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New March 2017 | Vol. 38 | No. 3


The Magazine of the Catholic Diocese of Fargo

St. Bahkita, pray for us Sudanese Catholics find freedom of worship in the heartland


From Bishop Folda: “Welcome the stranger�

University of Mary students lead the way at annual March for Life

At audience, pope leads prayers for migrants, trafficking victims NEW EARTH MARCH 2017





March 2017 Vol. 38 | No. 3

ON THE COVER 12 Sudanese Catholic community in Fargo grateful to worship in peace Members of the African Sudanese Catholic community

in Fargo have been celebrating Mass at Sts. Anne and Joachim since 2005. They gather each Sunday at 12:30 p.m. to praise God, celebrate the Eucharist, and give thanks for their freedoms in their own culturally-unique way. Many were unable to enjoy these freedoms until they immigrated to this country.



“Welcome the stranger”



Pope Francis’ March prayer intentions


Ask a priest: Why does the Church ask us to suffer in Lent?


Lent and the psychology of delayed gratification



Sheltering the homeless on the coldest nights



10 St. Cecilia’s Corner: Opportunities abound for all styles and talents at Blessed Sacrament in West Fargo 11 Tattered Pages

A review written by Joshua Gow on “The Mystery of Joseph” by Father Marie-Dominique Philippe.


17 Youth from Fargo Diocese defend rights of the unborn at March for Life 20 University of Mary students lead nation at annual March for Life 22 How can you protect babies from abortion? Spiritually adopt them 23 1,200 Fargo/Moorhead Catholic School students join Bishop Folda for special Mass 24 NDSU students celebrate bisonCatholic week 2017






25 Stories of Faith

Father Bert Miller shares an experience from Israel, when an inconvenience turned into a blessing.

26 Catholic Action

Christopher Dodson discusses the recent bills within the North Dakota legislature.

27 Seminarian Life

Seminarian Joseph Littlefield shares his experience transitioning to life as a seminarian.

28 Stewardship

Steve Schons explains how to fund an endowment.

29 The Catholic Difference

Guest columnist, George Weigel, tells the story of Jan Tyranowski, who led youth ministry to the future Pope John Paul II.

ON THE COVER: A statue of St. Bakhita at Sts. Anne and Joachim Church in Fargo. St. Bakhita is the patroness of Fargo’s Sudanese Catholic community. (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.





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


34 At audience, pope leads prayers for migrants, trafficking victims SPECIAL SECTION – SIDEWALK STORIES 35 Courage can involve words, but not always

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

Contact Information

Use the following contact information to contact the New Earth staff: (701) 356-7900 Deadline to submit articles, story ideas, advertisements and announcements for the April issue is March 22, 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 MARCH 2017



“Welcome the stranger”


ecent weeks have been filled with news reports and a flurry of executive orders and court cases on the issues of immigration and settlement of refugees in our state and in our nation. For many years now, controversy has been brewing on the national scene over the need to correct a “broken” immigration system. In North Dakota, too, there is public discussion about how to “absorb” the immigrants and refugees who come to our state. As a Church, we believe that every human person has innate dignity and inherent rights, and we all have a shared responsibility to protect the common good. Specifically, every nation has a right and a responsibility to control its own borders and to assure the safety and wellbeing of its citizens. To this end, any nation has the right to regulate the flow of immigrants and refugees into its territory. Our nation is governed by laws, and the laws regarding immigration should exist for a purpose: to protect the immigrants and to preserve the common good. Some have argued that immigration has gotten out of control and needs to be reined in. But there also seems to be a growing sense of suspicion and even fear of those who come to this nation seeking a better life. There may be grounds for concern and caution, but we should not allow fear to completely dominate our view of those who wish to make a new home in our communities and neighborhoods. Rather than seeing them as a threat, our faith should enable us to see them as children of God, brothers and sisters who are looking for freedom, security, religious liberty, and peace. God commanded the people of Israel: “You shall love the alien as yourself, for you too were once aliens in the land of Egypt” (Lev. 19:34). Note well that we are called to love the alien, the foreigner in our midst. During the Jubilee Year of Mercy, we paid special attention to the works of mercy, which include the exhortation to “welcome the stranger” (Mt. 25:31-46). Pope Francis reminded us that “Jesus Christ is always waiting to be recognized in migrants and refugees, in displaced persons and in exiles.” With the eyes of

faith, should we not try to see the face of Christ in those who have left their homelands and often traveled great distances through danger and at great personal risk? It might be wise to remember that Jesus, Mary, and Joseph were also refugees who left their homeland and fled to Egypt under threat of death from Herod. The history of the United States and of North Dakota is a story of immigration. Ours is a nation of immigrants. Our own state and diocese were settled by immigrants - Germans, Germans from Russia, Norwegians, French, Polish, Czechs, English, Irish, and many other ethnic groups. A significant number of these could be described as refugees who were fleeing from warfare, oppression, and poverty. And now, our history continues to be formed by other national groups from Africa, Asia, and Latin America who come to this country and now call it home. The Sudanese community here in Fargo is just one example of immigrants who fled terrible danger and finally can practice their Catholic faith and live in peace without facing daily threats to their very lives. The Church has a long heritage of assisting migrants and refugees. For example, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, an Italian nun, came to this country from Italy and spent her life assisting refugees and immigrants living in desperate need after their arrival in the United States. She also became a U.S. citizen and was the first citizen of this country to be canonized a saint. Our own Cardinal Aloisius Muench was also a champion of refugees. After World War II, he was sent by Pope Pius XII to Germany as the papal delegate, where he exerted enormous effort to assist the huge number of displaced persons who were homeless and starving in the devastation of post-war Europe. We should not be naïve about potential threats to our peace and security. Our public officials have every reason to be careful and prudent in their oversight and regulation of immigration into our nation and state. Moreover, the Catechism of the Catholic Church affirms not only the obligations of our civic authorities but also the obligation of immigrants to respect and abide by the laws of their adopted country. But as members of the human family, we must always be willing to see the humanity of the refugee and the immigrant. Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, who is himself an immigrant from Mexico, reminds us of the human reality we are dealing with: “It is important to remember that behind every statistic is a soul, a soul who has dignity as a child of God, a soul who has rights and needs that are both spiritual and material.” He goes on to say, “We cannot lose sight of their humanity without losing our own.” Throughout the history of this country, Catholics have

“There may be grounds for concern and caution, but we should not allow fear to completely dominate our view of those who wish to make a new home in our communities and neighborhoods.” – Bishop John Folda, Diocese of Fargo 4


experienced their own measure of suspicion and discrimination. For many years, the dominant culture doubted that Catholic immigrants could be “good Americans.” So we, more than others, should be especially mindful of the need to welcome the

Mar. 18 | 10 a.m.

Confirmation and First Eucharist, Sts. Anne and Joachim, Fargo

Mar. 22 | 3 p.m.

JPII Schools Board of Directors Meeting, Pastoral Center

Mar. 24 | 5 p.m.

stranger without undue suspicion or discrimination. Let us look with charity toward the stranger at our doors, and remember the words of Jesus: “Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me” (Mt 25:40).

Apr. 2 | 1 p.m.

Confirmation and First Eucharist, Holy Spirit, Fargo

Apr. 7 | 6 p.m.

Confirmation and First Eucharist, St. Stanislaus, Warsaw

Apr. 8 | 10 a.m.

Confirmation and First Eucharist, St. Ann, Belcourt

Confirmation and First Eucharist, St. Alphonsus, Langdon

Mar. 25 | 10 a.m.

Apr. 9 | 10 a.m.

Confirmation and First Eucharist, St. Mark, Bottineau

Palm Sunday Mass, Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo

5 p.m.

Chrism Mass, Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo

Mar. 26 | 1 p.m.

Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo

Confirmation and First Eucharist, St. Therese the Little Flower, Rugby Confirmation and First Eucharist, St. Cecilia, Harvey

5:30 p.m.

Operation Andrew Dinner, St. Cecilia, Harvey

Mar. 31 | 7 p.m.

Confirmation and First Eucharist, St. Anthony of Padua, Fargo

Apr. 1 | 10 a.m.

Confirmation and First Eucharist, Basilica of St. James, Jamestown

6:30 p.m.

Confirmation and First Eucharist, Holy Cross, West Fargo

Apr. 11 | 11 a.m. Apr. 13 | 7 p.m.

Apr. 14 | 10 a.m.

Stations of the Cross at the Red River Women’s Abortion Clinic in Fargo

3 p.m.

Good Friday Service, Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo

Apr. 15 | 8:30 p.m.

Easter Vigil in the Holy Night, Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo

Apr. 16 | 10 a.m.

Easter Sunday Mass, Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo




Prayer Intention of Pope Francis March

SUPPORT FOR PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS: That persecuted Christians may be supported by the prayers and material help of the whole Church. URGENT PRAYER INTENTION: We pray for the children who are in danger of the interruption of pregnancy, as well as for persons who are at the end of life — every life is sacred! — so that no one is left alone and that love may defend the meaning of life.


“It is not the actual physical exertion that counts toward a man’s progress, nor the nature of the task, but the spirit of faith with which it is undertaken.” –St. Francis Xavier

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Why does the Church ask us to suffer in Lent?

very year on Ash Wednesday the Church invites us to hear and emotions are the same passage from St. Matthew’s Gospel (Mt. 6:1-6, secondary to our 16-18) in which Jesus exhorts us to give alms, pray and fast spirits, and that with the right attitude and disposition. By saying “when you being in harmony give alms,” he assumes that we are doing all three but warns with God is true freeAsk a Priest us against performing these religious acts in a hypocritical way. dom, and that being Monsignor Gregory We might ask the question why he wants us to be doing these rooted in love is true Schlesselmann three at all. happiness (Pope St. Regarding prayer and giving alms, we probably see the need John Paul II, General quite readily. We know that praying is the most fundamental Audience, Jan. 30, 1980). way we can experience our relationship with God and helping Since the call to the poor is a hallmark of the disciple of Christ. But why fast? love is our most Why go without food or other bodily comforts, for example on fundamental call, freely embraced penance aids us to mature days like Ash Wednesday or Good Friday? Even more broadly, in our capacity to give of ourselves without thought of return why voluntarily take on suffering of one sort or another (usually or benefit (even though we do benefit!) – in short, to grow in called penances) especially when there seems to be plenty of authentic love. hardship in life already without adding to it? Now we can answer the question of why the Church invites us to take on voluntary suffering during Lent. The Church wants us to grow and mature in authentic love and thus to progress along the pathway of fulfilling our true destiny. She wants her children to be free and fully alive in Christ! This Lent, let us all make the effort to embrace the practices of this holy season and really grow. Let us make this Lent the best Lent ever!

“…by the very nature of the penance, we are joined more deeply to Christ who is the source of our freedom at the very heart of his liberating Pascal mystery.” – Monsignor Gregory Schlesselmann

The short answer is so that we can be free, because only those who are free can love God and neighbor. But in order to answer the question how penances such as fasting help us achieve freedom, we need to be clear about what we mean by fasting. It is the voluntary renunciation of food or other source of physical or emotional pleasure and/or comfort for a spiritual motive. What is renounced can be either in quantity or quality and should be undertaken in a balanced prudent way. The resultant discomfort or even pain is accepted in a spirit of humility and joined to the Crucified Jesus in reparation for our sins and for the salvation of souls. In short, we welcome Jesus crucified to live his salvific Passion in our own lives. Thus, by the very nature of the penance, we are joined more deeply to Christ who is the source of our freedom at the very heart of his liberating Pascal mystery. Secondly, by freely choosing to forego being satiated and comforted, we are allowing ourselves to experience the truth that our happiness does not depend upon physical or emotional well-being. It highlights in a concrete way the truth that, while important in themselves and in their proper context, our bodies

Monsignor Gregory Schlesselmann serves as the director of the permanent diaconate program and serves at the NDSU Newman Center. He can be reached at Editor’s Note: If you have a question about the Catholic faith and would like to submit a question for consideration in a future column, please send to with “Ask a Priest” in the subject line or mail to New Earth, 5201 Bishops Blvd. S, Suite A, Fargo, ND 58104, Attn: Ask a Priest.

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Ashes are distributed at St. Helen Church in Glendale, Ariz., in this 2016 photo. Ash Wednesday – March 1 this year in the Western church calendar – marks the start of Lent, a season of sacrifice, prayer and charity. (CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec)

Lent and the psychology of delayed gratification By Garrett Boyer | Divine Mercy University


magine placing fresh, warm chocolate chip cookies in front our mind. She may remain in our mind until some other thought of a group of six-year-old children and presenting them comes along. The same principle applies when we are tempted with the option to either eat a cookie now, or wait to eat it to cheat on our penances. If we just try to conscientiously will and receive a second cookie as a reward for their patience. This the temptations away, clenching our fists while thinking about exact scenario was the subject of an illuminating experiment that cup of coffee we want, we set ourselves up for failure. conducted in the early 1970s by revered psychologist Walter Doctor Mischel recommends shifting our attention to someMischel. As you can imagine, many of the children Mischel thing else that is also pleasurable. Putting on our favorite music, tested promptly ate the cookie. There were some, however, who playing a video game or card game, taking a walk, or jogging are waited to receive the larger reward, even though it was delayed. all great things to do. Removing ourselves from the environment During Lent, we become like those children.  The Lenten where the temptation is strong, and substituting those tempting season affords us an opportunity each year to make conscious thoughts with other stimuli will give us a better chance of overacts of penance like foregoing a treat, logging off of Facebook, coming temptations rather than relying on will-power alone.  abstaining from that glass of wine at dinner or declining to eat The Lord spent forty days enduring temptations, yet did not out. In Lent, we can strengthen our character and build our falter. We are not divine, and our struggle against temptation virtue by delaying our gratification until Easter. In other words, is real. Nevertheless, we have tools at our disposal to help us we don’t grab for that cookie so readily. remain faithful to our penances. The strategy of distraction Doctor Mischel concluded from his cookie experiment that may help. Additionally, let us invoke the Holy Spirit to give the children who delayed gratification received more benefits us wisdom and prudence to face our Lenten penances with than just an extra sweet morsel. In a longitudinal study, he confidence that we will indeed receive a greater reward with found that many of the kids who were able to resist immediate the Resurrection of the Lord at Easter. gratification did better in school and demonstrated fewer behavioral problems. They tended to get higher SAT scores Mr. Boyer is a doctoral candidate in Clinical Psychology at Divine and excel in their professional roles as adults. In contrast those Mercy University’s Institute for the Psychological Sciences in children desiring an instant reward exhibited more behavioral Arlington, Virginia, and a native of the Fargo Diocese. issues in their youth and grew up with higher risks of addiction and even incarceration. Christ the King Retreat Center The psychological benefits of delayed gratification are all well Buffalo, Minnesota and good, but for the Christian, these are secondary considerations. We embrace our cross and faithfully do our penance not only in reparation for our sins, but because we hope to receive that greater delayed reward, the salvation of our souls. St. Thomas Aquinas considered penance to be a special virtue. Our penances and self-denials are a way to unite ourselves to the suffering of Christ and cooperate in his salvific work. One problem: self-denial is hard! Can we simply muster up our will power, grit our teeth, and bear it for forty days? Maybe. But Doctor Mischel offers a strategy that may be more effective. The readers of New Earth are cordially invited to a beautiful inexpensive lakeside retreat of wonderful relaxation and spiritual rejuvenation. The theme for the retreat is “Reawakening Hope.” For a free brochure Queen Elizabeth II. We weren’t thinking of her before we saw please call 763-682-1394, email, or visit us at her name just now. Nevertheless, she has made an appearance in 8



Sheltering the homeless on the coldest nights

Volunteers await the arrival of guests Jan. 24 at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fargo as part of the Sheltering Churches project in the Fargo-Moorhead area. Fargo-Moorhead Sheltering Churches is a volunteer-led organization that builds a partnership with area shelters and churches. Each week during the winter, a different church serves as an overflow shelter for the homeless. Each church provides volunteers to assist those in need throughout the evening. (New Earth)

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St. Cecilia’s

Opportunities abound for all styles and talents at Blessed Sacrament in West Fargo


lessed Sacrament in West Fargo has a variety of opportunities for members to participate in music ministry. They have four choirs: Joyful Voices, Contemporary Choir, SonShine Choir and Bell Choir. Joyful Voices and Contemporary Choir are the adult groups and blend traditional and contemporary styles together. SonShine Choir (shown here) is the youth choir. They are very enthusiastic and do a wonderful job. Bell Choir is a hand bell choir that plays at a Mass about once a month. They add a very special touch to Mass when they play. Overall, there are nearly 40 people that are involved in the music ministry, including accompanists and instrumentalists.

St. Cecilia’s Corner is a new feature for New Earth Magazine. Each month we highlight the musicians and music program of churches around the diocese. To feature your parish music program, send a photo and information to:


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The Mystery of Joseph

A review of Father Marie-Dominique Philippe’s “The Mystery of Joseph” By Joshua Gow | Religion teacher at Shanley/Sullivan School deeply into Joseph’s psyche, examining how he must have felt and what was driving him to action. While it may not be a perfect account of what actually happened, the examinations are profitable for anyone looking to dive deeper into his relationship with Jesus and Mary. After completing a thorough explanation and examination of Joseph’s life and role in the Holy Family, the first part of this work comes to a close. The second part consists of a series of lectures Father Philippe gave on Joseph and his qualities. Some A review of Catholic books, movies, music of these are loosely related to the person of Joseph himself, but “In each of these chapters, there is something all are profitable for growth in some way. The chapter on Joseph and his authority of service provided good for every one of us, some nugget for a good reflection for me as a father, and I would imagine it spiritual growth, a virtue to grow in, or a would be good for priests as well. Additionally, the chapter on piece of the spiritual life for us to emulate.” Joseph as the prototype of the monastic life was very fruitful, and reinvigorates the idea that we all are called, in some way, –Joshua Gow to live a monastic life. n our current age, the Church is compelled more than ever In each of these chapters, there is something good for every to turn to the guidance and patronage of Joseph, epitomized one of us, some nugget for spiritual growth, a virtue to grow a few years ago when Pope Francis made the permanent in, or a piece of the spiritual life for us to emulate. In short, the addition of Joseph to the Eucharistic prayers. In this movement, second part of the book really takes many of the good and holy bibliophiles like me find ourselves scouring the shelves for a characteristics of Joseph and presents them to us in a way to good book to become better acquainted with this holy man who digest piece by piece and emulate in our lives. Father Philippe’s work on Joseph is a short one, but it’s one that has been occupying so much attention in the Church. you will be reading over again to dive deeper into its meaning. Upon my first glance, many of these titles provided information It is easy to get lost in the pages and bring different elements on the life Joseph and his patronages, but the substance was to prayer, and learn more about ourselves and this mysterious lacking. Then, enter a small tome written by the noted Dominican and pivotal saint for our times. For all those looking for a book and founder of the Community of St. John, Father Marieto dive deeper into the person and mystery of Joseph, this is it. Dominique Philippe.



Part of the difficulty with Joseph is the lack of detail on his Editor’s note: In the past Tattered Pages reviewed only books. It is now life. His importance is not doubted or questioned, as he plays open to review movies and music as well that help us fill our minds a vital role in the economy of salvation, but information on with good things and shape our Catholic faith. this man is hard to come by. In the entirety of Scripture, only a dozen or so verses actually pertain to Joseph, and no direct quotes are attributed to him. About the Book: In the first part of his book, Father Philippe dives into the “The Mystery of Joseph” little recorded details on St. Joseph, using Scripture and writings by Father Marie-Dominique from the early Church Fathers, and develops a story of Joseph’s Philippe. life. It is amazing how Father Philippe is able to tease so much information out of the little recorded on Joseph, and to paint Published by Zaccheus Press such a brilliant picture of this man! Within this account, we can Hardcover 208 pages see elements of Joseph’s character and evidence of the virtues for which he is famous. Available via Father Philippe highlights Joseph’s relationship in this part, Barnes and Noble, Amazon and how his own actions shaped the Holy Family. He additionally and other book resellers. highlights the important role Joseph plays in the early life of Jesus. In examining these relationships, Father Philippe delves



A few hundred Sudanese Catholics living in Fargo gather at Sts. Anne and Joachim Church Feb. 5 to celebrate Mass. (Paul Braun/New Earth)

Finding freedom of worship Sudanese Catholic community in Fargo grateful to worship in peace


he music rises through the beautiful sanctuary of Sts. Anne and Joachim in Fargo. Parishioners joyfully raise their voices, while some play along on instruments from the pews. It’s a scene played out weekly at parishes all across the Diocese of Fargo. But if you listen carefully, the voices raised are not praising our God in English. The song is in the African language from South Sudan. The African Sudanese Catholic community in Fargo have been celebrating Mass at Sts. Anne and Joachim since 2005. They gather each Sunday at 12:30 p.m. to praise God, celebrate the Eucharist, and give thanks for their freedoms in their own culturally-unique way. Many in attendance were unable to enjoy these freedoms until they immigrated to this country.

She was given her freedom, and decided to enter the convent of the Canossians. Her special charisma and reputation for sanctity were noticed by her order; and the publication of her story made her famous throughout Italy. During World War II she shared the fears and hopes of the town people, who considered her a saint and felt protected by her presence. Remarkably, though the bombs did not spare the town they lived in, there was not one single casualty. Her last years were marked by pain and sickness. She used a wheelchair, but she retained her cheerfulness, and if asked how she was, she would always smile and answer “As the Master desires.” Josephine Bakhita died on Feb. 8, 1947. She was canonized by Pope John Paul II on October 1, 2000, and is the patron saint of Sudan. Sudan has known only war and tribal conflict in some On this particular Sunday, Feb. 5, the faithful prayed for the variation or another for centuries. As recent as 1982, the second intercession of their patroness, St. Josephine Bakhita, the first Sudanese civil war broke out between the predominantly northern Sudanese Catholic to be canonized in the Church. Josephine Arab/Muslim government based in Khartoum, and the African/ Bakhita was born in Sudan in 1869. At a young age she was Christian southern part of the country. The war was originally kidnapped by Arab slave traders, and lived her early life as a about natural resources and who controlled them, but quickly slave. In 1882 she was sold to the Italian Vice Consul in Khartoum, developed into an effort by the government in the north, the Capital city of Sudan. Two years later she was taken to Italy controlled by Muslims, to try to abolish Christians in the south. and eventually was placed with the Canossian Sisters in Venice. Roughly two million people died as a result of war, famine and While there she was introduced to Catholicism and converted. disease caused by the conflict. Four million people in southern

Sudanese saint




A Sudanese mother and daughter at Mass. (Paul Braun/New Earth)

Job Lado spent time in a Lebanese prison just for being a refugee. (Paul Braun/New Earth)

Sudan were displaced at least once during the war. The conflict between north and south officially ended in 2005, Paskolina Bakhit’s story starts when she left Sudan at age 24. and the sovereign state of South Sudan was created in 2011. She lived both in the south and north of Sudan, but because However, another civil war along tribal lines rages in South of the civil war she went to Egypt, seeking help from the Christian Sudan today, causing the displacement of even more Christian community there. She does not get into specifics, but she refugees. Many of the faithful worshipping each Sunday in claims priests in Sudan were being arrested and questioned by Fargo have known nothing but war, until moving here. the government. “I came as a refugee from Egypt, but I came to Iowa to stay with my uncle,” says Paskolina. “I met my husband, Alexander An Air Traffic Controller in his former life back in Khartoum, Hakim, in Iowa and moved to Minneapolis. Our son was Job Lado left Sudan in 1997 while in his 30s after being arrested diagnosed with asthma while living there, and we had no family and interrogated by Sudanese government authorities. His there, and my husband kept losing his job because of our son’s brother’s position in the military brought attention to authorities, medical problems. We had family in Fargo, and my husband and Job was told if they are questioning him now, it won’t be says we should move there. I like Fargo. It is smaller and we long until he is arrested for good. When Job escaped, he left have a nice community here.” behind his wife and three children and went to Syria. He paid Paskolina and Alexander’s life is very typical of any Fargo Lebanese soldiers to take him to Lebanon, where he hoped the resident. She works as a CMA-medication certified employee at Christian community there would help him be reunited with a local nursing home, while her husband is employed by John his family. Although officially categorized as a United Nations Deere. She says attending Mass keeps her and her family grounded. refugee, Job was arrested by Lebanese authorities, because he “We have to attend Mass every Sunday. It is something we said the government there did not recognize UN refugees. do as a family. We do other things together like basketball and Job spent a year in prison in Lebanon, where he met a Catholic music, but when we come together at church, we talk about the priest who kept him close to his faith. He was eventually released, readings and what we brought with us from Mass, so we have reunited with his family, and immigrated to the United States, this to do together. Things can get so busy, but my Sunday is settling first in San Antonio. He came to Fargo with his family in 2006. my day with family.” “The most important thing for me when I got to the USA was the little bit of freedom that I had,” exclaimed Job. “Throughout my movements after leaving Sudan, there was no freedom. Charles Mukhtar is the music leader for the Masses celebrated When the Arabs and the Muslims went to South Sudan, what by the Sudanese community. He comes from a very musical they wanted was for all of us to be Muslims, living the way they family (his father had a jazz band in Sudan), and he sings and live and speaking their Arabic language.” plays several instruments. Born in what is now South Sudan, Job says his faith saved him and his family, and he is awe-struck Charles moved to Khartoum at age 11, and lived there for 16 that he can celebrate Mass in peace. “If I didn’t believe in God, years. He left Sudan for Egypt due to the civil war, and lived it was not going to be possible for me to be in America. I took there for four years, serving the Catholic Church in Egypt as a my faith very seriously during my travels as a refugee and it secretary for the priests. To Charles, the church was family, a helped me.”

Paskalina Bakhit

Job Lado

Charles Mukhtar



“Seeing the sun, the moon and the stars, I said to myself ‘Who could be the Master of these beautiful things?’ I felt a great desire to see him, to know him and to pay him homage.” –St. Josephine Bahkita Paskolina Bakhit resettled in Iowa and Minneapolis before coming to Fargo. (Paul Braun/New Earth)

community to belong to. He still feels that way after resettling in Fargo in 2004. “One thing that brought me to Fargo is the Catholics,” says Charles. “I did my research on the internet and figured out that Fargo in general had the majority of Catholics in one state, and that’s what made me come here. Also, the nature of the place and the traditional values of the people here are similar to what I had back home, so I just wanted a place where I could feel like I was back home.” Charles wasn’t always Catholic. But his years in a Catholic school in South Sudan solidified his conversion. “My family is Episcopalian, but I went to a Catholic school run by nuns. I had my first communion and confirmation in third grade, and that’s when I seriously became a Catholic. We had a chapel at school and we went to Mass every morning at 7:00 before school. Going to Mass is what got us through the war situation and the government oppression; it kept us as one.”

Responsibility of refugees

Charles Mukhtar immigrated from Sudan via Egypt in 2004.(Paul Braun/New Earth)

interviewed by the UN for several hours to find out why you need refugee status. They go through your background. Once you pass that, you go through resettlement, either Canada, Australia or America. Whatever country you are selected to go to, that country’s embassy now has to interview you. It’s not an easy interview. It’s done by lawyers, who came from this country and took my fingerprints to see if I had been here before or not. This process takes a long time, and once you pass that there is a second interview where they ask you ‘What are you going to do in America? Are you going to be a good person? Are you going to work hard and build yourself?’ People think this process is easy and that they just let people in, but it takes a long time.” Charles says that people of all races and religions need to get along and celebrate their heritage and beliefs with each other. He says that was the case back in Sudan. Maybe not with the government, but with friends and neighbors. “In Khartoum there was suppression from the government, but not people to people. I had Muslim neighbors, and we celebrated Ramadan with them, we ate with them, we shared everything. They would also celebrate Christmas with us. It’s the government trying to make this division and everything is political. People here are blessed to have this freedom of religion, but I would tell them not to take things for granted. Faith-wise they need to grow their faith, and we need to be more diverse, whether through race or ideas. But the most important thing I would say is not to take things for granted. You grew up here, you grew up in a Catholic environment, but don’t let that shut down the fire of your faith.”

Refugee resettlement in the United States has been in the news a great deal recently. There are many who feel this country must open itself to all refugees fleeing persecution or trying to find a better life in America no matter where they come from. Others feel a more cautious approach must be taken, and immigration officials need to find out who is coming into the country and what their intentions are. Paskolina Bakhit says being a refugee in America is a privilege and comes with some responsibility. “If you are privileged enough to come here, you have to serve your purpose here,” says Paskolina. “I can’t allow someone to come into my home and then they destroy my house. When you come here you have to respect this place that you come to, because you’re looking for safety. You’re not coming here to That “fire of faith” is evident each Sunday at what the cause problems. If you come here running from a bad life, you Sudanese call the St. Bakhita Mass. For many of the older won’t go looking for any trouble, and you better respect that.” generation attending, this is their first chance to celebrate as a faith community without having to look over their shoulder to “I understand those who say we need to be careful,” says see if the government is watching. Charles says it gave Christians Charles Mukhtar. “It’s a double-edged sword. But many do a feeling of dread each time they gathered, whether in Sudan not understand the process refugees have to go through to or in Egypt, and it hasn’t stopped. get here. It’s a long process, and it took me four years. You get “The Catholic community in Sudan still experiences oppression,”

Faith community



Father Paul Duchschere, Pastor of Sts. Anne and Joachim in Fargo, baptizes one of ten children at the St. Bakhita Mass on Feb. 5. (Paul Braun/New Earth)

says Charles. “Thirty-eight smaller churches in Khartoum were just recently demolished by the government. You have churches you can go to, but you don’t have the freedom of expression. Everything is done there in a way where you feel like your suppressed all of the time. In public you can’t just announce that you are a Christian, you want to hide that from the public eye. You can’t just talk freely about your religion. But in Egypt, we were able to help a lot of people who converted to Christianity, and these people were actually going to be killed, but they left Sudan and came to Egypt, and we had to help them.” The St. Bakhita Mass is an outward sign of that sharing of faith for the Sudanese who have resettled here. To Sudanese parishioners, a great part of that sign of faith is how they blend their culture of Sudan with their new culture in the United States. The Mass is said in English, but the music and feeling at Mass is uniquely Sudanese. “Some of our people who come here don’t know the English language, so when they go to church they don’t feel like they are participating,” says Charles. “That’s why we asked to have this special Mass time with St. Bahkita as our patroness, because we can sing our music in our language and at least have some part of our culture. But, our Mass is open to everybody. Come to our Mass. Come enjoy the different music. It’s a Sts. Anne and Joachim’s Mass, and everybody is welcome!”

God bless America

The phrase “God bless America” has many meanings to different people. For those born and raised in America, that meaning can range from just a title of a song to an appreciation of what God has abundantly blessed in this country. Many of us take God’s blessings for granted, because we’ve never known a world that oppresses religious thoughts and deeds. For people who have been oppressed, like Job, Pascolina and Charles, the term God bless America has a deeper meaning. “God bless America means, to me, to go back to the founding fathers who established America,” says Job. “They had the idea that without God they could not put America together as a country. They wanted the government to listen to God so that the blessing that he started would continue. And, with those words, ‘God bless America,’ America is the most peaceful country in the world today.” “God blessed me by bringing me here,” exclaims Paskolina. “If God did not bless America, America would not open its doors for refugees to come here. So, the blessing that God gave America, not just as a country, is for every single person who’s here. Everyone who has lived in the United States can see that there is a blessing from God, and part of that is for me, because I am here.” NEW EARTH MARCH 2017


COVER STORY “You see us here every Sunday because we really appreciate life they now enjoy as children in America. what we have here and the peace of mind, according to But there is sadness as well. These children will only know Charles. “I can drive my own car and not have a policeman of their Sudanese heritage through stories and traditions harass me just because I’m driving a car. That was happening passed down from elders, and there is fear they won’t care, everywhere we were traveling until we came here. You have being wrapped up in things that concern most American all of these blessings here, and if you don’t appreciate that, kids; sports, music, academics, friends, new technology and there is something wrong with you. America was meant the like. for everybody, not just a certain race or religion. ‘God bless For this reason, their parents wish to keep some of the America means’ God bless everyone in America. Everyone traditions alive through the gatherings every Sunday at Mass, is the same.” where their children will hear songs in their native tongue, and share in stories of hardship, faith and joy that was the life of those who came here before them. There is hope that On this particular Sunday, ten newly-born members of maybe a few of the men of the community may look into the community, part of the first generation born in America, becoming permanent deacons. And, they pray, maybe one were baptized into the faith. It is a sign that the future of the or two young boys running around and playing may hear Sudanese Catholic community is well established as members the call for the priesthood, and serve the community as one of the Fargo community. Children ran around the parish hall of their own. As their patroness St. Bakhita once said: after Mass, nearly all of them having been born in America. “O Lord, if I could fly to my people and tell them of your Many of the faithful expressed joy that these children will goodness at the top of my voice, oh how many souls would never know the pain and sorrow of what their parents, aunts, be won!” uncles and grandparents had to go through to give them this

Future generations

Born in the USA. Children of Sudanese refugees have been spared the horrific experiences of some of their parents. (submitted photo)




Youth from Fargo Diocese defend rights of the unborn at March for Life

Youth from across the Fargo Diocese traveled to Washington D.C. for the March for Life on Jan. 27. This annual event is a peaceful protest of the Jan. 22, 1973 court decision, Roe v Wade, which made abortion legal and available on demand throughout the United States. Hundreds of thousands marched to the capitol for the 44th consecutive year to support the idea of a nation where every human life is valued and protected. (submitted photo)

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The Diocese of Fargo is committed to the protection of youth. Please report any incidents or suspected incidents of child abuse, including sexual abuse, to civil authorities. If the situation involves a member of the clergy or a religious order, a seminarian or 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 or For additional information about victim assistance, visit NEW EARTH MARCH 2017



Timothy Cardinal Dolan joyfully poses with Monsignor Shea and the whole University of Mary group outside St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Washington, D.C. after celebrating Mass. (University of Mary)

Why We March For Life

University of Mary students lead nation at annual March for Life


By Kayla Keller | Senior at University of Mary, Bismarck and Graduate of Shanley High School, Fargo

hroughout 16 years of Catholic schooling, I attended the March for Life four times with Shanley High School, and I had always heard that the pro-life movement was one of love. I always believed it, but I didn’t understand it until now. This March for Life, the one that I was honored to lead with over 600 of my classmates, faculty, administrators and friends at the University of Mary, was the event that convinced me of the authentic and deep love at the core of the pro-life movement. In beautiful ways, I could see love everywhere in the specific form of mercy. What does the March for Life have to do with mercy? Quite a bit, I discovered. The Catholic Church recently finished the Year of Mercy instituted by Pope Francis, a call to recognize and reflect on God’s mercy, the greatest of the divine attributes. Mercy, I have learned, is love encountering suffering. In leading the March for Life with a crowd of hundreds of thousands behind me, I felt like I was leading a cause of mercy. St. Teresa of Kolkata famously said that the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion. This, taken with the reality that abortion has taken 58 million innocent lives in the United States since 1973, reveals egregious and pervasive suffering in America. People who bring love to this wound in our culture, seeking to change this injustice and stop this suffering, are fundamentally showing mercy. In leaving Bismarck, driving 30 hours to Washington D.C., spending a whirlwind 40 hours there, leading the March for Life, and driving 30 hours back to Bismarck, all I saw was mercy. This may seem strange because mercy seems like a distant, abstract 20


concept. However, you can see mercy if you can see love. Mercy is love meeting suffering, and I encountered so many people with hearts overflowing with love. How could I tell? Simply, because they were there. They were there on the bus, and they were there at the march (hundreds of thousands of hearts overflowing with love!) You see, love starts by showing up. Naturally then, mercy starts by showing up: being present amid suffering. Our own University President Monsignor James Shea showed us this in a very simple way by being with us on the bus ride. This astounded me. The fact that our dignified president denied himself the opportunity to take a comfortable flight and instead chose to join the seven-bus caravan on a 30-hour adventure to Washington struck me as something likely very uncommon in university presidents. This only makes sense with mercy. Monsignor joined us on the bus because he loves us and he desires to be with us in the small, yet very real sufferings of a 30-hour bus ride. In a larger sense, he journeyed with us because he recognizes the inherent suffering of abortion and with all the love of his heart seeks to end it. Following his lead, we were all present at the march to witness to the suffering caused by abortion and to respond with love. Truly, we were following the example of the namesake and patroness of our university. What did Mary do at the foot of the cross but be present to her Son in his suffering with all the love of her heart. What was most important was not any of the interviews we gave, which were great and a fantastic witness, but it was the fact that we were there, the University of Mary,

University of Mary friends and classmates carry the lead banner for the March for Life. (University of Mary)

600 strong! We were all physically present, marching, singing, and praying for life with our blessed and sacrament-fortified bodies. It’s the presence of human life that touches the heart. It’s fitting then, that we employ the witness of our own lives to fight for the sanctity and protection of human life. This witness really touched me afterwards when looking at pictures of the event. The experience in the moment of leading the march was incredible. It was exhilarating, depleting all of our energy leading, singing, chanting, and praying continually for two hours. Mercy is tiring! Throughout the march I loved looking at Monsignor Shea, Jerome Richter, Greg Vetter, and Scott Hennen who were walking in front of us. They were watching us and just beaming with joy. Later in the day, I saw photos of us leading the march and I was astounded. Monsignor and those in front of us were smiling because they were witnessing us lead a huge crowd. They saw behind us what we could not see at the time. We just marched on, confident that what we were doing was right. We only knew what we were leading once we were able to look at pictures of ourselves carrying the banner. The crowd behind us was massive, but we had little knowledge of that in the moment of marching. I think that’s analogous to leading the pro-life movement in daily life. We often don’t know how many people support us and how many people fight the battle with us, but we have rare moments like the March for Life that reveal to us that we are not alone in our cause of mercy. We also are not without leaders. This is maybe what stood out to me the most. Throughout our five-day trip, we were privileged to meet and spend time with a number of influential and experienced advocates for the pro-life movement. Timothy Cardinal Dolan celebrated Mass for us and spent time talking with us. Sean Patrick Cardinal O’Malley greeted and prayed with us before the march, and we met with Senator John Hoeven at the conclusion of the march. We also were able to hear Kellyanne Conway and Vice President Pence speak, who each have been to over 10 Marches. We went to Mass with the Sisters of Life, whose very charism is life. We got to know Al, the man who was in charge of directing the banner-holders, who was clearly a seasoned veteran at dealing with energetic college students. A few friends and I met Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, and Pamela Tebow, Tim Tebow’s mom,

who have both been speaking and fighting for life for years. Additionally, we were privileged to spend the entirety of the trip with four priests and a number of members of University of Mary’s administration, who are no strangers to the pro-life movement. This year was Monsignor Shea’s 14th March for Life. We heard often that we, the youth, give hope. Numerous times during the march, all kinds of adults told me that my classmates and I are inspiring, that we make them proud. I am thrilled that we can be a beacon of hope, but what touched me the most was that we have incredible pro-life leaders to look up to. We are the pro-life Generation. We have energy and fire to fight for the truth of the sanctity of life. If you need an example of this, just look up my friend Katrina Gallic’s speech before the march! We ought to thank our pro-life ancestors for this. We must learn from somewhere the courage of perseverance. Seeing and personally interacting with our bold leaders struck me with a deep gratitude for the great inheritance I have received in the pro-life movement. My generation would not be pro-life if generations before had not started the change. These people, these early warriors all started the change by being present at the first marches, praying outside abortion clinics, and standing by their countercultural beliefs in the public square. At the beginning, when the sanctity of life needed defense, they showed up with love. Then, they continued with perseverance. They show us that presence is where mercy starts, but not where it ends. Cardinal Dolan, Fr. Pavone, Msgr. Shea, the devoted church ladies and gentlemen who pray outside Red River Women’s Clinic every Wednesday, and everyone who has made any difference in the pro-life movement, began by showing up in whatever capacity they were able. In all reality, that’s how Jesus began his ministry as well. Through the mystery of the Incarnation, Jesus showed up in the midst of all human suffering bringing mercy to the entire world, and he came as a defenseless little one. The wallpaper on my phone has a quote from Pope St. John Paul II on it that reads, “Never tire of firmly speaking out in defense of life from its conception and do not be deterred from the commitment to defend the dignity of every human person with courageous determination. Christ is with you: be not afraid!” Christ is with you. I thought of that many times during the march, and I absolutely believe it. This is Christ’s fight in which we are partaking, and he most definitely is beside us. One of my friends told me that what touched her most about the march was that she truly felt that Mary was leading us. With our many rosaries throughout the entirety of the trip, our big University of Mary banners leading the march, and our singing of the Salve Regina while marching, I have no doubt that this is true. With Mary leading us, and Christ with us, we were there as a community. We, the University of Mary, were there representing each other. We – human beings, children of God – were there representing each other in a broad sense, especially those who were not given the opportunity to join us. We showed up for them, the most defenseless little ones. With the grace of God and prayers of Our Lady surrounding us, we will endure in showing up with mercy in defense of all life. That is why we march. NEW EARTH MARCH 2017



How can you protect babies from abortion? Spiritually adopt them By Kristina Lahr


n the 44 years since Roe v Wade, it can seem like a never-ending battle for the life of the unborn. Each year, growing numbers of pilgrims attend the March for Life and bring hope for change. But what can we do in our everyday lives to save children and families from the violence of abortion? According to the late Archbishop Fulton Sheen, we can spiritually adopt them. The Spiritual Adoption program is simple and involves praying that one specific, yet unknown, life be spared from abortion and given a chance to live. The prayer Archbishop Sheen wrote invokes the Holy Family, strengthening the parents of the spiritually adopted baby. He recommended praying this simple prayer daily for nine months. “Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I love you very much. I beg you to spare the life of [baby’s name] the unborn baby that I have spiritually adopted who is in danger of abortion.”

By choosing a name for the baby, your prayer becomes a personal plea for the life of one child. While only God knows the baby you pray for, in faith we can believe God is answering our persistent prayers each day the parents nourish their growing child. After nine months, you can celebrate the birth of this unborn baby by donating items to a local pregnancy center or offering to babysit for a family in need. For more information and ideas on how to incorporate the Spiritual Adoption program for your parish or school, go to Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patroness of the unborn.

“Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I love you very much. I beg you to spare the life of [baby’s name] the unborn baby that I have spiritually adopted who is in danger of abortion.”

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1,200 Fargo/Moorhead Catholic School students join Bishop Folda for special Mass

atholic Schools Week was celebrated at Catholic schools of salvation is Christ, and to never let that light die within them. across the nation Jan. 29 to Feb. 4. Just over 1,200 Catholic He also reminded the students that God has a specific task school students from the Fargo/Moorhead area joined in life for each and every one of them, and they need to trust Bishop Folda and several area priests on Feb. 2 to celebrate in God’s plan for wherever that task takes them in life. (Paul Mass at the Shanley High School gym in Fargo. In his homily, Braun|New Earth) Bishop Folda charged all students to never forget that the light




NDSU students celebrate bisonCatholic week 2017 By Tara Splonskowski | St. Paul’s Catholic Newman Center


he NDSU campus was buzzing during its annual bisonCatholic Week Celebration, Jan. 22-28. In celebration of the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, St. Paul’s Newman Center hosted events every night for its student population and the surrounding community. This year, the students and parishioners gathered for a night of fun with a Talent Show on Sunday night to kick off the week. Then on Monday, Bishop Folda celebrated Mass for all the students and faculty of NDSU at the Newman Center and stayed afterward to eat and visit with everyone in the community at the Lasagna Feed, hosted by the Newman Knights of Columbus. The Sisters of Life, Sister Grace Dominic and Sister Therese Marie, were guests of the week and spoke to more than 60 women on Tuesday evening about “Courageous Women” and living as a Catholic woman in today’s world. During the women’s talk, another guest speaker, Casey Dynan, spoke to just over 50 men about being “dangerous” for God and battling the effects of pornography in our lives and culture. The main keynote speaker for bisonCatholic week this year was Matt Lozano, from Heart of the Father Ministries. Matt is the son of Neal Lozano, author of the book “Unbound.” Matt’s first talk on campus was to the students on “The Five Keys to Freedom.” He engaged all those at the talk by having everyone stand up and practice verbally rejecting, in the name of Jesus, some of the general things in life that often have us bound. Bobbi Hennessey, a sophomore at NDSU, said, “I never realized Matt Lozano leads attendees in prayer while speaking at St. Paul’s Catholic Newman Center as part of the bisonCatholic Week celebration. (Tara Splonskowski)



how many things actually affect me negatively as a student, emotionally and physically, until rejecting them out-loud at Matt’s talk. It was a new and powerful experience for me.” Matt’s second talk was on Thursday at the Newman Center on “The Power of Forgiveness.” Teena Fischer, another NDSU student, was greatly impacted by the Forgiveness talk. “It made me realize that forgiveness isn’t a feeling, it’s an act; and that the feeling of forgiveness comes after the act. For God to be able to heal your heart, you have to ask for it and act on it by forgiving.” During the week, about 20 students were able to meet with the sisters and Father Joseph Christensen for spiritual direction. Monsignor Gregory Schlesselmann commented, “I think it is great for the speakers to offer spiritual direction to the students, because it affords the students an immediate opportunity to explore the questions that the talks and events occasion in their hearts.” The rest of the week focused on community building and fostering new relationships won over the course of the week with new students with a Casino Night. Finally, there was a formal Dinner and Dance for the students on Saturday evening. The week was a huge success once again! Videos of the talent show can be found on the bisonCatholic YouTube channel (bisonCatholic2). Next year’s keynote speaker will be Steve Wood, who spoke at the recent Men’s Redeemed conference in Fargo last fall. Continued prayers and support of the bisonCatholic community are greatly appreciated!

STORIES OF FAITH The bread of the Bedouin man By Father Bert Miller

(submitted photo)


t seemed to be the most unlikely place for a miracle, but on that day, there definitely was a miracle. It happened in Israel. Out in the desert in November, three days before Thanksgiving in 2016. My sabbatical tour group were in the desert for four days. Usually, we were on tour to long-honored holy sites (Jerusalem, the Sea of Galilee, Bethlehem). The most holy item on this planner was liturgy at a migrant community church in Tel Aviv, or so it seemed. After that liturgy and a foreign dinner, we saw an archeological dig site and journeyed along in the bus for another 3-4 hours before settling down in a little town for the night. The next morning, we walked along the cliffs overlooking the rift zone where the African, European and Asian continental plates merge. Back at the bus, we backtracked a few miles of the journey from the previous day. And the most magnificent experience began. The bus driver turned off the paved road. We were riding on the hard surface of a desert of brown and red bedrock. The bedrock was hot. The big, ugly green bus was inching along. First, we were level, and then we were on a steep incline and then we were curving between Bedouin tents… and then, there was a big “boom” and an acrid smell. The tire under the driver had blown! He skillfully backed the bus back a bit to get the blow-out over a hole in the road. And he told the 12 of us to get off (10 tourists and two guides). We grabbed our walking sticks and backpacks and proceeded to walk to our noonday visit with the Bedouin community leader. It was still quite a hike. We had been traveling on the bus out in the desert because one of our number had trouble walking. Even he just grabbed his stick, said nothing, and made the best of the situation.

As we walked, we took pictures of the camels and the sheep, the tents and the steel box homes provided by the Israeli government. Eventually, we arrived at the tent of the host. He was tending a hot fire under the tent. He served us a hot, sugar tea in glasses. And then he played with the fire – scooping up embers with his frying pan and making a circle of embers at the other end of the fire pit. Soon, the host’s spouse appeared with a big ball of dough and a pan like a big pizza plate. Our host started needing the dough and spreading it over the pizza pan. He continued to play with the embers and build the circle at the other end of the pit. Our guide soon told us that the host was going to put the dough directly onto the embers and then cover the dough with more hot embers. We should not fear – the dough was of a consistency that the embers would not stick to it. Then our host began to discuss with us the life of a Bedouin in the desert. His was an unincorporated city. However, it enjoyed some great Israeli benefits – housing that was too hot to use most of the year, gas for generating electricity in evenings, rural water for drinking, cooking, bathing, washing clothes and toilets. He had a vehicle for taking five of his eight children to school in the town where we had stayed the previous night. Soon our host was lifting the bread from the embers. He took it outside the tent to a couple of big tree stumps. He beat the bread first on the one stump, then on the other. No extra embers were going to stick to this bread. As he came back to us, he broke off a piece for each of us. I had two. It was so good I did not want to have the rest of the meal. About the time we were supposed to leave the tent, the guide’s phone rang and the bus driver said to come back, “we are ready to go.” With sticks and backpacks, we excitedly hiked back to the bus. It had four inflated tires. We all looked it over and asked how he got it fixed so quickly. He said that after we hiked out, a man emerged from one of the tents next to the road. He said he had heard the tire blow and wanted to volunteer his services. Together, they peeled off the old tire and put the spare on and the volunteer got his hand pump and pumped up the tire. Two Palestinian men (the driver and volunteer) made a miracle for 12 tourists out in the middle of the desert and the journey was able to continue on schedule – fortified with the bread of the Bedouin man. Father Bert Miller serves as pastor at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Park River and St. Luke’s Catholic Church in Veseleyville. NEW EARTH MARCH 2017



Recent bills in the North Dakota legislature


he 2017 North Dakota legislative session is in high Catholic gear. Legislators Action work at a fast pace. By the time you Christoper Dodson read this column, much will have changed. Remember, if you want more up-to-date information follow the conference’s Facebook page and watch the conference’s website. Legislators introduced a little over 800 bills and resolutions this year. This is much lower than most previous sessions. The North Dakota Catholic Conference is tracking about 150 of them, though most are bills that have no impact on concerns for the church. They have to be monitored in case they are amended in a way that would cause concern. This number is also lower than in recent sessions. What is also unusual about this session is that the Catholic conference is opposing more bills than usual. Various explanations for this could exist. We have figuratively hit a wall with pro-life legislation, unless we see changes in the U.S. Supreme Court. Also, with the state’s fiscal crisis, legislators this session have hesitated to propose new programs that might help the poor and the marginalized, something always a priority for the church. It might also have something to do with the type of bills introduced this session. Legislators seem to agree. They are defeating bills at an unusually high rate. Although much is still happening, we can report on some legislation that has been completely or mostly resolved. HB 1319 would have forced the identification of birth mothers who asked for confidentiality when they chose adoption for a child. The North Dakota Catholic Conference along with adoption agencies and pro-life groups opposed the bill. The House defeated it with a 10-80 vote. HB 1386 would have created special legal protection for sexual orientation and gender identity. The Catholic Conference reiterated that the Catholic Church affirms the dignity of every human life and rejects unjust discrimination, but that this bill undermined the common good while threatening religious freedom. The House rejected the bill 22-69, with 3 absent. HB 1383 was an anti-loitering bill the conference concluded could be used against peaceful pro-life witnesses, sidewalk counselors, homeless persons and religious minorities. The conference testified against the bill. The House killed the bill 11-79. SB 2279 would have subjected poor families to drug testing



and treatment as a condition for receiving economic assistance. The Catholic Conference testified against the bill. It was later amended to make it less punitive and only require testing if it was part of a jobs program. Nevertheless, the Senate rejected the bill by a 20-26 vote.   SB 2315 would have allowed the use of deadly force to protect harm to property, if an alleged criminal was fleeing a scene, and even when a person could avoid using deadly force. The North Dakota Catholic Conference testified against the bill. The Senate defeated the bill 4-42. HB 1294 would have allowed alkaline hydrolysis for the disposal of human remains. Alkaline hydrolysis reduces the human body to bone ash and a liquid substance through a chemical reaction. While the bone ashes might be returned to the decedent’s family, the liquid substance that is produced in the process, which can amount to 300 gallons, is usually flushed into the public waste system. The Catholic Conference testified against the bill and the House Human Services Committee removed the objectionable part from the bill. SB 2201 would have dictated that private religious universities allow certain “free speech” in university publications, even it violates the university’s policies and religious tenets. The Catholic Conference testified against the bill and the Senate Committee removed those parts of the bill. HB 1273 mandates that churches allow guns inside the church unless it posts a “No Guns” sign at every entrance. The Catholic Conference testified against the bill. The committee is working on amendments to address the concerns. HB 1427 would have allowed state and local governments to collect information on refugees and halt refugee resettlement. The North Dakota Catholic Conference testified against the bill but offered an amendment to turn the matter into an interim study. The committee accepted the amendment and turned the bill into a study and gave it a Do Pass recommendation.   HB 1163 repeals the Sunday morning closing law. The Catholic Conference testified against this bill. The House initially defeated the bill 44-50. However, the next day the House reversed itself and passed the bill 48-46. The bill now goes to the Senate. Testimony on these and other bills are on the North Dakota Catholic Conference website. There are other important bills the conference is opposing or supporting. Stay informed through the conference’s Facebook page and its website at 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



Transitioning into seminary life

oing into my first semester of seminary this year, there was definitely a lot of unknown factors. The only thing I knew was that I was going to seminary in Detroit at Sacred Heart Major Seminary as a College III seminarian. However, despite all the unknown factors, I thought to myself “I got this. I have two years of college experience as a philosophy major at the University of Mary under my belt. I have a consistent prayer life. I have gone to daily mass five times a week for the last two years. I, for the most part, have my life together right now! I’m ready for whatever seminary life has to throw at me.” I thought my transition into seminary life was going to be an easy one. Was I wrong!

was given a lot more reading homework to do. Rather than being graded on Seminarian written homework Life and tests for the most part, I was being Joseph Littlefield graded on nothing but papers and tests. This was a complete shock to my system in comparison to my previous way of life that I was so used to living at the University of Mary. “I instantly recognized that it was in the midst of all this chaos that God was taking After about a month and a half into my fall semester at seminary, I recognized that it seemed like I was drowning. The thoughts control of my struggles, because I allowed popped into my mind “I don’t ‘got’ this. I’m not in control. My him to do so through my humble cries for life is truly not altogether.” It was during this time when I finally turned to the Lord in prayer and said, “I am weak and I can’t help in prayer.” – Joseph Littlefield do this all on my own.” While attending the University of Mary, I was used to doing This was the first time I saw just how utterly weak and helpless things my way. I was used to having the complete freedom to I am without God’s saving grace in every aspect of my life. From choose how to live my life. I decided when I woke up in the that day forward, I would always humble myself in my daily morning and what time I went to bed. I chose what I wanted struggles by sending up little cries to God in prayer admitting to wear each day. I decided when I wanted to eat, pray, go to my weaknesses and pleading for his help and his grace. And boy, he surely gave it to me! Mass, and do homework. Truly, I had complete control over my life schedule other Recently, I found myself reflecting about how I got through my than the time my classes were at every day. And for the most first semester of seminary. I remembered back to how in the midst part, I felt like I managed all these things pretty well. I felt like I of things, it strangely seemed like I was never accomplishing accomplished the things that I needed to accomplish academically, anything or getting homework done, even though I was. It was in this time that I was truly able to see that my life was always spiritually and socially. Looking back on all these things now, I am able to recognize in mass chaos and I didn’t have much, if any, control over it. that I knew I was accomplishing all these things with the help In this moment, I thought to myself “There is no possible way of God’s grace, but that I wasn’t totally believing and living I could have gotten everything done last semester on my own!” in this fact. I was still depending a lot on myself and on my I instantly recognized that it was in the midst of all this chaos own talents and strengths to get things done in my life. Once that God was taking control of my struggles, because I allowed again, I was thinking “I got this. I am in control. I have my life him to do so through my humble cries for help in prayer. together.” It was only when I started seminary that I realized It’s here, in the chaos of life, where God wants to teach me just how wrong I was. and you a lesson. We may not be in control of our lives, but we In my transition to seminary life, I gave up and surrendered can trust in the one who is. Instead of us saying, “I got this,” let a lot of my freedom of choice. I went from living my life exactly us cry out for help in our weaknesses through humble prayer, how I wanted to having a lot of things decided for me. At and allow God to step in and do his thing and say, “I got this. seminary, they set the curfew. They make the dress code. They I got you covered.” decide when you eat, pray and go to Mass. They decide your Littlefield is a College III student studying at Sacred Heart Major Seminary class schedule and what classes you have to take. They decide in Detroit, Mich. what your house job is. The list goes on and on. Editor’s Note: Seminarian Life is a column written by Diocese of On top of this, I found my classes here at seminary to be a Fargo seminarians. Please continue to pray for them. lot harder and challenging. My class periods are a lot longer. I




How to fund your endowment


nly rich people can create endowments.” Has this thought Stewardship ever crossed Steve Schons your mind? If so, the next few paragraphs may change your m i n d . Yo u ’ l l discover that nearly anyone, with a little planning, can establish an endowment.

Do it now

2. Use Insurance Proceeds. Do you have a life insurance policy you no longer need for protection? You could sign part or all of the policy over to the Catholic Development Foundation for creating an endowment when you are gone. 3. Use a Bequest From Your Will. The most popular way to fund a future endowment is to earmark a portion of one’s estate for this purpose. If you do decide to create an endowment through a bequest, be sure to talk with our planned giving director to make sure your attorney uses our proper legal name and address.

Do it now AND later

You may want to start your endowment now, modestly, and then add to it later through your estate plans. This way you could see the fund in operation and enjoy knowing the good it does. If you’d like more information, please contact the Fargo Diocese Catholic Development Foundation at (701) 356-7900.

Some folks prefer to establish their endowments now so they can enjoy watching them grow and benefit their favorite Catholic ministry. Steve Schons is director of stewardship and development for the Diocese of 1. Use Cash. Finding enough cash to launch an endowment Fargo and president of the Catholic Development Foundation. He can be is always a possibility. Sometimes we receive an unexpected reached at or (701) 356-7926. windfall through an inheritance or the larger-than-expected proceeds from the sale of a valuable asset. It may also be helpful to know that the Catholic Development Foundation allows a donor to fund an endowment over a period of years. Spreading cash gifts over several years A Catholic Camping Experience may also have tax benefits for you, such as the generous for students entering 4th-8th ND tax credit. 2. Use Securities. Do you have publicly traded stock that are grade this fall. highly appreciated in value but low in dividend return? Why not use these to start your endowment? Since the Catholic Development Foundation can sell your stock with out incurring a capital gains tax, it may be the perfect funding method for you. Register for Trinity Youth Camp 2017 3. Use Tangible Property. Almost anything of value – cars, June 14-18 at Red Willow (near Binford) boats, homes, etc. – can be given to the Catholic Development July 12-16 at Pelican Lake (near Bottineau) Foundation. We will sell the item(s) and place the proceeds in your endowment. July 19-23 at Camp of the Cross (near Garrison)

Do it later

While it may not be feasible to start an endowment now, your estate will likely have enough resources at your death. Consider these possibilities: 1. Use the Remainder of a Trust. Donors sometimes establish a trust during their life to provide themselves with ongoing income. When they are gone, whatever remains in the trust is disbursed according to instructions in the trust document. This, of course, can include the funding of an endowment with the Catholic Development Foundation. Trusts are very popular as gift and estate planning tools and may provide you with an excellent way to establish your endowment.



July 26-30 at Pelican Lake (Bottineau) Activities include Good News, crafts, rec, water sports, daily Mass, skits, campfires, new friends, and much more.

Register online today: Registration is due two weeks prior to start of each session!




&285$*(286 JOSHUA 1:9



A papal tutor of heroic virtue

n January 20, Pope Francis authorized the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to publish decrees acknowledging the “heroic virtues” of six men and one woman: two diocesan priests, three priests in religious orders, the foundress of an Italian religious community, and a Polish layman. It does no disservice to the holy memory of the other men and women who now bear the title “Venerable” to suggest that the Polish layman, Jan Tyranowski, had the greatest impact on the Catholic Church throughout the world – and by orders of magnitude. By the end of May 1941, the Gestapo had systematically stripped the parish of St. Stanislaus Kostka in Cracow’s Dębniki neighborhood of its clergy; eleven of the priests who once served there were eventually martyred. One of the remaining Salesian fathers asked a layman in the parish, a tailor who spent hours in contemplative prayer and meditation, to take responsibility for what we would call “youth ministry” with the parish’s young men. Since organized Catholic youth work was banned by the Nazi Occupation, the request was an invitation to risk deportation to Auschwitz – or worse. Jan Tyranowski, the tailor with an eighth-grade education, said “yes,” and began to organize the young men of the parish into what he called “Living Rosary” groups: fifteen teenagers or young adults (for the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary as then constituted), each group led by a more mature young man to whom Tyranowski gave spiritual direction.  One of those first group leaders – “animators,” as Tyranowski called them – was a manual laborer with intense literary interests named Karol Wojtyła. In a memorial essay written after Tyranowski’s death in 1947, Wojtyła remembered his spiritual mentor’s greatest lesson: that “religious truths” were not “interdictions [or] limitations,” but the guideposts by which to form “a life which through mercy becomes [a] participation in the life of God.” How did Jan Tyranowski do this? By demonstrating with his own life that, through contemplative prayer, “one could not only inquire about God…one could live with God.”  To do this with edgy adolescents was no small achievement. To do it under the pressures of a homicidal Nazi Occupation was remarkable. To do it with a future pope and saint meant that Jan Tyranowski’s lessons extended far beyond Dębniki and touched the entire world. It was Jan Tyranowski who introduced the future Pope St. John Paul II to the spiritual theology of the great Carmelite reformers, St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross (on whom Wojtyła would write his first doctoral dissertation). And it was Tyranowski who showed Wojtyła a path beyond the simple Marian piety with which he had grown up, introducing him to the Marian theology of St. Louis Grignon de Montfort – and to Montfort’s idea that all true devotion to Our Lady is Christ-centered and Trinitarian, for Mary points us to her Son, who leads us into the life of the Thrice-Holy God.  It’s not difficult to trace the influence of Jan Tyranowski on the papal teaching of the young man he helped discern a vocation to the priesthood. But when the news came that the mystically-gift-

ed Dębniki tailor at whose tomb I’ve frequently prayed was now “Venerable The Catholic Jan Tyranowski,” it Difference struck me that his tutelage and the George Weigel Tyranowski-Wojtyła relationship remind us of something important about the papacy. Pope St. John Paul II, who had a tender pastor’s heart, was also tough-minded and strong-willed. That could have led to trouble if he were not also a man of deep humility, who knew what he didn’t know and was prepared, as pope, to learn from those who had something to teach him – like Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. That pattern of humility and receptivity in his papal life finds one of its roots in Wojtyła’s providential relationship to Jan Tyranowski, to whom Pope St. John Paul II remained profoundly grateful, sixty years after they first met. The willingness to learn from others is an essential quality in any great leader; it is certainly an essential quality in a pope. For the charism of papal infallibility, which only touches fundamental matters of faith and morals under clearly specified circumstances, is not a charism of omniscience. Anyone tempted to imagine otherwise might ponder the friendship of the Venerable Jan Tyranowski and Pope St. John Paul II. George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. Weigel’s column is distributed by the Denver Catholic, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Denver.

WANT TO ADVERTISE IN NEW EARTH? Contact Kristina Lahr (701) 356-7900

Grand Forks, ND | | 701.746.4337




Events across the diocese Experience “A Taste of Carmel” at the Carmel of Mary Monastery

Single women ages 17-34 are invited to Carmel of Mary Monastery, Wahpeton, for A Taste of Carmel. Experience the joyful and prayerful lifestyle of the sisters while learning about the beauty of Gregorian Chant, praying with scripture and joining the sisters in prayer. Experience “A Taste of Carmel” March 18 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 17765 78th St. SE, Wahpeton. Monastic lunch will be provided. Please contact Mother Madonna if you are interested at (701) 640-0019 or

to join Father Peter Anderl, Pastor and Spiritual Director for the World Apostolate of Fatima, and Father Andrew Jasinski, Chancellor for the Dicoese of Fargo, for an incredible experience of grace Oct. 2-14, 2017 as they travel to Fatima, Rome, Assisi and more to commemorate the wonderful miracles of Fatima that occurred 100 years ago. The registration deadline is March 20. For more information or to register, contact Colleen at (877) 453-7426 or

George Weigel to be keynote speaker at March 18 Day of Prayer and Healing for Vocations Jamboree in Bismarck George Weigel, biographer of St. John women suffering from a past abortion Paul II and Distinguished Senior Fellow Do you know someone who is carrying the grief of a past abortion? There is help and hope available. The pain and sorrow of a past abortion need not endure for a lifetime. A Day of Prayer and Healing will be held March 18 and offers women an opportunity to experience the love and mercy of God and to heal the wound of a past abortion. For location and confidential registration, call Rachelle at (844) 789-4829. For more information go to

Tony Melendez returns to Valley City for Lenten Mission

St. Catherine Church in Valley City welcomes Tony Melendez as a speaker and performer for their Lenten Mission, “Be the new evangelist for our church.” Join us 6:30 p.m., March 19-22 for teaching about being an evangelist mixed with Tony’s talent as a musician. The mission concludes on March 23 with Mass at 6:30 p.m. All are welcome. Invite your friends and family! Free-will offerings accepted for Tony Melendez Ministries.

Grand Forks parish hosts Lenten Renewal featuring writings of Pope Francis

Holy Family Church in Grand Forks will host a Lenten Renewal March 19 and March 26. Each event will focus on documents from Pope Francis. Father Al Bitz will speak on “The Joy of Love” March 19 at 6:30 p.m., and Father James Ermer will speak on “On Care for Our Common Home” March 26 at 6:30 p.m. Both evenings will conclude with fellowship in the social hall. All are welcome. For more information, call (701) 746-1454.

Deadline fast approaching for pilgrimage to Fatima and Italy

Is Mary, through the triumph of her Immaculate Heart, calling you to the pilgrimage of a lifetime to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the “Miracle of the Sun?” The Diocese of Fargo invites you 30


of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, will offer the keynote address and receive the Lumen Vitae Medal at the University of Mary’s 2017 Vocations Jamboree, March 24-25. The Vocations Expo, which will showcase a wide range of religious orders and communities from across the nation, will meet at the University of Mary’s main campus in Bismarck. For more information, including registration, visit www. or contact Ed Konieczka, assistant director of the Saint John Paul II Center for University Ministry, at or (701) 355-8102.

Jamestown to host national speakers Patti and Mark Armstrong

Join St. James Basilica, Jamestown as the Tabernacle Society hosts Patti and Mark Armstrong April 3 at 7 p.m. The Armstrongs are national speakers hailing from Bismarck and will be presenting a talk entitled “Put God in the Driver’s Seat of Your Minivan and You’ll Go Places You Never Dreamed.” Mark and Patti will be sharing their personal story of the ups and downs of raising 10 children, and how they have grown in their faith along the way by trusting in God to be their driver. Patti Maguire Armstrong is a correspondent for Our  Sunday Visitor newspaper and the National Catholic Register and works in marketing for Teresa Tomeo Communications. She is an award-winning author and was the managing editor and co-author of Ascension Press’ bestselling Amazing Grace series. She has appeared on EWTN, Catholic TV, Fox & Friends, and numerous radio programs across the country. For the past 15 years, Mark Armstrong has served as the Communications Liaison for North Dakota Workforce Safety & Insurance, the state’s workers’ compensation agency. Prior

to that, he worked in radio broadcasting in six different states in a career that spanned over 45 years. He also gives talks and writes about Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Shroud of Turin and has traveled to both locations with family members. Everyone is welcome. Refreshments will also be served.

Middle and High School Celebrations unite for Catholic Youth Extravaganza

The Catholic Youth Advisory Council is planning a new joint event for youth in our Diocese, the “Annual Catholic Youth Extravaganza.” Students 6-12 grade are invited to come and celebrate April 29 at St. John Evangelist’s Church in Grafton. The keynote speaker will be Nic Davidson, who some students may have met at a Steubenville Youth Conference. He will have If you or someone you know has suffered from the physical, two workshops in the afternoon, one for High School male emotional, and spiritual effects of a past abortion, there is hope students and one for Middle School male students. Ashley Grunvold, for healing. Rachel’s Vineyard offers a safe, non-judgmental, Director of Evangelization for the Diocese of Fargo, will have and confidential weekend retreat for anyone: women, men, two workshop, one for High School female students and one grandparents, and siblings who struggle with the feelings of for Middle School female students. The afternoon will also include loss that can accompany an abortion experience. The weekend two tracks of workshops specifically for High School students and begins March 31 in the evening and concludes April 2 in the Middle School students. There will also be workshops for adults. afternoon. For more information, or to register, please call Ruth Evening activities at the Armory include a dance and 3-on-3 Ruch at (701) 219-3941 or email her at All calls basketball competitions. We will accept 16 teams for basketball. are confidential. This means four teams from the Middle School female attendees, four teams from the Middle School male attendees, four teams from the High School female attendees and four teams from High School male attendees. The teams will be accepted on a first registered, first served basis. Are you looking for a deeper relationship with God? The Diocese of Fargo Life in The fee for this event is $35/student and $15/chaperone. We must the Spirit team invites you to join us for have one chaperone for every eight students registered. A mailing our annual Life in the Spirit weekend will go out to all churches with further registration information no April 7-9. The event will be at St. Philip later than March 15. Neri Church in Napoleon. This seminar For more details, contact Kathy in the Youth and Young Adult serves as an introduction or renewal to Ministry office at (701) 356-7902 or a life in the power of the Holy Spirit, leading to a new and deeper relationship with the Lord. The weekend includes Mass, praise and worship, talks and A special collection will be gathered testimonies, discussion, Eucharistic SUPPORT on Good Friday services, Apr. 14, for Adoration, healing of memories, prayer and more. The cost of IN THE HOLY LAND the Holy Land. The Collection for the the weekend is a free will offering. All meals are provided at ON Holy Land, in the words of Paul VI, the church. Host homes will be provided on a first come, first GOOD FRIDAY is “not only for the Holy Places but serve basis. To register please email fargolifeinthespirit@gmail. above all for those pastoral, charitable, com or call (701) 208-1124. educational, and social works which the Church supports in the Holy Land for the welfare of their Christian brethren and of the local communities.” Bishop Folda will lead the faithful in Good Friday Stations of the Cross on April 14 at the Fargo abortion facility, 512 1st Ave. N, at 10 a.m. Please join us as we commemorate our Lord’s Passion and death, pray for the conversion of those who promote Get Connected abortion and pray for God’s healing and forgiveness to be received by all persons wounded by the abortion experience. Find more stories and information about the diocese at: For more information, contact Rachelle at (701) 356-7910.

Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat set for March 31 – April 2

An experience awaits you at Life in the Spirit retreat

Special collection to be gathered at Good Friday services for the Holy Land


Good Friday Stations of the Cross at Fargo abortion facility April 14


A Pontifical Collection

COMMISSARIES OF THE HOLY LAND IN THE UNITED STATES: 1400 Quincy Street NE, Washington, DC 20017 3140 Meramec Street, St. Louis, MO 63118 | PO Box 69, San Miguel, CA 93451 •




A Glimpse of the Past - March

LIFE’S MILESTONES Ken and Carroll Berntson, parishioners of Holy Spirit Church in Fargo, will be celebrating their 50th anniversary on April 1. Ken and Carroll were married at St. Catherine’s Church in Valley City by Monsignor James Dawson. They’ve lived in Buffalo, Lisbon and moved to Fargo in 1999. They have three children and five grandchildren. Dennis Kitsch celebrated his 90th birthday March 7. Dennis farmed by Garske and Sullivan Township all his life until he retired to Devils Lake where he makes his home by the lake. He has been a parishioner of Sts. Peter and Paul Church in rural Webster; Assumption Church, Starkweather and now St. Joseph Church, Devils Lake. John Thomas (Jack) Traynor celebrated his 90th birthday Nov. 19. He is a parishioner at St. Joseph’s in Devils Lake. He is pictured here with his wife of 62 years, Jane, and Father Wilhelm, pastor of St. Joseph’s parish.

Share Life’s Milestones As a way to celebrate life and love, we encourage parishioners in the Diocese of Fargo to send photos of golden anniversaries and those 60 or more years, or birthdays of 80 or more years to: New Earth, Diocese of Fargo, 5201 Bishops Blvd. S., Suite A, Fargo, ND 58104-7605 or



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

50 Years Ago....1967

A diocesan altar boy and parents rally was held Monday, March 27 in Fargo at St. Mary’s Cathedral and grade school. The rally started at 1:00 p.m. with a procession from St. Mary’s Cathedral. Altar boys, parents and priests participated. The Shanley High School band played. Bishop Dworschak gave a special greeting. Fr. Robert Carson, St. Norbert’s Abbey, DePere, Wisconsin, preached the sermon. A lunch was served and a tour of Cardinal Muench Seminary was scheduled.

20 Years Ago....1997

“St. Michael the Archangel” left a bunch of apples not only for the teachers, but for the students at St. John’s School, Wahpeton. So principal Willie Schauer welcomed parishioners to an Open House to see what Michael had done. “St. Michael” is Schauer’s nickname for –well, who knows? The person is anonymous. The donor’s generosity has given the school nearly $50,000 worth of new computers, software and complementary equipment. There are now 25 Power Macintosh Computers at St. John’s – enough to equip the computer lab, plus one for every classroom and the principal’s office.

10 Years ago....2007

As a Lenten project, students of Sullivan Middle School, Fargo, raised $8,000 for Feeding Children International – Kids Against Hunger. Nearly 100 eighth-grade students walked approximately 10 miles, from school to St. Mary’s Cathedral, in a March 30 Lenten Pilgrimage. They stopped at each of the Catholic Churches along the way to pray the rosary for those in need. The students carried a seven-foot cross, which symbolizes not only the cross of Christ, but also the cross of hunger. Students in the sixth and seventh grades also raised an additional $2,000 through their own fund-raising project.

building a culture of

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Application deadline is July 10.

Inquire today at or 701-355-8030. NEW EARTH MARCH 2017



At audience, pope leads prayers for migrants, trafficking victims By Cindy Wooden | Catholic News Service


arking the feast of St. Josephine Bakhita, a former He led the audience in praying the Lord’s Prayer “for our slave, Pope Francis urged Christians to help victims Rohingya brothers and sisters.” of human trafficking and migrants, especially the In a report released Feb. 3, the U.N. High Commissioner for Rohingya people being chased from Myanmar. Human Rights said since October, there had been escalating For the Catholic Church, St. Bakhita’s feast day, Feb. 8, is a violence against the Rohingya in Myanmar. The report cited day of prayer for victims of trafficking. eyewitness reports of mass gang-rape, killings - including of Pope Francis asked government officials around the world babies and young children - beatings, disappearances and other to “decisively combat this plague” of human trafficking, paying serious human rights violations by the country’s security forces. particular attention to trafficking in children. “Every effort must An estimated 66,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since October, the report said. be made to eradicate this shameful and intolerable crime.” Describing St. Bakhita as a “young woman who was enslaved The recent violence, the U.N. said, “follows a long-standing in Africa, exploited, humiliated,” Pope Francis said she never pattern of violations and abuses; systematic and systemic discrimination; and policies of exclusion and marginalization gave up hope and, finally, she was able to migrate to Europe. Holding up a booklet with a photograph of the Sudanese against the Rohingya that have been in place for decades in saint, who died in Italy in 1947, the pope continued telling her northern Rakhine state.” story. In Europe, he said, “she heard the call of the Lord and In his main audience talk, Pope Francis continued to discuss the characteristics of Christian hope, which should be both tender became a nun,” joining the Canossian Daughters of Charity. and strong enough to support those who suffer and despair. “Let us pray to St. Josephine Bakhita for all migrants and refugees who are exploited and suffer so much,” the pope said. The Gospel does not call Christians to pity the suffering, but “And speaking of migrants who are exploited and chased to have compassion, which means suffering with them, listening away, I want to pray with you today in a special way for our to them, encouraging them and offering a helping hand, the Rohingya brothers and sisters,” the pope continued. “These pope said. people, thrown out of Myanmar, move from one place to another The Gospel calls Christians “not to build walls, but bridges, not to repay evil with evil, but to defeat evil with goodness because no one wants them.” (and) offense with forgiveness, to live in peace with all,” he Pope Francis told the estimated 7,000 people at his audience said. “This is the church. And this is what Christian hope that the Rohingya, who are Muslim, “are good people. They accomplishes when it takes on the strong and, at the same time, are our brothers and sisters. They have been suffering for years. tender features of love.” They have been tortured, killed, just because they want to keep their traditions and their Muslim faith.”

Pope Francis holds a booklet with an image of Sudanese St. Josephine Margaret Bakhita during his general audience in Paul VI hall at the Vatican Feb. 8. Marking the feast of St. Bakhita, a former slave, the pope urged Christians to help victims of trafficking and migrants. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) 34 NEW EARTH MARCH 2017

Sidewalk Stories By Roxane B. Salonen


Courage can involve words, but not always

ast month, on the Feast Day of Sts. Cyril and Mythodius, Pope Francis said at his daily Mass homily that we must preach the gospel with courage, prayer and humility. The Word of God, he said, cannot be given as a proposal or suggestion. Rather, it must be a proclamation. Only when it is proclaimed “with this frankness, with this courage, is (it) capable of forming the people of God.” The word “courage” jumped out at me, because it had come upon my horizon in a bold way just a few days before the pope’s Feb. 14 homily. An old friend with whom I’ve kept in touch through Christmas letters but little else had reached out to me after years of quiet. To my surprise, she said she’d been keeping up with my writings, and they’d given her courage, “especially in these divisive times.” “You have been my anchor, my dear, sweet, old friend,” she said. “You are so brave to embrace your views and not only speak about them but live them every day. I am so proud of you and so humbled by your courage!” We arranged to talk by phone a couple days later, and in that conversation, she updated me on what she’s been experiencing in her corner of the world, the state of Washington, in recent months. My friend is not Catholic, and I honestly had no idea where she was at spiritually. We met many years ago, while living in the Pacific Northwest, through a music group. We both loved to sing. She also introduced me to motherhood, and was one of the first to show me the ropes as we welcomed our first child into the world. But we had not talked in a long time, so learning she was struggling against the culture like many of us, and not swimming with it, brought a surge of joy to my heart. It was especially sweet since the week prior, another dear, longtime friend had chosen to part ways due to our political differences. I saw my Washington friend’s re-emergence as God’s consolation to the sting of that loss. “I have to be honest,” my Washington friend admitted, “when I first read about how you were praying at the abortion facility, I was surprised. I can only imagine how hard that might be. But more and more, I’ve seen how brave it is. And I’ve needed

that example in my own life. It has made me want to be braver, too. Please pray for me.” Through the course of our conversations, I shared with her how long it had taken me to get to the sidewalk – years really. It wasn’t something I jumped at right away. I dreaded it at first, and still do almost every Wednesday. But the more time I have spent there, the more important the mission has become. Personally, as a writer, I have come to see how in these days of what I’ll call the War on Words, it’s clear that no matter how polished my essays, they’re limited in light of the clanging culture. More than any book I might write, or column I might conceive, I’m finding my living witness, showing the face of Christ in person, may have the most effect of all. As a writer, that’s a humbling revelation, and yet also inspiring. I can talk until I’m blue in the face, but until I show it, the world may never really notice. If you think about it, Jesus worked this way, too. Sure, he said some incredibly poignant things. But when I think of Jesus’ impact, so much of it really comes in what he did in his 33 years of life. The same could be said of his rather quiet parents. Actions then, as now, speak even louder than his words, and we, as his followers, can learn from this. Of course, his final act, in which few words came, is the most powerful statement of all. In a world in which my words undoubtedly will be drowned out by other, louder ones – or at the very least, severely misunderstood – what do I have left? More and more, my prayers and presence on the sidewalk have seemed more impactful than anything I might utter. I hope you will consider joining me, on the sidewalk or through fervent prayer. It’s Lent, and as good a time as any to start. My email is below for anyone interested in giving it a try. Roxane B. Salonen, a wife and mother of five, is a local writer, as well as a speaker and radio host for Real Presence Radio. Roxane also writes weekly for The Forum newspaper and monthly for She serves in music ministry as a cantor at Sts. Anne and Joachim parish in Fargo. Reach her at NEW EARTH MARCH 2017




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

We’ve seen the portrayal of the agony beneath the cross depicted at most Catholic cemeteries, but this particular scene is unique, as it is in bronze. Where in the Diocese are we? The answer will be revealed in the April New Earth.

Where in the diocese are we? 36


Last month’s photo was of the grotto dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima beside St. Philip’s Catholic Church in Hankinson.

New Earth March 2017  

The Official Magazine for the Catholic Diocese of Fargo, ND

New Earth March 2017  

The Official Magazine for the Catholic Diocese of Fargo, ND