New July/August 2015 | Vol. 36 | No. 7
The Magazine of the Catholic Diocese of Fargo
Think globally, act locally Religious and civic leaders respond to the pope’s new encyclical
From Bishop Folda: The truth of marriage
Diocese welcomes two newly ordained priests
Year of Marriage and Family: ‘Please, thank you,2015 I’m sorry’ NEW EARTH JULY/AUGUST
TABLE OF CONTENTS
July/August 2015 Vol. 36 | No. 7
ON THE COVER 14 Think globally, act locally
In Pope Francis’ newest encyclical, “Laudato Si,” our Holy Father tackles a wide range of topics in relation to the environment including: climate change, consumerism, economic structures, abortion, population control and gender. Religious and civic leaders around the globe have taken notice and many groups have been following the “Laudato Way,” or taken little steps of change to enact the encyclical’s teachings.
FROM BISHOP FOLDA
The truth of marriage
FOCUS ON FAITH
Ask a priest: Catholics and organ donation
What we can learn from the Transfiguration today
AROUND THE DIOCESE
Diocese welcomes two newly ordained priests
Pope Francis’ July & August prayer intentions
11 Mother Madonna, a profound witness to Christ, celebrates silver jubilee 12 Father Thomas Krupich, 59, priest and inventor 12 Bison Catholic ‘standout’ lived life, Catholic faith at ‘full throttle’
NEXT GEN CATHOLICS
19 ’Little Deacons’ program sees success, expansion 19 Students on a mission 20 National Catholic Youth Choir encourages leadership for youth in liturgical ministry
FAITH AND CULTURE
23 Tattered Pages: A review of Catholic books and literature
OUR CATHOLIC LIFE
24 Stories of Faith
Father Bert Miller’s faith story this month tells of the Holy Spirit’s intervention at exactly the right moments.
25 Catholic Action
Christopher Dodson reflects on Catholic social teaching and its impact on public policy.
In this month’s column, Steve Schons outlines steps to build your ‘contingency notebook.’
27 The Catholic Difference
Guest columnist, George Weigel reflects on ‘The Church and the new normal.’ Father Michael Hickin reviews the book “Art & Prayer: The Beauty of Turning to God” by Monsignor Timothy Verdon. 29 Seminarian Life
NEW EARTH JULY/AUGUST 2015
Seminarian Jered Grossman shares how a dramatic change has led to his conviction to spend his life doing the work of God.
ON THE COVER: Pope Francis in his new encyclical addresses the need for humans to be good stewards of God’s creation. In the encyclical, “Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home,” released June 18, the pope said all creation is singing God’s praise but people are silencing it. (Paul Haring/Catholic News Service)
(ISSN# 10676406) Our mission is to serve Catholic parishes in Eastern N.D. as the official monthly publication of the Diocese of Fargo.
Publisher Most Rev. John T. Folda Bishop of Fargo
Editor Aliceyn Magelky
Staff Writer Kristina Lahr
Designer Stephanie Drietz - Drietz Designs
Subscriptions Parish contributions make it possible for each registered Catholic household in the diocese to receive 11 issues per year. For those living outside the Diocese wanting a subscription, an annual $9/year rate is requested.
34 WHAT’S HAPPENING 30 Happenings around the diocese 31 Events Calendar 31 Milestone announcements 32 A glimpse of the past YMF 2015 34 ‘Please, thank you, I’m sorry’
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: email@example.com (701) 356-7900 Deadline to submit articles, story ideas, advertisements and announcements for the September issue is Aug. 26, 2015. 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 JULY/AUGUST 2015
FROM BISHOP FOLDA
The truth of marriage
an and w o m a n he created them…” From the first chapters of Genesis and all through the Gospels and New Testament, God’s plan for marriage, the union of man and woman, is clear. Jesus Christ himself taught with great love that marriage, in the plan of God, is the lifelong union of one man and one woman (Matthew 19:4-6). But, now the Supreme Court has mandated samesex “marriage” in every state of our nation, including North Dakota, regardless of the expressed will of voters. With little regard for the common understanding of marriage that predates any government or court, five justices imposed a new understanding of marriage that ignores what is inscribed in human nature by God himself. By its nature, marriage remains the union of one man and one woman, and this is not only a matter of faith but also of reason. It can be discerned in the complementarity of man and woman. In other words, man and woman are suited to each other, meant for each other. Man and woman were designed by God for each other, and only a man and a woman can form a union that brings forth children. The union of a man and woman in marriage is different from all other relationships. It is a union designed to support spouses of the opposite sex to be faithful to each other and to the children they bring into the world. It is actually unjust to disregard the importance that real marriage has for children, who in the ordinary course of events, deserve to have and to know their mother and their father, who will be committed to each other and to them throughout their lives. Pope Francis has reiterated what the Church has always believed about marriage. The man/woman nature of marriage, he said, “is an anthropological fact…that cannot be qualified based on ideological notions or concepts important only at one time in history.” He recently described the union of man and woman in marriage as “a unique, natural, fundamental and beautiful good for people, families, communities and society.” It seems inevitable, and some have already used this language, that those who adhere to the traditional meaning of marriage will be called bigots and haters. It is considered by some an act of bigotry to insist that same-sex “marriage” is impossible. But, our belief is rooted neither in bigotry nor in hate. It is rooted in God’s plan of love for his people, the plan that is written into the very design of our bodies, the plan that has seemed obvious to the human family for millennia. 4
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It has been predicted, even by some members of the Supreme Court, that this decision will present serious challenges to freedom of religion in this country. Although the freedom of religion is guaranteed in the Constitution, we should be ready to face legal challenges to our right to live our faith and to practice what we believe about marriage. Already, there have been successful efforts to marginalize Church agencies and other religious groups who reject same-sex “marriage.” Catholic adoption agencies in some states have been forced to close, because they would only place children with married, heterosexual couples. Private individuals and business owners have been heavily fined, because they refused to participate in same-sex wedding ceremonies. And, already there is talk of withdrawing tax exempt status or accreditation from institutions that will not recognize same-sex “marriage.” This possibility was even acknowledged by the administration’s own lawyer in the Supreme Court hearing of the case. Proponents have also questioned whether clergy who will not marry same-sex couples should lose their legal status to witness weddings for the state. We should not be surprised, then, when the Church is targeted by those who insist that same-sex “marriage” must be accepted by all. The Court makes a passing reference to the right of all persons to speak and advocate for the traditional understanding of marriage, but they fail to mention how this right will be protected. Indeed, it is already under assault. If we cherish our faith, we will need to actively defend it and can no longer assume that it will remain unchallenged. It goes without saying that in the face of this decision and the challenges that accompany it, we must always remain charitable. Even with those who oppose our beliefs regarding marriage, followers of Christ must be patient and Christ-like. We must have respect for all persons, because every human being is created by God and must be treated with respect, sensitivity and love. We are all sinners before God, and in need of his mercy. We can only humbly accept the truth as it has been given to us, strive to live it and defend it to the best of our ability. And, as a Church, we must continue to welcome all to the life-giving grace and truth of Christ, including the truth of marriage. In 1973, the justices of the Supreme Court denied the right to life of the unborn. They were tragically wrong, and we continue to affirm that life is sacred from conception to natural death. Now, the Court has denied the truth of marriage, and they are wrong again. So, without hesitation or discouragement, as people of faith endowed with reason, we will continue to proclaim the truth, the goodness and the beauty of marriage as given to us by God. Regardless of the Supreme Court ruling, the Church will remain faithful to this teaching of our Lord, which is not discriminatory but is written into our human nature by God himself. In the Diocese of Fargo, we have been observing a Year of Marriage and Family. In light of these recent events, it seems more urgent than ever to reaffirm the truth of marriage as it has been given to us by God. In every parish, the truth of marriage must be reaffirmed and celebrated as fully as possible. And, I
Bishop Folda’s Calendar Aug. 3 | 11 a.m.
Putt for a Purpose, Rose Creek Golf Course, Fargo sincerely hope that everyone who is able will attend our diocesan celebration of Marriage and Family on Oct. 24 in Fargo. This event will be an occasion for all of us to truly rejoice in the great gift of marriage and family life that God has given his people. Now more than ever, we must stand together in prayer and solidarity with one another as we continue to live and proclaim the true meaning of marriage and the joy of family life.
Prayer Intentions of Pope Francis July Universal intention: Politics. That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Reflection: What are the priorities that I bring to elections? How do those priorities compare to God’s priorities? Scripture: 1 Timothy 2: 1-6. I ask that prayers, supplications and petitions be offered for all in authority. Evangelization intention: The poor in Latin America. That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society. Reflection: How do I “bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society?” Scripture: 2 Corinthians 8: 1-15. Your surplus at the present time should supply their needs.
August Universal Intention: Volunteers. That volunteers may give themselves generously to the service of the needy.
Reflection: In what ways have I experienced the truth of the peace prayer of St. Francis that “it is in giving that we receive.”
Scripture: Luke 6: 38. Jesus said: “the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.” Evangelization intention: Outreach to the marginalized. That setting aside our very selves we may learn to be neighbors to those who find themselves on the margins of human life and society. Reflection: Who on the margins am I most afraid to approach? Why?
Scripture: Mark 1: 40-45. Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand, touched the leper and told him, “I want what you want. Be made clean.” Provided by Apostleship of Prayer, www.apostleshipofprayer.org.
Aug. 4 - 6
Knights of Columbus 133rd Supreme Convention, Philadelphia, Pa.
Aug. 8 - 9
Pastoral Visit to Wishek, Ashley and Zeeland
Aug. 14 -15
Seminarian Gathering, Grafton
Aug. 15 | 4 p.m.
Centennial Mass at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Grand Forks
Aug. 16 | 5 p.m.
Carmelite Field Mass, Wahpeton
Aug. 17 | 11 a.m.
Jubilee Mass at Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Fargo
Aug. 19 | 5 p.m.
JPII Catholic Schools All-Staff Picnic, Bonanzaville USA, West Fargo
Aug. 20 | 8 a.m.
JPII Catholic Schools All-Staff Mass, Shanley High School, Fargo
Aug. 25 | 6 p.m.
Blessing of Holy Cross Church and Trinity Elementary School, West Fargo
Provincial Meeting, Rapid City, S.D.
Sept. 3 | 1:30 p.m.
125th Anniversary Mass, St. John’s Academy, Jamestown
Labor Day- Pastoral Center closed
Memorial Mass for Father Darin Didier, Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Fargo
Sept. 9 | 2 p.m.
Opening School Mass at St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Grand Forks
“Parents: First Teachers of Faith” presentation at St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Grand Forks
Sept. 13 | 10:30 a.m.
Centennial Mass, St. John the Baptist’s Catholic Church, Wyndmere
USCCB Administrative Meetings,
NEW EARTH NEW JULY/AUGUST EARTH JANUARY 2015 2015
FOCUS ON FAITH
Catholics and organ donation May we? If so, should we?
he fact we can even ask this question is a testimony to the Ask a Priest great and wonderful advances in modern Father Dale Kinzler medical technology. Early on, a few useful tissues could be “ h a r v e sted” from cadavers in order to benefit living patients in need. Eventually, the transplantation of vital organ such as kidneys, liver, lungs and heart opened up a whole new field of life-saving possibilities. Along with these medical advances comes the moral questions of when to use, and not to use, these procedures. We all, no doubt, had some inner sense the actions of the fictitious Dr. Frankenstein were morally reprehensible. But, what guidelines might we use in discerning our own response to the question we face in preparing our health care directive: “To give, or not to give? May I indicate my consent to donate tissues and organs, to the extent possible, upon my death? And, ought I to do so?” The Church has continued to apply its consistent principles of ethics to incorporate these new possibilities in the ever-evolving field of medicine. One of those principles is that of autonomy, that is, the person’s right or authority to accept or reject a given procedure, within the bounds of natural law. In past centuries, the only relevant question for the autonomous person contemplating organ donation might have been, “May I donate tissues or give my body for scientific research after my death?” One might, for example, donate one’s body to the UND School of Medicine for anatomical studies. Many Catholic persons have done so, and the Church approves, so long as appropriate funeral rites are provided, proper respect for the deceased is observed, and there is a proper burial of the remains upon completion of the studies. Those remains are often cremated, and they are to be buried, not kept on a shelf or scattered over a field or lake. But, now we face new ethical questions, as potential living donors: “May I sacrifice one of my own healthy kidneys in order to help a sibling in need, or another previously unknown person who may be a tissue match?” The obvious answer is a resounding “yes.” But, the question, “Then, should or must I if such a situation arises?” becomes more complex. Personal autonomy and preference should be weighed against the need of family or community. While I am not strictly required to do so, it would seem that the obligation of love would move me to make the sacrifice of donation, especially in the case of a close family member in dire need. This donation is justifiable if it does not jeopardize my own health. In the case of donating organs to an unknown recipient, the sense of obligation to personal sacrifice diminishes. Yet, those 6
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who choose to become part of a “donor pool” are doing a noble and praiseworthy thing. In no way, however, should we feel obliged by social pressure to do so. “Organ transplants are in conformity with the moral law if the physical and psychological dangers and risks to the donor are proportionate to the good that is sought for the recipient. Organ donation after death is a noble and meritorious act and is to be encouraged as an expression of genuine solidarity. It is not morally acceptable if the donor or his proxy has not given explicit consent. Moreover, it is not morally admissible directly to bring about the disabling mutilation or death of a human being, even in order to delay the death of other persons,” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2296). That sentence comes as a response to some of the most delicate of medical situations we face today. We are all aware of tragic situations where a person is involved in a serious accident. If the patient is unconscious but still evidently living, the medical trauma team performs critical surgeries and applies the ventilator and other “life sustaining/prolonging” procedures. Then a whole series of moral questions accompanies the medical dilemma. Catholic moral theologians generally agree that if a patient is medically determined to be dead by standard medical criteria, then the immediate family or health care agent may consent to donate the organs of the deceased. If the heartbeat and respiratory functions are being artificially sustained by ventilator and the trauma victim is “brain dead” or bodily death has in fact occurred, at this point, the trauma team may legitimately harvest whatever organs may be of benefit to others in need. It is most helpful if the patient has an advance directive indicating the intention to donate organs in such a case. If, on the other hand, the patient’s condition could be described as critical but not brain dead, then it would be morally reprehensible to “pull the plug” on a still living person for the sake of harvesting the organs. Although novels have been written and movies have been made about devious black market organ sales from such hastened deaths, medical practitioners have usually been quite careful and ethically responsible in such situations. But, because of the possibility of misuse of organs for profit motives, it is specified that there is no monetary reimbursement for donated organs. For the living donor who gives a kidney to help a family or community member, the Church offers praise and encouragement. A living donor may, with moral certitude, donate a paired organ such as a kidney or a portion of a lung or liver. Catholic theologians agree that this is permissible so long as the living donor is able to maintain the “functional integrity” of the body even though there is a lesser sacrifice of the “anatomical integrity.” So long as the remaining kidney, or remaining portions of another body part, continue to provide normal healthy function, then the donation is permissible. So, the potential donor must weigh that choice against the
FOCUS ON FAITH possible risk to one’s own health. The chances of still doing well Father Kinzler serves as the pastor of St. George’s Catholic Church with one healthy remaining kidney are still generally quite good, in Cooperstown as well as pastor of Sacred Heart, Aneta; St. Olaf’s unless there is a family history of renal disease. We would not parish, Finley and St. Lawrence’s parish, Jessie. He can be reached at sacrifice our own vision, however, to donate corneas to another firstname.lastname@example.org. person while we were still living. Editor’s Note: If you have a question about the Catholic faith Hopefully these summary observations will help us in the and would like to submit a question for consideration in a future task of reflecting more deeply on the question of organ donation column, please send to email@example.com with “Ask a Priest” as we prepare our health care directives, renew our driver’s in the subject line or mail to New Earth, 5201 Bishops Blvd. S, licenses and respond to whatever medical needs may arise Suite A, Fargo, ND 58104, Attn: Ask a Priest. within our families and communities.
What we can learn from the Transfiguration today
By Kristina Lahr
n Aug. 6 we celebrate the feast of the Transfiguration. The Transfiguration takes place as Christ is on his way back to Jerusalem before his death on the cross. Jesus takes Peter, James and John to a high mountain in order to reveal his glory and divinity to them. “The purpose [of the Transfiguration] was to show us that it is possible with the grace of God to be transfigured to the divine spirit of life,” said Father Thaines Arulandu, pastor of Transfiguration Catholic Church in Edgeley. “That is the patronage of our parish, to transfigure our lives to be more like Christ. Sometimes we name a church after a saint so that they play a larger role in our life. Here, we chose to make our life’s journey a time of transfiguration.” While Jesus prayed on the mountain, his appearance was changed by a brilliant and supernatural light which shone from him and his clothing. Moses and Elijah appeared as well and spoke of how Christ would suffer and die after entering Jerusalem before his resurrection. The disciples saw a part of Jesus’ heavenly glory that day in order to gain a greater understanding of who he was. Until this
point, the disciples had only seen Christ as human but now saw him in his divinity though they could not fully comprehend it. Seeing him as divine, gave them the reassurance they needed after hearing the news of his death. The invitation at the Transfiguration for the disciples, and for us today, is to continue to listen and follow Jesus. While the future may look uncertain, Jesus has shown and continues to show us that he is God and no evil can overcome him. “The way of Jesus always leads us to happiness, do not forget it!” Pope Francis said in his Sunday Angelus address on March 1. “There will always be a cross in the middle, but at the end… he always leads us to happiness.” “The Transfiguration gives me the strength and teaches me that it is possible to raise myself over human limitations with the grace of God,” said Father Arulandu. “I can transform my thoughts and actions to be more like Christ.” Matthew, Mark and Luke all record that the voice of God was heard, confirming Jesus as his son with whom he is well pleased. Peter and John reference the Transfiguration in their writings, showing that the moment Christ revealed his divinity was a pivotal point in their relationship with him. Like with the disciples, Jesus continues to draw us to himself, inviting us to see his divine influence in our lives. However, the Transfiguration is meant to point forward to the sufferings Jesus will soon experience. This special moment in the lives of the disciples is only temporary, contrary to what Peter hopes when he suggests that they stay on the mountain and make three tents, one for Jesus, one for Moses and one for Elijah. The Transfiguration shows us that we should welcome the moments in our lives when we feel God’s presence closely, but we should not expect them to be continuous throughout our lives or be afraid or angry when these moments disappear. “Through the celebration of the Word of God, we are led to Christ who shows us a way to see the divine spirit working in us,” said Father Arulandu. “To make our lives a meaningful experience and to commit ourselves to God and Jesus Christ… it’s an ongoing process. He knows we are human beings with human weaknesses and so the Transfiguration leads us with a symbolic light to show us a way of hope to live a life of holiness.” NEW EARTH JULY/AUGUST 2015
AROUND THE DIOCESE
Diocese welcomes two newly ordained priests By Aliceyn Magelky
t’s a blessed moment. We are so very proud,” said a tearyeyed William Scott Slattery, father of recently ordained Father William Slattery just moments after the presbyteral ordination Mass on June 27. Deacon Slattery along with Deacon Kyle Metzger joined in the ranks of holy men throughout the centuries and became priests of the Diocese of Fargo that day. Bishop John Folda ordained them at the Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo. “After careful and serious deliberation, these men, our brothers, are now to be ordained to the priesthood in the order of the presbyterate,” said Bishop Folda in his homily. The sacred and joyous ceremony played out against a backdrop of gleaming sun through stained-glass, solemn chants and trumpeting brass all proclaiming the good news. Clergy and faithful from across the diocese, as well as family and friends from across the nation, watched with hopeful hearts and quiet prayer as each man received the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands and prepared for his new ministry by the anointing of his hands with holy oil. “Today has been long-awaited and thrilling,” commented newly ordained Father Kyle Metzger. “He worked really hard,” said Metzger’s cousin, Nicole Grove. “When we found out he was going to be a priest, it made perfect sense to us. He is an amazing man, and he will be an amazing priest.”
In his homily, Bishop Folda reminded the young men to, “Meditate constantly on the word of the Lord that you may believe what you read, teach what you believe and practice what you teach.” “Let what you teach be nourishment, spiritual food for the people of God. Let the holiness of your lives be a fragrance to all Christ’s faithful. Not only by your words, but also by your example, your actions, build up the house which is God’s Church,” he continued. “Always keep before your eyes the example of Christ the Good Shepherd, who came not to be served but to serve, and who came to seek out and save what was lost.” Following Mass, a reception was held in honor of the new priests in the social hall of St. Mary’s Cathedral. The following day, each new priest celebrated their first Mass: Father Metzger at his home parish, Nativity Catholic Church, Fargo and Father Slattery at the Cathedral of St. Mary. Father Metzger has been assigned to serve at Sts. Anne and Joachim’s parish, Fargo as parochial vicar beginning July 1. Father Slattery will serve as parochial vicar of Holy Cross parish, West Fargo throughout the summer. This fall, he will continue to study in Rome to obtain his licentiate in moral theology. His expected completion date is Spring 2016. For more ordination photos, visit the News and Events page of the diocesan website www.fargodiocese.org/news-events. For a copy of Bishop Folda’s homily, visit www.fargodiocese. org/foldahomilies.
“For it is testified: ‘You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” - Hebrews 7:17
Newly ordained priests, Father William Slattery (left) and Father Kyle Metzger (right) smile at a comment Bishop John Folda made at the conclusion of their ordination Mass. The men were ordained priests on June 27 at the Cathedral of St. Mary in Fargo. (Tyson Kuznia/Legacy Photography)
NEW EARTH JULY/AUGUST 2015
AROUND THE DIOCESE
Friend’s witness forever changed relationship with God Birthday: July 11
Parents: Glenn and Pat Metzger Family: Triplet older brothers
Home parish: Nativity Catholic Church, Fargo
Were there any reasons why you had not considered priesthood earlier in your life? Middle school seems pretty young if you ask me. Growing up in Catholic schools where faith is studied alongside the arts and sciences made it a very natural option to consider when looking at one’s future possibilities.
Education: MA in Moral Theology from Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Emmitsburg, Md.
Who was instrumental in identifying and developing your vocation? In high school, one of the religion teachers noticed my curiosity regarding the faith and took me under her wing. She gave me books to read, saints to pray to and encouraged me to receive the sacraments worthily and regularly.
What were you doing before you entered the seminary? I spent six years teaching middle schoolers in Catholic schools. I taught English, literature, math and religion. I thoroughly enjoyed teaching the faith to others, and started praying whether God was asking me to do this not as a job but as a life’s vocation.
During the summer months when there’s no school, do two extra things. First, each week go to Mass one extra time in addition to Sunday. Go to confession once each month. Those two things would be a fantastic start. If you’re eager and would like to tackle a third thing, read St. Therese’s, “Story of a Soul.”
Hobbies: In the summer I like to head out to the golf course, and in the winter I like to hit Was there an experience that was instrumental in identifying the ski slopes. In between, I like and developing your vocation? to spend time doing graphic In seventh grade, I witnessed a friend quietly sneaking off to Father Kyle Patrick Metzger confession prior to school. He wasn’t forced to go, but he chose design in Photoshop. to go on his own. This really shook my world. This event, which Person admired most and why: St. Joseph. When something I mulled over for weeks, showed me that someone just like me went wrong in his house, it was always his fault since his wife was taking his faith very seriously, so why should not I? It was and son were perfect. That’s a lot of pressure, and he was still the moment of grace which forever altered my relationship able to become a saint. with God. Mass of Thanksgiving: Father Metzger celebrated his first Mass What encouragement and/or advice do you have for young on June 28 at 9:15 a.m. at Nativity Catholic Church in Fargo. men who may be considering the priesthood?
When was the first time you thought about the priesthood? Tell us about your ordination day. The idea of the priesthood first entered my mind in middle There really is not a single thing that I wish would have gone school and never fully left me. I remember noting on a pre- better. It was surely the happiest day of my life. To be surrounded SAT test in eight grade that after high school I intended to by countless family members and friends while you finally attend a “Vocational School.” As a middle schooler, I certainly enter fully into the vocation that God planned for you at your misunderstood the question. conception is something that I will unpack in prayer for quite some time.
Adoration offered peace, security in silent conversation with Jesus Birthday: Jan. 9
Hometown: Sylvania, Ohio
Parents: William and Charlotte Slattery Family: Four brothers
Home parish: Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo
Education: Bachelor in Sacred Theology from North American College, Rome, Italy.
Father William Patrick Slattery
Hobbies: I like to run, play tennis, cook, paint, listen to music, and above all, I like to read.
Person admired most and why: One of the people I admire most is Pope Benedict XVI. As a theologian, his writings are profound yet they always have a very practical application.
Mass of Thanksgiving: Father Slattery celebrated his first Mass on June 28 at noon at the Cathedral of St. Mary in Fargo.
What were you doing before you entered the seminary? I was a student at the University of St. Thomas, where I was studying philosophy.
When was the first time you thought about the priesthood? During the summer after my first year at St. Thomas, I attended the ordination of Father Luke Meyer and Father Jason Asselin. It was my first visit to Fargo, and the first time I witnessed an ordination. During the ordination rite, I was struck by the joy that these two men had in laying down their lives to serve NEW EARTH JULY/AUGUST 2015
AROUND THE DIOCESE God and the Church. It was in that moment that I first thought, year at St. Thomas. He taught me how to pray, how to learn to “huh… maybe there is something to this whole vocation thing.” discern God’s will in my life and was always available when Were there any reasons why you had not considered priesthood I had questions, doubts and fears. Archbishop Aquila was an essential influence for my vocation, because I would have never earlier in your life? I think that the stereotype of “cradle Catholic” fits really well been a seminarian of the diocese if he had not first asked me for my family. As a child, it seemed that we went to Church to come to Fargo.
for the same reasons that St. Patrick’s Day was bigger than the Was there an experience that was instrumental in identifying Fourth of July and that as soon as I could run I was given a bat, and developing your vocation? ball and glove. These were traditions that my family had. We For me one of the most instrumental experiences was when I had excellent priests, and I liked going to church, but growing began to take an hour of adoration during my first year at St. up, it never entered my mind that this could be a possibility. I Thomas. At the start, I had no clue what I was doing and would guess, it boils down to the fact that when I was younger, I was use that time mostly to do reading for my classes. As the year too interested in other interests. It was not until I left home progressed, I began to pray and ask the Lord questions about and started my first year of University that I began to discover my life and about who he is. I will never forget the peace and my faith more seriously. In this discovery, I began to see that security I felt as I waited silently in conversation with Jesus. God has a plan for my life, and that God was inviting me to a What encouragement and/or advice do you have for young relationship with him that would follow a particular path. men who may be considering the priesthood? Who was instrumental in identifying and developing Don’t be afraid to take a risk. God is generous, and responds your vocation? generously to any sacrifices we make. If you are thinking that There were many people, but to identify a few I would say my you may be called, talk to a priest. older brother Jason, my first spiritual director Father James What excites you most about becoming a priest? McConville and Archbishop (Samuel) Aquila. My brother had Helping people of all ages encounter Jesus Christ. Through been in seminary for a couple years, and his guidance and advice teaching, listening and making the sacraments available, I will during my later years of high school started me on the path of be a minister of God’s grace and mercy. For me, there is nothing rediscovering my faith. Father McConville was a friend of my more exciting than that! brother and became my spiritual director during my second
Living Reflections of God’s Love a celebration of marriage and family
You and your family are invited to a marriage and family conference hosted by the Diocese of Fargo.
Saturday, October 24, 2015 | Fargo Civic Center
© Monastère des Bénédictines & CHOISIR”
Bishop John Folda
Jeff and Emily Cavins
Monsignor James Shea
This conference, designed for the whole family, will feature speakers and activities for all ages. For more information and to register, visit www.fargodiocese.org/lrgl or call (701) 356-7901. No registration fee, BUT registration is REQUIRED. Deadline to register is October 2.
NEW EARTH JULY/AUGUST 2015
AROUND THE DIOCESE
a profound witness to Christ, celebrates silver jubilee By Mother Madonna and Kristina Lahr
“May you truly live for Christ in others sharing the pilgrimage of all God’s people, receiving from them and giving to them the bright hope and joy of salvation…” – Bishop John Folda, Mass of Thanksgiving for the Silver Jubilee of Mother Madonna, O. Carm.
other Madonna of the Assumption, O. Carm. celebrated her Silver Jubilee of Profession with a Mass of Thanksgiving on June 23 at the Carmelite Monastery, outside Wahpeton, with Bishop John Folda presiding. An overflowing crowd joined the cloistered nuns to celebrate the joyful occasion. Following the principles of enclosure, all the Carmelite nuns except Mother Madonna were hidden from sight during the Mass while their voices could be heard leading the hymns and chants from the nuns choir. “By the loving gifts of their lives, Mother Madonna and our sisters have given a profound witness to Christ, a witness that the world needs,” said Bishop Folda during the homily. “When the world is consumed by a desire for possessions, our Sisters witness to the limitless bounty of God and the inexhaustible richness of his love.” After the homily, Mother Madonna renewed her profession of the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Bishop Folda sprinkled Mother Madonna with holy water, praying that the Lord will see her as pure and holy in his sight at all times. He also blessed a wreath of flowers to place on her head as a symbol of the glory to come to those who consecrate themselves to the Lord. “May you truly live for Christ in others,” said Bishop Folda
during the blessing, “sharing the pilgrimage of all God’s people, receiving from them and giving to them the bright hope and joy of salvation, until in the company of Carmel’s Queen, you come to glorify God in everlasting joy and light forever and ever.” After Mass, Mother Madonna greeted family and friends in a receiving line. Remaining true to her cloistered traditions, she stood on one side of a half-wall while friends and family from as far as Texas offered their congratulations. Mother Madonna was born in Santa Barbara, Calif.; grew up in Owosso, Mich.; graduated from high school in San Antonio, Texas; served in the United States Air Force overseas in Newbury, England and entered Carmel of Mary Monastery in Wahpeton on May 16, 1989. Our Lady of Mount Carmel and the Brown Scapular have been an important part of her life since childhood which led her to the Carmelite Order. Mother Madonna’s great love for God led her to the Carmelite Monastery because she wanted to express her total love for him and not only for him but for the people he created. The intentions she and all the nuns receive daily from people throughout the world touch them deeply and are prayed for immediately. Your prayer intentions can be shared with the Sisters through a letter or email to Carmel of Mary Monastery, 17765 78th St. S.E., Wahpeton, N.D. 58075 or CarmelofMary@gmail.com.
Mother Madonna greets one of many guests who gathered to celebrate her 25 years as a consecrated nun at the Carmelite Monastery near Wahpeton June 23. (Kristina Lahr/New Earth)
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AROUND THE DIOCESE
Father Thomas Krupich, 59, priest and inventor
ather Thomas Joseph Krupich was born in Fargo on Aug. 5, 1955 to Ronald P. and Audrey J. (Gavin) Krupich. Tom had seven siblings: Tim (wife Mary), Todd (wife Brenda), Tammy (husband Mark), Tracy (husband Brian), Tony (wife Mary), Tara (wife Esther), and Tonya. He attended Nativity Elementary School and Shanley High School, both in Fargo, where he simultaneously attended elevated science courses at South High as well as Browns Institute. His interests and education found him at the family work shop inventing and fixing many amazing things for his family, friends and neighbors. This passion continued throughout his life and service to his communities. After high school he simultaneously attended North Dakota State University and Cardinal Muench Seminary, both in Fargo. He earned a Bachelors of Arts degree in Classical Languages in 1994. Later that year, he entered seminary formation at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul, Minn. He attended seminary there for a year. Then, he left for Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md. where he completed his theology studies. On June 4, 1988, Father Krupich was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Fargo by Bishop James Sullivan at the Cathedral of St. Mary in Fargo. His first assignment was parochial vicar of St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Grand Forks. He served there for two years. Following
that first assignment he served St. Joseph’s parish, Devils Lake; St. Benedict’s parish, Rutten and Assumption Catholic Church, Starkweather. In 1991, he was appointed pastor of the parishes in Tappen, Steele and Lake William. After more than 10 years serving these parishes, he returned to St. Michael’s in Grand Forks. Following his second assignment at St. Michael’s, Father Krupich served as pastor of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Fairmont and as chaplain for the Carmel of Mary Monastery in Wahpeton from June 2003 to August 2005. In September 2005, he began serving the people of St. Boniface parish, Walhalla and Sts. Nerus and Achilleus parish, Neche until June 2011. During that time, he spent two years in a pastoral leadership formation program called “Good Leaders, Good Shepherds” sponsored by the Catholic Leadership Institute. He received his certificate of completion in 2010. Father Krupich’s final priestly assignment was serving the people of St. Augustine Catholic Church, Fessenden; St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Hurdsfield and Holy Family Catholic Church, McClusky. Father Krupich died on June 27, 2015 at the age of 59. He is survived by his mother Audrey, five brothers and sisters, 12 nieces and nephews, 10 great nieces and nephews and his very close extended family and friends. A funeral vigil was held at Boulger’s Funeral Home in Fargo at 7 p.m. on Tues., June 30 with visitation from 6 – 7 p.m. A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated at the Cathedral of St. Mary in Fargo at 10 a.m. on Wed., July 1. Father Krupich requested the Mass be celebrated in Extraordinary Form; therefore it was not concelebrated by other priests in the diocese. Father Timothy Johnson was the celebrant and Bishop John Folda delivered the homily.
Bison Catholic ‘standout’ lived life, Catholic faith at ‘full throttle’ By Kristi Anderson | The Visitor, Diocese of St. Cloud
Reprinted with permission orking on his own truck, washing a friend’s car or fixing a stranger’s brakes, friends say Samuel Traut was always there to lend a helping hand, especially with all things mechanical. That’s the way he was with everything in his life, said friend Tara Splonskowski, including his ministry at St. Paul’s Newman Center in Fargo, where he attended and where she works as a staff associate. “What stuck out the most about Sam was that, in whatever was going on, he was always there to the end. He believed in helping until everything was done,” Splonskowski said. Traut, a 24-year-old Sartell native was the victim of a homicide June 23 at his Fargo home near the Newman Center. The suspect allegedly knocked on Traut’s door, asked for a glass of water 12
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but became nervous and attacked Traut, then set fire to his apartment. His funeral was held at St. Francis Xavier in Sartell June 29. “Even until the end, he was still helping someone,” said Father James Cheney, director of the Newman Center. “Sam was a true servant. When that guy knocked on his porch door asking for a glass of water, Sam got him a glass of water. He was probably thinking he wanted to help him.”
JUMPING IN WITH BOTH FEET
Growing up, Traut was a member of St. Francis Xavier Parish with his parents, Lloyd and MaryAnn, and his sister, Sally. He graduated from Sartell High School in 2009 and attended North Dakota State University, graduating with a degree in civil engineering in 2013. It was there, friends say, his faith life blossomed.
AROUND THE DIOCESE
Traut’s life reaches but she knows the impact he had on hers. “He showed me the importance of personal integrity, humility and protecting the integrity of others through honesty and confidentiality. ... Mostly, he was completely himself, completely genuine, and always seeking truth and God. He helped me to be myself and to know myself so much better,” she said. Besides being a “wicked swing dancer” and a harmless prankster, sometimes moving her office chair or tossing candy all over her desk, Splonskowski said, he loved doing mechanical things. “We worked on our vehicles together, we washed them together,” she said. “And, even that was a good time, it was always a good time with Sam.” Just days after his death, Splonskowski and a group of Traut’s friends got together and washed his truck a final time. “It was something we loved doing together and that he loved Active bisonCatholic member, Samuel Traut was killed June 23 at his to do with his roommate, Dan,” she explained. “It is just another Fargo home near the St. Paul Newman Center, Fargo, where he was active as an extraordinary minister of holy Communion, lector, Bible peek into who Sam was — he knew that if you had a gift you study leader and member of the Knights of Columbus. should take care of it as a good steward. I remember having a (Submitted photo) discussion with him about that very topic. You take care of the small things you are given in even the simplest ways, and it will help instill that same mindset in the big things.” “When he arrived, he was a typical freshman,” Father Cheney All of these values, Splonskowski concludes, were passed on said. “By the time his second year rolled around, he was to Traut from his family, whom she met recently. really getting involved. He was really touched by the outreach on campus.” “It has been nice to see his parents and sister, to see where he The Newman Center offered a lot of leadership opportunities got his foundation,” she said. “He was raised with such values, that Traut “just jumped right into with both feet,” Father morals and virtue. As adults, we have to make our own choices to follow our faith, but Sam had such a solid foundation. They Cheney said. “Through the years, there have always been standouts; taught him how to think for himself and to be confident in who people you recognize in an extraordinary way,” he said. “That he was.” was Sam. He was always working at full throttle and 120 percent Splonskowski said she still feels his presence: “He is still with us. You can only cry for so long. Then the memories come back invested in everything he did.” The Fargo Newman Center community held a Mass for Traut and they are all good, so you can’t help but smile.” In Traut’s honor, “Sam’s Team” has been established as a way June 24, the Solemnity of St. John the Baptist. “Sam just got back from a mission trip in Peru for 23 days of that others can join the mission of the Newman Center through helping the poorest of poor,” Father Cheney said. “It is fitting monthly giving. Each year, $1,000 will come out of this fund that we celebrated his life on the Solemnity of St. John the Baptist. and be awarded to two students who have demonstrated outHe was a lot like him — preparing the way for the Lord, sharing standing leadership in the community. This annual award has the Gospel through his wisdom and virtue. It was just amazing been re-named the “Samuel A. Traut Outstanding Leadership to see the impact of his life throughout our local community Award.” The remaining funds will go to support work at the St. Paul Newman Center. and beyond.”
DANCER, PRANKSTER, STEWARD
Traut most recently worked for Stantec in Fargo as a civil engineer and road designer while staying actively involved in the Newman Center as an extraordinary minister of holy Communion, lector, Bible study leader and member of the Knights of Columbus. One of the things Splonskowski is most proud of was convincing Traut to teach religious education to a group of ninth- through-12th-grade boys. “He had a lot to teach them,” she said. “He really sat down with them and taught them what it meant to be a Catholic man. They respected him and appreciated that he could, at the same time, be fun, loving and always full of joy.” Splonskowski doesn’t know how far the breadth of impact NEW EARTH JULY/AUGUST 2015
U.S. bishops on ‘Laudato Si’
By Matt Hadro | Catholic News Agency/EWTN News Several leading U.S. bishops praised the new papal encyclical as an invitation to turn away from sin and grow closer to God through a relationship to the created world. Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, described the document as fundamentally an invitation to deeper conversion. “It’s about our Holy Father saying everyone should take responsibility, and sin is not taking responsibility for the truth,” he told CNA June 18. “Sin is both individual and social,” he added, “one does not negate the other. And, so, personal decisions that we make are important.” “We understand that it is as he said in communion with everyone, that we seek the common good. And that is a very forceful call. It is a call for conversion.” The archbishop spoke at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on Thursday morning. He was joined by
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Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington. They discussed Pope Francis’ new encyclical, which was officially published June 18. The 184-page document is entitled “Laudato Si,” taken from the Canticle of St. Francis praising God for his creation. “We not only receive this message with joy, but we seek to be responsible in caring for our common home, a home that God has entrusted to us,” Archbishop Kurtz told reporters. The encyclical applies faith to today’s issues in “reading the signs of the times,” said Cardinal Wuerl. He added that the encyclical’s use of empirical data “shows his [Pope Francis’] and the Church’s deep respect for the world of science and the understanding that it is a domain of its own.” While focused on the environment, “Laudato Si” also addresses the broader relationship of humans to nature, to each other, and to God. It discusses the connection between sin and the degradation of the environment, condemning the overconsumption of natural resources as well as a similar disregard for God’s
Think globally, act locally Religious and civic leaders respond to pope’s new encyclical
n Pope Francis’ newest encyclical, “Laudato Si,” our Holy Father tackles a wide range of topics in relation to the environment including: climate change, consumerism, economic structures, abortion, population control and gender. Religious and civic leaders around the globe have taken notice and many groups have been following the “Laudato Way,” or taken little steps of change to enact the encyclical’s teachings. Let’s take a look at how this document and its teachings are impacting the world on a local level. And, let’s examine how we might be able to participate in our daily lives.
creation through abortion and population control. While the document is addressed to the whole world, Archbishop Kurtz told CNA that the United States has a specific role to play in promoting its teachings. “We in the United States, I think we do have a special responsibility to look for the ways in which we can care for others and not be concerned only about self-interest,” he said. The archbishop also warned people not to tailor the encyclical to their own narrow interests. “When it becomes simply an economic or a political policy paper,” he said of selective readers, “they miss the message. It’s that important. The message is much more profound.” Pope Francis makes this point in the encyclical, he noted, dismissing a narrow “biocentrism” that shows concern only for the earth and not for human persons. Francis also criticizes a “technocratic approach” that values technological progress while ignoring its effect on people and the environment, Archbishop Kurtz added.
While citing scientific studies on climate change and its causes, Pope Francis still leaves room for “dialogue” on the matter, and this is clear at the end of the document, the archbishop affirmed. “He also says at the end that in calling for dialogue, he does not in any way give the impression that the Church is settling questions of science,” he said. “[Pope Francis] knows that in dialogue with others, there’s a great respect for that human person, for our creativity.”
Vatican ropes in global leaders to fight climate change, modern slavery
By Ann Schneible | Catholic New Agency/EWTN News Drawing dozens of mayors from major cities worldwide to discuss the link between slavery and climate change, a twoday Vatican conference held July 21-22, showed how secular leaders are responding to Pope Francis’ lead in protecting the environment – and, more importantly, the vulnerable. “The Church has a role to protect the vulnerable, and if we NEW EARTH JULY/AUGUST 2015
Pope Francis speaks at the climate change and modern slavery meeting in Rome, Italy on July 21. (L’Osservatore Romano)
follow the words of the Pope, we actually bring into account those who create the suffering of others,” said Kevin Hyland, United Kingdom Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner and one of the speakers at the gathering. In an interview with CNA, Hyland said the pontiff has shown his leadership in bringing together the themes of slavery and climate change, as demonstrated by his ability to draw together international leaders to confront the issue. “Pope Francis talks about it in a way that people understand. He’s talking about it in the terms of human lives: That fact that we are exploiting not just people now, but the future, and if we don’t act now in this current time, we are destroying the world for the future generation.” Hyland was one of the speakers in the July 21 workshop in the Vatican entitled, “Modern Slavery and Climate Change: the Commitment of the Cities,” during which dozens of mayors from around the world were invited to present on the theme of climate change and slavery. Vulnerable people, he explained, become targets of slavery when they are unable to sustain themselves, be it the result of conflict or disasters – including those brought about by climate change. These individuals, he said, “then become the very commodity that criminals that exploit people through modern slavery target.” “Climate change and modern slavery are very much linked because it is the climate change that is creating the environment for criminals to actually find their commodity, which is human beings who are displaced because of the climate change.” 16
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Tuesday’s workshop was part of a July 21-22 symposium sponsored by the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences (PAS), titled “Prosperity, People and Planet: Achieving Sustainable Development in Our Cities.” The theme of the conference represents the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences’ current review of “Sustainable Development Goals” (SDGs), a project in which Hyland is taking part. He is also a member of the Santa Marta Group, launched by Pope Francis in 2014, which is an alliance of international police chiefs and bishops from across the world who work together with civil society to eradicate human trafficking and provide pastoral care to victims. On Tuesday, Pope Francis addressed the participants, touching on various themes such as the issue of human trafficking, which he said can be a “rebound effect” of environmental degradation. The Pope will address the United Nations during his tour of the United States in September. Remarking on the pontiff’s address, executive director of the C40 cities climate change group Mark Watts, told CNA he was struck by the connection drawn between climate change and slavery. “I think it was that message of: ‘if you want to make the world a better place right now, and you want to tackle climate change, there is one thing you have to do, which is tackle inequality,’” Watts said. The Pope in his speech showed how “the effects of climate change that we are already experiencing is causing a big increase in migration as people flee areas where life is no longer
COVER STORY sustainable,” Watts said. “Those people are often the ones that fall into the trap of slavery and are exploited.” The two-day symposium gathered some 65 mayors world wide, as well as other leaders, in light of the difficulties which urbanization brings to cities and rural areas alike. Speaking on climate change, the Mayor of San Jose, Sam Liccardo, told CNA the reasons he is following the lead of the Pope – a spiritual leader – on matters which pertain to science. “It seems to me that this is an issue where we critically need leadership from Pope Francis,” he said. “In order to spur the political will, we need him.” “The science is largely undisputed at this point. There is a broad consensus among scientific experts. What lacks is
political will, and we need leaders that are able to inspire people, to be able to make tough decisions, critical decisions for us for the future.” Fellow Californian, governor Jerry Brown, who took part in the meetings, told CNA that this week’s conference was an important step bringing global awareness to the issue of climate change. “This conference is important as a call to action for mayors here, and for mayors and governors and presidents throughout the world,” Brown said. “The big point is that the magnitude of the problem that climate change represents is juxtaposed with the complacency, the indifference, and the lack of real understanding,” he added.
Five eco-lifestyle changes Pope Francis wants you to make
By Mary Rezac | Catholic News Agency/EWTN News
Pope Francis’ highly-anticipated environmental encyclical, “Laudato Si” (Praised Be to You) is hot off the press. In case you haven’t had the chance to read all 184 pages of the new encyclical yet, Catholic News Agency has come up with five steps you can take to follow what’s being called the #LaudatoWay – little steps we can all take to changing our ecological lifestyles. It’s named after St. Therese and her “Little Way”, which Pope Francis mentions in paragraph 230 of the encyclical, and to whom he has a special devotion.
1. Pray for a conversion of heart.
In the wake of the recently release papal encyclical, “Laudato Si,” some Catholic may wonder “what is my obligation to respond?” Catholic New Agency created the #LaudatoWay campaign as a simple way for faithful to immediately put the teachings of the encyclical into action. (Catholic New Agency)
Not surprisingly, our appreciation of and care for the environment must stem from our relationship with God, which is established through prayer. As Pope Benedict XVI, quoted by Pope Francis in para. 217 of “Laudato Si”, explained in 2005: “The external deserts in the world are growing, because the internal deserts have become so vast.” “For this reason,” Pope Francis continues, “the ecological crisis is also a summons to profound interior conversion. It must be said that some committed and prayerful Christians, with the excuse of real- ism and pragmatism, tend to ridicule expressions of concern for the environment. Others are passive; they choose not to change their habits and thus become inconsistent. So what they all need is an ‘ecological conversion,’ whereby the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in their relationship with the world around them. Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience.”
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This prayer life doesn’t have to be complicated. In paragraph 227, Pope Francis explains that this conversion of heart can happen through prayers as simple as the prayer before meals: “One expression of this attitude is when we stop and give thanks to God before and after meals. I ask all believers to return to this beautiful and meaningful custom. That moment of blessing, however brief, reminds us of our dependence on God for life; it strengthens our feeling of gratitude for the gifts of creation; it acknowledges those who by their labours provide us with these goods; and it reaffirms our solidarity with those in greatest need.” Someone once challenged me to say grace before meals ALWAYS – whether I was eating a banana for breakfast in the car on my way to work, or having lunch with friends in a crowded restaurant – and it changed my life. Pope Francis has just reiterated that call – challenge accepted.
In the family we first learn how to show love and respect for life; we are taught the proper use of things, order and cleanliness, respect for the local ecosystem and care for all creatures. In the family we receive an integral education, which enables us to grow harmoniously in personal maturity. In the family we learn to ask without demanding, to say “thank you” as an expression of genuine gratitude for what we have been given, to control our aggression and greed, and to ask forgiveness when we have caused harm. These simple gestures of heartfelt courtesy help to create a culture of shared life and respect for our surroundings.”
4. Change the way you consume products.
We as consumers have power. If we change the way we consume things, businesses will be forced to pay attention. If we as a Church, for example, stop shopping on Sundays, or stop buying unethically produced clothing, businesses will have to 2. Learn to appreciate beauty. respond to those changes. This might sound overly simple, but learning to appreciate Pope Francis explains in paragraph 206: the beauty in our world around us – whether in another person A change in lifestyle could bring healthy pressure to bear on or in a beautiful mountain sunset – is a profound step in our those who wield political, economic and social power. This is conversion of heart that helps us to appreciate creation as a gift what consumer movements accomplish by boycotting certain from God. products. They prove successful in changing the way businesses As Pope Francis explains in paragraph 215: “By learning operate, forcing them to consider their environmental footprint to see and appreciate beauty, we learn to reject self-interested and their patterns of production. When social pressure affects pragmatism. If someone has not learned to stop and admire their earnings, businesses clearly have to find ways to produce something beautiful, we should not be surprised if he or she differently. This shows us the great need for a sense of social treats everything as an object to be used and abused without responsibility on the part of consumers. “Purchasing is always a scruple. If we want to bring about deep change, we need to moral – and not simply economic – act.” Today, in a word, “the realize that certain mindsets really do influence our behavior.” issue of environmental degradation challenges us to examine What’s one practical way you can learn to appreciate beauty? our lifestyle.” Spend more time in (silent) nature! This is one of my parish priests’ favorite penances to give after confession. Spending 5. Simplify your life – use only what you need. time in the beauty of God’s creation calms our hearts, calls us Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Pope Francis out of ourselves, and reminds us of His glory. (P.S. It doesn’t asks that even those who can afford more to be prudent with count if you have your headphones in the whole time.) their lifestyle choices and to learn to find joy in the simple life. Nature is filled with words of love, but how can we listen to In reality, those who enjoy more and live better each moment them amid constant noise, interminable and nerve-wracking are those who have given up dipping here and there, always distractions, or the cult of appearances? Many people today sense on the look-out for what they do not have… Even living on a profound imbalance which drives them to frenetic activity and little, they can live a lot, above all when they cultivate other makes them feel busy, in a constant hurry which in turn leads pleasures and find satisfaction in fraternal encounters, in service, them to ride rough-shod over everything around them. This in developing their gifts, in music and art, in contact with nature, too affects how they treat the environment. An integral ecology in prayer. Happiness means knowing how to limit some needs includes taking time to recover a serene harmony with creation, which only diminish us, and being open to the many different reflecting on our lifestyle and our ideals, and contemplating the possibilities which life can offer (paragraph 223). Creator who lives among us and surrounds us, whose presence Some practical tips Pope Francis gives for simplifying your “must not be contrived but found, uncovered” (paragraph 225). life with the environment in mind: using less heat and wearing warmer clothes, avoiding the use of plastic and paper, reducing 3. Practice gratitude and selflessness in the family. water consumption, separating refuse, cooking only what According to Pope Francis, the seeds of abuse of God’s creation can reasonably be consumed, showing care for other living and the environment are man’s own selfishness and greed. The beings, using public transport or car-pooling, planting trees, best place to correct these sinful desires and to learn virtue is turning off unnecessary lights, or any number of other practices in the family, which he explains in paragraph 213: (paragraph 211). “…I would stress the great importance of the family, which “There is a nobility in the duty to care for creation through is ‘the place in which life – the gift of God – can be properly little daily actions,” Pope Francis wrote. “…All of these reflect welcomed and protected against the many attacks to which it is a generous and worthy creativity which brings out the best in exposed, and can develop in accordance with what constitutes human beings,” (paragraph 211). authentic human growth. In the face of the so-called culture of death, the family is the heart of the ‘culture of life.’
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‘Little Deacons’ program sees success, expansion
ast August, St. John Paul II Catholic Schools Network launched a new program for three-year-olds. While the Pre-Kindergarten classrooms were full and growing, parents were looking for an alternative, Catholic preschool program with extended hours to accommodate working families. From this need came the “Little Deacons” program at Holy Spirit School in Fargo. After a successful inaugural year of the program, the program will continue at Holy Spirit and expand to the new Trinity Elementary in West Fargo. “I have been thrilled with how ‘Little Deacons’ has influenced our daughter’s life. She has grown so much in her cognitive skills as well as her faith life which is much more than I could ask for from any other place we could have sent her, ” commented Jim Breen, parent of one participant. Skills are taught through large and small group activities in a non-threatening environment. Each child’s individual learning schedule is respected and activities are modified in order to
By Sherri Simon
ensure success before moving on to more difficult concepts. Through prayer and worship, music, literature, art and play, the program seeks to teach the total person and to help the students discover their unique skills, talents and inner treasures. “Holy Spirit School is a place where I am able to speak of the Holiness that dwells within the children and join in their theological conversations around the lunch table. Preschoolers are naturally spiritual and their profound knowledge of God often bursts through. For ones so small, they possess great wisdom and as a teacher in a Catholic school, I am able help them grow in it. For this I am thankful,” said Shawn Hagstrom, Little Deacons instructor. If you would like to learn more about this program or any of the other programs at the St. John Paul II Catholic Schools, contact Lori Hager, Admissions Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or (701) 893-3271.
Students on a mission
Students from the 2015 Shanley High School Mission Trip to Spirit Lake team gather for a photo by the new altar at St. Michael’s parish in St. Michael. The altar was made for the 2014 National Tekawitha Conference held in Fargo. Later, it was donated to the parish. This team is the eighth group of students to spend a week during the summer on a mission trip to the Spirit Lake Dakota Sioux Indian Reservation. From June 21-26, the team, along with a group from Sts. Anne and Joachim parish, Fargo, assisted with a children’s day camp run by the Young Disciples Apostolate. At the end of camp, children received a backpack of school supplies from Sts. Anne & Joachim parishioners and a gift bag and letters from students at Nativity Elementary School in Fargo. Many of the children also received a fleece blanket made by Shanley’s Service Club. The 2015 team members included: Clare Bath, Courtney Donahue, Ben Geffre and Matthew Seefeldt. Christy Smith served as chaperone and Mike Hagstrom served as team leader. (Submitted Photo)
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National Catholic Youth Choir encourages leadership for youth in liturgical ministry By Kristina Lahr
Kathryn Weinmann of St. Anthony’s parish in Fargo sings with the National Catholic Youth Choir June 23 at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Detroit Lakes, Minn. The Choir rehearsed for seven days before embarking on a 10-day tour singing a variety of Christian traditions from Gregorian chant to modern day hymns. (Kristina Lahr/New Earth)
oon to be senior Kathryn Weinmann was timid about signing-up for the National Catholic Youth Choir last summer, but is now glad she did. After touring with them again this June, she says the choir has become the highlight of her summer and a big help to her as a cantor. “I really like the community,” she said. “It’s fun to be around people who believe in the same things as you as well as like to sing. During the day there’s lots of time for prayer, so we got to experience praying Morning Prayer with the monks and praying with the Benedictine sisters.”
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The choir is composed of 35 high school students across the nation selected based on a written application, audition and references. The choir is sponsored by the St. John’s School of Theology and Seminary in Collegeville, Minn. This year the choir performed in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa. “One of the goals of the choir is to encourage kids to do what they love and to worship God while doing it,” she said. For Weinmann, this means singing. The choir rehearses for seven days before embarking on a 10-day tour singing a variety of Christian traditions from Gregorian chant to modern day hymns. Choristers rehearse for six to eight hours a day and include time for religion or music classes and daily prayer including Mass, Liturgy of the Hours, rosary and Benediction. Each choir member also receives cantor training, experience they are encouraged to share back at their home parishes. As a cantor for St. Anthony’s parish in Fargo, Weinmann says performing with the choir has helped her in that ministry. “We get to take a cantering class, and they give you little tips to take home with you,” she said. “They teach you how to be more confident in yourself and remind you that it’s not about being a performance but about being a prayer.” “At first it’s kind of nerve racking,” she said about her experience as a cantor, “and you feel like everyone is watching you. Maybe they are, but I learned it doesn’t really matter. It’s a form of prayer. I always try to remember that quote from St. Augustine, ‘those who sing pray twice.’” For Weinmann, a simple prompting from a fellow singer encouraged her to use her voice for the church. Weinmann hopes that more people will respond to the call to use their gifts and talents for God. “If you have a little thought inside you that you want to do something more, you should,” she said. “It usually leads to something greater than we first imagine.”
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Diocesan policy: Reporting child abuse The Diocese of Fargo is committed to the protection of youth. Please report any incidents or suspected incidents of child abuse, including sexual abuse, to civil authorities. If the situation involves a member of the clergy or a religious order, a seminarian or an employee of a Catholic school, parish, the diocesan offices or other Catholic entity within the diocese, we ask that you also report the incident or suspected incident to Monsignor Joseph P. Goering at (701) 356-7945 or Larry Bernhardt at (701) 356-7965 or VictimAssistance@fargodiocese.org. For additional information about victim assistance, visit www.fargodiocese.org/victimassistance. NEW EARTH JULY/AUGUST 2015
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FAITH AND CULTURE
Beyond the canvas veil By Father Michael Hickin
of Christ, after delving into the meaning of baptism, he takes us ‘backstage.’ He goes into the painting’s background scenery noting, “The beauty of nature in fact invites prayerful response, and Saint John Damascene would say that ‘the spectacle of the countryside spurs my heart to glorify God.’ Conversely, prayer heightens our sensibility to nature, allowing human beings to perceive themselves as part of a divine plan whose order transpires in the varied beauty of the cosmos.” Monsignor Verdon often does us the favor of situating paintings A review of Catholic books and literature in their original context. He takes us there, “when Mass was still said before this altarpiece” to re-create for us the experience of “…an artwork’s subject is not confined to the community for whom the painting was commissioned. the personage or event represented, but Said Monsignor Verdon in one passage of the book, “In the always includes those who contemplate context of this book on the role of sacred images in prayer, can say that art associated with the liturgy illuminates a their own lives in the image even as they we fundamental expectation of believers, announcing a longed-for await transformation.” spiritual transformation by its own transformation of matter. More important, sacred images mirror, in the personages and events – Monsignor Timothy Verdon they illustrate, that image in which believers themselves hope his is a very moving book. What drives that movement? Did to be transformed…, an artwork’s subject is not confined to the author choose evocative images, then comment? Or, did the personage or event represented, but always includes those he have a teaching on prayer, then look for images? That who contemplate their own lives in the image even as they it is hard to tell is the charm of Monsignor TimothyVerdon’s await transformation.” Yes, the context of these masterpieces includes our eyes, our latest book, “Art and Prayer: The Beauty of Turning to God.” yearning and our journey to God. “The desire to see God is a Monsignor Verdon has a knack for weaving imagery, deep impulse of Christian faith” in the word made flesh. “Love commentary and catechesis. This synergy creates an intimate generates desire which tends to want to lift veils. Love cannot space for the reader. He draws you into the artwork, explaining keep itself from wanting to see what attracts it—for this reason easily overlooked details, igniting insights. You fall in love with all the saints considered they had achieved little if they did not the masterpieces the more they shine forth with meaning. But, succeed in seeing God,” (St. Peter Chrysologus). there’s more. It was not uncommon that I set the book aside in order to pray. There’s the book’s real success. Father Hickin serves the Fargo Diocese as the pastor for St. Mark’s The author is a New Jersey native and Yale grad with a PhD Catholic Church in Bottineau and St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in art history. At 48, he became a priest in Florence, Italy where in Westhope. he directs the Diocesan Office of Sacred Art & Church Cultural Heritage and the Cathedral Foundation Museum. He is a Vatican consultor on the arts and Director for the Ecumenical Center for the Archdiocese of Florence. His bibliography is extensive. Monsignor Verdon is a highly qualified guide into the world of About the Book: art with a pastor’s touch for the soul’s need for God. “Art & Prayer: The Beauty There are more than 100 images in this 300 page book. of Turning to God” by Monsignor Verdon peppers his commentaries with 129 quotes, Timothy Verdon. Published more than half are from saints and mostly fathers of the by Paraclete Press. Church. Those who pray the Church’s Liturgy of the Hours will Hardcover is 320 pages. Available enjoy finding many citations lifted from the Office of Readings via Paraclete Press, Amazon.com used to illustrate various aspects of prayer: liturgy, intercession, and other book resellers. lectio divina, contemplation, etc. Monsignor Verdon writes for the spiritually minded. He looks at masterpieces as one overhearing a “sacred conversation.” He then translates for us, making connections that move the soul to union with God. For instance, in Piero della Francesca’s Baptism
NEW EARTH JULY/AUGUST 2015
OUR CATHOLIC LIFE
STORIES OF FAITH By Father Bert Miller
The Holy Spirit among us Author’s Note: This month’s Story of Faith comes to us from the woman who told us of the multiplication of the fish in May. This time we hear of substitution as the means God uses to get our attention. Something like this has likely happened in your church. It happened in my parish in May, but let’s hear what the storyteller has to say. My mother has been the organist at our church since she was 16 years old. She is now 85. She was hospitalized on a Friday and was transferred to Bismarck on Saturday for a procedure. As soon as she discovered that she would not be at home for Saturday or Sunday Mass, she panicked. Who would play the music at Mass? The Sunday pianist also was going to be gone, so there wouldn’t be anyone for Sunday either. There is a backup Saturday night pianist, but she lives in Arizona during the winter and was not due back until after Sunday. I didn’t want Mom to worry about this, so I told her I would contact the woman returning from Arizona (even though I knew she likely would not be back). I felt I had to tell that little lie, because I knew Mom would not get better if she had to worry. Late Friday when I went to the grocery store, I found the woman from Arizona there buying food to replenish her kitchen. She informed me they had arrived home earlier than expected. I relayed to her Mom’s health condition and asked her if she would play piano on Saturday night. Naturally, the woman said, “Of course!” 24
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Whew! One Mass down and one more to go. When I got back home, I called the Sunday soloist and gave her the information about Mom and also that I found a Saturday pianist, but there would not be anyone there for Sunday. She wasn’t worried and said she would sing without help. The Sunday singer called after Mass Sunday morning and said that a former pianist, who had moved to a nearby town, walked into the church about five minutes before the start time. The singer explained the situation, and the pianist said she was willing to play. What made this woman attend Mass in our town after being away for years? What made the Arizona pianist come home a week early? We are all thinking the Holy Spirit visited more than the upper room on our celebration of Pentecost this year. The presence of the Holy Spirit was surely felt in our church. Father Bert Miller serves as pastor at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in West Fargo. Editor’s Note: Stories of Faith is a recurring feature in New Earth. If you have a faith story to tell, contact Father Bert Miller at bert. email@example.com.
OUR CATHOLIC LIFE
Reflecting on incomplete reporting, removing faith from public sphere and ‘Laudato Si’
he state’s newspapers recently reported that Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota is celebrating its 75th anniversary. The story, however, did not mention the role that religious leaders and religion itself played in the organization’s formation. Father Aloisius Muench was named Bishop of Fargo in 1935. He had received his masters degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and later his doctorate in social studies from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, with a dissertation entitled “Fundamental Norms for Health Insurance Legislation in the United States.” Bishop Muench, who later became the only cardinal from North Dakota, was committed to applying the Catholic Church’s social teaching to North Dakota, including the teaching that health care is a natural right for every person. Then-bishop Muench encouraged Monsignor Vincent Ryan, who later became the bishop of Bismarck, and Father Anthony Peschel to develop an insurance plan to help patients pay for hospital expenses. Monsignor Ryan and Father Peschel were, respectively, the director and the assistant director of the Catholic Welfare Bureau, the predecessor of Catholic Charities North Dakota. The proposal was first pitched to St. Luke’s and St. John’s hospitals in Fargo, respectively Lutheran and Catholic hospitals. The hospitals agreed and Blue Cross was formed in 1940. Cardinal Muench was issued Policy No. 1. Father (later Bishop) Leo Dworschak received policy No. 2 and Father Peschel received Policy No. 3. Based on the news story, it is doubtful that the reporter knew this history. Blue Cross Blue Shield’s own website account of its origins makes no mention of the priests or the role that Catholic social teaching played in the organization’s founding. Many people today think that religion is always harmful to society. People of faith today are told to keep their religion to themselves and out of the public sphere, whether it be commercial, not for profit or political affairs. If, however, these four men kept their faith to themselves or the confines of the parishes, Blue Cross Blue Shield might have never existed and most certainly thousands upon thousands of North Dakotans would not have been able to afford essential health care. Cardinal Muench strongly believed that Catholic social teaching should be applied to economic, social and political life. Applying the church’s teaching, he favored policies and laws that strengthened family farmers and restricted corporate ownership of farmland. Again, applying Catholic teaching, Cardinal Muench encouraged the formation of cooperatives owned and operated by the people involved in the economic activity rather than submitting to a “free market” that allowed distant investors with no connection to the land and people affected. Pope Francis’ new encyclical makes clear that this teaching is still relevant today. Some people, especially in the United States, are having trouble understanding the pope’s encyclical. His criticisms of
capitalism, they think, make him a socialist. They are mistakenly Catholic starting with a false Action dichotomy. Pope Francis, like Cardinal Christoper Muench decades ago, understands that Dodson according to Catholic teaching we are not faced with only two choices: government ownership or an unbridled capitalistic market. As human persons, we have a multitude of choices. Cardinal Muench, who understood economics and Catholic social teaching, saw that it might be possible to make health care affordable not by going to the government or leaving healthcare to the whims of the market. Similarly, he thought cooperatives, combined with laws that encouraged them and discouraged corporate ownership of agricultural land, could make family ownership and operation of farms possible despite the pressure to “get big or get out” and develop “factory farms.” Perhaps new proposals are needed for today’s world. Maybe the old models do not always work. Nevertheless, as Pope Francis’s encyclical and our own history in North Dakota reminds us, we are not mere economic or biological units relegated to false dichotomies. There are limits on what we, being fallen creatures in a finite world, can do. The economy, however, is a human creation meant to serve the human person and respect creation. It is not an either/or proposition. Let us use the creative powers our creator has given us to help create an economic life that serves the common good, responsibly protects the environment and puts first the needs of the poor. Christopher Dodson is executive director of the North Dakota Catholic Conference. The NDCC acts on behalf of the Catholic bishops of North Dakota to respond to public policy issues of concern to the Catholic Church and to educate Catholics and the general public about Catholic social doctrine. The conference website is ndcatholic.org.
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OUR CATHOLIC LIFE
Your ‘contingency notebook’
o you have a “contingency notebook?” Perhaps you do, Stewardship but you call it by Steve Schons another name. Maybe it’s your “emergency file” or your “crisis notebook.” A contingency notebook can be as simple as a threehole binder containing all the information a loved one or personal representative needs to know if you become seriously incapacitated or even die. When tragedy strikes, it’s no time to go through drawers, filing cabinets and shoe boxes looking for pertinent information. Your up-to-date contingency notebook can make all the difference.
10. CHARITABLE COMMITMENTS. Summarize your
charitable involvements, specifically your ties with your church. This will help your family know what organizations you supported during your life and why.
can be used in preparing your obituary. Summarize your values and purpose in life. You might also provide personal notes to each family member expressing your love and your hopes for them.
doesn’t fall into one of the other categories.
11. PERSONAL ITEMS. Include biographical information that
12. MISCELLANEOUS. This section is reserved for anything that
For the sake of your loved ones, we urge you to get started with your contingency book right away. Keep working on it until you are satisfied it’s complete. Then show it to your family and tell them where they can find it. All of this will produce peace of mind for you and for them. I am available to assist you and to provide further ideas if you wish.
Steve Schons is director of stewardship and development for the After you’ve obtained a good-sized notebook and 12 dividers, Diocese of Fargo and president of the Catholic Development Foundation. label the front cover in big letters, “Contingency Notebook.” He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (701) 356-7926. Then divide it into several sections, including:
1. ACTION LIST. Specify the immediate and secondary steps
one should follow if something happens to you.
professional advisors and others who should be informed of your condition.
treatments. Identify types and locations of medicines. Name your doctors and provide contact information.
credit, debit, etc.). Include account numbers, customer service phone numbers and a copy of a past statement for each account.
health policy information. Summarize your coverage and/or include a copy of the coverage page from each policy. Identify insurance agent(s) and phone numbers.
outline action to take.
real estate, etc.).
concerning the funeral service and burial. You might also suggest that donations can be made to your parish for those who wish to make a memorial gift in your honor.
will, power of attorney, living will or directive to physicians, trusts and other items. Also, specify where the original of each document can be found.
2. KEY CONTACTS. Identify family members, friends,
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7. ASSET INVENTORY. List your major possessions (autos, 8. FUNERAL INSTRUCTIONS. Identify your wishes
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OUR CATHOLIC LIFE
The Church and the ‘new normal’
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s marriage decision, these sober thoughts occur:
The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has rendered a decision that puts the Court at odds with the Constitution, with reason and with biblical religion.
SCOTUS has gotten it wrong before. It got it wrong on race in Dred Scott and Plessy vs. Ferguson (which upheld segregated public facilities). It got it wrong by concocting a constitutional “right” to abortion-on-demand in Roe vs. Wade and doubled-down on that mistake by getting it wrong on abortion again in Casey vs. Planned Parenthood. Now SCOTUS has gotten it wrong on marriage. There are remedies to SCOTUS getting it wrong. One of them is a careful reexamination, during the 2016 campaign, of the theory of “judicial supremacy,” which holds that the Constitution means whatever a majority of the Court says it means.
The marriage battle was lost in the culture long before it was lost in the courts. The foundations of our culture have eroded. Now, the “New Normal” insists that literally everything is plastic, malleable and subject to acts of human will. The result is a moment of profound moral incoherence in which understandings of human nature and human happiness that have stood the test of experience for millennia are being discarded as mere rubbish. And, those who resist trashing the moral patrimony of humanity are dismissed as irrational bigots, religious fanatics or both. This “New Normal” is willfulness-on-steroids, especially when that willfulness involves human sexuality. Nothing, it seems, constitutes aberrant behavior except the public defense of traditional virtue.
The Catholic Church in the United States bears its share of responsibility for this incoherence. It was clear sixty years ago that the old mainline Protestant cultural hegemony was fading, that an alternative cultural foundation for American democracy was necessary, and that a new cadre of citizen-leaders, capable of articulating the moral truths on which the American democratic experiment rests, had to be raised up. The prime candidate for doing all that was the Catholic Church. It might have happened. But, too many of the Church’s clerical and lay leadership lost their nerves after Humanae Vitae. The window of opportunity closed amidst the maelstrom of the ‘60s and the decadence of the ‘70s, and the forces of incoherence won the day.
The “New Normal” will not leave the Catholic Church alone. Like everyone else who contests the “New Normal’s” ideology of “anything goes,” the Catholic Church will be aggressively attacked for daring to oppose that
ideology. So, the Church must learn, fast, how to play good defense, The Catholic defending the right Difference of our institutions and our people to George Weigel be themselves. It will do a service to America in the process. (A good primer for thinking through these issues is the recent pastoral letter by Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, “Being Catholic Today: Catholic Identity in an Age of Challenge.”)
The long-term answer to the “New Normal,” and the dictatorship of relativism it’s trying to impose, is the re-conversion of the United States to right reason, moral truth and a biblical way of seeing the world. This is a multigenerational project. It will necessarily be ecumenical and interreligious. From the Catholic point of view, the only possible response to the “New Normal” is a robustly evangelical Catholicism: one that displays true happiness in lives of solidarity with others, that links that happiness and solidarity to friendship with Jesus Christ and the truths his Church teaches and invites others to consider “a still more excellent way,” (1 Corinthians 12.31).
Finally, that means a thorough catechesis of the Catholic people of the United States, not least through preaching. It’s preaching that forthrightly challenges the too-oftentypical Catholic shrug at the “New Normal,” and calls Catholics to deeper friendship with Christ and deeper conversion to his truth. George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. Weigel’s column is distributed by the Denver Catholic, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Denver.
Job Opening Church of the Ascension is seeking a Parish Manager who uses creativity and energy to encourage staff and parishioners of the opportunities to grow, share their faith and be of service to others. This person supports the Pastor in the management and stewardship of the parish’s physical, financial and personnel resources. Qualifications: Business Administration or accounting degree with supervisory or management experience. Experience in church accounting software preferred. Ability to organize and implement procedures as they relate to the church environment. An appreciation of the Catholic faith and complete background check is required by the Diocese of Bismarck. Submit a cover letter and resume to: Search Committee | Church of the Ascension 1905 South Third Street | Bismarck, ND 58504
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OUR CATHOLIC LIFE
Change is a good thing
Conversion as a path to grace
hree years ago, I was a 39 year old man living on a farm by myself. I hadn’t been to school in 20 years. Today, I live most of the year in Detroit, in one building, with 140 other people and pursuing a degree in philosophy. This may seem like a dramatic change of life, and it is, but it came about through a dramatic change of heart. An immeasurable joy became manifest through the loving heart of Jesus Christ. The words I often use to describe to people who wonder how this dramatic change of life can take place are: “Life is about conversion.” It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. I remember well the years I spent running from the call of our Lord as I pursued my own hearts desire. It took many years for me to realize that our desires were the same, and that I could only see it when I looked through His eyes and not my own. In my pursuit of happiness, I had always felt a tension when I looked for the right relationships, the right job or the right place. One day I was thinking to myself that if I could change this thing or that thing my life would work. In that moment, I clearly heard the Lord say to me, “You cannot change your life to make it work. You must change the work and make it your life.” That revelation of truth called for a conversion of heart. Being in seminary has strengthened my conviction to spend my life doing the work of God. The daily struggles are always going to be present, but in these times it always helps me to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus and rest in the peace of knowing we are in this together. God does not call us only to abandon us. We must also not abandon Him. That is why conversion of heart is so important. This is what has helped me to be filled with the most joy in the things I find most difficult. It helps us to stay with Him and not look too far ahead. The Lord however, in
would seem a purely human level can only be described as something more, Seminarian something superLife human. For in their humanity, in their Jered A. Grossman lives, I see God. I see the Church. Their generosity, faith and zeal bring about a mutual conversion of our collective heart as the Mystical Body of Christ. This is especially beautiful to witness in the sacraments. As I witness baptisms and funerals, I see a conversion to new life. I see in the Eucharist the greatest conversion of all. From water, wine and bread we are given the grace to be joined as the body to the head in complete communion. This is a great reminder to us as we receive it and a call for us to continue that communion in all aspects of our lives. As I return to Detroit this fall, I will carry with me all of these special graces God has given to me through his people. I will see their faces as I pray for them. I will thank the Lord for the way they have changed my heart by making it more: more grateful, more fulfilled and more connected to the Mystical Body of Christ. Jered Grossman is a College IV student studying at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Mich. Originally from Harvey, Grossman enjoys being outside, and, if not called to the priesthood, he would have pursued a life in farming or ranching. This summer he is serving at St. Anthony’s parish in Fargo and St. Philip’s in Hankinson.
“Being in seminary has strengthened my conviction to spend my life doing the work of God. The daily struggles are always going to be present, but in these times it always helps me to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus and rest in the peace of knowing we are in this together.” – Jered A. Grossman, Fargo Diocese seminarian His goodness, knows that in our humanness we desire to know what lies ahead. As I am experiencing my summer assignments in the parish at this time, he is giving me a glimpse of how truly beautiful the priesthood is. This has been presented to me in the people of God, whom I have had the great joy of serving. My spiritual director in seminary once explained to me that you can draw a star on a piece of paper without every lifting the pencil, and though the points of the star are in different locations, they are connected. This is the same with ministry. As I left Harvey for my summer assignments, this analogy took on a new meaning: “Where the Lord calls me to be is truly my home.” The Lord makes this possible, and through his people, makes it actual. The encounters I have had with His people on what
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Happening Around The Diocese the Immaculate Conception, youth will travel to Emittsburg, Md. to visit the Mother Seton Shrine and see the sights of Come away for a day of retreat at Valley City Presentation Washington, D.C. Center (Maryvale) or Park River Bible Camp where Father Andrew Jasinski will direct a retreat with a series of talks The cost for the six-day pilgrimage is $830 and includes air on “God is Rich in Mercy” (Ephesians 2:4), the theme for the and ground travel, lodging, meals and tour fees. Registration Jubilee Year called by Pope Francis. This is a retreat for any- deadline is Oct. 15. To obtain a registration form contact Rachelle one who is involved in catechesis. Also, there will be time for at (701) 356-7910, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Mass, lunch, sharing and reflection and the chance to enjoy the www.fargodiocese.org/respectlife. beautiful grounds. The day will begin at 9 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. A minimum of 12 participants registered for each retreat is required, or it will be canceled. Registration fee is $20 per person. Please register online at www.fargodiocese.org/catechistretreat. Please contact Mary Hanbury at email@example.com for more information.
Catechist retreat set for Aug. 14 and 22
North Dakota ‘40 Days for Life’ begins Sept. 23
Mark your calendars for the start of the state’s 40 Days for Life campaign. The faithful of the Fargo Diocese are encouraged to participate in the National 40 Days for Life campaign that will take place Sept. 23 to Nov. 1. The “40 Days” of continuous prayer will begin at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 23 in front of the abortion facility located at 512 First Ave. N. in Fargo. The event is a three-fold effort of prayer, fasting and vigilance that will be conducted in all 50 states across our nation and internationally. Sign-up to take an hour vigilance at the state’s only abortion facility by contacting the Pregnancy Help Center at (701) 356-7979 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about the 40 Days for Life campaign, visit www.40daysforlifend.com.
Walk with Christ for Life on Respect Life Sunday, Oct. 4
Bishop John Folda invites the faithful of the diocese to join him in the annual Eucharistic procession, Walk with Christ for Life, on Respect Life Sunday, Oct. 4. The day’s events will begin with Mass at noon, at the Cathedral of St. Mary in Fargo. Mass will be followed by a prayerful, peaceful procession to the state’s only abortion facility. A short prayer service will be held outside the abortion facility. Then, those gathered will return to the Cathedral for Benediction. The walk is sponsored by the Diocese of Fargo Respect Life Office. For more information, call Rachelle Sauvageau at (701) 356-7910.
Youth called to ‘March for Life’
Youth in grades nine through 12 from across the Diocese of
Fargo are invited to pilgrimage to the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 22, 2016. The pilgrimage will begin in Fargo on Jan. 18 and return Jan. 23. In addition to participating in the March for Life and Vigil Mass for Life at the Basilica of 30
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Women’s THIRST Conference scheduled Sept. 19 in Bismarck
The Diocese of Bismarck is sponsoring the THIRST 2015 Women’s Conference on Saturday, Sept. 19 at the University of Mary in Bismarck. The conference begins at 9 a.m. with registration and ends with the celebration of the vigil Mass at 4:30 p.m. by Bishop David Kagan. The sacrament of reconciliation will also be offered in the afternoon. The guest speaker will be Father Scott Traynor, and he will be delivering three presentations on healing, prayer and relationship with God. A brief biography of Father Traynor and full schedule of events is available on the registration website. The conference is free to all women. Breakfast and lunch are included. Women of all ages and faiths can register online at http://bismarckdiocese.com/thirst2015. Contact Holly Krumm at email@example.com or (701) 204-7223 ext. 223 for more information.
For more news and events, visit the “News and Events” section of the diocesan website: www.fargodiocese.org/news-events.
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Events Across The Diocese Mark your calendar for events around the diocese
Putt 4 a Purpose.
Rose Creek Golf Course, Fargo. Monday, Aug. 3. Proceeds benefit seminarian education and youth programs throughout the Diocese of Fargo including March for Life, SEARCH, Catholic Youth Advisory Council (CYAC) and youth camps. To register visit www.fargodiocese.org/ puttpurpose or contact Steve Schons at (701) 356-7926 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Piano Talk Concerts.
St. John’s Parish Center, Grafton. Tuesday, Aug. 11 and Tuesday, Aug. 25 at 7:30 p.m. Proceeds from the concert benefit youth at St. John’s parish. Free will offering. Contact Brent Hermans at email@example.com.
Our Lady of the Prairies Pilgrimage. Carmelite
Monastery, Wahpeton. Sunday, Aug. 16 at 3 p.m. A walking rosary will begin at 3 p.m. with confessions, Mass and a picnic to follow. Contact Karen Weber at (701) 640-6152 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
125th Anniversary of St. John’s Academy. St. John’s
Academy, Jamestown. Thursday, Sept. 3 at 1:30 p.m. Bishop Folda will be visiting classrooms, blessing the new playground, sharing lunch with the kids and celebrating Mass at 1:30 p.m. For more information, contact Monsignor Wald at (701) 952-6992.
Parents: First Teachers of Faith. St. Michael’s
Catholic Church, Grand Forks. Thursday, Sept. 9 at 6:30 p.m. Bishop John Folda will be conducting a talk on this topic. For more information contact the parish.
World Meeting of Families. Philadelphia, Pa. The eighth World Meeting of Families will be held Sept. 22-27. In 1994, St. John Paul II started the tradition of inviting families from around the world to come together every three years to pray and strengthen one another. The Diocese of Fargo is leading a pilgrimage group. Register at www. fargodiocese.org/wmof or contact Jennie Korsmo at (701) 356-7901.
40 Days for Life kick-off.
512 1st Ave. N, Fargo. Wednesday, Sept. 23 at 8 a.m. 40 Days for Life is a three-fold effort of prayer, fasting and vigilance. Contact the Pregnancy Help Center (701) 356-7979 or email@example.com. Visit www.40daysforlifend.com.
Year of Marriage and Family Celebration. Fargo
Civic Center Auditorium and Radisson Hotel. Saturday, Oct. 24. To celebrate the Diocese of Fargo’s Year of Marriage and Family, a conference titled “Living Reflections of God’s Love” will be held for the whole family. Bishop John Folda, Jeff and Emily Cavins, Monsignor James Shea and Doug Tooke will be featured speakers. Separate tracks will be held for children and youth. Contact Jennie Korsmo at (701) 356-7901 for more information or to register.
To submit events for New Earth and the diocesan website, send information to: New Earth, 5201 Bishops Blvd. S., Suite A, Fargo, ND 58104-7605 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for the September New Earth is Aug. 26. The earliest that issue will reach homes is Sept. 14.
Calvin Shockman celebrates 90 years
Calvin (Kelly) Shockman celebrated his 90th birthday June 26. Calvin and his wife of 66 years, Maxine, still live on the family farm near Grand Rapids where they farmed and raised their family. They are members of Holy Rosary Catholic Church of LaMoure. They have 13 children, 39 grandchildren, 48 great-grandchildren and three more great-grandchildren arriving soon.
Volks celebrate 60 years of marriage
Robert and Gloriann Volk were married at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Esmond July 12, 1955. They have been members of St. Cecilia Catholic Church in Harvey since 1964. They have six children, nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. They celebrated their anniversary with family in Bismarck July 11 and 12.
Share Life’s Milestones As a way to celebrate life and love, we encourage parishioners throughout the Diocese of Fargo to send photos of anniversaries of 60 or more years, or birthdays of 80 or more years to: New Earth, Diocese of Fargo, 5201 Bishops Blvd. S., Suite A, Fargo, ND 58104-7605 or email@example.com.
Quotable “We Christians identify Christ with the sun, and the moon with the Church, the community of the faithful. No one, save Jesus Christ, possesses his or her own light.” – Pope Francis NEW EARTH JULY/AUGUST 2015
A Glimpse of the Past
This news item compiled by Dorothy Duchschere, was found in the June 1995 issue of New Earth. The author was not identified.
It took awhile to get Bishop Shanley final resting place Having just celebrated the 40th anniversary of Bishop James S. Sullivan’s ordination to the priesthood, let’s turn our attention to another 40th anniversary involving another Fargo bishop. Following is an edited version of a lighthearted, anonymous but authentic report of a fascinating bit of diocesan history. Once upon a time, before by some peculiarly American metamorphosis he became a high school football team, Shanley was a man - John Shanley, DD, first bishop of Fargo, born in 1852, died in 1909, buried and largely forgotten. In June 1955, renovations were under way in the basement of the cathedral that Bishop Shanley built. The demolition was in the hands of seventh-and eighth-grade boys, as was the tradition of the time. However, the boys faced the job with some trepidation because legend had it that the area to be excavated held tombs of some sort - something to do with bishops, it was said. The destruction of a false pillar revealed a false wall. Its removal revealed doors, solid steel and locked. Shades of a Boris Karloff movie. It was time to think this through. Was there a key to the doors? No. Although apparently Bishop Leo Dworschak preferred to let locked vaults lie, the forces of progress and curiosity prevailed, and a locksmith was called. On a Friday evening, attended by a half-dozen bystanders, the drilling commenced, the bolt was unshot, the hinges creaked as the door was opened to reveal a surprisingly large and almost-empty chamber. Almost! There was one thing, a seven-or eight-foot oblong galvanized metal container, like a stock-watering tank, but with a cover bolted on. What to do? Collective wisdom dictated that they wait until morning.
But, the decision was not unanimous. The young and curious Father Leo Stelten did not concur. Late in the evening, armed with a flashlight and pliers, he returned to the basement alone. Back through the rubble he went to the strange container. Loosening the wing nuts holding the cover allowed enough of a peek to ascertain there was something in there. It was time to return to the rectory for support in the form of Father Gerald Potter. Further opening of the cover confirmed the fact that the something inside was, indeed, a coffin. Time-out. A call to a local undertaker assured the two priests they were not breaking a law, so they returned to remove the cover completely. There it was, a sealed glass case inside a wooden coffin. And there he was, Bishop John Shanley, clad in full regimentals - vestments, miter, gloves (ring over) and pectoral cross - and not in such bad shape, considering. When informed of the discovery, Bishop Dworschak’s response was alleged to have been, “Well, get him out of there.” Late the following night, the coffin, case and body were removed to the winter mausoleum at Holy Cross Cemetery. Bishop Dworschak presided and a few others attended a ceremony at the cemetery at 7:30 a.m., Wednesday June 10, when they committed Bishop John Shanley to earth 46 years after his death and commended him one more time to the hands of a merciful God, who may have wondered what had taken him so long. -June 1995 New Earth
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‘Please, thank you, I'm sorry’
More than polite words, tools for loving marriage
n the feast day of St. Valentine 2014, Pope Francis addressed a crowd of engaged Catholic couples preparing for marriage. After he greeted them, he answered their questions for living out their marriage covenant. Pope Francis told them not to be afraid of building a permanent and loving relationship in a culture where everything appears disposable. The secrets to a lasting union can be boiled down into treating each other with respect, kindness and gratitude. He offered this simple advice: “Living together is an art, a patient way, handsome and charming. It does not end when you have each been possessed by the other … Indeed, it is precisely then that it starts. This daily journey has rules that can be summed up in these three phrases you’ve spoken, words which I have repeated many times to families: ‘Please,’ ‘May I,’ ‘Thank you,’ and ‘I’m sorry.’”
Please – May I?
“It’s the courteous request to be able to enter into the life of someone else’s life with respect and care. We must learn to ask: ‘May I do this?’ ‘Would you like that we do this?’ We take this initiative, and that we bring up our children like this. In short, to ask for agreement is to enter the lives of others with courtesy. But keep this in mind, to be able to enter into the lives of others with courtesy, it is not easy. Sometimes instead, the manners can be a bit heavy, like hiking boots. True love is not imposed by toughness and aggression. In the Little Flowers of St. Francis is this expression: ‘Know that courtesy is one of the properties of God … and courtesy is the sister of charity, which extinguishes hate and protects love.’ Yes, courtesy protects love. And today in our families, in our world, which is often violent and arrogant, we need much more courtesy. And this can begin at home.”
“It seems easy to say the word, but we know that is not always so … But it’s important. We teach it to the children, but then we forget it ourselves. Gratitude is an important quality. An old woman once said to me in Buenos Aires, ‘Gratitude is a flower that grows in the noble land.’ Nobility of the soul is necessary to grow this flower. Remember the Gospel of Luke? Jesus heals ten who are sick with leprosy, and then only one returns to say thanks to Jesus. The Lord says, and the other nine, where are they? This is also true for us. Do we know how to say thanks? In your relationship, and then tomorrow in married life, it is important to keep alive the awareness that the other person is a gift of God, and for the gifts of God we say thank you. And, 34
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with this inner attitude, say thanks to each other for everything. It is not a kind word to use just with strangers, to show you are educated. It is necessary to know how to say thank you in order to get along well together in married life. The third thing…”
“In life we make so many errors, many mistakes. We all do it. But maybe there is someone here who has never made a mistake? Raise your hand if there is someone there, a person who has never made a mistake? We all do it! All! There is no day when we do not make some mistake. The Bible says that the very best person sins seven times a day. And, so we do mistakes. This then is why we need to use this simple word ‘sorry.’ Generally, each of us is ready to accuse others and justify one’s self. This began with our father Adam, when God asks him, ‘Adam, have you eaten of that fruit?’ ‘Me? No! She is the one who gave it to me!’ Accusing the other person so as not to say ‘sorry,’ ‘pardon,’ it’s an old story. It’s an instinct that is at the origin of many disasters. We learn to recognize our mistakes and apologize. ‘Sorry if I raised my voice today,’ ‘I’m sorry if I went without saying goodbye,’ ‘I’m sorry if I’m late, if I have been so unresponsive this week, if I talked too much without ever listening,’ ‘Excuse me, I forgot,’ ‘I was angry, and I’m sorry I’ve taken it out on you.’ So many times to say “sorry” each day. This is how a Christian family grows. We all know that there is no such thing as a perfect family, nor even the perfect husband or the perfect wife. We do not speak of the perfect mother-in-law. Sinners, that’s what we are. Jesus, who knows us well, teaches us a secret: never end a day without asking for forgiveness, without peace coming back to our house, to our family. It is normal that there be a quarrel between husband and wife, but there’s always something to do about it. We had a fight. Maybe you’re angry, maybe a plate flew, but please remember this: never finish the day without making peace! Never, never, never! This is a secret, a secret to protect love and to make peace. It is not necessary to make a beautiful speech. Sometimes the right gesture,… and peace is made. If you end the day without making peace, what you have inside, the next day is cold and hard and it is harder to make peace. Remember well: never finish the day without peace! If we learn to ask pardon and forgive each other, the marriage will last, and will move ahead. When elderly couples come to the audiences or to Mass here in Santa Marta, who celebrate their 50th anniversary, I ask the question, ‘Who has put up with whom?’ They all look at one another, then look at me, and tell me, ‘Both of us.’ And this is beautiful! This is a beautiful testimony.
An engaged couple waits for the start of Pope Francis’ Valentine Day audience held Feb. 14, 2014 in St. Peter’s Square. (Paul Haring/Catholic News Service)
The Fargo Diocese’s Year of Marriage and Family kicked-off Dec. 28, 2014. Each month New Earth will feature an article related to a particular theme of the month during the year-long celebration. The following lists each month’s theme.
Our Children and Youth
Natural Family Planning
The Blessed Virgin Mary
St. Joseph, Spouse and Father
“May I?” “Thank you” “I’m Sorry”
Parents: The First Teachers of Faith
Communion of Saints
If you have a story idea related to these topics, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (701) 356-7900 to let us know about it.
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Catholic Diocese of Fargo 5201 Bishops Blvd, Ste. A Fargo, ND 58104
NEW EARTH JULY/AUGUST 2015