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New April 2015 | Vol. 36 | No. 4


The Magazine of the Catholic Diocese of Fargo

Rolla, ND Rolette,

ND Bisbee, N



From Bishop Folda Easter and Baptism

Sharing the light of Christ

Duo honored for developing Catholic camp for kids Franciscan Sisters of Dilligen Introduce new blog

The Catholic Difference Keeping Catholic schools Catholic NEW EARTH APRIL 2015





April 2015 Vol. 36 | No. 4

ON THE COVER 12 Sharing the light of Christ : Duo honored for developing Catholic camp for kids In 1978, two young mothers made a commitment to

create a Catholic camping experience for their children and community. More than 35 years later, the camp has grown from 48 campers to about 400 annually. These women are being honored for their efforts and dedication to “bringing the light of Christ to their world” by being nominated for the Lumen Christi award sponsored by Catholic Extension.



Easter and Baptism

Bishop John Folda reflects on the renewal of our baptismal promises as we celebrate Easter.



Pope Francis’ April Prayer Intentions


The 50 Days of Easter: Celebrate the joys of the season well past Easter Sunday



Ask A Priest: Should I give to a panhandler?

Father Greg Haman tackles the question about how we might approach someone in need by first looking for Jesus in them.



Annual Chrism Mass a call to renew promise to serve, live as Christ



10 Bishops call for prayer amidst ‘stark reality’ of religious persecution, violence

18 Franciscan Sisters of Dilligen introduce new blog

20 Stories of Faith


16 Fargo Diocese Newman Centers to celebrate 30th year of bike race fundraiser


17 Tattered Pages: A review of Catholic books and literature

David Paul Deavel, adjunct professor of Catholic Studies for the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, reviews Michael Lotti’s book “St. George and the Dragon.” This book, published by CreateSpace Publishing, provides a tale of conversion sure to be enjoyed by all.



OUR CATHOLIC LIFE Father Bert Miller shares a story of one woman’s prayers to graduate from high school being fulfilled.

22 Catholic Action

Christopher Dodson outlines the importance of the Department of Human Services and the prayers our legislative body needs to best determine how to help others.

23 Keeping Catholic schools Catholic

Guest columnist, George Weigel, reflects on how the cultural war Catholics face may impact Catholic education.

ON THE COVER: Dorothy Gustafson and Annette Mears, pictured in the photos, created and cultivated Trinity Youth Camp, the first overnight Catholic camp in the diocese more than 35 years ago. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, they shared a desire to bring a Catholic camping experience to their children. What began as a small camp at one site with kids from three rural parishes has grown to include four locales and children from all over the state. (Kellie Knodel, 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


Aliceyn Magelky

Staff Writer Kristina Lahr


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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.


24 Stewardship

In this month’s column, Steve Schons shares the benefits and ease of starting a gift annuity program for a steady, dependable stream of retirement income.

25 Seminarian Life

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

Contact Information

Seminarian Jayson Miller shares how God has been working in his life to experience Christ living within him.


26 27 28 28

Sponsored by the Diocese Glimpse of the Past Events Calendar Milestone Announcements

Deadline to submit articles, story ideas, advertisements and announcements for the May issue is Apr. 22, 2015. All submissions are subject to editing and placement.


New Earth is published by the Catholic Diocese of Fargo, a nonprofit North Dakota corporation, 5201 Bishops Blvd. S, Ste. A Fargo, ND 58104. (701) 356-7900.

29 Pope Francis brings down hammer, says ‘Don’t mess with children’


30 Strong families create strong vocations: Father Daniel Musgrave shares how family helped him discern priesthood

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Periodical Postage Paid at Fargo, ND and at additional mailing offices. Member of the Catholic Press Association NEW EARTH APRIL 2015



Easter and Baptism


t the Easter Vigil and at most celebrations of Easter Sunday, one ritual is of special note: the renewal of our baptismal promises. As we celebrate our Lord’s resurrection again this year, we renew the promises that we made or that our parents and godparents made at our baptisms. In fact, many if not most of us were baptized at a very early age, perhaps before we were personally aware of what was happening around us. So, it is more than fitting that on this most solemn and joyful celebration of the Church year, we should renew the commitment of our own baptism once again, with full awareness and reflection on the profound meaning of baptism itself. But, why do we do this on Easter Sunday? Why, on the day of our Lord’s rising from the tomb, do we renew those promises that were first made on the day of our baptism? The answer is simply this: Easter and baptism are inherently connected. Baptism is the Easter sacrament, the sacrament of new life in Christ, the sharing in his dying and rising. From the earliest days of the Church, the celebration of Easter was also the celebration of baptism. After a lengthy period of preparation and an extended Easter vigil that lasted through the night, the catechumens were led to the baptismal font to be bathed in the waters of regeneration. And, that same custom endures in the Easter liturgy to this day. When we were baptized, no matter what age we were at the time, we went down with Christ into the waters and died to our old lives, but then rose up with him to a new life as adopted sons and daughters of God. And, this is not just a legal adoption but a true change, a true sharing in the very life and nature of God himself. We are transformed, recreated as his children who dare to call God, “Father.” At the Easter Vigil, after the reading of the resurrection account of the Gospel, we witness the beautiful blessing of Easter water, which is then used to baptize the catechumens who have been preparing for many months to enter the Church. Like their forebears of the ancient Church,

these men and women are led with great joy to the baptismal font where they are cleansed of sin and filled with the new life of our risen Savior. It is a vivid sign of what Easter is all about: Jesus Christ, who triumphed over death, now shares his own risen life with his people. And so, in that same celebration of our Lord’s resurrection, all the faithful join with the newly baptized in professing once again our Christian faith. With sober determination, we reject sin and all of its attractions, and we also reject Satan himself, who seeks to separate us from God. Then, with joyful confidence, we profess our faith in God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We also profess our faith in Christ’s Church, his own mystical body. And, after that profession of faith, we are sprinkled with the newly blessed Easter water which links us mystically to those who are newly baptized and to our own baptism. It is not merely an act of nostalgia that moves us to recall our own baptism at Easter. It is a true and deliberate affirmation of our faith in Christ, who died for us and is now risen. In this profession of Easter faith, we hearken back to that moment when Jesus forever changed us and made us heirs of his kingdom. We bear the indelible mark of baptism on our souls forever; for by baptism, we belong to Christ and can rise with him to eternal life. So, when we repeat those baptismal promises at Easter, it is not just a routine repetition of “I do’s” to a series of questions. It should be a profession, a declaration that we are changed, that we no longer live earthbound lives. We are citizens of heaven. For the 40 days of Lent before Easter, we lived more penitentially through prayer, fasting and works of charity. We entered deeply into the mystery of Lent in order to live more fully in Christ. So, when we finally arrive at Easter, the transformation we experience is not meant to cease but to become even more vibrant and definitive. Our penance may be transformed into celebration, but the change worked upon us by our penance should endure. On Easter Sunday, we launch even more fervently into the risen life of Christ, the baptismal life of grace and holiness. The Resurrection of Christ changes us. Baptism changes us. Far from going back to business as usual, we declare in our baptismal promises on Easter that we intend to live our baptism more fully than ever as a foretaste of the eternal life to come. In this Easter renewal of our baptismal faith, we also remember that by baptism we become part of the Catholic Church, which

“In this Easter renewal of our baptismal faith, we also remember that by baptism we become part of the Catholic Church, which is the mystical Body of Christ, the People of God. Through baptism, we are incorporated into the risen Christ, and by that fact, we are incorporated into his Church.” – Bishop John Folda, Diocese of Fargo 4


Bishop Folda’s Calendar Apr. 16 ND Knights of Columbus State Convention, Mandan

Apr. 17 | 7 p.m. Confirmation/First Eucharist, St. Timothy’s Catholic Church, Manvel

is the mystical Body of Christ, the People of God. Through baptism, we are incorporated into the risen Christ, and by that fact, we are incorporated into his Church. In other words, we are not only baptized into Christ, but we are baptized into his own family. Through our adoption as sons and daughters of God, we also become brothers and sisters to all those in the communion of faith that we call the Church. We are not baptized as isolated individuals but as members of a communion of faith and charity, the charity of Jesus himself. And, it is this faith and charity that should mark our lives on earth even to the moment that we enter into eternity. I pray that this year’s celebration of Easter will be a true celebration of new life for all of us. May we live our baptism into the Risen Christ with ever greater fervor, and may we share with others the joy that is ours. Christ is risen. He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Apr. 18 | 10:00 a.m. Confirmation/First Eucharist, St. John the Evangelist’s Catholic Church, Grafton

5 p.m. Confirmation/First Eucharist, St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Grand Forks

Apr. 19 | 1 p.m. Confirmation/First Eucharist, Holy Family Catholic Church, Grand Forks

6 p.m. St. Alphonsus School Foundation Dinner, Langdon

Apr. 23 | 10 a.m. Diocesan Pastoral Council, Pastoral Center

Apr. 24 | 12 p.m. Mass for Catholic Daughters of the Americas, Opening Convention, Ramada Plaza Suites, Fargo

7 p.m.

Prayer Intentions of Pope Francis

Confirmation/First Eucharist, St. Philip’s Catholic Church, Hankinson

Apr. 25 | 10:30 a.m. Confirmation/First Eucharist, St. Aloysius’ Catholic Church, Lisbon

April Universal intention: Creation. That people may learn to respect creation and care for it as a gift of God. Reflection: How is a wasteful attitude toward creation related to a culture of death—a world in which human beings are discarded? Scripture: Isaiah 45: 8-13. It is I who made the earth.

5 p.m. Shanley Dinner Auction, Holiday Inn, Fargo

Apr. 26 | 1 p.m. Confirmation/First Eucharist, St. Catherine’s Catholic Church, Valley City

May 1 | 7 p.m. Confirmation/First Eucharist, Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, West Fargo

May 2 | 10 a.m. Confirmation/First Eucharist, St. Leo’s Catholic Church, Casselton

5 p.m. Confirmation/First Eucharist, St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, Fargo

May 3 | 1 p.m. Confirmation/First Eucharist, Nativity Catholic Church, Fargo

Evangelization intention: Persecuted Christians. That persecuted Christians may feel the consoling presence of the Risen Lord and the solidarity of all the Church. Reflection: Do I get angry at those who are persecuting Christians? How can I channel that anger into a positive response? Scripture: 1 Corinthians 12: 12-26. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it. Provided by Apostleship of Prayer.

May 8 | 7 p.m. Confirmation/First Eucharist, St. Mark’s Catholic Church, Bottineau

May 9 | 10 a.m. Confirmation/First Eucharist, St. Ann’s Catholic Church, Belcourt

5 p.m. Confirmation/First Eucharist, St. Therese the Little Flower’s Catholic Church, Rugby

May 10 | 10:30 am Mass and Dedication New Altar, St. Therese the Little Flower’s Catholic Church, Rugby

May 10 | 2 p.m. Confirmation/First Eucharist, St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church, Velva

May 13 | 7 p.m. Confirmation/First Eucharist, Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Fargo





He is Risen! Alleluiah!

The 50 Days of Easter

Celebrate the joys of the season well past Easter Sunday


ost people think of Easter as a single day. It’s never had the commercial appeal of Christmas, and because it always falls on Sunday, most people don’t get an additional day off from work. But for Catholics, Easter isn’t just a day, it’s a whole season. The Easter season stretches all the way to the feast of Pentecost. Lent, which sometimes feels like it’s stretching on forever, is actually 40 days long.  Easter, on the other hand, is all of 50 days long. About these 50 days theologian Nathan Mitchell writes: “The great 50 days of Pentecost are not an unwelcome, unrealistic obligation to ‘party on,’ even if we don’t feel like it, but an invitation to explore more deeply ‘the weather of the heart,’ to awaken our memory of God’s presence and power in our lives, to look more closely at all the rich and varied textures of creation.” One way the church pursues this goal of seeing God present

in the world is through the reading of the Acts of the Apostles. At Masses all through the Easter season, our usual practice of reading from the Old Testament is replaced by reading from the Acts of the Apostles. These readings tell the story of the church’s earliest days and the beginnings of our faith’s spreading throughout the ancient world. These stories of heroism, controversies, persecutions and miracles all testify to the continued presence of the Risen Christ in the world, through the lives of his disciples, and the actions of the Holy Spirit. All of this should be an encouragement and a sign of hope for us today.  Despite war, violence, personal struggles, and an under-performing economy, God has not abandoned us, nor left us to our own devices.  The risen savior is still with us. These 50 days of Easter ask us to reflect on his presence, and—even in the face of danger or fear—to live with joy. *Provided by Father Lawrence Rice, CSP for “For Your Marriage.”

“Go, then, to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples: baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And I will be with you always, to the end of the age.” - Matthew 28: 19-20 6



Should I give to a panhandler?


Looking for Jesus in the face of the poor, needy

feel like there have been a hundred times that I have struggled with this same question. I went to seminary near Washington, D.C, and when my eyes frequently fell upon a homeless person as I walked down the street, my chest would feel a sudden surge of anxiety as I wondered how to respond. I was instantly aware of my wallet and wondering how much I had in it. “Do I have any small bills on me? Do I really want to give him $5?” Suddenly $5 seemed like a much larger sum than at any other time in my life. Sometimes I would pull out a dollar or two and drop them off as I walked by. Sometimes I was even diligent enough to keep some dollar bills in my pocket for just such a moment. Other times, I just walked by. Often, none of those acts left me feeling very satisfied afterward. So, what was the problem? Was I right when I dropped the cash and wrong when I didn’t? Or, was it the other way around? Should I assume the person might use the money for something harmful to themselves? The answer is never really that simple. I’m reminded of that startling scene in Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” where the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge is walking home from his office on a snowy Christmas Eve when he is met by a young man looking for donations to a charity: “At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge, ... it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir.” “Are there no prisons?” Scrooge coldly responded. “Plenty of prisons...” “And the Union workhouses,” demanded Scrooge. “Are they still in operation?” “Both very busy, sir...” “Those who are badly off must go there.” “Many can’t go there; and many would rather die,” replied the young man. “If they would rather die,” said Scrooge, “they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.” So begins Scrooge’s fateful night, being visited by the departed soul of his old business partner, now in torment for his sins but reaching out to help Scrooge meet a better fate. Though few would be so callous as Scrooge here, his general attitude is probably more common than we would like to think. In describing the capital sin of “avarice” or “covetousness,” St. Thomas Aquinas says that it causes an “insensibility to mercy” to take root in our hearts. As we desire to have and to retain goods for ourselves, we can become resistant, blind and even opposed to aiding others. Who of us can really say we are not plagued by a little envy? Then, we probably have felt that same coldness to someone in need, at least to some extent. When St. Paul had spent some time preaching the Gospel in cities around Greece, he returned once to Jerusalem and met with the leaders of the young Church there, sharing his methods with them and getting their approval. After giving his “progress

report,” he recounts in his letter to the Galatians that the leaders had only one bit of advice: “Only they would have us remember the poor, which very thing I was eager to do” (Galatians 4:10). Even for the first Apostles

Ask a Priest Father Greg Haman

“…so whatever we do for someone in need, and there’s always something that can be done, it’s important to remember that we are dealing with a real person, not a societal ill or an inconvenience.” - Father Greg Haman of the Church, preaching the Gospel was necessarily tied with serving the poor, who we will always find around us (Matthew 26:11). Even well before the time of the Church, Moses had instructed the Hebrews, “You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy, and to the poor in the land” (Deuteronomy 15:11). So, is it always better to drop a buck? Not necessarily. What’s most necessary is to turn first to Jesus and seek his guidance. Don’t know in an instant what he’s telling you? Well, then it may be time to face Jesus in the poor person who stands in front of you or who sits at your feet and give them a little attention. The Catechism acknowledges that “true development concerns the whole man” (CCC 2461), so whatever we do for someone in need, and there’s always something that can be done, it’s important to remember that we are dealing with a real person, not a societal ill or an inconvenience. Try starting with just a simple smile and a nod while looking into the person’s eye. That might be all that God is asking of you at this particular moment, and it might be the first time in a while that someone acknowledged his or her humanity. Is it possible to go a little further and have a simple conversation with them? Ask them how their day is. Offer to pray. After that, you’ll probably have a good sense whether a dollar or two couldn’t hurt, whether a quick sandwich from a corner shop would hit the spot or if it’s best just to leave them with an encouraging smile. Either way, you’ll have done well and shown a little love to Jesus in that person. Father Greg Haman serves as parochial vicar at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Grand Forks. He can be reached at Editor’s Note: If you have a question about the Catholic faith and would like to submit a question for consideration in a future column, please send to with “Ask a Priest” in the subject line or mail to New Earth, 5201 Bishops Blvd. S, Ste. A, Fargo, ND 58104, Attn: Ask a Priest. NEW EARTH APRIL 2015



Bishop John Folda, Fargo Diocese, blesses the sacred oils during the annual Chrism Mass held Mar. 31 at the Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo. This oil will be used for anointing during baptisms, confirmation, ordinations and special blessings that occur in the coming year. (Aliceyn Magelky/New Earth)

Annual Chrism Mass a call to renew promise to serve, live as Christ


By Aliceyn Magelky

early every Fargo Diocese priest, deacon, seminarian, consecrated religious and many area faithful joined together in prayer at the Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo to celebrate the annual Chrism Mass on Mar. 31. At this once-ayear Mass held during Holy Week, Bishop John Folda invited all priests of the diocese to renew their commitment to service and blessed the sacred oils to be used throughout the coming year. The cloudless sky and warm temperatures were the perfect backdrop for this event held by dioceses around the globe in special remembrance of priestly ordinations and their promises to willingly and joyfully serve in union with Christ. “As you know, in cathedrals throughout the world, bishops will celebrate this Chrism Mass with the priests of their dioceses. My brothers, let us join them with grateful hearts and renew the promises we made on the day of our ordination, when we received the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Let us pray that the grace of that anointing will remain with us and comfort us



always. May it accompany us every day of our ministry so that, faithful to Christ who has called us, we may serve God’s people with zeal and the joy of the Spirit,” said Bishop Folda in his homily. In his message, Bishop Folda was not exclusive to the ordained. He used this Mass as a joyous reminder of our own anointing with sacred oils and the descent of the Spirit upon all faithful through baptism and confirmation. “We are anointed to make the world holy by our way of life, by our witness,” he said. “We should not think that the sacred Word is referring here only of those ordained. No, it refers to the priesthood of all the faithful, the priesthood that every member of the Church shares through baptism. The spirit of the Lord is upon the whole people of God, and he anoints them to be a holy priesthood,” he continued. The three sacred oils blessed and distributed include: sacred

Bishop Folda delivers his homily to a full house of Fargo Diocese priests, deacons, seminarians, consecrated religious and laity during the annual Chrism Mass. He reminded all that, “God has called us and anointed us to be faithful witnesses and bearers of glad tidings to every corner of this diocese…”(Aliceyn Magelky/New Earth)

“The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me…” - Luke 4:18 Chrism oil, oil of the catechumens and oil of the sick. Chrism is the primary oil used in anointing to signify consecration. It is used in baptism, confirmation, holy orders and special acts of blessing. Those anointed with Sacred Chrism “share more completely in the mission of Jesus Christ and the fullness of the Holy Spirit with which he is filled, so that their lives may give

off the ‘aroma of Christ’” (CCC 1294). To view more photos from the Chrism Mass, see the story online at read Bishop Folda’s entire homily, visit



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Bishops call for prayer amidst ‘stark reality’ of religious persecution, violence


By Don Clemmer | United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

uring the spring meeting of the Administrative Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, people of all faiths were called to pray for victims of religious persecution and violence and work to protect the marginalized and persecuted around the world, according to a statement approved March 10 by the group. “Let us use this season to unite with our suffering brothers and sisters and pray for them and with them in a special way,” they said. “With hope, let us pray for the day when we can all share in the joy and lasting peace of Christ’s resurrection.” “It’s important for us as a Church, the faithful, to not take for granted the freedom and safety we have to practice our faith. Yes, we have had challenges but to realize how blessed we are, not only to worship, but to live our faith in a public way, is important,” added regional representative Bishop John Folda, Diocese of Fargo. The Administrative Committee is chaired by Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., president of the USCCB. The committee consists of the elected chairs of the 16 standing committees, the elected representatives of 15 geographic regions (including Bishop Folda), the chairman of Catholic Relief Services and the elected officers of USCCB.

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Catholic Charities North Dakota Board of Directors held their Annual Retreat and Quarterly meeting at the Diocese of Fargo Pastoral Center March 17 and 18. The theme of the Retreat was “Expanding Your Reach, Engaging Your Board.” Absent from the picture are Bishop David Kagan, Bismarck Diocese; Bishop John Folda, Fargo Diocese; Jerry Clark and Doyle Schultz. (Submitted photo)

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Dorothy Mears (left) and Annette Gustafson (right) best friends and founders of Trinity Youth Camp pose for a photo with their infamous cowbells. Often referred to as the “grandmas of camp,” the women use these cowbells during each session to wake campers.They have been nominated for the Lumen Christi Award for their many years of bringing the Catholic faith to kids through camping. (Kellie Knodel, New Earth)

Sharing the light of Christ

Duo honored for developing Catholic camp for kids By Aliceyn Magelky


n 1978, inspired by the Holy Spirit, two young mothers made a commitment to create a Catholic camping experience for their children and community. The friends, Dorothy Gustafson and Annette Mears, heard repeated pleadings from their children to attend non-Catholic, Christian camps with their friends. Realizing their children and others from their parish and surrounding communities would greatly benefit from exposure to a camp rich in Catholic tradition and beliefs and knowing that no camp with a Catholic foundation existed in North Dakota at the time, the duo formed Trinity Youth Camp. Trinity Youth Camp (TYC) was established with only the kids from three small, rural parishes in Rolla, Rolette and Bisbee. The first camp was held the summer of 1979 with 48 campers in attendance. Today, more than 400 youth attend Trinity Youth Camp annually. Gustafson and Mears, now in their 70s, continue to strive to listen to the call of the Holy Spirit to grow the camp and work to make a difference in the lives of Catholic youth in the state. The Diocese of Fargo honors these women by nominating them for the 2015 Lumen Christi Award sponsored by Catholic Extension. This annual award recognizes a priest, woman 12


religious or lay person who demonstrates how the power of faith can transform lives and communities.


Dorothy and I are like soul sisters,” notes Annette Mears about the pair’s close relationship. “We always figured that it takes two of us to get the work of one person done.” These kindred spirits met during an ordinary trip to the local Dairy Queen. The two engaged in polite chitchat about the happenings of their rural community and their children. “At first, we didn’t really socialize. We just went to the same church,” said Mears. “Now we’ve grown into constant companions.” “They are two peas in a pod. Where one is the other is,” added Josie Breen, former camper, counselor and current religious education teacher at Sullivan Middle School in Fargo. They feed off each other.” Growing up in different environments, Mears raised on a farm outside of Rugby while Gustafson grew up in town, these women found a commonality between them: their faith. “How do you do something like this [camp] for 35 years if

COVER STORY you don’t have some kind of sustaining spirit of prayer? They recognize faith as important in the lives of their kids,” commented Father Tom Graner, former chairman of the camp’s board of directors and active supporter. It’s their faith, love for their children and guidance from the Holy Spirit that sparked the vision and created the reality of Trinity Youth Camp. “They’re very fearless in their leadership, because it could have failed. It’s a ministry they took up from God. They have trust in that,” said Breen.

camping to North Dakota: where would the group host camp? Not deterred, the women prayed for an answer. And, they were not disappointed. “One evening several of my lady friends had stopped over. I told them about my desire. And, one of my friends, a member of the Presbyterian church, said they always rented from Pilgrim Park,” recalls Mears. “She suggested we get in touch with people there and perhaps they had space and time available. That’s how it went.” “We visited it. We loved it,” added Gustafson. For nearly 20 years, TYC was held at Pilgrim Park on the ‘WE CAN DO IT’ “It [TYC] was founded by the Holy Spirit,” said Gustafson shores of Lake Metigoshe. During those years, camp participant numbers continued to grow. As populations diminished in rural matter-of-factly. “…completely His doing.” communities and parishes were getting smaller, the women “Both Annette’s children and one of my children had been expanded the invitation to camp to neighboring parishes in invited to go a camp run by Lutherans. It was a good camp, but Rugby, Harvey, Cando and Bottineau. In the early years, TYC we wanted something that was Catholic. We both at the same camp sessions opened on Sunday and closed on a Thursday. time had the idea to start our own camp,” reported Gustafson. Only one session was held each summer. “She doesn’t remember it, but Annette said, ‘we can do it.’” When the park land was sold in 1998, the camp site was After the idea struck, the ladies immediately got to work. relocated two miles south to Camp Metigoshe operated by First, they approached the pastor at St. Joachim, Rolla. He liked Metigoshe Ministries. Now, Trinity Youth Camp is available in the idea but knew it could not be supported solely by that one of four sessions in three different locations primarily within parish. So, the women contacted neighboring parishes in Rolette the boundaries of the Fargo Diocese. and Bisbee. While the camping experience has evolved and tweaks have “I remember the meeting well,” said Mears. been made, the camp has stayed true to its Catholic roots. Each The women pitched the idea. And, the priests loved it. session offers daily Mass, religious education called “Good News,” Unfortunately, Gustafson and Mears were faced with the first of water activities, crafts, outdoor recreation, music and campfires. many obstacles to fall upon them in their quest to bring Catholic All these activities are designed to allow campers to expand



COVER STORY their Christian friendships, learn more about the faith and above all grow into a deeper relationship with God while having fun. “Annette and Dorothy are great examples of how fun the faith can be throughout your whole life. They’ve made it fun for kids,” Breen said. “I really enjoy when we’re all together. We may not know everyone but it feels like a huge family. We are all there for the same reasons: God, fun and friends.” “It’s important because it helps us realize that faith isn’t limited to an hour of service each week. It extends into our summer break,” added Father Graner. “It’s not just in their parish that the faith is alive and well. They can make friends with Catholic backgrounds, learn about faith in a fun atmosphere, and it gives them an opportunity to evangelize. They have fun with faith and want to talk about it.”

come to camp as soon as he was done to help us with campfire. He knew all the cool songs that all the kids knew. He’s been a great supporter ever since.” Gustafson said. Father Boucher is one of many priests who have been involved with TYC over the years, both before and after being ordained. Father Tom Graner also has been highly supportive and actively engaged with TYC. The summer before his priestly ordination, he was assigned to a parish in Belcourt. The pastor at the time, Father George Schneider, insisted young Father Graner spend time at the camp as part of his summer experience. “I walked away from that camp very distinctively thinking this is the kind of lay ministry that should be going on in all sorts of places. At that time, it was the very best example of ministry outside the parish realm,” he said. In years following, Father Graner helped by offering Mass, becoming the Good News director, establishing a board of directors and leading the board MANY GIFTS FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT as chairman. Like life, the journey to build Trinity Youth Camp has not always been easy. But, for Dorothy and Annette, it seemed with “He had the idea that we should have a ‘resident priest’ every stumbling block came a solution received through prayer during camp,” said Gustafson. “So, you can see that every time the Holy Spirit wants us to move up a grade, He provides and guidance from the Holy Spirit. “I’ll tell you the Holy Spirit didn’t want us to give up on this,” the insight.” Gustafson remarked. One example occurred the fourth summer “There are some awesome priests. They are so supporting of a session was held. The morning before camp began the pair us,” added Mears. was short one male counselor. They started making calls and These women have numerous stories explaining the many reached out to a young man from their parish who happened ways they have been blessed with many gifts from the Holy to be in town with plans of attending the state fair. Spirit to make the camp work. “We asked him if he would be a counselor. And, he said ‘yes,’” “Whether it’s hiring staff or a change we need to make, I can Gustafson said with delight. “He gave up going to the state fair depend on the Holy Spirit to do that for me, not just for camp to spend time with us. Since then, we have seen many blessings for every part of me,” said Gustafson. like that, where you know God wants this to happen because “It’s so easy to pray because of the Holy Spirit. We are infused. he always provides.” When you live for God, and He has blessed us in so many ways, “He has never failed us. We’ve had to work hard, and it becomes natural,” Mears continued. He’s called us to work harder, but we just know it’s right,” “CAMP GRANDMAS” added Mears. Annette and Dorothy’s love and trust in their faith spills Another example the women recall involved a soon-to-be into the lives of the counselors and campers they encounter. priest and his musical talents. One year, the musical director They work tirelessly to make camp special each year for every had recorded the dates of camp incorrectly. He wasn’t able to attendee. They are not moved by accolades or recognition but attend the session until much later in the week. Since music and a true desire to share the Catholic faith with the young people singing is a big part of Trinity Youth Camp, the women knew of the state. they had a bit of a problem. Luckily, Father Kevin Boucher, at the time working at a bank in Dunseith, was dropping off his “They don’t care about money or fame. It’s all about the kids sister at camp. The women shared their plight with him. Once for them. They make sure the kids are taken care of, welcomed again, a solution presented itself. Father Boucher mentioned he and having fun,” noted Breen. “The sacrifices they make; they happened to know some songs and carried a guitar in his car do willingly. I have never heard them complain.” “They are hilarious, funny ladies that love to put on skits. trunk. They enjoy making kids laugh and helping kids have fun but “He would go to work during the day, and then he would do it in a faithful, respectful manner,” added Jim Picard, a for14


Annette Gustafson (left) and Dorothy Mears (right) pose for a picture during a Trinity Youth Camp session. Known for their sense of humor and love of making people laugh, the pair are dressed for a skit they perform to announce the popular “Dinosaur Egg Hunt” held during each camp session. (Kellie Knodel, New Earth)

mer counselor who now directs counselor recruiting. He also teaches mathematics at Shanley High School in Fargo. “They are incredible, loving ladies. We call them the ‘camp grandmas.’ If kids are missing home or need someone to talk to, the first people that everyone is looking around for is Annette and Dorothy,” Picard continued. “They make people happy. They love doing it and staying busy.” This work ethic lingers beyond the summer season as Gustafson and Mears continue to work throughout the year to bring the presence of God into the camp experience. “They’re the kind of folks who keep on working until the job gets done. They keep on making phone calls until they find someone who can help with a particular area of camp. They’re very protective of camp and everyone who’s there,” Father Graner noted. “We live for camp,” Mears said excitedly.

Dorothy set the tone of love and caring for each person. Camp offers cool ways to make it [faith] stick.” “In today’s world they are torn away from God constantly. We want them to be in the world but not of it. We think camp offers them a way to do that. They can come to camp for five years, and they can build on it. We just hope in that time, that their faith bases will be strengthened,” Mears said. Although the duo is beyond the average retirement age, they show few signs of slowing down. However, they are not disillusioned about the end of their time with TYC. But, true to their nature, they trust Trinity Youth Camp will continue well into the future. “Dorothy and I know that the day will come that we can’t be there, but we have no fear that camp will end,” Mears says. The women, who started a small project to give their children a Catholic camping experience and have watched their dream continue to flourish, work to make plans for camp to continue TYC LEGACY by sharing responsibility with others. They have influenced For many campers and counselors, the impact of camp generation of campers willing to step into leadership roles to resonates long after the week has ended. Moved by the faithsee the camp continue to thrive and the faith to be shared. filled experience, many campers return year after year. They become Counselors-in-Training (CITs), then counselors when “They have left a big mark that we want to live up to. For they no longer can attend as campers. Several former attendees, them, it wasn’t their camp, it was God’s camp. Because of that, counselors and directors have become priests, Catholic school it can go on without them,” said Picard. educators and continue to support the camp in many ways. ABOUT THE LUMEN CHRISTI AWARD “For some kids, it’s the first opportunity to see this type of Every year, Catholic Extension honors an individual or group evangelization. It gives them an opportunity to grow in their working in a mission diocese who demonstrates how the power faith,” said Picard. “Campers want to share the same influence of faith can transform lives and communities. Lumen Christ; or of their counselors and camp with others. There’s a network of “Light of Christ” recipients are the “hidden heroes in our midst. faith that’s kind of formed after camp.” They bring light and hope to the forgotten corners of the country Added Breen, “Kids that come back are so excited to be and inspire those around them.” Winners of the award receive there because of a deeper caring and love. Really, Annette and a $50,000 grant to support the recipient’s ministry. NEW EARTH APRIL 2015



Fargo Diocese Newman Centers to celebrate 30th year of bike race fundraiser By Kristina Lahr

Bikers for the NDSU Newman Center take off at the starting line to begin the 40-mile bike race against the UND Newman Center Apr. 26, 2014. Each team requires about 100 volunteers for the Newman Centers’ biggest fundraiser each year to be a success. (Submitted photo)


or 30 years, volunteers have banded together to make the NDSU and UND Newman Center Bike Race and Ride a success. Each year, on the last weekend of April, the two Newman Centers compete in their biggest fundraiser of the year: a 40-mile bike race. Not only do the Newman Centers need riders and sponsors for the event, they need volunteers to cover the details of the day. Each school hopes to utilize about 100 volunteers in order for the day to run smoothly. “There are a lot of places to cover,” said Sue Vacek, secretary of St. Thomas Aquinas Newman Center at UND. “We need volunteers to prepare three meals, check people in, to be “zoom” cars that drive up and down the course and make sure everyone is okay, people to man the three rest stops on the route, medics, people who do bike repair before the race and people to monitor the finish line. The local community gets pretty involved.”


While students involved with the Newman Centers make up many of the riders, the parish community and those outside the Catholic sphere also come to support the race. Since it’s not a Catholic-specific event, it’s an opportunity for students who aren’t a part of the Newman Center to get involved. “It’s a really non-intrusive way to invite students,” said Luke Hellwig, FOCUS team director at UND. “Our culture is all about fun runs and color runs. People love paying money for a good cause and a good time. We want to show that the Newman Center is a normal place that brings people together. It’s a great opportunity to invest in people. So, that in the fall, they want to come back.” This year’s Race and Ride is Saturday, Apr. 25. “This is the 30th annual,” said Hellwig “You don’t see a lot



of that anymore. It’s really helped to keep the Newman doors open and it has given people, students and volunteers an opportunity to support the bigger picture. To think of the lives that have been changed coming through these doors… it’s good to be able to invest in the lives of these college students.” Even the students who benefit most by the activities of the Newman Centers have a chance to give back to the place that has helped them grow spiritually. “[The bike race] gives students an opportunity to tell their story and what the Newman Center has done for them in their college years,” said Tara Splonskowski, staff associate at St. Paul’s Newman Center in Fargo. “Not everyone likes to fundraise, but they’re willing to do it because the Newman Center is that important to them. They’re willing to put in the effort to tell their family and friends what the Newman Center has done for them.”


Although bragging rights are an incentive for some in their fundraising and recruiting goals, overall the Newman Centers wish to see both of their communities flourish. “It doesn’t really matter who wins,” said Splonskowski. “The whole idea is that it is our biggest fundraiser, and it’s a great community builder. There certainly are some competition elements, but it’s not the most important thing. We both want each other to have the resources we need to do the best for Christ.” “But, we would like to have the trophy back,” she added. The UND team has claimed the championship three-years running. The winning team is determined with a combined score of the number of riders to finish the race, the number of riders to finish with the top 20 fastest times and the amount of money raised. Both schools hope to recruit at least 300 riders. For more information, visit or


TATTERED PAGES A review of Catholic books and literature


oys, you might be shocked to hear, are different from girls. A few years ago one of our sons had a new teacher eager to help her nine-and ten-year-old charges discover the wonders of literature. While she started out all right with “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,” she then began a streak of books that ran from “Heidi” to “The Secret Garden” and on through several other fantastic books whose only problem was that they are—dare we say it?—girl books. The son in question was not shy about expressing his disdain for these selections in ways that were, ahem, not conducive to classroom order. Girls will, as a general rule, enjoy, or at least dutifully read, books more oriented toward male interests; the opposite is not, unfortunately, true. Thus, it is always a distinct pleasure when I discover a book that I know will appeal not only to girls but to boys. The pleasure is all the more distinct when the book in question is written by a Christian author and tells a story involving Christian faith. Michael Lotti’s novel, “St. George and the Dragon,” rides to the rescue. Like all truly good children’s or young adult fiction, it will be of interest to everyone. I know because I read it aloud to my three oldest boys. They, my wife and I loved it. Lotti, an Eastern Orthodox Christian with a Ph.D. in philosophy who writes professionally, states in his introduction that this is “a story and not the story, for no one knows much about Saint George.” He elaborates that we know when and where he lived, that he was a Roman soldier and that he was a Christian martyr. “All the stories,” he adds, tell us he defeated a dragon. The book, then, is historical fiction with quite a bit of guesswork and imagination about the details of St. George’s life. But, he definitely kills a dragon. Lotti’s George begins the story as Marcellus, a Roman tribune in his early twenties fresh from battle, readying himself for a leave of absence to go home to his father’s estate in Galatia and to marry his childhood sweetheart. During a debriefing from his latest, successful campaign against the Persian Sassanids, Marcellus is asked by Demetrios, his commanding officer, about his own behavior: “And you personally, Marcellus? I’ve heard reports that you went first into the enemy’s camp. Not every tribune would have done that.” Marcellus’s response hits the perfect note to establish his character. Turning red, he responds, “I thought to lead as you lead, sir.” Marcellus is a soldier of honor, not of fortune. He believes in the “grandeur that was Rome” and worries about the fate of the empire. Two groups bother Marcellus. The first are Christians, whom co-emperor Galerius (under Diocletian) is campaigning to eradicate. Yet, Marcellus thinks this unwise. In his experience, they are better soldiers, more honest and reliable, less likely to get in trouble with drink or gambling. The other group, fictional but plausible, is a mysterious, new and growing dragon cult.

‘St. George and the Dragon’ A story of transformation, conversion for all

By David Paul Deavel

Upon Marcellus’s return home, he finds that his father is sympathetic to the Christians while his intended bride is part of the dragon cult. And, she wants him to meet the dragon. Torn between the desire to please his fiancée and his growing sense that the dragon is malevolent, Marcellus is simultaneously drawn to the strange band of Christians, whom his father has allowed to worship on the family estate. When Marcellus fails to produce a sacrifice for the dragon, it raids his family’s estate, taking sheep and wounding or killing some of the slaves. Titus, Marcellus’ father, himself falls comatose during the attack, leaving Marcellus to rely even more upon Pasikrates, a Christian slave who manages the estate. The symbolism is clear: Titus, representing the old pagan Rome, is impotent in the face of the new spiritual forces that challenge the empire. It is the Christians versus the dragon. While the physical threat of the dragon drives the action, the choice of spiritual allegiance dominates Marcellus’s mind. He is bewildered by the local bishop Agathon who treats slaves and free as one and equal, burying a slave named Synderikos with the kind of pomp befitting a nobleman hearing him say of “the Jewish peasant” to be “alive and ruling the world” as “the Lord.” Not Julius Caesar. Not Diocletian. While Marcellus has intellectual difficulties, his doubts are over. He knows his intended bride demands submission to the dragon as the price of marriage. He knows he cannot give it, and he knows his military career is over. After another attack, Marcellus realizes he must bring the war to the dragon. Inspired by a dream, he asks for baptism before he mounts his attack. Christened with a new name, George, he sets out with five slaves who are former soldiers. My boys and I were disappointed in the less dramatic ending, but the story really is about Marcellus becoming George. It’s that transformation and conversion in a culture that thinks Christian faith is weird and perhaps dangerous, that is the story for all. In our culture today, it is this kind of imaginative engagement with the saints that I want not just girls but my boys to read or hear. The great thing is, I know they will, because they did. Deavel is associate editor of “Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture,” and adjunct professor of Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul.

About the Book: “St. George and the Dragon” by Michael Lotti. Published by CreateSpace Publishing. Paperback is 162 pages. Available via Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other book resellers.




Franciscan Sisters of Dillingen introduce new blog By Kristina Lahr


s we continue celebrating this Year of Consecrated Life, the Franciscan Sisters of Dillingen welcome readers to check out their new blog: “Our Franciscan Fiat,” which launched in February. In starting this blog, Sister Christina, who serves at St. Anne’s Guest Home in Grand Forks, hopes to connect with those already friends of the community, build that community and inspire and teach those interested in religious life. Sister Christina also facilitates the blog for St. Anne’s Guest Home, “The St. Anne’s Scoop.” “I thought a blog would be a good idea to do for our community,” said Sister Christina. “It’s still kind of early to know how much of an impact it’s having. But for the St. Anne’s Guest Home blog, I’ve seen more people coming to our site because of it, and that just started in November.” Sister Christina writes articles on the daily readings, prayer, daily life as a religious, as well as whatever the Holy Spirit inspires her to write. Sister Christina actively searches for ways to spread the word of her blog by posting links to it on Catholic forums and asking other sites to feature them. One of her posts was recently featured on the popular blog, “CatholicMom.”


While having a blog is good for public relations and search engine optimization to lead people to the St. Anne’s Guest Home site, ultimately, Sister Christina hopes the blog will lead souls to Christ and bring about a greater awareness of the beauty of religious life.

Sister Christina at St. Anne’s Guest Home in Grand Forks writes for the Franciscan Sisters of Dillingen blog, Our Franciscan Fiat. Sister Christina hopes the blog will strengthen the community at St. Anne’s Guest Home and bring a greater awareness of the beauty of religious life. (Submitted Photo)



“I hope that ‘Our Franciscan Fiat’ might help people to see that religious life is real, and how it’s lived, as well as the fact that it is a possibility for young people today,” she said. “I hope it might teach people more about religious life and what it’s really about. It is a real and beautiful life.” With the start of this blog, the Franciscan Sisters of Dillingen are part of a movement in the Catholic world to embrace digital media. Pope Francis said that the internet is a gift from God with its potential for encounter and solidarity. But, he did note, with caution, that the variety of opinions available online can enable us to find information that confirms our own self-determined ideas. Religious communities know that if they don’t have an accurate presence online, it is easy for people to get the wrong impression about religious life. “A lot of people do online searching when they’re interested in religious life,” Sister Christina said, “so if we have a blog that can be found on online, it gives us a bigger presence out there.” The inspiration for the title of the blog alludes to “Mary’s fiat,” her “yes” to the Angel Gabriel at the Annunciation. The Franciscan Sisters of Dillingen are called to echo this loving, obedient “yes” every day of their lives. While the blog is still a work in progress, Sister Christina hopes to include more glimpses of what it means to be a Franciscan Sister of Dillingen in the Hankinson Province from day to day. She posts two or three times a week and welcomes questions, comments and conversation. Visit https://ourfranciscanfiat. to view “Our Franciscan Fiat.”

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Diocesan policy: Reporting child abuse

The Diocese of Fargo is committed to the protection of youth. Please report any incidents or suspected incidents of child abuse, including sexual abuse, to civil authorities. If the situation involves a member of the clergy or a religious order, a seminarian or an employee of a Catholic school, parish, the diocesan offices or other Catholic entity within the diocese, we ask that you also report the incident or suspected incident to Monsignor Joseph P. Goering at (701) 356-7945 or Larry Bernhardt at (701) 356-7965 or For additional information about victim assistance, visit NEW EARTH APRIL 2015



STORIES OF FAITH By Father Bert Miller

Faith-filled woman’s prayer

answered at 92

Author’s Note: When the winds of spring blow over the farmlands of the Diocese of Fargo, our thoughts turn to seeding the ground and the hard physical labor that will bring in the crop later in the year. Our memories are filled with the summer pictures of the many tough-looking, tanned-or-burned faces of farmers and their wives who worked side-by-side in the fields of the great state of North Dakota. A loyal reader, Angela Hoggarth of Holy Rosary Church in Lamoure, recently wrote me to share the story of her mother, Angie Bender. Angie spent most of her 92 years working the fields, milking the cows, raising a family and cooking for farmhands. Angie was a woman of faith, Angela said in an e-mail to me. “She’s been a woman of faith all her life, having it passed down from her parents. She raised us all in the faith, even after our dad passed away in 1967. She just kept the faith and was never a negative, bitter woman on how hard life was for her – never! So amazing. She would just pick up that rosary and pray.” However, her long-held dream was to earn a high school diploma. It took 92 years. Her strong faith and her successful farm work ethic led Angie to realizing her dream in 2014. Here is the TR Extra Ag Edition story of Angie’s life as written by Bonnie Jo Conley. (Reprinted with permission from Valley City Times-Record) Former Wimbledon farm wife, Angie Bender, had a dream to earn a high school diploma, and on Mother’s Day 2014, she finally achieved that dream when she graduated from high school at the age of 92. 20


After two years of working with Sister Alice in Yakima, Wash. and the Sisters of the Charity of Providence in Seattle, Wash., she obtained the honorary high school diploma she had hoped for so many years ago. On Mother’s Day 2014, Angie received her coveted high school diploma with many of her children, 27 grandchildren and 42 great-grandchildren in attendance. Angie was born in St. Anthony, the eighth child of 17 children born to Valentine and Rosa (Schmidt) Bender. They were a hardworking farm family who later moved to Selfridge to try and make a better living during the depression years. Since money was scarce, the family packed up and headed to Yakima, Wash., where her father found work as a laborer building irrigation canals. He helped build the canal still running through Yakima to this day. Angie recalls fondly playing in the “Yakima hills.” Upon arriving in Yakima, several members of the family began working in the fields picking hops for the beer brewing industry. After finishing eighth grade at Washington Jr. High, Angie’s mother asked her to stay home, go to work to help earn money for the family and to watch her siblings. Her dream of attending the St. Joseph Catholic Academy ended, and she honored her parents’ request. Angie worked for the Del Monte Cannery, peeling pears by hand, earning four cents per box. In a typical 10-hour workday, a person could make as much as two dollars. Because she was so proficient at her job, Angie was promoted to floor lady and was responsible for supervising the other workers. Angie had


been walking to work but was able to purchase a used girl’s bike for $17. She made a two dollar down payment and paid the remaining balance in weekly installments. This was a major purchase because her earnings were needed to help support the family. Angie married John Steckler in 1943 in a double wedding ceremony with her brother, Joe Bender, and John’s sister, Rose Steckler. She had eight brothers in World War II at that time and had thought of enlisting herself, but she knew it would break her mother’s heart. After marrying John, they moved to a farm near Wimbledon and were blessed with eight children. Angie could do anything. Besides caring for her family, she farmed beside her husband, took care of the livestock and tended a huge garden. Also, she canned vegetables and fruits and baked fresh bread, bars, cookies and pies two times a week. Day in and day out, she prepared three, made-from-scratch meals a day for her family and harvesters. Big lunches were prepared and taken out to the fields on a daily basis. Every morning at sunrise, she’d be in the barn milking and doing animal chores all before coming back into the house to get the family fed and ready for the school bus. In the evening, she was in the barn milking and doing chores again before supper time.

Following the passing of her husband in 1967, Angie worked at several jobs to support five children still left at home. She was the strength her family leaned on, once again doing whatever was necessary to make ends meet. In 1972, she married Bill Werner, and they lived on a farm north of Leal. She worked beside Bill until they retired and moved into Valley City. And so…fast forward to 2014: Angie’s dream to graduate high school was still just a dream. By this time, St. Joseph’s Academy had been closed for more than 50 years. But, after working for two years, Angie was finally able to obtain her dream, proving that God still answers the desires of our hearts, although sometimes many years later. Father Bert Miller serves the Diocese of Fargo as pastor at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in West Fargo. Editor ’s note: Stories of Faith is a recurring feature in New Earth. If you have a faith story to tell, contact Father Bert Miller at

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DHS appropriation bill may be most important bill never heard about


he Department of H u m a n Catholic Services is large. Action Its budget for the 2013-2015 biennium was over $3 billion. Christoper This session’s bill Dodson asks for $3.6 billion. But, expect the final bill to be less after adjustments in light of falling oil revenues. The department has more than 2,200 full-time employees. While it may be tempting to some to see the department’s budget as proof of an overgrown bureaucracy, the truth is that the department’s services include a wide range of programs that, if looked at individually, are not particularly large or expensive. About 33 percent of the budget consists of Medicaid and children’s health insurance payments, but the rest covers many other services. These services include: • Long-term care, which includes nursing homes • Special needs adoption • Foster care • Care for individuals with developmental disabilities, including guardianship services • Autism services • Abortion alternatives services • Guardianship establishment and Vulnerable Adult Protective Services • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families • Human service centers • State hospital • Child support services • Various substance abuse programs • The Life Skills and Transition Center (formerly known as the Developmental Center) • Child care assistance • Low Income Home Energy Assistance • Senior Meals Programs • Vocational Rehabilitation And, there are many more. In fact, the budget request had 55 separate line items, most of which are for unique services. Chances are, if you or a family member has ever been sick, struggling financially, in a nursing home, disabled, facing a mental illness or behavioral health problem, divorced with a child or unexpectedly pregnant, you have had contact with the Department of Human Services. It should be pointed out that about 60 percent of the department’s budget comes from federal, not state, dollars. 22


Nevertheless, the breadth of the department’s actions and size of the total budget can make it seem overwhelming and an easy target when it comes to “trimming” government spending. After all, the poor, sick and struggling don’t have strong lobbying organizations. Another challenge is that some people believe that these services should be provided entirely through private charities, especially churches. Certainly churches have a role to play. Charity is a Christian obligation. There is, however, a difference between charity (which is freely given in response to an immediate need) and justice (which is due to a person because of their dignity as a human person). The Church teaches that we should not leave to charity that which is already due as a matter of justice. We also need to recognize that, mostly out of a desire to protect citizens, the provision of human services has become professionalized and regulated. As a consequence, the cost of covering all these services would be beyond the capability of the charitable sector. If you are already tired of the diocese’s capital campaigns, imagine what it would be like if churches had to raise another $1.5 billion annually. The Department of Human Services bill is not like an abortion or school choice bill, where you can email your legislator with a simple “yes” or “no” request. The bill will be passed. The question is what in it will be funded and at what level. How, as Catholics citizens, do we engage in the development of such a bill? The Wisconsin Catholic Conference recently wrote about budget bills in general. The group’s comments apply to the Department of Human Services bill. The Conference wrote: “While they contain numerous facts, data, and projections, state budgets are documents through which our state makes choices and sets priorities. They are about how needs are met and which are deferred or denied. As such, they are moral documents that define the values of those who enact them. While the WCC does not take a position for or against the state budget as a whole, it does address aspects of the budget that advance or hinder important priorities. For Catholics, a vital priority is always that of meeting the needs of the poor, disadvantaged and marginalized.” Ultimately, the budget bill is a moral document that reflects who we are as a state. The least we can do is pray for the legislators that will review the department’s bill. Heavenly Father, grant wisdom and open hearts to our elected officials as they decide how best to help our neighbors, especially the least among us. Amen. 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



Keeping Catholic schools Catholic

here seems to be some dispute as to whether the original Trotskyite—that would be, um, Leon Trotsky—ever said, “You may not be interested in the dialectic but the dialectic is interested in you.” One quotation-archaeologist, digging deeply, claims to have found the origins of Trotsky’s alleged bon mot in that unforgettable treatise, “Petty-Bourgeois Moralists and the Proletarian Party;” but, while this is Lent, excavating such rocky soil would transform penance into masochism. So, let’s just assume that Trotsky, as a good dialectical materialist, believed that there was no escape from history as it was being driven by “the dialectic.” Or, to put it less dialectically-materialistically, you can’t duck some fights, try as you may. Like, for example, the intensification of the culture war that will follow the Supreme Court’s anticipated discovery that the 39th Congress, passing the 14th amendment to the Constitution in 1866, included within the amendment’s guarantees a “right” to so-called “same-sex marriage.” Pressures flowing from that judicial fantasy will make it clear, save to the willfully blind, that while you might not be interested in the culture war, the culture war is interested in you—and it isn’t going to leave you in peace until you surrender, or until America regains its senses and rejects what Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger dubbed the “dictatorship of relativism.” This has been the issue in the U.S. bishops’ contest with the Obama administration over the HHS contraceptive/abortifacient mandate in Obamacare. Will Catholic institutions and Catholic employers be able to conduct their affairs according to the Church’s settled convictions, protected by the robust definition of religious freedom contained in the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act? Or, will the government attempt to coerce those institutions and businesses into becoming de facto extensions of the state insofar as the delivery of certain “reproductive health services” is concerned? That question of identity, or integrity-in-mission, will be the issue in other culture-war assaults on Catholic life. One of the next lines of battle involves employment practices in Catholic schools. Will the Church be allowed to staff its schools with teachers who teach and live what the Catholic Church believes and teaches, hiring those who meet those criteria and declining to employ those who don’t? Or, will the state try to coerce Catholic schools to employ teaching staff according to other criteria? This is going to be a nasty fight, given that “tolerance” has

become the all-purpose bludgeon with which the sexual revolution, in all its The Catholic manifestations, beats Difference its adversaries into submission or drives George Weigel them into catacombs. All the more reason, then, to be grateful for the courageous leadership shown by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, whose San Francisco archdiocese is arguably ground zero of the culture war that cannot be avoided—and that must be fought if Catholic institutions are to remain free to be themselves. You can read Archbishop Cordileone’s extraordinary address to a convocation of Catholic high school teachers on Feb. 6 by going to the San Francisco archdiocesan website and navigating from the home page to the archbishop’s speeches via the “archbishop” tab. There, in Archbishop Cordileone’s remarks, you will find a magnificent explanation of what Catholic schools do and why what Catholic schools do is important for the young people they serve and for society. The address is a basic lesson in virtue ethics, a moving testimony to growth in virtue as the true index of human accomplishment and a powerful compliment to teachers as animators of virtue. Animating virtue is tough work, and it requires everyone staying on-mission. Thus, Archbishop Cordileone is asking that those who teach in the archdiocesan high schools not speak against settled teachings of the Catholic Church in their classrooms and not act publicly in ways that contradict the Church’s settled convictions. Such a requirement would have been thought unexceptionable in the past. Stating it today puts Archbishop Cordileone squarely in the crosshairs of the increasingly intolerant “Tolerance Police.” More power to him for understanding that, like it or not, the culture war is interested in you and responding is an evangelical imperative. George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. Weigel’s column is distributed by the Denver Catholic, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Denver.

“Animating virtue is tough work, and it requires everyone staying on-mission.” – George Weigel, The Catholic Difference NEW EARTH APRIL 2015



Retirement income you can depend on


ith all the ups and downs in the financial markets, many Stewardship Catholics in our diocese have Steve Schons turned to the Catholic Development Foundation’s gift annuity program to create a steady, dependable stream of lifetime income. They like knowing that every quarter they will receive the same amount, year in and year out. They like the other benefits, too. Things like a good payment rate (up to 9.5 percent) and income that is partially tax-free. They also like the charitable income tax deduction they receive and, of course, the fact that they are helping a good cause like their favorite Catholic ministry.


To learn more, fill out the form and send it to our office at the Catholic Development Foundation (CDF). Once we know your age and the size of the gift you want to make, and whether it will be cash or stock, we can prepare an easy-to-read gift illustration that will tell you: • How much you will receive for the rest of your life. • How much of your quarterly income will be tax-free. • How big your income charitable tax deduction will be. • How your gift annuity will benefit your favorite Catholic ministry.


Mr. and Mrs. Smith are both 75 years old. They give $50,000 to their Catholic church in exchange for a charitable gift annuity. The CDF payment rate for their combined ages happens to be 5.6 percent, which means they will receive $2,800 every year, or $700 every quarter. Note: The rates vary depending on one’s age and whatever is currently being recommended by the American Council on Gift Annuities.

Set out on the path to Christ

Contact: The Vocation Direction Assumption Abbey Richardton, North Dakota 701-974-3315



The Smiths will receive fixed payments for the rest of their lives. And, if one of them dies, the surviving spouse will continue to receive the same fixed payments for the rest of his or her life. Because the payments are backed by the full assets of the CDF, the Smiths can have confidence that their annuity checks will always be there for them. You don’t have to be married to obtain a gift annuity. In fact, single-life annuities pay a higher rate. Also, the older a person or couple is, the higher the payment rate. Why not take a moment to fill out and send in the form below? This will allow us to provide a tailor-made illustration that will show you just how well a charitable gift annuity can work for you. You are under no obligation to proceed with a gift. Steve Schons is director of stewardship and development for the Diocese of Fargo and can be reached at or (701) 356-7926. Dear Friends at the Catholic Development Foundation: Please send a free illustration to show the benefits of having a gift annuity with the Catholic Development Foundation.



Amount $

Please contact me (us) about a personal visit. The best time to call me is: Name: Address: City: State: Zip: Mail this form to:


Diocese of Fargo / Attn: Steve Schons 5201 Bishops Blvd South, Suite A, Fargo, ND 58104



ne of the high points of seminary formation is when things begin to “click.” When this happens, it’s like all the aspects of seminary life (especially prayer, community life, apostolic works and classes) make sense because they are unified in their source and goal. It’s like when a sports team begins “firing on all cylinders,” like the NDSU football team. Every member of the team is working perfectly for the same goal. And, the source and goal of seminary formation, as of all Christian life, seem to me to be the same: the Holy Trinity. The work of God in my life in the past few weeks, as I reflect on the meaning of Lent and Easter, has taken the form of St. Paul’s words to the Galatians, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). The source of this life in Christ comes from our baptism. One striking effect of this sacrament is that we die to our old selves

“So that it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. This life that I live now, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave his life for me.” – Galatians 2:20

“Christ lives in me” and Christ (and each of the Divine Persons) comes to live in us, symbolized in the Seminarian immersion into and Life rising out of the waters of baptism. Jayson Miller By being washed in the waters, we were united to Christ, our head, in a most intimate way. Meanwhile, the goal of the Christian life also resides in this union with God. This is the ongoing work of sanctification, and it is primarily the labor of the Trinity within us, while we freely cooperate. We will inevitably experience the ebbs and flows of our spiritual lives. Sometimes we feel closer to the cross. Other times we experience the joy of life, maybe through the birth of a new family member or a beautiful spring day. What is important is that we are aware and recognize that Jesus is living these realities in us and with us. Our habits of prayer, use of the sacraments, Christian fellowship, efforts in evangelization, etc. all have their goal in this union with Christ, until the seed which is planted here on earth reaches its perfection in heaven. May the Holy Trinity continue the good work he has begun in us and bring it to its fullness. Jayson Miller is a Theology II student studying at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul, Minn. He is originally from Lawton. In his spare time, Miller enjoys playing sports and reading.He believes the high point of the priesthood is celebrating the Mass and the sacraments. 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. Let us know if there is something you would like to know about the life of a seminarian. Perhaps, it will inspire an article from one of them. And, please continue to pray for them.

Trinity Youth Camp 2015 A Catholic Camping Experience

“GOD’S FAMILY – MANY AND ONE” June 17-21: Red Willow Bible Camp, Binford, North Dakota July 8-12: Pelican Lake I, Bottineau, North Dakota July 15-19: Camp of the Cross, Garrison, North Dakota July 29-Aug. 2: Pelican Lake II, Bottineau, North Dakota Camp is for students entering 4th-8th grade this fall. Activities include Good News, crafts, canteen, water activities, great meals, skits, nightly campfires, daily Mass and much more. TYC staff includes directors, resident camp priest, registered nurse, session leaders, and trained counselors. Online Registration Opens Soon!


Questions? Call Annette Mears at (701) 477-5270 or email: Registration is due two weeks prior to start of each camp session.




Sponsored by the Diocese Father Sean Mulligan and Dr. Timothy Mullner to lead pilgrimage to Ireland

The Faith and Beauty of Ireland: Slow Down and Smell the Heather. Father Sean Patrick and Dr. Timothy Mullner will be leading a 10-day/eight-night pilgrimage to Ireland Oct. 13-22, 2015. The journey through the spiritually rich Ireland will give pilgrims an opportunity to come closer to God and gratefully consider the sacrifices and dedication of those who came before. As travelers visit the sites of the early Christian Church in Ireland, they will renew their commitment to the roots of their Catholic faith. The Masses and Holy Hours celebrated along the way will draw the group together as a community and will remind all of our blessings and the call to stewardship as followers of Jesus Christ. Cost (based on a minimum of 25 pilgrims) with self-arranged airfare is $2,219. Cost including airfare from Bismarck is $3,195. For more information, please call Faith Journeys at (877) 7324845 or visit and enter group #15022.

Cardinal McCarrick to attend ND KC state convention

The North Dakota Knights of Columbus will host its annual State Knights of Columbus Convention Apr. 17-19 in Mandan. Along with the convention will be a half-day, pre-convention workshop featuring Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington D.C. who will present his talk “Priest Role as Chaplain to Our Brother Knights of Columbus.” Additionally, both North Dakota bishops, Bishop John Folda, Fargo Diocese and Bishop David Kagan, Bismarck Diocese, will be in attendance. Priests from across the state are encouraged to attend. The conference is open to all ND Knights of Columbus members and their family. Event will be held at Baymont Inn in Mandan with chaplain

expenses covered by their respective Knights of Columbus councils. For more information, contact George Lacher at (701) 793-5566 or For more conference information, visit

2015 church leadership workshop dates, locations scheduled

A training and information session for parish leadership will continued to be offered this summer and early fall. Earlier sessions were held Mar. 28 in Wahpeton and Apr. 11 in Jamestown. Additional session are scheduled for Friday, June 19 at St. Mary’s in Grand Forks, Friday, July 17 at Diocese of Fargo Pastoral Center, Fargo and Sept. 19 at St. Joseph’s, Devil Lake. These training and information sessions have been developed to answer the many questions posed by those in administrative roles in the Church, especially the questions, “Where can we go to learn the right way to do things?” and “What does Canon Law really say about this?” Issues surrounding Canon Laws, state and federal laws, insurance, legal concerns, responsibilities of lay officers, and finance and pastoral councils, annual reports, audits, internal controls, pension plans and more, will be discussed. Participants are asked to pre-register for their preferred location at least 7 days before the session. Registration fee is $10 per person. This fee should be considered a continuing education cost and paid by the parish. For more information, contact the Diocesan Finance and Administration Office at (701) 356-7900.

JMI, Youth for Mary Immaculate, 2015 summer camp dates set

Youth be inspired! Learn the faith, love the faith, and live the faith with one of two, week-long camping sessions near Minto. With Father Joseph Christianson, participants will learn how to pray, participate in daily Mass, Holy Hour with Eucharistic Adoration and nightly Marian Procession. And, kids will enjoy summer fun including swimming, games, sports, outings, and campfires. A free-will offering is welcomed as you are able, but no one is turned away because of financial reasons. Please contact Father Joseph at (701) 248-3020 or for more information.

Boys JMI 2015 Summer Camp

For Ages: 10-17 June 5th - 12th - Starts and ends with 3 p.m. Mass

Girls JIM 2015 Summer Camp



(701) 356-7900

For Ages: 10-17 June 12th - 18th - Starts with 3 p.m. Mass on June 12 and ends with 11 a.m. Mass on June 18.

A Glimpse of the Past

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

50 Years Ago....1965

Low bids on the new Cardinal Muench Seminary to be built near Edgewood Golf Course in north Fargo, were accepted at the opening on April 14. Bishop Leo F. Dworschak expressed general satisfaction with the bids, which totaled approximately $1.5 million. He said the new seminary would be the largest single construction job undertaken by the diocese as such. The new seminary will be situated directly south of Edgewood on a 40 acre tract of land. Construction was begun on April 26, with completion hoped for the Fall of 1966. -May 1965 New Earth

Ken Yasinski

Patrick Coffin

Fr. Michael Gaitley

Dr. Scott Hahn

Dr. Ralph Martin

Fr. James Mallon

JoEllen Gregus

Michael Dopp

20 Years Ago....1995

Just south of one of the oldest parishes in the diocese, and served by the same pastor, is one of the youngest: St. Maurice of Kindred. They will soon dedicate a new parish hall to accommodate its youthful growth. Masses were held in the Kindred City Hall during St. Maurice’s first year in 1964. When the parish was incorporated the following year, services were moved to the Methodist church and stayed there until April 1994. The dedication of the new parish hall was on April 23. Among the first to be invited were members of the Methodist congregation. -April 1995 New Earth

10 Years ago....2005 People throughout the Diocese of Fargo joined with others

in Rome and around the world to grieve for Pope John Paul II, who died April 2. Bells tolled and entrances to churches were draped in black, symbols of the death of a man who changed the world. Bishop Samuel Aquila heard the news of the Holy Father’s death as he traveled April 2 between Bottineau and Rugby. A Memorial Mass was arranged and celebrated at 7:30 that evening at St. Therese Little Flower, Rugby. In Fargo, at the 5 p.m. Mass on April 2, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Fr. John Cavanaugh wore vestments given to him by Pope John Paul II, and shared insights into the man who had become a father figure, not just for Catholics, but for people of all faiths around the world. -April 2005 New Earth

Streaming to Fargo, April 24-25 Shanley Catholic School, 5600 25th St. S

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Events Across The Diocese Mark your calendar for events around the diocese ND Knights of Columbus Convention Workshop.

Baymont Inn, Mandan. Thursday, Apr. 16 beginning at 1 p.m. This half-day workshop for chaplains will feature keynote speaker Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington D.C. Contact George Lacher at (701) 793-5566 or

Ignatian Retreat.

Maryvale, Valley City. Friday, Apr. 17 to Sunday, Apr. 19. This silent retreat is based on the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola and is steeped in the gospels. Contact Sister Dorothy Bunceat (701) 845-2864.

Rachel’s Vineyard.

Hankinson. Friday, Apr. 17 to Sunday, Apr. 19. Rachel’s Vineyard offers a safe, non-judgmental and confidential weekend retreat for anyone who struggles with the feelings of loss that can accompany abortion. Contact Ruth at (701) 219-3941 or

Spring Buffet.

St. Mary’s Church, Grand Forks. Sunday, Apr. 19 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Contact Mary Thompson at (701) 772-6947.

New Evangelization Summit.

Shanley High School, Fargo. Apr. 24-25. An inter- national conference streamed live from Ottawa, ON will bring together speakers who are leaders in the New Evangelization. Call Katie Dubas at (701) 356-7908 or see www.

Newman Center Bike Race.

Grand Forks/Hillsboro/ Fargo. Apr. 25. The annual bike race between the UND and NDSU Newman Centers is the major fundraiser that helps fund the daily operations of the Newman Centers. Anyone can ride. Contact St. Thomas Aquinas Newman Center at (701) 7776850 or

Mother/Daughter Day.

Queen of Peace, Belcourt. Friday, Apr. 17 from 7 p.m. to Sunday, Apr. 19 at 3 p.m. Free will offering for meals. Contact Rose Morin at (701) 477-6735.

Maryvale, Valley City. Apr. 25 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The unique beauty of the mother-daughter relationship will be explored through prayer, scripture and dialogue. Register by April 18. Contact Sr. Dorothy Bunce at (701) 845-2864.

Jason “Boomer” Allison Benefit.

Center for Ministry Workshop.

Life in the Spirit retreat.

Kindred Elementary School, Kindred. Saturday, Apr. 18 from 3 to 7 p.m. Proceeds from benefit will support ongoing medical expenses in fight against ALS. Contact Georgia Berg (701) 428-3166 or Brenda Robinson (701) 212-6155.



St. Catherine’s Church, Valley City, May 1 and St. Alphonsus’ Church, Langdon, May 2. The workshop is sponsored by the Youth and Young Adult Ministry Dept of the Diocese. The topic is “Engaging Today’s Parents with Forming Family Faith.” Contact Kathy Loney at (701) 356-7902.

Spring Celebration.

St. Mary’s Cathedral, Fargo, 5:30 p.m. May 2 and 11:30 a.m. May 3. Celebrate the arrival of spring at the cathedral’s biggest annual fundraiser with dinner, silent auction, live auction, music and a kid’s carnival. Contact the parish office at (701) 235-4289.

5201 Bishops Blvd. S., Ste. A, Fargo, ND 58104-7605 or email The deadline for the May New Earth is April. 22. The earliest that issue will reach homes is May 11.

Mother’s Day Dinner.

St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church, Geneseo, May 10 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Contact Linda Kaczynski at (701) 538-4486 or

To submit events for New Earth and the diocesan website, send information to: New Earth,

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

Gib and Doris Bromenschenkel celebrate 60 years

Gib and Doris Bromenschenkel were married in Little Falls, Minn. April 18, 1955. They moved to Fargo in 1957 and have been a part of Holy Spirit parish ever since. Gib is active in the Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus, and Doris is a Catholic Daughter. They have three children, Kim, Jay and Jill who live in Oregon, Florida and Colorado. And, they have 12 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Franklin Celebrates 93 years Catherine Franklin, parishioner at St. Catherine’s Catholic Church in Valley City, celebrated her 93rd birthday Apr. 4, 2015. Her children are Karen Sauer, Lyle (Julie) Franklin Jr., and Louise Max.

Share Life’s Milestones As a way to celebrate life and love, we encourage parishioners throughout the Diocese of Fargo to send photos of anniversaries of 60 or more years, or birthdays of 80 or more years to: New Earth, Diocese of Fargo, 5201 Bishops Blvd. S., Suite A, Fargo, ND 58104-7605 or


Pope Francis brings down hammer, says ‘Don’t mess with children’ By Elise Harris | Catholic News Agency

reasons for us to love them even more,” the Pope affirmed. He continued, saying that each child who begs for money on the street and who is denied medical care and education is “a painful cry that goes directly to the heart of the Father, and accuses the system that we adults have built.” Far too often these children become the prey of criminals who exploit them for either commerce or violence, the Pope said, noting that even children in wealthy countries frequently live “heavy dramas” due to family crisis or inhumane living conditions. “In every case, their childhood is violated in body and soul,” he said, explaining that social stability, the promotion of the family, the lack of crime and the possibility of decent work all contribute, “without a doubt,” to assuring children of a good home. No matter the circumstances, Francis said, no child is forgotten by their Father in heaven, and “none of their tears are lost, just as our responsibility is not lost.” Children are the responsibility not just of their parents, but of everyone, he explained, adding that when it comes to the Pope Francis greets pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square during his Dec. 3, 2014 sacrifices one needs to make for children, none are “too costly.” general audience. (Bohumil Petrick/Catholic News Agency) The Pope then pointed to the many “extraordinary parents” who make great sacrifices for their children every day, and said the ope Francis said Wednesday that children are never a Church puts herself at their service “with maternal solicitude mistake, and called adults out for building faulty systems and decisively defending their rights.” that leave children exploited and abandoned rather than “The Church, for her part, has always transmitted the blessing treated as the blessings they are. of the Lord to children and to families,” he said, and prayed “Brothers and sisters, think about this well: you don’t mess that families would always care for their children and not worry with children,” the Pope told pilgrims present in St. Peter’s about “counting the cost.” Square for his April 8 general audience. It’s necessary for children to see this, he said, “so that they He spoke in reference to the difficult circumstances many may never believe themselves to be mistakes, but always know children are unfortunately forced to live in due to societal and their infinite worth.” familial problems. The theme served as the focus of his address. Francis closed his address by praying that children will never “We think about the children who are not wanted or aban- have to suffer from “the violence and arrogance of adults,” and doned, the children on the streets, without education or health went on to offer personal greetings to pilgrims present from care, children who are abused, who are robbed of their youth various countries around the world. and childhood,” he said. There are some who try to “justify themselves,” saying that it’s a mistake to bring these children into the world due to the poverty, hunger and fragility they suffer, the Pope continued. For a child to experience these things “is shameful,” he noted, but quipped, “let’s not offload our sins onto children.” A child, he said, “can never be considered a mistake. The mistake is the world of adults, the system that we have built, which generates pockets of poverty and violence, in which the weakest are hit the hardest.” Francis’ focus on the suffering of children came after previous reflections on the blessing and gift they are to parents and the world. The theme fits into his ongoing catechesis on the family, which he began last fall in preparation for October’s Ordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family. “Children are never a mistake, and their sufferings are only




Strong families create strong vocations WHAT’S HAPPENING

Father Daniel Musgrave shares how family helped him discern priesthood By Kristina Lahr

getting involved in the politics of the church and learning all the things priests have to do. But, when I got to the point when I said I wanted to enter seminary, my parents got very excited for me.” By the age of 26 and after working several different jobs, he knew he needed to follow the stirring in his heart that God might be calling him to be a priest. He went to Cardinal Muench Seminary in 2006. “At that point I’d tried other things,” he said. “I’d pursued a career and had an apartment. I decided that I didn’t care how I felt or what I thought, I was giving it one year.” “Where my family came in was that they said in whatever I decided, they would be supportive. They were always very supportive of my decisions when it came to careers and sports. They never pushed me one way or the other. I wasn’t afraid to make a decision because I knew my parents backed me no matter what.” The freedom to decide that Father Musgrave experienced at home made the transition to the seminary a smoother one, knowing there was no specific expectation attached to it. To attend seminary, a man commits to a new lifestyle of prayer, Father Daniel Musgrave and his family after his first Mass June 24, 2012 studies and discernment if God is calling him to be a priest. at St. Catherine’s Catholic Church in Valley City. With the help of his family, Father Musgrave was able to answer God’s call to be a priest. “Seminary is a place of peace to decide,” he said. “A strong family life gives a man stability that has hopefully taught him ather Daniel Musgrave, parochial vicar of St. Alphonsus’ how to pray, discern and respond to God’s invitations. It’s in Catholic Church in Langdon first started thinking about the family where we first experience love in the family and the the priesthood through SEARCH retreats. SEARCH is a love of God. In prayer, we grow to recognize what peace and program directed by Father Musgrave’s parents that helps youth love is.” connect with God, themselves and the Christian community. Father Musgrave’s presence at one SEARCH retreat was a given RELIGIOUS VOCATION IN THE FAMILY for him and his two older brothers. Father Musgrave figured Father Musgrave’s advice for families is simple: be open he would go to one retreat to satisfy his parent’s prompting, to religious vocations and verbally mention it as a possibility. but it was cut short because of flooding in 1996. In his parent’s Each family is called to faithfully foster a culture where young eyes, this retreat didn’t count, and they encouraged him to go people can hear and respond to God’s calling for them. on another. “Be real with it. If a mom and dad have a son or daughter, “When you go the first time, you are helped by those who and they don’t see a priestly or religious vocation for them, have been there before,” said Father Musgrave. “When you go don’t push them into it. But, if they see something in them and a second time, you become the server. I got hooked on being a think, ‘maybe my son could be a priest or my daughter could server and started going every year. Different priests and sisters be a religious,’ tell your children you see a certain quality in would share their vocation stories, and I thought ‘I could do them.” that.’ The life they explained was attractive.” Father Musgrave was ordained in June 2012. When it comes to his priestly ministry, he says he feels satisfied and at peace ENTERING SEMINARY with his decision to follow God’s calling to be a priest and is He still had many reservations about going to seminary, challenged in his ministry daily. but through prayer, he decided that if he was still single after graduating with his bachelor’s degree in art, he would think “Specifically I enjoy giving homilies especially when I can feel the Lord is truly there,” he said. “And, I love seeing conversions about the priesthood. “Before I was more vocal about seminary…” said Father in the sacrament of confessions. I get to see people come in with Musgrave, “my mother had some reservations as she was heavy burdens and go away free and relieved.”




The Fargo Diocese’s Year of Marriage and Family kicked-off Dec. 28, 2014. Each month “New Earth” will feature an article related to a particular theme of the month during the year-long celebration. The following lists each month’s theme.





Our Children and Youth

Spousal Love

Natural Family Planning






The Blessed Virgin Mary

St. Joseph, Spouse and Father

Familial Love

“May I?” “Thank you” “I’m Sorry”





Parents: The First Teachers of Faith

Respect Life

Communion of Saints

Domestic Church

If you have a story idea related to these topics, please contact us at or (701) 356-7900 to let us know about it.

What can families do to encourage vocations? 1.Snuggle up and read a story

From Vianney Vocations

Add some books about famous saints to your bedtime reading. There are dozens of fascinating age-appropriate stories of saints who were priests and religious.

When it’s time for family movie night, check out “A Mission to Love” (the life of St. John Bosco). There are tons of other Catholic films that depict heroic and interesting priests and religious.

2.Watch a better movie

3.Set the record straight

Media depictions of dating and sexuality are often opposed to authentic love. So, when a TV show sends the wrong message, set the record straight about what leads to real happiness. Defend the sacrament of marriage.

4.Play dress up

Just as children “play house” and pretend to be moms and dads, help them imagine the life of a priest, brother or sister. This kind of play normalizes what can otherwise seem to be an “otherworldly” vocation.

In your family prayers, pray for more priests and religious. Let your kids hear you praying for their futures.

Speak openly about vocations to marriage, priesthood and religious life. From the earliest age, make it clear that happiness in life is following God’s plan. Tell kids that priests have an awesome job because they bring us the sacraments and that religious brothers and sisters make special vows to live like Jesus.

Invite a priest, sister or brother to dinner at your home. When kids are comfortable around Father John or Sister Margaret, they’re far more likely to be comfortable with the idea of priestly or religious vocation when they grow older.

5.Pray from the heart

6.Talk about vocations

7.Befriend priests and religious





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New Earth April 2015  

Magazine for the Catholic Diocese of Fargo, ND

New Earth April 2015  

Magazine for the Catholic Diocese of Fargo, ND