Christmas Day December 25
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Life's Essential Ingredient Is Prayer VATICAN CITY, Nov. 28, 2021 (CNA) - On the first Sunday of Advent, Pope Francis reminded Christians that an essential ingredient for living an alert and joyful life is prayer. “Be awake, guard your heart,” the pope said in his message before the Angelus Nov. 28. “And let’s add an essential ingredient: the secret to being watchful is prayer.” “In fact, Jesus says: ‘Keep awake at all times praying’ (Luke 21:36). It is prayer that keeps the lamp of the heart burning. Especially when we feel that enthusiasm is cooling, prayer rekindles it, because it brings us back to God, to the center of things,” he added. The pope also emphasized that “prayer awakens the soul from sleep and focuses it on what matters, on the end of existence.” “Even on the busiest days, let’s not neglect prayer,” he urged, recommending an easy prayer to say during Advent: “Come, Lord Jesus, come.” “Let’s repeat this prayer throughout the day, and the soul will remain alert,” he said. From a window overlooking St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis delivered his weekly Angelus reflection on the day’s Gospel according to St. Luke, in which Jesus warns his disciples about the end of the world and his second coming. “The Gospel of today’s liturgy, the first Sunday of Advent, that is, the first Sunday of preparation for Christmas, speaks to us of the coming of the Lord at the end of time,” the pope explained. “Jesus announces desolating events and tribulations, but precisely at this point he invites us not to be afraid,” Francis continued. “Why? Because will everything be
okay? No, but because he will come. Jesus will come back, Jesus will come, he promised it. He says thus: ‘Rise up and lift up your heads, for your deliverance is near.’” The pope warned people not to become “sleepy Christians,” who let their hearts become lazy and “their spiritual life soften into mediocrity.” “We need to be vigilant so as not to drag the days into routine, so as not to be burdened – says Jesus – by the troubles of life,” he stated. Francis said the beginning of Advent is a good time to ask ourselves what is weighing down our hearts and burdening our spirits: “What are the mediocrities that paralyze me, the vices, what are the vices that crush me to the ground and prevent me from raising my head?” We should also ask ourselves if we are attentive or indifferent to the burdens of our brothers and sisters, he added. “These questions are good for us, because they help guard the heart from acedia.” Acedia, also called sloth, “is a great enemy of the spiritual life,” he said. “Acedia is that laziness that falls, slips into sadness, which takes away the enjoyment of life and the desire to act.” According to Francis, this negative spirit “nails the soul down in numbness, robbing its joy.” He said “precisely in the moments when everything seems over, the Lord comes to save us; await him with joy even in the heart of tribulations, in the crises of life and in the dramas of history. Wait for the Lord.” “Let us pray to Our Lady: may she, who awaited the Lord with a vigilant heart, accompany us on the journey of Advent,” he stated. [...]
Fox and Eubank Receive Award Submitted by DEB NAHRGANG
The Lasallian Region of North America awarded this year’s annual Brother John Johnston, FSC Award for lifetime achievement to two emerita Lasallian scholars and educators from Saint Mary’s University. Mary Catherine Fox, AFSC, Ph.D. And Roxanne Eubank, Ed.D received the award at the annual Huether Conference on Lasallian Educator held in Baltimore, MD, on Nov. 18. Fox and Eubank are the first women recipients of the award. The Brother John Johnston, FSC Award was established in 2009 to recognize a lifetime of work for and service to the institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. This award honors individuals who, like Brother John, have made an indelible mark on the Lasallian mission through scholarly research, leadership, the written word, teaching, witnessing, evangelizing, and demonstration of zeal for the mission - or any combination thereof - and have unalterably impacted Award, cont'd on pg. 5
INSIDE this issue
Let the Light of Christ into Your Family pages 4
'A Tender and Loving Father' page 6
Looking Back at 2021 page 10
The Courier Insider
U.S. Bishops' Secretariat for Child and Youth Protection Releases Annual Report The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops released the following statement on November 9, 2021.
WASHINGTON The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection has released the 2020 Annual Report – Findings and Recommendations on the Implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The report is based on the audit findings of StoneBridge Business Partners, a specialty consulting firm headquartered in Rochester, New York, which provides forensic, internal, and compliance audit services to leading organizations nation-wide. A survey on allegations conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) is also included as part of the report. This is the eighteenth such report since 2002 when the U.S. bishops established and adopted the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, a comprehensive set of procedures to address allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy and made a promise to protect and a pledge to heal. The report, which is typically released in June each year, was delayed due to the health and safety restrictions as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. A mid-cycle adjustment was made to extend the time frame of the audit process to accommodate diocesan offices which had closed, diocesan staff who had transitioned to remote work, and for the elements of on-site audits to go virtual. This adjustment did not alter data collected or information garnered from the audit process. The 2020 report for audit year July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020 states that 3,924 adults came forward with 4,228 allegations. The number of allegations is slightly less than that reported in 2019. As noted in the 2019 Annual Report, the number of allegations increased significantly in large part due to allegations received in connection with lawsuits, compensation programs, and bankruptcies. During this audit year, 22 allegations were made by current minors, six of which were substantiated, two were unsubstantiated, three were unable to be proven, seven were still under investigation, and four were categorized
as “other.” The report notes the ongoing work of the Church in continuing the call to ensure the safety of children and vulnerable adults. In 2020, the Church’s investment in protective services increased by 15 percent. This included over 2.5 million background checks conducted on clergy, employees, and volunteers. In addition, in 2020 over 2.5 million adults and 3.1 million children and youth were trained on how to identify the warning signs of abuse and how to report those signs. The Church also continues to provide outreach and support to 2,458 victim survivors and their families in the form of counseling, spiritual assistance, and other social services. Despite restrictions experienced due to the pandemic, evaluation of compliance with the Charter continued. Necessary adjustments to social distancing did not alter elements included in the audit process conducted by Stonebridge Business Partners. The Archdiocese of New Orleans requested a one-year postponement of the audit as the area continues to recover from natural disasters. The report noted the following: • •
61 dioceses/eparchies were visited either in-person or via remote technology and data collected from 135 others. There were four instances of non-compliance: the Diocese of Fort Worth and the Diocese of Helena were found non-compliant with Article 2 of the Charter due to inactivity of their Review Boards; St Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy and Our Lady of Deliverance of Newark Eparchy were both found non-compliant with Articles 12 (training of youth and adults) and Article 13 (background checks) of the Charter.
Two eparchies did not participate in the audit: the Eparchy of St. Mary Queen of Peace, and the Eparchy of St. Peter the Apostle.
The USCCB’s Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People and the National Review Board continue to emphasize that the audit and continued application of zero-tolerance policies are two important tools in the Church's broader program of creating a culture of protection and healing that exceeds the
Annual Report, cont'd on pg. 5
The Courier is the official publication of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester 55 West Sanborn, P.O. Box 588, Winona, MN 55987 Vol 112 - 12
Most Reverend John M. Quinn, Publisher Nick Reller, Associate Editor Telephone: 507-858-1257 Fax:507-454-8106 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Publishing Schedule: Monthly - Deadline for advertising & articles is the 10th of the month prior. (ISSN 0744-5490)
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Articles of Interest
Let the Light of Christ into Your Family___4 Totally Yours_____________________________5 'A Tender and Loving Father'______________6 Listening Is an Act of Love____________7 Catholic Schools Updates_________________8 A Gift Shows Thanks____________________9 Looking Back at 2021__________________10 Diocesan Headlines____________________11-12
The Holy Father's Intention for
December 2021 Catechists Let us pray for the catechists, summoned to announce the Word of God: may they be its witnesses, with courage and creativity and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Corrections The article My Adoption Journey, which appeared on page 8 of The Courier's November 2021 issue, was written by a woman using the pseudonym Amanda and submitted by Sarah Vetter, who is the director of the Pregnancy, Parenting & Adoption Program at Catholic Charities of Southern Minnesota. Sarah's picture appeared within a gray rectangle on the page, but her name and title were absent due to technical difficulties.
Officials Most Rev. John M. Quinn, Bishop of Winona-Rochester, announces the following: Diaconal Ministry Deacon Christopher Walchuk: transferred to diaconal ministry at St. John the Baptist Parish in Mankato, effective November 1, 2021.
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 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 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 email@example.com.
Ministerial Standards Board Very Rev. Robert Horihan: appointed to the Diocese of Winona-Rochester Ministerial Standards Board, effective November 10, 2021. Mrs. Marsha Stenzel: appointed to the Diocese of WinonaRochester Ministerial Standards Board, effective November 10, 2021. Where to Find the Courier
Note: Delivery of hard copies to parishes, which was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will not resume. Any person who would like to read The Courier in hard copy should request home delivery, free of charge. • An online version may be viewed at www.dowr.org/offices/ courier/index.html • To be added to 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
We Prepare Our Hearts
Bishop John M. Quinn
�ear Friends in Christ, Advent
During this time of Advent, when we prepare our hearts to welcome Christ, our Lord and Savior, may we always remember that Jesus came into this world to bring the love, joy, and reconciliation of the Triune God with all humanity. I pray that amidst the busyness of this time of year, and all the challenges currently facing the Church and world, we are able to make time for Christ in our lives, and grow into a deeper relationship with Him through prayer and the Sacraments. With the weeks before Christmas often filled with a flurry of preparations, parties, and shopping, it is easy to say we are too busy to take time for prayer or other spiritual activities. However, Advent offers us an invitation to evaluate our priorities. Do we really want gifts and Christmas decorations to take precedence over the God who created us, redeemed us, and sustains us every moment of our lives? This Advent, I encourage all of us to reassess our relationship with our Triune God, as well as the other people and things in our life, and consider what changes we may need to make in order to live a more well-ordered and balanced life.
spoken on the importance of prioritizing Sunday Mass, and avoiding the modern temptation of thinking that it is enough to simply be a “good person.” He said, “We Christians need to participate in Sunday Mass because only with the grace of Jesus, with his living presence in us and among us, can we put into practice his commandment, and thus be his credible witnesses.” For those already attending Sunday Mass at church, I would encourage you to consider attending daily Mass, even just one or two days a week, as your schedule allows. What better way to prepare our hearts for the coming of the Prince of Peace, than by coming to encounter Him in the Scriptures and the Eucharist at Mass. Jesus is waiting for you! Confession We only need to look at the world around us to see that humanity is fallen and imperfect. Despite our best intentions and efforts, we “do not do what [we] want, but [we] do what [we] hate” (Romans 7:15). Regardless of our individual and global efforts to make a better world and eradicate war, hunger, and disease, in the end we must admit that we cannot create a utopia of our own making. Thankfully, Jesus Christ came to lift us out of our lives of brokenness. He came to offer us the gift of eternal life and to restore our relationship with our Heavenly Father that was broken due to sin. Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, those who are baptized into Christ Jesus no longer have to fear everlasting death. When we sin, we can come to the Lord in the Sacrament of Penance and have our sins wiped away. Whether you have gone recently, or whether you have been away from Confession for years, the Lord is longing to welcome you back. Advent is the perfect time to say “yes” to the Lord’s offer of forgiveness through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Synod For the next several months, Pope Francis has asked that the Church throughout the world gather, pray, and listen to the Holy Spirit and each other as to how the Lord is asking us to move forward as a Church, in serving those around us, including those in the pews every Sunday, those who feel marginalized by the Church, and those in our communities who may have never heard of Jesus Christ. Throughout the months of December and January, information will be shared about the diocesan phase of the 2023 Synod of Bishops. Parishes will have listening sessions in January, and pastors and listening session facilitators are currently working on the details of their individual parish / cluster listening sessions, with training and materials provided by the diocese. Our Holy Father has stressed that it is important for us to enter into this Synod with an attitude of prayerfulness, not seeking to further our own personal agendas, but rather to seek the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, and have an open ear to others who may have a very different perspective on life. I encourage you to pray for this synodal process, and to participate as you are able. The fruit of the local listening sessions will be compiled by the diocese, and sent to the national and continental level, in order to provide the Holy Father and bishops
participating in the 2023 Synod a better understanding of the needs, concerns and experiences of the wider Church. Please pray for the entire synodal process, that it may be firmly grounded in the Holy Spirit, and may inspire all the Church to a greater zeal for Jesus Christ and the proclamation of the Gospel.
3 From the Bishop
Rejoice in Hope
Prayer Prayer is simply a conversation with God. As we know from human relationships, getting to know someone requires being in communication with them. If we ignore people and never spend time with them, our relationships suffer. It is the same with our relationship with God. If we do not make time to be with Him and listen to His voice, we will not get to know Him. He is always there, ready for us at every moment of our lives, but we must make the effort to be present to Him. There are many ways to pray, including recited prayers that most of us learned as children, such as the Our Father and Hail Mary; meditating on the Holy Scriptures; or simply sitting quietly in the presence of the Lord, either in a quiet corner at home or at church. As with any relationship, there are times to listen and times to speak, and in our prayer with God there are times to pour out our joys and sorrows, but we must also allow the Lord to communicate to us. Sometimes this happens through a phrase jumping out to us in the Scriptures, an inspiration during quiet prayer, or even a deep realization of our need for God’s mercy. Mass Advent is also a perfect time to allow the Mass to have a greater part in our lives as Catholics. Over the past one and a half years, many Catholics have grown accustomed to watching Mass online or on TV. However, for those able to attend in person, there is nothing equal to being physically present at this most important and highest form of prayer. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is a re-presentation of Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross, and it is there that the Lord pours upon us the graces we need to live as His disciples in the world. The Mass is also a foretaste of heaven, where we join with the saints and angels in praising our Triune God. Pope Francis has
On the Fourth Sunday of Advent, December 19, two of our diocesan seminarians will be instituted as acolytes. Brian Klein and Nicholas Gawarecki will be taking this next step in their journey toward the priesthood, and I am privileged to celebrate this rite at the 10:30 am Sunday Mass at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona. Brian and Nicholas are currently studying Theology at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul, along with four other men studying for the priesthood for the Diocese of Winona-Rochester. Please keep Brian and Nicholas and all our seminarians in your prayers. Blessed are you! Sincerely in Christ,
+ John M. Quinn Bishop of Winona-Rochester
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Let the Light of Christ into Your Family � he days of darkness are upon us. Here in the Midwest, it is a yearly
Life, Marriage & Family
occurrence; many of us go to work in the dark and arrive back home in the dark. It can seem depressing, but only if you let it. It may sound like I am about to inform you of ways you can improve your mood during the dark winter months, but no, I am not here to sell you any tips or tricks. Instead, I am here to remind you of the truth. The truth is, by your Baptism, you have been called out of darkness and into His marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9) By your Baptism, you are reborn and must live the faith that you received from God through the Church. In the baptismal ceremony, when the godparents give the lighted candle to the newly baptized, the priest says to the newly baptized: “You have been enlightened by Christ. Walk always as children of the light and keep the flame of faith alive in your hearts. When the Lord comes, may you go out to meet him with all the saints in the heavenly kingdom.” So how do we let that light of Christ shine bright in a world filled with darkness? In your family, you can find all sorts of activities that do exactly that during the season of Advent. The Advent wreath is a great tradition you can use to assist the family in preparing for Christ’s birth. The Advent wreath is a perfect way for us to focus on the light of Christ and to prepare our hearts for His birth into the world. If you haven’t put out your Advent wreath yet, now is the time!
Remember to make the reading of scripture a part of the season. The Gospel of John has many references to how Christ brings light into the world: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (8:12); " While I am in the world, I am the light of the world" (9:5); " While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of the light. (12:36); " I came into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness" (12:46). Yes the days of darkness are upon us, but we must remain in the light. We have many great examples in the saints of the Church, as Pope Francis said: “The saints are our brothers and sisters who have welcomed the light of God in their heart and have passed it on to the world, each according to his or her own ‘hue’. But they were all transparent; they fought to remove the stains and the darkness of sin, so as to enable the gentle light of God to pass through. This is life’s purpose: to enable God’s light to pass through; it is the purpose of our life too.” May your season of Advent prepare you for the coming of the Light in a world of darkness!
Director of Life, Marriage & Family and Communications email@example.com
Blessing of an Advent Wreath from usccb.org The use of the Advent Wreath is a traditional practice which has found its place in the Church as well as in the home. The blessing of an Advent Wreath takes place on the First Sunday of Advent or on the evening before the First Sunday of Advent. When the blessing of the Advent Wreath is celebrated in the home, it is appropriate that it be blessed by a parent or another member of the family. All make the sign of the cross as the leader says: Our help is in the name of the Lord. Response (R/.) Who made heaven and earth.
Then the Scripture, Isaiah 9: (lines 1-2 and 5-6) or Isaiah 63 (lines 16-17 & 19) or Isaiah 64 (lines 2-7) is read: Reader: The Word of the Lord. R/. Thanks be to God. With hands joined, the leader says: Lord our God, we praise you for your Son, Jesus Christ: he is Emmanuel, the hope of the peoples, he is the wisdom that teaches and guides us, he is the Savior of every nation. Lord God, let your blessing come upon us as we light the candles of this wreath. May the wreath and its light be a sign of Christ’s promise to bring us salvation. May he come quickly and not delay. We ask this through Christ our Lord. R/. Amen. The blessing may conclude with a verse from “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”: O come, desire of nations, bind in one the hearts of humankind; bid ev’ry sad division cease and be thyself our Prince of peace. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.
Bishop's Calendar December 1, Wednesday 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. - Minnesota Catholic Conference Board Meeting - St. Paul 3:30 p.m. - Visit DOW-R Seminarians at St. Paul Seminary December 2, Thursday 1 p.m. - Holy Hour and Bishop’s Cabinet Meeting 5:30 p.m. - Evening Prayer and Dinner with DOW-R Seminarians Attending IHM December 4, Saturday 9 - 10:40 a.m. - Teach Theology 380 Make-Up Class 5 p.m. - Confirmation - St. Mary of the Lake Church, Lake City December 5, Sunday 2 p.m. - Confirmation - St. Teresa Church, Mapleton; with: Our Lady of December 2021 w The Courier w dowr.org
Mount Carmel, Easton; St. John the Baptist, Minnesota Lake; St. Casimir, Wells; St. Joseph, Good Thunder; and St. Matthew, Vernon Center
December 12, Sunday 8:30 a.m. - Mass and Presentation of the Bishop’s Medal - St. Finbarr Church, Grand Meadow
December 6, Monday 1 pm - Installation of Bishop Andrew Cozzens as 8th Bishop for the Diocese of Crookston - Crookston, MN
December 13, Monday 8 a.m. - Teach at SMU
December 7, Tuesday 11 a.m. - Holy Hour and Deans Meeting December 8, Wednesday 9:45 a.m. - Mass at Lourdes High School - Rochester December 9, Thursday 10:32 a.m. - Guest Speaker on Real Presence Catholic Radio 11 a.m. - Holy Hour and College of Consultors Meeting
December 14, Tuesday 11 a.m. - Holy Hour and Presbyteral Council Meeting December 15, Wednesday 6:30 a.m. - Lauds & Mass at IHM Seminary 7 p.m. - Confirmation - Good Shepherd Church, Jackson; with: St. Luke, Sherburn; and St. Joseph, Lakefield December 16, Thursday 11:30 a.m. - Presbyteral Advent Day of Reflection - St. Theodore Church, Albert Lea
December 18, Saturday 4:30 p.m. - Holy Hour, Evening Prayer, Dinner and Skits - IHM Seminary December 19, Sunday 10:30 a.m. - Mass with the Rite of Institution of Acolyte for DOW-R Seminarians Nicholas Gawarecki and Brian Klein - Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Winona December 23, Thursday 12:10 p.m. - Mass and Luncheon with Pastoral Center Staff December 24, Friday 9 p.m. - Christmas Eve Mass - Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Winona December 25, Saturday 10:30 a.m. - Christmas Day Mass Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Winona
Director of Youth Ministry and Faith Formation firstname.lastname@example.org
s there a young adult in your life who you think would make a great summer missionary to youth in our diocese? If so, please consider inviting him or her to be a Totus Tuus missionary. ALEX PETERS, a seminarian for the Diocese of Winona-Rochester and former Totus Tuus missionary, shares his experience:
Totus Tuus is a summer Catholic youth program dedicated to sharing the Gospel and promoting the Catholic faith through evangelization, catechesis, Christian witness, and eucharistic worship. This is a great opportunity to share life with other young adults who are also striving for holiness. Each team consists of two men and two women who travel from parish to parish for a
week at a time, serving the youth through classes, fun, and sharing the joys of the Catholic faith. While in each parish, missionaries live with host families, which provides an opportunity to meet many wonderful people and be a light for them as well. Being a Totus Tuus missionary helped me personally to grow in my faith and helped me to live out the meaning of Totus Tuus, which is Latin for “Totally Yours," meaning that you give yourself entirely to Jesus Christ through Mary. The summer is spent completely giving of oneself to the youth and the mission of the team. This led to times of struggle and being tired, but it also led to some of the most grace-filled moments of my life. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing youth’s faces light up when they learn something new about the faith or make a connection with what they are learning and how it applies to their own lives. When I gave of myself completely to the Lord and trusted that He would take care of me, I found that Jesus gave me back everything I gave Him and more. In order to be a Totus Tuus missionary, you
Annual Report, Award, cont'd from pg. 2
cont'd from pg. 1
requirements of the Charter.
the mission for the better. Both Fox and Eubank remain active in the Lasallian mission. Fox, an alumna of Saint Mary’s, returned to the university in 1990, where she served for 28 years in a variety of roles, including service as the first dean of the School of Business, vice president of university relations, and professor of interdisciplinary studies. Beyond the university, Fox is currently a trustee of Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois, and has served the Midwest District of the Brothers of the Christian Schools over many years through District Chapters, regional and international assemblies, and taught for a decade in the International Association of Lasallian Universities Rome Leadership Program. Honored as a Distinguished Lasallian Educator in 2013, Fox was affiliated to the Brothers of the Christian Schools in 2014. She is a decades-long
The full Annual Report, and all previously published Annual Reports, may be found on the Secretariat’s audit page: https://www.usccb.org/offices/child-and-youthprotection/audits
The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People may be found at: https://www.usccb.org/offices/child-and-youthprotection/charter-protection-children-andyoung-people Additional information on diocesan requirements for the protection of children and young people may be found at: http://www.usccb.org/about/communications/ bishops-resources/upload/cyp-norms-bulletininsert.pdf
Youth Ministry & Faith Formation
must be a high school graduate, confirmed in the Catholic Church, and a practicing Catholic with a working understanding of our faith, and a desire to work with youth. If hired, you will receive training on the teaching components of Totus Tuus as well as the day-to-day living. Please prayerfully consider spending your summer as a Totus Tuus missionary and join other young adults in sharing the gift of the Catholic faith with youth from around the diocese. The prayer below was written by Pope Saint John Paul II to Mary Immaculate: ‘Totally yours, Immaculate Conception, Mary my Mother, Live in me, Act in me, Speak in me and through me, Think your thoughts in my mind, Love through my heart, Give me your dispositions and feelings, Teach, lead me and guide me to Jesus, Correct, enlighten and expand my thoughts and behavior, Possess my soul, Take over my entire personality and life, replace it with Yourself, Incline me to constant adoration, Pray in me and through me, Let me live in you and keep me in this union always.” For more information and to apply to be a Totus Tuus missionary, please visit www.dowr.org/tt.
Mary Fox, AFSC, Ph.D., center, is congratulated by other Saint Mary's representatives including, from L: Alisa Macksey, dean of Student Success and First Generation Initiative; Br. William Mann, former university president; Ann Merchlewitz, senior vice president and general counsel; and Tim Gossen, vice president for Student Affairs.
member of the Basilica of Saint Stanislaus Kostka in Winona, where she has served on the Finance Council and as a lector. Eubank is a resident of St. Paul, Minnesota. Deb Nahrgang is the senior director of communications for St. Mary's University of Minnesota in Winona.
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Lay Formation & RCIA
'A Tender and Loving Father' Only tender love will save us from the snares of the accuser (cf. Rev 12:10). That is why it is so important to encounter God’s mercy … where we experience his truth and tenderness. Paradoxically, the evil one can also speak the truth to us, yet he does so only to condemn us. We know that God’s truth does not condemn, but instead welcomes, embraces, sustains and forgives us. That truth always presents itself to us like the merciful father in Jesus’ parable (cf. Lk 15:11-32). It comes out to meet us, restores our dignity, sets us back on our feet and rejoices for us, for, as the father says: "This my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found" (v. 24). -Pope Francis, Patris Corde (“With a Father’s Heart”)
�reetings of Peace, Friends in Christ!
As I write this, it is mid November – what I think of as the month of “All Saints and All Souls”. I love our Church’s teaching concerning the “Communion of Saints”, understanding that we are all joined together by Christ – those on earth, in purgatory, and in heaven. In the mystery of our faith, we are intimately united to one another. We can pray for our departed sisters and brothers. And, our friends in heaven can intercede for us and accompany us by their witness and wisdom. How blessed we are to be part of this great communion of God’s holy ones – both as we live on earth now, and as we live eternally with Him, we pray, in our heavenly home. This month is also a time for me to remember and hold close my parents and family members. Both my dad and (birth) mom were born in November, 13 days apart in 1923. My (step) mom passed away last year on November 21. I was deeply blessed to be their son, and I remember all of them with great love and affection. On the feast of All Souls Day this year, my Uncle Joe passed away. He was 90 years old. My dad had three brothers – Al, Joe, and Leo. Uncle Joe was the last surviving brother. Recently, I came across a reflection I had written for his 70th birthday. It speaks of the character shared by each of these four men: I remember Uncle Joe as a man much like my father and much like his other brothers – quiet, patient, gentle, and kind. As I look back on my own life and as I live
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out my present roles as husband and father, I am deeply grateful for the Graff men before me who taught me how to be a man of strong faith, of quiet conviction, and of deeply-rooted commitments. These were men who didn’t say much about who they were or what they had endured and accomplished in life; yet their lives spoke so eloquently of, and witnessed so truly to, the values and commitments they held dear. As I seek to raise my four sons, I hope that I can carry on this simple but profound legacy that Uncle Joe and my own father, and their brothers, have passed on to me. To be a man is to love and care for your family, to work hard and well in your educational and professional lives, to be true to your word and to honor your commitments in life – even and especially when it is difficult, and to be faithful to God and to your religious faith.” As I was pondering what these holy men have passed on to me, I was reminded of the one who loved Jesus “with a father’s heart” – Saint Joseph. On December 8, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, we will conclude this special year dedicated to him by Pope Francis. In his apostolic letter marking this year (Patris Corde), Pope Francis reflects on several aspects of Saint Joseph as: “a beloved father,” “a tender and loving father,” “an obedient father,” “an accepting father,” “a creatively courageous father,” “a working father,” “a father in the shadows.” I am drawn especially to Saint Joseph as “a tender and loving father.” This is the father I knew so well in my own dad. As I wrote about him in a column just after his death eight years ago: “Dad preached the love of Christ to me sometimes in words, but much more often in his quiet way of listening, caring, helping, guiding, encouraging.” I could not have been more blessed than to be the son of Pete Graff. In this section of his letter, Pope Francis also cites one of my favorite gospel passages: “The Parable of the Lost Son” (Luke 15:11-32). What I treasure
Director of Lay Formation & RCIA email@example.com
deeply about this parable is the tender love of the father for both of his sons. Note his reaction in the story to each of them… •
“So [the younger son] got up and went back to his father. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.” (v. 20) [italics added]
“[The older son] became angry, and when he refused to enter the house, his father came out and pleaded with him…. He said to him, ‘My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours.” (vv. 28, 31) [italics added]
And, this is the “father” we have, as God’s beloved daughters and sons. A Heavenly Father who, filled with compassion, runs out to meet us – sometimes in our humility and contrition, and sometimes even in our anger and self-righteousness – and who embraces and kisses us, and lets us know that He is with us always, and that everything He has is ours. Recently, I was at a concert of one of my sons. After the concert, he was greeting several of his friends and interacting with them. One of his friends introduced him to his mother, and told her that my son was one of the kindest and most caring people he knew – someone who takes time to reach out to others and to truly listen to them. I stood by with the deepest sense of gratitude that, with God’s grace and within this blessed Communion of Saints, the gentle and caring spirit of my dad lives on in his grandson. Deo Gratias! Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. To you God entrusted his only Son; in you Mary placed her trust; with you Christ became Man. Blessed Joseph, to us too, show yourself a father and guide us in the path of life. Obtain for us grace, mercy and courage, and defend us from every evil. Amen. -Pope Francis, “Prayer to Saint Joseph” ( from, Patris Corde)
Listening Is an Act of Love �riends, blessed Advent to all! As you may have heard, there is a Synod in our
midst, on synodality. There are a lot of questions about this, locally and globally, but in this article I simply want to focus on the primary act we will be engaging within the diocesan portion of the Synod: listening to the Holy Spirit, listening to each other, and listening to those on the margins. I think it is important to underline the importance of listening because in general, we’re a lot better at speaking than listening! These next few weeks aren’t about hearing, which can happen accidentally, but listening, which requires attention. This synod is about people having an opportunity to share their experience of God through his Church and the world, and reflect on how well we are on mission together. But it is just as much about learning to listen to the Holy Spirit, to other people, and those who often don’t have a voice in our communities, ecclesial and otherwise. Listening to the Holy Spirit
If you read the documents from the Vatican on this synod, one thing that will be clear is how Ignatian this approach is. Ignatian spirituality (rooted in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits) focuses on contemplation through prayerful awareness of God’s presence in one’s daily life. For example, Ignatian spirituality values the
We were deeply grateful to welcome Barbara Heil to the diocese for our inaugural Holy Spirit Alive conference, Thy Kingdom Come, Nov. 12-13! 100+ people gathered for praise, prayer, and inspired teaching on the deep connection between the Holy Spirit alive within us and a life on mission. Barbara is a convert to the Catholic faith, and has done missionary work in 80 countries. The conference closed with a healing prayer service open to all in the community. Barbara, you were a genuine gift to us! St. Theodore Church of Albert Lea, thank you for your generous hosting. If you are interested in learning more about charismatic renewal, find a prayer group, or host a Life in the Spirit seminar, contact Dcn. John Hust at the diocesan pastoral center.
Listening to Each Other.
We have conversations every day. But how well do we listen? For example, if you are a parent--how often have you thought “My child only hears what he/she wants to hear!” If you are a son or daughter--how often have you thought the same thing about your parent? Taking time to deliberately listen is an act of love, because by doing so you respect the dignity of the other person. Active listening wants to focus on 1) providing space to let the other person speak, 2) giving full attention, and 3) understanding rather than judgment. Now at some point, we need to go beyond listening to engagement...but there is no fruitful engagement without listening first. It is an important and necessary first step in relationship. A great deal of this synod is about how we work together on mission as Church. Can we take this extended moment to bracket what we think people will say, even in our own parish, and simply listen out of respect for better understanding? On a broader scale, as someone who works in evangelization, I promise there is no conversion of life unless we provide an opportunity to listen to the person’s whole story, the bad and the good. In this synod, we’re going to have the opportunity to make space for everyone to speak. While we can’t engage in eternal listening to others with whom we strongly disagree (if someone is going to murder someone, stop listening and stop them from doing it)--we can deliberately listen more often than we do.
have no voice in our society and even our Church (those he calls “those on the margins”). This is not new: he roots this attention through the gospel itself. Jesus spoke to everyone, but he sought out those with little voice. The very best way we can offer that attention is to listen to them and not presume we know what they will say, or what their desires are. The first move in listening to those on the margins is invitation to conversation. It would be easy to talk to the insiders-and we do! But it takes effort to talk to those who are off our typical daily path. If God is for everyone--and we’re called the next few weeks to listen to everyone around a set of questions--let’s think creatively about inviting people to this conversational table. Who is quiet in your parish, and maybe gets overlooked? The elderly? Youth? The homebound? Those speaking another language? Those struggling financially? The incarcerated? People who don’t practice the faith? Maybe they need a personal invitation to participate. Or maybe the conversation needs to be brought to them. What is unusual about this Synod is we are called to make an effort to listen to people outside of the Church as well. As we are called to know and love our neighbor, listening for understanding is incredibly important to the mission of the Church. The diocese will be trying to take on some of this particular work, but everyone can do this. The more people outside the Church who know we care enough that we want to understand their perspective, the better. This does not require agreement: just listening. As we move into the Christmas season, let’s remember that Christ humbled himself in the most dramatic way imaginable: he took on human flesh as a baby, for our salvation. We certainly can humble ourselves in less dramatic fashion: we can take time to listen to God, others, and especially those on the margins. May we emerge from our focus on listening renewed in relationship with God and one another!
Director of Missionary Discipleship firstname.lastname@example.org
practice of the daily examen prayer, a way of reflecting on your day that asks God to make present to you his activity in your daily actions and events. It is not an examination of conscience that one does before confession, but an examination that focuses on awareness of God’s will and providence in the particulars of the day. Sometimes awareness of sin becomes present, but it isn’t the goal of the examen. This is a powerful way to learn to listen to and for God. Another way of listening to the Holy Spirit is through Ignatian contemplative prayer--in this case, it is a practice of imaginatively entering into the Scriptures to allow God to speak to you through them. This is similar to Lectio Divina (sacred reading)--but in both cases, the listening means we need to “incline the ear of our heart” (from the Rule of St. Benedict) to moving beyond Scripture as a story or spiritual information. Instead, God speaks to us through scripture. As we hear in Hebrews 4:12: The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. We need to pray with scripture in enough silence to allow spiritual listening. If we quiet ourselves (and our agendas) and listen, God will communicate with you! It may be the experience of consolation, of peace, of conviction, of joy, or more. Much of this synod encourages people to do just that. It is not about cataloging a wish list or complaints, although naming hope and pain is part of honest speaking. In the end, we are bringing the fruit of prayer to the table, our experience of God present among us.
If you are interested in participating in the Synod, contact your local parish or religious community to find out when your Synod gathering is scheduled. Most will occur in January. All are welcome!
Listening to Those on the Margins
Pope Francis makes clear in his own language around this synod (and his pontificate) that as a Church we are called to pay particular attention to those who
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Forming a Vision
of Life and Learning Marsha Stenzel
Superintendent of Catholic Schools email@example.com
Submitted by DAVE JENSON
� he 2021-2022 school year has provided us with another opportunity to
make Christ known, loved, and served in our Catholic schools. At St. Pius X School in Rochester, we have learned many lessons about what it truly means to be present together as a school community over the past year. We are fortunate to have experienced tremendous growth in our school, adding two additional class sections since last year, to take our enrollment to 190 students in preschool through fifth grade. This year, we are thrilled to be able to take class field trips again to provide learning opportunities outside of the classroom. Pope John Paul II said, “Catholic education aims not only to communicate facts but also to transmit a coherent, comprehensive vision of life, in the convic-
The Saints Came Marching In Submitted by AMY HEIMER
�ne of the beautiful gifts of a Catholic education
is the celebration of our liturgical seasons and feast days with our students and the greater community. The month of November begins with the Solemnity of All Saints and the Feast of All Souls. These holy days are a reminder that we are all saints in the making. At Holy Spirit Catholic School in Rochester, the saints came marching in on All Saints’ Day as thirdgraders attended school Mass, each dressed as one of our Catholic saints. Embracing this annual tradition, the students also shared facts about the lives of these holy men and women with the school community. On All Souls’ Day, Rochester Catholic Schools remembered and honored loved ones who have passed. This year, students created Ofrendas (altars) at the schools as they learned about the Mexican holiday of Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. Decorative flowers, colorful artwork, family photos, and personal poetry were additions to Ofrendas. This celebration of life and death, and the beauty of learning from the holy men and women that model our faith, is integral to who we are as Catholics. We are blessed with the opportunity to experience our feast days together as a school community. Amy Heimer is the principal of Holy Spirit School in Rochester.
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tion that the truths contained in that vision liberate students in the most profound meaning of human freedom.” If we look at the components of this message, what strikes me is that Pope John Paul II is acknowledging that yes, a Catholic education does indeed communicate facts, but the greater benefit is helping students to form a vision of life and learning in an environment that allows students to reach their full potential. How we teach our children and the way we encourage them to learn from one another in life is sometimes more important than the content of our lessons! Our Kindergarten classes had a field trip to Northwoods Orchard in Oronoco in mid-October. This was an opportunity for our students to participate in some experiential learning with a Catholic lens. There is a certain draw to experiencing God’s creation with one’s peers, and the benefits of in-person education
cannot be overstated. As Jesus says in the Gospel of Matthew, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” This is the beautiful truth of what makes a Catholic education exceptional. One of the photographs from the field trip captures a moment where all eyes are focused on a living creature - a bunny. It is apparent that each student is engaged and looking forward to their moment when they can reach out and pet the bunny or at least get a closer look. As adults, we oftentimes take for granted the everyday blessings that can be found in our lives. God often presents us with our own opportunities to reach out and experience life or to wait for another moment. May you be blessed with the foresight and fortitude to seize your next moment of opportunity. May God be with you always. Dave Jenson is the principal of St. Pius X School in Rochester.
A Gift Shows Thanks Executive Director Catholic Foundation of Southern Minnesota firstname.lastname@example.org
he Christmas season is nearly upon us. We have started making our gift lists and checking them twice. Of course, we will include family and friends on our lists. But we may also include teachers, coaches, and even service workers, such as newspaper deliverers or mail carriers. We want to give everyone a gift, showing our love and appreciation for all they do during the year. The idea of holiday gift giving - to show love and gratefulness to others who have touched our lives - is certainly parallel to the concept of stewardship. Stewardship - returning a portion, or gift, to God in love and thankfulness - follows the very same pattern. We give a gift to Him to express our thanks. Think of all God has done for you this year, and how His love has impacted you. Maybe He has answered a special prayer petition, or provided a job for an unemployed loved one. He may have helped safely bring a new baby into the family, or has brought peace during a difficult time. The blessings are no doubt countless. These abundant gifts God
be God’s name. As good stewards, we are called to give God our “first fruits,” and not what is left over. His name should not be added to our list out of guilt, or as an afterthought. We should instead joyfully desire to place God first on our list for the same reason we want to give gifts to the others on our list - out of love and appreciation. Stewardship allows us to tangibly give a Christmas gift to God through our time, talent and treasure. Why not spend an hour in the church adoring God, or pray a Rosary to share your time with Him? Perhaps you might bring a meal to a family going through a difficult time, or watch an infant for a young mother so she can prepare for Christmas. Providing an extra offering by way of the Christmas envelope is also a perfect way to share your treasure with God. Whatever choice you make this season, make the decision to be a good Christmas steward.
bestows on us are given to us freely out of His love - even though we are unworthy to receive them. Now think of all the ways you respond to these bountiful blessings. How do you choose to show God your thankfulness? As we prepare for the coming of Jesus during Advent, do we remember to add His name to our list? When we check Grandpa’s name on our list, are we also including a gift to Christ? It is His birthday we are celebrating, after all. The very first name on the list - above our spouse, children, relatives and friends - should
Our heartfelt thanks go out to all the parishes that met their goals for the 2021 Catholic Ministries Appeal: Holy Trinity Rollingstone
St. Bernard Stewartville
St. Joseph Lakefield
Christ the King Byron
Our Lady of Good Counsel Wilmont
St. Columba Iona
St. Luke Sherburn
Crucifixion La Crescent
Sacred Heart Heron Lake
All Saints New Richland
Cathedral of the Sacred Heart Winona Co-Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist Rochester Good Shepherd Jackson Holy Family Kasson
Holy Redeemer Eyota
Immaculate Conception St. Clair
St. Casimir Winona
St. Joseph Waldorf
St. Columban Preston
St. Mary Lake Wilson
Sacred Heart Owatonna
St. Finbarr Grand Meadow
St. Patrick Brownsville
St. Ignatius Spring Valley
St. Patrick West Albany
St. John Nepomucene Winona
St. Rose of Lima Lewiston
St. Edward Austin
St. Adrian Adrian
St. Francis of Assisi Rochester
St. Ann Slayton
St. John Baptist de la Salle Dodge Center
St. Agnes Kellogg
St. Anthony Westbrook
St. Mary Winona
St. Patrick LeRoy St. Pius X Rochester
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Looking Back at 2021 �lad tidings to each of you! The Advent season has begun, and soon we will be
celebrating the glorious birth of Jesus. At this time of the year, I look back and see what I have accomplished both personally and professionally. It helps me get focused for the year ahead. Catholic Charities of Southern Minnesota had a lot of activity and successes in the past 11 months, and I want to share with you. Our management team started a critical planning process late in 2019. Out of that work, we identified four critical areas to address: 1. 2. 3. 4.
Staff development Technology Internal communication External communication
The management team broke into three groups and created the Critical Planning Process Committee to keep us moving ahead; an Employee Engagement Committee was created to improve communication in our organization; and, a Policy Review Committee also started by beginning our policies and procedures for review by our board of directors. These committees meet and report back at our monthly management team meetings, and we are very pleased with the amount/type of work that has happened. Shelter
1. The Winona Community Warming Center (WCWC) • Will be opened on November 1. • We will be using more volunteers this year to help staff the space.
2. The Rochester Community Warming Center (RCWC)
• The RCWC has been open continuously. • We are engaging more volunteers for support.
3. The Winona Day Center (WCDC)
• The Day Center will remain open for the winter.
4. Olmsted County Housing Projects
• We were awarded the contracts to operate two housing projects for Olmsted County at “The 105” and “The Creek.” Parish Social Ministry (PSM)
• Isaac Landsteiner was promoted to the director position of our Parish Social Ministry.
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• We hope to have two more staff members (in addition to Lisa Kremer in Worthington) so we have more coverage throughout our diocese.
Executive Director Catholic Charities of Southern Minnesota
Family Counseling (FC)
We are contracting with St. Mary’s University in Winona to provide counseling to their students.
We were having difficulty hiring therapists across the diocese and after making some adjustments, we have been able to fill most positions. Active Aging Program (AAP)
• Many participants have returned to our Stay Active and Independent for Life (SAIL) program sessions. We still have some who join online. • Our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) group did a wonderful job with the program in the winter of 2021. Pregnancy, Parenting and Adoption (PPA)
• Enrollment in our parenting classes has increased due to holding the classes online. •
We have handled a few adoption cases.
We will be switching over to ADP payroll system at the beginning of the calendar year. ADP will allow us to eliminate paper timesheets and move to a more efficient work flow.
Administrative Services (AS)
• We will be looking for staff learning opportunities and trainings to improve the quality of our services.
• We have made progress on maintaining our properties. Guardian/Conservatorship Program (GCP)
• We continue to work on becoming nationally accredited. • We are getting a number of new clients because of our good reputation. • We are renovating the first floor of our building in Winona for this program because of its growth.
Refugee Resettlement Program (RRP) • Our team is really busy, and we have hired two more people to work
in this program. Our program director, John Meyers, speaks conversational Dari and it has been so helpful in communicating and reuniting families.
• We are expecting 80 to 100 refugees from Afghanistan over the next eight weeks. •
It is not easy for these people because some of them came with the clothes they were wearing. Others were separated from family members during the upheaval and commotion of getting out of Afghanistan.
• Rochester is the best place for us to resettle the Afghans because of interpreters being available, housing being more abundant and the support of businesses.
Thank you for your continued support, and we look forward to a wonderful 2022!
Give Your Heart By JEANETTE FORTIER
Meet Eleanore Jones By ELEANORE JONES
� y name is Eleanoree Jones, and I would like to introduce myself as your Winona-Rochester Diocesan Council of Catholic Women (W-RDCCW) President for the next two years. To begin, my husband, William “Bill” Jones and I would like to thank everyone who prayed for
The Mankato Young Adult Catholic (YAC) group hosted “The Great Kato Bake Off” on Saturday, November 13. The day began with Mass at Ss. Peter and Paul’s Catholic Church in Mankato. Six groups began the baking competition at 9:00 a.m. in Jesuit Hall. They were allotted two hours to complete their showcase pie masterpieces. While the bakers were baking, others enjoyed games, snacks and fellowship. Sr. Advocata (Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara), Fr. Tim Reker (St. Joseph the Worker) and Alex Nuy (Loyola) were the guest judges. The pies were critiqued on appearance, filling, crust, taste and creativity. Grandma’s Pecan Pie, made by Anna Weidner, took first place. Gift cards were presented to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners. The group collected the pie recipes and will soon be adding them to a YAC Recipe book which will be created in the near future. For more information on YAC, check the group out on Facebook YAC Mankato or email: email@example.com. Submitted by Sarah Denn.
Bill when he had open-heart surgery to replace his mitral valve in July. We would also like to send a thank you to all who prayed for us when we came down with COVID two months after that and he was hospitalized again. By the grace of God, I was able to recuperate at home while our children helped out. The Anointing of the Sick is a great sacrament in the Catholic Church that is highly underutilized, and I encourage everyone to please take advantage of it. It most definitely helped us out! On Jan. 28, 2022, Bill and I will be married for 55 years. I started our relationship out by telling him that I wanted to have 24 children. We didn’t quite get there, but we do have 11 living children. After we miscarried our second child, I told the Lord that I would rather have 10 more children than another miscarriage. The Lord gave us 10 more children and then we miscarried our twins. Just watch out for what you ask Him for. We currently have 59 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren (with 2 more on the way in early 2022), and 1 great-great-grandchild. All of these are a great blessing for us! I have had the privilege of being a stay-athome-mother and a domestic engineer. Raising children is a full-time job. Bill has made the comment that it’s a job he couldn’t do. My mother always went to Christian Mothers meetings which were held monthly, after Sunday Mass. I remember seeing this and realized that this is a great way to work for the Church. I have been active in the Council of Catholic Women (CCW) since 1971, holding offices and commission chair seats on the parish, area, and diocesan levels. I was invited by my neighbor to attend a CCW meeting and to bring along my nursing child, so I went. From then on, I took my nursing children with to all the meetings from parish, to area, to diocesan level. The women were always very welcoming to my children and me. We need to be welcoming to women at every stage of life. CCW act to support, empower and educate all Catholic women of the diocese in spirituality, leadership and service. To serve others is to put love into action. Please keep your hearts and minds open to becoming involved in CCW. We are needing to fill some commission chairs. If you feel the Holy Spirit moving you in this direction and can help in any capacity, please contact me at (507) 937-3460 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Council of Catholic Women exists to serve.
She said they were thrilled to receive it! Is there a lesson to be learned as these COVID days continue? Maybe Jesus already gave us the answer: He was born through the Father’s love, he lived with a heart of love, and he died that we would know the power of love. Your heart contains many gifts. Share them! The Winona-Rochester Council of Catholic Women extends to you our best wishes for an Advent filled with blessings and a Christmas filled with joy. Come join us in our 81st year. Share the talents of your life and the gifts of your heart. Jeanette Fortier was the president of the Winona-Rochester Diocesan Council of Catholic Women until September 25, 2021, when she was succeeded by Eleanore Jones.
11 In the Diocese
he TV news is filled with the stories of containers on ships waiting to be unloaded and businesses eager to receive their contents, Santa’s in high demand as many older “helpers” have retired or are hesitant to be out with the public because of COVID. Now, I hear that Christmas trees are in short supply because of lack of rainfall. What’s a Catholic to do? Can I offer a suggestion? Give your heart. During these weeks of Advent, gather a group of friends or family and talk about what you can do in the seasons of Advent and Christmas to share the gift of God’s love with others. Many parish CCW’s are participating in Cross Catholic’s “Boxes of Joy.” NCCW’S programs of “Water for Life” and “The Madonna Plan” bring people together to finance community wells and clinics for expectant mothers. Their “Walking With Moms” program
provides supplies and gift cards for women who are raising children as a single parent or find themselves in a women’s shelter. The above mentioned are monetary gifts. Suggestions for “heart gifts?” Do you like to dance? Call your local care center or senior center and volunteer to be a dance partner at their next gathering. Do you play piano, guitar, flute, or another musical instrument? Wouldn’t your local nursing home be thrilled to have you come and play! Do you make greeting cards? Whose life could you enrich by sending a card or note – or – volunteering your time to write cards for people who cannot write a card themselves. Is there someone who needs a hug or a phone call? Use your imagination. Just make it from the heart. I remember meeting a lady who came from Germany to the United States. She talked about Christmas as a child. Her family was poor, no thought of a Christmas tree. When she and her two siblings woke up on Christmas morning, there were three blankets, each spread out in a corner of the the house. The gift hiding under each blanket? An orange.
Eleanore Jones is the president of the WinonaRochester Diocesan Council of Catholic Women.
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Sister Lorraine Landkammer, 97, a Franciscan Sister of the Congregation of Our Lady of Lourdes, Rochester, died at Assisi Heights, Monday, November 8, 2021. Lorraine Marie Landkammer was born April 21, 1924, in Springfield to Frank and Theresa (Matter) Landkammer. She entered the Sisters of St. Francis in 1944, received the name of Sister Gratia, and made perpetual vows in 1950. She earned a B.S.E. degree in elementary education in 1957 and a B.A. degree in history and Spanish in 1963 at the College of Saint Teresa, Winona. Further studies included holistic training at the Spiritual Center in Little Falls, 1986, and certification as a Natural Therapeutic Specialist at the New Mexico School of Natural Therapeutics, 1987. In 1947, Sister Lorraine began her extensive elementary teaching ministry at parochial schools in Chicago, IL; Adams, Winona, Sleepy Eye and Springfield, MN; and Silver Springs, MD. Once trained in Spanish in 1963, she
December 2021 moved to Bogotá, Colombia, for seven years as a teacher at Colegio Santa Francisca Romana and then Superior of a convent in San Carlos. In 1973, Sister Lorraine returned to Springfield to teach, do parish ministry, and be near her family for three years. In 1986-87, Sister Lorraine was trained in holistic healing and utilized these skills for the next 16 years. She moved to New Mexico and transformed the lives of many people as a Natural Therapeutic Specialist. Sister Lorraine was also a member of committees for retirees, giving spiritual direction and holistic healing. She retired to Assisi Heights in 2003. Survivors of Sister Lorraine include her Franciscan Sisters with whom she shared life for 77 years; one sister-in-law, Helen Landkammer; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; two brothers, Wilfred and Robert Landkammer; one sister, Helen Heiderscheidt; one brother-in-law, Nicholas Heiderscheidt; and one sister-in-law, Emilie Landkammer. A private Funeral Liturgy was held at Assisi Heights on November 17, 2021, followed by burial of her cremains at Calvary Cemetery. Suggested memorials are to the Sisters of St. Francis, Office of Mission Advancement, Assisi Heights, 1001 14th St. NW, Rochester, MN 55901.
Eichten Receives Face of Serra Award Jerry Biese, the North Central Region Director of the St. Serra Club, awarded JoAnn Eichten, of the St. Serra Club of Owatonna Area, the Face of Serra Award. It was presented at the Serra Rally in January of 2021 and given to JoAnn at the Regional Meeting on November 19, 2021, in Buffalo, MN. The Face of Serra Award is a new award that started in 2017. It is an award to recognize a Serran who is a District Governor or has been a District Governor. To be at that level, the individual has been active in their local ministry. Here is what Jerry Biese said when he nominated JoAnn for the award:
JoAnn Eichten has been a member of Serra for 13 years, joining the Owatonna, Minnesota Serra Ministry. Her first office was Vice President of Membership. That was followed by Vice President of Vocations, then Secretary. Then she served as Vice President of Communications followed by newsletter
editor. Her leadership continued with serving as president-elect and she served several terms as President. JoAnn always reflected enthusiasm for the Serra mission. JoAnn served as District Gov. of North Central Region 8, District 7 South for two years. She visited the clubs in her District, wrote a district newsletter, attended Serra rallies and Serra International Conventions.
She now serves her second presidential term. Bill Ohnsted from Duluth also received the Face of Serra Award from Jerry Biese. Pictured below are the award, and (L to R) JoAnn Eichten; the representative of Bill Ohnsted; and Jerry Biese, Regional Director of Serra International.
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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, dowr.org (click "Weekly Mass")