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New June 2017 | Vol. 38 | No. 6


The Magazine of the Catholic Diocese of Fargo

Thou art a priest forever Diocese of Fargo welcomes three new priests


From Bishop Folda: The Sacred Heart and the priesthood

Priests celebrate milestone ordination anniversaries

Seminarian Column: Seminarian life makes the priest, but also the man NEW EARTH JUNE 2017





June 2017 Vol. 38 | No. 6

ON THE COVER 14 Ordination

Bishop John Folda of the Diocese of Fargo celebrated the Ordination Mass for recently ordained Father Scott Karnik, Father Paul Kuhn, and Father Jayson Miller on June 3 at the Cathedral of St. Mary in Fargo.


4 6

The Sacred Heart and the priesthood Official priest assignments



Pope Francis’ June prayer intentions


Ask a priest: Why do we have to sing so much at Mass?



Priests celebrate milestone ordination anniversaries

10 Sister Marie Hunkler celebrates golden jubilee 10 Bishop Folda consecrates the Fargo Diocese to Our Lady at Fatima retreat


11 Medical technologist, Sister M. Dianna Hell, passes away May 6 11 Sister Mary Loyola dies after 75 years as a Sister of the Resurrection


12 St. Cecilia’s Corner

Sacred Heart Choirs in Cando

13 Tattered Pages

A review written by Father Michael Hickin for “The Dream of a Ridiculous Man” by Fyodor Dostoevsky


20 Thoughts from the 8th grade graduating class of St. Alphonsus School, Langdon 22 Another successful year at NDSU



24 Stories of Faith

Mercy amongst conflict and strife: How a baby’s plight transcended borders in the Middle East

25 Catholic Charities Corner

“Mercy Works” educational service projects

26 Catholic Action

Outcome of recent public policy bills

28 Stewardship

Five reasons to die without a will

29 Making Sense of Bioethics




Doping athletes

ON THE COVER: Bishop John Folda lays his hands on Father Paul Kuhn during the Ordination Mass on June 3 at St. Mary’s Cathedral. (Paul Braun | New Earth)



(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


Paul Braun

Assistant 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



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


34 Pope Francis: Even in darkest moments, Jesus walks with us


35 Don’t be fooled: Dads count in abortion issue

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 5, 2017. 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 NEW EARTH JUNE 2017



The Sacred Heart and the priesthood


ast month in all of our parishes we consecrated the Diocese of Fargo and all of its people to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in commemoration of our Blessed Mother ’s apparition at Fatima one hundred years ago. The month of May is widely observed as Mary’s Month, a time for special devotion to our Blessed Mother. But this month of June is traditionally dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, due to the celebration of the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart on the third Friday after Pentecost, which falls this year on June 23. This devotion to the Sacred Heart is a perfect corollary to our diocesan consecration, because whoever is one with the heart of Mary will also be one with the heart of Jesus, her Son. The heart is a common symbol for love, or for the love we bear towards others. Likewise, the Sacred Heart devotion reminds us of the warmth and love of our Lord Jesus for all his people. As St. Margaret Mary Alacoque reveals to us, the heart of Jesus is burning for each one of us, warming our own hearts with the divine love of God for his children. The Sacred Heart is also a symbol of the mercy of Jesus toward all sinners, and his desire for their repentance and conversion. This image of the Sacred Heart is especially appropriate now, as we celebrate the priesthood in the Diocese of Fargo. On June 3 I had the great joy of ordaining Father Scott Karnik, Father Paul Kuhn, and Father Jayson Miller to the priesthood, and from now on each of them will act in persona Christi, in the person of Christ, presenting to all people the love and mercy of God through their priestly ministry. They will preach the Gospel, celebrate the Mass, absolve sinners, and anoint the sick. We also celebrate several ordination anniversaries this month, milestones for those priests who have given 25, 40, 50 or more years of service to God’s people in the Diocese of Fargo. The merciful love of God that passes through the Heart of Jesus Christ explains the great mystery of the priesthood. The priesthood is given so that the gift and mystery of Christ’s love can be perpetuated in the life of the Church. As St. John Vianney tells us, “The priesthood is the love of the heart of Christ.” But those words make it clear that the priest does not act on his own. The priest is anointed by the Holy Spirit just as Jesus



was, so that he will be conformed in a special way to the person of Jesus, the great High Priest. The heart of the priest must be united in a unique way to the heart of Jesus, who called him to this beautiful but challenging life. He must be willing to die to himself so that he can live more fully in the One who called him. He must be a man for others with the heart of a shepherd, always ready to lay down his life for the sake of the sheep entrusted to his care. And above all, the priests of our time must be men of prayer, abiding always in the heart of Jesus. But they also need the prayers of the faithful, whom they serve day after day. The priest depends on these prayers, and the faithful should desire in charity to support the priests who minister to them. Sharing in all the frailties of other men, priests face innumerable challenges and temptations. But, with the prayers of God’s people to sustain them, they can remain the priests they were called to be, shepherds after the Heart of Christ. Pope St. John Paul II established that on the solemnity of the Sacred Heart, the Church observes the World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests. It would seem reasonable, however, that prayer for priests would be fitting at any time during this month of the Sacred Heart. I invite you to pray in a special way for our priests, perhaps by saying a rosary, making a visit to the Blessed Sacrament, making a morning offering, fasting, or praying a special intention for the priests you know. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI published the following Prayer for Priests, which I offer to you and invite you to offer for the priests of our diocese:

Lord Jesus Christ, eternal High Priest, you offered yourself to the Father on the altar of the Cross and through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit gave your priestly people a share in your redeeming sacrifice.

Hear our prayer for the sanctification of our priests. Grant that all who are ordained to the ministerial Priesthood may be ever more conformed to you, the Divine Master. May they preach the Gospel with pure heart and clear conscience.

Let them be shepherds according to your own Heart, single-minded in service to you and to your Church and shining examples of a holy, simple, and joyful life.

Through the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary, your Mother and ours, draw all priests and the flocks entrusted to their care to the fullness of eternal life where you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit one God forever and ever. Amen.

“I invite you to pray in a special way for our priests, perhaps by saying a rosary, making a visit to the Blessed Sacrament, making a morning offering, fasting, or praying a special intention for the priests you know.” – Bishop John Folda, Diocese of Fargo

June 16 | 5 p.m.

Centennial Mass, St. Anthony of Padua, Fargo

June 17 | 5:30 p.m.

Mass at St. John, St. John

June 18 | 8:30 a.m.

Mass at St. Benedict, Rural Turtle Mountain Reservation

11:30 a.m.

Mass at St. Anthony, Alcide

June 20 | 3 p.m.

Diocesan Finance Council, Pastoral Center, Fargo

June 23 | 10 a.m.

Sr. Margaret Mary’s 60th Anniversary, Carmelite Monastery, Wahpeton

June 28 | 3 p.m.

JPII Schools Board of Directors Meeting, Pastoral Center, Fargo

June 29 | 10 a.m.

ND Catholic Conference, Jamestown

July 1-4

Convocation of Catholic Leaders, Orlando, Fla.

Prayer Intention of Pope Francis June National Leaders:

That national leaders may firmly commit themselves to ending the arms trade, which victimizes so many innocent people.

Urgent Intention:

War and Terrorism: May the Holy Spirit grant peace to the entire world. May He heal the wounds of war and terrorism, which most recently struck innocent civilians in London. Let us pray for the victims and their families. NEW EARTH JUNE 2017


Diocese of Fargo Official Appointments/Announcements May 22, 2017 Most Rev. John T. Folda, Bishop of Fargo, has made the following appointments, announcements and/or decrees. Reverend Philip K. Chacko is appointed Pastor of St. Boniface Parish in Lidgerwood, St. Martin of Tours Parish in Geneseo and Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Cayuga, in North Dakota. This appointment is for a six-year term, effective on June 28, 2017.

Reverend William Gerlach is appointed Pastor of St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Oakes, and St. Mary Parish in Forman, North Dakota, for a second term of six-years, beginning June 28, 2017.

Reverend Gregory A. Haman is appointed Pastor of Holy Rosary Parish in LaMoure, Assumption Parish in Dickey and St. Raphael’s Parish in Verona, in North Dakota. This appointment is for a six-year term, effective on June 28, 2017.

Reverend Kyle P. Metzger is appointed Parochial Vicar of St. Michael Parish in Grand Forks, North Dakota. This appointment is effective June 28, 2017, and continues ad nutum episcopi.

Reverend Jason V. Lefor is appointed Pastor of St. John Nepomucene Parish in Pisek, Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Bechyne and St. Joseph Parish in Lankin, in North Dakota.This appointment is for a six-year term, effective on June 28, 2017.

Reverend F. Scott Karnik is appointed Parochial Vicar at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Fargo, North Dakota. This appointment is effective June 28, 2017, and continues ad nutum episcopi.

Reverend Joseph A. Okogba is appointed Pastor of Reverend James P. Gross is appointed Pastor of St. Mary St. Edward Parish in Drayton and Assumption Parish in Parish in Grand Forks, North of Dakota, effective on June 28, Pembina, North Dakota, for a two-year term, beginning Diocese Fargo Official Appointments/Announcements 2017. This appointment is for a six-year term. June 28, 2017.

The following two assignments were made in agreement with the Regional Priest Servant of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity of Robstown,Texas, and confirmed by Bishop John T. Folda: Reverend Dennis M. Dugan, S.O.L.T., is appointed Pastor of St.Ann Parish in Belcourt, and St.Anthony Parish in Alcide in North Dakota. This appointment is for a sixyear term, effective no later than July 10, 2017.

Reverend Paul B. Kuhn is appointed Parochial Vicar at Holy Family Parish in Grand Forks, North Dakota. This appointment is effective June 28, 2017, and continues ad nutum episcopi. Reverend Jayson T. Miller is appointed Parochial Vicar at Sts. Anne & Joachim Parish in Fargo, North Dakota. This appointment is effective June 28, 2017, and continues ad nutum episcopi.

Reverend Daniel M. Mrnarevic is granted permission to Reverend Michael Slovak, S.O.L.T., is appointed Pastor of retire from active ministry as a priest of the Diocese of St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Dunseith, North Dakota, Fargo effective June 28, 2017. He will enjoy all the faculties for a six-year term, beginning no later than July 10, 2017. generally held by a priest of the Fargo Diocese. During Reverend Paulraj T. Thondappa, HGN, is appointed his retirement, he has agreed to serve as the pastor at St. Pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Rolette,  Holy Rosary Timothy’s Parish in Manvel effective June 28, 2017. Parish in Bisbee and Notre Dame des Victoires Parish in Willow City, in North Dakota. This appointment is for a six-year term, effective on June 28, 2017. 

Reverend Reese J. Weber is appointed Pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish in New Rockford, and Sts. Peter and Paul’s Parish in McHenry, in North Dakota.This appointment is for a six-year term, effective on June 28, 2017.

Reverend Bernard A. Pfau is granted permission to retire from active ministry as a priest of the Diocese of Fargo effective June 28, 2017. He will enjoy all the faculties generally held by a priest of the Fargo Diocese.

Reverend Bernard R. Schneider is granted permission to retire from active ministry as a priest of the Diocese of Fargo effective June 28, 2017. He will enjoy all the faculties Reverend Jerald l. Finnestad is appointed Pastor of St. generally held by a priest of the Fargo Diocese. Aloysius Parish in Lisbon and St.Vincent Parish in Gwinner, North Dakota, for a third term of up to six-years, beginning June 28, 2017.





Why do we have to sing so much at Mass?

lot of ink gets spilled on the question “how should we sing at Mass?”, but this question is actually more fundamental. Why should we sing at Mass at all? Some people love singing, and are very happy to sing at Mass. But others find it tedious for various reasons: inability to sing, dislike of the kind of music that is selected, annoyance with the manner of singing or playing (too fast, too slow, out of tune). For some, singing at Mass seems like an arbitrary imposition. So should there, in principle, be singing at Mass? The simple answer is “yes.” The Church tells us that sacred music is a “… necessary or integral part of the solemn liturgy” (Sacrosanctum Concilium 112). There has always been singing in Christian worship; certain parts of the Mass simply are meant to be sung. Since Apostolic times Christians have sung the Psalms during the celebration of the Eucharist. Jesus himself knew the Psalms and would have sung them. The early Christians saw them as liturgical hymns that had attained their full meaning in Christ. Two other ancient hymns of the church are the Gloria and the Sanctus. Biblical and liturgical scholars understand the Gloria as a hymn of praise to God for the great work he had done through the death and resurrection of his Son. The Sanctus is a biblical hymn, sung by the angels and saints before the throne of God (See Is. 6:3 and Rev. 4:8). Any serious study of the structure of the Mass will reveal that there are certain parts of it that are proper to sing. Having said this, the Church does not take a rigorist view of singing at Mass. Not everything that is meant to be sung must be sung at every Mass. From the late 1500s until Vatican II there were two different levels of singing at Mass. At a Low Mass there would be no singing at all. At a Solemn High Mass (or sung Mass), all the parts of the Mass would be sung. As the name implies (Solemn High Mass), singing allowed for a greater solemnity. However, this all-or-nothing sort of approach had some downfalls. Many parishes did not have singers with sufficient training to sing all of the chants. This meant that a Low Mass was often the only option, and consequently many people were accustomed to a Mass without singing. We ought not criticize a longstanding and venerable liturgical tradition, but we can be thankful that the reforms of Vatican II replaced the all-ornothing approach to singing with a more gradual one called the “principle of progressive solemnity.” According to this principle, the sung parts of the Mass have a certain hierarchy, and according to the solemnity of the particular day, more or fewer parts of the Mass may be sung. For instance, on Sundays and Solemnities, more parts of the Mass should be sung. But at daily Masses, which are less solemn, there can be less singing, or no singing at all. It also makes it more feasible for musicians with limited skill sets to sing and play for Mass, even on Sundays and Solemnities. How much singing there should be at any given Mass is ultimately up to the judgment of the pastor. Priests learn the principles of sacred music in their liturgical training in seminary, and it is up to them to apply them, with a pastor’s heart, according to

the circumstances and needs of their parishioners. The task of each parishioner, howevAsk a Priest er, is to participate Father Matthew in the Eucharistic Kraemer celebration as best as they can. Those who can sing, ought to sing and sing well. Those who cannot sing may still appreciate the beauty of the music and participate by listening. Singing at Mass gives it greater solemnity; it helps express the solemnity that belongs to the Mass. We sometimes think of solemnity as pomp and circumstance – something ostentatious and fussy. The Mass is solemn, but it is none of these things. The solemnity of the Mass is better described as something serious and dignified. The Mass is the sacramental memorial of our Lord’s victory over sin and death. Jesus took our salvation so seriously that he laid down his life to attain it. We know deep down that the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus, made present in the Eucharist, is something that we must take seriously and treat with great dignity. The songs of the Mass are solemn. It cannot be denied that some unworthy compositions have crept into our parish repertoire, ones that do not properly convey the depth and beauty of the mysteries of the Lord. Renewal in this regard is certainly something to pray for. Likewise, we all have our own personal limitations and experience the limitations of others, such as out of tune singing. Nevertheless, singing at Mass is still very important. We sing because we value the Mass; we sing because we love the Mass. Father Kraemer serves as the Secretary to the Bishop, Master of Ceremonies, Vice Chancellor, and Director of Liturgy for the Diocese of Fargo. He can be reached at




Priests celebrate milestone ordination anniversaries By Kristina Lahr


his month we recognize our priests celebrating milestone he was a member of the Diocesan Liturgical Commission from ordination anniversaries. Congratulations to Father Gerald 1999-2002. He became the dean of Deanery III from 2002-05. He McCarthy, Father Bernie Schneider, Father Raymond became pastor of St. Timothy’s Church, Manvel in 2003, where Courtright, Father Leo Kinney, Father Chinnaiah Konka, Fa- he also served as a hospital Chaplain in Grand Forks. Although ther Gary Luiten and Monsignor Jeffrey Wald! Thank you for he officially retired in 2012, he continues his work as pastor in being our spiritual fathers and for all you do to lead us closer Manvel, and will retire from active priesthood at the end of June. to Jesus Christ. “As I see it, the most important thing in being a priest is to F a t h e r G e r a l d love the people,” said Father Schneider. “It’s not keeping rules McCarthy celebrated his and laws. A good shepherd loves the sheep first of all.”

60th anniversary of ordination Father Raymond on June 1. Father McCarthy Courtright c elebrated his was born in Fargo October 25th ordination anniver19, 1929 to Daniel and Olive sary June 6. He was born McCarthy. October 2, 1960 in Lincoln Father McCarthy Park, Mich. to Thomas and began his priestly ministry as Sally Courtright. parochial vicar of St. Mary’s His first assignment was Church in Grand Forks Father Gerald McCarthy to St. Anthony of Padua, from 1957-69. He earned a Fargo from 1992-94. He was master’s degree in social work from St. Louis University in 1969. then administrator of St. He was then administrator of St. Maurice Church in Kindred and Father Raymond Courtright Henry’s, Alice; Our Lady director of Catholic Charities from 1969-74. In 1971, he became the of the Scapular, Sheldon; administrator of St. Agnes Church in Hunter as well. In 1974, and St. Patrick’s, Enderlin from 1994-96. The next year he was he was the co-pastor of St. Catherine’s Church in Valley City pastor of all three parishes. In 1996, he became a member of and became the local chaplain in 1979. His next assignment was the North Dakota Catholic Conference, and in 1997, pastor of for the cluster parishes of Our Lady of the Lake Church, Lake St. Thomas Aquinas Newman Center, Grand Forks until 2009. Williams; St. Francis de Sales Church, Steele; and St. Paul’s Church, From there he moved to St. Anthony of Padua, Fargo, where Tappen from 1983-91. During that time he became a member he is currently pastor. of the Diocesan Due Process Board and Priest Personnel Board “The life of a priest is a great one, very exciting and gracefrom 1984-87. From 1991 until his retirement in 1999, he was filled,” said Father Courtright. “I am always amazed how every the parochial vicar of St. Ann’s Church, Belcourt; St. Anthony’s day is different. Even though there are certain things we do the Church, Alcide; St. John’s Church, St. John; and St. Benedict’s same, for example, Mass and confessions, no two days are the Church in Belcourt. same. There is a certain excitement that I never knew would Father Bernard be part of daily life. In May, for example, I was part of a team Schneider celebrated his in interviewing for our new principal at Nativity elementary 50th ordination anniversary school in Fargo. Very exhilarating! This year we also have many on June 9. He was born celebrations as we are in the 100th year of our parish anniversary. January 9, 1942 to Stanley The Lord indeed desires us to live life to the fullest.” and Anna Marie Schneider Father Leo Kinney in Langdon. celebrated his 25th His first assignment was ordination anniversary June as parochial vicar at Holy 6. He was born October 2, Family Church, Grand 1959 in Mountain Home Forks from 1967-71. He then AFB, Idaho to Clayton and became pastor of St. Mary’s Winifred Kinney. Father Bernard Schneider Church, Knox; St. William’s His first priestly Church, Maddock; and St. assignment was as paroAnn’s Church, Fillmore from 1971-79. In 1979, he was named the chial vicar of St. William’s, co-pastor of St. Catherine’s Church, Valley City. From 1983-89 Argusville and Cathedral he was the pastor of Sacred Heart Church, Sanborn; St. CathFather Leo Kinney of St. Mary, Fargo in 1992. erine Church, Valley City; and St. Mary’s Church, Dazey. From From 1994-99 he was 1989-2003, he was the pastor of St. Agnes Church, Hunter and administrator of St. Joseph’s, Balfour; St. Margaret Mary’s, Our Lady of Peace Church in Mayville. During that assignment, Drake; and St. Francis Xavier’s, Anamoose. From 1996-99 he







AROUND THE DIOCESE was pastor of St. Boniface, Esmond, and from 1996-2006, he parochial vicar from 2007-10. From 2010-16 he was pastor of St. was pastor of St. Francis Xavier, Anamoose, and St. Margaret Luke’s, Veseleyville, and St. Mary’s, Park River. He also served Mary’s, Drake. Father Kinney was chairman of the Diocesan on the Diocesan College of Consulters and the Diocesan Priests’ Liturgical Commission from 1997-98. Beginning in 2003, he Council. In 2016, he was assigned to his current position as became administrator of Sacred Heart, Orrin and then pastor pastor of Blessed Sacrament, West Fargo. of Sacred Heart from 2005-06. He was pastor of Our Lady of “The highlight of my priesthood has been celebrating the Perpetual Help, Reynolds from 2006-07 and pastor of St. Rose Eucharist,” said Father Luiten. “It is amazing to think what happens of Lima’s, Hillsboro from 2006-12, and pastor of St. William’s, each time I say those words of consecration at each Mass, and Argusville from 2007-12. He was then pastor of St. Stephen’s, how Jesus uses me, imperfect as I am, to make himself really, Larimore from 2012-14. He is currently the chaplain of the actually, present in His body and blood, soul and divinity at the Veterans Hospital in Fargo. altar, and then uses me to serve the people. God has graced me with this privilege for more than 10,000 times over the last 25 Father Chinnaiah years! I find the greatest highlights are when I am able to serve.” Konka celebrated his 25th


Father Chinnaiah Konka

ordination anniversary April 24. He was born July 12, 1965 in Telangana Providence, India to Joji and Innashamma Konka. He moved to the United States in 2015 and was appointed parochial vicar of Holy Cross, West Fargo.

Father Gary Luiten

celebrated his 25th ordination anniversary June 6. He was born September 5, 1966 in New Rockford to Maurice and Kathryn Luiten. Father Luiten’s first assignment was as parochial vicar from 1992-94 to St. Margaret Mary’s, Buchanan; Sacred Heart of Jesus, Fried; St. James Basilica, JamesFather Gary Luiten town; and St. Michael’s, Pingree. He was then assigned as parochial vicar to St. William’s, Argusville, and Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo from 1994-95. He then became the administrator of St. Patrick’s, Fullerton, and St. Helena’s, Ellendale, from 1995-97 and was then pastor until 2007. He became the Dean Assistant for Deanery IX from 1996-98 and the Dean from 1998-2003. His next assignment was to Nativity, Fargo as


Monsignor Jeffrey Wald celebrated his 25th

ordination anniversary June 6. He was born December 17, 1963 in Bismarck to Joseph and Pauline Wald and was raised on a farm north of Napoleon. His first assignment was as parochial vicar of St. Michael’s, Grand Forks Msgr. Jeffrey Wald from 1992-94. He was the Vocations Director for the Diocese of Fargo from 1994-1997 and administrator of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Oriska, and Holy Trinity, Fingal, as well from 1994-96. He was pastor of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Starkweather from 1996-99 and pastor of St. Benedict’s, Crary, and St. Joseph’s Devils Lake from 1996-2002. From 200214, he was pastor of Holy Spirit, Fargo, and vice chancellor for the Diocese of Fargo. In 2014, he was assigned as pastor of St. James Basilica, Jamestown; St. Margaret Mary’s, Buchanan; St. Michael’s, Pingree; and St. Mathias of Windsor, Windsor. He has also served on the Diocesan Priests’ Council and the Diocesan College of Consulters. “One of the highlights of being a priest is that I never thought I would be in the assignments I was in,” said Monsignor Wald. “I never thought I’d be in Fargo or Jamestown. It’s a big thing to me. It tells me that the Lord is in charge. He doesn’t call you to do anything that he will not give you the grace to fulfill.”


“Support your priests with your love and prayers, that they may always be shepherds after Christ’s heart.” – Pope Francis




Sister Marie Hunkler celebrates golden jubilee


n July 14, Sister Marie Hunkler will care ministry includes Bismarck, Park Ridge, Ill., Aberdeen, S.D., celebrate her Golden Jubilee as a and Dickinson. Benedictine Sister at a Vespers Sister Marie is currently serving as Chaplain and Spiritual Service at Sacred Heart Monastery in Care Services Coordinator at Benedictine Living Community, Richardton. Wahpeton. In addition, she is serving her third term as President In the presence of Sister Paula Larson of the North Dakota Chaplains’ Association. In her years of (prioress), Sisters of her monasticommunity, ministry, she has served on Boards and Committees in her family, and friends, Sister Marie will monastic community, and in various capacities in the National renew her vows and recommit herself Association of Catholic Chaplains. to the monastic vows of stability, obedience and fidelity to the monastic way of life, including the vows of poverty and celibacy. A daughter of the late Deacon Howard Hunkler andHertha Hunkler of Napoleon, Sister Marie is the fourth of ten children raised on a farm-ranch near Napoleon. Her brother, Father Jerome Hunkler, serves as pastor of the parishes in Steele, Tappen, and Medina. For Baptisms, First Holy Sister Marie entered Sacred Heart Convent, Minot, on Communion, Confirmation, September 3, 1961, pronouncing her first vows on June 23, 1966. weddings and special occasion Her ministry includes: education, parish work, leadership as gifts and books. prioress, and pastoral care. Her teaching ministry has included parishes in Garrison and Minot and Bishop Ryan High School Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Sat. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. To Know God... in Minot. Sister Marie’s parish ministry included parishes (701) 241-7842 toll free (888) 682-8033 To Love God... in Foxholm, Berthold, Mino, and Dickinson. She served in 1336 25th Ave. S., Fargo 58103 (south of K-Mart) To Serve God... leadership in her monastic community as prioress. Her pastoral


Bishop Folda consecrates the Fargo Diocese to Our Lady at Fatima retreat Bishop John Folda welcomed about 250 of the faithful to Shanley High School, Fargo on May 13, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady to the three children in Fatima, Portugal. Bishop Folda celebrated Mass, and formally consecrated the Fargo Diocese to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Other events during the half-day mini-retreat included a showing of the film “Fatima, A Message of Hope,” a presentation and discussion led by Father Peter Anderl of St. Anthony’s in Mooreton, and an opportunity to have scapulars and other holy objects blessed. The Worldwide Apostolate of Fatima, Fargo Division, sponsored the mini-retreat. (Paul Braun | New Earth) 10


Sister Michaeleen Jantzer celebrates 70th jubilee

Sister Michaeleen (Beverly Ann) Jantzer will ovserve her 70th Jubilee in a private celebration on July 9 at the Mother of God Monastery chapel in Watertown, S.D. She is a native of North Dakota. Her educational background includes a B.A. degree from Mt. Marty College, Yankton, S.D. and a M.A. degree from South Dakota State University, Brookings, S.D. She also studied Theology at Gonzaga University, Spokane, Wash. Sister Michaeleen has worked in education ministry and has served as principal, religious education director, teacher, teen mentor and retreat facilitator. Her last position was Director of Religious Education and Pastoral Minister of St. James Basilica, Jamestown. She is now retired and living at Mother of God Monastery. She appreciates her time for liturgical prayer and the Eucharist. She enjoys keeping in touch with family and friends by written correspondence, telephone and personal visiting.


Medical technologist, Sister M. Dianna Hell, passes away May 6


ister M. Dianna Hell, OSF, passed away May 6, at Essentia Health in Fargo. The Mass of Christian Burial was May 13 in the Immaculate Heart of Mary Chapel, St. Francis Convent in Hankinson. Sister M. Dianna Hell was born October 19, 1934 to Albert and Mary (Schill) Riedhammer, on a farm near Mt. Carmel, N.D. She was the youngest of five children. Sister’s parents, knowing before the birth that her mother was dying of cancer, asked close friends, Frank and Anna Hell of Mt. Carmel, to adopt their baby girl when she was just a few months old. One day at the early age of four, she felt called to religious life. She attended school at Mt. Carmel, where the Franciscan Sisters were her teachers and examples. When she was 13 years old, she attended high school at St. Francis Academy in Hankinson as a candidate for religious life and made her profession July 20, 1953. Sister Dianna attended Minot State College and St. Joseph’s Hospital in Minot, where she studied medical technology. In 1954, she opened the first laboratory at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Drayton, where she served as the laboratory supervisor for eight years before moving to St. Gerard’s Community Hospital in Hankinson in 1962. There she served as lab supervisor for nearly 30 years. She exchanged duties with another technologist for brief periods of time at Cando Memorial Hospital in Cando and Gettysburg Memorial Hospital in Gettysburg, S.D. On December 31, 1991, St. Gerard’s hospital was closed and Sister moved to the Oakes Community Hospital. She was asked to bring the Oakes facility into the modern world of computerization, which she did with her normal fervor and dedication. Her duties

through her 23 years at the Oakes hospital included Information Technology, Director of Spiritual Services, Mission Coordinator and Executive Assistant to the CEO. During Sister Dianna’s 41 years in the laboratory profession, she was president of the North Dakota Society of Medical Technology and was its 1978 Member of the Year. Sister Dianna served on the American Society of Medical Technology, the Blood Banking National Board, the Technical Advisory Council of United Blood Services of the Upper Midwest, the Board of Directors for St. Gerard’s Community Hospital and Oakes Community Hospital, was president of the Hospital Auxiliary at St. Gerard’s Community of Care. She served her Franciscan Community as a member of the Provincial Council and on several other committees. Having learned to play piano and organ as a small child, Sister often played for events in her community and served as organist at St. Charles Borromeo parish in Oakes, CHI Oakes Hospital, and at St. Francis Convent. Sister was also an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion in her parish and at the hospital. She served as local Superior for St. Joseph’s Convent, Oakes and St. Gerard’s Convent. She often said that highlights of her life included her visit to her religious congregation’s motherhouse in Dillingen, Germany, in 2000. She also attended a private Mass and audience with Pope John Paul II at the Vatican in Rome, traveled to Assisi, the home of St. Francis, and was privileged to attend the Mass celebrated by Pope John Paul II in St. Louis, Mo. in 1999.

Sister Mary Loyola dies after 75 years as a Sister of the Resurrection


ister Mary Loyola, C.R. of Minto died Feb. 24 at the age of 95. Her funeral Mass was held Feb. 27 at Sisters of the Resurrection Convent Chapel in Chicago. Sister Mary Loyola was born in Minto on Oct. 23, 1921, the third of four daughters of Stanley and Anna (Mach) Reszka. She was baptized Anne Theodosia. As a teenager, Anne felt a call to religious life and had contact with the Sisters of the Resurrection who taught her catechism during vacation school. After high school, Anne stayed home for a year with her father as her mother had just passed away. On Sep. 12, 1941, Anne entered the congregation of Sisters of the Resurrection in Chicago, receiving the name Sister Mary Loyola. She

professed final vows on Aug. 15, 1948. Sister Mary Loyola was active in ministry for over 70 years with 24 years in elementary school teaching, 32 years as a teacher at Resurrection High School, Chicago, two years as directress of the novices, 15 years as local superior at the provincial home, and as archivist and librarian at the provincial home. She was highly respected and loved by her peers and students. Sister Mary Loyola was preceded in death by her parents and her sisters, Sophie Korynta and Helen Kelleher. She is survived by her religious community, the Sisters of the Resurrection, her sister, MaryAnne Bonaime, who is a parishioner of St. James Basilica, Jamestown, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.




s ’ a i l i c e C . t S rner Co

Sacred Heart Youth Choir in Cando (submitted photo)

Choirs for all ages By Tom Freund and Babe Belzer


he Sacred Heart music ministry encompasses our youth to the oldest members of our parish. We have a senior choir that has been actively singing for Easter Masses, Christmas Masses and many funerals and other events. Our senior choir is comprised of high school students and adults that have the gift of music and love to share it with others. Our music ministry also involves individuals that lead the music during Mass. Over the years we have had different organists and choir directors that each have their own style and charisma to help motivate people to want to sing and play. Members of the Sacred Heart Youth Choir (pictured above) range from first grade through high school. They’ve learned traditional hymns, Latin compositions, and contemporary pieces. At various times, a piano, flute and violin accompanies them. The youth choir year is from August to May, but last summer the choir was asked to provide the music for the wedding of a former member of the choir! The musicians of Sacred Heart appreciate the recognition they have been given by members of the parish and by Father Dan Musgrave. Our motto is: He who sings once, prays twice!

Congratulations Fr. Jayson Miller

St. Cecilia’s Corner highlights the musicians and music program of churches around the diocese. To feature your parish music program, send a photo and information to:




Russian Dreams

A review of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s “The Dream of a Ridiculous Man” By Fr. Michael Hickin


A review of Catholic books, movies, music


Dostoevsky leans heavily into the dark side of human nature, but never closes off the brightness of promise. “Man is a mystery,” he wrote at 18 to his brother Mikhail. “If you spend your entire life trying to puzzle it out, then do not say that you have wasted your time. I occupy myself with this mystery, because I want to be a man” (1839). This drive to know man is but one side of the coin. The other side belongs to the One for whom man is made. In his final decade, while The Brothers Karamazov was still forming in the womb of his imagination, he wrote to a friend: “The main question, which is pursued in all the parts, is the same one that I have been tormented by consciously and unconsciously my whole life—the existence of God,” (1870). How does one trace the outlines of humanity when society attempts to delete the horizon of our divine destiny? Out of this drama arises the author’s prophetic mission. Dostoevsky had a vision of Russia’s role for the future of the world. “I do not attempt to compare the Russian people with the Western nations in the sphere of their economic or scientific glory. I merely say that among all nations the Russian soul, the genius of the Russian people is, perhaps, most apt to embrace the idea of the universal fellowship of man, of brotherly love— that sober point of view which forgives that which is hostile, which distinguishes and excuses that which is desperate, which removes contradictions” (Diary, p. 961). Any devotee of Our Lady’s plea and promise at Fatima may wish to join prayers for Russia’s ongoing conversion to the literature of Russia. There are bridges to be built between God’s dream of a Reign of Peace and certain ridiculous dreams of prophets like Dostoevsky.

etween Our Lady of Fatima and the FBI, Russia has our attention these days. This faraway place with the funny alphabet has a soul. One way to get at the soul of Russia is to move beyond the headlines and find a cultural icon. It should be someone who has withstood the test of time while remaining relevant. In the 19th century, as atheism began to find a foothold in politics, eventually claiming its first banner state in Russia, an edgy Christian writer raised a voice of protest. Fyodor Dostoevsky, 1821-81, found a way to capture the breadth of Russia’s pain and promise. An easily accessible example of Dostoevsky’s art is his last short story The Dream of a Ridiculous Man (1877). The work economically illustrates major themes of the author: despair, suicide, poverty, personal responsibility, and a uniquely Christian hope. He peppered his writings with faint echoes of the verse from Saint Paul, if one member suffers all suffer, if one member rejoices all rejoice, (1 Cor 12:26). Have you ever wondered whether life might be nothing more than a mega-dream? If you’ve ever toyed with the idea, Fr. Michael Hickin is the pastor of St. Mark’s Church in Bottineau even for a moment, it could likely fall out in one of two ways: and St. Andrew’s Church in Westhope. a paralyzing discouragement or an energizing giddiness. Dostoevsky’s character forges an insane synthesis of the two, thus branding himself a ridiculous man. The cheery person who thinks life is but a dream we consider immature or out of touch, if not “touched;” whereas those who claim this is a nightmare are often praised for their bold realism. Dostoevsky’s “ridiculous man” walks a stunningly different path. This graphic tale, grim of mien, is weirdly hopeful. About the Book: Avoiding any spoilers, the story opens with the portrait of a “The Dream of a Ridiculous Man” man on the verge of suicide who has a meager moral awakening, by Fyodor Dostoevsky is a in which he arrives at the conviction that “life and the world short story written in 1877. somehow depended on me now.” Then comes the dream, which begins with a mouth-watering picture of a new-Earth paradise, but then, like a gust of wind slamming your fingers in the door, turns wicked. When the dream ends (was it a dream or a vision of reality?—he wonders openly), he not only knows the truth, he has to do something about it.



COVER STORY From l to r: Father Scott Karnik, Father Jayson Miller, Bishop John Folda, and Father Paul Kuhn gather for a photo immediately following the Ordination Mass on June 3 at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fargo. (Tyson Kuznia | Legacy Photography)

Thou art a priest forever – Diocese of Fargo welcomes three new priests The promotion of vocations is vital to keeping the Church strong


By Paul Braun

ay they be worthy co-workers with our Order, so that by their preaching, and through the grace of the Holy Spirit, the words of the Gospel may bear fruit in human hearts and reach even to the ends of the earth.” With these words, Bishop John Folda of the Diocese of Fargo, led the gathered faithful in a Prayer of Ordination for Deacons Scott Karnik, Paul Kuhn and Jayson Miller on June 3, at the Cathedral of St. Mary’s in Fargo. The Ordination Mass brings to an end many years of study, prayer, discernment, and growth as Karnik, Kuhn and Miller prepared for the day they would join the fellowship of their brother priests in the Fargo Diocese. But every journey must have a start. There is a great need for more young men to heed the call that God is sending to them, and it’s up to us, the faithful, to help nurture that call to vocations. Father Kurtis Gunwall is the Vocation Director of the Diocese of Fargo. His work involves helping young men and women to Bishop Folda anoints the hands of newly ordained Father Jayson Miller understand what God is calling them to do, especially if that with Holy Chrism to symbolize the priest’s distinctive participation in call means becoming a priest, sister or brother in service to God. Christ’s priesthood. (Tyson Kuznia | Legacy Photography) 14


COVER STORY Father Scott Karnik is vested with the priestly stole and chasuble. (Tyson Kuznia | Legacy Photography)

“In my visits with students and young adults throughout the Similarly, the consecrated life for a young woman is a call to diocese, the ones who are really thinking about a vocation are be united to Christ in a unique way, and to be a spiritual open to it,” says Father Gunwall. “But, they don’t know how mother to those she encounters in her life and service. The to pursue it, discern it and know it. They are trying to sort it challenge for priests and religious is to be joyful models out, and that’s where the support of family, friends and their of their vocations. parish is needed to help them on this journey.” • Preach it, brother! Vocations must be talked about regularly Father Gunwall says recent studies reveal statistics that show if a “vocation culture” is to take root in parishes and homes. family is important in terms of the true encouragement. However, This means, first and foremost, the people need to according to half of the seminarians questioned in the studies, hear about vocations from priests through homilies, prayers of a family member or a friend also tried to discourage them from the faithful, and discussions at home and in the classroom. going. But, it took the family and parish support to overcome that. Vocations kept out of sight are out of mind. According to Father Gunwall, the regular faith-life of the Father Gunwall says that the “invitation” is crucial for getting family as a whole has a great impact. The Scriptures say if we young people to consider religious life. raise up a child in the way they should go they will not depart “Specifically point out what it is you see, because otherwise from it. Alternatively, in our modern world, they will return to young people may ignore it,” says Father Gunwall. “That way, God when the family plants that seed that God can work with they will in turn recognize what God is doing in their life, and through times of prayer; meal prayers, simple graces, saying God can work with that planting of a seed. And remember, the Rosary. If they get the experience of it as a family, at some this is not pressure, it’s an invitation, a gift to invite someone point it touches them, and that’s where God works most of all. to something good. However, if you don’t feel comfortable The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) doing that, give the young person’s name to your pastor or the has five recommendations for priests and lay-people to help Diocesan Vocations office, and let them make the invitation.” promote vocations in their parishes: In the road that led newly-ordained Father Jayson Miller to • Pray for an increase in vocations to the priesthood and the priesthood, it was a seed planted by his parish priest that consecrated life. Jesus says in Matthew 9:38 “to beg the may have gotten the journey started, that according to his father, master of the harvest to send laborers into the vineyard.” Dennis Miller. Jayson thought about the priesthood at a young If we want more priests, sisters and brothers, we all need age, maybe as early as first or second grade, but he also showed to ask. great promise in athletics, especially baseball. • Teach young people how to pray. Pope Benedict XVI said Father Miller suffered an injury when he was in the sixth that unless we teach our youth how to pray, they will never grade, and asked his parish priest, Monsignor Jeffrey Wald, to hear God calling them into a deeper relationship with Him sign his cast. Monsignor Wald jokingly told young Jayson that and into the discipleship of the Church. maybe this act would be the start of his vocation journey. Jayson’s father agrees that God only needs that small seed to • Invite active young adults and teens to consider a vocation take root to grow a call to religious life. And while he and his to the priesthood or consecrated life. A simple, sincere wife, Judy, encouraged Father Jayson throughout his discernment comment should not be underestimated. journey, they tried not to “over encourage.” • Make it attractive. Show the priesthood for what it truly is – a call to be a spiritual father to the whole family of faith. “I believe that people can hear from God,” says Dennis Miller. NEW EARTH JUNE 2017


Bishop Folda raises the consecrated host as newly ordained Fathers Karnik, Kuhn and Miller look on. (Kristina Lahr | New Earth)

“However, I think sometimes if we push too hard, people will say ‘I’m not going to listen.’ As parents, we need to have faith in God that he is all-powerful, that he can speak to our children, and it’s more important for us to lead Godly and holy lives, trying as hard as we can to be faithful to our vows of marriage and to our responsibility to the Church.” Father Gunwall agrees, saying; “I don’t ever encourage parents to push the faith, but to include the faith in how you live out this love of God and God’s love for us.” In order for God’s plan to be revealed, young people discerning religious life need to take the time to shut out the world and listen to God. The USCCB also has five tips for young people looking into religious life: • Practice the faith. This is the first step for any young person desiring to discern any call in life. • Enter into the Silence. We can only “hear” the voice of God if we are quiet. Put away technology and listen to God, the great I AM. Young people should try to spend 15 minutes of quiet prayer each day – this is where you can begin to receive clear direction in your lives.

• Be a good disciple. Young people can become true followers of Jesus Christ by serving those around them. By discovering your call to discipleship, you also discover your particular call within the Church. • Ask God what He wants for your life and know He only wants what is good for you.

• Just do it! Remember, the seminary or convent is a place of discernment. You will not be ordained or asked to profess vows for many years, providing ample opportunity to explore the possibility of a call to priesthood or religious life.

As lay people, parishioners have a major role to play in developing vocations. According to Father Gunwall: “It is the whole family of the church, that is, the parish family, which has an impact. These are the people who are not just walking into church and walking out, and if the young people know you, that is also part of the encouragement.” We, the faithful of the diocese, welcome our three new priests with open arms, and we pray for their success and continued growth in Christ and in service to us all.

Get to know our new priests

Mass of Thanksgiving: Father Scott Karnik celebrated his first Mass at the Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo, on June 4 and a second Mass at St. Luke’s Church, Veseleyville, on June 11.

Father Scott Karnik

Home parish: St. Luke the Evangelist Church, Veseleyville Parents: Fred and Beatrice (Peterka) Karnik 16


What were you doing before you entered seminary? I was working at a radio station in Grafton.

When was the first time you thought about becoming a priest? I suppose when I was younger, perhaps nine years old or so. Who was instrumental in helping you identify and develop your vocation? Father Kurt Gunwall, the Vocations Director in the Fargo Diocese, and Father Lee Gross, my spiritual director at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md.

Who is the person you admire the most and why? My father, Frederick Anthony Karnik, Sr. He had a tough life and he met it

with a smile. He flourished, and he did so much for his family. Loving his family was his first and foremost vocation. I can say the same for my mother, Beatrice Karnik. She was a very prayerful, saintly, and classy woman, wife, and mother.

What are you most looking forward to as you transition from seminary into priestly life and ministry? Offering the Sacrifice of the Mass, praying, and giving the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ to others.

What are you most looking forward to as you transition from seminary into priestly life and ministry? I completed seminary formation in 2016. Since then I have been serving at St. Catherine’s Church in Valley City. What I have enjoyed the most is being home in North Dakota with family, friends, and serving the  people of our diocese in whatever ways God invites me. 

What encouragement or advice do you have for young men considering the priesthood? Be bold. Pursuing the priesthood What encouragement and/or advice do you have for young men takes boldness and fortitude in 21st century American culture. considering the priesthood? I would repeat what Jesus said so Our faith is not an idea or ideology, but about following after many times, “Do not be afraid.” The second thing is to relax, a person, Jesus Christ, and it takes boldness to follow him! Be surrender, and “follow the tug of the invisible string.” Whatever passionate about your faith. Pursuing the priesthood is adventurous. it is that attracts your heart and soul is what God wants you to It is a radical surrendering of one’s own life into the hands of do. Whatever it is (that is holy and constructive) that energizes God. God will place people in your life you never expected to you and excites you is what God is calling you to do. Follow it encounter and take you places you never dreamed of going! and the sooner the better. Pray hard, faithfully, and very lovingly to Jesus and his mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and to Jesus’s foster father, St. Joseph. They’ll keep you straight and will lead you to where God wants you to be. 

Father Jayson Miller

Father Paul Kuhn Home parish: St Joseph’s Church, Devils Lake Parents: Dennis and Judy Miller

Home parish: St. Cecilia’s Church, Harvey

Parents: Bryon Kuhn, Brenda and Keith Reinowski (step-father)

Mass of Thanksgiving: Father Paul Kuhn celebrated his first Mass at St. Cecilia’s Church, Harvey, on Sunday, June 4.

Mass of Thanksgiving: Father Miller celebrated his first Mass at St. Joseph’s Church in Devils Lake on June 4.

Hobbies: Playing sports, exercising, reading, spending time with family and friends.

What were you doing before you entered seminary? I was attending NDSU before entering college seminary, then What were you doing before you entered seminary? Around worked as a FOCUS missionary between college and major October of 2007, I was a signature away from joining the Air seminary. Force and finishing a degree in Radiology Technology before  When was the first time you thought about becoming a priest? reconsidering a call to the priesthood. I first thought of the priesthood as a 2nd grader, but seriously When was the first time you thought about becoming a priest? My senior year in high school. While attending a TEC Retreat, I had the opportunity for Eucharistic Adoration. It was during that time of prayer I remember thinking I would like to be married and serve the church as a deacon if God was not calling me to be a priest. Who was instrumental in helping you identify and develop your vocation? Oh you know, various priests, people out in the parishes, and God!

considered it at the beginning my sophomore year of college.

Who was instrumental in helping you identify and develop your vocation? Monsignor Jeffrey Wald, Father Chad Wilhelm, and Father Eric Nielsen.

Who is the person you admire the most and why? My grandma, Agnes Pepoon. She was always an example of prayer, perseverance, love and joy.

What are you most looking forward to as you transition from seminary into priestly life and ministry? I look forward to Who is the person you admire the most and why? My grand- celebrating the Sacraments with the people of God and being fathers: Leo Kuhn and Jim Kenney. Leo, because he was very in a parish. much a people person, business minded, community oriented, involved with his faith. Although I never knew him, God What encouragement and/or advice do you have for young placed people in my life who did know him. And Jim, because men considering the priesthood? I would encourage any young he was very family oriented, had great enjoyment for outdoor man thinking about becoming a priest to dedicate time every recreations, was involved with his faith, and was that person day to prayer. It wasn’t until I had made God the first priority the family revolved around. His quiet, but confident, presence of every day that I could hear him clearly calling me to the priesthood. When we put God first, he will show us where he is what I will always remember the most about him.    wants us to serve him. NEW EARTH JUNE 2017


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Thoughts from the 8th grade graduating class of St. Alphonsus School, Langdon


e want to say thank you to everyone who has supported us throughout our years at St. Alphonsus School. We have made unforgettable memories while attending St. A’s, such as our close-knit classes and friends, and being able to grow and experience each day with them. We certainly won’t forget going up and down the countless flights of stairs to get to our classes. St. Alphonsus has an amazing cook, Lisa Bakke, who makes wonderful meals. She has never failed to make us smile. We love to joke around with our awesome principal, Mr. Simonsen, even though he cannot catch a ball in PE class. We want to give a special thanks Father Phil and Father Steven who made weekly visits to our classrooms to help us better understand our faith. They even ate lunch with us sometimes. We also had Father McDermott and Father Dan play a part in building our faith and friendships. And finally, a special thanks to our teachers, past and present, for taking the time to help us when it was needed. We wouldn’t be the people we are now without your guidance and generosity. You have made lasting impressions on our lives that we will never forget. There are so many fond memories we experienced that we are not able to share all of them. Some of our fondest memories here at St. A’s were the opportunities to spend time with our classmates as well as participating in many activities with other students in our school. Reciting the rosary every Tuesday during the 40 Days of Life Campaign, celebrating Catholic Schools’ Week, attending weekly Mass, participating in service projects throughout the year, and just having fun. All we have experienced at St. A’s has allowed us to not only connect with our parish community, but also with the Langdon community. And, a big thank you to our parents, who have given us this awesome experience by sending us to St. Alphonsus School, and for their dedication to our faith-based education. You have been our biggest fans all these years. We love you! It has been an incredible journey while attending St. Alphonsus School. We would like to ask for prayers and blessings as we continue on to high school this fall. Thank you again and have a fun-filled summer.

Yours Truly,

The eighth grade graduating class of St. Alphonsus School in Langdon: Daniel Nadeau, Brendin Carlstedt, Kiarra Hodek, and Tucker Regner. (submitted photo)

The kindergarten graduating class of St. Alphonsus School: Brianna Wild, Mary Weigel, Ethan Muhs, Maci Witzel, and Nora Van Heerdon. (submitted photo)

The Graduating Class of 2017

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Youth from across the diocese gathered April 29 for the Youth Extravaganza celebration at St. John the Evangelist Church in Grafton. Speakers, Reconciliation, adoration, a variety of break-out sessions and a dance in the evening were all included in this joy-filled day. Before Mass, Father Sean Mulligan, parochial vicar of Holy Spirit Church, Fargo, led youth and volunteers in a Eucharistic procession. (Kristina Lahr | New Earth)

Young Disciples begin summer ministry to diocesan parishes Missionaries and staff with Young Disciples gather for a group photo during their two weeks of training at the Pastoral Center in Fargo May 25. Nine missionaries set out on Memorial Day to lead vacation bible schools and teen missions throughout the diocese during June and July. (Kristina Lahr | New Earth)

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Another successful year at NDSU By Tara Splonskowski

Bailey Bitz of Napoleon rides for NDSU in the annual bike race April 29. (submitted photo)


he past few months have been busy for the NDSU Newman Center in Fargo. All the efforts of a year of ministry and outreach have at last come to fruition! In April we saw another successful bike race event where the NDSU and UND Newman Centers gathered for some friendly competition and fundraising for their campus ministries. This year saw big changes, especially with the route, originally 37 miles (officially) cut down to 25 miles in order to accommodate the two rivals riding the same route together. It was a huge success for both sides to ride from Hillsboro to Caledonia and back, and then share a meal and community together at St. Rose of Lima Church in Hillsboro afterward. NDSU will keep the trophy for another year, but both centers are grateful for the support of students and their families and friends who donated to riders in support of the Newman Centers. Bike race weekend was also a time to recognize the St. Paul Newman Center leaders for the year, new FOCUS Missionaries and those going off to seminary. We awarded the newly established “Samuel Traut Outstanding Leadership Award” to Tyler Losinski of Beach, a senior who has been heavily involved at the Newman Center since his freshman year. The “Michelle Duppong Outstanding Leadership Award” was awarded to Amanda Kensok of Casselton, a junior at NDSU. Amanda is a bible study leader, student missionary and has been a beautiful witness and leader in the community. Both awardees were given a $500 scholarship and were congratulated by the Traut and Duppong families. We also recognized three students who will be graduating and will become FOCUS missionaries next year: Liz Bitzan of Moorhead, Minn.; Tricia Zikmund of Pisek; and Luke Nietfeld of St. Michael, Minn. We also have one student going to seminary



for the Diocese of St. Paul, Christopher Yanta from Maple Lake, Minn. Finally, we recognized Clare Schumaker, a FOCUS missionary at NDSU for the last three years, who will be moving to another campus as the team leader. Also, Brittany Schwebach who was the Business Manager at Newman for the past four years, will be moving on from the Newman Center to go back to school. We thank the Lord for his many blessings and for allowing us to be a part of his work at NDSU, changing hearts and lives for him and forming future leaders for our Church and state. For more information about the Newman Center and how you can be a part of her mission on campus, visit

From left, Monsignor Gregory Schlesselmann, Tricia Zikmund, Liz Bitzan, Jonathon Spaid (team director), and Father James Cheney. (submitted photo)

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Mercy amongst conflict and strife: How a baby’s plight transcended borders in the Middle East By Father Bert Miller


ast month, we heard about Ata, who rode the bus from Ramallah to Bethlehem and then walked to southern Jerusalem for work each day. This month, we learn about another father, Jamal, who lives in Beit Jala, a suburb of Bethlehem, and drives daily to Ramallah for his accounting job. Ata and Jamal are going in opposite directions every day. They do not know each other, but they share a great love for their children and their children for them. I met Jamal one day when he was absent from his accounting job and was instead leading a tour of the Bethlehem area. Jamal had many tips for the priests on board the bus about what we could preach better when we got home! I am sure we were all taking great notes! He also told us about himself. He had completed school in Bethlehem and gone on to higher education in the United States. He played basketball in the United States. He loved basketball. When he got home to Beit Jala he thought he should get serious about finding a spouse and starting a family. However, in the Palestinian culture, any boy/man showing interest in a girl/ woman is food for the rumor mill; the next day, the mothers and sisters are talking constantly about the date. Jamal did not like this and looked for a way to outsmart his mother and sisters. After some thought, he decided to start a female basketball team. He advertised the start-up of a female basketball team and the girls started signing up. He says he knew the first night which one of the girls he would marry someday. Under the guise of basketball practices and games – at home and away – Jamal and the chosen girl had a great courtship. Finally, he asked her to marry him. And they listened to everyone talk! Jamal and his wife were eager to have a family. Soon, they were pregnant. Oh, the joy! As they continued to go to the doctor appointments, they learned there was an abnormality concerning the child in the womb. The child would be born with Down Syndrome. What would they do? Have an abortion or keep the child? They decided to walk with their child the life God would give her. A girl was soon born with Down Syndrome and a hole in her heart. The birth was in a Bethlehem hospital in the West Bank. She would not live long without heart surgery. That surgery would have to take place in Israel.



It is rare that a Palestinian gets to be treated in an Israeli hospital. Palestinian presidents, yes; but not common citizens. Jamal got the paperwork and started recording the story of his wife’s pregnancy and labor, of the child’s birth and hospital care. He wrote and wrote and prayed and prayed. The two families prayed. Hospital doctors in Tel Aviv read the reports and worked with the Israeli government to make an exception for this little girl to come to Tel Aviv for the surgery that would save her life. Jamal got the answer to his prayer. The family was soon off to Tel Aviv, proper papers in hand, for the surgery that saved this little girl’s life. The surgery was about a year ago. I met her a couple of days before Christmas in 2016 at the family home in Beit Jala. Jamal and baby are happy and play together every day. His wife works from home so she can be with the infant girl every day. Jamal plans to continue giving tours of his native West Bank so he can be closer to home. That is a great idea for any father who wants to be a part of his child’s life every day. Happy Father’s Day to Jamal and Ata and all the fathers of the world and especially those of the Fargo Diocese. Father Bert Miller serves as pastor at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Park River and St. Luke’s Catholic Church in Veseleyville. 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



“Mercy Works” educational service projects

ast month I wrote about the history and background of own. Yet it’s been our programs at Catholic Charities. I explained that you said, “but for the may not always see us, but in fact, we are more active grace of God there today than ever because there are still so many North Dakotans goeth I,” and many in need. This month, I want to provide a little glimpse into a in jail have contribnew effort we have started. uting addictions and Catholic This spring Catholic Charities began hosting a “pilot” series mental health issues. Charities of educational service projects in Fargo, with the option to We visit the sick and Corner expand to other locations using video conferencing. I wanted to lonely in our families, provide educational presentations for some time but it wasn’t parishes and nursing Chad Prososki until I admitted I couldn’t do it myself that the idea took off. homes, but what do I asked the Lord for help if it was his will, and soon he sent we do for the lonely two recent college graduates, Lauren Young and David Zach in jail? This is one of the seven Corporal Works of Mercy, and (smart engineering types, with people skills too), who helped little things to show we care can provide incredible hope and make it happen. Remembering the Year of Mercy is just the healing to people trying to turn their lives around. beginning, we called these educational service projects “Mercy If you are interested in bringing “Mercy Works” educational Works,” meaning both doing “works of mercy” and that “being service projects to your own church or community, please let merciful works.” The goal was to encourage others to learn me know. It takes just a couple people to make it happen! about and help the suffering, even if they cannot commit to Chad Prososki is the Director of Development and Community volunteering regularly. After all, no one can do everything, but Relations for Catholic Charities North Dakota. For more than 90 years, everyone can do something! Catholic Charities ND and its supporters have been putting their The first project on Feb. 7 was about the elderly. Deacon faith in action helping people, changing lives. You can reach Chad at Jim Eggl spoke briefly about his ministry as a chaplain at Villa or (701) 235-4457. Maria Nursing Home in Fargo. We decorated 100 cookies and made Valentine’s cards for the residents. When I delivered the cookies and cards to the nurse case managers at Villa Maria, our only request was to give them to people who would not receive other visitors or cards on St. Valentine’s Day. The second project on March 14 was about the homeless. Father Troy Simonsen shared his experiences leading the Sheltering Religious Goods Inc the Homeless project at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fargo, which Serving our faith community Since 1951 provides overflow housing during the cold winter months. We were blessed to have in attendance staff members and nuns from Spirit of Life Church in Mandan, a group of high school students and their mothers, and many of our Board of Directors, including Bishop Folda. We made several boxes full of care packages for the next sheltering church to give their homeless guests the following week. The third project on May 2 was about the imprisoned. Deacon Stuart Longtin and Father Duane Pribula spoke about their years in jail ministry, and how those in jail are children of God just like the rest of us. They (and their families) need our care and support as much or more than others. Though few people attended, one young man was interested in becoming a jail volunteer, and we packaged more than 20 interview and activity kits for residents at Centre in Fargo, who are transitioning back into the workforce. It was also a timely event as Bishop Folda and Catholic Charities Director Dianne Nechiporenko have each attended recent meetings with the area Jail Chaplains Association to discuss more ways we can minister to those in jail. Jail ministry is a particularly tough subject as those in jail 1417 S University Dr - Fargo ND 58103 have been convicted of some crime. They don’t have the same 1-800-437-4338 - sympathy as a child or pet who suffered through no fault of their





Outcome of recent public policy bills


ssessing a legislatives session from the perspec Catholic tive of Catholic Action issues is not an easy task. By its Christoper Dodson nature, the political process is never perfect. At the same time, the church does not always propose specific public policy proposals, but instead offers guidance on issues that may not always result in “yes” or “no” recommendations on particular bills. Nevertheless, we can make some observations about the last legislative session. As can be seen from the list below, the North Dakota Catholic Conference’s position prevailed on the bills it identified as most significant. At the same time, we wish more could have been done in the area of human services, especially

behavioral health and addiction services. The conference opposed more bills than any previous session. Usually, the conference opposes only one or two bills of importance. This session it actively opposed thirteen bills. Eight of those involved threats to religious freedom. Also noteworthy is that the corporate guardianship program at Catholic Charities and the Alternatives to Abortion program received funding increases at a time when most programs received reductions in funding. Both of these programs are strongly supported by the Catholic Church. Discovering how your legislator voted on these bills can be difficult. Contact the North Dakota Catholic Conference office if you need assistance. Christopher Dodson is executive director of the North Dakota Catholic Conference. The NDCC acts on behalf of the Catholic bishops of North Dakota to respond to public policy issues of concern to the Catholic Church and to educate Catholics and the general public about Catholic social doctrine. The conference website is




HB 1012

Department of Human Services Appropriation/ corporate guardianship program/20 new slots



HB 1012

Department of Human Services Appropriation/ Alternatives to Abortion program/increase



HB 1012

Department of Human Services Appropriation/ Renewal of Medicaid Expansion



HB 1015

Office of Management and Budget Appropriation - inclusion of nonpublic school teachers in teacher loan forgiveness program


Success. Language included in final bill.

HB 1040 Behavioral health programs recommended from Support interim study

Limited Success. Final bill included only a fraction of the funding requested.

HB 1273 Firearms in churches without the church’s permission Opposed

Success. House removed the objectionable language.

HB 1163 Repeal Sunday closing laws Opposed

Success. Passed House but defeated in Senate.

HB 1294 Allow alkaline hydrolysis for disposal of human remains Opposed

Success. The alkaline hydrolysis portions were removed by the House.

HB 1308 Mandatory addiction screening/testing for TANF recipients Opposed

Success. Passed House but defeated in Senate.

HB 1319 Disclosure of original birth records to adopted individuals. Opposed

Success. Defeated in House.

HB 1365

Authority of a guardian approve treatment in case of psychiatric emergencies.



HB 1383

Relating to loitering. Would have interfered with pro-life witnessing, religious expression, and homelessness.


Success. Defeated in House.





HB 1386


Success. Defeated in House.

Prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

HB 1425 Anti-foreign and religious laws bill. Opposed

Success. Passed House but defeated in Senate.

HB 1427 Original version would have allowed local and state Opposed authorities to block refugee resettlement.

Success. House amended the bill into a possible legislative interim study of refugee impacts.

SB 2125

Possession of a firearm in church without Opposed church’s permission

Success. Bill amended to address concerns.

SB 2139

House amended the bill to allow any “elected official” to possess a firearm in a church, school, or public building without permission.

Success. Senate Defeated the bill.


SB 2201 Relating to the freedom of expression of student Opposed journalists. Would have dictated policies for private universities regarding student journalists.

Success. Senate removed the sections concerning private universities.

SB 2203


Appropriation to the attorney general for human trafficking victims treatment and support services.


SB 2279 Drug testing for TANF program participants. Opposed

Success. Defeated in Senate.

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Five reasons to die without a will


n case you happen to be one of the seven out of 10 who will depart without a will, here are five reasons to strengthen your position. You can use these to help you sleep tonight

Having your estate plan and will in place will undoubtedly bring you peace of mind. Your family will appreciate it. The charities you support and your favorite Catholic ministry will appreciate it. You will appreciate the satisfaction from fulfilling one of your most important stewardship responsibilities. Stewardship Like many people, you may be uneasy about going to an Steve Schons attorney. Yet, an attorney who specializes in estate planning knows the right questions to ask and the best ways to help you accomplish your goals. These professionals are well trained and are normally well-worth the time and expense they require. At the Diocese of Fargo, we have an excellent booklet called” (tongue in cheek). A Guide to Planning Your Will and Trust” that helps people 1. The court can do a better job deciding how to disburse organize their personal documents, as well as their mind. For your assets than you can. some folks, this process can seem overwhelming. This guide is 2. The court can choose a better personal representative to designed to help you move forward with a plan that writes a handle your estate during probate than you can. very good chapter in the book of your life. It walks you through 3. The court can choose a more caring guardian for your minor some of the terminology and encourages you to think about how you want your assets to be distributed at death and to children than you can. assist you in gathering the information you will need. 4. The government will use your estate tax dollars more If you would like a complimentary copy of this guide, please efficiently than your favorite charity would use a email me at, or mail a request charitable bequest. to: Steve Schons, Diocese of Fargo, 5201 Bishops Blvd, Fargo, 5. Your surviving loved ones will be better off looking after ND 58104. your affairs without your will. Powerful reasons? Hardly. Nonetheless, people unwittingly Steve Schons is director of stewardship and development for the affirm these reasons year after year as they continue to put off Diocese of Fargo. the minor inconvenience of making a will.


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he use of performance-enhancing drugs by professional athletes not only leads to serious challenges in maintaining a level playing field in competitive sports but also raises broader ethical issues and concerns. Some of these concerns were highlighted in 2015 when the former world number one tennis star Maria Sharapova was banned from competitive play for two years by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) after she tested positive for the banned substance meldonium. The Court of Arbitration for Sport subsequently reduced her sentence to 15 months. Meldonium, an over-the-counter Latvian drug known to dilate blood vessels and increase the flow of blood, may contribute to improving an athlete’s physical endurance. Her case was made more complicated by her claim that she was taking the drug for health reasons, a claim viewed with skepticism among other athletes and ultimately rejected by the Independent Tribunal appointed by the ITF to review the case. Former British Olympic sprinter and world championship bronze medalist Craig Pickering described the real pressure that top athletes can face:

“I would bet my life savings that Sharapova was taking this medication because of its purported performance enhancing effects… Athletes are always going to push the boundaries in order to have a chance at success. That is what happens when you introduce competition.” In competitive athletics, the supposition is that competitors are beginning on a par with each other, which means that no one has an “unfair” or “unjust” advantage over another going into the competition. At the starting line, they arrive as equals in the sense that they arrive with whatever they were endowed with at birth, and whatever they may have managed to become through practice, hard work, and discipline. Cheating through doping involves an attempt to step outside these rules and suppositions, and play a different game, one that circumvents or removes the “on a par” assumption without revealing the fact. In this sense, cheating through doping is wrong because it is a form of lying, a form of presenting one’s initial endowment as if it were “natural,” and the result of athletic discipline, even though it really may not be so at all. Several of Sharapova’s opponents expressed frustration at what they took to be a further injustice, namely, that in April 2017, she was given a wild card re-entry into World Tennis Association (WTA) tournament play in Germany. They insisted that she should, at a minimum, have to work her way back up from whatever her ranking had declined to after more than a year of tournament inactivity. Others, such as fellow player Eugenie Bouchard, perceived the doping transgression as even more serious, and argued that Sharapova should be banned from playing for life: “She’s a cheater and so to me... I don’t think a cheater in any sport should be allowed to play that sport again. It’s so unfair to all the other players who do it the right way and are true. So, I think from the WTA it sends the wrong message to young kids—cheat and we’ll welcome you back with open arms.”

Doping athletes Some commentators have noted how event organizers typically like to include big name Making Sense draws like Sharapoof Bioethics va in their line ups, and former number Father Tad Pacholczyk one player Caroline Wozniacki opined that, “obviously the rules are twisted and turned in favor of who wants to do what.” Others have expressed concerns about corporate sponsors and advertisers continuing to promote high profile sports personalities after they have been suspended for doping, individuals who may already be among the wealthiest athletes in the world. It seems fair to conclude that doping constitutes a form of cheating not only of one’s competitors, but also one’s fans, oneself, and the integrity of the sporting activity itself. Through an honest pursuit of the athletic crown, meanwhile, we encounter the possibility of transcending who we are in limited, but important ways. The self-directed training and preparation of the athlete helps develop and hone a host of important personal qualities: strength, coordination, endurance, drive, agility, discipline, quickness, vigilance, cleverness, vision, and daring. This draws us towards an authentic perfecting of our bodies, our character and ourselves — an inwardly-directed order and discipline that arises from deep within — and forms us in such a way that we reach beyond where we ever thought we could reach, and through that personal stretching and growth, come to experience a true measure of human fulfillment. That’s something that doping athletes sadly cheat themselves from fully experiencing. Rev. Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D. earned his doctorate in neuroscience from Yale and did post-doctoral work at Harvard. He is a priest of the diocese of Fall River, MA, and serves as the Director of Education at The National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia. See




Events across the diocese Putt for a Purpose now accepting team registration

All are welcome for a day of golf and fellowship with Bishop John Folda. Bishop Folda’s annual Charity Golf Classic (scramble) is scheduled for Aug. 7 at beautiful Rose Creek Golf Course, Fargo. Shotgun start is at 12:30 p.m., with a banquet to follow. Team prizes for best overall score and best score from a team representing a parish. There will be many prizes given away through a random drawing. Learn more or register at

Carmel of Mary Monastery to host 61st annual pilgrimage Aug. 13

All are welcome to the Carmel of Mary Monastery near Wahpeton on Sunday, Aug. 13 for the 61st annual pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of the Prairies. The day begins at 2 p.m. with guest speaker Father Peter Anderl on the topic: 100th Anniversary of Our Lady’s appearances at Fatima. The day also includes praying the rosary, confessions, Holy Mass and a picnic. For more information, call (701) 640-6152 or visit www.

Piano Talk concerts return to Grafton  

Brent Hermans will perform a series of Piano Talk concerts on five Tuesdays throughout the summer at St. John the Evangelist Church in Grafton. Each concert begins at 7 p.m. and has a different theme. The dates are June 13, June 27, July 25, Aug. 8, and Aug. 22. A free-will offering will be collected for the faith formation and music needs of St. John’s. All are welcome. Refreshments included.

Matt Maher meet-and-greet opportunity for concert sponsors

The Diocese of Fargo welcomes Christian Music Recording Artist Matt Maher to the Scheels Arena in Fargo on Saturday, Aug. 12. If you are interested in sponsoring the concert and meeting Matt in person, there are sponsorship packages available. For a donation of $1,000, your company, organization or family will be named in the concert brochure and on the big screens on stage during the show. In addition, sponsors will receive two tickets located in the front two rows of the concert, and have the opportunity to meet Matt Maher before the show! There are only a few sponsorships left, so don’t delay. Call Diocesan Director of Communications Paul Braun at (701) 356-7958 for details.

Join the Franciscan Sisters in Hankinson for Mother-Daughter Days

Join the Sisters at St. Francis Convent in Hankinson for their annual Mother -Daughter Days Aug. 17-19. This is an opportunity for mothers and their daughters to get away, spend some special time together, grow in their faith, learn about the life of Sisters and have a little fun. Please contact Sr. Jean Louise at (701) 208-1245 or before Aug. 1.

Registration for NCYC (National Catholic Youth Conference) now open

The Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministry of the Diocese of Fargo will be taking high school students to NCYC Nov. 15–19. This huge event will be held at the Lucas Oil Stadium/Convention Center in Indianapolis, Ind. and includes keynote speakers, a variety of workshop sessions, prayer opportunities to draw you nearer to Jesus Christ, great fellowship, and tons of fun! Register now with a $100/person deposit due by July 15. Total cost is $700/person and includes bus, hotel, meals, registration, and more. Contact Kathy Loney at (701) 356-7902 for a registration form or your local priest, religious education director, or youth minister.

BE PART OF THE TRADITION Enroll now for 2017-18 school year We are a community that inspires excellence through faith, learning, and service. 3 yr old Little Deacons - 12th Grade For information or a tour call 701-893-3271 HOLY SPIRIT ELEMENTARY







LIFE’S MILESTONES This announcement was unintentionally left out of an earlier issue. We apologize for the error. George Allen and Marge Forward celebrated 65 years of marriage on Sep. 25, 2016. They were married at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Oakes where they continue to be active parishioners. They’ve been blessed with eight children, 24 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren..

Sister Peggy Byrne celebrated her 80th birthday on June 2. Sister Peggy is the founder of Friends of Chimbote and was recently awarded the YWCA (Young Women’s Christian Association) Lifetime Achievement Award at their Women of the Year event on May 1. Sister Peggy is a Presentation Sister of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and is living at the Sacred Heart Convent in Fargo.

Reynold and Janice Buchholz celebrated their 60th anniversary May 27 with family. They were married June 29, 1957 at St. John’s Church in Kensal. They are both retired teachers and are parishioners of St. Francis Xavier Church in Anamoose. They have five children, 15 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Ethel Bosh celebrated her 100th birthday May 31. She is a parishioner of St. Lawrence O’Toole Church in Michigan, N.D. Ethel’s husband, Bennie Bosh, passed away in 1991. She has two daughters, Joanne (who passed away in 2005) and Judy. She has five grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.

Gerry and Mary Joyce of Holy Family Church in Grand Forks celebrated their 65th anniversary on June 2. They have six children (two deceased), 16 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Ted and Lucille Passa will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary July 1. They were married at St. Stephen Church in Stephen, Minn. Ted is a lifetime parishioner of St. Edwards Church Drayton, and Lucille has been a parishioner for 70 years. They have seven sons and one daughter. Helen and Florian Storbakken celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. Helen and Florian were married November 19, 1946 at Ardoch Catholic Church in the small town of Ardoch, N.D. They are now parishioners of St. Mary’s Church in Grand Forks. They have been blessed with nine children, 18 grandchildren, and 23 great-grandchildren.

Iona Goeser celebrated her 80th birthday on March 23. She has been married to Edwin Goeser for 59 years and is a parishioner of St. Mary’s Church in Munich. She has five children, 10 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren with two great-grandchildren on the way. She is a former parishioner of St. Boniface’s Church in Calio. Catherine (Kate) Libbrecht celebrated her 104th birthday May 29. She was married to Arthur Libbrecht, who died in 1998, and they lived on a farm just outside West Fargo. They were longtime parishioners of Blessed Sacrament Church in West Fargo, raising four children. She now resides in Battle Lake, Minn.

Share life’s milestones As a way to celebrate life and love,we encourage parishioners throughout the Diocese of Fargo to send a photo and news brief about golden anniversaries and 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 or NEW EARTH JUNE 2017


LIFE’S MILESTONES Rose Miller will celebrate her 96th birthday June 26. She is a parishioner of St. Margaret Mary Church in Drake. She was married to Jack Miller who passed away in 1986. They have five children, 12 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren. Rose’s immeasurable joy is her family. Anastasia (Anna) Neis celebrated her 100th birthday on March 31. Anna still lives in her own apartment in Harvey and is a long-term parishioner of St. Boniface Church of Esmond. Anna was married to Jerome Neis who passed away in 2001. Anna has three children, eight grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren. Rose Nolz of rural Zeeland celebrated her 90th birthday with family and friends on April 19. She is a parishioner of St. Andrew’s Church in Zeeland. She is pictured here with her children: Pauline, Sharon, Eugene Jr., David and Mary. Alice Phur, parishioner of Holy Trinity Church in Fingal, celebrated her 98th 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.

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 anemployee 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 For additional information about victim assistance, visit



A Glimpse of the Past - June

These news items, compiled by Dorothy Duchschere, were found in New Earth and its predecessor, Catholic Action News.

50 Years Ago....1967

For the first time in the history of St. Catherine’s parish, Valley City, and probably the diocese, a Sister spoke at all of the Sunday Masses. Sister Annetta, a sister of the Presentation Order and principal of St. Catherine High School at Valley City, spoke on Catholic education. Sister Annetta has made a survey of the school in cooperation with a diocesan study of Catholic education.

20 Years Ago....1997

Parishioners at Holy Spirit, Fargo, broke ground on Pentecost for an addition featuring new offices and parish rooms. Father Phil Ackerman, pastor, presided at the ceremony with prayers for the blessing of a new building site. The new construction began June 1.

10 Years ago....2007

On June 9, Bishop Samuel Aquila celebrated a dedication Mass at St. Brigid of Ireland in Cavalier to dedicate the renovated church and the new altar. The pastor, Father Jason Lefor, concelebrated. The dedication Mass culminated the building process, which began more than four years ago. The renovation process was one of faith. There were times when the project seemed impossible. St. Brigid’s persevering prayer seems to have been answered in the joy and camaraderie of the parishioners who invested countless hours and finances for the project.

Get Connected Find more stories and information about the diocese at:

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Pope Francis: Even in darkest moments, Jesus walks with us By Hannah Brockhaus | Catholic News Agency

Pope Francis arrives in St. Peter’s Square for the general audience Sept. 21, 2016. (Daniel Ibáñez | CNA)


n May 24 Pope Francis said that no matter what trials we might face, we have hope because Jesus is always by our side, just like he was for the disciples on the road to Emmaus. “All of us, in our lives, have had difficult, dark times; moments in which we have walked sad, thoughtful, without horizons and (with) only a wall in front,” Pope Francis said. However, even in these moments “Jesus is always beside us to give us hope, warm the heart and say, ‘Go ahead, I’m with you. Go ahead,’” the Pope said, adding that “the secret of the road leading to Emmaus is all here: even through unfavorable appearances, we continue to be loved.” The Pope met with thousands of pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square for his weekly general audience, immediately following his meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump. The Pope reflected on hope as it is found in the story of Christ’s appearance to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, when they feel sad, discouraged and defeated because Jesus has been killed, but they do not yet know about his Resurrection. All of their hopes from before the crucifixion have been shattered, but this is because they “cultivated only human hope,” Francis said. It is on this scene that Jesus appears. “This scenario – the road – had already been important in the accounts of the Gospels,” he explained, but “now it will become even more, as they begin to recount the story of the Church.” This encounter of Jesus with the disciples seems “fortuitous,” he said, in the way it resembles the many times we are carrying our own crosses or burdens of sorrow and disappointment. But Jesus joins them, even though they do not recognize him, and he begins what Pope Francis called a “therapy of hope.” The first step in this therapy, he said, is to “ask and listen: our God is not an intrusive God. Even though he already knows the reason for the disappointment of those two, he leaves them time to gauge the depth of the bitterness that he has undergone.” 34


Then, listening to their words, we hear “a chorus of human existence: ‘We hoped, but…We hoped, but….’” “How much sadness, how many defeats, how many failures there are in each person’s life!” the Pope said, noting that “we are all a bit like those two disciples.” “But Jesus walks with all discouraged people who go forward with head down. And walking with them, in a subtle way, he succeeds in returning hope.” When he does speak to them, Jesus does it first through the Scriptures. In the Bible, you will not find stories of “easy heroism, thunderous campaigns of conquest,” the Pope said. “True hope is never cheap: it always goes through defeats.” Jesus’ encounter with the disciples on the road to Emmaus is quick, he said, but in it we find “the fate of the Church.” “He tells us that the Christian community is not locked up in a fortified citadel, but walks in its most vital environment; namely, the road. And there it meets people, with their hopes and their disappointments.” “The Church listens to the stories of everyone, as they emerge from the depths of personal conscience, in order then to offer the Word of Life, the testimony of love, faithful love to the end,” he concluded. “And then, the hearts of people return to burning hope.”

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Sidewalk Stories By Roxane B. Salonen


Don’t be fooled: Dads count in abortion issue

bortion proponents would love for you to buy into the deception that abortion is a woman’s issue and that men have no right to be involved. I implore you not to fall for this falsity. Every person in existence was conceived with the help of a father, and last I checked, fathers are all male without exception. When it comes to abortion, men do matter. Recently, I’ve witnessed several “saves” on the sidewalk in front of our state’s only abortion facility. A “save” constitutes the certain turning away from abortion by an abortionvulnerable person. I have always heard about “saves,” but until recently, I had not been directly involved in one. In the two that I took part in through sidewalk prayer advocacy, each was heavily influenced by the father of the child. In other words, if not for a father understanding his child was about to be killed, and stepping forward to say, “We can do this despite all the obstacles,” at least two children would not be wiggling in their mothers’ wombs in our city today. The mothers were scared, but the fathers stepped up to offer protection. On some level, they grasped the gravity of the situation, and understood that rather than be complicit in their own child’s death, they could be a hero, and change the course of their family’s history – and our world’s history – forever. Each week on the sidewalk, men who are prayer advocates show up with signs, hoping to discourage women from entering the facility where children’s lives will be ended. They cover the sidewalk in protection. They are like soldiers on the front lines of the battlefield. Some come every week like clockwork. Others show up when they can with their big hearts and hope. Men like Greg. A while back, he joined us, and I noticed that he had his headphones on. Later, he explained that he was listening in on a conference call, microphone muted, but despite a busy workday, he wanted to be there for a while, to try to make a difference. Greg became a hero to me that day. We live in such a busy world, but despite being in the middle of a workday filled with obligations, he was willing to do a little multitasking to take a chance on saving a life. At some point, a young lady was circling the block in her car,

eyeing the facility and looking for a parking spot. Greg raced over to where she was to try to talk her out of going through with her appointment. Although she ended up going into the facility, I assured Greg that God saw his heart, and that the young lady would never forget him. We cannot always convince the women of the negative lasting impact of what they are about to do, and that real support and help exists, but the image of our presence remains. I’ve also seen fathers quietly weep when they could not prevent their girlfriend or wife from entering the facility. They may have accompanied her there out of a sense of obligation, but deep down, they know. While it’s true some women are coerced by the father, other fathers feel helpless and don’t want the abortion. Recently, I read an article written by a father involved in the “Silent No More” campaign. In 2006, his girlfriend procured an abortion against his will. He is now married to another woman and has two other sons. But the abortion continues to haunt him. Ken shared about how he tried to stop the abortion, and how angry he was with God that he couldn’t. “I started drinking heavily to the point where I was driving home drunk, not caring who would get hurt by my carelessness…I couldn’t come to terms that my son was gone.” Despite his new life and the healing that has taken place since, he wrote that he still grieves his first son, Jacob, and that his wife has “adopted” Jacob as her own. “In 2016, after years of pain, I went through a healing program at Surrendered Hearts,” Ken wrote. “My family and I had a wonderful birthday candlelight vigil for Jacob’s 10th birthday in November, which gave me healing as well. It’s because of my wife and sons that I am Silent No More.” Men are made to protect their women and children. I encourage all men to rise up against the atrocity of abortion, and resist valiantly the erroneous message that men are not needed. Men, we do need you, more than ever, and we are counting on you. You were made for such a time and issue as this. Roxane B. Salonen, a wife and mother of five, is a local writer, and a speaker and radio host for Real Presence Radio. Roxane writes for The Forum newspaper and for She serves in music ministry as a cantor at Sts. Anne and Joachim Church in Fargo. Reach her at





Catholic Diocese of Fargo 5201 Bishops Blvd, Ste. A Fargo, ND 58104

This impressive statue of Jesus spreads his benevolent arms over the faithful. Where in the Diocese are we? The answer will be revealed in the July/August New Earth.

Where in the diocese are we? 36


Last month’s photo is a statue of Mary and the infant Jesus, taken on the newly-renovated alter of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Reynolds

New Earth June 2017  

The official magazine of the Catholic Diocese of Fargo, ND

New Earth June 2017  

The official magazine of the Catholic Diocese of Fargo, ND