The Courier - January 2022

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St. Agnes January 21

January 2022

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

Can Mapping the Global Catholic Catholic Church Help Heal the Earth? Charities Welcomes Dr. Mary Larscheid DENVER NEWSROOM, Jan. 1, 2022 (CNA) - When Molly Burhans met with Pope Francis in 2018, she presented him with a map. The Catholic Church is one of the largest non-governmental owners of land in the entire world— by one estimate, the Church owns some 177 million acres. That land includes parish churches, cathedrals, hospitals, monasteries, convents, farms, schools, forests...even a few dubiouslypurchased apartment buildings. But a lot of that land isn’t serving the Church’s mission. A lot of it is underutilized, being used for some purpose that’s not ideal, or harming the environment; or, it’s simply gathering dust. Burhans says one of the biggest reasons for this is that many dioceses and parishes don’t have information at their fingertips about what property they own, let alone plans for what to do with it. This is one of the reasons that for the past several years, Burhans has been developing interactive electronic maps of the global Catholic Church, with the goal of making the Church more sustainable, and more effective at Her mission. “I see so much potential”

Burhans says she learned about the power of land early in her life, growing up in Buffalo, New York— a city largely in decline with an abundance of unused space, but a lot of potential, she says. “I saw that property could change people, transform people and transform communities,” Burhans said. Burhans committed to her Catholic faith when she was a young adult, and at one point, she even considered religious life. It was while staying at a convent during her dis-

cernment process that Burhans saw firsthand the problems, and opportunities, that the Church’s vast land ownership could bring. The convent in question owned a lot of land— vast lawns, forests, buildings— too much really to care for it all in the best way possible. “I see so much potential. I see that their forest could actually, with a good management plan, could help support them financially,” Burhans recalled. Burhans didn’t ultimately join the convent, but the lessons she learned about land management stuck with her, and she wanted to help. While in graduate school at the Conway School in Massachusetts, Burhans figured out how to create an interactive map of over 30,000 land parcels in Portland, Maine, with the goal of protecting urban pollinator habitats. The experience of working on that project got her gears going. “Wow, we could do this with Catholic property,” she realized. “If I can do this with 30,000 individual parcels, why don't I do this with a whole diocese’s properties, you know, or a whole religious order?” Burhans got a pretty fortunate break when the founders of a mapping software company, Esri, offered to give her access to their most sophisticated software package for free to help her start her Catholic mapping project. Still, at the beginning— in fact, for the first several years— Burhans wasn’t in a position to charge for her services. She did everything pro bono. Burhans began cold-calling dioceses, offering to map all the properties they owned. Most dioceses she contacted— if they agreed at all— had their property records stored in a dusty box in a basement somewhere, so getting them all in

Mapping, cont'd on pg. 2

Submitted by SHEILA COLLOM


Charities of Southern Minnesota is excited to welcome Dr. Mary E. Larscheid as a Counselor in their Family and Individual Counseling Program in their Albert Lea Office. Dr. Larscheid received her Bachelor of Arts from Augustana College, Sioux Falls SD, master’s in social work from the University of Nebraska/Omaha NE, and her Ph.D. through Capella University, Minneapolis. Her area of expertise is the emotional and behavioral health of children, adolescents, and young adults. A Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 30 years of social work experience, the majority of Dr. Larscheid’s work has been with children and adolescents in the mental health field. She

Larscheid, cont'd on pg. 12

INSIDE this issue

The Best Book You Haven't Read page 4

Academic Testing Results page 6

Incarnational Ministry page 10

Articles of Interest








Witnessing to Christ______________________5

The Courier Insider

Catholic Schools Updates_________________6-7 We




Do You Know How Valued You Are?_______9 Incarnational Ministry_____________________10 You Should Go to World Youth Day!________10 Molly Burhans presents one of her maps to Pope Francis and Cardinal Peter Turkson at the Vatican during the summer of 2018. Credit: Vatican Media


cont'd from pg. 1

order was a lot of work. GoodLands’ work in this regard was groundbreaking— surprisingly so. Burhans quickly found that even seemingly simple online maps simply weren’t available, such as a map showing the precise boundaries of each diocese and the diocese’ name. Burhans had sought out the advice of CARA, a Catholic research group based at Georgetown University in Washington D.C., to see if perhaps they had a digital map of all the U.S. dioceses. All they could offer her, she says, was a PDF that showed all the dioceses of the United States. Nothing interactive, and nothing global. “There was no global map of anything except for this one on was made in Photoshop, pretty much, by a kid who was 16 and had pretty much painted it on. So that was the only global map of the church,” she said, adding that she later hired that “kid” as a paid intern. By this point, Burhans had assembled a team of cartographers ready to create these maps that she sought. But still, she had her doubts. Surely the Vatican already had a mapping project like this, and maybe they had a good reason not to make the maps public. She didn’t want to reinvent the wheel, or worse, step on Pope Francis’ toes. “I didn't want to go ahead with this project first, if the Vatican had it internally; second, if the Vatican had it internally and had good reason that I might not know for not releasing it publicly,” she said. Turns out, she says...the Vatican didn’t have it. Burhans would have to make the maps herself— and she did. Why Maps?

Today, several years on, along with a team of nearly 3,000 cartographers, Burhans and GoodLands have managed to map almost every single piece of Church-owned property in the United States. They haven’t made that particular map publicly available, but many of their other maps, containing a wealth of data, are available to view and download on the GoodLands website. The beauty of mapping out everything the Church owns,

The Courier is the official publication of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester 55 West Sanborn, P.O. Box 588, Winona, MN 55987 Vol 113 - 1

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

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Diocesan Headlines____________________11-12

Burhans says, is that it allows for better-informed decisions about what to do with the Church’s vast land holdings. It allows the Church’s leaders to better use what they have to further the Church’s mission, she says. Many dioceses across the country are finding themselves with little choice but to sell off their buildings or land, as their coffers begin to run dry amid declining donations, church attendance, and increasingly, abuse lawsuits. The data that GoodLands has collected is useful for much more than selling property, however. They’ve gathered a lot of information related to environmental concerns— properties at risk of flooding due to climate change, sea level rises, fire risk, etc. There’s also a three-dimensional map of Boston with all the buildings and topography included throughout the diocese, mapped with NOAA-based data about sea level rise. They’ve also mapped properties most at risk for earthquakes in Los Angeles. What’s Next?

Burhans met with Pope Francis in 2018, and showed him one of her maps that she had created showing the percentage of Catholics in each diocese of the world. The pope was intrigued; soon after the meeting, he invited her to create a new institute of the Vatican dedicated to map-making, on a six-month trial basis. If created, this would likely be the first female-founded department at the Vatican. But, ultimately, Burhans turned down that initial offer because it didn’t include any funding. She’s currently working on a proposal for a cartography institute— which she envisions as a “sister institute” to the Vatican observatory— that will, ideally, receive funding from the Vatican. Obviously, the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down those plans. But it hasn’t stopped Burhans from garnering more than a half-dozen awards from various organizations, most recently the Sierra Club. Burhans said GoodLands isn’t accepting new clients at the moment, partly because they’ve been inundated with so many requests from dioceses and other Catholic organizations. Burhans speaks passionately about her hopes that her maps will provoke change in the Church, but she also says she has yet to see her maps move people in the way she hoped. Could a fully-fledged cartography institute at the Vatican change that? It remains to be seen, but Burhans is ready and willing to give it a try. “A map is worth a million words...This will transform the operations of the Catholic church. I have little doubt,” she said.

Child Abuse Policy Information

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

The Holy Father's Intention for

January 2022 For True Human Fraternity We pray for all those suffering from religious discrimination and persecution; may their own rights and dignity be recognized, which originate from being brothers and sisters in the human family. Where to Find the Courier

Note: Delivery of hard copies to parishes, which was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will not resume. Any person who would like to read The Courier in hard copy should request home delivery, free of charge. • An online version may be viewed at courier/index.html • To be added to the home delivery list, readers should send their names and addresses to: Diocese of Winona-Rochester The Courier 55 W Sanborn St. Winona, MN 55987 or

Protect Life

Bishop John M. Quinn

�ear Friends in Christ,

The Sanctity of Life

This month marks the 49th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. In this tragic decision, the Supreme Court ruled that children in the womb could be killed up to the time of “viability,” which at that time was determined to be 24-28 weeks into pregnancy. With our current laws, unborn babies are not afforded the right to life and liberty, and since Roe vs. Wade, abortion has killed over 62 million babies. Currently, there is a case before the Supreme Court that has the potential to overturn the egregious ruling of Roe vs. Wade. The State of Mississippi has banned most abortions past 15 weeks. Before Roe vs. Wade, states had the freedom to limit or completely ban abortion, but since 1973 they have been unable to do so. In this case, Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the only abortion provider in

Bishop's Calendar

Synod Listening Sessions

This month parishes will hold listening sessions that will constitute a major part of the diocesan phase of the Synod of Bishops. Pope Francis’ desire

January 8-14, Saturday-Friday Region VIII Bishops’ Retreat

January 18, Tuesday 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. - Clergy Personnel Committee Meeting - Winona January 19, Wednesday 6:50 p.m. - Virtual Guest for the 6thGrade Faith Formation Class of St. Casimir Church, Wells January 20, Thursday 10:32 a.m. - Guest speaker on Real

is that the entire Church, the entire people of God, be listened to, and so this synodal process is beginning at the level of the diocesan Church. In the Diocese of WinonaRochester, each parish or cluster has been asked to have a listening session to which all in the area are invited. The listening session is not only for registered parishioners who attend Mass, but for all who live within the geographic territory of the church. This includes those who are not Catholic, those who have stopped coming to church, the homeless, those who may feel alienated from God or the Church, the poor, those living with disabilities, and others on the margins of society. This way, we will be able to get a better representation of and sharing from all those that the Church is called to serve and evangelize. The foremost priority of these sessions is to listen. Most importantly, we must listen to the Holy Spirit who speaks to us in prayer and in our hearts. Each of the listening sessions are to start with prayer, so that everyone can put aside their own opinions and agendas, and be open to what the Holy Spirit wants to tell them, either directly or through others. After prayer, there will be a time of sharing experiences and listening, with the goal of discerning how the Holy Spirit is moving in the Church. The listening sessions are designed to be three hours, but some parishes may decide to split up the time into multiple sessions, or to simply hold the listening session multiple times so as to accommodate more people. I know there is some concern that this synodal process is aimed at changing doctrine and long-standing practices of the Church. However, the listening sessions are not meant to be

Presence Catholic Radio 1 p.m. - Holy Hour and Bishop’s Cabinet Meeting - Winona January 21, Friday 8 a.m. - Teach at SMU

January 23, Sunday 10 a.m. - Mass for Life - St. Mary Church, Caledonia January 25, Tuesday Episcopal Ordination of Bishop-elect Joseph Williams - Cathedral of St. Paul,

St. Paul, MN

political conventions where we lobby for our own agendas. Instead, the synodal process is a consultative process, intended to provide feedback from those experiencing life in the local Church. In the process, we do need to be able to listen to those who are hurt and suffering, and acknowledge their pain. On the other hand, we will also hear of people encountering Christ’s love and joy through His Church and His disciples. In either case, we should listen with the heart, acknowledging people’s experiences, while also recognizing the fact that the Church cannot change its perennial teachings, and just because many people believe a particular decision should be made, that does not mean that’s the course of action the Church will take. The goal of the synodal process is not to change doctrine, but to hear the needs and experiences of those all over the world, in order to help the pope and bishops better discern how to best build up the Church in the third millennium. Please contact your parish for details on its listening session, and feel free to invite and bring along others, especially those who may not be a part of, or feel alienated from, the Church, but who have an openness to prayer, sharing their experiences, and engaging in this process. The Church exists to evangelize everyone, so the synodal listening sessions are open to anyone who wishes to come. Church Unity

Every year, from January 18 to January 25, the Church observes the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. This week recognizes the fact that all Christians have a shared belief in Jesus Christ, and that the Lord’s prayer is that all may

January 27, Thursday 11 a.m. - Holy Hour and Pension Plan for Priests Board Meeting - Winona January 28, Friday 10 a.m. - Mass - Rochester Catholic Schools - Lourdes High School, Rochester February 1, Tuesday 10 a.m. - Holy Hour and Diocesan Finance Council Meeting


be one. Although there are still irreconcilable differences between the many Christian churches, this week provides us with an opportunity to promote dialogue and pray that one day our unity in Christ may be complete. For more information on the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, you can visit the Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute at www., or contact Fr. Will Thompson, Ecumenical Director for the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, at 507858-1267 or vicargeneral@

From the Bishop

Rejoice in Hope

Mississippi, is seeking to have Mississippi’s ban stuck down in light of Roe vs. Wade. If the Supreme Court determines that the Mississippi ban on abortions past 15 weeks is constitutional, that will effectively overturn Roe vs. Wade. This would allow states to once again limit and ban abortion, which could result in many states banning it completely, or severely limiting the practice. Many lives would be saved – both the unborn children and also the mothers and fathers who would be spared the trauma that comes from the tragedy of abortion. The implications of the outcome of this case are tremendous, and so I ask you to fast and pray for a good outcome to this Supreme Court case. The Supreme Court normally does not release its decisions in high-profile cases until June, so while the case was heard on December 1, we still have several months to wait until a decision is announced. Here in the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, we will have our annual Mass for Life this month, to celebrate the gift of life and pray for its protection, from conception to natural death. The Mass will be held on January 23, the day after the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, and will be hosted by St. Mary’s Parish in Caledonia, at 10:00 am. All are invited to this special Mass, and even if you are unable to attend, I ask you to pray for the conversion of hearts, so that all may be convinced of the sanctity of life, and work for its protection.

Catholic Schools Week

This year’s annual Catholic Schools Week is January 30-February 5. This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the blessings of our Catholic Schools, places where the Catholic faith is practiced and celebrated. Our Catholic school families and communities work together to assist parents in their responsibility to raise their children in the faith. Here in the Diocese of WinonaRochester we are privileged to have four Catholic high schools and numerous Catholic elementary schools and child care centers. Catholic schools are truly an integral part of a vibrant Catholic community. Blessed are you! Sincerely in Christ,

+ John M. Quinn Bishop of Winona-Rochester

February 2, Wednesday 8:45 a.m. - Mass - St. Teresa Campus Grades 5-12 - Cotter Gym, Winona 11 a.m. - Mass for World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life - Cathedral of the Sacred Heart February 3, Thursday 1 p.m. - Holy Hour and Bishop’s Cabinet Meeting 3:30 p.m. - Virtual meeting with MN Bishops January 2022 w The Courier w

Missionary Discipleship


The Best Book

You Haven't Read

�hose of you who have spoken with

me know how highly I think of the book Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus by Sherry Weddell. If you care about Christianity in the USA, I continue to recommend that everyone read it: it is a modern classic on our call to evangelize and grow disciples in the midst of a turn of the age and the rise of the nones. Weddell introduces her call to share the gospel through a bracing but tragic look at the statistics and patterns of Church affiliation in the past 20 years (ending at 2012…so the book is already a little dated). There is another book that I recommend reading–and if anything, read it first. Right after the Bible! From Christendom to Apostolic Mission: Pastoral Strategies for an Apostolic Age is an incredibly incisive short read that explains why many in the Church are disoriented, unsure why so many people are drifting from practicing the faith, any faith, to identifying as a “none.” And more importantly, why the way we practice being Church must shift. It is a keen “sign of the times.” I’ll admit, the title and cover don’t do the content any credit. But then again, this small book was meant to be an in-house reflection for the University of Mary campus, written by the school’s president, Msgr. James Shea. It’s just that people began to read it and said–this book nails our situation in a precise,

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compassionate, and hopeful way. Everyone needs to read this! The book’s insight is that there are two ways, or ages, in which the Christian Church inhabits the world. One is where the narrative of Christianity is anchored in the culture, and the Church serves and develops within it. Within this age, virtually everyone will assume the human being is created by God with a spiritual destiny, and the created world is enlivened by the Holy Spirit. Worship is recognized and expected. The idea that there is a right and wrong is assumed, and striving for the right is key to human life. This spiritual background is also in a healthy relationship with reason and the natural world. When the Church lives in such a culture, Shea calls it a “Christendom age” for those disciples. (For you history buffs, he is not referring to Christendom as a form of political empire.) Yet what marks the age is less what is believed (in Christendom, there were some devout Catholics and some laggards and some who were not Christian at all), and not people’s virtue or vice, but more the fact that there was a prevailing Christian imaginative vision. The narrative that goodness wins, virtue is sacrificial, doing wrong is a grave matter, a personal God is real, cherishing children is the norm–centuries of generations in the Western world could not imagine a universe other than the above. And many of us–probably about age 40-45 and older–grew up in this prevailing Christian imaginative vision, and the Church we knew served the people within the culture. In fact, it literally is hard for us to imagine a world that is different from it. The normativity of this narrative is sunk in our bones. And yet–half the current population in the United States grew up in a different age. They were even raised by parents who operated out of the Christian imaginative vision. But through media, peers, pop philosophy, education, and more, they have been immersed in a different culture. And it is difficult, if not nearly impossible, to drink some of it in. This second possibility for disciples is to live in an apostolic age. This is an age where Christianity is not the prevailing imaginative vision in a given culture, but something else is. In our case, it is the secular world vision: the human being as measured by his usefulness and desirability, if God is real He is distant, right and wrong is subjective, and fulfillment is self-created. The highest virtues are tolerance and protecting others’ autonomy. All of these presumptions animate a prevailing imagination that is very different from the Christian imagination. People can be Christian in a secular culture–God seeks and speaks to every human heart–but it requires recognizing that Christianity is in many ways the counterculture. It is distinctive, different, and requires courage: no one is a Christian by simply coasting with the culture. (Or, people can be practicing Christianity but change essential pieces of the narrative to secular values, which may be well-intentioned but a deep misunderstanding of what it means to be a disciple of Christ.) The Church living in this age, in every historical circumstance and place, responds through

Susan Windley-Daoust

Director of Missionary Discipleship

NEW Catholic in Recovery Group in 2022 General Recovery @ Holy Spirit Church, Rochester Starting Jan. 2: Sundays, 7:30 p.m.

More info: Peter at or 507696-7437

More on Catholic in Recovery: recovery.html

Do you want to be in the loop on evangelization opportunities in southern Minnesota? Please request to be on our Evangelization email list! Weekly notes with encouragement and options for your consideration. Interested? Email Susan at apostolic mission–that is, focusing on the Great Commission and preparing people to live as joyful Christians against the grain. Or, Shea remarks with painful pungency, the local Church will fail. There is a lyricism to the book’s argument and a complexity I cannot capture in this short article. But here is the main takeaway: we need to read the signs of the times, as Jesus said, and see that our homeland has changed in significant ways. As a Church, we need to empower people to live as Christian witnesses in a culture that increasingly does not understand the message of Christ. The Great Commission is not “over there,” it’s right here. A way of being Church that worked well when the prevailing cultural narrative was Christian simply will not work now. The good news is that Christianity was born in an apostolic age, and every missionary impulse was Church the same way. There is nothing anti-Catholic about this; we wrote the book! But it does require change. And Shea has potent suggestions there as well. If you enjoy spending cold winter nights reading a book, I strongly suggest reading this one. It is one of those books that explains why everything we see is the way it is, and that is no small feat. If you want to read this as a book study with others at your parish, consider the discussion questions I have posted under Resources at the DOWR Missionary Discipleship page: missionary-discipleship/resources.html. Happy reading!

Witnessing to Christ Todd Graff

Director of Lay Formation & RCIA


Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses. -Pope Paul VI, Evangelii Nuntiandi, no. 41

have been asked many times through my work in RCIA ministry, “What makes you passionate about this area of ministry?”

My answer to this question is always met with a joyful exclamation, “RCIA changed my life!” RCIA ministry requires a fair amount of time and understanding; and, to be very honest, RCIA can be complicated. While it can be easy for those involved in this ministry area to get overwhelmed with the details concerning stages of the process, liturgical rites, adapting the formation process to your candidates’ and catechumens’ needs, etc. – among many others – I want to focus in this article on the difference that just one person can make in this process by their simple presence and witness. Recently, I learned that my RCIA coordinator from 10 years ago, Jennifer Garvey, has been going through some very challenging difficulties with dementia. In reflecting on the special place that Jennifer has in my heart, I was reminded of my RCIA process which I described above as life changing. While there were many wonderful pieces that came together to form a powerful process, my mind was immediately drawn to the person that held all of those pieces together. This person was Jennifer Garvey. Many of us have had a witness in our life who points us in the direction of Christ and helps us on our journey to him. Jennifer was this witness for me. While through my experience working in RCIA, I have learned that there were some things missing in my journey, Jennifer was able to fill in all of those gaps with love and care. Jennifer was at the starting point of my journey, and she will always continue to have an impact on my faith life because of the witness she shared with me. I believe that, above everything else, the witness we give to others is the most life changing. Jennifer was there for others in the most authentic way. I don’t know how she did all that she did. She was a wife, mother of two, and was active in parish life. And, yet when you entered into the gathering space every Thursday night it was as if you were the only other person in the room. Like many other coordinators I know, time for RCIA was a special time where the focus was specifically on the inquirers and their needs. In my case, this was two hours every Thursday night. The best coordinators I know, including Jennifer, have shown an ability to set aside other concerns and to be truly present to those people God has entrusted to their care. What an incredible gift to be able to share with another! In addition to being truly present at weekly sessions, Jennifer was invested in each person that walked through the door. She took the “journey” aspect of RCIA seriously. Jennifer would spend time meeting with you outside of weekly sessions to check in and see how things were going. She would ask you questions that made you reflect on the conversion that had begun to take

Lay Formation & RCIA

An RCIA Mentor and Model


Camille Withrow

root in your heart. She would inquire about your life and about things that did not directly relate to RCIA, because she truly cared about you as a whole person. Her care for each individual was so clear; it was something that was just so authentically “Jennifer”. While Jennifer clearly has a special place in my heart, there have been so many people I have gotten to know through this ministry that show this same quality to their RCIA inquirers in a similar and yet their own unique way. We have coordinators that are so truly “Randy”, “Judy”, “Marcie”, “Sharon”, and so many more – our diocese is so blessed! The last piece that I reflected on, in thinking about Jennifer and my RCIA journey, was her Christian witness. At the time when I was coming into the Catholic Church, I had few examples in my life of what it looked like to live life as a Christian. Jennifer was my first example, outside of my immediate family, of this witness. Jennifer was all the things associated with a great person - kind, generous, caring; but she was also faithful, prayerful, and deeply connected to Christ. Everything about who Jennifer was, was clearly a result of how close she was with Jesus. This kind of witness is transforming to be around, and showed me an example of who I wanted to be – a disciple of Christ. While this article has been a great blessing for me to write as I have reflected upon God’s blessings and work in my own life, I do want to close by connecting this to our diocese. Through my eight years in working in RCIA ministry in the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, I have been so fortunate to come to know coordinators and team members like Jennifer. These are people who show an authentic witness of what it means to be a follower of Christ, people who make sacrifices in their own lives so that they can bring others to God, and people who take the time to walk with others in the sometimes long and challenging journey of RCIA. From the depths of my heart, from someone who has seen and experienced the impact that you make, thank you! One person made such a difference for me, and I know that you are also having this same spiritual impact in the lives of so many throughout the diocese! Camille Withrow is the program associate for the RCIA in the Diocese of Winona-Rochester.

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Catholic Schools


Enrollment Is Increasing in the Diocese of Winona-Rochester's Catholic Schools �he

Diocese of Winona-Rochester Catholic Schools preschool – twelfth grade enrollment has increased 7.7% this 2021-2022 school year compared to the 2020-2021 school year. In-person instruction versus remote and hybrid instruction has been noted as one of the reasons for a jump in enrollment. The 2021-2022 school year reported 4,649 students from preschool to twelfth grade compared to the 20202021 school year enrollment at 4,316 students. Preschool students increased

from 616 last school year to 740 students this year, an increase of 20.1%. Kindergarten through twelfth grade increased from 3,700 (2020-2021) to 3,909 (2021-2022) students an 5.6% increase. Most Catholic schools in the diocese were ready to switch to remote instruction last March 2020. The following 2020-2021 school year many of our schools were back in-person. This brought about a realization that our schools provide an excellence in education with individualized attention for students. Many new students who joined our schools last year remained enrolled this school year too. Even today, enrollment continues to increase. This enrollment growth is a positive sign

DOW-R Catholic Schools Release Academic Testing Results

�his past fall, the diocesan schools worked

together to make improvements to the academic testing given to students in every Catholic school. As a result of this work, teachers and principals across the Diocese of WinonaRochester are now better able to collaborate and share insights. Along with these exciting developments, the diocese can proudly share with parishioners where students are academically. For reading and mathematics in Kindergarten through 8th grade, students in the diocese are significantly outperforming their grade-level peers nationwide. The average score for each grade level in the diocese is higher than 70% of students who take the test in that grade level (in some cases, it is as much as 80 or 90%). Students in science score on average better than 90% of their grade-level peers who take the test nationwide.

Another way to examine the data is in comparison to the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments. The two charts below compare students in the Diocese of Winona-Rochester to students in the state according to data available on the North Star report-MCA. These charts demonstrate how the percentage of students at or above grade level is markedly higher than those of their public school peers in the state. Due to the commitment of the school staff and parish communities, our Catholic schools are providing a faith-filled, rigorous curriculum for students who have faced more challenges than anyone could have dreamed of. Much like our faith development, academic development is never done. Teachers, principals, paraprofessionals, and volunteers continue to pour in their time, energy, and expertise to provide schools worthy of the children of God entrusted to their care. Please continue to pray for our Catholic schools as they provide quality education during challenging times.

Marsha Stenzel

Superintendent of Catholic Schools

that Catholic education is strong in the Diocese of Winona-Rochester. Families are recognizing the value of our schools which is a direct result of the excellence and sacrifices of our teachers and principals. We are blessed with the support of our pastors and school boards which hold our schools to an exceptional standard.

*For both graphs, 50% is considered grade level.

Catholic Schools Week January 30 - February 5, 2022

�he Diocese of Winona-Rochester will be celebrating

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National Catholic Schools Week January 30 - February 5, 2022. Catholic Schools Week is an annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States. This year marks the 48th anniversary of the celebration. We applaud our priests, administrators, and teachers for their commitment to providing our students an education rooted in the Catholic faith. The dedication of our schools to shift from in-person learning to distance learning in the spring of 2020 happened overnight and quite seamlessly. In the fall of 2020, most of our schools re-opened to in-person learning with strict protocols which enabled our students to continue their Catholic education within

the confines of their classrooms. The benefits our students received by attending school each day in addition to their teachers love for each of them was incredible to witness. This year Catholic schools in the Diocese of Winona-Rochester will observe the week with Masses, open houses, and activities for students, families, parishioners, and community members. Please check your Catholic schools’ website for information on the planned celebrations throughout January 30-February 5. Please join us in celebrating the great work and good news of Catholic schools. This week provides another opportunity to reconnect within the Catholic community that gives so much to the students and families they serve.

Drought and Harvest at Lourdes High School, Rochester By MARY SPRING

� n December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Lourdes High School was blessed to attend Mass as an entire school community with Bishop John M. Quinn presiding. During his homily, Bishop Quinn recounted a story of an encounter he had only a few days before with a sugar beet farmer in northern Minnesota. Over the course of their conversation, the farmer expressed the importance of sugar beets, a crop which is crucial to the livelihood of the farming community in Northern Minnesota. While the farmer relayed what a bountiful crop they had this past fall, and the importance of that crop to the community, he also expressed the importance of living through a

A New Era

at Cotter Schools, Winona By PAT BOWLIN

�ur Preschool and elementary students have entered a new era in Catholic education in Winona. We are now under the umbrella of Cotter Schools after being Winona Area Catholic Schools since 1989. While a few things are different, thankfully things have remained consistent for our students, who are still located at St. Mary’s for Preschool and Kindergarten and at St. Stan’s for grades 1-4. Our school continues to increase in enrollment, with four sections in K-3 and three sections in grade 4. Next year we anticipate four sections K-4. Virtues Program

Three years ago our third grade teacher Sister Marie Faustina introduced us to a virtues program designed by Disciple of Christ: Education in Virtue. Each week our students learn about a virtue and then do their best to put it into practice. Morning announcements always have a reflection and classrooms display the virtue prominently as well. The virtues help our teachers with classroom management as they can refer to the current virtue being taught or give gentle reminders about previous virtues. Our librarian, Mrs. Schneider, has provided many great books and online resources to augment the weekly virtue. The program has been a tremendous success. Veteran’s Day

What began as a class project in Mr. Lampo’s second grade classroom ended up becoming a school assembly

drought. A drought, he said, is what really forces all of us to dig deep and ultimately appreciate the rewards of what we have sowed. As I reflected on the homily, I couldn’t help but think of all of the ways we, as a community, had to “dig deep” throughout COVID and the ways it has helped all of us to grow and appreciate the bounty of our blessings. During the drought of COVID, we were not able to celebrate Mass together as a whole community, cheer on our sports teams, and gather in outreach for those in our community who needed our support. We were forced to learn from ourselves, rather than benefiting from the learning that comes from working closely with one another, and we were limited in the ways we could recognize and celebrate one another’s accomplishments. Although we were fortunate to have in-person instruction, at times during the drought, many of us felt a sense of hopelessness and deeply grieved the many qualities and experiences that are central to Catholic education. Now, however, we have developed a deeper appreciation for what we have and its importance in the lives of our students, parents, faculty, and the greater Rochester community. As a result of all of us coming together to “dig deep” since March of 2020, we have learned not only better ways to navigate COVID, but to reap the rewards from all we have learned living through it and how to have an appreciation for the attributes that make Catholic education so bountiful. This school year, we have gathered together as an


entire school community to celebrate Mass and have been able to learn from each other, in and out of the classroom, in formats and structures that truly allow us to be in communion with one another. We have taken our disappointments and lessons from our digging and relearned how to cheer on one another in our fine arts and athletic endeavors. We have renewed our mission to work for, and with, those in our community who need our support. We have learned that working together through our individual and collective struggles has made us a more close-knit community who strives for excellence in all that we do and all that we are. Most importantly, we have learned that our drought has helped form who we are and given us an opportunity to have a deeper faith and awareness of the gifts that an abundant harvest of Catholic education provides. Back in the middle of the drought - December 8, 2020 - the Bishop was able to celebrate the Immaculate Conception Mass in person with only the seniors and virtually with the underclassmen in their respective classrooms. We are grateful to have been given those moments to experience interruptions in our harvest so we learn that a drought is just as important in life as a bountiful harvest. In the coming years, may we continue to appreciate and learn from our blessings and our hardships. After all, both have valuable lessons to teach, especially in the life of Catholic education. Mary Spring is the principal of Lourdes High School in Rochester.

to honor veterans on November 11. Mr. Lampo’s students all did a poster board of a veteran from their family or the community. We also had three veterans attend the assembly to be recognized. Everyone in attendance felt great appreciation for their service and we learned a lot about all the branches of the military. Thanksgiving

Led by third grade teacher Mr. Feuerhelm, our third grade classrooms led the school in celebrating Thanksgiving with a variety of fun activities. There was of course a feast, but students also did skits, dances, readings and played games from the time of the pilgrims. Our students enjoyed getting in costume and learning about both the joys and hardships of living during this time. Throughout our school the virtue of gratitude was practiced as we thanked God for the incredible blessings we have been given. Kindness Tree

Students were busy writing on paper leaves all the ways they have been kind and helpful to others during Advent. We have been encouraging our students to be kind in all areas of their lives both at school and at home. We emphasize every day in our school that we want to create a “Culture of Kindness.” Many of their leaves speak about the kind things they are doing at home for their parents and siblings. It’s inspiring to read about their kindness adventures. Advent at St. Mary’s

A tradition for many years at St. Mary’s is a daily morning prayer service which concludes with adding a new figurine to our manger scene. The anticipation of the children is truly beautiful to behold. There is a great celebration on the last day when the baby Jesus

is added to complete our manger scene. Another fun activity is the twice-a-week dress-up days for the entire school. Theme dress such as flannel day, Christmas sock day and the Polar Express pajama day were all big hits this year. Caring for the Kings Project

Each year the St. Mary’s building raises funds for a family in need. This year the family is very close to our heart; it is that of Ryan and Jamie (one of our Preschool teachers) King. Our students have been tasked with doing some extra chores around the house to earn money to support the King family. Ryan is dealing with cancer, and the outpouring of love and support has been tremendous. The St. Mary’s building has long been known as an incredibly loving community. This tradition remains very strong, evident by our “Caring for the Kings” project. Pat Bowlin is the pre-k - grade 4 principal at Cotter Schools in Winona.

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We Are a Diocese!


�e are as a diocese an ever-changing,

Catholic Foundation

vital, urgently relevant reality for Jesus in this world. You may be members of Holy Spirit, Brewster; or All Saints, Madison Lake; or Christ the King, Byron. We have a local place to go on Sundays to receive Communion, to participate in collective prayer and to volunteer in many ministries that make our communities better. Our local spiritual needs are hopefully being met. But we are also a part of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, which includes thousands of active members attending close to 100 churches. The diocese also encompasses schools, summer camps and many programs of spiritual education. How many of us, or our children, have gone to summer camps to learn about the generous love of God and a theology of inclusion? Our broader diocesan church stretches from Pipestone to La Crescent, and from Lake City to Adrian. Thank you to all who supported the Catholic Ministries Appeal 2021! Soon we will be entering into the season of stewardship when we chose how we will support the Diocese of Winona-Rochester’s Catholic Ministries Appeal 2022. I look forward to sharing with you during the coming months stories from across southern Minnesota on how the funds generously donated from you can benefit so many.

As we roll out the Catholic Ministries Appeal for 2022, I hope that you will join me in supporting the youth, young adults, married couples, elderly, seminarians, priests, and homebound because supporting the Catholic Ministries Appeal supports the important ministries across southern Minnesota.

Monica Herman

Executive Director Catholic Foundation of Southern Minnesota

Prayer for My Diocese

Almighty God, my Diocese is composed of people like me. I help make it what it is. It will be friendly if I am. It will be holy if I am. Its pews will be filled if I help fill them. It will do great work if I work. It will be prayerful if I pray. It will make generous gifts to many causes if I am a generous giver. It will bring other people into its worship if I invite and bring them. It will be a diocesan family of loyalty and love, of fearlessness and faith, of compassion, charity and mercy if I – who make it what it is – am filled with these same qualities. Therefore, with the help of God, I will dedicate myself to the task of being all the things that I want my Diocese to be. Bless my journey, Lord God, that I might follow Jesus and build the Church for your glory, Amen.

Congratulations! Our heartfelt thanks go out to all the parishes that met their goals for the 2021 Catholic Ministries Appeal: All Saints New Richland

Immaculate Conception St. Clair

St. Casimir Winona

St. Luke Sherburn

St. Columba Iona

St. Mary Lake Wilson

St. Edward Austin

St. Olaf Mabel

Cathedral of the Sacred Heart Winona

Our Lady of Good Counsel Wilmont

St. Charles Borromeo St. Charles

Co-Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist Rochester

Sacred Heart Heron Lake

St. Columban Preston

St. Adrian Adrian

St. Finbarr Grand Meadow

St. Patrick Brownsville

St. Ignatius Spring Valley

St. Patrick West Albany

St. John Nepomucene Winona

St. Rose of Lima Lewiston

Christ the King Byron Crucifixion La Crescent

Good Shepherd Jackson Holy Family Kasson

Holy Redeemer Eyota Holy Spirit Rochester

Holy Trinity Rollingstone

Resurrection Rochester Sacred Heart Owatonna St. Agnes Kellogg

St. Francis of Assisi Rochester

St. Ann Slayton

St. John Baptist de la Salle Dodge Center

St. Bernard Stewartville

St. Joseph Lakefield

St. Ann Janesville

St. Anthony Westbrook St. Casimir Wells

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St. Joseph Waldorf

St. Mary Chatfield St. Mary Winona

St. Patrick LeRoy St. Pius X Rochester

Rev. Jason Kern Director of Vocations

�ecently, after a Sunday Mass, a woman asked me, “Do you know how much we appreciate you?” I was a little embarrassed by the comment, but said thank you. To be honest, I was thinking in my head, “No, not really.” I thought about my internal response for a few days. Why did I move toward a response like that? People in my life express their concern, affection, and support on a regular basis. I am around amazing

Owatonna Area Great Promise Award Recipients Announced

people who are kind and caring nearly constantly. And yet, my internal response was at best dismissive and at worst rejecting the kind words of this woman expressing how much she appreciated me. I had to bring this to prayer before the Lord. In my prayer, I let him ask me that same question that the woman asked me. I realized that I was not being receptive to His loving presence and this was affecting my ability to receive love from people in my day-to-day life as well. This has become a place of prayer for me during this Advent and Christmas season - not only allowing myself to slow down enough to appreciate the presence of those in my life, but learning in humility to realize how much value the Lord has put into me by His birth and incarnation into this world. God has created us, but all the more He has redeemed us! By entering into our world, Jesus Christ has


t the end of each school year (2020-2021, in this case) the St. Serra Club asks our sixth grade teachers to nominate students who exemplify: caring for others (compassion), courage to do what is right (moral values), willingness to volunteer and to serve (generosity), and influence on the thinking and actions of peers (relatability), among other qualities. During weekend Masses on October 16 and 17, 2021, the pastors helped award these students with a hand-tied blue rosary which was made by Pete Connor (St. Joseph Parish, Owatonna), a Youth Catechism (YOUCAT), and a certificate from the St. Serra Club. This year's Great Promise Award recipients are:



Do You Know How Valued You Are?

united Himself to our human nature. By taking on human flesh, He is not a God who just values us from Heaven and sends us a grace when we are in dire need. Rather, God has entered into the very reality of our lives and has given them a meaning they would otherwise not have. My value is not just because people like me or appreciate me; my value is eternal because God has redeemed me in His love. He has united Himself to my very being. This is the truth of Christmas: you are of infinite value in the eyes of God. Receive that from Him and respond to His call in your life to serve Him. May our vocations flow from the truth of this reality this year.

Annika Slacter and Gavin Laughlin with Fr. James Starasinich. Gracelyn Anderson, Alexandra Herget and Isabella Schiller with Fr. Joseph Fogal

Holy Trinity Parish, Litomysl

Gracelyn Anderson, daughter of Troy and Monica Anderson

Alexandra Herget, daughter of Matt and Jamie Herget

Isabella Schiller, daughter of Tony and Heather Schiller Christ the King Parish, Medford

Jayden Schweisthal, daughter of Jake and Nicole Schweisthal Kaylee Sammon, daughter of Storm and Jenna Sammon St. Joseph Parish, Owatonna

Annika Slacter, daughter of Matthew Pobanz and Samantha Evans Gavin Laughlin, son of Chris and Meghan Laughlin

Ella Seykora and Lowell Schultz with Fr. Swaminatha Pothireddy.

Jayden Schweisthal and Kaylee Sammon with Fr. Joseph Pete. Sacred Heart Parish, Owatonna Ella Seykora, daughter of Charlie and Theresa Seykora Lowell Schultz, son of Grant and Julie Schultz

Sophie Oswald, daughter of Kirk and Becky Oswald. Congratulations to all the students!

JoAnn Eichten is the president of the Serra Club of the Owatonna Area.

Sophie Oswald with Fr. Swaminatha Pothireddy. January 2022 w The Courier w

Young Adults, Youth & Faith Formation


Incarnational Ministry


� erry Christmas! I pray that this past Advent season has helped you prepare and make room for Jesus

to be born in your life anew. I often relish seasons like Advent and Lent, which are preparatory for the biggest liturgical celebrations of the year, but sometimes I don’t know what to do with myself when those celebrations get here. In Advent, we remind ourselves to leave space for quiet reflection, to give, and to make certain sacrifices that allow our hearts to be opened wide to Jesus’ coming at Christmas, but what do we do during the Christmas season besides the usual gift giving, parties, and events? Jesus Christ has come in the flesh! This is the divine mystery of the incarnation that still, 2,000 years later, is earth-shattering. God has become one of us! It is this fact that separates Christianity from any other religion - that a god (THE God) would “stoop” to the level of creation and become one with us without

ceasing to be God. This changes everything. God is not distant, He has come close - so close to us that we can often miss Him. For what purpose did God become one of us? To show us just how much He loves us, that He would suffer with us, befriend us, live with us, and eventually die for us. Jesus says, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” The Incarnation, God taking human flesh as Jesus Christ, is a model for all ministry. Jesus showed us how to minister with His very life, inviting us to participate in the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Therefore, every one of us is called to ministry. I would even be so bold as to say every one of us is called to youth ministry. Whether we realize it or not, each of us is a witness to faith to those around us through our lives, from the very young to the very old. None of us are exempt. This is part of our baptismal call. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Baptism leads us to imitate Christ’s example and makes us disciples to the world. In the Sacrament of Confirmation, we are given a special strengthening of the gifts of the Holy Spirit to empower us in this mission. What does mission look like if it is for everyone, regardless of age, education level, background, etc.? I want to share with you an example of a man on mission who probably doesn’t even know it, considering his whole life is a witness of conversion and mission. My good friend Chuck is 78 years old. Ever since I’ve known him, he has attended almost every Rochester Lourdes basketball, volleyball, and football game. In fact, during the height of the COVID shutdown when attendance at games was limited, one of the Lourdes families gave Chuck a special pass to come and watch the games, even though he wasn’t a family member. To them, he was a part of their family nonetheless. Chuck is a witness to God’s love simply by showing up and being present to youth, showing them they truly matter. I will never forget a young man who was the quarterback of the Lourdes football team who came up to me after a Confirmation

Dana Petricka

Director of Youth Ministry and Faith Formation

class and asked me, “Who is that cool old guy that always comes to our games?” I knew right away that he meant Chuck, and I knew that this young man saw Chuck at Mass as an example of living faith. Chuck is retired, but I’m pretty sure he’s still busier than anyone I know. When he’s not at a Lourdes sporting event, youth bonfire, or other church activity, he is helping at the Dorothy Day House or Meals on Wheels (to only name a couple). None of these activities require expertise on evangelization, youth ministry, theology, or anything else. Chuck’s secret sauce is living out the Gospel message and becoming “another Christ” who can show others God’s love through “showing up” and simply being a positive presence in their lives. In my years of encouraging volunteers to help in youth ministry, I often hear people say things like, “I don’t know how to relate to youth,” “I’m too old,” or “I don’t have time.” Perhaps God may not be calling you to help formally with a youth ministry program at your parish, but I would challenge those excuses and say that God is calling you to minister to youth in many ways, whether by being an example as a parishioner, grandparent, parent, aunt, uncle, or friend. The celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ into the world at Christmas is an invitation to every one of us to bear Christ in this world anew. I encourage you this Christmas season and beyond to give some serious thought and prayer to how God is calling you to “birth” Christ into the world around you. Our world certainly needs you!

Aaron Lofy

Director of Young Adult Ministry

You Should Go to World Youth Day! By FR. BRIAN MULLIGAN

�in have been to two World Youth Days: Madrid, Spain, 2011; and Krakow, Poland, in 2016. They were

fantastic. I was 20 years old the first time and 25 the last time. Madrid was the first time I grasped what it means to be part of a Universal Church. There were people from around the world, proud of the fact that they were Catholic. Our group was in Toledo, Spain, outside a massive church with a group of Africans hanging out playing some drums they brought with them. When gathered, the joy the Universal Catholic Church has is incredible to be a part of for the week. Every time we came across Australians, we would yell, “Auzzy auzzy, auzzy,” and they would yell back, “Oi, oi, oi.” I also got to meet people from across the USA.

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Fr. Jonathan Fasnacht and Fr. Andrew Beerman walk with other pilgrims at World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow.

Each language has its locations to have the conferences during the week, so meeting other English speakers is easy. The groups typically trade things with each other, so I still have a koala bear from the Australians. Words cannot describe how awesome it is to pray together with the Pope and all His Youth responding in one voice - tears of joy and genuine amazement! If you can go to WYD, I recommend going to Portugal in 2023! Nothing in the world can compare with the joy and love Catholics have when gathered

under our Lord Jesus Christ with one voice, led by the Pope! Going to World Youth Day has helped my own faith journey and those of the people I went with. I still have some friends from across the diocese from these trips. I can’t wait to be with you on this trip! Fr. Brian Mulligan is the pastor of All Saints Parish, New Richland; St. Ann Parish, Janesville; and St. Joseph Parish, Waldorf.

See page 11 for information on a pilgrimage to World Youth Day 2023 in Lisbon, Portugal. A tentative itinerary will be printed in next month's issue.

The Little Way Every Day Obituaries By SHELLY HOLT

since I learned of her many years ago. I have been praying her prayer often during the past six months since God prompted me to say yes to the Council of Catholic Women (again) after several years away from a leadership role. I am grateful to have the opportunity to serve God as the Vice President of the Council of Catholic Women for the next two years. I share faith at St. Teresa Church in Mapleton, am married with four grown children and soon-to-be 10 grandchildren, of which nine are boys!! Council of Catholic Women helped shape my faith and knowledge of church and honed my leadership development during the 90s when I was a young mother and continues today as I am mentored by so many wise women in my midst. I look forward to meeting many of you during the next four years.

May today there be Peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others. May you use the gifts you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are. Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us. Amen.

Shelly Holt is the vice president of the Winona-Rochester Diocesan Council of Catholic Women.

Sister Rosemary Schuneman, 82, professed in 1958, died November 25, 2021 in St. Paul. Her funeral Mass was held on December 3, preceded by a prayer of remembrance. She was born in 1938 in St. Paul and attended St. Agnes Grade and High School until her junior year when she transferred to Good Counsel Academy. She graduated from Good Counsel in 1956 and entered the School Sisters of Notre Dame that same year. She professed first vows in 1958. That same year, she did her student teaching at St. Joseph the Worker School, Mankato, in its first year of existence. She taught primary grades in several Catholic schools until

11 In the Diocese

�t. Therese of Lisieux is a saint I've admired and tried to emulate ever

Please pray this prayer with me as we all strive to continue in service to our family, community and church in these ever-evolving, changing times. All for Jesus.

1975, when she became a missionary in Kenya, East Africa. Following her return to the states in 1979 she established an ESL school for adult immigrants in St. Paul, and later continued this ministry as part of the St. Paul Public School District. She earned recognition for this work and was also featured in several newspaper articles. She was also an avid square dancer and performed with her dance group for residents of nursing homes and for senior citizen groups, as well as at the State Fair. In her retirement years she continued a prison ministry that she had started early in her SSND life and visited nursing home residents.

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January 2022


The Televised Mass

cont'd from pg. 1 has worked as a school social worker for over 20 years, provides clinical supervision, and is also a contributing faculty member for Walden University working with master’s and doctoral social work students. She has worked at inpatient, outpatient, and in-home programs, and has coordinated treatment groups for men and youth involved with domestic violence and assault. Through Catholic Charities, Dr. Larscheid offers therapeutic counseling services to individuals and families through cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused therapy, trauma, substance abuse and play therapy. Catholic Charities serves the 20 southernmost counties of Minnesota spanning the territory from the Mississippi River to the South Dakota border. With a mission to serve the poor and vulnerable, the marginalized, the alienated, and the stranger, Catholic Charities’ staff and volunteers serve people without regard to religion, race, gender, or

• The Courier

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.

Dr. Mary Larscheid

ability to pay. Offices are located in Winona, Rochester, Mankato, Albert Lea, Austin and Owatonna. For more information, please visit its website: Sheila Collom is the director of administrative services for Catholic Charities of Southern Minnesota.

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")

Rochester Franciscans Commit to Laudato Sí Action Platform �audato Sí is the second encyclical promulgated by

Pope Francis in 2015. It was written in response to the environmental degradation of our planet causing climate migration, starving nations, global warming, and an increase in global violence. There was concern regarding a lack of interest and action of the rich nations. Pope Francis calls upon all peoples of the world to take “swift and united global action.” Laudato Sí Action Platform (LSAP) is the collaborative action response between the Vatican and Catholic dioceses and all organizations, bringing together “all men and women of goodwill” to empower and take “decisive action here and now” to care for our common home. We have been called to participate and make a statement of commitment on behalf of the Rochester Franciscan Sisters and Cojourners. As a result, some

members of Justice and Peace Working Groups have prepared the following:

We, Rochester Franciscan Sisters and Cojourners, recognize the great challenges of our Mother Earth and ask, “How can we be Silent?” Mother Alfred Moes tackled the needs of her day with conviction and determination that gives rise to our current and urgent call to respond to the cry of the earth and vulnerable communities. Led by the Holy Spirit in prayer and service we, Sisters and Cojourners, commit ourselves to the Laudato Sí Action Platform and join in its sevenyear journey to integral ecology. We seek to reverence all creation, promote sustainable lifestyles, and collaborate with other faith-based and civic agencies to advocate for systemic and structural change.

School Sisters of Notre Dame to Highlight Transformative Education 'on the Margins' Submitted by LAURIE LINDAUER

�he North American Vocation Team (NAVT) of the

School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) present “Living our Call as SSND: Transformative Education, Part 2 – On the margins” Wednesday, January 19 at 8 p.m. EST (7 p.m. CST). This second of a three-part online series is intended for single women ages 18-45 to learn more about SSND and their ministry with and among those who are poor and marginalized. More information and registration for the Zoom link is available at Presenters include four SSND in a variety of ministries, each in a different state. Sister Joan Penzenstadler, vice president of mission and identity at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, will give an overview of the SSND call to education

and the vision that frames it, especially as it relates, beyond the classroom, to those on the margins. Then Sister Dorothy Zeller, executive director at Good Counsel Learning Center in Mankato, Minnesota, Sister Anne Francioni, executive director at Whole Kids Outreach in Ellington, Missouri, and Sister Peg Regan, former executive director at Caroline House in Bridgeport, Connecticut, will each explain the work of their respective ministries. The “Living our Call as SSND” online presentations were started in 2020 in response to the need to adapt outreach efforts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Recordings from the first series of three presentations can be viewed at, along with the first of the current series “Transformative Education, Part 1 – In the classroom.”

Laudato Sí teaches us “everything is connected” (LS 91). The relationship with our divine Creator has been neglected, human relationships have faltered, and our world has grown hotter, less stable, and more lifeless. As a result, we all suffer, and the poorest and most vulnerable suffer most of all. We face a complex crisis that is both social and environmental (LS 139). We need to embark on new ways of living on the planet, caring for our brothers and sisters, the waters, soil, forests, and air the world over. The time is now! On behalf of the Rochester Franciscan Justice and Peace Working Groups,


“Our online presentations have provided a new platform for us to share the SSND story and charism with a much broader audience,” said Sister Bridget Waldorf of the NAVT. “Meeting on Zoom has allowed us to connect with both sisters and young adults all across the U.S. and Canada.” The NAVT accompanies young adults as they discern God’s call and informs them about the mission and charism of SSND, an international community of almost 2,100 women religious founded in Bavaria in 1833. The SSND mission is to proclaim the Good News, directing their entire lives toward that oneness for which Jesus Christ was sent. Continuing the sacred work of their foundress, Blessed Theresa of Jesus Gerhardinger, School Sisters of Notre Dame transform the world through education, giving special emphasis to women, young people and those who are poor. Learn more at Laurie Lindauer is a communications manager for the School Sisters of Notre Dame. She can be reached at or 618-910-3804.

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