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New March 2016 | Vol. 37 | No. 3

Earth

The Magazine of the Catholic Diocese of Fargo

carries special

significance during Lent PLUS

From Bishop Folda: Holy Week, Easter, and Divine Mercy

Answering the call to Christ

Jubilee of Mercy: Prison ministries continue in Jamestown, begin in Devils Lake NEW EARTH MARCH 2016

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NEW

TABLE OF CONTENTS

EARTH

March 2016 Vol. 37 | No. 3

ON THE COVER 14 Jubilee of Mercy carries special significance during Lent

In his Ash Wednesday homily, Pope Francis said that Lent is the perfect time to let go of selfish and indifferent attitudes, returning to God with the help of prayer, penance and acts of charity. “Lent is a beneficial time of pruning from falsity, from worldliness, from indifference: to not think that everything is ok if I am ok; to understand that what counts is not approval, the pursuit of success or consensus, but purity of heart and life,” the Pope said Feb. 10.

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FROM BISHOP FOLDA

FOCUS ON FAITH

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Pope Francis’ March prayer intentions

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Ask a priest: I am really confused about forgiveness. I know we are supposed to forgive everyone, but does that mean I have to stay in a relationship with them?

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Church teaching on marriage, annulments

AROUND THE DIOCESE

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Catechumens, candidates express desire for full communion with Catholic Church

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Missionary of Mercy brings Pope Francis’ message to Fargo

FAITH AND CULTURE

Holy Week, Easter, and Divine Mercy

11 Tattered Pages: A review of Catholic books and literature

A guided tour of the faith: A review of Edward Sri’s ‘Love Unveiled: The Catholic Faith Explained’

13 What does an ‘Ice Mass’ look like?

NEXT GEN CATHOLICS

20 Shanley students witness religious fervor at St. Ann’s School, Belcourt 22 Cheese fondues, chocolate fountains and a message of mercy

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OUR CATHOLIC LIFE

23 Stories of Faith

The faith story this month tells the story of how the cold weather can prevent us from being agents of mercy.

24 Catholic Action

Christopher Dodson looks at surrogacy laws in California and asks if the same laws could come to North Dakota.

25 Little Sisters of the Poors

Guest columnist, Sister Constance Veit I.s.p. explains the HHS Contraceptive Mandate, Supreme Court Case and why they can’t “just sign the form.”

26 Stewardship

In this month’s column, Steve Schons discusses gift annuities.

27 Seminarian Life

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Deacon Robert Keller describes what the last year of seminary is like before being ordained a priest.


ON THE COVER: Pope Francis embraces a female prisoner as he visits Cereso prison in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Feb. 17. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

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.

Publisher

Most Rev. John T. Folda Bishop of Fargo

Interim Editor Kristina Lahr

Designer

Stephanie Drietz - Drietz Designs

Subscriptions

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

Postmaster

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

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WHAT’S HAPPENING

28 Events across the diocese 28 Life’s milestones 29 A glimpse of the past SPECIAL SECTION: JUBILEE OF MERCY 31 Prison ministries continue in Jamestown, begin in Devils Lake

Contact Information

Use the following contact information to contact the New Earth staff: news@fargodiocese.org (701) 356-7900 Deadline to submit articles, story ideas, advertisements and announcements for the April issue is March 23, 2016. All submissions are subject to editing and placement. New Earth is published by the Catholic Diocese of Fargo, a nonprofit North Dakota corporation, 5201 Bishops Blvd. S, Suite A Fargo, ND 58104. (701) 356-7900. Periodical Postage Paid at Fargo, ND and at additional mailing offices. Member of the Catholic Press Association

NEW EARTH MARCH 2016

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FROM BISHOP FOLDA

Holy Week, Easter, and Divine Mercy

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n his declaration of the Jubilee of Mercy, Pope Francis mentions St. Faustina Kowalska, the Polish nun who received the Divine Mercy revelations in the 1930s. Pope Francis says: “Our prayer also extends to the saints and blessed ones who made divine mercy their mission in life. I think especially of the great apostle of mercy, St. Faustina Kowalska. May she, who was called to enter the depths of divine mercy, intercede for us and obtain for us the grace of living and walking always according to the mercy of God and with an unwavering trust in his love.” We are now well into the season of Lent and standing on the threshold of Holy Week. What better time could there be to reflect on the Divine Mercy of God? As we enter into the mysteries of Holy Week and Easter, it seems opportune to see them all in the light of Divine Mercy. It was mercy that moved Jesus to enter the holy city of Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. It was mercy that moved him to give us his own body and blood in the Eucharist at the Last Supper. It was mercy that led Jesus to institute the priesthood, so that his grace and mercy might be offered to the faithful throughout the centuries. It was mercy that impelled Jesus to take up the cross and accept his suffering and death, all out of love for us. In the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday, we will see that same Divine Mercy, glorious and eternal, given to all people of all times. Jesus now lives eternally, and his mercy is greater than any sin. You could even say that the Feast of Divine Mercy is a gift of Easter, which reveals and expresses to us the depth of God’s mercy. Mercy is a gratuitous gift that opens our hearts to the hope of being loved forever despite our sinfulness. In the Risen Jesus, we see mercy that overcomes sin and death, a mercy that lives forever. The heart of Christ is mercy itself, and in the Divine Mercy image of Christ described by St. Faustina, we see the streams

of mercy flowing from his heart, symbolizing the blood and water that flowed from the wounded heart of Jesus. Christian spirituality also tells us that the blood and water represent the waters of baptism that wash away our sins and the blood of Christ that redeems us. This year as we approach Divine Mercy Sunday, one week after Easter, I invite you to meditate on Jesus, who became like us to reveal to us the merciful face of the Father, a Father who loves each of us, and in whose mercy no sin is too great to be forgiven. He is “merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Ex 34:6). At the base of the Divine Mercy image, we see the words, “Jesus I trust in you.” This holy year should help us all to trust in God’s mercy, for he desires nothing more than to pour it upon us in abundance. I also invite you to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, a simple but powerful prayer of trust in God’s mercy toward his people. “For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.” This repeated refrain reminds us of the mercy of God manifested in the passion of Jesus. But in the prayers of the Chaplet, we also remember that Jesus is alive, he is immortal, and his mercy endures forever. Perhaps this Jubilee of Mercy will be an occasion to make the Chaplet of Divine Mercy a part of our daily prayer. It only requires a few minutes, but it can open our minds and hearts to the very life of God, which is mercy itself. And, as we learn to trust in God’s mercy, we also learn to bestow mercy on others: the poor, the weak, the distressed and even our enemies. The Divine Mercy devotion is relatively new in the life of the Church. But it is important to remember that the message of Divine Mercy, revealed to St. Faustina and to our present generation, is not new. It is a powerful reminder of what God is and has been from the very beginning. God has always been love and mercy, and he manifests this love throughout the history of salvation. But that loving mercy is most fully revealed in the person of Jesus. In Jesus himself, conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, we see the mercy of God made visible. In Jesus, who died on the cross for our sins and rose again to live forever, we see the mercy that atones for our sins “and those of the whole world.” Pope Francis, echoing Pope St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, tells us, “The name of God is mercy.” The mercy of God is never more evident than in the great mysteries of our redemption that we will celebrate in a few days. May we all place our trust in him, who is Divine Mercy itself.

“Mercy is a gratuitous gift that opens our hearts to the hope of being loved forever despite our sinfulness. In the Risen Jesus, we see mercy that overcomes sin and death, a mercy that lives forever.”– Bishop John Folda, Diocese of Fargo 4

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PRAYER INTENTIONS OF POPE FRANCIS - MARCH Universal intention: Families Evangelization intention: Persecuted Christians. in Difficulty. That families in need may receive the necessary support and that children may grow up in healthy and peaceful environments.

That those Christians who, on account of their faith, are discriminated against or are being persecuted, may remain strong and faithful to the Gospel, thanks to the incessant prayer of the Church.

Reflection: In what ways do I,

of seemingly hopeless situations?

Reflection: What helps me to pray with faith in the midst

my parish, or community provide support for families in need?

Scripture: Matthew 13: 54-58. Jesus did not work many mighty deeds there because of their lack of faith.

Scripture: Ephesians 4: 11-16. Living the truth in love we Provided by Apostleship of Prayer, www.apostleshipofprayer.org. should grow into Christ in every way.

BISHOP FOLDA’S CALENDAR Mar. 11

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6 p.m.

Operation Andrew Dinner, Napoleon

Mar. 12

|

10 a.m.

Confirmation/First Eucharist, St. Philip Neri, Napoleon

5 p.m. Mass at St. Agatha’s, Hope

Mar. 13

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8:30 a.m.

Mass at St. Bernard’s, Oriska

11:00 a.m. Mass at Sacred Heart, Sanborn

5:30 p.m. Operation Andrew Dinner, Bishop Folda’s residence, Fargo

Mar. 15

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9 a.m.

Mass at Cass County Jail, Fargo

Mar. 18

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12 p.m.

Diocesan Staff Retreat, Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo

Mar. 19

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10 a.m.

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

Mar. 20

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10 a.m.

Palm Sunday Mass, Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo

Mar. 22

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11 a.m.

Chrism Mass, Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo

Mar. 24

|

7 p.m.

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

Mar. 25

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10 a.m.

Stations of the Cross in front of Red River Women’s Clinic, Fargo

3 p.m. Celebration of the Passion of the Lord, Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo

Mar. 26

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8:30 p.m.

Easter Vigil, Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo

Mar. 27

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10 a.m.

Mass of the Resurrection of the Lord, Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo

Mar. 31

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10 a.m.

Joint Catholic/Lutheran clergy gathering on Laudato Si, Sts. Anne and Joachim, Fargo

7 p.m. Ecumenical presentation on Ecology open to the public, Sts. Anne and Joachim, Fargo

Apr. 1

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5 p.m.

Confirmation/First Eucharist, St. Therese the Little Flower, Rugby

Apr. 2

|

10 a.m.

Confirmation/First Eucharist, St. Ann, Belcourt

5 p.m. Confirmation/First Eucharist, St. Joachim, Rolla

Apr. 3

|

1 p.m.

Confirmation/First Eucharist, St. Francis Xavier, Anamoose

Apr. 3-5 Spring Education Days, Carrington

Apr. 8

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6 p.m.

Confirmation/First Eucharist, St. Mary, Park River

Apr. 9

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10 a.m.

Confirmation/First Eucharist, St. Aphonsus, Langdon

5 p.m. Confirmation/First Eucharist, Holy Family, Grand Forks

Apr. 10

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1 p.m.

Confirmation/First Eucharist, St. Michael, Grand Forks

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FOCUS ON FAITH

I am really confused about forgiveness. I know we are supposed to forgive everyone, but does that mean I have to stay in a relationship with them?

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e know forgiveness is good, even necessary, but when the need arises Ask a Priest suddenly it might not Father Gregory look so sweet. We’ve Haman even been celebrating a Jubilee Year of Mercy for three months already, but do we see our hearts pouring out the love much better? The comedian, Jim Gaffigan, compared day-to-day life with his wife to Pope John Paul II’s visit to forgive his would-be assassin, Mehmet Ali Ağca, in 1983.

“I don’t want to misrepresent [my wife]. She’s very forgiving, it’s just the forgetting part… We all aspire to be forgiving. Pope John Paul II forgave the guy who tried to assassinate him! I mean granted he was the pope… so he had to forgive him. But then he left. It’s not like then he lived with the guy. If the pope lived with the guy we would have seen how long the forgiveness would have lasted.”

forgiveness were insincere? I wouldn’t say so. The  Catechism  states, God’s “outpouring of mercy cannot penetrate our hearts as long as we have not forgiven those who have trespassed against us… We cannot love the God we can’t see if we do not love the brother or sister we do see” (par. 2840). The Amish walked according to their faith. They did as God commands us. Yet, their hearts still needed time to heal. Forgiving isn’t necessarily forgetting. To forgive is to choose that I will not lock a person in the prison of my own heart. I will not become cold to them for the things they have done, even if they still do them. So what are we supposed to do? Jesus presents a call and a challenge. Even if we can let go of the anger, there may still linger just beneath it something fragile and wounded. We still have to deal with that, which sometimes requires spiritual and psychological help.  Which brings us to our current question: Does forgiveness – releasing someone from the debt they might justly owe us – require us to repair the relationship? Jesus prayed during the Last Supper that “[my followers] may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, may they also be one in us” (John 17:20-21). Christ desires unity. It’s one of his final requests. Still, whenever we work with other people there is much we cannot control. We cannot make someone do what we want, even if that’s best for them. Their own hearts might still see the anger, or be in denial, and no one can make them let it go. Still, forgiveness recognizes the inner goodness that lies within everyone, so we should prefer reconciling over not reconciling. No, not everyone will want to rebuild the relationship. There’s little that can be done about that. Jesus commanded us to forgive, even though reconciliation might be out of the picture. Release the debt. Pray on their behalf, and you will have done what you can. Perhaps in a perfect world everyone would generously set their differences aside to restore broken relationships. That’s not the world we live in. It is, however, the heaven we look forward to. In heaven all of those old grievances will be forgiven and reconciled. We will have to face not only God, but each other, and embrace each other in renewed love. No one will be in heaven who is not willing to do that, and now is our chance to prepare. The more we practice it now, the sooner we will see heaven when we depart this life.

His words are funny because they’re true. In the Our Father, we ask, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Yet, living with the daily imperfections of another person can make us feel annoyed and angry; even superior. But then the Our Father reminds us that a Christian ought not respond that way. Then there are other times when forgiveness is more difficult because the offense was particularly wounding. Forgiveness presupposes that a person has been hurt, or at least wronged. A host of emotions and memories can lie beneath the surface. We can refuse to think about them or even repress them. Sometimes the initial heat of anger dulls to a cool but constant loathing. Still, we hear the familiar but convicting words of St. Paul, “Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive” (Col 3:13). And really, what is forgiveness? When ten daughters of the Amish community in Nickel Mines, Pa. were shot at school by the local milk delivery man in October 2006, the community held the nation’s attention when they responded with acts of forgiveness and reconciliation toward the shooter’s family. Many attended the shooter’s funeral (he had shot himself) and personally greeted his widow at the burial. The Amish set up a fund to Father Greg Haman serves as parochial vicar at St. Michael’s Catholic provide for the man’s family. Still, despite these Christ-like Church in Grand Forks. He can be reached at greg.haman@fargodiocese.org. gestures of reconciliation, coping with the loss was more difficult on the inside. “You can forgive. That doesn’t change the fact Editor’s Note: If you have a question about the Catholic faith that there’s an empty place at the table where these families lost and would like to submit a question for consideration in a future children,” said a member of the community. column, please send to news@fargodiocese.org with “Ask a Priest” Several Amish sought professional counseling after the in the subject line or mail to New Earth, 5201 Bishops Blvd. S, shooting, and struggled with their own memories. Did these Suite A, Fargo, ND 58104, Attn: Ask a Priest. lingering psychological difficulties mean their initial acts of 6

NEW EARTH MARCH 2016


FOCUS ON FAITH

Church teaching on marriage, annulments

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By Tim Olson

here is a lot of confusion Fruitful today on what marriage is Fruitfulness is the commitment to and how it can end. Marriage be open to conceiving and bearing is no mere human creation, “but children and seeing to their fitting rather is written in the very nature formation into virtuous adults. of man and woman as they come Openness to children doesn’t mean from the hand of the Creator” (CCC that an infertile couple is unable 1603). The Second Vatican Council to have a true marriage. Rather, taught in Gaudium et Spes that, “The openness to children means that you intimate community of life and love refuse to block the body’s life-giving which constitutes the married state processes. It also doesn’t mean that has been established by the Creator you have to have as many children and endowed by him with its own as possible. To learn more, visit proper laws…God himself is the www.fargodiocese.org/NFP. author of marriage.” Free The Catholic Church takes Since marriage is a covenant that seriously the numerous invocations the bride and groom establish with in scripture regarding divorce: “For each other, they must be free to do I hate divorce says the Lord…” (Mal so. On the most basic level, you 2:16). Jesus taught, “I tell you that must not be forced into the marriage through external factors anyone who divorces his wife…and marries another commits (the “shotgun marriage”). A person must also be free from adultery” (Mt 19:9). For this reason, the Catholic Church does irresistible internal forces, such as an overwhelming fear of being not recognize divorce as dissolving the moral bond of marriage, alone, or the feeling you “have” to get married if there is an nor does she permit those who have merely divorced to remarry, unexpected pregnancy. Other things impact a person’s freedom lest she encourage and participate in sin. to marry such as certain physical conditions, psychological states, So then, how can the Church allow annulments? In order to illnesses or defects in the ability to discern the relevant factors in understand, we must first have a firm grasp of what marriage a commitment as important as marriage. A person’s freedom to is. In the Code of Canon Law, the Church reduced 2,000 years of marry can be impeded or blocked by their state in life, too. For theology into one dense formula: example, I am already married, so I cannot get married while “The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish my wife is alive. A priest, religious brother, or nun cannot marry between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature because of their promises of celibacy or chastity. ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education So that brings us back to the beginning. How can the Church of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised allow annulments? You see, not all relationships which at first by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament” (c. 1055). blush appear to be marriages are in fact so. A wedding which Although this definition is accurate, it is also a little tough lacked any of the “Four Fs” from the beginning is referred to to grasp. I summarize the Church’s teaching on what marriage as an “invalid marriage.” An invalid marriage might look a lot is by saying it must have the “Four Fs:” Full, Faithful, Fruitful like a real marriage, but since something critical is missing, it isn’t. and Free. Here’s an example: if at the wedding the couple decided that they are going to have affairs with other people, they have Full The bride and groom each commit to hand over all of entered into something that looks like a marriage but isn’t. It themselves for the good of their spouse: their dreams, aspirations, lacks the essential characteristic of faithfulness. If one lacks finances, efforts, attention, love, care, joys and struggles… freedom, or has an intention against fullness, faithfulness or everything. This is what the Church means by “a partnership fruitfulness, the couple has entered into something, but that something is not a marriage. of the whole of life.” Annulments or more properly Decrees of Nullity are the Faithful result of a legal process which examines the time of the wedding Marriage is to be shared by one man and one woman. Strictly to see if any of the “Four Fs” are missing. If, and only if, it can speaking this means that you give over your sexuality to your be proven that one of these characteristics was absent, can a spouse and no one else. Even things like pornography can marriage be declared null and freedom to marry be regained. undermine this commitment to faithfulness. If you have questions about marriage nullity, please visit us at www.fargodiocese.org/tribunal. NEW EARTH MARCH 2016

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Bishop John Folda welcomes a catechumen during the Rite of Election ceremony Feb. 14 at the Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo. (Kristina Lahr/New Earth)

Answering the call of Christ

Catechumens, candidates express desire for full communion with Catholic Church By Kristina Lahr

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ach year during the Easter Vigil, thousands of individuals enter into the Catholic Church in the United States. This year 18 catechumens, individuals who are seeking baptism, and over 100 candidates, individuals who have been baptized in another Christian church, publicly expressed their desire to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church at the Cathedral of St. Mary on Feb. 14 during the Rite of Election. These individuals are going through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) which prepares them to receive the sacraments at Easter. At the Rite of Election, each catechumen and candidate stood with his or her sponsor to be recognized by Bishop John Folda. The sponsors testified before the bishop that the individuals they sponsor are ready to be initiated into the Church. Each catechumen accepted the invitation to the Catholic Church by entering his or her name in the Book of Elect. In his homily, Bishop Folda reflected on the story of Zacchaeus and the yearning he had to see Jesus. “Because he was a tax collector, it was assumed that Zacchaeus was a sinful man,” Bishop Folda said. “And that might have been true, but Zacchaeus was also a man who was searching. He apparently sensed that he wanted more in his life, more than what he could attain by himself, more than what the world could give him. “Whatever his past might have been like, Jesus looked at Zacchaeus with love, and entered his house. Perhaps we should say instead that Jesus entered his life, and Zacchaeus opened the 8

NEW EARTH MARCH 2016

doors wide. Jesus made the first move, and Zacchaeus welcomed him in.… It was a moment of conversion, a moment of grace.” The Rite of Election also marks the beginning of a period of Purification and Enlightenment. It is a time of preparation marked by prayer, study and spiritual preparation to receive the sacraments at Easter. It is also a time for the laity to pray specifically for the people discerning becoming Catholic and to witness to the Christian life.

A catechumen signs the Book of the Elect. Each catechumen will receive the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and Eucharist during the Easter Vigil Mass. (Kristina Lahr/New Earth)


AROUND THE DIOCESE

Missionary of Mercy brings Pope Francis’ message to Fargo

By Grant M. Dahl

Monsignor Thomas J. Richter offers a message of mercy at St. Mary’s Cathedral during its parish mission Feb. 21-23. After the Jubilee of Mercy, Monsignor Richter will return to his assignment as rector of Holy Spirit Cathedral, Bismarck. (Grant M. Dahl)

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onsignor Thomas J. Richter may not fit the romantic picture of a missionary seen in pictures of the missionaries of old, but he is one of over 1,000 priests worldwide who were entrusted by Pope Francis to bring the message of the mercy to the world during the Year of Mercy, especially during the season of Lent. “Pope Francis addressed us and his remarks were all focused on being a good confessor, a fatherly confessor. They were all focused on that, not on preaching but on being a good confessor. Then we concelebrated Ash Wednesday Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica and he commissioned us there.” Monsignor Richter said. On Sunday evening, Feb. 21, Monsignor Richter made his first stop on his missionary of mercy journey by beginning a three-day parish mission at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fargo. His talk opening the mission dwelt on the mercy of God and how it relates to us, drawing from Pope John Paul II’s 1980 encyclical Dives in Misericordia (On the Mercy of God): “The Bible, Tradition and the whole faith life of the people of God provide unique proof that mercy is the greatest of the attributes and perfections of God.” Monsignor Richter concluded from Pope John Paul’s words, “To imitate God most perfectly is to be merciful and to experience the perfection of God is to experience his mercy.” Monsignor Richter spoke of how God shows mankind mercy not only in the forgiveness of sins but in addressing mankind’s needs and miseries. “If you really want the mercy of God, you get it to the degree you are capable of opening your misery to him,” Monsignor Richter said. He added that, in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, the Greek verb splagchnizomai emphasized the action of when Jesus’ heart was being filled with the Mercy of God and how, though it is most commonly translated as meaning

“His heart was moved with pity,” translated literally it means that Jesus was “sick to his stomach with pity for them.” “That is what mercy is like in the Heart of Jesus,” Monsignor Richter said. “Your relationship with God will be revolutionized if you accept that in faith, that that is how God beholds you in your misery. He is sick to his stomach with compassion. That will revolutionize the way you pray.” Monsignor Richter explained that another trait of God’s mercy is the fatherly love which speaks of faithfulness. God became man in order to hold up man’s end of the covenant relationship he established with them. “I’m taking responsibility for my unfaithful partner and I’m going to step into their shoes and be faithful as they are supposed to be faithful to me,” Monsignor Richter said. He also explained how the other part of God’s love was rooted in a motherly love, which needs to be heartfelt in order to have a positive effect on others. Monsignor Richter finished the evening by hearing confessions which is to be the main focus of a Missionary of Mercy. “A Missionary of Mercy,” Richter said, “is a person delegated by the pope himself during this Year of Mercy, and only during it, to be persuasive preachers of mercy and to be living signs of the Father’s eager welcome for anyone who is seeking the pardon of God.” Monsignor Richter is from the Bismarck area, where he grew up and was ordained a priest in 1996. Before his appointment as one of the Missionaries of Mercy, he served as the rector of Holy Spirit Cathedral in Bismarck, a position he will return to full-time once his duties as a Missionary of Mercy are finished. He will be carrying the message of mercy in the confessional as well as the pulpit to Wisconsin, South Dakota and a few other places in the weeks ahead. NEW EARTH MARCH 2016

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AROUND THE DIOCESE

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NEW EARTH MARCH 2016

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FAITH AND CULTURE

A guided tour of the faith

A review of Edward Sri’s ‘Love Unveiled: The Catholic Faith Explained’ By Robert Jared Staudt

TATTERED PAGES

“Catholicism, Sri tells us, ‘is ultimately the way of love: a most profound love that the world itself does not offer. But it’s the love for which we are made, a love that corresponds to our heart’s deepest desires’.” – Robert Jared Staudt

A review of Catholic books and literature

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know firsthand that the pilgrim sites in Rome are an education The image of the vines spreading from the tree of life, the in themselves. You can literally see the layers of history cross, provides a fitting image for the main theme of the book: as the Church grew up from the foundations of classical love. Catholicism, Sri tells us, “is ultimately the way of love: a civilization—the house churches, the catacombs of the saints, most profound love that the world itself does not offer. But it’s temples converted into churches and grand basilicas. The Church the love for which we are made, a love that corresponds to our transformed a decaying civilization into a new, vibrant one. heart’s deepest desires” (13). We are made for love and God himself is love, the only true fulfillment We are in need of this vibrancy again. of our deepest longing. And it is this love We continue to develop new technologies in which we can find our hope, the hope and outward power, but this façade hides to begin again the great task of rebuilding our inner spiritual longings, especially our our world. need for love. Sri is a master storyteller and he presents You may have seen the Augustine Institute’s the great drama of salvation through the video series providing an overview of the creed, sacraments and morality in a compelling faith, Symbolon, at your parish. This popular way. His style is accessible, building off the catechetical series is narrated by the speaker, art presented throughout the work. The writer and teacher Dr. Edward Sri who has a work answers many common objections to knack for presenting the faith in a dynamic the faith from Protestantism and our secular and engaging way. He recently took the culture. Sri also shows us how the doctrine vision of Symbolon and translated it into a must be lived, challenging us to recognize new book published by Ignatius Press: Love how genuine love requires us to give of Unveiled: The Catholic Faith Explained. ourselves to others in charity and how a Dr. Sri begins each chapter looking back proper understanding of human sexuality to the initial evangelization centered in as a complete gift of self in the context of Rome, framing his explanation of the core marriage. Ultimately, the book seeks to help doctrines of the faith through the beauty us to respond to God’s invitation of love. of Rome’s great churches. This guided I recommend the book for anyone who tour of the great shrines of the Eternal City wants to enter the mystery of Catholicism provides the entry point into the great story more deeply. Dr. Sri himself presents the of the faith. One example can be found best invitation to enter into the guided tour in the ancient church of San Clemente, a of the faith he presents: house church of the first century, built over About the Book: the ancient site of the Mithraic cult. The “If you want to give the best of yourself “Love Unveiled: The Catholic present church, built on the foundations to God in this drama, then the rest of this Faith Explained” by Edward Sri. of two previous ones, contains an icon of book is for you. For as we walk through faith, Published by Ignatius Press. the cross as the tree of life, the image used we will see that everything about Catholic befor the cover of the book. Dr. Sri explains liefs and Catholic living—whether it be about Paperback 295 pages. the significance of the image: “Growing Jesus, the Church, Mary, the sacraments, sex, Available via Ignatius Press, Barnes care for the poor or prayer—everything is out from the roots and limbs of this tree is a network of branches that swirl around, centered on our relationship with Jesus and and Noble, Amazon and other reaching out to the whole world, drawing helps us live more profoundly in his love book resellers. people of all walks of life into itself” (121). and radiate his love more in the world” (61). NEW EARTH MARCH 2016

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FAITH AND CULTURE Mass inside the Snow Chapel. (St. Albert the Great University Parish)

What does an ‘Ice Mass’ look like? By Maggie Maslak | Catholic News Agency

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hen snow falls on the campus of Michigan Tech University, Catholic students don’t stay boarded up in their dorm rooms with cups of hot chocolate. Instead, they build snow churches and celebrated Mass outdoors. “Building a snow chapel seemed like a really good way to get people thinking about God and the Eucharist and the Church in the midst of winter,” stated Father Ben Hasse, pastor at St. Albert the Great University Parish in Houghton, Mich. “It was hard work, it was a lot of fun, and I hope it contributes to outreach and evangelization here in Houghton,” Father Hasse told CNA. Student Benjamin Metzger said that Father Hasse suggested making a snow chapel during Michigan Tech’s annual Winter Carnival. The carnival is a friendly competition which showcases various ice sculptures and snow statues to make use of the 200 inches of snow that fall on campus each year. Father Hasse received permission from the local bishop to construct the snow chapel, with the goal of celebrating Mass after it was finished. In late January, he organized Michigan Tech students and parishioners to build the snow church, which they called the Chapel of Our Lady of the Snows. “There were a lot of people and several hundred man hours that went into the chapel,” Metzger told CNA, saying “we worked on it right up until the start of Mass.” “Working on the church was really deeply satisfying – to be building a church, even if only a temporary one,” Father Hasse said. On Feb. 5, the 33x18-foot snow chapel was finished, complete with a snow altar, candle coves, and a holy water font. Later

that evening, Father Hasse celebrated the inaugural candle-lit Mass with more than 140 people in attendance. “There were students, families, alumni and people from the local community. It was really prayerful; people were very reverent. It was beautiful,” Father Hasse recalled. Metzger echoed Father Hasse, saying “the Mass was one of the most beautiful services that I’ve experienced.” Another student, Rachelle Wiegand said that the chapel was even a “little crowded because we were not expecting such a big crowd.” “I really liked how the candles lit up the church, it gave it a subtle glow in the twilight,” Wiegand continued. Even though warmer spring weather will melt away the ice chapel, Father Hasse and the students have big plans for future winters at Michigan Tech. “There are already plans on how to make the chapel bigger to hold more people,” Metzger said, saying he is looking forward to “next year so we can do it all over again.” Father Hasse spoke about the students wanting to add more intricate details to the chapel, such as arches, flying buttresses, and even stained-ice windows. “For an engineering school, where everyone is thinking about design and technology, I think the sky is the limit,” Father Hasse noted. “We don’t want this to be primarily a novelty thing, but hopefully something that gets people to remember God in the midst of Winter Carnival.” NEW EARTH MARCH 2016

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Pope Francis greets pilgrims during his general audience Jan. 13. (Daniel Iba単ez/CNA)

is a time of pruning and reconciliation, Pope Francis says 14

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n his Ash Wednesday homily, Pope Francis said that Lent is the perfect time to let go of selfish and indifferent attitudes, returning to God with the help of prayer, penance and acts of charity. “Lent is a beneficial time of pruning from falsity, from worldliness, from indifference: to not think that everything is ok if I am ok; to understand that what counts is not approval, the pursuit of success or consensus, but purity of heart and life,” the Pope said Feb. 10. It’s a time to rediscover one’s Christian identity, “which is love that serves, not selfishness that uses,” he said. Pope Francis celebrated Ash Wednesday Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica alongside the Missionaries of Mercy, who concelebrated with the Pope and received their official mandate from him during the ceremony. A novelty of the Pope’s Jubilee of Mercy, the priests will be sent out to dioceses around the world as special ambassadors of mercy during the Holy Year. In addition to their increased availability for hearing confessions, they have also been given faculties to forgive sins otherwise reserved to the Holy See. Though there are several such sins, the Holy See has clarified that the faculties of the Missionaries of Mercy are “limited exclusively” to just four. Namely, they are: profaning the Eucharistic species by taking them away or keeping them for a sacrilegious purpose; the use of physical force against the Roman Pontiff; the absolution of an accomplice in a sin against the Sixth Commandment (“thou shall not commit adultery”) and a direct violation against the sacramental seal by a confessor. In his homily, Pope Francis focused on two “invitations” extended in the day’s scripture passages. The first, he said, comes from Saint Paul in the second reading. When Paul tells his readers to “be reconciled to God” in his Second Letter to the Corinthians, he’s not just giving a piece of good, fatherly advice or making a suggestion but is offering “a true and genuine petition in the name of Christ,” the Pope said. The reason for such a “solemn and heartfelt appeal” is because Christ knows how fragile we are as sinners, Francis observed.

By: Elise Harris Catholic News Agency

Pope Francis celebrates Mass on Ash Wednesday in St. Peter’s Basilica, Feb. 10. (Daniel Ibáñez/CNA)

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COVER STORY Pope Francis venerates the Cross on Good Friday 2015. (L’Osservatore Romano)

“(Christ) knows the weakness of our heart; he sees the wound of evil we have committed and suffered; he knows how much we need forgiveness, he knows that we need to feel loved in order to do good.” Francis stressed that we are not capable of doing good on our own, which is why St. Paul doesn’t tell us to do just anything, “but to be reconciled by God, [because] he overcomes sin and raises us from our miseries, if we entrust them to him.” However, he warned that certain obstacles frequently get in the way, such as the temptation to lock the doors of our heart, to give into feelings of shame, and to distance ourselves from the door by wallowing in our own misery. Francis then addressed the Missionaries of Mercy directly, telling them that their mandate is to be a sign and instrument of God’s forgiveness. He prayed that they would help people to open the doors of their hearts, to overcome shame and encourage them not to run from the light offered by God. “May your hands bless and lift brothers and sisters with paternity; that through you the gaze and the hands of the Father will rest on his children and heal their wounds!” he prayed. A second “invitation” the Pope highlighted was the Prophet Joel’s instruction to “Return to me with all your heart” in the day’s first reading. 16

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The reason we need to return, he said, is “because we have distanced ourselves. It’s the mystery of sin: we have distanced ourselves from God, from others, from ourselves.” It’s easy to see this if we stop to think about how we struggle to really trust in God without fear, how hard it is for us to love others without thinking badly about them, and how easily we are “seduced” by material things that leave us poor in the end, Pope Francis said. However, he noted that alongside this story of sin, “Jesus opened a history of salvation.” Turning to the day’s Gospel reading from Matthew, the Pope said it invites us to become “protagonists” in our own conversion by embracing the “three remedies, three medicines,” of prayer, charity and fasting and penance, “which heal from sin.” Pope Francis concluded his homily by emphasizing that returning to God with one’s entire heart is not something external, but instead comes “from the depth of ourselves.” “Jesus calls us to live prayer, charity and penance with coherence and authenticity, overcoming hypocrisy,” he said, and prayed that the entire Church would walk together on the Lenten path, receiving the ashes and keeping their gazes “fixed on the Crucified.” “He, loving us, invites us to be reconciled with God and to return to him, in order to return to ourselves,” Francis said.


COVER STORY

Don’t let the devil steal God’s dream for you, Pope Francis

says in Mexico By Catholic News Agency

A girl rides on a man’s shoulders in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, after watching Pope Francis drive by on his way to celebrate Mass on Feb. 17. (David Maung / CNS/)

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ent is a time of conversion, and a time to guard against the devil, who tries to rob us of God’s dream that we become his sons and daughters. That is what Pope Francis said Feb. 14 when he visited the violent, crime-ridden Mexican suburb of Ecatepec. “Lent is a good time to recover the joy and hope that make us feel beloved sons and daughters of the Father,” the Pope said. God the Father, he continued, “waits for us in order to cast off our garments of exhaustion, of apathy, of mistrust, and so clothe us with the dignity which only a true father or mother knows how to give their children.” He said that “God’s dream” makes its home and lives within each one of us, “so that at every Easter, in every Eucharist we celebrate, we may be the children of God.” However, Francis also noted that Lent is “a time of conversion,” and of experiencing daily “how this dream is continually threatened by the father of lies, by the one who tries to separate us, making a divided and fractious society.” Pope Francis offered his reflections during Mass in the Mexican city of Ecatepec. His Feb. 14 visit to the city was part of his wider, Feb. 12-17 voyage to Mexico that took him to other Mexican hot zones such as Morelia and Ciudad Juarez. Ecatepec is one of the most crowded and impoverished parts

of Mexico. It is known for its shanty living conditions and violence, particularly toward women. In fact, the city currently has one of highest rates of killings and disappearances of women in the entire country. Pope Francis has previously mentioned that in coming to Mexico, he wanted to visit places no other Pope had, apart from Mexico City and the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. And he did just that, choosing to visit the cities most affected by problems of violence, drug trafficking and immigration. Pope Francis said that during the season of Lent, the Church invites us to renew the gift of our baptism, and not let it “lie dormant as if it were something from the past or locked away in some memory chest.” He said that the devil is constantly seeking to divide, and cautioned attendees against falling into the temptation of creating “a society of the few, and for the few.” Francis lamented the many times people have cried with regret after realizing they haven’t acknowledged the dignity of others, as well as how we are frequently “blind and impervious in failing to recognize our own and others’ dignity.” “Lent is a time for reconsidering our feelings, for letting our eyes be opened to the frequent injustices which stand in direct opposition to the dream and the plan of God,” he said. He NEW EARTH MARCH 2016

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Pope Francis meets with youth at the José María Morelos y Pavón stadium in Morelia on Feb. 16. (David Ramos/CNA)

added that Lent is also a time to “unmask” three temptations that “wear down and fracture” the image God wanted to form in us. In the life of a Christian, these temptations “seek to destroy what we have been called to be” and “try to corrode us and tear us down,” the Pope said. He said that the temptation for wealth consists of taking what is meant for all and using it for one’s own purpose. Namely, it means “taking the bread based on the toil of others, or even at the expense of their very lives.” “That wealth which tastes of pain, bitterness and suffering. This is the bread that a corrupt family or society gives its own children,” Francis said. Vanity, on the other hand, is “the pursuit of prestige based on continuous, relentless exclusion of those who ‘are not like me’,” he said. Pride means putting oneself on a higher level than one is truly on. Francis stressed that these temptations are something we face

every day. He questioned those present on how aware they are of the temptations in their own lives. “We cannot dialogue with the devil. Only the strength of God’s word can defeat him,” he said. The Pope told the faithful not to lose hope, because “we have chosen Jesus, not the evil one; we want to follow in his footsteps, even though we know that this is not easy.” “We know what it means to be seduced by money, fame and power,” he said. He explained that it’s because of these temptations that the Church gives us the gift of the Lenten season and invites us to conversion. The Church, he said, offers us one certainty in God: “(that) he is waiting for us and wants to heal our hearts of all that tears us down. He is the God who has a name: Mercy.” Pope Francis closed his homily by praying that the Holy Spirit would renew in all “the certainty that his name is Mercy, and may he let us experience each day that the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus.”

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What’s the point of fasting, anyway? By Catholic News Agency

God commanded it, Jesus practiced it, Church Fathers have preached the importance of it – fasting is a powerful and fundamental part of the Christian life. But for many Catholics today, it’s more of an afterthought: something we grudgingly do on Good Friday and Ash Wednesday. So what is fasting? It’s “the deprivation of the good, in order to make a decision for a greater good,” explained Deacon Carnazzo, founding executive director of the Institute of Catholic Culture and a deacon at Holy Transfiguration Melkite Greek Catholic Church in Mclean, Va.. It is most commonly associated with abstention from food or water, although it can also take the form of giving up other goods like comforts and entertainment. The current fasting obligation for Catholics in the United States is this: all over the age of 14 must abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and all Fridays in Lent. On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, adults age 18 to 59 must fast – eating no more than one full meal and two smaller meals that together do not add up in quantity to the full meal. “The whole purpose of fasting is to put the created order and our spiritual life in a proper balance,” Deacon Carnazzo said. As “bodily creatures in a post-fallen state,” it’s easy to let our “lower passions” for physical goods supersede our higher intellect, he explained. We take good things for granted and reach for them whenever we feel like it, “without thinking, without reference to the One Who gives us the food, and without reference to the question of whether it’s good for us or not,” he added. While fasting can take many forms, is abstaining from food especially important? “The reason why 2000 years of Christianity has said food (for fasting), because food’s like air. It’s like water, it’s the most fundamental,” Deacon Carnazzo said. “And that’s where the Church says ‘stop right here, this fundamental level, and gain control there.’ It’s like the first step in the spiritual life.”

“The fast is the weapon of protection against demons,” taught St. Basil the Great. “Our Guardian Angels more readily stay with those who have cleansed our souls through fasting.” It better disposes us for prayer. Because we feel greater hunger or thirst when we fast from food and water it reminds us of our frailty and helps us be more humble. However, fasting must be stirred up by charity. A Catholic should not fast out of dieting or pride, but out of love of God. “It’s always dangerous in the spiritual life to compare yourself to other people,” said Father Lawrence Lew, O.P., who is currently studying for a Pontifical License in Sacred Theology at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C. In like manner, we should be focused on God during Lent and not on the sacrifices of others, he said.   “We will often fail, I think. And that’s not a bad thing. Because if we do fail, this is the opportunity to realize our utter dependence on God and his grace, to seek his mercy and forgiveness, and to seek his strength so that we can grow in virtue and do better,” he added. And by realizing our weakness and dependence on God, we can “discover anew the depths of God’s mercy for us” and can be more merciful to others, which is “really the essence of this Year of Mercy.” Giving up good things may seem onerous and burdensome, but can – and should – a Catholic fast with joy? “It’s referred to in the preface of Lent as a joyful season,” Fr. Lew said. “And it’s the joy of deepening our relationship with Christ, and therefore coming closer to him. “Lent is all about the cross, and eventually the resurrection,” said Deacon Carnazzo. If we “make an authentic, real sacrifice for Christ” during Lent, “we can come to that day of the crucifixion and say ‘Yes Lord, I willingly with you accept the cross. And when we do that, then we will behold the third day of resurrection.’”

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Students of Shanley High School, Fargo prepare for their journey to St. Ann’s Catholic School in Belcourt where they had the opportunity to be Christ’s hands in the community. (Rebecca Raber)

NEXT GEN

Shanley students witness religious fervor at St. Ann’s School, Belcourt By Elizabeth Erickson

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uring Catholic Schools Week, I was part of a small group of Shanley students to visit St. Ann’s School in Belcourt. While I was excited to go, I was also nervous. I was excited for the opportunity to be Christ’s hands in the community, but I also did not know what to expect—a feeling I am not particularly fond of. As I arrived at Shanley, I was overwhelmed by a feeling of excitement as we packed the vehicles with books and school supplies for the students and the school. We gathered in a circle where we said a prayer so as to begin the mission trip on the right foot. The bus ride was fun as we began to talk about the activities we had planned and our hopes. When we arrived, we were led to the youth center where we talked to the principal about the lives of the students and the cultural differences between the average Shanley student and the average St. Ann’s student. The next day began with Mass. It was a truly beautiful opportunity to experience the piety of the people there. After that, we missionaries gathered back at St. Ann’s to join the students for breakfast. We ate with them, talked to them and played Pokémon. After prayer and Monday announcements, we broke up into the groups. I spent my morning with the older students. We played a lot of “ice-breaker games,” and got to know the students on a more personal level. After the initial activities, there was a cultural exchange as some of the 20

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students at St. Ann’s performed traditional dances and we sang our school song and a few others. It was so fascinating to see this truly beautiful facet of their culture. The most incredible thing about the students at St. Ann’s is the intellectual curiosity that encompasses every facet of their lives. The students have a willingness to learn and grow that is alive and strong in a way most communities never witness. The students were being pushed to succeed, but they always wanted to know more and experience more. Despite poverty, these students had something we could aspire to – an awe-inspiring thirst for knowledge. The students also had a religious fervor uncommon to most societies in our post-modern world. The students knew about God and willingly participated in and led prayers. The most challenging aspect of the trip was definitely saying goodbye. These beautiful children were driven and inspiring. Most partings are sad, but it was particularly challenging to say goodbye to the new friends I made. The Sunday we left, the second reading was from 1 Corinthians, and those children understood in a deep way the true nature of what St. Paul meant when he described the nature of love. I feel blessed that I had the opportunity to encounter them in all of the activities we shared.


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

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NEXT GEN

Cheese fondues, chocolate fountains and a message of mercy By Kristina Lahr

Bishop John Folda joins Fargo area young adults Jan. 28 at Nativity Catholic Church in Fargo. In addition to a question and answer session, Bishop Folda shared a message for the Jubilee of Mercy. (Kristina Lahr/New Earth)

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ackie Gow, youth and young adult coordinator for Nativity Catholic Church in Fargo, had an idea to bring young Catholics together. Equipped with a chocolate fountain and cheese fondue, area young adults came for an evening of community and a message of mercy from Bishop John Folda. “My husband and I were newlyweds who had recently moved back to the F-M area and had looked for a place to meet other Catholic young adults for over a year when we finally heard about Nativity’s CYA group,” she said. “Someone personally invited us and made us feel welcome. It was a life-changing experience. We finally found a place to meet other young people who are striving to be saints one day at a time.” Gow has been leading Nativity’s Catholic Young Adults for the past year. CYA was spearheaded four years ago under the leadership of Desiree Wilson who began the needed ministry. Nativity Catholic Young Adults is a ministry for of single and married adults ages 21-40. The goal is to invite young adults into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and his Church and provide a place of community where true and authentic

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friendships can be developed. It is also a place to inspire and equip young adults for a lifetime of evangelization and discipleship. “One struggle with organizing a young adult group is learning how to help people form friendships,” said Gow. “It’s easy enough to plan events or faith-enrichment opportunities, but it is another to offer a place where people can meet each other and grow in real relationship. Our generation is more connected than ever before, but somehow we are also lonelier than ever before. “St. Thomas Aquinas teaches that every person desires two things – to be known and to be loved, and I think providing a place where people can be themselves and realize they are loved for who they are is very important. This can be a challenge but a challenge worth the endeavor.” On Jan. 28, Bishop Folda helped about 50 young adults at the “Fondues with Folda” event enter into the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy with his talk “Merciful like the Father.” “What can we do to be merciful like the Father? I think the first thing to recall is that mercy isn’t complicated,” said Bishop Folda. “It’s really a simple response of love to others. The simplest advice I could give you is to listen to your heart. Our hearts are constantly nudged by the Holy Spirit towards compassion and mercy.” Bishop Folda also made sure to be clear what mercy is and what it isn’t. “There’s no real mercy without truth. Mercy is never divorced from truth. Mercy isn’t pretending that sin is something good or that falsehood is true…. Mercy can never be separated from justice and truth, instead, mercy only means God gives us the grace we need to be truly free from our sins. Mercy seasons justice and enables us to live in the life of truth.” He also emphasized the importance of adoration, especially during the Jubilee of Mercy. “To be present in the sacrament of the Eucharist is to be in the presence of mercy itself, mercy incarnate. When you’re looking at the Eucharist, you’re looking at the merciful Christ.”

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STORIES OF FAITH

Venturing out with mittens of faith By Father Bert Miller

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n a February night when the snow again was falling from the sky, I picked up something a friend had given me to read and release me from the gloom of winter. It is written by Trish Sinclair, a Canadian, who has self-published a collection of her life stories. Trish writes: It was the first snow of winter – an exciting day for every child, but not for most teachers. Up until now, I had been able to dress myself for recess, but today, I would need some help. Miss Finlayson, my kindergarten teacher at Princess Elizabeth School near Hamilton, Ontario, had been through first snow days many times in her long career, but I think she may still remember this one. I managed to get into my itchy wool snow pants. But, I struggled with my jacket because it didn’t fit well. It was a hand-me-down from my brother, and it made me wonder why I had to wear his ugly clothes. At least, my hat and matching scarf were mine, and they were quite pretty. Finally, it was time to have Miss Finlayson help me with my boots. In her calm, motherly voice she said, “By the end of winter, you will all be able to put on your own boots.” I didn’t realize at the time that this was more a statement of hope than of confidence. I handed her my boots and stuck out my foot. Like most children, I expected the adult to do all the work. After much wiggling and pushing, she managed to get the first one into place and then, with an audible sigh, worked the second one on too. I announced: “They’re on the wrong feet.” With the grace that only experience can bring, she struggled to get the boots off and went through the joyless task of putting them on again. Then I said: “These aren’t my boots, you know.” As she pulled

the offending boots from my feet, she still managed to look both helpful and interested. Once they were off, I said: “They’re my brother’s boots. My mother makes me wear them, and I hate them!” Somehow, from long years of practice, she managed to act as though I wasn’t an annoying little girl. She pushed and shoved, less gently this time, and the boots were returned to their proper place on my feet. With a sigh of relief, seeing the end of her struggle with me, she asked: “Now, where are your mittens?” I looked into her eyes and said: “I didn’t want to lose them, so I stuffed them into the toes of my boots.” I did not see that coming. I laughed and laughed and it changed my outlook on this winter. But it also caused me to think about how you and I might – due to the cold of winter – hide our mittens of faith in warm places rather than venturing out into the rawness of the world to use our faith in productive ways. Maybe instead we could use those mittens of faith to visit a friend’s sibling locked away in the county jail, feed a youngster shivering after the long walk home from school, or provide help, time or treasure, to shelter a homeless person walking the road of desperation in the community. Father Bert Miller serves as pastor at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in West Fargo. Editor’s Note: Stories of Faith is a recurring feature in New Earth. If you have a faith story to tell, contact Father Bert Miller at bert.miller@fargodiocese.org. NEW EARTH MARCH 2016

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OUR CATHOLIC LIFE

Surrogacy laws in California and North Dakota

T

he case of a California woman who may be sued if she does not abort one of the three children she is carrying has led to questions about whether the same situation could

surrogate would have no legal right to sue for renumeration from the man. The surrogate would be the legal mother of the child when he or she is born. There is an exception to this rule. If the child was conceived Catholic in vitro from the sperm and egg of a married husband and wife Action and that child was implanted in another woman, that woman is considered a “gestational carrier” and would not have legal Christoper Dodson rights as a parent. This law was passed so that the biological parents would not have to adopt the child from the carrier. Whether these gestational carrier agreements are enforceable is not clear. The law only expressly addresses the legal parentarise in North Dakota. age of the children of gestational carrier agreements, not the For those unfamiliar with the case, a man in Georgia entered enforceability of any other aspects of the agreement. The way into a surrogacy agreement with a woman in California. She I read the law, except when regarding parental determination, was implanted with three embryos fertilized in vitro using these agreements should be considered unenforceable. I have, the man’s sperm and another woman’s eggs. The surrogacy however, heard others claim that the law makes gestational contract contained a provision allowing the man to demand a carrier agreements legally enforceable. “reduction” in the number of fetuses. The man is now attempting All this may sound confusing, but it could get worse. Surrogacy to exercise that provision. The woman is refusing, saying that advocates are pushing nationwide for commercial surrogacy no matter what the contract says, she will not abort one of the laws like that in California. Much of the push for commercial children. She has filed a lawsuit contending that the surrogacy surrogacy comes from the unregulated fertility industry and the contract violates her rights of due process. The man is expected homosexual community. Women’s groups have been split. Some to counter-sue and argue that the contract provision is enforceable. support surrogacy as a logical extension of the reproductive rights Under California law, if the child is not aborted, the man will be ideology. Other groups express concern about the exploitation the legal parent of all three children and can place any of them of women’s wombs and eggs. Still others contend that even if for adoption. The woman has stated that she would be willing surrogacy is legal, it should stop short of permitting a party to to adopt the third child. demand an abortion because the “right” to abort should include There is a similar case, also in California, in which a woman the right not to abort. was implanted with two embryos, but one of them split, creating This last group can’t see the irony of its position. If they insist a set of identical twins in a set of triplets. As in the other case, on holding to the fiction that no other human life is involved, the woman has been asked to abort one of the children. they have no reason to oppose a contractual demand to abort. In both cases, the women are getting support from pro-life After all, to them it is only “tissue.” Some holding this position advocates, who oppose any right to abort, and some pro-abortion assert that the principle of autonomy means that only the woman advocates, who oppose any attempt by a third party to direct can decide what to do with “her body.” If that was true, however, what happens to “a woman’s body.” I will write more on the then nothing about a surrogacy contract should be enforceable. irony of that scenario, but first, could this happen in North Dakota? The only consistent position of the abortion-rights crowd would The short answer is: no. North Dakota law has only three statutes be the position of North Dakota law — all surrogacy contracts on the subject, but they are very confusing. Thankfully, the are void. legislative history is clear and provides guidance on interpreting Christopher Dodson is executive director of the North Dakota Catholic the legislation. The bottom-line is that surrogacy agreements Conference. The NDCC acts on behalf of the Catholic bishops of North are void in North Dakota. Although they are not illegal, such Dakota to respond to public policy issues of concern to the Catholic agreements have no force of law. If the situation happening in Church and to educate Catholics and the general public about Catholic California had happened here, the man would have no legal social doctrine. The conference website is ndcatholic.org. right to insist on anything from the surrogate. Conversely, the

“Much of the push for commercial surrogacy comes from the unregulated fertility industry and the homosexual community. Women’s groups have been split. Some support surrogacy as a logical extension of the reproductive rights ideology. Other groups express concern about the exploitation of women’s wombs and eggs.’” – Christopher Dodson 24

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OUR CATHOLIC LIFE

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Little Sisters of the Poor on Supreme Court Case: Why we can’t “just sign the form”

few weeks ago, I received a New Year’s card that read, “This will be the best year yet.” We Little Sisters of the Poor are fervently praying that 2016 will be remembered as the year we were able to return to our quiet lives at the service of the elderly after a happy resolution to our long legal struggle over the HHS Contraceptive Mandate. Although we had never before involved ourselves in politics, in March of 2012 we felt compelled to publicly voice our opposition to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Contraceptive Mandate. Since then our convictions, based on Catholic teaching, have taken us from the District Court of Colorado to the U.S. Tenth Circuit Court, and finally to the U.S. Supreme Court, where our case will be heard in oral argument this March. Along the way we have received hundreds of supportive notes, along with more than a few negative comments, including the following, often voiced with a note of disdain: “Why don’t you stop being so stubborn and just sign the form?” Form 700, more commonly called “the form” or “the piece of paper,” is not what a lot of people think it is. Form 700 is neither a simple declaration of conscientious objection, nor an “opt out” regarding the HHS Contraceptive Mandate. Form 700 is a permission slip. Signing it would allow HHS to commandeer the infrastructure of our health care plan in order to use it to distribute abortifacients and contraceptives to our employees. In other words, signing Form 700 would involve us in formal cooperation with wrongdoing, which is never permissible under Catholic doctrine. Not only would such cooperation with moral evil constitute grave sin on our part, but it would likely cause scandal, leading others to sin as well. This is serious stuff. Through our vow of hospitality we are bound, in the eyes of God and the Church, to upholding the sanctity of human life, from the moment of conception until natural death. Very simply, Form 700 involves the taking of innocent human life. That is why we cannot “just sign the form.” Throughout the four years of this legal journey I have found courage by turning to the great cloud of witnesses that surrounds us on our earthly pilgrimage. Specifically, I often think of St. Thomas More, and of the Old Testament figure Eleazar. Thomas More was imprisoned for refusing to sign an oath acknowledging Anne Boleyn as King Henry VIII’s legitimate wife and recognizing the king’s authority as head of the newly formed Church of England. A year later he was beheaded after famously proclaiming that he was “the king’s good servant but God’s first.” Each time I watch the classic movie, A Man for All Seasons, I am inspired by Thomas More’s responses to those who tried to persuade him to “just sign the oath.” Using the proverbial “everyone else is doing it” argument, the Duke of Norfolk suggests, “Why can’t you do as I did and come with us, for fellowship?”

Refusing to compromise his convictions, Thomas responds, “And when we die, Little Sisters and you are sent to of the Poor heaven for doing your conscience, and Sister Constance I am sent to hell for Veit, l.s.p not doing mine, will you come with me, for fellowship?” Thomas More’s daughter then pleads with him to consider the impact of his actions on the family, suggesting that he “take this oath with your lips, but think otherwise in your heart.” Again Thomas resists the temptation to fall into dissimulation. “Daughter,” he responds, “what is an oath but words you speak to God?” Thomas More’s integrity is indeed inspiring, but my favorite martyr of religious liberty is Eleazar. As he faced torture and death because he refused to defile himself by eating the king’s food, friends of the old man pulled him aside and tried to persuade him to “fake it” by secretly eating his own provisions. But Eleazar feared the scandal he might cause the younger men by compromising the prescriptions of their faith, so he died honorably, proving himself worthy of his old age and “leaving in his death a model of nobility and an unforgettable example of virtue” (2 Mac 6:31). I hope that these reflections help to clarify why we cannot “just sign the form” with regard to the HHS Contraceptive Mandate’s so-called accommodation. To do so would allow the federal government to commandeer our health plan. It could cause scandal by giving the example that it’s okay to ignore clearly stated Catholic doctrine. And it would no doubt lead to the taking of innocent human life through the use of abortifacient drugs. Inspired by Eleazar and St. Thomas More, we feel compelled to affirm that we wish to be good citizens and servants our nation’s elderly but faithful daughters of the Church first. Sister Constance Veit is the communications director for the Little Sisters of the Poor in the United States.

“Form 700 is a permission slip. Signing it would allow HHS to commandeer the infrastructure of our health care plan... signing Form 700 would involve us in formal cooperation with wrongdoing, which is never permissible under Catholic doctrine.” – Sister Constance Veit I.s.p NEW EARTH MARCH 2016

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OUR CATHOLIC LIFE

Gift annuities remain a popular method of giving/getting back

Stewardship Steve Schons

H

ave you considered the benefits of obtaining a charitable gift annuity with Catholic Development Foundation? Here are five points to consider:

1. Attractive Rates. As an example, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, in their mid-80s, are

receiving a modest income from their Certificate of Deposit. When the CD matures in two months, they plan to obtain a gift annuity through the Catholic Development Foundation and start receiving 7.5% percent. Many folks in their retirement years will be pleased when they compare their low investment rates with the current annuity rates offered by their charity of choice.

2. Tax-Free Payments.

Part of each annuity payment is tax-free. For example, Mrs. Jones, age 82, contributed a check for $25,000 toward a gift annuity. Every year, she will receive $2,000 (8%). Of this amount, $1,750 will be excluded from income taxes. The tax-free portion of the annuity payment is considered “return of principal” and continues through the annuitant’s estimated life expectancy.

3. Income Tax Deduction. Because a charitable gift annuity is partly a gift and partly

There are additional reasons for obtaining a gift annuity with the Catholic Development Foundation. Some like the idea of reducing the size of their estate, thus lowering potential estate taxes. Others like the ease and simplicity of establishing a gift annuity. People with highly appreciated stock can also benefit from a gift annuity. They particularly like the partial bypass of capital gains they receive. If a charitable gift annuity is a plan you would like to know more about, I’d be happy to provide you with a personalized illustration. Simply fill out and return the coupon below or contact me. Steve Schons is director of stewardship and development for the Diocese of Fargo and president of the Catholic Development Foundation. He can be reached at steve.schons@fargodiocese.org or (701) 356-7926. (Please complete and return this reply form.) YES, I would like a personalized gift annuity illustration. ________ please mail the illustration to me. ________ please contact me to arrange for a visit. Name:_________________________________________________________ Address:______________________________________________________ City:___________________________________________________________ State:________ Zip:_____________ Phone: ______________________ Information needed to complete illustration (confidential):

an investment in an annuity contract, the donor who itemizes is entitled to an income tax deduction for the gift portion of his or her annuity amount. In the case of Mrs. Jones mentioned earlier, her $25,000 gift annuity produced a charitable tax deduction of $14,000. The deduction is available for the tax year when the gift annuity is established. If it cannot be used entirely, the donor has up to five years to carry forward the unused amount. The tax advantages with the charitable deduction make the effective rate of the gift annuity even higher than the rate used to establish the annuity.

Name and birth date of person to receive annuity payments:

It’s nice to be able to count on a specific amount of payment no matter what happens to the financial markets. Your annuity payments will remain the same every year. And since gift annuity payments are backed by the full assets of the Catholic Development Foundation, you have assurance that your check will be in the mail (or direct deposited) every payment date for the rest of your life.

Desired frequency of payment:________ annually

Perhaps the greatest benefit of a Catholic Development Foundation gift annuity is the personal fulfillment you receive by helping your choice of a Catholic program as well as yourself.

State:________ Zip:_____________ Phone: ______________________

4. Fixed, Regular Payments.

5. Personal Satisfaction.

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_________________________________________B/D____________________ Name and birth date of second person (if applicable) to receive payments: _________________________________________B/D____________________ Amount to be used for illustration: $_______________________ Type of asset: ______ cash ________ stocks/bonds (original cost: $________ ) ________ semi-annually________ quarterly ________ monthly Name:_________________________________________________________ Address:______________________________________________________ City:___________________________________________________________ Mail this form to: CDF, Attn: Steve Schons, 5201 Bishops Blvd, Suite A, Fargo, ND 58104


OUR CATHOLIC LIFE

I

The last year of seminary

t feels strange to be talking about a last year of seminary. stretches the heart a For me, the journey has been a long process that began in bit. We start practic2005 and only now in 2016, 11 years later, it’s coming to an ing all of these things end. In so many ways it has been a great adventure, but all of and it all becomes a sudden something new is on the horizon. much more real. I look forward to June, This was made quite clear to me over this Christmas break. and I hope it arrives I was on my way back to Denver for the semester and as I was quickly. leaving North Dakota I realized that this is the last time that I will have to leave like this. Soon I will be home to stay. Even Leaving seminary though Denver is a beautiful place with many wonderful people, is also a transition to it isn’t the place where God is calling me to stay forever. Fargo is a new environment.

Seminarian Life Deacon Robert Keller

“The whole atmosphere of the last year has changed to be more directly looking forward to ministry. I continue to seek to learn from the people and priests I live and work with so that I can serve as a better priest.” – Deacon Robert Keller, Fargo Diocese seminarian the diocese that I am studying for. The people of eastern North Dakota will soon be able to take the next steps of the journey with myself and the three other men who are scheduled to be ordained priests in June. After spending so many years in school, like many of the other men, I am ready to be finished with finals and homework. It will be a welcome relief when those things change into service in a parish. However, the final semesters of seminary are really exciting as well. We start practicing saying Mass and hearing confessions. We talk more directly about the way we will exercise ministry in parishes and have a chance to work on a few of the kinks in the system. We also transition to a greater level of ministry in the parishes where we are assigned at the seminary. I spend each weekend at one called St. Thomas More in Centennial, Colorado. It is a great gift to be able to work more closely with people in a situation like this. The whole atmosphere of the last year has changed to be more directly looking forward to ministry. I continue to seek to learn from the people and priests I live and work with so that I can serve as a better priest. However, this kind of preparation also

We will leave the structure of the seminary which has helped us along the road for many years. We will need people to continue to assist us by giving us feedback and encouraging us in the right direction. It is a great joy to think more about serving in the Diocese. Please keep us all in your prayers and in your intentions for Mass so that our hearts can be full of love for Jesus and continue to grow. Deacon Robert Keller is a Theology IV student studying at St. John Vianney Seminary in Denver, Colo. Deacon Keller is originally from Fargo. He attended Cardinal Muench Seminary in Fargo for four years and served as a FOCUS missionary in Mankato, Minn. for two years. He enjoys running, writing, reading and visiting with friends. Editor’s Note: Seminarian Life is a monthly column written by current Diocese of Fargo seminarians. It gives New Earth readers a glimpse of what these discerning young men are experiencing. Let us know if there is something you would like to know about the life of a seminarian. Perhaps, it will inspire an article from one of them. And, please continue to pray for them.

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WHAT’S HAPPENING

Events across the diocese Mark your calendar for events around the diocese

Fish Fry. Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church, Mayville. Mar. 11 from 5-7 p.m. Menu includes fish, potato bake, coleslaw, bread and dessert. Contact Marion Baker at (701) 439-0106.

Divine Mercy Service. Holy Cross Catholic Church, 2711 7th St. East, West Fargo. Apr. 3 from 3-4 p.m. Come pray the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy, learn about the life of Sr. Faustina and find out why reciting the chaplet daily is so important to your prayer life. Contact the parish office at (701) 282-7217.

Spring Dinner. Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Fingal. Apr. 10 from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Serving roast beef and all the trimmings. Join for a wonderful home cooked meal

Life’s milestones Margaret Lyon celebrates 100 years

Margaret Lyon, parishioner of St. Boniface Catholic Church in Lidgerwood, celebrated her 100th birthday on Feb. 27. Margaret married the late Dennis Lyon in 1940, and they had nine children. Margaret and Dennis farmed near Geneseo until they retired in 1978. Margaret resides at St. Catherine’s Living Center in Wahpeton where she helps in the activity room and enjoys outings with her family.

Michels celebrates 99 years

Roman Michels celebrated his 99th birthday Feb. 12 with his sister, Regina Hoffmann. Roman is a member of St. Alphonsus’ Catholic Church in Langdon, and Regina is a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Munich. Roman and Regina are the sole surviving siblings of their family of 12 and enjoy a few visits a year.

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

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and a social time to visit with old friends and to make new.  Take-outs available. Contact Corrine Ertelt at (701) 924-8622.

Serra Dinner. Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, West

Fargo. Thursday, Apr. 14 at 6 p.m. Serra Dinners are a time to encourage vocations in your parish and family and hear vocations stories from around the diocese. Free will offering. Contact Vocations Office at (701) 356-7948. To submit events for New Earth and the diocesan website, send information to: New Earth, 5201 Bishops Blvd. S., Suite A, Fargo, ND 58104-7605 or email news@fargodiocese.org. The deadline for the April New Earth is Mar. 23. The earliest that issue will reach homes is Apr. 11.

Art Halvorson celebrates 90 years

Art Halvorson celebrated his 90th birthday with his wife of 65 years, Marie, and their family on Dec. 24. Art and Marie have five children, 12 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. Art and Marie have been members of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Lakota for over 60 years.

Christ Jaeger celebrates 86 years, Sister Bernadette 97 years

Siblings Christ Jaeger and Sister Bernadette Jaeger both celebrated their birthdays recently. Christ is 86 and is a parishioner of St. Therese the Little Flower Catholic Church in Rugby. He has six children, 16 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Sister Bernadette recently turned 97 and lives with the Franciscan Sisters in Hankinson. This photo was taken on the anniversary of her 75th Jubilee a few years ago. Sister Bernadette has spent her life dedicated to the care of others.

Ann Neis celebrates 99 years

Anne Neis of St. Boniface Catholic Church in Esmond cele-brates her 99th birthday Mar. 31. She is from a family of 13 children.


WHAT’S HAPPENING

Events across the diocese A Glimpse of the Past

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

50 Years Ago....1966

On March 27, the use of English in the Mass was extended to include almost all the spoken parts previously retained in Latin. With the exception of the conclusion to the Canon, the audible parts of the Mass are now entirely in English. The sections of the Mass said silently or in a subdued voice by the priest remain in Latin. These latest changes will do away with the alternation between English and Latin which marked the first concession of the vernacular into the Mass. At the same time new melodies for the sung Mass were composed and made available to priests. - Catholic Action News – Apr. 1966

20 Years Ago....1996

Representatives of all the parishes of the Diocese of Fargo gathered for the Liturgy of Chrism on March 26, at noon at Holy Spirit Church, Fargo. Bishop James Sullivan presided at the Chrism Mass. This liturgy celebrated Jesus Christ, the anointed one of God. The scented chrism oil used for anointing in the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders is consecrated during the Mass. In addition, during this liturgy, the priests of the diocese, in unity with the Bishop renew their priestly vows. - New Earth – Mar. 1996

10 Years ago....2006

Shanley High School celebrated 40 years of musicals March 23-26 with the performance of “Oklahoma!” in the Shanley GROW Auditorium. The musical, filled with familiar lyrics and the fancy footwork of a host of dancers in western attire was last performed on a Shanley stage 25 years ago. Cast and crew members of the 1981 Shanley production of “Oklahoma!” will be recognized in a special way at all performances and at the First Nighter Dinner Theater. - New Earth – Feb. 2006 For more news and events, visit the “News and Events” section of the diocesan website: fargodiocese.org/news-events.

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

Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat scheduled for March 18-20 weekend

If you or someone you know has suffered from the physical, emotional and spiritual effects of a past abortion, there is hope for healing. Rachel’s Vineyard offers a safe, non-judgmental and confidential weekend retreat for anyone: women, men, grandparents and siblings who struggle with the feelings of loss that can accompany an abortion experience. The weekend begins Friday evening, Mar. 18 and concludes on Sunday afternoon, Mar. 20. For more information or to register, call Ruth Ruch at (701) 219-3941 or email her at ruch@i29.net. All calls are confidential.

Join priests throughout the diocese for the annual Chrism Mass

The annual Chrism Mass is a unique liturgy. On Tuesday, Mar. 22 at 11 a.m. priests throughout the diocese will gather at St. Mary’s Cathedral to renew the promises they made on the day of their ordination. Bishop John Folda will also bless the three sacred oils to be used for sacramental purposes throughout the coming year: Sacred Chrism, Oil of Catechumens and Oil of the Sick. All are welcome.

Join Bishop Folda for Good Friday Stations of the Cross

Bishop John Folda will lead Good Friday Stations of the Cross at the abortion facility, 512 1st Ave. North, Fargo at 10 a.m. on Mar. 25. Please join us as we commemorate Our Lord’s Passion and Death and pray for an end to abortion in our city and nation, for those wounded by the abortion experience and for the conversion of those who promote a culture of death. For more information contact Rachelle with the Respect Life Office at (701) 356-7910.

All invited to the Ecumenical Presentation on Ecology

The Catholic Dioceses of Fargo and Crookston, along with the ELCA bishops of Eastern North Dakota and Northwest Minnesota, are co-sponsoring the presentation “Creation Conversation: Care for our Common Home.” This event, offering a reflection on Pope Francis’ recent document on ecology, is free open to the public and will be held at Sts. Anne & Joachim Catholic Church, Fargo, on Thursday Mar. 31 from 7–8:30 p.m. Keynote speakers are Dr. Jonathon Reyes, the Executive Director of the Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Dr. Larry Rasmussen, retired professor and one of the world’s foremost Christian environmental ethicists.

www.fargodiocese.org

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Quotable “Apart from the cross, there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven.” -St. Rose of Lima

Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa

Christopher West

Bishop Christian Riesbeck

DISCOVER THE DIFFERENCE FOR MORE INFORMATION Lori Hager, Admissions Director jp2schools.org 701.893.3271 Lori.Hager@jp2schools.org

Sherry Weddell

HOLY SPIRIT ELEMENTARY

NATIVITY ELEMENTARY

SULLIVAN MIDDLE SCHOOL

TRINITY ELEMENTARY

SHANLEY HIGH SCHOOL

Dr. Peter Kreeft

Streaming to Fargo, April 15-16

Michael Dopp

Shanley Catholic HS, 5600 25th St. S 701-356-7908 or Andrew.Jasinski@fargodiocese.org

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jp2schools.org

Angele Regnier


WHAT’S HAPPENING

Prison ministries continue inJamestown,

begin in Devils Lake By Kristina Lahr

T

he Basilica of St. James in Jamestown has had a prison more involvement from our priests and laity.” ministry for many years, well before Father Barrett became Father Wilhelm began the ministry in Devils Lake on Oct. 1, chaplain there. It began with Mass being celebrated there the Feast of St. Therese the Little Flower who is the patron saint every other week. of the incarcerated. He now celebrates Mass in the jail once a Now a crew of parishioners offers their time to lead music month on Saturday evenings. during Mass, teach catechism studies and socialize with the “Catholics and non-Catholics come,” said Father Wilhelm. prisoners on a weekly basis to both the county and state prison. “They respond very beautifully and invite each other to attend. “It isn’t what people expect,” said Father Barrett. “It’s a good What I hear over and over again is that they often feel neglected community in there. And you feel like you can really make a spiritually but are thankful that the Catholic Church hasn’t difference in someone’s life. It’s a privilege to influence people forgotten them.” when they are at a crossroads.” St. Joseph’s parish collects Bibles, devotionals, old Magnificats, Within the last eight years, the parish has even started New Earths, rosaries and any religious articles not in use. Father giving retreats. Wilhelm said the residents have lots of time to read and reflect “Some people study the bible for hours a night,” said Father and don’t care if articles and devotionals are outdated. Barrett. “When they’re really hurt, they’re really grasping at “Some of the prisoners are very spiritual and desire the this stuff. It can make you realize how blessed you are.” sacraments, especially when they have a face-to-face with their On an average weekend, 12-18 people will attend Mass at the crimes,” said Father Wilhelm. “When they are accused, they prisons. The residents participate in the Mass as altar servers have to be honest with the Lord and with themselves.” and lectors as well. One of St. Joseph’s parishioners (who preferred to remain “I’ve seen people really turn their life around. We’ve seen one anonymous) said she often saw more openness and honesty guy who is in religious life now. Some say they are praying for with the women she met and prayed with once a week. Most of me. But mostly what I see is people coping with being in prison them are mothers and were convicted of drug related offenses. better. They see their life isn’t a waste. It brings them hope and “At the beginning, oftentimes their intentions are for their the light of Christ into their lives.” children. As time goes by they begin to pray for ways to over At St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Devils Lake, Father come their addiction and make amends. They are much more Wilhelm has seen a similar picture. Father Wilhelm began visiting prayerful and are sincerely moving toward God and realizing the imprisoned after a retreat with Archbishop Hebda brought Jesus loves them. They have more hope and feel like they have more power on their side. They begin to acknowledge a the importance of the ministry to his attention. “Jesus hung on the cross with two prisoners. And our Lord higher power. himself was a prisoner. I’m just on fire with it, visiting the “We don’t know the long-term outcome,” she said. “We just imprisoned. I feel that this is a ministry in the church that needs plant seeds to build on. The idea is that we come consistently, every Thursday, to get the Lord out to them and let him do the rest.”.

Pope Francis with detainees and families outside of the Rebibbia Prison off of the Via Tiburtina in Rome, Italy on April 2, 2015. (Catholic News Agency)

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NEW

EARTH

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

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New Earth March 2016  

Magazine for the Diocese of Fargo, ND

New Earth March 2016  

Magazine for the Diocese of Fargo, ND