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Newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Evangelization motivates History Day winners


July 3, 2013

The Catholic Spirit News with a Catholic heart

Court rulings called ‘tragic day for marriage’


Minnesota Catholic, evangelical leaders urge passage of immigration reform The Catholic Spirit Archbishop John Nienstedt joined other Christian faith leaders on the plaza of the U.S. Courthouse in Minneapolis June 26 to urge Minnesota’s congressional representatives to support immigration reform that provides a roadmap to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, upholds human dignity, promotes family unity and secures borders. Reform is needed because the nation’s current immigration system has failed on many levels, Archbishop Nienstedt said. “It is inconsistent, ineffective, and it does not promote the common good,” he said. “Therefore we, together with our evangelical brothers and sisters, stand today from across communities and denominations to reiterate our support for comprehensive immigration reform that brings millions of people out of the shadows, reunites them with their families and puts them on a path to citizenship.” “Each day in our parishes, our social service programs, hospitals and schools, we witness the human consequences of the broken immigration system,” he said. “Families are separated, workers are exploited, and our fellow human beings are dying in deserts. Without positive change to our immigration laws, we cannot be of assistance to these, our brothers and sisters.” Minnesota’s Catholic bishops and a group of evangelical pastors issued an open letter to the state’s congressional delegation a day before the PLEASE TURN TO FAIR ON PAGE 11

Dave Hrbacek / The Catholic Spirit

From left, Hannah DeRocher, Elizabeth Greve and Taryn Posch lead a group of walkers in Jordan taking part in the Crossroads Walk. DeRocher and Greve are among 12 young adults from various U.S. cities making their way across the country to raise awareness of the need to protect the sanctity of all human life. Posch, who attends Chesterton Academy in Edina, joined in the walk locally, and her family hosted the 12 during their stay in the Twin Cities.

Foot soldiers for life Young adults on Crossroads Walk bring their passion to the Twin Cities By Dave Hrbacek

For more information about the Crossroads Walk go to

The Catholic Spirit

For four hectic days over the final weekend in June, the Posch house in Edina had the look of a college dormitory. “A sea of airbeds and sleeping bags” is how one of the family’s five daughters put it. That daughter, Brianna, who just graduated from Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, and had come home for the summer, joined three of her sisters in giving up their bedrooms and sleeping on the floor for four nights. Why? To make room for 12 passionate young adults making their way across the country on foot to raise awareness for the sanctity of life. On June 27, the Crossroads Walk came to the Twin Cities, with a dozen travelers

staying at the Posch house and delivering their pro-life message to Catholics and others in the metro area.

Headed to D.C. They are making their way from Seattle to Washington, D.C. for a national prolife rally Aug. 10. They will be joined there by two other groups of 12 who currently are walking across the country on routes farther south. They take turns hitting the pavement wearing white T-shirts with the words “PRO LIFE” in large, blue letters on the front. “We’ve got sleeping bags and bodies and mattresses all over the floor and it’s wonderful,” said Cathy Posch, a member of Holy Family in St. Louis Park who

quickly stepped forward to be a host when she heard the group was coming through the Twin Cities. “The more the merrier. We’re together for night prayer and are privileged enough to share our faith together. It’s an honor and a great joy.” Cathy has a daughter, Taryn, who is attending Chesterton Academy in Edina. When Cathy learned from another daughter studying at Ave Maria University in Florida that the group was coming, she went to Chesterton administrators to rally the school’s support. She stepped forward to host, then she and Taryn met the group at St. John the Baptist in Jordan on June 28. The walkers were greeted by the pastor, Father Timothy Yanta, and some of them also spoke at weekend Masses to raise awareness and money for their journey. They did the same thing at St. Olaf in Minneapolis, Maternity of Mary in St. Paul and Our Lady of the Prairie in Belle Plaine. Taryn, who will be a sophomore at Chesterton in the fall, noted that the school’s insignia contains the Latin words, PLEASE TURN TO PRO-LIFE ON PAGE 5



The four pillars of sacramental marriage Recently, I was addressing a point on the unique understanding that we as Catholics have on the sacredness of the Holy Eucharist, when one of my listeners blurted out, “Well, why doesn’t the Church get honest and admit that her annulments are just another name for divorce!” Surprised at the abrupt change of topic, I asked: “Do you understand the difference between civil marriage and sacramental marriage?” The man admitted that he did not. I regret to say that many other Catholics do not either and that is a terrible shame.

That They May All Be One Archbishop John C. Nienstedt

‘Marriage in the Lord’

The Catholic Church defines the sacrament of marriage as a ‘covenant’ — a union in God and dependent on his assistance of grace

Civil marriage is based on a contract or written agreement that this man and this woman freely bind their lives together as one social entity (originally this was the idea behind them taking one name). That contract continues as long as the two parties desire it to be so. Civil governments have a stake in the outcome of such unions because they provide future social stability through the children who are born, educated and prepared for citizenship as a result of those contractual relationships. When the well-being of civil marriage is threatened, the future of the common good is placed at risk, and that ought to be of significant concern for governmental leaders. Sacramental marriage externally looks just like civil marriage, but the internal reality is far different. Sacramental marriage rests on what I call the four pillars that give it definition: ! Faith-filled: It is a union between a baptized man and a baptized

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. 18 — No. 15 MOST REVEREND JOHN C. NIENSTEDT Publisher SARAH MEALEY Associate publisher JOE TOWALSKI Editor Materials credited to CNS copyrighted by Catholic News Service. All other materials copyrighted by Catholic Spirit Publishing Company.a

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Sacramental marriage externally looks just like civil marriage, but the internal reality is far different.


woman; ! Free consent: It is knowingly and willingly entered into by a man and a woman who understand what they are doing and have the capacity to follow through; ! Indissoluble: Both believers recognize that this is a lifelong, exclusive and monogamous union because it is a “marriage in the Lord”; ! Fruitful: Being believers, the couple models the generative love of God as seen in the Blessed Trinity in willing that their love for each other will bear fruit in the procreation and education of their children. When we view the meaning of sacramental marriage over and against that of a civil marriage, we begin to understand why the Catholic Church defines the sacrament of marriage as a “covenant” — a union in God and dependent on his assistance of grace. Accordingly, divorce has no place in terms of sacramentality because God’s grace never dies even in the presence of human sin or weakness. An annulment, on the other hand, results after careful consideration has been given as to whether or not all four pillars were present the day that the couple said their “I do’s.” If one or more dimensions were missing,

then that union, which admittedly was a civil marriage, was never capable of being a sacramental marriage. On the other hand, when two Lutherans are married in a Lutheran Church, the Catholic Church presumes they, too, have entered into a sacramental union due to the validity of their baptism. (The same understanding of validity does not, however, extend to a Lutheran theology of the Eucharist.) If they later divorce and one of the parties desires to marry a Catholic, his or her union would require an annulment before marriage to a Catholic could take place. Some will say that all this is needless bureaucracy or “red tape.” However, the Catholic Church sees that the dignity of the human person requires respect for his or her public promise spoken through the wedding vows before a recognized religious minister and two witnesses. The Church in that sense is only holding each party to his or her word and thus defending the integrity of their promises. In addition, the increasing number of marriages in our archdiocese between persons of “mixed religious” PLEASE TURN TO MARRIAGE ON PAGE 11

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.

Call 1-877-328-9161 ©2013 HHM, Inc. 304

Italian Renaissance Tour September 24 - October 3, 2013 Fr. Bob Hart

Church of St. Patrick, Inver Grove Heights

$3,295 plus airfare and gratuities Your Tour Includes • Accommodations in first class hotels with twin bedded rooms and private bath • Breakfast daily • Five dinners, including a special welcome dinner in Venice, welcome dinner in Florence, dinner at the hotel in Assisi, and two dinners in Rome • Two nights in Venice area • Two nights in Florence area • One night in Assisi • Three nights in Rome. Tour includes: Basilicas of Rome, Papal Blessing and Panorama of Rome • Vatican Museum & the Sistine Chapel • Special wine tasting • Excellent local guide for entire trip • Porterage of luggage • Deluxe motor coach throughout tour • Mass daily For information contact: Fr. Bob Hart 651-621-1563


Magi Travel 952-949-0065


Official His Excellency, the Most Reverend John C. Nienstedt, has announced the following appointments in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Effective July 1, 2013 Reverend Bruce Peterson, accepted resignation as Pastor of the Churches of the Holy Trinity in Goodhue, St. Columbkill of Belle Creek, and St. Mary of Belvidere (Bellechester), and granted the status of a retired priest. Effective July 3, 2013 Reverend Peter Bauknecht, FSSP, appointed pastor of the Church of All Saints, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Reverend Simon Harkins, FSSP, appointed to serve ad nutum episcopi as parochial vicar of the Church of All Saints, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Effective July 15, 2013 Reverend Gregory Cholewa, OMI, appointed pastor of the Church of Saint Casimir of Saint Paul, Minnesota, and the Church of Saint Patrick of Saint Paul, Minnesota. Reverend Robert Morin, OMI, granted faculties of the Archdiocese while in residence and assigned to itinerant preaching ministry for the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. Effective September 6, 2013 Reverend Stanislaw Michalek, SChr., appointed to serve “ad nutum episcopi” as parochial vicar of the Church of the Holy Cross of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Departures Reverend Shane Campbell, granted excardination upon incardination into the Diocese of Bismarck on June 13, 2013. The following will take effect on July 1, 2013 ! Canonical merger of the Church of the Holy Cross of Minneapolis, St. Anthony of Padua, of Minneapolis, The Church of Saint Clement, and Church of Saint Hedwig of Minneapolis. The name of canonically merged parish is Church of the Holy Cross of Minneapolis. ! Canonical merger of The Church of the Holy Trinity in Goodhue, the Church of St. Columbkill, of Belle Creek, and The Church of St. Mary, of Belvidere (Bellechester). The name of the canonically merged parish is The Church of the Holy Trinity. ! Canonical merger of The Church of St. John of St. Paul and The Church of Saint Pascal Baylon, St Paul. The name of the canonically merged parish is The Church of Saint Pascal Baylon, St. Paul.

“Artistic talent is a gift from God and whoever discovers it in himself has a certain obligation: to know that he cannot waste this talent, but must develop it.” Blessed Pope John Paul II

Local JULY 3, 2013

News from around the archdiocese



Evangelization motivated National History Day winners By Caroline Rode

too, had revised the script, and the two had cut out nearly all the same lines. “We really grew to love the topic because it wasn’t just something that we were interested in, but we really felt truly passionate about the research that we were doing,” Maggie Schmidt said. “Our parents didn’t want us to go if the only reason we were going to go was to compete,” Zimmerman said. “They really wanted it to be something where we could evangelize about this event that no one knows about.”

The Catholic Spirit

With more than 2,000 years of existence, it’s no surprise that people continue to study the Catholic Church’s vast history. Three girls from West St. Paul took one event in Church history and ended up creating a prize-winning performance. Sisters Kateri and Maggie Schmidt and friend and classmate Carly Zimmerman, all from St. Joseph in West St. Paul, participated in National History Day, a competition involving middle and high school students that is co-sponsored by the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Historical Society. They won first place in the senior group performance category for “John Paul II’s Apostolic Journey to Poland.” But the girls said they weren’t there necessarily to win, but to evangelize. “Why can’t we do something and put the Church in a good light?” Maggie Schmidt said. The three homeschooled students — Carly, ninth grade; Maggie, 10th grade and Kateri, 11th grade — spent months researching the topic and presented their research at regionals in March before heading for the national competition at the University of Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C., June 9 to 13.

Preparing the drama The 10-minute performance included narration, short scenes and portrayals of communist Poland and how Pope John Paul II’s election eventually led to the fall of communism in the coutnry. The girls had to get creative, as some of the parts were male. “He’s [Pope John Paul II] such a famous historical figure, and we’re all girls,” Kateri Schmidt said. “We didn’t want to play him” and have it seem artificial. Instead, Maggie Schmidt stood behind a picture of Pope John Paul II and recited some of his most famous quotes. The performance started with a short

The road to nationals

Photo courtesy of Greg Schmidt

After performing in the finals, (from left) Maggie Schmidt, Carly Zimmerman and Kateri Schmidt hold a sign from their performance that reads “solidarity” in Polish.

introduction about what the Polish regime was like before the pope’s election in 1978. Then two of the girls acted out a scene in which a Catholic must take down his cross as part of the religious oppression in Poland at the time. The announcement of the pope’s election is overheard on a radio broadcast. When the newly elected pope visits Poland, there is a picture of John Paul II revealed from under a black cloth on a backdrop. After, the girls acted out a scene that featured Lech Walesa, a union leader in Poland’s reform movement who was inspired by the pope’s visit and who was

Poland’s second president from 1990 to 1995. The performance wrapped up with the girls reciting quotes from the different characters. They decided to portray the pope through the Polish people’s eyes. “The focus isn’t so much on the pope as an individual. That’s really important, but we more focused on his impact in Poland,” Kateri Schmidt said. Keeping a story like this one under 10 minutes was a challenge for the girls. One night, Maggie Schmidt went to eucharistic adoration with the script and a pen and got to work cutting lines. The next morning, the girls discovered that Zimmerman,

At first, nationals wasn’t even an option. At state, they were awarded third place. Only the top two places get to travel to nationals. But when the second place group could not attend, they were up next. The day before they left for nationals, Kateri Schmidt was diagnosed with mononucleosis and Lyme Disease, and Zimmerman got the flu the first day at nationals. “I was in tears the morning of,” Maggie Schmidt said. But facing illness and arriving at the wrong room that day, the girls took it in stride, continuing through the rounds at nationals. The girls agreed that historical drama is the most stressful format, but that the audience excitement helped. “People really want to come see the performances just because it’s interesting, it’s exciting and it’s more high pressure,” Kateri Schmidt said. “You feel the excitement when you’re there and you get a lot of people coming to see them.” Along with medals, the group also will receive $1,000. The girls don’t have any official plans yet for how they’ll use their winnings. For Kateri, Maggie and Carly, the biggest takeaway was learning to trust in God. “If he wanted us to do this, then he was going to be able to make it happen, and if he didn’t, then it was out of our hands,” Kateri Schmidt said.




Three parish mergers are finalized July 1 The Catholic Spirit Three groups of parishes in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis merged as of July 1. They are: ! In northeast Minneapolis, Holy Cross, St. Hedwig, St. Anthony of Padua and St. Clement. ! In St. Paul, St. John of St. Paul and St. Pascal Baylon. ! In Goodhue County, Holy Trinity in Goodhue, St. Mary in Bellechester and St. Columbkill in Belle Creek.

Northeast Minneapolis In northeast Minneapolis, the merged parish is named Holy Cross and Father Glen Jenson, who was previously pastor of three of the four parishes, serves as pastor. Father Earl Simonson, who was pastor of St. Clement, is retiring and will be the merged parish’s pastor emeritus. The parish offers Masses on three campuses — the Holy Cross, St. Hedwig and St. Clement church buildings — and a new Mass schedule will take effect the weekend of Aug. 17 and 18. Ministry in the Polish language will continue, including Mass in Polish at the Holy Cross campus. Catholic Eldercare in Minneapolis has acquired the St. Anthony of Padua church building, where Eldercare residents will continue to have access to Mass. Effective July 1, the building will serve as the Catholic Eldercare Chapel. It will remain as a site for Mass and serve “as the cornerstone of Catholic Eldercare’s pastoral care program for residents and families,” according to the facility.

Minneapolis parish welcomes Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter The Catholic Spirit All Saints parish in Minneapolis will be served by two priests from the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter beginning July 3. Father Peter Bauknecht will serve as pastor and will be assisted by Father Simon Harkins, Archbishop John Nienstedt announced in a letter to parishioners last month. The parish has been without a pastor for more than a year. The fraternity is a Catholic clerical society of apostolic life established by Blessed Pope John Paul II in 1988 and dedicated to providing Catholics access to the extraordinary form of the liturgy according to the liturgical books of 1962. It is currently active in 34 dioceses in

the United States and six in Canada, according to its website at WWW.FSSP.ORG. It does not serve in any other parish in the archdiocese. The two priests will offer the traditional Latin Mass while another priest will be scheduled to continue to offer Mass in the current form. A Mass schedule will be established in consultation with All Saints’ parish leadership. In his letter, Archbishop Nienstedt noted that the decision to accept the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter’s offer to serve was made in consultation with All Saints’ parish trustees, the parish pastoral council and the archdiocesan presbyteral council, a representative body of priests from across the archdiocese.

Other mergers In St. Paul, Father Michael Byron, pastor of St. Pascal Baylon, will be the pastor of the merged parish, which will be called St. Pascal Baylon. He has served as pastor of St. Pascal’s since last June. Father George Welzbacher, pastor of St. John of St. Paul since 2006, is retiring. The three Goodhue County parishes have been clustered for more than a decade. Holy Trinity is the name of the merged parish, although all three sites will be used for worship. Father Paul Kubista is serving as pastor. The previous pastor, Father Bruce Peterson, retired July 1 and is now serving as pastor emeritus.

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Church / Ministry Jobs Principal: Location: St. Peter's Catholic School; Forest Lake, MN The Principal is the educational and spiritual leader for the parish school, Pre-K through grade 6.They are responsible for developing and implementing policies, programs, curriculum, budgets, and to promote a strong Catholic Identity.They are expected to lead by example, and are charged with fostering the spiritual, academic, emotional, social and physical development of our students.The Principal is also responsible for staff and faculty formation and development, human resource management, marketing, fundraising and advancement initiatives, and fiscal responsibility through the creation and maintenance of the annual budget. Qualifications include a Master's Degree in Education, School Administration, or equivalent field;Teaching Licensure issued by the State of Minnesota; Administrative License issued by the State of Minnesota (or actively enrolled in an education program). Visiting Coordinator of Good Shepherd Program: Location: Pax Christi Catholic Church; Eden Prairie, MN The new “Visiting Coordinator of Good Shepherd Programs” will provide focused attention for training and development for this important formation asset during the next 2-3 years.The goal is to revitalize the ranks of trained catechists and build strong, lasting momentum in order for it to grow and serve the needs of parish members for years to come. This is a part time, temporary position (10-20 hours/week) and is intended to last at least two but no more than three years.The hours will be variable and change with the seasons of the parish year. Some evenings and weekends will be required. Qualifications: 5+ years experience in coordinating parish Catechesis of the Good Shepherd programs and be certified to lead atriums at all three levels.This person must also be able to provide training for new and current catechists to become certified to lead atriums at all three levels. Middle School Language Arts/Religion Teacher: Location: Highland Catholic School; St. Paul, MN This position will have full-time 8th grade homeroom and middle school teaching responsibilities in language arts (core curriculum) and religion. Responsible for communication with parents/guardians, colleagues, parish staff and broader community. Integration of technology in lesson preparation, instruction, online grading system and My Big Campus. Able to recognize learning differences and differentiate lessons to meet student needs. Must be able to coordinate services with enrichment teacher, literacy lab instructor and SPPS special education team. Qualifications include a MN teaching license; applicant must be Catholic. We are looking for a candidate that is hard-working, flexible, professional, in-tune with child development, able to construct interactive lessons, with a good sense of humor and a team player.

For more information on these and other job openings, or to apply online, please visit




Pro-life walkers inspire others on their journey to D.C. CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 “Cultura Vitae,” which translates to “Culture of Life.” She knows that, if G.K. Chesterton were alive today, he would applaud the efforts of these countercultural young adults. “A famous quote of Chesterton is, ‘A dead thing goes with the stream. But, only a living thing can go against it.’” Taryn said. “I think they’re great witnesses to that quote.”

Halfway there The leader of the group, Tyler Cutrer of Dallas, decided to go just two weeks before the trip began in May. He talked to another walker, Elizabeth Greve of Cincinnati, who got him “warmed up to the idea.” Then, the same evening as his conversation with Greve, more fuel was added to the fire. “A friend of mine who I hadn’t seen in a year, who did a walk last year, walked in the door that same evening” Cutrer said. “And, the first thing he started talking about was Crossroads. And, I knew it was just too big of a coincidence for me to pass up on. So, I joined up on a whim two weeks before the walk started and decided to do it.” The group is about halfway through its 3,500-mile journey, and also about halfway to the fundraising goal of $100,000, which will be used to cover the expenses of the three walks. Young adults 18 and older are eligible, with exceptions made for 17-year-olds with their parents’ written permission. One of those exceptions was granted to Lindsay Miller of Muenster, Texas, who went as a 17-year-old last year and is back again this year. She recently graduated from high school and is enjoying her second cross-country, pro-life trip. “I just felt it was something I was called to do,” said Miller, who chose to go on this walk rather than one going through her home state. “Last year was tough, but I just felt like God called me to come back. I don’t know why, but it was a good decision. It’s great.” She has a twin sister, Sarah, who is doing a similar walk in Ireland, and her parents are hosting some of the walkers on a route that goes through Texas. Sarah and Lindsay did the walk together last year. The odds seem good that a member of the Posch family will someday do the walk. A weekend with the 12, which also included taking part in a rally at Planned

“Individually, we’re a

coal just barely burning. It’s when we group together with other coals that a fire ignites, and from that becomes a passionate fire for truth. And then, you’re able to light other fires as they pass by and are near you. That’s what these young people have done.


Parenthood in St. Paul, has left a impression on mother and daughters alike. “We’ll see what God has in mind,” Taryn said, when asked if she might participate someday. “I definitely feel the urge to do something more. It’s really inspiring to me [to watch and join the walkers in the Twin Cities].” Said Cathy: “Individually, we’re a coal just barely burning. It’s when we group together with other coals that a fire ignites, and from that becomes a passionate fire for truth. And then, you’re able to light other fires as they pass by and are near you. That’s what these young people have done, giving up their summer like this. Together, they become this fire, this light for Christ and light for the sanctity of human life that inspires others.”

Photo courtesy of Carmen Dean

Carmen Dean prays at Church of Risen Savior in Burnsville where she serves as director of Latino ministry.

Adult faith formation growing in popularity among Latinos By Caroline Rode The Catholic Spirit

The Latino population in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is growing and is integral to the future of the local Church. That is why, in three of the past 11 years, Latino institutes have been offered for those who would like to receive deeper religious formation in Spanish. Among the institutes offered are oneyear training programs in pastoral leadership and biblical studies and a two-year program focusing on the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The institutes meet monthly and those studying pastoral leadership are required to work in their home parishes on projects like prayer or couples groups. One June 29 at St. Stephen in Anoka, 89 people celebrated their graduation from the biblical studies institute and 48 from the pastoral leadership program. Estela Villagran Manancero, who serves in Latino ministry for the archdiocese, said the training offers adults formation that prepares them to better help their parish and local communities. “That was the idea, to prepare Latinos for leadership in our society and also for the Church. So many of our coordinators in the Latino parishes are graduates from these institutes,” Manancero said. “It shows how much the community wants to learn and how much there is a necessity for offering formation opportu-

nities in Spanish,” Manancero said.

Learning to lead Carmen Dean graduated from the pastoral leadership institute four years ago and is now the director of Latino ministry at Risen Savior in Burnsville. Dean said she learned how to be a collaborative leader, being able to work with others from her community. To do so, she said “you have to know yourself.” With about 800 attending Mass in Spanish Sunday afternoons at Risen Savior, she said the community is more like a family than a parish. “People don’t want to leave the Church after Mass,” Dean said. “They just want to stay there, talking with the community.” Manancero said she was impressed by how many people in the Latino community continue to attend classes, even with their busy schedules. She also sees the change that can come in 9 months. “The people that are doing the Bible institute, they are so much more secure of themselves,” she said. “These are people that are going to homes to pray with the people and to bring the word of God to those homes and evangelize.” Manancero said she sees the program continuing next year, with the possibility of another year of deeper biblical studies. “The idea of formation was always on everyone’s radar’s. That’s what we needed. That’s what the community needs,” she said.

Leading with Faith awards to honor Catholic business leaders The Catholic Spirit Ten Catholic business leaders have been chosen to receive 2013 Leading With Faith awards from The Catholic Spirit. Nominated by co-workers and others for bringing their faith to the workplace and sharing their gifts with the community, the honorees will be recognized at a lunch and program beginning at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 14 at the Rauenhorst Ballroom on the St. Catherine University campus. Archbishop John Nienstedt will present each with the Leading With Faith Award. This year’s honorees are:

Jeff Berg, president/owner of Integrated Wealth Advisors and a member of Holy Family, St. Louis Park.

parishioner at Guardian Angels, Chaska. Tim Rethlake, director of training at Hearth and Home Technologies and a member of All Saints, Lakeville.

Rick DesLauriers, founder/president of Recruiters of Minnesota and a member of St. Therese in Deephaven. Marguerite Dummer, dean of health sciences at Hennepin Technical College and a parishioner at St. Joseph in Waconia. Mike Haasl, global solidarity coordinator for the Archdiocesan Center for Mission and a member of St. Gerard Magella parish in Brooklyn Park.

Rosemary Rockwell, vice president of Birthright of Minneapolis and a member of St. Richard, Richfield. Jim and Debbie Hannigan, owners of J&J Distributing and members of Assumption, St. Paul. Dan and Barb Massman, station owners, KDWA Radio and parishioners at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Hastings. Tom Redman director of parks and recreation for the City of Chaska and a

Christopher Zeman, vice president/coowner of Zeman Construction and a member of St. Joseph in New Hope. To make reservations for the 2013 Leading With Faith awards luncheon, contact Mary Gibbs at (651) 251-7709 or GIBBSM@ ARCHSPM.ORG. The cost is $30 per person or $300 for a table of 10.




Fortnight of prayer

Archbishop Nienstedt stirs Mass-goers to defend religious liberty

Dave Hrbacek / The Catholic Spirit

Father Michael Izen, right, pastor of St. Raphael in Crystal, reads a Bible passage during a Fortnight for Freedom prayer service at Mendakota Park in Mendota Heights June 27. Listening are, from left, John Kimec, his wife Lindsay, Lainey Kimec, Rachel Brenne, Matthias Kimec and Andi Brenne. John and Lindsay, who belong to the Cathedral of St. Paul, organized the event. The Brennes, who are their neighbors, go to a church in Minneapolis called The Rock. The Kimecs are holding a half-hour prayer service at the park every day during the Fortnight period, which runs through July 4. The services take place from 7:30 to 8 p.m., except on July 4, when it will be held at noon.

During a Mass to celebrate the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul at the Cathedral of St. Paul June 29, Archbishop John Nienstedt urged several hundred worshippers in attendance to model the two saints by putting their faith into action in the public square. After hearing his homily, they also had the chance for further reflection during a holy hour right after Mass. Both the Mass and holy hour were part of the local Church’s participation in the Fortnight for Freedom declared by the U.S. bishops in support of religious liberty. The archbishop urged those in attendance to combat threats against conscience rights and religious freedom. “Love of God must lead to love of neighbor, which means that love of God leads to action for the good of the other,” Archbishop Nienstedt said. “We are fighting not only for ourselves, but for our neighbors and our children, and the poor, and the vulnerable. The assaults against the rights of human dignity, [rights] enshrined in the Constitution, are assaults against our brothers and sisters.” Worshippers also had the chance to join in prayers of petition for Pope Francis, all public officials, the respect for the dignity of human life, healing of troubled marriages, understanding of God’s plan for marriage, protection of conscience rights and religious liberty. — The Catholic Spirit

Protecting ‘gift of our freedom’ starts with knowing, sharing faith By Susan Klemond For The Catholic Spirit

As the government more tightly circumscribes citizens’ freedom to act on religious convictions in society, Catholics need to learn their faith well and be willing to defend it in charity against those who oppose it or don’t understand religious liberty and the threats it faces, according to speakers at a June 22 Freedom Forum on religious liberty at St. Peter in Mendota. Not everyone is called to martyrdom, but we are called to give witness to the Gospel, said Father Joseph Gallatin, St. Peter pastor who presided at Mass at the half-day forum, which was part of the archdiocese’s observance of the Fortnight for Freedom. The U.S. bishops called for the fortnight — a two-week period of prayer and fasting — to raise awareness of religious liberty issues. The forum featured talks by religious freedom experts. “As people of faith, we need to make that message known,” Father Gallatin said. “Mostly, we’ll be able to do it in subtle ways, but increasingly it seems that we need to be a little bit more vocal about protecting the gifts God has given us, [including] the gift of our freedom to live our faith in all aspects of our lives.” Speakers offered the 250 attendees a legal, historical and philosophical background on the concept of religious liberty, identified current threats and provided ideas for defending faith at the event, which was sponsored by the archdiocesan Office of Marriage, Family and Life and the Minnesota Catholic Conference.

Contributing to common good Religious liberty is more than freedom of worship —

the freedom to attend Mass — it’s also the Church’s freedom to govern itself and the free exercise of religion, said Jason Adkins, MCC executive director. It means the freedom to contribute to the common good. “What it’s really about is allowing different people to exercise their theological convictions and having the freedom to do so,” Adkins said. “It does not mean separation of religion from society or the separation of morals from public discussion.” Looking at the relationship between religion and the state through history, the two institutions have served as checks on each other, said Seana Sugrue, associate professor of American studies at Ave Maria University. “We would not enjoy our government with freedoms and checks and balances if not for the Catholic Church.” Catholics have a tendency to accept what is powerful in the culture, according to J. Brian Benestad, professor of theology and director of the Catholic studies program at the University of Scranton. Many continue to believe President John F. Kennedy’s 1960 assertion that religion should have nothing to say to politics and often are apathetic about religious liberty issues. Catholics who say they personally oppose laws violating Church teaching but favor allowing them for society apply “anesthesia for the conscience” and make arguments against their own views. “We have to care that our religious views are being violated,” he said, adding that Catholics are doing it to themselves. Among the current threats to religious liberty are the Obama administration’s HHS mandate requiring forprofit companies and soon non-profits to provide abortifacients, elective sterilization and contraceptive coverage to employees through their health plans; laws prohibiting the harboring of undocumented workers, anti-discrimination laws, and cases involving loss of free speech and barring groups from providing services. All these cases are part of a broader secular trend, and it’s up to the laity to stand up by learning their faith and

convincing others that it affects their lives, Benestad said. Defending religious liberty is conduct-driven — through prayer, education and advocacy, he said. “The Acts of the Apostles is called the Acts of the Apostles. It’s not called the considered judgments of the Apostles, the special beliefs of the Apostles. It’s conduct rooted in conviction.”

Being effective Making an effective Christian witness in public involves advancing orthodoxy, being charitable to all and using good methods that honor God and don’t diminish effectiveness, Adkins said. The Body of Christ has strength if it stays together, said Sara Hakanson of St. Alphonsus in Brooklyn Center who attended the forum because she’s concerned about how government actions are affecting freedom and wants to be educated. “In order to help each other and in order to defend our positions in the matters before the government, we have to communicate where we stand. It feels like the fabric of society is changing faster and faster and if we want to have influence we have to act,” she said. Her daughter, Kate, who will be a senior at TotinoGrace High School in Fridley this fall added, “As I see my classmates morphing and conforming to secular society I want to be able to articulate my arguments in class where sticking up for the traditional arguments of the Church and standing up for what I believe only gets more difficult.” Joan Cunningham of Blessed Sacrament in St. Paul and Margie Betts of St. Stanislaus in St. Paul came to the forum seeking ideas for communicating about religious liberty issues with their children and grandchildren. “The next generation is not looking pretty,” Cunningham said. Catholics can’t be the light if they sit back and let others do it, she said. Betts agree. “How we live our lives has got to be important,” she said.

“The ones paying the price are the poor, the small and the least, including the Christians.” Franciscan Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the head of the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land, speaking June 24 about the civil war in Syria

Nation/World JULY 3, 2013

News from around the U.S. and the globe

U.S. bishops call Supreme Court’s rulings a ‘tragic day for marriage’ By Carol Zimmermann

By Carol Zimmermann

U.S. Catholic bishops said the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 26 rulings on same-sex marriage were a “tragic day for marriage and our nation.” The court, in separate 5-4 rulings struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, defining marriage as between one man and one woman, and also refused to rule on the merits of a challenge to California’s Proposition 8, the voter-approved initiative barring same-sex marriage. In the rulings, the court said DOMA was unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause and they sent back to lower courts a challenge to Prop 8, saying the individuals who defended the law in court lacked the legal standing to do so.

Catholic News Service

‘Court got it wrong’ A statement by Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, chair of the U.S. bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, said the court “has dealt a profound injustice to the American people by striking down in part the federal Defense of Marriage Act.” “The court got it wrong,” they continued. “The federal government ought to respect the truth that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, even where states fail to do so. The preservation of liberty and justice requires that all laws, federal and state, respect the truth, including the truth about marriage.” The bishops also said it was “un-

CNS photo/Nancy Phelan Wiechec

fortunate that the court did not take the opportunity to uphold California’s Proposition 8 but instead decided not to rule on the matter. The common good of all, especially our children, depends upon a society that strives to uphold the truth of marriage. Now is the time to redouble our efforts in witness to this truth.” They urged people to “stand steadfastly together in promoting and defending the unique meaning of marriage: one man, one woman, for life.” They also asked for prayers “as the court’s decisions are reviewed and their implications further clarified.” Baltimore Archbishop William Lori said the court’s decisions were the “latest in a troubling trend of de-

cisions by lawmakers, judges, and some voters which ignores the fundamental truth about marriage: It is the most valued, most important social unit in our society and as such is deserving of the protection and special recognition societies have afforded it throughout human history.” The archbishop, who is chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, said the courts’ decisions will “also undoubtedly contribute to concerted efforts not just to redefine marriage but to dismantle it, efforts which represent a serious threat to religious liberty and conscience rights for countless people of faith.”

Syrian priest killed during rebel attack By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service

A 49-year-old Syrian priest and hermit was killed June 23, apparently when a group of rebels attacked the Franciscan Convent of St. Anthony in Ghassanieh, a village in the north near the Turkish border. Franciscan Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the head of the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land, told Vatican Radio June 24 that Father Francois Murad was not a Franciscan, but had taken refuge in the convent when it became clear he was not safe at the Syriac Catholic hermitage he was building nearby. Syriac Catholic Archbishop Jacques Behnan Hindo of Hassake-Nisibi told Fides, the news agency of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, that Father Murad “sent me several messages which showed he was aware of living in a dangerous situation and was willing to offer his life for peace in Syria and the world.”

Poor paying price Father Pizzaballa told Vatican Radio that Ghassanieh — “like other Christian villages — has been almost completely destroyed and is almost totally abandoned.” He said he believes the only people left in Ghassanieh “are the rebels with their families, rebels who are not from Syria and who are extremists.” “The only thing we can do, other than pray for Father Francois and all the victims, is pray that this folly ends soon and that no more weapons are sent to Syria because that would only prolong this absurd civil war,” Father Pizzaballa said. The Franciscan leader said Syria is a “battleground, and not just between Syrian forces, but also for other Arab countries and the international community. The ones paying the price are the poor, the small and the least, including the Christians.” “The international community must put the brakes on this,” he said.


U.S. bishops want to give ‘careful analysis’ to HHS final rules

Catholic News Service

People demonstrate outside the Supreme Court building in Washington in this photo from late March, when the court heard oral arguments in two same-sex marriage cases.


The final rules issued June 28 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services implementing its mandate that employers provide coverage of contraceptives “will require more careful analysis,” New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan said in a statement. The cardinal, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the 110-page ruling is “long and complex” and the bishops will “provide a fuller statement when that analysis is complete.” The HHS final ruling updates proposed rules the department had issued in February. It had left the rules open for comment through April and received more than 400,000 comments. The HHS contraceptive mandate, part of the Affordable Care Act, will require most employers, including religious employers, to provide coverage of contraceptives, sterilization and some abortion-inducing drugs free of charge, even if the employer is morally opposed to such services. It includes an exemption for some religious employers that fit its criteria. Cardinal Dolan said June 28 that he appreciated the “five-month extension on implementing the complex proposal,” meaning the government extended its “safe harbor” period to Jan. 1, 2014, protecting employers from immediate government action against them if they fail to comply with the mandate. Before the final rules were released, that period was to end Aug. 1 of this year. The administration’s final rules also include a separate accommodation for nonprofit religious organizations —including charities, hospitals and universities — that will not have to “contract, arrange, pay, or refer for contraceptive coverage” that they object to on religious grounds. To qualify for the accommodation, organizations must be certified as nonprofit religious group with religious objections to contraceptive coverage. These organizations must provide their health insurance companies with proof of their self-certification, and insurance companies in turn would notify women in the health plan that contraceptive coverage would be provided separately and at no cost to them.

No real change The Becket Fund, a nonprofit, public interest law firm that has represented Catholic and other religious institutions in a number of the lawsuits against the HHS mandate, said the new ruling is not much different from the proposed rules the HHS issued in February. “The news about the final rule is pretty simple: It’s more of the same,” said Eric Rassbach, deputy general counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. “Essentially, we’re where we’ve been all along; the change now is it is final,” he said, adding that unresolved issues will have to be addressed by the courts. He took issue with the fact that religious groups with a self-insured plan must still provide notice to the third-party administrator of their plan that they object to paying for coverage of abortifacients and contraceptives, and then the third party must provide the coverage. He also objected that the final rules still do not exempt businesses whose owners, because of their religious beliefs, are morally opposed to the mandate, so they will still be required to provide the coverage or pay up to millions of dollars in fines.


Nation / World


Briefly Pope Francis’ first encyclical to be published July 5 Pope Francis’ first encyclical, which he has said is largely the work of retired Pope Benedict XVI, will be published July 5. The Vatican announced July 1 that “Lumen fidei” (The Light of Faith) will be presented at a news conference that day. An encyclical on faith was long expected as the last volume in Pope Benedict’s trilogy on the three “theological virtues,” following his encyclicals “Deus Caritas Est” (2005) on charity, and “Spe Salvi” (2007) on hope. In June, Pope Francis told bishops meeting in Rome that his first encyclical would be largely the work of his predecessor.

Bishop Folda ordained for Fargo diocese


Bishop John Folda was ordained and installed as the eighth bishop of the Fargo Diocese during Mass June 19 at the Cathedral of St. Mary in Fargo. Archbishop John C. Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis ordained the new bishop, whose episcopal motto is:

“The Word became flesh.” Bishop Folda had been seminary rector at St. Gregory the Great Seminary in Seward, Neb., in the Diocese of Lincoln since 1999. In Fargo, he succeeds Archbishop Samuel Aquila, who was named to head the Denver Archdiocese in May 2012. Bishop Folda, a native of Omaha, Neb., was ordained for the Lincoln Diocese in 1989.

Pope confers palliums on new archbishops

Every bishop is called to be “a servant of communion,” working tirelessly to overcome divisions so that differences become a treasure and not a source of conflict, Pope Francis said. The Christian community should be “like a great mosaic in which every small piece joins with others as part of God’s one great plan,” the pope said June 29 as he celebrated the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul and bestowed the pallium on 34 archbishops from 19 countries. The pallium is a woolen band that symbolizes an archbishop’s unity with the pope and his authority and responsibility to care for the flock the pope entrusted to him. The archbishops, named in the past year, included U.S. Archbishops Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco; Joseph Tobin of Indianapolis; Alexander Sample of Portland, Ore.; and Michael Jackels of Dubuque, Iowa. — Catholic News Service

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The Catholic Spirit wins national journalism awards The Catholic Spirit was honored with 13 awards for writing and videography at the Catholic Media Convention June 19 to 21 in Denver. The awards, for work completed in 2012, are given by the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada. In the category of “best feature writing,” the newspaper garnered three awards: ! 1st place for “The Sober Truth: Alcoholic opens home in St. Paul to help others like him” by Dave Hrbacek. ! 3rd place for “Person of Mercy: Woman finds healing from abortion, offers hope to those facing unplanned pregnancies” by Dave Hrbacek. ! Honorable mention for “Coming to America: Immigrants give back to communities they now call home” by Julie Carroll. The Catholic Spirit won three awards for editorials by Joe Towalski: ! 3rd place in the national/international category for “After Newtown: Moving from darkness into the light.” ! 3rd place in the local category for “Setting the record straight on adoption, single-parent children.” ! Honorable mention in the local category for “Time to fold on gambling option for new Vikings stadium.” Dianne Towalski won two awards for “best online presentation of video:”

! 3rd place for “Archdiocesan Youth Day 2012.” ! Honorable mention for “Catholic cowboy relies on his faith.” The Catholic Spirit also won awards in other categories: ! 2nd place for “best reporting on a special age group — teenagers” for “Archdiocesan Youth Day aims to fire up faith of young Catholics” by the staff. ! 2nd place for “best chart or information graphic” for “Catholic Charities 101” by Dianne Towalski ! 2nd place for “best coverage of a routine, sacramental event” for “Finding God in the darkness: Nine siblings join church after losing their parents” by Julie Carroll and Dave Hrbacek. ! 3rd place for “best regular special supplement” for “Leading With Faith,” an annual section honoring men and women business leaders who live their faith in the workplace. ! Honorable mention for “best coverage of vocations” for “Father’s Day . . . with a twist,” by Dave Hrbacek. Dianne Towalski also received a first place award from the Society for the Propagation of the Faith in the “mission news” category for her story “Kitui delegation visit features faith, friendship . . . and fun,” about last fall’s visit to the archdiocese by a delegation from the Diocese of Kitui, Kenya.

Fatima, Spain & Lourdes Pilgrimage Sept. 3-13, 2013 Led by:

Bishop John M. LeVoir Diocese of New Ulm



Fr. Paul La Fontaine

Church of St. Charles Borromeo

(plus airfare and tips)

Visit for detailed brochure or contact Magi Travel, 952-949-0065


Sept. 16-26, 2013

Open House

Space is still available For further information/brochures, call:

Toll-free 1-877-453-7426

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“It is not the length of life, but the depth.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

This Catholic Life JULY 3, 2013

Opinion, feedback and points to ponder



Author Vince Flynn left behind much more than his books In mourning the loss of a loved one, it’s tempting to just crawl under the covers and stay there. But those who are left behind need to trudge forward, and that’s what the family of Vince Flynn is doing right now. I believe he’s watching them with pride pumping his fists into the air and cheering in that big, bellowing voice of his. Kathy The day after her 47-year-old husSchneeman band was laid to rest, his wife Lysa was delivering bouquets to people who had helped their family during the past week — like the woman who had watched their dog when Vince was in the hospital. Since their father’s death, Dane, 17 has continued to work at his summer custodial job at St. Thomas Academy. Some of his friends came and “kidnapped” him the other night and took him out for ice cream. His daughters Ingrid, 12, and Ana, 10, have been to dance practice and saw “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres. Of course, there are times when they crumple over in tears, but Lysa said that it’s the kindness of others and the grace of God that helps them with this new chapter of their lives. Yep, Vinnie is proud.


His last chapter In November of 2010, Vince was diagnosed with stage III metastatic prostate cancer. He passed away at 2 a.m. on June 19 surrounded by about 35 family members and friends. My husband and I were honored to be there. His wife had been a patient “Nurse Nightingale” by his side for the last two and a half years, and until he took his last breath. He fought tenaciously for survival, just like the CIA operatives do in the stories he created. As a friend of Vinnie’s, it was hard to watch him losing this battle. This man who was bigger than life used to wrestle with gusto with our toddling twins. Eventually, those tussles became gentler and the therapeutic hormones Mr. Flynn was taking would make him drip with sweat. As the months went on, it became more painful for him to move, and he would just sit in the red chair by our fireplace and watch the twins play. And then, as of April, it was too difficult for him to get out of bed. He’d ask us to bring the identical pair to his home, where he’d enjoy passively watching them chase his dog around. For the last four months or so of Vince’s life, someone needed to be with him at all times. His brother Tim and some friends took turns sitting with him and taking him to his myriad appointments. A barf bag was always at arm’s length.

‘Keep the faith’ Last week, outside the Cathedral of Saint Paul, Vince’s friends and admirers formed a line stretching for two blocks. Each one had a story about the author, and many were impressed by the depth of his faith. Steve Polski, who played football with Vince at the University of St. Thomas, said, “Vinnie was one of those rare guys who became more religious as he became famous. That doesn’t happen too often with celebrities.” Vince truly lived by his favorite motto: “Keep the faith.” In his homily, Father Peter Laird, who also went to college with Vince, said that toward the end, there were always two things in Vinnie’s hands: his phone and his ring rosary. “One was used to communicate with people on Earth, and one was used to communicate with God in Heaven.” Asked about Vince’s faith, Lysa said, “Prayer was his life boat. It helped him keep his head above the waves. It wasn’t just a thing he checked off his list; he prayed all day long.” She went on to say that when he was first di-

Photo courtesy of Kathy Schneeman

Vince Flynn and his wife Lysa.

agnosed with cancer, his sister’s boss sent him a card with a prayer to St. Jude. “It stayed on our nightstand and he said it every day,” she added. Another item that remained nearby was a copy of the “Magnificat.” As his friends, we often witnessed his Catholic devotion, but noted that it was limited by his Type-A personality. He became anxious if Masses ran too long. And during his illness, the Flynns often stood in the back of church, as we did. As sick as he was, Vince would try to help us chase around our toddling twins or just hold them in order to give us a break. That’s the kind of guy he was. He demonstrated that faith was a priority by giving generously of his time and talent to the church and Catholic schools. He publically expressed this priority in 2012 when he wrote in the acknowledgments of “Kill Shot”: “To Ed Kocourek, my unofficial spiritual mentor. Thank you for pushing me when I needed it. The Adoration Chapel and St. Joseph’s has become a place of great beauty and serenity in my life. To Father John Malone, Father Peter Laird, and Archbishop Emeritus Harry Flynn for your prayers and guidance. I am a God-fearing soul and always have been. I choose to believe, and to all of you who have sent your prayers and well-wishes, thank you.”

His Legacy Following a reception at the University of St. Thomas, Vince was laid to rest in Resurrection Cemetery. Atria Books publicist, David Brown, sent this note: “It was such a beautiful service; sad but celebratory. The

long line of people waiting to greet the family was reminiscent of one of Vince’s book signings which I thought was very fitting. It was a wonderful tribute for a great man who I was so lucky to have been able to work with and get to know for the past eight years. I love my job much less now that he is gone. He leaves a hole for everyone.” His godchild, Owen Tracy, 16, is feeling the hole, too. “When it came time to pick a confirmation sponsor, the first name that came into my head was Vince. I was more than heartbroken when I lost him. He meant so much to me. I hope to be half the man he was. I loved him so much and always will,” he said. Vince also meant a lot to John Steveken, a St. Thomas Academy classmate. He credits Vinnie with saving his life. After his own late diagnosis, Vince encouraged all of his loved ones to get tested for cancer. Thanks to his urging, Steveken’s prostate cancer was discovered early. He had surgery and is doing well. Last Tuesday as Lysa was delivering the bouquets, she talked about all the cards and letters of condolence she had received. “Vince left us many books, but what I’m reading in these notes is that he gave us much more than just his stories; these letters are about him as a person, and how much he gave to people.” She smiled and then added, “That’s his legacy.” Schneeman is the author of the blog, Embracing Life on CATHOLICHOTDISH.COM. She and her husband Eric are the parents of nine children and are members of St. Joseph parish in West St. Paul.




/ This Catholic Life

Setting record straight on assessments, archdiocesan finances


he article in the June 23 StarTribune that ran under the headline “Twin Cities Archdiocese seeks bigger cut of collections,” got it wrong. The article included misinformation and left out important facts. The StarTribune has so far refused to print a correction or the response that I submitted to set the record straight. The StarTribune article attempted to connect two unrelated financial items. One is a possible capital campaign that is still being evaluated by Thomas an exploratory committee consisting Mertens of a broad range of Catholic organizations. This committee is still carefully examining the results of a very recent feasibility study. Its decision to move forward or not is totally unrelated to anything else cited in the article. The other item concerns changes to the parish assessment formula. Directly opposite of the impression left by the headline and the article itself, the truth is that our parishes will see their assessments decrease or remain flat. The article fails to report that changes to the assessment include the elimination of a 1 percent surcharge that some parishes now pay for distribution of The Catholic Spirit newspaper. The net result is that the archdiocese will actually receive a smaller portion of weekly plate and envelope collections — not a larger one — as the story’s headline states. To be clear, our newspaper will not be eliminated, just the 1 percent assessment. In fact, the reasons for the changes to the assessment were precisely to simplify the formula, correct potential inequities between parishes and support parishes with Catholic schools. These were material facts covered in our conversations with the StarTribune reporter, but were inexplicably left out.The net effect left the readers with the opposite of the truth. (For an accurate story about the forthcoming changes in the assessment, see “Parish assessments help to fund ministries in local Church” in the May 23 issue of The


“The reasons for the changes to the assessment were precisely to

simplify the formula, correct potential inequities between parishes and support parishes with Catholic schools. These were material facts covered in our conversations with the StarTribune reporter, but were inexplicably left out.

THOMAS MERTENS Chief financial officer, Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Catholic Spirit or online at THECATHOLICSPIRIT.COM.)

Increase in giving The StarTribune article also supposes — incorrectly — that giving to the Catholic Services Appeal (CSA) would have been higher had we not financially supported the marriage amendment. This is simply untrue. The reporter knows the facts, but they didn’t make their way into the article. First, giving to the CSA between 2007 and 2011 actually increased. It is well-established that charitable giving decreased substantially during this period, which included the worst economic crisis this country has endured in decades. The archdiocese, however, saw overall giving increase in this same period. Further, giving to the CSA over the last year increased again, and we surpassed our goals. In fact, we are on track for another strong giving year, for which we are deeply grateful to the tens of thousands of families who provide this important support for the good work of the Church, which includes millions of dollars dedicated to Catholic Charities and Catholic schools. The reporter made the additional claim that the $650,000 we gave in 2011 in support of the marriage amendment came from “investment income and special

donations.” As we stated clearly in a Jan. 31, 2012 news release, the source of these funds was “investment income; it did not come from . . . donations to parishes or to the archdiocese.”

Foundation mischaracterized Lastly, the article referred to the Aim Higher Foundation (AHF), which is a completely separate entity from the archdiocese. As education is the key to the strength of our economy and the health of our community, the mission of the AHF is to expand access to a life-changing Catholic school education to more families who could not afford it otherwise. It is not to “work to increase enrollment and funds for Catholic schools,” as the story said. There is an important and fundamental difference between AHF’s mission and how it was characterized in the article. StarTribune readers and Catholics of this archdiocese have a right to know the facts. We strive every day to be faithful stewards of the generous support we are provided so that the Catholic Church may continue to support and serve our communities. Mertens is chief financial officer of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Why we need conscience rights in health care


Faith in the Public Arena Sarah Schaefer

No health care professional should have to leave her conscience at the door when she goes to work

he need for conscience protection in health care is rapidly increasing as the Obama administration mandates that most insurance plans cover so-called “preventive care” services, which include abortifacient drugs, contraception and sterilizations. Additionally, cutting-edge biotechnology has developed all sorts of methods, drugs and procedures that, for example, allegedly permit people to change sexes, conceive children outside of sexual intercourse, and manipulate their genetics to produce more desirable traits. The growing prevalence and insurance coverage of these procedures and services is an immense concern. However, the urgent issue is the lack of conscience protection for health care professionals who have moral or religious objections to participating in these procedures. For many of our physicians, nurses and pharmacists, these developments pose a crisis of conscience in which they are forced to choose between their religious beliefs and their career.

Today’s challenges It is morally illicit to perform abortions, sterilizations and in-vitro fertilizations as well as distribute contraceptive and abortifacient drugs. It is also morally illicit to pay for, or refer people to others for those services or products. The growth of these procedures under the auspices of legitimate medi-

cine puts the health care professional who wants to adhere to Church teaching in a seemingly loselose situation: participate in these acts and violate her beliefs, or decline and succumb to the employment discrimination charges and other penalties that, under current law, could likely result. No health care professional should have to leave her conscience at the door when she goes to work. Thus, legislation is needed to provide her with the right to decline to participate in these services and procedures.

Current landscape Despite the gloomy horizon regarding the high demand for these morally problematic procedures, there are several federal laws that provide conscience protections for abortions and sterilizations. The three most notable are the Church, Coates/Snow and Hyde/Weldon amendments. The Church amendment is the main legislative protection. It grants

individuals and federally funded institutions the right to object to sterilization or abortion procedures without fear of discrimination or liability. Coates/ Snow adds protection for involvement in abortion training, and Hyde/ Weldon prohibits discrimination for refusing to refer or pay for abortions. These statutes are a good start — but only a start. They do not provide for the integral “private right of action” that would allow victims of conscience discrimination to bring a case to court. Some provisions only address discrimination by governmental entities. And, furthermore, the Hyde/Weldon amendment must be renewed annually as an amendment to the Labor/HHS appropriations bill, thus making it vulnerable to legislative changes. Their most considerable shortcoming, however, is that they do not cover anything beyond abortion or sterilization procedures.

In progress Just this past March, Congresswoman Diane Black (R-Fla.) introduced the Health Care Conscience Rights Act, H.R. 940, which would

amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to provide for greater conscience protections. This bill is being considered right now in Congress. The Health Care Conscience Rights Act is a major step for conscience rights in federal law. It expands the “religious employer” exemption in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services contraception mandate to protect all individuals and employers from being required to pay for contraception insurance. Moreover, it provides for a private right of action and codifies the Hyde/Weldon amendment, thus securing Hyde/Weldon’s federal discrimination and liability protections. It also extends these protections to the full range of health care providers. This legislation is heartening, and has received strong support from our bishops. This archdiocese is currently sponsoring a postcard campaign to encourage our congresspersons to support this legislation, which has been introduced in both houses.

At the Legislature Minnesota law contains provisions that allow health care professionals and institutions to refuse to participate in abortions (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 145.414 and 145.42). These statutes also shield from any liability or discrimination that may result from refusal to participate. PLEASE TURN TO PROTECTIONS ON PAGE 11



Fair immigration reform is our responsibility as Christians CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 Senate passed S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, which beefs up border security while providing a path to legalization and ultimately citizenship for many of the nation’s estimated 11 million immigrants who are here illegally. Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, said the bishops disagree with elements of the bill but “see the legislation as an overall improvement upon the status quo.” The bill faces an uncertain fate in the House, which is taking a piecemeal approach with separate bills focusing first on border security. The letter is signed by more than 100 Christian clergy, including bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Rev. Peg Chemberlin, executive director of the Minnesota Council of Churches. They represent more than 2 million Minnesota Christians, said Carl Nelson, president of Transform Minnesota, a regional network of evangelical churches and ministries from nine denominations. He encouraged people to download the letter and send it to their representatives in Congress. The letter can be accessed on the Minnesota Catholic Conference’s website at HTTP://MNCC.ORG.

Respecting human dignity The letter recognizes the right of nations to secure their borders and make decisions about the identity and number of immigrants allowed into their country. But it also acknowledges the current system’s failures. “The painful experiences we have witnessed firsthand as we have ministered to [immigrants] and served with them tell us our current immigration system fails to reflect our nation’s commitment to the value of human dignity and protecting family unity,” Nelson said. Father Kevin Kenney, pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe in St. Paul and the archdiocese’s vicar for Latinos, has seen firsthand the pain caused by the current immigration system, particularly for undocumented immigrants in the United States. “Thinking back to a recent visit to the immigration holding center in Bloomington,” he said, “I can still hear the cry of a mother whose 18-year-old son was deported that morning, knowing that her son did not speak Spanish because he had been brought to the United States as an infant and now was being sent to a border town as a lamb among wolves.” “Over the past years, more families have been torn

Dave Hrbacek / The Catholic Spirit

Archbishop John Nienstedt speaks at a press conference June 26 in Minneapolis announcing a joint statement from Minnesota faith leaders on federal immigration reform. Among those attending were, from left, the Rev. Yolandita Colon, executive justice pastor at Iglesia Maranatha Minneapolis; Jason Adkins, executive director of the Minnesota Catholic Conference; Father Kevin Kenney, pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe in St. Paul; and Father Joseph Williams, pastor of St. Stephen in Minneapolis.

apart by this broken immigration system as fathers, brothers, mothers and children are being deported back to their countries for as little as a broken taillight on their car,” Father Kenney said. “Our immigrant families are open to working and want to work, so why not allow them to help grow our economy in a just and a safe way?” he said. “Our immigrant families are family-centered and have great faith and values. Their love for the church and life is refreshing and renewing. We need to keep our immigrant families together.” Father Joseph Williams, pastor of St. Stephen in Minneapolis, attended the press conference and said he understands the difficulties many immigrants face. “We’ve been content as a society too long to let these people serve us,” said Father Williams, who estimates that Latinos make up about 80 to 90 percent of St. Stephen’s congregation. “They cook our meals, clean our hotels . . . and we’re not recognizing them as our brothers and sisters. That has to end.” Jason Adkins, executive director of the Minnesota

Marriage is blessed vocation with God as companion CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2 backgrounds is a source of deep concern for me, precisely because a mutually unified understanding of sacramentality in many cases is not present and because a fully unified practice of faith is not possible. In such instances, pastoral leaders must devote extra time and attention to ensure that these couples are prepared to face the inevitable challenges that will face their commitment.

Importance of children Lastly, allow me to speak to the overall importance of the procreation and education of children in regard to the sacramentality of marriage. The Second Vatican Council’s constitution, “Gaudium et Spes,” did not use the distinction of “primary” and “secondary” in referring to the two-fold significance of the conjugal act, namely its procreative and unitive significances. This has led some commentators to conclude that a conflict could arise whereby the procreative significance may legiti-

mately be ignored in favor of the unity of the couple, thus rationalizing the immoral use of contraception or sterilization. My bishop, John Cardinal Dearden (for whom I served four years as his priest secretary), served as the committee chair when that section on marriage was being drafted. He told me personally that the above interpretation was never intended by the Council Fathers. While the two ends are essential, they do not bear the same moral weight. The procreative intent of marriage has been its defining character “from the beginning.” (Genesis 1:28) St. Paul speaks of marriage as a “great mystery,” a marvelous participation in God’s life and mission. It is a blessed vocation and a holy adventure, wherein a man and a woman entrust their hearts, their lives and their eternal destinies to one another. God is the silent companion in the living out of that commitment. Marriages flourish when that is understood and when God’s assistance is sought in daily prayer and Sunday Eucharist.

Catholic Conference, said parishes and local communities can play a significant role in getting meaningful reform passed by educating others about the importance of the issue, dispelling myths that persist about immigrants and reform measures, and encouraging people to contact their lawmakers right away. “We recognize that finding solutions to the plight of immigrants today will sometimes necessitate the overcoming of boundaries of the heart, not just of the land,” Archbishop Nienstedt said. “Every immigrant is a person — a daughter, a son, a mother, a father, he said. “Each of those persons possesses fundamental, inalienable rights that must be respected by all. As Christians, we have a responsibility to welcome the stranger out of charity and respect. Supporting legislation that helps repair our broken immigration system is part of this responsibility as believers in Jesus Christ.” This story contains information from Catholic News Service.

Protections needed at state level CONTINUED FROM PAGE 10 Yet, most states, Minnesota included, are still lacking conscience protections for “preventive care” services, namely contraceptives and abortifacient drugs. Thus, many pharmacists are still vulnerable to conscience discrimination while the administration continues to whittle away at contraception regulations. Just recently, for example, Plan B One-Step, the “morning after” emergency contraception pill, became available over the counter with no age restrictions. Some Minnesota legislators, however, are making efforts to address this concern. In April, Sen. Michelle Benson (R-Ham Lake) introduced a conscience rights amendment, entitled the Right of Conscience in Health Care Protected, to the Omnibus HHS Finance Bill (2013 H.F. 1233). This proposed legislation is similar to Illinois’ Health Care Right of Conscience Act, which is an ideal example of state conscience protections. The amendment as introduced protects health care professionals from discrimination and liability for refusing to participate in any potentially objectionable procedure, except for providing emergency contraceptives to

sexual assault victims as required by Minnesota law. Though the Right of Conscience in Health Care Protected amendment was not adopted, it did receive some support and will hopefully be reintroduced with greater success.

Faith in the public square Conscience protection is not about hindering access to health care. It is about respecting our right to act consistently with our consciences in the course of our employment. Efforts to pass conscience protection legislation will require faithful participation in the face of political adversity. As Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput recently reminded us, we are called to love our Catholic faith “enough to struggle for it in the public square.” It is our collective witness to the sanctity of life that will ensure our progress toward a greater respect for conscience. Sarah Schaefer is a law clerk at the Minnesota Catholic Conference and entering her second year of studies at the University of St. Thomas School of Law.

“Do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:20



Reflections on faith and spirituality

JULY 3, 2013

Daily Scriptures “Our hope doesn’t lie in success.

Our hope lies in experiencing the joy of heaven one day. If we place our hope in the joys of heaven, then success will come.


Sunday, July 7 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time Isaiah 66:10-14c Galatians 6:14-18 Luke 10:1-12, 17-20 Monday, July 8 Genesis 28:10-22a Matthew 9:18-26 Tuesday, July 9 St. Augustine Zhao Rong, priest and companies; martyrs Genesis 32:23-33 Matthew 9:32-38 Wednesday, July 10 Genesis 41:55-57 Matthew 10:1-7 Thursday, July 11 Genesis 44:18-21, 23b-29; 45:1-5 Matthew 10:7-15 Friday, July 12 Genesis 46:1-7, 28-30 Matthew 10:16-23 Saturday, July 13 St. Henry; BVM Genesis 49:29-32; 50:15-26a Matthew 10:24-33

Place your hope in the joy of heaven


n 1492, Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue and discovered the New World. Imagine the joy he experienced in his discovery after two months of hardship. Then, imagine the even greater joy he had in sharing these experiences with his friends. In today’s Gospel, the 72 disciples go out to proclaim the good news of the kingdom of heaven and heal the sick. They return to Jesus with great joy like Christopher Columbus returning to Spain after his first voyage, because they had experienced Deacon Marcus Milless the blessings of success. In the midst of all their trials and tribulations, they were able to meet the great challenge of Jesus Christ. They were able to bring healing and the good news to people through the power of Christ Jesus. You can hear the excitement as they exclaim, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us, because of your name.” Yet, Jesus corrects his disciples: “Don’t rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” Why does Jesus correct them? They sim-

Sunday Scriptures

Readings Sunday, July 7 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time ! Isaiah 66:10-14c ! Galatians 6:14-18 ! Luke 10:1-12, 17-20

Reflection What is distracting you today from keeping your eyes “on the bigger, eternal prize”? ply went out and did as they were told. They declared that the kingdom of heaven was at hand, and showed it by subjecting demons to the name of Jesus. Shouldn’t Jesus allow them to rejoice in their success?

Eyes on eternal prize It’s not that Jesus doesn’t want them to rejoice in their success; he does. However, he wants his disciples to keep their eyes on the bigger, eternal prize. He knows that the joy of success will lead them to put their hope in that success, not in heaven. It’s good to place our hope in Christ’s healing power, but it shouldn’t trump our hope in experiencing the joys of heaven. Jesus models this order perfectly. What does Jesus do in the face of his own success? He often tells his disciples to keep the success of his miracles a secret

(Luke 4:41, 5:12 and 8:59). Jesus may rejoice over them, but he keeps it quiet. For he knows these miraculous healings, which are the sign of the power and authority of his heavenly kingdom, pose a threat to the scribes and the Pharisees (see Luke 6:11). Oftentimes, he keeps his eyes fixed on heaven by going to pray (Luke 5:12, 6:12 and 9:1) With the Rediscover: initiative and the defense of religious liberty in full swing, it’s important for all of us to keep the joy of heaven before us. Yes, the New Evangelization is about bringing the healing power of God’s word to our neighbors through the Church. Yes, this is an important work of the Church, and we should rejoice when people return to Church. However, our hope doesn’t lie in success. Our hope lies in experiencing the joy of heaven one day. If we place our hope in the joys of heaven, then success will come. So, set sail into the exciting waters of being Christ’s disciple and draw others into the exciting discovery of the heavenly mysteries! Deacon Milless is in formation for the priesthood at the St. Paul Seminary for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. His home parish is Epiphany in Coon Rapids, and his teaching parish is St. Francis Xavier in Buffalo.

Sunday, July 14 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Deuteronomy 30:10-14 Colossians 1:15-20 Luke 10:25-37 Monday, July 15 St. Bonaventure, bishop, doctor of the Church Exodus 1:8-14,22 Matthew 10:34-11:1 Tuesday, July 16 Exodus 2:1-15a Matthew 11:20-24 Wednesday, July 17 Exodus 3:1-6, 9-12 Matthew 11:25-27 Thursday, July 18 St. Camillus de Lellis, priest (USA) Exodus 3:13-20 Matthew 11:28-30 Friday, July 19 Exodus 11:10-12:14 Matthew 12:1-8 Saturday, July 20 St. Apollinaris, bishop, martyr Exodus 12:37-42 Matthew 12:14-21 Sunday, July 21 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Genesis 18:1-10a Colossians 1:24-28 Luke 10:38-42

“Faith is not the belief that God will do what you want. It is the belief that God will do what is right.” Max Lucado

Arts & Culture Exploring our church and our world

JULY 3, 2013



Three books help Catholics to share, defend the faith ! “Catholic and Confident: Simple Steps to Share Your Faith” by Henry Libersat. Servant Books (Cincinnati, 2012). 93 pp., $10.99. Henry Libersat, a deacon for the Diocese of Orlando, Fla., offers a timely book on practical ways to speak about Jesus and the church in “Catholic and Confident: Simple Steps to Share Your Faith.” Allan Wright The beauty of Deacon Libersat’s book lies in its practicality. Catholics are often intimidated by the word evangelization, viewing it as a Protestant word or associating it with imposing one’s belief on another. Catholics have often used the excuse of not knowing everything about the faith to exclude them from talking about Jesus or the church. Deacon Libersat shares his own story of continual conversion to Christ as a cradle Catholic. He was taught the teachings of Jesus and the church yet had no encounter with Jesus until later in life. His personal acceptance of God’s love for him changed him dramatically in 1976 as he went from a person who knew about Christ to someone who had a personal relationship with Christ. He points to models of faith-sharing from characters in the Scriptures. The account in St. John’s Gospel of the man “blind from birth” who received his

Book Reviews

sight back is highlighted. The blind man simply was made aware of Jesus, recognizes Jesus in a new way and begins to follow Jesus. Deacon Libersat challenges the reader to identify “your own personal experience with God’s saving love and the stories of other people you know are the essential and foundational messages that will bring people to Christ.” This book is an excellent tool for Catholics and especially useful for grandparents who have been faithful Catholics throughout the years yet may find it difficult to articulate who Jesus is to them to family and friends. ! “Envoy For Christ: 25 Years as a Catholic Apologist” by Patrick Madrid. Servant Books (Cincinnati, 2012). 315 pp., $19.99. Patrick Madrid, one of the country’s premier Catholic apologists, takes a look back over his many years defending and explaining the Catholic position to various people on a myriad of topics in “Envoy for Christ: 25 Years as a Catholic Apologist.” He begins by tracing the roots of his entrance into the field of Catholic apologetics early in 1988 when Karl Keating transitioned from “doing apologetics as a part-time hobby to a fulltime enterprise.” This book takes excerpts from Madrid’s radio, magazine and personal encounters with those who call into question and even outright attack the Catholic

Church and gives you an insider view of the nature of the questions and the Catholic response. One naturally becomes emboldened about the church and its fidelity to Christ through Madrid’s clear explanation of Catholic teaching as he also dispels the misinformation so many believe about the church and Catholic teachings. Most Catholics lack the depth of knowledge Madrid has accrued over the years and this book provides insight to the strength and reason of the Catholic position and the authority of the Catholic Church, which he makes accessible to the average person in the pew or those who no longer enter the pew. As a defender of the Catholic faith for 25 years, Madrid exhibits courage by wading into hostile waters and witnessing to other Catholics that they have reasons to believe which are founded solidly in Scripture, tradition and reason. ! "Yours Is the Church: How Catholicism Shapes Our World" by Mike Aquilina. Servant Books (Cincinnati, 2012). 134 pp., $14.99. “Yours Is the Church: How Catholicism Shapes Our World,” focuses on the role the Catholic Church has played in culture, history and society and how the church has been a positive agent for change over the centuries. In his introduction he makes the bold claim that “everything about our modern world we think is good is there because of the church.” He continues to support that thesis by giving examples of how the Catholic Church nurtured modern science, made music great, inspired great works of art and literature, made women and children people and

The Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary of Wichita, Kansas, are celebrating the vocation of one of Superior Diocese’s native daughters!

elevated human dignity. In one of his more moving chapters, Aquilina speaks about how the Christian concept of philanthropy and charity was revolutionary because while others in society have been charitable, the focus was on themselves so charity’s intention was not to raise the poor but themselves. “Roman philanthropy was really a matter of drawing attention to the philanthropist. It was not a response to the needs of the poor; in fact, the more gaudy and useless the display, the more effective it was at producing the proper impression of lavish generosity.” At a time when the contribution of the Catholics is written out of history and the voice of the church seems to be viewed as irrelevant, this book renews a sense of honor to the way Catholics have promoted advances in the arts and sciences and restored the dignity to the human person which comes from God. This book would be an ideal gift for younger readers who have little or no idea of the church’s contribution in forming society and giving them information to help them challenge those who may disregard the Catholic Church or attack it. Wright is academic dean for evangelization in the Diocese of Paterson, N.J., and the author of several books. He lives with his wife and three children in New Jersey.

“A Blast!”

— SW News

Sister Mary Margaret Miller, IHM (Candy Miller) Native of Somerset, WI, alumna of St. Anne Elementary (1976-1982), Somerset Jr / High School, and University of Wisconsin, River Falls, is celebrating 20 years of profession.

Presented by

Sister Mary Margaret will be visiting St. Anne Parish, Somerset, the weekend of July 13 – 14 after all of the Masses and would love to renew old acquaintances and make new friends.

Please plan to attend!


C H A N H A S S E N D T. C O M




Still room to register for Catholic summer youth day camps Totus Tuus — a summer Catholic youth program dedicated to sharing the Gospel and promoting the Catholic faith through evangelization, catechesis, Christian witness, and Eucharist worship — has openings at upcoming camps. Week-long Parish Summer Catechetical program and Summer Camps assist parents and parishes in the evangelizing and catechizing of their youth by supplementing the work they are already doing. Totus Tuus is concerned not only with teaching the faith, but also igniting the hearts of the team members and young people. The result has been the formation of young adults who continue to dedicate themselves to the Church’s mission of evangelization. Prayers such as The Liturgy of the Hours, the Rosary, the Angelus, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and Adoration

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.

of the Blessed Sacrament provide the structure, but the celebration of the Mass is the “source and summit” of the daily schedule.

Upcoming camps include: ! July 7 to 12 at St. Bridget of Sweden, Lindstrom ! July 14 to 19 at St. Hubert in Chanhassen ! July 21/22 to 26 at St. Joseph in Waconia To register for a week of Camp Totus Tuus, please call each parish directly. For further information, please contact the Office of Marriage, Family and Life at (651) 291-4488 or TOTUSTUUS@ARCHSPM.ORG.

Chicken and rib dinner at Knights of Columbus Hall, Bloomington — Every Wednesday: 5 to 9 p.m. at 1114 American Blvd. Cost is $12. Call (952) 888-1492 for reservations.

Parish events Twin Cities Catholic Cursillo men’s retreat at St. John the Baptist, Savage — July 11 to 14: The Cursillo is an encounter of self, Christ, and others (friends in Christ) with an abbreviated course in prayer, study and fellowship. It seeks to prepare participants for living the gospel in everyday life. For information on the upcoming retreats, e-mail PRE-CURSILLO@TC-CURSILLO.ORG, or visit WWW.TCCURSILLO.ORG. Acoustic Cafe at St. Mark, St. Paul —July 13: 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Evening will include food, beverages, board games and music from five local Catholic musicians from around the archdiocese. This event will be held in Carolyn Hall at 1976 Dayton Ave. Musicians include: Diana Rose, Dan Purkapile, Rachel Crooks, Benjamin Brekke and Elizabeth Bittner. Cost is $5. Visit WWW.SAINTMARK-MN.ORG. Move and Groove Family Fest at the Basilica of St. Mary, Minneapolis — July 14: 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 88 N. 17th St. Concert at 1 p.m. features the Imagination Movers. For information visit WWW.MOVEANDGROOVEFAMILY FEST.COM. ‘Pope Francis, St. Francis and the Parish of the 21st Century’ with Jack Jezreel at St. John Neumann, Eagan — July 15: 7 to 8:30 p.m. at 4030 Pilot Knob Road. For information or to RSVP email MARTY.ROERS@CCTWIN CITIES.ORG. Thrift sale at Immaculate Conception, Columbia Heights — July 18 to 20: Thursday and Friday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday (bag sale) 8 a.m. to noon at 4030 Jackson St. N.E. Twin Cities Catholic Cursillo women’s retreat at St. John the Baptist, Savage — July 18 to 21: The Cursillo is an encounter of self, Christ, and others (friends in Christ) with an abbreviated course in prayer, study and fellowship. It seeks to prepare participants for living the gospel in everyday life. For information on the upcoming retreats, e-mail PRE-CURSILLO@TC-CURSILLO.ORG, or visit WWW.TCCURSILLO.ORG. Annual parish festival at St. Mary of Czestochowa, Delano — July 21: 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at 1867 95th St. Features a meal of pork chops, roast beef and corn on the cob, as well as games, music and raffles. Golf tournament to benefit All Saints parish at Crystal Lake Golf Course, Lakeville — July 22: Tournament starts at 12:30 p.m. and is followed by a social hour at 5:30 p.m. and dinner at 6:30 p.m. For information, visit WWW.ALLSAINTSCHURCH.COM/GOLF.

Prayer/ liturgies Sant’Egidio Community Evening Prayer at St. Richard, Richfield — every Thursday: 7 p.m. at 7540 Penn Ave. S. 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. Lady of Mount Carmel Mass and celebration at St. Peter, Richfield — July 16: 7 p.m. Mass at 6730 Nicollett Ave. S. A reception will follow. For information, call (612) 8665089. Celebration of the Feast of God the Father of All Mankind at St. Peter, Richfield — August 4: Mass at 11 a.m. followed by consecration prayers at 6730 Nicollet Ave. Father Gerald Dvorak will be the celebrant. For information and supplies needed, call (952) 884-6638.

Singles Sunday Spirits walking group for 50-plus 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 Mary at (763)323-3479 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) 4250412.

Other events Fortnight for Freedom nightly prayer service at Knights of Columbus Hall, Bloomington — July 3 and 4: 6 p.m. at 1114 W. American Blvd. For information visit WWW.KOFCBLOOMINGTON.COM/FORTNIGHT. ‘St. Francis, Pope Francis and Resources for the Parish of the 21st Century’ event for parish staffs with Jack Jezreel at the Hayden Center, St. Paul — July 16: Noon in Smith Hall at 328 W. Kellogg Blvd. Lunch provided. For information or to RSVP email MARTY.ROERS@CCTWINCITIES.ORG. ‘Power of Personal Witness’ with Father Peter Laird at the Cathedral of St. Paul, St. Paul — July 20: 9 to 10:30 a.m. in Hayden Hall at 239 Selby Ave. Join Father Laird for an inspiring talk about how to share your story to help others grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ. Register via email at REDISCOVER @ARCHSPM.ORG.

Young adults Theology on Tap Summer Series at The Glockenspiel, St. Paul — Wednesdays from July 10 to August 14: 7 to 8:30 p.m. at 605 Seventh St. W. Presented by the Cathedral Young Adults and sponsored by Catholic United Financial. Visit CATHEDRALYOUNG ADULTS.ORG for the speaker lineup and more information.



Annunciation celebrates 150 years Annunciation parish in Hazelwood, near Northfield, commemorated its 150th anniversary June 23. The celebration included a hog roast, silent auction, raffles and entertainment. Live The music was provided Catholic Spirit by the Revivals. The event celebrated the parish’s history with displays of memorabilia, a horse and buggy, farm equipment and tractors. There also were guided tours of the cemetery. The parish was established in 1863 and was a mission of St. Dominic in Northfield until 1940. The parish’s first resident pastor, Father R.E. Russell, had the rectory built in 1942, and a social hall was added later, completed in 1989.

News Notes

Sunday evening Mass added at Corpus Christi The clustered parishes of St. Rose of Lima and Corpus Christi in Roseville have added a 6 p.m. Sunday Mass at

Corpus Christi as of June 30. It is a cooperative effort of the two parishes to provide another opportunity for people to worship and is in addition to the existing Mass schedule.

Rosary launch

Hill-Murray honors distinguished alums Hill Murray High School in Maplewood recently recognized several alumni with special awards: ! The Hill High School Heritage Award was given to Jim Chicone ‘67; Theresa Kelly McPartlin ‘63 was honored with the Archbishop Murray Memorial High School Heritage Award and Kim Ebert Collela ‘78 was given the HillMurray Heritage Award. These awards were established to honor the tradition, culture and core values of Hill High School, Archbishop Murray Memorial High School, and Hill-Murray School. ! John Hambrick ‘63 was honored with the Father Greg Tolaas Distinguished Service Award, which is given to someone who represents the school’s values and mission in his or her personal and/or professional experiences. He is a three-term member of the Nevada State Legislature and is committed to stopping human

Photo courtesy of Matthew Brounstein

Parishioners at St. Paul in Ham Lake launch a balloon rosary during the annual parish picnic June 22. The launch was in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Family Formation program, a family catechesis program developed by the parish and sold to other parishes and families throughout the country and beyond.

trafficking. ! Don and Jean Regan received the Ron Ryan, Jr. Community Leadership Award for their lifelong commitment to Hill-Murray and to Catholic education in the community at large. ! Paul Koller was given the Lasallian Award for his volunteer work at Hill High School, Archbishop Murray High

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School and Hill-Murray for the past 48 years. ! Benedictine Sister Pat Collins received the Benedictine Award. Sister Pat was one of the founders of Archbishop Murray Memorial High School in 1968. She has been a teacher, counselor and assistant principal at AMMHS and at Hill-Murray School.

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St. Peter Catholic School in Forest Lake seeks a Pre-K-6 Principal responsible for developing and implementing policies, programs, curriculum, budgets, and promoting a strong Catholic Identity. The Principal is also responsible for staff and faculty formation and development, human resource management, marketing, fundraising and advancement initiatives, and fiscal responsibility. The Principal works in collaboration with Parish Administration, and ensures visibility within the community through community outreach, minimally monthly articles from the principal in the parish bulletin, and other activities. The full position description will be posted on the parish website at WWW.STPETERFL.ORG. Interested candidates are encouraged to submit a letter of application along with three letters of reference, resume, copies of current license and transcripts to: Mr. Eugene Schommer Parish Business Administrator Church of Saint Peter 1250 South Shore Drive Forest Lake, MN 55025 Fax: (651) 982-2226 ESCHOMMER@STPETERFL.ORG




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“Rural communities have much to teach all who live in urban areas, and the Church recognizes and celebrates all the gifts and blessings rural communities give to us.” Jim Ennis, executive director of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference



Quotes from this week’s newsmakers

JULY 3, 2013 “If someone tells you, ‘Go home, you’re not needed,’ that’s not true. No one is useless in the Church. We are all needed to build this temple.” — Pope Francis, speaking to an estimated 50,000 people at his weekly general audience June 26

Down on the farm Bishop Lee Piché celebrates Mass during the Archdiocesan Rural Life Sunday celebration June 23 on the Don and Bonnie Quigley Farm near Lindstrom. The event was hosted by St. Joseph, Taylors Falls and St. Francis Xavier, Shafer. Below left, guests brought their own lawn chairs and blankets and enjoyed near-perfect weather for the outdoor Mass.

“The court got it wrong. The federal government ought to respect the truth that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, even where states fail to do so. The preservation of liberty and justice requires that all laws, federal and state, respect the truth, including the truth about marriage.” — Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, chair of the U.S. bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, in a statement following the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling June 26 striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, defining marriage as between one man and one woman

“The church does not have two wings: a ‘faith and worship’ division on one hand, and a ‘service’ division on the other. What we believe and how we worship give rise to a life of service.” — Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, in his June 21 homily at a Mass opening the second Fortnight for Freedom at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore

Above, Bill Maassen of St. Croix Falls, Wis., with his horse, Poco Spanish Boy, gives a lasso demonstration during the Rural Life Sunday celebration.

Photos by Jim Bovin for The Catholic Spirit

“In some ways rock ’n roll was the soundtrack to the sexual revolution. So, if there is going to be another revolution inspired by theology of the body, inspired by the past four popes in calling for this re-evangelization of the church and then subsequently culture, we are going to need a soundtrack for it.” — Popular Catholic musician and songwriter Matt Maher, in an interview with Catholic News Service before a June 24 concert in Fulton, Md.

The Sacraments Learning more about our faith The Catholic Spirit’s 4-page Rediscover: pullout section in each issue of 2013 highlights a new Rediscover: theme for you to reflect on and discuss with others. Coming up July 18: What is the Mass?

Sacraments: Catholic sign language



sacrament is a sacred sign that was instituted by Christ to give grace. As a sign, a sacrament both signifies something real beyond itself and acts as a channel of salvation to the world. One could say that the sacraments speak a “sign language” all their own. There are seven sacraments divided into three categories, and they touch on all the critical moments of the Christian life: • Sacraments of initiation: baptism, confirmation and holy Communion. • Sacraments of healing: reconciliation and anointing of the sick. • Sacraments of service: holy orders and matrimony. These seven sacraments offer us an opportunity to receive grace at important stages. From birth to the preparation for death, God meets us and strengthens, heals and equips us to live a fruitful life. So, what is real beyond the sign of the sacrament? What is real is an encounter with Jesus Christ, the One who instituted the sacraments in the first place. When we

The Catholic Spirit • July 3, 2013

participate in any one of the seven sacraments, it is a real encounter with Christ. It isn’t magic; it isn’t imaginary or merely a hope. It is a genuine, interpersonal meeting with the living God. God desires to have these encounters with us and knows that we need his life on our journey through life and on into heaven. St. Augustine once said, “God thirsts that we might thirst for him.” The sacrament is an efficacious encounter in the midst of thirst.

Matter matters Some may wonder how God can use material things to communicate divine life. Two thousand years ago, everything changed when God became one of us. We call this historical event, when God became a man, the Incarnation. In God’s plan, established before the foundation of the world, he intended to communicate his truth fully by taking on human flesh. Through the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, the divine and human are joined in the Please turn to SACRAMENTS on back page of section

“When we participate in any one of the seven sacraments, it is a real encounter with Christ. It isn’t magic; it isn’t imaginary or merely a hope. It is a genuine, interpersonal meeting with the living God.” Jeff Cavins

Beautiful moments Life is full of moments. Some moments are joyful, others are tragic. Some are small, and some are great. Some can seem insignificant, and others can change the whole direction of our lives. But the Church meets us in every moment to walk with us toward Christ. There are, of course, moments that are uniquely Catholic. The sacraments are at the center of the life of the Church. Instituted by Christ, they were entrusted to the Church, and they meet us at some of the great intersections of life to fill us with grace for the onward journey. The seven sacraments — baptism, Eucharist, reconciliation, confirmation, marriage, holy orders and anointing of the sick — are an extraordinary expression of God’s care for us in our journey through life. They also are the source of grace. Grace is God’s favor. He gives it to us freely even though we don’t deserve it. It is by grace that we participate in the life of God. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us: CELEBRATING “Grace introduces us into the intimacy of Trinitarian life: CATHOLICISM by Baptism the Christian participates in the grace of Christ, the Head of the Body. As an ‘adopted son’ he can Matthew henceforth call God ‘father,’ in union with the only Son. He receives the life of the Spirit who breathes charity KELLY into him and who forms the Church” (CCC 1997). And, you and me, we need grace. Badly. The truth is you couldn’t even take your next breath without God’s grace. What has been your most up close and personal experience of grace? I have seen grace at work as people approach death. I have experienced the power of grace in my own life many times, but one of the most obvious demonstrations of God’s grace has been when I have tried to overcome habits that I knew were holding me back from becoming the best version of myself. So many times I have tried to rid my life of a bad habit by will power, and so many times I have failed. Only when I turned to God and begged for his grace did I make any progress. “Grace is God’s favor. We have all had the experience of trying to overcome stifling habits or habitual sin. He gives it to us We try with all our might to make a change, but we fail over and over again. Have you freely even though ever begged God to help you make a change we don’t deserve it. in your life? If you haven’t, I highly it. It is by grace that we recommend If you had to fill your life with as much grace as possible, how would you do it? participate in the The sacraments are an incredible source of life of God.” grace. Sunday Mass and regular confession fill us with God’s grace. But I want to Matthew Kelly encourage you to try something. Go to Mass every day for a week. I realize that most people can’t go to daily Mass every day, but everyone can go to daily Mass for a week. Try it — and observe yourself. How are you different in a week when you go to Mass every day? I think you will discover you are less anxious, more at peace, calm and joyful in the midst of stressful situations, and more purposeful.

Available to all A sacrament is a visible sign of an invisible grace. The sacraments and the grace that flows from them are both mysterious and practical, but God will not force either upon us. God, however, will freely lavish his grace upon us through the sacraments. Sadly, too often, we stay away. There was an Italian man who saved all his money to immigrate to America in 1950. He bought a ticket on a ship, but because he didn’t have much money left he bought cheese and crackers to eat on the journey. He ate cheese and crackers for breakfast, lunch and dinner, while everybody else was in the ship’s dining hall. He could smell the filet mignon, lobster, cabernet sauvignon and hot bread. By the sixth day, he was sick and tired of just eating cheese and crackers, so he went to the captain and said, “I’ll do anything you want. I’ll wash dishes, clean bathrooms, sweep the floors — anything! Just let me have one meal in the dining room.” The captain look perplexed and then explained, “But sir, the meals are included with the ticket.” In the same way, God’s abundant grace is available to us all. Kelly is an international best-selling author, speaker and founder of The Dynamic Catholic Institute.

The Catholic Spirit • July 3, 2013

God’s presence in sacraments unm By Dave Hrbacek The Catholic Spirit

Christina Nelson of Lakeville sat down recently to tell the story of her faith journey into the Catholic Church. This is a story very few people know. It’s filled with both joy and heartache, and it culminated with her receiving five of the Church’s seven sacraments in a period of 18 months at St. “I felt like everything Thomas Becket was lifted, that God in Eagan. The fifth came had freed me. on Oct. 6, 2012 she I’m just really happy. when married Josh, her I don’t know what I high school sweetheart. would do if I didn’t A whirlwind entry into the find faith here.” Church is not Christina Nelson something this 26-year-old woman of Vietnamese descent with a Buddhist upbringing could have forseen. How she got there unfolded as she wove her way through the account of her troubled teen years, her parents’ divorce and a short-term breakup with Josh while she was in college. As she unveiled the details of her conversion, her voice often choked with emotion, and she broke down and cried several times. “These are happy tears, I promise,” she insisted.

In her own words Visit to watch a video of Christina Nelson talk about her journey of faith.

Searching for answers To comprehend the joy, one must first go back to the teenage years of Christina Le, the oldest of two daughters of her two Vietnamese parents, Vu [father] and Nga. Christina first started having trouble during her junior year in high school. Her parents were struggling in their marriage, and it looked like they were headed for divorce. Christina felt that her father was primarily responsible for the breakup. “It just tore me apart,” said Christina, who graduated from Eastview High School in Apple Valley in 2005, the same year Josh did. “I got so angry. I didn’t know what to do.” Turns out, that experience ended up moving her toward the Church. Though she was a Buddhist growing up in Apple Valley, that religion did not provide the answers to questions she had or relieve her anger. “I didn’t deal with it [parents’ breakup] until after college,” she said. “I just let it sit there. I would go to school, but it was still in the back of my mind. I knew I had to find something or else I would go crazy. “I was blaming God. I didn’t even have a faith yet, but I was blaming him for everything that happened.” During high school, she went to youth group events with Josh, who was raised Catholic. At the time, he was part of the group at St. John Neumann in Eagan. Eventually, she started going to Mass with him after they graduated

from college and got back together. Then, in the fall of 2010, she enrolled in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults program at St. Thomas Becket. “I went through the whole program and I loved it,” she said.

Sacramental grace A large portion of time was spent studying the sacraments. One that eventually helped her to heal was reconciliation. “I remember that day,” she said. “We had a moment of silence to think about what you wanted to tell the priest…. I told him about my parents. I was like, ‘What am I supposed to do to get over it? How am I supposed to forgive him?’ He was like, ‘Well, maybe you need to just let it go.’ That was the thing — I couldn’t let it go. What was I supposed to do in order to let it go? He was like, ‘You just need to pray to God, and I promise, he will take it all away.’” In following the priest’s directive, Christina learned an important lesson about sacraments: that with them comes grace. Thus, she was able to forgive her father. Now, the two are on good

mistakable for Lakeville woman

Dave Hrbacek / The Catholic Spirit

Above, Christina Nelson sits at the font where she was baptized at the Easter Vigil Mass April 23, 2011 at St. Thomas Becket in Eagan. In a span of seven months, she received five of the Church’s seven sacraments. The final one was matrimony (left), when she married Josh Nelson on Oct. 6, 2012. Presiding was Father Tim Wozniak, pastor of St. Thomas Becket.

terms, and he ended up walking her down the aisle on her wedding day, along with her mother. Perhaps the biggest sacramental day was April 23, 2011, the Easter Vigil Mass, when she received the three sacraments of initiation: baptism, Eucharist and confirmation. Baptism stands out because she waded into the church’s baptismal font and was able to confront her fear of being in front of a large crowd. To her amazement, the normal anxiety accompanying such a moment did not bother her. “I didn’t feel nervous at all because I felt that God was with me,” she said. “Being in there with the whole congregation was amazing. . . . I felt good about it. I wasn’t scared.” By the time the Mass was over and she had received two more sacraments, she knew something was different inside. The anger was gone without a trace. The darkness that had cast a shadow over her since high school was nowhere to be found. “I felt like everything was lifted, that God had freed me,” she said. “I’m just really happy. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t find faith here. Everyone [at the parish] was just so nice. I think it really hit me right here [in the heart]. It was the ending of a chapter, but also the beginning of another chapter.” The new chapter included standing at the

altar of this church and making solemn vows of matrimony with Josh. Although her mother has questions about Catholicism, she says both parents accept her decision to join the Church.

Faith in action Today, Nelson is putting her faith into action at the parish. She recently accepted the role of confirmation sponsor for a teen girl going through the program, and has expressed interest in being a sponsor for RCIA. Beyond that? “I’m trying to go on a mission trip,” she said. “I want to go on one so bad.” For now, she will continue enjoying the benefits and blessings of being Catholic. One of them is having a new father figure in her life — Josh’s dad, Mike, who was her sponsor in RCIA. “Josh was so surprised that I asked his dad,” she said. “Since I didn’t know him that well, I wanted him to be a part of it. That’s why I chose him. I wanted to get to know him more, I wanted him to get to know me more, spiritually. I just wanted him to be there and I thought it would be a good time for us to get to know each other and learn through faith.” For Christina, the feelings she experienced while receiving the sacraments are an unmistakable sign that God was present in them. She will now work to pass along those feelings to others.

Black on white: wedding-dress drama The phone call came on a busy afternoon — Tuesday or Wednesday of Wedding Week. I was flitting around town, from salon to restaurant to photography lab, uncovering two new to-dos for every one I completed, firing off late-night emails to remind and request, checking the forecast and my forehead for clear skies. Aunt Lynda’s message cut through the chaos. “No matter what happens,” she told me, “you’re still receiving a sacrament, and that’s what’s most important.” I filed the words away. My wedding — our wedding — would be a sacrament, not a spectacle, a guarantee of grace, whether or not the hairspray held. The advice proved apt. Like so many brides before, I soon discovered that no wedding adheres perfectly to the plan. That’s the impossible gap between typed REFERENCE ideals and human execution. POINTS I’ve witnessed many nuptial surprises: a dropped cake, a lost ring, unhemmed pants, a hospitalized Christina grandparent and a bridesmaid in labor. (My niece was born the day my brother got married. My sister’s CAPECCHI expanded dress never made it out of closet.) My own surprise came during the lull between pictures and the wedding Mass. We had just finished posing for portraits of the extended family clustered around the communion rail at the Cathedral altar. There must have been a few moments of horrified deliberation before a brave soul pointed it out: two foot-long, jet-black streaks on the back of my white dress. Somehow I had rubbed against grease that once loosened the Communion rail door. I didn’t dissolve into panic, but I swatted away one For well-intentioned comment that at least we had reflection already taken pictures. No! I hadn’t walked down the Recall a special aisle yet. That was the point, the moment I was sacramental supposed to be spotless in white, not stained in moment in your black. life. In what ways My posse sprang into crisis-management mode. did you feel First, they applied the Tide stain remover that every strengthened or personal attendant worth her weight keeps on hand. graced? No luck. Next, the girls got resourceful, darting off to a back-end office and returning with Wite-Out to paint over the marks. Better, but still an obvious deviation from silky white. Then, a stroke of genius came from the cousin who works in theater and has mastered the game-day fix. She snatched a few pins and created a simple bustle that naturally flowed into my Cathedral-length train. The stains were completely hidden, and I felt new again, ready to float down that long aisle with unsullied bliss. The wedding proceeded beautifully, and the words poured out like honey as I tilted my head and slid Ted’s ring on “in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” The entire day was joyful — laughs and hugs and toasts — but when we looked back on it, Ted and I agreed that the hour-long Mass was the clear high-point. Aunt Lynda was right: We had received a special sacrament. No matter how we looked, where we dined or what we said, God’s grace had united us, 20-somethings standing before our friends and family, pledging our love for better or worse.

Grace washing over The sacraments are one of the greatest gifts of our faith, and each time we witness or receive one, we are invited to rediscover Catholicism. They draw us together, marking time and conferring grace. Last month that grace washed over our firstborn, who was baptized on a sunny morning. She let out a hearty cry with each splash of water, and I teared up. For all the baptisms I had been to before, this one was different. This time I could feel something sacred happening, extending from her 11pound body to my outstretched arm. It was a second, a snap — soon we were taking pictures and cutting cake — but it was real, and I’ll carry it with me, a little more prepared for tomorrow’s trials. Capecchi is a freelance writer from Inver Grove Heights.

Sacraments are a beautiful way in which God meets us Continued from first page of section one divine person of the Son of God. The theological term for this great mystery — that in Christ one person subsists in two natures — is the “hypostatic union.” As the Scripture puts it, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14) and again Jesus said, “He who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). God, the creator of both matter and spirit, used both to redeem the world. God continues to use matter for our redemption in the sacraments. In short, matter matters. In each of the sacraments, God not only instructs us but gives the grace the sacrament signifies (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1084, 1127, 1131). For example, baptism “not only purifies from all sins, but also makes the neophyte a new creature, an adopted son of God, who has become a partaker of the divine nature, member of Christ and co-heir with him, and a temple of the Holy Spirit” (CCC 1265). In the case of baptism, water matters.

The grace received from the sacraments is a sharing in the life of the Trinity. This grace is an undeserved gift from God, whereby God acts and we receive. We are not alone, he is with us. God takes the initiative by making the offer of grace (“ex opere operato”; cf. Read CCC 1128). The believer then accepts the offer and opens himself up to the intervention of the divine (“ex opere operantis”). When you participate in a sacrament you are swearing an oath, thereby renewing your covenant relationship with the Lord. You are, in fact, pledging your life and fidelity to the Lord. “Sacramentum” is the Latin term used in antiquity to designate an oath. Each time we partake of the sacraments, for example receiving the Eucharist, we are swearing an oath to uphold the terms of the covenant and receive the benefits of God. The Latin word “sacramentum,” which is the translation of the Greek word “mysterion,” speaks of something that is known, seen or revealed, yet at the same time, in some sense, conceals something else

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leaving it a mystery. In the case of the sacraments, the mystery is the life of the Trinity. Because of the Incarnation, matter matters and thus God can use it as a sign of something greater, the divine. The amazing thing is that in these signs we encounter Christ. He’s really there. He’s really present with us. The sacraments are a beautiful way in which God can meet us and strengthen us on this journey — this journey that participates in the life of the Trinity. As you rediscover Christ, make it a priority to live your life around the sacraments. For us as Catholics, it’s a matter of fact! For a full explanation of the sacraments, such as what is required for a valid sacrament, who administers them and how often you can receive them, read paragraphs 1210-1666 in the catechism. Cavins is founder of the Great Adventure Bible Study Series and director of the Archbishop Harry J. Flynn Catechetical Institute.

The Catholic Spirit - July 3, 2013  

Crossroads Walk, Immigration Reform, History Day Winners, Supreme Court Marriage Rulings,Vince Flynn

The Catholic Spirit - July 3, 2013  

Crossroads Walk, Immigration Reform, History Day Winners, Supreme Court Marriage Rulings,Vince Flynn