The Courier - October 2020

Page 1


COURIER Fratelli Tutti St. Teresa of Avila October 15

October 2020

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

U.S. Bishops' President Welcomes Pope Francis' Encyclical on Human Fraternity From

Submitted by DAVID FRICKE

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 4, 2020 - Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued a statement today welcoming Pope Francis’ new encyclical, Fratelli Tutti: On Fraternity and Social Friendship. Archbishop Gomez’s full statement follows: On behalf of the Catholic Church in the United States, I welcome the Holy Father’s new encyclical letter on human fraternity. Like Laudato Si’ before it, Fratelli Tutti is an important contribution to the Church’s rich tradition of social doctrine. Pope Francis’ teaching here is profound and beautiful: God our Father has created every human being with equal sanctity and dignity, equal rights and duties, and our Creator calls us to form a single human family in which we live as brothers and sisters. God’s plan for humanity, the Pope reminds us, has implications for every aspect of our lives — from how we treat one another in our personal relationships, to how we organize and operate our societies and economies. In analyzing conditions in the world today, the Holy Father provides us with a powerful and urgent vision for the moral renewal of politics and political and economic institutions from the local level to the global level, calling us to build a common future that truly serves the good of the human person.

Diocese Streamlines Organization Structure

Catholic News Agency

For the Church, the Pope is challenging us to overcome the individualism in our culture and to serve our neighbors in love, seeing Jesus Christ in every person, and seeking a society of justice and mercy, compassion and mutual concern. I pray that Catholics and all people of good will reflect on our Holy Father’s words here and enter into a new commitment to seek the unity of the human family.

ecently, a subtle yet significant change was made to the organizational structure of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester. The current chief financial officer (CFO), Andrew Brannon, CPA, was appointed to the additional role of chief operating officer (COO) for the diocese. In this new dual role, Mr. Brannon now reports directly to Bishop John Quinn along with Judicial Vicar and Chancellor Fr. Glenn Frerichs, and Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia Fr. Will Thompson. Together, the three oversee the financial/operational, canonical and ministerial disciplines, respectively, of the diocese. Andrew Brannon, CPA, who joined the Diocese of Winona-Rochester in May of 2017, will now oversee all financial, administrative and ancillary services for the diocese in his new expanded role as both CFO and COO. Bishop Quinn remarked that “the significance of this change is the ever-growing involvement of the laity in the day-today and long-term strategic operations of the Church at both the parish and diocesan

Organization, cont'd on pg. 2

INSIDE this issue

'The Service of Charity Must Be Profoundly Consistent' page 4

Just and Merciful

Welcoming New Staff... page 11

page 12

The Courier Insider


USCCB Chairmen Issue Statement on Recent Federal Executions From

WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 22, 2020 (CNA) - Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on ProLife Activities, issued the following statement in response to the federal executions scheduled [for the week of September 22]: In the last 60 years, before the Trump administration restarted federal executions, there were only four federal executions. Since July, there have been five, which is already more


cont'd from pg. 1 level. We are blessed to have such talented people like Andy to help guide the diocese through the challenges of both today and the future. I’m confident he will continue to be a strong leader of our financial operations, administrative services and the overall diocesan organization.” The Pastoral Center staff comprises a mixture of full- and part-time lay staff who, along


The Most Rev. John M. Quinn, Bishop of the Diocese of WinonaRochester, announces the following appointments: Parochial Vicar Rev. Alex Salazar, IVE: appointed Parochial Vicar of Ss. Peter and Paul Parish in Mankato, effective September 1, 2020. Chaplain Rev. Brian Mulligan: appointed Chaplain for Catholic Scouting programs in the Diocese of WinonaRochester, effective September 1, 2020. Diaconal Ministry Deacon Patrick Fagan: currently appointed to diaconal ministry at St. Joseph Parish in Owatonna and Christ the King Parish in Medford; transferred to diaconal ministry at St. Pius X Parish in Rochester, effective September 14, 2020.

'The Service of Charity...'____________________4 Mission Education...________________________5 federal executions than were carried out in any year in the last century. There are two Meet Our New Seminarians_________________6 more federal executions scheduled this week. Totus Tuus in the Midst of a Pandemic_______8 After the first murder recorded in the Bible, God did not end Cain’s life, but rather Catholic Schools Updates___________________9 preserved it, warning others not to kill Cain Voting as a Christian______________________10 (Gn. 4:15). As the Church, we must give concrete help to victims of violence, and we must Just and Merciful________________________11 encourage the rehabilitation and restoration Welcoming New Staff...____________________12

of those who commit violence. Accountability and legitimate punishment are a part of this process. Responsibility for harm is necessary if healing is to occur and can be instrumental in protecting society, but executions are completely unnecessary and unacceptable, as Popes St. John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis have all articulated. We say to President Trump and Attorney General Barr: Enough. Stop these executions.

with several priests, deacons and religious, specialize in a wide range of professional disciplines that include education, theology, communications, canon law, human resources, administrative support, accounting/finance, information technology and general administration. They work together in support of all the parishes, schools and affiliated institutions of the 20 counties of southern Minnesota that border the Mississippi River to the east and South Dakota to the west. David Fricke is the director of human resources for the Diocese of Winona-Rochester.

Deacon Kevin Aaker: appointed to diaconal ministry at St. Catherine Parish in Luverne and St. Leo Parish in Pipestone, effective August 24, 2020. Deacon Scot Berkley: appointed to diaconal ministry at Sacred Heart Parish in Owatonna, effective August 24, 2020. Deacon Frank Cesario: appointed to diaconal ministry at Ss. Peter and Paul Parish in Mankato, effective August 24, 2020. Deacon Randy Horlocker: appointed to diaconal ministry at the Co-Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Rochester, effective August 24, 2020. Deacon William Keiper: appointed to diaconal ministry at St. Mary Parish in Winona, effective August 24, 2020.

The Courier is the official publication of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester 55 West Sanborn, P.O. Box 588, Winona, MN 55987 Vol 111 - 10

Most Reverend John M. Quinn, Publisher Matt Willkom, Editor Nick Reller, Associate Editor Telephone: 507-858-1257 Fax:507-454-8106 E-mail: Publishing Schedule: Monthly - Deadline for advertising & articles is the 10th of the month prior. (ISSN 0744-5490) October 2020 w The Courier w

Articles of Interest

Deacon Steven Landsteiner: appointed to diaconal ministry at St. John Vianney Parish in Fairmont, Ss. Peter and Paul Parish in Blue Earth, Holy Family Parish in East Chain, and St. Mary Parish in Winnebago, effective August 24, 2020. Deacon John LaValla: appointed to diaconal ministry at St. Charles Borromeo Parish in St. Charles, Holy Redeemer Parish in Eyota, and St. Aloysius Parish in Elba, effective August 24, 2020. Deacon Robert Miller: appointed to diaconal ministry at Resurrection Parish in Rochester, effective August 24, 2020. Deacon Scott Schwalbe: appointed to diaconal ministry at St. Joachim Parish in Plainview and Immaculate Conception Parish in Kellogg, effective August 24, 2020. Deacon Terrence Smith: appointed to diaconal ministry at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Rochester, effective August 24, 2020.

The Holy Father's Intention for

October 2020 The Laity's Mission in the Church We pray that by the virtue of baptism, the laity, especially women, may participate more in areas of responsibility in the Church. Deacon Michael Zaccariello: appointed to diaconal ministry at Pax Christi Parish in Rochester and Ss. Peter and Paul Parish in Mazeppa, effective August 24, 2020. Ministerial Standards Board Ms. Robin Alcala: appointed to a five-year term on the Diocese of Winona-Rochester Ministerial Standards Board, effective September 1, 2020. Mr. John Anderson: appointed to a five-year term on the Diocese of Winona-Rochester Ministerial Standards Board, effective September 1, 2020. Mr. Don Carlson: appointed to a five-year term on the Diocese of Winona-Rochester Ministerial Standards Board, effective September 1, 2020. Mr. Mitchell Moore: appointed to a five-year term on the Diocese of Winona-Rochester Ministerial Standards Board, effective September 1, 2020. Ms. Nelle Moriarty: appointed to a five-year term on the Diocese of Winona-Rochester Ministerial Standards Board, effective September 1, 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

Mr. Kenneth Reed: appointed to a five-year term on the Diocese of Winona-Rochester Ministerial Standards Board, effective September 1, 2020. Ms. Tammy Shefelbine: appointed to a five-year term on the Diocese of Winona-Rochester Ministerial Standards Board, effective September 1, 2020. Minnesota Catholic Conference Rev. Gregory Leif: appointed to a three-year term on the Minnesota Catholic Conference Social Concerns Committee, effective August 18, 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 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

Pray for Our Nation ear Friends in Christ,

Missionary Discipleship

Although parish life has changed drastically due to COVID-19, the need to evangelize and share the Good News of Jesus Christ has not changed. More than ever, hearts are searching and restless to know the peace and joy that only our Triune God can give. In the midst of this pandemic, there are still many ways for us to grow deeper in our faith, and invite others into a relationship with Jesus Christ. While social gatherings and outreach may look different than before, our diocesan staff is working hard to provide resources and assistance for parishes and faithful of our diocese. Ministry Days is an annual diocesan event that gathers together clergy, parish staff, and lay leaders from around southern Minnesota. It is normally held over two days in June, at St. Mary’s University in Winona.

Collection for Natural Disasters

Rejoice in Hope Bishop John M. Quinn Bishop's Calendar

As part of its work in serving the Catholic Church in the U.S., the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops stewards a Bishops Emergency Disaster Fund. This fund enables us to assist areas of the country that are experiencing the effects of natural, and other, disasters. Due to the recent devastation caused by Hurricane Laura in Louisiana, as well as wildfires in California and the derecho in Iowa, this fall the dioceses in the U.S. will be taking up a special collection for the Disaster Fund. This will help support Catholic Charities and other local agencies responding to these recent events, providing help with both immediate emergency needs and long-term rebuilding efforts. Individual parishes will decide when to take up this collection, but I ask you to be generous in providing

October 1, Thursday 1 p.m. - Holy Hour & Bishop’s Cabinet Meeting

October 2, Friday 8 a.m. - Teach at St. Mary’s University 11 a.m. - Diocesan COVID-19 Task Force Meeting 1:30–3 p.m. - Individual Meetings with Seminarians - IHM Seminary, Winona 7 p.m. - Confirmation (1/2) - Pax Christi, Rochester October 3, Saturday 4 p.m. - Confirmation - Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Winona; with St. Casimir, Winona October 4, Sunday 2 p.m. - Confirmation - St. Mary, Chatfield October 5, Monday 4 p.m. - Sacred Heart Major Seminary Board of Trustees Meeting, Detroit October 6, Tuesday 11 a.m. - Catholic Higher Education Committee Conference Call October 7, Wednesday 10 a.m. - St. Paul Street Evangelization - Corner of 8th & Main St., Winona 11 a.m. - Holy Hour & Lunch with FOCUS Missionaries

assistance to our brothers and sisters whose lives have been upended by these recent natural disasters. I realize that many of you may be experiencing your own struggles financial and otherwise - because of the coronavirus, and that you may not be able to give at this time. If this is the case for you, I ask you to please keep in prayer those who are being affected by the disasters across the country. For those who are able to give monetarily, thank you for your generosity and blessed are you. Beatification of Fr. Michael McGivney

Later this month, the Church will celebrate the beatification of Fr. Michael McGivney. Fr. McGivney was a parish priest who founded the Knights of Columbus in 1882, in order to assist widows and their children upon the death of their husbands and fathers. From its humble beginnings in Connecticut, the Knights of Columbus has grown into an international fraternal organization with more than two million members that carry out works of charity and evangelization. They also offer life insurance to its members, continuing their original purpose of providing for families whose husbands and fathers have passed away. Among their many charitable causes, the Knights of Columbus are dedicated to defending life in the womb. They also assist women and families who are struggling with hardship and crisis pregnancies. Thus, it is fitting that the miracle approved by the Vatican for the beatification of Fr. McGivney was the healing of an unborn child, who was diagnosed with a terminal illness while still in the womb. After family and friends sought the intercession of Fr. McGivney, the child was miraculously healed, and today is a healthy five-year-old boy. The Knights of Columbus continue to be a dynamic part of the life of the Church in the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, and provide

financial assistance to Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona. We rejoice along with them on the occasion of the beatification of their founder, which will take place on October 31, in Fr. McGivney’s home state of Connecticut. Elections

November 3 is Election Day in the U.S., and this year there will be presidential and many local and national offices on the ballot. Voting can often be a struggle for faithful Catholics, because it is very hard, if not impossible, to find candidates whose platforms are in complete harmony with our beliefs and values as Catholics. In our very imperfect world, with a slate of imperfect candidates vying for public office, what is a Catholic to do? In 2015, the U.S. Bishops issued the document Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, which provides guidance on how Catholics can approach elections. Our primary duty as Catholics and citizens is to form our consciences well. This means we have an obligation to seek the truth in accord with Sacred Scripture and the teachings of the Church, and apply this truth to the issues of our current age. God’s truth is oftentimes unpopular in our society and it can take moral courage to allow our positions on contentious issues to be formed by Jesus Christ, instead of popular opinion. Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship provides a basic primer on the four pillars of Catholic Social Teaching: the dignity of the human person, the common good, subsidiarity, and solidarity. It also examines how some acts are intrinsically evil and can never be justified. Thus, issues should not all be considered equally, but neither should we dismiss some issues outright in favor of our favorite causes. Virtuously exercising our rights and responsibilities as U.S. citizens is a weighty and difficult task. There


are many issues to consider, and Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship articulates how Catholic teaching applies to many of the political and social issues of our day, including human life, marriage and family, religious liberty, Catholic education, care for creation, poverty and economic justice, health care, and combating unjust discrimination. In order to prepare for the elections, I encourage you to 1) read either the full document Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship or its two-page summary, 2) research what the Church teaches on current issues, and 3) pray for the assistance of the Holy Spirit and prudence, which is the virtue that helps us to “discern our true good in every circumstance and to choose the right means of achieving it” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1806). The documents referenced above, along with many other election resources, can be found at the Minnesota Catholic Conference website, Last, but not least, it is important to pray. Pray for our leaders, the candidates who are running for office, and voters who will be going to the polls on November 3. Pray for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, that our nation may be filled with wisdom and always seek to do the will of Jesus Christ, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Blessed are you!

From the Bishop

This year, however, due to COVID, we were unable to have the in-person Ministry Days as scheduled. In light of this, on October 15 we will be holding a one-day online Ministry Day which will feature the same speaker and topic as had been planned for June. Rich Curran is the founder of Parish Success Group, which assists parishes in implementing practical, hands-on solutions focused on individual parishes’ needs. Mr. Curran has much experience in combining the vision of evangelizing and making disciples, with the practical tools for making that vision a reality despite the many struggles faced by parishes, clergy, and staff. This fall’s Ministry Day will provide engaging presentations by Rich, while also allowing time for breakout sessions and Q&A, where participants can discuss and share their parish’s particular struggles and potential. I encourage you to attend this year’s Ministry Day, and more details can be found on our online diocesan event page,

Sincerely in Christ,

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

2:10 p.m. - Real Presence Radio Live Drive Guest 7 p.m. - Confirmation - St. Joseph, Owatonna; with Christ the King, Medford

October 15, Thursday 10:31 - Guest on Real Presence Catholic Radio 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. - Diocesan Ministry Day via Zoom

October 23, Friday 8 a.m. - Teach at St. Mary’s University 11 a.m. - Diocesan COVID-19 Task Force Meeting

October 8, Thursday 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. - Individual Meetings with Seminarians – IHM Seminary, Winona

October 16, Friday 8 a.m. - Teach at St. Mary’s University 11 a.m. - Diocesan COVID-19 Task Force Meeting

October 25, Sunday 2 p.m. - Confirmation - Holy Spirit, Rochester

October 9, Friday 8 a.m. - Teach at St. Mary’s University 11 a.m. - Diocesan COVID-19 Task Force Meeting 7 p.m. - Confirmation (2/2) - Pax Christi, Rochester

October 17, Saturday 5 p.m. - Confirmation - Good Shepherd, Jackson, with: St. Luke, Sherburn; and St. Joseph, Lakefield

October 10, Saturday 9 a.m. - Diocesan Pastoral Council Meeting via Zoom October 11, Sunday 2 p.m. - Confirmation - Queen of Angels, Austin October 13, Tuesday 8 a.m. - President’s Roundtable - St. Mary’s University, Winona 11 a.m. - Diocesan Clergy Personnel Committee Meeting, Winona October 14, Wednesday 6:30 a.m. - Lauds & Mass - IHM Seminary, Winona 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. - Individual Meetings with Seminarians - IHM Seminary, Winona

October 18, Sunday 2 p.m. - Confirmation - St. Gabriel, Fulda, with: St. Columba, Iona; St. Mary, Lake Wilson; Immaculate Heart of Mary, Currie; St. Anthony, Westbrook; and St. Ann, Slayton October 20, Tuesday 11 a.m. - Holy Hour & Diocesan Finance Council Meeting - Pastoral Center, Winona October 21, Wednesday 7 p.m. - Confirmation - St. Charles Borromeo, St. Charles, with Holy Redeemer, Eyota October 22, Thursday 11 a.m. - Holy Hour & Priest Pension Plan Board Meeting - Pastoral Center, Winona

October 27, Tuesday 1 p.m. - New Pastors Meeting - Pastoral Center, Winona October 28, Wednesday 6:30 a.m. - Lauds & Mass at IHM Seminary, Winona 7 p.m. - Confirmation - St. Finbarr, Grand Meadow, with: St. Ignatius, Spring Valley; and St. Patrick, Leroy October 29, Thursday 1 p.m. - Holy Hour & Bishop’s Cabinet Meeting October 30, Friday 8 a.m. - Teach at St. Mary’s University 11 a.m. - Diocesan COVID-19 Task Force Meeting November 1, Sunday 2 p.m. - Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem Rite of Investiture & Rite of Promotion Co-Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Rochester October 2020 w The Courier w

Lay Formation & RCIA


'The Service of Charity Must Be

Profoundly Consistent'

In our service of charity, we must be inspired and distinguished by a specific attitude: we must care for the other as a person for whom God has made us responsible. As disciples of Jesus, we are called to become neighbors to everyone (cf. Lk 10:29-37), and to show special favor to those who are poorest, most alone and most in need. In helping the hungry, the thirsty, the foreigner, the naked, the sick, the imprisoned – as well as the child in the womb and the old person who is suffering or near death – we have the opportunity to serve Jesus…. Where life is involved, the service of charity must be profoundly consistent. It cannot tolerate bias and discrimination, for human life is sacred and inviolable at every stage and in every situation; it is an indivisible good. We need then to "show care" for all life and for the life of everyone. Indeed, at an even deeper level, we need to go to the very roots of life and love. -Pope St. John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, #87

�reetings of Peace, Friends in Christ! As we move through this election season, there is

much talk about how a Catholic should vote. And, as reflected in my August column, there are many harsh and even hateful words being spoken and written by Catholics against other Catholics. Too often we’re “taking sides” as Republicans or Democrats, liberals or conservatives, pro-life or social justice, etc. The culture and the media around us define the terms of engagement, and we have largely accepted these terms and joined in the fragmentation of our country, even to the point of attacking and demeaning fellow members of the Body of Christ, the Church. Often these political divisions relate to “pro-life” and “social justice” issues, as they play out in the local and national elections. If you’re truly pro-life, it’s presumed to be clear which party and which candidate you would support. If you care about the environment and the poor, then it’s also presumed to be very clear how you should vote. But, what of those of us who are pro-life and advocates for social justice, and who seek to honor the Church’s teachings to respect the dignity of unborn life, to provide for the needs of the poor, to welcome the stranger, to care for creation, to find shelter for the homeless, etc.? What I am struck by, as I have been in previous elections, is how simple some very public and very vocal Catholics believe that it is to decide on whom to support in our very divided (and divisive) twoparty political system. If we take Pope Saint John Paul II’s teaching above to heart, we must be “profoundly consistent [when] life is involved … for human life is sacred and inviolable at every stage in every situation; it is an indivisible good [italics added].” We must, as Catholics, “’show care’ for all life and for the life of everyone.” Far too many Catholics, in my view, find it very easy to divide this teaching into that which is essential and that which is somehow negotiable and can be set aside. Not so, teaches Saint John Paul II. Each and every human life is sacred, at every stage, and in every situation. Period.

October 2020 w The Courier w

So, what are we to do as Catholics who are called to proclaim and live the gospel within our culture, and to participate actively in the political process of our nation? First, let me humbly suggest that it is not easy or simple to do this. Both of the major political parties favor and advocate public policies which stand clearly opposed to the values of our Catholic tradition. The magisterial teaching in Evangelium Vitae (“The Gospel of Life,” by Pope John Paul II) and in Laudato Sí (“On Care for Our Common Home,” by Pope Francis), for example, make distinct but related demands on Catholics and on how we live out our civic and political responsibilities. Neither can be ignored or set aside. I’m not going to suggest which party or candidate to vote for, nor does the Church direct our voting in this way (see the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, #7). But, I would propose some principles to guide us, as Catholics, in our political participation and public life. Let the laity lead. The Catechism of the Catholic Church is very clear in teaching that it is the laity, and not the clergy, who have the primary responsibility to act and to lead in the political sphere. As it states, “It is not the role of the Pastors of the Church to intervene directly in the political structuring and organization of social life. This task is part of the vocation of the lay faithful [emphasis in original], acting on their own initiative with their fellow citizens” (#2442). Hold charity and truth together. One of Pope Benedict’s encyclicals bears the title, Caritas in Veritate, which means “charity in truth.” We cannot separate these two dimensions of our Catholic Faith. We must proclaim the truths of our Faith with courage and clarity, but always with great love and compassion. For, in the words of Pope Benedict’s first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est (“God Is Love”). To be hateful, vindictive, mean spirited, etc. in our words and actions is to directly contradict our faith and to dishonor our Creator. Love everyone, including your (political) enemy. This is a simple application of the principle above. As Jesus taught us, “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father” (Matthew 5:44-45). We are called to love as God loves – without exception or distinction. Jesus forgave those who crucified him. As his followers, we must never demean or disrespect another person, and must directly oppose any expression of hatred, malice, or contempt. Listen, be humble, and do not judge. To love another person is to honor their dignity. We cannot honor the dignity of another if we do not listen to them and seek to understand their perspective and their experiences. We state our own beliefs and values with clarity, but also with humility and charity. And, we honor Jesus’ teaching not to judge another, and to be always attentive, first, to our own sins and failings (see Matthew 7:1-5). Affirm that moral character matters. One of the things I am struck by in the conversations about faith and politics is the seeming lack of concern for the moral character of the candidates. I realize that this may be difficult to judge, but the moral integrity

Todd Graff

Director of Lay Formation & RCIA

of our nation rests largely on the moral character of our public leaders. As our U.S. Catholic Bishops write, “At all levels of society, we are aware of a great need for leadership that models love for righteousness (Wisdom 1:1) as well as the virtues of justice, prudence, courage and temperance” (Forming Consciences…, Introduction). How desperately, in these times, we need political leaders who model and embody such a “love for righteousness!" Honor the full integrity of Catholic teaching. I love the way Pope Benedict wrote of a “human” ecology and an “environmental” ecology, and how both depend on one another and must be equally respected. He teaches, “The book of nature is one and indivisible: it takes in not only the environment but also life, sexuality, marriage, the family, social relations: in a word, integral human development. Our duties towards the environment are linked to our duties towards the human person, considered in himself and in relation to others. It would be wrong to uphold one set of duties while trampling on the other” (Caritas in Veritate [“On Integral Human Development in Charity and Truth”], #51). As you might imagine, I began writing this article with some trepidation. To wade into these waters is treacherous, indeed. But, I believe so deeply that our nation is at a crisis point in its political life, and that our society desperately needs the medicine of the gospel to heal our civic wounds. Let us, the followers of Jesus Christ, be ever faithful in giving authentic witness to His truth, to His love, and to His mercy as faithful and faith-filled citizens! Deo Gratias! Our defense of the innocent unborn … needs to be clear, firm and passionate, for at stake is the dignity of a human life, which is always sacred and demands love for each person, regardless of his or her stage of development. Equally sacred, however, are the lives of the poor, those already born, the destitute, the abandoned and the underprivileged, the vulnerable infirm and elderly exposed to covert euthanasia, the victims of human trafficking, new forms of slavery, and every form of rejection. We cannot uphold an ideal of holiness that would ignore injustice in a world where some revel, spend with abandon and live only for the latest consumer goods, even as others look on from afar, living their entire lives in abject poverty. -Pope Francis, Gaudete et Exsultate, #101

Citizens, police officers, firemen, clergy, politicians: do Jacob justice on this level and examine your hearts. We need healing. As I pray for my son’s healing – physically, emotionally and spiritually – I also have been praying even before this for the healing of our country. Let’s use our hearts, our love and our intelligence to work together to show the rest of the world how humans are supposed to treat each other.

-Mother of Jacob Blake (Kenosha, WI)

Susan Windley-Daoust

Director of Missionary Discipleship

t is no surprise to anyone that parishes have been handed a huge challenge this year. COVID-19 threw the best-laid plans to the wind, and required collaboration and creativity to offer the basics of what we took for granted—and the pandemic itself created a new field of enormous physical, economic, psychological, and spiritual pain. When Pope Francis said that the parish needs to rethink itself as a field hospital on the mission field, he perhaps didn’t envision the need for a literal field hospital. Yet some parishes have been called to be something close to that. People are more aware of their need than in many years. We have an opportunity, but more importantly, we have a call to offer the Divine Physician to a world in pain. As you read on page 3, the diocese will host priests, deacons, religious, and lay parish staff and volunteers to an online Fall Ministry Day this October 15 (New Wine into New Wineskins: The How of Missionary Discipleship in Our New Reality). The purpose of the day is to reassemble as disciples on the way after a difficult set of

Missionary Discipleship

Mission Education Parish Success Group and Revive Parishes

months and look precisely at how we can serve the communications to fundraising. Everyone Lord and others in this time. This builds on our focus serving the Diocese of Winona-Rochester on proposing Jesus Christ to all in a rapidly changing gets access to these courses for free this culture, but with current pandemic challenges in mind. 2020-2021 year. The courses are a good Our presenter on October 15, Rich Curran, is balance of meaty and short, do not require the founder and executive director of Parish Success reading, and are set up to complete indiGroup, an organization long devoted to improving and vidually or in small groups. Many ministry focusing mission in parishes and Church organizations directors in the Pastoral Center are facili(see more at tating one or more mini-courses online Rich is a dynamic speaker who has experience and an this coming year, and excellent eye for the practical eleyou are encouraged to ments of living in the Lord’s mission. Interested in Evangelization? join us in the learning We are grateful that he has agreed Not Sure Where to Start? and discussion (conto continue visiting with interested tact me at swindley@ Want weekly news on evangelidiocesan staff and volunteers quarzation training and opportunities for course terly throughout this pandemic, as in southern Minnesota? We have a offerings). Parishes we brainstorm and implement how weekly email list! are welcomed and to be the best parishes we can be in Please send Susan Windleyencouraged to run this time and place. Daoust a request to be added via any of these courses In addition to that live “in-peremail: “in house” as well. They could be son but online” help, the diocese offered online via Zoom or in perhas partnered with Revive Parishes son if the pandemic permits. (see is a great deal to do now, rochester). Revive Parishes is an as we see a people weary and need of a fresh encounoutstanding set of on-demand online mini-courses by ter with the power of God. How we emerge from the national experts that brings missionary discipleship pandemic depends entirely on what we do right now. and best practices to specific ministries: everything Please join us as we focus on the Lord’s mission in the from youth ministry to serving the poor to preachplace and time he has placed us. ing to leadership collaboration to evangelization to

October 2020 w The Courier w



Meet Our

New Seminarians

�ast month, readers were introduced

to three new seminarians in formation for priesthood in the Diocese of Winona-Rochester: Nathaniel Garity (Resurrection, Rochester), Alexander Peters (Holy Family, Kasson), and Benjamin Peters (Holy Family, Kasson). This month, we have introductions to John Paul Bickerstaff (Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Winona), Michael Syzmanski (All Saints, New Richland), and John Vrchota (St. Joseph, Lakefield). Please pray for these six young men!

When did you first hear the call to discernment of priesthood?

While growing up in such a dynamic, the possibility of a vocation to the priesthood was presented to me often, and I usually enjoyed it when it was. After my family moved to Winona and discovered that there was a seminary on the edge of town (none other, of course, than IHM), I would often muse about the idea of ending up there. There were occasional times, especially in my teenage years, when, usually in prayer, a desire to be a priest would emerge from within me. I remember going to a Steubenville conference and noticing some of my own attitudes and inclinations that seemed priestly to me. As I grew up, though, music became more and more a substantial part of my life, and the idea of the priesthood grew to be far more often on the backburner of my mind. But, when the summer before my senior year of high school rolled around, I found myself thinking, “If I were to end up entering seminary right after graduating, I really ought to begin seriously discerning that about now.” This was what was on my mind when I began a silent retreat later in the summer – a retreat in which God gave me just enough of a nudge to get me to accept an invitation to pursue the priesthood. After talking to Fr. Kern, dragging my feet some more, and finally surrendering myself all the way into God’s providential and trustworthy hands, I completed the application and ended up in the seminary. What joys or difficulties have you experienced moving forward in your vocation?

John Paul Bickerstaff

finds great delight in both listening to and playing music, especially classical and liturgical music. He plays cello, sings, and tries to play organ and piano when he can, and goofs around on a guitar or mandolin when he happens to have the time. He also enjoys spending time out-of-doors in all sorts of activities, and, inevitably, participating in whatever his friends are up to. He finds himself fascinated with sacred choral music and will end up digging deep holes and turning over many leaves to look for unfamiliar, age-old pieces of music.

Now that I am in the seminary, it has been quite a ride. The first week was a little rough, as discouraging thoughts were thrown at me by the evil one, but, through perseverance, things have been smoothing out, and now I would have it no other way. I think I may have expected seminary to be all sunshine and roses, but what I had not expected in addition to the sunshine and roses was the heat of the sun and the thorns on the rosebushes. Seminary has been a very good experience, and that necessarily includes the challenges and painful growth-spurts alongside the comforts. And I intend to anticipate and embrace that all the way though discernment.

Most of my childhood was spent in southern Georgia before moving to Minnesota six years ago. I grew up in a devoutly Catholic family and was homeschooled from start to finish. My dad, mom, and three brothers spent eight years on a hobby farm in the country, while my dad taught at the state university in town. I am most grateful to God and to my parents and siblings for my childhood experience that taught me solid family values, enriched my life with creativity and music, exposed me to both country and city life, and, most importantly, grounded me in my Catholic faith.

What advice do you have for others who are discerning their vocations?

What was your childhood like?

October 2020 w The Courier w

To my brothers and sisters discerning: Be not afraid! Be not afraid to make sacrifices for the Lord. Trust Jesus with your entire self, for He only wants to give you what will make you most happy and make you into the best version of yourself you can be. Surround yourself with other people who take their discernment seriously, make yourself take some concrete steps, and, above all, keep your prayer life firmly established and at the forefront in your life.

Rev. Jason Kern Director of Vocations

Michael Syzmanksi

is the fourth of seven children in his family, raised in a rural area near Albert Lea. He is currently on a Journey Year in La Crosse, WI. What was your childhood like?

Almost everyone received homeschooling. For as long as I can remember, we always went to Sunday Mass. My mother convinced me to start playing organ at church at the age of 13. God continues to use my talents for the glory of His Name. When did you first hear the call to discernment of priesthood? I want to say that my call to the diocesan priesthood first came about very slowly around the time I was confirmed. Then, gradually, it grew to where it is presently, over 8-10 years. The one person who may have kicked this last step into gear would have to be my younger sister Anne. She introduced me to Pathways TEC, through which I was able to grow in the Lord and my Faith at the same time. I do like to read excellent inspirational books when time permits. I am currently working on a few books by Matthew Kelly, which has also aided in helping me find out what God wants me to do with my life. How does it feel to be entering the seminary? As I write this, I have almost one month of the Journey Program under my belt. If you do not know what this is, think of it as a preparatory year like college preparation but the seminary version. My only disappointment would be that I did not answer the call sooner. There was some minor anxiety about me going to this new place and starting a new chapter

of my life with all these other men I do not know. Even so, I have grown to appreciate this new life with its many challenges and joys. My prayer life has exploded, and I have become closer to our Lord in many ways. What advice do you have for others who are discerning their vocations? My advice to those thinking of discerning a priest's life is this: talk to your vocation director or even your spiritual director, and they can point you in the right direction. God does not want just anyone. He wants you to be the best person you can be in accordance with His will.

When did you first hear the call to discernment of priesthood? I first started thinking of priesthood when I started serving at Mass in middle school. My heart has always been open to following God’s call for me. This does not mean it was always easy to hear or do. I have the urge to give my heart out in service. I was discerning in high school when God led me to St. Isidore, the farmer, as my confirmation saint. That pointed me into the agriculture direction. My struggles in college and my career path led me back to thinking of seminary. I heard the call to go to seminary near the end of my last semester at UWRF. It took some time to process that thoughts of seminary kept popping into my mind. I visited seminary that fall and decided I wanted to pursue this path. My focus before was directed toward helping feed the world. I am now focused on finding my role in feeding souls. Who has had the strongest influence on your faith journey?

John Vrchota enjoys reading, studying his-

My whole family has played a major role in my life. My parents and their siblings shared their faith with me. My cousins were my role models growing up. Fr. Charles Quinn, the loving country priest who loved sharing his vocation, had the greatest impact on me as a priest. Sister Marie Paul Lockherd, D.O., helped me to discern my call. All my grandparents set great examples of faith. My Grandmother Theresa’s life had the greatest impact. Her life is an inspiration and guide for me. Her unselfish love and unyielding faith are fundamental values I hold dear to my heart. She sacrificed so much for the good of everyone else. God shows His great love for us through others.

tory, making people laugh, target shooting, playing board/card games, and being out in nature. He also enjoys spending time with and helping his dad on the farm. He holds a bachelor’s degree in crop and soil science from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

How does it feel to be entering the seminary?

What was your childhood like?

What joys or difficulties have you experienced moving forward in your vocation?

I grew up on a small, crop farm near Lakefield. Having been raised on a farm, I grew to appreciate the value of hard work and what it takes to feed people. There are so many factors out of farmers hands, just like in life. Life on a farm parallels what is needed in the spiritual life so well. Trusting God is the most important thing. When struggles growing up or problems at school arose, I knew Jesus would see me through. My parents set a good example of living the faith and marriage. As an only child, I learned how to occupy myself. I also have a great appreciation for my extended family. Having a very active family at my home parish drew me into helping at church. As I grew older, I took on more and more roles. It was my way of giving love to my parish family. God multiplied the love I received in return..

I have had to draw upon the Lord for patience and trust just in getting to seminary. I have spent roughly four years, after receiving the call, praying and discerning through my life’s struggles. One of the greatest blessings during this time was teaching at religious ed. classes. I was finally able to enter seminary when the Lord decided the time was right. He filled me with so much peace and joy my heart was overflowing. Having two seminarians stay with my pastor over the spring and summer has been a great blessing. I look forward to getting to know all the guys at seminary and building lifetime friendships. I anticipate some difficulty in balancing formation, fraternity, academics, and everything else going on in seminary. It will be a fun and challenging adventure. I thank God for leading the way.

I am finding it difficult to express, in words, what is in my heart. Simply put: my heart is full of peace, love, joy, and gratitude. God often makes us wait for the best gifts. I am excited for this next chapter in my life.


Sister Miriam (M. Verone) Saumweber, SSND, 95, professed in 1945, died September 13, 2020, in Notre Dame Health Care, Our Lady of Good Counsel, Mankato. Originally from St. Paul, she graduated from Good Counsel Academy in 1942. She entered the SSND Candidature that same year and professed first vows in 1945. She was an elementary and secondary grade teacher in several Minnesota, Iowa, and North Dakota Catholic schools. She also ministered for many years as an art therapist in various areas of the US. In the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, she taught at Good Counsel Academy and Loyola High School in Mankato; St. Anthony, Lismore; and St. Isidore, Litomysl. Sister Miriam is survived by her sister, Sister Vianney Saumweber, SSND; her nephew, Jim, and his family; 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, Valentine and Marie (Griesgraber) Saumweber; two SSND sisters, Verna and Valine; and four brothers, Gervaise, Jerome, Gene and Clem. Her funeral mass was celebrated September 22 at Good Counsel, with Fr. Gene Stenzel as presider.

What advice do you have for others who are discerning their vocations?

You cannot discern or fulfill a vocation by yourself. It takes God, the Church, and you working together. Everything starts with God, so turn to Him in prayer. Next, find a priest whom you feel comfortable talking to. Ask him questions, talk about his story, and share your feelings. Go visit a seminary and talk to seminarians. A hen does not sit on an empty nest expecting an egg to hatch. Nor should you sit there; take some action! Do not be afraid of who you are or what struggles you deal with. Jesus will guide you and hold your hand. God the author of your life wants to reveal your story. Will you crack open the pages and discover your great adventure? May God bless you.

October 2020 w The Courier w

Youth & Young Adults


Totus Tuus in the Midst of a Pandemic By MICHAEL OTTMAN

y biggest regret of 2020 was buying “ a planner," said the man who made the joke. This past summer, I had the opportunity to work with one of our seminarians, Riley Becher, in planning all sorts of youth ministry events for the diocese that were unfortunately unable to happen. However, we were able to adapt Totus Tuus to be a one-day summer event for our parishes! A quick note of what it normally looks like. Totus Tuus is a 5-day program for grades 1-12 covering the mysteries of the rosary; actively participating in the sacraments, fun games and songs; and learning about different pillars of our Catholic faith. So, a condensed version seemed like a tall order, but this is what came out of it. We ended up serving three parishes and a total of 63 kids! There were a lot of guidelines we had to follow, which seemed at times to be insurmountable obstacles to making it work or be fun. The one thing we didn’t account for is the fact that kids and youth

are the light of the world. There is a pure joy that dwells in their hearts that no mask can cover, no hand sanitizer can take away, and a joy that can radiate farther than six feet away. One of our parishes only had three youth signed up for the day. There was a big discussion as to whether we should cancel the event for all the work needed to be done for those three kids. After praying about it, however, we decided to go through with the plan in place. The whole day was gloomy in weather, and we had to cancel the water activities due to rain in the afternoon. With all that being said, it might have been one of the brightest days of the summer! God blessed the time we had, and truly let His grace shine down. The bar was set high to be able to run this ministry. I am truly thankful for all of the volunteers, parish leaders, priests, and parents who were a part of these days. It can be a lot easier to be the salt that loses its taste, rather than a light in the world. In one of the parishes we served, we needed an extra team member to help us run the day. A graduated senior stepped in to share her faith, enthusiasm, and joy to make the day possible. So again, thank you all for showing me the light when at times I was being a bit salty. “Totus Tuus” is a Latin phrase meaning “Totally Yours” - a motto from St. John Paul II, meaning we are

The Televised Mass Is Offered Every Sunday Sioux Falls - KTTW Channel 7 at 7 a.m. Sioux City - KPTH Channel 44 at 8:30 a.m. Mankato - KEYC Channel 12 at 7:30 a.m.

Digital Channel 12.2 or Charter Channel 19 NEYC at 9:30 a.m. Digital Channel 7 (DirecTV) or Channel 11 (DISH) KMNF at 9 a.m. Rochester/Austin/Mason City KIMT Channel 3 at 7:30 a.m. MyTV 3.2 at 9 a.m. NEW Twin Cities - WFTC Digital Channel 29 or Channel 9.2 at 11:30 a.m. Southeastern MN - HBC Channel 20 at 3 p.m. (repeated Wed. at 3:30 p.m.) Winona/La Crosse/Eau Claire - WLAX/WEUX Channel 25/48 at 7:30 a.m. and on our website, (click "Weekly Mass")

October 2020 w The Courier w

Aaron Lofy

Director of Youth & Young Adults,

totally Jesus’ through the hands of our mother Mary. I didn’t intend the title to be reflective when I started, but how are we being “Totally Yours" in the midst of a pandemic? Buying a planner may have been a big mistake for 2020, although one thing I did have planned for 2020 was to live as totally His during this year. I have stumbled, struggled, and at times failed with this plan. This summer has given me hope to keep striving to live out the one plan in my 2020 planner that can’t be taken away by a pandemic. I encourage us all to keep reflecting, praying, and remember, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house” Michael Ottman is the youth ministry coordinator for the Diocese of Winona-Rochester.

Hannah Graff, a senior at Cotter Schools in Winona, is a semifinalist in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program. The 66th annual National Merit Scholarship Program announced 16,000 semifinalists in September. These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $30 million that will be offered next spring. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. To become a finalist, the semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and

Bishop John M. Quinn joined St. Mary's University, Winona, Campus Ministry September 24 at a prayer station in the campus plaza. Many students stopped by for prayer or to receive a blessing. The peer team and FOCUS team members joyfully assisted in reaching out to other students. This outreach will become an ongoing event for students seeking to connect spiritually. Submitted by DEB NAHRGANG, senior director of external relations for St. Mary's University of Minnesota.

community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. At Cotter, Hannah participates in band, jazz band, choir, show choir, music ministry, theatre, speech team, tennis, math team, and mock trial. Good luck to Hannah as she enters the next stage in becoming a finalist. Submitted by JANA KORDER, marketing and communications specialist for Cotter Schools in Winona.

Learning Continues at St. John Vianney School, Fairmont

Catholic Schools

Marsha Stenzel

Superintendent of Catholic Schools


�any, many hours have gone into the planning

process for this school year. We have had to take time to think about things that we never had to think about before, like: How will we attend Mass? How will we temperature check every student? How will we socially distance every child and teacher? How will we be sure that they keep their masks on? How will we serve lunch? What will PE look like? Can they sing in music? There were, and continue to be, so many questions about how school would look this year. We are living in an ever-changing world. It seems that each day there is new information for us to look over. We are working each and every day to be sure that we are able to keep our doors open throughout the school year so that our children will be able to be educated within our building. Our classrooms look a little different this year. The students and teachers are wearing masks and shields. We are socially distancing through the help of Circle of Grace. We are teaching and reteaching how to wash hands properly and how to cover coughs. Most importantly, our kids are learning. Their faith is growing each day as we pray for calmness and peace. Their academic skills are enhanced as our teachers do what they do best: teach! Their social skills are maturing as we are back together

St. Mary's School, Madelia, Kicks Off Healthy, Happy New School Year


again and they learn to play and interact with one another. Our school completed the Richard Schulze Challenge Grant last year. Donors gifted the school with over $32,000 in just two months time last year. The Schulze Foundation then matched $25,000 of that amount. We were able to do many things with this wonderful gift. Half of the funds were used to purchase new SMART panels to replace our older SMART boards. We now have six new panels in the building. We will be purchasing three more as the year progresses. The other half of the funds was designated to our Preschool program. We have made many, many improvements within the classroom over the summer. The carpet was replaced, most of the manipulatives and toys were upgraded, a new educational resource series was purchased, and many other improvements have been made. We have a great Preschool program here and hope to fill our classroom to full capacity with little people as soon as the number of students within the

classroom restrictions are lessened. Each Thursday morning, students, parents, and teachers gather to say the Rosary at 7:40 a.m. For right now, we are doing this outside as the weather permits. We pray for our school, students, teachers, and families. This is a wonderful way for us to start each Thursday. Everyone is welcome to join us since we are outside and can safely distance ourselves. Even if you can’t get to Fairmont, feel free to say the rosary at your own home at 7:40 a.m. each Thursday to pray for our Catholic schools, students, teachers, and families. St. John Vianney would often say: “Private prayer is like straw scattered here and there; if you set it on fire, it makes a lot of little flames. But gather these straws into a bundle and light them, and you get a mighty fire, rising like a column into the sky; public prayer is like that.”

Our school has had much support from our families, parish community, diocesan staff and our own school staff to begin the year together. All summer we worked on creating a plan and space that keeps our students and staff healthy together. We were able to celebrate our first school Mass together in the church as a school family using space and masks.

In this time of the pandemic, we have been blessed by both our small size and have seen growth. We pray that all our schools can continue to reach families and share the mission of Catholic school tradition.

Sarah Striemer is the principal of St. John Vianney School in Fairmont.


�hile normal feels far away and unfamiliar, we

enjoyed the start of a new school year just as we have in the past: together! On the first day, we gather around the flagpole for prayer and to do the pledge. This year was no different. We gathered with distance and our masks to pray and recite the pledge just as we always do, praying for our health and safety and for all those around the world that are starting a new school year. We are taking the steps needed to ensure that we can stay learning together in our building. Here at St. Mary’s we are wearing masks and doing our part to maintain social distance. We have changed our lunch and recess times and rules to ensure that the children have what they need to be happy and healthy here at St. Mary’s School.

Jen Slater is the principal of St. Mary School in Madelia.

October 2020 w The Courier w

Life, Marriage & Family


Voting as a Christian In this month's column, I am indebted to CHRISTOPHER RUFF, who does a brilliant job pointing out our duty in the voting booth as Christians. By now, you have heard that when it comes to voting, you must follow your conscience, but have you also heard that you must inform your conscience? In the Catechism of the Catholic Church (#1783), we learn, Conscience must be informed and moral judgment enlightened. A well-formed conscience is upright and truthful. It formulates its judgments according to reason, in comformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creator. The education of conscience is indispensible for human beings who are subjected to negative influences and tempted by sin to prefer their own judgment and to reject authoritative teachings.

What better way to inform our conscience than to look at the US Bishops' document Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship? In light of Catholic teaching, the bishops vigorously repeat their call for a renewed politics that focuses on moral principles, the promotion of human life and dignity, and the pursuit of the common good. -Peter Martin

Congratulations to the Confirmation Class of 2020 from the clustered parishes of Holy Trinity, Rollingstone; St. Paul, Minnesota City; and St. Mary, Minneiska! They were confirmed August 30 and are pictured here with Bishop John M. Quinn and their pastor, Fr. Chinnappa Pothireddy.

s Christians, we do not leave our faith behind when we enter the voting booth. We understand that politics, like every other part of life, must be illuminated by God’s light or we will stumble in the dark and lose our way. A generation ago, a large majority of Americans shared this view. Call it the Classical Christian worldview. It was the common foundation for our social and political life; we assumed it like the ground beneath our feet. Today, however, that foundation is under attack from another worldview, one that rejects God, or at least ignores him, as it makes the self supreme. Let’s call it the Radical Selfist worldview. The Classical Christian Worldview

The Classical Christian worldview holds that we have received our lives as a gift from a God who loves us, and that we are accountable to him. It believes in moral laws that God has written on our hearts and clarified through his revelation – from the Ten Commandments given through Moses, to the Sermon on the Mount proclaimed by his only Son, Jesus Christ. This is his blueprint for us, his design for our happiness and fulfillment. This blueprint reveals to us certain foundational moral principles. Among them, we see: • That every human life, of every race and nation, born and unborn, is sacred and has equal rights and dignity; • That we are created male or female according to God’s plan;

Photo submitted by TOM SPELTZ

Thanks for Your Commitment By JEANETTE FORTIER

he National Council of Catholic Women; whose patroness is Our Lady of Good Counsel; whose mission is to empower women in spirituality, leadership, and service, as established by the USCCB in 1920; extends to all women of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester sincere thanks for your commitment of time and talent to

October 2020 w The Courier w

Peter Martin

Director of Faith Formation and Life, Marriage & Family

That sexual relations are meant for marriage between one man and one woman;

• That the free exercise of religion is a sacred right.

Though we are imperfect human beings, we work to build our lives on foundational principles such as these, as we raise our families and shape our social and civic communities. The Radical Selfist Worldview

The Radical Selfist worldview opposes everything we have just described, rejecting the idea of a God-given blueprint. Everything is up to personal ‘choice.’ We can choose our own gender, our preferred exercise of sexuality, our definition of marriage, and even whether a child in the womb shall live or die. Radical Selfism preaches tolerance until it gains power, at which point it seeks to silence and to punish those who disagree with it. Unfortunately, this worldview has been promoted and amplified by many in Hollywood, the mass media and even public education. What Is a Christian Voter to Do?

While we cannot expect perfection from any political candidate, it is vital that Christians support those most closely aligned with the Classical Christian worldview, and oppose those aligned with the Radical Selfist worldview. For Radical Selfism, with its worship of ‘choice’ in place of God, inevitably produces bitter fruits: moral and civil breakdown, destruction, and death. It is simply impossible to achieve lasting harmony and peace without adhering to the foundational principles of God’s plan. Therefore, let us intensify our prayers and our efforts to elect candidates who stand up for the Godgiven principles and rights on which our nation was founded. Our future, and the future of our children and our grandchildren, is at stake.

Christopher Ruff is the director of ministries and social concerns for the Diocese of La Crosse. the programs and efforts of our Diocesan Council. October is CCW recognition month. Please join us in celebrating all that the National Council of Catholic Women has accomplished and all that our Diocesan Council has contributed since becoming an affiliate of the NCCW in 1942. To view what the Council of Catholic Women is all about go to Click on the “We Are NCCW” video on the homepage. Also, scroll down to the "Resource" menu to view information on domestic violence, useful during this month of October: Women Healing the Wounds and Mending the Brokenness. To view W-RDCCW’s latest e-newletter, contact We are proud of our history. We are excited for our future! Jeanette Fortier is the president of the Winona-Rochester Diocesan Council of Catholic Women.

Just and Merciful �

Part of the increase has been the war on drugs. A large percentage of incarcerations are due to convictions for possession and sale of illegal drugs. I worked briefly providing psychological services to a local county jail. An informal tally of the jail roster showed that almost 80% of the inmates were there on drug or drug-related charges. There are no simple answers, but reprioritizing funding for treatment of addiction would appear to be a logical response. Another factor that has affected the increase in incarceration is related to privatization of prisons. The move to privatize prisons was started to help reduce the cost of incarceration. However, today, the prison builders and prison service providers have powerful lobbies that work to influence state and local governments to create new crimes, impose harsher sentences, and keep more people incarcerated. As the news has repeatedly reported over this past summer, minority persons are more likely to

was needed. Today there are few resources for persons with severe and persistent mental illness. Rather than receiving care in a residential hospital or a community setting, the mentally ill are often imprisoned. There are three times more mentally ill persons in prisons or jails than there are in psychiatric hospitals. Over 50% of the persons imprisoned have a diagnosed mental illness; nearly one in five has a serious mental illness. Alisa Rother, in her book Insane: America’s Criminal Treatment of Mental Illness, wrote:

Catholic Charities

be arrested than white persons. Once arrested, the poor and minorities often struggle to get good legal representation which puts them at a disadvantage in court proceedings. The conditions inside jails and prisons vary in different parts of the country. As a nation, we go back and forth between focusing on rehabilitation and punishment. With budget cuts, more and more, the focus is on punishment as funds for rehabilitaver the past few months, there has been a lot of tion programs are diminished. Solitary confinement debate about the role of the criminal justice system is used as a form of punishment in most prisons. As in our communities. Our nation is struggling to bala psychologist, I can state that solitary confinement ance the need to enforce laws while at the same time is not good for anyone’s mental health, particularly trying to assure that such enforcement is done fairly those who have preexisting mental health condiand humanely. How we treat those who are accused tions. and convicted is a challenge to us as The imprisonment of those who are Christians. We are called both to justice seriously mentally ill raises concerns Over the past and to mercy. about a lack of compassionate care. The focus of debate has been pri- century, the American prisons have become a waremarily on policing, but there are sevhouse for those who are mentally ill. Over eral other aspects of the criminal justice institutional the past century, the institutional care system that are of concern. The court of people with mental illness has shiftprocedures, jail and prison conditions, care of people ed from prisons, to hospitals, and back capital punishment, and the treatment with mental again to prisons. In the late 1800s there of the mentally ill are also areas in which was alarm about the horrific treatment illness has thoughtful analysis is needed. of mentally ill persons in prisons, and Bryan Stevenson, in his book Just reformers lead a movement to get people Mercy, discusses many of these issues. shifted from out of prisons and into mental hospitals. The rate of incarceration has increased prisons, to Then, in the 1950s, conditions in mental dramatically over the past 50 years. The hospitals had deteriorated and there was United States has the highest incarcer- hospitals, and a movement to get people out of the hosation rate of any first world country. back again to pitals. In the 1960s and 70s, there were Stevenson states: laws enacted to make involuntary commitment more difficult. A wide variety In 1970, there were 300,000 people prisons. of supportive community services was incarcerated in the US. Today (as of envisioned as part of a plan for deinstitu2015) that number is 2.3 million. In tionalizing those with mental illness. Unfortunately, addition, nearly 6 million people are on probathose services were never realized to the extent that tion. Thousands await execution on death row. Spending on prisons and jails has risen from 6.9 billion dollars in 1980 to nearly 80 billion dollars today.


We have known for more than two hundred years that keeping people with mental illness locked up in jails and prisons does little but make them worse.

Another issue in our criminal justice system that raises a moral concern is that of capital punishment. Poor and minority persons are disproportionately sentenced to death. Executions also go against prolife principles. In 2018, the Catechism of the Catholic Church was revised to read, “In the light of the Gospel the death penalty is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person” and it now advocates for capital punishment to be abolished worldwide. In the last chapter of Just Mercy, the author says we all are in need of redemption. When we view the cop shows on TV, there is usually a dichotomy between the good guys and the bad guys. But, in real life, the good guys aren’t always all good, and the bad guys aren’t always all bad. As we continue to debate the role of our criminal justice system, my hope is that we can progress with both justice and mercy.

October 2020 w The Courier w

October 2020

• The Courier

Welcoming New Staff

at the Catholic Foundation of Southern Minnesota �lease join me in welcoming two new staff members to the Catholic Foundation of Southern Minnesota. MAGGIE VAN HEUKLON is our new development strategist, and RICARDO RODRIGUEZ is our new marketing and communications associate. I'll let Maggie and Ricardo speak for themselves! Maggie Van Heuklon

I was born and grew up in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, before going on to attend the University of WisconsinLa Crosse. I graduated in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science degree in public health, and a minor in nutrition studies. I have a passion for volunteer work, so next I joined AmeriCorps NCCC, and flew down to Mississippi to work as a national service member. From there I traveled to several states doing disaster

Congratulations! Since our last printing, the following parishes have met their goals for the 2020 Catholic Ministries Appeal:

relief, community improvement, and environmental management. Coronavirus cut my work short, so I flew home in March of this year to be with my family. My interest in nonprofit work led me to the Catholic Foundation of Southern Minnesota, where I now work as the development specialist. Here, I work on processing all donations to the Foundation along with other methods for fundraising. I enjoy talking to community members and seeing the benefit that has been made in southern Minnesota. In my free time, I like to spend time outside, cook, and play with my dog! Ricardo Rodriguez Hello Everyone, my name is Ricardo Rodriguez and I grew up in Rochester, Minnesota with my family of 6. I attended John Marshall High School in Rochester and graduated in 2016. I then followed my dreams and those of my family by becoming the first person in my family to attend college. I studied business management at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in spring of 2020. I realized during college that one of the things I wanted to

Monica Herman

Executive Director Catholic Foundation of Southern Minnesota

do the most is help others. I wanted to make sure my work positively impacted the lives of other people. So when I had the opportunity to work with the Catholic Foundation of Southern Minnesota, I knew it was something I couldn’t pass on. As a marketing and communications staff member, some of the things I do include managing different media forms, such as social media, newsletters, and websites, as well as keeping constituents updated on current campaigns and appeals. While I am not at work, I like to keep busy with a variety of hobbies. I enjoy sports of all kind, so plenty of my free time includes participating and watching sports. I also enjoy music, with guitar being my favorite instrument to play. I also enjoy cooking, and love learning how to make different things.

Assumption Canton Holy Cross Dakota

Holy Family East Chain

Immaculate Conception St. Clair Immaculate Conception Wilson St. Aloysius Elba

St. Anthony Altura St. James Twin Lakes St. Joseph Jasper

St. Martin Woodstock St. Mary Minneiska

St. Patrick Lanesboro

St. Paul Minnesota City

Maggie Van Heuklon

Holy Trinity, Rollingstone, Awarded Parish Grant WINONA - On September 1, 2020, Bishop John M. Quinn received word from Publisher Wade Wisler of Oregon Catholic Press (OCP) that Holy Trinity Parish in Rollingstone had been chosen to receive a $2,000 OCP Parish Grant. The letter reads as follows: Dear Bishop Quinn, On behalf of Archbishop Alexander K. Sample and the OCP Board of Directors, I am pleased to announce that Holy Trinity Parish in Rollingstone has been chosen to receive an OCP Parish Grant in the amount of $2,000. It is our sincere hope that this grant will help Holy Trinity Parish meet the needs they so clearly presented in their grant application, as well as support their efforts to enhance their community's liturgy and music. Holy Trinity Parish was chosen for this award out of hundreds of applications from parishes large and small across the United States. Every application was of remarkable merit and each parish's

Ricardo Rodriguez

needs were worthy of assistance, making the selection process quite difficult. We take great satisfaction in knowing that so many parishes are committed to fulfilling the needs of their communities. Information regarding this year's OCP Parish Grant awards will be released as widely as possible through Catholic newswire services, social media, OCP publications and on our website, We hope these stories about recipients will be an inspiration to other parishes struggling with similar limitations and striving toward similar goals. Although some minor restrictions apply, this is a yearly program with varying award amounts. We invite any parish that was not awarded a grant in the previous year to apply in the coming year. Applications for the OCP Parish Grants Program may be submitted online at in early 2021. We hope you will encourage the parishes of your diocese to participate. According to its website,, Oregon Catholic Press "is committed to providing the very best resources, music and service to Catholic parishes and worshipers all over the world; fulfilling our mission to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all."

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.