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Schools News Briefs April 2014

School News Briefs
April 2014
Open houses

Catholic schools in the Diocese of Duluth currently have or will soon have registration open houses for students for the 2014-15 school year. Contact your local Catholic school for registration information. Catholic schools in the Diocese of Duluth are:

Brainerd: St. Francis of the Lakes School, 817 Juniper St.; (218) 829-2344, www.stfranciscatholicschool.org

Cloquet: Queen of Peace School, 102 Fourth St.; (218) 879-8516, www.queenofpeaceschool.org

Duluth: Holy Rosary School, 2802 E. Fourth St.; (218) 724-8565, www.holyrosarymn.org

Duluth: St. James School, 715 N. 57th Ave. W.; (218) 624-1511, www.stjamesduluth.org

Duluth: St. John the Evangelist School, 1 W. Chisholm St.; (218) 724-9392, www.stjohnsduluth.org

Duluth: St. Michael’s Lakeside School, 4628 Pitt St.; (218) 525-1931, www.smlsduluth.org

Grand Rapids: St. Joseph’s School, 315 S.W. 21st St.; (218) 326-6232, www.stjosephscatholic.org

Hibbing: Assumption School, 2310 Seventh Ave. E.; (218) 263-3054, www.aschibbing.org

International Falls: St. Thomas Aquinas School, 810 Fifth St.; (218) 283-3430, www.stthomascatholicschool.com

Pine City: St. Mary’s School, 815 Sixth Ave. S.W.; (320) 629-3953, www.stmaryspinecity.org

Virginia: Marquette School, 311 S. Third St.; (218) 741-6811.

Regional champs in Destination ImagiNation

Two Queen of Peace Catholic School Teams from Cloquet became Regional Champions at the Destination ImagiNation Regional Tournament held at Proctor High School on Saturday, March 8. “Team Extreme,” the elementary team, consisted of seven students from grades three and four. They chose the Scientific Challenge which made them explore and research an extreme environment that exists in the universe. The students had to design and depict an extreme environment, as well as a piece of equipment (extreme gear) in order for one to adapt to such an environment. They presented a skit to demonstrate their gear using several technical and scientific methods, which were incorporated into the skit. The Middle School Team, named “The Odd Ones Out,” consisted of seven students from grades five and six who chose the Structure Challenge. A structure was built that was tested against two forces at the same time with the challenge of integrating a creative story in which tension is a threat to stability and is overcome in some way depicted by a prop assembled during the presentation inside a measured space. Each team had to participate in an Instant Challenge which requires teams to engage in quick, creative and critical thinking. Team members must think on their feet by applying appropriate skills to produce a solution to a problem that is kept confidential until the time of the challenge in a period of five to ten minutes. Destination ImagiNation (DI) is the world’s largest creative solving organization, serving 50 states and more than 40 countries. Both teams move on to the state competitions scheduled for Saturday, April 12, in Champlin Park. Queen of Peace School was the only Catholic school represented at the DI Regional Tournament.

Catholic United Raffle results

The Catholic schools in the diocese that participated in the Catholic United Financial Catholic Schools Raffle were successful in raising thousands of dollars for their school. The raffle concluded on March 2. Schools were able to keep raffle proceeds for their school. Individual results for the schools: St. Francis of the Lakes School, Brainerd, $50,415; St. Michael’s Lakeside School, Duluth, $9,735; St. Joseph’s School, Grand Rapids, $8,600; Assumption School, Hibbing, $24,270 and St. Mary’s School, Pine City, $9,430.

Marquette students get anatomy lesson

Jen Kober, RN, CNP, and mother of kindergartener Amelia Kober, first grader Greyson Kober and fourth grader Maddy Kober, shared a handson anatomy lesson with Mrs. Hanson’s kindergarten class at Marquette Catholic School in Virginia. Students investigated the chambers of the beef heart and learned about the workings of the human heart.

Students selected for Sister Cities Exchange Program

Eighth-graders Rianna Amberg and Ivy Markham from Holy Rosary School in Duluth will be heading to Ohara-Isumi City, Japan, with the Duluth Sister Cities Exchange Program this summer. The students will stay with a host family to experience Japanese ways of living and join other students from the U.S. for events and activities, including a visit to Tokyo and meeting the city’s mayor. In the summer of 2015, their families will in turn host a visiting student from Japan.

Students serve others, filling baby bottles with coins, cash

Big plastic baby bottles were seen in multiple locations at Holy Rosary School in Duluth during Catholic Schools Week. Part of the school’s service program that models the value of serving others, this special collection was for the Cradle Club. The Cradle Club delivers care packages to newly born babies, assists new mothers with child care and offers parenting classes for mothers and fathers. Students brought in contributions totaling $1,028. The collection was offered by each class at a weekly school Mass. The baby bottle fundraiser supports the work of the Women’s Care Center in Duluth.

Holy Rosary students accepted to honor choir

Twelve Holy Rosary middle school choir students were nominated and accepted to this year’s UMD Honor Choir event in Duluth. These students met weekly throughout January with Mrs. Shusterich to learn and memorize four selections. Students were excited to take part in all-day sessions under the direction of Mark Johnson, director of the Minnesota Boys Choir. Unfortunately, winter weather across the region closed schools and forced the cancellation of the Honor Choir event on Jan. 28. However, Holy Rosary students sang one of their selections at the school Mass on Feb. 12 at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary. The group will perform again this spring to share their music and hard work. Students nominated for the choir were Lauren Aturaliya, Max Lindquist, Jenna Meyer Corbin Roubik, Ben Glisczinski, Tim Hoeksema, Andres Lucero, Nathan Miller, Abby Nash, Angela Park, Meagan Sailstad and Elena Stanley.

Ski trip for St. James

St. James middle school students from Duluth went on their yearly ski trip to Mont du Lac ski resort March 7. All students participated in lessons from the Mont du Lac staff in either skiing or snowboarding. Besides the activities, the views from the slopes were inspiring. The students also had the opportunity to have some fun on the tubing hill.

Virginia dignitaries visit Marquette to promote reading

February was “I Love to Read” month, and students at Marquette Catholic School in Virginia racked up a total of 62,896 minutes of reading. The top school readers from each classroom enjoyed a lunch March 12 with some very special guests from Virginia. They were excited to have the following dignitaries at the lunch: Virginia Mayor Russo, Judge Pagliaccetti, Police Chief Benz, Fire Chief L’Allier and Renee Passal from WDIO-TV in Duluth. The top readers at the school were: kindergarten, Carter Pollak, 935 minutes; grade one, Jaeden Loeffler, 750 minutes; grade two, Samuel Beukema, 1,817 minutes; grade three, Isaac Flatley, 1,035 minutes; grade four, Kylie Baranzelli, 2,910 minutes; grade five, Logan Bialke, 2,070 minutes, and grade six, Danny Spaeth, 1,097 minutes.

 

Local Life News Briefs April 2014

Local Life News Briefs
April 2014
Feminists for Life speaker coming to St. Scholastica

The Northern Cross

Racial justice and women’s advocate Joyce McCauley-Benner will lecture about the need for resources and support for pregnant and parenting students, especially those who become pregnant through sexual assault. McCauley-Benner, a Feminists for Life of America speaker, will draw upon her personal experience in her presentation “Victory Over Violence” on Saturday, April 19, at 7:30 p.m. in the Science Auditorium, Room 2122 at the College of St. Scholastica, 1200 Kenwood Ave., Duluth.

Founded in 1972, FFL is a national non-sectarian, grassroots organization that continues the efforts of the early American feminists, including Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, to systematically eliminate the root causes that drive women to abortion by facilitating practical solutions. FFL has emerged as the link between the pro-life and pro-choice organizations, working on legislative efforts such as child support enforcement and the Violence Against Women Act, and opposing child exclusion provisions in welfare reform.

Recently, FFL’s efforts on college campuses have inspired the introduction of the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Pregnant and Parenting Student Services Act. The bill, which was reintroduced in both House and Senate in 2007, would provide grants to eligible institutions of higher education to establish student services offices for students who are pregnant or parenting, students anticipating a birth or adoption, and students who place a child for adoption.

Feminists for Life has distributed pregnancy resource kits to colleges across the country and is leading a discussion on developing practical resources for pregnant and parenting students. Planned Parenthood’s INsider newsletter calls the program “the newest and most challenging concept” in college organizing and predicts that it “could have a profound impact” on colleges “as well as Planned Parenthood’s education and advocacy efforts.”

The lecture will be held at Science Auditorium, Room 2122 at 7:30 p.m. April 9. The lecture is sponsored by Calling All Catholics and Students for Life, with support from Guiding Star Duluth. For more information contact Kim Collins at (608) 371-7162 or Krita Pylkki at (651) 270-1006.

Northland Family Programs annual meeting April 28

Northland Family Programs will hold its annual meeting for Northland Family Programs on April 28. A short business meeting will be held at 6 p.m. followed at 6:30 p.m. with a talk entitled “The Hookup Culture” by Betsy Kneepkens. Kneepkens is the director of the Office of Marriage and Family Life for the Diocese of Duluth. The meeting will be held at Essentia Health, St. Mary’s Medical Center, 407 E. Third St., Duluth, rear auditorium on second floor. Call NFP at (218) 786-2378 or (800) 842-0279 for information.

 

Local News Briefs April 2014

Local News Briefs
April 2014
Divine Mercy Sunday celebrations scheduled at area parishes

Divine Mercy Sunday celebrations will take place at the following parishes on April 27.

Cloquet: Queen of Peace Church, 102 Fourth St.; (218) 879-6793; 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Divine Mercy Chaplet, prayers, no confessions.

Crosby: St. Joseph’s Church, 619 Poplar St.; (218) 262-5541; 2 p.m. — procession and welcome, testimonial and confessions; 3 p.m. — Chaplet of Divine Mercy, exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Divine Praises and Benediction; 4 p.m. — Mass and spaghetti dinner served in church hall. The Knights of Columbus, the deacons and priests of the Brainerd Deanery arrange this annual celebration, which will also celebrate the canonizations of Blessed John XXIII and Blessed John Paul II.

Duluth: Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary, 2801 E. Fourth St.; (218) 728-3646; 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.; exposition, prayers, rosary, veneration of first class relic of St. Faustina, Chaplet of Divine Mercy, Benediction.

Ely: St. Anthony’s Church, 231 E. Camp St.; (218) 365-4017; call church for time and details.

Eveleth: Resurrection Church, 301 Adams Ave.; (218) 744-3277; noon to 2 p.m. — eucharistic adoration, first-class relic of St. Faustina; 2 p.m. — prayers, Benediction, no confessions.

Hibbing: Blessed Sacrament, (218) 262-5541, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. 1 p.m. — exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, rosary; 3 p.m. — chaplet, Benediction and reception following. Confession from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Transitional deacons invite faithful to Holy Hour

Transitional Deacons Timothy Lange and Blake Rozier invite the diocesan faithful to a Holy Hour to pray with them in preparation for their ordination to the priesthood. The Holy Hour will take place at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary, 2801 E. Fourth St., Duluth, Thursday, June 19, at 5:30 p.m. Prayers will be led by Bishop Paul Sirba.

St. Raphael Knights activities

St. Raphael’s Knights of Columbus Council 6791 is hosting fish fries during Lent. They held an Eight Ball Pool Tournament on Feb. 22. Margaret Beattie sank the winning shot to win the trophy. For their 16th parishioner service project, the Knights removed snow from a driveway after the Feb. 17 snow storm.

Courage and EnCourage

Do you have a family member or loved one who is experiencing same-sex attraction? Consider joining EnCourage, a support group for Catholics seeking to balance the love of their faith with the love for their family member. The group meets the third Monday of the month at 7 p.m. at St. Mary Star of the Sea rectory, 325 E. Third St., Duluth. Contact Deacon Walt Beier at [email protected] for more information. Are you experiencing same-sex attraction and looking for answers? Contact Deacon Walt Beier at [email protected] for support group information. Also, visit www.couragerc.org.

College of St. Benedict names Mary Hinton as 15th president

Mary Hinton has been selected as the 15th president of the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph. Hinton, who currently serves as the vice president for academic affairs at Mount St. Mary College in Newburgh, N.Y., will take office on June 15. The appointment was made after a unanimous vote by the College of St. Benedict Board of Trustees and was announced by Lynn Newman, chair of the CSB Board of Trustees and a co-chair of the CSB Presidential Search Committee. At Mount St. Mary, a Dominican college, Hinton provides senior administrative leadership for academic affairs, enrollment management, planning, assessment and institutional research and student affairs, among other areas.Prior to her position at Mount St. Mary College, Hinton was the associate vice president of academic affairs and chief planning and diversity officer at Misericordia University in Dallas, Pa. She was also a member of the Mercy Integration Council, a group that sought to integrate the mission of the founding order, the Sisters of Mercy, into campus life. Initially at Misericordia University, she served as an assistant professor of religious studies and the coordinator of multicultural student affairs. In addition to her extensive experience in higher education, Hinton’s career includes nonprofit education organization management, philanthropic work in the corporate sector and work as a private elementary school teacher. She earned a doctoral degree in religion and religious education with high honors from Fordham University, a Master of Arts degree in clinical child psychology from the University of Kansas, Lawrence, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Williams College.

Scouting award

The Parvuli Dei Award was presented to Andrew and Daniel Jude by Father Charles Flynn during a Mass in February at Resurrection Parish in Eveleth. Parvuli Dei means “children of God.” This award is designed for Catholic Boy Scouts. Its purpose is to help young boys explore a wide range of activities in order to discover the presence of God in their lives as members of their families and parishes. It helps them to develop a positive self-image through contributions they make to their community. Andrew and Daniel are the sons of James and Kelly Jude. They are members of Pack 117 in Cherry.

Chisholm Knights donate potatoes

The Knights of Columbus Chisholm Council 3539 donated 500 pounds of potatoes to the Chisholm Food Shelf on March 5. The donation was in response to the need during the March Minnesota Food Share Campaign to be given to the families of the Chisholm area that the food shelf serves each month. Members involved in the project were Neil Alden and Patrick Quirk. Tom Pascuzzi of Jubilee Foods in Chisholm was also involved.

 

Calendar April 2014

Calendar
April 2014

Adoration

The clustered parishes of Immaculate Heart Church, Crosslake, and St. Emily’s Church, Emily, will have perpetual adoration in the chapel at Immaculate Heart during the remaining weeks of Lent. Exposition will continue until 6 p.m. April 16.

Tuna pizza fundraiser

During Lent a special tuna pizza is available Fridays at Eskomo Pizza Pies in Esko. Dine-in and 100 percent of the proceeds are donated to Queen of Peace School in Cloquet to purchase a SmartBoard for the third grade classroom. Otherwise all the gross profits will be donated. Made with creamy Alfredo sauce and quality albacore tuna. Eskomo Pies is located in downtown Esko. Call (218) 879-0008 to make a reservation or for pick-up orders.

KC fish fry

Knights of Columbus Council 3238, Ely, Babbitt and Tower, will be hosting its annual Lenten Friday fish fry April 4 and 11, at St. Anthony’s Church, 231 E. Camp St., Ely. Serving from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. Take-out available. Dinner includes all-you-can-eat fried fish, baby red potatoes, coleslaw, home baked deserts and beverage. Cost is $8.50 for adults, $5 for children ages 5-12, children 4 and younger free. All proceeds go to pro-life groups, seminarians, the local food shelf and respite care groups. For information contact Tony Roethler, (218) 827-3625.

Latin Mass

The Traditional Latin Mass will be offered weekly at the St. Benedict’s Church, 1419 St. Benedict St., Duluth, at 1 p.m. Sundays through Easter Sunday. The ordinary form of the Mass is also offered in Latin the first Saturday of each month at 8 a.m. For information contact the church at (218) 724-4828.

Lenten retreat

A Lenten retreat at St. Raphael’s Church, 5779 Seville Road, Duluth, will be held Saturday, April 5, beginning with Mass at 9 a.m. This retreat is for men and women. The day will conclude with a soup lunch at 12:30 p.m. Franciscan Sister of the Eucharist Anna Rose Kalinowski will lead the retreat with the topic on Holy Week. To register call Alice at (218) 729-9647 or email [email protected]. Please put “retreat” in the subject line. Hosted by the Duluth Deanery CCW.

Rosary for freedom, life, family

The rosary is prayed for religious freedom, respect of life and the family on Saturdays at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary, 2801 E. Fourth St., Duluth, at 10 a.m. Contact the Cathedral at (218) 728-3646 with any questions.

Catholic Singles Group

Catholic Singles Group in the Twin Ports hosts weekly events and meets for brunch every other week as well as attends swing dance lessons. For information on the Catholic Singles Group and its activities contact Deborah at (218) 879-6266 or visit twinportscatholicsingles. blogspot.com.

Young adult singles group

If you are or know anyone who is single and between the ages of 25 and 40 years old looking to meet other Catholics in that age group, please contact Deborah at (218) 879-6266 or Mike at (218) 730-7419 to have your name put on a singles group list for young adults. Young adult singles meet Mondays for dinner, pool and darts, call Mike above or Gary at (218) 260-6358. As always, all singles can attend any of the activities of the regular Catholic Singles Group.

Chicken dinner, bake sale

A spring chicken dinner and bake sale will be held at St. Rose Church, 3 Sixth Ave., Proctor, Sunday, April 6, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Take-outs available. Handicapped accessible. Adults $9, children $5, and tots under age 5 are free. Everyone is invited to come for a delicious home-cooked meal complete with banana cream pie dessert. Browse the bake sale for “priest-approved banana bread,” cookies, cakes, breads and more. Take a chance on both the grocery and spring baskets. Drawings at 4 p.m., need not be present to win. Call (218) 624-0007 for information.

Easter ham bingo

St. Mary Star of the Sea Church, 325 E. Third St., Duluth, will host an Easter ham bingo Sunday, April 6, at 2 p.m. Price of boards: $2 each or 3 boards for $5. 20 Hams will be given away plus cash prizes. Raffle: first prize $500, second prize $300, third Prize $200 and fourth prize $300 gift card for gas from Jack’s Mobil in Duluth. Silent auction will be held plus raffling off Easter baskets for children. Sloppy Joe and hot dog lunch will be served at a minimal cost. Handicapped accessible. For information call (218) 722-3078.

Bingo, ham raffle

St. Joseph’s Church, 315 S.W. 21st St., Grand Rapids, is having a cash bingo and ham raffle Sunday, April 6, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Only 25 cents a card and you are able to win a 60 percent payback for each game. Concession stand with St. Joseph’s famous broasted chicken and fries and free popcorn. The fun starts at 5 p.m. Hosted by St. Joseph’s Knights of Columbus.

Chaplet of Divine Mercy

The Chaplet of Divine Mercy followed by the rosary is prayed for religious freedom, respect for life and family, and freedom of conscience of all people of faith on Mondays at 3 p.m., at St. Mary’s Hospital Chapel, 407 E. Fourth St., Duluth. For any questions call (218) 343-2404.

Prayer life study series

The last session of “Oremus,” an eight-week study series, will be held at St. Benedict’s Church, 1419 St. Benedict St., Duluth, April 8, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Contact Sister Anna Rose at (218) 724-4828 for more details.

Communion and Liberation

Communion and Liberation is an international Catholic movement that helps participants have a daily experience of faith. The group meets weekly on Tuesdays from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., in the multi-purpose room at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary, 2801 E. Fourth St., Duluth. Each meeting is followed by a potluck meal. For information about this group please contact Sharon (218) 349-1535 or Dorothy (218) 724-8395 or visit www.clonline.us.

Rosaries for life

Every Wednesday at 8 a.m., two rosaries are prayed at St. Charles Parish, 308 Central Ave., Cass Lake, for an end to abortion and all crimes against life. Everyone is invited. For more information call Mary Rients at (218) 444-6209.

Lenten program

A Lenten program will be held at St. Mary Star of the Sea Church, 325 E. Third St., Duluth, on Wednesdays, April 9 and 16. Confessions from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., stations from 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., soup supper from 6:30 p.m. to 7:10 p.m., speaker and program 7:10 p.m. to 8 p.m. Program will visit the parables of Luke’s Gospel. Call the parish at (218) 722-3078 for information.

Rosary

The rosary will be prayed at Our Lady of Mercy Church, 2002 Minnesota Ave., Duluth, weekly on Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. A petition basket will be available for special prayer intentions placed before the Blessed Mother. Call St. Mary Star of the Sea Church for more information at (218) 722-3078.

Deanery CCW Lenten retreat

The Brainerd Deanery Council of Catholic Women will hold its Lenten retreat Thursday, April 10, at St. Christopher’s Church, 25574 Church St., Nisswa. Registration from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., fee $12. Guest speaker will be Sister Rose Marie Messingschager, CDP, director of Indian ministry for the Diocese of Duluth. She will speak at 9:45 a.m. on “Lent, a Time of Sacrifice and Offering.” Mass will be at 11 a.m. and lunch at noon. Confessions will be available beginning at 12:45 p.m., and Exposition will be at 1 p.m. Closing prayer will be at 2:30 p.m. Please contact your parish president or Carol Wohlers at (218) 562-5407.

M’cafe

Mom Catholics About Faith Everyday (M’café) is a mom’s group that meets the second Thursday of each month through the school year, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., to discuss faith. Meetings are held at All Saints Church, 16898 Carlson Lake Road, Baxter. The church doors open at 8:30 a.m. Babysitters will be provided.

Grief and loss support group

Grief and loss support group meets every Thursday at 5 p.m., in the Bride’s Room at St. Joseph’s Church, 315 S.W. 21st St., Grand Rapids. All are welcome to join anytime and share the warmth and comfort of those who care. Call the church for information at (218) 326-2843.

KC ham bingo

The Buhl Knights of Columbus Council 5612 will hold its annual ham bingo Saturday, April 12, at 7 p.m., at the Buhl/Kinney Senior Center on the corner of Frantz and Mercer in Buhl. Thirty-three games played for turkeys at $1 per card for ten games plus three door prizes and three cash coverall games. Proceeds fund the Knights of Columbus charities. For information contact Tony Pahula at (218) 258-3308.

KC pancake breakfast

The Knights of Columbus Western Council 5142 will hold a pancake breakfast Sunday, April 13, 9 a.m. to noon, at St. James Parish Hall, 721 N. 57th Ave. W., Duluth. Handicapped accessible. Adults $5, children $3, family $15. Tickets available at the door. Council 5142 includes members of Holy Family, St. Elizabeth, St. Margaret Mary and St. James churches in Duluth.

Tridentine Mass

The extraordinary form of the Roman rite (Tridentine Mass) will be offered at 11:30 a.m. the second Sunday of each month at St. Andrew’s Church, 1108 Willow St., Brainerd. Booklets with Latin/English parallel text are provided. For more information, call the parish at (218) 822-4040.

Kateri Circle

Northwind Kateri Circle meets the second Sunday of each month from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., in the parish library at St. Benedict’s Church, 1419 St. Benedict St., Duluth. Women and men ages 18 and older are welcome to join. If you have questions about the group contact Marlyn Sternal at (218) 724-1550.

Spaghetti dinner

St. Mary Star of the Sea Church, 325 E. Third St., Duluth, will be having an all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner Sunday, April 13, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Cost: $6 per person or $30 for a family. Dinner includes: spaghetti, Caesar salad, desert, and beverage. Take-outs available. Handicapped accessible. Proceeds from the dinner will help send parish youth to Camp Survive and Discipleship Week this summer. For information, contact Shirley Baker at (218) 722-3078 ext. 11.

Mother-daughter program

Tea for Two, a program for mothers and daughters ages 9-11, sponsored by Northland Family Programs, will be held in three locations on Sundays from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.: April 13, at Essentia Health, St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth and May 4 at Fairview University Medical Center-Mesabi in Hibbing and Essentia Health, St. Joseph’s in Brainerd. Cost is $20 per mother-daughter couple. To register call (218) 786-2378 or (800) 842-0279.

Ham bingo

St. Margaret Mary Church, 8830 Idaho St., Duluth, will hold a ham bingo at 6 p.m. Sunday, April 13. Cost is $4 for four boards. There will be a bake sale, 20 hams, cash prizes, door prize, theme baskets, food and refreshments.

NFP introductory sessions

Northland Family Programs will hold free natural family planning introductory sessions at different sites at 7 p.m. on Mondays: in Duluth, April 14, at Essentia Health St. Mary’s Hospital; in Grand Rapids, April 14, at Grand Itasca Medical Center; in Cloquet, April 21, at Community Memorial Hospital; in Hibbing, April 21, in the Board Room at Fairview University Medical Center-Mesabi and in Superior, Wis., April 28, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Superior. Preregistration is required. Call (218) 786-2378 or (800) 842-0279. For more information visit www.nfpduluth.org.

Shrine pilgrimage

The Hibbing Deanery Council of Catholic Women is hosting a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., May 18-19. $219 per person based on double occupancy. Single, triple and quad rooms available at adjusted prices. The pilgrimage begins Sunday at 12:30 p.m. and concludes at 10:30 p.m. Monday. Depart and return from Blessed Sacrament parish, Hibbing. Registration final payment deadline April 14. For further information and registration contact Plan-It-Travel at (218) 263-8313.

Infertility support group

An infertility support group for Catholic women is held at St. Mary Star of the Sea Church, 325 E. Third St., Duluth, in Msgr. McDowell Hall. The group meets monthly the second Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. Led by parish nurse Marianne Fightlin and parishioner Jessica Forsman. For those hurting due to infertility. For more information call the church at (218) 722-3078.

Duluth-Superior Young Adults

The third Tuesday of each month, the Duluth-Superior Catholic Young Adults host adoration and fellowship at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary, 2801 E. Fourth St., Duluth, beginning at 6:30 p.m. And the first Friday of each month hosts Mass and fellowship at 5:30 p.m., at a parish in Duluth. If you are a young adult Catholic in the Duluth-Superior area and are interested in connecting with other Catholics between the ages of 18-39 contact Jon at (414) 741-0659 or Vanessa at (218) 838-1876 or email [email protected].

Frassati group

The Northland Frassati group is for young adult Catholics in the Duluth-Superior area that are interested in connecting with other Catholics between the ages of 18-39. Contact Jon at (414) 741-0659 or Vanessa at (218) 838-1876 or email them at [email protected] for information. Also watch its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/groups/northland.frassati.mn/events/. Contact [email protected] to be added to text or email lists.

Moms group

St. James Catholic Moms Group will discuss traditional Catholic parenting in today’s secular world. Come for prayer, fellowship and study. Meetings are held the first and third Thursdays through May 15, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., at St. James Catholic School, 715 N. 57th Ave. W., Duluth. Nursery available, freewill donation. For questions or register contact Cheryl Foldesi at (218) 628-2932 or email at [email protected].

Caregivers support group

The caregivers support group of Blessed Sacrament parish, Hibbing, will meets the third Thursday of the month at 3 p.m., in Conference Room 1 at Guardian Angels Health and Rehabilitation Center, 1500 Third Ave. E., Hibbing. The group is open to all area caregivers. For information call the parish at (218) 262-5541.

Breakfast fundraiser

St. Charles Church, 308 Central Ave., Cass Lake, has one young man in the seminary, Beau Braun. The ladies of the parish host a freewill offering breakfast every third Sunday of the month after the 9 a.m. Mass. Proceeds will go toward assisting in his education expenses. For more information call Joan at (218) 335 2359.

Public Square Rosary

Our Lady of Fatima, Garrison, and Holy Family, Bulldog Lake, hold a Public Square Rosary the fourth Tuesday of each month at 1 p.m., near the big walleye fish at the lookout on Mille Lacs Lake in Garrison (Highway 169). All are invited to join in prayer. The rosary is prayed for the intentions of our Blessed Mother; the conversion of sinners; and to reconcile ourselves, our families and our nation back to God. For more information contact Jean Fetters at (218) 764-2665.

Mass for moms and babies

A monthly Mass will be offered in the chapel of the Women’s Care Center, 103 E. First St., Duluth, the fourth Tuesday of each month. Mass will be celebrated at 6:30 p.m., with a Holy Hour to follow from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. The Mass is offered for the work of the center and for moms and babies in crisis in our community. Everyone is welcome. For information call (218) 623-7100.

Spring Thaw fundraiser

St. Joseph’s School annual Spring Thaw will be held Thursday, April 24, from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., at Timberlake Lodge in Grand Rapids. Fine food, cash bar, door prizes, silent and live auction. $20 admission tickets can be purchased prior to the event or at the door. Call the school at (218) 326-6232 to learn more.

Junior high retreat

A diocesan junior high retreat will be held April 25-27 at Cragun’s Resort in Brainerd for youth currently in grades 6-8. The theme for the retreat is “You Never Let Go.” The goal of the retreat is to help the middle school and junior high youth understand that God’s love is always present, especially in the times they feel lost. Registration fee is $130, and the deadline is Monday, April 7. Contact Annette for information and registration requirements at (218) 724-9111 or [email protected].

5K for God

The third annual 5K for God will be held Saturday, April 26. Walkers, runners, strollers and wagons welcome. Meet at St. Raphael’s Church, 5779 Seville Road, Duluth. Race starts at 9 a.m. Entry fee $25, $15 for Duluth Area Catholic School student, $75 for school family. All proceeds donated to Duluth Area Catholic Schools. Runners packets can be picked up on race day beginning at 6:30 a.m. Registration form can be found on www.duluthcatholicschools.org. Event sponsors: St. Raphael’s Church and Knights of Columbus.

Parish dinner dance

Blessed Sacrament parish will hold its third annual parish dinner dance Saturday, April 26. Social hour from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., in St. Leo’s Hall, 2310 Seventh Ave E., Hibbing. Dinner catered by Valentini’s at 6 p.m., and dancing starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults, $5 for kids 6-12, and 5 and under are free. Games and raffles throughout the night. Big raffles: $5 for Power Wheels 12v, 2 seater, yellow Hummer, and, new this year, $10 tickets for a chance to win the meat from half a cow — homegrown and farm fed. Tickets can be purchased by calling Susie at (218) 966-0899 or the NFP office at (800) 842-0279. Dinner reservation deadline is Monday, April 21. Sponsored by Northland Family Programs.

Cursillo Ultreya

There will be a Cursillo Ultreya April 27 at St. Mary Star of the Sea Church, 325 E. Third St., Duluth, at 2 p.m., with pot luck to follow. For more information contact Ken Berger at (320) 692-4039 or [email protected].

Cancer support group

A cancer support group is held at Blessed Sacrament parish, 2310 Seventh Ave. E., Hibbing, the first Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. Call Mary at (218) 262-5541 for information. These meetings are for anyone whose life has been touched by cancer.

Sacred music performances

The University of St. Thomas Liturgical Choir is traveling north for the first time in more than a decade. The 75-member choir will perform both traditional and non-traditional music of the Mass and the Catholic Church. Pieces will be performed in various languages and in unique and beautiful style at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary, 2801 E. Fourth St., Duluth, on Friday, May 2. There will be two performances; 1 p.m. for Holy Rosary School students and staff, and 7 p.m. for the public (freewill offering). Call Holy Rosary School at (218) 724-8565 for information.

Salad luncheon

The Council of Catholic Women of St. Catherine in Squaw Lake will be hosting its spring salad luncheon Saturday, May 3, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the church hall. A variety of salads, bars and beverages will be served. There will be a bake sale and white elephant sale. The cost is $8 for adults and $3 for children under 12 years. Handicapped accessible. For information contacts Mary Ann at (218) 659-4567 or Carol at (218) 659-4434.

Auction

The annual St. Michael’s Lakeside School Auction Gala will be held Saturday, May 3, at the Northland Country Club. Hours are from 6 pm. to 10 p.m. Food, drink, live music, games and entertainment, plus many wonderful items up for bid on the live and silent auctions. Free admission. It is the biggest single school fundraising and social event of the year. For more information, contact the school at (218) 525-1931

DDCCW spring convention

The DDCCW will hold its spring convention Tuesday, May 6, at Holy Rosary Church, 16 W. 5th Ave. N., Aurora. Registration and coffee from 8:30 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. Father Paul Fruth, spiritual advisor, Alice Parendo, DDCCW president, and Denise Haaland, province director will give short talks. This will be followed by a talk by Bishop Paul Sirba. Mass and lunch will follow. The afternoon 22speaker will be Father Michael Garry, parochial vicar of Holy Spirit Church of Virginia. For registration contact your deanery president or Alice at [email protected] or (218) 729-9647. All women are invited to join this spring convention.

Youth ministers meeting

A diocesan youth ministers meeting will be held at the Diocese of Duluth, 2830 E. Fourth St., Duluth, Tuesday, May 6, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Formation topic: forming the intellect. RSVP to Annette at (218) 724-9111 or [email protected].

Holy hour for vocations

St. Francis Church, 412 Eighth St., Brainerd, has a holy hour for vocations in the Brainerd-area churches the first Wednesday of each month from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Rummage sale

St. Rose Church, 2 Sixth Ave., Proctor, will have a rummage sale Saturday, May 10, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Children’s books, religious books, clothes, toys, piano, miscellaneous items. Call Becky Kubat (218) 624-9580 or the parish office (218) 624-0007 for information.

Youth discipleship retreat week

Discipleship Week is scheduled for June 9-12 at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth. This weeklong retreat is for youth who have completed grades 9-12 by the beginning of camp. Registration fee is $230 and the deadline is Friday, May 23. Registration information can be found on www.dioceseduluth.org or by contacting Annette at (218) 724-9111 or [email protected].

Native ministry institute

Basic Directions in Native Ministry is a seven-day institute for personnel who are beginning or wanting to learn about native ministry. The institute will be held at the Sioux Spiritual Center in Howes, S.D., June 16-23. There will be 31 hours of classwork associated with the institute. Space is limited. The cost for the institute is $800, which includes room (double occupancy), meals and materials. A $50 deposit is required with the application along with a letter of recommendation from the applicant’s pastor or supervisor. The deposit is non-refundable after May 15. For more information about the institute and registration, contact Father Peter Etzel, S.J., director, Sioux Spiritual Center, 20100 Center Road, Howes, SD 57748-7703, or contact him at (605) 985-5906 or by email at [email protected].

Tekakwitha Conference

The 75th anniversary Tekakwitha Conference will be held at the Ramada Plaza and Suites, Fargo, N.D., from July 23-27. This yearly conference is frequently referred to as a “family reunion.” Catholic Native Americans hailing from all over the USA and Canada converge on the host city to enjoy each other’s company and celebrate their Christian faith. Visit the website www.tekconf.org for conference information. Or contact Sister Marie Rose Messingschlager, CDP, at the Pastoral Center, (218) 724-9111 or any diocesan Kateri Circles (St. Charles Church in Cass Lake, Holy Family Church in Cloquet, St. Mary Church in Deer River and St. Benedict’s Church in Duluth).

Camp Survive

Camp Survive will be held Aug. 4-8 at Big Sandy Camp, McGregor. This week of traditional camp activities includes learning the deeper meaning of the Mass. For students that have completed grades 6-8. Registration fee is $240, deadline is Monday, July 21. Please note: Registration capacity often fills before the registration deadline. Registration information can be found on www.dioceseduluth.org or by contacting Annette at (218) 724-9111 or [email protected].

Spiritual journey to Europe

Join Bishop Paul Sirba of Duluth and Father Tony Wroblewski for 12 days on a spiritual journey to the Czech Republic and Poland from Sept. 8–19. Walk in the footsteps of the newly canonized St. John Paul. The journey will include visits to Prague, Svata Hora, Velehrad, Czestochowa, Krakow, Divine Mercy, Zakopane and more. Cash discount price is $3,999. To receive a free color brochure and registration form, email your name address, phone number (indicate if home, office or mobile phone number please), along with your email address, to Father Tony at [email protected], or simply call the Brainerd Area Catholic Churches office at (218) 822-4040.

‘Blessed Ireland’ tour

Father Charles Flynn will guide the “Blessed Ireland” tour, to be held Sept. 20 through Oct. 1. Circle the island of Ireland in this all-inclusive 13-day tour. For a full-color brochure, write to Rev. Charles P. Flynn, Box 586, Eveleth, MN 55734 or email him at [email protected].

‘Taste of China’ trip

Again, Father Dave Tushar is offering the opportunity to experience a true “Taste of China,” visiting Beijing, Xi’an and Shanghai from Tuesday, Nov. 4, to Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014. Arrangements are through Hua Travel, a Chinese agency specializing in small group tours. This is not a pre-packaged tour, but a customized small group tour with the same experienced Chinese tour guide during the entire trip. Trip includes round trip air (economy booking) with Delta from Duluth, accommodations at five-star hotels with buffet breakfasts and first class speedy trains for travel within China. References from the 2013 tour are available. For information, a brochure and pricing, please call Father Tushar at (218) 384-4563. Deadline: July 1, 2014.

 

Kyle Eller: Becoming Catholic — my story

By Kyle Eller
Mere Catholicism

Ten years ago this month, by God’s grace, I was received into the Catholic Church by Bishop Dennis Schnurr at the Easter Vigil at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary in Duluth.

Kyle Eller

Kyle Eller
Mere Catholicism

I could never finish counting the blessings God has bestowed on me, his prodigal son, since then. I think back to all the Communions and confessions. God has been present with me in joy and sorrow, faithful even when I haven’t been. He has brought healing and clarity beyond whatever I could expect. He has brought graces to my marriage.

Too many people to name have walked with me and blessed me. I often walk into church events, even if I’m working at them, and feel like I’m at once at the hidden heart of the world and among family.

I was wondering what I could say about this anniversary when I remembered I have never really tried to write my conversion story here. So here goes.

Belief starts with beauty

I was baptized and raised in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, where I first learned about God, first learned to pray, first learned the Bible, first learned to love God. I remember as a little child sitting under a tree near the church parking lot, right on the quiet street where I lived, looking at the beautiful morning and doubting: Did I really believe in this invisible God? The beauty of the blue sky and the clouds convinced me.

I grew into a devout child, but by the time I was deep into high school, a bit angry and troubled, I was already losing my faith. I was “too smart” for all that.

The crisis escalated in college, where I encountered philosophical challenges to faith in a robust way for the first time. I encountered many people who called themselves Christian and said they believed the Bible but held radically different beliefs from mine. I encountered challenges to Scripture itself in Gnostic writings and skeptical scholarship.

I had been taught well what to believe, but not so well why. To be honest, I also didn’t look very hard. Christian moral beliefs were becoming rather inconvenient. I did not want to cast my lot among the “intolerant.”

I never could really bring myself to be an atheist. I still found the world too full of wonder and beauty to imagine it was all meaningless, random chance then then you die.

A time of searching

So I became a spiritual seeker, picking and choosing from various religious traditions what suited me. Out of college and on my own and then married, I finally became, well, a New Age, agnostic, liberal, vegan, pacifist, Buddhist relativist.

I was full of pride. I thought I had all the answers, or soon would. I had what I looked on with a strange sadness as an impregnable fortress of argument against Christianity and did not want to be bothered with it.

I was not the likeliest candidate for conversion. But God had planted seeds all along. Late in high school, losing my faith, I had gone to St. John’s Abbey for a couple of choral events and had a powerful experience of the presence of God as I sat quietly between rehearsals reading a little New Testament I inexplicably brought with me. (I wonder now if the Blessed Sacrament was present.)

The experience lingered and enticed. There was an unknown world of Catholicism. I would even stop in to Mass sometimes in college and after graduating, perhaps hoping.

Maybe that’s why in my spiritual seeking I also picked up the new Catechism of the Catholic Church when it was released. I just glanced at it, took a few things I liked and put it on a shelf.

Then there were my pro-life convictions, which didn’t fit with my relativism or with most of the people who shared my view of life. Yet the harder I looked, the more convinced I was that if abortion is not wrong, nothing is. I could never quite fit anywhere.

Last but certainly not least I had a patient, praying wife.

A time of discovery

Conversion happened in a moment. There was no great crisis. Just one day I was convicted with the certainty that what I had been doing was never going to work, was never going to make me happy, was never going to save me. Given my pride, I am convinced this sudden rush of humility could only have come from God.

So I took the catechism from the shelf and read about the evidences for God, just a couple of paragraphs. It summarized whole library shelves worth of philosophy but seemed to have been written in rebuttal to my most central philosophical mistake, the one at the deepest root of my doubts. I watched my whole fortress crumble, and I became a theist in that moment.

From there I literally had to start from scratch. Who is Jesus? Why do people believe the Bible? And if Jesus is God and the Bible is true, which church is the right one?

I began to read a lot, finally getting the other side of the arguments, the ones for faith. Still, which doctrines were true? Which church was the right one? I was drawn to Catholicism, but I worried I was just talking myself into another fad for the sake of being different.

There is so much I could say about that process, but one of the most important moments came with a self-realization in the middle of “church shopping.” I was not a linguist or a great Bible expert or a student of the church fathers and councils or even the arguments of the Reformation. Who was I to decide these thorny doctrinal questions, some of them of critical importance? Hadn’t I got into so much trouble in the first place by prizing my own judgment above all?

As I reflected on it, I realized the problem goes all the way to the bottom. Even if I became a great expert, there would always still be someone equally smart, knowledgeable and sincere who believed the opposite of my conclusions. It became clear why God had entrusted the job of teaching the faith to the church, not just to a book.

There is so much more I could say, but already I have written too long. Thank you to the many of you who have walked with me these last 10 years.

Kyle Eller is editor of The Northern Cross. Reach him at [email protected].

News Roundup (April 10, 2014)

Here is a roundup of some things making headlines on April 10, 2014, as collected by the staff of The Northern Cross. Today, the Vatican and law enforcement work together on human trafficking, the U.S. bishops call for action on unemployment benefits, students at St. Thomas School in International Falls make the honor roll, and the USCCB offers resources on the Girl Scouts.

Pope Francis on Twitter today (Twitter)

@Pontifex: Jesus teaches us to not be ashamed of touching human misery, of touching his flesh in our brothers and sisters who suffer. (EG 270).  

Vatican, civil authorities join forces to oppose human trafficking (CNA, USCCB, CNS)

Church and law enforcement officials gathered in Rome to discuss methods for the eradication of human slavery, which Pope Francis called “a wound on the body of contemporary society, a scourge upon the body of Christ“ and “a crime against humanity.” The Holy Father also met with victims. Read more >> What the USCCB is doing >> Watch >>



USCCB calls for action supporting unemployment insurance (USCCB)

A temporary extension of emergency unemployment benefits passed the U.S. Senate and is now in the House. Contact your representatives >>

St. Thomas School posts honor role (International Falls Journal)

Diocesan school announces list of academic achievers. Read more >>

USCCB releases resource guide on Girl Scouts for Catholic parishes (CNS)

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has been in dialogue with the Girl Scouts over various controversies and has now issued some guidelines. Read more >>

Vatican launches media center for Easter and canonization celebrations (Vatican News)

Broadcasters are gearing up to bring two of the biggest events of the year — Easter in Rome and the canonizations of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II — to millions of viewers worldwide. Read more >> More from the USCCB >>

News Roundup, April 9

News Roundup, April 9

‘Nobody like you!’ (CNS)

How did the pope respond when a man in the crowd shouted to him that there was no one like him? Watch >>

 

Pope honors Jesuit priest killed in Syria with plea for end to violence (CNS)

Pope Francis says the killing of a 75-year-old Dutch priest in Syria who was loved and esteemed by Christians and Muslims alike and stayed in the war-torn country to help the poor and homeless “filled me with deep sadness.” Read more >> 

Love coffee? Thank a 16th century pope (Catholic Exchange)

A columnist for Catholic Exchange writes that while coffee is an Islamic invention, Pope Clement VIII’s blessing paved the way for it to become a favorite in Christian Europe and beyond. Read more >> 

Pope Francis begins new catechesis series on the gifts of the Holy Spirit (CNS)

In his general audience today, Pope Francis began a series of talks on the gifts of the Holy Spirit, beginning with the gift of wisdom: “seeing the world, situations, circumstances and problems with God’s eyes.” Read story >> Full text >>

News Roundup: April 8

Here are some of the things making headlines in the church and the world today today.

House, Senate agree on minimum wage increase (Duluth News Tribune)

Under new legislation the minimum wage in the state of Minnesota would get a major hike, up to $9.50/hr for large businesses by 2016. Read more ....

Pope: Cross isn’t an ornament, Christianity isn’t a do-gooder’s guide (CNS)

The cross ... “isn’t an ornament” that is just placed in churches and on altars, and “it’s not a symbol” of identification, Pope Francis said.

“The cross is the mystery, the mystery of God’s love, who lowers himself, who makes himself ‘nothing’” and takes on humanity’s sins, he said. Read more ....

Supreme Court declines to hear religious freedom photography case (CNA)

The U.S. Supreme Court will not hear a case involving a small New Mexico photography business that was sued over refusing to work a same-sex commitment ceremony in 2006. This allows to stand a lower-court decision that said compromising one’s religious beliefs is “the price of citizenship.” Read more ....

March for Marriage set for June 19 (USCCB)

The second March for Marriage, organized by the National Organization for Marriage to defend marriage between a man and a woman, will be held in Washington, D.C., on June 19. Read more ....

On Holy Thursday, pope will wash feet of elderly and disabled (Zenit)

Last year on Holy Thursday, Pope Francis washed the feet of prisoners in a juvenile prison in Rome. Today it was announced that he will wash the feet of the elderly and disabled in the same part of the city. Read more ....

Logo for papal visit, Credit: Archdiocese of Seoul, South Korea

Vatican announces logo, motto for papal trip to Korea (CNA)

Pope Francis is scheduled to visit South Korea in August — the first time a pope has visited the country in 25 years — and the Holy See has released the logo and motto for the trip. Read more ....

 

Bishop Paul Sirba: It’s been one busy Lent in our diocese

By Bishop Paul Sirba
Fiat Voluntas Tua

I was just getting used to the snow and now it is melting. I look forward to spring, but I remain much more hopeful about the Lord’s Resurrection.

We are blest in the Northland because nature itself reflects the glories of the Risen Lord — buds bursting, birds singing and all that comes with new life. This issue of The Northern Cross comes just before Holy Week, and I pray that this has been a fruitful Lent for you.

I know I am grateful to God for a number of diocesan gatherings this past month. Our third annual Men’s Conference with Chris Padgett was a great success. At over 430 strong, the men of the diocese prayed together, listened to Chris’ dynamic presentations and resolved to take what they had learned and be men of faith, brothers in Christ.

Our second annual Women’s Conference was likewise a blessing for the diocese. I’m not sure who had the better lunch (they were both quite good!), but the women enthusiastically gathered at Queen of Peace in Cloquet for a day of prayer and reflection. The speaker was Pat Gohn, who spoke on the themes from her book, “Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious: Celebrating the Gift of Catholic Womanhood.”

We celebrated the Rite of Election on the First Sunday of Lent. Men and women from around our diocese, along with their sponsors, catechists and family members, gathered in our Cathedral for this beautiful ceremony. Please continue to hold the elect and the candidates in your prayers and make them feel welcome as fully initiated Catholics!

Thank you to our pastors, principals and school families, as well as those concerned about social justice issues, who joined the bishops at the State Capital for our annual “Day on the Hill.” We exercised our religious liberty and advocated our Catholic positions on non-public school choice, against payday lending and human trafficking, and on a broad range of issues. We are called to be gracious but firm in promoting laws which uphold the dignity of the human person, the right to life and religious liberty.

Welcomed at many parishes

I have had the privilege of celebrating the Lenten Sundays visiting parishes I have not been to for a few years. My travels took me to St. Luke’s in Sandstone, Holy Cross in Orr, Sacred Heart in Hackensack, St. Charles in Cass Lake, Our Lady of Fatima in Garrison, Holy Family in Hillman, All Saints in Baxter and St. Emily’s in Emily.

I thank the parishioners for their warm welcome and the pastors for adjusting their schedules and plans.

One pastor, who will go unnamed, but he shares my last name, was kind enough to share a written copy of the homily he would have given to his parishioners had I not come.

Made a confession yet?

Our preparations for Holy Week and the Paschal Triduum would not be complete without the celebration of the Sacrament of Penance. It is a sheer grace of Almighty God that His mercy is so extravagantly manifest in confession. There is still time to make a good confession before Easter. Check you parish bulletin for confession times.

I encourage every member of the diocese to partake of the liturgies of Holy Week. These are the holiest days of the church year.

All of us should try our best to celebrate Palm Sunday, the Chrism Mass on Monday of Holy Week at our Cathedral, the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, the Passion of the Lord on Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday.

Make the high holy days a priority in your life!

News Roundup, April 7, 2014

Here are some of the things making headlines across the Catholic world.

Pope Francis: God's mercy lovingly heals the wounds of sin

Pope Francis’ homily on Monday drew on the Gospel account of the woman caught in adultery. “How many of us,” the pope said, “should perhaps go to hell? And the condemnation would be just … but He forgives and goes beyond. How? With this mercy!”

Pope, at Angelus, reminds faithful of Jesus’ promise that ‘whoever lives and believes in me will never die’

“Our resurrection begins here: when we decide to obey this command of Jesus, going out into the light, into life; when the masks fall from our face — often we are masked by sin, the masks must fall! — and we rediscover the courage of our true face, created in the image and likeness of God.”

Church helping Rwanda heal, 20 years after genocide

Twenty years after the African nation of Rwanda was ripped apart by genocide, the church is still involved in efforts to bring peace and reconciliation. Perpetrators say that apologizing and receiving forgiveness has lifted a burden from their heart and allowed them to rest, while victims say that granting forgiveness allows them to heal and move forward with their lives.

Blessed John Paul II saw prayer as first duty of pope

 Italian Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, who worked closely with Blessed John Paul II, says the late pontiff saw praying for the church and the world was his main duty as pope.

Mozilla head's resignation over marriage stance sparks outcry

Brendan Eich, inventor of JavaScript and co-founder of Mozilla, the organization that makes the Firefox Web browser, resigned after a brief term as CEO of the organization due to pressure from groups upset he donated money for California’s Prop 8, which defined marriage as between a man and a woman.