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New March 2015 | Vol. 36 | No. 3


The Magazine of the Catholic Diocese of Fargo

Celebrating our sisters

A glimpse at the consecrated religious in the diocese and their work to spread the Gospel


From Bishop Folda Mary & Joseph: Models of discipleship

Catechumens, candidates answer Jesus’ invitation

Natural Family Planning: A ‘yes’ to God’s planMARCH for love NEW EARTH 2015 and 1life




ON THE COVER: This image is an original drawing completed by Sister Therese O. Carm. in color pencil. It’s her depiction of Jesus’ mercy and light onto what is hidden in shadows. Sister Therese is a Carmelite nun formally of The Carmelite Nuns of Mary in Wahpeton who now lives at St. Gerard’s Community Nursing home in Hankinson. Much of her art is done in pencil or charcoal and is displayed on the walls in the Carmelite Monastery.

March 2015 Vol. 36 | No. 3




Mary and Joseph: Models of discipleship

Bishop John Folda asks us to look toward the examples of Mary and Joseph in giving themselves to God’s will rather than his or her own.



Pope Francis’ March Prayer Intentions

6 8

Confession guide for adults Ask A Priest: Struggling to stay true to the Church amidst scandal

Aliceyn Magelky

Staff Writer Kristina Lahr



Stephanie Drietz - Drietz Designs

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

21 Catholic Action

Father Matthew Kraemer tackles questions surrounding scandal in the Church and how faithful Catholics should respond




Catechumens, candidates answer Jesus’ invitation; nearly 100 faithful to enter into full communion with Catholic Church

17 Tattered Pages: A review of Catholic books and literature

10 ‘We will not, cannot, back down on the issues and be Catholic;’ luncheon speaker shares ‘non-negotiables’ for Catholics in the voting booth

16 Wahpeton student exchanges zucchettos with the pope




Father Bert Miller shares a story illustrating the goal of one couple that each married couple should have: to help guide each other and our loved ones to heaven.

In “The man who had no will,” Steve Schon’s shares the story of a man who had not fully thought through what might happen to his loved ones after his passing.

23 Making Sense of Bioethics Guest columnist, Father Tad Pacholczyk, reflects on

Father Luke Meyer reviews Michael Richard’s book “Tobit’s Dog.” This book, published by Ignatius Press, provides an “American re-telling” of the struggles experienced by faithful Israelite Tobit and his wife, Anna found in the book of Tobit.

20 Stories of Faith


18 God’s hand in the life of a soul. Co-author Salonen introduces story of woman’s journey from Planned Parenthood to Catholic Church

Christopher Dodson shares the views of the North Dakota Catholic Conference on the farm ownership debate in North Dakota.

22 Stewardship



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


(ISSN# 10676406)


Celebrating our sisters. A glimpse at the consecrated religious in the diocese, their work to spread the Gospel

11 Popular apologist, Tim Staples, shares conversion story at annual Catholic radio banquet


Most Rev. John T. Folda Bishop of Fargo

In 2013, Pope Francis declared that a Year of Consecrated Life be celebrated throughout the world. Therefore, a Year of Consecrated Life began on Nov. 30, 2014 and will conclude on Feb. 2, 2016. The Diocese of Fargo is blessed to have five religious communities to pray and witness to the faithful here.


the ethical implications of using surgery and other medical intervention to reduce weight.

25 Seminarian Life

Seminarian Kevin Lorsung shares how praying the rosary and Mary’s intercession has led him closer to Jesus.


26 27 28 28

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


30 Natural Family Planning (NFP): A “yes” to God’s plan for love and life.

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

Contact Information Use the following contact information to contact the New Earth staff: (701) 356-7900 Deadline to submit articles, story ideas, advertisements and announcements for the April issue is Mar. 25, 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. Periodical Postage Paid at Fargo, ND and at additional mailing offices. Member of the Catholic Press Association NEW EARTH MARCH 2015


Bishop Folda’s Calendar


March 14 | 5 p.m.

Mary and Joseph: Models of discipleship


he month of March is the heart of the season of Lent, but it also offers us two beautiful liturgical celebrations: the Solemnity of Joseph, Husband of Mary (March 19), and the Solemnity of the Annunciation (March 25). On both of these occasions, the Church considers the faithful response of two humble persons to the will of God: Mary and Joseph. On Mar. 25, we will celebrate the Annunciation, the moment when God, through the angel

the wedding feast of Cana. She stood by her Son at the foot of the cross, and as Pope Francis tells us, she “also experienced the martyrdom of the Cross….She lived her Son’s passion to the depths of her soul.” Can there be any doubt of Mary’s strength?


Joseph is the quiet man of the New Testament who was privileged to hold and protect the incarnate Son of God. Joseph too had a plan for his life. He was betrothed to Mary, and obviously was surprised to find that she was with child before they were married. Here we see the compassion of Joseph, who wished to preserve Mary from harm. He could have fallen into bitterness and exposed her to shame, and then continued on with his life as he pleased. But, his love for Mary moved him to protect her, even before he knew the full truth of her situation. And when he finally heard the voice of God reassuring him, Joseph believed. He was a man of faith who put his trust in God, even

“Both Mary and Joseph were attentive to the voice of God, and they give us an example to follow in prayer. Each of them reflected on the path that God placed before them and his intervention in their lives.”

Mass at St. Brigid’s Catholic Church, Cavalier

March 15 | 10:30 a.m.

when God speaks. Most of us can’t claim to be visited by angels, but none should doubt that God draws near to us and makes himself known to us. In our times of exaggerated self-promotion, Mary and Joseph offer us a model of self-effacement and humble regard for others. During this holy season of Lent, when we hear the Gospel imperative to die to self, Joseph and Mary show us the way. Each of them had to die to self so that the Son of God might be born and grow to manhood as our Savior. They made personal sacrifices so the saving plan of God might come to fulfillment, even when they could not know all that would be required of them. It might seem unusual to turn our attention to Mary and Joseph just as we begin the season of Lent. But, as we celebrate the great liturgical feasts of March, it seems to me that these two saints offer us excellent models of discipleship. They teach us generosity, docility, self-denial, prayerfulness, courage, diligence and the importance of sacrificial love. In their humble, ordinary way, they give us an extraordinary example of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. As we make our way through this holy season, Mary and Joseph can be our guides to Jesus. Let us learn from them, and with them follow our Savior more closely.

Gabriel, revealed to Mary that she was to be the mother of his Son. And, in that pivotal moment, Mary uttered her “yes” and gave her consent to God’s amazing plan: “Let it be done to me according to your word.” Undoubtedly, Mary was surprised by the message of the angel. She could never have imagined what Gabriel would tell her about her role in salvation history. Mary was probably a teenage girl, the daughter of a humble family. She was betrothed to a carpenter and expected to be married and have a family, as most young girls did. But when she heard the news of God’s plan, she set her own plans aside and allowed herself to be a vessel, a dwelling place for the Most High. The Incarnation of our Lord, which we celebrate on the Solemnity of the Annunciation, is at the heart of our faith. And, we come to this mystery only through the assent of Mary to God’s invitation. She is accurately described as the first disciple of the Son of God.


We are all familiar with the many beautiful works of art that represent Mary, and unfortunately some of them present her as a sort of china doll: fragile and delicate. But, we should never forget that Mary was a woman of courage and strength. She willingly accepted God’s plan to carry his Son. She travelled the long, rough journey to Bethlehem just days before she gave birth to Jesus. She fled with Joseph and Jesus to Egypt when the child was in danger. She spoke to Jesus in a moment of need at


Both Mary and Joseph were attentive to the voice of God, and they give us an example to follow in prayer. Each of them reflected on the path that God placed before them and his intervention in their lives. Pope Francis tells us, “St. Joseph, together with Mary, share a single common center of attention: Jesus. They accompany and nurture the growth of the Son of God made man…reflecting on everything that happened. In the Gospels, St. Luke twice emphasizes the attitude of Mary, which is also that of St. Joseph: she ‘kept all these things, pondering them in her heart.’ (2:19,51).” How easy it is in our noisy world to tune out the quiet but persistent voice of God in our own hearts, and how much we can learn from Mary and Joseph. No two persons looked upon the face of Jesus more than they did, and they show us the importance of our own contemplation of the Savior. They teach us to listen, to be attentive and to respond

March 21 | 10 a.m.

Confirmation/First Eucharist for Holy Cross parish at Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo

March 22 | 1 p.m.

Confirmation/First Eucharist, Sts. Anne & Joachim’s Catholic Church, Fargo

March 28 | 10 a.m.

Confirmation/First Eucharist, St. Rose of Lima’s Catholic Church, Hillsboro

March 29 | 10 a.m.

Palm Sunday Mass, Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo

March 31 | 11 a.m.

Chrism Mass, Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo

April 2 | 7 p.m.

Prayer Intentions of Pope Francis

Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo

April 3 | 10 a.m.

– Bishop John Folda, Diocese of Fargo though his own plans would have to change. He was a man of courage, who accepted a mysterious call from God to be a husband to Mary and a father to Jesus, with all the unknown perils that would come with such a calling. Joseph was a loving and protective father, who took his family to safety in Egypt and who went in search of Jesus when he was lost in the temple of Jerusalem. Joseph remains silent in the Sacred Scriptures, but his silence speaks volumes about his character and his holiness. He allowed himself to be an instrument in the hands of God, a chosen disciple who would place himself at God’s disposition.

Mass at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Crystal

March Universal intention: Scientists. That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person. Reflection: Can you think of any ways in which science, disregarding the higher truths, ends up harming people? Scripture: Psalm 19 The heavens declare the glory of God. Evangelization intention: Contribution of Women. That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always. Reflection: How would I describe the “distinctive skill sets” that women have which society needs? Scripture: Luke 10: 38-42 Martha and Mary care for Jesus in different ways.

Stations of the Cross at abortion facility, 512 First Ave. N., Fargo 3 p.m. Celebration of our Lord’s Passion, Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo

April 4 | 8:30 p.m.

Easter Vigil, Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo

April 5 | 10 a.m.

Easter Sunday, Resurrection of the Lord Mass, Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo

April 10 | 7 p.m.

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

April 11 | 10 a.m.

Confirmation/First Eucharist, St. Helena’s Catholic Church, Ellendale

6 p.m.

Confirmation/First Eucharist, Basilica of St. James, Jamestown

April 12 | 2 p.m. Confirmation/First Eucharist, St. John the Evangelist’s Catholic Church, New Rockford April 12 - 14

Spring Education Days, Carrington 4






Confession guide for adults

• • • • •

Have I been involved with superstitious practices or have I been involved with the occult? Do I seek to surrender myself to God´s word as taught by the Church? Have I ever received communion in the state of mortal sin? Have I ever deliberately told a lie in Confession or have I withheld a mortal sin from the priest in Confession? Are there other “gods” in my life? Money, security, power, people, etc.?

2. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

• • • •

Have I used God´s name in vain: lightly or carelessly? Have I been angry with God? Have I wished evil upon any other person? Have I insulted a sacred person or abused a sacred object?

3. Remember to keep holy the Lord´s Day.

• • •

Have I deliberately missed Mass on Sundays or Holy Days of Obligation? Have I tried to observe Sunday as a family day and a day of rest? Do I do needless work on Sunday?

4. Honor your father and your mother. A clergyman hears confession from Pope Francis during a penitential

liturgy in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican Mar. 28, 2014. Pope Francis surprised his liturgical adviser by going to confession during the service. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano via Reuters)


n his Lenten message for 2015, Pope Francis tells us Lent is a time of renewal for the whole Church, for each community and every believer. No matter how long you’ve been away from the sacrament of reconciliation, don’t miss the opportunity to experience God’s mercy, healing and renewal through confession. The following is a confession guide for adults to assist you through the process. This guide was compiled by the “National Catholic Register.”

Examination of conscience for adults

1. I am the Lord your God. You shall not have strange gods before me. • Do I give God time every day in prayer? • Do I seek to love Him with my whole heart?



• • • • •

Do I honor and obey my parents? Have I neglected my duties to my spouse and children? Have I given my family good religious examples? Do I try to bring peace into my home life? Do I care for my aged and infirm relatives?

6. You shall not commit adultery.

• • • • • • • • • •

Have I been faithful to my marriage vows in thought and action? Have I engaged in any sexual activity outside of marriage? Have I used any method of contraception or artificial birth control in my marriage? Has each sexual act in my marriage been open to the transmission of new life? Have I been guilty of masturbation? Do I seek to control my thoughts and imaginations? Have I respected all members of the opposite sex, or have I thought of other people as mere objects? Have I been guilty of any homosexual activity? Do I seek to be chaste in my thoughts, words, actions? Am I careful to dress modestly?

7. You shall not steal.

• • • • • • •

Have I stolen what is not mine? Have I returned or made restitution for what I have stolen? Do I waste time at work, school and home? Do I gamble excessively, thereby denying my family of their needs? Do I pay my debts promptly? Do I seek to share what I have with the poor? Have I cheated anyone out of what is justly theirs, for example creditors, insurance companies, big corporations?

8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

• • • • • •

Have I lied? Have I gossiped? Do I speak badly of others behind their back? Am I sincere in my dealings with others? Am I critical, negative or uncharitable in my thoughts of others? Do I keep secret what should be kept confidential? Have I injured the reputation of others by slander?

5. You shall not kill.

9. You shall not desire your neighbor´s wife.

• • • • • • • • • •

Have I had an abortion or encouraged or helped anyone to have an abortion? Have I physically harmed anyone? Have I abused alcohol or drugs? Did I give scandal to anyone, thereby leading him or her into sin? Have I been angry or resentful? Have I harbored hatred in my heart? Have I mutilated myself through any form of sterilization? Have I encouraged or condoned sterilization? Have I engaged, in any way, in sins against human life such as artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization? Have I participated in or approved of euthanasia?

• • • •

Have I consented to impure thoughts? Have I caused them by impure reading, movies, television, conversation or curiosity? Do I pray at once to banish impure thoughts and temptations? Have I behaved in an inappropriate way with members of the opposite sex: flirting, being superficial, etc.?


1. You always have the option to go to confession anonymously, that is, behind a screen or face to face. 2. After the priest greets you in the name of Christ, make the sign of the cross. He may choose to recite a reading from Scripture, after which you say: “Bless me Father for I have sinned. It has been (state how long) since my last confession. These are my sins.” 3. Tell your sins simply and honestly to the priest. You might even want to discuss the circumstances and the root causes of your sins and ask the priest for advice or direction. 4. Listen to the advice the priest gives you and accept the penance from him. Then make an Act of Contrition for your sins. 5. The priest will then dismiss you with the words of praise: “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good.” You respond: “For His mercy endures forever.” The priest will then conclude with: “The Lord has freed you from your sins. Go in peace.” And, you respond by saying: “Thanks be to God.” 6. Spend some time with Our Lord thanking and praising Him for the gift of His mercy. Try to peform your penance as soon as possible.


O most merciful God! Prostrate at your feet, I implore your forgiveness. I sincerely desire to leave all my evil ways and to confess my sins with all sincerity to you and to your priest. I am a sinner, have mercy on me, O Lord. Give me a lively faith and a firm hope in the Passion of my Redeemer. Give me, for your mercy´s sake, a sorrow for having offended so good a God. Mary, my mother, refuge of sinners, pray for me that I may make a good confession. Amen.


Oh my God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against you whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. In His name, my God, have mercy. Amen.

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10. You shall not desire your neighbor´s goods.

• • • •

Am I jealous of what other people have? Do I envy the families or possessions of others? Am I greedy or selfish? Are material possessions the purpose of my life?

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Struggling to stay true to the Church amidst scandal

Bishop John Folda, Diocese of Fargo, greets an RCIA candidate during the Rite of Election held the First Sunday in Lent at the Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo. (Aliceyn Magelky/New Earth)

Why are there scandals in the Church, and how should a faithful Catholic respond?


here have been some very sad moments in the Ask a Priest Church’s history in which members Father Matthew o f t h e C h u rc h , Kraemer even priests and bishops, have deeply wounded others. The most recent “dark chapter” in the Church’s history is the clergy sexual abuse crisis. The fact that Catholic priests, who were ordained to act in the person of Jesus Christ, would do such horrendous things is deeply scandalous. It is hard to understand such actions, but we do have a name for them: sin. All scandal in the Church is a result of the sin of her members. The following words from Pope Paul VI make this clear:

“The Church is therefore holy, though having sinners in her midst, because she herself has no other life but the life of grace. If they live her life, her members are sanctified; if they move away from her life, they fall into sins and disorders that prevent the radiation of her sanctity” (CCC 827).

Those who cause grave scandal in the Church do so because they turn away from prayer, the sacraments and the authentic teaching of the Church. Some reporters in the secular media and even in some in Catholic publications have said the solution is to change Church teaching, especially in the areas of priestly celibacy and the morality of sexual acts outside of marriage. But, they lack the insight that comes from true faith. The teachings, sacraments and prayers of the Church are not the problem; rather they are the solution. In the aftermath

changes in social behavior, such as an increase in premarital sexual behavior and divorce… Features and characteristics of the Catholic Church, such as an exclusively male priesthood and the commitment to celibate chastity, were invariant during the increase, peak, and decrease in abuse incidents, and thus are not causes of the ‘crisis’” (Page 3, The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950-2010). So, how should a faithful Catholic respond to scandal in the Church? All scandal in the Church is a result of sin, and the way out of sin is conversion. This path of purification, penance and renewal involves us personally. We need to admit to our own sins and ask for God’s forgiveness in sacramental confession. We also want to avoid cooperating in the sins of others “by not disclosing or not hindering them when we have an obligation to do so” (CCC 1868). It may be very difficult to report someone, even someone respected and influential in the Church, when we have cause to believe they have done something very wrong. But, we are obliged to do so. The Catholic Church really is “a safe and secure home” for everyone because she herself always follows the path of purification, penance and renewal. The Church has come to understand how deeply some of her own clergy have wounded others. She has done more than any other institution to understand and root out the sin of child sexual abuse. She has wept with the victims and asked their forgiveness. And now, she is taking very concrete steps to make sure such things never happen again. Holy Mother Church has suffered much throughout history from the scandalous behavior of her sinful members. But, as any good mother would, she never gives up on her wayward children. She continues to call them to conversion. Why would we give up on such a good mother?

“All scandal in the Church is a result of sin, and the way out of sin is conversion.” - Father Matthew Kraemer

that followed the clergy sexual abuse crisis, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) commissioned the John Jay College Research Team to study the causes and context of the crisis. Using thorough modern research methods, this report’s findings are, not surprisingly to a faithful Catholic, in accord with the abovementioned theological conclusions.


“The rise in abuse cases in the 1960s and 1970s was influenced by social factors in American society generally. This increase in abusive behavior is consistent with the rise in other types of “deviant” behavior, such as drug use and crime, as well as NEW EARTH MARCH 2015

Father Matthew Kraemer serves as parochial vicar at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Devils Lake. He can be reached at matthew.kraemer@ 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.

Catechumens, candidates answer Jesus’ invitation

Nearly 100 faithful to enter into full communion with Catholic Church By Aliceyn Magelky


ore than 200 catechumens, candidates, sponsors and guests attended the Rite of Election and Call for Continuing Conversion at the Cathedral of St. Mary on Feb. 22. This pivotal liturgy of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults or RCIA marks catechetical completion for the catechumens and candidates. And, it signifies the beginning of a period of Purification and Enlightenment for those individuals before receiving the sacraments of initiation at the Easter Vigil Mass. For months, catechumens, individuals who have never been baptized, and candidates, individuals baptized in another Christian church, have been participating in RCIA classes, prayer and personal reflection in preparation for entering into full communion with the Catholic Church. The RCIA process is meant to help form them into the fullness of the Christian life and to become disciples of Jesus. At the Rite of Election, each catechumen and candidate stood with his or her sponsor to be recognized by Bishop John Folda, Diocese of Fargo. During the liturgy, the sponsor testified before the bishop that the individual he or she represents is ready to be initiated into the Church. On behalf of the diocese and the

Church, Bishop Folda accepted the sponsors’ witness. He then asked each catechumen and candidate if he or she was ready to accept God’s election and call to continuing conversion. In his homily, Bishop Folda reminded us that each has our own story for conversion, for answering God’s call. “But, there is one common thread that unites them all, and that is the person of Jesus,” he said. “In all our stories of conversion and saying yes to the call of God, we find Jesus who first invites us… And, by his grace, each one of us has said ‘yes.’ Yes, Lord, come and abide with me. Come and make your dwelling with me. Let me dwell in your presence and receive the riches you have to offer. Through your word and your sacraments, let me share in your life.” Each catechumen and candidate accepted this invitation and entered his or her name in the Book of Elect. From that point forward, catechumens are part of the elect. These individuals will receive the sacraments of initiation: baptism, confirmation and Eucharist at the Easter Vigil Mass. Candidates will receive the Eucharist for the first time at the Easter Vigil Mass as well.


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‘We will not, cannot, back down on the issues and be Catholic’

Popular apologist, Tim Staples, shares conversion story at annual Catholic radio banquet

Luncheon speaker shares ‘non-negotiables’ for Catholics in the voting booth By Aliceyn Magelky

Catholic Answers host and national speaker, Tim Staples, illustrates a point during his presentation at the annual Respect Life Luncheon held Feb. 19 at Sts. Anne and Joachim parish, Fargo. Later that evening, Staples shared with a crowd of nearly 900 his conversion story at the annual Real Presence Radio Fundraising banquet. (Aliceyn Magelky/New Earth)


im Staples, Director of Apologetics and Evangelization for Catholic Answers, took the stage on Feb. 19 at Sts. Anne and Joachim’s Catholic Church, Fargo during the annual Respect Life Luncheon. More than 125 guests dined while Staples delivered his presentation on the “five non-negotiables” for choosing candidates to support in political elections. Those topics include: abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning and same-sex unions. “There are too many Christians and Catholics voting for candidates that are pro-death,” Staples said. “When it comes to these issues, there can be no compromise. We will not, cannot, back down on the issues and be Catholic.” Throughout his presentation, Staples referenced a tool published by Catholic Answers Press called “Voter’s Guide for Serious Catholics.” According to the guide’s description, the booklet identifies the five issues involving non-negotiable moral values in current politics and helps readers narrow down the list of acceptable candidates, whether they are running for national, state or local offices based on their position on those issues.

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More than 10 million copies of the guide have been distributed. “Many people say Catholics are single issue voters, and that we need to be involved in all areas,” Staples commented. “Yes, we do, but what we are saying is there is a hierarchy. We can look at the rights, but each and every one of them is false if we don’t defend the right to life. When they [the government] take away your right to life, they take all other rights away.” These “five non-negotiables” were selected for discussion and the booklet because they involve principles that have no exceptions and currently are being debated in U.S. politics. Staples was raised Southern Baptist, falling away during his childhood, but returning to his faith during his teen years. Soon after, he joined the Marines where his faith was challenged by a fellow Marine. Staples then set out to prove Catholicism wrong, but ended up studying his way right into the Catholic Church. He converted in 1988 and spent the next six years in formation for the priesthood, earning a degree in philosophy from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Overbrook, Penn. and studying theology on a graduate level in Emmitsburg, Md. for two years. Upon realizing his calling was not to the priesthood, he left seminary in 1994 and has been working in Catholic apologetics and evangelization ever since.

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By Roxane B. Salonen

atholic Answers apologist Tim Staples roused a crowd of nearly 900 local supporters of Real Presence Radio Feb. 19 at Fargo’s Ramada Inn by sharing his conversion from zealous anti-Catholic to defender of the faith. The annual fundraising event helps garner support for the station. This year, the station celebrates a decade of serving all of North Dakota and parts of Minnesota and Canada, with 10 stations having sprung up in that time and more expansion planned. Staples began with recounting his deep love of God developed in childhood through attending a Baptist church with his parents and three brothers. At 10, he accepted Jesus as his Lord and savior. But by 18, he’d quit school, left home and was “living like the devil.” Booze and depression took over his life, but he yearned for those earlier days when God was his best friend. Then one evening, while watching television, Tammy Faye Bakker appeared and started talking about Jesus in a way that awakened Staples. Soon he was “on his knees right there in the living room,” rededicating himself to Christ. He moved home and began following Bakkers’ footsteps, becoming part of the Assemblies of God church.

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“Jimmy Swaggart made me Catholic.” – Tim Staples, Catholic Answers claims against the Church. “For a Catholic to challenge me with Scripture, it revolutionized me,” he said. Staples returned to his church but now, “with Catholicism on the brain,” began feeling conflicted at every turn. To sort things out, he enrolled in the Jimmy Swaggart Bible College in Baton Rouge, La., where he met an instructor who was a former Catholic priest. After an intense conversation between the two of them, the former priest told Staples, “You’re not going to be Catholic. You are Catholic.” Staples said he’d “never felt so alone, because I knew I was no longer Protestant, but I did not want to be Catholic, either.” He was also bothered by the fact that faith had become an argument. “When the faith becomes an argument you need to shut up and go on your knees,” Staples said. So he did the unthinkable – he cried out to Mary for help, and she answered. Staples not only became Catholic, but helped bring his entire family into the faith. Staples ended by calling Real Presence Radio’s expansion “astonishing.” “Don’t ever forget how one person can make a difference,” he said, referring back to the brave challenges of his Catholic Marine buddy.


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“When I walked into the Assemblies of God…the place was electric,” Staples said, noting that during his years there he fell in love again with the Lord. Taking note of his natural leadership abilities, the elders pointed Staples toward ministry, but he’d need more education. So, he enrolled in the U.S. Marines. While there, he met a Catholic, who began responding to Staples’ challenges with Scriptural evidence, refuting Staples’


“Evil draws its power from indecision and concern for what other people think.” – Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI NEW EARTH MARCH 2015



Celebrating our sisters

Carmelite nuns share a laugh while completing sewing projects and making rosaries at their cloistered convent in Wahpeton. (Kristina Lahr/New Earth)

A glimpse at the consecrated religious in the diocese and their work to spread the Gospel


uring this Year of Consecrated Life, Pope Francis wishes to celebrate the religious who continue to spread the gospel throughout our diocese and the world. In Pope Francis’ letter about the Year of Consecrated Life he said “to look to the past with gratitude, to live the present with passion, and to embrace the future with hope” and “that the old saying will always be true. Where there are religious, there is joy.” Here we highlight the religious communities in our diocese.


It was on Mount Carmel in the Holy Land that the prophet Elijah challenged the false prophets of Baal. By prayer and sacrifice he won the people of Israel back to the worship of the one true God. At the end of the 12th century, a group of hermits gathered at this Holy Mount to seek the Lord, inheriting the tradition that had gone before them. The Carmelite Nuns of Mary in Wahpeton began in 1954 and continue to live by the spirit of Elijah. They strive to live in full union with Christ, making it their 12


While some of the Carmelites knew from a young age they wanted to become nuns, Sister Joseph Marie had a different experience. “Unlike my sanctimonious and holy sisters, I did not want to become a nun,” she laughed. “I didn’t want that vocation, because I thought my vocation was marriage. In eighth grade one of my teachers gave us holy cards to our Holy Mother, and she said that we should pray them every day to know our vocation. And, I didn’t pray it because I knew my vocation. “Later I had some remorse and changed the wording a little bit to pray for the right husband. And Our Lady got me the right spouse, the Lord Jesus! You can’t pull anything over her.” The turning point for her was when she was at a high school senior retreat and saw the power of the Holy Eucharist at the Benediction prayer.

By Kristina Lahr first priority to know, love and serve him in their daily life by observing papal enclosure and centering their lives on the celebration of the liturgy. They pray especially for the needs of priests, the Church and the whole world. “A lot of people write or call or email their prayer requests,” said Mother Madonna. “That’s where our life of faith comes in, too,” added Sister Joseph Marie. “We don’t always see the fruit of our prayers, but we know it’s in God’s hands and he’s making them bear fruit.” The Carmelite cloistered nuns are women who commit themselves to live in intimate union with Jesus Christ. While their simple lifestyle may seem limiting at first glance, it frees the Carmelites from many daily concerns, so they may be more united to Christ. “Even though we’re cloistered, there’s a great freedom in our life,” said Sister Mary Margaret. “One time this CCD teacher came with a group of students. On the way home, the students asked the teacher, ‘how could anyone choose to enter that life?’ And the teacher responded, ‘well, she looked happy, didn’t she?’ It’s beyond comprehension. It’s a special vocation, but the grace is there.”

Sister Kateri Marie, SOLT (left) and Sister Mary Elizabeth, SOLT (right) made their perpetual vows May 29, 2014 in Corpus Christi, Texas. Sister Kateri serves as one of two sisters in Belcourt and Sister Mary serves as one of three sisters in Dunseith. (Submitted photo)

“As the priest was blessing us with the host, in an instant I knew I had a vocation. Then, I could see everything in retrospect, how the Lord was wooing me and how I was fighting it.”


When Sister Kateri Marie made her final vows to enter the Society of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT), she submitted three names she wanted considered to be given to her. The community ultimately chose her name. She didn’t know what it would be until she made her final vows in May 2014. She was happy to receive the name Kateri since her mission work brought her to the Turtle Mountain reservation at St. Anne’s Mission in Belcourt. Sister Kateri Marie grew up in a Catholic home, went to Catholic school and attended Franciscan Steubenville to study teaching. It was there that she grew in her desire for mission work and learned that she had a religious vocation. “I had a different view of religious life growing up. I was a little unsure about sisters,” said Sister Kateri. “I didn’t want to give up so much. I didn’t think I’d be happy. I knew in my head that I wanted to do what God wants, but it wasn’t until I sought religious life that he completely changed my heart, and I desired to be completely His.” Like many young women, she thought she would like to be married, which made following God’s call to be a sister difficult. “Christ is my spouse, so I am married,” she said. “The desires I had are fulfilled, just not as I expected.” The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity was founded in 1958 in New Mexico by Father James Flanagan, a diocesan priest from Boston. It began with the vision of having an ecclesial team at every mission, consisting of SOLT priests, sisters and laity working together to make disciples of Jesus through Mary. The SOLT priests came to North Dakota in 1995 followed by the sisters in 2001. As one of the two sisters in Belcourt and three in Dunseith, Sister Kateri wears a grey habit, veil and scapular, a symbol of the Trinity. Her garments also remind her and those she encounters of the poverty and simplicity of her lifestyle. “What I wear identifies me as a sister,” she said. “The reason we wear grey is because grey brings out the beauty in other colors, and we’re called to bring out the beauty in other people.” “He calls all of us to different vocations,” she continued. “It’s so amazing how he knows what’s best for you. Every religious’ story is different. He wants to love and be intimate with each person individually. We are all set apart.”


Mary Lange (left) visits her daughter Sister Elaine Lange (right) for her 25th Jubilee celebration. The Sisters of Mary of the Presentation (SMP) serve with the charisms of hospitality and simplicity. (Submitted photo)

The Sisters of Mary of the Presentation carry on the apostolic mission of healing the whole person: body, mind and spirit, just as Christ did. They believe that healing is anything that gives a broken person wholeness. When people are broken, it not only has to do with their body but with their spirit, too. “We’re an apostolic religious community,” said Sister Suzanne Stahl, Provincial of the Sisters of Mary of the Presentation in Valley City. “Our focus is God, of course, and community life NEW EARTH MARCH 2015


COVER STORY and service to God’s people through education of all types, health care and evangelization ministries.” The SMP sisters serve with the charisms of hospitality and simplicity. “The Holy Spirit gives the charism to the foundresses, and it gets developed over time, always with the intent of what does the world need most,” said Sister Suzanne. “The founding charism never changes unless the Holy Spirit comes to make a change, which would probably form a new community or branch of the community.” Sisters of Mary of the Presentation have focused on healing the whole person since their beginning in 1828 in Broons, France. Today the SMP sisters provide numerous retreats throughout the year at their convent, Maryvale, in Valley City to bring healing spiritually. “A primary gift of the spirit with our charism is hospitality,” said Sister Suzanne. “Maryvale was originally built to give hospitality to those in our boarding school in Valley City. When that wasn’t needed anymore, we turned it into a place for people of faith. “We do a lot of programs for the diocese such as deacon formation, retreats for new or potential deacons, SEARCH retreats for youth, and Sister Dorothy Bunce provides retreats for spiritual directions, Ignatian retreats and women’s and men’s retreats.” The community was founded by two sisters, Louise and Laurence LeMarchand who taught children without religious instruction, and they visited the sick, disabled and elderly. They also sponsored retreats for youth and adults. In the early 1900s they were forced to flee due to persecution

in the church. They went to Belgium, Canada, Guernsey (island northwest of France) and the United States. When the sisters arrived in the United States, they served as domestics for the priests until they learned the language well enough to serve in hospitals and schools. Their motherhouse continues to be in northern France and is where the majority of their sisters are located. Today, 22 SMP sisters live in the United States, 15 residing at the Provincial House in Valley City. In North Dakota, they have hospitals in Bottineau, Harvey and Rolla and nursing homes in Jamestown, Valley City, Enderlin and Fargo.


“First and foremost, we are women of prayer,” said Sister Donna Welder, Franciscan Sister of Dillingen in Hankinson. “One of the big charisms here is hospitality: the great Franciscan charism.” The Franciscan Sisters of Dillingen celebrated 100 years serving God’s people in the United States in 2013. Their community began in Dillingen, Germany in 1241. As their work has changed throughout the years, their mission remains the same. Beginning December 2009, their home became a retreat center. Retreats for Life in the Spirit, Cursillo, Natural Family Planning, Rachel’s Vineyard and youth camps frequently fill rooms once used as classrooms. Each day the Franciscan sisters come together for prayer, meals, classes, community involvement and to visit the elderly, especially those who reside at St. Gerard’s Community Nursing Home in Hankinson. “People are thirsting for God’s love, so we want to create the space,” said Sister Anne Marie, Provincial Superior. “It’s

Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (PBVM) in Fargo surround a statue of their foundress,Venerable Nano Nagle. Back: Sister Jan Ihli, Sister Gertrude Connolly, Sister Marie Glennon, Sister Lorraine Schmaltz, Sister Paula Ringuette, Sister Pauline Eagan, Sister Mary Deane, Sister Anne Frawley. Middle: Sister Katherine Fennell, Sister Petronilla Metzger, Sister Marcelline Soovok, Sister Rosaria Acton, Sister Annette Figueiredo. Front: Sister Fatima Rodrigo. (Kristina Lahr/New Earth)

very ecumenical. There are more non-Catholics that use the building than Catholics, and that’s part of our charism as well, being open to everyone.” Sister Donna says that for the church to be celebrating the Year of Consecrated Life means wonders for the church. “It’s phenomenal that the church has singled out this special year for consecrated life to allow the world to know we’ve been called by God to answer a need in the church. Our Holy Father is recognizing that consecrated religious are as important today as they were when Jesus was first on earth.” With the Year of Marriage and Family in the diocese the same year as the Year of Consecrated Life, the Franciscan sisters see the year as a unity of all vocations. “You need the family to have the consecrated life,” said Sister Donna. “Without our families, there wouldn’t be religious to begin with. The family life is very important so the [years] coincide very well.”



Sister Susan Marie Loeffen and Sister Anne Marie Friederichs reminisce with a friend by looking over the books made to celebrate Franciscan Sisters of Dillingen’s 100 years of being in the U.S. (Dillingen Franciscans USA)


Foundress of the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Nano Nagle, was born into a wealthy, Catholic family in Ireland in 1718. At a time when it was illegal to teach the Catholic faith in Ireland, Nagle established schools to support the oppressed. Although Nagle’s immediate mission was confined to her native city, her understanding of mission was universal: “My views are not for one object alone. If I could be of any service in saving souls in any part of the globe, I would willingly do all in my power.” Nagle made her vows to become a sister in 1775, founding the order of Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Now 1,200 sisters continue to live out her mission worldwide, including the community in Fargo which began in 1882.

“We have always worked with those who need help, and the poor have always been a part of that,” said Sister Petronilla Metzger, who has been a sister for 74 years. “We have also always been an order of educators from little first communion kids to adults.” While Nagle originally focused on education, the community provides a variety of services for those in need. “Our motto is ‘doing what needs to be done,’” said Sister Paula Ringuette. “You can see that in all the various things we’ve done, whether it’s different kinds of education or nursing or hospitality. We look to see where the need is.” Those in full-time ministry, work their jobs primarily in teaching and nursing in the days. And, they visit the elderly, write letters to those in need, and pray Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer and celebrate Mass daily with their community. “Our prayer life remains one of the most important things,” said Sister Marcelline Soovok. “People are often requesting our prayers. I was a farmer’s daughter, and we always prayed when we got everything else done. So, I thought it was amazing when I came here and saw there was time set aside specifically for prayer.” “We’re what you call an apostolic community,” said Sister Mary Deane. “We’re among the people. As we’re getting older, we may not be out there as much, but we carry that service to our hospitality here. It’s another way of being of service.” In this Year of Consecrated Life, the community is particularly interested in how they can provide hospitality to those in need. “In a sense we’ve always talked about religious vocations being set apart, but we’re set apart in order to be with the laity,” said Sister Paula Ringuette. “[The laity] don’t have the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, but believe me, they have vows in their marriages. So for me, to be consecrated… yes, we’re set apart to do a particular thing, but like Jesus, we’re here for the people.” NEW EARTH MARCH 2015




Wahpeton student exchanges zucchettos with the pope

‘Tobit’s Dog’ brings to life struggle, hope of Book of Tobit By Father Luke Meyer

By Tom Ackerman

University of Mary student, Andrew Meyer of Wahpeton (wearing a red, white and blue checkered shirt), exchanges zucchettos with Pope Francis as the Holy Father enters Paul VI Auditorium in Rome. Meyer is one of 24 students from U of Mary studying at the university’s Rome campus. (Fotographia Felici)


f he’s not the envy of the entire world, millions of people would at the very least love to have the same experience that Andrew Meyer had with Pope Francis. The University of Mary student from Wahpeton traveled to the school’s Rome campus in early January with his classmates to study for a four-month semester — knowing his life would be forever changed. But, he didn’t know just how life-changing it would be. On Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015, just three weeks into his stay, he and two dozen of his classmates were at a papal audience in the Paul VI Auditorium. Typically held in St. Peter’s Square, this would be one of the few audiences for Pope Francis in the auditorium. But, Meyer knew this would potentially put him just a handshake away from the Holy Father. Pope Francis, flanked by security guards and people’s outstretched arms hoping for a touch, a smile or even a selfie, walked down the aisle on the opposite side towards Meyer. Then, at just the right moment Pope Francis switched sides. Nervous and excited all at the same time, Meyer realized this was the perfect time and perhaps the only chance he’d ever get to put his plan into action. “My goal for the semester was to trade zucchettos, or skullcaps, with Pope Francis,” said Meyer via email, a sophomore triple majoring in theology, philosophy and Catholic studies. “When he went by greeting people, I held mine out to him, and after giving me a little smirk, he grabbed it and took his off, compared the size to his, tried it on and showed it proudly to



his smiling security guard, then traded with me. With a little help from Mary and the saints, I succeeded.” Excitement, pandemonium and pictures immediately ensued. “I was having a huge adrenaline rush and everyone standing nearby took selfies with me,” explained Meyer. “It was really surreal. I was shaking and really relieved it had worked. I was trying to still live in the moment of seeing and touching Pope Francis at the audience, but it was hard to contain my excitement of having the zucchetto in my hands.” Zucchetto exchanges vary with each pope. Meyer believes Pope Francis does it only on rare occasions. “When he does take a zucchetto, he often will wear it for a few seconds before returning it. I know complete switches are not too common.” Dr. Don Briel, the Blessed John Henry Newman Chair of Liberal Arts at the University of Mary agrees. “The history of trading zucchettos is a modern phenomenon that became popular with Pope John Paul II when he began engaging and interacting more with crowds. Since it is still a very uncommon occurrence, anyone fortunate enough to trade or receive a zucchetto from the Holy Father should feel very fortunate and blessed.” Meyer added, “I think the inside is calfskin, because it smelled like leather. I haven’t gotten up the guts to try it on, and I don’t know if I will. I did try on the one I bought for him and it didn’t feel like much, but he doesn’t have quite as much hair as me.” Meyer planned the exchange once he got accepted to study at University of Mary’s Rome campus back in December 2013. He’s currently in Rome with 24 Mary students who are from various cities around the Upper Midwest. Even though Meyer may be the envy of all Catholics, Christians, college students and his classmates, Meyer doesn’t see it that way, at least not right now. “Since we are with each other all the time, we almost act as a family, so I view this as something we succeeded at together — not just me,” said Meyer, who can’t believe he’s witnessed so much in his short period of time at the university’s popular Rome campus. “The feeling of awe witnessing these events or stepping foot into St. Peter’s Square for the first time are moments that are priceless. Rome has been above and beyond what I had hoped for.” So, what plans does Meyer have for his new, extraordinary and cherished souvenir from Pope Francis? “I am really not sure myself,” said Meyer. “It’s safe to say that the zucchetto will end up in one of three places: at the University of Mary campus, my home parish of St. John’s, or I will just hold onto it myself. Assuming I would hold onto it, I still have plans to give people a chance to see it. Realizing that I have something worn by the pope himself is mind-blowing, and it’s something I will always hold dear.”

TATTERED PAGES A review of Catholic books and literature

“We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose”-Romans 8:28

unpretentious, yet engaging; simple, but articulate, able to paint vivid images. Richard is a skilled writer, but his story also helps us to see spiritual principles illustrated in detail. And at the end of the day, these pages reminded me about the importance of the day to day, ordinary faithfulness to pursue the good in the face of a challenging world. Temptation to resignation and despair in the external circumstances of one’s personal and public life may be real, but preservance in the desire to do the right thing allows us to find peace in God’s will, even when there is suffering and trial. Father Luke Meyer serves the Diocese of Fargo as the Director of Liturgy and chancellor.


hy does it seem that bad things happen to good people, while the wicked prosper? This perennial question arises in the mind not only at a time we see others encounter some suffering, but most especially when that person appears to lead such a good and virtuous life. A similar lament on the heart of the psalmist is found in Psalm 73, “How useless to keep my heart pure, when I was stricken all day long.” It is also the question at the heart of “Tobit’s Dog,” a uniquely American re-telling of the story of the book of Tobit. The biblical book of Tobit, read at daily Mass during the ninth week of ordinary time, recounts the trials of the faithful Israelite Tobit, his wife Anna and their son, Tobias. They struggle to live their faith in exile in Nineveh, as well as face physical and domestic difficulties in their personal lives. Michael Nicholas Richard takes these general challenges confronting Tobit and his family and crafts fresh characters living in the Jim Crow South during the Great Depression of the 1930s. In their own unique tribulations, Richard’s Tobit and Anna face widespread oppression and wonder if it is worth the uphill climb to do the right thing, especially when it seems they are punished for doing so. As the story develops, one begins to ask, “what will justice look like for them?” The 1930s North Carolina of Richard’s “Tobit” is oppressive and cruel; some of the scenes are not for the faint of heart. However, in the midst of such injustice, I began rooting for Tobit and his family, because he seems to maintain peace of soul and steady resolve to pursue to do good. In spite of setbacks and forks in the road, many of the other characters who become their friends are also winsome. This tale is not an incredible story of a superhero in search of an epic confrontation, but a story of ordinary people plodding along their way. Bearing names like Ace Redbone, Crafty Forgeron, Doc Macklin, Del Gaines and Okra the dog, these characters are clearly imperfect and even broken, but at moments reveal great light and grace. We can identify with the humanity of these characters, who persevere in the good they are able to accomplish in their own way. Reading “Tobit’s Dog,” I found the author’s prose to be

About the Book: “Tobit’s Dog, A Novel” by Michael Nicholas Richard. Published by Ignatius Press. Hardcover is 190 pages. Available via Ignatius Press and other book resellers.

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God’s hand in the life of a soul

Co-author Salonen introduces story of woman’s journey from Planned Parenthood to Catholic Church By Kristina Lahr


oxane Salonen of Fargo has been writing for blogs, publishers and her own books for years. Many of her projects have been volunteer, but she has always seen the value of sharing her ideas, even if she was unpaid. Someday, she knew some of that volunteering would lead to something bigger. Meanwhile, Ramona Treviño, mother and writer from Sherman, Texas, a small town near Dallas, was on the lookout for a writer. After a year of prayer and discernment, she knew God was calling her to share her conversion story with the world; a journey that brought her to become manager at the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, and eventually back to the Catholic Church in 2011. Salonen heard about Treviño through Abby Johnson, another former Planned Parenthood employee who published a book chronicling her path into the abortion business and back out toward the Church.Salonen unknowingly sat at the same table as Johnson during a 2011 conference in Fargo. “[Abby’s] story really opened my eyes to the workers in the abortion industry and how they too need our prayers and love,” said Salonen. “My mind and heart was already thinking about them when I was introduced to Ramona.”


After two and a half years of prayers and traveling to Texas for interviews, Salonen knew the story she was writing about Ramona Treviño and Roxanne Salonen meet at Ramona’s house for their Treviño’s conversion was something much bigger than herself. first interview to write Treviño’s story of conversion from Planned “The whole experience was very prayerful from the beginning Parenthood to the Catholic Church. Their book, “Redeemed by Grace” which was very beautiful and assured me it was going to be a was released Feb. 17 and published by Ignatius Press. good experience,” said Salonen. “Another beautiful thing is that Catholic radio played a huge part in her conversion. As someone who is an occasional host for Catholic radio, to find out that she accidently came by it in her car on her way to and from work… you can see the way God was pursuing her.” Although abortions weren’t done at the Planned Parenthood where Treviño worked, advocates from 40 Days for Life prayed outside her facility. It bothered her to see that, since she didn’t feel she was involved in abortions. “It’s really a testament to how important it is to show up,” said Salonen. “You don’t know who will be affected, so you just keep putting herself out there. Every person who has a heart for [the pro-life movement] but isn’t sure if they are making a difference… this is one more layer for people to be affirmed and empowered.”

“Setting aside part of your life for a project… it takes time away from the family,” said Salonen. “There’s sacrifice involved, but we decided to just jump in and trust God. We never thought to jump as high as Ignatius Press though because, in our eyes, they were the cream of the crop. As an author, I know how hard it is to get published. We knew that God’s hand was in all this, and God had a plan all along. “Obviously the pro-life cause is embracing her, and that’s good, but she feels God wants something wider for her. She doesn’t want to be a big pro-life star. She feels like God is asking her to bring people back into the church. So, it’s more than a pro-life book. It’s a pro-Catholic book, yet all Christians will appreciate it because it’s a story of redemption.”

strategist for 40 Days for Life who helped connect Ramona Treviño (right) and Roxane Salonen (center) meets with them at their second meeting in Texas.



Taking on this project was a leap for both Salonen and Treviño. Without a publisher in the works, they had no way of knowing if their efforts would bear fruit. With God’s grace, they were able to present the book to Ignatius Press, who wanted to see it immediately.


Salonen and Treviño’s book, “Redeemed by Grace” was released Feb. 17 and is available for purchase at Ignatius Press. A Spanish edition also will be released in the hopes of reaching a greater audience. “It’s a short, fast read that’s very digestible, very personal and very vulnerable,” said Salonen. “Ramona turns her soul inside out to discuss some very difficult things. She was in an abusive relationship, she had a child at 16… there’s a lot she has to expose to get to how she ended up at Planned Parenthood.” “And that’s the thing with sin. It’s not a one-time thing where you make this big decision and you make the wrong choice. It’s a series of events that leads you little by little and that’s really revealed in Ramona’s story. It’s something we can all relate to

Cover of a new book co authored by local writer, Roxane Salonen and Ramona Treviño, “Redeemed by Grace” published by Ignatius Press. The book chronicles Treviño’s life leading into Planned Parenthood and then back to the Church.

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and need to be cautious about. I still think about the things we talked about in my daily life,” Salonen continued. “Ramona doesn’t see it as her story,” said Salonen. “After reflecting and praying about it, she sees it as God’s story. He put it on her heart to write this after a lot of prayer and now she’s stepping away and letting God use it the way he wills.”

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STORIES OF FAITH By Father Bert Miller


n this year of marriage, I have been reflecting on the best weddings I have been able to attend. The very best was that of my grand-nephew, Nate, and his spouse, Ann. Nate and Ann had dated through high school, college and a couple of years after. Nate had been a college football player; Ann was a medical professional. Nate’s parents and Ann’s parents were prominent couples in the community. Unfortunately, tragedies had occurred in Nate’s family. His baby sister died at one and a half years; Nate was the only sibling (he was three and a half) to remember her. Nate’s father had two surgeries to remove brain tumors. After the last surgery, Nate’s father had not been able to return to work. By then, Nate had three younger siblings. At the rehearsal dinner, Nate’s mother, gave the speech about the importance of marriage and the role of husband and wife in a happy household. She was profound, proving what a rock of faith she had grown to be in 50 years. The church was filled with wedding goers the next day. Everyone sang and went to communion. It was very festive. The two families and their guests filled the largest hotel ballroom in the city that evening. It looked like 1,000 people.

During the toasts, the groom got a hold of the microphone. It was not the usual thank you, smile broadly and sit down. Instead, Nate read from a letter his bride, Ann, had written to him prior to their marriage preparation weekend. In the letter, Ann recalled Nate telling her about his little sister who died and that his life dream was to get to heaven to play with his little sister. Ann went on to write that she hoped to be the strong, holy and prayerful woman who would support and help Nate on his journey to the kingdom of God. She hoped that Nate would be the strong, holy and prayerful man who would take her hand and guide her to the kingdom of God, also. There, she said, she wanted to meet Nate’s sister and play with the two of them in the kingdom of God. By now, Nate’s voice was quivering; tears were visibly flowing at every table. WOW! This example is what marriage is about. It is about the supportive journey to be with Jesus and through Jesus to be with all our loved ones. To play, dance, feast and live in everlasting love and happiness. If this is what your marriage is about, spread your success around. If your marriage is not playing out like a journey to the kingdom, plan to attend a couples’ retreat. Check out the Diocese of Fargo web page for information and options. 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

Keep farm ownership local


Investor ownership ‘threatens families, communities’

he North Dakota legislature is considering making radical and swine operators. changes to the state’s corporate farming law to allow But, the bill is not just outside investors to own dairy and swine operations. The about a small segment Catholic North Dakota Catholic Conference opposes the bill. This position is of the agricultural Action not new. North Dakota’s Catholic bishops, like bishops around community. It is a the country, have for decades appealed for laws that preserve radical upending and maintain farm ownership and control in the hands of of the foundation Christoper local family farmers. In fact, 76 years ago Catholic bishops of of our state’s most Dodson the United States, led by Bishop Aloisius Muench — the only w i d e s p re a d a n d bishop from North Dakota to be named a Cardinal — warned permeating activity. that investor ownership of farms would by its nature threaten Disrespecting the families, communities and our obligations as stewards of creation. “familiar” relationship that should exist between the human farmer and farming will affect us all. If we truly believe that North Dakota is such a great place to live, why would we take that risk? Some segments of agriculture are facing difficult times, and we need to respond. Indeed, it is a moral imperative that we respond. North Dakotans, however, have always faced difficult challenges. Nevertheless, we have always found creative solutions without sacrificing our way of life and without succumbing to – Christopher Dodson, NDCC the temptation to reduce agriculture to a mere economic activity. Nor should we succumb to the temptation to want something Some could argue that agriculture has changed since 1939, just because other states have it. The Ten Commandments has and they would be right. But, who we are as human persons something to say about that. In North Dakota, we have done, and what farming is to us as humans has not changed. That and can do, better. is why this is a religious issue. It is a religious issue, because it is a moral issue. It is a moral issue, because it is a human Jesus had asked, “What does it profit a man if he gain the issue. It is a human issue because, as Pope Francis stated world and lose his soul?” We must ask, “What does it profit our just a few weeks ago, farming is “characteristically and state if we gain some investors in agriculture but lose the soul of agriculture?” fundamentally human.” Indeed, Pope Francis’ recent address on the vocation of Christopher Dodson is executive director of the North Dakota Catholic agriculture is enlightening in that it illustrates precisely why Conference. The NDCC acts on behalf of the Catholic bishops of North investor-ownership of farms is so risky. Pope Francis explains Dakota to respond to public policy issues of concern to the Catholic that the relationship a farmer has with the land is “familiar.” Church and to educate Catholics and the general public about Catholic The Italian word he used was “familiare,” which means not social doctrine. The conference website is “familiar” as in “well-known,” but “of family.” This distinction is important to understand. Outside investors cannot be like family. Only human persons can relate “like family.” Only human March, persons are capable of entering into a covenant with creation. the Month Dedicated to Saint Joseph. The pope went on to remind us that because farming is such Lenten books for all ages. a uniquely human vocation, how we engage in agriculture and how we treat farmers affects who we are as humanity. Indeed, the position of the bishops is not based on church doctrine alone. It also stems from what they and other bishops have witnessed in states that have repealed or weakened corporate farming laws. “Thank You for your Business” It used to be that the primary concern of bishops in rural areas was the health of the family farm. In states that have embraced Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Sat. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. corporate farming, the primary concern has shifted to the health To Know God... (701) 241-7842 toll free (888) 682-8033 and safety of farm workers, most of whom are immigrants. To Love God... 1336 25th Ave. S., Fargo 58103 (south of K-Mart) To Serve God... The ND bill introduced, SB 2351, is intended to help the dairy

“…because farming is such a uniquely human vocation, how we engage in agriculture and how we treat farmers affects who we are as humanity.”








Medical assistance with the battle of the bulge

The man who had no will


asked him straight out, “Jim, do you have a will?” He replied with Stewardship out blinking, “No, Steve Schons and I don’t need one either.” I swallowed. Here was a married man in his late 50s who was either grossly misinformed about the need for a will, or who simply didn’t care. Instead of backing off, I decided to press on. Perhaps I could persuade him to reconsider. If so, I could do both him and his family a favor. “You know,” I began, “I think you may be wrong about not needing a will.” He blinked. “That’s right,” I said. “If you die without a valid will or other appropriate documents, state laws will determine the disposition of your estate. And, the state’s will for you may be a far cry from what you might want.” “Since they must ‘go by the book,’ they will not be able to consider your desires. Nor will they provide anything for the charities you have supported so faithfully over the years. Probate costs will likely be greater, and a stranger may be named to represent you. Your lack of direction concerning your desires will likely cause confusion and frustration among your relatives. In short, you could leave behind a mess.” I told him about estate taxes and how they could diminish what passes through to his children after his wife’s death. “By making certain provisions in your will,” I explained, “these taxes could be reduced or avoided altogether.” I sensed he was having second thoughts about his no-will mindset. I pressed on. “By the way, have you considered what would happen if you and your wife should both die in a common disaster?” I asked.

He looked down. He had never allowed for that possibility. He just assumed he would die first and that his wife would then do some estate planning with the help of the kids and an attorney. I could see the wheels turning as he imagined the various scenarios of a common death. Where would the estate go? How would the children and grandchildren benefit? What about the court-appointed administrator and the expenses of selling property and gathering records? What about all the misunderstandings and family problems that could develop? And, what about those charitable organizations he supported? What about his Catholic Church? Finally, Jim spoke. “How do I go about making a will?” If you find yourself without a will, or with a will that is outof-date, contact a local estate planning attorney and make an appointment today. If you want assistance in finding a good attorney or some helpful literature about making a will, contact me. You can reach me by phone at (701) 356-7926 or email at Steve Schons is director of stewardship and development for the Diocese of Fargo and can be reached at or (701) 356-7926.

A Guide to Planning Your Will and Trust

YES, please send me a complimentary copy of Provide and Protect: A Guide to Planning Your Will and Trust.

Name: Address: City: State:



Mail this form to:

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



Diocese of Fargo

Serving Catholics in Eastern North DAkota

The “Provide and Protect” booklet shown here is offered through the

Catholic Development Foundation. It can assist you with your will and estate planning.


ariatric surgery, which often involves banding of the stomach, is a widely used procedure for treating severe obesity. Another approach that relies on an implantable “stomach pacemaker” also appears poised to assist those struggling with significant weight gain. Many people have already benefitted from these kinds of surgical interventions, enabling them to shed a great deal of weight, improve their health and get a new lease on life. At the same time, however, it’s important for us to examine such interventions from an ethical point of view. It’s not simply a matter of weight loss, achieved by any means whatsoever, but a rational decision made after carefully weighing the risks, benefits and alternatives. Bjorn Hofmann, a medical ethicist who writes about the ethical issues surrounding obesity-correction techniques notes, “Bariatric surgery is particularly interesting because it uses surgical methods to modify healthy organs, is not curative, but offers symptom relief for a condition that is considered to result from lack of self-control and is subject to significant prejudice.” The healthy organ that is modified is the stomach, which may be either banded or surgically modified with staples to create a small stomach pouch. This causes food to be retained in the small pouch for a longer period of time, creating a feeling of fullness, with the effect of reducing how much a person ingests at a single meal. Like any surgical technique, bariatric surgery has risks associated with it: Mortality from the surgery itself is less than one percent, but post-surgical leakage into the abdomen or malfunction of the outlet from the stomach pouch can require further surgeries. Nearly 20 percent of patients experience chronic gastrointestinal symptoms. Wound infections, clot formation, vitamin deficiencies, cardiorespiratory failure and other complications like gallstones and osteoporosis can also occasionally arise. A new device, sometimes described as a “pacemaker for the stomach,” was recently approved by regulators at the Food and Drug Administration. This rechargeable and implantable device blocks electrical nerve signals between the stomach and the brain and helps to diminish the feeling of being hungry. The cost for the small machine, along with its surgical implantation, is expected to run between $30,000 and $40,000, making it competitive with various forms of bariatric surgery. Because the stomach pacemaker does not modify the stomach or the intestines as organs, but instead reduces appetite by blocking electrical signals in the abdominal vagus nerve, some of the surgery-related complications associated with modifying or stapling the stomach are eliminated. Other surgical complications related to the insertion of the device into the abdomen have sometimes been observed, however, as well as adverse events associated with its use, like pain, nausea and vomiting. Bariatric surgery, it should be noted, is not universally successful in

terms of the underlying goal of losing weight and some patients ultimately reMaking Sense gain the weight they of Bioethics lose either through enlargement of the Father Tad Pacholczyk stomach pouch or a return to compulsive eating patterns or both. Results have been similarly mixed for patients receiving the stomach pacemaker: some lose and keep off significant amounts of weight; others show only negligible improvements when they are unable to adhere to the needed life-long changes in eating habits. Among the ethical questions that need to be considered with regard to surgically-based approaches are: Should an expensive, invasive and potentially risky surgery be routinely used for an anomaly that might be addressed by modifications in diet and eating habits? What criteria should be met before such surgery is seriously considered? It is also of ethical importance that physicians and surgeons not be unduly influenced by device manufacturers to utilize their various stomach banding apparatuses or their pacemaker devices. In 1991, the National Institutes of Health developed a consensus statement on “Gastrointestinal Surgery for Severe Obesity” that offers guidance for clinical decision making. The statement notes that, beyond having a serious weight problem, patients seeking therapy for the first time for their obesity should “generally be encouraged to try non-surgical treatment approaches including dietary counseling, exercise, behavior modification and support.” These broad guidelines are intended to spark discussion on the part of patients and their medical team: How much support has an individual really received prior to looking into weight reduction surgery or stomach pacemaker insertion? Some patients may have tried diligently for years to lose weight, while others may have made only cursory, poorly-supported efforts. The need for support is also likely to continue following bariatric surgery or after the implantation of a stomach pacemaker. In sum, there are notable differences between such surgical interventions and traditional weight loss techniques involving exercise and diet. With the surgical techniques, due diligence will be required both prior to and following such interventions, particularly in light of the ongoing discussions about the cost-effectiveness, safety, risks and outcomes of interventional surgery for the overweight patient. Father Tad Pacholczyk, Ph.D. earned his doctorate in neuroscience from Yale and did post-doctoral work at Harvard. He is a priest of the diocese of Fall River, Mass., and serves as the Director of Education at The National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia. See for more information.



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Rosary brings seminarian closer to Jesus through Mary


have to honestly admit this last summer, before entering every man, woman seminary, as I prepared to teach the children of the Fargo and child could Diocese in the Young Disciples apostolate, I still had not be included in his memorized all the mysteries of the rosary. Of course I had prayed redeeming act from Seminarian the rosary with my family at least weekly, and I enjoyed it. But, original sin to the Life I remember times that I even messed up Hail Mary. As I grew second coming. older, I realized the power of this prayer, which Mary gave to As I prayed the Kevin Lorsung us through St. Dominic. rosary last year at “As I prayed through the joyful, the sorrowful, the NDSU, I began to reluminous, and the glorious mysteries, I started to alize more and more that God did indeed come closer to Mary and Jesus by going through have a plan for me, and I would have a cross to bear with it. I their lives in the mysteries. And as I prayed, I knew lovingly embraced this cross and came to Mary for strength as they were both with me praying along with all the I consecrated myself to her last spring using the book “33 Days to Morning Glory” by Father Michael E. Gaitley. saints and angels.” Last summer as I prepared for seminary, I prayed a lot of – Kevin Lorsung, Fargo Diocese seminarian rosaries with the kids, and I felt honored to teach them how It was truly in college at the NDSU Newman Center that I to say our Lord’s Prayer and Mary’s prayer, too. I continue to fell in love with the rosary and started praying it daily. At that pray a rosary every day, and I feel an immense joy coming to time, I was majorly confused with what God wanted me to do pray with Mary and Jesus every day. with my vocation, and I knew that Mary would help show me As you and I go through Lent, I urge you to pick up that the way. She is the Mother of God after all and was given to rosary again, well-worn or brand new, and pray with your help us. She is here for us, so I went through her to God. family, friends and your parishes. May Mary wrap her mantle As I prayed through the joyful, the sorrowful, the luminous, about you this Lent as you come closer to her Son, Our Lord and the glorious mysteries, I started to come closer to Mary Jesus Christ. and Jesus by going through their lives in the mysteries. And as Kevin Lorsung is a College II student studying at St. Gregory the I prayed, I knew they were both with me praying along with Great Seminary in Seward, Neb. He is originally from Isanti, Minn. all the saints and angels. In his spare time, Lorsung enjoys reading, fishing, hunting, sports I truly fell in love with the sorrowful mysteries because of how and being with his friends. He decided to go into seminary because he we can witness them by looking at the Stations of the Cross and felt God was calling him to discern if he is meant for the priesthood the crucifix, too. I felt as Jesus did when he was in agony in the and not married life. garden as I searched for my vocation. I could relate to him as he was scourged at the pillar, because I too felt pain, especially Editor ’s Note: Seminarian Life is a monthly column written when I injured my knee multiple times. When he received the by current Diocese of Fargo seminarians. It gives New Earth crown of thorns, he did so with dignity because unbeknownst to readers a glimpse of what these discerning young men are the guards, he was King. When he carried the cross he fell down experiencing. Let us know if there is something you would like to know three times. But, each time he got up for you and me. Finally, at about the life of a seminarian. Perhaps, it will inspire an article from the last station he was crucified, his arms stretched forth so that one of them. And, please continue to pray for them.

Diocesan policy: Reporting child abuse Pilgrimages for Catholics and people of all faiths Prices starting at $2,699 ~ with Airfare Included in this price Prices are ALL-INCLUSIVE from anywhere in the continental USA Several trips to different destinations: the Holy Land; Italy; France, Portugal, & Spain; Poland; Medjugorje, Lourdes, & Fatima; Ireland & Scotland; England; Austria, Germany, & Switzerland; Greece & Turkey; El Camino de Santiago; Viking Cruises; Caribbean Cruises; Budapest; Prague; Our Lady of Guadalupe; Domestic Destinations; etc... We also specialize in custom trips for Bishops, Priests, and Deacons. 508-340-9370 call us 24/7 855-842-8001 Carmela Manago - Executive Director



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 MARCH 2015




Sponsored by the Diocese Talking to young people about the beauty of sexuality

Parents with children of all ages are invited to learn more about the positive, universal language of St. John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body.” Workshop speaker Jen Messing will offer simple tools to foster understanding of who we are, what our bodies mean, and how our desire for love points to God’s plan for us. Messing has been leading “theology of the body” based retreats around the United States since 2002. She holds a Master of Theological Studies from Ave Maria Institute for Pastoral Studies and is pursuing a certificate through the Theology of the Body Institute. The workshop will be offered at the following locations: April 12, 7 p.m. Madonna Room, Queen of Peace Hwy 5, St. Anne’s Road, Belcourt April 13, 7 p.m. Little Flower Catholic Church, Social Hall 218 3rd Street SE, Rugby April 14, 7 p.m. St. Michael’s Catholic Church 520 6th Street N, Grand Forks This event is free and open to the public. For more information contact Rachelle Sauvageau at (701) 356-7910. Sponsored by the Fargo Diocese Respect Life Office.

Bishop Folda to lead Good Friday Stations of the Cross

Bishop John Folda will offer Stations of the Cross at the Fargo abortuary, 512 1st Ave. N, at 10 a.m. on Good Friday, Apr. 3. Please join us as we commemorate our Lord’s Passion and death and pray for those who promote and have been wounded by abortion. For more information, contact Rachelle Sauvageau at (701) 356-7910.  

Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat set for April 17-19

A word from Pope John Paul II to those suffering because of abortion: “Do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope… The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.” If you or someone you know has suffered from the physical, emotional and spiritual effects of a past abortion, there is hope for healing. Rachel’s Vineyard offers a safe, non-judgmental and confidential weekend retreat for anyone: women, men, grandparents and siblings who struggle with the feelings of loss that can accompany an abortion. 26


The weekend begins on a Friday night and concludes on Sunday afternoon. A Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat is scheduled for April 17-19 in Hankinson. For more information, or to register, please contact Ruth at (701) 219-3941 or All calls are confidential.

Diocesan Junior High Rally set to charge your soul

Saturday, Apr. 11 marks the date for the Junior High Rally in Fargo at Holy Spirit school. This event, planned, promoted and presented by CYAC (Catholic Youth Advisor Council) will charge your soul with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Registration begins at 9:00am with CYAC and Lee Roessler will provide fun, games and entertainment. Keynote speaker will be Father Peter Anderl who is pastor at Sts. Peter and Paul’s parish in Mantador and St. Anthony’s in Mooreton. He will be covering topics such as today’s music, technology, athletics, relationships and modesty/chastity. Those topics will be discussed further in the workshop sessions. Along with Father Anderl, interactive workshops and entertainment by Lee Roessler and his band, there will be reconciliation, Eucharistic adoration and procession and Mass. Cost is $35 per student and $15 per chaperone. One chaperone per eight students is requested. Registration is due to your local parish no later than Wednesday, March 25. If you have questions, contact Kathy at (701) 356-7902 or

National Catholic Youth Conference dates set, sign-up deadline coming soon

The National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) is being held in Indianapolis, Ind. from Nov. 18 to Nov. 22, 2015. NCYC offers high school students and their adult chaperones multiple opportunities to interact and learn more about our Catholic faith. From general sessions to workshops to occasions to be of service to participate in the sacraments to the chance to dance or play basketball, NCYC attempts to engage the head, heart and hands of all participants. The Diocese of Fargo, Youth and Young Adult Department, is hosting a motor coach bus trip to this multi-faceted event. The trip cost is $700 and includes bus transportation, hotel arrangements, entrance fee to NCYC and meals. For more information, please contact Kathy at (701) 356-7902. A deposit of $100/attendee is due to the Youth office no later than April 29.

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

A Glimpse of the Past - March

This news item, compiled by Dorothy Duchschere, was found in a past issue of the Diocese of Fargo newspaper, Catholic Action News, the predecessor to New Earth.

50 Years Ago....1965

“Empty Saddles..............In the Villa Corral” By Father William J. Durkin Sister Dorothy of Villa Nazareth Children’s Home was annoyed, because in the middle of the night in the middle of the winter the telephone was ringing; and after a full day’s work of ministering to the needs of all the children, and the Sisters and the workers of Villa Nazareth, she was not inclined to chat with anyone. But she answered the phone, blinked, hung up, dressed, and hurried to Sister Agnes’ room. “Sister Agnes,” she said to Sister Agnes who was rubbing her eyes in the middle of the night in the middle of the winter, “you’ll have to get up, because the horses have got away.” “Get up? Horses? Got away?” mused Sister Agnes. “Yes. The children’s horses got out of the barn and went walking down Interstate 94, but two nice boys found them and brought them back to town. Mr. Jorgenson has them at the Phillips 66 gas station, and we must go to bring them home. Wake up two of the boys. And hurry. And you’d better bring a lasso,” said Sister Dorothy, and dashed away to warm up the station wagon. Sister Agnes woke up Tyrone and Timmy, and she got a lasso, and she hurried. At the Phillips 66 gas station, Perry, a fine black Welsh breed riding horse, was tied behind a U-Haul trailer reading its license plate and pretending not to notice two nuns and two small boys who were frowning at him. Princess, a small Shetland pony, was tied behind another U-Haul trailer, doing a tap dance and giggling. “Well,” said Sister Dorothy, “we can’t take them back on the highway, because there is too much fast traffic. We will have to go down the Country Club road, through the underpass, and back on one of the Southwood avenues. Tyrone, you ride Perry. Timmy, you ride Princess. Sister Agnes and I will follow in the car and be sure you stay in the headlights.” On the Country Club road, Tyrone, up on Perry, led the procession. But Princess, because it was her first night out, trotted from side to side of the road, pausing to snuffle at things that looked interesting. The sisters, following at five miles an hour, made an effort to keep the horsemen in the headlights. On the Country Club road, a boy and a girl in a parked car were studying the stars. “Oh dear,” said Sister Dorothy, “Princess is looking in the window of that car.” “Isn’t that just like the curiosity of a woman?” said Sister Agnes. Princess trotted on. The Sisters drove on looking straight ahead. The astronomers sat in their car looking straight ahead. In the underpass, Perry’s hooves clicked regularly as he marched like a fine black horse with a good rider should. Princess did the Twist as Timmy spurred her vigorously with his overshoe heels. The nuns sighed. In Southwood village, people arriving home late, paused at their front doors with key in hand and wondered why Villa Nazareth was having a parade at this hour of the night.

Ken Yasinski

Patrick Coffin

Fr. Michael Gaitley

Dr. Scott Hahn

Dr. Ralph Martin

Fr. James Mallon

JoEllen Gregus

Michael Dopp

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

(701) 356-7900

At 2:00 a.m., in the Villa barn, Perry and Princess ate some hay as Tyrone locked the barn door. At 2:10 a.m., in the Villa, Timmy and Tyrone ate cookies and milk as the Sisters locked the door. At 2:30 a.m., Sister Dorothy said goodnight to Sister Agnes and Sister Agnes said goodnight to Sister Dorothy, and everyone went to sleep. Which brings us to the moral of the story: If you can’t be a cowboy, why not be a nun? Hopalong Chastity! (April 1965 Catholic Action News)




Events Across The Diocese Mark your calendar for events around the diocese “Beautiful News” speaker, Father Pete Schavitz.

St. Catherine parish mission, Valley City. Sunday Mar. 15 through Thursday Mar. 19 at 6:30 p.m. Contact Jenny Faure at (701) 840-2099 or

Third Option relationshipbuilding program.

Church of Corpus Christi, Bismarck. Tuesdays, Mar. 17, 24 and 31 at 7 p.m. Topics include: building a climate of respect; responsibility and the blame game; expectations; listening beyond the words; childhood issues and emotional baggage; forgiveness and repair. Contact Joyce at (701) 204-7209 or jmcdowall@

Women’s Retreat.

Maryvale, Valley City. Friday, Mar. 20 to Sunday, Mar. 22 at 7 p.m. Contact Sister Dorothy Bunce at (701) 845-2864.

Community Irish Celebration.

St. Mary’s Cathedral, Fargo. Sunday, Mar. 22 at 4 p.m. The Community Irish Celebration will feature live performance of Irish music, dancing and activities. Contact Mary Evinger at (701) 799-0663.

Stations of the Cross at abortion facility.

512 1st Ave N, Fargo. Friday, Apr. 3 at 10 a.m. Contact Rachelle Sauvageau at (701) 356-7910.

Junior High Youth Rally.

Holy Spirit church, Fargo. Saturday, Apr. 11. Youth retreat for students in grades 6-8. Contact Kathy Loney at (701) 356-7902.


Divine Mercy Chaplet.

Holy Cross Church, West Fargo. Sunday, Apr. 12 at 3 p.m. Pray the Chaplet and learn about the picture that St. Faustina had painted of her vision of the Divine Mercy and why reciting this Chaplet is important. Contact parish office at (701) 282-7217.

Chastity education speaker Jen Messing.

St. Anne’s Indian Mission, Belcourt. Sunday, Apr. 12 at 7 p.m.; Little Flower Church, Rugby. Monday, Apr. 13 at 7 p.m.; St. Michael’s Church, Grand Forks. Tuesday, Apr. 14 at 7 p.m. Contact Rachelle Sauvageau at (701) 356-7910.

Catholic Charities Angel Auction.

Monday, Apr. 13 at 6 p.m. Fargo’s Holiday Inn. Fundraising event to support services provided by Catholic Charities ND. Contact (701) 235-4457 or

Ignatian Retreat.

Maryvalle, Valley City. Friday, Apr. 17 to Sunday, Apr. 19. Contact Sister Dorothy Bunce at (701) 845-2864.

Rachel’s Vineyard.

Friday, Apr. 17 to Sunday, April 19. Rachel’s Vineyard offers a safe, nonjudgmental 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. 23-24. An international conference streamed live from Ottawa, ON will bring together speakers who are leaders in the New Evangelization. See for details.

To submit events for New Earth and the diocesan website, send information to: New Earth, 5201 Bishops Blvd. S., Suite A, Fargo, ND 58104-7605 or email The deadline for the April New Earth is March. 25. The earliest that issue will reach homes is Apr. 13.

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

Wysocki celebrates 94 years Leona Ceclia Zon Wysocki, parishioner at Holy Family Catholic Church in Grand Forks, formerly of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Minto, celebrated her 94th birthday Nov. 22, 2014. Her family was with her to celebrate, including her children Carol (Jim) Walski, Betty (Jack) McDonald, Clarion/Rusty (Jan) Wysocki, Therese Wysocki, Linda Wysocki and grandchildren.

FINANCIALLY STRONG for 39 Consecutive Years

Help protect your family with the A++ | Superior Financial Strength of the Knights of Columbus

Obituary | Deacon Ed Eberle, veteran Ed, son of Puis and Gunda (Muffenbier) Eberle was born Nov. 23, 1924 in Karlshrude. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II in the Philippines. He was an honorable Knights of Columbus member. He was an active deacon in Rugby for 17 years. He enjoyed playing cards, having coffee with friends and working in his garden. Ed was also a barber for 30 years. Ed was united in marriage to Bessie Morrill on September 15, 1947 in Esmond. They were blessed with six children, James (Jakie Thelen) Fern (Arnold Hahn), Claude, Rose, Patsy and Harold (Linda Larsen). And, they were blessed with fifteen grandchildren and seventeen great-grandchildren. He has two brothers and one sister; Peter, Richard and Evelyn. He was preceded in death by one son, eight brothers, his parents and one stepbrother. Funeral service was at Langevin El Paraiso Funeral Home in Yakima, Wash.

Ryan Brunner

Jeff Reisenauer

Grand Forks Fargo (701) 757-0523 (701) 356-8889


Ryan Geigle

Jamestown (701) 251-9019

Pat Dolan

General Agent, Fargo (701) 298-9922


Wayne Cherney

Devils Lake (701) 662-4420 800-906-5780

Joel Herman

Wahpeton (701) 219-5847





Natural Family Planning (NFP) WHAT’S HAPPENING

A “yes” to God’s plan for love and life

Editor ’s Note: If you regularly read the publication “Family Foundations” produced by the Couple to Couple League, a Catholic nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and teaching natural family planning, you are familiar with the magazine’s “Witness Talk: Teaching Couples” section. In that section, teaching couples share their witness talk. For this month’s feature on the Year of Marriage of Family, a Natural Family Planning (NFP) teaching couple from Grand Forks, Destin and Stacey Coles, share how NFP has impacted their faith and marriage. The Coles were high school sweethearts and married June 19, 1998. They and their five children are members of St. Thomas Aquinas Newman Center in Grand Forks. Destin is an optometrist, and Stacey cares for and home schools their children. To learn more about God’s Plan for Love and Life visit:


I was born and raised in a Catholic home, but I was deeply influenced by the world’s version of sexuality. As I began to explore the Church’s wisdom, I still justified living my will because it was difficult for me to say no to my own desires. There was a fear of abstinence and a feeling of not wanting to be restricted by the Church. I didn’t yet understand that true freedom and happiness comes through being obedient to God’s plan for marriage. It was also difficult at the time to fully embrace NFP because we lacked friendship and mentorship with other couples who practice NFP.


I was raised Catholic, but I lacked full understanding of what the Church taught in regards to marital love. I questioned whether the Church’s teaching on contraception would stay the same or if the Church would become “enlightened” like the rest of the world. I also fell into the trap of thinking I could pick and choose which teachings I believed and wanted to embrace. In addition, I was advised by my doctor to be on the pill to regulate my cycle 30


so it was convenient to use it as a form of contraception early in our marriage. At the time, it seemed easier to trust artificial means of contraception rather than NFP. I thought contraception promised more freedom and allowed me to be in control of my life. Ultimately, we weren’t ready to put God at the center of our lives. Natural Family Planning teaching couple Destin and Stacey Coles pose for a family picture with their children (left to right) Drew, Jacob, Abigail, Evan and Alexis.



I was introduced to NFP through encouragement from my mom and our sponsoring couple during marriage preparation.

I first heard about NFP from our sponsoring couple. I was interested in NFP because it did not require me to put synthetic hormones into my body. We learned a NFP method on the biological level and knew how to chart our fertility signs. Unfortunately, the class did not teach us on a moral level and did not convince us that contraception was harmful to our marriage. The conversion of our hearts came later when we heard Christopher West proclaim God’s plan for marriage and intimacy.


Practicing NFP has helped me to understand that conjugal love is much more than a biological event that brings forth pleasure. Rather, it is an integral part of marriage that communicates a permanent commitment to each other through a complete giving of myself to Stacey. Living God’s plan for conjugal love profoundly influences all the other ways I sacrifice, love, forgive, and invest in the well-being of my bride.


Our communication has been enriched as NFP encourages us to discern and discuss important matters relating to the gift of fertility, sexuality and responsible parenthood. By embracing NFP, I have experienced sexual intimacy as a holy moment where God’s presence is felt. He has also given me the blessing to see children as a gift that provides the opportunity to practice sacrificial love, generosity and abandonment to His holy will. The richness and joy they bring to our life has given us a desire to have more children beyond what we imagined in the beginning.

Note: The Fargo Diocese NFP Program provides education on Natural Family Planning to more than 250 couples a year. For a complete listing of diocesan NFP instructors go to: For a listing of physicians who are supportive of couples wanting to practice NFP go to: 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.

Give a Gift to Help Keep the TV Mass on the Air The best gift for those you love who are nursing home residents, shut-ins, or non-practicing Catholics on WDAY, Channel 6, Fargo – WDAZ, Channel 8, Grand Forks 10:30 a.m. Sunday.


The biggest surprise for me in practicing NFP was experiencing a deeper love and respect for God and my wife. NFP has helped me to turn to God in prayer more consistently and trust Him more completely in all areas of my life.

Name_________________________________________________ Address_______________________________________________ City/State/Zip_________________________________________ Phone_________________________________________________ A GIFT FOR: Name_________________________________________________ Address_______________________________________________ City/State/Zip_________________________________________


I was surprised that one of the things I feared most about NFP, which was the periodic abstinence, became one of the biggest sources of joy in my life as Destin and I experienced a more fulfilling intimate relationship and respect for one another. We also gained an appreciation for all the ways we show love to one another outside of the marital embrace.

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

Or, IN MEMORY OF: Name________________________________________________ I would like this listed at the end of the TV Mass on this date(s): ______________________________________________________





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



New Earth March 2015  

Magazine for the Catholic Diocese of Fargo

New Earth March 2015  

Magazine for the Catholic Diocese of Fargo