Where is this Give up! Take up! Lift up! mystery Ideas for a better holy season steeple? Page 4
— Pages 8 and 9
New Earth CATHOLIC DIOCESE
September 2011 March 2014 Vol. 35 No. 32 No. 38 Vol.
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth” — Rev. 21:1
Bremen Kindred to
Beloved windows continue to inspire
“Genuine sacred art draws man to adoration, to prayer, and to the love of God, Creator and Savior, the Holy One and Sanctifier. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2502
” Submitted photos
Before it was closed in 2008, St. Joseph Church in Bremen was home to eight cherished art glass windows that depicted saints and sacred art. St. Wilfrid, patron saint of the Father Wilfred Shannon, pastor at the time of installation, appears in the foreground above. The windows have since been removed and relocated to St. Maurice Church in Kindred. By Aliceyn Magelky
hat is going to happen to our windows?” That thought was on the hearts and minds of nearly every parishioner of St. Joseph’s Church in Bremen back in 2008 when they learned their parish would close and the church leveled. “My mom and I still speak often about the closure of the church and the windows, said Joan Schaefer, a former St. Joseph’s parishioner. “The windows in St. Joseph’s were a key identity of the church. We were sort of famous for them.” For more than 50 years, a small community of farmers, stay-at-home moms and young families reveled in the special beauty of eight stained glass windows depicting saints. These intricate windows were present for them at every Mass and every momentous milestone.
And, for the parishioners of St. Joseph’s, they embodied the identity and life of their parish. “St. Joseph’s was like a family. The windows just spoke family,” said Darlene Daugherty, former organist. “It was like coming home.” Former parishioner Jeff Schafer added, “The best memories included seeing the light shining through the windows during Mass. It was beautiful. With Darlene’s music and the light through the windows, if you didn’t feel warm and welcome, I don’t know what would make you feel good.” For those outside the parish, it may be difficult to understand how structural art of a church could be treasured as much as those eight saints. But, for St. Joseph’s parishioners it was a heart-breaking and unpredictable end to an era when the parish closed and
the windows were taken away. “It may seem silly, but there is pain when a church closes. It’s like a divorce, because you’ve split up a family,” Schaefer said. John Hitz, former St. Joseph’s parishioner, added, “I think when the windows left, it really signified the end of the parish.” The good news, a long-standing practice of the Fargo Diocese prevented those items from being destroyed. The memories and ministry those windows brought to St. Joseph’s will continue. Today, they embark on a new chapter and may bring subtle joy to parishioners at St. Maurice Church in Kindred. Not only are members of both parishes bound by their faith, but they are linked through these windows. Like Please turn to WINDOWS on page 20
2 ew nEarth March N 2014
A time for conversion “Repent and believe in the Gospel.”
“Lent does indeed have a certain sober character
about it: the sign of ashes on the forehead, the penitential violet vestments worn at Mass, the restrained music of the liturgy and the emphasis on fasting and repentance. But, the darker or more somber days of Lent are actually radiant with the grace of God, the light of Christ that illuminates the way toward conversion and holiness.
From one life to the next
ith these words on a WednesAs we contemplate the call to rependay in March, we will mark tance and conversion, Lent also conthe beginning of the holy seafronts us with our own mortality and son of Lent. Or, perhaps you will hear a our eternal destiny. The sign of ashes more traditional exhortation: “Rememand the words, “Remember you are ber that you are dust, and to dust you dust,” are a stark reminder that our time on this earth is finite, shall return.” and we must be ready With these chalto make an accounting lenging and somefor our lives. what somber words, As Paul tells us in the we launch into the 40 liturgy for Ash Wednesdays of Lent, a time of day, “Now is the very grace for the Church acceptable time, now is and for each of the the day of salvation.” In faithful who take these other words, now is the words to heart. moment to acknowlLent is a special time edge the passing nature of conversion, a turnof our earthly lives so ing back to the Lord that we can be ready for from the errors of sin. the new and infinitely The word “conversion” better life that awaits actually has a more nuus. Bishop John Folda anced meaning. It imThere is, of course, no plies not only turning better way to prepare to the Lord, but turning with the Lord, for this reality than through the sacrawalking together with him once again, ment of reconciliation. accompanying him in the way of holiPope Francis recently commented ness and truth. that even though he is confident of God’s mercy, he also knows that he Conversion isn’t only for those who needs to confess his sins to a priest, and are entering the Church for the first he does so every two weeks. What a time, although this is certainly a powsterling example of humility and honerful and vivid expression of converesty! sion. Rather, all of us are called to onLike our Holy Father, we all should going conversion, a permanent state of avail ourselves of the healing of reconself-examination and repentance from ciliation during Lent, so that we can sins both great and small. experience God’s mercy once more and The onset of Lent puts this call to be truly ready to stand before him withconversion front and center, just as the out fear at the end of our earthly lives. ashes of Ash Wednesday are placed on our foreheads as a stark reminder of this From darkness comes light universal need to turn away from sin and walk once more with the Lord. I once read a description of Lent as a time of “bright darkness,” and I find this image intriguing. Lent does indeed “Then I saw a new heaven have a certain sober character about it: and a new earth.” the sign of ashes on the forehead, the Revelation 21:1 penitential violet vestments worn at Mass, the restrained music of the liturgy and the emphasis on fasting and repentance. But, the darker or more somber days of Lent are actually radiant with the grace of God, the light of Christ that illuminates the way toward (ISSN # 10676406) conversion and holiness. The season of Lent is sometimes approached superficially or with relucServing Catholic parishes tance. But, it should be embraced as a as the official newspaper of the time of grace and new life. Diocese of Fargo, N.D. The word Lent itself means “springtime,” and how fitting this name is for Member of the the holy season that now begins. Just Catholic Press Association as springtime is that season when new life springs forth from the earth after Bishop John Folda the cold and dark of winter, so Lent is a Bishop of Fargo spring-time of the soul. Publisher It is a time of preparation for those who will receive new birth in the bapAliceyn Magelky tismal font at Easter, children of God who will die with Christ in the blessed Editor waters and rise from them to a new and email@example.com everlasting life of grace. But, through a serious spirit of repentance and converPublished monthly by The Catholic Spirit sion, it can and should be a season of Publishing Company, a non-profit Minnew life for all of us. nesota corporation, 244 Dayton Ave., St. Any time we embark on a sincere Paul, MN 55102. (651) 291-4444. Periodijourney of repentance, we are moving cals postage paid at St. Paul, MN and adfrom darkness into light, from death ditional post offices. into life. If Lent arouses any emotion at all, it should be one of joy and gratitude POSTMASTER: Send address changes to for the opportunities it offers. New Earth, 5201 Bishops Boulevard, Suite The traditional discipline of Lent A, Fargo ND 58104-7605. (701) 356-7900. —prayer, fasting and almsgiving — Personal subscription rate for 11 issues of should characterize the entire ChrisNew Earth per year: $9. tian life, but it takes on added intensity during these holy days. Perhaps now
NewEn arth March 2014 1
Bishop John Folda will be the occasion that we set aside a little more time for reading the Bible, or praying the rosary, or the chaplet of Divine Mercy. Or, best of all, perhaps we will resolve to participate in Mass more frequently, even making an effort to celebrate during the week.
More prayer, different fasting? Fasting can take many forms, and we often identify it with abstaining from some particular food or drink. But, it might be just as spiritually beneficial to fast from television, or the Internet, or video games or idle talk. Fasting or any type of self-denial from daily pleasures or comforts can strengthen our wills for doing good and for resisting the ever-present temptations that entice us away from our Lord. In learning to say no to ourselves, we also learn to say yes more readily to our Lord. And, in our personal sacrifices, we are more perfectly united to Jesus as he sacrifices his life upon the cross for our sins. And finally, almsgiving or charity is the indispensable companion to prayer and fasting. A Lenten observance without chari-
ty or almsgiving would be incomplete. Pope Francis has urged the Church to be more mindful of the poor, so the traditional collection during Lent for the poor and hungry is most appropriate. But our almsgiving might also include the simple acts of visiting a neighbor who is homebound or in a nursing home. Or, perhaps we might offer to lend a hand at a local food pantry or homeless shelter. Through almsgiving or through any act of charity, no matter how small or hidden, we join ourselves more closely to Christ, who showed the depth of his love for each one of us upon the cross. Almsgiving allows us to break out of ourselves and turn our attention to another. It conquers our self-centeredness and teaches us to love as Jesus did. Lent is not a time to be feared or disliked. It is a time of austerity but also of great freedom, freedom from the bonds of sin and freedom for the working of God’s grace. It is a spring-time of the spirit that opens the door to new life in Christ. So, let us enter joyfully into this journey of penance and conversion, a journey that will allow us to walk with Christ once again.
Bishop Folda’s March Calendar Mar. 16
Mass, St. Thomas Catholic Church, Buffalo
Mass, St. Leo’s Catholic Church, Casselton
Catholic Charities Board Meeting and Retreat, Pastoral Center, Fargo
Mar. 21 – 24
Visit to Nebraska
Mass of Annunciation, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Grand Forks Deanery VIII Priests’ Meeting, LaMoure
Confirmation and First Eucharist, St. Joseph Catholic Church, Devils Lake
REACH Banquet for St. Catherine School, Eagles Club, Valley City
Confirmation and First Eucharist, Transfiguration Catholic Church, Edgeley
Junior High Youth Rally, New Rockford Public School, New Rockford
Confirmation and First Eucharist, Sts. Anne and Joachim, Fargo
Diocesan Pastoral Council, Pastoral Center, Fargo
Confirmation and First Eucharist, Holy Cross, West Fargo
Palm Sunday Mass, Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo
Chrism Mass, Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo
March 2014 n 3 1
Mystical Rose Chapel blessed at Rosewood on Broadway By Jack Kennelly
A capacity crowd filled the new Mystical Rose Chapel at Rosewood on Broadway Feb. 26 for a celebration of the Mass and a blessing of the altar and chapel by Bishop John Folda. Rosewood on Broadway is a ministry of SMP Health System, which is sponsored by the Sisters of Mary of the Presentation of Valley City. The newly expanded chapel meets the needs of residents for additional worship space and a more suitable space to repose the Blessed Sacrament. If additional space is needed to accommodate larger worship services, the chapel’s sanctuary area opens to a large, multi-purpose area. A folding wall converts the sanctuary to a smaller and more intimate visitation chapel while allowing the multi-purpose area to be used for other large group purposes, such as resident activities or meetings. Rosewood CEO Tony Keelin noted that the chapel meets the needs of both Catholic and non-Catholic residents. “The design is intended to allow maximum use of the space,” he said, “while at the same time, providing an appropriate environment for worship that can be accessed at any time by residents, family or staff for private prayer.”
Bishop John Folda stands between Deacon Jim Hunt, chaplain at Rosewood on Broadway and Deacon Jim Eggle, chaplain at Villa Maria both of Fargo as he leads prayer during Mass and blessing of the Rosewood on Broadway’s chapel and altar, Feb. 26.
Institute helped strengthen bishop’s leadership skills, gave opportunity to connect with other bishops Bishop John Folda joined 46 other bishops last month in a three-day course, Leading the Presbyterate: Opportunities, Priorities and Personalities, offered by the Catholic Leadership Institute. The institute regularly offers skill-building and leadership coaching sessions to bishops from across the country to help them achieve the goals and visions they have for their respective diocese.
“The session gave practical tools that can be helpful in the secular world but are specific to the unique needs of bishops and priests,” Bishop Folda commented. “Each session provides a setting for bishops or priests to concentrate on a particular aspect of their own ministry. In this case, the curriculum dealt with the relationships bishops have with the priests in their diocese.” The course began each day with
Diocese of Fargo
Official Appointments / Announcements Most Reverend John T. Folda, Bishop of Fargo, has made the following appointments, announcement and/or decrees: The following assignment was made in agreement with Rev. Gerard J. Sheelan, SOLT, Regional Priest Servant of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity of Robstown, Texas, and confirmed by Bishop John T. Folda: Rev. Patrick Prajzner, II, SOLT, has been assigned as parochial vicar at St. Ann’s Parish in Belcourt and its mission parishes. This appointment is effective Feb. 22, 2014, and continues ad nutum episcopi. Deacon James Hunt has been appointed deacon at St. Philip’s Parish in Hankinson and St. Anthony’s Parish in Fairmount, effective Feb. 7, 2014, and continuing ad nutum episcopi.
prayer and Mass followed by several hours of in-depth lecture and discussion, including a keynote address by Archbishop Robert Carlson of St. Louis. Additionally, the seminar planners hosted a panel of priests from around the country to answer questions from the bishops, mostly focused on how can bishops respond better and foster communication with priests. “The presentations were excellent right down the line,” Bishop Folda said. Along with leadership skill-building, each three-day session offers fraternity and prayer that enable a bishop to contemplate his role and leadership responsibilities in service to his diocese. For Bishop Folda, that component was a highlight to the session. “One of the best elements of this conference is to meet other bishops from around the country. I don’t necessarily have any peers onsite; there is only one bishop in a diocese. So, when you can actually get together with brother bishops, there’s lots of value in it,” he said. Thanks to generous contributions of others to the Catholic Leadership Institute, the diocese did not pay for this trip and the training. “The whole event is financed by underwriters to the Catholic Leadership Institute,” Bishop Folda noted. “It’s a blessing that they make it possible for bishops to participate more often. In particular, some dioceses are poorer, but they still need these valuable resources.” Bishop Folda said he would like to do this event again, but a lot of it would be dependent on his availability and the topics presented. “Bishop Folda was very engaged,” stated Father Bill Dickinson, director of leadership development for the institute, “engaged in a way that showed that he really wants to lead and love the people of Fargo.”
The Buzz Here’s what Pope Francis @Pontifex is tweeting: Lent is a good time for sacrificing. Let us deny ourselves something every day to help others.
In life we all make many mistakes. Let us learn to recognize our errors and ask forgiveness.
How to live a good marriage? United to the Lord, who always renews our love and strengthens it to overcome every difficulty.
Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. You can find the Diocese of Fargo at:
Find more stories and information about the diocese at www.fargodiocese.org.
4 1 n March 2014 2014
N New ewEarth
From religious liberty to hobbits:
Catholic Collage series has a class for everyone By Kristina Lahr
gree of order and a reasonable degree of liberty in our society?” Judge Erickson also asked his class to step out of their comfort zone to protect what they believe. “People of good will need to stand up otherwise people of less rational will dominate the stage,” he said.
“Our spirituality is personal but not private. There is a distinction,” Bishop John Folda said Feb. 23 as he taught a class on spirituality as part of a new initiative in the Fargo Diocese, Catholic Collage. Bishop Folda’s class was one of nine offered at Shanley High School in Fargo Contemporary questions during Catholic Collage, a series of fourweek courses held Sunday afternoons The “Cross Roads” book study preFeb. 9, 16, 23 and March 2. Fourteen sented by Father Kurt Gunwall and presenters and 101 registered adult stuRoxane Salonen and the C.S Lewis/J. R. dents came together seeking informaR. Tolkien class presented by Josh Gow tion about faith, spirituality and other used popular Christian fiction and folkrelated topics. lore to explain some major themes of This is the first year of the four-class the stories and how they help us relate series, organized by Father Bert Miller, to the faith. pastor of Blessed Sacrament in West “God isn’t always what we picture,” Fargo, and Joan Schaefer, parishioner of Father Gunwall said in reference to St. Anthony of Padua, Fargo. “Cross Roads” by William Paul Young, “Father Miller and I brainstormed author of “The Shack.” “Cross Roads” topics that are relevant to today’s Cathraises questions about faith, doubt and olics and that would also be engaging conversion. and inspirational,” said Schaefer, who “God has destined all of us for heavhelped with registrations, parish comen,” Father Gunwall said. “God gives munication and set up for the series. every person the grace and freedom to “Scripture classes are a must for choose him or not. Somewhere in their today’s Christians, so that was an own personal awareness, everyone has obvious choice. Father Miller also asked the hope and encounter that there’s Dr. Michael Smith, superintendent of something better in the world.” the Blessed John Paul II schools, for Gow’s class on C.S. Lewis and J. R. suggestions. Dr. Smith’s staff came up R. Tolkien looked at the major themes with Catholicism Among the Nations, and symbols of the books and movies. (presented by Dr. Michael Smith, Father One main idea was about where to find Bill Gerlach, Father T.T. Paulraj, Father Christ in “The Chronicles of Narnia” Henry Tanto), CS Lewis/JRR Tolkien and “The Lord of the Rings.” Where it (presented by Josh Gow) and The Land is easy to see Aslan as Christ in “The of the Living: Entering the World of Chronicles of Narnia,” it’s not so simply the Psalms (presented by to spot Christ in “The Mike Hagstrom). Lord of the Rings” since As the “We included a couple he is not represented as of heavy ‘academic’ subjust one character. Catechism of the jects relating to current “Tolkien is too fanevents for those who Catholic Church cy for that,” Gow said. wanted to dig deeper “Christ has three mainto the teachings of the tells us, we learn jor identities which are church,” Schaefer said. priest, prophet and king. “We also had the more our faith through Tolkien uses a different general interest classes character to symbolize others and that show the univereach one, Frodo as priest, sality and beauty of our our faith must Gandalf as prophet and faith in everyday life. We Aragorn as king.” be constantly tried to select a variety of Gow also made the courses to attract a varipoint that we, as a nurtured. ety of people.” church, need to encourWhile the course conage one another on our Joan Schaefer tent is important, Schaefaith journeys. fer said that Catholic Collage is mostly “The ring is rarely traveling alone,” about coming together as God’s family he said, “The fellowship of the ring is in hopes of forming friendships outside made up of a hodgepodge of people, an our parishes and uniting as a diocesan elf, a dwarf, a wizard, men and hobbits, church. who each have their own strengths and “Contrary to the views of the secweaknesses. We need each other in our ular world, faith is not personal,” she weaknesses. To be a true Christian is to said. “As the Catechism of the Catholive a life of weakness.” lic Church tells us, we learn our faith Other classes offered included Thethrough others and our faith must be ology of the Body presented by Father constantly nurtured. James Ermer, The Gospel of Matthew “In today’s world, it is imperative presented by Father Scott Sautner and that Catholics know what the Catholic Come to the Movies presented by Tony Church teaches, and more importantly McRae. the ‘why’ behind the teachings. AmazFather Miller hopes that Catholic ingly, knowing these teachings draws Collage will become an annual event. us closer to God. Catholic Collage “The energy that fills the Shanley hopes to help people on this journey.” building during the collage is exhilaratThe Religious Liberty class presenting,” Schaefer said. “The fact that more ed by Judge Ralph Erickson and Father than 100 people are willing to give up Luke Meyer challenged listeners with part of their Sunday afternoon to join some major questions today such as, fellow believers growing in their faith is “How do we balance a reasonable deproof that ours is a living faith.”
At several sites in the Fargo Diocese in the coming weeks, Battle Ready Rally speaker Doug Barry will lead audiences in the program that is designed to teach adults and teens how to be engaged in the spiritual battle for souls.
Preparing for the fight Rallies offer hard-hitting approach to saving souls By Kristina Lahr
On March 6, a series of Battle Ready Rally tours began throughout the diocese presented by inspirational speaker Doug Barry. The Battle Ready Rally was designed to teach adults and teens how to be engaged in the spiritual battle for souls. Barry’s goal is to bring awareness to the reality that there is a spiritual fight among us as stated in 1 Peter 5:8, “Your enemy, the Devil, is prowling around like a lion looking for someone to devour.” Nathan Sather met Doug Barry last summer in San Antonio, Texas while he was recruiting for the Air Force. He has co-hosted Life on the Rock with Radix Ministry and has guest hosted a talk show with Doug Barry on Real Presence Radio. What got Sather first engaged with the Battle Ready spirit was hearing Barry at one of his rallies ask the husbands of the audience, “Satan is trying to destroy the souls of your spouse and children. What are you doing about it?” The question got Sather thinking that he needed to take a more proactive approach to protecting the souls of his family. “Jesus is a strong man,” said Sather, “He’s willing to die to defend the souls of his children. As men we don’t always recognize Jesus is calling us to have this role, too. But, we have this fighting spirit in us because it’s God-given. We’re called to be engaged and to fight for the souls of our family.”
Foundation: Prayer The rally emphasizes that the best way to be “battle ready” for spiritual warfare is to have prayer as the foundation for everything we do and to stay close to the sacraments and adoration. The rallies are for both men and women. Teens are especially welcome. “The only thing worse than being in a war, is not knowing you’re in one,” said Sather, “It isn’t something we asked for, but it’s happening. If you’re not engaged in the fight, then you’re a casualty on the battlefield. Jesus wants us to be great. Let’s make it happen.” In Ephesians, we see that men are entrusted to protect the souls of their wives and children. Ephesians 5:25-27 states, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave himself up for her, so that he
Rally schedule The schedule for the remaining Battle Ready Rallies throughout the diocese is as follows: March 8: Battle Ready Father/Son Training Day in Fargo, Shanley High School from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Sons ages 7 and up. Lunch is provided. For registration and information, call Nathan Sather at 701840-0965. March 8: Battle Ready Special Mission: Marriage in Fargo. March 9: Battle Ready Rally in Grand Forks, St. Thomas Aquinas Newman Center at 6 p.m. March 10: Battle Ready Rally in Valley City, St. Catherine’s Catholic Church at 6:30 p.m. March 11: Battle Ready Rally in Napoleon, St. Phillip Neri Catholic Church after 7 p.m. Mass.
For more information about the Battle Ready Rallies, visit www.battleready strong.com/events.html. might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present to himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.” “It’s the husband’s job to bring his wife back to God holy and without blemish,” said Sather, “Women who come to these events will see the responsibility that is entrusted to men and how they can share in their mission.” “And, teen girls will see a vision of what a good man should be like for marriage. Sometimes they don’t believe there’s a man out there for them. They feel like they have to give up something in order to get the love they think they’ll get from an unhealthy relationship. I want them to see what a man they marry should be aspiring to follow.” In addition to the rallies, Fargo will host two additional events: a Special Mission on Marriage and a Father/Son Training Day. The training day consists of physical training and basic self-defense, both physical and spiritual. “The training day for fathers and sons is a completely different format than the rally,” said Sather, “It’s more active. We’re going to get dirty, we’re going to smell bad, and we’ll apply all that to the spiritual battle.”
March 2014 n 5 1
Sixth in a series
Abandoned, lost find new meaning in Stations of the Cross By Father Bert Miller
Author Notes: When I was new to ministry and assigned to Nativity Church, I met three parishioners (two men and a woman) who took me under their wings to guide me through the maze of big city ministry. We would eat donuts and drink coffee every Sunday morning and rehash the week. They gave me much inspiration, especially the woman who was on a journey from marriage and children, through a divorce and annulment to discernment of a religious vocation. This month I would like to share her story. In the following passage, she tells us how her story is much like that of the fall of Jesus along the Via Dolorosa, on the road to Calvary. I believe many readers will be able to identify with this story. The author is Sister Stella Olson of the Presentations Sisters of Fargo.
It was the third station that virtually changed my understanding of the stations. My life began to fall apart after I turned 40 years old. I was faced with separation and divorce and felt abandoned by God and the church. The ground beneath me was shaking and filled with rocks and sand. Nothing was familiar. There were twists and turns, and I kept stumbling and falling. Is this what it must have been like for Jesus on the way to Calvary? My understanding and faithfulness of almost 25 years was shattered and exposed for all to see. I came to understand what it must have been like for Jesus, to be jeered at on the Via Doloroso. As I searched for new meaning I found the Beginning Experience group that offered me support as a separated, single parent. I discovered I wasn’t the first person to find myself in these circumstances. The more time I spent contemplating the power and presence of God in my life the more aware I became of how God was walking with me during the challenges of my life. God was holding my hand, through all the people that befriended me. Grief weighed me down, but I didn’t want to stay there. I needed help, and God provided. I trusted those that understood, I listened and responded. The value of relationships provides the strength to support one another on the journey of life. Love of family and friends was life giving in a new way. My journey led me to the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I have been a member of the con-
Jesus falls the first time I look forward to the season of Lent each year as a time to reflect on my spiritual progress. Over the years, I have found that this time of the year is better than any New Year’s resolution. How I reflect on the Stations of the Cross has varied depending upon my age and stage of life. I was faithful as a child to the stations, but they were from a child’s perspective. It was a way of teaching me about the passion and death of Jesus. As a young adult with small children, I never had the time to participate in the stations, but I knew they were being said at church on Friday nights. As time went on there were Friday night suppers with stations to follow. With a family, that did not work for me. Little did I know that someday there would be a whole new meaning to the Stations of the Cross.
beneath me was shaking and filled with rocks and sand. Nothing was familiar. There were twists and turns, and I kept stumbling and falling. Is this what it must have been like for Jesus on the way to Calvary?
Sister Stella Olson
gregation for the last 18 years and my reflection on the stations is as a mother, grandmother and now sister. I thank God for understanding my human frailty and enlightening my vision.
(Editor’s Note: This article is the sixth in this series: Stories of Faith. If you have a faith story to tell, contact Father Bert Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org.) Father Bert Miller is a pastor at Blessed Sacrament Church in West Fargo.
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6 1 n March 2014
Nativity, Fargo, preparing for parish-wide Marian consecration By Aliceyn Magelky
Recently, each parishioner of Nativity Church in Fargo received a copy of Father Michael E. Gaitley’s “33 Days to Morning Glory” as part of their preparation for a parish-wide consecration to Mary. In his book, Father Michael Gaitley, MIC, states consecrating ourselves to Mary is the “surest, easiest, shortest and most perfect means to becoming a saint.” While not at all a substitute for the sacraments, Father Gaitley reminds us that “within a sacramental context Marian consecration is an incredibly powerful tool.” Father Gaitley offers his book along with a supplemental workbook as a “do-it-yourself” retreat in preparation for Marian consecration. According to Father Gaitley, the essence of Marian consecration is giving Mary your “yes.” “Quite simply put, it’s saying I want to be a saint, you’re the queen of heaven, work in my life and my heart to help me be a saint,” he says. Beginning Feb. 20 and continuing for 33 days, Nativity parishioners either will meet in groups or work alone to read and ponder Mary’s call. On Tuesday, March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation, all participants will celebrate Mass and consecrate themselves to Mary. Upon completion, Father Kevin Boucher, pastor for Nativity, hopes to use this project to “set hearts on fire” for more.
One of six small groups facilitated by the staff of Nativity Church in Fargo meets to discuss readings from Father Michael Gaitley’s book, “33 Days to Morning Glory”, and to pray in preparation for a parish-wide Marian Consecration to occur on March 25.
reasons: One, we need to understand what we are doing. This retreat and book does an excellent job in explaining what Marian consecration is, and two, our lives are busy.
It started with a book Like any flame, this fire started with a small spark. Last year, Nativity parish staff conducted a study on Father Gaitley’s book, “The One Thing is Three: How the Most Holy Trinity Explains Everything.” Upon reading this book, it became very obvious to Father Boucher that the information from the book needed to go beyond his staff and should be shared. “This book is completely engaging,” said Father Boucher. “And, I thought, ‘how do we bring this to the parish?’ ” So, last fall, Nativity hosted a wellreceived, moderately attended parish mission focusing on the Holy Trinity. Because the enthusiasm for the mission was high, Father Boucher started looking at other programs and books by Father Gaitley. Coincidentally, soon after finding “33 Days to Morning Glory,” Pope Francis announced consecrating the whole world to the heart of Mary. “It’s amazing to see how Mary has made everything work,” said Melissa Woinarowicz, liturgist and retreat coordinator for Nativity. “At first it was going to be just the staff, and then it was decided that we could offer it to the rest of the parish. Literally, we had 70 people sign up in eight days.” In addition to distributing books to parishioners, a prayer shrine to Mary was established in the church’s gathering space. And, the parish established three different models to help parishioners approach Father Gaitley’s retreat material. The first model, or level one, is a completely do-it-yourself approach. It encourages individuals who are not able to meet regularly to still read the book daily and pray about it. The second level or group model is for individuals who would like to meet with a group of friends at a time not established by the parish. During these group sessions, the participants
“Increasingly we have less and less time to ponder. And, pondering is really what this is about. For 33 days you are intentionally going to ponder what the Lord in giving us in our lives. And, with any yes we give, the more we understand it, the more we prepare for it, the stronger that yes is and the more fruit it bears.” Thus far, the zeal and excitement Father Boucher was hoping to receive seems to be blooming. “I have heard a lot of people say how thankful they are we are doing this. It’s really beautiful to see the hope in people’s faces and trust they are putting into Mary,” Woinarowicz said. “I’m looking forward to doing the 33 days,” added Bev Nesler, parish secretary. “It gives me another insight to Mary. This is another step for me to grow deeper in my faith.” After the 33 days of preparation has ended, the parish will celebrate Mass and pray together the prayer of consecration to Mary March 25.
Participants in Father Michael Gaitley’s “33 Days to Morning Glory” retreat listen to him speak on a DVD presentation.
are encouraged to discuss the preparation process and responses to reflection questions available with the book. The final model or the deluxe group model allows participants to dig even deeper into discussion and offers more material for reflection and prayer. The parish offers six deluxe model groups, one being a men’s only group. “I felt it was nice to offer one group just for men, because just in talking with others I realized there is a unique way in which men relate to Mary. So, we wanted to cater to that,” Woinarowicz said.
Deluxe model groups meet weekly to watch a brief DVD presentation from Father Gaitley and to discuss questions from the accompanying workbook.
“Then, we will just let Mary work,” Woinarowicz said. “I think we sometimes are looking for the five-step process, but it’s really surrendering to Mary and saying ‘I’m going to let you work in my life.’”
33 days of preparation
Then, the next step will be introducing a 10-week program in preparation for the consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. From there, Father Boucher sees the potential for more.
Whichever model a person chooses, the goal Father Gaitley set for retreat participants is to use the 33 days to read, pray and ponder in preparing hearts and minds to the consecration of Mary. Woinarowicz noted, “It’s important to prepare for this consecration for two
“We can keep going by promoting the Christ Renews His Parish retreat,” said Father Boucher. “In the past, we’ve had a very vibrant and active parish. Because we have seen a change in parish make-up, we want to use these retreats to help them [parishioners] become renewed.”
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March is the Month Dedicated to St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary
One native N.D. woman’s story of ‘happily ever after’ By Christina Capecchi
When Mary Margaret Gefre’s boyfriend drove her to the train station in their small North Dakota town, the 19-year-old farm girl didn’t tell him where she was headed on that brisk December day, clutching a small bag containing a rosary, her childhood prayer book, a few dresses and a pair of shoes. She was bound for a cloistered convent in St. Paul. She was going to become a nun. Today, at age 84, she marks the passage of that heart-wrenching winter by three feast days. It was on Dec. 28, the Feast of the Holy Innocents, that her boyfriend Baltzer took her to the train station, giving her a peck on the cheek before driving away. The dark-haired young man had won her over with his deep faith and gentle ways. “I was sure he was going to be my husband,” she told me. “I could envision a happy life with Sister Rosalind him, babies.” Gefre It was on Feb. 2, the Feast of the Presentation, that Mary Margaret officially entered the Sisters of St. Joseph’s community, a bundle of hopes and fears. In the open fields back home, she could see for miles: every sunrise engulfed her, every cloud floated overhead, every star pierced the midnight sky. But in the city, trees crowded in on her. “I felt imprisoned,” she said. “It was sort of like the end of world.” It was on Feb. 14, the Feast of St. Valentine, that Mary Margaret received a love letter from Baltzer. Her superior, Sister Sara Claire, had already read it and handed it to Mary Margaret soberly. The sight of his neat cursive and urgent plea to come home opened a floodgate of emotion. “It all came back to me,” she recalled. “I had to do lots of thinking. It was very hard to give him up, but I just knew my call by then. In my heart I felt that this was my home.”
To modern ears, this may sound like a tragedy, but Mary Margaret —who for 65 years now has been Sister Rosalind — describes it as a happily ever after that keeps getting sweeter. Her life has been wildly, richly full: working as a nurse and witnessing childbirth, establishing an esteemed massage school to bring the healing touch to people in pain, fielding teary confessions and appeals for prayer at every turn. She is a short, wrinkled woman with stardust in her eyes and a mile of joy coiled in her body, compelling her to hug repairmen in the elevator and hold your hand as you walk to lunch. “I am so glad I chose the sisterhood!” she said. “I would not exchange it for anything in the world.” I believe her. Many sisters have told me that religious life enabled them to do more than they ever could’ve hoped, opening up new avenues and awakening new desires. For 20-something women facing big decisions, sisters have surprising wisdom to offer. They’ve been there, they get it.
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Walking the walk And for those of us who feel frustrated by times when the urgent-but-not-important manages to trump the important-but-not-urgent, as Stephen Covey puts it, sisters model an integration — daily actions that perfectly correspond with their dearest values. Walking the walk, seldom needing to talk the talk. Their profound impact is being recognized this March through Women’s History Month. National Catholic Sisters Week is a worthy addition to a month that celebrates movers and shakers, sisters who lead by serving, who show up with great faith and open hearts, seeing God in each stranger on the street. I can’t imagine our country, our church or my life without them. Christina Capecchi is a freelance writer from Inver Grove Heights, Minn., and editor of SisterStory.org, the official website of National Catholic Sisters Week.
Inaugural National Catholic Sisters Week March 8-14 The first National Catholic Sisters Week will run March 8-14 as part of National Women’s History Month. Its intent is to shine a national spotlight on the good works and good will of Catholic sisters. This event initiated by St. Catherine University staff in St. Paul, Minn., aims to bring together college-age women and women religious to honor Catholic sisters for their faithful service and contributions to American history. “Women’s History Month is something people know about and is utilized by schools, universities and organizations to highlight contributions women have made,” said Sister Mary Soher, who is helping to lead the project. “And within this group there are contributions specifically women religious have made to society.” The effort is funded by a $3.3 million grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. According to the Foundations website, Hilton “counted sisters among his teachers, friends and partners in serving those who are most disadvantaged. Throughout his life, he drew inspiration from their commitment to alleviate human suffering.” More than 700,000 Catholic sisters reside around the globe, living among the most vulnerable people and ministering to them through works and prayers. The Diocese of Fargo is home to 91 professed women religious within five different religious communities. Women religious have played an integral part in founding and operating Catholic schools, universities and hospitals still thriving today. “This is what we celebrate in National Catholic Sisters week,” said Sister Anne Germaine Picard, Sisters of the Mary of Presentation, Valley City. “It is a special time to give thanks and praise to our God.” To learn more about religious and consecrated life, visit www.fargodiocese.org/ religiouslife.
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8 n March 2014
Holy Spirit parish mission shines a spotlight on Our Lady Untier of Knots By Kristina Lahr
Our Lady Untier of Knots was one of the highlights of the parish mission at Holy Spirit in Fargo, Feb. 9-12. This devotion of Mary reminds us that Mary lovingly unties the knots in our lives caused by sin through her “yes” to Christ.
Holy Spirit Church in Fargo welcomed Monsignor James Shea, president of the University of Mary, Bismarck, as part of its parish mission Feb. 9-12. Monsignor Shea was inaugurated in 2009 as the sixth president of the university and, at the age of 34, became the youngest college or university president in the United States. This was the first parish mission for the parish in 12 years, since the first year Monsignor Wald was pastor of Holy Spirit. A parish mission is a spiritual boost for a parish as it brings a guest pastor through their doors. It’s a way for people outside the parish to come in and a way for parishioners to see the perspective of another priest. Its primary purpose is to revitalize the parish to be the mission it needs to be. The theme of the mission was “Living the Faith with Joy.” Monsignor Shea’s display of joy in his words and total donation of his time brought authenticity of his message home. One hundred percent of the free will offering of the mission went to the University of Mary. “Joy is the most infallible marker of the presence of God,” said Monsignor Shea, “Joy comes to us in the measure that we forget about ourselves and look to others in love. Doing this is hard but not complicated. Our existence is a result of God’s joy.” Each night of the mission, parishioners were given different topics pertaining to the theme.
Julie Knodel shakes hands with Monsignor James Shea who joined Holy Spirit Church for its parish mission.
Topics included: learning how to be salt and light for the world and Pope Francis and the way he encourages us to live as servants and evangelizers. One night also discussed the many titles of the Blessed Virgin Mary including Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of Guadelupe and Our Lady Untier of Knots. Our Lady Untier of Knots was a popular idea discussed by parishioners and guests socializing after the evening since few had heard of that title previously. Pope Francis started promoting Our Lady Untier of Knots when he, then Jorge Mario Bergoglio, was studying in Germany. He came across a Bavarian painting of Our Lady Untier of Knots and acquired
a copy of the painting. He brought it to Argentina and promoted devotion to Mary under this title as a way for Mary to carefully untie each of the knots in our lives caused by sin. The theology of Mary untying knots goes back to the second century when St. Irenaeus of Lyons wrote, “The knot of Eve’s disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. For what the virgin Eve had bound fast through unbelief, this did the virgin Mary set free through faith” (Adversus haereses, 3, 22). When we do not follow God’s will, we demonstrate our lack of trust in him through sin. This forms a knot within us, which only gets harder to untie the more knots that are tangled and tightened around it. These knots take away our peace and serenity, but even the most tangled knots are loosened by God’s grace. Mary’s “yes” opened the door for God to undo the knot of disobedience. It is the Mother who patiently and lovingly brings us to God, so that he can untangle the knots of our soul by his fatherly mercy. The painting also shows a snake tied in a knot under Mary’s feet. Over the four-day mission, Monsignor Shea preached in the context of the Mass or the Blessed Sacrament each night. He also met with the children grades three through five at Holy Spirit Elementary, made a special presentation for Nativity and Holy Spirit parish staff and heard confessions Monday-Thursday. Monsignor Shea also reminded everyone present and all parishes that, “The church doesn’t have a mission; the church is the mission.” Monsignor Shea challenged the parish not to be afraid to share our faith because fear is the opposite of love. “Fear comes from the subtle conviction that I’m in charge of my life,” he said. Although this mission was focused in one parish, Pope Francis has continually reminded us that we as the universal church are called to the New Evangelization. “It is true that going out on to the street implies the risk of accidents happening, as they would to any ordinary man or woman,” said Pope Francis. “But if the church stays wrapped up in itself, it will age. If I had to choose between a wounded church that goes out on to the streets and a sick, withdrawn church, I would definitely choose the first one.”
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.
March 50 years ago — 1964 The sixth annual campaign for the Diocesan Development will get underway this month with a series of meetings that will be attended by all priests serving in the diocese. The meetings will take place the week of March 9 at seven regional centers and will be presided over by Bishop Leo Dworschak. The major beneficiary of the 1964
campaign will again be Cardinal Muench Seminary. Now in its second year, the seminary houses 70 young men studying for the diocesan priesthood. To learn about religious vocations and the life of a sister, 94 young women made a retreat at Sacred Heart Convent, Fargo, on March 7-8. During the two days the young ladies lived at the convent where they had an opportunity to talk with the postulants and novices and to observe the Sister’s routines.
20 years ago — 1994 “Maris,” an original musical based
on the life of Roger Maris, a Fargo native who became a famous New York Yankee when he hit 61 home runs in 1961, will premiere Thursday, Saturday, March 17-19, in the auditorium at Shanley High School in Fargo. The Shanley Drama Department is presenting the musical. Maris graduated from Shanley in 1952.
10 years ago — 2004 When Bert Miller, Sr. decided at age 93 he’d better not drive anymore, he knew exactly where he wanted his car to go. Miller, from Harvey, donated the car to the Catholic Church and request-
ed that it be used in Grafton by those who take care of the migrant workers. Miller and his wife Gladys, used the 2000 Mercury Sable for a couple of years. After he recovered from a serious illness he decided he had to do something good for somebody. His youngest son, Father Bert Miller, Jr., pastor of St. John’s in Grafton, and Miller decided that donating the car would be a good deal for both of them. Miller loved to jokingly remind people that because he is “Bert F. Miller, Sr.” and his son is “Bert F. Miller, Jr.” – “I’m the real Father Bert, not him!”
March 2014 n 9
Pope to faithful: ‘Do not be afraid of confession’ Zenit
Continuing his catechetical series on the acraments, Pope Francis reflected on the sacrament of reconciliation, which along with the sacrament of the anointing of the sick form what he described the “sacraments of healing”. “The sacraments of penance and reconciliation . . . flow directly from the Paschal mystery,” he told pilgrims attending his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square. “In fact, the same evening of Easter the Lord appeared to the disciples, closed in the Cenacle, and, after
addressing to them the greeting ‘Peace be with you’, he breathed on them and said: ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven.’” This indication by Jesus, the pope stressed, shows that the forgiveness of our sins is not gained through any strength of our own, rather it is a gift that springs from the heart of Christ crucified and risen. Departing from his prepared statement, the Holy Father spoke on the reservations one might have to confessing their sins to a priest. “Someone may say: ‘I confess only to God.’ Yes, you can tell
God: ‘Forgive me’, and say your sins,” he said. “But our sins are also against the brothers, against the church, and for this it is necessary to ask forgiveness to the church and to the brothers, in the person of the priest.” The Holy Father also said that some may feel ashamed of confessing their sins. However, he noted, feeling shame for one’s sins is good because it humbles us. “Do not be afraid of confession!” he exclaimed. “One who is in line to confess himself feels all these things — even shame — but then, when he finishes confessing, he leaves free, great,
beautiful, forgiven . . . happy. And, this is the beauty of confession.” Concluding his catechesis, Pope Francis encouraged those who have not confessed, whether it be for two weeks or 40 years, to receive the sacrament of reconciliation as soon as possible. “Jesus is there, and Jesus is much better than the priests, and Jesus receives you. He receives you with so much love. Be courageous, and go forward to confession,” he said. “To celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation means to be wrapped in a warm embrace.”
Pope calls for ‘intelligent, courageous, loving’ approach to families By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service
Opening a two-day meeting of the world’s cardinals, Pope Francis said the church’s pastoral approach to helping couples must be “intelligent, courageous and full of love” because the family today is “looked down upon and mistreated.” “Our reflection must keep before us the beauty of the family and marriage, the greatness of this human reality, which is so simple, yet so rich, made up of joys and hopes, of struggles and sufferings,” the pope told the cardinals Feb. 20 as they began meeting in the Vatican synod hall. Pope Francis arrived in the synod hall before many of the approximately 150 cardinals and cardinals-designate in attendance. He stood in the narrow entryway, greeting those who arrived after him, while the others renewed old friendships, met the new cardinals or sat quietly praying or reading. After a prayer service, led by the Sistine Chapel choir, Pope Francis thanked the cardinals for coming and told them their two days of discussions would focus on the family, “which is the basic cell of human society. From the beginning, the Creator blessed man
GOD’S GIFT APPEAL
and woman so that they might be fruitful and multiply,” being a reflection of God, one and triune, in the world. The cardinals should try to avoid “falling into casuistry,” the pope said, and instead attempt “to deepen the theology of the family and discern the pastoral practices, which our present situation requires.” Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said his understanding of the pope’s warning about “casuistry” was that it was a plea to “avoid a fragmentation of the discussion by focusing on too many particular cases” and never getting to the point of discerning a general approach that should guide the church’s pastoral activity. “I think he is saying that our discussion should not be too fragmented by listing specifically difficult situations or cases that have touched us.” While many in the world today look down on and even mistreat the family, Pope Francis said, the church must help people recognize “how beautiful, true and good it is to start a family,” and must find better ways to help Catholic couples live God’s “magnificent plan for the family.” The cardinals’ two-day discussion with Pope Francis was introduced by retired German Cardinal Walter Kasper,
a theologian who has written a book Pope Francis admired on mercy as one of the most basic traits of God and as the key to living a Christian life, both individually and as the church.
Marriage issues discussed In the early 1990s, while he was a diocesan bishop, he and two other German bishops tried to institute a policy that in certain circumstances would allow divorced and civilly remarried couples to return to the sacraments even without an annulment. The Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith forced the bishops to drop the plan. According to the Vatican spokesman, Cardinal Kasper dedicated one section of his talk to the theme of divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, a topic Father Lombardi said obviously was on the minds of many participants. The spokesman said Cardinal Kasper treated the topic “broadly,” insisting that the church’s response had to show both “fidelity to the words of Jesus” and an understanding of the “mercy of God in the lives of people and, therefore, in the pastoral work of the church.” The cardinal’s talk included “many references” to the words of Pope Bene-
dict XVI on the topic, Father Lombardi said, and encouraged the cardinals to look for a path that was neither too strict nor too lenient, with a “penitential path and the sacrament of penance” offering possible solutions for helping the divorced and civilly remarried return to the sacraments. The Vatican spokesman described Cardinal Kasper’s presentation, which he said the Vatican had no plans to publish, as a broad overview of the theology and reality of the family. It took the cardinal about two hours to read the text, he said. Father Lombardi said Cardinal Kasper’s talk was an attempt to be realistic about the family today, in the context of its place in God’s plan “for the good of all persons and humanity itself.” The text also discussed problems the church faces in pastoral work, he said, “but it did not focus exclusively on these problems.” The German cardinal also told his confreres that “in families, the church encounters the reality of life; for this reason, families are the proving ground of our pastoral work and an urgent point for the new evangelization. The family is the future, including for the church.”
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Give up, Take up, Lift up! Taken from USCCB website
n his Lenten message for 2014, Pope Francis takes inspiration from the words of St. Paul (Cor 8:9), and asks us to contemplate Paul’s invitation to live a “life of evangelical poverty.” We can begin to embrace this call by fasting from or “giving up” material things, including foods, that are superfluous to our basic needs; “taking up” charitable habits that are directed to helping and caring for others; and “lifting up” our brothers and sisters who are in need through giving alms, praying and participating in devotional practices. By taking an active approach to the three traditional pillars of Lenten observance, prayer, fasting and almsgiving, we recognize that to be evangelists, we must first be evangelized ourselves. On these pages, you will find a variety of ways to “give up”, “take up” or “lift up” during this Lent. For more resources and information including penance services and parish events, visit the diocesan website www.fargodiocese.org or the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ website www.usccb.org/lent.
10 things to remember By Bishop David Ricken
1. Remember the formula. The church does a good job capturing certain truths with easy-to-remember lists and formulas: 10 Commandments, seven sacraments, three persons in the Trinity. For Lent, the church gives us almost a slogan — Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving — as the three things we need to work on during the season.
2. It’s a time of prayer. Lent is essentially an act of prayer spread out over 40 days. As we pray, we go on a journey, one that hopefully brings us closer to Christ and leaves us changed by the encounter with him.
3. It’s a time to fast. With the fasts of Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, meatless Fridays, and our personal disciplines interspersed, Lent is the only time many Catholics these days actually fast. And maybe that’s why it gets all the attention. “What are you giving up for Lent? Hotdogs? Beer? Jelly beans?” It’s almost a game for some of us, but fasting is actually a form of penance, which helps us turn away from sin and toward Christ.
4. It’s a time to work on discipline. The 40 days of Lent are also a good, set time to work on personal discipline in general. Instead of giving something up, it can be doing something positive. “I’m going to exercise more. I’m going to pray more. I’m going to be nicer to my family, friends and coworkers.”
5. It’s about dying to yourself. The more serious side of Lenten discipline is that it’s about more than self-control – it’s about finding aspects of yourself that are less than Christ-like and letting them die. The suffering and death of Christ are foremost on our minds during Lent, and we join in these mysteries by suffering, dying with Christ and being resurrected in a purified form.
6. Don’t do too much.
It’s tempting to make Lent some ambitious period of personal reinvention, but it’s best to keep it simple and focused. There’s a reason the Church works on these mysteries year after year. We spend our entire lives growing closer to God. Don’t try to cram it all in one Lent. That’s a recipe for failure.
7. Lent reminds us of our weakness. Of course, even when we set simple goals for ourselves during Lent, we still have trouble keeping them. When we fast, we realize we’re all just one meal away from hunger. In both cases, Lent shows us our weakness. This can be painful, but recognizing how helpless we are makes us seek God’s help with renewed urgency and sincerity.
8. Be patient with yourself. When we’re confronted with our own weakness during Lent, the temptation is to get angry and frustrated. “What a bad person I am!” But that’s the wrong lesson. God is calling us to be patient and to see ourselves as he does, with unconditional love.
9. Reach out in charity. As we experience weakness and suffering during Lent, we should be renewed in our compassion for those who are hungry, suffering or otherwise in need. The third part of the Lenten formula is almsgiving. It’s about more than throwing a few extra dollars in the collection plate; it’s about reaching out to others and helping them without question as a way of sharing the experience of God’s unconditional love.
10. Learn to love like Christ. Giving of ourselves in the midst of our suffering and self-denial brings us closer to loving like Christ, who suffered and poured himself out unconditionally on a cross for all of us. Lent is a journey through the desert to the foot of the cross on Good Friday, as we seek him out, ask his help, join in his suffering and learn to love like him. Bishop David Ricken of Green Bay, Wis., chairs the USCCB Committee of Evangelization and Catechesis.
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66 things to give up or take up
By Kendra Tierney
Through my various Lenten fails over the years, I’ve learned a different way of approaching Lent. In our house, we now view Lent as a time to try adding or taking away things from our personal and family lives to see if we are improved. We make it a time, not of suffering (necessarily) but rather of increased focus on God and others and decreased focus on self and personal comfort. I have found that I can take up or give up just about anything, no matter how big or small, and use it as a reminder to pray more and love more. With that in mind, here are 66 ideas of things to consider giving up or taking up, represented in three levels: beginning (number 1), intermediate (number 2) and advanced (number 3). 1. Don’t take the best spot available in the parking lot 2. Take the worst parking spot you can find 3. Don’t drive: walk or take public transportation 1. Make the bed everyday 2. Make the bed everyday before you leave the bedroom 3. Put the throw pillows on and everything 1. Go to daily Mass once per week in addition to Sunday Mass 2. Go to daily Mass 2-3 times per week 3. Go to daily Mass every day 1. Don’t leave dishes in the sink overnight 2. Do the cooking dishes before dinner and the dinner dishes dishes immediately after dinner 3. Don’t use the dishwasher 1. Don’t use credit cards, spend only cash 2. Keep a list of things to buy and only shop one day per week 3. Don’t buy anything (except maybe food) 1. Don’t eat out at restaurants 2. Make all your food from scratch 3. Grow/raise all your own food 1. Watch only specific, preselected movies or TV shows, not just whatever is on 2. Watch TV and movies only as a planned family event. 3. Don’t watch TV or movies 1. Say a family Rosary once a week 2. Say one decade of the Rosary as a family each day 3. Say a family Rosary every day 1. Only listen to audio books or Classical music in the car 2. Turn off the radio in the car 3. Say a Rosary in the car or listen to a spiritual audio book 1. Get up at a specific time each morning 2. Go to bed at a specific time each night 3. Be in bed for a set amount of time each night 1. Have dinner as a family 2. Have a family game night 3. Read a book aloud as a family
1. If you like email, make phone calls 2. If you like talking on the phone, write letters 3. Go visit someone in person 1. Know what you’re going to make for dinner by 10am 2. Start a meal-planning system 3. Teach your kids to meal plan and cook 1. Clean the house each week 2. Clean the house before bed each night 3. Clean the house before dinner each evening 1. Eat more simply 2. Eat up the food that’s in the back of the pantry and freezer 3. Eat only soup 1. Give up one particular type of treat 2. Give up all sweets 3. I’m pretty sure there’s nothing harder than that 1. Switch from coffee to tea or vice versa 2. Limit yourself to one cup of coffee or tea per day 3. Give up caffeine 1. Turn the lights off in empty rooms 2. Have lights turned on in only one room at a time 3. Don’t use electricity 1. Say the Morning Offering when you wake up 2. And the Angelus at noon 3. And do an Examination of Conscience and say the Act of Contrition at night 1. Read the Sunday readings before Mass 2. Read the Bible for 10 minutes each day 3. And read the Catechism for 10 minutes each day 1. If you like TV, read a novel instead 2. If you like novels, read a classic 3. If you like the classics, read great Catholic nonfiction Kendra Tierney is a Catholic wife and mother of seven. She is the writer behind the blog: Catholic All Year. Tierney also dabbles in teaching, reading, cooking, baking and sewing.
Diocese of Fargo Lent & Easter Regulations The penitential days for the universal Church are each Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent. Ash Wednesday (March 5, 2014) marks the beginning of Lent. Lent is an opportunity to prepare our hearts and minds for the celebration of Easter. The following regulations are observed in this sacred season: Abstinence Catholics 14 years of age or older must abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and all the Fridays of Lent. It is only on the other Fridays of the year that abstinence may be substituted by another form of penance. Fasting Catholics between the ages of 18 and 59 (inclusive) are required to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. There is a limit of one full meal and no food between meals on those days. Two smaller meals are permitted as needed to maintain one’s strength. Sacrament of Penance All the faithful who have reached the age of reason are bound faithfully to confess their grave sins at least once a year. Lent is a good time to fulfill this precept of the Church. Anyone who is aware of having committed a mortal sin must not receive Holy Communion without previously having been to sacramental confession (Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), 1457). Holy Communion Catholics who have received their First Holy Communion are obliged to make a worthy reception of Holy Communion at least once a year during the Lenten or Easter seasons. Other Lenten Observances Each weekday of Lent is also an obligatory day of penance. Some recommendations include the participation in daily Mass, increased prayer or spiritual study, self-imposed fasting or abstinence, works of charity, and participation in traditional Lenten Devotions (parish missions, Stations of the Cross, rosary). The proper context for all Lenten discipline is the conversion of our hearts. As the Catechism states, however, “interior conversion urges expression in visible signs, gestures and works of penance.” These penances help us to redirect our whole life to God and away from sin and the evil we have committed (CCC, 1430-1439). As we celebrate our Lenten penitential practices, may we experience this conversion of heart and be strengthened in our faith in God’s mercy. May our discipline, through God’s grace, lead us to full participation in the eternal Easter.
Rend your heart, not your garments Katie Dubas, Evangelization and Catechesis Coordinator, Diocese of Fargo, presented a talk titled Rend Your Heart, Not Your Garments during a ladies Lent event at St. Luke’s Church, Veseleyville. Dubas focused on encouraging participants to use Lent as a time to look inward and identify what they can do to grow closer to God, through prayer and acts of charity. And, she recommended pondering how what you take up or give up during Lent might become more permanent. For a copy of Dubas’ presentation, visit www.fargodiocese.org.
“Stories . . . are like prayers. It does not matter when you begin, or when you end, only that you bend a knee and say the words.” Catherynne Valente
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Share your talents, stories to inspire others
hen I was growing up my mom that makes it easy for people to share used to tell me I had a way of their tales. Perhaps they are invited in making people feel at ease. by a sense of the joy and struggles I have For whatever reason, some people felt encountered. Or, maybe whatever was very comfortable in my in them needed to come presence. They would out, and I happen to be use that opportunity their only audience. to readily share their Whatever the reason, thoughts and emotions, I get to hear the stories. little tidbits of things Who knows if the expeheld in their hearts. rience for the other party is filled with joy, relief At times I didn’t unor general satisfaction. derstand why I was givI can’t be sure, but for en the fortune to hear me, I gain far more from these stories, but I simthe encounter than they ply listened. And, in evprobably do. ery case, I, in some way, was impacted. My life was changed. Energizing, inspiring I hadn’t really thought I’m a people person, much about my mom’s not in the extroverted Aliceyn Magelky words until a recent visit way where I thrive on sowith Deacon Ed and Deb cial situations and am reDidier, parishioners at St. Catherine’s juvenated by surrounding myself with Church in Valley City. I was interviewothers. Rather, I love getting past the ing the couple for a story that you can sometimes awkward chit chat of small find in a previous issue. And, I had the talk to the more intimate, one-on-one honor to observe a teensy-tiny part of exchange regarding another person’s their life and journey. In turn, I was givlife. I receive renewed energy and inen permission to share their story with spiration from great conversations, esthe readers of New Earth. pecially ones with sincerity and from Although, I had just met the Dithe heart. diers on the day of the interview, and That’s what makes my job as editor we only spoke to each other for a little of New Earth both delightful and chalmore than an hour, I felt a connection lenging at the same time. to them as though we had been lifeI’m blessed to witness the storytelllong friends. After the interview, as we ing of lots of different kinds of people, were saying our goodbyes and “see-ya walking at various paces with Christ. laters,” Deb turned to me and repeatIt’s incredible to see where the Holy ed the words my mom had said to me Spirit has led them in their lives. years ago, “You have a way about you I witness how they have been called that makes it easy to talk.” in some way, big and small, to take action for the church. And, I see how the Perhaps, Deb and my mom are right. church and its teaching, its prayers, the Perhaps, I do have a way of opening my structures and the people have conears, my mind and my heart in a way
soled, molded, lifted and transformed them. It’s as if I get to be part of the events themselves. Each person’s story is different, but each one has had a profound impact on me and my personal reflection of faith. It’s fantastic! And, the truly beautiful part, I get to share these stories with you. Unfortunately, here’s where the challenge lies.
Your help wanted
I’m thrilled to relay these stories to you, but like the game of “Telephone”, my interpretation of the events may be slightly skewed. My goal, always, is to recreate the tale to accurately reflect the emotions expressed. And, while I’m diligent at taking notes and feel drawn into the story as if I was an active participant, I’m still writing from a third party perspective. And, often I do not get to meet people outside my parish and know what’s happening outside my city. So, I need your assistance. I need you to help uncover these stories. New Earth is a publication for all people in the Diocese of Fargo. It’s a platform that not only allows others to share their journey, but it also allows us to witness the transformation of others. What a powerful evangelization tool! At a recent event, Bishop John Folda made the comment, “We [Catholics] too quickly assume people don’t want to be bothered, but people want to be connected, they just don’t know where to find these connections. Other institutions don’t hesitate to invite others in, so why should we? We have the best offer in town.” Yes, indeed, we do have the best offer in town. And, New Earth gives us the opportunity to connect others to the
faith, and, we in turn may be drawn closer to our own beliefs. We all can use this medium to share our journeys, witness transformation and be inspired and motivated by the commitment of others. Only Catholic publications like New Earth allow us to freely share the good news about the church. So, I encourage you to consider telling your story or the story of someone else through an article or photos. I wish I could participate in all events or hear everyone’s journey through faith because they are very impactful, and I gain so much. Unfortunately, I’m restrained by time and resources. But, those limitations should not force us to keep those stories hidden and locked away. We need to use them to “invite others in.” We never know the life we will change. With that said, I do need to put on the editor hat to give a little direction on the types of items submitted. My favorite, and the best for a monthly publication like New Earth, are timeless stories, the kind of stories that are not dependent on date. Some topic ideas include: a profile about a college student making a difference on his or her campus, a feature on a successful program at a parish or an article about how a family is living out the faith together. I know our diocese is blessed with talented writers, photographers and storytellers. Please consider using your gifts for our publication. Aliceyn Magelky is the director of communications for the Diocese of Fargo and editor of New Earth. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (701) 356-7958.
Why anti-Catholic prejudice ought to bother everyone
ecently, two outrageously antiThe second eruption of anti-CatholiCatholic outbursts took place in cism was even more startling. the public forum. In the course of a radio interview, The first was an article Governor Andrew Cuoin U.S. News and World mo blithely declared Report by syndicated that anyone who is procolumnist Jamie Stiehm. life on the issue of aborStiehm argued that the tion or who is opposed Supreme Court was danto gay marriage is “not gerously packed with welcome” in his state of Catholics, who have, New York. she averred, a terribly Mind you, the goverdifficult time separating nor did not simply say church from state and that such people are who just can’t refrain wrong-headed or misfrom imposing their guided; he didn’t say views on others. that they should be opHer meditations were posed politically or that prompted by Justice Sogood arguments against Father Robert Barron their position should be nia Sotomayor’s granting some legal breathing mounted; he said they space to the Little Sisters of the Poor, should be actively excluded from civil who were objecting to the provisions of society! the HHS mandate. One does not have to search very far, As even a moment’s thoughtful conof course, to find the source of this prejsideration would reveal, this decision udice deep in the American national hadn’t a thing to do with the intrusion consciousness. Many of the founding of the “church” into the state, in fact fathers harbored suspicions of Catholjust the contrary. icism that came from their intellectual
Word on Fire
formation in both Protestantism and Enlightenment rationalism. As the waves of immigrants from Ireland, Germany and Southern Europe arrived on American soil in the 19th century, many figures in the political and cultural establishment feared that an influx of Catholics would compromise the integrity of American society. What is particularly troubling today is the manner in which this deep-seated anti-Catholicism is finding expression precisely through that most enduring and powerful of American institutions, namely the law. We are a famously litigious society: the law shapes our identity, protects our rights and functions as a sanction against those things we find dangerous. Increasingly, Catholics are finding themselves on the wrong side of the law, especially in regard to issues of sexual freedom. The HHS mandate is predicated upon the assumption that access to contraception, sterilization, and abortifacient drugs is a fundamental right, and therefore to stand against facilitating this access, as the church must, puts Catholics
athwart the law. The same is true in regard to gay marriage. To oppose this practice is not only unpopular or impolitic, but, increasingly, contrary to legal statute. Already, in the context of the military, chaplains are encouraged and in some cases explicitly forbidden to condemn gay marriage, as this would constitute a violation of human rights. And this is why the remarks by Andrew Cuomo are especially chilling. That a governor of a major state — one of the chief executives in our country — could call for the exclusion of pro-lifers and those opposed to gay marriage suggests that the law could be used to harass, restrict, and, at the limit, attack Catholics. I would hope, of course, that it is obvious how this aggression against Catholics in the political sphere ought deeply to concern everyone in a supposedly open society. If the legal establishment can use the law to aggress Catholics, it can use it, another day, to aggress anyone else. Father Robert Barron is the founder of the global ministry, Word on Fire, and the rector/ president of Mundelein Seminary.
March 2014 n 13
No absolutes in Catholic view of property rights
uestions about oil development, for helping each of them to meet his “extraordinary places,” and basic needs and the needs of those in conservation measures have his charge. It should allow for a natbrought renewed attention to property ural solidarity to develop between rights in North Dakota. men. As with most issues, Catholics will have to 2403 The right to priassess the merits and vate property, acquired consequences of each or received in a just way, proposal. Before doing does not do away with so, however, a person the original gift of the should look at what earth to the whole of Catholic social doctrine mankind. The universal has to say. destination of goods reThe church has long mains primordial, even defended the right to priif the promotion of the vate property. It might common good requires surprise many in our respect for the right to country that the church private property and its views this right very difexercise. ferently than the typical Christopher Dodson American. 2404 “In his use of Americans tend to things man should review property ownership gard the external goods as a mostly absolute dominion over a he legitimately owns not merely as thing; a power to do what one wishes exclusive to himself but common to with the property and to prevent others others also, in the sense that they can from interfering with that power. benefit others as well as himself.” The Catholic doctrine, however, does not ownership of any property makes its consider private property an intrinsic holder a steward of Providence, with good, that is, something that is itself the task of making it fruitful and good. Rather, the church views private communicating its benefits to others, property as necessary because it serves first of all his family. the human person. As such, the right is limited to what is good for the human Human dignity primary person and to what extent it is consisWhen discussing the main princitent with the universal destination of ples of the church’s social doctrine, the goods. Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church does not even list the right How the church sees it to private property. Rather, it discussThe Catechism of the Catholic es the right in the context of the more Church expresses it this way: fundamental universal destination of goods. Private property derives from the 2402 In the beginning God endignity of human work and the right trusted the earth and its resources to possess it derives from its functional to the common stewardship of manaspects of strengthening the family and kind to take care of them, master preserving liberty (176) . them by labor, and enjoy their fruits. The goods of creation are destined for The Compendium also notes that the whole human race. However, the “Christian tradition has never recogearth is divided up among men to asnized the right to private property as sure the security of their lives, endanabsolute and untouchable: ‘On the gered by poverty and threatened by contrary, it has always understood this violence. The appropriation of propright within the broader context of the erty is legitimate for guaranteeing the right common to all to use the goods freedom and dignity of persons and of the whole of creation: the right to
“The ownership of any property
makes its holder a steward of providence, with the task of making it fruitful and communicating its benefits to others, first of all his family.
Catechism of the Catholic Church
private property is subordinated to the right to common use, to the fact that goods are meant for everyone’” (177). That the right to private property derives from its functional nature is emphasized further: “Private property, in fact, regardless of the concrete forms of the regulations and juridical norms relative to it, is in its essence only an instrument for respecting the principle of the universal destination of goods; in the final analysis, therefore, it is not an end but a means” (177). As is often the case, the Catholic view
of private property is somewhere in the middle, between absolute individualism and absolute collectivism. We should not be surprised. Errors, like heresies, will always fall on one or the other side of the Truth. Christopher Dodson is executive director of the North Dakota Catholic Conference. The NDCC acts on behalf of the Catholic bishops of North Dakota to respond to public policy issues of concern to the Catholic Church and to educate Catholics and the general public about Catholic social doctrine. The conference website is ndcatholic.org.
How to give to your parish forever (whether you are here or not) Remember the TV commercial that be gone and their offertory gifts will no used to air with the pink bunny playing longer be available to help meet current the drum that promoted a long-lasting needs. But, through an endowment, battery? they can keep making their offertory gifts. It reminds me of the enduring character of an endowment fund. Once Various reasons established, it just keeps and methods paying out money year after year after year. Some endowment doBut unlike the battery nors are attracted to the that eventually runs opportunity an endowdown, the endowment ment gives to memorialfund lasts forever. And, ize a loved one or other forever is a long time. respected person. They use this giving arrangeThe permanence of ment to bring honor and an endowment is exactrecognition. ly what attracts some people to this means of An endowment can be supporting their home created during life or at Steve Schons parish. They like the death through a bequest idea that the principal of or trust remainder. It can their gift will stay intact while the inbe restricted to specific needs or unrecome, or at least a good part of it, will stricted for general use. You can create be used to support their parish and its your own endowment or contribute to needs. one that already exists. They realize that someday they will Endowments can be made at once
with a single gift or established over time with repeated gifts. Endowments can originate from a single source or through the efforts and support of many persons. Endowments are especially useful in drawing other family members into the giving arena. For example, grandparents who establish an endowment in the family’s name are providing their children and grandchildren with a continuing tie with their parish as well as a means for them to enjoy the satisfaction of seeing “their” annual endowment grant benefit a worthy cause.
Catholic Development Foundation With this information one may think, where do all these parish endowments exist? The simple answer: they are in the Catholic Development Foundation. For every parish in the Diocese of Fargo, an endowment has been established and placed within the Catholic Development Foundation, for the parish’s benefit.
For example, St. Alphonsus’ Church in Langdon has a funded endowment that pays the parish five percent (based on a five-year rolling average value of the endowment) every year to be used for general operations. Some may recall that in 1985, Bishop James Sullivan established the Catholic Development Foundation to support Catholic entities and programs throughout the diocese. It exists with a simple mission: “To support financially the spiritual, educational, and social well-being of our Catholic faith community and to help donors achieve their charitable and financial goals.” Thankfully, since the inception of the Catholic Development Foundation, the payout rate has always been five percent. If you would like to know more about your parish endowment or how you can contribute to it, please contact me. Steve Schons is director of stewardship and development for the Diocese of Fargo and can be reached at steve.schons@ fargodiocese.org or (701) 356-7926.
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Focus on the elevens to guide toward priestly vocation
eminarians progress through their other people. years of formation out of a confiThis includes you. God uses the faithdence that God wants them to be ful to germinate and nourish vocations. there. What gets them to enter semiSo, what is one to do? nary in the first place, however, is often the Age matters prompting of friends, Before entering Mount family and even comSt. Mary’s Seminary, I plete strangers. spent six years as a teachThe booming voice of er in Catholic schools. God commanding, “Be a During that time, I nopriest!” makes for a good ticed great differences in movie, but it’s rarely the the needs and curiosity reality. of my students, particuIn high school, I canlarly with regard to relitored for many Masses gious vocations. at my local parish in What intrigues a sixth Fargo. Often someone grader is much different would casually walk up than a seventh gradto me after Mass inquirer. Fifth grade boys, for ing if I’d ever thought Kyle Metzger example, love to learn of becoming a priest. At about martyrs. Eighth times I never even knew grade girls love marriage. Sophomore the person. It happened so frequently, I boys are intrigued by the stigmata. The could predict the question as the indigirls, not as much. vidual approached. Taking these sorts of things into acIt was hard for me to avoid the quescount is important to present the faith tion of God’s call to the priesthood well, at an age-appropriate level. when so many were keeping the question in the front of my mind. God’s will When raising the question of the for my life was revealed not through a priesthood to the youth, I’ve found two burning bush but through the voices of groups of kids most open to the call. A
good rule of thumb is, “Focus on the Elevens.” Put more energy into the 11 year-olds and those in 11th grade. The first group, 11-year-olds or fifth and sixth graders, have slowly matured to the point where they can begin to ask meaningful questions and reflect upon substantive answers. They wonder about God and what he desires for each of them. They genuinely want to be good and are eager to participate in religious activities. The question of “what they wanted to be when they grow up” is one that comes up often. It’s a time ripe with curiosity, goodness and joy. Boys at this age are open to considering the priesthood, so don’t be afraid to bring up the topic. But, it’s a narrow window. If you wait much past 11, adolescence sets in. The youthful innocence slowly fades and peer pressure takes hold. They can be less interested in being good, than being liked. Therefore, don’t put off sewing vocational seeds in the 11-year-olds. If they are not yet an altar server, pass along their name to your pastor. Also pass along the name of the boy’s best friend. They’re more eager to learn with a friend. Introducing them to unique liturgical services piques their curiosity.
Triduum liturgies, the chrism Mass, or vespers services are all good places to start.
A few years later . . . The other group to remember is the 11th graders. If you wait until a student is a senior to discuss the priesthood, you’ve missed a valuable opportunity. Seniors often have their college plans set and have shared the news with family and friends. Asking them to discard their college acceptance letters and chart a new trajectory in their life can seem to them too much to ask. It’s not impossible, but it is difficult. Instead, speak to them about the priesthood in 11th grade. They’re looking at what to do with their lives. They’re researching schools online. They have a fervent desire to do something great with their lives. Make sure they are fully aware that following the road to ordained ministry is truly something remarkable to do with a life. Kyle Metzger is a third-year seminarian at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md. He is originally from Fargo and a parishioner at Nativity Catholic Church.
Prayer intentions of Pope Francis General intention: Respect for Women. That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women. eflection: What are some of the R “distinctive skill sets” that women possess and which make an “indispensable contribution” to society? S cripture: Luke 23: 27-31. Many women mourned and lamented him. Jesus, turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me. . . .” Mission intention: Vocations. That many young people may accept the Lord’s invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel. eflection: Where have I seen God use R my prayers to bring about changes? S cripture: Luke 10: 1-9. “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few.” Provided by Apostleship of Prayer, www.apostleshipofprayer.org.
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 with in the diocese, we ask that you also report the incident or suspected incident to Msgr. Joseph P. Goering at (701) 356-7945 or Larry Bernhardt at (701) 356-7965 or VictimAssistance@ fargodiocese.org. For additional information about victim assistance, visit www.fargodiocese.org/ victimassistance.
March 2014 n 15
Vocation weekend focuses on prayer, listening to God’s call By Kristina Lahr
Maryvale Convent in Valley City was the weekend destination, Feb. 7-9, for 19 young men discerning a vocation to the priesthood. The Vianney Discernment Weekend, organized by Father Kurt Gunwall and the diocesan vocation office, gave the men the opportunity to pray, reflect and discuss the possibility of answering a call to the priestly vocation. “The main focus of the retreat is to find the time for prayer,” said Father Gunwall. “We want to provide direction for allowing God to speak to everyone about their vocation.” “I took some time to talk with Father Gunwall,” said Lucas Holmes, graduate student at NDSU. “I got some spiritual direction that really helped me look at discernment as an easier and less confusing process when one relies on and listens to the Lord. I also learned how to really get the most out of eucharistic adoration. We go there to have a conversation with God, not to just pray and then be done.” “What I enjoyed most about the retreat was all the time spent one-on-one with our Lord,” said Jacob Degele, student at UND, Grand Forks. “To leave the world behind for just one weekend, and give it entirely to him, provides an abundance of graces. It was also rather interesting to listen to the seminarians that were present with us. Their vocation stories were intriguing and inspiring.”
Q & A with the bishop Throughout the weekend, these men were given the opportunity to hear presentations about vocations and prayer, hear vocation stories from seminarians and were given ample time for their own prayer and time to get to know each other. Bishop Folda was present to celebrate Mass and for a question and answer session. “I enjoy the time of quiet available for those on the retreat to overcome the fears that hold them back from discerning,” said Father Gunwall. “It comes from trusting that God has a plan for them and will bring joy in their lives.” “The most insightful part of the retreat was being able to talk to other discerning men about their feelings and
Bishop John Folda and Father Kurt Gunwall joined young men throughout the diocese for prayer and discussion about the call to becoming a priest at Maryvale Convent in Valley City Feb. 7-9.
“The most insightful part of the retreat was being able to talk to other discerning men about their feelings and interactions with God. It helped me figure out whether or not my feelings were of God or guilt to do what the church needs. No matter what happens during the retreat or even if you don’t get a message about your vocation, it is still a great retreat to just go and be with God and Christian men.” William Rerick, University of North Dakota student interactions with God,” said William Rerick also a student at UND, Grand Forks. “It helped me figure out whether or not my feelings were of God or guilt to do what the church needs. No matter what happens during the retreat or even if you don’t get a message about your vocation, it is still a great retreat to just go and be with God and Chris-
tian men. Through this retreat I made several friends and strengthened other friendships. I was very glad I went.” Father Gunwall organizes two retreat weekends for those discerning the priesthood, one in the winter and one in the summer. For anyone considering religious life in any form, Degele suggests to simply
trust in God’s ultimate plan. “He has a wonderful plan for each and every one of us,” said Degele. “Don’t worry about God’s will for you to complete in your lifetime. Just do the natural things and pray for the next step that the Lord wants you to take. Never cease praying. Spend time in personal prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. God works wonders in your life if you give him the opportunity.” “I hope these men will find an awareness of where they are at in the question of God’s call,” said Gunwall. “It’s not my goal to make everyone a priest but to help them hear what God is calling them to. It’s important for us as a church to encourage everyone to discern and pray for all vocations to marriage, priesthood and consecrated life.” For more information about the discernment weekend and vocations, contact the Vocation Office at (701) 356-7956 or email@example.com.
Storyteller to be featured at youth rally Fun activities planned for April 5 junior high event in New Rockford By Kathy Loney
Saturday, April 5, marks the date for the Junior High Rally in New Rockford. The guest speaker will be John Donahue-Grossman who comes to us from Chicago. Donahue-Grossman is a gifted storyteller who has been a high school teacher, administrator and parish youth minister. He has a very special way of getting his point across with the stories he tells. Students and adults alike will enjoy his presentation and go home with much to contemplate. CYAC will be in full force helping the day run smoothly and giving it lots of energy. They have many fun things planned for the students and adults to get involved with during the day. CYAC has its own rendition of the “minute to win it” show that all will love getting involved in. This year’s rally is being hosted by
the youth of St. John the Evangelist Church in New Rockford. Youth of the parish will open the event with a prayer service and will be on hand to help the day run smoothly. The day will include reconciliation, adoration and, weather permitting, a Eucharistic procession. Bishop Folda will be the main celebrant at the 4 p.m. Mass at St. John the Evangelist Church. Parishioners are invited to celebrate Mass also. Throughout the afternoon, CYAC has planned a series of workshops that will keep everyone on their toes. There will be prizes for competitions throughout the day. DJ Bill Lage will be on hand to help CYAC with activities during the day and to host a dance in the evening. All sixth through eighth grade students are invited. Any student interested must register in advance with their parish priest, director of religious
education or youth minister no later than Wednesday, March 19. All parish registration forms and tally sheets must be in the Diocesan Youth Ministry office no later than Monday, March 24. A pizza party will be awarded to the youth group that brings the most participants. All participants must be present at the rally to win. Cost is $35 per student and $15 per adult. One chaperone per eight students is requested. And, each chaperone is required to have completed the child safe environment training before coming to the event. If anyone has questions about this special day just for junior high students, please contact Kathy Loney at (701) 356-7902 or kathy.loney@fargo diocese.org. Kathy Loney is Youth Ministry Director, Diocese of Fargo.
Sullivan students share good wishes
March 2014 n 16
“I ask you, instead, to be revolutionaries, I ask
you to swim against the tide; yes, I am asking you to rebel against this culture that sees everything as temporary and that ultimately believes you are incapable of responsibility, that believes you are incapable of true love.
Pope Francis, World Youth Day, 2013
Speaker Steve Ray encourages counter-culture practice to avoid sliding into the paganistic world By Aliceyn Magelky
Juliet Geffre displays Valentine’s Day and Get Well cards that she and classmates at Sullivan Middle School in Fargo created for children staying at Sanford Children’s Hospital. Geffre was inspired to spearhead this project after reading a chapter on giving from the book “The 7 Mindsets to Live Your Ultimate Life.” This book is part of a year-long book study for all Sullivan students.
Renowned author, filmmaker and charismatic speaker Steve Ray took the stage Feb. 24 at Sts. Anne and Joachim, Fargo. More than 125 guests dined while listening to Ray’s compelling presentation, “Swimming Upstream: Living the Catholic Life in a Pagan Culture,” encouraging us to ask, “What are we going to do to stop the slide back into the pagan culture we had escaped from in the third century?” Ray’s answer; be rebels. “I told my kids, don’t be normal. I want you to be rebels,” stated Ray. “My attitude in life was I was going to raise rebels. I want them to rebel against the culture of death.” And why, “Every single human being is valuable to God,” said Ray. “Only Satan knows the value of a soul as much a God. And, by hurting souls, Satan hurts God.” So, how do we go about confronting our culture to bring about a revival and renewal?
Examine one’s life
To subscribe Thanks to the generosity of our parishes, New Earth is made available to every Catholic household in the diocese. This monthly publication aims to offer insightful stories and authentic Catholic information. While this publication is virtually free to anyone in the diocese, we ask that you consider supporting this ministry by purchasing a subscription for someone outside of the diocese or making a personal contribution. Thank you! Subscription rate for 11 issues of New Earth is $9. Name Address City State Zip Phone Email Recipient’s Contact Information (if gift subscription)
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According to Ray, it’s simple; look to the life of the early Christians. “They lived the faith,” he said. “They learned it, loved it and lived it.” If we live the truth in everyday life and in everything we do, we can turn around the culture we live in.” Specifically, Ray pointed out three areas to examine when living the faith: 1. Consider your call. What has God asked you to do? 2. Build relationships. Be outwardly loving and caring toward one another. 3. Take advantage of the sacraments. In order for us to evangelize we need to be ready by getting right in our own lives. Ray’s presentation coincides with the annual pro-life luncheon hosted by the Respect Life Office, Fargo Diocese. “I was very pleased with his [Steve’s] message,” said Rachelle Sauvageau,
Sacred Heart Catholic School Sacred Heart Catholic School in East Grand Forks, Minnesota has the following full-time positions available: • Dean of Academics and Student Life (K- 12) • Development and Marketing Assistant Job descriptions can be found on www.sacredheartegf.net<http://www. sacredheartegf.net> Please send resume, transcripts, and references to: Search Committee Sacred Heart School 200 Third St. N.W. East Grand Forks, MN 56721
Catholic speaker, author and filmmaker Steve Ray illustrates his point during his dynamic presentation at the annual Respect Life Office’s pro-life luncheon held Feb. 24.
Respect Life Director. “He spoke to the importance of building relationships to witness by our daily living.” Each year, Sauvageau collaborates with Real Presence Radio to bring a well-known Catholic speaker to the area. The goal is to bring pro-life, Christian people together for education and fellowship. “It’s important to bring people together that are pro-life for fellowship. We are edified when someone comes and gets us out of our comfort zone,” Sauvageau said. “We need to pick up the banner of our faith.” Next year’s luncheon will be held Feb. 19. Tentative speaker is Tim Staples, Director of Apologetics and speaker for Catholic Answers. Raised in a Fundamentalist Baptist family, Steve and his wife Janet spent months studying and traveling trying to convince their Catholic friend, Al Kresta, that the early church was evangelical and to leave the faith. However, it was Steve and Janet that ended changing their minds. On Pentecost Sunday, 1994, they became members of the Catholic Church. Since then, Steve’s passion for the depth of truth found within the Catholic tradition has led him to walk away from his previous career and pursue what he really loves: writing, speaking, producing Catholic films and leading pilgrimages to biblical lands. To learn more about Steve Ray, visit www.catholic-convert.com.
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Birthdays and Anniversaries
Obituary Charles L. Eldredge, former editor of New Earth, diocesan volunteer, Harvey businessman (Dec. 30, 1935 – Feb. 4, 2014)
Little Flower parishioner celebrates 102nd year Helen Volk, a long-time resident of Rugby and a member of Little Flower Church, celebrated her 102nd birthday Jan. 22. She attends weekly Mass, will sing with anyone who enjoys music and continues to inspire and teach her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Volk moved to Fargo when she was 98 and currently lives at Villa Maria.
St. Aloisius resident, Magdelena Mack, formerly of rural Balta, turns 91 Magdelena Mack celebrated her 91st birthday on Jan. 21. She was married to John Mack for 67 years until his passing in 2010. She raised 10 children on a farm near Balta. Today, she resides at St. Aloisius Nursing Home in Harvey.
April 7 Auction will benefit Catholic Charities Join Catholic Charities North Dakota for the Fifth Annual Purse and Quilt and More Auction on Mon., April 7 at the Fargo Hilton Garden Inn. It’s a fun filled night with beautiful quilts, fabulous purses and many other items including delicious food and wine.
Charles Louis Eldredge Sr., 78, of Luck, Wis., passed away peacefully on Feb. 4, 2014. He served on the Fargo Diocese Board of Education and was editor of the diocesan newspaper, the New Earth, during the late 1990s. He loved his work with the Diocese of Fargo both as a journalist and as a Eldredge teacher. Whether he was in a classroom, writing an editorial column, fishing or in a duck blind, he was a great teacher of Christ and the Catholic faith. Even after he stopped working for the Fargo Diocese, he continued teaching in Wisconsin, bringing many a deeper understanding of our faith. Eldredge was born and raised in St. Paul, Minn. He met Marion Lyness while they were students at the Col-
Tickets are $30 and must be reserved. Last year tickets sold out, so get yours early by calling 701-235-4457 or go to CatholicCharitiesND.org. All proceeds benefit the programs of Catholic Charities North Dakota.
leges of St. Thomas and St. Catherine and married in 1958 in Fessenden. Upon completion of his National Guard assignment, the couple made their home in St. Paul. He was employed by the 3M Company for 16 years in animal care and home product development. In 1975, the couple and their children relocated to Marion’s hometown of Fessenden. They farmed before purchasing the Wells County Free Press and Harvey Herald, later combined to the Herald-Press, in 1983. Eldredge continued to be active in the business, well into his retirement. He and Marion had enjoyed living permanently at their home on Blake Lake, Wis., since 2001. Eldredge was the consummate loving husband and family man, delighting in time spent with his large family and introducing each generation to the wonders of the outdoors. He is preceded in death by parents Chester and Hortense Eldredge, and survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Marion L. Eldredge; daughters Mary Eldredge-Sandbo (Sherman Sandbo) of Des Lacs, Anne Ehni of Fessenden, Lisa Haag (Tim) of Ham Lake, Minn., Jenny Eldredge (Cameron Potts) of Elk River, Minn; sons, Charles L. Eldredge Jr. (Jennifer) of Elk River, Minn., John Eldredge (Davonne) of Mosinee, Wis.; 12 grandchildren; 7 great grandchildren; and brother, C. Thomas Eldredge (Jerie) of Fridley, Minn.
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, N.D. 58104-7605 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Blessed are the Peacemakers” The readers of the New Earth are cordially invited to a beautiful, inexpensive, lakeside retreat of wonderful relaxation and spiritual rejuvenation. For more information contact: Christ the King Retreat Center • Buffalo, MN (763) 682-1394 • email email@example.com or visit our website at www.kingshouse.com
Phone: 701-282-4400 • www.robertgibb.com
Give A Gift to Help Keep the TV Mass on the Air! The best gift for those you love who are nursing home residents, shut-ins, or non-practicing Catholics WDAY, Channel 6, Fargo — WDAZ, Channel 8, Grand Forks 10:30 a.m. Sunday Name _____________________________________________________________________________ Address____________________________________________________________________________ City/State/Zip______________________________________________________________________ Phone _____________________________________________________________________________ A GIFT FOR: Name _____________________________________________________________________________ Address____________________________________________________________________________ City/State/Zip______________________________________________________________________
“I support the TV Mass because it was an important part of my mother’s life. My husband and I would sometimes watch it with her. I’m thankful that the TV Mass was there for her.” — Helen Bye, Fargo
Or, IN MEMORY OF: Name _____________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ I would like this listed at the end of the TV Mass on this date(s):____________________________ MAIL TO: TV Mass, Diocese of Fargo, 5201 Bishops Blvd., Suite A, Fargo, ND 58104-7605
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Youth & Young Adults
NDSU’s bisonCatholic group hosts talks, sees protests during week-long celebration By Tara Splonskowski
Hosted by St. Paul’s Newman Center on the campus of North Dakota State University, Catholic college students used bisonCatholic Week as another opportunity for evangelization. The Jan. 27 to Feb. 1 celebration included large scale campus events and smaller, community building activities. Students participated in an annual talent show and Minute-to-Win-It challenge on Monday night. On-campus events included a prayer talk by Monsignor Gregory Schlesselman, followed by Mass with Bishop John Folda on Tuesday night; The Sex Talk by Vicki Thorn, founder of Project Rachel, on Wednesday night; and Same-Sex Marriage: Why the Controversy by Trent Horn of Catholic Answers on Thursday night. With an audience of about 250 at the main on-campus events, the week proved to be both a “win” and a “build” for the Newman Community. NDSU student groups such as the Freethinkers and the Great Plains Atheists, as well as students from UND and MSUM, made appearances at the Wednesday and Thursday events. With such controversial and important topics, Newman event coordinators and FOCUS Missionaries were not surprised when certain members of the audience expressed their opposition to the views being presented. Father James Cheney, the pastor at St. Paul’s Newman Center explained, “This year we thought it was important to take on some of the hot button issues instead of remaining silent on them. We knew we would be ridiculed and persecuted for it but felt it was important to demonstrate courage in presenting the Church’s reasonable teaching. It’s important for college students to know that we love our faith enough to proclaim it and not be afraid.” Vicki Thorn’s talk was greeted with hoots and guffaws by members of the Great Plains Atheists and Freethinkers,
as well as flyers being handed out at the door saying “Don’t believe everything you hear about birth control,” with a website for students to check out. After failed attempts by the NDSU staff to stop this infringement on another student organization’s event, which is prohibited by campus policy, campus police intervened, allowing protesters to stay if they ceased their disruption, which they did.
Gay couple protests, too Another episode occurred during Horn’s presentation on marriage when a lesbian couple stood up and proceeded to kiss and grope each other. This display lasted for about five minutes until the arrival of an NDSU staff member who asked the couple to leave. Horn continued his presentation, despite the distraction, and actually asked the two young women to stay, expressing a wish to hear their questions and enter into dialogue with them. They initially agreed; but, they decided they would not stay in the room to listen to the rest of the talk. One FOCUS missionary, Bryan Thiry, followed the two into the lounge and was able to visit and befriend them. The two girls did not stay for the question and answer session. Thiry commented, “All people, no matter how much different they are from us, all need to have an encounter with Jesus Christ. No one had ever witnessed the love of Christ towards these girls; they had only been judged and ridiculed. I am so happy I was able to talk to them or they would have just left hating the Catholic Church and nothing would have been accomplished.” Despite, and even in some cases, in response to the opposition, many good conversations occurred after the talks, when both FOCUS missionaries and student missionaries from Newman engaged in dialogue with members of
Bison John Folda poses with Sister Mary Alma and Sister Mary Grace from the School Sisters of Christ the King. The young women attended bisonCatholic Week events as a religious presence and were available for spiritual direction for students during the week.
Dr. Paul Carson, Dr. Richard Vetter, Trent Horn and Vicki Thorn comprise a medical ethics panel made available after Thorn’s presentation on The Sex Talk during bisonCatholic Week. The panel answered questions regarding contraception and its effects on the human body.
the audience, including both students and non-students unaffiliated with the Newman Center. The number of positive responses to the events far outweighed the negative. Resources and reading materials were also available after each event, allowing those present to delve deeper into the topics discussed. The remaining events which occurred at the Newman Center saw many new faces. Friday night was Casino Night, with great prizes. And, Saturday ended the week with a for-
mal dinner and dance, the latter of which is always a huge success with the students. BisonCatholic Week has been an annual occurrence since 2010 and typically kicks-off with the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, the patron of the campus parish. The event was started to help facilitate spiritual depth as a follow up to the annual large scale FOCUS conference events that take place during semester break.
Retreat lights young hearts on fire for the Holy Spirit By Kristina Lahr
Thirty-four young adults gathered at St. Francis Retreat Center in Hankinson Feb. 7- 9 for a Life in the Spirit retreat hosted by Father Neil Pfeifer, Liason for the Charismatic Renewal of the Diocese of Fargo and pastor of St. Michael’s parish in Grand Forks, and Tom Beale, faith formation director of St. Jerome parish and school in Phoenix, Ariz. Praise and worship was led by Sts. Anne and Joachim, Fargo, parish musicians Tim and Veronica Mosser on Friday and Jordan Buchhorn on Saturday and Sunday. The focus of Life in the Spirit is to allow Jesus Christ to be the Lord of your life and for you to surrender more fully to the power of the Holy Spirit. Shortly after their arrival, participants were told to write a list of their expectations and hopes for the retreat. After creating a list, they were promptly told to rip them up and toss them in the trash. Beale explained that we aren’t the
ones to fulfill a need we think we have in our lives. If we give our hopes and expectations over to the Holy Spirit, he will fulfill our needs for us, whether we recognize those needs or not. Beale said that we can trust in the model given to us in Luke 11:11-13 which says, “Would any of you who are fathers give your son a snake when he asks for a fish? Or would you give him a scorpion when he asks for an egg? As bad as you are, you know how to give good things to your children. How much more, then, will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?” “In my walk of faith, this retreat was a significant step to an even deeper relationship with Jesus,” said Kayla Gross of Napoleon, “This weekend was a beautiful witness that all I have to do is ask and I will receive.” The weekend was filled with teachings of the Holy Spirit, testimonies, small group discussions, praise and worship, Mass, adoration and the sacra-
ment of reconciliation. Before receiving the sacrament of reconciliation, Father Pfiefer led the healing of memories, which was a guided prayer exercise used to heal the wounds of rejection and sin during childhood and adolescence. “It was enlightening to share a weekend with faith-filled, searching Christians,” said Mary Kay Willits, volunteer from West Fargo, “My faith grew as a team member along with the participants. It was amazing to experience and see the Holy Spirit grow from Friday night to Sunday afternoon. The small group experience seemed like we were family, and the Holy Spirit showed us we need each other in our spiritual journey.” Everyone who attended was also given the opportunity to be prayed over individually where many experienced resting in the spirit, which is when the Holy Spirit fills a person with a heightened inner awareness until the body’s energy fades away and cannot stand. The person is still consciousness but rests in the healing power of the
Holy Spirit. “I absolutely loved the weekend,” said Hannah Magrum of Fargo, “I didn’t want to leave! This last weekend has changed my life. I could feel our Lord Jesus’ presence and the Holy Spirit working inside me. I could not stop singing when I came back.” The weekend also reminded retreaters that in order to recognize God in our lives, we need to seek him in the silence as Elijah did on Mount Horeb in 1 Kings 19:12. “I enjoyed the opportunity to experience my first Life in the Spirit seminar,” said Chad Prososki, Fargo, “I had heard about them for years so it was good to be able to check it out myself. In many ways it reminded me of the popular SEARCH retreats at Maryvale Retreat Center in Valley City. The emphasis on vocation and listening to God’s direction in your life is helpful for all ages. I would urge everyone who wants to learn more about the Holy Spirit to come and experience it for themselves.”
March 2014 n 19
Events across the diocese March 13-16 (Thursday-Sunday): Men’s Lenten Ignatian Retreat in Hankinson. Participants will be introduced to St. Ignatius Loyola’s methods of encountering Jesus Christ. Cost is $250/person. Registration deadline is March 10. For more information and/or a registration form, contact Rachelle Sauvageau at (701) 356-7910 or visit www.fargo diocese.org/retreatregistration.
For more news and events, visit the “News and Events” section of the diocesan website:
www.fargodiocese.org March 9 (Sunday): Knowing the Life of a Sister, Maryvale Convent, Valley City, 9:30 a.m.–6 p.m. For women 16-35. Spend time with the sisters to learn about their way of life, prayer and ministry. March 9-11 (Sunday-Tuesday): Battle Ready Rally. Inspirational speaker Doug Barry will be at St. Thomas Aquinas Newman Center in Grand Forks at 6 p.m. on Mar. 9; St. Catherine’s Church in Valley City at 6:30 p.m. on Mar. 10 and St. Philip Neri Church in Napoleon at 7 p.m. on Mar. 11 to discuss the need to fight for souls.
March 14 (Friday): Fish Fry Fundraiser for the Knights of Columbus at St. Lawrence Parish Hall in Jessie from 5-7 p.m. Cost is $8/adult or $25/family of four or more. March 15 (Saturday): Habits of a Contemplative Heart, Presentation Prayer Center located at 1101 32nd Ave. S, Fargo, 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. Through discussions, dialogue and periods of prayer, participants will be offered opportunities to expand their practice of contemplative prayer, cultivate habits of a listening heart and foster a way of life that is open to God. For more information, contact Sister Andrea Arendt at (701) 237-4857 ext. 211. March 21-23 (Friday-Sunday): Women’s Retreat at Maryvale in Valley City. This retreat is based in the scripture of the Gospel of John 4:4-42, Jesus’ encounter with the woman from Samaria. Suggested donation is $85. For more information contact Sister Dorothy Bunce at (701) 845-2865.
March 25 (Tuesday): Celebration of Life at St. Mary’s Church in Grand Forks. Rosary at 5:10 p.m.; Mass celebrated by Bishop Folda at 5:30 p.m. A meal will be served following Mass. If you are interested in staying for the meal, please RSVP by March 18 at (701) 775-9318. March 27-30 (Thursday-Sunday): Women’s Lenten Ignation Retreat in Hankinson. Participants will be introduced to St. Ignatius Loyola’s methods of encountering Jesus Christ. Cost is $250/person. Registration deadline is March 24. For more information and/or a registration form, contact Rachelle Sauvageau at (701) 356-7910 or visit www.fargodiocese.org/retreat registration. April 1 (Tuesday): Serra Dinner, 6 p.m., at St. Anthony of Padua in Fargo. Serra Club dinners are an opportunity to meet, visit and pray with others who want to work to support vocations in the area. April 4-6 (Friday-Sunday): Ignatian Retreat at Maryvale in Valley City. This retreat is based on the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola and is steeped in the gospels. Register by March 24. Suggested donation is $60. April 5 (Saturday): Hard as Nails by Justin Fatica, St. Mark’s Church in Bottineau, 7 p.m. This is a free family event open to all parishes. Justin is the
co-founder and director of nationally acclaimed Hard as Nails Ministries. April 5 (Saturday): Jr. High Rally in New Rockford at the New Rockford/ Sheyenne School. This event is for students in grades 6-8. Contact New Rockford or Sheyenne parish for registration and more information on the day. April 11 (Friday-Sunday): Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat at Hankinson. Rachel’s Vineyard offers a safe, non-judgemental and confidential weekend retreat for anyone who struggles with the feelings of loss that can accompany an abortion experience. For more information or to register, contact Ruth Ruch at (701) 219-3941 or firstname.lastname@example.org. All calls are confidential. April 12 (Saturday): Mother/Daughter Retreat at Maryvale in Valley City. The unique beauty of the mother and daughter relationship will be explored through prayer, input sessions and dialogue. Ages of daughters 12 years and older. Please register by March 28. Suggested donation is $25 person. 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 March 26.
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20 n March 2014
Windows from Bremen inspire now in Kindred Continued from page 1 a family, the memories and stories of the past continue to thrive and evolve through the ages as a new generation witnesses them. “In a family, when someone dies, you pass along the things that person owned to the next generation to ensure the legacy lives on,” Schaefer said. “Kindred is the next generation.”
About St. Joseph’s of Bremen Since the erection of the first structure in 1896 to the day of the final Mass held Christmas 2008, St. Joseph’s parishioners banded together to build, support and protect a building that helped fill them both spiritually and socially. “It made up a big part of our life,” said Hitz. “If you weren’t going to school, you were in church.” Even after a fire destroyed the church in the spring of 1950 and parishioners helplessly watched the steeple collapse and the walls crumble into ash, their community spirit flamed brighter and rebuilding soon began the fall of that year. Parishioners very generously donated innumerable items, from pews to playing cards. And, the first Mass in the new edifice was offered on Christmas Eve, 1951. Finally, the new church was blessed and dedicated on May 15, 1952 by Bishop Dworschak.
In come the windows of saints Lead by the vision of Father Wilfred Shannon, pastor from 1940 until his passing in 1959, parishioners saved and sacrificed to bring the stained glass windows to the parish. For those willing and able to contribute, the gift to the church was an extension of their faith and family. “The windows are a radiant reflection of the parishioners’ love for God and his church given in memory of people who brought them to the faith. The sacrifices these farming families made to save money to pay for these customized windows reflected their love of their Creator,” Schaefer said. Each of the eight windows were placed in the nave and
assigned to a saint or image that had special significance to the church. The first window, St. Joseph, patron saint of the parish, was donated by Alice Allamaras and her daughter in memory of her husband Corporal Jacob Allamaras. Corporal Allamaras died in the Korean War. “Most of the windows were donated in memory of someone who had lost their lives serving our country. I would have not known those heroes without those windows,” Hitz said. In addition to St. Joseph, the Allmaras family donated the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary windows as a reminder of our prayer and devotion. The O’Connor family donated the St. Isidore window. As a rural community, that window was fittingly dedicated to farmers. St. Maria de la Cabeza, St. Isidore’s wife, helped underline the importance of farmers’ wives. Her window was donated by Frank Dusek, grandfather to Sister Andrea Arendt, Sisters of Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Fargo. Also Sister Arendt’s family offered the St. Maria Goretti window. She was dedicated to the young people of the parish. And, her presence is something that Sister Andrea fondly recalls. “I remember sitting near St. Maria Goretti and thinking she was my grandmother,” Sister Arendt recalled. “The window was a marker of where to sit in church; that was my place and home.” Furthermore, Father Shannon donated the St. Wilfrid window and dedicated it to the priesthood. Finally, the Helenski family donated the St. Pius X window. He was chosen for his providential work of restoring the frequent reception of Holy Communion and permitting little children to partake in the Eucharist.
Unlike any other Coming from half-way around the world this kind of art was not like anything the parishioners of St. Joseph’s had ever seen or experienced. “That kind
Sister Andrea Arendt, PBVM, and Joan Schaefer, former members of St. Joseph’s parish in Bremen, kneel in St. Maurice Church in Kindred with St. Maurice parishioners Mary and Charles Lenz near the art glass window that bears the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The window is one of eight that originally graced the now-closed Bremen church.
of thing wasn’t expected in a farming community,” said Kathy O’Connor whose husband’s aunt and uncle donated the funds for the St. Isidore window. “I don’t think there was any other church around that had anything like them.” The windows were designed by Andre` and Paul Rault, two brothers from Rennes, France. Like their father, they became master glassmakers. While many studios of their day set the heavy dalle de verre (or glass slab) in cement matrix, the Raults insisted on using lead cames to refract the maximum light possible. The Raults made major restorations in many of the great churches of France after both the First and Second World Wars. As the European churches regained their pre-war composure in the late 1940s, the Raults looked abroad for new clients. Eventually, more than 60 large and small installations were completed in the West, primarily in Saskatchewan and Alberta in Canada and Washington, Minnesota, Montana, and the Dakotas in the United States. The windows not only served a practical purpose of bringing light into the sanctuary, but they became part of the liturgy. Specifically, the women decorating the church during Advent would gradually add adornments to the sills in the anticipative nature of that season.
New home, new life Archive photo of window artists, Andre and Paul Rault in 1965. The French designers who created the windows for St. Joseph’s Church in Bremen were wellknown for composing art glass in a way to reflect the maximum amount of light. Photo courtesy of Rault Archives
Installed the second week of Nov. 2013, St. Maurice’s parishioners welcomed the new windows to their new home in Kindred. Much like St. Joseph’s parishioners, St. Maurice’s members share a tradition
of scraping together and pitching in to build a church. This commonality brought a bit of comfort to the former St. Joseph’s parishioners. “When Father Kadlec announced the windows would be installed at St. Maurice’s, there was a bit of a relief,” Schaefer said. “I, and I think others, felt reassured the windows were going to a smaller parish with younger families, like St. Joseph’s. It was a blessing to know they would be loved and enjoyed by a new parish just as they had been at St. Joseph’s.” After they were installed, Father Jared Kadlec, pastor at St. Maurice, gathered a group of about 30 children to explain the meaning of each one. “I think the kids were in awe after they were installed,” Father Kadlec said. For St. Maurice’s parishioners Mary and Charles Lenz, the first time they saw the windows in St. Maurice’s was on their 50th wedding anniversary. “It made that day even more special,” Mary said. “We thanked Earl [Wilhelm] for getting them in before our anniversary,” she joked. As the sting of losing a beloved parish may linger in the hearts of St. Joseph’s parishioners, perhaps they will find solace in knowing the windows’ roles in bringing joy, drawing parishioners deeper into prayer and adding to memories will remain. Schaefer agreed. “What a blessing that these windows and the saints’ quiet intercessions were with us, leading us to God. Now is the time for the treasured windows to be shared with another part of our universal Catholic family. May God’s light shining through these windows and the saints and embrace the parishioners of St. Maurice as they so embraced us.”