The Courier - June 2023

Page 1


Congrats, grads!

It's Unfair, Humiliating if Only the Rich Can Build a Family, Pope Says

ROME (CNS) - Starting a family and having children has become a kind of herculean task when instead it should be valued and supported by everyone, Pope Francis said at a meeting in Rome on Italy's severe decline in population growth.

Today's culture "is unfriendly, if not hostile, to the family, centered as it is on the needs of the individual, where individual rights are continually claimed and the rights of the family are not discussed," the pope said at the meeting May 12.

Women face "almost insurmountable constraints," he said, especially as they are often forced to choose between having a career and being a mother or caring for family members who are frail or need special care.

"Women are slaves to this norm of selective employment, which also hinders them from motherhood," he said.

MANKATO - On Wednesday, April 26, graduating seniors from the five Catholic high schools located within the Diocese of Winona-Rochester - Loyola in Mankato, Pacelli in Austin, Lourdes in Rochester, Cotter in Winona and St. Jose Sanchez Del Rio Minor Seminary in Mankato - met at Loyola Catholic School for a Baccalaureate Mass celebrated by Bishop Robert Barron, and concelebrated by priests from their school communities.

The Mass was held in the Chapel of Our Lady of

Good Counsel, which was owned by the School Sisters of Notre Dame until it was sold earlier this year. The SSND announced in March of 2022 that most Sisters living at Good Counsel would be moving to Benedictine Living Community in Shakopee. Celebrated on the Feast of Our Lady of Good Counsel, with music and readings provided by students, the Baccalaureate Mass was an event that fit the history of the School Sisters in Mankato.

Read statements from our graduates on pg. 6-7!

The conference is an annual event that focuses on the general state of Italy's birthrate and demographics and seeks to bring all sectors of society together to pursue concrete ways to reverse the country's declining birthrate. Sponsored by the Foundation for Natality and the Italian Forum of Family Associations, the conference was being held May 11-12 at a Rome auditorium not far from St. Peter's Square.

Family, cont'd on pg. 2

From Our Graduates Happy Anniversaries! Listen, Befriend, Proclaim and Invite! page 4 pages 6-7 pages 10-11 INSIDE this issue Body and Blood of Christ June 11
June 2023
Official Newspaper of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Winona-Rochester, MN |

Family, cont'd from pg. 1

According to the Italian National Institute of Statistics, Italy registered a -3% population growth rate last year, and it reached a historic low birthrate with less than 7 births per 1,000 people for a total of 393,000 births in 2022. There were more than 12 deaths per 1,000 people for a total of 713,000 deaths in 2022. Italy's fertility rate of 1.24 was only slightly higher than that of Malta (1.13) and Spain (1.19) last year.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who joined Pope Francis for the second day of the conference May 12, said today it seems like "a revolutionary act" to talk about the birthrate, motherhood and the family.

It is time to have a country in which "being a father isn't uncool, but is a socially recognized value, in which the beauty of being parents is discovered once again, that it is a truly beautiful thing that takes nothing away and gives you so much," she said.

In his talk, Pope Francis said that bringing children into the world is often seen as a task the family should be dealing with on its own.

"This, unfortunately, influences the mentality of the younger generations, who grow up in uncertainty, if not disillusionment and fear," he said. "They experience a social climate in which starting a family has turned into a titanic effort, instead of being a shared value that everyone recognizes and supports."

"Feeling alone and forced to rely solely on one's own strength is dangerous: it means slowly eroding living as a community and resigning oneself to a lonely existence in which everyone has to go it alone," he said.

The consequence of that, he said, is "only

Associate Editor

the wealthiest can afford, thanks to their resources, greater freedom in choosing how to shape their lives. And this is unfair, as well as humiliating."

Pope Francis highlighted the many challenges people in Italy face, such as "finding a stable job, difficulty in keeping one, prohibitively expensive houses, skyrocketing rents and insufficient wages."

These are problems that must be dealt with through public policies, he said, "because it is there for everyone to see that the free market, without much-needed correctives, becomes savage and produces increasingly serious situations and inequalities."

"A change in mentality is needed; the family is not part of the problem, but part of its solution," the pope said.

"We cannot accept that our society stops being generative and degenerates into sadness," he said. "We cannot passively accept the fact that so many young people struggle to realize their dream about a family and are forced to lower the bar" of what they really wish for.

It's important that things like making money, concentrating on a career, traveling and valuing one's free time do not become "mediocre substitutes" or selfish aspirations, he said, but are "part of a larger generative project that foster life all around you and after you."

Increasing the birthrate, he said, "means repairing the forms of social exclusion that are hurting young people and their future. And it is a service to everyone: children are not personal assets, they are people who contribute to everyone's growth, creating human and generational wealth."

Telephone: 507-858-1257 Fax:507-454-8106 E-mail: Publishing Schedule: Monthly - Deadline for advertising & articles is the 10th of the month prior.

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We pray that the international community may commit in a concrete way to ensuring the abolition of torture and guarantee support to victims and their families.



Rev. N. Paschal Ajuka: granted priestly faculties in the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, effective April 13, 2023.

Pension Plan for Priests

Mr. Andrew Kieffer: appointed to a three-year term on the Diocese of Winona-Rochester Pension Plan for Priests Board of Trustees, effective July 1, 2023.

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

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The Most Rev. Robert Barron, Bishop of the Diocese of WinonaRochester, announces the following:
Articles of Interest June 2023 w The Courier w Listen, Befriend, Proclaim and Invite________4 Eucharistic Formation for the Life of the World_5 From Our Graduates_______________________6-7 Ordination, First Vows, ...Candidacy___________8 Faithful Gratitude_________________________8 Religious Freedom Week 2023_______________9 Inside the Capitol________________________9 Diocesan Headlines___________________10-12 The Courier is the official publication of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester 55 West Sanborn, P.O. Box 588, Winona, MN 55987 Vol 114 - 6 Most Reverend Robert E. Barron, Publisher Nick Reller,
The Holy Father's Intention for June 2023 For the Abolition
of Torture
to Find The Courier
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Pope Francis blesses a pregnant woman's unborn child during a meeting about families and Italy's declining birthrate May 12, 2023, in Rome. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

Our Lady of Fatima and a Theological Reading of History

was a mysterious exhortation, given that, at the time of this communication, the Communist revolution in that country had not yet taken place.

� e are celebrating the 106th anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady to a group of shepherd children near the Portuguese town of Fatima. The series of Fatima appearances—lasting from May until October of 1917—is one of the most extraordinary in the history of the Church. It has also beguiled political and cultural commentators outside the ambit of the Church, and it is this wider implication that I would like to explore.

This particular visitation of Mary took place at the height of the First World War, which signaled the end of Enlightenment confidence in the perfectibility of the human being, and in the year of the Bolshevik Revolution, which would exert, for most of the twentieth-century, a massively deleterious influence. To the simple children, who barely understood what she was saying, Our Lady announced that the Great War would soon end, and she also called for the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart. Furthermore, she urged the children to pray for the conversion of Russia, which

Bishop's Calendar

*indicates all are welcome to attend

June 3, Saturday

*5:30 p.m. - Confirmation - St. Mary Church, Madelia; with St. James, St. James

June 4, Sunday

2 p.m. - Confirmation - Christ the King Church, Byron; with

And the confirmation of the veracity of Our Lady of Fatima’s appearances is one of the most stunning and widely-attested miracles in the history of Christianity. In the afternoon of October 13, 1917, approximately 70,000 people had gathered at the apparition site in order to witness what the Lady had promised would be a marvelous sign. Among this throng were many secularists and skeptics who had come only to scoff. But before the eyes of seventy-thousand people, the sun commenced to “dance,” turning and dashing from place to place in the sky and finally appearing to plummet toward the earth. Some of the most astounding accounts of this incident were composed by journalists of an agnostic or atheist persuasion.

So what does the message of Our Lady of Fatima, considered in the widest sense, imply? It implies that the God of the Bible is a living God, by which I mean, a God who involves himself as an actor in human history. From the seventeenth century on— in the West at any rate—a casual deism has held sway in the minds of many who profess faith in God. By this I mean the belief that God is a distant power who established the laws of nature and set things in motion but who remains aloof from the ordinary affairs of the world. But this view is repugnant to the Biblical conception of God. According to the Scriptures, God indeed created the universe and established its laws, but he also exercises a personal and providential care for all that he has made.

Jesus expressed this idea both precisely and poetically: “Not a single sparrow can fall

Holy Family, Kasson, and St. John

Baptist de la Salle, Dodge Center

June 6, Tuesday

9 a.m. - Word on Fire Show

Recording - Rochester

June 7, Wednesday

to the ground without your heavenly Father knowing it.” Throughout the historical books of the Old Testament, we find events unfolding according to recognizable dynamics economic, political, and psychological, but through it all, under it all, God is also acting, mysteriously accomplishing his will.

This way of reading history was bequeathed from the Biblical authors to the great tradition, and thus we find theological masters from Augustine to Robert Bellarmine to John Henry Newman interpreting world affairs through the prism of God’s providence. Augustine’s City of God, written in the wake of the sack of Rome, is particularly instructive in this regard. The great saint certainly understood the political, military, and cultural dynamics that contributed to the disaster, but he was especially sensitive to the sacred dimension of the event. The fall of Rome was an ingredient, he argued across more than a thousand pages, in a divine providential plan that stretches from the beginning to the end of history.

Kings, emperors, generals, soldiers, and writers made their moves, but underneath them all, God was making his moves and accomplishing his purpose. I will readily grant that the sifting of this providential design can be a dicey business, subject to various types of distortion and wishful thinking, but I will insist that abandoning the effort altogether is to surrender to a reading of history and a theology of God that are at odds with the Bible.

In our own time, no one played the Augustinian role of theological interpreter of history more effectively than St. John Paul II. Having personally experienced the tyranny of two of the worst and most abusive dictatorships in human history, Karol Wojtyla could nevertheless, upon assuming the papal office, tell the world “to be not afraid.” If we were reading things through purely economic or political lenses, such a recommendation would appear foolish at best, delusional at worst. But because John Paul read things theologically, he knew that mercy and love finally triumph, and he understood

that any proposal for human flourishing that did not include God would necessarily fall victim to its own internal contradictions. This latter conviction sustained his non-violent but massively effective assault upon Communism from 1979 to 1989.


From the Bishop

And his theological reading of history enabled him to grasp that Our Lady of Fatima’s summons to pray for the conversion of Russia was far from a pious fantasy, that in point of fact, it provides the interpretive key for understanding perhaps the pivotal event in the history of the late twentieth century.

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

This piece was first published on May 16, 2017, in Evangelization & Culture Online. Dates have been updated.

June 8, Thursday

11 a.m. - Mass with Totus Tuus

Missionaries - Winona

June 9, Friday

*7 p.m. - Eucharistic Congress

June 10, Saturday

Diocesan Eucharistic CongressMankato Civic Center

June 13-16, Tuesday-Friday

USCCB Spring General MeetingOrlando, FL

June 20, Tuesday

9 a.m. - Speaker for Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis

Presbyteral Assembly - St. Mary's University, Winona

June 21, Wednesday

11 a.m.

- Minnesota Catholic Conference Board MeetingZoom

Pre-Event: Diocesan Eucharistic Adoration Evening - Ss. Peter and Paul Church, Mankato

June 18, Sunday

*10:45 a.m. - 50th Anniversary

Mass - Pax Christi Church, Rochester

6 p.m. - Keynote Speaker for Acton University ConferenceGrand Rapids, MI

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Non Nisi Te Domine Bishop Robert Barron

Listen, Befriend, Proclaim and Invite!

I have invited D EB MCMANIMON, regional missionary for Saint Paul Street Evangelization, to share a bit about her experience (with others in the diocese) of setting up a prayer station in Peace Plaza in Rochester, across from the Mayo Clinic. If you are interested in joining her, or learning more about how to offer this nonconfrontational evangelization method, please contact her at Thanks, Deb, for your amazing apostolate!

�he two great commandments are Love God and Love Your Neighbor. When our teams go out to evangelize in our communities, we are able to follow those two great commandments. We love God by following his commission to bring Him to the whole world. We love our neighbor by being willing to share God’s love with those we meet on the street or in our

daily lives. At St. Paul Street Evangelization we use the model of Listen, Befriend, Proclaim, and Invite. The first step is to always love our neighbor through listening and befriending. So many people never have an opportunity to experience the love of Jesus, except through someone willing to step out in faith and bring him to another. As St. Teresa of Calcutta put it very simply, “To evangelize means that you have Jesus in your heart, and then you carry him to the hearts of others.“ Recently, I was doing the Easter Challenge in Hallow reading Acts, and this line came up after Chapter 24: “We should look for a divine opportunity to share the Gospel to those that might not hear it except for us.” What exactly does that look like? For our teams in the region that go out jointly in Rochester, we meet together before walking to the Peace Plaza. We bring blessed medals, holy cards, rosaries, and a “Need Prayer?” sign. If we are blessed to have a priest with us, we also bring an “Ask a Priest” sign. We pray that the Lord would send us those that need for us to be his hands and heart that day. Those

are divine appointments. Each time we go out, there is always at least one divine appointment, but often there are many.

On our first outing of the year last month, we talked to many people who were hurting spiritually or physically and were able to pray for all of them. We prayed for peace and healing for people with heart problems, abdominal disease, issues with pain, hope for clear cancer scans, and listened to stories of anxiety and fear. One Catholic couple in town for a follow-up visit at Mayo from a southern state was shocked (and delighted) to see other Catholics out on the street sharing their faith. After talking for a while, we learned of a deep need for healing of someone in their family who had suffered severely. We were able to pray for that family member and for the couple’s needs in caring for this person. Having the common connection of being Catholic made it feel like we were talking to old friends. We all felt so graced to have met each other and to have been able to lift their needs in a special way up to the Lord.

Sometimes the Lord sends a divine appointment when you least expect it. I was getting a checkup recently, and the nurse working with me happened to mention that her husband had severely injured his eyes in a farming accident. I had a blessed St. Michael medal and holy card with me and asked if she would like it. She started to cry, and I prayed for her husband’s healing. I found out that she was a fallen away Catholic, so we talked for a bit about that, and I invited her to check out Word on Fire and also the Bible in a Year podcast. I shared with her how easy it was to come back home to the church.

While we are blessed in our diocese to be able to evangelize at a place like the Mayo Clinic, where the needs are so great, each of our communities have people living in them who have deep wounds they are carrying. How can we reach them? We can start by having hearts open to those Jesus sends across our paths. Does this sound scary? I was scared the first time, too, but now I find it an amazing blessing to be on mission for the Lord. If you are looking for practical ways to get started, contact Susan or me and we can meet with you to help. Our evangelists are at farmer’s markets, in parks, outside of Walmarts, at parishes for drive-through prayer, and more. Anywhere there are people, there is an opportunity to share about Jesus and his Church in a loving and non-confrontational way. Who needs to meet Jesus through you today? The Lord is calling us all to be missionary disciples. Will you answer the call?

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Missionary Discipleship
L to R: Tom Osten, Deb McManimon, a visiting couple who received prayer, and Fr. Jeff Dobbs outside the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

For the Life of the World

This is, I believe, a sacramental sense of community that is surely nurtured by the bonds of friendship and personal connection, but that ultimately transcends them. It is a deeper “communion” of our being one in Christ, which claims us as His disciples and sacramentally forms us into his living body in the world today.

• Eucharistic Catechesis: Deeper knowledge of Church teaching on the Eucharist.

• Discipleship Formation: Deeper devotion to the Eucharist and to living out a Eucharistic spirituality of service.

I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.

As I have experienced in a deeply personal way, the Church teaches us that the Eucharist “is ‘the source and summit of the Christian life’ [Lumen Gentium 11],” and “the sum and summary of our faith.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1324, #1327). As Pope John Paul II taught, “The Church draws her life from the Eucharist” (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, #1).

• Pastoral Action: Deeper commitment to supporting Eucharistic devotion and spirituality in parish life.

�reetings of Peace!

I still remember the experience very well. The date was September 11, 1994. I participated in the Sunday Mass at Saint Mary’s Parish here in Winona. And, at Communion time, I wept with tears of joy.

I was going through one of the most difficult times in my life, and my spiritual experience had been particularly dry for some time. Saint Mary’s was not my parish at the time, but I felt that morning like I had come home again spiritually. I experienced this powerful sense of God’s loving presence in this faith community, an experience that I’d had at other parishes throughout my life but that hadn’t been true for me for a few years.

A significant part of this experience was feeling this deep sense of community with those who gathered that Sunday morning to celebrate the Eucharist. And, as I reflect back on it, I would not point to any of the tangible signs of “community,” as we commonly think of them, that stand out for me.

For example, I don’t recall being greeted and welcomed as I entered the church that day (although this probably took place as “greeters” are present for our Masses). And, I don’t recall any gestures or words of support from other parishioners, or who among my friends and acquaintances may have been present at this liturgy.

What I do recall very vividly is being part of a gathering of people who attentively heard the Word proclaimed, prayed and sang with great energy and joy, and came forward together to receive the Risen Christ in the Eucharist.

years ago was of a profound sense of community, but not as a feeling of the friendship and camaraderie that we generally associate with this term. It was more a sense of shared identity, of unity with those around me, and of being “home” among my “sisters and brothers” in faith.

These three years from the feast of Corpus Christi in June of 2022 through the celebration of Pentecost in June of 2025, are a time of “National Eucharistic Revival” to renew our U.S. Church “by enkindling a living relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.” []

As our bishops write:

Our world is hurting. We all need healing, yet many of us are separated from the very source of our strength. Jesus Christ invites us to return to the source and summit of our faith in the celebration of the Eucharist. The National Eucharistic Revival is a movement to restore understanding and devotion to this great mystery here in the United States by helping us renew our worship of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.

Eucharistic Formation for Missionary Discipleship

In support of the Eucharistic Revival… During the 2023-2024 academic year, the diocesan Institute of Lay Formation will provide a one-year formation process of intensive study of, and reflection on, the Church’s teaching on the Eucharist.

With the theme, “Eucharistic Formation for Missionary Discipleship,” the aim of this year is to form lay leaders as missionary disciples “who are healed, converted, formed, and unified by an encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist – and who are then sent out on mission ‘for the life of the world’.”

There will be three components of the year’s for

Participants will meet for nine Saturday sessions held from September through April, and a weekend retreat at the conclusion of the year. (Most Saturday sessions will be offered at both a western and eastern site in the diocese.)

I invite you to be renewed in your understanding of, and love for, the Eucharist by participating in the Institute of Lay Formation’s upcoming formation year. More information, and a registration form, are available at our diocesan website (www., or by contacting the Office of Lay Formation & RCIA:

• Todd Graff, Director | 507-858-1270 | tgraff@

• Stacey Glithero, Administrative Assistant | 507-858-1271 |

I’ll conclude with these words of Pope Francis which speak to my experience of the Eucharist in the story I shared: “In the Body and Blood of Christ, we find his presence, his life given for each of us. He not only gives us help to go forward, but he gives us himself – he makes himself our travelling companion, he enters into our affairs, he visits us when we are lonely, giving us back a sense of enthusiasm” (Angelus Address, June 19, 2022). Deo Gratias!

The personal and moral transformation that is sustained by the Eucharist reaches out to every sphere of human life. The love of Christ can permeate all of our relationships: with our families, our friends, and our neighbors. It can also reshape the life of our society as a whole. Our relationship with Christ is not restricted to the private sphere; it is not for ourselves alone. The very solidarity or communion in Christ’s self-giving love that makes the Church and makes us members of the Church orders us beyond the visible community of faith to all human beings, whom we are to love with that very

-U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops,

Eucharistic Formation
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Lay Formation & RCIA
Todd Graff Director of Lay Formation & RCIA

From Our Graduates

Pacelli Is Home

�hat does Pacelli mean to me? I have been asked this countless times and have never been able to answer. Growing up in a Catholic household and high school has blessed me in more ways than I can count. I was blessed with a loving family, not just at home but at school too. Pacelli is like one big family. No matter where you go you have someone who loves you. Not only has Pacelli blessed me; this school has taught me valuable lessons. Growing up Christian, I often find myself wondering if I fit in with everyone else. Sometimes I feel like I have to do certain things to fit in. Going to Pacelli taught me the importance of self-worth. Having selfworth means knowing where you came from and not being afraid of it. Learning to love myself and knowing where I come from has made me realize the type of family I have.

We all have our ups and downs; it's human nature. No one is perfect, but my Pacelli family always comes through to help me out. There is never a time when I feel like I don’t have anyone to talk to because I have a whole school that has my back. Pacelli is a blessing in itself. You will never have a dull moment. The people here are one in a million. We are such a small school but we have such a big heart. You can feel the energy as soon as you walk into the building. No one here judges you; you can be who you are without feeling judged.

Going to a small school allowed me to have a bond with everyone. You have this immediate connection with whomever you met. You could be new to this school and by the next day have a new best friend. Being a senior at Pacelli High is one of the best things to experience. We get to see all the little kids grow up. They look up to us as if we were the inspiration. Being someone's inspiration is an indescribable experience. Knowing there is a little kid who wants to be like you makes you feel good; you feel like you’ve made a difference to someone. Along with the amazing students at Pacelli, the teachers are just as great. They want you to succeed and be great. They are always willing to help you learn and grow as an individual. My teachers taught me how

to overcome my fears and not to let them control me because we can’t know our capabilities if we never try to conquer our fears. Pacelli is a different type of school and a different type of love. The love you receive here is like no other. You will never forget the love you were given at Pacelli and I hope I never will. Rereading what I wrote, I think I finally found the right word for what Pacelli is. Pacelli is home. A place I can go to feel safe and loved by everyone. I know as soon as I walk the stage, a few tears will fall because that will be the last time I feel this type of love.

We Are Not Alone

�or a long time, even while attending Loyola, I was an atheist. Although I had come from a family who believed in Christ, I grew up with little to no connection with God. I had come up with the notion, with help from the modern world, that we humans are by ourselves - that everything that was made came from us, and, therefore, we should find our comfort in the fact that we are able to make such things. The idea of there being an afterlife, or even a God, was preposterous; truly, I thought, everything that has ever existed came from chance, and we are all extremely fortunate to be alive.

Needless to say, this viewpoint is extremely depressing. I experienced the suffering that came with this perspective even before I became open to the mere idea that God existed. If we are all to believe that how, what, when, and where we were born is a product of mere chance, then it stands to reason that we should be appreciative of none of it; there is no one we can give our appreciation to. I could not be grateful and see the full picture of my blessings, and took for granted my own life. Thankfully, I was exposed to an alternative answer to the question of life.

Catholic schools have ways of roping you into things even when you go out of your way to avoid them. A Catholic school led by good leaders and community will make you feel at home, despite your differences. And even though I was atheist for the majority of my time at Loyola, I found no different treatment of me than of my Catholic classmates. This small community of Christians had room for me too. Over time I slowly became less annoyed by the religious presence and influence and more interested, but nothing changed me more than my senior

retreat. There, for the first time, I felt compelled to my knees in the presence of God. I felt grateful and blessed in such a clarifying way that, from then on, there simply was no other path than the path with God.

Catholicism says we are not alone, and that we are not meant to suffer and sin. Catholicism promises reunion with God and all of His goodness. I would have never been able to see that, much less experience it, without the guidance of my Catholic school. I am invincible now that I am on the side of God, and I have nothing to fear. Forever I will be grateful that God had sent me to Loyola, because without that school, I would have never been saved.

My Faith Has Grown

�very Thursday morning, Cotter students, teachers, and staff gather at the Saint Cecilia theater for prayer. On these mornings, members of the Cotter community will share personal stories about how God has been present in their lives. Even though the anecdotes are different each time, the tradition is to conclude with our special morning prayer, in which we thank God for our loved ones and ask him to help us “become persons of respect, integrity, and compassion.”

Nowadays, this prayer is an essential part of my faith; however, before attending Cotter and receiving a Catholic education, I never saw my faith as something extremely influential in my daily life. I was baptized, had received my First Communion, and used to go to church every once in a while, but I didn’t have any knowledge of what those two sacraments were truly for or why attending Mass or praying was so important. I knew God existed, but what was the reason for all these things? I had more questions than answers, but, thanks to the Catholic education I received at Cotter, I was able to strengthen my faith and find an answer to my questions.

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Catholic Schools
Abigail Christopherson Grace Monson Solangel Suarez

It was difficult at first to adjust to praying before a class or a meal, or even attending Mass more frequently. However, thanks to my teachers and community, all of these things have now become part of me and my daily routine. I learned that the sacraments are necessary for maintaining a strong relationship with God and that baptism is the first step in ridding ourselves of original sin. I realized that going to Mass is a more direct way to communicate with God and a place where I can go when I have questions. My faith is an important part of who I am, and it has grown alongside me and my knowledge as a result of Cotter and its Catholic education.

You Can Find Your Place

�hen asked the question “What does it mean for you to attend a Catholic school?” we were met with the realization that we could not possibly hope to do justice to that question over the course of a single article. The experience of each student is unique, and so each student’s answer to that question will be different. With that in mind, we decided to both tell a little bit about our own personal experiences, with the knowledge that while our experiences may be unique to us, the truths that they convey are not.

My name is Xavier Stevermer, and I’ve attended

Catholic schools for the past 15 years, from Pre-K through 8th grade at Holy Spirit, and then to Lourdes, where I am now finishing my senior year. I plan on continuing my Catholic education by attending Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota to major in cybersecurity and philosophy. For me, to attend a Catholic school means being able to examine everything through the lens of faith. Guided by our Catholic heritage, we are able to seek a deeper understanding of the universe and our place in it, as we strive for truth - truth that is made visible by the light that radiates from God, the source of all truth. At school, we are able to discuss topics such as religion, theology, and philosophy in a way that wouldn’t be possible elsewhere. As students, we are being educated not just in terms of intellect, but also - as Bishop Barron put it during his homily at the RCS all-schools Mass - we are being taught how to become saints. We are being educated not only in the academic sense, but also in how to be a Christian, growing in relationship with God and the people around us. It is this education of the whole person, character as well as intellect, that is uniquely possible at a Catholic school. Of course, no conversation on a Catholic education would be complete without mention of the sacramental life of the school. As a school, we have the privilege of attending Mass regularly, and are offered Adoration and Confession similarly. We also attend a yearly retreat, a period of time devoted to growing in both faith and fraternity. These opportunities for encounter with Christ create a unique community within the schools, as we connect ourselves with a mission beyond our own; joined not only by our peers, but by our teachers, priests, fellow parishioners, and all the saints in heaven, as we come together to recognize the presence of God and strive toward eternal life with Christ.

My name is Aidan Holycross. I'm currently a senior at Lourdes High School. I've been blessed to share a little bit of information on my experience at a Catholic school. Unlike many students here, my journey didn’t start in a Catholic school. Originally, I attended a public choice school in Rochester until my 8th grade year when my mother transferred my siblings and me to Catholic schools. At first, I was really against this idea. Transferring schools meant that I had to adjust to a completely new environment and make new friends. I had built such a close group of friends at my old school and the idea of leaving that all behind frustrated me. I thought, "Why couldn’t

I have just stayed one more year and then transferred? Why now?" Looking back I’m so thankful my mother had the insight to switch me to Catholic schools. I can’t express how much Catholic education has shaped my character as a young man academically and spiritually. The first steps for me were definitely the hardest, but once I put forth effort to get to know the students and challenge myself to be more disciplined, it was well worth the transition. The amount of opportunities provided in these schools are endless and I’m glad I got to take part in the program for the last five years. I'm so thankful for all the wonderful faculty and staff who have shaped me to be who I am today and to all my friends I’ve made along the way–old and new. I would also like to thank my mother who sacrifices so much for me so that I might get this type of education.

All in all, our experience at a Catholic school has been one of challenge, nurture, and growth. It doesn’t matter who you are, or where you are coming from, you can find your place at a Catholic school.

7 Catholic Schools

June 2023 w The Courier w
Xavier Stevermer Aidan Holycross

Ordination, First Vows, and Admission to the Rite of Candidacy

�t is with full hearts of praise to God that we celebrated the ordinations of Nicholas Gawarecki and Brian Klein. [See pictures in the next issue of The Courier.] They are now ordained

deacons for the Diocese of Winona-Rochester and plan to be ordained priests in the next year. They will serve in parishes this summer before returning to St. Paul Seminary where they will finish their Masters of Divinity and prepare for priestly ordination. We are grateful for their ‘yes’ to God as they made their promises of obedience, celibacy, and fidelity to prayer. God has shaped the hearts of these two men who are generous with God and with their service to others. They are both highly intelligent and live wellordered and diligent lives.

In addition to the two of them being ordained, we are anticipating ordaining a classmate of theirs in the coming months. Josh Miller transferred to our diocese from Fairbanks, AK, and so is settling in his place as he will spend time in the diocese this summer. Josh is originally from Waseca and so he is coming home to serve his local diocese. He is also planning to be a chaplain for the Archdiocese of Military Services, Army branch.

Faithful Gratitude

�or what am I most grateful? Health? Life itself? Good fortune? Family? My country? The gift of Holy Orders? The Eucharist?

I am deeply grateful for all those things. I am the luckiest of all men, for I have been given much. Yet, I am most grateful for the gift of faith which allows me to see God's presence in the darkest of times. With faith, I will get to heaven. As we hear in the Gospel, gratitude linked with faith brings salvation.

My health will someday leave me. My life on earth will someday end. My good fortune may take a turn for the worse. Without faith, my ministry will dry up, my reverence for the Eucharist will vanish, my pride in my country will erode, and family relationships will suffer.

St. Thomas Aquinas said that gratitude is an extension of the cardinal virtue of justice and it is part of the natural law. It is part of our human nature to show such gratitude because it keeps us in harmony with others. Gratitude is an expression of basic human justice and it is an antidote to conflict and division among us. To be grateful is simply doing the right thing, the moral thing.

It is almost instinctual for humans to be grateful for the good things of life and to those who provide these good things to us. A grateful person, generally speaking, is a healthy person. A grateful person is at greater peace with himself and others. It is easy to like someone who is grateful for life and for the good things he enjoys. It is easy to give thanks for the good things of life, the pleasant and the beautiful things that are given to us, the things that give us comfort and security in life. It is natural to be grateful for these things.

So, if you want to be a better human being, practice gratitude. If you want a happier family life, practice gratitude. If you want peace with neighbors and friends, practice gratitude because it will make you a more just person and others will respond favorably to you.

I know there are many people who seem to have little for which to be grateful, whose lives are truly painful, challenging, filled with problems and difficulties. It is their reality. To them I say, “Have faith!” It is difficult is to be grateful for the unpleasant, the difficult, the painful, the struggles, the challenges, the setbacks, the illnesses, and other naturally unpleasant and difficult things of life. It takes faith to see God

This past March 18, I had the great privilege of attending the first vows of Sr. Veronica at the Poor Clare Monastery in Palos Park, IL. Sr. Veronica served as a FOCUS Missionary at Minnesota State, Mankato before entering the Poor Clares. This was a beautiful occasion where the radiant joy of Sister Veronica was beyond evident. She was eager to dedicate her heart to the Lord. In speaking with her through the cloister after the Mass, her words that still echo in my soul were, “Father, nothing could have prepared me for the radicality of this life.” As she said that, she meant it in such a beautiful and grateful way for everything that had prepared for her to enter the convent. Please pray for Sister Veronica as she continues to dedicate herself to God in prayer on behalf of the Church.

Finally, this past April 12 was the Admission to the Rite of Candidacy for four of our seminarians. Gabriel Rysavy, Ryan Saltness, Alex Peters, and John Vrchota professed their intention to move on toward their eventual ordination to priesthood. The Rite of Candidacy is a time where the young man cements his desire and says that he is confident in his call to being ordained a priest. He makes a public statement of readiness to move in this direction as he enters the study of theology. Gabriel, Alex, and John will study at St. Paul Seminary this coming fall. Ryan will be going to the North American College in Rome to study. He will depart this summer for the study of Italian before the semester begins.

desiring to make something beautiful out of it all.

Nothing is impossible for God, so he allows those difficult times in life, those setbacks, problems, and illnesses into your life so he can redeem and transform them into something very beautiful, something holy. In this way, if you have faith which illuminates the hand of God at work in your lives, you can truly say you are grateful for those difficult times and events in our lives. I know this seems unnatural and very difficult, but we have Jesus himself to show us how to do it.

No problem, no difficulty, no darkness that may come upon you can overcome the light of faith and the love of God for you. No matter how dark or bleak things may be, as long as there is the light of faith, that faith will be a light that will mark the presence of God and allow him to take that darkness and turn it into light. For this kind of faith, I am most grateful.

8 June 2023 w The Courier w Vocations & Permanent Diaconate
L to R: Vocations Director Fr. Jason Kern, Alex Peters, Gabriel Rysavy, Bishop Robert Barron, Ryan Saltness and John Vrchota. Sr. Veronica makes her first vows. Deacon serves the parishes of St. Mary in Caledonia and St. Patrick in Brownsville.

Religious Freedom Week 2023 Embracing the Divine Gift of Freedom Life, Marriage

�eligious freedom allows the Church, and all religious communities, to live out their faith in public and to serve the good of all. Beginning June 22, the feast of Ss. Thomas More and John Fisher, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) invites Catholics to pray, reflect, and act to promote religious freedom.

Since 2013, the Bishops have been encouraging us to pray for a strengthening of Religious Freedom in the world. This year, the weeklong observance offers opportunities to pray for specific areas where our freedom to live out our faith is deteriorating. For example, the respect for sacred spaces (attacks on our churches have been on the rise, especially since Roe v. Wade was overturned), the Seal of the Confession (governments have threatened to eliminate the seal civilly) and Catholic healthcare are all threatened. Please join in by praying for religious freedom!

Consecration of the Family to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Sacred Heart of Jesus, You made clear to Saint Margaret Mary Your desire of being King in Christian families. We today wish to proclaim Your most complete kingly dominion over our own family. We want to live in the future with Your life. We want to cause to flourish in our midst those virtues to which You have promised peace here below. We want to banish far from us the spirit of the world which You have cursed. You shall be King over our minds in the simplicity of our faith, and over our hearts by the wholehearted

Minnesota Catholic Conference Inside the Capitol


�n the face of adversity, all of us in the Church must keep tilling the soil so that good things will grow and be ready to harvest from our Capitol.

Good Seeds Are Growing

Great growth is happening to support the poor and vulnerable in Minnesota due in part to your advocacy. Because Catholics across Minnesota helped create fertile soil by urging legislators to put families first, many of our poorest families across the state will now benefit from a nation-leading Child Tax Credit. More work is needed to make more families eligible, but this per-child refundable tax credit is expected to reduce childhood poverty in Minnesota by 20 to 30 percent.

Minnesotans who fall on hard times are also now better protected from debt traps by a 36-percent inter-

& Inside the Capitol

& Family

love with which they shall burn for You, the flame of which we will keep alive by the frequent reception of Your divine Eucharist. Be so kind, O divine Heart, as to preside over our assemblings, to bless our enterprises, both spiritual and temporal, to dispel our cares, to sanctify our joys, and to alleviate our sufferings. If ever one or other of us should have the misfortune to afflict You, remind him, O Heart of Jesus, that You are good and merciful to the penitent sinner. And when the hour of separation strikes, when death shall come to cast mourning into our midst, we will all, both those who go and those who stay, be submissive to Your eternal decrees. We shall console ourselves with the thought that a day will come when the entire family, reunited in heaven, can sing forever Your glories and Your mercies. May the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the glorious patriarch Saint Joseph present this consecration to You, and keep it in our minds all the days of our life. All glory to the Heart of Jesus, our King and our Father!

-from The Rural Life Prayerbook, by ALBAN J. DACHAUER,S.J, in cooperation with Catholic Rural Life

Weeds Cannot Grow in Tilled Soil

est rate cap on payday loans. Additionally, families and individuals, especially those working in low-wage jobs, now have access to earned sick and safe time, thus enabling them to receive one hour of paid time off for every 30 hours worked to care for a sick family member or themselves.

Finally, after a decade of advocating for immigrant families, this fall they can apply for a driver’s license and no longer need to fear separation through deportation for simply driving their kids to school, the grocery store, the doctor, or Mass. Our migrant brothers and sisters can also now buy into Minnesota Care, allowing them access to health insurance instead of avoiding necessary care or only making use of costly emergency rooms.

Although there continues to be much work to be done to defend life, dignity, and the common good, the victories won this session have come from many years of ensuring good seeds have healthy soil in which to grow.

Despite great adversity, pro-lifers should remain undeterred by the legislature and a swipe of a governor’s pen. Hundreds of advocates showed up for the firstever United for Life pro-life advocacy day, met with legislators, testified in committee hearings, offered innumerable prayers during First Friday Adoration, and sent 7,361 messages, phone calls, tweets, and videos through our Catholic Advocacy Network, along with hundreds of postcards urging legislators to protect women and their unborn children.

The legislature has left in place the parental notification requirements for minors seeking an abortion, though the statute is currently struck down through a Ramsey County court case. Fortunately, a group called Mothers Offering Maternal Support (MOMS), is working to challenge that decision.

But there is much more tilling to do because the legislature has gone forward with repealing the remaining commonsense health and safety requirements around abortion, left minimal care requirements for infants who survive an abortion, defunded and repealed the Positive Alternatives to Abortion Grant Program that helps pregnancy resource centers care for women in need, and, among other things, expanded taxpayer funding to include elective abortions.

We must also continue sowing truth about the integrity of the human person as created male or

Inside the Capitol, cont'd on pg. 12

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Sacred Heart of Jesus statue at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona.
Your Work in the Vineyard Must Continue!

Happy Anniversaries!

Rev. Kurt Farrell (25 years a priest) was born in Wisconsin Rapids, WI, to John and Barbara (Raleigh) Farrell. He studied philosophy at Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona and then completed his theology degree at Mount Saint Mary Seminary in Emmitsburg, MD. On June 16, 1998, Father Farrell was ordained to the priesthood at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona by the Most Rev. John G. Vlazny. Father Farrell’s assignment as Parochial Vicar was at Pax Christi in Rochester. As Pastor, he served at St. John Baptist de la Salle in Dodge Center, St. Francis de Sales in Claremont, St. Vincent de Paul in West Concord, St. Charles Borromeo in St. Charles, St. Aloysius in Elba, Holy Redeemer in Eyota, and St. James in Twin Lakes. Other assignments include Parochial Administrator for St. Joseph the Worker in Mankato and Holy Family in Lake Crystal; instructor at Loyola High School in Mankato; assistant at St. Thomas More Newman Center in Mankato; Vicar for Hispanic Ministry for the Diocese of Winona; and chaplain for Pacelli High School and grade schools in Austin. Father Farrell is currently Pastor of St. Theodore in Albert Lea, member of the Presbyteral Council, and spiritual advisor for the Diocese of Winona-Rochester Council of Catholic Women.

Rev. Msgr. Richard Colletti (45 years a priest) was born in Chicago, IL, to Jerome and Rosalie (Scire) Colletti. He studied philosophy at Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona and then completed his theology degree at the North American College and the Gregorian University in Rome, Italy. On June 19, 1978, Monsignor Colletti was ordained to the priesthood at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona by the Most Rev. Loras J. Watters. Monsignor Colletti’s assignments as Parochial Vicar were at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona, St. John Vianney in Fairmont, St. John the Baptist in Minnesota Lake, St. John the Evangelist in Rochester, St. Augustine in Austin, and Our Lady of Loretto in Brownsdale. As Pastor, he served at Good Shepherd in Jackson, St. Luke in Sherburn, St. Joseph in Trimont, St. John the Baptist in Mankato, St. Casimir in Winona, and was Rector of the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona. Other assignments include Instructor for Cotter High School; Chaplain for the Cabrini Home in Winona, Boy Scouts of America, St. Mary’s College in Winona, St. Thomas More Newman Center in Mankato, and St. Thomas Aquinas Newman Center in Winona; Minnesota State Chaplain for the Knights of Columbus; member of the Presbyteral Council, Assignments Committee, and College of Consultors; Parochial Administrator of St. Mary in Caledonia, St. Luke in Sherburn, St. Joseph in Trimont, St. Teresa in Mapleton, St. Joseph in Good Thunder, and St. Matthew in Vernon Center;

Moderator for the Mankato / St. James area Winona Council of Catholic Women; and Chancellor and Vicar General of the Diocese of Winona. In 2012, he was named Prelate of Honor to His Holiness. Monsignor Colletti is currently Pastor of St. Adrian Parish in Adrian, St. Anthony Parish in Lismore, and Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Wilmont; and is the Rural Life Chaplain for the Diocese of Winona-Rochester.

Rev. Gregory Leif (45 years a priest) was born in Austin to Claude and Alice Mae (Ankeny) Leif. He attended Austin Junior College before studying sociology at Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona, and then completed his theology degree at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota.

On June 19, 1978, Father Leif was ordained to the priesthood at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona by the Most Rev. Loras J. Watters. Father Leif’s assignments as Parochial Vicar were at St. Mary in Caledonia, St. Mary in Winona, and St. John the Evangelist in Rochester. As Pastor, he served at Sacred Heart in Brewster, St. Mary in Dundee, St. Gabriel in Fulda, St. Columba in Iona, Sacred Heart in Adams, St. John in Johnsburg, St. Mary in Caledonia, St. Patrick in Brownsville, and Sacred Heart in Waseca. Other assignments include Chaplain for the Boy Scouts of America and the College of St. Teresa in Winona, Dean of the Austin / Albert Lea Deanery, Spiritual Director at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona, and member of the Diocesan Social Concerns Committee. On July 1, 2020, Father Leif joined the rank of senior priests of the diocese. Father Leif is currently a member of the Minnesota Catholic Conference Social Concerns Committee and the Diocese of Winona-Rochester Social Concerns Committee, and Spiritual Advisor for the Austin Area Council of Catholic Women.

Rev. Robert Schneider (45 years a priest) was born in Mankato to Joseph and Kathryn (Kubier) Schneider. He studied philosophy at Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona and then completed his theology degree at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul, MN. On June 19, 1978, Father Schneider was ordained to the priesthood at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona by the Most Rev. Loras J. Watters. Father Schneider later attended the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN, studying Non-Public Secondary Administration. Father Schneider’s assignments as Parochial Vicar were at St. Augustine in Austin and St. John the Baptist in Mankato. As Pastor, he served at All Saints in Madison Lake, St. Theodore in Albert Lea, and St. James in Twin Lakes. Other assignments include Instructor for Pacelli High School in Austin and Loyola High School in Mankato, pastoral duties at St. Joseph the Worker in Mankato, Principal of Loyola High School in Mankato and All Saints School in Madison Lake, Parochial Administrator for St. Ann in Janesville and Sacred Heart in Waseca, member of the Presbyteral Council and Priests Committee for Capital Campaign, Chaplain for the State Knights of Columbus and

Loyola High School in Mankato, and President for Loyola Catholic Schools in Mankato. Father Schneider is currently Pastor of All Saints Parish in Madison Lake and Immaculate Conception Parish in St. Clair, and a member of the Pension Plan for Priests Board of Trustees.

Rev. James Kunz (50 years a priest) was born in Madelia to Robert and Evelyn (Lenhoff) Kunz. He studied philosophy at Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona and earned his theology degree at St. John Seminary in Collegeville, Minnesota. On May 12, 1973, Father Kunz was ordained to the priesthood at St. Mary in Madelia by the Most Rev. Loras J. Watters. Father Kunz served as Parochial Vicar for St. Mary in Winona and Queen of Angels in Austin; Instructor for Pacelli High School in Austin; and was the Diocesan Liaison to the National Council of Catholic Bishops Ad Hoc Committee on Charismatic Renewal. In 1979, Father Kunz served as Parochial Vicar in Aberdeen, South Dakota, in order to help promote the charismatic renewal in the Diocese of Sioux Falls. Also in the Sioux Falls Diocese, he was Parochial Vicar at St. Lambert’s Parish in Sioux Falls and Pastor at St. Michael’s in Clark and St. Peter’s in Grover, SD. Upon his return to Minnesota, Father Kunz became a member of the Pastoral Care Department of St. Marys Hospital in Rochester, served as Chaplain for the Sisters of St. Francis at Assisi Heights in Rochester, and was part of the Mayo Clinic Chaplaincy until his retirement in 2016.

Rev. Paul Surprenant (50 years a priest) was born in New Ulm to Ralph and Augusta (Dresow) Surprenant. He grew up in Currie, Minnesota, with six brothers and six sisters. He attended grade and high school at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Currie. In 1965, he began his studies at St. Mary’s University, Winona. There he studied philosophy as he attended Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary and he completed his theology degree at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. On June 8, 1973, Father Surprenant was ordained to the priesthood at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Currie by the Most Rev. Loras J. Watters. Father Surprenant’s assignments as Parochial Vicar were at St. John the Evangelist in Rochester, St. John Vianney in Fairmont, St. Theodore in Albert Lea, and St. James in Twin Lakes. As Pastor, he served at St. Anthony in Lismore, St. Kilian in St. Kilian, Our Lady of Good Counsel in Wilmont, St. Pius X in Rochester, Christ the King in Byron, and Holy Family in Kasson. Other assignments include Chaplain for the Newman Club at Rochester Community College in Rochester and the Knights of Columbus; Defender of the Bond, Associate Judge, and Advocate for the Diocesan Tribunal; and member of the Diocesan Liturgical Commission and Priests Assignment Committee. On July 2, 2017, Father Surprenant joined the rank of senior priests of the diocese and continues his priestly ministry in the Diocese of Winona-Rochester.

June 2023 w The Courier w 10 In the Diocese

Rev. David Arnoldt (55 years a priest) was born in Janesville to Philip and Eileen (Thissen) Arnoldt. He studied philosophy at Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona and earned his theology degree at St. John Seminary in Collegeville, Minnesota. On June 1, 1968, Father Arnoldt was ordained to the priesthood at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona by the Most Rev. Edward A. Fitzgerald. In the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Father Arnoldt served as Parochial Vicar at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona, St. Mary in Worthington, and St. Joseph in Owatonna, and as Chaplain at St. Mary’s College in Winona and the School Sisters of Notre Dame Motherhouse in Mankato. From 1981 to 1983 he served as a Chaplain in the Federal Bureau of Prisons. In 1984 he joined the US Army and served as Chaplain from 1984 to 2006. Father Arnoldt now resides in Augusta, Georgia.

Rev. Msgr. Thomas Hargesheimer (55 years a priest) was born in Winona to William and Beverly (White) Hargesheimer. He studied philosophy at Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona and then completed his theology degree at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul, MN. On June 1, 1968, Monsignor Hargesheimer was ordained to the priesthood at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart

12 s�x�h-��ad��s from Rochester area parishes were honored on Sunday, April 23, during a special reception at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Rochester, attended by about 60 people including Fr. Jim Berning and Fr. Luis Vargas, the pastor and parochial vicar at St. Francis, respectively. The 12 students are the winners of the Great Promise Award sponsored by the Serra Club of Rochester. They were selected by their teachers based on the Christian virtues they exhibited throughout the 2022-23 school year.

This year's Great Promise Award recipients are: Miles Wattier (Holy Spirit, Rochester), Claire Minter (Christ the King, Byron), Lydia Penza (St. Pius X, Rochester), Lauren Buchmann (Holy Spirit, Rochester), Levi Lahr (Holy Spirit, Rochester), Luis Velasquez Jaimes (St. Francis, Rochester), Frances Sauer (St. Francis, Rochester), Calum Sween (St.

in Winona by the Most Rev. Edward A. Fitzgerald. Monsignor Hargesheimer’s assignments as Parochial Vicar were at St. Stanislaus Kostka in Winona and St. John in Rochester. As Pastor, he served at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Canton, St Olaf in Mabel, St. Mary in Madelia, St. Pius X in Rochester, St. Joseph in Owatonna, and St. Stanislaus Kostka and St. John in Winona. Other notable assignments include chaplain of St. Marys Hospital in Rochester, Methodist Hospital in Rochester; and the Serra Club in Owatonna; confessor for the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi in Rochester, moderator for the Winona Diocesan Council of Catholic Women for the Owatonna Area; Parish Administrator for Holy Trinity in Litomysl, and St. Aidan in Ellendale; advocate to the Diocesan Tribunal; member of the Presbyteral Council and College of Consultors; Dean of the Winona Deanery; and Rector of the Basilica of St. Stanislaus Kostka in Winona. In 2012, he was named Chaplain to His Holiness. On July 1, 2018, Monsignor Hargesheimer joined the rank of senior priests of the diocese.

Rev. Paul Breza (60 years a priest) was born in Winona to Joseph and Alice (Pehler) Breza. He studied philosophy at Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona and then completed his theology degree at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul, MN. On June 1, 1963, Father Breza was ordained to the priesthood at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona by the Most Rev. Edward A. Fitzgerald. Father Breza’s assignments as Parochial

Vicar were at St. Stanislaus Kostka in Winona, St. Columbanus in Blooming Prairie, St. Francis of Assisi in Rochester, St. John the Baptist in Mankato, and the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart and St. Casimir in Winona. As Pastor, he served at St. Anthony in Altura, St. Aloysius in Elba, St. Peter in Hokah, and St. Patrick in Brownsville. Other assignments include Instructor for Pacelli High School in Austin, Lourdes High School in Rochester, and Loyola High School in Mankato; and Chaplain for St. Mary’s College in Winona. In 1979, Father Breza established the Polish Cultural Institute and Museum in Winona, and he was later appointed diocesan archivist by Bishop Bernard Harrington. After joining the rank of senior priests of the diocese on July 1, 2007, Father Breza served as Parochial Administrator for St. Joachim in Plainview, and in 2010 he was inducted into Winona’s Polish Heritage Hall of Fame.

In the Diocese

Bernard, Stewartville), Kyle Willette (Holy Family, Kasson), Sophie Simons (Holy Family, Kasson), Sadie Romens (St. Bernard, Stewartville) and Addalyn Christensen (Holy Spirit, Rochester).

Month of the Sacred Heart

�his is the month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Sacred Heart of Jesus is the revelation of God’s immense love for us. It is often depicted as a fiery furnace, pierced and broken, but beating with love. The Sacred Heart is also a profound reminder of the humanity of our Lord, for his heart is not a mere symbol, but a true physical reality. How great it is to have the Eucharist Congress this month.

By the time you read this, the Eucharistic Congress may or may not be over. If you were able to attend, I am sure that you gained a wonderful spiritual uplift. We need to go out and profess that Jesus Christ is truly present in the

Eucharist. Thank you for attending.

Happy Father’s Day to all fathers and please make sure that you remember our Spiritual Father St. Joseph who will never abandon us as we strive to find our way to our eternal home in heaven. If you have not done a consecration to St. Joseph, you should consider doing it.

It is time to register for the National Council of Catholic Women’s (NCCW) Convention which will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah on August 24-26. There are several women from our diocese who will be attending and if you would like more information, you may contact me at or call 507-937-3460. Our W-RDCCW convention will be held at Queen of Angels in Austin on October 7. Speakers will

Rev. Donald Lovas (60 years a priest) was born in Winona to Joseph and Marie (Mary) (Sielaff) Lovas. He studied philosophy at Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona and then completed his theology degree at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul, MN. On June 1, 1963, Father Lovas was ordained to the priesthood at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona by the Most Rev. Edward A. Fitzgerald. Father Lovas’ assignments as Parochial Vicar were at Sacred Heart in Owatonna, St. Pius X in Rochester, and St. Mary in Winnebago. As Pastor, he served at St. Columba in Iona, St. Rose of Lima in Avoca, St. Adrian in Adrian, St. Mary in Ellsworth, St. Mary in Worthington, St. Stanislaus Kostka and St. John Nepomucene in Winona, St. Francis of Assisi in Rochester, St. Felix in Wabasha, St. Agnes and Immaculate Conception in Kellogg, Holy Trinity in Rollingstone, St. Mary in Minneiska, and St. Paul in Minnesota City. Other assignments include Instructor for Marian High School in Owatonna and Lourdes High School in Rochester; Parochial Administrator for Crucifixion in La Crescent and St. Catherine in Luverne; Area Representative for Religious Education in Worthington; member of the Priests’ Senate, Presbyteral Council, and College of Consultors; and Dean of the Worthington and Winona Deaneries. On July 1, 2010, Father Lovas joined the rank of senior priests of the diocese.

be from Our Lady of Champion (originally called Our Lady of Good Help) and Pietra Fitness, which is a Christian alternative to yoga.

W-RDCCW is needing a Vice President, Treasurer and Parliamentarian. If you have questions or feel that you would be able to do one of these jobs, please contact me. The outgo ing officers are willing to men tor the ones wishing to take on these jobs. Thank you!

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

11 June 2023 w The Courier w
Photo and caption submitted by JOHN KENKEL, a member of the Serra Club of Rochester.


Sister Sean Clinch, OSF, 99, a Franciscan Sister of the Congregation of Our Lady of Lourdes, Rochester, died at Assisi Heights Friday, April 7, 2023.

Sister Sean was born Lorena Agnes Clinch, on July 7, 1923, in Norfolk, NE, to Valentine and Elizabeth (Malone) Clinch. She entered the Sisters of St. Francis in 1940, received the name of Sister Sean, and made perpetual vows in 1946. She received her Bachelor of Science in elementary education from the College of St. Teresa, Winona, in 1954 and her Master of Science in educational administration from Winona State University in 1960.

Sister Sean served as an elementary teacher from 1943-54, including at St. Paul School, Fairmont; St. Adrian School, Adrian; and St. Mary’s School, Owatonna. She then served as the superior/principal for St. Theodore School, Albert Lea; St. Priscilla School, Chicago, IL; and St. Augustine School, Austin, from 1954-76. Her passion for teaching elementary students guided her back to serving at St. Francis of Assisi School, Rochester, and then Immaculate Heart of Mary School, Santa Ana, CA, from 1976-91. Following her teaching service in Santa Ana, Sister Sean cared for her sister, Mary Catherine Clinch, in Lemon Grove, CA, until 2005, when she retired to Assisi Heights.

Survivors of Sister Sean include her Franciscan Sisters, with whom she shared life for 82 years, and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; five brothers, John, Joseph, Edmund, Jerome, and Patrick; and sister, Mary Catherine Clinch.

A Private Memorial Liturgy was held at Assisi Heights on Thursday, May 11, 2023, followed by burial at Calvary Cemetery.

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Suggested memorials are to the Sisters of St. Francis, Office of Mission Advancement, Assisi Heights, 1001 14th St. NW, Rochester, MN 55901.

Sister Rogene Fox, OSF, 95, a Franciscan Sister of the Congregation of Our Lady of Lourdes, Rochester, died at Assisi Heights on Sunday, April 16, 2023.

Sister Rogene was born Loretta Margaret Fox on December 20, 1927, in Watertown, SD, to Nicholas and Isabella (Deniger) Fox. She entered the Sisters of St. Francis in 1951, received the name of Sister Rogene, and made perpetual vows in 1957. She received her Bachelor of Nursing from the College of St. Teresa, Winona, in 1958, and her Master of Nursing Administration from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, in 1976.

Sister Rogene served as an LPN instructor and director of nursing at Mercy Hospital, Portsmouth, OH, from 1964-74, and also a nurse instructor at the College of St. Teresa, Winona, from 1974-75, before taking a sabbatical. Upon her return, Sister Rogene served as the director of nursing at Mercy Hospital, Valley City, ND, from 1976-78, then at Bethania Hospital, Wichita Falls, TX, from 1978-79. From 197981 she served as a nurse at Saint Marys Hospital, Rochester, before her travels brought her to the St.

Patrick Hospital in Missoula, MT, serving as their director of nursing from 1981-85. Sister Rogene served as a nurse supervisor at the High Street Convalescent Hospital and Mercy Manor, both in Oakland, CA, from 1986-88. From 1988-92, she served on the staff development team for the Jewish Home for the Aged in San Francisco, CA, before moving to Minnesota and serving for five years as the treasurer/receptionist at Tau Center, College of Saint Teresa, Winona, from 1992-97. Sister Rogene returned to Rochester in 1997, where she served as administrative secretary for integrative therapies at Assisi Heights; a parish nurse at St. Pius X Parish; and a receptionist at Child Care Resource Center, until her retirement in 2001. Sister Rogene still remained active in the local community, serving as the receptionist and tour guide at the Gift of Life Transplant House from 2003-07, supporting community education for the Elder Network; and serving as program assistant at Experience Works - Rochester Senior Center from 2008-09.

Survivors of Sister Rogene Fox include her Franciscan Sisters, with whom she shared life for 72 years, and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; two brothers, Alfred and Howard Fox; and three sisters, Daisy Mernaugh, Mildred Spartz, and Anna Marie Case.

A private Resurrection Liturgy was held at Assisi Heights on Thursday, April 27, 2023, followed by burial at Calvary Cemetery.

Suggested memorials are to the Sisters of St. Francis, Office of Mission Advancement, Assisi Heights, 1001 14th St. NW, Rochester, MN 55901.

we must continue our advocacy for safeguards, such as potency caps, childproof packaging, and more, to the newly forming Cannabis Advisory Council and the Office of Cannabis Management.

female. This need is most evident with the disturbing passage of bills that promote a false reality of the human person, remove access to the psychological sciences, and impose gender ideology upon vulnerable children, even taking them away from parents who would otherwise protect them from the lasting harms of unnatural hormones and mutilative procedures.

When it comes to industries preying on people, we must till the soil to make it even harder for the recreational marijuana industry to grow despite its now legal status. To keep the most dangerous weeds at bay,

With much good accomplished, and so much light needed to dispel the darkness, it is our job as faithful citizens to keep tilling through your prayers and building relationships with your legislators. So, this summer, set up a coffee meeting with your legislators. Invite others to join you and to join the Catholic Advocacy Network ( because if we truly want to reap a bountiful harvest, we need more laborers.

Minnesota Catholic Conference is the public policy voice of the Catholic Church in Minnesota.

• The Courier June 2023
Inside the Capitol, cont'd from pg. 9 Thank you to the following parishes who have met their goals for the 2023 Catholic Ministries Appeal since our Feb. 18-19 kick-off: All Saints Madison Lake Holy Family Kasson Immaculate Conception Kellogg Immaculate Conception St. Clair St. Ann Slayton St. Bridget Simpson St. Casimir Winona St. Finbarr Grand Meadow St. Ignatius Spring Valley St. John Nepomucene Winona St. Joseph Good Thunder St. Luke Sherburn St. Patrick LeRoy
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