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April 26, 2012
Sharing the good news Catholic Relief Services’ new president wants to partner with more U.S. Catholics as agency works to improve the lives of people in need overseas By Joe Towalski The Catholic Spirit
Carolyn Woo, the new president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services, knows something about the challenges facing refugees uprooted from their lives because of conflict, disaster or poverty. She knows because she comes from a family of refugees herself. Her parents fled China during the communist revolution following World War II and started a new life in Hong Kong — albeit not without some challenges. “We lived in a world in which everybody lost so much,” Woo recalled in an April 18 interview with The Catholic Spirit during a visit to Minnesota. “A lot of these Chinese immigrants didn’t even speak English in a colony [at the Please turn to RELIEF on page 23A
Photo illustration by Dianne Towalski
Protecting religious liberty
Catholics urged to join in ‘fortnight for freedom’ Catholic News Service
teaching and witness for religious liberty.” American Catholics must resist unjust laws “as a duty of citizenship Made public April 12, the docand an obligation of faith,” a committee of the U.S. bishops said in a ument was approved by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Adnew statement on religious liberty. ministrative Committee during its March meeting for Titled “Our First, Most Cherished Liberty,” the 12publication as a committee statement. page statement by the Ad Hoc Committee on Religious The document quotes from the Second Vatican CounPrayer breakfast Liberty also calls for “a fortnight for freedom” from cil’s “Declaration on Religious Liberty,” stating that “the also focuses June 21, the vigil of the feasts of St. John Fisher and St. human person has a right to religious freedom. This on issue Thomas More, to July 4, U.S. Independence Day. freedom means that all men are to be immune from — Page 10A coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups “This special period of prayer, study, catechesis and and of any human power, in such wise that in matters public action would emphasize both our Christian and American heritage of liberty,” the committee said. “Dioceses and religious no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his parishes around the country could choose a date in that period for PLEASE TURN TO STATEMENT ON PAGE 12A special events that would constitute a great national campaign of
APRIL 26, 2012 • THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT
Beware of ‘secular Catholicism’
That They May All Be One Archbishop John C. Nienstedt
This movement is more a social religion than a religion that comes from a deeply seated faith in Jesus Christ
I hope you had a joy-filled Easter! A priest friend of mine from Detroit gave a most thought-provoking and challenging homily to his parishioners on Easter Sunday. I found his description of a “secular Catholicism” to be quite perceptive. He also commented on the impact that this movement is having on our college-age sons and daughters and how imperative it is that we communicate to them the beautiful truths of our faith, especially regarding human sexuality, marriage and human life. I share his homily here with you in the hopes that you will find it equally stimulating:
“Jesus is Lord” This was a particularly difficult homily for me to prepare. I wanted all of you to embrace the resurrection of Jesus Christ . . . and with it, his victory over sin and death without reflecting on a single negative. The more I thought about it, the more I was convinced that you and I must confront a kind of spiritual death that is embracing our church and our society. For some time now, there has been a secular Catholicism which has been slowly replacing the passionate, strong and enduring faith that many of us received from our parents. Secular Catholicism is more a social religion than a religion that comes from a deeply seated faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God. It invites people to have a causal relationship with the Catholic Church . . . a church Jesus founded for us as a gift for all ages. Secular Catholics are casual about many things. They are casual about church attendance, casual about the importance of a prayer life, casual about the commandments, casual about authentic church teaching and casual in the ways they pass faith on to their children. It doesn’t seem to be so bad when we hear the word casual. Yet, it is bad because when one generation falls into that trap, the generations that follow have even less faith or no faith at all . . . and the church is diminished. So why is this important enough to take time and space in my Easter homily? The answer is simple. There is spiritual warfare going
The Catholic Spirit The Catholic Spirit’s mission is to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. It seeks to inform, educate, evangelize and foster a spirit of community within the Catholic Church by disseminating news in a professional manner and serving as a forum for discussion of contemporary issues.
Vol. 17 — No. 8 MOST REVEREND JOHN C. NIENSTEDT Publisher BOB ZYSKOWSKI Associate publisher
“Secular Catholics are casual about many things. . . . It doesn’t seem to be so bad when we hear the word casual. Yet, it is bad because when one generation falls into that trap, the generations that follow have even less faith or no faith at all . . . and the church is diminished.
FROM AN EASTER HOMILY
on in our church and in our society and, as faithful Catholics, you ought to know about it. This year I re-read parts of Dinesh D’Souza’s book “What’s So Great About Christianity?” In that book he warns about a new atheism that is infecting our society as a whole, but, more importantly, it is affecting many of our young people in colleges and universities. In his chapter “Mis-Educating the Young: Saving Children From Their Parents” he says, “The atheist strategy can be described in this way. Let the religious people breed them, and we will educate them to despise their parents’ beliefs.” When I was growing up, there was only one prominent atheist, Madelyn Murray O’Hair. Back then, every Catholic, indeed every Christian, ignored her as an PLEASE TURN TO WE ON PAGE 11A
Ten men will be ordained transitional deacons May 5 Ten men will be ordained as transitional deacons by Archbishop John Nienstedt during a Mass at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 5, at the Basilica of St. Mary, 88 17th St. N. in Minneapolis. The nine men who will be ordained as transitional deacons for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis are: Leonard Werner Andrie, Andrew Ronald Brinkman, John Matthew Drees, Joah Timothy Ellis, Andrew Michael Jaspers, Luke Charles Marquard, Brian James Park, James Elliot Peterson and Andrew Bernard Stueve. Manuel Gerardo Gomez Reza also will be ordained May 5 for the Diocese of Rockford, Ill. Seminarians are ordained to the transitional diaconate before their last year of preparation for ordination to the priesthood. St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Mankato, MN has a FT opening for a Pastoral Associate position. The Pastoral Associate will collaborate with the Pastor in providing leadership in parish-wide faith formation and pastoral ministry. Complete application details and requirements can be found at: WWW. STJOHNSCATHOLICCHURCH.COM. Application deadline: May 15, 2012. Send resume and cover letter to: St. John the Baptist Church, Attn: Fr. John Kunz, 632 South Broad Street, Mankato, MN 56001. Resumes and cover letters may be faxed to (507) 625-3270 or emailed to JKUNZ@HICKORYTECH.NET.
Hearing Tests Set for Senior Citizens Announcement — Free electronic hearing tests will be given all next week Monday thru Friday from 9 am to 4 pm. The tests have been arranged for anyone who suspects they are not hearing clearly. People who generally feel they can hear, but cannot understand words clearly are encouraged to come in for the test, which uses the latest electronic equipment. Everyone, especially those over age 55 should have an electronic hearing test once
a year. Demonstrations of the latest devices to improve clarity of speech will be programmed using a computer to your particular needs — on the spot — after the tests. See (and HEAR) for yourself if newlydeveloped methods of correction will help you understand words better. Tests will be performed at one of 20 convenient Greater Twin Cities Avada Hearing Care locations.
www.avada.com ©2012 HHM, Inc. 304
JOE TOWALSKI Editor
Materials credited to CNS copyrighted by Catholic News Service. All other materials copyrighted by Catholic Spirit Publishing Company. Subscriptions: $29.95 per year Senior 1-year: $24.95 To subscribe: (651) 291-4444 Display Advertising: (651) 291-4444 Classified advertising: (651) 290-1631 Published bi-weekly by the Catholic Spirit Publishing Company, a non-profit Minnesota Corporation, 244 Dayton Ave., St. Paul, MN 55102 (651) 291-4444, FAX (651) 291-4460. Periodicals postage paid at St. Paul, MN, and additional post offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to The Catholic Spirit, 244 Dayton Ave., St. Paul, MN 55102. www.TheCatholicSpirit.com e-mail: email@example.com USPS #093-580
54th Franciscan International Award Dinner May 10, 2012 • 6-9 p.m. Royal Cliff Banquet Facility 2280 Cliff Road • Eagan, MN
Fr. Jan Michael Joncas for his Contributions to Liturgy and Sacred Music Tickets $50.00 Individual; $125.00 Sponsor (for 2 persons); $250.00 Patron (for 2 persons) Sponsors and Patrons’ names appear in the program, if they wish.
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in all copies of this issue.
“Catholic schools have served the mission of this local church by giving children a solid formation in the faith that is fully integrated with an excellent academic education.” Archbishop John Nienstedt
Local News from around the archdiocese
APRIL 26, 2012
The Catholic Spirit
St. Raphael School, Crystal
54 years straight: a Koshiol family tradition By Dave Hrbacek The Catholic Spirit
For Fritz and Gerry Koshiol, it all started on a spring night in 1958. Their twin boys, Pat and Mike, were ready to start school, and it was time to register. Having gotten married in a Catholic church in St. Cloud, it was natural to want to send their children to a Catholic school in the Twin Cities, where they had moved shortly after their wedding in 1949. But enrolling their children at St. Raphael School in Crystal, less than a block from where they lived, was not as easy as just calling the school and saying they wanted two spots in the first grade for their boys. “First, we had to register and stand in line overnight to get our kids in the school,” Gerry recalled. “He [Fritz] came at midnight and waited in line [until registration opened later that morning]. It was first come, first serve.”
Memories and emotions Little did Fritz and Gerry realize at the time that getting the boys into the school that fall would begin a streak of 54 consecutive years of a Koshiol family member attending the school, a fact the family plans to celebrate at the parish in the coming months. All 11 of their children went there, and 12 of their grandchildren have walked the hallways of the school as well. The streak will end on June 1, when eighth-grader Nicole Miller, daughter of Maria, the eighth child, completes her last day of classes. Come September, she will join her older sister, Ashley, also a St. Raphael graduate, at Totino-Grace High
Dave Hrbacek / The Catholic Spirit
Nicole Miller, left, is set to graduate in June from St. Raphael School in Crystal, where she is now an eighth-grader. Her exit will conclude a 54-year streak spanning two generations of members of her family attending the school. Taking part in that
School in Fridley. As Fritz, Gerry, three of their children who have sent their offspring to St. Raphael and Nicole gathered recently at the school to talk about the significance
legacy are, second from left, her grandparents, Gerry and Fritz Koshiol, her mother, Maria Miller, and uncles Pat and Dan Koshiol, both of whom sent their children to the school in addition to going there themselves.
of the streak, a flurry of class photos and memories surfaced — and some emotions as well. In typical teenager fashion, Nicole at first brushed off the meaning of it all, then said,
“I think it’s cool that I’m the last person.” Her mother, however, is struggling with some stronger feelings. PLEASE TURN TO FAMILY ON PAGE 8A
IRE L AND: the other
With Father Dennis Dempsey
by it red pir nso ic S Spo Cathol The
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September 21 — October 2, 2012 For further information, please contact:
Martie McMahon The Catholic Spirit Phone: 651-291-4441 firstname.lastname@example.org also go to: TheCatholicSpirit.com/ExploreIreland
THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT â€˘ APRIL 26, 2012
Marriage, Family and Life director is from Familia and St. Albert parish in Albertville By Julie Carroll The Catholic Spirit
Four ACCW women to be feted The Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women will honor four women who have been involved in the organization during the 80th Biennial ACCW Conference May 3 at the Hilton Hotel in Minneapolis.
served with the choir and the youth group. She is on the parish council and facilitates the Virtus Training Program. She was married for more than 33 years, raised a family and worked outside the home.
The 2012 ACCW Lay Women Awards winners are: Belva Brown from St. Patrick in Shieldsville, Camille Curtiss from St. George in Long Lake, Maria Schloesser from St Patrick in Inver Grove Heights, and Carrie Theisen from St. Henry in Monticello.
Maria Schloesser is a charter member of St. Patrickâ€™s CCW and currently serves as its secretary. In the parish, she is a eucharistic minister, hospitality minister, adoration minister and more. A single, retired woman, she takes projects to her 90year-old father to give him an opportunity to help with the parish faith formation program.
Belva Brown has served in every CCW position at St. Patrick. She has taught religious education classes, served funeral lunches, is a eucharistic minister and participates in the annual Passion play. The mother of eight, who has been married for 52 years, is a member of the American Legion, KC Auxiliary and the Red Hat Society. Camille Curtiss has served in various ministries at St. George for more than 20 years. She attends weekly eucharistic adoration, has taught confirmation and
Carrie Theisen is a past CCW officer at St. Henry and a former Northwest Deanery officer. She is a eucharistic minister, a parish council member, a sacristan at the local senior care center and a Cursillo sponsor. She has served on the community education board and helped start the local Birthright program. She has been active in her sonâ€™s hockey association and hosted foreign exchange students and other groups.
The big questions.
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has hired Jean Stolpestad as director of the Office of Marriage, Family and Life. Stolpestad, who started her position on April 16, served for 17 years as communications director of Familia, a nonprofit organization promoting marriage and family life. STOLPESTAD Stolpestad also trained parish leaders in her former role as grassroots coordinator for the Minnesota Catholic Conferenceâ€™s marriage amendment initiative. She is a member of the National Association of Catholic Family Life Ministers. â€œI grew up in a beautiful family, and when I went to college I realized that not everyone had a similar experience. There is a lot of pain and brokenness in families,â€? Stolpestad said about why she pursued the position. â€œI wanted to help people have an experience or an understanding of Godâ€™s plan for families, the beauty and strength that is an inherent part of family life. . . .â€? â€œRight now, the family is seriously under attack,â€? she said. â€œThe fragmentation and the loss of family identity is at the heart of our social ills. Strong families, based on marriage between a man and a
woman, reflect the Trinitarian love of God. In order to have a culture which protects life [and] cares for the poor and the marginalized, we must have a culture based on the family.â€?
Family is â€˜school of loveâ€™ â€œThe family is the school of love,â€? she added. â€œItâ€™s the center, where we learn authentic charity, where we have our first experiences of faith, and our culture needs that. If we plan to make an impact, then we have to start with the foundation, strengthening the basic unit of society, . . . the family, and thatâ€™s why I came here.â€? She said she wants to build on the â€œconstancy and depthâ€? of the Office of Marriage, Family and Life, which prepares couples for marriage, provides outreach to youth and young adults, and promotes respect for life, among other things. Stolpestad has been married to her husband, Craig, for 30 years. The couple have three sons: Adam, 27; Andrew, 22; and Austin, 17. She is a parishioner at St. Albert in Albertville, where she volunteers with adult faith formation and sings in the choir. â€œIâ€™ve witnessed the beauty of families in our area, and itâ€™s been a really strong influence on my faith,â€? Stolpestad said. â€œI understand the people here. Theyâ€™re incredible. They face a lot of challenges, but thereâ€™s so much goodness.â€? Stolpestad replaces Kathy Laird, who served as director of the office for 14 years before her retirement last December.
Tell us about a really good Catholic owner, manager, supervisor, boss, and weâ€™ll tell everybody else. Every year for the past 10 years, The Catholic Spirit has honored people in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis for bringing their faith to the marketplace. More than 100 people â€” from bankers to gas station owners to social work supervisors â€” have received The Catholic Spiritâ€™s Leading With Faith Awards.
Can you help this year? Graduate Studies in Theology Masterâ€™s degree and certiďŹ cates for women and men who want to engage in a dynamic exploration of Christian thought. s !DD AN INSPIRATIONAL DIMENSION TO YOUR PROFESSIONAL AND PERSONAL LIFE
Nominating is easy. Contact Mary Gibbs â€“ 651-251-7709 or email@example.com â€“ and weâ€™ll send you a nomination form. The form is available online, too. Click on the Leading With Faith logo on WWW.THECATHOLICSPIRIT.COM and print one for yourself. Fill out the nomination form as completely as you can, and weâ€™ll take it from there.
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The Catholic Spirit News with a Catholic heart.
APRIL 26, 2012 • THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT
Future Full of Hope “A presenter showed a chart of how people are groomed into kind of a certain milieu and a certain way of speaking and a certain way of doing things that really relate to economic class. I had always thought about social class, but I hadn’t looked at it from that point of view. . . .” ANNE ATTEA Pastoral associate
“I didn’t understand Hispanics very well. We had topics on different races, and I took away that . . . I have to learn how to understand their culture just as much as they have to learn to understand my culture. And I learned that they have kind hearts. . . .” LINDA GOYNES Parishioner for three years
Parish leadership program brings together people from diverse backgrounds, cultures By Julie Carroll
parish has been home to many different immigrant groups over the years. “For I know well the plans I “We have been working at have in mind for you — oracle creating intercultural commuof the LORD — plans for your nication probably Ascension’s welfare and not for woe, so as whole 110-year history, being to give you a future of hope.” an immigrant parish,” Attea — Jeremiah 29:11 said, “but more intensively I’d what WORKS say the past 10 to 15 years with Lois Fulton is a bridge-builder, the establishment of the weekly or in Spanish “gente puente,” Spanish Mass and the history of having an as they’re called at Ascension in north MinAfrican-American congregation as well as neapolis. Irish and German root folks as well as inA bilingual speaker who has lived in coming Africans.” Guatemala, she is especially suited to bring After welcoming people from St. Philip together people from Ascension’s diverse last June, Ascension became even more dicommunity of parishioners — Latinos, verse, with an influx of Catholics of Polish Africans, people of European descent, longand African descent. time members and new members like herself While the changing faces at Ascension rewho migrated to the parish after nearby St. flect north Minneapolis’ diversity, it is lanPhilip merged with Ascension last year. guage, rather than ethnicity, that has preFulton, 30, is one of about 20 Ascension sented the greatest challenge to creating a parishioners taking part in a new leadership unified community at Ascension, Attea said. program called Future Full of Hope, designed Today, Latinos — mostly from Mexico, to strengthen community by encouraging but also from other countries — make up all members to share their gifts with the the majority at the parish. Many of them parish. Last Thursday, Fulton gathered with other speak only Spanish or limited English. To bring the two language communities parishioners of different ages and ethnicities together, the parish offers bilingual Masses to share a meal, pray together and listen to several times a year and provides interpreters a talk on liturgy. at parish events. A few months ago, most of the people in Ascension’s efforts at creating an interculthat room were strangers. Now, through their shared experiences in the program, tural parish seem to be paying off, Attea has noticed. they see each other as friends. “We have seen a much greater participaAll parishioners were invited to join the tion of folks from all our different ethnic group, which began meeting twice a month groups coming together to put on events,” last October for spiritual, theological and personal formation. At each gathering, par- she said. “We’ve always had good participaticipants listened to talks and participated tion, but now in terms of the leadership and in discussions on topics such as intercultural the organization and the execution, we’re communication, roots of poverty, Catholic finding more and more people coming forth social teaching, servant leadership and Vat- and working together across the Mass lines.” Attea also has seen Future Full of Hope ican II. The final gathering will be in May. participants collaborating and socializing to“With the merger with St. Philip’s and our gether outside of the group. own multiethnic community, we wanted to “I think the process of people sharing their gather individuals who would have kind of a basic common adult formation founda- experiences has allowed people to get to tion,” said pastoral associate Anne Attea, know one another more deeply, which is “and from there look at how do we create what we were hoping for,” she said. The high level of discussion following last more varied leadership and ownership at week’s liturgy talk, during which participants the parish.” drew on knowledge gained from previous The Catholic Spirit
“I learned that people might do things differently, but that doesn’t mean they’re wrong.” GERARDO ESCAMILLA Parishioner for 11 years
“My husband and I both speak Spanish and initially found Ascension because there was a Spanish Mass. . . . But we didn’t really meet anyone until I was in the Future Full of Hope program. Now we have a couple of friends that we’ve met through that, and when we go to activities that are sponsored by the Spanish-speaking community, we know a friendly face. . . .” LOIS FULTON Parishioner for one year
An immigrant parish
Diversity at Ascension is nothing new. The
Rosary procession from cathedral to Capitol to take place May 6 Dave Hrbacek / The Catholic Spirit
PLEASE TURN TO ASCENSION ON PAGE 22A
Join Archbishop John Nienstedt and thousands of Catholics Sunday, May 6, for a rosary procession from the State Capitol to the Cathedral of St. Paul. This year’s Archdiocesan Family Rosary Procession is being offered in a particular way for the courage and grace to defend and promote marriage as the union between one man and one woman in a lifelong, exclusive relationship of loving trust, compassion and generosity, open to the conception of children. Please plan to assemble at the Capitol at 1:30 p.m. The procession begins at 2 p.m., and will conclude at the cathedral with prayers and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. For more information, call the Office of Worship at (651) 290-1633.
THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT • APRIL 26, 2012
Who goes to The Catholic Spirit website — and why? You may be surprised at what a survey of web viewers found By Bob Zyskowski The Catholic Spirit
At times, people are looking for a specific story or specific information when they click into THECATHOLICSPIRIT.COM on the Internet, but many also come to the newspaper’s web presence “surfing or browsing to read/view whatever grabs my attention.” That’s not an unexpected finding from a survey of web viewers conducted last month. What may be surprising, though, is the age of those Catholic Spirit web viewers. While the Internet used to be thought of as a young person’s media vehicle, nearly 90 percent of those who come to The Catholic Spirit site are 35 and over. Nearly half are 55 and older. The research comes from a SURVEY MONKEY.COM survey conducted during the month of March. It drew 437 responses. The survey had a margin of error of + or – 5 percent, and a 95 percent reliability factor. Here are highlights of the survey results: ■ Much like the readership of the print Catholic Spirit, on the website, women viewers out-number men 2-to-1. ■ 60 percent usually see THECATHOLIC SPIRIT.COM from a home computer, and another 31 percent from work. ■ Three-quarters of viewers are from the Twin Cities metro area; nearly 15 percent are from outside Minnesota.
■ Half of web viewers have yet to watch a video on WWW.THECATHOLICSPIRIT.COM. ■ One-out-of-three people shared a Catholic Spirit webpage with someone else via email; 1-of-10 have done so through Facebook, even though 93 percent have a Facebook account, and 34 percent say they use social media like Facebook or Twitter every day. ■ Correspondingly, 1-of-4 never use social media. ■ When asked if they would be willing to pay for viewing THECATHOLICSPIRIT.COM, 88.8 percent said no, nor would they be willing to pay for an app to more easily access the site on a Smartphone. However, just over half of respondents (52 percent) said they would be willing once a year to make a donation to keep the Catholic Spirit online.
Open door shows divide The ideological divide among Catholics found its way into the open-ended questions in the survey. In answer to the question, “TheCatholicSpirit.com would be more valuable to me if,” representative answers included comments such as: ■ “Stronger catechetical content.” ■ “There was more commentary on ‘both sides’ of issues. . . .” ■ “More on apologetics.” ■ “I expect it to be 100% faithful to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.”
■ “Less emphasis on Social Justice. More emphasis on church teachings, and theology.” ■ “It focused on how we can better serve God through helping our neighbors.” ■ “It featured more FEMALE WRITERS, INCLUSIVE TOPICS, and PROMOTED THE LAITY in our Church.” ■ “It were Catholic.” ■ “It wasn’t a blog for the Repug party.” There were such helpful comments about what would make the site more valuable, too, such as: ■ “There were kid-friendly/familyfriendly activities to share.” ■ “Coupons and discounts for Catholic merchandise and programs.” ■ “Broader list of authors recommended reading.” ■ “If it carries more diverse info.” ■ “Mobile app?” ■ “It had a place to ask for prayer.”
■ “If it had a deeper intellectual side to it . . . say if professors posted on deep theological issues.” ■ “Tell more stories about what is happening in the churches that usually don’t get press, especially outside St. Paul.” ■ “There were more links to other Catholic resources (bloggers, general articles on Catholic teachings, etc.).” ■ “There was more interaction than just reading.” Many respondents took the opportunity to comment that THECATHOLIC SPIRIT.COM was fine just as it is, and a couple added a bit o’ humor to the 20-question survey. Completing the sentence, “TheCatholic Spirit.com would be more valuable to me if,” one person wrote, “it took care of the kids while I read it. ☺ ”. Another’s response was, “if it could do my job for me so I can spend more time reading The Catholic Spirit.”
SAINTS WITH SPIRIT YES it’s . . .
The Catholic Spirit’s Day with the Sunday June 10, 2012 • 1:05 pm $11 Package includes: • Outfield Reserved Ticket • Hot Dog and Soda Voucher Kid’s Activities: • Post Game Running the Bases • Post Game Autographs
Sunday is FUN-day at Midway stadium! Watch our hometown St. Paul Saints take “aim” at the Sioux Fall Pheasants. To purchase your exclusive ticket offer online visit http://www.saintsgroups.com and enter the password Spirit2 To order over the phone contact: Jackie Daugherty • The Catholic Spirit • 651-251-7705 For further questions email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Archdiocesan Family Rosary Procession Sunday, May 6, 2012 @ 2PM State Capitol to The Cathedral of St. Paul Join The Most Reverend John C. Nienstedt and thousands of Catholics from the Archdiocese. Assemble at the Capitol at 1:30; the Procession begins at 2:00 pm, and concludes in the Cathedral with prayers and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
Questions or concerns may be directed to the Office of Worship at 651-290-1633.
THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT • APRIL 26, 2012
©2012 The Basilica Landmark
THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT • APRIL 26, 2012
54 Years at St. Raphael School Fritz and Gerry Koshiol sent their 11 children (green bars) to St. Raphael School in Crystal. In turn, 12 of the grandchildren (yellow bars) also have gone there, adding up to 54 consecutive
years of family members attending the school. The streak ends when granddaughter Nicole Miller graduates in June.
Pat Koshiol, 1958-66 Children: ■ Tiffany (Gifford), 1981-90 ■ Chrystie (Wagner), 1982-91 ■ Gabe, 1984-93 ■ Ryan, 1986-95 ■ Joey, 1988-97 ■ Molly (Jensen), 1990-99 Mike, 1958-66 Steve, 1960-68 Diana (Northfield), 1962-70 Dan, 1963-71 Children: ■ Jennifer (Gookins), 1985-94 ■ Missy, 1989-98 ■ Kimberly (Garbish), 1990-99 ■ Amanda, 1993-2002 John, 1967-75 Kurt, 1968-77 Maria (Miller), 1970-78 Children: ■ Ashley, 2000-09 ■ Nicole, 2003-12 Russ, 1972-80 Paula (Kraus), 1975-83 Christopher, 1979-88
Catholic Spirit graphic by John Wolszon
Family hopes to have party to celebrate 54-year classroom streak CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3A “Saying it’s sad doesn’t really capture all the emotions that are there,” she said. “I’m afraid I’m going to cry at her graduation and totally lose it.” That would be understandable, considering she has been sending her kids to the school since the fall of 2000 and works there part time. In fact, she will keep a family presence at the school by continuing her employment, which she says will come in handy for paying high school tuition. One of three siblings to send her children to St. Raphael, Maria has seen many changes in the school in the last five decades, perhaps the most significant of which is enrollment numbers. Right now, the school has 200 students in kindergarten through eighth grade, a far cry from the numbers it had while Maria and her siblings attended. Space was at a premium back in the 1950s and ‘60s, when enrollment was about four times what it is now, and both the classrooms and playground were bursting with kids. “When I started, we had 40 to 50 kids [in a classroom, with three classes per grade],” Pat said. “It would be five rows of 10 and they were well behaved. They had no [discipline] problems.” The 11 siblings attended the school for a 30-year span, from 1958 to 1988. Continuing the legacy into the next generation was Pat, who, with his wife, Becky, sent six children to St. Raphael, from 1981 to 1999. When it came time to decide on a school for their kids, they did not hesitate to choose St. Raphael. “I just wanted them to have a good, Catholic education,” Pat said. “I didn’t want to send them to a public school, and I had gone here, so I felt very comfortable sending them here.” Their oldest child, daughter Tiffany, was only two grades lower than Pat’s youngest sibling, Christopher. And, by the time Christopher graduated from eighth
“I don’t know what I’m going to do without a Koshiol around.
DAVE JOHNSON Teacher at St. Raphael School since 1977
grade, five of his nieces and nephews had gone to the school with him. “They [school staff members] thought they were siblings,” said Maria, who got married at St. Raphael to her husband, Don, also a parishioner prior to their marriage. “Christopher became an uncle when he was 2 years old.” Said Gerry: “One of the girls got hurt on the playground and she wanted Uncle Christopher to take her to the nurse’s office.” What may have confused people at the school even more was the fact that Pat’s children had the same address that he did growing up. He and Becky bought his parents’ house in 1977 and stayed there for 10 years. That added up to 17 children spending at least part of their childhood there. Not long after Pat started sending his kids to St. Raphael, his brother Dan joined in. He and his wife, Gail, put four kids through, from 1985 to 2002. There was a brief span, from 1985 to 1988, when members of three Koshiol families all attended — Christopher (the youngest of the 11), plus four of Pat’s children and Dan’s oldest daughter, Jennifer. “I thought it was kind of neat,” Pat said. “I guess I wondered, too, if there was any other instance of that happening in the parish.” Not likely, especially now with so many kids coming from outside the immediate neighborhood. In fact,
long-time teacher Dave Johnson thinks there may be as few as 10 families living within walking distance of the school today. For him, and probably many others, the graduation of Nicole Miller will be a sad day. “I don’t know what I’m going to do without a Koshiol around,” said Johnson, who started teaching science and physical education at the school in 1977 and taught four of Fritz and Gerry’s children and all of their grandchildren. “It’s a very good family. That’s the hard thing about letting go.”
Looking to the future Unfortunately, the prospects of more Koshiols enrolled at the school are not good at the moment. The other siblings don’t live close enough for St. Raphael to be a viable option. But that doesn’t stop interim principal Jan Schulz from hoping. A teacher at the school since 1991, she can’t help but think ahead to the days when more of the grandchildren will get married and start having children, thus resurrecting the family connection. “I think they should have more [kids go to the school],” she said. “Is the next generation ready to come in — the great-grandchildren?” There are currently 13 of those, with two on the way. Added to 29 grandchildren, the odds are that someday, another Koshiol will find his or her way into the school building. For now, the family will spend its time looking back on five-plus decades of education at St. Raphael. A party to celebrate the streak was originally planned for April 28, but has to be rescheduled due to Gerry’s recent heart surgery. They are hoping to do it sometime in June, after Nicole’s graduation. At least one member of the family is daring to look forward. Dan offered this suggestion to Nicole as she prepares for life beyond St. Raphael: “You could get married and start it all over.”
APRIL 26, 2012 • THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT
Longtime Catholic Charities leader steps down from post The Catholic Spirit After dedicating the last three and a half decades of his life to helping lift people out of poverty, Paul Martodam, chief strategy officer of Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, has decided to end his tenure with the organization as of April 11 based on advice from his doctors. Martodam has been with Catholic Charities since 1977 and with the Twin Cities agency since 2010, serving as MARTODAM chief executive officer before being named chief strategy officer. He was diagnosed with esophageal cancer later that year. “Paul embodies the passion and commitment by Catholic Charities to engage our community in doing everything possible to help lift people out of poverty,” said Tim Marx, CEO, Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis. “We will miss his guidance and tenacity, but his legacy of service will continue to inspire our staff, volunteers and supporters to continue our mission. We will be forever grateful for all that Paul has given back to this community,” Marx said. Martodam, 62, was the first layperson to serve as the CEO of CCSPM since 1977.
Sixteen more parishes exceed Appeal goal
Prior to that, he spent time with Catholic Charities agencies in Crookston and St. Cloud before becoming the CEO of Catholic Charities of Phoenix, a position he held for 17 years.
Continued involvement During his tenure in Phoenix, Martodam grew the organization’s budget from $8 million to $35 million and headed nationally recognized programs in prostitution recovery and poverty reduction. While his employment with Catholic Charities will end, he will continue to be involved with the organization as a donor and volunteer. “Catholic Charities is where my soul lives,” Martodam said. “What we do every day brings my faith to life and gives me hope that the agony of poverty and despair will be overcome by compassion and love. I am truly blessed to have had the opportunity to feed my passion for the last 35 years through my various positions held at Catholic Charities.” The second of 10 children, Martodam grew up on a dairy farm near Perham and attended classes at a one-room country school. He received his undergraduate degree from St. Louis University and his master’s degree in public administration/nonprofit administration from St. Cloud State University. Martodam and his wife Linda have five children and five grandchildren.
An additional 16 parishes have gone over their 2012 Catholic Services Appeal goal, bringing the total number to 46. The 16 new parishes are: St. Pius V, Cannon Falls St. Rita, Cottage Grove St. Francis of Assisi, Lakeland St. Joseph, Rosemount St. Francis Xavier, Taylors Falls Cathedral of St. Paul, St. Paul St. Francis de Sales, St. Paul St. Adalbert, St. Paul St. Jerome, Maplewood St. Nicholas, Carver All Saints, Minneapolis St. Anthony of Padua, Minneapolis Holy Family, St. Louis Park St. Michael, Pine Island St. Paul, Zumbrota St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Hastings Parishes that previously exceeded their goal are: Ascension, Norwood Young America St. Anne/St. Joseph Hien, Minneapolis St. Casimir, St. Paul St. Katharine Drexel, Ramsey St. Louis, King of France, St. Paul St. John the Baptist, Hugo St. Boniface, St. Bonifacius St. Odilia, Shoreview St. Anne, Hamel St. Helena, Minneapolis Our Lady of Victory, Minneapolis Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Minneapolis St. Bridget of Sweden, Lindstrom St. Patrick, Jordan
St. Mary of the Lake, White Bear Lake Sacred Heart, St. Paul St. Stephen, Anoka St. Albert, Albertville St. Michael, St. Michael St. Mary, Stillwater St. Agatha, Rosemount St. Joseph, Taylors Falls Holy Trinity, Waterville St. Michael, Kenyon St. John the Baptist, Dayton Lumen Christi, St. Paul St. Agnes, St. Paul St. John the Evangelist, Little Canada Nativity of Mary, Cleveland St. Stephen, Minneapolis The Catholic Services Appeal has now reached more than $6.9 million in pledges for the 2012 campaign. It is not too late to make a pledge/gift to the appeal; please go to WWW.ARCHSPM.ORG/APPEAL to donate online. If you have questions, contact the archdiocesan Development and Stewardship Office at (651) 290-1610.
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“It is our task to strengthen religious liberty at home . . . so that we might defend it more vigorously abroad.” From “Our First, Most Cherished Liberty,” a statement by the U.S. bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty
THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT
News from around the U.S. and the globe
Religious liberty takes center stage at Catholic prayer breakfast By Mark Pattison
Bishops appeal ruling that Constitution forbids religious accommodation By Dennis Sadowski
Catholic News Service
Religious liberty was topic A at the eighth annual National Catholic Prayer Breakfast, held April 19 at a Washington hotel. “Never in the lifetime of anyone present here has the religious liberty of the American people been as threatened as it is today,” warned Carl Anderson, supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus, in remarks to the estimated 800 people in attendance. “We must remind our fellow Americans, and especially those who exercise power, that religious liberty — the freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment — has been essential to the founding, development and improvement of the American republic.” Anderson said, “Today we find a new hostility to the role of religious institutions in American life at a time when government is expanding its reach in extraordinary ways. And it is not only because of the Obama administration’s HHS contraception mandate.” Beside the mandate requiring that most health plans cover the cost of contraception, sterilization and some drugs that can induce abortion, Anderson pointed to the Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC case, a court challenge to a Lutheran school’s firing of a teacher. The attempt to more narrowly define who is a religious employee was unanimously rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court. He also noted the revocation of a federal human trafficking grant awarded to the U.S. bishops’ Department of Migration and Refugee Services because MRS would not offer its clients the “full range of reproductive services,” including abortion (see story, right). “A government willing to affect the faith and mission of the church is a government willing to change the identity of the church,” Anderson declared. While Anderson stuck to domestic issues, threats to religious liberty around the world was the subject of the
APRIL 26, 2012
Catholic News Service
CNS photo / Nancy Phelan Wiechec
Carl Anderson, supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus, speaks on threats to religious liberty April 19 during the eighth annual National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Washington.
keynote address by Archbishop Francis Chullikatt, apostolic nuncio at the Holy See’s Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations. Archbishop Chullikatt noted repeatedly how Catholics and Christians are threatened on a regular basis for professing or exercising their faith. The former papal nuncio to Iraq, he expressed sadness over the Oct. 31, 2010, massacre at a church in Baghdad, where 52 people were murdered, including two priests he knew personally. “Religious liberty is the first of human rights,” Archbishop Chullikatt said. He quoted Pope Benedict XVI, who in his 2011 World Day of Peace message, said, “A freedom that is hostile or indifferent to God is self-negating.” “What is at stake here,” Archbishop Chullikatt said, “is the future of humanity itself.” He added freedom of religion is “not only a moral but also a civil right.”
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has appealed a federal judge’s ruling that the Constitution forbids religious accommodation in the delivery of services under a federal contract. The appeal challenges the decision of District Court Judge Richard Stearns, who said in a March 23 ruling that the Department of Health and Human Services violated the Establishment Clause of the Constitution in delegating to the bishops’ conference the decision on which services to offer or not offer to foreign-born victims of human trafficking under a federal contract. The case, originally filed by the American Civil Liberties Union in Massachusetts in 2009, revolved around the legality of the government allowing the USCCB, through its Migration and Refugee Services Department, to decline to offer abortion and contraception services to trafficking victims under the contract. The USCCB joined the lawsuit in mid-2010 as a defendant-intervenor.
Request for a stay Attorneys for the bishops’ conference also requested a stay of Stearns’ decision pending the appeal’s outcome. The request for a stay cites the likelihood that other existing contracts between the USCCB and the government were at risk of being canceled, thus harming those being served under them. Attorney Henry Dinger, representing the USCCB, said the appeal questioned whether the ACLU had standing to file the original case. The second argument, Dinger explained, revolves around whether the Department of Health and Human Services’ decision to allow the USCCB to limit the services it offered was an endorsement of religion. Dinger said it was not.
Citing doctrinal problems, Vatican announces reform of nuns’ group By Francis X. Rocca Catholic News Service
Citing “serious doctrinal problems which affect many in consecrated life,” the Vatican announced a major reform of an association of women’s religious congregations in the U.S. to ensure their fidelity to Catholic teaching in areas including abortion, euthanasia, women’s ordination and homosexuality. Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle will provide “review, guidance and approval, where necessary, of the work” of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the Vatican announced April 18. The archbishop will be assisted by Bishop Leonard Blair of Toledo, Ohio, and Bishop ARCHBISHOP Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Ill., SARTAIN and draw on the advice of fellow bishops, women religious and other experts. The LCWR, a Maryland-based umbrella group that claims about 1,500 leaders of U.S. women’s communities as members, represents about 80 percent of the country’s 57,000 women religious. In Silver Spring, Md., the presidency of the LCWR issued a statement saying it was “stunned by the conclusions of the doctrinal assessment of LCWR by the Con-
gregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Because the leadership of LCWR has the custom of meeting annually with the staff of CDF in Rome and because the conference follows canonically approved statutes, we were taken by surprise. “This is a moment of great import for religious life and the wider church. We ask your prayers as we meet with the LCWR National Board within the coming month to review the mandate and prepare a response,” the statement said. A spokeswoman for the LCWR said its leadership would not be granting interviews until after a wider consultation with its members in May.
Areas of concern The announcement from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith came in an eight-page “doctrinal assessment,” based on an investigation that Bishop Blair began on behalf of the Vatican in April 2008. That investigation led the doctrinal congregation to conclude, in January 2011, that “the current doctrinal and pastoral situation of LCWR is grave and a matter of serious concern, also given the influence the LCWR exercises on religious congregation in other parts of the world.” Among the areas of concern were some of the most controversial issues of medical and sexual ethics in America today.
“While there has been a great deal of work on the part of LCWR promoting issues of social justice in harmony with the church’s social doctrine, it is silent on the right to life from conception to natural death, a question that is part of the lively public debate about abortion and euthanasia in the United States,” the doctrinal congregation said. “Further, issues of crucial importance in the life of the church and society, such as the church’s biblical view of family life and human sexuality, are not part of the LCWR agenda in a way that promotes church teaching.” The Vatican also found that “public statements by the LCWR that disagree with or challenge positions taken by the bishops, who are the church’s authentic teachers of faith and morals, are not compatible with its purpose.” According to the Vatican, such deviations from Catholic teaching have provoked a crisis “characterized by a diminution of the fundamental Christological center and focus of religious consecration.” But the congregation’s document also praised the “great contributions of women religious to the church in the United States as seen particularly in the many schools, hospitals, and institutions of support for the poor, which have been founded and staffed by religious over the years,” and insisted that the Vatican “does not intend to offer judgment on the faith and life of women religious” in the LCWR’s member congregations.
THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT • APRIL 26, 2012
We must take our faith in Christ and his church much more seriously CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2A
church the transformative power of Jesus Christ.
oddity. Today’s atheists are legion. They have an agenda and their names are familiar.
To understand that power we have to first understand that Easter really did happen. We believe that because the Scriptures of the New Testament are filled with eyewitness accounts. Those accounts tell us over and over again that Jesus did die on the cross . . . that he was buried . . . that on the third day he did rise from the dead . . . and, finally, that he is Lord and Savior and the Son of the Living God.
Christopher Hitchens . . . God called him to Judgment last year. Carl Sagan. Daniel Dennett. Richard Dawkins. Sam Harris . . . and many, many more. They are on my list because they are all highly acclaimed authors whose works are commonly read in realms of higher learning. In his book, D’Souza says “Atheistic educators are now raising the question of whether parents should have control of what their children learn.” And you and I know that in public schools parents are losing more and more control each and every year. Richard Dawkins in his book “The God Delusion” asks “How much do we regard children as being the property of their parents? It is one thing to say people should be free to believe whatever they like. But should they be free to impose their beliefs on their children? Is there something to be said for society stepping in? Isn’t it always a form of child abuse to label children as possessions of beliefs that they are too young to have thought out?” Daniel Dennett goes further. “Parents don’t own their children the way slave owners once owned slaves, but are, rather, their stewards and guardians and ought to be held accountable by outsiders for their guardianship.” What he is saying essentially is that outsiders do have a right to interfere. My friends, you and I are living in a new kind of world and if we want to overcome that kind of thinking, we have to take our faith in Jesus Christ and in his church much more seriously. This celebration tells us that we do have the power to make a difference. We have within this
During this Easter celebration we ask only one question. Are the witnesses reliable? Their later actions say that they are. Almost every one of them suffered a martyr’s death rather than deny what they had seen with their own eyes and heard with their own ears. If you and I believe that they are reliable, then all of us must pay much more attention to our faith in Jesus Christ and in his church. St. Augustine tells us that faith is given to us as a sacred trust. It must be protected. It must be developed. It must be allowed to grow. In his book “The City Of God,” he says: “There is a sanctuary of conscience inside every person that is protected from political control, and that kings and emperors, however grand, cannot usurp authority that rightly belongs to God.” In our society, that statement is equally true when applied to congressmen, senators and presidents. Today we celebrate the resurrection of the Lord. We are called to think about our own sinfulness and, as we do that, to remember especially that Christ died for us while we were still in our sin. He went to the cross for each of us to reconcile us to God and to each other. I pray today that through the cross of Jesus Christ, God will give us the Easter power to be inflamed by his love and to share that love in every possible way with everyone within our reach. May God give us the grace. God bless you!
Honoring the champs
Dave Hrbacek / The Catholic Spirit
Archbishop John Nienstedt shows off a photograph given to him by hockey players at Benilde-St. Margaret’s School in St. Louis Park, including, from left, seniors Alec Anderson, Jake O’Borsky, Christian Horn (team captain) and Jake Horton (captain) April 23 at his residence. He invited the players and coaches of the Class AA championship team to come for Mass and lunch.
Nearly all dioceses’ abuse policies comply with charter Ten years after passing their “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People,” the heads of nearly all U.S. dioceses are in full compliance with the 17point document, according to recently completed audits. Two dioceses — Baker, Ore., and Lincoln, Neb. — and six Eastern Catholic eparchies refused to participate in the audits, as they had in past years, and were found to be noncompliant. In dioceses where the audits took place, however, only one diocese was found in noncompliance with one article of the charter. The Diocese of Shreveport, La., was found to be noncompliant because its diocesan review board had not met in two years. The diocese had not “experienced any charter-related violations in at least four years,” and the board was immediately convened when the diocese was notified
of the gap, according to the report from StoneBridge Business Partners of Rochester, N.Y. StoneBridge conducted the audits for the first time in the year ending June 30, 2011. Earlier audits had been carried out by the Gavin Group of Boston. The 2011 annual report on implementation of the charter was published April 10 by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “As we were introduced to the various dioceses/eparchies around the country this year, we were impressed by the dedication of the safe environment coordinators and other diocesan and eparchial representatives who oversee the implementation of the charter on a daily basis,” said James J. Marasco, director of StoneBridge Business Partners, in a letter submitted with the audit report. — Catholic News Service
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APRIL 26, 2012 • THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT
Statement cites examples of threats to religious liberty CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1A
laws, then Catholics in America, in solidarity with our fellow citizens, must have the courage not to obey them,” it added. “No American desires this. No Catholic welcomes it. But if it should fall upon us, we must discharge it as a duty of citizenship and an obligation of faith.” The bishops also distinguished between conscientious objection and an unjust law. “Conscientious objection permits some relief to those who object to a just law for reasons of conscience — conscription being the most well-known example,” the committee said. “An unjust law is ‘no law at all.’ It cannot be obeyed, and therefore one does not seek relief from it, but rather its repeal.” The statement also raised the issue of religious freedom abroad and said “the age of martyrdom has not passed.” “Assassinations, bombings of churches, torching of orphanages — these are only the most violent attacks Christians have suffered because of their faith in Jesus Christ,” the bishops said. “It is our task to strengthen religious liberty at home . . . so that we might defend it more vigorously abroad.” The statement called on “American foreign policy, as well as the vast international network of Catholic agencies” to make “the promotion of religious liberty an ongoing and urgent priority.”
own beliefs.” “I think that really says in a nutshell what we’re saying and the message we want to convey,” said Archbishop John Nienstedt, a member of the ad hoc committee.
Citing concerns The ad hoc committee opened its statement with several concrete examples of recent threats to religious liberty, saying that “this is not a theological or legal dispute without real-world consequences.” Cited first was the Department of Health and Human Services’ mandate that most health plans must include contraception, sterilization and some abortion-inducing drugs free of charge, even if the employer is morally opposed to such services. “In an unprecedented way, the federal government will both force religious institutions to facilitate and fund a product contrary to their own moral teaching and purport to define which religious institutions are ‘religious enough’ to merit protection of their religious liberty,” the statement said. “These features of the ‘preventive services’ mandate amount to an unjust law.” Among other examples of “religious liberty under attack” the bishops named: ■ Immigration laws in Alabama and other states that “forbid what the government deems ‘harboring’ of undocumented immigrants — and what the church deems Christian charity and pastoral care to those immigrants.” ■ An attempt by the Connecticut Legislature in 2009 to restructure Catholic parishes. ■ Discrimination against Christian students on college campuses. ■ Government actions in Boston, San Francisco, the District of Columbia and the state of Illinois that have “driven local Catholic Charities out of the business of providing adoption or foster care services” because the agencies would not place children with same-sex or unmarried heterosexual couples. ■ A New York City rule that bars small church congregations from renting public schools on weekends for worship services, while allowing such rentals by nonreligious groups. ■ Changes in federal contracts for human trafficking grants that require Catholic agencies “to refer for contraceptive and abortion services in violation of Catholic teaching.” Archbishop Nienstedt said the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis would make bulletin articles, prayers of the faithful and homily ideas available to pastors for use during the “fortnight of freedom.” “The main focus of what we want to do is going to be on the parish level,” he said, although an event might be planned at the Cathedral of St. Paul during that time
Meeting our responsibilities
“I’d like this ‘fortnight of freedom’ to be an opportunity for Catholics to truly understand what is at stake here.
ARCHBISHOP JOHN NIENSTEDT
as well. “I’d like this ‘fortnight of freedom’ to be an opportunity for Catholics to truly understand what is at stake here,” Archbishop Nienstedt said. “I would consider it a great success if at the end of that ‘fortnight for freedom’ our Catholic people had been introduced to the ideas that are in the 12 pages of this document.”
Confronting unjust laws The statement quotes the Founding Fathers and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
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to bolster its arguments. Rev. King, writing from jail in Birmingham, Ala., in 1963, described an unjust law as one “that is out of harmony with the moral law,” and said he agreed with St. Augustine that “an unjust law is no law at all.” “An unjust law cannot be obeyed,” the bishops’ statement said. “In the face of an unjust law, an accommodation is not to be sought, especially by resorting to equivocal words and deceptive practices. “If we face today the prospect of unjust
The bishops assigned special responsibility for advancing religious freedom to several groups: ■ Those who hold public office must “protect and defend those fundamental liberties guaranteed by the Bill of Rights,” regardless of their political party. ■ Leaders of Catholic hospitals, universities and social service agencies “who may be forced to choose between the good works we do by faith, and fidelity to that faith itself” were encouraged to “hold firm, to stand fast and to insist upon what belongs to you by right as Catholics and Americans.” ■ Priests must offer “a catechesis on religious liberty suited to the souls in your care,” a responsibility that is shared with “writers, producers, artists, publishers, filmmakers and bloggers employing all the means of communications.” In addition to the “fortnight for freedom” June 21 to July 4, the bishops designated the feast of Christ the King — Nov. 25 this year — as “a day specifically employed by bishops and priests to preach about religious liberty, both here and abroad.” The full text of “Our First, Most Cherished Liberty: A Statement on Religious Liberty” is available at WWW.USCCB.ORG/ISSUES-ANDACTION / RELIGIOUS - LIBERTY / OUR - FIRST- MOSTCHERISHED-LIBERTY.CFM. – Joe Towalski, editor of The Catholic Spirit, contributed to this story.
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“It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth. But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.” Mark 4:31-32
This Catholic Life APRIL 26, 2012
Opinion, feedback and points to ponder
THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT
Catholics urged to invite inactive members to practice faith By Mark Pattison Catholic News Service
A document on the new evangelization from the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis exhorts Catholics at all levels in the church to step up to invite Catholics who have stopped practicing their faith to do so once again. “Bishops, eparchs, pastors, catechists and indeed all Catholics reaching out to our missing brothers and sisters must touch the lives of others, interact with them, and show them how the faith answers the deepest questions and enriches modern culture,” said the document, titled “Disciples Called to Witness: The New Evangelization.” “The new evangelization is a call to each person to deepen his or her own faith, have confidence in the Gospel, and possess a willingness to share the Gospel,” it said. The document was issued April 16 in an online-only format. It is available on an interactive website — WWW.USCCB.ORG/BELIEFS-AND-TEACHINGS/HOWWE - TEACH / NEW- EVANGELIZATION / DISCIPLES CALLED-TO-WITNESS. The document examines what the new evangelization is, its focus, its importance for the Catholic Church, and how dioceses and parishes can promote it.
Missing family members Referring to a study of inactive Catholics prepared by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, “Disciples Called to Witness” said: “It is estimated that only 23 percent of U.S. Catholics attend Mass each week. Those 77 percent absent from the eucharistic feast each week are not strangers: They are our parents, siblings, spouses, children and friends.” “Most Catholics stop attending Mass because they have busy schedules or a lack of time, have family responsibilities, have health problems or disabilities, have conflicts with work, do not believe missing Mass is a sin or believe that they are not very religious people,” the document said. “Some were never formed in the faith after their childhood. Some have drifted away because of one or another issue. Some feel alienated from the church because of the way they perceive the church or its teaching. Some have left because they were mistreated by church representatives,” it added. “Cultural factors, including the lack of Masses and sacraments celebrated in languages other than English, also contribute to people slowly slipping away from the church.” “Disciples Called to Witness” noted: “There are also Catholics who attend Mass on a regular basis but who feel unconnected to the parish community.” It cited secularism, materialism and individualism in contemporary society as contributing factors for lack of Mass attendance by U.S. Catholics.
They may “have difficulty saying, ‘I saw the same news story, but this is what the church actually teaches,’” it continued. “We have trouble revealing, ‘Yes, sometimes going to confession is hard, but once I am there, I experience God’s peace and mercy. If you haven’t been in a while, consider giving it another chance.’”
Tips for reaching out
A call to all Catholics
In the final section of “Disciples Called to Witness: The New Evangelization,” the U.S. bishops list areas where parish communities can strengthen their outreach to Catholics who might be returning to the practice of the faith. Some of the specific suggestions include: ■ Since returning to the church is an act of the Holy Spirit, emphasize personal witnessing to the role of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the pastor and pastoral ministers. ■ Recognize that each person’s conversion will be unique and unfold at a different pace. ■ Have programs that are flexible, as some people might not be able to participate in an entire program. ■ Extend personal invitations to those who are missing and a spirit of welcome to all who seek assistance. ■ Have pastoral ministers who have the knowledge to share the Gospel message and have the ability to listen and empathize. ■ Foster a liturgical environment that invites, spiritually fulfills and welcomes full and active participation. ■ Offer encouraging words of welcome, especially at special events such as weddings, funerals, quinceañeras, and Christmas and Easter Masses. ■ Offer the sacrament of reconciliation when it is convenient for those with busy work schedules. ■ Utilize multiple languages in every aspect of parish life when dealing with a diverse community. ■ Include links on the parish website to reputable Catholic catechetical websites and social media presences. ■ Ensure the church building is accessible to those with disabilities. ■ Provide resources and training for pastors to give well-prepared homilies that stir the heart. ■ Provide catechetical materials, as well as contact information for marriage tribunals and professionals who can assist those seeking to regularize their marriages or who are struggling with depression, addiction, etc. ■ Provide opportunities for lifelong faith formation. ■ Maintain personal relationships with returning Catholics, bearing in mind that the process of welcoming someone back into the church is an ongoing one.
“The new evangelization is a call to each person to deepen his or her own faith, have confidence in the Gospel, and possess a willingness to share the Gospel,” the document said. “The new evangelization provides the lens through which people experience the church and world around them,” it added. “The new evangelization invites people to experience God’s love and mercy through the sacraments, especially through the Eucharist and penance and reconciliation.” The 31-page, 11,000-word document
said it is likely inactive Catholics will have questions if they are invited to return to the practice of their faith. “They may wonder and worry about the following: Will the Mass be the same? Will I be judged because I stayed away so long? Maybe I have sinned so greatly that I cannot come back. What if I cannot remember the words to Mass?” By the same token, it added, those who must do the inviting are often afraid of asking family members, friends or coworkers to come with them to Mass.
The first time Blessed John Paul II used the term “new evangelization” as the theological concept of proclaiming the Gospel anew to those already evangelized was in a 1983 address in Haiti to Latin American bishops, the document said, but noted he was renewing a call to all of the Christian faithful to evangelize in the spirit of the Second Vatican Council and Pope Paul VI. In his 1975 apostolic exhortation on evangelization, “Evangelii Nuntiandi,” “Pope Paul VI recognized that the first proclamation of the good news is directed ‘ad gentes’ (to all). However, he also recognized the need for the evangelization of the baptized who no longer practice their faith,” the document said. “He called upon the church to evangelize these two groups, to invite them to a life of conversion, and to add new meaning to their life through the paschal mystery of Christ,” it said. “Evangelization must remain rooted in the parish. It is in the parish that one becomes engaged with the church community, learns how to become a disciple of Christ, is nurtured by Scripture, is nourished by the sacraments, and ultimately becomes an evangelizer,” the document said. It also explored such methodologies as discipleship, a commitment to the Christian life, parish life, the liturgical life of the church, the Christian family, catechists and teachers of the faith, and human experience as ways to draw Catholics back to their faith. It also suggested the use of such teachable moments as Christmas, Easter, baptism, first Communion, and other special liturgies when Catholics come in contact with the church. “These are important opportunities not only for catechesis but also for evangelization,” it said. “The new evangelization does not seek to invite people to experience only one moment of conversion but rather to experience the gradual and lifelong process of conversion: to draw all people into a deeper relationship with God, to participate in the sacramental life of the church, to develop a mature conscience, to sustain one’s faith through ongoing catechesis, and to integrate one’s faith into all aspects of one’s life,” the document said. “Even though much has already been done to welcome our missing brothers and sisters back to the Lord’s table, there is still so much more that can be done.”
THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT • APRIL 26, 2012
/ This Catholic Life
Author offers insights on how to solve today’s bully problem t is very difficult to watch the new documentary “Bully” without experiencing both an intense sadness and a feeling of helplessness. The film opens with the heartbreaking ruminations of a father whose son committed suicide after being brutally bullied by his classmates. We hear a number of similar stories throughout the film, and we also are allowed to watch and listen as very real kids are pestered, belittled, mocked and, in some cases, physically assaulted just because they are in some sense different. The most memorable figure in the movie is a young man, around 12, named Alex. He seems to be a goodnatured kid, happy in the embrace of his family, but because he’s a bit uncoordinated, geeky, and odd-looking (his brutal nickname is “fishface”), his fellow students mercilessly pick on him. Alex’s daily ride on the school bus is like something out of Dante’s Inferno. What would be funny, if it weren’t so tragic, is the cluelessness of the school officials (and of the adults in general) who should be doing something about the problem. We get to watch the vice principal of Alex’s school as she deals with aggressive students, and as she tries to mollify Alex’s parents. What we hear is a pathetic mixture of bromides, self-serving remarks, boys-will-beboys platitudes, and, worst of all, a marked tendency to blame the victim. When the parents complain about the bus that Alex rides, the vice principal vapidly comments, “Well, I rode that bus once, and the children were like angels.” Is she really naïve enough to think that their behavior in the presence of the vice-principal is even vaguely typical?
I Opinion Father Robert Barron
Our culture has largely forgotten the subtle art of transforming boys into men
What to do? I will admit, however, that I sympathized with her confusion when,
which a boy becomes a heroic man of selflessness and courage. The principal element in the initiation process — whether real or fictionally presented — is a mature man who embodies the virtues to which the boy aspires. Finally, men of valor, charity, ambition and grace transform boys into men of valor, charity, ambition and grace. When this mentoring dynamic is lost, Sax argues, the result is boys adrift and young men taking their cues from Eminem, 50 Cent, Akon and the Situation.
“Traditional cultures understand that boys have to be brought through a period of trial — some test of skill and endurance — during which they learn the virtues of courage and self-sacrifice.
FATHER ROBERT BARRON
at one point, she gazed into the camera lens and sighed, “I just don’t know what to do.” A lot of the adults in the documentary seemed to share that sentiment. Well, I know someone who knows what to do. Some time ago, I reviewed a book by Dr. Leonard Sax called “Why Gender Matters,” an incisive study of why boys and girls benefit from very different approaches to education and character formation. Just recently, Sax sent me a copy of his 2007 study titled “Boys Adrift: The Five Factors Driving the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men.” As the subtitle indicates, the book examines the problem of the “slacker dude,” the teenager who would rather watch video games than attend class, or the 20-something who would rather lounge around his parents’ home than start an ambitious career. To get all of the details, please peruse Sax’s informative and eminently readable book in its entirety. But with the problem of bullying in mind, I would like to focus on one chapter of “Boys Adrift” titled “The Revenge of the Forsaken Gods.” Echoing in many ways the reflections of Joseph Campbell and Richard Rohr, Sax bemoans the fact that our culture has largely forgotten the
subtle art of transforming boys into men. Despite (or perhaps because of) our scientific predilection, we think that this process just happens naturally. Our “primitive” ancestors knew that it did not and this is why they developed sophisticated rituals of initiation, designed to shock boys out of their natural narcissism and habits of self-protection into moral and spiritual maturity.
Trials take on meaning Whether we are talking about the Navajo, Masai warriors, or Orthodox Jews, traditional cultures understand that boys have to be brought through a period of trial — some test of skill and endurance — during which they learn the virtues of courage and selfsacrifice. Sometimes, these initiation rituals are accompanied by a kind of ceremonial scarring, because the elders want the boys to know, in their bodies, that they’ve been tested and permanently changed. Sax astutely observes that many of the great American authors — Faulkner, Hemingway, Dos Passos, Studs Terkel, James Dickey — wrote passionately and persuasively about this very topic. Any great film, from “The Hustler,” “On the Waterfront,” and “Rebel Without a Cause” to “Braveheart” and “Gladiator,” dramatically displays the process by
Boys need strong direction Now you might be wondering what all this has to do with the phenomenon of bullying. One reason why boys turn into bullies is that they have no one around to turn them into men. Boys are filled with energies meant to be channeled in a positive direction, toward protecting the innocent and building up the society. Without strong male role models, and without a disciplined process of initiation into maturity, these energies remain either unfocused (as in the case of slackers) or directed toward violence and the exploitation of the weak (as in the case of bullies). Sax says that you might not be able to turn a bully into a flower child, but with the right male mentoring, you could certainly turn him into a knight. If a son of yours is either bullied or becoming a bully, I would strongly recommend that you read “Boys Adrift” and, above all, that you introduce your son to a strong, morally upright, focused and courageous male mentor — fast. Father Robert Barron is the founder of the global ministry, Word on Fire, and the Francis Cardinal George Professor of Faith and Culture at University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, Ill.
The Catholic Spirit is making a difference in the lives of parishioners ne of life’s most satisfying moments? When someone tells you that you made a difference. That feeling of satisfaction came to Catholic Spirit columnist Father Michael Van Sloun several times after his “Five tips for making a better confession” and accompanying downto-earth “Pre-confession stress relievers” ran in the March 15 issue and online at THECATHOLICSPIRIT.COM — right in the middle of Lent. The pastor of St. Stephen in Anoka, Father Van Sloun let The Catholic Spirit know that those articles “are having an amazing effect,” as he put it. “A number of other priests have told me that their penitents mentioned the articles, and that they helped motivate them to come to confession and to make better confessions,” he wrote in a note to editor Joe Towalski. “Several of my own penitents made similar comments,” Father Van Sloun added. “If this effect is being felt in parishes across the archdiocese,
O Commentary Bob Zyskowski
Our work in the digital world increases the number of people we’re able to reach
one of the most important purposes of a Catholic newspaper — to help Catholics better practice their faith — is being accomplished. You selected a good topic and ran it at just the right time. God bless you for making catechetical instruction an important part of The Spirit.” (You can read both at HTTP://THE CATHOLICSPIRIT.COM/FAITH/THE-LESSONPLAN/FIVE-TIPS-FOR-MAKING-A-BETTER-CON FESSION/.)
Touching souls in California It was gracious of Father Van Sloun to share the job-well-done gratification. His direct pat on the back came about the same time as an indirect one from a non-Catholic source. During Lent, we ran a multimedia presentation of “The 21st Century Stations of the Cross,” a piece produced a year ago featuring an updated version of the stations’ text by the late Emilie Lemmons. Dave Hrbacek, The Catholic Spirit photographer and columnist with
the deep, resonant voice, did the voice-over of slides of beautifully crafted traditional Stations of the Cross created by Reto Demetz in Italy. Craig Berry of The Catholic Spirit’s web department pulled it all together in a prayerful slideshow. (See it at: HTTP://THECATHOLICSPIRIT.COM/FAITH/21S T-CENTURY-STATIONS-OF-THE-CROSS/.) Tuesday of Holy Week we received an email from Pastor Kermit Wilson who leads a community church in Long Beach, Calif. “I was totally blessed by the 21st Century Stations of the Cross video,” Pastor Wilson wrote. He’d seen the presentation on YouTube and he asked if we would share a copy. He wanted to use it for his church’s Good Friday service. Of course we were happy to make that ecumenical gesture, and encouraged not only that well-done work by The Catholic Spirit staff has a valuable shelf-life but that the prose of our friend and one-time co-worker Emilie lives on.
Good news: Site crashed It’s been especially satisfying to watch The Catholic Spirit’s efforts in the digital world grow, extending the work we do to people whose lives the print edition might never reach. One of those stories even touched too many lives recently. SPIRITDAILY.COM offered its readers a link to a story Susan Klemond wrote for The Catholic Spirit in 2011, “Praying with Jesus on Holy Thursday an ancient custom,” and that sent more than 400 visitors to THE CATHOLICSPIRIT.COM in one hour. The burst of activity crashed our site, since it’s designed to handle only half that number of visitors at one time. I’m still trying to decide if that was good news turned bad, or bad news that’s actually good news. I think I’ll go with the latter. Bob Zyskowski is The Catholic Spirit’s associate publisher. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Catholic Life / Commentary
APRIL 26, 2012 • THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT
Of popes, presidents and peace oo often today, we hear complaints about the church meddling in politics. We are accused of trying to take the reins of political power and imposing our religion on others. The church, however, does not seek to control the state nor does it wish to impose sectarian beliefs on the public. Instead, the church seeks to be the conscience of the state, reminding society of the objective norms that are accessible to all and which govern right action. In the words of Pope Benedict XVI, the church seeks to “help purify and shed light upon the application of reason to the discovery of objective moral principles.” This year, we should commemorate one occasion for which everyone should be grateful that the church intervened in the public arena to remind all people of their common humanity.
T Faith in the Public Arena Jason Adkins
The best efforts of popes, bishops and church diplomats to avert war will be ignored unless all Catholics and people of good will stand against it
Averting war 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, which took place in October 1962. The placement of Soviet missiles in Cuba put the world on the brink of nuclear war, with neither the Americans nor the Russians wanting to back down for fear of looking weak. Both President John F. Kennedy and Soviet Premier Nikita Krushchev, facing “assured mutual destruction,” sought to avert war, but both were being pressured by agents of war in their respective governments to stand firm and launch a first strike if necessary. To break the stalemate, it was sug-
gested to President Kennedy that he seek the help of Pope John XXIII. The president agreed, which was ironic given his promise not to let the Holy See dictate his policies as the first Catholic president. Over the ensuing two days, a flurry of messages was sent between the White House and the Kremlin, with the Vatican serving as the intermediary. Blessed Pope John proposed a public message addressed to all people of good will and, after both leaders agreed, it was read publicly. The pope’s statement, which appeared in newspapers around the world and in the Soviet Union, read as follows: “We beg all governments not to remain deaf to this cry of humanity. That they do all that is in their power to save peace. They will thus spare the world from the horrors of a war whose terrifying consequences no one can predict. That they continue discussions, as this loyal and open behavior has great value as a witness of everyone’s conscience and before history. Promoting, favoring, accepting conversations, at all levels and in any time, is a rule of wisdom and prudence which attracts the blessings of heaven and earth.” The pope’s “decisive intervention,” as the Associated Press later described it, helped avert nuclear war. It allowed Krushchev to save face and not look weak by being the reasonable leader who kept the peace by removing the missiles from Cuba. Papal diplomacy — as well as the efforts of local churches — to secure and maintain peace, or what St. Au-
Get involved Join MNCAN, the Minnesota Catholic Conference advocacy network, to urge the administration to change our country’s outdated nuclear policy. Go to the Take Action section on the MCC website (MNCC.ORG) and click on the Featured Action Alert in the MNCAN Action Center.
gustine called “the tranquility of order” (CCC 2304), has long been a feature of international affairs. The Holy See is a permanent observer at the United Nations because of this tradition. Sadly, the church’s role as a neutral, diplomatic intermediary, which seeks to remind nations of the horrors of war and their obligations to respect international law and justice, often goes unheeded. In our country, Pope John Paul II’s pleas to the Bush administration not to invade Iraq in 2003 were politely, but arrogantly dismissed. The result was a war that brought devastation and hundreds of thousands of deaths, has facilitated the near extinction of the ancient Christian community in Iraq, and has unleashed unforeseen political turmoil that has destabilized the entire region. Few wars satisfy the very strict criteria of a “just war” (CCC 2309). The use of nuclear weapons, in particular, cannot be justified because their use aims to bring an enemy into submission by killing innocent, non-combatant civilians (CCC 2314).
Blessed John Paul II stated clearly the church’s view that war is not a useful tool for solving political disagreements: “No, never again war, which destroys the lives of innocent people, teaches how to kill, throws into upheaval even the lives of those who do the killing and leaves behind a trail of resentment and hatred, thus making it all the more difficult to find a just solution of the very problem which provoked the war” (“Centesimus Annus,” No. 52).
Threat still lurks Today, sadly, the drumbeat of war continues. Besides the recent American incursion into Libya, and the decade-long war in Afghanistan (not to mention our continued presence in Iraq), the threat of war lurks in relations with Iran, North Korea and Syria. The current administration is even rattling sabers in Southeast Asia, where we are expanding our military presence in places such as Australia to thwart Chinese expansion in the region. The best efforts of popes, bishops, and church diplomats to avert war will be ignored unless all Catholics and people of good will stand against it. “All citizens and all governments are obliged to work for the avoidance of war” (CCC 2308). Let us join our voices and prayers to those working for just solutions to the political conflicts of today. Blessed are the peacemakers. Jason Adkins is executive director of the Minnesota Catholic Conference.
The connection between marriage and religious freedom ven critics of Pope Benedict XVI, concede that our current pope is a keen observer of culture. In addition, Vatican reporter John Allen has noted that Benedict’s thoughtful and incisive critique of contemporary culture is a clear strength of his papacy. With this in mind, it should be noted that as American bishops arrived in Father Rome for their “ad Dan Griffith limina” visits (visits made by bishops to Rome every five years) Pope Benedict XVI formally addressed two issues that he sees as fundamental to the health and vibrancy of the United States: marriage and religious freedom. In addressing bishops from Minnesota and the Dakotas, the Holy Father said the following: “In our previous meetings I acknowledged our concern about threats to freedom of conscience, religion and worship. . . . I would like to discuss another serious issue which you raised with me during my pastoral visit to America, namely, the contemporary crisis of marriage and the family and, more generally, of the Christian vision of human sexuality.” Both of these important issues have been in the news of late, with the Minnesota marriage amendment coming before voters in November and with the vigorous response by Catholics and other people of faith in the wake of the Health and Human Services mandate. It is apparent that as our society be-
“I would argue that our concern for marriage and religious freedom is not just a matter of faith, but should be a concern for all Americans.
FATHER DAN GRIFFITH
comes more secular and in some cases more hostile to religion and religious influence, the very foundations of a healthy society — traditionally fostered and strengthened by religion — have come under attack. I would argue that our concern for marriage and religious freedom is not just a matter of faith, but should be a concern for all Americans. Reason and history attest to the truth that marriage, family and freedom are the bedrock of a flourishing society. If we allow these foundational pillars to be weakened, we place in jeopardy the very health and future of our great nation. This is no time for apathy — too much is at stake. In examining these two issues, I would note the numerous connection points be-
tween marriage and religious freedom. First, from a Catholic perspective, both marriage and freedom are gifts given by our loving God for the good of humanity. Second, as rights given by God, both marriage and religious freedom exist prior to the state. In other words, they are not simply privileges that the government grants and thus can take away at will. Third, marriage and religious freedom are so vital because they involve the very constitutive dimension of the human person. Marriage allows for spouses to become co-creators with God in bringing forth life. Religious freedom allows humanity to pursue truth aided by grace and directs humanity to our origin, meaning and destiny. Fourth, marriage and religious freedom flow from the dignity of the human person and contribute positively to the common good. Finally, and not least in importance, many respected legal scholars have noted that one of the most significant effects of the re-definition of marriage will be the diminution of religious freedom.
You can make a difference With so much at stake, what can Catholics do in defense of the God-given institution of marriage and the gift of religious freedom? n We should respond with consistent prayer to God to help us preserve these gifts. We know by faith that both prayer and fasting are efficacious. Specifically, we
can pray for the courage to stand resolute in our defense of marriage and religious freedom. n As Christians we must commit to speak all words and to undertake all action with a spirit of charity. As we engage in discussion, debate and dialogue our tone must always be one of love and respect. n We can get involved as citizens and can become better informed regarding these important issues. For example, voting for the Minnesota marriage amendment is a concrete way to support marriage and help preserve religious freedom. We can also take part in the upcoming “fortnight for freedom” that the bishops have called all Catholics to observe this summer. This fortnight will provide Catholics the opportunity to become better educated and more united regarding the important issue of religious freedom. n Finally, we best support these important foundations by committing to build holy marriages and families and by living lives according to authentic freedom, consistent with truth and God’s will. Our Christian witness in this area not only positively contributes to the good of our society, but also strengthens the credibility of the church’s voice in America. Father Daniel Griffith, a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, is a faculty fellow of law at the University of St. Thomas School of Law and a fellow in the Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law, and Public Policy.
“It is not more surprising to be born twice than once; everything in nature is resurrection.” ― Voltaire
The Lesson Plan 16A
The Catholic Spirit
Reflections on faith and spirituality
APRIL 26, 2012
A good shepherd, like a grain of wheat, will give up life for others “This is why the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again” (John 10:17). ithin his self-description as the good shepherd, Jesus reveals the heart of the Paschal Mystery. By giving up his life, Jesus gives us life. I once heard the Paschal Mystery described succinctly as “dying equals rising.” This concise summary is described elsewhere in the Gospel according to John: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the Deacon earth and dies, it reBen Hadrich mains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24); “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). The good shepherd putting his sheep before himself; a grain of wheat dying to itself to produce an abundant harvest; and
Readings Fourth Sunday of Easter April 29 ■ Acts 4:8-12 ■ 1 John 3:1-2 ■ John 10:11-18
For reflection Read the Scriptures in this article and pray with them.
a friend who sacrifices everything for the beloved; that is what Jesus does for us. The Paschal Mystery is precisely what we celebrate this Easter season. In laying down his own life, Jesus took it up again and took us with it. Elsewhere in the Scriptures, St. Paul explains just what this means for humanity: “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy victory? O death,
Monday, April 30 Pius V, pope Acts 11:1-18 John 10:1-10
Acts 9:26-31 1 John 3:18-24 John 15:1-8 Monday, May 7 Acts 14:5-18 John 14:21-26 Tuesday, May 8 Acts 14:19-28 John 14:27-31a
Tuesday, May 1 Joseph the Worker Acts 11:19-26 John 10:22-30
Wednesday, May 9 Acts 15:1-6 John 15:1-8
Wednesday, May 2 Athanasius, bishop and doctor of the church Acts 12:24 — 13:5a John 12:44-50
Thursday, May 10 Damien Joseph de Veuster of Molaka‘i, priest Acts 15:7-21 John 15:9-11
Thursday, May 3 Philip and James, apostles 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 John 14:6-14
Friday, May 11 Acts 15:22-31 John 15:12-17
Friday, May 4 Acts 13:26-33 John 14:1-6 Saturday, May 5 Acts 13:44-52 John 14:7-14 Sunday, May 6 Fifth Sunday of Easter
Deacon Ben Hadrich is in formation for the priesthood at The St. Paul Seminary for the Diocese of Duluth. His home parish is Holy Family in McGregor and his teaching parish is St. John the Evangelist in Duluth.
Crisis needs prayer, not strategic campaign
Daily Scriptures Sunday, April 29 Fourth Sunday of Easter Acts 4:8-12 1 John 3:1-2 John 10:11-18
where is thy sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:54b-57). Keeping the Paschal Mystery in mind, we can enter more fully into the Scriptures for this fourth Sunday of Easter. With the psalmist we can sing: “I will give thanks to you, for you have answered
me and have been my Savior.” With St. John we can, “See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are” (1 John 3:1). With Peter we can believe confidently that, “There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved” (Acts 4:12). Before his passion, death and resurrection, Jesus made clear to his disciples: “I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own” (John 10:18). In meditating on the Easter season we see these words fulfilled — Jesus truly did lay down his life for his sheep and his friends. Perhaps a one word response best captures our sentiments: Allelulia!
Saturday, May 12 Nereus and Achilleus, martyrs, or Pancras, martyr Acts 16:1-10 John 15:18-21 Sunday, May 13 Sixth Sunday of Easter Acts 10:25-26, 34-35, 44-48 1 John 4:7-10 John 15:9-17
Catholic News Service When a community is faced with crisis, persecution and trouble, it should come together in prayer for strength from God, not formulate strategic plans to defend itself, Pope Benedict XVI said. Unity is fundamental, he said, and the community needs to ask “only to proclaim the word of God fearlessly in the face of persecution,” not to avoid tests, trials and tribulation. There was a festive atmosphere during the pope’s general audience in St. Peter’s Square April 18 — two days after the pope turned 85 years old. Thousands of pilgrims sang “Happy Birthday” when a Bavarian band struck up the tune, and smaller groups of the 22,000 people present sang or shouted “Happy Birthday” in their own languages. The pope also thanked people for their well-wishes marking the seventh anniversary of his pontificate April 19. “I ask that you always support me with your prayers so that, with the help of the Holy Spirit, I may persevere in my service to Christ and the church,” he said. During his main audience talk, the pope continued his cycle of talks on prayer. He looked at how the early Christian community prayed when the apostles Peter and John were released after being ar-
From the Vatican
rested for teaching in the name of Jesus. The community “raised their voices to God with one accord,” St. Luke says in the Acts of the Apostles, asking the Lord to note the threats being made against them and give them the power and courage “to speak your word.” “Facing danger, difficulties and threats, the first Christian community does not seek to analyze how to react or devise a strategy in how to defend itself,” he said.
Unity in prayer transforms An important aspect of their prayer was that it took place in unison and harmony, he said, underlining how important such unity is for the church. “The community didn’t get scared and didn’t split up, but it was deeply united in prayer,” he said. “Unity is consolidated rather than compromised because it is sustained by unfaltering prayer.” At the end of their prayer, the Gospel says, “the place where they were gathered shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.” The pope said the trembling building is meant to show that “faith has the power to transform the earth, the world” and that being filled with the Holy Spirit pushed the disciples to proclaim the Gospel everywhere. The pope asked that people’s prayers be inspired to seek “God’s loving plan in light of Christ and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit,” to find answers to life’s questions and difficulties, and better discern the correct direction of one’s life and vocation.
The Lesson Plan
APRIL 26, 2012 • THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT
Prepare for Holy Communion as you would for a fine dinner By Father Michael Van Sloun
to church on time, to be in place when the banquet begins. We would never forget our credit card or to bring enough cash to pay for the meal and leave a tip. An encounter with Christ in the Eucharist is precious and invaluable, and we should be ready to offer our first fruits to the Lord in thanksgiving for blessings received.
For The Catholic Spirit
Jesus is really present in the Eucharist, the greatest of all banquets, and the reception of Holy Communion is a profound encounter with our Master and Teacher. A personal audience with the Lord of all deserves our full attention and thoughtful preparation. The Eucharist far surpasses a fine dinner at an exceptional restaurant with a dear friend, celebrity or superstar. A useful tool for reflection would be to compare a major dinner engagement with the Eucharist. Good preparation begins well in advance.
Attuned to Christ
No cancellations, please For a major dinner, we mark the date on the calendar and then make reservations. Similarly, we should securely reserve our time to go to Mass to receive the Eucharist. Once the reservations are made, it is important to keep the date, and impolite to cancel at the last minute. Similarly, once we have decided on a time to go to Mass, we ought to follow through on our intention. An encounter with Christ is not to be missed. It is important to clean up ahead of time, to take a shower or a bath. Similarly, if we are very dirty, if we have committed a major sin, it is necessary to be cleansed first in the sacrament of reconciliation, or if we are only mildly dirty, if we are soiled with less serious sins, we should at least spend some time in prayer asking for God’s mercy. It is important to dress up for the occa-
CNS photo illustration
sion, to set out some of our nicest clothes to show that the dinner is a special occasion and demonstrate our respect for those with whom we are dining. Similarly, when it comes to Mass, when we dress in our better clothes it says that the Eucharist is supremely important, that we respect the other members of the congregation with whom we are dining, and ultimately, that we respect Christ, the one whom we will receive. One should go to a banquet with a good appetite, on an empty stomach, with no snacking beforehand, eager and ready for feasting. Similarly, we should observe the eucharistic fast for at least one hour before Mass so we are spiritually hungry to re-
ceive Christ. It is important to be in the right mindset, to plan to have a wonderful time, to be in a good mood and pleasant. Similarly, it is important to have the proper disposition when we go to Mass, to be cheerful and excited at the prospect of encountering Christ. It is important to be well-rested in order to give our dinner partners our full attention without nodding off. Similarly, it is beneficial to get a good night’s sleep or to take a nap before attending Mass so we can give Christ our full and undivided attention in the Eucharist. It is important to get to the restaurant on time. Similarly, it is important to get
Preparation to receive Holy Communion begins in earnest once Mass has begun. Full, active, conscious participation in the liturgy is the proper way to prepare. We participate well when we sing the hymns, respond to the prayers, listen attentively to the Scripture readings and the homily, pray along with the priest as he offers the Eucharistic Prayer, recite the Lord’s Prayer, extend the sign of peace to our neighbors, ask the Lamb of God to take away our sins and have mercy upon us, and request that the Lord would heal our troubled souls. The last stage of our preparation is to reverently approach the Eucharist. The walk from our pew to the Communion station should be slow and dignified, possibly singing the Communion song, with mind and heart attuned to Christ. Then, a small bow in adoration is made, followed by a strong “Amen,” a faith-filled declaration of belief that the Eucharist is the real presence of Christ. After we consume the Blessed Sacrament or Precious Blood, we warmly welcome Christ into our hearts. Father Michael Van Sloun is pastor of St. Stephen in Anoka.
Keeping emphasis on Jesus will keep faith alive, educators told By Carol Zimmermann Catholic News Service
A workshop titled “Will there be faith?” answered its own question with a resounding “yes” — with the caveat that Catholic school teachers and catechists emphasize the life and ministry of Jesus and also follow his teaching style. The workshop, one of hundreds offered during the annual National Catholic Educational Association convention April 11-13 in Boston, did not stress any new programs or teaching styles but instead highlighted Gospel passages. Thomas Groome, director of Boston College’s Institute of Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry, told a packed room of educators April 13 that Jesus — described as a teacher 150 times in the New Testament — should be their role model. He noted that obviously Jesus didn’t use PowerPoint or even a microphone, but said today’s teachers should “be consistent with his approach.” According to Groome, the particular teaching style Jesus used engaged people in their daily lives, often through parables, invited them to stop and look at their lives, then turned their views upside down and motivated them to live differently based on this faith understanding. “He was not just a discussion leader,” Groome added, noting that the Gospel of Mark describes Jesus as “teaching with authority.” Groome noted that Catholics are not accustomed to putting so much emphasis on Jesus but should take their cues from
Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI. He said that after Pope John Paul’s death, one daily newspaper described him as evangelical and seemed almost surprised at the number of times the pope had spoken about Jesus. And when Pope Benedict visited the United States in 2008, Groome said he repeatedly told crowds to follow the example of Jesus.
Walking with others Groome also referred to the U.S. bishops’ 1972 pastoral letter, “To Teach as Jesus Did,” which outlined the basic principles, goals and forms of the church’s educational ministry in the United States. He said that document encourages catechists simply to “walk with” those they are teaching, as Jesus did with the disciples on the road to Emmaus. Then, just as Jesus did as he walked with his followers, Groome said they should invite those they are teaching to tell their story of faith and finally, bring them to see for themselves how this faith experience can impact their daily lives. Groome acknowledged the struggles experienced by the church in recent years, including the sexual abuse crisis and divisions within the church. He also noted the large number of those who call themselves “fallen away” Catholics. But he said he did not see such challenges as prevailing, noting that people ultimately desire to have faith. When participants were asked what gave them hope in teaching the faith to young people today, one teacher said she
CNS photo / Gregory L. Tracy, The Pilot
Karen Ristau, president of the National Catholic Educational Association, is seen on a large screen as she delivers remarks during the opening of the NCEA’s annual convention in Boston April 11. The three-day event included more than 400 professional development sessions, departmental meetings, liturgies and the special events hosted by the Archdiocese of Boston.
was encouraged by church history that continuously showed a return to faith; another said she was encouraged by “pockets of youth” who have strong faith; and another said she simply believed “God won’t give up on us.” Groome said the church can recover from hardships and loss of faith if people return to the heart of their Catholic Christian faith: Jesus. Reiterating the question: “Will there be
faith?” he noted that “we can’t automatically say yes.” “We can’t be sanguine about it,” he said, referring to places where Catholic faith once thrived and many churches are now empty, such as Europe. He placed the bulk of this responsibility on Catholics today and especially its educators telling them the future of faith “depends on what we teach and how we teach it.”
“As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.” Andrew Carnegie
From Age to Age 18A
The Catholic Spirit
A Catholic Spirit special section
APRIL 26, 2012
Seniors’ stories: Passing on legacy to next generation By Liz O’Connor Catholic News Service
Considering how rapidly the world has changed in the past 100 years, the senior members of families and parish communities have a wealth of memories which, if shared and preserved, can provide a fascinating and lasting legacy. The American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress describes “folk life” as the “everyday and intimate creativity that all of us share and pass on to the next generation” from songs, dances, games and communication of beliefs. Diaries, photo albums, letters, home movies, business records and artifacts all form part of the legacy elders can pass on, but audio and video recordings of elders’ memories of their own lives — and of the lives of their parents and grandparents — are a relatively simple and immediate way to gather and organize a legacy for future generations.
views should be moved for longer-term storage to a hard drive.
Oral history help
For about two decades, parishioners at Christ the HTTP://WWW.LOC. King Parish in Oklahoma GOV/FOLKLIFE/ City, Okla., have been taking FAMILYFOLKLIFE/ORAL an active role in obtaining HISTORY.HTML senior stories. Pam Cullen, director of senior adult ministry for the parish, said the Life Story Project began with a parish staff member’s project for his master’s degree in adult education. The project was so successful that now the parish publishes a book each year with photographs and biographies of its older parishioners. The parish connects its senior parishioners willing to take part in the project with pairs of seventh-graders from the parish school. The 12-yearolds interview the seniors and write biographies with the help of their English teachers; the seniors Getting started provide old and contemporary photos. Families, organizations, and parishes are CNS photo / Gregory A. Shemitz Stories include games the seniors played when among those now collecting such oral histories. The Library of Congress website (see box) of- U.S. Navy and World War II veteran Jack Jonke, 86, smiles while attending they were 12 as well as how they met and courted their spouses, what kinds of work they fers tips for setting up a formal oral history proj- a Veterans Day observance in Stony Brook, N.Y. did as children and adults, and information ect, from determining the scope of the project, ■ Ask open-ended questions. about how their families came to live in the United States considering who will organize it, what equipment will ■ Use follow-up questions and in Oklahoma. be needed, to deciding on the ultimate destination of ■ Allow the interview subject to go off in another diOne older parishioner hesitated to get involved in the the project’s results. It emphasizes the importance of obtaining releases from those interviewed, and also provides rection if a question reminds him or her of another topic. project because she thought her life was “too ordinary,” ■ Limit the interview to about one hour. but she said that when she began talking with her interexamples. It also offers tips for interviewers, advising them to do Recordings need to be stored in a way they can easily viewers, she realized that in “82 years there’s a lot of the following: be retrieved; for example, digitally recorded inter- change in the world.”
Congratulations NET Ministries on your
Anniversary! The Catholic Spirit
From Age to Age Did prayer to wartime priest lead to man’s recovery? German chaplain was ‘last human face’ many prisoners saw before their execution By Valerie Schmalz Catholic News Service
The Vatican is working to authenticate whether the 1997 healing of an Oakland, Calif.-area man with incurable cancer came about through the intercession of Father Franz Stock, a German Army chaplain to prisoners of the Nazis in Paris. Such authentication is needed before the priest’s beatification can be approved. Father Stock was “the last human face” hundreds, perhaps thousands, saw before their execution. He is a symbol of reconciliation in FATHER STOCK France and Germany, where streets and schools are named for him and national leaders have honored him. A French postage stamp commemorating Father Stock was issued in 1998 for the 50th anniversary of his death from pulmonary edema. He died Feb. 24, 1948, at age 43, and his sainthood cause was opened decades later.
Unexpected recovery Three months after doctors told a 33year-old San Francisco resident he had incurable gastric cancer and had at most three months to live, he was declared cancer free. That was in October 1997. Medical tests continue to show no traces of cancer. “The doctors were flabbergasted because he was diagnosed with stage-four cancer and they sent him home to get his affairs in order and die,” said Robert Graffio, canon lawyer for the Archdiocese of San Francisco and notary for the investigation. The archdiocese’s metropolitan tribunal investigated the man’s medical case and sent its report to the Vatican’s Congregation for Saints’ Causes March 16. If the Vatican authenticates that a miracle occurred and his beatification is approved, Father Stock would be declared “blessed.” A second authenticated miracle would be needed for his canonization. The man, who recovered unexpectedly, became the object of prayers to Father Stock through family members who knew of the priest’s story. A Franciscan priest who wrote the only English-language biography of Father Stock was pastor of a New Jersey parish where the stricken bridegroom’s older brother, wife and children attended Mass. When Mary G. (her full name was withheld by request) called to place her brother-in-law on the parish prayer list in 1997, Franciscan Father Boniface Hanley said, “Pray, pray to Father Franz Stock,” she said, and made up a holy card for them to use. “We kept praying the whole time. He had his whole stomach removed. He had lymph nodes that were positive,” said Mary G., who as a nurse cared for her brother-in-law as he recovered instead of dying. “It’s 15 years later and he is still cancer-free.”
“I was the only one who didn’t focus on how bad things really were. All my focus was on getting better,” said the man who recovered. He asked that his name, too, be withheld. The man received the diagnosis of incurable cancer just days before his wedding. He did marry his fiancee, although their wedding was a couple of weeks later than planned. After they wed, his healing began. The couple has two children, 7 and 9. In an interview with Catholic San Francisco, the archdiocesan newspaper, the man said that although his family prayed to Father Stock, he did not do so. “It’s almost through the investigation that I found out and was reminded how serious it was,” the man said. The wartime French called Father Stock “archangel in hell” because of his heroic mercy and kindness as chaplain to the inmates of the German armed forces in the Paris prisons of Fresnes, La Sante and Cherche-Midi and the execution fields of Mont Valerien. Eyewitnesses recounted Father Stock risking his life — at times using a specially outfitted cassock and an overcoat with hidden pockets — to bring news and banned luxuries and necessities to the men and women. The chocolate, clothing, paper, pens and letters helped the prisoners resist despair, torture and threats to their families. During the period 1941-44, the priest
APRIL 26, 2012 • THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT recorded accompanying more than 700 people to their executions and said he witnessed thousands being shot by the Nazis. “This week alone, I prepared 72 men for death, assisted them at the final moment and buried them,” Father Stock wrote in a December 1941 journal entry published by the Benedictine Abbey of St. Joseph de Clairval, in Flavigny, France. In another entry published by the Abbey, Father Stock noted that Roger L., 28, was baptized the day of his execution. “He had lost all courage. With my help, he regained confidence. . . . He made his first Communion with a moving gravity. . . . His last words at the moment of his death were ‘Lord, have mercy on me.’”
Seminary ‘behind barbed wire’ With the liberation of France, Father Stock was briefly imprisoned by the Americans. Upon his release, the priest was asked to run a German prisoner of war “seminary behind barbed wire” in Chartres, an initiative of the French regime and the apostolic delegate to France, Archbishop Angelo Roncalli, the future Pope John XXIII. The seminary was for “captured students of theology,” according to the website WWW.FRANZ-STOCK.ORG. During its existence from 1945 to 1947, 949 lecturers, priests, brothers and seminarians passed through the camp seminary. From early adulthood, Father Stock was an advocate for peace, particularly reconciliation between Germany and France. Thus, despite an initial reluctance, Father Stock was convinced to run the German POW seminary in France as a way to further peace by renewing Catholicism in postwar Europe.
“Art is not an end in itself. It introduces the soul into a higher spiritual order, which it expresses and in some sense explains.” Thomas Merton
Arts & Culture 20A The Catholic Spirit
Exploring our church and our world
This time, St. Paul the Hermit rightly faces up By Bob Zyskowski The Catholic Spirit
Art lovers won’t want to miss the beautiful sculpture of St. Paul the Hermit that’s on display — the right way now — at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. The larger-than-life-size work of 18th century Italian artist Andrea Bergondi was acquired by the MIA nearly 40 years ago, but until this year the piece wasn’t displayed the way it is now, and presumed was originally intended. Credit goes to the folks at MIA for rediscovering the proper positioning and not only fixing it but being very public about the misplacement. Read more details later on this page, but the short version is that, the way the piece was displayed before, it looked as if the bearded old hermit was diving off a cliff, as a wonderful display explained for several weeks. That display — now down — showcased the Bergondi work in a separate room, with the story of the statue’s restoration and realignment explained in storyboards along the walls of the room. What the correction did was turn the statue so that the saintly one was seen to be praying upward to God — which seems more appropriate than for him to be going for a dip in a lake. The back story behind the piece that comes to us from early church tradition is that St. Anthony Abbot found the body of St. Paul the Hermit frozen in prayer. That’s exactly what you’ll see today in the marble image on display at the Minneapolis Institute of Art.
About the saint It is unclear what we really know of Paul’s life, how much is fable, how much fact. Paul was reportedly born in Egypt, where he was orphaned by age 15. He was also a learned and devout young man. During the persecution of Decius in Egypt in the year 250, Paul was forced to hide in the home of a friend. Fearing a brother-in-law would betray him, he
Where and when to see the statue Andrea Bergondi’s “St. Paul the Hermit” is located in Gallery 330 of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in the Baroque area. MIA is located one mile south of downtown Minneapolis at the intersection of Third Avenue S. and E. 24th St. Free parking is available in the ramps south of the institute on Third Ave. Hours: Tuesday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday Closed
fled to a cave in the desert. His plan was to return once the persecution ended, but the sweetness of solitude and heavenly contemplation convinced him to stay. He went on to live in that cave for the next 90 years. A nearby spring gave him drink, a palm tree furnished him clothing and nourishment. After 21 years of solitude, a bird began bringing him half a loaf of bread each day. Without knowing what was happening in the world, Paul prayed that the world would become a better place. St. Anthony of Egypt [Jan. 17] attests to his holy life and death. Tempted by the thought that no one had served God in the wilderness longer than he, Anthony was led by God to find Paul and acknowledge him as a man more perfect than himself. The raven that day brought a whole loaf of bread instead of the usual half. As Paul predicted, Anthony would return to bury his new friend. Thought to have been about 112 when he died, Paul is known as the “First Hermit.” His feast day is celebrated in the East; he is also commemorated in the Coptic and Armenian rites of the Mass.
Rome church guidebook is companion to previous 800-page coffeetable book Twin Cities attorney Greg Pulles self-published a beautiful coffeetable-style book two years ago, “Sacred Places: Rediscovering the Churches of Rome.” He’ll soon have a companion to that 800-page work, a guidebook to help people take walks to visit those same churches. On Wednesday, May 4, Pulles will give a free talk at the Mall of America on the history of the churches, the saints entombed at them, the mosaics and the art masterpieces they contain The talk is scheduled from 4 to 5 p.m. in the mall’s third-floor conference room. A social hour will follow. Pulles has organized the soon-to-be-released “Guidebook to the Churches of Rome” around 11 geographically set walks. Along with his historic, religious and artistic
commentary, the guidebook includes a short history of the City of Rome and even a favorite restaurant section. There are also new easy to use maps for the 22 walks, he noted in a message to The Catholic Spirit. “There is no experience like a trip to these churches,” Pulles wrote. “The history is breathtaking: to stand on the precise spot where one Pope blessed Constantine and another Pope crowned Charlemagne, to see the tombs of Peter and Paul, to be in the very first cathedral, the very first baptistery ever built!” Art in the churches includes Renaissance and Baroque pieces from the likes of Raphael, Michelangelo, Bernini, de Cambio and Cavallini, and can be see “inches from our noses!” Pulles pointed out.
APRIL 26, 2012
‘Catholic Briefcase’ gives workers tools to integrate faith into work “The Catholic Briefcase” by Randy Hain, Liguori Publications (2011), pp136, $9.99. Reviewed by Tom Bengtson For The Catholic Spirit Randy Hain, a 2006 convert with an extensive business background, has written a useful book for Catholics struggling to integrate their faith and work lives. “The Catholic Briefcase: Tools for integrating faith and work” is a short guide for professionals who want to live their faith 24/7. Hain encourages us to schedule time for prayer — even in five minute blocks — into our daily calendar. If it isn’t scheduled, it won’t happen, he says, and as one who is dependent upon my electronic calendar, I can attest to that. He encourages us to surround ourselves with people who challenge us and make us think. He encourages us to ask “why,” rather than focusing on “what.” Perhaps his best suggestion is to use the Jesuit-developed Daily Examen, which encourages us to pray, reflect on our day, and plan for the future. An appendix walks you through the steps. On page 111 of the 136-page book, the author asks the reader to consider whether your job supports your family or whether your family supports your job? That is a provocative question that could have opened this book. Anyone who attempts to come up with an answer is forced to consider the purpose of their work and whether their actual practice matches their desire. Hain also writes about courage, saying “our willingness to place the needs of people before the bottom line is an act of courage sorely needed in business today.” I would say that the needs of people and the bottom line do not have to be in conflict with one another. Successful companies figure out ways to align the two, just as successful employees often figure out ways to integrate their faith with their work.
A few more questions needed The book does not go into some of the gritty practical questions that many workers might have about their careers, such as “Should I sacrifice income for more time with my family?” “When do I fire an under-performing employee?” “Should I report a colleague who may be padding his expense report?” “Should I quit my job if I work for a big retailer who sells magazines, some of which can be considered pornographic?” or “What should I do if I work for a drug store that sells contraceptives?” These are the kinds of real life questions that people have to deal with all the time in the workplace. Hain, who was a vice president at a major restaurant chain, certainly has experiences with these kinds of questions and probably has insight about how to answer them. Some of that insight would have helped this book. However, if you have a son or daughter in the workplace, and you want to help them see that their faith has a role in work, this book would make a nice gift. Hain gives us useful pointers for considering the role of our faith in the context of the workplace. Given the time many people spend on their careers, this book could be an important guide in the next portion of their faith journey. Tom Bengtson writes about faith and the workplace. Reach him at WWW.TOMBENGTSON.COM.
Calendar Dining out Fish fry at Knights of Columbus Hall, Bloomington — Every Friday: 5 to 9 p.m. at 1114 American Blvd. Cost is $10.95. Call (952) 888-1492 for reservations. Chicken and rib dinner at Knights of Columbus Hall, Bloomington — Every Wednesday: 5 to 9 p.m. at 1114 American Blvd. Cost is $10.95. Call (952) 888-1492 for reservations. KC pancake breakfast at Ss. Peter and Paul, Loretto — April 29: 8:30 a.m. to noon at 145 Railway St. E. Traditional Lebanese dinner at Holy Family Maronite, Mendota Heights — April 29: 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 1960 Lexington Ave. S. Tickets are $15 for a whole dinner and $8 for a half dinner. Tickets must be purchased by April 22. Call (651) 291-1116 for information.
Parish events Rummage sale at St. Mark, St. Paul — April 27 to 29: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 9 a.m. to noon Sunday at 2001 Dayton Ave. Spring flower sale at St. Joseph, Rosemount — April 28 and 29: 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to noon Sunday at 13900 Biscayne Ave. Includes hanging baskets, patio pots and more. Proceeds benefit the youth mission team. Organ recital at St. Olaf, Minneapolis — April 28: 7 p.m. at 215 S. Eighth St. Features Craig Cramer, professor of music, organist, University of Notre Dame. Free will offering. ‘Day of Renewal, Healing and Restoration’ at St. Albert the Great, Minneapolis — April 28: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 3200 E. 29th Ave. Father Don Piché will be the speaker and celebrant. Free will offering. To register, call (612) 243-9411 or visit WWW.NEWLIFECRM.ORG. Night of Spirit event at Holy Spirit School, St. Paul — April 28: 5:30 p.m. at 515 Albert St. Features food, raffles, auctions and music by Tim Mahoney. Cana dinner at St. Charles Borromeo, Minneapolis — April 28: Follows the 5 p.m. Mass at 2739 Stinson Blvd. N.E. Douglas Bushman will present, “What Do I Really Mean When I Say, ‘I Love You?’” Features a social and catered dinner. Cost is $52 per couple. For information, call (612) 781-6529. 50th anniversary of ordination celebration for Father Robert Monaghan at Incarnation, Minneapolis — April 29: Mass at 9:30 a.m. at 3801 Pleasant Ave. S. A pancake breakfast will follow. Garage sale at St. Bonaventure, Bloomington — May 2 and 3: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday at 901 E. 90th St. Halfprice Thursday morning, $2 bags from noon to 4 p.m. Rummage sale at Holy Name, Minneapolis — May 3 to 5: Preview sale Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m. with $1 admission at 3637 11th Ave. S. Continues Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday ($1 bag day) 9 a.m. to noon. Rummage sale at St. Joseph, Hopkins
APRIL 26, 2012 • THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT sion, $125 for both. Email ZACHARY. to sign up.
Open Window Theatre presents ‘The Hobbit’
Sant’Egidio Community Evening Prayer at St. Richard, Richfield — Every Thursday: 7 p.m. at 7540 Penn Ave. S.
The Open Window Theatre in Minneapolis presents, “The Hobbit,” the final show of its inaugural season. Shows run Thursday through Sunday, April 27 to 29 and May 3 to 6, 10 to 13 and 17 to 20. Thursday through Saturday shows are at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday shows are at 2 p.m. The theatre is located at 1313 Chestnut Ave. For more information, visit WWW.OPEN WINDOWTHEATRE.ORG. — May 3 to 5: 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday at 1310 Mainstreet. Saturday is $1 per bag. Rummage sale at St. Austin, Minneapolis — May 3 to 5: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at 4051 Thomas Ave. N. Saturday is bag day, $3 per bag or 2 for $5. Queen of May dinner and auction at Immaculate Conception, Columbia Heights — May 4: 5:30 p.m. at 4030 Jackson St. N.E. Enjoy hors d’oeuvres, dinner, live entertainment and auctions. Tickets are $30. For information, visit WWW.ICCSONLINE.ORG. or call (763) 788-9065. Family First Friday at St. Mark, St. Paul — May 4: 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at 2001 Dayton Ave. Prayer and a meal followed by speakers and discussion for adults and games and music for the kids. Eucharistic adoration at 7 p.m. For information, visit WWW.SAINTMARK -MN.ORG. Passion and Purpose Live Retreat with author Matthew Kelly at St. Vincent de Paul, Brooklyn Park — May 5: 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. 9100 93rd Ave. N. Optional Mass will be celebrated beforehand at 7:30 a.m. Registration is required, visit WWW.DYNAMICCATHOLIC.COM The cost is $39 and includes the Passion and Purpose Workbook, The Seven Pillars of Catholic Spirituality CD, and The Mass Journal by Matthew Kelly. Refreshments will be provided. Cinco de Mayo taco sale at Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. Paul — May 5: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 401 Concord St. $2 for one taco, $5 for a taco dinner and $15 for a dozen. Parking available for $5, proceeds benefit the parish Boy Scout Troop. Spring festival at Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Maplewood — May 5 and 6: Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. booths open; 5 to 7:30 p.m. Mexican dinner and 7 to 11 p.m. dance featuring GB Leighton at 1725 Kennard St. Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. features a chicken dinner, silent auction, Kiddieland, food and more. Father Michael Gaitley: Divine Mercy and Consoling the Heart of Jesus at St. Paul, Ham Lake — May 6: 7 to 9 p.m. at 1740 Bunker Lake Blvd. N.E. For information, visit WWW.CHURCHOFSAINTPAUL .COM. Spring luncheon and card party at St. John the Baptist, Hugo — May 7: Noon at 14383 N. Forest Blvd. Cost is
Legion of Mary prayers in front of Planned Parenthood, St. Paul — Every Friday: 3 p.m. at the corner of Vandalia and Charles. For information, call (651) 439-9098. Rosary of the unborn at Pregnancy Choices LifeCare Center, Apple Valley — Every Thursday: 7:15 p.m. at 15026 Glazier Ave. For information, visit WWW.ROSARYOFTHEUNBORN.COM.
$8 and tickets are available at the door. Strings, Pipes and a Glorious Tenor at Little Sisters of the Poor, St. Paul — May 11: 6 p.m. at 330 Exchange St. Cathedral Cantor Nicholas Chalmers, organist Lawrence Lawyer and the Cathedral Chamber Orchestra are featured. Free will offering. John McCutcheon in concert at St. Joseph, New Hope — May 11: 7 p.m. at 8701 36th Ave. N. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children through grade 8. Tickets available at the door or by calling (763) 544-3352. Retirement party for Father Tom Fitzgerald at St. Genevieve, Centerville — June 10: 2 to 5 p.m. at 6995 Centerville Road. Potluck, dancing and a program at 3 p.m.
School events Open house at Academy Holy Angels, Richfield — April 26: 6 p.m. at 6600 Nicollet Ave. S. For students entering grades 9 to 12. For information, call (612) 798-2621. Annual COOL STUFF sale at Our Lady of the Lake School, Mound — April 26 to 28: Pre-sale Thursday 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. with $5 entry at 2411 Commerce Blvd. Sale continues Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to noon. Open house at Blessed Trinity School, Richfield — April 27: Tours on the hour from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 6720 Nicollet Ave. S. For students entering grades 4 to 8. For information or to RSVP, visit WWW. BTCSMN . ORG / ADMISSIONS / OPEN HOUSES.HTML. ‘Sweet Charity’ presented at CretinDerham Hall School, St. Paul — April 27 to 29 and May 4 to 6: Show times are 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Cost is $6 for students and seniors and $8 for adults.
World Apostolate of Fatima Vigil of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Hastings — May 4 and 5: 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. at 2035 W. 15th St. For information, call (651) 772-2221 or WWW.FATIMAONLINE.ORG. All night vigil with the Blessed Sacrament at Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. Paul — May 4 and 5: 7 p.m. Friday to 8 a.m. Saturday at 401 Concord St. Healing Mass at Holy Name of Jesus, Wayzata — May 11: Rosary at 6:30 p.m., Mass at 7 p.m. at 155 County Road 24. Father Jim Livingston will be the celebrant.
Singles Sunday Spirits walking group for 50plus Catholic singles — ongoing Sundays: For Catholic singles to meet and make friends. The group usually meets in St. Paul on Sunday afternoons. For information, call Judy at (763) 221-3040 or Al at (651) 482-0406. Singles group at St. Vincent de Paul, Brooklyn Park — ongoing second Saturday each month: 6 :15 p.m. at 9100 93rd Ave. N. Gather for a potluck supper, conversation and games. For information, call (763) 425-0412.
Other events One-day retreat for physically or mentally challenged Catholics at St. Alphonsus, Borrklyn Center — April 28: 10 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. with an optional dinner for participants and families/ caregivers following at 7025 Halifax Ave. N. Keynote speaker is Michele Denise Michaels. Retreat also includes Mass, opportunity to receive the sacrament of Penance and quiet time for prayer. For information, call (651) 291-4543.
Upscale resale sale at Benilde St. Margaret School, St. Louis Park — May 5: Early bird entry for $3 at 8 a.m., free admission from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. $5 per bag sale from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Located at 2501 Hwy 100 S.
Archdiocesan Family rosary Procession, State Capitol to the Cathedral of St. Paul, St. Paul — May 6: Assemble at the capitol at 1:30 p.m. Procession begins at 2 p.m Event will conclude with prayers and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
Blazer summer basketball camp for girls grades 8 to 12 at Visitation School, Mendota Heights — June 12 to 14 or June 24 to 26: Choose one or both sessions. Each session runs three days from noon to 5 p.m. Cost is $75 for either ses-
100-year anniversary celebration for Knights of Columbus Solanus Casey Council No. 1632 at St. Mary, Stillwater — May 12: Mass at 4:30 p.m. at 423 S. Fifth St. Dinner and dance will follow at the KC Hall.
Calendar Submissions DEADLINE: Items should be submitted by Noon Thursday, seven days before the anticipated Thursday date of publication. LISTINGS: Accepted are brief notices of upcoming events hosted by Catholic parishes and institutions. Items are published on a space available basis. ITEMS MUST INCLUDE the following to be considered for publication in the calendar: • Time and date of event. • Full street address of event. • Description of event. • Contact information in case of questions. E-MAIL: SPIRITCALENDAR@ ARCHSPM.ORG. (No attachments, please.)
MAIL: “Calendar,” The Catholic Spirit, 244 Dayton Ave., St. Paul, MN 55102.
APRIL 26, 2012 • THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT
Ascension parishioners form new friendships through program Expert advice on uniting diverse communities Anne Attea, pastoral associate at Ascension, offered these tips that have proven successful at the north Minneapolis parish. n “My greatest piece of advice would be to not be afraid to try some new things. You will evolve into knowing what works for your community. But if you never try, you never move beyond people’s comfort zone.” n “Actions speak louder than words. If you’re going to have a parish gathering, what can you do in terms of the ambience or the environment to welcome people of different ethnicities and cultures?” n “Pay attention to what the needs might be. If you’re doing an event and you have a worship aid, is there a way to accommodate both languages?” For example, if a Mass reading is proclaimed in Spanish, print the words in English so everyone can follow along. n Celebrate bilingual Masses several times a year. n Invite all parishioners to participate in and take leadership of parish events. n Try using multilingual music at Mass. n Discuss what it means to be catholic in the universal sense. “That means that we do our best to include everyone and try new things.”
Gerardo Escamilla and other members of Ascension’s Future Full of Hope group listen to a presentation on liturgy at the parish April 19.
For more information or ideas, contact Anne Attea at (612) 529-9684 or
Dave Hrbacek / The Catholic Spirit
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5A talks, proves that the program’s other goal — to form competent leaders — also has been achieved. Attea has invited graduates of the program to take on leadership roles in the parish’s stewardship committee, social justice ministry or in any ministry they feel they can contribute.
Fostering understanding Future Full of Hope participant Linda Goynes, 59, has been Catholic for just three years, but already she is involved in
several ministries at the parish, including helping with the food shelf, preparing dinner for the Future Full of Hope gatherings, and tending the peace garden. Besides making her a better leader, Goynes said, the group has helped her to forge new friendships at the parish. Before joining the group, Goynes said, she hadn’t interacted much with Latinos. Now she counts several Latinos, whom she invited to help with the peace garden, among her friends. Gerardo Escamilla, 39, said he joined Future Full of Hope to connect more with the parish’s English-speaking community.
He said he would like to help start a religious education/faith formation program for both English-speakers and Spanishspeakers after he completes the program. “Sharing my time with people from other countries and getting along with those people means a lot for me and my family,” said Escamilla, who is from Mexico. “I learned that people might do things differently, but that doesn’t mean they’re wrong.” Fulton, the former St. Philip parishioner who sees herself as a bridge-builder, said the program has helped her feel more a part of the Ascension community.
One of her favorite moments occurred when she shared photos she took in Guatemala with another group member who is from that country. He used the photos to teach others about his culture, Fulton said. “I just remember that being a time when we could all celebrate our connection through different experiences.” Part of being a bridge-builder is extending personal invitations to parishioners who might feel outside of the fold, Fulton said. “Hopefully we can all kind of hold each other together a little bit more to feel like we’re connected.”
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Relief agency seeks to engage more U.S. Catholics CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1A time] where English was the dominant language. So I grew up in an environment where everybody was reinventing a new life, having left a really difficult situation.” Woo was born in Hong Kong and educated by Maryknoll sisters, whose “can-do” attitude left a lasting impression on the young girl. One time, she remembers, the sisters gave up riding public transportation to raise seed money that would help them build a clinic or another school. “The whole idea of ‘can’t’ wasn’t really part of their vocabulary,” Woo said. She brought that can-do spirit to her former position as dean of the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business and now carries it, as of Jan. 1, to her job leading Catholic Relief Services — the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. Each year CRS assists more than 130 million poor and otherwise disadvantaged people in nearly 100 countries around the world — work that ranges from helping to feed famine-stricken people in East Africa, to meeting the needs of Iraq war refugees, to aiding Haitians as they rebuild their country in the wake of a devastating earthquake that struck the island two years ago. Woo, a married mother of two children, immigrated to the U.S. and knows from personal experience that the right kind of aid can make a difference in the day-to-day lives of people in need. “I’ve seen it done for a whole population of people,” Woo said, recalling her childhood days. “I remember refugees living on the hillside of Hong Kong. They constructed shanties of cardboard and whatever else they could put together. I saw within two decades or so, all those were gone — the phoenix rising from the ashes. I’ve actually seen it, so it’s very real to me.”
Sharing the story Some Catholics know about CRS’ work through Operation Rice Bowl — a popular Lenten program in which participants connect with those in need through prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Others are familiar with CRS’ work through collections taken up in parishes following some of the largest natural disasters in recent memory, including the 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Still, Woo said, not enough people know about the good work the agency is doing every day around the world. “Currently, only 8 percent of Catholics in this country know about CRS — that’s what our awareness studies show us,” she said. “We have to do a lot more than engaging 8 percent of our Catholics.” CRS wants to increase its visibility not only so it can garner key financial support, but also so it can engage more U.S. Catholics in advocacy on behalf of the world’s poor and build support for bills in Congress that would boost crucial international aid. “The other part of it is that we play a very important role in the ‘new evangelization,’” Woo added. “We need to confront Catholics with good news — the good news that comes from the good work that’s being done by the church in their name.” Woo said “friend-making and sharing the good news of CRS” was an integral part of her visit to Minnesota. She met with Archbishop John Nienstedt and spoke at St. Catherine University on the topic of global realities and the agency’s work.
Seeing in a different way Woo was tapped by the CRS board of directors last June to succeed Ken Hackett, who retired after leading the agency for 18 years. She came to the job already familiar with the organization’s mission and work, having served on the CRS board of directors from 2004 to 2010 as one of its first lay members. While on the board, Woo traveled to Indonesia not long after the tsunami, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Ethiopia and Kenya. Her board work and the trips changed her life. One of the most difficult passages in the Bible with which to wrestle is the parable of the rich man and
CNS photo / Jim Stipe, CRS
Carolyn Woo, president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services, is pictured with a child in 2007 in Ethiopia.
way — serving a growing list of countries, the changing needs of the poor around the world, and dealing with shifts in technology and funding sources. One area in which CRS has expanded its work is peacebuilding in areas torn by war and other conflicts. “You can’t really do development work or stabilization work if you can’t put people back in neighborhoods, back into regular living situations — whether that requires sharing water systems or pulling together in other ways,” Woo said. “Communal life requires the coming together of people of many different interests, backgrounds and ethnic origins. So peace-building has become an inseparable piece of our work.” Through it all, Woo said, CRS works to maintain its commitment to excellence and good stewardship of the funds it receives from donors and other sources. About 94 percent of funds go directly to programs helping people on the ground. Rooted in faith One of the places benefiting right now thanks to the Woo is grounded in her own Catholic identity and generosity of U.S. donors is Haiti, where CRS is working works to ensure CRS’ work is likewise grounded in the with the local church and other partners to help the 1.5 faith. million people who were affected by the earthquake two The agency doesn’t proselytize those it serves; rather, years ago. it witnesses to the faith through its actions, rooting its In the first year after the quake, CRS helped to feed work in the church’s rich body of Catholic social teach- over a million people and helped many with emergency ing. health care needs, Woo said. In the second year, the “Catholic social teaching resonates agency helped to build more than across all cultures and all religions,” 10,000 shelters — each of which Want to know more? Woo said. “We operate in a lot of could accommodate a family of five. countries that are not primarily CRS worked to get children back to Visit the at the CRS website at Catholic. But Catholic teachings school, increase access to clean water, HTTP://WWW.CRS.ORG, and the about human dignity, the preferenensure proper sanitation and help Catholics Confront Global Poverty tial option for the poor, standing people start or restart local businesses. website, HTTP://CRS.ORG/GLOBAL with people in solidarity, subsidiarity In the next few years, CRS will be POVERTY, a joint effort of CRS and or empowering people on the ground working to further improve the eduthe U.S. Conference of Catholic — those are the principles that our cation system, build a teaching hosBishops. whole organization embraces. It is repital, and provide more assistance to ally the touchstone of everything we local businesses. do.” Woo traveled last year to Haiti to see the progress and She said it’s a privilege to work alongside CRS staff will be traveling to other CRS overseas worksites later members who are striving to bring hope to those in need this year. Karen Rauenhorst, a member of Holy Name of Jesus in of it most. She is also motivated by the opportunity to Medina who served on the CRS board at the same time serve the church. “I think the church is facing a lot of challenges,” she as Woo, said she is impressed by the new CEO’s commitsaid. “I think our generation got the best of the church ment. “Carolyn has such a passion for the mission of CRS,” — the brothers, sisters and priests who gave us strong Rauenhorst said. “She has decided to use all her skills educational institutions, strong parishes, extraordinary faith examples [and] inspiration. I think it’s really im- and talents to change the lives of those who are in need.” Asked what she wanted Catholics to know about the portant for lay people to step up, to make sure the next ongoing work of the organization, Woo said this: “You generation can avail themselves of what we had.” have to remind U.S. Catholics that CRS is their CRS. It Looking ahead belongs to the U.S. Catholic Church. It does work in The nature and extent of CRS’ work has changed much their name, and it is very good in doing that work. We since its founding in 1943 to help with the resettlement want them to be confronted with this good news and of war refugees in Europe. But it has adapted along the also to help us.”
Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31), Woo said. The rich man wore fine linens and ate very well; Lazarus, however, was hungry and covered with sores. When the men died, angels carried Lazarus away, but the rich man suffered torment in the netherworld. “The rich man just never ‘saw’ [that he needed to help the poor man],” Woo said. “He was not mean to the poor man, he didn’t kick him, he didn’t harm him. He just moved around and operated in a world that was so comfortable and he never ‘saw.’” Sometimes we, too, put on blinders as a way to cope with all the suffering around us, she said. But we must expand our vision in order to act as God wants us to act. “I think the most important thing is that CRS forced me to ‘see,’” Woo said. “I saw not only suffering, but I saw solutions. And I saw the people who make the solutions possible.”
“Academic excellence is important, but we must be convinced that we have something greater to give our students. We can help them to rise and walk in newness of life.” Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley, in his homily for the opening Mass of the National Catholic Educational Association 2012 Convention and Expo in Boston April 11
THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT
Quotes from this week’s newsmakers
APRIL 26, 2012 “The spirit of our age is profoundly secular. And secularism accepts religion — if it accepts it at all — only on its own terms. Under this view, religion is subordinated to the political interests of the secular state. And it is precisely this subordination of religion to the state that the First Amendment seeks to prevent.”
A bit of Bavaria brightens pope’s birthday
— Carl Anderson, supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus, in remarks April 19 at the eighth annual National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C.
“I find myself on the last stretch of my journey in life, and I don’t know what is awaiting me. I know, however, that the light of God exists, that he is risen, that his light is stronger than any darkness and that God’s goodness is stronger than any evil in this world, and this helps me go forward with certainty.” — Pope Benedict XVI, speaking to Bavarian guests and Vatican officials on his 85th birthday, April 16 CNS photo / Gregorio Borgia, pool via Reuters
Children dressed in traditional Bavarian garb dance for Pope Benedict XVI during the pontiff’s 85th birthday celebration in the Clementine Hall at the Vatican April 16.
St. Croix Catholic School wins technology grant St. Croix Catholic School in Stillwater has received a $20,000 grant from Project Lead the Way, the nation’s leading provider of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics curriculum. The money will be used to help The implement the Catholic Spirit PLTW engineering curriculum, including materials and equipment for the hands-on, projectbased classes that are trademarks of the PLTW curriculum. According to PLTW, St. Croix Catholic is the first Catholic school in the state to assume its curriculum. Beginning in the next school year, it will offer PLTW’s Gateway to Technology program, which will introduce middle-schoolers to engineering, robotics, computer modeling and energy.
BSM online paper wins national award Benilde-St. Margaret’s School in St. Louis Park has won its fourth
consecutive Online Pacemaker Award from the National Scholastic Press Association. The school’s online newspaper, the Knight Errant, received the award at the Spring National High School Journalism Convention in Seattle April 15. This award acknowledges excellence in high school journalism and is known by many as the “Pulitzer prize for student journalism.” The editor of the Knight Errant is BSM senior Emma Eldred. According to Knight Errant adviser Jason Wallestad, the award is “a testament to her and the staff. That’s the part I’m most proud of.”
UST gets challenge gift for campaign The University of St. Thomas received a boost to its Opening Doors capital campaign in the form of a $20 million challenge gift from members of its board of trustees. The $20 million fund will match all levels of gifts received through the end
of the Opening Doors campaign on Oct. 17, or until the fund is exhausted. “With just months to go in our campaign, this challenge grant could not have come at a better time,” said Father Dennis Dease, UST president. Gifts and pledges currently total more than $445 million.
Parish team, deacon honored for service The Lumen Christi (St. Paul) Social Justice Team was named Honorable Mention in the Catholic Charities USA 2012 National Volunteer of the Year Award. Also earning Honorable Mention honors was Deacon Russell Kocemba, who currently serves as a deacon at Nativity of Our Lord in St. Paul. The Lumen Christi parish team has done a number of social justice
initiatives aimed at helping members of the parish be true to its namesake, the “light of Christ.” For more information, visit WWW.LUMENCHRISTIJUSTICE.COM. Deacon Kocemba does volunteer work with Hope Street for Runaway and Homeless Youth. He visits the shelter weekly to help build relationships with the youth there. He also helps them find employment by assisting with resume writing and other job-searching tasks.
BVMs name Hadro as new president A person with local ties has been named president of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary at its recent Senate of Elections in Dubuque. Sister Teri Hadro, who entered the order from St. Luke in St. Paul (now called St. Thomas More) in 1965, previously served as vice president since 2008. She graduated from Our Lady of Peace High School and studied at the University of Minnesota.
8-page special section
PROCLAIMING THE GOSPEL
Mark Berchem wasn’t trying to start something new 30 years ago But the organization he founded continues to nurture the faith life of many thousands of youth every year Mark Berchem, the executive director of NET Ministries, spoke recently about how the Catholic youth retreat ministry organization was created 30 years ago, how it has changed and grown into a worldwide organization, and what may be in its future. Edited excerpts of his interview at the West St. Paul headquarters with The Catholic Spirit News Editor Pat Norby appear on pages 4B and 5B of this special section. Also in this section are stories about NET Ministries’ efforts taking place in local parishes and schools, reflections from former NET Team members and information about the culmination of NET’s 30th anniversary, with a Mass, presentation and reception on Saturday, May 12 at St. Joseph in West St. Paul.
LIVING FOR CHRIST The Catholic Spirit April 26, 2012
THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT â€˘ APRIL 26, 2012 1986
1994: Lifeline begins (monthly youth Mass/program)
of challenging young Catholics to love Christ and embrace the life of the church
1994: Canada office opens in Ottawa 1993: 200 NET alumni serve at World Youth Day, Denver 1991: Purchase, move to and remodel 110 Crusader
1990: Australia office opens in Brisbane
1986: First NET retreat in Canada
1989: St. Paul CYC closes, NET moves to West St. Paul
1988: NET team serves in Australia
2001: NET Center expansion (dorms and dining hall)
1981: First NET team (to 9 dioceses)
2004: NET Ireland and NET Uganda begin 2005: First NET USA Parish Team 2006: NET celebrates 25 years of ministry 2010: First NET High School Team 2011: NET celebrates 30 years of ministry
APRIL 26, 2012 • THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT
Alums share how ministry to youth impacted them The Catholic Spirit asked several former NET members to share an experience from their ministry on a team and tell our readers how that impacted their ministry choices and their lives today. Read excerpts of their reflections here and on page 6B.
Sister M. Consolata Vocation director for the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George, Alton, Ill. Talk about one experience during your ministry with NET that led you toward your current ministry. During training as a team supervisor, we took the teams to a Christian artist concert. The second half of it was during adoration. As I was kneeling there I heard these words from the song being sung: “How many times have you doubted my word? How many times must I call your name? And as you say, yes, letting me love you, I will be strength for the journey.” There before the Lord in the Eucharist I thought, “You have called me my whole life. Why can’t I just say yes the first time?” So, I did. I said yes to the Lord. How does your NET experience continue to guide you? NET Ministries introduced me to eucharistic adoration. This transformed my life then and continues to sustain me now.
John Beaulieu Director of Youth and Young Adult Outreach, Franciscan University, Steubenville, Ohio Talk about one experience during your ministry with NET that led you toward your current ministry. I was working with a small group of teen boys on an evening retreat. I asked them to describe their families and one after another described how overinvolved and strict their parents were. They complained about having to check in while they were out and how their parents wanted to know every detail, like who they were going to be with, when they would be home, etc. Everyone chimed in with their complaints, except one, who just looked angry and kept rolling his eyes. I asked him why he seemed so upset and he blurted out, “All you guys are full of it. I could go out on a weekend and not come home for three days. I could pass out and die in a ditch and my parents would not notice or care for days. You don’t know how good you have it cuz you have parents who care about you. You should all shut up and be grateful that someone loves you!” It made me realize that I wanted to help teens know Christ’s love.
Father Michael Becker
Father Thomas Margevicius
Director of St. John Vianney College Seminary
Professor at The St. Paul Seminary
Talk about one experience during your ministry with NET that led you toward your current ministry. While serving in Cleveland, Ohio, I returned from an evening retreat to greet my host family — a 50year-old mother, and her 25-yearold son. When I arrived about 9:30 p.m., I was greeted with joy and enthusiasm by the mother and son, who were up and anticipating our exchange. I was planning to go to bed shortly, as we needed to awake early the next morning. But the mother and son sat us down and proceeded to ask us questions about our Catholic faith, until 2 a.m. Their hunger and joy to know the truth was extraordinary. I almost felt like I was St. Philip who had been transported in Spirit to meet the Ethiopian eunuch, to whom he explained the Scriptures and proceeded to baptize. I, too, experienced such tremendous interior joy that I was counted worthy to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with these two. That is a joy that I experience in my priesthood every time I am able to lead a soul to Christ through preaching, teaching, discipling and the sacraments.
Talk about one experience during your ministry with NET that led you toward your current ministry. On NET, I was the leader of music, not only entertaining students during large group sessions, but also accompanying Mass and team prayer. Often the retreatants did not want to sing or participate robustly at Mass and I had to choose how I would respond: would I become upset, scold them or worse, surrender to their impiety and cease praying myself? Or would I continue to sing and play well regardless of whether the retreatants were praying along? On NET, I had to learn the latter. Likewise, a priest has to do more than just shallowly follow the liturgical books (merely “say the black, do the red”). Rather, he himself must pray the liturgy, whether or not the faithful are praying the way he wishes they would. In fact, the more prayerful the priest is himself, the more likely the faithful will follow his model and pray along. They will not need to be “guilted” into participating by some disgruntled priest.
Celebrate 30 years of NET Ministries What: Mass with Archbishop John Nienstedt When: 10 a.m. Saturday, May 12 Where: Church of St. Joseph, 1154 Seminole Ave., West St. Paul Presentation with speakers and video will follow Mass at 11 a.m. with a cake reception to begin at noon. No RSVP necessary.
Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ Franciscan Charismatic Religious Institute For more information contact: Sr. Regina Marie, DLJC 806-534-2312 ext. 30 email@example.com • www.dljc.org
ve lati p m nte Co
A life of prayer, praise & evangelization
Congratulations Congratu C ulations NET USA A on 30 years of serving servin r ng the Kingdom
We are proud W pro roud d to serve serve beside you! yo
THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT • APRIL 26, 2012
Longtime director offers personal perspective Mark Berchem, executive director of NET Ministries, was serving on the youth retreat team with the Catholic Youth Center in St. Paul when NET Ministries was formed in 1981. Following are edited excerpts of an hour-long interview about the past, present and future of the Catholic youth ministry organization. Read the entire interview at THECATHOLICSPIRIT.COM. What motivated you to form the traveling retreat ministry? It’s reminiscent of the early church, when the apostles traveled to various places to preach about Jesus. I had majored in social work in college with the intention of helping people solve problems. I realized that we spend a lot of time, as a society, trying to deal with problems after they occurred and not as much time trying to prevent problems. One of the things I came to see working with young people is that young people who discover that God loves BERCHEM them, who grab on to their dignity as a person, who belong to an active or strong faith community, they tend to do better in life with other things. It was my interest in faith and spreading faith and my desire to help people — especially young people — that kind of intersected. I found myself at the Catholic Youth Center as part of the retreat team, doing retreats locally.
A lot of parishes would bus kids up to the old CYC on Smith Avenue for retreats. Over a period of time some of them said, “Would you ever send a team out to our town, rather than us busing our kids up?” We started doing that. One of the staff would take a group of college volunteers and go down to Winona, or Sioux Falls or Rochester or Albert Lea, conduct a retreat and come back to the Twin Cities. I was one of the new guys on staff, so, guess who got asked to do a lot of the traveling? After doing that for a couple of years, one day, I took out a map and made X’s on all these little towns I visited. I said to the director that it would be more efficient if we got a team together to go down to Winona and do all these retreats consecutively and then come back. I wasn’t trying to start something. I was just looking for a way to make life a little easier. In January 1980, I took 11 college students down to the diocese of Winona and we did 16 retreats in 21 days. . . . We got a call from bishop [Paul] Dudley in Sioux Falls: “Will you come and do that in Sioux Falls?” Another week went by and I got a call from a priest in Fargo — a priest named Bernie Pfau. He said, “You don’t know me but I heard what you did in Winona. Will you come and do that in Fargo?” In January 1981, we sent out three teams just for the month. . . . As a young man, I remember praying,
“God, if you will give me the help I need to put together a team that can go out for a year, I’ll consider my life to be successful.” I thought it would take years. Within nine months, the first team was trained and sent out. You seem to have had a favorable response doing retreats in southern Minnesota. Did you expect that? What do you think accounted for the success? I don’t know if I had great expectations because there was so much unknown. We were excited and I thought we had something valuable to share. . . . It was prior to John Paul II and the new evangelization. Now there is a lot of talk about the new evangelization — back in the early ’80s, not so much. One thing we got asked all the time is, “Are you Catholic?” The notion of Catholic people going out and directly sharing their faith with other people, it wasn’t part of our worldview, although, historically, that’s always been the Catholic worldview. . . . Here we were — a group of young people traveling around with a couple of guitars and a lot of energy and talking about Jesus — and it caught people off guard. Was it a challenge to convince pastors, bishops and others about the value of this ministry? What was working in our favor was a lot of bishops, priests and so on would look around church on Sunday and not see too many young people. When they had a NET
Peer-to-peer ministry is key,
Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul an NET Ministries’ success is young people min
“That was what impressed me the first tim when I was bishop of New Ulm down at th
“I was very impressed with the skits they young people and got them engaged an solid catechesis.
“That’s the genius of the program and w supporter of it. They just do excellent work.
retreat and they saw the excitement that the retreatants left with, they said, “I like the end results.” Jesus says, “You’ll be known by your fruit.” That was what was convincing. Kids were energized about their faith. They wanted to get back involved in church. That’s a good thing. That was really the key to our growth — the positive results. And it was contagious. What does NET offer young people today? The core of NET, the bread and butter, if you will, has been the NET teams that go out and conduct the evangelistic retreats across the country. This year, we have seven teams traveling around the U.S. in 90-plus dioceses, and their main ministry is just doing retreat work with the Catholic young people. We have one team that stays here in the
Chef Jeff Conlin Congratulates NET Ministries on their 30th Anniversary Chef Jeff and his all-star creative team brings worldly flavors to the Twin Cities. True Tastes Event Catering in St. Paul, MN focuses on offering the best for Corporate & Community Events, Weddings, Fund-raising Dinners and Special Banquets in just about any venue.
For 30 years of faithful service,
CONGRATULATIONS TO NET MINISTRIES From your brothers and sisters at Community of Christ the Redeemer
NET Anniversary 5B
on local youth ministry to carry it on once the team is done. . . .
nd Minneapolis says one of the keys to nistering to other young people.
me I witnessed a confirmation retreat e Church of St. Peter in St. Peter,” he said.
did,” he said. “They really attracted these nd, at the same time, were giving them
why I’m so much in favor of it, so much a ” — The Catholic Spirit
archdiocese and does retreat work here for the young people in the parishes and high school as well as assists in our monthly Lifeline, our youth Mass. . . . That’s attended by 1,000-plus young people every month. It’s exciting. The gym is packed. It’s lively. The music is reverent but lively. It’s amazing — at the moment of consecration, you will have 1,000 young people on their knees on a hard gym floor and it will be totally silent, focused on what is happening on the altar. We have two teams that work strictly in parishes. . . . About six years ago we started an experiment with Divine Mercy Catholic Church in Faribault. We had a team dedicated entirely to that one parish. . . . We come into a parish and make a three year commitment — the idea is to get the young people who aren’t involved, get them re-engaged — let’s fortify the youth program and let’s train up the young people involved here
The last team works full time at Providence Academy [in Plymouth]. We’ve started inserting a team into a high school as part of the campus ministry program. . . . We run a gathering for youth ministers. It’s a monthly morning for people working with youth. We provide some training and support for them in their role as youth workers. In the summer, we run Discipleship Week, which is a four-to-five-day to a weeklong retreat. It’s a follow-up for kids who have been on a retreat. It’s geared to help a person develop some of the daily practices you need to live your faith, like how to pray, how to make prayer time, understanding the sacraments, how to live a chaste life when you’re 16-17. It’s geared for young people who’ve experienced an initial conversion; they’re living their faith but they are looking for more hands-on help. How does NET embody the call to new evangelization?
sistent message of the church in a new way and with new vitality. The second way we embody it is that John Paul’s call to us was to start with the people in the pew. . . . It’s going back and starting with our own and reinvigorating their faith. That’s where we work. We work with primarily Catholic young people in parishes and schools. A third way we embody the new evangelization goes back to Paul VI. Paul VI said: “Is there any more effective way to evangelize then by having one person share with another person their experience of Christ.” That’s what the NET teams are doing. It’s a young person who is 18, 19, 20-22, sitting down with someone who is 13, 14 and 15 and sharing how “God has worked in my life. This is why I’m following Christ. This is why I’m Catholic. It’s worth it and I invite you to do the same thing.” It’s that person-to-person transmittal of our faith story and that invitation to join the family. What are you most proud of regarding NET Ministries? Changed lives. . . .
One of the main tenents that John Paul offered was that the new evangelization isn’t a new message, it’s the message that has been saving people for 2,000 years, but presented with new methods and new vitality. I think that’s what NET does. . . .
One of the most profound experiences for me, early on, is when we were at a retreat and there was a young man there who had a deformity in his forehead . . . he was the butt of a lot of teasing, a lot of jokes.
One of the ways we embody the new evangelization is the call to present the con-
Unbeknownst to us, he brought with him a weapon. It was a piece of metal shaped
Three alumni to be honored May 12 Three former NET retreat team members will be honored during the 30th anniversary gathering at St. Joseph in West St. Paul: Gordy DeMarais, founder of St. Paul’s Outreach; John Beaulieu, youth and young adult outreach director at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio; and Sister Consolata, vocations director for the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr George.
like a T. . . . When the retreat ended, he walked up to me and took that metal weapon, handed it to me and said, “I don’t need this anymore.” . . . He said he realized on this retreat that “God loves me just the way I am and I don’t need to lash out at people because they tease me.” It made me realize that we don’t know what hurts and junk a young person carries with them when they come on retreat. But we do know that whatever it is, the message of God’s love and mercy can begin to give that young person freedom, can give them healing and hope that whatever junk they are carrying because of their past life, or past activities or bad families or no friends, that Christ can begin to take that away from them.
THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT • APRIL 26, 2012
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3B
Tammy Jo Evevard
Executive director for NET Canada
Author of “Becoming”
Talk about one experience during your ministry with NET that led you toward your current ministry. I remember sitting in a circle with a grade ten young man who struggled to share about his difficulties with his father’s anger in a church basement. I simply prayed for him as he so vulnerably struggled to find the words to express his feelings to the other four young men in the group. . . . When I asked this young man what he wanted prayers for, he responded, “For my dad. You see, I love him, but he doesn’t know how he can hurt us. But I forgive him and I want to pray for him. Secondly, I want to pray that I can love like Jesus does.” This was a huge moment for this young man — and this was a huge moment for me. I realized, “That your faith might not stand on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God” 1 Corinthians 2:5. It was nothing that I really said, but it was that God used me as his vessel to reach a youth. It was all his grace.
Talk about one experience during your ministry with NET that led you toward your current ministry. Working with the young girls in my small groups all over the country showed me one thing — girls do not see themselves as their great God sees them. They constantly compare themselves to others and are constantly finding themselves lacking. I have spent all my years since NET speaking to women, mentoring women, challenging women to see themselves as enough, made in God’s image and likeness and that, as he tells us in Genesis, we are "good.” I’ve even recently written a book for women called “Becoming (the woman God made you to be).” How does your NET Ministries experience continue to guide you? NET was the place that I really dug into my Catholic faith. I had grown up in a very ecumenical environment and didn’t know a lot about my faith. I had never said a rosary. I had never gone to daily Mass. NET was the experience that pushed me toward learning about the traditions of our church.
Congratulations to NET Ministries Thank you for your 30 years of witness and faith. NET has challenged thousands of young men and women to grow and mature in their faith. Their daily witness is a committed response to the “New Evangelization” called forth by Blessed Pope John Paul II. May God bless your next 30 years!
THE MOST REVEREND JOHN C. NIENSTEDT ARCHBISHOP OF SAINT PAUL AND MINNEAPOLIS
APRIL 26, 2012 • THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT
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Dave Hrbacek / The Catholic Spirit
Sixth-grader Nathan Shirk, left, has been inspired by NET team member Alex Liebsch to the point of writing about him for an assignment at All Saints School in Lakeville. Liebsch is part of a NET team serving at All Saints parish and school.
Netters are guides and friends in parish When Nathan Shirk’s sixth-grade teacher at All Saints School in Lakeville recently assigned him to write an essay about an inspirational leader, he chose someone not so much older than he is who’s both “religious and fun.” In his essay, he wrote about National Evangelization Team member Alex Liebsch: “He inspires me because he is so nice and is really holy. . . . I like how he is always making friends, helping us if we are in trouble, and says God will always forgive us.” Nathan has had the chance to get to know Liebsch this school year as the Netter and the other members of his team have led retreats, prayer groups and generally spent time hanging out and sharing faith with middle and high school students at All Saints parish and school. “He’s really inspired me to believe and trust that God will always be there for me,” Nathan said. His mom, Kathy Shirk, said she’s happy but not surprised at his choice because the Netters have been good role models
who pay attention to all three of her kids. “The Netters enjoy listening to what they have to say and [the kids] really appreciate having somebody who’s older than they are be excited to see them and talk to them,” she said. Her oldest son, Jacob, who is in eighth grade, also has become friends with Netters this year through many activities, including participating in a weekly discipleship training group that Jacob said has helped him feel closer to God. Jacob’s “been able to see how turning to God in his faith can help guide him through those challenges in the teen years,” Kathy said. Both Jacob and Nathan also like the fun side of hanging out with older peers — some of whom aren’t long out of high school themselves — including playing foosball and Ultimate Frisbee. “They’re nice and they’re open to ideas and they’re always willing to talk about our faith, too,” Jacob said. “They look at it through our eyes.” — Susan Klemond
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NET Ministries On O n behalf behalf of of the the priests, priests, religious, religious, and and lay lay Catholics Catholics of of the the Archdiocese, Archdiocese, my I eextend xtend m y ccongratulations ongratulations tto o NET Ministries NET M inistries Most Robert Carlson M ost Reverend Reverend R obert JJ.. C arlson Archbishop off S St. Louis Archbishop o t. L ouis
THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT • APRIL 26, 2012
NET Team 11 fires up parents and students at Providence Academy By Susan Klemond For The Catholic Spirit
Providence Academy hasn’t been the same since eight fired-up young missionaries showed up at the Plymouth campus last fall, and neither has headmaster Todd Flanders’ family, which hosted three of them in its home. This school year, National Evangelization Team 11 has been inspiring students at the K-12 school to grow deeper in their faith through small groups, activities, hanging out, listening and sharing faith, Flanders said, adding that the entire FLANDERS school community, including families that have hosted team members for two-week periods, have benefited from their “evangelization.” “They do amazing small group and oneon-one discipling,” said Flanders, who attends Mary Queen of Peace in Rogers. “They bring a spirit of worship and praise that involves lots of our kids. . . . They actually have a lived experience with a lot of our families and kids and create a very, very rich relationship both in the families and in the school.” This is the second year Netters have served at the school, but it’s the first time the school hosted a full-time team, Flanders said. Team 11 has had more time for Bible studies, one-on-one sharing and being present at the school’s drop-in “NET Room.” In their unique role as older peers, Netters take time to listen to students, said
Katie Lahti, campus ministry coordinator. “It’s a wonderful blessing,” said Lahti, who attends Holy Family in St. Louis Park. “Simply somebody you can go to that will drop everything just to listen.” Because Team 11 is dedicated to Providence Academy rather than leading retreats around the country as most of the other 10 teams do, members are there for students every day, said team member Taylor Bettencourt. “If they’re in a bad mood and they really need to talk to someone . . . it’s usually really easy for them to come up to us because they see us day-in and day-out,” he said. “They can say, ‘Hey I’m having a really rough day. This is what’s been on my heart. Can I tell you this?’” The relationship between what students see in class and at Mass, and Netters’ “organic lived testimony” of faith has been mutually enriching and enhancing, Flanders said. “Our kids don’t always listen to parents as well as they’ll listen to somebody else. What you have is Netters who actually live the kinds of things that parents want to teach their kids and to be able to have peers model those beautiful realities can be much stronger sometimes than having parents try to tell it.” Providence Academy junior Ashlen Hagelberg has gotten to know the Netters through many activities this year. She said she likes the fact that they offer everything from guidance on problems to motivation for keeping Lenten commitments. “Even though there’s still an age difference, they struggle with the same things I do,” she said. Hagelberg, who attends Mary Queen of Peace in Rogers with her family, said she’s considering going on NET when she graduates. “They’ve kind of shown if they can do it I can do it,” she said. “It’s life changing.”
Part of the family A
C A T H O L I C C O L L E G E -P R E P A R A T O R Y
P K -1 2
Education Built on Faith, Knowledge and Virtue
30TH Anniversary Blessings to NET Ministries from Providence Academy! We are blessed by your partnership 15100 Schmidt Lake Road, Plymouth / www.providenceacademy.org / 763.258.2502 Providence admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.
Flanders’ two teenage sons especially got to know the Netters who stayed with them this winter; they were welcomed as immediate parts of the family, he said. He saw spiritual growth in the family, especially in his sons, who attend the Plymouth school. “We thought it was a great expansion of our family and a wonderful opportunity for all of us, especially our high school boys,” he said. “Everybody in the family wanted them back.” Bettencourt, who stayed with the Flanders, got the chance to talk about serious faith questions with the boys while hanging out and playing guitar with them. At school or home, Netters give students a chance to have conversations about God while having fun, Lahti said. “When Netters are here they provide an environment for these conversations and these opportunities to learn about each other,” she said. Team 11 members will finish their service in May. Flanders said he hopes Providence Academy will host another team next year. Students aren’t the only ones who benefit from their presence, he said. “I see lives transformed in my own family and in other families among kids and also among us parents,” he said. “The witness that the Netters bring is not just for kids who are younger than they are but for folks a lot older than they are.”
Published on Apr 26, 2012