The Courier - January 2023

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Eucharistic congrEss

Father Patrick Neary, C.S.C., Appointed Next Bishop of Saint Cloud

SAINT CLOUD, Dec. 15, 2022 - Today, the Holy See announced that Pope Francis has appointed Father Patrick Neary, C.S.C., a member of Congregation of Holy Cross, as the 10th bishop of the Diocese of Saint Cloud. His episcopal ordination and installation as bishop of Saint Cloud has been set for Tuesday, Feb. 14.

WINONA, Dec. 13, 2022 – Bishop Robert Barron is excited to announce his plans to host a large Eucharistic Congress in the Diocese of Winona-Rochester next Summer. The Diocesan Eucharistic Congress entitled: “This is My Body” will be held on June 10 in Mankato, MN at the Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center.

The Eucharistic Congress will include talks on the importance of the Eucharist from well-known speakers including Bishop Barron, Dr. Tim O’Malley, Barbara Heil, Dr. Hosffman Ospino and Sr. Alicia Torres. The day will include opportunities for Eucharistic Adoration and

January 2023 Official Newspaper of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Winona-Rochester, MN |
Scenes and 'Habits' of Holiness page 4 page 5 page 7 INSIDE this issue The Conversion of St. Paul January 25
Hope for Healing: Trauma Reboot Totus Tuus
Bishop of St. Cloud, cont'd on pg. 12 Most Rev. RobeRt baRRon announces
Eucharistic Congress, cont'd on pg. 3
Fr. Patrick Neary, C.S.C.


Papal Message for World Peace Day: War, Hunger, Turmoil Are Connected

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The interconnected "moral, social, political and economic crises" facing the world cannot be solved if individuals and nations continue to focus only on their own, immediate interests, Pope Francis said in his message for World Peace Day 2023.

"The time has come for all of us to endeavor to heal our society and our planet, to lay the foundations for a more just and peaceful world, and to commit ourselves seriously to pursuing a good that is truly common," the pope wrote in the message, which was released at the Vatican Dec. 16.

The Catholic Church celebrates World Peace Day Jan. 1 and distributes the pope's message to heads of state and government around the world. Pope Francis personally gives signed copies of it to visiting leaders throughout the year.

The theme for the pope's 2023 message was "No one can be saved alone," and the text urged people to learn from the experience of the global effort to combat COVID-19 and to recognize the poverty and inequalities the pandemic laid bare, especially as regards to access to food, medicine, health care, education and technology.

Pope Francis asked people to reflect on a series of questions: "What did we learn from the pandemic? What new paths should we follow to cast off the shackles of our old habits, to be better prepared, to dare new things? What signs of life and hope can we see, to help us move forward and try to make our world a better place?"

As soon as it seemed the pandemic was nearly over, the pope wrote, "a terrible new disaster befell humanity. We witnessed the onslaught of another scourge: another war."

Russia's war on Ukraine, he said, "is reaping innocent victims and spreading insecurity, not only among those directly affected, but in a widespread and indiscriminate way for everyone, also for those who, even thousands of kilometers away, suffer its collateral effects," including rising fuel prices and shortages of grain.

"This war, together with all the other conflicts around the globe, represents a setback for the whole of humanity and not merely for the parties directly involved," the pope said.

Massive cooperative efforts led to vaccines for COVID-19, he said, but "suitable solutions

have not yet been found for the war," even though it is true "the virus of war is more difficult to overcome than the viruses that compromise our bodies, because it comes, not from outside of us, but from within the human heart corrupted by sin."

Canadian Cardinal Michael Czerny, prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, presented the message at a news conference and spoke to Catholic News Service afterward.

"The message gives me hope because it puts a finger on not what some important person needs to do but what each of us needs to do, which is just to take the time to ask ourselves, 'What did I learn or not learn? And how is my life going to change from there?" the cardinal said. "Hopefully, the lessons will be for the good of everyone."

People's experience of the pandemic, the lockdowns, the possibility of continuing to work and the scrambling for vaccines were different around the world, he said, but that experience loses its power if people do not reflect on it and share it.

Pope Francis' message, he said, is a reminder "that we are too quick to forget" and then humanity is forced to move on to the next disaster without having made changes to alleviate suffering.

Salesian Sister Alessandra Smerilli, secretary of the dicastery, told reporters the pope was asking people "to return for a moment to those frightening, difficult and painful moments" at the beginning of the pandemic in early 2020. "This is time to ask ourselves whether, as individuals and a community, are we better or worse off three years later?"

The reflection, Pope Francis wrote, should encourage people to change from a self-centered focus to a real commitment to the common good and to promoting solidarity and a greater sense of fraternity.

Cooperative efforts are needed to ensure health care for all and to "put an end to the conflicts and wars that continue to spawn poverty and death," he said. People must work together to combat climate change, overcome inequality, end hunger and create dignified work for all.

"We also need to develop suitable policies for welcoming and integrating migrants and those whom our societies discard," the pope said. "Only by responding generously to these situations, with an altruism inspired by God's infinite and merciful love, will we be able to build a new world and contribute to the extension of his kingdom, which is a kingdom of love, justice and peace."

following: Incardination

Rev. John Lasuba: originally a priest of the Archdiocese of Juba, South Sudan; incardinated into the Diocese of WinonaRochester, effective November 2, 2022.


Rev. Paul Weberg, OSB: a priest of the Benedictine Marmion Abbey and currently serving as an Army Chaplain, granted faculties in the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, effective December 1, 2022.

Child Abuse Policy Information

College of Consultors

Rev. Timothy Reker: reappointed to the College of Consultors, through September 26, 2027.

month prior.


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

W Sanborn St. Winona, MN 55987 or

The Most Rev. Robert Barron, Bishop of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, announces the
January 2023 w The Courier w Scenes and 'Habits' of Holiness___________4 Hope for Healing: Trauma Reboot______________5 On the Road Again_____________________6 A Deeper Respect for Marriage___________6 Totus Tuus _______________________________7 Catholic Schools Updates________________8-9 MediAppS Program___________________10 Diocesan Headlines___________________11-12 The Courier is the official publication of the Diocese of
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Winona-Rochester 55 West Sanborn, P.O. Box 588, Winona, MN 55987 Vol 114 - 1 Most Reverend Robert E. Barron, Publisher Nick Reller, Associate Editor
for January 2023 For Educators We pray that educators may be credible witnesses, teaching fraternity rather than competition, and helping the youngest and most vulnerable above all.
Telephone: 507-858-1257 Fax:507-454-8106 E-mail: Publishing Schedule: Monthly - Deadline for advertising & articles is the 10th of the
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� here is just something about a baby. If a baby is introduced into a crowded room, everyone will want to see him. Conversations will stop, smiles will spread across people’s faces, arms will reach out to hold the child. Even the crustiest and most curmudgeonly denizen of the room will be drawn out of herself and toward the baby. People who, moments before, had been arguing with one another will be cooing and making funny

God Became a Baby

faces at the infant. Babies bring peace and joy; it’s just what they do.

The central and still unnervingly strange message of Christmas is that God became a baby. The omnipotent Creator of the universe, the ground of the intelligibility of the world, the source of finite existence, the reason there is something rather than nothing—became an infant too weak even to raise his head, a vulnerable baby lying helpless in a manger where the animals eat. I am sure that everyone around the Christ child’s crib—his mother, St. Joseph, the shepherds, the Magi—did what people always do around babies: they smiled and cooed and made funny noises. And they were drawn more closely together precisely by their shared concern for the child.

In this we see a stroke of divine genius. For the entire length of the history of Israel, God was endeavoring to attract his chosen people to himself and to draw them into deeper communion with one another. The whole purpose of the Torah, the Ten Commandments, the dietary laws outlined in the book of


Confession and will conclude with a Mass celebrating the Feast of Corpus Christi (Latin for Body of Christ) and a Eucharistic Procession. Music will be provided by Luke Spehar and a track for Spanish

Bishop's Calendar

*indicates all are welcome to attend

January 1, Sunday

*10 a.m. - Mass - St. Piux X Church, Rochester

January 5, Thursday

*12:10 - Daily Mass - Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Winona 1 p.m. - Diocesan Pastoral Center

Staff Christmas Gathering

5:25 p.m. - Holy Hour and Dinner with the Religious Sisters of Mercy in Winona

Leviticus, the preaching of the prophets, the covenants with Noah, Moses, and David, the sacrifices offered in the Temple, was simply to foster friendship with God and greater love among his people. A sad but consistent theme of the Old Testament is that, despite all of these efforts and institutions, Israel remained alienated from God: Torah ignored, covenants broken, commandments disobeyed, Temple corrupted.

So, in the fullness of time, God determined, not to intimidate us or order us from on high, but rather to become a baby, for who can resist a baby? At Christmas, the human race no longer looked up to see the face of God, but rather down into the face of a little child. One of my spiritual heroes, St. Therese of Lisieux, was known as Therese of the Child Jesus. It is easy enough to sentimentalize this designation, but we should resist that temptation. In identifying herself with the infant Christ, Therese was subtly endeavoring to draw everyone she met out of themselves and into an attitude of love.

speakers will be available.

Once we understand this essential dynamic of Christmas, the spiritual life opens in a fresh way. Where do we find the God we seek? We do so most clearly in the faces of the vulnerable, the poor, the helpless, the childlike. It is relatively easy to resist the demands of the wealthy, the successful, and self-sufficient. In point of fact, we are likely to feel resentment toward them. But the lowly, the needy, the weak—how can we turn away from them? They draw us—as a baby does—out of our self-preoccupation and into the space of real love. This is undoubtedly why so many of the saints— Francis of Assisi, Elizabeth of Hungary, John Chrysostom, Mother Teresa of Kolkata, to name just a few—were drawn to the service of the poor.

I’m sure that most of those who read these words will gather with your families for a Christmas celebration. Everyone will be there: Mom and Dad, cousins, uncles and aunts, perhaps grandparents and great-grandparents, some friends who find themselves away from home. There will

“The Eucharistic Congress will be an opportunity to gather the faithful of my diocese and beyond to witness to and to strengthen the belief that Jesus Christ is really, truly, and substantially present in the Eucharist,” said Bishop Barron. “The first Eucharistic Congress held in the United States was in my hometown of Chicago more than thirty years before I was born. There were 400,000 who attended the opening Mass held at Soldier Field and 800,000 who attended a procession held at St. Mary of the Lake/

January 7-12, SaturdayThursday

Region VIII Bishops Retreat

January 12-15, ThursdaySunday

Word on Fire Wonder Conference in Dallas, TX

January 17, Tuesday

9:30 a.m. - Holy Hour - Pastoral Center, Winona

10:30 a.m. - College of Consultors Meeting - Pastoral Center, Winona

January 19, Thursday

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

January 21, Saturday

9 -10 a.m. - Talk on Laudato Si for the Social Justice Retreat at Pax Christi Church, Rochester January 22, Sunday

*10 a.m. - Mass for Life - St. Joseph Church, Owatonna January 24, Tuesday 11 a.m. - Guest on the Megyn Kelley Show

be lots of food, lots of laughter, plenty of lively conversations, most likely a fierce political argument or two. The extroverts will be having a splendid time; the introverts will find all of it a little more challenging. I would be willing to bet that at most of these gatherings, at some point, a baby will be brought into the room: the new son, grandson, great-grandson, cousin, nephew, what have you. Could I urge you this year to be particularly attentive to what that baby does to everyone, to notice the magnetic power he has over the entire motley crew. And then I would invite you to remember that the reason you are gathering at all is to celebrate the baby who is God. And finally, permit yourself to be attracted by the peculiar magnetism of that divine child.

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

Mundelein Seminary!”

The event is expected to bring 5,000 people to Mankato and will take place during the United States Bishops’ National Eucharistic Revival which Bishop Barron himself envisioned when he was chairman of the Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis.

“I very much look forward to this Eucharistic Congress and see it as a tremendous opportunity to invigorate the faith of the people of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester whom I am blessed to shepherd,” said Bishop Barron.

January 25, Wednesday

1:30 p.m. - Holy Half HourPastoral Center, Winona

2 p.m. - Diocesan Finance Council Meeting - Pastoral Center, Winona

6 p.m. - Virtual North American Synod

January 26, Thursday

1 p.m. - Holy Hour - Bishop's Chapel

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

January 31, Thursday

10 a.m. - All Systems Mass for Rochester Catholic SchoolsLourdes High School, Rochester February 1, Wednesday

9:30 a.m. - All Systems Mass for Loyola Catholic Schools - Ss. Peter & Paul Parish, Mankato February 2, Thursday

*10:30 a.m. - Mass for Consecrated Life - Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Winona February 3, Friday

10 a.m. - All Systems Mass for Cotter Catholic Schools - Basilica of St. Stanislaus Kostka, Winona

Non Nisi Te Domine
January 2023 w The Courier w From the Bishop 3
Bishop Robert Barron
cont'd from pg. 1

Lay Formation & RCIA

Scenes and 'Habits' of Holiness for the New Year

God says to you: do not be afraid of holiness, do not be afraid to aim high, to let yourself be loved and purified by God, do not be afraid to let yourself be guided by the Holy Spirit. Let us be infected by the holiness of God. Every Christian is called to sanctity (cf. Lumen Gentium, #19#42); and sanctity does not consist especially in doing extraordinary things, but in allowing God to act. It is the meeting of our weakness with the strength of his grace, it is having faith in his action that allows us to live in charity, to do everything with joy and humility, for the glory of God and as a service to our neighbor.

-Pope Francis, General Audience, Oct. 2, 2013

�reetings of Peace in this new year!

Recently, I have had a few different opportunities to witness faith and holiness in action in some powerful ways in our diocese.

First, in early November, I visited with two of our parish RCIA leaders in Rochester:

• Roxane has been in parish ministry for a number of years, and serves as parish administrator and pastoral associate for her parish. She is an experienced, gifted, and faith-filled lay leader, and guides those coming into the Church with care and commitment. I am blessed to know her as a colleague!

• Brigitte is just starting in RCIA ministry, and serves as director of liturgy and pastoral ministry for her parish. She brings the experience of an intense spiritual journey to her ministry, and serves the people of her parish with a heart of deep faith. And, she’s a new mom with a deep devotion to her infant daughter. It was wonderful to spend some time getting to know her and hear her story!

Second, we had our final formation session for the “Called & Gifted” spiritual gifts discernment process in early December. As is true of all of my experiences of working with the women and men in our diocesan lay formation program, I have been deeply inspired throughout this process by their desire to grow in faith and holiness, and to be faithful servants of the gospel in their lay vocation. My time with our lay formation community is always a source of great joy for me, and brings me profound hope for our diocesan Church!

During this weekend, I had the privilege to spend time with our presenter, Mary Martin, who is a Called & Gifted teacher for the Catherine of Siena Institute and a trained spiritual director. Mary has also served for many years in parish ministry, and now works as a “Coach and Team Leader” for the Archdiocese of Detroit in its missionary planning efforts. I was deeply moved by her witness to Christ in both her presentations and in our personal conversations.

She has given her life in service to Christ, and her enthusiasm and love for our Catholic faith shines through. I feel truly grateful for her work with our lay formation group, and for the chance to get to know her as a deeply faith-filled colleague and friend in Christ!

And, finally, I recently spent an evening visiting Saint Mary’s Parish in Worthington to sit in on a formation session with their Spanish-language RCIA group. The parish RCIA leader, Sandra, serves as the Faith Formation Director for the parish, and she invited me to come. While there, I also had a chance to visit other faith formation groups meeting that evening as they prepare for Confirmation. What a beautiful experience I had!

Sandra brings an incredible energy and passion to her ministry. Her love for Christ, and for the people she serves, is clear and inspiring. And, there is a great joy she shares with those around her through her service.

The adults and young people I met that evening were attentive and engaged in their sessions, and they welcomed me with kindness. I even enjoyed eating a “pupusa” for the very first time with one of the faith formation groups that evening, and it was quite delicious! I felt very blessed and inspired in my time with Sandra and her RCIA and faith formation groups!

All of these experiences have helped me to reflect on the holiness of the lay women and men who serve in ministry for our diocese. They live out their lay vocation both within the life of the Church (in professional and volunteer roles of service), and within their daily lives in their families, work settings, neighborhoods, and communities.

As Pope Francis has written: “I like to contemplate the holiness present in the patience of God's people: in those parents who raise their children with immense love, in those men and women who work hard to support their families, in the sick…. In their daily perseverance I see the holiness of the Church…. Very often it is a holiness found in our next-door neighbors, those who, living in our midst, reflect God's presence.” (Gaudium et Exsultate, #7)

'Faith Habits' to Nurture in the New Year

As we begin a new year, it might be valuable for us, in our journey of faith, to make a renewed commitment to grow in faith and holiness. I have a magnet that I keep on a file cabinet that is from the “Year of Faith” which Pope Benedict declared back in 2012. It is titled, “7 Faith Habits for the Year of Faith.” I would propose its seven practices as a fruitful pathway for us to consider in as we live out our faith in 2023:

1. Ask for God’s blessing each morning. (I have found praying the Morning Offering, including praying for the monthly intention of our Holy Father, as a fruitful way to begin each day. [])

2. Offer a prayer at mealtime. (And, lift up the needs of friends, neighbors, and our world.)

3. Call upon the saints. (Consider a daily prayer to your patron saint, or to your Confirmation saint, or choose a saint you are inspired by to call upon for her/his intercession. I have a special devotion to St. Francis de Sales.)

4. Reach out to help a neighbor in need. (“The fruit of love is service.” -St. Teresa of Calcutta)

5. Savor a few minutes of silence. (“The fruit of silence is prayer.” -St. Teresa of Calcutta)

6. Receive the Holy Eucharist for strength and nourishment. (These years of the National Eucharistic Revival [] are a wonderful opportunity to deepen our Eucharistic spirituality and devotion.)

7. Give thanks to God each night. (The examen is a wonderful prayer practice to close each day. [])

Pondering the Real Presence

And, picking up on Faith Habit #6 above… I will close with an invitation to study and to enter into a deeper devotion to the Eucharist during this diocesan year of the National Eucharistic Revival. As described in my column in last month’s Courier, our Emmaus continuing formation offerings (through our diocesan Institute of Lay Formation) during this winter/ spring season will focus on the Eucharist.

We will hold the first of two book study and discussion sessions on recent books by Catholic theologian, author, and teacher, Dr. Timothy P. O’Malley. The session will be held on January 13-14 (Friday evening – Saturday afternoon) at the Alverna Center in Winona, and will be on the book, Real Presence: What Does It Mean and Why Does It Matter?. (You can learn more about this book at the Ave Maria Press web site: Copies will be provided to those who participate in the study session.)

To learn more about our Emmaus offerings, go to the Institute of Lay Formation’s diocesan web page ( html), or contact me at or (507) 858-1270.

Deo Gratias!

Let us not lose the hope of holiness, let us follow this path. Do we want to be saints? The Lord awaits us, with open arms; he waits to accompany us on the path to sanctity. Let us live in the joy of our faith, let us allow ourselves to be loved by the Lord... let us ask for this gift from God in prayer, for ourselves and for others.

-Pope Francis, General Audience, Oct. 2, 2013

January 2023 w The Courier w

Hope for Healing: Trauma Reboot

Trauma was your personal intersection with the brokenness of the world. But recovery is your personal intersection with the redemptive heart of God.

-Dr. Jenny and Evan Owens, creators of Trauma Reboot

Overall, each attendee received healing through the love of Christ in different ways and in varying degrees. With these outcomes, future Trauma Reboot courses are planned throughout our diocese.

In an effort to explore what we could offer people spiritually wounded by trauma after the pandemic, the Office of Missionary Discipleship discovered an ecumenical program called “Trauma Reboot.” It was created by a married couple–one a minister and the other an occupational therapist by training–who both worked with the Veterans Administration with many military men and women recently ending tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and saw every day the deep need. Trauma Reboot, “a 12-week, faith-based, peerled course empowering everyday people to overcome trauma and embrace a brighter future…through practical teaching and a supportive community,” is meant to invite Christ the Healer and his brothers and sisters into the healing process of every person present. Since its inception, it has been expanded to work with people who are first responders, combat veterans, and people in “general trauma recovery.” We wanted to pilot the general trauma recovery program and asked MARILYN BAKER and KATHY SCHUMANN, retired psychiatric nurses, if they would lead the process at a weekly gathering in Rochester. Their story is below. Thank you for your service, Marilyn and Kathy!

�rauma Reboot launched in our diocese in late August, led by Kathy Schumann and Marilyn Baker at St. James Coffee in Rochester. The goal of beginning Trauma Reboot was to assist people who may need help with anxiety, loneliness, depression and loss of spiritual/mental and physical issues during the pandemic. It was offered only to the Rochester area of our diocese as a pilot, to assess whether it was a sound way to help people heal with Christ’s help. The pilot course of 12 dedicated people concluded in late November.

From our end, the experience was powerful, but we wanted those participating to assess the past three months. The attendees of this 12-week pilot were asked if Trauma Reboot should be offered again. Their response was a resounding yes, all stating "Yes, offer Trauma Reboot again!"

Most of those who came into the course were not sure why they would attend, yet many stated they received varying degrees of healing and support through this course. Full healing is a journey, and this course was a first step for most. As the course progressed, attendees demonstrated empathy and acknowledgment with understanding through human connection with their peers in the group. Each meeting began with prayer, and scriptural references related to healing were shared throughout each session. We dug into issues of forgiveness and mercy, the broken condition of our world, and the power of God.

One invited speaker gave his testimony of his loss and his coping journey of the deaths of family members in a tragic vehicle accident. Others in the group shared their stories as they were able and inclined. All were welcome to share or to stay silent; people find their healing in different ways. Everyone was reminded that trauma is not the last word of their lives; God is the living Word for us all.

For further information on Trauma Reboot contact:

Marilyn Baker, Church of the Resurrection, Rochester or Kathy Schumann

Missionary Discipleship

Holy Redeemer, Eyota/St. Charles Borromeo, St. Charles

If you are interested in participating in a new Trauma Reboot course in Rochester, beginning in February, please contact Marilyn or Kathy. If you are interested in piloting a Trauma Reboot course elsewhere in the diocese, you may also contact them or Susan WindleyDaoust, Director of Missionary Discipleship, . These are peer-led courses that focus on prayer and group facilitation, and a professional degree is not necessary. You can learn more about Trauma Reboot at .

Catholic in Recovery provides healing from addictions, compulsions, and unhealthy attachments. Meetings combine the spiritual principles of 12-step recovery and the sacraments of the Catholic Church. Join others in recovery as we overlap scripture from Sunday’s Mass readings, liturgical themes, and recovery topics with honest discussion and prayer. Confidentiality is protected.


in Recovery (General Recovery group)

Holy Spirit Church, Rochester: St. Joseph Rm. Sundays, 7:30 p.m.

Contact: Peter at or 507696-7437

Catholic in Recovery (General Recovery Group)

Queen of Angels Church, Austin: St. Francis Rm (basement). Thursdays, 7:00 p.m.

Contact: Jane - 218-429-1522 or Paul - 218429-1662, or

January 2023 w The Courier w

On the Road Again

� have been blessed to visit a number of parishes in the diocese this fall as I travel around to parishes to preach on vocations and encourage parishes and young people to prayerfully consider how they can work to create a culture of vocational discernment. I am excited to continue being able to get to more parishes throughout the coming months! It has been wholly inspiring for me to travel to any corner of the diocese and experience the deep faith of the parishioners there. Your welcome to me has been very kind and it is clear you desire for vocations to come forth from your parish. The question is often asked, how do we do it? How do we create a culture within our parishes that brings forth vocational discernment? My reflection on this continues to deepen, but I have become convinced of the following:

Until our parishes are converted to instilling a discipleship-based approach to ministry, they will not bear fruit in abundance. It is long past time for

us to shift our model from trying to teach large numbers basic catechesis to forming intentionally those who are ready to go deeper. We may still need to do both, but a shift in emphasis is urgently needed.

The caveat of this approach is that we have to not only form those ready to go deeper but then invite them to begin themselves reaching out to others.

This may be a family-based approach or a small group approach but there needs to be a shift from classroom style teaching to a relational ministry that takes the time and effort to form relationships and accompanies them to grow in a committed life of prayer, fellowship and authenticity of relationship, and outreach within the community. This is a big ask for any parish or ministerial situation but time and again, the places bearing fruit in abundance are the places committed to a discipleship model of ministry.

Perhaps the most challenging aspect of this model, is the vital importance that we ourselves are living well in our own commitment to following Jesus. We can speak of this in varied ways, but it ultimately comes down to our commitment to prayer and authenticity of life in accord with the commands of Christ. We all have struggles and times of weak-

Rev. Jason

Director of Vocations

ness, but the Lord desires to raise us to new heights and calls us to greater faithfulness. As we continue to celebrate the solemn feasts of the Church, may we worship with wholeheartedness and grow our depth of love for God and neighbor as we live for and proclaim Jesus with our lives.

As Vocation Director, it is an incredible privilege to travel the diocese and experience the faith of our people in every corner of the diocese. May we, together, inspire a life of committed discipleship and continue our path of assisting young people to not only know about the Lord, but to know the Way of the Lord Jesus. May they find the pathway of how they can commit their life to Him and in doing so find the way to authentic joy and freedom that only God can give.

A Deeper Respect for Marriage

�ast month President Biden signed into law the misnamed Respect for Marriage Act, which codifies the nationwide redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples in federal statute for the first time. This begs the question: who defines marriage? Back in 2013, we reported here in The Courier that Minnesota had redefined marriage in our state. One keen observer objected to the headline saying, “Marriage has definitely NOT been redefined! The definition of marriage is not up to the State of Minnesota or any government, for that matter.” To

this day, I am proud of that person for speaking the truth.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (1603) answers the question:

The intimate community of life and love which constitutes the married state has been established by the Creator and endowed by him with its own proper laws.... God himself is the author of marriage.

The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator. Marriage is not a purely human institution despite the many variations it may have undergone through the centuries in different cultures, social structures, and spiritual attitudes. These differences should not cause us to forget its common and permanent characteristics. Although the dignity of this institution is not transparent everywhere with the same clarity, some sense of the greatness of the matrimonial union exists in all cultures. The well-being of the individual person and of both human and Christian society is closely bound up with the healthy state of conjugal and family life.

As you can see by this lengthy explanation, marriage was never “instituted” by some society in the past. Nor was it ever intended to be an enterprise focused on the individuals.

Bishop Barron recently remarked: “… marriage, which is a lifelong and exclusive union, a complete and mutual gift of the husband and wife to each other for their good and for the procreation and education of children, is essential to the common good. However, decades of social and legal developments have torn sexuality, childbearing, and marriage from each other in the public consciousness. Much of society has lost sight of the purpose of marriage and now equates it with adults’ companionship.”

Director of Life, Marriage & Family and Communications

Why is this such a concern to the Church, and why should we be concerned? The first concern is focused on religious liberty. Cardinal Dolan warned: “the Act will be used as evidence that religious believers must surrender to the state’s interest in recognizing same-sex civil marriages. Wedding cake bakers, faith-based adoption and foster care providers, religious employers seeking to maintain their faith identity, faith-based housing agencies – are all at greater risk of discrimination under this legislation.”

The second reason is that this law will further deteriorate the truths of marriage as Cardinal Dolan recently listed: “men and women are complementary; every child deserves a mother and a father; and marriage is a permanent and exclusive union, open to the transmission of human life, and an exercise in loving sacrifice that transcends the mere self.” This is of great concern to us because, as St. John Paul II said: “The future of humanity passes through the family.”

What can we do? “If you want to bring happiness to the whole world, go home and love your family,” advised St. Teresa of Calcutta. This truly is the greatest and most powerful response. If you want to do something about the state of marriage in the world, start with your own. Let it be a place of love and witness. Finally, turn to the author of life, love and marriage and beg Him to bring forth a deeper respect for marriage in our nation.

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Vocations & Life, Marriage & Family

Become a Witness for Christ Through Totus Tuus

Faith Formation

�o you know a Catholic young adult who would make a great leader and witness to youth? Please help evangelize the youth in our diocese by inviting at least one young adult in your life to pray about becoming a Totus Tuus Missionary for this coming summer.

Totus Tuus (Latin for “Totally Yours”) is a Catholic summer youth program dedicated to sharing the Gospel and promoting the Catholic Faith through catechesis, evangelization, Christian witness, and eucharistic worship. The goal of Totus Tuus is to help young people grow in the understanding of and strengthen their faith in Jesus Christ (modified from Totus Tuus National Website,

Current seminarian and former Totus Tuus missionary John Paul Bickestaff talks about the witness of being around dynamic Catholic young adults in the Diocese of Winona-Rochester's Totus Tuus video found at

Growing up, I went to the high school night program for Totus Tuus at my parish, and I saw the witness of the Totus Tuus team members. I was so impacted by them that I thought, "When I get old enough, I’m doing that!" I found so much truth in what Pope John Paul II says, that "man does not truly find himself until he makes a complete gift of

himself," and I’ve really over this summer (2021) found that to be very true in my own life.

Former Totus Tuus missionary and current Lourdes High School campus minister Faustyna Nguyen says, “My favorite thing about Totus Tuus is getting to know the kids (they’ve taught me so much through teaching them) and falling deeper and deeper in love with Christ.” Now, as a Catholic Campus Minister, Faustyna looks back at her time as a Totus Tuus Missionary as a training ground pointing her toward her current calling at Lourdes High School in Rochester. “Totus Tuus strengthened my relationship with God through prayer, sacrifice, and seeing the joy of Christ with each student I encountered. It deepened my love for mission, and I just wanted to keep sharing the love of Christ with others.”

Gina Hubly, a Totus Tuus missionary from last summer, says that Totus Tuus is always in her heart. “I have one thing very specific about team life that I love,” says Gina, “and that's growing a relationship that is knitted together as you work and bond over the summer that becomes an everlasting friendship

Youth Ministry &

afterwards. My teammates were exactly who I needed. As a missionary, you are the one being used by God to make a difference; for me, God was not only using me as his instrument to do his will, but also to be a witness in experiencing his will!”

We are so blessed to have Totus Tuus here in the Diocese of Winona-Rochester to bring young adults into our parishes to be witnesses of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church to our youth. It is also one of the best ways for young adults to be formed in Catholic community, leadership, and to grow in their faith.

Bishop Emeritus John Quinn says:

Pope St. Paul VI said, the church doesn’t really need more teachers, it needs more witnesses. And what can be a more credible witness to a young person who is searching than to have a young person tell them they have found the truth in Jesus Christ. Totus Tuus is so effective because it’s young people evangelizing young people.

According to a CARA (Center For Applied Research on the Apostolate) special report on vocations, single adults who experienced prolonged service activities were more likely to consider a vocation to the priesthood, consecrated life, or diaconate. Bishop Robert Barron has a goal in our diocese of doubling our seminarians in five years, and perhaps a summer of service with Totus Tuus might be what a young adult needs to move them in the next step of discerning their vocation to service in the church (Nurturing Vocations to Religious Life and Priesthood: The Impact of a Volunteer Service Year).

One group in our diocese who is hard at work praying for vocations is the Serra Club. This year, the Winona Area Serra Club made a very generous donation of $1,000 to Totus Tuus and also volunteered their time and money to cook meals for our missionaries at our week-long training. Thank you, Serrans!

To help us reach our youth through Totus Tuus, please pass this article on to a young adult you know who loves Jesus and loves young people. More information about Totus Tuus can be found at our website (, including the online application, which is due March 1, 2023. Now is the time to begin planting the seed of encouragement in the life of a young adult who may be called to serve God specifically in Totus Tuus this summer. Please pray that those who are being called have the courage to say “yes” to experiencing the will of God as a witness to the Gospel.

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Dana Petricka Director of Youth Ministry and Faith Formation

A Note from the Secretary of St. Peter's School, Hokah

Catholic Schools

�orking for the Catholic Church in a variety of ways over the past nine years, I have often heard parishioners and staff discuss the many ways their parish/school stands apart from others; some talk about their wonderful religious education programs, while others may talk about the beauty of their church. For St. Peter’s Church and School in Hokah, there are a variety of things to be proud of, but, for me, it is the volunteers that I would like to boast about today.

After just a few days within starting in the parish/school office I could tell that the volunteers of St. Peter’s would be what makes this parish and school extraordinary. Although I have only been in this position since October, my first two months have been filled with encounters with some of the kindest and most generous people I have ever met. From my first day on the job, I was greeted by smiling faces, and

gracious offers of help. While I was still a stranger in many ways, I was welcomed with open arms, and it became clear to me that I was incredibly blessed to be welcomed into such a loving community - one of which so many call their family and their home.

The parishioners of St. Peter’s have created a seamless transition between parish and school. The parish community has an uncanny ability to see the needs of the school, and offer assistance before anyone even needs to ask. In these few short months, I have been able to see the generosity of St. Peter’s parishioners in a variety of ways. Just a few of these that I want to highlight are…

• A very active Altar Society (CCW) that gives of their time to put together Advent activities for the kids, so that they can continue to grow in their faith when they return home from school.

• The gracious volunteer librarian that comes in to read to the students each week, in an effort to spark a love for reading in the children.

• A large group of volunteers that wake up bright and early to peel apples for pies which are made to raise money for the school.

• Volunteers in the office, who spend hours stuffing envelopes for a mailing to the alumni community.

• Women who give of their time to decorate the church in a way that best highlights the liturgical season.

• And men who offer their afternoons to do projects around the school, such as hanging bulletin boards for their new secretary!

On November 17, St. Peter’s School students and staff were able to thank their volunteers for all that they do, as they held their Annual Thanksgiving Mass and Dinner. This event’s purpose is to celebrate St. Peter’s dedicated volunteers, without whom the school would not be the same!

The day’s event started with a Thanksgiving Mass celebrated by Fr. John Evans, where the parish and school came together to worship and celebrate their Catholic identity. Mass was then followed by a Thanksgiving feast, where the children were able to sit with their beloved mentors. This annual event is one that is looked forward to in anticipation, as the children eagerly await the opportunity to show the St. Peter’s community how very much they are appreciated.

As the parish and school secretary, I was so grateful to be part of the joy-filled celebration of what celebrates the most important part of St. Peter’s – the incredible people!

Withrow is the secretary of St. Peter's School in Hokah.

Cotter Schools Announces Triple A Nominees, Winners

�otter Schools Triple 'A' nominees are seniors Allyssa Williams, Olivia Moore, Mary Moore and Jonathan Besek, Steve Pilarski, Carver Heiring. Following Mass on Thursday, December 8, Cotter announced the winners of the Triple 'A' Award as seniors Olivia Moore and Steven Pilarski.

The Academics, Arts, and Athletics Award, commonly known as the Triple 'A' Award, honors high school seniors throughout the state who have a 3.0 or higher GPA and who participate in Leaguesponsored athletic and fine arts activities.

Triple ‘A’ Award recipients are selected through a multi-level process involving member schools of the League, the League’s administrative regions, and a special committee of educators, business leaders, and members from the fine arts and athletic communities.

Two award finishers from each region (one boy and one girl) will be invited to a recognition banquet

in March and

four statewide Triple ‘A’

All 32

will also

January 2023 w The Courier w 8
League officials will announce the Award winners at that time. finalists participate in an on-court ceremony during the Class AA championship game of the Boys Basketball State Tournament. The state- wide award winners—a girl and a boy from Class A and Class AA schools—will also receive a four-year $1,000 scholarship. Jana Korder works in communications, marketing and brand identity for Cotter Schools in Winona. Marsha Stenzel Superintendent of Catholic Schools Kindergarten and second grade students show gratitude for St. Peter's volunterers with a song. Triple A Nominees, L to R: (front row) Allyssa Williams, Olivia Moore, Mary Moore (back row) Jon Besek, Steven Pilarski and Carver Heiring Triple A Winners Steven Pilarski and Olivia Moore with Associate Athletic Director Jason Klug (L) and Athletic Director Mathias O'Brien (R)

Lourdes High School Is Thankful for Leaders

Bishop Barron reminded us that it was to Bernadette at Lourdes that the Holy Mother revealed herself in those words: "I am the Immaculate Conception." So we are made aware especially on that particular Feast of the calling since our baptism - to reflect the light of goodness within and against the culture of darkness; to commit ourselves to the goodness of others rather than grasping for ourselves; to represent the Presence of God in our lives by offering love intentionally in things small and great, all ways

-Robert S.P. Gardner, Lourdes theology faculty

�n Thursday, December 8, Bishop Barron came to Lourdes to celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception with the Lourdes community as well as with the administrators from the Diocese of WinonaRochester. In listening to the Bishop’s homily, I was reminded of how grateful we are at Lourdes for a number of gifts, particularly to have been blessed

this year with a chaplain, Fr. Michael Churchill, and a full-time campus minister, Ms. Faustyna Nguyen. Their presence over the course of the last five months has been a witness, in “ways small and great,” of the presence of God.

While Fr. Churchill and Ms. Nguyen conduct themselves in ways that are customary to their particular roles, planning and celebrating Mass, leading retreats and prayer services, and organizing service projects, to name a few, it is ultimately their intentionality and awareness of those whom they serve that has had such a lasting impact on the Lourdes community.

Ms. Nguyen and Fr. Churchill have formed a Newman Center on campus where students can be together, play games and take a break from the stresses of the day, ask questions or be in dialogue about their faith, engage in spiritual direction, and learn about vocations. The creation of the Newman Center was relatively easy: classroom furniture was moved out of the space and Ms. Nguyen found inexpensive and comfortable furniture to move in and arrange in the former classroom. Then, she decorated it with soft lighting, a prayer board, and visual depictions of the saints. It is, in appearance, a small representation of the presence of God.

Catholic Schools

The seemingly simple space, however, has had a profound impact. In some ways, it isn’t about the room at all, but about the two colleagues who in five short months have demonstrated what it means to live in and create a faith community. Ms. Nguyen and Fr. Churchill regularly attend sporting and fine arts events to support the students. They are inviting, calm, personable, relatable, faith-filled people who create a welcoming space wherever they are. You can’t help but be drawn to their gentleness, their humor, and their genuine care and compassion for all with whom they come in contact. In all that they do, and all that they are, they are living examples of people who have “committed themselves to the goodness of others, who reflect the light of goodness within,” and gently lead each member of the Lourdes community to a deeper understanding of faith and the goodness that is possible within each of us.

Mary Spring is the principal of Lourdes High School in Rochester.

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B�sh�p Barr�n �e�ebra�e� the Mass on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary with the Lourdes staff, students, and diocesan administrators on Thursday, December 8. Following Mass, Bishop Barron met with the administrators and shared his views on Catholic education, answered questions, and ended the morning with a luncheon. Lourdes students after an Advent prayer service Adam Worm, Faustyna Nguyen and Fr. Michael Churchill at the Senior Retreat Lourdes students with Bishop Robert Barron after Mass on December 8, 2022

Catholic Charities

MediAppS Program Helps Alleviate Tough Decisions

�magine choosing between your mental health and breathing.

It sounds like something out of a fantasy novel or a TV show. A tyrannical sorcerer appears before a hero, putting before them a terrible choice: sacrifice their mental health, or their ability to breathe. Some people in southern Minnesota have to make a similar choice every month, and there is nothing fantastical about it.

“That’s exactly the reason we created MediAppS,” Catholic Charities of Southern Minnesota Executive Director Shanna Harris says. “At Catholic Charities, we believe that no one should be without prescribed medications because they cannot afford to pay for them.”

In 2023, the MediAppS, or Medication Application Services Program, marks its 20th year of helping people pay for their prescription drugs. In just the last year, the MediAppS program helped 99 uninsured or underinsured individuals obtain needed prescription medications they cannot afford on their own. Heading into the new year, MediAppS needs more funding to expand the program to help more people obtain essential prescription medication.

People like Miranda*, 37, of Winona County. Miranda had been on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for several years but chose to discontinue that coverage because she felt her health had improved. She was able to hold down a

steady job and cover all of her expenses. However, her mental health issues returned while she was in-between insurance coverage, forcing her to make that terrible choice every time she went to the pharmacy: pay for the meds to help her mental health, or the inhaler to help her breathe.

“She was in tears on the phone,” Catholic Charities of Southern Minnesota MediAppS Coordinator Jan Weiser says. “She just couldn’t pay for the medications; she needed her rent and everything else we all need to live.”

Weiser hears stories like Miranda’s almost every day.

Catholic Charities Wins $5K Best Life Community Award

“People are making tough decisions that many of us could not even imagine. Choosing between the drugs that keep them healthy and their rent, or food, or gas to get to work,” Wieser says.

A Rand Corporation study of drug prices in the U.S. compared to the rest of the world shines a light on what Americans face every time they have a prescription filled. People in the U.S. often pay at least twice as much as those in other developed countries.

“We cannot fix the issues that make prescription drug prices so high in this country, but we can try to help the people affected by those high prices get the medications they need to be healthy,” Harris says.

Catholic Charities was able to help Miranda in two ways. First, by working with her local pharmacy, and paying for 90 days’ worth of her medications through the MediApps Emergency Cash Assistance Fund. Then, by helping her sign up for and navigate programs by pharmaceutical companies to get her medications for free or at a reduced cost.

“I can’t thank the MediAppS Program enough,” Miranda exclaims. “I’d just cry every month because I need the medication. Otherwise, I’ll die or end up in the psych ward. MediApps is a true hero to me.” *Name has been changed to maintain confidentiality.

counties for AmeriCorps Seniors by Catholic Charities.

WINONA – Catholic Charities of Southern Minnesota is the winner of a $5,000 Community Assistance Award through Altra Federal Credit Union’s annual Best Life Community Awards.

That money will go to help Catholic Charities programs like MediAppS, which helps people with low incomes enroll in programs to get prescription medications at reduced or no cost, and provides emergency cash assistance to pay for prescriptions; and Onward & Upward, a program that provides a pathway for single parents and pregnant women to complete a college degree in the healthcare field through social and financial support.

“Every grant or award we receive is a blessing,” Catholic Charities Executive Director Shanna Harris said. “And every dollar of this award will go to help the most vulnerable and needy in our community.

Longtime volunteer Marla Markham nominated Catholic Charities when she learned of the Best Life Community Awards in July.

“I believe in the mission,” Markham said. “And I wanted other people to know what Catholic Charities does.” Markham is a part of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, administered in 19

The community voted online for 15 days at the beginning of November for nonprofits in a wide variety of service sectors all over the country including schools, food pantries, and cancer support organizations. At the end of the voting, Catholic Charities and nine other organizations each won a $5,000 Community Assistance Award.

“What I like the best about Catholic Charities is it is ever expanding and changing as needs are identified,” Markham wrote in her nomination letter to Altra. “They are willing to step in to help a community need and partner with others to bring needed services.” The nomination went on to include every Catholic Charities program, from adoption and parenting services to serving the homeless in warming centers to helping people afford their prescription medications.

Southern Minnesota
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CCW Member Meeting to Be Held in Blue Earth

hopefully, God has blessed all of us with a Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year. Enjoy the beauty of winter with your family and friends.

January is the month of the Holy Name of Jesus.

You may have made a new year’s resolution by now, but as for me I look at doing something extra. Do more Bible reading, prayers, adoration hours, saying the rosary daily and attend more Masses.

All the women of the diocese are invited to attend our Member Meeting at St. Peter & St. Paul in Blue Earth on January 10, starting with Mass at 8:30, followed with registration and the meeting concluding at 3:00. The in-depth talks will be on Leadership and Legislative/Anti-Pornography commissions. We are all remarkably busy in today’s world but are we willing to take a leap of fate? We still need someone to step forward and be our International Commission Chair. Our past chair is willing to mentor the incoming individual.


Father David L. Wechter, OCSO, 92, returned to the Lord, the second Sunday of Advent, December 4, 2022, surrounded by his community, the Hermits of St. Mary of Carmel.

He was born April 23, 1930, in Buffalo, NY, to Vincent and Grace (O’Brien) Wechter. While living in New York, he attended St. Mark’s Church and grammar school, Holy Angels Collegiate Institute for 4 years, followed by Canisius College.

Upon seeing a picture of a Benedictine monk in the Catholic Encyclopedia, his desire for monastic life began to resonate in his heart. He felt called specifically to a focused life of prayer, rather than the diocesan priesthood or other forms of religious life.

Is God calling you to help with His work of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy? If you have questions and want to learn more about what we do as CCW, make contact with us. We will do all that we can to answer your questions and welcome you. The National Council of Catholic Women acts through its members to support, empower, and educate all Catholic women in spirituality, leadership, and service. NCCW programs respond with Gospel values to the needs of the Church and society in the modern world.

We had a wonderful NCCW Convention in Minneapolis the first week in November. Save the date for the NCCW 103rd Annual convention on August 24-26, 2023, in Salt Lake City, UT, at the Hyatt Regency.

Eleanore Jones is the president of the Winona-Rochester Diocesan Council of Catholic Women.

He eventually applied to the Trappist monastery at New Melleray in Iowa and officially entered the community on September 8, 1951. He became a Novice the First Sunday of Advent that year and then made temporary vows December 8, 1953. By the grace of God, his perpetual profession was on December 8, 1956.

As priestly studies were done in the monastery, he eventually was ordained to the priesthood on May 1, 1958. The following year in 1959, he was sent to Rome to study Canon Law at the Gregorian Institute. He completed his studies in 1961 and earned his Licentiate of Canon Law (J.C.L). Then in 1965, Father David served as the temporary superior for Assumption Abbey in Ava, MO, a daughter house of New Melleray Abbey. Two years later, he was elected Abbot of New Melleray and humbly served this position until he retired in 1976. Shortly thereafter, he was appointed chaplain to the nuns at the Trappistine monastery, Our Lady of the

There �ere 14 �h���ren bap��ze� at a special Mass on Saturday, November 26. The parishes of St. James in St. James and St. Mary's in Madelia frequently have multiple baptisms on weekends. This one called for a special Mass since five of the newly baptized are over seven years of age.

The Church says that if an unbaptized person is seven years of age, the priest must baptize, confirm and give the catechumen first Holy Communion in the same celebration.

Of these 14 - 12 pictured here - five received the Sacrament of Confirmation and their first Holy Communion.

One of the newly baptized said to Fr. Hall after the ceremony: "Father Hall! I don't know why, but I feel like this is the best day of my life!" Indeed it is! Because she and the other 13 are now members of the body of Christ! They are now Children of God!

Photos and captions submitted by REV. TIMOTHY HALL, pastor of St. James Parish in St. James and St. Mary Parish in Madelia.

Mississippi for the next three years.

As time went on, Father David felt the Lord calling him in a special way. He desired a more solitary way of life, growing stronger as the years carried on. With the Abbot’s permission, he was allowed to pursue this calling. He spent about 7 months with the Camaldolese monks in Ohio and then a few months with a small community in Mississippi. By then, the Lord had finally answered his prayers when a letter from a group of hermit sisters in Wisconsin had reached him. These sisters were looking for a hermit-chaplain and in 1981, he accepted the request to be their chaplain for the Mount Carmel Hermitage which was located in Amery, WI.

He continued his chaplaincy as the community moved its location to Houston, MN. He also served many years as a Spiritual Director for Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary and as a judge on the Tribunal of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester since 1998. Father David remained with the HSMC community until the day he died and will be greatly missed by all the Carmelite sisters. Shortly before he passed, when the sisters asked him if there was anything he needed, his reply was “Heaven.” Father David truly exemplified the heart and soul of a hermit, desiring nothing more than to be with Him, whom he loves. Even until the moment he passed away in solitude, he exemplified the Song of Songs, his favorite book in Scripture: “I will seek him whom my soul loves” (Sng 3:2).

Services were held on Saturday, December 10, 2022, at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona. The Most Reverend Robert Barron, Bishop of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, was the principal celebrant, with concelebrating priests. Interment was at the cemetery of the New Melleray Abbey, Peosta, Iowa, with Fr. Wechter's Cistercian community.

January 2023 w The Courier w
In the Diocese

Minnesota Catholic Conference Inside the Capitol

Opportunities for a Positive Vision of the Good

The 2023 legislative session will be filled with challenges and opportunities. Governor Walz and DFL legislative majority leaders promised to use their historic “trifecta” to, at the outset, make our state’s abortion regime even more permissive and legalize recreational marijuana. These policy challenges present a tremendous opportunity for Minnesota Catholics to, as Pope Francis has said, “meddle in politics” by proposing a positive vision: the ability to choose what we ought, not the license to choose what we want.

Abortion is already legal up till birth in Minnesota, and our state supreme court has declared abortion

access part of the right to privacy in our constitution. Almost half of abortions are paid for by taxpayers. The court’s decisions already put Minnesota on par with North Korea and China. Yet, abortion proponents want to take abortion access even further by enshrining this radical regime in our statutes.

We must work against a policy of abortion on demand. But in saying “no” to abortion, we must help people say yes to life. We propose creating a supportive climate for mothers and families by promoting policies such as nutritional supports for expectant mothers, adequate healthcare coverage during and after pregnancy for both the mother and child, a child tax credit, childcare assistance, housing supports, and more.

Bishop of St. Cloud, cont'd from pg. 1

Vespers will take place on Monday, Feb. 13. The appointment was announced Dec. 15 in Washington by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States. Bishop-elect Neary succeeds Bishop Donald J. Kettler, who will

serve as apostolic administrator until Bishop-elect Neary’s installation.

Similarly, when it comes to legalizing recreational marijuana, we owe Minnesotans a positive vision of the good. Rather than enabling people to dull their brain function with marijuana, we should address the root causes that lead so many to recreational drug use in the first place. As Catholics, we believe there is a better path to justice than normalizing and commercializing a drug that has been linked to the degradation of communities, the environment, and the common good.

Legalizing what some will treat as a recreational activity will likely impose much harm on the rest of us, especially in the realm of public safety where it is associated with an increase in crime and traffic accidents. Marijuana endangers those already struggling with substance abuse and serves as a gateway drug for youth. Among states where recreational marijuana is legal, drug use among teenagers increases. We owe it to Minnesotans to provide safe roadways, safe workplaces, and healthy internal and external environments to raise children.

Catholics cannot only oppose the killing of the innocent and the legalizing of vice. We must also propose a better alternative - a positive vision of the good. You can do so by asking your legislators to enact policies that create a welcoming environment for all.

where he learned Spanish. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in history.

After completing his novitiate year in Cascade, Colorado, Bishop-elect Neary began his M.Div. studies in 1986 at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, California. In 1988, he spent the entire year at the congregation’s seminary in Santiago, Chile, where he practiced his Spanish.

Every Sunday

The Televised Mass Is Offered

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")

“No one is more surprised than I am to be asked to serve as bishop of the Diocese of St. Cloud,” Bishop-elect Neary said. “Yet I have always trusted that Christ has guided me through every stage of my life as a priest. I so look forward to meeting everyone who is a part of this diocese, my new family. I especially ask God to help me build on the legacy of Bishop Kettler and all the clergy and personnel who serve in the diocese with zeal and devotion. Please pray for me that I can be a faithful and loving servant to all of you.”

Bishop Kettler said he is very excited about the appointment. “Father Neary is tremendously qualified with his experiences as a pastor, seminary rector, formation director and missioner. I am very appreciative that he said yes to the call to serve the people of this diocese as their bishop, and I welcome him warmly to Central Minnesota.”

Most Rev. Robert Barron, Bishop of WinonaRochester, said, "I was delighted to learn that Fr. Patrick Neary, CSC has been appointed the new bishop of the diocese of St. Cloud. I have known Bishop-elect Neary for many years. When I was a scholar in residence at the University of Notre Dame, some twenty years ago, he was the vicerector of Moreau Seminary, where I resided. I came to know him as an extraordinarily kind, compassionate, intelligent, and devoted priest. He will be a blessing to the good people of the St. Cloud diocese.”

Bishop-elect Neary was born on March 6, 1963, in La Porte, Indiana, to Jacob and Marybelle Neary. He is the first-born of six children and has five sisters. His family belongs to St. Joseph Parish in La Porte, where the Neary siblings attended St. Joseph’s Grade School.

He graduated from La Porte High School in 1981 and entered the undergraduate seminary with the Congregation of Holy Cross at the University of Notre Dame. While at Notre Dame, he spent a semester at Anahuac University in Mexico City,

He professed perpetual vows with Congregation of Holy Cross on Sept. 1, 1990, and was ordained a priest at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at Notre Dame on April 1, 1991, by Bishop Paul Waldschmidt.

In 1994, Bishop-elect Neary was assigned to the University of Notre Dame and worked in the Office of Campus Ministry, primarily ministering to Latino students at Notre Dame and serving as R.O.T.C. chaplain.

In 2000, he was appointed assistant rector at Moreau Seminary at Notre Dame and in 2004 was named rector of Moreau Seminary for a six-year term. He served on the Provincial Council of the U.S. Province of Priests and Brothers from 20032010, and served on the Vocation and Formation Commission of the General Administration for the Congregation of Holy Cross in Rome from 20022010.

When he finished his term as rector, Bishopelect Neary was asked to run the congregation’s seminary in Nairobi, Kenya, for two years to train a new team of formation personnel and build up the seminary program. He began his service in Nairobi in June 2010. The following year he was elected district superior of Holy Cross in East Africa and moved to the district headquarters in Uganda. There he served two three-year terms as district superior and finished his time of service in East Africa in January 2018.

Since July 2018, Bishop-elect Neary has served as pastor of Holy Redeemer Parish in Portland, Oregon.

The Diocese of Saint Cloud encompasses 16 counties in Central Minnesota. It includes 131 parishes grouped into 29 Area Catholic Communities and a Catholic population of approximately 125,000 people.

• The Courier January 2023
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