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Where is this Thumbs-up to pro-life baby’s mystery ultrasound that went viral steeple? — Page 8 Page 4




September 2011 October 2014 Vol. 35   No. 32 No. 98 Vol.

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth” — Rev. 21:1

‘How good and pleasant it is, when brothers dwell together as one!’

Legacy Photography / Tyson Kuznia

Nearly every member of the Fargo Presbyterate stood on the steps leading into the St. James Basilica in Jamestown on Sept. 29. These men celebrated the ordination anniversaries of their brother priests during the annual Jubilarian Mass.

Fargo presbyterate‘s unity on display during annual priests’ days By Aliceyn Magelky

Anniversaries of ordination recognized


Seven priests were honored during the Jubilarian Mass including Bishop Folda. Alongside the bishop, these priests concelebrated Mass with their fellow clergy. The priests recognized that day, their years since ordination and their whereabouts today include:

or all that has been, thanks. For all that will be, yes,” quoted Bishop John Folda in a homily delivered primarily to priests from the Diocese of Fargo Sept. 29 at the St. James Basilica in Jamestown. Clergy from all corners of the diocese gathered that day in special tribute to their brother priests observing ordination anniversaries of significance at the annual Jubilarian Mass and banquet. The quote, written by Dag Hammarskjold, a Scandinavian statesman in his journal, “Markings,” “captures a little bit of what we feel as priests,” continued Bishop Folda. “For all that has been, requires a certain depth of faith, even the difficult. How great is the blessing of the priesthood!” “A priest is called to let go of his own life, conformed in Christ and obedient to the Father. Each one of us has had to die a little bit more. But, we must give thanks. Often, through our own suffering, Christ accomplishes his greatest work. As agents of ministry, healing, let us renew our resolve to live joyfully, a greater joy than ever,” Bishop Folda said.

n Bishop John Folda — 25 years — serving as bishop of the Fargo Diocese. n Monsignor Alan Nilles — 65 years — retired, living in West Fargo. n Father Claude Seeberger, OSB — 65 years — serving as chaplain for Sisters of Mary of the Presentation in Valley City. n Monsignor Joseph Senger — 60 years — retired, living in Minot. n Father Jack Herron — 40 years — serving as chaplain in the U.S. Army and stationed in Hawaii. Please turn to PRESBYTERATE on page 3

2 ew nEarth October 2014 N

NewEn arth October 2014 1

Education in faith “Whoever wants the next generation the most, will get them.”


have an irreplaceable role in the secular education of their own children, but they must also be their children’s first teachers of faith. The faith that we have received as a gift must be passed on to our sons and daughters, so that they too might know Jesus Christ and his saving Gospel.

heard these words at a recent conference of the priests of the Diocese of Fargo on marriage and family life, and it occurred to me that they certainly apply to the way we pass along the Catholic faith to our Dedicate resources young people. In other words, whoto the faith ever is willing to fight We go to great hardest for the next lengths to assure the generation will win education of children, them over. and it has been said We are already well that this is the most into the new school highly educated genyear, and therefore a eration in history. Imnew year of religious mense resources are education. In parishdedicated to educaes across our diocese, tion, and rightly so. hundreds of catechists Even more so, then, and thousands of chilmust families and the dren and young people Church dedicate their are meeting every week Bishop John Folda resources to the Chrisfor religious education, tian education and and the mandate of our formation of children. Lord to proclaim the Gospel is being Responsible parents wouldn’t dream fulfilled. of depriving their children of an adEducation in faith is at the heart of equate education, nor should they the Church’s mission received from neglect to assure the fullest possible Jesus himself. At the end of his eartheducation and formation in faith and ly ministry, he told the apostles to “go, virtue for those same sons and daughand make disciples of all nations . . . ters. teaching them to observe all that I have More than ever, though, religious commanded you . . .” (Mt. 28:19-20). education must compete with a mulAnd, this mandate applies in a spetitude of other activities and pursuits. cial way to parents, who have the first Children and young people are often responsibility for the education of their so involved with extracurricular acchildren. tivities that little time is given to faith The Catechism of the Catholic formation. But, the simple fact is that Church tells us that “the Christian nothing should take precedence over home is the place where children rethe time and effort we dedicate to ceive the first proclamation of the teaching the faith to our children. faith” (1666). So, not only do parents In most cases, religious education is allocated barely an hour a week. Next to our participation in Sunday Mass, “Then I saw a new heaven that hour is arguably the most importand a new earth.” ant of the entire week. Just as parents Revelation 21:1 would never consider exempting their children from the requirements of ordinary schooling, so should they be just as determined in assuring the complete and life-giving formation in our Catholic faith. (ISSN # 10676406) This mission is especially urgent in our times, because the surrounding culture works very hard to inculcate Serving Catholic parishes its own secular values and priorities in as the official newspaper of the young people. Children are extremely receptive, Diocese of Fargo, N.D. and if we do not teach them, someone Member of the else will. Catholic Press Association There are some who are eager to educate and form our young people with Most Rev. John T. Folda a sort of anti-Gospel that would lure them away from the eternal truths that Bishop of Fargo Jesus entrusted to his Church. Publisher Once again, “whoever wants the next generation the most, will get them.” Aliceyn Magelky If we want our children to know Editor Christ and his Gospel, if we want them to be active and joyful disciples of Jesus, if we want them to be full participants in the life of the Church, then we must Published monthly by The Cath­olic Spirit also want to do everything possible and Publishing Company, a non-profit Minnecessary to lovingly form them and nesota corporation, 244 Dayton Ave., share our Catholic faith with them. St. Paul, MN 55102. (651) 291-4444. Peri-

Bishop’s Message


odicals postage paid at St. Paul, MN and additional post offices.

POSTMASTER: Send address changes to New Earth, 5201 Bishops Boulevard, Suite A, Fargo ND 58104-7605. (701) 356-7900. Personal subscription rate for 11 issues of New Earth per year: $9.

Teamwork needed And, while parents are the first educators of their children in the faith, the pastors and all the faithful share in that responsibility. In fact, parents can depend on the Church to assist them in this important work of teaching the faith to their children, and the pastors and catechists of the Church are priv-

Bishop Folda’s Calendar Oct. 16

10 a.m.

Diocesan Pastoral Council, Pastoral Center, Fargo

Oct. 16

6:30 p.m.

Catholic Medical Association White Mass, Pastoral Center, Fargo

Oct. 17

11 a.m.

DRE/Youth Minister Exchange, Radisson Hotel, Fargo

Oct. 18

9 a.m.

Valley Christian Leadership Breakfast, Cambria Suites, West Fargo Pastoral visit to St. Mary’s Church, Munich and Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church, Starkweather

Oct. 18-19

Oct. 24

10 a.m.

Blessing of St. Aloysius Chapel, St. Aloysius Medical Center, Harvey

Oct. 24

5 p.m.

Mass and blessing of renovated rectory, Our Lady of the Rosary, LaMoure Pastoral visit to St. Mary’s Church, Park River and St. Luke’s Church, Veselyville

Oct. 25-26

Nov. 1

10 a.m.

Mass and election of Carmelite Prioress, Carmel of Mary Monastery, Wahpeton (60th anniversary of Carmelite Foundation)

Nov. 6

7 p.m.

Mass for God’s Children, Sacred Heart Church, Minto

Nov. 7-13

USCCB Meeting, Baltimore, Md.

Nov. 15

10 a.m.

Mass for the 125th Anniversary Celebration of the establishment of the Diocese of Fargo, Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo

Nov. 21

5 p.m.

Acolyte Installation, Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo

Nov. 22

10 a.m.

Ordination of Les Noehre to the Permanent Diaconate, Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo

Nov. 22

5 p.m.

Mass, Senior High Youth Celebration, St. Cecilia’s, Harvey

Nov. 23

10:30 a.m.

Mass for the 100th anniversary of St. James Basilica, Jamestown

Nov. 27-28

Thanksgiving, Pastoral Center closed

ileged to participate in this parental duty. It might be said that parents, pastors, and catechists form a team that can work jointly in this sacred endeavor. This is a solemn and noble calling, and it would be no exaggeration to say that parents, pastors and catechists are in the business of forming saints. Our children were made for holiness and for heaven, and it is up to us to help them get there. They were made to live holy lives here on earth so that they might rejoice as saints forever in heaven. What we do for them here and now, what we teach them by word and example, will have a profound effect on their eternal destinies, so we must take very seriously our responsibilities to them.

Thank you, catechists And, here I must offer a word of heartfelt gratitude to the many catechists who work in our parishes to share the treasure of faith with our young people. I have the greatest admiration for

their commitment and the deep faith that they model for our children. The vast majority of our catechists are volunteers who generously give their time and energy to this joyful work of sharing the faith. Our pastors could never do this work by themselves, so they depend on the dedicated catechists who step forward to participate in the teaching mission of the Church. At times pastors struggle to find sufficient volunteers who are willing to take on this demanding service, so I exhort all the faithful to be generous in assisting with the religious education of young people in your own parishes. Pope Francis reminds us that all the baptized have a role in the evangelizing mission of the Church, and participating in the faith formation of our children is a critical part of that mission. “Whoever wants the next generation the most, will get them.” If that is true, then we will give our best and spare no effort in order to share with our children the greatest treasure of all: Jesus Christ, the Son of God.


October 2014 n 3

Presbyterate in Fargo Diocese united in prayer and celebration Continued from page 1 n Father Dale Kinzler — 40 years — serving as pastor of St. George’s Church, Cooperstown; Sacred Heart Church, Aneta; St. Olaf’s Church, Finley and St. Lawrence’s Church, Jessie. n Father Frank Miller — 25 years — serving as pastor of St. Cecilia’s, Harvey. Following Mass, almost the entire Fargo Presbyterate posed for a group photo outside the Basilica. Then, the group caravanned, on foot or by car, to the Gladstone Inn, Jamestown, to continue the merriment with a banquet in honor of the jubilarians.

Celebrating past and present Over dinner and refreshments, priests and guests were treated to stories regaling the life and legacy of each guest of honor. Some narratives were personal and touching, while others were hilarious tales of youthful antics. Regardless of the faithful shepherd being recognized or the speaker commemorating him, all communication carried a common theme of love, respect and brotherhood. Throughout the evening, it was clear each priest brought unique gifts to strengthen and add vitality to the fabric of our diocese. “When I was ordained, I was the youngest priest. I looked up to the members of the presbyterate,” commented Monsignor Alan Nilles to the members of the current Fargo Presbyterate. “Today, I still look up to you, as agents of Jesus Christ. I am proud to be part of your presbyterate, just as I was of the one when I was ordained. I salute you!” Other highlights of the evening include a heartfelt story shared by Father Frank Miller. Specifically, he thanked Monsignor Robert Laliberte who guided him through seminary. Father Miller recalled a particular scene in seminary that has impacted him to this day. While walking through the halls of Cardinal Muench Seminary, young seminarian Miller was stopped by Monsignor Laliberte who asked him if he would like to pray. Seminarian Miller said, “yes” and sat down in front of him. Monsignor Laliberted asked him what he wanted to pray about, to which Seminarian Miller replied, “whatever the Lord wants for me.” For a time the two men prayed, and then Monsignor Laliberte stopped. He looked at Seminarian Miller and inquired about his throat. The men returned to prayer, and Father Miller recounted the healing that came through praying with Monsignor Laliberte. “For many years, I was not able to read in public. I would practice words over and over, but when I was in public, I would fumble over them and get really embarrassed,” said Father Miller. “Through prayer, that was lifted. Thank you, Monsignor. Praise God for the instrument that you are.” On a much lighter note, when it came time to honor Father Claude Seeberger, Father Dale Kinzler donned a guitar, and joined by Father Duaine Cote, Father Donald Leiphon and Monsignor Skonseng, sang a revised rendition of “(Seeberger’s) Spirit is a Movin’.” The lyrics of the song, one of Father Seeberger’s favorite tunes, were modified to chronicle some of the funnier moments in Father Seeberger’s ministry. While the jovial nature of the banquet was entertaining, the celebration meant much more to the priests gathered there. Father Dale Lagodinski, pastor of St. John’s Church in Wahpeton, commented, “I remember for my 10th anniversary I wasn’t going to have one [celebration]. Then, a parishioner reminded me that these celebrations aren’t just for priests, it’s a celebration of the ministry. It’s a way to honor God.” “This goes to show how much we care about each other,” added Father Terry Dodge, pastor for Sacred Heart Church in Carrington. “Speakers and guests we have come to the diocese can’t believe how well we get along together. We love and support each other.

Legacy Photography / Tyson Kuznia

In the foreground from left to right, Monsignor Joseph Senger visits with Father Frank Miller while Father Dale Kinzler smiles at something in the distance. These priests celebrated significant anniversaries of their ordination during the annual Jubilarian Mass and banquet held Sept. 29 in Jamestown. In the background, Monsignor Jeffrey Wald, pastor for the St. James Basilica, Jamestown, instructs the altar servers before the Mass.

Legacy Photography / Tyson Kuznia

Father Jerome Okafor, pastor at Holy Rosary Church, LaMoure, shares the sign of peace during the Jubilarian Mass Sept. 29 with fellow priest Father Sean Mulligan, parochial vicar at St. James Basilica, Jamestown.

New Earth photo / Aliceyn Magelky

Father Jason Lefor (left) poses with Father Claude Seeberger, OSB during a break at the annual Presbyteral Days Sept. 29Oct. 1. Father Seeberger celebrated his 65th anniversary as a priest during the three-day event. As a child, Father Lefor assisted Father Seeberger during Mass as an altar server.

ing gives Bishop Folda a chance to address the priests directly. “He tells us what’s new, what he’s seeing, gives direction, encourages and inspires us,” reported Father Ray Courtright, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua’s Church in Fargo and one of the event’s organizers.

New Earth photo / Aliceyn Magelky

The required, annual event always features speakers and sessions geared toward educational opportunities for priests. Most sessions this year focused on “A Guide to a Marriage Building Parish,” an outline developed by Lorrie and Don Gramer of MarriageBuilding USA, designed to help implement the U.S. Bishops’ Pastoral Initiative for Marriage.

Father Neil Pfeifer (left) shares a laugh and memories of seminary with Father James Ermer during a break at the annual Presbyteral Days. Father Ermer mentored and taught Father Pfeifer during his early years of priestly formation. Father Ermer served the Diocese of Fargo as an instructor at Cardinal Muench Seminary during the years Father Pfeifer attended the school.

“We pledge to be a marriage-building church, drawing strength from God’s grace while using creatively the gifts and resources entrusted to us,” Lorrie Gramer said, echoing the commitment of the U.S. Bishops Conference in its pastoral letter, “Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan.”

It doesn’t mean we always agree, but we respect each other. For priests to be able to share with one another, it’s a powerful thing. It’s also great to see that our bishop can laugh at himself. The presbyterate is alive and well today!”

For one and a half days, the Gramers presented eight building blocks or key areas to assist priests and laity in cultivating and maintaining a marriage-building parish. The Gramers have more than 30 years of diocesan ministry experience serving as family life directors for the Diocese of Rockford. After achieving success implementing the U.S. Bishops Pastoral Initiative for Marriage in the Rockford Diocese, they co-founded MarriageBuilding USA to intensify the marriage-building efforts in the Catholic Church. The Gramers hope to return to the diocese early next year to assist with parish leadership training.

Part of presbyteral days The Jubilarian Mass and banquet is celebrated in conjunction with the annual Presbyteral Days held each fall in Jamestown. Nearly every priest in the diocese comes together for three days of prayer, continuing education and fellowship. In addition, this meet-

4 n October 2014


‘So no more babies will die, no more women will cry’ 40 Days for Life vigil began in North Dakota Sept. 24, continues around the clock

At the launch of the 40 Days for Life vigil outside the Red River Women’s Clinic in Fargo, Father Charles LaCroix (second from right) encourages participants to pray and to persevere in their efforts to end abortion.

By Kristina Lahr

“Don’t discount what God is doing through you,” Father Charles LaCroix advised participants at the launch of the 40 Days for Life vigil in Fargo. “When you’re out there alone, you’re not alone. When you feel like you’re the weakest, you’re the strongest. Don’t you think God will be there with you in the drizzling dark?” the chaplain of Shanley High School in Fargo said Sept. 24, when faithful of many area churches gathered at the Red River Women’s Clinic in Fargo to kick-off the vigil. The 40 Days for Life program is the largest international pro-life movement in the world and is helping local communities end abortion through prayer, fasting, community outreach and a 24/7 prayer vigil outside of abortion fa-

New Earth photo / Kristina Lahr

cilities. Father LaCroix highlighted that the two main ways to prevent abortions are prayer and perseverance. “So, no more babies will die and no more women will cry, we have to be motivated out of love of neighbor and



love of God,” he said. “Otherwise we won’t last long.” This event marks the eighth year that 40 Days for Life participants will stand vigil at the abortion facility. The urgent need for prayer and fasting is clear. While a crowd of faithful gathers each year, supporters of the clinic gather as well. With the facility plastered in signs stating “This clinic stays open,” a counter chant of “don’t be a bully” to the prayers being said and the hard truth that 20-30 babies are aborted each week at that location shows this vigil is crucial. The good news? Since the Sept. 24 kick-off, 61 lives across the country have been saved. “Where sin abounds, grace abounds further,” said Pastor Doug VanderMuelen of Community Baptist Church. “We need to pray for the welfare of our city and our nation. May God have mercy

and close this place down.” “I keep seeing all these signs here today that say ‘bring only love,’ ” said Elizabeth Erickson, co-president of Shanley Teens for Life. “And, I’ve brought only love. I’m sick of women being lied to. When women are getting cancer because of past abortions and have a six times higher suicide rate than women who haven’t had an abortion, how is that safe for women? How is that loving?” “Lots of prayers have been said already, but we need to keep praying day and night,” said Katie Roberts, co-president of Shanley Teens for Life. “Help us inspire others to end this injustice.” The 40 Days for Life vigil will continue through Nov. 2. A closing prayer service will be held that day from 5-6 p.m. at 512 1st Ave. N., Fargo. To see how you can help, join the vigil and offer your prayers and support visit

University of Mary adds Peru as international educational partner By Tom Ackerman


The University of Mary has announced a new international partnership that will give its students the opportunity to spend a semester in Peru. Starting in spring 2015, this new relationship between the University of Mary and the Universidad Catolica San Pablo in Arequipa, one of Peru’s largest cities, will provide: a partnership between Mary’s physical therapy program and Corpus et Vita in Lima, Peru, a new learning site for the University of Mary in Arequipa and an annual medical mission to Ayaviri and the surrounding villages. Students will stay with native host families, immersing themselves in the

rich culture of Peru and growing as servant leaders. “Students spending the semester in Peru will take core classes, including Spanish 101,” said Kemerly Grau, Global Studies coordinator for the university. “All classes will be conducted in English, so that students need not be proficient in Spanish and of any year and major. Tuition, room and board will travel with the students.” University of Mary President Monsignor James Shea added, “This initiative is a wonderful addition to our other international educational partnerships, which include our campus in Rome and at the Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan.”

November 15, 2014 • 10 a.m. Cathedral of St. Mary Fargo, ND For more information, visit

Phone:   701-282-4400 •


October 2014 n 5

When Harvey went to Vienna Changing culture through community

By Father Bert Miller

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


s a member of the FM Sheltering Churches organization committee, I meet monthly with pastors and social workers from metro shelters. The focus is to provide places for “our neighbors on the road of desperation” to sleep and find respite during the cold months from November to April. Recently, our focus has been expanded to change the culture of the language used when referring to these needy individuals in our communities. Thus, we are practicing the movement from charity to justice. Changing the culture is a difficult task. We will begin with a summit on homelessness entitled “On the Road to Jericho, Changing the Language Surrounding Homelessness” on Tuesday, Oct. 28, at Blessed Sacrament Church, 210 5th Ave. W, West Fargo. I have hope we can be successful if we all work together. This hope stems from repeated experiences I have witnessed in my 23 years of ministry. This hope flows from a very personal experience of hope in a seemingly impossible opportunity when I was 17 years old, a high school senior.

Surprising news One late October day in 1972, an announcement was made at the Harvey High School Choir Concert that the choir had been chosen to sing at a competition in Vienna, Austria. No one expected this news. Everyone — students, parents, community members — was elated. But, no one thought we would be able to accept the honor.

Prayer intentions of Pope Francis October Universal intention: Peace. That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence. Reflection: What seemingly impossible situations have I seen changed through faith and prayer? Scripture: Isaiah 11: 1-9 “On God’s holy mountain there shall be no harm or ruin because the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord.” Evangelization intention: World Mission Day. That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world. Reflection: Why does evangelization begin with prayer that deepens our relationship with God? Scripture: 2 Corinthians 5: 14-15 “The love of Christ urges us on.” Provided by Apostleship of Prayer,


“The choir from little Harvey sang on the Vienna Opera stage and in many places behind the Iron Curtain. Father Bert Miller We wondered how we had been selected. Our director admitted he submitted the audition tapes. It seems he had been taping band and choir rehearsals since the new high school and its state-of-the-art music room opened in 1969. The selection process was “blind,” meaning the judges did not know the choirs, except by number. When one judge later visited Harvey in the spring of 1973, he said the judges had poured over the North Dakota map looking for Harvey expecting a big town. Of the 20 choirs selected, the Harvey choir was the smallest town. And, we were ranked number one going into the competition, tied with a choir from Modesto, Calif. By Thanksgiving, parents, students and friends of the choir believed if

we worked together, the trip could be made. A group of 48 choir members and four chaperones was selected. And, soon our days were filled with rehearsals, fundraising and a lot of behind-thescenes prayer. Lives seemed to revolve around making this journey a reality. Rehearsals were three-hour sessions on Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons. No one dare miss a practice as the director was a perfectionist. Two or three times a month, we boarded buses to sing at events across the state. Our mothers and other community women baked lasagna on Saturdays at the Armory to raise funds. Everyone seemed to be having fundraisers and giving proceeds to the choir. By spring 1973, we knew for certain

we were going to Vienna. In June that same year, the choir and chaperones boarded planes in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and headed for Europe. What once seemed impossible became reality through the work of a whole community. The choir from little Harvey sang on the Vienna Opera stage and in many places behind the Iron Curtain. We went into the competition as one of the best and came out tied for first place. This event changed the culture of a little town. It proved the impossible could be accomplished with style and joy. Father Bert Miller serves the Diocese of Fargo as pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church in West Fargo.

6 n October 2014


The Synod on the Family: a look beyond the media hype By Ann Schneible CNA/EWTN News

As the media centers upon the question of whether the church will change its teaching regarding reception of the Eucharist by those living in complex situations, there is a danger that many of the other, no less significant, issues may be falling to the wayside. Duly titled “The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization,” the aim of this extraordinary synod, which began Oct. 5 and is to run through Oct. 19, is to examine how to best proclaim the Gospel of the Family within the context of today’s diverse challenges and considerations. While the topics on the expected agenda are varied — ranging from single motherhood, to the pastoral care of children of same-sex couples, to the challenge of promoting monogamy in cultures where polygamy is the norm — the majority of attention in WestCNS photos ern media has been given to the deAt left, bishops arrive for a papal Mass to open the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican Oct. 5. At right, bate over whether divorced and civilly remarried persons who have not re- Pope Francis looks on during the afternoon session on the first working day of the synod, Oct. 6. ceived an annulment should, in select the pastoral care of the family, for inworld.” truth about conjugal love and the famcases, be readmitted to the sacraments. stance, in situations of extreme poverily and respond to its many challenges “How do we look at so many people However, the challenges facing the ty, single parenthood, conflict and war, (cf. EG, 66).” around the world who are broken and family today reach far beyond the ismigration and so on. hurting and suffering because of failed Because the “family is the inexhaustsues which solely affect the families in relationships, because of war?” he said. ible resource and font of life in the the West, according to Father Thomas Many broken, hurting people As one of the issues to be addressed church’s pastoral activity,” its primary Rosica, English-language spokesman during the synod, the pastoral care of task “is to proclaim the beauty of the for the Synod on the Family. As the world looks to this Synod on divorced and civilly remarried persons vocation to love which holds great po“The question of divorce and remarthe Family, Father Rosica explained, the is indeed serious and worthy of careful tential for society and the church.” riage and access to the sacraments may central questions being asked pertain and compassionate attention. Renewing “family ministry,” said be a burning issue in many countries of to how pastors, teachers, and ordinary However, as was pointed out by FaFather Granados, entails the family bethe west,” Father Rosica told CNA, yet faithful are “acknowledging what’s ther José Granados, vice-president and coming “not only object, but also sub“it is by no means the only issue that taking place,” examining how to beprofessor of sacramental theology at ject of the new evangelization.” the universal church is facing.” gin teaching “the beauty of marriage, Rome’s Pontifical John Paul II Institute “The family is not only something the importance of family life, the imRather, many of the concerns being for Studies on Marriage and Family, the church needs to take care of, that portance of bringing children into the brought to the synod, he said, focus on “The greater issue . . . is real renewal in the church needs to fix,” he stressed. the family ministry of the church, that Rather, it “is a resource of human and sees the family as the great resource of Christian life, and each family is a subthe church for evangelization and for ject for evangelization.” social action.” Father Granados told CNA in an Practical support needed email interview that in “Evangelii Looking at the Synod on the FamiGaudium,” “Pope Francis has asked for ly from a pastoral perspective, Bishop a ‘pastoral conversion’ of the church.” Mark O’Toole, newly ordained bishop With this in mind, he said the focus of of Plymouth in the United Kingdom, the synod should not be solely on probsaid that he hoped the gathering would lems, or “an attempt to ‘fix’ the family.” give married men and women “the This is because the “the family is, sense that this is really a path of holiabove all, not a problem, but a great ness and a vocation, and that it’s possiresource and a Gospel resource for huble to live a permanent loving relationmanity, for living the common good, ship in marriage for life.” for taking care of the future, for a vision “This is something which is tested of faith.” very much in our contemporary world,” “The synod is called to understand he said. the great gift God has given to us in the Recently in Rome for a conference on family and to foster this gift so that it the “Pastoral Project of Evangelii Gaudbecomes fruitful, with the measure of ium,” Bishop O’Toole spoke of the need God’s fecundity,” he said. With more than $94 billion of life insurance in force, more than for practical pastoral support for famiUnprecedented issues $1.5 billion donated to charity in the past decade, and more than 132 years of lies: for instance, accommodating parents who come to the parish with their experience, the Knights of Columbus is a name you know, a company you can Earlier this year, the Vatican released children, giving them space to feed its “Instrumentum Laboris,” a docutrust, and an organization you can believe in. their babies, etc. ment which lays out the pastoral conThere is the need to ensure “that these cerns of today’s faithful. The reflections Contact me today to learn how the Knights of Columbus things are looked at very concretely and were based on responses to a series of very practically so that we can support questionnaires which were released late can help protect your family. families in coming together, and grow2013 to dioceses around the world. ing in their understanding and love of The document indexed a variety of isthe Lord, their understanding and love sues faced by the family. Many of these of one another.” are such as have been experienced by “And, in this way, to be a sign in families in every generation, while othwhat is very often a broken world, and ers are localized to various cultures and a world of broken relationships too,” he regions of the world. Still others — such Ryan Brunner Jeff Reisenauer Ryan Geigle Pat Dolan Wayne Cherney Joel Herman said. as those pertaining to same-sex couGrand Forks Fargo Jamestown General Agent, Fargo Devils Lake Wahpeton ples, and the influence of social media “Positive pastoral initiatives,” he (701) 757-0523 (701) 356-8889 (701) 251-9019 (701) 298-9922 (701) 662-4420 (701) 219-5847 800-906-6780 on societal perceptions of the family — continued, should “try and help are wholly unprecedented. ples to prepare for marriages, to have a However, the primary purpose of the real sense that permanence is possible L I F E I N S U R A N C E D I S A B I L I T Y I N S U R A N C E LO N G - T E R M CA R E R E T I R E M E N T A N N U I T I E S synod, as stated in the “Instrumentum in love, because this in our society is Laboris,” is to “reflect on the path to questioned, to have a sense that there is follow to communicate to everyone the great joy in living this life.”

Catholic Ethical Charitable Successful


October 2014 n 7

Ohio teen on a journey to serve at Mass in all 50 states By Lenora Sumsky Catholic News Service

Kara Jackson, a 16-year-old altar server from Holy Family Parish in Middletown, Ohio, is on a quest to serve at Mass in all 50 states. So far she has served at liturgies in 18 states after recently serving at a morning Mass at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford, Conn. Kara’s endeavor is a journey of faith that began in 2013. She has traveled with her family to serve at Masses in states as far west as Nevada, as far south as Georgia and as far east as Maine. Some people might say that beyond her engaging blue eyes, silky blonde hair and easy, joy-filled smile, God gave Kara something extra that makes her and her venture both extraordinary and heartwarming. “Kara is special,” said Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “(She was) born with Down syndrome and with a special love for God and all people.” Kara has served at Mass with Archbishop Kurtz and Father Michael Tobin at the Church of the Annunciation in Shelbyville, midway between Louisville and Lexington. Kentucky was the sixth state on her journey. Archbishop Kurtz, whose late brother George had Down syndrome, described Kara as “clearly an expert server” in a blog last September. “Kara’s beautiful personality and unique gifts reinforced our church’s teachings about the dignity of every human being,” he said. Other people witnessing Kara’s devotion have written words of gratitude, love and respect in a journal she keeps to record her travels and the people she meets. Priests and parishioners describe her as “having different abilities” or as being a “true example of God’s love among us.”

‘Closer to God’ “When you serve at Mass, you feel you are closer to God,” said Kara, who was nine years old when she completed training to be an altar server. She believes God told her to embark on the endeavor. Her mother, Christina Jackson, admitted being a bit skeptical when Kara told her parents what she wanted to do. “I took her to talk with our parish priests about the idea,” Christina said. Monsignor Paul Metzger, who had known Kara for most of her life, encouraged her. He told her that it was a good idea and that it could be done. His support was not surprising. The late Monsignor Metzger, who was a priest for 70 years, had celebrated Masses in all 50 states. Kara also spoke with Father John Civille, the current pastor, who

Rick Jackson helps his daughter Kara light an altar candle before Mass at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford, Conn. Since 2013 she has traveled with her family to serve at Masses in states as far west as Nevada, as far south as Georgia and as far east as Maine in hopes of serving in all 50 states. CNS / Bob Mullen

echoed Monsignor Metzger’s sentiments, Christina said. Still doubtful, Christina and her husband, Rick, decided to help their daughter achieve her goal and contacted a parish not far away in Indiana. “We wrote a letter,” she said. “I didn’t know what to say or whether I should tell them she has Down syndrome. (Even though) it shouldn’t make a difference, I put it in anyway. I didn’t want to get there and surprise anyone. “Kara and I drove to the post office and together we said a prayer before Kara dropped the letter into the mailbox,” Christina said. “I wondered how long it would take for a response.” Two days later, Father Kevin Morris, pastor of St. Mary Church in Richmond, Ind., called to arrange for Kara to visit the parish. A few weeks later, on the eve of Divine Mercy Sunday, Kara served at Mass with Father Morris. She arrived early, as she typically does, to become familiar with procedures that vary among parishes and to quietly reflect on and pray for the priests and parishioners of the church. It was the first of many inspiring and unique experiences Kara has had on her journey.

No more doubts She served with a priest in Utah who always brings his dog, Otis, to Mass. In Vermont, she served with a priest who spends his spare time climbing nearby mountains. In Rhode Island, she served at the church where President John and Jacqueline Kennedy were married.

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Wherever she has been, Kara has been encouraged and supported by priests, deacons and parishioners. Kara’s mother no longer doubts her daughter’s aspiration. Christina and Rick liken their support of Kara’s desire to that of parents who invest time and financial resources to travel with their children for athletic, academic or artistic events. They are proud of the inspiration Kara has provided for people she has met. Following a Mass in Pittsburgh, at a parish where there are no youth altar servers, a woman told Christina that seeing Kara serving at Mass gave her the encouragement she needed to volunteer to become a lector, something she had wanted to do for many years. Kara’s parents also are proud of the way their daughter easily connects and engages with parishioners of all ages, especially elderly people. Worshippers at St. Anne Shrine in the serene lakeside setting of Isle La Monte, Vt., hugged Kara, thanked her for serving and en-

gaged in conversations about her experiences. “It was not our goal to inspire others, although we may have,” Christina said. “You never know who you will touch or connect with.” Kara has 32 states to go on her journey. She’s back in school now but will continue during long weekends and school vacations.

TRINITY YOUTH CAMP ANNUAL BOARD MEETING Sunday, October 26, 2014, at 3 p.m. St. Francis de Sales’ Catholic Church Steele, North Dakota                                                          



“Baby, oh baby, the places you’ll go! The worlds you will visit! The friends you will know!” Theodor Geuisel — Dr. Seuss


8 n October 2014


Thumbs-up to pro-life baby’s ultrasound that went viral Image showed the uniqueness, specialness of the unborn


day” show on NBC, you would have seen and heard more of the same very positive reaction to some very sweet activity in utero. One network host talked about how the baby, who hadn’t even been born yet, had become a huge social media sensation. Other talk shows and their hosts did the same, talking about Fonzie or thumbs-up baby as if they could not get enough of the very special snapshot of life.

he media called it “the coolest baby ever.” They were referring to the adorable ultrasound image of a baby appearing to give a big thumbsup sign from the womb. The ultrasound photo was first posted on the dad’s Facebook page in Why media reaction late August. But, when In an ultrasound image, a baby appears to give the thumbs-up sign in its mother’s womb. matters the baby’s uncle decided to post the picture on the You might be saying Remember, many of these folks who members of the press using such cold popular news and social to yourself, “So, what’s were tickled pink by the adorable photo terms when it came to the little Fonz. networking website Redthe big deal? are the same ones who have bought the Instead, they stated the obvious and dit, it went viral, catchIt was a very pleaspro-abortion arguments hook, line and actually only used the term “fetus” a ing worldwide attention. ant, upbeat story for a sinker and have been doing everything few times; mainly because it was catchy The hosts of ABC’s change, and all the methey can to sell the same song and and allowed for some usage of allitera“Good Morning Amerdia were suffering from a dance to the general public. tion when used along with the name of ica” couldn’t stop gushwonderful case of Fonzie a much-loved TV character. Whether it’s the alleged “war on ing over what they also baby fever.” This was definitely a huge teachable women” or “reproductive health” manlovingly referred to as Well, in a normal moment. tras preached by the likes of NOW and the “Fonzie Fetus,” harworld, having the media How beautifully the Lord used someTeresa Tomeo NARAL-Pro Choice America, most of kening back to the poprefer to an actual baby as one who has yet to utter a sound or a the media in many ways have become ular 1970s TV show “Happy Days” and a baby would be no big deal; it would word to speak so loudly and clearly a megaphone for legalized abortion and its tough-guy character Fonzie, who was actually make perfect sense. But, we about his most precious creation. contraception on demand. known for giving his famous thumbsdon’t live in world that is normal or a Who knows how many in the media, up gesture. world that is used to applying common as well as how many others seeing the Yes, it’s a ‘baby’ sense even when it is so blatantly obThe parents are actually expecting ultrasound photo, will finally start conHow many times have you heard vious. twins, which caused the “Good Mornnecting the dots and realize how prethe word “baby” used when abortion ing America” crew to also wonder out That’s why the media’s reaction was cious each and every life truly is. or contraception coverage is being disloud about what kind of gestures they a big deal. Teresa Tomeo is the host of “Catholic cussed? Usually the child in the womb might expect to see from the other It was what I like to call a “God moConnection,” produced by Ave Maria is referred to as “a choice” or a “blob of baby in the womb. Maybe a peace sign, ment;” not a coincidence but a “GodciRadio and heard daily on EWTN Global tissue,” and fertility is treated like a disone of the anchors proposed. dence.” The ultrasound photo was a reCatholic Radio and Sirius Channel 130. To ease that needs to be cured. And, if you were to grab your remote minder from God regarding the dignity learn more about Tomeo and her work, visit that morning and switch to the “Toof every person from womb to tomb. However, you didn’t hear, read or see

Guest Editorial

Wanted: A Synod of affirmation


ope Francis has called a special The contraceptive mentality has sesession of the Synod of Bishops, riously damaged the marriage culture, meeting Oct. 5-19, and has preas have well-intentioned but ultimately pared the agenda for the ordinary sesflawed efforts to make divorce easier. sion of the Synod that is scheduled for The sexual free-fire zone of the West the fall of 2015; both sessions will focus is a place where young people find it on the family. very hard to commit to a lifelong relaIn my view, the Syntionship that inevitably od should focus on two involves sacrificing one’s related themes: mar“autonomy.” riage culture is in crisis And, just as the Christhroughout the world; tian understanding of the answer to that crisis marriage is beginning to is the Christian view of gain traction in Africa, marriage as a covenant where it is experienced between man and womas a liberating dimension an in a communion of of the Gospel, European love, fidelity and fruittheologians from dying fulness. local churches are trying To focus the converto empty marriage of its sation elsewhere is to covenantal character, ignore a hard fact and a reducing it to another great opportunity. form of contract. The collapse of marRome, we have a riage culture throughout George Weigel the world is indisputable. problem More and more marriagPope Francis underes end in divorce, even as increasing stands the crisis of marriage culture in numbers of couples simply ignore marits multiple dimensions, just as he unriage, cohabit and procreate. derstands that the family, which begins The effort to redefine “marriage” as in marriage, is a troubled institution in what we know it, isn’t, and to enforce the post-modern world; that’s why he’s that redefinition by coercive state powsummoned two Synods on the topic of er, is well-advanced in the West.

The Catholic Difference

the family. And, that’s why the Synod, fully aware of the gravity of the situation, should begin, continue and end on a positive note, offering the world a pearl of great price: the Christian understanding and experience of marriage. The Synod discussion, in other words, should take the crisis of marriage and the family as a given and then lift up Christian marriages, lived faithfully and fruitfully, as the answer to that crisis. The Synod should begin with what is good and true and beautiful about Christian marriage and Christian family life, and show, by living examples, how that truth, goodness and beauty respond to the deepest longings of the human heart for solidarity, fidelity and fruitful love. It’s quite obvious that the church faces real pastoral challenges in dealing with broken marriages and their results. But, to begin the discussion of marriage and the family in the 21st century there is to begin at the wrong end of things. For it is only within the truthabout-marriage, which was given to the church by the Lord himself, that compassionate and truthful solutions to those pastoral problems can be found. The Synod might also do well to reflect on another piece of good news: the church has far more tools with which

to try and help fix what’s broken in 21st-century marriage culture than it did 40 years ago. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body has given Catholicism the world’s most compelling account of sexuality and its relationship to marriage: a vision of the nobility of human love that is far more attractive than anything to offer in Playboy and Cosmopolitan, not to mention what’s being taught about “marriage” by jihadists. And, John Paul’s teaching is having an impact — it’s hard to find a college or university campus today that doesn’t have a Theology of the Body study group, often self-organized by students. We’ve also come a long way since “marriage preparation” involved choosing music and quarreling with the pastor about rice-throwing on the church steps. Couple-to-couple marriage prep is a major development in alert dioceses and parishes, and a great expression of Pope Francis’s call that all Catholics understand themselves as missionary disciples. So, message-to-Synod: think positive. George Weigel is a senior fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. His column is distributed by the Denver Catholic Register, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Denver. Phone: (303) 715-3215.

Vocation Awareness Week NewEarth n October 2014 n Page 9

By Father Kurtis Gunwall


nspiration, invitation, information, and intimacy: they are essential elements of our lives. They surround and fill us, they draw us deep into ourselves and carry us back out. They are gifts from God. Let’s examine. Think of a moment when you were inspired. Not just emotionally touched but inspired to seek goodness, truth, beauty or greatness. You still remember it today. What about a powerful invitation? Not just to a social event but to a life changing encounter. Then, there is receiving real and important information. Not just facts or details but an awareness and knowing of another person. And, true inspiration, invitation and information leads to personal intimacy. Not just physical closeness, but the deepest, spiritual communion for which you are created.

Vocation more than a job Most people think of vocation simply as their job. Many Catholics think of it only in regards to priesthood or religious life. But, your vocation, my vocation and every person’s vocation comes from the four I’s. Ordained men, consecrated women and men, married couples and the service of a single man or woman comes from and continues forward through the four I’s. You have been inspired to persevere, to sacrifice for others, to hope, to serve, to endure and to love. In turn, you have inspired others by those same acts. At baptism, you were invited and welcomed into the family of God, the church. You have also been invited into the lives of others and repeatedly invited to turn back to God through his abundant mercy. There is too much useless information around us, and it often distracts us from the most meaningful lessons, to see the wonder of life, to understand what connects and unites us to each other, to know those close to us and to be truly known as we share our self. That is intimacy, which is more than touch and deeper than the flesh. There is an intimacy of the heart that heals our wounds, fires our love and brings forth life. The intimacy is first and foremost spiritual (from God) and is then most fully reflected in marriage and also in consecrated vows.

Inspiration, invitation, information and intimacy The four I’s to living one’s vocation

Work with God We may forget many inspiring people, invitations we received, limited information and even casual intimate moments, but we remember them when they come from God or involve important people in our lives. Be remembered as the person who directed a young man or woman to ask God for guidance. Invite someone to accompany you to Mass or ask to pray with them for a need they share. Share your faith and knowledge of God and the Church. Grow in love for God and his church in a personal and intimate way. Make it evident in your words, your schedule and your life. Jesus is the greatest inspiration the world has ever known. His invitation, “Follow me,” extends to you. He does not want you just to be with him in heaven. He wants you to be with him now. He has revealed himself and given us all the information we need to know him. He has done all this so that we may live intimately with him now and forever. So, live your vocation. Share yourself in love and faith. Those who know, love and follow God truly inspire, invite, inform and intimately love and serve others in the love of God. I pray that you are inspired by Jesus’ life, teaching and sacrifice for you. I pray that you accept Jesus’ invitation to live for him. I pray that you know God and are informed in the faith. Moreover, I pray that you receive and live in the intimate love of God in this world and in the next. Next month, we celebrate National Vocation Awareness Week Nov. 2-8. I pray that you use this time especially to inspire, invite, inform and share the intimate love of God with one or two people who you think could be a good priest, deacon or religious. This job is everyone’s responsibility; it is your responsibility. Thank you for accepting the invitation. Father Kurtis Gunwall serves the Diocese of Fargo as the Director of Vocations. He can be reached at

“Jesus is the greatest inspiration

the world has ever known. His invitation, ‘Follow me,’ extends to you. He does not want you just to be with him in heaven. He wants you to be with him now. Father Kurtis Gunwall

Vocation Awareness Week

10 n October 2014

Our vocations National Vocation Awareness Week (NVAW) is an annual week-long celebration of the Catholic Church in the United States dedicated to promote vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and consecrated life through prayer and education, and to renew our prayers and support for those who are considering one of these particular vocations.

Prayer for Vocations God our Father, we thank you for calling men and women to serve in your Son’s Kingdom as priests, deacons and consecrated persons. Send your Holy Spirit to help others to respond generously and courageously to your call. May our community of faith support vocations of sacrificial love in our youth and young adults. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.


National Vocation Awareness Week, Nov. 2-8, 2014 calls Catholics to greater prayer, awareness in how they support vocations


Deacon Kyle Metzger Hometown: Fargo School: Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Emmitsburg, Md. Year: Theology IV

Deacon William Slattery Hometown: Sylvania, Ohio. School: North American College, Rome Year: Theology IV

Robert Keller Hometown: Harvey School: St. John Vianney Seminary, Denver, Colo. Year: Theology III

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

Patrick Parks Hometown: Coon Rapids, Minn. School: Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Emmitsburg, Md. Year: Theology III

Steven Wirth Hometown: Munich School: St. Paul Seminary, St. Paul, Minn. Year: Theology III

John Klocke Hometown: Fargo Year: Pastoral Year in Diocese of Fargo

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

James (JT) Kennelly Hometown: Fargo School: St. John Vianney Seminary, Denver, Colo. Year: Theology II

Jayson Miller Hometown: Lawton School: St. John Vianney Seminary, Denver, Colo. Year: Theology II

Zach Howick Hometown: Grand Forks School: St. John Vianney Seminary, Denver, Colo. Year: Theology I

Riley Durkin Hometown: Inkster School: Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit, Mich. Year: College IV

Collin Granger Hometown: Reynolds School: Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit, Mich. Year: College IV

John Miller Hometown: Lawton School: Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit, Mich. Year: College IV

Chris Savageau Hometown: Fargo School: St. Gregory the Great Seminary, Seward, Neb. Year: College IV

Eric Seitz Hometown: Fargo School: Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit, Mich. Year: College IV

Robert Foertsch Hometown: Wyndmere School: Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit, Mich. Year: Pre-Theology I

Jered Grossman Hometown: Harvey School: Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit, Mich. Year: College III

Ethan Kaste Hometown: Grafton School: St. Gregory the Great Seminary, Seward, Neb. Year: College II

Kevin Lorsung Hometown: Isanti, Minn. School: St. Gregory the Great Seminary, Seward, Neb. Year: College II

Robert “Bob” Suszka Hometown: Little Falls, Minn. Year: Pastoral Year in Diocese of Fargo

Dave Dahlin Parish: Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo

Rick Lagasse Parish: St. Therese the Little Flower Catholic Church, Rugby

Les Noehre Parish: Holy Family Catholic Church, Grand Forks

Paul Schneider Parish: Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Fargo

Ken Severinson Parish: St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Devils Lake

Sister Mary Louise Bushy Hometown: Fargo Community: Sisters of the Visitation of Holy Mary, Brooklyn, N.Y. Novice

Sister Mary Ruth Huhn Hometown: Darwin, Minn. Community: Franciscan Sisters of Dillingen, Hankinson 1st Professed

Sister Mary Ruth Jones Hometown: Fargo Community: Sisters of Christ the King, Lincoln, Neb. 1st Professed

Sister Mary Seraphin Hometown: Rugby Community: Franciscan Sisters of Christ the Divine Teacher, Davenport, Iowa Novice

Cecilia Vandal Hometown: Langdon Community: Poor Clares Monastery of Our Lady of Mercy, Belleville, Ill. Postulant

Diaconate Candidates

John Bredemeier Parish: St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Grand Forks

Bruce Dahl Parish: Nativity Catholic Church, Fargo

Religious Women

Mary Beauclair Hometown: Fargo Community: Apostolic Sisters of Community of St. John, Princeville, Ill. Postulant

Sister Mary Pieta Breen Hometown: Fargo Community: Sisters of Life, Bronx, N.Y. 1st Professed


Vocation Awareness Week

Meet the parents

October 2014 n 11

Parents share their experience welcoming a religious vocation in their family

Story and photos by Kristina Lahr

A family grows together

he Catholic Church in the United States celebrates National Vocation Awareness Week Nov. 2-8. This observance is a special time for parishes to foster a culture of vocations for the priesthood, permanent diaconate and consecrated life. To honor this occasion, the Diocese of Fargo celebrates not only vocations but the families in which all vocations are born. The parents included in this feature have each welcomed the growing interest of religious vocations from their children. Each family is by no means extraordinary but has merely been open to the will of God for not just their children but for their entire family and community. Family and friends inspire vocations. When three or more people encourage someone they know to consider a religious vocation, he or she is far more likely to consider taking steps in that direction. As we focus on vocations this month, let us remember to always build a culture of vocations in our communities.

As their children were growing up, Jane and Fred always tried to show them that their work for the church was an important part of their family’s life. “My children grew up knowing Mom is working at the church. I’ve always taught CCD and done the music, and Fred is a council member and lector. And, whenever we went on vacation they knew that no matter where we go, this family goes to Mass on Sunday.” Steven went to his first seminarian visit to Cardinal Muench Seminary when he was 16. Jane remembers that it was a great opportunity for him to meet other young men interested in the priesthood as well as young priests. “Even if your son goes to look, it’s just an opportunity for him to learn more about the life of a priest,” said Jane. “It doesn’t mean they have to enter seminary. Even just going beyond their parishes and meeting new priests is beneficial.”


Letting go

The Millers: A home for vocations At first glance, the Miller’s home looks to be a typical North Dakota farm with open fields and boxes of homegrown foods. But, alongside newspapers, letters and John Wayne movies is evidence of a prayerful family. A rosary is never far from reach in the home of Dennis and Judy Miller. Dennis and his wife Judy live near Lawton, where they homeschooled five children. Their two sons, Jayson and John Miller, are both currently in the seminary studying to be priests for the Fargo Diocese. “I’ve always tried to maintain my personal prayer time every morning,” Dennis said. “By the time each of my children was learning to crawl or walk, they would sometimes come to sit in my lap while I was praying. It means something to have your children see you praying.” While the Millers’ children were still living at home, they would gather for a morning rosary in the living room. One of the intentions they always prayed was for their children’s vocations and that the family would always take up Jesus’ cross and follow him.

Not a surprise When asked if he was surprised to first hear his sons’ interest in the priesthood, Dennis shook his head. “When Jayson was three of four years old, I would sometimes look over at him during Mass and he would be looking up at the priest like there was no other place in the world. He would completely mimic what the priest was doing.” “John, on the other hand, everyone had him pegged as becoming a priest,” Dennis smiled. “John has a tender heart. People have always trusted him to share their troubles with him.”

By the grace of God The role of a father of children isn’t unlike the role of a priest to this compassionate and prayerful man. “When you fail as a parent, you can’t go hide and feel sorry for yourself. You have to take care of your children. That’s what I’ve seen my role as father has been, to provide for my sons as best I can. With having two sons in seminary, some people think we’re special, holy people, but we’ve sinned and failed in the eyes of God as much as anyone,” Dennis said. While Dennis is humbled and delighted to have his sons choosing the priesthood, it comes with its own challenges as well. “A father always grows up thinking that it would be wonderful to pass his business on to his children, and it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen with us. But, God has given me the graces to be a husband and a father, so I can believe that he will give Jayson and John the graces in their vocations as well.” While Dennis occasionally is met with comments that they must have done something right to have

Dennis Miller, father of seminarians Jayson and John Miller, sits in his favorite chair in his home near Lawton. Dennis believes his sons’ interest in the priesthood is purely by the grace of God.

two sons wanting to be priests, he is certain that his sons’ vocations are purely by the grace of God. “When the priest lays his hands over the chalice and invokes the Holy Spirit to make these gifts holy and may become the body and blood of Chris . . . that is the most important prayer in the whole world.”

The Wirths: Walking the way of the priesthood When Jane Wirth was expecting her fifth and final child, she didn’t think she was going to have any more children. She laughs as she remembers saying, “Well, if the Lord wants me to have this child, then this one must be my priest.” Jane is the pastoral worker and director of music at St. Mary’s parish in Munich. She and her husband Fred are the parents of Steven Wirth, a Fargo Diocese seminarian who is in third year Theology. When asked if she was surprised to hear Steven’s interest in the priesthood, Jane said, “Not at all. People saw something in him even when he was in sixth grade. I didn’t so much see a love for the priesthood in him early on but definitely a love for the church.”

“Steven went into seminary right after high school,” Jane said. “I thought he might want to go to college first, but if he was truly called, I was assured he would gain more in seminary than he would in college. And, if he wasn’t called, those years wouldn’t be wasted either.” The further Steven grew in his studies the more Jane realized that she needed to let her son do the talking whenever decisions were being made. “I’ve realized that his encouragement and decisions are based on his formation now. I’ve raised him up until he was 18, and now I rely more on Father [Kurtis] Gunwall, Bishop [John] Folda and the other priests. At this point they are the ones that can give him the best advice. They’re the ones that know if this is truly his vocation. I don’t live that life.” In the end, Jane says it’s a unique blessing to be the mother of a son pursing the priesthood and can’t imagine a Catholic family not wanting a religious vocation in their own family. “I’ve become really aware of priests and all the gifts they have to offer. I’m realizing that they are going to be Steven’s brothers, and despite the age differences, there really is a fraternity among them.”

The Vandals: A love so pure “I don’t know what will come of Cecilia’s life, but I do know she would never have found the peace that she has if she never would have checked it out,” Sheila Vandal said of her daughter discerning the religious life. Mark and Sheila Vandal live near Langdon where they raised six children. Their oldest and only daughter, Cecilia, entered The Poor Clare Monastery of Our Lady of Mercy in Belleville, Ill., on March 25 this year. Mark and Sheila started to notice Cecilia’s strong prayer life when she would be praying devotions and novenas before she went to bed. For many years, Sheila and Cecilia went to mother-daughter days with the Franciscan sisters in Hankinson. “She thought she would go to that convent,” Sheila said. “She always lived a very Franciscan way of life like St. Francis and St. Claire, trusting that God will provide. So, it didn’t surprise us whatsoever that she was interested in the Franciscan order.”

Finding the Poor Clares

Jane Wirth, director of music at St. Mary’s Church in Munich and mother of seminarian Steven Wirth, practices music for an upcoming Mass. Jane says it’s a unique blessing to be the mother of a son pursing the priesthood.

While a student at the University of Mary, Cecilia went on a “nun run” which is a road trip designed to visit convents around the country. Shelia remembers hearing Cecilia talk about the vocation stories she heard from sisters during the trip. “They keep saying everyone has a vocation to the single life, religious life or marriage,” Cecilia had said, “and to be a religious, you have to put yourself in all Please turn to MEET THE PARENTS on page 12

Vocation Awareness Week

12 n October 2014


Meet the parents Continued from page 11 the vocations. If someone says ‘I can’t picture myself being married, I’m going to the convent,’ they probably won’t make a very good sister. You have to desire all of them. And now, I can see myself in all vocations.” This first year is Cecilia’s postulant year, which means it is a chance for her to come and see if it is where God is calling her. It will be another six to eight years before she makes solemn vows.

Affect on family “I went to seminary, so I was excited to see her pursue that way of life,” said Cecilia’s father, Mark, “but I didn’t realize how much it would affect us.” Mark continued, “We went to the convent as a family, because we all wanted to see it. As Cecilia was getting more interested and we were learning more about it, we realized how much time we’d get to visit and that we might not see her again in our home. That was really hard. When we were driving home, our minds were just reeling.” While in the convent, Cecilia’s family is able to visit her one day each year.

“We started thinking about her little brothers she wouldn’t see grow up,” Sheila said. “But, my boys are quick to say they have 10 sisters instead of one. We’re family with all the sisters now.” Even though the family doesn’t see Cecilia much, she is still very present in their home in prayers, pictures and letters. Cecilia writes to the family once a month, and her letters are usually 16-20 pages long. “Cecilia noticed there’s a huge price, just as St. Claire did,” Sheila said. “There can be a tremendous pain when people don’t appreciate what she’s doing. She reminded me that the best thing a mother can do for her children is to pray for them. And, that’s what she’s doing. She’s being a mother and praying for the whole world.” “The love that comes from her is so pure, so divine,” Sheila continued. “You long for it. People are attracted to holiness. So, it hurts to not have her around, but I am so grateful for the graces that have come and will continue to come.” “She never wants attention drawn to her. She wants it drawn to God,” Mark said. “It can seem like a radical way of life, but if we really have faith, it’s not so radical.”

Mark and Sheila gather with four of their sons near the family prayer area in their home near Langdon. A photo pictures their daughter Cecilia who is in her postulant year at the Poor Clare Monastery of Our Lady of Mercy in Belleville, Ill.

Year of Consecrated Life events to help laity learn more about religious By Carol Zimmermann Catholic News Service

In an effort to help lay Catholics gain a deeper understanding of religious life, priests, brothers and women religious intend to open their convents, monasteries, abbeys and religious houses to the public one day next February. “If you’ve ever wondered what a brother or religious sister does all day, you will find out,” said Dominican Sister Marie Bernadette Thompson in announcing the open house scheduled for Feb. 8, 2015. The open house is just one of the events for the upcoming Year of Consecrated Life, which begins Nov. 30, the first Sunday of Advent. It will end Feb. 2, 2016, the World Day of Consecrated Life. The special year dedicated to consecrated life was announced by Pope Francis and is similar to previous themed years announced by popes such as Year of the Priest (2009-2010). The year also marks the 50th anniversary of “Perfectae Caritatis,” a decree on religious life, and “Lumen Gentium,” the Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church. The purpose of the yearlong celebration, according to a Vatican statement, is to “make a grateful remembrance of the recent past” while embracing “the future with hope.” Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Ra-

mittee know of activities they are planning, so they can be publicized. Sister Marie Bernadette, council coordinator of the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious, said the purpose of the open house gatherings will be to provide people with an encounter with men and women religious and also an encounter with Christ.

‘Days with Religious’ planned

CNS photo / Tyler Orsburn

Dominican Sister Marie Bernadette Thompson, council coordinator for the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious, discusses initiatives focused on bringing together men and women religious and families, particularly young adults, during a press conference in Washington.

leigh, N. C., chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, announced the Year of Consecrated Life events at an Oct. 1 news conference at the USCCB headquarters in Washington, D.C. He said the scheduled events will provide an opportunity, especially for young people, to see how men and women religious live. He also urged heads of religious orders to let his com-

Sister Marcia Allen, a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia, Kan., and president-elect of Leadership Conference of Women Religious, said another initiative for the upcoming year is called “Days with Religious,” during which laypeople will have opportunities to join men and women religious in works of service throughout the summer of 2015. She said these opportunities, to be announced locally, will not only give laypeople the chance to “work with us side by side” but will also enable them to become aware of the charisms of different orders. Sister Marcia said she hoped the experience would be a “coming together for the sake of the church’s presence” in the modern world.

Day of pray as well The third major initiative for the year is a day of prayer scheduled Sept. 13, 2015. “We will join hands and hearts with

you that day,” said Father James Greenfield, president of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, who noted that throughout that day people will be invited to join religious men and women for vespers, rosary or holy hours. The priest, who is a member of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales of the Wilmington, Del.-Philadelphia province, said he hoped the year would not only encourage new vocations but also would allow people to “see our commitment with fresh eyes and open their hearts to support us with a renewed energy that stirs us all to embrace our pope’s ongoing call for the new evangelization.” Although the year’s events are intended to give laypeople a deeper understanding of consecrated life, the men and women religious also said they will most likely benefit. Sister Marie Bernadette said she hopes women religious experience a renewed joy in their vocation and Sister Marcia stressed that by simply explaining their order’s charisms to others should give the sisters a deeper understanding and appreciation of their ministries. “Whenever you think you are giving something you always end up receiving more,” she said. Prayers intentions, prayer cards, a video on consecrated life and other resources are available at: year-of-consecrated-life/index.cfm.

‘Culture of vocations’ driven by communities that encourage young people Data shows that people asked about their vocation are more likely to pursue religious life By United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Pope Francis, in his November 2013 apostolic exhortation, “Evangelii Gaudium,” underlined the continued need to build a culture of vocations. “The fraternal life and fervor of the community can awaken in the young a desire to consecrate themselves com-

pletely to God and to preaching of the Gospel. This is particularly true if such a living community prays insistently for vocations and courageously proposes to its young people the path of special consecration,” Pope Francis wrote. “A culture of vocations is one that provides the necessary support for others to hear and respond to God’s call in their lives,” said Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Raleigh, N.C., chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations. “With God’s grace, we help build that culture

through fervent prayer, the witness of our lives and the encouragement we extend to those discerning a vocation to priesthood or consecrated life.” A 2012 study, “Consideration of Priesthood and Religious Life Among Never-Married U.S. Catholics,” conducted by the Georgetown University-based Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), highlighted the role community encouragement plays in the discernment process. “The number three seems to be critical in making a difference in the life

of someone contemplating a vocation,” said Father Shawn McKnight, USCCB’s executive director of Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations. “When three or more people encourage someone to consider a religious vocation, he or she is far more likely to take serious steps toward answering that call.” More information and resources for National Vocations Awareness Week, including a prayer card, suggested prayers of the faithful and bulletin-ready quotes are available by visiting



October 2014 n 13

‘Don’t fall for it’ — Measure 1 protects current laws, does not create new ones


n my last column, I explained how performed. The plain language of MeaMeasure 1 preserves our way of life sure 1 fails all three prongs. by protecting our state’s pro-life laws Measure 1 states, “The inalienable from outside groups seeking to use our right to life of every human being at state courts to create a “right to aborany stage of development must be rection.” This “right” would invalidate ognized and protected.” laws that even the U.S. The subject of Measure Supreme Court has said 1’s sentence is the “right we can pass. to life,” not a governBy now you have most ment body. It is clearly likely heard the oppoimpossible to tell a “right sition’s claims that the to life” to do anything. measure will ban aborIndeed, Measure 1 does tion, make in vitro fernot tell anybody to do tilization murder, crimsomething. inalize miscarriages and Even if a court misnullify advance health construed Measure 1’s care directives. plain language, the meaSpace does not allow sure could not ban those me to fully address here things. Remember the all of these scare tactics. “separation of powers” I can, however, address principle? This means one flaw they all have in that the courts cannot Christopher Dodson common. force the legislature to do something. Let’s look Let’s start with a basic at two examples from North Dakota’s constitutional principle: the separation history. of powers. Like the federal government, North Dakota’s government is divided State constitution clear between the judicial, the legislative and the executive branches. One branch The North Dakota Constitution cannot do the work of the other or tell states, “Neither slavery nor involuntary the other what to do. Only the constituservitude, unless for the punishment tion can do that. of crime, shall ever be tolerated in this A second basic principle is that the state.” This statement would seemingly North Dakota Constitution does not impose a mandate on the government delegate powers. It limits them. This to punish slavery, even if there was means that except in rare circumstancno law against it in the criminal code. es the state constitution does not, by Nevertheless, the legislature still had to itself, mandate the legislature to do pass a statute to make modern slavery something or create laws that the execin the form of human trafficking illeutive branch must enforce. gal in North Dakota. Indeed, the state’s To overcome this strong presumpchief law enforcement officer, Attorney tion, Measure 1 would have to identify General Wayne Stenehjem, personally who must act, tell that body or individasked the Legislative Assembly to pass a ual to act and clearly state the act to be law criminalizing human trafficking so

Catholic Action

“If the mere existence of a right to life

automatically nullified end-of-life decisions, why has it not already happened? Christopher Dodson that North Dakota could prosecute this modern slavery. Similarly, when the state Supreme Court found that the legislature had failed to follow the requirements of the state constitution for a uniform public education system, the court held that it could not force the legislature to do it correctly. Opponents also ignore the fact that the state constitution already has a right to life. If the mere existence of a right to life automatically nullified endof-life decisions, why has it not already happened? All of the arguments against Measure 1 ignore these well-established

legal precedents. The measure’s opponents want a right to abortion in the state constitution, and the best way to stop Measure 1 is to ignore the law and scare voters with hypotheticals that could never come true. Don’t fall for it. Christopher Dodson is executive director of the North Dakota Catholic Conference. The NDCC acts on behalf of the Catholic bishops of North Dakota to respond to public policy issues of concern to the Catholic Church and to educate Catholics and the general public about Catholic social doctrine. The conference website is

Tax advantages for charitable giving Gifts of crops, IRAs and the ND Tax Credit


he end of the year is fast approaching, and it is a good time to remind folks of some generous tax incentives regarding charitable giving. Here is an update on three popular ways of giving, especially when it comes to supporting your local parish or diocesan program: 1. North Dakota Tax Credit. A few years ago, N.D. legislators passed a bill that allowed a very generous tax credit to those who make a charitable gift to a N.D. qualified endowment. If you are a North Dakota resident and make a gift of $5,000 or more to a N.D. qualified endowment, you are eligible for a 40 percent tax credit on your N.D. taxes. Tax credits are much different than a tax deduction because they reduce your tax liability dollar for dollar. The maximum tax credit is $20,000 for individuals or $40,000 for married filing jointly. However, credits can be carried forward for up to three years. The following is an example of how tax credits may benefit you: GIFT AMOUNT *Federal tax savings ND state income tax credit Net “Cost” of Gift













2. Gifts of Crops. Tax laws allow farmers to donate part of their crop production (grain, corn, beans, etc.) to charity (i.e. parish or diocese). Giving crops instead of cash provides significant tax benefits. It is a very simple process, and many farmers in our diocese take advantage of it. For example, before a farmer takes a load of grain to the elevator, the farmer first notifies the church of this donation. Then, the church notifies the elevator to sell the grain and send the check to the church. The farmer cannot sell the grain or instruct the elevator to sell it; this step must be done by the church. In this case, the farmer does not count the value of the grain sold by the church as income, thus avoiding all income and self-employment taxes, and he is further allowed to deduct the expenses related

Did you know?

Stewardship Steve Schons

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

to the production of that grain on Schedule F in the year paid. This approach is a wonderful way to provide first fruits to God’s service without bearing the burden of “Caesar’s Tax.” 3. IRA Charitable Rollover. If you are over age 70.5, the federal government permits you to rollover up to $100,000 from your IRA (Individual Retirement Account) to your parish, diocese or other qualified charity without increasing your taxable income or paying any additional tax. These tax-free rollover gifts could be $1,000, $10,000 or any amount up to $100,000 this year. The gift satisfies your RMD (Required Minimum Distribution) for the year. If you have any questions or would like further information about the topics covered in this article or any other types of giving, please contact me at (701) 3567926 or Steve Schons is director of stewardship and development for the Diocese of Fargo and can be reached at or (701) 356-7926.

14 n October 2014


Why is it wrong for my fiancé and me to live together if we are committed to chastity before marriage?

By Father James R. Ermer


y its very nature, living generates all sorts of questions about what is right and good living. The world of dating and marriage preparation is no different. On the surface this question seems to understand the basic church teaching that sexual relations only rightfully belong within the bonds of married love. But, there is more involved in this question than the question of premarital sexual activity. Generally when people are told that

a couple is living together as “brother and sister,” a common response is for people to roll their eyes and say something like, “If you believe that I have a bridge I would like to sell.” Most people simply disbelieve that scenario. Properly understood, their disbelief is really a strong belief in the power of temptation. People seem to understand that such a couple is putting themselves in a situation where events and circumstances can easily coalesce and the commitment to chastity becomes weak and many times lost. Besides the strong possibility of such a situation being an occasion of sin is the actual sin of scandal. Paragraph 2284 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church defines scandal as “an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil.” Living together leads others to believe that such behavior is good. Since many people perceive living together involves premarital sexual relations, living together could lead others to believe that premarital sexual relations are right in the eyes of God when in reality Scripture speaks quite the opposite

“On a number

of occasions St. Paul speaks of the seriousness of scandal and the obligation we have of not leading others into sin.

Father James R. Ermer

(cf. 1 Cor. 6:9-10; Heb. 13:4; Col. 3: 5-6; Eph. 5:1-7; Rom. 13:13-14; 2 Cor. 12: 20-21; Gal. 5:16-21; 1 Tim. 1:8-11). On a number of occasions in my life as a priest who has taught junior and senior high school students, I have been told by those students that living together is “ok.” They were simply expressing a fact about an older sibling’s living situation before marriage. It seems no one had expressed any disapproval. The moral/spiritual life is not a solo flight. We are “our brother’s keeper.”

In Matthew 18:6 Jesus speaks strongly about scandal. He says, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the sea.” On a number of occasions St. Paul speaks of the seriousness of scandal and the obligation we have of not leading others into sin (e.g. 1 Cor. 8:10-13; Romans 14:21). In our call to holiness and our walk of virtue, the moral/spiritual life has a number of bench marks — among them is avoiding occasions of sin and not giving scandal. Father James R. Ermer serves as pastor of St. Leo’s Catholic Church, Casselton and St. Thomas’ Catholic Church, Buffalo.

Editor’s Note: If you have a question about the Catholic faith and would like to submit a question for consideration in a future column, please send to news@ with “Ask a Priest” in the subject line or mail to New Earth, 5201 Bishops Blvd. S, Fargo, ND 58102, Attn: Ask a Priest.

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October 2014 n 15

October is ‘Respect Life Month’ Fargo Diocese marks start with the annual Walk with Christ for Life

The morning sunrise File photo


ratitude is one of the most important habits of heart to cultivate, in my opinion. It makes other people feel good. It helps us to be a part of the community and to strengthen relationships. It is also one of the first attitudes we need to have towards God who has given us everything. We stand in his debt. He chooses to forgive our sins, to send his Son to redeem us and to invite us to share in his life. However, gratitude is also an attitude of heart that affects us as much as it affects everyone else. Over the years, I have learned that the most grateful people I know are also the same people I enjoy spending the most time with. Their days are lighter and filled with joy. Instead of bringing us down and making the world seem darker, they help us notice the sunshine and the good things. I want to be like them, and I know that this is something good for our hearts. Life really does present us with many things to complain about, but complaining never seems to make them better. Gratitude does, though.

A habit to work toward Shaping a heart filled with gratitude isn’t the easiest task. When we call it a habit, what we mean is that it is an active practice that can grow in our lives. We can think of becoming a grateful person kind of like teaching a little child to walk. It is going to take some effort and a few bumps and bruises on the way, but if we keep at it, then slowly this habit will grow and we will be grateful for more and more things. It can help us find more joy, like the morning sunrise. So, we have to start with little steps. This can begin with looking around ourselves toward what we have been given. I was given a place to stay, wonderful food and an even more wonderful community. While interning at St. John’s this past summer, the parish community welcomed me and made me a part of their town and lives, even in small ways. I remember arriving one morning, towards the end of May, just in time for Mass. After that service, many people came up to say that they were glad I was able to join them for the summer. It continued for the whole summer. This experience was an amazing gift that I thank both God and the community for giving to me. Another group of people that I am grateful for are those who welcomed

Seminarian Life Robert Keller

me into their homes. I was bringing them Communion each week, and they enjoyed that. But, more than that, I was amazed and thankful to be able to share the joys and sorrows, the good times and the times of praying before surgery with many people. We walked with Jesus for a while together, and this was life-changing for me. Spending my summer in Grafton was one of the best times of my life. I am truly grateful to those who spent time with me, who taught me, who ate the bread we made together and who helped me understand and listen more deeply. However, I easily forget how

much I was given, and sometimes the moment even passed without me recognizing the gift and the giver. I guess that means I have to start today with thanking God and other people again. Each day I am trying to do this by taking some time out at the end, as I am praying before I go to bed. I take a look through my day, or other times that come to mind, and seek for things that I could be thankful. If you want to build a habit of gratitude, you could start with the morning sunrise. It is a sign of the hope of tomorrow, a better tomorrow and a sunrise today. And, so let’s begin: Thank you God for the rising sun. Keller is a Theology III student studying at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver, Colo. Originally from Harvey, Keller spent his summer at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Grafton. Thanks to a few surprises along the way and a request from a reporter from the Walsh County Reporter, Keller wrote the preceding article.

Editor’s Note: Seminarian Life is a monthly column written by current Diocese of Fargo seminarians. It gives New Earth readers a glimpse of what these discerning young men are experiencing. Let us know if there is something you would like to know about the life of a seminarian. Perhaps, it will inspire an article from one of them. And, please continue to pray for them.

Each year, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops designates October as Respect Life Month, an opportunity to renew Respect Life programming and bring greater attention to human life issues. This year’s theme, “Each of Us is a Masterpiece of God’s Creation,” was inspired by words in a statement Pope Francis issued for the 2013 Day for Life. “Even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to live forever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect,” Pope Francis said. The first Sunday of October, this year Oct. 5, is marked as Respect Life Sunday and kicks off the USCCB’s yearlong prolife program. The people of the Diocese of Fargo honored Respect Life Sunday by participating in the annual Walk with Christ for Life on Oct. 5. Area faithful gathered for Mass at the Cathedral of St. Mary in Fargo and participated in a Eucharistic procession to the state’s only abortion facility for a prayer service. Bishop John Folda led the procession. To see photos and learn more about the event, visit news-events.

16 n October 2014


Woman shares her journey from atheism to the church ‘Something Other Than God’ chronicles her story

About the book

By Father Luke Meyer


he journey from unbelief to faith in God can be as varied as the unique men and women of the human race. Since we all share a common humanity, and a common pilgrimage to God, personal stories of conversion can and do enrich our own lives of faith. Faith is more than a private matter but a light to be shared. A conversion story is really a story of healing, a healing of both mind and heart. When that story is shared, many benefit from the healing balm that overflows as the convert offers personal witness to the loving initiative of God in his or her life. “Something Other Than God” is a personal diary of a young woman’s own journey from a trendy, yet genuine atheism, to full communion with the Catholic Church. Jennifer Fulwiler provides people of faith and a number of audiences, both secular and sacred, with an unlikely but intelligent and inspirational tale of her own coming to faith. A native of Texas, Fulwiler grew up in an intentionally secular household, where she was taught by her parents to think for herself. She was independent, talented and successful. Landing a great job at a fast growing start-up software firm right out of college, she met her husband, Joe. They were a popular couple, living a social and festive but still decent life from their apartment perched in one of the most stylish neighborhoods in downtown Austin.

A review of Catholic books and literature An opening of the soul After the birth of her first son, Donald, a key moment of self-reflection began to open Jennifer’s soul to faith. Immersed in her family life, she encountered something totally new. Fulwiler came to realize that atheism could neither account for the bond she had with her husband Joe, nor could its principles capture the gaze of love toward her newborn son. This experience could not be merely the product of material molecules, cells or brain chemicals, but something altogether different. She had come to realize she was experiencing the activity that the soul was made to do: to love. Jennifer then uttered her first prayer, not a monologue of words, rather an awkward, but simple opening of the heart that would allow the work of grace to begin. I will save the lion’s share of her story for your own discovery, but I would like to point out a couple of unexpected highlights. The church’s teachings on purgatory and morality are assumed to be widely unpopular, and therefore often deemphasized. However, Jennifer found them to be a couple of the attractive

aspects of Catholicism along the way. The doctrine of purgatory resonated with her real hope that the tragic life of one of her favorite musicians, Tupac Shakur, could be set aright in the afterlife, while the clear, but challenging moral teachings in the Catechism of the Catholic Church became a compelling antidote to the problem of evil she came to experience in humanity and also humbly acknowledge in herself. Fulwiler succeeds in weaving together personal experiences, reflective insights and even moments of real drama as interpersonal relationships develop alongside her budding faith. After lending an audio version to a friend of mine, he even claimed to find himself driving slower so he could hear more of her story during his commute. I found myself rooting, and even praying for Jennifer every step along the way. Even this priestly soul, formed by the intentional study of theology and years of personal and liturgical prayer, found fresh inspiration in her story. I hope you too will be touched by “Something Other Than God,” a true testimony that God is very much alive.

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On the Web Jennifer Fulwiler continues to share her journey of faith through her website. Visit to learn more about her and to contact her.

Father Meyer serves the Diocese of Fargo as Chancellor and Director of Liturgy.

October is the Month of the Rosary

To Know God . . . To Love God . . . To Serve God . . .

“Something Other Than God: How I Passionately Sought Happiness and Accidentally Found It” by Jennifer Fulwiler. Published by Ignatius Press. Hardcover is 256 pages. Available via Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Ignatius Press.

INSERT NOTICE Look for the New Earth advertising insert from the

Prolife Across America in all copies of this issue

(South of K-Mart)

Give A Gift to Help Keep the TV Mass on the Air! The best gift for those you love who are nursing home residents, shut-ins, or non-practicing Catholics WDAY, 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


October 2014 n 17

NET Ministries retreats coming to Fargo Diocese The National Evangelization Teams (NET) Ministries will be in the Fargo Diocese’s parishes and schools from Oct. 29 to Nov. 11. NET Ministries, a nation-wide youth retreat and outreach program geared toward awakening the Catholic faith in young people, has been providing retreats to students in this area for several years. The following lists the retreat schedule. Please contact the person associated with each location for more information and to register.






Wed., Oct. 29

Holy Family Catholic Church Grand Forks


Reality Check

Amber Castilleja (325) 212-5611

Thurs., Oct. 30

Sullivan Middle School Fargo


Reality Check

Leon Knodel (701) 893-3889

Sat., Nov. 1

St. Helena’s Catholic Church Ellendale


Reality Check

Father John Kizito (701) 349-3297

Sun., Nov. 2

St. Therese the Little Flower Rugby


Strength and Beauty

Tues., Nov. 4

St. John’s Catholic Church Wahpeton


Reality Check

Wed., Nov. 5

St. John the Evangelist’s Grafton


You Will Receive Power

Rose Marie Kerner (701) 352-1648

Thurs., Nov. 6

St. James Basilica Jamestown


Strength and Beauty

Gina Dahl (701) 252-0478

Fri., Nov. 7

Cathedral of St. Mary Fargo


Made to Be

Diane Dahlin (701) 235-4289

Sat., Nov. 8

St. Michael’s Catholic Church Grand Forks


Strength and Beauty

Joe Hendrickx (701) 772-2282 ext. 226

Sun., Nov. 9

St. John the Evangelist’s New Rockford


You Will Receive Power

Sharon Eversvik (701) 947-5325

Jamestown parish Tabernacle Society to host ‘Working and Praying for a Culture of Life’ The Basilica of St. James Tabernacle Society, Jamestown, is hosting a spiritual program entitled, “Working and Praying for a Culture of Life in ND” Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. in the basilica community room. Keynote speaker Rachelle Sauvageau, Respect Life Director for the Fargo Diocese, will provide a brief history of the pro-life movement in North Dakota and how it has led to a vote on the Human Life Amendment coming in November. Also, Sauvageau will share informa-

The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided. Come to find out more about life-impacting issues and how we can all play a part in promoting the culture of life around us. For more information, contact Leann Ripplinger at (701) 9521750.

To ensure accurate meal count, please RSVP by sending an email to parish@ or calling (701) 2520119. A free-will offering will be requested to cover meal costs.

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, in­­ cluding sexual abuse, to civil authorities. If the situation involves a member of the clergy or a religious order, a seminarian or an employee of a Cath­ olic school, parish, the diocesan offices or other Cath-

olic 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 VictimAssistance@ For additional information about victim assistance, visit victimassistance.

For more information visit www. or contact Kathy Loney at (701) 356-7902.

(Act of August 12, 1970: Section 3685) Title 39, United States Code

tion on the ND Choose Life campaign and provide details on the 40 Days for Life movement which kicked-off in North Dakota on Sept. 24.

Mass will be followed by a roast beef luncheon and program at the Jamestown Civic Center. After the program, family entertainment will be provided including: a bounce house for children, a photo booth, bingo, card games and other activities.

Have you ever had days where you just can’t find the “joy” in your life? Are you looking in the right places? Are you allowing Jesus to help you fill your tank of joy? These questions are just a few that will be answered on Saturday, Nov. 22, at Harvey High during the Senior High Youth Celebration sponsored by the Fargo Diocese’s Catholic Youth Advisory Council (CYAC). Three of the top National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) youth talent winners will share their gift of music and offer their testimonial on how Christ fills their tank of joy. The day begins at 9:30 a.m. with games, music and fellowship. After lunch, the afternoon is filled with workshops geared for the high school mind. Following workshops, Bishop John Folda will celebrate Mass. Then, the group will have dinner and entertainment provided by nationally known DJ, Bill Lage. Cost is $35 per student or $15 per chaperone. Please plan to bring one chaperone for every eight students. Registration forms can be found at your parish.


St. James Basilica to celebrate major milestones In November, the St. James Basilica in Jamestown will celebrate its 100-year anniversary as a parish and 25-year anniversary of being designated a minor basilica. To mark this occasion, priests, staff and parishioners of the parish will host a special Eucharistic celebration Nov. 23 at 10:30 a.m. Bishop John Folda of the Diocese of Fargo, Bishop David Kagan of Bismarck; and Bishop Gaetano Aldo Donato, titular bishop of Jamestown, will concelebrate the liturgy.

Glenn Gigante (701) 776-6388 ext. 328 Richard Wright (701) 642-6982 ext. 866

Finding joy in life is focus of Senior High Celebration Nov. 22 in Harvey

1. Title of Publication: New Earth. 2. Publication No. 0009526. 3. Date of Filing: October 2014. 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: 244 Dayton Ave., St. Paul, MN 55102, Ramsey County. 8. Complete Mailing Address of the Headquarters of General Business Offices of the Publisher: The Diocese of Fargo, 5201 Bishops Blvd., Suite A, Fargo, ND 58104. 9. Names and Address of the Publisher, Editor, and Managing Editor. Publisher: Bishop John T. Folda, 5201 Bishops Blvd., Suite A, Fargo, ND 58104. Editor: Aliceyn Magelky, 5201 Bishops Blvd., Suite A, Fargo, ND 58104. 10. Owner: The Diocese of Fargo, 5201 Bishops Blvd., Suite A, Fargo, ND 58104. 11. Known bondholders, mortgagees, and other security holders owning or holding 1 percent or more of total amount of bonds, mortgages, or other securities: None. 12. For completion by Nonprofit Organizations Authorized to mail at special rates (Section 132.122 Postal Service Manual): The purpose, function and non-profit status of this organization and the exempt status for Federal Income Tax purposes have not changed during the preceding 12 months. 13. Publication Name: New Earth. 14. Issue Date for Circulation Data Below: October 2014. 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



0 24,757 24,757

0 24,418 24,418

12 0 12 24,769

11 0 11 24,429

30 0 24,799

30 0 24,459


Total No. Copies (Net Press Run)    B. Paid and/or Requested Circulation      1. Sales through dealers and carriers,         street vendors and counter sales      2. Paid or Requested Mail Subscriptions    C. Total Paid and/or Requested Circulation    D. Free Distribution by Mail (Samples,      Complimentary, and Other Free Copies)    E. Distribution Outside the Mail    F. Total Free Distribution    G. Total Distribution    H. Copies Not Distributed      1. Office Use, Leftovers, Spoiled      2. Return from News Agents    I. Total

16. This Statement of Ownership will be printed in the October 2014 issue of this publication. 17. Signature and Title of Editor, Publishers, Business Manager, or Owner.

Aliceyn Magelky, Editor

18 n October 2014

Events around the diocese

Listing of fall dinners and festivals across the diocese

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

Fall events are great opportunities to connect with your parish community. The following are a listing of fall dinners and festivals, by town, submitted to New Earth by the print deadline.

Working and Praying for a Culture of Life in N.D.: Basilica of St. James, Jamestown. Monday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. For more info contact Rachelle Sauvageau at (701) 356-7910. Fundraiser brunch with Roxane Beauclair Salonen: Holiday Inn, Fargo. Thursday, Oct. 16 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Contact (701) 237-4857, ext 211 for more information. Theology of the Body Training: St. Benedict’s Church, Wild Rice, Friday, Oct. 17 from 1:30 to 5 p.m. Or, St. John’s, New Rockford, Saturday, Oct. 18 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Contact Mary Hanbury at (701) 356-7909 for more information. Cupcakes for Life: Sts. Anne and Joachim Church, Fargo. Friday, Oct. 24 at 7:30 p.m. Contact Susan Noah at (701) 541-5689 for tickets. Ignatian Retreat: Maryvale, Valley City. Friday through Sunday, Oct. 31 to Nov. 2. Contact Sister Dorothy at (701) 845-2864 for more information.

Edgeley: Fall Dinner. Transfiguration Parish Hall. Oct. 26 at 11 a.m. Contact Father Thaines Arulandu at (701) 4932387 for more information.

For more news and events, visit the “News and Events” section of the diocesan website: news-events at 7:30 p.m. Contact Peggy Bartunek at 1-800-962-6989 for more information. Senior High Youth Celebration: Harvey High School, Harvey. Saturday, Nov. 22 beginning at 9:30 a.m. Contact Kathy Loney at (701) 356-7902 for more information.

Mass for God’s Children: Sacred Heart Church, Minto. Thursday, Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. Contact Rachelle Sauvageau at (701) 356-7910 for more information.

National Catholic Conference for Youth Ministers: San Antonio, Texas. Wednesday, Dec. 3 to Monday, Dec. 8. Call Kathy Loney at (701) 256-7902 for more information.

Life in the Spirit Seminar: St. Catherine Church, Valley City. Friday, Nov. 14 to Sunday, Nov. 16 beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Friday. Contact Deacon Joe and Deb Leitner at (701) 845-0817 for more information.

Five-Day Pilgrimage to Mexico: Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine and other notable sites. Tuesday, Dec. 9 to Sunday, Dec. 14. Contact Nancy Orthman at (701) 845-6271 or nancyorthman@ for more information.

Cathedral Requiem Mass: Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo. Monday, Nov. 3 at 6 p.m. Mass followed by a dinner feast in the social hall. Contact Mary Evinger at (701) 799-0663 for more information.

To submit events for New Earth and the diocesan website, send information to New Earth, 5201 Bishops Blvd. S., Suite A, Fargo, ND 58104-7605 or email The deadline for the November New Earth is Oct 22. The earliest that issue will reach homes is Nov 8.

Inaugural Organ Concert: Sts. Anne and Joachim Church, Fargo. Friday, Nov. 21


Fargo: Cathedral Requiem Mass followed by a dinner feast in the social hall. Cathedral of St. Mary. Nov. 3 at 6 p.m. Contact Mary Evinger at (701) 799-0663. Fargo: Fall Festival. Nativity Church. Nov. 9 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Contact Bev Nesler at (701) 232-2414 for more information. Grand Forks: Soup and Sandwich Luncheon. St. Anne’s Guest Home. Oct. 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Contact Sister Christina Neumann at (701) 746-9401 for more information. Grand Forks: Christmas Tea and Bazaar. Holy Family Church. Nov. 1 from 1 to 4 p.m. Contact Agnes Wischer at (701) 746-1454 for more information. Jamestown: Ultreya pot luck. Basilica of St. James. Oct. 26 at 10:30 a.m. Contact Kim Casey at (701) 269-3742 for more information. LaMoure: Buffalo Supper Fundraiser. Holy Rosary Church. Nov. 2 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Contact Connie Bitz at (701) 883-5968 for more information.

Tolna: Harvest Breakfast. St. Joseph’s Church. Nov. 9 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Contact Marcella Olson at (701) 322-5670 for more information. Tower City: Deer Season Opener Breakfast. Tower City Community Center. Nov. 7 from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact Dorothy Orts at (701) 8401984 for more information. West Fargo: Fall Dinner and Bazaar. BlessedSacramentChurch.Oct.26from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Contact Karen Beets at (701) 282-3321 for more information. West Fargo: Fall Festival. Holy Cross Church. Oct. 19 from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Contact Heather Heger (701) 282-7217 for more information. For more information about these events, please contact the parish or visit

For more stories and information visit:

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

October 50 Years Ago —1964

1417 South University Drive, Fargo, ND 58103

The Carmelite Sisters held an open house at their new monastery northwest of Wahpeton on October 30-31 and November 1. Ceremonies marking the laying of the cornerstone were held November 1 and also on that day the annual pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of the Prairie took place. The pilgrimage normally takes place August 15, but it was postponed because of moving operations. Most Rev. Leo Dworschak will conduct a formal dedication ceremony after he returns from the Vatican Council. (Reprinted from the November 1964 issue of Catholic Action News)

20 Years Ago —1994 Members of St. Joseph parish in Devils Lake answered the door when they

heard opportunity knocking. Now, 18 months later, they have a new parish center for offices, conference rooms, gathering room (with kitchen) and a new retail store for next-to-new clothing and household items. The opportunity was the closing of the J.C. Penney store in January 1993. The St. Joseph Parish Council saw the potential benefits of acquiring the building of more than 22,000 sq. ft. at the other end of the block from the church and rectory. (Reprinted from the October 1994 issue of New Earth)

10 Years Ago —2004 First Choice Clinic, Fargo, had its Second Annual Life Walk at Lindenwood Park on October 2. Despite the chilly morning, more than 100 walkers participated in the Walk and raised more than $13,880.00 for the Clinic. Father Brian Moen, associate pastor of the Cathedral of St. Mary, Fargo, and Pastor David Wagner of Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church led the group in prayer to start the event. (Reprinted from the November 2004 issue of New Earth.)


October 2014 n 19

Birthdays and Anniversaries


Father James Lauerman retires after 30 years of priestly service to the Diocese of Fargo Father James Lauerman, most recently pastor in Oakwood and St. Thomas, has retired from active ministry. A native of Milwaukee, Wis., Father Lauerman was incardinated in the Diocese of Fargo in 1984. In addition to his many years of teaching at Cardinal Muench Seminary in Fargo, his pastoral assignments in North Dakota included parishes in Lakota, Tolna, Brocket, Napoleon, Burnstad and finally at St. Thomas and Oakwood. In his retirement, Father Lauerman resides in Fargo and intends to offer educational opportunities at parishes in the Diocese of Fargo and retreats nationwide.

Kellers of Esmond to mark 70th anniversary

Langdon’s Anna Hoffarth turned 106 in August

Regina and Cornelius Keller will celebrate 70 years of marriage on Oct. 23. Regina, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Anton Fettig, was born Jan. 25, 1924. Cornelius, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Philip Keller, was born Sept. 4, 1922. They were married Oct. 23, 1944 at St. Boniface Church in Esmond. They lived with and worked for Cornelius’ parents for a time before renting a farm near Wellsburn. They later moved to Selz and operated a repair and mechanic shop and returned to the farm briefly before buying their own farmstead in 1955 near Esmond. They are members of St. Boniface Church in Esmond. The Kellers have eight children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Anna Hoffarth celebrated her 106th birthday Aug. 17 with a party at Maple Manor in Langdon. Hoffarth spent most of her life on a farm in Mt. Carmel, north of Langdon, then later moved to Langdon. She married Edmund Hoffarth, and they had six children: Ted (Rose Ann) Hoffarth, Rita (Richard) Beauchamp, Norman (Lois) Hoffarth, Patrick (Theresa) Hoffarth, Leona (Charles) Platz, and Leslie (Doris) Hoffarth.

Zimprichs celebrate 71 years of marriage Bernard and Genevieve Zimprich of Cooperstown will celebrate their 71st wedding anniversary Oct. 26, 2014. They were married at St. Lawrence in Jessie by Father Miller. They have seven children, 22 grandchildren and 29 great-grandchildren.

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

Fargo Diocese sponsoring 2016 World Youth Day pilgrimage Registration deadline Nov. 25 At the end of the Papal Mass in Rio de Janeiro in July, Pope Francis officially announced that the 2016 World Youth Days would be in Krakow, Poland. To walk in the footsteps of St. John Paul II will be a dream come true for many pilgrims including travelers from the Diocese of Fargo. The Youth and Young Adult Ministry office of the Fargo Diocese will sponsor a 17-day trek through Poland to relive the steps of St. John Paul II and to celebrate World Youth Days. After the celebration, the pilgrimage will venture to the Auschwitz Concentration Camp Memorial and finish at the Wieliczka Salt Mines.

Pilgrimage dates are July 18, 2016, to Aug. 3, 2016. The price for double occupancy is $4,200 each. The fee includes motor coach roundtrip from Fargo to Minneapolis airport, transatlantic air roundtrip from Minneapolis to Krakow, motor coach transportation while touring, all meals, accommodations, sightseeing, guides, taxes and tips. Not included are luggage handling, passport fees and souvenirs. A payment schedule has been created. About 80-85 spaces are available. For more information, contact Kathy Loney at (701) 356-7902. Deadline to register is Nov. 25, 2014.

Prices starting at $2,699 ~ with Airfare Included in this price Prices are ALL-INCLUSIVE w/Airfare from anywhere in the continental USA

Several trips to different destinations: the Holy Land; Italy; France, Portugal, & Spain; Poland; Medjugorje, Lourdes, & Fatima; Ireland & Scotland; Austria, Germany, & Switzerland; Greece & Turkey; Camino de Santiago; Viking Cruises; Budapest, Prague; etc...

Call us 24/7 508-340-9370 or 855-842-8001 We also specialize in custom trips for Bishops, Priests, and Deacons. Carmela Manago - Executive Director

Mass for God’s Children set for Nov. 6 in Minto; Bishop to preside Bishop John Folda will offer Mass for God’s Children at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6, at Sacred Heart Church, 621 3rd St. in Minto. Often when families lose a child to miscarriage, stillbirth or abortion, they do not have the opportunity to grieve their loss with their faith community. Yet, the church desires to provide a means for mourning and support through the Liturgy of the Mass. Parents and siblings, together with family members and friends, are encouraged to attend the Mass for God’s Children in remembrance of their child or children. A reception will follow. For more information, contact Rachelle at (701) 356-7910 or rachelle.sauvageau@ For resources on early infant loss, visit respectlife, click on “Year of Faith Life Issues, series No. 1: Early Infant Loss.”

Cupcakes for Life Friday, Oct. 24 at 7:30 p.m. Sts. Anne and Joachim Church, Fargo Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life will speak at the annual Cupcakes for Life event hosted by Shanley Teens for Life. This fundraising event will help send students to the annual March for Life rally held in Washington, D.C., Jan. 22, 2015. Shanley High School in Fargo has been selected to carry the lead banner in the upcoming march. The group hopes to make history by being the first school to bring its entire student body. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $5, but advanced purchase is strongly encouraged due to possible sell-out. “Guardian Angel” sponsorship available (10 seats for $50). Also, a free-will offering will be requested at the event. Contact Susan Noah at (701) 5415689 or Father Charles LaCroix at (701) 893-3219 for tickets.

Diocese to offer Theology of the Body training sessions Jen Messing will be providing two training sessions on the Theology of the Body on Friday, Oct. 17, at St. Benedict’s in Wild Rice from 1:30 to 5 p.m. and on Saturday, Oct. 18 at St. John’s in New Rockford from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The sessions are designed to help build understanding of how Theology of the Body integrates into all areas of life and faith formation. Whether you are a DRE, youth minister, catetchist teaching junior and senior high students or part of the clergy or religious life, this training is for you. For more information or to register for a session, visit or contact Mary Hanbury at (701) 356-7909 or Kathy Loney at (701) 3567902. Registration deadline is Oct. 13.

20 n October 2014


Human Life Amendment It will be up to North Dakota voters in November

What you need to know about Measure 1

Background Last year, a state court judge in Fargo ruled in a case brought by outside abortion groups that the “liberty clause” of the state constitution meant that a woman can abort her child without any meaningful oversight by the state to protect her health and safety or, where possible, the life of the unborn child. Essentially, this ruling creates an almost unlimited right to abortion in the state constitution that goes far beyond what is required by Roe v Wade or other federal decisions. The judge then used this newlycreated right to invalidate a state law that established reasonable safety regulations on the use of abortioninducing drugs. The North Dakota legislature responded to this court decision by placing Measure 1, the Human Life Amendment, on the November ballot. The measure states, “The inalienable right to life of every human being at any stage of development must be recognized and protected.”

Purpose The passage of Measure 1 would ensure that the North Dakota constitution does not contain a right to abortion. It will strengthen the legal framework for our pro-life laws to be upheld, and it will encourage our lawmakers to enact additional pro-life protections. Conversely, the defeat of Measure 1 would be devastating. It will put in jeopardy every pro-life law on the books in our state and will make it extremely difficult for any additional measures to be enacted.

To sum it up, we need Measure 1 to protect the great pro-life laws we already have on the books. These laws include: parental notification before a minor daughter can have an abortion, making sure that women are fully informed of the risks of abortion, prohibiting abortions because the baby is the ‘wrong’ sex and ensuring that only physicians with hospital admitting privileges can perform an abortion.

Don’t Be Confused Special interest groups are using scare tactics to confuse voters, but their real intention is to invalidate North Dakota values, overturn our common sense pro-life laws and impose abortion on demand for any reason at any time. To be clear, Measure 1 will not change any existing laws and will not impact end-of-life care or IVF treatments. As previously mentioned, Measure 1 will protect the reasonable pro-life laws that are already on the books.

Amendment Supporters The effort to pass Measure 1 is being led by “ND Choose Life,” a coalition of pro-life, pro-family, women’s and religious organizations. Supporters of the amendment include the North Dakota Catholic Conference, North Dakota Family Alliance, North Dakota Life League, Love Them Both, North Dakota Right to Life and the North Dakota chapter of Concerned Women for America LAC, among others.

Your Involvement Is Essential It’s critical that every pro-life citizen of North Dakota join the campaign and allow us to educate them and other voters about what Measure 1 does, and what it doesn’t do. You can sign up at Please also consider downloading the “educate your vote” sign-up sheet and circulating it to everyone you can in various forums — friends, family, email, door-to-door, work etc. Once you complete a sheet, please scan it and email it to info@ndchooselife. com, or you can mail them to ND Choose Life at P.O. Box 1351, Bismarck, ND 58502-1351. We would also like to make a presentation about Measure 1 to members of your church or community association. Please send an email to with a date and time that works best for you.

Vote by Absentee Ballot We want to make sure that every “Yes on Measure 1” vote is cast and counted. By voting as an absentee, you guarantee that your support for Measure 1 will be counted and “in the bank.” Sometimes things unexpectedly do come up that can prevent even the most conscientious voter from casting a ballot on Election Day, like an illness,

car trouble or an early season snow storm. Voting “Yes” on Measure 1 by absentee is the best way to ensure that your “Yes” vote for life is cast no matter what. To fill out the online application for an absentee ballot, go to: A hard copy of the absentee ballot application can be found here: sfn51468.pdf

Donate You can make a financial contribution online today at php. Or, you can make a check out to ND Choose Life and mail it to P.O. Box 1351, Bismarck, ND 58502-1351. Every donation is needed and greatly appreciated!

Connect with ND Choose Life P.O. Box 1351, Bismarck, ND 585021351 701-388-4966

Measure 1, the Human Life Amendment, on the November ballot:

“The inalienable right to life of every human being at any stage of development must be recognized and protected.”


October New Earth 2014


October New Earth 2014