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Where is This Advent, this experience the O Antiphons mystery — Page 17 steeple? Page 4




September2014 2011 December Vol. 32 11   Page No. 8 Vol. 35   No. 1

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth” — Rev. 21:1

United with Christ

Couples share their marriage, family journey in the faith By Kristina Lahr


he Church rests on the foundation of a husband and wife who establish a communion of love where children are welcomed. Christian families manifest Christ’s presence to the world and share in the mission that Christ gave to the Church. Beginning Dec. 28, the Feast of the Holy Family, the diocese will celebrate a diocesan “Year of Marriage and Family.” The purpose of this celebration is to focus on the beauty of marriage and family. The following stories feature four families from the Fargo Diocese, in various stages, who are doing their best to live according to God’s plan and spread Christ’s love within their families and communities.

Imperfect beauty Phil and Katie Zubrod met at the Newman Center located at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks while attending a mutual friend’s wedding. Katie had been a FOCUS missionary there while Phil was living in Williston. “I danced with her,” said Phil. “That’s when the idea came into my mind, ‘What about Katie?’ In that dancing, I noticed her beauty, and it was like the curtain of who Katie was pulled away for just a moment, and I got a glimpse of who Katie really was.” Please turn to FARGO DIOCESE on page 10

This image shows the icon of the Holy Family chosen for the diocesan “Year of Marriage and Family” celebration. It was written in 1984 at the Benedictine Monastery on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem by Sister Marie Paul, O.S.B.

2 n December 2014


A Year of Marriage and Family


fter more than a year of planwith couples and families that were ning, the Diocese of Fargo will struggling or even breaking down. enter into a “Year of Marriage And, even those families that enjoy and Family” beginning Dec. 28, the stability and harmony face greater Feast of the Holy Family. The idea for and greater challenges and pressures this special year was first proposed to in our day. me very soon after my ordination as One very troubling development bishop, and apparently had been deis the trend towards redefining the veloping for some time before that. meaning of marriage itself. I recognized immediately that Traditional marriage under fire this would harmonize nicely with Same-sex unions have been elevated the two Synods of Bishops that Pope by judicial decrees and the media to Francis had summoned, which also an equal status with would deal with the marriage, or, as marsubject of the family. riage has always been And next September, understood in Westthe World Meeting of ern culture. Families will be held An appeal to equalin Philadelphia with ity and tolerance has Pope Francis himself gained such traction in in attendance. Furthe public mind that thermore, unfolding traditional marriage current events make is no longer regarded this observance even as immutable or even more opportune. necessary. And, the As a priest and bishrecent surveys conop, I have worked with ducted in preparation many couples preparfor the Synod of Bishing for marriage, and ops revealed a certain I have been blessed to lack of understanding Bishop John Folda know many wonderof the Church’s beliefs ful couples and famabout marriage. ilies through my parish assignments. For some years now, the bishops of Some of my happiest experiences as the United States have recognized the a priest and bishop have involved opserious challenges facing families, and portunities to know and spend time they chose to emphasize the strengthwith spouses and their families. ening of marriage and family life as a It is sometimes said that a parish priority. This cause is certainly a pripriest becomes a member of every ority for me as well, and I am hopeful family, and I found that to be very that this coming year focused on martrue. riage and family life will be a time of grace for our diocese. But, I also have to admit that some Very early in his pontificate, Pope of the most heartrending moments Francis too made the pastoral care of of my priesthood involved working the family a priority. He affirms clearly that “the family is the principal setting for the growth of each individu“Then I saw a new heaven al, since it is through the family that and a new earth.” human beings become open to life Revelation 21:1 and the natural need for relationships with others.” The pope has stressed the “educative mission” of the family, noting how every vocation is rooted in this fundamental relationship. The family is the (ISSN # 10676406) “primary place for education,” he said, since it is the “community of love and life in which every person learns to relate to others and to the world.” Serving Catholic parishes He added, “All vocations make their as the official newspaper of the first steps in the family.” Diocese of Fargo, N.D. Furthermore, the Holy Father recognizes that the Christian family is Member of the founded upon “the stable union of Catholic Press Association man and woman in marriage. This union is born of their love, as a sign Bishop John Folda and presence of God’s own love.” Bishop of Fargo Marriage is essentially a mutual gift Publisher of life and love between spouses, and the pope invites all husbands and Aliceyn Magelky wives to situate their gift of self withEditor in God’s own plan for them. “Promising love forever is possible when we perceive a plan bigger than our own ideas and undertakings, a plan which Published monthly by The Cath­olic Spirit sustains us and enables us to surrenPublishing Company, a non-profit Minder our future entirely to the one we nesota corporation, 244 Dayton Ave., St. love.” Paul, MN 55102. (651) 291-4444. PeriodiMore than 30 years ago, after ancals postage paid at St. Paul, MN and adother Synod of Bishops had reflected ditional post offices. on the importance of marriage and family life, Pope St. John Paul II made POSTMASTER: Send address changes to this subject a constant theme of his New Earth, 5201 Bishops Boulevard, Suite teaching ministry. He went so far as to A, Fargo ND 58104-7605. (701) 356-7900. declare that, “The future of humanity Personal subscription rate for 11 issues of passes by way of the family.” New Earth per year: $9. And, the foundation of a Catholic family is Christian marriage. In fact,

Bishop’s Message


Bishop Folda’s Calendar Dec. 14 Pastoral Visit, St. Stephen’s Catholic Church, Larimore Dec. 14

5 p.m. Shanley Candlelight Christmas Concert, Sts. Anne and Joachim’s Catholic Church, Fargo

Dec. 15

7 p.m. Shanley Candlelight Christmas Concert, Sts. Anne and Joachim’s Catholic Church, Fargo

Dec. 17 Installation of Most Rev. Peter Christensen as Bishop of Boise, Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Boise, Idaho Dec. 21 Mass at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, Hillsboro Dec. 25

12 a.m. Mass of the Nativity, Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo

Dec. 24 – Jan. 5

Pastoral Center Closed

Jan. 1-5

FOCUS SEEK Conference, Nashville, Tenn.

Jan. 3-9

Region VIII Bishops’ Retreat, Sierra Madre, Calif.

Jan. 19

Martin Luther King Day, Pastoral Center closed

“This diocesan Year of Marriage and Family is not only meant for a select few, but for all who belong to the family of God. Bishop John Folda

at his canonization last April, Pope Francis declared that “Pope St. John Paul II was the pope of the family.” His teaching and attention to marriage and family life is still an inspiration and offers a goldmine of insights to Christian spouses and families who strive to navigate through the current challenges and difficulties.

Resources will be provided In the months to come, various themes and resources related to marriage and family life will be offered for reflection and prayer in our parishes and in our homes. Hopefully, these tools will prompt a deeper consideration of God’s plan for all of us and the Gospel teachings on marriage and family. And next October, a diocesan celebration of marriage and family will be held in Fargo, so that we as a Church can join together in prayer and thanksgiving for these great vocations. This diocesan Year of Marriage and Family is not only meant for a select

few, but for all who belong to the family of God. Whether we are married, widowed, single or consecrated to God through religious vows or Holy Orders, the realities of marriage and family life touch all of us. Rather than merely adding more structures and offices in our diocese or in our parishes, this observance should deepen our personal understanding and appreciation for this great gift that God has given his people. It should also be an occasion for prayer and initiatives that will strengthen and support married couples and families in our parishes and communities. It is my sincere hope that all of us — bishop, priests, deacons, religious and faithful laity — will enter into this year-long event with joy and hope, and that it will be a time of blessing for all of us. I close with a prayer that I offer to our entire diocesan family for this Year of Marriage and Family: “Jesus, Mary and Joseph, may the example of your holy life help us to live our vocation to love. Be with us during this Year of Marriage and Family as we celebrate, strengthen, and witness to the gift of married and family life. Help all married couples to rediscover the beauty and sacredness of God’s plan for them and to deepen their covenant of life and love. Guide our families to be domestic churches, where we experience comfort and healing, and are formed to be saints through prayer, generosity and forgiveness. Holy Family of Nazareth, protect us and hear our prayer. Amen.”


Diocese of Fargo

N Dovember ecember 2014 n 3 1

Diocese marks 125 years in North Dakota By Aliceyn Magelky

Official Appointments/ Announcements Most Rev. John T. Folda, Bishop of Fargo, has made the following appointments, announcements, and/or decrees:

Deacon Leslie Warren Noehre

has been appointed to serve as a permanent deacon at Holy Family parish in Grand Forks, effective Nov. 22, 2014, and continuing ad nutum episcopi.

On, Nov. 15, nearly 175 Diocese of Fargo clergy, religious men and women and laity gathered in prayer and fellowship to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the diocese’s establishment. The event, held at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Fargo, was marked with Mass followed by a luncheon in the parish basement. “The faith was already alive among the people, but in many ways they were like sheep without a shepherd, scattered and wandering,” said Bishop John Folda during his homily. “And, Bishop (John) Shanley [the first Fargo Diocese bishop] was given the mission of shepherding the flock, of gathering and leading them to the Lord.” In his homily, Bishop Folda reminded us to be thankful for our past and for the perseverance of those before us who built up the church, but not as “merely a moment of nostalgia.” “We are wise to look back with thanksgiving, but we must look to this moment and to the days yet to come,” he said. “This anniversary should be for all of us an invitation to greater holiness, to an even deeper relationship and intimacy with Christ, who is the cornerstone, the foundation for this church. The heroic faith and witness of those who went before us prompts us to rededicate ourselves and this diocese to the mission of evangelization, to living and sharing the Gospel with our brothers and sisters.” During the luncheon, attendees had the unique opportunity to view and purchase the book “Scattered Steeples: A Tribute to the Church in North Dakota.” This book, edited by Father William Sherman and Father Leo Stelten, both of the Fargo Diocese, along with Jerome Lamb and Jerry Ruff, chronicles “the lives and times, the memories and meditations of some of the folks — saints, sinners — who have made these first generations of the Diocese of Fargo years worth remembering.” For St. Mary’s Cathedral parishioners, Paul and Barb Loegering, some of the biggest changes to the church are happening now.

New Earth / Aliceyn Magelky

Bishop John Folda (right) visits with Father William Sherman during the 125th anniversary celebration of the Diocese of Fargo Nov. 15. Father Sherman, former pastor of St. Michael’s in Grand Forks and professor emeritus in Sociology at North Dakota State University, Fargo, co-edited the book “Scattered Steeples: A Tribute to the Church in North Dakota.”

“St. Mary’s is becoming a very young parish. It’s wonderful to see a lot of large families, a lot of young people,” commented Paul Loegering while browsing several historical documents on display for luncheon guests. Along with the documents, pictorial displays highlighted each bishop, several religious orders and laity who have helped spread the message of Christ across the diocese and state over the past 125 years. Currently, the displays are available for viewing at the Diocese of Fargo Pastoral Center in Fargo. Visit www.fargodiocese. org/news-events for more photos of the event.

‘Still sound, still standing‘ — St. James Basilica hosts church anniversary celebration By Aliceyn Magelky

On Christ the King Sunday, Nov. 23, St. James Basilica in Jamestown hosted a “Trinity of Celebrations.” A most joyous event for sure with three bishops attending including Bishop John Folda, Fargo Diocese; Bishop David Kagan, Bismarck Diocese and Most Rev. Thomas Donato, auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Newark. These leaders along with eight priests, one deacon and several hundred parishioners and guests came together to commemorate three important anniversaries for the parish: 25 years being named a minor Basilica, 100 years since the dedication of the original church and 125 years as the original location of the Diocese of Fargo. “Those were challenging days,” Bishop Folda remarked during his homily. “Bishop Shanley came from St. Paul to be our first bishop, and let’s just say he didn’t have an easy time of it. At the time, Jamestown had about 1,500 people and conditions were hard.” But just as the Church continues to flourish today through struggle and hardship, the diocese, St. James Basilica and the faithful persevered in living out God’s will. “We are all indeed indebted to them [pastors, parishioners of the past] for their strong faith and sacrificial spirit. They knew there had to be a place for God in their lives, and they had the foresight to build this spiritual home,” Bishop Folda continued. “We can’t help but be thankful for the 100 years of history in this holy place, where the faithful have come to worship and to participate in the life of the Church.” Bishop Folda concluded his homily with a reminder to not only look at the

Kennedy Photography / Jim Kennedy

Bishop John Folda of the Fargo Diocese (center) concelebrated Mass with Bishop Thomas Donato, Archdiocese of Newark (left) and Bishop David Kagan, Bismarck Diocese (right) as part of the anniversary celebrations at St. James Basilica in Jamestown Nov. 23.

celebration as a moment for nostalgia but include thoughts of what lies ahead. He said, “As our culture and society become more secularized, they become a kingdom without God. God and faith are marginalized, and often forgotten, so all the more reason that we need a holy place where the faithful can gather and draw strength from our Lord. . . . So, let us not only rejoice in the past 100 years, but let us also open wide the doors, so that many more will enter and share in the joy of the Kingdom.” Following Mass, attendees were invited to a meal held at the Civic Center

in Jamestown followed by a program featuring pastors and people who have served the parish over the years. Special guests included family members and representatives of the people involved with the original church. One such attendee was John Murphy. Murphy’s great uncle, Michael Murphy, was the chairman of the original building committee. Per the request of historian and event committee member, Mary Young, Murphy, who lives in Carrington, personally delivered photos from the time of the original building project.

“I found photos that were 100 years old,” said Murphy. “They are the only record of that period.” And, what would Murphy’s family say if they could have attended the event? “They would be greatly impressed to see the church, still sound and still standing.” Committee members included: DeAnn Ament, co-chair; Laura Weis, co-chair; Mary Faith Young, historian; Logan Adams; Cindy Bloms; Rose Mary Gasal; Jill Gilbertson; Rod Heilman; Carey Koch; Bonnie Laber; Rod Olin; Scott Sandness and John Splonskowski.

4 n December 2014


Came not to be served, but to serve Fargo Diocese receives a new permanent deacon, Les Noehre of St. Michael’s, Grand Forks By Aliceyn Magelky

Leslie (Les) Noehre of Holy Family Church in Grand Forks, along with his wife, Annette, family, clergy, diaconate candidates and area faithful, celebrated his sacred ordination to the order of the diaconate Nov. 22 at the Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo. “You now join the ranks of those saintly deacons who gave themselves in service to Christ and his Church through the ages,” remarked Bishop John Folda, who ordained Noehre. “You will be assigned to your own particular parish, but you must be a deacon, a servant, for all. Your calling is not just to honor, but to be a humble, joyful servant of the Gospel.”

Road to Diaconate Some may say Noehre’s journey to serve as deacon began less than 10 years ago while attending EPS (Education for Parish Service). But, one might suggest it started with a budding new family. “I married a good Catholic girl,” Les said with a smile. “My interest started out by wanting to unite our family, but throughout the process it had to be about my relationship with Jesus.” In 1991, Noehre came into full communion with the Catholic Church. Later, he began teaching others the faith through participation in the RCIA program at his parish. “Going through the RCIA process, I could tell he had an inquisitive mind. He wanted to know more and wanted to be involved,” said Noehre’s RCIA sponsor, Mark Kobe of Grand Forks. “And, Annette was always there to support him.” Loren Nowacki, a parishioner ofHoly Family attending the Mass in support of Noehre, commented, “I got to know Les about nine years ago through the RCIA group. I’ve seen his faith grow so much. I’m glad to be witness to that.”

Men preparing for diaconate ordination and service spend several years in spiritual, academic, liturgical and pastoral formation. These men are guided by sponsoring priests and other clergy within their diocese. Also, wives play an active role in learning and growing alongside their husbands as he prepares for ministry. “We learn and support our husbands growing in the faith. We are part of the process to know where we will need to support them. The wives form a close bond. Every time we get together for classes, it’s like going home,” commented Annette, Noehre’s wife.

Deacons’ Role “A deacon acts as the eyes and ears of the bishop; mediating between the needs of the people and the bishop,” said Monsignor Gregory Schlesselmann, director of the permanent diaconate program for the Fargo Diocese. “He has a distinctive role of service that complements the sacrificial role of a priest. He is a visible example that everyone is called to serve.” According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), a deacon is ordained as a sacramental sign to the Church and to the world of Christ, who came “to serve and not to be served.” The entire Church is called by Christ to serve, and the deacon, in virtue of his sacramental ordination and through his various ministries, is to be a servant in a servant-Church. “I would say it fits Les to take this role as deacon. He’s looking forward to serving others,” said Annette. “It’s a vocation that truly fits him.” Deacons can baptize, witness marriages, perform funeral services outside of Mass, distribute Holy Communion, preach the homily and read the Gospel at Mass. And, they are obligated to pray the Liturgy of the Hours.

New Earth / Aliceyn Magelky

Bishop John Folda lays his hands on Leslie Noehre, a parishioner of Holy Family Church, Grand Forks, to invoke the Holy Spirit to come down upon him and give him the gifts needed for his ministry. Noehre was ordained a permanent deacon for the Fargo Diocese during Mass celebrated on Nov. 22 at the Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo.

Six men installed as acolytes, one step closer to ordination to the permanent diaconate By Aliceyn Magelky

“Take this vessel with bread for celebration of the Eucharist. Make your life worthy of your service at the table of the Lord and of his Church.” Bishop John Folda repeated these words as he passed a gold paten to six men receiving the Ministry of Acolyte. This liturgical rite, celebrated during a Nov. 21 Mass at the Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo, marked a milestone for these men on their journey to permanent diaconate ordination. The six men: John Bredemeier, St. Michael’s Church, Grand Forks; Bruce Dahl, Nativity Church, Fargo; David Dahlin, Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo; Richard (Rick) Lagasse, St. Therese of the Little Flower, Rugby; Paul Schneider, Holy Spirit Church, Fargo and Kenneth (Ken) Severinson, St. Joseph’s Church, Devils Lake are now entrusted with caring for the altar and distributing the Eucharist as directed by the bishop. “You will build up his Church by sharing the Eucharist, the bread from heaven, just as the apostles shared the

miraculous loaves with the assembled crowd,” said Bishop Folda, reiterating the importance of this ministry during his homily. “In this new responsibility, this new role of service, make every effort to immerse yourselves in the love of God incarnate in the holy Eucharist. Enter often into the temple of his real presence by communion and adoration, so that you might convey to all the faithful the awesome beauty of what we hold in our hands and in our hearts,” he continued. “Today is a special milestone,” commented Bredemeier. “It’s a real joy getting to this step, and it is a blessing to receive His gift to serve at the Lord’s table in a profound way.” Receiving the Ministry of Acolyte is the last step before being ordained a deacon. Diaconate candidates, along with their wives, prepare for this ministry through prayer, studying sacred Scripture, theology, Church history, the Gospels and how to proclaim the Word of God.

New Earth / Aliceyn Magelky

Bishop John Folda passes a gold paten to David Dahlin, Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo, during the Rite for the Institution of Acolyte on Nov. 21. Dahlin, along with five other men of the diocese, received the ministry of acolyte.


N Dovember ecember 2014 n 5 1

It happened one Christmas eve Disaster after disaster looked to mar the holy season for a pastor, then something unexpected occurred By Father Bert Miller

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 Author’s Note: Joan Barta, a member of Blessed Sacrament Church in West Fargo, submitted this true story. It was shared with her by Helen Anton. It’s a tale of a tablecloth, Christmas and the glorious work of God.


he brand new pastor and his wife, newly assigned to their first ministry to reopen a church in suburban Brooklyn, arrived in early October excited about their opportunities. When they saw their church, it was very run down and needed much work. They set a goal to have everything done in time to have their first service on Christmas Eve. They worked hard repairing pews, plastering walls, painting, etc., and on Dec. 18 were ahead of schedule and just about finished. On Dec. 19, a terrible tempest — a driving rainstorm — hit the area and continued for two days. On the 21st, the pastor went over to the church. His heart sank when he saw that the roof had leaked, causing a large area of plaster, about 20 feet by eight feet, to fall off the front wall of the sanctuary just behind the pulpit, beginning about head high. The pastor cleaned up the mess on the floor, and not knowing what else to do but postpone the Christmas Eve service, headed home. On the way, he noticed that a local business was having a flea market-type sale for charity, so he stopped in. One of the items was a beautiful, handmade, ivory-colored, crocheted tablecloth with exquisite work, fine colors and a cross embroidered right in the center. It was just the right size to cover the hole in the front wall. He bought it and headed back to the church. By this time, it had started to snow. An older woman running from the opposite direction was trying to catch the bus. She missed it. The pastor invited her to wait in the warm church for the next bus arriving 45 minutes later. She sat in a pew and paid no attention to the pastor while he got supplies to put up the tablecloth as a wall tapestry. The pastor could hardly believe how beautiful it looked, and it covered up the entire problem area. Then, he noticed the woman walk-

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in all copies of this issue.

ing down the center aisle. Her face was like a sheet. “Pastor, where did you get that tablecloth?” she asked. The pastor explained. The woman asked him to check the lower right corner to see if the initials EBG were crocheted into it there. They were. These letters were the initials of the woman, and she had made this tablecloth 35 years earlier in Austria. The woman could hardly believe it as the pastor told how he had just bought the tablecloth. The woman explained that before the war, she and her husband were well-to-do people in Austria. When the Nazis came, she was forced to leave. Her husband was going to follow her the next week. She was captured, sent to prison and never saw her husband or her home again. The pastor wanted to give her the tablecloth, but she made the pastor keep it for the church. The pastor insisted on driving her home. That was the least he could do. She lived on the other side of Staten Island and was only in Brooklyn for the day for a housecleaning job. What a wonderful service they had on Christmas Eve. The church was almost full. The music and the spirit were great. At the end of the service, the pastor and his wife greeted everyone at the door, and many said they would return. One older man, whom the pastor recognized from the neighborhood, continued to sit in one of the pews and stare. The pastor wondered why he wasn’t leaving. The man asked the pastor where he got the tablecloth on the front wall. It was identical to one that his wife had made years ago, before the war, when they lived in Austria. How could there be two tablecloths so much alike? He told the pastor how the Nazis came, how he forced his wife to flee for her safety, and he was supposed to follow her, but she was arrested and put in a prison. He never saw his wife or his home again. The pastor asked him if he would allow him to take him for a little ride. They drove to Staten Island, and to the same house where the pastor had taken the woman three days earlier. He helped the man climb the three flights of stairs to the woman’s apartment, knocked on the door, and he saw the greatest Christmas reunion he could ever imagine. Father Bert Miller serves the Diocese of Fargo as pastor of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in West Fargo.

“His heart sank

when he saw that the roof had leaked, causing a large area of plaster, about 20 feet, by eight feet to fall off the front wall of the sanctuary just behind the pulpit, beginning about head high.

6 n December 2014


Worth the wait Thanks to Catholic Charities North Dakota, adoption completes family for one local couple By Catholic Charities ND staff

to meet their son.

After struggling with infertility for 10 years, Ray and Angela contacted Catholic Charities North Dakota’s Pregnancy, Parenting and Adoption Services in January 2011 to learn more about infant adoption services.

Ray and Angela felt an immediate connection with the birth couple. As a way to honor the birth mother and her role in their son’s life, Ray and Angela named him Hogan, which is taken from the birth mother’s last name.

While they did become pregnant, these pregnancies resulted in miscarriage. Feeling that “God has a plan for us, even if we don’t give birth to a child, we are meant to have a family and children to love,” the couple moved forward with an adoption plan.

Wanting to name their baby after a saint and a family connection, they gave Hogan the middle name of Nicolas, after St. Nicholas and a variation on Angela’s maiden name.

Ready and eager to become parents, they attended Infant Adoption Training at Catholic Charities, had a home assessment and completed their adoption profile book that birth parents use to choose adoptive parents. In the spring of 2014, Ray and Angela updated their profile book in hopes that new pictures and a fresh look would appeal to more birth parents. Their efforts paid off and in June 2014, they were notified they were being considered by a birth couple, whose baby was due in mid-July.

Early arrival However, the birth mother went into labor five weeks early, giving birth to a baby boy weighing a mere four pounds, seven ounces. When Ray and Angela were informed that not only were they selected by the birth mother but that the baby was already born, they dropped everything and left for the hospital within one hour of receiving the call

Ray and Angela spent each day with Hogan at the NICU as he gained weight and grew stronger. There, they and the birth parents took part in an entrustment ceremony, honoring the role each has in Hogan’s life. Hogan was discharged from the hospital a little more than three years from the time Ray and Angela attended adoption training. When asked about the experience, Ray and Angela feel he was definitely worth the wait, and their lives are filled with joy. The couple is just one of the hundreds who have turned to Catholic Charities North Dakota to help complete their family. The Pregnancy, Parenting and Adoption Services provide adoption services for infant adoption, identified adoptions, international adoptions as well as free and confidential pregnancy counseling for those facing an unexpected pregnancy. To learn more about Catholic Charities North Dakota, visit or call 1-800-450-4457.

Submitted photo

Ray and Angela, clients of Catholic Charities North Dakota’s Pregnancy, Parenting and Adoption Services, beam with pride as they show off their new son.

Get Connected

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 an employee 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 VictimAssistance@fargodiocese. org. For additional information about victim assistance, visit www.


U of Mary will offer year-round campus Pioneering solution to time and cost concerns Starting in Fall 2015, University of Mary students will have the option of completing a bachelor’s degree in 2.6 years and a master’s degree in four. Year-Round Campus, a first-of-itskind option, provides a new pathway for completing traditional undergraduate and graduate degrees in less time and at a lower cost, with normal course loads and a full college experience. Based on the university’s analysis, the incremental savings, increased earnings and reduced student loan balances would result in lifetime financial benefits of at least $322,000. According to University of Mary President Monsignor James P. Shea, the Year-Round Campus reflects an innovative and student-centered response to the changing dynamics of today’s higher education market. “The growing sentiment nationwide is that a college education is too costly, takes too long to complete and no longer provides a healthy return on investment,” Monsignor Shea said. “Mary’s Year-Round Campus addresses those concerns by empowering students to complete a bachelor’s degree in 2.6 years and a master’s in four. It also dramatically increases the student’s longterm earnings and savings potential while meeting the growing demand for educated and work-ready employees.” Unlike accelerated degrees, YearRound Campus offers the same course load as traditional full-time degree programs while utilizing two summer semesters to speed up time to completion. “This is not a ‘fast-track’ program,” said Diane Fladeland, vice president for Academic Affairs. “Students enrolled in our Year-Round Campus receive the same meaningful human formation as students in our traditional undergraduate and graduate programs but finish early because their program now includes two vibrant summer semesters.” The Year-Round Campus includes Work Campus and Service Campus components reflecting the university’s mission for character education, while allowing students to earn money and reduce debt load. “At Mary we educate the whole person, and that includes positioning students to succeed in giving back to their campus community through meaningful internships and in finding innovative ways to pay for their education,” remarked Greg Vetter, the university’s executive vice president. “Work Campus and Service Campus are just one more way we are offering our students a higher return on their education investment.” While university officials believe Year-Round Campus provides creative solutions to the challenges higher education is facing, they realize many students still prefer the traditional undergraduate and graduate programs, especially in terms of summer employment, internships, practicums, and vacations.

N Dovember ecember 2014 n 7 1

Preparing for Christmas one papal homily at a time By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service

As Advent got underway, Pope Francis included in his morning Mass homilies specific graces Catholics should pray for as they prepare for Christmas. While the days leading to Christmas are filled with shopping and other holiday preparations, the pope recommended that people also find time for silence, so they can listen to God. In the chapel of his residence Dec. 2, Pope Francis ended his homily by telling the small congregation, “Let us ask the Lord during this Advent time to draw us closer, closer to his mystery and do so on the path that he wants us to take: the path of humility, the path of meekness, the path of poverty, the path of recognizing we are sinners.” Preaching two days later, he said, “Let us ask the Lord to help us be based firmly on the rock that he is; our hope is in him. We are all sinners, we are weak, but if we put our hope in him we can move forward.”

all on a journey across the paths of time.” A desperate search for perfect gifts may be part of many people’s Advent days, but Pope Francis thinks it might be even tougher to find the perfect Advent atmosphere: a bit of silence. It is good during this season to listen to God, who speaks quietly, tenderly, like a mother or father, the pope stressed in another Advent homily in 2013. “When a child has a bad dream and wakes up crying, Dad goes and says: ‘Don’t be afraid, don’t be scared. I’m here.’ The Lord speaks this way, too.” That, said the pope, “is the music of the language of the Lord, and we, in preparation for Christmas, ought to hear it.” While Christmas usually “seems to be a very noisy holiday,” he was confident “it would do us good to have a little silence and to hear these words of love, these words of such nearness, these words of tenderness.”

The language of Francis

In Advent, and throughout the year, Pope Francis’ homilies are a lens for examining and understanding the key With highlights from his morning themes of his pontificate, particularly Mass homilies available online and God’s mercy, human sinfulness, the on Vatican Radio, millions of people evils of gossip and corruption, and the use Pope Francis’ homilies as a guide humility required of Christians. through the church’s liturgical year. In his short homilies — usually three The first Sunday of Advent marks the to five minutes long — he uses catchy, beginning of a new year of Mass readdown-to-earth phrases. ings, a full calendar of seasons and For example, recently he coined the CNS photo / Paul Haring feast days. term “ecclesiastical micro-climate” to With highlights from his morning Mass describe the temptation of Catholics to While every celebration of Mass is a homilies available online and on Vatican treat the church as a private club. commemoration of the life, death and Radio, millions of people use Pope Francis’ On another occasion he said ridding resurrection of Jesus, the church’s litur- homilies as a guide during Advent and through oneself of vanity is like peeling an gical calendar is designed to help Cath- the church’s liturgical year. onion, taking one layer away at time; olics focus on specific events as they even if one succeeds, he said, “the progress through the year and through smell stays on your hands.” time. As Advent drew to a close in 2013, Pope Francis asked But, as Pope Francis explained, “The liturgy is God’s time Catholics to imagine themselves as Mary. During Advent’s and space, and we must put ourselves there in God’s time, final week, “the church is like Mary: She is awaiting a birth,” in God’s space, without looking at our watches. The liturgy Pope Francis said. is precisely entering into the mystery of God; bringing ourLike Mary, believers should say of Jesus and mean with all selves to the mystery and being present in the mystery.” their hearts: “Come! I want to see your face.”

A journey across time Beginning a new church year with the Advent preparation for Christmas, he said in 2013, “we rediscover the beauty of all being on a journey: the church, with her vocation and mission, and all humanity, peoples, civilizations, cultures,

This story includes material excerpted from “Pope Francis: A Guide to God’s Time” by Cindy Wooden with photographs by Paul Haring. The book was recently published by CNS, USCCB Publishing and the Libreria Editrice Vaticana.

8 n December 2014

Young musicians bring the joy! NCYC contest winners headline the diocesan youth celebration By Kristina Lahr

“Pope Francis is all about us being joyful,” said Kathy Loney, youth ministry director for the Diocese of Fargo, “so the purpose of this celebration is that our faith isn’t something we should be grumpy about but something that brings us and others joy when we live it out the way we should.” The annual senior high youth celebration, a retreat for all senior high students in the diocese, was held Nov. 22 in Harvey. This year the theme followed the scripture from Isaiah 61:10, “I rejoice heartily in the Lord, in my God is the joy of my soul . . .” From that scripture sprouted the idea to have a banner with a fuel tank visible throughout the celebration. At the beginning of the day, the tank started near empty and gradually filled as students listened to speakers, sang praise and worship songs, experienced reconciliation and attended workshops. After celebrating Mass towards the end of the day, the tank was set to full, showing that our joy comes from encountering our Lord. The workshops brought a variety of topics for the students ranging from how to be saintly, the symbols of the sacraments, theology of the body and ultimately how to find joy in our relationships, gifts and identity as sons and daughters of God. Among the workshops were testimonies of two National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) talent finalists, Mathias Michael and Joe Perry. Their workshops were the most popular. Michael, Perry and Bethany Hull, 2013 NCYC contest finalists and winner, led praise and worship for the celebration as well. “The students were very interested in how to find joy in their lives,” said Loney. “Joe, Mathias and Beth all made a lasting impression on them.”

Perry’s testimony During a phone interview, Perry described his journey of faith. Perry, a senior in high school in Becker, Minn., spent eight years involved with youth group which eventually gave him the


“I realized God has

given me this gift with music, so I need to focus on giving that back to him. Worshiping him with music is a great way of doing that. Joe Perry

New Earth / Alexa Jelinek

Joe Perry, top-ten finalist of the 2013 National Catholic Youth Conference talent contest, performs during a workshop held at the annual diocesan Senior High Youth Celebration in Harvey Nov. 22.

opportunity to lead music in his church and youth group band. Last year he attended NCYC in Indianapolis. It was there he experienced his first eye-opening encounter with Christ. “I realized God has given me this gift with music,” said Perry, “so I need to focus on giving that back to him. Worshiping him with music is a great way of doing that.” Perry auditioned for the NCYC talent competition and became a top 10 final-

ist from more than 8,000 applicants across the country. Since becoming a finalist, he has continued developing his style of Caribbean rhythms and sounds and has led worship at many junior high youth retreats, but never one for high school. He said the transition in Harvey helped him to see the growth just a few years makes. “It was great to see how proud of the faith they were and how serious they

took it,” he said, “Everyone got really into the activities there.” Considering the joy he receives from performing and evangelizing through music, Perry hopes to continue improving his talents whether as a career or as a hobby. “God’s given us all gifts,” said Perry, “I‘ve put a lot of time into my music but I wouldn’t be able to do that without God. We need to realize these gifts and use them to our best ability.”

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N Dovember ecember 2014 n 9 1

In Memoriam — We Remember The following names of deceased parishioners were missed in the Memoriam section in the November New Earth. Please include all of the faithful departed and their family members in your prayers during this Advent and Christmas seasons. ALCIDE-St. Anthony: Rose Davis-March 22, 2014; Carol A. Laverdure-March 27, 2014 (was listed incorrectly under St. Ann’s Belcourt with wrong death date); William J. Slater-July 3, 2014; Alexander F. Poitra-July 29, 2014; Clifford M. LaFromboise-Sept. 16, 2014 ARGUSVILLE-St. William: Janet Matthys-May 3, 2014 BELCOURT-St. Ann: Wendy Herman-Jan. 11, 2014; Burnel “Blaine” Brunelle-Feb. 1, 2014; Clayton M. Longie, Sr.-June 14, 2014; Linus J. Bercier, Sr.-July 4, 2014; Angel R. Morin-July 7, 2014; Maria M. Morin-July 7, 2014; Gary L. Hamley-July 8, 2014; Serenity Smith-July 10, 2014; Travis D. LaVallie-Aug. 12, 2014; KeeLeigh M. Chase-Aug. 19, 2014; Doranna B. Enno-Aug. 30, 2014; Theresa Steele-Sept. 21, 2014; Destiny Bercier-Sept. 24, 2014; Sidney R. Harris-Sept. 28, 2014 EDGELEY-Transfiguration: Chris Hazelton-Sept. 17, 2014 FAIRMOUNT-St. Anthony: Stephen Croft-Nov. 26, 2013; Daniel Taylor-June 29, 2014; Raymond Matejcek-July 9, 2014; Maria Avila-July 28, 2014; Leola Steffens-Sept. 18, 2014; Catherine Bertelsen-Sept. 19, 2014 FARGO-Cathedral of St. Mary: John Oevering-Sept. 13, 2014; Adolph Fitterer-Oct. 11, 2014

CNS photo / Karen Callaway

Woman prays after placing flowers and statues of saints on her son’s grave.

GRAND FORKS-St. Michael: Lorraine Lindberg-Oct. 21, 2013; Louisa Cisneros-Oct. 28, 2013; Ruben Cisneros, Jr.-Nov. 17, 2013; Victor L. Kukowski-Nov. 21, 2013; Luis Meza-LoezDec. 27, 2013; Myron R. Hanson- Dec. 28, 2013; Roy T. Loken- Jan. 1, 2014; Thomas “Tom” L. Gregoire-Feb. 10, 2014; Bonnie Nienas-Fortlage-April 11, 2014; Margaret A. Knoell-April 14, 2014; Neil E. Fontaine-July 8, 2014; Rylan M. Sevigny-July 14, 2014; Nicolas Plutowski-Aug. 11, 2014; Alice A. Bushaw-Aug.

Prayer intentions of Pope Francis

14, 2014; Wing Peterson-Aug. 19, 2014; John S. Moritz-Sept. 6, 2014; Harold “Doc” C. Skibicki-Sept. 20, 2014 HANKINSON: St. Philip: Gertrude Ginsbach-Nov. 1, 2013; Mary Schildberger-Feb. 3, 2014; Lucy Kinn-July 24, 2014; Evelyn M. Thornberg-July 28, 2014; Allen Schiltz-Oct. 12, 2014 HOPE-St. Agatha: Joseph Roller-Sept. 14, 2014

ORISKA-St. Bernard of Clairvaux: Madeline L. Kranz-March 4, 2014 SAINT MICHAEL-St. Michael’s Indian Mission: Wasaka J. Stone-March 11, 2014; Frank S. Myrick-June 22, 2014; Keelye O. Lovejoy-Aug. 22, 2014 SYKESTON-St. Elizabeth: Leona Richter-Aug. 9, 2014

New Earth article deadlines for 2015 The diocesan monthly publication, “New Earth,” aims to provide informational, educational and inspirational stories and photos about the people and places of the Diocese of Fargo. The “New Earth” editorial team relies heavily on people from communities across the diocese to supply content. You are invited to submit articles, photographs and story ideas for consideration and inclusion in an upcoming issue. The following are the 2015 publishing deadlines for “New Earth”:

December General intention: Christmas, hope for humanity. That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will. Reflection: How do I find peace and hope in the celebration of Christmas? Scripture: Colossians 1:15-23 Christ is our peace and reconciliation. Evangelization intention: Parents. That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith. Reflection: What are some of the ways that parents can make sure their children are not spiritually neglected? Scripture: Romans 10: 14-17 Faith comes from what is heard. Provided by Apostleship of Prayer,


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Dec. 23, 2014 Jan. 21 Feb. 18 Mar. 25 Apr. 22 May 20 July 8 Aug. 26 Sept. 23 Oct. 21 Nov. 26 Dec. 23, 2015

Jan. 2 Jan. 29 Feb. 26 Apr. 2 Apr. 30 May 28 July 16 Sept. 3 Oct. 1 Oct. 29 Dec. 3 Dec. 31, 2015

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(2nd Mon. of the month – except July/Aug. issue)

Please submit your items no later than 5 p.m. on the “Copy/photo Deadline” date (second column) that corresponds with the issue you wish to see your item appear to: or by calling (701) 356-7900. All submitted articles must meet approval before being published. Additionally, because of limited space in “New Earth,” no item is guaranteed to appear. However, we do publish all stories and events within the “News and Events” section of the diocesan website that have met approval. That section can be found by visiting

Year of Marria

10 n December 2014

Fargo Diocese ‘Year of Marriage and The Zubrods, McHugos, Spensts and Vanornys share their marriage and family journeys Please turn to FARGO DIOCESE on page 10 “I was oblivious to everything,” Katie added. “But, then he came all the way from Williston to date me. The whole situation was an answer to my prayers. “At first, I just wanted someone to ask me on a stupid date. Then, I realized the reality of what dating actually is. I suddenly needed to figure out all these new feelings and this new man who wants to be a part of my life. As time went on, the Lord solidified the notion that I could see my life with him, and I desired that.” Two weeks after these thoughts, Katie and Phil were engaged. They married last summer and now live in Grand Forks. They said that they find comfort knowing that that their salvation is tied to the other. “This love isn’t just a feeling,” Katie said. “It’s not just a man and woman living with each other. It’s a decision to grow in love with each other and the Lord through your life. This decision can feel not so good some times. I choose to love him and be less selfish for the sake of my husband.” Phil added, “[This love] is given to us by our creator to experience the love he has for us. Without it, there would be incompleteness. His love is so real that it brings forth life not only in children but each spouse by giving up the selfish things and yourself for the other.” Now Katie and Phil are preparing for the next step in their married life: their first child. “The fact that there’s a baby in my belly is so bizarre,” she said. “It’s a new experience that’s deepened our love and the love of the Lord.” “But, this first trimester has been a doozy,” she admitted. “I’m not able to do some things. In my weakness, I can rely on Phil’s strength. It’s a huge blessing to have him. It gives me an appreciation for single mothers, because I realize now how hard pregnancy can be.” “There’s a lot in St. Paul when he says, ‘when I’m weak then I’m strong,’ ” Phil said. “We really experience that now and in other times too like when we have miscommunications. In being in those weak moments, we grow stronger with each other. That strength comes through the Lord.” They agreed that there is freedom in knowing neither of them won’t always be strong or perfect. In fact, they believe there is beauty in that. “It’s very true what Mother Teresa said, ‘He doesn’t ask us to be successful; he asks us to be faithful.’ ” Phil said.

The balancing act In their first year of marriage, Mike and Jeanie McHugo found they had a lot of

differences, including their faith. Mike was raised Catholic, and Jeanie was Protestant. She tried taking RCIA classes three times, but busy and inconsistent schedules made it difficult to get to classes. It was only on her third try that Jeanie was able to finish and be baptized and confirmed, with Mike taking the classes alongside her. Now Jeanie fantasizes about taking the class again. “We grew in our marriage together by having those conversations,” she said. “We struggled in trying to be unified and knew we had to work together. We’re very busy and have little time with just the two of us, but now we’re supporting each other all the time.” The McHugos live near Grand Forks where some of their children attend Holy Family Catholic Elementary School. Jeanie said the biggest surprise in her marriage was becoming a mother of nine. “Before marriage I was focused on my career,” she said. She now works at Altru hospital as a department chair and program director. “I worked really hard professionally. Now my professional work is still important, but the balance of family and work is more important. I want my children to see clear boundaries of work and family time.” Jeanie feels that many of the challenges in her marriage and family are similar to many others. Time to focus on faith is a daily challenge as is finding time for meals and recreation. “It’s always hard to slow down and appreciate the little things. There are a lot of sacrifices we have to make. My prayer is that I’m raising my kids to the best of my ability.” Another challenge the McHugos face is what a large family looks like to society. “It’s not uncommon to hear comments about the size of our family. Some feel we have a lack of control, and it’s hurtful. But, we have our own cheering section. I wouldn’t trade my kids for anything.” Having support from the community has helped the McHugos raise their family, especially when it comes to going to Mass. “When I see new families struggling with their kids at church, I think, ‘I’ve done this,’ ” Jeanie said. “It always meant so much when just a little nudge of encouragement came from someone. It’s so gratifying.” She hopes that parents won’t give up on bringing their children to Mass because it really does affect them, even if it doesn’t seem to matter at the time. “Keep bringing your kids to church,” she said. “They are the future of our faith. I’ve gone through times where I felt like there was no way I can do this. Sometimes kids are late or forget their shoes. But, that doesn’t matter. I hope people

Phil and Katie Zubrod meet Pope Francis during their honeymoon to Italy. They were one of about 100 couples to receive the Pope’s blessing at his general audience June 11 on the front steps of the Vatican. Fotografia Felici

The McHugo family welcomed the ninth child to their family this year. Jeanie McHugo has found that while balancing a large family and full-time work can be difficult, it can also be very rewarding. Submitted photo

Nolan and Tracy Spenst started their married life with an enthusiasm for ministry. As they started having children, they directed that energy towards raising their family. JC Schill Photography / Janet Schill

The Vanorny family celebrated Easter in July at St. Joseph’s Church in Moorhead, Minn., due to Tom being in the hospital at Easter time. Tom and Sharon Vanorny share how their marriage has strengthened through battling cancer. Submitted photo

age and Family

NewEarth n 11

Family’ celebration kicks off Dec. 28 will continue to support each other.”

Missionary hearts “I wasn’t trying to find Mr. Right because I wanted to be a missionary, but God has other plans,” said Tracy Spenst.

Celebrate, strengthen, witness Diocesan year of marriage and family to showcase beauty of marriage sacrament and the Christian family

Tracy and Nolan Spenst met while attending college in Fort Wayne, Ind. They both started college later in life when they were 22. They connected quickly, because they were older than most students. They both had a heart for ministry. Nolan started his working life in Evangelical ministry. Nolan and Tracy entered the Catholic Church in 2002 and have directed their enthusiasm for ministry towards raising their family. Their friendship continued to grow from there. “We married as best friends,” Nolan said. “And, 23 years later we’re still best friends. That friendship aspect is very important, and I hope other couples can achieve that.” But, even a strong friendship struggles from time to time. A simple exercise that’s worked well for Tracy and Nolan to stay connected was to write their top three concerns in life at that moment on index cards and trade them with each other as they parted for the day. They did this about twice a month. “We couldn’t read the cards and then argue about them,” Nolan said. “A lot of times what was concerning Tracy wasn’t even on my radar. After you think about those concerns for a half a day, you start to understand why each other is dealing with what’s on their card.” They’ve brought this exercise to their children as well. They have six children ranging from age seven to 20. Tracy said, “It’s surprising what you learn whether you ask a teenager or a seven year old what their greatest concern is. It’s about being more intentional with our kids. Now, they are always prepared to answer that question.” As their marriage has matured, they don’t use the index cards as much. “It’s become a way of life now,” said Tracy. “We don’t hesitate to tell each other that, ‘Hey, this is really heavy on me right now.’ ” Nolan has thought about joining the diaconate but was told that he should wait until his kids are grown. “Our vocation is to our family and marriage first,” Nolan said. “From our background, we saw the priority to be ministry, so the importance that is placed on the vocation of marriage in the Catholic Church took me a while to accept. As much as I love traveling and ministry, I have to put that on hold for my family.”

Growth in trial and community “We believed that our goal was to bring each other closer to God. So now, after everything we’ve been through, we realize we’ve had a lot of blessings,” Sharon

Image of Holy Family Traveling Icon kit

Beginning Dec. 28, 2014 and concluding Dec. 27, 2015, the Diocese of Fargo will celebrate a “Year of Marriage and Family.” To encourage a deeper reflection on married and family life, the diocese has made available a variety of resources, specifically a Holy Family Traveling Icon kit. This kit, used to help promote prayer as a family in the home, will include a framed copy of an icon of the Holy Family and a selection of devotions. Contact your parish office about reserving the kit for your home.

Monthly themes Additionally, each month the “New Earth” will feature an article depicting a particular theme related to this year’s celebration. The following lists each month’s theme.



March April

Our Children and Youth

Spousal Love

Natural Family Planning Vocations



July August

The Blessed Virgin Mary

St. Joseph, Spouse and Father Familial Love



Parents: The First Teachers of Faith Respect Life

“May I?” “Thank you.” “I’m Sorry.”

November December Communion of Saints

Domestic Church

If you have a story idea related to these topics, please contact us at or (701) 356-7900 to let us know about it.

Mark your calendar On Saturday, Oct. 24, the Diocese of Fargo will host a “Year of Marriage and Family” special event at the Fargo Civic Center. Also, the Fargo Diocese will lead a pilgrimage to the World Meeting of Families scheduled for Sept. 22-27, 2015 in Philadelphia. More details about these events will be available soon. Visit or call (701) 356-7900 for more information. Vanorny said. Deacon Tom and Sharon Vanorny met during college while taking square dance lessons. They were married in 1977 and moved to Oakes the following year. The couple belongs to St. Charles Borromeo’s Church in Oakes. They have four children and five grandchildren. “It’s so neat to have a covenantal marriage,” Sharon said. “When you completely enter it, you grow into it. You never have to feel alone. God just makes you stronger and stronger.” That strength began to be tested this past year when Sharon was diagnosed with cancer. A few months later, Tom was diagnosed with cancer as well. While each day can be a struggle, blessings came to them when they least expected them.

“When you face the possibility of losing your spouse, you think about how blessed you are to have them,” Sharon said. “We’re so appreciative of every day. We’re really thankful of the time God has given us.” “It’s deepened our relationship with all of our children. It’s really drawn us closer,” said Tom. Tom says the past few months have been especially influential in showing him the power of a sacramental marriage. The commitment that he and Sharon made is a great comfort now. “When you take those vows, you know that you have that partner no matter what,” he said. “That’s part of that commitment. It’s made more real how this life is connected to the next. It’s all contin-

ual. Some day we will both be together with Christ.” It hasn’t only been important for them to have their faith and marriage strong but to have a supportive community, too. “We’ve learned you need to let other people do things for you,” Sharon said. “It’s an opportunity for people to do good. It’s been hard but humbling for us.” With the support they’ve received from the community, especially in the last year, they encourage young couples to get involved and meet people before they get too busy. “If you get involved with things as a young couple, you get support through that your whole life. All of these people seemed to come out of nowhere to pray for us,” Sharon said.

12 n December 2014

World Meeting of Families


Pope confirms he will visit Philadelphia in September By Francis X. Rocca Catholic News Service

Pope Francis said he would attend the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in September, making it the first confirmed stop on what is expected to be a more extensive papal visit to North America. The pope made the announcement Nov. 17 in a speech opening an interreligious conference on traditional marriage. “I would like to confirm that, God willing, in September 2015 I will go to Philadelphia for the eighth World Meeting of Families,” the pope said. The announcement had been widely expected, since Pope Benedict XVI had said before his retirement that he hoped to attend the Philadelphia event. Popes typically fulfill their predecessors’ publicly known travel plans, as Pope Francis did in July 2013 when he attended World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro. Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, who was in Rome for the families meeting, told Catholic News Service the announcement was “a surprise in the sense that it was announced so early; you know usually they don’t make these announcements — four months out is the typical and here we are 10 months away, and the Holy Father said he is coming to Philadelphia.” “The Holy Father has said that he’s going to be coming to Philadelphia for quite a few months,” he told Catholic News Service. “He’s been telling me that personally, but for him to announce it officially that he is coming so early is really quite an unusual thing, so it’s going to re-energize our efforts. There’s a lot of enthusiasm already, but I think 90 percent of the enthusiasm’s based on the fact that the Holy Father will be with us, and now that he’s said that, I expect that there will be even a double amount of enthusiasm . . . and I’m very happy about that.” reported the archbishop noted that Pope Francis has

CNS photo / Paul Haring

Pope Francis talks with Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia during his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on Nov. 19. The pope confirmed Nov. 17 that he will attend the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in September.

focused “on the many challenges that families face today globally. His charisma, presence and voice will electrify the gathering. “As I’ve said many times before, I believe that the presence of the Holy Father will bring all of us, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, together in tremendously powerful, unifying and healing ways. We look forward to Pope Francis’ arrival in Philadelphia next September, and we will welcome him joyfully with open arms and prayerful hearts.” In August, Pope Francis told reporters accompanying him on the plane back from South Korea that he “would like” to go to Philadelphia. The pope also noted that President Barack Obama and

the U.S. Congress had invited him to Washington, D.C., and that the secretary-general of the United Nations had invited him to New York. “Maybe the three cities together, no?” Pope Francis said, adding that he could also visit the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico on the same trip, “but it is not certain.” Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, told reporters Nov. 17 that Pope Francis wanted to “guarantee organizers” that he would be present at the meeting in Philadelphia, “but he did not say anything about other possible stops or events during that trip. And, for now I do not have anything to add in that regard.”

Although few details of the papal visit have been made public, organizers for the families’ congress expect Pope Francis to arrive Sept. 25 for an afternoon public visit with civic officials. That would begin his first trip as pope to the United States and the second papal visit to Philadelphia in a generation; St. Pope John Paul II visited the city in 1979. He will be the fourth sitting pope to visit the U.S. During his visit, Pope Francis is expected to attend the Festival of Families Sept. 26, a cultural celebration for hundreds of thousands of people along Philadelphia’s main cultural boulevard, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Donna Farrell, executive director for the 2015 World Meeting of Families and its chief planner, said although Philadelphia has hosted St. Pope John Paul’s visit, the city has “not had anything like this unique Festival of Families. It’s really going to be something special.” Registration for the congress opened in mid-November. The meeting will be a weeklong series of talks, discussions and activities. Pope Francis is expected to celebrate a public Mass for an estimated 1 million people on Sept. 26 on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, in full view of the crowds arrayed from the museum down the Ben Franklin Parkway. Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, welcomed the pope’s announcement. “The presence of Pope Francis at the World Meeting of Families in our country will be a joyful moment for millions of Catholics and people of good will. Our great hope has been that the Holy Father would visit us next year to inspire our families in their mission of love. It is a blessing to hear the pope himself announce the much anticipated news,” Archbishop Kurtz said.

‘Holy freedom’ as one united family: the World Meeting of Families hymn “. . . the image, CNA/EWTN News

Soon after Pope Francis announced he will attend the 2015 World Meeting of Families, the event’s organizers have released an official hymn that speaks of family unity, “holy freedom,” and the Holy Family’s example for mankind. “This event has the power to transform the lives of families, both Catholic and non-Catholic alike, in positive and charismatic ways. I’m confident that this hymn will affirm that spirit,” Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia said Dec. 1. He said the hymn, titled “Philadelphia,” will “further inspire” the archdiocese for the 2015 event, following Pope Francis’ Nov. 17 announcement that he will attend. “Sound the bell of holy freedom; call all nations of the earth,” the hymn begins, continuing: “Sons and daughters of one Father, sent to spread God’s saving Word. / Come, and gather, as one fam’ly at the table of the Lord.” The hymn’s tune was written by Normand Gouin, a former music director at Philadelphia’s Old St. Joseph Church. Its lyrics were written by south Philadelphia native Father Andrew Ciferni, O.Praem, a musician and liturgist at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., the Philadelphia archdiocese re-

which depicts the Holy Family, ‘is a symbol of the most important unit in our personal lives, which is our families.’

Archbishop Charles Chaput The World Meeting of Families 2015 Iconic Image. CNA / Javier de la Flor

ports. The hymn draws on the theme of the meeting, “Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive.” Its other verses speak of Mary and Joseph, Jesus and his miracle at the Wedding of Cana, and Mary’s presence at Jesus’ Crucifixion. The hymn closes: “Sound the bell of holy freedom; call all fam’lies of the world / To be fed by love incarnate; to proclaim God’s holy Word; / Through the love of Christ our brother, in the Spirit make us one.” Archbishop Chaput said the hymn’s

“powerful words and melody” make it “an excellent choice for our official hymn.” “I hope it encourages all who hear it to deepen their daily relationship with God and with their own families in significant ways,” he said. The hymn was first performed for the public by the Cathedral Choir at Philadelphia’s Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul during the Sunday evening Mass Nov. 30. Archbishop Chaput celebrated the Mass and delivered the homily. In his homily, he drew attention to the replica

of the official image for the World Meeting of Families given to many Mass attendees. He said the image, which depicts the Holy Family, “is a symbol of the most important unit in our personal lives, which is our families.” “This is where the action is. This is where the Christian life is learned and practiced, in the best possible ways,” he told the congregation. “You are called in your families to imitate them, to be holy in the same way that they are. And, the way that happens is if you pay attention to the Lord. To him, to your neighbors, to your family members, to the people he has entrusted to your care, and even to yourself. To be serious about living life to its full.” A second hymn, titled “Look Up and Count the Stars,” was also selected to be used during the next World Meeting of Families. Peter Latona, the music director for the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., wrote the music and lyrics for this hymn. The Philadelphia World Meeting of Families will take place Sept. 22-27, 2015. A global Catholic event, the world meeting seeks to support and strengthen families. St. John Paul II founded the event in 1994, and it takes place every three years.


DNecember ovember2014 2014nn13 1

Apostolate of Prayer reminds us that our suffering has meaning; members put focus on vocations By Kristina Lahr

“Offer it up” is a phrase we hear frequently as Catholics. Offering up our troubles to our Lord is a great way to remember that suffering is never wasted or meaningless when united with Christ’s suffering on the cross. The Apostolate of Prayer is an organization that unites their suffering whether from infirmities, old age, terminal illness or any kind of suffering for a specific purpose: vocations. Many of those a part of the apostolate celebrated Mass and shared a meal together Nov. 11 at Sts. Anne and Joachim Church in Fargo. The apostolate supports not only vocations but those who pray for vocations, offering them a support group and a greater sense of what each of us can do to inspire vocations. Since many of those involved with the apostolate have sons or daughters seeking religious vocations, many

shared their experiences with each other and where their sons and daughters are now. “Seminaries around the country are thrilled to have Fargo seminarians,” said Father Kurt Gunwall, vocations director for the diocese. “They love having their hard work ethic, and their zeal is a great witness to others.” The faithful are reminded that they are always united with Jesus on the cross and with Mary at the foot of the cross. In this union, they File photo become a treasure of the church and a rich source of prayer. That is why the apostolate calls on the suffering of the church to pray for vocations. “Priests and lay people live in unity,” Father Gunwall said. “They are interdependent on each other. God is the one who is glorified through our unity.” All are welcome to support vocations in our diocese at Serra Dinners, which are held at Nativity Church in Fargo on the third Tuesday of the month.

New Earth / Kristina Lahr

Father Kurt Gunwall, vocations director for the Diocese of Fargo, reminds members of the Apostolate of Prayer of the power of their prayers at a meal Nov. 11 at St. Anne and Joachim parish, Fargo. The apostolate is an organization that offers their sufferings to the Lord as a way to inspire vocations in our diocese.

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“A ritual becomes the match that lights the kindred celebration candle

of sacred moments long ago, tantalizing these entombed spirits to surface again. Wes Adamson


14 n December 2014


Light the candles, pour the wine: the Catholic call to celebrate


race Osterbauer was a 24-year-old bride-to-be Marley. when she took her first cake-decorating class, “It may be just a cookie,” Grace said, “but it can help and the impulse compelling the Texas beauty people realize how special they are. It makes them feel to make that $35 investment remains today, now a worth and love.” 40-year-old mother of eight. Another tradition ‘balloons’ “I wanted to make the Catholic events of our lives super special,” she said. I’ve been collecting stories of Catholics like Grace, Grace and her husband, Paul, are both frugal, raised people who make a point to celebrate blessings in their in homes where “celebrating was minimal,” she says. lives — both the neon and the pastel. There’s a widely circulated story in Paul’s family about I spoke to Greg Arrigoni, a certified balloon artist a grandpa who didn’t want to light the who first developed an understanding candles at his daughter’s wedding recepof “sharing and caring” as a boy at Sation until she and the groom arrived, cred Heart parish, where he and his dad hesitating to burn them longer than brewed huge pots of coffee for social necessary, a Great-Depression mentality gatherings. he couldn’t shake. By age 22, Greg was dressing up as An exasperated protest from the Santa Claus at Christmas. His grandma groom’s mother became a punch line bought the most expensive white fur at and a call to action: “Light the candles!” the fabric store – $15 a yard – and made Some occasions warrant celebration, the Santa suit he still wears today, 37 even if it costs a bit more, like the Costyears later. co bottled root beer Grace splurged on The balloon art came about in refor her son’s First Communion party, sponse to an annual tradition at a Miswhich made for a nice decorative touch sissippi River marina: to share a bottle and well-received root-beer floats. of champagne each spring when your boat is launched. One year Greg decided She has filled a hutch with merto up the ante, surprising fellow boaters ry-making contents: crystal glassware, Christina Capecchi by filling his houseboat with balloons gold candlesticks, festive tablecloths, and releasing them at the river. hand-cut banners, pedestal cake stands. And for the past six years, the homeschooling mama There was something about balloons — bright, has made a business of sweetening others’ celebrations, cheery and nostalgic — that kept beckoning to Greg. taking orders for customized sugar cookies that mark Soon he was buying them in wholesale and flipping baptisms and birthdays, First Communions and conthrough the pages of a magazine called Balloon Imagfirmations, graduations, promotions and retirements. es, astounded by the intricate creations. She waits till the kids are in bed to whip up her royal “I had to be part of this,” said Greg, who has since icing and retrieve her piping tips, squeezing out scalcreated the world’s largest balloon arch, the product of lops as her iPad sounds a mix of Dixie Chicks and Bob 65 helium tanks and 140,004 three-foot balloons.

Twenty Something

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We know how to celebrate Despite its reputation for deprivation, our Catholic faith is a celebratory one. We are drawn into thanksgiving with incense and bells, candles and wine. We mark feast days and holy days. We celebrate the Mass. Every act of celebration, however simple, can be a spiritual exercise, affirming life and honoring the Creator. When we pause and applaud the occasions that have meaning but no traditional link to invitations or toasts — the creation of a Bible study, the loss of five pounds, the mastery of a junk drawer — our hearts expand. We can catch a whiff of heaven, a world that is whole, healed and joyous, where the celebration never ends. Christina Capecchi is a freelance writer from Inver Grove Heights, Minn., and editor of, the official website of National Catholic Sisters Week.

Physician-assisted suicide and confronting our fears


he prospect of a very attractive, cult, pain-racked death from a terminal recently-married young womdisease should be able to take their own an with a terminal illness facing life through physician-assisted suicide excruciating pain and suffering as she without fault or blame. dies is enough to move anyone. For those jumping out of the Twin The life and death of 29-year-old BritTowers, however, we recognize a hortany Maynard recently rific situation of descaptured enormous meperation, and even the dia attention when she possibility of a kind of declared she was moving mental breakdown in to Oregon to commit suithose final panic-strickcide after having been en moments. informed by her doctors Their choice to hurl that she had an aggresthemselves out of the sive form of brain cancer building to their deaths and likely had only six below would be, objecmonths to live. tively speaking, a suiShe brought her life cidal act, and would not to a close Nov. 1, a date represent a morally good she had selected ahead of choice, but their moral time, by taking a lethal culpability would almost dose of barbiturates precertainly be diminished, scribed by her doctor. if not eliminated, by the harrowing circumstancIn the public discuses in which they found sions that have ensued, Father Tadeusz themselves, driven by some have ventured to raw terror more than by argue that suicide under Pacholczyk anything else. such desperate circumstances would, in fact, be Clearly, grave psychojustifiable. A recent online article from logical disturbances, anguish or grave “Time” magazine observed that few fear of suffering can diminish the refault those who were trapped on the sponsibility of the one committing suitop floors of the Twin Towers on 9/11 cide. when they jumped to their deaths beYet, in the face of a terminal medical low as the flames surged around them. diagnosis, it is not reasonable to let our Similarly, the article suggests that fears dictate our choices; instead, it bethose who face the prospect of a diffihooves us to confront and resolve those

Making Sense of Bioethics

fears without yielding to panic and without allowing unpleasant future scenarios to loom large in our imagination. Brittany Maynard not only greatly feared a difficult death for herself, but also argued that protecting her family from pain and suffering was an important consideration in her decision to carry out physician-assisted suicide. “I probably would have suffered in hospice care for weeks or even months. And, my family would have had to watch that. I did not want this nightmare scenario for my family,” she said. Yet, even with very noble intentions and a loving concern for our family, we can unwittingly become overzealous in our desire to “protect” them from suffering. Brittany’s desire to protect her family and friends from pain by committing suicide also led her to cross over critical moral boundaries such that she deprived her family and friends of the chance to love her through her sickness. Suicide in any form runs contrary to our duty to love — to love ourselves and to love our neighbor — because it unjustly breaks important ties of solidarity we have with family, friends and others to whom we continue to have obligations. It is always violent to eliminate suffering by eliminating the sufferer. We effectively give up on the Creator and all he has created. We refuse the help of

our neighbor, the love of a family member or even the beauty of another sundrenched day to lighten our affliction.

Alternatives available Even as our lives wind down, we have a calling to be good stewards of the gift of life. Hospice and palliative care, along with careful pain management, can lighten our burdens during the dying process. The mutual support of family and friends enables us, and them, to grow in unexpected ways. By respecting and working through the dying process, we can encounter deep and unanticipated graces. We may recognize the need to ask for and receive forgiveness from others and from God. We may become aware of God’s presence and receive a strengthened faith. We gain peace in our dying days and hours by accepting our mortality and our situation, journeying down the road that still opens ahead of us, even as it becomes shorter, living it with the same tenacity and generosity we did when the road was yet longer. Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D. earned his doctorate in neuroscience from Yale and did post-doctoral work at Harvard. He is a priest of the Diocese of Fall River, Mass., and serves as the Director of Education at The National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia. Visit



December 2014 n 15

Newcomers should be welcomed with love and aid Legislative priorities must include assisting state’s new residents


Ask any long-term legislator and he or she will tell you that, while having so much money in the state treasury is great, dealing with the demands of such rapid growth is sometimes more difficult than those years when things are lean.

ontrary to what the editors of some of the state’s newspapers Just look at the license plates believe, dealing with the state’s unprecedented growth — not abortion And, we cannot forget that the state’s — is what dominated the prosperity comes with, last North Dakota legisand is dependent on, lative session. It will also newcomers. The license dominate the legislative plates at Walmart tell the session that starts in Janstory. uary. They come from every The makeup of the legregion of the country. islature has not changed The languages spoken much. tell us more. Ten years ago it was rare to hear The Senate will have someone speaking a 32 Republicans and 15 language other than EnDemocrats. The House of glish. Now, we can hear Representatives will have a rich diversity just walk71 Republicans and 23 ing through a shopping Democrats. Once again mall. the state will be flush with money, and once The changes are again there will be comnot exclusive to the Christopher Dodson peting ideas about what Bakken region. Just to do with that money. about every section of the state is experiencing economic I expect a combination of proposals growth and with it comes new residents. to deal with challenges that have come with the state’s economic boom, inThere is something about the human cluding funding for hard infrastruccondition that makes us wary, if not ture projects like roads and bridges, outright hostile, to strangers among us. law enforcement, increased regulatory Psychologists, sociologists and evoludemands and maybe even protection of tionists have varying explanations, but natural resources. as the Old Testament shows us, the tendency to treat the alien among us difLegislators will have to decide whethferently has always been with us. er and how to balance these needs with calls for tax relief and the very real posThere were some precepts in the Pensibility that the price of oil will drop. tateuch that applied only to the Israel-

Catholic Action

“We can, in many ways, be proud of how

North Dakotans have embraced our new neighbors. We cannot, however, forget them when it comes to legislative priorities. Christopher Dodson ites at that place and time. Others are universal. They apply to all human persons in any place, at any time, because of who we are as human persons and because of our relationship with God. God’s commandment to treat the newcomer like ourselves is one of these. It might be tempting to think that God is only talking to the Israelites because they were once aliens in the land of Egypt, but the implication is that the Egyptians should not have treated the Israelites differently while they were in Egypt. Reminding them of their plight reinforces and brings home why they should follow God’s directive. It is not the reason. After all, the Egyptians had not previously been in exile someplace else. The reason God wants us to treat the newcomer like ourselves is given in the next line, “I, the Lord, am your God.” This phrase is the same language used at the beginning of the Ten Commandments. It is the call to absolute faith in God alone, the God who created all human persons, native and alien, in his image. By following the commandment with the reminder of who God is (and implicitly who we are in relation to God), God is telling us that failing to treat the alien like the rest of our neigh-

bors is to sin against him. The newcomer is a child of God no less deserving of respect than anyone else. Moreover, giving undue preference to our own can become a form of idolatry. We can, in many ways, be proud of how North Dakotans have embraced our new neighbors. We cannot, however, forget them when it comes to legislative priorities. Education, behavioral health and social services will need resources to respond to new residents, new languages and new problems. Unfortunately, there are not high paid lobbyists to advocate for people in need, especially new residents. Their needs can get lost among the competing demands placed on our legislators. Let us pray that our elected officials remember to address the needs of our new residents, especially those most in need. Christopher Dodson is executive director of the North Dakota Catholic Conference. The NDCC acts on behalf of the Catholic bishops of North Dakota to respond to public policy issues of concern to the Catholic Church and to educate Catholics and the general public about Catholic social doctrine. The conference website is ndcatholic. org.

“You shall treat the alien who resides with you no differently than the natives born among you; you shall love the alien as yourself; for you too were once aliens in the land of Egypt. I, the LORD, am your God.” — Leviticus 19:34

Six tips for year-end giving


f you’re like most people, you do your major giving toward the end of the year. This probably occurs for several reasons. The closing of the tax season encourages itemizers to obtain income tax deductions; a barrage of earnest appeals by nonprofits increases awareness of financial need; and many are simply pre-disposed to end the year by making a charitable gift. Here are six tips to help you make the most of your year-end giving:

vious year. Take the time to do some planning while you still have the opportunity to make a year-end gift.

2 Review your stocks. Look at the stocks you have held for more than a year. Which ones have appreciated the most? It may be prudent for you to make your year-end gift using one or more of these stocks. Here’s why: If you sold the stock, you would incur capital gains tax on the appreciation. However, if you donate the stock to your parish or other charity, no one pays tax. 1 Calculate your inAnd, you get a charitable come. Try to get a handeduction for the full dle on your tax liability amount of the stock, for the year. Did your unjust as you would if your earned income increase? gift was made with cash. Did you sell any appreciAnd what’s more, if you ated assets? Will you owe can’t use all of the inmore taxes? This step come tax charitable dealone may motivate you duction resulting from to increase your giving the gift, you can carry it before Dec. 31. In fact, forward for up to an adyou may even want to ditional five years. Such move some of your givSteve Schons gifts are deductible up ing forward from next to 30 percent of your adyear to create a larger injusted gross income. come tax deduction for yourself this year. Non-itemizers may especially find this “grouping of gifts” 3 Consider a life-income gift. The useful in order to take advantage of an Catholic Development Foundation ofitemized tax return every other year. fers a variety of life-income plans to fit In any case, by the time you fill out your needs. You can make a gift now, your income tax return, it will be too obtain tax benefits and receive income late to make charitable gifts for the prefor the rest of your life.


gift on your income tax return and estate. It’s simply important to be prudent, as well as generous and joyful.

4 Do your giving early. This tip is especially true if you want to make a gift of noncash assets (stock, real estate, etc.) It also applies to life-income gifts (gift annuities, pooled income fund contributions, trust arrangements, etc.). The sooner you can get your gift activity going, the better it will be for everyone concerned, especially your financial advisor. 5 Talk to your advisor. Before making any significant gift to your church or other charity, you should have your CPA, attorney or other financial advisor help you understand the impact of your

6 Remember the ND Income Tax Credit. A few years ago, the N.D. legislature passed a bill that allowed a very generous tax credit to those who make a charitable gift to a N.D. qualified endowment. If you are a North Dakota resident and make a gift to a qualified endowment of $5000 or more, you are eligible for a 40 percent tax credit on your N.D. taxes. Tax credits are much different than a tax deduction because they reduce your tax liability dollar for dollar. The maximum tax credit is $20,000 for individuals or $40,000 for married filing jointly. However, credits can be carried over for up to three years. Each parish in the Diocese of Fargo has an established endowment. Steve Schons is director of stewardship and development for the Diocese of Fargo and can be reached at steve.schons@ or (701) 356-7926.

16 n December 2014


What’s the deal with God and science?

By Father Dale Kinzler


n my first “Ask a Priest” article, I wrote on the Church and evolution. This new question steps back from that particular topic, to a more fundamental one: Do we look at science in general, and certain scientific studies in particular, with admiration or suspicion? Should we endorse scientific research or work to suppress it? Beginning on a personal note, I always loved science classes in elementary and high school while enrolled at St. Aloysius in Lisbon and Cardinal Muench Seminary in Fargo. Fascinated with the world of living things, I opted to major in biological sciences during my college years. I loved to learn about the interplay and harmony of God’s creatures, from bacteria and bugs to beluga whales.

Had I not gone on to priesthood, I might be teaching biology yet today. When we think of Church and science, our minds might quickly rush to recall the great 17th-century showdown between the Vatican and Galileo over the question of “heliocentricity.” His telescopic research affirmed the theory of the sun as center of our solar system, which seemed at first blush to contradict the Book of Genesis with its description of the relative place of sun and moon, earth and stars. That conflict did not go well for Galileo nor the Church, to put it mildly. Yet, the Church has a long history of support of science. We had, for the most part, endorsed the work of the astronomers. And, Pope St. John Paul II commissioned a study of the whole Galileo affair, after which he concluded, “It was a conflict that ought never to have occurred, because faith and science, properly understood, can never be at odds.”

The Church’s approach Some excerpts from the Catechism give us a good picture of our perspective on scientific pursuits: “Though faith is above reason, there can never be any real discrepancy between faith and reason. . . . Consequently, methodical research in all branches of knowledge, provided it is carried out in a truly scientific manner and does not override moral laws, can never conflict with the faith” (CCC 159). So we, the Church, are “pro-science.” We commend new discoveries of the vastness and age of the universe, courtesy of the Hubble telescope and space

Founded by a priest. Dedicated to the Church. Committed to ethics.

“God has given us intelligence to discover all

of the goodness that science has to offer for betterment of the human condition. Yet, the physical sciences, and scientists, must humbly recognize their proper role and their limits. Father Dale Kinzler

probes that add to our storehouse of God-given knowledge of such wonders. The Genesis account of creation and the astronomers’ discoveries are but two facets of the precious jewel of God-given truth. While we welcome new scientific discovery, we issue two cautions to scientists of the modern era: 1) Be aware of the limitations of your own field of expertise. Physical sciences lack the competency to judge theological and moral issues. They can neither ignore nor explain away the existence of God. There is no legitimate place for atheism in objective scientific inquiry. 2) Scientific research must subscribe to, and submit to, principles of natural law. The following are two examples of concerns about violation of these higher principles, expressed in the Catechism:

apeutic but aimed at producing human beings selected according to sex or other pre-determined qualities, is contradictory to the personal dignity of the human being” (CCC 2275). These topics each deserve more discussion in later articles. In summation, the Latin word “scientia” (knowledge) suggests that this is an unfolding of one of the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit. God has given us intelligence to discover all of the goodness that science has to offer for betterment of the human condition. Yet, the physical sciences, and scientists, must humbly recognize their proper role and their limits.

n “Experimentation on human beings is not morally legitimate if it exposes the subject’s life or physical and psychological integrity to disproportionate or avoidable risks” (CCC 2295).

Editor’s Note: If you have a question about the Catholic faith and would like to submit a question for consideration in a future column, please send to news@ with “Ask a Priest” in the subject line or mail to New Earth, 5201 Bishops Blvd. S, Fargo, ND 58102, Attn: Ask a Priest.

n “(Manipulation of) chromosomic or genetic inheritance that are not ther-

Father Dale Kinzler serves as pastor of St. George’s Church, Cooperstown; St. Lawrence’s Church, Jessie; Sacred Heart Church, Aneta and St. Olaf’s Church, Finley. He can be reached at dale.kinzler@

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DNecember ovember2014 2014nn17 1

Finding quiet anticipation of Advent is difficult in our noisy, secular world


enjamin Franklin once said, “Hunger is the best pickle.” This odd little phrase means that when somebody is hungry, the food they are eating will taste better. Absence makes desire grow stronger. With this in mind, I would like to offer my reflections on why the Church, in her wisdom, prescribes the liturgical season Advent, and how we can attempt to make it more fruitful. The Church teaches that, “When the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah . . .” (CCC 524). The focus of Advent is on expectancy, not on something present. Therefore, our celebrations in Advent should Eric Seitz have a quality of absence. Something is missing, and we have to wait for it to arrive. Our liturgical celebrations show this quality of absence in various ways. The “Gloria” is not sung or said during the season. Ancient Advent hymns like “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” and “Let all Mortal Flesh Keep Silence” use a minor key to create a somber atmosphere. And, the Church asks that, “During Advent the floral decoration of the altar should be marked by a moderation suited to the character of this time of year, without expressing in anticipation the full joy of the Nativity of the Lord,” (GIRM 305). The Church asks us to create an absence so that the joy of Christ’s coming would fill it more effectively.

ture. I heard my first Christmas song this year on Nov. 2, and we have been pelted with a relentless stream of Christmas sale advertisements since about the same time. Even here at the seminary, I saw Christmas decorations pop up the beginning of November. No wonder some people get sick of Christmas; they have been stuffed full of it for a month and a half by the time it arrives. I have noticed the effects of this in my own life. Year after year, I have come to church on Christmas Day and have not felt like it was any different from Dec. 24. I did not feel like Advent had changed me, even as a seminarian. I am not sure how to fix this, though I have been thinking about it for a while. I am trying to limit my intake of Christmas music, decorations and cookies until Dec. 25. I am praying to God for the grace to have a fruitful Advent this year. But, it is difficult to focus on Christ when the whole culture around us is ignoring Advent and jumping straight to Christmas. Perhaps, you can join me in finding some way to make more room in your hearts for the coming of Christ our Savior.

Seminarian Life

More than in church But, this quality of expectation ought not be limited to our liturgical celebrations. It is our duty as Christians to take the grace and love we receive in the liturgies and bring them into our homes and into the world. I am afraid that we seem to have lost this character of expectancy as a cul-

Seitz is a College IV student studying at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit, Mich. Originally from Fargo, Seitz spent his summer working in the Tribunal office. When he has a free minute or two, he likes to play basketball and football. Also, he really enjoys music. While at Sacred Heart, Seitz performs with the choir and has acted as cantor at Mass.

Editor’s Note: Seminarian Life is a monthly column written by current Diocese of Fargo seminarians. It gives New Earth readers a glimpse of what these discerning young men are experiencing. Let us know if there is something you would like to know about the life of a seminarian. Perhaps, it will inspire an article from one of them. And, please continue to pray for them.

“During the Season

of Advent, we shall feel the Church which takes us by the hand and — in the image of Mary Most Holy — expresses her motherhood, enabling us to experience the joyful expectation of the coming of the Lord, who embraces us all in his love that saves and consoles.” Pope Benedict XVI, Nov. 2010

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The O Antiphons of Advent connect the coming of Christ with the prophetic writings of the Old Testament.

This Advent, experience the O Antiphons By Kristina Lahr

The final phase of preparation for Christmas begins the evening of Dec. 17 with the first of the O Antiphons of Advent. These seven liturgical songs lead us through the last seven days of Advent with a traditional title for the Messiah each day. They connect the coming of Christ with the prophetic writings of the Old Testament. The antiphons express the pinnacle of our longing for Christ as we approach the Christmas season. The order of the antiphons climb through our history of redemption, starting with Emmanuel, and can be seen in verses of the familiar Advent hymn, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” Each antiphon highlights a title for the Messiah: Emmanuel, Wisdom from on High, Lord of Might, Rod of Jesse’s stem, Key of David, Dayspring from on High and Desire of Nations. Each begins with an invocation of the expected Messiah, followed by praise of him

under one of his particular titles. Each ends with a petition for God’s people and the cry for him to come. The sequence of the antiphons progresses from before creation through the messianic prophecies of Israel, and concludes with the Incarnation and birth of Christ. The initials of each Latin title, Sapientia, Adonai, Radix, Clavis, Oriens, Rex, and Emmanuel, combine to form SARCORE. When this is arranged backwards, it spells ERO CRAS, which means, “Tomorrow I come.” Christ answers the prayers of the antiphons by coming to us the day after the singing of the final antiphon. As Christmas draws ever nearer, let us celebrate the O Antiphons by singing “O Come O Come Emmanuel” and meditating on various parts of the Advent and Christmas story in Scripture. As we prepare to celebrate this coming Christmas season, let us remember that he is almost here. “Come, Lord Jesus.”

18 n December 2014


Franciscan Sisters celebrate 120 years of service By Franciscan Sisters of Dillingen

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Sister Genevieve Merrick (left) and Sister Rebecca Metzger (right) stand with Bishop John Folda following a jubilarian Mass to honor the members of the Franciscan Sisters of Dilligen.

Franciscan Sisters celebrated 120 years of faithful service on June 14, 2014. June 14 was truly a day of jubilation as Bishop John Folda celebrated Holy Mass in the Immaculate Heart of Mary Chapel at St. Francis Convent, Hankinson, in recognition of 120 years of faithful service. Honorees were Sister Rebecca Metzger and Sister Genevieve Merrick. Sister Genevieve celebrated 70 years as a Franciscan Sister of Dillingen. Sister Genevieve, who is a native of Kent, Minn., offered her first vows on July 25, 1943. She taught full time in the Fargo Diocese for 52 years. She then continued to teach children with special needs on a part-time basis. She has served her Province as Novice Directress and has been involved with the Cursillo movement for 32 years and also with Life in the Spirit. Sister Genevieve led Scripture studies, taught religious education and Bible

School, shared in the activities of the Charismatic movement in the Church and has offered spiritual direction to numerous people as they sought to go deeper into their spiritual life. Sister Rebecca celebrated her Golden Jubilee. She is currently serving at St. Anne’s Guest Home in Grand Forks, where she has spent the past 45 years. She served as administrator of the Towner County Memorial Hospital at Cando for five years until the Franciscan Sisters sold the facility to the city. Sister Rebecca presently serves on the board of directors at Lake of the Woods Healthcare Center in Baudette, Minn. She says her years at St. Anne’s have provided a wealth of experience, “working with the residents increases one’s patience, empathy, understanding and compassion.” Sister Rebecca was born on the feast of St. Francis and raised on a farm near Langdon. She made her first profession on July 11, 1964 and perpetual vows on Oct. 4, 1969.

Carmel of Mary in Wahpeton marks 60th anniversary By Sister Veronica, O.Carm.

Entering the cloistered life is a bit like stepping out of time into eternity. In Carmel, we spend hours every day joining in the praise that the angels chant before the throne of the Lamb. Our vocation is meant to be an icon of the heavenly life for which all humanity is destined. Nonetheless, we remain creatures whose lives are circumscribed by time.

Bishop John Folda (right), Father Luke Meyer (left), and members of the Carmelite Sisters pose for a photo after celebrating Mass to commemorate the religious order’s 60th anniversary on Nov. 1.

Like every human being, a Carmelite lives one day at a time, one moment at a time, until the moment of death. Our life of contemplation does not remove us from time. Instead, it makes us aware of God’s presence with us in time, in Jesus Christ. As Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger wrote in “The Spirit of the Liturgy,” “Christ is himself the bridge between time and eternity.” Maybe that is why, in the monastery, we celebrate anniversaries with such intense gratitude and jubila-

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tion. We experienced this especially on Nov. 1, when we gave thanks for the blessings of the past 60 years since our community was founded in the Dio-

cese of Fargo. On that day, Bishop John Folda came to celebrate Mass with us. Joining him were Father Luke Meyer, Father Jimmy Tiu, our chaplain, and Father William Ovsak.

A small group of lay Carmelites was also present. After Mass, the bishop presided over the election of our new prioress for the next three years, Mother Madonna of the Assumption, O. Carm.

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 Catholics WDAY, 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______________________________________________________________________

“I support the TV Mass because it was an important part of my mother’s life. My husband and I would sometimes watch it with her. I’m thankful that the TV Mass was there for her.” — Helen Bye, Fargo

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


Annual collection benefits 35,000 sisters, brothers and priests in religious orders The 27th national collection for the Retirement Fund for Religious will be held Dec. 13-14 in the Diocese of Fargo. The annual, parish-based appeal is coordinated by the National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO) in Washington and benefits more than 35,000 senior Catholic sisters, brothers and religious order priests. Last year, the Diocese of Fargo contributed $33,286.83 to this collection. Women and men religious who serve or have served in the diocese but whose communities are based elsewhere may benefit from the Retirement Fund for Religious. The 2013 appeal raised nearly $28.4 million, enabling the NRRO to distribute $23 million in financial assistance

to 424 religious communities. Additional funding is allocated for communities with the greatest needs and for retirement planning and educational resources. Catholic bishops in the United States initiated the collection in 1988 to address the significant lack of retirement funding among U.S. religious communities. Proceeds are distributed to eligible communities to help underwrite such day-to-day needs such as prescription medications and nursing care. Since the collection began, Catholics have contributed $726 million. Visit to learn more.

Birthdays and anniversaries Share life’s milestones As a way to celebrate life and love, we encourage parishioners throughout the Diocese of Fargo to send a photo and news brief about anniversaries of 60 or more years, or birthdays of 80 or more years to: New Earth, Diocese of Fargo, 5201 Bishops Blvd. S., Suite A, Fargo, ND 58104-7605 or

Lessard celebrates 93 years of life Agnes Lessard, resident of Grand Forks, will celebrate 93 years Dec. 18. Lessard has two sons in Grand Forks, a son in Grafton, a son in Santa Clarita, Calif., a son in Cherry Valley, Calif. and a daughter in South Bend, Ind.

D Necember ovember2014 2014 nn19 1

Events around the diocese For more news and events, visit the “News and Events” section of the diocesan website: Shanley High School Candlelight Concert. Sts. Anne and Joachim’s Church, Fargo. Sunday, Dec. 14 at 5 p.m. and Monday, Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. Contact the parish office at (701) 2355757 for more information. Serra Dinner. St. Anthony of Padua Church, Fargo. Tuesday, Dec. 16 at 6 p.m. Contact Diocese Vocations Office at (701) 356-7956 for more information. Collar Classic. Shanley High School, Fargo. Monday, Dec. 29 at 7 p.m. Contact Diocese Vocations Office at (701) 356-7956 for more information.

For more news and events, visit the “News and Events” section of the diocesan website: news-events

National March for Life. Washington D.C. Sunday, Jan. 18 to Friday, Jan. 23. Contact Rachelle Sauvageau at (701) 356-7910 for more information. To submit events for New Earth and the diocesan website, send information to: New Earth, 5201 Bishops Blvd. S., Suite A, Fargo, ND 58104-7605 or email news@fargodiocese. org. The deadline for the January New Earth is Dec 23. The earliest that issue will reach homes is Jan. 11.

A glimpse of the past These news items, compiled by Dorothy Duchschere, were found in issues of the Diocese of Fargo newspaper, New Earth, and its predecessor, Catholic Action News.

December 50 Years Ago —1964 The pastors of all churches in Grafton are promoting the construction of an “All Faiths Chapel” at the Grafton State School. “We feel that the provision of an All Faiths Chapel is of paramount importance because of the inadequacy of present facilities for the religious life of the children in residence at the school,” the pastors said in a statement announcing the plan. There are seven pastors involved in the project, among them is Rev. Joseph Hylden, St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church. (January 1965 Catholic Action News)

20 Years Ago —1994 Eight members of St. Stephen’s parish in Larimore are squeezing decades of work into a short time. They have produced more than 2,500 rosaries for the missions, First Communion

classes, baptisms, nursing homes and prisons since they began their project nine months ago. They are “The Rosary Group.” They also dispense with all formalities and call themselves “The Chain Gang.” Every few weeks the group sends 150 to 200 rosaries to people or organizations requesting them. (December 1994 New Earth)

10 Years Ago —2004 A Dec. 19 tour will give visitors the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of the seven bishops of the Fargo Diocese. Bishop Samuel Aquila will open the recently restored bishop’s residence at 608 Broadway in Fargo to the public for a Holiday Tour. The event also includes a walking tour of St. Mary’s Cathedral and a Christmas Tea. Visitors to the home will see portraits of the bishops, historic items the bishops used or received as gifts and other items that help tell the story of the history of the diocese and the men God called to serve as its bishops. The tour will also give visitors a glimpse of Christmas in the bishop’s residence, as the home will be decorated for the holidays. (December 2004 New Earth)

Newman Center job posting: Full-time Sustained Giving Officer St. Paul’s Catholic Newman Center on North Dakota State University’s campus is seeking a Sustained Giving Officer to build relationships with individuals who have the capacity to give anywhere from $50 to $250/month.

Weigels celebrate 60 year anniversary Frank and Frances Weigel celebrated 60 years of marriage on Nov. 8. They were married at St. John’s Church in rural Zeeland. They have nine children, 20 grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren. They retired from farming and milking cows in 1993 and still reside on the farm. They are members of St. Andrew’s Church in Zeeland.

Abels observe 60th anniversary Russell and Laretta Abel were married Nov. 22, 1954, at Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Karlsruhe. They have been members of Holy Spirit parish in Fargo since 1965. They have five children, Kenneth, Patricia, Kathy, Brenda and Stephanie who all attended Holy Spirit Elementary and Shanley High School. A private celebration was held to commemorate the special day.

This position will be expected to increase the monthly giving program anywhere from $650 to $900 each month. Along with managing the monthly giving program, this person will work with our Campus Missions team to assist them in building the student campus account through parish talks and large-scale conference fundraising initiatives. Additional responsibilities include overseeing all aspects of the newly formed Newman Alumni Board to make connections through alumni socials and gift solicitations. Candidates must have excellent written and verbal communication skills and a desire to grow in understanding of the fund development field. Must be able to work as an effective team member and be results-orientated. Compensation will commensurate with experience and qualifications. Please send a cover letter, resume and three references to:

20 n December 2014


Homemade in Hillsboro

Paintner’s Nativity scene emphasizes true meaning of Christmas and family

New Earth / Kristina Lahr

Leo, Melissa and Monica Paintner present their homemade Nativity scene for the first time this year in Hillsboro. The project took three years to complete. The 50-piece Nativity set includes 31 sheep, representing Leo’s sons and daughters, their spouses and their children. By Kristina Lahr


eo Paintner of Hillsboro got a taste of what Noah felt like being called to build a giant ark when he heard the Holy Spirit calling him to build something, too. “You see a lot of different holiday scenes out there,” he said. “Over the years I realized so few of them have anything to do with the true meaning of Christmas and the Nativity. They were getting to be all secular. So, during my adoration time, the Holy Spirit said to me that I should make a Nativity scene.” And, not just any Nativity scene. While Paintner wasn’t sure exactly what it would look like in the end, he decided early on it would be built on a grand scale, not something small, set in a corner. He certainly met that goal. The scene is impossible to miss, especially at night when it is lit by 1,000 watts of halogen lights. While it’s certainly bright, the lighting is kept simple to reflect the simplicity of the message it conveys.

A shepherd leads his flock While the Holy Family holds the center stage of his yard, the scene is also customized to fit his family. As a father, Paintner wanted to emphasize his role as the shepherd leading his flock. “It came to me that in making this Nativity set that the sheep should represent my family,” he said. “So my family’s names, all my kids, their spouses and their kids are on all the

sheep out there.” daughters, have worked closest with Leo in making the scene, especially in painting the “They took over a year to complete. We’re sheep. They said the highlight of making the talking 31 sheep. That’s a lot of boards and a lot of cutting out. All of a sudden this project was starting to look a lot bigger than This is what I feel is the true meaning I thought.” The pieces are designed of Christmas, family, shepherds and the by The Winfield Collection, which sells patterns to make Nativity. I really want to remind people of a complete Nativity scene out of plywood. The patterns the meaning of family with the sheep and of are traced onto the wood, cut the truth of the birth of Jesus at Christmas. out, sanded and given several coats of paint and varnish. Leo Paintner The figures are then slid into place among the flower beds. Nativity scene has been seeing it all come toSo far, the endeavor has cost $2,000 and gether this year. And, with it displayed, seeing taken more than 400 hours to complete. the reactions of others.

The family comes together

From the beginning, the Paintners created a mission statement as a family, setting their goal to complete the Nativity scene in five years. Three years and 50 pieces later, the scene is nearly complete. The last piece Leo wants to add for next year is a four by eight foot Christmas tree. “The family has really come together and supported me in this whole action tremendously. I don’t think there’s been a close family member that hasn’t been here to help. They are all glad to see it done and hope it has some meaning to the people that see it.” Monica and Melissa, the youngest Paintner

“I really like seeing people drive by slowly or stopping in the middle of the road,” said Monica. “Having my family here for the long building process in helping me finish this set has made my dream and prayers come true in being a loving St. Joseph father to my family,” said Paintner. “This is what I feel is the true meaning of Christmas, family, shepherds and the nativity. I really want to remind people of the meaning of family with the sheep and of the truth of the birth of Jesus at Christmas.” The Paintner home is a half block from St. Rose of Lima Church in Hillsboro.

New Earth December 2014  

Newspaper for the Diocese of Fargo, ND

New Earth December 2014  

Newspaper for the Diocese of Fargo, ND