The Courier - February 2022

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Our Lady of Lourdes February 11

February 2022

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

Pope Francis: Being 'Properly Informed' on February 2: COVID-19 Vaccines Is a 'Human Right' World Day

of Prayer for Consecrated Life posted to on Jan. 26, 2022

Pope Francis meets with members of the Catholic Factchecking consortium at the Vatican's Clementine Hall, Jan. 28, 2022. Credit: Vatican Media

VATICAN CITY, Jan 28, 2022 (CNA) - Pope Francis said on Friday that it is a human right to be “properly informed” with scientific data, rather than “fake news,” in a meeting with a Catholic fact-checking group focused on COVID-19 vaccines. “To be properly informed, to be helped to understand situations based on scientific data and not fake news, is a human right,” Pope Francis said on Jan. 28. “Fake news has to be refuted, but individual persons

must always be respected, for they believe it often without full awareness or responsibility,” he said. The pope met with the International Catholic Media Consortium on COVID-19 Vaccines, which runs the website “We can hardly fail to see that these days, in addition to the pandemic, an ‘infodemic’ is spreading: a distortion

'Properly Informed,' cont'd on pg. 2

WASHINGTON – The Catholic Church will hold its annual celebration of World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life on February 2, and parishes will commemorate the event over the weekend of February 5-6. This event is a special time for individual parishes to celebrate the gift of consecrated life and pray for men and women discerning a consecrated vocation with the global Catholic Church. Instituted by Saint John Paul II in 1997, World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life is celebrated in conjunction with the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, also known as Candlemas Day, which commemorates through the blessing and lighting of candles that Christ is the light of the world. So too, those in consecrated life are called to reflect the light of Jesus Christ to all peoples. Bishop James F. Checchio of Metuchen, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations Consecrated Life, cont'd on pg. 4

INSIDE this issue

'The Gospel Is for Everyone' page 5

Disciples of Christ, Stewards of His Gifts pages 10-11

Retreat Weekends page 15


'Properly Informed,'

Articles of Interest

'The Gospel Is for Everyone'_________________5 Where Are We on Our Journey of Faith?_____6 Why Should We Go on a Marriage Retreat?___7 Matching Challenge Grant___________________9 expressed skepticism about the phenomenon of fact-checking. Writing about the consortium on Disciples of Christ, Stewards of His Gifts___10-11 Jan. 14, Phil Lawler, the editor of Catholic World The Theology of the Body________________12 News, argued that fact-checking is a “practice in World Youth Day 2023___________________14 which self-appointed watchdogs claim to have refuted a statement, when in fact they have Retreat Weekends________________________15 merely offered another opinion.” Free Tax Preparation Services______________16 The pope told the group that in its mission State & National Headlines_______________17 to combat disinformation and fake news, “the fundamental distinction between information Diocesan Headlines______________________18

cont'd from pg. 1

The Courier Insider

of reality based on fear, which in our global society leads to an explosion of commentary on falsified if not invented news,” the pope said. “Contributing, often unwittingly, to this climate is the sheer volume of allegedly ‘scientific’ information, comments and opinions, which ends up causing confusion for the reader or listener.” The consortium includes Aleteia, I.Media, Verificat, and Our Sunday Visitor. It receives scientific consulting from the Barcelonabased Institute for Global Health. The group was awarded a grant in 2021 from the $3 million COVID19 Vaccine Counter-Misinformation Open Fund sponsored by the Google News Initiative. In a Jan. 20 post, Aleteia responded to reports about the project’s funding sources, saying that allegations that Aleteia had ties to George Soros or Bill Gates were “unfounded.” “Aleteia has never solicited funds from either the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation or the Open Society Foundation. Aleteia accepted the Google grant only on the condition that we would maintain our editorial independence. As a result, the grant has not directed or influenced our editorial line,” it said. In its most recent article - posted four months ago - provides “the opinion of the WHO and the FDA” in response to a question about an article claiming that nasal irrigation could reduce the number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19. Another fact-checking entry posted in August 2021 states: “An article asserts that deaths from Covid-19 ‘are increasing’ in the United Kingdom, and that ‘the vast majority of the people who allegedly died from covid-19 had been vaccinated’. This is DECEITFUL.” “Although the official data show that the majority of deaths recorded are of vaccinated people, this has nothing to do with an alleged ineffectiveness of the vaccine, but because Scotland has fully vaccinated 65.5% of the population, so it is to be expected that more and more of the deceased will be vaccinated (because there will be hardly any people who are not). This is because the efficacy of the vaccine against the most severe forms of the disease and death is never 100%.” Some Catholic commentators have

and people must never be overlooked.” He underlined that a Christian communicator should be a “builder of bridges” in the search for truth, rather than inciting conflict with “an attitude of superiority.” “His or her approach … does not simplify reality, so as not to fall into a kind of ‘fideism’ when it comes to science,” Pope Francis said. “Science itself is a constant process of advancing towards the solution of problems. Reality is always more complex than we think and we must respect the doubts, the concerns, and the questions that people raise, seeking to accompany them without ever dismissing them. A dialogue with those who have doubts.” Pope Francis has repeatedly encouraged Catholics to be vaccinated and has promoted the fair distribution of vaccines throughout the world. He said in a public service announcement produced in collaboration with the Ad Council last August that getting the COVID-19 vaccine is “an act of love.” The Vatican underlined its support for COVID-19 vaccines shortly before Christmas amid the rapid spread of the omicron variant. Pope Francis told the fact-checking group that “the search for truth” should not yield to the “commercial interests of the powerful.” “Being together for truth also means seeking an antidote to algorithms projected to maximize commercial profit,” he said. He added that the “antidote to every type of falsification is to let ourselves be purified by the truth.” “For Christians, truth is never merely a concept having to do with judgment about things. Truth regards life as a whole,” Pope Francis commented. “The only reliable and trustworthy One – the One on whom we can count – is the living God. Hence, Jesus can say: ‘I am the truth’ (John 14:6). We discover and rediscover the truth when we experience it within ourselves as the loyalty and trustworthiness of the one who loves us,” he said.

The Courier is the official publication of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester 55 West Sanborn, P.O. Box 588, Winona, MN 55987 Vol 113 - 2

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

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The Holy Father's Intention

Most Rev. John M. Quinn, Bishop of Winona-Rochester, announces the following:


Pastor Rev. William Becker: currently Pastor of St. Joachim Parish in Plainview and Immaculate Conception Parish in Kellogg; transferred to the Office of Pastor of St. Columbanus Parish in Blooming Prairie, Sacred Heart Parish in Hayfield. and Holy Trinity Parish in Litomysl, effective January 17, 2022. Rev. Msgr. Thomas Melvin: currently Pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Rushford, St. Peter Parish in Hokah, and Immaculate Conception Parish in Wilson; transferred to the Office of Pastor of St. Joachim Parish in Plainview and Immaculate Conception Parish in Kellogg, effective February 21, 2022. Tribunal Rev. John Griffiths: reappointed as Defender of the Bond for the Diocese of Winona-Rochester Tribunal for a three-year term, effective February 4, 2022.

February 2022 Religious Sisters & Consecrated Women We pray for religious sisters and consecrated women; thanking them for their mission and their courage; may they continue to find new responses to the challenges of our times. Where to Find the Courier

Mrs. Marsha Stenzel: reappointed to the Minnesota Catholic Conference Education Committee for a three-year term, effective February 12, 2022.

Note: Delivery of hard copies to parishes, which was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will not resume. Any person who would like to read The Courier in hard copy should request home delivery, free of charge.

Catholic Charities

Sr. Agnes Mary Graves, RSM: appointed to the Catholic Charities Board of Directors for a threeyear term, effective November 15, 2021.

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

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Minnesota Catholic Conference

Child Abuse Policy Information

The Diocese of Winona-Rochester will provide a prompt, appropriate and compassionate response to reporters of sexual abuse of a child by any diocesan agent (employees, volunteers, vendors, religious or clergy). Anyone wishing to make a report of an allegation of sexual abuse should call the Victim Assistance Coordinator at 507-454-2270, Extension 255. A caller will be asked to provide his or her name and telephone number. Individuals are also encouraged to take their reports directly to civil authorities. The Diocese of Winona-Rochester is committed to protecting children, young people and other vulnerable people in our schools, parishes and ministries. The diocesan policy is available on the diocesan web site at under the Safe Environment Program. If you have any questions about the Diocese of Winona-Rochester’s implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, please contact Mary Hamann at 507-858-1244, or

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

Pray for Vocations

Bishop John M. Quinn

�ear Friends in Christ,

Vocations in the Church

Our Triune God has endowed the Church with a great variety of vocations, different ways in which the people of God live out their individual calls to holiness. The vocation our world is most familiar with is marriage, since it is entered into by the majority of people and is the one we all see lived out from the earliest days of our childhood. Sometimes called the “natural vocation,” God instituted this vocation when He created Adam and Eve and commanded them to be fruitful and multiply. The complementarity of man and woman and the desire to give oneself to another and be a father or mother is fulfilled in the vocation of marriage. Christ Himself raised marriage to the dignity of a sacrament and illustrated how it is an image of the self-giving love of Christ for His Church.

Bishop's Calendar

February 1, Tuesday 10 a.m. - Holy Hour and DOW-R Finance Council Meeting, Winona

February 2, Wednesday 8:45 a.m. - Mass - Cotter Schools, Winona 11 a.m. - Mass for Consecrated Life (in person and livestreamed) - Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Winona February 3, Thursday 10:32 a.m. - Guest speaker on Real Presence Catholic Radio 1 p.m. - Holy Hour and Cabinet Meeting, Winona 3:30 p.m. - Virtual Meeting with MN Bishops and MCC

comes from devoting their lives to Christ, and being spiritual fathers and mothers to the people of God. Unfortunately, in a world that views sex and self-indulgence as necessary for happiness, it is hard for many people to understand why someone would freely give up marriage and the stability of having a spouse, children, home, career, and many comforts of the world. It is important that we teach young people about the beauty of laying down one’s life in self-sacrificial love, and of cultivating a life of prayer. We all long for a deep, personal relationship, and our Heavenly Father offers that to us. In laying down our life for God and others, our Triune God can and will satisfy the deepest desires of our hearts. Mass for Consecrated Life

Our annual Mass for Consecrated Life was held on February 2, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord and the World Day for Consecrated Life, at 11:00 a.m. at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona. On this occasion we prayed for an increase of vocations to the consecrated life, prayed that those already consecrated may be a faithful and holy witness to the Church, and sought to encourage young men and women to discern the Lord’s will for their lives. In all the various forms of consecrated life, Christ is always at the center, with everything else flowing from a deep personal relationship with Him. This year, the gathering for consecrated life took on an added dimension as it also involved prayer and a listening session as part of the current world-wide synodal process. Pope Francis has asked that all

February 4, Friday 8 a.m. - Teach at St. Mary University 5:30 p.m. - Rochester Catholic Schools President’s Reception - Hilton Hotel, Rochester

February 6, Sunday 9 a.m. - Closing Mass for Local FOCUS SEEK Conference - Mayo Civic Center, Rochester February 8, Tuesday 11a.m. - 3 p.m. - Holy hour and Presbyteral Council Meeting - Pax Christi Church, Rochester February 11, Friday 8 a.m. - Teach at St. Mary University

dioceses provide opportunities for those in the local Church to pray and discern together how the Lord is calling the Church to ever more faithfully fulfill its mission of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. While our local synodal preparations are primarily parish-based, the annual gathering in honor of the World Day for Consecrated Life provided an opportunity for a special listening session exclusively for those consecrated men and women who serve our diocese. After Mass and a luncheon, there then followed a time for prayer, reflection, and discussion. Blessed James Miller

One of the consecrated men who lived and studied in the Diocese of WinonaRochester is Br. James Miller, FSC. A Christian Brother, Br. James studied at St. Mary’s University and later served in the Twin Cities and then in Central America. In 1982, while ministering to the poor in Huehuetenango, Guatemala, he was shot to death at the age of 37. Pope Francis beatified Blessed James Miller in November 2018, but since he is not yet a saint, his feast day is not celebrated by the entire Church. However, since the Diocese of Winona-Rochester has a special connection to Blessed James, this past year I requested permission of the Holy See to celebrate the feast day of Blessed James Miller in the Diocese of WinonaRochester. I received a favorable response and from this year onward, those in the Diocese of Winona-Rochester can celebrate the Optional Memorial of Blessed James Miller, Martyr, on February 13. Blessed James Miller, pray for us!

February 13, Sunday 10:30 a.m. - Mass - Diocesan Feast Day of Bl. James Miller, FSC - Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Winona February 15, Tuesday 11 a.m. - Clergy Personnel Board Meeting - Winona February 17, Thursday 1 p.m. - Holy Hour and Cabinet Meeting, Winona 7 p.m. - Opening Prayer and Welcome via Zoom - DOW-R Ministerial Standards Review Board Meeting February 18, Friday 8 a.m. - Teach at St. Mary University

C a t h o l i c Ministries Appeal


The annual Catholic Ministries Appeal (CMA) will officially launch on the weekend of February 26/27. The funds from this appeal provide financial support for many of the important ministries across the diocese, such as Catholic schools, Faith Formation, Youth Ministry, seminarian formation, and more. Without your help, we would not have the resources to continue the many important programs and events that serve the people of southern Minnesota and help to bring people closer to Jesus Christ and His Church. All monies raised are restricted entirely for the ministries outlined in the CMA materials, and do not go to any litigation or bankruptcy purposes. I ask you to please be generous and consider how you are able to support the diocesan Church this year. I am grateful for how you continue to live out your faith despite the difficulties in the Church and the world. It is only by your generosity that we are able to continue the many ministries that serve people in all walks of life in southern Minnesota. Blessed are you!

From the Bishop

Rejoice in Hope

However, Jesus Christ also revealed to us by His life and preaching the supernatural vocation of celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom of God. Those called to this vocation give their lives entirely to Christ and His Church, devoting their time and energy not to the building of an earthly family, but a spiritual one. The priesthood is likely the most visible celibate vocation, since priests are regularly seen in parishes. Priests are called to lay down their lives not for a wife and children, but for the Church, and to labor as a spiritual father for all those entrusted to their care. Serving under the bishop, priests are responsible for teaching, sanctifying, and governing, largely through administering the sacraments, but also by accompanying people in their lives in various ways. Religious men and women are part of communities that have a unique spirituality, or charism, by which they serve the Church in a particular way, such as nursing or teaching. Religious pray, live, and work together, and by their example show Christ’s love to others and witness to the joy that comes from giving their lives to serving the Lord. Consecrated Virgins live a life of prayer, penance, and service to the Church in the midst of the world. Consecrated by their bishop, they serve within their diocese and witness to the fact that Christ is to be loved above all things. As “brides of Christ,” they serve as a reminder that our true home is in heaven, the marriage feast of the Lamb. Men and women throughout the centuries have found that despite renouncing the joys of human marriage and parenthood, there is a supernatural joy and peace that

Sincerely in Christ,

+ John M. Quinn Bishop of Winona-Rochester

February 23, Wednesday 6:30 a.m. - Lauds and Mass - IHM Seminary, Winona February 24, Thursday 3:30 p.m. - Virtual Meeting with MN Bishops and MCC February 25, Friday 8 a.m. - Teach at St. Mary University February 27, Sunday 10:30 a.m. - Mass - Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Winona March 1, Tuesday 9:30 a.m. - Holy Hour and DOW-R College of Consultors Meeting, Winona

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Vatican: Peter’s Pence Donations Fell by About 15% in 2021

VATICAN CITY, Jan. 28, 2022 (CNA) - Donations to Peter’s Pence fell by around 15% in 2021, the Vatican announced on Friday. In an interview with Vatican News published on Jan. 28, Father Juan A. Guerrero, S.J., prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, said that, while donations were still arriving from some countries, there was a marked decrease compared to 2020. He also disclosed that the sale of a London property at the center of a landmark Vatican finance trial would be concluded in June. Commenting on Peter’s Pence, he said: “Roughly speaking, I can say that in 2021 there has again been a decrease compared to the previous year, which I would venture to quantify at no less than 15%.” “If in 2020 the total collection of the Peter’s Pence was 44 million euros [around $49 million], in 2021 I do not think it will amount to more than 37 million euros [approximately $41 million].” “The decrease in 2021 is in addition to the 23% decrease between 2015 and 2019 and the 18% decrease in 2020, the first year of the pandemic.” Peter’s Pence is the Holy See’s annual collection to finance the pope’s charitable works and other priorities, including the Roman Curia. The annual collection is usually taken up in Catholic churches around the world on a weekend close to the June 29 Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. “We are very dependent on uncertain income, which we see decreasing every year in this time of pandemic,” Guerrero said. “It has to be this way, since the way we receive most of the donations from the faithful is through the collection of the Peter’s Pence in the churches, and the attendance in times of COVID has been

Consecrated Life, cont'd from pg. 1

spoke of how the example of consecrated men and women should spur all of the faithful on to greater holiness. “With lives of poverty, chastity, and obedience, consecrated men and women provide us with an example of complete dedication to Christ. They remind us that regardless of the vocation the Lord calls us to, we are all called to union with Christ and to do our part to build up the Kingdom of God.” As it does every year, the USCCB’s Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations commissioned the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) to conduct a survey of the religious Profession Class of 2021. The survey polled women and men religious who professed perpetual vows in 2021 in a religious congregation, province, or monastery based in the United States. CARA received a response from 547 of 742 major superiors for an overall response rate of 74% among religious institutes. Of the 182 identified men and women religious who professed perpetual vows in 2021, 62 sisters and nuns and 60 brothers and priests responded to the survey for an overall response rate of 67%. Some of the major findings and highlights of the report are: •

On average, responding religious report that they were 19 years old when they first considered a vocation to religious life.

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reduced.” “This should make us think about other methods of soliciting the help of the faithful and receiving donations.” Guerrero, who was appointed prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy in 2019, succeeding Cardinal George Pell, said that he would present the final 2021 figures for Peter’s Pence after the accounts are closed at the end of February. The priest told Vatican News that 60 Sloane Avenue, the controversial London building at the heart of the recent financial scandal, was being sold above its valuation price. “Sixteen bids were received, four were selected; after a second round of bids the best one was selected,” he said. “The contract of sale has been signed, we have received 10% of the deposit and it will be concluded in June 2022.” “The loss from the alleged swindle, which has been much talked about and is now being judged by the Vatican courts, was already taken into account in the balance sheet.” “The building has been sold above the valuation we had in the balance sheet and the appraisal made by the specialized institutions.” The interview with the Spanish Jesuit was published as the Vatican released more information about its budget for 2022. The Vatican said that it had calculated this year’s “mission budget” in a different way to previous years as it had added “30 new entities” to its balance sheet, increasing the number from 60 to 90. Guerrero explained that Secretariat for the Economy took the step “because we are concerned • •

The average age of responding religious of the Profession Class of 2021 is 37. Half of the responding religious are age 34 or younger. The youngest is 24 and the oldest is 70.

Seven in ten (71%) responding religious report their primary race or ethnicity as Caucasian, European American, or white. One in ten (13%) identifies as Asian/Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian. One in ten identifies as Hispanic/Latino(a). Four percent identity as African/African American/black and just two respondents identify as mixed race. Three-fourths of responding religious (76%) were born in the United States. Of those born outside the United States, the most common countries of origin are Vietnam and the Philippines (5 religious from each). On average, the respondents who were born outside the United States were 23 years old when they first came to the United States and lived here for 15 years before perpetual profession.

Nine in ten (86%) responding religious report that someone encouraged them to consider a vocation to religious life. Men are more likely than women to be encouraged by a parish priest, friend, mother, and parishioner. Almost all responding religious (99%) of the Profession Class of 2021 have at least one

about not having a vision of the risks outside the budget, which fall on the Curia when there are problems.” The total deficit expected for 2022 is €33 million (around $37 million), compared to the €42 million ($47 million) shortfall budgeted for 2021. The prefect noted that the Vatican’s Council for the Economy (CpE) approved the 2022 budget in December 2021. He said: “It is understandable that the CpE has had difficulty in approving a budget with such a deficit for another year and has asked us to make plans to further reduce expenditures and increase revenues. According to our forecasts, we expect a somewhat lower deficit than budgeted in 2021.” Guerrero underlined that cost-cutting alone would not guarantee financial stability and the Vatican needed to seek new sources of donations. “The first requirement is transparency and clear accountability, and I think we have taken many steps in this direction,” he said. "Apart from giving an annual account of the budget and the balance sheet, this year we hope to give an account of the inflow and outflow of the Peter’s Pence collection and to send the accounts of the Holy See to the bishops’ conferences for their information.” "We have to make the local churches more aware of the needs of the Holy See; the Curia is at their service and must be largely maintained by them. There is a great difference in the commitment of the various Churches to the support of the Roman Curia. And [we also need] to enlist the help of the faithful, who want to support the pope in his mission of unity in charity, which is after all what the Roman Curia does.”

sibling. One in five (20%) have one brother or sister. Four in five (42%) report having two or three. A third (35%) have four or more siblings.

The Profession Class of 2021 is highly educated. Two in ten responding religious earned a graduate degree before entering their religious institute. Seven in ten (70%) entered their religious institute with at least a bachelor’s degree (63% for women and 77% for men). Four in five (80%) participated in one or more religious programs or activities before entering their religious institute. Two-fifths of respondents (39%) participated in youth ministry or youth group. Three-tenth participated in young adult ministry or group (33%) and Catholic campus ministry/ Newman Center (30%). One in five (18%) participated in a World Youth Day prior to entering their religious institute.

Prayers of the Faithful, and a parish bulletin quote for World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life may be found on the USCCB website: usccb. org/committees/clergy-consecrated-life-vocations/ world-day-consecrated-life. Profiles of the Profession Class of 2021 and the entire CARA survey can be found at: usccb. org/committees/clergy-consecrated-life-vocations/ profession-classes.

'The Gospel Is for Everyone'

New Outreach to Those Living with Disabilities 5 Missionary Discipleship

Susan Windley-Daoust

Director of Missionary Discipleship


Diocese of Winona-Rochester, beginning February 2022, is launching an outreach to people living with disabilities to full communion and active discipleship in local parishes. While there have always been people living with disabilities in our parishes, this outreach has two efforts: to better help people living with disabilities access full participation in the parish according to their interest and ability, and to help parishes better understand how to do evangelical outreach and welcome people living with disabilities and their families. Nearly one in five people in the United States live with a disability. Yet approximately 85% of those living with disabilities are not affiliated with a Church or house of worship in the USA. That should be a shocking wake up call that despite good will and the frequent statement that all are welcome to meet the Lord in our parishes, there are barriers to welcome and participation that those who are ablebodied often do not see. We need to become better at seeing these barriers, welcoming, encouraging and enabling people to participate fully as brothers and sisters in Christ. In the late summer of 2021, Bp. Quinn and diocesan administrators asked parish staff across southern Minnesota to fill out a survey to discover the ways parishes are currently helping people living with disabilities participate in the Mass, in parish activities, and in apostolates and ministries. We did this in part to be able to share with other parishes what is working well in other parishes as well as discern needs that must be addressed, and pastors and parish staff will be receiving feedback from that survey in February. We are grateful for the feedback we have received. One absence that was obvious was that there is currently no parish in the diocese offering ASL translation of the Mass. We are working with a parish in Rochester on offering that service as an outreach to the Deaf community, living or visiting Rochester for medical support. We will announce that opportunity once it is available. Additionally, with help through our diocesan affiliation with the National Catholic Partnership on Disability (, we created a resource page to help with the many questions that arise when working with parishioners with disabilities–from effective sacramental preparation and access, faith formation, hospitality and welcome, participation in the Mass, participation in parish activities, pastoral care, to the best physical access practices. That page can be found at under the Office of Missionary Discipleship, under “Disabilitysensitive ministry.” When you need a person to consult, Susan Windley-Daoust (Director of Missionary Discipleship), Dana Petricka (Director of Youth Ministry and Faith Formation), and Fr. Patrick Arens

Bishop Quinn speaks to adults enrolled in Special Religious Education (SPRED) at Lourdes High School in Rochester in 2016. (Director of Divine Worship) have stepped forward to address specific questions in their areas. While we may not know the best answer immediately, we resolve to help you find a way forward that honors each person’s journey toward a life of fuller faith, together. However, although we do have ministry directors and administrators in the pastoral center who have family members with disabilities, it is only right to seek deeper insight and advice from those Catholics living with disabilities–or when they cannot speak for themselves, their caregivers. To that end, we are doing two things to move forward and be a better disability-welcoming Church: 1. First, as we are doing with other marginalized voices in southern Minnesota, we are running a focus group Synod gathering for people living with disabilities. If you are a person living with disabilities or a caregiver (parent or spouse) of a person with disabilities, you are welcome to attend. It is a Zoom meeting (including automatic closed captioning in English), February 22, from 7 p.m. - 8:15 p.m. Contact Emily Smithley at to register. If you are a Spanish speaker living with disabilities and want your voice heard, please contact Susan WindleyDaoust at

2. Second, the diocese is establishing a diocesan advisory council of Catholics living with disabilities (or caregivers). The purpose of this advisory council is to help the directors of ministry think more effectively about barriers to participation in parish life and create solutions that further the discipleship of the individual as well as the richness of the parish. This council will be established in the coming months. We know we can do better, and resolve to take steps to do so.

In a happy coincidence, the Vatican (specifically the Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life) has just launched an initiative to welcome a deeper inclusion of people living with disabilities. This social media campaign has produced some beautiful videos that

include education about inclusion and participation, but primarily a great deal of joyful witness: a family of Deaf siblings in Mexico who travel to catechize and evangelize others in Mexico using Spanish Sign Language, young consecrated women with Down Syndrome in the Little Sisters Disciples of the Lamb order in France, a Jesuit priest in Australia who is legally blind, and others living with disabilities active in their parishes. You can find (and share widely!) these short videos and articles here: http://www. As Pope Francis said in November 2021, on the International Day for Persons with Disabilities, “The Church is your home!” and “the Gospel is for everyone.” He closes his address, made directly to Catholics living with disabilities across the world, with an earnest plea: I know that some of you live in situations that are not easy. I would like to speak personally to each of you, and I ask that, if necessary, your family members or those closest to you read my words to you, or convey my appeal. I ask you to pray. The Lord listens attentively to the prayers of those who trust in him. No one should say: “I don’t know how to pray”, because, as the Apostle says, “the Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings” (Rom 8:26). In the Gospels, Jesus always listens to those who turn to him, however haltingly, even with a small sign (cf. Lk 8:44) or a cry for help (cf. Mk 10:47). Prayer is a mission, a mission accessible to everyone, and I would like to entrust that mission in a particular way to you. There is no one so frail that he or she cannot pray, worship the Lord, give glory to his holy Name and intercede for the salvation of the world. In the sight of the Almighty, we come to realize that we are all equal.

May we all find ways to recognize that the Gospel is for everyone, without exception, and discipleship is the call of all the baptized. Let us pray for each other on this journey forward.

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Lay Formation & RCIA


'Where Are We

on Our Journey of Faith?'

The world expects from believers a new burst of enthusiasm for the things of heaven. Like the Magi, let us lift up our eyes, listen to the desire lodged in our hearts, and follow the star that God makes shine above us. As restless seekers, let us remain open to God’s surprises. Brothers and sisters, let us dream, let us seek and let us adore. -Pope Francis, Homily on the Epiphany, January 6, 2022

�reetings of Peace, Friends in Christ!

I am writing this just a week into the new year. Many of us are hoping and praying for a better year ahead than our experience of the past two. May it be so! The Christmas season offers us each year, as we contemplate the mystery of the Incarnation (our God’s becoming human, in Jesus, out of love for us), the longed-for possibility of hope, of joy, of wonder, of peace in our lives and in our world. The promise of that quiet night in a lowly stable in Bethlehem remains – God is with us (“Emmanuel”) even in the darkness that often overshadows our hearts and our communities. And, His presence is “the light that shines in the darkness,” and even in our own time “the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5) We often ponder the mystery of Christ’s Passion, Death, and Resurrection – the “Paschal Mystery” – not only during Lent and Easter but throughout the church year. Indeed, it is at the very heart of our faith. But, let us also ponder the mystery of the Incarnation throughout these days of “Ordinary Time” outside of Advent and Christmas. To do so, I would offer the “lens” of the Christmas season’s great feast of Epiphany as reflected upon by our Holy Father in his homily on this feast. On “Pilgrimage” to Jesus

First, Pope Francis speaks of the Magi’s “pilgrimage” to Bethlehem, and invites us to allow their pilgrimage to “speak also to us, who are called to journey towards Jesus.” He comments on the Magi’s having “cultural, social and economic security” in their lives, and they could have remained content in this. But, rather, they allowed themselves to “be unsettled by a question and by a sign: ‘Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star…’ (Matthew 2:2).”

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And, as it was for the Magi “who longed to see the light,” so it is for us who also must nurture this same longing in our lives. We must look beyond what is “immediate and visible,” beyond the ordinary desires of our lives for security, comfort, pleasure, etc., to seek “something much greater” and “to embrace life as a mystery that surpasses us.” In one of his wonderful metaphors, he notes that we too often live “in a spirit of a ‘parking lot’; we stay parked, without the impulse of desire that carries us forward.” He breaks this open by asking us: “[W]here are we on our journey of faith? Have we been stuck all too long, nestled inside a conventional, external and formal religiosity that no longer warms our hearts and changes our lives?” His analysis of where we are spiritually is sharp and direct: “[W]e find ourselves living in communities that crave everything, have everything, yet all too often feel nothing but emptiness in their hearts.” We must move out of being content with “maintenance” in our lives of faith, and allow ourselves “to be startled by Jesus and by the explosive and unsettling joy of the Gospel.” We need to begin by reflecting within our own hearts: “How is the journey of my faith going? Is it parked or is it on the move? … Does my heart still burn with desire for God? Or have I allowed force of habit and my own disappointments to extinguish that flame?” For our faith to grow, our Holy Father instructs us, it “has to begin ever anew. It needs to be sparked by desire, to take up the challenge of entering into a living and lively relationship with God.” Guided by the Magi

To take up this challenge and move forward, we can look to the Magi: • •

First, as the Magi “set out at the rising of the star,” so do they teach us “to set out anew each day … ever in search of God, always discerning our way forward.” Second, as the Magi inquired where the Child was to be found, so do they teach us that “we need to question.” Pope Francis observes that God often “addresses us more with questions than with answers.” And, so we must be attentive and “listen carefully to the questions of our heart and our conscience, for it is there that God often speaks to us.”

Todd Graff

Director of Lay Formation & RCIA

Third, as the Magi defied Herod in his request that they report back to him on the Child, so do they teach us that “we need a courageous faith, one that is unafraid to challenge the sinister logic of power, and become seeds of justice and fraternity.” And, fourth and finally, as the Magi returned home “by another way” (Matthew 2:12), so do they challenge us “to take new paths … so that the Spirit can suggest to us new ways and paths to bring the Gospel to the hearts of those who are distant, indifferent or without hope.”

At the end of their journey, the Magi arrived at the stable in Bethlehem. Upon seeing the Child, “they fell down and worshiped” (Matthew 2:11). Our own journey of faith will only be renewed when we place ourselves “in the presence of God,” in worship and adoration. In closing, our Holy Father returns to his reflection on the importance of renewing our desire for God. Without this divine horizon, “our desires coincide merely with our needs [and so] our hearts grow sickly.” It is only God who “elevates our desires … purifies them and heals them of selfishness, opening them to love for him and for our brothers and sisters.” With the Magi to guide us, let us renew our hearts and purify our desires in this new year as we continue on our own “pilgrimage” to Christ, our Light. Deo Gratias! In this way, like the Magi, we will have the daily certainty that even in the darkest nights a star continues to shine. It is the star of the Lord, who comes to care for our frail humanity. Let us set out on the path towards him. Let us not give apathy and resignation the power to drive us into a cheerless and banal existence. Let our restless hearts embrace the restlessness of the Spirit.

-Pope Francis, Homily on the Epiphany, January 6, 2022

Why Should We Go Peter Martin

Director of Life, Marriage & Family and Communications

�ontinuing education units, annual seminars, monthly company newsletters, license renewals, work-place safety videos… and that’s just a short list of the things that are required of us at work so that we might offer the highest quality of service.

Life, Marriage & Family

on a Marriage Retreat?


What things are we doing in order to ensure that our marriage is of the highest quality? Employers know that their employees need a break from the day-to-day grind in order that they can learn new tricks of the trade and to get a chance to sharpen their skills. They know that sometimes their employees need to be reminded of the things they may have learned in the past, but have forgotten (or have neglected to put them into practice.) How much more important is it, then for you and your spouse to take some time together! As co-CEOs of your family, your children need the stability of your relationship. In The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis recognizes that “[t]he family is experiencing a profound cultural crisis, as are all communities and social bonds. In the case of the family, the weakening of these bonds is particularly serious because the family is the fundamental cell of society, where we learn to live with others despite our differences and to belong to one another; it is also the place where parents pass on the faith to their children.” (66) For this reason, the Office of Life, Marriage & Family will be hosting an annual retreat (see advertisement for details). We hope you will consider joining us!

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The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation Offers Another

Matching Challenge Grant By MONICA HERMAN

he Diocese of Winona-Rochester Office of Catholic Schools and The Catholic Foundation of Southern Minnesota are pleased to announce that the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation has offered the opportunity to again participate in a challenge grant to benefit diocesan Catholic schools. The challenge grant matched would be $25,000 after we raise $25,000. The challenge grant would need to be completed by March 31, 2022, and the funds would support diocesan elementary schools by providing quality Catholic professional development and ongoing assessments for both students and teachers. The matching challenge grant will be divided equally among each Catholic elementary school, supplying the necessary training for teachers to remain current on the latest research and strategies for educational improvement. The monies will also be geared toward student assessment

Blessings at Pacelli

cation to Catholic education, and to everyone who will contribute to make this matching challenge grant process a great success. If you would like to support this wonderful opportunity and mission, please contact Monica Herman, Executive Director of the Catholic Foundation of Southern Minnesota at 507-858-1276. Monica Herman is the executive director of the Catholic Foundation of S o u t h e r n Minnesota.

Catholic Schools

Marsha Stenzel

Superintendent of Catholic Schools

and the data it provides to drive curriculum, having an impact on approximately 4,500 children attending Catholic elementary schools across the DOW-R. Catholic education in the Diocese of WinonaRochester is a ministry of the Church which is integral to our faith in Christ, the teacher par excellence, who instructs us all along the path to an abundant life. Catholic schools are an expression of this faith, an invaluable gift to all those attending, and a pledge of future stability for our faith communities. May we continue to support our next generation of Catholics, ensuring excellence in their education and formation, as we depend on our Catholic schools to proclaim the message of salvation to a world searching for the hope and meaning which can only be found in a relationship with Jesus Christ and his Church. We wish to thank the members of the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation for their support and dedi-



�acelli has been blessed with many different

Blessings over the last year. We were able to finish a project with the city that closed 3rd Ave in front of Pacelli that closed the street and turned half of the block into a green space for our students. This was truly a blessing, giving our students a place to play, gather, and study. Even when it is cold outside our students now have a better place to play in the snow, build snowmen, build friendships, and grow in their faith. Another great blessing that was bestowed upon Pacelli was a one million dollar gift from Steve Wiggins of the Pacelli class of 1974. The gift was made through the Wiggins Foundation to create new technology capabilities for students and add additional scholarships for low-income families. Mr. Wiggins' gift will strengthen Pacelli's curriculum and help get our students ready for tomorrow's workforce and give financial help to those in need to attend Pacelli. It is projects and gifts like this that will help Pacelli continue its strong traditions of Faith, Scholarship, and Service. God has blessed and will continue to bless Pacelli with many gifts. Kane Malo is the principal of Pacelli Catholic Schools in Austin.

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Catholic Foundation


Catholic Ministries Appeal 2022

Disciples of Christ, Stewards of His Gifts � am very excited to announce that more

than 5,800 donors donated $2,058,256 to the 2021 Catholic Ministries Appeal! We had 56 parishes exceed their goals, and the additional funds raised have gone back to the parishes for their designated projects. Materials for the 2022 Catholic Ministries Appeal will be mailed to homes by the middle of February. The goal for the 2022 Appeal will remain at $1,975,000 million and it will officially launch the weekend of February 12/13. The theme for the CMA22 is Disciples of Christ, Stewards of His Gifts. We hear Christ’s invitation for discipleship as he calls us to shape our lives in imitation of Him. We remember that it is through our actions that we demonstrate the faith, mercy and hope Christ has planted in our hearts. Jesus Christ offers us infinite love and mercy that flows from His Most Sacred Heart. We are strengthened through Him to be Disciples of Christ, Stewards of His Gifts as we come together as one Church. We hope that the compelling testimonies we share throughout 2022 will instill confidence that our Church and its ministries continue to grow in Christ’s love. Our Church needs you, each one of you, to continue to grow ever closer to Christ and become who you are destined to be, witnesses to the truth in love. So many of you have seen the good that has come from the many important ministries supported by the Catholic Ministries Appeal. These ministries reach God’s people of all ages and circumstance, and they depend on your sharing of the gifts He has given. Several questions arise each year with the Catholic Ministries Appeal, and below are frequently asked questions and answers that I hope you will find helpful. Why do we need the CMA-funded ministries?

The Catholic Church serves the needs of thousands of people across southern Minnesota. To date, we have more than 34,000 households. While some services are offered at the parish level, it is often more effective when many join together in ministry and service of the people of southern Minnesota. Each diocesan ministry exists to support and further the work of our local parishes. Are CMA funds used to pay legal fees or settlements from sexual abuse cases?

Funds contributed through the Catholic Ministries Appeal are donations made directly to the Catholic Foundation of Southern Minnesota. The Foundation is wholly independent of the Diocese of WinonaRochester and has been since its founding in 1991. In addition, donations are considered donorrestricted to the purpose described in the annual appeal materials. For this reason, they are assets of the Foundation and not of the Diocese and not affected by the bankruptcy settlement. February 2022 w The Courier w

Who administers the Catholic Ministries Appeal? The Catholic Ministries Appeal is one of the major efforts of the Catholic Foundation of Southern Minnesota in fulfilling its mission to financially support spiritual, educational and social needs of the Catholic community across southern Minnesota. The Foundation is an independent Minnesota nonprofit corporation that is tax exempt under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c) (3). An independent board of directors stewards all funds and ensures they are distributed appropriately.

Monica Herman

Executive Director Catholic Foundation of Southern Minnesota

How are parish goals determined?

The formula to calculate parish goals is based on two factors: church support and registered active parishioners. The formula takes into consideration the ability of the parish to raise money based on the number of registered active families and the actual amount of money the parish generates from church support. Gifts, bequests and special fundraising are not included in the calculation. However, 50% of gambling revenues are included as church support. Church support from the most recently completed fiscal year is calculated for each parish. If a parish financially subsidizes a Catholic school, then the amount of church support is reduced by 50% of the amount of subsidy paid to the school in the most recently completed fiscal year. The net amount of church support for a parish is then divided by the total church support for all parishes in the diocese. The result of this calculation is the church-support percentage. The second factor is the number of registered active parishioners in the parish. This number is taken from the parish census report. The number of registered families in a given parish is divided by the total registered families in the diocese. The result of this calculation is the registered-families percentage. The two percentages are then averaged, the average of the two factors is the percentage of the Appeal goal that the parish is targeted to achieve. What happens if our parish exceeds our goal?

Again this year, 100% of every dollar exceeding the goal will be returned to the parish. Many parishes have identified a parish project that they want the "over goal" funds to support. We are very grateful for your faithful and generous heart. As you prayerfully consider your financial gift to the 2022 Catholic Ministries Appeal, be assured that it will be used solely for ministries such as Catholic Schools; Vocations; Lay Formation; Life, Marriage and Family; and Evangelization. As always, please let me know what questions or concerns you have. I can be reached at mherman@, or call me at (507) 858-1276. The Catholic Foundation of Southern Minnesota (EIN:41-11691198) is an independent Minnesota nonprofit corporation that is tax exempt under the Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3). Contributions are used only for the benefit of designated purposes identified in the statement of purpose and for no other purposes. To learn more about the Catholic Foundation of Southern Minnesota, visit


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The Theology of the Body The body, and it alone, is capable of making visible what is invisible: the spiritual and the divine. It was created to transfer into the visible reality of the world the mystery hidden since time immemorial in God [God’s love for man], and thus to be a sign of it.

Youth Ministry & Faith Formation

When I first heard about Pope St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, I was a college freshman steeped in the world’s idea of what relationships look like. While I had healthy relationships, my image of dating and marriage was way out of whack. All I had ever heard from the Catholic Church on the subject prior was a list of “no’s” which did not make sense to me. The way I heard how Pope St. John Paul -St. Pope John Paul II, II talked about relationships through a Theology of The Theology of the Body the Body bible study was life changing for me. Even the very definition of love (first coined by St. Thomas e have known for years that relaAquinas) to “will the good of the other” was drastitionships are key in a young person’s cally different from what the world was telling me. I development. Motivational speaker Jim always thought love was merely a feeling, and when Rohn has been coined saying, “You are that feeling subsided, so did love. the average of the five people you spend My first exposure to the Theology of the Body the most time with.” Who are those five was back in 2005, which was over 15 years ago. I people for you? For our youth, those wish I could say that our view of love and relationfive people are generally their family ships in our world is much better now, but I know members. Recent efforts in youth minthat it isn’t. Many of our youth (and their parents) istry and faith formation have focused are growing up believing the same lies that I did as on family ministry to build up parents as the primary a young person, that relationships are for personal catechists. While this is needed and necessary, we gain and are not worth the effort when they get diffimay be missing an important step in the equation: cult. Now more than ever we are faced with a crisis in the health of the relationships in the family. the identity of the human person as made According to an organization called in the image and likeness of God, male and “Communio” that works with fami- The resources female. We lack the ability to understand lies in crisis to help foster growth in God’s beautiful design for love, marriage, faith, “Americans—especially younger are there, yet and family, and it’s not all our fault. Why is Americans—are falling away from faith the gap still the Theology of the Body still the church’s at alarming rates. The primary factor best kept secret? Why is it that oftentimes behind this mass exodus from religion remains wide it is taught merely as sex education in our appears to be the collapse in family Catholic schools and not as a love letter to structure.” Communio states on their between the humanity? Folks, we are missing the boat, website, “Faith is falling because the teaching of and youth are our unsuspecting victims. family is in freefall,” and fifty-four perIf you are reading this thinking, “Well, cent of youth born in the U.S. reach their the Theology of I don’t know anything about Pope St. John seventeenth birthday without a married Paul II’s Theology of the Body, so how mom and dad in the home (MARRI, The the Body and can I help?” I want to let you know of the Catholic University of America). These each of us. resources available to you. Thanks be to statistics are jarring, and without focusYouTube, many well-known speakers who ing on developing familial relationships have devoted their lives to preaching on and marriages, we are building castles on sand. the Theology of the Body are easy to find, such as Communio’s efforts focus on first meeting the Christopher West and Jason Evert. Both of these men needs of families who are struggling and then walkhave also written countless books on chastity, love, ing with parishes to develop ministry initiatives that relationships, and marriage. Ascension Press also build up families. This is a beautiful ministry that is has a beautiful program for teens called YOU and on the front lines of faith and family development. a middle school component. Ruah Woods has a What steps are we as a church missing with young K-12 Theology of the Body people to help them have healthy relationships that program that will eventually be the building blocks of a healthy can be used in marriage and family someday? Enter Theology of the Body.

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Dana Petricka

Director of Youth Ministry and Faith Formation

schools and faith formation programs. The Diocese of Winona-Rochester has a great resource library that has many of the books or programs I just listed which can be found at Also, later this year the Diocese of Winona-Rochester will be offering Theology of the Body training, which we will post more information about on our website and through The Courier in the future. The resources are there, yet the gap still remains wide between the teaching of the Theology of the Body and each of us. My prayer is to see this change, to bridge the gap, and to make the Theology of the Body well known as one of the church’s greatest treasures. Hopefully, as we continue to educate ourselves and others on the church’s beautiful teaching on human relationships, we can build a solid foundation for our youth to build their relationships on rock: the rock of Jesus Christ and His holy Catholic church.

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Young Adult Ministry


U.S. Bishops Invite Young People to Join Celebration for World Youth Day 2023 Aaron Lofy

Director of Young Adult Ministry

from WASHINGTON - Lisbon, Portugal will be the host of the next international World Youth Day (WYD), from August 1 to 6, 2023. Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, and Bishop Edward J. Burns of Dallas, the USCCB’s episcopal liaison to World Youth Day, released a statement expressing solidarity with Pope Francis and the universal Church as anticipation builds for the major international event. We are overjoyed to now have the dates we can look forward to when millions of people will come together and join the Holy Father for World Youth Day in Lisbon in August 2023. We hope that many from the U.S. will participate, and we invite all youth and young adults – in fact, every person age 16 to 35 in the United States – to join us. Whether you plan to travel to Lisbon, participate through digital media, or join your peers at one of many local celebrations taking place in dioceses across the country, we want you to be part of this moment in the life of the Church. It is providential that the WYD Mass with the Holy Father will take place on the feast of the Transfiguration, August 6, 2023. The experience of Peter, James, and John at the Transfiguration was a pivotal moment of transformation for them. We hope that WYD will have a similar impact on young people today, no matter where or how they make this pilgrimage to celebrate this special international festival of faith.

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Since 1985, the international World Youth Day has been held every two to three years in a different country and is intended to draw together youth and young adults, ages 16 to 35, from every continent for a worldwide pilgrimage and festival of faith along with the Holy Father. The Lisbon WYD gathering was originally scheduled to take place in the summer of 2022; however, due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Pope Francis extended the preparatory period to August 2023. The USCCB will be developing materials and supporting local communities in the coming months before WYD 2023. More details can be found online at: world-youth-day.

Retreat Weekends


Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary, Winona - March 12-14 & 19-21 Rev. Jason Kern

�his March we are excited to once again offer

Retreat Weekends at IHM Seminary. These weekends are targeted at High School and older men who would like to visit IHM Seminary and are open to discerning where God is calling them in their life. These weekends consist of discovering what seminary is like, how others have discerned, prayer with the seminary community, and fun with other men considering God's call. If you are interested in more information, contact Fr. Jason Kern at to register or find out more details.


Director of Vocations

Some of the most common questions that a man discerning a call to the priesthood has are, “What is seminary and what goes on there?” He can find the answer in different ways, but there is no way more effective than coming to experience it yourself. That is what Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary vocations weekend provides. During this weekend, a man, typically of high school age, can enter into seminary life and see just what it is we do in seminary formation. During the weekend of November 6-8, our 34 visitors got to join the seminarians as they went to daily Mass, prayed the Liturgy of the Hours, prayed a communal holy hour, and ate together for communal dinner. All of these things are great experiences for the men who visited during the weekend, but the most important experience was the fraternity they saw present at the seminary. Our guests could see the building up and strengthening of one another that goes on in the seminary, and that fraternity can’t be seen any other way than on a vocations weekend. On top of the experiences, the men also learned about our campus, our studies, and our formation program through a couple information sessions, where they also got to hear the vocation stories of a few seminarians who answered questions about seminary life. The weekend was a great experience for those who came, and so long as a man is open to the Lord’s guiding hand, it can be a helpful experience in his journey of discernment, wherever God calls him. The next vocations weekends at IHMS are March 12-14 and March 19-21. Please contact your diocesan vocations director if you’re interest in attending.

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Catholic Charities


Volunteers Provide

Free Tax Preparation Services

�he Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

Program (VITA) of Catholic Charities of Southern Minnesota provides free assistance completing and electronically submitting tax returns. Trained volunteers prepare federal and state tax returns for low- to moderate-income individuals at no cost, providing an alternative to commercial tax preparation services and saving families hundreds of dollars in fees. In Minnesota, free tax preparation services are provided in partnership with many community-based organizations. Catholic Charities of Southern Minnesota sponsors the program in Winona County, where VITA volunteers complete more than 1,000 tax returns annually, resulting in more than one million dollars in tax refunds to county residents. The Winona County VITA volunteers are members of Catholic Charities’ AmeriCorps Seniors RSVP, a national program that provides service opportunities to Americans 55 and older who want to make giving back their second act. The program provides opportunities for people to give their time and talent to strengthen communities. AmeriCorps Senior volunteers are a network of more than one million strong across America, with more than 1,000 serving throughout the Diocese of Winona-Rochester. For the past several years, volunteers Joliene Olson and Walt Carpenter have been taken the lead in the Winona VITA program. Another VIP volunteer lending his time and talent is Steve Nett. A few years prior to his retirement as the Chief Financial Officer for Watkins Company, Nett was searching for a volunteer opportunity that would allow him to stay productive and help others. He heard about VITA and decided to give it a try. Nett said, “First of all, I love the mental challenge of keeping up with the tax rules and regulations and the technology challenges involved with operating the VITA site. We have a great group of volunteers at our site that are so giving and fun to work with, most returning year after year as I have. But most of all, I enjoy working with our clients, who also return year after year. They are so appreciative and thankful for what we do. They

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all have stories they love to share about their lives and families, it’s just such fun to see them each year and to meet many new people who are often new to the community with interesting backgrounds. Just a great experience.” Joining VITA a few years ago are the husband/ wife team of David and Brenda Terpstra. They have been instrumental in moving the scheduling of volunteers and clients to a digital platform. This year they are also introducing a new phone system to help streamline communications to schedule an appointment. David, a retired design engineer, enjoys volunteering with VITA for the way it keeps his mathematical brain ticking while Brenda, a former church finance administrator, loves helping people with tasks they are unable to do for themselves. Both are also active volunteers with Semcac Transportation and Habitat for Humanity, organizations that also partner with AmeriCorps Seniors RSVP. This example of volunteers who lend their services to more than one organization is true of the majority of those involved in VITA. Along with the Winona and St. Charles VITA sites, this year will add four sessions at the Public Library in La Crescent and four sessions at Home and Community Options of Winona. HCO provides support and residential services to people with developmental disabilities. Most of their clients of employment age participate in either supported work programs or are employed by local community businesses, making tax filing necessary. Offering appointment at the HCO offices provides a familiar and accessible option for clients needing this service. Additionally, VITA is partnering with Project FINE, an organization serving refugees and immigrants in Winona County. With their assistance, appointments will be available with interpreters in Spanish and Hmong to better serve community members with those needs.

Sue Degallier

Active Aging Programs Director Catholic Charities of Southern Minnesota

Another new partnership for AmeriCorps Seniors RSVP is with the Rochester area VITA program. This program in under the guidance of Salvation Army Rochester and 125 Live. Volunteers provide tax services at over a dozen locations throughout Olmsted County. David Oeth, site organizer, was pleased to provide the extra support for their over 100 volunteers. Oeth is another great example of why volunteerism is a way of life for many older adults as he stated, “I volunteer because it allows me to use my talents and assist people who otherwise would struggle filing their taxes. The financial support they receive via accessing available tax credits makes a big difference to the people the VITA program helps.” To make an appointment with the Rochester area VITA site, call 1-800-543-7709. More information regarding the Winona county VITA program, including the income limits that apply, can be found on our website at www.ccsomn. org or by calling (507) 474-7202 after January 24th. The Winona county VITA program is offered by Catholic Charities of Southern Minnesota and made available, in part, through a grant provided by the State of Minnesota. Free tax preparation services are provided in partnership with many community-based organizations throughout Minnesota. To find a local site, its hours and dates open, visit the Minnesota Department of Revenue's website at https://www. or call 1-800-652-9094. If you are interested in AmeriCorps Seniors volunteer opportunities provided by Catholic Charities of Southern Minnesota, please visit our website at

MCC Inside the Capitol 17

January 21, 2022: Nonpublic Schools Doing More with Less; Bi-Partisan Opposition to Assisted Suicide

�innesota has a longstanding policy that certain

financial supports are allocated for all K-12 students irrespective of a family’s choice of school, including textbooks, nursing services, transportation, and counseling aid. Minnesota Catholic Conference (MCC), and an interfaith coalition of nonpublic school stakeholders (Nonpublic Education Partners), advocate to ensure those nonpublic pupil supports are adequately funded and easily accessible. Since the pandemic began, nonpublic schools have done heroic work to provide in-person learning as much as possible. As a result, many nonpublic schools are seeing significant enrollment increases. Yet because the state ties nonpublic pupil aid to public school usage, the funding for those student supports has decreased. In other words, on top of an already difficult job, Catholic schools are doing more with less. Restoring Nursing Services

For example, the per pupil allocation for nursing services has dropped by $20 per student. As a remedy, nonpublic school advocates are requesting a onetime fiscal appropriation to restore nursing services for the current school year and prevent a funding shortage that is slated to occur due to shifting enrollment during the pandemic. There is no excuse to shortchange nursing services with the persistence of COVID-19 and the availability of related federal COVID relief funds that can be used.

Prolife Group Estimates March for Life Attendance

WASHINGTON D.C., Jan. 26, 2022 (CNA) - Pro-life Americans recently traveled from across the country to attend the 2022 March for Life. Despite the pandemic and local COVID-19 rules, marchers gathered in numbers comparable to years past, leaving people to ask: How many marched for life? The nation’s largest annual pro-life event in Washington, D.C., is held on or around the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion nationwide. While the march condemns abortion every year, marchers exhibited a new momentum on Jan. 21, as the Supreme Court considers a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade. In other words, the 49th march could also be the last. While neither the March for Life nor the police provide specific numbers, organizers estimated that tens of thousands attended the 2022 March for Life, in a statement to CNA. Another pro-life group made a more exact esti-

Counseling Services A recent U.S. Surgeon General report makes clear that mental health issues among young people are growing exponentially. Yet under the current law, only nonpublic students in grades 7-12 receive these services. We are asking for an extension of services to students in grades K-6. Independence in Transportation Options

Transportation funding has also gone down, and nonpublic school families sometimes lose their public transportation altogether when public schools go to distance learning. In addition to advocating for a backfilling of transportation funds, MCC will be advocating for a policy change to allow school districts and non-public schools to find alternative transportation arrangements for nonpublic school students if the school and district mutually agree. Vigilance Needed Against Assisted Suicide Bills

While we will continue to advocate for our Catholic school students when the legislature gavels back into session on January 31st, we also know there will be a flurry of other issues impacting life, dignity, and the common good. One issue with growing bipartisan support is that Minnesotans deserve real health care throughout life’s journey. As a founding member of the Minnesota Alliance for Ethical Healthcare, MCC has played a leadership role in creating ongoing educational webinars designed to highlight the breadth

mate: roughly 150,000 marchers. Students for Life of America (SFLA) made the estimate by reviewing footage from their timelapse video capturing the entire 2022 March for Life. They shared the 45-second clip just hours after the march concluded. “We froze a frame of the timelapse, counted all the people individually, and multiplied that by total frames,” Lauren Enriquez, deputy media strategist for SFLA, told CNA. Ahead of the 2022 march, organizers guessed that 50,000 Americans would attend, in their permit application. After the event, news reports estimated anywhere between “thousands” and “tens of thousands” of Americans attended. SFLA stands by their 150,000 estimate. “The Pro-Life Generation showed up in force to remember the sisters, brothers, friends, classmates, children, and neighbors lost to abortion in our lifetime - millions of priceless, beloved individuals who should be here with us today,” Enriquez told CNA. “We also showed up to represent the nearly five decades of activism and hard work that have led to this truly historic moment of potentially reversing Roe.” She emphasized the resilience of the pro-life marchers. “What’s more is that those thousands and thousands of marchers, young and elderly, braved subfreezing temperatures to be out there,” Enriquez added, commenting on the harsh weather that day. “Their sacrifice is a testament to the unshakable fervor of this generation - and this moment. We are ready for a Post-Roe America!”

and diversity of voices who support real care and oppose assisted suicide. The latest installment featured Senators John Hoffman and Jim Abeler, who discussed their bi-partisan advocacy for people with disabilities. Specifically, they outlined the inherent discrimination and ableism of assisted suicide laws and how their opposition of assisted suicide transcends party affiliation. They encouraged advocates to continue to talk to legislators and share stories about why assisted suicide is the wrong policy for Minnesota and endangers the healthcare choices of everyone. You can watch this and past webinars by visiting

In the State & Nation

Inside the Capitol is released twice monthly by the MINNESOTA CATHOLIC CONFERENCE.

Catholic Schools Week 2022: Q&A DENVER NEWSROOM, Jan. 30, 2022 (CNA) - Catholic schools have dramatically impacted the life of the U.S., beginning with that started by St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. Catholic schools provide a nurturing environment for growth in wisdom, knowledge, and grace and aim at something higher than education alone: the formation of our youth into saints in the making. For decades the National Association of Catholic Education has promoted a week dedicated to celebrating the blessings of Catholic education and schools during the last week of January. Just what do you need to know about Catholic Schools Week and Catholic schools in general? When does Catholic Schools Week 2022 begin?

This year, Catholic schools week is Jan. 30-Feb. 5, 2022. Take time during this week to support your local Catholic school by praying for the administration, teachers, and students who attend it in a special way. What is the theme of Catholic Schools Week 2022?

This year’s theme is “Catholic Schools: Faith. Excellence. Service.” From teaching kindergarten students how to genuflect to leading middle schoolers through Theology of the Body curriculums, Catholic schools aim to engender faith in their students and help them to relationship with the God who loves them and formed them in the womb. They also have a reputation for excellence; Catholic schools are known for their discipline and ability to form virtue, academic achievements, and extracurricular greatness. They are also known for their widespread commitment to serving Christ in others. What type of activities go on during Catholic Schools Week?

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Many Thanks from the SPOF

18 � asked Catholics


Catholic Charities

a couple of I know who give to the Society for the Propagation of the Faith (SPOF) each year, one on a limited income and the other who has an income that is, dare I say, envied by some? The one who gives $50 dollars when she can, but most often gives $10, said she remembers clearly the night her dad told her why he gave to the SPOF. He felt that helping others, especially those who had no one to help them, was something he could do. His father died when he was two and he remembers his mother struggling to raise the family on a small farm in the midst of the depression, but the children never considered themselves deprived because their mother gave faithfully to the Propagation; they must be rich!

His mom pointed to the sisters who taught in the school and said she always thought, "This is what it is like to be a missionary." She wanted that for others too, and, although they certainly weren’t rich in respect to money, they were rich in the teachings of Christ through the sisters. Kind of a nice story, isn’t it? But you are asking, what about the rich man? He didn’t have such a story to tell. He gave because all he had to do was write a check without a worry where the food on his table would come from, but he did feel an obligation to provide for those who couldn’t, and that, he said, came from his parish priest, who was here from another country, who fled his own country to find freedom of religion. “That’s a true missionary,” he said often. Amen. I want to thank everyone in the Diocese of Winona-Rochester for his or her continued generosity to the Society of the Propagation of the Faith (SPOF). These monies are put together with gifts from all the dioceses of the world and make up the General Fund. Pope

Francis works in consultation with the national directors of the SPOF from around the world to divide and share with over 1,000 dioceses that need assistance. Each diocese will receive about $40,000 to use for the spread of the Gospel through their missionary work! In addition to the donations sent to the SPOF for the years of 20202021, $175,000 was sent to the various missionary groups who did appeals in our diocese the past two summers as part of the Missionary Cooperative Program! And because of your generosity this year, the amount collected for the Missionary Cooperative Program surpassed the most ever donated in one year. Again, thank you! We are pleased that less than two (2) percent of monies collected go to expenses of administra-

tion of the diocesan SPOF! Isn’t it great to know that you, as the donor, are seeing the best return for your gift? As a reminder, bequests/legacies for the Propagation of the Faith remain one of the main sources of income for the missionaries in the needy dioceses. Please continue to pray for the missions and to help the missions financially. I would especially ask you to remember The Society for the Propagation of the Faith in your wills and in estate planning. There is certainly peace of mind and heart knowing that we can leave a lasting legacy to support missionary activity throughout the world. Thank you for providing that blessing! On behalf of all the missionaries serving around the world – Thank you! Fr. Timothy Biren is the director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith in the Diocese of Winona-Rochester.

Thoughts from the President of the W-RDCCW By ELEANORE JONES

s sisters in W-RDCCW (Winona-Rochester Diocesan Council of Catholic Women), we act to support, empower, and educate all Catholic Women of the Diocese in Spirituality, Leadership and Service. Let us spend time to reach others during Lent and approach the great feast of Easter. Have you ever wondered about the number of blows Our Lord received during His Passion? St. Bridget asked Our Lord how many blows He received during His Passion. Jesus replied: “I received 5,480 blows in my Body.” Think of this for a moment. He


Sister Mary Dominic Klaseus, SSND, professed in 1949 died December 21, 2021, at Our Lady of Good Counsel, Mankato. She was born in 1928 and grew up in the shadow of Good Counsel Hill, attending Ss. Peter & Paul Grade School and Loyola High School. She entered the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1946. Her educational ministry in the Diocese of Winona-Rochester included teaching upper and middle grades at St. Felix, Wabasha; St. Mary, Worthington; and St. John the Baptist, Mankato, where she also served as administrator. When Fitzgerald Middle School, with seventh and eighth grade students from Mankato’s four area parishes, was begun in 1969, she was named administrator of this innovative school. During her time in the diocese, she served on the Diocesan Board of Education and the Diocesan Sisters Council. Following her service at Fitzgerald, she also was the administrator at the Lonsdale-New Market Veseli Area Catholic Schools and at St. Timothy, Maple

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loves us so very much. This is the example we are to follow. In Lent 2022, are we thinking of things to give up? When I was a child, I would put a candy bar, which I rarely had, alongside my bed and I would wait until Easter to eat it. This also helped to make me have good will power. At this time, we should also be thinking of something extra we can do. Are we able to spend more time in prayer and reflection, attending Mass more often than just on Sunday, spend time in adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament, and make a visit to church? It has become a ritual for my husband and I to stop at church for a visit when passing

Lake. While at St. Timothy’s she was recognized as the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA) Distinguished Principal for NCEA Region VIII in 1988. In 1994 she turned her energy toward Good Counsel’s retired and infirm sisters as administrator of health care on Good Counsel Hill. And when the decision was made to build a new heath care facility and to renovate some of the existing buildings in 2001, she donned a hard hat and became the communications person between SSND and the construction workers. From 2004 until just a few years ago, she coordinated volunteers at Good Counsel, was the moderator of the Good Counsel Auxiliary and was Good Counsel’s tour guide. Using her strong people skills and Mankato background, she also acted as an SSND ambassador to the Mankato area. She is survived by her sister, Jean (Jack) Burkard; nieces and a nephew; and her sisters in community, the School Sisters of Notre Dame and Associates. She was preceded in death by her parents, Clarence and Agnes (Roerig); and her brother, Dick. Sister Dominic’s funeral Mass will be held in spring to allow for out-of-state relatives to attend. Sister M. Luella Zollar, SSND, 96, professed in 1946 died January 10, 2022, at Our Lady of Good Counsel, Mankato. She was born in 1925 in Wilton, ND. When she

through town. We should stop and visit the Blessed Sacrament just as we stop and visit a friend. We have no better friend than Jesus! We are approaching the greatest Feast of the Church, Easter! Christ opened the gates of heaven by His death and resurrection. What greater gift can we receive than to be able to spend eternity honoring and glorifying God forever. I would like to extend a Very Blessed Easter to everyone! Eleanore Jones is the president of the Winona-Rochester Diocesan Council of Catholic Women.

was in seventh grade, her family moved to Eden, SD, where there was a Catholic grade and high school with School Sisters of Notre Dame as teachers. In 1943, impressed by the example of her teachers, she decided to enter the School Sisters of Notre Dame congregation in Mankato without even a preliminary visit. She professed first vows in 1946 and then taught middle grades and served as parish musician in Minnesota and North and South Dakota until 1960. At that time, Sister Luella and Sister Esther Boor began working at Christ the King Catechetical School in Medford, where they stayed until 1966. The two sisters then moved on to St. Theresa Catechetical School in Mapleton. Beginning in 1969 and continuing until 1996, Sister Luella continued her religious education ministry in Montana, first in Forsyth and then in Baker. In addition to teaching classes she also served as a pastoral minister in the parishes. A versatile musician, she often entertained with accordion music, both while working in parishes and in her retirement years. Her funeral was held January 25, with Father Joe Fogal as presider. She is survived by two sisters and one brother, and her sisters in community, the School Sisters of Notre Dame.

The Televised Mass Is Offered Every Sunday Sioux Falls - KTTW Channel 7 at 7 a.m. Sioux City - KPTH Channel 44 at 8:30 a.m. Mankato - KEYC Channel 12 at 7:30 a.m. Digital Channel 12.2 or Charter Channel 19 NEYC at 9:30 a.m. Digital Channel 7 (DirecTV) or Channel 11 (DISH) KMNF at 9 a.m. Rochester/Austin/Mason City KIMT Channel 3 at 7:30 a.m. MyTV 3.2 at 9 a.m. Twin Cities - WFTC Digital Channel 29 or Channel 9.2 at 11:30 a.m. Southeastern MN - HBC Channel 20 at 3 p.m. (repeated Wed. at 3:30 p.m.) Winona/La Crosse/Eau Claire - WLAX/WEUX Channel 25/48 at 7:30 a.m. and on our website, (click "Weekly Mass")

Annual Fundraiser for

Catholic Schools Week, Activities mark each day of Catholic schools week: Masses, service opportunities, and fun activities for students. Often in secondary schools, spirit week competitions sweep through the hallways and assemblies. How has Covid-19 affected Catholic schools?

Covid-19 has caused a significant enrollment increase in many Catholic schools. Though the mitigation measures taken by each diocese or school may vary, Catholic schools have fought to stay open during the pandemic and to recognize the human impact of any measures in light of the human flourishing God wants for all. How many Catholic schools are there in the U.S.?

According to the USCCB statistics from 2017, there are over 5,224 Catholic elementary schools in the country educating roughly 1.3

cont'd from pg. 17

million students. Catholic high schools number 1,205 and educate over half a million students. This makes the Catholic schools the largest network of private schools in the country.

What is the make-up of the student body in Catholic schools? Catholic schools are representative of the races and ethnicities that exist within the country. 73.3% of students enrolled in Catholic schools were white, equal to the share of the total population of whites in the country as specified by the 2020 Census Bureau data. 16.8% of students enrolled in Catholic schools were Hispanic/Latino, compared to the 17.6% share found in the total population. African American students represent 7.8% of the share of the student body in Catholic schools and 12.7% of the national population, multiracial students 6% of Catholic school students compared to 3.1% of the total population, and Asians 5.4% of the school and 5.5% of the total population.

St James Coffee

Friday, February 25, 2022, Rochester International Event Center. Join us for an evening of fun in support of St James Coffee! Wine, beer, spirits, soda pop & specialty mocha tasting, music, silent and live auctions, dinner and more! Visit to purchase tickets.

Friday Fish Frys

at Christ the King Church, Byron

March 4 through April 8. 202 Fourth St. NW, Byron, MN. Drive Up or Dine-in. (*Limited seating for dine-in is available with reservation only by calling before noon on Fridays 507-775-6455). Served 4:45 p.m. - 7 p.m. Cost: $16 (Choose either baked or fried fish meal which includes: coleslaw, green beans, potatoes, bread, butter, tartar sauce and dessert).

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February 2022

The Courier

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