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New April 2018 | Vol. 39 | No. 4


The Magazine of the Catholic Diocese of Fargo


Have we forgotten the gifts of the Holy Spirit?


From Bishop Folda: Rugged individualism vs. Easter faith

“Walk to Jerusalem� encourages faithful to spiritual and physical fitness

Why youth continue to march for life






April 2018 Vol. 39 | No. 4

ON THE COVER 14 Have we forgotten the gifts of the Holy Spirit? Confirmation season is once again upon us in the Diocese

of Fargo, and Pentecost is just weeks away. Baptized and confirmed Catholics have received the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. But what are these gifts, and how can we call upon the Holy Spirit to assist us in our daily spiritual lives?



Rugged individualism vs. Easter faith



Pope Francis’ April prayer intention


Ask a priest:


In Ephesians 2:8, Paul says, “for by grace you have been saved... not from works.” Does that mean our works mean nothing?


Looking for fixes when we should be looking to prayer


Sacred space, a beginning to a life of prayer in the home


10 “Walk to Jerusalem” encourages faithful to spiritual and physical fitness 11 Bishop Folda celebrates Red Mass for judiciary and legal professions 13 Teresa Tomeo shares her testimony at Real Presence Radio banquet 13 Presentations Sisters receive Catholic Charities Caritas Award




23 Stories of Faith

Religious education catechist sees fruits of her labor

24 Sister’s Perspective

Christ’s presence in those we serve

18 Tattered Pages

25 Catholic Action

19 Handbell workshop inspires local ringers to spread beauty of music

26 Stewardship

A review written by Father James Gross for the film “Darkest Hour”


20 Why youth continue to march for life 22 Annual Bike Race N’ Ride builds community and Kingdom of God on Earth




What are “rights” and how do we protect them? Plan for the future, take time to plan your estate

27 The Catholic Difference

Learning from the White Rose

28 Catholic Charities Corner

DOCAT a practical guide to Catholic social teaching


ON THE COVER: God the Father and the Holy Spirit depicted on a mural at Sts. Anne and Joachim Church, Fargo. (Paul Braun | New Earth)



(ISSN# 10676406) Our mission is to serve Catholic parishes in Eastern N.D. as the official monthly publication of the Diocese of Fargo.


Most Rev. John T. Folda Bishop of Fargo


Paul Braun

Assistant editor Kristina Lahr


Stephanie Drietz - Drietz Designs


Parish contributions make it possible for each registered Catholic household in the diocese to receive 11 issues per year. For those living outside the Diocese wanting a subscription, an annual $9/year rate is requested.





29 Events across the diocese 29 A glimpse of the past 30 Life’s milestones 32 34

U.S. AND WORLD NEWS How a 22 year-old Texan began a Catholic school for Uganda’s deaf children Other U.S. and world news

SIDEWALK STORIES 35 “It’s the way of the world,” he said, shrugging

Send address changes or subscription requests to: New Earth 5201 Bishops Blvd S., Suite A Fargo, ND 58104

Contact Information

Use the following contact information to contact the New Earth staff: (701) 356-7900 Deadline to submit articles, story ideas, advertisements and announcements for the May issue is April 18, 2018. All submissions are subject to editing and placement. New Earth is published by the Catholic Diocese of Fargo, a nonprofit North Dakota corporation, 5201 Bishops Blvd. S, Suite A Fargo, ND 58104. (701) 356-7900. Periodical Postage Paid at Fargo, ND and at additional mailing offices. Member of the Catholic Press Association NEW EARTH APRIL 2018



Rugged individualism vs. Easter faith


he Lord is Risen, he is risen indeed! Alleluia!” Dear readers, I hope each one of you had a most blessed celebration of Holy Week and Easter. These blessed days are a powerful experience of grace for those who experience them, and they remind us that the salvation accomplished by Jesus is not just a mere abstraction. He truly underwent a brutal crucifixion and died for our sins. He just as truly rose from the dead, opening for us the way to eternal life in heaven. Jesus alone was able to accomplish this; he is our one and only Savior. But faith in the saving act of Christ is undermined by a kind of radical individualism that has taken hold of our culture. It’s true that we admire personal accomplishment and the rugged individuals who can stand on their own two feet. For good reason we value independence and individual initiative, but in many ways a radical kind of individualism has crept into our faith lives as well, and doesn’t adequately reflect the unique salvation won for us by Christ. One example is the subtle but widespread belief that the human person is completely autonomous, and whose sole fulfillment depends entirely on his or her own strength. We achieve salvation not by God’s grace but by our own efforts. Most people wouldn’t say so explicitly, but that is often the way faith is lived out. According to this mindset, there’s really no such thing as original sin, and other sins don’t matter much either. Thus, our need for a savior is certainly less than urgent, and Jesus becomes an admirable teacher — sent by God, yes — but really just a great man who taught us some good lessons about life that can help us get to heaven. Of course this sets aside any notion that we are saved by the redemptive death and resurrection of Jesus, or that we have any need of divine grace to attain salvation. This concept of faith is especially appealing to the radical individualist, who does things “my way” and doesn’t see the need for interference from anyone else. But there’s an old saying that “what goes around comes around.” And how true that is in the life of the Church. This new form of radical individualism is just a warmed up version of an old heresy that has been around for centuries. Back in the fifth century, a priest named Pelagius denied original sin and basically said we are saved simply by following the example that Jesus

set for us. Of course, he was mistaken, but in many ways, our culture has embraced this distorted version of Christianity, and has lost the realization that we are sinners in need of a savior. This rugged individualism also excludes the role of the Church, or recasts it merely as an association of like-minded people who share a common view of life. The idea that the Church is an essential part of the divine plan and that we are all members in the Body of Christ is diminished or even lost altogether. Another version of this radical individualism has the person finding fulfillment in an interior experience of God with no reference to or need of anyone else. Needless to say, this understanding of faith is completely subjective. One has no need for any other reference point, and the individual’s interior experience is the only standard for truth or morality. The logical consequence is that we decide what is true and what is good, regardless of any norms outside ourselves. We attain a sort of personal illumination that is not subject to anyone else. Far from being an exercise of Christian conscience, this is the individual inventing his own truth and salvation. And yet again, we find here a modern version of an old heresy called Gnosticism. In the early Church, some teachers taught that one could attain salvation by discovering a secret knowledge that would give one a spark of the divine life. In its extreme form, it denigrated the body and held that the mind alone is where we arrive at salvation. Gone is the belief that the human person is a unity of body and soul, and that both are redeemed by the saving grace of Christ. One finds this same belief in many aspects of New Age thought and practice, and it plays right into the radical individualist idea that I am my own savior. Both of these modes of thought reject the understanding that the person is a unity of body and soul, and that life is not one’s own, but a gift. Not surprisingly, we find a growing acceptance of physician assisted suicide, transgenderism, same-sex unions, and other aspects of the radical autonomous individual. There is also widespread rejection of the Church’s teaching on morality and on the need for the sacraments. Authentic Christian faith reveals that we find our fulfillment not in radical individualism, but in our relationships with God and with one another. This fulfillment and hope of salvation is ultimately found through the mystery of the person of Jesus Christ, who died for our sins and rose from the dead. By our union with him and through his grace, we live out the virtues of faith, hope, and charity in a community of persons. We are part of a family of faith and charity that Jesus himself established, his Catholic Church. The rugged individual may be an admirable character, but he is still a child of God. Jesus never told us to “go it alone,” but he called us to loving communion with God and with others. The events of Holy Week and Easter show that every one of us needs a savior, and that Savior is Jesus Christ, risen from the dead.

“Jesus never told us to ‘go it alone,’ but he called us to loving communion with God and with others.” – Bishop John Folda 4


Bishop Folda’s Calendar Apr. 7 | 9:30 a.m.

“Redeemed” Conference, Scheels Arena, Fargo

Apr. 8-10

Spring Education Days, Carrington

Apr. 13 | 5 p.m.

Confirmation and First Communion, Blessed Sacrament, West Fargo

Apr. 14 | 10 a.m.

Confirmation and First Communion, St. Michael, Grand Forks

5:30 p.m.

Confirmation and First Communion, St. Mary, Grand Forks

Apr. 15 | 2 p.m.

Confirmation and First Communion, St. John, Wahpeton

Apr. 17 | 4 p.m.

La Bella Serata Mass, Sts. Anne and Joachim, Fargo

5:30 p.m.

La Bella Serata Gala, Delta Hotels by Marriott, Fargo

Apr. 22 | 1 p.m.

Confirmation and First Communion, Our Lady of Peace, Mayville

Apr. 25 | 3 p.m.

St. JPII Schools Board Meeting, Pastoral Center, Fargo

Apr. 27 | 6 p.m.

Confirmation and First Communion, St. Alphonsus, Langdon

Apr. 28 | 10 a.m.

Confirmation and First Communion, St. John, Grafton

6 p.m.

Shanley Deacon Dinner Auction, Holiday Inn, Fargo

Apr. 29 | 10:30 a.m.

Confirmation and First Communion, St. Boniface, Lidgerwood

May 3 | 9 a.m.

All Diocesan Principals and Pastors Meeting, Pastoral Center, Fargo

May 4 | 5 p.m.

Apr. 18 | 11 a.m.

Confirmation and First Communion, St. Cecilia, Velva

Apr. 19 | 2 p.m.

Confirmation and First Communion, St. Therese, Rugby

Jeremiah Program luncheon, Hilton Garden Inn, Fargo Diocesan Pastoral Council, Pastoral Center, Fargo

Apr. 20 | 5 p.m.

Confirmation and First Communion, St. Leo, Casselton

Apr. 21 | 10 a.m.

May 5 | 10 a.m. 7 p.m.

Confirmation and First Communion, St. Ann, Belcourt

May 6 | 1 p.m.

Confirmation and First Communion, St. Mark, Bottineau

Confirmation and First Communion, St. Anthony, Fargo

5 p.m.

Confirmation and First Communion, Nativity, Fargo NEW EARTH APRIL 2018


VI A COUNSELING Counseling from a Catholic perspective

It can be difficult to find someone who you can trust and talk to that shares your core values and beliefs. Reaching out for help is never easy, taking the first step to begin counseling can a bit overwhelming. I am extremely understanding and supportive no matter what you are struggling with, including sexual addictions. – Jeff JEFFREY D. BATES, MS., LPC. 3523 45th ST S, Suite 100 Fargo, ND 58104 (701) 429-4724

Member of

Diocese of Fargo Official Appointments/Announcements April 2018 Most Rev. John T. Folda, Bishop of Fargo, has made the following appointments, announcements, and/or decrees: Reverend Daniel Mrnarevic has resigned as pastor of St. Timothy’s in Manvel for health reasons. Bishop received this resignation effective January 12, 2018. Deacon David Opsdahl was granted a letter of excardination by Bishop Folda on August 21, 2017. He received a letter of incardination from Bishop Thomas Olmsted, Bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix. Deacon Opsdahl is thus incardinated into the Diocese of Phoenix effective January 30, 2018. Rev. Philip Chacko was granted a letter of excardination by Bishop Anand Jojo of the Diocese of Hazaribag on January 27, 2018. He received a letter of incardination from Bishop John Folda. Reverend Chacko is thus incardinated into the Diocese of Fargo effective March 8, 2018.

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Prayer Intention of Pope Francis April

For those who have Responsibility in Economic Matters:

That economists may have the courage to reject any economy of exclusion and know how to open new paths.



In Ephesians 2:8, Paul says, “for by grace you have been saved… not from works.” Does that mean our works mean nothing?

hat’s a good question, but hard to answer because the answer is both “no” and “yes.” Let me explain. We might get a little technical. Let’s go to the passage itself. In Ephesians 2:8, St. Paul writes, “By grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast.” Now initially it seems that Paul says nothing we do can save us. God saves anyone who simply believes in Jesus. That seems great, and so simple. It’s largely true. A life-long sinner might be lying in bed in the last minutes of his life when, through the ministry of a priest called at just the last minute, he is completely reconciled to God with his many sordid sins forgiven. Dying shortly thereafter with no time to do a single thing for the love of God, he would nonetheless find himself on a one-way road to heaven. No matter the sins in his past, he would be on his way. That’s how grace works. Hopefully, most of us don’t repent only on our deathbed, and for us there’s more to the story. Let’s go back to St. Paul to understand his perspective. In two other letters, Romans and Galatians, St. Paul says more about “faith” and “works.” In Romans 3:20-22, St. Paul writes, “No human being will be justified in [God’s] sight by works of the law… The righteousness of God has been manifested apart from law… through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.” Galatians 2:15-16 is very similar: “We ourselves… know that a man is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ.” These passages make it sound clear – faith is all that matters, no actions or “works.” However, take note that Paul doesn’t say “bodily actions,” he says, “works of the law.” The law is something specific. Paul was Jewish, and for the Jews the law was everything. The law was given through Moses when God formed a covenant with the Hebrew people. God promised his special love if they would keep their end of the bargain, following the regulations he was giving. That law was extensive, governing the Jews’ religious and civic activities. It stipulated the sacrifices they would make in the temple, the ways to wash before prayer or participate in the temple, the food they ate, the clothes they wore, their sons’ circumcision, etc. Christ came to fulfill the law. Through the Holy Spirit’s guidance, the Apostles needed to figure out exactly what responsibility the new followers of Christ would have toward the old Jewish law. Therefore, when Paul writes that “works of the law,” or other times just “works,” have no power to save a person, he is talking about something specifically Jewish. The regulations that governed so many actions in the Jewish world would no longer apply. That’s not to say that the followers of Christ could live however

they wanted. After all, “the whole law is fulfilled in one word, ‘You shall love your neighbor Ask a Priest as yourself,’” (GaFather Gregory latians 5:14) which, Haman for anyone who has tried, is a very difficult thing to do. Elsewhere, St. Paul lists all kinds of actions that do not correlate with a relationship with God. Sincere love requires action. Love spoken but not lived is hypocrisy (or a lie). For us today, far removed from Paul’s Jewish backdrop, it’s still the case that no actions without Christ can save us. Sometimes we think that we will try to follow some personal list of honorable deeds while certain others are marginally important. “I don’t make it to Mass very regularly, but for goodness’ sake, I carry a certain elderly neighbor’s groceries into her home so it all evens out. I’m a good person.” Or even like the rich young man in the gospel of Matthew who claimed, perhaps honestly, that he fulfilled all of the commandments from his youth, but when Jesus invited that young man to sell his goods and follow him, the man walked away sad and unwilling. So let’s sum up St. Paul’s perspective. The Jewish religious and civic stipulations that Jesus fulfilled benefit the Christian none whatsoever. Other noble deeds that fall under the category of “love your neighbor” also mean nothing unless or until they flow out of our obedient relationship with Jesus. Only surrendering our lives to Christ, “repent[ing] and be[ing] baptized,” brings us that grace. Then, with Christ dwelling in us, we’re called to conform our actions to Christ’s will. To the extent that we do, our grace increases. To the extent we don’t, grace will decrease or be lost entirely (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1990-2010). Living fully for Christ will radically change our activities and infuse them with a meaning and a purpose that is deeply fulfilling. No amount of good actions without committing oneself to Christ suffice. No excuses or substitutions. Good, obedient living must be a natural part of a Christian’s life. Father Gregory Haman serves as pastor of Holy Rosary Church in LaMoure. Editor’s Note: If you would like to submit a question for consideration in a future column, please send to or mail to New Earth, 5201 Bishops Blvd. S, Suite A, Fargo, ND 58104.




Looking for fixes when we should be looking to prayer

By Monsignor Brian Donahue Originally given as a homily for the first Sunday of Lent


ack in 1991, I was in graduate studies at Fordham unborn, the elderly, or trafficking of human beings, and when University in the Bronx studying adolescent spirituality. the value of human life is completely disregarded in favor of Our instructor, a Jesuit psychologist, was presenting a the narcissistic self, we become complicit in the destruction of study on the breakdown in society and the negative way it is life. Passively accepting attacks and choices against human life affecting adolescent development and spirituality. When the means that we also passively accept an increase in abortions, rape, time came to discuss how to address and fix it, the instructor crimes against the elderly, euthanasia, suicide and increases said it’s already too late to stop the destruction of self and society in carrying out the death penalty. We can argue that we are in our country. Basically, he was saying the only thing that can not supportive or in favor of these crimes, but if we are not fix it now is an actual miracle. concretely responding against these crimes then we are at least The events at a high school in Parkland, Florida have created committing grave sins of omission, i.e., doing nothing when a hole in my heart and I’m sure in the hearts of many others. something could be done. There is no possible way to make sense of or fix this tragedy. Sacraments, adoration, family rosary, and other devotionals Yet, that is what we try to do many times. We look for fixes: are powerful ways of fighting this battle for the human soul. banning guns, addressing mental illness, or blaming someone Our children need our spiritual help in fighting this all-out attack or some agency for dropping the ball in investigating reports. of Satan on our youth, elderly, family, and society. The power While many of these solutions may help, the reality is that none of communal prayer is very intense and effective in battling of them can fix something like this whose genesis is in the human such demonic attacks. heart and soul. For our youth, I encourage you to memorize the prayer to We are at war in the realm of the spirit. To quote the words of St. Michael the Archangel and pray it every day for protection St. Paul the Apostle, “Our battle is not against flesh and blood against the evil one. Also, remember this phrase, “Praised be but against principalities and powers, spirits of the air.” It will Jesus Christ!” Whenever you’re in a tight spot of temptation, take the miracle of prayer and fasting to address the diabolical especially out with other peers, use this phrase, “Praised be issues facing our country today. How do we do this? Jesus Christ!” to repel the attack of the evil one. St. Paul the First, we need to acknowledge that sin exists in the world. Apostle says, “…at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, Next is to face with humility and honesty how we contribute to of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every these tragedies afflicting our country. I am speaking about our tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the attitude and acceptance of sin as normal or, as some see, even helpful. Father” (Philippians 2:10). Pope Paul VI wrote On Human Life back in 1968, and was St. Michael the Archangel protect us. Praised be Jesus Christ! prophetic in the concrete things that will happen to society when the sacredness and protection of human life begins to erode. Monsignor Brian Donahue is the pastor at Holy Family Church in When human life is attacked in its most vulnerable stages, the Grand Forks.


Give a Gift to Help Keep the TV Mass on the Air

The best gift for those you love who are nursing home residents, shut-ins, or non-practicing CatholicsWDAY, Channel 6, Fargo – WDAZ, Channel 8, Grand Forks 10:30 a.m. Sunday Name_________________________________________________ Address_______________________________________________ City/State/Zip_________________________________________ Phone_________________________________________________ A GIFT FOR: Name_________________________________________________ Address_______________________________________________ City/State/Zip_________________________________________

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Or, IN MEMORY OF: Name________________________________________________ I would like this listed at the end of the TV Mass on this date(s): ______________________________________________________ MAIL TO: TV Mass, Diocese of Fargo, 5201 Bishops Blvd., Suite A, Fargo, ND 58104-7605

Catholic Culture e m o H e h in t


Sacred space, a beginning to a life of prayer in the home

’ve found that how I decorate my home reflects what occupies my mind. In high school, my bedroom walls were covered with posters of my favorite movies, video games, and yes, cats. As a result, my mind naturally thought about these things often because they were what physically surrounded me. My walls still feature a few cats, but images of Mary and Jesus now hold the most prominent place. Those images are the first things I see in the morning and the last things I see at night. No matter what kind of day I’ve had, it’s difficult to not lift my thoughts to Christ in some way – whether in thanksgiving, intercession, adoration, or contrition. Sacred space is one of the main topics in a book I read recently: The Little Oratory: A Beginner’s Guide to Praying in the Home. In it, the two authors, converts to Catholicism, express their mutual feeling that they were missing something on their journey to becoming Catholic. During their conversion, they learned about the Mass, traditions, saints, prayers, and treasures of the faith. However, they still asked themselves: “How can I be Catholic in between the times when I am worshipping in Church; and especially, how can I be a Catholic at home?” This book lays a framework of how to unite the two aspects of the Christian life: love of God and love of neighbor (Mt. 22: 37-39). At the center of love of God is our worship at Mass, and the center of the second is built, and extends from, our homes. No matter our status in life – single, married, with children in the home or out of the home – this book contains practical ways to create a Catholic culture in your home. What I personally found most helpful was its focus on sacred space in the home. “The prayer table, icon corner, or even dining room table, isn’t only a physical place; it’s a way of thinking that simplifies everything. The spiritual place in the home mirrors the ‘interior palace’ of our soul, as St. Teresa of Avila called it” (The Little Oratory). When we surround ourselves with tools of prayer – scripture, crucifixes, rosaries, holy water, spiritual readings, icons, candles, journals, prayer cards, etc. – we learn to reach for them during moments of rest, rather than our phones or the remote. You may have these items scattered throughout your house already. A sacred space, a “little oratory,” simply brings all these things together in one intentional place that helps us use them for what they’re intended for – lifting our hearts and minds to God.

By Kristina Lahr

Creating this space need not be costly or complicated, but it is important it is clean, organized, and inviting. Just like when we visit a friend’s home for the first time, we learn more about them – their interests, style, but mainly, what is most important to them. By placing images of Mary and Jesus in a prominent place in my home, they become more central to my life, day in and day out. I highly recommend this book to anyone who desires their home-life to reflect the teachings of the Catholic faith. Here are few more of my takeaways. • Pray the rosary as a family – with your spouse, parents, roommates, even alone – start small if you need to, one decade at a time. If you feel like your first, second, or 12th attempt with young kids is a failure, don’t get discouraged. Whenever we invoke Christ’s name in prayer, he is with us. • Create a sacred space in your home. It can be the center of a dining room table, a corner table, coffee table or even a wall space. It can be as elaborate or simple as you like. Just place it somewhere you will see it on a daily basis. That way during the busyness of the day, the sight of it will be a reminder to lift a few moments to God in prayer. • Finally, the sheer depth of Catholicism is astounding. There are so many prayers, devotions, traditions, and tools available to help us grow in our faith: Scripture, Liturgy of the Hours, rosaries, novenas, adoration, other spiritual reading, and more. On one hand, it can be overwhelming to consider all these options, but if we keep our minds and hearts open to Christ, he will lead us to whichever kinds of prayer are most beneficial to us at any given time. Christ gave us the liturgical seasons – Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, Ordinary Time – to remind us that like the changing temperatures and seasons, our prayer life is allowed to change and flourish over time. Editor’s Note: The goal of this column in New Earth is to provide a place to share stories, traditions, and inspirations for living out a Catholic culture in the home. If you have traditions and stories in your family that illustrates the goodness of Catholic community and family in the home, please contact NEW EARTH APRIL 2018



“Walk to Jerusalem” encourages faithful to spiritual and physical fitness By Kristina Lahr

see that they kept setting records each week for the number of minutes everyone was recording. She added, “What else is really awesome is that the program includes everyone, little children to elderly. Our youngest participant was eight months old. She’s with her family when they pray together and even has her own prayer book and Bible.” Joan also mentioned that January was the perfect time to begin the program since people were already looking for New Year’s resolutions. Then several weeks into the program, Lent began, and it became a good way for people to live out a renewed prayer life. “While participating in the ‘Walk to Jerusalem’ program, we noticed that the members of our family developed a stronger relationship with God as individuals and as a family,” said Left to right, Joan and Harold Mondry, Father Brian Moen, and Alissa Parsons, a parishioner at St. John’s Church in Grafton. “It Joan Schanilec stand beside a map that marked the progress of an has influenced the way we treat one another. We have become “imaginary” pilgrimage from Minto to Jerusalem. (submitted photo) more loving, caring and understanding. This has been a great way for our family to grow as Christians and as a family.” e, as pilgrims on the ‘Walk to Jerusalem,’ have come For some, the program wasn’t just “imaginary.” For Father to the end of our wonderful, spiritual journey to Moen, Father Neil Pfeifer, pastor of St. Philip Neri Church in Jerusalem,” said Harold and Joan Mondry, parishioners Napoleon, Joan Schanilec and several parishioners in the area, of Sacred Heart Church in Minto. “It has reshaped our spiritual it was a way to prepare spiritually and physically for their real well-being through our daily rosaries, morning Mass at Sacred journey to Jerusalem in early April. Heart, weekend Mass and the Divine Mercy Chaplet.” “I was motivated to pray more, as I usually am during Lent,” “Walk to Jerusalem” is a 12-week program that Sacred Heart said Lynn Lane, parishioner of Sacred Heart. “The ‘Walk to Church began on Jan. 9 and completed April 1, Easter Sunday. Jerusalem’ program offered an incentive to do just that with Each of the 66 participants from Sacred Heart, Minto and sur- the reward of metaphorically arriving in Jerusalem… the very rounding parishes took the challenge to be more spiritually and place Jesus was during his life and death. I believe that these physically fit as they embarked on an “imaginary” pilgrimage weeks have formed new and good habits in my life that I hope to Jerusalem. will continue.” “It was fun to track where we were each week,” said Joan The program comes with a book, CD, and log sheets for each Schanilec, also a parishioner of Sacred Heart. “After the first week for just $35. There is also a “Walk to Bethlehem” program week, we were in Lake Superior, then Ottawa, then we were for the weeks leading up to Christmas. For more information, in the Atlantic Ocean for several weeks.” go to The program comes with a formula that converts time with each activity to miles. Praying a rosary, reading scripture, attending daily Mass or adoration, as well as walking, lifting weights, playing sports, or shoveling snow were just a handful of the ways to take steps toward Jerusalem. Each week, participants kept track of their prayers and exercises and sent their recordings to the parish. Then, the bulletin printed their progress and current location on their way to Jerusalem. For Baptisms, First Holy “Most people I’ve talked to about the program say it’s been Communion, Confirmation, an eye opener,” said Schanilec. “They realize, ‘hey, I could be weddings and special occasion doing more.’ Some people were more focused on the physical gifts and books. side of the program at first, but eventually were motivated to participate in the spiritual side too.” Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Sat. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Father Brian Moen, pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Minto, To Know God... (701) 241-7842 toll free (888) 682-8033 and Joan Schanilec tweaked the program a bit to emphasize To Love God... 1336 25th Ave. S., Fargo 58103 (south of K-Mart) prayer. For example, participants could receive extra miles To Serve God... for praying a rosary or going to adoration. Joan was happy to






Bishop Folda celebrates Red Mass for judiciary and legal professions Bishop John Folda stands with Federal Judge Ralph Erickson after he celebrated a Red Mass on March 8 at Sts. Anne and Joachim Church in Fargo. The Red Mass is traditionally a Mass to ask that the gifts of the Holy Spirit be brought to those in our judiciary and legal system. During his homily, Bishop Folda said, “Through your cooperation with the gifts of the Spirit, you will bring the truth, justice, and mercy of Christ to bear upon your daily decisions and work.” Judge Erickson, who serves on the Sts. Anne and Joachim parish council, was sworn in the following day as a judge on the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. (Paul Braun | New Earth)

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Teresa Tomeo shares her testimony at Real Presence Radio banquet


n the evening of Feb. 26, Catholic talk show host, author, and journalist Teresa Tomeo shared her testimony and the power of Catholic radio at the Real Presence Radio fundraising banquet at Delta Hotels by Marriott, Fargo. She encouraged the pro-life community especially. Through our faith in Jesus, we can be assured that he is using us and our abilities to bring about his good work. To close her message, she quoted Mother Angelica, founder of EWTN: “Unless you are willing to do the ridiculous, God will not do the miraculous. When you have God, you don’t have to know everything about it. You just do it.” (Kristina Lahr | New Earth)

Presentations Sisters receive Catholic Charities Caritas Award By Kristina Lahr


Presentation Sisters Josephine Brennan, Mary Beauclair, and Agatha Lucey received the Catholic Charities Caritas Award on March 13. (Kristina Lahr | New Earth)

ongratulations to the Presentation Sisters Agatha Lucey, Josephine Brennan and Mary Beauclair on receiving the Catholic Charities North Dakota Caritas Award! The Sisters accepted the award on March 13 during a luncheon at Sts. Anne and Joachim Church in Fargo. The Caritas Award is an annual honor given to persons or organizations for outstanding service and love for humanity. Its purpose is to recognize those who have served those in need and advocated for justice in a manner consistent with Catholic Social Teaching. The three Sisters lived and served at CHI Riverview Place, a retirement community in Fargo where seniors can continue to live full, meaningful lives. The care that the Sisters have given Riverview Place since its beginning in 1987 has allowed the community to flourish and grow with now more than 160 residents.

Clergy gets retirement advice from Fargo Diocese expert


cott Hoselton, Finance Officer for the Diocese of Fargo, and author of “Income Taxes for Priests Only,” speaks at a recent tax/retirement workshop for priests of the Diocese of Madison, Wis. Scott, who is a Certified Public Accountant, has 30 years of experience dealing with financial issues for priests and religious. Scott travels to dioceses across the country sharing his expertise to help clergy manage their financial goals and tax requirements. (Kevin Wondrash | Diocese of Madison)



Pentecost Have we forgotten the gifts of the Holy Spirit? By Paul Braun

“Decent of the Holy Spirit” by Tiziano Vecellio .





onfirmation season is upon us in the Diocese of Fargo. As we approach Pentecost in May, I am reminded of something that happened a year ago this month. My wife, Mary, and I sat proudly and watched our eight-year-old son, Hayden, be confirmed at Holy Cross Church in West Fargo. There was one awkwardly humorous moment during the Mass. When Bishop Folda announced he was going to question the kids being confirmed about what confirmation means and what the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are. He quipped that if the kids couldn’t answer the questions, he would ask their parents and sponsors. Well, you can imagine that got a nervous laugh from those at the Mass, but it got me to thinking. How would I do answering those questions? What do I really know about the Holy Spirit, and has he become a forgotten part of the Holy Trinity in my mind? The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) teaches us that, “To believe in the Holy Spirit is to profess that the Holy Spirit is one of the persons of the Holy Trinity, consubstantial with the Father and the Son: with the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified” (CCC 685). Moreover, “The Holy Spirit is at work with the Father and the Son from the beginning to the completion of the plan for our salvation. But in these ‘end times,’ ushered in by the Son’s redeeming Incarnation, the Spirit is revealed and given, recognized and welcomed as a person” (CCC 686). The Bible says that the Holy Spirit created the world (Gen 1:2), led Jesus into the desert (Matt 4:1), comes to us at confirmation (Acts 8:18), and intercedes for us in ways that we cannot understand (Rom 8:26). “The Holy Spirit is the Lord and giver of life,” said Father

Neil Pfeifer, pastor at St. Philip Neri Church in Napoleon, and the diocesan liaison to the charismatic movement. “We receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit at baptism, along with the theological virtues. We may receive the gifts at baptism, but we aren’t mature enough to understand what they are. At confirmation, when we make our Act of Faith, we are saying ‘yes’ to God, and the Holy Spirit gives us that grace to live in communion with God.” As a child, I could recite the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit by memory, but I never truly understood what they meant. Father Pfeifer, who leads Life in the Spirit seminars all across the diocese, gave New Earth readers an insight into what these gifts should mean to those who have received them.

WISDOM – “We see things the way God sees them. I like to

think of wisdom as looking down from the top of a mountain and being able to see all around, rather than standing at the bottom looking up. Wisdom is like common sense, like listening to those who are older. Wisdom is also seeing things as how God sees them, and we are listening to him through the Holy Spirit.”

UNDERSTANDING – “This helps us to not only learn about

things through wisdom, but to help us understand what they mean. Just like our body is made up of many parts we have to understand the body to be able to build up the kingdom, and when we do understand, our hearts are filled with joy as to how much God loves us. Understanding helps us to realize that if God loves us this much, we must love one another through kindness as we are all part of God’s plan through creation.”

KNOWLEDGE – “This gift helps us to know about our faith

and of our world. We learn about different things through study or speaking with others. But knowledge requires us to do our part as well. We can’t expect the Holy Spirit to just give us the answers; it doesn’t work that way. However, there are times when no one has told us about something, but we know about it in our hearts. St. Paul reminds us that the Holy Spirit speaks to us in our hearts and teaches us how to pray. Knowledge is knowing what to say to someone to provide comfort, and knowing what God expects us to do and what to be in our lives.”

COUNSEL – “Counsel is following Jesus, learning about him, and living his love every day in our lives. We need to make the right choices to do things just as Jesus would want us to do them. Counsel helps us to make those right choices, ones that are loving and not selfish. When making those choices, we ask the Holy Spirit to guide us, and we are open to that counsel if we are open and listening to the voice of God.”

Father Neil Pfeifer, pastor of St. Philip Neri Church in Napoleon, stands in front of a depiction of the Holy Spirit over the church altar at St. Philip’s. (Paul Braun | New Earth)



Bishop Folda anoints the forehead of a confirmant at St. Charles Church in Oakes on March 10. (Kristina Lahr | New Earth)

FORTITUDE – “This is all about being courageous; having

the courage to live the witness of the Gospel. Even though we may know the right choices, it is often difficult to live them out. Fortitude gives us the courage to live our faith in our daily lives. Today, many people, like the martyrs of the past, suffer for their beliefs. We are tempted to make choices daily that are wrong. If we know they are wrong we ask the Holy Spirit for the fortitude to do the right thing and to direct us.”

PIETY – “This is all about reverence and awe before God and

how we express it. For instance, when we enter a church and bless ourselves with Holy Water, the Holy Spirit reminds us of how God forgives us and washes away our sins. When we genuflect before the tabernacle, the Holy Spirit reminds us of the presence of our King of kings and Lord of lords. When we go to communion, we do so with reverence and piety, as if we are meeting the most important person of heaven and earth. Piety gives us that sense of reverence and awe.”

FEAR OF THE LORD – “This is not that we are afraid of God. We are instead filled with a sense of wonder and awe of how good God is and how good and gracious he is to each of us. Sometimes God shows his power and changes the laws of



nature, and we call these miracles. People are stricken with a deadly illness, yet they are suddenly healed, and we are filled with awe and wonder. When we see the beauty of God’s creation, we are filled with awe and wonder. When God works in us through the sacraments and forgives our past, we are filled with awe and wonder. We are his beloved children and he wants what is right for us, and we are filled with awe and wonder.”

So how can Catholics rely upon these gifts they have been given at baptism and confirmation? Jan George, parishioner of the Cathedral of St. Mary in Fargo, has been teaching a sacred scripture program in the Fargo Diocese for 20 years. She is involved in the charismatic renewal of the Holy Spirit and leads a charismatic prayer group. “Pentecost completes the mystery of sending both the Son and the Holy Spirit,” said Jan. “The Son and the Holy Spirit have a joint mission. They are distinct but inseparable, and as the Church teaches us, it is Christ who is seen. He is the visible image of the invisible God, but it is the Holy Spirit who reveals him, and that is his essential role.” Jan says the emphasis of charismatic renewal is not on the miraculous, but on the capacity to mediate God’s love and build up the Church. Pentecost may have been the beginning

Father Pfeifer invites us to pray this simple and beautiful prayer: Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And you shall renew the face of the earth. O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy his consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen

Bishop Folda visits with third graders who were just confirmed at St. Charles Church in Oakes. (Kristina Lahr | New Earth)

of the charismatic movement of the Holy Spirit, but it has never ended, and it will not end through time. She also says that anyone wanting to get closer to the Holy Spirit just needs to ask, because the Holy Spirit is for everyone and from Jesus’s own words. “Jesus says to us that it is God’s will to bear witness to Christ through us. Jesus is saying, ‘I want to be you, through everything you do and every person you meet. I want to speak through you, I want to heal people through you, I want to encourage and enlighten them, set people on fire through you! Will you

do that for me? I will pour out my spirit upon you, I will send you forth and you will build up the Church and mediate my love to others. Are you willing to be my vessel?’ He wants it for everybody and it’s ours for the taking. In that way, Pentecost is for everyone.” “We come closer to the Holy Spirit through prayer,” said Father Pfeifer. “Prayer is the invitation to God, to the Holy Spirit, to become the giver of life to us. How do I get you to come to supper? I invite you. It’s the same way with God. He is active in our lives. He sends us the Holy Spirit to be with us and guide us.”.

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Darkest Hour follows Winston Churchill in historical flick By Father James Gross


A review of Catholic books, movies, music


Darkest Hour chooses to follow the new Prime Minister Churchill rather like a video diary, allowing the viewer intimate access to the process by which he wrestled over the decisions he had to make. The movie succeeded in transporting me to the era of the city of London some 75 years ago. I found myself basking in the sight of vintage cars, motorcycles, and architecture, including the lavish appointments of the residence of King George VI. Many critics have registered complaints about a climactic scene during which Churchill took a subway ride and conducted a sort of “man-on-the-street” interview of the commoners onboard. When they responded to his questions with patriotic pride, Churchill returned to Parliament confirmed in his own resolve to fight the Axis allies and not surrender. These critics contend that, since the event did not actually take place, inserting it was not only a contrivance, but a blatant manipulation of the audience in order to tug at their heartstrings. This decision did not bother me quite as much, but it is helpful to know that the “subway scene” is the product of artistic license. Lastly, I was grateful for the accessibility of the film’s content to a wide audience. Aside from only a couple of mild profanities, there were no egregious displays of immorality. Darkest Hour does not aim to promote any religious agenda, but the characters display an unquestionable air of propriety and respect. So much of what passes for entertainment nowadays gratuitously inserts offensive material, when one could tell the story just as effectively without any such garbage. I heartily encourage families to watch Darkest Hour on DVD or their favorite streaming service.

inston Churchill (1874-1963) is a historical figure whose legacy seems to grow, not diminish, with time. I have wondered whether most of what I have come to know about the twice-elected British Prime Minister is embellishment. I have heard that he was an energetic orator with more than his share of eccentricities. He provided his fellow citizens with bold and courageous leadership during some of the nation’s most harrowing periods. The film Darkest Hour sets its sights on a nearly month-long period during May of 1940, and was among my most satisfying movie-going experiences of the past year. Several acting performances stood out for me. Gary Oldman, Commissioner Gordon from the recent Batman series, disappears into the character of Churchill seamlessly. My only critique with Oldman’s physical portrayal is that, although stooped in posture and using a cane, his Churchill walks and climbs stairs briskly, like a man only half his age, and I found his spryness distracting and hard to believe. Nevertheless, Oldman conveys a certain social awkwardness akin to an absent-minded professor that Father James Gross is the pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Grand Forks. comes across as adorable, despite his irascibility and intemperate appetites for alcohol and tobacco. Kristin Scott Thomas plays Churchill’s wife Clementine, a devoted partner who proves herself his equal in wit during their rare scenes of dialogue. I especially enjoyed the performance of Lily James, whose young secretary Elizabeth Layton overcomes her timidity and ABOUT THE MOVIE: becomes a sort of confidante to Churchill through the long hours of typing dictated correspondence and strategic planning. Her “Darkest Hour” pluckiness and steady loyalty helped to confirm his instincts directed by Joe Wright, to resist Hitler instead of capitulating to his regime, as many starring Gary Oldman. continental governments had already done. The historical centerpiece on which the film is based is the 2 hours, 5 minutes. rescue of hundreds of thousands of British troops from the French coastal city of Dunkirk ahead of advancing Nazi forces— an event captured dramatically in a summer 2017 blockbuster motion picture.




Handbell workshop inspires local ringers to spread beauty of music By Sheila M. Leier

Handbell ringers from the Fargo/Moorhead area rehearse a piece of music during a handbell choir workshop held at Sts. Anne and Joachim Church in Fargo. (submitted photo)


ts. Anne and Joachim Church in Fargo hosted a handbell workshop for area Catholic ringers on March 17. The 39 ringers and four directors represented Sts. Anne and Joachim Church and Nativity Church from Fargo, Holy Cross and Blessed Sacrament from West Fargo and St. Josephs’ Church in Moorhead, Minn. Most of these choirs rehearse one night a week and play during Mass at least once a month from September-May, with the exception of Lent. Several ringers have had other opportunities to play for funerals and weddings. Holy Cross Church is also part of a Christmas Cantata. Under the direction of Jessica Westgard-Larson, handbell director at St. John’s Lutheran in Fargo and Concordia College in Moorhead, the ringers spent the morning reviewing and learning ringing techniques. She also talked about various ways to mark music to help with accidentals, key changes, and tempo changes and gave tips to ensure smooth page turns. Many ringers at this workshop had never been to any type of handbell event so each group was invited to play a piece of music for the other ringers to enjoy. During the break, ringers sat by those who play the same bells in other choirs. This gave an opportunity to share techniques. The directors sat together so they could share ideas, teaching techniques, ringers, and equipment. Following the break, it was time for the mass ringing of our pilot piece. Mass ringing involves everyone playing the same piece of music as a group. Handbell music is divided into levels and we chose a level 3 piece titled Laudamus, arranged by Arnold B. Sherman. Jessica instructed on how to mark music into sections and work through the music by rehearsing various sections and finally playing the whole piece start to finish. Everyone was surprised how quickly they learned the piece. Even though the final run through wasn’t perfect, they were proud of the progress. Some choirs will use this piece at their churches this spring. Music ministry is a very rewarding volunteer opportunity. God calls us to share our time and talents in a variety of ways.

Is he calling you to be a handbell ringer? For more information, contact any of the churches in this article. Sheila M. Leier is an area 7 ND handbell representative and a ringer at Nativity and Sts. Anne and Joachim Churches in Fargo and Holy Cross Church in West Fargo.

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Rachel Ullmer, Cathedral of St. Mary in Fargo (left) with Alexis Coles of St. Michael’s Church in Grand Forks at the January 2018 March for Life in Washington D.C. (submitted photo).

Why youth continue to march for life By Rachelle Sauvageau


n January 19, hours before the start of the 45th annual little sheep that might be in danger. You are demonstrating by your March for Life in Washington D.C., Bishop Folda offered presence here and at the March today that every life matters, every Mass at St. Patrick’s Church, located just blocks away life is precious to God. Jesus tells us, “Whoever receives one child such from the Mall area in D.C. Over 600 youth from across North as this in my name receives me.” Dakota gathered to join in the celebration of Mass and give Among the pilgrims who joined the Diocese of Fargo Youth thanks for the gift of human life before they set forth to join over Pilgrimage to the March for Life was Rachel Ullmer, a high 100,000 fellow pilgrims from across our nation in the March for school junior from the Cathedral of St. Mary in Fargo. Rachel Life. Speaking to the youth, Bishop Folda offered these words explains why she chose to take part in the pilgrimage: of encouragement: “I decided to go to the March for Life because I know that “To those of you who are young, I want to thank you for hearing one life can affect so many. For example, if my Grandpa had God’s voice in your heart, and for stepping forward to defend your not been born, he and my grandma would not have had 13 kids little brothers and sisters. I have to be honest with you. For those of and they would not have over 50 grandkids. That in itself is 64 us who are a little older, who have seen this culture of death take hold people who would not be here today, including me. in our nation, it’s easy to get discouraged, to think that it’s no use, “Going to Washington D.C., the capitol of our country, and that nothing will ever change. But, you young people give us hope. seeing the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, You, my young friends, give us inspiration and encouragement. You really made me think. Our country was founded to ensure life, show us the beauty of the culture of life. Your energy and your joy in liberty, and the pursuit of happiness of all. I am an American the gift of life are infectious. You show not only the people that march and I am proud to stand for these beliefs. I am determined to with you, but you tell the whole world that life is beautiful, it is a make sure that every American, every human, gets the chance gift from God, it is something precious. And most importantly, you to live to be who God made them to be and be able to pursue tell the world that we aren’t going away. A whole new generation is these three goals. That is why I march. rising up that is willing to take to the streets for the sake of even one “My final reason as to why I felt drawn to the March for Life 20


Allison McHugo (left) and Emily McHugo (right), parishioners of St. Michael’s Church in Grand Forks, stand in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C during the March for Life in January 2018. (submitted photo)

is to make a better future. I don’t want to live in a world that doesn’t care about the most innocent, the most defenseless, and the most vulnerable of its citizens. Someday if I have kids, I don’t want them to have to live in a world like that. Therefore, I march not only to protect the lives of babies and their mothers, but also to protect myself, my family, and to show others that our country needs to change. I may only be 17, I cannot do that much, but I can stand up for what is right and I will march for life.” In addition to participating in the March for Life, pilgrims also had the opportunity to take part in the Vigil Mass for Life at the National Shrine of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception on Thursday evening. Earlier that day, they visited the National Shrine for St. John Paul II. Pope St. John Paul II’s pontificate was a catechesis to the world on human dignity, and his timeless encyclical, The Gospel of Life, continues to teach us how to respect, promote and love life. This teaching continues to influence our young people in profound ways. Allison and Emily McHugo, pilgrim students from St. Michael’s Church in Grand Forks, share why they participated in the March for Life: “It was something we had wanted to do for quite some time in response to an intense passion to learn and do something more for the pro-life movement. We talk about it, we say we believe it, but what really is ‘it?’ ‘It’ is an amazing experience of hundreds of thousands of people, from all ages and all walks of life singing, cheering and chanting for a common cause – respect for the dignity of all human beings. “As a group, we talked about respect and dignity for human life. The concept of dignity is related to the inherent value and worth of the human person. Human life is sacred, and dignity is the foundation of a moral vision for our society. Without this respect for life and human dignity, from the unborn to the mentally ill to natural death, nothing else matters. It is that simple – we are called to love and serve life…. every single human life. “As teens, we took an active role in this issue because it is

something we are really passionate about. In our community, there isn’t a lot of true pro-life support, and to find a group of young people who are really dedicated to respect life is amazing. Teen involvement brings a new energy to the cause, and by experiencing the March together, we have a connection with one another that will remain supportive and strong despite the distance between us. “Other teens are joining this movement because it is a growing national cause. The subject of supporting life is becoming more and more needed in today’s society and it is getting the attention of teens around the world. It is amazing the support shown from teens, and we really think it will help in our fight to respect the dignity of human life. “The March for Life was an incredible experience that will never be forgotten. Seeing all the people, big and small, gather in support for one purpose is really moving. It’s very cool to see and hear all the people at the March join in for songs and prayer. During the March, one gets to experience meeting new people from all over the country. The immense support for life shown through the March is astonishing and I would recommend anyone who is able, to attend.” Bishop Folda’s inspiring Jan. 19 homily can be found at www. If you feel you have a calling to do more in support and respect for life, contact Rachelle Sauvageau at the Diocese of Fargo Respect Life office at rachelle.sauvageau@ or (701) 356-7910.




Annual Bike Race N’ Ride builds community and Kingdom of God on Earth By Jasmine Stockert | Development Assistant at St. Paul’s Newman Center

Bikers from the Newman Centers at NDSU and UND begin their Annual Bike Race N’ Rides. (Jasmine Stockert)


hirty-three years and the race is still on! Father James Ermer and Father Dale Kinzler did not imagine the major success that the NDSU and UND Newman Center annual bike race would be. “The idea started with Father Ermer,” said Father Kinzler when asked about the beginnings of the event. Father Ermer hoped to get students involved through competition and raising funds for both organizations. The rivalry encouraged UND to have twice as many riders as NDSU that first year. However, Father Kinzler was “the faster pastor” as an avid bike racer himself. So the friendly competition continued, gradually grabbing the interest of alumni, community members, and local businesses to participate. Every year, each team has met at St. Rose of Lima Church in Hillsboro to share in fellowship over a potluck. The annual event can have anywhere from 300 to 400 bikes on the route. The race has only been canceled three times; during the Red River flood in 1997 and two snowed-out years in 2002 and 2008. The bike race was created in 1986 to encourage the young adults of both campuses to live a dynamic Catholic life in order to build up the Kingdom of God on Earth. Students do not have the funds to support the homes-away-from-home these Newman Centers are to them. Through the Annual Bike Race N’ Ride, students encourage their family and friends to sponsor their ride so they can race. Businesses and the supporters of each Newman Center are also encouraged to donate in an effort to raise more funds for each of the organizations. You can get involved in this year’s bike race on Saturday, April 28, no matter your ability! If you want a fun challenge, you are welcome to ride along with us. The racing crew ranges from



professional to casual riders. A second way to participate is by financially and/or spiritually sponsoring the race or a specific rider on either team. We also need volunteers on the day of the race to help with rest stops along the way and with the final potluck. If you are interested in getting involved in the 2018 race, check out each of the Newman Center’s websites www.bisoncatholic. org and We hope to see you April 28!

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Religious education catechist sees fruits of her labor By Marilee Baumgartner

ife is one big story made up of countless little stories. Being an elementary school teacher and catechist resulted in many rewarding experiences. One of my favorite experiences involved a little boy, Tim, (name changed to protect identity) who attended my religious education class. On the first evening of class, Tim and his father showed up early. He hid behind his father, reluctant to enter the room. His father coaxed him in and together we found a desk for him. He slumped in his seat and covered his eyes, wiping the tears rolling down his cheeks with his sleeve. I knelt to his eye level and explained to him that we were going to do new and exciting things learning about Jesus. Slowly he made friends and participated in class. He was a bright child and a joy to have in class. At Christmas, he brought me a gift that he made and wrapped himself. Our year continued without any more tears. The next year his father again brought him to religion classes. Tim entered the room and asked where his teacher was. The teacher, for second grade, explained that she was his teacher and that the teacher he had the year before was not teaching his grade. He started to cry and would not quit. Finally, he was taken to the Religious Education coordinator so she could hopefully explain and console him. She was successful, and he began his new year with a new teacher. Serving as a catechist was rewarding and there was incredible joy in seeing the difference in the children as the year progressed. While Tim was no longer in my class, I occasionally saw his

smiling face in the hallways and watched him grow. He continued to bring me a Christmas present every year. His gift always lifted my spirits and made my holidays more special. I was a catechist for two more years. It was a difficult decision to stop teaching religion class. I really enjoyed my time with the young children. Around Christmas, the first year after I quit, there was a knock on my door. I opened the door and to my surprise, there stood Tim with my gift in his hands. He stood by the door unwilling to come in. I knelt, took the gift, thanked him and waved to his father waiting in the car. Every year since then he has remembered me with a gift at Christmas time. His father would drive him to our house so he could deliver my gift. Now he drives himself. I used to kneel to talk to him, and now I look up at him. He’s grown to be more than six feet tall! He continues to remember me at Christmas. What is more important is he now comes in the house and stays for a visit. A sophomore at NDSU studying in the Computer Science Program, he has grown into an amazing, caring, motivated, responsible young man. I am thankful that through my volunteering as a catechist, saying “yes” when asked to teach, I have been blessed with a unique friendship. Marilee Baumgartner taught elementary grades during her entire teaching profession. When she retired, she moved to Fargo and volunteered as a catechist for Sts. Anne and Joachim Church. Editor’s note: Stories of Faith is a recurring feature in New Earth. If you have a faith story to tell, contact Father Bert Miller at




Christ’s presence in those we serve


s we delve again into this glori Sister’s ous Easter season, the scriptures read Perspective at Mass are full of Sister Christina M. examples of people meeting the Neumann Risen Lord. They encounter Jesus in various places: on the road, by the lakeshore, and even behind locked doors. Be they the women going to take care of a body, downcast disciples journeying home to return to “normal” life, or disciples on an unsuccessful fishing expedition, these individuals had encounters with Jesus that changed their lives forever. We may think, “What would it have been like to meet Jesus after he had risen? What would I have said or asked? What would I have done?” As interesting as these questions may be to reflect upon, we would do well to realize that we too meet Jesus in various places – in our homes, workplaces, and nearly everywhere we go. We meet him every day. Serving as a Franciscan Sister at St. Anne’s Guest Home in Grand Forks, a care facility for elderly and vulnerable adults, I am mindful of this. Every day, I need to be aware of his presence in the people I serve. My work as a receptionist and an aide gives me frequent opportunities to see and serve Christ in those in need. There are the ordinary moments of my day when I need to remind myself of his presence. I need to keep in mind that “he whom I serve is the Lord.” But there are also times when I made the realization that, “I’m serving Jesus here!” This can be in the littlest of things – jumping up to open the door for someone coming through with a cart or consoling a distressed resident who is almost in tears. Whether I am washing out compression stockings for a resident suffering from swollen legs or baking cookies with elderly ladies who love to take part in such nostalgic activities, I am really serving Jesus. What a privilege! The fact that there are crucifixes, statues, and religious images around the facility can help remind me that I’m serving Jesus, especially when I get caught up in other things and have lost awareness of his presence. Being in a Catholic facility has an additional wonderful benefit that, to me, is so very important – having a chapel with the Blessed Sacrament. If I am having a hard afternoon at the front desk, it is comforting to remember that Jesus is physically just down the hall (as well as being spiritually present within us). In fact, when I was exploring Religious Life, devotion to Jesus’ Eucharistic presence was one



of the features that was appealing to me in a community. It is wonderful to begin my day sitting in his presence, reflecting on his Word. After this, as I leave the chapel, I go to serve him in those I meet. This is definitely in keeping with St. Francis’ life and spirituality. He saw Christ in the suffering and in those less fortunate than himself, and had a special devotion to Christ’s Eucharistic presence.   Our convent (across the yard from St. Anne’s) is also blessed with a little chapel where Jesus is present. When I go home to do some cleaning, or pick up a needed item, I always stop in and say “hello” before going about my business. I want to show my gratitude for Christ’s enduring presence.  Although I did not see Jesus when he walked with his disciples during those forty days after the Resurrection, I meet him each day in those whom I serve. I meet him in my co-workers to whom I am called to show love and respect. I meet him in a very special way when I receive him at Mass each morning.  Jesus is so present to us, if only we recognized him more!


What are “rights” and how do we protect them?


e live in a society of rights talk. In commerce, interactions with others, and especially public policy, people claim to possess rights to certain behaviors, items, and conditions. How should we evaluate these claims? When should the law protect a “right?” When is a “right” really just a personal desire? How do we address competing rights? When are rights absolute? Negotiating these questions is the function of law. We should start, therefore, by asking, “From where does this ‘right’ come?” If it does not come from any law, the “rights” claim is weak. Laws come from three sources, some of them interrelated. Divine law is revealed by God. Without divine revelation, it would be unknowable. For Catholics, this includes the “Old Law and the New Law” and is expressed and preserved by the church’s magisterium. An example of a divine law is Jesus’ words “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you” (Jn 6:53).

regulations of the United States, your town’s local ordinances, and the constitutions of the Catholic United States and Action North Dakota. The positive law Christoper Dodson can change from place to place and time to time. They are not “God given.” As much as one might think the second amendment is a good idea, it is wrong to say it is a “God given right.” The task of society is to enact positive laws that reflect and further the natural law. When it comes to rights, we should enact laws that codify and protect natural rights. Now that we have explored the sources of rights, we can begin to examine rights claims by asking some basic questions. Is the basis for the claim solely from divine law? If so, the claim “The task of society is to enact positive should not be legally enforceable. laws that reflect and further the natural law. Is the right rooted in natural law? If so, it should be knowable When it comes to rights, we should enact by reason, even if people might disagree. For example, the fact laws that codify and protect natural rights. that some people support abortion does not mean that we should surrender the legal fight to protect unborn life. – Christopher Dodson Does the claimed right come from positive law? If so, as long Divine law is eternal and universal, but it may not be known as it is a just law, it should be respected. It should also, however, by everyone. It should not become a civil law because doing so be examined, revised, or repealed if necessary. would infringe upon a person’s natural right to religious freedom. What if it does not come from any of those sources but is Natural law is knowable through reason. It is universal and just what somebody wants? We are seeing more and more of eternal. It applies to everyone, everywhere, and at all times, these type of expression of “rights.” Beware that these kind of even if our grasp of it and application of it may be imperfect. wants, like expectations to have children, or desires to purchase For example, a person does not have to be Christian or Jew, or whatever and whenever a person wants, could become positive to have ever read the Ten Commandments to realize that theft law rights. Any that contradict the natural law must be resisted. is wrong. Also, just as theft was wrong in the time of Moses, it Christopher Dodson is executive director of the North Dakota Catholic is wrong today and will be wrong a thousand years from now. Conference. The NDCC acts on behalf of the Catholic bishops of North Catholic teaching is very clear that certain rights exist because Dakota to respond to public policy issues of concern to the Catholic of the natural law. These are usually expressed as the right to: Church and to educate Catholics and the general public about Catholic life from conception to natural death; establish a family; work, social doctrine. The conference website is including a just wage, safe working conditions, and the right to form worker associations; migrate; basic education; peace and Alleluia, Christ is Risen! security; economic initiative; religious freedom; and the means necessary for the proper development of life, including food, clean water, clothing, shelter, medical care, rest, and necessary social services. Do you desire a Life of Prayer All of the natural human rights flow from the life and dignity of the human person and all of them are knowable by reason. Rights under the natural law have their source in God’s wisdom. -All for JesusAs such, although they are knowable by other means, they are, like divine law, “God given.” The third source of law is the positive law. This is the law made by humans. It is the law actually enforceable by civil authorities CARMEL OF MARY 17765 78TH ST. S.E. WAHPETON, ND 58075 and the courts. Think of it as what is written on paper. The 701-642-2360 CARMELOFMARY@GMAIL.COM North Dakota Century Code is positive law. So are the laws and

I have chosen YOU!

and Community JOY? Come and Seek...




Plan for the future, take time to plan your estate


person may work 40 years to accumulate assets Stewardship and spend 10 to 20 years conserving Steve Schons that accumulation, but all too often it only takes two hours or less to plan for the distribution of assets. Through good planning, a wonderful chapter of your life can be completed. However, too many times there has been little planning, or sometimes no planning, and the last chapter of life becomes burdensome for family members. A little estate planning can go a long way and create peace of mind. A few years ago, Saabira Chadhuri wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal and wrote: “There are 25 documents every person needs to have updated and put into one place.” Here they are:

Bank Accounts/Social Media

• List of bank accounts • List of all user names and passwords • List of safe-deposit boxes At the Diocese of Fargo, we have an excellent booklet called “A Guide to Planning Your Will and Trust” that helps people organize their personal documents as well as their mind. For some folks, this process can seem overwhelming. This guide is designed to help you move forward with a plan that writes a very good chapter in the book of your life. It walks you through some of the terminology and encourages you to think about how you want your assets to be distributed at death and to assist you in gathering the information you will need. If you would like a complimentary copy of this guide, please email me at, or mail a request to Steve Schons, Diocese of Fargo, 5201 Bishops Blvd, Fargo, ND 58104. Steve Schons is Director of Stewardship and Development for the Diocese of Fargo.

The Essentials

• Will • Letter of instruction • Trust documents • Financial Power of Attorney (POA)


• Marriage license • Other marriage papers • Military documents (DD214)

Health-Care Confidentiality

• Durable Health-Care Power of Attorney • Authorization of Release Health-Care Information • Advanced Directive

Proof of Ownership

• Housing, land and cemetery deeds • Escrow mortgage accounts • Proof of loans made and debts owed • Vehicle titles • Stock certificates, savings bonds and brokerage accounts • Tax returns

• Life insurance policies • Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) • 401(k) accounts • Pension documents • Annuity contracts

Life Insurance and Retirement



SUMMER ADVENTURE CAMP Weekly May 29 - August 10

Fun filled activities, field trips, & learning in a faith centered environment Summer Adventure for grades K-6th St. John Paul II Catholic Schools * Holy Spirit * Nativity * Trinity Campuses For registration information call 701.893.3271 or visit us online at



Learning from the White Rose

eventy-five years ago last month, Sophie and Hans Scholl and their friend Christian Probst were executed by guillotine at Munich’s Stadelheim Prison for high treason. Their crime? They were the leaders of an anti-Nazi student organization, the White Rose, and had been caught distributing leaflets at their university in the Bavarian capital; the leaflets condemned the Third Reich, its genocide of the Jews, and its futile war.

“…conscience can be stern, but in submitting to the truths it conveys, we are liberated in the deepest meaning of human freedom.” – George Weigel

gives us the capacity to distinguish between good and evil” – words, Shrimpton notes, The Catholic that “were taken almost verbatim from Difference a famous sermon of George Weigel Newman’s called ‘The Testimony of Conscience.’” On the witness stand before the notorious Nazi “People’s Court” judge Rudolph Freisler, 21year old Sophie Scholl testified that it was her conscience, and her Christian conviction, that had led her to nonviolent resistance against Hitler and his gangsters. That Christian conscience, we now know, was formed in part by a serious intellectual and spiritual encounter with Blessed John Henry Newman. There is a lot of talk in the Church these days about “conscience,” and Newman is invoked by many prominent personalities in those debates. So it might be useful for all concerned, including Church leaders in Munich where the White Rose youngsters gave their lives for the truth, to ponder Newman’s influence on these contemporary martyrs. What did the members of the White Rose learn from Newman about conscience? They learned that conscience could not be ignored or manipulated. They learned that the voice of God speaking through our consciences sets before us what is life-giving and what is death-dealing. They learned that conscience can be stern, but that in submitting to the truths it conveys, we are liberated in the deepest meaning of human freedom. They learned that obedience to conscience can make us courageous, and that to strive to live an ideal with the help of grace is to live a truly noble life with an undivided heart.

How did young people once active in the Hitler Youth come to recognize the evil of the Nazi regime and risk their lives to oppose it? The 2005 Oscar-nominated film, Sophie Scholl: The Final Days, offers a part of the answer. The garish brutality of the Nazis, not least at its Nuremberg party rallies, was a first hint to serious young people that something was wrong here. The White Rose youngsters were also thinkers, and studied Socrates, Plato, and Pascal under the tutelage of Kurt Huber, a philosophy professor who despised the Hitler regime. The leaflets that were their primary resistance tool included references to Goethe, Aristotle, Schiller, and Lao Tzu – further signs of deep and broad reading. What you won’t learn from the film, however, is that the triggering inspiration for their activism was the “Lion of Muenster,” Archbishop Clemens von Galen, whose anti-Nazi preaching convinced the members of the White Rose that thought and discussion must give way to action. So, between June 1942 and February 1943, the White Rose produced and distributed six leaflets urging others to nonviolent resistance against the Nazi regime. To stand by silently, they claimed, was to be complicit in “the most horrible of crimes – crimes that infinitely outdistance every human measure.” To do nothing was to truckle to Hitler; George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. Weigel’s column is distributed by and “every word that comes out of Hitler’s mouth is a lie.” the Denver Catholic, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Denver. The fourth pamphlet made a promise: “We will not be silent. We are your bad consciences. The White Rose will not leave you in peace.” And therein lies a clue to another inspiration for the Scholls and their friends: John Henry Newman and his writings on conscience. In Britain’s Catholic Herald, Paul Shrimpton notes that the youngsters of the White Rose were deeply influenced by Augustine’s Confessions and George Bernanos’s Diary of a Country Priest. But it was Newman’s sermons, recommended to the White Rose students by a philosopher who had converted to Catholicism after reading Newman’s Grammar of Assent, which prompted that fourth pamphlet with its call to heed the demanding voice of conscience. Shrimpton reports that when Sophie Scholl’s boyfriend, Fritz Hartnagel, was assigned to the Russian front in 1942, Sophie gave him two volumes of Newman’s sermons. He later wrote her that “we know by whom we are created, and that we stand in a relationship of moral obligation to our creator. Conscience NEW EARTH APRIL 2018



DOCAT a practical guide to Catholic social teaching


ur values statement declares: “Catholic Charities serves all people, Catholic regardless of faith. Charities These values inspire the work that we do Corner for and with those Chad Prososki most in need: Our mission is sustained by hope, guided by charity, and rooted in Christian faith and the principles of Catholic social teaching.” Previously in this column I’ve discussed some resources available on Catholic social teachings. These include papal encyclicals addressing topics on charity and justice, the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, and of course Sacred Scripture and the Catechism. These are all very insightful sources, but over the past couple of years, I have been searching for a more accessible guide to social teachings. This past fall a mentor shared a newer resource with me called the DOCAT. The DOCAT tries to do exactly what it says, that is, to answer the question of “What should we do?” Some of you may already be familiar with the YOUCAT, a catechism for youth that was prepared through a grassroots initiative and distributed to young people at World Youth Day in Madrid in 2011. The YOUCAT has grown in popularity since then, was followed by the DOCAT for World Youth Day in Krakow in 2016, and most recently the same team published a YOUCAT Bible as well. The DOCAT was created in response to the vision of Pope Francis and others as a guide for young people on how to live out their faith in the world. In fact, the DOCAT includes a foreword from the Pope himself, where Francis invites all of us to learn the social doctrine of the Church and participate in social action. He adds, “If a Christian in these days looks away from the need of the poorest of the poor, then in reality he is not a Christian!” Addressed especially to our young people, the DOCAT contains a richness and depth to it that can benefit individuals of all ages and backgrounds. The social teachings are a great gift from the Church, and all people of goodwill should find many ideas for consideration in how we can respond with love and care to problems we face in the world today. A companion DOCAT Study Guide is also available to help with individual lessons or group discussions. Copies of both are available at Catholic bookstores, at a discount through the Fargo Diocese Youth and Young Adult Ministry Office, or online. Interestingly, the DOCAT is structured in a question and answer format similar to the way St. Thomas Aquinas addressed common questions or objections with his responses in Summa Theologica. This method also hearkens back to the ancient philosophers and is still commonly known today as the “Socratic Method” after the Greek Philosopher Socrates, who was reported 28


to have asked questions of his students or followers in order to teach them. The DOCAT begins by explaining where the social teachings come from and their purpose. Over time, the Catholic social teachings have been developed through the Popes and Bishops (Q24-25). The purpose of the social teachings is: (1) “To set forth the requirements of just social action as they appear in the Gospel,” and (2) “In the name of justice to denounce social, economic, or political actions and structures wherever they contradict the Gospel message.” (Q23). Helpful summaries of the key themes or principles of the social teachings can be readily found from the USCCB and other sources. In describing the DOCAT, Pope Francis says, “it is like a user’s manual that helps us to change ourselves with the Gospel first, and then our closest surroundings, and finally the whole world.” Through twelve chapters, the DOCAT answers tough questions about living in our world with others, on the individual level, locally and nationally, and on the international field. It explains concepts such as solidarity, subsidiarity, and the common good, and discusses the importance of family in society. Another great feature of the DOCAT is the digressions on different current topics. These include brief coverage of new media, bioethics, poverty, global goods, and research. Although the DOCAT is small, there is much to digest. It can be picked up and reflected upon as most people would not want to or be able to read it all at one time. In my experience, I could easily spend an hour on each of its twelve chapters, and may have taken much longer if I had the time. With substantial indexes, the DOCAT can serve as a useful reference tool as well. Much of the beauty of this book is how well-researched it is. It contains many helpful quotes, stories, and examples to drive home its points. For this and the reasons above, I think the DOCAT hits a homerun! Chad Prososki is the Director of Development and Community Relations for Catholic Charities North Dakota. For more than 90 years, Catholic Charities North Dakota and its supporters have been putting their faith in action helping people, changing lives. You can reach Chad at or (701) 235-4457. DOCAT answers the question “what to do?” when it comes to Catholic social teachings. It’s a practical follow-up to YOUCAT, the hugely popular Youth Catechism, based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Copies are available at a discount through the Fargo Diocese Youth and Young Adult Ministry Office. (Kristina Lahr | New Earth)


Events across the diocese Dorothy Day’s granddaughter to speak in Fargo April 19

true authentic self whom God intended you to be, featuring guest speaker Jennifer Anderson, MSW, LICSW Clinical Therapist at Catholic Charities ND. Luncheon is in the Mehok Center at St. John’s Church, Wahpeton on April 29 from 12:15–4 p.m. This is a unique opportunity to build relationships with women of all ages within faith communities. Bring a friend. Free-will offering. Register by contacting St. John’s parish office at (701) 642-6982 or

Join the Presentation Sisters at 1101 32nd Ave S, Fargo on April 19 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for an evening with Kate Hennessy. She is a granddaughter of Dorothy Day and the author of Dorothy Day: The World Will Be Saved by Beauty. Hennessy will speak about her grandmother’s legacy as co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement, her experience as a writer and journalist, and her relationships between Day and her only child, Tamar, Kate’s mother. Suggested donation is $10. For more information, contact Scott Mathern-Jacobson at (701) 237-4857 or Blessed Sacrament Church, West Fargo is holding a churchwide rummage sale on May 5 from 7 a.m.–3 p.m. Furniture, clothing, tools, sport equipment, etc. Preview the sale May 4 from 5-7 p.m. with a $1 admission. Proceeds benefit improvements Join FirstChoice Clinic on April 21 at Bethel Church in Fargo for the social hall. For more information call (701) 282-3321 or to walk in honor of all moms. Proceeds will benefit the services email provided by FirstChoice Clinic, helping those moms in our community who are facing an unplanned pregnancy. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and the walk begins at 9 a.m. Register to walk at or call Mona at (701) 237-5902.

West Fargo parish holding church-wide rummage sale

Miles for Mom Walk honors all mothers

Maryvale Convent, Valley City, to host Three-Hour Retreat

Life in the Spirit seminar to be held in Belcourt

The Life in the Spirit seminar is a time to be led into greater understanding of the Holy Spirit and how to use your gifts to build up the church and increase the love of Christ in your life. This seminar is April 27 at 7 p.m. to April 29 at 3 p.m. at Queen of Peace Pastoral Center in Belcourt. For more information, contact

Women invited to Spring Luncheon in Wahpeton

Do you struggle with living a balanced life in all the different roles you as a woman play? Join us to learn how to become your

The format for this retreat allows for small group gatherings that enable participants to converse on their prayer experiences and encounters with God. This retreat, “Emptying Your Cup” is May 12 from 1–4 p.m. Register by April 28. Suggested donation is $35. Contact Sister Dorothy Bunce at (701) 845-2864 or dorothy.

Men wanted

The Diocese of Fargo will be hosting the “Made for Greatness Men’s Leadership Summit” for those interested in starting men’s initiatives in their local parishes. The Summit will take place on June 8-10 at Stiklestad Lodge near Fort Ransom. For more information, contact Brad Gray at (701) 356-7903 or

A GLIMPSE OF THE PAST 50 Years Ago....1968 The 150th anniversary of the first parish in North Dakota – Assumption Church, Pembina – will be observed this year. Plans are being made by the Archdioceses of St. Boniface and Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, the Diocese of Fargo and the City of St.Boniface, for the observance.

20 Years Ago....1997

A stunning collection of Catholic ecclesiastical artifacts on display in Wolverton, Minnesota, highlights historical points of the Catholic Church. The more than 125 artifacts, which are owned by the Diocese of Fargo and numerous private collectors in eastern North Dakota, include items ranging in age from

A.D. 32 to the present. People from throughout the U.S. are traveling to this small Minnesota town to see the collection. Fr. Damien Schill of Holy Spirit in Fargo arranged the show.

10 Years ago....2008

The Collar Classic is an annual basketball game pitting the seminarians against area priests. This year’s game was a huge success. Fans from Wahpeton, Cavalier and everywhere in between filled the stands for the 7:30 tip-off. The vast majority of fans were cheering for the priests. However, the Sems turned out to be too much for the Shooting Shepherds and won the game 80-59. These news items, compiled by Dorothy Duchschere, were found in New Earth and its predecessor, Catholic Action News. NEW EARTH APRIL 2018



Life’s milestones Catherine Franklin celebrated her 96th birthday on April 4. She is a parishioner of St. Catherine’s Church in Valley City. She was married to Lyle Franklin Sr. who passed away in 2002. She has three children, Karen Sauer and Louise Max of Jamestown and the late Lyle Franklin Jr. who passed away in 2006. Rose Hager celebrated her 98th birthday on March 27. She attends Mass, rosary, and communion services at Little Flower Church in Rugby. She was married to Andrew Hager for 64 years until his passing in 2009. They have four children, eight grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren. Donald Hager celebrated his 80th birthday on March 15. He was a lifetime parishioner of Sacred Heart Church in Orrin until its closing in 2008. He currently attends St. Boniface Church in Esmond. He was married to Marie (Kuntz) Hager for 55 years until her passing in January 2018. He has five children and one granddaughter (pictured).

Diocesan policy: Reporting child abuse

The Diocese of Fargo is committed to the protection of youth. Please report any incidents or suspected incidents of child abuse, including sexual abuse, to civil authorities. If the situation involves a member of the clergy or a religious order, a seminarian or anemployee of a Catholic school, parish, the diocesan offices or other Catholic entity within the diocese, we ask that you also report the incident or suspected incident to Monsignor Joseph P. Goering at (701) 356-7945 or Larry Bernhardt at (701) 356-7965 or For additional information about victim assistance, visit www.



Joseph (Joe) Schall, former parishioner of Little Flower Church in Rugby, and current parishioner of Sts. Anne and Joachim Church in Fargo, celebrated his 100th birthday March 20. His wife of 72 years, Beatrice, his seven children, and residents of the Riverview and Crosshaven retirement communities celebrated with him. Joe served in WWII, farmed south of Rugby, and owned the Hamilton Motel in Rugby. Rosina Schmidt celebrated her 90th birthday March 18. Her husband passed away in August 2000. In 1996, they left the farm, moved to Rugby, and became parishioners of St. Therese the Little Flower Church in Rugby. They have 16 children, 38 grandchildren and 36 great-grandchildren. Sophia Van Hook celebrated her 104th birthday on March 7. She celebrated with her sons, John (Mary) Van Hook, Tom (Patty) Van Hook, and JoCee Vareberg, and numerous extended family and friends. Sophie was a longtime matriarch of the St. Paul’s Newman Center in Fargo, and later a parishioner of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fargo until she moved to Rosewood on Broadway in Fargo.


Priests, DREs, youth ministers, and catechists invited to Center for Ministry Development workshop


he Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry is offering a workshop on “Accompanying Youth on their Faith and Discernment.” Accompaniment is our model for ministry with youth and their families. Our job is to pay attention to what God is doing in the lives of young people, walk with youth as they grow in discipleship, and help them discern their response to God’s plan for their life. This workshop is guided by the Synod on Young People, the

Faith, and Vocational Discernment. It is designed for all parish leaders whose ministries touch the lives of adolescents and their families—including pastors, deacons, pastoral associates, coordinators of youth ministry, leaders in faith formation and catechists, Confirmation preparation leaders, and service/social concerns leaders. Topics for this seminar include: Accompanying Young People Today, Becoming a Faith Companion, and Helping Youth Pray, Discern and Explore their Vocation Cost is $30 per person, which includes workshop materials, continental breakfast, and lunch. Each day begins at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 2:30 p.m. The workshop will be held on, Friday, May 4 at St. John’s Church in Wahpeton and Saturday, May 5 at Sacred Heart Church in Carrington. Deadline to register is Friday, April 20. Please register by the deadline to ensure we have enough materials and food. To register go to

Masses to take up collection for Catholic Home Missions


n the weekend of April 28-29, parishes in the Fargo Diocese will take up a collection at all Masses for the Catholic Home Missions Appeal. Right now, over 40 percent of dioceses in the United States are considered home mission territory because they are unable to fund the essential pastoral work needed in their communities. Your support of this appeal helps ease the struggle of these dioceses. Please prayerfully consider how you can support this appeal. More information can be found at NEW EARTH APRIL 2018



How a 22 year-old Texan began a Catholic school for Uganda’s deaf children By Mary Rezac | Catholic News Agency



annah Evetts had always wanted to go to Africa. She has no explanation for it, other than that God had planted a deep love of everything Africa in her heart for as long as she can remember. “Ever since I was a little kid, I would say I was going to Africa, and I didn’t really understand why, and my mom would just call me her little African child because that’s all I would talk about,” Rannah recalled. Today, Rannah is living out her childhood dream, having founded a Catholic school for deaf children in Uganda at the age of 21. But it came to fruition in a way she could never have imagined. Evetts loved to talk about Africa as a little girl. But there was a lot she did not talk about – the sexual abuse she experienced and the traumatic consequences she suffered silently for years: depression, suicidal thoughts, self-hate and despair. “Through a lot of hurt and pain that God worked through me,” Evetts said. Desperately seeking happiness in high school, she threw herself into the party scene, looking for relief. “I wanted to be happy, I was so tired of hating myself and being miserable, and so when I was a junior in high school I started partying a whole lot... and I quickly realized this isn’t making me happy,” she said. Looking for answers, Evetts started attending different churches with friends and family on the weekends. Having never been baptized, she bounced around non-denominational Christian churches for a while, but did not feel like she had found the truth until she began looking into the Catholic faith. “When I was a senior I started RCIA. I gave up drinking, no more parties, I was reading the Bible all the time, and realizing that I just want Jesus. He has to be the cure, because I knew that the world wasn’t,” she said.



When she was baptized, Evetts said she felt the presence of Christ, in an indescribable way, in her heart. She felt God calling her to an unfolding mission that would piece together seemingly unconnected parts of her life, including her love for Africa, and her knowledge of American Sign Language (ASL). “It’s hard to explain the real presence that I experienced of Christ inside of me when I was baptized... and receiving the Eucharist, receiving him in the flesh, I gave up everything, that’s when he opened up the door and said ‘This is what I want you to do and this is why.’” At her high school in Texas, the only classes offered to fulfill language requirements were Spanish or ASL. Evetts said she joined the sign language class because it was required, she thought it was “cool,” and her sister had taken the same class. “It was just a requirement, I did not think that I would do anything with it.” But as she experienced a conversion, she said God began to pull on her heart through her sign language class, especially when she completed a project on deafness in Uganda. She learned that the deaf in Uganda are often misunderstood and often mistreated, considered sinners or even cursed. She said that the deaf are often outcast out of malice or because of a lack of resources. After high school graduation, Evetts flew to Uganda for the first time to work for seven months for an established school for the deaf in the capital city of Kampala. Through that experience, she met a priest in a village in northern Uganda, in an area with hundreds of deaf children and no resources for them. “I basically just walked back to the sacristy and I was like, ‘Hi Father, I’m Rannah, can I talk to you?’” she recalled. The initial meeting sparked a conversation that continued for more than a year and a half, while Evetts, the priest, and the local bishop discerned starting a school for the deaf. In 2016, Evetts moved to the village for five months to get used to living in the area and adjust to the culture, and to see if her dream could become a reality. By September 2016, the local bishop gave her permission to use an old catechesis building, “and basically he just said ‘begin.’” By February 2017, the St. Francis de Sales School for the Deaf opened its doors for the first time. St. Francis was chosen as the patron because he personally developed a sign language to preach the Gospel and teach the Catholic faith to Martin, a deaf man. “We are here to promote the education and welfare of the deaf in the West Nile region,” the school’s mission statement says on their website. “Most importantly we are here to fulfill a deeper meaning behind Christ’s “Eph’phatha” in Mark’s Gospel: ‘... and looking up to heaven, he [Jesus] sighed, and said to him, “Eph’phatha,”

that is, ‘be opened.’ And his ears were opened, his tongue was released and he spoke plainly.’” “The deaf are often outcasts in Ugandan society; isolated, deprived of their rights, and looked down upon by hearing people. They are more exposed to being raped, abused, and neglected by society. They are often thought of as stupid, cursed, and many parents still think it is a waste of money to send them to school,” the statement continues. “We are here to break this cultural stigma, provide quality education, and give our deaf students the most precious thing in this world: Jesus Christ.” “I knew I wanted to evangelize, I knew I wanted to share the word of God with people and what he did in my life. It’s so huge what he did for me, that you can’t not share that with people!’” But it hasn’t been easy. The school is open to children ages 3-14, and the age range brings a variety of needs. When they first arrive, most of the children have no way of communicating their needs, their thoughts, their experiences, pain, or ideas. “All of a sudden they’re being thrown into this and they have no idea what’s going on, so we have kids who are trying to run away, a lot of our kids just cried seeing me because they’ve never seen whatever I am, and the everyday challenge of bringing them a language... it was incredibly difficult,” Evetts said. It also came with times of personal darkness and challenge for Evetts, who was the only foreigner in her village, the only woman living at the parish, and the only person from her culture in the area. She would also often feel overwhelmed by the weight of responsibility on her shoulders. “I have a lot of thanks to give to my mom, because I would tell her, ‘I want to come home, because I don’t know what I’m doing,’ and she would stick with me and pray with me,” she said. She was also still struggling with anxiety attacks and the painful healing of the abuse in her past. “I want to tell you this because... it shows God’s goodness, because there were days when I couldn’t do this. I’m 22 years old and I don’t know what I’m doing and I’m the leader of all this and I’m working in another country and having my own problems,” Evetts said. There were several weeks at a time where she felt like she was literally unable to get out of bed in the morning. “But I want to share that with you because it shows that God did this. You say ‘yes’ to God and he does it, he fulfills it, because this is his school and this is his mission,” she said. “I don’t know how to explain it, but he’s here and he’s got this all under control.” The transformation she and the staff began seeing in the students throughout the year was incredible, she said. Children came to them having been raped, abused or neglected because of their disability, and were transformed in personality and behavior as they started acquiring a language. At the beginning of the year, many parents reluctantly sent

their children to the boarding school, believing it impossible to educate a deaf child. But on the night after the first term ended, and the children went home for the first time, parents started calling the school in amazement. “They were like, ‘there’s stuff written in [their notebooks]! There’s grades!’ And then their kids are signing all this stuff to their parents, and these parents are like ‘we don’t know what our kids are saying but they know stuff, and they’re talking with their hands!’” “And so they’re really seeing the evidence this works, so it’s a real encouragement for the parents,” Evetts said. The school has just begun its second year, with 50 students enrolled. It was recently licensed, and the plan is to eventually find enough land to build a boarding school for more than 300 nursery and primary school deaf students in the area. Evetts said the way the local community has embraced the school with love has been encouraging. As the only white person in the area, Evetts said it automatically brings her a lot of attention, which in turn lets her bring that attention to her work with deaf children. “God uses that. We’re walking around town, playing games with the students, using sign language, and people just gawk and stare.” Evetts said. “This year I’ve had volunteers come and it’s more people knowing sign language and giving it attention.” Evetts said the most rewarding part of the experience has been how God has used her ‘yes’ and the ‘yes’ of her staff members to transform lives and to do something that they would be unable to accomplish without him. “The closer you get to God in his silence, that’s where he reveals himself, that’s his language,” she said. “And not only that, he reveals you to you – he draws that out of you, and I really learned that the closer I came to him, he just showed me – ‘this is why I put this desire in you, and this is how I’m going to use your sufferings or your vices and this is how I’m going to transform it.’”




How some Catholic schools approached the National School Walkout over guns By Mary Rezac | Catholic News Agency


n March 14, thousands of students throughout the United States walked out of classrooms as part of National School Walkout, a demonstration calling for safer schools and increased gun control, in the wake of the February high school shooting that left 17 Florida students dead. Many of the walkouts were planned to last 17 minutes, in honor of each of the students who were shot and killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida

on Feb. 14. Many Catholic schools used the day as a chance to call their students to prayer, either in addition to or instead of a walkout. Schools in the Archdiocese of New Orleans were asked to hold 17 minutes of prayer in solidarity with shooting victims and the walkouts. The prayer services included the rosary, as well as the archdiocesan prayer against violence, murder and racism, which is recited regularly at Masses in the region. “Our children deserve to be safe in our school communities,” said Dr. RaeNell Houston, superintendent of Catholic Schools in New Orleans, “But we felt intentional, dedicated prayer would yield more fruitful results than a walkout.”

Church leaders praise Hawking for contribution to science, dialogue By Carol Glatz | Catholic News Service


heoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, who said he did not believe in God, was still an esteemed member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and fostered a fruitful dialogue between science and faith. St. John Paul II named Hawking a member of the papal academy in 1986. The academy’s members are chosen on the basis of their academic credentials and professional expertise – not religious beliefs.

Blessed Paul VI, the first of four popes to meet Hawking, gave the then 33-year-old scientist the prestigious Pius XI gold medal in 1975 after a unanimous vote by the academy in recognition of his great work, exceptional promise and “important contribution of his research to scientific progress.” Hawking had most recently met Pope Francis when he delivered his presentation on “The Origin of the Universe” at the academy’s plenary session on science and sustainability in 2016. In interviews and his writings, Hawking asserted that God had no role in creating the universe. Yet his avowed atheism did not keep him from engaging in dialogue and debate with the church as his work and contribution to the papal academy showed.

Five years later, papal surprises continue By Catholic News Agency


little more than five years ago, the world was surprised especially as he stresses the importance of divine mercy, a theme when Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the cardinal archbishop also stressed by St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. of Buenos Aires, was elected as the first non-European Pope Francis is sometimes accused of being too soft on since the eighth century, the first from the Americas and the sinners, especially those who are at variance with traditional first Jesuit pope. church teaching on sexuality. Auxiliary Bishop Robert E. Barron The 81-year-old pope shows surprising youth and vitality of Los Angeles, said he balks “at the suggestion that the new in his outreach to young people. He has traveled to traditional pope represents a revolution, or that he is dramatically turning places such as the United States, but also to unlikely places such away from the example of his immediate predecessors. And I as Bosnia and Herzegovina. He has met with world leaders strenuously deny that he is nothing but a softhearted powder from all over the globe and has not shied away from sensitive puff indifferent to sin.” topics such as immigration reform and climate change. Bishop Barron goes on to say, “To speak of mercy is to be The mainstream media often portrays Pope Francis as a intensely aware of sin and its peculiar form of destructiveness. progressive papal reformer, but here, too, the pope is full of Or, to shift to one of the pope’s favorite metaphors, it is to be surprises. Traditional themes such as the importance of the acutely conscious that one is wounded so severely that one sacrament of reconciliation are at the top of Pope Francis’ agenda, requires not minor treatment but the emergency and radical attention provided in a hospital on the edge of a battlefield.” 34


Sidewalk Stories By Roxane B. Salonen


“It’s the way of the world,” he said, shrugging

ecently, I’ve watched two fathers, each with two living children already in their lives, accompany their partners to our state’s only abortion facility to abort their third. The first had his toddler in tow. After he dropped off his wife, I approached to offer him a brochure on “lost fatherhood” and healing. He was pleasant enough, and gentle with the child in his arms. But as we talked, I heard the shallow justification of why he’d seen it fit to abort his youngest. “It’s just the way of the world,” he said, shrugging. To think we would abdicate our responsibility to protect our young because “it’s the way of the world.” I can think of many “ways of the world” we’d be wise not to heed. As he talked, he kept looking at his toddler, saying, “It’s going to be okay,” as if trying to convince himself. He then remarked, “I saw this one being born,” noting that once the baby is born, of course, you’d do everything for it. But not necessarily before. The logic is illogical. Even my friend Ramona Trevino, who left her job at Planned Parenthood after coming back to her Catholic faith, admitted that at one point, she felt babies who would not have a “good” life would be better off aborted. “At least they’d be in heaven.” A few weeks after meeting the father with the toddler, another strode up to the facility with his partner. Though firm in his stance, he took a few moments to engage with us, revealing a rather shocking mindset. “We have two others,” he said, “but this one was an accident.” “It’s not easy having children. I have five,” I said. “But they’re all gifts. What about adoption?” And then he dropped the bomb. “Adoption? No, to me, adoption is a sin,” he said. Though his partner had already slipped into the facility, noticing our confused looks, he seemed intent on at least explaining. In belabored English, indicating exposure to a different culture, he said, “If I bring a child into the world, it is my responsibility to raise it.” “But you’re okay with your baby dying?” I asked. At that, another shrug of resignation came, just before he was whisked inside by the mother, visibly impatient with his delay. Reflecting further, I think of my aunt, given to us through

adoption. If her biological parents had bought this twisted logic, she wouldn’t be here, nor would her two sons, nor their four beautiful children – not the oldest, a dancer; not the two middles, lively soccer players; and not the youngest, whose squeals and smile light up the world and sends his two big dogs running to protect him. Though our third baby died in utero, we named our third living child Elizabeth, “Gift from God,” because of our gratitude, giving her the middle name Grace. Without that gift, there’d be no “brown-eyed girl” leaf twirling on our family tree. But this father’s third child may never be given an earthly name, and the parents will never know the color or shape of their third child’s eyes – nor the beautiful light shining forth from them. Contrast this with the post-abortive dad I met on Twitter who, after a discussion that began contemptuously with him defending the abortion industry, ended with him admitting grief over the child of his, aborted against his will – though he still sees the mother’s action as her right alone. As the tenor of that conversation shifted to something more hopeful, I dared to suggest he name his son or daughter. And surprisingly, he – the Planned Parenthood defender – admitted he already had. “Can I ask what?” I asked. “Damnum,” he replied. “Means ‘my loss’ in Latin.” There are times when what we hear in response to the decision of abortion leaves us utterly speechless, with no possible retort. Other times, the heart reveals itself, and we are speechless again, but in another way. I share these encounters to remind us that even when the logic of the world takes hold, and leaves us without words, we can be assured God has not abandoned us. He alone will be the arbitrator of actions and hearts. As Christians, however, it is up to us, when we hear, “It’s just the way of the world,” to witness to another world – the land of the living, that City on a Hill – and continue reaching for it day by day, prayer by prayer. Roxane B. Salonen, a wife and mother of five, is a local writer, and a speaker and radio host for Real Presence Radio. Roxane writes for The Forum newspaper and for Reach her at





Catholic Diocese of Fargo 5201 Bishops Blvd, Ste. A Fargo, ND 58104

Do you know where we are? The answer will be revealed in the May New Earth.

Where in the diocese are we? 36


Last month’s photo is from Sts. Anne and Joachim Church in Fargo.

New Earth April 2018  

The official magazine for the Catholic Diocese of Fargo, ND

New Earth April 2018  

The official magazine for the Catholic Diocese of Fargo, ND