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New May 2017 | Vol. 38 | No. 5


The Magazine of the Catholic Diocese of Fargo

Fatima – 100 years later Heeding the call of Our Lady


From Bishop Folda: The centenary of Fatima

Lutheran and Catholic pastors, priests and laypeople gather to discuss differences; celebrate agreements

It’s official: Pope Francis to canonize Fatima visionaries during May visit NEW EARTH MAY 2017





May 2017 Vol. 38 | No. 5

ON THE COVER 14 Fatima – 100 years later: Heeding Mary’s call to repentance, consecration and salvation On May 13, the world will mark the 100th anniversary of

the first apparition, or appearance, of Our Lady to three peasant children in the Portuguese village of Fatima. Pope Francis will lead the festivities to commemorate what many call the most significant of all Marian apparitions.



The centenary of Fatima



Pope Francis’ May prayer intentions


Ask a priest: Must the comatose be given a feeding tube? What other concerns should I keep in mind for my Health Care Directive?


What is Canon Law all about?



Priests renew vows, Bishop Folda blesses Holy oils at Chrism Mass

10 SMP Health Systems names Keelin chief executive officer for Villa Maria, Fargo 11 Beloved nurse and teacher, Sister Marguerite Guarneri dies age 102

14 12



12 Lutheran and Catholic pastors, priests and laypeople 24 Stories of Faith Father Bert Miller shares the story of a man he met gather to discuss differences, celebrate agreements 13 SEARCH directors retire after 24 years of service


20 Pope Francis and University of Mary student exchange zucchettos 20 A day of faith building, mentoring for the Shanley Deacon Service Club


21 Tattered Pages


A review written by Father James Gross for “It’s Dangerous to Believe” by Mary Eberstadt.


in Israel, a father whose love knows no borders.

25 Catholic Charities Corner

Chad Prososki, Director of Development and Community Relations for Catholic Charities ND, explains some of the works of Catholic Charities.

26 Catholic Action

Christopher Dodson discusses freedom of speech in today’s world.

27 Word on Fire

Guest columnist, Bishop Robert Barron, reviews “The Case for Christ,” reflecting on the Church’s deep history.

28 Stewardship

Steve Schons shares three reasons to launch your own endowment.

ON THE COVER: The shrine of Our Lady of Fatima at St. Anthony’s Church in Mooreton. (Paul Braun | New Earth)



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


Most Rev. John T. Folda Bishop of Fargo


Paul Braun

Assistant editor Kristina Lahr


Stephanie Drietz - Drietz Designs


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





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


32 20 years after 1997 flood, faithful send relief following devastation in Peru 34 It’s official: Pope Francis to canonize Fatima visionaries during May visit SPECIAL SECTION – SIDEWALK STORIES 35 Praying mother inspires sidewalk advocates

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

Contact Information

Use the following contact information to contact the New Earth staff: (701) 356-7900 Deadline to submit articles, story ideas, advertisements and announcements for the June issue is May 26, 2017. All submissions are subject to editing and placement. New Earth is published by the Catholic Diocese of Fargo, a nonprofit North Dakota corporation, 5201 Bishops Blvd. S, Suite A Fargo, ND 58104. (701) 356-7900. Periodical Postage Paid at Fargo, ND and at additional mailing offices. Member of the Catholic Press Association NEW EARTH MAY 2017



The centenary of Fatima


n May 13, 1917, a remarkable series of events began to unfold. Three little shepherd children, Lucia dos Santos, Francisco Martos, and Jacinta Martos, witnessed the first of several apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Fatima, Portugal. These apparitions continued once a month until Oct. 13, 1917, and later were declared worthy of belief by the Catholic Church. Since that time, millions of people have made pilgrimages to the site of the apparitions in Fatima, and millions more have adopted the spirituality of Fatima into their own personal spiritual lives. In her appearances to the children of Fatima, Mary made several important exhortations and promises. She repeatedly urged all believers to pray the rosary every day for peace. She exhorted them to do penance and to make reparation for sinners by their own sacrifices. She revealed to them the terrible reality of sin and hell, but she also assured them of the power of prayer for the conversion of sinners. And, she promised that, in the end, her Immaculate Heart would triumph. Mary came to visit the world at Fatima at a time when many had grown forgetful of God and his loving plan for our salvation. Many had rebelled against the law of God and had become alienated from him through sin, error, and the horrors of war. Entire nations turned to atheism, and World War I ravaged the earth. Our Blessed Mother, always concerned for our salvation, came in that moment to remind us of the love and mercy of God. But, she also called us to turn over our lives to our Lord Jesus Christ through prayer and penance and to do whatever he tells us. Some have doubted the truth of these incredible events, and others have questioned the fulfillment of our Lady’s instructions. But one thing is quite clear: the message of Fatima is just as timely now as it was one hundred years ago. Our world

continues to experience the tragedy of war and the indiscriminate destruction of innocent human lives. Many people have fallen away from the Catholic faith and have entirely lost faith in God. Materialism and secularism have become the new idols of our time, tearing us away from virtue and from the mercy of God. And, the family as the building block of our society is under severe assault. How then are we to respond to these messages of our Blessed Mother? First, by living good Christian lives. We do this by obeying God’s commandments, by growing in virtue and avoiding sin, and by readily confessing our faults. Mary also urges us to pray every day, especially the rosary. Prayer places us in direct communion with God and allows us to receive the grace he wishes to give us. In a special way, the rosary is a prayerful meditation on the mysteries of Christ and our redemption. Pope St. John Paul II taught us that, by praying the rosary, we look on the face of Jesus along with his mother Mary. Our Lady also asked us to observe the devotion of the Five First Saturdays to bring about the complete conversion of Russia, peace in the world, and the triumph of her Immaculate Heart. This monthly practice of prayer to our Lady, Confession, Holy Communion, and personal sacrifice is a powerful means of grace. Finally, Mary asks us to make sacrifices for the conversion of sinners and to accept suffering in reparation for our sins and those of others. By his passion and death, Jesus brought us back to God, and he invites us to join our own sufferings to his for the sake of those souls that are far from him. Pope Francis has been very clear about his own devotion to Our Lady of Fatima. Only seven months after he was elected pope, the Holy Father publicly consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in St. Peter’s Square before 150,000 people. As he stood before the image of Our Lady of Fatima, he asked Mary to welcome the consecration “with the benevolence of a mother.” He continued: “Guard our lives in your arms. Bless and strengthen every desire for goodness; revive and grow faith; sustain and illuminate hope; arouse and enliven charity; guide all of us on the path of holiness.” Pope Francis recognizes that Mary always leads us to her Son, Jesus, and she “takes us with the hand of a mother to the embrace of the Father, to the Father of mercy.” On the 100th anniversary of the apparitions, Pope Francis will travel to Fatima, and there he will once again


placing ourselves under the holy protection of Mary, our mother, we cannot help but draw closer to the Heart of Jesus, her Son. – Bishop John Folda, Diocese of Fargo 4


celebrate Mary’s loving intervention in our world, and her closer to the Heart of Jesus, her Son. No one was closer to Jesus constant desire to lead us to holiness through Jesus. than Mary, and by uniting ourselves in spirit to her, we share In the Diocese of Fargo, we too will mark the centenary of the in the intimacy that she enjoys with him. apparitions of Mary at Fatima in a special way. I will celebrate The message of Mary at Fatima is quite simply a call to prayer, Mass at Shanley High School in Fargo on May 13 to conclude conversion, and holiness of life. This is the perennial message a day of prayer in commemoration of this anniversary. And, of the Gospel, and it is a message of great hope for our times. at all Masses on the weekend of May 13-14, I ask all the clergy As we observe this anniversary, let us renew our devotion to and faithful to join me in consecrating the Diocese of Fargo to Mary, our mother, and through her Immaculate Heart come to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. By placing ourselves under the know the triumph of God’s divine love for his children. holy protection of Mary, our mother, we cannot help but draw

May 20 | 10 a.m.

June 4 | 10 a.m.

Confirmation and First Eucharist, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Reynolds

Pentecost Mass, Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo

5 p.m.

ELCA Synod Assembly, Holiday Inn, Fargo

May 21 | 2 p.m.

Mass for Msgr. Jeffrey Wald 25th Anniversary of Priesthood, St. James Basilica, Jamestown

May 24 | 10 a.m.

Redhawks game for parishioners, Fargo

Confirmation and First Eucharist, Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo Confirmation and First Eucharist, St. John, Wahpeton Baccalaureate Mass for Shanley High School, St. Anthony of Padua, Fargo

6 p.m.

Commencement for Shanley High School, Shanley McCormick Gymnasium, Fargo

May 31 | 5 p.m.

1 p.m.

June 6 | 5:30 p.m.

June 9 | 7 p.m.

June 11 | 4 p.m.

Evening prayer for Rev. Bernard Schneider 50th Anniversary of Priesthood, St. Timothy, Manvel

June 12-15

USCCB Spring Meeting, Indianapolis

June 16 | 5 p.m.

Evening Prayer for Rev. Gary Luiten 25th Anniversary of Priesthood, Blessed Sacrament, West Fargo

Centennial Mass, St. Anthony of Padua, Fargo

June 2 | 7 p.m.

Mass at St. John, St. John

Ordination Week Holy Hour, Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo

June 3 | 10 a.m.

Ordination of Priests, Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo

June 17 | 5:30 p.m. June 18 | 8:30 a.m.

Mass at St. Benedict, Belcourt

11:30 a.m.

Mass at St. Anthony, Alcide




Prayer Intention of Pope Francis - May CHRISTIANS IN AFRICA: That Christians in

Africa, in imitation of the Merciful Jesus, may give prophetic witness to reconciliation, justice, and peace.

URGENT INTENTION: Landslide Victims/Peace: For victims of the landslide in Colombia and peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Venezuela, and Paraguay.

QUOTABLE: “You must ask God to give you power to fight against the sin of pride which is your greatest enemy – the root of all that is evil, and the failure of all that is good. For God resists the proud.” – St. Vincent de Paul


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Must the comatose be given a feeding tube? What other concerns should I keep in mind for my Health Care Directive?


hese questions begs for a long and complex response, but I will try my best to summarize a few basic principles of end-of-life care and our care for vulnerable persons. In the first of three paragraphs, the questioner writes: “One of the things that I have not been able to completely reconcile in my mind is why so many of the elderly spend so much time in nursing homes and wonder especially what they are accomplishing for the faith when in a coma, and seemingly cannot communicate any longer.” On Easter Sunday, I went to visit my 98-year-old aunt in the nursing home. My aunt evidences the usual signs of senility but was able to form coherent sentences, and gratefully received communion. Should she lose the ability to converse in the near future, I would not consider her any less valuable to the caregivers in that facility, nor to our family. What we do in our physical and spiritual care for the elderly, the comatose, and the dying is of great value to us, fulfilling the corporal work of mercy, “I was sick and you visited me” (Mt 25:36). From the perspective of the elderly, the sick and the dying, they may identify with the suffering Christ who bore the pains of the Cross for our salvation. Redemptive suffering is a difficult concept to embrace. Yet the hope and promise of eternal life can inspire us to bear this relatively short time of human suffering on earth with a view to the reward of life forever with God. Our questioner’s second paragraph notes that both parents were in a comatose state before their death. In the father’s case, his heart was strong and kept him alive for three months. “I believe he lived so long because he was being kept alive by a feeding tube my mother had signed for. Later I was appraised of the fact that this is not necessary according to the Catholic faith, and did not sign this to be done for my mother, who also was in a coma, before she died. She died within a couple weeks, but was kept comfortable by medications, I understood.” Here we have a complex set of considerations, which require case-by-case responses, rather than a “one size fits all” statement. Nevertheless, we do have a set of general principles I will summarize briefly. Our Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (USCCB, 5th Ed, 2009) states: “A person has a moral obligation to use ordinary or proportionate means of preserving his or her life. Proportionate means are those that in the judgment of the patient offer a reasonable hope of benefit and do not entail excessive burden or impose excessive expense on the family or the community” (ERDs n. 56). “In principle, there is an obligation to provide patients with food and water, including medically assisted nutrition and hydration for those who cannot take food orally. This obligation extends to patients in chronic and presumably irreversible conditions (e.g. the “persistent vegetative state”) who can reasonably be expected to live indefinitely if given such care” (ERDs n. 58). However, “As a patient draws close to inevitable death from an underlying progressive or fatal condition, certain

measures to provide nutrition and hydration may become excessively burdensome and Ask a Priest therefore not Father Dale Kinzler obligatory in light of their very limited ability to prolong life or provide comfort” (ERDs n. 58). It is not quite correct to say a feeding tube is “not necessary according to the Catholic faith.” We need to know more in each situation. In the father’s case, it would seem that provision of medically assisted nutrition was an appropriate means of palliative comfort care during his comatose phase of the dying process. Our concern in the mother’s case would be whether or not her body systems were already shutting down, such that she would not benefit from nutrition and hydration. Morally responsible caregivers should respect the dignity and sanctity of the patient’s life as a gift from God, not ours to take. In principle, a person should not die from dehydration, but rather the ravages of old age or terminal illness. We have seen an increasing tendency to “sedate and dehydrate,” where care facilities withhold medically assisted nutrition and hydration and sedate for the sake of “keeping comfortable.” The patient, given no fluid, generally dies within a couple weeks. We cannot fully know what the patient suffers during this period. However, we want to avoid what is known as “passive euthanasia,” where our direct omission of proportionate care becomes the cause of the person’s death (See ERDs n. 60). Our questioner’s third paragraph asks: “Please explain the Church’s thinking on this, as I am now approaching this time in my own life and have signed a living will with the order that no external means of extending my life be administered. Is this correct Catholic theology? Is there anything else within Catholic teaching I should be aware of in my living will?” In a future article, we can revisit the question of advance health care directives. We encourage Catholics, and members of all faiths, to visit the North Dakota Catholic Conference web site, There you will find a copy of a “Catholic Health Care Directive” or one suited to other Christians. We recommend this form of directive, which names a health care agent to assist in decisions based on your beliefs and wishes. Through communication with pastors, health care providers and other significant persons, the health care agent can assist in making the most morally responsible choice in a given situation. Father Kinzler serves as the pastor of St. George’s Catholic Church in Cooperstown as well as pastor of Sacred Heart, Aneta; St. Olaf’s parish, Finley; and St. Lawrence’s parish, Jessie. He can be reached at NEW EARTH MAY 2017



What is Canon Law all about? By Father James Goodwin


nfortunately, the law is seen by many as being opposed to mercy. This is actually not the case. Justice and mercy are always hand-in-hand. Put simply, canon law is how the Church organizes and governs herself. The word “canon” means “rule.” There are 1.3 billion Catholics in the world, and the Church administers a large collection of institutions. Therefore, the Church needs an organizational structure to carry out its office of governance and its saving mission. Every society needs laws – and so does the Church. Canon law deals with all the issues that any legal system does – rights, property issues, procedures, administration, personnel, crimes, and trials. It also does some things that civil law cannot, such as laws regarding sacraments, sacred places, and magisterial teachings.

A walk through the code

There are several Books in the code as follows: Book I is called General Norms and is the backbone of the code. It informs the rest of the code, which cannot be understood without it. It deals with the various kinds of laws in the Church, how they are issued, who they pertain to, and how they are enforced. There are canons regarding juridic persons – things like your diocese or parish. Some of these canons may seem like minor details, but the code is a complex thing. If one part of your car’s engine fails, even if it is a small screw, it can cause the whole thing to malfunction. Book II is about the People of God. It sets out the obligations and rights of the lay faithful and clergy. It also contains the hierarchical constitution of the Church including the Pope, dioceses and religious orders. Book III is on The Teaching Function of the Church. This book covers preaching, catechesis, missions, and education. It tells us what levels of authority there are for Church teachings. It also has rules for educational institutions, including Catholic universities. Book IV is about The Sanctifying Function of the Church. It tells us who can receive the sacraments, administer them, and what is required for their validity. It defines marriage and its valid celebration, and gives the legal reasons why a marriage may be ruled invalid in an annulment process. This book also covers liturgical acts such as funerals, and it contains regulations for churches, shrines, and other places of worship. Book V covers the Temporal Goods of the Church. This is basically the Church’s property law. It gives regulations on how to properly administer the Church’s property and finances. Also, it includes rules on contracts and wills. Book VI is on Sanctions in the Church. This book sets out the authority the Church has to punish crimes, who can be punished, what crimes may be punished, and what the penalties are for those crimes. It may surprise many people to find this in the 8


Code of Canon Law, but every institution has disciplinary regulations. However, in our law, the goals are to repair scandal, restore justice and reform the offender. Book VII is about Processes. This book covers trials, their procedures, officers of the court, how to organize courts, the rights of the parties, and appeals. Normally, cases are handled in a documentary way. Rarely do the parties meet each other in an open court. This may strike us as odd, but, in fact, it is the norm in many judicial systems influenced by Roman law in other parts of the word. In total, there are 1,752 canons in the code, so to cover them all would require a lengthy commentary. In fact, there are a variety of commentaries and other books that are helpful in understanding canon law. Canon law includes both divine law and ecclesiastical law. Divine law is unchangeable and is applicable to every human being – for example, the law against murder. Ecclesiastical law is rooted in Church law and is not infallible, although it is authoritative – for example, the laws regarding fast and abstinence. Our system of law is human and not perfect.

Justice and mercy

As mentioned earlier, often in our minds we think of law and mercy as being opposed. However, the law is about order and justice. These are necessary if there is to be mercy. Justice is defined as giving and receiving one’s due. If we are wronged, we desire justice. If someone hits your car in the parking lot, you will want their insurance to pay for the accident. Justice involves moral obligations and responsibilities. The law is concerned with the common good. Of course, there are disputes about what the common good is, and that is where the law comes in, to settle the issue fairly. The Church is concerned with spiritual realities, but these are lived out in the material world. This is where we must live out the demands of the Gospel. These include justice for the poor, oppressed and others who cannot defend their own rights. Therefore, mercy, in fact, includes justice rather than opposing it. For us to show mercy to others means ensuring that their rights are respected and upheld. It also means that they have the right to the true teachings of the Church, that the sacraments will be validly administered, that the finances will be handled properly, that those who injure others will be restrained and punished and that everyone will receive the due process of law. All of these things are part of our canon law. They are concrete ways in which mercy is accomplished in the Church. Ultimately, canon law is at the service of the Church. It exists to assist the Church in its mission to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ to the world. The last canon in the code states clearly that the purpose of the law – indeed, the highest law – is the salvation of souls. That makes canon law a true work of mercy. Fr. Goodwin is the Judicial Vicar for the marriage tribunal for the Diocese of Fargo and is the pastor of St. Maurice’s Church in Kindred.


Priests renew vows, Bishop Folda blesses Holy oils at Chrism Mass

Father James Cheney, pastor of St. Paul’s Newman Center in Fargo, takes a photo of the seminarians who were servers for the Mass. (Kristina Lahr | New Earth)

Clergy greet each other after Mass outside the Cathedral. All priests are invited to renew their priestly vows during the Chrism Mass. (Kristina Lahr | New Earth)

Clergy process into the Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo, for the annual Chrism Mass on April 11. The Holy oils are distributed to each parish and are used for baptisms, confirmations, ordinations, and special blessings for the coming year. (Kristina Lahr | New Earth)




Bishop John Folda asks students about the gifts of the Holy Spirit at St. Stanislaus Church in Warsaw April 7. Third-graders across the diocese received the sacraments of Confirmation and First Communion during the months of March, April and May. (Kristina Lahr | New Earth)

SMP Health Systems names Keelin chief executive officer for Villa Maria, Fargo


MP Health System has promoted Tony Keelin as President/CEO of Villa Maria in Fargo. Keelin has been the President/CEO of Rosewood on Broadway since 2012 and will continue in that capacity along with his responsibilities at Villa Maria. The consolidation of the CEO position for Villa Maria and Rosewood on Broadway will improve cooperation and collaboration between the two facilities. Keelin has over 20 years experience in the long-term care industry. He and his wife Paula reside in Fargo and have two daughters. Villa Maria is a 140-bed nursing home located at 3102 University Drive South, Fargo, and Rosewood on Broadway is a 125-bed nursing home located at 1351 North Broadway, Fargo. SMP Health System owns and operates four hospitals and six longterm care facilities in North Dakota and Illinois.



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Beloved nurse and teacher, Sister Marguerite Guarneri dies age 102

ister Marguerite Guarneri, 102, of Valley City, died at Maryvale Convent, Valley City, April 22. Her funeral Mass was held April 27 with visitation from 4–7 p.m. on April 26 and a prayer service at 7 p.m., in the Maryvale Chapel. Father Donald Leiphon was the Mass celebrant. Sister Marguerite Louise Guarneri was born April 6, 1915 in Spring Valley, Ill. to James and Mary (Marino) Guarneri. She attended grade school at Grant School in Spring Valley, Ill., and high school at Valley City and Oakwood. She received her bachelor’s degree in French from the College of Great Falls, Mont. in 1963. In Broons, France, Sister Marguerite entered the Sisters of Mary of the Presentation in 1933 and made her vows in 1935. During her Religious Life, she served at St. Martin’s College, Rennes, France (1935-37);

St. Margaret’s Hospital, Spring Valley, Ill. (1937-54); St. Mary’s School, Kenogami, Quebec, Canada (1954-62); St. Cecilia’s School, Harvey (1963-68); St. Catherine’s School, Valley City (1968-77, 1986-89); St. Patrick’s School, Washington, Ill. (1977-83); and Maryvale Convent, Valley City (1983-2017). Sister Marguerite Guarneri was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Angelo; sisters Florence Straiski and Dorothy Piano; and her niece Patricia Donaldson. She is survived by her Religious Community, the Sisters of Mary of the Presentation; her nieces Rosemary Yerly, Sharon Johnson, and Kathleen Lyons; and her nephews Frank, James, and Thomas Piano. Funeral arrangements were in the care of Lerud-Schuldt-Mathias Funeral Home, Valley City.

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Lutheran and Catholic pastors, priests and laypeople gather to discuss differences, celebrate agreements By Paul Braun


epresentatives of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) from Minnesota and North Dakota joined their counterparts from the Roman Catholic Dioceses of Crookston and Fargo for a Joint Theological Day at Trinity Lutheran Church in Moorhead on April 20. The Reverend Dr. Lawrence R. Wohlrabe, Bishop of the Northwestern Minnesota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, was host of the event, along with the Most Reverend Michael J. Hoeppner, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Crookston; the Reverend Terry A. Brandt, Bishop of the Eastern North Dakota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; and the Most Reverend John T. Folda, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Fargo. Nearly 200 clergy and priests attended the all-day event, representing almost 200,000 Lutherans and Catholics in Eastern North Dakota and Northwestern Minnesota. The day centered on joint discussions on the progress made in dialogue, agreements, occasioned by the joint publication on Christian unity entitled “Declaration on the Way: Church, Ministry, and Eucharist” (available for review at www.nwmnsynod. org/OnTheWay). This resource was created by the Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations in the Office of the Presiding Bishop of the ELCA. Leading a day of roundtable discussions were Father John Crossin, former Executive Director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs for the USCCB; and Pastor

(pictured l to r) The Most Reverend Michael J. Hoeppner, Bishop of the Diocese of Crookston, Minn.; Reverend Dr. Lawrence R. Wohlrabe, Bishop of the Northwestern Minnesota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; the Most Reverend John T. Folda, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Fargo; and the Reverend Terry A. Brandt, Bishop of the Eastern North Dakota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, lead an ecumenical worship service for healing, understanding and Christian unity at Trinity Lutheran Church in Moorhead, Minn. on April 20. (Paul Braun/New Earth)



Mark S. Hanson, former Presiding Bishop of the ELCA. These table discussions challenged the participants to find the similarities, but also acknowledge the differences between Catholic and Lutheran theology; look at where we’ve been and look to the hope our future brings. The day concluded with a traditional worship service jointly created by Lutheran and Catholic representation on the planning committee. An evening event called “Can Lutherans and Catholics be Friends?” featured round-table discussions among Catholics and Lutherans on areas of agreement, along with items that are still up for further discussion regarding differences in theology among two of the area’s largest Christian denominations. Those attending were encouraged to talk about possible misconceptions they had growing up about the Catholic and Lutheran faiths, along with sharing stories about how positive encounters may have changed those misconceptions. This event was the second collaboration between the Northwestern Minnesota Synod of the ELCA, the Eastern North Dakota Synod of the ELCA, the Fargo Diocese, and the Crookston Diocese, following last year’s joint event “Creation Conversation: Care for Our Common Home.” This year 2017 marks 500 years since the Protestant Reformation, and 50 years since the Catholic Church openly started to look at ways to further dialogue between the Church and Protestant denominations in an effort to find common ground and points of Christian unity.

Catholics and Lutherans take part in a series of table discussions, discussing theological views and where they find areas of agreement at the Joint Theological Day evening event held April 20 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Moorhead, Minn. (Paul Braun/New Earth)


SEARCH directors retire after 24 years of service

By Kathy Loney | Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry

Tom and Colleen Musgrave hold a plaque of appreciation given to them by Bishop John Folda at a surprise retirement party at Maryvale Convent, Valley City on April 23. (Catie Vetter)

The surprise reception was held at Maryvale Convent April 23. Many past SEARCHers arrived to honor them. Colleen cried as many students came flooding through the doors of the convent. Tom stood in astonishment thinking they were just arriving to support the new SEARCHers. The youth arrived to wish them best wishes on their retirement and to thank them for leading so many young people to Christ. Bishop John Folda presented Tom and Colleen with a plaque of appreciation and to extend his best wishes on their retirement.  Tom and Colleen will be leaving Maryvale and Valley City to live at the lake near Dent, Minn. They will be missed by many. SEARCH, however, is not going anywhere. New directors, Jim and Dori Picard, have been shadowing Tom and Colleen during the last two SEARCH weekends and are eager to to help teens and young adults grow closer to Jesus Christ through SEARCH starting this fall.

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om and Colleen Musgrave have decided to hang up their hats and retire as the Directors of the SEARCH (Search for Christian Maturity) program. This program began back in the 80s. Tom and Colleen took over the program in 1993 and led four to six SEARCH weekends each year at the Maryvale Convent in Valley City since. “Wow, that’s a lot of time with teens,” both Tom and Colleen kidded with the crowd, “24 years to be exact!” They said they had their ups and downs with the ministry, but in the end, both commented on what blessings they received from each SEARCH weekend. There was never a problem that they couldn’t figure out, with the help of our Lord!

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Reminder: The Sunday Mass will not be broadcast on Sunday, May 28 on WDAY/WDAZ TV. The stations have a contractual obligation with their parent network to air the Indianapolis 500 auto race on that day. The Sunday Mass will resume the normal Sunday schedule on Sunday, June 4.

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

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Bishop Folda welcomes a family at the Rite of Election held Sunday, March 5th at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fargo. (Kristina Lahr/New Earth)

Fatima – 100 years later Heeding Mary’s call to repentance, consecration and salvation By Paul Braun


Blessed Virgin Mary of Fatima, with renewed gratitude am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me,’ recounted Lucia. “And for your maternal presence, we unite our voices to those kneeling on the earth, he bent his forehead to the ground and of all the generations that call you blessed.” Pope Francis, taught us this prayer: ‘Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins and October 13, 2013. save us from the fires of hell. And bring all souls to heaven, On May 13, the world will mark the 100th anniversary of the especially those in most need of mercy.” first apparition, or appearance, of Our Lady to three peasant The second angelic appearance happened later in the summer children in the Portuguese village of Fatima. Pope Francis will while the children were playing. He told them to pray and to lead the festivities to commemorate what many call the most sacrifice themselves to God the Most High. Lucia asked the significant of all Marian apparitions. angel how they were supposed to make sacrifices, and the Pope St. John Paul II during his reign as pontiff said the angel responded: “Make of everything you can a sacrifice and message of Fatima is more important now than ever. Considering offer it to God as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is today’s world headlines and potential conflicts, his words seem offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners. In this way, you will draw peace upon your country. I am its guardian ominously prophetic. What is the significance of the appearance of Our Lady and angel, the Angel of Portugal. Above all, accept and bear with her peace plan from heaven, which among Church scholars is submission the sufferings which the Lord will send you.” the remedy to bring lasting peace? Some of the highlights of her appearances concern the Holy Trinity, penance, converting sinners, the Holy Eucharist and praying the rosary. Three secrets of Fatima have been revealed over time, and a miracle, called the Miracle of the Sun, occurred on October 13, 1917. Almost 100,000 people saw it, including several news journalists gathered in anticipation of a sign promised by Our Blessed Mother.

Preparing the world

Three angel apparitions occurred for the three children, a significant foreshadowing of things to come. The three were Jacinta Marto, age 7, her brother Francisco Marto, age 8, and their nine-year-old cousin Lucia Dos Santos, near their home. They were tending sheep in a pasture in late spring when, according to Lucia, a strong wind blew and an angel appeared to them. “While coming closer to us, the angel said: ‘Do not fear! I 14


Jacinta, Francisco and Lucia as they looked at the time of Our Lady’s appearance to them 100 years ago this month. (Google Images)

COVER STORY Pope John Paul II with Sr. Lucia (Google Images)

Blue Army, began in 1947. The name was changed when the Vatican raised the organization to the status of Public International Association of the Faithful, which was permanently decreed in 2010. The apostolate’s mission is to help people learn, live and spread the message of Our Lady of Fatima in communion with the Church and in concert with The New Evangelization.

June 13, 1917

As promised, on June 13, 1917, the Blessed Virgin appeared again, instructing the children to continue to say the Rosary every day, and for Lucia to learn to read and write. Lucia was also told she would live longer than the other two children, and that she should spread the message of Mary throughout mankind. She told Lucia that God wants to “establish devotion to my Immaculate Heart in the world. I promise salvation to those who embrace it, and those souls will be loved by God like flowers placed by me to adorn His throne.” The youngest Fatima seer, Jacinta, who will be canonized along with her brother, Francisco, later this year, said: Tell everybody…that the Heart of Jesus wishes the Heart of Mary be venerated at His side. Let them ask for peace through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for God has given it to her.”

The angel appeared to the children one last time, in the fall. Lucia later recalled: “We got up again to see what was happening, and we saw the angel again, who had in his left hand a chalice over which was suspended a host, from which some drops of blood fell into the chalice.” Then the angel placed the host on Lucia’s tongue and served the chalice to both Francisco and Jacinta. After the children had celebrated Communion, the angel told them: “Eat and drink the body and blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful people. Make reparation for their crimes and console your God.” During this third apparition, Our Lady again told the children These three appearances set the stage for what would be the to continue praying the Rosary for the conversion of sinners. first of six apparitions by Our Lady to the children, although She also promised to show the world a sign in October, 1917 if they had no idea at the time of the angelic appearances why they the children continued to meet her in the grotto on the 13th of were blessed by his visits. On May 13, 1917, all that changed. each month. Most significantly, she also revealed to them three secrets. The first was a glimpse of what hell was like. The vision terrified the The children were tending their sheep in fields of the Cova children. But the Blessed Virgin reassured them: “You have seen da Iria near Fatima, a few miles from their home. There were hell where the souls of sinners go. To save them, God wishes to flashes of lightning, and the children were preparing to go home establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what due to the coming storm. But then a beautiful young woman I say is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace.” dressed in white appeared to them over an oak tree. The Lady The second secret was a prediction that the World War would said she was from heaven and wanted the children to return end, but Our Lady warned if people did not stop offending God, to the same place at the same hour on the 13th of each month a worse war would break out during the reign of Pope Pius XI for six months. The Lady then said to the children: “Are you (who had not yet been elected, yet she named him by name). willing to offer yourselves to God and bear all the sufferings To prevent the war, she asked that Russia be dedicated to her He wills to send you, as an act of reparation for the sins by Immaculate Heart to prevent the damage Russia would bring which he is offended and of supplication for the conversion of on humanity (many believe she was referring to communism). sinners?” Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta agreed. She then asked The third secret, not revealed until the year 2000, was a vision the children to pray the Rosary every day “in order to obtain shown to the children of a bishop dressed in white (who the peace for the world, and an end of the war” (World War I was children thought was the pope) walking towards a mountain raging at that time). accompanied by priests and other religious figures. As they This first visit was significant in that Our Lady gave the continue their journey they come upon a village in ruins, and children a choice to do God’s will, and they readily accepted. the bishop in white prays over the dead people strewn about. The Blessed Virgin also reemphasized the importance of saying As the pilgrims reach the top of the mountain, the bishop in the Holy Rosary daily. white kneels before a cross, and soldiers kill him and the others. “The greatest significance of all is to know that God is with us, There has been great debate on the meaning of this third secret He warned us ahead of time and is preparing us through grace, since it’s revelation. Some believe it referred to the attempt on but we need to know and live the Fatima message, says Father Pope John Paul II’s life on May 13, 1981, the 64th anniversary Peter Anderl, Pastor of St. Anthony’s Church in Mooreton, and of the first appearance of Our Lady at Fatima. Others say it is spiritual director of the Fargo Division of the World Apostolate a glimpse into an as-of-yet unfulfilled future event. of Fatima (WAF). The WAF, USA, Inc., originally known as The

July 13, 1917

May 13, 1917



The beautiful Fatima Grotto placed outside of St. Anthony’s Church in Mooreton. Father Peter Anderl is the pastor at St. Anthony’s. (Paul Braun/New Earth)

August 13, 1917

During the time of the first three appearances, the children told their parents and others about the apparitions, but they were not believed. The children were prevented by civil authorities from going to the grotto for the August apparition. However, the Blessed Virgin appeared to the children on August 19, urging them again to pray the Rosary and to “Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to hell because there are none to sacrifice themselves and pray for them.”

September 13, 1917

By the time the fifth apparition came about in September, word was circulating across the region of the Blessed Virgin’s appearances to the children. Thousands of onlookers gathered to witness the vision, but Our Lady could only be seen by the three children. She said to them: “Continue to pray the Rosary in order to obtain the end of the war. God is pleased with your sacrifices.” Lucia said she was told to ask Our Lady many things, the cure of some sick people, curing of a deaf mute, etc. Our Lady replied: “Yes, I will cure some, but not others. In October I will perform a miracle so that all may believe.”

“Take under your motherly protection the whole human family, which with affectionate love we entrust to you, O Mother. May there dawn for everyone the time of peace and freedom, the time of truth, of justice and of hope.” Prayer to Our Lady of Fatima - Pope St. John Paul II

instructed that a chapel in her honor be built in the grotto. She reminded the children to continue praying the Rosary every day, and revealed that the war was going to end and the soldiers would be returning to their homes. “Do not offend the Lord our According to published accounts and the reflections of Lu- God anymore, because He is already so much offended,” Our cia, a crowd of 70,000 or more gathered in pouring rain at the Lady told them. site of the apparitions in response to the children’s claim that Then, as promised, at the appointed time in the middle of a a miracle would occur on that day as Our Lady promised “so rainstorm, the clouds broke up and the sun was seen as a disk that all may believe.” The Blessed Virgin revealed herself to spinning in the sky, throwing off great rays of fantastic colors. the children, saying: “I am the Lady of the Rosary.” She also As one columnist reported, “Before the astonished eyes of the

Miracle of the Sun – October 13, 1917



COVER STORY crowd the sun trembled and danced.” Suddenly it seemed to fall until it almost reached the earth, but then it stopped, slowly making its way back into the sky. Many of those present “wept and prayed” in recognition of the miracle they had just witnessed. People more than 30 miles away also witnessed the miracle. The children also say Our Lady appeared to them in white wearing a blue cape, and she was joined by St. Joseph and the Child Jesus, who blessed the world.

After Fatima

Our Lady revealed to the three children in June of 1917 that two of them, Francisco and Jacinta, would be taken early in life. In October of 1918, Francisco did become gravely ill. His sickness worsened over the course of that winter, yet his faith remained strong. He received his first communion in April of 1919, and died a few days later on April 4. Jacinta would pass on not long after. She came down with what would eventually be diagnosed as tuberculosis in late 1918. Her illness progressed through that year and into 1920. While she lay in the hospital, she was visited at least three times by Our Lady. She accepted her sufferings as an opportunity to suffer for the conversion of sinners. Jacinta died in February of 1920. Her body was later exhumed and moved to the Basilica of Our Lady in Fatima, next to the grave her of brother, Francisco. When her body was exhumed, it was found to be incorrupt. Left to keep the revelations and promises of Fatima alive through the rest of the 20th century was Lucia. In 1921, through the will of God and the urging of her bishop, she was sent away from her village to join the Dorothean Sisters of Tuy, and eventually to the Carmelite Sisters of Coimbra, and lived there as a member

of the order for the rest of her life. Our Lady appeared to her periodically. Sister Lucia was an outspoken advocate of the promises of Our Lady at Fatima until her death on February 13, 2005.

Fatima’s meaning for today

Our Lady’s warnings are being acted out across the world today.Marriages are falling apart, abortion is widespread, reverence for the Holy Eucharist is waning, the prevalence of the dictatorship of relativism, and so much more. Our Lady said that these evils are the result of spreading the errors of Russia. But according to Father Anderl, all is not lost. “The Fatima message is really the close of the Age of Our Lady. She’s leading us toward a whole new age of the Holy Spirit, where we will have a tremendous resurgence, but it won’t happen until we have the full conversion of Russia, and we are nowhere near that point.” Our Lady’s Plan of Peace for the conversion of Russia and for world peace was revealed and crystalized to Sister Lucia in 1925, and included promises of the First Saturdays. The faithful may assist in bringing about Mary’s Peace Plan from Heaven, while obtaining the assistance of Mary to gain Christ’s promise of eternal life by: • Going to confession and receiving communion in a state of grace on the first Saturday of the month for five consecutive first Saturdays. • Saying the Rosary on five consecutive first Saturdays. • Offering Our Lady 15 minutes of meditation on the Mysteries of the Rosary on five consecutive first Saturdays.

Along with the commitment of First Saturday, Mary asks us to

Statues of Jacinta, Lucia and Francisco are present at the Fatima Grotto at St. Anthony’s in Mooreton. (Paul Braun/New Earth)



COVER STORY pray the Rosary daily for world peace, and to make reparation for our sins and those of the whole world by daily offering our sacrifices, sufferings and intercessory prayer for the swiftness of the coming of the era of peace she promised through the triumph of her Immaculate Heart. What will also help, according to Father Anderl, is for families in the Fargo Diocese to make the decision to enthrone their homes and families to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Bishop Folda has given his blessing for the enthronements to take place in the homes of the faithful who wish to make this commitment. “This enthronement is actually saying “Lord I give you permission to live in me, reign in me, and provide for me, as I offer myself to you as a living offering of your love,” explains Father Anderl. “Now, we have free will. We can say ‘no, I want to do it my own way,’ but it’s letting go of our self-reliance, our self-sufficiency and above all our selfishness, and that’s really part of living our baptism. I have seen how blessed families consecrated to the two hearts are.” Families who want to take part in an enthronement may contact their local parish priest to set up a day for the blessing, and enthronement certificates and booklets may be obtained through their local parish or at the Diocesan Pastoral Center. “The most significant message to the world one-hundred years after the first Fatima apparition is hope,” says Father Anderl. “God’s will shall not be thwarted, and no matter how dark at times moments seem to be, His triumph, and the triumph of

Mary’s Immaculate Heart will come. He’s letting us know that with hope He’s right there with us, and He’s moving us through these times to a very glorious and wonderful time to come. But we have to do our part as well.”

Lord Jesus Christ, we the _________________________________ family consecrate ourselves to You today. The love for us and for all men that fills your Sacred Heart prompts us to pledge our love in return. We wish to live always in union with You. We wish to share your mission of bringing your Father’s love to all men. We wish You to be the Center of our hearts and of our home. Accept this consecration and keep us ever one in your Sacred Heart. Amen.

Mary, Virgin Mother of Jesus, we the _____________________________________ family consecrate ourselves to your Immaculate Heart today. We wish to live in the likeness of your Holy Family. Glorious Mother of God and loving Mother of us all, we promise to try to inspire in others devotion to you to hasten the coming of the Kingdom of the Sacred Heart in all hearts. Amen.

Signed __________________________________________________________ Date _____________

Signed __________________________________________________________ Date _____________

These enthronement certificates and booklets are available through local parish offices or the Diocesan Pastoral Center to enthrone and consecrate homes to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

World-renown statue of Our Lady of Fatima coming to the Fargo Diocese


By Paul Braun

he Fargo Diocese has the unique honor and privilege of hosting a world-renown symbol of the apparitions of Our Lady in Fatima, Portugal in May 2017. The International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima will be in the Diocese of Fargo from June 11–15 at the following parishes:

• June 11 – St. Anthony’s, Mooreton • June 12 – Sts. Anne and Joachim, Fargo • June 13 – St. Michael’s, Grand Forks • June 14 – St. Joseph’s, Devils Lake • June 15 – St. James Basilica, Jamestown

The statue is known for the physical cures attributed to those who have venerated the image of Our Lady in its presence throughout the world. The most important cures, however, are the spiritual gifts Our Lady bestows. The statue was sculpted in 1946 in the image of the original stature of Our Lady of Fatima, which is based on the likeness described by Sister Lucia, one of the three children to whom the Virgin appeared to Fatima in 1917. It has toured all over the world. For more information on the statue and its history, go to 18


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NEXT GEN University of Mary Rome Campus student, Chris Riedman, swaps hats, or zucchettos, with a smiling Pope Francis on March 29 in Rome (submitted photo)

Pope Francis and University of Mary student exchange zucchettos Submitted by the University of Mary


ood teachers are always looking for teachable moments while double majoring in philosophy and Catholic studies. for their students. So, it is safe to say, University of Mary “As Pope Francis approached me, I held my hand out holding student and religious-education-teacher-to-be Chris my zucchetto. He immediately saw it and a grin crossed his Riedman’s recent encounter with Pope Francis is one of many face—of course, when is the pope not smiling? We exchanged precious experiences that he’ll share with his future students. glances and he then took the zucchetto, sized it up, and placed it Riedman and his University of Mary Rome Campus classmates on his head.” were at the Pope Paul VI Audience Hall at the Vatican early To his amazement, Riedman had just pulled off the exchange March 29. In this hall, the pope is able to greet the pilgrims in that he had been planning for years. His research about zucchetto person instead of just waving to people from his Popemobile. trades made popular by Pope St. John Paul II, what he learned Riedman found a seat near the aisle where Pope Francis would about the Church, its traditions and legacies of the popes, had be walking, hoping to exchange zucchettos with the pontiff. finally come true. “It worked out that I was standing next to a baby, which “After the exchange, I had the opportunity to shake his hand,” worked in my favor because the Holy Father always stops to said Riedman. “I was so struck I couldn’t speak, but if I could, I give his blessing and a kiss to babies,” recalled Riedman, a would have thanked him immensely for not just the gift he had Bismarck, native studying at University of Mary’s Rome campus given me, but for the impact he continually makes on my life.”

A day of faith building, mentoring for the Shanley Deacon Service Club By Paul Braun


A Shanley Deacon Service Club member helps a young St. Ann’s student with her reading. (Paul Braun | New Earth)

hey arrived after a long, four-hour bus trip ready to get to work. Several juniors and seniors from Shanley High School in Fargo spent two days at St. Ann’s Mission School in Belcourt. The students are part of the Shanley Deacons Service Club, and they were in Belcourt March 30-31 to work with elementary school students at St. Ann’s. “We hope the kids at St. Ann’s see our students as leaders and mentors,” says Jackie Snyder, a Shanley science teacher and interim advisor to the social club. “We want them to see that what our club members are doing is an example of faith and maybe something these youngsters can strive for some day.” The Shanley Deacons Service Club reaches out to the FargoMoorhead community doing a variety of service projects, but



at times, they travel outside of the metro area. According to Snyder, this is the second consecutive year they’ve made the trip to Belcourt to work with the Catholic school students at St. Ann’s, and they are hoping to make it an annual event. “It’s beneficial not only to these youngsters at the mission school, but also for our service club members,” says Snyder. “I’m hoping our Shanley students come back from this trip with an even more heightened outlook as to what service and faith really is.” After spending an afternoon with the St. Ann’s students working on different class activities, the Shanley students stayed the night in the St. John’s Bunk House at the mission, then spent the next day working on an art project, writers workshop, and some clean-up projects before heading back to Fargo.


Religious liberty’s hard sell

A review of Mary Eberstadt’s “It’s Dangerous to Believe.” By Fr. James Gross


A review of Catholic books, movies, music


can affect conversion of heart. The concluding pages of “It’s Dangerous to Believe” observe that those who subscribe to Christianity’s tough commandments consider them a lifesaver and are not going away. Even in 2017, there are those who “do not want to jettison the Judeo-Christian moral code, but want to do something more radical; namely, live by it…all of these people deserve the courtesy of recognizing that what they do is authentic.” Eberstadt goes on to say that, “secularist progressivism faces insurmountable obstacles to its desire to impose its orthodoxy on everyone else. There is too much heterodoxy afoot—too many people all over the place who question and dissent.” With this in mind, exercising one’s faith in the public square, and not only at our parish on Sunday morning, is as crucial now as ever. Resources such as Mary Eberstadt’s book give us a helpful perspective.

hat happens when Christians make the case that basic tenets of religious freedom in America are at risk? Many reactions are disheartening. Some will argue that our complaint is artificial, since houses of worship are open and may welcome congregants whenever they wish. Others will protest that, since Christianity has been a sizable majority in our country for so long, we really have no idea how the “minority” has been victimized. In other words, the defense Fr. James Gross is the Parochial Vicar of St. Anthony’s Church in Fargo. of religious liberty has become a hard sell. With her latest book, “It’s Dangerous to Believe,” Mary Eberstadt dives into the current cultural and political climate in order to About the Book: present both the obstacles that exist and a hopeful vision for “It’s Dangerous to Believe” the future. If this were only another catalogue of case studies, by Mary Eberstadt. her research would not stand apart, even though it would illustrate the problem expertly. What Eberstadt provides in the Published by Harper final chapter breaks some new ground in the discussion. Perhaps the following quote best summarizes the reason for Hardcover 192 pages Eberstadt’s choice of title for her book: “[W]hat many Western Available via Amazon and men and women of faith feel to the marrow these days is fear… other book resellers. fear that they will lose the good opinions of their neighbors, family, and friends—because Christianity, especially, is said over and over to stand on the wrong side of history; because religious faith of that particular kind is denigrated across popular culture, and disdained as retrograde, or worse, in many citadels of higher learning.” Arguing that “secular progressivism today is less a political movement than a church,” Eberstadt uses the motif of “witch hunts” to describe the zeal with which proponents of same-sex marriage and numerous other causes attack those with whom they disagree. Yes, the voluminous examples are discouraging, but the way in which the author organizes and explains For Baptisms, First Holy them gives the reader a clearer idea of the evidence. Specific Communion, Confirmation, examples—arrows in our quiver, if you will—can elevate our weddings and special occasion arguments above emotional reactions. gifts and books. Among the conclusions Eberstadt draws is that “about matters concerning the sexual revolution…people must agree to disagree. Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Sat. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. That is the sine qua non of a more civil tomorrow.” One’s impulse To Know God... (701) 241-7842 toll free (888) 682-8033 To Love God... to criminalize and anathematize cancels out the dialogue that 1336 25th Ave. S., Fargo 58103 (south of K-Mart) To Serve God... can lead to mutual appreciation of the other as a person and




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STORIES OF FAITH The love and dedication of a father knows no borders By Father Bert Miller

has depended on his wife’s earnings. He has been at Tantur for one year now. He makes a hand-full of shekels a day after paying for transportation from Ramallah to Bethlehem and back again; and he stands for hours at the border crossing each day to see if the Israelis are going to honor his visa for work in Israel. Despite all this hardship, Ata comes to work every day. He cares about his job, the olive harvest, the other workers and those who visit there for a few weeks of their lives. He even stayed late and took me to the doctor when I had a mean case of hives. I did not understand how, but somehow Ata’s three oldest children have been able to attend a Quaker school. Maybe because hings are not always as they seem to be. We all know they had only one income, or because the children were in this well. elementary school. School was tuition-free. I met a gardener at Tantur on the mountaintop between But, things changed last year. Maybe it is because Ata got Jerusalem and Bethlehem where I lived in the fall of 2016. a satisfying job. The change is that this year’s schooling cost His name is Ata. He worked a few hours each day – amidst $5,600 and is due at the end of May. What is Ata to do? the olive trees and in the rose gardens. A Palestinian man, Ata The children love the school. Ata is very satisfied with their lives with his wife and four children north of Jerusalem in happiness and education. He wants them to have the advantages Ramallah (West Bank). Tantur was not so far “as the crow flies” of life he and his wife have not had. He wants them to do better from Ata’s home, but as a Palestinian, he would not be able to than he has been able to do. But, how is he going to pay the bill? ride the bus through Jerusalem (the shortest route); he would I know this is agony for him. He emails me weekly to wish have to ride a bus or hitch a ride through the West Bank to me a good weekend with my parishioners. And he asks me to Bethlehem, then get through the checkpoint to come to Tantur pray that they will be able to pay this tuition bill at the end of May. (north of Bethlehem). I pray for Ata and his family. I have no answers for his agonizing He would arrive sometime after 9 a.m. in a brown sport jacket problem. If any one of you have a suggestion or solution, let and jeans and leave that way at mid-afternoon. In between, he’d me know at the email below. It would be great to help Ata have wear work clothes that he kept at Tantur. Ata would come to peace of mind. the cafeteria to get lunch for himself and three or four other gardeners; they never ate with the rest of the staff or the guests. Father Bert Miller serves as pastor at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Park Ata is a quiet, little man of about 40 years. He smiles big. River and St. Luke’s Catholic Church in Veseleyville. Nevertheless, it was noticeable that he is a “broken” man. Editor’s note: Stories of Faith is a recurring feature in New Earth. If you have One day, the man at the desk offered Ata a ride home in his a faith story to tell, contact Father Bert Miller at car. Ata would have to wait until the shift ended, however. So Ata was standing around the desk waiting. That is when our friendship began. It was just a bunch of jokes in the beginning. As the weeks passed, the real story of Ata’s life emerged. Pilgrimages for Catholics and people of all faiths At one time, Ata worked for an Israeli bank. He was smart and sharp. He quickly mastered the job and the good benefits Prices starting at $2,499 ~ with Airfare Included in this price from anywhere in the USA of the banking industry. He was training others and flying to Several trips to different destinations: the Holy Land; Italy; France, Portugal, workshops in other countries. Spain; Poland; Medjugorje, Lourdes, Fatima; Ireland, Scotland; England; But, about 10 years ago, the Prime Minister of Israel and the Austria, Germany, Switzerland; Greece, Turkey; Budapest; Prague; Our Lady of Knesset decided that only Israelis could work in Israel. Palestinians Guadalupe; Colombia; Brazil; Argentina; Domestic Destinations; etc… could not have the kind of job Ata had – even if they were qualified and properly documented. We also specialize in custom trips for Bishops, Priests, and Deacons So Ata and his family went home to Ramallah. For 10 years, (Hablamos Español) he has been unemployed. I think this is his sadness – his Call us 24/7 508-340-9370 855-842-8001 brokenness – not being able to provide for his family. The family






The Year of Mercy was just the beginning

y now you may recognize Catholic Charities North Dakota from our videos during Catholic Charities Sunday, the last weekend in September. Many remember us under our former names of Catholic Family Services and the Catholic Welfare Bureau. You may also know us through family or friends who have experienced the joys of adoption, found hope through counseling, received flood aid, or have intellectual disabilities and we are their guardian. Yet many still wonder what we do and why.

“As there are still many North Dakotans in need, we continue our charitable work today.” – Chad Prososki

As there are still many North Dakotans in need, we continue our charitable work today. Pope Benedict XVI Catholic discussed the threeCharities fold responsibility Corner of the Church to (1) proclaim the word Chad Prososki of God, (2) celebrate the sacraments, and (3) exercise the ministry of charity in Deus Caritas Est (25). After the Year of Mercy, let us remember that the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy are at the heart of our Christian duty both in our personal lives and as a community. Jesus challenges us to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Are we truly living out our charity in the world, being living signs of love for all to see, or have we lost our flavor, good only as salt for the road? Are we a light to others, or has our light faded or been hidden? May the Year of Mercy be only the beginning, so that we may always grow in charity and love for one another!

“Guided by our values, Catholic Charities North Dakota serves people in need and advocates for the common good of all.” This mission is based on the social teachings of the Church, such as the dignity of each person. The Catholic Welfare Bureau was began in Fargo in 1923 by Monsignor Vincent Ryan during the time of Bishop James O’Reilly and then Bishop (later Cardinal) Aloysius Muench, to serve the needs of vulnerable populations in North Dakota such as the poor, dependent children, and Chad Prososki is the Director of Development and Community unwed mothers. Relations for Catholic Charities North Dakota. For more than 90 years, The Church’s social teachings can be traced back through the Catholic Charities ND and its supporters have been putting their Prophets of the Old Testament such as Isaiah and Ezekiel, and faith in action helping people, changing lives. You can reach Chad at are rooted in the Sermon on the Mount by Jesus in Matthew or (701) 235-4457. 5-7. This is a great passage to reflect on, with the Beatitudes and the Golden Rule. While Lent reminded us of the importance of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, almsgiving is meant to be not A Catholic Camping Experience just financial (yes, we and other charities rely on your generous support!), but also to take place on a very personal level. The for students entering 4th-8th Sermon on the Mount deeply challenges each of us to be more grade this fall. charitable to others and loving in our own lives. Since early in Catholic Charities ND’s history, we have helped place children for adoption, and we remain best known for our two adoption programs: Pregnancy, Parenting and Adoption Register for Trinity Youth Camp 2017 Services (PPAS) and the Adults Adopting Special Kids (AASK) program. In addition to parenting and infant adoptions, we help June 14-18 at Red Willow (near Binford) find forever families for children in the North Dakota foster care July 12-16 at Pelican Lake (near Bottineau) system who have had trauma and are not able to be reunited with July 19-23 at Camp of the Cross (near Garrison) their families or other close family or friends for an identified July 26-30 at Pelican Lake (Bottineau) adoption. We have also incorporated social workers from an Activities include Good News, crafts, rec, water sports, daily early time for other programs as needed under the leadership Mass, skits, campfires, new friends, and much more. of Monsignor Anthony Peschel and others over the years. Register online today: Along with PPAS and AASK, current programs at Catholic Registration is due two weeks prior to start of each session! Charities North Dakota include counseling services, guardianships for adults with intellectual disabilities, and natural disaster be relief. Our clinical therapists counsel individuals, couples, and families on relationship issues, stress, anger management, and and anxiety or depression. Clients may receive a few or many sessions, as needed. Professional staff who serve as courtappointed guardians for adults with intellectual disabilities JOSHUA 1:9 ensure an appropriate place to live, proper medical attention, and the necessary support services to meet their needs.






“Free Speech for Me, but Not Thee”


n 1992 the late church’s permission. journalist Nat This lack of understanding of religious sentiments has found Hentoff wrote its way into other debates, such as a bill dictating how private a b o o k c a l l e d religious universities must treat student journalists, the anti Catholic “Free Speech for Me, religious law bill — also known as the anti-Sharia bill — and Action but Not Thee.” It the existing law that prohibits a church from restricting firearms e x p l o r e d h o w in its own parking lots. Christoper Dodson p e o p l e w h o Sometimes the “Free Exercise of Religion for Me, but not claimed to support Thee” problem is more overt, at least in private conversations free speech were about legislation. Some legislators privately expressed concern willing to ignore that a bill to expand religious rights for students and school or even support infringements upon speech with which administrators would allow non-Christians to publicly pray. they disagreed. This was certainly an issue in the anti-religious law bill. Some The problem still exists today and has expanded to infringements proponents erroneously believed that the bill would only restrict upon religion. Muslim practices. Restricting only this religious group, they concluded, was acceptable. The antidote to this problem is expressed in the Catholic Church’s teaching on religious freedom from the Second Vatican Council. In Dignitatis Humanae the Church teaches that everyone has a right to religious freedom. This freedom belongs to everyone because it essential to human dignity, hence the name Dignitatis Humanae. One of the basic principles of Catholic teaching is that the essentials of human dignity belongs to everyone, whether or not they are correct and whether or not they agree with us. Many characterize attacks on religious freedom as part of a We do not have to understand another’s religious beliefs, and hostile campaign by leftists determined to silence and remove we certainly do not have to agree with them. We do, however, any expression of religious belief outside of places of worship. need to respect them. There might be some truth to this narrative. There are, of course, limitations to religious freedom, both A more dangerous and closer to home threat to religious morally and legally. Dignitatis Humanae recognizes that. A freedom, however, comes not from outright hostility toward person cannot use religion to undermine public safety or harm religion, but a failure to identify and respect another’s religious beliefs. another person. The North Dakota Catholic Conference, for example, faced None of the religious practices affected by these bills posed at least seven instances of legislation that threatened religious a public harm. Some supporters of the anti-religious law bill freedom during the 2017 legislative session. Supporters of these claimed it would stop honor killings, genital mutilation, spousal proposals would not consider themselves hostile to religion. On abuse, and support for terrorism — a parade of horrors they the contrary, in some cases the supporters consider themselves insisted already existed elsewhere in the country because courts staunch defenders of religious freedom. How is it, then, that were ignoring U.S. law and were applying Sharia law instead. these threats come about? However, our constitutional system prevents abuses like that In most cases, it is a case of “Free Exercise of Religion for from occurring. Moreover, there exist no cases where a court Me, but not Thee” or “I don’t ‘get’ your concern so it can’t be has applied Sharia or any other religious law instead of U.S. and state law. The alleged horrors, in fact, never actually happened. that important.” Consider the case of guns in churches, something the conference The real threat to our system of laws, including the free exercise had to oppose three times this legislative session. To Catholics of religion, comes from the inability to step into the shoes of the notion that church property is sacred or a reflection of our another so that we can respect someone else’s religious rights. religious beliefs should seem obvious. A bishop might allow Stepping into their shoes does not mean accepting their beliefs. guns on the property, but because the space itself has religious In fact, such religious equivalency is contrary to the Catholic significance, the decision should rest with him. Any denial of faith. However, it does mean seeing, as a matter of dignity, the need to protect that person’s religious rights. that discretion violates religious freedom.

“The real threat to our system of laws, including the free exercise of religion, comes from the inability to step into the shoes of another so that we can respect someone else’s religious rights.” – Christopher Dodson

Others, however, do not have the same view about worship space. To them, a “church” is no more than a meeting place, like a shopping mall or restaurant. They might not “get” why Catholics would be so offended by a law that would allow someone to have a gun on church property without the 26


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



“The Case for Christ” and a stubbornly historical religion

he Case for Christ is a film adaptation of Lee Strobel’s best-selling book of the same name, one that has made an enormous splash in Evangelical circles and beyond. It is the story of a young, ambitious (and atheist) reporter for the Chicago Tribune, who fell into a psychological and spiritual crisis when his wife became a Christian. The scenes involving Lee and his spouse, which play out over many months of their married life, struck me as poignant and believable—and I say this with some authority, having worked with a number of couples in a similar situation. In some cases, a non-believing spouse might look upon his partner’s faith as a harmless diversion, a bit like a hobby, but in other cases, the non-believer sees the dawning of faith in his beloved as something akin to a betrayal. This latter situation strongly obtained in the Strobel’s marriage.  In order to resolve the tension, Lee used his considerable analytical and investigative skills to debunk the faith that was so beguiling his wife. The focus of his inquiry was, at the suggestion of a Christian colleague at the Tribune, the resurrection of Jesus. If Jesus didn’t rise, his friend explained, Christianity crumbles like a house of cards. The narrative unfolds, then, as a kind of detective story, Strobel hunting down leads, interrogating experts, asking the hard questions. I liked this for a couple of reasons. First, at its best, Christianity is not fideist, that is to say, reliant upon a pure and uncritical act of faith on the part of its adherents. Rather, it happily embraces reason and welcomes critical questions. Secondly, and relatedly, Christianity is a stubbornly historical religion. It is not a philosophy (though it can employ philosophical language), nor is it a spirituality (though a spirituality can be distilled from it); rather, it is a relationship to an historical figure about whom an extraordinary historical claim has been made, namely, that he rose bodily from the dead.  Now especially in recent years, many attempts have been made to mitigate the scandal of this assertion. Jesus was a great moral exemplar, a powerful teacher of spiritual truth, an inspiring man of God—and it doesn’t particularly matter whether the reports of resurrection are factually accurate. Indeed, it is probably best to read them as mythic or symbolic. To all of that, classical Christianity says no. It agrees with Lee Strobel’s colleague: if the resurrection didn’t happen, Christianity should be allowed to fall onto the ash heap of history. Therefore, watching our intrepid investigator go about his work is, for a true Christian, thrilling, precisely because the questions are legitimate and something very real is at stake. So what were his inquiries? First, he wondered whether the resurrection stories were just fairy tales, pious inventions meant to take away our fear of death. But he learned that, in point of fact, many people claimed to have seen Jesus after his crucifixion,

including five hundred at once. Moreover, most of the leaders of the early Church went to their Word on Fire deaths defending the legitimacy of what Bishop Robert Barron they taught. Would anyone do that for a myth or a legend of his own invention? But another question came to his mind: might they all have been victims of a mass hallucination? A psychologist patiently explained that waking dreams are not shared by hundreds of people at different times and different places. “If hundreds of individuals had the same hallucination, that would be a greater miracle than the resurrection,” she informed him with a smile. But what about the reliability of the Christian texts themselves? Weren’t they written long after the events described? A Catholic priest, who is also an archeologist and specialist in ancient manuscripts, told him that the number of early copies of the Christian Gospels far surpasses that of any other ancient text, including the Iliad of Homer and the Dialogues of Plato. What about the “swoon theory,” according to which Jesus did not really die on the cross but only lost consciousness, only to be revived sometime later? A Los Angeles based physician detailed for him the brutal process of a Roman execution, which resulted in the victim slowly bleeding to death and asphyxiating. The swoon theory, the doctor concluded, “is rubbish.” At each stage of the process, Strobel continued to wonder, question, balk, and argue, all the time maintaining the default position that Christianity is bunk. Nevertheless, it was becoming clear that the relentlessness of the counter-arguments and their stubborn congruence with one another was wearing him down. This made me think of John Henry Newman’s famous account of how we come to religious assent. It is very rarely by virtue of one clinching argument, Newman said, but rather through the slow, steady confluence of inference, hunch, intuition, experience, the witness of others, etc. This convergence of probabilities, under the aegis of what Newman called the “illative sense,” customarily leads the mind to assent. The Case for Christ is interesting for any number of reasons, but I think it is particularly compelling for its subtle portrayal of the psychological, spiritual, and intellectual dynamics of evangelization. Bishop Barron is a theologian and evangelist, known for his Word on Fire ministry. He serves as an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.




Three reasons to launch your own endowment Stewardship Steve Schons


here are several reasons you should consider launching your own endowment. Here are three:

1. Unending annual gifts

cemetery or a diocesan program. There is great flexibility in choosing where you want the funds to go. If you want to learn more about this program, and how you can participate, contact Steve Schons, Director of Stewardship and Development at the Diocese of Fargo. Steve Schons is the director of stewardship and development for the Diocese of Fargo and president of the Catholic Development Foundation. He can be reached at or (701) 356-7926.

As a member of your parish, you most likely make at least one annual gift to support your church. Our endowment program allows you to make sure that these annual gifts continue in perpetuity after you are gone. Endowment funds are investment funds that preserve principal and make payments (or gifts) to your parish from the earnings. In other words, after you are gone, your endowment would take your place in providing annual support for your local parish. This could continue indefinitely.

2. A lasting legacy

This is one of the most powerful reasons to launch an endowment. The ongoing nature of these funds provides an unending way to not only support your parish, but to remind family and friends of one’s values and commitments. Grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and further generations will encounter their own heritage as they see “their” endowment at work. If you want to build a lasting legacy to benefit your parish and inspire people for years to come, launch your own endowment.

3. Financial stability

Parishes throughout the Diocese of Fargo derive financial strength from endowment funds. Just knowing a stream of endowment income exists permits parishes like yours to make better financial projections and to make future plans more confidently. In addition, income from endowments allows parishes to do some things they might not otherwise be able to do. A parish with strong endowment assets tends to draw support from donors who might otherwise pass by your parish.

Hurley’s Religious Goods Inc

Serving our faith community Since 1951

Several possibilities

You can launch your endowment in several ways. You can do it all at once by making a major gift of cash or marketable assets. Alternatively, you could make all the arrangements now and defer the launch date until activated by your will. You could also start now with a modest amount and add to your endowment later. Other ways might involve a gift annuity arrangement or even the use of a charitable trust. Many people have discovered that endowment building is one of the most satisfying means to support the good works of their local parish. Through the Catholic Development Foundation, endowments are established to support your local parish, a 28


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Events across the diocese St. William’s Church, Argusville, to host 5K May 31

St. William’s Church, Argusville, will host a 5K Mission Run/Walk on May 31. Registration is at 6:30 p.m. with run time at 7 p.m. Cost is $20 for adults, $10 for ages 11-17, and free for ages 0-10. Proceeds benefit St. William’s Youth Mission Travelers. To pre-register, visit

Pray for our priests with a holy hour June 2 Join Bishop Folda for the Ordination Week Holy Hour at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Fargo on Friday, June 2 from 7–8 p.m. This Holy Hour is specifically to pray for our current priests in the diocese and for those to be ordained the following day.

Bishop Folda to ordain three men to the priesthood June 3 Deacons Paul Kuhn, Scott Karnik and Jayson Miller will be ordained to the priesthood at St. Mary’s Cathedral on Saturday, June 3 at 10 a.m. All are welcome. Please pray for these men as they make their final preparations. Deacon Scott Karnik Hometown: Grafton School: Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Emmitsburg, Md.

Deacon Paul Kuhn Hometown: Harvey School: Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Emmitsburg, Md.

Deacon Jayson Miller Hometown: Lawton School: St. Paul Seminary, St. Paul, Minn.

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



Love Alone Creates: MI Youth Camp set for June 25-30

June 25-June 30 will be very special days for the youth of our Diocese. These dates have been set aside for our MI (Militia of the Immaculata) Youth Camp held at the Franciscan convent in Hankinson. The theme this year is Love Alone Creates: In the Footsteps of St. Maximilian Kolbe. Students ages 13-17 are invited to participate in this five day, overnight camp where they will be taught about the active and heroic life of St. Maximilian Kolbe. Did you know that St. Maximilian was proficient in playing chess? If you know how to play, bring your skills to help others. Every day will be packed with fun activities, prayer, guest speakers, and much more. The cost for the camp is $300 per student. Families registering multiple students will receive a $25 discount for the second student they register and a $50 discount for every student registered thereafter. We are also in need of small-group leaders, ages 17+ with great leadership skills. Contact Kathy Loney in the Youth and Young Adult Ministry office at (701) 356-7902 with questions, to be a small group leader, or to register. Registration ends Monday, June 5.

St. Benedict’s Family Day: Pilgrim Fellowship of Faith

Bethlehem Community of Benedictine Oblates is hosting a St. Benedict’s Family Day on Monday, July 17 in Bathgate. All are invited for a time of reflection, fun, and fellowship in the context of Benedictine spirituality together with local priests and monks from Mount Angel Abbey, Oregon. The day will begin at 9 a.m. with breakfast snacks and end with supper and a dance. For more information contact Melissa Sobotta at or (701) 265-3717. RSVP by May 29. Cost is a free-will offering.

Join the Franciscan Sisters in Hankinson for Mother-Daughter Days

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

LIFE’S MILESTONES John and Agnes Cook of Holy Family Church in Grand Forks will celebrate their 67th wedding anniversary June 17. Agnes also celebrated her 90th birthday February 7, and John will celebrate his 90th birthday May 25. Timothy and MaryAnn Kurtz celebrated their 65th anniversary January 22. They are parishioners at St. Joseph’s Church in Devils Lake, and are now both living in the Heartland Care Center in Devils Lake. Larry and Mary Ann (Johs) Leier will celebrate their 50th anniversary with family on June 2. They were married at St. Philip’s Church in Napoleon on June 3, 1967. They have two children, DeAnn (Brian) Ament of Jamestown and Doug (Michelle) Leier of West Fargo and six grandchildren. They have resided in Valley City for the past 31 years.

Wallie Klier celebrated her 90th birthday April 8 with family and friends. She is pictured here with her five children. She is a parishioner at St. Joseph’s Church in Devils Lake. Evelyn Lentsch celebrated her 95th birthday on April 22 with family. She was a long time parishioner of St. George’s Church in Cooperstown until moving with her husband of 59 years, Michael, to Fargo in 1999. Evelyn has four children, six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Rita Petrowitz, parishioner of Holy Trinity Church in Fingal, celebrated her 96th birthday on March 31 gathered around her family. She has nine children, 26 grandchildren, and 26 great-grandchildren. JoAnn Volk celebrated her 80th birthday May 9. She was married to Peter M. Volk who passed away in 2012. She is a parishioner of St. Therese the Little Flower in Rugby. JoAnn has two children, Debra Black and Dean Volk of Rugby, seven grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.

A Glimpse of the Past - May

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

50 Years Ago....1967

Two schools in the diocese will close at the end of the current school year, St. Aloysius Academy at Oakwood and St. Boniface in Lidgerwood. The Academy School Board was officially informed that the Presentation Sisters would discontinue operation of the school in May. Lack of teaching sisters forced the decision to close St. Boniface in Lidgerwood.

20 Years Ago....1997

The Red River Valley suffered one of the worst floods ever experienced in the region, and Diocesan property was not spared. In Grand Forks, of the four parishes, only St. Thomas Aquinas at the UND Newman Center was spared major damage. St. Mary’s, Holy Family and St. Michael’s churches had several feet of water in the lower levels, as well as the rectories and school buildings. Floodwaters stayed clear of Fargo church property, but churches in Wahpeton, Argusville and St. Benedict suffered water damage. Churches and schools from around the diocese reached out to help those parishes affected. Schoolchildren from flooded schools in Grand Forks temporarily attended school at Fargo Catholic schools.

10 Years ago....2007

Flood and Fire 2007, a free event sponsored by the Greater Grand Forks Catholic Parishes was hosted at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, Sunday, May 6. The event celebrated how far God has brought the people of the Red River Valley and surrounding areas in the 10 years since the devastating 1997 flood and fire.




A can of sardines multiplies

20 years after 1997 flood, faithful send relief following devestation in Peru By Todd Mickelson


he Mission of serving the poor of Chimbote, Peru is now in its fifth decade. Tens of thousands of lives of benefactors and recipients have been forever changed. Donors, mission visitors and volunteers have walked the path of Christ to serve the least of our brothers and sisters in Chimbote as did the founders of Friends of Chimbote, Father Jack Davis and Sister Peggy Byrne, both of the Fargo Diocese. While separated by 4,000 miles, language and culture, we have cared for each other as members of the same family. The recent devastating rains and floods in Chimbote and the coastal desert in Peru were the worst in over 40 years. Tens of thousands of homes were lost including all of the meager belongings of the poorest we serve. Amidst this catastrophe, the story of love, compassion and solidarity emerged of what occurred when Grand Forks flooded in 1997. When the Chimbotans were asked to pray for the people of Grand Forks, ardent supporters of the Mission, the poor of the barrios wanted to do something more. They raised money and bought two cases of sardines, a Peruvian staple, that were delivered to Holy Family Church in Grand Forks. The compassionate act of the Chimbote people to send canned sardines in support of their friends was confirmed to me on Holy Thursday by parishioners of Holy Family. As I contemplated this during Mass that evening, the miracles of Christ in his public ministry and the disciples came to mind. When the multitudes gathered to hear Christ and to bring him their sick and hurting, the day grew late. There was nothing to eat except five loaves and two fishes. He told the disciples to go and feed the people. After giving thanks to God, the loaves and fishes fed over 5,000 men plus women and children, a great multitude, with baskets of food left over. The people of Chimbote need our help. One of those cans of sardines from 1997 was recently sent to our Friends of Chimbote office. Can we multiply the can of sardines into a basket of goods for the devastated people of Chimbote? As the hands and feet of Christ, I believe we can. The efforts are underway. Nativity Church, Fargo who has supported the Mission with monthly financial gifts for decades had a special collection on Holy Thursday and raised $10,000 including a match from their Care and Share Ministry and a generous parishioner. The funds from the Carrington Knights of Columbus annual supper will feed people through our Mission soup kitchens. St. Michael’s Church in Prior Lake, Minn. raised significant funds to rebuild homes. Holy Family Church, Grand Forks, is organizing fundraisers. We are also putting together an emergency container to ship to Chimbote in addition to our annual fall container. Home in Boxes, Baby Bundles and School in Bags have been assembled by Mary Ann and Darwin Bitz and parishioners of Holy Rosary Church of LaMoure. Quilts are being made and provided by Pastor Becky Lee’s congregation at Atonement Lutheran in Fargo. 32


Helen Geinert, 93, from Holy Spirit Church in Nortonville is making blankets and rosaries in continuation of her 20 years of service. The basket of goods is multiplying. If you would like to help, our Mission workers are serving every day in Chimbote to bring comfort and relief to the very poor who have no government help like our FEMA in their recovery. Your financial help, assembling of kits for a container shipment and prayers are all in great need. You can learn more, contact us or make a donation at our website at or (701) 364-0162.

Diocesan policy: Reporting child abuse

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

BE PART OF THE TRADITION Parishioners of Holy Rosary Church in LaMoure assembled 40 boxes of baby supplies, 60 school backpacks and 60 boxes of home supplies for those affected by the flood. (submitted photo)

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A women examines the damage to her home after the flooding and mudslides that began in Chimbote, Peru in March. (submitted photo) Grand Forks, ND | | 701.746.4337

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It’s official: Pope Francis to canonize Fatima visionaries during May visit By Elise Harris CNA/EWTN News

Portuguese shepherd children Jacinta and Francisco Marto, are seen in a file photo taken around the time of the 1917 apparitions of Mary at Fatima. (file photo)


uring his trip to Portugal for the centenary of the Fatima Marian apparitions, Pope Francis will canonize visionaries Francisco and Jacinta Marto, making them the youngest non-martyrs to ever be declared saints. The children will be canonized during Pope Francis’ May 13 Mass in Fatima. The decision for the date was made during an April 20 consistory of cardinals, which also voted on the dates of four other canonizations, in addition to that of Francisco and Jacinta, that will take place this year. Previously, the Portuguese cardinal told CNA, children were not beatified, due to the belief “that children didn’t yet have the ability to practice Christian heroic virtue like adults.” But that all changed when the cause for Francisco and Jacinta Marto arrived on his desk. Francisco, 11, and Jacinta, 10, became the youngest non-martyr children in the history of the Church to be beatified when on May 13, 2000, the 83rd anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady at Fatima, Pope John Paul II proclaimed them “Blessed,” officially showing that young children can become saints. The brother and sister, who tended to their family’s sheep with their cousin Lucia Santo in the fields of Fatima, Portugal, witnessed the apparitions of Mary now commonly known as Our Lady of Fatima. During the first apparition, which took place May 13, 1917, Our Lady asked the three children to pray the Rosary and make sacrifices for the conversion of sinners. The children did this and were known to pray often, giving their lunch to beggars and going without food themselves. They offered up their sacrifices and even refrained from drinking water on hot days. When Francisco and Jacinta became seriously ill with the Spanish flu in October 1918, Mary appeared to them and said she would take them to heaven soon. Bed-ridden, Francisco requested and received his first Communion. The following day, Francisco died, April 4, 1919. Jacinta suffered a long illness and died Feb. 20, 1920. Francisco and Jacinta “practiced Christian virtue in a heroic 34


way,” Cardinal Martins said, explaining that among other things, one of the most obvious moments in which this virtue was apparent for him was when the three shepherd children were arrested and intimidated by their mayor on August 13, 1917. Government stability in Portugal was rocky following the revolution and coup d’état that led to the overthrow of the monarchy and subsequent establishment of the First Portuguese Republic in 1910. A new liberal constitution separating Church and state was drafted under the influence of Freemasonry, which sought to omit the faith – which for many was the backbone of Portuguese culture and society – from public life. It was in this context that, after catching wind of the Virgin Mary’s appearance to Francisco, Jacinta, and Lucia, district Mayor Artur de Oliveira Santos had the children arrested on the day Mary was to appear to them, and threatened to boil them in hot oil unless they would confess to inventing the apparitions. At one point in the conversation at the jailhouse, Jacinta was taken out of the room, leaving Francisco and Lucia alone. The two were told that Jacinta had been burned with hot oil, and that if they didn’t lie, the same would happen to them. However, instead of caving to the pressure, the children said: “you can do whatever you want, but we cannot tell a lie. Do whatever you want to us, burn us with oil, but we cannot tell a lie.” “This was the virtue of these children,” Cardinal Martins said, noting that to accept death rather than tell a lie is “more heroic than many adults.” “There’s a lot to say on the heroicness of children,” he said, adding that, “because of this I brought their cause forward.” Cardinal Martins was also the one to bring Lucia’s cause to the Vatican following her death in 2005. The visionary had spent the remainder of her life after the apparitions as a Carmelite nun. Typically there must be a five-year waiting period after a person dies before their cause can be brought forward. However, after only three years Martins ask that the remaining two be dismissed, and his request was granted. Although the diocesan phase of the cause has already been finished, Cardinal Martins – who knew the visionary personally – said Lucia’s process will take much longer than that of Francisco and Jacinta not only due to her long life, but also because of the vast number of letters and other material from her writings and correspondence that needs to be examined. The cardinal, who will be present in Fatima with the Pope during his May 12-13 visit for the centenary of the apparitions, said he views the occasion as the conclusion of a process that began with him changing a norm regarding the view of children “and their heroic virtue.” This process is important, he said, because it means there could be other children who practiced heroic virtue that can now be canonized, so “it’s certainly something important.” “It needs to be seen that (children) are truly capable of practicing heroic virtue,” not only in Fatima, but “in the Christian life,” he said.

Sidewalk Stories By Roxane B. Salonen


Praying mother inspires sidewalk advocates

t wasn’t the usual scene when we walked up to the abortion facility Downtown Fargo that day. Yes, there were the regular escorts and the prayer advocates as always, but something was different – a woman I didn’t recognize. She was on her knees, but rather than pointed toward the street, she was facing the facility, holding up her Rosary in prayer, the crucifix extended intentionally. This called to mind the Wailing Wall in Israel, and those who come with such firm intention to place their cares before God. But she also caught my attention because I didn’t recognize her. She’d come alone, or so it seemed, and I know the courage that takes. Her stance also was one of humility. She exuded faith. Those of us in the usual prayer circle went about our rounds of Hail Mary’s, and Divine Mercy chaplet recitations, all while aware of the presence of the escorts, who’d turned up their music, drowning out our prayers. At some point, apparently finished, the kneeling woman rose, approached us and introduced herself. Curious about her story, I asked about her motivation for coming, and the two of us talked a while. “I have a daughter with Down syndrome,” she shared, noting that at the time of her pregnancy, she was not close to God at all. “In fact, I was as far away from God as you could get.” She hadn’t known of her daughter’s diagnosis during the pregnancy, she revealed. “If I had, I probably would have aborted her.” But she didn’t, and eventually, that little girl coaxed her back to God, her faith and the Church, she revealed. “Well, that and the prayers of my mother.” Carol had come all the way from New Town, ND, she shared, nearly six hours from Fargo. It wasn’t her first time at the abortion facility; she often comes when she is in town visiting another daughter, who also mothers a special-needs child. That child, too, had narrowly escaped death when he quit breathing as an infant, and doctors suggested he wouldn’t make it, Carol explained, all but giving up on him. But not his mother. “She fought for his life,” she recounted. It occurred to me then that Carol’s own motherly affection had likely had a huge influence on her daughter’s deep love for her own child, Carol’s grandchild. Love works that way; it’s contagious.

Despite her strong faith, Carol admitted that whenever she approaches the abortion facility, she feels fear, to the point of being physically shaken in seeing the building. But then she remembers that she’s spiritually flanked, with Jesus on one side, and his mother on the other. “I know I’m not alone.” Carol’s witness certainly had impressed me. How many times had I been afraid to come alone, or even grumbled about traveling across town to pray, yet she’d driven all this way, and after a wearying trip, made a point to come here on bended knee, alone. It touched me to learn everything she’d come through, and to be reminded of how love really does win – as evidenced in her child’s ability to bring her to the Lord, and her own mother’s steadfast prayers during the years her own young faith had wavered. At Mass later that day, we heard words from Isaiah 49:15: “Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child in her womb?” It seemed perfect for what we’d just witnessed – a mother’s love for her child leading her to God; her mother’s love for God keeping her steady through rough times; and our spiritual mother, Mary, always keeping us in her sights, like her precious son, who constantly brings us life. Carol’s story made a mark on my heart. We might not have stopped anyone from entering the facility. But I believe that the sight of this woman on her knees, holding her crucifixion in a way that proclaimed her faith in a good God, made a difference that day, and for days to come. And I believe that someday, God will reveal to her, and us, just what her prayers and her steadfast heart accomplished. To me, she’s an example of the salt of the earth Jesus holds especially close, a quiet but astounding witness to life. There’s no doubt in my mind that the heavens rejoice at her stance and heart. Thank you, dear Carol. May God bless you and your family in abundance. Roxane B. Salonen, a wife and mother of five, is a local writer, and a speaker and radio host for Real Presence Radio. Roxane writes for The Forum newspaper and for She serves in music ministry as a cantor at Sts. Anne and Joachim Church in Fargo. Reach her at





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

This statue of Mary and Jesus stands over the altar of one of the diocesan churches. Where in the Diocese are we? The answer will be revealed in the June New Earth.

Where in the diocese are we? 36


Last month’s photo was taken in the choir loft of St. James Basilica in Jamestown.

New Earth May 2017  

Official magazine for the Catholic Diocese of Fargo, ND

New Earth May 2017  

Official magazine for the Catholic Diocese of Fargo, ND