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New February 2015 | Vol. 36 | No. 2


The Magazine of the Catholic Diocese of Fargo

“We are a pro-life generation!� Shanley, North Dakota students lead nation in annual March for Life


From Bishop Folda: The Church is young

Medical students attribute success to Catholic education

Art for life Local artist captures essence of March




February 2015 Vol. 36 | No. 2

ON THE COVER 12 “We are a pro-life generation!” Shanley, North Dakota students lead nation in annual March for Life Each year North Dakota pilgrims, primarily youth and

young adults, trek to Washington D.C to participate in the annual March for Life. The event marks the determination of pro-life supporters to see abortion end. The March occurs each year on the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade to legalize abortion. This year nearly 600 people from the state, half of which were students from Shanley High School, joined in the march. And, Shanley High School students had the distinct honor of carrying the lead banner.



The Church is young

Bishop Folda celebrates the youthful energy and zeal in the Church as he reflects on two major events primarily attended by youth and young adults.




Opposing Euthanasia: Church upholds dignity of life



Father Dale Kinzler tackles questions surrounding “death with dignity” and why the Church opposes euthanasia.

7 8

Pope Francis’ February Prayer Intentions Best Lent Ever: Program proposes unique approach to Lenten season



University of Mary announces new Director of Campus Ministry

20 Art for life: Local artist captures essence of March through artistic renderings


Bishop Folda attends annual bishops’ workshop on bioethics


16 Medical students attribute success to Catholic education 17 Leading through witness: Teens share reasons for being pro-life


19 Tattered Page: A review of Catholic books and literature

Father Luke Meyer shares his view on Deacon James Keating’s book “Spousal Prayer: A Way to Marital Happiness.” This short, 54-page, book helps guide couples through joint prayer.

Karen Bakke received a call to use her artistic talents to journal her life experiences. Little did she know that nudge would lead to traveling across the country to capture Shanley students and chaperones participating in the annual March for Life.


22 Stories of Faith

Young adults across North Dakota participated in the 2015 March for Life held annually in Washington D.C. This profile provides a glimpse as to why a few from the Fargo Diocese take a pro-life stance and stand-up for every human life.

Father Bert Miller shares the story of “love and lady bugs” as family and friends find comfort in an unexpected way following the death of a loved-one.

ON THE COVER: Nearly 600,000 pro-life supporters participated in the annual March for Life on Jan. 22, 2015. The caravan stretched for several blocks along the National Mall in Washington D.C. Leading the group and carrying the head banner was Shanley High School’s Teens for Life. The march ended in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. (Gretchen Noah/New Earth)



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

Publisher Most Rev. John T. Folda Bishop of Fargo

Editor Aliceyn Magelky

Staff Writer Kristina Lahr

Designer Stephanie Drietz - Drietz Designs

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

23 Catholic Action

Human trafficking resulting in forced abortions has become an increasing problem in North Dakota. In this month’s “Catholic Action,” Christopher Dodson shares North Dakota Catholic Action’s response to proposed laws on both issues.

24 Stewardship 25 Making Sense of Bioethics Guest columnist, Father Tad Pacholczyk, reflects on

bridging the gap between our youth and elders to bring solidarity across generations and the Church.

26 Seminarian Life


27 Events Calendar 28 Sponsored by the Diocese 28 Glimpse of the Past


29 Beyond the digital, into the heart: A Vatican take on communication 30 A society without fathers is a society of orphans, says Pope Francis


31 Spousal Love: An epic love story atop the family tree

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

Contact Information Use the following contact information to contact the New Earth staff: (701) 356-7900 Deadline to submit articles, story ideas, advertisements and announcements for the March issue is Feb. 18, 2015. All submissions are subject to editing and placement. New Earth is published by the Catholic Diocese of Fargo, a nonprofit North Dakota corporation, 5201 Bishops Blvd. S, Ste. A Fargo, ND 58104. (701) 356-7900. Periodical Postage Paid at Fargo, ND and additional cities. ISSN# 10676406 Member of the Catholic Press Association


The Church is young


t has sometimes been said that young people are the “future of the Church,” and certainly there is some truth to that statement. But, young people are also at the heart of the Church’s present moment as well. In his inaugural homily in 2005, the newly elected Pope Benedict XVI observed that “the Church is alive. And, the Church is young.” There is a perennial youthfulness about the Church which reflects the power of God’s grace to always bring forth new life. So, the Church is ever young in the gift of God’s grace, but she is also young in her members. We sometimes hear about the aging of the Church, but recently I have also seen the youthful face of the Church. During the first week of January, I had the opportunity to be in Nashville for the annual SEEK Conference, a national gathering of Catholic college students from all over the country, sponsored by FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students. From our own NDSU and UND campuses, 200 college students travelled by bus to participate in the conference, and they joined nearly 10,000 others for five days to pray, to celebrate and to learn more about our Catholic faith.


It was an incredible experience to witness the reverence, prayerfulness, and spiritual fire of the participants, and the grace of the Holy Spirit was palpable during the course of those days. The many priests and bishops who attended were in high demand and kept very busy hearing confessions for hours on end, indicating that these young people were serious about their desire for conversion and personal holiness. The liturgies were beautiful and inspiring, as the huge crowd joined together to worship our Lord and sing his praises with enthusiasm. Eucharistic adoration was powerfully silent, as throngs of college students prayed quietly before our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. And, the spirit of exuberance and joy was infectious, as these college students rejoiced in our Catholic faith. They were simply happy to be together and to celebrate with one another the marvelous gift of faith that we have received. A key element of the conference was the importance of giving personal witness to Christ, and the young participants were clearly eager to do so. FOCUS missionaries on more than 100 college campuses work person to person with students to help them deepen their own faith and share that faith with others. The number of college-age students who give up the practice of the faith each year is sobering, but events like the SEEK Conference remind me that huge 4


numbers of young people are seeking God in their lives and coming alive in their faith. They are already taking a lead role in reaching out to their peers, and they are at the forefront of the evangelization of our nation and our culture, starting on college campuses but also radiating outwards to parishes, schools and workplaces. They are like a leaven that will enliven the Church from within and renew our sense of mission. It was a real lift to be with these young people at the SEEK Conference, and it gave me great hope not just for the future of the Church, but for the present as well.


I also just returned from the annual March for Life in Washington D.C., where more than 600 pilgrims from North Dakota travelled to give witness to the sanctity of life in the nation’s capital. The March was especially significant for our diocese this year, because the students of Shanley High School were chosen to lead and carry the official banner at the head of hundreds of thousands of marchers from across the country. Julia Johnson, a senior at Shanley, was chosen to speak at the pre-March rally, where Catholic News Service says she gave what may have been “the most inspirational address of the day.” As a member of the pro-life generation, she said, “it is up to the youth of America to end the scourge of abortion.” The young people from Shanley and from other schools across North Dakota who attended the March are indeed part of the “pro-life generation,” and they show once again the youthful face of the Church. I had the privilege of celebrating Mass for them and all other pilgrims from North Dakota on the morning of the March, and was deeply touched by their prayerful and energetic participation, even after a grueling 24-hour bus trip. Later at the March they cheered and chanted with gusto for the protection of our unborn brothers and sisters. Once again, these young people give me great hope. They are the young face of the pro-life movement, and

Bishop John Folda (left) stands with North Dakota’s young pilgrims as they rally before the national March for Life held Jan. 22, 2015. (Gretchen Noah/New Earth)

Bishop Folda’s Calendar February 13

8:30 a.m. School Mass at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Fargo they are the young face of the Church. And, despite the seriousness of the cause that drew them to Washington, they were filled with exuberance and joy as they marched up Constitution Avenue. They will make a difference in the Church and in the world, and in the words of Pope Francis, God is already preparing them “to build a more beautiful Church and a better world.” The Church needs the energy and joy of its young people, and I am encouraged to see the kind of enthusiasm that I witnessed in the last few weeks. Yes, there are challenges, and many young people are skeptical about religion and faith in general. We shouldn’t be put off by their questions, but should do all we can to give them clear and honest answers. Our youth deserve the same gift of faith that we have received, and we must be sure to hand it on to them in its fullness and its beauty. But, we must also help them to see that they have a part to play in the life of the Church, not just tomorrow but today, and we should not overlook the gifts of their energy and zeal. Pope Francis spoke with great affection to young people last year at World Youth Day in Rio. He also made it clear that they are at the heart of the Church’s life and mission. He said, “You too, dear young people, can be joyful witnesses of Christ’s love, courageous witnesses of his Gospel, carrying to this world a ray of his light.… Dear young friends, Jesus Christ is counting on you! The Church is counting on you! The Pope is counting on you! Go and make disciples of all nations!” Pope Benedict and Pope Francis are right. By the grace of God, the Church is alive, and the Church is young.

February 15

12:30 p.m. Mass for St. Bakhita Community, Sts. Anne and Joachim Catholic Church, Fargo

February 15

3 p.m. Catholic Collage, Shanley High School, Fargo

February 18

12:10 p.m. Ash Wednesday Mass, Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo

February 19

5:30 p.m. Real Presence Radio Banquet, Ramada Plaza Suites, Fargo

February 21 10 a.m.

Regional Confirmation, Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo

February 22

3 p.m. Rite of Election, Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo

Diocese of Fargo Official Appointments/Announcements January 2015 Most Rev. John T. Folda, Bishop of Fargo, has made the following appointments, announcements, and/or decrees:

The following assignment was made in agreement with the Regional Priest Servant of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity of Robstown, Texas, and confirmed by Bishop John T. Folda: Rev. Dennis Dugan, SOLT, has been assigned as pastor of St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Dunseith, North Dakota. This appointment is effective January 15, 2015 for a term of six years. Very Rev. James Goodwin has been appointed administrator of St. John the Baptist Parish in Wyndmere and St. Arnold’s Parish in Milnor. This appointment is effective January 23, 2015 and continues ad nutum episcopi. This assignment is in addition to his current assignment as Judicial Vicar of the Diocese of Fargo. Rev. Bernard R. Schneider has been appointed administrator of Holy Family Parish in Grand Forks, North Dakota. This appointment is effective January 28, 2015 and continues ad nutum episcopi. This assignment is in addition to his current assignment as pastor of St. Timothy’s Parish in Manvel, ND.

March 1

5:30 p.m. Operation Andrew Dinner, Bishop Residence, Fargo

March 4-5

Visitation of Carmel of Mary, Wahpeton

March 6

Diocesan & Parish Staff Retreat, Sts. Anne & Joachim Catholic Church, Fargo

March 9-11

USCCB Administrative Committee Meeting, Washington D.C.

March 11-12

Visit to St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Philadelphia

March 14

5 p.m. Mass at St. Brigid of Ireland Catholic Church, Cavalier

March 15

10:30 a.m. Mass at St. Patrick Catholic Church, Crystal NEW EARTH JANUARY 2015



Opposing Euthanasia: Church upholds dignity of life


o address the question posed to us, “Why does Ask a Priest the Church oppose euthanasia?” at Father Dale H. Kinzler first I thought I should write about something more “loving” in a February article. But on second thought, I believe our care for the suffering and dying is indeed a great topic for our consideration of “love for the neighbor,” as we shall readily see. My thoughts on this topic take me back in time to my own first discovery of the euthanasia “slippery slope.” In the mid1960s at Cardinal Muench Seminary, I was assigned a high school religion research project. After selecting the subject of euthanasia and reviewing a book on the topic, I was shocked to learn of the Hemlock Society’s effort to advance the cause of legalizing euthanasia. “You’ve got to be kidding!” was my own gut reaction to the whole matter. It seemed to me this proposal was the musing of a few oddballs, and I seriously doubted that any civil society would accept their arguments.

“For the Church, there is no distinction between defending human life and promoting the dignity of the human person. As a gift from God, every human life is sacred from conception to natural death.” – United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Yet here we are, a brief half century later, fulfilling the prophetic “slippery slope” predictions of our Church’s leaders. (See Paul VI in “Humanae Vitae” and John Paul II in the “Gospel of Life”) Doctor Jack Kevorkian took up the Hemlock Society’s cause and pushed the issue of physician-assisted suicide, going to prison as a “martyr for the cause.” Oregon became the first state to legalize physician-assisted suicide twenty years ago, followed by Washington, Montana and Vermont. No doubt other states will follow the pattern of approving what was previously forbidden. Meanwhile the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg have legalized euthanasia, in which another person takes the patient’s life either with or without the consent of the subject. Those who favor “voluntary active euthanasia,” (where the subject chooses to hasten death by active means, through the action or assistance of another person) argue that a person should be in charge of his or her own life choices, including when to die. It is “compassionate,” they argue, to help the patient avoid needless suffering at the end of life. “Why prolong such misery when one is in the stages of dying from a lingering illness?” 6


The Church clearly outlines its position on euthanasia in the 1980 “Vatican Declaration on Euthanasia,” and its insertions in the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “Whatever its motives and means, direct euthanasia . . . is morally unacceptable. Thus an act or omission which of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his creator. The error of judgment into which one can fall in good faith does not change the nature of this murderous act, which must always be forbidden and excluded.”CCC 2277

The rationale for objecting to euthanasia is further spelled out in the following paragraph on suicide: “Everyone is responsible for his life before God who has given it to him. It is God who remains the sovereign master of life. . . We are stewards, not owners, of the life God has entrusted to us. It is not ours to dispose of. (Suicide is) gravely contrary to the just love of self. It likewise offends love of neighbor because it unjustly breaks the ties of solidarity with family, nation, and other human societies to which we continue to have obligations.” CCC 2280-81 Now when one faces a terminal condition, euthanasia proponents argue, it would seem that God has already dealt the person’s hand; why not let the person play their final card a little early and escape the inevitable pain? In response, the Church does not sadistically insist on pain and suffering. The “Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services” explains: “One of the primary purposes of medicine in caring for the dying is the relief of pain and the suffering caused by it . . . The task of medicine is to care even when it cannot cure.” ERD’s Part V, Introduction “Patients should be kept as free of pain as possible so that they may die comfortably and with dignity, and in the place where they wish to die.” ERD’s Part V, n. 61 The “Directives” clarify that deliberately withholding essential (ordinary, ethically obligatory) care with the intention of causing death amounts to euthanasia by omission (“passive” or “indirect” euthanasia). We do not insist on going to extraordinary measures to prolong the life of the dying (another whole topic). But, “hastening death by medical intervention” and “allowing the dying person to die of natural causes” are two whole different moral entities. This real and clear distinction may seem irrelevant to those already steeped in a cultural way of thinking that extols the “personal autonomy” principle while ignoring the responsibility of the human person to his or her Creator. “If that is what I want to do, why should I be denied my request?” Euthanasia advocates argue that they offer “death with

FOCUS ON FAITH dignity” to those who have no “quality of life” left to hold on to. Our faith perspective holds the dignity of the person remains, regardless of illness. Taking one’s own life or that of another is an offense against that God-given dignity. Given today’s advances in pain management, palliative care and hospice care, taking life through euthanasia should be unnecessary. It is the morally objectionable choice, and therefore the poorest choice for those who are suffering, because it does the greatest spiritual harm. It takes a faith perspective to realize and remember that our suffering has great redemptive value, as we offer those final experiences of our mortality in unity and solidarity with the suffering Christ. This idea is well articulated in the sources we have already cited and in Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical letter on hope, “Spe Salvi:” “The true measure of humanity is essentially determined in relationship to suffering and to the sufferer. This holds true both for the individual and for the society. A society unable to accept its suffering members and incapable of helping to share their suffering and to bear it inwardly through

‘compassion’ is a cruel and inhuman society.” Spe Salvi, 2007, 28 Therefore, the Church, in its great love for the human person and the society in which we live today, continues its “counter-cultural” mission of upholding human dignity and insisting that the Ten Commandments still apply. Even if physicians may change the Hippocratic Oath to remove references to “doing no harm,” our Catholic magisterium will hold true to the God-spoken principle, “Thou Shalt Not Kill.” Father Dale Kinzler serves as pastor at St. George’s Catholic Church, Cooperstown; St. Lawrence’s Catholic Church, Jessie; Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Aneta and St. Olaf’s Catholic Church, Finley. He can be reached at Editor’s Note: If you have a question about the Catholic faith and would like to submit a question for consideration in a future column, please send to with “Ask a Priest” in the subject line or mail to New Earth, 5201 Bishops Blvd. S, Ste. A, Fargo, ND 58104, Attn: Ask a Priest.

Prayer Intentions of Pope Francis Universal intention: lives of dignity.



Prisoners. That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild

Reflection: What is my attitude toward those in prison? How can I see God’s image in them? Scripture: Acts 16: 16-34 Paul and Silas sing hymns in prison while others listen. Evangelization intention: Separated Spouses That married people who are separated mayfind welcome and support in the Christian community.

Reflection: How am I and my community reaching out to and supporting spouses who are separated? Scripture: Ephesians 5: 31-33 The two shall become one flesh. I speak in reference to Christ and the Church. Provided by Apostleship of Prayer,

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Diocese of Fargo Lent and Easter Regulations The penitential days for the universal Church are each Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent. Ash Wednesday (Feb. 18, 2015) marks the beginning of Lent. Lent is an opportunity to prepare our hearts and minds for the celebration of Easter. The following regulations are observed in this sacred season:

Program proposes unique approach to Lenten season


eb. 18, 2015, Ash Wednesday, marks the beginning of the Lenten season. Catholics understand this penitential period of their lives as an opportunity to “give up, take up and lift up” in preparation for the Easter celebration. However, some may approach this time of year absent-mindedly choosing to give up chocolate or a certain television program with little thought of the purpose behind these acts. Dynamic Catholic hopes to challenge our thinking during Lent and offers a new tool to help participants stay focused on our resolve to a conversion of heart. This year, the group launched a new email initiative for Lent 2015 titled “Best Lent Ever.” The content is primarily driven by best-selling Catholic author, Matthew Kelly. “Lent is not just about giving things up. Lent is about doing something - doing something bold like becoming a better husband, father, wife, mother, friend, etc. This program is a tool to help you do that,” said Matthew Kelly, president and CEO of Dynamic Catholic. “When Catholicism is actually lived, it elevates every human activity and every human environment it touches,” he added. “That is what this program will inspire. We want Catholics to do more than give up chocolate for Lent. Let’s step it up a notch.” The idea of a Lenten program is nothing new, but the approach behind this program is unique. “Best Lent Ever” is the first Lent program specifically built to explain the genius of Catholicism and lead to a transformative Lent. Each week, Kelly will email participants simple yet powerful messages that explain the genius of Catholicism and empower them to become the-best-version-of-themselves. By laying out practical and actionable steps and explanations of the faith, program coordinators hope participants will enter the Easter season with a sense of, “I can do this.” “The program is simple,” said Kelly. “All you have to do is sign up, and you will get powerful, succinct content in your in-box each day that explains the Catholic faith in a meaningful way. The only cost is the commitment to live better each day this Lent.” While the program will include essential Lenten topics like prayer, fasting and almsgiving, the program also will explore other key aspects of living the Catholic faith. Anyone can sign up to participate at




Catholics 14 years of age or older must abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and all the Fridays of Lent. It is only on the other Fridays of the year that abstinence may be substituted by another form of penance.


Catholics between the ages of 18 and 59 (inclusive) are required to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. There is a limit of one full meal and no food between meals on those days. Two smaller meals are permitted as needed to maintain one’s strength.

Sacrament of Penance

All the faithful who have reached the age of reason are bound faithfully to confess their grave sins at least once a year. Lent is a good time to fulfill this precept of the Church. Anyone who is aware of having committed a mortal sin must not receive Holy Communion without previously having been to sacramental confession (Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) 1457).

Holy Communion

Catholics who have received their First Holy Communion are obliged to make a worthy reception of Holy Communion at least once a year during the Lenten or Easter seasons. In the United States, this reception of Holy Communion may take place from the first Sunday in Lent (Feb. 22) through Trinity Sunday (May 31).

Other Lenten Observances

Each weekday of Lent is also an obligatory day of penance. Some recommendations include the participation in daily Mass, increased prayer or spiritual study, selfimposed fasting or abstinence, works of charity and participation in traditional Lenten Devotions (parish missions, Stations of the Cross, rosary). The proper context for all Lenten discipline is the conversion of our hearts. As the Catechism states, however, “interior conversion urges expression in visible signs, gestures and works of penance.” These penances help us to redirect our whole life to God and away from sin and the evil we have committed (CCC 1430-1439). As we celebrate our Lenten penitential practices, may we experience this conversion of heart and be strengthened in our faith in God’s mercy. May our discipline, through God’s grace, lead us to full participation in the eternal Easter.


University of Mary announces new Director of Campus Ministry


he University of Mary has announced that Dr. Peter A. Huff has been selected as the university’s new director of Campus Ministry. A nationally prominent teacher and author, Huff is a highly respected voice in the areas of modern and contemporary Christian thought, religion in North American culture and ecumenical and interreligious studies. Huff comes to the University of Mary, where he will also serve as a professor of theology, from the position of the T. L. James Chair in Religious Studies at Centenary College of Louisiana at Shreveport. “It’s a great honor for me to join the University of Mary community,” Huff said. “I’ve long been nourished by the treasures of the Benedictine tradition, and I’m very excited about

By Tom Ackerman this opportunity to return to an institution deeply rooted in Benedictine values. “In many ways, this appointment allows me to draw from various aspects of my career: theological education, pastoral ministry, ecumenical dialogue, interfaith cooperation and community outreach.” Huff has a PhD in historical theology from Saint Louis University and a Master’s of Divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Prior to his position at Centenary College, he served in teaching positions at Xavier University, St. Anselm College, the University of Puget Sound, and St. Louis University, among others. “We are tremendously pleased to have a person of Peter Huff’s broad experience and tremendous reputation join the University of Mary community,” said university president, Monsignor James Shea. “Huff brings with him a depth of scholarship and a commitment to the vitality of campus ministry to the university. Our students and the whole university community will be enriched by those gifts.”

Bishop Folda attends annual bishops’ workshop on bioethics


By Aliceyn Magelky

ince 1980, the National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC), in collaboration with the Knights of Columbus, has organized an annual or biennial Workshop for Bishops intended to provide ongoing formation of the bishops in bioethical issues which affect their Episcopal ministry. This year, Feb. 2-4 in Dallas, Texas, Bishop John Folda attended the 25th conference focused on the field of medical ethics. Expert speakers in the field of bioethics are brought together to address specific topics that assist bishops in guiding pastoral care of the faithful in their respective diocese. The proceedings of these presentations are published in a book for future reference. “As a teacher I need to know the issues our people are facing, especially as medical issues become more complex. The Church response needs to keep up. And, pastors need to give sound guidance to those very challenging issues they face,” commented Bishop Folda.

“Life issues are very important, and our people are very interested in knowing what the Church teaches. I hope to hear presentations that are going to give me a sense of current thinking on these things and how our moral framework shapes our decisions,” he added. Each workshop has been attended by bishops from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbeanand the Phillipines. This year’s conference title is “Pope Francis’ Theology of Accompaniment.” Presentation topics include: “The Theology of Accompaniment of Pope Francis,” “Moral Teaching Serves the Human Person,” “Theology of Accompaniment for Catholic Health Care Leadership,” “Promoting NFP,” “Problematic Marital Issues,” “Determination of Death and Procurement of Organs for Transplatation” and “Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatments (POLST) and Other Advance Directives,” among others.


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The Diocese of Fargo is committed to the protection of youth. Please report any incidents or suspected incidents of child abuse, including sexual abuse, to civil authorities. If the situation involves a member of the clergy or a religious order, a seminarian or an employee of a Catholic school, parish, the diocesan offices or other Catholic entity within the diocese, we ask that you also report the incident or suspected incident to Monsignor Joseph P. Goering at (701) 356-7945 or Larry Bernhardt at (701) 356-7965 or For additional information about victim assistance, visit NEW EARTH FEBRUARY 2015


March for Life participants, led by Shanley High School students, demonstrate their support for all life as they march past the front of the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington D.C. on Jan. 22, 2015. Hundreds of thousands took part in the annual event, which this year marked the 42nd anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion across the nation. (Jonathan Ernst/CNS)

“We are a pro-life generation!” Shanley, North Dakota students lead nation in annual March for Life By Kristina Lahr


ach year since the Roe V. Wade court case legalized abortion in the United States, the March for Life has brought increasing numbers to the Supreme Court in Washington D.C. as a witness to respect all human life. With the number of people supporting the March estimating to be 600,000 to 700,000 this year, it is by far the largest demonstration at the nation’s capitol. This year, the March was led by the students of Shanley High School in Fargo and by and large, the state of North Dakota. To carry the lead banner is a high honor, highlighting North Dakota’s increasingly pro-life 12

stance and leadership in the pro-life movement. “To anyone who has gone to the March more than once, I think it’s very easy to recognize it’s a distinguished honor to be able to carry the lead banner,” said Rachelle Sauvageau, Respect Life director for the diocese. “It’s very representative of North Dakota because we are a very pro-life state. People of North Dakota at their heart are pro-life.” As pro-life groups from across the nation gathered together on the National Mall, they unraveled banners, practiced cheers and met unexpected faces from around the country. The hour-long rally preceding the


March assured them that their efforts to promote a culture of life brought joy and hope to the nation. Rally speakers were met with cheers and excitement; excitement that was not only contagious but unmistakably youthful. “It’s a very joy-filled day,” said Father Greg Haman, parochial vicar of St. Michael’s parish in Grand Forks. “There’s just this great energy that people at the rally feed off of. There’s a great sense of renewal.”


But amidst the enthusiastic chants and excitement, it is impossible to forget why so many have gathered at

the nation’s capitol. Many carry signs that read, “I regret my abortion, I regret lost fatherhood,” or “I mourn my aborted sibling.” With the number of lives lost to abortion reaching 57 million in the United States since its legalization in 1973, it’s no surprise to see just how many have been impacted. The wounds inflicted through abortion are many and run deep, which is why many prayers, especially the rosary and divine mercy chaplet, swept through the crowd and the chants. Shortly after arriving at the Supreme Court, Shanley students led multiple “Our Fathers” with many of the

COVER STORY crowd joining them. “However small you think you are praying in your room, today you see that you’re not alone,” said Father Kurt Gunwall, spiritual director for the diocese youth pilgrimage group. “Waving a sign can only do so much. Praying can do so much more.” When the marchers approached the Supreme Court, they were met by counter-protesters. Many of them displayed signs which read, “Abortion on demand and without apology.” “After seeing those signs from the opposition, I pitied them,” said Austin Braun, McVille. “They have things so backwards. I’m going to be praying a lot of rosaries for them.” Father Gunwall explained that their first priority is not to the March itself, but to educate, love and connect ourselves and others to God. A personal conversion to Christ is the most important, which is why students are encouraged to pray and fast during the March. “There might be people who disagree with us at the March and some people who are unsure,” said Father Gunwall. “We help them by our witness. You won’t convince anyone through debate and argument; you convince them by your love for them.”

to action. North Dakota introduced legislation to prohibit abortions past the 20th week of the child’s development, have prohibited abortions based on gender or disability and have put an end to the use of certain abortion inducing drugs at the state’s only abortion facility. Furthermore; because of many other pro-life laws in place such as: requiring parental consent for a minor, requiring a mother be given an opportunity to view an ultrasound and banning webcam abortions (a chemical inducing abortion where the woman and abortion provider are never in the same location), North Dakota continues to lead by example. “The answer doesn’t lie completely in legislation, but when we get a victory, that’s very hopeful too,” said Sauvageau. While many pro-life victories are often overlooked and dismissed by pro-choice advocates, it is important to remember that while

progress is slow, progress is being made. It’s difficult to detect whether or not the number of abortions in the state are dropping, but nationwide abortion numbers are the lowest they’ve been since abortion was made legal. As the wounds of abortion grow deeper in our society, the truth is springing fourth.


With more than 50 percent of marchers under the age of 18, and the vast majority under the age of 30, the presence of the youth during the March is undeniable. But because the gathering is so young, pro-choice advocates are quick to say that they couldn’t possible understand all the details as to why women choose abortion. But, the North Dakota youth didn’t just attend the March. By spending a week in D.C., they went to many sites in D.C., including the Holocaust museum and Gettysburg.

“This group thinks on a very deep level,” said Karen Dosch, a chaperone for the diocesan group from Grand Forks. “They make connections between slavery, World War II and Gettysburg. The older peoples’ hearts just soar when they see young people understanding what it means to be pro-life and are passionate enough to do something about it.” During Mass celebrated the morning of the March, Bishop John Folda quoted in his homily a speaker at a graduation ceremony depicting the kind of attitude he hoped the youth would embrace. “I wish you discontent,” he said. “Discontent is the antithesis of complacency. It keeps us on our toes, keeps us listening and alert. It keeps us from getting too comfortable or being satisfied with things just the way they are.... So, my friends, I wish you discontent. And, I think you understand why.” With nearly one-third of the youth’s generation lost


Our nation is shifting to pro-life majority. A new Knights of Columbus-Marist poll shows 84 percent of Americans want to see restrictions on abortion, preferably limiting it to the first three months of pregnancy. And, North Dakota is one of the most pro-life states in the nation. Over the past four years, North Dakotans have brought many pro-life laws

With signs, scarves, chants and prayers, students united in showing their support for life at the annual March for Life on Jan. 22, marking the 42nd anniversary of the Roe v.Wade decision which legalized abortion. More than 600 youth and young adults from North Dakota attended the March. (Kristina Lahr/New Earth)



COVER STORY due to abortion, it’s no surprise that they are more pro-life than any other generation. They are more likely to be conscious that they are survivors of their generation. “What is most hopeful in the pro-life movement is to see the youth embracing the cause,” said Sauvageau. “They really take it up and understand the issues involved with abortion and realize that it’s not an answer, it’s not a response to an unplanned pregnancy or to solving problems. At the same time too recognizing the dignity of the human person and that this is not how we treat human life.”

nosis of a fetal abnormality. This year also marks the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination based on disability. Yet, abortion continues to claim the life of 60-90 percent of children with disabilities.

This means that those who consider themselves pro-life are making exceptions when they receive news that their baby will be different. “My brother has Down syndrome,” said Harrison Young from St. Thomas. “And, sometimes people will

Shanley High School students (from left) Skylar Allex, Ellie Noah, Dina Rabadi, Ashlen Wright, Shannon Doyle and Miranda Allex show they are part of the pro-life generation as they get ready to march to the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington D.C. during the 42nd annual March for Life. (Gretchen Noah/New Earth)


“Every Life is a Gift” was this year’s March for Life theme, focusing on pre-born babies that receive a diag-

More than 600,000 pro-life individuals across the nation line up at the National Mall for the annual March for Life on Jan. 22 in Washington D.C. The number of people at this year’s event, primarily comprised of people under 30, made it by far the largest demonstration at the nation’s capitol. (Gretchen Noah/New Earth)

stare when we are in public, so we ask them what they want to know. Sometimes they ask why we chose to keep him. Then my brother turns to them and has this huge smile on his face, and I say ‘that’s why.’ I get to wake up to that every day.”


“This work of the pro-life movement is not just left to a group of people,” said Sauvageau. “It’s really something everyone is called to do, that they can do in their daily life and in different ways. We realize not everyone can pray in front of the abortion facility, but that doesn’t mean they can’t pray in their bedroom or home or churches. Prayer is so important.” Even though more pro-life laws have been passed in the last three years than in the

Father Chad Wilhelm, pastor of St. Joseph’s parish in Devils Lake, seminarian Patrick Parks and Deacon Kyle Metzger show their support for the March for Life in Washington D.C., celebrating that every life is a gift. (Father Luke Meyer/New Earth)

previous decade and more than 200 abortion restrictions were passed across the nation since 2011, it is the hearts and conversion of the nation that the marchers pray will grow to know Christ and his truth. “Our presence here along with hundreds of thousands

Students of Shanley High School, Fargo lead the nation in the annual March for Life by carrying the lead banner. From left are Maddie Jetvig, Aly Corbid, Emily Heinrich, Abby Dusek, Katie Roberts, Julia Johnson, Jerimiah Johnson, Summer Kubalak, Megan Miranda, Marie Bitzan and Madeline Breen. (Gretchen Noah/New Earth)

of others is an amazing thing; it will be an awesome sight to see so many who are united in reverence and devotion to the gift of life. But, it doesn’t end here in Washington when the March is over. Our work is just beginning. When we go…home, we must

Jeanine Bitzan (left), Bishop John Folda (center) and Jeanine’s daughter, Marie Bitzan (right), prepare for the March for Life to begin. Jeanine is a volunteer for Shanley’s Teens for Life and was a coordinator and chaperone for the March for Life pilgrimage. (Gretchen Noah/New Earth)

continue to give witness to the sanctity of life, the sacredness and irreplaceable dignity of every human life,” added Bishop Folda. “By our words and actions, by every decision we make, we must continue to manifest what we believe and what we

will march about today: the knowledge that every life is a gift of God and deserves our protection, and even our love. This is what Jesus calls us to do.”

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Medical students attribute success to Catholic education By Denis Macleod

beliefs, but also an underst anding of why we have them. The result of that education is having the knowledge and desire necessary to live a life not only as a good Catholic but hopefully as a good Catholic physician. I’ll do what I can to live up to that standard.” The following are the medical students who graduated from a Catholic high school in North Dakota and are now studying medicine at the UND SMHS in Grand Forks.

At the Teddy Bear Clinic held at the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences for kindergartners in Grand

Forks, two kindergartners perform “teddy surgery” aided by second-year medical students, including Wesley Halseth, Minot, at far right. (Submitted photo)


welve first- and second-year medical students studying at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) in Grand Forks are alumni of Catholic high schools in North Dakota. They attribute their collegiate and professional studies success to the solid education and sound catechesis they received from their high school teachers. “Looking back I find that the education I received in the Catholic school system was outstanding,” said second-year medical student Wesley Halseth, Minot. “Certainly it was more than adequate to academically prepare me for college and lay the groundwork for later 16

professional studies. More importantly though, were the nonacademic strengths that it offered. With an emphasis on service and being a good neighbor, I feel that my Catholic education provided a strong basis for the drive to help others that is especially important going into the medical field.” “The importance of my education in the Minot Catholic school system, both in my personal and professional lives, cannot be underestimated,” added UND SMHS Associate Professor Mark Koponen, MD. “I truly believe that the successes I have had the great fortune to experience in my life were the direct result of the Catholic schools I attended and the extraordinary people who


were my teachers.” Halseth continued, “The most important aspect is, of course, the education we received in regards to our Catholic faith. I think the teachers at Bishop Ryan High School did a good job instilling in me more than just a passing familiarity with our

Bismarck–St. Mary’s • Justin Berger, first year •Andrew Dockter, second year • Al Johnson, second year • Bryan LaBore, second year Dickinson Trinity • Lee Kiedrowski, first year • Scott Poswilko, second year • Megan Schwartz (formerly Strube), first year Fargo Shanley • Grace Carson, first year • Matt Glogoza, first year • Chris Traynor, second year Minot–Bishop Ryan • Wesley Halseth, second year • Tyrone Berentson, first year


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Leading through witness Teens share reasons for being pro-life

By Kristina Lahr

Julia Johnson (center) of Fargo raises her hand in celebration as she and her Shanley High School classmates reach the U.S. Supreme Court during the 42nd annual March for Life on Jan. 22, 2015. Johnson was chosen to speak at the rally prior to the March for Life. In her speech, Johnson focused on what an honor it was for the school to carry the lead banner and how the march stands for something that is “right, true, virtuous and bigger than themselves.” (Roxane B. Salonen/New Earth)


When Shanley senior Julia Johnson first went to the March for Life, she was more excited about seeing the sites in Washington D.C. than going to the March. Her older brothers assured her that the March was something she needed to witness. Now, as part of her fourth March for Life, she not only marched alongside her classmates, but was chosen to speak at the rally preceding the March. Others speakers included Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, U.S. representatives and pro-life leaders. Standing before the nation’s capitol, Johnson’s speech was welcomed with cheers as she drew in the growing crowd of

marchers through her passionate and loving witness. “As I look out, I see hundreds of thousands of people willing to stand up for what is right and true and virtuous,” said Johnson. “Our generation has stared through the smoke screen of lies and deceit, and we have seen the truth. We know that human life is present in the womb, and we are willing to fight for it. We refuse to stand by and watch the lives of innocent children be discarded as nothing more than ‘medical waste.’” “This is why we march; we march to stop an injustice that has taken the lives of a third of our generation. This prolife revolution was not born out of hate for our neighbors, but out of love for them.” With countless prayers for the unborn and tireless hours promoting a pro-life culture

among her classmates and beyond, she hopes to continue the charge so that all may have life. “When I sit down and think about what goes on during the March, it is one of the coolest things in the world,” she said. “You have every religion, race, age, man, woman… everyone is coming together. You realize that abortion isn’t just a religious problem. This is a moral problem. At first I thought it would just be me and a lot of Catholics, but no, everyone is there. We’re all here for the same reason.”


Daniel Kraemer of Grand Forks has his own reasons for being pro-life. “I always wanted younger siblings. I had older siblings, but it wasn’t enough for me. The fact that Mom and Dad had the same mindset meant a lot.” With two younger sisters from China, Kraemer knows that being pro-life is about more than preventing abor-

tions but about supporting a holistic pro-life culture. “I come from a strong Catholic family of seven. I was fairly young when my youngest sisters were adopted from China. I didn’t always make the connection that this was what being pro-life was about. But, to have my family love life so much that they’d be willing to give people from the other side of the world that chance to live means a lot.” In places like China that have a one child policy, forced abortions are a way to keep that policy. By choosing adoption overseas, Kraemer’s family not only promoted life in our nation, but in China as well. “Adoption is a two-fold joy,” said Kraemer, for the woman who is pregnant and does the right thing and for the family who adopts the child.” As part of the Grand Forks Teens for Life, Kraemer has helped with fundraisers, worked at pregnancy help centers, participated in life walks, parades and campaigned

Daniel Kraemer (second from the left) of Grand Forks shares with his

peers how adoption has affected his family following the annual March for Life held on Jan. 22, 2015. He explains that adoption is a “two-fold joy,” for the woman who gives birth and for the family who raises the child. (Kristina Lahr/New Earth)



NEXT GEN for Measure 1, all to bring overall awareness to the truths of abortion in the community. This was Kraemer’s second year attending the March. He says that he feels called to go to the March as a witness in the pro-life movement. When he arrived at the U.S. Supreme Court along with other marchers, they were met by hundreds of pro-choice activists. The most visual banners and signs said, “Abortion on demand and without apology.” When a few people from the counter protest were arrested for obstructing and crowding, tensions were high on both sides. “When we first met them there, I wanted to see them defeated,” Kraemer said. “But, then when you see a police officer drag someone away, it makes you realize that person’s humanity.” “I hope when everyone is back we can have a greater commitment to the movement and find more ways to be pro-life. You never forget how awesome the March is.”


Shelby Cyr of Hoople knows firsthand why the March for Life chose the theme “Every Life is a Gift,” which focuses on the reality that babies with some kind of

disability are most targeted to be aborted. With a few cousins who have mental disabilities, she knows the beauty of every life and why all life is worth defending. “I see [my cousins] as people who have something to offer the world. God doesn’t make mistakes. If they weren’t meant to be here, they wouldn’t be. Everyone has their own definition of normal, so just because someone doesn’t seem normal, it doesn’t mean something is wrong.” What’s wrong, she says is the way people with disabilities are treated as not normal. As part of the diocesan pilgrimage group, Cyr was able to see the Holocaust museum in D.C., reinforcing the connection that as millions of people were killed during WWII, millions continue to be disposed in the U.S. and worldwide through abortion. “In history, it’s always been about people being different with slavery and the Holocaust and wars. People who are different are ostracized. My mom always taught me and my brother that people are people. We all have a heart and soul. The differences just make us special.” Since this was Cyr’s third year going to the March, she knew it wasn’t just the

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“There was a woman who sat by me, [during the Prayer Vigil for Life] and she thanked me for making room since the pew was already pretty full. She was very grateful for the space,” commented Cyr. “She was just so joyful to be there. I was expecting just a regular handshake at the sign of peace, but she gave me this full-blown hug. It took me back. She said, ‘you have no idea how much you’ve done. God has wonderful things planned for you.’ And that’s really what I needed to hear at that time in my life.” Through her pilgrimages to the March, Cyr has been inspired to be more and more involved in the pro-life movement. She’s actively involved during the 40 Days for Life at Shelby Cyr, Hoople, visits the the abortion facility in Fargo Our Lady of Guadalupe shrine and most recently made the at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception prior to the National 40 Days for Life call on Jan. Prayer Vigil for Life Mass the night 7, a call that is made to 1,500 people on Wednesdays, asking before the 2015 March for Life in Washington D.C. Our Lady of people for prayers and presence Guadalupe is the patroness of while abortions are done the Americas and the unborn. in Fargo. (Kristina Lahr/New Earth) “I didn’t realize there was March itself that made the a specific day they did aborexperience meaningful, but tions until recently,” she said. the people she met along the “It sounds like an execution way. Showing kindness to to have a day set. It’s pretty those she meets, she said, is amazing that people answer one way to combat the stigma that call to prayer though. To that some people aren’t as me, prayer is very important. I can feel very removed, but it valuable as others. changes hearts.”


Spousal Prayer: A Way to Marital Happiness

Book affirms sharing of hearts, prayer necessary in marriage By Father Luke Meyer

TATTERED PAGES A review of Catholic books and literature

True friends don’t spend time gazing into each other’s eyes. They may show great tenderness towards each other but they face in the same direction - toward common projects, goals - above all, towards a common Lord.” – C.S. Lewis


ell me how you pray together?” I can remember asking this question to many couples in marriage preparation. It can raise eyebrows, and for good reason. Just speaking about one’s own experience of prayer can be daunting enough, and even intimidating, let alone attempting to articulate shared experiences of prayer. It is also an important question, because success in staying in love for years of married life is not the achievement of white-knuckled willpower or conventional self-help insights, but a

gift received in union with Christ’s spousal love. In the words of CS Lewis, a lasting marriage will not so much be the fruit of an intense focus on each other, but a mutual turning to gaze upon the Lord. So, what does prayer look like for married couples? Deacon James Keating, living in Omaha, Neb., spells out the details of what prayer in common looks like for those living the sacrament of marriage. His brief but substantive, “Spousal Prayer” is a welcome addition. While encouraging common practices, (Biblical reading, the rosary, Eucharistic adoration) Keat-

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ing focuses and elaborates on the habit of attending to the heart not only during this time of prayer but also as a source for spousal prayer. Trusting friendship and attending to and sharing the desires, thoughts and feelings that spring up in the heart become ways to conversion and unity in marriage. This sharing also poses a risk, because it requires vulnerability, and often uncomfortably so. But, this vulnerability allows one to be drawn out of the perceived safety, and often lonely, concerns about oneself. Mutual sharing of the daily content of the heart, not superficial check-ins, leads to change and conversion. It is also the antidote to what robs us of joy and communion with others after Eden. Whether it is the disordered attention to self or the self-hatred common to the spiritual struggle, the wounds of both original and personal sin turn one inward. In light of this struggle, either protecting the ego or engaging the other, Keating proposes cultivating three habits of personal intimacy in married life: beholding, listening and forgiving. These habits help spouses to be self-forgetful for the sake of union with the other. Through this trusted sharing, spouses are free to relate the deepest parts of their lives to each other and to God, thus finding healing, peace and union. The author provides extended insights into these three unique habits of married life. He spends most of the book describing how beholding, listening, and forgiving lead

spouses to allow the grace of God to accomplish the work of love in their sacramental relationship. In a world where falling in love is easy but the commitment to staying in love year after year is frequently met with cynicism, “Spousal Prayer” is a welcome source of hope, encouragement and practical advice about going deeper in prayer as husband and wife. In this Year of Marriage being celebrated locally in the diocese, this simple but effective work by Deacon Keating will be an oasis of inspiration for spouses looking for ways to draw closer to each other by drawing close to Jesus Christ. Father Luke Meyer serves the Diocese of Fargo as the Director of Liturgy and chancellor.

About the Book: “Spousal Prayer: A Way to Marital Happiness” by Deacon James Keating. Published by Institute for Priestly Formation. Paperback is 54 pages. Available via Amazon and other book resellers.




Art for life

Local artist captures essence of March through artistic renderings By Roxane B. Salonen Bakke’s first self-imposed assignment was to capture the Fargo reception of pro-life leader Father Frank Pavone, who, in late October, was keynote speaker at the school’s Teens for Life sponsored Cupcakes for Life event. Pavone also stopped at the state’s abortion facility, where he prayed the rosary and divine mercy chaplet with other pro-lifers. Bakke stood across the street with her easel, capturing the attention of passersby. When she told the curious onlookers, “Those people are saving babies, and I want to record it,” some scoffed. Bakke just smiled and sketched, and began to allow herself to dream of the upcoming adventure.

THE DEPARTURE – JAN. 20, 2015 A painted sketch of bus number seven, the one Karen Bakke rode to

Washington D.C. for the 2015 March for Life, getting ready to take-off. Bakke added written details, like “30 degrees with light snowflakes” as well as the date and time. This bus was the last one to be loaded and to leave. (Roxane B. Salonen/New Earth)


itting in a workshop on artistic journaling in Park Rapids, Minn., this past September, Karen Bakke felt her chest expand and her heart jump. The emotions came on fast and furious, like an ocean wave carried by strong winds. “I thought, ‘I can’t sit here,’ so I got up to walk around, and I just started crying,” said the local Catholic artist. Her response wasn’t from physical pain but excitement. Something was stirring within her as she listened to the instructor talk about journaling your passions through sketches and words, and Bakke knew she’d just received a divine tap. After praying about what the nudge might mean, Bakke felt certain that whatever she was being called to do, it had to be for someone else. “Initially, I thought maybe it would involve a trip on my motorcycle, just me, alone on the road,” she said. “But, then I realized it had to be about something outside of myself. I wasn’t imagining then 27 hours on a bus with a group of students.” When Bakke brought an idea to her friend Jeanine Bitzan, who was organizing a trip to take most of Shanley High School’s student body to the 2015 March for Life in Washington, D.C. – where they’d be carrying the lead banner – Bitzan didn’t hesitate. “She threw the idea out that she could journal the preparation, along with the March itself, and put it into a booklet,” Bitzan said, noting that Bakke offered to use whatever would result as a fundraiser for the pro-life cause. “I knew how beautiful her work is, and I said, ‘This is a gift from God that you would be willing to journey with us.’”



Bakke soon began making preparations for the January trip, thinking through everything she would need. Early on in the journey, she discovered a saying from the journaling workshop had been prophetic: “Expectation is the root of all heartache.” “This applied so much to this project,” Bakke said, noting that she’d envisioned sitting with students for long periods of time to draw them and ask them questions, but that never happened. Instead, the trip moved fast, and she along with it. “I soon realized that I didn’t want to separate myself from the experience in order to be on the outside looking in on it,” Bakke said. “It was so exciting and there was so much passion

Karen Bakke, Fargo, recognized a call to capture the moments of the

Shanley High School pilgrimage to Washington D.C. to participate in the annual March for Life and surrounding events. Here, Bakke sets up her art tools on a ledge overlooking the main auditorium at a church where the Students for Life of America rally took place on Jan. 23 following the March. (Roxane B. Salonen/New Earth)

FAITH AND CULTURE ally see. She’s been given that gift to take in all her surroundings,” Motta said. “When she talks to someone she looks right at them as if she’s looking deeper. And she waits for something to reveal itself.” She also noticed how intentional Bakke was about her work, taking extra time to get it right, and that there seemed to be “a higher purpose” to what Bakke was doing. “I got the impression that she’s selfless. She wants the piece or the project or whatever to be central, and she takes her time and looks for that.”

COMING HOME – JAN. 25, 2015

After leading the 2015 March for Life, Shanley students spent the day

after the event attending the Students for Life of America rally. Karen Bakke, local Catholic artist, captured the mood of that morning with this sketch. “This is the first breakout of the music. I captured the kids with their hands going up in the air. It was very quick and spontaneous,” commented Bakke. (Roxane B. Salonen/New Earth)

– I couldn’t help but get into the mix.” Bakke shifted gears, staying open to whatever might come. At times, her sketchpad and pen went still. “God wanted me there to listen, to get the fire in me and to learn.”


Like Bakke, Elise Motta hadn’t been on the initial trip roster, but after attending the October fundraiser, Motta, a Protestant with deep pro-life convictions, was so inspired that she asked if she could join the group. Motta spent parts of the trip getting to know Bakke and the others, and was able to observe her in action. “When Jeanine first mentioned there was going to be an artist on the trip visually sketching, I thought, ‘What a wonderful idea,’” Motta said. “In our day of (advanced) technology, the idea of someone hand-sketching and drawing is very unique, and I was anxious to meet this person who would be doing that.” Motta said she was immediately taken with Bakke’s observation skills. “She seems to be someone who has eyes that re-

At the homecoming, Bakke said she was surprised at how much the trip had affected her spiritually. “Anyone who experiences the whole thing like I did, if they have that knowledge, there’s no doubt they would have a passion for the pro-life cause,” she said. It’s been hard to articulate the depth of the experience to friends and family at home, she added. “A lot of people just don’t want to see it. They look away,” she said. “But you see Christ on the cross and you know what he did for you. You see an empty cross and he’s risen, yes, but you don’t see what he did for you. That’s the difference.” Despite all the changes in her initial planning and vision, Bakke said she’s confident the experience turned out exactly the way it was meant to. “I was supposed to do what I could for art, but I need to inspire people with my art, and this trip was also a gift given to me so that I can send it out there and let it be God’s work,” she said. Back in her studio in Fargo, Bakke remains focused, including putting finishing touches on some of the pieces she started in D.C. so she can pull them together in the form of cards or a book. As for her other artistic works, whether it’s painting church murals or putting the finishing touches on a church crucifix, she’ll continue challenging herself toward perfection, always hearing in her head the voice of Sister Gertrude, her longtime mentor from back in junior high. “People ask me, why do you work so hard? What are you working for?” Bakke said. “I say, ‘For life!’ You just never know what God might have in store for you.”

Back home in her studio, Bakke adds a few details to the very first sketch she did back in October when Father Frank Pavone was in Fargo speaking at the Cupcakes for Life fundraising event, and here, at the abortion facility in downtown Fargo, where Bakke brought her easel and tools and drew the scene. (Roxane B. Salonen/New Earth)


Love and lady bugs Presence of deceased woman felt by loved ones

STORIES OF FAITH By Father Bert Miller

Author’s Note: When I heard this story I knew I had to tell it during the heart-healthy and love month of February. It was told to me while I was out doing the pre-Christmas rounds to shut-ins, and I heard this story of a family death. Sarah, the adult daughter of Amanda, died one cold, sunny winter day a few years ago. Sarah was a nurse who had many friends. Her nurse friends were like a second family. As Sarah’s brothers and sisters gathered with their children and Amanda and her husband, one of the nurses headed off for Sarah’s house where she found things not as she had expected. Sarah’s friend never had been to Sarah’s home. It was a little dusty, a little messy, lived-in. There was a half a cup of coffee here, a half a glass of iced tea there, a plant on the table,

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newspapers stacked near the window, mail on the desk and a specially-decorated wooden box setting on a comfortable living room sofa. The friend was intrigued by the decorated box. She moved closer to the sofa to inspect the wooden box. Finally, the friend sat down, picked up the box and gingerly opened it. It was clearly a sacred space. The friend felt like she had violated Sarah’s life. But, she continued. In the stack of wellworn papers and cards was an envelope of “lady bug art” and a few “pressed” and beautifully colored lady bugs. Ah! Sarah was a lover of lady bugs. No one had known that fact about her. The friend asked each of the others if they knew anything about Sarah and lady bugs. No one knew anything. No one had ever heard Sarah talk about them. The day of the wake and funeral came and went without much excitement. The festivities were nice and holy, Amanda told me. It was at the burial site that the excitement occurred. After all the prayers were said, the priest backed away from the casket and nieces and nephews dropped flowers into the cold ground, something happened. A lady bug was spotted by Amanda and Sarah’s friend on top of the casket. They each drew a deep breath. They knew the spirit of Sarah was there bidding them a final goodbye. “Everything is ok. Live your lives. And, remember the lady bug,” it seemed to say. That spring, at Easter, when one of Sarah’s other friends checked-in with Amanda, she reported she had found a lady bug on her screen door when she returned home from Sarah’s wintertime funeral. This friend lived in a cold place too. Lady bugs would not be out for months to come. The friend said, “I knew Sarah was at home with me.” Father Bert Miller serves the Diocese of Fargo as pastor at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in West Fargo. Editor’s note: Stories of Faith is a recurring feature in New Earth. If you have a faith story to tell, contact Father Bert Miller at

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Human trafficking and abortion Tougher laws needed to protect against forced abortion


lthough it was emotionally hard to read at times, the available that assist “Forums’” seven part piece on human trafficking in them, victims may North Dakota came at an important time. Human never feel comfort Catholic trafficking is a serious issue in the state, and the state able and free to help Action legislature has the opportunity to do something. law enforcement Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem is supporting a complete prosecute the perrewrite, proposed by the Uniform Laws Commission, to the petrators. The North Christoper state’s human trafficking laws. That bill and several companion Dakota Catholic Dodson bills focus on the enforcement side of the issue. It strengthens Conference strongly the laws, increases penalties and gives law enforcement and supports efforts to states attorney more tools to combat human trafficking. provide services to One tool that legislators should add is a penalty for a trafficker victims of human traffickers. who forces a woman to have an abortion. Studies, reports and At the same time, we need to be cautious. The Catholic even the federal government have acknowledged that victims Church worldwide has one of the best systems of services to of human trafficking are often forced to have abortions. In fact, help victims of trafficking. As I previously explained in a colrepeated abortions and signs umn from November 2011, “The prevalence of forced abortions is an the United States Conference of self-induced abortions are two signs that health care especially disturbing trend in sex trafficking… The of Catholic Bishops had for workers are told could be an survivors in this study similarly reported that they six years received grants from indication that a woman is the Department of Health and often did not freely choose the abortions they had Human Services to help vicbeing sexually exploited by while being trafficked. One subject in the study tims of trafficking. Then, one a trafficker. One study published in stated, ‘in most of [my six abortions], I was under day the conference was inthe “Annals of Health Law” serious pressure from my pimps to abort the babies.’ formed that the grant would concluded, “The prevalence not be renewed but given to Another subject reported seventeen abortions and an organization that scored of forced abortions is an that at least some of them were forced on her.” lower in the application proespecially disturbing trend in sex trafficking. Prior – Christopher Dodson, North Dakota Catholic Conference cess. Eventually, the reason research noted that forced came out: the Obama Adminabortions were a reality for many victims of sex trafficking istration decided that only organizations that counseled and outside the United States and at least one study noted forced referred for abortions could apply. abortions in domestic trafficking. The survivors in this study Unfortunately, there are some activists who insist govsimilarly reported that they often did not freely choose the ernment should not help victims of human trafficking abortions they had while being trafficked.” One subject in unless taxpayer money is used to counsel or refer for aborthe study stated, “in most of [my six abortions], I was under tions. North Dakota law prohibits the use of state funds for the serious pressure from my pimps to abort the babies.” Another performance of abortions, but prohibition on the use of state subject reported seventeen abortions and that at least some of money for the referral of abortions is piece-meal. There is, for them were forced on her. example, a law prohibiting abortions in family planning pro For this reason, the North Dakota Catholic Conference supports grams and another law prohibiting it in the abortion alternamaking forced abortions by human traffickers an additional tives program. For that reason, we need to ensure that legislacrime that could be tacked on to a trafficker’s sentence. tion appropriating funds to help victims of trafficking excludes A critical piece missing in previous efforts to address human using the money for counseling or referring for abortions. trafficking is support for victims of trafficking. Victims of human trafficking have needs and issues that are unique from Christopher Dodson is executive director of the North Dakota Catholic victims of other crimes, including domestic violence. If services Conference. The NDCC acts on behalf of the Catholic bishops of are not available to help them escape traffickers and survive, North Dakota to respond to public policy issues of concern to the they may never get help. Moreover, unless the services are Catholic Church and to educate Catholics and the general public about Catholic social doctrine. The conference website is




Debunking the Myths of Planned Giving Stewardship Steve Schons


he words “trust, wills and estates” can leave most people feeling anxious. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, most people actually find greater peace of

mind once they have a plan in place. Experts agree that the worst thing someone can do is not having a will or trust. Then, it’s up to the courts to decide where your money goes. Here are a few common questions and misconceptions about the estate planning process – with sound answers. 1. What if I change my mind? Is an estate plan reversible? Yes, we understand that circumstances and your needs may change. If you ever wish to amend your plan or revoke a charitable bequest in it, you can do so easily at any time.

2. I’m not “wealthy,” and I don’t have a large estate. No gift is too small to make a difference in the faith lives of others. What’s more, people can give gifts that cost nothing in their



lifetime by making a bequest of property or by naming their parish or other Catholic program as a beneficiary of an insurance policy. There are often tax advantages to this approach.

3. Am I too young (or too old) to think about estate planning? No matter your age, it’s important to have a plan. In addition to ensuring that your wishes are carried out, it will help your loved ones during a difficult time. Having a will or trust will ensure that your assets go where you determine and not where the state determines. 4. It sounds complicated. How do I get started? If you have a financial planner or lawyer, consulting with them would be a great first step to get the help and support you need. We have a great 44-page booklet to help you get organized. Drop us a line or email, and we can send one out at no cost to you. 5. Can I leave money to my heirs and to charity? Yes. It’s important to take care of yourself and your loved ones first. As long as you have a plan that lays out your wishes, you can leave a lasting legacy to your heirs and the charities that you hold dear to your heart. 6. Can I specify what I want to support? Absolutely. Whether it’s your parish, the diocese or any other Catholic program, it’s entirely up to you where you want your charitable dollars to go.



Esteeming our elders and fostering solidarity across generations

ccasionally we hear disturbing stories in the media In a sense, it is about young people who perpetrate abuse against the precisely the weakelderly. In a widely reported 2009 story, for example, ness and vulneracaretakers at the Quadrangle Assisted Living facility outside bility of the elderly Making Sense Philadelphia were charged in connection with the abuse of that beckons us to of Bioethics an elderly patient named Lois McCallister. Three employees, manifest a greataged 19, 21 and 22 were caught on a surveillance camera as they er respect towards Father Tad Pacholczyk taunted, mocked and assaulted the partially naked 78-year- them, and never to old woman. mistreat them in the She had begun complaining to visiting family members strength of youth. several months prior that someone was hurting her and hitting As Pope John Paul her. There were also initial signs of bruising on her hand and II beautifully summed up in his 1999 “Letter to the Elderly,” wrist. After bringing the bruises to the attention of the nursing “…the signs of human frailty which are clearly connected home’s administrators, the family was informed that the alle- with advanced age become a summons to the mutual dependence gations were unfounded and were told the accusations were and indispensable solidarity which link the different generasimply the result of the patient’s advancing dementia. Family tions…” Compassionately attending to the needs of the eldermembers suspected more to it, and they clandestinely installed ly draws the generations together and builds solidarity. the video camera, hidden in a clock in the victim’s room. When the unique gifts of the elderly are invested and shared After capturing the assailants on tape, they concluded that with the younger generation, this, too, builds up solidarity. Elthe abuse suffered by their mother had been ongoing for some derly people help us see human affairs with a sense of pertime. One of the young womspective tempered by experi“Compassionately attending to the needs of the ence, reflection and wisdom. en charged in the case told inelderly draws the generations together and builds Whenever grandparents convestigators she was working on another floor the night the solidarity. When the unique gifts of the elderly are tribute to the raising and forclock/camera captured the invested and shared with the younger generation, mation of the grandchildren, scene in the elderly woman’s even by doing something this, too, builds up solidarity. Elderly people help as simple as teaching them room. A family member latus see human affairs with a sense of perspective how to pray and think about er told news reporters, “They called the third girl down from tempered by experience, reflection and wisdom.” God, they strengthen interanother floor and said, ‘Come generational ties and build – Father Tad Pacholczyk, NCB Center down, we’re going to start.’” family unity. As a consequence of the abuse, the Department of Public We can foster intergenerational care and support within our Welfare eventually revoked the license for the facility, and the families and communities in other simple ways as well, for family filed a civil lawsuit against the parent company. example, through conscientious parenting, including small A tragic event like this leads to intense questioning about but important steps such as: insisting on meal time together how these young people, charged with the special care of as a family, teaching compassion by visiting sick or elderly the older generation, could end up becoming so callous, neighbors together, teaching children to welcome all human inhuman and brutal. What can be done to prevent this kind life, even when weak or handicapped, praying together as a of “inter-generational disconnect” from occurring in the family, decreasing media time and guarding them against violent future? And, what can be done to build up unity and respect computer/video games, pornography and other practices between generations? that dehumanize people and make them seem like objects to A nearly universal point of reference over the years, and be manipulated. a counsel of incalculable worth has been the injunction en- As we seek to build relational bridges across generations shrined in the Decalogue: “Honor your father and mother.” A and work to construct a society that esteems its elders, we decision to abide by this commandment invariably serves to simultaneously build up homes and communities that are strengthen the concern of children for their parents and elders, liberated of the threat of abuse or neglect — places of safety, and helps forge a bond between the generations. The Book of mutual support and love, even as the hairs on our head turn Sirach offers similarly sage advice. “My son, take care of your gray and our strength wanes. father when he is old; grieve him not as long as he lives. Even Father Tad Pacholczyk, Ph.D. earned his doctorate in neuroscience if his mind fails, be considerate of him; revile him not all the from Yale and did post-doctoral work at Harvard. He is a priest of days of his life; kindness to a father will not be forgotten, firm- the diocese of Fall River, Mass., and serves as the Director of Educaly planted against the debt of your sins” (Sirach 3: 12-14). tion at The National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia. See for more information.




Eucharistic adoration brings deeper trust to doubting seminarian


s I first en- place our complete and utter trust in his providential care. In tered semi- actuality, why shouldn’t we? We serve a good and all pownary, I came erful God that “knows what you need before you ask him” in with an attitude, (Mt. 6:8). Christ reassures us in the Gospels not to be anxSeminarian somewhat prideful ious, for just as God feeds “the birds of the air,” so will he Life I must confess, that provide for us. Even with all this assurance, we still doubt. I already possessed In seminary, I began to realize, that even with all my backChris Savageau a mature and thriv- ground in prayer, I still doubted him. ing spiritual life. I However, it is my experiences within the seminary that are prayed every day, finally opening my heart. I am beginning to let Christ deepreceived the sacra- er into my life and take over the parts of it that were not yet ments and tried my best to practice charity. However, I soon his. This trust has primarily happened with my time spent in realized that there was still so much growth that had to be front of the Blessed Sacrament. A wise priest once said to my done, so much that I still had yet to learn. seminary class, “When we waste our time in front of our Eu The seminary has done so much to strengthen my spiritual charistic Lord, a great love is being communicated.” As we life. It has helped me form a more personal and intimate re- spend time with Christ in the Eucharist, he begins to work on lationship with Jesus Christ. It our hearts, shaping them to re“However, it is my experiences within the ceive him fully into our lives. has taught me what it means to be truly holy, to truly live one’s seminary that are finally opening my heart. I am I found that as I fell more in life for Christ. Yet, probably the beginning to let Christ deeper into my life and love with our Lord through the most important lesson it has Blessed Sacrament the easier it take over the parts of it that were not yet his. This was to abandon my life to him. taught me is how to abandon trust has primarily happened with my time spent I became more willing to do my life to Christ. When one enters the seminary, one places what Christ willed of me. Now, in front of the Blessed Sacrament.” great trust in the Lord. For me, whenever I struggle to abandon – Chris Savageau, Fargo Diocese Seminarian I was living a very happy and myself to our Lord, I turn to the comfortable life studying to become a theologian at Benedic- Eucharist in order to allow Christ to help me. tine College in Atchison, Kan. I absolutely loved it there. But, I I have come to realize that this is a necessity within the knew that God was calling more out of me. I had to place great Christian life. Christ demands this of each and every one of trust that, even though I was giving up something I loved, his disciples. Our Lord states, “If any man would come after God had a plan for me. me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” The journey did not end there. As I mentioned, God was (Mt. 16:24). This task is not easy and, from what I have learned, making it plainly clear that I still had not learned this lesson. takes time and patience, mostly with ourselves. In the end, I I still did not fully trust in him. Yet, this is not just a lesson find that abandoning one’s entire life to Christ is what we truly for us seminarians. God has a great desire for all of us to desire, what will bring us the most happiness and peace. We should not worry that this may be difficult, for Our Lord and the Blessed Mother will aid us on our way.

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Savageau is a College IV student studying at St. Gregory the Great Seminary, Seward, Neb. Originally from Fargo, he enjoys sports, reading, and going on adventures like flying an airplane to Detroit Lakes, Minn. What he enjoys most about seminary is time set aside for prayer and reflection. Editor’s Note: Seminarian Life is a monthly column written by current Diocese of Fargo seminarians. It gives New Earth readers a glimpse of what these discerning young men are experiencing. Let us know if there is something you would like to know about the life of a seminarian. Perhaps, it will inspire an article from one of them. And, please continue to pray for them.


Events Across The Diocese

Mark your calendar for events around the diocese

Valentine Wine and Dine Fundraiser.

Holy Spirit church, Fargo. Friday, Feb. 13 at 6 p.m. Proceeds help students attend World Youth Day in Summer 2016. Contact Jeff Benda at (701) 799-8299 or

Catholic Collage.

Shanley High School, Fargo. Sundays, Feb. 8, 15 and 22. Join participants in a series of adult religious education and formation classes. Contact Joan Schaefer at or visit

Lunch with Tim Staples.

Sts. Anne and Joachim church, Fargo. Thursday, Feb. 19 at 11:30 a.m. Tim Staples will share the “Five Non-Negotiables” in our lives. Contact Rachelle Sauvageau at (701) 356-7910. Event sponsored by the Fargo Diocese Respect Life Office.

Real Presence Radio Banquet Fundraiser.

Ramada Plaza Suites, Fargo. Thursday, Feb. 19 at 5:30 p.m. Tim Staples, Director of Apologetics and Evangelization for Catholic Answers, will share his faith journey. Call (877) 795-0122 or email for more information.

Marriage Encounter Weekend.

St. Anthony of Padua church, Fargo. Friday, Feb. 20 to Sunday, Feb. 22. Contact Rob and Angie Waletzko at (701) 347-1998 or visit

Lenten Fish Fry.

St. Michael church, Grand Forks. Friday, Feb. 20 at 5 p.m. Contact the parish office at (701) 772-2624.

Operation Andrew Dinner. Bishop’s Residence, Fargo. Sunday, Mar. 1 at 5:30 p.m. Contact your parish priest for more information.

Women’s Retreat.

Maryvale, Valley City. Friday, Mar. 20 to Sunday, Mar. 22 at 7 p.m. Contact Sister Dorothy Bunce at (701) 845-2864.

Junior High Youth Rally.

Holy Spirit church, Fargo. Saturday, Apr. 11. Contact Kathy Loney at (701) 356-7902.

Ignatian Retreat.

Maryvalle, Valley City. Friday, Apr. 17 to Sunday, Apr. 19. Contact Sister Dorothy Bunce at (701) 845-2864.

Pilgrimage to Croatia, Slovenia and Venice.

Apr. 20 to May 1. Father Damien Schill will lead a pilgrimage to Croatia, Slovenia and Venice. Cost is $4,094 per person. Full payment is due Feb. 20. Visit www. for full itinerary. 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 The deadline for the March New Earth is Feb. 18. The earliest that issue will reach homes is Mar. 9.

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, ND 58104-7605 or

Obituary | Sister Mary Sand, OSF, talented artist Sister Mary Sand, OSF, 99, died Saturday, Dec. 27 at Essentia Hospital, Fargo. She was a faithful and life-long member of the Franciscan Sisters of Dillingen in Hankinson. Sister Mary (Veronica Theresa) Sand was born to Mathias and Louise (Kieffer) Sand Jan. 25, 1915 in Roberts County, S.D. She made her first Profession of Vows Aug. 12, 1935 and her Perpetual Profession of Vows Aug. 16, 1938. Sister Mary attended Dickinson State College and then began her career as an educator. From 1937 until 1969, she taught school at St. Francis Academy in Hankinson, Rugby, St. John’s in Wahpeton, Karlsruhe, as well as St. John’s in Collegeville, Minn. From 1970-1980 she taught art at the North Dakota State College of Science. Sister Mary was best known for her talents as an artist. When she returned to the Provincial house in 1980, she developed an art studio. All convent guests were invited to see her work on display and could take a lesson from her. Her oil paintings earned many awards regionally. In 1985, Sister Mary painted “Lamb of God,” her concept of the Blessed Mother and Christ child. For her 75th Jubilee Year in 2005 her community copyrighted this image and had it printed on cards. The original sepia drawing is permanently on display at St. Francis Convent in Hankinson. Sister Mary is survived by the Franciscan Sisters of Dillingen, her sister Lillian Hartman, Manitowoc, Wis., many nieces and nephews and many friends. She was preceded in death by her parents and four other siblings. Visitation was Jan. 2 at St. Francis Convent Chapel, Hankinson. The Mass of Christian Burial was Jan. 3. CORRECTION In the January 2015 issue of New Earth, we misprinted “Louis” along with Pauline Argenziano’s 100th birthday celebration announcement. Ms. Argenziano is not connected with “Louis.” We apologize for the error. NEW EARTH FEBRUARY 2015



Sponsored by the Diocese Space still available for 2016 World Youth Day Pilgrimage

The Youth and Young Adult Ministry office of the Fargo Diocese is sponsoring a 17-day trek through Poland to relive the steps of St. John Paul II and to celebrate World Youth Days. After the celebration, the pilgrimage will venture to the Auschwitz Concentration Camp Memorial and finish at the Wieliczka Salt Mines. Pilgrimage dates are July 18, 2016 to Aug. 3, 2016. The price for double occupancy is $4,200 each. For more information, contact Kathy Loney at (701) 356-7902.

Staples to speak at luncheon, Feb. 19

Tim Staples, Director of Apologetics and Evangelization for Catholic Answers, will speak at a luncheon on Thursday, Feb. 19 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Sts. Anne and Joachim Catholic Church in Fargo. Staples will address how the “five non-negotiables” are deal breakers when it comes to Catholics voting in political elections. Abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, cloning and so-called homosexual “marriage” are all matters of moral law that can never be voted for or supported by any Catholic. Staples will give tools to empower people to “act like Catholics” in every area of their lives, including the voting booth.  Cost of the luncheon is $15 per person.  Registration is required. Deadline is Feb. 12.  Registration forms can be found at or by calling Rachelle at (701) 356-7910. Event sponsored by the Fargo Diocese Respect Life Office.

Marriage Encounter weekend Feb. 20-22, Fargo

Married couples, consider doing something great for yourselves and your marriage by attending an upcoming Marriage Encounter weekend in Fargo Feb. 20-22. A series of presentations will be given by a team of Catholic couples and a priest. The presentations allow each couple a rare opportunity to look at themselves as individuals, then look at their marriage and relationship to each other and finally to look at their relationship to God, the church and the world. After each presentation, the husband and wife have time in the privacy of their room for their own personal discussion. The weekend event will be held at St. Anthony of Padua Church, Fargo. For more information and to register contact Rob and Angie Waletzko at (701) 341-1998 or Also, visit



A Glimpse of the Past - February

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.

50 Years Ago....1965

There is no business like show business - and this goes double if the principals in the cast are Sisters and the play is “Seven Nuns at Las Vegas.” That’s what was proved by the performances given in St. Catherine’s Auditorium in Valley City. Capacity audiences attended the five showings. Several Sisters took part and eight wore grease-paint. Proceeds from the project were devoted to the Mother-house being built two miles north of Valley City. -March 1965 Catholic Action News

20 Years Ago....1995

The Duck Pond was a popular place during the annual Grand Carnival at Cardinal Muench Seminary in Fargo. An estimated 500 people of all ages enjoyed a good meal and good times during the afternoon festivities Feb. 5. Father James Ermer, Rector at the Seminary, said this year’s carnival was the biggest ever! -March 1995 New Earth

10 Years ago.....2005 On Feb. 24, Pope John Paul II named Bishop Samuel Aq-

uila as the apostolic administrator for the Diocese of Sioux Falls, S.D. He serves in this position in addition to his current position as bishop of the Diocese of Fargo. The need for an administrator came following the installation on Feb. 24 of former Sioux Falls Bishop Robert Carlson, as bishop of Saginaw, Mich. Bishop Aquila will serve as administrator until a new bishop is appointed, a process that can take several months. As his schedule allows, Bishop Aquila will be present in the Diocese of Sioux Falls for key events and a couple days each month to work with priests and diocesan staff. - March 2005 New Earth

Set out on the path to Christ

Contact: The Vocation Direction Assumption Abbey Richardton, North Dakota 701-974-3315


Beyond the digital, into the heart A Vatican take on communication


he Vatican’s top communications official said that true interaction requires more than just phones and internet – and that dialogue is an interpersonal encounter we learn even from our mother’s womb. “The first way of communication, the source of my learning is the womb of my mother,” Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli told CNA at the Jan. 23 presentation of Pope Francis’ message for World Communications Day. “Can you imagine what that means? That from inside the womb of my mother I am starting to listen, I am discovering the sound of the voice of my mother and I am discovering the beatings of her heart. I am discovering what communication really is,” Archbishop Celli said. And true communication, he added, “is how I am able to listen to you, how I can open my heart to you…this is the real human communication.” Archbishop Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, spoke at the presentation of Pope Francis’ message for the 49th World Communications Day, titled “Communicating the Family: A Privileged Place of Encounter with the Gift of Love.” Pope Francis, he said, makes the valid point that although being a digital disciple is necessary, the human dimension of communication can never be forgotten – and that this is something we first see within our families. From these relationships, we learn “proximity, to be open to the other, to share with the other what and who we are.” The “beauty of the family,” he said, lies in the diversity of their ages and members. Communication is then “is more of a human dimension than a technological dimension.” We shouldn’t lose this sense of human interaction in our daily emails and texts, he warned. “The risk is that I’m an

By Elise Harris | Catholic News Agency expert in technology but I am not an expert in humanity. So it’s a capacity of listening, of being open, of sharing.” Archbishop Celli also cautioned against the increase in youth and minors navigating the internet by themselves without the supervision of their parents, saying that although parents can offer much-needed education on technology, they are often absent. “Today fathers and mothers are involved in so many things, they are so busy, but who is teaching the kids? (Who is teaching them) to be present in a human way and to have a real dialogue, real human communication with others, if we are not teaching them?” he asked. The archbishop noted how although in last year’s message for World Communications Day Pope Francis encouraged people to be disciples through social networks, the pontiff “is not naïve,” and is aware of the dangers that the digital continent can present. Education, Archbishop Celli emphasized, is key in helping children grow in wisdom and their ability to be present in the world, as well as in the prevention of access to online dangers such as pornography. Technology can either help or hinder the culture of encounter, he said. One positive effect is the ability to remain in contact with relatives who are far away. “I know grandmothers who are learning how to deal with computers and programs because they want to speak with their grandchildren, (and) this is a real loving contact, it’s not virtual,” he said, noting how he himself is in contact with his family and friends every day through technology. “So this is how new technologies – we are inhabitants of the digital continent – can really facilitate us in the spreading of such friendship and love, and this is a great opportunity.”


A society without fathers is a society of orphans, says Pope Francis By Elise Harris | Catholic News Agency

Pope Francis greets pilgrims present in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall for his

Jan. 28, 2015 general audience. (Bohumil Petrik/CNA)


n his general audience catechesis on Jan. 28, Pope Francis turned to the role of fathers, saying that they play an irreplaceable role in family life, and their absence leaves children prey to false idols. “When children feel neglected by fathers who focus only on their problems, on their work or their own personal realization, this creates a situation of orphans in the children and youth of today, who live disoriented, without the good example or prudent guidance of a father,” the Pope said Jan. 28. Pope Francis directed his words to pilgrims gathered in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall for his Wednesday general audience address. Continuing his catechesis on the family, the pontiff spoke on the theme of fatherhood. The Pope’s reflection falls after a separate general audience address on the role of mothers earlier this month, during which he hailed motherhood as the “antidote to individualism.” In today’s society, the word “father” is a reality understood throughout world and which transcends history, the Roman Pontiff told today’s audience participants. This word, he said, is the one “which Jesus taught us to call God, giving new depth and richness to the mystery of the intimacy of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, which is the center of our Christian faith.” However, in modern times we frequently speak of a “society without fathers,” in which the crisis of fatherhood can lead one to associate the term with authoritarian and repressive tendencies, the Pope noted. Children who feel “neglected” because their fathers focus too much on work, personal achievements or are constantly away from home are often left as “orphans” without guide, he said. “Fathers are so necessary as examples and guides for our children in wisdom and virtue. Without father figures, young people often feel orphaned; left adrift at a critical moment in



their growth and development,” the pontiff continued. Pope Francis then recounted how he has often asked the fathers he encountered if they “had the courage and love” to play with their children and to spend time with them. Rather than hearing a reassuring yes, often “the answer is ugly, eh? In the majority of cases it’s ‘I can’t, there’s too much work,’” the Bishop of Rome observed, and said that it is the responsibility of Christian communities and civil society as a whole to find a remedy to the crisis of fatherhood. The pontiff also drew attention to the temptation of some fathers to try and be their child’s friend more than their parent, saying that although being a friend and companion to one’s child is good, the role of the parent is essential. “It’s true that you need to be the friend of your child, but without forgetting that you are a father, eh. If you are only there for your child as a friend, it won’t be good for them,” he cautioned. The absence of the father figure in society is something that persons at every level of society should be aware of because it leaves “gaps and wounds” in the formation of today’s youth, the Pope explained. “Without guides to rely on, youth can be filled with idols that end up stealing their heart, enthusiasm and genuine wealth,” he said. Pope Francis closed his address by recalling Jesus’ promise in the Gospel of John that “he would not leave us orphans,” and prayed that the Lord would “deepen and renew our appreciation of fatherhood and raise up good fathers for the benefit of our families, our Church and our world.” The pontiff said that although the prognosis he gave of the state of fatherhood today might have been a bit negative, next week he will follow-up with a reflection on the blessing and “beauty” of fatherhood. “I chose to begin in darkness in order to arrive to the light,” he said, and gave his blessing before greeting pilgrims present from various countries around the world.


An epic love story atop the family tree By Christina Capecchi


t had an echo of Nicholas Sparks to it, legacy is a weighty matter,” said Joe Bianbut it was real life, and the story went co Jr., a 35-year-old mortgage loan officer viral: an Ohio couple married for 73 and the firstborn of Joe and Helen’s sixth years died just 28 hours apart. child, Jeanne. Reporters across the globe culled bits “I’m trying to instill the same values,” said of Hollywood drama from the marriage, Joe Jr., a father of three. chronicling a young Joseph Auer surBut, sometimes the gulf between his Joseph and Helen Auer were married viving the horrors of D-Day and missgrandparents’ way of life, with its simplicity 73 years until their deaths only 28 hours ing the birth of his second child. He and and nobility, and his 21st-century grind feels apart. The couple shared a strong Catholic his wife, Helen, enduring financial hardunbridgeable. His grandpa risked his life faith their children, grandchildren and ship as they raised 10 children. in World War II; Joe Jr. is waging iPad wars great-grandchildren try to emulate today. When Helen passed away in their among the kids in the living room. Cincinnati condo on a quiet Wednesday evening last October, He remembers his grandpa reading the Cincinnati Enquir100-year-old Joe kissed his wife and whispered, “Mama, call er with a magnifying glass and referring to the TV as “the me home.” idiot box.” She honored his request promptly. These days, Joe Jr. finds himself repeating the parental But the part that wasn’t reported, the part that the Catholic mandates he grew up with: work hard, finish your meal, say reader might have sniffed out based on the names, the loca- please, go to church. His kids attend a Catholic school and attion or the family size, was the Catholic faith that undergirded tend Mass, as a family, every week. He and his wife, Missy, Helen and Joe’s union. It was like oatmeal, giving them suste- were married in the same church as his parents and his late nance. It was like a full daily planner, lending them purpose. It grandparents. He hopes the sacrament and setting can have was like star dust, offering them hope. the same effect on his 12-year marriage as it did on their 73 Helen and Joe combatted stresses – a night job, farm chores, year one. miscarriages, never-ending diaper wringing, Catholic-school Their back-to-back deaths deepens his trust in God. “It just tuition – with Mass, weekly confession and nightly rosary. All proves that God truly has a plan for all of us,” Joe Jr. said. “He the kids knew of Helen’s devotion to Elizabeth Ann Seton, had it all mapped out.” whom she petitioned fiercely when her firstborn contracted His big-picture thoughts about honoring his grandparents spinal meningitis as a boy. are tinged with New Year’s resolve. The goal for 2015, he says: “They always put God first,” said Mary Jo Reiners, the Au- power off the iPhone and spend more time with his family. He ers’ fifth child. “That’s one of the things I’ll take away from may still have to log 55-hour work weeks, but once he’s home, their marriage.” he wants to be available to play with his 11-year-old son or They weren’t particularly demonstrative, but the kids never read “Pete the Cat” to his 4-year-old daughter. doubted their parents’ commitment. It was visible in the little “My kids are growing up quickly,” he said. “Maybe I’ve always they cared for each other and the tender nicknames they ready missed some things, but I don’t want to miss any more.” used; he called her “Helen Baby,” and she called him “Daddy.” Their legacy includes 16 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchil- Editor’s Note: The Fargo Diocese’s Year of Marriage and Family dren and one great-great-grandchild. A second great-great kicked-off Dec. 28, 2014. Each month New Earth will feature an article related to a particular theme of the month during the yeargrandchild is due this month. “Reflecting on what it means to inherit and honor that long celebration. The following lists each month’s theme.





Our Children and Youth

Spousal Love

Natural Family Planning






The Blessed Virgin Mary

St. Joseph, Spouse and Father

Familial Love

“May I?” “Thank you” “I’m Sorry”





Parents: The First Teachers of Faith

Respect Life

Communion of Saints

Domestic Church

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





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New Earth February 2015  

Magazine for the Catholic Diocese of Fargo

New Earth February 2015  

Magazine for the Catholic Diocese of Fargo