Christ the King November 22
Official Newspaper of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Winona-Rochester, MN | dowr.org
Diocesan Fall Ministry Day Held Online By SUSAN WINDLEY-DAOUST
�ore than 100 priests, religious, and laypeople
from across the Diocese of Winona-Rochester gathered on Zoom October 15 to pray, listen, and discuss how to move forward on mission in the midst of serious challenges. The online Fall Ministry Day (“New Wine into New Wineskins: The How of Missionary Discipleship in our New Reality”) was led by Rich Curran, the founder and executive director of Parish Success Group, and coordinated by pastoral center directors and support staff Todd Graff, Camille Withrow, and Susan Windley-Daoust. Curran presented talks full of hope but also hard truths. We could wring our hands about the trials of our time, but Curran said we “should be thankful to be part of the renewal God is bringing forth.” The power of renewal does not come from our cleverness, he said, quoting 2 Corinthians 4:7-10; “But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies.” However, a time of challenge is a time to recognize and adjust how we are cooperating with God’s plan of renewal. One correction many par-
ishes typically need to make is to dare to think big, to think in Great Commission terms rather than in maintaining comfort terms, because “you can never outdream God.” Curran encouraged everyone to take the time—or make the time—to seriously reconnect with God. “What could possibly be more important?” he argued. After that, spend some time together in fun. It is hard to be in crisis mode for months. Play a game, enjoy each other, laugh together. Laughter is healing, even when there is work to be done. Secondly, he emphasized that we need to recognize that if parishioners are spiritually struggling in the pandemic/election/economic downturn/social unrest/family brokenness of 2020, it is because as a people of God, we have not equipped them to carry on faith in the face of darkness. That can be changed, and must be changed. This is what it means to live in mission: when maintenance of the familiar stumbles, does the mission of offering Jesus Christ and living in him still thrive? Curran encouraged parishes to think through the “Five Behaviors of Mission Minded Parishes”: 1. Believe it before seeing it (discern and name the vision of what it means to be Christ’s Church) 2. Regularly measure the advancement of the mission of the parish (check in quarterly to see what is working, and how to improve) 3. Prioritize “going out” over “staying in” (if people aren’t in the parishes, train people to out go to where the people are)
4. Accountability must mean something (challenge each other to excellence)
5. Focus on spiritual transformation and authenticity (put Jesus Christ first in all things)
Curran argued these behaviors can be fostered, and current behaviors can be changed. Even better, you can start today. But these are big picture behaviors to inculcate in any town and community. The other question most people have is: What will the next 90 days, including Thanksgiving, Advent, and Christmas, look like? Curran suggested that spending time on that immediate question is incredibly important, and he had suggestions on how to consider the next 90 days: for example, look at how the parish is spreading hope in hard times. Who is bringing hope? How? Are we open to the many people looking for spiritual help and nourishment right now? Are they welcomed into our community? Do we reach out to
Ministry Day, cont'd on pg. 5
INSIDE this issue
'Look to the Example of the Good Samaritan' page 4
Our Journey to Adoption page 6
Beatification of Carlo Acutis... page 10
Vatican Secretariat of State Provides Context of Pope's Civil Union Remark
The Courier Insider
VATICAN, Nov 1, 2020 (CNA) - The Vatican’s Secretary of State has asked papal representatives to share with bishops some clarifications regarding comments on civil unions made by Pope Francis in a recently released documentary, according to the apostolic nuncio to Mexico. The clarifications explain that the pope’s comments do not pertain to Catholic doctrine regarding the nature of marriage as a union between one man and one woman, but to provisions of civil law. “Some statements, contained in the documentary ‘Francisco’ by screenwriter Evgeny Afineevsky, have provoked, in recent days, various reactions and interpretations. Therefore, some helpful points are offered, with the desire to present an adequate understanding of the Holy Father's words,” Archbishop Franco Coppolo, apostolic nuncio, posted on Facebook Oct. 30. The nuncio told ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanishlanguage news partner, that the content of his post was provided by the Vatican Secretariat of State to apostolic nunciatures, in order to be shared with bishops. The post explained that in a 2019 inter-
Prayer to the Triune God from Fratelli Tutti
O God, Trinity of love, from the profound communion of your divine life, pour out upon us a torrent of fraternal love. Grant us the love reflected in the actions of Jesus, in his family of Nazareth, and in the early Christian community. Grant that we Christians may live the Gospel, discovering Christ in each human being, recognizing him crucified in the sufferings of the abandoned and forgotten of our world, and risen in each brother or sister who makes a new start. Come, Holy Spirit, show us your beauty, reflected in all the peoples of the earth, so that we may discover anew that all are important and all are necessary, different faces of the one humanity that God so loves. Amen.
view, unpublished parts of which were aired in the recent documentary, the pope commented at different times on two distinct issues: that children should not be ostracized from their families because of their sexual orientation, and on civil unions, amid discussion of a 2010 samesex marriage bill in the Argentine legislature, which Pope Francis, who was then Archbishop of Buenos Aires, opposed. The interview question that prompted remark on civil unions was “inherent in a local law from ten years ago in Argentina on ‘equal marriages of same-sex couples’ and the opposition of the then Archbishop of Buenos Aires in this regard. In this regard, Pope Francis has affirmed that ‘it is an incongruity to speak of homosexual marriage,’ adding that, in the same context, he had spoken of the right of these people to have certain legal coverage: ‘what we have to do is a law of civil union; they have the right to be covered legally. I defended that,’” Coppolo posted on Facebook. “The Holy Father had expressed himself thus during an interview in 2014: ‘Marriage is between a man and a woman. The secular States want to justify civil unions to regulate various situations of coexistence, moved by the demand to regulate economic aspects between people, such as ensuring health care. These are coexistence pacts of a different nature, of which I would not be able to give a list of the different forms. It is necessary to see the various cases and evaluate them in their variety,” the post added. “Therefore it is evident that Pope Francis has referred to certain state provisions, certainly not to the doctrine of the Church, reaffirmed numerous times over the years,” the statement said. The Secretariat of State’s statement is consistent with recent public statements from two Argentine bishops: Archbishop Hector Aguer and Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez, the emeritus and current archbishops of La Plata, Argentina, and with additional reporting on the context of the pope's remarks. On Oct. 21, Fernandez posted on Facebook that before he became pope, then-Cardinal Bergoglio “always recognized that, without calling it ‘marriage,’ in fact there are very close unions between people of the same sex, which do not in themselves imply sexual relations, but a very intense and stable alliance.” “They know each other thoroughly, they share the same roof for many years, they take care of each other, they sacrifice for each other. Then it may happen that they prefer that in an extreme case or illness they do not consult their relatives, but that person who knows their
Civil Union, cont'd on pg. 12
The Courier is the official publication of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester 55 West Sanborn, P.O. Box 588, Winona, MN 55987 Vol 111 - 11
Most Reverend John M. Quinn, Publisher Matt Willkom, Editor Nick Reller, Associate Editor Telephone: 507-858-1257 Fax:507-454-8106 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Publishing Schedule: Monthly - Deadline for advertising & articles is the 10th of the month prior. (ISSN 0744-5490) November 2020 w The Courier w dowr.org
Articles of Interest
'Look to the Example of the Good Samaritan'__4 ...'Reputation for Unbelievable Compassion'__5 Our Journey to Adoption___________________6 ...Senior Members of Our Parishes_________8 God Is My Source of Stability________________9 ...New Directory____________________________9 Beatification of Carlo Acutis..._______________10 Catholic Schools Updates_________________11 Diocesan Headlines______________________12
The Holy Father's Intention for
November 2020 Artificial Intelligence
We pray that the progress of robotics and artificial intelligence may always serve humankind. Officials The Most Rev. John M. Quinn, Bishop of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, announces the following appointments: Pastor Very Rev. Glenn Frerichs: appointed Pastor of St. Felix Parish in Wabasha and St. Agnes Parish in Kellogg, effective September 26, 2020. Knights of Columbus Rev. Shawn Haremza: appointed Chaplain of the Rochester Knights of Columbus Fourth Degree Assembly, effective September 17, 2020. Serra Club Rev. James Starasinich: appointed Chaplain for the Serra Club of Owatonna, effective September 14, 2020. Presbyteral Council Rev. Timothy Reker: appointed to a three-year term as a member of the Presbyteral Council of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, effective September 15, 2020.
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 507454-2270, 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 email@example.com.
Social Concerns Rev. Gregory Leif: appointed to a three-year term on the Diocese of Winona-Rochester Social Concerns Committee, effective October 1, 2020. Mr. Ryan Friesen: appointed to a three-year term on the Diocese of Winona-Rochester Social Concerns Committee, effective October 1, 2020. Where to Find the Courier
Note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, hard copies of the Courier are currently not available in our churches. •
Hard copies of the Courier are available in the churches of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester at the first weekend Masses of each month.
An online version may be viewed at www.dowr.org/offices/ courier/index.html
To be added to the home delivery list, readers should send their names and addresses to:
Diocese of Winona-Rochester The Courier 55 W Sanborn St. Winona, MN 55987 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Say Yes to God's Call ear Friends in Christ,
National Vocation Awareness Week
National Vocation Awareness Week (this year November 1-7) is an opportunity to highlight the various religious vocations in the Church, and encourage young men and women to discern the Lord’s call in their lives. Those considering the priesthood or consecrated life have encountered discouraging comments by family or friends. There is great joy found in radically giving one’s life to the Lord for He is the only one who can fulfill the longing of the human heart. As St. Augustine famously wrote, “Our hearts are restless until they rest in You.” The Lord calls all of us to a particular state in life, through which we can live out our universal call to holiness. Don’t be afraid to encourage young men and women to consider the priesthood or consecrated life, and suggest they contact our diocesan vocation
Rejoice in Hope Bishop John M. Quinn Bishop's Calendar
On October 4, the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, Pope Francis released his third encyclical. Titled Fratelli Tutti, Italian for “All Brothers,” it contains the pope’s vision for fraternity and social friendship, where all men and women live together as brothers and sisters. Fratelli Tutti is one of the Church’s “social encyclicals,” which address how Catholic social doctrine, with its four pillars of the dignity of the human person, the common good, subsidiarity, and solidarity, can be applied in our current era. In the encyclical’s first chapter, our Holy Father identifies the many “dark clouds” that pervade our world, which “hinder the development of universal fraternity” (9). Here Pope Francis highlights a throwaway culture that includes abortion and euthanasia; isolation of the elderly; war; individualism; migration; and nationalism. In the second chapter of Fratelli Tutti, Pope Francis presents a meditation on the parable of the Good Samaritan. He invites us to examine our own hearts, and identify the places and ways in which we, like the priest and Levite, are tempted to look away and ignore our brothers and sisters in need. He points out that Jesus, “asks us not to decide who is close enough to be our neighbor, but rather that we ourselves become neighbors to all” (80). The remainder, and majority, of Fratelli Tutti provides a roadmap for creating a culture of social friendship, where society is oriented toward the good of all people and
November 1, Sunday 2 p.m. - Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem Mass & Investiture - Co-Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Rochester November 3, Tuesday 1:30 p.m. - IHM Seminary Finance Council Meeting - Winona
November 4, Wednesday 12 p.m. - Mass for Deceased Clergy Livestreamed from the Co-Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist November 5, Thursday 9:30 a.m. - Holy Hour & College of Consultors Meeting 3 p.m. - Catholic Higher Education Committee Conference Call 4 p.m. - Bi-weekly Zoom meeting with MN Bishops and Jason Adkins, MCC November 6, Friday 8 a.m. - Teach at St. Mary’s University 11 a.m. - COVID-19 Diocesan Task Force Meeting 2 p.m. - Record the Christmas Day TV Mass Basilica of St. Stanislaus Kostka, Winona
everyone is given the resources necessary to flourish and live a life in keeping with their human dignity. Not surprisingly, this requires a revisioning of present political and economic systems, where no one is forgotten or excluded. While Pope Francis’ vision may be easily dismissed as overly idealistic, he goes on to examine what this vision of fraternity, or culture of encounter, would entail, and often draws on his previous writings and statements in the process. He reiterates the necessity of acknowledging a transcendent truth, for otherwise, with moral relativism, “the force of power takes over,” where each person seeks, “to impose his own interests or his own opinion, with no regard for the rights of others” (273). In closing, Pope Francis reiterates his “appeal for peace, justice, and fraternity” (285), and includes a prayer to the Triune God, that all Christians may be united in a more fervent love of neighbor. May we take our Holy Father’s words to heart and allow the Holy Spirit to transform us into agents of Christian charity, bringing His peace and justice to all those we meet and to the whole world.
is better to die rather than suffer; and an individualism that fears being a burden to others. Because of this, there is much confusion between right and wrong. In response, Samaritanus Bonus lays out the teaching of the Church as it relates to the many end-of-life issues currently facing us today. In doing so, it reaffirms: •
November 7, Saturday 3 p.m. - Confirmation at St. John the Baptist, Mankato
November 8, Sunday 10 a.m. - Confirmation at St. Casimir, Wells; with Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Easton; St. Teresa, Mapleton; St. John the Baptist, Minnesota Lake; St. Matthew, Vernon Center; and St. Joseph, Good Thunder November 9, Monday 3 p.m. - Sacred Heart Major Seminary Board of Trustees Virtual Meeting November 10, Tuesday 11 a.m. - Clergy Personnel Committee Meeting, Winona 6 p.m. - Evening Prayer & Dinner with DOW-R Seminarians November 11, Wednesday 6:30 a.m. - Lauds & Mass at IHM Seminary 1 p.m. - Catholic Higher Education Committee Conference Call 7 p.m. - Confirmation at Sacred Heart, Owatonna November 12, Thursday 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. - Day of Reflection with School Principals & Administrators - Pax Christi, Rochester 10:31 a.m. - Guest on Real Presence Radio
the necessity of providing basic, ordinary care of nutrition and hydration, while also allowing for the ending of extraordinary, or aggressive treatments when death is immanent.
• the importance of palliative care, which seeks to alleviate pain without any intention to hasten or initiate death; palliative care also includes spiritual care for both the sick person and his / her family. •
Samaritanus Bonus (“Good Samaritan”), a letter written by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and approved by the Holy Father, was also recently released by the Holy See. Addressing end-of-life issues, the document contains no new teaching, but simply re-presents what the Church believes in regards to this increasingly complex topic. Like Pope Francis’ encyclical, it presents the Good Samaritan as an example of how we are called to see each person with compassion and affirm their inviolable dignity. In our society, there are currently several obstacles that hinder people from recognizing the value of human life, including the idea that “quality of life” is measured by one’s independence and physical or mental capabilities; the false notion of “compassion,” thinking it
that euthanasia and assisted suicide, and directly facilitating either of these acts, is always wrong, as they involve the direct taking of innocent human life.
the right of children – both born and unborn – to the same care as adults, which includes accompaniment and support to children and families; the document highlights the importance of providing the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation to a terminally ill child, and warns against the “sometimes obsessive recourse” to prenatal diagnosis, which often results in the pressure to abort babies with disabilities or a condition with which the child is not expected to live long after birth. the dignity of those who are minimally conscience or in a “vegetative state,” and their right to basic care of food and water.
• the importance of “conscientious objection” for medical workers who refuse to participate in immoral actions such as euthanasia and abortion; this is an especially pressing need in countries such as ours where
November 13, Friday 8 a.m. - Teach at St. Mary’s University 11 a.m. - COVID-19 Diocesan Task Force Meeting 5:30 p.m. - Holy Hour & Dinner with Religious Sisters of Mercy, Winona IHM Convent
November 15, Sunday 9:30 a.m. - Mass & Installation of Pastor Fr. Glenn Frerichs - St. Felix, Wabasha 2-5 p.m. - USCCB Committee on Catholic Education - Virtual Meeting November 16, Monday 12-4 p.m. - USCCB General Assembly - Virtual Meeting November 17, Tuesday 12-4 p.m. - USCCB General Assembly - Virtual Meeting November 18, Wednesday 2-4 p.m. - USCCB Catholic Higher Education Working Group - Virtual Meeting November 19, Thursday 4 p.m. - Bi-weekly Zoom meeting with MN Bishops & Jason Adkins, MCC 7 p.m. - DOW-R Ministerial Standards Board Virtual Meeting
these practices are allowed by civil law.
As Catholics, it is important for us to be aware of the many issues we or our loved ones may be faced with at the end of life, and how we can respond so as to respect the dignity of every human person. In His Death and Resurrection, Christ transformed the meaning of suffering. However, we should not have to suffer alone, but accompany and be accompanied by others with the charity of the Good Samaritan, showing the sick through our words and actions that they are loved and precious in God’s eyes, up until the very moment God chooses to call them home.
From the Bishop
director, Fr. Jason Kern, if they are discerning a religious vocation. Fr. Kern can direct them to different resources to assist with their discernment, including local discernment groups, “Come and See” retreats, and spiritual direction. Throughout history the Lord has called people to radically follow Him as priests, deacons, and consecrated men and women. Let us do our part to encourage and pray for those being called, that they may hear and say yes to that call. Blessed are you!
National Council of Catholic Women
I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the women of the National Council of Catholic Women (NCCW), on their 100th anniversary. Throughout this past century, the women in the NCCW have promoted education and formation for Catholic women, worked for the defense of life and the sanctity of marriage, and have been tireless in carrying out countless works of charity in their parishes and communities. I want to thank the NCCW for all their faithful service to the Church in the Diocese of Winona-Rochester and wish them every blessing in the years to come. Blessed are you! Sincerely in Christ,
Most Rev. John M. Quinn Bishop of Winona-Rochester
November 20, Friday 8 a.m. - Teach at St. Mary’s University
November 22, Sunday (Christ the King) 10:30 a.m. - Livestream Mass from the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Winona 2 p.m. - Confirmation at St. Bernard, Stewartville November 24, 2020 2-4 p.m. - Virtual Meeting with DOW-R Presbyterate December 1, Tuesday 11 a.m. - Presbyteral Council Meeting - Pax Christi, Rochester December 2, Wednesday 9 a.m. - MCC Study Day - St. Paul December 3, Thursday 1 p.m. - Holy Hour & Bishop’s Cabinet Meeting December 5, Saturday 5:15 p.m. - Mass & Installation of Pastor Fr. John Sauer - Pax Christi, Rochester December 6, Sunday 10 a.m. - Confirmation at St. Mary of the Lake, Lake City, with St. Patrick, West Albany November 2020 w The Courier w dowr.org
Lay Formation & RCIA
'Look to the Example of the
“But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight…. Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?" [The lawyer] answered, "The one who treated him with mercy." Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise.” -Luke 10:33, 36-37
�reetings of Peace, Friends in Christ!
Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, issued an encyclical letter, Fratelli Tutti (“On Fraternity and Social Friendship”), on the feast day of his papal namesake, Saint Francis of Assisi (October 4th). He describes the purpose of the letter in the following words:
I offer this social Encyclical as a modest contribution to continued reflection, in the hope that in the face of present-day attempts to eliminate or ignore others, we may prove capable of responding with a new vision of fraternity and social friendship that will not remain at the level of words. Although I have written it from the Christian convictions that inspire and sustain me, I have sought to make this reflection an invitation to dialogue among all people of good will (#6).
As encyclicals often are, it is a long document. I will not be attempting to summarize it here, and would invite you to take some time in the coming days to read through it and ponder its message. [The full text of the encyclical can be found at the Vatican web site, www.vatican.va/. You can find an overview and summary of the encyclical at the web site of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, www. usccb.org.] A Stranger on the Road
What I wish to do in this month’s and next month’s columns is to focus on Chapter 2 of the encyclical, “A Stranger on the Road.” This is an extended reflection on the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), and offers us a beautiful depiction of our Christian understanding of “fraternity and social friendship.” I believe that its message of mercy and of care for “the stranger on the road” is much needed in our Church, and in our American society. Pope Francis begins this chapter by reminding us of the teaching of the Second Vatican Council that “the joys and hopes, the grief and anguish of the people of our time, especially of those who are poor or afflicted, are the joys and hopes, the grief and anguish of the followers of Christ as well. Nothing that is genuinely human fails to find an echo in their hearts” (Gaudium et Spes, #53).
November 2020 w The Courier w dowr.org
And, with this context in Church teaching, he provides the text of the parable, describing it as “one that any of us can relate to and find challenging” (#56). He then gives the parable further context by citing passages from the Old and New Testaments, rabbinic teaching, and a quote of Saint Irenaeus. He concludes this section with a beautiful reflection on the significance of the parable: [L]ove does not care if a brother or sister in need comes from one place or another. For “love shatters the chains that keep us isolated and separate; in their place, it builds bridges. Love enables us to create one great human family, where all of us can feel at home… Love exudes compassion and dignity” (#62). The Characters of the Story
Pope Francis then moves on to reflect more directly on the parable and the characters in the story, connecting them to our own lives and our current social situation. He asks each of us a challenging question: “Which of these persons [in the parable] do you identify with? Which of these characters do you resemble?” (#64) The Robbers. The parable begins after a robbery has taken place, and a man is left stripped, beaten, and half dead. Pope Francis uses this evil act to reflect further on the thieves and their crimes assaulting the innocent in our own time, and asserts that, “we know them well. We have seen, descending on our world, the dark shadows of neglect and violence in the service of petty interests of power, gain and division.” “Robbers” find “secret allies” in those who “pass by and look the other way.” There is something of a mutual support between those who “manipulate and cheat society” and those who “live off of that system and its benefits.” Rather than accepting the inevitability of such systems of oppression, which “feeds into disillusionment and despair,” we must engage “a spirit of solidarity and generosity” to combat and change them. The Injured Man. Like the man robbed, beaten, and left to die along the roadside, we may at times share his experience of being badly hurt, neglected, and left alone in our suffering. On a global scale, there are far too many of our sisters and brothers in the world who are marginalized and “feel helpless” without resources and community support, neglected by social institutions which “simply serve the interests of a few” (#76). Their cries must “find an echo in [our] hearts.” The Passers-by. Perhaps, many of us must look to the minor characters in the story, and admit that we are too often like the priest and the Levite: “We have become accustomed to looking the other way, passing by, ignoring the situations until they affect us directly.” And, despite the passing
Director of Lay Formation & RCIA email@example.com
of two thousand years in Christian history since Jesus related this story, “we are still ‘illiterate’ when it comes to accompanying, caring for and supporting the most frail and vulnerable” of our sisters and brothers (#64). To which I must respond, ‘Guilty, as charged.’ And, to pray, 'Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.'” The “passers-by”, represented by the priest and the Levite, are, today, “a sad reflection of the growing gulf between ourselves and the world around us.” We can hide behind various ways “to pass by at a safe distance: we can retreat inwards, ignore others, or be indifferent to their plight. Or simply look elsewhere” (#73). Our Holy Father also challenges us not to overlook the detail that those who passed by were “religious, devoted to the worship of God.” He states clearly, “[B]elief in God and the worship of God are not enough… The guarantee of an authentic openness to God … is a way of practicing the faith that helps open our hearts to our brothers and sisters” (#74). The Samaritan. Finally, the pope reminds us that in the parable, “Only one person stopped, approached the man and cared for him personally, even spending his own money to provide for his needs.” But, this Samaritan first had to give him something even more demanding. “He also gave him something that in our frenetic world we cling to tightly; he gave him his time…. Without even knowing the injured man, he saw him as deserving of his time and attention (#63). In the face of “so much pain and suffering,” both in our world and in our daily lives, Pope Francis teaches us that, “our only course is to imitate the Good Samaritan.” To follow his path, and to allow our hearts to be touched with compassion for “the stranger on the road," is “the basic decision we need to make in order to rebuild our wounded world…. The parable shows us how a community can be rebuilt by men and women who identify with the vulnerability of others, who reject the creation of a society of exclusion, and act instead as neighbors, lifting up and rehabilitating the fallen for the sake of the common good” (#67). Deo Gratias! The parable … speaks to us of an essential and often forgotten aspect of our common humanity: we were created for a fulfillment that can only be found in love. We cannot be indifferent to suffering; we cannot allow anyone to go through life as an outcast. Instead, we should feel indignant, challenged to emerge from our comfortable isolation and to be changed by our contact with human suffering. That is the meaning of dignity. -Pope Francis, Fratelli Tutti, #68
This Holiday, Get the
'Reputation for Unbelievable Compassion'
�ne of the closing lines of Rich Curran’s talks
(see page one) to many priests and parish staff this October was to work to earn a reputation for unbelievable compassion. In this way, we live out the call to be the face of Christ to the world…starting with being the face of Christ to your town. But in a time where expectations have been turned upside down, and the whole country seems filled with weariness and hatred, the creativity that takes can seem beyond our reach. How? How to we go bearing gifts of hope, love, and joy when we have difficulty even gathering together? People are tired and anxious, and have had a hard year. Give them Christ’s hope. Hope comes through a conversation, music, respite, support, a good meal. That can happen one person at a time, but it can also be organized for greater impact. I offer some humble suggestions below. If you do not work for a parish, you may want to suggest to your pastor or parish staff that you would be willing to lead this up.
The Diocese of Winona-Rochester has partnered with Revive Parishes to provide free on-demand mini-courses on improving mission focus and effectiveness in a variety of ministry areas, including the one you most love! Every person in the diocese is welcome to sign up and take a course. Some of these courses will be facilitated diocese-wide by pastoral center ministry directors in the next few months. Sign up here:
Ministry Day, cont'd from pg. 1
them deliberately this holiday? Who is preaching love amid a contentious political season? Where are we modeling and encouraging unity in Jesus Christ? How are we supporting exhausted families and schools? Regardless of what the pandemic brings this Advent and Christmas, how do we help people
2. Create a free gift drop. Many communities have these, but if yours doesn’t, gather new or nearly new toys and gifts and arrange a way for people in need to “shop” for free. It is often rarer to have a free gift drop for the elderly in the community. Could you create that? Or could you collect items for a local homeless shelter, or find a way to fund a better Christmas for those in need? 3. Or, create a gift exchange. There may be many in your parish and neighborhood who are in need but reluctant to say so. Create a used gift exchange, where people are encouraged to bring a used good condition gift, and they get a surprise gift in return, wrapped in a Christmas bag. Best practice? Include a Christmas card from your pastor and/or staff, and include Mass times.
4. Trust joy is coming. Every year we want Advent to be quieter, with fewer events. Guess what? It looks like we’ll get that. How can we really practice a quiet Advent this year, and wait for joy in what has been a really joyless year? Could the parish spend time helping people focus on what is really important trusting in God - and tell them it is okay to have a smaller Christmas? This could be communicated through homilies, letters to the editor, video talks online, and more. Creating a talk, even online, on “How to do a smaller, more meaningful Christmas” WILL be deeply appreciated.
5. Create a holiday experience in safe ways that help families find meaning in the season. Find someone in the parish who will donate money to create and light up a Christmas lights wonderland with a living Nativity, donkey included. Make or sell hot chocolate. Play Advent or Christmas music. Keep it outside, but consider encouraging families to end their visit with going inside the Church to pray for a meaningful Christmas. Some communities use these events as opportunities to collect food items for the food bank. experience genuine joy? And how will we invite others without a community of faith to that joy? Finally, Curran closed by encouraging those parishes attending to “get a reputation for unbelievable compassion.” He mentioned a priest he worked with who was running the treadmill at the YMCA and overheard two women he didn’t know talking, and one had a lot of problems. The other (not Catholic) woman mentioned to her that she should go to the Catholic church in town. When the first woman said, “Well, would they help me? I’m not even Catholic,”
6. Create a respite morning for parents by creating a simple pre-Christmas party for kids. Get kids sitting in family groups on blankets spaced apart and watching a Christmas movie with popcorn and candy and juice boxes. Help them make cards for their parents, grandparents, parishioners in assisted care, and give them a small toy to take home. Best practice yet? Invite the town, and send kids home with an encouraging letter to parents thanking them for raising children in a hard year.
Director of Missionary Discipleship firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Make a point of doubling your support for local charities this season. The need is higher, so we dig deeper and trust in God’s providence. What if you challenged your parish to double your yearly support for a local food bank? Or your sister parish in another country? Volunteered to buy 50 Thanksgiving meals for families in your town?
7. Christmas caroling. Music is the conduit of hope and joy. Go Christmas caroling outside, house to house! Or sing outside a store (with permission) on a parade float with a microphone and a couple of instruments in the parking lot.
8. Take the concert online. Or…create a concert that has a quartet of your best singers (distanced away from each other). Create a “watch party” online to premier the event. Encourage people to sing their hearts out at home. Another option: there is a parish in the Twin Cities that offers 30 minutes of praise and worship on facebook live every Monday morning (Church of St. Paul at Ham Lake). Usually these are a pair or trio from the choir, or talented family groups singing, with lyrics provided. What if you did the same with Advent music, once a week?
9. Home decoration challenge. Be careful not to make this a money-based contest, but creating some kind of challenge where people decorate the outside of their homes in ways that celebrate Christ’s birth could cheer the entire town. Homes participating can be listed on the parish website, and people could drive and enjoy!
10. A Eucharistic procession outside. Yes, it’s winter and that sounds crazy, but maybe crazy in the best possible way. Let’s not let winter, pandemics, or more steal the joy we have in Christ Jesus. A parade of people following the Eucharistic Christ and singing “O Come All Ye Faithful” (or, if around Thanksgiving, “Come Ye Thankful People Come”) may be the counterwitness 2020 needs. the second women said, “Oh, that’s OK. They will help you. That’s just who they are.” This pastor knew they were growing and active, but it was then that he knew they were succeeding in their mission. We can overcome all kinds of resistance and ignorance, even hatred, if we earn a reputation for unbelievable compassion. We become Christ’s hands and feet, and introduce our town to the love of Christ. The main talks can be viewed on the Diocese of Winona-Rochester Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/DioceseofWinona
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Our Journey to Adoption
Catholic Charities Annual Adoption Day Celebration
By SHAWN and DIANA STOERMANN
�ur journey to adoption started like many other
stories with infertility. It involved doctors’ visits, tests, procedures and finally learning it would not be possible to have a child of our own naturally. Adoption was something we had discussed during the infertility treatments, and we met with a social worker from Catholic Charities a year before we made the decision to pursue adoption. The home study program was very educational for us not only about the types of adoptions but also about many of the social and emotional things we as a couple and our potential child would face. After finishing the home study and loading our profile on the Catholic Charities webpage, we launched a Facebook page to spread the word. We told everyone we knew that we were adopting, to help us find a birthmother. We sent postcards to clinics, churches, birthing centers, and any place we could think of that might catch a potential birthmother's attention. Our days were spent in an anticipatory state. Friends and family asked frequently if we had heard anything. Time passed, and, after a few years, doubt grew about finding the right match. We took solace in the Catholic Charities adoption support classes and with other couples who were having similar wait times. Eventually, we became wrapped up in our day-today lives and accepted that it would happen if it was meant to be, whenever it was meant to be. After more than four years of waiting, we suddenly received a call that a baby boy was born in Mankato and the birthmother wanted to place him for adoption. We rushed there that evening and spent the night feeding, holding and loving the baby. However, the birth grandmother came to the hospital and convinced the birthmother to keep the child. That day was the most difficult and saddest day in our marriage. We had named that child and called family and friends about the baby but then had to call them back and tell them it did not work out. So many tears and tremendous sadness. We clung to each other as a couple and decided to take a few days off from work and life and went away together to gather ourselves and decide how to move forward. While some may have said that they would take a break or even forgo adoption at this point, the
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Since Catholic Charities is unable to host our annual Adoption Day Celebration due to COVID19, we have put together an Adoption Day Celebration Kit so adoptive families can celebrate on their own. To request your free kit, email email@example.com or call 507-287-2047. Please include a mailing address and the number of children in your family. Pick a date, gather the family, and create some new memories while you reflect and celebrate what adoption means to you!
experience actually strengthened our resolve to be parents and that we were on the right path for us to create our family. Six months later, we received another call about another baby boy whose birthmother also wanted to pursue adoption. Their stories were very similar, almost eerily so. The mothers had not made any adoption plans before birth and neither had wanted to take an active role in choosing an adoptive family. The babies were roughly the same size and prematurity. Wow, can we do this again, we asked? YES we could! We headed to Rochester the next morning and spent the day learning about caring for a baby, holding and feeding him and giving him his first bath plus meeting with the social workers and doctors. The nurses were so supportive to us but did not smother us. By 5 p.m. that day, the time came for the mom to release custody and for us to see the baby for the first time. After meeting him, she also decided to meet us. It was overwhelming and yet comforting to meet our child’s birthmother and put a name and face to her. We all struggled to find the words to say and questions to ask but the social worker helped guide us through. That evening, we finally started sharing the news to family and friends. The outpouring of love and support was mind-blowing! The next morning, we were released from the hospital and made the drive home as a family of three for the first time. Ever since then, we have watched our little miracle, Kaden Jackson Stoermann, grow and learn and become the sweet, active and independent toddler that he is today. He has fit into our lives and families like he was made to be there, and people even comment that he looks like the two of us, which is impossible but somewhat true at the same time. Mind-blowing! Our goal is to be open about his adoption and to let him know that he has a birthmother who loves him and wanted the best for him. While she is currently only a part of our lives through sharing emails and pictures, we end each day telling Kaden “Mommy loves you, Daddy loves you and Birth mommy loves you.” Adoption for us certainly had its challenges, but its benefits well outweigh those, and we will never regret our choice to pursue adoption for our family.
Thank You to all those who participated in
Catholic Charities’ Annual Baby Bottle Campaign! October was Respect Life Month, and parishioners across the diocese come together every October to show their support for women choosing life for their babies. Whether you filled a baby bottle with change, donated online, or gave at a special collection at church, each donation will directly impact the lives of mothers with new babies in our diocese. Catholic Charities Mother and Child Assistance Fund provides tangible help to families in need by paying a portion of rent, utilities, medical bills or other needs. In addition to financial assistance, the new and expectant parents meet with Social Workers who help them create a plan for their baby and get them connected to the resources they need. Baby items, pregnancy counseling, adoption planning and parenting education are also available at no cost to parents. Every donation truly makes a difference! Thank you to all who donated and to those who coordinated the campaign at your parish, school or faith formation program. We could not reach so many women without you! If you would like to make a donation to the Mother and Child Assistance Fund, checks can be sent to Catholic Charities Mother and Child Assistance Fund, PO Box 379, Winona, MN 55987 or given online at www.ccsomn.org/ donate and indicate “Baby Bottle Campaign” in the notes section.
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Stewarding the Senior Members of Our Parishes The following article first appeared in the September 2020 edition of Catholic Stewardship, an e-bulletin by the Internationl Catholic Stewardship Council.
�e are told that one of the COVID-
19 high-risk groups are people who are 60 years old and older. The members of this group are constantly being warned to take the appropriate precautions to protect themselves. Now that we are adjusting to new “social distancing” guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we can all think more creatively about keeping our older parishioners engaged in the parish. The COVID-19 pandemic makes ministry to our older parishioners challenging and many parishes are investing in technology to stay connected with parishioners. For seniors with internet access, for example, helping them set up what they need to view livestreamed Masses and other parish services is ideal for staying connected. But while technology can make it easier to connect in some ways, it is not always easier for everyone. Consider those members of your parish
Stewardship Saint Saint Teresa of Calcutta
Saint Teresa of Calcutta gave us an extraordinary example of Christian discipleship and stewardship by her faith, simplicity and service to women and men without considering their race, religion or nationality. She was born Agnes Bojaxhiu in Albania on August 26, 1910, and at age 18 went to Ireland to join the Sisters of Loreto following what she discerned to be a call to become a missionary. She was sent to India in 1929, and began her novitiate in Darjeeling near the Himalayan mountains. Eight years later she made her solemn vows and took the name Teresa after Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, the patron saint of missionaries. From there she taught at the Loreto convent school in Calcutta for almost twenty years. Though a dedicated educator, she was increasingly disturbed by the desperate poverty in Calcutta. On September 10, 1946, Sister Teresa had an extraordinary conversion experience, what she later described as “the call within the call.” While traveling by train from Calcutta to the Loreto convent in Darjeeling she experienced interior visions that led her to the conviction that Christ was calling her to serve “the poorest of the poor.” In 1948 after a few months of medical training, Sister Teresa ventured out into the slums to tend to the needs of the destitute and starving. Her first year was November 2020 w The Courier w dowr.org
who might not have the technical ability to watch a livestreamed Mass. The simplicity of a handwritten note or phone call for the senior members of our community can be an important ministry. A short call or note can go a long way and make a lasting memory. Other ways to let the senior members of the parish know they are not forgotten is by establishing a parish group to call senior adults on a weekly basis to check in or pray with them, or by mailing the parish bulletin, Bible study materials or other parish communications to them. Offering a helping hand to our senior parishioners is an important service ministry as well. Go to the grocery store or pharmacy for them. Take out their trash and recycle for them. Make it a family project to do yard work or wash their car. Many retirees have time on their hands and giving them some creative opportunity to serve would be very beneficial for them and for the parish. If you find your parish has a number of active seniors, connect with them and let them be a resource for the parish in some way. very difficult. She had no income and had to resort to begging for food and supplies. She experienced loneliness, doubt and the temptation to return to the comfort of convent life. But at the beginning of 1949 she was joined by a group of young women who wished to be a part of her ministry. In 1950 “Mother” Teresa’s community was formally recognized by the Vatican. Its mission was to care for, in her own words, “the hungry, the naked, the homeless, the crippled, the blind, the lepers, all those people who feel unwanted, unloved, uncared for throughout society, people that have become a burden to the society and are shunned by everyone.” In 1952, she opened a hospice for the poor. Then she established several leprosy clinics throughout Calcutta, providing medication, bandages and food. In 1955, she created a home for orphans and homeless youth. The Missionaries of Charity soon began to attract both recruits and charitable donations, and by the 1960s had opened hospices, orphanages and leper homes all over India. Mother Teresa then went global. Her first mission outside of India was in Venezuela in 1965, then in Rome, Tanzania and Austria. During the 1970s the congregation started missions in dozens of countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and the United States. In 1979, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Mother Teresa died on September 5, 1997, departing a religious community with over 4,000 sisters operating 610 missions in 123 countries and aided by more than one million co-workers. Former U.N. SecretaryGeneral, Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, said of Saint Teresa: “She is the United Nations. She is peace in the world.” Saint Teresa of Calcutta was canonized on September 4, 2016 by Pope Francis. Her feast day is September 5.
Executive Director Catholic Foundation of Southern Minnesota firstname.lastname@example.org
In this time of anxiety and uncertainty about the future, let’s keep thinking about how we can serve the older members of our parish, stay in contact with them and keep them engaged. Your ideas don’t have to be complex or overlyproduced. Just let seniors know that the parish is there for them, wants to reach out to them and show them what it means to be an integral part of the Body of Christ.
Rev. Jason Kern Director of Vocations email@example.com
s I write this, I am wondering where things will be regarding the election and society at large by the time you read it. It seems like everything is in flux and society is in seeming peril one day and then on to life as normal the next. For some time now, my sense in prayer is that the pressure valve in the world and in the Church is continuing to ratchet up and intensify. Divisions seem to keep us further apart and nobody seems to know exactly where to turn for guidance. Some people seek ideologies of the day; some seek politics and dive full in on conservative or liberal stances, and others just keep going about focused on their family, work, and whatever other activities they enjoy to fill their day. And yet, I cannot help but step back, look around, and wonder where all this is going? I do not pretend to have all the answers but I do believe it is important to live the question and enjoy the journey of the adventure of life without getting swept up in the anxiety and worry of it all. I do not think it prudent to ignore societal or ecclesial problems or act like everything is fine when it is not, but I do think it is important to realize that my stability does not come from this world. My sole source of stability is from God the Father. He is a Provident Father who knows the numbers of hair on my head. Will he not provide for me, o ye of little faith? With this said, it is worth reflecting on how we can work toward solutions by focusing on what God wants to do in each of our lives. I believe he is calling me to work within my circle of influence to have intentional relationships that work to support strong Catholic life and culture. God has blessed me with a community of families, friends, and the seminarians I work with, to form a network of support and depth of faith no matter what happens in the society around us. We will contin-
ue to live out the Catholic faith with deep faith and confidence in God whether society supports us in the days, months, or years ahead or whether it rejects us. I bring this up as a way to encourage you to continue to live out of the truth of your faith in God and His Church. No matter what the Church and even society looks like in the months ahead, we need to walk with each other in faith and form strong disciples who are ready to rise up and meet the challenges of our times by preaching the Gospel and sanctifying the world. This is where vocations will come from to serve the Church in the coming years. All of the young men in seminary realize that the days of priests being thought of as high class are largely behind us. These men know they are being called to serve the Gospel and are readying themselves to sacrifice for it. The truth of Jesus Christ is worth the full commitment of our lives and as we come to love Him
WASHINGTON - The Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization has released a new Directory for Catechesis. As the Preface explains, “The criterion that prompted the reflection on and production of this Directory finds its basis in the words of Pope Francis: ‘we have rediscovered the fundamental role of the first announcement or kerygma, which needs to be the center of all evangelizing activity and all efforts at Church renewal…. All Christian formation consists of entering more deeply into the kerygma, which is reflected in and constantly illumines, the work of catechesis, thereby enabling us to understand more fully the significance of every subject which the latter treats. It is the message capable of responding to the desire for the infinite which abides in every human heart’.” Bishop Robert Barron, auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis,
Note: in the coming months I will try to feature some of the religious communities that serve in our diocese. If you know of any or would like to feature a religious sister or brother, please email me.
On October 3 & 4, 2020, seven students received the Great Promise Award, sponsored by the Serra Club of Owatonna Area. The award has been presented to our Catholic youth over the past 15 years. Our recipients' teachers nominated them based on core Christian values: Service, Intelligence, Sociability, Trustworthiness, Commitment, Purposefulness, Compassion, Inquisitiveness, and Leadership. The recipients each received a certificate from the Serra Club, a YouCat (youth catechism), and a beautiful rosary made by "Rosaries by Peter" (Pete Connor). The 2020 Great Promise Award recipients are: Tyler Anderson, Kaitlyn Dobberstein (Holy Trinity, Litomysl); Jose Flores (Christ the King, Medford); Mason Klecker, Noelle Kubicek, Emma Meiners (Sacred Heart, Owatonna); and Amelia Baldwin (St. Joseph, Owatonna). Congratulations! The Serra Club of Owatonna Area prays for and supports vocations to the priesthood, consecrated religious, deacons, married couples, and the single life. The Serrans assist members to recognize and respond to God's call to holiness in their own lives as well. Pictures and article by Joann Fagan, Owatonna.
USCCB Chairman of Evangelization and Catechesis Welcomes New Directory From usccb.org
and live in Him, we realize all we desire is to give everything in His service. This is the invitation to leave all and follow Him. So, this November, despite whatever craze or malaise is around you, ask yourself, how am I praying for, sacrificing for, and forming a Catholic culture around me so that the faith is ready to be handed on and lived out no matter what circumstances come about in the world? May Jesus Christ be our pathway forward.
Vocations Life, Marriage & Family
My Source of Stability
welcomed the new text: “We are excited to have a fresh and focused tool to enhance our evangelization efforts in catechesis. The new Directory highlights the centrality of the Church’s mission of bringing the world to an authentic encounter with Christ, an encounter that inspires and propels people as witnesses for the faith. In an age marked by tremendous social and cultural challenges, as well as ever-expanding digital tools which have often left the field of catechesis behind, the timing of this updated resource is providential.” The Second Vatican Council originally inspired a Directory for Catechesis to ensure that the Church's catechetical efforts might be vibrant, informed, faithful, and attuned to the needs of the times. First released in 1971 and then updated in 1997, this latest edition considers both the opportunities and the challenges which the Church faces in an ever more global and secular society. The new Directory builds upon the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the ongoing work of the
Director of Faith Formation and Life, Marriage & Family firstname.lastname@example.org
new evangelization—particularly as called for in Pope Francis’ 2013 apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel). With a vision that brings the content of these beautiful resources alive in the context of contemporary society, the Directory invites the Christian faithful to be courageous witnesses of Jesus Christ in the family, in the workplace, and in the wider community. Bishop Barron observed that, “The Directory’s call for a ‘kerygmatic catechesis’ affirms the Conference’s recent focus on the importance of living as missionary disciples. The authentic proclamation of the Gospel leads to the conversion of hearts and minds, which cannot help but manifest that ‘missionary impulse capable of transforming everything’ with the healing power of the Holy Spirit (EG 27).” November 2020 w The Courier w dowr.org
The First Millennial to Be Declared Blessed
Youth & Young Adults
Beatification of Carlo Acutis Aaron Lofy
Director of Youth & Young Adults, email@example.com
By COURTNEY MARES
ASSISI, Italy, Oct. 10, 2020 (CNA) - With the beatification of Carlo Acutis in Assisi Saturday, the Catholic Church now has its first “Blessed” who loved Super Mario and Pokémon, but not as much as he loved the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. “To be always united with Jesus, this is my life program,” Carlo Acutis wrote at the age of seven. The young Italian computer whiz, who died of leukemia at 15 offering his suffering for the pope and the Church, was beatified Oct. 10 in a Mass at the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. Born in 1991, Acutis is the first millennial to be beatified by the Catholic Church. The teen who had an aptitude for computer programming is now one step away from canonization. “Since he was a child … he had his gaze turned to Jesus. Love for the Eucharist was the foundation that kept alive his relationship with God. He often said ‘The Eucharist is my highway to heaven,” Cardinal Agostino Vallini said in his homily for the beatification. “Carlo felt a strong need to help people discover that God is close to us and that it is beautiful to be with him to enjoy his friendship and his grace,”
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Vallini said. During the beatification Mass, Acutis’ parents processed behind a relic of their son's heart which was placed near the altar. An apostolic letter from Pope Francis was read aloud in which the pope declared that Carlo Acutis’ feast will take place each year on Oct. 12, the anniversary of his death in Milan in 2006. Masked pilgrims spread out in front of the Basilica of St. Francis and throughout the different piazzas in Assisi to watch the Mass on large screens as only a limited number of people were allowed inside. Acutis’ beatification drew an estimated 3,000 people to Assisi, including people who personally knew Acutis and many other young people inspired by his witness. Mattia Pastorelli, 28, was a childhood friend of Acutis, who first met him when they were both around the age of five. He remembers playing video games, including Halo, with Carlo. (Acutis’ mother also told CNA that Super Mario and Pokémon were Carlo’s favorites.) “Having a friend who is about to become a saint is a very strange emotion,” Pastorelli told CNA Oct. 10. “I knew he was different from others, but now I realize just how special he was.” “I watched him while he was programming websites … He was truly an incredible talent,” he added. In his homily, Cardinal Vallini, the pontifical legate for the Basilica of St. Francis, hailed Acutis as a model of how young people can use technology at the service of the Gospel to “reach as many people as possible and help them know the beauty of friendship with the Lord.” For Carlo, Jesus was “the strength of his life and the purpose of everything he did,” the cardinal said. “He was convinced that to love people and do them good you need to draw energy from the Lord. In this spirit he was very devoted to Our Lady,” he added. “His ardent desire was also that of attracting as many people to Jesus, making himself herald of the
Gospel above all with the example of life.” At a young age, Acutis taught himself how to program and went on to create websites cataloguing the world’s Eucharistic miracles and Marian apparitions. “The Church rejoices, because in this very young Blessed the Lord's words are fulfilled: ‘I have chosen you and appointed you to go and bear much fruit.’ And Carlo ‘went’ and brought the fruit of holiness, showing it as a goal reachable by all and not as something abstract and reserved for a few,” the cardinal said. “He was an ordinary boy, simple, spontaneous, likeable … he loved nature and animals, he played football, he had many friends of his age, he was attracted by modern means of social communication, passionate about computer science and, selftaught, he built websites to transmit the Gospel, to communicate values and beauty,” he said. Assisi is celebrating the beatification of Carlo Acutis with more than two weeks of liturgies and events Oct. 1-17. During this time images of a young Acutis standing with a giant monstrance containing the Eucharist can be seen in front of churches all around the city of St. Francis and St. Clare. People stood in line to pray before the tomb of Carlo Acutis, located in Assisi’s Sanctuary of the Spoliation in the Church of St. Mary Major. The church extended its hours until midnight throughout the beatification weekend to allow as many people as possible to venerate Acutis, with the social distancing measures in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Fr. Boniface Lopez, a Franciscan Capuchin based at the church, told CNA that he noted that many people who visited Acutis’ tomb also took advantage of the opportunity to go to confession, which is being offered in many languages throughout the 17 days when Acutis’ body is visible for venation. “Many people are coming to see Carlo to ask for his blessing … also many young people; they come for confessions, they come because they want to change their lives and they want to come near God and really experience God,” Fr. Lopez said. At a youth vigil the evening before the beatification, pilgrims gathered outside of the Assisi’s Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels while priests heard confessions inside. Churches throughout Assisi also offered additional hours of Eucharistic Adoration to mark Acutis’ beatification. Lopez said that he had also encountered many religious sisters and priests coming on pilgrimage to see Actutis. “Religious come here to ask his blessing to help them to cultivate a greater love for the Eucharist.” As Acutis once said: “When we face the sun we get a tan ... but when we stand before Jesus in the Eucharist we become saints.”
Superintendent of Catholic Schools firstname.lastname@example.org
Get to Know
� s we begin November, a month of gratitude of the many blessings God has granted each of us amidst the trials of this
pandemic, we appreciate and recognize all each of you have sacrificed to keep our school communities thriving. You have partnered with us to make every day a good, healthy and safe one. Your sacrifices do not go unnoticed and we know we could not have done it without your support. Our Catholic school communities pride its partnerships with parents and families as a core element of strength. This fall we welcome over 350 new students to Catholic schools throughout our Diocese. It is a privilege to bring education rich in faith and virtue to so many new families. Please spread the good news and witness the excellence in Catholic education. Our hope and prayer continue to maintain an in-person learning mode. We are realistically planning for hybrid or distance learning if the health and safety of our students and staff require us to move into that learning model. As we move towards Thanksgiving and Christmas, we want to remain vigilant and not let our COVID safety guard down. Transmission and the prevalence of COVID-19 can lead to learning model changes. Together we have shown that our diligence in the first two months of the academic year has allowed us to maintain our plan to learn together in person. Our goal of returning to face-to-face learning after the school’s breaks will require discipline and planning on everyone’s part. With health and safety in mind, think creatively on how you may be able to enjoy celebrations in a different way by using social media and some fun family time with games and zooming across the highways and byways. A virtual “over the river and through the woods’” may be the best way to gather. Please refer to the guidance your school has provided regarding gatherings, hygiene, travel, health checks, healthy eating and sleeping habits, social distancing, and wearing masks. Remember, our decisions and practices can impact our learning model. Please make every effort to share this community responsibility so our students can continue to thrive together in our schools. Our principals have asked me to express to you their deep appreciation for your commitment to safely keeping our students in school. We recognize and appreciate all of the ways you have helped our school communities flourish during these last seven months by helping your students learn and understand new routines such as the daily health checks and hygiene protocols, supplying necessary materials and adjusting to changes that may have come to schedules, transportation, and snacks/lunches. The way you have approached this year with agility and understanding has tremendously helped the school leaders, faculty, staff, and volunteers make every day in school a good, healthy, and safe one. Your sacrifices do not go unnoticed and we know we could not have done it without your support. I have long boasted of the Catholic school community and how the school-home partnership is a core element in the strength of our community. This has been strikingly evident and is the reason we are able to have a successful school year within a pandemic. You make what we do possible, and we are grateful. Amidst the challenge of change, remember to be grateful, believing that this unprecedented time will eventually come to an end. May our sacrifices of 2020 bear fruit in 2021 and beyond. Jesus asks each of us to be watchful and alert, so we might recognize the signs of Christ in our midst. God Bless you and your family during the upcoming holy season.
The sixth-grade class sits among the pumpkins in Fr. Evans' yard.
Submitted by LORI DATTA
�rucifixion School is located in the Apple
Capital of Minnesota - La Crescent. We are in Southeast Minnesota, across the Mississippi River from La Crosse, WI. We are a PreK through sixth-grade school with 138 students. We also have Eagle Care day care facility. Students usually attend Mass twice a week. Thursdays are usually special Mass days. Each grade takes a turn leading the Mass. Students will read the first reading and response, the petitions, and bring up the gifts. Some students are involved in Children’s Choir. They meet every Wednesday for 25 minutes, and they sing at children’s Masses once a month. The older students pair up with younger students to be Reading Buddies. Students in Preschool are paired with sixth-graders. Kindergarteners have fifth-grade reading buddies, and first-graders have fourth-grade reading buddies. Together, we read books, sometimes work on special projects, and sit together at Mass. At Christmas, we decorate cookies and watch a Christmas show. At the end of the school year, we have ice cream sundaes together. It’s great to watch the little preschoolers come up and give their big reading buddies a hug or high five. All students help in one way or another to keep our school neat. The younger students may help in the classroom by being line leaders, emptying the trash, wiping the boards, etc. Students in grades 4-6 do the same things, but they help throughout the school. They serve at Mass, help in the lunchroom, place and retrieve barricades before and after school. They also take care of the school flag. Every year, the sixth-grade class does a service project. This service project cannot benefit them in any way. It must be a project that helps the school, the parish, or the community. The students choose a leader, secretary, treasurer, researcher, and marketer for the project. They find ways to earn funds for their project. The first year, the students did a food collection for the food shelf. They have raised money for a new piano in church, sound boards for the gym, new water fountains for the school, new furniture for the public library, new ovens and refrigerators for the school kitchen, and helped donate to the roof fund. Our staff is dedicated to their jobs. We have teachers who have been here 20+ years. Our cook is a great chef, is loved by all stu-
dents, and calls the students all by name. He plans special meals for Grandparents’ Day, First Communion, and the sixth-graders' last day. Our art teacher helps our students to create beautiful works of art. She also helps the younger students with computers, and proctors for the MAP testing. Our librarian has unique themes each year for the library, reads to the students, takes care of the book fair, and has special little treats for the different holidays. Our janitor keeps our school neat and clean. If there is something that needs fixing, he takes care of it. Our school nurse is on track and keeps us informed of anything that might be going around the school. She sets up screenings for the school and talks for the older students. Our secretary helps keep the school running. She is the “nurse” when our nurse is not in school. She keeps track of the lunch count, marathon, tickets being sold for dinners, and the school craft show. We have a new P.E. teacher every year because we are involved in a program with UWL in La Crosse. Students have music class twice a week to learn songs for Mass and concerts. Our biggest assets are our volunteers. We have volunteers in the office, in the classrooms, in the lunchroom, and in the library. These people are indispensable. They care about the students and help make our school a better place. Lori Datta teaches sixth grade at Crucifixion School in La Crescent.
St. Casimir’s Catholic School, Wells seeks qualified individuals for the following positions: •
Part-time 4th-6th grade teacher
• Part-time K-6 Phy Ed, Music and/or Art instructor •
Part-time aide for Kid Zone, the school’s child-care program. Morning and afternoon hours are available. Training will be provided.
To apply, send cover letter and resumé to Diane Edwards St. Casimir’s School 330 2nd Ave. SW Wells, MN 56097 Inquiries? Call 507-553-5822. November 2020 w The Courier w dowr.org
Obituaries Remembering Sister Mary Arthur Kunze, SSND, 91, professed in 1950, died September 18, 2020, in Notre Dame Health Care, Our Lady of Good Counsel, Mankato. A native of St. Paul, she graduated from Good Counsel Academy in 1947. She entered the SSND Candidature that same year and professed first vows in 1950. She was an elementary and secondary grade teacher in several Minnesota and North Dakota Catholic schools. She served as a parish pastoral minister in the Diocese of Des Moines, and later worked as a floral arranger and designer in the Twin Cities Metro area. In the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, she taught at All Saints, Madison Lake; Crucifixion, La Crescent; and Good Counsel Academy in Mankato. She is survived by her nieces and nephews and their families; her friends, colleagues and former students; and her sisters in community, the School Sisters of Notre Dame and SSND Associates. She was preceded in death by her parents, Arthur and Helen (Wolkerstorfer) Kunze; her twin brother, Germain (Jerry); another brother, Arthur; and her sisters Phyllis Kustelski and Constance Doyan. Her funeral Mass was celebrated October 6 at Good Counsel, with Fr. Gene Stenzel as presider.
and Thankful By JEANETTE FORTIER
� uring Holy Saturday Mass at St. Mary’s in Chatfield (1980s), a children’s choir member stated in a quiet
whisper, “Oh no, a bat.” Sure enough, there it was, circling around the balcony space. As it descended, the choir would crouch down, then the choir would stand up. It happened about four times as the bat swooped toward the choir until it finally flew down a hole where the organ used to be. I pushed my guitar case over the hole and I noticed that Fr. Enright had stopped praying the Eucharistic Prayer. I looked to the front of the church and there was Father, his hands folded over the Roman Missal and his shoulders moving up and down as he silently laughed at the goings-on in the balcony. Of course, neither the servers nor people in the pews could see what had just transpired. I remembered that story as Norb Kelly from St. Patrick’s in Lanesboro came up to me before Mass and said, “I have something for you.” In his hands were two beautiful crucifixes. “This smaller one is made from the largest bass pipe of St. Mary’s organ and the larger one is made from a piece of wood from the front of the organ. I thought you would like to have them.” As I drove home after the liturgy, I was thankful that Norb could create such beauty and share this gift with me for St. Mary Parish. In 2018, on a tour of Neven Fort in Ireland, we were greeted by a couple who led us into their reedwoven home, “Ah, a wise one, we are honored to have you, sit here.” Well, I was the one, and the reason I was considered wise was because of my white hair. You see, in that time of history, not many people lived to an old
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• The Courier
age, so anyone with white hair was held in high esteem. Children in those days were the ones who climbed trees to get eggs from birds' nests, gathered wood for the fire and other chores. Some children did not live beyond their first year of life. Others could not survive sickness or the wars between villages. I was thankful that my major chore at home was to keep my room clean. Thankful as well, how the world has grown in knowledge over all these centuries. When I think of the Council of Catholic Women I remember all those women I came to know and the wonderful experiences we shared in parishes, as well as diocesan, province, and national conventions. I am thankful for the hard work these women put in to research and present speakers on topics to educate and empower us. I am thankful as well for friendships gained over all these years. National Council of Catholic Women President Jean Kelly has themed this year “A Vision for the Future.” Visioning for the future has affected us all over these months. Its uncertainty may challenge us, but the Word of God compels us to remember the love Christ has for us. Remember we are not abandoned, thankful for God’s mercy and love. I hope during this month of November your parish has a “Book of Life” set up for you to write in the names of deceased family members and friends. I hope, with mask on and pen in hand, you will remember and write their names in that book and offer a prayer of thanksgiving that they were part of your life. If you don’t have access to that book, make one for your own home and, as an individual or family, write those names. Don’t stop there! Remember family and friends who impact your life today. Send them a note or give them a call. We are connected in so many stories, through so many events. Bring light to your life while you are remembering and thankful. Jeanette Fortier is the president of the Winona-Rochester Diocesan Council of Catholic Women.
Civil Union, cont'd from pg. 2
intentions in depth. And for the same reason they prefer that it be that person who inherits all their assets, etc.” “This can be contemplated in the law and is called ‘civil union’ [unión civil] or ‘law of civil coexistence’ [ley de convivencia civil], not marriage.” “What the Pope has said on this subject is what he also maintained when he was the Archbishop of Buenos Aires,” Fernández added. “For him, the expression ‘marriage’ has a precise meaning and only applies to a stable union between a man and a woman open to communicating life…there is a word, ‘marriage,’ that only applies to that reality. Any other similar union requires another name,” the archbishop explained. Last week, Aguer told ACI Prensa that in 2010, “Cardinal Bergoglio, then being the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, proposed in a plenary assembly of the Argentine bishops’ conference to support the legality of civil unions of homosexual persons by the state, as a possible alternative to what was called - and is called 'marriage equality.'” “At that time, the argument against him was that it was not a merely political or sociological question, but that it involved a moral judgment; consequently, the sanction of civil laws contrary to the natural order cannot be promoted. It was also noted that this teaching has been repeatedly stated in the documents of
the Second Vatican Council. The plenary of the Argentine bishops rejected that proposal and voted against it,” Aguer said. America Magazine published Oct. 24 the apparent context of the pope’s remark on civil unions. During a discussion on the pope’s opposition to a same-sex marriage proposal when he was an archbishop in Argentina, Alazraki asked Pope Francis if he had adopted more liberal positions after becoming pope, and if so, whether that was attributable to the Holy Spirit. Alazraki asked: “You waged a whole battle over egalitarian weddings, of couples of the same sex in Argentina. And later they say that you arrived here, they elected you pope and you appeared much more liberal than what you were in Argentina. Do you recognize yourself in this description that some people who knew you before make, and was it the grace of the Holy Spirit that gave you a boost? (laughs)” According to America Magazine, the pope responded that: “The grace of the Holy Spirit certainly exists. I have always defended the doctrine. And it is curious that in the law on homosexual marriage…. It is an incongruity to speak of homosexual marriage. But what we have to have is a law of civil union (ley de convivencia civil), so they have the right to be legally covered.” The last sentence was omitted when Alazraki's interview was broadcast in 2019. The Secretariat of State's statement seems to confirm that the pope said “I stood up for that,” immediately after his other remarks on civil unions, a fact which had not previously been made clear.