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Presorted Standard U.S. Postage Paid St. Joseph Newsleader St. Joseph, MN 56374 Permit No. 21 ECRWSS Postal Customer

Newsleader St. Joseph

Friday, Dec. 13, 2013 Volume 24, Issue 49 Est. 1989

Town Crier

Great River Chorale presents ‘Gloria’

Great River Chorale will perform its 13th annual holiday concert “Gloria” in collaboration with the Concert Choir and Choristers of the Cantabile Girls Choir Program. The concert will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15 in St. Mary’s Cathedral, 25 8th Ave. S., St. Cloud. It features seasonal music, audience carols and narrations, and will conclude with John Rutter’s Gloria for choir, brass, percussion and organ. General admission tickets may be purchased in advance online at www.greatriverchorale.org or by phone at 320-515-4472. For more information, www.thenewsleaders.com and click on Criers.

Stuffed animal drive set Dec. 15 at fire hall

St Joseph Girl Scout Troop 758 will collect new/gently used stuffed animals to be donated to the Salvation Army from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14. These stuffed animals will be distributed to homeless children as they check into the shelter, and will be theirs to cuddle with and keep.

‘Christmas in the Barn’ set Dec. 23, 24

Discover the Christmas story in a new way this year at the seventh annual “Christmas in the Barn” service at 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 23 and 24. This unique experience offers a simple narration and re-enactment of the Christmas story with familiar hymns, handmade ice candles and hot apple cider in the rustic, relaxed atmosphere of an old barn, located at the Chad and Amy Leither barn, four miles south of St. Joseph on CR 2. Signs are posted. Attendees are encouraged to dress appropriately and bring blankets if needed, as the barn is not heated. For more information, visit www. peacelutherancoldspring.com and click on “Christmas in the Barn” or call Peace Lutheran Church at 320-685-7656.

Postal Patron

Sisters celebrate 150th anniversary by Cori Hilsgen news@thenewsleaders.com

The Sisters from the Order of St. Benedict recently celebrated its 150th anniversary of moving from St. Cloud to St. Joseph. The nuns recently hosted parishioners to cinnamon rolls and coffee at a post-Mass reception in the Church of St. Joseph Heritage Hall. Two nuns shared how they joined the convent. Sr. Joyce Iten grew up on a farm near Luxemburg. She often came with her parents to visit her aunts, who were nuns and who worked in the convent kitchen. She was impressed with their religious garb, the spirit of prayer and silence. She spent several days with them while she was growing up. One day when she was 7, she told her father she wanted to become a Benedictine Sister when she grew up. “It seemed to my young

heart that God was very present at the monastery and, for the rest of my life, I wanted to be where God was,” Iten said. She also had Benedictine nuns as grade-school teachers. When she was in seventh grade, she said she knew she wanted to attend St. Benedict’s High School because she intended to join the monastery after graduation. “I loved the Sisters’ way of life,” Iten said. “I loved to pray, sing and chant the daily prayers. I had come to appreciate daily Mass, and the Sisters’ regular, common life appealed to me, although I had to get used to living with lots of different personalities over the years.” Iten entered the monastery in 1956 and attended the College of St. Benedict. She became an elementary teacher. “My dream was to teach second grade for the next 50 years and get a medal,” Iten said.

For additional criers, visit www.thenewsleaders.com and click on Criers.

Sr. Joyce Iten makes coffee at the post-Mass reception celebrating the Sisters of the Order of St. Benedict’s 150th anniversary of moving to St. Joseph. “My dream was short-lived, however, when I was assigned to teach various grades in various parishes over the next 18

years. Although I loved teaching, I became restless and was looking for a new challenge.” Sisters • page 4

Abbey releases list of 18 ‘credibly’ accused clergy by Dennis Dalman news@thenewsleaders.com

A list of 18 St. John’s Abbey priests or monks, living and deceased, has been released by the Abbey. All men on the list, which was released Dec. 9, are those who have been “credibly” accused of sexual misconduct. The list’s release was in response to a lawsuit filed recently against a former monk who is accused of repeatedly molesting boys years ago. Part of the lawsuit called upon St.

John’s Abbey to release a list of “credibly” accused monks and priests, past or present. The monk, Fr. Francis Hoefgen, is accused by a man known as “Doe 27” of sexually abusing him when he was a boy in the Hastings Catholic parish. In 1983, Hoefgen, who was serving in Cold Spring’s St. Boniface at that time, was accused of abusing a boy in that city. No legal proceedings followed that charge. Hoefgen is no longer a priest or monk and lives in Minneapolis.

The release of the list by St. John’s Abbey came just a week after the Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis released a similar list containing 34 priests. The names of three former St. John’s Abbey priests were on that list: Hoegfen, Cosmas Dahlheimer and Brennan Maiers. The names on the lists do not mean necessarily that those men sexually abused young people. Rather, the lists’ names are those of priests or monks who have been “credibly” ac-

cused of such illegal conduct. Some had been accused of watching pornography via the Internet or of having improper behavior with another adult. St. John’s Abbey, again under pressure, years earlier released the names of priests and monks back in 2002 and again in 2011. Brother Aelred Senna, a spokesman for the abbey, said the list is the best effort to identify those who “likely” made offenses against minors, even Abbey • page 3

Grinch has change of heart, returns figurines by Dennis Dalman news@thenewsleaders.com

Community meal available Dec. 21

A community meal of hot chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans and a cookie will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21 at Resurrection Lutheran Church, 610 CR 2, St. Joseph, or at the Avon City Hall, 140 Stratford St., Avon. Delivery is also available. If you know of someone who could benefit from this service, please call Angela at 320-845-7789, or the Revs. Linda at 320-363-4232 or Jeff at 320-356-9220. Help us spread the cheer!

contributed photo

contributed photo

This photo of the creche figures, which were recently stolen, was taken a few years ago.

There is at least one meanspirited grinch up to no good in St. Joseph this pre-Christmas season. But there is hope, because the grinch or grinches apparently had a change of heart. The figurines of Mary, Joseph and three sheep were stolen from the traditional nativity scene in front of St. Joseph Catholic Church. They were taken sometime Thursday, Dec. 5, according to the church’s pastor, the Rev. Jerome Tupa. On Thanksgiving Day, a figurine of a shepherd was also stolen, Tupa noted. And a shepherd, a cow and a donkey were

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noticed missing Dec. 3, said Sandra Scholz, the church’s business manager. The good news is all of the figurines were returned earlier this week, placed where they had been taken. However, a cow figurine remains missing, according to a parish office person. Fr. Mathias Spier, OSB, purchased the crèche when he was the assistant pastor in St. Joseph from 1986-96. The figures were stolen the first year they were put out and then were replaced with the current ones. The value of the figurines is about $1,000, according to a report submitted to the St. Joseph Police Department.


St. Joseph Newsleader • www.thenewsleaders.com

2

People

contributed photo

Traci Lafrentz of St. Joseph models her “Make it with Wool” creation that earned her first place in the adult, age 25 and over category, Nov. 16 in Ottertail, Minn. during the Minnesota Lamb and Wool

Producers annual conference. There were 30 entries in four age divisions along with Made for Others, Quilt/Afghan and Novelty categories using more than 150 yards of beautiful wool fabric or yarn to create their garments and other wool item. She also won first place in the Quilt/Afghan category. Lafrentz and the other 10 Minnesota winners now advance to the national competition Jan. 23-25 in Charleston, S.C, The purpose of the “Make It With Wool” contest is to focus attention on the beauty and versatility of wool and to encourage the use of wool fabric or yarn in sewing, knitting or crocheting fashionable garments. Contestants must use fabric or yarn of at least 60% wool. Beautiful wool prizes were awarded to each contestant. Glenette Sperry served as State Director for the contest.

Correction

Last week’s story about the Lake Wobegon Trail welcomecenter facility stated some incorrect information. It should have said the Chamber of Commerce will use the building; not the EDA. The EDA will continue to function out of the city offices. Also, the Chamber helped with the funding and construction of the facility.

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If any readers have tips concerning crimes, they should call the St. Joseph Police Department at 320363-8250 or Tri-County Crime Stoppers at 320-255-1301 or access its tip site at www.tricountycrimestoppers. org. Crime Stoppers offers rewards up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for crimes. Nov. 11 12:27 a.m. Property damage accident. Elm Street E. Vehicle #1 was parked in the Coborn’s parking lot. Vehicle #2 was entering a parking spot next to vehicle #1 and struck the rear bumper. Minor damages. Photos taken. Both parties requested an accident information sheet. 4:35 p.m. Fire alarm. Seventh Avenue SE. Report of carbon monoxide alarms going off. Officers arrived and stood by until St. Joseph Fire Department arrived and then cleared. This is the second time the alarms have gone off at the residence. They were advised to speak to an electrician. 10:43 p.m. Assist person. Seventh Avenue SE. Complainant’s fire alarms were going off. She stated the fire department and police were over earlier in the day and determined she had a faulty alarm. She stated the fire department checked for carbon monoxide and determined there wasn’t any. Officer disconnected the alarm at her request and checked the other alarms in the house. No smoke or sign of fire in the home. Complainant stated she would contact an electrician in the morning to find out what is wrong. Nov. 14 1:30 a.m. Fight. College Avenue S. A male stated he and some friends were walking back to the busstop from a bar when they were harassed by an unknown individual. He said the individual was challenging him to a fight and he and the group were trying to avoid it. He stated he finally had enough and pushed the unknown out of the way when the unknown pushed him and hit him in the face and tried to run away. He caught the

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Friday, Dec. 13, 2013

Blotter

person and a minor wrestling match started. This is when they were first observed by the officer. When speaking to the witnesses and the individual involved, it was hard to get info out of them and the information conflicted. Officer’s opinion was they were not telling everything and protecting each other in some way. Nov. 15 12:42 a.m. Hazard. Fourth Avenue NE. Report of a tarp in the road. Officer located the tarp and moved it to the side of the road. Weighed it down so it would not pose a problem. Maintenance department will be called to have it removed. Nov. 16 1:42 a.m. Suspicious activity. 12th Avenue SE. Complainant reported unusual noise. Officers checked the exterior of the residence and the neighbor’s yard and did not see anything out of the ordinary. Also checked the basement of the residence and that was clear. Officers told her they would make several more drive-by inspections during the night and she should call 911 if she sees or hears anything that causes her concern. 8:22 a.m. Suspicious activity. Birch Street W. Complainant woke up and found his lawn deer one on top of the other. He was told the night officers would be made aware of it. 1:38 p.m. Found property. Second Avenue NW. Complainant reported finding a St. John’s University student ID card in his yard. Officer met with campus security and turned the card over to them. 5:54 p.m. Property damage accident. CR 75 W. Vehicle #1 was traveling west on CR 75. Vehicle #2 was stopped at the red light on College Avenue, turning right. Vehicle #2 believed vehicle #1 was in the far lane, so she turned. Vehicle side mirrors collided. Accident report was filed. 10:47 p.m. Noise complaint. Old Highway 52. Report of loud music. Officer checked the area and could hear music coming from the residence. Not very loud but could

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be heard from the road. Met with occupant and advised him of the complaint. He agreed to turn the music down and have everyone leave. Officer stood by as the party was dispersed quietly. Nov. 17 1:51 p.m. Felony assault. Minnesota Street W. Complainant stated around 12:30 a.m. this morning he was walking in the 200 block of Minnesota Street W. He stated for no reason three white males and one black male jumped him and began to hit him. He does not know what caused them to assault him. He has no other descriptions of the four, but thought he heard the name “Justin.” He called his mother who took him to the St. Cloud Hospital this morning. He stated his nose and cheek bone were broken and he has a concussion. Officer had him sign a medical release form and took photos of his face. No suspects or witnesses at this time. Nov. 18 11:23 a.m. Stolen property. College Avenue S. Complainant reported her bike stolen from the Gorecki Center at CSB between the days of Nov. 9-13. She stated the bike had a lock on it but thinks she only secured the frame to the tire. The bike is a silver Raleigh with blue hand grips and serial number of U07K13875. Value is $750. Nov. 19 3:37 p.m. Ordinance violation. Sixth Avenue SE. Complainant called to report her backyard neighbor was burning leaves. Officer arrived and observed a fire ring in the neighbor’s backyard with a small amount of smoke rising. There were a few small flames visible. Officer spoke to the homeowner who stated he was burning wood and admitted to throwing a couple pieces of cardboard in the fire. He was advised burning wood was fine but cardboard needed to be disposed of properly and he couldn’t burn yard refuse or garbage in his fire pit.

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Publisher/Owner Janelle Von Pinnon

Contributing Writer Cori Hilsgen

Editor Dennis Dalman

Design/Layout Tara Wiese

Advertising Sales Assistant Kathryn Bjorke Delivery Glen Lauer

P.O. Box 324 • 32 1st Ave. N.W. • St. Joseph, Minn. 56374 Phone (320) 363-7741 • Fax (320) 363-4195 • E-mail address: news@thenewsleaders.com POSTMASTER: Send address changes to ST. JOSEPH NEWSLEADER, P.O. Box 324, St. Joseph, MN 56374.


Friday, Dec. 13, 2013

Abbey

St. Joseph Newsleader • www.thenewsleaders.com

one of the world’s best-known attorneys who prosecutes cases of clergy abuse of children, including the case filed against from front page Hoefgen. though some complaints could “The release of this (abbey) not be substantiated. He said list is a big step forward,” he placing their names on the list said. “It’s the right thing to do, was a way for the Abbey to and it’s never too late to do “acknowledge pain suffered by the right thing. We are glad St. victims.” John’s released the list so comIn a similar development, munities are safer. This discloa lawsuit filed Dec. 9 against sure helps us and the survivors a priest in Duluth is calling come together because we all on that diocese to release the want the same thing – for kids names of 17 priests accused of to be protected and the truth to molesting minors. The lawsuit be known. This action is a step was filed by a man who claims in that direction.” he was sexually abused when Anderson and his clients he was a boy in that diocese in have almost always included the 1970s. in their lawsuits a demand that A legislative change earlier lists of offenders be published. this year removed the statute The names of the “likely” of limitations on sexual-abuse and “credible” offenders on the cases involving minors – thus, St. John’s Abbey list are the the spate of recent lawsuits by following: men who claim they’d been Those who are living: Miabused by clergy as long as 20 chael Bik, Richard Eckroth, and 30 years ago. Thomas Gillespie, Francis HoefNine of the monks on the gen (no longer a monk at the St. John’s Abbey list are liv- abbey), John Kelly (no longer ing there under supervised a monk at the abbey), Maiplans that forbid them contact ers, Finian McDonald, Dunstan with minors. Seven of the men Moorse, James Phillips, Frannamed on the list are deceased cisco Schulte and Allen Tarlton. and two are no longer members Those who are deceased: Anof the clergy and no longer have dre Bennett, Robert Blumeyer, anything to do with the abbey. Dahlheimer, Othmar Hohmann, Jeff Anderson of Anderson Dominic Keller, Pirmin Wendt and Associates, Twin Cities, is and Bruce Wollmering.

‘Give a Touch of Hope’ by Cori Hilsgen news@thenewsleaders.com

edy, loss and hardship,” Welz-Schulzetenberg said. “My family and I have always made Owners of the Retail Ther- it our goal to give back when apy Boutique invite the public possible.” to join them in donating to If you are interested in doa local non-profit organization nating, stop in at Retail Therapy called “Give a Touch of Hope.” during the week of Dec. 16-21. This organization anonymously People who make a donation donates small gifts of encour- toward this cause will receive a agement to those going through discount on their purchase. a difficult life event. For more information, conRetail Therapy owner Kayla tact the Retail Therapy BouWelz-Schulzetenberg said this tique at 320-557-0177. is truly one of the happiest times of the year, but she wants to help others who aren’t feeling happy. “My heart has been heavy thinking of the people who have been impacted by trag-

A ‘Very Merry Prep Christmas’ to help children in need Dec. 16

St. John’s Prep School’s Theatre Department presents a “Very Merry Prep Christmas” at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16 at the Stephen B. Humphrey Theater on the St. John’s University campus. Prep students will take the stage with a fun show packed with electrifying holiday entertainment, spectacular variety acts and lots of Christmas songs. Admission to the event is a new, unwrapped toy. All donations will be given to Catholic Charities’ Toys for Tots.

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4

ing,” Iten said. “It is only 200 steps from my back door to the door I enter at the Heritage Hall when going to work. It never entered my mind 50-plus years ago that I would one day be working at the Church of St. Joseph, but here I am, and I am enjoying my ministry. Maybe one day I will get that medal after all.” Sr. Julie Schleper grew up on a farm north of St. Joseph. Both of her parents had relatives at the monastery. She remembers attending Sunday Mass and purchasing pieces of penny candy from Linnemann’s Store afterward. Schleper said she always looked forward to the annual July 4th parish festival. She remembers receiving her sacraments in the parish and attending Saturday morning catechism classes taught by the Benedictine nuns. Schleper remembers, in 1951, learning about becoming a soldier when there were no female soldiers. “Sr. Brigitta Stang was the sixth-grade teacher and she taught us that by accepting the gift of confirmation, we would become ‘soldiers for Jesus Christ’,” Schleper said. “I recall three of us girls took her aside one day and asked her

contributed photo

Sr. Julie Schleper (right) visits with parishioner Jane Reber.

Sisters from front page Iten was director of faith formation in two parishes, worked in pastoral ministry for several years and was a chaplain at St. Cloud Hospital for 20 years. Since 2010, she has done pastoral ministry for the Church of St. Joseph. “Pastoral ministry is very compatible with a monastic way of life and working in a smaller parish in my own back/front yard is very appeal-

how we could become soldiers. Her immediate response to us was, ‘One way is to become a Benedictine Sister.’ Well, that I did seven years later.” Schleper attended her first three years of high school in the Holdingford district. Her greataunt, who was a nun, suggested to her parents she come and work at the monastery kitchen for the summer because she felt her parents needed the extra income. Schleper worked at the monastery kitchen for three summers and said she became aware of the nuns’ happiness. “I remembered my confirmation experience and felt the call to join the community,” Schleper said. “Therefore, I entered after my senior year, which I attended at St. Benedict’s.” She professed her vows in 1960. Schleper taught elementary students in diocesan schools for 15 years, six of those at the St. Joseph Lab School. She earned a master’s degrees in both elementary social studies and religious studies with an emphasis in Scripture. “After that, I felt a call to work more directly with adult faith formation,” Schleper said. She worked three years with the Little Falls Franciscan Sis-

Friday, Dec. 13, 2013

ters, eight years with the St. Cloud Diocesan Office, 10 years as director of St. Benedict’s Monastary Spirituality Center and 13 years as faith-formation director at the Catholic Church in Becker. She currently resides at St. Benedict’s Monastery in the Studium program working on several projects for adult faith formation. Throughout the years, about 60 women from St. Joseph have entered the monastery. Currently, there are five nuns who are from the parish. They are Srs. Schleper, Dalene Schindler, Martina Schindler, Theresa Lodermeier and Tamra Thomas. Thomas is the newest nun. She made first monastic profession this summer. The first nuns traveled from Bavaria to St. Cloud in 1857. They rented rooms from John Tenvoorde’s hall, teaching English, religion, music lessons, needlework, drawing and painting to support themselves. St. Mary’s parish restored the upper floor of their church, hoping the nuns would be asked to teach in St. Cloud. However, it was poorly constructed and very cold. Money was sent by King Ludwig of Bavaria to build a new convent for the nuns, but Abbot Boniface Wimmer used

the money to purchase land for his monks. After struggling for six years, the nuns accepted an invitation from Father Bruno Riess, OSB, from the parish in St. Joseph (then known as Clinton) to give them a home and teaching positions. Seven nuns and two candidates moved to St. Joseph in 1863. At the time, the parish consisted of a log church and a small attached house that served as the school and parsonage. The school operated as a district school, run by a school board. After a year, the board turned the school over to lay staff, leaving the nuns in a bind. They had no income, could not teach at the school and owed $1,700 for their lodging. People in the area had just endured the grasshopper plagues and had very little they could offer the nuns. At first, the nuns tried to live a cloistered life as they had in Bavaria, but could not do that if they wanted to teach the country children. They were often forced to travel from farm to farm begging to survive. They earned a small income from choir work and sewing and doing laundry for the monks of St. John’s Abbey. The heavy physical work was hard on the nuns. In 1863, the bishop of St. Paul put the convent under the patronage of St. Joseph. It became known as “St. Joseph’s Convent and Academy.” The prior of St. John’s remembered the money Abbot Wimmer had taken and compensated the nuns by building a new convent building for them. The three-story building adjoined the church and parsonage. In 1868, Abbot Rupert Seidenbusch turned the school back over to the nuns. They once again taught school and also boarded some students who lived long distances away. The 150 years of the Sisters’ influence in St. Joseph surrounds the city. After very meager beginnings, the Sisters continue to thrive and prosper.

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Local authors write ‘Dance with the Elephant’ book by Cori Hilsgen news@thenewsleaders.com

With a title like “Dance with the Elephant: Life’s Cosmic Equation,” readers might wonder what they are going to be reading when they pick up this book, but they will soon find their interest piqued. Written by Duane Kuss and Don Calhoun, the book is a self-help, self-discovery workshop in a book. It’s designed to connect the reader with the universal principles and natural forces in the world that shape their ideas of reality and who they think they are. The elephant in life is the emotional secret everyone knows about but nobody wants to discuss. Things such as traumatic events, illness, death and other things. Often, these secrets which are never discussed cause irritation and bitterness in the unconscious mind. Eventually, they become roadblocks in people’s lives and limit options and choices they make. The secrets prevent people from reaching for and achieving their cosmic destiny. A reader’s journey through the book guides them to ways of spirited dance-with-life events. Readers will begin to understand in order to dance with the elephant they must dig deeper to find the “me” of life, and then they can dance in harmony with the “we” of life. The book helps readers understand who they are, their purpose in life and the difference their lives will make. Readers will get out of the

book what they put into it. To connect with readers, Kuss and Calhoun share some of their own personal stories which are woven into a simple equation for living a better life called “Life’s Cosmic Equation.” Life’s Cosmic Equation: Creative Power plus Reflective Choice plus Faith multiplied by Time equals Life’s Cosmic Legacy. The book includes inspirational photos and quotes from world philosophers. The questions asked in the book and the reader’s answers will provide a map to their futures. It encourages readers to make a choice to be true to themselves and to connect with those they love and cherish. Joy can be discovered in the reader’s journey to grow and connect with others. Kuss grew up in northeast Minneapolis. His father was an auto mechanic and his mother was a bookkeeper. In order to pay for his college education, he pumped gas, hauled sheetrock, played in a weekend rock band and other things. He has experienced 16 different professions in the past five decades. He and his wife, Bette, are the owners of WOW Training and Media Co. in Cold Spring. According to Kuss, many people jump on the treadmill of life just out of high school and never stop along the way to ask what life is really about. “I teach people to recognize their connection to everything around them even when society is headed the opposite direction,” Kuss said. Calhoun is a memorial coun-

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selor who deals with the emotions and anxieties people experience after the loss of a loved one. He is the president of Murphy Granite Carving Inc. in Richmond, which produces cemetery memorials throughout the upper Midwestern United States. Because of his career and having grown up with a legally blind mother who battled brain cancer, he has many stories to share. Calhoun said life sometimes just simply “sucks” and the sooner people can learn from those moments, the closer they can get to understanding their destinies and legacies. “I help people understand they control the steering wheel of their life even when everyone else is trying to drive the car,” Calhoun said. The two met in 2006 as members of a local civic group. Calhoun became Kuss’s client and they developed a friendship. In 2008, Calhoun heard about a new support group idea called “Circle of Trust.” The two men formed a COT group with two other members. They met monthly to talk about their personal dreams, challenges, accomplishments and struggles. The topic of writing a book kept resurfacing at their COT meetings. Calhoun thought his stories based on working with grieving people would be an interesting topic. People often have a difficult time expressing their grief and supporting each other after a death. Calhoun has a talent for creating warm connections with clients in minutes. They often

contributed photo

Duane Kuss and Don Calhoun have written a self-discovery book called “Dance with the Elephant: Life’s Cosmic Equation.” They will hold a book-signing event from 3-7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14 at the Grande Depot on Highway 23. share their life stories with him and he is able to put that story on a monument. Kuss is a technology and internet guru who provides video and online marketing solutions to clients. Through his online research, he discovered an in-

novative approach to writing a book that could be done in 30 days. In the fall of 2011, during a COT meeting, Kuss approached Calhoun about actually writing the book. They agreed to meet Authors • page 8

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St. Joseph Newsleader • www.thenewsleaders.com

6

Friday, Dec. 13, 2013

Opinion Our View

List of ‘likely’ abusers a step in right direction

Even though we knew it was imminent, the release of a list about priests and monks who had “likely” sexually abused children is still a shocker. It’s one thing to hear nameless statistics about clergy abuse, but it’s quite another to see this list of names, actual men who used their positions of authority to prey upon trusting boys or girls. For many years, reports of clergy abuse were hidden in the shadows of parishes, and abusers were often transferred to other parishes or sent for psychological counseling out East, with some of them returning to parishes throughout the nation, where they continued their patterns of sexual and physical abuse. Here in central Minnesota, which has always been predominantly Catholic, this never-ending news of clergy abuse is sad news, indeed. Think of all of the good, kind and loving clergy who would never so much as consider harming a child, and then think how those good people who “wear the collar” have been tainted somewhat through guilt-by-association and clouds of suspicion in the minds of parishioners and the public at large. It’s an example of rotten apples spoiling the barrel. This clergy abuse, so often hushed up and unreported to the public, has gone on for many decades and most probably longer than that. In the “old” days, children most often did not report such abuse for fear of embarrassment or fear of not being believed. And, in fact, many times parents and others did not believe those children, thinking mistakenly no clergyman would ever stoop to such a sin, such a crime. The Catholic Church, based in Vatican City in Rome, is one of the oldest religious institutions in world history, nearly 2,000 years old. However, even many of its popes lived in denial, refusing to acknowledge child abuse was a problem worldwide within the shadowy recesses of the churches. In recent years, progress has been made. More cases have been reported, and many offenders have had to face the consequences of their crimes against children. More Catholic leaders, including the new Pope Francis, have vowed to deal strictly and immediately with reports of child abuse. Printing lists of those who “likely” abused is a step in the right direction. But it’s not enough. Policies must be implemented and then enforced to assure every report of child abuse at the hands of clergy will be reported and dealt with through civilian law agencies, not just within the church in a hush-hush manner. As one of the world’s great institutions, the Catholic Church must purge and cleanse itself, to renew its vows to protect its parishioners, including – of course – its children. Adopting a zero-tolerance policy toward abuse would renew the Catholic Church and give it and all involved with it a renewal of spiritual unity and strength.

Fairness and ethics

Newsleader staff members have the responsibility to report news fairly and accurately and are accountable to the public. Readers who feel we’ve fallen short of these standards are urged to call the Newsleader office at 363-7741. If matters cannot be resolved locally, readers are encouraged to take complaints to the Minnesota News Council, an independent agency designed to improve relationships between the public and the media and resolve conflicts. The council office may be reached at 612-341-9357.

Goodbye, Mandela: ‘When will we ever learn?’ Why does it take this slow world so long to learn the lessons taught by visionaries like Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela? That lesson, briefly, is this: That violence begets violence and leads to misery; that peace when given a chance can have happy results for all. You would think after all the wars, border conflicts, nationalist eruptions and savage killings in the past century, people everywhere would shout, “Enough!” But butchery continues. There is a grisly list of conflicts, post World War II, whose very names conjure up unimaginable horrors: China, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Chile, Nigeria, Algeria, Uganda, Ethiopia, Bosnia-Serbia-Croatia, terrorist attacks, Darfur . . . well, there is virtually no end to this grim litany of slaughter. South Africa could easily have turned into a major bloodbath. Apartheid, an evil form of segregation, had brought about vicious behavior from the white police goons who enforced that system of oppression. Apartheid, like many oppressive forms of governance in Africa, was a direct result of the years of colonial dictatorships imposed by European powers on that vast continent. What is so amazing – even to the point of “miraculous” – is that three of the greatest leaders of all time emerged to save the day: Ghandi in British-dominated India, King in the Jim Crow racist American South and Mandela in South Africa. What they all had in common was a passionate, fearless commitment to non-violence in their finest hours. All three were indeed visionaries, and yet they were not starry-eyed dreamers. On the contrary, they were rigorously practical, dealing with ev-

Dennis Dalman Editor er-changing social and political realities on a day-to-day basis. They didn’t willy-nilly wish peace into existence; they made it happen through negotiations based on sheer strength of character – namely, their courage, integrity and compassion. Mandela said, “Your freedom and mine cannot be separated.” He also said something about hatred being like someone drinking poison while hoping it will kill the enemy. What Ghandi, King and Mandela all had in common, most of all, was their deep understanding of how forms of oppression and violence harm both the victims and the perpetrators. They knew it’s the victims who suffer most directly, most hideously. But they also understood freedom can also “free” the perpetrators from their own system-imposed behaviors. People who commit violence against their fellow human beings turn into crippled, twisted, self-loathing people. There are exceptions, such as the lineup of notorious sociopathic monsters in history, who never feel any guilt or shame. However, in general, people understand on some level it’s not normal or acceptable to treat others with contempt and the use of violence just to maintain an imposed “system.” How in the world could Mandela become such a serene and forgiving man after spending 27 cruel years in prison? He was also painfully aware of how many of his people had been

persecuted, tortured and killed by the apartheid powers that be. How could he not have longed for the bloodiest of vengeance should he ever be freed from prison? But he didn’t. Instead, he somehow channeled those years of suffering into a force for good, knowing revenge would just cause more suffering and death for everyone involved in an eruptive conflict, most of all among the victims of apartheid. Mandela often said the success of democracy in South Africa was the result of many people and many forces. That is true. World pressure on the apartheid regime had a salutary shaming effect on those in power. Two of the reasons for that shaming effect were the visions and realities brought into the world by those two other great pioneers for peace: Ghandi and King, and long before them, great American author-philosopher Henry David Thoreau – he of “Walden’s Pond” who advocated non-violence as a force for social and political change. Thoreau was a direct influence on Ghandi, King and Mandela. One of the classic folk songs from the 1960s is “Where Have All the Flower Gone?” It’s so famous even now most people are aware of its haunting refrain. The singer asks where have all the flowers gone, girls gone, soldiers gone, graveyards gone? To which, after every question, is another persistent question: “Oh, when will they ever learn? Oh, when will they ever learn?” As the great Nelson Mandela is laid to rest after 95 heroic years in this weary world, we should be actively seeking an answer to that urgent question, “Oh, when will we ever learn?”

Letter to editor

‘Where’s the beef?’ in McDonald’s sign variance Nancy Ebel and Lynn Valek St. Joseph The McDonald’s Corp. has filed a request with the city of St. Joseph to erect a new 40-foot sign on their property on Highway 75. (The current city ordinance for business signs in St. Joseph is 15 feet.) The St. Joseph Planning Commission voted (3-2) on Dec. 2 to forward this request to the St. Joseph City Council for approval. The owners of the restaurant stated because business is lackluster they need a taller sign for greater visibility. The planning commission debated the pros and cons of a taller sign, understandably wanting businesses in St. Joseph to succeed. However, the question that never came up in the conversation was whether or not the visibility of the restaurant was really the reason for the sluggish business. Is the reason that business is slow is that people

do not know there is a McDonald’s in town (despite the most recognized logo in the world and a billboard or two announcing their presence)? Or is it that the economy is slow; or that the fast-food market in St. Joseph is saturated? It seems before the city council approves this request and overrides the city ordinance, there should be some research or “beef” to back up this assumption. Otherwise a sign may be erected (and the city’s ordinance thrown to the wind) that will not even address the problem at hand. If the city council does approve this request, what will this mean for other businesses in St. Joseph that have complied with the 15-foot sign ordinance? Will other businesses want to raise their signs? How can the city say no to others if they approve a sign for McDonald’s? Also, how will a tall sign (that is designed to be seen above the trees) affect the people that

live nearby? Is it pleasing to look out of your kitchen window at a fast-food sign? Will it negatively affect their property values? Perhaps the issue is indeed the McDonald’s restaurant is hard to see. Maybe the planning commission could be creative in coming up with alternative solutions, such as signs at the edge of town directing people to local restaurants (i.e. McDonald’s .5 mile on the right), or a sign at the edge of the road or a compromised sign height. This upcoming decision by the city council (Thursday, Dec. 19 meeting at 7 p.m.) is not just about one sign; it has ramifications for the whole look of the Highway 75 corridor. To start placing signs above the tree line gives a certain look to the town. Is this the look we want, or is it somehow possible to have both an attractive and prosperous business corridor?

Please keep letters to editor short and sweet, 350 words or less Newsleader staff members encourage those who wish to express a viewpoint to write a letter to the editor, but please limit the amount of words to 350 or less. Also, if more than one letter on the same subject matter is submitted for publication on any given week, the Newsleader has the right to choose which one is published. However, all letters to editor,

if they meet publication standards, will appear on our website at www.thenewsleaders.com. Each writer is allowed to submit a letter to editor once a month. The Newsleader reserves the right to approve or deny publication of any submission. Letters that are libelous will not be published.

All statistics and assertions of fact in letters should be accompanied by documentation as to where those statistics/ facts were derived. Letter writers can attribute those sources within the letter to editor or in an accompanying note submitted with the letter.


St. Joseph Newsleader • www.thenewsleaders.com

Friday, Dec. 13, 2013 Friday, Dec. 13 Blood drive, 8 a.m.-2 p.m., American Red Cross, 1301 W. St.. Germain St., St. Cloud. 1-800-733-2767. Holiday Party, 6:30-9:30 p.m., 5-, 6-, 7-grade students, entertainment, dancing, games, prize drawings, food, drink and more, Rockville Parish Center, Broadway Street, Rockville. Saturday, Dec. 14 Christmas cookie, candy and gift sale, 9:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m., today and Sunday, Dec. 15, 9-10:30 a.m., Immaculate Conception Church, 145 2nd Ave. NE, Rice, 320-393-2725. Sartell Farmers’ Winter Market, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Sartell City Hall, 125 Pinecone Road N. Holiday Shopping Expo & Craft Fair, 10 a.m.-2 p.m, Avon Elementary School, 410 Avon Ave., Avon. Holiday Shopping Expo/Craft Show, 10 a.m.-3 p.m, Westwood Church, 5719 Walnut Dr., St. Cloud, 320-333-2004. Wreaths For the Fallen, 11 a.m. ceremony starts, 11:20 a.m. wreath placement on each veteran’s grave, Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery, Little Falls. 218-829-6622. www. WreathsForTheFallen.org. Sunday, Dec. 15

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Community Calendar

Great River Chorale “Gloria”, 3 p.m., St. Mary’s Cathedral, 25 8th Ave. S., St. Cloud, 320-515-4472. Monday, Dec. 16 Blood drive, noon-6 p.m., American Red Cross, 1301 W. St.. Germain St., St. Cloud. 1-800-733-2767. St. Joseph Rod and Gun Club meeting, 7 p.m., American Legion in St. Joseph. “A Very Merry Prep Christmas,” 7 p.m., festive variety show presented by the St. John’s Prep Theater Department. Admission is donation of a new, unwrapped toy for Catholic Charities Toys for Tots. Stephen B. Humphrey Theater, St. John’s University campus, Collegeville, 320-363-3112.

Tuesday, Dec. 17 55+ Driver Improvement program (eight-hour first-time course), 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Life Assembly of God, 2409 Clearwater Road, St. Cloud. 1-888-234-1294. Blood drive, noon-6 p.m., Moose Lodge, 1300 3rd St. N., Waite Park. 1-800-733-2767. Forever Fit, a senior fitness class, 1:30 p.m., exercise for older adults adaptable for all fitness levels. Church of St. Joseph Parish Center,

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St. Joseph. 320-363-4588. 55+ Driver Improvement program (four-hour refresher course), 5-9 p.m., Apollo High School, 100 44th Ave. N., St. Cloud, 1-888-2341294. St. Stephen Lighting Contest Night, 6 p.m., Chrismas songs and cocoa, 6:30 board bus to look at the Christmas lights, return to vote for lighting contest winners, City Hall, 2 6th Ave. SE, St. Stephen.

Wednesday, Dec. 18 Drawn to Christmas, 6:30 p.m., Pastor Paul Oman will paint a largerthan-life size mural of various Advent stories before your eyes. Free event, donations of new socks, hats, mittens and food shelf items will be collected. Super Supper served from 5-6:30 pm. Celebration Lutheran Church, 1500 Pine Cone Rd., Sartell.

Saturday, Dec. 21 Community meal, 11 a.m.2 p.m., hot chicken meal available

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Thursday, Dec. 19 Coffee and Conversation, a senior discussion group, 9 a.m., Country Manor, Sartell. 55+ Driver Improvement program (four-hour refresher course), noon-4 p.m., Salem Lutheran Church, 90 Riverside Drive SE, St. Cloud, 1-888-234-1294.

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St. Joseph Newsleader • www.thenewsleaders.com

8

All Saints Academy to present ‘Legend of the Christmas King’

Friday, Dec. 13, 2013

by Cori Hilsgen news@thenewsleaders.com

Students have been busy practicing their songs for the story that revolves around Artaban (Artie) as he travels to Bethlehem in search of the newborn King of Kings. Along the way he is joined by an angel, Mortimer, who helps him. During the journey they meet some people who are in need, and Artie misses the birth of Jesus but learns about the importance of helping others. The performance will be held Thursday, Dec. 19 at the College of St. Benedict Escher Auditorium in the Benedicta Arts Center. The prelude begins at 5:45 p.m, the preschoolers will sing at 6:15 p.m., the school band performs at 6:30 p.m. and the program will start at 7 p.m. The concert is free. Food-shelf donations will be collected.

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contributed photo

All Saints Academy sixth-grade students (kneeling, left to right) Levi Posch, Rachael Terhaar and Carter Botz; (standing left to right) Lance Harren, Anthony Botz, Will Medvec, Andrew Weisser, Kian SiaSu, Clair Kissela and Lucy Hawkins rehearse for a performance of “The Legend of the Christmas King.” The performance will be held Tuesday, Dec. 17 at the Escher Auditorium.

Authors from page 5

Recycle your old compute r/l for FRE aptop E!

Blak

eT every Thursday morning at 5 Repair hoennes Specia a.m. If they weren’t happy aflist ter four weeks, they would stop Blake Thoennes meeting. Kuss and Calhoun U ntil the Repair Specialist wrote the book in two years end of July, 2 and plan to write several more. 012 www.co mputer “Dance with the Elephant: repairu nlimite Life’s Cosmic Equation” is d.com • Blake available at Amazon.com. Kuss @comp uterrep and Calhoun will hold a bookairunlim ited.co signing event from 3-7 p.m. m Saturday, Dec. 14 at the Grande www.computerrepairunlimited.com • Blake@computerrepairunlimited.com Depot on Highway 23.

Deskto

ps $50

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Offering Services to Set Up New Devices


St. Joseph V24 I49