of the prophet Ezekiel (whom we cited at the beginning of this article): “Let us ask the Father that, as with Saul, he will allow us too to experience the impact of his love which alone can make a heart of flesh from a heart of stone (cf. Ezekiel 11:19), able to welcome ‘the same sentiment of Jesus Christ within us’" (cf. Philippians 2:5). For, truly, love is the one possession of Christ’s disciples. Deo Gratias! Set our hearts aflame, O Lord, with the Spirit of your charity, we pray, that we may always think thoughts worthy and pleasing to your majesty and love you sincerely in our brothers and sisters.

Lay Formation & RCIA

'The One Possession of Christ's Disciples'


-Collect prayer for the Mass of Charity, Roman Missal, p. 1309

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Life, Marriage & Family


Create in Me a

Clean Heart �id you know that the US Justice

Department and multiple other organizations and agencies fighting sexual exploitation all cite pornography as one of the leading factors fueling a plague of misery and pain? Are you aware that over 50% of divorces stem from use of porn? Estimates are that global human trafficking is a $150 billion industry with $99 billion of it connected with sexual exploitation with direct ties to porn. Depression, social withdrawal, vulnerability to other addictions and substance abuse, sex related violence...and a host of other devastating problems, can all be traced back to pornography abuse. Here is what some men have said about their pornography addiction: I feel that I'm trapped, that watching pornography is pure instinct…I’m tired of feeling like I need it, I'm tired of being tired. I want to be able to give myself wholly to the world, being able to really live. I don't want to have a secret life that makes me hide from others. I've struggled for over five years now with pornography. In that time, I have had relationships come and go. I feel in my soul the love I have for others dies as I continue watching. It tears me apart, and I hate myself after falling.

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It distances me from god, it rewires my brain to make me only enjoy the visual part of sex, it makes me hate myself, it makes me physically weaker, it is outright addictive, constantly making me search for "that perfect video" that does not exist, it makes me completely lose confidence in myself, it distances me from my friends, it wastes valuable time I could be using to study or to better myself.

It is estimated that 60-70% of men are engaging porn with some frequency. If this is an issue you or a loved one deals with, we have a powerful solution for you. It’s called STRIVE and it’s an anonymous 21-day challenge that men all around the world are taking to break free from pornography. The normal cost is $49, but STRIVE is being provided for free for a limited time for all the men of our diocese. All you need to do is sign-up at and you can begin right away.

Peter Martin

Director of Faith Formation and Life, Marriage & Family

The Diocese of Winona-Rochester also offers resources for men, women, parents, educators and ministry leaders on their website https:// This resource is rich with training programs, articles and videos. When it comes to pornography, the bishops of the United States would like to “assure all who are struggling with the sin of pornography and striving to cultivate chastity that you are not alone in your struggle. Jesus is with you, and the Church offers you love and support. Trust in and be led by the Holy Spirit. The Lord’s mercy and forgiveness are abundant! 'As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our sins from us' (Ps 103:12). God’s grace and concrete help are always available. Healing is always possible” (Create in Me a Clean Heart - A Pastoral Response to Pornography).

Pope Francis Adds Feast of Our Lady of Loreto to Roman Calendar

Youth & Young Adults

Aaron Lofy

Director of Youth & Young Adults,


VATICAN CITY, Oct. 31, 2019 (CNA) - Pope Francis has decreed that the feast of Our Lady of Loreto be included in the Roman Calendar as an optional memorial to be celebrated on December 10. “This celebration will help all people, especially families, youth and religious to imitate the virtues of that perfect disciple of the Gospel, the Virgin Mother, who, in conceiving the Head of the Church also accepted us as her own,” Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, stated in the decree published Oct. 31. With the decree, the optional memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Loreto must appear in all calendars and liturgical books for the celebration of the Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours. Catholic pilgrims travel to the small Italian town of Loreto to stand inside the Holy House of Mary, preserved in a basilica, in which traditional holds the Virgin Mary was born, raised, and greeted by the Angel Gabriel at the Annunciation. “This shrine recalls the mystery of the Incarnation, leading all those who visit it to consider ‘the fullness of time,’ when God sent his Son, born of a woman, as well as to meditate both on the words of the Angel announcing the Good News and on the words of the Virgin in response to the divine call,” states the decree signed on Oct. 7, the feast of the Holy Rosary. The Holy House of Mary in Loreto, Italy, has been a popular pilgrimage site since the Middle Ages with Galileo, Mozart, Descartes, Cervantes, St. Therese of Lisieux, and many popes and saints visiting throughout history.

Mankato Serra Club Names 2019 Great Promise Award Recipients


Historic documentation shows that the Holy House of Mary was brought from Palestine to Italy in the 13th century. “In the Holy House, before the image of the Mother of the Redeemer and of the Church, saints and blesseds have responded to their vocation, the sick have invoked consolation in suffering, the people of God have begun to praise and plead with Mary using the Litany of Loreto, which is known throughout the world,” it states. With the decree, the Vatican released the readings and prayers for the annual Dec. 10 celebration of Our Lady of Loreto. The reading for the Liturgy of the Hours comes from St. John Paul II. Pope Francis visited the Holy House in Loreto earlier this year on the Solemnity of the Annunciation, during which he called Loreto “a privileged place where young people can come in search of their vocation.”

“It is necessary to rediscover the plan drawn by God for the family, to reaffirm its greatness and irreplaceability in the service of life and society,” Pope Francis said in Loreto March 25. “The Holy House of Mary is the 'home of the family,'” he said during his visit, noting that “in the delicate situation of today’s world, the family founded on marriage between a man and a woman takes on an importance and an essential mission.” In a homily in 1995, St. Pope John Paul II called the Holy House of Loreto, “the house of all God’s adopted children.” He continued: “The threads of the history of the whole of humankind are tied anew in that house. It is the Shrine of the House of Nazareth, to which the Church that is in Italy is tied by providence, that the latter rediscovers a quickening reminder of the mystery of the Incarnation, thanks to which each man is called to the dignity of the Son of God.”

(pictured L to R): (front row) Delbert Oldham of St. Casimir, Wells; Gabrielle Bemmels of St. Anne, Le Seuer; Charles Hudrlik of St. Joseph the Worker, Mankato; Eli Blace of St. John the Baptist, Mankato; Danny Wood of Ss. Peter & Paul, Mankato; (back row) Maria Miller of Ss. Peter & Paul, Mankato; Carter James of St. Joseph the Worker, Mankato;

Collin Kirschner of St. John the Baptist, Mankato; Rachel Ammann of St. Anne, Le Seuer; and Saul Tellez Gomez of Ss. Peter & Paul, Mankato. Not pictured is Brendan Isenberg of Holy Rosary Parish, North Mankato.


MANKATO - The 2019, 13th Annual Great Promise Award, sponsored by the Mankato Serra Club, was awarded to 11 students on October 22, 2019, at Our Lady of Good Counsel Chapel and Conference Center in Mankato. The recipients were selected for displaying the following qualities of future leadership in our Catholic community: service, generosity, compassion, trustworthiness, and leadership. They are nominated by their teachers, religious education leaders and priests in their 6th grade year and receive the award in their 7th grade year. The 2019 Great Promise Award recipients are

Cathy Ahern works in communications for the Mankato Serra Club. December 2019 w The Courier w

Catholic Schools


Hands to Serve,

Hearts to Love Marsha Stenzel

Superintendent of Catholic Schools

12 Ways to Benefit From Performing Acts of Service

Submitted by JEN SWANSON

t St. Mary’s School in Owatonna, we believe in empowering students to become productive citizens and future leaders. One of the ways we do this is to offer our students a variety of service opportunities throughout the school year to make a difference in the community and world in which we live. We have found that engaging students in service activities not only has a lasting, positive impact on society; it also affects our own students and staff in a positive way. Community service activities enable people of all ages to acquire life skills and knowledge. And, much satisfaction comes from sharing our gifts and talents as disciples of Christ. Service is a part of who we are at St. Mary’s School, allowing us to practice our core values of love, learn, lead, give and pray. That is why we decided this year to transform our annual marathon into a school-wide community service day. It was a fun-filled, empowering day where our students became active members of our community. Our different grade levels participated in the day by doing the following activities: • Pre-School: made banners for the firefighters, police and post office, and cleaned up around the school

• Kindergarten Readiness, Kindergarten, & 1st Grade: Delivered the banners and treat bags to firefighters, police, post office and some of the downtown businesses • 2nd grade: Visited a local assisted living facility, spending quality time with residents • 3rd grade: Cleaned up the fairgrounds

• 4th-7th grade: Cleaned up six local parks

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• 8th grade: Stenciled around street drains for the City of Owatonna as part of their storm sewer stenciling program

This was our most rewarding marathon yet, for several reasons. The students felt they made a difference, and had fun doing so. The recipients were so appreciative and complimentary of our school and students. And, financially, we had a record year of pledges, bringing in more than $12,000 over our goal. It was an all-around great event of making a difference and giving back to our community - a community that has supported Catholic education for more than 142 years. At St. Mary’s, we are proud to follow Mother Teresa’s advice to “Give your hands to serve and your hearts to love.” Jen Swanson is the principal of St. Mary's School in Owatonna.


It connects you to others and brings you closer to God.


It provides a sense of purpose.


It reduces stress and combats depression.


It brings fun and fulfillment to your life.


It keeps you mentally stimulated.


It connects learning with real world issues.


It increases social awareness and responsibility.


It develops self-confidence.


It enhances personal knowledge and growth from new experiences.

10. It develops lifelong interpersonal communication skills. 11. It helps people discover their passions and interests. 12. It engages critical concepts and feelings, such as empathy, giving, collaboration and trustworthiness.

Thanks from St. John Vianney School Submitted by SARAH STRIEMER

�uring the month of August, there was quite a bit

of machinery and many workers present during the day at St. John Vianney School. We were fortunate enough to be able to replace our roof and install air conditioning throughout our building. These projects were able to happen because of a generous gift from our local Knights of Columbus and a few large bequests. We are so grateful to everyone who continues to support our school! The students just completed our first major fundraiser for the year, the Marathon for Non Public Schools. We walked/ran during the afternoon of October 4. Our goal for the marathon was $13,800. The students worked so hard and

surprised all of us by raising close to $16,000! This money will be used for teacher professional development, to replace five computers in the lab, and for teacher classroom needs, and then we will tuck some away for a future need or project. Our students finished the fall session of the NWEAs and performed very well. We are so blessed to have dedicated teachers who hold academics to a very high standard for our students. We had our annual Harvest Mass on October 23. Our students and families brought in food items for our parish Hope Shop. They helped to fill the shelves for this upcoming holiday season. Many people will be very thankful for their gifts. Our basketball and cheerleading program is underway. We have many students who participate in the basketball program and seven girls who cheer them on at home games. Our coaches spend a great deal of time teaching students not only the fundamentals of basketball, but also how to be a good team member.

Each Thursday morning at 7:40, we gather in the school gym to say the rosary for our school and its students, teachers, staff, and families. Students can come a few minutes early to school on Thursday to be a part of the beginning of the rosary or they can come into the gym and join us as they are dropped off or get off the bus. This is a beautiful way for us to start our day together. St. John Vianney said, “Private prayer is like straw scattered here and there. You set it on fire, it makes a lot of little flames. But gather these straws into a bundle and light them, and you get a mighty fire, rising like a column into the sky; public prayer is like that.” The sound of little children saying the rosary together is a precious sound. Thank you to everyone who supports St. John Vianney School through volunteering, financial support, and prayers. There are great things happening within these walls each and every day! Sarah Striemer is the principal of St. John Vianney School in Fairmont.

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Wait in Watchful Hope �his is my theme for Advent. It once

again speaks to everything that I feel is needed in our day. Reject the anxiety of worry and stress. Be patient with circumstances and those around you. Wait on the Lord with trust and confidence in His saving grace. Do not grow weary, but instead renew your desire to stand watch as He continues to be at work in your life. If we do not keep confidence and trust in God, we will lose hope. When my labors feel like a grind, I recognize that I need to renew my watchfulness and hope in God. Even though difficult circumstances arise and challenges present themselves in a new dynamic, the reality of what I need to do in those moments stays much the same. I cannot control the world around me, but I can control my response to the anxieties and

pressures of today. This is what I mean by hope. Whether we are looking at the problems in the Church, problems in the world, or problems in our family, one thing is common: we are looking at the problem. And, while we obviously cannot avoid looking at the problems we face to a certain extent, when we allow the problem to shape our vision and emotional response, we are giving too much authority to the burden. By waiting in watchful hope, we are not passively standing by and just avoiding the problem. Instead, we are confidently trusting in God and allowing His saving grace to affect our psyche. God is full of love and mercy and wants to transform our lives and His Church by this grace. By shifting our focus from the burden to God’s grace present in the midst of the trial, we are renewing our hope that God is at work and desires to transform the situation. By entrusting our burdens to God, we let go of our desire to fix the problem and instead learn to admit our powerlessness and need for something outside of "me." We think our only hope is the problem being solved or the burden being lifted. Rather, that something we are searching for is really Someone. God is your hope. He is the one who can calm the waves of worry when our hearts

Rev. Jason Kern Director of Vocations

feel overwhelmed and isolated. We focus on the problem at hand when God wants us to focus of Him. One extension of this reflection: As a member of the Catholic Church, how are you waiting in watchful hope for the good of the Church? The Church is the Body of Christ but it is also the community and institution that Jesus founded to gather the whole people of God into one family. This means that while the Church is a divine reality, given to us by Christ to live in union with Him, it is also a messy reality with many difficult dynamics. Each of us at this time in history is called to wait in watchful hope on behalf of the good of the Church by praying for unity, carrying forth the saving message of Jesus, but not being afraid to teach the truth that the Church is necessary for salvation. When we live our vocations and encourage others to follow God’s divine plan within the Church, we show them that they, too, have a concrete calling from God to live out His plan for the Church and world. We need the Catholic Church in the world, today more than ever, to show people not only that God has come so individuals might find salvation, but He has come to gather us together into a communion of believers. Hope in God, find salvation through the Eucharistic and Sacramental life of His holy Church; even when we might feel weary by keeping watch, renew your hope in God and do it for the sake of the Church, the whole Body of Christ, which is the only place the world will find salvation and hope.

Through the great generosity and prayers of so many faithful people of our diocese, I received the formation and education necessary to become a priest of Jesus Christ for the Diocese of Winona-Rochester. With your financial and spiritual support, we continue the sacred mission of forming the future priests of our diocese after the heart of Christ. Thank you for continuing to invest in the future of the Church, and the proclamation of the Gospel to the people of our diocese.

-Fr. Matt Wagner Ordained June 28, 2019

Thank you

for supporting the Seminarian Education Fund! December 2019 w The Courier w

Monica Herman

Executive Director Catholic Foundation of Southern Minnesota

Stewardship Saint for December

St. Fabiola

Saint Fabiola is the patron saint of difficult marriages, divorced persons, abused spouses and victims of unfaithful spouses. She was a Christian, born in Rome in the mid-4th century to a powerful and wealthy family. She was married off at a young age to an abusive and adulterous husband. Saint Jerome, the most famous biblical scholar in the history of the Church, knew her personally, as he was her teacher and spiritual director. He wrote: “So terrible were the faults imputed to her former husband that not even a prostitute or a common slave could have put up with them.” Fabiola was able to secure a divorce from her husband under Roman civil law, and then she remarried, violating the ordinances of the Church. While she was still young, Fabiola’s ex-husband died, followed shortly thereafter by her second husband. Upon the latter’s death, she appeared before the gates of Saint John Lateran Basilica, dressed in penitential garb and sought forgiveness for marrying outside the Church. Her public plea for reconciliation was said to have made a great impression upon the Christian population of Rome, and the pope received her formally again into full communion with the Church. Fabiola devoted her immense wealth to the needs of the poor, the sick and the homeless of Rome. She became a physician and practiced medicine, treating patients with illnesses other physicians would avoid. She also supported the needs of the Church and parish communities throughout Italy. In 395 Fabiola made a pilgrimage to Bethlehem, an experience which deepened her faith even more dramatically. She lived in a hospice for a time with a religious community, spent hours in prayer, performed menial tasks and cultivated a profound devotion to the simplicity and poverty of the Nativity. When she returned to Rome, Fabiola sold all her belongings and co-founded what is known to be the first hospital in the Western world. Saint Jerome later wrote that this innovative institution became famous from Britain to Parthia (modern day Iran). And she continued to work tirelessly to treat patients that no one else would treat. Fabiola died on December 27, 399, of natural causes, and her death was marked by an enormous procession befitting a state funeral. Roman citizens turned out by the thousands to express their gratitude for the life and ministry she had embraced in the city of Rome. Her feast day is December 27.

�id you know that ten percent of annual giving occurs in the last three days of December?

• All kinds of assets make great year-end gifts for the permanent endowment fund of your local parish, school, or favorite ministry. This includes cash, stocks, mutual funds, paid-up life insurance, crops, and land. These assets can be given outright or to fund a planned gift.

• If making a gift by cash or check, be sure it is postmarked by December 31 if you plan to deduct it in 2019. • You may also give online by credit card before or on December 31 at

• If you are age 70 ½ or older, you may give a gift directly from your IRA without having to claim it as income in 2019, thus avoiding income tax. Be sure to instruct your IRA administrator to send the gift directly to the Catholic Foundation of Southern Minnesota. (If the gift first comes to you, it may be subject to income tax.)

Congratulations! Since our Last Printing, the following parishes have met their goals for the 2019 Catholic Ministries Appeal:

Holy Family Lake Crystal Holy Redeemer Eyota

13 Catholic Foundation

Your Year-End Giving Makes a Difference

• Gifts of stock, paid-up life insurance, real or personal property all take a certain amount of preparation. Please visit with us for help as to how to make gifts of these assets. Call (507) 858-1276 or email • You can honor someone living, or remember someone who has passed, with any of the above gifts. We would be honored to send notification of the gift to whomever you specify (if you wish) to let them know of your gift at this special time of year. Please send your gift to:

Catholic Foundation of Southern Minnesota 750 Terrace Heights, Suite 105 PO Box 30098 Winona, MN 55987

You will receive a receipt for your donation that contains the necessary tax-substantiation required for 2019 tax purposes.

A Stewardship Prayer for December

Gracious Lord, Let your goodness reveal itself to us, that we, made in your image, may conform ourselves to it. We cannot imagine your majesty, power and wonder on our own; nor is it fitting for us to try. But your kindness and mercy reach from the heavens, through the clouds, to the earth below to show us the fruits of your Incarnation. You have come to us as a small child, but you have brought us the greatest of all gifts, the gift of your eternal love. Caress us with your tiny hands, embrace us with your tiny arms, and soften our hearts with your tender voice so that we might respond as humble stewards of your active presence in the world. We pray this through Christ, your Son who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.

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Ask a Canon Lawyer


The Amazon Synod

Making Sense of the Headlines �ately,

one hot topic in various Catholic news outlets has been the recent Amazon Synod. Unfortunately, what many news stories have in excitement and drama, they lack in clarity. So it might be good to go over some basic questions here. What Is a Synod?

First of all, what is a synod in the first place? Most essentially, a “synod” is a kind of significant meeting within the Church, in which issues of importance are discussed. It is possible to have a local diocesan synod (see canons 460 – 468, for example). But the synods we hear about most often in the news are meetings of the Synod of Bishops, which are usually convened in Rome. As canon 342 defines it: The Synod of Bishops is a group of bishops who have been chosen from different regions of the world and meet together at fixed times to foster closer unity between the Roman Pontiff and bishops, to assist the Roman Pontiff with their counsel in the preservation and growth of faith and morals and in the observance and strengthening of ecclesiastical discipline, and to consider questions pertaining to the activity of the Church in the world.

Or, in other words, a Synod of Bishops is a group of individual bishops—selected from around the world, based on the potential helpfulness of their own particular experiences, insights, and areas of expertise—who come together in order to advise the Holy Father. This kind of synod, besides being a practical way for the Pope to gain advice and information, also has a deeper theological meaning. Namely, a synod expresses the collegiality of the Church, or the fact that the Pope as the bishop of Rome carries out his ministry in union with the local bishops of dioceses all throughout the universal Church. Often, a synod is organized around a particular topic, or is meant to address certain specific questions. One important thing to remember about synods, however, is that they are primarily advisory. That is, they are not usually meant to speak definitively on disputed theological issues or to change the Church’s laws. In the rare cases when a synod is meant to provide a concrete answer to a specific question or to change Church policy, this can only happen with the express authorization of the Holy Father—and even in these cases, the conclusions of the synod as a body only become authoritative when they are directly approved by the Holy Father (cf. canon 343). Why an Amazon Synod?

For many of us here in southern Minnesota, our only experience with the “Amazon” is ordering things online! In some ways, the needs of the

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Amazon region in South America may seem very far removed, and perhaps even irrelevant, to our own lives as Catholics. But, as we know, the Catholic Church is truly universal, and the Holy Father is called to have concern for all of the faithful (and the potential faithful who have yet to encounter Christ in His Church), even those in the most remote corners and “peripheries” of the world. The Amazon region, being very much still mission territory, has unique pastoral needs that the Holy Father felt needed the special attention of a Synod to address. Some of these needs pertain to an extreme lack of priests and Church “infrastructure” like parishes and schools, which makes access to religious formation and the sacraments difficult for many of the Amazon’s inhabitants. And, in places where the Church is relatively new (like ancient Rome, or northern Europe around 1000 A.D., or the Amazon region today), it is fairly normal for there to be what might be thought of as cultural “growing pains,” as entire cultures strive to integrate their worldview in a way that responds to the radical challenges of the Gospel, while still maintaining their own cultural identities in a healthy way.

Jenna Cooper

Tribunal Coordinator & Judge

puts a greater emphasis on the witness value of priestly celibacy, and Pope Francis has often spoken about how priestly celibacy is a priceless gift for the Church. But the Latin rite also allows for married men to become priests in certain extraordinary circumstances on a case-by-case basis. E.g., sometimes married former Anglican priests are allowed to become Catholic priests after they and their family enter into full communion with the Catholic Church. The arguments in favor of ordaining married men as priests in the Amazon generally center around the idea that the dire need for native priests in that region provides enough of an extraordinary pastoral reason to make a similar exception to the Latin Church’s discipline of only ordaining unmarried celibate men. But while there can be different opinions on whether or not this is in fact the case, it is not a question of potentially introducing something totally new into the Understanding “Hot Button” Topics Church. With the question of women deacons, we While the Amazon Synod is meant to address a know that there was some sort of role for women wide variety of nuanced pastoral issues for the called “deaconesses” in the early Church, but people of that region, the mainstream news scholars of Church history still aren’t media has tended to focus a disproporsure precisely what this was or D o y tionate amount of attention on two o a u exactly what these deaconesses controversial issues: married cano questio have did. What is very clear, however, priests and female deacons. n a n la you b w o is that women cannot be and ut When issues such as this that to s w o u l d have never been literally, sacpop up in the news, the most like here ee ans ramentally ordained in the were important thing for faithful ? d j c o o Email same way that male deacons, Catholics to recall is that the p priests, and bishops are. with er@dow truths of the faith cannot be r. o r g So, discussions about " changed by popular vote at a Cou ques r i e t i “woman deacons” are realr o meeting. While it is theoretin" t h i n e ly about possibly creating cally possible for certain cussubj e c or reviving some sort of nont toms and practices to change, line. ordained vocation for women or for Church teachings with that is focused on serving the ambiguous aspects to be defined needs of the Church. It can be debated with greater clarity, the foundational whether instituting such a role is sensible truths of the faith are absolutely unchangeor prudent—or whether such a thing may be able. unnecessary or redundant, since we already have That being said, neither of these hot-button women formally dedicated to serving the Church topics are canonically as “out there” as they might as consecrated virgins and religious Sisters—but seem at first glance. it is not a matter of deciding whether or not womWith respect to married priests, some branchen’s ordination is somehow now possible. es of the Church, i.e. the Eastern rite Churches, Yet overall, as noted above, with the way this such as Byzantine or Maronite Catholics, have a particular Synod is organized, neither of these long and venerable tradition of married priests. questions will be decided definitively. At most, Though it is worth noting that while a married discussion of these issues at the Amazon Synod man can be ordained an Eastern Catholic priest, will inspire the Pope to declare that there should an already-ordained Eastern priest cannot marry, be more discussion in the future! And discussing and if a married priest is widowed he cannot rean issue is not the same as determining a course marry. And, Eastern bishops are always chosen of action; often it is simply a way of coming to a from among Eastern priests who are unmarried deeper understanding of what the Church already and committed to celibacy. teaches and does. Our own Latin (“Roman”) Catholic tradition

Embracing a Child's Love for All 15 Mary Alessio

� oday, I am in awe of the loving example of children. They amaze and humble me. They make me

realize the significance of finding joy in each and every day. For the next five minutes, I want you to do me a favor. Imagine what it felt like on Christmas morning when you woke up to twinkling lights and an evergreen tree lined with gifts left by Santa. Try to envision the ecstasy of a Christmas that was accompanied by snowflakes on the tip of your tongue. Please refrain from allowing thoughts of shovels or snow blowers to creep into your flashback! I’m sure you will agree that the wonder of Christmas still brings out the child in you and me. I still get that tingling feeling up my spine as I walk down Michigan Avenue in Chicago with family by my side at Christmas. The lights, the smells of fresh popcorn and roasted chestnuts, the sounds of carols in the air, a hot chocolate in my hand—I experience that same joy I felt as a child. Yet, that feeling of excitement is nothing compared to the feeling of elation I experience when I hear “O Come All Ye Faithful” at midnight Mass and when I kneel in front of the crèche before heading into that winter wonderland. After reading an article recently that stated many wise scholars professed the Messiah would be recognized only if he was wise as Solomon, charismatic as David, and had the military genius of Joshua - I smiled thinking that the Messiah arrived as an innocent baby, just a helpless little one, who at first glance looked like an ordinary child. You and I are assured that we are able to follow in Jesus’ footsteps because we can envision him as a helpless child in that manger. We are reminded of both his humanity and divinity as he moved through each developmental stage of life. He crawled as a child, he struggled through those teen years, and he was challenged as he reached adulthood. He is one with us; we are children of God.

order to create lasting memories with her grandchildren. You feel the pain of a young couple in need of counseling as they deal with family struggles that have them question their commitment to each other and their ability to cope. With the love of a child, you see the poorest of the poor and the vulnerable as part of your family needing a helping hand in order to reach their full potential. In fact, last year because you embraced a child’s love for all, you helped transform the lives of over 7,900 individuals. You not only embraced joy--you created it for those in need. This Christmas when you hear the lyrics echoing, “Oh come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant ... come and behold Him, born the king of angels….” I hope you envision the love of the Christ child; I hope you feel that tingling up your spine as you are reminded that Jesus is calling us to change and become like little children again and to embrace the loving example of a child. I hope you feel an overwhelming joy. Our board members, staff, volunteers, and all those you serve through our hands, hold you close to our hearts this Christmas. We are forever grateful for the blessing of you in our lives. May this Christmas bring out the child in you and me! May the wonder and joy radiated that first Christmas stay alive within you and me. May we all change and embrace the love of a child.

Catholic Charities

Director of Advancement Catholic Charities of Southern Minnesota

The challenge comes as you and I reach adulthood. But, unlike Jesus, we tend to drop those childlike qualities that are meant to stay alive within us as children of God: trust, innocence, abandonment to God’s will, forgiveness, a love for all, and joy! Jesus repeatedly told his disciples to let the children come to him. He always embraced a child’s love for all! He reminds you and me that trust in the Father and a childlike love for our brothers and sisters is clearly the path to joy and peace in this life and it is our way to heaven. “I assure you, unless you change and become like little children, you will not enter the kingdom of God” (Matthew 18:3). I have a feeling Jesus knew that “change” would stretch you and me out of our comfort zone. As we reach adolescence and adulthood those negative experiences, disappointments, and unfulfilled dreams often burn us out. Those experiences often leave you and me jaded. We begin to see less of the beauty within individuals and notice more of their flaws. On the other hand, children look at people and they just see people. They don’t see labels or stereotypes. They see beauty where you and I see imperfection. Children embrace a love for all. And, that love for all is exactly what Jesus calls you and me to embrace. At Catholic Charities, we are reminded to let that inclusive love of a child guide our choices daily. We strive to embrace complete trust in God’s grace and guidance as we serve people of all ages, genders, ethnic backgrounds, and faith traditions. And, that is precisely what you do when you embrace our mission with a childlike faith and your compassionate support of the seventeen programs of Catholic Charities. You see the potential in a single parent who needs help pursuing post secondary education in order to obtain gainful employment and a hopeful future for her child. You feel empathy for a grandmother who cannot afford her medication and longs to regain her health in

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Amazon Synod,


cont'd from pg. 2

In the World

we don’t change we won’t make it.” Czerny said that environmental scientists and other experts who audited the synod helped the bishops to understand “the planet suffering” because “they drove scientific facts home in a way that we can feel them.” The Canadian cardinal said that people want “a plastic solution” that is not going to affect their lives and not require them to change, but he stressed that it does not exist and conversion is required. The synod document also condemns the theft of the "traditional wisdom" of the Amazonian peoples as "biopiracy" and a "form of violence." "The Church chooses to defend life, the land and the native Amazon cultures," including in the Amazon peoples' "registration, processing and dissemination of data and information about their territories and their legal status," it states. The report says the Church must guard itself against "the power of neo-colonialism" and "unlearn, learn and relearn" in order to overcome any tendency toward "colonizing models." The synod reaffirms a “commitment to defend life seamlessly from conception to natural death and the dignity of each and every person.”

Pope: Theology in 'Dialogue with Cultures' Renews Humanity By HANNAH BROCKHAUS

VATICAN CITY, Nov. 9, 2019 (CNA) - When theology and philosophy engage with cultures in creative ways, they become a powerful tool for renewing humanity with the Word of God, Pope Francis said during the awarding of the 2019 Ratzinger Prize. “This is true for all cultures: access to redemption for humanity in all of its dimensions should be sought with creativity and imagination,” the pope said Nov 9. He quoted St. Paul VI’s apostolic exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi, which says, “Evangelizing means bringing the Good News into all the strata of humanity, and through its influence transforming humanity from within and making it new.” “It is a duty for theology to be and remain in active dialogue with cultures, even as they change over time and evolve differently in various parts of the world,” he said. “It is a condition necessary for the vitality of Christian faith, for the Church’s mission of evangelization.” “All the arts and disciplines,” Francis said, “thus cooperate in contributing to the full growth of the human person, which is to be found ultimately in the encounter with the living person of Jesus Christ, the incarnate Logos, the revelation of the God who is love.” Pope Francis addressed members of the Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI Foundation in the Vatican's apostolic palace during the award ceremony for the 2019 edition of the prestigious Ratzinger Prize. The Ratzinger Prize was begun in 2011 to recognize scholars whose work demonstrates a meaningful contribution to theology or philosophy in the spirit of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the Bavarian theologian who became Benedict XVI. The winners of the 2019 prize are Catholic intellectual Charles Taylor and Jesuit priest and theologian, Fr. Paul Béré. December 2019 w The Courier w

Pastoral service to the indigenous, it says, “obliges us to proclaim Jesus Christ and the Good News of the Kingdom of God.” Pope Francis announced in his closing speech to the synod that he would create a new section in the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development dedicated to the Church in the Amazon. The synod final document also called for a “socioenvironmental and pastoral office” to work in alliance with the Latin American church organizations REPAM, CELAM, CLAR, and other non-ecclesial actors representing indigenous peoples. Cultural Conversion

The synod document states that "inculturation is the incarnation of the Gospel in indigenous cultures... and at the same time the introduction of these cultures into the life of the Church." The Amazon culture and spirituality already have a rich "indigenous theology, Amazonian face of theology and popular piety," it says, adding that they "reject a colonial style of evangelization." "The evangelization that we propose today for the Amazon is the inculturated proclamation that generates processes of interculturality, processes that promote the life of the Church with an Amazon identity and face,” the report states. Czerny said that it is very important for the Church to learn how to be “interculturally respectful.” “Not to assume that the way I am or the way we are is definitive, is the norm, is the way it has to be … differences have to be embraced,” he said. “The church is not an inflexible structure in which

Béré is the first African to win the prestigious Ratzinger Prize. A lecturer at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, he received the prize for his work on the figure of the prophet Joshua. From Burkina Faso, Béré spoke in September on the need for an “Africanness” within the Catholic approach to addressing regional problems. “Africa can find a solution to all its problems within, what we [Africans] simply need is the slightest desire to share the solutions across the continent,” Beré told ACI Africa Sept. 28 at the Nairobi tri-party conference on the status of the evangelization mission in Africa. Beré is a member of several African theological associations and of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC). He has also participated as an expert in several synods of bishops. After the announcement that he had won the prize, he told Vatican News: “I think this is an encouragement for all theological work done in Africa.” Pope Francis Nov. 9 praised Beré as a “renowned scholar of Sacred Scripture” and he expressed his appreciation and encouragement for all those who are “committed to inculturation of the faith in Africa through their original and deepened study.” Contemporary African theology is still young, but it is “dynamic and full of promise,” the pope said. “Father Béré provides an example of this by his work on the interpretation of Old Testament texts in a context of oral culture, thus bringing to fruition the experience of African culture.” Dr. Charles Taylor, 88, is an award-winning Canadian Catholic philosopher, who has taught at Oxford and at the University of Montreal and McGill University. His focus has been in the areas of history of philosophy, most especially political philosophy and the philosophy of social science. One of Taylor’s many notable contributions was to the topics of religion, modernity, and secularization. “During his years of active research and teaching, Professor Taylor has covered many fields, but he has particularly devoted his mind and heart to understanding the phenomenon of secularization in our time,” Francis noted. “Secularization effectively poses a significant challenge for the Catholic Church, indeed for all Christians, and for all believers in God,” he said, adding that a priority of Benedict XVI’s pontificate was to “proclaim God anew” during a time “when that proclamation seems to be on the wane for a large part of humanity.” The pope said, “few scholars in the present day have

your cultures and traditions will find no place … it is the opposite,” Bishop Guinea said. “A Church with an Amazonian face,” the document states, “needs its communities to be infused with a synodal spirit, supported by organizational structures of this dynamic, as authentic organisms of ‘communion.’” “The Church’s research and pastoral centres, in alliance with the indigenous peoples, should study, compile and systematize the traditions of the Amazon’s ethnic groups in order to favor an educational effort that starts from their identity and culture…” Synodal Conversion

The synod document also calls for “new paths for synodal conversion.” Cardinal Czerny said that this process involved “an unprecedented process of listening” before the Amazon synod. “You know that synodality is working when you find yourself voting for something which you knew before the synod began that you disagreed with,” Czerny said. When asked what was the working definition of “synodality” understood among the synod fathers, Czerny replied, “Everyone had a sense of what it meant because we were doing it. Whether everyone could explain it in words, I am not so sure, but I am not sure that that matters.” A synod is a consultative assembly, convened by the pope or a bishop, to advise on a particular topic of interest to the local, regional, or universal Church. [The Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazonian region concluded Oct. 27 with a closing Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica.] posed the problem of secularization with the breadth of vision as has Professor Taylor.” “We are indebted to him for the profound manner in which he has treated the problem, carefully analyzing the development of Western culture, the movements of the human mind and heart over time, identifying the characteristics of modernity in their complex relationships, in their shadows and lights.” Taylor’s work invites Catholics to seek “new ways to live and express the transcendent dimensions of the human soul,” he continued, which allows them to engage with secularization in the West “in a way that is neither superficial nor given to fatalistic discouragement.” “This is needed not only for a reflection on contemporary culture, but also for an in-depth dialogue and discernment in order to adopt the spiritual attitudes suitable for living, witnessing, expressing, and proclaiming the faith in our time,” he stated. Despite coming from very different backgrounds and continents, the two honorees of the 2019 Ratzinger Prize have dedicated themselves to seeking “the way to God and the encounter with Christ,” Francis said. “This,” he added, “is the mission of all who follow the teaching of Joseph Ratzinger as theologian and Pope, to be “‘co-workers of the truth.’” The honorees of the Ratzinger Prize are chosen by Pope Francis, based upon the recommendations of a committee composed of Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer of Regensburg and Cardinals Angelo Amato, Kurt Koch, Gianfranco Ravasi, and Luis Ladaria, who are heads of offices in the Roman Curia. Pope Francis said Nov. 9, that “we are all grateful” for the teaching of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, “and for his exemplary service to the Church, demonstrated by his reflections, his thought and study, his listening, dialogue and prayer.” “His aim was that we might consciously retain a lively faith despite the changing times and situations; and that believers could give an account of their faith in a language that can be understood by their contemporaries, entering into dialogue with them, together seeking pathways of authentic encounter with God in our time,” he said. “This has always been a keen desire of Joseph Ratzinger the theologian and pastor, who never closed himself off in a disembodied culture of pure concepts, but gave us the example of seeking truth where reason and faith, intelligence and spirituality, are constantly integrated.”

U.S. Bishops Vote for USCCB President and Vice President at Annual General Assembly in Baltimore from

About Archbishop Gomez excerpted from

Most Reverend José H. Gomez is the Archbishop of Los Angeles, the nation’s largest Catholic community. In his ministry, Archbishop Gomez encourages people to fol-

About Archbishop Vigneron excerpted from Appointed by Pope Benedict XVI, the Most Rev. Allen H. Vigneron was named archbishop of the Detroit Archdiocese on Jan. 5, 2009, succeeding Cardinal Adam Maida. In January of 2003, Archbishop Vigneron was named coadjutor bishop of the Diocese of Oakland, Calif. He served in that capacity for nine months before becoming the local ordinary (resident bishop). While in California, he oversaw the design and construction of a new cathedral, chancery, conference center and healing garden dedicated to those abused by clergy. In Detroit, he was named an auxiliary bishop under Cardinal Maida in 1996. Archbishop Vigneron served as rectorpresident of Sacred Heart Major Seminary from 1994–2003. He had studied for the priesthood there, returned in later years to teach philosophy and returned yet again as a dean. A native of Mt. Clemens, the archbishop was ordained as a priest of the Detroit Archdiocese in 1975.


In the Nation

BALTIMORE, Nov. 12, 2019 - Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles was elected president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) during the Fall General Assembly in Baltimore. Archbishop Gomez has served as vice president of the Conference since 2016. Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron of Detroit was elected as USCCB vice president. Both the new president and vice president terms begin at the conclusion of this year’s General Assembly. Archbishop Gomez was elected president on the first ballot with 176 votes. Archbishop Vigneron was elected vice president on the third ballot by 151 to 90 in a runoff vote against Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Military Services, USA. The president and vice president are elected by a simple majority from a slate of 10 nominees. If no president or vice president is chosen after the second round of voting, a third ballot is a run-off between the two bishops who received the most votes on the second ballot. Archbishop Vigneron has served as the Conference secretary since 2018, a position that he will vacate upon assuming the vice presidency. Therefore, the bishops will vote in their afternoon session for a Conference secretary to fill the vacancy left as Archbishop Vigneron assumes the vice presidency.

low Jesus Christ with joy and simplicity of life, seeking to serve God and their neighbors in their ordinary daily activities. For more than a decade, Archbishop Gomez has been a voice of compassion and reason on moral and spiritual issues in American public life and culture. He has played a leading role in the Catholic Church’s efforts to promote immigration reform and is author of the 2013 book, Immigration and the Next America: Renewing the Soul of Our Nation. Archbishop Gomez is currently ending a three-year term as Vice President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, a post he assumed in November 2016. He is also currently a papal appointee to the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. In 2012, Pope Benedict XVI personally selected him to participate in a month-long “synod” or meeting of the world’s bishops on the “New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith.”In 2015, Archbishop Gomez was selected to represent the United States Catholic Bishops at the World Meeting of Families and the Synod of Bishops on “The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and in the Contemporary World.” His brother bishops also selected him to represent them at the 2018 Synod of Bishops on “Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment.” Archbishop Gomez urges every Catholic, in all walks of life, to assume responsibility for the mission of the Catholic Church. He has worked to promote lay leadership, marriage and the family, and vocations to the priesthood. He has been instrumental in promoting the leadership of Hispanics and women in the Church and in American society, as a founding member of the Catholic Association of Latino Leaders (C.A.L.L.) and ENDOW (Educating on the Nature and Dignity of Women). Archbishop Gomez is a native of Monterrey, Mexico, and a naturalized American citizen. Prior to becoming Archbishop of Los Angeles, he served as Archbishop of San Antonio (2005–2010) and Auxiliary Bishop of Denver (2001–2005). He holds a doctorate degree in theology (S.T.D.), as well as undergraduate degrees in accounting, philosophy and theology.

Born: Oct. 21, 1948

Ordained Detroit Priest: July 26, 1975

Appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit and Titular Bishop of Sault Sainte Marie in Michigan: June 12, 1996 Ordained Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit: July 9, 1996

Appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Oakland: Jan. 10, 2003

Installed Coadjutor Bishop of Oakland: Feb. 26, 2003 Succeeded as Third Bishop of Oakland: Oct. 1, 2003

Appointed Tenth Ordinary and Fifth Archbishop of Detroit: Jan. 5, 2009 Installed Archbishop of Detroit: Jan. 28, 2009

As SCOTUS Hears DACA Arguments, USCCB Migration Chair Calls for Protection of 'Dreamers' By CHRISTINE ROUSSELLE

BALTIMORE, Nov. 13, 2019 (CNA) - The USCCB’s migration committee chairman hopes that Congress can come to a solution regarding the situation of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy recipients, as the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in a case seeking approval to eliminate the program altogether. Bishop Joe Vasquez of Austin told CNA Nov.12 that while he and his brother bishops have been advocating for a congressional solution to DACA, their main concern now was the situation of the approximately 700,000 DACA recipients. “Those people need also to have someone advocate for them. So the bishops need to speak up and say very clearly that these people, we don't want separation of families," said Vasquez. About 256,000 children have at least one parent with DACA status. There are fears that if DACA were to be repealed, these people would then be deported, splitting up the family. This is “a big concern for the Church,” said Vasquez. “The Church is always going to advocate on the side of the family, because the family is very important," he added. DACA recipients, he said “already are... part of the fabric of this country” and contribute to the economy and to their communities.

“They’re leaders already in many of our parishes and churches,” said the bishop. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in three cases – Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of University of California; McAleenan, Secretary of Homeland Security v. Vidal; Trump, President of U.S. v. NAACP – which concern whether the Trump administration may end DACA outright. President Barack Obama introduced DACA via executive memorandum in June 2012. It permits people who were brought to the United States illegally as children to apply for temporary protection from deportation and work permits. The program was set to expire in 2017, but this has been delayed after Congress was given a chance to codify parts of DACA into law. Congress failed to pass DACA into law, and the partisan-based debate over immigration and border security has continued. The Supreme Court is expected to make a decision about whether President Donald Trump would be permitted to end DACA in the spring or early summer of 2020. As for Vasquez, he will continue to hope that Congress can come to a solution. "My hope and prayer is that they would be able to do something, they'd be able to reconcile and come together and take care of these people,” he said. “I think deporting them is the wrong answer. It's not the way to address this issue.” December 2019 w The Courier w


Rudolph to the Rescue The Triumph of an Under-Deer


� obert May was painfully aware of the distance between his dreams and his

In the Diocese

reality. The 34-year-old Dartmouth graduate had long fantasized about writing the great American novel. Instead, he was working a mediocre job as an ad man for Montgomery Ward, cranking out forgettable copy about silk sheets and white shirts. He lived in a tiny apartment with his ill wife and young daughter. One day in 1939, May’s boss tapped him for an unexpected assignment. For years Montgomery Ward had bought coloring books and distributed them at stores as a Christmas giveaway. This time around executives decided to save money by creating their own booklet – and asked May to write it. His thoughts turned to the Lincoln Park Zoo. When he took his 4-year-old, Barbara, she was drawn to the deer. He also channeled his own childhood insecurities that remained poignant; he’d been teased as a small, shy boy. An underdog story like the Ugly Duckling appealed to him. Then, looking out onto the flickering street lights one foggy winter night, came the inspiration: “A nose! A bright red nose that would shine through fog like a floodlight,” he said. May wanted an alliterative name for his reindeer and considered Reginald – too British – and Rollo, which sounded too jolly for a misfit. Rudolph was still

The Courier Crossword

colorful but more sympathetic. The tale had a decidedly plaintive, Depression-era tone, describing an outcast who “wept” at his peers’ taunting. May delved into the psychology of his characters, penning a more dramatic narrative arc than we find in the famous 1949 song recorded by Gene Autry and the beloved 1964 stop-action TV special narrated by Burl Ives. Readers see Santa’s fog-induced struggles: “He tangled in tree-tops again and again…” We also see his diplomacy, recruiting Rudolph by praising his “wonderful forehead” and proving “extra-polite.” The sweetness of Rudolph’s redemption is spooned out so liberally it reveals May’s lingering boyhood wounds. “It was his opinion of himself that gave rise to Rudolph,” his daughter, Barbara, later said. Where Autry simply sings “then all the reindeer loved him,” May offers more detail: “The funny-faced fellow they always called names and practically never allowed in their games was now to be envied by all, far and near. For no greater honor can come to a deer…” If that’s not enough, he lets Rudolph land his Christmas-night flight right in front of “his handsomer playmates,” noting that “those bad deer who used to do nothing but tease him would now have done anything… only to please him!” Even more: “They felt even sorrier they had been bad when Santa said: ‘Rudolph, I never have had a deer quite so brave or so brilliant as you…’” He is promptly declared “Commander-In-Chief,” a title May types in capital letters. May took great care with each stanza, running them by Barbara. When his wife died in July, his boss told him to stop working on the booklet. May refused to quit. “I needed Rudolph more than ever,” he wrote. In late August, he finished the story. Ward seized it as a lesson for his clerks, celebrating in an in-house memo Rudolph’s “service, the right attitude and a desire to do his best.”

By W.R. CHESTER Across

1. St. Nicholas

5. Our Lady's Holy House

8. Eritrean Catholic headquarters 10. Her eyes are on a dish 11. Religious intensity

12. Meaning "barefoot"

16. Prelature not belonging to any diocese 17. _____ and see...

18. Cardinalatial reference 20. Blessed are the ____ in spirit...

21. Under a bishop or ecclesiastical superior 23. Concerning Mary

24. Vestments for Gaudete 26. Before marriage

27. Our Lady's appearance on Tepayac Hill

30. Inordinate love for riches 31. Children of Bethlehem

Last Month's Answers Down 2. Table of sacrifice

3. Family of East Chain, Kasson & Lake Crystal 4. Tower of confusion

6. Spirit of a people or culture 7. 33rd Pope

9. From the Latin word meaning "coming"

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13. The Great O's 14. __________ Domino! 15. What one's nerves undergo prior to performing for the Pope 19. Eastern Catholic octave 22. First martyr 25. Bishop 28. Latin for "year" 29. ___ Jesu.

The book was a huge hit, and the retailer printed more than 2 million copies that Christmas season 80 years ago. May was eventually given all rights to Rudolph, which provided a good livelihood. He experienced a dramatic arc of his own with profound spiritual underpinnings: remarrying a devout Catholic, converting to Catholicism and having five more children, one of whom became a nun. His biography can encourage anyone who feels crippled by the gap between hopes and reality. It reminds us to trust in the bigger picture, in the One who isn’t done writing your story. Christina Capecchi is a freelance writer from Inver Grove Heights. Her syndicated column, Twenty Something, appears in more than 50 Catholic newspapers across the country.


�any years ago, I had the opportunity to

Jeanette Fortier is the president of the Winona-Rochester Diocesan Council of Catholic Women.

Sister Therese (Mary Gerald) Even, SSND, 94, professed in 1946, died November 3, 2019, in Notre Dame Health Care, Our Lady of Good Counsel, Mankato. A native Gilbertville, IA, she graduated from Good Counsel Academy 1943. She entered the SSND Candidature that same year and professed first vows in 1946. She was an elementary grade teacher and principal in several Minnesota and Iowa Catholic Schools. In 1972, she developed a program called Creative Christian Living, which she shared with parishes, schools, and other organizations for the next 35 years. She also gave retreats and days of recollection. She is survived by her brothers Tony and Ted (Dolores); her sisters-in-law Connie and Bernice Even; nieces and nephews and their families; her friends, colleagues and former students; and her sisters in community, the School Sisters of Notre Dame and SSND Associates. She was preceded in death by her parents, Joseph and Rose (Mangrich) Even; her sisters, Monica Even, SSND, and Mary Fischels; and her brothers Cletus, Joseph, Norbert, Leonard and Gerald. Her Funeral Mass was celebrated November 11 at Good Counsel, with Fr. Gene Stenzel as presider. Burial followed in Good Counsel Cemetery.


In the Diocese

direct a Methodist Choir on Sunday mornings. They sang especially well one Advent Sunday. That afternoon, I saw a member of the congregation and asked her if she wasn’t thrilled at the beautiful choir performance. “I wasn’t at church this morning,” she said, “I had to finish my Christmas shopping!” I felt sad for her, just what was she preparing for that Advent season? So, you are reading your December Courier within the first week of Advent; what are you preparing for? What gift are you seeking? What gift can you give? Radio and newspaper have been talking about the problem of loneliness in society today and the tragic effect it can have on people, especially in this holiday season. Maybe you could give the simple gift of you. Spend some time with someone who is alone. Make a phone call to someone who has suffered loss. Send a note to a person whose mailbox is often empty. Volunteer to use your talents in some small way. Share the gift of you this Advent season and share the light of Christ with others. When you do, you will be gifted too! From your sisters in the Council of Catholic Women, we wish you joy this Advent and Christmas. We wish you the gift of peace. If you need a place for friendship and to share the talents God has gifted to you, you will find an open and warm welcome in the DCCW!

Obituaries Rochester KCs Raise Ultrasound Funds

ROCHESTER - The Knights of Columbus councils for all six Rochester parishes (District 31) are raising money to purchase an ultrasound machine for New Life Family Services, located at 40 16th St. SW in Rochester, New Life Family Services helps offer fathers and mothers choices for their unborn children other than abortion. On their website (, New Life Family Services states a mission "to honor the sanctity of human life by assisting clients in life-affirming decisions with the love and compassion of Christ." Their stated vision is "to one day reach all abortion-minded and abortion-vulnerable individuals throughout Minnesota with comprehensive pregnancy-related services and the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ." The local Knights are undertaking this initiative with the help of the Ultrasound Program, which was started by the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council to provide matching grants to councils that raise funds for ultrasound machines at approved pregnancy centers in their communities. More information on the program, including the steps necessary to get one's local council involved, is available at "We are asking for your support, to pray for us that the people of our diocese will support us to help us raise enough money for the ultrasound machine," said Grand Knight Bob Voss, of Council #13027 (Resurrection Parish). To donate to the ultrasound fund, please contact Grand Knight Jerome Lensing, of Council #11460 (Holy Spirit Parish) at

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SUBMISSION to the calendar Please note: submission deadline is the 10th of the month prior to the month of publication. All submissions must be sent electronically to by the deadline to assure receipt and possible inclusion in the events calendar. 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. A current list of events is also available at

Regular Prayer Mass for Life & Marriage is held at St. Mary Church in Winona the first Thursday each month at 5:15 p.m. Holy Hour of Prayer for Life, Marriage & Religious Liberty is held first Saturday each month 8:30-9:30 a.m. (after Mass for Life & Marriage) in the Cathedral's Adoration Chapel, 360 Main Street, Winona. The Blessed Sacrament is exposed and a rosary offered. All welcome. Prayer Vigil & Public Witness Against Abortion is held 3-4 p.m. Tuesdays in front of Semcac Clinic (delegate of Planned Parenthood) at 76 W 3rd Street in Winona. Contact: Patty 507-429-4636

Masses of Reparation for Sins in the Diocese are held daily in parishes throughout the diocese. Info: Cor Jesu is held at the Cathedral in Winona, 7-9 p.m. the first Friday each month, Sept. - May. An evening of Eucharistic Adoration, confessions, and music in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. All welcome to attend! For details, search for Winona Cor Jesu on Facebook, visit prayer/corJesu, or call Kristopher Kaufman (859-760-1619) or Steven Lehn (507-312-9041).

Traditional Latin Mass Mankato, Ss. Peter & Paul, Sundays 4:15 pm Wabasha, St. Felix, Saturdays 9 am

The Televised Mass Offered as a service for the homebound every Sunday morning on: KTTW, Channel 7 (Sioux Falls) at 6:30; KEYC, Channel 12 (Mankato) at 7:30; KEYC-DT2, Digital Channel 12.2 or Charter Channel 19 (Mankato) at 9:30; KAAL Channel 6 (Austin/ Rochester) at 9; WKBT Channel 8 (La Crosse) at 7:30; or on our website, (click "Weekly Mass").

Hispanic Priests / Sacerdotes Hispanos Padre José Morales Capellán en la Mayo Clinic, Rochester Tel. 507-266-7275 Padre Luis Alfonso Vargas Vicario Parroquial de St. Francis of Assisi, Rochester Tel. 507-288-7313 Padre Javier Ibarra IVE Vicario Parroquial de SS. Peter and Paul, Mankato Tel. 507-388-2995 ext. 103

Padre Miguel Eduardo Proaños Vicario Parroquial de St. Mary, Worthington Tel. 507-375-3542 Padre Raul Silva Vicario de la Pastoral Hispana en la diócesis de Winona Y Párroco de Queen of Angels, Austin Tel. 507-433-1888

Spanish Mass Schedule Albert Lea, St. Theodore 11 a.m. Sundays

Pipestone, St. Leo 2:30 p.m. Sundays (bilingual) Rochester, St. Francis Austin, Queen of Angels Noon Sundays & 7 p.m. Thursdays 11 a.m. Sundays.; 5:15 p.m. Fridays St. Charles, St. Charles Lake City, St. Mary Borromeo 6:30 p.m. 3rd Saturdays 10 a.m. 4th Sundays (bilingual) Madelia, St. Mary St. James, St. James 12 p.m. Sundays 7 p.m. Saturdays Windom, St. Francis Xavier Mankato, Ss. Peter & Paul 11:30 a.m. Sundays 1 p.m. Sundays Worthington, St. Mary Owatonna, Sacred Heart 7 p.m. Saturdays.; 1 p.m. Sundays.; 11:45 a.m. Sundays 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays & Fridays

December 2019 Other Events Resurrection Church, Rochester December 8, Sunday 47th Annual Holiday Bazaar 9:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. Pulled pork sandwich lunch with homemade pie. Silent auction, cash raffle, bake sale, bingo, cake walk, games. Handicap accessible. 1600 11th Ave SE in Rochester. Mayo Civic Center, Rochester December 12, Thursday Real Presence Radio annual fundraising banquet, featuring author and radio host Dr. David Anders as keynote speaker. Register at Demontreville Jesuit Retreat House, Lake Elmo January 2-5, Thursday-Sunday Start the year off right. Let God meet you at a beautiful retreat location in Lake Elmo, MN. Join us for a Men's Silent Retreat at the Demontreville Jesuit Retreat House January 2nd – January 5th. The retreat begins Thursday evening and ends Sunday evening. The cost is free will donation. For more information, call Tom Newell at 612-685-3030 or check out the website http:// Empieza el año con el mejor paso. Permítete que te encuentre el Dios en un lugar muy bonito en Lake Elmo, MN. Ven y únete a nosotros en un retiro de silencio por los hombres (en inglés) en el Demontreville Jesuit Retreat House de 2 de enero a 5 de enero. El retiro empieza en la tarde del jueves y termina en la tarde del domingo. Se cuesta lo que puedes pagar. Para más información en ingles puedes llamar Tom Newell a 507-3839297 o en español Erin Werneke en la oficina 651-777-1311. También, puedes buscar más información en el sitio http:// Church of the Resurrection, Rochester January 11-12, Saturday-Sunday Fr. Zachary of the Mother of God, SOLT, will spread enthusiasm for Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration all weekend. Available for confessions Saturday 6:457:45 p.m. He will speak at all Masses (8 p.m. Saturday; 8:30 & 10:30 Sunday). At 1 p.m. on Sunday, he will lead a Holy Hour, Learning from Our Lady: How to Adore the Lord, Listen, Ponder & Treasure Love Made Visible. Free admission. All welcome. 1600 11th Ave SE in Rochester.

• The Courier

Love Made Visible The Church of the Resurrection is very proud to have Fr. Zachary of the Mother of God share with us his devotion to the importance of Perpetual Adoration in our lives. Fr. Zachary, a former attorney, is now a member of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT). His worldwide travel and appearance on EWTN enable him to lead Catholics to live their baptismal promises by responding to the universal call to holiness. Fr. Zachary believes, as St. Pope John Paul II declared, that "the church draws her life from Christ in the Eucharist; by him she is fed and by him she is enlightened." We are honored and excited to have Fr. Zachary at our church to share his passion for the infinite blessings of Perpetual Adoration. Father Zachary is available for confessions Sat., Jan. 11, 6:45-7:45 p.m. and will preach on Adoration at all Masses that weekend (8 p.m. Sat; 8:30 & 10:30 a.m. Sun.) On Sun., Jan 12, at 1 p.m., he will guide a Holy Hour, Learning from Our Lady: How to Adore the Lord, Listen, Ponder & Treasure Love Made Visible. Church of the Resurrection welcomes you!

1600 11th Ave SE Rochester, MN 55904

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