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New October 2015 | Vol. 36 | No. 9


From Bishop Folda: The visit of Pope Francis and the Gospel of the Family


The Magazine of the Catholic Diocese of Fargo

Celebrating the World Meeting of Families with Pope Francis Parents of St. Thérèse of Lisieux to be canonized saints

Year of Marriage and Family: Learning the ABCs






October 2015 Vol. 36 | No. 9

ON THE COVER 14 Celebrating the World Meeting of Families with Pope Francis

During his first visit to the United States, Pope Francis joined over a million pilgrims for the Eighth World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia September 26-27. This month’s story follows the experiences of the Diocese of Fargo pilgrims who attended the events of the World Meeting of Families.




The visit of Pope Francis and the Gospel of the Family



Pope Francis’ October prayer intentions


Ask a priest: If I don’t like my priest, what should I do?


The message of Our Lady of Fatima is the real solution for our times


Parents of St. Thérèse of Lisieux to be canonized saints October 18



10 Knights of Columbus protect the unborn day and night during 40 Days for Life


12 Vocations: A counter-cultural life 13 Tattered Pages: A review of Catholic books and literature

The simple wisdom of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux: A review of Father Jean C.J. D’Elbée’s ‘I Believe in Love.’


20 St. John’s Academy, Jamestown, celebrates 125th anniversary


21 Stories of Faith

The faith story this month shows how God can sometimes work in mysterious ways.




22 Catholic Action

Christopher Dodson discusses how the pro-life message needs to extend beyond abortion and include refugees to our nation.

23 The Catholic Difference

Guest columnist, Father Tad Pacholczyk studies the case of Kim Davis, who was arrested for her refusal to issue a marriage license for a gay couple.

24 Stewardship

In this month’s column, Steve Schons presents tax saving ideas for end of the year givers.

25 Seminarian Life

Deacon Patrick Parks remembers the positive experiences of seminary and looks forward to the joys of the priesthood.

26 All praise and glory to God

Lila Harmsen reflects on defending life, visiting imprisoned and caring for the elderly.

ON THE COVER: Pope Francis arrives to the altar to celebrate the closing Mass of the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia Sept. 27. (Paul Haring/CNS)



(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.




28 Happenings around the diocese 28 Fall festivals 29 Events Calendar 29 A glimpse of the past 30 Milestone announcements


33 An interview with Bishop John Folda on recovering the Gospel of life YMF 2015 34 Bach family gives testimony to the sanctity of life

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

Contact Information Use the following contact information to contact the New Earth staff: (701) 356-7900 Deadline to submit articles, story ideas, advertisements and announcements for the 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 OCTOBER 2015



The visit of Pope Francis and the Gospel of the Family


n an extraordinary week packed with activity, Pope Francis just concluded his first visit to the United States. The catalyst for his visit was the World Meeting of Families held in the city of Philadelphia. But along with this event, the Pope also visited Washington D.C., where he met with President Obama and addressed a joint meeting of Congress, the first Pope to ever do so. While in Washington D.C., he celebrated the canonization of St. Junipero Serra, the great Spanish missionary who established the California missions and did much to evangelize what is now the western part of the United States. Pope Francis also visited New York, where he addressed the United Nations General Assembly, following in the footsteps of Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. But from his demeanor during the many events of the week, it was clear that Pope Francis most enjoyed simply meeting and speaking with the many people who came out to greet him. Hundreds of thousands lined the streets and poured into the public venues where Pope Francis appeared, and he obviously took great delight in these encounters with the faithful.

I was especially honored to be among those bishops who greeted Pope Francis personally. As a regional representative in our Bishops’ Conference, I had the privilege of meeting the Holy Father after he addressed all the U.S. bishops at St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Washington D.C. And I found him to be just as warm in person as he is at public events and gatherings. Pope Francis made a point to tell all the bishops that he extended his greetings to each of the local churches that we shepherd throughout the country. Although he could not visit all of us, he was certainly with us in spirit. So, to all the people of the Diocese of Fargo, “Hello” from the Pope! The key theme of the Holy Father’s visit from beginning to end was the family. To the President and to the Congress, as well as to the delegates of the United Nations, Pope Francis reiterated the importance of the family in the social fabric of our nation and world. He remarked to the members of Congress that the family has been essential to the building of this country but is now threatened as never before from within and without. “Fundamental relationships are being called into question, as is the very basis of marriage and family. I can only reiterate the importance, and above all, the richness and beauty of family life,” he said. At the Festival of Families held in Philadelphia, Pope Francis gave a wonderful reflection on the goodness, beauty and truth of God and the family. And he further said that “a society grows strong, grows in goodness, grows in beauty and truly grows if it is built on the foundation of the family.” In describing the beauty of creation, the Holy Father told us that the most beautiful thing God made was the family. He added, “All the love that God has in himself, all of the beauty that God has in himself, all of the truth that God has in himself, he gives to the family.”

“Through the loving obedience and humility of Mary and Joseph, God was able to enter into the world, into the embrace of a human family. This Holy Family is then a model for all families, a model of love, obedience to God, reverence for each other and simplicity of life.” Bishop Folda meets with Pope Francis after the Holy Father addressed the U.S. bishops at St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Washington D.C. Bishop Folda was the first bishop named to the United States by Pope Francis. (Riley Durkin)



– Bishop John Folda, Diocese of Fargo

Bishop Folda’s Calendar But the Pope offered an even more exalted notion of the family when he spoke of the coming of Christ into the world. When we estranged ourselves from God through sin, God drew even nearer to us. So great was his love that he began to walk with humanity and sent the greatest sign of his love, his only Son. And where did he send him? Not to a palace, or a city or to start a business. “He sent him to a family. God came into the world in a family.” Through the loving obedience and humility of Mary and Joseph, God was able to enter into the world, into the embrace of a human family. This Holy Family is then a model for all families, a model of love, obedience to God, reverence for each other and simplicity of life. Some might object that this model is too lofty for ordinary human beings, but Pope Francis is totally realistic. He acknowledged the obstacles that every family must face: disagreements, the challenges of children, keeping a home and a job and with a laugh he even mentioned in-laws! These are the crosses that must come into our lives that allow us to walk with Jesus as he carries his cross. But, the Pope reminded us, after the cross comes the resurrection. In a novel turn of phrase, the Pope said that the family is a “factory of hope, hope of life and resurrection.” In other words, while every family has its own struggles and crosses, it is also the place that generates hope, which is built on the life and love we share with one another. In his closing words at the Festival, Pope Francis urged us to care for and defend the family because in the family we find our future. I’m sure he first meant that we must care for our own families, but I believe he also wants us to look after other families too. Our neighbors and friends, but also families who are unknown to us, or who are in trouble, deserve our personal care and concern. I pray that the visit of our Holy Father and the Year of Family and Marriage in the Diocese of Fargo will heighten our awareness of the needs of all families. And I hope to see all of you at our upcoming diocesan Celebration of Marriage and Family, “Living Reflections of God’s Love,” at the Fargo Civic Center on October 24. Let us pray for each other, and in keeping with God’s plan, let us together build up the family of God.

Prayer Intentions of Pope Francis October

Universal intention: Human Trafficking. That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated. Reflection: In what ways am I tempted to treat other people as means to an end? Scripture: Genesis 4:9-10. Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the soil. Evangelization intention: Mission in Asia. That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it. Reflection: What are some of the “spiritual deserts” that I find in my daily life? Scripture: 2 Corinthians 5: 14-21. The love of Christ impels us. Provided by Apostleship of Prayer,

Oct. 13 | 9 p.m. Daily Mass at St. Paul Newman Center, Fargo

Oct. 15 | 6:30 p.m. Catholic Medical Association White Mass, St. Paul Newman Center, Fargo

Oct. 18 | 4 p.m. 50th Anniversary of St. Maurice’s Parish, Kindred

Oct. 22 | 8 a.m. Mass for Diocesan Catholic Schools Workshop, Shanley, Fargo

Oct. 23 | 10 a.m. Diocesan Pastoral Council, Pastoral Center, Fargo

Oct. 24 | 9 a.m. Mass at Marriage and Family Conference, Fargo Civic Center, Fargo

Oct. 31 | 10 a.m. Ordination of Permanent Deacons, Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo

Nov. 1 | 11 a.m. Mass with graduates of the Ministry to the Sick, Pastoral Center, Fargo

Nov. 4 | 9:30 a.m. JPII Catholic Schools Network Memorial Mass, Shanley, Fargo

Nov. 5 | 7 p.m. Mass for God’s Children, Basilica of St. James, Jamestown

Nov. 7 | 10 a.m. Mass for Day of Consecrated Life, Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo

Nov. 8 | 5:30 p.m. Operation Andrew Dinner, St. Joseph’s Church, Devils Lake

Nov. 10 | 10:45 a.m. Mass for Apostolate of Prayer for Vocations, Sts. Anne & Joachim Chapel, Fargo

Nov. 14-17 USCCB Meeting, Washington D.C. NEW EARTH OCTOBER 2015



If I don’t like my priest, what should I do?


h yeah, like this ever happens! *Laugh* Actually, we know Ask a Priest it happens all too much. Probably every Father Gregory priest in every parish Haman has had at least some of his parishioners feel this way. In fact, a quick Google search brings up a surprising number of articles written about this same question. On one level, this is probably inescapable. Different people have different personalities. Sometimes priests have to make decisions that not everyone will agree with. The word of God is always a challenge, and sometimes we resist it. It is difficult to live together in a community. Sometimes we priests can get caught up in a narrow list of concerns and lose our grasp on what our flocks are dealing with. Of course, this is nothing new in the Church. Saint Paul struggled with people falsely denouncing him as an impostor when they themselves were the fake ones (2 Corinthians 11). Also, Paul had to encourage his student, Timothy, not to lose heart if people wouldn’t listen because of his young age (1 Timony 4:12). However, Paul and Timothy were not the ones to blame in these examples, and sometimes not every priest is so above reproach. As a priest myself, I try to go to Confession every two or three weeks, so I know I sin and sometimes my parishioners are the recipients. That’s not okay, but it is the truth. Saint Paul gives several lists of qualifications to look for when appointing shepherds in new churches. He expects them to be “blameless, not arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of goodness, master of himself, upright, holy, and self-controlled; he must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it” (Titus 1:5-9). These are high but necessary expectations if priests are going to lead their people as Christ himself would. Yet, Scripture also asks flocks to have great respect for the shepherds Christ puts in their midst. The letter to the Hebrews exhorts us, “Obey your leaders and submit to them; for they are keeping watch over your souls as men who will have to give account” (Hebrews 13:17)., and Saint Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians says, “We beseech you, brethren, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work” (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13). But how do we maintain that peace, especially when it is strained? Let’s keep combing the scriptures. “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has 6


forgiven you, so you also must forgive” (Colossians 3:12-13). As we should do for anyone, don’t be quick to criticize your priest for what you perceive to be his shortcomings. Bear with him and be forgiving. Also, “let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29). Too often, frustrated people turn to their friends to complain, but all that does is cause division and breaks down the trust between friendships. Instead here are several steps to follow if you have a concern about your priest: 1. Pray for him! Even if he doesn’t seem to change because of your prayers, the prayer will certainly calm your own heart. 2. Approach him first. Unless you are merely getting some advice from a trusted confidant, it does no good to talk to everyone else instead of talking to the priest. If you have a concern, let him know about it, but speak with concern rather than anger. He may be glad you brought it up and cared enough to show your concern. 3. Recognize that good people can have different opinions. Sometimes the pastor has to make decisions some will not agree with. It is good to share your concern, but then be humble enough to follow his leadership. Yes, change can be difficult, and no, priests don’t always make the right decisions. Nonetheless, God put them there with the task to do so. 4. If you feel burdened going to Mass when the priest is there, remember that we go to Mass not because of the priest but because of Jesus. Jesus comes on the altar at the words of the priest and forgives our sins at the words of a priest. We go to priests not because they’re perfect, but because Jesus has chosen to use them. 5. Stay with the parish. Yes, sometimes it can be easier just to drive to the next parish for Mass, but what opportunity is lost when we do that? Sometimes personal growth brings its pains, but we learn things we never would have learned if we took the easier way. Stick together. 6. If the issue is really toxic, then share your concerns with diocesan personnel. Every parish is part of a region called a Deanery, and the Dean of the Deanery can help mediate the issue. Beyond him is the diocesan Vicar for Clergy, who can help bring concerns to the Bishop. Finally, remember two things: priests are not God, but priests are not just regular people either. They “carry treasures in vessels of clay” (2 Corinthians 4:7). They are given sublime tasks, but they bring their human qualities with them. All of us are that way. Father Haman serves as parochial vicar at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Grand Forks. He can be reached at Editor’s Note: If you have a question about the Catholic faith and would like to submit a question for consideration in a future column, please send to with “Ask a Priest” in the subject line or mail to New Earth, 5201 Bishops Blvd. S, Suite A, Fargo, ND 58104, Attn: Ask a Priest.


The message of Our Lady of Fatima is the real solution for our times

By Deacon Bob Ellis

miracle ever predicted in terms of a precise date, time and place, occurred. It has come to be known as The Miracle of the Sun. Between 70,000 and 100,000 people came to Fatima to see it, and it was seen by countless others within a 25-mile radius of Fatima. As the crowd was fixated on the miracle itself, the children witnessed three apparitions which revealed to them who the lady was. First they saw St. Joseph holding the Child Jesus in his arms with Mary alongside. Here she is, the Mother of God, the spouse of St. Joseph and the heart of the Holy Family. Then they saw Our Lord and Our Lady of Sorrows. Here she is the mother of Our Savior and his co-redemptrix. Finally she appeared as Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and is patroness of the Carmelite Order. The answer to the question, what did she want, was given in the moment just before she worked the miracle: “Do not offend the Lord our God anymore, because he is already so much offended.” While she made numerous requests during the course of her apparitions at Fatima, what she wanted was for people to stop offending God by their sins. Although the most talked about aspect of the miracle is the solar phenomena, which included the sun dancing, fluctuating in color, swirling and descending toward earth, a great deal more occurred. The leaves on the trees were still in spite of howling winds. The rain-soaked ground with large puddles of water completely dried. The people’s clothes, all wet and covered with mud, were restored to being clean and dry. As eyewitness Dominic Reis put it, “they looked as though they had just come back from the cleaners.” Physical cures of the blind and the lame were reported. The countless unreserved public confessions of sin and commitments to conversion of life attest to the authenticity of what they saw. The miracle was performed so that everyone might believe all that she told the children during her six apparitions at Fatima. Building on Saint Pope John Paul II’s proclamation that Fatima is more important today than ever, in 2010 Pope Emeritus Benedict October 13 is the anniversary of The Miracle of the Sun in Fatima, XVI traveled to Fatima where he told us we would be mistaken Portugal. The miracle occurred in 1917 and was witnessed by to think that the prophetic mission of Fatima is complete – that thousands of people so that everyone might believe all that Mary we are witnessing its continuation in the Church and in the had said during her six apparitions in Fatima. ( world today. Those who are bewildered by the many horrors occurring in our world today – who feel helpless and are living in fear and n July 13, 1917, during the third apparition of Our Lady trepidation – will find clear understanding, great consolation of Fatima, little Lucia said to the beautiful lady from and the solution to all of our problems in the message of Our heaven, “I would like to ask you to tell us who you are Lady of Fatima. Pope Francis consecrated his pontificate to her and to work a miracle so that everybody will believe that you in the early days of his papacy on May 13, 2013 and consecrated are appearing to us.” Our Lady responded, “Continue to come the world to her on October 13, 2013. here every month. In October I will tell you who I am and what I want, and I will perform a miracle for all to see and believe.” You can learn all about Fatima and Our Lady’s message to the world from the World Apostolate of Fatima, Our Lady’s Blue True to her word, on Saturday, Oct. 13, 1917, the greatest Army. Please visit or call (920) 371-1931. miracle since the Resurrection of Jesus the Christ and the only




FOCUS ON FAITH Louis and Zélie Martin, parents of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, will be the first married couple in the history of the Church to be canonized saints together. Louis and Zélie Martin offer a model of sanctity that is emphasized in how they lived out their married and family life. (

The story of a family Parents of St. Thérèse of Lisieux to be canonized saints October 18 By Brad Gray


he good God gave me a father and a mother more worthy of Heaven than of earth.” On October 18 these words of St. Thérèse of Lisieux will gain a poignancy that “the Little Flower” could never have foreseen. For the first time in the two thousand year history of the Church, a married couple, Louis and Zélie Martin, will be canonized together. Although the Church has submitted over 100 examples of saints who lived out the vocation to married love, the emphasis of their holiness often lies outside of the home. St. Thomas More was a family man through and through. Yet, his holiness is highlighted in the way that he held true to the Catholic faith at the cost of his life when pushed by King Henry VIII to accept the king as the head of the Church in England. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton was a godly wife and tender mother, but again, we know about her because she became the foundress of both the parochial school system and the first religious order in the United States. While these virtues undoubtedly reveal hearts touched by divine love, in some ways, they could just as easily been lived out by single people. Louis and Zélie Martin offer a model of sanctity that is thoroughly domestic. In fact, while many of the married saints in the Church’s canon seemed to have moved from married life to religious life en route to holiness, the flow is somewhat reversed in the case of the Martins. In 1846, at age 23, Louis Martin sought to enter the monastery of the Great Saint Bernard in the Swiss Alps. However, he was 8


turned away because he did not know Latin. Zélie Guérin, at the age of 22, similarly sought out religious life only to be told by the superior of the Sisters of Saint Vincent de Paul of Alençon that she did not have a vocation. After the two met and were married, they initially decided to live out their marriage as brother and sister. After almost a year of marriage, a wise confessor reprimanded them and told them that this was not consistent with their vocation. Zélie also dearly desired to have children, so at last they fully embraced their vocation to married love. Their resignation to the simple ordinariness of married and family life then formed the atmosphere out of which would emerge the great master of simplicity, St. Thérèse the Little Flower. After Louis and Zélie surrendered their ambitions to religious life, both set to work learning and perfecting their crafts of watchmaking and lacemaking, respectively. As business people, Louis and Zélie showed the kind of hard work and charity that typifies a Christian in the marketplace. They were conscientious employers with a keen sense of social responsibility, especially toward the poor. In their first year of marriage they took in a young boy whose mother had died and cared for him as their own. They always made sure their workers were paid promptly and tended to them when they were ill. They would visit the elderly and teach their children to treat the poor as their equals. As a family, Louis and Zélie received children generously from God and sought to bring them up in the Catholic faith. They attended the “workers Mass” together every morning at 5:30 and prayed together as a family twice daily. Louis preferred to

lose his clientele instead of work on Sundays. Still, far from smelling of the stagnant air of routine and lifeless piety, their home was characterized by an atmosphere of games, celebrations and family outings. Joy and devotion lived side by side in the Martin home. While their family life was marked by joy, heartache was a regular visitor to their home. Zélie bore nine children, but four of them were lost at early ages. Around this time, both Louis and Zélie lost their fathers as well. In her sorrow, Zélie remarked, “When I closed the eyes of my dear children and prepared them for burial, I was indeed grief-stricken, but, thanks to God’s grace, I have always been resigned to His will… Moreover, I have not lost them always. Life is short, and I shall find my little ones in heaven.” She also endured the motherly grief of not being able to nurse any of her last six children due to painful lumps in her breast that eventually came as a result of a fall she took as a young girl. These lumps later developed into cancer which claimed her life at age 46. Zélie’s death left Louis as a single father with five minor children. Although he had a wonderful community of friends in Alençon, Louis was deeply concerned that his daughters no longer had the influence of a woman. As a result, he moved his family to Lisieux where Zélie’s brother and sister-in-law lived. His tender fatherly care for his daughters became the major focus of his life. Before long, Louis began to experience a new sort of loss as

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each of his daughters left to join religious life. With incredible resignation, he supported each of his daughters’ departures. He even brought Thérèse, to the Pope to seek his approval for her early entrance into the Carmelite monastery. When she finally entered, he wrote a friend, “Thérèse, my little queen, entered Carmel yesterday. God alone can exact such a sacrifice, but he helps me mightily so that in the midst of my tears my heart overflows with joy.” Louis began to have a series of strokes that left him confused and unable to visit his daughters at the monastery. He would wander from the house. Eventually he had to be placed in a mental institution for his safety, the humiliation of which he once again accepted with stunning resignation saying, “Well, all my life I’ve been in command and giving orders, so maybe God is purifying me – to control my pride and officiousness by being subject to orders now.” On July 29, 1894, after suffering a heart attack, Louis Martin died peacefully having left a legacy that would touch the entire world, a legacy crafted out of the love of a husband and wife. Louis and Zélie Martin offer to the Church a simple, unassuming testimony of fidelity and devotion. Their example shows that the family is not something to be sidestepped in the pursuit of virtue and holiness, but instead is the most natural place where holiness is born, nurtured and even multiplied. Louis and Zélie Martin will be canonized by Pope Francis on October 18, 2015. Saints Louis and Zélie, pray for us and for our families!

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Knights of Columbus protect the unborn day and night during 40 Days for Life By Kristina Lahr

David Forester prays a rosary outside the abortion facility in Fargo Sept. 23 for the beginning of the 40 Days for Life campaign, a threefold effort of prayer, fasting and vigilance to encourage families to choose life for their unborn children. As the 40 Days for Life effort continues around the clock, Forester is one of several Knights of Columbus who volunteer to keep vigil during the night hours. (Kristina Lahr/New Earth)


he 40 Days for Life ND campaign began at 8 a.m. Sept. 23 outside the abortion facility in Fargo. During these 40 days, those who wish to take a stand against abortion are encouraged to pray, fast and be present outside the abortion facility to be a witness to the tragedy of abortion. As well as praying for the mothers, fathers and family to choose life for their unborn, 40 Days for Life also prays for the abortion providers, that they will have change of heart and leave the abortion industry. Each year the campaign depends on volunteers to come to be a physical presence at the abortion facility. The campaign hopes to keep a 24/7 vigil outside the abortion facility throughout the 40 days. David Forester, grand knight of the Knights of Columbus from Holy Spirit parish, Fargo, is one of many key advocates in saving lives of the unborn. “I was Grand Knight when 40 Days for Life started,” said 10


Forester. “It’s always been the responsibility of the knights to pray during the night hours. The goal is to bring awareness to the public in this country that we need to stop abortion. So we show our support for life by giving up our sleep and taking those hours.” The Knights of Columbus also support First Choice Clinic and the St. Gianna’s Maternity Home in Warsaw which supports mothers during and after their pregnancies. Despite the difficulty of seeing women enter the abortion facility, Forester has been volunteering his time on the sidewalk for 10 years. The biggest change he’s seen, especially during the 40 Days for Life, is the involvement of the youth. “I’m impressed with the youth. Abortion laws will hopefully be changed in my lifetime but for sure in theirs. It’s nice to see them getting involved.” Abortions are performed every Wednesday morning in Fargo. During those four hours especially, faithful gather to pray and counsel those entering the abortion facility. While Forester is praying for those coming to the door, he’s tracked the number of positive and negative responses he receives from the drivers that see him. Those results are encouraging. “Just by doing a survey of the cars that drive by there seems to be about seven thumbs up or approvals for every one negative. That’s not an official count by any means, just what I’ve seen.” But just as those who want to protect the unborn come together for the 40 Days for Life, so do the escorts for bringing women into the facility. “They gear up for the 40 days too,” he said. “But it’s another opportunity. You can try to talk to them and find out why they’re doing what they’re doing.” The first nationwide 40 Days for Life was in 2007. The event now extends to all 50 states and internationally. To learn more about the 40 Days for Life campaign and how you can be involved, visit

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Vocations: A counter-cultural life By Father Kurtis Gunwall


s your vocation what you had planned or wanted it to be? Is it the job, career or role you currently have? Did you choose or dream of this vocation, drift into it or were you guided to it? How you arrived in your present state influences how you think about it. I propose this truth: God has a plan for each of us. God has prepared a future for you – during our life here on earth and eternally. It is not a dream that God wishes will happen for you, then sits back and simply hopes we will find it by chance choosing the right door or path. No, God actively guides us, placing encouragement and signs toward the source of joy and a life of charity. At the same time, he places roadblocks between all that weakens hope and life-giving relationships and service. God’s voice and his call provide an active guidance toward goodness, truth and beauty and lead us away from evil, lies and ugliness. That call is our vocation. This calling begins in ordination, religious consecration, marriage or the freedom to serve as a single person. It continues in our career, hobbies, recreational activities, friendships and prayer. Our vocation is life. Our vocation is often counter-cultural because the dominate culture is not concerned with what we should do or what God calls us to be and do but is concerned with what we feel or want regardless of God’s law of love. Counter-cultural does not mean rebellion because the focus should not be rebelling against but rather communion with God. A counter-cultural life could be viewed by many as running

All vocations are often counter-cultural because they invite us into a fuller communion with God. Pictured here, the Sisters of Mary of the Presentation in Valley City share the joy of Jesus Christ through hospitality, healthcare services and prayer, which leads them closer to God. (Kristina Lahr/New Earth)



away or rebelling when we do not live first and foremost for God. Even though we may emotionally want to be a good person, we must witness by action and word our commitment to follow God in our vocation in every part of our life. We are called to become a saint, living the life God prepared for us. Be the sign of God’s good plan in your home, work and neighborhood, living a life of trust in God, faith in his plan for your life and love for God and neighbor. When you live close to God, you are holy, you are a saint and your vocation – whether it be through ordained, consecrated, married vows or a single serving in charity – leads others closer to God and holiness themselves. Is this the norm in our world? Is this regularly evident in our popular culture? No! That is why knowing and following our vocation from God is counter-cultural. Which life describes you? What do others see in you? What do you know is true in the depth of your heart? No matter what our attitude has been, when we love and trust God, we commit to following God’s plan and living our vocation with a heart like Jesus whether we are a saintly priest, deacon, husband, wife, religious or single person. The Holy Spirit calls us to live in and for the good that God has commanded and placed before us rather than living in rebellion against evil. They look similar on the surface but not in the depth of the heart and not in God’s eyes. Being counter-cultural won’t usually make you holy but follow God’s call, be holy, and you will be counter-cultural, a living saint.


The simple wisdom of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux

A review of Father Jean C.J. D’Elbée’s ‘I Believe in Love’ By Father Luke Meyer

TATTERED PAGES A review of Catholic books and literature

“Miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice, here by a smiling look, there by a kindly word; always doing the smallest right and doing it all for love.” –St. Thérèse of Lisieux


t times the prospect of growing in one’s own spirituality can seem like an arduous and complex process, and such a prospect can prevent us from pursuing a deeper life of prayer and relationship with God. However, our own perception that our spiritual lives are just another project to be understood, mastered and achieved is a man-made assumption. Rather than being governed merely by the familiar categories of effort, success and problem solving, our relationship with God falls into the much simpler categories of trust, humble confidence, patience and love. Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, whose feast starts off the month of October, expressed this simple wisdom like no other. Providing us profound, yet simple insights, she leads us to deepen our spiritual lives, not with complex theories or tasks, but what has come to be known as “the little way.” October, then, is a perfect time to dwell on the ever relevant witness of St. Thérèse. Born in 1873, Thérèse Martin professed vows in the Carmelite order in 1890. She would die seven years later from tuberculosis at the age of twenty-four. She was canonized in 1925, and Saint John Paul II declared her a Doctor of the Church in 1997. One might not expect noteworthy teachings from a young sister in a small 19th century French cloister, but in true gospel fashion, the great works of God are accomplished in ways men deem insignificant. In his modern spiritual classic, Father D’Elbée offers us chapter after chapter of life-giving encouragement as he shares the writings of Saint Thérèse with us through the context of scripture, the lives of the other saints and his own spiritual insight. From the very beginning his joy and excitement are evident. I found my time with I Believe in Love to be uplifting, refreshing and a source of peace. In this reading, I was able to rediscover the importance and profound effect of the simplest truths of the faith upon the soul.

Perhaps Saint Thérèse’s greatest insight into our relationship with God is how accessible it is to live the primacy of love. One day, when praying to know more clearly the particular work that God had entrusted to her, she had a ‘eureka’ moment: “I understood that Love embraces all vocations, that Love is all things, that it embraces all times and all places... in a word, that it is eternal!” She came to know that joy and happiness in life would not come from great endeavors or momentous acts but from doing small things with great love. I Believe in Love is a very readable reflection on the wisdom of Saint Thérèse. The author approaches her insights from multiple angles. Whether looking at Saint Therese from the lens of humble confidence, abandonment, fraternal charity or the Eucharist, Father D’Elbée shows us the beauty and simplicity of joining Saint Thérèse in walking along “the little way.” Father Luke Meyer serves as pastor at St. Thomas Aquinas’ Newman Center in Grand Forks. He can be reached at

About the Book: “I Believe in Love” by Father Jean C.J. D’Elbée. Published by Sophia Institute Press. Paperback 280 pages. Available via Barnes and Noble, and other book resellers.



Following Mass at the Philadelphia Convention Center, the Fargo pilgrims, along with former Fargoan Sister Mary Pieta (left back) of the Sisters of Life in Connecticut, gather together with Bishop John Folda (front center). The other pilgrims include (front, left to right) Roxane B. Salonen, Father Kurtis Gunwall, Brad Gray, Michael Lagasse and (back, left to right) Ann Rotunda, Jennie Korsmo, Father Andrew Jasinski, Judy German, Pat Weber, Joan Siemieniewski, Denise Lagasse, Rick Lagasse and Virginia Goerger. (submitted by Virginia Goeger)

Celebrating the World Meeting of Families with Pope Francis


n September 22, 13 bleary-eyed pilgrims from the Fargo Diocese gathered early at Hector Airport, eager to experience the first-ever World Meeting of Families on American soil and help welcome Pope Francis to the city known for its spires, Italian pastries and brotherly love. Even before takeoff, new friendships began forming with fellow pilgrims from the Crookston Diocese, who would pray and travel alongside them. Once landed, others from Superior, Wis., would join the spiritual entourage by bus. The stories of how they’d been called by God on the journey began humming in those early hours as souls burned in grateful anticipation. Just a few days later, they would hear Pope Francis remark that “The most beautiful thing God made was the family.” Indeed, each would discover this anew, whether through recalling their natural families or connecting to the even wider family of God along the way. Father Andrew Jasinski was still gleaming over the whole experience, just a day after celebrating Mass with the pope, including what he called the random but meaningful encounters that became the trip’s treasures. While leaving one of the meeting rooms, Father Jasinski began conversing with one of the many volunteers of the events and



By Roxane B. Salonen

discovered a Fargo connection. “After learning where I was from, she became keenly interested very quickly,” he said. Turns out she and her family had met a bishop from Fargo, Bishop Justin Driscoll, in 1980 while on a pilgrimage in Fatima, shortly after the unexpected death of her father. Seeing the family’s distress, Jasinski recounted, “[the bishop] stopped what he was doing and went back to the shrine and prayed with them. And here she was, all these years later, remembering.” From that point on, she told him, the family had peace in their hearts. Mrs. Tammy O’Day of Red Lake, Minn., and her sister, Karen Beaulieu, also made a connection to home while moving about city the streets, which had all been closed off to motorized vehicles in the days leading up to the pope’s arrival. “He used to come and visit my dad every day,” O’Day said. The sisters also were moved by visiting the shrines, especially that of St. Katherine Drexel, who was instrumental in the existence of their mission school in Red Lake. “And to be able to actually ask someone to intercede for your prayers; that was fantastic,” she said. Elizabeth “Betty” Richards, of St. Elizabeth’s in Dilworth, almost missed the trip due to contraction of pneumonia and complications from a low-functioning heart. And yet there she


Some of the Fargo pilgrims had a chance to stop by the Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul, where a menagerie of ribbons holding prayer requests, and knotted together to symbolize one of Pope Francis’ favorite devotions, Mary, Undoer of Knots, was displayed. Two days after their visit, Pope Francis stopped by the same basilica to witness and bless the prayers. (Pat Weber)

As they awaited their first chance to see Pope Francis in Benjamin Franklin Parkway on Sept. 26, Fargo pilgrims watched the pontiff on Jumbo-tron at his stop at Independence Hall. Here, just after addressing the public, he smiles brightly while accepting a colorful gift from one of his young greeters. (Roxane B. Salonen)

Pilgrims accumulate in a colorful array at the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia eagerly awaiting the appearance of Pope Francis and the conclusions of the 8th World Meeting of Families. (Virginia Goerger)

was, cane in hand and extra padding around her middle from a hernia from lifting her husband at a local nursing home. “The beauty and closeness that you felt with everyone, it was like you were walking on holy ground. I really feel Christ is alive, but you felt it more so in the people,” Richards said. “I think sometimes we’re in such a hurry that we don’t notice one another, and I like that the pope said it’s in the little things where we find him.” Pat Weber of Fargo’s Holy Spirit parish said though the pope drew her to the pilgrimage initially, the blessings extended far beyond that. While visiting the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul, she had the chance to write down a personal prayer on a white prayer ribbon, tie it and add it to the collection there in honor of Pope Francis’ favorite devotion – Mary, Undoer of Knots. She then untied the prayer of another pilgrim, as advised, and prayed for that intention. “Knowing someone would open my prayer later, at least one other person but maybe hundreds more, and pray for (my request) was so powerful.” Her travel companion and friend, Judy German of Mapleton, was deeply touched seeing Pope Francis, by Jumbo-tron, a couple days later in that same spot where they’d just been. “It was just overwhelming, and I felt Mary untying a couple of my knots,” German said. “I could almost see him touching my ribbon, at least symbolically.” German’s appreciation for the Eucharist also increased exponentially on the trip, especially in witnessing so many from around the world hungering for Jesus – like at the Sunday papal Mass. “In the group where I was standing, there was a lady in the wheelchair, who was with another lady with a scooter and guide dog, and everyone just parted so she could get up there and take the Eucharist,” German said. “There were more people on Ben Franklin Parkway (at the papal Mass) than who live in the whole state of North Dakota,” German added. “It was so worth it to be there.” Virginia Goerger of St. John the Baptist parish, Wyndmere, has gone on other pilgrimages before, including to Fatima and Lourdes, but even at age 75, she said, she couldn’t pass on the opportunity to see “a favorite person,” and experience a world event. “I’ll probably never have this chance again.” She said she prefers pilgrimages over other adventures because there’s “an emotional closeness of prayer that you share as a group, on your buses, and in your daily activities, in a way that no trip or conference can give to you.” Though she admitted she’s still processing everything, as a photographer and speaker, after having a chance to pore through her photos, she plans to share her insights with others. “My second name is Francis, and I have statues of St. Francis of Assisi. His prayer is the motto of my life, the one I hope they will put on my obituary card,” Goerger said. “And I guess that philosophy of giving without receiving, showing joy when there’s sadness, all this is what I believe is the Jesus in all of us that we can show each other.” NEW EARTH OCTOBER 2015


Pilgrims pause for a photo in the streets of Philadelphia on Friday, Sept. 25, along with a pilgrim (front lower), Megan Noll., from the Diocese of Superior (Wis.). (Jennie Korsmo)

Father Andrew Jasinski, Bishop John Folda and Father Kurtis Gunwall smile from their perch near the altar of the papal Mass that took place at Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia on Sunday, Sept. 27, to conclude the 2015 World Meeting of Families. (submitted by Father Kurtis Gunwall)

Bishop Folda says WMF way to energize local momentum to revitalize family By Roxane B. Salonen Those following the recent movements of Fargo Diocese pilgrims in Philadelphia may have been surprised to find Bishop Folda separated for a time from his flock. A friend from home reported on Facebook that she’d caught a glimpse of the bishop chatting with Pope Francis on live, national television, even as the pilgrims were preparing to meet him for lunch a couple days later. “It’s true,” Bishop Folda said just after Mass at the Philadelphia Convention Center on September 25. “I did get to greet the pope in Washington at St. Matthews Cathedral. It was wonderful.” Bishop Folda explained that all the U.S. bishops had met with the pope, and since he’s a regional representative on an administrative committee, he was among the greeters. Bishop Folda was also the very first bishop named during Pope Francis’ new pontificate in April 2013. As such, the two have been shepherds in new capacities simultaneously from the beginning. “The first thing that comes across from the pope, wherever you go, is the warmth of his personality and his great desire to be as close to people as possible,” Bishop Folda said. “That was one of the messages he gave us, to accompany the people under our care and be close to them, something every shepherd needs to do.” At the canonization Mass of St. Junipero Serra, Bishop Folda said, Pope Francis made the point that all are deserving of receiving God’s love, as Junipero so well demonstrated “by extending the reach of the church to those who were un-evangelized.” Bishop Folda also appreciated the pope’s messages to the crowd after his meeting with Congress, when he highlighted four Americans – Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton – “who have taught us the quest for peace, for social justice, for living our faith and 16


prayerfully living in communion with God and as citizens of this land.” Bishop Folda said our Holy Father has definitely “set a pattern to reach out, to extend the love of God to all we meet and to hold nothing back.” And though the message he preaches is very simple, Bishop Folda said, “we shouldn’t be fooled; there’s nothing simple about Pope Francis. He’s humble, but there’s a real depth to the vision he has.” As for the World Meeting of Families itself – most of which Bishop Folda missed but experienced in part through bus and lunch conversations with the local pilgrims in Philly – he said having the event in America has been “a shot in the arm for family life.” Bishop Folda, who spent six years in Philadelphia as a seminarian, added that having the worldwide meeting there seemed symbolically appropriate. “Philadelphia is so central to the history of our country, even the Catholic history of our country had a big start here, so it’s great that the church from all over the world is gathered here,” he said. “We can join those two dynamics, the United States history and our history as a church as well.” Bishop Folda said he noticed “a spirit of joy” the moment he stepped into the convention center, and he hopes the Fargo pilgrims will bring their enthusiasm back to our area. “Families and married people are struggling just to live faithfully their calling,” he said, noting that those gathered had clearly come “not to just lament the problems but to celebrate the graces that come through family life, through marriage.” He added, “Our diocese has the same needs everyone else has, so I think we’re going to be blessed by this event and the continuation of our own year of marriage and family in Fargo.”

One of many “God surprises” in Philadelphia included the unexpected convergence of Fargo pilgrims Roxane Salonen, left, and Ann Rotunda, right, with their former fellow parishioner from Sts. Anne and Joachim Church, Fargo, “Mickey” Breen, now Sister Mary Pieta of the Sisters of Life, currently of Connecticut. (Roxane B. Salonen)

Discovering my family in Philadelphia


By Roxane B. Salonen

he irony was not lost on me, that even as we attended the largest gathering of families in the world in Philadelphia, many of our own were home, struggling through daily life. Though our spouses and children seemed happy for us, it appeared we had the better deal. One day I texted home with photos and exclamations about our visit to the Our Lady of Czestochowa Shrine, which included Mass and a delicious Polish lunch. “Well we stopped at a North Dakota soccer field,” my husband responded, “then at a North Dakota grocery store to eat an American lunch. But glad you are having a great time!” I knew that while the chance to experience the World Meeting of Families would benefit all in the end, the gift awaiting me back home surpassed every cheesesteak, papal bobble-head and escalator rides with archbishops the world could contain. And yet, God wants desperately to bless us despite my family’s absence. God helped me find my family in Philly; a family

abundantly big and so very beautiful. Our first evening, at an authentic Mexican restaurant near our hotel, I recognized my brother in the smile of the young waiter, who shared that he was the father of four. “It’s hard, you know?” he said. My friend and I nodded vigorously, but assured him of the profundity of his sacrifices and the gift of fatherhood. As he handed us our guacamole salads, I noticed Christ looking back at me. My sister showed up in the sweet young lady who lovingly served me a fruit crepe at an indoor food market one exhausting midday. And I saw another brother in the beaming street artist who sold and signed T-shirts of the pope for my youngest sons. When a Vietnamese children’s choir began singing at one of the Masses, and the formerly silent Vietnamese man nearby began singing proudly with them, I began bawling quietly at

Around 1,000 priests distributed the Eucharist to the large crowd gathered for the papal Mass in Philadelphia, including our own Father Kurtis Gunwall shown here. The priests, who were escorted out to the waiting throngs at Benjamin Franklin Parkway, had six minutes to move from the altar to the crowd and 12 minutes to distribute the consecrated hosts to as many pilgrims as possible. (The Boston Pilot)



Despite the long lines in Philly, including this three hour line leading up to a security checkpoint preceding Benjamin Franklin Parkway, where the pope would visit, the sojourners remains in jubilant spirits, including those of the Fargo crew seen here. (Roxane B. Salonen)

In downtown Philadelphia, pilgrims had the chance to meet various street vendors. This artist had created a rendering of Pope Francis, which he was selling on T-shirts and posters. Behind him is another depiction of the pope, which he invited children to write messages on in different colored markers for the pope. (Roxane B. Salonen)

the sudden, stark recognition of our common spirituality and language of love. An Uber ride back to the hotel with a fellow pilgrim turned into a moment of conversion, as we shared with our driver the joys of family life, and helped open his heart to a larger family. Over and over, I saw my siblings in Christ through the hearts of the speakers and their collective passion for strengthening family, reminding us that it is in the mundane and challenging moments that we most assuredly reach joy. It was at the Sunday papal Mass on Benjamin Franklin Boulevard, however, where Christ became most vivid to me. We’d discussed beforehand the small likelihood of receiving the Eucharist, given the massive crowd. “We’ll probably have to accept a spiritual Communion,” we agreed. But as Pope Francis prepared the Eucharistic table, my heart began to yearn for Christ like never before. I struggled with accepting my lot a good distance from the gold-splashed altar. Who was I anyway? Just a speck in the crowd. But then, the yellow and white umbrellas brushed past, and I realized Christ was coming out to us! Yes, even in the nosebleed section. After receiving Jesus at the fence, I scurried back to the center of the parkway and that prayed all in our Fargo group would be so blessed. When I saw they’d all consumed the host of life, overwhelmed with gratitude, I began to weep. Just then, a young man passing by, noticing my tears, stopped to give me a hug. We smiled, and he parted. It was my brother again, and yet more. For in that spontaneous embrace, I heard Christ whisper, “I would never have forgotten you.” I left my family behind in Fargo when I embarked on this pilgrimage, but I found my family in Philly everywhere, and I return renewed and invigorated by love. 18


Religious and families drink from well of inspiration at Eighth World Meeting of Families By Roxane B. Salonen

To Rick Lagasse of Rugby, family is everything, and in serious jeopardy. That’s what compelled him and his wife, Denise, to sacrifice time and resources to attend – along with their 16-year-old son, Michael – the Eighth World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. “We come from pretty strong, close-knit families, but in our culture right now, it just seems like it’s so hard on the family, with divorce and the contraception mentality and abortion… the family structure is being attacked all the time.” More than ever, he said, the family needs to be “strengthened and encouraged. We need to look for things of hope, through our faith.” And the worldwide event, in his estimation, delivered just that. “It’s not just America having those issues. There were over 100 countries represented (there),” he said. “It’s a reminder that we are one church, one family in God, and that’s a beautiful thing, this worldwide unity.” Perhaps in part because Lagasse will be ordained a deacon in October, he was especially tuned into the clergy and religious that dotted the halls of the convention center and throughout the streets of the city.

Popular speaker and former Protestant minister, now Catholic evangelist, Scott Hahn shares his insights with participants of the 2015 World Meeting of Families in the Philadelphia Convention Center during a keynote address, “Back to the Garden of Eden: Unearthing God’s Covenant with Humankind.” (Roxane B. Salonen)

“We’re all united to our Lord,” he said, “and largely through Professor Helen Alvare’: “When you live elbow to elbow with others, there are relentless our clergy, because… they’re our link, in a way, to God.” One of the clergy from Fargo to attend the event, opportunities to learn to love…Nothing prepares you more Father Andrew Jasinski, said he sought new perspectives on for being human (than being in a family).” challenging pastoral situations. Archbishop Hee-joong Kim: “We’re ministering to the domestic church,” he said. “I “The church emphasizes that the crisis of the family is the crisis don’t think I necessarily heard anything really novel, but it’s of society… As Christians we need to help the family recover a confirmation, a fresh way of looking at things.” from destruction. Evangelization that begins in the family is The following “gems” are but a small sampling of some the most important issue.” of the wisdom imparted in a new way at the World Meeting Scott Hahn: of Families: “The Joy of the Gospel isn’t just a warm fuzzy feeling. God isn’t renewing a contract with factory workers. He’s renewing Bishop Robert Barron: “We’re the ones on the march. Hell has something to fear from a covenant with his family members.” us. But it won’t happen if religion remains a hobby. Authentic The Reverend Rick Warren, founder of Saddleback Church: Christianity is a religion on the march. And we don’t go out “God will teach you peace when the beans are burning…and violently but in love.” the dog is eating the head off the Barbie doll.”

Cardinal Robert Sarah:

“The family is meant to spread its life to those around it… Faith needs a place where it can gestate and grow and become a living experience. God created the family as the place that would praise God and speak of his fruitfulness, of his goodness. In the family is the living memory of the fidelity of God…The family carries in itself the future of humanity. It is the custodian of the future.”

Cardinal Sean O’Malley:

“The crowd is a collection of individuals thrown together by circumstance; the crowd pushes people away where community brings people closer to Christ. Our task is to change the crowd into a community. And it must begin with our families.”

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council on the Family:

“We need a new passion for the family, and a more generous and creative love to support it. We cannot turn our backs on “John jumped like a mountain goat (when he recognized his families that are hurting. We must help heal them… We must Lord in Mary’s womb); Mary was the monstrance holding in run to help hurting families find new strength.” her womb the body, blood, soul and divinity, so John was the first adorer of Jesus in the monstrance… Imagine what this Pope Francis, Papal Mass at Benjamin Franklin Parkway: world would be like if every man looked at a woman and saw “Love is shown by the little things… Faith grows when it is practiced and shaped by love… Jesus invites us not to hold the monstrance?” back these little miracles.”

Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers:




St. John’s Academy, Jamestown, celebrates 125th anniversary

St. John’s Academy in Jamestown celebrated the kickoff of its 125th Anniversary on September 3. Bishop John Folda said a blessing for the new playground equipment that was gifted by alumni and $15,000 from St. John’s Parent Teacher Organization. Bishop Folda also blessed the school processional cross that was gifted by the Michael and Donna Ebertz family in memory of Michael’s mother, Glory Ebertz. St. John’s Academy was the first Catholic school founded in the new state of North Dakota and now serves over 250 students, pre-school through 6th grade. (submitted photo)



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STORIES OF FAITH By Father Bert Miller


God’s perfect timing

t was the second weekend of September and no clock in the church facility was telling the same time. I was nearly late for the Saturday vigil. By Sunday morning, I had forgotten all about the clock situation. When the clock showed 8 a.m., I suddenly realized it was really 8:15 a.m. and I would have 15 minutes to get ready. I reset the clock. It was not ticking. I needed it to be on time so I could start liturgy “on the minute.” I don’t wear a watch, so I needed to find something accurate and quick! I thought of my cell phone. That would help. When I ran up to the rectory, the cell phone was not in its usual place. I had to stop and think. It must be in the car. Out to the garage I went. I unlocked the car and as I reached in and grabbed the phone, the signal went off that a text had just come. What was the chance of this? Did I have time to look at it and get ready for church? Or could it wait? I decided I had better look at it. So few people call or text me. This must be important. And it was! It was my secretary. There had been a death in her husband’s family. They were racing across town and would not be at church. The urgent message was to please pray for her husband’s brother and his family. I got it just in time to get it into the petitions for the Sunday liturgies. God works in funny ways. If I had not reached for my phone at that precise second, I would not have gotten that

important message. A young man I know tells a similar story. He had a dream and woke suddenly in the middle of the night. His wife was awakened by his sudden movement and asked him if anything was wrong. He said he had a dream that his father was having a heart attack. He pondered calling his father at 2 a.m. but decided against it. When he and his wife and sons went to his parents’ farm for the weekend, he told his parents about the dream. His dad said, “Was that on Tuesday? Because I woke that night at 2 a.m., felt uncomfortable, got a glass of water and two anti-acids and spent the night sitting up on the couch.” They were stunned that they each had been awakened at the same time on the same night. The next week, dad had the same symptoms as the first night, but instead of taking stomach medicine, he decided it must be a heart attack. That new thought got him to the emergency room just in time to save his life. Again, God is working in mysterious ways! We need only pay attention. 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 NEW EARTH OCTOBER 2015



Commitment to life also applies to refugees

By North Dakota Catholic Conference


ithin the pro-life movement we often Catholic hear that a class Action room of children is killed each week Christoper Dodson by abortion. The claim holds true for North Dakota. The state has lower abortion numbers than most states, but is also has smaller class sizes. An average of fifteen unborn children of North Dakota residents are aborted each week. A classroom size a week is about 800 a year. The statistical information on women subjected to abortions is remarkably consistent. The overwhelming majority of them are unmarried, about 87%. Eighty percent of them have less than a four-year degree. Twenty percent of them are non-white, which is twice the percentage of the state’s population. Although we do not have economic data, we can safely conclude, based on

every child and mother. There exists no circumstance, no matter how bad, that justifies abortion. That is the pro-life way. Which brings us back to the claim about a classroom a week being lost by abortion. Implicit in that lament is that society should welcome every one of those children no matter what their situation and no matter what challenges they pose to the rest of us. Also implicit is that our acceptance of these children and our responsibilities to care and educate them is not dependent on the size of the classroom. If the abortion numbers doubled, our commitment to life - and them - would not change. This commitment is something we should remember as our nation and our state prepares to welcome more refugees. Each year Lutheran Social Services helps the federal government place about 400 refugees in the state. There are some indications that the number will increase to around 500. Even the higher number is less than a classroom a week. Refugees are not individuals merely seeking to take advantage of American life. They have unwillingly left their homeland to escape persecution and war. Before admission to the US, each refugee undergoes an extensive interviewing, screening and security clearance process. They come needing food, clothing,

The human family… must embrace the burdens of accepting refugees. If we are sincere about our willingness as a society to accept all the children destroyed by abortion, we must also be willing to embrace refugees escaping persecution and death.” – Christopher Dodson other studies and the fact that most of them are unmarried and lacking a college degree, that they are poor. We can also conclude that the children, if they were not aborted, would be more likely to grow up in poverty. Growing up in a single-parent household is one of the strongest indicators that a child will live in poverty. Poverty also strongly correlated to other social problems such as involvement in crime, substance abuse, problems in school and more. The absence of a college degree by the parent, like racial factors, compounds the problems. No matter what their marital, educational or racial status, one hundred percent of the women have something in their life that led them to the unplanned pregnancy and the abortionist. It could be drugs, mental health issues, a lack of maturity, domestic abuse or any number of other issues. Whatever the issue, it probably would have an impact on the child if he or she was born. This does not mean that the child would be doomed to a life of poverty and delinquency. For the record, I was raised by a single parent. Statistically, however, the child and mother are much more likely to face these challenges. To the purveyors of the culture of death, these are exactly the reasons these women should get abortions. “Better a dead child than a poor child or an inconvenienced parent” is their motto. The love and mercy of the culture of life, however, embraces 22


shelter, employment, English language training and orientation to a new community and culture. They are among the “least of us” that demand our welcoming embrace. Nevertheless, there are some who oppose the placement of refugees in the state. They cite the “burdens” refugees place on communities. Refugee resettlement does place some burdens on our resources and sometimes those burdens can be disproportionate geographically. Finding ways to minimize and accept those burdens, however, is the right thing to do. It is no different from when a family embraces an unexpected pregnancy by a teenage daughter. Yes, it is difficult, but she and the child are deserving of our love, not abandonment that could drive the young woman to the abortionist. The human family, meaning society, must embrace the burdens of accepting refugees and not abandon them to what is in many cases certain death in their home country. If we are sincere about our willingness as a society to accept all the children destroyed by abortion, we must also be willing to embrace refugees escaping persecution and death. 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



Jailed for defending marriage

im Davis, the now-famous Clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky, who became known for her refusal to issue marriage licenses, was arrested and incarcerated in September of 2015. She had refused to affix her signature to licenses being sought by two people of the same sex, even after the Supreme Court had legalized gay marriage, noting that this would force her to act against her conscience and her deeply-held religious convictions. Her resolve to stop issuing licenses under these circumstances needs to be grasped for what it really is, namely, a morally coherent course of action that respects the authentic nature of marriage and recognizes the duties of an informed conscience. Jonathan Adler, a law professor at Case Western University noted that Kim Davis “asked to be the person who issues marriage licenses. And the state defines who is eligible to marry,” and sometimes “the eligibility changes.” In point of fact, however, he only begs the question under dispute. Opponents of the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision stress that the state does not determine the nature of marriage; instead, it is nature that makes that determination through the radical complementarity of man and woman, a reality entirely outside the purview of the state to redefine or negate. The unique and exclusive eligibility of one man and one woman to marry each other cannot be changed by court order any more than gravity can be overturned by court decree. Commenting on the Supreme Court decision on gay marriage, Ed Peters, a canonist in Detroit, explains it this way: “Five justices imposed on marriage (true marriage, natural marriage, traditional marriage, whatever pleonastic phrase one wishes to use) the lie that marriage includes the union of two persons of the same sex.… The Court has published a naked, gross falsehood that tears simultaneously at the fabric of law, language, family, and society. The word marriage has, and will always have, an objectively true meaning—no matter how many times it has been degraded.” Ms. Davis resolutely declined to lend her signature, and the authority of her office, to affirm this falsehood. Even so, various commentators have tried to insist that Ms. Davis was elected to serve as a government official and should carry out the provisions of the law even if she might not agree with them. But this argument is flawed on at least four counts. First, the claim that public servants have a stringent duty to uphold the law tends to be selectively applied by those who make the claim. Nearly 18 months before Ms. Davis was jailed, and 15 months before the Supreme Court decision on gay marriage, another public servant in Kentucky named Jack Conway, the state Attorney General, failed to carry out his duty of defending the Kentucky

Constitution that affirmed marriage to be between one man and one woman. He Making Sense publicly refused to of Bioethics defend the law of the Commonwealth Father Tad Pacholczyk before the Supreme C o u r t ; a n d M r. Conway was praised and celebrated for his decision by numerous voices in the national media and in the legal establishment. Mr. Conway’s refusal to perform this duty clearly contravened Kentucky law KRS 522.020; nevertheless, he was neither punished nor incarcerated for his failure to uphold the fundamental marriage laws of the state. Second, it would be wrong to suppose that workers and employees are mere cogs in the machinery of governments or corporations, mindlessly following orders. Many German government officials and workers seemed to make this assumption during the last World War. Officials and employees are rather called to assist their employers in an attentive and collaborative way, so that the work of the institution or corporation they represent is marked by integrity and sound ethics. Ms. Davis sought to conscientiously protect the integrity of marriage and the work carried out in the Clerk’s Office by declining to issue licenses to two people of the same sex. Third, when Ms. Davis was elected to the office of Clerk in Rowan County, gay marriage was still illegal, so she was elected to a position where, some time later, the ground beneath her feet abruptly shifted, and a new job description requiring her to violate her conscience was suddenly thrust upon her. Simply put, she hadn’t signed up for this. Fourth, legality does not automatically equate to morality. If workers or officials are asked to perform a gravely immoral activity, even one sanctioned by a legislature, a parliament or a Supreme Court, they must instead advert to a higher law, and individual conscience rights must be safeguarded to assure that they are not forced to comply with serious wrongdoing. In sum, Kim Davis’ measured actions at the Clerk’s Office in Kentucky offer a coherent and courageous response to chaotic attempts to undermine marriage and the rule of law. Our society needs more of her coherence and courage, not less. Rev. Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D. earned his doctorate in neuroscience from Yale and did post-doctoral work at Harvard. He is a priest of the diocese of Fall River, MA, and serves as the Director of Education at The National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia. See

“Opponents of the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision stress that the state does not determine the nature of marriage; instead, it is nature that makes that determination through the radical complementarity of man and woman… eligibility of one man and one woman to marry each other cannot be changed by court order any more than gravity can be overturned by court decree.” – Father Tad Pacholczyk NEW EARTH OCTOBER 2015



Tax savings ideas for end-of-year givers Author ’s Note: The end of the year is fast approaching and this is a good time to remind folks Stewardship of some generous tax incentives regarding Steve Schons charitable giving. Here is an update on three popular ways of giving, especially when it comes to supporting your local parish or diocesan program.

be $1,000, $10,000 or any amount up to $100,000 this year. The gift satisfies your RMD (Required Minimum Distribution) for the year. The information in this article is not intended as tax, legal or financial advice. Contact your personal financial advisor for information specific to your situation. If you have any questions or would like further information about the topics covered in this article or any other types of giving, please contact me. Steve Schons is director of stewardship and development for the Diocese of Fargo and president of the Catholic Development Foundation. He can be reached at or (701) 356-7926.

1. 40% ND Tax Credit.

If you are a North Dakota resident and make a gift to a ND qualified endowment of $5,000 or more, you are eligible for a 40% tax credit on your ND taxes. Tax credits are much different than a tax deduction because they reduce your tax liability dollar for dollar. The maximum tax credit is $20,000 for individuals or $40,000 for married couples filing jointly. However, credits can be carried over for up to three years.


Tax laws allow farmers who use cash basis accounting to gift part of their crop production or livestock to charity (e.g. Parish or Diocese). There are significant tax benefits of giving crops instead of a straight cash donation. It’s a very simple process and many farmers throughout our diocese take advantage of it.

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3. IRA Charitable Rollover

(update – has not been renewed yet for 2015).

For the last 10 years, the Feds have allowed folks who are age 70.5 and older, to rollover up to $100,000 from your IRA (Individual Retirement Account) to your parish, diocese or other qualified charity without increasing your taxable income or paying any additional tax. These tax-free rollover gifts could 24


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Keep moving forward

Seminary a memorable time, more good times ahead

s a fourth year theologian and ordained deacon, my seminary formation is quickly coming to an end. This was reinforced all summer long in Langdon, as I fulfilled my duties as a deacon at the altar. For ten weeks I assisted at the Mass, brought communion to the home bound, made hospital calls and led graveside ceremonies. I really enjoyed my time there, yet there was this feeling that I wanted to get back to the seminary in order to finish what I started five short years ago. There is a saying in the seminary that gets bandied about: “We are not called to the seminary but to the priesthood.” With this being my fourth summer assignment for the diocese, I was ready to put seminary behind me and continue to pour myself into the new relationships I formed in the parishes of West Fargo, Harvey and Jamestown. But then I had one of those “awakening” moments. When I made it back to the Mount, I was walking to the chapel one bright sunny day, and it really hit me what a gift and great

Jefferson’s Rock which overlooks the point where the Potomac and the Seminarian Shenandoah rivers Life join. The rock was named after Thomas Deacon Patrick Parks Jefferson who stood there in 1873 stating that the view was so impressive, that it was worth a voyage across the Atlantic just to see. My best memories, however, are those close to the seminary. The seminary is on the side of a mountain and just above it is the National Shrine Grotto of our Lady of Lourdes. In 1794, a Catholic priest by the name of Father John Dubois, a refugee from France, was called to serve in Western Maryland. According to

“There is a saying in the seminary that gets bandied about: ‘We are not called to the seminary but to the priesthood.’” – Deacon Patrick Parks, Fargo Diocese seminarian opportunity I have had here. God’s plan for my life brought to legend, he was attracted to a light on the mountain and erected Maryland to experience some really wonderful events and see a cross on the spot which would eventually become the shrine. In 1809 the shrine area became the home of one of our own some fantastic sites. First and foremost, I have met some of the most wonderful, saints, Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton who would teach her school faith filled and selfless men from all over the U.S. including children while sitting on the stones in the grotto. Today, it is a Connecticut, Maryland, Indiana, Nebraska, Tennessee, Texas, large shrine with a large gold statue of our lady atop a pedestal Pennsylvania and West Virginia, among others. All these men overlooking the whole valley. It truly is holy ground. In the past courageously answered the call to the priesthood with sincerity. five years I have walked up some very old steps many times to Many have become friends for life, yet soon we’ll go our pray in quiet and to drink the pure mountain water that flows continuously from the grotto fountains. separate ways. I have been able to, by the grace of God, take a pilgrimage In my last year as deacon of the Catholic Church, I had another to France. I visited Ars, Paris and Paray Le Moniel where I was great gift. Our seminary traveled to Washington D.C. to see able to visit the church of the “Cure de Ars,” and the patron Pope Francis celebrate his first Mass in the U.S. I found myself saint of parish priests, Saint John Vianney. I was humbled to in the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, a great serve at the Mass and altar where his body remains incorrupt. honor to our Lady and largest church in the U.S. As he walked In Paris we visited and celebrated Mass at the Miraculous out to celebrate the Mass, I knew this represented the capstone Medal Shrine with the incorrupt bodies of Saint Catherine to my time in Maryland. I listened to his homily and heard in Labore and Saint Louise de Merillac. In Paray Le Moniel we my heart “Siempre Adelante,” that is, “keep moving” forward visited and celebrated Mass at the Monastery where Saint Mary to continue experiencing the joy of the Gospel, no matter what Alacoque received the vision of Christ, thus beginning the Sacred the circumstances I find myself in. Heart devotion. Deacon Patrick Parks is a Theology IV student studying at Mount St. I love history and have been able to partake in battlefield tours Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md. Originally from Coon Rapids, of Gettysburg and Antietam where the First Minnesota (my home Minn., Parks enjoys reading and visiting the National Shrine of Our Lady state) fought heroically. I have visited Harpers Ferry several of Lourdes near the seminary. He believes the best part about being a priest times, celebrating Mass in the local church that survived the is bringing God to men and men to God in a world that is starving for what many battles of the Civil War that took place there and stood on he has to offer – true love. NEW EARTH OCTOBER 2015



All praise and glory to God

Lila Harmsen reflects on defending life, visiting imprisoned, caring for elderly By Lila Harmsen and Kristina Lahr


ila Harmsen has a big heart for the underprivileged. While a resident of Valley City, she travels to both Fargo and Jamestown as well in order to serve three kinds of ministries, consoling men and women entering abortion facilities, visiting those in prison and caring for the elderly. “I have seen loneliness, rejection, desperation and fear up close,” she said. Harmsen consoled women in Jamestown and Grand Forks back when there were abortion facilities there. Now Harmsen volunteers her time at the remaining abortion facility in Fargo each Wednesday as a sidewalk counselor. “My purpose here, in addition to prayer and witness, is to offer help to mothers coming for abortions,” said Harmsen. “I want them to know that there is help of every kind available. Though they are not seeing it at the moment, I tell them that their baby is a precious gift from God, unique and irreplaceable. I know many women who have had abortions years ago and their pain is very real and lasts a very long time. “When a baby’s life is spared, all praise and glory go to God. It is he who touches the heart with a mother’s love. We must be faithful in prayer and fasting and in witnessing to the love of Christ. It is crucial in changing hearts and minds and bringing us back to God. “I have seen the beautiful smiles and happy hearts of mothers whom I have taken for ultrasounds. When seeing the picture of their unborn baby, everything changes. Abortion is no longer a choice for them. Some of these mothers have wanted me to see the picture of their baby on the ultrasound. How exciting that is and the tears that come are those of joy.” About ten years ago Harmsen also began prison ministry in Jamestown at a facility that houses only men. She visits every

Area faithful came to the abortion facility in Fargo Sept. 23 for the beginning of the 40 Days for Life campaign. Lila Harmsen (third from the left) has volunteered much of her time supporting the dignity of life by consoling women entering the abortion facility, visiting the imprisoned and caring for the elderly. (Kristina Lahr/New Earth)



other Thursday with Father Joe Barrett, parochial vicar at St. James Basilica in Jamestown. “The men love Father Joe,” said Harmsen. “He has a very special gift for this ministry. The men who come are very appreciative of the opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Holy Mass. We are greeted warmly, and they let us know we are most welcome. They share their thoughts with us, knowing that we do not come to judge but to share the love of Christ for each of them. “We all receive many blessings knowing full well that we are all sinners and that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was for the redemption of each of us. I love these men and I love this ministry. It is not only about what we can offer them but what we receive in return if we offer a warm and caring heart.” Harmson also visits the elderly of her community in Valley City helping them with their needs at home and simply being present to them. Though many of those she’s visited have passed away, she has fond memories of each of them. “I have learned much from these women about commitment, sacrifice, gratitude and generosity,” she said. “There is a great need for visiting at care centers and I know from experience that the personal rewards are great.” Harmsen strongly believes her life has changed for the better as a result of volunteering. She knows that she may have brought a bit of joy into the life of another as they bring joy to hers. Though she says she has become discouraged at times whether or not her efforts are fruitful, she feels that to give into that discouragement would be prideful. “Volunteering helps us to get our priorities straight,” she said. “It is not all about me, it is more about others. In the familiar words of Mother Teresa – we are not called to be successful. We are called to be faithful.”

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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 For additional information about victim assistance, visit

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Happenings Around The Diocese

Mass for God’s Children in Jamestown November 5 40 Days for Life ND to host solemn assembly October 18

Bishop John Folda will offer a Mass for God’s Children on Thursday Nov. 5 at 7 p.m., at St. James Basilica in Jamestown. Oftentimes, families who have experienced an early infant loss do not have the opportunity to grieve their child’s death with their faith community. Yet, the Church desires to provide a means for mourning and support through the Liturgy of the Mass.  Parents, siblings, family members and friends are encouraged to attend the Mass for God’s Children in remembrance of their child(ren). A reception will follow. Contact Rachelle Sauvageu at (701) 356-7910 or For resources on early infant loss go to:, and click on “Life Issues Series.”

As we continue with our efforts of prayerful vigil and fasting for the unborn, the 40 Days for Life ND committee invites all people of good will to join in prayer for the needs of our communities, our nation and our world as we work to further the culture of life. A solemn assembly will be held on Sunday, Oct. 18 at 4 p.m. at Calvary United Methodist Church, 4575 45th St. So., Fargo. Prayer will be led by clergy and pro-life leaders in our community including Frather Charles LaCroix, Pastor Dave Motta, Pastor Becky Lee, Pastor Doug Vandermulen and others.

Fall festivals coming soon


all events are great opportunities to connect with parish communities. The following is a listing of fall dinners and festivals submitted to New Earth.

West Fargo: Holy Cross parish, West Fargo. Sunday, Oct. 18

Minto: Minto Community Center, Minto. Sunday, Nov. 1 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. They will be serving ham, meatballs, potatoes and gravy, carrots, sauerkraut and pork, dinner rolls, pies and desserts. Contact Sacred Heart parish at (701) 248-3589.

from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The day will include a kids’ tractor pull, Casselton: St. Leo’s church, Casselton. Sunday, Nov. 1 from games, raffle, chance baskets, bingo, country store, baked goods, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. They will be serving roast beef with all jewelry, silent auction and more. All are welcome to the new the trimmings. Country store, kids games and raffle. Contact location at 2711 7th St. East. Contact the parish at (701) 282-7217. Dolorous at (701) 347-4609.

West Fargo: Blessed Sacrament parish, West Fargo, Sunday, Grand Forks: Holy Family church, Grand Forks. Saturday, Nov. Oct. 18 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will include a basket silent auction, jewelry shop, country store, games and bingo. Contact the parish at (701) 282-3321.

Harvey: St. Cecilia’s church, Harvey. Sunday, Nov. 1 from 5

p.m. to 7 p.m. A turkey dinner with all the trimmings will be served this evening. Contact Mike Wolbeck at (701) 324-2179.

7 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Freshly baked pie, tea, coffee and cider, bake sale with lefse and raffle. Contact parish at (701) 746-1454.

Tolna: St. Joseph’s church, Tolna. Sunday, Nov. 8 from 9 a.m. to

12:30 p.m. They will be serving pancakes, sausage, eggs, hash browns and beverage. Bake sale, raffle and door prizes. Contact Diane Hoffman at (701) 262-4232.

LaMoure: Holy Rosary parish center, LaMoure. Sunday Nov. 1

from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Dinner will be served this evening. Contact parish at (701) 883-5987.

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

The best gift for those you love who are nursing home residents, shut-ins, or non-practicing CatholicsWDAY, Channel 6, Fargo – WDAZ, Channel 8, Grand Forks 10:30 a.m. Sunday Name_________________________________________________ Address_______________________________________________ City/State/Zip_________________________________________ Phone_________________________________________________ A GIFT FOR: Name_________________________________________________ Address_______________________________________________ City/State/Zip_________________________________________

“I support the TV Mass because it was an important part of my mother’s life. My husband and I would sometimes watch it with her. I’m thankful that the TV Mass was there for her.” – Helen Bye, Fargo



Or, IN MEMORY OF: Name________________________________________________ I would like this listed at the end of the TV Mass on this date(s): ______________________________________________________ MAIL TO: TV Mass, Diocese of Fargo, 5201 Bishops Blvd., Suite A, Fargo, ND 58104-7605

Events Across The Diocese Mark your calendar for events around the diocese

Paul Newman Center Fundraising Banquet.

Holiday Inn, Fargo. Thursday, Oct. 22 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The featured keynote speaker will be Father Michael Schmitz, chaplain at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. Students will share personal testimonies of their involvement at St. Paul’s Newman Center. Contact Melissa Haas to RSVP at or (701) 235-0142.

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.

Soup and Sandwich Luncheon. St. Anne’s Guest

Home, Grand Forks. Saturday, Oct. 24 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will be three soups to chose from, ham or turkey sandwiches, dessert and beverages. Cost is $8. A craft, bake and variety sale will also be available. Contact Shelly at (701) 746-9401.

St. Bernard’s Opening Day Hunters’ Breakfast. Tower City Community Center, Oriska. Friday, Nov. 6 from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. St. Bernard’s parish will be serving a hearty breakfast of ham, eggs and pancakes for $8. All are welcome. Contact St. Bernard’s parish at (701) 845-3713.

To submit events for New Earth and the diocesan website, send information to: New Earth, 5201 Bishops Blvd. S., Suite A, Fargo, ND 58104-7605 or email news@ The deadline for the November New Earth is Oct. 21. The earliest that issue will reach homes is Nov. 9.

Serra Dinner. Blessed

Sacrament church, West Fargo. Thursday, Nov. 12 at 6 p.m. Serra Dinners are a time to encourage vocations in your parish and family and hear vocations stories from around the diocese. Free will offering. Contact Vocations Office at (701) 356-7946.

For more news and events, visit the “News and Events” section of the diocesan website: news-events.

A Glimpse of the Past

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

50 Years Ago....1965

Blue Key National Honor Fraternity at North Dakota State University has voted to change the name of its Religious Leadership Award to the Father William Durkin Memorial Religious Leadership Award. Blue Key presents this award annually to the NDSU student who excels in religious leadership and Service to the University. Father Durkin was director of St. Paul’s Student Center at NDSU from 1957 until his death in 1965. He died of a heart attack while speaking at the annual Blue Key Honors Banquet last May. -December 1965 Catholic Action News

20 Years Ago....1995

St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fargo will have a refurbished interior by the time Holy Week begins next year. The interior has deteriorated during the 26 years since the last major renovation and another renovation is needed. Repair of the crumbling and dislodging plaster on the walls and ceiling will constitute the most costly portion of the project. The new plaster surfaces will be painted and gold leaf will be used to accentuate the arches and columns. The floor will be tiled, the stations will be cleaned and painted, the pews restored, new kneelers added and many more areas renovated. -November 1995 New Earth

10 Years ago....2005

The parishioners of St. Charles Borromeo in Oakes will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the parish October 22 and 23. Catholic families in Oakes worshipped in a variety of buildings until a church was built in 1900. The church received status as a parish on Thanksgiving Day, 1965. In 1907 Bishop Shanley visited Oakes to dedicate the church building and to welcome a large class of confirmands. The building served the parish well until in the 1960s, the parish outgrew the seating capacity. In 1968 Fr. Edward McDonald conducted services in the new building. Bishop Samuel Aquila will be the celebrant for the 10:30 a.m. Centennial Mass on Sunday morning. -October 2005 New Earth




Life’s Milestones Halvorsons celebrate 65 years of marriage

Art and Marie Halvorson of Lakota celebrated 65 years of marriage Sept. 2. Art and Marie were married at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Billings, Mont. and have been members at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Lakota since 1953. They have five children, 12 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Nistlers celebrate 60 years of marriage

Thomas and Regina Nistler celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary Aug. 30. They were married at St. Placidus Church near Mott in 1955 and have been members of St. Joseph’s Church in Devils Lake since 1967. They have four children, seven grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

Tholkes celebrate 70th anniversary

Bernard and Genevieve Zimprich of Cooperstown will celebrate their 72nd wedding anniversary Oct. 26. They were married at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Jessie by Father Miller. They have seven children, 22 grandchildren and 33 great-grandchildren. They’ve been living in Cooperstown for three years.

Jim and Stella Shirek celebrate 65th anniversary

Jim and Stella Shirek of Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Bechyne, will celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary at an open house from 2 to 5 p.m. Oct. 31 at Prairie Rose Apartments in Lakota. They were married Oct. 30, 1950, at Sts. Peter and Paul. They have five children, nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Tholkes celebrate 70th anniversary

Joe and Gerry Tholkes will celebrate 70 years of marriage Oct. 29. They were married at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Munich in 1945. They have four children, eleven grandchildren and eighteen great-grandchildren. They have lived at the Maple Manor Care Center in Langdon for the past three years.

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

Sisters celebrate jubilees

Jubilarians Sister Marguerite Guarneri (right) celebrates 80 years as a religious sister, and Sister Margaret Rose Pfeifer (left) celebrates 70 years at the Maryvale Convent in Valley City. The Mass was celebrated June 28 by Father Claude Seeberger, OSB at the Maryvale Chapel. Sister Marguerite advises those who are considering religious life to look at their motivation. “Is the love of Jesus and furthering your life of prayer the focus for your intention? Without a strong inclination to these two requisites, I feel it would be difficult to really leave all to follow Christ. However, Christ will always be there to help with his grace every day.” When asked what advice she would give to young women today, Sister Margaret Rose said, “Our vocation is no longer what we do but who we are. We are witnesses in the Church of something other than the world today, and we do this by developing our own relationship with Jesus.”



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for Life. NEW EARTH OCTOBER 2015


STATEMENT OF OWNERSHIP, MANAGEMENT AND CIRCULATION (Act of August 12, 1970: Section 3685) Title 39, United States Code

1. Title of Publication: New Earth. 2. Publication No. 0009526. 3. Date of Filing: October 2015. 4. Frequency of Issue: Monthly, except August. 5. No. of Issues Published Annually: 11. 6. Annual Subscription Price: $9.00. 7. Complete Address of Known Office of Publication: The Diocese of Fargo, 5201 Bishops Blvd., Suite A, Fargo, ND 58104. 8. Complete Mailing Address of the Headquarters of General Business Offices of the Publisher: The Diocese of Fargo, 5201 Bishops Blvd., Suite A, Fargo, ND 58104. 9. Names and Address of the Publisher, Editor, and Managing Editor. Publisher: Bishop John T. Folda, 5201 Bishops Blvd., Suite A, Fargo, ND 58104. Editor: Aliceyn Magelky, 5201 Bishops Blvd., Suite A, Fargo, ND 58104. 10. Owner: The Diocese of Fargo, 5201 Bishops Blvd., Suite A, Fargo, ND 58104. 11. Known bondholders, mortgagees, and other security holders owning or holding 1 percent or more of total amount of bonds, mortgages, or other securities: None. 12. For completion by Nonprofit Organizations Authorized to mail at special rates (Section 132.122 Postal Service Manual): The purpose, function and non-profit status of this organization and the exempt status for Federal Income Tax purposes have not changed during the preceding 12 months. 13. Publication Name: New Earth. 14. Issue Date for Circulation Data Below: October 2015. 15. Extent and Nature of Circulation:

Ave. No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months

A. Total No. Copies (Net Press Run) 24,615 B. Paid and/or Requested Circulation 1. Sales through dealers and carriers, street vendors and counter sales 0 2. Paid or Requested Mail Subscriptions 24,364 C. Total Paid and/or Requested Circulation 24,364 D. Free Distribution by Mail (Samples, Complimentary, and Other Free Copies) 144 E. Distribution Outside the Mail 0 F. Total Free Distribution 144 G. Total Distribution 24,508 H. Copies Not Distributed 1. Office Use, Leftovers, Spoiled 30 2. Return from News Agents 0 I. Total 24,538 16. This Statement of Ownership will be printed in the October 2015 issue of this publication. 17. Signature and Title of Editor, Publishers, Business Manager, or Owner.

Actual No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date 24,589

0 24,512 24,512 144 0 144 24,656 30 0 24,686

Aliceyn Magelky, Editor

Quotable “America, you are beautiful… and blessed… The ultimate test of your greatness is the way you treat every human being, but especially the weakest and most defenseless. If you want equal justice for all and true freedom and lasting peace, then America, defend life.” – St. John Paul the Great 32




An interview with Bishop John Folda on recovering the Gospel of Life

n light of the release of the videos on Planned Parenthood harvesting and selling body parts, the truth of abortion has opened in a new way. Bishop John Folda sat down with New Earth and answered a few questions about how the Church can continue to respond to the tragedy of abortion. 1. We have had the shame of legalized abortion in our nation for over 40 years. Has the “culture of death” made us complacent in defending the life of the unborn? How can we recover a sense of the Gospel of Life? There is no doubt that over these 40 years of legalized abortion, the “culture of death” has become entrenched in our society. All the laws and regulations seem to favor the imaginary right to end the life of a child. And unfortunately, I think many people just assume it will always be this way. I don’t believe that at all. I remember when I was growing up, everyone thought the Berlin Wall would never come down and that Eastern Europe would always be enslaved by communism. But the Wall came down! I don’t really think people are complacent, because they still want this state of affairs to change. And many, many people are very strongly committed to the pro-life cause in spite of the obstacles. I’m especially encouraged by the involvement of young people. They can see the sacredness of life, and they can also recognize the darkness of this culture of death. They don’t want it, and they’re willing to stand up for life. 2. What does the recent release of the videos on Planned Parenthood say about our nation? What can we, Catholics and all people of good will, do to ensure that the issue of Planned Parenthood and their involvement in the harvesting and selling of body parts from aborted babies remains in the forefront of our nation’s conscience? The Planned Parenthood videos are horrible, and they show us how deeply we have sunk into this “culture of death.” To paraphrase George Weigel, when we can discuss the sale of baby parts over a nice lunch and a glass of wine, there’s something wrong with our culture! But, in a strange way, these videos are providential, because they shine a light on what really goes on all around us. The reality of abortion is tragic enough, but it’s even more tragic to realize that the organs of these tiny babies are for sale. Certain influential persons are trying to downplay what’s going on, but it’s up to us to keep this story alive and to make people aware of what Planned Parenthood is really doing. I think these videos have shaken up the consciences of many people in this country. Most people still understand the importance of protecting children, and we need to help them see that all children, including the unborn, deserve our protection. 3. While political action is never the main focus or goal of faith, do Christians have a duty to defend life that, as Archbishop Chaput put it, “inescapably involves politics”? What can faithful citizens do?

Bishop John Folda leads the Walk with Christ for Life October 4, a Eucharistic procession from St. Mary’s Cathedral to the abortion facility in downtown Fargo. Each year faithful gather for Respect Life Sunday to pray for an end to abortion. (Kristina Lahr/New Earth)

Archbishop Chaput is right. Christians absolutely have a responsibility to defend life, and should not steer away from working for life through politics. Political involvement is an expression of our commitment to the common good, and there’s nothing more essential to the common good than life itself. If we as citizens don’t work for life in public policy, then who will? I’m not an attorney, so I don’t know all the legal aspects of these activities at Planned Parenthood. But legal or not, what they’re doing is simply wrong. I’m glad that some of our lawmakers are pushing to investigate their activities, and we should encourage them to do all in their power to put a stop to this misuse of our tax dollars. 4. The release of these videos has opened deep wounds for those who have participated in an abortion. How do you plan to make post-abortion ministries of healing more available in our diocese during the Jubilee of Mercy? Many people have been deeply wounded by abortion. For many years now, we have been blessed in the Diocese of Fargo to have offered the Rachel’s Vineyard retreat experience, which helps persons who have been involved in an abortion to build or rebuild their relationship with God. We will also begin to offer other services through Project Rachel. The Respect Life Office will be putting out more information on this program as we approach the Jubilee of Mercy in December. Project Rachel will offer an opportunity for individual counseling, reconciliation and group support. A number of our priests and lay men and women are being trained for this ministry. Of course, the most powerful healing we can offer is through the sacrament of Reconciliation. I know our priests will always be ready to help people who have been involved in abortion to receive forgiveness and healing through this wonderful sacrament of God’s mercy. NEW EARTH OCTOBER 2015



Bach family gives testimony to the sanctity of life

By Barbara Bach


e had been married five years, and were expecting baby number three. One day we received a letter from my mom addressed to Anthony, Barbara, Claudia, and Dagny Bach. She asked if we had realized the “alphabetical-ness” of our first names. We hadn’t, but it got us thinking. Would we name this baby E? I loved the name Eve, and even though Tony didn’t, we kept the alphabetical idea in the back of our minds and the pregnancy continued namelessly. It was a normal, uneventful pregnancy until the 38th week when we learned baby was in the breach position with a foot in the birth canal. I ended up delivering by C-section, and when our third daughter was born, a strained silence came over the attending medical staff. Tony sensed something was very wrong and feared for our daughter’s life. He was soon told that it was suspected our daughter had

Down syndrome but tests would have to be done to confirm the diagnosis. The doctor explained the diagnosis and then expressed her apologies to us – as if she had failed in some way. It was odd to have the news of a baby’s birth greeted with an apology. My brother had Down syndrome. He died at 18 months of age. I had the same fear for my daughter. Tony has a cousin with Down syndrome who is a capable and happy adult. Tony remembers the feeling of relief after hearing our daughter “just” had Down syndrome - she was going to live! He decided to name her Eve, not to please me but because it was short, and would be easy for her to spell and write. The days were spent falling in love with our little one. She captured hearts at every turn. Each milestone she passed was an opportunity for celebration. Each accomplishment served to break the barriers we had been led to expect.

Anthony and Barbara Bach gather with their children for their son Grayden and his wife Maria’s wedding at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church in Lakota. Barbara shares the story of her growing family and the beauty and joy she’s experienced with two children with Down syndrome. Barbara and her family are parishioners of St. Michael’s parish in Grand Forks. (submitted photo)



YMF 2015 Baby Francisco came along just 13 months after Eve. We had been offered prenatal testing to determine whether he had Down syndrome, but we made the decision not to have the screening. We knew it would not change how we would love him. Eve did all she could to keep up with her little brother. He soon surpassed her in physical as well as cognitive abilities, but she was continually being challenged to accomplish more by subsequent little brothers and sisters. Soon we had Grayden, Hope, Indigo, JayDee and Kolbe. In the first several months of Eve’s life, we experienced what Tony called “information constipation.” We received a constant barrage of information: studies, expectations, suggestions, tests, predictions, etc. all relating to Down syndrome and to how (and if) she “measured up.” Eventually we made the decision to disengage from information to a certain extent. We stopped seeing “Down syndrome” and allowed ourselves to just see Eve. Like with all our children, we noticed and encouraged her areas of strength, and we acknowledged and worked on improving the areas where she had weaknesses. After Kolbe’s birth we experienced our first miscarriage. Because we knew we had cooperated with God in the creation of another soul, we named that little one Liberty. By this time, people were making comments alluding to the fact that we “had enough kids already.” But when you have surrendered all aspects of your life to Christ, how can you say, “Lord, I give you my all, well, except for my fertility. I think I better keep that under my control.” A year after miscarrying Liberty, Maisie was born, followed by the stillbirth of Nat, and the miscarriages of Orion and Phin. I will not lie. That was a tough stretch. People told us that it was obvious the Lord didn’t want us to have more children – why did we keep trying? We felt that was flawed logic. We remained open, trusting God in His infinite love. Nine years ago we gave birth to Baby Q. The week leading up to his birth felt very familiar. He was breach, had a foot in the birth canal and didn’t seem inclined to move. A c-section was scheduled, and Quartez was born. The operating room was not silent this time. Tony was the first to state, “He has Down syndrome.” One of the nurses disappeared and come back with a medal of St. Michael. She slipped it into my hand and said, “This is for your son. He is beautiful.” There were no apologies at his birth, and the doctors and nurses whom we had come to know, celebrated with us. Quartez is our youngest. What a blessing he has been. What a comedian! What a joy. About 1 in 700 babies are born with Down syndrome. And 90% of babies prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted. These statistics break our hearts. Parents do not realize what they are denying themselves and their other children. Eve and Quartez are all the “stereotypes” but so much more. Contagious happiness, unconditional love, frustrating stubbornness, goofy silliness, fierce independence, tender sweetness, and beautiful innocence. Like all our children, they are priceless gifts from our good God.

Supporting families who receive an adverse prenatal diagnosis By United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Pregnancy should be a time of joyful expectation, but what if the baby is believed to have a disability or a life-threatening health condition? Prenatal screening is quickly becoming a routine part of obstetric care. Because of the growing frequency of these testing, parents are increasingly told by their doctors of potential problems with their pregnancies. It is worth noting that a screening is meant to detect the potential for a disability or illness and is not diagnostic. A diagnosis requires further testing, and there is evidence that screenings are not as accurate as many believe them to be. Doctors sometimes misdiagnose a baby who is then born healthy. Often, however, the diagnosis is accurate. For parents, the news of a prenatal diagnosis is crushing.They may not know what to do or where to turn. All too often, they are advised by physicians and sometimes by family to schedule an abortion. In some cases, the diagnosis may indicate that the baby is expected to die before or shortly after birth. As parents face the heart-rending knowledge that their hello may also be their goodbye, those around them may wonder how to provide the best support. Here are some helpful responses to affirm parents to accepting their situation with trust in God: • I hear your pain. God hears your pain. God loves you and calls all of his children to embrace the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death. He will be with you and never leave your side. • God will give you every grace you need. • You are united to Christ in your suffering.These special babies bring with them many spiritual gifts and graces. • No matter how long your baby lives, he will be your child for all eternity. If someone you know has received an adverse prenatal diagnosis, ask the Holy Spirit to work through them. May the families of these little children be strengthened and comforted of the truth that their child’s life, however long or short, is worth living. For more information and resources, visit http://www.fargodiocese. org/prenatal.





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



New Earth October 2015  

Magazine for the Catholic Diocese of Fargo, ND

New Earth October 2015  

Magazine for the Catholic Diocese of Fargo, ND