‘COME LORD JESUS’ Archbishop Harry J. Flynn 1933 - 2019
DAVE HRBACEK | THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT
Newspaper of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis October 10, 2019
2A • THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT Archbishop Harry J. Flynn
• 1933 – 2019
OCTOBER 10, 2019
LEFT Archbishop Bernard Hebda, left, receives the body of Archbishop Harry Flynn at the start of the funeral Mass Sept. 30 at the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul. BELOW Jon and Maria O’Malley of St. Michael in Stillwater bring their infant daughter, Mollie, to the reviewal before Mass at the Cathedral of St. Paul. The couple adopted six children from Ethiopia. Archbishop Flynn baptized four of them in 2007. “We loved Archbishop Flynn,” said Maria, who has two brothers who are priests of the archdiocese, Fathers Joseph and Peter Williams. “He always greeted us. He sent us Christmas cards with little notes. He called my husband ‘Rocky’ because he thought he looked like Sylvester Stallone, and he loved that we were Irish. We’re the O’Malleys, we’re Irish. And actually, if Mollie had been a boy, we talked about possibly naming her Flynn.”
More than 2,000 people attend funeral Mass of retired Twin Cities’
Archbishop Harry Flynn
PHOTOS BY DAVE HRBACEK | THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT
By Joe Ruff The Catholic Spirit
funeral Mass attended by more than 2,000 people, including a dozen bishops and a U.S. cardinal, hundreds of laypeople, priests, seminarians, religious brothers and sisters, was made intimate by warmhearted stories and heartfelt prayers for the late Archbishop Harry Flynn of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. “Archbishop Flynn was a wonderful, wonderful human being,” said Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore in his homily Sept. 30 at the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul. “He was warm, had a beautiful sense of humor, never forgot a name or a face, and he wrote out his Christmas cards in July, always with that personal note inside, with his distinctive handwriting.” There were more than a thousand cards each year, as Archbishop Flynn kept in touch with lifelong
friends from his ministry as a priest in the Diocese of Albany, New York, as dean of students, vice rector and rector of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, as well as coadjutor bishop and then bishop of the Diocese of Lafayette in Louisiana from 1986 to 1994 and coadjutor archbishop and archbishop of the Twin Cities from 1994 until his retirement in 2008. After battling cancer in recent years, Archbishop Flynn died Sept. 22 at age 86 in his residence at the St. Vincent de Paul rectory in St. Paul. Bringing up the gifts for Communion were La Salle Sisters of Guadalupe Dolores Sanabria and Antonia Contreras Toal, who helped cook, keep house and care for Archbishop Flynn; his personal assistant, Bobbi Dawson; his driver of 25 years, Patrick Willis; and friends Dr. Peter and Lulu Daly of St. Peter in Mendota and their family. A sense of intimacy was struck with the first chords of a beautiful melody that used the words of Archbishop Flynn’s episcopal motto, “Come Lord Jesus,” and simply repeated those words as deacons,
priests, bishops, friends and family members slowly processed into Mass, and pallbearers bore his casket, where it was received and blessed by Archbishop Bernard Hebda of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Sister Andrea Lee, a former president of St. Catherine University in St. Paul, spoke to the congregation just before Mass, sharing her stories of Archbishop Flynn, a longtime friend. “He introduced me to Jesus in a way I never knew before,” Sister Andrea said. If love overrides all else in someone’s life, then for Archbishop Flynn it is “race over and won,” she said. His love was “pure, generous, forgiving, unvarnished and far-reaching.” Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel of Lafayette and Bishop Edward Scharfenberger of Albany were among the bishops in attendance. Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago, the first bishop ordained by Archbishop Flynn, said the final prayer of FUNERAL CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE
OCTOBER 10, 2019
Archbishop Harry J. Flynn • 1933 – 2019
rdained a priest for the Diocese of Albany, New York May 28, 1960; named Coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese of Lafayette, Louisiana April 29, 1986; consecrated a bishop on June 24, 1986; named Coadjutor Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis on February 22, 1994; installed as Archbishop September 8, 1995. Harry J. Flynn was born May 2, 1933, in Schenectady, New York, to William and Margaret Mahoney Flynn. He was the youngest of six children. Having earned a bachelor of arts and a master of arts degree in English from Siena College in Loudonville, New York, he went on to attend Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, and was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Albany. After serving at parishes and teaching at Central Catholic High School in Troy, New York, then-Father Flynn was appointed dean of Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary where he later served as vice rector and seminary rector. In 1979, he returned to the Diocese of Albany and served as the diocesan director of clergy continuing education and as pastor of St. Ambrose parish in Latham, New York. In 1986, Pope John Paul II appointed him coadjutor bishop of the Diocese of Lafayette, Louisiana, becoming the fourth bishop of the diocese in May 1989. In 1994, he was named Coadjutor Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis and was installed as archbishop a year later, upon Archbishop John Roach’s retirement. He served in that ministry from September 8, 1995 until his retirement on his 75th birthday, May 2, 2008. Archbishop Flynn loved being a priest and spent his retirement years serving the people of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, joyfully confirming thousands of young people, celebrating Mass at parishes across the Archdiocese, leading retreats, and generously giving his time. Archbishop Flynn found respite at his family’s home on Schroon Lake in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. There he would regularly entertain many guests over the years and particularly enjoyed cooking fine meals for them, which always led to stories and warm conversation. While he enjoyed visiting with people and was a consummate storyteller and a powerful preacher, Archbishop Flynn always listened to others first — affirming God’s love for them and finding the good they often could not find in themselves. Those who knew him well and those he had just met called him a “merciful pastor” and felt like he was truly present to them whether they were introducing themselves or sharing something very personal. He was well-known for his Christmas cards, which he personally annotated with individual messages to those on his long list of annual recipients. He was a tireless advocate for racial justice, the poor and the marginalized, and saw Jesus in every person, regardless of his or her circumstances. He worked closely with religious and elected civil leaders to promote the dignity of all women and men and
CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS PAGE commendation in the Cathedral before the archbishop’s body was transferred for burial to Resurrection Cemetery in Mendota Heights. But he prefaced the final prayer with a story about his ordination as a bishop by Archbishop Flynn, saying the archbishop was nervous, and accidentally anointed him with the entire carafe of chrism. Talking with Archbishop Flynn at a later date, Cardinal Cupich said, he reminded him of the incident. “I told him I felt like I was hit by an oil tanker,” Cardinal Cupich said. “He said, ‘obviously, you needed it.’” An intimacy similar to the funeral prevailed the night before, when friends and family gathered with Auxiliary Bishop Andrew Cozzens at The St. Paul Seminary chapel for an open-casket evening of prayer, sharing and all-night vigil. Seminarians kept watch and people across the archdiocese were invited to come and go at any time. Archbishop Lori, who was a seminarian under Archbishop Flynn at Mount St. Mary’s, said in his homily that he habitually addressed Archbishop
make them feel welcomed and valued. Because of the important role religious women played in his life following the death of his parents at a very young age, Archbishop Flynn had a special place in his heart and ministry for women religious. Archbishop Flynn accepted suffering as a true disciple of Jesus, embracing his share in the Lord’s cross, knowing that it leads to a share in his resurrection. Even in the midst of intense pain in the final days of his life, friends who took him to his doctors’ appointments commented on how he profusely thanked each and every doctor, nurse and medical professional at Saint Joseph’s and Woodwinds Hospitals for their kindness and he blessed them on his way out of the building. Before his death, he told those who were with him that “suffering was part of the journey into Heaven.” Those present said he suffered beautifully because he trusted in God’s love and goodness and that allowed him the grace to do so. After being anointed, Archbishop Flynn died at 11:26 p.m., Sunday, September 22, in his residence at the rectory of Saint Vincent de Paul parish in Saint Paul, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, surrounded by family, friends, brother priests and his beloved and ever-present Golden Retrievers. Besides being known as a loving priest, bishop, spiritual father and friend, Archbishop Flynn’s legacy will be one of gratitude. He was grateful for all human life, grateful for his call to the priesthood, grateful to those he was blessed to pastor and serve, and most of all, grateful to God for his love and mercy. Those fortunate enough to have come into contact with him or simply joined him for a Mass he celebrated would comment about how he would always spend a lot of time thanking everyone in a genuine way. At the end of one particular Mass, he told those in attendance that he had to stop expressing his gratitude because his administrative assistant was in the choir and he said if he didn’t stop she would never make it to work the next day! Archbishop Flynn is survived by seven nieces and nephews and his many close friends. He was preceded in death by his parents and five siblings. A Mass of Christian Burial was held at 11 a.m. Monday, September 30 at the Cathedral of Saint Paul in St. Paul, Minnesota. Public visitation in Saint Mary’s Chapel at the Saint Paul Seminary began at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, September 29 and concluded with Morning Prayer at 7 a.m. Monday, September 30. Public visitation at the Cathedral of Saint Paul began at 8 a.m. Monday, September 30 and concluded at 11 a.m. Following Mass, the burial took place at Resurrection Cemetery, Mendota Heights. Memorials are preferred to The Saint Paul Seminary and St. Peter Claver School in Saint Paul.
Flynn in the years that followed as “Father Rector,” while Archbishop Flynn addressed him as “student Lori.” Based on a comment from Archbishop Hebda, Archbishop Lori’s homily illustrated ways Archbishop Flynn embodied four central elements of priestly formation: Human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral. In addition to being thoughtful and ever-present to people in need, Archbishop Flynn had a passionate belief in the Eucharist, Archbishop Lori said. He understood that the “Eucharist really is the source and summit of our lives, our lives as individuals and as community, whether a parish, a diocese or a seminary.” “He once said, ‘Give me eight hours of sleep a night and one hour before the Blessed Sacrament, and I will do anything the Church will ask of me,’” Archbishop Lori said. Archbishop Flynn’s intellectual formation included a powerful command of Scripture and English literature, and ways of telling stories that brought people great understanding of the faith, Archbishop Lori said.
As a pastoral leader, the archbishop walked with people in their struggles, he said. “He knew that truth and love are friends, not enemies. He knew the importance of mercy, of listening to others,” the archbishop said. “The importance of being present to people in their need. His was the voice you wanted to hear when discouragement set in, or when illness struck, or when big problems loomed. His was the voice that helped so many find consolation and direction and strength in the green pastures of God’s love.” For years during his retirement, he continued to give retreats for priests and seminarians, religious sisters and brothers, to administer the sacrament of confirmation, say Mass in parishes and serve in other ways, Archbishop Lori said. “To my mind, he was a priest’s priest and a bishop’s bishop,” he said. Archbishop Flynn also had a loving devotion to the Blessed Mother, who led him to Jesus, Archbishop Lori said. Because he was so close to Jesus and his mother, the archbishop would want people to pray for him and for the happy repose of his soul, Archbishop
THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT • 3A
Legacy includes grappling with clergy abuse crisis By Joe Ruff The Catholic Spirit Beloved by many for his kindness, sense of ecumenism, gentleness and love for the priesthood, Archbishop Harry Flynn also grappled with vexing issues, including the clergy sexual abuse crisis. After his ministry as bishop of Lafayette, Louisiana, from 1986 to 1994, he was hailed for compassionate listening to victims of clergy sexual abuse. He talked about such experiences, and as archbishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, in the midst of a nationwide clergy sexual abuse scandal in 2002, he was named chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee on Sexual Abuse by Priests. That committee forged the Dallas Charter, after the site of the U.S. bishops’ meeting where it was approved. The charter set out a “zero tolerance” policy taking priests out of ministry if they were found to have sexually abused a child. It also established policies and procedures designed to raise awareness about abuse and protect children. Archbishop Flynn retired on his 75th birthday, May 2, 2008. Years later, questions arose about how he dealt with the sex abuse issue in Louisiana and in the Twin Cities archdiocese. Those questions began in 2013, after Minnesota’s statute of limitations on child sex abuse was temporarily lifted and about 450 victim-survivors came forward with allegations, including people who alleged abuse during Archbishop Flynn’s tenure. A 2014 Minnesota Public Radio investigation included some victimsurvivors and their family members in the Diocese of Lafayette telling the station that then-Bishop Flynn rarely reached out. It also reported that he allowed at least one accused priest to remain in ministry and sought to cover up allegations. Archbishop Flynn never publicly addressed that criticism. It was not until May 2014, six years after his retirement, that Archbishop Flynn, then 81, was questioned under oath in Minnesota about how abuse allegations were handled while he led the archdiocese. For many of the specific questions — about memos, actions taken, court cases and whether reports were made to police — he responded that he couldn’t remember. “The longer I get — farther away I get from these situations, the weaker the memory becomes,” he said.
Lori said. “And so, with so much love, we commend you, Father Flynn, Father Rector, Archbishop Flynn, to the Lord of life and love, to the great chief Shepherd you served so well. Come Lord, Jesus, come.”
4A • THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT Archbishop Harry J. Flynn
OCTOBER 10, 2019
• 1933 – 2019
PHOTOS BY DAVE HRBACEK | THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT
Archbishop Flynn in his own words:
‘Lean into the mystery’
By Christina Capecchi For The Catholic Spirit
rchbishop Harry Flynn was a beloved storyteller, but when asked to reflect on his own life, it became clear he was more interested in others’ lives. Still, he spoke of his journey with a keen self-awareness and deep gratitude. He lived his final years in the rectory of the Church of St. Vincent de Paul in St. Paul, well attended to by golden retrievers and Mexican nuns. There he spoke about his life.
Q You were orphaned at age 12. In
some ways, even now — a retired archbishop from Minnesota — are you still the orphan from New York?
Q D o you enjoy writing? A I’d rather be speaking. Q Y ou’ve described your happiest
years as the times you served as pastor of a parish.
A I knew the people, and they knew me.
I greeted them at every Mass and knew who they were and what they were going through. It’s the greatest privilege to be in the care of souls. If I had to do it all over, I’d live every life as a priest. Not as a bishop — every life as a priest. Administration was never my strength. I didn’t care for it — or meetings. It’s a treasure for people to invite you into their lives at moments of pain or joy. It’s a beautiful gift.
A Yes. It formed me. It gave me a great
Q You loved being of service to
Q You’ve said that Catholic Sisters
A It empties the heart of selfishness and
compassion for others and the feelings of others. stepped in for your parents and guided you through primary school.
A They were wonderful to me. They
were very interested in our social life. I don’t know where the Church in the United States would be without the women religious. We need to celebrate the leadership that has been given to women religious.
Q You went on to study English in
college and graduate school. You’re a lover of language. Did that draw you to the poetry of prayer and of the Catholic liturgy?
A Yes. I taught English for five years at
Catholic Central High School in Troy, New York. “The Scarlett Letter.” Shakespeare. Milton’s “Paradise Lost.” There’s a lot of Catholic theology going through that.
people. What does service do to a person?
then it fills it up with love, if you are open to that. One must be open to it. In the priesthood, you cannot look upon service as a drudgery. You look upon it as a beautiful opportunity of loving.
QFour, five decades later, you still
remember the people you served as their pastor.
A Mary Kerry was dying in a nursing
home. She wanted a cold beer, and we didn’t have any beer in the rectory, so I went and got her a ginger ale. She said to me: “Don’t you know the difference between a cold beer and a ginger ale?” There’s humor everywhere. She told me, “Father, I’ll pray for you all through eternity.” I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been in difficulty and I’ve thought of Mary Kerry — an elderly Irish lady in South Troy, her hands crippled with
ABOVE LEFT Archbishop Harry Flynn greets Missionary Sisters of Charity after Mass at Sacred Heart in Robbinsdale in 2002.
arthritis. Isn’t it strange I remember that Irish lady? She had faith, deep faith, in spite of the situation, which was horrible. Eight beds in one room. You wouldn’t leave your dog in it. But the deep faith came through. Faith is a gift, and it needs to be nourished. But we must always remember it is a gift. God gives it. And we can’t foresee how God is going to give that or how much he’s going to give. We can’t force it on anyone. It is a gift. We must live the Gospel and then let God do God’s work.
Q Early in your ministry you were
moved to Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Maryland, where you served as rector for nearly a decade. Being head of a major seminary is no easy job.
A It was a time of various changes in
priestly formation, so different bishops had different ideas of how they were to be formed, and the vocation directors had different ideas. To maintain stability during those years was most challenging. There were two red chairs in my office, and the seminarians called them “the dreaded red chairs.” I would call them in there to have a heart to heart. (I’d tell them:) “Have common sense. People are human, they make mistakes.” A person who is in a position of leadership has to realize mistakes will be made. God is in charge. We’re not the only ones. They were men of parishes. They were in touch with reality. I think that was the secret at the Mount: They all had pastoral experience. When I was a seminarian, the human side of the priesthood was rarely stressed in our formation. And then I had the privilege of participating in the synod of 1990, which John Paul II called for, a synod for the formation of priests, and out of that came “Pastores Dabo
ABOVE CENTER Archbishop Flynn talks during an interview at the former chancery in St. Paul in 2006.
Vobis,” “I Will Give You Shepherds,” and in that document, there was a part which stressed the humanity of a man becoming a priest — the warmth, the compassion. They were never mentioned before when I was going through the seminary, but now they are and they’re very important.
Q Did your time at Mount St. Mary’s
Seminary help prepare you for the other leadership roles you would later assume?
A I think it did. The basis we must
always remember: Theology has to work. It’s not in a vacuum. It’s sterile then. Theology has to work with God’s people, real people.
QWhen you were bishop of the
Lafayette diocese in Louisiana, they were dealing with one of the first cases of clergy sexual abuse to make national headlines.
A It devastated the diocese. I visited
families, I visited parishes and broke down those barriers. It was a time to rebuild trust with the understanding that God is God, and the providence of God works unto all things.
Q N ext came your assignment in
Minnesota, which you have described as a sort of homecoming.
A Minnesota would be similar to upstate
New York, the mentality, and so it was like coming home. The priests and the people have been outstanding here — and the educational opportunities. How blessed we are to have St. Catherine University and St. Thomas University and The St. Paul Seminary. Q&A CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE
ABOVE RIGHT Archbishop Flynn talks to people gathered in St. Paul for the dedication of Mother Teresa of Calcutta Boulevard in 2004.
OCTOBER 10, 2019
THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT • 5A
Archbishop Harry J. Flynn • 1933 – 2019
Archbishop Flynn reflects at end of life By Christina Capecchi For The Catholic Spirit
rchbishop Emeritus Harry Flynn was perched in his living room when he spotted visitors in November 2018. At 85, he had lost weight and stamina, but his sense of humor was intact. “Welcome to the home of the invalids!” he called out. In an unbuttoned blue oxford, a white T-shirt and corduroy pants — no clerics in sight — he looked unassuming, like a regular 80-something man. He did not sound like one though. When he spoke, he dispensed pearls of wisdom, sharing happy memories and hard-won lessons from 58 years of priesthood — including 13 as archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis, from 1995 to his retirement in 2008. Archbishop Flynn lived in the rectory of the Church of St. Vincent de Paul in the Frogtown neighborhood of St. Paul, where he was well cared for by Mexican nuns and two dogs, Katie and Megan. They scuttled across the hardwood floors, guarding their beloved master whenever they sensed danger passing by. He began the conversation with a prayer comprised of three short words: “Come, Lord Jesus. Come, Lord Jesus. Come, Lord Jesus. Lord Jesus, come.” He uttered that prayer in countless sites across the archdiocese — grade schools and nursing homes, boardrooms and ballrooms. “It’s the last words of the New Testament,” he said. “It’s been the prayer of my life.” On a sunny autumn afternoon, he was ready to look back at his life. In some ways, the retired archbishop was still a New York orphan with a tender heart that bends and breaks for others. The compassion born from his parents’ death led to a pastoral touch that defined his priesthood, whether he was serving the downtrodden of Louisiana, responding to gay activists wearing rainbow sashes at the Cathedral of St. Paul or working to build bridges between the Twin Cities’ Catholic and Jewish communities. The five happiest years of his career, he said unequivocally, were the ones he spent as a pastor in the Diocese of Albany, before he became a seminary rector and, later, a bishop. “I knew the people, and they knew me,” he said.
CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS PAGE
Q Y our time here wasn’t without
challenges. For instance, it must have been difficult knowing how to respond to the gay-rights activists who wore those rainbow sashes — to treat them with respect but to also ensure that they were not disrupting Mass. How did you strike that balance?
A Pastoral practice is a balance. It’s a
balance between telling the truth and doing it lovingly, without being judgmental. It’s something that’s refined over the years.
Q You’ve said that friendship with fellow clergy helped you cope during stressful times.
A That was a great solace for me. Go to
dinner at The Lexington and not talk about it! A night of relaxation and recreation. Humor goes with faith. If we have deep faith, we’re able to see the incongruities in situations.
Q Y ou’ve advocated for the role of humor in the spiritual life.
A Keep the sense of humor and keep
praying — it gets us through everything. Laugh at yourself and laugh at things that go wrong — and
Archbishop Harry Flynn gives some attention to his dogs, Megan, left, and Katie at the rectory of St. Vincent de Paul in St. Paul Nov. 29, 2018. DAVE HRBACEK | THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT
“I knew their pain, their joy, their families. When they were in trouble, I was with them. When they were exhilarated, I was with them. It was a beautiful relationship.” The parishioners’ unwavering faith, despite hardships, inspired him. Archbishop Flynn had turned 85 in May 2018. He recalled that example as he struggled to accept his own failures of health, battling bone cancer and the general ailments of aging, which make for a volatile condition — good days and bad days. The end table beside his easy chair was filled with elixirs: a pill case, eye drops, prayer cards, lotion and Anise hard candies. Old age requires patience, he said. “I’ve learned slowing down is not easy.” His dogs were faithful companions as he adapted to the new pace. Katie began to growl, suspecting an intruder. “No, be good,” he said. “Be good, girl.” He looked into her big brown eyes, and instantly she was soothed, laying down at his feet. If only the archbishop could so easily dispel the conflict on cable news, which plays often in the living
they will go wrong — but keep walking in the Lord and all will be well.
Q How did you go about making difficult decisions?
A Gather information. Then pray and make a decision. You’re never absolutely sure. Timing is very important.
Q Y ou chaired the United States
Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee on Sexual Abuse from 2002-2005. What was that like?
A It was the most difficult period of my whole episcopacy because of the media demands and the tension of trying to come up with a charter in spite of the media demands. It was a huge charge. It’s a very complex situation and to simplify it is nonsense. It’s too complex. You have to think about the victims, you have to think about the perpetrators and also you have to think about the redemption that’s in every one of us no matter what the sin is.
QW hat did you learn from that experience?
A I learned to listen, to listen to
room. A great ill of modern life, he said, is the lack of civility. “The one word I hear used too frequently: fight. One woman said she’ll fight like hell if she’s elected. I’d much rather hear: ‘I’ll listen to all sides and then come up with a decision.’” The buoys that had always uplifted the archbishop now serve a special function in old age: prayer, humor and gratitude. They are closely intertwined, one fostering another. “Keep the sense of humor and keep praying — it gets us through everything,” he said. “Laugh at yourself and laugh at things that go wrong — and they will go wrong — but keep walking in the Lord, and all will be well.” Tying it all together, he added, is thanksgiving. That habit was deeply ingrained in Archbishop Flynn, giving him the perspective to see many blessings in his midst, despite considerable limitations. “I’m grateful for our archbishop,” he said of Archbishop Bernard Hebda. “I’m grateful for the priests who come every day to celebrate Mass for me — and to be in this home with the dogs and the Sisters here. Everything. A good life.”
everyone. Listening is extremely important.
QW hen you look back, how do you
feel about the charter you created, the zero-tolerance policy and the review board? Do you feel the right actions were taken?
A I do. Q Another painful wave of clergy
abuse broke in 2018. How are faithful lay Catholics to respond?
A We are called to put on Jesus Christ,
and we are to do that with our total being. And that’s the call for every human being: to put on Jesus Christ. The more we do that, the more we understand the failures of others.
Q You’re known for being
appreciative, for taking the time at a public event to thank everyone involved, right down to the smallest, most hidden roles — those who folded the napkins, who shoveled the sidewalks. Why is gratitude so important?
A Gratitude is part of our spirituality. It’s a spirit of gratitude. It’s a habit.
Q Your kind words to a young mom
on a plane are an example of this. You once watched a mother
dealing with a loud young child, and what did you tell her after the flight?
A “You taught me a great deal about
love and patience.” Jesus said: “Let the children come to me.” It’s a beautiful sound.
Q Y ou addressed racism over the
years, including your 2003 pastoral letter “In God’s Image.” Racial relations have been tense lately. What more can the Church do in this area?
A The Church has done an enormous
amount on immigration and racism. We need to celebrate what’s been done already and to hold that up as standard. For instance, the Church’s teaching on immigration has been outstanding, and we need to celebrate that more.
Q What kind of clarity has come with age?
A That life is a great mystery, and we can’t figure it all out. Lean into the mystery.
QW hat do you hope will be your legacy?
A That I loved.
6A • THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT Archbishop Harry J. Flynn
OCTOBER 10, 2019
• 1933 – 2019
Among Archbishop Flynn’s many friends ... By Dave Hrbacek The Catholic Spirit Archbishop Harry Flynn thrived when interacting with people, sharing his warm smile, genuine concern and Irish wit. He often served others in private acts of charity, and along the way, made lifelong friends:
‘Papa bishop’ Lulu Daly of St. Peter in Mendota first met Archbishop Flynn in 2004. A friend who knew him well had invited her over for dinner when the archbishop was there. Six months later, the friend urged Daly to offer her own dinner invitation to the archbishop. Reluctantly, she did. Dinner was scheduled for 7 p.m. that fall evening. The doorbell of Daly’s home in St. Paul rang at 4:30. It was Archbishop Flynn. “When I answered the door, I was like, ‘Oh no,’” said Daly, 59. “I was in my jeans, I wasn’t ready for anything. I didn’t even start cooking. And so, I started laughing. He said, ‘Am I early?’ I said, ‘Just a little.’ And then I said, ‘Do you like to cook?’ He said, ‘I love to cook.’ I said, ‘Well, come on in.’ And, that started a wonderful friendship.” Together, they prepared one of her classic Italian meals of meatballs and sausage for the entire Daly family, which included Lulu’s husband, Dr. Peter Daly, and their four children, one of whom is Father Michael Daly, ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in 2016. Later that night, Archbishop Flynn gave Lulu his cell phone number and told her to call him if she or the family needed anything. That call came just weeks later when she invited him over for Thanksgiving dinner. A month later, he joined the Dalys for Christmas Eve dinner. He spent both holidays with them every year that followed, including when his health was failing last year and they had to see him at the rectory of St. Vincent de Paul parish in St. Paul, where he was living. Lulu spent every day with him from Sept. 3 until Sept. 22, the day he died. She and her husband and several others were at his bedside, Lulu with her arms around him, when he passed away at 11:30 p.m. “It really was the most beautiful death (he) could have had,” Lulu said. “It was just full of so much love in the Holy Spirit and the Blessed Sacrament. It doesn’t get better than that.” Archbishop Flynn’s family time with the Dalys also included officiating at the wedding of their daughter, Tricia, to Brian Borg in 2012 at St. Catherine University in St. Paul. The Borgs’ second child is named Peter Flynn after the archbishop. The grandchildren called him “Papa Bishop,” Lulu said. Though the home could be hectic at times, she said Archbishop Flynn always wanted to be part of their family life. “His father died when he was 6, and his mom died when he was 12,” Lulu said. “He was raised by his aunts. And, I think he never had that family unit. I think that’s what he treasured in our family — he got the family unit he never had.”
Driving force Pat Willis has no idea how many miles he logged while serving as driver for Archbishop Flynn for the last 25 years. What he does know is that most of the time, there were three passengers inside Archbishop Flynn’s black Buicks — the archbishop and his two dogs, Megan and Katie. Megan was a golden retriever, and Katie was a mixed breed given to him by Sister Andrea Lee, a former president of St. Catherine University in St. Paul. “Ninety-nine percent of the time, he traveled with the two dogs,” said Willis, 78, who has worked for the
archdiocese for more than 40 years, mostly in building maintenance. “That was fun.” Willis would get the dogs in and out of the car, putting them in the back seat. If they needed water or a bathroom break, he would take care of it. “They were like his kids,” Willis said. “They were his favorite thing.” One of the most memorable drives they made was a trip to Duluth. Archbishop Flynn had learned that a man who grew up in his native state of New York was incarcerated in Duluth, and the family back home couldn’t afford to come and see him. So, the family asked Archbishop Flynn if he would pay the man a visit, restricted by the prison to 30 minutes a day. He did — at least three times. “He’d go up and spend a half hour with him, and we’d turn around and come back,” Willis said. “He was unbelievable.”
‘That smile’ The first memory Bobbi Dawson has of Archbishop Flynn became a lasting one. When the archbishop became co-adjutor in 1994 with Archbishop John Roach, Dawson had been working for the archdiocese for more than two decades. She spent most of her time filling in for other employees who were out sick or on vacation, calling herself “a floater.” She can’t remember exactly when she first met the archbishop, but she remembers what happened. “We were at the chancery — 226 Summit in the John R. Roach room,” said Dawson, 69. “We all lined up — all the chancery people and people from the other buildings. Archbishop was there, and we all got to greet him that day. He always had that smile on his face. And, you knew that this was gonna be good, that he was a good man.” Along with that trademark smile usually came a story, Dawson said. “He always had a story to tell.” The smile and the stories continued to surface, even in the finals days of his life. Early on, Dawson became his personal assistant, a role she had all the way until he died. She spent much of her time typing letters that he dictated to her — some say she was the only person who could keep up. But, she said the most important task she worked on with the archbishop was preparing and sending Christmas cards. “That was always a big deal” to him, she said. He noticed her handwriting and asked if she would handwrite the address labels. She didn’t know the full scope of the job until he showed her several rolodexes filled with names and addresses of his friends. She would start in March, and he would begin signing the cards in July — every one. “And, he just about always put a small note on each card,” she said. “He always liked that personal touch.” The cards would get mailed right after Thanksgiving. Dawson said people told her that usually his card was one of the first they received. “Now, I just use (printed) labels,” she said. “But, for years we handwrote every one of those — for sure, 1,500 to 2,000.” The last year he sent them was 2018. Because of failing health, Dawson had his signature printed on the cards so he wouldn’t have to go through the work of signing them. What did he do? He sat down and signed them anyway.
Passion for hospitality Archbishop Flynn loved to entertain. He always went “the whole nine yards” when it came to putting on special celebrations at the chancery, especially when it involved women religious, Sister Fran Donnelly said. Sister Fran helped organize and run
such events starting in about 2000, when she became a vicar for religious along with Sister Dominica Brennan. She also served as director of ministry personnel for the archdiocese. She discovered how strong his passion for hospitality was when food ran out at one function. “The Monday morning after the function, we each received what became known as the infamous blue memo, and he let us know in no uncertain terms this was never to happen again,” she said. “We knew we had been properly chastised. It was one of those things that he would tease about for years.” Archbishop Flynn had a deep love for religious women, which Sister Fran, 72, a member of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, came to know and appreciate. “He was just so intent on doing the best and the nicest for people, especially religious women,” she said. “They adored him, and he (adored them). He would sit and talk all day at those functions — one story after another of all the nuns he ever knew in the East.” He also remembered situations that he would bring up years later, often as a way to tease people like Sister Fran. He had a way of getting in a little verbal jab, and at the same time giving subtle praise and affirmation. Like the way Archbishop Flynn would bring up Sister Fran’s grandmother, Kate McGrath Donnelly, whom he met and got to know while he was serving at St. Peter’s parish in Troy, New York, to which she belonged. When he was not happy with Sister Fran — “and that would happen on occasion,” she said — he would tell her that her grandmother would not be pleased. Conversely, when he was happy with her, he would tell her “your grandmother would be so proud of you.” “He, more than anyone I’ve ever known, mastered the fine art of teasing,” she said. “And, teasing as an endearment.”
Funeral friend Father John Malone forged a unique bond with Archbishop Flynn. “We’re both Irish and we both enjoy a good funeral,” said the longtime pastor of Assumption in downtown St. Paul who retired two years ago. Not long after Archbishop Flynn arrived in the archdiocese, the two started going to funerals together. It started in 1995, when Father Malone asked the archbishop to come to his mother’s funeral. They continued to drive to numerous funerals, mainly for those of priests and parents of priests. Father Malone said the “best thing” Archbishop Flynn could hear on a given day was that he needed to go to a funeral. That meant he could leave the office “and be with people.” Father Malone, 78, said the archbishop had “enormous sympathy” for people and was drawn to funerals as a way of connecting with them. “He really liked meeting the people. He liked to say thanks” to the family of a priest who died, Father Malone said. Father Malone called the archbishop “a people guy.” Management was not his top priority. “His first concern was people,” Father Malone said. The conversations in the car were filled with many topics. On a few occasions, the discussions got heated. “We once had a fabulous shouting match — and we would bring that up frequently in the years since then — over communal penance,” Father Malone recalled. But, after a quick-witted remark by Father Malone, Archbishop Flynn “started to laugh.” Along the way, the archbishop also brought up personal things about his life, which Father Malone appreciated. “I liked how open he could be about his own experience,” Father Malone said. “He was orphaned young. Hardly there’d be a social evening that he wouldn’t bring up the gratitude that he had to his father’s family — his father’s sisters, his aunts — who brought him into their house and took care of him.”
OCTOBER 10, 2019
Archbishop Harry J. Flynn • 1933 – 2019
THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT • 7A
and Loving Memory
Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God, and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; not lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. I Peter 5:2-4
Archbishop Flynn Catechetical Institute The Basilica of Saint Mary Cathedral Heritage Foundation Cathedral of Saint Paul National Shrine of the Apostle Paul The Catholic Cemeteries Catholic Community Foundation of Minnesota Catholic Health Association of Minnesota Catholic Mutual Group Congregation of The Little Sisters of the Poor Dick and Maureen Schulze and the Schulze Family Foundation Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne
Felhaber Larson, P.A.
St. Catherine University
Franciscan Brothers of Peace
Saint John’s Abbey
Franciscan Retreats and Spirituality Center
Prior Lake, MN
Gill Brothers Funeral Home & Cremation Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life NET Ministires
Saint Thomas Academy The Seminaries of Saint Paul Saint John Vianney College Seminary The Saint Paul Seminary Sisters of the Order of Saint Benedict St. Joseph, MN
The Opus Group
The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet
Our Lady of Peace Hospice & Homecare
Sisters of the Visitation
St. Paul Province
The Sovereign Order of Malta Minnesota Delegation
Bringing Christ to the world through the media
Trinity School at River Ridge University of St. Thomas
Proceeds from this page will be provided to the Victims Services Program to support the Restorative Justice and Healing efforts in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
8A • THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT Archbishop Harry J. Flynn
OCTOBER 10, 2019
• 1933 – 2019
memories By Joe Ruff • The Catholic Spirit
PHOTOS BY DAVE HRBACEK | THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT
“He was all excited, he just got a puppy.”
People gather at Resurrection Cemetery in Mendota Heights Sept. 30 for the Committal Rite for Archbishop Harry Flynn.
Archbishop laid to rest at Resurrection Cemetery By Dave Hrbacek The Catholic Spirit
s a bagpiper played “Amazing Grace,” the body of Archbishop Harry Flynn was brought to its final resting place at Resurrection Cemetery in Mendota Heights following his funeral Mass Sept. 30. Archbishop Bernard Hebda and Fathers Michael Daly and John Malone led a procession in the northern part of the cemetery’s 200 acres, past the plots of six previous bishops and archbishops of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Together, the three prayed the Committal Rite, the third and final part of the Order of Christian Funerals. About 50 of the archbishop’s close friends and two of his nieces, Marie Flynn Danek and Maureen Campbell, both from suburbs of Schenectady, New York, gathered around the casket as it was prepared for burial in a concrete vault at the gravesite. The ceremony ended with people placing flowers and shovelfuls of dirt onto the casket after it was lowered into the ground. The Committal Rite is an important part of the funeral process, said Sister Fran Donnelly, who works for Resurrection Cemetery and was a close friend of Archbishop Flynn. Symbolic gestures like casting flowers and dirt onto the casket create an opportunity for people to participate and see more deeply the finality of death. “I think those experiences really help us with our grief,” she said. Before he died, Archbishop Flynn considered other options for burial, including his home
state of New York and Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, where he served as rector. In the end, he chose the spacious and scenic grounds of Resurrection, created in 1940 after Calvary Cemetery, the traditional burial place for priests, bishops and other religious, was running out of room. Archbishop Flynn is buried next to his predecessor, Archbishop John Roach, who died in 2003. The first bishop to be buried at Resurrection was Archbishop John Murray in 1956. Archbishop Flynn had developed a fondness for Resurrection before he retired. While serving as archbishop, he started celebrating Mass there every Memorial Day. He continued doing so in his retirement all the way to 2016, sometimes flying back and forth from New York that day to celebrate the annual 10 a.m. Mass. “He just loved leading people in prayer here year after year,” Sister Fran said. “They, of course, loved him. If he did have to get on a plane, I’d try to get him moving (back to the car), because all he wanted to do was stay and chit chat with people. And, of course, they swarmed him year after year — hot, cold, rain, no matter what. It was a neat, symbiotic relationship he had with these people whom he only saw as a group once a year.” His burial at Resurrection “goes full circle,” Sister Fran said. It also gave local Catholics the opportunity to participate in a ritual that is intimate and often thought of as restricted to family, she said. As he did throughout his life, Archbishop Flynn welcomed
the public, this time to his final resting place. Dr. Peter and Lulu Daly brought children and grandchildren to Resurrection, with some placing red roses on top of the casket, and their son helping with the Committal Rite. Though some of the grandchildren are young, Sister Fran said, their presence was important. And, it will mean something in the years ahead as they recall a family friend known to them as “Papa Bishop.” “I think their parents will process this with them for a long time,” Sister Fran said. “They will remember putting those flowers in.” Sister Fran works with people to plan funerals and burials. She said she encourages families to take advantage of the Committal Rite, even if they say they don’t want prayers at the gravesite. Having the opportunity to stand and pray together has a lasting impact, she said. Even what happens after the last prayer is read plays into the meaning of the Committal Rite. “You literally turn your back and walk away,” she said. “There is a physical reality that is almost visceral because it hits you: I’m leaving here now, and ... I’m leaving him here. There’s something that’s so final about that.” At the same time, Sister Fran has the opportunity to make a short trip from her office at Resurrection to the archbishop’s gravesite, she said. “How blessed am I ... that I could literally walk to that grave. It’s two minutes from where I’m sitting (in the office every day),” she said. “That means a lot to me.”
Marie Flynn Danek, a niece of Archbishop Flynn’s who with her sister, Maureen Campbell, flew in for his funeral from Schenectady, New York, as she recalled being in a bridesmaid dress at a family wedding when he gestured her into his office at the church so he could show off his first golden retriever, Megan, who was followed by Megan Nos. 2 and 3.
“Archbishop Flynn taught me a lot about the fact that the priest and the bishop exist for the people. He loved people. He loved meeting people and sharing their joys and sorrows.”
Auxiliary Bishop Andrew Cozzens, ordained a priest by Archbishop Flynn. The archbishop also was a principal co-consecrator at then-Father Cozzens’ ordination as a bishop in 2013. Bishop Cozzens served as Archbishop Flynn’s master of ceremonies from 1998-2002 and from 2006-2008.
“I will miss him a lot. But it’s also a sense of joy. This morning, I had the feeling, I don’t have to pray for him. I had the feeling he was praying for me.” Bishop Juan Miguel Betancourt Torres of the Archdiocese of Hartford, Connecticut, a former seminary professor and vice rector for formation at The St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul.
“He ordained me a bishop. When I got the news, I asked him, ‘How did this happen?’ He said to me, ‘Peter, I have been putting your name in for 14 years. Finally they listened.’” Bishop Peter Christensen of the Diocese of Boise, Idaho.
“How beautiful it is to have so many of these faithful people sharing stories of Archbishop Flynn, their appreciation for his ministry and their prayers for him.” Archbishop Bernard Hebda before the funeral Mass.
“He was a great and compassionate priest and friend. Archbishop Harry Flynn had a special love and admiration for the Maronite Church. We were graced with his presence so many times on our altar.” Chorbishop Sharbel Maroun of St. Maron Maronite Catholic Church, Minneapolis.
“He didn’t want to be liberal or conservative, he just wanted to be Catholic, to love the Church and to lead others to love the Church, too.” Bob Zyskowski, former associate publisher and general manager of The Catholic Spirit.
“One of my fondest memories of Archbishop Flynn was when I interviewed him and he shared with me stories about his friend Mother Teresa of Calcutta. He (also) was someone who donated both his time and money to support the pro-life movement.” Russ Rooney, president of Life Legal MN, a chapter of Life Legal Defense Foundation; advisory board member for Human Life Alliance.
“Let your father be with God. Let him be in God’s light, let him be in God’s love.”
Benedictine Sister Linda Soler, sub-prioress of St. Paul’s Monastery in Maplewood, quoting a letter of condolence she received from Archbishop Flynn when her father, George Soler, died in July.
October 10, 2019 • 1B Newspaper of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis
sent COURTESY MARIA MONTELLO
Maria Montello, a Maryknoll missionary in Cambodia, helps Navy (Nah-vee), a blind student in her class at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, read a timeline history of Southeast Asia in braille in this 2013 photo. Pieces of incense sticks and toothpicks prepared by Montello mark the years, decades and centuries. Read more inside about Montello’s missionary work and the service of a missionary in West Africa — two missionaries with ties to the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis who are currently receiving financial assistance from the Center for Mission in the archdiocese. Their stories and more are highlighted in this special section marking World Mission Sunday, which Pope Francis is stressing as a time to remember that by virtue of baptism, all Catholics are called to be missionaries.
What is World Mission Sunday? orld Mission Sunday is a day set
Catholic mission, it is a time for Catholics to
during an Extraordinary Missionary Month,
aside for the Catholic Church
renew their own missionary spirit and to offer
called by Pope Francis to mark the 100th
throughout the world to publicly
prayer and financial support for the young
anniversary of Pope Benedict XV’s apostolic
renew its commitment to be a missionary
and developing mission churches in 120
letter “Maximum Illud,” which emphasizes
countries around the world. The event is
the missionary call to proclaim the Gospel.
It is celebrated on the next to last Sunday in
coordinated by the Society for the Propagation
Pope Francis invites all baptized Christians
October every year. This year it will take place
of the Faith, a Pontifical Mission Society of the
during this month to a deeper encounter with
in every Catholic parish on the weekend of
Jesus Christ, to be the Church of Christ on
Oct. 19-20. Known as the feast day for
This year, World Mission Sunday takes place
mission to the world.
WORLD MISSION SUNDAY
2B • THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT
OCTOBER 10, 2019
From Minnesota to West Africa Peace Corps dreams turn into mission reality for St. Paul woman By Joe Ruff The Catholic Spirit
ince learning about the Peace Corps in high school, Diane Yonga of the Cathedral of St. Paul felt a tug that never went away to help the poor and hungry in Africa. Decades later, her calling is being fulfilled through the Lay Mission-Helpers Association, a Catholic organization based in Los Angeles, as well as assistance from the Center for Mission in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. About nine months ago, Yonga, who turns 60 on World Mission Sunday, began serving a three-year stint in Ghana, West Africa, teaching food and nutrition to students at St. Anne’s Girls Senior High School, a boarding school about three miles outside the town of Damongo, on a rutted, bumpy dirt road. She also is the school secretary and the school’s store keeper — keeping inventory and distributing food, household cleaning, office and school supplies. Yonga lives in a bungalow with an LMH missionary from Pennsylvania. Together, they shop in the open air market and attend Church and school events and celebrations.
Making a difference Yonga, who shared her story in a telephone interview and emails, believes she already is making a difference. For example, a girl sitting in the back of class wasn’t participating, her grades were not strong, and Yonga puzzled over how to bring her outside of herself and into the classwork. So Yonga asked the students to present more of the information in class. “She blossomed, presenting the information, showing what she knows,” Yonga said. “The last class of the semester she gave me a big hug. It made me feel like I did something to help her out.” Yonga said she also has drawn close to the school’s headmistress, Madam Pauline. “She is fairly new to the position and the school has many challenges, so she often confides in me and asks my opinion on matters,” Yonga said. At the same time, Yonga is adjusting to cultural differences that include people placing relationships before making appointments on time. “It’s a good value, people are important and time is not,” she said. But coming from the United States, where punctuality is prized, it has been an adjustment. Ghanians also have traditional ways of
COURTESY DIANE YONGA
Diane Yonga with students in her food and nutrition class Feb. 7 at St. Anne’s Girls Senior High School in Damongo, Ghana. addressing one another to show proper respect, and learning those nuances has been a challenge, Yonga said. Madam Pauline has helped her navigate those waters, Yonga said, even as she helps the headmistress wade through stressful situations. “I try to support and encourage her,” Yonga said.
An answer to prayers Yonga said her long-held dream of serving in Africa was put on the back burner as she got married, learned more about that continent through her husband, who was from Cameroon, West Africa, (they divorced in 2014) and their network of friends. She learned about West African food, clothing, dance and other traditions. They also were busy raising three children. But when their youngest son started college, her dreams of missionary work reignited. She also had begun placing God at the center of her life. She attended daily Mass, kept an hour of eucharistic adoration and began taking adult religious education courses. She graduated last year from the Archbishop Flynn Catechetical Institute at The St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity in St. Paul, volunteered at a Catholic Charities’ homeless shelter and made the Cathedral parish her home. One day, praying in bed, she heard God speak in her heart: “Now is the time.” “I immediately grabbed my laptop and Googled the Catholic Volunteer Network to find out more about long-term, overseas mission opportunities,” she said. Within 24 hours, she connected with LMH and began the complicated preparations for going overseas: medical checkups, immunizations, psychological testing and contacting references.
One month later she applied, attended a three-day discernment weekend at LMH’s mission house in Los Angeles and was invited to a four-month formation and training program. “There, I joined three other people who were feeling a similar calling. We lived in community in the mission house: We prayed morning and evening prayer together, attended daily Mass together, we cooked together, ate together, we cleaned together, we attended class together, we enjoyed free time together.” Friends, family and Cathedral parishioners are among her sources of financial assistance, as well as a $1,000 grant from the Center for Mission’s Mustard Seed Mission Endowment fund, which she can seek each year she serves. Everything fell into place and appeared to be God’s will, Yonga said. That gave her the courage to leave her family and friends, the Cathedral parish and venture across the Atlantic to Damongo.
Adjusting It’s not been easy, but it’s been good, and full of surprises, Yonga said. The heat is a challenge, with highs ranging from 99 to 112 and lows in the upper 70s and upper 80s. “Loss of electricity happens more frequently than I like; when there is no fan, one sweats all the time,” she said. Women’s physical strength in Ghana strikes awe, she said. “They carry everything on their heads. You never see a woman carrying anything but a handbag in her arms — everything goes to the head. “Most of the farming is done by hand. We have one tractor with a small plow, but planting and harvesting is mostly done by hand. “Animals: cows, goats, sheep,
chickens are wandering all over. Everything is free range. Even in town, the animals can wander about. I often wonder how they know who is the owner of the various animals. There appears to be no fear of someone stealing them.” Belief in God is very evident, among Christians and Muslims, she said. “Television is full of religious programming. Prayer is allowed and starts all meetings — even those government-sponsored events. I am not bringing God to these people. God is here.”
Who is changing who? In fact, Yonga said, she is convinced that God called her to mission work not to change others, but to broaden and strengthen her own faith, so she could contribute to the need for everyone to reach out with more love to others. In addition, she is learning: Simple life can be fulfilling, people all over the world want to be loved and respected, and she learns as much from the people in Ghana as they do from her. “I was good at my relationship with God,” she said. “I gave him lots of quality time, but I think he was telling me that I am not just to have a oneon-one relationship with him, but I should also have a loving relationship with his people.” “Sending me to Ghana — away from everything I am comfortable with — is stretching me to be a more rounded person, to become the best version of myself, to become the person God created me to be.”
WORLD MISSION SUNDAY
OCTOBER 10, 2019
Maryknoll missionary takes faith, desire to serve to Cambodia By Joe Ruff The Catholic Spirit
fter teaching math to students with learning disabilities as a member of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Portland, Oregon, from 1995 to 1996, Maryknoll lay missionary Maria Montello says she was hooked on the desire to serve others, though in some respects she held it at bay for a while. “They say that if you do JVC you’re ‘ruined for life,’ that the call to direct service to the disenfranchised is firmly planted in your heart. It took 15 years for me to respond to that call again,” she said. Instead of waiting for retirement to serve, Montello, 46, of St. Frances Cabrini in Minneapolis, changed course from her job in information technology to pursue a master’s degree in philosophy and then in 2011 to do missionary work teaching philosophy. For the last eight years, she has taught philosophy and critical thinking at the Royal University of Phnom Penh in Cambodia. Her contract with Maryknoll runs through May 2021, but it could be extended. Financial help comes from a number of sources, including the Center for Mission in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. It’s been difficult but rewarding service, Montello said in a series of email exchanges, in part because she came to teach critical thinking, and in Cambodia it is socially unacceptable to debate or to disagree. “My students had never been asked, ‘What do you believe?’ Ever. What I came to teach, my students were not prepared to study,” she said. “What I came to teach was countercultural. It was going to be a long haul. And it has been.” But Montello said she stresses with students the need to think critically, to make good decisions, because bad ideas can lead to bad actions, even disasters. An example she cites for the students is the rule of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979, when an idea to make all Cambodians equal turned into a campaign to eliminate the educated and the genocidal deaths of 2 million people, about 25 percent of the country’s population.
Living in faith Montello said she can’t talk about her faith at the university, which is similar to the expectations at a secular university in the United States. But she lives her faith in the respect she shows each student, and in her expectations of them in the classroom. Cambodia is 98% Buddhist and 0.5% Christian. Montello belongs to a Catholic parish in Phnom Penh where the congregation speaks English. She also attends Mass at a Khmer Catholic church, where the
THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT • 3B
Baptized and sent — we are marked for mission By Deacon Mickey Friesen
Maria Montello helps Sakona, a student at Royal University of Phnom Penh, count votes at the end of Toastmaster-esque presentations in this 2015 photo. COURTESY MARIA MONTELLO
congregation sits on the floor, sings in Khmer, uses a gong to mark the elevation of the Eucharist and incense sticks instead of candles — all noteworthy examples of the Church’s efforts at contextualization. The Maryknoll community in Phnom Penh is “wonderful and unique,” Montello said, with priests, religious sisters and lay missionaries working elbow to elbow, many on the same mission projects. They meet weekly for Mass and a dinner, celebrate holidays together and gather for pastoral and theological reflections.
Ready to serve While faith is not openly discussed in the classroom, opportunities to help students in a Christian manner abound, Montello said. Such as helping a blind student in 2013 named Navy (Nah-vee). People with disabilities in Cambodia are largely ignored, and some are even treated harshly, in part because some believe that the person must have been bad in a former life and reincarnated in a “lesser form,” Montello said. Others view disability as a curse delivered to a family by someone with a grudge or owed a debt. Consequently, there are no services for the blind at any university in Cambodia, Montello said. In fact, she did not know a blind student would be in her classroom until the day Navy arrived. Montella decided to read and record reading assignments and sit with Navy during tests and at other times she could help. “I didn’t need to press any student into ‘service’ in helping Navy when we did things that required vision; students took her under their wing on their own,” Montello said. “It was wonderful to witness.” As to her own faith in helping Navy and others through her missionary work, that is played out every day, Montello said. “I suppose it’s like asking a fish, ‘What part does water play in your day-to-day life?’” she said. Montello said she has been told that Navy is now a teacher in a “special high school,” which likely means for students who are blind or have some other learning challenges. “It is so rare that a person like her can make it through the university
and then find employment,” Montello said. “So, that’s good news about Navy.”
Sharing the news Last year, Montello published through Jesuit Service Cambodia a children’s tale about disabilities, beautifully illustrated, that also impacts adults titled “The Gift.” It is about a Cambodian man who wishes for a child who can make his life easier. When he discovers that his son has developmental disabilities, the man feels cursed. But over time, his son brings him joy, the man’s carpentry work improves and villagers are generous in their help. Many years pass, and the man on his death bed is with his son, surrounded by friends, customers and a neighbor who whispers in his ear, “Your son is a gift to us. He will be one of our own.” Montello said she wrote the book to share the message in Cambodia and beyond of the inherent worth of all people. The message is spreading, she said, with the Jesuits printing 3,000 copies in the Khmer language that are making their way into schools across Cambodia and being sold to nonprofit organizations. It was picked up by the Cambodian Disabled People’s Organization, which featured it at a United Nations Human Rights Day event. And it will be included in a “toolkit” produced by UNICEF and the Ministry of Education for use in public schools. An English edition is also available through Montello at maria_montello@ yahoo.com for a $10 donation (PayPal is easiest) that will help her continue her missionary work, Montello said. When Montello talks about her work at parishes, she reminds people that everyone is on mission. “Every time you get out of bed to rock to sleep a crying baby or hold your child having a bad dream, you are ‘missioning,’” she said. “Every time you reach out to a coworker who seems to be having a bad day ... personal struggles, etc., you are being a missioner. “Your life is no different than mine. I would venture to guess your life is much more difficult than mine — more complex, more frantic, more stressful. “Join me in mission.”
ometimes, things happen in life that leave a permanent mark. Some people retain a mark from their birth. Others carry a permanent mark from an accident or injury. Some marks are visible to the eye while others remain invisible, but they mark our souls for life. There are people who can leave a permanent mark on us because of the way they care for us or inspire us. We also talk about wanting to leave a permanent mark on the world. Some permanent marks can scar us while others become signs of new life. Some years ago, I had back surgery after an injury and living with chronic pain for several months. The surgery renewed my life, but it did leave a permanent mark on my back. When people see it, they ask me how I got that scar, but I tell them it is not a DEACON scar, but a sign of new life. MICKEY FRIESEN In the realm of faith, we believe that the sacrament of baptism leaves a permanent mark of grace. It marks us forever with the sign of faith. We are marked with the new life and mission of Christ. We are marked as missionary disciples to follow Jesus way of love and peace, healing and compassion, mercy and justice. The Church is marked for mission because that is the way that God is. Our God is a missionary God! This year, Pope Francis has called for an extraordinary month of mission in October to enliven and renew our baptismal call to make the life and mission of Jesus known and loved. We have been permanently marked with the sign of the cross and the sign of peace so that we might be living signs of Christ in our world. We are baptized and sent. During the month of October, we will join in solidarity with Catholics around the world to focus our missionary spirit. It is a time for us to pray and reflect on God’s word that calls us to give witness to Christ in our daily life. We can remember those holy men and women of faith who have given themselves to serving Christ’s mission around the world. We can also join in solidarity with the mission Church today by giving to the World Mission Sunday appeal that supports the young and developing Churches in 1150 mission dioceses across 120 countries. In the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, the Center for Mission serves as a living bridge between us and the Church around the world. We partner with all Catholic dioceses on the planet for the common purpose of helping the mission Church to be planted and grown. We also bring home the many stories of how the Gospel is being shared in new places. It is a sharing of lives and prayer. It is a sharing of communion and service together. It is a sharing that strives to realize our identity as brothers and sisters in Christ. There is much good news for us to hear and be inspired by. We are baptized for mission. It is in our Christian nature to go forth to love and serve the Lord. Let us be open to that missionary spirit which marks us personally and as members of the Church…baptized and sent. Deacon Friesen is director of the Center for Mission in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
WORLD MISSION SUNDAY
4B • THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT
Pope: All Catholics must be missionaries By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service
y virtue of their baptism, all Catholics are called to be missionaries, sharing the good news of salvation in Jesus by their actions and their words, Pope Francis said. “The importance of renewing the Church’s missionary commitment and giving fresh evangelical impulse to her work of preaching and bringing to the world the salvation of Jesus Christ” is the focus of Pope Francis’ message for World Mission Sunday Oct. 20 and for the special celebration in 2019 of October as “Extraordinary Missionary Month.” The pope’s message, “Baptized and sent: the Church of Christ on mission in the world,” was published by the Vatican June 9. On Oct. 1, Pope Francis opened the special month with a prayer vigil at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. He commissioned 10 special missionaries — five religious women, four religious men and a family — and presented them with a small wooden cross to wear around their neck as they go on missions in parts of Africa and Asia. The special “Missionary Month” marks the 100th anniversary of Pope Benedict XV’s 1919 apostolic letter “Maximum Illud” on the Church’s missionary activity. The document, Pope Francis said, has two key messages that Catholics need to hear today: every Christian has a responsibility to share the Gospel; and the universality of salvation in Jesus means that all people are children of God and brothers and sisters to each other, which means rejecting “all forms of nationalism and ethnocentrism or the merging of the preaching of the Gospel with the
OCTOBER 10, 2019
SISTER DOROTHY STANG
economic and military interests of colonial powers.” Baptism and membership in the Church go together and are essential for salvation, the pope said. And they also can contribute to peace and harmony in the world. The mission of sharing the Gospel and offering them the gift of baptism “is part of our identity as Christians,” the pope said. “It makes us responsible for enabling all men and women to realize their vocation to be adoptive children of the Father, to recognize their personal dignity and to appreciate the intrinsic worth of every human life, from conception until natural death.” When God is rejected as the father of all, he wrote, people no longer recognize each other as brothers and sisters and no longer feel obligated to respect each other’s lives. “Without the God of Jesus Christ, every difference is reduced to a baneful threat, making impossible any real fraternal acceptance and fruitful unity within the human race,” Pope Francis wrote. As members of God’s family, he said, Catholics are called to leave behind “every kind of undue ethnic and ecclesial introversion,” valuing those things of their own culture that can reflect or amplify the Gospel but being always ready to step out of one’s comfort zone to share the faith. The gift of faith and baptism, he said, “is not a product for sale — we do not practice proselytism — but a treasure to be given, communicated and proclaimed.” Pope Francis also used his message to praise the pontifical mission societies for raising awareness of and support for the Church’s missionary work.
The Pontifical Mission Societies — four organizations that support the pope’s missionary efforts around the world — are holding up the late Notre Dame de Namur Sister Dorothy Stang as an example for the faithful of a missionary witness in this “Extraordinary Missionary Month.” Born in 1931 in Dayton, Ohio, Sister Stang joined the Sisters of Notre Dame at age 17 and one month, the earliest the congregation would accept her. She went on to serve in the Amazon rain forest of Brazil beginning in the 1960s, encouraging sustainable farming that presented a threat to loggers, land speculators and agribusiness. In the late 1990s, she was placed on a “death list” by power brokers of the area. On Feb. 12, 2005, two hired gunmen fired six shots and killed Sister Dorothy. Following her death, then-Brazilian President Luiz Inacio da Silva put nearly 20,000 of the Amazon’s 1.6 million square miles under federal environmental protection. COURTESY SISTERS OF NOTRE DAME DE NAMUR
With November visit, Pope Francis to fulfill his desire to be a missionary to Japan Catholic News Service
ope Francis will finally fulfill his desire to be a missionary to Japan when he visits that country, as well as Thailand, Nov. 20-26, the Vatican announced. Pope Francis will leave Rome Nov. 19, arriving in Thailand for a visit Nov. 20-23, said Matteo Bruni, director of the Vatican press office. He will fly to Japan and visit Tokyo, Nagasaki and Hiroshima Nov. 23-26, Bruni said Sept. 13. The bishops of Thailand have chosen the motto: “Christ’s Disciples ... Missionary Disciples” as the theme for the visit to their country. The visit, they said, will mark the 350th anniversary of the “Apostolic Vicariate of Siam Mission.” The special website launched for the visit said that, with the establishment of the vicariate by Pope Clement IX in 1669, “Roman Catholicism was permanently established in Thailand.” This year also marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Kingdom of Thailand and the Holy See in 1969, and the 35th anniversary of the last papal visit to Thailand, which was made by St. Pope
John Paul II in 1984, the website said. The pope’s trip will come one month after holding an Oct. 6-27 Synod of Bishops for the Amazon at the Vatican with the theme “Amazonia: New paths for the Church and for an integral ecology,” and two months after his trip of evangelization to Africa. For their visit, the bishops of Japan chose the theme, “Protect all Life,” drawing the phrase from a prayer written by Pope Francis and included in his encyclical, “Laudato Si’” on the protection of creation. “In order to ‘protect all life,’ we must respect not only each person’s dignity but also the environment,” the bishops said. “However, the earth as ‘our common home’ is now trampled by humankind and groans with pain. Those groans overlap with the distress of all the abandoned people of the world.” “In Japan today as well, there (are) a multitude of problems related to life and peace in addition to the issues of economy, environment and relations with neighboring countries,” the bishops continued. “Moreover, recovery from natural catastrophes and nuclear plant accidents remains a persisting problem.” Pope Francis, a Jesuit, has said he had
A woman sets a floating candle lantern on the river Aug. 6, 2015, in Hiroshima, Japan. The lanterns, thousands of which were launched on the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city bore handmade messages and drawings, conveying each person’s prayers for peace and comfort for the victims of the violence. In the background are the ruins of a building damaged by the bomb and now converted into a peace memorial. CNS
entered the order hoping to become a missionary to Japan in the footsteps of St. Francis Xavier and other great Jesuits. He also has spoken frequently of his admiration for Japanese Catholics who kept the faith alive through decades of persecution. And marking the 70th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 2015, Pope Francis had said that “although much time has passed, this tragic event still incites horror and repulsion.” The bombings have “become the
symbol of the boundless destructive power of man when he makes distorted use of scientific and technical advancements and serves as a perpetual warning to humanity to forever repudiate war and ban nuclear arms and all weapons of mass destruction,” the pope said. He ended his remarks by praying that “from every land may a single voice be raised: no to war, no to violence and yes to dialogue, yes to peace! With war, you always lose. The only way to win a war is to not make it!”
October 10, 2019 • Newspaper of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis
Canonization of a cardinal People reflect on the impact of Cardinal John Henry Newman, British theologian and intellectual, who will be canonized Oct. 13 in Rome. — Page 12C
Faith-filled mourning A couple writes a Catholic resource for mourning the loss of a child to miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss.
John Evans prays during 6 a.m. Mass Oct. 6 at St. Olaf in downtown Minneapolis. After Mass, he went to the starting line of the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon a few blocks away. The Mass celebrant was Father Joseph Taphorn, rector of The St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity, who also ran in the marathon. DAVE HRBACEK | THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT
— Page 7C By Dave Hrbacek The Catholic Spirit
J Culture of belonging Helping youths find Christ, youth ministers often turn first to building relationships and cementing bonds of friendship. — Page 8C
ohn Evans jumped off the light rail in downtown Minneapolis and walked into St. Olaf Church at 6 a.m. Oct. 6. He wanted to fulfill his Catholic obligation of Sunday Mass shortly before fulfilling another — running his eighth Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon. “What a beautiful way to start the
day,” said Evans, 52, a member of St. Lawrence Catholic Church and Newman Center in Minneapolis. “You spend all summer working on this thing (training for the marathon); you put all this time and effort in. What better thing to do than to thank God before it and have Mass? It just seemed to make sense,” he said. Evans started in July thinking about having a special morning Mass on marathon day. He wrote a letter to
Prayerful sharing highlights first pre-synod prayer, listening events By Dave Hrbacek The Catholic Spirit
ather Bob White, pastor of St. Victoria in Victoria, got a front row seat to the first Pre-Synod Prayer and Listening Event, which was held at his parish about 25 miles southwest of Minneapolis and drew 310 people from as far away as the Twin Cities. The Sept. 24 gathering — the first of 20 planned across the archdiocese this fall and winter — “reflected the full spectrum of
the Church. ... And there’s room for everybody,” Father White said. Watching the respectful exchange of ideas and opinions “reminded me that we are a big tent,” Father White said. “I think there was a lot of passion. Faith is important to people, and their identity as a Catholic is important to them. It came through with everything that was said up there. There was a lot of energy and life
Archbishop Bernard Hebda asking about that possibility. The letter was forwarded to Father Tom Margevicius, director of the archdiocesan Office of Worship, who learned that St. Olaf, located just a few blocks from the marathon starting line, has a Sunday 6 a.m. Mass. Things fell into place in early August when Father Joseph Taphorn, rector of The St. Paul Seminary School of PLEASE TURN TO MARATHON ON PAGE 5C and emotion and excitement.” The three-hour evening began with Archbishop Bernard Hebda stressing the importance of prayer and guidance of the Holy Spirit. He also thanked people for coming to help him prayerfully discern pastoral needs of the archdiocese in preparation for a 2021 archdiocesan synod. The synod will further clarify directions the archdiocese must go in the five to 10 years after that large gathering on Pentecost weekend, May 21-23, 2021. After prayer and small group meetings at the Sept. 24 gathering, more than 20 people who had submitted their names were invited to come to a microphone in the center of the worship space to share their comments with the entire group, including Archbishop Hebda. Some praised what they see in their parishes and the Church. One man read a PLEASE TURN TO SYNOD ON PAGE 5C
2C • THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT
OCTOBER 10, 2019
Every child, born or pre-born, has the inalienable right to life given by God. The pro-life generation will not rest until abortion is abolished and made unthinkable. Kristan Hawkins, Students For Life of America president, in a statement supporting a petition bearing 250,000 signatures that was presented at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., Oct. 2. The petition calls on the court to overturn its 1973 Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions.
The number of questions on the Olweus Bullying Questionnaire, a survey that helps schools measure bullying and assess their learning environment by obtaining the perspectives of students. St. Charles Catholic School in St. Anthony received PeaceMaker Minnesota’s Achieving Excellence Award for student responses indicating progress against bullying that was better than the national average on 10 out of 10 OBQ indicators. It was the only school among the 28 participating schools to achieve this feat. DAVE HRBACEK | THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT
ROSARY PILGRIMAGE Silver Wah, a second-grader at St. Jerome School in Maplewood, prays the rosary along with hundreds of Catholic elementary students from across the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis during the annual Children’s Rosary Pilgrimage Oct. 7 at the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul. This year, Archbishop Bernard Hebda led a special “Mission Rosary,” with multi-colored beads for each decade representing the continents. It ties in with Pope Francis designating October as Extraordinary Missionary Month, which directs Catholics around the world to a renewed call to missionary discipleship.
The number of stops a noted British author and commentator will make in the Twin Cities area as he discusses Pope Francis’ papacy. Austen Ivereigh will speak at 10 a.m. Nov. 16 at St. Thomas More in St. Paul on “The Pope as a Jesuit: How Francis is Putting Discernment at the Heart of his Reform of the Church.” Ivereigh, a Fellow in Contemporary Church History at Campion Hall, Oxford, recently wrote a book titled “Wounded Shepherd: Pope Francis and his Struggle to Convert the Catholic Church.” The Ignatian Associates, lay Catholics dedicated to practicing the faith through Ignatian spirituality, are cosponsoring Ivereigh’s stop with the parish.
The number of volunteers, young and old, at Fall Cleanup Day Sept. 21 at St. Joan of Arc in Minneapolis. In an event organized over the last 10 years by founders and co-chairs Bart and Norine Larson, the group of parishioners this year spent about three hours cleaning areas on the grounds, in the church, school and other buildings that don’t get a regular going-over. After the labor came lunch, served by another group of volunteers, and a free raffle of gifts donated for the occasion.
CNS PHOTO/PAUL HARING
OPENING SYNOD Pope Francis walks in a procession at the start of the first session of the Synod of Bishops for the Amazon at the Vatican Oct. 7. The pope said the synod, set to run through Oct. 27, is a time for reflection, dialogue and listening to the needs and sufferings of the indigenous people. “The Holy Spirit is the primary actor in the synod. Please, do not kick him out of the room,” the pope said.
Deacon served more than 30 years The Catholic Spirit A deacon who served more than 30 years at Immaculate Conception in Columbia Heights died Oct. 1 at age 86. Deacon Lawrence Palkert was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and worked as an aerospace engineer at Honeywell for more than 40 years after serving in the U.S. Army for two
years. He was ordained a deacon in 1985 and began serving at Immaculate Conception immediately following his ordination. Deacon Palkert is survived by his wife, Gladys, and their 10 DEACON children. LAWRENCE His funeral Mass was PALKERT Oct. 8 at Immaculate Conception. Interment was at Fort Snelling National Cemetery.
The Catholic Spirit is published semi-monthly for The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis Vol. 24 — No. 19 MOST REVEREND BERNARD A. HEBDA, Publisher TOM HALDEN, Associate Publisher MARIA C. WIERING, Editor-in-Chief
The number of awards that will be given at the annual St. John Paul II Champions for Life Awards Luncheon, which is 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Oct. 31 at St. Peter in Mendota. Put on by the archdiocesan Office of Marriage, Family and Life, it will feature winners in the following categories: Young Adult (Lori Hinker of St. Michael in Prior Lake), Pro-life Volunteer (Patricia Loehlein of Maternity of Mary in St. Paul), Catholic Affiliated Group (Catholic Students United of St. Lawrence Catholic Church and Newman Center in Minneapolis) and Person Who Embodies Consistent Life Ethics (Michele Kemmetmueller of St. Stephen in Anoka). Archbishop Bernard Hebda will present the awards. Keynote speaker will be Alonna Mertz. Cost is $40 per person or $280 for a table of eight.
The year the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul would join Division I athletics and the Summit League after an invitation from the league and pending NCAA approval of a waiver to jump from Division III. Usually, a first stop would be a dozen years in Division II. If the waiver is approved, St. Thomas would join the league in 2021, the year it must exit the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference after its involuntary removal from the MIAC. The Summit League would cover most sports and include the University of North Dakota, North Dakota State, the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State, the University of Denver and the University of Nebraska Omaha. The Summit League does not sponsor football or hockey; for those sports UST would pursue affliliation with other Division I conferences.
The number of men caught on surveillance video prying open the front door of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul thrift store near the corner of Lake Street and 12th Avenue South in Minneapolis. Ed Koerner, executive director, said a third man also entered the store and a fourth person was in the getaway car. The men used an office chair to wheel out a safe that held money. Ed Koerner, executive director, said support from the neighborhood and the people St. Vincent de Paul serves has been very affirming.
Materials credited to CNS copyrighted by Catholic News Service. All other materials copyrighted by The Catholic Spirit Newspaper. Subscriptions: $29.95 per year: Senior 1-year: $24.95: To subscribe: (651) 291-4444: Display Advertising: (651) 291-4444; Classified Advertising: (651) 290-1631. Published semi-monthly by the Office of Communications, Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, 777 Forest St., Paul, MN 55106-3857 • (651) 291-4444, FAX (651) 291-4460. Periodicals postage paid at St. Paul, MN, and additional post offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to The Catholic Spirit, 777 Forest St., St. Paul, MN 55106-3857. TheCatholicSpirit.com • email: email@example.com • USPS #093-580
OCTOBER 10, 2019
THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT • 3C
FROMTHEMODERATOROFTHECURIA ONLY JESUS | FATHER CHARLES LACHOWITZER
With God’s grace, we stay afloat on the sea of life
ome say that life is like a roller coaster. I don’t. A roller coaster is an amusement ride and the primary thrill is going down. That’s not life. Life is more like a boat on the sea. In the sea, there are troughs and crests. What goes down will come up. What goes up will come down and back up again. The boat rolls and pitches its way through all conditions and seasons of the sea. Through it all, the boat rides atop the sea. Grace floats. When Jesus calmed the seas, it was part of the unfolding truth of his divinity as the Messiah. Obviously, Jesus did not take the storms out of life. Nevertheless, he does give us the hand that leads us through them. There is an old saying, “When you pray, do not tell God how big the storm is. When you pray, tell the storm how big your God is.” Through human eyeglasses, we are the captains of our own ships. No longer are we all in one boat patiently waiting for Jesus to wake up and calm the
waters. It seems everyone has their own boat today, and whatever “floats your boat” seems to be the maritime rule. We have canoeists and kayakers who can go anywhere but swamp so easily. We have those in speedboats that cause big wakes that rock everyone’s boat. We have those in sailboats wetting a finger to see which way the wind is blowing. There are boats of all kinds caught in the rip tides of popular culture. The youth cheer with delight while the parents scream for help. We have the submarines of the unseen. Sadly, we often don’t know when they are with us and we do not miss them when they are gone. The sailors of today often have their own routes in mind as they venture into bays of comfort, where Christmas is always on Sunday. Sailors who think their own charts of convenience always go somewhere easier. Sailors who find bays of distraction, islands of isolation and ports with nice beaches. Then of course, there are the party barges, with their sound and light shows and new songs for Jesus. They are packed with sightseers, but these vessels are not built to go out to sea; they just tour the harbor.
But through the eyeglasses of faith, as the Mystical Body of Christ, we are all in the same boat. On this boat, there are no passengers, only the crew. The symbol of the Church as a boat reminds us that we are all in the same sea. I love an icon that depicts a ship, under full sail, in which stands a bishop and a crew. In the same icon, the bishop is also outside of the boat, standing on a stormy sea and reaching out to rescue a drowning man. The icon is a depiction of St. Nicholas. The flagship is the archdiocese. Parish boats range from multi-oared rowboats to pontoons to super tankers. These boats of faithful souls have eyes in the crow’s nest looking for drifting life rafts; to make haste to shipwrecks; to search for the lost; to, by the very hand of Jesus, save the drowning. We invite the Holy Spirit to be the wind in our sails. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is our compass and our Catholic tradition provides the most accurate charts. Only through the telescope of faith can we see the light on the horizon that is the shore of heaven. As a flotilla of the faithful, every time we celebrate the sacraments, every time we go to Mass, we smell land.
Con la gracia de Dios, nos mantenemos a flote en el mar de la vida
confort, donde la Navidad es siempre los domingos. Los marineros que piensan que sus propias cartas de conveniencia siempre van a un lugar más fácil. Marineros que encuentran bahías de distracción, islas de aislamiento y puertos con bonitas playas. Luego, por supuesto, están las barcazas de fiesta, con sus espectáculos de sonido y luz y nuevas canciones para Jesús. Están llenos de visonantes, pero estos buques no están construidos para salir al mar; simplemente recorren el puerto. Pero a través de los anteojos de fe, como el Cuerpo místico de Cristo, todos estamos en el mismo barco. En este barco, no hay pasajeros, sólo la tripulación. El símbolo de la Iglesia como barco nos recuerda que todos estamos en el mismo mar. Me encanta un icono que representa un barco, bajo la vela completa, en el que se encuentra un obispo y una tripulación. En el mismo icono, el obispo también está fuera del barco, de pie en un mar tormentoso y
extendiendo la mano para rescatar a un hombre ahogado. El icono es una representación de San Nicolás.
lgunos dicen que la vida es como una montaña rusa. No. Una montaña rusa es un paseo de diversión y la emoción principal está bajando. Eso no es vida. La vida se parece más a un barco en el mar. En el mar, hay valles y crestas. Lo que baje subirá. Lo que sube bajará y volverá a subir. El barco rueda y se asemeta a través de todas las condiciones y estaciones del mar. A través de todo, el barco cabalga sobre el mar. Grace flota. Cuando Jesús calmó los mares, era parte de la verdad que se desarrollaba de su divinidad como el Mesías. Obviamente, Jesús no quitó las tormentas de la vida. Sin embargo, Jesus nos da la mano que nos lleva a través de ellos. Hay un viejo dicho: “Cuando oren, no le digan a Dios lo grande que es la tormenta. Cuando ores, dile a la tormenta lo grande que es tu Dios”. A través de gafas humanas, somos los capitanes de nuestras propias naves. Ya no estamos todos en un solo barco esperando pacientemente a que Jesús despierte y calme las aguas. Parece que todo el mundo tiene su propio barco hoy, y cualquier cosa que “flota su barco” parece ser la regla marítima. Tenemos canoas y kayakistas que pueden ir a cualquier lugar, pero pantano tan fácilmente. Tenemos las personas en lancha motoras que sacuden el barco de todos. Tenemos a los que se mojan el dedo para ver hacia dónde sopla el viento. Hay barcos de todo tipo atrapados en las mareas de saque de la cultura popular. Los jóvenes aplauden con deleite mientras los padres gritan pidiendo ayuda. Tenemos los submarinos de lo no visto. Lamentablemente, a menudo no sabemos cuándo están con nosotros y no los extrañamos cuando se han ido. Los marineros de hoy a menudo tienen sus propias rutas en mente mientras se aventuran en bahías de
El buque insignia es la arquidiócesis. Los barcos parroquiales van desde botes de remos multi-oared a pontones a super tanques. Estos barcos de almas fieles tienen ojos en el nido del cuervo en busca de balsas salvavidas a la deriva; para hacer prisa a los naufragios; para buscar a los perdidos; para, por la mano misma de Jesús, salvar el ahogamiento. Invitamos al Espíritu Santo a ser el viento en nuestras velas. El Evangelio de Jesucristo es nuestra brújula y nuestra tradición católica proporciona las cartas más precisas. Sólo a través del telescopio de fe podemos ver la luz en el horizonte que es la orilla del cielo. Como flotiilla de fieles, cada vez que celebramos los sacramentos, cada vez que vamos a misa, olemos tierra.
OFFICIALS Archbishop Bernard Hebda has announced the following appointments in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis: Effective August 9, 2019 Reverend Michael Kearney, appointed to the faculty of the Saint John Vianney Seminary. Father Kearney is a priest of the Diocese of Joliet. Effective August 12, 2019 Reverend James Lawler, SJ, assigned to the Jesuit Retreat House in Lake Elmo. Father Lawler is a priest of the Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus. Effective September 1, 2019 Reverend John Schmidt, CSsR, appointed pastor of the Church of Saint Alphonsus in Brooklyn Center. Father Schmidt is a priest of the Redemptorists of the Denver Province. Reverend William Peterson, CSsR, appointed to the Saint Alphonsus Priory in Brooklyn Center. Father Peterson is a priest of the Redemptorists of the Denver Province. Effective September 6, 2019 Reverend Matthew Alexander, appointed to the faculty of the Saint John Vianney Seminary. Father Alexander is a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago.
Effective September 13, 2019 Reverend James Kent, OFM Conv., assigned to the Saint Joseph Cupertino Friary in Prior Lake. Father Kent is a priest of the Conventual Franciscan Friars. Reverend Marcel Okwara, CSsR, appointed parochial vicar of the Church of Saint Alphonsus in Brooklyn Center. Father Okwara is a priest of the Redemptorists of the Denver Province. Reverend Quy Duong, CSsR, appointed parochial vicar of the Church of Saint Alphonsus in Brooklyn Center. Father Duong is a priest of the Redemptorists of the Denver Province. Reverend John Son Tran, CSsR, appointed to the Saint Alphonsus Priory in Brooklyn Center. Father Tran is a priest of the Redemptorists of the Denver Province. Deacon Huy Vu, CSsR, appointed deacon of the Church of Saint Alphonsus in Brooklyn Center. Deacon Vu is a transitional deacon of the Redemptorists of the Denver Province. Effective September 17, 2019 Reverend Adam Tokashiki, PES, appointed parochial vicar of the Church of Saint Mark in Saint Paul. This is in addition to his current assignment as chaplain of Chesterton Academy in Hopkins. Effective September 18, 2019 Reverend Mario Castagnola, PES, appointed sacramental minister for the Church of the Guardian Angels in Chaska. This is in addition to his current assignment as parochial vicar of the Church of Saint Mark in Saint Paul.
4C • THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT
OCTOBER 10, 2019
These real estate agents can help you find your Ho DAVE HRBACEK | THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT
Michelle Barber, center, leads the singing of “Joyful Joyful” during a performance at St. Hubert in Chanhassen Sept. 16 called “This is Life.” Barber, St. Hubert parishioner and co-owner of Chanhassen Dinner Theatres with her husband, Michael Brindisi, volunteered to put together a performance using a small group of parishioners, including, from left, Midge Bryzinski, Bill Goers, Mary Jo Sherwood and Amber VanTeicher. The event was the opening night of the parish faith and fellowship program God Renewing Our Women. Barber said she was inspired to pursue the project by her late mother, Rosita Barber, who died three years ago and was a longtime parishioner and lector at St. Hubert. “I could feel From condos to castles, Mom’s spirit,” Barber said.
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OCTOBER 10, 2019
THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT • 5C
SYNOD CONTINUED FROM 1C
DAVE HRBACEK | THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT
From left, Father Peter Hughes, Father Joseph Taphorn and seminarian Nick Vance gather near the starting line to prepare for the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon. Vance and Father Taphorn wore T-shirts bearing a pro-life message.
MARATHON CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1C Divinity, joined the Twin Cities Running Club and there met Evans, who has been a member for several years. The two runners discussed the idea of a marathon Mass, Father Taphorn agreed to be the celebrant, and Father Margevicius got permission from Father Kevin Kenney, the pastor. “I think it’s a great option,” said Father Taphorn, 48, who celebrated the Mass with his running shoes on and who has run two other marathons. “Marathon day is an exciting day. The adrenaline’s going. It should be about getting out there and having fun, completing a challenge and just being with other people.” Four seminarians and a priest joined Father Taphorn for the Mass and marathon — Nick Smith and Nick Vance from The St. Paul Seminary, Zach Hastings and Michael Maloney from St. John Vianney College Seminary, and Father Peter Hughes, pastor of St. Boniface in St. Bonifacius and St. Mary of
Czestochowa in Delano. All six were doing their first Twin Cities Marathon, and all six finished the race. Father Taphorn barely missed his goal of finishing in less than four hours, with a time of 4 hours, 5 minutes, 25 seconds. The fastest in the group was Maloney, a senior at St. John Vianney, at 3:07:15. Evans, who has completed about 30 marathons, finished in 4:26:56. “It was great,” Father Taphorn said. “It was a beautiful day and a fun race. Weather cooperated. My own time was a little slower than I wanted, but it was alright.” A boost came at around Mile 20, when the men saw a group of seminarians at the corner of Cretin and Summit near the seminary in St. Paul cheering as they ran by. “That was a great encouragement,” Father Taphorn said. “You turn on Summit and that’s the worst five miles, and so it was fun and encouraging to see a big group of seminarians there cheering us on.” The two seminarians from St. Paul Seminary joked about taking the roles of rector and vice rector for a day as a reward for
beating Father Taphorn. “I said, ‘We’ll have to work on the transition teams,’” Father Taphorn joked. “All in good fun. I’m not too worried.” Though the turnout was small for the marathon Mass this year — only about two dozen people overall, and just a handful of runners — Evans is hoping for future growth. He contacted race officials this year, and they said they are open to publicizing a marathon Mass next year. “I should have gotten on this six, eight months ago,” Evans said. “We started it very late in the game. You start planning marathons almost a year before the marathon, in terms of the literature and the publicity and everything else. So, we’ll be much more ready to roll, I think, for next year.” Will Father Taphorn be back to celebrate another Mass in his running shoes? “It’s probably a little early to think about next year,” he said. “But, I’m open to it, and I guess we’ll see if there’s interest. ... To start off (marathon day) in prayer and common faith is a great gift.”
list of things he likes in his parish, including music ministry, a men’s group, sharing meals with newcomers to the parish and events for fathers and sons. Others expressed hurt over feeling excluded and unwelcome in the church, because of sexual orientation or other reasons. Through it all, Archbishop Hebda listened quietly and thanked everyone who came forward. There will be a lot of information for the archbishop to take in. Beyond the spoken comments at the end, participants spent time writing down their thoughts either on paper or on their phones to download to a website created to receive what they had to say. Every response will be reviewed, as will responses in all 20 events and about a dozen additional prayer and listening sessions with particular focus groups. An event held just four days after the gathering in St. Victoria drew 260 people to St. Michael in St. Michael. Upcoming events include 6-9 p.m. Oct. 11 at Guardian Angels in Oakdale, and an event in English and Spanish 9 a.m. to noon Oct. 12 at Our Lady of Guadalupe in St. Paul. At the St. Victoria gathering, Will Crockett of St. Therese in Deephaven submitted comments by phone. He said they centered on his concern for young adults and what he perceived as their glaring absence from the Church. The 24-year-old, who is engaged to be married next summer, converted to the Catholic Church at age 16. His fiancé also is a convert. “I thought I would speak to what I know best, which is that my generation is the least represented here,” he said. “We’ve got little kids, at least at my parish. We’ve got folks in their 30s and up, a lot of (baby) boomers and a lot of their parents, too. But, my generation is missing, particularly the young men, and that concerns me a lot.” Crockett also expressed the need to “return to orthodoxy and to the truth.” Others expressed similar sentiments, including a man who received a standing ovation after making a passionate plea to Archbishop Hebda for stronger catechesis in the faith. Some people shared stories of feeling mistreated because of sexual orientation, with one person remarking that a favorite hymn called “All Are Welcome” now only brings pain. “I really enjoyed the process and I think it’s important to be part of it,” said Casey Boerner, 28, of Immaculate Conception in Watertown and a teacher at St. Joseph School in Waconia. “I really appreciate the archbishop’s leadership in listening and being an active listener. And, I want to be part of the process of listening. I think it was very important that the message was to listen without judgment, and to listen with empathy and to hear all voices, whether or not we agree.” Bryan Blommel of St. Hubert in Chanhassen came to listen, but also to encourage the archbishop and the Church in general “to go back to being bold and to not be afraid to proclaim itself in the public (square), to make its presence known.” “I think it’s time for us to move on from where the scandals have gone,” he said. “Now, it’s time for us to have that very public presence, and to reaffirm our faith in a very public manner.”
6C • THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT
OCTOBER 10, 2019
Catholics can offer a calming voice By Dennis Sadowski Catholic News Service Catholics — clergy, religious and laypeople in the pews — can use the values of their faith to overcome the increasingly fiery rhetoric emerging because of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump’s actions, several Catholic observers said. While watching the caustic animosity that has deepened since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, announced the opening of the inquiry Sept. 24, those contacted by Catholic News Service expressed concern that American society is rapidly losing its sense of unity and that it may take years to repair the fractures. The country is more than political wins and losses, said Arturo Chavez, president of the Mexican American Catholic College in San Antonio, which prepares people for various types of ministry. “I’ve been just saying (to students) repeatedly that being Catholic is a much bigger commitment and view of the world and of our neighbor than a political party,” Chavez said. “Especially here in the United States, we’re led to believe that there are only two options. As we continue to escalate the rhetoric, those two choices become more and more extreme. “What I keep telling people is that we have to look at the bigger call that we
have as followers of Christ.” That call from the Church — not necessarily the institution as a whole or the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, but individuals working in their circles of family and community — can play an important role in preserving civility, said Jesuit Father Joe Mueller, associate professor of theology and rector of the Jesuit community at Marquette University in Milwaukee. He stressed that the United States is a not a “winner-take-all” nation. “We need to recall things like we need to know the truth, we need to pursue justice if there’s been a wrong and to be prudent about it,” Father Mueller said. “We can say that no matter what state of information we have ourselves, we can recall that we are all citizens of this country and we don’t always agree. That doesn’t call into question someone else’s beliefs. We have a civic unity.” Recognizing the important role individuals play in a democracy calls for the Church to “remind us that government should be about the common good and not just about political combat,” said John Carr, director of the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown University. He lamented that the events of recent weeks are continuing the “dysfunction and demoralization of Washington” under which the search for truth becomes secondary to winning.
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HEADLINES u Retired Bishop Kinney dies; recalled as ‘kind, gracious pastoral leader.’ A funeral Mass was held Oct. 5 at the Cathedral of St. Mary in St. Cloud for retired Bishop John Kinney, who died Sept. 27 at age 82 at Quiet Oaks Hospice in St. Augusta. Archbishop Bernard Hebda of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis presided at the funeral. Burial for Bishop Kinney, who headed the Diocese of St. Cloud from 1995 until his retirement in 2013, was at Assumption Cemetery in St. Cloud. “Bishop Kinney was a kind and gracious pastoral leader,” said Bishop Donald Kettler, his successor in St. Cloud. u Pope to cardinals: Loving, loyal service requires feeling God’s love. In a ceremony to create 13 new CNS cardinals, Pope Francis reminded new and old members of the College of Cardinals how much their ministry and service depends on their realizing how much God loves them and has been compassionate with them. “Unless I feel that I am the object of God’s compassion, I cannot understand his love,” he said Oct. 5 during the consistory, a prayer service during which he personally welcomed 13 churchmen from 13 countries into the College of Cardinals. A person either feels God’s love or doesn’t, he said, and “If I don’t feel it, how can I share it, bear witness to it, bestow it on others?” u Founder of Project Rachel named recipient of 2020 Evangelium Vitae Medal. The University of Notre Dame’s de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture will award its 2020 Notre Dame Evangelium Vitae Medal to Vicki Thorn, founder of the post-abortion healing ministry Project Rachel. Thorn, who also is executive director of the National Office of Post-Abortion Reconciliation and Healing, will receive the honor at a Mass and banquet April 25.The honor is announced annually on Respect Life Sunday, the first Sunday of October, which this year was Oct. 6. The Evangelium Vitae award consists of a specially commissioned medal and a $10,000 prize. u Bishops call on European citizens to wake up, rejoice. Europe’s Catholic bishops urged their citizens to “wake up” and find new hope by rediscovering the continent’s Christian roots. In a meeting in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Church leaders from 45 European countries met in the run-up to Britain’s Oct. 31 projected departure from the European Union and the Nov. 1 inauguration of a new European Union governing commission. “Europe, rejoice in the goodness of your people, of the many hidden saints who every day contribute in silence to the construction of a more just and humane civil society,” the Council of
European Bishops’ Conferences, or CCEE, said in a message Oct. 5, near the end of their assembly. “As morning watchmen, vigilant and ready to point to the new day, we want to give a message of hope to Europe in distress and say forcefully: Wake up, Europe!” u Notre Dame releases study on sexual harassment among seminarians. The University of Notre Dame released Sept. 21 a groundbreaking report that looked at sexual harassment in U.S. Catholic seminaries, revealing that just 6% of seminarians reported experiencing some form of sexual harassment or misconduct, while 90% reported none. Another 4% said they might have experienced misconduct but were not sure. Of the 10% who reported they had experienced sexual harassment or indicated they might have, 80% percent identified a fellow seminary student or religious in formation as the alleged perpetrator. The research, from Notre Dame’s McGrath Institute for Church Life, in collaboration with the Washington-based Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, came from data obtained from 149 seminaries or houses of formation in the United States. The study is titled “Sexual Harassment and Catholic Seminary Culture.” uVatican hires anti-Mafia prosecutor to run court system. Pope Francis has appointed a retired anti-Mafia prosecutor to head the Vatican City State’s judicial system. Giuseppe Pignatone, 70, was named Oct. 3 to be president of the tribunal of Vatican City State, which handles civil and criminal matters connected with the 108-acre city state and its employees. A growing number of financial reforms as well as new and beefed-up regulations, including sexual abuse, have expanded the number and kind of cases the court handles. Pignatone retired this past spring as chief prosecutor in Rome; he had led investigations into political corruption and organized crime. He had also been a prosecutor in Palermo, Sicily, and Reggio Calabria, where he dealt with key anti-Mafia investigations. Pignatone replaces Giuseppe Dalla Torre, who served as president of the Vatican court since 1997. u Catholic Charities to award $1 million for innovative anti-poverty efforts. Catholic Charities USA has unveiled a $1 million award program that officials hope will lead to innovative efforts to address poverty. Called the Innovation Challenge, the program will see three member agencies receiving identical $333,333 awards for the “reduction, elimination and prevention of poverty.” Dominican Sister Donna Markham, president and CEO, announced a yearlong competition Sept. 26 during the agency’s annual gathering in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She invited diocesan member agencies to submit proposals for new programs to meet peoples’ needs. The winners will be announced during the organization’s annual gathering Oct. 28-30, 2020, in Cleveland.
Looking for past stories? ‘Print archives’ at TheCatholicSpirit.com
OCTOBER 10, 2019
THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT • 7C
FAITH+CULTURE Couple writes resource for mourning loss of a child through miscarriage October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month The Catholic Spirit Laura and Franco Fanucci, members of St. Joseph the Worker in Maple Grove, were asked to write a Catholic resource on miscarriage. Hoping to bring good from their own experience of grief in losing twin daughters shortly after their birth two years ago, and losing a baby to miscarriage in 2013, they agreed. The result is “Grieving Together: A Couple’s Journey through Miscarriage,” available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Our Sunday Visitor. Laura is an author, speaker and director of a vocations project at the Collegeville Institute in Collegeville. Her columns can be read in The Catholic Spirit, including online this month at thecatholicspirit.com. She also blogs at a motheringspirit.com. Franco is a product manager at a company in Hamel. Both 38, they have four sons, ages 10, 8, 5 and 2. They are expecting another child in March. Edited for length; see the complete Q&A at thecatholicspirit.com.
Q What is “Grieving Together” about? A It is a companion for parents who
have lost a child to miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss. The book includes practical resources, Church teaching, Scripture, prayers and couples’ personal stories. It speaks to the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of grief for fathers and mothers.
Q Why did you write this book, and why did you write it together?
A We were approached by the publisher
(Our Sunday Visitor) because they saw the need for a Catholic resource on miscarriage that would speak to both fathers and mothers. While Laura had written about our experiences of loss on her Mothering Spirit blog, they invited us to consider writing this book together so
that it could address the needs of men and women. We felt like it was a calling from God to bring good from our grief, so we said yes.
Q Why was this book needed?
A The loss of a baby,
whether before or after birth, is a devastating experience that is too often minimized or overlooked. We wanted to bring this grief from the shadows into the light. While miscarriage in particular is much more common than most people realize, we still struggle as a society to talk about this loss and help parents make sense of their grief. The vast majority of books on miscarriage are written solely for the mother, ignoring that the father lost a child, too (although his grief is experienced differently). So we wanted to write a book that was grounded in Catholic tradition and spoke to both parents.
Q Why were you especially
intentional about including fathers?
A Although fathers and mothers both
grieve over the loss of a child, men are typically not given the space to grieve outwardly. Health care professionals rarely ask about the father’s well-being. Family and friends often assume that the father doesn’t grieve because he did not carry the baby. When Franco was grieving our miscarriage and then the deaths of our twins, there were few resources for him as a father. We knew it was important to have fathers’ voices equally represented in a book for couples grieving together.
Q Why was it important to tell your own story of miscarriage and infant loss?
A We have been through
three different kinds of loss in our marriage: infertility, miscarriage and infant loss. Sharing our own experience is simply a doorway through which others can come to understand their own story more deeply. But we knew that our perspective is limited, so we invited many other couples to share their own stories within the book: couples who lost their first child, who had multiple miscarriages, who went on to adopt or foster, or who have not had subsequent children. Our hope is that there will be a story within the book that will speak to each reader’s experience.
Q What support or guidance does the Church offer couples who have miscarried? How could that support improve?
A The Church offers rites and blessings
that can be used when a baby dies before or after birth. But after our own miscarriage, we had no idea that these resources existed. We wanted to gather these official rites and prayers in one place — for couples as well as pastors, deacons, chaplains and all who minister to grieving parents. We hope to encourage parishes and dioceses to recognize the deep grief of couples who have lost a baby. Se we included times to pray for these children throughout the Church year, practical ways to minister to parents, and prayers for a memorial Mass that can be offered annually as a sign of the
Church’s pro-life, pastoral commitment to those who mourn.
Q What role did your Catholic faith
play in addressing your grief after your own losses?
A After each of our losses we leaned into each other and leaned onto Church teaching for support and guidance. Scripture was a powerful source of comfort for us, especially in all the hard questions that a loss like this raises: Why did God let this happen? Is our baby in heaven? Was this suffering part of God’s plan? So we included many Scripture passages in the book that can speak to grieving parents, as well as wisdom from the Catechism and stories from saints who suffered the loss of children.
Q The first words of the book’s
introduction are, “You are not alone.” Why was this a core message to convey?
A Parents often feel isolated after the
death of a baby. People don’t want to talk about it and often pressure them to get back to “normal.” We wanted to let couples know that it is normal to grieve — and that there are millions of others who have gone through losses like them. Remembering that so many people do understand the depths of their grief can be comforting.
Q Would you like to add anything else?
A Our parish will be hosting its second
annual Mass of God’s Children for families who have lost a child to miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss, whether recently or long ago. This memorial Mass will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 18, and all are welcome to attend.
8C • THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT
Begin with belonging
YDISCIPLE: EQUIPPING ADULTS TO SHARE THEIR FAITH WITH TEENS Annie Grandell hears a common refrain when she talks to faithful adults about serving as small group leaders for teenagers. “They say, ‘I love the Lord, I love young people, but I am terrified to teach.’”
Relational ministry seen as key to passing on faith to Generation Z
Grandell and others at NET Ministries hope they can help address that concern. NET recently took the reins of YDisciple, an online platform that offers video resources and other content to help facilitate small groups.
By Jonathan Liedl For The Catholic Spirit
hen Gizzy Miko began her work in youth ministry at St. Joseph of the Lakes three years ago, she faced a challenging situation. A number of her students at the Lino Lakes parish were struggling with questions of sexuality and identity, and had developed a negative view of the Catholic Church because of what they thought it taught. Her response? “I would go and join them for lunch,” said Miko. “I built relationships with them and showed them that I really cared about them.” As she became more familiar with the students over time, Miko said, attitudes of distrust gave way to openness. Openness to her, but also to the Church, its teachings and a life of faith.
Relational ministry The experience is one of many that points to what Miko and others working in youth ministry across the archdiocese say must be the strategic focus for reaching teenagers today: an emphasis on relationship-building and a culture of belonging. “Everyone has a need to belong, to be heard, to be transparent and challenged,” said Andrew Wagenbach, an 11-year veteran of youth ministry, currently at St. Charles Borromeo in St. Anthony. “If they don’t find that (in the Church), they’ll look for it somewhere else.” Increasingly they have. Statistics show that the Church’s youth efforts face challenging times. A 2018 study by St. Mary’s Press in Winona revealed a median age of 13 for those who are baptized Catholic but no longer identify with the faith. A study by Dynamic Catholic shows that only 15% of young people who get confirmed are still practicing their faith seven years later. Societal factors have clearly played a role in pulling young people away from faith communities, such as a rise in secularism, more demanding schedules among high schoolers, and the superficial yet addicting world of social media. If record levels of anxiety and depression among today’s young people are any indication, these alternatives aren’t addressing the deepest needs of Generation Z. But according to youth ministry leaders, neither has the Church’s approach in recent decades, which could be too focused on creating fun experiences and drawing big numbers, or on catechetical instruction, while failing to establish a foundation of belonging. “It’s been said we do ministry backward,” said Annie Grandell, who works for the West St. Paul-based youth ministry organization NET Ministries. “First you behave, then you believe, then you belong. We’re putting ‘behave’ and ‘believe’ ahead of the horse.” Several archdiocesan leaders in youth ministry are calling for a renewed approach that can broadly be described as relational ministry. It doesn’t deny the importance of catechesis and moral instruction, but emphasizes these should come after a relational foundation has been established. Relational ministry isn’t a one-size-fits-all-model, but rather a way of doing youth ministry that can take on a number of forms. Its proponents say it is rooted in the heart of the Christian tradition, and modeled after the approach of Jesus himself. “Some of these things may sound like buzzwords,” said Bill Dill, the archdiocese’s marriage preparation and youth ministry coordinator. “But ‘discipleship,’ ‘relational’? These are scriptural, not the latest fad. Sometimes we have to go backward (to our origins) to go forward, to figure out what really works.”
Small group settings One form of relational ministry that’s been growing
OCTOBER 10, 2019
Initially established by the Denver-based Augustine Institute, YDisciple was acquired by NET when both parties recognized the platform could make a bigger impact under the control of the experienced youth ministry organization. DAVE HRBACEK | THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT
Gizzy Miko, director of youth ministry at St. Joseph of the Lakes in Lino Lakes, talks with people who came to the youth faith formation kickoff event at the parish Oct. 2. in parish settings is called small group discipleship. Instead of the parish organizing classes across grade levels, students are empowered to create a smaller, more focused group. Small groups aren’t necessarily a replacement for larger group events, such as mission trips or attendance at archdiocesan youth days, but they allow students to be more open and known among a group of close peers and an adult leader they trust and respect. Grandell said small groups also are appealing to parishes for practical reasons: they don’t have to meet at the same time and place each week, and they are less dependent on parish staff and resources. But there are qualitative benefits to the approach, as well, she said. “With small groups, we engage more teens and more effectively,” said Grandell, noting that small groups help provide a “context for community” and for growing in the faith. The approach is most effective when a parish takes a “mustard seed to movement” approach, Grandell said. That is, small groups can have a multiplier effect. Grandell tells a story from North Carolina, where a mom started a small group for her kids when her parish was unable to employ a director of youth ministry. Other parents heard about it and wanted it for their own kids. Soon, 80 students at the parish were participating in small groups. Small groups should be led by a faithful adult, Grandell said, but that person needn’t be a hip college student or have a graduate degree in theology to be effective. All that’s needed is a real, lived relationship with God, and for leaders to be themselves, she said. Billy Utecht, a high school senior who belongs to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Hastings, shared a similar perspective. “Authenticity is proof,” said Utecht, who has remained active in his parish since being confirmed two years ago. “Seeing people who are on fire for their faith, just living it out and living their lives is way more powerful than just being told what to do.”
Family focus Utecht has benefited from youth ministry offerings at his parish, and he has attended NET’s popular Lifeline event. But if there’s one factor he gives the most credit to for his vibrant Catholic faith, even as a popular athlete at a large public high school, it’s his family. He says the faith has always been something talked about and emphasized in his home, so there was never any question about its importance. The connection isn’t lost on Dill, who believes family support isn’t merely an added bonus, but an essential component of the relational approach to youth ministry. “I have parish youth ministry directors who say, ‘Look, I can’t do much in two hours if parent aren’t supportive the rest of the week,’” he said. “So we have to figure out a way to work with families and their parents,” adding that parents need to be equipped and inspired to share their faith with their kids and to create a Catholic culture at home. Dill said there’s exciting “experimentation” going on in this vein across the archdiocese, as a number of parishes move toward a “family faith formation” approach that integrates ministry across age groups.
NET relaunched YDisciple earlier this fall. It is accessible at ydisciple.com, and through a popular parish platform titled FORMED. YDisciple will continue to provide video resources and discussion questions designed to foster conversation in small groups. But under NET’s leadership, resources have been added to help train and equip adults to be small group leaders. The resources address everything from how to resolve a disagreement in the group to ideas for encouraging a student who isn’t speaking up. “A video can’t build relationship,” said Grandell, NET’s YDisciple coordinator. “A video can’t meet the needs of a teenager. You can. So you focus on that young person, and we’re going to give you some videos and engaging discussion questions to help take that burden of ‘What are we going to talk about?’ off of your shoulders.” In the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, the resource is being used by parishes like St. Michael in St. Michael and St. Albert in Albertville. The parishes have used YDisciple to train and support small group leaders, and now have nearly 400 teenagers actively engaged in discipleship groups from eighth to 12th grade. Mark Berchem, the president and founder of NET, believes YDisciple can help make small groups effective by allowing leaders not merely to present information to teens, but to help them seriously engage with the claims of the Catholic faith. “Transformation comes from wrestling with the content. You want them to wrestle with it. The goal isn’t for them to parrot it back. The goal is to own it! To believe it for themselves.” — Jonathan Liedl Wagenbach began something similar during his time as director of youth ministry at St. Peter in North St. Paul. Called the Holy Family Guild, members meet twice monthly for food, fellowship and prayer. The Guild, which began with eight members but now numbers into the 30s, also hosts family events throughout the year, including retreats, moms groups and faith studies. “The whole idea is that discipleship is a consistent, intentional reality,” he said. “(Parents) can’t just drop (their) kids off and expect us to make them disciples, because they’re the primary educators.” Dill said it’s also important to get young people plugged into their wider family of faith. “If youth group is their only connection to the parish, that’s just one link,” he said, suggesting that young people should be encouraged to be involved in different ways, such as pro-life ministry, service, lectoring and the Knights of Columbus.
Looking ahead The concept of “youth ministry” itself is something of a new field, one that needs to be constantly reevaluated and improved, Dill said. To help guide the archdiocese going forward, he’s collaborating with youth ministers and pastors to develop a mission document, which should be publicized sometime in the coming year. The process will help clarify locally what youth ministry is and how it can be done effectively, he said. “Every parish is going to do it differently,” he said. “But we have to have the same goal.” Grandell agrees, and says it is time for an intentional renewal of youth ministry. “Stats show that we’re losing people at a faster rate than we were before. It’s time for us to stop and look and say, ‘What can we do differently?’ We need to be prudential in how we go about making those changes, but also bold.”
OCTOBER 10, 2019
THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT • 9C
FOCUSONFAITH SUNDAY SCRIPTURES | FATHER MICHAEL BYRON
Reaching across walls Before I entered the seminary I worked in a small community bank. Nearest to the entrance of the bank was the receptionist, whose job was to act as a kind of gatekeeper, regulating customer access to us bankers. But there was nothing to prevent people from just walking past that desk and sitting down in front of one of us who wasn’t otherwise occupied. And for better or worse, they did. In the years since then, banks and other businesses have become more sophisticated in the art of gatekeeping. The effect of this is that it is now easier for a person to encounter only those with whom he or she desires to be. Even in one‘s religious practice it can often be arranged to hang around mostly with people with whom we’d prefer to be anyway. We don’t need to pretend to deny that instinct, or to insist that it always represents bigotry or xenophobia. But we do have to confront the fact that to get stuck there is contrary to a fully Christian life, and to choose to persist in that way of living is positively sinful. This weekend’s readings bear witness to that. In the first reading (2 Kings) we meet Naaman, plagued with leprosy, who plunges himself into the Jordan River at the instruction of Elisha, the “Man of God.” He is made completely clean, and thus profoundly grateful to the God of Israel. What this
ASK FATHER MIKE | FATHER MICHAEL SCHMITZ
How can curiosity be a bad thing?
Q. I have heard that curiosity can be
considered a vice. That doesn’t make any sense to me. The advances of science, technology, and social reforms wouldn’t have happened if people had suppressed their natural desire to venture into the unknown and ask questions that challenged the status quo. It seems more like an intimidation tactic on the part of institutions.
A. This is a fantastic question. I am grateful that you mentioned
how odd (and even seemingly evil) it is to call curiosity a potential vice. I had read an article that described curiosity as the “virtue” that “oppressive states fear.” Free-thinkers and those who truly make progress in this world are the ones who are constantly feeding their insatiable curiosity, aren’t they? Some people have such a negative view of Christians and of the Catholic Church that they would maintain that defining curiosity negatively is merely another way the Church wants to control how and what people think. But that would be to completely ignore the very foundations of Christianity. As Catholics, we believe that God is Truth. Jesus said, “I … am the Truth ….” In John’s Gospel, God is revealed as the “Word (Logos or ‘Reason’) made flesh.” This reality has not only guided the Church’s approach to faith but also paved the way for scientific inquiry and study in the first place. With the worldview of Catholic Christianity, philosophy and the arts flourished. Inquiry into meaning and the way things work was given a solid setting for the pursuit of truth. In fact, despite what some people might say, the Church not only developed modern science but actively led the way and continues to make contributions in virtually every scientific domain. The Church is not opposed to the desire to know. But if that is the case, then why be down on curiosity? In order to understand the classic assessment of curiosity as a vice (and not a virtue), we have to understand the term and what it means. For most of us, curiosity is simply “wanting to know.” It is the desire to know the story or to know the details; it is the desire to know the truth. Now, St. Thomas Aquinas (a great mind who pursued truth his entire life) wrote that knowledge in and of itself is a good. Where we can get into trouble is with regard to the method and motivation that undergirds the pursuit of that knowledge. In that sense, curiosity is at least as “morally neutral” as the internet. We know that the internet can be a powerful tool for good,
section of the story doesn’t tell us — but which we’d better know because it’s the center of the drama — is that Naaman was from Syria, a pagan, a non-believer up to that point. He was everything that an Israelite had an excuse to ignore “by the book.” Even more than that, there was open antagonism between Naaman and Elisha on the matter of religion earlier in the story. When Elisha had first told Naaman what to do, he said in reply, “If it’s just a matter of jumping in a river I could have stayed at home — we have rivers in Syria, too, you know.” But Elisha, the faithful Israelite, hung in there with this obstinate foreigner, not because it was pleasant or politically correct. He did so because Naaman arrived with a shameful disease and asked Elisha to help him. Across the barriers of religion, race, culture, nation, worldview came the question, “Will you attend to me just because I’m here?” And in our Gospel we meet Jesus, whose journey from Galilee to Jerusalem has put him in foreign country, Samaria. So it is not surprising that when Jesus comes across 10 lepers who cry out to him for pity, at least one of them is a foreigner. Once again, for Jesus there is exactly one relevant question, namely: When confronted with all this separateness and division among races, religions, cultures, etc., and having been asked to help, what do we do next? Do we reach across the walls of otherness, or do we travel on — with the blessing of mainstream popular opinion? Does any of this sound familiar in 2019 in the United States? Ours is not a tradition of gatekeeping, of holding people apart. We are to serve the ones who present themselves, no matter what. Father Byron is pastor of Pax Christi in Eden Prairie. He can be reached at email@example.com.
and that it can be a powerful tool for harm. In and of itself, it is neither good nor bad. How one uses the internet is often the determining factor when it comes to the moral question. In particular, when it comes to the internet, it can direct a person toward knowledge, freedom and ultimately wisdom, or it can rob a person of sense, enslave them and make them foolish. There could be any number of ways to misuse curiosity. St. Thomas Aquinas names a few. There is the desire for knowledge that isn’t my business (gossip). In these cases, we all know how curiosity can poison our conversations and relationships. There is the desire for knowledge that arises out of a sense of pride and wanting to “one up” those around me. This could be connected to the desire for knowledge that is beyond me, but is motivated by the desire to appear more intelligent than I am. We have all known people like this, and we have often been people like this. We don’t necessarily know a subject through and through, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have an opinion about it! We could also desire to know (and be so driven by this desire) that it becomes the end. St. Thomas noted that people who hand themselves over to unchecked curiosity could lose sight of the ultimate goal of any pursuit of truth: God himself. All truth has God as its source and God as its proper end. But some make the acquisition of knowledge to be the goal. Aquinas notes that, in doing this, they are missing the entire point of study. And this is where it helps to define our terms. Curiosity, as St. Thomas understood it, was the vice that opposed the virtue of “studiousness.” While curiosity might be loosely defined as the desire to know, studiousness is defined as “knowledge pursued well.” Take a look at your own life. How often has the “desire to know” gotten in the way of what you were supposed to be doing? How often have we all put the more important task of the moment aside in order to satisfy our curiosity? This is why terms like “click-bait” and “YouTube rabbit trail” exist. We have a natural inclination to “want to know,” and we have a difficult time governing that impulse. This is one reason spiritual writers would talk about the ways in which Christians need to be “temperate” in their pursuit of knowledge. I mentioned before that some influential people have been described as having an “insatiable curiosity.” This might be so. But they placed that desire for knowledge (a certain kind of curiosity) at the service of studiousness. They pursued knowledge well. We all have the desire to know. It would serve us well if we were better able to identify the fact that there are things that we don’t need to know and things that we do not have a right to know, regardless of how enticing they may be. We have the desire to be informed, but it would be good for us to be able to put our primary duties ahead of the curiosities that vie for our attention and time. We want to become wise, but wisdom includes knowing what is worth knowing and knowing what can remain unknown. Father Schmitz is director of youth and young adult ministry for the Diocese of Duluth and chaplain of the Newman Center at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DAILY Scriptures Sunday, October 13 Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time 2 Kgs 5:14-17 2 Tm 2:8-13 Lk 17:11-19 Monday, October 14 Rom 1:1-7 Lk 11:29-32 Tuesday, October 15 St. Teresa of Jesus, virgin and doctor of the Church Rom 1:16-25 Lk 11:37-41 Wednesday, October 16 Rom 2:1-11 Lk 11:42-46 Thursday, October 17 St. Ignatius of Antioch, bishop and martyr Rom 3:21-30 Lk 11:47-54 Friday, October 18 St. Luke, evangelist 2 Tm 4:10-17b Lk 10:1-9 Saturday, October 19 Sts. John de Brebeuf and Isaac Jogues, priests, and companions, martyrs Rom 4:13, 16-18 Lk 12:8-12 Sunday, October 20 Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time Ex 17:8-13 2 Tm 3:14–4:2 Lk 18:1-8 Monday, October 21 Rom 4:20-25 Lk 12:13-21 Tuesday, October 22 Rom 5:12, 15b, 17-19, 20b-21 Lk 12:35-38 Wednesday, October 23 Rom 6:12-18 Lk 12:39-48 Thursday, October 24 Rom 6:19-23 Lk 12:49-53 Friday, October 25 Rom 7:18-25a Lk 12:54-59 Saturday, October 26 Rom 8:1-11 Lk 13:1-9 Sunday, October 27 Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time Sir 35:12-14, 16-18 2 Tm 4:6-8, 16-18 Lk 18:9-14
10C • THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT
COMMENTARY TWENTY SOMETHING | CHRISTINA CAPECCHI
Finding the courage to create
I was a sophomore in college when I received the little blue book, a gift from a friend who also wanted to be a writer. At the time I was editing the student newspaper, poring over buried leads and dangling modifiers. Written by the legendary Madeleine L’Engle, the title spoke to me — “Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art.” It promised something deeper behind my mad dash to produce a paper. Perched on the top of a bunk bed in a dark dorm, I highlighted this affirmation: “God is constantly creating, in us, through us, with us, and to co-create with God is our human calling.” As I was writing headlines and wrangling reporters, I was answering a calling. I was creating with God, who formed cosmos out of chaos. My late-night work had a spiritual underpinning. I pressed on. Every few years I return to the book. It is the same, but I am different. A reporter. A graduate student. A newlywed. A mother. I always pick up on the Catholic themes: wisdom
SIMPLE HOLINESS | KATE SOUCHERAY
Developing a clear, well-articulated value system
August’s article addressed the need to have a well-formed value system to help us develop a sense of right and wrong, so we may become people guided by our conscience, which, in turn, will contribute to the development of good character. The Catechism of the Catholic Church cited St. Augustine, “Return to your conscience, question it ... Turn inward, brethren, and in everything you do, see God as your witness” (1779). In addition, the Catechism contends, “In all he says and does, man is obliged to follow faithfully what he knows is just and right” (1778). Furthermore, the Documents of the Second Vatican Council affirm, “It is through his conscience that man sees and recognizes the demands of the divine law. He is bound to follow this conscience faithfully in all his activity so that he may come to God, who is his last end” (D.H.,3). These concepts can seem vague and imprecise, not tangible and applicable to our everyday lives. And yet, establishing a concrete application of these concepts will be the only way we will make them a foundational
from saints, a clear-eyed endorsement of icons and a meditation on Mary’s fiat. But I find different messages for different seasons. This time I need courage. A longtime contract came to an end this year, and I have pushed myself to drum up new work. I’m re-examining my writing, my rate, my capacity for competing deadlines. I’m welcoming new ideas and new people. And for the first time in years, I’m contemplating new kinds of creative work. I’ve watched YouTube tutorials and signed up for a class, my chest throbbing. There’s an edge to the excitement that I actually like because it is unfamiliar. I haven’t challenged myself like this in so long. The fear is a sign of the possibility. And once again, “Walking on Water” resonates with me. “Unless we are creators, we are not fully alive,” L’Engle writes. I’m creating, and I feel fully alive. Lack of experience is not an issue, she reassures. “In a very real sense not one of us is qualified, but it seems that God continually chooses the most unqualified to do his work, to bear his glory.” It’s not about talent or training. It’s about creativity and courage. It’s feeling unqualified but still accepting the invitation of a blank canvas. My friend Jackie is on a similar journey. For too long, she’d been an art major trapped in retail. Now she’s a working artist. She summoned the courage to quit her job at Hobby Lobby, where she’d made $17 an hour as an assistant manager unloading merchandise and surveying shoplifters. Jackie celebrated her newfound freedom with a trip to Mexico, where she landed a gig to paint two murals on aspect of our family’s mission and vision, thereby creating a family culture that is holy and whole. Living according to our conscience means we understand when something we are about to do is wrong. Understanding right from wrong occurs through the process of moral development, first introduced by Jean Piaget and followed by Lawrence Kohlberg, both of whom recognized that the process comes about through learning experiences that help us become morally driven people. For children, the crucible in which they are growing is the family. In this, they are witnessing the role modeling their parents provide each day, with regard to decision making. Children watch and learn as they observe their parents managing the moral situations they face and whether they do what they tell their children to do. The children are looking for evidence of integrity, even though they may not explain it that way. Parents might prefer to abdicate this responsibility to school or a church program, as they go about living inconsistently and contradictorily. They may say one thing and do another. Obviously, their actions carry more import for their children than their words ever will. Parents often wonder why their children are off track, disrespectful, or refuse to listen to their advice. They need look no further than their own example. Children want limits. They want consistency. They want accountability. They want the adults in their lives to provide a good example to which they can turn for guidance and direction. They do not want parents to allow bad behavior to transpire. They do not want inconsistency, contradiction and conflict because this is confusing for them in an already complex, unregulated, and misguided culture. They want their parents to stand for something, and the best thing for them to stand for is to “always do the
OCTOBER 10, 2019
Each of us is called to create with our paintbrushes, our homes and our lives. When we embrace art, we reflect the creation story and our own origin, that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.
a hostel: a cactus and an octopus. She hadn’t painted much before, but the murals turned out beautifully — and she had a blast. A business was born. She reserved the domain muralsbyjackie.com and posted a Craigslist ad that generated a commission from a Wisconsin goat farm. Her next project will be a nursery. Self-employment has been exhilarating, she said. “It’s both exciting and scary. But I think the world needs more art.” Each of us is called to create with our paintbrushes, our homes and our lives. When we embrace art, we reflect the creation story and our own origin, that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. The hardest part is to show up — with your two hands, your beating heart, your busy schedule and your half-baked idea. Push past the uncertainty and trust that shortcomings will enable you to go long in another direction, producing something a more proficient artist would overlook — something different, something else, something new. Something the world needs. Capecchi is a freelance writer from Inver Grove Heights.
ACTION CHALLENGE Decide today to become a person of strong character by using your conscience to help you discern right from wrong. Make every effort to follow through with your actions faithfully on a daily basis, thereby providing good role modeling for your children and grandchildren. right thing.” Children do not want to hear this. They want and need to see this demonstrated by the people best able to provide this leadership for them: their parents. I’m sorry if this appears harsh. I taught middle school and high school for 20 years and I saw first-hand children who had good guidance at home and those who did not. I have now been a therapist for 10 years and I see young people who crave a sense of assurance they are on the right path. Establishing good role modeling may be more difficult in this culture, but in and of itself, providing an assurance of the right path for children, no matter their age, is not as difficult as it may seem. We do this by first accepting responsibility, which begins by holding ourselves to a higher standard. If we are not committed to this, we need to begin to live a more righteous, moral life. As we do so, we can be assured we will provide good role modeling for our children and grandchildren to observe and learn as they navigate this culture. Soucheray is a licensed marriage and family therapist and a member of Guardian Angels in Oakdale. She holds a master’s degree in theology from The St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity in St. Paul.
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OCTOBER 10, 2019
THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT • 11C
CALENDAR FEATURED EVENTS Annual White Mass for Healthcare Workers — Oct. 12: 5:15 p.m. at the Cathedral of St. Paul, 239 Selby Ave., St. Paul. Bishop Andrew Cozzens will celebrate Mass for healthcare workers, their spouses and families. Reception immediately following in Hayden Hall in the Cathedral’s lower level. For more information, contact Sonya Flomo at 651-291-4488 or firstname.lastname@example.org. archspm.org/white-mass. 69th Annual Red Mass — Oct. 12: 6:30 p.m. at St. Joseph, 1154 Seminole Ave., West St. Paul. Archbishop Bernard Hebda will celebrate Mass for those in the legal profession and their families. This includes lawyers, judges and others involved in the administration of civil justice. A reception will follow. Father Michael Creagan, pastor of St. Joseph, will be the homilist. archspm.org/69th-annual-red-mass.
Saints and Superheroes Breakfast — Oct. 13: 8 a.m.– noon at Immaculate Conception, 202 SE Alabama St., Lonsdale. Benefit to recognize local law enforcement, fire and rescue personnel. Fundraiser for life saving AEDs and first aid stations. Celebrating Our Gifts Parish Mission — Oct. 14-15: 7;30-8:30 p.m. at St. Rose of Lima, 2090 Hamline Ave. N., Roseville. International speaker, author, guide and theologist, Deacon Thomas Winninger, CSMA. saintroseoflima.net. Treasure Hunt aka Church Rummage Sale — Oct. 17-19 at Church of the Sacred Heart, 4087 W. Broadway, Robbinsdale. shrmn.org. The Big Sale — Oct. 18-20 at Church of St. Peter, 2600 Margaret St. N., North St. Paul. 651-777-8304. St. John’s Concert Series: An Instrument of Evangelization — Oct. 24: 7 p.m. at St. John the Baptist, 680 Mill St., Excelsior. This event kicks off a series of four concerts featuring renowned musicians.. stjohns-excelsior.org. NCYC Bingo Fundraiser — Oct. 26: 6–8:30 p.m. at St. Gabriel the Archangel-St. Joseph Campus, 1300 Main St., Hopkins. stgabrielhopkins.org.
Prayer/worship Music Organ concert — Oct. 10: 7:30–9 p.m. at the Cathedral of St. Paul, 239 Selby Ave., St. Paul. Organist Adam J. Brakel. Presented by The Cathedral Heritage Foundation. cathedralheritagefoundation.org. Baroque concert — Oct. 13: 2 p.m. at St. Matthew, 510 Hall Ave., St. Paul. Performed by Sospiri. st-matts.org.
Dining Out KC Mary’s Meals fundraiser dinner and silent auction — Oct. 12: 6–9 p.m. at the Cathedral of St. Paul, 239 Selby Ave., St. Paul. Deb Waldera at 651-772-6935 or email@example.com to reserve tickets. St. Boniface German dinner and silent auction — Oct. 13: 10 a.m.–2 p.m. at St. Boniface, 629 Second St. NE, Minneapolis. 10 a.m. Polka Mass preceding. 612-379-2761. stbonifacempls.org. Pancake Breakfast — Oct. 13: 9 a.m.–12:30 p.m. at Blessed Sacrament Church, 2119 Stillwater Ave., St. Paul. Hosted by Knights of Columbus Council #4374.
Parish events Polka Mass & Dance — Oct. 12: 5 p.m. at St. Richard’s Catholic Church, 7540 Penn Ave. S., Richfield. strichards.com.
Communal Anointing of the Sick — Oct. 12: 10 a.m. at Guardian Angels, 8260 Fourth St. N., Oakdale. guardian-angels.org. Mass of Remembrance — Oct. 15: 6:30–7:30 p.m. at St. John the Baptist, 4625 W. 125th St., Savage. The Healing Hearts ministry invites you to honor babies lost to miscarriage, stillbirth or infant death, along with the babies you long for while struggling with infertility. stjohns-savage.org. International Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima — Oct. 17: 7:30 a.m.–8:30 p.m. at St. John the Evangelist, 380 Little Canada Road, Little Canada. International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Fatima will be present. sjolc.org. Marian Movement of Priests Cenacle — Oct. 24: 7 p.m. at Church of St. John, 380 E. Little Canada Road, St. Paul. 651-778-1941.
Retreats Men’s silent retreat — Oct. 18-20 at Franciscan Retreats and Spirituality Center, 16385 St. Francis Lane, Prior Lake. Silence: The Icon Of God’s Mystery presented by Father Daniel Manger. franciscanretreats.net. Women’s Silent Midweek Retreat — Oct. 22-24 at Christ the King Retreat Center, 621 First Ave. S., Buffalo. Broken, Blessed and Sent. kingshouse.com. Friends of Francis Retreat — Oct. 25-27 at Franciscan
Retreats and Spirituality Center, 16385 St. Francis Lane, Prior Lake. Led by Father Steve McMichael. franciscanretreats.net. Men’s Silent Weekend Retreat — Oct. 25-27 at Christ the King Retreat Center, 621 First Ave. S., Buffalo. Broken, Blessed and Sent, presented by King’s House Preaching Team. kingshouse.com. Spiritual time away for writers — Oct. 28: 7–9 p.m. at St. Paul’s Monastery, 2675 Benet Road, Maplewood. benedictinecenter.org.
Conferences/workshops Iconography Workshop of Guardian Angel by Paragon — Oct. 14-18: 9 a.m.–5 p.m. at St. Joseph, 8701 36th Ave. N., New Hope. Instructor Nicholas Markell. stcroixiconography.org. Using Your Gifts: Intro to Strengths-based Development — Oct. 15: 9 a.m.–3 p.m. at St. Paul’s Monastery, 2675 Benet Road, Maplewood. benedictinecenter.org. End of Life Issues Presentation — Oct. 16: 7–8:30 p.m. at St. Odilia’s Church, 3495 N. Victoria St., Shoreview. Presenter Deacon Steven Najarian, M.D. stodilia.org. Forgive Us As We Forgive Those — Oct. 22: 7–9 p.m. at St. Paul’s Monastery, 2675 Benet Road, Maplewood. benedictinecenter.org.
St. Boniface, 633 Second St. NE, Minneapolis. Loretta at 763-588-9626 or firstname.lastname@example.org. rosarycoasttocoast.com. Rosary Coast to Coast St. John — Oct. 13: 2:30–4 p.m. at St. John the Evangelist, 380 Little Canada Road E., Little Canada. rosarycoasttocoast.com. Rosary Coast to Coast MN Capitol — Oct. 13: 3 p.m. at Minnesota State Capitol, 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Junior Blvd., St. Paul. Sponsored by St. Paul Knights of Columbus. email@example.com. Holy Name Society fall meeting — Oct. 22: 5:30–9 p.m. at St. Albert the Great, 2836 33rd Ave. S., Minneapolis. Mass is 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner. Men of the Archdiocese invited. RSVP to Cain Pence firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-384-2494. Risen Savior Missions Gala — Oct. 26: 5:30–9:30 p.m. at Hilton Minneapolis, 3900 American Blvd. W., Bloomington. Hosted by Mary Mother of the Church and Knights of Columbus #6374 to benefit starving kids of the Philippines. tinyurl.com/RisenSaviorMissionsGala.
Schools St. Helena’s PreK - 8 Open House — Oct. 10: 1:30–5:30 p.m. at 3200 E. 44th St., Minneapolis. sainthelenaschool.us. St. Agnes 7-12 Upper School Showcase — Oct. 10: 6:30–8:30 p.m. at 530 Lafond Ave., St. Paul. saintagnesschool.org.
Speakers Raising Our Kids and Living Our Faith with Humor and Prayer in a Secular World — Oct. 11: 7 p.m. at Church of St. Michael, 22120 Denmark Ave. Farmington. Speaker Mary Ann Kuharski. Grandparents Apostolate Fall Event with Seminarian Mike Reinhardt — Oct. 16: 8:45–10:30 a.m. at Nativity of Our Lord, 1938 Stanford Ave., St. Paul. Join other grandparents for prayer, fellowship, encouragement and reflection. tiny.cc/grandparentsfall2019.
Other events Elevate Life benefit gala — Oct. 12: 5:30–9 p.m. at Bloomington Double Tree, 7800 Normandale Blvd., Bloomington. Featuring Kathy Sparks, pro-life advocate. 651-291-9473. elevatelifeusa.org. Rosary Coast to Coast St. Boniface — Oct. 13: 3 p.m. at
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12C • THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT
OCTOBER 10, 2019
THELASTWORD Cardinal Newman already a patron of many Catholics The Catholic Spirit
riend. Guide. Inspiration. These are some of the ways Catholics in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis describe Blessed John Henry Newman, the 19th century English Catholic convert, priest and theologian. On Oct. 13, they can add another word to the list. Saint. For those who’ve been influenced by Blessed Newman’s faith and teaching, his canonization at a Mass celebrated by Pope Francis in Rome will be a powerful affirmation of the man’s holiness — and of his importance to the Church and the world today. “We’ve all long believed in his sanctity, so it will be beautiful to see it recognized by the universal Church, thus making him an even more powerful intercessor,” said Father Byron Hagan, parochial vicar at Holy Cross in Northeast Minneapolis.
Patron of converts Perhaps no set of Twin Cities Catholics has a greater devotion to Cardinal Newman than those who’ve joined him as adult converts to the Catholic faith. Through his arguments for Catholicism but also his own personal witness to pursuing the truth at great personal cost, they say that Cardinal Newman played a pivotal role in leading them home to the Catholic Church. “He kept popping up,” said David Deavel, a professor at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, describing his experience of encountering Cardinal Newman while studying abroad as a Protestant at Oxford University, where the soon-to-be-saint had been a scholar and Anglican priest. As Deavel prayed about becoming Catholic, Cardinal Newman’s influence on him grew, especially through reading “Apologia pro Vita Sua,” the Englishman’s account of his own conversion from Protestantism to Catholicism, which cost him friendships, social standing, and his academic career.
“Though the details were different, Newman had been addressing all of my questions in far greater depth than I could have imagined,” said Deavel, who now teaches courses on Cardinal Newman in UST’s Catholic Studies department and is active in the Newman Association of America and on the editorial board of the Newman Studies Journal. The details of Cardinal Newman’s life resonate with Colin Miller of Assumption in St. Paul. Like Cardinal Newman, Miller had been an ordained minister in the Anglican Communion prior to his own reception into the Catholic Church in 2016. It was while serving as an Episcopal priest in Durham, North Carolina, that Miller followed a similar path as Newman, questioning claims that Anglicanism was simply one “branch” of the Catholic Church, a valid alternative to Rome. Reading Cardinal Newman and secondary sources on the convert and discussing his questions with others helped Miller take the next step. He recalls a conversation about becoming Catholic with a good friend when, “in the midst of our usual hemming and hawing,” his friend said, “‘we’ve just got to do it.’” “And so we did,” said Miller. He’s now a married layman and the director of pastoral care and outreach at Assumption, while his friend is a Catholic priest of the Anglican Ordinariate, a canonical structure within the Church that allows for Anglicans to come into full communion with Rome. Miller, who has named one of his three children John Henry after Cardinal Newman, says he continues to rely on the soon-to-be-saint’s guidance by reading a few pages of him every day and asking for his intercession. Encountering Cardinal Newman through his written work played a powerful role in Father Hagan’s conversion as well. Raised as the son of a minister in the Evangelical-Pentecostal movements, he began having his own questions about the origin of the Christian faith and what “form” of Christianity today had grown up from those roots. When he realized he needed to start reading Catholic sources directly, he met Cardinal Newman. “What he did was to put a historical, philosophical and spiritual flesh on my intuition,” said Father Hagan, who cited
COURTESY KEVIN M. GEARNS
Cardinal Newman’s “Development of Doctrine” as an especially important text. “He made me certain.”
Continuous inspiration While Cardinal Newman was certainly a great Catholic apologist, he was equally passionate about the art of education. The one-time university rector is the author of one of the most cited texts regarding Catholic higher education, “The Idea of a University.” Today his legacy plays out prominently at Sitzmann Hall, home of the Center for Catholic Studies on the University of St. Thomas’ St. Paul campus. Founded 25 years ago by the late Don Briel, a prominent Cardinal Newman scholar, Catholic Studies is based on Cardinal Newman’s vision of higher education as an inter-disciplinary formation of the mind, rooted in a faith community of teachers and learners. Ron Snyder, a member of Our Lady of Grace in Edina, focused on Cardinal Newman during his time as a 50-something graduate student in the Catholic Studies master’s program. After Snyder graduated in 2013, he started “Newman on Tap,” a monthly reading group that focuses on Cardinal Newman’s Parochial and Plain sermons. Snyder says the deeply scriptural and intensely personal nature of the sermons have led him into a closer relationship with Christ, and they’ve attracted others. “What I appreciate most about Newman is the way that he challenges his readers to live virtuously, yet does so from a place of love and union with Christ and his cross,” said Emily Meuer, a recent college graduate who’s been
attending Newman on Tap since summer 2018. Cardinal Newman’s influence plays out beyond his thoughts and writings. Father Hagan said Cardinal Newman’s witness of love of God as a “total commitment” helped inspire his priestly vocation. Now, he’s one of five archdiocesan priests desiring to imitate Cardinal Newman’s priestly life by establishing and living as an Oratory of St. Phillip Neri in Northeast Minneapolis. Father Spencer Howe, the pastor of Holy Cross, says the communal form of priestly living will hopefully allow those involved to serve the local Church in “a missionary and familial key.” The priests pray constantly for Cardinal Newman’s intercession. “His picture is in our chapel and our dining room,” Father Howe said.“His prayer cards are in my breviary; his books are on my shelf; his name is often on my lips.”
Celebrating canonization The priests aspiring to start an Oratory are making a pilgrimage to Rome for the canonization of Cardinal Newman, who is considered the “second founder” of the Oratory and helped establish it in England. But they won’t be the only Minnesotans there. Catholic Studies associate director Jessica Zittlow knows of at least 15 alumni who will be there, a number not including seminarians studying in Rome. On Oct. 9, Cardinal Newman’s feast day, Zittlow and Deavel hosted a Catholic Studies alumni event in Rome, including Mass, a visit to the Catholic Studies Rome campus and dinner. Back in Minnesota, a special Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Oct. 13 at the University of Minnesota St. Lawrence Catholic Church and Newman Center, one of many Catholic study centers around the country named for the saint. Archbishop Bernard Hebda, whose episcopal motto, “Only Jesus,” comes from a prayer by Cardinal Newman, will preside. “We see this as an important moment to highlight Newman the man and now saint, and also to help raise awareness of his charism, writings and influence, and how they align with sharing the abundant love of Christ,” said Father Jake Anderson, pastor.
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