The Courier - May 2023

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Breaking ground

ConstruCtion Begins on new DioCesan Pastoral Center

ROCHESTER - On Wednesday, April 12, Bishop

Robert Barron hosted a groundbreaking ceremony at 10:30 a.m. to celebrate the beginning of the building of a new Pastoral Center in Rochester.

This past November, Bishop Barron announced that, thanks to the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Jack and Mary Ann Remick, the construction of a new building has been made possible. The Pastoral Center will be across the street from Lourdes Catholic High School, between Jeremiah Lane NW and Valley High Drive NW.

The Diocese, which serves the 20 southernmost counties of Minnesota, has recognized that 65% of the nearly 140,000 Catholics in the diocese live in the area between Rochester and Mankato with Rochester being the diocese’s most populous city. By moving the Pastoral Center to Rochester, the Bishop’s office will be better situated to serve Catholics across the Diocese.

The Diocese hopes to have completed the building of the Pastoral Center and be moved in by May, 2024.

The Diocese of Winona-Rochester serves 96 parishes, four high schools, 30 elementary schools and the Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary on the campus of St. Mary’s University in Winona.

Callahan Earns Courage in Leadership Award for Mobilizing, Unifying Community

The following article was originally published by The Globe of Worthington on April 14, 2023. It is reprinted here with permission.

WORTHINGTON - When the Rev. Jim Callahan received an email informing him he’d received the Manuel Guerrero Courage in Leadership Award, he thought it was a joke, and decided to read the note later.

When the St. Mary’s pastor was told to read the email about the recognition, given by the Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association to “a visionary community leader whose work is transformative and has broad impact in the State of Minnesota and beyond,” Callahan saw the list of prominent Minnesotans who’d received it in the past, including Gov. Mark Dayton and U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

Award, cont'd on pg. 11

May 2023 Official Newspaper of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Winona-Rochester, MN | Let the Light Shine Inside the Capitol 10 Years of Pope Francis' Pontificate page 4 page 9 page 10 INSIDE this issue Ascension of the Lord May 21
(L to R) Co-Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist Rector Msgr. Gerald Mahon, Benefactor Jack Remick, and Bishop Robert Barron Accompanied by DOW-R seminarian John Paul Bickerstaff, Bishop Barron blesses the land on which the pastoral center will be built.

Papal Academy Launches Study Center to Evaluate Marian Apparitions

ROME (CNS) - The Pontifical International Marian Academy has created a commission to study and monitor cases of alleged Marian apparitions and other mystical phenomena.

The new "observatory" or monitoring body was officially inaugurated at the academy in Rome April 15 and will study cases that have not yet received an official church pronouncement regarding their authenticity.

"It is important to provide clarity because often presumed messages generate confusion, spread anxiety-inducing apocalyptic scenarios or even accusations against the pope and the church," he said in a written press release.

"How could Mary, mother of the church, undermine (the church's) integrity or sow fear and conflict, she who is mother of mercy and queen of peace?" he asked.

"At the same time, it is important to provide formative support because facing certain cases requires adequate preparation," Father Cecchin added.

The observatory will be made up of experts from different fields, including a lawyer specializing in safeguarding people who are susceptible to criminal manipulation, fraud or deceit.

The Holy Father's Intention for May 2023

For Church Movements and Groups

Its purpose is "to provide concrete support to the study, authentication and correct disclosure of such events, always in harmony with church teaching, relevant authorities and applicable norms of the Holy See," Franciscan Father

Father Cecchin said the body will set up commissions on the national and international level to "evaluate and study apparitions and mystical phenomena reported in various parts of the world" and to promote opportunities for keeping people updated and educated about the events and their "spiritual and cultural significance." The local commissions will also serve the local church and its bishops by acting as consultants and providing accurate informa-

The new monitoring body was inaugurated just as an alleged visionary in a town 30 miles from Rome faced increased scrutiny by law enforcement and the local bishop.

Gisella Cardia, who claims she receives messages from Mary on the third day of every month, is currently under investigation by the district attorney's office of Civitavecchia for "abuse of public credulity" or trust. A commission set up by the local bishop is also conducting its own investigation.

Cardia also claimed a statue of Mary that she bought in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, cried tears of blood. However, a private investigator recently provided evidence to law enforcement alleging that the blood came from

Cardia had been found guilty and convicted of bankruptcy fraud in a business she used to run before moving to Trevignano Romano and claiming to receive messages from Mary. Hundreds of people flock to the site the third of each month to hear the alleged messages.

We pray that Church movements and groups may rediscover their mission of evangelization each day, placing their own charisms at the service of needs in the world.

Censor Librorum

Rev. Timothy Hall: reappointed Censor Librorum for the Diocese of Winona-Rochester for a fiveyear term, effective May 15, 2023.

Minnesota Catholic Conference

Sr. Agnes Mary Graves, RSM: reappointed to the Minnesota Catholic Conference Life, Family and Healthcare Committee for a three-year term, effective June 1, 2023.

Child Abuse Policy Information

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

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The Most Rev. Robert Barron, Bishop of the Diocese of WinonaRochester, announces the following:
Articles of Interest May 2023 w The Courier w Marking 10 Years of Pope Francis' Pontificate_4 Making Parishes Spiritually and Mentally Healthy_5 Catholic Schools Updates__________________6-7 Humble Yet Bold__________________________8 Transitional Diaconate Ordinations__________8 Let the Light Shine________________________9 Inside the Capitol________________________10 Diocesan Headlines___________________11-12 The Courier is the official publication of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester 55 West Sanborn, P.O. Box 588, Winona, MN 55987 Vol 114 - 5 Most Reverend Robert E. Barron, 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
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�hat a privilege it is every spring to immerse oneself in the liturgies of Holy Week. The washing of the feet on Holy Thursday, the veneration of the cross on Good Friday, the journey through the pivotal readings from the Old Testament on Holy Saturday, the joyful resurrection of the “Alleluia” on Easter Sunday— all of it is meant to plunge us into the mystery of the dying and rising of the Lord Jesus.

At several points during the recent celebrations, I was reminded of a saying of

Bishop's Calendar

*indicates all are welcome to attend

May 1, Monday

7 p.m. - ConfirmationCrucifixion Church, La Crescent; with St. Peter, Hokah

May 2, Tuesday 11 a.m. - Holy Hour and Deans Meeting - Winona

2:30 p.m. - Clergy Personnel Committee Meeting - Winona

May 3, Wednesday 7 p.m. - Confirmation – St. Mary Church, Caledonia; with St. Patrick, Brownsville

May 4, Thursday

9 a.m. - Mass and BrunchHermits of St. Mary of Carmel Hermitage, Houston

1:30 p.m. - Holy Half Hour and DOW-R Finance Council Meeting

- Winona

May 5, Friday

6 p.m. - Confirmation - Ss. Peter & Paul Church, Mankato;

my mentor, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago. It kept coming into my mind as a sort of mantra or refrain, prompted by so many of the gestures and readings of Holy Week. The Cardinal once famously commented that we live in a culture where “everything is permitted and nothing is forgiven.” In the typical Georgean manner, the saying is pithy, memorable, and dead right. Even the most casual survey of our society discloses the truth of the first part of the Cardinal’s adage. Men are allowed to be women, and women men. Male athletes, claiming a female identity, can dominate women’s sports. Transgender surgery, even when it amounts to the mutilation of children, is positively encouraged in many parts of our country, including my home state of Minnesota. Abortion, even to the moment of birth, is legal (indeed celebrated) in a number of states; assisted suicide of the suffering is considered a fundamental right of the individual and prerogative of the state.

But the truth of the second part of the Cardinal’s statement is equally obvious. Violations of the accepted secular orthodoxy today result in cancellation, elimination, permanent ostracization. If you doubt

with St. Joseph the Worker, Mankato; All Saints, Madison Lake; Holy Family, Lake Crystal; and Immaculate Conception, St. Clair

May 7, Sunday

*10:30 a.m. - Confirmation and Dedication of an Altar - St. Ignatius Church, Spring Valley; with St. Patrick, LeRoy, and St. Finbarr, Grand Meadow

2 p.m. - Confirmation - St. Augustine Church, Austin; with Queen of Angels, Austin, and St. Edward, Austin

May 9, Tuesday

11:30 a.m. - Holy Half Hour and Presbyteral Council - Pax Christi Church, Rochester

May 10, Wednesday

7 p.m. - Confirmation - St.

Charles Borromeo Church, St. Charles; with Holy Redeemer, Eyota

me, try posting something even mildly anti-woke on the internet. The Jacobin mob will be on you in moments. And if you read the ideologues behind wokeism, you will see that being, say, a white male, or an advocate of traditional religious values, makes you permanently a reprobate, with no hope of redemption. If you doubt me on this score, ask any woke enthusiast just how much apology or reparation is required to relieve an offender of his guilt. You will find that the answer is “never enough.” So, on the one hand, everything seems to be permitted, but on the other hand, nothing is ever really forgiven.

I thought of Cardinal George’s bon mot during Holy Week, because the dying and rising of Jesus reveals precisely the reverse of what obtains in our secular culture. During the Holy Week liturgies, especially on Holy Thursday and Good Friday, we see practically all forms of human dysfunction. What brought the Lord to the cross was a demonic farrago of hatred, stupidity, violence, cruelty, institutional injustice, self-serving careerism, betrayal, denial, and gross indifference to the will of God. Though many of those responsible for the death of Jesus wrapped themselves in

May 11, Thursday

8:20 a.m. - Real Presence Radio

Live Drive - Co-Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Rochester

May 13, Saturday

2 p.m. - CommencementHillsdale College, Michigan

May 15, Monday

5:30 p.m. - USCCB Religious Liberty Committee - Zoom

May 16, Tuesday

11 a.m. - Holy Half Hour and Pension Plan for Priests Board of Trustees - Winona

May 17, Wednesday

7 p.m. - Confirmation - St. Felix Church, Wabasha; with St. Agnes, Kellogg

May 18, Thursday

3:30 p.m. - MN Catholic Conf. Bishops' Meeting - Zoom

May 19, Friday

7 p.m. - Confirmation - St. Pius

X Church, Rochester; with St. Francis of Assisi, Rochester

the mantle of righteousness or offered pathetic justifications for their behavior, in fact, all of them were exposed as frauds and sinners. The cross itself served as judgment on human folly and wickedness. In its light, there was no chance to hide. Of course, we would all love to live in a society where everything is permitted, where no decision of ours is ever subject to question or correction, where “I’m okay and you’re okay.”

But the cross of Jesus stands athwart all of this. It shines an unsparing light on our sin, especially our hidden sin; it convinces us, beyond doubt, that we are not okay. And this is all to the good, for if we never admit to sin, we will never be open to salvation.

At the same time, the accounts of the resurrection of the Lord disclose the opposite of the cancel culture. To the very people who had denied, betrayed, and abandoned him, Jesus does indeed show his wounds, lest they forget their sin, but then he utters the incomparably beautiful word “Shalom.” In any conventional telling of a story like this, the offended man, back from the dead, would certainly be intent upon revenge. But in the Gospel story, the man who had been hurt as fully as a person can be hurt, returned in forgiving love. And let us

May 20, Saturday

11 a.m. - ConfirmationCathedral of the Sacred Heart, Winona; with the Basilica of St. Stanislaus Kostka, Winona; St. John Nepomucene, Winona; St. Casimir, Winona; St. Mary, Winona; Holy Trinity, Rollingstone; and St. Rose of Lima, Lewiston

May 21, Sunday

2 p.m. - Confirmation - St. Ann Church, Janesville; with St. Joseph, Waldorf; All Saints, New Richland; and Sacred Heart, Waseca

May 23, Tuesday

9:30 a.m. - Holy Hour and College of Consultors - Winona

May 24, Wednesday

7 p.m. - Confirmation - St. Joachim Church, Plainview; with Immaculate Conception, Kellogg

press the point, for the person in question was not only a man, but also true God. Therefore, they killed God, and God offered a word of peace and reconciliation. If any people in the history of humanity deserved to be cancelled it was all those who contributed to the death of Jesus, but instead they are forgiven. And this means (and it is the Good News of the Gospel that applies to every person up and down the ages) that every sin is forgiveable, that God cancels no one.

And so, to the culture that says “everything is permitted but nothing is forgiven,” we Christians should counter, “in light of the cross, we know that many things ought not be permitted” and in light of the Resurrection, that “everything in principle can be forgiven.” In that reversal of the present orthodoxy, we find a truly saving word.

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

May 25, Thursday

1 p.m. - Holy Hour and Bishop's Cabinet - Winona

May 26, Friday

6 p.m. - Baccalaureate Ceremony - Cotter Schools, Winona

May 27, Saturday

*10 a.m. - Diaconate Ordination of Seminarians Nicholas Gawarecki and Brian KleinBasilica of St. Stanislaus Kostka, Winona

May 30, Tuesday

9 a.m. - Word on Fire Show Recording - Rochester

May 31, Wednesday

7 p.m. - Confirmation - Sacred Heart Church, Heron Lake; with Sacred Heart, Brewster, and St. Francis Xavier, Windom

Non Nisi Te Domine
May 2023 w The Courier w
Bishop Robert Barron
From the Bishop
Many Things Are Not Permitted; Everything Can Be Forgiven

Marking 10 Years of Pope Francis' Pontificate

Christ is risen! …May this Easter be for each of you, dear brothers and sisters, and in particular for the sick and the poor, the elderly and those experiencing moments of trial and weariness, a passage from affliction to consolation. We are not alone: Jesus, the Living One, is with us, forever. Let the Church and the world rejoice, for today our hopes no longer come up against the wall of death, for the Lord has built us a bridge to life. Yes, brothers and sisters, at Easter the destiny of the world was changed, and on this day, which also coincides with the most probable date of Christ’s resurrection, we can rejoice to celebrate, by pure grace, the most important and beautiful day of history.

-Pope Francis, Urbi et Orbi, Easter 2023

reetings of Peace in this Easter Season!

Last month, I had the privilege and blessing to participate in a conference marking the tenth anniversary of Pope Francis’ pontificate. I heard many compelling presentations on the pastoral wisdom and inspiring leadership of our Holy Father. In honor of these past 10 years of his pontificate, I would like to share some excerpts from a talk given at the conference by KERRY ALYS ROBINSON, Executive Partner of Leadership Roundtable (whose mission “seeks to elevate and implement best practices in management and leadership to establish a culture of co-responsible, servant leadership for a healthy, thriving Church in the U.S.” [https://leadershiproundtable. org/]). I am grateful to Kerry both for her powerful and eloquent presentation, and for her permission to print the text that follows.

What does the papacy of Pope Francis mean to a people who yearn for the Church to fulfill its potential and to be effective at its mission? What does the papacy of Pope Francis mean to a people who yearn to be proud to belong to the Church? It is in that spirit that I offer these reflections….

For Pope Francis, leadership is entirely about serving others, and doing so with humility and mercy. “The world tells us to seek success, power and money; God tells us to seek humility, service and love,” offers Pope Francis. “To change the world we must be good to those who cannot repay us.” And in his surprise TED talk he entreated his worldwide audience to “Please, allow me to say it loud and clear: the more powerful you are, the more your actions will have an impact on people, the more responsible you are to act humbly…. Through humility and concrete love power becomes a service, a force for good.”

Pope Francis’ style of leadership is breathtaking. Think about the political divisions and concomitant vitriol we experience in this country. Once years ago Pope Francis said, “Politics is the highest form of love.” That seems incongruous - unless you see how Pope Francis leads….

Francis emulates what he advocates. This consistency contributes to the sense of authenticity, sincerity, and integrity so many of us recognize in him.

He exudes empathy. He spends his time in refugee camps, in hospitals, in prisons, in countries torn apart by war. In ten years he has made 40 international trips, many to war torn, violent, dangerous countries. He reminds us constantly of “the moral urgency of peace.” He celebrates his birthday focusing on others – celebrating with homeless women and men, or sick children. He routinely calls the cell phones of people

who have suffered to offer encouragement and prayer. He speaks truth to power and reminds us of who we are called to be at our best: sisters and brothers in a human family of more than eight billion.

Pope Francis enjoins us to go to the peripheries, and sets the example. Consider the cardinals he has appointed from the peripheries, including the first cardinals ever from El Salvador, Laos, Mali, Sweden, Luxembourg and Morocco….

A modern-day prophet, Pope Francis reads the signs of the times and awakens us to meaningful change in our behavior—within the Church and within the world. Complex global challenges like forced migration, extreme poverty, human trafficking, war, and climate change do not intimidate him; they only break his heart and command responsive action. He insists on ecumenical and interfaith dialogue for the sake of the world and of God. At eighty-six he is a master communicator, the first truly “tweetable pope,” whose injunctions in 140 characters or less, in multiple languages, are consistently uplifting and ennobling.

Powerful images of Pope Francis pull at the heart and stir the imagination. Iconic images of him washing and kissing the feet of inmates, of women, of Muslims; exuberant selfies with teenagers; joyful interactions with newly married couples and children; and his loving, tactile embrace of a fifty-three-year-old man afflicted with neurofibromatosis. And in 2019 Pope Francis received South Sudan's political leaders at the Vatican, and got down on his knees to kiss their feet, imploring them not to return to civil war.

He admonishes … “sourpusses” and insists that the joy of the Gospel be promulgated by our very lives. He asked every Catholic parish in Europe to welcome a refugee family and set the example by sponsoring two families in Vatican apartments. He goes to confession. He buses his own tray. He bowed his head and asked for our blessing before giving his inaugural blessing as pope. He declines the apostolic palace in favor of a simple room at Santa Marta, preferring to live in community for the health of his psyche and his soul. He is a pope of the people. A pope of surprises. A pope of joy. And a pope of tenderness….

Pope Francis asks one thing of everyone he meets, every time: “Pray for me.”

Prayer changes the one praying. When we commit to praying for someone, we become complicit in their well being, their peace, their flourishing, and their alignment with God’s desire. We cannot be passive observers of Pope Francis.

When Pope Francis asks us to pray for him. When he entreats us to encounter and accompany one anoth er. When he invites us to relate to one another synod ally. When he asks us to make a mess or cause a stir. When he asks us to listen to the Holy Spirit and to each other. When he enjoins us to engage in ecumeni cal and interfaith dialogues and friendships. When he invites us to discern, to be oth er-centered, to be merciful, to be mis sionary disciples. When he issues these invitations, he is urging us to be active participants in our faith, he is asking us to be co-responsible in the important Gospel priorities to which his papacy is dedicated.

We have been entrusted with such a priceless gift by virtue of our baptism and belonging to this wildly diverse, often messy, imperfect, gracefilled, beautiful com munity of the people of God, under an ever enlarging tent.

Let's all be responsible for being the Church God so desires us to be.

In closing, let’s not just celebrate and be grateful for and pray for Pope Francis. Let’s accept his invitation to active participation and co-responsibility. Let’s be the Church we yearn to see. A more relevant Church to young adults, a more joyful Church, a Church of integrity, ethics, trust, justice and openness. A safe environment for the most vulnerable. A Church that values and invites the immense competencies of women. A Church worthy of profound generosity. A Church at the forefront of justice, peace and charity.

Let us be healers. Let us be bearers of the good news, witnesses to new life: Help to give faithful, articulate, prophetic voice to the importance of baptismal rights and responsibilities. Be part of the global transformation of consciousness that celebrates, invites, affirms and encourages the genuine collaboration of laity, religious and clergy in the service of the Church’s mission.

A Church the world needs because the world needs solace, healing, peace, hope, mercy, generosity, and the light and love of Christ.

To conclude, I would encourage all of us to be united in praying for our Holy Father, Pope Francis, each day as he shepherds our Universal Church. I wish you the joy and peace of our Risen Lord in these Easter days. Christ is risen! Christ is truly risen! Alleluia!

Brothers, sisters, may we rediscover the enjoyment of the journey, quicken the heartbeat of hope and experience a foretaste of the beauty of heaven! Today, let us summon the energy to advance in goodness towards Goodness itself, which never disappoints. If, as one of the ancient

4 Lay Formation & RCIA
May 2023 w The Courier w

Making Parishes Spiritually and Mentally Healthy

�riends, as we continue to consider how parishes can become field hospitals for the wounded, we need to think not just of spiritual health (which is why parishes exist: to announce and facilitate the salvation of all), but also attend to people’s mental health.

The United States, and especially our youngest generations, is in the midst of a mental health crisis. The numbers of people suffering depression and anxiety have never been higher, and Gen Z (our youngest adults) is officially the loneliest generation on record.* The pandemic contributed to this mightily, but it isn’t just the isolation that came with the pandemic. We live in a culture of lost connections.

I recently re-read Johann Hari’s book Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression–and the Unexpected Solutions (Bloomsbury, 2018). While people may disagree with pieces of the book and the author’s commitments (parts of this are definitely not Christian, and rated R), the data he provides regarding social contributions to depression and anxiety is alarming. It can be summarized in a line that has been highlighted through Kindle by more than 4000 people: “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a sick society.”

His basic argument is that modern Western cul-

Spiritual Support for Parents of Children with Disabilities

May 11 6:30 p.m.

St. James Coffee, Rochester

I� you are a parent of a child with disabilities, we welcome you to the first gathering of this monthly group for spiritual nourishment. Mass in SJC’s chapel at 6 p.m., meeting at 6:30. Contact Susan for more information:

Retreat: An Introduction to Ignatian Contemplation

August 5-6

Shalom Hill Farm, Windom

Leaders: Fr. Jonathan Fasnacht and Susan Windley-Daoust

More info and registration:

ture is contributing mightily to the rise in depression and anxiety, and the struggle to treat it. I’m no mental health counselor, and I respect the needed and important work they do. If you are struggling, seek their help! But he also says there are natural disconnects that our society demands in a way it didn't used to before: we are disconnected from

1. Meaningful work

2. Other people

3. Meaningful values

4. Childhood trauma

5. Status and respect

6. The natural world

7. A hopeful and secure future

While you may quibble with one or more of these, you probably agree with others. And, thanks be to God, our faith addresses most of these disconnections in the most profound ways, healthy ways that can significantly help people emerge from depression and anxiety. Meaningful values? Check. Respect through honoring human life and dignity? Check. A sacramental understanding of the natural world? Check. Hope for our eternal future, and the possibility of better in our present day? Check. Christ the Healer attending, embracing, our trauma? Check. Companions on the journey (other people)? Check! I dream of parishes that promote mental health by promoting the best of what it means to be human. But it is easy to talk the talk and not walk the walk. Do we talk about our deepest values openly? Do we work to foster a parish of Christ-centered friend ships? Do we respect everyone who walks in the door as a child of God? Do we have parish events that rejoice in the beauty and gift of the natural world? Do we offer a listening ear to people recov ering from trauma? Do we speak of Christ our Hope as our present and future, in good times and bad? Do we believe He makes a difference?

I don’t want to be glib and say parishes can solve everyone’s mental health challenges. But we are called to be the counterculture people desperately need: communities of care, friendship, and hope. If we live in a culture that is making us sick, part of

discipleship–and evangelization–must attend to fostering communities that encourage mental and spiritual health. We all need that community, and many people are desperately seeking such a community. How can we foster friendship and deep connections to the Lord and each other in this coming month?

* blog/the-case-connection/202208/3-thingsmaking-gen-z-the-loneliest-generation Anyone who wishes to explore more how parishes can support people with mental illness can view for free the Revive Parishes training on Mental Health in parish ministry. “Spirit, Body and Mind” is offered by Sr. Josephine Garrett, a licensed mental health counselor. The

May 2023 w The Courier w 5 Missionary Discipleship

Catholic Schools

Life's Too Short to Live in the Shadows

Fab Lab


�od’s goodness and light has truly shined on the Co-Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist Middle School this 2022-23 school year. The students have united together under the instruction of Mrs. Hurtado to form the Fab Lab.

the Co-Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist Middle School in Rochester just completed their Spring Play, Newsies, Jr. This production included over 60 middle school students who brought their all, including acting and singing, dancing and cracking jokes. Charlie Deick, 8th grader at St. John’s, played the lead character Jack, and here’s what he said about the experience:

I never really thought that I would ever be interested in theater until I met Mrs. Sherman and she showed me my talent. What she (and all my directors) gave me was a happiness that I will never be able to fully give back. I hope that I could give a little bit of my happiness back to the world by performing Newsies. I will forever remember the friends and memories that I made during this production. They were all a gift from God. Newsies forever!

Students also took charge in terms of lighting, choreography, and sound. With mentors in place, these incredible kids performed to audiences of over 240 people for each performance, and, as one audience member remarked, it “ far exceeded anything I was expecting for a middle school production. I wish this was seen by more people. It was worthy of community-wide attention!”

The students began this adventure in midJanuary with auditions. Rehearsals ran every single day after school for two months from 3:00 to 5:00, intensifying closer to production dates. The lifelong skills they learned included cooperation, auditioning, vocal skills for chorus and solos, choreography, blocking, stage crew, stage managing, sound design, lightboard and sound board operation, spot light, costuming, set painting and design, pit band, and even more. Even the junior high Jazz Band, led by Mark Scheitel, got into the act, performing many of their favorite tunes before the show began and during intermission, with great audience response!

Many youngsters will use the skills they learned from these middle school plays, and carry them into their future into high schooland beyond - into professional acting, singing, sound design and directing.

Director Mrs. Maureen Sherman, long-time music teacher at the Co-Cathedral, abides by a few philosophies in producing plays during her tenure at Rochester Catholic Schools: One, everyone who wants to participate gets to participate. Two, she aims for an adult, community-level performance, so the students aim high in quality and professionalism. Three, lead by example; every move was mirrored until the kids got it right. However, the most important element: prayer. At the end of each rehearsal, they ended in a song/ prayer to “Our Lady.” Christian actors know that faith and theater can be a very spiritual experience; in discovering a new character, actors lift themselves out of self, and take on something new. St. Genesius himself “put on Christ” as an actor.

Post COVID, some kids have found it hard to find their footing in a positive way. The Co-Cathedral middle school principal, Matt Langsdale, made sure the funds were available so that all of these students could have an alternative to sports, showcase their talents, and find camaraderie and fun that theater arts can provide in such a special way. Thanks to all the kids for taking the brave step into drama and comedy!

Amelia Smith teaches religion at the Co-Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist Middle School in Rochester.

This captivating new club has allowed students to express a range of new skills from problem solving to entrepreneurship. The club consists of a Business/Marketing Team, Vinyl Team, and a 3-D Printing Team, all of which are run by the students themselves.

The Business/Marketing Team has been tirelessly working to adjust prices, set up a website, and create a successful profit margin.

The Vinyl Team has been diligently fabricating new designs that will appeal to all consumers, as well as printing and weaving said designs.

Lastly, the 3-D Printing Team has been assembling and obtaining the information that is needed for them to prosper. In addition, they also design and print keychains or anything else that represents the RCS community.

Throughout this wonderful experience the students have faced many challenges involving the new technology and working with one another. Their resilience to facing these obstacles has greatly shined through and, in turn, made them better students. I never imagined the amount of growth the students would adhere to; it has been amazing to witness it firsthand. This club has sparked the curiosity of these marvelous students, allowing them to construct their own small business from just a single idea. I simply cannot wait to see what this club will look like in the future,

God is truly at work here at Co-Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist Middle School.

DesmaLee Hurtado teaches math at the Co-Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist Middle School in Rochester..

May 2023 w The Courier w 6

Rising Up to Challenges with Courage


t. Mary’s School in Caledonia has had an exciting, productive, and active school year! The theme for this school year is “Rising Up to Challenges with Courage”. We all encounter challenges, insecurities, and fears in life and sometimes it is difficult to have courage in these situations. As long as we understand that God is always on our side we can

overcome anything. Each month we look at a different Bible story that teaches how to be courageous in different ways. Monthly activities led by each grade level engage students with the theme; for example, a student-led marketplace for charity, a Lenten escape room, a pet treat and toy shop, and a kindness club.

Throughout the school year students, teachers, and staff members have been grateful to have several opportunities for both learning and fun! In the fall, students were able to attend a fall field trip and enjoy the beautiful weather outside. The older students went to a corn maze, and the younger students went to an apple orchard. Different grade levels have also attended exciting trips like a play at Viterbo University, a trip to the seminary and convent in Winona, participation in Environmental Day, and participation in Farm Safety Day. Each grade also has an upcoming spring field trip to celebrate all the hard work they have done this year!

The St. Mary’s Student Council Team has put in a lot of time and effort to plan events and activities for the school. They have led trivia days, dress up days, and have been adding new equipment to our playground. This year we got a very popular tetherball pole! They also decorated a float for the homecom-

ing parade, hosted a Winter Snowball Dance, and are currently working on a Spring Middle School Dance.

Catholic Schools

Catholic Schools Week was celebrated with lots of energy and school spirit! Throughout the week students participated in different whole-school activities. We kicked off the week with a pancake breakfast and continued on with a school scavenger hunt, St. Mary’s Got Talent show, animal olympics, four corners game, and BINGO! The week ended with a Snowball Dance and Fun Night for St. Mary’s students and families.

In the classroom, students have been working with programming and robotics, learning to play different instruments, completing STEM activities, creating beautiful works of art, gaining new knowledge in all subject areas, presenting various projects at the curriculum fair, performing Shakespeare, and, most importantly, growing stronger in their faith! St. Mary’s School has been blessed with another wonderful school year!

When a Mascot Comes Full Circle

�hat is a Rambler, anyway??”

This very question can be heard at nearly every athletic competition, campus visit or open house on Cotter Schools’ campus in Winona. And for every time that it's asked, a different variation of the answer might be given. Yes, Cotter’s “Rowdy” might look like a Ram, but this school’s mascot has a very different backstory than that easily recognizable, mountain-dwelling animal with the big horns.

As tradition or legend has it, the concept of a “Rambler” first came into existence over 150 years ago. At that time, in the growing city of Winona, the lack of available priests made going to Sunday Mass difficult for Catholic residents. To address this challenge, men of cloth would act as missionaries and travel from area cities to Winona at least once a month to celebrate Mass with the settlers. These men were nicknamed “Ramblers” for the way that they traveled from town to town, bringing the word of God to those who did not have available access to it. Years later, early administrators of a budding Catholic school in Winona wanted to pay homage to those priests and chose the Rambler for Cotter’s school mascot.

In an ironic move, over a century later, Cotter

Schools has recently restructured their long-standing boarding program to include an additional focus on Domestic Residential Boarding students. Their primary target market? Students and families across the nation, but specifically in the tri-state area, who wish their children could attend Catholic high school but do not have an obvious, available parochial secondary institution in their hometown.

Did you catch that plot twist? No longer are those “Rambling” priests seeking to bring the word of God to Winona residents. Instead, like a beacon of light, Cotter’s Domestic Boarding Program is attempting to bring a faith-based education to those who are without one. Cotter offers a new choice in Catholic education for those who, like the townspeople of Winona 150 years ago, do not have it readily available. Instead of rambling from town to town to offer Catholic education, Cotter has figuratively and literally swung its doors open to invite all who seek the opportunity to attend a Catholic high school, to call this space “home.” It turns out, the spirit of those Rambler priests is still alive and well at Cotter Schools.

Residence halls and boarding students are not necessarily new on Cotter’s campus. Cotter has a long and established history with over two decades of offering boarding services to mostly international students from dozens of countries in Asia, Europe,

Africa and South America. Thousands of students have traveled from near and far to study, live, learn and grow with the Cotter community.

Recently Cotter was able to build an entirely brand new residence hall to house the boarding students. Opening in the fall of 2021, this four-story, air-conditioned hall can hold 72 students and 7 staff members. The hall, which offers lounges, a wellness room, a laundry room and a full kitchen for student use, is directly connected to the Cotter cafeteria and high school building. A staff of 8, including a Director of Residence Life, makes sure that students are safe, healthy and enjoying their experience in the residence hall.

Students who live in the residence hall enjoy waking up, grabbing breakfast in the cafeteria and dashing off to their classes without ever having to step foot outside. Hall monitors offer regular study sessions and residence students frequently make use of the campus workout facilities as well as participating in countless sports, clubs, arts and activities. Residence life staff ensures that boarding students have an active social life, frequently planning trips to the Mall of America, attending an NBA game, overnights at waterparks and visits to Chicago. Local activities such as boat rides on the

Rebecca Stutzman is the principal of St. Mary's School in Caledonia.
May 2023 w The Courier w 7
Mascot, cont'd on pg. 11

& Vocations

Humble Yet Bold

humble and bold. Two words we don’t often associate with one another. Humble and bold… we find them both in the person of Mary.

The humble virgin Mary, docile to God’s will, to God’s word, yet the most bold of all the witnesses to the Word made Flesh, to her Son and Lord, Jesus.

No, it was not Peter. No, it was not James or John or Paul who was the boldest yet most humble of all the witnesses of the Life, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus. No, it was Mary, for from her heart came these words:

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord

My spirit rejoices in God, my Savior

For He has looked with favor on his lowly servant

From this day all generations shall call me blessed!

It was Mary who bore the most humble but bold witness to her Son. It was Mary who bore the Word of God in her heart and then conceived the Word in her womb.

Only because of her faith in that Word that came to her, who she nurtured in her Immaculate Heart, was she then able to conceive and bear the Son of God, her Creator and Savior, Jesus.

Mary kept close to her heart the Word made Flesh. She said, “Yes.” She said, “Fiat.” She said, “Let it be done to me.” St. Augustine would later write that

Mary was more blessed for hearing God’s word and keeping custody of it in her heart than because of the flesh she gave to her divine Son. Since this was true, Mary was able to stand by her Son as he died on the cross, stand by Him without staining her Immaculate Heart. She knew it was by virtue of her faith in God’s Word that she had been able to conceive that Word in her womb, and it was by faith in that Word that she was able to give bold witness to her Son when he gave up his life on the Cross.

Mary, who surpasses all of us in her sanctity and her fidelity, remains like us, a member of the Church, and a member of the Body of Christ her Son, a witness to her Son’s death and resurrection.

You too are members of the Body of Christ. You also carry God’s Word in your hearts for you are heralds of that Word.

We are more blessed and find greater dignity in the Word we nourish in our hearts and profess with

DOW-R Seminarians to Be Ordained to Transitional Diaconate

�ith gratitude to God, Bishop Barron will ordain two men to the transitional diaconate this month. Brian Klein and Nicholas Gawarecki have both been recommended for ordination this summer. Please come to the Basilica of St. Stanislaus Kostka on May 27 at 10 a.m. to join this wonderful occasion. Both Brian and Nick will serve in parishes this summer after their ordination and will return to St. Paul Seminary this fall to complete their theology studies. They will be, God-wiling, ordained priests next summer.

In addition to these two preparing for ordination, another seminarian, Josh Miller, will be ordained to the diaconate later in this year and is preparing to be ordained a priest in 2024 with Brian and Nick.

Josh has been recommended for ordination by the seminary, but, because he transferred to our diocese and is still finalizing his discernment of God’s call to be here, he is preparing for a later ordination than this May.

Please join me in praying for these men as they approach holy orders, where they will make their promises of obedience, celibacy, and fidelity to prayer. May they be ready to serve and sacrifice their lives in ministry to God’s people.

Those ordained to the diaconate are called to be sacramentally united to Jesus Christ the Servant. He came “not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Mt. 20:28). The word "deacon" means servant, and this is the call of those who serve as deacons in the Church - to do the works of charity as ordained clerics. They become witnesses to Christ’s ministry of charity in the world and form the body of Christ as models of this sacrificial love for others. Those who are preparing for priestly ordination are ordained first to the diaconate and will always carry this order of configuration to Christ, even once ordained priests.

our lips than in the office we bear. We are first, and most importantly, members of the Body of Christ, from which we must never separate ourselves. We are all called in some way to proclaim the Gospel. We cannot do this unless first we have welcomed the Word in our hearts, treasured it, nurtured it, obeyed it, followed it, and trusted it. Mary would not have become the Mother of God had she not first accepted and kept the Word of God in her Immaculate Heart. We too must hold in the purity of our hearts the Word entrusted to us. Mary could not have endured the passion and death of her Son without cradling in her heart the Word that had come to her. We cannot endure the trials and difficulties of life without knowing and nurturing and loving the Word entrusted to us members of the Church.

Yes, our lives can be modeled after Mary. We too are to give humble yet bold witness to the Gospel. Ours is a vocation of humble service, not arrogant rule. Ours is a vocation of boldly proclaiming the Gospel. There is no place for the timid there. We must proclaim boldly, with conviction and faith arising from a pure conscience.

May God bless us all!

Deacon Robert Yerhot serves the parishes of St. Mary in Caledonia and St. Patrick in Brownsville.

8 May 2023 w The Courier w Permanent Diaconate
Deacon John Hust Director of the Permanent Diaconate Brian Klein Nicholas Gawarecki

Let the Light Shine

Annual Parish Appeal Illuminates Hope for Southern Minnesota's Communities

this year, Catholic Charities of Southern Minnesota is celebrating its 75th anniversary with a call to action: "Let Light Shine," and urging donors to support their vital work, bringing light to the lives of people in need throughout the region.

The Diocese held its first Annual Charities Appeal

on Sunday, September 17, 1950, with collections in every church and institution. In 1972, the appeal moved to May, on Mother's Day Sunday. To honor its 75th anniversary, Catholic Charities is reviving the tradition this year. Many parishioners will find a special insert and donation envelope at Mass on Mother's Day, May 14.

“Our goal is to raise $100,000 this month through this special appeal,” says John Meyers, Catholic Charities of Southern Minnesota Interim Executive Director. “If each of the 140,000 Catholics in the diocese makes a donation, we will more than meet our goal.”

Catholic Charities

The funds raised will directly support the agency’s ongoing efforts to assist the community's most vulnerable members. Your donation will help provide essential services and support to those in need in our community, including emergency shelter, counseling, helping to pay for crucial medications, and much more.

Here are just a few examples of how your donation will help Catholic Charities of Southern Minnesota continue its transformative work in the community:

• The Onward and Upward Program helped Jennifer*, a determined single mother with a vision of becoming a Registered Nurse. She received the support and guidance necessary to achieve her goals. Thanks to the program, Jennifer graduated in December with an Associate's Degree in Nursing and passed her boards, allowing her to get off government support and provide financial stability for her family.

• The Refugee Resettlement Program helped Abdi and Sahra* move their family to the U.S. after 16 years as refugees. The couple fled Somalia in 2006 because their lives were in danger. Catholic Charities caseworkers set them up in an apartment, helped Abdi find a job, got their older children ages 6, 7, and 9-years-old into school, and enrolled Sahra and their 2-year-old into Family Literacy Program to learn English and make connections in the community.

• The Active Aging Program provided free exercise and wellness classes for people 55 and better in 19 southern Minnesota counties. The Stay Active for Life (SAIL) and Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program helps more than 1,000 people every month, empowering older adults to improve their lives through activities they can do at their own levels.

The "Let Light Shine" campaign serves as a reminder of the incredible difference that can be made when people come together to support those in need.

This Mother's Day, we invite every Catholic in the Diocese to heed the call of "Let Light Shine" by contributing to the Annual Parish Appeal. Together, the southern Minnesota community can illuminate the lives of those in need and continue to make a lasting impact for years to come by helping us to shine a light of hope, compassion, and love. May God bless you for your generosity, and may we continue to work together to build a brighter, more just, and more compassionate world.

To learn more about all the Programs Catholic Charities offers, go to, email info@, or call 507-494-8021.

*Names changed

9 May 2023 w The Courier w
Christi Reynard Director of Communications Catholic Charities of Southern Minnesota

Minnesota Catholic Conference Inside the Capitol

MN Bishops Meet with Lawmakers to Advocate for Policies that Put Families First

can be molded and reimagined at ease. Inundating youth with such gender ideology implants in them a confusion, on which some act and mutilate their bodies, causing irreversible damage. The bishops asked Gov. Walz and legislative leaders to re-think their push to make Minnesota a sanctuary state for “gender-affirming care” and to slow down the legislation that is being fast-tracked through the legislature.

The bishops also expressed their opposition to and concerns over the push for legalizing recreational marijuana and sports gambling because of the clear negative impacts these vices will have on those who are vulnerable to addiction, children and families.


�t is no question that the family plays an irreplaceable role as the first economic unit, the first classroom, and the first community that each of us experiences. And parents perform the irreplaceable work of nurturing the next generation of thinkers, artisans, and caregivers. So, as the Minnesota legislature is now crafting the next biennial state budget and deciding what to do with a 17-billion-dollar surplus, Minnesota’s bishops are urging our lawmakers to place families first in their considerations.

Bishops Advocate at the Capitol

On Thursday, March 23, the bishops in Minnesota came together to advocate at the state capitol – a yearly tradition for the Minnesota bishops. While Minnesota Catholic Conference staff are typically deployed to be their voice on legislative issues, the bishops make it a priority to advocate in person on key issues and to get to know legislators.

This year, the bishops all met with Governor Tim Walz and legislative leadership, including Senator Bobby Joe Champion – President of the Senate, Senate Minority Leader Mark Johnson, Representative Liz Olson – Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, and House Minority Leader Lisa Demuth joined by Representative Jim Nash –House Minority Whip.

The bishops also met with Catholic legislators from their individual dioceses, which was a new feature of the day this year. In the spirit of faithful citizenship, it was a rewarding experience for the bishops to get to know or strengthen their relationships with many of the Catholics serving our state at the Capitol. As Pope Francis has said, “politics is the highest form of charity,” so to have Catholic leaders step up in this way is a blessing.

In total, the bishops had nearly 40 meetings and

conversations with legislators throughout the day. They brought to each of these meetings a positive vision of the family.

Focus on Families

Our bishops highlighted the need to support Minnesota families who are struggling to try and keep up with the costs of inflation, and to combat the social difficulties families are encountering through, addiction, gender ideology, and social media. To that end, our bishops boldly advocated for a robust, ongoing Child Tax Credit. This is a top priority for the Minnesota Catholic Conference. This session, there is bipartisan support for the idea of a Child Tax Credit amongst legislators and the Governor. The bishops are asking for the Child Tax Credit proposal to reach more families who are facing financial stressors in today’s economy. That means, amongst other factors, that the income threshold should reach into the middle class, and that there should be no cap on the number of children covered in a family.

In their process of raising children, parents today are bombarded with the often-negative impact that social media is creating. One step towards combating this impact, as the bishops advocated throughout the day, would be to prohibit the use of social media algorithms on children under 18 (H.F. 1503 / S.F. 2101). The bishops shared first-hand stories from their pastoral experiences of helping families navigate the psychological strain that social media is having on the youth in their dioceses. And they also pointed out, that it is often through social media, that seeds of gender theory are planted, fertilized, and start to grow.

By embracing gender ideology, today’s culture aims to blur the line between man and woman by ignoring the union between body and soul, and between our Creator and His creation This ideology leads to viewing humans as plastic, something that

During their meetings, the bishops also gave their support to the Earned Sick and Safe Time proposal which would provide workers the ability to earn one hour of time off for every 30 hours worked. This is vital to family life because illness in one’s life or family is inevitable. Caring for newborns, children, the sick, and the elderly (and being cared for ourselves) is an integral part of family life that must be respected and promoted. Unfortunately, many working people are forced to make impossible financial choices between caring for themselves or a loved one and missing a paycheck or even getting fired. This program is one more way we can put families first in Minnesota.

Also, in line with keeping families together, lawmakers provided positive feedback to the bishops for their strong support over the years for providing an immigrant driver’s license. With access to a driver’s license not only can our immigrant brothers and sisters now access vehicle insurance, but it also most importantly helps ensure families will not be separated through deportation due to driving without a license.

Modeling Faithful Citizenship

During all of their meetings, the bishops modeled faithful citizenship. Even in areas of disagreement, the bishops stood for the truth that the Church teaches, while recognizing that these are difficult issues on which there are an array of considerations. They showcased the principled, not partisan, advocacy that the Church can provide, which allows for collaborative work on both sides of the aisle.

You can also live out the call to faithful citizenship by taking action on these important issues that will impact families across Minnesota. Visit the to easily send a message, video, or phone call to your legislators urging their support for policies that put families first.

For more ways to advocate for policies that put families first, check out the Families First Project at where you can find draft legislation to propose to your legislators and lots of information and resources for a variety of policy proposals.

May 2023 w The Courier w 10 Inside the Capitol
The Minnesota Catholic Conference is the public policy voice of the Catholic Church in Minnesota. The bishops of the six Minnesota dioceses visited the State Capitol in St. Paul on March 23. Pictured left to right are: Bishop Chad Zielinski of New Ulm, Archbishop Bernard Hebda of Saint Paul & Minneapolis, Bishop Robert Barron of Winona-Rochester, Bishop Andrew Cozzens of Crookston, Bishop Patrick Neary of St. Cloud, and Bishop Daniel Felton of Duluth.

�ay is the month of Our Blessed Virgin Mary. Our Lady has long been associated with the beauty of flowers and the coming of spring. This is fitting because she is both beautiful and the Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the life of the world. In May, the Church remembers our glorious lady with crownings and processions in her honor. Remember to give your time, prayers, efforts, and gifts to your earthly mother also. Without her you would not be here. Thank her!

Take part in the Eucharist Congress on June 10 in Mankato. You will have a great encounter with Jesus Christ which you will be able to share with family and friends.

Capitol Thursday is an outreach initiative

Award, cont'd from pg. 1

“So I’m thinking ‘They got the wrong person,’” Callahan said, smiling.

In fact, the group reached exactly the right person, and member Lola Velazquez-Aguilu had nominated Callahan for the award after hearing him speak in October, because she “was so moved by all he has done for the Latino community in Minnesota.”

Callahan received his award at a gathering of about 800 people at the Hilton in downtown Minneapolis - “a whole ballroom full of lawyers and judges,” he said - and took the opportunity to make contacts with the people there, to help facilitate his work and the work of the OLGFC, Worthington’s free clinic for people who are uninsured.

Though it was born in the basement of St. Mary’s

designed to engage Catholics, improve your understanding of the Minnesota Catholic Conference’s (MCC) public policy initiatives, and help build relationships with your state legislators. Dates are April 13, April 27, and May 11 at 10:00 AM. You will need to RSVP by noon the Wednesday before your desired Thursday, so they can set up meetings with your legislators and personalize your visit. Go to for information.

May is a busy month with the Ascension of Our Lord on May 21 and Pentecost on May 28, which is the birth of our One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Do not forget Memorial Day on May 29. Make visits to cemeteries where loved ones are buried and say a prayer for them. We are the only ones who can do anything for the souls in purgatory.

Most graduations will take place in May and then the hustle and bustle of summer begins. We plant gardens that produce fruit to nourish

our bodies and then there is the nourish ment that we need for our souls. By attend ing Mass on Sundays, Holidays and even throughout the week and receiving Holy Communion are great ways to do this along with saying a daily rosary, which Satan really hates.

May Is for Mary 11

Have a happy and blessed Mother’s Day!

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

Church in 2011 as the Our Lady of Guadalupe Free Clinic, it has grown to serve the needs of the community, with a move to 616 11th Street in 2022.

And it all started with asking what people needed.

As it turned out, what they needed was health care, as quite a few were uninsured or underinsured and couldn’t afford to see a primary care physician, so they ended up getting most of their medical care at the emergency department. That meant people often allowed their chronic health issues to slide, skipping medication refills in favor of putting food on the table for their family, paying rent or caring for their children.

Callahan called a friend, Dr. David Plevak, and asked him to come to Worthington to see a few patients. Plevak agreed, saw about 30 people and, because he’d prescribed medication to some of them, said he’d have to return.

“We said ‘Let’s start a medical clinic here for those who are uninsured or underinsured,’” Callahan recalled.

It was easier said than done, but it did get done, as Plevak and Callahan began recruiting people to help and volunteer on behalf of the clinic, not just medical personnel but also people who could provide food and housing for those medical professionals, plus translators and people to help guide others through the health care system.

The clinic started with 30 patients on one weekend, and now there are more than 2,000 who use the clinic, which is open Monday through Friday and, in emergencies, on weekends as well, Callahan

Mascot, cont'd from pg. 7

Mississippi, hiking in the bluffs or visits to the apple orchard are supplemented with in-house fun like movie nights, ping pong tournaments and holiday celebrations. Students are able to do all of this while living in a safe environment and attending a top notch Catholic high school. Religion class is a pillar of the standard curriculum, community service is built into graduation requirements, prayer is part of daily life and opportunities for Reconciliation, Eucharistic Adoration and Holy Mass, as a community, abound. Students who would not otherwise have a chance to experience and attend a Catholic high school can do so on Cotter’s campus.

The need for such an opportunity is not surprising. “The National Catholic Education Association recently reported a 4% increase in Catholic school enrollment for the 2021-2022 school year, the first jump in 20 years, and the largest ever record-

ed” ( The local or regional numbers support those national figures. In fact, “private schools across the state now enroll just under 70,000 students – that's the most since the 20122013 school year, when private school enrollment was about 71,000, according to state figures” ( Clearly there is a deep desire among this diocese’s residents to make Catholic education available to students, and when location or proximity becomes a barrier, Cotter’s Domestic Residential Boarding program can be an answer.

What started as a rambling priest in Winona became a Rambler mascot at Cotter and now that spirit continues to further the mission of the Catholic church in the form of a brand new residence hall with open doors.

Families who wish to learn more about Cotter’s boarding program can read more at or contact Tammy Hoeger at

said. It was a true community effort, with people from many diverse communities in Worthington joining together to make the clinic happen. In the process, those involved broke down their preconceptions about those other groups, building a community together.

In the Diocese

“I’ve seen a change to people in their attitudes and their dealings with people in other cultures,” Callahan said. “One of the greatest assets is its diversity.”

Sanford Health Cooperative contributes nurses, and the clinic’s building on 11th Street is owned by Sanford, too. Funding comes from donations and grants, and people don’t need to be church members in order to get help at OLGFC.

“I never did a clinic before. Never. That was the power of God,” Callahan said. “It’s really a mandate Christ gives. He says you have to basically stand up for the poor, those who are oppressed, those who are marginalized.”

The clinic is always seeking volunteers and donations. For more information on volunteering, donating, or scheduling an appointment, visit olgfc. org.

OLGFC is hosting an open house for the public to celebrate the opening of its new location from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at 616 11th St., Worthington. Light refreshments from Whip and Mix will be available, as well as clinic tours, and OLGFC board members will be present as well.

Kari Lucin is a community editor with the Globe of Worthington.

Tammy Hoeger works in admissions and residential enrollment for Cotter Schools in Winona.
May 2023 w The Courier w
Fr. Callahan with OLGFC Free Clinic Administrator Mariana Gutierrez. Photo by Kathy Lesnar. Cotter's new residence hall


Sister Joan Bartosh, SSND, 78, died March 27, 2023, at Benedictine Living CommunityWindermere in Shakopee. Funeral services were held April 4 at Windermere Chapel, Shakopee, with Father Joe Fogal as presider.

Sister Joan was born in Heron Lake in 1944. She was baptized at Sacred Heart Church in Heron Lake and attended Sacred Heart School for grades 1-8. She entered the School Sisters of Notre Dame in September 1963 and professed first vows in July 1965. Her service in the Diocese of Winona-Rochester consisted of teaching assignments at St. Mary, Worthington (1974-76), and St. Mary, Madelia (1983-86); parish ministry at Sacred Heart, Waseca (1999-2000); service as a chaplain in the Mayo Clinic Health System in Rochester (2001-2014); and finally volunteering in the Mayo Clinic Hospice program (2015-22).

Sister Joan is survived by her sisters Lorraine (Clem) McCoy and Carol (Tom) Henkel and a brother Dale (Marietta); and her sisters in community, the School Sisters of Notre Dame and SSND Associates. She was preceded in death by her parents, Raymond and Margaret (Haberman) Bartosh. A longer obituary and a recording of her funeral will be available at

Father Thomas Jennings, 78, died peacefully on March 29, 2023, at his home surrounded by his family. He was born on August 12, 1944, in Caledonia to Lloyd and Wilma (Ernster) Jennings. He was baptized and confirmed at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Caledonia. Father Tom graduated

The Televised Mass

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Digital Channel 12.2 or Charter Channel 19 NEYC at 9:30 a.m.

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Twin Cities - WFTC Digital Channel 29 or Channel 9.2 at 11:30 a.m.

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Winona/La Crosse/Eau Claire - WLAX/ WEUX Channel 25/48 at 7:30 a.m. and on our website,

(click "Weekly Mass")

from Loretto High School and studied philosophy at Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona. He completed his theology degree at the North American College and the Gregorian University in Rome, Italy. On December 19, 1969, Father Tom Jennings was ordained to the priesthood in Rome at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.

Father Tom’s assignments as parochial vicar were at St. John in Rochester and the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona. As a pastor, he served at St. John in Winona, Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Easton, Mater Dolorosa in Delavan, Queen of Angels in Austin, Our Lady of Loretto in Brownsdale, Sacred Heart in Owatonna, St. Catherine in Luverne, and St. Mary in Ellsworth. Additional assignments include instructor for Lourdes High School in Rochester and Cotter High School in Winona; diocesan director of education of priests; principal and administrator for Cotter High School in Winona; chaplain of Cabrini Home, Knights of Columbus MN State Council, and the Owatonna area Catholic Daughters; member of the Presbyteral Council, Clergy Assignments Committee, and College of Consultors; dean of the Austin/Albert Lea Deanery; faculty of Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona; and rural life co-director for the diocese. On October 8, 2018, Father Tom joined the rank of the senior priest of the diocese.

Father Tom was always a farm boy at heart. He enjoyed all of God’s creations to the fullest. He was frequently seen taking pictures of all kinds. He loved hiking, gardening, photography, reading, and drives in the countryside. He loved holidays and getting together with his family, friends, and his “bible buddies”. He was an active member of the Caledonia Lions Club. Father Tom had a passion for life. His presence will be dearly missed by all.

He will be dearly missed by two brothers: David (Kathy) Jennings and Jim (Pat) Jennings; nieces and nephews: Mike (Lisa) Jennings, Barb (Darren) Smith, Shannon Jennings, Mark (Sandy) Jennings, Stephanie (Curt) Mann, Joe (Ali) Jennings, Stacie (Phillip) Klug, Renee (Eric) Goetzinger, Rachel (Andy) Reining, Nick (Samantha) Jennings; great nieces and nephews: Brittney (Nathan), Kyle (Sierra), Haley, Tyler, Colby, Jenna, Noah, Lydia, Owen, Ella, Emersyn, August, Hunter, Lauren, Leo, Celia, Violet, Kendall, Aria, Grant; and great-great nephew Maverick. Father Tom was preceded in death by his parents, nephews Daniel Jennings and Rick Jennings, and great nephew Brandon Jennings.

The family would like to thank Father Matt Wagner, Sister Michaeline, and the staff at Mayo Clinic Health System for all their great care and support.

Mass of Christian Burial was April 4, at the Church of St. Mary in Caledonia, with the Most Rev. Robert Barron celebrating and the priests of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester concelebrating.

Memorials are preferred to St. Mary’s School in Caledonia. Condolences in memory of Father Thomas Jennings may be sent to 707 North Hokah Street, Caledonia, MN.

Sister Mary Kathryn Esch (Sister Leonius), 96, a Franciscan Sister of the Congregation of Our Lady of Lourdes, Rochester, died at Assisi Heights, Thursday, April 6, 2023.

Sister Mary Kathryn Esch was born Mary Kathryn Esch on April 27, 1926, in Caledonia, to Leo and Johanna (Hoscheit) Esch. She entered the Sisters of St. Francis in 1945, received the name of Sister Leonius, and made perpetual vows in 1950. She received a Bachelor of Arts in history from St. Teresa, Winona, in 1964, and a master's degree in elementary education and administration from Mankato State University, Mankato, in 1970.

The Ne� L��e Group �as busy this Lent at Holy Trinity in Rollingstone. We started off with a Mardi Gras party and had a potluck, children’s games, and a band, which provided entertainment for all. Every Wednesday during Lent we started the evening off with a soup supper and then showed a video from The Chosen series one, which has helped us more fully understand the life of Jesus. Palm Sunday was a procession of palms into church, with a children’s Mass, and everyone wrote down their version of sharing their heart over Lent. The spirit was very alive on Easter Sunday, with a glorious day full of beautiful music, and happy hearts.

Sister Mary Kathryn served as an elementary teacher and principal for 17 years, from 1947-64, at St. Peter School in North St. Paul and St. John School in Rochester, before providing her services to junior high students from 1964-71, at St. Raphael School in Springfield and St. Francis School in Rochester. She also served as the principal of Sacred Heart School in Waseca from 1971-77. From 1977-81, Sister Mary Kathryn served as the religious education coordinator for the parishes of Queen of Angels and St. Augustine in Austin. She transitioned to Assisi Heights in 1981 and served as the administrative secretary for the Assisi Heights director until 1995, taking a sabbatical from 1996-97. Upon her return, she served as the Assisi Heights bookstore manager until her retirement in 2008.

Survivors of Sister Mary Kathryn Esch include her Franciscan Sisters, with whom she shared life for 78 years; her sister, Erma Burroughs; and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Luman Esch.

A private Resurrection Liturgy was held April 13, 2023, followed by burial at Calvary Cemetery. To view the funeral, go to

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

• The Courier May 2023
Photo and caption submitted by CHRIS KLEIN, a Holy Trinity parishioner.
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