New Earth October 2018

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October 2018 | Vol. 39 | No. 9 The Magazine of the Catholic Diocese of Fargo


Respect life‌

from conception to natural death Catholic Charities North Dakota strives to also serve everyone in between


From Bishop Folda: A time of shadows and light

Assumption Church in Pembina celebrates 200 years

SEEK2019 inspires desire to encounter something more






October 2018 Vol. 39 | No. 9

ON THE COVER 16 Respect Life… from conception to natural death

October is Respect Life month. We are keenly aware of efforts protecting the unborn and allowing for a dignified, natural end to life for the elderly, but what about respecting the lives of those who fall in between? Catholic Charities North Dakota is working to bridge the gap.



A time of shadows and light



Pope Francis’ October prayer intentions


Ask a priest:

How serious is scandal? What makes for scandal?

8 Upholding Humanae Vitae in marriage and healthcare



10 Seminarians, Religious in formation, and Diaconate Candidates 12 Assumption Church in Pembina celebrates 200 years 13

Sacred Heart Church in Rolette celebrates 100th anniversary

14 North Dakota Catholic Daughters of the Americas celebrate 100 years


19 Tattered Pages




22 Stories of Faith

A faith-filled opportunity

Not your average Christian music

23 Sister’s Perspective


24 Seminarian Life

Questions people ask us

20 SEEK2019 inspires desire to encounter something more

21 University of Mary’s Prayer Day speaker has inspired millions around the world

25 Catholic Action

Mary orchestrates conversion and call to the priesthood Your faith, your vote

26 Stewardship

27 Making Sense of Bioethics


Giving back to our donors


The multiple moral problems of surrogacy


ON THE COVER: Photo from iStock.


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


Most Rev. John T. Folda Bishop of Fargo


Paul Braun

Assistant editor Kristina Lahr


Stephanie Drietz - Drietz Designs


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





28 Events across the diocese 28 A glimpse of the past 29 Life’s milestones 31 Connect with parishes at fall festivals


34 U.S. bishops announce new abuse-prevention measures and call for McCarrick investigation SIDEWALK STORIES 35 When it comes to life, don’t stop at the start

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

Contact Information

Use the following contact information to contact the New Earth staff: (701) 356-7900 Deadline to submit articles, story ideas, advertisements and announcements for the November issue is Oct. 17, 2018. All submissions are subject to editing and placement. New Earth is published by the Catholic Diocese of Fargo, a nonprofit North Dakota corporation, 5201 Bishops Blvd. S, Suite A Fargo, ND 58104. (701) 356-7900. Periodical Postage Paid at Fargo, ND and at additional mailing offices. Member of the Catholic Press Association NEW EARTH OCTOBER 2018



A time of shadows and light


he last few months have once again been a harrowing time for the Church. We have been shocked and angered at more revelations of abuse by clergy, including bishops and cardinals. Many of you have expressed anger at what is coming out, and I share your anger and frustration. Many of you have also graciously offered your support and encouragement. I and my brother priests are deeply grateful for the support you offer to us, and on their behalf, I pledge our determination to live our priestly lives with faith, purity, and devotion to Christ and to his people. The case of the former Cardinal McCarrick is especially vexing because his predatory behavior was apparently known to others and was allowed to continue. Along with the leadership of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, I expect a full investigation of his actions and of those who may have enabled his wrongdoing. There have been allegations that these facts were known in the Vatican as well, and I hope these too will be fully investigated. Too much damage has occurred, and glossing over these events is unacceptable. This raises the question of the accountability of bishops. Now more than ever it is necessary to put in place a mechanism or process for holding bishops accountable for abuses and misdeeds, with the same or greater rigor we expect of priests. It has been proposed that a third-party reporting system be established to receive allegations against bishops, and that such allegations be passed along for investigation to law enforcement and to higher Church authority, including the Pope, who alone has authority to discipline bishops who commit ecclesiastical crimes. I fully support such an approach, and believe that it must incorporate the leadership and expertise of the laity. I am encouraged that the number of cases of abuse by clergy has plummeted in recent times, a fact that is too rarely reported. Most of the cases we read about now are from many decades ago, but that does not excuse them and should not make us complacent. It only shows us that the measures put in place have made a difference, and that we must remain always vigilant. One case of abuse in the Church would be too many. Some have asked me what they can do, and I appreciate their inquiry, because it shows an awareness that we must all come together in Christ to overcome the current struggles. The first answer I always give is prayer. Please pray to our Lord for healing in his Church. Pray for those who have been victimized, whether they are minors or adults. Pray also for bishops and 4


priests, that they may persevere in the calling they have received to serve our Lord. And pray for those who have been scandalized and are struggling with their faith because of the sins of their shepherds. In times of trial, it is also appropriate to fast and do penance in atonement for sins. Even if we are not personally guilty of these crimes, we can pray and fast for the conversion and healing that is so needed in the body of the Church. I have asked all our pastors to offer public prayers of reparation in our parishes, and I hope many of the faithful will take part. And most importantly, we can live our faith with renewed fervor, realizing that the sins of a few do not determine who we are as Christ’s Church. The best way to confront the evil of this time is to firmly reject sin and go out as the missionary disciples Jesus has called us to be.

“When we wonder if the Church has a future, it is essential that we do our part and put our faith in Jesus Christ, who has sustained the faithful through even greater struggles for many centuries.” – Bishop John Folda Despite the bad news we are hearing, there are causes for celebration as well. On Sept. 9, I was privileged to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Assumption Church in Pembina. Several hundred people, six bishops and 25 priests joined with the faithful of Pembina to celebrate and give thanks to God for blessing this parish so richly. Assumption is the oldest parish not only in the Diocese of Fargo, but in all of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota. I suspect that additional research would add a few other states to that list as well. Assumption Church was established by Father Severe Dumoulin, a French-Canadian missionary who was sent to serve the traders and settlers, and especially the Metis people who lived along the Red River. It is remarkable to consider that the Church has been present and active in our area for 200 years, through more difficulties than most of us could imagine. Before large parts of our country were even settled, the Catholic faith was lived right here in what is now North Dakota. During those early years, the church buildings at Pembina were flooded more than once and even destroyed by cannon fire. The priests were recalled to Canada for a time, but the people persevered in faith and the parish endured. Several parishioners who were present for the celebration were sixth generation descendants of the early settlers and

Oct. 12


9 a.m.

Oct. 13


5 p.m.

Oct. 14


11 a.m.

Natural Family Planning Instructors Continuing Ed Day, Sts. Anne & Joachim, Fargo Mass for High School Youth Extravaganza, Napoleon

members of Assumption Parish, and they remind us how crucial it is that we pass along the faith through our families and in our communities. This parish, like so many others that celebrate anniversaries each year, has been a spiritual home for the faithful and remains a sign of Christ’s abiding presence among his people. When we are tempted to become discouraged at the sins all around us, it is good to remember the mercy of God that planted the faith in little settlements and parishes all over the countryside of North Dakota. When we feel our own weaknesses and failures, it is important to recall the brave souls who went before us and kept faith in God through joys and many trials. When we wonder if the Church has a future, it is essential that we do our part and put our faith in Jesus Christ, who has sustained the faithful through even greater struggles for many centuries. He is our Lord, and he has promised us: “I will be with you always, even until the end of the world.”

Mass at Sacred Heart Church, Cando

Oct. 15–18

2018 Mission Bishops Conference, Chicago

Oct. 21


5:30 p.m.

Oct. 22


9:30 a.m.

Operation Andrew Dinner, Bishop’s Residence, Fargo St. JPII Schools Network All Schools Mass, Shanley, Fargo

Oct. 23


2 p.m.

Oct. 25


2 p.m.

Mass for St. Aloyisus Medical Center, St. Cecilia Church, Harvey

Prayer Intention of Pope Francis October

Evangelization – The Mission of Religious:

That consecrated religious men and women may bestir themselves, and be present among the poor, the marginalized, and those who have no voice.


Diocesan Pastoral Council, Pastoral Center, Fargo

Oct. 26


5:15 p.m.

White Mass, St. Thomas Aquinas Newman Center, Grand Forks

Nov. 1

All Saints Day, Pastoral Center closed, Fargo

6:30 p.m.

bisonCatholic Banquet, Delta by Marriott, Fargo

Nov. 2


9:30 a.m.

St. JPII Schools Network Memorial Mass, Shanley, Fargo

Nov. 3


5 p.m.

Mass at St. Patrick Church, Fessenden

Nov. 4


8:30 a.m.

Mass at Holy Family, McClusky

11 a.m.

Mass at St. Augustine, Fessenden

Nov. 7–8

Catholic Rural Life Meeting, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul

Nov. 12–15

USCCB Meeting, Baltimore NEW EARTH OCTOBER 2018


A Marriage Lifeline With the pressures and demands of modern life and too little time, personal relationships are often taken for granted. With all the distractions, it is easy to forget that strong relationships take work: before we realize it, we have drifted apart and the gulf between us seems insurmountable. When this happens, married couples often think that there is no hope for their marriage, and they believe that the only way out of a miserable situation, is divorce. It's not, there's a better, more constructive way out of what seems like a hopeless situation. If you are prepared to have a try at repairing your marriage, Retrouvaille can help you put the pieces back together, and rebuild the loving relationship you once had. Tens of thousands of married couples around the world have found new hope and healing through Retrouvaille, and you can too. The Red River Retrouvaille program will take place in Fargo October 26-28, 2018 Visit for details.

For more information: Phone: (701) 356-7962






How serious is scandal? What makes for scandal?


n my many years of teaching about morality, it seems the notion of scandal and its serious nature is often misunderstood and/ or overlooked. This struck me most when preparing high school students for Confirmation and we discussed the topic of living together before marriage. On more than one occasion a student would say, “There is nothing wrong with that. Everyone is doing it.” Obviously young people have seen this behavior and have concluded it is okay. Do those who cohabit give scandal? The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) declares, “Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to evil... he damages virtue and integrity... (it) is a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense” (2284). Scandal begins with the assumption that the moral life is not just a private affair. Our lives are interconnected and we shape and form one another in our relationships. Scripture reminds us, “It is not good for man to be alone” (Gen. 2:18). After the fall and Cain kills Abel, God asks Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” He answered, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Gen. 4:9). The answer to that question is “yes.” When God sends Ezekiel to be a prophet to Israel, God says to Ezekiel, “If I say to the wicked man, you shall surely die; and you do not warn or speak out to dissuade him from his wicked conduct so that he may live: that wicked man shall die for his sin, but I will hold you responsible for his death. If, on the other hand, you have warned the wicked man, yet he has not turned away from his evil nor from his wicked conduct, then he shall die for his sin, but you shall save your life” (Ezek. 3:18-19). It seems God is clear about what is expected of Ezekiel. We have responsibilities not only for ourselves but for others. More specific to scandal, Christ speaks of it in Matthew’s Gospel. “Whoever causes one of these little ones who would believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matt. 18: 6-7). It is inevitable that scandal should occur. Nonetheless, woe to that man through whom scandal comes. Paul speaks about the issue of scandal in relationship to people of “weak conscience” who regard eating of meat that had been sacrificed at pagan altars as being wrong. Rather than scandalize those of “weak conscience,” Paul refrains from such eating (1 Cor. 8:1-13; Rom. 14:14-24). Scandal means one foresees, or should foresee, the likelihood of one’s action being the occasion of sin for another person. Obviously, the other person has free will and intellect to make choices, but since we are interconnected and interdependent beings, we are called to avoid being an occasion of sin for others. Since we have some responsibility for others, any flagrant abuse of God’s commandments and Gospel living (deliberately missing Sunday Mass, encouraging fraud, living together before marriage, etc.) can lead others to sin, tatter their call to holiness, diminish the light of Christ within them, pull them away from the grace of the sacraments, and harden their hearts. This task of not leading others into sin is particularly true for those in authority who educate and teach others. To be occasions of

sin in such matters would make such persons “wolves in sheep clothing” against whom Christ Ask a Priest warned in Matthew Father James Ermer 7:15. This includes those who establish laws or social structures that lead “to the decline of morals and corruption of religious practices...” (CCC 2286). All who do such things “become guilty of scandal responsible for the evil that he has directly or indirectly encouraged” (CCC 2287). This is precisely the reason why the present sex abuse crisis is so scandalous. Those guilty of such abuse have mocked the beauty and dignity of sexuality and trashed its God-given nature, thereby leading others to impaired understandings of purity and chastity, among other injustices. Such is scandal. In treating the matter of scandal, the Catechism of the Catholic Church places scandal under its reflection on the 5th Commandment, which declares, “The person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor’s tempter. He damages virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother into spiritual death” (CCC 2284). Once a person understands and accepts we have a role in being “our brother’s keeper,” it is not a huge step to see how our sinful acts can lead others to do the same, misinform their conscience, or diminish their practice of virtue. Scandal is serious business and demands our attentiveness to moral integrity, to virtuous living, to social justice, and to love one another as Christ has loved us. Father Ermer serves as the pastor of St. Leo’s Church in Casselton and St. Thomas Church in Buffalo. Editor’s Note: If you would like to submit a question for consideration in a future column, please send to or mail to New Earth, 5201 Bishops Blvd. S, Suite A, Fargo, ND 58104.


Is Jesus calling you to share that ? CARMEL OF MARY MONASTERY 17765 78TH ST. S.E., WAHPETON, ND 58075 701-642-2360 CARMELOFMARY@GMAIL.COM NEW EARTH OCTOBER 2018


Bill Donaghy (submitted photo)

[Humane Vitae]


Upholding Humanae Vitae in marriage and healthcare


By Natalie Aughinbaugh, DNP, FNP-C

n 1968, Pope Paul VI authored a text titled Humanae Vitae that circulated the Catholic Church, affirming its teachings that married love is sacred, children are gifts from God, responsible parenthood is important, and that Natural Family Planning (NFP) should be implemented within marriage. In the first sentence of Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI writes, “the transmission of human life is a most serious role in which married people collaborate freely and responsibly with God the Creator.” His words emphasize union, procreation, and fertility appreciation. All are essential aspects within the marital act of intercourse and are a part of God’s design, an inseparable connection experienced between married partners. Its union aspect is love-giving and its procreative aspect is life-giving. Further, the act is total self-giving of one partner to the other that celebrates the marriage sacrament. Humanae Vitae emphasizes natural fertility in its condemnation of artificial contraception and promotion of NFP. The practice of NFP allows couples to understand their fertility, create life, and remain faithful to God’s design for human sexuality. As Catholics, it is our responsibility to uphold these values and respect human life in the way God intended. Not only has Humanae Vitae made an impact within the Catholic Church and within marriages, but it has also made an impact within the healthcare setting. Providers may utilize Humanae Vitae principles in their practice to promote moral reproductive care, to discourage contraceptive approaches within fertility care, and to demonstrate that the reproductive cycle is good,



honorable, and natural. In my practice as a healthcare provider, I often inform interested patients about the methods of NFP, which a couple can implement to manage their familial goal of achieving or avoiding pregnancy. Through NFP teachings, women and their spouses open themselves to fertility awareness to recognize hormonal and rhythmic changes within the female menstrual cycle, which allows them to understand their body, to identify health issues like reproductive disorders, subfertility, infertility, and to pinpoint fertile days in order to guide their family planning. This awareness, gained through charting interpretation, provides informative data that allows providers to assist couples as needed. A provider may offer guidance to optimize reproductive system functioning, enhance fertility rate, or recommend interventions to treat ailments or to correct an underlying problem revealed after the couples’ purposeful monitoring. Within a healthcare setting, it’s important for providers to acknowledge that fertility is a gift, not a disease. Fertility is often viewed as a disease that needs to be treated or suppressed. However, education on how to monitor and interpret fertility can be an effective way for individuals to manage their reproductive functioning and their family planning intentions, while keeping the body in its natural, healthy, holy state. Humanae Vitae is a gift to marriage and healthcare, and promoting its principles encourages respect for human life and appreciation for fertility as God intended. Natalie is a Doctoral prepared Family Nurse Practitioner who is Natural Family Planning only, meaning she does not prescribe contraceptives. She works in the Family Medicine department at Essentia Health in Fargo. Natalie teaches the Marquette Method of NFP. She is married and has four sons.

Get connected To The Largest Catholic Brotherhood

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Pat Dolan, FICF General Agent

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Adam Jordan, FIC Sean Osowski, FIC Grand Forks 701-367-4222

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Eric Seitz

Zachary Howick

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

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

Kevin Lorsung Hometown: Isanti, Minn. School: St. Paul Seminary, St. Paul, Minn. Year: Theology II

Devan Hirning Hometown: Dickinson School: St. Gregory the Great Seminary, Seward, Neb. Year: Pre-Theology I

Robert Foertsch Hometown: Wyndmere School: St. Paul Seminary, St. Paul, Minn. Year: Theology I

Matthew Samson Hometown: Park River School: Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Emmitsburg, Md. Year: Pre-Theology I

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



Riley Durkin

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

Matthew Kensok Hometown: Casselton School: Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Emmitsburg, Md. Year: Theology I

Seth Skjervheim Hometown: Langdon School: St. Gregory the Great Seminary, Seward, Neb. Year: Pre-Theology I

Brendon Schneibel Hometown: Manvel School: St. Gregory the Great Seminary, Seward, Neb. Year: College I

Jered Grossman

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

Joseph Littlefield Hometown: Hatton School: St. Paul Seminary, St. Paul, Minn. Year: Theology I

Quinn Krebs Hometown: Jamestown School: St. Gregory the Great Seminary, Seward, Neb. Year: College IV

Taylor Ternes Hometown: Devils Lake School: St. Gregory the Great Seminary, Seward, Neb. Year: College I

Chris Savageau

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

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

Jasper Keller Hometown: Fargo School: St. Gregory the Great Seminary, Seward, Neb. Year: College III


Religious in formation

Sr. Mary Pieta (Michaela) Breen, SV

Sr. Grace (Mary) Beauclair, CSJ Hometown: Fargo Temporary Vows Apostolic Sisters of Community of St. John, Princeville, Ill.

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

Sr. Mary Rachel Craig, SOLT

Theresa Nguyen Hometown: Houston, Texas Aspirant Carmel of Mary, Wahpeton N.D.

Hometown: Robstown, Texas Temporary Vows Sisters of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, Dunseith, N.D.

Sr. Miryam (Cecelia) Vandal, PCC

Sr. Mary Angela (Kayla) Gross, ACJ

Hometown: Napoleon 1st Vows Handmaids of the Heart of Jesus, New Ulm, Minn.

Hometown: Langdon 1st Vows Poor Clare Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, Belleville, Ill.

Br. Michael (Matthew) Donahue OP

Br. Francis (Justin) Reineke FMI

Hometown: Moorhead, Minn. Simple Vows Eastern Province of St. Joseph, Washington D.C.

Hometown: Fargo 2nd Professed Third Order of Franciscans of Mary Immaculate, Minto, N.D.

Diaconate Candidates

Pat Breen Sts. Anne & Joachim Church, Fargo

Jonathan Brewer Sts. Peter & Paul Church, Karlsruhe

Bart Salazar St. John’s Church, New Rockford

Terry Fischer St. Anthony of Padua Church, Fargo

Ben Seitz Sts. Anne & Joachim Church, Fargo

Curtis Kaufman St. Rose of Lima Church, Hillsboro

Kirk Ripplinger Basilica of St. James, Jamestown

Jeff Vaagen St. Joseph’s Church, Devils Lake



Bishops, priests, and altar servers gather for a photo after Mass. (Kristina Lahr | New Earth)

“Behind every story is the person of Jesus Christ” Assumption Church in Pembina celebrates 200 years By Kristina Lahr Faithful of the parish and surrounding area celebrate Mass outside the church building. (Kristina Lahr | New Earth)




n Sept. 9, bishops, priests, and lay people gathered to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Assumption Church in Pembina. Since Assumption Church is the first Catholic mission in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota, bishops from neighboring dioceses including Archbishop Hebda of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Archbishop LeGatt of St. Boniface in Manitoba, Bishop Hoeppner of Crookston, Bishop Kagan of Bismarck, and Bishop Sirba of Duluth joined the celebration. The day included Mass, live music, and a meal. “Today is an opportunity for us to congratulate Bishop Folda and the people of this parish and diocese,” said Archbishop Hebda. “It’s also a time for us to be enriched by the experience that a parish can survive 200 years. I know we’re experiencing some difficult days in the life of the church, but a parish like this, with this kind of longevity, reminds us that we can get through all kinds of difficulties and challenges and that the Lord will lead us through.” In his homily, Bishop Folda reminded the faithful that Christ’s presence in those early missionaries and settlers shaped the region to what it is today. “Behind every story and every chapter is the person of Jesus Christ,” he said. “Just as Jesus traveled throughout Galilee and the pagan districts of Tyre and Sidon, preaching and healing, so too he came to this spot on the Red River of the North to bring the grace, mercy, and healing of God to his beloved children. Through the ministry of priests like Father Dumoulin and Father Belcourt, and through the living faith of the people who settled here or moved on from here, our Lord came and established a little piece of his Kingdom on earth, right here at a bend in this river. As the prophet Isaiah says, ‘Fear not, here is your God… he comes to save you.’” Assumption Church was established on Sept. 18, 1818 when

AROUND THE DIOCESE missionaries were sent by Bishop O.J. Plessis of Quebec to attend to the spiritual needs of the Selkirk settlers, fur traders, buffalo hunters, Metis, and Native Americans. The Catholic mission endured many trials in those years including floods, economic hardship, and even cannon fire. While we may face different challenges than our ancestors, we too, must face the spiritual challenges of our day. “Father Dumoulin and those early settlers lived in a wilderness, and so do we, but it’s a spiritual wilderness, where God has been forgotten or maybe just set aside by many,” said Bishop Folda. “Our Lord is still here, still dwelling among his people, and he sends us out as his new apostles, his new missionaries.” Father Joseph Okogba, pastor of Assumption Church, congratulates the parish after Mass. (Kristina Lahr | New Earth)

Priests and altar servers gather with Bishop Folda outside Sacred Heart Church in Rolette on Sept. 16. (submitted photo)

Sacred Heart Church in Rolette celebrates 100th anniversary


joyous faith community celebration took place Sept. 16 at Sacred Heart Church in Rolette. Current and past parishioners, community members, and clergy gathered to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the parish. The celebration started with Mass celebrated by Bishop John Folda and concelebrated by Father Paulraj Thondappa, pastor; Father Tom Graner, former pastor; Father Frank Miller, dean of deanery six; and deanery six priests. The Mass began with beautiful music by organist Gail Tastad and a brief welcome by Jim Mongeon. After the final blessing, there was a brief, lighthearted program led by Amy Jo Leonard. Bishop Folda, Father Garner, Father

By Sacred Heart Church, Rolette

Thondappa, and parishioner Carmen Richard addressed the congregation during the program with stories of yesteryear and memories they hold dear. Carmen Richard invited Sister Marlys Dionne to join her at the pulpit in saying the Hail Mary in French, with many in the congregation joining in as they did years ago during their time at Notre Dame Academy. Following the program, those gathered rekindled past friendships with parishioners who have moved away and were introduced to children and grandchildren that came along after they left Sacred Heart. One former parishioner said, “I wouldn’t have missed this for the world. This parish will always be my home!” The cheerful reception continued for many hours as people shared stories, photos, and hugs. NEW EARTH OCTOBER 2018


North Dakota Catholic Daughters gather at the 57th Biennial National Catholic Daughters of the Americas Convention in Sioux Falls, S.D. on July 19. (submitted photo)

North Dakota Catholic Daughters of the Americas celebrate 100 years By Laurel Ann Dukart | ND State Regent


n Jan. 1, North Dakota Catholic Daughters of the Americas celebrated 100 years as a State Court. Court St. Elizabeth #170 in Minot, our oldest local court, celebrated 106 years this past March. On April 29, 2019, Court St. Cecelia in Mandan will be our sixth local court to celebrate 100 years. North Dakota currently has 21 local courts across the state and 1,566 members. If you have not heard of us, the Catholic Daughters of the Americas (CDA) is one of the oldest and largest organizations of Catholic women ages 18 and older. We are in 45 states, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Guam, The Virgin Islands, Kenya, and Peru. Under the patronage of the Blessed Mother, we are united by our faith in Jesus Christ and our dedication to the Church and the Holy See. Our purpose is to participate in the religious, charitable, and educational Apostolates of the Church. We engage in creative and spiritual programs, which provide members with the opportunity to develop their God-given talents in meaningful ways that positively influence the welfare of the Church and all people throughout the world. Our motto is Unity and Charity. One event includes CDA Sunday held on Oct. 21. Local, state, and national members celebrate by attending Mass together. Some have their monthly meetings on the same day, while others worship and spend quality time together. On May 3–5, 2019, the biennial North Dakota CDA Convention will be held in Devils Lake at St. Joseph’s Church. Ladies, if you would like to learn more or join the Catholic Daughters of the Americas, contact Kathy Kennedy at or Laurel Ann Dukart at dukartcda@ We would be happy to come to your town. For more information, go to



Prayer for Catholic Daughters

God our Father, we come to you in thanksgiving for the joy of salvation. We are grateful for your outpouring of love which strengthens us as we go about our daily duties of loving care and service for others. Your Son, Jesus, did not come to be served, but to serve. Help us to live our principles of unity and charity like he did. As Catholic Daughters, we will always strive, with your help, to be devoted and loving servants. Guide us in all we do and enable us to recognize your many blessings. May our mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, all the saints and holy women of the past pray for us. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

+John T. Folda



Diocesan priest Father Daniel Mrnarevic passes away Sept. 23

he Rev. Daniel M. Mrnarevic, 67, priest of the Diocese of Fargo, passed away Sept. 23 at Sanford Health Center in Fargo. Daniel Miho Mrnarevic, son of the late Helen (Jele) and Nicholas Mrnarevic, was born Nov. 25, 1950 and grew up in the city of Dubrovnik, Croatia. He studied law at the University of Zagreb at age 21 and during that time, he discerned a vocation to the priesthood. He was sent to the Major Seminary in Zagreb, Croatia where during his studies, he became acquainted with the Cistercian Order in Bregenz, Austria. He joined the Cistercians in 1974 and was ordained a priest on July 2, 1984. He obtained his Bachelor’s in Theology and the Diploma in Monastic History and Spirituality in 1985 at the prestigious Pontifical University of San Anselmo in Rome. In 1985, he completed his graduate studies in Rome with a teaching degree in Theology (Licentiate of Sacred Theology, S.T.L.) from the famed Angelicum, the Pontifical University of St. Thomas where Pope John Paul II studied. On the invitation of the Most Reverend James Sullivan, Bishop of the Diocese of Fargo, he came to the United States in the fall

of 1988 and became a United States citizen in the fall of 1994. Father Dan (as he is popularly known among his friends) served parishes in Walhalla and Bathgate, Rugby and Knox, Velva and Karlsruhe, Grand Forks, and Manvel. He taught college-level courses for 15 years in the Education for Parish Service and was actively involved with Cursillo and Permanent Diaconate programs in the Diocese of Fargo. Father Dan organized a number of pilgrimages to Italy, sharing his love of world and church history. Father Dan leaves behind a loving brother, Pavo, his wife Elvira, their sons Joseph and Nicholas, their families who reside in New Jersey, and numerous cousins and relatives in Croatia. He was a close friend of Father Ron Yee-Mon, Fargo; Carmelite Father Smiljo Brnadic, Split, Croatia; and Dr. Vinko Danic, Zagreb, Croatia as well as many friends in the United States (North Dakota and Louisiana), Austria, Germany, Italy, and Croatia. He was grateful for their love and friendships. He was preceded in death by his parents. Mass of Christian Burial was on Sept. 27 at St. Mary’s Church in Grand Forks.

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SMP Health System Sponsored by the Sisters of Mary of the Presentation

Caring for You! NEW EARTH OCTOBER 2018


Respect life…

from conception to natural death Catholic Charities North Dakota strives to also serve everyone in between By Paul Braun


ctober is traditionally Respect Life month. As Catholics, we believe in maintaining human dignity and protection of life from conception to natural death. We may be aware of efforts nationally to bring attention to the evil that is abortion on demand. We’ve seen, and may even have taken part in marches and demonstrations. We’ve seen or read about the efforts of our sidewalk volunteers as they stand in front of North Dakota’s only abortion clinic every Wednesday in Fargo. Many of us are aware of, and have even lived through, episodes with older generations of our families as they prepare for the end of life, whether through a hospital, nursing home, or hospice. Conception to natural death is a simple concept… we 16


respect all life from beginning to end. But what about those in between conception and natural death, who are living their daily lives but are in need of families, counseling, or care? Who stands up for them to make sure their lives are respected and valued? For 95 years, Catholic Charities North Dakota (CCND) has handled that task in many ways across the entire state, serving both the Fargo and Bismarck Dioceses. Although the organization is identified through the name Catholic Charities, the name doesn’t fully identify the types of services provided. CCND has progressed over the years into the areas that it currently serves, and although CCND functions through the Catholic belief system, everyone, regardless of faith,

y adopted child, Addison, and Brenna and Ryan Opdahl, their newl zation of Addison’s adoption finali the two CCND staffers celebrate Adoption Services program. and nting Pare y nanc Preg the gh throu (submitted photo)

is served. “Our mission is to serve the vulnerable and those in need in a Christian fashion,” said executive director Dianne Nechiporenko. “We follow the social teachings of the Church, everybody has rights and value, and we’re here to help in any way we can. We don’t always have the resources to help them, but we have the knowledge to connect them with an organization that may, no matter the circumstances they’re going through.” CCND offers important services to women experiencing an unexpected pregnancy. Before these infants are even born, their mothers are offered help through the Pregnancy Parenting and Adoption Services (PPAS) program. Licensed social workers assist in planning for the baby’s arrival, as well as provide support and education on parenting and adoption. “We’re helping people who find themselves in a situation that wasn’t planned,” said Nechiporenko. “We’re there to help them whether they want to parent or find a forever family for a child. We’re there to accompany them on the journey as they make the decision that’s best for them, knowing it’s going to impact generations down the road.” Adoption services are what CCND may be best known for. Many children placed for adoption in North Dakota have been in the foster care system. The Adults Adopting Special Kids (AASK)

program is for these children that are in foster care. CCND, along with its collaborative partner PATH ND Inc., works with the state, counties and foster families to find forever homes for the children, where they are valued and loved, and know someone is looking out for them. CCND assists with home assessments, placement services, and post-placement follow-up. During the 2017–18 fiscal year, CCND assisted in the finalization of 192 adoptions, approved 102 home assessments, and assisted 301 families and 841 children through the AASK program. CCND also provides counseling services for those individuals, couples, or families who find themselves in stressful situations and coping with a crisis or change. Licensed therapists work with those being counseled to help them find the strength and resources to cope. “In our counseling program we look at basic needs,” said Nechiporenko. “We look at individual and family needs and how we can help them, whether it be mental health issues, family discord or other issues, and we make sure that everything we do is based on the principal that we respect life, whether a person is one day old or 100 years old.” Another important CCND program is providing guardianship services to protect adults with intellectual disabilities. Guardianship is necessary when a court determines someone is unable to make good decisions for themselves, and may be at risk of being taken advantage of, abused, neglected, or not receiving needed medical care or other services. This program, working with regional human resource centers in North Dakota, served 484 clients last year, with another 108 on a waiting list. The Guardianship Program is based on values — what clients value and what CCND values — servicing those in need and advocating for the common good of all. The wishes of clients is valued and taken into consideration and no matter what level of assistance they need, CCND strives to meet those personal needs by making sure they’re taken care of in a safe and secure environment. Dianne Nechiporenko, Executive Director, CCND (submitted photo)



Catholic C harities N orth Dako ta staff ga ther in Far go. (Kristin a

CCND is a non-profit organization made up of a board of directors led by Bishop John Folda of the Fargo Diocese and Bishop David Kagan of the Bismarck Diocese. CCND has offices in Fargo, Grand Forks, Minot, and Bismarck. Services were provided last year in 49 of the state’s 53 counties. CCND has a yearly budget of around $3.5 million, and receives the bulk of its funding for AASK and Guardianship through the North Dakota Department of Human Services. Funding is also generously provided through support from the Fargo and Bismarck Dioceses especially for Counseling and PPAS, along with donations and fundraising, including most recently last month’s Catholic Charities Sunday celebration. What would Catholic Charities North Dakota like to accomplish in the next five years marking its 100th year anniversary? According to Nechiporenko, there is a gap in services for the elderly. CCND is hoping to enhance the quality of life for seniors by adding value, comfort, and dignity. To accomplish this, CCND will need even more support from others who have the heart to assist those who are aging and may not have the support of family or friends. If you want to help in CCND’s efforts, or if you need more information on services provided, call CCND at (701) 235-4457.


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





Lahr | Ne w Earth)




Not your average Christian music By Matt Komprood


A review of Catholic books, movies, music


although this in no way distracts from the contemplative and prayerful nature of her music. I once heard a musician muse that all Christian music sounds like whatever the secular music world was doing 10 years ago. That is not a problem here. Although Assad’s piano remains central, the overall sound of the album is fresh and new. We are also treated to a magnificent singer at the height of her powers; Assad could sing the phone book and make it captivating, but we’re doubly fortunate that she’s also an extremely gifted lyricist. The best description of blues music I’ve ever heard was “sitting and enjoying your troubles for a while.” This is perhaps a better description of Assad’s songwriting than comparing it to most other Christian songwriting, especially what is heard on the local Christian radio stations. Assad knows that God is there but is still allowing herself to acknowledge that her feelings aren’t always in the same place as her faith, and that’s ok. As she sings in “Drawn to You:”

s an Evangelical kid in the 1990s, I grew up listening to Christian music. The first CD I ever bought was by a group called “Big Tent Revival.” Before that, I wore out cassettes of Steven Curtis Chapman and Petra. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve seen the Newsboys in concert. Somewhere along the line, I noticed a pattern in the songwriting of most Christian groups. The formula usually goes something like this: problem + Jesus = resolution: I had a problem, but then I No clear emotions keeping me safe at night prayed/realized Jesus was in control/trusted in God, and now Only your presence, like a candle light. the problem is gone. If you’ve tired of this repetition, then Audrey Assad’s song- Ten years on from her conversion, Evergreen was written in writing will be a welcome surprise. Although her Catholic faith the place that St. John of the Cross called the “dark night of the comes through loud and clear in her latest effort, Evergreen, the soul,” during a period where she was wondering where God was expression is much more nuanced and deeper. Evergreen opens taking her next, in a world with little place for Christian artists, much less Catholic ones. Many of the themes in Evergreen deal with the central paradox of the Faith: with the renewal of faith and of looking for God when the world God on a cross, who would have thought seems bleak and formidable, and the God who created it seems This place looks nothing like Eden unknowable. In the song “Irrational Season,” she attempts to But there is no death, here in the ruins reconcile the difficulty of reconciling the majesty of God with our feeble understanding of him: This is the land of the breathing If there was ever a time in the Church for these words, perhaps it is now. In a time when music is written in a formulaic mode, the poetic nature of Assad’s lyrics is a welcome refreshment, and a reminder that everything need not be right with the world for our faith to be strong. We cannot plumb the depths of God, and many times we don’t understand why things are the way they are. Active since 2008, Assad has been leading the vanguard of a new wave of Christian music since being discovered by Christian performing artist and writer Matt Maher. A convert to the Catholic Church from Fundamentalism, this album announces the end of the honeymoon of her faith and a move, perhaps, into deeper waters. As a convert, I’m familiar with the journey. Once the Church is discovered, there is the tendency to run to her with arms wide open, thinking you’ve found the answer to every problem. Later, one realizes, that although the truth is closer, problems and questions still exist, and the search for God is not over. Evergreen, her 10th recording, sees Assad emerge fully into the world of electronic music. Her first albums featured a typical band setup with her masterful piano playing at center stage. This album features a much more contemporary, electronic sound,

But the light is wider here Out on the edge of reason And Love burns bright and clear Out where I cannot seize Him

The theme of Evergreen is coming to terms with embracing a God whom we can never fully understand. There is more room inside God than outside. Understanding this is difficult but reminds me of walking into St. Peter’s Basilica for the first time and having the uncanny feeling that the ceiling was further away than the sky outside. Matt Komprood is the business manager at St. Thomas Aquinas Newman Center in Grand Forks.

“Evergreen” by Audrey Assad. Released 2018. NEW EARTH OCTOBER 2018



SEEK2019 inspires desire to encounter something more

Speakers include Dr. Scott Hahn, Emily Wilson, Chris Stefanick, George Weigel By SEEK2019


he Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) will host SEEK2019: Encounter Something More Jan. 3–7 2019, in Indianapolis. SEEK is a five-day event where people gather to ask the big questions about life, love, and true happiness. Registration is now open at College students from across the country will be challenged and inspired through the Collegiate Track by nationally-recognized speakers who will discuss hot topics relevant to young adults on campus. Chaplains and campus ministers will participate in the Campus Ministry Track to receive insight and encouragement to create dynamic and fruitful college campus ministries. The Lifelong Mission Track is designed for FOCUS alumni, parishioners and benefactors who desire vision, training, and resources to be missionary disciples in families, parishes, and careers. SEEK2019 will include daily opportunities for Mass, adoration, confession, reflection, and discernment. Highlighted entertainment will be comedian Michael Jr., along with Sarah Kroger and FOCUS Collective. “SEEK2017 allowed the Lord to bring me closer to the love in his most Sacred Heart,” said Jonathan Hare, a student of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. “The speakers gave me tools to grow closer to Christ. The talk by Sr. Bethany Madonna, S.V., changed my life. She used personal stories and let the Lord talk through her to awaken my heart to understand I needed to forgive myself. We are all humans, and we are flawed. If we don’t forgive ourselves, then we are just allowing Satan to win. Another change I’ve made since the event is to find joy in A priest hears confession at the 2017 SEEK Conference in San Antonio, Texas. (Fellowship of Catholic University Students, SEEK2017)



each day. We take many things for granted. SEEK helped me open my eyes to finding joy in small things, like walking to class or talking with a friend.” Keynote speakers for SEEK2019 include Sr. Bethany Madonna, S.V., Sr. Miriam James Heidland, SOLT, Father Mike Schmitz, Leah Darrow, Jason Evert, Jennifer Fulwiler, Dr. Scott Hahn, Curtis Martin, Dr. Edward Sri and Chris Stefanick. Many other world-renowned Catholic speakers will share perspectives on current faith issues, including experts such as Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M., Bishop James Conley, Father Philip Bochanski, Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers, Lisa Brenninkmeyer, Crystalina Evert, Matt Fradd, Stephanie Gray, Trent Horn, Paul J. Kim, Dr. Jonathan Reyes, Lila Rose, Sarah Swafford, Brandon Vogt, George Weigel, and Emily Wilson. Bios and new speaker announcements can be found at seek2019. com/speakers. FOCUS events have welcomed more than 61,000 attendees since the inaugural National Conference held in 1999, where 25 students came together to pray, deepen their Catholic faith, and learn how to share Christ with others. Nearly 13,000 attendees came to SEEK2017, including students and chaplains from more than 500 campuses. Close to 300 priests concelebrated daily Mass, and priests heard more than 5,000 confessions over the course of the five-day event. Sponsors include Word on Fire, Franciscan University of Steubenville and Servants of Christ Jesus. Organizations interested in sponsorship can email


University of Mary’s Prayer Day speaker has inspired millions around the world


s a youngster, John O’Leary was fascinated by fire — so much so, that after watching a group of older boys pour gasoline on the sidewalk and light it with a match, he decided to give it a try himself. O’Leary, a 9-year–old at the time, lit a piece of cardboard near a five-gallon can of gas in his family’s garage. The John O’Leary (University of Mary) resulting explosion threw his body across the garage and changed his life forever. His parents were not home but three of his five siblings were. While on fire, O’Leary made his way to the front door. His brother tackled him and rolled him in the snow. While John was smoldering, his little sister repeatedly ran into the burning house, bringing one cup of water at a time and throwing it in his face. All three risked their lives to save him. From the moment the fire started throughout the stages of his prolonged recovery, O’Leary has used every breath of his near-death experience to inspire and empower others across the world to dream again, re-ignite their passion, and take positive action. On Nov. 14 at 10 a.m. in the McDowell Activity Center (MAC), O’Leary will share his remarkable story of hope, courage and faith at the annual University of Mary Prayer Day celebration. The day includes a continental breakfast beginning at 8:30 a.m., morning prayer, keynote by John O’Leary, and Mass. The fee for the day, including lunch at the Crow’s Nest restaurant after Mass, is $5. Students, faculty and staff are admitted free. Advanced online registration is strongly recommended at To learn more, contact Marianne Hofer at or (701) 355-3704. As you will hear from O’Leary, despite being burned on 100 percent of his body and given less than one percent chance to survive, he has beaten those odds through attitude, heart, spirit, and faith in God. O’Leary tells the story of himself lying in the hospital with his eyes swollen shut and unable to talk. He could hear a familiar booming voice that sounded like his hero Jack Buck, the St. Louis Cardinals announcer, but thought it was only a dream when he first heard it. “Kid, you’ve got to hang on,” Buck told O’Leary. Now, O’Leary’s not just surviving, but thriving. He overcame seemingly insurmountable challenges to become a college graduate, business owner, hospital chaplain, ambassador for Big Brothers Big Sisters, international speaker, husband, father,

By University of Mary

and the first inductee into the Energizer “Keep Going” Hall of Fame in 2006. O’Leary is the author of the popular book, On Fire: The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life—receiving rave reviews on both iBooks and Amazon.

Job Opening

Part-time Music Director Position

Position includes organizing and maintaining the music program for All Saints and at St. Thomas Catholic Churches. The director fosters the active participation of the assembly in singing, coordinates the music for the liturgical celebrations, and promotes the ministries of choirs, cantors, and instrumentalists. The director plansa the music, schedules the music ministers, recruits new members, trains and rehearses with the music ministers. Qualifications include ability to play keyboard and accompany choir and cantors, as well as organizational, leadership, and planning skills. Interested parties should send resume and cover letter to: Ellen Cherne, Business Manager, 411 N. 10th St., Brainerd, MN 56401 or email to Questions, call 218-822-4040.


Giving back to our Catholic communities in grants, support & scholarships each year. A real Catholic United family from Brainerd, Minn.

owned directed MEMBER



1-800-568-6670 NEW EARTH OCTOBER 2018



A faith-filled opportunity By Father Bert Miller


t was a hot September and October in 1989 in the Holy Land. There, a group of Midwestern U.S. students stayed for a three-month study tour. Every week, they went to three or four classes taught by teachers throughout Jerusalem. They traveled by mass transit amidst soldiers carrying guns. It was unnerving to the young Americans. Their favorite class, Archaeology, was taught at the place they lived, a secluded mountaintop located between Jerusalem and Bethlehem. The students and others on the campus attended three to four hours of archaeology class per week. The relief maps above their heads lit up the places they discussed. One day a week, they boarded the institution bus and visited the sights discussed in class such as the remains of an ancient city, the water system inside a great castle, or the stones still stacked marking a military encampment from 2,000 years ago. All of it was very interesting and sometimes there was a pot shard to take home as a souvenir. However, for what seemed like weeks, the students studied in the classroom and not in the sites of the Holy Land. One day, it came time to board the bus. They took suitcases along for the five-day journey. Other students from campus were on the bus along with five guests of their professor. One of the new guests was a rather short woman with a gift of loud laughter. She also was full of energy and seemed to be everywhere at once. The group traveled along to Haifa on the Mediterranean Sea, Mount Carmel, Nazareth, and then to Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee. During the next three days, they visited Capernaum, 22


the Church of the Beatitudes, the place where Peter would tie up his boat, the place where Jesus turned water into wine, the Church of the loaves and fishes, and the Golan Heights. All was well with the group. They got along well on the land and on the move. They were getting to know their five new friends, and they all laughed a lot. On the last day, as the bus moved from the Sea of Galilee down the Jordan River to Jericho, there were many stops. The final stop before the bus headed home was in a street in Jericho. The street was narrow, but there was no traffic so those who wanted to get out were encouraged to do so; however, the students were afraid to leave the bus for fear of violence. Nevertheless, the talkative and “rather short” guest bounded out the door before anyone else could decide whether to follow. Nothing was holding her back from trying to climb the tree in the middle of the street. It was the same sycamore tree Zacchaeus climbed to see Jesus. The tree was fenced so she couldn’t climb it, but she stood as close as she could for pictures. What she had come to see, she had a chance to see. Like Zacchaeus, she wasn’t going to miss this opportunity. It was a great conclusion to a wonderful week away from campus. Father Bert Miller serves as pastor at St. Mary’s Church in Park River and St. Luke’s Church in Veseleyville. Editor’s note: Stories of Faith is a recurring feature in New Earth. If you have a faith story to tell, contact Father Bert Miller at



Questions people ask us

y nephew, Brian, was the first to question me about religious life. It was the early 1980s. I was a novice on my first home-visit. He was eight or nine years old, laying on the floor, perched on his elbows, feet bouncing in the air, punching some gadget with his thumbs to conquer some game on a TV. He asked, “Do you like being a nun?” I answered, “Yes, Brian, I do.” He paused, offered me a thoughtful “ok,” and turned back to his game. That was the end of the conversation. “I often emphasize that we do what we do because Christ did it first. We give up spouses, children, opportunities, many other human goods, and our own wills for something better: a deeper union with him who gave everything for the Father.” – Sister Sara Marie Belisle, OSF Sisters are asked a lot of questions. Now days, the one I hear most often is how I knew I was called to the convent. There are long answers to that question, but for me I knew when all other options of family or career or autonomy seemed to lose their shine. I grew up in Phoenix in the 1960s and 70s. It was a time when no one suggested a religious vocation to girls. It was assumed that everyone would get married and start a family. In my youth, the only thing (and the first thing) that told me becoming a Sister was an option worth considering was that my mother said she had gone to the Presentation Sisters in Valley City to pray for a month before accepting my father’s marriage proposal. Before meeting my father, she had been discerning a call to the community. God had quietly used my mother to open a door I wouldn’t step through for years. The Church teaches that a religious consecration is a deepening of our baptismal promises. Religious consecration is not a sacrament, but it is sacramental. In The Foundations of Religious Life, a compilation of essays by Sister-members of the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious, published in 2009, we read:

union with him who gave everything for the Father. For us who are called to Sister’s give our lives to him Perspective this way, living any other way would be Sister Sara Marie the greater sacriface. Belisle, OSF The vocation God offers us is the one in which we will find the most joy, if entered into wholeheartedly. Some years ago, there was a story of a Sister who celebrated 75 years of her consecration to Christ. At the banquet following the Jubilee Mass, with the crackling voice of a 95-year-old woman, she reflected, “the first 50 years were the hardest.” The laughter from the gathering revealed an appreciative understanding of the reality of her gift back to God. For us Sisters, our call is to trust God for all the days ahead and trust that he will always provide the grace to follow him within the rules and constitutions of our communities. These, the sacraments, and the Gospel are the sources of God’s will for us. Quiet times of prayer and many things in community life open us to a wellspring of his consolations. I heard a question I had never heard before at a mother-daughter retreat this past summer: what can we do for our daughters that will help them be open to God’s call for their lives? Give them faith. Give children faith in Jesus and the Church. Let them see you letting your faith sustain you through your life. Let God take over from there. In the end, if Brian were to ask me today if I like being a nun, what would my answer be? It would be, “Yes, Brian, I like it more than ever.”

“While baptism separated Christians from the moral evil in the world, religious profession of the evangelical counsels separates the one called to such profession from many of the good things of the world for the sake of the Kingdom. This illustrates the difference between commandments (which oblige one to avoid sin) and the counsels (which provide the means to overcome the obstacles to the attainment of good, that is, the perfection of charity). This new title of belonging to God ‘entails a sacrifice of joys and legitimate goods, a sacrifice which the consecrated person accepts willingly to give witness to the supreme rights of God … in imitation of Jesus chaste, poor and obedient.’”

I often emphasize that we do what we do because Christ did it first. We give up spouses, children, opportunities, many other human goods, and our own wills for something better: a deeper




Mary orchestrates conversion and call to the priesthood


hen I decided to enter Seminarian seminary out of high school, I fig Life ured it would be a routine experience. Zach Howick The diocese I began studying for told me I would be in one school for four years studying philosophy and then I would go to another school to study theology. That seems straightforward. I had my plan. Since then, I have studied at four seminaries and a different diocese. The saying, “If you want a laugh, tell God your plans” has proven true in my case. I began my journey towards priesthood studying for a diocese in Montana, before transferring to Fargo in 2012. Now as I approach the end of my formal seminary education – I graduate in May of 2019 – I look back in wonder and awe at what the Lord has done for me. My heart is full of gratitude.

“Now as I approach the end of my formal seminary education… I look back in wonder and awe at what the Lord has done for me. My heart is full of gratitude.” – Zach Howick My conversion from Lutheranism began as a small child when I discovered the rosary and the Blessed Virgin Mary. This became one of the most important turning points in my life. From then on, my heart was filled with a desire to serve the Lord in whatever way he asked. I began to believe that true sanctity was possible. I dedicated my life to following the truth of the faith to Jesus through Mary. If you asked my brother seminarians in school, they would tell you two things about my spiritual life. It has a strong foundation in Our Lady and the devotional practices of the Church. This is especially the case with devotions to the saints. When I entered into full communion with the Church, I took St. Louis De Montfort as my patron saint for confirmation because his writings on Mary have had a significant impact on my spiritual life. Looking back on the path my vocation has taken, I see how the Lord and Our Lady have taken it into their own hearts and gotten me through it all. In January, I began a very challenging class on Mariology, that is, a course dedicated to studying the Blessed Virgin Mary. Due to scheduling conflicts in the seminary, I ended up taking it as a long distance student through the University of Steubenville in Ohio. The amount of reading for this course was more 24


than all my other classes combined that year. I was only able to complete it, and complete it well, with the help of Our Lady and the flexibility of the staff at the seminary. The class took us through the history of the Church’s teaching on Our Lady, beginning with scripture, moving into tradition, and finally ending with the writings of the popes. In my academic life I have never experienced a class as fulfilling as this one. To obtain the requisite degree to become a priest, my seminary requires the candidate for ordination to write a thesis on some topic of theology. The paper serves as a testament to the candidate’s understanding of the Church’s theology. Due to space limitations, our topics are very specific. We begin preliminary work on the paper during the spring of our third year of theology, and we have the final copy turned in by March of the next year, before final exams and graduation. This paper is a challenge and in some respect fun. It is long, but we also have the freedom to write on what we enjoy. I chose to write on Our Lady. I consider it a special gift to dedicate this final hurdle of my academics to her as a gift of praise and thanksgiving. I am well aware that there is much work in front of me in formation, and May is still a long ways away. I stay focused on the present moment, but when I think back on the long road of my vocation, I am grateful for the chance to be a seminarian and future priest. I am bursting with gratitude as I realize ever more clearly that God is in control. All I am called to do is trust in his providence. Howick is a Theology IV seminarian studying at St. John Vianney Seminary in Denver. Editor’s Note: Seminarian Life is a column written by current Diocese of Fargo seminarians. Please continue to pray for them.

Grand Forks, ND | | 701.746.4337

WANT TO ADVERTISE IN NEW EARTH? Contact Kristina Lahr (701) 356-7900



s people of faith and reason, Catholics are called to bring truth to political life. Faith helps us see more clearly the requirements of a good society, namely respect for the dignity of all human life and a commitment to the common good. A well-formed conscience equips us to address political questions. “Conscience is a judgment of reason whereby the human person recognizes the moral quality of a concrete act.... [Every person] is obliged to follow faithfully what he [or she] knows to be just and right” (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1778). We have a lifelong obligation to form our consciences in accord with human reason, enlightened by the teaching of Christ as it comes to us through the Church. The questions listed here are to help guide Catholics in their efforts to make moral and prudential decisions about candidates and public policies. Some issues are more important than others. Some concern policies, like attacks on human life, which a Catholic can never support. Catholics can legitimately disagree about how to address some other issues. All the issues, however, deserve our attention. Find out the candidates’ positions on each of the issues. Look beyond party politics, analyze campaign rhetoric critically, and choose political leaders according to the principles of your faith. To find out who is running for office in your area and where to vote, contact the Secretary of State at or (800) 352-0867. Catholics have an obligation to participate in the democratic process. Remember to vote and, no matter what the outcome, become involved in the legislative process. One way to get involved is by joining the Legislative Action Network at

Where does the federal candidate (U.S. House and Senate) stand on… Right to Life & Dignity of the Human Person

• Protecting unborn human life from abortion and committing federal resources to ending abortion • Preventing tax funding for abortion, abortion referrals, abortion advocacy, and embryonic stem-cell research • Abolishing the death penalty • Ensuring governmental compliance with moral limits on the use of military force and a ban on the use of torture

Religious Liberty

• Protecting the right of individuals and organizations to serve the public in accord with reasoned conscientious beliefs • Making human rights and religious liberty central to foreign policy and aid

Immigrants and Refugees

• Legislation that ensures the integrity of our borders, fosters family reunification, and provides reasonable paths to legal residence • Providing safe havens for properly-vetted refugees and asylees, regardless of race, nationality, or religious affiliation

Your faith, your vote Education

• E nabling par ents, financially and in other ways, to choose the best edu cational setting for their children

Catholic Action

Christoper Dodson

Poor & Vulnerable

• Providing social and community services, including nutrition and housing, to those in need • Ensuring access to health care while respecting human life, human dignity, and religious freedom • Reforming the criminal justice system so that it focuses on restoration, rehabilitation, prevention, and opportunity

The Economy

• Ensuring a just wage, economic initiative, and the right of workers to form associations to collectively represent their interests • Policies to foster family farms, rural communities, good stewardship of natural resources, and the right of local communities to regulate for the common good

Where does the state candidate stand on… Right to Life & Dignity of the Human Person

• Protecting unborn human life and committing state resources to ending abortion • Preserving the bans on assisted suicide, euthanasia, death penalty, human embryo research, and commercial surrogacy • Preventing tax funding for abortion and abortion advocacy

Religious Liberty

• Protecting the right of individuals and organizations to serve the public in accord with reasoned conscientious beliefs • Protecting religious freedom without unduly infringing upon the legitimate and compelling interests of the state • Preserving the right to contract according to religious beliefs

Family Life

• Fostering family life and the common good by keeping the Sunday morning closing law • Enabling parents to choose the best educational setting for their children • Opposing policies that force government agencies, businesses, charities, and schools to accept false gender ideologies • Treating all immigrants, especially families, with dignity and respect

Poor & Vulnerable

• Ensuring access to health care while respecting human life, human dignity, and religious freedom NEW EARTH OCTOBER 2018



• Providing social and community services to those in need, has a resource to help you fulfill your Christian obligations as including those with disabilities, mental illness, and addictions an educated voter with an informed conscience. Christians • Reforming the criminal justice system so that it focuses on should set aside ideologies like “conservative” or “progressive,” party identification, and self-interest, to vote for human life and restoration, rehabilitation, prevention, and opportunity dignity, and the common good. Visit • Providing safe havens for properly-vetted refugees, regardless Catholic parishes in the state are not allowed to have any of race, nationality, or religious affiliation voter education material that mentions a candidate or political The Economy party in any way. If there are any questions about what parishes • Ensuring a just wage, economic initiative, and the right and priests are allowed and not allowed to do, see the Your of workers to form associations to collectively represent Faith, Your Vote website or contact the North Dakota Catholic their interests Conference office. • Policies to foster family farms, rural communities, good Christopher Dodson is executive director of the North Dakota Catholic stewardship of natural resources, and the right of local Conference. The NDCC acts on behalf of the Catholic bishops of North communities to regulate for the common good Dakota to respond to public policy issues of concern to the Catholic Go to for more information. Church and to educate Catholics and the public about Catholic social doctrine. The conference website is Your faith, your vote An election is approaching. The North Dakota Catholic Conference

Giving back to our donors


hen you g i v e money or stock for a char Stewardship itable gift annuity with the Catho Steve Schons lic Development Foundation (CDF), we give you back annual payments for the rest of your life. Too good to be true? Seems like it, but true nonetheless. And many of our friends are taking advantage of this opportunity. Here’s how it works. Mr. and Mrs. Smiley give $5,000 to the CDF (for a specific church, ministry or program they choose) for a charitable gift annuity. The annuity contract obligates CDF to pay them a set amount every year, either monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually. The amount they receive is determined by their ages. And, in many cases, part of the payment is tax-free. Since the Smileys are both 75 years old when they establish the annuity, their annuity rate is 5.5 percent. This means they will receive a fixed amount every year of $275. And these payments will continue to the survivor for life even after one of them passes away. Why does CDF provide gift annuities? To help our donors who want to make larger gifts, but can’t afford to reduce their cash flow. Also, it helps our donors who are planning to provide a bequest make the gift now so they can take advantage of the income tax charitable deduction. And for older donors, a CDF annuity may actually provide a larger payout from the asset than they might otherwise receive. A deferred payment charitable gift annuity works well for younger donors who want to give to CDF and, at the same time, 26


supplement their retirement programs. For example, the donor would designate a gift; say, $5,000, for a gift annuity, which would be “programmed” to begin payments at retirement age. The longer the deferral period, the higher the annual payment. Even though the donor will not receive payments from the annuity for several years, an income tax charitable deduction is available for the year in which the gift is made. By careful management, CDF is not only able to make its scheduled annuity payments, but to have enough left over to help us carry forward to further our Catholic mission. In other words, these annuities benefit the donors and the church, program, or ministry they are supporting through CDF. Our gift annuity program is loaded with benefits and we want you to know about these. For more information, contact Steve Schons at (701) 356-7926 or Steve Schons is Director of Stewardship and Development for the Diocese of Fargo.

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The multiple moral problems of surrogacy

ometimes when there is infertility in marriage, couples make the decision to seek out the services of a surrogate in order to have a child. A surrogate is a woman who agrees to be implanted with an embryo produced by in vitro fertilization (IVF) and to hand over the newborn baby to the couple upon completion of the gestation and birth. In recent years, gestational surrogacy has become a multi-million dollar industry, attracting a broad clientele ranging from married couples to single women, gay couples to anyone else with the desire for a baby and the ability to finance the undertaking. Surrogacy raises grave moral concerns, and powerfully undermines the dignity of human procreation, particularly when it comes to the women and children involved in the process. One of the significant moral concerns around surrogacy is that it introduces fractures into parenthood by multiplying parental roles. Surrogacy coerces children into situations where they are subjected to the unhealthy stresses of ambiguous or split origins, perhaps being conceived from one woman’s egg, gestated by another woman, raised by a third, and maybe even dissociated from their father by anonymous sperm donation. Such practices end up being profoundly unfair and dehumanizing for the children caught in the web of the process. One woman, who was herself conceived by anonymous sperm donation, describes her experience this way: “My existence owed almost nothing to the serendipitous nature of normal human reproduction, where babies are the natural progression of mutually fulfilling adult relationships, but rather represented a verbal contract, a financial transaction and a cold, clinical harnessing of medical technology.” Moreover, women who sign up as surrogates often feel deeply conflicted about giving up the baby at birth and tearing asunder an important nine month connection and relationship that had been carefully developed and nurtured. There can be no doubt that the hawkers and promoters of surrogacy exploit vulnerable, financially challenged women, often in overseas settings, to undergo the risks of drug-induced artificial pregnancy. While the proponents of the procedure will often portray these women as motivated primarily by a desire to help others, surrogates themselves will privately note how they do it for the money, and in the absence of substantial payments, wouldn’t be willing to move ahead with the arduous procedure. Alex Kuczynski, describing her own experience of engaging a surrogate in a 2008 New York Times interview, speaks frankly: “We encountered the wink-nod rule: Surrogates would never say they were motivated to carry a child for another couple just for money; they were all motivated by altruism. This gentle hypocrisy allows surrogacy to take place. Without it, both sides would have to acknowledge the deep cultural revulsion against attaching a dollar figure to the creation of a human life.” Indeed, surrogacy involves turning human life into a commodity on multiple levels, as Kathleen Sloan recently described in testimony given to a Minnesota state commission studying the issue. A seemingly unlikely opponent of the procedure, Sloan works as a pro-abortion feminist and director of the National Organization for Women in Connecticut. On gestational surrogacy,

however, she agrees with pro-life criticisms, noting how it involves “children Making Sense intentionally severed from genetic and of Bioethics biological sources of identity, human Father Tad rights be damned. Pacholczyk In essence, it is the ultimate manifestation of the neoliberal project of capitalist commodification of all life to create profit and fulfill the narcissistic desires of an entitled elite.” Those narcissistic desires are readily catered to by an IVF industry that generates offspring in the laboratory for clients. In this process, extra embryonic humans are produced, stored and oftentimes orphaned in freezers, or even discarded outright by throwing them away as “biomedical waste.” In fact, the process of IVF, central to the practice of surrogacy, generally ends up killing more babies than it delivers. Coupled with the fact that contracting couples can pressure the surrogate mother to undergo an abortion if the in-utero child appears to be “imperfect,” or to eliminate a twin through “selective reduction” in a multiple pregnancy, it can hardly be disputed that children are pawns in the merciless endgame of satisfying parental and customer desires and corporate profit motives. A woman’s reproductive powers and her God-given fecundity should never be reduced to the status of a “gestator for hire” or a “breeder” as they are sometimes called by industry insiders, nor should women be exploited by allowing payment for harvesting their eggs. A woman’s procreative powers ought to be shared uniquely through marital acts with her husband, so that all the children born of her are genetically and otherwise her own. All children merit and deserve this loving consideration and assurance of protection at the point of their fragile and sacred beginnings. Rev. Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D. earned his doctorate in neuroscience from Yale and did post-doctoral work at Harvard. He is a priest of the diocese of Fall River, MA, and serves as the Director of Education at The National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia. See




Events across the diocese Three-hour retreat offered at Maryvale, Valley City

Three-hour retreats allow for small group gatherings, enabling participants to converse on their prayer experiences and encounters with God. The next retreat is Oct. 27 (register by Oct. 20) and the theme is Embracing Change as a Time of Grace. Suggested donation is $18. For more information, contact Sister Dorothy Bunce, SMP, at (701) 845-2864 or

Women’s retreat in Wahpeton presented by Roxane B. Salonen

All women are invited to a retreat at St. John’s Church in Wahpeton on Oct. 28 from 1 to 4:30 p.m. The afternoon will focus on cultivating peace in a time of turmoil. Featured speaker Roxane B. Salonen is a wife and mother of five and writes regular faith articles for The Forum, New Earth, and She also serves as an occasional radio host for Real Presence Radio. To register, call the parish office at (701) 642-6982.

Parish mission in Fargo to feature NET program director

Join Nativity Church in Fargo for their parish mission Oct. 28–30 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. each evening. Presenter David Rinaldi serves full-time as the program director for NET Ministries, training and equipping missionaries to bring the Gospel to nearly 100,000 people a year. Topics for the mission are Living your Faith; Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be done — based on St. Alphonsus de Ligouri’s Uniformity with God’s Will; and You are the Evangelist — a practical guide to sharing the Good News. Free will offering. For more information, contact Chris Steffan at chriss@

Mass for God’s Children set for Nov. 6 in Rugby

Bishop John Folda will offer a Mass for God’s Children on Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. at St. Therese Church in Rugby. This Memorial Mass for children who have died before baptism is offered for families as a way to remember and celebrate the lives of children who have been lost through miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant or young child death. A memorial rose and naming card will be provided for families who have lost a child. If you would like to reserve a rose, contact Rachelle by Nov. 1 at (701) 356-7910 or, or go to All are welcome. A reception will follow.



Calling all men in the Fargo area to Catholic Man Night

All men are invited to Catholic Man Night in the Fargo area. The evening begins with adoration and confession at 6 p.m. followed by a presenter, dinner, and discussion. On Nov. 6, Jeffrey Bates will present at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Fargo; on Dec. 4, Bishop Folda will present at Nativity Church in Fargo; and on Jan. 8, Father Metzger will present at Blessed Sacrament Church in West Fargo. For more information, contact Willie Gartner at (701) 799-0601.


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

75 years ago — 1943

A unique rock garden was added to the grounds of St. Philip’s Church in Hankinson. The late Msgr. St. Philip’s rock garden Gerard C. Bierens was an today. (LaVonne A) avid rock collector and was the project planner. The landscape feature was erected in the southeast part of the church block. The focus of the oval rock garden was, and remains, a granite statue of the Good Shepherd. The rock surround was comprised of petrified wood, distinctive stones, fossils, and ore. One stone originated in the Holy Land. Another was from Hill 60, the location of one of the devastating battles of WWI, near Ypres.

50 years ago — 1968

Diocesan Development Program funds were used to purchase the 40-year-old house just south of St. Paul’s Newman Center in Fargo. Newman staff priests could use the home as their new residence, and their former living quarters in the Newman building could become office and classroom spaces. The Newman Center was 10 years old at the time and was under the direction of Father William Sherman. It was built after the destruction of the Newman Chapel due to the 1957 tornado. Figures indicated that Catholic student enrollment had more than doubled in the previous 10 years.

20 years ago — 1998

Bishop James S. Sullivan wrote his monthly “Message to the People.” In it, he reminded the faithful that the month of October is the month of the rosary and that we should endeavor to pray this devotion each day. The rosary is a wonderful tool to help develop a heart-to-heart relationship with Jesus. It also reminds us of the great truths of our faith, encourages us as we work through our difficulties, and aids us to grow in love and service of God and our neighbor.

Life’s milestones Leo and Lenore Beauchamp, parishioners of St. Boniface Church in Walhalla will be celebrating 65 years of marriage on Oct. 21. They both celebrated their 86th birthday in October as well. Duane and Judy Klostreich, parishioners at St Mary’s Church in Medina, will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary Oct. 19. They were married at St Mary’s by Father Allmaras. They have five sons, three daughters-in-law, and three grandchildren. Walter and Evelyn Paschke will celebrate their 67th anniversary Oct. 24. They were married at St. John the Baptist Church in Ardoch. They have nine children (one deceased), 21 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren. James and Carol Schuler, parishioners of St. Joseph’s Church in Devils Lake, will celebrate their 50th anniversary Oct. 26. They were married in Rock Lake at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church by Father Ervin Zerbes. Jim and Carol have four children and four grandchildren.

Anna Hoffarth celebrated her 110th birthday on Aug. 17. She lives at Maple Manor in Langdon and is a parishioner at St. Alphonsus Church in Langdon. From l to r: Deacon Paul Schneider, Father Bernard Schneider, Anna, Helen Kram, Ann Kingzett, Dorothy Jordan, and Norbert Schneider. Loretta Heilman will celebrate her 90th birthday on Oct. 17. She is blessed to share her life with her husband, Joe, for 71 years. She has five children and their spouses along with 14 grandchildren (three deceased), and 15 great-grandchildren. Loretta and Joe are parishioners of Little Flower Church in Rugby. Florence Stumpf of Grand Forks celebrated her 95th birthday on Sept.11. Florence and Peter, her deceased husband, were married for 72 years and were long time parishioners of St. Stephen’s Church in Larimore. Florence has three children, nine grandchildren, and 19 great-grandchildren.

Share life’s milestones

As a way to celebrate life and love, we encourage parishioners throughout the Diocese of Fargo to send a photo and news brief about golden anniversaries and 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 or

Diocesan policy: Reporting child abuse

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



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

1. Title of Publication: New Earth. 2. Publication No. 0009526. 3. Date of Filing: September 12, 2018 4. Frequency of Issue: Monthly, except August. 5. No. of Issues Published Annually: 11. 6. Annual Subscription Price: $9.00. 7. Complete Address of Known Office of Publication: The Diocese of Fargo, 5201 Bishops Blvd., Suite A, Fargo, ND 58104. 8. Complete Mailing Address of the Headquarters of General Business Offices of the Publisher: The Diocese of Fargo, 5201 Bishops Blvd., Suite A, Fargo, ND 58104. 9. Names and Address of the Publisher, Editor, and Managing Editor. Publisher: Bishop John T. Folda, 5201 Bishops Blvd., Suite A, Fargo, ND 58104. Editor: Paul Braun, 5201 Bishops Blvd., Suite A, Fargo, ND 58104. 10. Owner: The Diocese of Fargo, 5201 Bishops Blvd., Suite A, Fargo, ND 58104. 11. Known bondholders, mortgagees, and other security holders owning or holding 1 percent or more of total amount of bonds, mortgages, or other securities: None. 12. For completion by Nonprofit Organizations Authorized to mail at special rates (Section 132.122 Postal Service Manual): The purpose, function and non-profit status of this organization and the exempt status for Federal Income Tax purposes have not changed during the preceding 12 months. 13. Publication Name: New Earth. 14. Issue Date for Circulation Data Below: September 2018. 15. Extent and Nature of Circulation: Ave. No. Copies Actual No. Copies Each Issue of Single Issue During Preceding Published Nearest 12 Months to Filing Date A. Total No. Copies (Net Press Run) 23,637 23,541 B. Paid and/or Requested Circulation in-country 21,858 21,858 C. Total Paid and/or Requested Circulation 21,858 21,858 D. Free Distribution by Mail (Samples, Complimentary, and Other Free Copies) 128 121 E. Distribution Outside the Mail 128 121 F. Total Distribution 21,986 21,979 G. Copies Not Distributed 1. Office Use, Leftovers, Spoiled 180 126 H. Total 22,166 22,105 I. Percent paid 99.41% 99.44% 16. This Statement of Ownership has been printed in the October 2018 issue of this publication. 17. Signature and Title of Editor, Publishers, Business Manager, or Owner. Paul Braun, Editor



Connect with parishes at fall festivals

Hurley’s Religious Goods Inc

Serving our faith community Since 1951

Fall festivals are great opportunities to connect with parish communities. The following is a list of fall dinners and festivals submitted to New Earth. West Fargo: Holy Cross Church will host a fall festival Oct. 21 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Oven-roasted turkey meal, kids games, bingo, raffle, silent auction, country store, chance baskets, cake walk, face painting, cork pull, and more. Grand Forks: St. Anne’s Guest Home will hold an autumn extravaganza Oct. 27, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Spaghetti dinner, food and bake sale, craft sale and silent auction.

West Fargo: Blessed Sacrament Church will host a fall dinner and bazaar on Oct. 28 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pork loin dinner, raffle, games, silent auction, jewelry, and country store. Edgeley: Transfiguration Church will host a fall dinner Oct. 28 from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Turkey dinner, trimmings, bars and apple pie.

Grand Forks: Holy Family Church Altar Society’s 58th annual Christmas Tea will be held Nov. 3 from 1 to 4 p.m. Fresh baked pie, tea, coffee, cider, bake sale with lefse, and raffle.

1417 S University Dr - Fargo ND 58103 1-800-437-4338 -

Casselton: St. Leo’s Church will hold a fall dinner Nov. 4 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Roast beef meal, craft and bake sale and kids’ activities.

Minto: Sacred Heart Church will hold a fall dinner at the Minto Community Center Nov. 4 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Ham, meatballs, sauerkraut, pork, and more. Bake sale and raffles. Hillsboro: St. Rose of Lima Church will host a fall dinner Nov. 4 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. A traditional turkey dinner will be served. LaMoure: Holy Rosary Church invites you to a buffalo dinner and theme basket drawing on Nov. 4 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Buffalo, mashed potatoes and gravy, dinner rolls, and bars. Fargo: Nativity Church invites you to a fall festival on Nov. 4 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Pork roast dinner, bake sale, book sale, children’s games, cake walk, bingo, and more.

Forman: St. Mary’s Church will host a fall dinner Nov. 4 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Forman City Hall. Beef, pork, mashed potatoes and all the trimmings.

Fargo: Sts. Anne and Joachim Church will hold a fall festival on Nov. 11 from 4 to 7 p.m. Pork roast meal, silent auction, farmers market, kids’ games, bingo, cake walk, raffle, photo booth, and free hot apple cider.

Join Father Jimmy Tiu and Deacon Jim Hunt on a pilgrimage to Poland and Prague April 29–May 9, 2019 Please call for brochure/details: Dcn Jim Hunt at (701) 371-4943 or Colleen at JeriCo Christian Journeys at 1 (877) 453-7426

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




Pope Francis: To honor one’s parents, follow the saints By Hannah Brockhaus | Catholic News Agency

constructive for many young people who come from stories of pain and for all those who have suffered in their youth,” he said Sept. 19. “Many saints – and many Christians – after a painful childhood lived a bright life, because, thanks to Jesus Christ, they were reconciled with life,” he said, pointing to the example of Bl. Nunzio Sulprizio, who died at 19 from bone cancer after being orphaned at a very young age. Bl. Sulprizio will be canonized in Rome Oct. 14 during the Synod of Bishops on young people. The pope also encouraged Catholics to learn from the witness of St. Camillus de Lellis, who, he said, “from a disordered childhood built a life of love and service; to St. Josephine Bakhita, who grew up in horrible slavery; or to the Bl. Carlo Gnocchi, an orphan and poor man; and to the very St. John Paul II, marked by the here are many saints who demonstrate that even if one loss of his mother at an early age.” comes from a difficult childhood without good parents, The wounds of one’s young life have the potential to be hope can still be found in Christ and the mission received transformed, by grace, when it is discovered “that God has from him, Pope Francis said Sept. 19. prepared us for a life of his children, where every act is a mission The commandment to honor father and mother “can be received from him,” Francis said.


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Church present and future: Synod to show young Catholics’ needs, gifts By Cindy Wooden | Catholic News Service

document that was based on: input from bishops’ conferences, religious orders, offices of the Roman Curia and Catholic organizations, an online survey open to anyone 16-29 years old; and a document prepared by more than 300 young people who met in Rome in March at the invitation of the pope. But just to make sure, young voices are still ringing in their ears, Pope Francis has invited hundreds of young people to join synod participants Oct. 6 in the Vatican audience hall for an evening of music and of young people talking about the search for their identity, hopes for their relationships and ideas for living a life of service and self-giving. The theme for the synod is: “Young people, the faith, and vocational discernment.” The synod is not focused on increasing vocations to the he Synod of Bishops will meet in October to try to look priesthood and religious life, although that obviously is one of at the world and the Catholic Church through the eyes of the concerns the pope and participants will discuss. teenagers and young adults and find ways to encourage The real topic is, in essence, the church, its present, and its future. their enthusiasm and dreams, help them sift through the pos- Addressing the presynod gathering in March, Pope Francis sibilities life offers them to serve others, and resist temptations said the church and its members must reach out, ask what God that come their way. wants of them and continually find new ways to respond to the Pope Francis will preside over the synod, which is scheduled hopes and needs of the world’s people. for Oct. 3–28 and will bring together more than 300 cardinals, Of course, he said, everyone must “keep an eye on the roots” bishops, priests, religious and lay experts, including young people. of the church and preserve its essential teachings, but they also Synod participants will have at their disposal a working must find creative ways to share those teachings and reflect on how the Gospel responds to people’s questions today.


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

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

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

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



Cardinal Daniel DiNardo (Catholic News Agency)

U.S. bishops announce new abuse-prevention measures and call for McCarrick investigation By Kevin J. Jones | Catholic News Agency/EWTN News


he U.S. bishops’ conference has announced new accountability measures in response to recent clerical sex-abuse scandals. The reforms include the establishment of an independent reporting mechanism to receive complaints against bishops, and the development of a Code of Conduct for bishops. A statement released Sept. 19 by the USCCB’s Administrative Committee said that the new steps being taken to combat abuse are “only the beginning,” and that consultations were underway with laity, clergy, and religious on how better to “repair the scandal and restore justice.” The Administrative Committee’s statement announced four key policies. The first is the creation of a confidential, third-party reporting mechanism to handle “complaints of sexual abuse of minors by a bishop and sexual harassment of or sexual misconduct with adults by a bishop.” This system, the statement said, will direct those complaints to the appropriate civil and ecclesiastical authorities. The statement also said that the USCCB’s Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance had been instructed to develop proposals for policies to address restrictions on bishops who have either resigned or been removed following “allegations of sexual abuse of minors or sexual harassment of or misconduct with adults, including seminarians and priests.” The Administrative Committee also announced it has begun a process for developing a Code of Conduct for bishops regarding the “sexual abuse of a minor; sexual harassment of or sexual misconduct with an adult; or negligence in the exercise of his office related to such cases.” Finally, the statement said, the committee supported a full investigation into the case of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, including the allegations made against him concerning the sexual assault of minors, adults, seminarians, and priests, and the Church’s response to those allegations. “Such an investigation should rely upon lay experts in relevant fields, such as law enforcement and social services,” the statement said. Recognizing the widespread criticism of Church authorities in the wake of recent scandals, the committee said they “welcome and are grateful for the assistance of the whole people of God 34


in holding us accountable.” “This is a time of deep examination of conscience for each bishop. We cannot content ourselves that our response to sexual assault within the Church has been sufficient.” The bishops also urged any victims of abuse to come forward, either to Church authorities or to civil law enforcement. “To anyone who has been abused, never hesitate to also contact local law enforcement. If you don’t feel comfortable for any reason with the Church providing help, your diocese can connect you with appropriate community services. With compassion and without judgement, the bishops of the United States pledge to heal and protect with every bit of the strength God provides us.” According to the statement, the committee met to discuss the proposals last week. The announcement also follows a Sept. 13 meeting between Pope Francis and senior U.S. bishops, led by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the bishops’ conference. “Some bishops, by their actions or their failures to act, have caused great harm to both individuals and the Church as a whole. They have used their authority and power to manipulate and sexually abuse others. They have allowed the fear of scandal to replace genuine concern and care for those who have been victimized by abusers. For this, we again ask forgiveness from both the Lord and those who have been harmed. Turning to the Lord for strength, we must and will do better,” the statement said.

Sidewalk Stories By Roxane B. Salonen


When it comes to life, don’t stop at the start

y friend Nick Barth had been holding a sign pointing to pregnancy resources when the young man, a passerby, approached him on the sidewalk near our state’s only abortion facility. “He told me, ‘Thanks so much for being here,’” Nick said, recounting his words. “‘Twenty-three years ago, someone like you saved my life.’” The young man’s mother, living in Minneapolis at the time, was in a difficult situation in her pregnancy, and decided to seek an abortion. However, after observing the prayer advocates near the abortion facility, something stirred, and she ditched her appointment. Though I know only rudimentary details of this story, the young man’s spontaneous visit packs a powerful witness. He didn’t have to stop to share his story. Yet he recognized the miracle of his life, despite the circumstances, and his gratitude burst forth before a stranger who had no connection with an event 23 years ago. Additionally, his decision to say “thanks” affirmed to us sidewalk advocates that our presence there has meaning, even on the days that don’t show immediate fruit. Our being there gave this young man a chance to glorify God, and through his sharing, God spoke words of hope to us. By his existence, he renewed our hope in life conquering death, reinforcing that by stopping the story in the beginning, or even the middle, we deny ourselves the hopeful end. Several years ago, while collaborating on her memoir, Ramona Trevino, former Planned Parenthood manager, reminded me of an advertising campaign of her past employer: “Every child a wanted child.” It sounds so reasonable, right? Now, I challenge you to see the deceit. In an online image of a Planned Parenthood poster with these words that ran in the Toledo Blade on Feb. 21, 1961, the word “wanted” is highlighted, but even if it had not been, it would have stood out; after all, it strikes at the heart. No one wants to be unwanted. Our Culture of Death lends itself to “unwanted” things, which become discarded things, including people. Our “throwaway society” compels us to toss what we find inconvenient in the short term. But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me,” reflecting the loving gaze of the Father upon each of us, without exception.

In other words, everyone, even those inconveniently-timed, are wanted. Lila Harmsen demonstrates this concept so beautifully. As one who has dedicated countless hours trying to divert people from abortion on the sidewalk in Fargo, she has been presented many justifications for killing a child. While recently lamenting the fate of children in their mother’s wombs who were about to be destroyed, she recalled a father who once mentioned the thousands of dollars he’d save by aborting his child. His words tore at her heart, Lila said, because she had grown up poor. “We didn’t always even have enough to eat,” she said, “but I knew my parents loved me. I knew I was wanted, and so I was happy.” We’ve forgotten what children really need to thrive, she continued, naming three things – love, care, and time. “Spending time with our children is especially important.” We then swapped stories of the simple things we’ve enjoyed with our kids through the years, like admiring sunsets, star-gazing, and making s’mores over a fire pit. “Most of these don’t cost a penny,” Lila said. “We wrongly believe our kids need a lot of things. It’s just not so. They need very little to feel safe, beyond knowing they are loved.” Lack of faith causes us not to trust that even when we can’t see how things might work, God can. And while some parents cannot care for their children, other couples deeply desiring children would gladly welcome an “unwanted” child. The abortion industry has tried fooling us into believing contraception and abortion will assure every child is wanted, if only we’ll submit to doing away with those they deem unwanted. But again, in God’s eyes, there’s no such thing. We begin with the hopeful premise and go from there. Peeking through children’s eyes, it becomes so simple. And seeing through God’s heart, we discover that for every child conceived, two sets of arms await the chance to welcome and hold that precious, unrepeatable, hope-filled creation. The biggest tragedy isn’t an imperfect life, for such a life does not exist. Rather, it is purposefully stopping the story before it’s even had a chance to start. Roxane B. Salonen, a wife and mother of five, is a local writer, and a speaker and radio host for Real Presence Radio. Roxane writes for The Forum newspaper and for Reach her at NEW EARTH OCTOBER 2018




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

Do you know where we are? The answer will be revealed in the November New Earth.

Where in the diocese are we? 36


Last month’s photo is of St. John’s Church in Wahpeton.