The Courier - February 2023

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Ash Wednesday February 22

February 2023


At FunerAl, PoPe remembers benedict's 'Wisdom, Tenderness, devoTion'

VATICAN CITY, Jan. 5, 2023 (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI "spread and testified to" the Gospel his entire life, Pope Francis told tens of thousands of people gathered Jan. 5 for his predecessor's funeral Mass.

"Like the women at the tomb, we too have come with the fragrance of gratitude and the balm of hope, in order to show him once more the love that is undying. We want to do this with the same wisdom, tenderness and devotion that he bestowed upon us over the years," Pope Francis said in his homily.

The Mass in St. Peter's Square was the first time in more than 200 years that a pope celebrated the funeral of his predecessor. Pope Pius VII had celebrated the funeral of Pius VI in 1802 when his remains were returned to Rome after he died in exile in France in 1799.

Pope Benedict, who had retired in 2013, had requested his funeral be simple; the only heads of state invited to lead delegations were those of Italy and his native Germany.

However, many dignitaries -- including Queen Sofia of Spain and King Philippe of Belgium -- and presidents and government ministers representing more than a dozen nations were in attendance, as were most of the ambassadors to the Holy See.

Members of the College of Cardinals sat on one side of the casket, while, on the other side, sat special guests, including the late pope's closest collaborators and representatives of the Orthodox, Oriental

Orthodox, Anglican, Protestant and U.S. evangelical communities. Jewish and Muslim organizations also sent delegations.

Pope Francis presided over the Mass and Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, dean of the College of Cardinals, was the main celebrant at the altar. Some 120 cardinals, another 400 bishops and 3,700 priests concelebrated. More than 1,000 journalists, photographers and camera operators from around the world were accredited to cover the funeral in St. Peter's Square.

An estimated 50,000 people filled the square for

Funeral, cont'd on pg. 16

Diocese to Hold a Eucharistic Congress

�hen was the last time you were at Mass with 500 people? Christmas or Easter…maybe? How about 5,000 people? This is what the diocese is planning on June 10, 2023, at the Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center in Mankato—and you are invited!

There have been a few times in my life that I have taken part in large celebrations of the Eucharist: National Catholic Youth Conference, Steubenville Conference, FOCUS Conference, World Youth Day. Never have I taken part in celebration this size, however, within our own diocese. The largest event our diocese has ever held was at the Jubilee celebration in 2000 with, you guessed it, 2,000 people in attendance. As you may note from the list above, all of the large events I have participated in are youth or young adult events. This event - our diocesan Eucharistic Congress - is meant for all. There is something about these large gatherings that give us a glimpse of how big our Church really is. I hope you will choose to take part.

The Diocese of Winona-Rochester Eucharistic Congress will begin with a night of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at Ss. Peter & Paul Parish in Mankato on Friday, June 9 (no registration needed). This night will be led by a National Eucharistic Preacher, Fr. Luke Ferris, while music will be provided by Luke Spehar. Then, on Saturday, we have

Congress, cont'd on pg. 16

Official Newspaper of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Winona-Rochester, MN |
Ministry as Servant Leaders page 6 pages 8-9 page 11 INSIDE this issue
Catholic Ministries Appeal Koinonia CNS Photo / Vatican Media

Farewell to Pope Benedict

�ne of the most consequential churchmen of the last hundred years has died. Pope Benedict XVI (formerly Joseph Ratzinger) leaves a remarkable legacy in both the Church he served and in the wider society. Often pilloried by his opponents as a fire-breathing conservative, he was in fact one of the most balanced, nuanced, and stabilizing figures within the Catholic ambit.

The defining event of his life was the Second Vatican Council, the gathering of bishops and theologians, from 1962 to 1965, that placed the Catholic Church in a renewed conversation with the contemporary world. Though only thirty-five when he was tapped to be theological advisor to one of the leading German cardinals, Ratzinger proved to be a consequential player at Vatican II, contributing to the composition of many of its major documents and explaining its teaching to the wider culture. At the council itself, he proved adversarial to those conservative forces who were resisting the renewal which the majority of bishops favored. One of the ironies of his life is that, in the wake of Vatican II, he found himself standing athwart progressives who wanted to push beyond the council documents and compromise the integrity of Catholicism. Thus, the “liberal” of the Council became the “conservative” of the postconciliar years, even as, in his own judgment, his views never changed. Someone of like mind was the Cardinal Archbishop of Krakow, Karol Wojtyla, who, upon being elected Pope John Paul II, chose Ratzinger to be his chief doctrinal officer. As head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Ratzinger spent twentyfive years articulating the teaching of Vatican II and defending it against its critics on both the left and the right. His election as Pope Benedict XVI in 2005, following the death of John Paul II, was largely a function of his being perceived as a balanced man of the Council.

It is obvious that Ratzinger, as priest, bishop, theologian, and Pope, was a man of faith. But it is perhaps equally important to point out that he was one of the great defenders of reason on world stage. At a time when many of the representatives of the secular culture were questioning our capacity to know anything as true, Ratzinger resisted what he termed “the

dictatorship of relativism.” He claimed, in line with the great Catholic tradition, that certain truths—moral, intellectual, and aesthetic—can be known and that this knowledge in fact serves to unite people across religious and cultural divides. This was precisely the point of his controversial Regensburg Address in 2006. The Christian belief that Jesus is Logos, or word, effectively builds a bridge between Christianity and any religion, philosophy, or science that deals in truth and makes “logical” assertions. In line with this instinct, Ratzinger happily engaged some of the leading atheist and skeptical philosophers of his day.

I alluded above to his reputation in some circles as Panzerkardinal (the tank-Cardinal), an uncompromising, even cruel, reactionary. Those who knew Joseph Ratzinger personally could only shake their heads at such a characterization. For he was, in fact, a gentle, very kind, soft-spoken academic, whose particular gift was the finding of common ground. The thousands of bishops who came to Rome for their ad limina visits during Ratzinger’s years as prefect were typically impressed by the man’s extraordinary capacity to listen to all perspectives and then to find an illuminating synthesis. His friends say that after a long day of work during the John Paul II years, Ratzinger most liked to visit one of the bookstores near the Vatican, find the latest book of theology, and make his way to a quiet corner of a nearby restaurant and dine alone (his favorite dish was cacio e pepe) while absorbing the text. I cannot help but think that the last ten years, spent in quiet retreat in the Vatican gardens, represented the way he really wanted to live all of his life.

When I was a visiting scholar in Rome in the spring of 2007, I made it a point to attend Pope Benedict’s Wednesday general audiences in St. Peter’s Square. Before a sizeable crowd, the Pope would lecture on some aspect of the faith or on one of the great theologians of the Catholic tradition. His extraordinary learning, erudition, and command of languages were on clear display. But what always impressed me the most about him was his evident love for Christ. Pope Benedict said that Christianity is not an ideology or a philosophy, but rather a relationship to a person, to the living Jesus Christ. In his bearing, his gaze, the tone of his voice, and his manner, I could sense that he believed this, and - more to the point - that he lived it.

Thank you, Pope Benedict, for the thousand ways that you have blessed the Church. And may God grant you peace.

Articles of Interest

Reflections on Pope Benedict_______________4

The Order of Penance____________________5

United for Life____________________________5

Ministry as Servant Leaders_______________6

Peg Carroll Receives Coughlan Award_______6

Falling in Love with a Whom, Not Just a What_7

Catholic Ministries Appeal_______________8-9

Catholic Schools Updates________________10

Koinonia _______________________________11

More than Shelter________________________12

SEEK23: You Are Called _________________13

Global & National Headlines______________14

Diocesan Headlines______________________15

The Holy Father's Intention for February 2023

For Parishes

We pray that parishes, placing communion at the center, may increasingly become communities of faith, fraternity and welcome toward those most in need.


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

Judicial Vicar

Rev. Michael Cronin: appointed Judicial Vicar of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, effective January 1, 2023.


Ms. Jenna Cooper: appointed Chancellor of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, effective January 1, 2023.

Finance Officer

Mr. Andrew Brannon: reappointed Chief Finance Officer for the Diocese of WinonaRochester for a five-year term, effective January 24, 2023.

Tribunal Judge

Very Rev. Glenn Frerichs: appointed First Instance Judge for the Diocese of WinonaRochester for a five-year term, effective January 5, 2023.

Child Abuse Policy Information


Very Rev. Marreddy Pothireddy: reappointed Dean of the Austin / Albert Lea Deanery, effective February 8, 2023.

Parochial Vicar

Rev. Dharmendra Pasala: appointed Parochial Vicar of St. Joseph Parish in Owatonna, and Christ the King Parish in Medford, with residence at St. Joseph Parish, effective November 25, 2022.


Very Rev. Glenn Frerichs: assigned to be in residence at St. Mary Parish in Chatfield, effective December 1, 2022.

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

Reverend Robert

Barron, Publisher

Reller, Associate Editor Telephone: 507-858-1257 Fax:507-454-8106 E-mail:

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

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

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� t the beginning of February, the Church in the United States celebrates Catholic Schools Week. I would like to take this opportunity to sing the praises of Catholic schools and to invite everyone— Catholic and non-Catholic alike—to support them. I attended Church-affiliated educational institutions from first grade through graduate school, from Holy Name Elementary School in Birmingham, Michigan to the Institut Catholique in Paris. That years-long immersion massively shaped my character, my sense of values, my

Why Catholic Schools Matter

entire way of looking at the world. I am convinced that, especially now, when a secularist, materialist philosophy largely holds sway in our culture, the Catholic ethos needs to be inculcated.

Certainly, distinctive marks of the Catholic schools I attended were the opportunity for Mass and other sacraments, religion classes, the presence of priests and nuns (a bit more common in the early years of my formation), and the prevalence of Catholic symbols and images of saints. But what was perhaps most important was the manner in which those schools showed the integration of faith and reason.

To be sure, there is no “Catholic” mathematics, but there is indeed a Catholic way to teach math. In his famous parable of the cave, Plato showed that the first step away from a purely materialist vision of the world is mathematics. When someone grasps the truth of even the simplest equation, or the nature of a number, or a complex arithmetical formula, he has, in a very real sense, left the realm of passing things and has entered a universe of spiritual reality. The theologian David Tracy has remarked that


the commonest experience of the invisible today is through the understanding of the pure abstractions of mathematics and geometry. Properly taught, mathematics, therefore, opens the door to the higher spiritual experiences offered by religion, to the invisible realm of God. Similarly, there is no peculiarly “Catholic” physics or biology, but there is indeed a Catholic approach to those sciences. No scientists could ever get her work off the ground unless she believed in the radical intelligibility of the world, that is to say, the fact that every aspect of physical reality is marked by an understandable pattern. This is true of any astronomer, chemist, astrophysicist, psychologist, or geologist. But this leads rather naturally to the question: where did these intelligible patterns come from? Why should the world be so marked by order, harmony, and rational patterning? There is a marvelous article composed by the twentiethcentury physicist Eugene Wigner and entitled “The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Physical Sciences.” Wigner’s argument was that it cannot be mere chance that the most complex mathematics

successfully describes the physical world. The answer of the great Catholic tradition is that this intelligibility comes, in fact, from a great creative intelligence that stands behind the world. People that practice the sciences, therefore, should have no problem believing that “in the beginning was the Word.” There is no “Catholic” history either, though there is most certainly a Catholic way of looking at history. Typically, historians do not simply recount the events of the past. Rather, they look for certain overarching themes and trajectories within history. Most of us probably don’t even realize this because we came of age within a liberal democratic culture, but we rather naturally see the Enlightenment as the turning-point of history, the time of the great revolutions in science and politics that defined the modern world. No one could doubt that the Enlightenment was a pivotal moment, but Catholics certainly don’t see it as the climax of history. Instead, we hold that the pivot point was on a squalid hill outside of Jerusalem around the year 30 AD, when a young rabbi was being tortured to death by the Romans. We interpret everything— politics, the arts, culture,

etc.—from the standpoint of the sacrifice of the Son of God.

In his controversial Regensburg address from 2006, the late Pope Benedict argued that Christianity can enter into a vibrant conversation with the culture, precisely because of the doctrine of the Incarnation. We Christians do not claim that Jesus was one interesting teacher among many, but rather the Logos, the mind or reason of God, made flesh. Accordingly, whatever is marked by logos or rationality is a natural cousin to Christianity. The sciences, philosophy, literature, history, psychology—all of it—finds in the Christian faith, therefore, a natural dialogue (there is that word again!) partner. It is this basic idea, so dear to Papa Ratzinger, that informs Catholic schools at their best. And this is why the flourishing of those schools is important, not simply for the Church, but for our whole society.

From the Bishop

-Most Rev. Robert E. Barron, Bishop of Winona-Rochester Bishop's Calendar

*indicates all are welcome to attend

February 1, Wednesday 9:30 a.m. - All System Mass for Loyola Catholic SchoolsSaints Peter & Paul Parish in Mankato

February 2, Thursday

*10:30 a.m. - Mass for Consecrated Life - Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona, MN

February 3, Friday

10 a.m. - All System Mass for Cotter Catholic Schools

- Basilica of St. Stanislaus Kostka in Winona, MN

February 4-13, SaturdayMonday Speaking engagements in London

February 16, Thursday

5:30 p.m. - Adoration

6 p.m. - Ministerial Standards Review Board Meeting

February 18, Saturday

4:30 p.m. - Mass and Dinner

- St. Marys Hospital Chapel and Convent, Rochester

February 19, Sunday

*9 a.m. - Mass and Installation of Lector on Seminarians Riley Becher and Cullen Gallagher - Pax Christi Church, Rochester

4 p.m. - Synod 2.0 Event: Mission - Christ the King Church, Byron

February 21, Tuesday

Visit St. Paul Seminary and DOW-R Seminarians

February 22, Ash

Wednesday 3:30 p.m. - MCC Zoom Meeting with MN Bishops

February 23, Thursday

1 p.m. - Holy Hour - Bishop’s Chapel

2 p.m. - Bishop’s Cabinet Meeting - Bishop’s Residence

February 26, Sunday

3 p.m. - Rite of ElectionQueen of Angels Church, Austin

February 28, Tuesday

10 a.m. - Region VIII Youth Ministry Directors Fall Retreat - St. Pius X Church, Rochester

March 2, Thursday

7:30 p.m. - Lecture at the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN

Non Nisi Te Domine
February 2023 w The Courier w
Bishop Robert Barron

Reflections on Pope Benedict and on the Church

Charity, furthermore, cannot be used as a means of engaging in what is nowadays considered proselytism. Love is free; it is not practiced as a way of achieving other ends… those who practice charity in the Church’s name will never seek to impose the Church’s faith upon others. They realize that a pure and generous love is the best witness to the God in whom we believe and by whom we are driven to love. A Christian knows when it is time to speak of God and when it is better to say nothing and to let love alone speak. He knows that God is love…

-Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est ("God Is Love"), #31

reetings of Peace!

The recent passing of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI brought to my mind a column I wrote in this space almost 10 years ago (as it appeared in the April 2013 issue of “The Courier”). It was titled, “Fatherhood: It Is All About Love,” and was written just after he had resigned from the papacy. It was also written at a time when I knew that my father was dying, and I was reflecting on the experience of growing up with my father, of being a father, and of knowing Pope Benedict as a “spiritual father.”

As a way to reflect personally on Pope Benedict and his significance in my spiritual journey, and in my understanding of faith and discipleship within the Church, I would like to reprint a section of this previous column (which follows).

Pope Benedict, Spiritual Father

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about “fathers” – both in terms of my own family life, and in terms of Pope Benedict’s recent decision to step down from the papacy….

How does Pope Benedict come in to all of this? The word, “pope,” comes from the Latin word, “papa,” which means “father.” Pope Benedict has been our “Holy Father” for these past almost eight years. And, for me, he has been truly a spiritual father and someone whom I could trust to give me guidance and to help lead me in the way of holiness.

There have been countless times that I have read something he’s written or something he’s said that has touched me profoundly. But, at the very heart of his message have been two great insights that I will always treasure most.

First is the simple and central truth of our faith that “God is love,” which he used as the title of his first encyclical (Deus Caritas Est). This man who came to the papacy with the reputation in the media of being so rigid and harsh – ‘God’s rottweiler,’ as some labeled him – gave us a most beautiful teaching on God’s tender and constant love for his people.

He wrote this: “In a world where the name of God is sometimes associated with vengeance or even a duty of hatred and violence … I wish in my first Encyclical to speak of the love which God lavishes upon us and which we in turn must share with others.” This is who Jesus called, “Abba,” and who he taught us to call, “Our Father.”

Second, he has reminded us so clearly that our Christian Faith is ultimately about entering into a loving relationship with God the Father by coming to know and walking with his Son, Jesus. As he writes: “Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which

gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.”

This “event,” this “person,” is Jesus Christ, and our faith must ever be grounded in a true love of him – not in a “lofty idea” or even an “ethical choice,” but in the “encounter” with our Living Lord….

Pope Francis, Vicar of Christ

My deep affection for Pope Benedict remains. He has helped to form me as a Christian and as a Catholic –and as a church worker – in some very profound ways. I am truly grateful for his theological wisdom and his pastoral guidance!

And, perhaps because of this, I was profoundly saddened that the occasion of his death, and his funeral, have been used by some to harshly criticize our present Holy Father, Pope Francis. There are several examples of this, but I will highlight only one. It is from an article that criticizes the Pope for the homily he gave at Pope Benedict’s funeral, and the author states: “It could be that Benedict's last act was to reveal the small, bitter, spiteful character of his successor, by the way Francis sent him to the ages. How much this pope must have hated Benedict.” []

To the writer’s credit, he does provide the text of Pope Francis’ homily, which is a reflection on the scripture readings for the funeral Mass and not a eulogy (as the Church’s “General Instruction of the Roman Missal” clearly directs; see #382). At its conclusion, Pope Francis said:

Like the women at the tomb, we too have come with the fragrance of gratitude and the balm of hope, in order to show him [i.e., Pope Benedict] once more the love that is undying. We want to do this with the same wisdom, tenderness and devotion that he bestowed upon us over the years. Together, we want to say: “Father, into your hands we commend his spirit.”

Benedict, faithful friend of the Bridegroom, may your joy be complete as you hear his voice, now and forever!

Does this sound like someone who “must have hated Benedict”? Such is the state of much of our Church’s life these days – division, suspicion, anger, contempt, etc. And, these are directed very often at our Holy Father, and to his leadership of the Church.

I would like to offer, and even plead for, a different path forward for each of us and for our Church, drawing on a recent article written by ENRIQUE SOROS, “a pastoral and communications specialist in the United States, where he is vice-president of the National Catholic Council for Hispanic Ministry (NCCHM).” [The following is reprinted with his permission, and the permission of the web site where it appears, “Where Peter Is.” (]

Can two contemporary popes think differently?

Of course, they can. The question is outlandish, ridiculous. But it echoes a current problem. There are radical groups that believe that nothing should change (not from the time of Christ, but from the time they long for, as if it were absolute), while there are other radical groups that believe that everything can change, that there is nothing fixed or stable.

Both have lost the centrality of the Christian spirit. Both groups are obsessively closed in on their concepts, provoking a greater reaction from the opposing group, thus contributing to the opposite spirit than the one they are aiming for….

A foundation of the Church is that the Holy Father is the Vicar of Christ, to whom obedience and

respect are due, and this, in love and humility. And that each pope is anointed by the Holy Spirit to lead the Church in communion and holiness. Therefore, each pope responds from his own conscience before the Holy Spirit for his decisions, and not by the conscience of others. This is the form of leadership that God chose for his Church. Only in humility will we be able to understand it….

We are a scandal to the world. …The aggressiveness against Francis has turned into an ideological struggle, rejecting the most basic Christian principles, such as love, respect for his person and respect for the truth, childlikeness, fraternity. It seems that we have emptied ourselves of Christ and his values in order to put Christ at the center. Sad irony.

We are a scandal before the world because of the divisions we provoke. We seem to believe that the Gospel was written for others…. ‘Relationship’ is the key to Jesus, not wisdom or perfection of works, but perfection in love.

It is not a matter of thinking like the pope, but of being in communion with him. With regard to the pope, it is not a matter of thinking like him. It does not mean agreeing with all the decisions he makes. It means being in communion with him. And it means distancing ourselves from those who seek to cut off our communion with Peter and with the Church….

The key is the "relationship," not wisdom or works. The key to the Christian is the ‘relationship,’ first of all with Jesus. From there all the others arise: with the Church, with the Holy Father, with the family, with work — with our whole world. If relationships are disrupted, if we do not learn to love radically, we will not be able to convert our hearts, and the Church and Jesus will then be only an ideology.

… Our challenge will always be to separate the wheat from the chaff. And it is very easy to detect them. Where there is obsession with form, lack of love, ideological struggle, accentuation of a point without honestly putting it in context, God is not there. Where there is love, truth, respect, honest dialogue, openness, fraternity, childlikeness, commitment to the needy, openness to the Holy Spirit and communion in Peter, there is God.

To conclude… I believe that what Mr. Soros is calling us to is truly in the spirit of Pope Benedict and of his beautiful reflection, Deus Caritas Est. Let us carry our departed and beloved Holy Father’s message in our hearts and actions and truly, with God’s grace, build up a Church which is “the image and instrument of the love which flows from Christ.”

The consciousness that, in Christ, God has given himself for us, even unto death, must inspire us to live no longer for ourselves but for him, and, with him, for others. Whoever loves Christ loves the Church, and desires the Church to be increasingly the image and instrument of the love which flows from Christ.

4 Lay Formation & RCIA
-Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est, #33
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�any of us remember the changes in the English translation of the Mass that were introduced in 2010. For weeks we used cards and pamphlets, and tried to change habits that had been formed over many years.

The new translation of the Mass that came into use throughout the English speaking world was a fresh, more faithful translation to the original Latin text of the Mass that was promulgated by Pope St. Paul VI in 1969. The fruits of this translation were immediately evident: more accurate grammar, more vivid imagery, and a greater presentation of deep theological concepts, to name just a few.

The retranslation of the current liturgical books of the Roman Rite of the Church did not cease with the Mass. Work was also done on the other rites, and slowly these have been making their way into parish life. Recently, the Order of Baptism of Infants was retranslated, and soon we will have a new version of the Order of Christian Initiation of Adults.

But the next retranslated rite will be coming soon. The Order of Penance, which contains the order for the Sacrament of Confession (Penance, Reconciliation) has been completed and the new books are available now. Like the other rites, there will be some changes in the prayers we hear.

Most notably, you may notice a slight difference

in the Prayer of Absolution that the priest recites to forgive your sins. For the most part, the prayer is the same. There are just two words that will be changing.

First the word “sent” will be changed to “poured out.” This is a translation of the Latin word effudit This same word is used in the consecration of the

chalice describing the Lord’s blood: “… which will be poured out for you and for many, for the forgiveness of sins.” This usage in the prayer of absolution will now mirror the translation of the same word used in the Eucharistic Prayer of the Mass.

The second will be the change of the word “give” to “grant”. This is a translation of the word tribuat. Using the word “grant” more accurately translates tribuat in this context, since what is given is done so purely out of the generosity of God.

Life, Marriage & Family

Divine Worship &

Priests may begin using the newly translated Prayer of Absolution as early as Ash Wednesday of this year, but will be required to put it into use as of Divine Mercy Sunday.

These are two minor changes that you may or may not notice, but small ways the prayers will help us to better understand what is actually taking place in the sacrament. The full newly translated prayer will be as follows:

God, the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son has reconciled the world to himself and poured out the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church may God grant you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, + and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Indeed may God grant us pardon and peace as we give thanks for the gift of His great mercy!

The Order of Penance Updated Translation Now Available United for Life

�nited for Life is a pro-life advocacy day at the Minnesota State Capitol on Tuesday, February 28, 2023, bringing together pro-life Minnesotans, organizations, and church bodies from across the state to stand up for life. We hope you can join us!

Together, we will care for women, children, and families by inspiring legislators to fight for the fundamental rights of all human beings, from conception to natural death. By walking with mothers and children in need, and encouraging our legislators to do the same, we can make Minnesota the best place to welcome a child into this world.

The day will consist of a rally in the Capitol Rotunda, educational opportunities, and meetings with your state representatives. You will get to hear from a variety of inspiring speakers, and get a

chance to connect with many of the leading pro-life organizations from around the state. It is now more important than ever to UNITE and make the pro-life message heard in Minnesota.

Join us for United for Life. United, we stand up for justice--for the unborn, for mothers, for children, and for families. See you on February 28! Register at

February 2023 w The Courier w

Ministry as Servant Leaders

�here is an old adage in American culture which says, "Don't sweat the small stuff!" I recall my dad advising me, "Concern yourself with the greater things, and avoid unnecessary worry of small matters."

His advice rings true to me in my diaconal ministry, and I think is applicable to all of us in ministry, clergy and lay alike. Without using the words, Dad advised servant leadership. Dad taught me the importance of having a vision and maintaining core values. He taught me the dangers of the sort of fear that distorts the spirit and controls the human heart. Unfortunately, we live in a world preoccupied with fear and control of each other, and we are vulnerable to its influence.

One important way I use to keep myself focused on the greater things is by encouraging others to develop a vision and a mission in life which will allow them to effectively serve in the Church. What people want from me, as a deacon, is a servant leader who conveys trust in the grace of God working in their lives.

To be a servant leader requires of us three important things:

1. The first is listening to those for whom I am responsible. Listening builds trust and calms anxiety, especially in those who are weighed down with the worries of the world. Deep listening is required, which is difficult but an essential. All too often we are quick to speak and defend, and slow to listen.

2. The second is prudence in action. Prudent action is an expression of courage and brings about needed change at the proper time. Such prudence is known only after having listened attentively and with prayer.

3. The third is advocating for the needs of the community. Advocating for others comes from the underlying vision and mission that define ministry. Advocacy of this sort will require clarity of thought and speech. It requires fidelity to the people and to the Gospel. It removes confusion.

Yes, listening dissolves fear; action overcomes timidity; advocacy dispels confusion. Thus, whether we are deacons, priests, or lay persons, we must be men and women of faith, courage, and clarity. Where are we with these at the present time? How firm is our faith in God, the Church, and its teachings? How convinced are we that God is present among his people? Are we courageous in the midst of so much fear? Do we communicate clearly the faith, and advocate strongly for those in need?

I encourage all of you to be servant leaders in your parishes, places of employment, and communities in which you live. Know yourselves and your vocation. Trust completely the graces given to you in baptism and confirmation. We who are deacons and priests need especially to rely on the grace of Holy Orders. God is always faithfully present. No need to fear. Avoid worry and anxiety about small matters. Seek God’s honor and glory in all things. Do not succumb to mediocrity but rather, in complete trust, be open to the greatness to which God is calling you as servant leaders!

Deacon Robert Yerhot serves the parishes of St. Mary in Caledonia and St. Patrick in Brownsville.

Peg Carroll Receives Coughlan Award


�he Winona Serra Club honored one of its members, Peg Carroll, who received the Thomas P. Coughlan Award for outstanding service and dedication to Serra on Sunday, December 11, 2022 at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona.

Peg has been a Serra Club member for 27 years, serving as the president five times, and also as copresident. Presently, Peg is serving as the secretary. Over the years, Peg graciously hosted Serra parties and meetings in her home. She is known as the "hospitality queen" by her Serra friends.

Peg was presented this award (named after Thomas P. Coughlan, an Irish immigrant and an

accomplished and dedicated Serran who lived in Mankato) by Cathy Ahern, the District Governor of Serra Club. Peg was in the company of her family when she received the award. A luncheon and a cake were given to honor Peg. Bishop Robert Barron congratulated Peg at the luncheon. He spoke about the need to pray for vocations, particularly young men choosing to enter the priesthood.

Serra Club members are lay men and women who vigorously respond to the call to promote and support vocations to the ministerial priesthood and Consecrated life in the Catholic Church. In 1935 four Catholic lay men formed a Serra Club in Seattle, Washington. These founding Serrans chose Saint Junipero Serra as the organization's patron. The Serra Club is the only Catholic lay organization which is aggregated to the Vatican's Sacred Council for Catholic Education and the Pontifical Work for Priestly Vocations. For more information about becoming a Serra member please see the website:

February 2023 w The Courier w Diaconate & Vocations
Criss Polachek is the vice president of communications for the Winona Serra Club.

Falling in Love with a Whom, Not Just a What

The following article appeared on the official blog of the USCCB's National Eucharistic Revival ( on December 9, 2022. It is reprinted here with permission.

� have always considered myself a bookworm, or to be more precise, a knowledge-worm. Growing up with a physical handicap—cerebral palsy—meant that the gifts and talents God gave me were much better suited to the library than athletics. Thank God for that, because I am not very fast! Life was always better for me when I had a book to read, and I soaked up my religious education classes with the

same enthusiasm and vigor I did for all my other school subjects. I was proud to be the one with the answers, the one that people turned to when they had questions about the Catholic Church. But, after I graduated college, something did not feel quite right with my prayer life. I asked God about it, and he answered with a revelation that shook me to my core. Knowledge was great, but he was calling me deeper. To put it another way, I knew a lot about Jesus, but I really did not really know Jesus on a personal level. That was a major problem. After all, St. Peter was not going to be standing there on my judgment day with a multiple-choice quiz about Catholic doctrine! Something had to be done—or, rather, I had to really meet Someone…

This is my body, this is my blood

As it happened, I had been going through a dry spell in my faith, seeing Catholicism as just a set of things to believe, without any bearing on the real struggles and questions that are so prevalent today, especially, “Where does my dignity come from, and can it ever be taken away?” Turning to the Gospels for comfort, I read with a new intention. I wanted to get to know Christ as a human person, not just as a God whose commands had to be rightly followed. Surprisingly, something clicked. When Christ spoke the words of institution at the Last Supper, he kept referring to the word this. This is my body; this is my blood. It was in that moment of rereading those words that I had heard so often at Mass that the words finally went from my head to my heart. Here he was, Jesus, the great man both fully human and fully divine. He was inviting me to get out of my head, stop treating my faith as just an intellectual exercise, and connect on a heart level. That weekend at Mass, I experienced the Eucharist in a whole new light. It was one thing to constantly be told that I truly was receiving Jesus’s body and blood, but it was another thing entirely to accept that in my heart. Here I was, a sinner just like everyone else, grateful to receive Jesus not just as a great teacher, but as the God-man who lived, died, and rose, for me. I could taste the one who poured out every drop of blood he had for me. I became his tabernacle, and his Presence filled every part of me.

Limitless Love

The Eucharist is the closest thing to perfect happiness on this side of heaven for me. I am now more confident than I have ever been in God’s limitless love for me, and I yearn to share that love with everyone. Understanding the awesome gift of the Eucharist as a loving union with Christ has strengthened me to strive to become a more faithful member of his Body, the Church. Because of this, I can more joyfully bring Christ to others.

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Missionary Discipleship

Thank You, Donors!

�any heartfelt thanks to everyone who contributed to the 2022 Catholic Ministries Appeal! Our 2022 goal was $1,975,000.00, and we received $2,082,147.86! 65 of our diocese's parishes met or exceeded their CMA goals.

Our 2023 Appeal, Building Christ's Church - Fulfilling Christ's Mission, launches in parishes the weekend of February 18-19. The goal for the diocese remains $1,975,000.


The following parishes met or exceeded their goals for the 2022 Catholic Ministries Appeal:

All Saints Madison Lake

All Saints

New Richland

Cathedral of the Sacred Heart Winona

Christ the King Byron

Co-Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist Rochester

Good Shepherd Jackson

Holy Family Kasson

Holy Redeemer Eyota

Holy Spirit Rochester

Holy Trinity Rollingstone

Immaculate Conception Kellogg

Immaculate Conception St. Clair

Immaculate Heart of Mary Currie

Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Harmony

Our Lady of Good Counsel Wilmont

Pax Christi Rochester

Queen of Angels Austin

Resurrection Rochester

Sacred Heart Brewster

Sacred Heart Hayfield

Sacred Heart Heron Lake

Sacred Heart Owatonna

Ss. Peter & Paul Mazeppa

St. Adrian Adrian

St. Agnes Kellogg

St. Ann Janesville

St. Ann Slayton

St. Anthony Westbrook

St. Bernard Stewartville

St. Bridget Simpson

St. Casimir Wells

St. Casimir Winona

St. Catherine Luverne

St. Charles Borromeo

St. Charles

St. Columba Iona

St. Columban Preston

St. Columbanus

Blooming Prairie

St. Edward Austin

St. Felix Wabasha

St. Finbarr

Grand Meadow

St. Francis of Assisi Rochester

St. Francis Xavier Windom

St. Ignatius Spring Valley

St. Joachim Plainview

St. John Nepomucene Winona

St. John the Baptist Mankato

St. John the Baptist Minnesota Lake

St. John Baptist de la Salle Dodge Center

St. Joseph Good Thunder

St. Joseph Lakefield

St. Joseph Rushford

St. Joseph Waldorf

St. Leo Pipestone

St. Luke Sherburn

St. Mary Caledonia

St. Mary Chatfield

St. Mary Lake Wilson

St. Mary Winona

St. Patrick Brownsville

St. Patrick LeRoy

St. Patrick West Albany

St. Peter Hokah

St. Pius X Rochester

St. Rose of Lima Lewiston

St. Theodore Albert Lea

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9 Catholic Foundation February 2023 w The Courier w

Catholic Schools

Discover and Celebrate Catholic Schools Week 2023

ational Catholic Schools Week, January 29 to February 4, 2023 (traditionally celebrated the last week in January) is in its 49th year of celebration. This year’s theme is Catholic Schools: Faith. Excellence. Service.

During this special time, Catholic schools wish to showcase what makes them the best choice when families are looking to find the right school for their children. A typical observance during the week includes Mass, assemblies, open houses and other activities for students, families, parishioners, and community members to celebrate. These events focus on the value of Catholic education that is provided to our young people and its contributions to our church, our communities and our nation.

Catholic schools have a rich tradition as a beacon of light and hope. Life comes to us in the sacraments

particularly the Holy Eucharist. It proclaims the Gospel of joy. We pass on the light and the Gospel of joy to our students. Our students observe many liturgical celebrations during the year which include Masses, Eucharistic Adoration, special devotions, and daily prayer. All of which enable our young people to hear the Lord's call and take action through Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy and vocations.

Let’s not underestimate the power of Catholic schools in its evangelization efforts helping students not only learn about Jesus and the Church but deepen their friendship with Him. This takes place in a time that is becoming more and more challenging.

We salute our administrators, teachers, staff, and supporters. These people have made significant sacrifices for our Catholic schools. We are grateful for our pastors who have accepted the challenge of Catholic schools under their canonical leadership. We wish to thank everyone who makes our schools possible. Of course, we are most grateful for our students and their parents who have entrusted their child's/children’s education to us. This is a time to celebrate.

This Year at Crucifixion School, La Crescent

�rucifixion students have enjoyed a variety of fun activities since the beginning of the school year. Some of the activities included Halloween, All Saints Day, Veterans Day, our Christmas Concert, and other Christmas events.

During COVID, we wanted the students to still have fun, but how does one do that and still keep six feet apart? We had a Trunk-or-Treat. Well the students enjoyed that so much (and I think parents did, too), that we did it again this year. Members of the community like the police department and fire department also participated in Trunk-or-Treat. Students were dressed in their costumes and walked from trunk to trunk. Parents really got into the spirit by dressing up and decorating their cars. Fun was had by all.

All Saints Day was not forgotten. Students were allowed to dress-up once more. This time, they dressed as their favorite saint. They could also dress as someone that would represent what their saint was a patron of. For example, St. Monica is the patron saint of mothers. Some of the girls dressed as tired mothers. We had a pilot to represent Our Lady of Loreto, a hunter to represent St. Hubert, nurses to represent St. Elizabeth, and girls dressed with rose headbands and carrying flowers to represent St. Therese Lisieux. The students were able to answer questions about their saints when Father Evans visited the classrooms.

Veterans Day was another of those annual events that we haven’t had at our school for two years. This year, members of the American Legion came to our school and taught us what the folds of the American flag meant. Students sang patriotic songs and said “The Pledge of Allegiance” with the veterans. In the audience were also other veterans of La Crescent and an active serviceman who is a parent of one our students. They all received a round of applause.

Every year we have a school Thanksgiving Mass. At this time, students collect food items for the local food shelf. After mass, the food was loaded into Mr. Harpenau’s van, so that he could deliver it to the food shelf. His van was packed. Our students and families were very generous.

We celebrated the Advent Season with different activities in the classrooms. Some of the classrooms had Mary and Joseph moving around the room on their way to Bethlehem. Other classrooms read about the Jesse Tree daily and prayed for one special person each day.

As we journey through this school year, please continue praying for our youth and our Catholic schools. It is everyone’s call to live in active service of Jesus and His mission. We thank our Lord for Catholic schools and Catholic education.

The H�ly Sp�r�� 4�h ��d 5�h �r�ders led the Advent Prayer Services at Holy Spirit School. We gathered as a school community (Preschool-5th grade) each Monday morning to light another Advent candle and to pray together as a school community as we got closer to the Christmas Season. Students also joined together in service to others by collecting items for Operation One More, a volunteer organization that provides holiday food bags to food insecure families with young children in the Rochester community. Holy Spirit School joined with the other Rochester Catholic Schools in this effort. Many items were collected by students.

People gathered after mass one Sunday to attend our Christmas Concert. The younger students (4K-2nd Grade) sang first. Sixth-grade students helped guide them with props and places. The younger students did such a great job and have a lot of energy. One can’t help but smile while watching and listening to them sing.

After the younger students sang, grades 3-6 sang. They, too, sang well. They also got into the swing of the music. The sixth-grade students played hand bells for one song. The concert was enjoyed by all.

For the past couple of years, we’ve participated in the Ring and Rung of La Crescent. This is a program that raises money for a family in need in the La Crescent area. Students pay for Ugly Christmas Sweaters Day, Pajamas/Comfy Cozy Day, Dress-up as if Going to a Wedding Day, Christmas Accessories Day, and Christmas Explosion Day (wear everything one has for Christmas). This year, money was raised not only for Ring and Rung, but also the food shelf and a family in need. A total of $575 was collected.

The rest of our school year will be just as busy with service projects (Catholic Schools Week and Lent), fun activities, and growing in our faith.

Lori Datta teaches sixth grade at Crucifixion School in La Crescent.

February 2023 w The Courier w 10
Submitted by Principal AMY HEIMER of Holy Spirit School in Rochester.

Koinonia Community as Christian Fellowship

�t seems like everywhere you look today, people are taking sides, and the most evident area of this is in politics or hot button topics. We do not like hearing opinions that differ from our own. It almost seems like it was a lifetime ago that people from opposing sides of an argument could sit down and have a civilized discussion with the interest of the other at heart, let alone be friends. However, I was reminded of this rare gift when talking with a priest recently. He was discussing how his childhood friend was doing, who is a retired archbishop, with great concern. This might not sound out of the ordinary, but what is extraordinary is these two men, the priest and the archbishop, are on the complete opposite ends of the political spectrum. In fact, they are opposite in a lot of their core beliefs about Catholic theology as well. I asked the priest how often he talks with the archbishop and he said, “Oh, every day.” I left that conversation with so much love and respect in my heart for these men. Regardless of their opinions on various, rather important topics, their love, care, and respect for the other goes untarnished.

This article is hard for me to write because it may ruffle feathers. However, I have felt over and over a tug in my heart to talk about true community, what the Greeks refer to as Koinonia: Christian Fellowship. What does it mean to have true, Christian fellowship? Unfortunately, I think to some it means having a perfect Catholic utopia where we never need to interact with anyone else who has a differing belief. No where in the Gospel does Jesus talk about sequestering ourselves from the rest of the world and keeping the Good News within the protection of the four walls of the church building. In fact, he challenges us to “go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations” in the Great Commission given to the apostles

and to us in Matthew 28:19.

True Christian fellowship is similar to family. We don’t always agree with every member of our family, and we don’t turn our back on our family (hopefully) when times get rough. God did not give us the option to “family hop,” so why do we find it so easy to “church hop” when the going gets tough? There are times when changing churches is necessary for the well-being of a family, but if we see our church community as an extension of our family, perhaps we would think harder before wanting to jump ship for reasons that may not matter as much as we think they do at the time.

Our young people are looking for community, a place to fit in, a family-like structure. Much of this “community” happens online through social media today. According to a Pew Study from 2022 on Teens, Social Media, and Technology, ninety-five percent of teens (ages 13-17) say they use social media. Thirty-five percent of teens say they use social media “almost constantly.” Teens have also been put through the ringer we call COVID-19. The CDC recently published a study in March of 2022 that states more than one third (thirty-seven percent) of high school students reported having poor mental health during the pandemic, and forty-four percent reported they had persistent feelings of hopelessness. They also found that teens who were supported by community (school, church, family, other) were significantly less likely to report feelings of hopelessness. If this was the case during the height of the pandemic, it should also be true after the pandemic. If youth need community to thrive, how is our church providing authentic Christian community and fellowship?

Young people are attracted by authenticity. In a sea of inauthentic social media posts, church community done well can provide a model for us to follow, especially youth, to loving others well. The parish should be a microcosm of the world. Authentic Christian fellowship should allow space for young people to question things, to wrestle with difficult

teachings, to speak what’s truly on their mind. It should also provide access to multi-generational experiences, serving others in and outside of the church community, and a way to be challenged and supported spiritually.

I was witness to a great example of church community this past weekend at my parish’s pancake breakfast. Three times throughout the breakfast spontaneous rounds of “Happy Birthday” were being sung for various parishioners who had birthdays that day, one of whom was an RCIA candidate. It can sometimes be as simple as that: acknowledging the dignity and humanity of the other and celebrating it.

As we begin this new calendar year, my prayer is that we pause and take inventory of how we are doing with Christian fellowship. Are we surrounding ourselves with people who are only like-minded, or do we allow ourselves

to be challenged and to grow by others? Does our parish community welcome the stranger, or do they go unnoticed because we are more concerned with getting out of Mass on time or sitting with our best family friends at doughnut Sunday? Let’s be the church our youth deserve and yearn for. Let’s do what the early apostles did and have koinonia, authentic Christian fellowship. They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life (koinonia), to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers.

- Acts 2:42, underlined text added

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Youth Ministry & Faith Formation

Housing Program Provides More than Shelter

Catholic Charities of Southern Minnesota

Catholic Charities Sponsors Free Tax Assistance

WINONA – Catholic Charities volunteers will once again serve as tax preparers, appointment takers, and greeters for local Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) clinics free of charge this tax season in Winona, St. Charles, and La Crescent.

ROCHESTER – Every night from Christmas through the month of January, the Rochester Community Warming Center was at maximum capacity, providing 45 people a place to stay out of the bone-chilling cold for at least one night. However, the Catholic Charities Housing Program provides more than just night-by-night shelter. The agency provides hope and help out of homelessness.

People like Richard*, 72, of Rochester, who was discovered living in the waiting area of the lobby at St. Mary’s Hospital. It seems once doctors discharged him from the hospital, he had nowhere to go to recover. An Olmsted County social worker connected with Richard and brought him to the Warming Center. Richard says from the start, he felt the hand of friendship.

“All the ladies (staff) were super,” he says. “They took the time to get to know me and were very helpful.”

Richard stayed at the Warming Center every night for a month, but he didn’t take the warm place to rest for granted. He worked closely with Catholic Charities advocates to find a way out of homelessness.

“He was well-liked by staff and other guests,” Rudy Naul, Rochester Community Warming Center

Housing Coordinator, says. “He worked hard, stayed focused, followed through with the tasks, and he was always positive and upbeat.”

That positive attitude served Richard well. Just a month after his first night at the Warming Center, he was accepted into The Creek, a 90-day transitional housing program run collaboratively by Catholic Charities, the Olmsted County Housing Stability team, and Zumbro Valley Health Center.

Living at The Creek, Richard received on-site case management from ZVHC to put together a housing plan. A Catholic Charities Housing Advocate provided added support by being his point of contact. They helped Richard find other housing and employment opportunities, worked with him to complete online applications and connected him to other services.

On January 6th, 45 days into his stay at The Creek, Richard moved into a senior housing facility that is within walking distance of a pharmacy, convenience store, and banks.

“On the day he toured the facility he came to my office to tell me how perfect the place was for him,” Naul says. “He was most excited about the spacious, handicap-accessible bathroom that had a shower space that did not involve stepping in and out of a bathtub.”

Richard told Naul his time at The Creek was instrumental to his finding a permanent home.

“I wouldn’t be moving into this place without all of you,” he said. “You (Catholic Charities) are an excellent team looking out for the less fortunate.”

On any given night, the Rochester Community Warming Center provides a night out of the elements for 45 people who have nowhere else to go. Every person who comes through its doors has a story, and a need to be recognized with dignity and respect. Catholic Charities aims to continue that mission and transform lives like Richard’s to end the cycle of homelessness.

*Name changed to protect identity.

VITA is a national program through the IRS and the Minnesota Department of Revenue, to provide free tax preparation to people of all ages and abilities with low to moderate incomes. The free program is only available for those meeting the Adjusted Gross Income plus untaxed investment income limits below:

Dependents (student working but a dependent for parents) ------------$30,000

Single (no dependents) ------------$40,000

Family size 2 (married couple or single with one dependent) ------------$50,000

Family size 3 or more --------------$60,000

The VITA office in Winona runs February 1 through April 15, at the corner of 2nd and Laird Streets next to Winona Volunteer Services. Appointments are open Monday through Wednesday, and Saturdays before noon. Some evening appointments will be available.

Volunteers will be available at the St. Charles Community Center, 830 Whitewater Avenue every Thursday afternoon from February 9-April 13. Times differ depending on the week.

In La Crescent, VITA will be at the Public Library at 321 Main St. every Thursday starting February 2 through April 13 from 9 a.m. to noon.

To schedule an appointment call 507-474-7202 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Appointments are first-come, first-served.

Interpreter-assisted appointments are available.

For more information, including a list of what you need to bring to an appointment, visit the Catholic Charities website or call 507-4747202.

February 2023 w The Courier w Catholic Charities
The VITA leadership team (L to R): Brenda Terpstra, Paul Kilkus, David Terpstra, Walt Carpenter, Steve Nett and Joliene Olson The Creek is a 90-day transitional housing program run collaboratively by Catholic Charities, the Olmsted County Housing Stability team, and Zumbro Valley Health Center.

SEEK23 You Are Called

SEEK is the annual national FOCUS conference, held this year from Jan. 2-6, 2023 in St. Louis, MO. Over 17,000 people were present from college campuses in the U.S., Mexico, and Europe, as well as high school students, lay parishioners, priests, and religious from across the country! Locally, we had 24 Winona State University students, 2 seminarians, Fr. Jason Kern, and the campus ministry team attend the conference. The conference changes lives in many ways: world-class speakers such as Fr. Mike Schmitz and Sr. Miriam Heidland, the presence of hundreds of religious and priestly vocations, around-the-clock opportunities for adoration and confession, praise and worship music, and daily Mass all make for a beautiful combination. Perhaps most significant is the opportunity for these WSU students to connect with each other, and a larger Catholic community, about their faith in a meaningful way. Already the impact of these authentic friendships is being felt on campus, and we are excited to see how Jesus will continue to change lives through meaningful relationships!

SEEK23 Draws Thousands to St. Louis

Below is a testimony from one WSU student experience at SEEK:

Before going to SEEK it felt like I was just going through the motions of going to church on Sunday, attending confession every month, and saying a prayer when I remembered to. I struggled a lot with the feeling of being alone. My biggest take away from SEEK was that I am not alone, there were 17,000 people there wanting to grow in their faith like me, going through similar struggles. Adoration night was definitely my favorite part about Seek. I have always prayed to feel God or

of me and I could lay everything at his feet. SEEK changed my religious life and I’m so happy I decided to go and I plan to go again.

SEEK23 also included several tributes to Pope Emeritus Benedict XIV, including a memorial at the Adoration Chapel all week and a Requiem Mass on Thursday, Jan. 5. FOCUS Founder and CEO Curtis Martin led a rosary before the Mass in honor of Benedict XVI, who in 2011 appointed Martin as a Consulter to the Pontifical Council of the New Evangelization.

hear him and for the first time in my life, I could feel Gods presence with me and around me. In that moment I knew that throughout my life I had never been alone I had just closed myself off from God and all he wanted me to do was open my heart to him. Getting back home after SEEK I wanted to tell everyone how amazing it was and how it affected my life. Being back home has made me realize that there are still going to be moments where I feel lonely, but now I know I can lean on God and the people around me for the strength I need.

SEEK23 presented the heart of the Gospel and modern-day missionary discipleship in accessible and meaningful ways. People encountered the Lord in deeper ways throughout SEEK23 during daily Mass, confession and Eucharistic adoration. On the special Wednesday evening Eucharistic Adoration, more than 500 priests heard more than 3,000 confessions in two hours, along with thousands more throughout the event.

ounded in 1998, FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) continues to inspire hope for the future of the Church and confirm that zeal for Jesus is flourishing on college campuses and beyond.

SEEK23: You Are Called at the America’s Center Convention Complex in St. Louis, MO, January 2-6, brought together souls from around the world seeking Him, including groups from Ireland, Austria, Germany, Mexico and other countries.

SEEK23 welcomed nearly 19,000 people including thousands of college students who participated in the Collegiate Track. We took 65 students to SEEK23 from Minnesota State University in Mankato, including Grace Brinkman, from Jackson.

Grace said:

I loved SEEK23. I was very scared to go at first because I didn’t know what to expect. Hearing the speakers just hit home. Each of them I listened to, somehow made an impact in my life. Eucharistic adoration was amazing. Jesus was right in front

More than 50 SEEK23 speakers, such as Fr. Josh Johnson, Sr. Bethany Madonna S.V., Chika Anyanwu, Jason Evert, Paul J. Kim and Dr. Edward Sri encouraged attendees to heed the call of the Gospel and make disciples of all nations.

Fr. Andrew Vogel, chaplain at the Saint Thomas More Newman Center at Minnesota State University, said:

In a world where we increasingly feel alone, SEEK reminds young people that this pursuit of a relationship with Christ, this pursuit of holiness, this pursuit of becoming a saint, is not one that needs to be done alone; that there are literally tens of thousands of people their age pursuing Christ. This gives rise to hope; hope in Jesus Christ. And hope is a precious thing these days. This is the lasting impact the SEEK conference will have on those who attended. We hope this event is a springboard in living the mission of the Church out with our bible studies, outreach efforts, mission trip opportunities, and more.

To keep the momentum going and to help small group leaders build their skills after SEEK23, Curtis Martin and Dr. Edward Sri will host a 12-week FOCUS “Lenten Bible Study on the Story of Salvation” live on Monday evenings 6–6:55 p.m. MT, Jan. 23 – April 10, 2023. The study will take participants deep into the one story that matters most: the story of salvation history. The Bible Study is open to anyone, and registration is at

Those who couldn’t make it to St. Louis can still experience the best of SEEK23 with SEEK Where You Are, which offers parishes and small groups the opportunity to encounter the Lord alongside thousands of others. In January 2024, SEEK24 will return to St. Louis. Registration can be found at seek.

FOCUS will return to St. Louis for next year’s SEEK24 Jan 1 – 5, 2024. Registration is open at seek.

Jared and Emily Burbach are FOCUS missionaries at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

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Young Adult Ministry
Aaron Lofy Director of Young Adult Ministry

Faith Is a Call to Service and Mission, Pope Tells U.S. Seminarians

VATICAN CITY, Jan. 16, 2023 (CNS) --

The call to faith in Jesus always is a call to service and mission, Pope Francis told seminarians, priests and staff of the Pontifical North American College.

"Whenever Jesus calls men and women, he always does so in order to send them out, in particular to the vulnerable and those on the margins of society, whom we are not only called to serve but from whom we can also learn much," the pope said Jan. 14.

The college, a seminary in Rome sponsored by the bishops of the United States, has 116 students from 55 dioceses.

Msgr. Thomas W. Powers, rector of the college, told Pope Francis: "The generous young men you see in front of you want to be like Jesus, the good shepherd. They know the Lord will use their eyes to seek out the suffering; their mouths to preach his Word, console the afflicted and make him present in the Eucharist; their hands to give strength to the sick and the dying and to heal those oppressed by sin; and their feet to

go to the peripheries to lead the lost sheep home."

Pope Francis noted that the students' years in Rome coincide with "the synodal journey that the whole church is presently undertaking, a journey that involves listening -- to the Holy Spirit and to one another -- in order to discern how to help God's holy people live his gift of communion and become missionary disciples."

The same "challenge and task" is entrusted to those preparing for ordination, he said. "People nowadays need us to listen to their questions, anxieties and dreams so that we can better lead them to the Lord, who rekindles hope and renews the life of all."

Pope Francis used the Gospel story of the call of Andrew and Simon Peter to illustrate what he said are three elements "essential to priestly formation: dialogue, communion and mission."

When Jesus noticed Andrew and another following him, he asked what they were seeking and invited them to come and see where he was staying.

"Over the course of your lives, and especially throughout this time of seminary formation," the pope told the seminarians, "the Lord enters into a personal dialogue with you, asking what you are looking for and inviting you to 'come and see,' to speak with him from your hearts and give yourselves to him confidently in faith and love."

Daily prayer, Scripture meditation and pray-

ing "in silence before the tabernacle" are essential for building a personal relationship with the Lord, learning to hear his voice and discovering "how to serve him and his people generously and wholeheartedly," the pope said.

"By staying with Jesus, the disciples began to learn -- from his words, gestures and even his gaze -- what really mattered to him and what his Father had sent him to proclaim," he said. "In a similar way, the journey of priestly formation demands a constant communion: first with God, but also with those joined together in Christ's body, the church."

The pope asked the seminarians to "keep your eyes open both to the mystery of the church's unity, manifested in legitimate diversity yet lived in the oneness of faith, and to the prophetic witness of charity that the church, particularly here in Rome, expresses through her concrete acts of care for those in need."

Witnessing and participating in that service, he said, "will help you develop that fraternal love capable of seeing the grandeur of our neighbor, of finding God in every human being, of tolerating the nuisances of life in common."

Pope Francis prayed that the students "will always be signs of a church that goes forth, sharing the presence, compassion and love of Jesus with our brothers and sisters."

Where is Mass Attendance Highest? One Country Is the Clear Leader

� compilation of new data by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University sheds light on the countries around the world that have the highest Mass attendance numbers.

CARA researchers used data from the World Values Survey (WVS), a major international study of religious belief that has been conducted for decades, to examine 36 countries with large Catholic populations. Of those countries, the researchers ranked them by the percentage of self-identified Catholics who say they attend Mass weekly or more, excluding weddings, funerals, and baptisms.

According to the data, Nigeria and Kenya have the highest proportion of Catholics who attend Mass weekly or more, with Nigeria as the clear leader. Ninety-four percent of Catholics in Nigeria say they attend Mass at least weekly. In Kenya, the figure was 73%, and in Lebanon it was 69%.

The level of attendance in Nigeria is notably high given the high number of violent attacks against Christians across the country in recent years. Terrorist incidents inside Catholic churches are not infrequent; notably, in June of last year, gunmen believed to be Islamic extremists opened fire on Catholic worshippers attending Pentecost Mass at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in southwestern Nigeria, killing at least 50.

More than half of all Catholics attend weekly or more in the Philippines (56%), Colombia (54%), Poland (52%), and Ecuador (50%). But in 29 of the

36 countries examined, fewer than half of self-identified Catholics attend Sunday Mass. The researchers acknowledged that the use of self-reported Mass attendance numbers could inflate the figures slightly, meaning actual attendance numbers could be, in reality, slightly lower across the board.

The WVS data did not include the U.S., but CARA’s polling data indicated that the percentage of Catholics in the United States who attend Mass weekly or more is 17%, even though more than three-quarters of U.S. Catholics consider themselves to be a “religious person.”

Continuing down from there, the lowest levels of weekly attendance were observed in Lithuania (16%), Germany (14%), Canada (14%), Latvia (11%), Switzerland (11%), Brazil (8%), France

(8%), and the Netherlands (7%).

“One might assume that the more religious Catholics are in a country, the more likely they are to be frequent Mass attenders,” the CARA researchers wrote.

“Yet, there is not a strong correlation between the numbers identifying as a ‘religious’ Catholic and frequent Mass attendance.”

Countries with a higher Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita had lower levels of Mass attendance and vice versa, they noted.

“While there seems to be a disconnect between identifying as a religious person and attending Mass weekly there is a third factor that may explain the comparative distribution of both of these attributes.

In the World & Nation 14 February 2023 w The Courier w Mass Attendance, cont'd on pg. 15
A group of school girls receiving the sacraments of baptism and confirmation in Onitsha, Anambra, Nigeria, on May 30, 2022. Shutterstock

Happy Valentine's Day from the W-RDCCW 15

�ithin this last month we have seen the wrath of mother nature and all the tragedies that took place. We need to pray for those who have suffered so greatly. Let us be thankful for all that God has done for us to keep us safe!

February is the month of The Holy Family – The Holy Family is an earthly reflection of the Holy Trinity. By meditating on the Holy Family, we can learn the meaning of love, obedience, and true fatherhood and motherhood. We are also reminded that the family is the fundamental unit of both society and the Church.

Valentine’s Day is a day in which we celebrate love in giving to others. Great love which is shared between a husband and wife is shared in a distinct way on this day. Praying for our spouses is an incredibly good habit. Remember that Our Blessed Virgin Mary told us that the Final Battle will be over Marriage and Family. We see marriages breaking up for such trivial reasons, and one or the other spouse not wanting to work it out. Let us pray for all marriages espe-

cially those who are having problems in these trying times that they may have happy solutions to their problems. Remember the total Love which God has given to all of us in giving His Son to us. God has yet a greater gift for us – eternal happiness in heaven where hopefully we will all meet again. Have a very blessed and loving Valentine’s Day.

Lent begins on February 22. We are preparing for the greatest feast in the church - Easter- which we will celebrate April 9. At this time, let us make sacrifices showing our love to God.

“During this new year, I resolve to begin a new life. I do not know what will happen to me during this year, but I abandon myself entirely to you, my God.” St. Gemma Galgani

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

Upcoming Events

St. James Coffee's Annual Brew Ha Ha Fundraiser

Friday, February 17, 2023

New Location: Empire Event Center at Best Western Apache, 1517 16th St. SW in Rochester

Doors open at 5 p.m. with beer, wine & spirits tasting; silent auction; and Italian cream soda tasting.

Dinner and program at 7 p.m.

Purchase tickets at St. James Coffee or online at: www.stjamescoffee/brewhaha

Fish Fry Fridays at Christ the King Church in Byron

202 4th St NW in Byron

Mass Attendance, con't

from pg. 14

If you’ve looked closely at the countries you might have noticed some economic clustering,” the CARA researchers wrote.

“In this small sample of countries, we can surmise that Catholicism is strongest in what is often called the developing world where GDP per capita are lower, while it appears to be contracting in wealthier ‘developed’ countries,” the researchers concluded.

“The precise mechanisms associated with economic development and wealth that are impacting Catholics’ participation in the faith and identification as religious are unclear. Whatever they are, they matter significantly.”


Sister Nadine Touhey, SSND, 87, professed in 1955, died January 5, 2023, at Benedictine Living Community – St. Gertrude’s, Shakopee.

Fridays, starting March 3, ending March 31 4:45-7 p.m.

$16 drive-through, $18 indoor (all you can eat), $16 kids & seniors, $10 mac & cheese.

Sister Nadine was born in Avoca, and was a member of St. Rose of Lima Parish. She graduated from Good Counsel Academy in Mankato in 1953 and entered the School Sisters of Notre Dame that same year. She professed first vows in 1955 and taught elementary grade students for 15 years. In the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, she taught at St. Felix, Wabasha; and St. John the Baptist and St. Joseph the Worker, Mankato. She also served as an educational consultant for the School Sisters of Notre Dame in the dioceses of Winona and Bismarck. She then worked in several capacities in the Willmar area, before returning to the Diocese of Winona-Rochester in 2005, serving in a ministry of presence for 10 years at St. Joseph Parish, Owatonna.

Her funeral service was held at Windermere in Shakopee on January 12, with her nephew, Fr. Lon Konold, OMI, as the presider. Burial followed in the Good Counsel Cemetery, Mankato.

She is survived by nieces and nephews and her sisters in community, the School Sisters of Notre Dame and Associates, and was preceded in death by her parents, William and Elsie (Haberman) Touhey; a sister, Patricia Konold; and her brothers, Duane, Bernard and James.

February 2023 w The Courier w
In the Diocese

Congress, cont'd from pg. 1 Funeral, con't from pg. 1

the Mass, and a number of visitors told Catholic News Service that banners and flags were being confiscated by security upon entrance. Of the few flags and banners that did make it past security was a white cloth with "Santo Subito" ("Sainthood Now") written in red and a "Thank you, Pope Benedict" written in light blue in German.

Just as Pope Benedict dedicated his pontificate to directing the faithful's focus to the person of Christ, Pope Francis dedicated his homily to Christ's loving devotion and suffering witness as the "invitation and the program of life that he quietly inspires in us," rather than on a summary of his predecessor's life.

Pope Francis spoke of Jesus' grateful, prayerful and sustained devotion to God's will and how Jesus' final words on the cross, "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit," summed up his entire life, "a ceaseless self-entrustment into the hands of his Father."

"His were hands of forgiveness and compassion, healing and mercy, anointing and blessing, which led him also to entrust himself into the hands of his brothers and sisters," he said.

"Father into your hands I commend my spirit," the pope said, is the plan for life that Jesus quietly invites and inspires people to follow.

However, he said, the path requires sustained and prayerful devotion that is "silently shaped and refined amid the challenges and resistance that every pastor must face in trusting obedience to the Lord's command to feed his flock."

"Like the Master, a shepherd bears the burden of interceding and the strain of anointing his people, especially in situations where goodness must struggle to prevail and the dignity of our brothers and sisters is threatened," said the pope.

"The Lord quietly bestows the spirit of meekness that is ready to understand, accept, hope and risk, notwithstanding any misunderstandings that might result. It is the source of an unseen and elusive fruitfulness, born of his knowing the One in whom he has placed his trust," he said.

"Feeding means loving, and loving also means being ready to suffer. Loving means giving the sheep what is truly good, the nourishment of God's truth, of God's word, the nourishment of his presence," Pope Francis said, quoting his predecessor's homily marking the start of his pontificate April 24, 2005.

"Holding fast to the Lord's last words and to the witness of his entire life, we too, as an ecclesial community, want to follow in his steps and to commend our brother into the hands of the Father," he said of Pope Benedict. "May those merciful hands find his lamp alight with the oil of the Gospel that he spread and testified to for his entire life."

"God's faithful people, gathered here, now accompany and entrust to him the life of the one who was their pastor," the pope said. "Together, we want to say, 'Father, into your hands we commend his spirit.'"

"Benedict, faithful friend of the Bridegroom, may your joy be complete as you hear his voice, now and forever!" he concluded, as the crowd prayed in silence.

Among the people in the crowd was Georg Bruckmaier who traveled nearly 10 hours by car to come to the funeral from his home in Bavaria, not far away from where the late pope was born.

Wearing a Bavarian flag around his back, he told CNS, "There are a lot of Bavarians here today, I've seen people I know from university. I wanted to be here for the atmosphere."

"People felt very close to him, because he is a Bavarian, so this is a really big event to be here," Bruckmaier said, adding that being able to pay his last respects before the pope's remains in St. Peter's Basilica, "is a different thing than seeing it on television. It's something I won't forget in my whole life."

Fiona-Louise Devlin told CNS she and her companions were wearing scarves from the late pope's visit to Scotland in 2010. She said they traveled to Rome from Scotland specifically for the funeral, booking their flight the day the pope passed away.

"He's the pope of our generation. Like, how so many people say that John Paul II was their pope, he was mine. I've traveled around the world to go to celebrations that he's been a part of, so I wanted to be here for this," she said.

As the day began, the thick morning fog obscuring the cupola slowly began to lift as 12 laymen emerged from the basilica carrying the pope's casket. The crowd applauded as the cypress casket was brought into the square and placed before the altar.

The pope's master of liturgical ceremonies, Msgr. Diego Giovanni Ravelli, and Archbishop Georg Gänswein, the late pope's longtime personal secretary, together placed an opened Book of the Gospels on the casket. The simple casket was decorated with his coat of arms as archbishop of Munich and Freising, Germany, which depicts a shell, a Moor and a bear loaded with a pack on his back.

The Bible readings at the Mass were in Spanish, English and Italian, and the prayers of the faithful at the Mass were recited in German, French, Arabic, Portuguese and Italian.

The prayers included petitions for "Pope Emeritus Benedict, who has fallen asleep in the Lord: may the eternal Shepherd receive him into his kingdom of light and peace," followed by a prayer "for our Holy Father, Pope Francis, and for all the pastors of the church: may they proclaim fearlessly, in word and deed, Christ's victory over evil and death."

The other prayers were for justice and peace in the world, for those suffering from poverty and other forms of need, and for those gathered at the funeral.

At the pope's funeral, like any Catholic funeral, Communion was followed by the "final commendation and farewell," asking that "Pope Emeritus Benedict" be delivered from death and "may sing God's praises in the heavenly Jerusalem."

Pope Francis prayed that God have mercy on his predecessor, who was "a fearless preacher of your word and a faithful minister of the divine mysteries."

While the funeral was based on the model of a papal funeral, two key elements normally part of a papal funeral following the farewell prayer were missing: there were no prayers offered by representatives of the Diocese of Rome and of the Eastern Catholic churches, since those prayers are specific to the death of a reigning pope, who is bishop of the Diocese of Rome and is in communion with the leaders of the Eastern-rite churches.

A bell tolled solemnly and the assembly applauded for several minutes -- with some chanting "Benedetto" -- as the pallbearers carried the casket toward St. Peter's Basilica.

Pope Francis blessed the casket and laid his right hand on it in prayer, then bowed slightly in reverence before it was taken inside for a private burial in the grotto of St. Peter's Basilica, in the same tomb that held the remains of St. Pope John Paul II before his beatification.

Contributing to this story was JUSTIN MCLELLAN at the Vatican.

a full day planned that will lift up the faith of everyone in our diocese. We will have keynote speakers including Sr. Alicia Torres, Dr. Tim O’Malley and Barbara Heil, while a separate track will be offered for those who prefer Spanish with Dr. Hosffman Ospino and Sr. Emy Ychikawa as speakers. We will also have Vietnamese translators available for those who need it. All of our speakers will touch the hearts and stir the minds of parishioners of all ages. Your faith will grow by taking part in this Congress.

So why would you want to attend this Congress? In addition to the speakers, we will have many vendors available for you to see about taking home some new books or other materials to grow beyond the Congress. The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be available throughout the day. Many consecrated persons will be available to help you learn more about their vocations. The diocese will be on display as we hold a procession of parishes. First Communicants are especially invited to take part with all of us in the Eucharistic Procession. And, of course, our very own Bishop Barron will lead us in the celebration of the Eucharist to end the day. As long as this list of activities is, it is only a glimpse of all that you will experience when you attend our diocesan Eucharistic Congress.

When you decide to commit to attending this Congress-and I encourage you to do so by March 31 when the cost will increase-go to the Congress website at There you will not only be able to sign up, but learn so much more about this gathering of the people of God in southern Minnesota. Sign up soon, because if we do not sell out by March 31, registration will be opened to others beyond our diocese. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to gather as a diocesan Church around Jesus in the Eucharist, and you won’t want to miss it!

Fr. Will Thompson is the Vicar General of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester.

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")

• The Courier February 2023
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