The Courier - June 2021

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Birth of John the Baptist June 24

Welcome Back June 2021

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

MN Catholic Conference A Message from Most Rev. John M. Quinn Advocates � for School Choice ear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, In the Gospel of St. John, Jesus tells His followers, "I am the bread of life ... whoever eats this bread will live forever" (6:48, 51). For over 2000 years, Catholics have gathered together on the Lord's Day for the celebration of the Mass, during which ordinary bread and wine is consecrated and becomes Jesus' Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. Through sharing in the Eucharist, those in communion with Christ and His Church are intimately united with our Triune God. This heavenly food strengthens us to live out our faith in service to others. Beginning the weekend of July 3-4, I, along with the other Bishops of Minnesota, will reinstate the obligation for Catholics to come to Mass on Sunday, or Saturday evening. Gathering together and sharing in the Eucharist is the primary way in which Catholics follow the Lord's command to keep holy the Sabbath. While there are occasions such as this past year where this obligation is dispensed, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass remains the center of our lives as Catholics. As always, there are circumstances where individuals may not be obligated to go to Sunday Mass. If you are sick, a caregiver for children or the elderly, or are unable to attend Mass through no fault of your own (e.g., you are in a place where there is no Mass, or you do not have any means of transportation), then you are not obligated to come to Mass. Additional circumstances that may exempt you from attending Sunday Mass are outlined in the decree reimposing the Sunday obligation, and the statement from

Readers are invited to view the following letter by MINNESOTA CATHOLIC CONFERENCE online at: messages/edit?promo_id=13101 all the Bishops of the Minnesota Catholic Conference [see page 4]. If you have questions about your specific situation, you are encouraged to discuss them with your pastor. It is with great joy that I look forward to gathering again with all the faithful of the Diocese of WinonaRochester around the altar of the Lord. The Eucharist is the source and summit of our lives as Catholics, and it is where we encounter Christ Himself. May each one of us make the words of Psalm 122:1 our own: "I rejoiced when they said to me, 'Let us go to the house of the Lord!'" Sincerely in Christ,

Most Rev. John M. Quinn Bishop of Winona-Rochester

The online version can be signed and sent to state legislators and Gov. Walz with a few clicks of the mouse. Pass School Choice Now! The Problem The COVID pandemic has made the need for school choice more evident than ever. When the state shut down schools last March and into the 202021 school year, there were limited options aside from distance learning for students in public schools.

School Choice, cont'd on pg. 15

INSIDE this issue

Who Needs to Meet Jesus Through You Today? pages 6-7

Happy Anniversaries!

Waiting pages 8-9

page 11

Pope Francis Watch

Articles of Interest

Returning to Mass________________________4


A Tender and Loving Father________________5 Missionary Discipleship Updates__________6-7

The Courier Insider

Happy Anniversaries!_____________________8-9 Deacons Continue the Diaconate of Jesus___10 Religious Freedom Week__________________10 Waiting_________________________________11 From Our Graduates____________________12-13 Minnesota Catholic Conference______________14 Diocesan Headlines_____________________15-16

The Holy Father's Intention

Pope Releases Video on Beauty of Marriage By COURTNEY MARES

VATICAN CITY, June 1, 2021 (CNA) - Pope Francis has asked people to pray throughout June for young people preparing for the life-long journey of marriage. “Getting married and sharing one’s life is something beautiful,” Pope Francis said in a video message published June 1. “It is a demanding journey, at times difficult, and at times complicated, but it is worth making the effort.” The Vatican released a video message to present the pope’s prayer intention for June. The pope is asking people to pray that couples preparing for marriage with the support of a Christian community may “grow in love, with generosity, faithfulness and patience.” In his video message, Pope Francis said that marriage is a vocation and “a conscious decision for the rest of one’s life that requires specific preparation.” “And on this life-long journey, the husband and wife aren’t alone; Jesus accompanies them,” he said. The prayer request by the pope comes after the marriage rate in the United States hit a record low in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic caused people to postpone marriage plans. In the European Union, the marriage rate has fallen to nearly half of what it was in 1964, and the divorce rate has more than doubled. Italy had the lowest marriage rate among all EU countries in 2019 with only 3.1 marriages per 1,000 inhabitants. Pope Francis said: “Is it true, what some people say—that young people don’t want to get married, especially during these difficult times?”

“A great deal of patience is necessary in order to love,” he said. “But it is worth it." Each month, the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network produces a video to spread the pope’s prayer intention. In 2021, these intentions have ranged from prayer for women who are victims of violence to prayer that more people will return to the sacrament of confession. The Vatican Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life contributed to the publication of this month’s video as part of the “Special year of the family,” which began on March 19. Gabriella Gambino, undersecretary of the dicastery, said that it is important to prepare “young people and engaged couples for a real vocation, not just for the celebration of a wedding.” “To understand the presence of Christ in the daily lives of engaged couples, and then of spouses, by building on the meaning of Baptism is indispensable in giving young people the certainty that their family project is a response to a definitive call and that this project is possible,” she said. “In a secularized society that no longer believes in marriage, it is fundamental to proclaim the strength and power of the sacrament as a vocation and to show that family relationships can have a salvific value for people and be a path to holiness. It is a matter of concretely bringing Christ into the lives of families.” Pope Francis said: “Please, never forget this. God has a dream for us—love—and He asks us to make it his own.” “Let us make our own the love which is God’s dream for us.” The Beauty of Marriage, and all other videos produced by the Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network, can be viewed online at

The Courier is the official publication of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester 55 West Sanborn, P.O. Box 588, Winona, MN 55987 Vol 112 - 6

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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June 2021 The Beauty of Marriage Let us pray for young people who are preparing for marriage with the support of a Christian community: may they grow in love, with generosity, faithfulness and patience. Officials The Most Rev. John M. Quinn, Bishop of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, announces the following appointments: Canonical Administrator Rev. James Starasinich: Appointed Canonical Administrator of St. Mary’s Catholic School in Owatonna, effective April 9, 2021. Chaplain Rev. Andrew Vogel: Appointed Chaplain for the Courage and EnCourage apostolates in the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, effective April 9, 2021. Diaconal Ministry Deacon Terrence Smith: Transferred to diaconal ministry at St. Mary Parish in Chatfield, Assumption of the

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

Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Canton, Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Harmony, St. Patrick Parish in Lanesboro, and St. Columban Parish in Preston, effective March 2, 2021. Where to Find the Courier

Note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, hard copies of the Courier are currently not available in our churches. • Hard copies of the Courier are available in the churches of the Diocese of WinonaRochester at the first weekend Masses of each month. • 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

The Lord Is in the Eucharist Sunday Obligation

Bishop John M. Quinn

�ear Friends in Christ,

Returning to Mass

Last month, many restrictions were lifted, that we have followed this past year in our churches to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Most significantly, there is no longer a mask mandate, nor is it necessary to “social distance” and keep six feet apart from each other. This latter development allows for churches to return to their normal seating capacity, using and filling every pew. There may be some who are still more comfortable masking, or prefer to attend gatherings with smaller crowds, but it is a hopeful sign to see our communities and parishes returning to normal. As we come closer to reaching herd immunity, and more people are vaccinated and comfortable returning to their regular daily activities, I encourage people to return to Sunday Mass. In the sacraments we encounter Christ Himself, and this is why the sacraments are such an indispensable part of our lives as Catholics. Christ is the vine and we are the branches, and it is through the sacraments that we stay connected to Him and His Church.

Hospitality Workshop

This summer, parishes will be welcoming back many who may have been away from church for a long time, or who perhaps have never been to a Catholic church, but are yearning for a relationship with the Lord. How will we respond

Religious Freedom Week

Freedom of religion consists of not only the freedom to worship in our churches, but to live in

accordance with our beliefs. However, in the last several years, Catholic institutions and many individuals have been persecuted and forced to act against their religious and moral beliefs, or else suffer consequences, including large fines or loss of jobs. Abroad, we know that Christians are being persecuted, and killed, for openly professing faith in Christ. Although this reality is often ignored by the media and national governments, many of our brothers and sisters in Christ are suffering for their faith and face threats to their family, livelihood, and life itself, all because of their Christian faith. In order to unite ourselves in solidarity with those who are being persecuted for their faith, and to pray and act for the protection of religious freedom in our own country, the Catholic Church in the U.S. observes Religious Freedom Week June 22-29. On the USCCB webpage for Religious Freedom Week (www.usccb. org/committees/religiousliberty/religious-freedomweek), you will find resources and ideas for prayer and action. We must all remain vigilant in defending the rights of all people to live in accordance with their beliefs, so that we may always proclaim the Truth of Jesus Christ to our world. Seminarians

Now that the school year has ended, our diocesan seminarians are busy with various summer activities and assignments. Some of them will experience parish life through a summer internship at a parish. Several of them will also take the month of July to make a 30-day retreat, a grace-filled time to draw closer to the Lord and deepen their discernment. Two of our seminarians


will participate in a Spanish i m m e r s i o n program with the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal in Honduras, while others will be part of our Totus Tuus teams that travel across the diocese leading Catholic summer camps for children and youth. For those who just completed their undergraduate philosophy degree at Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary and are entering their first year of theology studies, much of the summer will be spent at the Institute of Priestly Formation in Omaha, NE. These young men have heard the call to pursue formation to the priesthood and we are blessed to have such faith-filled young men studying for the Diocese of WinonaRochester. I ask you to please keep them in your prayers. Please pray also that all those being called to the priesthood may have the courage to follow the Lord, steadfast in faith, hope, and charity. Blessed are you!

From the Bishop

Rejoice in Hope

Since March 2020, Catholics in the Diocese of WinonaRochester, and all of Minnesota, have been dispensed from the obligation to attend Mass on Sunday. However, this was only meant to be a temporary dispensation, as the Eucharist is the source and summit of our life of faith. Through the Eucharist we are united with the Lord and the whole Body of Christ, and we are given nourishment for our spiritual journey Now that churches are once again able to be open at normal capacity, allowing all parishioners to attend one of the weekend Masses, and a larger percentage of people have resumed social activities, the bishops in the state of Minnesota have decided to reimpose the obligation for Catholics to keep holy the Sabbath by attending Mass. This obligation will resume on July 1 (with the first Sunday of obligation being July 4), a time by which much of life in Minnesota will have returned to normal. Those who are sick, at high risk for COVID, or care for someone who is, are still dispensed, but all those who are healthy and going out to public places such as the grocery store, gym, or restaurants, will once again be expected to return to the celebration of weekly Sunday Mass. As we prepare for the reintroduction of the Sunday obligation, my hope is that parishes and individual Catholics will cultivate a deeper understanding of and hunger for the Lord in the Eucharist. The Sunday obligation should not be seen as a duty, but as something we joyfully do because of our love for the Lord. Can we respond with a heart-felt “yes” to His invitation to come be with Him?

to new arrivals and returnees? Will we reach out and welcome them, giving them a friendly smile and offering to introduce them to people and offerings at our parish? In the Mass we encounter Christ through the Eucharist, the Word, and the minister of the priest, but we also encounter Christ through others gathered together in His name. How we respond to a new face in the pew can make all the difference between a person feeling welcomed into our community, or never wanting to darken the doors of our church again. On the mornings of June 23 and 24, the diocese will be offering a virtual workshop on parish hospitality. This is not about coffee and donuts; rather, hospitality is an allencompassing attitude and culture for all those who are part of a parish – clergy, lay, staff, and all who simply show up to Mass. In our interactions with others, how do we share our love of Christ and the mission to make and form disciples? This workshop is especially geared toward employees and volunteers who have initial contact with those approaching the parish, whether for baptism or Sunday Mass. Parishes are encouraged to participate in groups, as there will be interactive, small-group parts of the training, which would best be done in-person within parishes. Individuals are also welcome, however, and will be able to participate with Zoom break-out sessions. In order to encourage participation, there is no charge for those who take part in this training. If you have any questions about this workshop, you can contact Todd Graff ( or 507-858-1270) or Susan Windley-Daoust (swindley@ or 507-858-1277). I hope to see many of you there.

Sincerely in Christ,

Most Rev. John M. Quinn Bishop of Winona-Rochester

The Bishop's Calendar is on Page 4. June 2021 w The Courier w


Returning to Mass

July 1 Marks End of Dispensation in Minnesota

By MINNESOTA CATHOLIC the Eucharist are vital to our lives as CONFERENCE Catholic Christians. We were created for Communion. Whether you are returnhe COVID-19 pandemic has been a ing to your home parish, or seeking a painful time of separation that neces- local parish on vacation, your particisitated, for a short while, suspension of pation in the Mass unites you with the public Masses and the dispensation from Church — the Body of Christ. This comthe Sunday obligation to attend Mass. munion transforms us as persons and Nonetheless, since May 2020, Minnesota’s enables us to make manifest the Kingdom bishops have made available the public of God in our world. The celebration of the celebration of Mass to those who wished Eucharist truly is the source and summit to attend. Parishes have done an amazing of our faith. Pope Francis, in his homily on the job creating safe spaces for worship and Feast of Corpus Christi in 2018, said, the sacraments during the past year. Now, as the pandemic subsides, and “Jesus prepares a place for us here below, public gathering restrictions and safety because the Eucharist is the beating protocols are lifted, it is time to gather as heart of the Church. It gives her birth and the Body of Christ once again. Therefore, rebirth; it gathers her together and gives the bishops and diocesan administrators her strength. But the Eucharist also preof the Minnesota Catholic Conference pares for us a place on high, in eternity, for have decided to reinstate the obligation it is the Bread of heaven.” to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation beginning the weekend of Does this mean there will no longer July 3-4, 2021. be any dispensation from the Sunday and Holy Day obligations? Why is attending Mass in-person so Although the general dispensation will no important? longer be available, the Church has always St. John Chrysostom reminds us, “You recognized that certain circumstances can cannot pray at home as at church, where excuse a person from the requirement there is a great multitude, where excla- to observe the obligation. Persons are mations are cried out to God as from one excused from the obligation to attend great heart, and where there is something Mass on Sundays or Holy Days under the more: the union of minds, the accord of following circumstances: souls, the bond of charity, the prayers of 1. You have reason to believe your health the priests” (CCC 2179). would be significantly compromised if Attending the in-person celebration you were to contract a communicable of Sunday Mass and receiving Jesus in illness (i.e., you have underlying conditions or are in a high-risk category).

Bishop's Calendar

June 2, Wednesday 7 p.m. - Pacelli Schools Graduation Ceremony - Austin June 4, Friday 5 p.m. - Ordination to the Priesthood Deacon Trevor Peterson - Duluth June 9, Wednesday 11:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. - Minnesota Catholic Conference Board Meeting - Zoom June 11, Friday 2 p.m. - Ordination of a Transitional Deacon - Michael Churchill - Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Winona June 12, Saturday 4:30 p.m. - Rev. James Berning 30th Anniversary of Priesthood Mass - St. Francis of Assisi Church, Rochester June 13, Sunday 10:30 a.m. - Closing Mass - St. Anthony Church, Altura June 15, Tuesday 9:30 a.m. - Holy Hour and College of Consultors Board Meeting June 16, Wednesday 1:30-3 p.m. - USCCB Virtual Plenary General Session - Day 1 June 17, Thursday 12-3 p.m. - USCCB Virtual Plenary - General Session - Day 2 June 18, Friday 12-1:30 p.m. - USCCB Virtual Plenary General Session - Day 3 1:30-3 p.m. - USCCB Virtual Plenary Executive Session

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June 20, Sunday 10 a.m. - Mass and Bishop’s Medal - St. Francis of Assisi Church, Rochester June 22, Tuesday 11 a.m. - Prayer and Priest Pension Plan Board Meeting - Pastoral Center, Winona June 23, Wednesday 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. - “Entertaining Angels” Hospitality Online Workshop - Zoom 5 p.m. - Mass and Dinner with Christian Brothers of the Midwest - St. Mary’s University, Winona June 24, Thursday 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. - “Entertaining Angels” Hospitality Online Workshop - Zoom 4 p.m. - Meeting with MN Bishops and MCC - Zoom 7-9 p.m. - “Journeying Together” National Catholic Intercultural Encounter for Ministries with Youth and Young Adults Virtual Event - Zoom June 25, Friday 11 a.m. - Diocesan COVID Task Force Pastoral Center, Winona June 26, Saturday 9:30-11:30 a.m. - Diocesan Pastoral Council Meeting - Zoom June 27, Sunday 11 a.m. - Rural Life Mass - Adrian, MN June 30, Wednesday 1 p.m. - Holy Hour and Bishop’s Cabinet Meeting

2. You exhibit flu-like symptoms.

3. You have good reason to think you might be asymptomatic of a contagious illness (e.g., you were in recent contact with someone who tested positive for a contagious illness such as COVID or influenza). 4. You care for the sick, homebound, or infirmed.

5. You are pregnant or you are 65 years of age or older (per the CDC’s recommendation for high-risk individuals).

6. You cannot attend Mass through no fault of your own (e.g., no Mass is offered; you are infirm; or, while wanting to go, you are prevented for some reason you cannot control, such as your ride did not show up).

needed. Those within the categories enumerated above must still observe the Lord’s Day and are encouraged to spend time in prayer on Sunday, meditating on the Lord’s passion, death, and resurrection; an excellent way to do this is by praying the Liturgy of the Hours and participating in a broadcast/livestream of the Sunday Mass. More information, answers to frequently asked questions, and a portal to each diocese’s protocols can be found at the website The return of our faith family to Mass is a joyous occasion. With that in mind, we also encourage the faithful to post on social media about their return-to-Mass worship experiences using the hashtag #backtomassmn. Wherever you may be, welcome home! Most Rev. Bernard A. Hebda, Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis Most Rev. Andrew H. Cozzens, Auxiliary Bishop of St. Paul Minneapolis

7. You have significant fear or anxiety of Most Rev. John M. Quinn, becoming ill by being at Mass. If situations 1 through 3 apply to Bishop of Winona-Rochester you, prudent concern for your neighbor should lead you to stay home. If you fall within situations 4-7, please exercise good judgment, consider the common good, and know you would not be held to the obligation of attending Mass. For further questions about the application of any of these situations, please contact your pastor. These categories will be reviewed in due course and revised as

Most Rev. Donald J. Kettler, Bishop of St. Cloud Most Rev. Daniel J. Felton, Bishop of Duluth

Most Rev. Richard E. Pates, Apostolic Administrator of Crookston Very Rev. Douglas L. Grams, Diocesan Administrator of New Ulm


A Tender and Loving Father Reflections on Saint Joseph (Part II) Director of Lay Formation & RCIA

Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. To you God entrusted his only Son; in you Mary placed her trust; with you Christ became man…. -Pope Francis, Patris Corde Closing Prayer

�reetings of Peace, Friends in Christ!

Pope Francis recently proclaimed a special “Year of Saint Joseph,” to begin on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception in 2020, and to conclude on the same feast in 2021. In my April column, I began a series of reflections on Pope Francis’ letter as it speaks to our spiritual experience. My intention is not to provide a summary or overview of the text so much as to draw on the spiritual wisdom it offers us on our faith journey. This month, as we celebrate Father’s Day, it is especially fitting to reflect on Saint Joseph and what he teaches us about the love and commitment of fathers, more specifically, and of Christian believers, more broadly. In Joseph, Jesus saw the tender love of God: “As a father has compassion for his children, so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him” (Psalm 103:13).

In our culture, we often think of the mother as being the parent who teaches her children about “tender love," and this is certainly often the case. We also sometimes think of the father as being the one to teach his children about being tough and learning how to be strong in the face of fears, setbacks, etc. – and this is, also, often the case. Of course, our children need to learn something of both of these aspects of being human as they grow and develop, but Pope Francis reminds us that fathers can also be the teachers and models of “tender love” in the lives of their children. I also love our Holy Father’s reflection here that Jesus learned something of God’s “tender love” through the love he received from St. Joseph. How beautiful to consider how his earthly father helped Jesus, as “fully human,” to grow in his understanding of his Heavenly Father. And, what a grace for all of us to consider how we can teach our children, as well as others we encounter, of the merciful and compassionate love of God for His children through the mercy and compassion we show to them. The history of salvation is worked out “in hope against hope” (Rom 4:18), through our weaknesses. All too often, we think that God works only through our better parts, yet most of his plans are realized in and despite our frailty. It is both powerful and consoling to reflect on how God works in and through our “weaknesses” and our “frailty." Again, this tends to go against the grain

The evil one makes us see and condemn our frailty, whereas the Spirit brings it to light with tender love. Tenderness is the best way to touch the frailty within us. Pointing fingers and judging others are frequently signs of an inability to accept our own weaknesses, our own frailty. Only tender love will save us from the snares of the accuser (cf. Rev 12:10).

The “evil one” is the “accuser” who tempts us to “condemn our frailty.” And, in judging ourselves with harshness, we are further tempted to judge and condemn others for their own frailties and weaknesses. The Spirit helps us to see these same weaknesses, but brings them “to light with tender love." It is this tender love which touches our weaknesses with healing, and saves us from condemnation. God’s judgment is always exercised in mercy, to bring about our salvation. And, in accepting both our frailty and God’s tender love for us, we are able to extend that same tenderness and mercy to others.

of life, we must never be afraid to let the Lord steer our course. Saint Joseph faced extraordinary challenges in his life as “the spouse of Mary and the father of Jesus,” and he placed his life completely “at the service of the entire plan of salvation” (St. John Chrysostom). Saint Joseph shows us the way of discipleship, trusting fully that, despite “our fears, our frailties and our weaknesses,” God’s “will, his history and his plan” are ever at work in our lives. And, it is along this path of humility and trust that we come to know the ever faithful, ever tender love of God, and that our own salvation is worked out “in hope against hope” (Rom 4:18). Deo gratias!

Lay Formation

Todd Graff

of our culture where we value our strengths and accomplishments. But, it is in our struggles and in the challenges of our lives that we often meet the deepest love and mercy of God. Perhaps this is because it is our failings that break open our hearts to the work of God’s grace as we are formed in the humility which allows us to grow spiritually and to understand the struggles of others around us who need our compassion and care.


… Blessed Joseph, to us too, show yourself a father and guide us in the path of life. Obtain for us grace, mercy and courage, and defend us from every evil. Amen. -Pope Francis, Patris Corde Closing Prayer

Paradoxically, the evil one can also speak the truth to us, yet he does so only to condemn us. We know that God’s truth does not condemn, but instead welcomes, embraces, sustains and forgives us.

Pope Francis often invites us to see things as they are. This would include seeing our lives as they are – in their blessings, and in their brokenness. It may seem strange that the evil one can “speak the truth to us,” but he does so to bring about our condemnation. As we see the “truth” of our weaknesses, our sinfulness, and the brokenness of our lives, we are tempted to despair. We can remain “stuck” in the darkness of selfjudgment and self-condemnation. God’s truth reaches into this same darkness and despair of our lives and brings not condemnation but mercy – as He “welcomes, embraces, sustains and forgives us." And so, we are invited to “embrace” our sisters and brothers in their need and frailty, and to share with them the good news of God’s tender love and mercy. Even through Joseph’s fears, God’s will, his history and his plan were at work. Joseph, then, teaches us that faith in God includes believing that he can work even through our fears, our frailties and our weaknesses. He also teaches us that amid the tempests

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Missionary Discipleship


Cranking Up Parish Hospitality

Sheri Wohlfert

grew up in the south, and while that region of the country has its share of challenges and a hard history, it does have two truly remarkable things: 1. incredible food, and 2. “southern hospitality.”

The thing is, in the south, most people actively welcome you. I remember returning to Tennessee after a period away to renew my driver’s license. I drove directly to the DMV in Nashville and waited in a long line. In that time, I was asked where I went to church (and was invited to two churches), if I was married, what I did for a living, and then engaged in a long conversation about food and gospel music. This was not by one person--by a group of people all stuck in line. We were practi-

cally best friends by the time we got our licenses renewed an hour later. Nashville has been chosen year after year to be the friendliest city in the USA, so this wasn’t an unusual event. But you know what else Nashville has (besides country music)? More churches per capita than anyplace else in the United States. Maybe those things are related? Hospitality truly is the external virtue of a parish. Any group of people with a common culture or belief can be nice to each other. Hospitality is the active practice of generous, other-centered welcome. And it is a virtue pervasive in both the Old and New Testament. To be a Christian was to be a person of deep hospitality, welcoming the other as Christ. And we are called to the same. Emerging from the pandemic, this call to hospitality has never been more needed. We need to know we belong, and that we are wanted and welcomed. Every parish has a particular call to look again at how it is extending hospitality to people who come every Sunday, but especially people who are returning after a time away--and even people who are hoping to be invited to come in for the first time. This is more than saying “Good morning” and handing a person a songbook. How do we actively welcome others into our community with friendship and love? The elderly? Teens? The families with babies? Those who are alone? Those who speak another language? Those with disabilities? We are honored to welcome Sheri Wohlfert of the Saint Paul Evangelization Institute to our diocese this June 23-24 (9 a.m.-12 p.m., online), as she leads us in a workshop titled Entertaining Angels: Parish Hospitality Workshop. This interactive workshop will lead us through the why and how of practicing radical hospitality in our parish-

Susan Windley-Daoust

Director of Missionary Discipleship

es. Few practices can change a parish culture like amplifying hospitality, and this workshop helps us practice how. Parishes are encouraged to register as a group and view this workshop together, in person. Other apostolates are welcome to register as in-person groups, and individuals are also welcome and will be placed in a Zoom breakout room with others for the hospitality practice elements. Registration is now open on the diocesan website, under Events:

All are welcome!

Who Needs to Meet Jesus Through You Today? By DEB MCMANIMON

�ach time our teams go out on the street, we

pray that the Lord would send us those that need for us to be his hands and heart that day. It is hard to remember a time we have gone out when this has not happened. Recently, street evangelization team members from Winona, Rochester, and Owatonna met for a quick refresher on evangelization and headed to the Peace Plaza outside of the Mayo Clinic. What a blessed morning it was. We prayed with many people and shared Jesus’s love with them. One woman, Debbie, practically ran up to us in tears and said she knew God had sent us for her. Her husband, John, had just gone into surgery for his seventh operation, and she asked for prayers for him and all those caring for him or working on him. She then prayed for us and thanked the Lord for putting us there for her. One young man, Blake, walked by us several times and finally stopped and asked for prayers for anxiety. We prayed for healing from his anxiety, and Susan felt the Holy Spirit’s voice prompting her to tell Blake to imagine a thick chocolate shake pouring over him and calming and soothing all his anxiety away. Bonnie asked for prayers for herself, our nation, and her Meet Jesus, cont'd on next page

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Meet Jesus,


granddaughter who is struggling with everything in her life due to COVID isolation. We also met a young woman from Mexico, Maria, who was there with her mother, Maria, and her grandmother, Maria. She had been sitting alone at a table in the plaza, and Tom asked her if she needed prayer. She said she knew God had sent him because she had been feeling very sad because her mother and grandmother both had pancreatic cancer. After Tom and Larry prayed for her, she went to find her mom and we were able to pray for her mom, with Maria interpreting. They took rosaries and medals for themselves and their family members. While we are blessed 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. Listen, Befriend, Proclaim, and Invite is the model we use. If you are looking for practical ways to get started, contact Susan Windley-Daoust 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 nonconfrontational way. The Lord is calling us all to be missionary disciples. Will you answer the call? Deb McManimon is a regional missionary and team leader for St. Paul Evangelization Institute. She can be reached by email at

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Happy Anniversaries! in Austin, and St. Francis of Assisi in Rochester. As Pastor, he served at St. Martin in Woodstock, St. Mary in Lake Wilson, Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Easton, Mater Dolorosa in Delavan, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Canton, St. Olaf in Mabel, St. Rose of Lima in Lewiston, St. Anthony of Padua in Altura, and St. Casimir in Winona. Additional assignments include instructor at Marian High School in Owatonna, Pacelli High School in Austin, and Lourdes High School in Rochester; member of the Presbyteral Council; chaplain for St. Mary’s College in Winona; and Canon Penitentiary for the Diocese of Winona. On July 1, 2003, Father Hennessy joined the ranks of senior priests of the diocese.

Rev. Msgr. James McCauley (65 years of priesthood) was born in Caledonia, to John and Mary Ellen (Scanlon) McCauley. He studied philosophy at Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona and then completed his theology degree at Theological College in Washington, D.C., On May 31, 1956, Monsignor McCauley was ordained to the priesthood at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona by the Most Rev. Edward A. Fitzgerald. Monsignor McCauley’s assignments as Parochial Vicar were at St. Peter in Hokah, Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Harmony, St. Olaf in Mabel, St. Theodore in Albert Lea, and St. Stanislaus Kostka in Winona. As Pastor, he served at Sacred Heart in Hayfield, Our Lady of Loretto in Brownsdale, Christ the King in Byron, St. Joseph in Owatonna, St. John in Rochester, St. Bridget in Simpson, St. Mary in Lake City, St. Joseph in Theilman, and was the first pastor of Pax Christi in Rochester. Additional assignments include instructor at St. Mary Junior High School in Albert Lea and Cotter High School in Winona; Parochial Administrator of Ss. Peter and Paul in Hart and St. Margaret in Mantorville; chaplain for the Cotter Convent, Serra Club in Rochester, and Chaplain Emeritus of the Winona Serra Club; principal of Cotter High School in Winona and Lourdes High School in Rochester; member of the Presbyteral Council, Priests’ Assignments Committee, College of Consultors, and Priests Pension Board; Dean of the Rochester Deanery; and Vicar for Senior Priests. On July 1, 1999, Monsignor McCauley joined the ranks of senior priests of the diocese, and in 2012 he was named Prelate of Honor to His Holiness.

Rev. Robert Stamschror (60 years of priesthood) was born in Wabasha, to Joseph and Mary (Koob) Stamschror. He studied philosophy at Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona and completed his theology degree and an M.A in Ed. Ad. at the Catholic University in Washington, D.C. He also received an M.A. in Religious Education from Seattle University in 1973. On May 27, 1961, Father Stamschror was ordained to the priesthood at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona by the Most Rev. Edward A. Fitzgerald. He was assigned as Parochial Vicar at St. Casimir in Winona and instructor at Cotter High School in Winona. He also served as principal and instructor at Loretto High School in Caledonia; Parochial Administrator at St. Nicholas in Freeburg and St. John in Caledonia; chaplain at St. Mary’s College in Winona; diocesan Director of

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Religious Education; Co-Pastor and Pastor at St. John Nepomucene in Winona; and as the secretary of the diocesan Pastoral Council. From 1976 to 1979, he worked as Representative for Religious Education, Dept. of Ed. United States Catholic Conference, Washington, D.C., and as Executive Secretary for the National Conference of Diocesan Directors of Religious Education, CCD, Washington, D.C. From 1980 to 2000, Father Stamschror was instructor and member of the pastoral team at St. Theresa College, and Editor for Youth Ministry at Saint Mary’s Press in Winona. On September 14, 2000, Father Stamschror joined the ranks of senior priests for the diocese. Since then he has continued his ministry in Winona at St. Anne’s of Winona and Callista Court, and at the Christian Brother Residence at St. Mary’s University; and served as a member of St. Anne of Winona’s Foundation Board, the Tau Center Board of Directors, and on the Board of Directors, Center for Ministry Development, Tacoma, WA.

Rev. James Hennessy (60 years of priesthood) was born in Winona, to William and Anna (O’Dea) Hennessy. 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 May 27, 1961, Father Hennessy was ordained to the priesthood at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona by the Most Rev. Edward A. Fitzgerald. Father Hennessy later studied education at St. Mary’s College in Winona. Father Hennessy’s assignments as Parochial Vicar were at St. Theodore in Albert Lea, St. Joseph in Owatonna, Queen of Angels

Rev. Msgr. Gerald Mahon (50 years of priesthood) was born in Rochester, to Edward and Gertrude (McCoy) Mahon. 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 May 28, 1971, Monsignor Mahon was ordained to the priesthood at St. Francis of Assisi in Rochester by the Most Rev. Loras J. Watters. Monsignor Mahon later pursued graduate studies in spirituality at St. Louis University in St. Louis, MO. Monsignor Mahon served as Parochial Vicar at St. Mary in Winona; was Pastor at St. Casimir in Winona; and his other assignments include instructor for Cotter High School in Winona; Director of Youth and Vocations, Assistant Director of Apostolic Activity, Master of Ceremonies, Director of Continuing Education for the Priests, Moderator of the Curia, Vicar General, Vocations Director, Director of Pastoral Planning, and Ecumenical Director, all for the Diocese of Winona; faculty, admissions counselor, spiritual director, vice rector, and rector of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona; chaplain for the Cabrini Home in Winona and Lourdes High School in Rochester; spiritual director of RENEW; and member of the Presbyteral Council, College of Consultors, and Priests’ Assignment Committee. In 1997 Monsignor Mahon was named Domestic Prelate. Monsignor Mahon is currently Rector of the Co-Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Rochester. Rev. Joseph Pete (45 years of priesthood) was born in Owatonna, to Joseph and Martha (Klecker) Pete. He studied philosophy at Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona and then completed his theology degree at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul,

in Good Thunder, and St. Matthew in Vernon Center; and Canonical Administrator for Loyola Catholic Schools in Mankato. Father Kunz is currently Pastor of St. John the Baptist in Mankato.

MN. On May 21, 1976, Father Pete was ordained to the priesthood at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona by the Most Rev. Loras J. Watters. Father Pete’s assignments as Parochial Vicar were at St. Mary in Caledonia, St. Pius X in Rochester, and St. Mary in Worthington. As Pastor, he served at Immaculate Heart of Mary in Currie, St. Anthony in Westbrook, St. Joseph the Worker in Mankato, Holy Family in Lake Crystal, St. Joseph in Rushford, St. Mary in Houston, St. Peter in Hokah, St. Mary in Lake City, and St. Patrick in West Albany. Additional assignments include member of the Presbyteral Council and Pastoral Council; Associate Director for Vocations for the Mankato Deanery; and chaplain for Courage and EnCourage. On July 1, 2018, Father Pete joined the ranks of senior priests of the diocese.

Rev. John Kunz (45 years of priesthood) was born in Madelia, to Robert and Evelyn (Lenhoff) Kunz. 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 May 21, 1976, Father Kunz was ordained to the priesthood at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona by the Most Rev. Loras J. Watters. Father Kunz’s assignments as Parochial Vicar were at St. Stanislaus Kostka in Winona and St. Francis of Assisi in Rochester. As Pastor, he served at St. Matthew in Vernon Center, St. Mary in Winnebago, Mater Dolorosa in Delavan, St. Teresa in Mapleton, St. Joseph in Good Thunder, and Sacred Heart in Waseca. Other assignments include instructor for Cotter High School in Winona, Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona, Lourdes High School in Rochester, and Loyola High School in Mankato; chaplain for the School Sisters of Notre Dame at Good Counsel Motherhouse in Mankato; member of the Commission on Sacred Liturgy, Presbyteral Council, College of Consultors, Priests’ Committee for Capital Campaign, and Pension Plan for Priests Board of Trustees; Dean of the Mankato Deanery; administrator of St. Teresa in Mapleton, St. Joseph

Rev. Msgr. Gerald Kosse (45 years of priesthood) was born in Caledonia, to Clemens and Mary (Wilkes) Kosse. 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 May 21, 1976, Monsignor Kosse was ordained to the priesthood at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona by the Most Rev. Loras J. Watters. Monsignor Kosse’s assignments as Parochial Vicar were at Sacred Heart in Waseca; St. Francis of Assisi in Rochester; St. Augustine in Austin; St. John in Rochester; and St. Stanislaus Kostka, St. John Nepomucene, and the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, all in Winona. As Pastor, he served at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Easton, St. John the Baptist in Minnesota Lake, St. Adrian in Adrian, and Our Lady of Good Counsel in Wilmont. Other assignments include assistant to the diocesan Tribunal; Parochial Administrator for St. Columban in Preston, St. Lawrence O’Toole in Fountain, Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Easton, and St. John the Baptist in Minnesota Lake; Priest Moderator for St. Anthony in Lismore and St. Kilian in St. Kilian; member of the Presbyteral Council; area moderator for the Worthington area Council of Catholic Women; and chaplain for Courage and EnCourage. In 2012, he was named Chaplain to His Holiness. Monsignor Kosse is currently Pastor of St. Catherine in Luverne, St. Joseph in Jasper, St. Leo in Pipestone, and St. Martin in Woodstock; Dean of the Worthington Deanery; and a member of the Clergy Personnel Committee.

Rev. Jon Moore, O.Carm. (40 years of priesthood) was born in Blue Earth, to Donald and Mildred (Paul) Moore. He attended St. John’s University in Collegeville, completed his philosophy studies at

Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona, and received his theology degree at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul, MN. On June 1, 1981, Father Moore was ordained to the priesthood at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona by the Most Rev. Loras J. Watters. Father Moore later completed graduate studies in spiritual direction at Creighton University in Omaha, NE. Upon ordination, Father Moore’s assignments included Parochial Vicar for the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, St. Stanislaus Kostka, and St. John Nepomucene, all in Winona; Director of Liturgical Music, faculty, and vice rector for the Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona; chaplain for the Cabrini House in Winona; coordinator of the vocations apostolate, diocesan director of the youth apostolate, Assistant Chancellor, director for the Society of the Propagation of Faith, coordinator for special collections, and director for Catholic Cemeteries, for the Diocese of Winona; and Parochial Administrator for All Saints in Madison Lake. After several years of living a contemplative life in the Carmelite tradition, Fr. Moore entered formation with the Order of Carmelites, North American Province of St. Elias, and made his solemn profession of vows on August 29, 2020, and was thereby incardinated into the Order of Carmelites. Currently, Fr. Moore is in residence at Annunciation Hermitage in Austin and serves as a spiritual director at Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona.


Rev. Andrew Beerman (25 years of priesthood) was born in St. James, to Raymond and Jeanne Beerman. He studied philosophy at Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona and then completed his theology degree at the North American College and University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome, Italy. On June 18, 1996, Father Beerman was ordained to the priesthood at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona by the Most Rev. John G. Vlazny. Father Beerman’s assignments as Parochial Vicar were at St. Francis of Assisi, St. John, and Resurrection, all in Rochester. As Pastor, he served at St. Catherine in Luverne, St. Mary in Ellsworth, St. Adrian in Adrian, St. Kilian in St. Kilian, St. Anthony in Lismore, and Our Lady of Good Counsel in Wilmont. Other assignments include Censor Librorum, Director for Continuing Formation and Education of Priests, and consultant for medical moral questions and ethics, for the Diocese of Winona; Dean of Formation and Rector of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona; and the bishop’s representative on the Catholic Sponsorship Board for St. Marys Hospital in Rochester. Father Beerman is currently Pastor of St. John Vianney in Fairmont, Ss. Peter and Paul in Blue Earth, Holy Family in East Chain, and St. Mary in Winnebago; chaplain for Together Encounter Christ (TEC); and a member of the College of Consultors and Presbyteral Council. June 2021 w The Courier w

Diaconate Life, Marriage & Family

Deacons Continue the 10

Diaconate of Jesus The Diocese of Winona-Rochester's newest permanent deacons (pictured with Bishop John Quinn) were ordained in August of 2020.


eacons are emissaries of God the Father as heralds of the Gospel and continue the diaconate of Jesus the Deacon in the local Church. What are essential aspects of Jesus’ ministry to which deacons are called? Jesus was sent by the Father into the world yet He remained united and obedient to His Father at all times. Jesus was always contemplating the Father and was faithful in fulfilling His will. Contemplative prayer was a foundational aspect of the diaconate of Jesus. Deacons are called to become deeply immersed into Trinitarian life, which means they must become men of contemplative prayer. The primary vocation of a deacon is to be an icon of Jesus at prayer. This aspect of a deacon’s identity and mission cannot be overstated, and it runs contrary to many misconceptions about the diaconate. The world must clearly see Jesus at prayer when a deacon prays. It must see a man who is attentive and listening to the voice of God within him. The contemplative character of a deacon’s life must be evident when he is assisting at Mass, praying the Divine Office, making a holy hour,

and in his active ministry. A second aspect of the diaconate of Jesus flowed, without contradiction or confusion, from the first: Jesus was sent as an emissary of the Father to suffering humanity, especially the poor and the sick, the ignorant and the hopeless. Like Jesus, deacons, then, must be present to people in need. There is no room for loneliness or isolation in the life of a deacon. He must be permanently available to God’s people. He cannot hide or run, but must humbly stand at the Cross of Christ seen in the lives of wounded and oppressed. Deacons are to live out the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. To a deacon who neglects his prayer life, this active aspect of the diaconal vocation is often experienced as conflicted with a contemplative interior life; to a deacon who prays in a contemplative manner, it becomes a natural, integral extension. Jesus the Deacon was prophetic and courageous and was not overcome by fear and evil. This points to a third aspect of diaconal ministry that is, I believe, being called forth in a particular way by the Holy Spirit at this time in the life of the Church, and is an urgent and needed aspect of the diaconal ministry.

Religious Freedom Week June 22-29

Beginning June 22, the Feast of Saints Thomas More and John Fisher, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops celebrates Religious Freedom Week. Join us in promoting religious freedom For the Good of All.

ll people desire to know their Creator. All people have a natural impulse to seek the good and to live in accordance with that good. All people can flourish when they pursue the truth about God and respond to the truth. Religious freedom means that all people have the space to flourish. Religious freedom is both an American value and an important part of Catholic teaching on human dignity. When we promote reliJune 2021 w The Courier w

gious freedom, we promote the common good and thus strengthen the life of our nation and the community of nations. This year there are several areas of concern: Adoption and Foster Care, Catholic Social Service in the Pandemic, The Equality Act, Church Vandalism, Catholics in Nicaragua, Conscience Rights for Healthcare Workers, Pope Francis’ Solidarity with Beleaguered Christians in Iraq, Free Speech. You might not be aware of all the ways our Religious Freedoms are being threatened. Free Speech, for example, has always been cherished in our country, yet just this year, a book on problems with gender ideology by a prominent commentator was removed from Amazon. A Catholic news outlet

Deacons must be courageous prophets, convicted by the grace of Holy Orders, and the Gospel, entrusted to them at their ordination. They must boldly proclaim and preach the Gospel and willingly suffer, even die, in doing so. This prophetic suffering is a form of martyrdom. It is not an ancillary aspect of diaconal ministry; it is a primary and necessary aspect of all men in Holy Orders, flowing from diaconal grace, prayer, and ministry to the suffering members of Christ’s Body. Every deacon must be willing to suffer the consequences of preaching and teaching the fullness of the Gospel. Those consequences may be costly. From the very beginning of the Church, deacons died assisting their bishops in proclaiming the Gospel: St. Stephen, St. Lawrence and the deacons of Pope Sixtus are examples. Deacons must be courageous in facing the fears that so many today refuse to face, fears which are fertile soil for the work of the Evil One. Jesus was not afraid to touch the leper or enter the houses of sinners, nor should deacons be! Rather, as St. John Paul II said, they must open wide their hearts to Christ in the lives of the afflicted. They bear the Gospel which all desperately want and need to hear. They must find ways of preaching it to men and women of today. These core aspects of diaconal identity and mission are rooted in the diaconate of Jesus Christ. By his ordination, every deacon is configured to Jesus the Deacon and is sent forth to continue the work of Jesus Christ. Deacons are so necessary and needed in the Church today. Let us thank God that we have many men who have responded to the call and are now carrying on what Jesus the Deacon began as deacons in the Diocese of Winona-Rochester! Deacon Robert Yerhot serves the parishes of Crucifixion in La Crescent, Holy Cross in Dakota and St. Patrick in Brownsville.

Peter Martin

Director of Life, Marriage & Family

had its Twitter account suspended for noting that a government official who claims to be a transgender woman is a biological male. While these companies may have a right to control the materials they help to distribute, it is disturbing that the views of some can be protected from scrutiny, particularly when these views do not promote human flourishing. The Church in the United States of America has celebrated Religious Freedom Week since 2018 and it seems to become more and more necessary for us to protect our God-given Freedom! Learn more at:

Twitter: @USCCBFreedom

For text and action alerts, text "FREEDOM" to 84576.

Waiting �

grandparents with their grandkids for the first time, and sisters and brothers. I have watched as families, who for years were left to wait in a refugee camp, arrive and take their first steps in America towards a brighter future. Each story is different, but all have had to wait to get to this point of arriving. Each time we welcome a new family, I think about the cases still waiting, our file cabinet full of cases of individuals and families waiting for their names to be called. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates there are currently 20 million refugees waiting to be resettled to a safer place, and of that, less than one percent actually get resettled in another country like the United States. A pessimist may say what is the point since our work helps such a small percent of those in need. All I can say is that when I see each individual arrive, I know we have made a difference in their life, and their waiting is now over.

Catholic Charities

ernment background checks, and completed their health screenings. They were now approved and John Meyers assigned to our office for resettlement, but the wait Refugee Resettlement Director continued for them. Inside this cabinet contained Catholic Charities of the names of hundreds of individuals, and some of Southern Minnesota the dates went back almost a decade. Each file, though just a few sheets of paper containing names and bio information, represents a family waiting. Stuck in a refugee camp, unable to return to their home country because of perseculthough I have been to dozens of airport arrivals, tion, and unable to build a future where they are I still find myself getting a rush of excitement and at. Over the years, I occasionally open the drawers relief when the refugee family finally walks off the and thumb through the names. Some are in refugee plane, and we greet them at baggage claim. Weeks camps in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Ethiopia, before, when we receive the notice a family is schedothers are in Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, and Thailand. uled to arrive, it sets off a flurry of activities at our Most of the cases are brothers, sisters, sons, daughoffice. We are busy securing an apartment, gathering ters, mothers, fathers, uncles, and aunts waiting to household items and furniture, scheduling appointbe reunited with their family in America. ments, and setting up their apartment. Closer to the They range in all ages, from families with young day of their arrival, volunteers shop for food and kids, to middle-aged adults and grandparents. They prepare a home-cooked meal for their arrival. There wait hoping for a better life, and they wait because is anticipation and excitement as we wait at the airthey cannot go back home. It is never clear how long port, along with their relatives and friends. they will have to wait. I have known famiFive years ago, when I started as a lies that were in a refugee camp for over case manager with refugee resettlement, They wait ten years before they were resettled. I was assigned my first case. The case Every day we check our database syswas a family of five that would arrive in hoping for tem to see if a refugee family has been Rochester in less than a month. I remem- a better life, posted for arrival. Like the families in the ber working on prepping their file, filling out paperwork, and gathering items for and they wait camp waiting, we too wait to see who will be granted resettlement. Usually, we find them. I was excited as the days got closer, thinking what the family must also be because they out two to three weeks before they come. Most refugee families that come through doing to prepare for their departure. I cannot go our agency are placed with us because they thought, they probably were selling most have family living in places like Rochester, of their possessions, since they couldn’t back home. Austin, or Albert Lea. Catholic Charities of take much with them. Then, they would Southern Minnesota is the only refugee be packing up their remaining items. They resettlement agency in southern Minnesota. Often may have been saying goodbyes to family members we get calls from family here in the U.S. asking and friends they had met in the refugee camp, knowwhen their family member in the camp will ing they may not see them again. arrive. Some call every few months to ask if As the days got closer, I kept reviewing the file, there is any news on their family’s arrival. trying to learn their names and familiarizing myself The family is waiting, waiting for the day with more details about their case before they when they can be reunited. arrived. Then a week before their scheduled arrival, Over the years we have welcomed hunI received a notice their flight was canceled. The U.S. dreds of refugees to southern Minnesota. In had reached their resettlement cap for the year and my brief five years with the agency, no more refugees were being admitted until October, I have helped reunite children which is the beginning of the new resettlement with their mothers, a father year. I remember handing the file back to Fatema, who had been separated our support staff coordinator, and watching as she from his wife and sons, opened up a filing cabinet drawer filled with other similar case files. She explained the files in this cabinet contain our pipeline of arrivals. They were families that had been registered at a refugee camp, been screened by a U.S. Custom and Immigration officers, passed several gov-


How You Can Help

There are many ways you can get involved. You can become part of our grocery group and purchase grocery items for newly arriving families, help us set up apartments, assist kids with their homework, help a refugee practice their English; check out our website for more ways to help and get involved. Also, if you are a landlord or own a rental property, we are always in need of places to rent for newly arriving families. Feel free to send me an email with any questions or about volunteering at

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Catholic Schools


From Our Graduates My Second Family By MADISON RYSAVY, Pacelli

Why Catholic Education Matters By KARIN HAYFORD, Lourdes

� he only word I can think of to right�hen asked what I like about my school, the first fully describe my time here at Pacelli

would be "family." In the 13 years I have gone to school here, I have made lifelong connections, rooted in faith. My classmates have become my brothers and sisters, as some of us have grown up together since we were five years old, not only physically but also spiritually. My classmates have had some of the biggest impacts on the person I am today. We have celebrated together after a big win, we have hugged each other when one of us is having a bad day, we have argued with each other when we don’t agree, we have laughed and played instead of studying for finals, we have helped each other on homework, we have cried together over the death of a parent. Most importantly, through the ups and downs, highs and lows, we have prayed and celebrated Mass together, every single week. We continue to push each other everyday to become the people God wants us to be. I have no doubt that each and every one of my classmates will do amazing things, in Jesus’ name. And I think we all have the incredible staff at Pacelli to thank for that. The staff at Pacelli, both past and present, are all dedicated to ensuring our academic as well as spiritual growth. They hold us to incredibly high standards, knowing we can attain them. Their love and support have left a mark on my heart that will never be forgotten, from a simple good morning when I walk through the doors, to a big hug when I am just having one of those days, to always being up in the stands watching our sporting events, even when their kids don’t play. Being able to openly ask questions about our faith, without judgement, has been one of the greatest blessings in my life, and knowing that all the staff members are more than willing to answer what they can and help us grow in our faith is one of my favorite things about Pacelli. I cannot begin to thank my parents enough for prioritizing my education here at Pacelli; my dad is a Pacelli grad and my mom works here at Pacelli so I think they both have a sense of the comradery and love that fills these walls. I am eternally grateful for my time here at Pacelli and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. From teachers to coaches, administrators to peers, Pacelli has given me an incredible support system, rooted deeply in faith. Wherever I go, whatever I do, I always have Pacelli to thank for helping shape me into the person I am. As a graduating senior, saying goodbye will be one of the hardest things I will ever do. But I know, wherever I am, my Pacelli family will always have my back and welcome me with open arms whenever I need something.

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things that come to my mind are my friends, the sports teams, and the excellent academics. In trying to see the link between these important aspects of my high school experience, I found that the connection is the Catholic influence on the people and activities in the school. I see Catholic values etched into every facet of Lourdes High School, and these principles set the students up for success both academically and spiritually. One example of this is a senior religion class at my school that does a beautiful job of presenting ways to engage with the different relationships in our lives. It demonstrates tangible ways that we can live out our faith every day. These opportunities to grow in faith and experience God do not end in the religion department, however. Lourdes offers many other ways to encounter God, including Mass, prayer, and retreats centered around spending time with God and with each other. Because we have a small class size, spending time together means getting to know everyone in your grade on a personal level. This closeness allows us to connect and to see Christ in each person. Our Catholic education incorporates many values that extend from growing in a relationship with God. Our school values include service, excellence, and respect, among others, and we strive to live them out every day. We try to see how we can help our city community as well as our immediate school community. We emphasize “see[ing] Christ in others, [and] be[ing] Christ for others” by offering many forms of volunteering and discussing ways that we can make a difference. Along with service, our school strives for excellence in everything that we do. We provide a rigorous education that truly prepares you for the challenges of college. Our commitment to excellence is evident in the way that the teachers are willing to do anything in their power to help students thrive. It is evident in the students expecting quality work from themselves and pushing each other to be their best. It is evident in the hard work and sportsmanship of our sports teams and fine-arts groups. Our school also highlights the importance of respecting one another, the teachers, and the learning environment. These traits will stay with us as we move forward into our college and ultimately into our family and professional lives. So why does a Catholic education matter? It matters because every aspect of our education is significant. It matters because while we grow in faith, we also grow in our commitment to Catholic values that make a difference in the world. Catholic education is about more than teaching kids how to add or how to write a paper. Catholic education is about developing students and helping them grow into the people God is calling them to be.

Marsha Stenzel

Superintendent of Catholic Schools

Congratulations to the Class of 2021 on graduating from the Diocese of WinonaRochester's four Catholic high schools - Loyola in Mankato, Pacelli in Austin, Lourdes in Rochester, and Cotter in Winona! Sadie Blace, Madison Rysavy, Karin Hayford and Cale Beckman stand as four examples of the fine young people we have recently sent into the world as witness to the Gospel and to the quality of our Catholic schools. Here they are in their own words.

I Will Spread the Good News By CALE BECKMAN, Cotter

o therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. -Matthew 28:19-20.

The idea of teaching people the word of God led to Catholic education for all ages. Jesus wanted his teachings to be shared through the Gospel, and with Catholic education, we are fulfilling His purpose. I have attended Catholic school since I was a toddler in daycare and have decided to continue my Catholic education in college. The experiences I have had at Winona Area Catholic Schools and Cotter Schools were centered around Christ and enhanced with moral teaching, servant and leadership opportunities, and the ability to grow in my Catholic faith. Catholic education has helped prepare me to live as a confident adult with strong morals and values. Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God. -3 John 1:11.

Beginning in pre-school, I was taught to be respectful of others through four simple pillars: help others succeed, see the problem - own the problem, let others know they matter, and honor the absent. These values were taken very seriously by teachers and students and practiced continually. This positive culture of learning allowed students to work together to solve problems, take pride in and care for the school, care for others and promote inclusion, and discourage negativity toward others. A line from

the prayer we say every assembly states, “Help us to use this day to become persons of respect, integrity, and compassion.” Cotter has done an amazing job of showing their students what it takes to be a good person and my Catholic education has been crucial to helping me develop a moral compass that I can carry throughout life. And the King will answer them, "Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” -Matthew 25:40.

Jesus lived his life by helping the poor and disadvantaged in society. Cotter has done the same thing by giving students the ability to help the poor and needy in places outside of our community. The Cross-Cultural Ministry Project has taken students on volunteer trips around the Midwest to give them an opportunity to serve those in need. I participated in Urban Plunge weekends in Minneapolis with a few teachers and a group of students. These trips consisted of going to homeless shelters, food shelves, and other non-profit charity organizations to give a helping hand. We learned to serve the community in Christ’s name and met people with diverse backgrounds. The plunges provided an experience that students would not necessarily seek on their own. By doing these trips Cotter helps shape students to be servants of Christ, and emphasizes the importance of helping those who are less fortunate. These mini missions teach students that they are all children of God, and must look out for each other. Whatever we do for the least of God’s people, we do for Him. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. -Proverbs 3:5.

Catholic Education has allowed me to express and expand my faith in school. In school we pray togeth-

er regularly at the start of each class period, during school assembly, and participate in a school Mass held once each month. There is a teacher-led student group that meets regularly to pray and make prayer shawls for people in the community. Another teacher leads a parent prayer group that meets regularly to pray for parents, students and intentions submitted from the community. The environment at Cotter is very encouraging and welcoming to those that want to share their faith with others. While Winona Area Catholic Schools and Cotter are Catholic schools, there are also many non-Catholics that attend school. This provides an opportunity to learn about other religions and to practice being an apostle of Christ’s message daily. Practicing and living my Catholic faith has helped me see the power of God and grow more in my Christian beliefs. I am glad that I have been able to learn about the teachings of God while in school to become more faithful and closer to God.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. -Jeremiah 29:11. Attending Catholic schools has given me the courage and confidence I need as I continue into my adult life. The four pillars of responsibility, practicing servant leadership, and the opportunity to openly practice my faith are not simply things I have learned or experienced, but have become a way of life. God has blessed me with a great Catholic education. I will miss my school community, but I am also ready to explore the world knowing my friends, my teachers, and my parents are rooting for me to succeed. I will forever be thankful for my education and will continue to spread the good news of the Lord wherever I go.

Faith in Education



�rowing up at Loyola, my faith was always some-

thing that was woven into daily activities; whether it was prayer before lunch, or intentions before gym class, there is no doubt that faith and prayer were present in our years here. Incorporating faith into our education has strengthened our relationship not only with Jesus but also with our peers. At Loyola, we are able to talk about our religion and question things we don’t know about it. This opens a window for clarity and transparency and allows us as students to learn so much about what we may not have known about Catholicism, and many other religions. I have appreciated the experience here at Loyola in regards to religion and academics, and I don’t think I would have been able to receive this kind of education anywhere else. Loyola has gifted me with many things: new friends, a great education, and the overall growth of my faith. Going forward, I know I will be equipped with the proper skills to go far in the world beyond Loyola’s doors. I am so excited to see what the future of Loyola holds, and to see the levels which our students continue to advance to every year.

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MN Catholic Conference


Vigilant Advocacy Ahead of Special Session Submitted by MINNESOTA CATHOLIC CONFERENCE Recess Is No Time for Rest

• Nonconforming Drivers’ Licenses and Identification Cards for Immigrants •

Education Savings Accounts for Students

Driver’s License Suspension Reform

Payday Lending Reform

The legislature is in recess now that the 2021 regular session came to its constitutionally mandated end on Monday, May 17. However, this “recess” is not a time for rest and relaxation. In fact, the clock is ticking again. Legislators, who are now divvied into various “working groups,” have until June 4 to finalize the texts of their omnibus budget bills. This deadline was set by state leaders as part of the broad budget agreement reached on the final day of session. If the working groups cannot resolve differences between the House and Senate versions of a given budget bill, chairs will present their differences to the triumvirate of Governor Tim Walz, Majority Leader Senator Paul Gazelka, and Speaker of the House Melissa Hortman, who will negotiate the various policy proposals. In anticipation of this, the Minnesota Catholic Conference submitted a letter [full letter text at bottom of this page] to the three leaders outlining key provisions that should be in the final bills, including:

In the two weeks before adjournment, 16 conference committees (made up of Representatives and Senators) reviewed and debated specifics of each body’s omnibus budget bills to reach a consensus for state spending. Without an agreement, a conference committee of five members from both bodies work out differences and create a final report that must pass the Senate and House and be signed by the Governor. Often by the time a bill reaches a conference committee, MCC has weighed in, but this stage presents another opportunity to keep the Catholic voice present. So, in the final weeks of regular session, the Minnesota

Dear State Leaders: Peace be with you. As you continue your negotiations toward a special session, we write to highlight some important legislative proposals that should be passed this year that will uphold human dignity and promote the common good. The Catholic Church advocates for public policies that show a “preferential option for the poor and vulnerable.” In other words, politics—the great conversation about how we order our life together— should focus first on meeting the needs of the least of those among us (cf. Matthew 25). There are many important matters being debated this year, but we hope that you will give the following items special consideration in your negotiations. Providing greater school choice is a key civil rights issue of our time and a moral imperative. Education is a ladder out of poverty. We know of the achievement gaps that persist in our state, but COVID has also highlighted the need to help more parents find better educational opportunities for their kids when public schools, for a variety of reasons, may not be serving their needs. It is universally acknowledged that students from low-income families suffered the most from the response to COVID-19. We hope that you will be bold enough to create educational savings accounts (S.F. 1525/H.F. 1528) for parents who wish to customize their child’s education. We believe all families deserve this oppor-

tunity, but a modest proposal targeted specifically at very low-income families to expand the already existing refundable K-12 tax credit to include tuition (S.F. 1153/H.F. 153) would be another great place to start. Additionally, low-income families have struggled mightily to hold their households together during COVID-19. Workers need earned sick and safe time (S.F. 29/H.F. 7) to ensure they can take the time they need to recover, or care for loved ones, without fear of repercussions or losing their job. And when it is difficult to make ends meet, they should be protected from predatory payday loans (S.F. 892/H.F. 102) that could put them further into a debt trap. Likewise, our justice system sometimes criminalizes poverty, exacerbating racial disparities. One meaningful fix to avoid pushing people further into economic hardship is to enact driver’s license suspension reform (S.F. 432/H.F. 336). People should not lose access to their livelihoods and should be able to provide for their family as they work to pay off fines and fees. The poorest among us need an adequate safety net and the necessary services available to protect their well-being and dignity. Access to healthcare and shelter are basic human rights. Therefore, we propose that the State continue to partner with organizations such as Catholic Charities that provide shelter assistance and related services to the homeless population (S.F. 455/H.F. 315).

Earned Sick and Safe Time

• Emergency Services and Shelter Program Funding •

Expansion of Medical Assistance program to include at least six months of coverage for postpartum women Advocacy in the Final Weeks

MCC Letter to State Leaders Highlighting Special Session Negotiation Priorities

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Catholic Conference wrote letters, met with legislators, and tracked specific bills in seven committees. For example, MCC submitted a letter to Health and Human Services conference committee highlighting support for the Emergency Services and Shelter Program Funding and Expansion of Medical Assistance program to include at least six months of coverage for postpartum women. Additionally, MCC’s Catholic Advocacy Network members sent over 2,000 emails to legislators urging support of a provision to help end usury and reform payday lending in Minnesota by establishing a 36-percent interest rate cap for short-term consumer loans. These provisions would positively impact the lives of poor and vulnerable Minnesotans. Action Alert

Stay vigilant! Register for email/text alerts from the Catholic Advocacy Network ahead of the Special Session. Many issues impacting life, dignity, and the common good remain viable and subject to negotiations leading up to the 2021 Special Session. Your voice can help ensure the right proposals arrive at the Governor’s desk and get signed into law. Visit to contact lawmakers and sign up to receive email/text alerts from MCC’s Catholic Advocacy Network.

Similarly, vulnerable new mothers need ongoing maternal and psychological care postpartum. This is good for moms, as well as for newborns to receive the best start possible. There seems to be consensus in the Legislature to expand state medical assistance to provide at least six months’ coverage for postpartum women (S.F. 735/H.F. 521). Please include MA expansion in the HHS funding package. Finally, our immigrant brothers and sisters are our friends, co-workers, and neighbors. Refusing them a driver’s license while Congress fails to enact meaningful immigration reform pushes them to the shadows of our society and harms the common good. Minnesota does not have to wait to help the immigrant community and ensure its roads are safe. Driver’s licenses should be available to undocumented persons (S.F. 1354/H.F. 1163) so that they can be properly trained, insured, and able to help their families get to work, school, and worship. We appreciate your consideration of these policies that impact our state’s most vulnerable residents. We are grateful for your service and the sacrifice made by you and your families. Please know of the prayers of the Catholic community as you work to uphold the common good. Respectfully yours, Jason Adkins, Executive Director

Ryan Hamilton, Government Relations Associate CC: Rep. Ryan Winkler, Majority Leader Rep. Kurt Daudt, Minority Leader

Senator Susan Kent, Minority Leader

Warming Center Doubly Blessed Submitted by AUDREY RIVENBURG

the blessing of the Most Reverend Bishop Quinn on December 2, 2020, and the Rochester Community Warming Center and its patrons were visited by the Vicar General Father Thompson on March 18, 2021. Our emergency shelters serve those experiencing homelessness in Rochester and Winona. The RCWC is open year round from 8pm-8am each night, and the WCWC is open seasonally from November 1-March 31. Audrey Rivenburg is the director of housing for Catholic Charities of Southern Minnesota.

cont'd from pg. 1 Whether it was a kindergartner learning to read, a student with a learning disability, or someone who was already struggling in school, there were very few options. Parents and kids need access to all educational options, and personal financial barriers should not prevent our students from getting the education they need. We cannot sit by idly as our children suffer from isolation and substandard education through distance learning. There are multiple solutions on the table, and our kids need lawmakers to step up and come to an agreement that will provide real educational choice now. Whether it is tuition tax credits, or education savings accounts, urge your Senator, Representative, and Governor Walz to support school choice solutions that provide parents with financial resources to access non-public schools or to pay for tutors and supplemental educational services for students in distance and hybrid learning models. Research shows when parents actively choose schools for their children, students are more likely to succeed in school. We cannot wait one more minute. Let's give more Minnesota students opportunities to access the school that is best for them. Church Teaching

The Story of Your Parish


trip to the Pastoral Center in Winona, to look through the Council of Catholic Women archives, prompts this month’s article. Through the gracious help of Judy Herdina, I have conquered one drawer of four. Judy has great muscle strength and patience! I found some interesting items: the program from the first DCCW meeting, dated September 23, 1941; a photograph of Hilda Hottinger (Mankato) with Mother Teresa at the 1977 National Convention in Las Vegas; a photo of Msgr. Tom Hargesheimer (Diocesan Moderator) preparing supper for the executive board at their meeting in Wabasha. Who knows what I will find in the other three drawers! As I left Winona and headed for home, I was filled with wonder and awe for the multitude of women in this diocese who have given their time and shared their talents with the council over these 80 years. We are in their debt. At St. Mary’s Parish in Chatfield, a group of parish leaders wanted to have a parish gathering to welcome back parishioners as restrictions are lifted. A root beer float event was decided upon, but when to schedule it? I suggested May 19, the anniversary

"As those first responsible for the education of the dedication of the church building. A search through the commemorative booklet informed us that the church was dedicated in 1931 – 90 years ago this year! On the way home, I wondered many things. What were times like when it was decided to build? Who were the parishioners (men and women) moving the project forward? What are the stories about its design and construction? I remember being told that the support beams had to be dragged down main street because there wasn’t a flatbed truck long enough to transport them from the train depot to the building site. I remember working at Circus World Bingo and covering up equipment on Saturday nights because Holy Spirit held Mass there while their parish was being constructed. I remember hearing the story of parishioners at St. Pius X holding doughnut sales to raise funds for their building project, and I remember Bishop Harrington coming to St. Bernard’s in Stewartville on Trinity Sunday for the dedication of their new worship space. It was an overcast morning. When the bishop poured the chrism and began to anoint the altar, the sky opened up and flooded the church with light. The crowded church burst into applause. What is the story of your parish, and who have you told? Why don’t we celebrate the anniversary every year so our younger members will know about their parish and what a wondrous gift has been given to us? These days, I am filled with awe remembering those who shared their time, their talents and their treasures, so that we can have a marvelous space to worship our wondrous God.


of their children, parents have the right to choose a school for them which corresponds to their own convictions. This right is fundamental. As far as possible parents have the duty of choosing schools that will best help them in their task as Christian educators. Public authorities have the duty of guaranteeing this parental right and of ensuring the concrete conditions for its exercise" (CCC, 2229). "'The role of parents in education is of such importance that it is almost impossible to provide an adequate substitute.' The right and the duty of parents to educate their children are primordial and inalienable'" (CCC, 2221). "Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children" (CCC. 2223).

In the Diocese

�he Winona Community Warming Center was honored to have

School Choice,

Learn More

Visit our partner organization Opportunity for All Kids ( to learn more about school choice and to stay up-to-date on the latest efforts to promote school choice legislation in Minnesota.

In St. Mary’s commemorative booklet, there is a poem by John Ruskin. It ends with these words: “See! This our fathers [I would add our mothers] did for us!” Take a young person for a walk through your church and share a story or two. Jeanette Fortier is the president of the WinonaRochester Diocesan Council of Catholic Women.

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Obituaries Sister Beth (Mary Paul) Haltiner, SSND, 97, professed in 1944, died April 17, 2021, at Our Lady of Good Counsel, Mankato. A native of St. Paul, she attended Good Counsel Academy and graduated in 1941. She entered the School Sisters of Notre Dame that same year and professed first vows in 1944. She taught junior and senior high school students in Catholic schools in Minnesota, North Dakota and Washington until 1968; including St. John the Baptist, Ss. Peter & Paul, and Loyola in Mankato; and St. Anthony in Lismore. She then taught in and directed religious education programs in the metro area and in Sauk Rapids until 1992. Retiring from full-time ministry at that time, she tutored in the Guadalupe Area Project and volunteered in the St. Paul area until 1998, when she moved to Good Counsel. Sister Beth is survived by her nieces and nephews and their families; her colleagues and former students; and her sisters in community, the School Sisters of Notre Dame and SSND Associates. She was preceded in death by her parents, Conrad and Elizabeth (Gartner) Haltiner; her sisters, Catherine, Bertha, and Mary; and her brothers, Conrad, John, Frank, George, Robert and Anthony (who died as an infant). The Funeral Liturgy for Sister Beth, with Father Gene Stenzel as presider, was held May 4, 2021, followed by burial of her cremains in the Good Counsel Cemetery. Sister Virgana Kacmarcik, 97, a Franciscan Sister of the Congregation of Our Lady of Lourdes, Rochester, died at Assisi Heights on May 4, 2021.

The Televised Mass Is Offered Every Sunday Sioux Falls - KTTW Channel 7 at 7 a.m. Sioux City - KPTH Channel 44 at 8:30 a.m. Mankato - KEYC Channel 12 at 7:30 a.m. Digital Channel 12.2 or Charter Channel 19 NEYC at 9:30 a.m.

Digital Channel 7 (DirecTV) or Channel 11 (DISH) KMNF at 9 a.m. Rochester/Austin/Mason City KIMT Channel 3 at 7:30 a.m. MyTV 3.2 at 9 a.m. NEW 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")

June 2021 Angeline Victoria Kacmarcik was born January 26, 1924, in St. Paul, to Frank and Victoria (Bieniek) Kacmarcik. She entered the Sisters of St. Francis in 1941, received the name of Sister Mary Virgana, and made perpetual vows in 1947. In 1959, she completed her studies for a Bachelor of Arts degree in art at the University of Denver, Denver, CO. In 1964, she completed a Master of Fine Arts degree in art at the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN. Further studies in 1968-69 included art history at the University of Chicago, Chicago, IL. In 1944, Sister Virgana began her elementary art teaching career at Catholic schools in Ohio, Illinois, South Dakota and Minnesota. In 1965, she began teaching art education at the College of Saint Teresa, Winona, where she remained as an assistant professor for 13 years. In 1978-88, Sister Virgana returned to North St. Paul to care for her aging parents. She worked as a sales assistant for 21 years at Sears & Roebuck in Maplewood and, while residing in the northeast metro area, she gave pastoral care to many elderly residents in nursing homes. Sister Virgana retired in 2006 and returned to Assisi Heights to work in art restoration for nine years. Sister Virgana was a talented artist who used her creative skills to foster the love of art among many people across generations. Her lifelong love of animals and nature was inspired by St. Francis, and she often incorporated religious themes in her art. Sister Virgana is survived by her Franciscan Sisters, with whom she shared life for 79 years; and nieces, nephews, and cousins. She was preceded in death by her parents; one brother, Brother Frank Kacmarcik, OblSB; three sisters, Marianne Schanz, Betty Nachtsheim, and Virginia Freeman; and three brothers-in-law. A private Funeral Liturgy was held at Assisi Heights on May 13, 2021, with burial at Saint Mary’s Cemetery, North St. Paul. Memorials are suggested to the Sisters of St. Francis, Office of Mission Advancement, Assisi Heights, 1001 14th St. NW, Rochester, MN 55901. Sister Mary Joyce Pietsch, SSND, 96, professed in 1947, died May 4, 2021, at Our Lady of Good Counsel, Mankato. Born in Richmond, VA, in 1924, she moved to the Mankato area in 1930 and attended Holy Rosary and Ss. Peter & Paul schools. Following another family move in 1938, she graduated from John Marshall High School in St. Paul in 1942. She entered the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1944 and professed first vows in 1947. She taught upper grade students in Catholic schools in Minnesota, North Dakota and Washington until 1960. At that time, she returned to Good Counsel as province secretary, a position she held until 2009. During that time, she worked with seven provincial leaders and their councils. Extending her service beyond Good Counsel Hill, she served as secretary for the Mankato Charter Commission and for the Diocese of Winona Board of Education in the 1980s. In addition to her secretarial ministry, she avidly followed the Minnesota Twins, who gave her special recognition during the 2009 Winter Caravan appearance in Mankato.

• The Courier

Sister Mary Joyce is survived by her sister JoAnne Blockey; her brother Roger (Ruby); her sister-in-law, Annie; her nieces and nephews and their families; her colleagues and former students; and her sisters in community, the School Sisters of Notre Dame and SSND Associates. She was preceded in death by her parents, Joseph and Anna (Hoehn) Pietsch; her sister Charlotte St. Martin; and her brother Joseph. The Funeral Liturgy for Sister Mary Joyce, with Father Eugene Stenzel as presider, was held May 13, 2021, followed by burial in the Good Counsel Cemetery.

Father LaVern Trocinski, 87, of La Crescent, died May 8, 2021, at Mayo Clinic Health System Franciscan Healthcare, in La Crosse, WI. "Father T" was born on April 30, 1934, in Coon Valley, WI, to Elmer and Olga (Jorgenson) Trocinski. He grew up in Dakota, attended Dakota Grade School and graduated from Winona High School. He studied philosophy at Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona, then completed his theology degree at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul. On May 31, 1960, he was ordained to the priesthood at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona by Bishop Edward A. Fitzgerald. Father T later studied at Regis College in Denver, CO, obtaining a master’s degree in family and community development. His associate assignments included Queen of Angels in Austin, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Easton, and St. John the Evangelist in Rochester. As a pastor, he served at St. Theodore in Albert Lea, St. James in Twin Lakes, the Basilica of St. Stanislaus Kosta and St. John Nepomucene in Winona, and Pax Christi in Rochester. Additional assignments included chaplaincies for St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Wabasha; Methodist Hospital in Rochester; and College of St. Teresa, Lamberton Home for Children, Cabrini Home, and St. Thomas Aquinas Newman Center, all in Winona. Father T was confessor to St. Edward Convent in Austin; moderator for Winona Council of Catholic Women; marriage therapist for Catholic Charities; area and diocesan director of the Campaign for Human Development; founding member of the Bureau of Priests’ Retirement; a member of the Diocesan Pastoral Council and Priest’s Senate, College of Consulters, Presbyteral Council, Bishop Advisory Council for Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary, Priests’ Committee for Capital Campaign; area director for Austin; diocesan director of family life; dean of the Winona Deanery; and parochial administrator for St. John the Baptist in Dodge Center, St. Vincent de Paul in West Concord, and St. Francis de Sales in Claremont. On July 1, 2002, Father T retired, joining the ranks of senior priests in the Diocese of WinonaRochester. In retirement, he continued to offer assistance in many of the parishes in the diocese until health issues limited his ability to do so. After moving to SpringBrook Assisted Living in La Crescent in 2020, he was honored to celebrate weekly Mass with the residents. Father T is survived by his brothers, Donald (ZoeAnn) and Robert (Sandi), both of LaCrescent, and numerous nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Donna (Rolland) Wilson. Father T’s Funeral Mass was held on May 14, 2021, at Pax Christi Church in Rochester. Burial was in Holy Cross Cemetery, Dakota.

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