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Fall 2014

Challenging young Catholics to love Christ and embrace the life of the Church


MEET THE 2014-2015 NET TEAMS TEAM 1: HOME TEAM BACK ROW: Meredith O’Bara, Lucas Wollschlager, Andrew Arpin, Lauren Vanderhorst MIDDLE ROW: Augustine Calvino, Michaela Donovan, Aaron Yuengert, Melina Birchem FRONT ROW: Nic Kwan, Carissa Bull, Koji de Ramos, Amylia Bult, Alexis Seaver FALL SEMESTER ROUTE: Sept 20 – Dec 15: St. Paul and Minneapolis, MN

TEAM 2: TRAVELING TEAM BACK ROW: Kyle Lavin, Allie Wills, Max Luburic, Kellie Mash MIDDLE ROW: J.P. Stroh, Mariah Schultz, Lance Long, Elizabeth Alvarez FRONT ROW: Jade Broadley, Dave Belkowski, Ashley Carlson, Michael Abbott FALL SEMESTER ROUTE: Sept 20 - 29: Sioux Falls, SD Sept 29 – Oct 14: La Crosse, WI Oct 14 - 22: Dubuque, IA Oct 23 – 25: Dodge City, KS Oct 25 – 28: Pueblo, CO Oct 28 - Nov 6: Rapid City, SD Nov 7 – 13: Denver, CO Nov 13 – 26: Baker, OR Dec 2 - 15: Sioux Falls, SD Continued on page 3


NETWORKS Fall 2014

Challenging young Catholics to love Christ and embrace the life of the Church


DIRECTORS PRESIDENT: Archbishop John C. Nienstedt, D.D. FOUNDER/ EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Mr. Mark Berchem, M.S.W., M.T.S. TREASURER: Mr. Edward Kocourek Mr. Gerald Brennan, CIMA Mr. Jack Cozzens Mr. Gordon DeMarais, M.A.T. Mr. Thomas Flynn Mrs. Jan Gloudeman Mr. Thomas Grundhoefer, J.D. Mr. Daniel Hagen, CFA Mrs. Helen Healy Mrs. Patricia Huber Dr. James Kolar, D.MIN. Rev. John Montejano, J.C.L. Mr. Patrick Regan EPISCOPAL ADVISORY BOARD: Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., Ph.D., S.T.D. Archbishop Robert J. Carlson, D.D. Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr, D.D. Bishop Frederick F. Campbell, D.D. Bishop Sam G. Jacobs, D.D. NET is under the ecclesiastical vigilance of the Most Reverend John C. Nienstedt, Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. It is governed by a national board of directors, is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and has been audited by Lewis, Kisch and Associates, Ltd.


a word from net’s

executive director

Dear Friends, A few weeks ago the NET teams “headed out” to begin their ministry. Fourteen teams were sent, two more than last year. Through the great work of our recruiting staff, we were able to train 26 more missionaries than a year ago. We have added a parish team at St. Mark's in Plano, Texas and another at St. Hubert's in Chanhassen, Minnesota. With the wonderful support of Archbishop Schnurr and his staff, we have opened a regional office in Cincinnati as part of our strategic plan to continually reach more and more young people with the Gospel. Why more? At his weekly general audience on September 17, Pope Francis reaffirmed once more that the Church is missionary: "The Church was born catholic, that is to say that she was born 'outward-bound,' that she was born missionary." Faith is not something one keeps to oneself. When the Holy Spirit gave birth to the Church at Pentecost, it impelled the apostles to go out and proclaim the good news. Filled with the Holy Spirit, the first apostles "headed out." Addressing the young people at his audience, the Holy Father reminded them that the Church has had many missionaries and still needs many more. He encouraged the young people there to follow God's call. "Be brave, young people." Like the first apostles, the NET missionaries have "headed out." Like Pope Francis, let us urge them on - be brave, young NET teams! Sincerely in Christ,

Mark Berchem Founder and Executive Director

TEAM 3: CINCINNATI TEAM BACK ROW: Ali Tolsma, Michael Brink, Amber Forness, Joe Traver MIDDLE ROW: Jimmy Abbott, Katie Arens, Ryan Melero, Mary Clare Stroh FRONT ROW: Gabrielle Heron, Wesley St. Cyr, Lauryn Coules, Josh Schmitz, Jaycee Allen FALL SEMESTER ROUTE: Sept 10 – Dec 15: Cincinnati, OH

TEAM 4: TRAVELING TEAM BACK ROW: Zach Richards, Sophie Wilkinson, Suzelle Serra, Ralphy Yanez MIDDLE ROW: Manny Huerta Benitez, Gabby Swift, Mary Markert, Stephen Gibbons FRONT ROW: Will Kratt, Hailey DeLaune, AJ Casillas, Tara Brandt FALL SEMESTER ROUTE: Sept 20 - 23: St. Paul & Minneapolis, MN Sept 23 – Oct 10: Bismarck, ND Oct 10 - 28: Crookston, MN Oct 28 – Nov 26: Winona, MN Dec 1 - 15: Gary, IN

TEAM 5: PARISH TEAM BACK ROW: Mackenzie Sample, Sam Correll, Amanda Barlogio, Phil Grygleski, Erika Christopher FRONT ROW: Bernie Lombardo, Stephen Richardson, Beth Caldwell, Isaac Romero FALL SEMESTER ROUTE: Sept 10 – Dec 15: Forest Lake, MN


TEAM 6: TRAVELING TEAM BACK ROW: David Sandler, Ryenn Peterson, Elizabeth Lagoe, Joel Ramirez MIDDLE ROW: Adam Arbizo, Alexia Bustios, Colleen Irwin, Ryan Best FRONT ROW: Cynthia Sanchez, Chris Smith, Ashley Criswell, Joseph Liu FALL SEMESTER ROUTE: Sept 20 – 23: St. Paul & Minneapolis, MN Sept 25 – Sept 27: Birmingham, AL Sept 27 – Oct 9: Baton Rouge, LA Oct 10 - 23: Savannah, GA Oct 23 - 27: Charlotte, NC Oct 27 – Nov 11: Richmond, VA Nov 12 – Nov 26: Rockford, IL Dec 1 - 4: Peoria, IL Dec 4 - 14: Springfield - Cape Girardeau, MO

TEAM 7: TRAVELING TEAM BACK ROW: Anna Dick, Aaron Sanchez, Claire Jones MIDDLE ROW: Austin Huck, Erin Hauth, David Weisbruch, Sarah Wilder FRONT ROW: Luke Berke, Mariah Wilkins, Jon Ramirez, Clare Peine FALL SEMESTER ROUTE: Sept 21 – Oct 23: Toledo, OH Oct 24 - 28: Springfield, MA Oct 28 – Nov 20: Manchester, NH Nov 20 - 23: Portland, ME Nov 28 - 30: Hartford, CT Dec 1 – 5: Pittsburgh, PA Dec 5 - 14: Greensburg, PA

TEAM 8: PARISH TEAM BACK ROW: Haley Chamberlain, Sam Wong, Cat Beigel, Isaac Cloos FRONT ROW:Claire Garrett, Alex Ruch, Steph Shoenfelt, Rick Bzdok FALL SEMESTER ROUTE: Sept 10 - Dec 6: Chanhassen, MN


TEAM 9: TRAVELING TEAM BACK ROW: RJ Gillespie, Izabella Frederiksen, Kaitlyn Shields, Andrew Hirl MIDDLE ROW: Brian King, Mary Polnaszek, Mhairi Jackson, Cody Bouse FRONT ROW: Jennifer Heinlein, Cole Holleman, Priscilla Galvan, Stephen Hale FALL SEMESTER ROUTE: Sept 20 – Oct 2: Superior, WI Oct 3 - 7: Lafayette, IN Oct 9 – Oct 28: Davenport, IA Oct 29 – Nov 11: Fargo, ND Nov 13 – Dec 2: Austin, TX Dec 2 - 13: Victoria, TX

TEAM 10: SCHOOL TEAM BACK ROW: Jessica Seagraves, Cody Klamm, Lyndsey Cerny, Malcolm MacDonald FRONT ROW: Kayla Brion, Adam Weinzetl, Rebecca Schell, John Paul Berg FALL SEMESTER ROUTE: Sept 10 – Dec 15: New Ulm, MN

TEAM 11: TRAVELING TEAM BACK ROW: Sean Mulcare, Alyssa Salazar, Bridget Lademan, Gabe Unger MIDDLE ROW: Joe Dick, Jacque Szczepanski, Gabby Herndon, Michael Merwin FRONT ROW: Claire Ellendson, Daniel Gonzalez, Katie Fafinski, Eddie Hueckel FALL SEMESTER ROUTE: Sept 21 - 30: Belleville, IL Sept 30 – Oct 8: Peoria, IL Oct 9 – Oct 18: Marquette, MI Oct 18 – 31: New Ulm, MN Oct 31 – Nov 21: Joliet, IL Nov 21 - 25: Lafayette, IN Nov 29 – Dec 14: Grand Rapids, MI


TEAM 12: SCHOOL TEAM BACK ROW: Jimmy Conway, Amanda Hoehn, Catherine Stroh, Damian Sousa-Johnson FRONT ROW: Martha Harrold, Corey Baumgartner, Sarah Sheehan, Mike Melliere FALL SEMESTER ROUTE: Sept 10 - Dec 15: Plymouth, MN

TEAM 13: PARISH TEAM BACK ROW: Katie Kostohris, Josh Hollcraft, Grace Garvey, Hector Morales FRONT ROW: David Piccirilli, Ashley Hettinger, Antonio Jimenez, Amanda Jordan FALL SEMESTER ROUTE: Sept 10 – Dec 15: Plano, TX

TEAM 14: TRAVELING TEAM BACK ROW: Kylie Holzknecht, Joey Horn, Mariah Butcher MIDDLE ROW: Joseph Hollcraft, Tristan Bowman, Joe Lundin, Cat Riddle FRONT ROW: Sam Rabassa, Ozzy Ramirez, Christy Serna, James Vandagriff FALL SEMESTER ROUTE: Sept 22 – 30: Arlington, VA Sept 30 – Oct 23: Washington, DC Oct 23 – Nov 6: Wheeling-Charleston, WV Nov 7 - 11: Providence, RI Nov 11 – 25: Philadelphia, PA Nov 26 – Dec 2: Charleston, SC Dec 2 - 12: Florida Dioceses



Blind NET alumnus reaches out to intensive care patients through faith and hospitality On his seventeenth birthday, Lee Casey’s life changed. Riding his Yamaha 650 motorcycle near his hometown of Griswold, Iowa, Lee looked over his left shoulder. That glance was the last thing he ever saw. The next thing Lee remembers of July 7, 1979, is waking up in an ambulance. Witnesses said he swerved to avoid an oncoming car, hit a pothole, and catapulted through his motorcycle’s windshield. Glass and debris entered his eyes and left him blind, save for “a little glow in the dark” in his left eye. His jaw was wired shut for 11 weeks so his broken facial bones could heal. Lee said it was his accident that drove his faith in God deeper. “God had placed a desire in my heart to in some way serve Him,” he said. His turn toward God propelled him to 26 years in ministry, beginning with serving with NET Ministries in 1987-88. After NET he served with the church in Iowa for five years, but said the seed of chaplain ministry that was planted in his heart years earlier still weighed on him. Lee started his chaplain residency at Mercy Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa. “I was the first person there that they accepted who happened to be blind,” he recalled.

He said his new job required some creativity when adapting to a position that would require him to visit patients in the eight-floor hospital. “I literally took a Braille labeler and labeled 400 plus rooms in the hospital with a braille tag,” he said. Lee recalled how in addition to being the first blind chaplain at Mercy Hospital, he was also the PHOTO CREDIT: ESSENTIA HEALTH MAGAZINE first chaplain to be on-call, requiring him to test his prowess in finding his way through the hospital. “There’s a balance,” he said. “It’s important for me to do as much as I can, but yet ask for help when I need it.” His year of chaplaincy residency led to a career in the field that has taken him to Texas and Nebraska, ultimately landing in Minnesota as the newest chaplain at St. Joseph’s Medical Center. The board-certified chaplain says the week he spent in intensive care to recover from his motorcycle accident has helped him relate to people in need of care. “I know what it’s like to go through surgery, pain, discomfort,” Lee explains. “I’ve been there, and it helps with empathy and understanding for other people and what they may be going through.” Story credit: Essentia Health Magazine and Brainerd Dispatch



2014-2015 NET TEAM MEMBER STATISTICS Team Members Originate From 29 U.S. states 3 team members from the United Kingdom 7 team members from Faribault, MN (home of the first NET parish team)

Program Fees (35.7%) Contributions (60.4%) Other Income (3.9%)

Program (71.2%) Administration (13.1%) Development (15.7%)

Total Revenue: $2,711,211

Total Expenses: $2,684,878

Breakdown of Team Member Ages 50

149 Team Members Average age at end of training: 20.4 77 women (average age 20.5) 72 men (average age 20.3)

40 30 20 10

26 25 24 23 22 21 20 19 18


47 team members are 18 years old 26 team members are 19 years old 23 team members are 20 years old 15 team members are 21 years old 19 team members are 22 years old 10 team members are 23 years old 7 team members are 24 years old 1 team member is 25 years old 1 team member is 26 years old

Keep up with the teams at www.netusa.org/blog. Page 8 NETWORKS FALL 2014

Returning Team Members 21 team members have already served at least one year with NET

It’s All Relative Josh and Joseph Hollcraft are cousins Jimmy and Michael Abbott are brothers Mary Clare, J.P., and Catherine Stroh are siblings

The Strohs are the first family to have 3 siblings serve on the same year

Leaving a Legacy

Jackie (Lucas) Wollschlager and Karen (Oaks) Birchem served together in 1987-88 on Team 3. Also on their team was Steve Berg. 17 years later, Jackie and Karen’s children, Lucas and Melina, are serving together this year on Team 1. Steve’s son John Paul is also serving this year, but on Team 10.

Animal Lovers (Last Name Fun) We have a Bull, a Fox, and a Heron. We don’t have a Beagle but we have a Beigel; her first name is Cat.


alumni update WEDDINGS

KAYLA (RELLER) NINNEMAN (06-07, 0708) and her husband Peter were married on January 11, 2014 at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in San Jacinto, CA.

JOAN (HARRINGTON) BADAMI (00-01, staff 02-03) and her husband Anand were wed on April 26, 2014 at the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul, MN.

CATHERINE (SPELTZ) (10-11, 11-12, staff 12 - present) and RYAN LOPEZ (09-10, staff 10 - present) were married on May 24, 2014 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in West St. Paul, MN. LETICIA (MARTINEZ) GONZALEZ (1112) and her husband Joel were married on June 28, 2014 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in San Angelo, TX. Page 10 NETWORKS FALL 2014

AMANDA (OBRANOVICH) SHIELDS (10-11) and her husband Ryan were wed on May 31, 2014 at Our Lady of the Assumption in Turlock, CA.

SARAH (DIRKES) (11-12, staff 12 present) and DAN DRIVER (09-10, 1011, 11 - present) were wed on June 7, 2014 at St. James' Catholic Church in St. Paul, MN.

ALICIA (PEARSON) FERGEN (08-09, staff 09-11) and her husband Adam were married on June 21, 2014 at Maternity of Mary in Saint Paul, MN. ANNA (VONAU) MARRISON (08-09 and 09-10) and her husband Matt were married on August 1, 2014 at St. Matthew’s Catholic Church in Gahanna, OH.

EMILY (FERGUSON) (12-13) married NIC GUITIERREZ (09-10, 10-11) on July 5, 2014 at St Elizabeth Ann Seton in Keller, TX.

EMILY (LALOGGIA) BURDS (11-12, staff 12-13) and her husband Pete were married on August 1, 2014 at the Basilica of St. Josaphat in Milwaukee, WI.

ANNEY (BRANDT) ROACH (11-12) and her husband John were married on August 1, 2014 at St. Noel Church in Willoughby Hills, Ohio.

BIRTHS LAURA (MADLINGER) (07-08, staff 0809) and MATT LEWIS (06-07) welcomed Rebecca Jolyn on April 16, 2014.


NATALIE (VIDA) (10-11) and JOHN APPEL (09-10) welcomed Laila Elizabeth on April 30, 2014.

ABBIE (ANDERSON) DAHM (10-11) and her husband Cale welcomed Cartsen Julius on June 28, 2014.

LINDSEY (LARSON) HEPBURN (04-05) and her husband Stephen welcomed Zelie Maria Fatima on May 25, 2014.

SISTER MAGNIFICAT ROSE (JILLIAN WAYLAND) (07-08, 08-09) received her habit and new religious name as she entered the novitiate with for the Sisters of Life in New York.

RENEE (TRZNADEL) ESTRADA (1011) and her husband Marco welcomed Isabella Sofia on August 9, 2014. KATIE (DRETSCH) (08-09, staff 09-10) and MICHAEL WILLIAMS (05-06, staff 06-08) are the proud parents of Adeline Teresa Marie, born May 28, 2014.

LUCAS KINZEL (04-05, staff 05-08) and his wife Christine welcomed Henry Keith on August 14, 2014.

LEAH (DE LANGHE) PAVEK (05-06, staff 10-11) and her husband Donald happily welcomed Lucas Donald on June 12, 2014.

MEGHAN (WEST) LOJEWSKI (0304) and husband Mark are proud to announce the birth of Quinn Christine on September 8, 2014. RISA (WITCZAK) STALBOERGER (9495, staff 95-01) and her husband Brian welcomed Teresa Jeanne on June 17, 2014.

RUTH (KOSTOHRIS) (09-10, 10-11) and DANIEL GLADITSCH (10-11) had a baby, Monica Grace, on September 12, 2014.

TANYA (STARWALT) NEL (08-09, 0910, staff 10-11) and her husband Dirkie welcomed Ruby Ann on July 19, 2014.

KAYLA (STALBOERGER) MEIER (07-08, staff 08-10) and her husband David are proud to announce the birth of Maria Therese on September 19, 2014.

Have something you’d like to share? Submit your news to alison@netusa.org.

FR. EMMANUEL MARY (BARRY) MANSFORD (95-96, staff 96-98) and FR. JOHN PAUL (PAUL) OUELLETTE (92-93, 93-94) were recently chosen for leadership in the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. Fr. John Paul (second from right) is the new Servant of the Community and Fr. Emmanuel (third from left) is the Vocation Director and a member of the Leadership Council. SISTER LAURA HOLUPCHINSKI (1011, 11-12) is now a postulant with Pro Ecclesia Sancta.

BROTHER JONAH (JOSEPH) MORENO (10-11) received his habit with the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal on July 18, 2014.

Page 11 NETWORKS FALL 2014

COMMISSIONING MASS 2014 On Tuesday, September 9th, NET alumnus Father Brian Park filled in for an ill Bishop Lee PichĂŠ, Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, as he blessed and commissioned our 14 teams for evangelistic ministry throughout the country. We had a full house for this event with local alumni and host families joining us for the occasion.


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Team 3, the Cincinnati regional team, was also commissioned by Archbishop Dennis Schnurr of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Ohio on September 30th. The Archbishop gave each missionary a rosary blessed by Pope Benedict XVI.




20TH ANNIVERSARY OF LIFELINE I'm sure you've heard the phrase, "Time flies when you're having fun!" Well, time really flies when you're having fun and reaching tens of thousands of Catholic young people with the life-changing message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. NET holds a monthly Catholic evangelistic outreach program at the NET Center called Lifeline which reaches 1,000 teens each month with great music, a dynamic Mass, Catholic speakers and artists, and Eucharistic adoration. On October 4th, 2014, season 20 of Lifeline launched. What a tribute to the faithfulness of God, the generosity of so many event volunteers, the Catholic band SONAR, and the numerous priests and seminarians! Praise be to God for the many speakers and Catholic artists who have helped out with this great outreach through the years. Please continue to keep Lifeline in your prayers as together we

Page 12 NETWORKS FALL 2014

challenge young Catholics to love Christ and embrace the life of the Church. Learn more about Lifeline at www.netusa.org/lifeline.

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