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June 2016 | Vol. 37 | No .6

The Magazine of the Catholic Diocese of Fargo

“You are called to a mission of mercy” Three men ordained priests for the Diocese of Fargo


From Bishop Folda: The priest: a man of mercy

St. Gianna shrine opens in Warsaw

Jubilee Year of Mercy: Krakow, city of saints prepares for World Youth NEW EARTH JUNEDay 2016 pilgrims1




June 2016 Vol. 37 | No. 6

ON THE COVER 18 Three men ordained priests for the Diocese of Fargo (From left) Fathers Steven Wirth, Patrick Parks and

Robert Keller receive the kiss of peace from their brother priests demonstrating their shared ministry during the ordination Mass on June 4. (Tyson Kuznia/Legacy Photography)


4 5

The priest: A man of mercy Official appointments



Pope Francis’ June prayer intentions


Ask a priest: I have to work on Sunday – Am I sinning?



Diocesan priests celebrate milestone anniversaries


10 St. Gianna shrine opens in Warsaw


11 10 years later, Bishop Sullivan’s memory lives on 12 New ministry provides healing for miscarriage, stillbirth 13 Nistlers receive Caritas Award for service in Africa 15 Leader and servant for Christ, Sister Antonine Foy dies age 93 15 Life-long educator Sister Mary Rosaria Acton dies age 89


17 Tattered Pages: A review of Catholic books and literature


26 Catholic Action

Christopher Dodson discusses the USCCB’s five briefs to the Supreme Court.

27 Twenty Something

Guest columnist, Christina Capecchi, encouraged engaged couples to focus on the love they share leading to their wedding day.

A review of Christian Smith’s “Young Catholic America: Emerging Adults In, Out of, and Gone from the Church”

28 Stewardship


29 Seminarian Life

24 Shanley seniors encouraged to “praise the Lord” in years ahead

In this month’s column, Steve Schons explains why endowments work. JT Kennelly shares his experience attending ordinations as a seminarian.

30 Stories of Faith




The faith story this month tells the story of how one woman’s faith comforted her when her daughter was diagnosed with cancer.

ON THE COVER: Fathers Robert Keller, Patrick Parks and Steven Wirth lay prostrate in front of the altar, symbolizing their unworthiness and dependence upon God and the prayers of the Christian community at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Fargo during the ordination Mass on June 4 (Tyson Kuznia | Legacy Photography)



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


Most Rev. John T. Folda Bishop of Fargo

Interim Editor Kristina Lahr


Stephanie Drietz - Drietz Designs


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


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




31 Events across the diocese 31 A glimpse of the past 32 Life’s milestones


34 Hebda: ‘All in’ for more transparent, engaged church, with focus on Jesus SPECIAL SECTION: JUBILEE OF MERCY 35 Krakow, city of saints, prepares for World Youth Day pilgrims

Contact Information

Use the following contact information to contact the New Earth staff: (701) 356-7900 Deadline to submit articles, story ideas, advertisements and announcements for the July/August issue is July 6, 2016. All submissions are subject to editing and placement. New Earth is published by the Catholic Diocese of Fargo, a nonprofit North Dakota corporation, 5201 Bishops Blvd. S, Suite A Fargo, ND 58104. (701) 356-7900. Periodical Postage Paid at Fargo, ND and at additional mailing offices. Member of the Catholic Press Association




The Priest: A man of mercy


n Saturday, June 4, I had the privilege of ordaining three new priests for the Diocese of Fargo: Father Patrick Parks, Father Steven Wirth and Father Robert Keller. Each of them has spent years in formation, preparing for the ministry that they will now begin in the Church. The day of a priest’s ordination is always a joyful day in the life of a diocese, and ours this year was no exception. As you can imagine, ordination day is one of the happiest days of the year for any bishop, including this one. One aspect of this year’s ordination, however, stands out. We are in the midst of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. For several months now, we have been contemplating and experiencing in a special way the abundant mercy of God and our own call to be merciful to others. So, in the context of this Jubilee, it is important to realize that the priest is called to be a man of mercy. He is ordained not only for himself, but for service to the People of God. In the tradition of the Church, we say that the priest is “alter Christus,” another Christ. And thus he must be a man of mercy, like Christ himself. Throughout salvation history, God has chosen frail human beings to carry out his work in the world. He called the prophets and appointed kings for his people Israel. And finally, he sent his Son, Jesus, to be our High Priest, the One whose sacrifice would redeem us and save us from sin and death. But Jesus also chose certain men as his apostles, and he sent them out to proclaim the nearness of God’s Kingdom. They preached the Good News, healed the sick, and cast out demons, making present the mercy of God to all, especially the poor and the lowly. Then, on the night before he died, Jesus configured those apostles to himself through the Eucharist, constituting them as priests of the New Covenant in his own blood. As priests, they became mediators of the mercy that Jesus had come to pour forth upon the earth. They were the foundation stones on which he built his Church, and they were the missionaries who went out to invite all to share in the grace and mercy of God.

In all ages, the Church has been blessed by the ministry of Christ’s priests. The priesthood itself is a gift of God’s mercy. Jesus promised that he would not leave his people orphans, and he gives us the priesthood so that he can be present to us now and until the end of the world. Through Holy Orders, the humanity of the priest, in the power of the Holy Spirit, becomes a sacramental sign of God’s merciful love. And Pope Francis reminds us that priests are called to be “faithful servants of God’s mercy.” Just as Jesus Christ is “the face of the Father’s mercy,” the priest who stands in the place of Christ must also become “the face of the Father’s mercy.” Every time we participate in the Mass, we experience this abundant mercy of God. When he celebrates the Mass, the priest offers the sacrifice of Christ, the sacrifice of mercy. He feeds the people of God with the Body and Blood of Christ, just as Jesus fed thousands with a few loaves and fishes. In the Eucharist, Jesus satisfies the deepest longings of our hearts by giving us his very self, and he does so through the hands of the priest. I believe our greatest desire for God’s mercy is expressed in our need for the forgiveness of our sins. When the paralyzed man was brought to Jesus, he pronounced his sins forgiven, and he was healed(Mk 2:2-12). To the woman caught in adultery Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and sin no more” (Jn 8:11). These and so many other episodes show us the merciful forgiveness of Christ, and now he offers that forgiveness to us through his priests. We all know we are sinners; even Pope Francis describes himself very simply as “a sinner.” But Christ offers us his mercy and forgiveness through the sacrament of Reconciliation, and the priest is his instrument of mercy. Times of illness are especially trying and even terrifying for us. But Jesus had a special love and concern for those who suffer, and he healed the sick wherever he found them. Even now he reaches out to them through the hands of the priest. In the sacrament of Anointing, the priest offers healing and strength to those who are sick and suffering, or to those who are weakened by old age. To the dying, he offers peace and consolation, along with hope for eternal life. The priest is a man of mercy, an instrument of God’s mercy to all those who suffer. The priest is also a teacher, one who shares with us the Good News of God’s love and mercy. The Second Vatican Council tells us that “it is the first task of priests…to preach the Gospel of God to all men.” As evangelists and ministers of truth, priests open up to us the beauty and power of God’s divine plan. They reveal to us the tender mercy of God our Father, and they guide us into the fullness of truth. There are some who deny

“Jesus promised that he would not leave his people orphans, and he gives us the priesthood so that he can be present to us now and until the end of the world. Through Holy Orders, the humanity of the priest, in the power of the Holy Spirit, becomes a sacramental sign of God’s merciful love.” – Bishop John Folda, Diocese of Fargo 4


Bishop Folda’s Calendar the existence of truth, but Jesus prays that we will be “consecrated in the truth” (Jn 17:17). The priest is the teacher and servant of truth and therefore the servant of mercy. In a hundred other ways, the priest is called to be a man of mercy, a servant of Christ and his people. We all know priests who have lived out this lofty calling with humility and grace. I hope you will thank God for them. We also know that priests have all the weakness and sinfulness of other human beings, so they need our patience and our prayers. Please pray with me that our priests will be men of mercy, men who incarnate the merciful love of Jesus among his people. It is a great blessing for a small diocese like ours to celebrate three priestly ordinations this year. But several priests who are serving here will also return to their home dioceses this year, so our need for priests remains. Let us all work and pray for vocations to the priesthood, and ask Christ the High Priest to send us priests who will be “men of mercy” in our midst.

Diocese of Fargo Official Appointments/Announcements June 2016 Most Rev. John T. Folda, Bishop of Fargo, has made the following appointments, announcements, and/or decrees

June 13-16 USCCB Spring Meeting, Huntington Beach, Calif.

June 18


10 a.m.

Mass – 10th Anniversary of Bishop Sullivan’s Death, Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo

5 p.m. Mass at Sts. Nereus and Achilleus, Neche

June 19


10:30 a.m.

Mass at St. Boniface, Walhalla

June 21


2 p.m.

Priests Pension Board, Pastoral Center, Fargo

3 p.m. Diocesan Finance Council, Pastoral Center, Fargo

6 p.m.

Reverend Thaines Arulandu is appointed Pastor of St. Joachim’s Parish in Rolla and Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Rock Lake, North Dakota, effective on July 20, 2016. This appointment is for a six-year term.

Knights of Columbus with Altar Servers to RedHawks Game, Fargo

Reverend Joseph P. Barrett is appointed Pastor of St. Bernard of Clairveau’s Parish in Oriska, St. Agatha’s Parish in Hope and Sacred Heart Parish in Sanborn, North Dakota, effective on June 29, 2016. This appointment is for a six-year term.

JPII Board of Directors Meeting, Pastoral Center, Fargo

Reverend James S. Goodwin is appointed Pastor of St. Maurice’s Parish in Kindred, North Dakota, effective on June 29, 2016. This appointment is for a six-year term. This appointment is in addition to his current appointment as Judicial Vicar of the Diocese of Fargo. Reverend Ross L. Laframboise is appointed Pastor of Holy Spirit Parish in Fargo, North Dakota, effective on June 29, 2016. This appointment is for a six-year term. Reverend Gary D. Luiten is appointed Pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish in West Fargo, North Dakota, effective on June 29, 2016. This appointment is for a six-year term. Reverend Christopher J. Markman is appointed Pastor of St. Patrick’s Parish in Enderlin, Holy Trinity Parish in Fingal and Our Lady of the Scapular Parish in Sheldon, North Dakota, effective on June 29, 2016. This appointment is for a six-year term. Reverend Bert F. Miller is appointed Pastor of St. Mary’s Parish in Park River and St. Luke’s Parish in Veseleyville, North Dakota, effective on June 29, 2016. This appointment is for a six-year term. Reverend Jake A. Miller is appointed Pastor of Transfiguration Parish in Edgeley and Holy Spirit Parish in Nortonville, North Dakota, effective on July 20, 2016. This appointment is for a sixyear term.

June 22


June 23

3 p.m.


10 a.m.

ND Catholic Conference, Zebedee Center, Jamestown

June 24


11 a.m.

Mass for St. Vincent de Paul Regional Conference, Baymont Inn, Fargo

June 25


5 p.m.

Mass at Sts. Peter and Paul, Karlsruhe

June 26


10:30 a.m.

Mass at St. Cecelia, Velva

July 2


7 p.m.

Mass at St. Margaret Mary, Drake

July 3


8:30 a.m.

Mass at St. Francis Xavier, Anamoose

July 4 Independence Day, Pastoral Center Closed NEW EARTH JUNE 2016


Reverend Brian L. Moen is appointed Pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Minto and St. Stanislaus’ Parish in Warsaw, North Dakota, effective on June 29, 2016. This appointment is for a six-year term.

Reverend Patrick R. Parks is appointed Parochial Vicar at St. John’s parish in Wahpeton, North Dakota. This appointment is effective June 29, 2016, and continues ad nutum episcopi.

Reverend Daniel E. Musgrave is appointed Pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Cando and St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Leeds, North Dakota, effective on June 29, 2016. This appointment is for a six-year term.

Reverend Brian Bachmeier is appointed Pastor of St. Boniface’s Parish in Esmond, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish in Balta and St. William’s Parish in Maddock, North Dakota, for a second term of six-years, beginning June 29, 2016.

Reverend Neil J. Pfeifer is appointed Pastor of St. Philip Neri’s Parish in Napoleon, North Dakota, effective on June 29, 2016. This appointment is for a six-year term. Reverend John F. Aerts is appointed Parochial Vicar at St. James Basilica in Jamestown and its mission parishes of St. Margaret Mary Parish in Buchanan, St. Michael’s Parish in Pingree and St. Mathias Parish in Windsor, North Dakota. This appointment is effective June 29, 2016, and continues ad nutum episcopi. Reverend Joseph S. D’Aco is appointed Parochial Vicar of St. Michael’s parish in Grand Forks, North Dakota. This appointment is effective June 29, 2016, and continues ad nutum episcopi. Reverend Sean P. Mulligan is appointed Parochial Vicar of Holy Spirit parish in Fargo, North Dakota. This appointment is effective June 29, 2016, and continues ad nutum episcopi.  Reverend William P. Slattery is appointed Parochial Vicar of Holy Cross parish in West Fargo, North Dakota. This appointment is effective June 29, 2016, and continues ad nutum episcopi.  Reverend Robert Keller is appointed Parochial Vicar at St. James Basilica in Jamestown and its mission parishes of St. Margaret Mary Parish in Buchanan, St. Michael’s Parish in Pingree and St. Mathias Parish in Windsor, North Dakota. This appointment is effective June 29, 2016, and continues ad nutum episcopi. Reverend Steven J. Wirth is appointed Parochial Vicar at St. Alphonsus’ Parish in Langdon and its mission parishes of St. Edward’s Parish in Nekoma and, St. Michael’s Parish in Wales, North Dakota. This appointment is effective June 29, 2016, and continues ad nutum episcopi.

Reverend H. Gerard Braun is appointed Pastor of St. Michael’s Parish in Grand Forks, North Dakota, for a third term of up to six-years, beginning June 29, 2016. Reverend James W. Cheney is appointed Pastor of St. Paul’s Catholic Newman Center in Fargo, North Dakota, for a third term of up to six years, beginning June 29, 2016. Reverend Wenceslaus H. Katanga is appointed Pastor of St. Patrick’s Parish in Wishek, St. David’s Parish in Ashley and St. Andrew’s Parish in Zeeland, North Dakota, for a second term of six-years, beginning June 29, 2016. Reverend Mathew V. Pamplaniyil is appointed Pastor of St. Mary’s Parish in Munich and Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Starkweather, North Dakota, for a second term of six-years, beginning June 29, 2016. Reverend Michael A. Schommer is appointed Pastor of St. Cecilia’s Parish in Towner, North Dakota, for a second term of six-years, beginning June 29, 2016. Reverend Timothy C. Schroeder is appointed Pastor of St. John the Evangelist’s Parish in Grafton and Sacred Heart Parish in Oakwood, North Dakota, for a third term of up to six-years, beginning June 29, 2016. Reverend Monsignor Dennis A. Skonseng is appointed Pastor of St. Catherine’s Parish in Valley City, North Dakota, for a second term of six-years, beginning June 29, 2016. Reverend John F. Kleinschmidt is released to an assignment with the Diocese of Green Bay, effective June 29, 2016 for a three-year period. Reverend Robert F. Smith is released to an assignment with the Diocese of St. Petersburg on a year-by-year basis, effective June 29, 2016.

Universal intention: Human Solidarity. That the aged, marginalized, and those who have no one may find – even within the huge cities of the world – opportunities for encounter and solidarity.

Reflection: As I look at my neighborhood, my parish, my community, my country, and the world, who are those who are most alienated and alone?

Scripture: 1 Peter 5: 8-11. Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Evangelization intention: Seminarians and Novices. That seminarians and men and women

entering religious life may have mentors who live the joy of the Gospel and prepare them wisely for their mission.

Prayer Intentions OF POPE FRANCIS 6

Reflection: How am I helping in the education and formation of future priests, sisters, and brothers? Scripture: Acts 18: 24-28. Priscilla and Aquila took Apollos aside and explained to him the Way of God more accurately. Provided by Apostleship of Prayer,




I have to work on Sunday – Am I sinning?

e address this question on behalf of the great many people in today’s labor force who find themselves required to work on Sunday. Hospital employees, service station attendants, shopping mall clerks, restaurant personnel, supermarket workers and many others are often scheduled for Sunday duties. This has become increasingly true in our nation whose states have relaxed their laws on Sunday business openings, as North Dakota did some 25 years ago. The principle of Sabbath as a day of worship and of rest is specified in the commandment “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Ex 20:8-10). Let’s review our Catholic Catechism position on this question: “Sunday is the day on which the paschal mystery is celebrated in light of the apostolic tradition and is to be observed as the foremost holy day of obligation in the universal Church” (CCC 2177, quoting Code of Canon Law 1246). Our first concern is that people required to work on Sunday still make every effort to set aside the time for worship at Mass. Employers should be careful not to create an ongoing conflict with the local Sunday Mass schedule for their employees, otherwise they participate in culpability. Employees should do what they can to participate in a rotation of workers such that they do not find themselves missing worship Sunday after Sunday. But more gravely culpable than the worker who wants to come to church and can’t, is the person who can come to church yet won’t make the effort (CCC 1854-60 on the gravity of sin). Regarding the principle of Sabbath rest, our Catechism states the basic reason for the command: “Just as God rested on the seventh day from all the work he had done, human life has a rhythm of work and rest… to cultivate their familial, cultural, social and religious lives.... Family needs or important social service can legitimately excuse from the obligation of Sunday rest.” [Yet we should] “see to it that legitimate excuses do not lead to habits prejudicial to religion, family life, and health” (CCC 2184-2185). So the larger question for us to consider is: what does each of us do on Sunday and/or throughout the week to sustain a healthy spiritual life, family life and physical life? If for legitimate reasons we do some necessary work on Sunday, then what are we doing on other days to compensate and fulfill these essential needs? That is an important consideration for our many farmers and agriculturalists whose hours are necessarily long and unpredictable during planting and harvest seasons, subject to the dictates of the weather. Work as you must, and rest as you can! I cannot foresee a circumstance, however, where the harvester has no time to suspend operations long enough to come in for an hour of Sunday worship. Our Catechism treats this question in a balanced, wellreasoned manner: “Every Christian should avoid making unnecessary demands on others that would hinder them from observing the Lord’s

Day. Traditional activities (sport, restaurants, etc.) and social necessities (public services, etc.), require some Ask a Priest people to work on Fr. Dale H. Kinzler Sundays, but everyone should take care to set aside sufficient time for leisure.… In spite of economic constraints, public authorities should ensure citizens a time intended for rest and divine worship. Employers have a similar obligation toward their employees” (CCC 2187). Pope Saint John Paul II, in his 1981 encyclical on the dignity of human work, affirmed the right to rest, including Sunday and vacations, among the rights of workers (Laborem Exercens, 19). So the question of Sunday work is one for our whole community and society to address. If we as shoppers had not created the demand for Sunday shopping, the malls would not be open. We do not intend to impose further burdens of guilt on the families and individuals who take advantage of those services and opportunities made available on Sunday. Many people who work on other days of the week may find it most helpful to do their shopping that day. The social laws of supply and demand have created the cultural cycle in which we find ourselves. Prayerfully ponder your own part in this cycle! Returning to the question of the individual persons whose employment contract or hiring agreement requires Sunday work hours, we should each consider whether we are doing our best to observe the fundamental principles of the Sabbath commandment; that is, to provide for worship, rest, leisure and renewal for ourselves and our families. This commandment, to keep holy the Lord’s Day, is fundamentally a positive one, a “Thou shalt,” rather than a “Thou shalt not.” Prayerfully ponder your habits and lifestyle, seeking to discern how you and your family may more faithfully and fruitfully observe a Sabbath rest and keep holy the Lord’s Day. If your work situation creates a conflict with Sunday Mass, discuss your options with your employer and family and seek spiritual direction where possible. And if you are in doubt regarding the question of culpability for sin in your case, “Ask a Priest!” Father Kinzler serves as the pastor of St. George’s Catholic Church in Cooperstown as well as pastor of Sacred Heart, Aneta; St. Olaf’s parish, Finley; and St. Lawrence’s parish, Jessie. He can be reached at Editor’s Note: If you have a question about the Catholic faith and would like to submit a question for consideration in a future column, please send to with “Ask a Priest” in the subject line or mail to New Earth, 5201 Bishops Blvd. S, Suite A, Fargo, ND 58104, Attn: Ask a Priest.




Diocesan priests celebrate milestone anniversaries By Kristina Lahr


s we celebrate those being newly ordained this month, Oakwood and was taught by Sisters of Mary of the Presentation we also recognize our priests celebrating milestone at St. Aloysius Academy. He began his freshman year of high ordination anniversaries. Congratulations to Father school at Cardinal Muench Seminary in Fargo. He entered Major Edward Sherman, Monsignor Daniel Pilon, Father Bert Miller Seminary at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul, Minn. and completed and Father Kevin Boucher! Thank you for being our spiritual his studies in 1976. fathers and for all that you do to lead us closer to Jesus Christ. His first assignment was as associate pastor to Holy Spirit Father Edward parish, Fargo. In 1977 he was appointed to St. James Basilica, S h e r m a n c e l e b r a t e d Jamestown and in 1978 he was transferred to St. Mary parish his 60th anniversary of in Grand Forks. There he became involved in a ministry called ordination on June 9. Father Beginning Experience, a ministry dedicated to peer support for Sherman was born August divorced, widowed and separated persons. 22, 1930 to William A. and After two years in Grand Forks he was given the full pastoral Ellem Sherman. He and care of the parishes in Lankin, Bechyne and Lomice. In addition, his brother, Father William Monsignor began assisting the Tribunal as a judge. He graduated Sherman, and sister, Sister with a licentiate degree in Canon Law at the Catholic University Ann Sherman, grew up in in Washington, D.C. in 1986. Hankinson. He was blessed He began working in the Tribunal that summer as Judicial to attend St. Francis Academy Vicar and assisted the pastor at St. William parish in Argusville. Father Edward Sherman from 7-12 grade. In 1987 Monsignor Pilon became pastor of St. Benedict parish Father Sherman began his priestly ministry as an assistant in Wild Rice and St. Maurice parish in Kindred. Because of the pastor of St. Anthony of Padua parish in Fargo in 1956. He was growth in population at St. Benedict parish, Monsignor was then assistant pastor of St. Alphonus parish in Langdon from relieved of the responsibility at St. Maurice in 1995. Monsignor 1959-63; pastor of St. John parish in St. John from 1963-1967; resigned from the Tribunal (and consequently, St. Benedict’s) in and pastor of the parishes in Starkweather and Webster from 2006 after guiding it for 20 years. That same year he was given 1967-75. He began serving as Director of the Diocesan Family the title Monsignor by the Pope Benedict XVI at the request of Life Office in 1969. He was then pastor of the parishes in Wales, Bishop Aquila. Bisbee, Hansboro and Rock Lake from 1975-85; parochial vicar He was then assigned to the parishes in Enderlin, Sheldon of St. Joseph parish in Devils Lake from 1986-87; administrator and Fingal. In 2012 he was assigned to his current location at of Sacred Heart parish in Cando from 1987-94; and served at St. Our Lady of Peace parish, Mayville and St. Agnes parish, Hunter. Michael Indian Mission from 1994 until his retirement in 2008. Father Bert Miller Father Sherman regularly attended and assisted at the National celebrated his 25th ordination Tekakwitha Conferences throughout the years and attended St. anniversary June 1 at Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha’s canonization in Rome in 2012. Sacrament parish, West “It was very inspiring. I think the spirit-filled attendance was Fargo. He was born June 1, very attuned to St. Kateri’s life,” he said. 1955 in Harvey to Bert and Throughout his 60 years as a priest, he sees that a priest is Gladys Miller. He has three someone who is a big part of peoples’ lives not only through older brothers. the sacraments and the celebration of the Mass, but throughout Before attending their daily lives by creating an avenue to encounter Christ. s e m i n a r y, h e s t u d i e d “We could have everything in the world, but it would journalism at the University Father Bert Miller not compare with Jesus, the of North Dakota and wrote Father and the Holy Spirit in for newspapers in Harvey; our lives,” he said. Cut Bank, Mont.; Beach; and Jamestown before landing a job at The Monsignor Daniel Forum in Fargo in 1981. He continues to write monthly newsletters Pilon celebrated his 40th for each of the parishes he has served and more recently writes ordination anniversary on the “Stories of Faith” column for New Earth. May 30. Monsignor Pilon He attended St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity at the was born March 26, 1950 to University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. in 1986 and was Jerome and Mae Pilon, the ordained in 1991. first of 11 children. Father Miller’s first assignment was as parochial vicar of He grew up attending Nativity parish, Fargo from 1991-93. During this time, he Monsignor Daniel Pilon Sacred Heart parish in became the leader of RCIA for 10 years. His second parochial vicar






AROUND THE DIOCESE destination was Holy Family parish in Grand Forks from 1993-94. He was then an administrator at the parishes in Michigan, Bechyne and Lomice from 1994-96. From 1996-2004, he was pastor of St. John the Evangelist parish in Grafton and has been pastor of Blessed Sacrament parish in West Fargo since. Beginning July 2016, he will become pastor of St. Mary parish in Park River and St. Luke parish in Vesleyville. In 2014 Father Miller helped develop Catholic Collage, a three–week winter course of adult catechesis held in Fargo. He is also a member of the organizing board for Sheltering Parishes, a Fargo/Moorhead/West Fargo coalition of ecumenical parishes who provide shelter for homeless individuals during the winter months. “Jesus came to walk with us, journey with us, help us, bring us to the Kingdom of God,” said Father Miller. “Because of his relationship with us, he changed the world. We need to be like Jesus and simply walk with each other to the Kingdom. That simple action on our part will help Jesus continue to change the world.”

Father Kevin Boucher celebrated his 25th anniversary of ordination June 1 at Nativity parish, Fargo. He was born in Rolette in April 14, 1959 to Francis and Bernadette Boucher. He has two sisters. Before entering seminary, Father Boucher studied Architecture for two years at NDSU. He planned to take a year off from studying, but this time turned into five years while he worked at Security State Bank in Dunseith. It was during this time that

the seeds of his vocation were truly planted. He attended St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. from 1987-91. His first assignment was as parochial vicar at Holy Family parish in Grand Forks from 1991-93. He Father Kevin Boucher was then pastor of St. Mark parish in Bottineau and St. Andrew parish in Westhope from 1993-2002. During 2002-07, he served as pastor of the parishes in Rugby, Balta, Fulda and Knox. Since 2007, he has been pastor of Nativity parish in Fargo. Throughout the years, Father Boucher has served as a dean and on the Personnel Board. For eight years he served the priests of the diocese as manager of the Priests’ Credit Union and served on the Diocesan Liturgical Commission. He currently serves on the Diocesan Building Commission, is the priests’ representative on the Holy Cross Cemetery Association in Fargo and is one of the eight pastors in the JPII Catholic Schools system on the Board of Directors. “Being a priest is the most grace-filled experience a man can have,” said Father Boucher. “Serving as the ‘Person of Christ’ in the sacraments, the priest personally receives an abundance of grace.”





Gianna and her husband Pietro during their engagement. (submitted photo) A shrine for St. Gianna opened at St. Gianna’s Maternity Home in Warsaw on May 31. Three relics of St. Gianna are now on display there and open to the public for veneration. (submitted photo)

St. Gianna shrine opens in Warsaw By Kristina Lahr


n May 31, the feast of the Visitation, St. Gianna’s Maternity to a child with joy even though hardships and uncertainty Home in Warsaw opened its St. Gianna Beretta Molla lay ahead. shrine. Bishop Folda celebrated Mass at St. Stanislaus “It’s a blessing to make St. Gianna’s intercession open to the Catholic Church which was followed by a simple meal and an public,” said Jahner. “This gives people a place to come and opportunity to visit the shrine and venerate St. Gianna’s relics. feel close to her. It’s a more concrete way to get in touch with “[Gianna] was a wife and mother, a physician, and a fervent the spirituality of St. Gianna.” Catholic,” said Bishop Folda during his homily. “She lived St. Gianna’s Maternity home has been open for 13 years. In life to the full, giving herself joyfully to her husband and that time more than 110 babies have been born and over 300 children, but also to the patients she cared for. When she developed people have called it their home. uterine cancer at the beginning of her fourth pregnancy, she was “We’re contemplating God’s love and mercy in a special way determined that her child should live, even if it meant her life this year, and it’s always been that way for us,” said Jahner. “We would be sacrificed. She made her choice, and one can practically have hundreds of people a part of our work. There are many imagine her wonder and awe, her quiet contemplation of the people to thank, including St. Gianna.” little life growing within her.” On the same day of the shrine’s blessing, Father Joseph The idea for the shrine arose in May 2015 when the St. Gianna’s Christianson, spiritual director of St. Gianna’s Maternity home, Maternity Home was given its first relic. Gianna Manuela, St. celebrated his 19th anniversary of priestly ordination and the Gianna’s daughter, visited the home to present her mother’s fifth anniversary of the order he founded – Franciscans of scarf. With such a special gift, the question arose of how to Mary Immaculate. venerate the relic properly. “From the beginning, St. Gianna’s story has won the hearts Since then, the home has received two more relics. Mary Pat of so many people,” said Jahner. “Now we can honor her as a Jahner, director of St. Gianna’s Maternity Home, met Gianna gift to the home and to the diocese as a whole. There have been Manuela in Philadelphia to receive a first class relic, St. Gianna’s miracles already so we hope this will be a place for even more hair. This year in May the home was given a swatch from St. blessings for people to ask for her intercession.” Gianna’s wedding dress. The shrine is open for veneration any day after daily Mass “We’re really blessed to receive these relics because there are at St. Gianna’s Maternity Home. The weekly Mass schedule so few available,” said Jahner. “Even before we had any relics is published in the St. Stanislaus Catholic Church bulletin we’ve had people come to pray for her intercession. She seems which is available at Three additional “open to be a quick intercessor for those trying to conceive or for those shrine times” are July 7 from 6-8pm, July 21 from 6-8pm and experiencing difficult pregnancies.” August 13 from 9am -noon. Visitors are welcome to schedule a In his homily, Bishop Folda retold the story of the Visitation. visit as well by contacting Mary Pat Jahner at (701) 248-3077 or Like Mary, Gianna received the news that she would give life




10 years later, Bishop Sullivan’s memory lives on

By Kristina Lahr


e was what you would want in a father,” said Brad Gray. Bishop James Sullivan served as Bishop of the Diocese of Fargo for 17 years. June 12 was the 10th anniversary since he passed away. Gray, who was Bishop Sullivan’s secretary the last three years he was serving as Bishop, remembers him as a well-beloved and gentle guide. “Bishop was a gentle pastor,” said Gray. “He was known to have this completely open door policy. He had the heart of a pastor and a great love for vocations. He would constantly be on the phone with young men about joining the seminary.” “When he received a letter [from a young man] he would call that person back immediately, said Father Philip Ackerman who was Vocations Director for nine years. “Candidates were shocked to get a response from the bishop so quickly. He came off as very accessible and spontaneous.” Father Ackerman also traveled with Bishop Sullivan as Master of Ceremonies for Confirmations and remembers how Bishop would love traveling to confirm the kids and hearing confessions. “He was very devoted to his prayer life. It was inspiring for me to see as a young priest. And he had a deep love for Eucharist. He said once that he was looking forward to Christmas day because he was allowed to offer three Masses that day.” Bishop Sullivan was also known to be strongly devoted to his family, never missing an opportunity to be with them. His chalice was given to him by his parents, which has a scene of the Nativity of our Lord engraved under the paten. Christmas was his favorite holiday, because it was a time he could be with family. When his mother died, the diamond of her wedding ring was embedded into the Celtic cross on his chalice as well. “He would often encourage me as a young seminarian to stay close to my family,” said Monsignor Jeffery Wald with whom Bishop Sullivan lived the last four years of his life. “He was a strength to many people, and especially to us priests. He was very much a person who wanted to share the message of the Gospel and had a big heart for wanting people to know Christ in his Church.” “Like most Irishman, he was known for his quick wit as well,” said Gray. “He loved little gadgets,” Father Ackerman said. “He’d always have one in his office. A bear that would dance when you touched it, a dancing palm tree or a singing fish on the wall… People would give him these things as gifts, and he would just laugh like a kid.” “He had a great sense of humor,” said Monsignor Wald. “He loved to make people laugh and didn’t take things too seriously, including himself. He was very much a kid at heart.” Overall, his friends, family and colleagues remember him as a simple, prayerful man who always made sure the rosary and adoration were a part of his day.

Bishop James Sullivan blesses the Easter candle with the assistance of Deacon George Loegering as Father Peter Hughes looks on. Bishop Sullivan served as Bishop of the Diocese of Fargo for 17 years. (Diocese of Fargo)

“God is always giving us new chances to follow him and to reorient ourselves to him more fully. Every day is a conversion experience. Each of us – myself included – must live out the Gospel message day in and day out. Some days we succeed. Some days we fail. But we should never be discouraged.” – Bishop James Sullivan, May 4 1989 at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Fargo. “He was always good to people and very thankful for the people of the diocese,” said Monsignor Wald. “He loved it here. When he retired, this was where he wanted to stay.” James Stephen Sullivan was born July 23, 1929, in Kalamazoo, Mich. He was appointed Bishop of Fargo Apr. 2, 1985 and retired Mar. 18, 2002. A Mass in honor of Bishop Sullivan will be celebrated at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Fargo, Saturday, June 18 at 10 a.m.

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Finding Hope Ministry is a volunteer-based lay-apostolate that reaches out to families who have suffered the loss of a child through miscarriage or stillbirth. (Emily Dieter)

Retreat for couples who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss July 30 Finding Hope Ministries invites couples who have experienced pregnancy or early infant loss to a couple’s healing retreat Saturday, July 30, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at Holy Cross Catholic Church, West Fargo. The retreat is free and breakfast/lunch is provided. The day will include prayer, presentations by Nathan and RyAnn Carr (founders of Immaculate Hope Ministry), time for couple dialogue and Mass. Registration is required. To register or for more information contact: immaculatehoperetreats@gmail. com or visit

Ministry provides healing for miscarriage, stillbirth By Katie Eskro


t was September of 2014. I was sitting in the doctor’s office with my husband and six-month-old, awaiting an ultrasound to check in on my seven-week-old baby. The week before we had been in and the doctor had found a large blood clot. As the ultrasound tech found the baby with the monitor, I frantically looked for the heartbeat. We had seen it last week. But today, it wasn’t there. Our baby had died. This is an all too frequent story for couples all over the world. In fact, the story I just told is similar to what couples experience on average one out of four pregnancies, called a miscarriage if the baby died before 20 weeks gestation. For me those odds aren’t as good – I have two healthy, beautiful girls and I have three heaven-babies I lost to miscarriage. On average 26,000 babies die in the U.S. after 20 weeks gestation, called a stillbirth, and 39,000 infants die after birth before their first birthday. These are not happy statistics. They are statistics that do not just mean a baby died, but mean that a family is living without their child, sibling or grandchild. In the Church we are taught to respect all life, and we know and believe that before God formed us in our mother’s womb He knew us (Jeremiah 1:5). These babies that have died then, even at the youngest age, deserve our utmost respect. They have the same inherent dignity that we do. Additionally, the child’s loved ones deserve our condolences. That is where the new group, Finding Hope Ministries, comes in. Finding Hope is a self-funded, lay-apostolate led by volunteers. We are here to reach out to families who have suffered loss and help them find hope in the truth that Jesus and His Church tell us. We do this through grief baskets, which is a little gift that includes several items such as candles, books, journals, etc. We also offer companionship and understanding to mothers and fathers suffering the loss of their child. 12


Finding Hope’s vision is to spread a culture of life. We desire to share our stories so that a message of truth about the dignity of life, no matter what age of death, is spread throughout our diocese and beyond. We want to help couples and families along the road to complete faith and acceptance of God’s will for their lives, even if God allowed their baby to die. My children’s deaths still bring me much sadness some days, and at times it is so difficult to understand why God allowed them to die. But I have learned, in some small way, to hand my suffering over to Jesus on the cross. This suffering can be beautiful and meaningful if I can learn to fully give it over to Jesus and run to our Blessed Mother with my hurt and sadness. She understands so completely my suffering. If you have lost a child, do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to share in your journey of finding hope after a loss. We know the journey well, and we are still on it. If you have a loved one who has experienced loss and you want to reach out to them but do not know how, do not be afraid to contact us. We can help you know what to say and do. To truly be a Church that spreads life and love we must reach out to those who are suffering the loss of a child. We must teach the truth that these babies have dignity and that we have hope in their eternal life with Jesus. I ask that you prayerfully consider being a donor to our apostolate, to help fund grief baskets and organize events such as the retreat July. Most importantly, I ask that you pray for the families suffering from child loss and for our apostolate – that we might be the hands and feet of Jesus bringing a message of healing and hope to everyone we meet. Contact Katie Eskro at or visit the Facebook page at

Nistlers receive Caritas Award for service in Africa

By Sonia Mullally

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1-877-871-8313 Home Equity Loans Bishop Folda and Bishop Kagan present Jim and Henrietta Nistler with the Catholic Charities Caritas Award for their nine years of mission service in Africa. (Deacon Joe Krupinsky | Diocese of Bismarck)


ome give by going and some go by giving. Deacon Jim and Henrietta Nistler gave by going when they were part of the first team of missionaries to lay the groundwork and start the Bismarck Diocese Mission in Africa in 1990. The Nistlers were honored for their service with Catholic Charities North Dakota with the Caritas Award. The award luncheon was held May 10 at Spirit of Life Church in Mandan. The annual award is given to those who exemplify the bringing of faith, hope and love to the least of God’s people. Bishop Folda and Bishop Kagan of the Bismarck Diocese presented the award. They Jim and Henrietta were among the first to represent the Diocese of Bismarck to serve the poorest of the poor at the mission in Kenya. They intended to serve for three and a half years, but ended up staying for nine. The mission first began in East Africa but after continued violence near the Somali border was relocated to western Kenya. They focused on healthcare and education for children orphaned by the AIDS epidemic. That remains the focus of the mission now—26 years later.

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Leader and servant for Christ Sister Antonine Foy dies age 93

ister Antonine Foy, member of the Sisters at Shanley for a number of years and served as of the Presentation, Fargo, died Jan. 30 at principal before being elected Superior of the Villa Maria nursing home, Fargo. Sister Order of Presentation Sisters, a position she Antonine was born Oct. 17, 1922 in Fargo, the held for six years. Sister Antonine also served second of four children. as Business Administrator of the Order for eight years and served on the Administrative Council. Catherine Foy (as she was known in school) The last 13 years of her active ministry were at St. was taught by the Sisters of the Presentation Ansgar’s Hospital in Park River, where she served and entered the Order in 1941, receiving the as receptionist. name Sister Antonine. She made her final Profession of Vows in 1947. Sister Antonine retired from active ministry in 1998 and lived at the Presentation Sister’s Mother Sister Antonine graduated from the house in Fargo until she moved to the Villa Maria College of St. Scholastica with a B.A. Degree in nursing home. Business Education, and the University of North Dakota with a Master ’s Degree in Sister Antonine is survived by the members Business Education. of her religious community, nieces, Juli and Jodi; grandniece, Katie; and sister-in-law, Brandi. She She taught at Sacred Heart Academy and was preceded in death by her parents, Edward and Susan St. Mary’s School, Fargo; St. Alphonsus High School, Langdon; Foy; her sisters, Margaret Mary and Sister Celine; her brother, St. James School, New Rockford; and Shanley High School, FarEdward; and two nephews, Pat and Mike. go. Sister Antonine was the head of the Business Department


Life-long educator Sister Mary Rosaria Acton dies age 89

ister Rosaria Acton went to her eternal reward on Jan. 3. Sister Rosaria was born in County Galway, Ireland on Apr. 16, 1926. She was the eldest of five children. She received her primary and secondary education in Ireland. In 1947 she entered the Presentation Sisters Congregation in Fargo with eight young women from Ireland. She made her final profession of vows in August 1953. Sister Rosaria completed her B.A. and B.C. Degree at St. Teresa’s College in Winona, Minn. and completed her M.T.S. Degree from the Catholic University of America, in Washington, D.C. in 1962.

Sister Rosaria began her many years of teaching at St. Mary’s Elementary School in Fargo. She taught there from 1949-54 and was the chemistry teacher at Shanley from 1956-70. She returned to Shanley and served from 1978-83 as assistant principal and religious instructor. Sister Rosaria also taught elementary school at Portageville and Poplar Bluff, Mo. for many years. Sister Rosaria was President of the Congregation from 1970-77. She also served many years in other leadership positions in the Fargo Diocese. Sister Rosaria was preceded in death by her parents and brothers Peter and Christopher Acton. She is survived by her brothers, Adrian and Michael, her sister-in-laws, Bredie and Kathleen and her Presentation Sisters.

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The University of Mary & The National Catholic Bioethics Center present


The Catholic Church is dedicated to establishing a culture of life which respects and safeguards human dignity amid the difficult ethical problems arising in health care today. You are invited to explore these issues at a two-day bioethics seminar August 12-13 at the University of Mary in Bismarck.

This Seminar is Open to: • Anyone interested in the new frontiers of medical ethics.

During these two days, you will receive an overview of bioethics in the Catholic tradition and will explore Catholic health care ethics from the beginning of life to the end of life.

• People interested in earning a National Catholic Bioethics Center Certification. This event kicks off the certification.

Topics Include: • Assisted Reproductive Technologies • Prenatal and Neonatal Complications • Stem Cell Research and Cloning • Ordinary and Extraordinary Means • Determination of Death and Organ Transplantation

• People interested in earning a Master’s degree in Bioethics. This event kicks off the NCBC Certification, which is a prerequisite to the degree. Priority application deadline is July 10.

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Young Catholic America and our youth crisis

A review of Christian Smith’s “Young Catholic America: Emerging Adults In, Out of, and Gone from the Church” By Dr. Jared Staudt

TATTERED PAGES A review of Catholic books and literature


he sociologist and convert to Catholicism, Christian Smith, has given us a thorough moral and spiritual evaluation of American youth in a number of books. As a teacher of theology, I have found Smith’s works to be very helpful in understanding my audience and how they may be interpreting my teaching of the Catholic faith. Smith has conducted thousands of interviews with teenagers and young adults across the religious spectrum and has organized his findings in a series of books. Although writing as a sociologist, his writings are accessible and he helps the reader to interpret his findings with synthetic analysis of the state of our young population. In Soul Searching he coined his now famous term, Moralistic Therapeutic Deism (MTD), which summarizes the religious views of teenagers across religious boundaries: moralistic—be nice; therapeutic—feel good; Deism—God is absent from life, but selectively present when we want him to get us out of a bind. In Souls in Transition, Smith follows the same group of teenagers he studied in the previous work as they transitioned into what he calls emerged adulthood (the period of life in the early to mid-twenties before young adults have settled into family and career). He found that this age group largely maintained the beliefs of MTD, focused on oneself and feelings of fulfillment more than identifying with the objective beliefs of their denomination (even when regularly attending church). One of his more recent books narrows the scope of his study. Young Catholic America: Emerging Adults in, Out of, and Gone from the Church provides a very detailed analysis of the practice and beliefs of young Catholics, comparing them to other groups of believers. Smith’s findings are not encouraging. At the beginning of the book, he provides a litany of difficulties facing young Catholics: “not knowledgeable about the Catholic faith; individualistic in their approach to religious authority and beliefs; discarding Churching teaching on sex; weak in their affiliation with the Church; less involved; less likely to place their Catholic identity at the center of their personal identity structures; and unable to articulate a coherent account of what it means to be Catholic.” The difficulties of Catholic youth are not an isolated phenomenon. Smith describes how the period after the Second Vatican Council, which coincided with the cultural upheavals of the 1960s and 70s, resulted in “significant uncertainty and misunderstandings,” which “settled into Church life and culture.”

This chaotic period of time hugely impacted Catholic schools: “As a result, between 1964 and 1984, 40 percent of American Catholic high schools and 27 percent of Catholic elementary schools closed their doors.” Those that remained open “proved less well-grounded in the Catholic faith and therefore less capable of passing on a robust Catholicism to their students.” Analyzing the data on Catholic youth brought Smith and his colleagues to a startling conclusion: “we cannot report that Catholic schooling and youth group participation have robust effects on emerging adult faith and practice.” Smith’s findings present us with a challenge. We invest our time and resources heavily in Catholic education, both parochial and catechetical, and yet our young population has not been formed effectively in the faith. The reason why is that our programs fail to impart a unique Catholic identity. Smith found that our youth largely have the same values and habits as the rest of the American population, with “more similarity over time than differences.” Fortunately, the book does have some encouraging news as well. Some young Catholics have stayed strong in the practice of their faith and Smith found three factors which consistently contributed to the “development of highly religious emerging adults.” “First, Catholic youth who have strong relational bonds with highly religious parents, other adults and friends are more likely to maintain or increase their religious faith…. Second, developing an internalized belief system involving a faith that is personally important…helps teens to sustain religious faith…. Finally, Catholic teenagers who live out their faith through certain religious practices, especially reading the Bible and frequently attending Sunday school, are more likely to become highly religious emerging adults.” Although Smith’s book, Young Catholic America, diagnoses our failure to hand on the faith effectively to our youth, it also points to the way out of the crisis. Helping our teens and young adults to develop strong faith-filled relationships, to form a personal commitment to Christ, and to live out the faith will provide the means of renewing our education and ministry to them.

About the Book: “Young Catholic America: Emerging Adults In, Out of, and Gone from the Church” by Christian Smith Published by Oxford University. Hardcover 336 pages Available via Barnes and Noble, Amazon and other book resellers. NEW EARTH JUNE 2016


Newly ordained Deacons Jayson Miller and Scott Karnik stand beside Bishop Folda following the ordination Mass of Fathers Steven Wirth, Robert Keller and Patrick Parks on June 4 at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Fargo. (Tyson Kuznia/Legacy Photography)

“You are called to a mission of mercy”

By Kristina Lahr and Paul Braun


Three men ordained priests for the Diocese of Fargo

fter years of study, prayer and discernment, Deacons configured to Christ himself, and sent forth to preach the Gospel Robert Keller, Patrick Parks and Steven Wirth arrived at in the name of Christ, to shepherd God’s people, and to celebrate the momentous day when Bishop Folda ordained them the liturgy, especially the Lord’s Sacrifice,” said Bishop Folda. as priests for the Diocese of Fargo. “He is made one with Christ, who is the mercy of God incarnate.” Family, friends, priests, deacons, religious and area faithful After expressing their resolve to carry out of the office of the filled St. Mary’s Cathedral on June 4 to witness the joyful celebration. priesthood, Deacons Keller, Parks and Wirth lay prostrate in front “And now, dear sons, you are to be raised to the Order of the of the altar, symbolizing their unworthiness and dependence Priesthood. Yes, raised to the priesthood, but you must also be upon God and the prayers of the Christian community. ready to die to yourself so that Christ may live in and through “You are called to a mission of mercy. In everything you do, you,” said Bishop Folda in his homily. try to bring God’s tenderness and mercy to the people you meet. The ordination ceremony includes various rituals rich in Wherever you are, strive to make the mercy of God real and meaning and history including prostration before the altar, the present,” said Bishop Folda. laying of hands, anointing of hands, giving of the chalice and “Our hopes for Robert is that he can carry on God’s work, and paten and the sign of peace. just be a sign of Jesus… be Jesus’s hands and feet for others,” “Through sacred ordination, the priest is consecrated, said Julie Keller, mother of Father Keller.

“Christ daily comes to us in humble form; daily he comes down from the bosom of the Father upon the altar in the hands of a priest.” - St Francis Assisi 18


COVER STORY Father Keller became the third priest in his family, which was witnessed by both his great-uncle, Monsignor Joseph Senger and uncle, Father William Senger, a Maryknoll Missionary serving in Guatemala. “It’s very impressive thinking about our family growing up in Orin, ND, having three priests is really remarkable,” said Monsignor Senger, retired priest in the Diocese of Fargo. “Reviewing our whole family history today I’m really proud that we could offer 150 years of service to the church.” The following day, each new priest celebrated his first Mass, a Mass of Thanksgiving, at their respective home parishes. Father Keller celebrated at St. Cecilia’s in Harvey; Father Parks at the Church of the Epiphany in Coon Rapids, Minn.; and Father Wirth at St. Mary’s in Munich. Officially as of June 29, these men will begin their first assignments as priests. Father Keller will serve as parochial vicar at St. James Basilica in Jamestown and its mission parishes in Buchanan, Pingree and Windsor; Father Parks will serve as parochial vicar at St. John’s parish in Wahpeton; and Father Wirth will serve as parochial vicar at St. Alphonsus’ parish in Langdon and its mission parishes in Nekoma and Wales. Additional photos from the ordination can be found within the News and Events section of the diocesan website at news-events. For Bishop Folda’s homily, visit foldahomilies.

Bishop Folda lays his hands on Father Wirth invoking the Holy Spirit to come upon him and set him apart for priestly ministry. (Kristina Lahr/New Earth)

Monsignor Senger lays his hands on his great-nephew, Father Robert Keller. (Kristina Lahr/New Earth)

Bishop Folda anoints the hands of Father Parks, setting him apart for the sacred tasks such as offering bread and wine, anointing the sick and blessing. (Kristina Lahr/New Earth)

Highlighting the importance of celebrating the Eucharist in the life of a priest, Bishop Folda hands Father Keller the chalice and paten. (Kristina Lahr/New Earth) NEW EARTH JUNE 2016 19


Get to know our new priests

Father Robert Keller Home parish: St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church, Harvey Parents: Bob and Julie Keller

Family: One brother and one sister, Zach and Sarah Keller Education: St. John Vianney Theological Seminary, Denver, Colo.

Father Patrick Parks Home parish: Church of the Epiphany Catholic Church, Coon Rapids, Minn. Parents: Ronald and Ann Parks

Family: Four brothers and three sisters

Mass of Thanksgiving: Father Keller celebrated his first Mass at St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church, Harvey on June 5 at 3 p.m.

Education: Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Emmitsburg Md.

Do you have any other plans to celebrate your ordination? I hope to return to some of the summer assignments that I had and other places that were crucial for my vocation.

What were you doing before you entered seminary? Working at Epiphany Church in the Maintenance Department.

Hobbies: I like to read, to cook, to spend time with friends, to write letters, playing board games.

What were you doing before you entered seminary? Finishing high school.

When was the first time you thought about becoming a priest? I think the first time that I thought of a vocation in a real way was through my encounter with Christ in Adoration during my senior year of high school. It became something that was on my heart quite often.

Who was instrumental in helping you identify and develop your vocation? I think it was really the influence and the push from Fr. Michael Hickin that helped me to consider it more deeply. Also my grandparents. Who is the person you admire the most and why? I admire Mary and Joseph most. Their relationship was foundational for Jesus Christ as he grew up. They were the fullness of the fruit of the Old Covenant. They also must have lived lives of incredible holiness.

What are you most looking forward to as you transition from seminary into priestly life and ministry? Leaving the school environment behind for a while. I have been at it for 11 years. While I do love school and it may not be completely over yet, I am ready for something different for a while. What encouragement and/or advice do you have for young men considering the priesthood? Pray a lot, find a good friend to talk to (like a young priest) and take the risk of saying yes.



Mass of Thanksgiving: Father Patrick Parks celebrated his first Mass at the Church of the Epiphany Catholic Church, Coon Rapids, Minn. on Sunday, June 5 at 11:00 a.m.

When was the first time you thought about becoming a priest? When I was about 10 years of age I told our Lady that I would be a priest -- she reminded me when I was about 37. Who was instrumental in helping you identify and develop your vocation? My parish priest, Father Reiser, helped give direction to my vocation.

Who is the person you admire the most and why? St. John Paul II is one of many that I look up to, but JPII is certainly one man that makes my heart beat stronger when I think of him. His service to the Church, to the youth and his devotion to our Lady are some of his accomplishments that I most admire.

Can you remember an experience that was influential in identifying your vocation? My involvement with a very Marian prayer group lit the flame that began my journey to the priesthood.

What are you most looking forward to as you transition from seminary into priestly life and ministry? Serving the good people of North Dakota.

What encouragement or advice do you have for young men considering the priesthood? Take quality time out of each day to develop the listening skills of the heart by spending quiet time in prayer. Let the Lord guide your path and also seek spiritual direction if possible.


and the family. When I was a kid I remember her leading the rosary before Sunday Mass and attending weekday Mass. Even today I am aware of her prayers for me and for all my cousins.

What are you most looking forward to as you transition from seminary into priestly life and ministry? On a practical note, stability. I look forward to settling into the parish for longer than just a summer. On a more serious note, I really look forward to being able to be with people as they journey towards God, especially by providing the sacraments of the Holy Eucharist and Reconciliation.

Father Steven Wirth

What encouragement and/or advice do you have for young men considering the priesthood? Pray and stay close to the sacraments. Get to know a priest and talk to him about your discernment. A priest will understand where you are because at some point he has stood where you are standing now.

Home parish: St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Munich Parents: Fred and Jane Wirth

Family: Two brothers and two sisters

Education: Cardinal Muench Seminary, Fargo for college and St. Paul Seminary, St. Paul, Minn., for Theology. Mass of Thanksgiving: Father Wirth celebrated his first Mass at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Munich on June 5 at 2 p.m.

Hobbies: When I can find a group of people I like card games, board games and especially strategy games. When I am by myself I like reading fiction novels.

What were you doing before you entered seminary? I was in high school. I played high school baseball and helped my dad on the farm.

When was the first time you thought about becoming a priest? I am not sure, but it was certainly when I was quiet young, early or middle elementary school. The thought remained all the way through my high school years. I thought since the thought was always there I would try seminary. In seminary my thoughts about being a priest only grew.

Who was instrumental in helping you identify and develop your vocation? My parents taught me what it was to be Catholic. My pastor during high school, Father Tony Hession, encouraged me in my discernment and gave me the spiritual tools and example to pursuit my vocation. Who is the person you admire the most and why? I would have to say my grandma. She grew up during the Depression of the dirty 30s and watched her brothers go off to war in the 40s (they came back home), became a widow when she was 63; yet as she took all these trials she remained faithful to God, Church

Congratulations Fr. Steven Wirth




Two men ordained transitional deacons draw closer to the Lord By Kristina Lahr and Paul Braun

After making a promise of obedience to the Bishop and his successors, the congregation prayed the Litany of Saints as Miller and Karnik lay prostrate as an expression of their total dependence on God. Bishop Folda then lay his hands on each Deacons Scott Karnik (left) and Jayson Miller (right) were ordained of them, asking the Holy Spirit to descend upon them. to the transitional diaconate at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Fargo June 3. Here they are vested with the stole and dalmatic, signs of the office of The front pews of the Cathedral were filled with family of the deacons. Transitional deacons typically carry the office of deacon for two deacons. For Deacon Miller’s father, this was a day where one year until they are ordained to the priesthood. God’s promise to his people came to fulfillment. (Kristina Lahr | New Earth) “It’s not about the parents, it’s more about what Jesus said to n June 3, the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Peter ‘Upon this rock I shall establish my church,’” said Dennis the Diocese of Fargo received two new deacons, Scott Miller, father of Deacon Miller. “All we can do as parents is keep Karnik of Grafton and Jayson Miller of Lawton at the faithful to the sacraments and encourage them to be open…and let God do the rest.” Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo. Witnessed by family, friends, priests, deacons, religious and Deacons are active in Christian ministry in parishes and area faithful these seminarians declared their intention to Bishop hospitals, as well as service to the poor. A deacon is responsible Folda to carry out the office of deacon. They promised to hold for proclaiming the Gospel at Mass and may deliver homilies fast to the mystery of faith, proclaim the faith in word and deed, and administer Holy Communion. They are also able to witness embrace the celibate state and deepen a spirit of prayer by cel- marriages and administer the sacrament of baptism. ebrating the Liturgy of the Hours. Ultimately, they resolved to During the summer, Deacon Jayson Miller will serve at Holy Cross parish in West Fargo and Deacon Scott Karnik will at St. be examples of Christ. John’s parish in Wahpeton. Seminarians are customarily ordained “The deacon has a special closeness to our Lord Jesus, because to the transitional diaconate a year prior to their ordination to he is called to serve,” said Bishop Folda in his homily. “Pope the priesthood. Deacon Miller and Deacon Karnik are expected Francis addressed a great gathering of deacons [recently] and to be ordained priests next summer. said, ‘Those who proclaim Jesus are called to serve, and those who serve proclaim Jesus.’ The Lord was the first to show us this.” Additional photos can be found on the News and Events section of the diocesan website





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Former Shanley teacher reflects on ordination as a Dominican priest By Father Wesely Dessonville O.P.

Father Wesely Dessonville O.P. was ordained a Dominican priest of the Chicago providence at St. Pius V Catholic Church in St. Louis, Mo. on May 14. He taught Religion at Shanley High School, Fargo from 2006-09. Here he celebrates his Mass of Thanksgiving at his home parish in Madison, Minn. on May 21. (C. Edwards Studios)

Pope Francis celebrated the Jubilee for Priests in Rome June 1-3, a retreat for priests and seminarians. As a sign of communion, dioceses were asked to take part in this celebration by planning a local version of the event. On June 2 faithful gathered at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Fargo, to pray for our priests and those to be ordained June 3-4. Here Bishop Folda blesses the faithful with the Blessed Sacrament at the close of the celebration.


he ordination was beautiful. Truly one of the best days of my life - better than I deserve. God made himself present in so many ways. One was when I was lying face on the floor of the sanctuary in front of the altar with six of my Dominican brothers. While lying there in front of hundreds of people in a packed church in St. Louis, I could not help but think how humbling it all was. Here I am lying vulnerable before the Lord and His people, and all I can do is say “take me Lord, here I am, I am yours.” Then twenty minutes later I knelt before the bishop and he laid hands on me. It was probably only 30 seconds but it felt like time stood still. I felt the Lord’s presence in a profound way, like the disciples in the upper room when Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit on them. It was awesome that I was able to be ordained a Dominican priest during the 800 anniversary of the founding of the Order, our Jubilee year. It was also an honor to be ordained during the Year of Mercy, which is what all priests are called to do, to show God’s mercy to all they encounter. I’ll never have trouble remembering when I was ordained! The next day I celebrated my first Mass as a priest at Little Flower parish in St. Louis where I did my diaconate internship. Again, I was surrounded by Dominicans, family and friends and by the end of the Mass I was quite emotional and couldn’t stop weeping for a minute or two. It was the most humbling day of my life: now ordered to serve God’s people by preaching, celebrating the Eucharist, forgiving sins and shepherding the God’s flock. Please pray that I may be a faithful servant as a priest for Christ and His Church. NEW EARTH JUNE 2016



Shanley seniors encouraged to “praise the Lord” in years ahead

Senior class vice-president, Kristin Carew, introduces former teacher and soon-to-be superintendent of JPII schools, Michael Hagstrom as the commencement speaker during Shanley High School’s commencement ceremony May 25. (Kristina Lahr | New Earth)

n May 25, 75 seniors of Shanley High School, Fargo, joined together for a final time as a class for graduation celebrations. During the Baccalaureate Mass in the morning at Holy Cross Catholic Church, West Fargo, Bishop Folda encouraged the gradates to be truly great, not by seeking prestige, power or wealth but by serving others. “Works of mercy might not be flashy, they might not even be noticed,” said Bishop Folda, “but every single one of them can change the world, every one of them can make us great. Real greatness comes from great love, and genuine love is self-giving, not self-seeking.” Later that evening, Shanley graduates, family, friends, faculty and clergy gathered at Shanley High School for the evening commencement ceremony. After a prayer led by chaplain Father Charles LaCroix and a welcome from senior class president, Ellen Erie, senior class vice-president, Kristin Carew, introduced former teacher and

soon-to-be superintendent of JPII schools, Michael Hagstrom, as the commencement speaker. Hagstrom was selected to give the commencement address for his strong dedication to Catholic schools and “more than just attempts at humor.” He encouraged the graduates to remain close to Christ no matter where life takes them. “Be friends with Christ for saints are friends with Christ,” he said. Hagstrom admitted he didn’t remember much that was said during the commencement address at his high school graduation, but in hopes the Shanley grads would remember something of his speech, he left them with four simple words from Psalm 147:12: “Praise the Lord, Jerusalem!” With these words, Hagstrom urged the graduates to always praise Jesus Christ throughout the joys and challenges they face in the years ahead. Shanley principal Sarah Crary then presented each of the graduates to receive their diplomas from Bishop Folda. William Kenney delivered the class response, and the ceremony concluded with a blessing by Bishop Folda.

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USCCB’s five briefs to the Supreme Court


any Catho l i c s in the c o u n t r y have Catholic probably nev Action er heard of the Office of General Christoper Dodson Counsel (OGC) at the United States C o n f e re n c e o f Catholic Bishops. It is USCCB’s legal arm. It represents the office, advises bishops and analyzes federal legislation and rules. “The number of briefs and their subjects demonstrate the important role Supreme Court decisions play in our lives as Catholics and the scope of the church’s concerns when it comes to policy and law.” – Christopher Dodson It also submits amicus curiae or “friends of the court” briefs

damage to affected children. Trinity Lutheran Church v. Missouri Department of Natural Resources. The state of Missouri has a program to increase safety at playgrounds by providing grants to resurface playgrounds with rubber from recycled tires. When Trinity Lutheran Church applied for the grant it was denied solely because the playground was on church grounds. Safety for some kids is apparently okay, but not if they play on church grounds. The amicus brief points out: “Missouri’s overt discrimination against Trinity Lutheran purely because of its religious status is repugnant to the First Amendment. Like discrimination based on race or national origin, discrimination based on religion is inherently suspect and can be upheld only if necessary to serve a compelling governmental interest. Missouri lacks any legitimate, let alone compelling, interest in excluding Trinity Lutheran from the Scrap Tire Program.” By the way, don’t think that such hostility toward religion is extremely rare. A few years ago, the state of North Dakota enacted legislation to provide grants for automated external defibrillators (AED) for schools. There were some who actually argued that church-affiliated schools should be prohibited from receiving the AEDs. on important issues before the Supreme Court. These briefs Storman’s v. Washington Department of Health. The state allow interested parties other than actual litigants to provide of Washington enacted regulations that require pharmacies additional information to the court. They take a considerable to stock and dispense abortifacient drugs. However, the final amount of time to prepare and the OGC only submits them when rules exempted pharmacies from the rule for secular reasons, the church’s interests are clearly implicated and the bishops’ but explicitly rejected any exemptions for religious reasons. In conference has something pertinent to offer. fact, ten times more pharmacies sought exemptions for secular This last year the office submitted five such briefs to the reasons than for religious reasons. The brief argues that the rules Supreme Court. The number of briefs and their subjects demonstrate amount to “religious gerrymandering” and the rules have the the important role Supreme Court decisions play in our lives as purpose of forcing Catholic hospitals to close. Catholics and the scope of the church’s concerns when it comes Finally, OGC filed an amicus brief in Zubrik v. Burwell, the to policy and law. challenge to the HHS mandate by, among others, the Little Sisters Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt. This case involves a of the Poor. This case involves the Religious Freedom Restoration challenge to a set of laws in Texas regulating abortion providers. Act which states that a federal law cannot substantially burden One of the laws, similar to North Dakota’s, requires that abortionists the exercise of religion unless the government has a compelling have admitting privileges at a local hospital. The other law interest and does so with the least restrictive means. The brief requires that certain abortion centers meet the health and safety focuses mostly on the second part of that law. requirements of ambulatory surgical centers. The brief argues “If the petitioners abide by their religious beliefs, they that (1) four decades of court decisions support the right of states face the loss of the ability to sponsor health coverage for their to pass such laws to protect the health of women and (2) there employees and millions of dollars in fines, threatening is ample evidence that such laws protect women. financial ruin. No one benefits from such an outcome—not the United States v. Texas. Following its long-standing support organizations, their donors, their clients or their employees. Because its for immigration policies that foster stable families, the bishops chosen means causes greater societal harm, including to religious joined other faith-based organizations in a brief supporting liberty, than the putative good that its action would achieve, the federal policies to stay deportation proceedings for four to five government’s action is not the least restrictive means of million individuals residing in the U.S. who pose no threat to furthering any compelling government interest.” national security or public safety and who have longstanding Most of these cases are expected to be decided in June. and close family ties to the U.S. Without expressing an opinion Christopher Dodson is executive director of the North Dakota Catholic on whether the Administration should have issued the guidelines, Conference. The NDCC acts on behalf of the Catholic bishops of North the brief argues that the guidelines were legally within the Dakota to respond to public policy issues of concern to the Catholic Administration’s discretion in light of its benefits to the interest Church and to educate Catholics and the general public about Catholic of stable families and to prevent immediate and long lasting social doctrine. The conference website is 26




‘A word to fiancés’: The Francis effect on wedding planning

t had been a long Thursday, and Brooke Paris couldn’t wait to take off her heels, peel off her contacts and wipe off her make-up. She changed into her pajamas, climbed into bed and opened her MacBook to the pope’s new apostolic exhortation. “Amoris Laetitia” was released two weeks after Brooke’s high-school sweetheart, Timothy Foley, dropped on bended knee in Mary’s Garden, the grounds behind the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in D.C. It was the most easy, joyful “yes” of her life – and it was rooted in a relationship that felt ordained by God. But since that idyllic moment last month, the soon-to-be college graduate had managed to squeeze in just enough wedding-related activity to make her dizzy. She’d bought The Southern Weddings Planner, ordered sample wedding invitations and conducted a midnight Google search into pricing of a couple reception venues. She doubled over from the sticker shock. So she took a deep breath and began scrolling through Pope Francis’ 264-page document. Within five minutes Brooke found herself in chapter six, in a section titled “Preparing engaged couples for marriage,” arrested by these words: “Here let me say a word to fiancés. Have the courage to be different. Don’t let yourselves get swallowed up by a society of consumption and empty appearances. What is important is the love you share, strengthened and sanctified by grace. You are capable of opting for a more modest and simple celebration in which love takes precedence over everything else.” “I knew immediately that that was what I was supposed to find at that time,” said Brooke, 21, a Virginia native preparing to complete her bachelor’s in theology and religious studies from the Catholic University of America. “It was a great reminder that it doesn’t matter if my venue is as lavish as my Pinterest boards. There are ways I can save money and still make my reception a celebration of the love Timmy and I share.” The timing of Pope Francis’ just-launched reflection to inspire their brand-new engagement was not lost on Brooke. “I think God gives you tools to live out your vocation.”

Brooke is drawing a double value from “Amoris Laetitia” – for her own 2017 Twenty nuptials and for the clients she hopes to Something serve in her dream Christina Capecchi job as a Catholic wedding planner. She envisions a service that combines planning of the liturgy, planning the reception and preparing for marriage. And she has a clear-cut approach in mind: She’ll begin by helping couples plan a liturgy that reflects their unique relationship and God’s vision for marriage; then she’ll help plan a reception that echoes that liturgy. It’s an approach that reminds couples the liturgy is the pinnacle of their wedding day, not a pit stop to the party. Brooke nearly bursts with giddiness to consider the rich possibilities of a distinctly Catholic reception. It may mean framing verses from the readings at your wedding Mass and using them as table centerpieces. It could mean asking reception goers to sign a Bible versus a guestbook or inviting them to write prayer intentions and place them in a jar. It might mean saluting the longest-married couples in the room. It could mean having the groom and bride wash each other’s feet as a symbolic act of service rather than challenging him to remove her garter. It definitely informs the way you handle mealtime, toasts, dancing and alcohol. Brooke has the courage to be different, and this wedding season she’s encouraging other engaged Catholics to do the same, to heed the Holy Father and let love take precedence over everything else. Christina Capecchi is a freelance writer from Inver Grove Heights, Minn., and the editor of

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

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Why endowments work


ark and M a r y Jones gave to their local Catholic Church Stewardship for years. They Steve Schons are considered important financial donors to their church. In fact, their church has grown almost dependent on their annual generosity. When they are gone, the absence of their giving will be felt. Mark and Mary are doing something to make sure their giving never runs dry. They are taking steps to create the Mark and Mary Jones Endowment Fund. A portion of their estate will be set aside for a fund that will generate annual gifts to continue the giving they are doing now. Endowments work well for people like Mark and Mary… and here are three reasons why:

1.) Endowments are Perpetual

Like an artesian well, endowment funds keep giving and giving. They allow people to “lock in” their giving. Buildings may crumble and people will come and go, but endowments last. Each year, in the future, family members such as children and

grandchildren will be reminded of Mark and Mary’s involvement with their Catholic Church and the value of making regular gifts to support it. What a wonderful legacy to leave behind!

2.) Endowments are Protected

Endowment funds at the Catholic Development Foundation are set aside and kept separate from operating and capital fund accounts. Mark and Mary have the assurance that their endowment fund will be secure. The written agreement will be on file and the terms will be carefully followed.

3.) Endowments are Personal

While it is possible to create an unnamed, unrestricted endowment fund, many people want their fund to bear a person’s name. And they want to tailor their endowment to benefit a specific area of interest. They appreciate the flexibility and the opportunity to personalize their “artesian well.” The Catholic Development Foundation has developed sound policies for creating and managing endowment funds. If you would like to learn more about the variety of ways you can use the vehicles of gift planning to make an endowment dream come true - whether now through a current gift or later through your estate plan, please contact our office.

Steve Schons is director of stewardship and development for the Diocese of Fargo and president of the Catholic Development Foundation. He can be reached at or (701) 356-7926.

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Priest: Ordinary men with extraordinary lives

o it’s the end of yet another school year. Graduations are the unknown, relying happening, high school and college kids are looking for only on God’s promsummer jobs, the weather is getting nicer once again, and ise that he will be after four years of successfully avoiding writing this column with him. Seminarian for the New Earth, I’ve finally been cornered. And, the more we Life “When a man makes his promises to the bishop rely on God, the closer we come to him, and JT Kennelly and lays down on the floor of the cathedral, he the closer we are to is stepping out into the unknown, relying only him the more we know him, and the on God’s promise that he will be with him.” more we know him, – JT Kennelly, Fargo Diocese seminarian the better we are able to lead others to him. Over the last couple of weekends, I’ve had the privilege of JT Kennelly is a Theology III student studying at St. John Vianney attending the ordinations of different men with whom I’ve been Seminary in Denver, Colo. JT grew up in Fargo as a parishioner of Holy studying at the seminary. While I’ve been attending ordinations Spirit parish. What he enjoys most about studying to be a priest is the every year since entering the seminary, this year, the ordinations fraternity among those in seminary who all aspire to holiness. were a bit more meaningful. As I’ve been in the seminary longer and longer, I’ve gotten to know the men getting ordained better. Editor’s Note: Seminarian Life is a monthly column written by This year, however, my classmates have been and will soon be ordained deacons. This has brought with it a certain mix of emotions. current Diocese of Fargo seminarians. It gives New Earth readers a glimpse of what these discerning young men are experiencing. First and foremost, there is a great feeling of joy. It is always Let us know if there is something you would like to know about the joyful to see men ordained. For men being ordained deacons, life of a seminarian. Perhaps, it will inspire an article from one of ordination is the moment that they make their solemn promise them. And, please continue to pray for them. to the bishop to remain celibate for the rest of their lives. This is when they decide forever to be obedient to the bishop. It is when the door is shut and locked behind them. When a man knows that he is called to this life, it is very joyful to see him make this commitment. Also, with men ordained as priests, it is a joyous moment, because, among other reasons, they about have finally reached the state that they have been studying for some seven, eight or more years. Thus, to see them doing what our they have been working towards for so long is unbelievable. Real members of a Catholic United household On a different level, one of the more interesting things about with our seeing your classmates ordained is that you know them really well. You’ve spent years with them in and out of class, living More than $475,000 given in grants and with them, learning their quirks, hanging out and drinking scholarships to the Diocese of Fargo! beer, etc. What happens is that you learn that these men are not perfect, nor are they necessarily the men you would choose to become priests. Therefore, it’s easy to worry about the Church Jeff Reisenauer FICF, LUTCF and God’s judgment in whom he chooses. Wahpeton & nearby But God’s ways are not our ways. It almost feels like God is showing how powerful he is by using such weak instruments. 701-260-0758 And I think I’m safe in saying that anyone who has been ordained would agree that he is unfit to be a priest. Joshua Volk FIC Now, I’m not saying that all priests are bad priests, or that Life Insurance Bismarck, Mandan, the seminary has failed in forming the men correctly. What I Strasburg Annuities am saying is that the most important thing for these men is to IRAs* rely on God. That is what I love most about ordinations. 701-321-2423 Retirement Planning The more I know the men getting ordained, the more I know Charitable Giving that they are normal guys with normal problems like the rest of Philip Zubrod FIC Estate Planning Grand Forks & nearby us, and need to rely on God and trust that he will be with them. No one that gets ordained knows what the priesthood will look Final Expenses like for him. When a man makes his promises to the bishop and 701-840-8560 © 2016 Catholic United Financial , St. Paul, MN lays down on the floor of the cathedral, he is stepping out into

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Be still and know that I am God By Father Bert Miller


t was Holy Thursday when I was sick as a dog and was rushing out of the door to get some rest before my favorite night of the Sacred Triduum. That is when the phone rang, and Betty said: “Hello, Father Bert, I read your column in the New Earth and I have a faith story for you.” Betty’s faith event happened 36 years ago this month. Her daughter, 10-year-old Joy, had been diagnosed with cancer. Joy was in the local hospital. Betty was beside herself with grief and worry. How could this happen to her little girl? Betty was a member of a prayer group at the local Catholic Church. Sister Mary Clare, who was also a member of the prayer group, said Betty had to go to the hospital room and pray over Joy. And there was one more thing Betty would have to do: “give her child back to God,” said Sister Mary Clare. Betty did not know exactly what this all meant, but she was resolved to do it. She prayed and prayed over Joy and then she gave Joy back to God. And then, God made his presence known. Betty was in awe. Blessed Mary was there also.

Betty’s years of prayer group study of the Scriptures now made sense. It was not that sin caused bad things happen to good people, but that the “glory of God would be revealed.” That was exactly what happened here in this hospital room with Joy. Now it was time to “be still and know that I am God,” said Betty. Joy underwent seven weeks of radiation treatment in Minneapolis before being pronounced “cancer free.” She continues to the “cancer free” 36 years later. Betty says: “Joy is 46 now and loves the Lord. The Lord has been very good to her and to me.” Father Bert Miller serves as pastor at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in West Fargo. Editor’s Note: Stories of Faith is a recurring feature in New Earth. If you have a faith story to tell, contact Father Bert Miller at

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Church Leadership Workshops provide continued education opportunity

The Church Leadership Workshop is a training and information session for all those involved in the administration of Church business and property. Issues surrounding Canon Laws, state and federal laws, insurance, legal concerns, responsibilities of lay officers, finance and pastoral councils, annual reports and more will be discussed. Register through your parish a week before your preferred session. Cost to attend is $10 and covers materials and refreshments. • Friday, June 24, St. Michael’s, Grand Forks, 12:30-4:30 p.m. • Friday, July 15, St. Joseph’s Parish Center, Devils Lake, 12:30-4:30 p.m. • Saturday, Nov. 12, St. James Basilica Community Room, Jamestown, 8 a.m.-noon • Saturday, Dec 3, Diocese of Fargo Pastoral Center, Fargo, 8 a.m.-noon

Visit relics of saints during Fortnight for Freedom

Join Catholics across Minnesota in venerating the relics of two saints who exemplified courage and conviction in the face of persecution. St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher stood against King Henry VIII’s attempted supremacy over the Catholic Church in the 16th century and accepted martyrdom instead of abandoning their faith. The Strength of the Saints Relic Tour is organized by the Minnesota Catholic Conference and is part of the Fortnight for Freedom, a call to fourteen days of prayer, education and action for religious freedom in the U.S. and abroad June 21-July 4. • June 26, Cathedral of St. Paul, St. Paul, Minn., 6:30-8 p.m. • June 27, Queen of Peach Church, Cloquet, Minn., 9:30-11 a.m. • June 27, St. Philip’s Catholic Church, Bemidji, Minn., 2:30-3:30 p.m. • June 27, Cathedral of St. Mary, St. Cloud, Minn., 7:30-8:30 p.m. • June 28, Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, New Ulm, Minn., 8:30-9:30 p.m. • June 28, Church of St. John the Evangelist, Rochester, Minn., 12-1:30 p.m. For more information visit

Enjoy some quality mother-daughter time at St. Francis Convent, Hankinson

The Sisters of St. Francis Convent in Hankinson invite mothers and daughters to Mother-Daughter Days July 14-16. Schedule includes meals and prayer with the Sisters, daily Mass and time for spiritual reflection. We reflect on the beauty of our vocation as religious women and encourage the daughters to pray and be open to whatever vocation God is calling. Register by June 30. Contact Sister Jean Louise Schafer at

A Glimpse of the Past

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

50 Years Ago....1966

When a parish buys a new pipe organ, it’s usually pretty big news. When the pipe organ turns out to be the largest instrument in the diocese, it’s even bigger news. When a Master of Music, trained in Europe on a Fulbright grant, plays a concert on this pipe organ and says it’s the best two-manual organ he has ever played, well, I think we really have something here. All of the above took place recently in St. John’s parish of Wahpeton. It was the result of much planning, research and decision on the part of a parish lay-committee, under the leadership of their pastor, Fr. George Mehok. The organ was built by the firm of August Laukhuff of Weikersheim, Germany. - Catholic Action News – An excerpt from an article written by Msgr. Allan F. Nilles, July/Aug. 1966

20 Years Ago....1996

Parishioners of St. Mary’s Cathedral, Fargo, “have outdone themselves in their commitment to restoring the Cathedral,” Bishop James Sullivan said. He made the comment during the May 30 dedication of the restored mother church of the Fargo diocese, an event he described as a “prelude to the millennium.” “Now truly our Cathedral is the home of God and gate to Heaven,” Bishop Sullivan told more than 75 priests from the diocese, 600 invited guests and bishops from Minnesota and Michigan. The ceremonies were held on the anniversary of the dedication and first Mass in the Cathedral in 1899. May 30 also was the 11th anniversary of Bishop Sullivan’s installation as leader of the Fargo Diocese. It was also two days before Bishop Sullivan ordained four new priests in the restored Cathedral. - New Earth – June 1966

10 Years ago....2006

A Mass is planned at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in Olga at 7:00 p.m. Saturday June 24, the feast of St. John the Baptist. St. John the Baptist is the patron saint of the French. This year there will be a Mass and fellowship following. Our Lady of the Sacred Heart celebrated its last parish Mass on June 26, 2005 and the church has been a chapel since then. It is still used for weddings, funerals and special occasions. - New Earth – June 2006




Life’s milestones Axtmans celebrate 65th anniversary

August A. Axtman and Helen M. Keller are parishioners of St. William’s Catholic Church in Maddock. They were joined in marriage 65 years ago on June 18, 1951 at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Selz. They have been blessed with eight children, 12 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Ted and Eleanor Harles celebrate 60th wedding anniversary

Ted and Eleanor Harles celebrated 60 years of marriage on June 6 with their family of 10 children, 18 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren. They lived on a farm for many years and now live in Lidgerwood. They have been members of St. Boniface Catholic Church in Lidgerwood for 60 years. They have two daughters, two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Raymond and Helen Novotny celebrate 65 years

Raymond and Helen Novotny, parishioners of St. Boniface Catholic Church in Lidgerwood, celebrated 65 years of marriage May 23. They were married in 1951 at St. John’s Catholic Church in Lidgerwood. They have five children, 14 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

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



Walskis celebrate 60 years of marriage

C l a rence and Johanna Walski, parishioners of Holy Family Church in Grand Forks, celebrated 60 years of marriage June 6. They were married in 1956 at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church in Warsaw. They have five children, 10 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Alice Kotaska celebrates 98th birthday

Alice Kotaska, parishioner of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Devils Lake for 36 years and now a resident of Marillac Manor, Bismarck, will celebrate her 98th birthday on July 26. Alice has two daughters and one granddaughter.

Molly Nelson celebrates 90th birthday

Molly Nelson celebrated her 90th birthday on May 24. Molly was married to the late H. Dennis Nelson. She has eight children, 18 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren. She is a resident of Villa Maria in Fargo and formerly of Walhalla, where she was a long time parishioner of St. Boniface Catholic Church.

Alice Puhr celebrates 97th birthday

Alice Phur, a long-time resident of Fingal and parishioner of Holy Trinity Catholic Church, celebrated her 97th birthday May 21. She was married to John C. Puhr for 58 years until his passing in 1999. Today she resides at Mary Hill Manor in Enderlin. Her family feels blessed to have “Mom” living close as she enjoys visits from all relatives and friends and takes part in all activities at the Manor.


Life’s milestones Sister Agnes Marie Zimny celebrates 100th birthday

It was with great joy that the Sisters of Mary of the Presentation celebrated the 100th birthday of Sister Agnes Marie Zimny. She was born April 15, 1916. Father Donald Leiphon celebrated Mass for her with approximately 30 of Sister Agnes Marie’s relatives.

William (Bill) Werner celebrates 90 years

Bill Werner, former longtime parishioner of St. Boniface Catholic Church in Wimbledon and current parishioner of St. Catherine’s Catholic Church in Valley City, celebrated his 90th birthday June 14. He and his wife of 44 years, Angie, have nine children. Bill was an active member of the Knights of Columbus in Wimbledon.


In the April 2016 issue, names of those who accompanied Bishop Folda to the Mass at Cass County Jail, Fargo on March 15 were not included. We apologize for the confusion this error may have caused. From left are Tim Mosser, Cathy Schwinden, Deacon Stu Longtin, Bishop John Folda, Pastor Mike Sonju (Assemblies of God tradition), Father Duane Pribula and Father Matthew Kraemer. (submitted photo)

Get Connected The Diocese of Fargo is now on Instagram under the name dioceseoffargo. Instagram is a photo-sharing social media network founded in 2010. Follow us to see our latest photos and videos! Find more stories and information about the diocese at:

Sister Petronilla Metzger celebrates 75 years of vowed service

Sister Petronilla Metzger will celebrate 75 years of vowed life as a Presentation Sister on June 25. Loyola Mary Metzger was born the second of 11 children on Sept. 27, 1919 in Hannah. She attended country elementary schools and attended high school in Wales, St. Alphonsus High School in Langdon and Sacred Heart Academy in Fargo, where she graduated in 1939. That same year she entered the novitiate of the Presentation Sisters and made her First Profession in 1941. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Dakota Agriculture College; a Master’s Degree in Administration from Creighton University, Omaha, Neb.; a Master’s Degree in Religious Education from Seattle University; a certificate in Theology from Regis College, Toronto; and completed an internship in Spiritual Direction at the Cenacle Retreat House, Wayzata, Minn. She was a teacher at St. Anthony’s School, St. Mary’s School and Shanley High School, all in Fargo; a principal at St. Alphonsus High School, Langdon; Adult Religious Education Coordinator in Langdon, Grand Folks and West Fargo; and Spiritual Director at Presentation Prayer Center, Fargo. She served for ten years at Riverview, Fargo, where she organized the chaplaincy department and has ministered as chaplain at Villa Maria, Fargo. She has served as President of the Congregation, on the administrative team and as Mistress of Novices. She was an active member of the Leadership Council of Women Religious and participated in the North American Conference of Presentation Sisters. Today she continues to be a presence in Presentation Prayer Center, Fargo. She is an avid reader, enjoys music and loves to go for walks. She participates fully in the life and mission of the community, has a deep spiritual life and loves to discuss topics on spirituality. We wish her many more years of life, love and happiness in the service of our God and in our Community. You are invited to join her as she celebrates 75 years of vowed life on Saturday, June 25 from 2:30-4:30 p.m. at Presentation Sisters Center, 1101 32nd Ave S, Fargo.

Diocesan policy: Reporting child abuse

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




Hebda: ‘All in’ for more transparent, engaged church, with focus on Jesus By Jessica Trygstad | Catholic News Service


n a packed Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul on May 13, Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda became the ninth archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis. After the procession of knights and ladies of church orders, seminarians, deacons and priests, the congregation rose and awaited Archbishop Hebda’s knocking on the cathedral’s Holy Doors, signifying his taking possession of the cathedral. Using a mallet made from a log of St. Paul’s first cathedral – an 1841 log chapel – Archbishop Hebda knocked on the door and was greeted by Father John Ubel, the cathedral’s rector. After the archbishop kissed a crucifix and blessed himself with holy water, the procession continued with the college of consultors, about 40 concelebrating bishops, including Bishop Folda, and Archbishop Hebda. Of note was the archbishop’s use of a crosier that belonged to Archbishop John Ireland, who led the archdiocese from 1884 to 1918, and a chalice used by Archbishop Austin Dowling, archbishop from 1919 to 1930. Auxiliary Bishop Andrew H. Cozzens of St. Paul and Minneapolis welcomed the congregation numbering around 3,000, followed by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, former apostolic nuncio to the United States. “Dear friends,” he began, “on this memorial of Our Lady of Fatima, I am truly pleased to be with you to share your joy.” After Archbishop Vigano read a translation of the papal mandate from Pope Francis naming Archbishop Hebda to St. Paul and Minneapolis, the archdiocese’s chancellor for canonical affairs, Susan Mulheron, presented the document to the college of consultors – a group of 10 priests with governance responsibilities in the archdiocese – to approve. Archbishop Vigano then led Archbishop Hebda to be seated on the cathedra, or bishop’s seat, officially signifying his status as archbishop. The liturgy of the word included readings in Spanish, Hmong and English. In his homily, Archbishop Hebda said the Gospel from Luke – which included Mary’s visit to her cousin, Elizabeth, and Mary’s Magnificat canticle – and the feast of Our Lady of Fatima both point to “God’s extravagant love for the lowly and for the little ones.” That same love, he said, “surprises, sustains and challenges us.” “God’s love is a game-changer,” Archbishop Hebda said, citing biblical examples of God telling the faithful to let go of everything but Jesus. Several times he repeated the words “only Jesus,” which comprise his episcopal motto and are adopted from Scripture and a prayer offered daily by the Missionaries of Charity, whom he admires. Saying the bonds of the local church have been tested in recent years, Archbishop Hebda called on Catholics to “be the church that God wants us to be, that Pope Francis calls us to be.” 34


Recalling the listening sessions he held last fall as the archdiocese’s apostolic administrator, Archbishop Hebda noted how participants voiced their desire for a more transparent and engaged church. “I’m all in – but like you, I recognize that we’re going to have success only to the extent that we can stay focused on Jesus, and only Jesus, and embrace his call to humility and simplicity and finding him as we serve those most in need,” he said. Ending his homily, he described himself as someone who has a lot of faults, who hasn’t yet eaten lutefisk and “whose feet don’t comfortably touch the ground when seated on the cathedra.” Before the concluding rite, Archbishop Hebda expressed his gratitude to those in the congregation and those unable to attend, including Pope Francis. “He obviously sees gifts I don’t,” the archbishop said. Archbishop Hebda was named apostolic administrator of St. Paul and Minneapolis in June 2015, after the resignation of Archbishop John C. Nienstedt. Already the coadjutor archbishop of Newark, New Jersey, Archbishop Hebda fulfilled both roles until Pope Francis named him archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda takes the cathedra, or bishop’s chair, during his installation Mass May 13 at the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul, Minn. Escorting the new archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis to the cathedra is Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, former apostolic nuncio to the United States. (Dave Hrbacek | The Catholic Spirit / CNS photo)

Krakow, city of saints, prepares for World Youth Day pilgrims By Kristina Lahr and Kathy Loney


eginning July 17, 80 pilgrims from the Diocese of Fargo will make their way to Krakow, Poland for the World Youth Day pilgrimage. Naturally, during the Jubilee of Mercy, the theme of this year’s World Youth Day focuses on mercy: “Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy” (Mt 5:7). The choice of the city for the World Youth Day celebration mirrors both the Jubilee of Mercy and this teaching of mercy. Since the appearance of Jesus to Sister Faustina, mercy has been radiating from Krakow to the world. Krakow is home to the places of these revelations, Sister Faustina’s tomb and the shrine where St. John Paul II entrusted the world to God’s mercy. Both St. John Paul II and St. Faustina are the patrons of World Youth Day in Krakow. “John Paul II realized that this is the time of mercy,” said Pope Francis in his message to young people attending World Youth Day. “In the Holy Year 2000 he canonized Sister Faustina and instituted the Feast of Divine Mercy, which now takes place on the Second Sunday of Easter. In 2002 he personally inaugurated the Divine Mercy Shrine in Krakow and entrusted the world to Divine Mercy, in the desire that this message would reach all the peoples of the earth and fill their hearts with hope.” Throughout the 1000-year history of the city, many saints and blesseds resided, lived and worked in Krakow. World Youth Day is an excellent opportunity to get to know the spirit of this city through the lens of these special people, once similar to the pilgrims – young in body and soul. Many of them – like Queen Jadwiga – lived there many centuries ago, and some of the saints lived in Krakow not so long ago. Some of them spent the time of their youth in Krakow. They walked through the

same places, in which thousands of young people from around the world will find themselves in July. The saints of Krakow will accompany pilgrims in spirit but in a physical way as well. Students from the universities in Krakow will dress as 12 saints with ties to Poland to encounter pilgrims throughout the World Youth Day activities. They will wait in 12 places within Krakow for over two weeks always ready for conversation and prayer with pilgrim intentions. Pilgrims will receive from them a “business card” with details about the particular saint, so that pilgrims might not lose contact with the saint after World Youth Day. The committee of students wanted this to be a special souvenir for this event. Pilgrims will also experience a portion of the life of St. Maximillian Kolbe who sacrificed his life for the life of a father at Auschwitz during WWII. A visit to Auschwitz will happen the first day of touring followed by Days in the Diocese. Days in the Dioceses, which precedes the main celebrations of World Youth Day, are a time that pilgrims spend in selected dioceses of the country that organizes the meeting of young people. Pilgrims from the Fargo diocese will be in the Czestochowa diocese. The Days in the Diocese is an invitation to discover the richness of the Church and of the country that they visit, as well as to meet families and young people who want to host pilgrims. For the hosts, it’s an opportunity to take part in the feast of faith and joy together with young people from all over the world. Our pilgrims, young and not so young, will need many prayers to endure the ups and downs of this pilgrimage. Please keep them in your prayers in the weeks ahead.

“I am sure that the Youth Jubilee in Krakow will be one of the high points of this Holy Year!” – Pope Francis

Youth in Poland carry one of the symbols of World Youth Day, the Cross. These symbols are brought from diocese to diocese visiting churches, prisons, schools and hospitals leading up to World Youth Day in July. (World Youth Day)





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New Earth June 2016  

Magazine for the Catholic Diocese of Fargo, ND

New Earth June 2016  

Magazine for the Catholic Diocese of Fargo, ND