Annunciation of the Lord March 25
Official Newspaper of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Winona-Rochester, MN | dowr.org
Dialogue Inside the
2/18/2022 By MINNESOTA CATHOLIC CONFERENCE
�innesota Catholic Conference staff are
monitoring a flurry of bills including paid family leave, and a constitutional amendment that would empower judges to create new modes of discrimination based on the ambiguous concept of gender. Rebellion Against the Sexes
A person waves a Ukrainian flag in St. Peter's Square as Pope Francis leads the Angelus from the window of his studio overlooking the square at the Vatican Feb. 27, 2022. (CNS photo / Vatican Media)
By CINDY WOODEN, Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY (CNS) - Condemning violence and expressing his concern for and solidarity with Ukraine, Pope Francis has not uttered the word "Russia" publicly. While Russian President Vladimir Putin has become a pariah in the West, Pope Francis has continued the long Vatican tradition of not condemning one side in a war,
even when it is blatantly evident who the aggressor is. A Vatican diplomat told Catholic News Service March 1 that the pope must keep a door or window open for dialogue, even if it was a long shot. "Silence the weapons," the pope said Feb. 27. While he repeatedly voiced his concern for Ukraine
Dialogue, cont'd on pg. 2
There is much talk today of “identity politics.” The urgent question being what identity should guide our politics. The Church proposes that our primary identity is as children of God created in His image—and created male and female. (CCC 2333). We are all brothers and sisters, and we should treat one another, accordingly, living together in right relationship; that is, in justice and truth Others propose that we define ourselves primarily by racial identity or a fluid construct of “gender.” The latter creates an internal war on one’s human
Capitol, cont'd on pg. 12
INSIDE this issue
National Eucharistic Revival page 5
How We Spent Catholic Schools Week pages 6-7
Seek and You Will Find page 8
Articles of Interest
Stolen Focus (from God)____________________4
cont'd from pg. 1
The Courier Insider
and Ukrainians in that post-Angelus appeal, he did not name Russia. But it would be difficult not to understand which leader he was talking about when he said, "One who wages war forgets humanity" and the real lives of the people who will suffer. Instead, he said, one who wages war "puts partisan interests and power before everything. He relies on the diabolical and perverse logic of weapons, which is the furthest thing from God's will, and distances himself from the ordinary people who want peace" and are the real victims of every conflict. Pope Francis' top diplomat, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican secretary of state, was less diplomatic the next day in an interview with four Italian newspapers even as he offered the Vatican's service to facilitate negotiations with Russia. "Although what we feared and hoped would not happen has happened -- the war unleashed by Russia against Ukraine -- I am convinced that there is always room for negotiation," the cardinal had said. Some "ecumenical" motivation for the pope not mentioning Russia by name also must acknowledged, a Vatican official said March 1, but one cannot go so far as to claim the pope is putting the sensitivities of the Russian Orthodox before the lives of Ukrainians and the autonomy of their nation. And in fact, the official said, the pope does not want to step into the tensions already existing among Orthodox in the region, even if there is hope that eventually he could have some influence with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, who is seen as a close ally of Putin. In January 2019, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople signed a decree recognizing an independent church in Ukraine despite strong criticism from the Russian Orthodox Church, which sees Ukraine as part of its church territory. Patriarch Kirill, in protest, excommunicated Patriarch Bartholomew and severed communion with him and his followers. The recognition left two Orthodox communities in Ukraine: The newly recognized Orthodox Church of Ukraine and the Ukrainian
Orthodox Church still tied to the Moscow Patriarchate. When the fighting began in late February, the independent Orthodox Church of Ukraine obviously stood with its people in condemning the Russian invasion, but the Ukrainian church aligned with Moscow also spoke of the situation as "tragic" and offered its prayers especially for the Ukrainian soldiers "who stand guard and protect and defend our land and our people." After the invasion Feb. 24, Patriarch Kirill issued a statement saying, "I take the suffering of people caused by the events taking place with deep and heartfelt pain." "As the patriarch of all Russia and the primate of a church whose flock is located in Russia, Ukraine and other countries, I deeply empathize with everyone affected by this tragedy," he continued. "I call on all parties to the conflict to do everything possible to avoid civilian casualties." But in that statement and again Feb. 27, Patriarch Kirill also seemed to hint at a connection between Russians and Ukrainians that had traces of Putin's assertion that Russians and Ukrainians are essentially one people, that Ukraine as a nation is an artificial construct and that Ukraine's current leaders were trying to destroy the last vestiges of Russian identity in their multilingual nation. "The Russian and Ukrainian peoples have a common centuries-old history dating back to the baptism of Rus' by Prince St. Vladimir," Patriarch Kirill said Feb. 24; the Ukrainians would refer to the 988 baptism of "Kyivan Rus" -- including a reference to the people of Kyiv -as the origin of Christianity in the region. Speaking at the end of a liturgy in Moscow Feb. 27, as the Russian offensive continued to meet Ukrainian resistance, Patriarch Kirill's tone became graver: "God forbid that the present political situation in fraternal Ukraine so close to us should be aimed at making the evil forces that have always strived against the unity of Rus' and the Russian church gain the upper hand." "God forbid that a terrible line stained with the blood of our brothers should be drawn between Russia and Ukraine," he said, according to an English text posted on the Moscow Patriarchate's website. "We should do everything to preserve peace between our peoples while protecting our common historical motherland against every outside action that can destroy this unity."
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National Eucharistic Revival__________________5 How We Spent Catholic Schools Week______6-7 Seek and You Will Find__________________8 Mankato Pilgrims Join March for Life_________9 Purification and Enlightenment____________10 Which Way Do You Lean?_________________11 Diocesan Headlines______________________12
The Holy Father's Intention for
March 2022 A Christian Response to Bioethical Challenges We pray for Christians facing new bioethical challenges; may they continue to defend the dignity of all human life with prayer and action. Officials Most Rev. John M. Quinn, Bishop of Winona-Rochester, announces the following: Parochial Administrator Rev. Thomas Jennings: appointed to the Office of Parochial Administrator of St. Joseph Parish in Rushford and St. Peter Parish in Hokah, effective February 21, 2022. Canonical Administrator Rev. John Evans: currently Pastor of Crucifixion Parish in La Crescent, St. Patrick Parish in Brownsville, and Holy Cross
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 www.dow.org 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parish in Dakota; in addition to his current assignments, appointed Canonical Administrator of St. Peter School in Hokah, effective February 21, 2022. Where to Find the Courier
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Enter Lent Wholeheartedly
Bishop John M. Quinn
�ear Friends in Christ, Lent
Every year, we enter into the Season of Lent, a time of prayer and penance. It can be easy to see the 40 days of Lent as an imposed burden, where we are forced to fast and give up some favorite food or pastime. It is important to ask ourselves, however, what is the purpose of Lent, and the traditional practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving? Despite how we may sometimes view them, these three practices are not meant to be a punishment or to make our lives harder. Rather, they are tools to help bring us into a right relationship with our Heavenly Father. In our weak and frail humanity, we know we are prone to sin and often turn away from the Lord who loves
March 1, Tuesday 9:30 a.m. - Holy Hour 10:30 a.m. - College of Consultors March 2, Ash Wednesday 12:10 p.m. - Mass at Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Winona March 3, Thursday 1 p.m. - Holy Hour & Bishop’s Cabinet Meeting March 4, Friday 12:10 p.m. - Daily Mass at the Co-Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Rochester March 6, Sunday 3 p.m. - Rite of Election & Call to Continuing Conversion, Queen of Angels, Austin March 8, Tuesday 3 p.m. - Virtual Meeting with MN Bishops and MCC March 9, Wednesday 10 a.m. - 5:15 p.m. - Interviews with IHM Seminarians
Season of Lent with the sincere intention of turning back to the Lord, we can be assured that He will bless our efforts. Lent may be a struggle at times, but our Triune God is faithful if we cooperate with His grace! The Light Is On
One essential part of conversion, is admitting our sins and our need for forgiveness and mercy. Thankfully, Jesus Christ has given us the Sacrament of Penance as a real and tangible personal encounter for reconciliation with Himself. In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the priest stands in the place of Christ, and when he gives absolution and speaks the words “I absolve you from your sins,” we can be certain that our sins are wiped away. We are then free to begin afresh, without the burden of our past keeping us from God or weighing us down. As has been our tradition in the Diocese of Winona-Rochester for the last few years, in Lent we have the initiative “The Light Is On,” to encourage people to make use of the Sacrament of Penance, especially those who may not have gone in a while. Parishes are encouraged to offer extra times for Confession, and there will be promotion of the Sacrament on social media and other venues. The website thelightisonsouthernmn.org has helpful tips on how to make a good confession, inspiring stories from people whose lives have been changed by the Sacrament of Confession, and explanations on why Catholics confess their sins to a priest. This Lent, give yourself the gift of receiving God’s mercy and grace – the light is on for you!
March 10, Thursday 12:30 - 5:15 p.m. - Interviews with IHM Seminarians March 11, Friday 8 a.m. - Teach at SMU 6-7:30 pm - Teach RCIA Class at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Winona March 12, Saturday 11 a.m. - Mass - St. Patrick Celebration Sacred Heart Church, Waseca 5:15 p.m. - Mass for the Close of the Novena of Grace to St. Francis Xavier - Ss. Peter & Paul Church, Mankato March 13, Sunday 9:30 a.m. - Closing Mass for the Diocesan Synodal Process - Co-Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Rochester March 15, Tuesday 6 p.m. - Record the Easter Sunday TV Mass Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Winona - All are welcome!
Ministry of Lector There are several significant steps along the path to ordination to the priesthood. One of these is receiving the Ministry of Lector, where seminarians are officially installed as lectors. As such, they are commissioned to proclaim the Scriptures at Mass, except for the Gospel, which is reserved to a priest or deacon. Usually, seminarians receive the Ministry of Lector during or after their first year of Theology studies, as they begin their final years of preparation for ordination. On Sunday, February 27, four of our seminarians were installed as lectors. This rite took place during the 10:30 am Mass at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona. It was a day of rejoicing for our diocesan Church and for the family and friends of seminarians Jordan Danielson, Isaiah Olsem, Benjamin Peters, and Timothy Welch. Please continue to pray for all our seminarians as they continue their formation for the priesthood. Pray for their perseverance, that they may follow the path our Triune God has marked out for them, even when it’s hard. The Lord continues to call men to serve at the altar as His priests, but we must support them with our prayers and encouragement to respond to the call. Blessed are you! Synod Closing Mass
These last few months, the parishes in our diocese have been holding listening sessions to engage parishioners in prayer and discernment, in order to look at how the Lord is calling us to spread the Gospel in southern
March 16, Wednesday 6:30 a.m. - Lauds & Mass at IHM Seminary 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. - DOW-R Seminarian Evaluations 1:15 - 5:30 p.m. - Interviews with IHM Seminarians March 18, Friday 8 a.m. - Teach at SMU March 18-20, Friday-Sunday 2022 Midyear Meeting of the National Council of the U.S. Society of St. Vincent de Paul - St. Louis, MO March 22, Tuesday 11 a.m. - Holy Hour & Deans Meeting 3 p.m. - Clergy Personnel Board Meeting March 23, Wednesday 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. - MCC Virtual Board Meeting
March 24, Thursday 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. - MCC Legislative Visits - MN State Capitol, St. Paul
Minnesota. There have also been non-parish listening sessions with select groups of people, such as those in consecrated life, or those who find themselves on the margins of society through poverty or disabilities. Pope Francis has said he wants a Church that listens, and so as part of the prepatory phase leading up to the 2023 Synod of Bishops, the entire Church is engaged in the synodal process, where we seek to “journey together” in our life of faith, toward our heavenly home with the Triune God. On Sunday, March 13, the diocesan phase of the synodal process will come to a close in the Diocese of Winona-Rochester. I will celebrate the closing Mass at 9:30 am at the Co-Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Rochester. Afterwards, all those who served as facilitators for parish listening sessions are invited to gather for a “presynod diocesan synthesis,” where participants will be able to share their experiences of the synodal process. We will also discuss how the fruits of the diocesan phase of the synod may be used by our local Church in the future. Thank you to all those who participated in the various listening sessions held around our diocese. Blessed are you!
From the Bishop
Rejoice in Hope
us. This is why Christ taught us how to pray, fast, and give alms, in order to return to Him. Prayer brings us into communion with the Triune God and helps us to experience His love for us; fasting disciplines our bodies so we can detach ourselves from the things of the world in order to focus on the things of heaven; and almsgiving puts into practice our love for both God and neighbor, for, as St. James instructs us, “faith without works is dead” (James 2:26). I encourage you to intentionally enter into Lent this year, and prayerfully consider how the Lord may be asking you to pray, fast, and give alms. Start by examining the past year and asking yourself what has gotten in the way of your relationship with God. Is it unhealthy relationships; addictions; overindulgence in food, drink, or entertainment? Do you spend daily time in prayer, or as much as you should? Is your desire for the things of this world greater than your love and desire for Jesus Christ? All of us are in need of conversion, but each of us are in different circumstances and face different struggles in our current reality. Perhaps you need to set 10 minutes aside each day to spend quiet time with the Lord, or maybe you want to add daily Mass to your weekly schedule. In addition to the regular, obligatory fasting, you may want to give up television, or go the route of the more traditional fasting from sweets. Almsgiving can take many forms, from monetarily donating to charities, to giving of your time to assist at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen. If we truly enter wholeheartedly into the
Sincerely in Christ,
+ John M. Quinn Bishop of Winona-Rochester
March 25, Friday 8 a.m. - Teach at SMU March 26, Saturday 10:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. - Diocesan Pastoral Council Meeting - St. Joseph Church, Owatonna March 27, Sunday 3:30-6:30 pm - Discussion, Prayer & Dinner with IHM Seminary Faculty - Bishop’s Residence March 28, Monday 1:30-3:30 p.m. - St. Paul Seminary DOW-R Theology II Seminarian Evals - Zoom April 1, Friday 8 a.m. - Teach at SMU April 5, Tuesday 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. - Clergy Personnel Board Meeting April 6, Wednesday 6:30 a.m. - Lauds & Mass - IHM Seminary, Winona March 2022 w The Courier w dowr.org
Stolen Focus (from God) �ractically all my reading, if you know me, centers on Catholic theology and
So what does this have to do with Christianity in the Western world? With discipleship and evangelization? Hari never mentions it; he’s an atheist with missionary discipleship. I took a break no affection for any religious practice. Yet the impact from my typical Christian discipleship of the culture he describes has a huge impact on our reading, and read British journalist discipleship, our lived Christianity. If we can’t focus, Johann Hari’s new book, Stolen Focus: we can’t focus on God. If we are moving from task to Why You Can’t Pay Attention–and How to task every three minutes (or less), we’re not praying. Think Deeply Again (New York: Crown, If our brains are rewired through technology to give 2021). But it wasn’t a break. I think, us an endorphin rush with every “ping” from a small actually, it was a key. computer in our pocket, we experience letdown and First, I strongly recommend everywithdrawal when we separate from that for in perone read this book. While I don’t agree son conversation, prayer, spiritual reading, worship. with all the statements and proposals If we are convinced by a newly reconstructed society made in the book, it is a stellar comthat we are too busy, and the exhaustion we feel pilation of data and interviews from a seems to underline that, we may be too distracted journalist who began with one question: to focus on being the Church - or even being human. Why can’t I read anymore? This was This new reality could have everything to do with especially distressing to him because discipleship and evangelization. It seems to be the he has always loved reading, and makes exact opposite of Romans 12:2 to me. a living writing books! So he did some(Of course, this doesn’t even move into the thing most aren’t able to do – he took a challenges well-known by the prevalence of social three-month vacation and cut the internet cord. He had a Jitterbug phone, a computer with no Wi-Fi, media–such as the human “negativity bias” of attenand books. After initial relief, inevitable detox (yes), tion that social media programming is designed to and more…in a few weeks, he was able to focus feed, since their profit rule is all about increasing enough to read again. Once he was back in “the your time on the social media platform. Or the rise distraction-filled world,” although he had new habits of sectarianism and viciousness as tribalism is psythat snatched back his focus, he had to work mightily chologically rewarded. Or the prevalence of depresto retain them. sion and anxiety skyrocketing from the prominence Perhaps related: I just had an (email) conversaof curated life story media platforms. We all thought tion with a friend, who has missed some scheduled reality TV was a joke until we began engaging on meetings and gatherings, and he apologized and “reality media” every single day. As Hari notes: new said, “I’m embarrassed to feel so overwhelmed when media has always shaped the message throughout I have no right to feel overwhelmed.” Now, I don’t history. Yet the shaping with this medium has a core know about “rights” here – he is busy. Very busy: fullpresumption–that truth is simplistic and hatred time work, part-time graduate study, and a young rewarded–and that should give us pause.) family. But maybe he feels overwhelmed because our Hari suggests lots of tips to culture is overwhelming us with reclaim your ability to focus (drop If we are convinced by distractions right now? social media six months a year, And within minutes, I received a newly reconstructed strictly manage your notifications another email from a local Catholic and put media blockers on your family I know that has decided society that we are too devices so you can work without to, in their words, “opt out.” Back interruptions, no screens two hours busy, ... we may be to farming, less internet, homebefore sleeping, sleeping 9 hours schooling for both medically fragtoo distracted to focus a night, disallow work-creep into ile and healthy kids, everyone at home working and learning on being the Church your home life if you can, allow together. They describe it as a kind yourself to “mind-wander” on a of taking control that allows them or even being human. daily walk rather than check the to live as Catholics more honestly, phone, etc.). I would add different humbly, and joyfully. A way that is ones as well, since I don’t have a single-male lifemore human and humane. They are really busy. But style: no phones at dinner together, limited screen apparently not overwhelmed. time per age range, prioritize outdoor activities As Hari said: “If we continue to be a society together, allow free time for everyone, etc. All these of people who are severely under-slept and overthings can absolutely help, but they need to be worked; who switch tasks every three minutes; deliberately engaged – pushing back against cultural who are tracked and monitored by social media forces that get paid by your distraction. We’ll see. It sites designed to figure out our weaknesses and may take a revolution. manipulate them to make us scroll and scroll and But the immediate problem we have right now scroll; who are so stressed that we become hyperis going back to a less distracted life. Many of us are vigilant; who eat diets that cause our energy to spike finding it hard to “go home again,” if we were there in and crash; who are breathing in a chemical soup of the first place, to a life where God is the focus. Where brain-inflaming toxins every day–then yes, we will discipleship is the life plan. Where loving neighbor continue to be a society with serious attention probseems possible. Where what it means to be human is lems.” And the pandemic, which bloomed literally honored, and we strive to live in peace. days after he finished research for his book, accelerBesides stealing our focus back in natural ways, I ated everything. As useful as the screens were for would like to suggest some prayer practices that can connection in that time, it also gave us a crash course make a difference. All prayer practices can, actually, in how we do not want to live long term. Our ability but turn off everything that can ping and: to focus was stolen.
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Director of Missionary Discipleship firstname.lastname@example.org
Want support and practical ideas to invite people to (or back to) Mass this Easter?
The Art of Invitation: Inviting People to Consider Christ
Free webinar, led by Susan Windley-Daoust. March 29, Noon and 7 p.m. (same presentation), via Zoom. 30 minutes presenting, optional 15 minutes for questions. All are welcome! Bring your small group, Bible study, parish staff, more. Sign up with Emily Smithley at esmithley@ dowr.org. 1. Go to adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Because this is the unveiled presence of God, I believe this practice makes a profound difference in managing distraction. Sit. Fair warning, my best minutes are usually the last ten. Just wait and do nothing but be in God’s presence. 2. Pray the rosary. The tactile practice of reciting a rosary is a huge help against distraction. Doing it with others, out loud, is also helpful. Or on a walk. 3. Do scriptural reading. From a physical Bible. Do lectio divina (look it up if you don’t know how, print it out, and stick that how-to page in your Bible.)
4. Pray through music. Get a guitar, piano, whatever, and sing a song of praise. It’s better if you aren’t singing karaoke-style online, but that can be okay if you turn everything else off and do just that.
I will say this: if we are serious about living as disciples of Christ, and sharing the gospel with others, we will look at this deliberately distracted reality seriously and address it. I don’t hate social media (some of you are friends with me on Facebook!), or being very busy for good reasons. And we can use social media well to do outreach. But we cannot be ruled by it; God alone is our ruler. There is no question the distraction-full society can take our focus off of God. The still small voice that spoke to the prophet Elijah? Swallowed by a ping. And when we lose our focus on God, we are truly lost. Sounds like a Lenten project. Or a life project. Join me? P.S. In drafting this article, I was distracted by tech over 35 times, and stopped counting after that. Only one interruption was a necessary one.
National Eucharistic Revival Dana Petricka
2019 PEW Research Center study found that only one third of Catholics believe in Jesus' True Presence in the Eucharist. Fast forward three years into a pandemic, and these numbers are sure to be worse than previously recorded. Perhaps you’ve already noticed the still-empty pews at your parish that have yet to be filled after the shutdown. For many, not being able to attend Mass for a period of time and receive Jesus in the Eucharist increased our desire for Him. However, if only one third of Catholics prior to the pandemic even believed that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist, then what do the vast number of Catholics who fall into the two-thirds majority have to come back to? Perhaps the space on the weekends that Mass used to fill is now filled with other things. Maybe they haven’t noticed a difference in their lives not attending Mass in person. They could be attending virtually and not be able to receive Jesus in the Eucharist, but I tend to believe that is a small minority at this point. What is our response? The bishops of the United States have declared a three-year initiative to renew the Church by enkindling a living relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. Phase One begins on Corpus Christi, 2022, focus-
1. Foster encounters with Jesus through kerygmatic proclamation and experiences of Eucharistic devotion.
Andrew Cozzens has created a free online course through Revive Parishes on the Eucharist which can be accessed at reviveparishes.com/ eucharist#revive. For more information on the Eucharistic Revival, please visit their website at eucharisticrevival. org. Please join me in prayer for a renewed vigor and love for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist.
Youth Ministry & Faith Formation
Director of Youth Ministry and Faith Formation email@example.com
ing on Diocesan Revival. We will gather a planning team and pray about how to bring Jesus in the Eucharist to each parish. Phase One will kick off with a Eucharistic-focused Diocesan Ministry Days (date TBD) in mid June. Phase Two (beginning on Corpus Christi, 2023) is centered on Parish Revival and takes a close-up approach to parish initiatives by gathering and empowering parish team leaders. Phase Three unites the diocese and parishes on a national level, ending with a National Eucharistic Congress from July 17-21, 2024 in Indianapolis, IN. Throughout these three phases, the National Eucharistic Revival upholds five strategic pillars:
2. Contemplate and proclaim the doctrine of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist through the Truth of our teaching, Beauty of our worship, and Goodness of our accompaniment of persons in poverty and those who are vulnerable. 3. Empower grassroots creativity by partnering with movements, apostolates, parishes, and educational institutions. 4. Reach the smallest unit: parish small groups and families.
5. Embrace and learn from the various rich intercultural Eucharistic traditions.
All of us are asked to prepare our hearts and minds for a Eucharistic renewal. To help, Bishop
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How We Spent
Catholic Schools Week 2022
St. Mary's, Owatonna
Catholic Schools Week Jan. 30 - Feb. 5, 2022
Rochester Catholic Schools
St. Theodore, Albert Lea
St. Felix, Wabasha
St. Mary's, Caledonia St. Peter's, Hokah
St. John Vianney, Fairmont March, 2022 w The Courier
St. Casimir’s, Wells
Crucifixion, La Crescent
Catholic Schools Week 2022
Sacred Heart, Waseca
St. Mary’s, Madelia
St. Mary’s, Worthington
Pacelli, Austin March 2022 w The Courier
Seek and You Will Find By EMILY TIMM
EEK22: Seek and You Will Find, hosted by FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students), brought together more than 22,000 people from 20 countries, including 150 college students from the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, to encounter Christ during the hybrid, immersive broadcast Feb. 4-6, 2022. Clergy, parishioners, college students and benefactors explored the Gospel and the call to missionary discipleship in local and regional gatherings. Evangelization experts guided attendees through the crucial message of the Gospel, inviting them to encounter the person of Jesus Christ and live in relationship with Him. Our students from Winona State University, along with students from IHM Seminary and Minnesota State University-Mankato gathered at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester, MN, with students and FOCUS missionaries from several other campuses in Wisconsin and Illinois to share the experience. Participants gathered for keynote talks, small groups, shared meals, and had opportunities to encounter Christ in the sacraments each day. Lizzie Noel, a freshman at WSU, shared, “SEEK22 was a great way to allow a pause in my busy schedule and recenter my focus on Jesus! One of my main takeaways was the reminder of how I need to help fight to get others to heaven.” On Saturday evening of SEEK22, participants had time to pray before our Lord in eucharistic adoration and encounter His mercy in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Lindsay Tupy, a Junior at WSU, shared, “SEEK22 provided me with the opportunity to really FOCUS on the Lord’s goodness and faithfulness. One of my main takeaways was how important it is for us to show God every part of our hearts, even the dark and hidden ones. He knows us and loves us unconditionally, so we need to let Him love us.” In the final SEEK22 keynote talk, Fr. Mike Schmitz, chaplain at the University of MinnesotaDuluth and host of The Bible in a Year podcast, urged participants to “not let what Jesus did go to waste on you … Jesus didn’t just come to help people, He came to save lives. As Christians, that’s our call: to save lives.” Acknowledging that sharing the Gospel isn’t easy, Fr. Mike emphasized, “People are worth saving. If you’re a Christian, it’s not an option. If you’re a Christian, that’s your job. Do not let what Jesus did stop with you.”
Director of Young Adult Ministry firstname.lastname@example.org
Registration is open for SEEK23: Answer the Call, which will be held in St. Louis, Missouri, Jan. 2 – Jan. 6, 2023: seek.focus.org/seek23. FOCUS projects that more than 100,000 people will attend a FOCUS conference in the next five years, drawing them into a deeper encounter with Christ and inspiring increased zeal for evangelization. Emily Timm is a FOCUS team director at Winona State University.
Attendees from Winona State University
Attendees from Minnesota State University, Mankato
Attendees from Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary March 2022 w The Courier w dowr.org
Mankato Pilgrims Join March for Life Peter Martin
By SR. MARY STRENGTH OF MARTYRS BRESLIN
ach year, our Religious Family of the Incarnate Word (IVE) gathers in Washington D.C. to participate in the March for Life to work to build up a culture of Life. This year our parish of Ss. Peter and Paul in Mankato went on pilgrimage, along with some other members of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, to participate in the March for Life as well as Winter Youth Festival which included times of prayer, formation, and celebrating the gift of life. On January 20, our group of 38 Minnesotans embarked on a journey to Washington, D.C. to participate in the 49th National March for Life with the IVE. We began our Pilgrimage in Washington D.C. with the Mass for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, celebrated by Archbishop William E. Lori. Following Holy Mass, our group headed to our Major Seminary where we joined up with more IVE parish groups from other states also coming to witness to the sanctity of human life. On Friday morning, we began our day with Holy Mass at the seminary before departing for the March for Life. It was a wonderful 19-degree morning, and the atmosphere was filled with energy. Our IVE group numbering a few hundred rallied on the National Mall and joined the March, led by the patroness of our Religious Family, Our Lady of Luján, and a banner that read “Save Both Lives.” The spirit of joy was palpable as we celebrated life with
People Have the Right to Life, Needed Health Care, Pope Says at Audience By CAROL GLATZ, Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- People have a right to life, not to death, which must be welcomed but never provoked, Pope Francis said. "The right to care and treatment for all must always be prioritized, so that the weakest, especially the elderly and the sick, are never discarded," he said Feb. 9 during his weekly general audience. The pope also criticized a problem he said is real for older people "in a certain social class" of not being given all of the medicine or care they need since they lack the money. "This is inhumane. This is not helping them, this is pushing them more quickly toward death," he said. They must be cared for and not marginalized. The pope's remarks were part of his series of audience talks about St. Joseph and his role as the patron saint of a "happy" death, a term used to describe a last stage of life that is peaceful and full of
chants, cheers, a drumline, and prayer. Although some of us had attended the March for Life in the past, there was a particular curiosity regarding how many people would show up. It was well-known that prior to the March, organizers guessed that 50,000 Americans would attend for their permit application. After the event, news reports estimated anywhere between “thousands” and “tens of thousands” of Americans attended. Students for Life of America stands by their 150,000 estimates, praise God! In reflecting on our pilgrimage one of our young people said, “The March for Life trip was an AMAZING experience for me. Marching along with 150,000 plus Pro-Life Americans showing their love for both the mothers and babies was great!” This event is unlike any other. As one of our pilgrims put it, “Going to the March for Life is a powerful experience. Seeing so many people gather for one sole pur-
faith and hope. Pope Francis praised a recent comment by retired Pope Benedict XVI, who, at nearly 95 years of age, recognizes his own presence before "the dark door of death." It is "good advice" for everyone, Pope Francis said, because today's "so-called 'feel-good' culture tries to remove the reality of death." People seek to ignore "our finite existence, deluding ourselves into believing we can remove the power of death and dispel fear." The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the reality of death back into focus, he added, and so many people "have lost loved ones without being able to be near them, and this has made death even harder to accept and process." The Christian faith is not about removing the fear of death; "rather, it helps us to face it" with trust in Christ's promises, he said. Christians know for certain, he said, that Christ is risen and "awaits us behind that dark door of death." "We cannot avoid death, and precisely for this reason, after having done everything that is humanly possible to cure the sick, it is immoral to engage in futile treatment," the pope said, referring to the Catechism of the Catholic Church's teachings on the legitimacy of refusing "overzealous" treatment not to cause death but to accept it (paragraph 2278). When it comes to the experience of death itself, of pain or of suffering, he said, "we must be grateful for all the help that medicine endeavors to give, so that through so-called 'palliative care,' every person
Life, Marriage & Family
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pose--the protection of innocent life-reinvigorates us in our cause. It is the booster to keep our resolve to fight for the weakest and smallest among us.” When we returned to the Seminary in the evening, we had an hour of Eucharistic Adoration, and five priests available to hear confessions. Many of the youth took advantage of this opportunity to go to confession, thanks be to God! We give great thanks to God for the many graces and blessings that we received during this pilgrimage, and we ask Mary Our Mother to continue to be our guide as we set out to “make disciples of all nations… teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” Sr. Mary Strength of Martyrs Breslin, S.S.V.M., is the director of faith formation for Ss. Peter and Paul Parish in Mankato.
who is preparing to live the last stage of their life can do so in the most human way possible." However, the pope warned against confusing such care with unacceptable interventions that lead to killing people. "We must accompany people toward death, but not provoke death or facilitate assisted suicide." This ethical principle, he said, applies to everyone, "not just Christians or believers." At the end of his main audience talk, the pope reminded people of the church's celebration of the World Day of the Sick Feb. 11. He asked that all people experiencing illness be guaranteed health care and spiritual accompaniment. He urged people to pray for those who are ill, their families, health care and pastoral workers, and everyone who helps care for their needs.
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Lay Formation & RCIA
Purification and Enlightenment An RCIA Season for Everyone
A clean heart create for me, O God. -Psalm 51:12
Greetings of Peace, Friends in Christ! I am sharing below an article that was written by my colleague in the Diocese of LaCrosse, ANN LANKFORD, who serves as the director of the Office of Catechesis and Evangelization. The article reflects on the Season of Purification and Enlightenment in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), and on how all believers are called to an ever deeper growth in “purification and enlightenment” during our Lenten journey.
n the Gospel, we hear Jesus’ call to reform our lives, to change and come back to Him or to come closer to Him. The season of Lent is a time of 40 days to die to our selfishness so that there will be more room in our hearts for our Savior. We think, first, of the elect (those not baptized) and the candidates (those already baptized) in the RCIA process of our parishes as they are in the final period in preparation to receive the sacraments. This time of purification and enlightenment is for every Christian as each person needs cleansing and healing up until we reach our final destiny in Heaven. Let us look at the major themes of Lent and what they mean in our life. The Mystery of Sin
Jesus came out of the desert after fasting and praying for forty days and said, “Reform your lives for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4: 17). Jesus knows that each person has attitudes that are sinful and which need to be purified. These attitudes are the root causes of sin. In choosing against what is right and good, we sin, which has effects on us, becoming part of us as we take on sinful attitudes. We lessen our dignity and, even though sin may be committed in secret, it affects everyone, even all of society. It is necessary for us to acknowledge the reality of sin. When we sin, we distance ourselves from God who is perfect, self-giving love. Love and sin are opposites. We can become used to the darkness and not even realize we are in this slavery. In our personal lives, we know that there is a real struggle between good and evil. We need to be continually exposed to the light of Christ and His grace to help us in the struggle to overcome the darkness of Satan and sin. The Power of Darkness
There is a realm of light and a realm of darkness. The Way of Life is by loving the Lord, heeding His voice and holding fast to Him. The way of death is by turning away from God, listening to the father of lies (Satan) and worshiping false gods, desiring possessions, being overly attached to things and persons. These things can take the place of God who should be at the center of our life. The two ways lead to the two Kingdoms in the world. The Kingdom of Jesus is a Kingdom of Truth. The foundation of this Kingdom is to love God with March 2022 w The Courier w dowr.org
our whole heart, soul, mind and strength and our neighbor as ourselves. In addition, forgiveness is an essential. Jesus died on the cross so that our sins can be forgiven. We, in turn, are called to forgive others. We also know that the Kingdom of Jesus is a Kingdom of Light. In John 8:12, Jesus says: “I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the Light of life.” There is enlightenment in the realm of Christ’s light. This light of faith allows us to know which way to go and where we are going. The kingdom of Satan is a kingdom of darkness and lies. In John 8:43-47, Jesus says that Satan “was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks in character, because he is a liar and the father of lies.” The good news is that Satan’s kingdom has already been defeated by Jesus’ death on the cross. However, he still tempts us to evil and sin through his lies because his greatest desire is to destroy us. This route leads to a loss of freedom and destroys in us the person we were created to be. Purification of Heart and Mind
Reflect again on the words of Jesus after coming out of the desert: “Reform your lives”. We need to be prayerfully seeking the Holy Spirit so He will lead us in purification which is a process of grace working within us. Actual grace comes from prayer and doing acts of kindness. We receive sanctifying grace, which is God’s own Divine Life, in the Sacraments. This process requires our cooperation and it requires a change of heart – which involves the whole interiority of the person. We pray and ask God for a new heart – “Create in me a clean heart” – as a new way to respond to those around us. We repent of sinful attitudes and behaviors, and God gives us the strength and power to change our sinful habits. So, the process of daily conversion (and sometimes of the hour or minute) involves God supplying the grace and our responding to His love through our cooperation with His grace. This is a gradual process and takes effort. A good place to begin is by hearing and praying and meditating upon the inspired Word of God. Healing: The Effect of Mercy
God’s love comes to us daily, drawing us toward Himself. We have access to God’s love but we have to know how to be open to receive it. When we are in sin, God’s love turns to mercy, compassion, forgiveness, drawing us back to Himself when we are in need of it. God’s Love and Mercy all come from the same Heart, the Sacred Heart of Jesus. When we receive God’s mercy and love, we can give it to others. Once we experience mercy, we are able to show mercy toward others. A Deeper Knowledge of Christ the Savior
Lent is an excellent time to come to know Jesus by faith in a much deeper way and grow in our relationship with Him through prayer. We can always pray for the grace to know how much Jesus loved(s) us in dying on the cross so that our sins could be forgiven. We cannot make it to heaven without our Savior. We
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cannot live a life of love and forgiveness on our own power. We want to accept Jesus as our Lord in Holy Communion, knowing and believing that this is His Body and His Blood. The Incredible Sacrament of Baptism
We are radically changed in our being as we receive the life of God into our soul in the Sacrament of Baptism. In Baptism, the Blessed Trinity comes to dwell in the soul of the person and he/she becomes a child of God and all sins are washed away. The baptized receive the supernatural Gifts of Faith, Hope, and Charity, and the seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit: Wisdom, Fortitude, Knowledge, Fear of the Lord, Understanding, Right Counsel and Piety. Lent is a time to reflect on our own baptism and grow in appreciation toward God for this incredible Gift. This should include greater understanding of how to live our baptismal promises. With the help of God, we want to cooperate with the graces He gives us in prayer and good works to rid ourselves of sin. Allowing God to cleanse our hearts from sinful attitudes and attachments to things allows us to be more free to love Him. The Sacrament of Reconciliation
This sacrament is called a second Baptism because our personal sins after Baptism are taken away. God forgives us when we come to Him with true sorrow and a firm purpose to not commit these sins again. In order to avoid the same sins, we need to have a firm purpose of amendment and work on avoiding the times and places where these sins occur. Jesus showers us with sanctifying grace in the Sacrament of Confession. Grace strengthens us to break from sinful habits. However, we have to cooperate with these graces by our struggle to overcome sinful ways. We die to ourselves and rise with Jesus to new life, which is the essence of the Easter Vigil. Conclusion
Lent is a time of purification and enlightenment. Let us set out on this journey of fasting, prayer, and conversion, so that we die to personal selfishness and pride and rise to new life in Christ as we celebrate His resurrection from the dead. But we hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us…. For we who live are constantly being given up to death for the sake of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh…. Therefore, we are not discouraged; rather, although our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.
-2 Corinthians 4:7, 11, 16-17)
Which Way Do You Lean? 11
By LISA KREMER and ISAAC LANDSTEINER
The event will take place on Saturday, April 2, from 9-11 a.m. on Zoom.
The presentation will give an overview of how trafficking victims are recruited and groomed, some common trafficking indicators, how coercion maintains the bonds of trafficking, and how a survivorcentered, trauma-informed approach can break these bonds. Then, the presentation will dive into what trafficking looks like in Southern Minnesota: How big is the problem? Who are the buyers? And most importantly, what can we do to help family and community members fight to end Human Trafficking? For more information, or to register, email Isaac Landsteiner at: email@example.com
because there are many systematic changes that need to happen to benefit the least among us, and people often say, “I just don’t know enough about the issues to do any works of justice.” But we are called to be balanced, and to stand on both feet of charity and justice. Justice first demands that we do what we can to educate ourselves about the issues. That is frightening in today’s media strangled world, because it seems there are many versions of the truth out there. Who/what do we believe? But there are reputable organizations who dedicate themselves to researching issues and sharing the truth about them. One that is easily accessible to us is the Minnesota Catholic Conference. This organization is the public policy voice of the Catholic Church in Minnesota. By going to their website, mncatholic. org, you can sign up to receive their updates which will keep you informed about the current issues and give you opportunities to contact your representatives about things that are of great importance to us as Catholics. Every other year, they sponsor a spring event Catholics at the Capitol – and when this event is able to be held in person, the participants actually get advocacy training and opportunities to visit in person with their lawmakers in St. Paul.
The next Catholics at the Capitol is next year – in 2023. But don’t despair – there is another great organization that can help you in your efforts to seek opportunities for advocacy this spring – the Joint Religious Legislative Coalition. “Guided by God’s vision of the common good as reflected in Jewish, Christian and Islamic traditions, the JRLC mobilizes religious communities to influence public policy in Minnesota” (a quote from their website). The JRLC is supported by the Minnesota Catholic Conference, and this year their advocacy is focusing a great deal on the issues of homelessness, affordable housing, and childcare. They sponsor advocacy training sessions which help us to understand more about the issues and upcoming legislation, and they will have their “Day on the Hill” on March 15. This will be in the evening this year and all virtual, so no traveling is necessary to attend. You can register at their website (jrlc. org). Please register and join us at the JRLC Day on the Hill on March 15! So which way do you lean? Do you tend to do more justice work, or more works of charity? For us as Christians and as human beings, we know how important balance is in our lives, and how crazy things can get when we are out of balance. When I do the lesson of Two Feet of Love in Action with youth, we do a little relay race – that is made more challenging because it has to be done while hopping on one foot. This is a way to get the participants to think about how much better (easier) that exercise would be if we could just use both of our feet. I would like to challenge you to seek to be more balanced in the way you serve others.
or me, one of the great joys of working with Parish Social Ministry (PSM) at Catholic Charities is the opportunity to teach about issues that I am passionate about. One of our objectives is to inform people about what has been called the “Catholic Church’s best kept secret” – Catholic Social Teaching. In my case, I have always enjoyed teaching older youth, so besides working with adults, I’m always happy to come to high school faith formation classes and introduce them to these vital teachings of the Church. One of the lessons that I like using the most is called The Two Feet of Love in Action from the USCCB. It points out that in doing service/living our faith, we need to consider and participate in two very important areas – charity and justice. Whenever I have this discussion with people, we generally discover that most of us are really good at doing works of charity (direct aid to those in need, which would include donating to causes that serve the poor and volunteering for service opportunities) and of course those things are essential for us to do as Catholics. One way you can engage in the work of charity is to participate in the second annual Mercy in Motion Campaign this Lent. Like last year, each week we will focus on one of the Corporal Works of Mercy, offering simple, concrete ways in which you can live out the Lenten call to pray, fast, and give alms. This year we will also be offering a Zoom Bible study, so that people can share their Lenten journey in a small group setting. For more information, visit ccsomn.org/mercyinmotion. Identifying and defining works of justice seems to be a bit more of a challenge for us. My definition of works of justice is: “actions or advocacy we participate in whose purpose is to change systems to benefit the poor and marginalized”. A good example of that is those who participate in the March for Life because that is an activity that is bringing attention to a need for systematic change – specifically a change in the laws that would protect the right to life of the unborn. Works of justice are challenging,
The Diocese of Winona-Rochester Social Concerns Committee invites you to join us for our Spring Study Day: Breaking the Bonds of Human Trafficking, to learn how to recognize trafficking, and what to do when you see it.
Lisa Kremer and Isaac Landsteiner serve Catholic Charities of Southern Minnesota as the Parish Social Ministry coordinator for the Worthington Deanery and the Parish Social Ministry program director, respectively.
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Lent Is Here! By ELEANORE JONES
�things ent is now upon us! Remember to do the that I mentioned in my February article.
Throughout Lent Stations of the Cross are said in parishes. Please try to attend them and join Mary in her sorrow. We should also be receiving the sacrament of Reconciliation. For a vast number of people this sacrament seems to have fallen by the wayside. Yes, it is an act of humility, but have you thought about how much we receive from it? The graces that God showers upon us are inconceivable for us to comprehend. We can start out fresh again as He forgives all our offences. As Catholics we have so many gifts that other religions do not have. Make use of these gifts!
March 2022 In many parishes, CCW (Council of Catholic Women) may have a box in church to put items in for the homeless, Rochester Medical Missions and Haiti Missions. Giving to this is a great act of love and helps the less fortunate. Remember to Pray, Fast and do extra Penance at this time of the year. The Caledonia Area will be hosting the W-RDCCW April Board meeting at St. Columban in Preston on April 6, 2022, meeting begins at 9 AM. You are welcome to attend. The International and Legislative Commissions chairs for the diocese are still in need of someone to fill these spots. Please pray about you filling these spots. If interested contact me at eleanore_j@hotmail. com or call 507-937-3460. Have a Blessed, Prayerful and Penitential Lent! Eleanore Jones is the president of the WinonaRochester Diocesan Council of Catholic Women.
Wendy Shepherd Receives Thomas P. Coughlan Award By JIM COOK
he Serra Club of Rochester member Wendy Shepherd was presented the Thomas P. Coughlan Award for 2021 during the North Central Region of Serra International Fall Meeting and Retreat held at Christ the King Retreat Center, Buffalo, MN. This award (named in honor for Fr. Thomas Coughlan, the first ordained deaf US priest) was initiated in 1999 to recognize a District 7 South Serran who shows dedication and outstanding service to the Serra organization. District 7 South covers the Diocese of Winona-Rochester and works with Bishop John Quinn and Father Jason Kern, director of vocations for the diocese. Serrans are lay Catholics found around the world. They are men and women of all ages and from all walks of life. All are dedicated to and foster vocations to the ministerial priesthood, to encourage and affirm vocations to consecrated religious life and assist members to recognize and respond in their own lives, to God’s call to holiness in Jesus Christ and through the Holy Spirit. The organization chose St. Junipero Serra, the great missionary as their patron saint Wendy Shepherd is a 15-year member of
The Televised Mass Is Offered Every Sunday Sioux Falls - KTTW Channel 7 at 7 a.m. Sioux City - KPTH Channel 44 at 8:30 a.m. Mankato - KEYC Channel 12 at 7:30 a.m. Digital Channel 12.2 or Charter Channel 19 NEYC at 9:30 a.m. Digital Channel 7 (DirecTV) or Channel 11 (DISH) KMNF at 9 a.m. Rochester/Austin/Mason City KIMT Channel 3 at 7:30 a.m. MyTV 3.2 at 9 a.m. Twin Cities - WFTC Digital Channel 29 or Channel 9.2 at 11:30 a.m. Southeastern MN - HBC Channel 20 at 3 p.m. (repeated Wed. at 3:30 p.m.) Winona/La Crosse/Eau Claire - WLAX/WEUX Channel 25/48 at 7:30 a.m.
the Serra Club of Rochester. She has served as secretary and has led many initiatives within the club such as the Great Promise Award for youth, the 50th Anniversary of the Club celebration in 2014, District 7S secretary, fund raisers and promoting Serra in the parishes and community. Wendy is greatly appreciated for her energy and commitment to Serra and its missions. Per Rochester Serra president Steve Sturm: “Wendy is always there, at any function, working and helping to make it run smoothly. She never looks to take credit and remains behind the scenes.” Wendy is a member of St. John the Evangelist in Rochester and actively participates as an extraordinary eucharistic minister and brings the eucharist to the hospitalized. Jim Cook is the vice president of communications for the Serra Club of Rochester.
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nature by manipulating instead of receiving God’s gift of creation. It undermines the ability to form and participate in the natural family thereby creating a society of atomized individuals beholden to the state. These principles were the core of MCC testimony against a proposed constitutional amendment to mandate gender equality. This so-called Equal Rights Amendment (H.F. 726) states: “Equality under the law shall not be abridged or denied on account of gender.” With proponents, we share the goal of stopping unjust discrimination against all persons. But making reasonable distinctions based on sex is often appropriate. Further, the state’s Human Rights Act already bans discrimination based on sex (including sexual orientation).
and on our website, dowr.org (click "Weekly Mass")
Lenten Fish Frys
Christ the King Church, Byron - Fridays, March 4 through April 8. 4:45-7 p.m. $16. 202 Fourth St. NW, Byron, MN. Drive Up or Dine-in. (*Limited seating for dine-in is available with reservation only by calling before noon on Fridays 507-775-6455).Baked or fried fish meal with coleslaw, green beans, potatoes, bread, butter, tartar sauce and dessert. St. John's Church, Dodge Center - 15th Annual Fish Fry March 18 4-7:30 p.m. Held at the American Legion - 401 West Highway St. in Dodge Center. All you can eat. $12 adults. $6 kids 12 & younger. Baked and fried fish, baked potatoes, baked beans, salads, desserts.
The proposed amendment aims to empower judges to impose constitutional mandates in the name of equality that would be unlikely to pass legislatively, as well as erode conscience and religious liberty protections built into the Human Rights Act. The potential impacts of the amendment include mandating publicly subsidized fertility treatments or surrogacy arrangements for same-sex couples; mandating state-subsidized gender transition therapy and surgery; further entrenching abortion as a “right”; and allowing men to participate in womenonly activities and spaces, undermining women’s safety and well-being. Paid Caregiver Leave
Polling shows that Americans are increasingly delaying or forgoing starting a family altogether because of economic insecurity. A 2018 survey by the New York Times found that 44-percent of respondents
reported not being able to afford more children, and 39-percent reported not having enough paid family leave time as a barrier to growing their family. Business trade associations and worker advocacy groups have been in gridlock for years about a family leave proposal favored by House Democrats that would use a new payroll tax to create the equivalent of a workers’ compensation style system for paid leave (H.F. 1200). MCC has communicated to legislators that H.F. 1200 is a reasonable way to create a family leave program, but the bill has no chance of passing the Republican-controlled Senate. In an effort to break the logjam, MCC participated in the bill’s hearing to remind lawmakers of the matter’s urgency and encourage them to find common ground for the common good. There are multiple ways in which a paid leave program could be constructed, and for anything to pass, it must recognize the reciprocal relationship and foster solidarity between employers and employees.