The Courier - December 2022

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PoPe: Notice God at Work

iN daily life this adveNt

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Being so distracted that one does not notice God's presence in daily life is a warning sign that one is not being vigilant enough, Pope Francis cautioned.

Vigilance during Advent is key, Pope Francis said, because Jesus "warns us: there is the danger of not real izing his coming and being unprepared for his visit."

Speaking to pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square for the recitation of the Angelus prayer on the first Sunday of Advent, Nov. 27, Pope Francis urged Christians to be watchful for the signs of God's presence in ordinary life.

"God is hidden in our life," Pope Francis explained; "he is concealed in the most common and most ordinary situ ations in our life."

The pope contrasted the watchful spirit of Advent with the attitude common in the "days of Noah," when people went about their daily activities without paying attention to God's voice in their lives.

"People in the time of Noah ate and drank and 'did not know until the flood came and swept them all away,'" Pope Francis said, quoting the day's Gospel reading from St. Matthew. "They were absorbed in their own things and did not realize that the flood was about to come."

The truth is that God is present "in our daily work, in a chance encounter, in the face of someone in need," Pope Francis said. "Even when we face days that seem grey and monotonous, it is right there that we find the Lord, who calls to us, speaks to us and inspires our actions."

During Advent, Pope Francis said, "Let us be shaken out of our torpor and let us awaken from slumber!"

To help the process, he suggested people ask them selves, "'Am I aware of what I am doing? Am I alert? Am I awake?'"

Doing this, the pope explained, people will be ready not only to celebrate Christmas, but their souls will be ready when Christ comes again at the end of the world.

"If we are unaware of his coming today, we will also be unprepared when he arrives at the end of time," the pope said.

Archbishops Broglio, Lori Elected USCCB President, Vice President

BALTIMORE (CNS) -- Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services was elected Nov. 15 to a three-year term as presi dent of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops during the bishops' fall general assembly in Baltimore. The native of suburban Cleveland was chosen from a slate of 10 nominees, winning with 138 votes. In subsequent voting, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore was elected to serve a three-year term as conference vice president. He was elected on the third ballot by 143 to 96 in a runoff with Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort WayneSouth Bend, Indiana. Under USCCB bylaws, the vice president is elected from the remaining nine candidates. The two top officers begin their terms at the conclusion of the fall assembly Nov. 17. Archbishop Broglio, 70, worked in the Vatican diplomatic corps before being named the head of the military archdiocese in 2007. He has served as conference secretary for the past three years. The prelate has been an advocate

Gender Identity and Pastoral Care 75 Years of Caring Evangelization Needs More Football Players page 4 page 7 page 9 INSIDE this issue Christmas Day December 25
Official Newspaper of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Winona-Rochester, MN |
USCCB, cont'd on pg. 2
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Minnesota Catholic Conference Inside the Capitol

What Do We Do After the Election?

�ow that the election is over, many of you are asking, “Now what?”

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops makes it clear that “responsible citizenship is a virtue and participation in political life is a moral obligation.” (USCCB, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,13)

The obligation to engage in the public square is both a Catholic and American mandate. Our rep resentative republic calls us into active ongoing relationships with our elected officials. Participation drives our system, which means important decisions are left to those who show up. One may not like that the political process requires ongoing effort to build the common good, but that’s the system (“a government of, by, and for the people”) we have. It is why the Church calls us to “faithful citizenship.”

We have many newly elected officials who have been entrusted to fashion the public poli cies that impact our daily lives. Each needs to receive the Good News and our counsel on leg islation. By bringing them the Good News and providing our counsel on legislation, they’ll be better equipped to uphold life, dignity, and the common good. By building communication, we help them make informed votes and good laws.

One easy way to begin building these relationships is to become a member of our Catholic Advocacy Network (CAN). As a CAN member, you can communicate with your elect

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for members of the U.S. military around the world. He regularly visits U.S. service mem bers as part of his responsibilities in leading the archdiocese. Archbishop Broglio also has been an advocate for pro-life causes. Because Archbishop Broglio is conference secretary, the bishops Nov. 16 elected Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City as his replacement over Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin of Newark, New Jersey, 130 to 104. Similarly, Archbishop

ed officials via email, phone, or even recording a video with a single click. If you are not a CAN member yet, go to

Our work as faithful citizens must be led by prayer – Ora et Labora. This is not just a prac tice for Benedictine monks, but all Catholics. So, the Minnesota Catholic Conference invites you to join our staff for Adoration at the Capitol.

Join us each first Friday of the month from January to May any time from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. in the Governor’s Dining Room located on the lower level of the Minnesota State Capitol. Note that in April, Adoration will take place on April 14, due to Good Friday. By bringing Christ to the Capitol, we can together pray for our elected officials at their place of work.

We are also excited to announce that the great formation and opportunities to meet your legislators that you’ve had through our Catholics at the Capitol events will now be available every week during session!

No longer do you have to wait for one event that consumes an entire day and may not work in your schedule. Instead, you, your friends, family, fellow parishioners, or classmates can join us at our new office next door to the Capitol any Thursday (except Holy Week) at 10:00 a.m. (January through May). We will equip you to successfully advocate for policies that we’re working on before visiting the Capitol and your legislators. All in about an hour!

You are welcome to park for free at our office – 525 Park Street – for Adoration or Catholics at the Capitol. We encourage you to RSVP for the Catholics at the Capitol events so we can set up meetings with your leg islators and personalize your visit. Head to for details and to RSVP. There you will also find information for First Friday Adoration.

Lori, 71, stepped down as chairman of the bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities with his election as USCCB vice president. On Nov. 16, the bishops elected Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Arlington, Virginia, as the new pro-life chair.

Most Rev. Robert E. Barron, Bishop of WinonaRochester, was selected as chairman-elect of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth at last year's assembly, and began his three-year term as committee chairman at the end of this year's assembly.

The Courier is the official publication of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester

55 West Sanborn, P.O. Box 588, Winona, MN 55987 Vol 113 - 12

Most Reverend Robert E. Barron, Publisher 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)


Most Rev. Robert Barron, Bishop of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, announces the following: Loyola Catholic Schools

Jodi Arnoldi Kohrs: appointed to the Loyola Catholic Schools Board of Trustees for a three-year term, ending June 30, 2025.

Child Abuse Policy Information

The Diocese of Winona-Rochester will provide a prompt, appropriate and compas sionate 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 507-454-2270, 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 com mitted 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 under the Safe Environment Program. If you have any questions about the Diocese of Winona-Rochester’s implemen tation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, please contact Mary Hamann at 507-858-1244, or

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charge, readers should send their names and addresses to: Diocese of Winona-Rochester The Courier 55 W Sanborn St. Winona, MN 55987 or

Mr. Chris Roe:
Articles of Interest December 2022 w The Courier w Evangelization Needs More Football Players___4 Entering into a 'Time of Eucharistic Renewal'__5 Nationwide Prayer Vigil for Life_____________6 Gender Identity and Pastoral Care___________7 Catholic Schools Updates__________________8 75 Years of Caring_______________________9 Diocesan Headlines_____________________10-12
reappointed to the
Catholic Schools Board of Trustees for a threeyear term, ending June 30, 2025.
The Holy Father's Intention for December 2022 Volunteer Non-Profit Organizations We pray that volunteer non-profit organizations committed to human development find people dedicated to the common good and ceaselessly seek out new paths to international cooperation.
An online version may be viewed at
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Entering the Spiritual Space of John the Baptist

�ne of my favorite places on earth is the great Cathedral of Chartres, located about an hour by train south of Paris. For me, it represents the richest expression of Gothic architecture, and the Gothic is, again for me, the most religiously evocative type of architecture. When I was a doctoral student in Paris many years ago, I would journey as often as I could to Chartres, and each time that I approached the building, I did so, not in the manner of tourist, but as a seeker coming to the end of a pilgrimage.

Bishop's Calendar

*indicates all are welcome to attend

December 1, Thursday

1 p.m. - Holy Hour and Bishop’s Cabinet Meeting

*7 p.m. - Mass - Rededication of Crucifixion Church in La Crescent

December 2, Friday

1 p.m. - Zoom with all pastors regarding Eucharistic Revival

December 4, Sunday

*8:30 a.m. - Mass - Good Shepherd Church in Jackson

Chartres is famous, of course, for its transcendently beautiful stained glass, but it also boasts of hundreds of exquisitely rendered sculptures of biblical figures. On the north porch of the cathedral, there is a statue that I particularly savor. It is a depiction of John the Baptist, and it shows him as an emaciated figure (after all, the Bible tells us that he ate locusts and wild honey) holding an image of the Lamb of God. But what is most striking about the sculpture is the face of the Baptist. He bears an expression that bespeaks an aching, a longing, a looking toward something that he does not have but wants. Some of the saints that surround Chartres Cathedral seem blissful, already in possession of the great good for which they longed. But not the Baptist. He yearns, pines, hungers still.

And this makes him, par excellence, a saint of Advent. This holy season, of course, calls to mind the coming (adventus) of Jesus in history, but it also anticipates the arrival of the Lord at the culmination of the age, that time when, as St. Paul puts it, “Christ will be all in all.” This fulfillment, obviously enough, has not yet happened, for the world is still plagued by wars,

famine, floods, earthquakes, and pandemics. And our lives are still marked by depression, failure, sin, and frustrated plans. None of this tells against the fact that God’s creation is good, but it does indeed confirm the intuition that this life is, as the Salve Regina puts it “a vale of tears.” All of us, therefore, wear the expression of John the Baptist of Chartres: craving an absent good.

Might I suggest some practices for all of us Advent people during these upcoming weeks? First, we should deepen our lives of prayer. As John of Damascus told us long ago, to pray is to “raise the mind and the heart to God.” It is to be consciously aware of God, present to him. Even if we wear a somewhat anguished expression as we do so, we should turn our faces purposely to God, and, as we pray, we should allow our yearning for God to surface. C.S. Lewis told us that the aching of the heart for God—and it is a real suffering—is properly called “joy.” Prayer, in a way, is the cultivation of precisely that sublime form of joy. One of the very best ways to practice this form of spiritual attention is to spend an uninterrupted hour or half hour in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.

A second Advent suggestion is this: wear the world lightly. The reason that we feel spiritual anguish is that the deepest desire of our heart cannot be met by any merely worldly good. We look to something beyond our ken and capacity precisely because we realize, consciously or unconsciously, that the hungry soul cannot be satisfied by any amount of esteem, riches, power, or pleasure. The attainment of any of these goods produces a momentary bliss followed by a letdown, a disappointment. But this truth mustn’t be allowed to depress us; rather, it should compel us to adopt the spiritual stance that the spiritual masters call “detachment.” This means enjoying wealth and then letting it go; using power for good but not clinging to it; taking in honor and not caring a whit for it. It is to adopt the attitude that St. Ignatius of Loyola calls “indifference.” Advent is a privileged time to practice this virtue.

A third and final suggestion is this: we should devote ourselves to doing one of the corporal works of mercy. These acts—feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, visiting the imprisoned, etc.—are

concrete acts of love. It is easy enough for religious people to speak of love in an abstract manner, but to love means to will the good of the other. Therefore, it is dense, real, particular, something that shows up. And heaven—that ultimate joy that we long for—is nothing other than love, love in the fullest possible sense, love without limit. Aquinas says that in heaven faith will fade away (since we will see God face to face) and hope will disappear (since we would have attained what we hoped for), but love will remain (since heaven is love). So, when we love someone here below, in even the simplest way, we anticipate our return to the homeland, we stir our craving for heaven.

So, as we move into the spiritual space of John the Baptist, as we enter the season of Advent, we should pray, we should let go, and we should perform the works of mercy.

December 6, Tuesday

11 a.m. - Holy Hour and Deans Meeting - Resurrection Church in Rochester

3 p.m. - Clergy Personnel Board Meeting - Resurrection Church in Rochester

December 7, Wednesday

11-30 p.m. - Minnesota Catholic Conference Board Meeting in St. Paul

December 8, Thursday

9:45 a.m. - School Administrators Mass and Lunch - Lourdes High School in Rochester

December 10, Saturday

*4:30 p.m. - Mass and Parish Spaghetti Dinner - St. Mary Church in Winona

December 11, Sunday

*10 a.m. - Mass - Gaudete Sunday - Basilica of St. Stanislaus Kostka in Winona

December 12, Monday

*4:30 p.m. - Our Lady of Guadalupe Mass and FiestaSt. Francis of Assisi Church in Rochester

December 13, Tuesday

11 a.m. - Holy Hour and Presbyteral Council MeetingPax Christi Church in Rochester 5:30 p.m. - Mass and Soup Supper with Rochester Society of St. Vincent de Paul Members - Lourdes High School in Rochester

December 15, Thursday

1 p.m. - Holy Hour and Bishop’s Cabinet Meeting

December 16, Friday

*7 p.m. - Simbang Gabi Mass - Co-Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Rochester

December 18, Sunday

*10 a.m. - Mass - Queen of Angels Church in Austin

December 22, Thursday

12 p.m. - Christmas Gathering with Pastoral Center Staff

December 24, Saturday

*9 p.m. - Christmas Eve MassCathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona

December 25, Sunday

*10:30 a.m. - Christmas Day Mass - Co-Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Rochester

Non Nisi Te Domine
December 2022 w The Courier w
Bishop Robert Barron
From the Bishop

Missionary Discipleship

Evangelization Needs More Football Players

�re you a football fan? Football, when it is played well, is a game of real strategy, skill, and power. While you typically need all three to win, the essential need is not power and not skill, but strategy. You need to know where the goal is, how to play offense, how to work together to conquer ground, and how to adjust to circumstanc es without giving up the goal.

Sometimes, I wonder if the people God has called to make disciples of all nations have more strategic investment in the game of football than in the call to evangelize.

The truth is, almost all of us find our selves in an apostolic age where the mission field has changed dramatically - the rise of the nones, the secular hyper-individualism, a politically torn country - and we are flat-footed on the field, because we have never had evangelization personally modeled for us. It’s like we were playing a great game of soccer - and all of a sudden people began tackling us as they picked up the ball and ran. The rules, practice, field, and “game” of passing on the faith changed. The faith has not changed. The field has, the rules of engagement have. That is, we need to learn a new common strategy for evangeliza tion, and now.

Thankfully, the Holy Spirit leads all evangelization. And He has been at work in many people, crafting and engaging processes of sharing God’s gospel with those who have not heard of Jesus Christ other than as a curse; those who have heard of Christ but have drifted; those who hurt too much from secular woundedness to walk in the door; and those who have rejected God. The new evangelization has been busy, and has begun to bear fruit in raising up the first troops for the battle on our doorstep. Beyond these first evangelists, we now have more resources for evangelization right now than we have had in the rest of the history of Catholicism in the United States combined! This is a great help and grace. This brings hope. But it is still not a strategy.

We have two keys, traditional and emerging, to help each parish create a strategy: the discipleship path of the human soul, and the four ways of the new evan gelization in our nation. The good news is that we can practice on this field, learn some new rules, and “run so as to win.” (1 Cor 9:24)

The discipleship path of the human soul. In our tradition, this is well known. There is a deep common spiritual path to union with God embedded in the lives of the saints, yet this path is as differently engaged as they are. Priests, religious, and an increasing number of lay people know them: the purgative, illuminative, and unitive ways; or Teresa of Avila’s seven mansions; Therese de Lisieux’s “little way,” even the life practice of the twelve steps in recovery can be understood this way. Sherry Weddell (Forming Intentional Disciples, OSV 2012, rev. edition 2022) gave us a great gift in illu minating the five thresholds of conversion – the com mon markers for someone who doesn’t know Christ to an intentional disciple. When you string these markers together – from no knowledge of God to complete union with God – there is a common path, differently engaged in each soul.

The problem we have is convincing people that this matters, and that we should expect growth toward sainthood in our parishes. How many parishes expect most of the parish to engage in adult faith formation –and provide support beyond the sacraments to do so? In my experience, not many. Until we truly embrace the universal call to holiness proclaimed in the gospel and underlined in the Second Vatican Council, we miss an essential key of the evangelizing parish. To get back to the football analogy – we’re playing with almost every one on the bench and not realizing those in the stands are called to play too.

The four emerging ways of the new evangeliza tion in our parishes. It can only be the work of the Holy Spirit that so many (so, so many!) new initia tives to teach, empower, and offer evangelization have emerged in the past 20 years. These initiatives have had a specific impact and often are driven by one key insight. But they almost never do everything needed to transform the subculture of a parish into a missionoriented one.

Thankfully, these many emerging initiatives can be broken down into four categories:

• The radical hospitality/first proclamation model: initiatives that focus on joining invita tion and deep welcome with a “shallow entry” introduction to Jesus Christ and history of salvation. This tends to be angled to those who do not know Jesus Christ, but can be used as an enlivening refresher and community builder.

• The spiritual multiplication/small groups model: initiatives that build deeper disciple ship in small support groups, and empower people to share the invitation to deeper dis cipleship with others through initiating other small groups. This tends to be for the initiated, to encourage and teach the call to grow in dis cipleship and share it with others.

• The organizational mission (re)focus model: initiatives that recognize that structure serves mission, and the way the parish is structured and invested has a big impact on the subcul ture of a parish and success in evangelization.

• The signs and wonders model: an initiative that deliberately draws attention to and even prayerfully invites the wonder of the power of God in the local community. This can look like eucharistic adoration, witness and testi mony talks, praise and worship nights, healing prayer groups or services, etc.

All of these are valuable. But the strategic catch is you need to be engaged deliberately in at least three of these models to effect subcultural change. Four is ideal, but three will work. If you join the three or four initiatives deliberately with the discipleship plan of the human soul…suddenly, the bones of a strategy emerge: first this, then that, and we need attention here.

To go back to the football analogy – You know the goal, it’s over there and you need to get the ball over it. You need a passing game. And a running game. And strong defense. And a good kicker! And each is important at different parts of the game. No team wins a game being really good at just one and ignoring the rest. If they do win – frankly, they got lucky. It’s a strate gic plan to lose if you just focus on one part of the game.

Evangelizing parishes can absolutely thrive in this secular, apostolic age. Indeed, we were born for this age – not for the parishes that were effective years ago. But we need to learn the strategic field of the apostolic age. Not overnight, but deliberately, and soon. Yet, if Sunday afternoon strategic sessions across fields of green are any indication – we can do this.

This article is a very brief summary of my newly pub lished book, The Four Ways Forward: Becoming an Apostolic Parish in a Post-Christian Age (OSV, 2022). It's available for purchase at OSV and Amazon; free discussion questions printables and more are available through the Office of Missionary Discipleship. Just con tact Susan Windley-Daoust at .

4 December 2022 w The Courier w
M��y �f the U�b�u�d pr�yer te�ms in the diocese were able to gather and receive continuing educa tion from Matt Lozano of Heart of the Father Ministries on November 11 at St Francis of Assisi Church in Rochester. The topic of the talk was Humility and Unbound prayer. If you are interested in receiving Unbound prayer, please see the contact information here:

Entering into a 'Time of Eucharistic Renewal'

Let us all ask the Lord to call us into a time of Eucharistic renewal, a time of prayer and reflection, of acts of char ity and sincere repentance. The Lord is with us in the Eucharistic Mystery celebrated in our parishes and missions, in our beautiful cathedrals and in our poorest chapels. He is present and he draws near to us, so that we can draw nearer to him. The Lord is generous to us with his grace; and so we, by his grace, should always humbly ask him to give us what we need…. Let us adore Jesus who ever remains with us, on all the altars of the world, and lead others to share in our joy!

-U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, The Mystery of the Eucharist in the Life of the Church (#58-#59)

�reetings of Peace!

Following the call of our bishops, the Catholic Church here in the United States has entered into a three-year grassroots revival of devotion and belief in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. The mis sion of this National Eucharistic Revival, which began on Corpus Christi Sunday this past June, is “to renew the Church by enkindling a living relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.”

Through this Revival, the bishops are hoping “to inspire a movement of Catholics across the United States, healed, converted, formed, and unified by an encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist – and sent out in mission ‘for the life of the world.’”

The first of these three years is a Year of Diocesan Revival, in which each diocese is invited to “offer events that encourage the faithful to grow in their understanding and devotion to Christ in the Eucharist, complemented by online formation and resources that will raise up Eucharistic Missionaries at all levels of the Church!”

In answer to this call, our diocesan Institute of Lay Formation is offering, through its Emmaus continuing formation program, a number of opportunities for the lay women and men of our diocese to come together to grow in their understanding of the Eucharist and to gather in praise and adoration of our Eucharistic Lord.

First, I would share a word about our diocesan lay formation efforts. The Institute of Lay Formation is a program and process of prayer, study, and reflection

three years of formation, Institute students study the Scriptures and the Church’s history and tradition, as well as church teaching on the Creed, the sacraments, moral theology, and prayer. They spend time together in prayer, reflection, and faith sharing, and seek to grow in their response to the work and grace of the Holy Spirit in their lives.

The Institute’s Emmaus program provides continu ing formation and renewal both for Institute alumni and for all lay leaders serving in the Diocese of WinonaRochester.

Offerings for the Diocesan Year of the Eucharistic Revival

Our offerings for Emmaus this winter and spring will focus on the Eucharist during this diocesan year of the National Eucharistic Revival. We will offer three oppor tunities to study and to enter into a deeper devotion to the Eucharist:

First - There will be Book Study and Discussion Sessions on two recent books by Catholic theologian, author, and teacher, Dr. Timothy P. O’Malley. The book studies will take place during two weekend sessions (from Friday evening through Saturday afternoon) at the Alverna Center in Winona (with overnight accom modations available).

• The first weekend session will be held on January 13-14, and will be on the book Real Presence: What Does It Mean and Why Does It Matter?

• The second weekend session will be held on March 10-11, and will be on the book Becoming Eucharistic People: The Hope and Promise of Parish Life

(You can learn more about these books at the Ave Maria Press web site: Copies will be provided to those who participate in the study sessions.)

Second - There will be Video-based Study and Discussion Sessions on The Mass, a study series featur ing our own Bishop Robert Barron (and produced by Word on Fire Catholic Ministries). The sessions will be held on three Saturday mornings during the winter and spring (all planned to be in person). They will take place on:

• Saturday, February 11 (St. Joseph Parish, Owatonna)

• Saturday, April 1 (Sacred Heart Parish, Owatonna)

• Saturday, April 29 (Sacred Heart Parish,

Third - A one-night experience of Eucharistic Adoration and Praise, called “A True Presence Night,” will be led by The Vigil Project (“a community of artists who make music for the Catholic journey and invite the Church into prayer through song”). This prayer experience will take place on Monday evening, March 6, at a parish site in the diocese [TBD].

“A True Presence Night [seeks] to move Catholics from wherever they are on the journey of belief into a deeper conversion and recognition of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, and to do that with all the wor ship, reverence, and excellence due His name.”

(You can learn more about The Vigil Project by visiting their web site: www.

For questions or to learn more about these Emmaus offerings, go to the Institute of Lay Formation’s diocesan web page ( offices/lay-formation/Institute.html), or contact me at or (507) 858-1270.

I invite you to consider being part of our diocesan year of the National Eucharistic Revival, and to con sider participating in these offerings of the Institute of Lay Formation. During this diocesan year and through out the Eucharistic Revival, our bishops ask all of us to “please join in prayer for the renewal and healing of the United States as we answer this historic call to revival.” Deo Gratias!

(You can learn more about the National Eucharistic Revival by visiting its web site: www.eucharisticrevival. org. To learn more about our diocesan efforts relating to the Revival, go to: index.html.)

Brothers and sisters, let us dream. Let us dream of such a Church: a Eucharistic Church. Made up of women and men who break like bread for all those who chew on loneliness and poverty, for those who hunger for tender ness and compassion, for those whose lives are crumbling because the good leaven of hope is lacking. A Church that kneels before the Eucharist and worships with awe the Lord present in the bread; but that also knows how to bend with compassion and tenderness before the wounds of those who suffer, lifting up the poor, wiping away the tears of those who suffer, making herself the bread of hope and joy for all. Because there is no true Eucharistic worship without compassion for the many "Lazaruses" who even today walk beside us.

-Pope Francis, Homily, 9-25-2022

5 Lay Formation & RCIA
December 2022 w The Courier w
Todd Graff of Lay Formation & RCIA

6 Nationwide Prayer Vigil for Life to Continue After Reversal of Roe v. Wade

Life, Marriage & Family


WASHINGTON – The National Prayer Vigil for Life is hosted each January by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Pro-Life Secretariat, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., and The Catholic University of America’s Office of Campus Ministry. The vigil has always coincided with the eve of the March

for Life, which marks the date of 1973 decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in Roe v. Wade that legalized and normalized the taking of innocent human life nationwide.

Catholics across the country are encouraged to observe a nationwide prayer vigil from Thursday, January 19, to Friday, January 20, 2023, to pray for an end to abortion and a greater respect for all human life. “The National Prayer Vigil is a time to praise God for the great gift of the recent Supreme Court Dobbs decision, overturning the tragic Roe v. Wade decision made almost a half-

century ago. State and federal legislators are now free to embrace policies that protect preborn chil dren and their mothers. Yet, there is still a great need for prayer and advocacy from the faithful, as there will be intensified efforts to codify Roe in legislation and policies at the state and federal levels. Many prayers and sacrifices are needed to transform our culture so that all may cherish the gift of human life and offer life-giving support to vulnerable women, children, and families,” said Kat Talalas, assistant director of pro-life commu nications at the USCCB.

The Vigil Opening Mas will take place at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 19. The principal cel ebrant and homilist for the Opening Mass will be Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities. The Mass will be immediately followed by a Holy Hour for Life. This will start off a series of nation wide holy hours throughout the night from dio ceses across the country, which will be broadcast on the USCCB’s website. The nationwide vigil concludes at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, January 20, with a Closing Mass at the Basilica to be celebrated by Bishop Joseph L. Coffey, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA.

Live-streaming information for overnight diocesan national holy hours will be provided on the USCCB’s website in January.

The live television broadcasts on January 19 from 5:00-8:00 p.m. and on January 20 from 8:00-9:00 a.m. will be provided by the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) and will be available via live-stream on the Basilica’s website. For more information about on-site attendance at the Basilica for the National Prayer Vigil for Life, please visit the information page on the Basilica’s website.

For those who cannot come to Washington, Catholics across the country will have opportu nities to unite in prayer during the nationwide vigil through local diocesan prayer efforts such as special Masses and holy hours taking place during January 19-20. Additionally, thousands of Catholics are signing up for the national pro-life novena, 9 Days for Life, which will take place from January 19-27, 2023.

For more details on the National Prayer Vigil for Life in Washington, D.C., visit https://www.

Our Annual Diocesan Mass for Life will be celebrat ed by Bishop Barron at 10:00 a.m. at St. Joseph’s in Owatonna on January 22. All are welcome to attend.

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Gender Identity and Pastoral Care

�n October, our faith formation directors, coor dinators, and catechists were given an opportu nity to be trained in walking with families who are struggling with gender identity and dysphoria. Dr. Andrew Sodergren, lead psychologist at Ruah Woods Institute, led our discussion for the day. Below is a snapshot of what was discussed.

The morning began with an overview of Catholic Anthropology, focusing on maleness and femaleness as fundamental to our identity as sons and daugh ters of God and our vocation. All men and women are called to be mothers or fathers in some way, whether that’s a physical or spiritual motherhood or fatherhood.

As men and women, we are both a spirit and a body, and the body God has given to us matters. The conventional secular view of the body separates sexual identity from gender identity: the world says your sex was determined for you at birth, but you can choose your gender based on how you feel at any given moment. However, what happens when feel ings change due to hormonal changes, exterior cir cumstances (like peer pressure), etc.? Dr. Sodergren informed us that most people who learn to love their bodies and seek harmony with why God chose to make them male or female actually find overall satisfaction in life while some of the more common worldly solutions, like changing one's sex, often lead to more despair and confusion.

Also, there could be other things happening behind the scenes causing the gender identity frus tration, such as attachment issues, mental illness, etc., that go undiag

more trauma for the individual who is already struggling. Countries that have previously highlight ed puberty suppressants, cross-sex hormones, sex changes, or other invasive medical solutions have put a pause on offering this treatment because they have found a host of negative responses from those who have received them. However, the United States continues to offer these solutions under the title of the “Affirmative Approach” as the best way to care for those struggling with their gender identity.

Next, we talked about what gender dysphoria actually is and what it is not. Gender dysphoria is the experience of “clinically significant distress or impairment” associated with the perceived incon gruence between one’s psychological “gender iden tity” and one’s biological sex. In general, people “do not feel at home” in their own body. There is early onset and late onset gender dysphoria. Most early onset cases reverse or are resolved before adulthood. If gender dysphoria continues through puberty and into adulthood, it is usually more persistent. If the person struggling begins taking puberty suppressing drugs or cross-sex hormones, the persistence goes up astronomically. The percentage of people who get diagnosed with gender dysphoria is .005 - .014% for adult males and .002 - .003% for adult females, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. If you let people select for themselves if they are “transgender” with out an official diagnosis, the numbers increase to about 1-2%. Currently, our world is experiencing a dramatic increase in Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria, in which a person all the sudden decides or begins considering they may identify more with the oppo site sex and may be considering transitioning or be in various stages of transition.

With the current trend of offering physically invasive remedies first over less invasive healing and treatment that truly gets to the root of the issue, we as a church community are concerned for our children and families being wounded in the pro cess unknowingly. Therefore, Dr. Sodergren led us

Faith Formation

Youth Ministry &

First, most people have a root cause of gender identity confusion, like not feeling like they could relate to those of their same sex in childhood. Step one is to help the family seek out a good, trust ed psychologist or counselor who will not support the “Affirmative Approach” and will ask questions about the root of the problems. Second, look for ways to support the young person in relation ships, especially in heathy relationships with same-sex individuals. Support the parents of young people who are strug gling with their identity and encourage them to seek out healthy treatment and support for their children. Third, when talking with people who struggle with their gender identity, be curious, open, accepting, and loving (COAL). Don’t shut down the conversation because it is hard to hear what they are saying to you. By accepting what they say they are expe riencing, you are not accepting their behavior. Rather, listen more often than you speak. Many are lonely and have no one to turn to; perhaps they just need someone to listen to them. Fourth, when a healthy, trusting relationship has been established with the young person and par ents, good education and formation on God’s plan for us as men and women can redirect the course of someone’s life.

Some resources for walking with and supporting families are listed below, and for more information on this presentation, please contact Dana Petricka at

• For Rapid-Onset Gender Dysphoria Parental Support:

• For Catholic up-to-date information on gender identity:

• Those who regret transitioning: www.detrans

For Educating youth on Theology of the Body, God’s plan for love and relationships: www., you-life-love-and-the-theology-of-the-body Finding psychological and medical care:

Upper Room Crisis Hotline: 1-888-8088724,

Catholic Psychotherapy Association: www.

Catholic Medical Association: www.cathmed.

Christian Medical & Dental Association:

American College of Pediatricians: www.

Focus on the Family’s Christian Counselor Network: findacounselor.focusonthefamily.

Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity:

Gender Exploratory Therapy Association:

International Association of Therapists for Desisters and Detransitioners:

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Dana Petricka Director of Youth Ministry and Faith Formation

Catholic Schools

The Three C's At St. Pius X School, Rochester

�dvent is an especially important time in our Catholic schools. Children and adults alike are able to get into the Christmas spirit, engaging in our faith in many different ways as we prepare for the coming celebration of the birth of Jesus! However, something special that our students in Catholic schools, and especially at St. Pius X School in Rochester, benefit from is the connection between our parish and the school. While students in public education are also learning the three R’s (reading, writing, ‘rithmetic) like we are, our students also get to benefit from the whole child education of the three C’s: Christ, Compassion, and Character. We are so blessed to have Father Russ coming into our classrooms to read, engage with our students at recess, and cel ebrate Mass with us each week.

Our classes also look for various ways to engage with our parish. We have a special cross that trav els from class to class each week with a prayer for vocations; this is something that is also done in our parish. I am especially thankful for the hard work of Mike Sheehan, Grand Knight of the St. Pius X Knights of Columbus, for his work in developing programs to partner with our students in many ways, such as Adopt-A-Seminarian and the “Keep Christ in Christmas” poster contest. Each of our classrooms, from preschool through fifth grade, has two seminarians that we are praying for and will periodically send correspondence to throughout the year. Our “Keep Christ in Christmas” poster contest is an opportunity for our students to recall the joy of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ and to share their artistic talents. Father Russ and Deacon Pat will even select their favorite posters for us to hang in the church.

Finally, the wonderful staff in our parish office is so supportive of our school, whether it is including us in the bulletin or helping out to make popcorn for a special class treat. As principal, I get a lot of credit for wonderful aspects of our school community that really is due to the fantastic teachers, parents, stu dents, and parishioners who help support our school and our mission to make Christ known, loved, and served. I want to wish a heartfelt “thank you” to all of our supporters of Catholic Schools throughout the Diocese of Winona-Rochester.

Merry Christmas!

Dave Jenson is the principal of St. Pius X School in Rochester.

Advent Greetings

from St. John Vianney School, Fairmont

the students at St. John Vianney do service projects throughout the year to benefit our school, community, and those around the world. Three of the projects that are a highlight every year are the trips to area nursing homes, Harvest Mass and Gifts from the Heart Prayer Service.

During the Harvest Mass, students bring in non-perishable food items or personal care items to fill the shelves of our Hope Shop that is located in the St. John Vianney Parish Center. The sixth graders lead this service project. They help with the Mass, collect the items and then deliver the items to the Hope Shop after the Mass is complete. They collected many, many bags of items this year. Their project will help many families in our com munity have food for the holidays.

The Gifts from the Heart Prayer Service is one of our regular Advent prayer services that is done each year. It is normally done close to St. Nicholas Day. The students learn about the story of St. Nicholas and why it is so important to give, rather than to receive. Our fourth grade class leads the prayer service. At the beginning of the prayer ser vice, students and teachers from all classes bring up toys and personal care items that are donated to the local Salvation Army for families in our com munity that need a little help bringing Christmas cheer to their homes. Our prayer service will take place on December 5, 2022.

Many blessings to each of you as we jour ney through this wonderful Advent season and patiently await the birth of Jesus Christ!

Sarah Striemer is the principal of St. John Vianney School in Fairmont.

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Catholic Charities Celebrates 75 Years of Caring

�atholic Charities celebrates a major milestone this year: its 75th anniversary of serving the people of southern Minnesota. While its official anniversary date was September 15, the agency plans to cele brate into 2023, starting with some special reflec tion this Christmas season, especially when Catholic Charities staff uncovered some special holiday mem ories when going through the agency’s archives.

Catholic Charities was officially incorporated in 1947, but the spirit behind the social service agency start ed nearly 50 years before that when three Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother moved from Milwaukee to Wabasha to start a hospital and orphanage in 1898. Under the guidance of Bishop Joseph Cotter and Father Maximillian Wurst, they moved into the former home of Dr. F-H Milligan and cared for 38 patients in their first year. The Sisters welcomed their first six orphans to the home in 1900.

That modest enterprise grew into St. Elizabeth’s hospital and St. Joseph’s Orphanage. Until the 1930s, St. Joseph’s in Wabasha was the only resource in southern Minnesota for the care of neglected, dependent, or orphaned children. This is where those newly found artifacts in the Catholic Charities archive come in.

Father Leo Neudecker, the orphanage director and an amateur photographer, took several pictures of children from the orphanage in the summer of 1941. Some of the pictures show several children enjoying a holiday scene, presumably for use in the Diocese during the Christmas season.

Another shows some of the St. Joseph’s boys and girls posing as the Holy Nativity. According to a letter from Father Neudecker to the photo editor of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Earl Vogt, the two men met by chance at Fisher Photo Supply on Minnesota Street in St. Paul. Mr. Vogt asked for the negative of the Nativity scene as a possible holiday addition to the newspaper.

Father Neudecker sent the negative to the St. Paul Dispatch with a five-paragraph “story” to include with it, including a quote from the poem “Possession” by Sister M. Madeleva of St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana.

On December 13, 1941, just six days after the bombing at Pearl Harbor, Vogt wrote to let Fr. Neudecker and the Diocese of Winona know that the Nativity scene would take up the entire front page of the paper’s special segment “Rotogravure” printed on December 21.

Father Leo’s story, though, did not make the cut. Vogt was conciliatory, writing, “I appreciate very much your trouble in giving me so complete an outline for a caption. I hope that when you see the picture in print you will feel, as I did, that the very condensed caption used was more than adequate.”

The caption to his picture printed for the entire region to enjoy read instead, “Beautiful with the simple piety of children, realistic in the setting of an abandoned stable is the dramatization of the Story of Bethlehem by children of St. Joseph’s orphanage at Wabasha.”

This is just one story uncovered while investi gating the history of Catholic Charities of Southern Minnesota. There are many others, and the agency hopes to share them over the next year not only to enjoy the history of the last 75 years of caring but also to show the impact the charity’s programs have had on the entire Diocese of Winona-Rochester.

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9 Catholic Charities

In the Diocese

NCCW Convention a Success

have a Blessed day on Dec. 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception.

Wishing you a very Blessed and Merry Christmas and a Prosperous and Happy New Year! On December 25, we will be celebrating the beautiful and marvelous birth of Jesus Christ. I find it hard to fathom such a wonderful gift. Let us not forget to give from our heart’s gifts to others just as Our Father gave us His only Son.

Sixteen women from the W-RDCCW attended the NCCW National Convention in Minneapolis on November 1-5. Talks were given on leadership, service and

spirituality that we bring back to the women of the diocese. The speakers were exceptional, and, with this information, we will be able to help our Catholic Church grow in our parishes and communi ties. Those attending were asked to bring items for Sharing and Caring Hands, which is in downtown Minneapolis. Women from across the United States, Costa Rica and the Virgin Islands were in attendance. Friendships were made and old ones renewed, it was a wonderful time. There were four bishops, spiri tual advisors and priests in attendance. Masses were beautiful and were celebrated daily, and confessions were offered on two mornings. We thanked God for the conducive weather that we had. Mark your cal endars for the NCCW 2023 Convention, which will be held in Salt Lake City, UT, on August 24-26. All women are welcome to attend.

'Wide Open Hearts'

�oming back to my parish on a Monday morning, I was greeted with “Did you have a great vacation? Plenty of rest?” Nothing could be further from the truth! I had just returned from the National Council of Catholic Women’s National Convention in Minneapolis. I joined over 480 women, Bishops, and priests from around the world for 4 days of serious business. Up at 6 am, most days didn’t end until 9:30 pm or later. It was a fantastic time, I wish you could have participated!

Mass was celebrated each day with celebrants including Archbishop Bernard Hebda (Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis) and his Auxiliary

Bishop Joseph A. Williams, Bishop William Wach, CSC Episcopal liaison to NCCW from the USCCB and Rev. Miguel Gonzalez, head of the NCCW Spiritual Advisors. And the music! Seminarians from St. Paul Seminary, singers from Camaroon, a Youth Choir and orches tra, drums and trumpet too. All bring ing us to a wonderful celebration of the Eucharist.

January 10, there will be a member meeting of W-RDCCW at Ss. Peter & St. Paul Church in Blue Earth. Registration begins at 8 a.m., and the meet ing starts at 9 a.m. The in-depth speakers will be the Organization and Legislative Commissions. Women from across the dio cese are invited and encour aged to attend.

Eleanore Jones is the president of the WinonaRochester Diocesan Council of Catholic Women.

Southwest Area CCW Box of Joy Campaign


A Box of Joy is a Christmas shoe box, donated and packed with toys, clothing, school supplies, and hygiene items by participants from U.S. parishes, schools and groups. Each gift represents Christ’s love and may be the only Christmas gift children in developing countries are blessed to receive. Last year, 106,276 chil dren in seven countries were recipients of a Box of Joy!

Southwest Area Council of Catholic Women is led by Barb Hussong. If you'd like to learn more about this program or the Council of Catholic Women, please call (507) 360-5582.

Speakers included Sr. Xavier Mariette Ezeokoli, IHM who works with MaryJo Copeland at Sharing and Caring Hands in the Twin Cities. Do you know of the work of this amazing woman who has given her life to care for 19,000 homeless a year? How Sr. Xavier got from Nigeria to Minnesota I’m not sure but what fantastic work they do! Elizabeth Kelly spoke on the theme: Two Lost Souls; One Good Shepherd: Find Faith, Hope and Love in the Lord and One Another. The joy of the Good Shepherd is to lift you up and carry you home. She shard the story of Renee Limke who was asked to care for a baby boy who was born with many problems. When Renee turned to God in prayer, God said “Give it a try.” And indeed she did! Want to now more? Just ask one of us who heard Elizabeth speak. Therese Coons, Kristin Molitor and Susan Stabile led a panel discus sion on “Discover Your Fiat.” How do you say “Yes” to God? Yen Fasano gave us a mini-retreat experience with her talk “Knock, Knock… Who’s There?” According to St. Bonaventure, the Holy Spirit comes where he is loved, invited, and accepted. She ended her presenta tion with a quote from Bishop Sheen: “Be holy at anything, God never tires of giving, we tire of asking. One of the most dramatic presentations was on Blessed Carlo Acutis. We saw the EWTN movie “I Am With You” and had the opportunity to venerate a first class relic. Carlo died in 2006 at the age of 15. On display in our meeting room where 39 panels of Eucharistic miracles from around the world which Carlo worked

to put together. Throughout each day, there was time for prayer and reflec tion in the Meditation Room.

One of the most important events that happens at an NCCW conven tion is the opportunity to make new friends and rekindle old friendships. There are 25 names in my autograph book – women from across the country with whom I shared time – includ ing a woman from St. Thomas, Virgin Islands! Being with Catholic women, having a voice on topics from Human Trafficking, Domestic Violence to Walking With Moms, NCCW lives the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy. You should be part of us.

The next convention will be held August 24-26, 2023 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Want to enrich your life? Plan to be there! We can give you the details.

Attending from the WinonaRochester Diocesan CCW were: Shelly Holt, Eleanore Jones, Katie Koziolek, Rosanne Buehler, Dianne Vangness, Joanie Betzinger, Bev McCarval, Melissa Jones, Cindy Meling, Kathy Wilmes, JoAnn Glade, Ruth Sonnek, Cindy Heimer, Jane Thome, and Cher Weness. Jeanette Fortier is a member of the Winona-Rochester Diocesan Council of Catholic Women.

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�ewly ��med S�uthwest Are� C�u���l �f C�th�l�� W�me� (formerly known as Worthington Area) hosted the 2022 Box of Joy Campaign for area par ishes. Sacred Heart Heron Lake and Sacred Heart Brewster Council of Catholic Women took part in this event. There were 174 boxes that were collected from the area.

Four Receive Bishop's Medal in Fairmont

�n October 30, 2022, Fr. Andrew Beerman, pastor of St. John Vianney Church in Fairmont, acting on behalf of Bishop Robert Barron, presented the Bishop's Medal to four of his parishioners: Kathy Bishop, Bob Bishop, Ron Sandhurst and Karen Sandhurst. The following is the letter Fr. Beerman sent to Bishop Barron, nominating the four recipients for the medal.

Most Reverend Robert Barron, I would like to nominate four remarkable individu als for the Bishop’s Medal based on their merits over many years of outstanding service: Ron Sandhurst, Karen Sandhurst, Robert (Bob) Bishop, and Kathryn (Kathy) Bishop. These extraordinary people have been devoted to both the school and parish, as employees and volunteers. They have exceeded their responsi

Serra Club at IHM

O� O�t�ber 4, 2022, the St. Serra Clubs of Winona, Wabasha and Owatonna got together at Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary, in Winona, with the seminarians and the priests and sisters who live nearby. It was a wonderful evening of getting to know each other, and some names were even exchanged to write to each other!

bilities at St. John Vianney and have impacted several generations of students and parishioners. I feel they are worthy of Diocesan recognition based on the following characteristics and achievements.

First, I recommend Ron Sandhurst, our church and school custodian. Over the past 38 years (since 1984), Ron has handled all the custodial duties of both the church and school. Among some of his responsibilities include: upkeep of the school, church, and rectory; grounds keeper; maintaining the boilers, waxing and replacing floors; changing lights with the lift; sound system expert; moving tables/chairs for any event; landscaping & lawn care as well as snow removal. He also fixes and builds anything from cupboards and furniture to white boards; he even created his own combination of stain for the church. Ron also is the tech guy who saves the parish a lot of money. He is the first one to arrive and unlock the doors. He is on call 24/7 for emergencies or false alarms. If you ask Ron to do something, it will be done that day or the next. Ron is the heart of St. John Vianney Parish and School. As a volunteer in the community, Ron has co-chaired the Kids Against Hunger Program since 2018. Besides carpentry, his talents include singing and playing the trumpet.

Second, I nominate Karen Sandhurst for this award. She has been a teacher at SJV since 1982 (40 years). She started as the music teacher but is most known for being the second grade teacher. Students cherish being in her class, from the 2nd grade plays, Live Stations of the Cross, baking bread for the Last Supper, singing at nursing homes (St. Patrick’s Day), and the famous sung prayer at the end of the day. Karen is an integral part of sacrament preparations for Confession & First Communion. She is passionate about teaching and works year round on lessons and bulletin boards. She is one of the first and last ones at the school, and is a role model to other teachers. Karen works endlessly to meet the students’ needs and helps them succeed. Karen incorporates faith into all subjects, especially character building and conduct. She cantors and plays guitar for both the church and school. Karen has co-chaired Kids Against Hunger since 2014. As a hobby, Karen plays and sings in a polka band.

Third, I recommend Bob Bishop for this honor. Bob has been a member of the Knights of Columbus since 2000. Bob has volunteered for numerous events with the KC’s, such as breakfast fundraisers, basketball tour naments, and community events. He was the building manager of the KC Hall for over 6 years and put in up to 60 hours each week. Bob is a trustee and has been

Endowment Committee. Bob may be quiet, but he is a comedian.

Fourth, I nominate Kathy Bishop. Kathy was the head cook for St. John Vianney School for 5 years. She continues to volunteer at the school in the office and for Kidstop (the afterschool program), and has helped with Endowment. Kathy volunteers an average of 40 hours a week tallying Hy-Vee and Fareway receipts for mon etary donations to the school. With Kathy’s help, Saint John Vianney School has received a total of $68,000, since she started 10 years ago. As a church volunteer, Kathy helps at funerals, was treasurer for CCW, cleans and sews priest’s vestments, and is an office substitute at the Parish Center. She is on the Fall Festival commit tee and has chaperoned for the March for Life. Some of Kathy’s gifts include listening and sewing.

Thank you for your consideration of these deserv ing recipients for their time, hard work, sacrifice, and service over the years. All four nominees are essential to our school and parish life. Therefore, I would like to honor Ron, Karen, Bob, and Kathy by having you pres ent each of them with the Bishop’s Medal.

Sincerely, Pastor Fr. Andrew Beerman

on Finance Council for over 20 years; when the pastor is not available, he signs the checks. Bob volunteers on the Fall Festival Committee. He helps at school as an office substitute and has been on the School Tamarae Schmidt is the director of religious education at St. John Vianney Church in Fairmont
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In the Diocese L to R: (back row) Fr. Gregory Parrott, Deacon Steve Landsteiner, Fr. Andrew Beerman, (front row) Kathy Bishop, Bob Bishop, Ron Sandhurst, Karen Sandhurst JoAnn Eichten represents the St. Serra Club of the Owatonna Area. C���r�tul�t���s to the 23 young people who received the Sacrament of Confirmationon November 13, 2022, at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Easton. The Very Reverend William Thompson conferred the sacrament on parishioners of St. Teresa in Mapleton, St. Matthew in Vernon Center, St. Joseph in Good Thunder, St. Casimir in Wells, St. John the Baptist in Minnesota Lake and Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Easton, St. Joseph in Waldorf, St. Joseph the Worker in Mankato, St. John the Baptist in Mankato and Good Shepherd in Jackson. Photo submitted by SUE CORY, administrative assistant for Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Easton. Owatonna Area Serrans with Gabriel Rysavy, a seminarian from Litomysl.


Sister Evelyn (M. Rachel) Ulmen, SSND, 88, professed in 1954, died November 1, 2022, at Benedictine Living Community – St. Gertrude’s, Shakopee.

Sister Evelyn was born in Mankato, and attended Ss. Peter and Paul School and Good Counsel Academy. She grad uated Good Counsel in 1952 and entered the School Sisters of Notre Dame that same year. She pro fessed first vows in 1954 and taught primary grade students for 20 years. In the Diocese of WinonaRochester, she taught at All Saints, Madison Lake, and St. Mary, Worthington. In 1975, she began a second ministry – that of secretary. She served as the secretary for the Diocesan Catholic Charities Branch Office in Mankato from 1977 through 1983. For eight years, 1995-2003, she was secretary for the Mankato Provincial Council, and then continued her secre tarial ministry in the Good Counsel liturgy office.

Her funeral service was held at Windermere in Shakopee on November 11, with Father John Kunz as the presider. Burial followed in the Good Counsel Cemetery, Mankato. She is survived by two nieces and a nephew, and was preceded in death by her parents, Edward and Gertrude (Landkamer) Ulmen; a sister, Mary Haley; and a brother, Paul.

The Televised Mass Is Offered Every Sunday

Sioux Falls - KTTW Channel 7 at 7 a.m.

Sioux City - KPTH Channel 44 at 8:30 a.m.

Mankato - KEYC Channel 12 at 7:30 a.m.

Digital Channel 12.2 or Charter Channel 19 NEYC at 9:30 a.m.

Digital Channel 7 (DirecTV) or Channel 11 (DISH) KMNF at 9 a.m.

Rochester/Austin/Mason City

KIMT Channel 3 at 7:30 a.m.

MyTV 3.2 at 9 a.m.

Twin Cities - WFTC Digital Channel 29 or Channel 9.2 at 11:30 a.m.

Southeastern MN - HBC Channel 20 at 3 p.m. (repeated Wed. at 3:30 p.m.)

Winona/La Crosse/Eau Claire - WLAX/ WEUX Channel 25/48 at 7:30 a.m.

and on our website, (click "Weekly Mass")

Sister Mary Lynch, OSF, 91, a Franciscan Sister of the Congregation of Our Lady of Lourdes, Rochester, died at Assisi Heights, Wednesday November 2, 2022.

Sister Mary was born Mary Elizabeth Albers on June 19, 1931, in Jamestown, ND, to Lawrence and Mary (Dunn) Albers. She entered the Sisters of St. Francis in 1953, received the name of Sister Mercy, and made perpetual vows in 1959. She received her Bachelors of Science in nursing from the College of St. Teresa, Winona, in 1960; and, a masters in pastoral ministry from Seattle University, Seattle, WA, in 1989.

Sister Mary served as a nurse for 24 years. Her places of ministry included Mayo Clinic Hospital - St. Marys Campus and Assisi Heights in Rochester,, and Mercy Hospital in Portsmouth, OH. From 1973-1983 she served in Bogota, Colombia, as a nurse at Sala Cuna and then as a nurse and teacher of English as a second language at Colegio Santa Francisca Romana. Following her time in Colombia, Sister Mary served as a pastoral associate at Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish in Port Isabel, TX (1984-2005). Upon retiring from active ministry, she continued as a volunteer at Saint Marys Campus.

Survivors of Sister Mary include her Franciscan Sisters with whom she shared life for 69 years; a brother, John Frances Lynch; and two sisters, Margaret Page and Kathleen Holland. She was pro ceeded in death by her parents and brothers, Eugene and Timothy Lynch.

A private Resurrection Liturgy was held at Assisi Heights on Tuesday, November 8, 2022, followed by burial in Calvary Cemetery. To view the funeral, go to

Suggested memorials are to the Sisters of St. Francis, Office of Mission Advancement, Assisi Heights, 1001 14th St. NW, Rochester, MN 55901.

Sister M. Vianney Saumweber, SSND, 96, pro fessed in 1948, died November 9, 2022, at Benedictine Living Community – St. Gertrude’s, Shakopee.

Sister Vianney was born in St. Paul. She gradu ated from Good Counsel Academy in Mankato in 1945 and entered the School Sisters of Notre Dame that same year. She pro fessed first vows in 1948. In 1959, after several years of teaching in Catholic Schools, she moved to Minnesota Lake, where she taught elementary grade children at the recently-opened St. John Catechetical Center. She remained there until 1970, when the Minnesota Lake Center became part of a five-parish area reli gious education program. Pursuing an interest in

working with the elderly, she became a pastoral minister, and returned to the diocese in 1990 as a member of the staff at St. Anne Hospice in Winona. A hospice newsletter referred to her as someone who brought “an aura of peace and contentment” to all whom she encountered. She served on the hospice staff until 1996. Sister Vianney’s final stay in the diocese began in 2008, when she returned to Good Counsel in Mankato to fully retire.

Her funeral service was held at Windermere in Shakopee on November 16, with Father John Kunz as the presider. Burial followed in the Good Counsel Cemetery, Mankato. She is survived by a nephew and his family and her sisters in community, the School Sisters of Notre Dame, and was preceded in death by her parents, Valentine and Marie (Griesgraber) Saumweber; her three SSND sisters, Verna, Valine and Miriam; and her brothers, Gervaise, Jerome, Gene and Clem.

Sister Seton Slater, OSF, 94, a Franciscan Sister of the Congregation of Our Lady of Lourdes, Rochester, died at Assisi Heights, Friday, November, 18, 2022.

Sister Seton was born Vivian Laura Slater on January 10, 1928, in Wilmont to Hubert and Laura (Vaske) Slater. She entered the Sisters of St. Francis in 1946, received the name of Sister Mary Seton, and made perpet ual vows in 1952. She received her Bachelor of Science in elementary edu cation from the College of St. Teresa, Winona, in 1967.

Sister Seton graduated from Worthington High School in 1946 and attended Worthington Junior College while she worked at Rickbeils. She served as a teacher of elementary education for 24 years from 1949 to 1973 in many Minnesota cities before her last year of teaching at Queen of Angels School, Austin, in 1972. From 1973-1978 she served as the director of the craft room at Assisi Heights. Sister Seton served as the director of life and growth in Presentation Heights, Aberdeen, SD, from 1978-1979 before her service at Mayo Clinic Hospital - St. Marys Campus, as a unit assistant until 1985. She served as a home health care coordinator from 1985-1995 at Nobles County Social Service, Worthington, followed by McKennan Hospital, Sioux Falls, SD. In 19951999 Sister Seton served as the sacristan of Lourdes Chapel for Assisi Heights. She was an active part of Assisi Heights prayer ministries up to and after her retirement in 2010.

Survivors of Sister Seton Slater include her Franciscan Sisters, with whom she shared life for 76 years; and a sister, Carol Slater. She was proceeded in death by her parents; brothers Robert, Arthur, and Vincent Slater; sisters Irene Sieve and Rita Wagner; and 25 nieces and nephews, plus additional grand nieces and grandnephews.

A private Resurrection Liturgy was held at Assisi Heights on Wednesday, November 30, 2022, fol lowed by burial in Calvary Cemetery. To view the funeral, go to

Suggested memorials are to the Sisters of St. Francis, Office of Mission Advancement, Assisi Heights, 1001 14th St. NW, Rochester, MN 55901.

• The Courier December 2022
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