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Where is this mystery steeple? Page 4

New Earth

God’s Gift Appeal


Pages 7-8-9


September 2011 February 2014


Vol. 35   No. 32 No. 28 Vol.

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

For the greater glory of God Deacons’ seniors take ‘Know Your Faith’ state title

Seniors from Shanley High School in Fargo depict Team USA during the Olympic-themed Know Your Faith competition Jan. 29. Shanley team member Alex Seefeldt, above, pumps up the Shanley cheering sections. Shanley took home the top prize in the statewide competition for the second year in a row. New Earth staff photos

By Aliceyn Magelky


s the student chant goes, . . . from east to west, Shanley Deacons are the best. Against a backdrop of blaring music, crazy costumes and cheering, adrenaline-fueled Catholic students, Fargo’s Shanley High School retained its state championship title in the annual Know Your Faith competition held Jan. 29. The winning team, comprised of seniors Tyler Nelson, Alex Seefeldt and Peter Simon, dominated the competition by displaying keen knowledge of Church teachings and the Catholic faith.

“This knowledge comes from years of religious education and exposure to the faith,” said Therese Carson, Shanley senior and event committee member. “I was looking forward to everyone cheering loudly,” expressed Tyler Nelson, Shanley team member, “It’s amazing seeing everyone on fire with the faith.” And, these students were “on fire” indeed. Like any state competition, the anticipation and exuberance reverberated throughout Shanley’s McCormick gymnasium. But perhaps unlike other state meets, this event was meant entirely to glorify God. “Our motto: Ad majorum Dei Gloriam, ‘For the

greater glory of God,’ ” continued Nelson. “Our goal was to basically get people fired up to learn about faith and to illuminate how learning about your faith can be cool. Plus it gets us out of the classroom,” commented Carson.

‘God Squad’ leads

Making this event possible took the brainstorming and dedication of student leaders and teachers that Shanley’s chaplain, Father Charles LaCroix Please turn to SHANLEY on page 3

Schools across diocese mark week with prayer, service, fun


cross the Diocese of Fargo, North Dakota and the nation, Catholic students, educators and supporters united in celebrating catholic education during National Catholic Schools Week, Jan. 26 – Feb. 1. This annual event commemorates Catholic schools’ focus on the value Catholic education provides to young people and its contribution to the church, communities and the nation. In his homily delivered during an all-schools Mass, Bishop John Folda said, “Catholic Schools Week is a great occasion every year when we celebrate the gift of Catholic education, and we have much to celebrate. Our schools are excellent, our teachers and staff are dedicated and outstanding in their work, and our students are good and diligent.” For 40 years, people involved with Catholics schools around the diocese spend this week rejoicing in their faith through Masses, service to others and special events. This project is a joint effort of the National Educational Association (NCEA) and the United States Conference of the Catholic

Bishops (USCCB). This year’s theme, “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service set the tone for the week. According to NCEA, the theme encompasses several concepts that are at the heart of Catholic education. First, schools are communities, but also members of the larger community of home, church, city and nation. Faith, knowledge and service are three measures by which any Catholic school can and should be judged.

Time to reach out

Principal of St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Devils Lake, Tom Burckhard, noted, “It’s important for students to identify that their school is special. Plus, we use this week as a way to reach out in the community. We want to thank them for generous donations, prayers and dedication to the school” Lisa Christianson parent of three and volunteer at St. MiPlease turn to WEEK on page 6

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NewEn arth February 2014 1

The gift of Catholic education


very January in the United States, surrounded by cheering crowds, the the Church celebrates Catholic teams answered questions prepared by Schools Week, a weeklong obserthe religion teachers of all four schools, vance of the singular contribution that questions which would challenge many Catholic schools make in the life of the well-educated priests and bishops! Church. In Catholic schools across our I am proud to say that the team nation, and in our own from Shanley won the diocese, various activichampionship, and ties are planned to help it was amazing to see our young people, our the level of enthusiasm teachers, and all the and excitement that faithful to recognize the contest generated the value of Catholic among hundreds of education. high school students from across North DaDuring this past kota. week, I was invited to celebrate a special Mass These are just a few for all the students at St. highlights of the week. Joseph School in Devils And even though I Lake, and I was deeply could not be at every moved by the beautiful school during Catholiturgy and the fervent lic Schools Week, the participation of the parish schools at WahBishop John Folda students. The presence peton, Rugby, Grand of so many parents, Forks, Jamestown, grandparents and other members of the Langdon and Valley City fill me with parish also testified to their commitgreat gratitude as well. I look forward to ment to their excellent parish school. visiting these schools very soon. I was also asked to celebrate an All Metro Schools Mass for the John Paul More than education II Catholic Schools Network at ShanI was personally very blessed to reley-Sullivan School in Fargo. This, too, ceive a Catholic education in my own was a beautiful liturgy, attended not youth. I attended Catholic schools from only by the middle and high school first through 12th grades, and have alstudents, but by all the elementary stuways been grateful for the education I dents of Holy Spirit School and Nativity received. School in Fargo and St. Joseph School in Moorhead as well. But more importantly, I am grateful for the formation in faith that was imAnd finally, I was privileged to parparted during those crucial years. ticipate in the annual “Know Your Faith” tournament held at Shanley-SulI also had the good fortune to teach livan School, a statewide event that ingrade school and high school religion volves teams from all the Catholic high as a young priest in my home diocese. schools of North Dakota. So, it was with great joy that I discovered, upon my appointment as Bishop In a raucous spirit of competition and of Fargo, that our diocese has a long tradition of Catholic education and cur“Then I saw a new heaven rently is blessed with excellent Catholic schools. and a new earth.” Revelation 21:1 Our schools regularly exceed national and state averages in academic achievement, and our students go on to higher education in very large numbers. Already I have heard great success stories from our graduates and their families, and I have no doubt that I will (ISSN # 10676406) hear many more. It is well known by now that Trinity School, a new Catholic elementary Serving Catholic parishes school will soon break ground in West as the official newspaper of the Fargo, so that the growing number of Diocese of Fargo, N.D. Catholic families in that area will also have access to the great gift of Catholic Member of the education. Trinity School is planned to Catholic Press Association open and welcome students for the new school year in the fall of 2015. Bishop John Folda

Bishop’s Message


Bishop of Fargo Publisher Aliceyn Magelky Editor Published monthly by The Cath­olic Spirit Publishing Company, a non-profit Minnesota corporation, 244 Dayton Ave., St. Paul, MN 55102. (651) 291-4444. Periodicals postage paid at St. Paul, MN and additional post offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to New Earth, 5201 Bishops Boulevard, Suite A, Fargo ND 58104-7605. (701) 356-7900. Personal subscription rate for 11 issues of New Earth per year: $9.

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, in­­ cluding 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 Msgr. Joseph P. Goering at (701) 356-7945 or Larry Bernhardt at (701) 356-7965 or VictimAssistance@ For additional information about victim assistance, visit assistance.

Bishop Folda’s Calendar Feb. 15 10:30 a.m. Regional Confirmation, Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo 7 p.m. Couples Night Out for Sts. Anne and Joachim parish, Bluestem Art Center, Moorhead Feb. 16 2 p.m. Spirituality Talk, Catholic Collage Adult Education, Shanley, Fargo Feb. 19

Deanery V Priests’ Meeting, Devils Lake

Feb. 20

Deanery VI Priests’ Meeting, Rugby

Feb. 23 2 p.m. Spirituality Talk, Catholic Collage Adult Education, Shanley, Fargo

5 p.m.

Feb. 24

6 p.m.

Feb. 25

Operation Andrew Supper, Fargo Real Presence Radio Banquet, Ramada Inn, Fargo Deanery I Priests’ Meeting, Wahpeton

Feb. 26 Mass and Blessing of Altar, Mystical Rose Chapel, Rosewood on Broadway, Fargo Feb. 28 – March 2 Receptions for JPII School Network Alumni and Friends, Phoenix March 5 12:10 p.m. Ash Wednesday Mass, Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo March 6

Deanery III Priests’ Meeting, Grand Forks

March 9

Rite of Election, Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo

3 p.m.

March 10-12 USCCB Administrative Committee Meetings, Washington, D.C. March 16 8:30 a.m.

Mass, St. Thomas Catholic Church, Buffalo

10:30 a.m.

Mass, St. Leo’s Catholic Church, Casselton

God is at the heart

The particular advantage enjoyed by our Catholic schools is their ability to teach the faith on a daily basis alongside the other subjects that make up the school curriculum. Religion is taught with the same rigor that one would expect to find in a math, science, English or history class. Moreover, the faith is integrated into every aspect of the school day, not only in classroom work, but in extracurricular activities, character formation, and certainly in the spiritual life which is central to all of our schools. In these schools, our young people learn that faith in God is at the heart of their total education and has an essential place in their everyday lives. It is not widely known that the Second Vatican Council placed great emphasis on the role of Catholic schools. In its Decree on Catholic Education, the Council fathers said: “As for Catholic parents, this Council calls to mind their duty to entrust their children to Catholic schools when and where this is possible, to support such schools to the extent of their ability, and to work with them for the welfare of their children.” The Council also “earnestly entreats pastors and all the faithful to spare no sacrifice in helping Catholic schools to achieve their purpose. . . .” With these unambiguous words, the Council makes obvious not only the value, but also the priority of Catholic education in the life of the Church. And in our adherence to the Council’s teaching, the Diocese of Fargo could do nothing other than to support and advance the system of Catholic education that we are blessed to have. It is of course obvious to all, including myself, that not all of our Catholic young people have the opportunity to attend a Catholic school. The majority of our school-age children attend public schools, and a fair number of families choose to educate their children at home. In these cases, they rely on the religious education that is so diligently provided in our parishes and in our

family homes. The Church’s regard for these students and their families is also clear and unambiguous, and I hope to address their religious formation in this space in the very near future.

Deserving of gratitude

But for now, as the Diocese of Fargo marks Catholic Schools Week in its own diocesan schools, we as a diocesan family can only offer our admiration for the many fine teachers, administrators, staff, and benefactors of our Catholic schools in eastern North Dakota. They deserve our thanks for their commitment, and for the many sacrifices they make to teach and form the young people of our diocese. And, I must personally express my gratitude to the many parents and families who make it possible for their children to attend Catholic schools. Without the high level of parental involvement that our schools enjoy, they could not achieve the success we have seen for so many years. And finally, the role of our priests must be acknowledged. Our parish priests exert great effort and energy not only to maintain but to advance the mission of our Catholic schools. In fact, Monsignor Jeffrey Wald, pastor of Holy Spirit Church in Fargo, has recently been honored by the National Catholic Education Association for his work and support of Catholic schools throughout his priesthood. We congratulate him, and in doing so we congratulate all of our pastors who are or have been responsible for Catholic schools in our diocese. Our schools would be unable to continue without the dedication and support of all our pastors who commit a significant amount of time and energy to the mission of Catholic education. There is no question that our schools face huge challenges, and some of them struggle to carry on their important mission. But, with God’s help and a spirit of solidarity, let us recommit ourselves to the support and flourishing of our Catholic schools in the Diocese of Fargo.


February 2014 n 3 2

Catholicism Unplugged

Informal gathering gives Bishop Folda chance to share his thoughts on Fargo Diocese and spreading the faith By Kristina Lahr

Eighty-eight people over the age of 21 gathered for the Catholicism Unplugged event in Fargo at the Sts. Anne and Joachim social hall, a relaxing evening hosted by Bishop John Folda Jan. 31. The idea behind the event was to provide a relaxing mood for Catholics and non-Catholics alike to join in fellowship and learn about the church, with free beer, wine and popcorn. Bishop Folda started the night by introducing himself and naming a few activities he enjoys such as skiing, hiking, playing piano and staying updated on Nebraska football. He also listed the top 10 observations he’s seen since coming to Fargo. The warm and welcoming atmosphere of the people is what first caught his attention. “I’ve never been hugged by so many strangers in my life,” he said. The main topic of the night was about how people can better reveal a relevant and inspiring church to others. Bishop

Folda described faith as personal, and therefore requires a personal encounter. “We as Catholics are a little gun-shy,” he said. “We too quickly assume people don’t want to be bothered, but people want to be connected, they just don’t know where to find these connections. Other institutions don’t hesitate to invite others in, so why shouldn’t we? We have the best offer in town.” Attendees were also given the chance to ask questions throughout the night, ranging from the importance of beauty in the church to Bishop Folda’s favorite saints, who are Mary, St. Theresa of Avila, St. John the Evangelist and St. Charles Borromeo. “Beauty is an important aspect of drawing people into the truth,” the bishop said. “Beauty can lead people when they aren’t ready to hear doctrine and absolute truth. God can speak to us through beauty because he is beauty.” A similar event will be held at Sts. Anne and Joachim presented by Shannon O’Connor and Dr. Tim Weiland about incorruptible saints May 9.

New Earth photo / Kristina Lahr

Bishop John Folda answers questions at the Catholicism Unplugged event, an informal gathering of Catholics and non-Catholics alike Jan. 31 at Sts. Anne and Joachim social hall in Fargo.

Shanley takes the trophy again Continued from page 1

New Earth staff photo

Shanley High School teammates, from left, Alex Seefeldt, Tyler Nelson and Peter Simon, stand proud with their trophy after besting teams from each of the three other Catholic high schools in North Dakota in the annual Know Your Faith competition.

Hankinson site of Lenten Ignatian retreats The Diocese of Fargo’s Respect Life Office is hosting two Ignatian Retreats this Lent; a men’s retreat, March 13-16, and a women’s retreat, March 27-30. Participants will be introduced to St. Ignatius Loyola’s methods of encountering Jesus Christ. Daily conferences will touch on topics such Ignatian methods of prayer, the necessity of silence, and the Rules of Discernment of Spirits. Both retreats will be directed by Father Andrew Jasinski and held at the St. Francis Convent and Retreat Center, Hankinson. Participants will be required to observe silence throughout the weekend. Cost: $250. Registration deadline: March 10 for the men’s retreat and March 24 for the women’s retreat. For additional information and a registration form, visit retreatregistration or contact Rachelle at (701) 356-7910 or rachelle.sauvageau@

affectionately calls the “God Squad.” “The students involved are leaders that use their talents to show an epic statement of faith,” said Father LaCroix, “Also, I give a lot of credit for this event’s success to Mr. Hagstrom, the head of religious education. He and the students involved with preparation were here past midnight last night getting ready. They’re exhausted, but yet they show a great sense of excitement.” Beginning late last year, freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors from Bismarck’s St. Mary’s Central High School, Dickinson’s Trinity Catholic High School, Minot’s Bishop Ryan High School, and Fargo’s Shanley High School began participating in preliminary, inter-school contests. Each student in each grade completed an exam, and the top scorers then competed against each other to determine the schools’ representatives. No doubt the best of the best from each school came head-to-head in this multi-round match-up. The state championship event was split into four rounds. During the first three rounds, each team was given the opportunity to earn points by correctly answering five different questions. Each of the five questions was awarded higher point values based on question difficulty. “It’s amazing the questions these kids can answer,” noted Sherri Simon, executive administrative assistant for Blessed John Paul II Schools Network and mother of contestant, Peter Simon.

Tough questions

To give you an idea of difficulty, one 100-point question was “Name the pope who composed the first social encyclical, Rerum Novarum, as well as the St. Michael the Archangel prayer.” The Shanley team missed only one question during the entire event. For the fourth and final round, teams are shown the question topic and students are asked to wager the number

of points they can gain if they give a correct answer or lose if they give an incorrect answer. So, how does it feel for the Shanley champions? “It feels great to celebrate,” said Peter Simon. “It’s great to come and have joy in knowing Jesus together,” continued Seefeldt. “We’re not the only ones in this fight. And, we don’t take this honor lightly.” Although one team came away with a trophy, each student was victorious. Father Justin Walz, delegate of the Bishop for Catholic Education, summed up this sentiment by saying, “At the basis of all this is our faith. We are competing here, but we are united, as a family, against the world that hates us. Every year you will see me at these events to celebrate the triumph of Catholic schools.” Approximately 100 Trinity students, 100 Bishop Ryan students, 175 St. Mary students and almost the entire Shanley student population attended the event, along with Bishop John Folda, Fargo Diocese; Michael Smith, superintendent of Blessed John Paul II Catholic Schools Network and chaplains and faculty from each school. Next year’s competition will be held at Trinity Catholic School in Dickinson, N.D. This event is held annually in conjunction with National Catholic Schools Week.

Corrections The January 2014 issue of New Earth contained the following errors: NCEA Award Front Page: Photo cutline incorrectly stated which school he visited. It should say he visited “Holy Spirit.” Collar Classic: In the article about the seminarians and priests basketball event, Father Paul Duchschere’s name was spelled incorrectly. And, the body of the article should state that Jayson Miller is from Lawton, N.D., not Linton, N.D. Fatima: Photo cutline incorrectly named Father Robert Wapenski at the right side of the picture as Father Peter Anderl.

4 1 n February ebruary 2014 2014

N New ewEarth

Area priests receive training in spiritual direction at IPF By Kristina Lahr

Seminary wasn’t the last classroom for three of our priests. Father Ross Laframbiose of St. Philip Neri parish in Napoleon, Father Joseph Christiansen of the Franciscans of Mary Immaculate in Minto and Father Luke Meyer, chancellor of the Diocese of Fargo, completed a training program for spiritual directors from the Institute for Priestly Formation located at University of St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein Seminary near Chicago Jan. 17. The Institute for Priestly Formation (IPF) has developed a nine-week program, spread over three years, committed to working with priests to further their education in spiritual formation. In addition to this three-year training for priests, IPF serves the church in many other ways, including a 10-week summer program at Creighton University in Omaha for seminarians around the country, including those from the Diocese of Fargo. “At the heart of IPF is to provide diocesan priests with a relationship rooted in Christ,” Father Laframbiose said. “It’s for priests to learn how to be better spiritual directors for the people of their parishes.” Classroom presentations provide Photo courtesy Father Luke Meyer small group learning, opportunities for From left, Father Joseph Christiansen, Father Luke Meyer and Father Ross Laframboise at the Chapel of priests to receive spiritual direction and an in-depth study and application of the Immaculate Conception at the University of St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein Seminary, Ill. The three rules of discernment from St. Ignatius graduated from the Institute for Priestly Formation on the campus. of Loyola.. more on what God is doing.” dioceses and eight religious orders. The theme of the contemplative apTwenty priests in the Fargo Diocese Reinforces vocations proach that IPF teaches is to be attenhave graduated from the program. tive listeners to the movements of the IPF also offers in-depth teachings Three more priests will begin the heart. Father Laframbiose said that about five foundational identities of the next three-year cycle of training in IPF has helped him to allow people to diocesan priest. A clear articulation of May. Father James Meyer of Holy Cross encounter the Lord in their personal the priest’s own vocation through the in West Fargo, Father Neil Pfeifer of St. prayer. identities of beloved son, chaste spouse, Michael’s in Grand Forks and Monsidivine physician, spiritual father and “There’s a resurgent of people who gnor Joseph Goering of St. Mary’s Cagood shepherd provides inspiration for really want to hear God in prayer,” he thedral in Fargo. both personal prayer and ministry in said. “It’s a great encouragement for Father James Meyer said he is excitthe church. people to pray more, seek spiritual died to get started. “I’ve heard such great rection and to come to know the Lord “The training program gave me a things from those who have partaken in a deeper way. When one falls in love new confidence in the impact that in IPF,” he said. “They’ve talked about with Christ, everything changes. It’s a one’s own personal prayer can have the enhancement of their own spiribeautiful journey.” on an individual’s spiritual growth,” tual life and how they’ve been able to Father Meyer said. “I can be patient in The Institute of Priestly Formation develop different programs for others trusting that God will overcome chalhas served nearly 2,000 priests and semwho seek spiritual direction. As a priest lenges people face on their own time, so inarians from more than 154 dioceses I care about my people, so I want to creI can focus less on what I’m doing and in the United States, 38 international ate the best opportunity for everyone.”

Father Pfeifer agreed. “I’m looking forward to understanding more about who I am at the core and seeing how Jesus resides within each of us,” he said. “As a priest I see that most people don’t go past the surface of who they are. By getting to the core of who I am can help others to see the core of themselves as well.” Bishop John Folda told New Earth, “Spiritual direction can be very helpful in deepening our relationship with Jesus Christ. “Through their seminary formation and through parish experience, priests develop skills to offer direction to others in the spiritual life. I am encouraged that many of our priests in the diocese have pursued even greater refinement of their skills as spiritual directors through programs of ongoing education, including those offered by IPF. Our spiritual lives are the foundation for our life and work in the church.” Father Pfeifer added, “Spiritual direction is a gift for anyone actively seeking the will of God in their lives. It helps us to see the works and fruits of God rather than the works of the evil one. Many people have many questions of where to go and how to act in their lives, and spiritual direction guides us when the world is upside down. It points us to the light.” IPF desires priests and seminarians to live in an “intimate and unceasing union with God” and to share that relationship with others. They believe that when the faithful “fall in love and stay in love, it will decide everything,” a quote attributed to Father Pedro Arrupe, Superior General of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) from 1965-1983. “It’s very true,” Father Pfeifer said. “It will change how you approach things, even the simplest things such as preparing a meal. With the greatness of God, we find our happiness in everything.” Father James Meyer noted, “I see our relationship with Jesus as pivotal to how we respond to others. If we are in love with him, we are not in love with the world. The more we bring this love forward the more we become his followers.”

Kristina Lahr hired as new communications assistant, receptionist

The Diocese of Fargo has hired Kristina Lahr as the new com mu n icat ions assistant and afternoon receptionist. Lahr was previously a news reporter in New London, Minn., and a volunteer with Reach Youth Ministry, a Catholic orKristina Lahr ganization of young adult traveling ministry teams in Helena, Mont. She graduated from the University of Minnesota Morris with a bachelor’s degree in English. Her responsibilities include assisting production of New Earth, updating website and social media content and carrying out receptionist duties of the Pastoral Center. Lahr is originally from Sauk Centre, Minn. where she grew up with her parents and four older siblings.


February 2014 n 5 1

Fifth in a series

New beginning for mom takes flight on angel wings By Father Bert Miller


bout 35 years ago, when I was working as a journalist in a small city in North Dakota, I interviewed the North Dakota “Teacher of the Year.” To this day, we are often in contact at Christmas. This year, she sent me a story entitled “A Farewell Tribute.” Here, we share that tribute. * * * The soft glow in the hospital corridor gave a sense of serenity to the otherwise darkened hallway. Stella and Ann quietly walked the length in silence — a long, slow walk that was as labored as the deep, shallow breathing that was coming from their mother’s room, a breathing that echoed in the hallway. Grasping hands for comfort, they entered the room, to once again sit in vigil next to their seriously ill mother. It had been a long, draining vigil of nights and days that seemed to seep energy from them as well as their dying mother. “So this is what it’s like,” Stella whispered quietly, more to herself and to the walls that surrounded them than to her sister. “The beginning of a new life as the present one fades away,” she thought. A sadness swept over her,

but yet, a gentle peace followed as she gazed upon this mother who had given so many years, 92 in fact, to her family and her God. “Have a good life,” her mother had said to her. What is a good life?, she wondered. It must be what her mother had: caring children, friends, hobbies, inner peace and a lasting faith in God. “We will all have good lives,” she whispered to her mother.

Ann’s turn

Ann sat down next to her mother and held her hand. The hour was late, or was it early, 4:30 a.m. The night vigil had been long. “I’ll sit with mom,” Ann said. “Why don’t you find a spot to lie down and rest for awhile, Stella, we both don’t need to keep watch.” Stella left the room with a prayer in her heart . . . that this would be the day her mother begins her new life. The waiting room was nearby, so she found a davenport next to a large window and lay down. It was then that she heard it, this distant, soft music that surrounded her: chimes, trumpets, bells. Rising quickly, she looked out the window to see where the music came from. She saw no cars, no people, no radios,

“There, suspended in

air was a spectacular arc of radiant lights. Colors of whites, pinks, purples all blending and illuminating the room.

only the blackness of the night and a street light or two met her gaze. Stella turned to look further, and as she did an incredibly beautiful sight met her eyes. There, suspended in air was a spectacular arc of radiant lights. Colors of whites, pinks, purples all blending and illuminating the room. “Oh-h-h how wonderful,” Stella uttered, “It’s morning; it’s the sunrise.” She turned to look out the window and met the darkness all around her. It wasn’t morning light, and it wasn’t a sunrise. In awe, Stella looked once again at the illuminating arc in her presence. “Wings of an Angel.” Stella slowly walked to the door of the waiting room and to the doorway

of her mother’s room. She didn’t enter, she couldn’t. Standing in the doorway, she said, “Ann, call the family members now.” At 6 a.m., Stella and Ann’s mother did start her new beginning and family members were summoned and able to be with the transition. A new beginning started on “Angel’s Wings” and Stella was privileged to witness the light. (Editor’s Note: This article is the fifth in this series: Stories of Faith. If you have a faith story to tell, contact Father Bert Miller at Father Bert Miller is a pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church in West Fargo.

6 n February 2014

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N.D. Catholics ‘March for Life’ By Aliceyn Magelky

Bishop John Folda, along with several students from across the diocese, chaperones, priests and diocesan representatives embarked on a pilgrimage to our nation’s capital to join in the March for Life rally. The event, which takes place annually on or near Jan. 22, marks the 41st anniversary of the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe vs. Wade which legalized abortion on demand. “You feel a sense of solidarity, people coming together with fortitude for a common cause,” said Rachelle Savaugeau, Respect Life Director, Diocese of Fargo. “It’s unfortunate we are coming together for the anniversary of a tragic event, but in the middle of it is a feeling of joy because there is a real sense that ‘we shall overcome’ during the event.” Nearly 145 high school students and their chaperones from Shanley High School, Fargo, and parishes in communities around the diocese made their way by bus or plane to Washington D.C. Each group had a separate itinerary and activities planned, but each one linked to the significance and dignity of life. For the Fargo Diocese Youth Pilgrimage group, they spent time at Gettysburg National Park outside D.C. and the Holocaust museum. “It’s great to see the kids connecting the dots,” Sauvageau said. “Most people think abortion is a Catholic issue, but the kids really start to see that is as much a civil rights issue like slavery and genocide.” Later, the Fargo Diocese delegates united with approximately an additional 100 representatives from the rest of North Dakota to celebrate Mass with Bishop Folda at the Franciscan Monastery. “My highlight was when we celebrated Mass with Bishop Folda and all

of the North Dakota representatives. The solidarity we had from the state of North Dakota was awesome,” said Jeanine Bitzan, Shanley coordinator. Further solidarity was seen during the opening Mass of the National Prayer Vigil for Life held on the eve of the March for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Bishops, priests, seminarians and young Catholics filled nearly every square inch of the largest Catholic church in the country. All of them united in their faith and fervor for the sanctity of life.

The March The next morning, the students braved the harsh winter weather and lined the Washington Mall to demonstrate their commitment to protecting and respecting all life. At noon, the crowd began their descent towards the steps of the United States Supreme Court, carrying signs, singing songs, chanting encouraging phrases and embracing their role in witnessing to life. “These kids really understand it’s going to be their generation that is called to be the ones to end this evil. They just understand the pain and wrong that it [abortion] is, and they want to make it right,” Bitzan said. In his homily at the Mass at the Franciscan Monastery, Bishop Folda encouraged all to continue to rally for life by saying, “Many thought that the pro-life movement died out long ago. They assumed that once the court ruled and the so-called right to abortion became enshrined and entrenched in American law and culture, the opposition would get tired and fade away. But that didn’t happen; your presence here is proof of that.”

Week fetes schools Continued from page 1 chael’s Catholic School in Grand Forks said, “It’s a blessing that our kids get to celebrate their faith every day here.” St. John’s Academy, Jamestown, kicked off the Pennies for Patients program in the school. The program asks people to drop their spare change in collection receptacles for a three-week period. The funds received will benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Schools in the Blessed John Paul II Network, Fargo, collected coins to support Friends of Chimbote, a mission started by Father Jack Davis to help transform the lives of the poor living in Chimbote, Peru. Students hoped to raise enough money to send 20 students on a mission trip there this summer to build five homes for the people of that community. Additionally, students from Little Flower Elementary, Rugby, hosted Cookies for a Cause to fundraise for children in Brazil. Each year the students raise about $4,000. Also, families of St. Mary’s Catholic School, Grand Forks, put a twist on Wacky Sock Day. Students got to wear silly socks to school, and they brought socks filled with toiletry items like toothpaste, toothbrushes and combs to give to clients of St. Joesph’s Social Care and Thrift Store. Finally, families of St. Ann’s School in Belcourt collected food for the community pantry.

Diocesan ministries supported by God’s Gift Appeal


ust as your parish depends on financial support from its members through weekly offerings, the diocese relies on financial support from every parish. The support of the God’s Gift Appeal provides more than 50 percent of the annual funding for more than 40 different ministries that serve all parishes. In this section of New Earth, we highlight a few stories of those people and programs impacted by your gift. God’s Gift Appeal campaign will kick-off Feb. 8 with pledging information sent to each household Feb. 17. For more information, contact Steve Schons, Director of Stewardship and Development, Diocese of Fargo at steve.schons@ or (701) 356-7926.

A great blessing for and from the diocese By Kristina Lahr


hen Archbishop Samuel Aquila asked Father Jason Asselin if he’d be willing to pursue a canon law degree, he was a bit hesitant. “I was surprised,” he said, “I wasn’t expecting it or asking for it. But I knew it was another way I could serve the Diocese of Fargo.” Father Asselin started the six-semester program at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. in August of 2012 and will graduate in May of 2015. He was ordained a priest in 2006. He served as assistant pastor to Father Kinzler in St. Joseph in Devils Lake for a year and at Holy Spirit in Fargo for four years. Upon receiving a request to pursue a canon law degree, he was given the option to go to Rome or Ottawa, Canada, but decided to stay in this country. “It’s easier to get home for breaks, and the school here offers a great program. The program helps us to form our future work in the diocese with an emphasis on writing and helps us to understand pertinent issues of the church in the U.S.” Upon graduation, Father Asselin will have a JCL degree, a Licentiate in Canon Law (Juris Canonici Licentia in Latin). A JCL degree is a graduate degree in the Roman Catholic Church that qualifies an individual to serve as a judge in the tribunal. There are five canonists serving the diocese and two currently studying canon law including Father Asselin. “When I’m done with my studies, I’ll have covered the entire code of canon law,” he said, “We also have a semester that teaches an overview of American law which has some parallels to the Church’s law. We also have classes on sacramental law, the sacrament of marriage and the annulment processes.”

Back to the books

Father Jason Asselin at The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. Thanks to funding through God’s Gift Appeal, Father Asselin is studying canon law at The Catholic University of America in Washington.

New Earth February 2014 Page 7

The biggest challenge Father Asselin found at the University isn’t much different than studying other degrees. “One of the big challenges has been writing papers, doing research, making footnotes and getting back into all that. There’s a lot of writing and reading involved. In order to get the degree, I’ll have to do a thesis, which is a 75 page research paper. We had to study another three semesters of Latin too.” “Once I have the degree, the main application of it would be to assist in judging marriage cases. The degree qualifies me to be a judge on the tribunal. I could be assigned as a pastor and in addition I would be assisting the tribunal with marriage cases. Archbishop Aquila knew that we needed to train another priest to help in the tribunal.” Beyond school work, Father Asselin is enjoying the perks of living in D.C. He lives at St. Anthony of Padua Parish, which is within walking distance of campus. Two other priests who are studying at the university also live there, one who is studying canon law as well. The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is located on the campus. “I help with confessions there once a week,” he said. “The campus is like a ‘Little Rome.’ The Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land and other religious orders have homes in this area, too. It is also neat to have so many historical sites nearby.” Even though Father Asselin wasn’t too excited about the idea of obtaining a canon law degree when Archbishop Aquila first suggested it, he now sees his studies as a great blessing for the diocese and a great service he is able to bring as part of God’s Gift Appeal. “Since I’ve been studying for the last year, I see canon law as a very interesting application of theology, life in the church, the sacraments, teaching and scripture. I look forward to serving the diocese in a parish or the tribunal.”

Diocesan minis by God’s G

New Earth February 2014 Page 8

Deacon Ed and Deb Didier sit in the front pew of their home parish, St. Catherine’s Catholic Church of Valley City. They were married in this church 27 years ago.

Sponsor couple provides a witness of faith and friendship in marriage By Aliceyn Magelky


e hope people will look at us and want to have what we have” states Deb Didier. And, what she and husband Deacon Ed Didier have is 27 years of marriage, commitment to each other, and a joy and love for God and the church. For more than 22 years the Didiers have walked engaged couples through a pre-marriage inventory suggested by the Catholic Church to provide tools for marriage success. And, in that time, they’ve heard and shared their own experiences about faith, trust and challenges in a marriage. As many married couples will attest, long-term marriage isn’t easy. And, for Deacon Ed and Deb Didier they too encountered difficulties.

Boy Meets Girl with a Twist

Ed, a “cradle catholic” felt the faith was always a part of his family. However, he was drawn to a darker world. “I was a drug-addicted alcoholic, so you could say I left the faith,” Ed confessed. Although not born into a Catholic family, Deb later was baptized at 7 years old when her stepmother introduced her family into the church. “I always had a deep faith and love for Jesus because my grandmother raised us for awhile and would read us the Bible and sing Jesus Loves Me to us,” she said. Eventually, Deb grew up and she got married to a Lutheran man. She wanted to raise her children in one church, so, she, like Ed left the Catholic Church. “I was active in the Lutheran church, and my hope was that we as a family would go to church,” said Deb. “What I came to see was my ex-husband wasn’t attending, wasn’t participating, and I felt a void in me.” When they moved to Valley City, Deb enrolled her children into the catholic school and came back to the Catholic Church. For several reasons, Deb and her ex-husband were divorced and an annulment was granted. Like Ed, Deb had been struggling with addiction and went through a treatment program. It was at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting where they met and their journey as a couple began. “What drew me to Ed was his faith in God,” said Deb. “I could actually say that it was through Ed that I was drawn deeper into the church.” “Nah, she was drawn to my chiseled handsomeness,” Ed playfully chimed in. Their courtship resulted in engagement and a hope to be married in the Catholic Church. “Honesty was a part of our recovery program, and marriage meant

nothing to us if not in God,” said Ed. “We both firmly believe that marriage is a life commitment and marriage is work,” said Deb. “We were blessed because we were already dependent on God, and we wanted to continue that relationship in marriage,” Ed continued.

Sponsor Couple Experience

Both Ed and Deb fully used the tools of their recovery program, both had an prayer life, and yet, the sponsor couple experience delivered a gift beyond what they would imagine. “We thought we communicated very well before we went through our marriage prep inventory, but when we met with our sponsor couple to discuss or strengths and our growth areas, we could see that it enhanced our communication even further. We really dug into some things deeper,” said Deb. After meeting with their sponsor couple the blessing continued for the Didiers. For them the relationship with their sponsor couple has continued long after the engagement period. It’s a practice they often extend to the couples they sponsor. “We still have our sponsor couple. We can go to them today. They know us, they pray for us, and they mentor us in our faith and family. They have become family,” said Ed. “That’s another one of our blessings” added Deb. “They’ve been a great witness of our faith. You know how you see somebody that has something in them and you want it, too. They have this aura of joy and the Holy Spirit. That was our sponsor couple.”

Witness to Others

Perhaps in the early days of their marriage, Ed and Ded Didier’s sponsoring couple did see a notion of the Holy Spirit in them. “It was our sponsor couple that got us involved. Initially I thought, ‘what do we have to offer?’,” said Ed. It was their sponsor couples’ continued urging and examples that helped lead the Didiers into this ministry. “Their witness and sharing of their own marriage with us and their support of us showed us how we too could be witnesses of bringing Christ and the church into marriage,” said Deb. “There are many skills needed to be a sponsor couple like listening skills, compassion and empathy, and I believe they saw those traits within us.”

The Process

With support from their sponsor couple, guidance from the diocesan office staff and lots of prayer, Deacon Ed and Deb Didier embraced this new role to serve God and the church. In many parishes throughout the diocese, sponsor couples assist the priest in preparing couples for the Sacrament of Marriage. In a series of meetings, the

sponsor couple visits with engaged couples preparing for marriage. These visits are grounded in the pre-marriage inventory engaged couples complete at some point during their marriage preparation. The sponsor couples help facilitate discussion on the results and develop tools for responding to issues in married life. “We meet with our couples at least five times, sometimes more if requested,” said Deb. We share with them that we, too, went through marriage prep. We explain to them what the church is asking of them, and our role in it.” “You can actually see a positive change in couples when we explain to them that what they may see as hoops to jump through so they can be married is really the church’s way of showing it loves you enough to want to help you have the very best marriage you can have. So, that’s why she’s asked us to commit the time,” said Ed. “We always pray with our couples before and after each session. Often this is the first experience the couple has had to pray together,” said Deb. “I would say the second session is when they really start to open up. By the last session, there’s a bond in all areas; spiritual, love and trust. In some parishes, the sponsor couples continue to assist and be present to the newlywed couple after their wedding day. Ed and Deb Didier are one example of sponsor couples who continue to make themselves available to couples. Added Ed, “We still get Christmas cards from the first couple we sponsored.”

Importance of Sponsor Couples “Marriage is for a lifetime and it’s so easy to get caught up in the wedding day itself, said Jennie Korsmo, Marriage Preparation Coordinator, Diocese of Fargo. “But we want to give them tools that will last the lifetime of their marriage. We want them to see the beauty of the Catholic Church.” “There seems to be what we call ‘a brokenness’ surrounding almost every couple we’ve sponsored. In fact, it was the nonjudgmental approach and witness of God’s great love and mercy from our own sponsor couple that helped heal our own brokenness. That is why we tell our couples ‘you are beloved children of God and he loves you,” said Deb. “And there is nothing you can do to change that,” Ed added. “We know we are not counselors, nor do we try to be, but we know firsthand of God’s love and mercy,” Deb continued. “Once, we had a ‘difficult’ couple, where we just wondered about this couple and were concerned for them. I would say it was about the fourth meeting when the man finally opened up and made aware things to his future wife that she had never known,” explained Deb. “And, we weren’t even sure if she had even heard him then,” added Ed. “But by the fifth meeting, they had the chance to reflect, and that marriage is very strong today,” concluded Deb.

The Future The Didiers have sponsored countless couples and trained more than 100 other couples to be sponsors. Today, they are taking a less active role in marriage preparation for the diocese as Ed has become more involved with the diaconate program. But, marriage preparation and sponsoring couples will continue to be a ministry Ed and Deb Didier share. “All couples need a ministry together,” said Deb. Many married couples have a gift to witness their love for God and each other in this program. And, we all need to help reach today’s couples.”

Support through God’s Gift Appeal God’s Gift Appeal helps support the cost to train sponsor couples and their trainers. Also, the funds help offset the cost to complete the pre-marriage inventory. For more information about marriage preparation and sponsor couples, contact Jennie Korsmo at jennie. or (701) 356-7901.

stries supported Gift Appeal

New Earth February 2014 Page 9

The young adult teams began their summer with twelve days of training which included learning Catechesis, skits, games, crafts, songs and aspects of team life and how to teach elementary children. “The primary focus of each camp is to teach the children the salvation story in a fun and creative way,” said Mary Hanbury, evangelization and catechesis coordinator of Young Disciples. One of these creative ways includes the “Jesus is our PAL” method of praying to help the kids remember the key elements of prayer. PAL is an acronym for Praise, Ask and Listen. “For the listening part, we had them get quiet and told them that God often speaks not to our physical ear but to the ear to our soul.” Donahue also found that adding pop cultural elements to teaching worked well for the kids, especially when explaining difficult concepts like transubstantiation and the Eucharist. “One of my teammates came up with a really great way to explain transubstantiation. She related it to transformers. A transformer has its outer body hardware but it also has its software which gives them their personality and identity. Transubstantiation is like taking one transformer, deleting their software and copying the software from another transformer and putting it in the hardware of the first one. So it looks the same, but it’s a completely different person and identity.” Another way Donahue’s team kept the spirit of camp life with the kids was to have a points system where children earn points for memorizing prayers and good behavior. At the end of the week, whichever team had the most points could dump a bucket of water on their teacher or decorate him or her as a Christmas tree. “I’ve experienced both,” laughed Donahue. While most kids who attend the week-long day camps have a basic understanding of Catholicism, their families may not necessarily focus on the faith. Even so, Donahue and Hanbury have seen what an impact the camps could have on the kids and their families.

“In the early days of the program I was surprised how the children enjoyed praying the daily rosary and attending daily Mass,” said Hanbury, “This has not changed in the last decade. Sometimes parents think it is too much, but the children do really well with it.” “Some kids who don’t regularly attend Mass start to ask their parents if they can go to Mass on Sunday,” said Donahue. Young Disciples is one of many ministries that the God’s Gift Appeal supports. It takes more than $6000 per team member to pay for the cost of training, vehicle rental, gas, stipend and materials for the campers and staff to make the apostolate successful. The God’s Gift appeal covers half of the entire program and the rest is supported by parishes and private donations. Not only was the experience beneficial for the children, but for Donahue as well. Before the summer, he found it hard to commit to a daily prayer life. Serving with Young Disciples provided the right atmosphere helpful in developing a healthy prayer life which he took with him after the summer. “Young Disciples really stressed the importance of prayer time every day. Consistently taking that hour everyday and seeing the benefits in my life and in my growing relationship with God made me realize how much I need to maintain the habit. The summer also gave me a lot of time to devote to discernment of vocation. It definitely helped that one of my teammates was a seminarian.” Hanbury says that a developing prayer life is one of the hopes she has for young adults after they volunteer for the summer. “My hope for the young adults is that they go on from there to live out a strong commitment to their faith and to bring that zeal to others as they continue to evangelize to others. They give up a summer of work, so it really is a big deal when they choose to follow the call for this apostolate.” For more information about Young Disciples, contact Mary Hanbury at 701-356-7909 or visit

Tribunal an important ministry of the diocese

were of good will. We are responsible for all aspects of canon (church) law in the diocese.

By Father James Goodwin

In addition we are often asked how long an annulment might take. This is impossible to answer as all cases are judged on their own merits and each case is different. Also, there is no guaranteed outcome. The marriage is not found invalid in every case. Just applying for an annulment does not mean that the parties will receive one. The court must follow the code of canon law. We try to deal with all cases as quickly as possible, but there are some legal time limits we must observe. There is also an automatic appeal to the metropolitan tribunal in St. Paul which must review the case before the decision is finalized. Another common question: If an annulment is granted does this mean that my children become illegitimate? In fact canon law states clearly that an annulment has no effect on the legitimacy of children. Nor does it have any civil effect including inheritance laws. “If I am married outside of the church, am I still a Catholic?” is another common question. Of course such people remain Catholics. They are not excommunicated. We encourage them to participate in the life of the church as baptized Catholics. If they have left the church, we want them to come back and stand ready to welcome them home. That often leads to the question about the reception of Holy Communion by those who are divorced. Being divorced does not exclude a person from receiving the sacraments. Only if they have been married outside the church is there an issue. In that case they may not receive Holy Communion until the irregular situation has been addressed by the tribunal. As Catholics, they can and still should attend Mass, make acts of spiritual communion, pray and

participate in their parish. There are still many ways for them to be active in the church. We also encourage them to approach the tribunal and seek a solution to their situation. It is our desire to help them and will work with them in any way that we can.

Matthew Donahue receives a big hug after being dunked with water as part of a Young Disciples retreat in Walhalla.

Young adults spread the Gospel throughout the Fargo Diocese By Kristina Lahr


ast spring, Matthew Donahue was asked to lead a Bible study by a FOCUS missionary. “Before this summer, I wasn’t sure if I was ready for that,” he said, “but just working through the summer and teaching the faith boosted my confidence. By the time the summer ended, I felt like I could do it.” Donahue, a sophomore at NDSU, served as a team leader for Young Disciples for ten weeks this summer. Young Disciples is composed of young adult ministry teams that travel primarily throughout the Fargo Diocese and create a camp-style environment to evangelize and catechize elementary students in rural communities and reservations.


he church teaches that all marriages between the baptized are sacramental. All marriages are considered valid until proven otherwise in a canonical court. The church respects the sacrament of matrimony and defends it. We assume that when people make their marriage vows they mean them and intend to marry for life. This is why we have an extensive premarital preparation program. In our current culture sometimes marriage itself is under attack. The Catholic Church believes in the sanctity of marriage and the vital importance of family. Why do we need a tribunal? This question is frequently asked. Sometimes married life breaks down and separation or even civil divorce is necessary. However, civil divorce has no canonical effect. We certainly sympathize with people in these situations. They have the right to request that their marriage be investigated canonically. When this happens it is not the couple that is on trial but their marriage consent. We examine the marriage to determine if one or both parties were capable of consent or if the consent was invalid. Sometimes this process is painful for people, but it can also help to bring closure and ensure that mistakes are not repeated. It is important to remember that marriage is not just a personal matter; it involves the whole church as it is a sacrament. Also, it has legal consequences as a contract which is why canon law is involved. An annulment is legal declarations that a marriage was invalid at the time of consent, even though the parties, may at the time, thought it was and they

No guaranteed outcome

Support from God’s Gift Appeal How is this possible to complete this work? In large part due to the God’s Gift Appeal. In order to properly run a tribunal we need to pay staff and provide all the normal office services that a court needs. This can be expensive. At the same time we want to encourage people to utilize the tribunal if they are married outside the church or simply wish to investigate the validity of their marriage. Therefore, we try to make it available to everyone regardless of their ability to pay. We see our task as one of ministry and healing. How would I start the process? First contact your pastor. He will help you to begin the application. Once it goes to the tribunal we will contact you as to how to proceed. Please don’t get discouraged, while it may take some time that is often true in any healing process. Or you can contact the tribunal directly with your questions at 701-356-7940. Often people ask the marriage tribunal how much it costs to apply for an annulment. Many people believe that the annulment process is prohibitively expensive. Some hesitate to even begin the process because they believe they cannot afford it. However, none of these things are true. In fact there is no charge for the process other than a waivable $25 application fee. If you or someone you know could use our assistance please don’t hesitate to contact us. We want to help. Because of God’s Gift we can do so freely. We are grateful for the support of Catholics who donate to God’s Gift Appeal and who make this ministry available to those in need.

10 n February 2014


Maryvale graduates first in diocese Ceremony speakers incited them, others to continue the work and share the faith By Aliceyn Magelky

After two years of intense study, 17 students of the Maryvale Institute of Catechesis stood before Bishop John Folda, their course directors and mentors, more than 100 guests including family, friends and their pastors, and received their Maryvale Certificate in Catechesis Jan. 19 at the Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo. For the past two years, this diverse group of religious education coordinators, RCIA volunteers, parents, a priest and a sister from across the diocese, balanced their work and family obligation to deepen their understanding of the Catholic faith in order to better teach and share with others. “As Course Director of this program, I have witnessed the journey you have all made over the past two years,” said Carol Harnett, during her graduation ceremony remarks. “For some of you, it has been an amazing journey where the truths of the faith have been opened up to you in a new and profound way. For others it has been more of consolidating what you already knew but perhaps were not able to express.” Bishop Folda pointed to the uniqueness of the event. “Indeed this is the first graduation of those who have completed the Maryvale catechetical program here in the Diocese of Fargo, and so, this is truly a historic day,” lauded Bishop Folda during his homily delivered during the graduation Mass. The course is for anyone interested in developing his or her own faith for the sake of sharing it with others. The course provides a solid foundation in the key areas of Catholic faith which a person needs to understand in order to be able to pass it on. Graduate Patrick O’Neill noted, “It really is a growth experience. You certainly learn more about your faith in terms of head knowledge, and it helps you in your own relationship with God and prayer life,” said O’Neill, an RCIA team volunteer for Holy Family parish in Grand Forks. “It really did help me. I think the program can help you be a better disciple and apostle. You know more so you can share more – whether formally or informally.” Students working towards the certificate submit a portfolio of short assignments of between 200 to 300 words totaling about 1,000 to 1,200 words for each of the 10 to 12 modules. Work is based upon study of the course book, sections of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and Sacred Scriptures. Along with written work, students attended three mandatory study days and

Front row (L to R): Sr. Mary Ruth Huhn OSF (St. Therese the Little Flower in Rugby), Kathy Loney (St. Benedict’s in Wild Rice), Kim Garman (St. Jude’s in Thompson), Jacinta Splonskowski (Cathedral of St. Mary in Fargo), Patrick O’Neill (Holy Family in Grand Forks), Katie Dubas (Sts. Anne & Joachim in Fargo). Second row (L to R): Sharon Eversvik (Sts. Peter & Paul in McHenry), Beth Lemer (St. Michael’s in Grand Forks), Sue Argenziano (Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Reynolds), Amette Ley (England), Bishop Folda, Carol Harnett (England), Lawrence Woodbury (Cathedral of St. Mary in Fargo). Third row (L to R): Lucy Elshaug (Blessed Sacrament in West Fargo), Connie Dulany (Sts. Anne & Joachim in Fargo), Bonnie Carignan (St. Boniface’s in Walhalla), Anita Stevens (St. Brigid of Ireland in Cavalier). Fourth row (L to R): Sarah Prososki (St. Anthony of Padua in Fargo), Chad Prososki (St. Anthony of Padua in Fargo), Fr. Peter Sharpe (St. Cecilia’s in Velva and Sts. Peter & Paul’s in Karlsruhe), Brad Gray (Cathedral of St. Mary in Fargo).

a retreat day each year. During these gatherings, students were introduced to a new topic delivered by top-notch presenters. Additionally, they used this opportunity for their own personal spiritual development. “For every one of the modules we were exposed to, we had presentations by people on fire with the faith, and they lit up every one of us,” O’Neill said. “That was what was so cool about study days. If everyone could experience those things, we’d have a lot more flames going around. And, not just smoldering fires of faith, but blazes. Every speaker was fantastic.” Although these students have completed their course of study, they were urged, like all of us, to continue the work they have started. Bishop Folda during his homily added, “And yet, although the studies are completed, the work is not yet done. In fact, it is just beginning. . . . now that you have been given this gift, this deeper knowledge of the content of our faith, you must make every effort to pass it along to others. In fact, now you must go forth with renewed enthusiasm and with the words of John on your lips: ‘Behold the Lamb of God.’” Additionally, Bishop Folda urged others beyond this graduating class to share the faith and go forth just as John the Baptist had demonstrated in the Gospel reading for that day. “And I speak not only to the Maryvale graduates but to everyone here, because we have all received this great gift

of faith. Our every effort must be directed to this same goal, ‘that he might be made known to Israel,’ that is, to the People of God. By many accounts, the understanding of our faith has diminished as our culture has grown more secular and as religious practice has declined, even in the family of our Church. So it is all the more important that you take to heart this commission, this calling to make Christ known to God’s people. It is all the more important that we give our best to the work of sharing Christ with others, and to help them to know him in his fullness and his beauty,” he explained. One course director, Carol Harnett, agreed and made a specific request of the graduates saying, “Re-read the first module, Introduction to Catechesis, with fresh eyes but with the understanding that you now have as a result of your study.” Bishop Folda concluded his encouraging remarks by saying, “In John’s final words of this Gospel passage, he says, ‘Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.’ We too must ‘see and testify.’ As we see Christ in our own prayer and study, we then testify or give witness to him. It is not enough to know him academically. We must also witness to him practically. By our way of life and our discipleship, we give witness to him not only in classrooms, but also in our homes, in our workplaces, in our parishes, and in the public square.” The Maryvale Certificate in Catechesis program is a two-year, part-

time, collaborative learning course validated by the Maryvale Institute with approval from the Congregation for the Clergy in Rome. This program allows students to study at home and at their own pace, typically three to five hours per week, using course books specifically written for this purpose. This format enables them to integrate the material with their daily life and to make it more widely available for people. The course modules cover the following: Introduction to Catechesis, Foundations of Christian faith, Jesus Christ, The Church, Our Lady and the Saints, Methods of Teaching, Old Testament, New Testament, Liturgy & Sacraments, Life in Christ and Ways of Praying. Maryvale was erected by the Holy See as an Ecclesiastical Institute, a higher institute of religious science (HIRS), the only one in the English-speaking world. “Ecclesiastical” is a formal designation, indicating the degrees are from, or under, the jurisdiction of the Holy See. The Diocese of Fargo will offer this course as well as the Maryvale Diploma in Catechesis program beginning Sept. 6, 2014. Applications for those courses are due Aug. 10. Contact Katie Dubas at (701) 356-7908 or katie.dubas@fargo for more information. To anyone even a little bit interested, O’Neill says, “Sign-up! It’s not unchallenging, but it is outrageously rewarding.”

Foundation’s Giving Hearts Day — Feb. 13 —supports CCND By Colleen Hardy Catholic Charities ND

Last year, Catholic Charities North Dakota (CCND) impacted the lives of more than 7,000 people across the state. Roy, a client in the Guardianship Program considers his guardianship worker, Megan, a “guardian angel.” Roy had spent 15 years unemployed, broke and in jail because of alcoholism. After being referred to Catholic Charities and with the help of Megan, he was able to start making better decisions

and taking care of his health. Roy was moved to a center and at first resisted the placement and didn’t take part in activities. Slowly, he began participating and working in several departments earning spending money. Saving money for things he wanted such as a bike, TV, and even a nice ring gave him great pride. Roy now participates in his community, volunteering in a local senior living center and sings in a traveling choir. Roy’s life has completely transformed, and he wouldn’t have it any other way.

Roy is just one of the thousands of people whose lives are changed by CCND. On Feb. 13, Catholic Charities is participating in Giving Hearts Day, an online one day give-a-thon sponsored by Dakota Medical Foundation, which will match gifts up to $4,000 that day. Funds raised on Giving Hearts Day supports the work of Catholic Charities North Dakota including providing decision making counseling for those experiencing an unexpected pregnancy as well as making sure they are receiving good medical care, providing

mental health counseling services for couples, families and children, and providing guardianship services for adults with developmental disabilities, like Roy. Please consider a donation on Giving Hearts Day, Thursday, Feb. 13. Visit, click on the donate button and select Catholic Charities North Dakota from the list. If you have questions about Giving Hearts Day or giving to CCND, contact Colleen Hardy at chardy@catholic or call 1-800-450-4457.



February 2014 n 11

Obama administration wrongly rejects religious objections of HHS mandate Attempt by government to set moral code should concern all Americans

the Church of England was more an arm of the state rather than a church in succession with the apostles. The affair was one event that led to many, including Henry Manning and John Henry Newman, to become Roman Catholics. s courts across The Gorham Judgthe country, inment was possible, of cluding the U.S. course, because the Supreme Court, take up Church of England challenges to the HHS was — and still is — the mandate, they — in“established church” of deed, all of us —could England. The Establishlearn a lesson from an ment and Free Exercise event from Anglican hisClauses of the U.S. Contory. stitution are supposed In 1847, the Anglican to prevent interference vicar George Gorham by the government into sought the vicariate for religious affairs in our a small parish in Devon, country. Nevertheless, England. The Anglican in its defense of the HHS Christopher Dodson bishop for the region, mandate, the Obama Henry Phillpotts, inAdministration has terviewed Gorham and opined that the religious objections found him to be unsuitable for held by Hobby Lobby and Little Sisters the position because Gorham rejected of the Poor are not, in fact, religious the sacramental view of baptism and objections. did not believe in baptismal regenera-


Catholic Action

tion. Phillpotts considered Gorham’s views as inconsistent with Anglican theology. Gorham eventually appealed to a secular court which awarded him the position in 1850. The Gorham Judgment caused uproar in the Anglican Church. For some, it represented inappropriate interference by the state into ecclesiastical affairs. For others, it confirmed their suspicions that

Government’s rationale

In the case involving for-profit entities headed to the Supreme Court, the Administration claims that because Hobby Lobby puts money into a general fund to finance health care for their employees and because the employees choose whether to use the coverage for abortifacients, the injury to the religious rights of Hobby Lobby is too

“attenuated” and remote. Remoteness is, however, a religious question. Indeed, volumes of Catholic moral theology have been written on the subject. Undoubtedly, there are some who would agree with the Obama Administration that the decision by an employee to use an abortifacient is so removed from Hobby Lobby’s act of funding the health care coverage that Hobby Lobby should not feel like it violated its religious tenets. What ultimately matters, though, is not what others think, but what Hobby Lobby’s owners think. The Obama Administration position amounts to telling Hobby Lobby, “We know what is morally right and wrong more than you do.” The Administration’s position for nonprofits like the Little Sisters of the Poor is no better. The Administration attempted to create an “accommodation” for religious entities that are not places of worship. The accommodation provides that the religious entities do not have to pay for the contraceptives directly. Instead, they will be covered directly by the insurance companies or administrators. In order for the religious entity to take advantage of this accommodation, and before the insurer can provide the contraceptives, the entity has to complete a specified government form. If the government form was only a notice to the federal government that the entity seeks the accommodation,

there might not have been a problem. However, as numerous courts have agreed, the form is really a permission slip allowing the insurer to provide the objectionable coverage.

regarding health issues and financial resources. An outdated will could create more problems than it solves. It’s a good idea to get out your will every year and review it. Make sure it does what you want. Keep your will current.

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

Moral objections To moral theologians the dilemma is clear. If you cannot morally do a wrongful act you also cannot help someone else to do it by giving them legal permission to do so. To the Little Sisters of the Poor and many other Catholic entities, completing the form would make them complicit in something to which they morally object. The Obama Administration, however, despite admitting that without the form the insurer cannot provide the contraceptives, argues that completing the form would not violate the religious beliefs of the Little Sisters of the Poor. All Americans should be troubled by the Administration’s attempt to impose its moral and religious analyses. Like the court in the Gorham case, the government’s position amounts to nothing more than the assertion that they know religion better than the rest of us. 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

Don’t do this with your will


our will is one of the most important documents you will ever sign. There are certain things to avoid in order to do it right. Here are five of the more critical “don’ts” to consider:

attorney who asks the right questions and who knows how to draft a will that meets the specific requirements of your state of residence. Seek out a qualified attorney and have your estate plans done right.



Don’t rely on it solely.

Don’t put it off until later.

Your will needs to be considered along with other transfer docuThe worst thing you ments, such as life insurcan do in creating a will ance policies, joint-ownis to procrastinate. You ership accounts and can keep waiting for a retirement accounts. more convenient time. Other estate-planning But the years have a way documents might inof slipping by. A will declude: power of attorney, layed is a will not done. appropriate health care Now is the time, while Steve Schons provisions and a living you are able, to do your will. Again, a good attorney can help will. For your sake, and the sake of your you coordinate your planning and proloved ones, do your will now. vide added assurance that everything you need is prepared legally and according to your wishes.



Don’t do it by yourself. Saving a few bucks by writing your own will, or using a mass-produced generic form, will not provide the level of inner peace and confidence you and your family deserve. Nothing can replace the benefits of a face-to-face meeting with a good estate-planning

4 Don’t put it away and forget about it. Things change. Children grow up. New laws are passed affecting estate planning. New developments occur

5 Don’t put it where no one can find it. A will is worthless unless it can be located and duly recorded at your death. Yet nearly every day someone dies with a “lost” will. Be sure to put it in a safe place, but also let someone else know where it is. Tell one or more loved ones or a trusted friend. A little foresight like this can spare your family added stress during their time of grief. At the Diocese of Fargo, we have an

Steve Schons is director of stewardship and development for the Diocese of Fargo and can be reached at steve.schons@ or (701) 356-7926.

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Science and theology Combining the spiritual and material realities of being human


ne of the most misunderstood and poorly appreciated relationships in both secular society and among Christians is the awesome relationship between science and theology, as well as what that connection can tell us about ourselves, God, and life. Pope John Paul II once wrote, “Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth — in a word, to know himself — so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves” (Fides et ratio, Preamble).

tically measured and studied is not real. However, it is only by pursuing both science and theology that we may come to a fuller understanding of who we are as humans, as well as our purpose and meaning in this world. To make this point clear, it is necessary to talk a bit about who we are as humans.

Humans both spiritual and material

As human beings we are the intersection of two profound realities, the physical and spiritual. Like animals, and the entire created physical world, we have bodies and a physicality which is truly us. It is not as if our bodies are just a shell Anthony J. Digmann in which we exist — they are part of our being. Some Christians have feared science, Like God, angels and demons, we because they mistakenly think it unalso have an immortal spirit (we somedermines and disproves their faith. times call this our soul) which cannot be measured or touched like our bodies Conversely, some others distrust rebut is an equally real part of us. ligion, because they mistakenly think anything which cannot be materialisBeing a combination of the mate-

Guest Columnist

rial world and spiritual world, we are unique beings capable of bridging this incredible gap. As Dr. Baglow puts it, “Humanity is the link between the world of atoms and the world of angels” (Baglow, 210). Catholicism understands both of these realities (spiritual and material) as good and essential to our humanity. However, some throughout history have disagreed. For example, the Gnostic heresy of the early church thought that humans are essentially a spirit who has been trapped in an evil body and the whole purpose of life and death is to be freed of the physical world. This view does not fit with God’s revelation in Genesis where God called all of his creation “good” and called humans, as combination of spirit and matter, “very good.” On the other hand, materialism is a view which believes the only things which are real are things we can touch, see and measure —it rejects the spiritual. This view does not account for the undeniable spiritual realities of our humanness like our thoughts and ideals which go far beyond mere physical stuff.

“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you: before you were born, I dedicated you.” Jeremiah 1:5 Bishop John Folda invites parents who have experienced the loss of a child before or after birth to the

St. Anthony of Padua Church 710 10 Street South Fargo, ND A reception will follow after Mass. Parents who have not yet had the opportunity to formally commemorate their child’s life are especially encouraged to attend. Grandparents, siblings, other family members and friends are also welcome. Sponsored by the Fargo Diocese Respect Life Office For more information contact Rachelle, 701-356-7910

For instance, how can pure materialism fully explain such abstract and intangible things as truth, goodness, friendship or love, all of which relate to our spiritual nature?

Science can’t account for reason

Physicist Stephen Barr further explains, “A purely materialistic conception of man cannot account for the human power of reason itself. . . . Scientific materialism exalts human reason, but cannot account for human reason” (Barr, 68). Take one additional example to make this point. Scientist, Dr. Anthony Rizzi, explains that humans are made up of approximately 1028 (or 100,000,000,000,000,0 00,000,000,000,000) atoms, and “if the nucleus of the atom were such that it was the size of a basketball, the ‘edge’ of the atom would be two miles away” (Baglow, 96-97). Therefore, materialistically we are essentially nothing and simply a collection of trillions upon quadrillions of atoms. However, our spiritual and philosophical experience confirms that I am; I am one autonomous being; and I have questions like, “what is the meaning of my life?” Since as humans we are both spiritual and physical we need both theology and science. The value of science, therefore, is to help us understand and bring us to the truth of nature and the physical world. The value of theology is to help us understand and bring us to the truth of the spiritual world, definitely the superior of the two. Since humans are both spirit and matter, both sources of truth and understanding are necessary for us to explore if we are ever to fully understand ourselves. Perhaps this is why Albert Einstein once said, “Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind.” Anthony J. Digmann teaches theology at Beckman Catholic High School in Dyersville, Iowa. He has a Master of Arts in theology. Visit his blog: Militant Catholic: Loving Fire-ociously at militantcatholicvlog.

Recipes requested for anniversary cookbook St. Anthony’s Church in Selz, N.D., will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2016. As part of the celebration, a cookbook will be published. Celebration committee members are looking for recipes from all the past and present members of the parish. Anyone wishing to contribute may do so. The committee would like recipes in memory of loved ones and members that have passed also. If you would like to participate, recipes can be emailed to dwarnold@, cathyseefeld@gohotmail. com or Also, St. Anthony’s and St. Cecilia’s, Harvey, N.D., will have boxes and recipe forms at each respective church. Submitted by Wilhelmette Arnold, committee chairperson

To learn more, visit


The beauty of family


ike many students throughout our beauty of sharing life together. I had country, even seminarians get a the experience of communion in many break for Christmas. I traveled back ways with many different people. to North Dakota just in time to catch While we have had the chance to see most of the winter’s severely cold days. this many times as a family, this time After a flurry of meetings and spendwas even more beautiful. Something ing time with people in Bismarck and about the whole experience helped me Fargo, I eventually left for home in Harto see the treasure in the midst of it. vey. The weather wasn’t We had family around any warmer, but Christour house, yes, but in mas was on the way and truth they were a loving it finally felt like Advent family. When we came again. Somehow Christtogether during these mas just isn’t the same times, love grew and our without all of the snow hearts were warmed by and cold. the grace of God. Not too long after I Another experience of arrived in Harvey, relaseeing things differenttives started to arrive and ly in making all of the many of them were staydifference in the world ing at our house. happened with all of the We have a large chores and cooking that enough house for famineeded to be done. ly members to stay, and I was challenged to it has been a part of our jump out of my own Seminarian Christmas tradition for personal wants and Robert Keller many years. Over the desires to serve other next several days, as people. The deeper comChristmas came ever nearer, more and munion we all experienced helped to more people appeared. transform these simple acts into an exMany of the days of planning and pression of love, too. It was out of love thinking now turned into days of cookfor other people and out of a desire to ing and eating. People were around find God that I jumped into action a to play games and to visit. Showering few times and found there so much of meant working around each other’s his love. schedules. Times like this are not always easy. Stress levels can increase and Challenged, too leave a lot of the joy out of Christmas At the same time it wasn’t always for some. easy to see. The lack of personal space and time really began to wear on me. Noticeable change It was through those times of prayer However, for me something was difand encountering God in the Mass that ferent this year. I began to notice the I found the strength to go back home gentle call of God to see things differand smile, even when I didn’t want to ently. When I began to look, my eyes and work even when it wasn’t my turn. were opened in a new way to see the Through all of this I was able to disblessing of family. cover all over again the kingdom of We were all staying together and a God in our midst. few toes got stubbed and little things It was in those little choices, one at a happened that annoyed all of us, but time, and the friends and family that I love grew as well. I was surrounded by encountered that I began to understand loving people and a loving family. the season of Christmas more deeply. Something in this is just connected It was a blessing. to the season of Christmas, the coming of Christ into our human family. Robert Keller is a seminarian from Harvey, He came, and I was thankful more N.D., studying at St. John Vianney Theologithan ever for the gift of family, for the cal Seminary in Denver.

Guest Columnist

February February2014 2014nn13 1

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.

February 50 Years Ago — 1964 After 20 years as director of Rural Life in the Diocese of Fargo, Father Joseph Hylden is giving over many of his duties to a younger, albeit no more active, cleric, Father William Sherman. Not only has Father Hylden been tramping the country lanes of North Dakota for 20 years, but he has been a vital cog in the machinery of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference. As part of his work on the national level, he aided in the relocation of Hungarian Freedom Fighters, and he was one of 100 consultants called to help the Cuban refugees. During the years following World War II, Father Hylden was in charge of the program that relocated nearly 500 displaced persons in homes and jobs in the diocese. He also served as pastor of Hope, Edgeley and Grafton.

20 Years Ago — 1994

Bishop James Sullivan presided at the rededication of the Basilica of St. James in Jamestown Feb. 6. Restoration of the Basilica was begun Aug. 23 and completed Dec. 12. Work included repainting the ceiling and walls, refinishing the pews, adding to the lighting and sanctuary arrangement and improving electrical and mechanical service. The restoration is part of a five-year campaign that included renovating St. John’s Academy and the religious education department.

10 Years Ago — 2004

Bishop Samuel Aquila was the featured speaker at a fund-raising dinner for Blessed Gianna’s Maternity Home Feb. 17 in Fargo. During an auction to raise funds for the home, located in Warsaw, attendees had an opportunity to bid on a dinner for eight prepared and hosted by Bishop Aquila at his residence. Other dinners were auctioned off prepared by several priests of the diocese as well as a dinner at Blessed Gianna’s, hosted by Father Damian Hils, the home’s spiritual director and Mary Pat Jahner, the home’s resident director.

Please Remember Saint Gianna’s Maternity Home on February 13th. “One mother, One baby, One family at a time.” Alexandria Rose

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

14 1 nnFebruary February2014 2014


Pope says the Internet should be used for solidarity Catholic News Service

Like the good Samaritan, who stopped on the road to help a person in need, travelers along today’s communication highways should offer support to those they encounter there, Pope Francis said. “The digital world can be an environment rich in humanity; a network not of wires but of people,” he said in his message for World Communications Day. “Modern means of communication, especially the Internet, offer ‘immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity,’ he said. Because of that, he said, the Internet is “a gift from God.” “Communication at the service of an authentic culture of encounter” is the theme of this year’s World Communications Day, which most dioceses will mark June 1, the Sunday before Pentecost. The message was dated Jan. 24, the feast of St. Francis de Sales, the patron saint of journalists. “Good communication helps us grow closer, to know one another better, and ultimately to grow in unity,” the pope said. “The walls which divide us can be broken down only if we are prepared to listen and learn from one another,” he said. “A culture of encounter demands that we be ready not only to give, but also to receive.” Good communicators must take the

time necessary to listen to others and, more than just tolerate, truly accept them, he said. “Engaging in dialogue does not mean renouncing our own ideas and traditions, but the claim that they alone are valid or absolute,” the pope said in his message. Pope Francis said genuinely paying attention to others’ experiences helps one appreciate the various gifts and richness in other cultures and traditions. A culture of encounter, listening and dialogue will help everyone see and “appreciate more fully the important values inspired by Christianity, such as the vision of the human person, the nature of marriage and the family, the proper distinction between the religious and the political spheres, the principles of solidarity and subsidiarity and many others,” he said. Though there are drawbacks and risks with an accelerated and sometimes isolating means of communication, “they do not justify rejecting social media,” he said. Technology should serve humanity, helping it “grow in humanity and mutual understanding.” The pope called for an attitude of “neighborliness” in communication, to promote closeness and community.

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February February2014 2014nn15 1

This year marks milestones for two Catholic radio stations By Steve Splonskowski Real Presence Radio

pastor at St. Mary’s Church, offered a classroom on the top floor of St. Mary’s School as a potential new space for Real Presence Radio to have a studio and office. The move was completed, along with a daytime power upgrade from 1,000 watts to 12,000 watts, in early 2008.

It was Dec. 12, 2000, when a group of Catholic men from eastern North Dakota decided that it was time for there to be a Catholic voice on the radio waves, but it wasn’t until Nov. 6, 2004 that the dream became a reality. AM 1370 KWTL in Grand Forks was the first station in the Real Presence Radio Network to take to the air waves, and it will have been on the air for 10 years in November 2014. At that time “network” was not even a thought, running one station was enough work. Those first years included the need to buy land and build a new tower along with finding a place in which to house the studio equipment. The first home for AM 1370 KWTL was at the St. Thomas Newman Center where Father Raymond Courtright, who was pastor at the time, offered a closet in the library as home for a computer, microphone and sound board. In early 2007, Father Dan Mrnarevic,

Network hits fifth birthday It was in February of 2009 that Real Presence Radio became a network with the purchase of AM 1280 KVXR. The legal ID: “This is AM 1280 KVXR part of the Real Presence Radio Network” aired for the first time Feb. 6, 2009, five years ago. The opening phrase from a book with a particularly appropriate title comes to mind: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Certainly, our “Tale of Two Cities” has its ups and downs. Yet we are so grateful to God for the ongoing support of our bishops, priests and lay faithful in the Fargo, Bismarck and Crookston Dioceses, and this story

continues to be written. Over the years we have received feedback from thousands of supporters of this apostolate, and praise God for their witness to its positive effect on their lives: Judy wrote: I’ve been listening for about a year. I enjoy your programming, especially Mother Angelica. She is so sincere and has a wonderful sense of humor. Listening to your station either on my computer or in my car has helped me to become a better Catholic in my on-going journey of conversion. I thank God for your station. Ellie writes: I love Catholic radio! Your broadcasting has so enriched my memories of what being a Catholic Christian is and how to live my faith. Jesus loves us so very much. We are surprised every time he shows us, like we’ve never heard it before, so keep telling the radio world this truth until we believe it in our fiber. And an anonymous listener wrote: Thank you each one for being there

and bringing the truth through the airwaves and on the internet. How we appreciated hearing talks from the conference when we were unable to be there! Many others have also recorded testimonials that you hear played on the air: stories of families being drawn together by the Mass and devotionals aired daily and stories of our Christian brothers and sisters being drawn to a greater understanding of the role of Mary in our spiritual journey. We hear words of thanksgiving for the great events and topics we devote our air time to that doesn’t get coverage by anyone else. We are encouraged and humbled by your gracious feedback and support. Thank you for allowing us to serve you by bringing you the Gospel of Christ via the radio airwaves for 10 years in November on AM 1370 KWTL and for five years on AM 1280 KVXR. We pray that we may continue this work of evangelization for years to come.

Events around the diocese For more events throughout the diocese, visit Feb. 7-9 (Friday-Sunday): Young Adult Life in the Spirit Retreat. Young Adult (ages 18-35) Life in the Spirit event held in Hankinson. For more information, contact Kathy Loney or Katie Dubas at (701) 356-7900. Feb. 9, 16, 23, and Mar. 2 (Sundays): Catholic Collage. Several 4-week courses offered at Shanley High School, Fargo, to help teens and adults grow in their faith. Cost: $20.00 per course. Child care will be provided. List of course titles, registration information and additional details are posted at Feb. 9-12 (Sunday-Wednesday): Parish Mission at Holy Spirit Church 1420 7th St. North, Fargo. Msgr. James Shea, president, University of Mary, will be directing Holy Spirit’s Parish Mission. You are invited to attend all or any of the nights of this mission. Each evening, a free will offering will be taken, child care will be provided and there will be time for fellowship and refreshments. For more information, call 2325900 or visit Feb. 11 (Tuesday): Sidewalk Counselor Training, 7-9 p.m. at Diocesan Pastoral Center, 5201 Bishops Blvd., Fargo. Attend this session if you are interested in learning more about serving as a side walk counselor in front of the abortion facility in Fargo. Current counselors will share their experiences, practices and resources. For more information contact Colleen at (701) 284-6601 or Feb. 13 (Thursday): Mass for God’s Children. Bishop Folda will offer Mass for families grieving loss of a child(ren) due to miscarriage or stillbirth, 7 p.m., St. Anthony of Padua, Fargo. Parents, siblings, other family members and friends are encouraged to attend. A reception will follow. For more information contact Rachelle Sauvageau at (701) 356-7910 or rachelle.sauvageau@ Feb. 15 (Saturday): Couples’ Night Out. All married couples are invited to

join in the food and festivities at Bluestem in Moorhead, Minn., beginning 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $40 per couple Contact Sts. Anne and Joachim parish office at (701) 235-5757 for more information. Feb. 16 (Sunday): Heavenly Chocolate Feast. Cathedral of St. Mary, 640 Broadway, Fargo, 3:30 p.m. A social featuring chocolate fountains with assorted dippers, desserts, wines, door prizes and much more. Formal dress is encouraged, but optional. Feb. 21-23 (Friday-Sunday): Worldwide Marriage Encounter. Start the New Year out right by spending some quality time renewing your marriage with one of two Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekends. For more information, visit or contact Mark or Mary Jantzer at or (701) 852-6291. Feb. 24 (Monday): Real Presence Radio Fundraising Banquet, 6:30 p.m., Ramada Plaza Suites, Fargo. For more info, call 1-877-795-0122. March 4 (Tuesday): Serra Club dinner, an opportunity to visit and pray with others who support vocations in the area, 6 p.m., St. Anthony of Padua, Fargo. March 7 (Friday): Fish Fry at St. Michael’s Parish, 524 5th Ave. North, Grand Forks 5–7 p.m. Come and enjoy a delicious meal with great company. Dinner menu includes Alaskan walleye, baked potatoes, homemade baked beans, homemade coleslaw, rolls, dessert and coffee. March 9 (Sunday): Knowing the Life of a Sister. Maryvale Convent, Valley City, 9:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. For women ages 16-35. Spend time with the sisters to learn about their way of life, prayer and ministry. 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@ The deadline for the March New Earth is Feb. 19.

Phone:   701-282-4400 •

16 n February 2014

Youth & Young Adults


NDSU students learn to ‘make disciples of all nations’ By Tara Splonskowski

Father James Cheney at St. Paul’s Newman Center, Fargo, 25 North Dakota State University students and four FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) missionaries traveled by bus to Dallas, Texas, to the FOCUS Student Leadership Summit (SLS) conference Jan. 3-7. A gathering of about 2,000 students learned hands-on how to pray, evangelize, spread the Gospel, make disciples and finally, how to teach their disciples to do all this in turn. The theme of the week was, “Teaching teachers to teach” based on 2 Timothy 2:2, “Take the teaching that you heard me proclaim in the presence of many witnesses, and entrust them to reliable people who will be able to teach others also.”

Focus on leadership

The event focused on not just making students receptive to the faith but leaders in their faith. Students attended different break-out sessions to learn a particular aspect of evangelization. Then, they met in small groups for a three-hour Power Session where each student taught the rest of the group how to evangelize in the same way each of them were shown at the break-out session. Students at SLS were entrusted with the mission to “go and make disciples of all nations.” The break-out sessions included how to plan and lead a bible study, give a gospel presentation, and how to pray Lectio Divina, Ignatian Meditation and Intercessory Prayer. They also learned Photo submitted how to use the Discipleship Roadmap, a tool FOCUS missionaries use to assess Members of NDSU’s bisonCatholics and FOCUS pose for a photo during their recent trip to Dallas for the FOCUS Student Leadership Summit. where they are in their personal spiriand a score of priests and deacons. tual journey, and many other evanOne NDSU student, Kevin Hackengelization practices that they can use meuller, said, “SLS was probably the to not only lead their peers on their most life changing event of my life! It college campuses today but to their was the most I’ve ever felt the presence families, parishes and communities in of the Holy Spirit in my life and actuthe future. ally heard God’s voice. I realized that NDSU student, Ricky Paulson said my life’s not all about me but about that the break-out session about the what God wants with my life and how Depth Chart was especially meanhe wants me to share his Love with ingful to him. A Depth Chart is used others.” to keep track of everyone for which SLS is a national event hosted by they’re praying. FOCUS every other year. “The person I prayed to Mary for was FOCUS is based on 83 campuses my best friend,” Paulson said, “He had nationwide, reaching young adults at never asked me about the faith before the most formable years of their lives. but sent me a text that night asking me Students on these campuses learn the how he could grow closer to God.” truth of the Gospel from their peers who are a living witness to those facing A-list speakers similar challenges in their lives. As students graduate, the witness The conference hosted many dythey share to those in their families, namic keynote speakers including: their careers and communities follows Curtis Martin, president and founder of the church’s call for the New EvangeFOCUS; Dr. Edward Sri, co-founder lization to go out and proclaim the of FOCUS; Chris Stefanik, Catholic Gospel. speaker and author; Sister Mary GabriJoin Steve Ray, bestselling author of numerous books, regular guest on Catholic Due to the important work being el with Sisters of Life in New York, S.V.; Answers Live, Ave Maria Radio, Relevant Radio, EWTN, and pilgrimage guide to done in forming the future of our CathHelen Alvare of George Mason UniverIsrael and other Biblical Lands. Steve will be speaking at: olic Church for bringing souls to Christ, sity; Patrick Lencioni, president of The St. Paul’s Newman Center has chosen to Table Group; and Joe Hensler, Vice PresSts. Anne and Joachim Church take part in Giving Hearts Day Feb. 13. ident of Collegiate Outreach for FOTo show your support for this worthy CUS. Archbishop Samuel Aquila was 5202 25th St. So., Fargo mission, remember St. Paul’s Newman also present for most of the conference Monday, February 24 Center this Giving Hearts Day. Make and celebrated daily Mass for the studonations at dents along with three other bishops Luncheon event: 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Share life’s milestones

As a way to celebrate life and love, we encourage parishioners throughout the Diocese of Fargo to send photos of 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, N.D. 58104-7605 or

Cost: $15/person Registration required. Registration form can be found at: or by calling 701-356-7900 Sponsored by the Fargo Diocese Respect Life Office together with Real Presence Radio

New Earth February 2014  

Newspaper for the Diocese of Fargo, ND

New Earth February 2014  

Newspaper for the Diocese of Fargo, ND