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New October 2017 | Vol. 38 | No. 9


The Magazine of the Catholic Diocese of Fargo

St. Gianna’s Maternity Home a place of hope, renewal Committed to providing for one mother, one baby, one family at a time


From Bishop Folda: Blessed Stanley Rother, priest and martyr

SEARCH program welcomes new leaders Jim and Dori Picard

International Retrouvaille team sees Fargo’s success first-hand






October 2017 Vol. 38 | No. 9

ON THE COVER 16 St. Gianna’s Maternity Home a place of hope, renewal

St. Gianna’s Maternity Home is a place of hope, renewal, and life. St. Gianna’s is a place for women who are pregnant and need a safe place to live. Their mission is to show these mothers the love of Christ and the joy of experiencing that love.



Blessed Stanley Rother, priest and martyr



Pope Francis’ October prayer intentions


Current seminarian, religious and deacons information


Ask a priest: My children no longer attend the Catholic Church. Does that really matter, since they still believe in Jesus? Is there anything I can do about it?


FirstChoice Clinic celebrates abortion-pill reversal, rise in clients seeking education and community



11 Bishop Folda helps St. Joseph’s Thrift Store mark 20th anniversary 12 SEARCH program welcomes new leaders Jim and Dori Picard 13 Gala dinner planned in Grafton to help build a school in Haiti 15 International Retrouvaille team sees Fargo’s success first-hand


20 Tattered Page

A review written by Joshua Gow for “Biomedicine and Beatitude” by Father Nicanor Austriaco

21 St. Cecilia’s Corner



24 Stories of Faith

Faith in hard times bears fruit that will last

25 Catholic Charities Corner

Working together to help moms in need

26 Catholic Action

A family of musicians at St. Joseph’s in Devils Lake


Catholic social doctrine rooted in dignity of the human person

27 Seminarian Life What a gift?

22 Schmitz wins Catholic Daughters of the Americas national essay contest

28 Stewardship

23 Fargo-Moorhead i.d.9:16 a new young adult ministry to the area

29 Little Sisters of the Poor




Tax advantages for charitable giving Be not afraid, we’re all in this together

ON THE COVER: St. Gianna’s Maternity Home in Warsaw. (Kristina Lahr | New Earth)



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


Most Rev. John T. Folda Bishop of Fargo


Paul Braun

Assistant editor Kristina Lahr


Stephanie Drietz - Drietz Designs


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


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



30 Pro-life events and ministries 31 A glimpse of the past 31 Life’s milestones 32 Events across the diocese


33 Weeping women’s tears tell tale of abortion


34 Martyred Oklahoma priest showed courage that comes from prayer

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 November issue is October 18, 2017. All submissions are subject to editing and placement. New Earth is published by the Catholic Diocese of Fargo, a nonprofit North Dakota corporation, 5201 Bishops Blvd. S, Suite A Fargo, ND 58104. (701) 356-7900. Periodical Postage Paid at Fargo, ND and at additional mailing offices. Member of the Catholic Press Association NEW EARTH OCTOBER 2017



Blessed Stanley Rother, priest and martyr


ost of us probably have never heard of Father Stanley Rother. Father Rother was born in 1935 in the German farming community of Okarche, Okla. He grew up in a loving, faith-filled family, and he had all the skills to be a good farmer, but he also felt a strong call to the priesthood. He answered that call and entered the seminary. When he struggled with studies, his bishop encouraged him to persevere and sent him to Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Maryland to complete his formation. Father Rother was ordained a priest in 1963 and first served in his home state of Oklahoma. Then, five years later, he volunteered to serve in the diocesan mission of Guatemala. Soon Father Rother found himself in the midst of a civil war that gripped Guatemala. Priests were a favorite target, and as the violence escalated, Father Rother’s life was in danger. He briefly returned to Oklahoma, but chose to return to Guatemala to remain with the people of his parish, and to share in the danger they faced. He was killed in his rectory by three unknown assailants on July 28, 1981. Last December, Pope Francis declared Father Stanley Rother a martyr, and on Sept. 23, he was beatified in Oklahoma City by Cardinal Angelo Amato from the Vatican. Father Rother’s beatification is the final step before his eventual canonization as a saint, a day that we can all hope and pray for. The beatification or canonization of any person from the United States is always a cause for celebration, and enriches the spiritual heritage of our nation. But Father Rother’s beatification is especially notable because he is the first person born in the United States to be declared a martyr. By giving his life for the people and Church that he loved, he united himself in a particular way to Christ on the cross and to the great multitude of martyrs that the Church celebrates year after year. The word

martyr means “witness,” and Father Rother witnessed to his love for God and his people with his own blood. We might wonder what connection we have with a missionary priest in Guatemala who died as a martyr. First, it is a reminder that saints and martyrs don’t only come from far off places in past centuries. Father Rother was a man of our time, and he grew up in a place and in a family much like our own. He was an ordinary man who was called to an extraordinary destiny. Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City put it this way: “Ultimately, if God calls a young man from Okarche, Oklahoma to be a saint, to be beatified, to be a martyr, it reminds us that all of us, no matter our beginnings, our circumstances, are called to holiness as well.” Father Rother also proves that God can accomplish wonders through us that we would never expect. As a seminarian, he failed Latin and was considered a mediocre student. But while in Guatemala, he became fluent in Spanish and mastered the local dialect of the people, Tz’utujil, even helping to translate the Bible into the language of his flock. God doesn’t call us because we are brilliant and talented. He calls us to be his instruments, and he forms us to carry out the mission he has in mind for us. Archbishop Coakley observes that Father Rother is “a witness to all of us that God chooses the humble, the lowly, as he always does, to accomplish great things for those who allow themselves to be used by God.” Father Rother was also a man of great courage. He knew the dangers that surrounded him. Although he could have left Guatemala and returned to a more tranquil, conventional life as a priest in Oklahoma, he remained with the people that had adopted him as their own. As he wrote to his archbishop, “A shepherd cannot run at the first sign of danger.” Father Rother manifested the courage we all need to live our faith and to stand up for what is right and true. Especially at a moment when truth and justice are under assault in so many ways, Father Rother is a model both for priests and for the lay faithful. Father Rother was a missionary, and he shows us that each one of us is called to be a missionary disciple, to use the phrase of Pope Francis. In fact, already 50 years ago, Father Rother was living what Pope Francis has been preaching: a discipleship and priesthood that looks outward and that goes out to the margins. Missionary work isn’t only for priests and religious, and it isn’t limited to foreign countries. It is for every member of the Church. If we allow him to do so, our Lord will send us out to those in need, to the poor and to those who do not know

“By giving his life for the people and Church that he loved, [Father Rother] united himself in a particular way to Christ on the cross and to the great multitude of martyrs that the Church celebrates year after year.” – Bishop John Folda 4


the love of God in their lives. Every day, Christ says to us what he said to the apostles: “Go, and make disciples of all nations.” Father Rother allowed himself to be sent, and he shows that we all have a mission from our Lord in the life of the Church. In a time that is marked by racial tensions, Father Rother also demonstrates a Christ-like love for people of all races. He served among the indigenous poor of rural Guatemala. He loved them, and they loved him. He embraced them as brothers and sisters, and shows that race should never keep us from reaching out to one another. I had the privilege of attending the beatification in Oklahoma of Blessed Stanley Rother, priest and martyr, and I am happy that his story will now be more widely known among the faithful. May the example and prayers of this holy man of God help each of us to be courageous witnesses and missionary disciples for Christ.

Prayer Intention of Pope Francis October

Workers and the Unemployed:

That all workers may receive respect and protection of their rights, and that the unemployed may receive the opportunity to contribute to the common good.


Oct. 30 | 7 p.m.

Mass for 25th Anniversary of Ordination for Rev. Raymond Courtright, Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo

Mass for the Institution of Acolytes, St. Paul Seminary, St. Paul

Oct. 10 | 6 p.m.

Triennial Election for the Office of Prioress and Mass, Carmel of Mary, Wahpeton All Saints Day, Pastoral Center closed, Fargo

JPII Schools President’s Reception, Fargo

Oct. 12 | 6 p.m.

Catholic Medical Association White Mass, St. Paul Newman Center, Fargo

Nov. 1 | 10 a.m.

Nov. 5 | 4:30 p.m.

Oct. 14 | 4:30 p.m.

“Together in Hope” Ecumenical Church Service, First Lutheran/Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo

Oct. 16 | 6 p.m.

FirstChoice Clinic Banquet, Hilton Garden Inn, Fargo

Diocesan Middle School Youth Extravaganza Mass, Jamestown Churches United for the Homeless Dinner, Holiday Inn, Fargo

Oct. 25 | 3 p.m.

JPII Schools Board Meeting, Pastoral Center, Fargo

Oct. 26 | 2 p.m.

Diocesan Pastoral Council Meeting, Pastoral Center, Fargo

Oct. 29 | 10:30 a.m.

Mass, St. Catherine, Valley City

Nov. 6 | 6:30 p.m.

Nov. 7 | 7 p.m.

Mass for God’s Children, St. John, Wahpeton

Nov. 9 | 6 p.m.

bisonCatholic Banquet, Delta by Marriott, Fargo

Nov. 10 | 11:30 a.m.

Dialogue on Faith and Work, Concordia College, Moorhead

5 p.m.

St. Catherine School 45th Annual Fall Auction, Eagle’s Club, Valley City NEW EARTH OCTOBER 2017




Eric Seitz

Zachary Howick

Hometown: Fargo School: St. Paul Seminary, St. Paul, Minn. Year: Theology III

Hometown: Grand Forks School: St. John Vianney Seminary, Denver, Colo. Year: Theology III

Robert Foertsch

Kevin Lorsung

Ethan Kaste

Hometown: Wyndmere School: St. John Vianney Seminary, Denver, Colo. Year: Theology I

Hometown: Isanti, Minn. School: St. Paul Seminary, St. Paul, Minn. Year: Theology I

Hometown: Grafton School: St. John Vianney Seminary, Denver, Colo. Year: Spiritual Year

Matthew Kensok

Riley Durkin

Hometown: Inkster School: St. Paul Seminary, St. Paul, Minn. Year: Theology II

Joseph Littlefield

Hometown: Wheatland School: St. Gregory the Great Seminary, Seward, Neb. Year: College IV

Jered Grossman

Hometown: Harvey School: Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Emmitsburg, Md. Year: Theology II

Andrew Meyer Hometown: Wahpeton School: Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Emmitsburg, Md. Year: Pre-Theology I

Kyle Kaufman

Hometown: Hatton School: Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit, Mich. Year: College IV

Quinn Krebs

Hometown: Hillsboro School: Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit, Mich. Year: College III

Hometown: Jamestown School: St. Gregory the Great Seminary, Seward, Neb. Year: College III

Chris Savageau

Hometown: Fargo School: Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Emmitsburg, Md. Year: Theology II

Corey Baumgartner Hometown: Napoleon School: Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit, Mich. Year: College IV

Brother Francis Reineke, FMI Hometown: Fargo School: St. Gregory the Great Seminary, Seward, Neb. Year: College I

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Sr. Mary Pieta (Michaela) Breen, SV

Sr. Grace (Mary) Beauclair, CSJ

Sr. Mary Seraphin (Kimberly) Beck

Hometown: Rugby 1st Professed

Franciscan Sisters of Christ the Divine Teacher, Davenport, Iowa

Hometown: Fargo Simple Vows Apostolic Sisters of Community of St. John, Princeville, Ill.

Sr. Mary Ruth (Jenna) Jones, CK

Sr. Miryam (Cecelia) Vandal, PCC

Hometown: Fargo 1st Professed Sisters of Christ the King, Lincoln, Neb.

Pat Breen Sts. Anne & Joachim parish, Fargo

Hometown: Fargo 1st Professed Sisters of Life, Suffern, N.Y.

Hometown: Langdon Simple Vows Poor Clare Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, Belleville, Ill.

Sr. Mary Louise Bushy

Hometown: Fargo 1st Professed Sisters of the Visitation of Holy Mary, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Br. Michael (Matthew) Donahue OP Hometown: Moorhead, Minn. 1st Professed Eastern Province of St. Joseph, Washington D.C.

Sts. Peter & Paul parish, Karlsruhe

Bart Salazar St. John’s parish, New Rockford

Terry Fischer St. Michael’s parish, Grand Forks

Ben Seitz Sts. Anne & Joachim parish, Fargo

Hometown: Napoleon Simple Vows Handmaids of the Heart of Jesus, New Ulm, Minn.

Br. Francis (Justin) Reineke FMI

Diaconate Candidates

Jonathan Brewer

Sr. Mary Angela (Kayla) Gross, ACJ

Hometown: Fargo 1st Professed Third Order of Franciscans of Mary, Minto

Curtis Kaufman St. Rose of Lima parish, Hillsboro

Kirk Ripplinger Basilica of St. James, Jamestown

Jeff Vaagen St. Joseph’s parish, Devils Lake




My children no longer attend the Catholic Church. Does that really matter, since they still believe in Jesus? Is there anything I can do about it?


he end of this October will mark the 500th anniversary of when Martin Luther, as the Ask a Priest story goes, nailed his Father Gregory “95 Theses” on the Haman doors of the castle church in Wittenberg, Germany, asking for a scholarly debate over several abuses he identified (some of them correctly) in the way the faith was being practiced, and how the common faithful were used by those in power. Somewhat to Luther’s own surprise, his words began a social and religious movement that broke its relationship with the Catholic Church and re-defined many doctrines. Today we call that movement Protestantism. The relations between Catholics and Protestants has not always been friendly. There has been much arguing and identifying each other as heretics. There have been wars that carried the guise of religious zeal. People from different sides have written each other off and gone their separate ways, with little lingering concern about each other. Since the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church has tried a great deal to build bridges with Protestant communities in the hope that the deep rift in Christ’s body that has continued for half of a millennium might be healed. But one of the consequences of that progress may be that we have forgotten what makes us distinctively Catholic, and how valuable those things are. It’s a curious fact that though Catholics and Protestants have historically had very little time for each other (other than to point out each other’s faults), many today, young and old, will look at the whole scene and wonder what the differences between the groups are. The fact is, the Catholic Church acknowledges that any Christian community and any baptized person has a true connection with Christ through the things they have retained from the Church (for instance the Sacred Scriptures, the grace that comes through faith itself and valid baptism, obedience to the Commandments, etc.). Still, those who are not connected to the Apostles through a valid line of Bishops and a valid celebration of the Eucharist are missing essential elements of the Church as Jesus established it and the means of grace those elements provide. A question remains for a great many people, “What should I do if my child has left the Catholic Church?” What is the best way to encourage your children to return to their Catholic faith? Here are some thoughts:



1. Continue to love them as you did before. As central as faith is to one’s life, don’t let this mar the rest of your relationship. If they find their way back to the Church, it will probably have been after walking a long road. 2. Don’t nag them about the faith, but don’t be mum about it either. When our culture fears confrontation or political incorrectness, we feel like we need to tiptoe around religious topics. When your adult children visit, don’t take the weekend off from Mass. Make it a given in your life. Whether they go with you is for them to decide, but you’re sure going! 3. “Always be ready to give a reason for your hope.” (1 Peter 3:15) Know and live your faith. Make it central in your life if you want to give a credible example for someone to remain (or become) Catholic. Avoiding a question you can’t answer by saying “It’s a mystery,” isn’t going to satisfy anyone. 4. Be clear when there are certain things that you just can’t do. If you attend your niece’s or granddaughter’s Lutheran Confirmation ceremony, for instance, you won’t be able to receive Communion there, even though you might be welcomed to do so. The sad fact is that we are not in full communion with non-Catholic Christians, and Communion from their perspectives and ours are vastly different. Your family may be upset by this. That’s okay. Be gracious and respectful, but also be honest. Don’t compromise your conscience. 5. Love Jesus in the sacraments. The sacraments are our keys to an intimate relationship with Jesus. Make a sincere Confession of your sins often and let his grace have its effect on you. Seek out chances to visit Jesus in the Eucharist, whether at a daily Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, or even a visit to your parish at any time of the day. 6. Acknowledge the sincerity of your loved-one’s faith wherever you see it, even if it’s being nurtured through a non Catholic congregation. Even adult children still hunger for their parents’ affirmation, and it can open the relationship to some good conversations. Father Gregory Haman serves as pastor of Holy Rosary Church in LaMoure. He may 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.


FirstChoice Clinic celebrates abortion-pill reversal, rise in clients seeking education and community


ew would argue that when it comes to yearly highlights, the saving of a life would be squarely at the top. FirstChoice Clinic ib Fargo is thrilled to share that, earlier this year, staff assisted a client in reversing the effects of a medical abortion pill, and a few months later, helped the woman welcome her little one into the world. The healthy, nine-pound infant boy’s arrival happened through the mother’s change of heart and assistance from FirstChoice Clinic, who acted quickly to reverse the effects of the abortion pill she’d consumed. According to Denise Cota, Fargo nurse manager, the client had been conflicted over her decision to abort her child through medical means, and began having more doubts after ingesting one of three pills given to her by the Red River Women’s Clinic. She’d sought out FirstChoice earlier for counseling regarding what seemed a truly impossible situation, and had exchanged phone numbers with staff. Several hours after ingesting the RU486 drug, the client sent a text to Denise to ask whether it was too late to change her mind. The abortion facility had told her it was, but some online research made her question this. “We connected her with our medical director, Dr. Richard Vetter, who was able to counsel her on the reversal of the pill,” Denise says. “By the next morning, we had her prescription called into the pharmacy, and an ultrasound scheduled at our clinic. And soon, we had the joy of witnessing the beautiful visual of a baby with a heartbeat safely tucked into his mother’s womb.” Angela Wambach, executive director, says the coordination that helped bring about the reversal was a tremendous achievement, and much gratitude goes to Dr. Vetter for his willingness to be called during evening hours, and respond with his professional advice to save a child’s life. She adds that the abortion-pill reversal was the first of its kind in North Dakota, and that she hopes that by sharing about this successful outcome, others will know it’s possible to save a baby’s life this way with prompt attention. In addition to that great victory, the staff at FirstChoice has been excited to see a growth in the number of clients attending their programs geared towards those choosing to parent or place for adoption, both through its Earn While You Learn parenting education program and the new Life Skills classes. Angela explains that the Life Skills program, which happens in a class-like setting, brings not only education to clients, but the chance for clients to connect with one another and have an opportunity to develop a sense of community through the clinic. “We are also seeing more return for the Earn While You Learn sessions,” she adds. “We have expanded this program to serve more clients and we have more lessons available.”

By FirstChoice Clinic

“When a baby comes, the lives of our clients are changed,” Angela says. “The Life Skills classes provide an opportunity for them to connect with other families, other women in a similar situation in life, and we see friendships and connections made with one another.” Clients have expressed appreciation about this new addition to services. This is indicated, too, by the growth in class sizes. The classes have been implemented in Bismarck and Fargo, with hopes of being added soon to the Devils Lake site. “By working with other organizations, professionals, and agencies in our communities, we are building resources and networks for our clients and hopefully referrals back to our clinic,” Angela adds. “We will continue to network with others in our communities to bring education and assistance to our clients.” First Choice welcomes hearing from those in the community willing to offer their expertise at one of these classes. Just contact one of their clinic locations if you would like to teach a class. Over all, FirstChoice has seen a rise in the number of clients coming in for pregnancy tests and ultrasounds who are abortion-minded, according to Angela, which staff see as a wonderful development, “that we’re having more opportunities to impact lives and change hearts.” As clientele increases, so does a need for resources to help those in need. One of the ways the community can offer support is through attending one of FirstChoice Clinic’s public events. This fall, they will offer several fund-raising, community-building opportunities, including a “Friends Night Out” event in Bismarck, which will take place 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., on Nov. 7 at the Ramkota Inn. Another “Friends Night Out” event is scheduled in Fargo Nov. 6 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Fargo Hilton Garden Inn, and the annual Devils Lake Fall Banquet, “Every Life is a Gift,” will take place Nov. 9 from 7-9 p.m. at the Devils Lake Knights of Columbus Hall. Each of these events will feature guest speaker Gianna Jessen, who survived an attempt at a saline abortion as a baby, and now travels throughout the country to witness to life. The Fargo and Bismarck gatherings will take the place of the banquets that used to happen in the spring, lining up with Devils Lake’s fall event. Each event will offer the community a chance to support FirstChoice while socializing with one another, meeting staff and enjoying delicious appetizers, along with an inspiring talk. Invitations will be mailed to past participants and others on the FirstChoice mailing list, but all are welcome to attend. To register, contact Mona at or (701) 237-5902.



Keeping the promise

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Fargo 701-298-9922

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Devils Lake 701-662-4420/ 1-800-906-6780 LIFE INSURANCE

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Grafton 701-360-0770


Ben Savageau Fargo 701-540-1168

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Bishop Folda helps St. Joseph’s Thrift Store mark 20th anniversary By Paul Braun

Bishop John Folda visits with Grand Forks Mayor Michael Brown, far right, and members of the St. Joseph’s board of directors. (Submitted photo)


ishop John Folda made a visit Sept. 14 to the St. Joseph’s Social Care and Thrift Store in Grand Forks, his first visit since becoming Bishop of the Fargo Diocese in 2013.

Bishop Folda spoke about the call to help others at the center’s 20th anniversary celebration. Since the devastating flood of 1997, St. Joseph’s has been a significant member of the Grand Forks regional community. Formerly known as the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, St. Joseph’s runs a food pantry and thrift store and provides emergency assistance and housing support. Bishop Folda mentioned another anniversary that was 20 years ago in September during his talk with St. Joseph’s staff, board of directors and volunteers. He said it was also 20 years ago when Mother Teresa of Calcutta died. Of course, Mother Teresa made a life of serving the sick and poor. JoAnn Brundin, St. Joseph’s executive director, talked about the great volunteers over the past 20 years and handed out plaques to three of them – Leon Comeau, Tony Scheett and Jan Smidt. Also speaking at the event was Grand Forks Mayor Michael Brown, who said he often shops at the thrift store and that one of his favorite events during the year is St. Joseph’s Empty Bowls Soup Day in November. This year’s Empty Bowls event is Nov. 13 in the St. Michael’s School gymnasium.

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SEARCH program welcomes new leaders Jim and Dori Picard By Kristina Lahr


ver the last 40 years, the SEARCH program has seen three or more generations of retreatants pass through the doors of Maryvale Convent in Valley City. As Jim and Dori Picard, newly hired adult ministers for SEARCH, prepare the future of the program, they are spurred-on by its many fruits and blessings, including those in their own family. “My dad made a SEARCH retreat when he was young Jim and Dori Picard of Fargo and told me ‘SEARCH was are the new leaders of Search the first time I heard or realfor Christian Maturity, a retreat ized that God loved me and program that has drawn youth that changed everything,’” and young adults together to said Dori. greater experience the faith for SEARCH, technically approximately 40 years. (Lifetouch) titled “Search for Christian Maturity,” is a weekend retreat helping youth and young adults on their journey to discover God and Christian community. It is a time to experience a loving, supportive community of young people who want to learn and experience a closer relationship with God and with others. After Tom and Colleen Musgrave led the program for 24 years, SEARCH is now making way for new leaders, Jim and Dori Picard. Jim is a math teacher at Shanley, a Shanley alum, and a co-director for Trinity Youth Camp in the Diocese of Fargo. Dori, originally from Valley City, works as a registered nurse. She has volunteered at various youth events, including Trinity Youth Camp and chaperoning the Walk for Life in Washington, D.C. They say the ability to coordinate SEARCH is an exciting new opportunity but is also nerve-racking considering the high praise given to SEARCH’s previous coordinators. “Everyone loves Tom and Colleen and we love Tom and Colleen,” said Dori. “Theirs are very big shoes to fill.” The Picards aren’t new to SEARCH. Dori attended several retreats as a youth starting when she was 16, while Jim remembered a friend dragging him to his first retreat, but appreciated the experience enough to come back on his own the next year. “Without giving away any secrets, the retreats are really led by the youth,” said Dori. “We do a lot of discernment beforehand figuring out what God is calling each teen and young adult to do on the weekend. After that, we leave it up to them. There are sharings, Mass every day, the rosary. However, each weekend is different because the sharings are different, the theme of the weekend is different and the team is different.” The first time youth and young adults attend a SEARCH 12


retreat, they are served by those who have been on retreats before. They’re given the option to be on the SEARCH team for any following retreats they attend. The youth leaders then serve the new SEARCHers by giving testimonies, serving food, or leading activities. “The new SEARCHers are our priority,” said Jim. “We want to open the faith to them and let them experience it in a slightly different way. That’s priority one, but everyone who attends is going to grow in some way.” “It’s interesting to hear from some people our age who went to SEARCH who have kids now,” said Dori. “They say ‘Ok, I’m just going to have my teen go one time and if they like it, they can go back.’ But I had another family tell me, that they want their teen to go twice, once as a new SEARCHer and once on team because they need to experience that service piece. That really impressed me, that they wanted to instill service in their child.” As Jim and Dori begin coordinating the SEARCH program, they ask that past SEARCHers and all faithful pray for the program, so that it can continue to reach out to those most in need. “Don’t be afraid to encourage someone to go,” said Jim. “A lot of SEARCHers are friends of a team member or have a family member who invited them. Word of mouth is powerful. If you’ve never been on a SEARCH retreat, don’t be afraid to branch out and try it.” “At the absolute base, we want youth to know that they are loved,” said Jim. “To know they have a place in the Catholic faith, they have people who love them and are looking out for them. They have God who loves them. That’s the biggest thing. That’s the heart and soul of what we’re doing.” “So even if you don’t know anyone in SEARCH, don’t be afraid to check it out,” added Dori. Visit

Listed are the SEARCH retreat weekends in 2018. All retreats are held at Maryvale Convent in Valley City. January 12–14 March 2–4 April 13–15 November 2–4

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


Gala dinner planned in Grafton to help build a school in Haiti By Paul Braun

Haitian school children attend Mass and classes in their local church. A school is planned to help separate the grade levels into classrooms. (submitted photo)


t. John the Evangelist Church in Grafton is holding a gala Three anonymous benefactors have come forward and will dinner on Friday, Nov. 3 to both celebrate the saving of the match dollar-for-dollar all money raised during the evening, window, and sowing the seeds of education in their sister excluding the purchase of the tickets, up to $100,000. parish of St. Yves, in Savanette Cabrale, Haiti. To purchase tickets or to make a donation, contact St. John St. John’s has maintained a sister-parish relationship with the Evangelist Catholic Church at (701) 352-1648 by Oct. 25. Haiti for over 25 years and is currently raising funds to build a school within the parish of St. Yves. Currently, school is held in the church, where space, not walls separate grade levels. Noise and distractions abound. For many of the children, the one meal they receive at school is the only meal they will eat that day. “Sowing Seeds in Haiti,” a gala event, will take place at St. John’s to raise funds for the school. Renowned Chef NarDane, who has presented a dessert to John Paul II and cooked for celebrities including Elizabeth Taylor, has donated his time to prepare the meal. The festivities begin at 5:30 p.m. with hors Grand Forks, ND | | 701.746.4337 d’oeuvres followed by dinner and a program. The cost per ticket is $100.

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Bishop John Folda presents the Catholic Charities ND “Caritas Award” to Mike and Shawn Hagstrom of Fargo. The couple was honored Sept. 14 at a luncheon at Sts. Anne and Joachim Church in Fargo. Catholic Charities ND selected the Hagstroms for their work together over their 33 years of marriage in helping the less fortunate and through engagement encounter weekends. The Caritas Award is given annually to persons or organizations in recognition of outstanding service and love to the community who serve those in need, advocate for justice, and convene others to do the same in a manner consistent with Catholic Social Teaching. (Paul Braun | New Earth)

Riverview’s th Anniversary


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Retrouvaille gives hope to struggling marriages

International Retrouvaille team sees Fargo’s success first-hand By Paul Braun

Bill and Sharon Kalber, International Deputy Coordinating Team (Submitted photo)


welve couples gather in a room, not knowing what to expect. Some sit slightly apart, the issues in their marriages driving them further from each other. Many are wondering if the time spent on this particular weekend is worth it. Some couples, at least in their minds, feel it’s too late and have thrown in the towel on their marriages. There are many issues that can break apart a marriage; infidelity, dependency on drugs or alcohol, finances, pornography, but these are just symptoms of what is a greater problem in a relationship. This is where Retrouvaille steps in, to help couples discover that greater problem, and to give them tools to communicate with each other in a way that will help them to rediscover the reasons they fell in love in the first place. Red River Retrouvaille held its second weekend for couples in early September in Fargo. What made the weekend extra special was the couple leading the event. Bill and Sharon Kalber of Chandler, Ariz. are serving this year as the Retrouvaille International Deputy Coordinating Team. In 2018, they will be the lead International Coordinating Team for the entire worldwide program. Bill and Sharon hold Retrouvaille in high esteem, as they once went through the program in an effort to save their struggling marriage. “Usually any major issue that a couple ends up running into is because of a gradual breakdown in their communication,” says Sharon Kalber, who admits her addiction to alcohol almost severed her marriage to Bill until they tried Retrouvaille. “What we try to do is to help teach them a better way to communicate on a deeper level so they can tackle those issues.” “The couples are doing all the work,” says Bill Kalber. “We ask of them a sincere commitment to the program. We give

them the tools, and they have to choose whether to pick those tools up and use them or let them gather dust.” Bill says there are times that the program doesn’t seem to be the answer for some couples, at least temporarily. He tells of couples he has seen arguing in the parking lot before a meeting and they don’t come in. But for other couples, the transformation is evident right away by the end of the first weekend. “It’s amazing to see the growth of the couples,” says Bill. “You see them sitting apart on Friday evening, and then you see them coming together, growing closer throughout the weekend. That’s what feeds our commitment to this ministry, is to see that growth and the healing that takes place.” The weekend retreat is only the beginning of a Retrouvaille experience. Couples are asked to commit to a series of six-totwelve weekend meetings to help them in their progress of using the communication tools they’ve learned. Each Retrouvaille weekend and follow-up meetings are led by local couples who have gone through the program, and can share their experiences with those in struggling marriages. Sometimes it’s just knowing that others have gone through the same troubles that helps couples commit to the program and each other. They see that they are not alone in unconsciously trying to find ways to compensate for a failed marriage. “You look for anything else to alleviate the pain of a crumbling relationship which is because of a lack of communication,” says Sharon. “If you’re able to communicate in a different way, on an intimate, personal, emotional-feeling level, you can have a discussion, which is different than dialogue, and work on those issues in your marriage. When you’re more intimate in your relationship on an emotional level, then when you discuss an issue, you’re more likely to have more empathy and compassion for your spouse, rather than yelling or going in circles, trying to prove I’m right and you’re wrong. When you are connected to each other emotionally, you talk to each other differently.” Retrouvaille is for any couple facing the potential break-up of a marriage. Although it is Catholic in origin, the program is for people of all faiths, and even for those who lack a faith background. In addition, no couple is ever denied the chance to heal their marriage due to the inability to pay the costs of the program. Red River Retrouvaille is supported by the Diocese of Fargo Office of Marriage and Family Life. Bill Kalber says the support shown by the Fargo Diocese for this program is an example for other dioceses to emulate. “This has been one of the best start-ups for a Retrouvaille community, especially through the support of Bishop Folda and the Fargo Diocese,” says Bill. “To be honest with you, I haven’t seen a diocese like this.” For more information on Red River Retrouvaille, call the Diocesan Office of Marriage and Family Life at (701) 356-7900 NEW EARTH OCTOBER 2017



Mary Pat Jahner, director of St. Gianna’s Maternity Home, holds Aubrey during a past housemother’s wedding on June 9 at. St. Stanislaus Church in Warsaw. Past residents of St. Gianna’s, Geianna and Kassity were bridesmaids and Aubrey, born to one of the mothers living at St. Gianna’s, was the flower girl. (submitted photo)

St. Gianna’s Maternity Home a place of hope, renewal By Kristina Lahr


cross the street from St. Stanislaus Church in Warsaw, is one of the North Dakota’s best-kept secrets in building a culture of life. “I’ve talked to people five miles away in Minto who don’t know what it is,” said Crissy, who was a resident there from 2007-09. St. Gianna’s Maternity Home, a 9,000 square foot historic building originally used as a boarding school, is now a home, a place of hope, renewal, and life. St. Gianna’s is a place for women who are pregnant and need a safe place to live. Their mission is to show these mothers the love of Christ and the joy of experiencing that love. “Our mission is to help women who find themselves alone and pregnant and have no place to go and no support,” said Mary Pat Jahner, director of St. Gianna’s Maternity Home. “That isn’t every unplanned pregnancy. Sometimes there are family or people who can help. But one of the things we’ve learned with this work is how alone in the world some people are. Some people truly have no one. They live couch-to-couch or in a car 16


before they find us. The women who come here… everything else and everyone else has failed them. Our mission is to serve them, make them feel loved, and raise their dignity.” Like many women who once lived in the home, Crissy remembers fondly her experience at St. Gianna’s. She was 15 years old and 20 weeks pregnant when she moved there and called it home until she was able to finish high school. “I was really scared at first, but it’s like a family,” she said. “I became comfortable right away. I still talk to Mary Pat all the time. The girls who live here become like her grandchildren.” Crissy is now married, raising three children, studying to be a nurse, and helping out at St. Gianna’s as needed. “I’m so grateful I can fill in here now and then because it’s a way for me to give back for everything they did for me,” she said. Many mothers who arrive at St. Gianna’s come having experienced fear, rejection and loneliness. Expecting a child can be overwhelming especially if a mother is not getting the support she needs from family or from the father of the child. “As these women enter the home, their dignity is raised,”

COVER STORY said Mary Pat. “They’re not expecting a beautiful home. They’re expecting a shelter with used and dirty things. But we keep it clean and well-kept so that these women will see their dignity just by entering the building.” With a chapel in the home and the presence of housemothers, St. Gianna’s can be a place of calm and reflection for women who have some big decisions ahead. What will they do with their baby? Are they able to parent or will they give the baby for adoption? “About a fourth of the women will place for an adoption,” said Mary Pat. “It’s not an easy option. It’s a beautiful, selfless option, but it takes encouragement and counseling. At St. Gianna’s, they have time and a place to make these decisions, especially after some of the chaos that may have been their life to this point.” When then Bishop Samuel Aquila blessed the home in 2004, he said these words: “Just as our blessed mother carried the love of Christ with us, we as Christians must in turn reach out to others with the same love. The St. Gianna Maternity Home will now reach out to women in need, who out of fear and desperation might otherwise choose abortion.” The first woman to live at St. Gianna’s came in 2004, and the first baby was born Oct. 22 of that year. That child is almost 13-years-old today. “We started off calling ourselves a pro-life shelter. Now we call ourselves a pro-life home of formation,” said Mary Pat. “It’s not a place where they have a bed and a little to-do list and live their own life. We very much live as a family here. There

Father Joseph Christensen, FMI, walks Crissy down the aisle before celebrating Mass for her wedding at St. Stanislaus Church in Warsaw (submitted photo)

are some rules… very limited cell phone use, limited TV and computer. The first couple of weeks are an adjustment for people but after that, they don’t miss those things. They see a different lifestyle. Some of them may come from a life where they stayed up until 2-3 in the morning playing video games, sleep until noon and then eat frozen pizza on the couch. So while we see our life here as very peaceful, they’re changing radically to come here, but in the end have a much healthier and productive life if they give us a chance.” When a woman moves into St. Gianna’s, they are asked to say grace before meals, attend Sunday Mass and gather for night prayer. “If there’s one thing we want to instill in them it’s a sense of gratitude,” said Mary Pat. “We’re blessed to live in a beautiful home and we’re blessed by other people’s sacrifices and prayers. We live the faith here, celebrating the traditions and living as a Catholic family.” In some cases, the women will join the Catholic Church and have their babies baptized. “I joined the Catholic Church while living here,” said Crissy. “It was amazing to just have that, on top of everything else they’d given me. It really is a family. Girls move in and move out and I still talk to a lot of the girls I lived with. They’re still my best friends, my sisters really.” Robbyne Sands, who was once a housemother and is now on the board of directors for St. Gianna’s, said, “So many seeds have been planted and now they’re sprouting all over. So much that Mary Pat and the housemothers and Father Christensen have given them is immeasurable.” “It’s a big team here,” said Mary Pat. “The people who are involved with this work are six faithful board members, housemothers who live here, and Father Joseph. We have top-notch people here. It’s beautiful to see who God brings together.” When St. Gianna’s was just an idea, Mary Pat fondly remembers urging prayers for “nuns and funds.” “As we were praying for a religious community, we assumed it was going to be nuns, but God answered with brothers and priests instead,” she said. “It’s answered our prayers more than we thought. Almost every woman is here because the men in their life have failed them and they don’t know what a holy man is. Their own fathers and fathers of their babies have abandoned them. So for them to see Father Joseph and Brother Francis, they see what a holy man can be. And that’s not just me saying that. Some of the women who’ve stayed with us have said that too.” The average stay for a woman is about a year. In that time, she is able to give birth to her child with dignity and is assisted with shelter, food, clothing, finding a good doctor, counseling, and educational opportunities, including the chance to learn job skills and parenting skills. “Education is very important,” said Colleen Samson, president of St. Gianna’s Maternity Home. “Whether it’s high school, college classes, or nursing aid classes, the home makes arrangements so that people can better themselves. If they don’t have their high school degree, that’s required whether they’re teens or 40 years old.” NEW EARTH OCTOBER 2017



Little Aubrey assists Father Joseph with lighting the candles before Mass in St. Gianna’s chapel. (submitted photo)

“Some are here for only a few days, and we know the Lord wanted us to love and pray for them for that time,” said Mary Pat. “Even those who were here a short time... we hear back from them, thanking us.” Mary Pat once received a phone call from a 12-year-old girl who lived at St. Gianna’s six years ago with her mother. She thanked everyone at St. Gianna’s for what they did for her family and recalled fond memories of the place. “It’s a place where people feel safe and people feel loved,” said Mary Pat. Mary Pat also said that half of the work at St. Gianna’s is with women after they leave the house. “They still struggle,” she said. “They still don’t have a lot of people to support them so their home, their family, is us. So we continue to work with them and their needs and joys and struggles. While the women are transitioning out, we encourage them to work, we get them a bed and a down payment for rent and usually they have a little money saved. So we give them every opportunity to start a new life.” “Mary Pat can remember everyone who’s stayed here and their child,” said Robbyne. “She has this love in her heart for every single person here. It doesn’t just stop here when they leave. She is in contact with all these women and children. It really is amazing.”



“St. Gianna truly loved life and that’s what we try to imitate here,” said Mary Pat. “We try to love life and live life in the spirit of St. Gianna.” St. Gianna Molla was a pediatrician who was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness but refused treatment while pregnant with her fourth child despite knowing her refusal could result in her own death. She died in 1962 and was canonized a saint in 2004. Her daughter, Gianna Emanuela is alive today. “I’ve been helped by the home as well,” said Robbyne. “My sister was pregnant with her fourth baby and found out that the baby could be born very ill. She had spots on her brain and her heart. And Mary Pat reached out with the relics of St. Gianna here in the chapel. And Gianna, the baby, was born completely healthy. This place has touched so many hearts.” St. Gianna’s intercession has been powerful for couples experiencing infertility as well. Some couples even conceived twins and triplets after asking for St. Gianna’s intercession. “This home, it’s a message of hope,” said Colleen. “It’s a place of hope for these ladies who have no other home otherwise. There’s a whole army of supporters who have really given their lives to support this great mission of life.” If you know anyone who could use any of St. Gianna’s Maternity Home’s services, please share with them this place of hope and renewal. Women of all faiths are welcome. Visit

A statue of the pregnant Virgin Mary at St. Gianna’s Maternity Home. (Kristina Lahr | New Earth)

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: September 19, 2017. 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: Paul Braun, 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: September 2017. 15. Extent and Nature of Circulation: Ave. No. Copies Actual No. Copies Each Issue of Single Issue During Preceding Published Nearest 12 Months to Filing Date A. Total No. Copies (Net Press Run) 24,253 24,150 B. Paid and/or Requested Circulation in-country 23,953 23,903 C. Total Paid and/or Requested Circulation 23,953 23,903 D. Free Distribution by Mail (Samples, Complimentary, and Other Free Copies) 125 122 E. Distribution Outside the Mail 125 122 F. Total Distribution 24,078 24,025 G. Copies Not Distributed 1. Office Use, Leftovers, Spoiled 175 125 H. Total 24,253 24,150 I. Percent paid 99.48% 99.49% 16. This Statement of Ownership has been printed in the October 2017 issue of this publication. 17. Signature and Title of Editor, Publishers, Business Manager, or Owner. Paul Braun, Editor

“Who except God can give you peace? Has the world ever been able to satisfy the heart?” –St. Gerard Majella





Biomedicine and Beatitude: Encountering bioethical dilemmas with confidence By Joshua Gow | Religion Teacher at Shanley High School

contraception, and reproductive assistance as well as proper patient care, ethics of physicians, and end of life issues. In all these areas, Father Austriaco gives Church teaching, but dives deeper into the issues. For example, in discussing abortion, Father Austriaco gives the definitive teaching, but also addresses common arguments for abortion and offers responses, as well as ethical resolution of ectopic pregnancies (pregnancies where the embryo implants in the fallopian tube). One valuable feature of this work is the depth that Father A review of Catholic books, movies, music Austriaco provides to these bioethical issues. The work covers a wide array of bioethical issues, but each issue receives its due “Father Austriaco’s intense formation and explanation and precision of Church teaching. While this depth study shine brilliantly through this work of content would easily lend itself to a reference text, Father Austriaco’s book is a very easy read, as he utilizes his preaching as a light to all looking for a definitive charism and makes the issues approachable to the reader. demonstration of the Church’s teaching Another distinctive feature that sets this work apart from others, Catholic sources, is the care Father Austriaco gives to to difficult bioethical issues.” – Joshua Gow even setting all the issues within the framework of beatitude. Beatitude, happiness, is the source and goal of the Christian moral life, he current cultural milieu of secularism and questionable and provides a foundation for Catholic moral theology. Father ethical frameworks does not lend itself to much clarity in Austriaco notes this at the beginning of his work and is intenthe realm of bioethics. Many people, physicians and patients tional to reiterate this point throughout. Every topic, after being alike, make important fundamental decisions based upon an covered from a doctrinal perspective, is given an examination in enlarged respect for autonomy, or a vague understanding of the the light of Beatitude. How can one live virtuously when facing human person and the dignity reserved to him. With the rapid an end of life decision? Where does virtue lie in the decision to influx of bioethical issues the average Catholic faces, having a carry a child to term? How does Christ challenge you to grow resource that is precise and true to Magisterial teaching would in carrying the cross of infertility? This deliberate piece after offer an ideal foundation to prepare oneself to encounter these every issue is a beautiful touch from Father Austriaco, and it bioethical dilemmas with confidence. solidifies the teaching of the Church by allowing the teaching Enter the book Biomedicine and Beatitude by Father Nicanor to be incarnated, to meet the practicality of life. Austriaco. Father Austriaco is an ideal candidate for the field of In short, Father Austriaco’s work covers a profound look at bioethics, bringing a wealth of experience and formation. Before the basic issues in bioethics. The clarity with which he explains entering the Dominican order, Father Austriaco earned a Ph.D. the complex issues facing humanity today is appreciated, and in microbiology from MIT, an advanced degree he continues his pastoral care is genuine. This work will prove invaluable to use to this day by studying and lecturing on biology. Addi- not only to those looking for answers to a familial issue facing tionally, Father Austriaco was formed as a Dominican at the them now, but to all of us who are very likely going to be faced Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C. and earned with an issue in the future. a license to teach sacred theology from the Dominican House of Studies as well as the University of Fribourg. In short, Father Austriaco has been through the academic gauntlet as both a biologist and a theologian and understands rigorous scholarship in both disciplines. About the Book: Why is Father Austriaco’s formation significant to his written work? His devotion to proper scholarship in both disciplines “Biomedicine and Beatitude” plays a vital role in the field of bioethics, a field which is rapidly by Father Nicanor Austriaco. engulfing both the fields of biology, theology, and philosophy. Published by Catholic University Father Austriaco’s intense formation and study shine brilliantly of America Press (July 30, 2012) through this work as a light to all looking for a definitive demonstration of the Church’s teaching to difficult bioethical issues. In this work, Father Austriaco covers a wide variety of bioethical topics. He engages beginning of life issues on abortion,





s ’ a i l i c e C . t S rner Co A family of musicians at St. Joseph’s in Devils Lake Submitted by St. Joseph’s Church, Devils Lake

Ternes Family of Musicians; Kyle, Allison, Taylor, Alexis, Andrew and Trinity. (Submitted photo)

helps at school Masses. He has played trumpet and drums for special Masses. Trinity, an eight-year-old third grader, is beginning to sing and has played alongside the family with her violin and piano. The Ternes Family works closely each week with a wonderful, steadfast group of volunteer musicians and cantors in their parish. Many of these individuals have been volunteering their time and talents for many years. Collectively, the musician group provides awareness that music adds to the beauty of each Mass.  

St. Cecilia’s Corner highlights the musicians and music program of churches around the diocese. To feature your parish music program, send a photo and information to:

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t. Joseph Church in Devils Lake had a unique change to their music coordinator position. In November 2016, the Ternes family took over the position. Kyle and Allison, along with their four children, enjoy the active role they are able to take at St. Joseph. Kyle began playing guitar at St Joseph when he moved to Devils Lake in 1996. Over the past 20 years, he has added the piano, organ and mandolin. Allison began singing alongside Kyle after they were married in 1998. She also plays the trumpet. They have encouraged their children to take on an active part in music as well. Taylor, a 17-year-old senior, played his first Mass in January 2008 at the age of eight. He plays the organ, piano, guitar and trumpet for Mass. Alexis, a 15-year-old sophomore, is involved through singing, playing the flute, guitar and most recently the violin. Andrew, a 10-year-old fifth grader at St. Joseph school, has started to play the organ and piano at Mass. He is also

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Helping the needy where I live

Schmitz wins Catholic Daughters of the Americas national essay contest By Monica Schmitz


onica Schmitz won first place in her age group in the Essay Division of Catholic Daughters of the Americas 2017 National Education Contest. This year’s theme was “Helping the Needy Where You Live.” Schmitz wrote about her visits to two friends in Harvey’s nursing home. She placed first at the local and state levels before advancing to the national level. She is the daughter of Ron and Janine Schmitz of Harvey. Her essay is reprinted here. In the past year I have learned so much about what it is like living with polio, living through the Great Depression, and what it is like having to ride horse to school each day. I’ve been visiting with two wonderful people. For Lent last year, I was pondering what I should give up and I came upon the idea of doing something I don’t think many teens would do. I started to visit two people who live in the nursing home. Every Wednesday, I visited them for about a half hour. These two people do not have much family who visit them. After the Lenten season, I have continued to go into the nursing home to visit. Both have brought me so many smiles to my face, I absolutely love talking with them. Every week we find something different to talk about. The older man, Marvin, was born in 1917. He lived on a farm with his parents. He had no siblings. Marvin loved horses and still does. He had a few of his own when he was young. He rode them several miles to school each day. Marvin also loves dogs very much. He has always had a dog until he had to enter the nursing home. Marvin is such a sweet man. I’ve known him since I was young. We have so many interests in common. I have horses and love animals, also. During our visits, it’s so fun to talk about horses, cattle, farming days, and more. When he sees me coming, his face lights up. I can see it means a lot to him that someone cares about him.  At the end of the visits, I tell him, “Marvin, I’ve got to get going.” He tears up when I leave. He loves company so much. The older lady I visit is Viola. Viola is the sweetest person. She suffers from polio, a disease that affects your bones and muscles and is very painful. She doesn’t show her pain – she’s a very



tough lady. And while she was young, she lived through the Great Depression and that made life even harder for her. When I visit her, we always find something to talk about. Whether it be the weather, animals, farming, school, etc. During her first couple of years in the home, she helped the workers fold napkins and was always willing to help them. In the last few years, her polio has really limited her activity. She wears a leg brace because she is unable to stand without it. Viola doesn’t let anything stop her, though. I love helping her in the dining room and pushing her in her wheelchair back to her room. Our conversations brighten their days and bring smiles to their faces. They need that love and company. Plus, I enjoy the time spent with them. I’ve learned a lot from this. Taking an hour out of your day can make another person’s day. It makes you feel good about yourself, too. I also have learned a lot of history by hearing about their childhoods.  I still continue to visit. I still love it. Who would have thought that just thirty minutes of your day would make someone else’s day?

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Young adults gather at Nativity Church in Fargo for a FargoMoorhead i.d.9:16 Disciple Night. i.d.9:16 is a young adult ministry new to the area that meets that hopes to deepen personal conversion, foster communion, and help young adults understand what it means to be Catholic disciples in the world today. (Kristina Lahr | New Earth)

Fargo-Moorhead i.d.9:16 a new young adult ministry to the area By Jackie Gow


argo-Moorhead i.d.9:16 is a ministry by and for young adults in the Fargo-Moorhead area. We began about six years ago as a parish-based Catholic young adult ministry. Over the years, this ministry grew, and people from other parishes expressed interest. Last October, a group of about 20 men and women gathered for prayer and discernment about what the Lord might be inviting us to start in the F-M area. These young adults eventually formed a leadership team and have spent the last nine months preparing to launch a chapter of a national outreach to Catholic young adults called i.d.9:16. We officially launched F-M i.d.9:16 on Aug. 3 of this year. Our ministry is geared towards young adults, 20s, 30s, single, married, with or without kids, who live in Fargo-Moorhead and surrounding areas.

pelling talk centered on one of the four pillars of discipleship: Initiate Conversion, Foster Communion, Embrace Truth, Arouse Mission. What’s really cool is that all of the i.d.9:16 chapters across the United States gather together on the same evening, at the same time, for Disciples’ Nights. Each chapter celebrates Mass and enjoys dinner on their own, and then we all tune into the same live-stream talk. Following the talk, we have discussion at our tables and tune-in again for live Q&A where we can ask questions via social media. We end the evening with prayer and time to socialize.

What about opportunities outside of Disciples’ Nights?

FM i.d.9:16 participants are also encouraged to join a Men’s or Women’s Discipleship Group. These bi-monthly small groups What’s with the name? serve two purposes: Many people ask us, “What does your name mean?” • To provide a smaller environment where effective discipleship The “i.d.” stands for our identity as intentional disciples of material can be examined, discussed, and applied to each Jesus Christ. The term “disciple” means a student, a learner, a person’s life. follower. By “intentional,” we mean that our decision to follow Christ is conscious and deliberate. As “intentional disciples,” • To develop life-giving relationships where members can we seek to actively embrace Jesus’ call to holiness and mission. be encouraged, challenged, loved, and held accountable. The “9:16” comes from 1 Corinthians 9:16 where Paul writes, In addition, we network with other Catholic ministries and “If I preach the gospel, this gives me no ground for boasting, for area parishes to spread the word about events and other faith necessity has been laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach or social opportunities with which i.d.9:16 participants can get involved. the Gospel.” This verse emphasizes the privilege and duty placed upon each disciple to be directly engaged in the evangelistic mission of the Church. It is here that disciples find their deepest identity. Evangelization is not an optional extra, but an essential element of the life of a disciple.

How do I get involved?

If you’re a young adult or know someone who is, we invite you to check out our website at where you will find more information about upcoming Disciples’ Nights and other events. If you’re a young adult interested in learning more about our leadership opportunities, please contact us at What do you do? We gather on the first Thursday of every month for Disciples’ Night. The purpose of this gathering is to help deepen personal We invite all young adults to join us at our next Disciples conversion, foster communion, and grow in an understanding Night, Thursday, Nov. 2. Childcare is provided throughout the evening. Register at of what it means to be Catholic disciples in the world today. Each Disciples’ Night consists of Mass, dinner, and a com- Jackie Gow is the Youth and Young Adult Minister at Nativity Church in Fargo. NEW EARTH OCTOBER 2017




Faith in hard times bears fruit that will last By Father Bert Miller

n Catholic Charities ND weekend, Sept. 23-24, the Gospel reading was about the landowner who went to hire workers at dawn, 9 a.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. That reading brings to mind an old man preparing for death. I was visiting with him about his life and what I would say at his wake and funeral. I knew a lot about him. I observed that his son had been the parish trustee/lay representative for a decade or more many years ago. I asked him if he had ever held this post. He said he had. He said it was a long time ago, probably before modern bookkeeping and reporting such information to the diocese. (Maybe that is why I did not know it!) He had been the trustee in the Dirty Thirties. He said he got the appointment without knowing what it would entail. But soon enough, the old Monsignor was talking about starting a Catholic School. “There was no building. Where are we going to have a school?” the old man recalled saying. Monsignor told the man, “You will build it!” So they designed a two-story building with six classrooms, a room for the sisters to sleep in, a kitchen, bathrooms, a meeting room, a basketball court, area for the basketball spectators, a music room and a furnace room. The parish had no money. It was in a rural area; the crops were dismal. Families were large. Everyone was just getting by. Monsignor got a little more cash every day; they were always able to pay the day workers. It was the old man’s job to get the workers every day. So like in the Gospel, he said, he would go out in his Model-T at daybreak and search the streets for the most productive workers. 24


They were most productive because they were ready early so they could get a full day’s work. The man said that after he opened his own shop for the day, he would take a break to see what had been accomplished at the worksite, and then he would drive around and see if any more workers had awakened for the day. At 10 a.m., he would hire some more workers and send them to the worksite. At lunchtime, he would have lunch with his wife and children, and then check the worksite and the streets for more workers. He would do this again at the afternoon break. Monsignor and the old man had plenty of happy workers. They did not get paid very well, but they were happy to be involved in building the school that many of their children would attend as the years passed. And soon, the school was completed. The sisters came to teach; some of them were only a few years older than the oldest students. The assisting priest was busy each day at the school as was the basketball coach and leader of any other sports the children wanted to play. The faith of the Monsignor, the faith of the old man, the faith of the parish, the faith of the many workers, the faith of the sisters and assisting priests, and the faith of parents built a school on Gospel values and in the spirit of the Gospel, seeking workers all the time for the realization of the Kingdom of God on Earth. The building exists now as a parish center almost 90 years after it was built. The school closed about 50 years ago. Father Bert Miller serves as pastor at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Park River and St. Luke’s Catholic Church in Veseleyville. 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



Working together to help moms in need

ave you ever heard it said that Catholics demand women to choose life for their babies but don’t help them prepare for or provide for that child? Those who are pro-life may often hear this or something similar, but I don’t believe it’s true. While organizations have long existed to help expectant mothers, it seems there is more support today than ever before. This is especially true here in North Dakota. In the last decade, it has been amazing to see the outpouring of support for mothers, and fathers, with an unplanned pregnancy. For example, St. Gianna Maternity Home has been around for more than 10 years. It’s hard to believe that many years have gone by since dedicated supporters and volunteers restored their beautiful building in Warsaw. This was due to the vision of director Mary Pat Jahner, who had taught religion classes at St. Anthony Middle School in Fargo, and others. Similarly, the Jeremiah Program, based in the Twin Cities with its newest location in Fargo, helps raise mothers and children out of poverty two generations at a time. In Fargo, there’s FirstChoice, led faithfully by Susan Richards and other faithful leaders over the years, and the Perry Center, that offer help and support to women and infants. Roxanne Solomen has inspired many with her writing, and Rachelle Sauvageau works quietly but tirelessly in the Diocesan Respect Life Office. FirstChoice in particular is known for its generous “Earn while you Learn” program that offers new parents free education and infant supplies. FirstChoice also has clinics in Bismarck and Devils Lake. Grand Forks has the Women’s Pregnancy Center, and Minot is blessed to have the Dakota Hope Clinic, opened within the last two years. None of these pregnancy clinics are adoption placement agencies however. This makes the adoption work of Catholic Charities essential and important in providing comprehensive support and options to women in need. Of the women Catholic Charities journeys with, about half choose parenting and half adoption. And when someone at FirstChoice or St. Gianna’s makes a loving choice to make an adoption plan for their child, Catholic Charities North Dakota’s Pregnancy, Parenting, and Adoption Services (PPAS) can assist birthparents to find the right adoptive family for a child. The purpose of the PPAS program goes beyond not only providing women free and confidential information about their birth options for parenting or adoption, it desires that each of these babies are born into the most stable situation possible. Our dedicated licensed social workers are trained and experienced in helping these women in difficult situations and PPAS Director Kris Haycraft takes the approach that “each of these moms should be wrapped in love and services in order to be the most prepared for their baby.” As she explains, “Nobody can be a great parent until their own basic needs are met. You can’t be your best as a parent if you are worrying about where your next meal will come from or where you will stay for the night. We believe that people, babies or adults, should not just survive but should thrive.”

One of the most interesting developments in adoption is the increase in what are called “open adoptions.” In Catholic an “open adoption” Charities the birth parent and Corner the new adoptive parents agree to Chad Prososki maintain some level of contact, from as little as yearly updates to as much as regular visits with each other. This way a birth mother can still see her child grow and develop into a successful young woman or man, and the child will know his or her history and that their birthparents also love them. To learn more about how this works watch our new video at or contact Kris Haycraft, PPAS Director. There are many caring people working together to provide life-affirming support to those in need. However, far too many women still walk this journey alone. If a woman experiencing an unplanned pregnancy had a dozen phone numbers to call, and kind, friendly people she could visit with willing to help her, wouldn’t that be a wonderful choice to have? If you know someone in need, please let any of these great organizations know so that person can get the help and support they need. All of these nonprofits do excellent work, and we’re blessed at Catholic Charities North Dakota to also play an important role. Chad Prososki is the Director of Development and Community Relations for Catholic Charities North Dakota. For more than 90 years, Catholic Charities North Dakota and its supporters have been putting their faith in action helping people, changing lives. You can reach Chad at or (701) 235-4457.




Catholic social doctrine rooted in dignity of the human person


tephen Bannon, the former strategist for President Catholic Donald Trump, Action expressed strong opposition to the Christoper Dodson U.S. Catholic bishops’ position on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Disagreement with the Catholic bishops by itself might not have been noteworthy. The reasons for his position, however, drew swift reaction from the office of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and illustrate a fundamental misunderstanding about Catholic social doctrine. Bannon, who made the comments during an interview taped for 60 Minutes, stated that when it came to DACA and other immigration issues the bishops were not expressing doctrine and that their motivation was only to fill pews with “illegal aliens.” Cardinal Timothy Dolan, whom Bannon specifically mentioned, called the statements “preposterous” and “insulting.” A spokesperson for the USCCB reacted with similar words and added that “welcoming immigrants is indispensable to our faith” and that to “suggest otherwise is absurd.” The USCCB statement explained that the “witness of the Catholic bishops on issues from pro-life to pro-marriage to pro-health care to pro-immigration reforms is rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ rather than the convenient political trends of the day” and is “based on fidelity to God’s word.” One has to wonder which is more offensive, imputing to the bishops motives of economic gain or the arrogance to proclaim that he, rather than the shepherds of the church, know better what is and is not church doctrine. Offensiveness aside, the relegation of a core teaching of the church as something other than doctrine is the most pernicious. The moment a teaching is considered not doctrine it is an easy step from there to diminish it to a mere opinion and then impute self-interest by the church. Catholic social doctrine is rooted in the universal dignity of the human person and the rights that flow from that dignity. The church’s interest in the public sphere is not self-interest. It is the interest of human persons whether they be Catholic, Protestant, Hindu, Muslim, or any faith or no faith. I first witnessed this misunderstanding over twenty years ago during my first legislative session working for the North Dakota Catholic Conference. A proposed legislative change would have interfered with the right of churches and other nonprofits from posting signs along highways. When I testified about the proposal legislators assumed that I was concerned about a specific sign used by a particular Catholic parish. I assured them that I was not aware of any sign and that our concern was about the rights of all churches. Several legislators seemed unable to grasp my point and continued to think that if they got protections this particular sign — about which I had 26


no idea — the Catholic conference would be satisfied. That same year I was asked if the conference was concerned that a particular proposal would be a burden to a particular Catholic hospital. I explained that it would not, but more importantly that the conference mission was about health care for all, not about keeping open Catholic facilities. And so it goes. The Catholic bishops advocate for school choice because parents have a fundamental right to choose the educational setting for their children and because all children have an inherent right to an education. We would advocate for school choice even if the state had no Catholic schools. The North Dakota Catholic Conference opposes anti-religious law (anti-Sharia) bills, even if they were amended to protect Catholic canon law, because everyone should have their religious rights respected. The conference supports refugee resettlement because of the church’s teaching on immigration, not because Catholic Charities of North Dakota receives funding for resettlement. It doesn’t. It supports the common closing laws because human communities need a shared time of recreation, not because it wants to make people attend church on Sunday morning. The claim, by the way, ranks up there with Bannon’s comments on the ridiculous scale. The North Dakota Catholic Conference has long advocated for health care conscience rights for all and has resisted efforts to craft legislation that would give opt-out rights only for those procedures that Catholics usually oppose such as abortion and sterilization. Human rights belong to all health care workers, not just to those with lobbying influence. The conference strenuously opposes “religious exemptions” that apply only if a church primarily serves its own adherents. People have the right to serve whomever they want. Whether it is advocacy for the poor, health care for all, the rights of immigrants, protection of all human life, the importance of families, or care for God’s creation, the Catholic bishops, motivated by adherence to Catholic doctrine, engage in public policy not out of self-interest, but out of respect for the dignity of every human life. Against a world that is motivated by self-interest, Catholic social doctrine takes a stand for all human persons. One does not need to be Catholic, however, to recognize and respect the inherent human dignity of all persons. It is knowable by reason and should be the basis of all public policy. Once we ignore or fail to recognize this universal principle, we project our own motivations of self-interest onto others. We assume that every person and institution is pursuing its own interest. We end up diminishing all public discourse. We end up diminishing ourselves. 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



veryone’s discernment is different, and without being pessimistic, I can relate mine to the sorrowful mysteries. Now, I’m sure people can relate their own discernment to any mystery, but this just came to mind for me one day when driving to the seminary. For me, the sorrowful mysteries capture the difficulties in my discernment, but also the hidden joys/gifts that are found within discernment and the priesthood. That is why I call this quasi-poem, “What a gift.” “The first sorrowful mystery… the agony in the garden.” When a young person goes through school, they may experience the Lord in different ways through many different emotions; happiness, sorrow, etc. So, a calling to the priesthood for a young man can be subtle or obvious. Many young men suffer in their discernment after the initial call, through periods of confusion and misunderstandings. Similar to the Lord’s agony, there is fear and even a certain mourning that we undertake when we hear our call. Of course, being called to the priesthood doesn’t mean we are going to literally suffer the events of the sorrowful mysteries, but some young men can’t help but say… “Lord, if it be possible, let this cup pass” (Matt. 26:39). The devil can attack us in many ways, but the Lord is clever and uses these attacks at times and turns them into gifts. “The second sorrowful mystery… the scourging…” When a man discerns that he is called to enter the seminary for a more intensive discernment, he understands that there could be times of drought in prayer, also times for joy. Like the scourging at the pillar, one is stung by the crack of the whip. Each little sweet sting is one step closer to holiness, because it tears away our old self and makes us a new man. This sweet suffering will lead us to be what we are called to be. As soon as the sharpening has torn away the old self, we can ready ourselves for the crown of the priesthood. What a gift. “The third sorrowful mystery… the crowning of thorns.” As Christ was crowned with the burden of kingship, so we are crowned when we become priests. We are given the weight and thorns that Christ was crowned with. We receive the honor and the burden to be a shepherd of peoples. What a perfect crown, a crown of humility, but isn’t that a weird way to adorn a crown? This crown is not visibly a glorious one that is adorned with jewels, but it is a crown with the adornment of thorns that glorifies this man in the humility of it. What a perfect, beautiful crown. What a gift. “The fourth sorrowful mystery… the carrying of the cross.” The road of the priesthood is one that is laid with many difficulties, but also many, powerful lights along the way. They face taunts, lies, and deceit that try to bring them down. They may fall, but Our Lady, the saints, and encouraging parishioners are those lights that lift them up again. As Christ carried his beautiful burden he witnessed the sins of the Church as he embraced taunts and rocks thrown at him. Every time he faltered, I imagine he looked into the crowd for those little lights of encouragement. Those lights… what a gift.

What a gift “The fifth sorrowful mystery… the crucifixion.” The final part Seminarian and climax of this Life drama happened when he was nailed Ethan Kaste to the very burden he carried. On his shoulders were the weight of the sins of the church, which he kissed, even though it was the instrument of his own death. He was nailed to the very thing he loved. He forced himself upon this cross made up of sinners, perhaps to be nailed to us. At our hands, we were the instrument of his death. Just like the crown, the priest gets yet another ironic reward. A priest is willing to do anything and everything for his bride, even if that means he will be martyred by his own. Like a father, a priest is willing to die for the those whom he defends, his own children. In reality, this cross becomes a gift: “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). You see, the priest actually becomes the greatest example of love a person can witness, and this can only be shared from the view of the cross. And when the time comes for his passing, he is greeted by one who has brought so much hope to others, the penultimate intercessor, and there the handmaiden grabs his hands, kisses them knowing whose hands they are and escorts him to paradise. What a gift! Kaste is in the Spirituality Year program at St. John Vianney Seminary in Denver, Colo. Editor’s Note: Seminarian Life is a monthly column written by current Diocese of Fargo seminarians. It gives New Earth readers a glimpse of what these discerning young men are experiencing. Please continue to pray for them.




Tax advantages for charitable giving Gifts of Crops, IRA’s and the ND Tax Credit


he end of the year is fast approaching and this is a good time Stewardship to remind folks Steve Schons of some generous tax incentives regarding charitable giving. Here is an update on three popular ways of giving, especially when it comes to supporting your local parish or diocesan program. 1. ND Tax Credit. A few years ago, ND legislatures passed a bill that allowed a very generous tax credit to those who make a charitable gift to a ND qualified endowment. 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 filing jointly. However, credits can be carried-over for up to three years.

self-employment taxes, and is further allowed to deduct the expenses related to the production of that grain on Schedule F in the year paid. This is a wonderful way to provide first fruits to God’s service without bearing the burden of Caesar’s Tax. 3. IRA Charitable Rollover. If you are over age 70 1/2, the Federal government permits you 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 be $1000, $10,000 or any amount up to $100,000 this year. The gift satisfies your RMD (Required Minimum Distribution) for this year. 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 at (701) 356-7926 or Steve Schons is director of stewardship and development for the Diocese of Fargo.

$5,000 $25,000 $50,000 *Federal estimated tax savings -$1,250 -$6,250 -$12,500 ND state income tax credit -$2,000 -$10,000 -$20,000 Net “Cost” of Gift $1,750 $8,750 $17,500 *assuming the marginal tax rate on an individual return is as listed and the donor can benefit from itemizing deductions on Federal Schedule A.



Each catholic parish in the Diocese of Fargo has an established endowment. In fact, there are endowments set up for a variety of programs such as Catholic schools, cemeteries, religious education, seminarian education to name a few. To view a full list of ALL endowments available, please visit

2. Gifts of Crops. Tax laws allow farmers to gift part of their crop production (grain, corn, beans, etc.) to charity (e.g. parish or diocese). There are significant tax benefits of giving crops instead of cash. It’s a very simple process and many farmers in our diocese take advantage of it. For example, when a farmer takes a load of grain to the elevator, the farmer first notifies the church, the church notifies the elevator to sell and send the check to the church. The farmer cannot sell the grain or instruct the elevator to sell the grain – this must be done by the church. In this case, the farmer does not count the value of the grain sold by the church as income, thus avoiding all income and




Providing exceptional faith-based education while inspiring excellence. 3 yr old Little Deacons - 12th Grade Call 701-893-3271 HOLY SPIRIT ELEMENTARY







Be not afraid, we’re all in this together

vividly remember my first visit to Charlottesville, Va. It was about 20 years ago, and I was on vacation with a good friend, who shared with me a passion for American history and for Thomas Jefferson in particular. Each October we observe Respect Life Month in dioceses around the United States. This year’s theme is “Be Not Afraid,” but of what, or whom, are we supposed to not be afraid? Pondering this question, I recalled an experience I had while attending the Convocation of Catholic Leaders in Orlando, Fla. last summer. I met a young woman and her mother from my diocese. The daughter, who had an obvious disability and was using a power wheelchair, had been chosen as a delegate to the Convocation; her mother, a college professor, was there as her assistant. As we got acquainted, we chatted about accessibility issues in the church. The young woman told me that while most parishes have remedied architectural barriers such as curbs and restrooms, the seating area designated for wheelchairs is often still found way off to the side or at the very back of the sanctuary – evidence, she believes, that handicapped individuals are still not fully embraced as an integral part of parish life. What she said next cut right to the heart: “It’s fine to be able to get in and out of church, but it would be nice if someone smiled at me once in a while, or spoke to me as if I actually knew what was going on.” I was stunned. All too quickly we wrapped up our conversation, traded business cards – yes, my new friend has a college education and a meaningful job – and went our separate ways. But I haven’t been able to get this conversation off my mind. When I got home I did a bit of research on attitudes toward the disabled and was shocked by a recent study in the U.K. that found that two thirds of adults are afraid of people with disabilities and feel so awkward around them that they go out of their way to avoid them. Another study indicated that 1.4 million senior citizens in the U.K. feel lonely and cut off from society, many going for over a month at a time without talking to another human being. Since these were not American studies, it would be easy to dismiss this data, but I suspect that we have a lot in common with our British brothers and sisters. Scholars in the field of disability studies suggest that disabled people mirror a certain kind of personal loss or death. They remind us of our own limitations and mortality – and that is what frightens us. As long as we can avoid those who are handicapped or elderly, we can keep our fears about our own fragility and eventual death at bay. But we are all broken in some way – if we were honest, we would admit that we each experience areas of weakness or disability every day, and none of us is really more than one accident or illness away from losing our cherished independence. The church proposes a different approach. In the face of suffering and death she tells us, “Be not afraid.” With words that echo through salvation history into the depths of our hearts, the Lord says to us, “Do not fear: I am with you” (Isaiah 41:10). He speaks these words not as one who merely observes our pain, but as one who experienced intense suffering and death in his own flesh

before triumphing over death itself. Reflecting on the wounds of the Risen Little Sisters Christ, we see that even our most difof the Poor ficult trials can be Sister Constance the place where God Veit, l.s.p. manifests his victory. He is always with us. Jesus promised this when he gave the disciples the same mission he gives to each of us: Go out to all the world! So if we run toward our most vulnerable brothers and sisters rather than running away from them, marginalizing them or excluding them from our lives, we will experience the love of God in a powerful new way as we contribute to the building up of a society that witnesses to the beautiful, profound reality that God has created each of us in his own image and likeness, that he loves us infinitely, and that he has confided each person to the love of all. Sister Constance Veit is director of communications for the Little Sisters of the Poor.

Monday, November 6 • Fargo, Hilton Garden Inn 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Devils Lake Every Life is a Gift Banquet Thursday, November 9 • Knights of Columbus Hall 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Both events featuring Guest Speaker Gianna Jessen Visit to learn more

Call Mona at 701.237.6530 for reservations



Get involved with Pro-life events and ministries Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat set for Oct. 20-22

If you or someone you know has suffered from the physical, emotional, and spiritual effects of a past abortion, there is hope for healing. Rachel’s Vineyard offers a safe, non-judgmental and confidential weekend retreat for anyone: women, men, grandparents, and siblings, who struggle with the feelings of loss that can accompany an abortion experience. The weekend begins on a Friday night and concludes on Sunday afternoon. The next Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat is scheduled for Oct. 20-22. For more information, or to register, please call Ruth Ruch at (701) 219-3941 or email Ruth at All calls are confidential.

Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., coming to Fargo area Oct. 25

Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is coming to the Fargo area Oct. 25 for a “100 No More” prayer rally. For the last 100 years, Planned Parenthood has left a legacy of death, eugenics, and racial oppression. It’s time to unite in prayer by saying “100 No More.” The rally will be held 1-2 p.m. in front of the Planned Parenthood clinic on 803 Belsly Blvd. along US-75 in Moorhead, Minn. Dr. Alveda King has stated many times, “Abortion is racism and takes away the civil rights of unborn babies.” The event is sponsored by Concerned Women for America of North Dakota and is open to all who want to see the end to abortion. Families are encouraged to attend. Contact State Director, Linda Thorson, at (701) 331- 9792 for more information, or go to nd.cwfa. org. Please park along Belsly Blvd. and nearby streets. 

Mass for God’s Children set for Nov. 7 in Wahpeton

Bishop John Folda will offer a Mass for God’s Children on Nov. 7, at 7 p.m., at St. John’s Church in Wahpeton. This Memorial Mass

for children who have died before baptism is offered for families as a way to remember and celebrate the lives of children who were lost through miscarriage, stillbirth, infant or young-child death. A memorial rose and naming card will be provided for families who have lost a child. If you would like to reserve a rose, please contact Rachelle before Nov. 1 at (701) 356-7910 or rachelle., or go to respectlife and complete the registration form. All are welcome to attend including parents, grandparents, siblings and those who care. A reception will follow.

The Gathering: post-abortion care group meets monthly

Project Rachel offers a post-abortion care group that meets on the 4th Monday of every month at a Fargo location. Women who have begun their healing journey either through Reconciliation or at a Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat gather to pray and share about the specific issues related to post-abortion healing. These monthly gatherings include a half-hour prayer time followed by discussion. Registration is required, and is confidential. To register and to learn the location of meetings, call (844) 789-4829.

Life Issues Survey: Bishop Folda wants to hear from you!

If you haven’t as of yet, you or someone you love will eventually bump into the kinds of life challenges which require difficult decisions; such as infertility, withholding treatment options or addressing chronic pain. The Diocese of Fargo is conducting a Life Issues Survey to explore your understanding of these matters so that we can better serve you. To participate in this online survey, visit between Oct. 8 and Nov. 12. Hard copies are also available after Oct. 8 through your parish, or by calling Rachelle at (701) 356-7910.

If you haven’t yet, you or someone you love will eventually bump into these types of questions, many of which truly have life or death consequences:

“ ” “ ”

I’ve never considered whether I’d have to keep my mother on a ventilator. I want to make the right decision, but what?

I’ve been in chronic pain for a year now, and just want out. Maybe doctor-assisted suicide is my next option?

We’ve wanted to be parents all our lives, but we can’t get pregnant. Is IVF a moral choice?

Life Issues Survey made possible by a grant from


Bishop Folda wants to hear from you! The Diocese of Fargo is conducting a Life Issues Survey that explores your understanding of these issues so that we can better serve you when the time arises. To participate, please visit by Nov. 12.



A Glimpse of the Past - October

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

50 Years Ago....1967

October was observed as silver jubilee month at the Little Flower School in Rugby. There were three events to mark the 25th Anniversary of the school. During the recent anniversary observance, members of the Little Flower parish expressed their “sincere thanks” for the “very considerable cooperation” from the public school officials during the 25-year history of the school.

20 Years Ago....1997

Thanksgiving for Bishop James S. Sullivan’s 25 years as a bishop should include a celebration of charisms and blessings of all those in the Fargo Diocese he serves, said Archbishop

Charles J. Chaput, as homilist, told those who attended the October 5 celebration at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fargo. Archbishop Chaput was one of eight other bishops, most of the priests in the Fargo Diocese, many religious and laity who filled the Cathedral to honor Bishop Sullivan on a perfect autumn day.

10 Years ago....2007

The parish community of St. Stephen’s Church in Larimore rejoices at reaching a milestone of its journey in life and faith and invites everyone to join in giving praise and thanks to God for its 125 years. A Thanksgiving Mass is planned for Sunday, October 21. Bishop Samuel Aquila will be the main celebrant at the liturgy.

LIFE’S MILESTONES Cliff and Clara Axtman celebrated their 60th anniversary Sept. 10. They were married at Little Flower Church in Rugby. The family moved several times, settling mostly in Devils Lake. They moved to West Fargo in 2012, and are parishioners of Holy Cross Church in West Fargo. They have five children, and 13 grandchildren. Joe and Loretta Heilman will celebrate their 70th anniversary on October 13. They were married at St. Anthony’s Church in Selz. They are the proud parents of five children, 14 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren. Angela and Aloys Mastel celebrated their 65th anniversary on Sept. 29. They have seven children, 16 grandchildren, three step-grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and five step-great-grandchildren. They are parishioners of St. Helena’s Church in Ellendale.

Frank and Kathryn Volk of Rugby will celebrate their 65th anniversary Oct. 14. They were married at Little Flower Church in Rugby and have 10 children, 27 grandchildren, 25 great-grand children and one great-great grandchild. Geraldine Holien will be celebrating her 90th birthday Oct. 15. She has been a lifelong parishioner of Sacred Heart Church in Cando. She is blessed with eight children, 19 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren. Dorothy Schefter Muhs will celebrate her 95th birthday Oct. 30. She is a parishioner of St. Alphonsus Church in Langdon. Dorothy was married to Raymond Muhs in 1940 and they raised six children on a farm near Langdon. She has nine grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.

Diocesan policy: Reporting child abuse

The Diocese of Fargo is committed to the protection of youth. Please report any incidents or suspected incidents of child abuse, including sexual abuse, to civil authorities. If the situation involves a member of the clergy or a religious order, a seminarian or anemployee of a Catholic school, parish, the diocesan offices or other Catholic entity within the diocese, we ask that you also report the incident or suspected incident to Monsignor Joseph P. Goering at (701) 356-7945 or Larry Bernhardt at (701) 356-7965 or For additional information about victim assistance, visit NEW EARTH OCTOBER 2017



Events across the diocese

Connect with parishes at fall festivals

Grand Forks: Join St. Anne’s Guest Home on Oct. 21 from 11

a.m. – 1 p.m. for a Soup and Sandwich Luncheon. Choose from three soups, a ham or turkey sandwich, dessert, and beverage. The day also includes a craft and variety sale and St. Anne’s Auxiliary’s annual food and bake sale.

Annual School Fall Auction. This year’s theme is “Lights-Camera-Auction.” Come dressed to impress and walk the red carpet on Nov. 10 at the Eagle’s Club in Valley City. Silent auction and bake sale begins at 5 p.m. with live auction beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Beginning Experience assists those coping with life alone

West Fargo: Join Holy Cross Church on Oct. 22 for their an- Beginning Experience, a non-denominational support group for nual Fall Festival from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The day includes a full turkey dinner, children’s games, raffle, chance baskets, silent auction, bingo, cork pull, Yards of Cards, 50/50 chance raffle, country store, jewelry, silent auction, punch game and more.

West Fargo: Join Blessed Sacrament on Oct. 29 from 11 a.m.

to 4:30 p.m. for their annual Fall Dinner and Bazaar. Pork Loin Dinner served from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Bazaar includes silent auction, country store, carnival games, raffles and more. Bingo at 3 p.m. and raffle drawings at 4:30 p.m.

separated, divorced and widowed persons, is offering a 10-week program “Coping with Life Alone” every Monday for 10 weeks. It began Monday, Sept. 18 but newcomers are welcome all ten weeks at Liberty Lutheran Brethren Church, Fargo. Registration is at 6:30 p.m. with sessions beginning at 7 p.m. For more information, call (701) 277-8784.

Diocese invites young adults to Panama for World Youth Day 2019

Young adults ages 18 and older are invited to join the Diocese of Fargo Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the next World Oct. 29 from 10:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The celebration will feature Youth Day pilgrimage in Panama City from Jan. 20-28, 2019.  a turkey dinner, raffle, silent auction, baked goods and candy Current price is $3,550 but could come down depending on airline sale, bingo, kids’ games, cake walk and more. ticket price and World Youth Day fees. Contact Kathy Loney at (701) 356-7902 for a brochure and with questions regarding this Grand Forks: Join Holy Family Church Altar Society’s 57th pilgrimage. To register, submit a completed application form annual Christmas Tea on Nov. 4 from 1-4 p.m. Fresh baked pie, and $1,000 deposit by Nov. 15, 2017. tea, coffee and cider will be served, bake sale with lefse and raffle. Edgeley: Join Transfiguration Church on Oct. 29 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. for their fall turkey dinner.

Fargo: Holy Spirit Church will host its annual Fall Festival on

Tolna: St. Joseph’s Church is hosting their annual Harvest Breakfast Nov. 5 from 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. The day also includes a bake sale and raffle tickets for multiple prizes.

Fargo: Join Nativity Church for their Annual Fall Festival on Nov. 5 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The day will include a pork roast dinner from 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., bake sale, jewelry treasures, silent auction games, cake walk, and turkey raffle.

Casselton: St. Leo’s Church is holding their Fall Dinner on Nov. 5 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. serving roast beef. The celebration will also include a country store and kids games.

You’re a star at St. Michael’s FUN Fest, Grand Forks

You’re a star when it comes to supporting St. Michael’s Church and School! Walk the red carpet dressed as your favorite movie or TV character or favorite Hollywood star on Oct. 28! Come in through the velvet ropes and enjoy silent auction items, great prizes, a complimentary glass of wine, and an Oscar-worthy dinner starting at 6 p.m. All guests must be 18 or older to attend. We had over 500 people attend this exciting fundraiser last year. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online at St.Michaels2017FallFUNFest.

Come for a night of fun at “LightsCamera-Auction” in Valley City

Join St. Catherine’s Church and School in Valley City for the 45th 32


Ecumenical Service to commemorate 500 years since the reformation

Join Diocese of Fargo Bishop John Folda and Bishop Terry Brandt of the Eastern North Dakota Synod of the ELCA on Sunday, November 5, as they lead an Ecumenical Service commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, as well as celebrating progress made toward reunification. The service will begin at First Lutheran Church, 619 North Broadway in Fargo, at 4:30 p.m. After a procession across Broadway, the service will continue at the Cathedral of St. Mary. A pot-puck dinner will be served in the cathedral basement at the conclusion of the service.

Special collection at Mass supports missions

All Masses Oct. 21-22, will gather a special collection for World Mission Sunday. World Mission Sunday supports programs in 1,111 mission dioceses, mostly in Africa and Asia. These programs support clinics caring for the sick and dying, orphanages providing a place of safety and shelter, and schools and education, including seminarian and religious formation.

Sidewalk Stories By Roxane B. Salonen


Weeping women’s tears tell tale of abortion

ately, I’ve noticed a new reality while praying on the sidewalk in front of our state’s only abortion facility: tears. Often, the women and men arrive instead with stern faces, braced to push through with the decision they’ve come to see as inevitable. Occasionally, angry words follow when we offer information about resources or a prayer. Certainly, the decision to abort can never be easy, since motherhood is something very innate in women, and fatherhood, in men. Purposefully severing the eternal bond already formed – whether that is a conscious reality – can only come through much angst. But in recent weeks, I’ve been struck not by terse words, but this other dramatic reality, as the women reveal their deepest emotions. One approached the sidewalk holding one hand over her face to cover her anguish, which peeked out through the corners and was heard in sobs. Others have not even tried to hide their weeping, tears dripping all the way into the facility, giving testimony of a pained heart. These raw shows of emotion evoke powerful feelings of compassion within me and the other sidewalk advocates. For there is no question that these women are in torment, and yet our ability to ease their suffering is so limited against the culture of “choice.” One of my fellow prayer advocates recently surmised, “She’s already grieving her child, even before she steps foot in there.” It certainly seems to be the case. Not long ago, a young lady came out of the facility. Plopping down on the sidewalk against the front wall of the eatery next door, her legs crossed and a cigarette and cell phone in her hands, she quietly wept. I gently approached, crouching down beside her. “Are you okay?” I asked, tears forming in my own eyes. Just then, one of the women wearing a baby blue “Pro-Choice Escort” vest walked up. “She doesn’t want you here,” she said to me. The woman stayed quiet, her pain unconcealed, her loneliness, obvious. The week prior, we’d approached a car as it arrived, hoping to offer help for a redirect. As soon as I showed the couple within the small card with the baby on it, the woman in the passenger’s seat began to cry. She didn’t want the abortion; it was clear. “Come on, we need to go in,” the male driver – presumably the father – said to her, but he, too, seemed conflicted.

“We can help,” I offered, and as a last resort as they exited the vehicle, I pled, “Fathers are meant to protect.” He seemed to flinch at these words. A little while later, the couple exited the facility and quickly got back into their car, confirming, when we asked, that yes, they’d had a change of heart. Just moments earlier, I’d been talking with a woman who’d wandered by from the street. She’d identified herself as a cousin of Savanna Greywind, the young pregnant mother whose name we’ve all come to know recently through her tragic disappearance and murder, along with the appearance of her infant child, who is now well and safe. The woman vocally lamented what happens at the abortion facility, and complained that the escorts, whom she’d been talking to earlier, “just turned their backs on me.” It was a powerful moment, realizing who this woman was, considering what we’d just grieved through together as a community, and wondering how the workers of the facility were processing all of this. Quite frankly, the presence there of the escorts and other abortion workers grieves us as much as the women going in. Though we pray, too, for them, we mostly feel powerless to move their hearts. But on that day, in that moment, thinking of the strong emotions we’d all just witnessed, it occurred to me that we may not be the ones to convince the workers. God may have another plan. Indeed, we could pray for days for them without any effect, our presence only emboldening their staking a claim to the sidewalk and these women’s souls. Now, however, it seemed possible something else could reach them instead; something more powerful than anything we might say or do. Perhaps those tears that so clearly reveal the soul, telling the tale of what abortion really is, and does, from the hearts of the mothers themselves, would be a conviction of the heart for them all. May the weeping of these women not be for naught, Lord. On the appointed day, may their “tears be turned into dancing.” And may it be soon. Roxane B. Salonen, a wife and mother of five, is a local writer, and a speaker and radio host for Real Presence Radio. Roxane writes for The Forum newspaper and for She serves in music ministry as a cantor at Sts. Anne and Joachim Church in Fargo. Reach her at NEW EARTH OCTOBER 2017



Martyred Oklahoma priest showed courage that comes from prayer Catholic News Agency – reprinted with permission

and struggled, but did not call for help, so others at the mission would not be endangered. He was shot twice and killed. At a time of great social and political turbulence, the priest lived as a disciple of Christ, “doing good and spreading peace and reconciliation among the people,” Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect for the Congregation of Saints, said in his homily. “Unfortunately, this immediate recompense on this earth was persecution and a bloody death, in accord with the Words of Jesus: Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat. But if it dies, it produces much fruit,” said the cardinal, citing the words of the Gospel. Celebrating the Mass with Cardinal Amato were Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul Coakley, dozens of bishops, scores of priests and thousands of laity, including some from Guatemala. The Mass took place at Oklahoma City’s Cox Convention Center. Family of Fr. Rother were also in attendance. Though Blessed Stanley faced difficulties in his seminary studies, he showed great dedication to the manual labor he was familiar with from his youth on his family farm near Okarche, Okla. After volunteering for the Guatemala mission Santiago Atitlan, the priest learned Spanish. He even the local language of the Tz’utujil Mayan Indians so well that he could use it in his preaching. He would spend 13 years of his life there, diligent in visiting newlyweds and baptizing and catechizing their children. He was vigorous in both religious and social formation, drawing on his experience to work the fields and repair broken trucks while also building a farmer’s co-op, a school, a hospital and Father Stanley Rother, a priest of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma the area’s first Catholic radio station. City who served in Guatemala, was beatified on Sept. 23. He is Cardinal Amato recounted the civil conflict in Guatemala. recognized as the first martyr born in the United States. From 1971 to 1981, there were numerous killings of journalists, (File photo) farmers, catechists and priests, all accused falsely of communism. “This was a real and true time of bloody persecution of the klahoma City - Father Stanley Rother, an Oklahoma priest Church,” the cardinal said. “Father Rother, aware of the immimartyred in Guatemala, was beatified Saturday, Sept. nent danger to his life, prepared himself for martyrdom, asking 23, during a Mass in Oklahoma City attended by over the Lord for the strength to face it without fear. He continued, 20,000 people. Pope Francis named him blessed in a letter that however, to preach the gospel of love and non-violence.” cited his “deeply rooted faith,” his “profound union with God,” and his “arduous duty to spread the word of God in missionary Both the priest’s mission and the aid he gave to the victims of lands, faithfully living his priestly and missionary service until violence were seen as subversive, explained the cardinal, who his martyrdom.” His feast day is set for the anniversary of his added: “a good shepherd cannot abandon his flock.” death, July 28, 1981, which the papal letter described as “the Oklahoma City Archbishop emeritus Eusebius Beltran voiced day of his heavenly birth.” gratitude to God for the beatification of the first native-born Blessed Stanley Rother served indigenous people of his Guate- priest and martyr of the United States. mala parish at a time of civil war. He returned to his home state “His death was a tragedy for Oklahoma and for Guatemala. of Oklahoma after a death threat, then returned knowing the However, through his death, his saintly life has become known dangers. Before his last Christmas, the priest wrote to a parish well beyond the boundaries of Guatemala and Oklahoma and in Oklahoma about the dangers in Guatemala: “The shepherd the faith of all those who are now familiar with his life is greatly cannot run at the first sign of danger,” he said. Armed men strengthened, and the Church continues to flourish,” Archbishop broke into his rectory, intending to abduct him. He resisted Beltran said.




Archbishop Coakley said that the priest “chose to remain with his people” and “gave his life in solidarity.” “Pray that the Church will experience a new Pentecost and abundant vocations, aided by the intercession of Blessed Stanley Rother,” he said. Bishop Conley attended Father Rother’s beatification Mass with dozens of bishops, scores of priests, and thousands of other Catholics. “We will remember the holiness of Father Rother, and thank the Lord for the gift of his selflessness,” the bishop said. “We will pray that we might have the same courage that he did, and the same love for our mission, and for the Lord.” “May Father Rother pray for us, as we turn to the Lord, seeking the courage to do his will.”

A seminary photo By Father Andrew Jasinski

Many high schools and colleges display pictures of their graduates in their hallways. The same is true of seminaries. I was always impressed with the photographs of all the priests that lined the long corridor of McSweeny Hall, the main building of Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary, the seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, which I had attended. There was one unique photograph among the class pictures. While all the other photographs showed the priests according to their graduating class, this photo was of a single middle-aged priest by itself. Over time, the details of his life faded from my mind and I forgot him—until this past winter. In December, Pope Francis announced that an investigation into the life Father Stanley Rother had led to the conclusion that he had been killed for the faith. The path was cleared for his beatification. When I saw a picture of him, I immediately recognized him as the priest whose photo had been enshrined by itself. He had been a seminarian in the place where I had studied, he had walked the same halls, studied in the same classrooms, prayed in the same chapel—and he was being recognized as a martyr. It brought home to me that holiness is not only for people in places far away and times long ago; it is possible for each one of us. Fr. Andrew Jasinski graduated from Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary and was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Fargo in 1998. He currently serves as the Diocesan Chancellor.

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

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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





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

This statue stands above the main doors of the church. Where in the Diocese are we? The answer will be revealed in the November New Earth.

Where in the diocese are we? 36


Last month’s photo is of the altar in St. Catherine’s Catholic Church in Valley City.

New Earth October 2017  

The official magazine for the Catholic Diocese of Fargo, ND

New Earth October 2017  

The official magazine for the Catholic Diocese of Fargo, ND