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Heart of Christ, give us is Where your heart this mystery steeple? — Page 12 Page 4




September 2011 June 2014 Vol. 35   No. 32 No. 68 Vol.

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

One year later

Photo by Dave Arntson, Milestones Photography

Bishop John Folda takes his first steps as Bishop of Fargo and blesses the crowd at the Cathedral of St. Mary in Fargo following his ordination on June 19, 2013. During his ordination remarks, he declared, “I am all yours, and I promise to give all that I have and all that I am in your service.”

A reflection on Bishop Folda’s first year in the diocese By Aliceyn Magelky

June 19 marks the one-year anniversary of the day the Most Reverend John C. Nienstedt, Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis, laid his hands on then-Monsignor John Folda of the Diocese of Lincoln, invoking the Holy Spirit and consecrating him to service as the Bishop of Fargo. Several hundred Catholics and non-Catholics alike witnessed, either in person or through television and Catholic radio, this glorious scene which they had been praying to experience for months. “From the first moment of my arrival, I was touched by your kindness, your promises of prayers — keep those up please — and for your deep faith,”

commented Bishop Folda during his ordination remarks. “I am truly looking forward to our journey together as we make our way through the joys and challenges of this still new century and millennium and strive to draw always closer to our Lord Jesus Christ. I am all yours, and I promise to give all that I have and all that I am in your service. “. . . I look forward to joining everyone here in walking with Christ, building with Christ and proclaiming Christ to all. I cannot think of a more wonderful privilege or a more joyful adventure.” And, what an adventure! During his first year, Bishop Folda set out to accomplish several things

including “getting around to as many parishes as possible, meeting the people of the diocese, letting them get to know me and beginning a relationship with the faithful.” In one of his first acts toward reaching those goals, Bishop Folda sent a letter to each priest of the diocese inviting them to get in touch with him. In that letter he offered each one of them an opportunity to visit either in person or via phone or email. “I was delighted that many did come forward and made arrangements quickly to meet,” Bishop Folda said in an interview with New Earth as his one-year anniversary neared. “I felt like I was Please turn to ONE YEAR LATER on page 9

2 n June 2014


The many works of the Holy Spirit


n the Solemnity of Pentecost, be protected and nurtured by parents, the church celebrated once families and parish communities. We again the outpouring of the all have a responsibility to help these Holy Spirit upon the earth. From my young people keep the faith alive even personal vantage point as bishop, I can after they receive this great sacrament say that I have seen the Spirit at work in of the Spirit. a wonderful variety of ways in the life of our Touched by their joy local church. and peace Over the last several Another beautiful weeks, I have had the manifestation of the opportunity to travel life-giving Spirit came throughout the dioat the annual celebracese to administer the tion of Easter. sacrament of confirmation in our parishes. In parishes throughConfirmation is, of out the diocese, many course, the preeminent men and women resacrament of the Holy ceived the sacraments Spirit, and it is nearly of baptism, confirmaimpossible to be untion and Holy Euchamoved as our young rist as new members of people step forward to the church. Bishop John Folda receive the sacramental As I presided at the anointing. Easter Vigil in the CaTheir eagerness is heartwarming, thedral of St. Mary, I was touched by even when it is mixed with a bit of nerthe spirit of joy and peace that I saw vousness. in the faces of those who received the sacraments for the first time. And, it In these admittedly challenging was clear to me that the Holy Spirit was times, it is so important for these youngpresent and active in the church, first sters to have the grace of the Spirit as by opening their minds and hearts to they grow into adolescence and young the truth of the Gospel, and then by adulthood. The gifts of the Spirit — gently drawing them into the embrace wisdom, fortitude, piety, and the rest of the church. — are essential graces that enable all And even now, I have no doubt that of us to live in Christ and grow as his the Holy Spirit is already touching disciples. many other souls; helping them to exIt has been delightful to give the sacperience the mercy and love of Jesus rament of confirmation to hundreds of our Savior, assisting them in their own our young people, knowing that the journey of grace and conversion and Holy Spirit will be active in their lives preparing them for their own reception as they grow up. into the church. But, of course, the gifts of the Spirit cannot be taken for granted. They must

Bishop’s Message

Grace to give to others

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

NewEarth (ISSN # 10676406)

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

The day of ordination is always a joyful occasion in the life of a diocese. On May 24, I had the privilege of ordaining two fine young men as transitional deacons, and now they are spending the summer in parish assignments, receiving some of the pastoral experiences that will help them prepare for their ordination as priests next year. Once again, the Spirit was powerfully at work in the ordination liturgy as Deacons Kyle Metzger and William Slattery were conformed to Christ himself, who came “not to be served, but to serve.” Through their diaconal ordination, they received the grace of the Holy Spirit in a particular way that will enable them to preach the Gospel, administer baptism and serve the needs of God’s people in many other ways. With the help of our prayers and support, the Spirit will continue to bless these men with the grace they will need as they approach their ordinations as priests of Jesus Christ. And through the gentle working of the Spirit, we pray that other men too will hear our Lord’s invitation to “Come, follow me.” These are just a few of the more noticeable signs of the Holy Spirit at work in the church, but there are many others as well. As we celebrate Pentecost this year, hopefully we will be aware of the Spirit’s presence in our own souls and promptly accept the grace that he offers.

Watch for the signs The Spirit is within us opening our minds to the truth whenever we read and pray with the Sacred Scriptures.

Bishop Folda’s Calendar June 6

Confirmation/First Eucharist, Mayville

June 7

10 a.m.

Confirmation/First Eucharist, St. Michael’s, Grand Forks

June 7

5 p.m.

Confirmation/First Eucharist, Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo

June 8

10 a.m.

Mass of Pentecost, Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo

June 10-13

June 14

USCCB Conference, New Orleans, La.

11 a.m.

Jubilee Celebration of Religious Professions Sisters Rebecca Metzger and Genevieve Merrick, OSF, St. Francis Provincial House, Hankinson

June 17

ND Catholic Conference, Jamestown

June 17

Diocesan Finance Council, Fargo

June 19-22

Family wedding, Lincoln, Neb.

June 29

10:30 a.m.

July 7

Final Mass, St. Thomas Catholic Church, St. Thomas Priests’ Council, Fargo

July 13

12 p.m.

Field Mass with Knights of Columbus, International Peace Gardens

July 20

10:30 a.m.

Mass at Riverview Place, Fargo

July 22-23

Native American Ministry Orientation, Ramada Inn, Fargo

July 23-27

Tekakwitha Conference, Ramada Inn, Fargo

Aug. 2

5 p.m.

Mass at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Carrington

Aug. 3

9 a.m.

Mass at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Carrington

Aug. 3

11 a.m.

Mass at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church, Sykeston

The Holy Spirit constantly moves us to respond with generosity to our brothers and sisters in material or spiritual need. The Spirit is always drawing us to receive the grace of Christ in the sacraments, especially through participation in the Holy Eucharist at Mass and through the healing of reconciliation. And, the Holy Spirit never fails to show us new avenues for evangelization, new ways to offer the Gospel to those who await a relationship with Christ. Opportunities to share the faith are all around us. Perhaps, the Spirit is asking us if we have taken advantage of these opportunities and personally accepted the mission of evangelization given to the Church. Pope Francis, in his apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, calls all the faithful to be “spirit-filled evangelizers,” that is, evangelizers “fearlessly open to the working of the Holy Spirit. At Pentecost, the Spirit made the apostles go forth from themselves and turned them into heralds of God’s wondrous deeds . . . The Holy Spirit also grants the courage to proclaim the newness of the Gospel with boldness in every time and place . . . Let us call upon him today, firmly rooted in prayer, for without prayer all our activity risks being fruitless and our

message empty.” By the grace of our baptism, and strengthened in confirmation with the Holy Spirit, each of us is called to be a “spirit-filled evangelizer.” Our daily prayers should certainly include a prayer to the Holy Spirit, asking for the grace and guidance to share the gift of faith with those we encounter in ordinary daily life. The work of evangelizing doesn’t belong only to the so-called professionals but is the work of all the faithful. And, if we are open to the gifts of the Spirit, who “helps us in our weakness” (Romans 8:26), we will never lack the grace we need to share the gift of faith, a gift we ourselves have received. When St. John XXIII announced more than 50 years ago that he would call the Second Vatican Council, he stated his hope that the church would experience a “new Pentecost,” a new experience of the Spirit’s grace given to the church. Pope John rightly understood that the church was facing new challenges and new opportunities for sharing the faith, and that the gifts of the Spirit would be needed more than ever. I pray that all the faithful in the Diocese of Fargo will experience anew the grace of Pentecost, the outpouring of the Spirit that will allow us to live faithfully and joyfully in Christ.


Diocese of Fargo

June 2014 n 3

Spring Ed Days provide renewal and learning By Kristina Lahr

Official Appointments/Announcements Most Rev. John T. Folda, Bishop of Fargo, has made the following appointments, announcements, and/or decrees: Rev. Phillip Ackerman has been appointed Pastor of St. Alphonsus’ Parish, Langdon, St. Edward’s parish, Nekoma, and St. Michael’s parish, Wales, for a six-year term beginning June 25, 2014. Rev. Kevin Boucher has been appointed Pastor of Nativity parish, Fargo, for a five-year term beginning June 25, 2014. Rev. John Cavanaugh has been appointed Pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish, Reynolds, and St. Jude’s parish, Thompson, for a five-year term beginning June 25, 2014. Rev. Philip Chacko has been appointed Pastor of Sacred Heart parish, Rolette, Holy Rosary parish, Bisbee, and Notre Dame des Victoires parish, Willow City, for a five-year term beginning June 25, 2014. Msgr. Brian Donahue has been appointed Pastor of Holy Family parish, Grand Forks, for a six-year term beginning June 25, 2014. Rev. Arogyaiah Gadagotti has been appointed Pastor of Bernard of Clairvaux’s parish, Oriska, Sacred Heart parish, Sanborn, and St. Agatha’s parish, Hope, beginning June 25, 2014. Rev. Thomas Graner has been appointed Pastor of St. Therese the Little Flower parish, Rugby, and St. Mary’s parish, Knox, for a five-year term beginning June 25, 2014. Rev. Michael Hickin has been appointed Pastor of St. Mark’s parish, Bottineau, and St. Andrew’s parish, Westhope, for a six-year term beginning June 25, 2014. Rev. Jerome Hunkler has been appointed Pastor of St. Francis de Sales’ parish, Steele, St. Mary’s parish, Medina, and St. Paul’s parish, Tappen, for a third six-year term beginning June 25, 2014.

Rev. Timothy Schroeder has been appointed Pastor of Sacred Heart parish, Oakwood, for a two-year term, beginning June 25, 2014. This appointment is in addition to his current assignment was Pastor of St. John the Evangelist parish, Grafton. Rev. Paul Schuster has been appointed Pastor of St. Michael’s parish, St. Michael, for a six-year term beginning June 25, 2014. Rev. Peter J. Sharpe has been appointed pastor of St. Cecilia’s parish, Velva, and Sts. Peter and Paul’s parish, Karlsruhe for a six-year term effective on June 25, 2014. Rev. Robert Smith has been appointed to continue as Pastor of St. Boniface’s parish, Lidgerwood, Sts. Peter and Paul’s parish, Cayuga, and St. Martin of Tours’ parish, Geneseo, beginning June 25, 2014. Msgr. Jeffrey Wald has been appointed rector of St. James Basilica, Jamestown and pastor of St. Margaret Mary’s parish, Buchanan, St. Michael’s parish, Pingree, and St. Mathias of Windsor, Windsor for a six-year term beginning June 25, 2014. Rev. Thomas Feltman has been appointed to continue as administrator of St. Boniface’s parish, Walhalla and Sts. Nereu and Achilleus’ parish, Neche, beginning June 25, 2014. Rev. Richard M. Fineo has been appointed Parochial Vicar of Holy Cross parish, West Fargo, beginning June 25, 2014, and continuing ad nutum episcopi. Rev. James Gross has been appointed Parochial Vicar of St. Anthony of Padua parish, Fargo, beginning June 25, 2014 and continuing ad nutum episcopi. Rev. Gregory Haman has been appointed Parochial Vicar of St. Michael’s parish, Grand Forks beginning June 25, 2014 and continuing ad nutum episcopi. Rev. Christopher Markman has been appointed Parochial Vicar of St. John’s parish, Wahpeton, beginning June 25, 2014 and continuing ad nutum episcopi.

Rev. Jared Kadlec has been appointed Pastor of St. Benedict’s parish, Wild Rice, and St. Maurice’s parish, Kindred, for a second six-year term beginning June 25, 2014.

Rev. Thanaiah Marneni has been appointed to continue to serve as Parochial Vicar of Holy Family parish, Grand Forks, beginning June 25, 2014 and continuing ad nutum episcopi.

Rev. John Kizito has been appointed Pastor of St. Helen’s parish, Ellendale, and St. Patrick’s parish, Fullerton, for a fiveyear term beginning June 25, 2014.

Rev. Daniel Musgrave has been appointed Parochial Vicar of St. Alphonsus’ parish, Langdon, St. Edward’s parish, Nekoma, and St. Michael’s parish, Wales, beginning June 25, 2014 and continuing ad nutum episcopi.

Rev. Leonard Loegering has been appointed to continue as Pastor of St. John the Baptist parish, Wyndmere, and St. Arnold’s parish, Milnor, beginning June 25, 2014.

Rev. Thondappa T. Paulraj has been appointed Parochial Vicar of St. Therese Little Flower parish, Rugby, and St. Mary’s parish, Knox, beginning June 25, 2014 and continuing ad nutum episcopi.

Rev. Prasad Marneni has been appointed as Pastor of St. John Nepomucence’s parish, Pisek, Sts. Peter and Paul’s parish, Bechyne, and St. Joseph’s parish, Lankin, beginning June 25, 2014.

Rev. Neil Pfeifer has been appointed Parochial Vicar of Holy Spirit parish, Fargo, beginning June 25, 2014 and continuing ad nutum episcopi.

Rev. William McDermott has been appointed Pastor of St. Stephen’s parish, Larimore, for a six-year term beginning June 25, 2014.

Rev. Reese Weber has been appointed Parochial Vicar of Nativity parish, Fargo, beginning June 25, 2014 and continuing ad nutum episcopi.

Rev. James Meyer has been appointed Pastor of Holy Cross parish, West Fargo, for a second six-year term beginning June 25, 2014.

Rev. Longinus (Al) M. Bitz has been granted retirement as of June 25, 2014.

Rev. Brian Moen has been appointed Pastor of Holy Spirit parish, Fargo, for a six-year term beginning June 25, 2014. Rev. Bernard Pfau has been appointed to continue as Pastor of St. John the Evangelist parish, New Rockford, and Sts. Peter and Paul’s parish, McHenry, beginning June 25, 2014. Rev. Scott Sautner has been appointed Pastor of St. Philip’s parish, Hankinson, and St. Anthony’s parish, Fairmount, for a second six-year term beginning June 25, 2014.

Rev. James Lauerman has been granted retirement as of June 25, 2014. Mr. Jack Kennelly has been appointed a member of the Diocesan Review Board as well as chairperson of the same board. This is effective May 20, 2014. Ms. Patty Carew has been appointed a member of the Diocesan Review Board effective June 1, 2014. Dr. Emmet Kenney has been appointed a member of the Diocesan Review Board effective June 1, 2014.

Each year priests of the Fargo diocese dedicate the two days following Divine Mercy Sunday as Spring Ed Days. Annually located in Carrington, these days are packed with conference talks, presentations and priestly fellowship. This year about 80 priests attended. Father Raymond Courtright, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua in Fargo has gone to Spring Ed days every year since he became a priest 22 years ago. “It’s a joy to be together with the other priests,” he said. “It’s always very uplifting with such great speakers and having Mass with the other priests.” The speaker each year is decided based on a list of information gathered from questionnaires and evaluations about what priests would like to see. This year’s main speaker was Ralph Martin, professor at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Mich., where several seminarian students from the Fargo Diocese currently study. Martin’s presentations focused on the New Evangelization since he was appointed by Pope Benedict to be a consultor on the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization. Some of his presentations during Spring Ed days included: “What’s New about the New Evangelization,” “The Mission of Catholic Lay People,” “The Eucharist as the Memorial of our Redemption” and “What Did Jesus Ask Us to Tell People?” Martin is also the author of several books including “The Urgency of the New Evangelization: Answering the Call,” “The Fulfillment of all Desire”— A Guidebook for the Journey to God Based on the Wisdom of the Saints” and “Will Many be Saved?: What Vatican II Actually Teaches and It’s Implications for the New Evangelization.” Another event that takes place at Spring Ed Days is what Father Courtright calls the “state of the church address” where the bishop will let the priests know what’s new and what his desires are for the diocese. The bishop also will typically preach at the two Masses held during Spring Ed Days, but since Bishop Folda recently preached to all the priests at the Chrism Mass on April 15, he passed the responsibility to Father Courtright and Father James Ermer, pastor at St. Leo’s in Casselton. “It was pretty wild,” Father Courtright said. “I don’t remember preaching at a Pontifical Mass before. It was a great experience, exciting yet very nerve racking.” Spring Ed Days are very similar to Presbyteral Days that take place in the fall. Presbyteral Days will focus on marriage and family this year in preparation for The Year of Marriage and the Family beginning this fall. Beyond having an awareness of where all the priests disappear to a few times out of the year, Father Courtright would like the Catholic community to know that the diocese is very blessed to have Spring Ed Days and other retreats for our priests. “Rejoice and be glad that our priests can take time out to go back and learn,” he said. “Pray for your priests while they are gone. These days reform some of the things we’ve been preaching about. I’ve never walked away from any of our conferences in the last 22 years disappointed.”

4 n June 2014

Two ordained transitional deacons; prepare for priesthood


Another step toward becoming priests

By Aliceyn Magelky

On May 24, the Diocese of Fargo received a gift of two new deacons as Bishop John Folda celebrated Mass and ordained two young men as transitional deacons at the Cathedral of St. Mary in Fargo. The duo, Deacons Kyle Metzger of Fargo and William Slattery from Sylvania, Ohio, will complete seminarian studies this fall and are expected to be ordained priests next summer. This summer Deacon Metzger will serve alongside Father Dale Lagodinski at St. John’s in Wahpeton, and Deacon Slattery will assist at St. Catherine’s in Valley City with Monsignor Dennis Skonseng. Seminarians are customarily ordained to the transitional diaconate before their last year of preparation for ordination to the priesthood.

Bishop John Folda bestows the sacrament of Holy Orders onto seminarian William Slattery during the diaconate ordination Mass. By this ritual, Bishop Folda invokes the Holy Spirit to come down upon the one to be ordained, giving him a sacred character and setting him apart for his diaconate ministry.

Photos by Aliceyn Magelky

Extended promises to bishop

After each one was formally presented to the bishop to receive the sacrament and move forward in their journey, each of the men placed their hands into Bishop Folda’s, promising respect and obedience to him and his successors. They promised to remain celibate, to proclaim the faith and to enter a deeper prayer life including a commitment to praying the Liturgy of the Hours. Later, in an expression of total dependence on God, they prostrated themselves in front of the altar while the assembly prayed the litany of saints. The bishop consecrated each man for the church’s ministry by laying his hands on them. Surrounded by family, friends and area faithful, the seminarians received the sacrament of holy orders and joined in service and brotherhood with the permanent deacons of the diocese. Then, the men were vested with the stole and dalmatic by a priest of significant influence in his life. The bishop presented each new deacon with a Book of the Gospels and extended the kiss of peace which was repeated by their fellow deacons. A deacon’s duties include proclaiming the Gospel at Mass and delivering homilies. In addition, he may administer Holy Communion, the sacrament of baptism, and he may witness weddings. Deacons also are active in Christian outreach and ministry in a variety of places including parishes and hospitals, as well as service to the poor. Transitional diaconate is one of the final steps before being ordained to the priesthood. Typically, a seminarian is ordained a deacon after his third year in a school of theology. Additional photos from the ordination can be found on the diocesan website — — or on the diocesan Facebook page.

Seminarian Kyle Metzger kneels before Bishop John Folda during his transitional diaconate ordination on May 24. Bishop Folda asked Metzger for his promise to proclaim the faith, remain celibate to commit to praying the Liturgy of the Hours in accordance with his role as deacon.

Newly ordained Deacons William Slattery (Left) and Kyle Metzger (right) stand with Bishop John Folda after celebrating Mass and being ordained transitional deacons. Still seminarians, the men will spend the summer at parishes in Valley City and Wahpeton before completing their final year of study.


June 2014 n 5

Saint’s healing prayers keep on giving Holy Water blessed by St. John Paul II never ‘recedes’ Editor’s note: This article is the ninth in this series: Stories of Faith. If you have a faith story to tell, contact Father Bert Miller at Author’s note: When one of my parishioners at Blessed Sacrament in West Fargo got the April 2014 issue of the New Earth with the front page pictures of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II and the caption “Declared ‘With God’ to become Saints April 27,” she said, “Wow! Would I love to be there!” In her own words, Rosemary Lee Bernadetta Maria Dimmer Coleman has written about her connection to John Paul II. — Father Bert Miller


ee, in June 2011, I was diagnosed with the “Big C”, cancer. I felt like I had been whacked with a baseball bat. After a couple of days in chaotic turmoil, I calmed down enough to forge ahead and take my turn at bat. Up to that time, I was in good shape for the shape I’m in. I’ve dealt with a couple of chronic illnesses since childhood, but I was too busy living my life to leave time to feel sorry for myself.

When my late husband and I were still living in a tiny mission parish in the Deep South, some friends took a trip to the Holy Land and Vatican. Upon returning, they brought gifts for the whole parish, all 39 families. The gift was a small clam-shellshaped plastic bottle with “Holy Water” applied in gold. It had been blessed by Pope John Paul II. I had long since drained the contents of my bottle, but my husband’s half-full bottle was still setting on the night stand.

The blessings begin

I started using his “JPII water” for my daily blessing, along with asking for prayers from John Paul II. As time and the cancer treatments progressed, I was blessing myself two or more times a day and in communication with John Paul II. I also offered a blessing to anyone around. Quite soon I noticed that the level of the water in the bottle was not receding. It maintained the same level between “Holy” and “Water” where it had been since my husband died in

2008. I told many of this occurrence, and they were also in awe. One of my brothers replied, “Let me know if it starts filling up.” I truly believed that JPII had a hand, or should I say prayer, in my recovery. But, still there was that bit of skepticism in me that kept thinking, “Really?” So, last Easter, on my first anniversary being cancer-free, I topped off the bottle with newly blessed water and continued my daily blessing, giving thanks for good health. Yes, the water level has receded in the past year — right back to where it was in June 2011, midway between “Holy” and “Water.” Now at Easter 2014, I am two years cancer-free. Am I going to “top it off” again? No. I’m going to offer it for the blessing of the new Trinity Elementary School in the St. John Paul II Catholic School Network of the Fargo Diocese. What will I do without my “JPII water?” Not to worry. I’ve poured a couple of drops in my other Holy Water bottle. So, as long as I never let it go empty, I can keep on keeping on. Yeah, God! Father Bert Miller is pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church in West Fargo.

“I truly believed that

JPII had a hand, or should I say prayer, in my recovery. But, still there was that bit of skepticism in me that kept thinking, ‘Really?’ Rosemary Coleman

After acolyte installation, Noehre prepares to become a permanent deacon By Kristina Lahr

“It’s going to be exciting, humbling and scary,” said Les Noehre as he finishes his last preparations for the permanent diaconate this summer. “It’s an awesome responsibility. But, it’s also a joy to serve the bishop, priests and all the people in the diocese.” On May 1, Bishop John Folda installed Les Noehre of Holy Family Church in Grand Forks into the Ministry of Acolyte during Mass at the Cathedral of St. Mary in Fargo. Acolyte is a stepping stone in formation to becoming a deacon. Preparation includes studying sacred Scripture, sacred theology, church history, Vatican II, the Gospels and how to proclaim the Word of God. “An acolyte serves at the altar, is an assistant to the priest of the Mass and is also an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion,” Noehre said. Noehre’s road to becoming a deacon started seven years ago with an EPS (Education for Parish Service) course to learn more about the Catholic faith. From there his path grew to a calling to eventually be a permanent deacon. “It takes work and study, but in the end, the rewards received are enormous beyond the work that is required,” he said.

And not just for Noehre, but for Annette, his wife of 33 years, two sons and two grandchildren. “The deepening of the faith and the closer relationship with Jesus and the couple involved are blessed along with the community they serve,” added Noehre.

Deeper formation As Noehre learns more about the faith and grows closer to Jesus, he says that he sees God in his family, the community and the faith of the people both during Mass and outside of Mass. “First and foremost I see God in the Eucharist and the people coming together in community and communion in God the Father in the sacrifice of the Mass,” Noehre said. “I also see God in their need, whatever it may be, needing someone to listen to them, give assistance or bring communion to them.” After three years of EPS classes, four years of formation including one spiritual year of learning more about how to pray, practicing prayer and deepening a relationship with Jesus, Noehre hopes to be installed as a deacon this fall after finishing an oral exam. From there, the installation is up to the bishop.

New Earth photo

Les Noehre stands with Bishop John Folda after his installation as an acolyte May 1 at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fargo. The Ministry of Acolyte is one of the steps toward the permanent diaconate. Noehre hopes to complete his studies this summer to be ordained a permanent deacon. He and his wife, Annette, are members of Holy Family parish in Grand Forks.

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6 n June 2014


Love and unity were center of ministry for retiring pastor Jamestown parishioners to say ‘goodbye’ to Father Bitz, pastor for 11 years

Father Al Bitz stands in the sanctuary of the St. James Basilica in Jamestown, where he has served in for the past 11 years. He will retire from full-time service to the Diocese of Fargo at the end of June.

By Aliceyn Magelky

After 45 years of service to the Diocese of Fargo, Father Longinus “Al” Bitz has been granted retirement from service in our area. Although serving in several different roles including pastor of a number of parishes, rector of St. Mary’s Cathedral, a part of the Diocese Tribunal office and as a member of several committees, most of his time recently was spent as pastor of St. James Basilica, Jamestown. For nearly 11 years, he used his “openness and honesty” to help bring to fruition his pastoral goal of unifying people and parish to the mission of the church. “I was completely happy as pastor of St. Leo’s in Casselton and St. Thomas in Buffalo,” Father Bitz recalled. “Then, I was approached about coming here. They were looking for a pastor that could be a unifier. Thus, I came with the mission of being a unifier.” For Father Bitz, having a real love of the people of the parish was required to achieve that mission. To love the people was a gift he prayed God would send him. And, it was a gift he felt he received soon in his ministry at the Basilica. “I knew that it indeed was a gift; a gift that was essential for an effective ministry of unity,” said Father Bitz. “My ministry began in love.”

Earned respect

Indeed, some who have worked directly with Father Bitz have experienced elements of that love. Deacon Tom Geffre, chaplain for Ave Maria Village, Jamestown, praised Father Bitz for his poise. “It always seems like no matter how difficult the problem is or may seem, he approaches it in a very loving manor,” Deacon Geffre said. “I have never heard him raise his voice about anything.” Mark Wiest, principal for St. John’s Academy, Jamestown, added, “He

Photo by John M. Steiner, Jamestown Sun

believed in me and had so much confidence in my abilities, especially when I doubted or questioned myself. “Whenever I needed guidance, advice or simply needed someone to talk to as a friend, he was always there and no matter what, I always left his office feeling uplifted.” Not only did Father Bitz tackle issues in a loving way, he used the respect and love he has for the people in the parish and community to help them see their gifts. “My greatest joy has always been to help people see their gifts and develop them,” he said. “Furthermore, I invite people to use their gifts in the service of others so that our parishes really become participative, not only in liturgy, but also in daily life.”

Liturgy the top priority

Addressing long-term building plans and developing a vision for the parish were among the many things, Father Bitz hoped to achieve in his time in Jamestown. But, his first concern was the liturgical life of the parish. “Vatican II had stated that the ‘participation of the people in the liturgy’ was the first principle in reforming the liturgy. It was from this experience of

the one unifier and reconciler — Jesus Christ — that a unifying and reconciling parish would evolve. Our unity would be a great way of evangelizing the greater community,” he said. Another primary focus for Father Bitz during his tenure was encouraging each person at the parish to experience a retreat. “My next step was to help people have a retreat experience. Through these experiences, they would personally get to know Jesus, as well as their own giftedness,” Father Bitz noted. “I’m proud of the people that have availed themselves of a retreat experience. Many have become involved in weekly groupings and part of our faith formation, which has excellent leadership.” Father Bitz also has been pleased with the continual growth seen annually at St. John’s Academy, the Catholic elementary school in Jamestown. He praised the administration at the school and the strong support of the community. Ordained in 1969, Father Bitz has been eligible for retirement for six years, but had been putting it off until he made a final decision in mid-March to request retirement from the bishop. “It’s a bit of a double-edged sword,”

Father Bitz said of retiring. “Once you realize you just have to slow down, you feel a great peace to accept and move on with that. The hard thing is always the people; people I wanted to get involved but didn’t quite get a chance to.”

Headed to Bismarck Father Bitz will be moving to Bismarck and work part-time with the University of Mary in the development office and with the Benedictine Sisters. Also, he will be on-call to assist with liturgies. “I will miss his energy. He seems to be going all the time,” commented Deacon Geffre. “I will miss the sense of unity that he accomplished here, not to say that won’t continue, but it still will be different.” In his farewell letter Father leaves these words to the parishioners he served: “May God the Eternal Father keep you in love with each other so that the peace of Christ may stay with you and always be in your domestic churches. May you always bear witness to the love of God in this world, so that the afflicted and the needy will always find in you generous friends and welcome you into the joys of heaven.”

Prayer intentions of Pope Francis June General intention: Unemployed. That the unemployed may receive support and find the work they need to live in dignity. Reflection: How does unemployment relate to my duty to respect human life from conception to natural death? Scripture: Isaiah 58: 1-12 If you satisfy the afflicted, then light shall rise for you in the darkness. Mission intention: Faith in Europe. That Europe may rediscover its Christian roots through the witness of believers. Reflection: What are ways that I give “hidden witness” to the faith in my daily life? Scripture: Matthew 7: 15-20 Every good tree bears good fruit. Provided by Apostleship of Prayer,


June 2014 n 7

‘One of Catholic schools’ finest,’ principal Dyrness retires By Kristina Lahr

St. Catherine Elementary School in Valley City will say goodbye to its principal, Ralph Dyrness as he retires at the end of June this year after 40 years of service to the Diocese of Fargo. Dyrness began his career in 1974 at St. James Elementary in New Rockford where he taught seventh and eighth graders. He then moved to St. Anthony in Fargo where he taught religion and social studies in the junior high. He returned to St. James in 1981 as both principal and classroom teacher and in 1986 went to St. Catherine in Valley City as principal. The last 28 years of his career were in Valley City.

Satisfying stops along the way

“Each parish I worked in brought similar memories with the faculty, students and parents,” Dyrness said. “In New Rockford I knew the family names from when I was a youth in the town. I recall when I interviewed for the position most of the questions were inquiries of how my parents, brothers and sister were doing. Some of my students were children of families that were close to my family and some were children of relatives of mine which made them my relative. It was a very loving and caring group of school families.” Dyrness added, “Teaching at St. Anthony was unique in that the community was much larger. You would think there would be little personal connections, but there was a closeness to fellow teachers and to families that still remain. Another uniqueness being there was the opportunity to get involved with diocesan level organizations. I recall learning much about liturgy by being on the Diocesan Liturgical Commission.”

Own faith grew

Dyrness spent the larger part of his career as principal at St. Catherine’s, where he was also involved in the religious education program. During this time he grew deeply in his faith because of a number of

Principal Ralph Dyrness as his alter ego, the happy leprechaun, on St. Patrick’s Day at St. Catherine’s in Valley City. He started the tradition of dressing up on St. Patrick’s Day for the kids to bring a little extra cheer to the community. Being part Irish, he said his mother always insisted that he celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

retreats, marriage enrichment, Cursillo groupings and Life in the Spirit seminars. Besides his wife, Jean, who will also be retiring in June, and his children, Dyrness says the biggest impact on his life has been the men and women of faith that have helped him grow and continue to live out his faith on a daily basis. “I have been influenced by pastors and religious who have also impacted how I try to live my life as a husband and father, which impacted how I managed in a school setting as teacher and administrator,” he said.

Bounty of blessings

Some of his best memories of being in the Catholic Schools’ system are of families, students and alumni that have shown his family love and care. He also remembers fondly the times when he has seen the benefits of attending Catholic schools beyond academics. “I believe we continue to do an exceptional job of educating the children who attend St. Catherine Elementary,” Dyrness said. “However, what most brings me to tears and a smile is the love that is shown and the faith that is growing among the families directly involved with this parish school. “I had a young man leave me a phone message several years ago on his memory of St. Patrick’s Day at St. Catherine School. I still have that message on my phone and when I need a lift I play that message. He had to have experienced something more than just an academic success to leave the heartfelt message that to this day brings a big smile to my face.”

child than to begin developing a faith life that can grow,” Dyrness said. “This must be integral to any Catholic education program. The greatest gift and duty of a parent and educator, as one of my daughters pointed out, is to help the children develop a relationship with Christ.” Dyrness leaves this piece of advice for

principals, teachers and anyone who works in education. “The only advice I would leave involves two words, love and service. We must constantly be at the service of our colleagues, our children and parents and it must be service out of love, unconditional love that models a love relationship with Christ. Praise him!”

Staying in town

Dyrness and his wife plan to stay in Valley City upon retirement. They hope to give back to the parish and community that has welcomed and given them much love, friendship and compassion over the last 28 years. Their four children and two granddaughters live within driving distance and will now become a greater focus for them as well. “I am confident that there is nothing more important in the life of a

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Sarah Crary, 1998 alum, appointed new Shanley High School principal Superintendent Dr. Michael Smith and the nine member Principal Search Committee recently appointed Sarah Crary as the new principal of Shanley High School. Crary replaces Ed Mitchell who had been with the school for about a year. Mitchell has accepted a position as the Technology Director for the West Fargo School district. A native of Fargo and a 1998 alumna of Shanley High School, Crary received her Bachelors of Science from Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM), Moorhead, Minn. Later she received her Masters in Science from MSUM, and now she is pursuing her Doctorate from University of North Dakota, Grand Forks. Crary comes to Shanley after seven years of service in Fargo Public Schools, where she taught social sciences at South High, including courses in advance placement psychology and advance placement U.S. history.

She has served as a Using Data Coach and on district committees as part of an AdvanceEd Accreditation Team. Crary also has been active in school committees including co-chairing the School Improvement Committee and being a team leader for the Advisory Committee. Also, she coached volleyball for five years. “Sarah brings a strong passion for Catholic education to the Shanley principal position,” said Smith, who is superintendent of the St. John Paul II Catholic Schools Network. “Her leadership, high quality classroom instruction and work on the AdvanceEd Accreditation Team at South has helped distinguish herself as someone deeply committed to learning and growing as a professional while meeting the ever evolving student needs.” Prior to teaching in Fargo, Crary worked for three years in Stockton, Calif.

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8 n June 2014


Father Sherman receives honorary degree from UND By Kristina Lahr

Father William Sherman, pastor of St. Michael’s Church in Grand Forks from 1976-2003, received an honorary degree from the University of North Dakota during its general spring commencement ceremony May 17 at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks. St. Michael’s also hosted a public reception for Father Sherman that evening. This award is given to honor someone who spent many years in a specific field. Father Sherman was nominated by the Department of Sociology, an area which he studied, taught as a professor and wrote many books. During the ceremony he marched before the graduates and was given the title Father Doctor Sherman. “I admire and respect him,” said Pete Bouley, a long-time friend since Father Sherman presided at Bouley and his wife Beth’s wedding in 1979. “He’s a very genuine and warm person. He’s become a very good personal friend.” “Father Sherman is a pastor of the people,” said Father Gerald Braun, current pastor at St. Michael’s. “He continues to influence many people’s lives through his visits and weekly coffee outings at Perkins. He’s good at calling people to reconciliation on the spot. He’s well known for that, whether they’re at a restaurant or his home.”

Veteran teacher and author

Father Sherman was born in Detroit and attended school in Oregon, North Carolina and North Dakota. After high school he joined the Army when he was 17, serving in the Philippines and Japan. When he returned, he went to St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn. It was there where he started thinking about becoming a priest. He graduated from St. John’s University with a B.A. in sociology and philosophy in 1951 and a divinity degree in 1955. Also in 1955, he was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Fargo. Later, he earned a master’s degree in sociology

from the University of North Dakota in 1965. He taught Sociology of Religion and Sociology of the Great Plains at North Dakota State University in Fargo from 1971 to 2001, and is now a professor emeritus there. Father Sherman is also recognized for his interest in North Dakota’s ethnic history. He has written many books on the subject as well as others including: “Prairie Mosaic: An Atlas of Rural North Dakota,” “Plain Folk: North Dakota’s Ethnic History,” “African Americans in North Dakota,” “Prairie Peddlers: Syrian-Lebanese in North Dakota,” “Valerian Paczek: Polish Priest, War Hero,” “A Written Celebration of Its Centennial,” “Wagons North: Minnesota to Oregon,” “Selz, Russia: Home Colony” and “Scattered Steeples: the Fargo Diocese.”

Always curious

“One of things that surprised me about North Dakota is that there are so many Catholics here,” Father Sherman said. “Oregon is the least religious state in the country. Religion is very private. When I was going to school in North Carolina, there were 600 students in my class. There were two Catholics, me and my brother. “I spent the rest of my life in this wide open space trying to figure out what made it different. Why would people come here, why would they stay, how would it affect them, how would their thinking change. . . . I had very sharp students helping me research and dig into archives.” Further contributions to public service and achievements include an honorary doctorate of leadership degree from the University of Mary, the North Dakota State Historical Society’s Heritage Profile Award, Service to Mankind Award from the Greater Grand Forks Sertoma Club and a stint as the national chaplain for the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He previously served as pastor in Sheldon, Alice, Enderlin, Fargo, Verona and most recently Grand Forks for 27 years.

Photo by Jacki Lorentz, University of North Dakota

Father William Sherman receives an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from University of North Dakota by President Robert O. Kelley during spring commencement, held at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks May 17.

After his retirement, Father Sherman has kept active offering daily Mass in his private chapel at 4 p.m. every day. People are welcome to attend Mass with him there. Each year he leads a book study at

UND during four weeks of Lent. Like any sociology professor, Father Sherman looks for input from those who attend by asking questions about what people would be like and what their life was like.

‘He’ll remain with you if you remain with him’

New Earth photo

1417 South University Drive, Fargo, ND 58103

During the JPII Baccalaureate Mass, Bishop John Folda encourages the 2014 graduating class of Shanley High School to enjoy faces and places they encounter as they embark on the next chapter of their life, but to remember about these things: “…they can change, they can come and go, and yet Jesus stays the same. If you remain in him, if you walk with him, come what may, you will be on solid ground. . . .” Bishop Folda’s entire homily can be viewed on the diocese website, www.


June 2014 n 9

One year later

A reflection on Bishop Folda’s first year in the diocese Continued from page 1 starting to develop a relationship and a friendship with the priests, which is very important to me.” Additionally, the bishop made immediate arrangements to reach out to the people of the diocese in their hometowns and parishes. “I really wanted to get to know the diocese, not just on paper from a distance, but really start to get around the diocese,” he said. “I had asked before my ordination that regional Masses be scheduled, first Jamestown, Devils Lake and then Grand Forks.” Since those first regional Masses, Bishop Folda has traveled to the far reaches of the diocese visiting parishes, attending deanery meetings, presiding during Masses and celebrating confirmations and other milestones. Still, he desires to do more. In particular, Bishop Folda has enjoyed the interaction with young people. “A lot of what I’ve been doing is getting around the diocese and meeting as many people as I can,” he explained. “I’m now in the middle of confirmation celebrations. That’s been a beautiful opportunity for me to see and meet more people. I’ve done a number of school visits both in Fargo and outside the metro area. Having been a teacher in the past, those opportunities have been great because I’ve always enjoyed working with young people. It’s nice to continue that.”

Still the teacher, still learning

Bishop Folda has also been able to use that teaching background his first year by presenting on the life of the church from the Middle Ages to Reformation during the Faith through the Ages series held last summer. Then, this past February during the Catholic Collage in Fargo he presented a session on Spirituality and the Church in which he discussed the “riches of Catholic spiritual life for the ordinary believer and the Catholic community.” He noted, “I enjoy that part of my ministry. You see the desire to learn more and the curiosity, the questions. My love for the faith and desire to share it with others makes that experience wonderful. I love being able to foster the faith of our people.” Another highlight for Bishop Folda this past year was a 10-day colloquium sponsored by the Holy See in Rome with other newly appointed bishops. During that visit, he had a chance to interact with other bishops, learn from current cardinals and bishops and celebrate Mass at the Tomb of St. Peter. “It was a marvelous way to be initiated into this new service to the church. I felt a real sense of solidarity with other bishops,” he said, and, for him, the brightest spot from that trip was an audience with Pope Francis. “He’s exactly as we’ve come to know him in public media — he’s very prayerful, warm and open, but he can be very serious,” Bishop Folda said. “He challenged us but clearly communicated his support for us as bishops. It was a real

privilege to gain his counsel and his wisdom.” Later, Bishop Folda had an opportunity to further his connection and brotherhood with fellow bishops by attending the fall meeting of the United State Conference of Catholic Bishops. While there, he was appointed to the Administrative Committee. This past March he attended his first meeting. “It has given me a broader perspective on the activities of the church, and I have an opportunity to deal with issues more immediately,” he said. “It’s nice being able to bring the perspective of the Diocese of Fargo to those meetings.”

Forced to slow down

Unfortunately, not all of Bishop Folda’s experiences this past year were positive. Not long after returning from Rome, Bishop Folda started feeling sick and experiencing flu-like symptoms. Medical tests confirmed he had contracted Hepatitis A, likely from contaminated berries served during his Rome visit. “For three to four weeks, I was pretty much out of commission,” he recalled. That meant cancelling appointments and postponing work. And, what might have been a private period in someone else’s life, turned into a media frenzy. Although frustrated by his inability to get things accomplished as planned, Bishop Folda’s greatest concern during that time was that someone he had encountered may contract the illness. Thankfully, no one has become sick. And several months later, Bishop Folda said he feels no residual effects. “All things considered I could have been far sicker, and I am grateful that I recovered so quickly,” he said. “People were extraordinarily kind. I know I was the recipient of many, many prayers and kind thoughts. People were very Photo by L’Osservatore Romano concerned for my well-being and that Bishop John Folda attended the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishop’s Conference for New Bishops was very humbling.” Sept. 10 through 19 in Rome. The biggest highlight of the trip was the opportunity to meet Pope Francis. Although frustrated by the delay in his ministry and work, Bishop Folda was reminded we are not in total control of our lives, and we may need to give up our control of certain things. “It forced me to slow down, which I wasn’t crazy about because the last thing I wanted to be doing was sitting around,” he admitted. “But, it did teach me patience. And, it reminded me that there are many, many people praying for me.”

Bright spots

What didn’t catch the secular media’s attention were some of the very positive things happening around the diocese such as celebrating the sanctity and beauty of life first on a local level during the annual Walk for Life Eucharistic procession held in Fargo this past October, and then on a national level during the annual March for Life commemorating the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade in the nation’s capital. “I have mixed emotions about these events,” the bishop explained. “No As a strong advocate for Catholic education, Bishop Folda made a point this first year to visit schools of the diocese. Here, he greets fourth grade students from Holy Spirit School in Fargo.

Please turn to ONE YEAR LATER on page 10


10 n NewEarth

One year later Continued from page 9 one is happy that we have to carry on with them year after year, because no one is happy that abortion still continues. But, it is very uplifting, that so many are willing to stand up to witness for life. I was very inspired by the young people and the adults that attended.” Secondly, Bishop Folda is excited about the work going on in Catholic education, specifically the new Catholic elementary school being built in West Fargo. “Trinity School is the first new elementary school that’s been established in many decades,” he pointed out. “Catholic education is very close to my heart, and I want to encourage it in any way I can.” Furthermore, Bishop Folda continues to stay involved with seminarians of our diocese as much as possible. “My love for seminarians was well established before I came here,” he said. “It was a blessing to have an immediate opportunity to spend time with them. It gave me a chance to be with zealous and prayerful young guys.”

What’s next?

With the first year nearly behind him, Bishop Folda looks forward to fulfilling things he began on his first day as bishop. “I really am committed to visiting every parish in the diocese,” he said, “not only the main parishes but mission parishes too. I want to celebrate Mass in every one.” Also, plans are developing to celebrate marriage and family, especially as it pertains to the upcoming Synod of Bishops scheduled for October on that subject. “It seems like an opportune moment for our diocese to grow in our own understanding of the church’s teachings on marriage and family life and to address the challenges we are facing,” the bishop said. “It’s a pretty significant initiative to take on.” In addition, the Diocese of Fargo will commemorate the 125th anniversary of its establishment. Bishop Folda hopes the people of the diocese “can observe that anniversary in a way that will help us know our heritage as a diocese and share the faith with others.” Furthermore, the bishop anticipates work surrounding the Human Life Amendment, which will appear before North Dakota voters in November. “I think the church’s involvement in that movement will continue to grow in the months to come,” he said. “It’s not strictly a religious issue, but the church has had a long history of supporting the right to life.” The work surrounding Catholic education and the completion of the new Trinity Elementary School will continue to be a priority as well. Along with Catholic education, he said he will focus his energy on supporting and encouraging vocations to the priesthood and religious life. “To be able to focus on religious and priestly vocations will be paramount on my list of priorities for as long as the Lord gives me,” he said. “It’s very important to me. I especially want to do everything I can to support our seminarians as they approach their own ordination to priesthood.” All of these endeavors feed into Bishop Folda’s role in the New Evangelization. Bishop Folda hopes this effort “will show the richness of our faith to the people of our community, those within the Church and beyond. Hopefully the New Evangelization will also invite people of every walk of life to become part of our community of faith and allow them to discover for themselves the faith in Christ that we have received as a gift.”

Photo submitted by G

Bishop John Folda prays with a group of North Dakota students during the March for Life rally Jan. 22, 2014. This trip was the first time Bishop Folda attended t his days as a seminarian.

Photo by Deacon Joe Krupinsky, Diocese of Bismarck

Bishop Folda is wrapped in a star quilt that was given to him as a gift last July by members of North Dakota’s tribal nations at a celebration of St. Kateri Tekakwitha’s first feast day as a saint. The star on the quilt symbolizes Jesus’ mother Mary, the “morning star.” Being wrapped in the quilt symbolizes being wrapped in the loving and protective mantle of Mary.

Bishop Folda operates an excavator during the ceremonial groundbrea Elementary School and Holy Cross parish in West Fargo this past April. “Thi thing they teach you in seminary,” Bishop Folda joked about the experience


June 2014 n 11

“I really wanted to get to know the diocese, not just on paper from a distance, but really start to get around the diocese. Bishop John Folda

Gretchen Noah

Photo by Mark McAllister

Photo by Dave Arntson, Milestones Photography

the event since

Bishop Folda greets Mathias McAllister, 8, during Confirmation Mass held May 7 at Holy Spirit Parish in Fargo. The bishop celebrated several Confirmation and First Holy Communion Masses throughout the diocese.

Bishop Folda greets a member of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (S.O.L.T.) community during the Solemn Vespers the eve of his ordination. His smile reflects the joy he has meeting the people of the diocese.

aking of Trinity is is not somee.

New Earth photo

In the background, Bishop Folda sits between Bishop David Kagan, Bismarck Diocese and Bishop Paul Zipfel, Bishop Emeritus, Bismarck Diocese. All are participating in a prayer service led by Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York (far left). Cardinal Dolan was the keynote speaker and honored guest last October at the 2013 THIRST Conference co-sponsored by the University of Mary and Bismarck Diocese. Monsignor James Shea, president of the university, also is pictured here.

New Earth photo

On Oct 6, 2013, Bishop Folda led his first Walk with Christ for Life Eucharistic procession through downtown Fargo. Bishop Folda intends to continue to strongly reinforce the “church’s long history of supporting a right to life.”

““To be able to focus on religious and priestly New Earth photo

Bishop Folda stands with JT Kennelly (far left), Jayson Miller (right) and Scott Karnik (far right), three men accepted as seminarian candidates for the Diocese of Fargo. Current seminarians gathered with Bishop Folda this past August for prayer and fellowship.

vocations will be paramount on my list of priorities for as long as the Lord gives me. Bishop John Folda


“Loving Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ, you move hearts that are harder than rock, you melt spirits that are colder than ice and you reach souls that are more impenetrable than diamonds. Touch my heart.” St. Margaret Mary Alacoque


12 n June 2014


Heart of Christ, give us your heart


n the church’s tradition, the month ‘By heart’ of June is dedicated to the Sacred When we say that someone knows Heart of Jesus. It is a special time for something “by heart,” we mean that us Little Sisters of the Poor because our they have an intimate knowledge of a foundress, St. Jeanne Jugan, had a deep subject, that they know it completely devotion to the Heart of Christ. and can recite or perform it effortlessly. As a young woman, she was schooled What would our world be like if we in the teachings of St. John Eudes, a giall knew Jesus Christ by heart? Not in ant of 17th century French Catholicism order to recite Scripture verses, but to and a great apostle of the Heart of Jesus. know the virtues and sentiments of Because his writings date back nearly Christ in the very depths of our hearts four centuries, they might seem a bit and to live them as a well-practiced old fashion to our modhabit in our everyday ern “sound-byte” cullives. ture, but there is nothThis is exactly what ing outdated about the Pope Francis is challengHeart of Christ. ing us to do in Evangelii It is difficult to think Gaudium, as he calls us of a symbol richer in to light a fire in the heart meaning than the huof the world, to be a man heart. Referred to spring that spills over to more than 1,000 times refresh others. in the Bible, the heart What a difference it signifies the center and would make in our world wellspring of physical if we all took to heart the life and —perhaps more following words of our importantly for the huHoly Father, “My misman experience — the sion of being in the heart source of spiritual life. of the people is not just a Sister Constance Veit, LSP The heart is our hidden part of my life or a badge center, the seat of deciLittle Sisters of the Poor I can take off; it is not sion and truth, the place an ‘extra’ or just another of encounter and covenant. moment in life. Instead, it is something Pope Francis obviously favors the I cannot uproot from my being without image of the heart, for he used it more destroying my very self. I am a mission than 100 times in his recent exhortaon this earth; that is the reason why I tion on the new evangelization, Evanam here in this world. We have to regelii Gaudium. In this document, he gard ourselves as sealed, even branded, speaks of the heart of the risen Christ, by this mission of bringing light, blessthe heart of man, the heart of the ing, enlivening, rising up, healing and church and the heart of the Gospel freeing.” message. The Heart of Jesus, he said last year on Action shows gratitude the feast of the Sacred Heart, is the ultimate symbol of God’s mercy, the source The vision of Pope Francis resonates from which our salvation gushed forth. deeply with the teachings of St. John The mercy of Jesus is not just a warm Eudes. Jesus gives us his Heart, Eudes sentiment, but a force that gives life and wrote, in order to be our heart, so that raises us from the dead. we may love with his great heart.

“What would our world be like if we all knew Jesus Christ by heart?” Little Sister of the Poor Constance Veit asks. “Not in order to recite Scripture verses, but to know the virtues and sentiments of Christ in the very depths of our hearts and to live them as a well-practiced habit in our everyday lives.” File photo

Guest Columnist

Photo editorial En route to Bethlehem during his recent trip to the Holy Land, Pope Francis made an unscheduled stop to pray before a controversial separation wall, built by Israel over Palestinian protests on West Bank land. Israeli officials argue the wall is necessary to protect civilians from Palestinian terrorism. The pope unexpectedly stopped the vehicle and alighted, then walked over to the graffiticovered structure and rested his forehead against it in silence for a few moments and prayed. Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, told journalists the stop was a very important symbol of the pope’s understanding of the significance of the wall even though he made no mention of the wall in his spoken statements. CNS photo / L’Osservatore Romano

“Do not be satisfied with loving God with your human heart, for that is too little, it is really nothing at all. Love him rather with all your heart and willingly . . . with all the love of your great heart, Jesus.” How can we thank God for the precious gift of his heart? We must render love for love, St. John Eudes said. Our actions must be a continuation of Jesus’ actions. “We must be so many other Jesuses on earth, in order to

continue here his life and work. . . .” This, no doubt, is what Francis means when he calls us to be a mission on earth! Heart of Christ, give us the true heart of an apostle! Give us your heart that we may love with your love and set the world on fire! Sister Constance Veit, LSP, is director of communications for the Little Sisters of the Poor in the United States. For more information about Little Sisters visit www.littlesisters




May 2014 n 13

vents overseas, like the kidnapping of schoolgirls in Nigeria, and troubling news of forced prostitution occurring around North Dakota’s oil fields have brought renewed attention to the problem of human trafficking. Human trafficking is a modern form of slavery. It is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision or obtaining of a person by force, fraud or coercion, for the purpose of sexual exploitation, forced labor, or the taking of human organs. It is an issue that must be fought at every level, not just locally and internationally, but also across every aspect of life, whether including law, culture and Let’s not let competing ideologies religion. The Catholic Church has long conget in way of taking positive action demned human trafficking and established social services to help its victims. At the same time, she has called for laws against human trafficking and changhuman trafficking to the fullest extent common ground with libertarian-leanes in social systems to address the root possible. ing activists opposed to the denial of causes of human trafficking. liberty posed by traffickers. The conference and the Attorney The Fathers of the Vatican II reafFeminist groups should find comGeneral reached out to other interested firmed the church’s historic concern mon ground with Evangelical Chrisparties, including legislators from both about forced labor, stattians troubled by the pervasiveness of parties and the Institute ing “slavery, prostitupornography, especially involving chilfor Trafficked, Exploittion, the selling of womdren, that fuels the human trafficking ed & Missing Persons en and children [and] machine. (ITEMP) for support. The disgraceful working conAs it happens too often in poliresult was the state’s first ditions where [people] tics, however, competing ideologies law specifically addressare treated as mere tools and agendas can get in the way. Some ing human trafficking. for profit, rather than as groups refuse to work with each other Fighting human traffree and responsible perbecause of differing views on legalizaficking is also an opporsons” are “infamies” betion of prostitution. tunity for groups and cause they are an affront Differences on whether sex-selection organizations that rareto the very nature of the abortions contribute to sex trafficking ly, if ever, find common human person. cause some groups to view each other ground to cooperate, The U.S. Conference with suspicion. Some individuals insist support and learn from of Catholic Bishops that addressing human trafficking caneach other. played an important role not move forward unless the problem of Concerned Women of in getting the Trafficking illegal immigration is solved, although America, an organizaVictims Protection Act the two are separate issues. Christopher Dodson tion that opposes aborof 2000 passed and imtion and is perceived plemented and contractas leaning “politically right” has been Grant denied ed with the federal government to proa leader in the fight against human Perhaps the most troubling example vide services to the victims of human trafficking. Its presence and resourcof politics and ideology interfering with trafficking. es should be welcomed by women’s fighting human trafficking was comIn 2008 the North Dakota Catholic groups that support abortion rights and mitted by the Obama Administration. Conference first approached Attorney lean “politically left.” General Wayne Stenehjem about legFor years, the United States Conferislation for the 2009 legislative session Labor unions concerned about the ence of Catholic Bishops received a fedto ensure that our state’s laws addressed exploitation of workers should find eral grant to provide needed services to

Human trafficking

Everyone needs to be involved in the fight against this evil

Catholic Action

victims of human trafficking. In 2011 the Administration, however, refused to renew the grant solely because USCCB (U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops) would not provide abortion referrals and contraception to the victims, something that was never previously required. The USCCB used its expertise to start a new program, one more focused on identifying and helping victims within their communities, unencumbered by politics. It also allows them to work with other religious and social organizations in the type of cooperative spirit that should permeate the effort. An estimated 17,000 men, women, and children are trafficked across our borders each year. Voices are calling for new legislation at the federal and state levels. Let’s pray that we can put petty differences aside and work together to end modern slavery. Dodson is executive director of the North Dakota Catholic Conference. The NDCC acts on behalf of the Catholic bishops of North Dakota to respond to public policy issues of concern to the Catholic Church and to educate Catholics and the general public about Catholic social doctrine. The conference website is

‘In-Memorandum’ Leaving a lasting memory for your loved ones through the church


he term “in memoriam” suggests You may want to write a different an act performed or a gift given in letter to each family member. Another memory of, or as a memorial to, possibility is to sit in front of a video someone held in high esteem. For excamera and tape your comments. ample, a person may establish a named However you do it, this final comendowment fund at ABC Charity as munication from you will probably be a means of perpetually honoring the cherished more than any bequest you memory of a loved one. may leave behind. It will likely be handed down from generation to generation You know about the term “in memoas a priceless heirloom. riam,” but what does “in memorandum” mean? Unlike other estate-planning “docuDon’t reach for a dicments,” this personal tionary; you won’t find a memorandum goes bedefinition there. yond any legal or probate It’s a term that sugrequirements. Write it gests an estate planning and rewrite it as often as idea you may want to you wish. It can be comconsider — something pletely confidential. You in addition to funeral may want to include: suggestions, instructions n Expressions of love regarding the distribuand endearment; tion and use of personal n A summary of your effects and other such philosophy of life, inmatters. By “memorancluding your faith, valdum,” we mean a very ues and beliefs; personal and lasting colSteve Schons n Thoughts concernlection of thoughts. ing your hopes and exWith your will and pectations for your loved ones; other estate planning documents finaln An explanation of why you chose ized, you may want to take some time to give to your church or other charity. and prepare a memorandum or letter to your loved ones expressing your Explaining your motives can be a thoughts of love and concern. powerful way to communicate your


“A final communication to your loved ones,

thoughtfully and lovingly prepared, will serve as a lasting reminder of your life and love. . . . And, it will help them explain to children yet born who you were and what you valued. Steve Schons values and to help your children and grandchildren understand why you supported certain causes during your life. It can be a means to inspire them to follow your example. A final communication to your loved ones, thoughtfully and lovingly prepared, will serve as a lasting reminder of your life and love. It may also help them through the difficult grieving process. And, it will help them explain to children yet born who you were and what you valued.

A reminder: At the Diocese of Fargo, we have an excellent booklet called “A Guide to Planning Your Will and Trust” that

helps people organize their personal documents, as well as their mind. This guide is designed to help you move forward with a plan that writes a very good chapter in the book of your life. It walks you through some of the terminology, encourages you to think about how you want your assets to be distributed and assists you in gathering the information you will need. For a complimentary copy of this guide, please email me at steve.schons@, or mail a request to: Steve Schons, Diocese of Fargo, 5201 Bishops Blvd, Fargo, ND 58104. Steve Schons is director of stewardship and development for the Diocese of Fargo and can be reached at steve.schons@ or (701) 356-7926.

14 n June 2014


Path to serve God, priesthood often not linear One seminarian’s journey has been filled with lots of ups and downs


y vocation came in the form of a question. I was traveling with my grandpa and was asked what I wanted to be when I grow up. Well, I was showing an interest in the priesthood. I served Mass and went to religion classes. My love for the faith was being fed; I even took the tractor to class when there was no ride. The innocence of Bob Suszka my youth prompted me to apply for my home diocese at 19. I was a farm kid with faith, but the simplicity of faith was rejected with no explanation. That lack of an explanation put my life in a tailspin. I had a bout with depression and a complete lack of direction. After I picked up the pieces, I went to the barn and milked cows, learned more about my faith and got involved in parish life. After almost three years of working on various farms, I applied to attend North Dakota State University. When I got to college, I got involved with St. Paul’s Newman Center and met Father Paul Duchschere. My time at the Newman Center was great! I met people who are still my friends to this day. My life in faith was going well, but my academic life was the total opposite. I made the re-

mark that if drinking vodka and playing blackjack was a class, I would have made the dean’s list. After leaving Fargo the first time, I went back to the barn. Those two years passed and life was pretty ordinary. I farmed for others and for myself, but low milk prices and frustration brought me back to Fargo. My second tour of NDSU was better than the first. I met Father James Cheney. The immaturity from the first tour sunk me again. However, in the time spent there, I was moved by a monk of Assumption Abbey and became interested in their life. I visited the abbey in 2006 and participated in a live-in weekend there. The seeds of a vocation were being watered, but “where?” was the question. I finished out that year of school and started working retail. Later, I went home and spent my days on the farm; helping my dad and working out. The farm had more than enough work but not enough for two incomes. I called on a herdsman’s job and got it at double the pay of retail. I kept living a life in faith. I liked my work and my life. Then, I got offered what most farming sons would want: a chance to come home. I went home and farmed through the lowest prices. My faith life was shaken; I could have gone to Mass and chose not to. Eighteen months later with a broken spirit and a broken relationship with dad, I quit. I did some traveling, but nothing was going well. I came back and picked up a herd of cows and started over as a herdsman. I still liked milking, but it was not satisfying anymore. In that time, a deacon friend of mine and another friend came to see me. I had some personal issues to tend to, but the visit from my two friends lead me to a place called Blue Cloud Abbey. Benedictine life had appeal to me, and it was a small place. I applied to be an associate and was accepted. I lived there three months and felt drawn to the community, so I applied. However, the attraction has to be mutual, and the

Seminarian Column

Prayer for Seminarians Lord Jesus, I ask your special blessing on all young men preparing for the priesthood in our seminaries. I pray that they will grow in faith, hope, and charity. May their hearts overflow with your compassion, understanding, and generosity, and may their desire to serve you inspire others to answer your call. Lord, give our seminarians the grace to follow you more perfectly. When they are lonely or discouraged, fill them with your peace. Jesus meek and humble of heart, make the hearts of our seminarians like yours. Amen.

Seminarian Summer Assignments As part of their formation and preparation for priesthood, Diocese of Fargo seminarians spend summers working alongside priests in our parishes. Seminarians not assigned have an opportunity to work summer jobs or attend other formation programs throughout the summer. Please welcome the following seminarians to your parish, and continue to pray for them. n Deacon Kyle Metzger, Theology III, Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Emmitsburg, Md. — assigned to St. John’s Catholic Church in Wahpeton. n Deacon William Slattery, Theology III, Pontifical North American College, Rome — assigned to St. Catherine’s Catholic Church in Valley City. n Robert Keller, Theology II, St. John Vianney Seminary, Denver, Colo. — assigned to St. John the Evangelist’s Catholic Church in Grafton. n Paul Kuhn, Theology II, Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Emmitsburg, Md. — assigned to St. Catherine’s Catholic Church in Valley City. n Patrick Parks, Theology II, Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Emmitsburg, Md. — assigned to St. James Basilica in Jamestown. n Steven Wirth, Theology II, St. Paul Seminary, St. Paul, Minn. — assigned to St. Philip Neri’s Catholic Church in Napoleon.

community did not accept me. After the monastery, I went home and took a part-time job near Rollag. This decision meant moving to northwest Minnesota, but the work was easy, and I was alone. I loved my work, but I desired more. After a month in my new job, I went to Mass in Hawley and found a parish that filled my spiritual life again. When I saw the schedule, I was excited to see a chance to go to daily Mass. And, there was a Bible study and people who were excited about their faith. After being back in the area a few more weeks, I called Father Cheney and went to lunch with him. We had a great visit. During our visit, he asked me if he could contact Father Kurt Gunwall, Diocese of Fargo vocation director, for me. I consented. Father Kurt and I visited, prayed for my vocation and kept in touch. I had learned of a trip planned to visit Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. I had a snowmobile trip planned earlier in the year, so I wasn’t sure how I was going to make both trips. Fortunately, after a short discussion, my boss gave his consent to go on both trips. Five of us made the trip. When I left,

I was nervous. I was taking a step into the unknown. But, Sacred Heart answered my concerns and fears. I could not wait to go back. After the trip, I called Father Gunwall and asked to apply on behalf of the Diocese of Fargo. The seeds that were planted as a child fell on good ground after all. I have never regretted applying to the diocese. The process brought my fears to an end, made me look back on my past to which I shed a few tears. My application took a bit longer than most as we experienced a change in bishop, but it only made me realize more fully that God calls on his time and not ours. Suszka will be a first-year seminarian at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Mich. He is originally from Little Falls, Minn and now lives in Hawley, Minn.

Editor’s note: Seminarian Life is a monthly column written by current Diocese of Fargo seminarians. It gives New Earth readers an opportunity to get 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.

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June 2014 n 15

What does the church say about that? Priest, lawyer and physicians discuss end of life decisions By Kristina Lahr

Medical decisions can be complicated, especially for the unexpected end of life situations that we may not be prepared to encounter. When health decisions were mostly made by a doctor, this wasn’t the case, but nowadays, due to more attention given to patient autonomy, decisions are either made by the patient or the patient’s family. This shift is a great opportunity for Catholics to live out the faith during a very impactful moment in the lives of loved ones and others involved. A panel of the Fargo Guild of the Catholic Medical Association gathered earlier this year to discuss the importance of knowing where the church stands on end of life decisions. Father Luke Meyer, Jack Kennelly, Dr. Paul Carson, Dr. John Beauclair and Dr. Walter Johnson were a part of a panel to discuss the need to be informed and to discuss these difficult decisions in advance since it’s challenging to come up with a plan in the midst of the moment and emotion of a sudden accident or illness. “These decisions represent important intersections,” Johnson said. “The Catholic Church has many resources to help us understand that true compassion means allowing for a reasonable effort for a patient’s recovery. At the same time, it helps draw the line when it is clear that no further treatment will serve this purpose.” Kennelly added, “We also need to be careful. The church sometimes

conflicts with cultural thinking. What is legal might not necessarily be moral.” While it’s impossible to predict every medical situation, there are some specifics that are helpful to know to have an understanding of what the Church teaches. “In general, the big picture is to cure when we can and to alleviate suffering whenever we can,” said Carson. A few common guidelines include a presumption in favor of providing someone with nonmedical or medically assisted nutrition and hydration if he or she will benefit. There is no moral objection to using palliative medication or procedures necessary for comfort and alleviation of pain even if they may indirectly and unintentionally shorten life. If death is imminent, treatment may be forgone or withdrawn if it is futile in the face of death, unless those responsible for the care judge at that time that there are reasons why such treatment should continue. Pope John Paul II wrote about the courage to accept and surrender to our own death when it comes: “When death is clearly imminent and inevitable, one can in conscience ‘refuse forms of treatment that would only secure a precarious and burdensome prolongation of life . . . to forego extraordinary or disproportionate means is not the equivalent of suicide or euthanasia; it rather expresses acceptance of the human condition in the face of death” (The Gospel of Life, paragraph 65, March 1995). In addition, when one is considered terminally ill and death is imminent and inevitable, they should be informed, even if the news is bad, so that

they may prepare themselves for death and have accommodations made to see a priest and receive the sacraments of reconciliation, anointing of the sick and the Eucharist. Carson mentioned that sometimes there is a desire to try to extend life as long as possible and at any cost. While it is at times acceptable to use very aggressive medical treatments, medical treatments may be withdrawn if they do not offer a reasonable hope of benefit or are excessively and disproportionately burdensome to the patient.

Contrasting viewpoints

Another topic of discussion presented was the church’s teaching on “death with dignity.” “This is one of those areas where the laws don’t reflect the church,” Johnson said. “We believe we have dignity because we are, we exist. We have inherent dignity. But the ‘death with dignity’ ideas mean that I am upright and articulate when I die. It’s a whole different idea of what dignity is.” “Death with dignity has two interpretations,” said Father Meyer. “The first, which the world gives us, is that I die with dignity when I am in control, when I have no pain and I do it on my own terms. Version two is that I have dignity in so far that I can still evoke love from other people. That’s our Catholic definition of dignity. “It’s amazing to notice throughout the dying process how much good can come from it through people being drawn together to care for the one they love and accompany them with faith to a holy death.” “We don’t end suffering by ending

the sufferer,” Carson noted. “That’s euthanasia. We work toward alleviating suffering in other ways.” Many people attending the panel discussion brought up examples from their family and recent news items to ask what the church’s teaching is on it including the controversy of a recent case where a pregnant woman who became brain dead was kept on life support for the sake of her child. The point was reiterated that since there are countless health situations we could find ourselves or loved ones in, it’s impossible to come up with a plan for every scenario. Because of the unique and particular circumstances that come with end of life decisions, the Bishops of North Dakota have drafted a Health Care Directive that can be used as a planning document for end of life decisions. This Catholic Health Care Directive outlines common medical principles based on human dignity and provides an easy way to appoint a health care agent who can make prudential health care decisions in the moment when the patient may not be able to. “You don’t know what you will feel or think in the moment,” Carson said. “It’s easy to say you don’t want certain treatment when you’re healthy, but you may feel differently when you’re sick.” “So much decision making concerning specific treatments changes based on circumstance,” Father Meyer said. For more information about the Church’s teachings on end of life decisions, visit To obtain a copy of a Catholic Health Care Directive for North Dakota, visit

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16 n June 2014


Pope’s Holy Land trip raises both hopes and questions By Francis X. Rocca Catholic News Service

With a number of surprising gestures and remarks over three busy days, Pope Francis’ May 24-26 pilgrimage left Catholics and others around the world wondering what comes next.

The pope and the peace process

Pope Francis made headlines on the second day of his trip by inviting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli President Shimon Peres to join him at the Vatican to pray together for peace. Most observers had set low expectations for the June 8 event. (See coverage this page.) Pope Francis would no doubt say pessimists underrate the power of prayer. He could point to his efforts last fall against U.S. President Barack Obama’s plans to use military force in Syria, which culminated in an unprecedented prayer vigil for peace that drew some 100,000 to St. Peter’s Square. The U.S., of course, did not strike Syria after all. Practical results aside, Pope Francis’ bold initiatives have earned him the role of pre-eminent voice for peace in the Middle East. That distinction could have more than symbolic importance for local attitudes toward the region’s fastdiminishing Christian minorities. During his trip, the pope told Abbas and Peres that Christians contribute to the “common good” in their countries and deserve to be treated as “full citizens.”


The original reason for Pope Francis’ Holy Land trip was a meeting with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic encounter between their predecessors. The earlier meeting led the Catholic and Orthodox churches to lift mutual excommunications imposed in 1054 and opened the modern period of ecumenical dialogue. This year’s event did not yield any comparable breakthroughs, but there were hints of progress to come.

The pope told reporters on the flight back to Rome that he and Patriarch Bartholomew discussed possible collaborative efforts to protect the environment. They also talked about prospects for resolving differences in how the churches set the date of Easter. Pope Francis, with his characteristic frankness, called the latter a “ridiculous” problem. Yet, reconciling the timing of Christianity’s most sacred feast could have a big impact on ordinary Catholics and Orthodox, leading many to view full communion between the churches as a more realistic goal.

Vatican reform

During an inflight news conference on the way back to Rome, the pope was asked about reports that Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, a former Vatican secretary of state, mishandled 15 million euros in funds held by the Vatican bank. Without naming the cardinal, the pope said the matter was “being studied, it’s not clear. Maybe it could be true, but at this moment it’s not definitive.” The results of the investigation, if it finds the cardinal at fault, would have implications beyond the case itself. Few actions by the pope could do as much to show his seriousness about reforming the Vatican bureaucracy as publicly disciplining or rebuking the man who, until just last October, served as the Vatican’s No. 2 official, after the pope.

Priestly celibacy

The pope told reporters the door is open to allowing more married priests in the Catholic Church, in the Latin rite as well as the Eastern Catholic churches, where the practice is already established. “Celibacy is not a dogma of faith,” he said, which should not have surprised anyone familiar with the church’s discipline. But, he added pointedly, “Not being a dogma of faith, the door is always open.” Given how controversial this issue already is in parts of the Catholic world, the pope’s comment is likely to prompt only more discussion.

CNS photo / Oliver Weiken, EPA

Pope Francis boards an airplane at Ben Gurion airport outside Tel Aviv May 26. The pope ended a three-day Holy Land pilgrimage rife with calls for bridging divisions.

Pope Francis tells the presidents of Israel and Palestine that only God can bring peace to Holy Land By Catholic News Service

CNS photo / Paul Haring

Israeli President Shimon Peres and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople embrace as Pope Francis and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas look on during invocation for peace in the Vatican Gardens June 8.

Praying for peace in the Holy Land alongside leaders of long-antagonistic nations, Pope Francis called on God to act where human efforts had failed, to end what he described as violence inspired by the devil. “More than once we have been on the verge of peace, but the evil one, employing a variety of means, has succeeded in blocking it,” the pope said June 8 at an evening ceremony in the Vatican Gardens. “That is why we are here, because we know and we believe that we need the help of God.” The pope addressed his remarks to Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during an “invocation for peace” in the Holy Land, to which he had invited them during his visit to the region two weeks earlier. “I was young, now I am old. I experienced war, I tasted peace,” Peres said

in an English portion of his statement. “Never will I forget the bereaved families, parents and children, who paid the cost of war. And, all my life I shall never stop to act for peace for the generations to come. Let’s all of us join hands and make it happen.” According to an official translation of Abbas’ prepared Arabic text, the Palestinian president said, “We want peace for us and for our neighbors. We seek prosperity and peace of mind for ourselves and for others alike.” The event, at which Christians, Muslims and Jews prayed in each other’s presence, was almost certainly the first of its kind at the Vatican, according to Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office. The starting time of 7 p.m. had been chosen in part to avoid the midday heat, yet temperatures were still in the mid 80s less than an hour earlier, Please turn to PRESIDENTS on page 17


June 2014 n 17

A glimpse of the past The following news item, compiled by Dorothy Duchschere, was found in the April 1964 issue of Catholic Action News, the predecessor to New Earth. Father George Mehok was pastor of St. John’s parish in Wahpeton from 1948 to 1987, the year he retired. He passed away in 1994 at the age of 82.

50 Years Ago — 1964

Versus Populum — A New Experience By Father George Mehok

We offered Mass recently facing the people or versus populum, as they used to say. It is an enlightening experience all the way around — for the priest, people and servers. None of the problems we had anticipated materialized. To be sure, one of the parishioners, coming in at the Offertory, stood immobilized, with a slight droop to her handbag, to find the celebrant facing her when he should have properly had his back turned. We had expected to be distracted by the youngsters up front, within reach of our bifocals. One had the feeling that one was being watched, but this is where we have been trying to center attention for years. Not even the lady with the droopy handbag caused

any sidelong glances, although this may have been her scheduled time of entrance. At any rate it was a calm congregation from second-graders to septuagenarians. Being a practical people, one wonders, after such an experience, why we are so impractical in our public worship. We shroud the people’s Mass in mystery by huddling at one end of the church like football players afraid of revealing their signals. Then we have a “dry” Mass for the study groups to explain the Mass. We proclaim the Gospel in Latin and then duplicate the effort by proclaiming it in English. We appeal for money in the vernacular and ask the people to praise God in a language which, while God understands it, is beyond the comprehension of most worshippers. Children are quite perceptive in these matters. When asked their impression of a Mass facing them, they noted that for the first time they witnessed the breaking of the bread — the entire Eucharistic Service. The altar servers, apprehensive about some new rubrics, quickly made the adjustment, as the young usually do. A limited experience and some observation indicate a ready and enthusiastic acceptance by the congregation, of a Mass facing the people. The people we talked to are pleased with such an arrangement.

Presidents embrace at Vatican prayer event inspired by pope Continued from page 16 when Peres arrived by car at the Vatican guesthouse, where the pope lives. Abbas arrived at 6:30 p.m., and 15 minutes later the two presidents embraced in the presence of the pope. “Nice to see you,” Peres and Abbas told each other in English. Joining the group was Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, whom Father Lombardi had described as one of the event’s “four protagonists,” and Franciscan Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, custos of the Holy Land. The five men rode together in a white minivan the short distance to the site of the ceremony, a triangular swath of lawn walled off by tall hedges along two sides. The setting had been chosen, according to Father Lombardi, because of its “neutral” appearance, lacking in religious imagery. Pope Francis and the two presidents sat at the corner of the triangle where the two hedges met. Along the hedge to to their left sat what the Vatican described as “political” members of the Israeli and Palestinian delegations, including both nations’ ambassadors to the Holy See; Christian religious leaders, including Patriarch Bartholomew, Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem and Palestinian Lutheran Bishop Monib Younan. Along the other hedge sat various Muslim, Jewish and Druze religious figures, including Rabbi Abraham Skorka and Omar Abboud, longtime friends of the pope from Buenos Aires and leaders respectively in their city’s Jewish and Muslim communities. Members of the Palestinian and Israeli delegations and guests of Pope Francis read a selection of Jewish, Christian

and Muslim prayers, in order of their religions’ historical precedence. Each set of prayers praised God for creation, begged forgiveness of sins and asked for peace in the Holy Land. Patriarch Bartholomew read in English from the Book of Isaiah: “The wolf and the lamb shall feed together; the lion shall eat straw like the ox; but the serpent — its food shall be dust.” At the end of the ceremony, which lasted about an hour and 45 minutes, the pope, patriarch and the two presidents kissed each other on both cheeks, then took up shovels and added dirt to the base of a newly planted olive tree. They then spent about 15 minutes speaking privately inside the nearby Casina Pio IV, a 16th-century villa which now houses several pontifical academies.

For more stories and information visit:

Here’s what Pope Francis @Pontifex is tweeting: Let us read the Gospel, a small section each day. This way we will learn what is most essential in our lives: love and mercy. MAY 13 The one who listens attentively to the Word of God and truly prays, always asks the Lord: what is your will for me? MAY 19 Dear friends, please pray for me during my pilgrimage to the Holy Land. MAY 24

CNS photo / Paul Haring

Follow the Diocese of Fargo on Twitter: Here’s a highlight of what’s been posted: Congratulations to Fr. William Sherman who will receive an Honorary Degree from UND tomorrow! Fr. Sherman was pastor of St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Grand Forks from 1976-2003. St. Michael’s is hosting a public reception for Fr. Sherman on Saturday, May 17, at 6:00 p.m. MAY 16 Today, we celebrate two men of the diocese as they reach another milestone towards priesthood. Kyle Metzger and William Slattery were ordained transitional deacons by Bishop Folda this morning. Thanks be to God! (Photo album) MAY 25

Deacon Kyle Metzger

Deacon William Slattery

Like the Diocese of Fargo on Facebook: A related CNS video has been posted at

Diocesan policy: Reporting child abuse

Check out the video, Memorial Day: A Catholic Perspective, produced by CNS, Catholic News Service, to help individuals, parish groups and classes deepen their understanding of the Catholic overtones of serving our country. For this video, visit

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

Phone:   701-282-4400 •

18 n June 2014

Youth & Young Adults


“What we’re doing this

summer is giving hope to parishes that have every reason to believe they’ve been forgotten about in rural areas. . . . There’s a whole revival of young, beautiful, devout Catholics springing up. Chris Finneman

And they’re off!

Young Disciples take a break from their studies during their training held May 15-26 at the Diocesan Pastoral Center in Fargo. Eleven young adults will form three teams this summer to provide summer camps for youngsters and evening missions for teens at rural parishes and reservations. (Photo by Anna Vanyo)

Young Disciples launch into summer camps they will lead across the diocese By Kristina Lahr

As summer approaches and the school year comes to a close, Young Disciples leapt into action to begin a series of week-long summer camps for elementary school children and evening teen missions for rural parishes and reservations throughout the Diocese of Fargo. This year the Young Disciples include 11 young adults on three different teams from North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Maryland. While the camps are certainly fun and educational, they also bring the energy and hope of the New Evangelization to young hearts that may not have many chances to encounter Christ on a level that speaks to them. “Our job is to proclaim the church and her teachings and to do it with such great love, gentleness and humility that these children that are searching for these truths can receive them and come to know the Lord,” said Katelyn Rogers from Ellicott City, Md. This is her second summer with Young Disciples. Chris Finneman from Fargo added,

Youth called to March for Life in January 2015 Youth in grades nine through 12 from across the Diocese of Fargo are invited to participate in the 42nd Annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 22, 2015. This is a special year for youth to pilgrimage for life as they will have the privilege of carrying the lead banner for the 2015 March for Life along with other students from our state’s Catholic high schools. The pilgrimage will begin in Fargo Jan. 18 and return Jan. 23. Father Kurt Gunwall, diocesan vocations director, will be the spiritual director. In addition to participating in the March and the Vigil Mass for Life at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, youth will also travel to Emmitsburg, Md., to visit the Mother Seton Shrine and see the sights of our nation’s capital. The cost for the six-day pilgrimage is $830 and includes air and ground travel, lodging, meals and tour fees. Registration forms can be found at www. Deadline for registration is Oct. 18. For more information, contact Rachelle at (701) 356-7910 or “What we’re doing this summer is giving hope to parishes that have every reason to believe they’ve been forgotten about in rural areas.” “If you didn’t know any better or have any direct vision of hope, you would come to believe that the church is dwindling, but that’s the biggest joke and the biggest lie ever. There’s a whole revival of young, beautiful, devout Catholics springing up. There’s a springtime in the church, and we can’t even see it often times, so it’s our job

to show that love and that the Gospel is alive and moving and not just something we have to keep the kids busy on Sundays.” Rogers agreed. “It’s not something old or something that doesn’t apply to them,” she said. “It affects them right here and right now. It’s their lives.” A typical camp day starts with the Young Disciple team in prayer for the students that will be participating that day. As the children arrive, they play a game that anyone can jump into at any

point so everyone feels welcome and involved. Each day the children have multiple lessons, pray a rosary, celebrate Mass and walk through the Mass stations to teach them about the different objects and statues in the church. “If there’s something in the church that they see every week and have no clue what it is, we can tell them,” Rogers said. “They need tangible things to learn.” Praying a rosary and attending Mass everyday might seem like too much to ask for a group of elementary aged children, but Chris and Katelyn disagree. “I think we can underestimate what children can understand and perceive,” Finneman said. “I don’t think anyone can really understand the grace of God, but children are very sensitive and intuitive to the presence of the Lord. “As adults, we may not be pulling each other’s hair and making noises at Mass, but often times we fade out and aren’t mentally there. Children often take things at face value. When they are in tune, they are really there.” Young Disciples will lead 24 summer camps through the end of July.

Give A Gift to Help Keep the TV Mass on the Air! The best gift for those you love who are nursing home residents, shut-ins, or non-practicing Catholics WDAY, Channel 6, Fargo — WDAZ, Channel 8, Grand Forks 10:30 a.m. Sunday Name _____________________________________________________________________________ Address____________________________________________________________________________ City/State/Zip______________________________________________________________________ Phone _____________________________________________________________________________ A GIFT FOR: Name _____________________________________________________________________________ Address____________________________________________________________________________ City/State/Zip______________________________________________________________________

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

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


June 2014 n 19

Events across the diocese June 10, 24 and July 8, 22 (Tuesdays): Piano Talk Concerts performed by Brent Hermans. He will be playing the piano with some vocal cameos and often plays popular music from different eras. The performances will be at 7:30 p.m. at St. John the Evangelist, Grafton. A free will offering helps keep faith formation costs low. Email Brent Hermans at: June 13 (Friday): Magnificat Retreat. Come strengthen your life in Christ through Kathleen Beckman’s witness and teaching as she prepares us to “put on the armor of God” at 5:30 p.m. followed by dinner at 6 p.m. at St. Agnes Parish, 201 Division St. Walker, Minn. Cost is $15.

June 21 (Saturday): Corpus Christi Celebration in Dazey. Come to St. Mary’s in Dazey to celebrate Corpus Christi Sunday. Contact Margaret Wieland at (701) 733-2253. June 22 (Sunday): Corpus Christi. St. John Nepomucene Church, Pisek will celebrate Corpus Christi with a 10:30 a.m. Mass followed by an outdoor Corpus Christi procession and potluck dinner.

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

June 14 (Saturday): Healing Retreat. Kathleen Beckman will offer a healing retreat at St. Agnes Parish, 201 Division St., Walker, Minn. The day will start with fellowship at 8 a.m.; Mass at 8:30 a.m., followed by a continental breakfast and light lunch. Cost is $20. June 14 (Saturday): Prayer and Discernment Day. For single men and women ages 16 and older. Come to Maryvale where you will be in an atmosphere of prayer and discernment to vocation and other decisions in your life. Suggested donation is $25. Email dorothy. or call (701) 845-2865. June 14-21 (Saturday-Saturday), June 21-27 (Saturday-Saturday): JMI Summer Camp in Warsaw. The Franciscans of Mary Immaculate will be hosting the JMI Summer Camp for faith, friends and fun all in one. For ages 10-17. The boys camp will be held June 14-21 and girls camp June 21-27. No cost, freewill donation. See, email at or call Father Joseph at (701) 248-3020.

Birthdays and Anniversaries Former Fingal parishioner, Alice Puhr, marks 95 years Alice Puhr, a long time resident of Fingal and a member of Holy Trinity Church celebrated her 95th birthday on May 21. She was married to John C. Puhr for 58 years until his passing in 1999. Today, she resides at her apartment in Enderlin. She raised six children on a farm near Fingal. Her family feels blessed to have “Mom” living close as she enjoys visits from all relatives and friends.

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 news@

June 25 (Wednesday): Welcome for Nigerian Bishop. St. John Nepomucene Church, Pisek will welcome Bishop Paulinus Ezeokafor at 6 p.m. Mass followed by supper and social time.

June 29 (Sunday): Sts. Peter and Paul Feast. The parish of Sts. Peter & Paul of Bechyne will celebrate the feast of their patron saints as well as the 128th anniversary of the rural Lankin parish. A Heritage Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m., followed by a meal of Czech ethnic food and old time music at the Bechyne Heritage Hall. July 11-13 (Friday-Sunday): Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat in Hankinson. Rachel’s Vineyard offers a safe, non-judgmental and confidential weekend retreat for anyone: women, men, grandparents and siblings who struggle with the feelings of loss that can accompany an abortion experience. For more information, or to register, please call Ruth Ruch at (701) 219-3941 or

Registration open for catechists’ summer retreat Catechists across the diocese are invited to experience The Joy of the Catechist during one of two, one-day retreats presented by Father Andrew Jasinski. Father Jasinski will direct the group on a series of talks on the joy of the catechists taken from Pope Francis’ exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium or Joy of the Gospel. This retreat is for anyone who is involved with Catechesis, who directs or coordinates religious education programs or who teaches children and adults. Choose one of two dates to attend: Aug. 16 at Park River Bible Camp just outside Park River or Aug. 22 at the Maryvale Provincial Center, Valley City. Each day will begin at 9 a.m. and conclude at 4 p.m. It will include Father Jasinski’s presentations as well as Mass, lunch and time for sharing and reflection. Please register online at and be sure to select desired retreat location. A minimum of 12 participants must register for each retreat or it will be cancelled. Deadline for the retreat at Park River Bible Camp is Aug. 1. And, the deadline for the retreat at the Valley City site is Aug. 7. Registration fee is $20 per person. Credit cards can be accepted for payment.

Father Laframboise to lead young adult pilgrimage to France this August Join Father Ross Laframboise through the Diocese of Fargo Young Disciples Apostolate for a young adult pilgrimage to France this summer. This pilgrimage is open to all young adults ages 19-40. The dates are Aug. 3-11; price is $2,282. The pilgrimage includes Paris, Lisieux, Versailles, Lourdes and a hiking day trip in the Pyrenees mountains. Call Mary Hanbury at 701-356-7909 or check out the Young Disciples website at for more details. email her at All calls are confidential. July 18-20 (Friday-Sunday): Women’s Retreat in Maryvale, Valley City. During this weekend we will meditate on the experience of the Samaritan woman who comes upon the man, Jesus, at the well. As we pray the Gospel of John 4:4-42, we will declare Jesus as the Messiah and the Savior of the world. Suggested donation: $85. July 20 (Sunday): Love and Life Celebration at St. Michael’s Church, Grand Forks for engaged and married couples. The celebration will begin with Mass

at 5 p.m. followed by a potluck dinner. Please bring a dish to share; meat, buns and beverage are provided. Father Jason Lefor will provide a presentation on male/female complimentarity. Childcare provided during the presentation. For more information contact Cheryl Granger, (701) 847-3093 or mama To submit events for New Earth and the diocesan website, send information to New Earth, 5201 Bishops Blvd. S., Suite A, Fargo, ND 58104-7605 or email news@ The deadline for the July/ August New Earth is July 9.

20 n June 2014


Meet the artist

Schwankl uses God-given talent to ‘bring joy and beauty to the world’ By Aliceyn Magelky

Growing up in Barnesville, Minn., artist Elizabeth Schwankl and her four siblings led what she calls an idyllic life. “I have lots of very positive memories of the farm and living on the edge of town,” Schwankl said. “Mom and Dad were always there. Mom had meals ready for lunch and dinner. Everyone was home for it. It was such a tight knit family unit.” At the center of that close family was the church. “My parents gave me the most important thing in life, the faith. I went to a Catholic grade school in Barnesville. We said the Rosary together every night as family.” But, that world changed for Schwankl at a young age. Both her parents passed away from cancer before she started college. “We stayed in my parents’ house,” she recalled. “My brother, Bob Buth, who had been living on his own in Fargo, came back home and was legal guardian of my youngest sister. I took on the mother role of cooking and cleaning.”

Elizabeth Schwankl, left, sits in her basement studio surrounded by projects. As the owner of ARTrends Gallery, Schwankl provides a vast array of services and works with a wide variety of media. Most recently she has been restoring discarded and damaged Catholic statues such as the one of St. Joseph pictured behind her. Above, she stands with Bishop John Folda next to his portrait, which Schwankl painted. The painting was unveiled May 8 at Shanley High School, Fargo. This portrait is the third of its kind that Schwankl has been commissioned to complete for the diocese.

Doubt crept in, then was erased

Although she had a solid foundation in her faith, her parents’ death, and, like many other people, the subsequent disappointments in life produced a cloud of doubt. But, she says she has never lost her faith thanks to a miracle she said she experienced during her first reconciliation. “I was sitting in a pew by myself when a woman sat next to me. When I looked closer it was my grandma who was in California at the time. She asked if it was my first confession. I said, ‘yes,’ and she said, ‘let’s pray together.’ After our prayer, I had no apprehension and said my confession. After I left the confessional I looked for the woman. I asked my sister, who had brought me there, ‘where’s Grandma?’ She said, ‘Grandma’s not here.’ After that, I could never lose my faith.” It’s that divine inspiration and perhaps a bit of her father’s entrepreneurial spirit that allowed Schwankl to take chances and grow into her artistic vocation. A self-taught artist, Schwankl hadn’t planned on a career as an artist. But, when her boys were young she started painting watercolor pieces for herself as a hobby. As a friend asked about them, she started thinking about the possibility of making art her profession. She started selling small pieces to galleries in Fargo and at area art shows. “I had my very first show in Battle Lake, Minn.,” Schwankl said. “I got commissioned for a big piece while there. My in-laws drove by and I screamed ‘I sold a piece’ then I got instantly embarrassed.” Her success continued and her career started to take flight. “God had given me a talent; I needed to use it,” commented Schwankl.

A move into portraiture

Early on, she was creating watercolor paintings for individuals. Never had she thought she would be painting portraits. But, God had other plans. “My aunt used to ask me, ‘Wouldn’t you like to paint people?’ My response was always ‘no.’ But, one day I got a call [from the diocese] asking if I would be willing to paint the bishop. I knew at that point I needed to do it. So, I said, ‘Ok, Lord give me the grace to do this.’ My aunt had passed, but I knew she was smiling down on me,” Schwankl remembered. The subject for that painting was Bishop James Sullivan. Schwankl went on to complete a portrait of Archbishop Samuel Aquila. And, on May 8 she unveiled her third bishop painting — one of Bishop John Folda — during the annual Shanley High School student art show award ceremony in Fargo. Schwankl helped judge the competition. Over time Schwankl continued to let the Holy Spirit work in her, and she accepted an invitation to serve on the Core Building and Liturgical Devotional Committees for the building of Sts. Anne and Joachim Church in Fargo. Schwankl spent nearly four years serving on those committees to help make decisions on every design aspect of the building. “Every meeting was exciting for me,” Schwankl said. “What a historical thing to be part of.”

New Earth photos

Schwankl has been commissioned to create many things around the diocese, including this pictured 15’x19’ mural. The mural is part of the Grief Shrine inside Sts. Anne and Joachim Church in Fargo.

After serving on those committees, God presented another opportunity to allow her talents to flourish. She was asked to paint the mural that appears in the parish’s Grief Shrine. This project came at a particular difficult time in Schwankl’s marriage, and the work provided solace and healing. “I told Father [Paul Duchschere] that it was the best job that I ever had,” continued Schwankl. “I worked when Tim Mosser would play his heart out and sing. It was like having my own private concert. My only complaint was I had tears coming down my cheeks and couldn’t see to work.” Earlier, another project for the church led her to discover another way to use art to enrich lives; repairing worn and damaged statues. “Father [Peter Anderl] asked me to repaint a statue of Mary,” said Schwankl. Eventually more and more people and parishes turned to Schwankl to repair their beloved statues. “I got commissioned to repair a large statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus,” noted Schwankl. From that [project] people started coming to me to fix their statues. I had a year-and-a-half worth of work. I love the

work, and I’m good at it. Without having people do what I do in this restoration, statues have been taken out, buried and forever lost.” Currently, Schwankl is working on the restoration of a statue of St. Joseph and the Sacred Heart of Jesus for the new Holy Cross parish, West Fargo. Despite trials in her life, Schwankl knows God continues to be with her in her art and her life.

God is the source

“God inspires me in all I create. I don’t know how else to describe how ideas come into my head out of seemingly nowhere,” she said. Schwankl’s work has earned much recognition in regional and national art exhibitions. Though her list of accomplishments goes on and on, Schwankl recognizes the simplicity in the gift she has been given. “Anything that is beautiful is divinely given to us. If we don’t have it to enrich our life, there is a hole in our heart. God intends us to see beauty. If anyone is called to a career in art, they have a responsibility to check it out. The arts bring joy and beauty to the world.”

New Earth June 2014 newspaper  

Newspaper for the Diocese of Fargo, ND

New Earth June 2014 newspaper  

Newspaper for the Diocese of Fargo, ND