The Courier - December, 2016

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Christmas Day December 25

December 2016

Official Newspaper of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Winona, MN

Sharing God's Mercy Reaching Out



Is Christmas Immigration a Family Issue

Our Elders


By MATT HADRO BALTIMORE, Nov 18, 2016 (CNA/EWTN News) - In the wake of the presidential election Catholics must remember that immigration is a global issue involving real families, the new vice president of the U.S. bishops’ conference says. “The important thing in the United States [is that] we find the way to have immigration reform,” Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles told CNA in an interview on Tuesday. “I think it’s important for us as the leading country in the world to find a solution to allow people to move, respecting the right of every country to protect their borders,” he continued. “Movements of people are happening all over the world.” The archbishop spoke with CNA just after he was elected vice president of

n the past few weeks, I’ve been asked to speak about loneliness in the elderly on numerous occasions. I was even quoted in a recent article by Catholic journalist Mary Rezac, entitled "Our Elders Are Lonely – Do We Care?" As we look forward to Christmas, let’s hope we can all say, “Of course we do!” The issue of loneliness in the elderly may not be as clear-cut as it seems. While one recent study reported that nearly half of people over 60 said they feel lonely on “a regular basis,” another asserted that only 6 percent of American seniors said they “often” feel this way. Contradictory statistics aside, in our country roughly one third of those over 65 and half of those over 85 live alone. Sociologists see this trend as a sign of social progress. Improved health care, increased wealth and the emergence of retirement as a relatively long stage of life, they say, have created more choices for seniors and enabled them to live independent of their adult children. This situation, often referred to as “intimacy at a distance,” respects the life choices and autonomy of both older persons and their adult children, fostering more positive and supportive emotional bonds for all. In his book, Being Mortal, surgeon and author Atul Gawande writes, “The lines of power between the generations have been renegotiated … The aged did not lose status and control so much as share it. Modernization did not demote the elderly. It demoted the family. It gave

Archbishop José Gomez

Immigration, cont'd on pg. 16

Mercy, cont'd on pg. 4

INSIDE this issue

A New President and an Eternal King page 6

New Evangelization in Kenya page 12

Christmas: A Stewardship Reflection... page 14

Pope Francis Watch

Articles of Interest

VISION 2016: Moving Forward_______4


Keeping Christ and Mass in Christmas_5

The Courier Insider

A New President and an Eternal King_6 The Power of One________________7 Catholic Schools Updates__________8 Youth Conference Highlights_______10 Service: Life in Love______________11 New Evangelization in Kenya____12 Open Doors ... Endless Possibilities_13 Christmas: A Stewardship Reflection..._14

Pope: Scientists Play Key Role in Solving Global Problems

By ELISE HARRIS VATICAN CITY, Nov 28, 2016 (CNA/EWTN News) - Pope Francis told a group of scientists that their role in finding creative solutions to the world’s problems is more urgent than ever, and praised increasing collaboration between scientific and religious communities. “It falls to scientists, who work free of political, economic or ideological interests, to develop a cultural model which can face the crisis of climatic change and its social consequences, so that the vast potential of productivity will not be reserved only for the few,” the Pope said Nov. 28. Just as the scientific community has carried out research demonstrating the planet’s current crisis through interdisciplinary exchange, “so too today that same community is called to offer a leadership that provides general and specific solutions” to increasing issues such as water, renewable forms of energy and food security, he said. Francis stressed that with the cooperation of scientists, the creation of “a normative system” that includes “inviolable limits and ensures the protection of ecosystems” is now necessary. This must be done, he said, “before the new forms of power deriving from the techno-economic model causes irreversible harm not only to the environment, but also to our societies, to democracy, to justice and freedom.” With these things in mind, the Pope noted that so far, politics in the international sphere “has reacted weakly,” save for a few exceptions. The “concrete will” to pursue the common good leaves something to be desired, while “well-founded scientific opinion” about the state of the planet is disregarded with “ease,” he said. Evidence that politics has been submitted “to a technology and an economy which December, 2016 w The Courier

seek profit above all else,” he said, is made visible by the “distraction, or delay in implementing global agreements on the environment.” Francis also pointed to “the continued wars of domination camouflaged by righteous claims,” which in the end “inflict ever greater harm on the environment and the moral and cultural richness of peoples.” However, he noted that despite the various challenges, progress has been made. Pope Francis spoke to members of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, headed by Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, gathered in Rome for their Nov. 25-29 plenary session titled “Science and Sustainability: Impacts of Scientific Knowledge and Technology on Human Society and its Environment.” Members include scientists from around the world, regardless of their religious affiliation. Among those present at this week’s conference include renowned British scientist and self-proclaimed atheist Stephen Hawking. Hawking, who has been a member of the Academy since 1986, spoke to the plenary Nov. 25 on “The Origin of the Universe.” In addition to Francis, he has also met Popes Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, all of whom praised his invaluable contribution to science. In his speech to the plenary, Pope Francis spoke on themes promoted throughout his 2015 environmental encyclical “Laudato Si,” insisting that never before has there been such a distinct need “for science to be at the service of a new global ecological equilibrium.” At the same time, he noted how a renewed partnership is being seen between science and Christian communities, “who are witnessing the convergence of their distinct approaches to reality in the shared goal of protecting our common home, threatened as it is by ecological collapse and consequent Scientists, cont'd on pg. 4

A Healing Balm..._________________15 Diocesan Headlines_______________17 Diocesan Calendar________________20

The Holy Father's Intentions for December 2016 Universal: That the scandal of child-soldiers may be eliminated the world over. Evangelization: That the peoples of Europe may rediscover the beauty, goodness, and truth of the Gospel which gives joy and hope to life. Officials The Most Rev. John M. Quinn, Bishop of the Diocese of Winona, announces the following: Appointments Rev. Andrew Beerman: currently Pastor of St. Adrian Parish in Adrian, St. Anthony Parish in Lismore, and Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Wilmont; transferred to the office of Pastor of St. John Vianney Parish in Fairmont and Holy Family Parish in East Chain, effective December 20, 2016.

Child Abuse Policy Information Diocese of Winona - Child Sexual Abuse Policy Information The Diocese of Winona will provide a prompt, appropriate and compassionate response to reporters of sexual abuse of a child by any diocesan agent (employees, volunteers, vendors, religious 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 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 under the Safe Environment Program. If you have any questions about the Diocese of Winona’s implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, please contact Mary Hamann at 507-858-1244, or

The Courier is the Official Publication of the Diocese of Winona 55 West Sanborn, P.O. Box 588, Winona, MN 55987 Vol 107 - 12

Most Reverend John M. Quinn, Publisher Nick Reller, Associate Editor Telephone: 507-858-1257 Fax:507-454-8106 E-mail: Subscription Rates: $5 per year in the U.S. Parishioners in the Winona Diocese subscribe through their parish. Periodicals postage paid at Madelia, MN Postmaster.

Publishing Schedule: Monthly - Deadline for advertising & articles is the 10th of the month prior. (ISSN 0744-5490)

A Season of Expectation �earWeFriends in Christ, have now entered into

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

December 1, Thursday 7:45 am – Teach at St. Mary’s University 1 pm – Holy Hour 2 pm – Bishop’s Cabinet Meeting 5 pm – Holy Hour with Winona Serra Club and FOCUS Missionaries December 2, Friday 9 am – Winona Area Catholic Schools Sacrament of Reconciliation and Penance – Basilica of St. Stanislaus Kostka, Winona 7 pm – Cor Jesu – Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Winona December 3, Saturday 5:15 pm – Confirmation – St. John the Baptist Parish, Mankato December 4, Sunday 10:30 am – Mass – St. Mary’s Parish, Winona 5 pm – Dinner with SMU Christian Brothers of the Midwest and Winona Deanery Priests December 6, Tuesday 7:45 am – Teach at St. Mary’s University 11 am – Holy Hour 12 pm – Deans Meeting – Albert Lea 2:30 pm – Clergy Personnel Board Meeting – Albert Lea

coming is by making use of the Sacrament of Penance this Advent. Many parishes have special Reconciliation services during this month, and you can also go during a parish's regularly scheduled Confession times, or also make an appointment with a priest. Confessing our sins and receiving forgiveness frees us from the darkness of sin and allows Christ to fill us with His life and light. Going to Confession frequently is an important step in growing closer to Christ and being holy. Advent is an especially fitting time to experience God's healing grace in our lives through the Sacrament of Penance, as we look forward to welcoming Christ anew at Christmas. After the Election: A Time for Prayer and Unity November 9 marked the end of a long and bitter political campaign season. It is clear that our country is deeply divided on many fronts. However, now is the time to put aside partisanship and to work together for the good of all people in the United States of America. It is important to remember that we are not primarily Democrat or Republican, but Americans who are Catholic. We must pray for our elected officials, that they may have wisdom to seek the common good as they serve our country. I encourage you to not sit on the sidelines out of frustration, but to better understand how our Catholic values have an impact on various political issues. The right to life of every human person, from conception to natural death, is a fundamental right that should inform how we view policies both nationally and locally. The

December 7, Wednesday 10:30 am – 4:00 pm – Minnesota Catholic Conference Board Meeting – St. Paul December 8, Thursday 7:45 am – Teach at St. Mary’s University 12 pm – Patronal Feast Day Mass at St. Thomas More Chapel on St. Mary’s University Campus December 9, Friday 9:00 am – Record televised Christmas Day Mass – Cathedral of the Sacred Heart December 11, Sunday 10:30 am – Mass – Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Winona 4 pm – Communal Advent Reconciliation and Penance Service – Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Winona December 13, Tuesday 7:45 am – Teach at St. Mary’s University 11 am – Holy Hour 12 pm – Presbyteral Council Meeting – Albert Lea 6 pm – Mass – Waseca Federal Correctional Institution December 14, Wednesday 9:30 am – 2 pm – Annual Day with DOW Curia and Staff – Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Winona 5:30 pm – St. Vincent de Paul Society Soup and

Minnesota Catholic Conference is a wonderful resource to help educate Catholics of policy initiatives taking place in our state and of ways we can become bettter engaged in the political process. Regardless of our feelings coming out of this election season, we all have the responsibility to do our part in building up the kingdom of God on earth. As Archbishop Gomez of Los Angeles said shortly before Election Day, "Our country and our world will be renewed not by politics, but by saints. ... If we want a greater America, we need to become, by the grace of God, greater saints." Closing of the Jubilee of Mercy Last month, the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy came to an end. November 20 was the last day of the Year of Mercy, and it was then that Pope Francis closed the Holy Door at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. On the previous Sunday, November 13, all the other Holy Doors around the world including those in the Diocese of Winona - were closed. The Jubilee of Mercy was a year of grace, an oppportunity to focus anew on the abundant mercy of God and on our call to be heralds of mercy ourselves, to our brothers and sisters. Even though the official Year of Mercy has ended, however, God's mercy never ends! God is always calling us to turn toward Him and allow His mercy to enter our lives. May we take the lessons of mercy we have learned this past year and continue to live them throughout the years to come.

Bread Supper – Lourdes High School, Rochester December 15, Thursday 1 pm – Holy Hour 2 pm – Bishop’s Cabinet Meeting December 16, Friday 6:30 am – Lauds and Mass – IHM Seminary, Winona 12 pm – Advent Day of Recollection – Ss. Peter and Paul Church, Blue Earth 7 pm – Annual Simbang Gabi Mass with the Filipino Community – St. John the Evangelist Church, Rochester December 17, Saturday 2 pm – TH260 Final Exam – St. Mary’s University, Winona 4:30 pm – Holy Hour and Vespers – IHM Seminary, Winona 6:00 pm – Dinner and End of Semester Skits – IHM Seminary December 18, Sunday 2:30 pm – Pallium Mass – Cathedral of St. Paul, St. Paul December 20, Tuesday 10:30 am – Anointing Mass – Callista Court, Winona 6:00 pm – Faculty and Staff Holiday Dinner – St. Mary’s University, Winona



Later this month, we will celebrate Christmas, the great feast where we remember that God became man in the person of Jesus Christ. Christmas is a wonderful time to be with loved ones and enjoy all our favorite traditions of the season, but let us not forget that we're celebrating the birth of our Savior. Like the shepherds and Wise Men 2,000 years ago, let us adore the Prince of Peace and allow Him to be King of our hearts and lives. On December 26, many people will already be taking down their trees and no longer listening to Christmas music. However, for us, Christmas Day is just the beginning of our festivities! The Christmas season begins on Christmas Day, and it lasts through the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, this year celebrated on January 9. So don't be in a rush to pack up your Christmas decorations! Instead, continue to rejoice that Christ has been born: "Today ... a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord." May the Lord bless you and your families with His peace and joy this Advent and Christmas.

From the Bishop

the holy season of Advent, when we wait expectantly for Christ's birth at Christmas. Advent is often overshadowed by many Christmas festivities, including parties, gifts, decorations, and traveling. It can be easy to get so caught up in the many details of Christmas celebrations that we lose sight of what is most important - the fact that Jesus Christ loved us so much that He chose to become one of us. Advent is the time when we, like Mary and Joseph, look forward with expectation to Christ's coming and prepare our hearts to receive Him. Advent is a time of preparing for Christ's first coming as a little baby, and it is also a time to look forward to Christ's second coming, when He will return to

earth in all His glory. Jesus tells us that we know not the day nor the hour when He will come again, and so we are to be vigilant and ready for whenever He comes. At the end of our lives, we all will stand before God in judgment; Advent is an ideal opportunity to take stock of how we are responding to God's call to lives of holiness. How is God calling us to greater discipleship and deeper holiness? Christ wants to enter all of our lives and transform them by His grace. During this season of Advent, I encourage you to take time to listen to Christ. I am sure you all are very busy at this time of year; I know I am. However, in the midst of the noise and stress of Christmas music, shopping, and preparations, set aside time to be silent and allow Christ to speak to you. St. Teresa of Calcutta said, "We need to find God, and He cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence." Taking time to pray in silence with the Lord can be done in simple and small ways. Stop by a church for a few minutes on your way home from work to rest in the presence of Jesus in the tabernacle; pray a decade of the rosary in the car instead of listening to music; choose one evening a week to turn off the TV and read the Bible; or take a walk outside and thank God for His many gifts. Spending time with our Lord in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is also a beautiful way to prepare for Christ's coming. You will find that, as you take more time for God, there will be less anxiety and more peace in your lives. One way I encourage you to prepare for Christ's

Sincerely in Christ,

Most Rev. John M. Quinn Bishop of Winona

December 21, Wednesday 10:30 am – Carmelite Friars of the Province of St. Elias Simple Profession of Vows – Annunciation Hermitage, Austin December 22, Thursday 6 pm – Dinner with Major Seminarians December 23, Friday 12 pm – Pastoral Center Staff Christmas Gathering December 24, Saturday 9 pm – Christmas Eve Mass – Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Winona December 25, Sunday 10:30 am – Christmas Day Mass – Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Winona January 3-5, Tuesday – Thursday SEEK 2017 Conference January 5-6, Thursday – Friday Mass of Installation of Cardinal-elect Joseph William Tobin, C.Ss.R. January 7-13, Saturday – Friday Region VIII Bishops’ Retreat December, 2016 w The Courier

VISION 2016: Moving Forward


4 �his past summer and fall, the Diocese


of Winona has been moving forward on several fronts of our VISION 2016 pastoral planning process. Multiple parish mergers have occurred throughout the diocese; the parishes that merged became part of a larger (receiving) parish, and the parishioners of the former parish are now parishioners of the receiving parish. We have been working with these receiving parishes to ensure the transition has been smooth. The parish mergers that have occurred in the summer and fall of 2016 are: - St. Kilian in St. Kilian merged with St. Anthony in Lismore, effective July 1, 2016.

Queen of Angels in Austin, effective September 30, 2016.

- Corpus Christi in Deerfield merged with Christ the King in Medford, effective September 30, 2016. - St. Aidan in Ellendale merged with All Saints in New RIchland, effective September 30, 2016. -

St. Mary in Geneva merged with St. Columbanus in Blooming Prairie, effective September 30, 2016.

- St. Vincent de Paul in West Concord merged with St. John Baptist de la Salle in Dodge Center, effective September 30, 2016.

- St. Katherine in Truman merged with St. Mary in Madelia, effective August 1, 2016.

In addition, some of these parishes have formed new clusters. These new clusters, which each share a pastor, are as follows:

Our Lady of Loretto in Brownsdale merged with

- St. John Baptist de la Salle in Dodge Center

Mercy, cont'd from pg. 1

people – the young and the old – a way of life with more liberty and control, including the liberty to be less beholden to other generations. The veneration of elders may be gone, but not because it has been replaced by the veneration of youth. It’s been replaced by veneration of the independent self.” The problem is that our exultation of personal autonomy over family and community fails to acknowledge that, sooner or later, each of us will need the help of others to survive and enjoy a meaningful life. This brings us to Christmas. What is Christmas without family and community? And yet this season can also be a time of stress for those who are estranged from their loved ones, those who cannot afford to fulfill their children’s wishes, those whose holiday joys are but a distant memory, and those who find themselves alone in

Scientists, cont'd from pg. 2

increase of poverty and social exclusion.” This joint commitment, he said, is all the more admirable when aimed at promoting justice, peace, human dignity, freedom and an integral human development. Francis said that many in the modern world have grown up believing themselves to be “owners and masters of nature,” able to “plunder it” at will without considering the importance of development or the potential of creation. December, 2016 w The Courier

Msgr. Tom Melvin

- St. Francis de Sales in Claremont merged with St. John the Baptist de la Salle in Dodge Center, effective September 30, 2016.

Vicar General

now shares a pastor with St. Columbanus in Blooming Prairie and Sacred Heart in Hayfield. - All Saints in New Richland now shares a pastor with St. Ann in Janesville and St. Joseph in Waldorf. We have also been working with other parishes to assist them in implementing their pastoral plans with a timeline that works best for their needs. We thank all the pastors and parishioners who have invested much time and effort into pastoral planning in their parishes. We will continue to keep you posted on how the timeline of VISION 2016 unfolds. If you have any questions about these mergers or pastoral planning in general, feel free to contact my office.

this world. Christmas is the perfect time to begin promoting (rather than demoting) family and practicing what our Holy Father asked in his apostolic letter for the closing of the Year of Mercy, Misericordia et Miseria. As we gather in our families, social circles and faith communities – even at our office parties – may we look around to see who is standing on the periphery, who is at risk of being excluded from the joys of this season. Inspired by mercy, let us offer a word of consolation and begin restoring joy and dignity to those who feel left out. God’s mercy, Pope Francis has suggested, finds expression in the closeness, affection and support that we offer our brothers and sisters, and in the strength of family. “The drying of tears is one way to break the vicious circle of solitude in which we often find ourselves trapped,” he writes. Mercy leads us to see each person as unique. “We have to remember each of us carries the richness and the burdens of our personal history,” Pope Francis writes; “this is what makes us different from everyone else. Our life, with its joys and sorrows, is something unique and unrepeatable that takes place under the merciful gaze of God.”

If you are young, you can share God’s mercy this Christmas by patiently listening to your grandparents’ stories, or offering them a hand in a way that says, “You are important to me.” If you are a grandparent, look to see which one of your children or grandchildren is waiting for your affirmation or your words of wisdom. Even if you are infirm or in need and feel that you have nothing to give, you can still offer your smile, your thanks or a word of kindness to those who help you. Our Holy Father reminds us that God never tires of welcoming and accompanying us, despite our sins and frailties. Let our loving presence be the gift we give others this Christmas!

By “subjecting inanimate matter to our whims,” we face consequences such as the “grave loss to biodiversity, among other ills.” He stressed that as guardians of creation, “we are not custodians of a museum or of its major artifacts to be dusted each day,” but rather “cooperators in protecting and developing the life and biodiversity of the planet and of human life present there.” Pope Francis pointed to the need for “an ecological conversion” that is capable of both “supporting and promoting sustainable development.” This conversion, he said, requires that we assume our full human responsibilities toward creation, and that we seek “social justice and the overcoming of an immoral system that produces misery,

inequality and exclusion.” Despite the many challenges that might impede these efforts, the Pope noted that there are also many “encouraging signs” that humanity “wants to respond, to choose the common good, and regenerate itself with responsibility and solidarity.” “Combined with moral values, the plan for sustainable and integral development is well positioned to offer all scientists, in particular those who profess belief, a powerful impetus for research,” he said. Francis closed his speech by extending his “best wishes” to those present for their work, and offered his blessing to them and their families, asking for prayers.

Sister Constance Veit is director of communications for the Little Sisters of the Poor.

Keeping Christ and Mass in Christmas Sr. Paul Mary Rittgers, R.S.M.



Faith Formation

We have probably all seen numerous stores

with Christmas decorations that have been up since the beginning of October. The interesting thing is that they begin taking them down as soon as December 26th rolls around. Hold off on taking those decorations down so soon! The liturgical season of Christmas doesn't even begin until the vigil Mass on Christmas Eve, and it concludes on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (January 9 this year). So enjoy this sacred feast of the Incarnation for as long as you can! Here are a few ideas to keep Advent and the Christmas season focused on Christ: f We often forget just how blessed we are! Help make this Christmas a special time for those in need. You can participate in a giving tree or angel tree, which allows you to purchase a gift for a needy child. You could even talk with your pastor about a family in your own parish that could use some help this holiday season. f Prepare your heart for the coming of Our Lord by going to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. If you are a parent, this is a great time to model the importance of this grace-filled Sacrament for your children. f You may have heard of the "Elf on the Shelf." This year, consider having a "Kindness Elf" (Google it for the details). Instead of causing mischief, these little elves help spread love, notice kindness in others, and suggest acts of kindness for your children to perform.

f On Christmas (or at the vigil the night before), celebrate the coming of the Lord by attending the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Celebrate Jesus' birthday with Jesus Himself at Mass! f I highly recommend having a birthday party for Jesus! My mom would make Jesus a birthday cake and sing "Happy Birthday to Him every Christmas morning, and it is still one of my favorite Christmas memories! f Before you open any presents on Christmas morning, read the story of the birth of Jesus (Luke 1-2), emphasizing that Jesus has already given us the greatest gift imaginable: the gift of Himself! f To celebrate the feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph (Dec. 30 this year), brainstorm with your family things you can do to live more like the Holy Family. Plan to do at

least one by the following week. What a beautiful traditon it would be to pray that you become more like the Holy Family together each day. f In honor of the Feast of the Holy Innocents (Dec. 28), choose an activity that will help babies, such as donating to a crisis pregnancy center, praying for babies in danger, or even just spending time with a special baby in your life. f Create a "Jesus Stocking." Each night, write notes recounting a good deed or act of penance from that day. Gather them all and put them in a stocking with Jesus' name on it that hangs on the mantle. On Christmas morning, hopefully Jesus' stocking will be full of gifts for Him. f Read John 8:12 together, in which Our Lord refers to Himself as the Light of the World. Then, go look at the Christmas lights, focusing on Jesus as the Light of the World who brought light into the darkness. f Visit a nursing home. You could even sing Christmas carols there! f Give your kids the gift of giving. Through Catholic Relief Services (and other similar organizations), you and your children can give anything from a goat to running water to families in need in third-world countries. f To celebrate the Baptism of the Lord (Jan. 9), thank God for the gift of your Baptism, and share pictures and keepsakes of your children's baptisms with them. Tell them about the events and emotions of that day. As Pope Francis has said, encourage them to memorize and commemorate with gratitiude their baptismal anniversary. And remember, the best way to keep Christ in Christmas is to keep Mass in Christmas! December, 2016 w The Courier

Lay Formation


A New President and an Eternal King The kingdoms of this world at times are sustained by arrogance, rivalries and oppression; the reign of Christ is a "kingdom of justice, love, and peace." For a Christian, speaking of power and strength means referring to the power of the Cross and the strength of Jesus' love - a love which remains steadfast and complete, even when faced with rejection, and it is shown as the fulfillment of a life expended in the total surrender of oneself for the benefit of humanity.


- Pope Francis, Angelus Address on the Solemnity of Christ the King, November 22, 2015

n last month's column, I wrote of the possibility of our embracing a "politics of encounter and mercy." Since then, our nation has concluded arguably one of the most bitter and divisive elections in its history, and we have witnessed both celebrations and protests in the wake of Mr. Donald Trump's victory on November 8. Whatever one thinks of the results of this election, there can be little doubt that our nation is deeply in need of healing and reconciliation. So, this month, I would like to reflect a bit on what our role can be, as citizens and as disciples, in this present moment of history. Christ the King It is perhaps providential that our Church celebrated the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, less than two weeks after the elections. As Catholics, we recognize and respect our public authorities, and we seek to be honorable and contributing citizens in our society. But we also affirm that our deepest allegiance is to Jesus Christ, and that he reigns as our king and as the king of the universe. What can we say about this king? Perhaps Saint Paul describes him most eloquently: Christ Jesus, ... though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross (Philippians 2:5-8). This is our king - one "emptied," "a slave," "humble," and "obedient." The one we follow, and pledge our lives to, is not full, is not powerful, is not arrogant, is not even free to determine his own destiny. He accepted His Father's will, "becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross." This is our king, the one whose example and whose truth we seek to give witness to in the world.

Our US Bishops offer us a thoughtful reflection on the implications of this feast for us and for our Church. As they write: To acknowledge the kingship of Christ means that we should dedicate ourselves to prayer, to building up our families and our parish communities, and to bringing healing to a broken world. Jesus inaugurates a kingdom that grows through humble acts of service ... The Church must patiently continue to serve the poor, educate the young, welcome the migrant, visit the prisoner, heal the sick, bury the dead, and love others (US Conference of Catholic Bishops, "Solemnity of Christ the King"). Our first and primary responsibility as believers living in the world is not to support a particular political party or to align ourselves with a particular political ideology, but to give an authentic witness of sacrificial love and humble service in the name of the one who "emptied" and "humbled" himself even "to death on a cross." Concluding and Continuing the Jubilee of Mercy On this year's celebration of Christ the King, the Holy Door at Saint Peter's Basilica was sealed, marking the conclusion of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. Pope Francis described the significance of this event in his statement declaring the jubilee year: On that day, as we seal the Holy Door, ... [w]e will entrust the life of the Church, all humanity, and the entire cosmos to the Lordship of Christ, asking him to pour out his mercy upon us ... so that everyone may work together to build a brighter future (Misericordiae Vultus, #5). I have been pondering, in these final weeks of the jubilee year, how we can continue to honor and keep alive its vision and spirit. A recent article in America magazine offers a helpful perspective on this in light of present events: As this year ends, it is crucial that we not shut the door - holy or otherwise - on the needs of those around us. Modern life produces stress in families and other relationships; we need to examine ourselves for how we can make things right. Our country has a great deal of healing to do, and we need to step back, recover our better selves and reach out to those with whom we may legitimately disagree. Disagreement does not have to include vilification, recrimination or charges of ill will. It does not call for

shutting doors to respect or to recognition of the good in those with whom we have differences. If our country is to be strong, we must be just and offer opportunity to all. We must work to find common ground in order to carry out the works of mercy ("Doors of Mercy," November 8, 2016). And I would offer another suggestion to consider. Let us keep each Friday as a special day of mercy. This is the day that Christ Our King died on a cross out of love for us and for our world. Let us keep each Friday, then, as a special day of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving/service. We can pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, privately or with others, crying out for God's mercy to be poured out "on us and on the whole world." We can fast, offering our physical hunger as a tangible way to pray for peace in our nation and in our world, to seek the simplicity that our planet requires from us for its healing, and as a way to be in solidarity with our sisters and brothers in the world who do not have enough of the earth's bounty to live with dignity. We can practice the works of mercy, binding up the wounds of our sisters and brothers whose lives are broken in various ways, and advocate for and share our treasure to build up God's "kingdom of truth and life, ...of holiness and grace, ...of justice, love and peace" ("Preface for the Solemnity of Christ the King"). Deo Gratias!

Todd Graff Director

Dear Brothers and Sisters: In this, the last of our special Saturday Audiences for the Holy Year of Mercy, I would like to stress the importance of inclusion. God's mercy, which excludes no one, challenges us to be merciful and open to the needs of others, especially the poor and all those who are weary and burdened. We, who have experienced that love and mercy, have a part to play in his saving plan, which embraces all of history. In his mercy, God calls all men and women to become members of the body of Christ ... and to work together, as one family, in building a world of justice, solidarity and peace. -Pope Francis, Jubilee Audience November 12, 2016

C December, 2016 w The Courier

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The Power of One Director


s we transition into a new year, the Diocese of Winona is preparing for multiple pro-life gatherings. This January 22 will mark the 44th Anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision, which legalized abortion in America. In the wake of this tragic ruling, we have seen catastrophic loss of life and a disregard for human dignity. While this reality is hard to come to grips with, there are many encouraging signs of hope on the horizon. Five years ago, the Diocese of Winona began formally organizing groups to attend the March for Life rallies in Washington, D.C., and St. Paul. Our experience seems to mirror that of the national movement in that we have seen growth in number and a significant amount of energy from young people standing up for life. National polls provide evidence of a shift happening in America, with more people claiming to be pro-life. Youth are particularly enthusiastic about the cause. At the Washington, D.C., March for Life, the young make up a significant portion

Pope to Bishops: Have Compassion on Those with Failed Marriages By ELISE HARRIS VATICAN CITY, Nov. 18, 2016 (CNA/EWTN News) - Pope Francis stopped by a formation course for bishops on the new marriage nullity process, telling attendees that, as bishops, and now as local judges in annulment cases, they must pursue the truth but never exclude those whose marriages have failed. The Church, "who is embodied in the sad stories and sufferings of the people," bends down to the poor "and to those who are far away from the ecclesial community or consider themselves outside of it due to their marital failure," the Pope said. Despite whatever distance couples who find themselves in this situation might feel, "they are and remain incorporated in Christ in virtue of their baptism," Francis said. He stressed that the Church has always had the attitude of a mother "who welcomes and loves, following the example of Jesus the Good Samaritan." Because of this, it is the responsibility of bishops to never "consider them strangers to the Body of Christ, which is the Church." Pope Francis spoke to bishops currently in Rome to participate in a Nov. 17-19 formation course on the new, streamlined annulment process rolled out last year. He reformed the process for the causes of marriage nullity in December 2015, giving the possiblity of a stronger role to local bishops, among other changes. According to the new norms, the bishop may act as a judge in cases of nullity, and can use a swifter process than is typical when nullity is "sustained by particularly evident arguments." The reformed process was officially put into place by two documents, Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus (The Lord Jesus, a meek judge) and Mitis et misericors Iesus

of the marchers, if not a majority. These trends are pointing toward energy that can turn the tide in the fight for human dignity and the protection of the unborn. This year, we want to continue with this energy and momentum. The diocese will offer two opportunities to stand up for the pro-life message. First, on January 22, a contingent from the diocese will travel to St. Paul to let our Minnesota legislators know that we need laws that protect the unborn. These local gatherings are very important, as there could be a day when the legislation on abortion is given to the states to decide. Our diocese wants to see a strong showing at our state capital. We are currently in the process of helping to line up busing from hubs around the diocese. Please visit to see if there is a bus near you. If busing is not an option, we still encourage you to join our group at the capitol. Bishop John M. Quinn will join the group in St. Paul as we stand together. The theme for the marches around the country this year is The Power of One. Everyone has a role to play in creating a pro-life society, and when we stand together, we offer testimony

to the gift of human life. If you are unable to join our group in St. Paul, we will also offer a diocesewide pro-life rally on January 29 at Saints Peter and Paul Church in Mankato. Those attending will have the opportunity to pray with Bishop Quinn and to be encouraged about ways that we can work locally for pro-life causes. All are welcome to this gathering. We want to see the young church, college students, adults, and seniors. Prayer is powerful, and it is essential if we are to reverse the course of Roe vs. Wade. Let's work hard and pray hard so that we do not have a 45th anniversary next year. Thank you for your continued support and prayer for our pro-life efforts. May our Lord give us the courage to stand up for justice and to change minds and hearts, one soul at a time. You have the power of one.

(Jesus meek and merciful), which reformed the Code of Canon Law and the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, respectively. In addition to the increased role open to the local bishop, the reform also dropped the requirement of an automatic appeal when one tribunal found a marriage to be null, and ensured that the process would be free of charge. It also established that each diocese must have its own tribunal. Pope Francis' reforms were intended to simplify and streamline the process, while also safeguarding the indissolubility of marriage. His visit to the Rota for the course fell nearly one year after the new process went into effect (Dec. 8, 2015), coinciding with the feast of the Immaculate Conception and the launch of the Jubilee of Mercy. The Roman Rota is one of three tribunals in the Roman Curia, and is the court of higher instance, usually at the appellate stage, with the purpose of safeguarding rights within the Church. In his speech to course participants, Pope Francis said that bishops, while having been made "teachers of the faith" through their consecration, must also "continually learn." To learn in this sense, he said, "is to understand the needs and questions of humanity today and to look for answers in the Word of God and in the truth of the faith." He pointed to Bl. Paul VI's 1975 apostolic exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi, in which the late Roman Pontiff encouraged evangelization efforts to take place "not in a superficial way," but by "descending into the concrete situations of people." "Attention to people is the underlying theological and ecclesial motive for this formation course," the pope said, adding that spiritual health and "the salus animarum (salvation of souls)" of the persons entrusted to them "is the end of every pastoral action." The mission of a bishop, he said, is ultimately expressed in the First Letter of Saint Peter, in which the apostle encourages pastors at the time to tend to their flock not because they are forced to, "but willingly, as would God," and to do so with "a generous heart" while providing an example for the flock.

"In this perspective, is is necessary to decisively eliminate every impediment of a worldly nature which makes it difficult for a large number of faithful to access ecclesiastical tribunals," he said, stressing that economic or organizational problems "cannot be an obstacle to the canonical verification of the validitiy of marriage." Francis then spoke of the "healthy relationship" between justice and charity, explaining that Church law can't ignore "the fundamental principal of salus animarum." Because of this, ecclesiastical tribunals "are called to be a tangible expression of a diaconal service of the laws in regard to the primary end," he said, noting that the salvation of souls indicated "the horizon of mercy." Pope Francis noted that the questions the bishops bring from their own dioceses and experience of marriage pastoral ministry "require answers and actions that are not always easy." However, he voiced his confidence that the course would help them to find "the most appropriate approach to the various problems," and thanked the Dean of the Rota, Msgr. Pio Vito Pinto, as well as the other speakers, who included Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Vienna, for their "competent legal, theological, and pastoral contribution." Pope Francis closed his speech by encouraging the bishops to return to their dioceses "enriched with notions and useful tips in order to perform your ministry more effectively, especially regarding the new marriage process." This process, he said, is "an important help" in terms of growing their flocks in imitation of Christ the Good Shepherd, "from whom we must daily learn the wise search of the unum necessarium (one thing necessary): the salvation of souls." He prayed that the Holy Spirit, who "invisibly but truly guides the Church," would help both them "and also the Successor of Peter to respond with availability and humility to the cry for help of so many of our brothers and sisters who need to discover the truth of their marriage and their ways of life."

Life, Marriage & Family

Ben Frost


December, 2016 w The Courier


A Vocation for Everyone To be saints is not a privilege for a few, but a vocation for everyone.

Catholic Schools

-Pope Francis

N ovember 1 saw All Saints Day celebrations at Catholic schools across the Diocese of Winona. Chris Smith, Assistant Principal of St. Mary's School in Owatonna, writes:

All Saints Day was a very special day for students at St. Mary's School in Owatonna. In preparation for the day, each second grader learned about his or her saint, typically a saint who matches the student's first or middle name. Working with their parents, students learned about their saints and created costumes for All Saints Day. They processed into Mass in full costume (with small signs indicating which saints they represented) ahead of Bishop Quinn, who celebrated Mass with the school community. After Mass, students gave short presentations about their saints to their families and other students. While the second graders were giving their saint presentations, our seventh graders hosted a living saint museum throughout St. Joseph's Church. They dressed as saints, created accurate geographic or historical backgrounds, and gave their own presentations about saints once "activated" by other students dropping coins into a canister at each exhibit. Students and guests contributed over $800 that was donated to the Make-a-Wish Foundation. A few days later, sixth graders presented their second-grade reading buddies with handmade saint

puppets complete with storybooks highlighting the life of the saint as gifts to remind them of the many different models of holiness demonstrated by the saints. Students at Sacred Heart School in Adams also used costumes to help emulate and honor our saints. Pictured (right middle) are Saints Patrick, Francis, Bernadette and Mary. Meanwhile, students at St. Mary's School in Worthington honored a tradition that coincides with All Saints Day. Principal Jackie Probst writes: Students at St. Mary's School in Worthington learned about and celebrated a Hispanic tradition known as Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. Miss Patty and Chayo Barrera created this beautiful Dia de los

Marsha Stenzel Superintendent

Sacred Heart in Adams has had a fruitful first half of the school year. Clockwise starting top left: the robotics team has ten members; students have explored engineering, crafting and technology after school with Maker Space Mondays; the school raised funds for the Southland Food Shelf with its September farmers market; Aquinas Club has offered enrichment to gifted and talented students; students played Bingo with grandparents; and this year's marathon raised over $28,000 for the school!

December, 2016 w The Courier

Muertos altar (pictured right bottom), and Hector made traditional sweet breads to place on the altar. Each student made a sugar skull and brough in pictures and mementos of loved ones who have died. We remember and pray for them in a special way from October 31 to November 2.

Living Christ at Sacred Heart School By LEANN DAHLE

Sacred Heart Church of Waseca was built

9 Catholic Schools

in 1874, and the parish school in 1886. The school was operated by the Sisters of the Holy Child until 1904, at which time the Sisters of Saint Francis, of Rochester, began operating the school. It was a K-12 school until 1972, when it was decided that grades 5 through 12 would consolidate with the Waseca Public Schools. In 1992, the school expanded its programming to include our multi-age preschool, Children's House Montessori. Since its founding in 1886, Sacred Heart School has been a parish school. The mission of the parish is, "Living Christ so all may fully live." In living this mission founded over 100 years ago, the parish continues to provide a Catholic education for all parish children by maintaining a tuition-free school. The school mission--"to promote lifelong learning and Christcentered values in a Catholic setting"--was derived from the parish mission and supports its tradition. The principal, teachers, and support staff at Sacred Heart School are dedicated to the mission, academic excellence, and service to others. We continually strive to put best teaching practices to use in all subject areas, and model Christ-like values to our students. Our school is unique in that we do not charge tuition to our Catholic families. The school is supported by all members of the parish community. Therefore, the school is governed by our Parish Council, Finance Council, and the Board of Education, who work closely with the parish pastor and principal to ensure that spiritual formation, academic rigor, and day-to-day operation of the school meets MNSAA, Minnesota, and diocesan standards. Sacred Heart School actively participates in liturgy every Wednesday and on Holy Days of Obligation. In addition, special attention is given to planning Mass

port our Catholic school. The parish community continues to provide a Catholic education in an atmosphere warmed by the powerful presence of our loving God. With their prayers, support and commitment, they have provided tuition-free education for all children in our parish for more than 100 years. Sacred Heart School and Children's House Montessori will present our annual Christmas program on Wednesday, December 21, at 6 p.m. in the central auditorium, followed by our annual Christmas Tea at Sacred Heart Nativity Hall in Waseca. This year's program is entitled, Angel Alert, and will spotlight our fourth grade students in the lead roles with all other grade levels supporting as the Heavenly Choir of Angels. All are welcome to join this celebration!

for Grandparents Day and fourth grade graduation. We also host one parish weekend liturgy each month. Students begin participating with liturgical roles in kindergarten and learn to share their talents as greeters, lectors, altar servers, gift bearers and cantors at weekly and weekend liturgies. Sacred Heart School also uses Virtues in Practice, LeAnn Dahle is principal of Sacred Heart Catholic School a program created by the Dominican Sisters of Saint in Waseca. Cecilia in Nashville, TN, for use in Catholic elementary schools. Virtues in Practice curriculum is structured so that the entire school community studies the same virtue each month during the course of a regular school year. The curriculum spirals, and every three years, the same virtues are repeated WELLS--"It takes a BIG heart to help shape little minds." On with greater depth, and new saints are introduced Novemer 15, this message was left on multiple cards for the as models of those virtues. The program includes a faculty of St. Casimir's School in Wells by an anonymous group cycle of a Year of Faith, Year of Hope, and Year of of prayer warriors known as the Secretive Souls. In addition Charity. Sacred Heart School is in the third year of to this uplifting reminder, the teachers also received goodie boxes filled with treats, as shown by Mrs. Aimee Chalmers, the cycle, the Year of Charity. Sacred Heart School recognizes and appreci- the SCS Band and Spanish teacher (pictured below). School Secretary Theresa Chirpich said in a statement, ates the sacrifice parishioners have made to sup"Thank you, Secretive Souls--you know who you are!"

Anonymous Prayer Group Encourages Teachers

Students Welcome Our Lady of Fatima WORTHINGTON - The International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Fatima visited St. Mary's Church in Worthington from Tuesday, October 25, to Wednesday, October 26. On Wednesay, St. Mary's School students prepared morning Mass and prayed a living rosary in honor of Mary in the afternoon before the statue's departure.

Read more Catholic Schools news on Page 17!

December, 2016 w The Courier

Youth & Young Adults


Mercy, Stewardship, Discipleship Highlighted at Youth Conference

�n November 12, youth from around the diocese

gathered at Loyola High School in Mankato for the Diocesan Catholic Youth Conference. Highlighting the event was Catholic presenter and beat boxer Paul J. Kim. Through humor, storytelling and music, he encouraged the group to know the love of the merciful Father. The theme for the day was Rise Up, focusing on the Year of Mercy. The afternoon was filled with breakout sessions including: "Grill the Priest," a question and answer session; "I Met God Today," a reflection by Brian Singer Towns of St. Mary's Press; and "Mats for the Homeless," a service project in which the youth converted used plastic bags into sleeping mats. The mats were a response to the theme of mercy. Teens were giving time and energy to support and love those who find themselves on the fringes. The project was a lot of work; one mat can take up to 10 hours to complete, and uses more than 500 plastic bags. The leaders of the project also used the time to teach ecological stewardship. Many of these plastic bags would have been destined to end up in a landfill, but by reusing them, the teens were helping to protect God's creation. During DCYC, the diocese handed

Ben Frost Director

out two important awards. Every other year the youth office acknowledges an outstanding youth minister through the Companions on the Journey Award, and it acknowledges an outstanding youth through the St. Timothy Award. Recipients of these awards model the work of discipleship and are living witnesses of faith in the community. The 2016 Companions on the Journey Award went to Zach Rawson of Pax Christi Parish in Rochester, and the 2016 St. Timothy Award winner was Molly Brinkman of Good Shepherd Parish in Jackson. The event ended with a time of prayer and response. Attendees celebrated Mass together, and even had a half hour of Eucharistic Adoration and music. The entire day was a blessing and a great success. To see video coverage of DCYC, please visit and click on the Office of Youth and Young Adults.

St. Timothy Award Recipient Molly Brinkman (right) is known for her great desire to serve people of all ages. From her nomination letter: When asked what she was looking forward to about Camp Summit, it was all about getting to work with the campers. Constantly at camp, her mind is on the campers and how to serve them, how to pray with and for them, and how to bring them closer to Christ. She is always reaching out to other high school students as well. Zach Rawson (left), received the Companions on the Journey Award in recognition of his work toward a unified and effective youth ministry. From his nomination letter: He selflessly volunteers for multiple boards and organizations which further the Church's mission. He forms greater relationships with other parishes, the diocese, schools and the Rochester community. He also reaches out to new youth ministry leaders as a mentor to make sure their needs are met and questions answered. December, 2016 w The Courier

TEC 67 When I'm with You

By ANN FULL When Jesus looked up he saw some wealthy people putting their offerings into the treasury, and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins. He said, "I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.


-Luke 21:1-4

rdinary people, extraordinary sacrifice: I think that is the best description for Together Encountering Christ (TEC) Retreat #67, which took place November 18-20 at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Jackson. Eighteen youth and adults sacrificed their weekend to spend three full days growing in faith as they contemplated the life, death and resurrection of Christ in relation to their own lives. "As a teen, just letting yourself go is big because most teens spend time on their phones rather than with Jesus," said one participant. Team members joyfully gave four days, and hours of preparation in advance, to share the message of hope and love with the participants. As TEC coordinator, I continually reflect on the way the Holy Spirit works to put together a TEC retreat. He takes a group of ordinary people, all sinners of course, and puts them together to use as an evangelizing tool that can share the story of the Pascal Mystery, which is the heart of conversion. Alone, none of us are capable of this, but he weaves our willing team together into a beautiful instrument, powered by prayer of the team and TEC community. It is all only possible because of TEC, cont'd on pg. 19

Service: Life in Love


Rev. Will Thompson Director

they fall in love? After a while, however, the butterflies fly away and what seemed to be special becomes normal. The feeling of love, it can appear, is fleeting. Yet love itself is what brings joy, meaning and blessing to our lives. While falling in love is a great experience, living in love expands our horizons into the goodness of God. Any vocation is ultimately about love and holiness. The feeling of falling in love is just that: a feeling. Like any emotion, it comes and goes. Living in love, though, can remain and even grow deeper the more we commit to giving of ourselves. Love, or charity, begins not with us, but with God. God shows us love by creating us, having mercy on us, saving us. Jesus tells us that there is no greater love than to lay down your life for a friend. Jesus has already shown us the way! The depths of love are found not in how another person makes me feel, but in how I empty myself and give of myself to another. One particular way that we learn how to love in this way is through service. Even though the Year of Mercy has ended, a life of mercy that recognizes and serves the needs of others is our path to holiness and happiness. As we give of what we have and are, we find that we are learning to love. Service comes in many forms, whether it's bigger moments like the Peace Corps, Jesuit Volunteer Corps or a mission trip, or in


What teenager doesn't look forward to the first time

smaller ways, like weekly volunteering at the nursing home or a one-time act of random kindness. However service plays into our lives, we often find that it does more for us than for others. This is, of course, not entirely true, because if we are helping others, we are in fact helping. Yet service provides a focused opportunity to love in a way we are created for. Service teaches us the small and large ways we can make someone's life better. Service shows us that life is not all about "me." Service opportunities provide an avenue for us to see in general what is most important in life and, in doing so, can also help us to see more specifically how we have been created to love others.

The several mission trips and volunteer projects that I took part in growing up taught me a lot about perseverance, recognizing my weaknesses and building on my strengths. In doing so, that service also helped me in the long run to know how I could continue a life of love as a priest. Service can help us to clarify our vocations while we are young, and, once we know and live our vocations, service can make them even better. This is true because it takes us out of our own little worlds into the good world God has created. Take some time for service this week and make sure it's a regular part of your life, because service teaches us in so many different ways how to live and how to love.

Pope: We Need Priests "Enamored" with the Gospel By ELISE HARRIS VATICAN CITY, Dec. 1, 2016 (CNA/EWTN News) In his message for the 2017 World Day of Prayer for Vocations, Pope Francis focused on the need to be “missionary disciples” who first fall in love with God, and are then propelled into action, zealously spreading the Good News they have heard. “The People of God need to be guided by pastors whose lives are spent in service to the Gospel,” the Pope said in his message, published Nov. 30. He asked parish communities, associations and various prayer groups within the Church not to get discouraged by an apparent lack of vocations, but to continue praying fervently “that the Lord will send workers to his harvest.” “May he give us priests enamored of the Gospel, close to all their brothers and sisters, living signs of God’s merciful love,” he said. Set to be celebrated May 7, 2017, the 54th World Day of Prayer for Vocations will take place on the fourth Sunday of Easter and will hold the theme: “Led by the Spirit for Mission.” While Francis’ previous messages for the event have focused on the frequent summons December, 2016 w The Courier

he makes for the Church to “go out” of ourselves in order to hear the Lord and the importance of the ecclesial community as the place where God’s vocational call is born, this year will focus on another topic often promoted by the Pope: mission. In his message, the Pope noted how those who are drawn by God’s voice and choose to follow Jesus “soon discover within themselves an irrepressible desire to bring the Good News to their brothers and sisters” through proclamation and charitable service. As disciples, “we do not receive the gift of God’s love for our personal consolation, nor are we called to promote ourselves, or a business concern,” he said. “We are simply men and women touched and transformed by the joy of God’s love, who cannot keep this experience just to ourselves.” Commitment to the mission isn’t some sort of “decoration” added to the Christian life, but is rather “an essential element of faith itself,” he said, stressing that we must overcome our own feelings of inadequacy “and not yield to pessimism, which merely turns us into passive spectators of a dreary and monotonous life.” “There is no room for fear! God himself

comes to cleanse our unclean lips and equip us for the mission,” Francis continued, explaining that all Christians, but priests and consecrated in particular, are “bearers of Christ.” Priests, he said, are asked to “go forth from the sacred precincts of the temple” with renewed enthusiasm in order to “let God’s tender love overflow for the sake of humanity.” “The Church needs such priests: serenely confident because they have discovered the true treasure, anxious to go out and joyfully to make it known to all,” he said. When it comes to a Christian understanding of mission, Pope Francis said we can understand it by looking at three scenes from the Gospel: the launch of Jesus’ mission at the synagogue in Nazareth, the journey he makes with the disciples to Emmaus after his Resurrection, and the parable of the sower and the seed. Turning to the first scene, the Pope noted to be a missionary disciple “means to share actively in the mission of Christ.” Just as Jesus in the synagogue of Nazareth said he had been “anointed” by the Spirit to bring good news to the poor, and that he had been “sent” to proclaim the release of captives and Priests, cont'd on pg. 16


New Evangelization in Kenya You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you will be my witnesses to the ends of the earth. -Acts 1:8

As baptized and confirmed Catholics,


we are called to be witnesses of the good news. Recently, my wife, Nancy, and I had a wonderful opportunity to be missionaries (witnesses) in the Gnong Diocese in Kenya. We were part of a four-member team sent by Renewal Ministries of Ann Arbor, MI, which has sent teams to 30 countries around the world over the past 25 years. Nancy and I were very grateful and humbled to be chosen for this mission to Kenya. Our trip began on September 27 when we flew eight hours from Minneapolis to Amsterdam. In Amsterdam, we met up with the other two members of our team: Peter Thompson from Calgary, Canada, and Celeste Martin from New York. This was Peter's 24th trip to Kenya and Celeste's fourth. We were very blessed to have such great leadership. The flight from Amsterdam to Nairobi was another eight hours. We arrived in Nairobi around 11 p.m. After a short night of sleep, we began our first meeting with about 40 priests and Bishop John Oballa from the Gnong Diocese. The themes for the day were As by a New Pentecost (Life in the Spirit) and The New Evangelization. A number of us shared our testimonies on coming into a much deeper personal relationship with Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The message was that the gift of Pentecost is meant for all of us today, so we might be witnesses.

From Nairobi, we ventured to a town called Molo to facilitate a three-day retreat for a group of leaders from St. Mary's Parish and the out-stations served by Fr. Anthony. We stayed at a beautfiul retreat house called Ukarima Spirituality Center in an area that reminded us of Assisi. The topics of our presentations included Catholic Apologetics, As by a New Pentecost, and Unbound Prayer (Deliverance Prayer). It was there that we began to encounter the welcoming and grateful people of Kenya. The Kenyan Catholics we met have a great love for Jesus and are extremely interested in learning more about the faith, since evangelicals are often challenging their Catholic beliefs. On our way to our next mission, we had the great privilege of attending the ordination of two transitional deacons. This celebration lasted almost four hours and was held outside. As we continued on to Loitoktok, we saw zebras, giraffes, gazelles, ostriches and many wild sheep, goats and donkeys. We arrived late in the afternoon at the gate of St. Luke's Church, which is seated at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. Most parishes and schools in Kenya are gated, we discovered, to keep vandals and wild animals out. We then began a five-day mission at a church attended by about 300 people daily. Peter taught the primary lessons on Catholic apologetics, reaffirming the richness of our faith, and those attending were excited to learn. We also had the honor of visiting five schools in the Loitoktok area. The roads to the schools were quite rough and dusty, and the priests had little trucks to get around in. The message we shared with the youth was that God has a plan for their lives, and they need to seek His plan. We were also encouraged to speak on theology of the

Deacon John Hust St. Felix Parish, Wabasha St. Agnes Parish, Kellogg

body, sexual purity, caring for our bodies, and fetal development, for which we had models to show the students. We found out that some students walk three hours to school, including two hours in the dark, then three hours home, all so they can get a good education. With the adults, our sessions began with singing and dancing, a reflection of their culture and worship. The presentations encouraged growth in our relationship with Jesus and the Holy Spirit. We prayed with the Kenyans for Baptism in the Holy Spirit (release of the gifts we have received in Baptism and Confirmation). Nancy and I presented the Five Keys of the Unbound Prayer Model: repentance, forgiveneness, renunciation, authority and the Father's blessing. Many people experienced a new freedom from demonic oppression. On Sunday, we had a youth Mass for about 500 youth and a second Mass with the parish. On our final day, we visited two prisons: one for men and one for women. Besides sharing with the prisoners the good news that there is a God who loves and cares for them, we brought them toilet paper and soap, items that are in short supply. The greatest gift of our mission was meeting the people of Kenya. They are a welcoming, loving people with a great desire to grow in their faith and continue their journey to Heaven. We are looking forward to going again.

December, 2016 w The Courier

Open Doors Lead to Endless Possibilities By MARY ALESSIO


partnered with Catholic Charities to open doors of help and hope for him. Our staff and volunteers serve in a wide range of programs, addressing many unique life situations. In every situation, doors are opened, providing endless opportunities for those in need. When we reflect on the stories of those served through Catholic Charities this year, we are ever mindful that their lives were transformed because of the life-changing support of our donors. Hope lives here because of you! During this season of hope, our board, staff, volunteers, and those we serve send our heartfelt thanks for the gift of you in our lives. We are ever g ratef u l for your trust and

13 Catholic Charities

ave you ever experienced an open door and the feeling of hope it instills? God promises us that when He sees us developing what He has given us, He will open doors no one can shut (Rev. 3:8). Those who support the mission of Catholic Charities open doors that lead to endless opportunities for the poor and vulnerable. During challenging times, an open door of help and hope can make all the difference. When Mary and Joseph ran from door to door asking for a room that holy night, little did they know that an open stable door would create an opportunity of hope. That open door fulfilled God's prophecy and plan of salvation for you and me! Join me in taking a peek through a few of the doors you have opened this year for the poor and marginalized, invigorating our mission and changing lives forever. Amira arrived as a refugee from a world of violence and death. When her parents were forced to leave their country and a home they treasured, it felt like the doors of hope were slammed shut forever. Because of your help, Catholic Charities was able to open doors for Amira's family through our Refugee Resettlement Program. Today, Amira walks proudly through the doors of a classroom at a community college where she is studying to become a nurse. Her dreams are to open doors of healing in thanksgiving for the opportunities and blessings she's received. Tim needed a brand-name medication that his insurance company would not approve. The insurance would pay for the generic version, but Tim suffered from side effects of that generic version. He called the MediAppS caseworker at Catholic Charities for help. The caseworker advocated for Tim and petitioned the pharmaceutical company, explaining the situation, and opened a door of health and healing. To Tim's surprise, the pharmaceutical company approved him for a year of free brand-name medication shipped to his doctor's office. Angie was facing her first pregnancy alone. She worked part-time and wanted to go back to school to become a dental hygienist but was worried about raising her child without help. Thanks to Catholic Charities' Mother and Child Assistance fund, Angie received some help with her rent. Her Catholic Charities social worker helped her plan for her and her baby's future and is educating her regarding management of future finances. Angie is becoming the best parent she can be and is excited to welcome her baby into the world in February. Joan spent her entire married life as a

farm wife. She joined her local Bone Builders class when it became available through Catholic Charities Common Good RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program). Before joining this class, Joan needed assistance from her husband or son to climb into the combine and help with fall harvest because "that first step of the combine is high off the ground." Within a couple of years of attending Bone Builders, Joan noticed she could climb into the combine unassisted due to the arm strength she developed using weights in class. Doors of independence opened for Joan through the Bone Builders program. Earlier this year at her annual physical, her doctor checked her legs for fluid retention. Finding none, he commented that she had firm muscles and "good looking legs for a person her age." Maria had devoted her life to caring for her children emotionally and financially as a single parent. As they began lives on their own, she became depressed and concerned that she faced a sad, lonely future. Thanks to Catholic Charities counseling services, Maria set new goals and began to care for herself after a lifetime of caring for others. She envisions her future filled with promise for herself and as a treasured heart of her family. When she felt one door of her life had closed, another door of great promise opened. Thomas is 66 years old and living alone in his own home. He was unable to remember the day he ate his last meal or took his medications. He had threatened to commit suicide. He sustained fractured ribs due to a recent fall. Thomas had been physically abused and financially exploited. Catholic Charities was appointed Emergency Guardian and Conservator for Thomas. Caseworkers have secured help with shopping and housekeeping seven days a week, connected with Meals on Wheels, and established a Life Alert system and an electronic medication reminder. The locks of Thomas' home have been changed and his assets safeguarded. Thomas is happier and now feels safe and cared for because you

confidence in our work - a mission that provides help and creaes hope in southern Minnesota. God bless you for your compassion and support. You open doors that lead to endless opportunities for families in crisis, vulnerable adults and seniors, and children in need. We wish you great joy this Christmas and in the New Year! Mary Alessio is the director of advancement for Catholic Charities. Please note that names have been changed to protect the confidentiality of those served.

December, 2016 w The Courier

Catholic Foundation


Christmas A Stewardship Reflection on Abundance and Poverty


here's no season quite so full of wild abundance as the Christmas season. Admit it; do you ever eat fudge or drink eggnog any other time of the year? Or expect a full-grown tree to appear in your living room? It's a joyful, exuberant time full of music, family, parties, good food, and friends. But every Christian steward knows that there's a shadow side to abundance, particularly material abundance, which brings with it challenges. Amid the joy of Christmas, a good steward ponders these challenges. Speaking at a conference in Mexico City in November, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia spoke of poverty and abundance. He was not speaking about the holiday season, but his words might help us to keep a clear perspective on the values of this time of year. He cited the growing problem of poverty in the United States. One is six Americans now lives below the poverty line, and the archbishop noted how many other problems accompany poverty - "hunger, homelessness, street crime, domestic violence, unemployment, human trafficking." Often the poor among us become invisible, and poverty becomes a scourge of civil society. "Poverty is an acid that destroys human kinship," the archbishop said. At the same time, Archbishop Chaput also spoke to the flip side of this issue - the poverty that comes with abundance. "I mean the moral overty that comes from an advanced culture relentlessly focused on consuming more of everything; a culture built on satisfying the self; a culture that runs on ignoring the needs of other people. That kind of poverty, as Mother Teresa saw so well, is very much alive in my country," the archbishop said. These are important words, not words that are meant to cast a "bah humbug" spell over the

Monica Herman Executive Director Catholic Foundation of Southern Minnesota

the abundance of love and generosity that fills our hearts and spills out to others, especially those most in need of our generous spirit. The Christian steward knows how important it is to take time during Advent, and throughout this holiday season, for silence and stillness, to make room in our hearts for the child born into poverty who came to give us life and share it with all those whom we encounter.

A Fruitful Time for Christian Stewards �robably nothing challenges a Christian steward's

delightfulness of the Christmas season, but words that help bring us back to the true meaning of Christmas in its joy and abundance. Despite the great spiritual significance of this feast, we can sometimes let the season become a time of material excess. Christian stewards know that the true joy of Christmas is not tied in to the wealth of goods under the tree, but to

Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,

and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means "God is with us." -Matthew 1:23 From all of us at the Catholic Foundation of Southern Minnesota, may you know God's love and presence through the birth of Jesus. Wishing you and your loved ones a blessed Christmas and a joyous New Year! Gratefully,

December, 2016 w The Courier

Monica Herman Executive Director

use of time as much as the seasons of Advent and Christmas. Each year, we marvel at the irony of it: a time to honor and ponder God's great mystery, the Incarnation, somehow falls prey to a time of stressful shopping, endless "to do" lists, strained checkbooks, and guilt over what's not getting done. Sometimes those nonstop Christmas tunes begin to grate on our senses. How does the Christian steward answer this challenge to devote time to reflection and prayer while incorporating the best and most fruitful of our cultural traditions into this festive season? One suggestion would be to set aside a special time of reflection right at the beginning of Advent for determining what our priorities for the season will be. Set aside an hour and begin by rereading the Christmas story in the Gospel of Saint Luke. Ask God to help you know what is the most generous and beneficial use of time in God's service during this season. Ask for help in setting aside time for prayer each day. Don't be afraid to cross things off your "must do" list if they add stress to what should be a peaceul time. Only you and God can determine the best use of your time. For instance, some people find annual Christmas cookie baking a reflective, creative time and a wonderful way to share. For others, it's a selfimposed burden and a sure-fire way to a messy kitchen and a calorie overload. Likewise, that extra party may be just what someone needs to unwind and commune with friends, while for another it may be the gateway to exhaustion or a temptation to overindulge in food or drink. Ask God which traditions are life-giving for you, and be bold enough to leave the others behind. "I just don't have time," is the frequent lament of the holiday season. But the Christian steward is aware that we all have the same amount of time, and to each is given an opportunity to return the first fruits of that time back to God. The season of Advent offers just such a grace-filled opportunity. These articles are reprinted with permission from the International Catholic Stewardship Council.

A Healing Balm for a Wounded Nation Executive Director Minnesota Catholic Conference

Much can and has been said about the

most recent election, and much more will be said for years to come. What is undoubtedly true is that the election cycle exacerbated two powerful dynamics in American public life: the constant thirst for change as a reaction to a political system that does not seem to work for average Americans; and deepening, vitriolic divisions between people. This reality requires us to approach the results with sobriety rather than jubilation or despair. The latter responses are those of people whose horizons, sadly, do not extend beyond the finite things of this world. For Catholics, the question now is how we become salt and light in a situation where divisiveness and partisanship, anger and fear, have been felt by many across the political spectrum. Because, although we elect new leaders, we know that the true “elect” of this world—the sons and daughters of God the Father—have a decisive role in bringing God’s loving care to all of creation. That’s you and me, not someone else or some class of people called “politicians.” True Hope

First, we must ground ourselves in a hope that lasts and is not subject to the ebbs and flows of electoral politics. Our hope is in the Lord who has won the final victory. He is the king, the standard bearer, who calls us to renew political life from the ground up – to restore all things in and through His Name. And, ever faithful to his people, he gives us the tools of Catholic social teaching with which to build. Rather than impose our will on others, we instead propose what we believe best serves human dignity and the common good. Sometimes, however, our arguments, policies, or candidates, will not prevail. This is not the end of the world. In politics, there are no ultimate victories, just as there are no ultimate defeats. And though there are sometimes matters of great weight that are decided in the public arena, and injustices that need to be corrected, practicing scorched earth politics, demonizing others, or using power expediently to occupy spaces rather than nurture participation is, in the end, counterproductive.

Civic Friendship A new generation of missionary disciples in the public arena can address the divisions and unresponsiveness in our political culture by modeling politics in the way the Church sees it: as civic friendship, rather than as a power game. Politics as civic friendship sees public life as a great conversation—a coming together of the community to answer the question of how we ought to order our lives. In that conversation, every voice matters because every person and part of the community matters. Therefore, a necessary component of a healthy politics is coming together, encountering one another as brothers and sisters, and listening to their challenges, problems, joys, and hopes. In

that encounter, new paths may arise, and new relationships may be forged, leading to greater peace instead of discord. Countercultural Politics

15 Faith in the Public Arena

Jason Adkins

Secure in the knowledge that politics can only create the conditions for human flourishing—the state cannot love people, provide happiness, or lead people to their ultimate end of eternal beatitude—we recognize the limited nature of political life. We understand that the work of persuading others and the community takes time, and that our own personal work may be to sow the seed and let others reap the harvest.

What is described above cuts so deeply against our current political climate. People are becoming more isolated from each other, are blindly committed to their own narratives despite evidence pointing in a different direction, and cannot believe it when a whole class of people seemingly emerges from thin air to challenge their rule and moral superiority. A critical question is whether our political, business, and media elites will properly understand the election results as a rebuttal of their exploitation of our nation’s economic, moral, and social capital. We can be hopeful, if not optimistic. Either way, Catholics, as missionary disciples in the public arena, can model a different way of practicing politics by offering principles that serve the wellbeing of all and by listening to others with civility, respect, and generosity. In this way, we can be an invaluable balm for healing the deep wounds that divide us.

We must g r o u n d ourselves in a hope that lasts and is not subject to the ebbs and flows of electoral politics.

Catholics at the Capitol 2017 Help us put the "saint" back in St. Paul! March 9, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Each election brings opportunities and challenges. This coming year, Minnesota Catholics will have the chance to shape our state's conversation in a positive way by being a compelling voice for life and dignity. Catholics at the Capitol will bring together hundreds of Catholics from every corner of Minnesota, as we gather at the state capitol for a day of inspiration and advocacy. Listen to dynamic Church leaders. Pray with other Minnesota Catholics in the capitol rotunda. Learn about the key issues facing our state. Meet your elected officials and advocate with your bishops. Live out your baptismal call to faithful citizenship. Confirmed speakers include Bishop James Conley of the Diocese of Lincoln, Gloria Purvis of EWTN and Black Catholics United for Life, with more soon to be announced! Your voice matters. Don't miss this opportunity to have it heard. Learn more and register at or call 651-227-8777. December, 2016 w The Courier


never leave you alone.” Catholics must better understand the plight of immigrant families, he said on Tuesday. “These people that move from one country to another are like us. They are fathers and mothers, children, brothers and sisters,” he said. “People move because they want to improve their lives, and especially the lives of their children. Any parent will do that,” he continued, noting the recent increase in the numbers of child migrants from Central America coming to the U.S.-Mexico border. “Immigration is families. And family is the foundation of society,” he said. “So Catholics need to understand that. And, of course, the history of the Catholic Church, starting with the Holy Family; they migrated because they were in a very challenging situation.” The archbishop reinforced his post-election call for peace on Tuesday, asking Catholics to pray and to serve others. “Obviously the first and most important things are prayers. We have to pray for our country. We pray for our government, the elected officials,” he said.

Catholics must also remember that “we have a beautiful understanding of the human person, who we are as created by God,” he added. “Once I understand that I am a child of God, and I understand that my goal is to serve my brothers and sisters, then we can make a big contribution for everybody in our country to strive for unity and respect for the human person.” He also thanked his brother bishops upon his election “for trusting me and allowing me to serve them and the people of our country through the conference of bishops.” When asked how he envisioned the Church’s future as vice president of the conference, he focused on the bishops’ strategic plan for 2017-20, particularly the first goal: evangelization. “So I think that’s what also Pope Francis is asking us to do, that we all become missionary disciples,” he said. “I think we have a big challenge in our lives and in the United States because we need many more saints. In order to evangelize, we all need to be saints,” he insisted.

path of defeat. Their hearts are broken,” the Pope said, but noted that instead of judging them, Jesus walks beside them. “Instead of raising a wall, he opens a breach” and gradually transforms their discouragement into hope, he said, explaining that the same goes for a Christian, who never carries their burdens to heal the oppressed, “this is also our mission,” alone, but who even amid difficulty know that Francis said. “To be anointed by the Spirit, and Jesus is by their side. On the parable of the sower and the seed, to go out to our brothers and sisters in order to proclaim the word and to be for them a means of Pope Francis said it’s important to look at the passage to understand from the Gospel itself what salvation.” Pointing to the disciples on the road to Christian proclamation should look like. Even with the best intentions in mind, Emmaus, the Pope stressed that we are never alone on our journey, but that Christ is at our side Christians can at times “indulge in a certain hunger for power, proselytism or intolerant fanatievery step of the way. Life’s questions and challenges can “make cism.” However, the Gospel, he said, tells us to us feel bewildered, inadequate and hopeless,” reject “the idolatry of power and success, undue and the Christian mission at times appears to be concern for structures,” and an anxiety “that has “mere utopian illusion” beyond our reach, he said. more to do with the spirit of conquest than that However, if we contemplate Jesus on the road to of service.” The seed of God’s Kingdom, “however tiny, Emmaus, we see a true “liturgy of the street.” “We see that, at every step of the way, Jesus unseen and at times insignificant, silently continis at our side! The two disciples, overwhelmed ues to grow, thanks to God’s tireless activity,” he by the scandal of the cross, return home on the said, explaining that our first reason for confidence

in God is that he surpasses our every expectation and “constantly surprises us by his generosity.” Francis then pointed to the importance of maintaining a life of prayer, stressing that “there can be no promotion of vocations or Christian mission apart from constant contemplative prayer,” above all in scripture by forming a personal relationship with Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. “I wish heartily to encourage this kind of profound friendship with the Lord, above all for the sake of imploring from on high new vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life,” he said, and urged parishes and Church institutions to continue praying for vocations. Despite a general sense throughout the world that faith “is listless or reduced to mere ‘duties to discharge,’” young people want to discover “the perennial attraction of Jesus, to be challenged by his words and actions, and to cherish the ideal that he holds out of a life that is fully human, happy to spend itself in love,” he said. Pope Francis closed his message by entrusting youth to the intercession of Mary, who “had the courage to embrace this ideal.” He asked through her prayers, “we be granted that same openness of heart, that same readiness to respond, ‘Here I am’ to the Lord’s call, and that same joy in setting out, like her, to proclaim him to the whole world.” Vocations is a theme Pope Francis is likely to delve into in a deeper way over the next two years, since it will form the heart of the discussion for the next Synod of Bishops. Announced Oct. 6, the theme for the next Ordinary Synod, scheduled to take place in October 2018, will discuss “Young People, the Faith and the Discernment of Vocation.”


cont'd from pg. 1

the U.S. bishops’ conference at their fall general assembly in Baltimore Nov. 15. He received 61 percent of the total bishops’ vote in the third round of votes. As Archbishop of Los Angeles, Gomez oversees the largest archdiocese in the U.S. and a large immigrant population. He headed the bishops’ migration committee before his election as vice president. Speaking at an interreligious prayer service after the election of Donald Trump to the presidency, Archbishop Gomez called for prayer and peace, insisting he would continue to stand with undocumented immigrants fearful of being deported. “Men and women are worried and anxious, thinking about where they can run and hide. This is happening tonight, in America,” he stated. “We need to be people of peace, people of compassion. Tonight we promise our brothers and sisters who are undocumented – we will

Priests, cont'd from pg. 11

December, 2016 w The Courier

St. Casimir's School Celebrates Thanksgiving


family, beautiful weather, Jesus, my house, everything, plants, the Bible, mom, dad, sister, brother and jello. Pictured with their classroom thanksgiving turkey (above) are (left to right) Abby Chirpich, Saydie Yokiel, Sophia Schimek, Juliana Dulas and Clara Bushlack.

In the Diocese

in the second week, and, finally, food products in the third week. When WELLS - Over the course of three weeks, students at St. Casimir's School brought in a differ- the items were ent sets of items to be donated to the local food rounded up, there shelf located at Good Shepherd Church as their were approximately 20 bags of products Thanksgiving project. The first week’s collection called for paper to be taken to the products, followed by hygiene/cleaning products food shelf to help meet the needs of the Wells community. "The school and its families hope that these efforts will bring joy to others this holiday season," said School Secretary Teresa Chirpich. Meanwhile, the school's Little Angels and Little Saints pre-kindergarten students filled the feathers of a turkey with their answers to the question: "What are you thankful for?" Within the wide array of answers were God, birds, my

Counting Blessings at St. Peter's School HOKAH - On November 22, St. Peter's kindergarten through second-grade students hosted their annual Thanksgiving Mass followed by a homemade Thanksgiving dinner for all school volunteers. The kindergarteners greeted every-

one and thanked them for all they do for the school. "They truly reminded everyone what Thanksgiving is all about!" said Kindergarten Teacher Meghan Von Arx.

Crucifixion School Gives Thanks LA CRESCENT - On November 17, the fourth graders at Crucifixion School celebrated Thanksgiving Mass by participating in all the Mass parts and asking the rest of the school to bring in food items to share with the La Crescent Food Shelf. Every class was invited to bring their gifts up during Mass, and the fourth-grade students filled bags by the altar with food. Together, the school filled more than 10 bags of food. "We are truly thankful to all those who donated food for such a wonderful cause," said Fourth Grade Teacher Denise Ludick. "We remember this Thanksgiving to never let a day pass without looking for the good, feeling the good within one, praising, appreciating, blessing, and just being grateful." December, 2016 w The Courier

Prayer for Christian Unity Materials Now Available GARRISON, NY, Nov. 16, 2016 - Paid orders, as well as free downloads, of resources for the 2017 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity have now been made available by the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement. For decades, The Franciscan Friars of the Atonement, through their ministry Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute (GEII), have been providing the materials for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, traditionally held January 18-25. The Church Unity Octave, a forerunner of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, was developed by Servant of God Father Paul Wattson, SA. He founded the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement at Graymoor in Garrison, NY, and the Church Unity Octave was first observed there from January 18-25, 1908. Father Tom Orians, SA, Associate Director of GEII, said, “During the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, the entire Christian community throughout the world is invited to pray in communion with the prayer of Jesus 'that they all may be one' (John 17:21).” He said, “This year, the theme [The Love of Christ Compels Us] has

In the Diocese


two accents: reflecting upon the main concerns of the churches marked by Martin Luther's Reformation, and recognizing the pain of the subsequent deep divisions that afflicted the unity of the Church.” This theme was selected as an opportunity to take steps toward reconciliation. The theme finds its origins in Pope Francis' 2013 Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium ("The Joy of the Gospel"), which states "The Love of Christ Compels Us" (Paragraph 9) and its scriptural context, 2 Corinthians 5:14.” Resources that can be ordered on the Friars’ web site,, include a brief history of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity; an ecumenical celebration of the word of God; an exegetical reflection on the scriptural theme; a daily scripture and prayer guide; homily notes; music suggestions; sample pulpit and bulletin announcements and press releases; and suggestions for promoting and observing the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Ecumenical Sunday within the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, and the annual Martin Luther King Jr. National Holiday, which is observed in January. Resources are in color and available for purchase. Some items are available for download for free. Paid orders may be placed by using the convenient secure online ordering system for information at or by mail to: Week of Prayer Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute Route 9, P.O. Box 300 Garrison, NY 10524-0300.


Sounds of the Season Delights Listeners EASTON - The Sounds of the Season concert held on Sunday, November 27, at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church entertained an audience of over 325 family and friends from all over Faribault County and Southern Minnesota. More than 30 talented local artists from six musical groups provided a wide variety of holiday and spiritual music. The Wells Community Chime Choir started the concert with soothing sounds from chimes of various sizes played by individual choir members. Sunday Punch, a quartet from the Minnesota Sweet Adeline’s, schooled the audience in the four parts of barber shop music and demonstrated their own feminine twist to the a cappella art. Forever Young, a vocal

Wells Community Chime Choir December, 2016 w The Courier

The Murry Brothers

trio and accompanist from Winnebago, delighted the audience with beautiful vocal and harmonious selections. The Murry Brothers, originally from Delavan, who normally sing exclusively for their own family events, gave a powerful rendition of The Lord’s Prayer as well as other family favorites. Highland Worship from the Hosanna Highland Lutheran Church of Mankato, a contemporary Christian music group, led by a former Easton native, Darin Scruggs, moved the audience with

their voices and instrumental talents. Our Lady of Mount Carmel’s own Zach Schultz acted as Master of Ceremonies, and the Twisted Sisters (modeled after characters from the movie Sister Act,) entertained the audience between group transitions and rounded out the concert with selections from the movie. The members of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish are very grateful to all the performers and those who attended and supported this successful fundraising event. The proceeds from this concert bring the parish closer to the goal of collecting all required funds to pay for the construction of the elevator system and lavatory facilities that will make the church truly handicap accessible.

Sister M. Sheila McCall, SSND, 100, professed in 1935, died December 2, 2016 at Good Counsel, Mankato, just three days short of her 101st birthday. A native of St. Paul, she was an intermediate grade and junior high teacher. In the Winona Diocese, she taught at St. Felix, Wabasha (1935-38); St. Peter, Hokah (1942-46); and St. Mary, Madelia (1960-66). She also taught at Catholic schools in Iowa, North Dakota and Washington State, as well as in Minnesota.

Benedictine Center Issues Final Call to Artists MAPLEWOOD - The deadline for the Benedictine Center Juried Art Show is January 11. This show, called “Seeing God,” features local artists whose work helps viewers experience a sense of the Divine. Awards for the Adult Division total $375 ($150 for first place, $125 for second place, $100 for third place). Awards for the Youth Division are as follows: $75 for first place, $50 for second place, $25 for third place. Awards will be announced at the official reception on January 25. C o nte st r u l e s a n d entry forms can be found on Click on the Benedictine Center tab and then “Juried Art Show.” You can also call 651-777-7251 or email benedictinecenter@ Entries will be exhibited at St. Paul’s Monastery from January 25 through March 3. The Benedictine Center, a ministry of the Benedictine Sisters of St. Paul’s Monastery, is located at 2675 Benet Road in Maplewood.


cont'd from pg. 10


(Left to Right) Front Row: Fr. Will Thompson, Celeste Aamodt, Jasmine Jensen, Amy Konradi, Carissa Shank, Rachel Siedschlag, Marcie Cowan, Mary Brinkman. Middle Row: Heidi Nasers, Jack Brinkman, Jill Froelich, Diandra Dendy, Andi Mettler, Mike Szymanski, Anne Szymanski, Beverly Miller, Matthew Edens. Back Row: Shannon Reker, Lucas Stoffel, Jovanni Barrios, Matthew Mohning, Andrew Hesebeck, Noah Carr, Bill Korth, Dayton Peterson, Karl Beerman, Eve Petrowiak, Anthony McGee, Jordan Baatz, Gabe Guggisberg.

sent back to their communities and families, challenged to share the unconditional love and forgiveness that they have experienced with all. "The message I received was that of welcoming. I am overwhelmed by how comfortable I feel, and I can't wait to pass the feeling on," wrote a participant. It is a blessing to see the fruits of TEC, the way it changes lives and launches people into lifelong service to Christ. "Be a light to the world and let your love and kindness be an example to others," another partici-

pant shared. The next TEC retreat, #68, will be held February 18-20, 2017, in the Mankato area. You can volunteer to help if you have been to TEC before or sign up to attend the retreat by returning an application found on the diocese's Youth & Young Adults webpage, or contact for more information.

In the Diocese

the offering of the participants and the team to give all of themselves to God for the weekend. "We are truly blessed to have such beautiful stories to further build our faith! Our diocese is so blessed!" shared a participant. TEC team members agree to serve in whatever capacity they are needed, even if they don't feel it's their strength. Participants agree to do their best to participate in every activity, even if they don't think they'll enjoy it. The results? We encounter Jesus. We find him in the imperfect, in forgiveness, in showing someone grace when they need it. We find him in the gift of service done on our behalf. We find him in the community of people who unconditionally love and accept us for who we are, also known as the Body of Christ. We find him in the dying and rising in our own lives as we give him our broken lives, and he gives them back to us made new. And all of these things lead us to find him in the sacraments, where he weaves together life, suffering, death and the hope of resurrection in each one. "I heard, once again, that Christ meets us where we are and accepts, loves and helps us from there," one participant wrote. On the final day of the retreat, participants are

Ann Full is the Pathways TEC coordinator for the Diocese of Winona.

Students Show Great Promise MANKATO - The 2016 10th Annual

Great Promise Award, sponsored by the Mankato Serra Club, was awarded to 12 Mankato area students on October 25. The recipients were selected for displaying the following qualities of future leadership in our Catholic community: service, generosity, compassion, trustworthiness, and leadership. They were nominated by their teachers and religious education leaders in their 6th grade year and received the award as 7th graders. The recipients are as follows:

Front row, left to right: Rayna Gruenes of Holy Rosary Parish, North Mankato; Natalie Benton of Ss. Peter and Paul Parish, Mankato; Wyatt Rodriguez of Ss. Peter and Paul Parish, Mankato; Drew Smook of Ss. Peter and Paul Parish, Mankato; Ann Voracek of Holy Rosary Parish, North Mankato. Back row, left to right: Duram Kelly of Holy Rosary Parish, North Mankato; Annelise Winch of St. John the Baptist Parish, Mankato; Kaitlin Wolff of All Saints Parish, Madison Lake; James Schueneman of St. John the Baptist Parish, Mankato; Faith Kodet of Holy Rosary Parish, North Mankato. Not pictured: Sadie Burns of Ss. Peter and Paul Parish, Mankato; Mackenzie Wolff of All Saints Parish, Madison Lake.

Catholic United Supports St. Leo's PIPESTONE - On November 14, Faith Formation Director Miriam Johnson (center) received, on behalf of St. Leo's Parish, a $500 technical grant from Catholic United Financial Sales Representative Dan Markell (left). Also on hand was Catholic United Financial Regional Manager Doug Martinka (right). The parish will use the funds to purchase audio-visual equipment for religious education. December, 2016 w The Courier

December, 2016 • The Courier

SUBMISSION to the calendar Please note: submission deadline is the 10th of the month prior to the month of publication. All submissions must be sent electronically to by the deadline to assure receipt and possible inclusion in the Events Calendar. Thank you for understanding that, due to space limitations, not all events nor story submissions will fit; however, we strive to include as many as possible. A list of events is also available at Thank you! - Courier Staff

Action with Prayer

Other Events

St. Mary’s Church, Winona holds Mass for Life & Marriage the first Thursday each month at 8:30 a.m.

St. Mary of the Lake Church, Lake City December 3, Saturday Holy Hour of Prayer for Life, Holiday Bazaar 8a.m.-12p.m. Marriage, and Religious Liberty is held the first Saturday of each Crafts, bake sale, cookie walk, month 8:30-9:30 a.m. (after Mass) mission sewing, silent auction. at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, 360 Main Street, Winona. The Blessed Sacrament is exposed and a rosary offered. Gather in the Adoration Chapel. All welcome. Prayer Vigil & Public Witness Against Abortion is held 3-4 p.m. Tuesdays in front of Semcac Clinic (delegate of Planned Parenthood) at 62 E 3rd Street in Winona. Contact: Patti (507) 429-4636 Masses of Reparation for Sins in the Diocese are held daily in parishes throughout the diocese. For times & locations:

Traditional Latin Mass Chatfield, St. Mary's, 1st & 3rd Sun. 1 pm Mankato, Ss. Peter & Paul, 1st Sat. 9 am Wabasha, St. Felix, every Sat. 8 am

The Televised Mass

Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Winona December 8, Thursday 27th National Night of Prayer for Life. It was on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (then celebrated on December 9) that Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas and the preborn, first appeared to St. Juan Diego. The 27th Annual National Night of Prayer for Life bridges these two feasts to honor Our Blessed Mother, to pray through her intercession for the establishment of a culture of life and protection for the Church from persecution, and

Offered as a service for the homebound and elderly every Sunday on the following stations: KTTC, Channel 10 (Rochester) at 9 a.m. KEYC, Channel 12 (Mankato) at 7:30 a.m & KEYC-DT2, Digital Channel 12.2 or Charter Channel 19 (Mankato) at 9:30 a.m. Donations for the continuation of this program may be sent to: TV Mass, PO Box 588, Winona MN 55987.

Hispanic Priests / Sacerdotes Hispanos Padre José Morales Vicario Parroquial de Sacred Heart, Owatonna. Tel. 507-451-1588

Padre Miguel Eduardo Proaños Vicario Parroquial de St. James, St James. Tel. 507-375-3542

Padre Luis Alfonso Vargas Vicario Parroquial de St. Francis of Assisi, Rochester Tel. 507-288-7313

Padre Ubaldo Roque Vicario Parroquial de St. Mary’s, Worthington. Tel. 507-440-9735

Padre Mariano Varela IVE Párroco de “SS. Peter and Paul”, Mankato. Tel. 507-388-2995 ext. 103

Padre Raul Silva Vicario de la Pastoral Hispana en la diócesis de Winona Y Párroco de Queen of Angels, Austin. Tel. 507-433-1888

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

Owatonna, Sacred Heart 1 p.m. Sunday

St. James, St. James 12 p.m. Sunday

Austin, Queen of Angels 11 a.m & 5 p.m. Sunday; 5:15 Friday

Pipestone, St. Leo 2:30 p.m. Sunday (bilingual)

Waseca, Sacred Heart 11:30 a.m. Sunday

Rochester, St. Francis of Assisi 12 p.m. Sunday & 7 p.m. Thursday

Windom, St. Francis Xavier 2:30 p.m. Sunday

Lake City, St. Mary 6:30 p.m. every 3rd Saturday Madelia, St. Mary 10 a.m. Sunday Mankato, Ss. Peter & Paul 1 p.m. Sunday

Worthington, St. Mary St. Charles, St. Charles 7 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. Sunday; 6:30 p.m. Tuesday Borromeo & Friday 11:30 a.m. Sunday

to ask Our Lord to revive our land. In Winona, the Cathedral will host this Holy Hour after the 5:15 pm Holy Day Mass for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, from 6:15 pm to 7:15 pm. If your church is not taking part in this prayer event, please join us in individual prayer. For more information, visit Immaculate Conception Church, Kellogg December 10, Saturday 15th annual Christmas Cookie Walk begins 9 a.m. Wide variety of homemade cookies and candies $6 per pound. Cookies are usually sold out within an hour of start time. Church located at 22032 Co. Rd. 18 in rural Kellogg. Ss. Peter and Paul Church, Mankato December 10, Saturday Savior of the Nations: Carols of Exploration, Discovery, Salvation, and Peace. This free concert at 7:30 p.m. features the Loyola Concert Choir, Mankato Catholic Chamber Singers, and Buela Youth Orchestra with special guests. Music includes Bach's Cantata BWV 61, "Savior of the Nations, Come," and other Advent & Christmas carols. The event is open to all wishing to share the beauty of sacred music. Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Winona January 6, Friday On the first Friday of the month, the Cathedral hosts Cor Jesu, a night of Eucharistic Adoration, Confession, and Praise & Worship. The January date is Friday, Jan. 6, from 7-9p.m. All are welcome to attend; invite your family and friends! The Cathedral is at 360 Main St. in Winona. For details, search Winona Cor Jesu on Facebook, visit, or call Leandra Hubka (507-9903402) or Steven Lehn (507312-9041).

Franciscan Spirituality Center, La Crosse February 3, Friday Business leaders who want to improve the culture of their organization and connect to purpose in the work they do are invited to attend Three Boxes of Chocolate: A Half-day Retreat for Corporate Leaders at the Franciscan Spirituality Center, 920 Market St. in La Crosse, WI. John McHugh, Mike Hesch and Kristy Walz, local specialists in the field of leadership development, will present strategies for: -taking care of your organization's impact in the greater community -taking care of the people you lead and practicing presence with others -taking care of yourself and feeding your spirit in a corporate culture. Check-in and continental breakfast 7:15 a.m. Program takes place 7:30-11:45 a.m. $79. Event features 3 door prizes. Registration deadline is January 13. More information at or 608791-5295.

Assisi Heights, Rochester March 26 - April 1, Sun. - Sat. Retreat: 21st Century Prophets: Bearing Witness to the Gospel. Sr. Sandra Schneiders, IHM, presents. Eucharistic presider is Fr. James Kunz. $450 (includes meals and lodging). Commuter discount rate: $250. For info and registration, call Angie: 507-282-7441, ext. 195 or Assisi Heights, Rochester April 30 - May 6, Sun. - Sat. Retreat: Remain in My Love. Archbishop Harry J. Flynn, D.D., presents. $450 (includes meals and lodging). Commuter discount rate: $250. For info and registration, call Angie: 507-282-7441, ext. 195 or Holy Spirit Retreat Center, Lake Elysian June 24-30, Sat. - Fri. Retreat: Wisdom of St. Francis for the 21st Century. Sr. Kathy Warren, OSF, presents. $425 (includes meals and lodging). Commuter discount rate: $275 (includes meals). For info and registration: 507-234-5712 or

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Ss. Peter and Paul Church, Mankato January 29, Sunday Prayer Service for Life presided by Bishop Quinn at 3 p.m. 105 N 5th Street in Mankato. December, 2016 w The Courier

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