Friday, March 31, 2006

St Paul-Mpls Archdiocese Flunks USCCB Child Protection Guidelines

Months of local controversy over proposed sex-abuse prevention programs in the Roman Catholic Church have left the Twin Cities archdiocese out of compliance with the U.S. bishops' child-protection guidelines, according to a national report released Thursday.

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis was one of 22 U.S. dioceses — out of 191 surveyed — not fully meeting requirements of the bishops' guidelines, which require that dioceses offer "safe-environment" programs to all children, parents, educators, staff and clergy to help prevent abuse. Thanks to the PPD Here

Fargo also failed to be in compliance with the requirements.

Amy Welborn of Open Book has comments and articles from the Washington Post, the Washington Times, Zenit and links to the audit and the John Jay Report.

The new blog from the Primary Educators League in Minnesota referred to in this article!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

SD Tribe to Allow Abortions if Ban Passes

Tribal Rights: First Cigarettes, then Bingo and Casinos, now this. Not good!

Pierre, SD ( -- A South Dakota Indian tribe is throwing a monkey wrench into the state's plans to ban virtually all abortions in the state. Should the ban become law, one tribe says it will open up an abortion business on their tribal lands, which wouldn't be subjected to the abortion ban.

Cecilia Fire Thunder, president of the Oglala Sioux tribe of South Dakota, says Sioux nation sovereignty means the new ban doesn't apply. As a result, she said she will lead an effort to build a Planned Parenthood abortion center at the Pine Ridge Reservation. Thanks to The Cafeteria is Closed who gave the link to

Don't Miss "The Great Silence" when it is in Town!

This is one foreign film that doesn't need subtitles!

The original title in German is “Die Grosse Stille,” the great silence. It is a title that is more than appropriate for 162 uninterrupted minutes of pure contemplation. The soundtrack is made only of the chiming of bells, nighttime psalmody, footsteps, wind, rain, and very little else.

It’s just like the passage of God in the First Book of Kings, 19:11-13:

“And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and powerful wind tore through the mountains, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. After the fire, there was the whispering of a gentle wind.”

These words – like others in the Bible that are no less powerful – appear on the screen repeatedly throughout the film. But these repetitions are always fresh, like the liturgies in Gregorian chant, the seasons of nature, and the daily lives of the monks of the Grande Chartreuse. Thanks to Sandro Magister

Because the only characters in the film are the monks of the Grande Chartreuse monastery of Grenoble, in the French Alps, the mother of all the Carthusian monasteries in the world.

"Sophie Scholl, the Final Days" at the Lagoon

Opening March 31

True story of Sophie, her brother Hans and fellow students at the University of Munich who created their own resistance movement, the White Rose, to Hitler and the Nazi government in the later years of WWII. Excellent Reviews, probably in German with subtitles. At the Lagoon Theater in Uptown, Minneapolis. (Great Restroom ratings for the Lagoon - )
Official Movie Web Site One Week Only!! 2:00, 4:30 7:00 9:30 Dolby Sound

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

MN’s first Hispanic Catholic Parish marks 75 years

Our Lady of Guadalupe began in 1931 as a storefront mission church on Wabasha Street in St. Paul after the Guild of Catholic Women discovered that many Mexican-American families living on the lower West side flats were not receiving the sacraments.

People from the Spanish-speaking community flocked to the tiny storefront church until 1937, when Our Lady of Guadalupe moved to a nearby building that also housed a pool hall and bar. Eventually, the parish purchased the building and added a rectory and classrooms.
Over the years, Our Lady of Guadalupe has grown from a handful of Mexican immigrant families to 1,200 families from many Latino cultures. While new immigrants continue to be welcomed at the parish, some families have been members of Our Lady of Guadalupe for five generations. See the Catholic Spirit for more.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Another Catholic News Source

Here's another fine source for news on the Catholic scene here in the Twin Cities - Catholic Newsnet.

April's update features events around the area (including, unfortunately, more on the problems we've been having here lately), news from the Archdiocese and around the nation, meditations on the Rosary, pilgrimage info, and much more. The site also promises additional information on Divine Mercy events in the Twin Cities as they become available.

One upcoming event I want to highlight in particular is the Marian Eucharistic Congress in Fargo on October 13-15, 2006, titled, “I Am With You Always.” Catholic Newsnet reports:
Some of the featured speakers are: Bishop Aquila from Fargo, Father Robert Altier, Father Andrew Apostoli, Father Benedict Groeschel (in person), Johnette Benkovic, Dan Lynch, Sister Briege McKenna, Father Mitch Pacwa, Michael O’Brien, and a number of other excellent guests. Brochures should be in the mail shortly.

Sites like this are a great addition to our information gathering, and underlines the importance of keeping all Catholics in the information loop. We need to share what we know among ourselves, and with as many people as we know. Misinformation is one of the great problems we face today, and this is another piece of the education puzzle that can help us out of it.

Mnneapolis' Risen Christ School Spring Fund-Raiser

Banding together in 1993, the south Minneapolis Parishes of Holy Name, Holy Rosary, Incarnation, St. Albert the Great and St. Stephens have created the K-8 Risen Christ School to serve their families

Its students reflect the social and cultural diversity of the city and the South Minneapolis neighborhoods. More than 78% of our students are children of color, representing the African American, Hispanic, and Hmong communities, among others. 50% are Catholic, and more than 50% receive financial assistance.

Cloth image of Our Lady of Guadalupe to come to Sioux City

Many people throughout the world have developed a love for Our Lady of
Guadalupe, the pregnant mother of God who appeared to Juan Diego of
Mexico in 1531. The Blessed Mother miraculously left her image on the
tilma - cloak - of Diego.

An exact digital replica of that image, The Missionary Image of
Our Lady of Guadalupe will be in Sioux City on April 1. Among
the activities planned include a 1 p.m. rosary led by Bishop R.
Walker Nickless at Trinity

"The image is four-by-six-feet in size," described Stanek. It is an
exact digital image that was reproduced on cloth similar to the original tilma.

Not too late for you to take part in some Fish or Soup Suppers

St Paul Minneapolis Area locations where something yummy for the tummy is available on Fridays!

Catholic high school proposed in St Croix Cty, WI

HUDSON -- A new initiative is underway to create a four-year Catholic high school that would have up to 400 students, likely in a central location in western St. Croix County.

The ninth-through-12th grade school aims to be diocesan, faith-based, accessible to all income levels, and open as early as fall 2008. Superior Catholic Herald

Prayer connected to late night eating binges and "prayer-driving"

A mystery has been solved at Graced Space Retreat Center in Minnesota: the mystical life can result in late night binge eating.
"We realized that the practice of contemplative, or centering prayer in the evening, which we teach extensively in our center, clearly opens one's consciousness to food. 98% of those surveyed who practice centering prayer report eating at some point afterward. Additionally, this explains why Weight Watchers hasn't done a dang thing for anyone on our staff," he asserted.

Welcome to brand new blogger, even newer than us, The Ironic Catholic

Monday, March 27, 2006

Mother’s Day 2006: A Call to Catholic Action

From the Dakota Voice

LINCOLN, Nebraska, March 25 -- On May 14, 2006, the Family Life Office of the Diocese of Lincoln, NE, and The Leaven, a Catholic lay apostolate, will co-sponsor a grassroots-inspired celebration in honor of the spiritual maternity inherent to the unique, feminine nature and vocation of women.

Victim's relatives object to being used in archdiocesan 'gay-culture' fight

A longtime critic of the Twin Cities Catholic archdiocese has enlisted the memory of a murdered Hudson, Wis., funeral home director in his fight against what he calls a "gay culture" in the church. Dr. David Pence, who two years ago led a group of men in blocking gay-rights supporters from receiving Holy Communion at the Cathedral of St. Paul, recently formed the Dan O'Connell Society to make his case.

But family members of O'Connell, killed in 2002 likely by Wisconsin priest Ryan Erickson, have objected to the use of his name and threatened legal action unless Pence stops using it. Read more in the PPD

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Archdiocesan End of Life Conference

Heads up on an outstanding workshop that every Catholic in the area should consider attending.

It's the Archdiocesan End of Life Conference, being held in two separate presentations next weekend at two locations in St. Paul. The subtitle is "Care and Treatment for Compromised Patients or Patients at the End of Life," and it might sound kind of dry, but I'd urge everyone who can to attend. It's not only of acedemic interest, not only of interest to those who care about the direction our society is going in (take the first reading from this Sunday, for example, to see what might happen to us), but virtually all of us will be forced to confront end of life issues, whether for ourselves, our spouses and loved ones, our parents, or others.

The presenter for this conference is Fr. Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D., Director of Education at the National Catholic Bioethics Center. The even brochure describes him as "a neuroscientist, moral theologian, bioethicist and priest of the Diocese of Fall River, MA." I've heard nothing but good things about him, not only regarding his qualifications, but also that he is a dynamic and informative speaker, knowledgeable in the extreme, generous with his time.

You have two chances to attend this conference - Friday, March 31 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Cathedral of St. Paul, or Saturday, April 1 from 9:00 a.m. to noon, at Nativity of Our Lord Church (corner of Stanford and Prior Avenues in St. Paul).

Pre-registration is important in order to make sure you receive the packet of materials the archdiocese has prepared. Register by March 30 by calling 651-291-4515 or send an email to

Bishop Gumbleton's Visit to Minneapolis has been Cancelled due to Illness

It was announced this morning at the Basilica of St Mary, my parish, in Minneapolis, that the scheduled presentation for Tuesday night by retired Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Gumbleton of Detroit has been cancelled. Apparently the Bishop is ill and under his doctor's instructions not to do any travelling.

The subject of the presentation of the controversial Bishop, who often spoke on Peace and Justice issues, was to have been "Is There Room For Me In This Church?" The 75 year old Bishop recently had revealed that he had been abused by a priest when he was a child. See here for a Google search on him.

Prayers for his health are in order, no matter what you think of some of his positions.

'Fighting Irish' name not found offensive? How about the 'Fighting Sioux?'

Fans of the "Fighting Sioux" of the U of North Dakota in Grand Forks wonder if they are being treated fairly by the NCAA which wants them to drop that name. But Notre Dame is under no such mandate. How did we get on this sports kick today? Well one Catholic Irishman is upset.
'Fighting Irish' moniker found offensive - Viewpoint

We usually don't cover sports here (unless the Vikings win the Super Bowl, which would be classified as a miracle), but . . .

St. John's Gagliardi to coach grandson of former player

In 57 years of coaching football, John Gagliardi has won more games than any other college football coach. He's also stuck around long enough to coach dozens of athletes who are the sons of former players. Now, at 79, the legendary St. John's University coach is about to reach what could be a singular milestone.

This fall, for the first time in his career and maybe the first time in the career of any college football coach, Gagliardi will get the chance to coach the grandson of one of his former players.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Catholics find spiritual guidance at UNI's St. Stephen’s

With more than 600 registered students, the Catholic Student Association claims the status of the largest student organization on the University of Northern Iowa campus.

Many students approach St. Stephen’s looking to continue the faith that is already a strong part of their lives before starting college. Some are searching for something to pull them out of a perpetual spiritual rut they fell into a long time ago. Still others discover a connection in the community that they had not even realized had been missing before.

The First 21st Century Super-Heroes? Let Us Pray!

A chisel-jawed man with flowing chestnut-brown locks, rippling muscles and a penchant for "endless parties" stares from the cover of the latest comic book. This is not Superman or one of the traditional superheroes, but St Francis of Assisi, the pious 13th century monk who became the Roman Catholic patron saint of animals and the environment. This is sainthood: comic book style. The UK's Telegraph has the story.

What the Twin Cities Catholic Blog-O-Sphere is Saying

The Church Online has provided a bunch of links relating to Twin Cities groups.

"Finally, a forum in the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis willing to openly discuss the root cause of the priestly abuse scandals: lavender pretenders and the culture which supports them."


Thanks to Dan from Faithmouse

Friday, March 24, 2006

Rally, April 2, 3:00, Be There!

A Preacher on FIRE!

I have seen the DVD mentioned, "Three Paths to Holiness" and highly recommend it! This priest has a gift, and we the faithful really need to FLOOD this auditorium to hear him speak.

(I apologize for the links...for some reason, the link feature only provides a blank space. I think it must be my operating system.)

Mundelein theologian to give annual Habiger Lecture here March 27

Father Robert Barron, an award-winning author and theologian at the University of St. Mary of the Lake-Mundelein Seminary near Chicago, will discuss “Why St. Augustine’s Understanding of God Still Matters” in a lecture at the University of St. Thomas.

Barron will speak at 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 27, in O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium on the university’s St. Paul campus. The talk, the eighth annual Joseph and Edith Habiger Lecture in Catholic Studies, is free and open to the public.

Father Robert Barron
A professor of systematic theology, Barron, 46, received his master’s in philosophy from the Catholic University of America and his doctorate in theology at the Institut Catholique de Paris.

He is the author of many journal essays and half a dozen books on theology and spirituality. His 1997 Thomas Aquinas: Spiritual Master and 2003 The Strangest Way: Walking the Christian Path both won Catholic Press Association Book Awards. His most recent book is the 2004 Bridging the Great Divide: Musings of a Post-Liberal, Post-Conservative, Evangelical Catholic.

Last summer he published a DVD titled Untold Blessings: The Three Paths of Holiness. He frequently leads retreats and workshops on spirituality and hosts a program on Relevant Radio.

The annual Habiger lecture, sponsored jointly by St. Thomas and St. John's University in Collegeville, is named for the parents of Monsignor James Habiger, who stepped down in 1995 after 15 years as executive director of the Minnesota Catholic Conference.

Now a part-time chaplain at St. Thomas, he had served Minnesota parishes in Austin, Winona and Rochester, was superintendent of education for the Diocese of Winona for 16 years and was a high-school principal at Winona Cotter High School for four years.

For more information about Barron’s talk, call the St. Thomas Center for Catholic Studies at (651) 962-5700.

The NY Times on Saturday has published an article on Father Barron's activities as head of that archdiocese's evangelization initiative, Mission Chicago 2006

Audio files on Father Barron's missions are available here.

A Good Shepherd --- Bishop Carlson Making Waves in Saginaw

Bishop Robert J. Carlson, former Auxiliary for St. Paul-Minneapolis and former Bishop of Sioux Falls has been Bishop of Saginaw, MI, since February of 05. He's making waves by considering subsidizing the Saginaw municipal budget to the tune of two police officers, revamping the parochial education system by requesting parishioners contribute 5% of their income to education (adjusted by parish by ability to pay) and 2% to the parish, and has put the kibosh on the long-standing Saginaw practice of having lay ministers preach the homily at Mass. Apparently there is quite a shortage of priests over there, as the diocese has 17 female pastoral administrators and 252 commissioned lay ministers. Thanks to the Prairie Priest in Sioux Falls.

Prayers "blegged"

One of our Northland bloggers could use some prayerful assistance in obtaining employment.

Wisconsin to vote on Marriage Amendment in November

On Nov. 7, Wisconsin residents will vote on a referendum to amend the state constitution to say: "Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state."

WI Catholic bishops pleased same-sex marriage goes to voters

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Rapid City Fifth of Nation's Dioceses in Seminarians per capita

Bettnet's Domenico Bettinelli, editor of Catholic World Report, has posted an article on seminary enrollments that appeared in an article in that magazine last summer. The data is for 2004. Here are some extracts that relate to the Northland dioceses:

The dozen dioceses with the highest ratio of seminarians to Catholics, according to statistics published in the 2004 edition of The Official Catholic Directory, are Lincoln, Nebraska; Yakima Washington; Savannah, Georgia; Cheyenne, Wyoming; Rapid City, South Dakota; Wichita, Kansas; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Alexandria, Louisiana; Pensacola-Tallahassee, Florida; Steubenville, Ohio; Spokane, Washington; and Bismarck, North Dakota.
Rapid City vocation director Father Brian Christensen recalls that Bishop Harold Dimmerling, who died in 1987, composed a prayer for vocations that has been recited weekly in every parish since the 1980s.
The nation’s 13 most vocation-rich dioceses all have fewer than 200,000 Catholics. The most vocation-rich larger dioceses are Denver (14th), Omaha (30th), Chicago (41st), Atlanta (43rd), and La Crosse, Wisconsin (44th). The most vocation-rich dioceses with more than 500,000 Catholics are Chicago, Washington (63rd), St. Paul and Minneapolis (64th), and Cincinnati (77th). Of dioceses with over 1,000,000 Catholics, only Chicago and Newark (80th) have vocation rates above the national median.
Every diocese along the western two-thirds of the Canadian border (except for Seattle), on the other hand, has an above-average vocation rate, as do all the dioceses of the Dakotas, Minnesota, Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. These factors transcend American political divisions: while the pro-Bush "red states," in general, tend to be more vocation-rich than the pro-Kerry blue states, some "red" dioceses are vocation-poor, and the most pro-Kerry area in Minnesota is located in the Diocese of Duluth, the state’s most vocation-rich diocese (16th).
In 2001, the year Bishop Sullivan (who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease) received a coadjutor, Fargo had 42 seminarians and a ratio of one seminarian to 2,356 Catholics-a rate higher than Lincoln’s is today. By 2003, the diocese had 22 seminarians; the number fell to 12 in 2004, a 71 percent decline over three years. With a ratio that now ranks 32nd in the nation, Fargo remains vocation-rich. In 2001, Bishop Samuel Aquila, former seminary rector in the vocation-rich Archdiocese of Denver, was named Fargo coadjutor bishop. Like Bishop Sullivan, Bishop Aquila has boldly proclaimed Catholic teaching on controversial issues of the day and has been praised for his leadership in confronting pro-abortion politicians and mandating orthodox catechetical materials for parish programs.
[snip] See the entire report here with a pdf file with all of the data.

St Paul Catholic Grocer from Vietnam Wins Defamation Lawsuit

Jury Awards 70-Year Old Tuan P{ham $659,000 in Defamation Suit Closely Watched Nationally; Former South Vietnamese War Prisoner and St. Paul Community Leader Lost His Business and Honor over Baseless Charges. The Business Wire covered it this way saying that Tuan Pham was host to a Bishop from Vietnam.

The PPD covered it this way, saying that just a priest was involved.

Most likely, there will be an appeal given the size of the award.

I don't know if they would come in handy at a Tridentine Mass. . .

But these handy Latin phrases are sure to be useful sometime or another!. Thanks to Scott at Viam Pacis

Minnesota For Marriage Rally at MN State Capitol

Scott at Viam Pacis was lucky enough to be able to attend the rally sponsored by the Minnesota Family Council and the ArchDiocesean Office for Family, Laity, Youth and Young Adults, with participation from Relevant Radio and KTIS at the state capital in St. Paul. See Here

Mostly it was an uplifting experience with a strong address by Jeff Cavins

Tom at tMichaelB has some nice comments on the polygamy issue which is sure to be introduced at the Legislature if gay marriages are ever legalized.

The Geezers at St. Joan's were at it again!

A Catholic theologian, renown [sic] feminist and ethicist, Mary Hunt conducted two illuminating workshops at St. Joan’s on February 17-18. The first, One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic: An Ecclesia for Our Children and Ourselves took place Friday evening in the SJA Church while the second, Catholic Is As Catholic Does: Strategies for Being Catholic In Challenging Times transpired Saturday in a three hour symposium held in the SJA Hospitality Hall
“Only ten percent of current candidates of seminarians are up to par in the Catholic Church today. 80% of our ministries consist of lay people,” offers Hunt. In liturgy, lay people aren’t allowed to speak at sermons. Low pay, long hours and little recognition continue to exhaust and disenfranchise the lay people of the church. “How do we get out of this religious mess?” demands Hunt. We need to embrace new models of ministry and face this terrible issue of heterosexism that is so rampantly controlling the decisions of the Church. Hunt offers “rethinking the center so people in the margins are taken more seriously.”
She feels that progressive Jews and Muslims relate better to a congregation than do fundamentalist Catholics. “An HIV-positive black woman with her baby at her breast is far more a symbol of unity than Cardinal Ratzinger,” opined Hunt.
Addressing financial funding, a consensus suggested that we start diverting money from one’s parish by starting a non-prophet [sic] organization. We have to educate people how real estate is divided up in the Church. We want to create the Ecclesia that we, the people, desire and where we have a say in how real estate is divided and who owns what.
Scripture should be the source for basing decisions of the Church but so equally should be the human experience as well as cosmology and science. Thanks to Adoro Te Devote who has some thoughts on the matter.

City Hall Evicts Easter Bunny

St. Paul civil rights chief says non-Christians might find the holiday decoration offensive

So long, Easter Bunny.

A toy rabbit decorating the entrance of the St. Paul City Council offices went hop-hop-hoppin' on down the bunny trail Wednesday after the city's human rights director said non-Christians might be offended by it.

The decorations — including the stuffed rabbit, Easter eggs and a handcrafted sign saying "Happy Easter," but nothing depicting the biblical account of Christ's death and resurrection — were put up this week in the office of the City Council by a council secretary.

Mitchell at Our Word has some well chosen thoughts on the story.

Considering that this story was one of the most read articles in the U.S. yesterday and today, 210 articles showing up on Google News, there was remarkably little creativity in headline writing:

St. Paul City Office Boots Easter Bunny
Harebrained offense
Look out, we might get rabbit punched by 'Daily Show'
One city’s bunny ban lays an egg
Be afraid, be very afraid
Easter Bunny Offensive?
Easter Bunny Evicted From St. Paul City Hall
Seperation Of Church And State Kills Easter Bunny [sic]
Easter bunny paraded out of City Hall
Easter Eviction at St. Paul City Hall
The Easter Bunny gets the boot
Easter Display Removed From St. Paul City Hall
Easter Bunny Banned From MN City Hall


One wonders why a city named Saint Paul, with streets named Cretin (Bishop), John Ireland (Archbishop), Galtier (Bishop) and St. Peter, would bother to observe the dictates of a bureaucrat. Can you imagine a judge telling a city that size that it would have to change its name? As much as they hate the Catholic Church, even the San Francisco Board of Supervisors doesn’t have that much courage.

Minnesota also has St. Croix, St. Peter, San Francisco, St. Anthony, St. Augusta, St. Bonifacius, St. Catherine’s, St. Charles, St. Clair, St. Cloud, St. Columba, St. Francis, St. George, St. Hilaire, St. Hubert, St. James, St. John’s, St. Joseph, St. Lawrence, St. Leo, St. Louis, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Mathias, St. Michael, St. Nicholas, St. Olaf, St. Paul Park, St. Albans, St. Pierre, St. Stephen, St. Vincent, St. Wendel, Hennepin (priest), St. Marie, etc. And of course many of those names are used in variation more than once.

We do have a small city named Sacred Heart. But they can get by with that one. It actually was intended to be "Sacred Hat", named after a trader who wore a bearskin hat. Being that the bear was a sacred animal to the Dakota, they naturally called him the Sacred Hat man. Somehow, like many of our ancestors' names when they arrived in this country, the name got changed to something different.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Relevant Radio has files on the new South Dakota Abortion Law

Sheila Liaugminas' interviews on Relevant Radio with Harold Cassidy on the "Challenge to Roe v. Wade in South Dakota" are important listening for anyone interested in this case, past, present and future, for Cassidy addresses the confusion and misconceptions (and low expectations) about this law that are out there, even within the pro-life community." Currently, Mr. Cassidy is counsel of record in cutting edge litigation in the Federal District Court in South Dakota and the United States Court of Appeals for the 8th circuit, in the matter of Planned Parenthood vs Mike Rounds, Alpha Center. That case will decide some of the most important factual and legal issues surrounding the protection of the rights of pregnant mothers. She also has a links there to "Report of the South Dakota Task Force to Study Abortion: A Closer Look and the "South Dakota Abortion Task Force Report." Thanks to Amy Welborn

Monday, March 20, 2006

Watch for the Rose Vestments on Laetare Sunday

Next Sunday, the Fourth Sunday of Lent has traditionally been called "Laetare Sunday" taken from the first Latin word of the Introit chant Laetare Jerusalem (Rejoice O Jerusalem and gather round all you who love her. . .). As we mark the penitential weeks of Lent, we celebrate the liturgy of this Sunday with a more joyous tone, including prelude and postlude music, and presidential prayers which include images articulating the "joyful season of Lent." Thanks to the St Olaf Parish Bulletin

We Missed It. Cardinal Dulles Was Here!

Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J., noted theologian at Fordham University, gave the annual Bishop Lucker Lecture for the Diocese of New Ulm at the Hutchinson Event Center on March 2. His topic was "Becoming a Community of Disciples." Fortunately, his remarks are available on the Diocesan web page in an Acrobat .pdf file..

Calendar of Events March 21 - 25

Thanks to The Catholic Spirit

Tuesday, March 21:

Rally for marriage at the state Capitol: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the state Capitol, St. Paul. Demonstrate support for the Minnesota Marriage Amendment. For information, call (651) 291-4488, or visit

Wednesday, March 22:

Organ recital series at Good Shepherd: 11:30 a.m. at Good Shepherd, 145 Jersey Ave. N., Golden Valley. (763) 544-0416, ext. 853.

Thursday, March 23:

Grief support group: 4 to 6 p.m. at Holy Name of Jesus, 155 County Road 24, Wayzata.Topic is “Moving On.” Sponsored by the West Suburban Grief Support Coalition. (612) 801-2491.

High school and college tuition planning seminar: 7 p.m. at St. Charles Borromeo School, 2727 Stinson Blvd. N.E., St. Anthony. For more information, call Education Resource Partners at (651) 246-1497.

Friday, March 24:

Lenten speaker series at Holy Family: 7 p.m. at Holy Family, 5900 W. Lake St., St. Louis Park. Stations of the Cross, followed by Dr. Stephen Najarian, who will speak on medical ethics for the end of life based on Catholic teaching.

‘Food for Folk’ dinner at St. Mark: 6 p.m. at St. Mark, 1983 Dayton Ave., St. Paul. Fundraiser for the Food for Folk project includes a salmon dinner, speaker and live music. Cost is $25 at the door. For tickets, call (612) 330-1624.

Speaker series at St. Helena: 7:30 to 9 p.m. at St. Helena, 3204 E. 43rd St., Minneapolis. John Boyle will speak on “St. Thomas More: A Model of Holiness for the Modern World.” (612) 729-7321.

Saturday, March 25:

X Committee presentation at Transfiguration: 3 p.m. at Transfiguration, 6133 15th St. N., Oakdale. The X Committee is a group of people who have experienced homelessness. Hosted by the Transfiguration Social Justice Ministry. (651) 738-2646.

Mirror of True Womanhood spring conference: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Providence Academy, 15100 Schmidt Lake Road, Plymouth. Cost is $55. For information, visit, or call (651) 714-9085.

‘Solanus’ at St. Mark: 7 p.m. — Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at St. Mark, 1956 Marshall Ave., St. Paul. A drama about the life and times of Father Solanus Casey. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children and children under 5 are free. (651) 645-5717.

Antique and collectibles sale at Immaculate Heart of Mary: 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and noon to 3 p.m. Sunday at Immaculate Heart of Mary, 1550 Summit Ave., St. Paul. Proceeds to support Habitat for Humanity. (651) 698-4782.

Rummage sale at Corpus Christi: 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Corpus Christi, 2131 Fairview Ave. N., Roseville. Proceeds benefit the retirement fund for the School Sisters of Notre Dame of Mankato. (651) 486-4823

Don't Miss:

“An Evening Affirming Human Life and the Family”
will be held March 25 at St. Helena, 3201 E. 43rd St., Minneapolis.

The event begins with social hour at 5 p.m., dinner at 6 p.m. followed by entertainment an a talk by Arthur Hippler, director of the Office of Justice and Peace for the Diocese of La Crosse, Wis.

Tickets are $25 per person and must be purchased by Thursday, March 23. Complimentary tickets are available by calling (612) 729-7321.

Friday, March 17, 2006

OK Bloggers, Now's Your Chance! Editorial Writing Contest!

The Catholic Spirit sponsors editorial writing contest

The Catholic Spirit is sponsoring an editorial writing competition for college and junior and senior high school students who live in or attend a school within the boundaries of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Legislative Initiatives of Minnesota Catholic Conference

As lawmakers begin to address a full slate of legislative initiatives at the state Capitol, Minnesota’s bishops say they hope two issues in particular will get attention this spring: marriage and immigration.

The state’s seven bishops, including Archbishop Harry Flynn and auxiliary Bishop Richard Pates of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, spoke about their legislative priorities with The Catholic Spirit during a group interview March 7 in St. Paul, where the bishops were meeting as the board of directors of the Minnesota Catholic Conference.

During the 30-minute interview, the bishops identified a wide range of issues that each said needs attention, including poverty, education and the need for more civility in public discourse. But most of the discussion focused on their efforts to uphold the traditional definition of marriage and protect the human rights of immigrants.

Alternatives on St. Thomas travel policy presented

A University of St. Thomas task force has presented the school's president with four alternatives for a formal travel policy, including one that prohibits unmarried employees who go on school trips from sharing rooms with people they have a "romantic relationship" with.

What can't you eat on St Patrick's Day?

If you absolutely have to have some corned beef today, or want to tell your co-workers about St Patrick's Day traditions, check out Amy Welborn's Open Book blog which has some fine information on these matters and more.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Vatican Group Checks Up On St Paul Seminary

A Vatican-appointed delegation visited The St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity and St. John Vianney College Seminary in St. Paul Feb. 19 to 24 to determine whether seminarians are being properly instructed.

St Thomas Faculty Senate Fails To Vote on Trip Policy

A resolution opposing an unwritten University of St. Thomas policy prohibiting unmarried employees from rooming together on school trips failed to pass the Faculty Senate on Tuesday.

Minnesota Events Being Discussed Elsewhere

Domenico Bettinelli, who is the Editor of Catholic World Report has his blog, based in the Boston area and apparently has a lot of people interested in some of the controversial goings on that happen to be occuring in the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis right now.

A March 20 event at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Minneapolis is sponsored by the Catholic Pastoral Committee on Sexual Minorities and opposes the protection of marriage and wants same-sex marriage legalized.
See Here

In addition, there is a very heated discussion going on with regard to the activities of the newly formed Dan O'Connell Society, founded by Dr. David Pence of Mankato who has also been associated the the group that has been active in demonstrating against the Rainbow Sashers in this Archdiocese. The O'Connell Society has named the names of three priests of the Archdiocese and is threatening to expose them for some unnamed offences by the end of Lent. See here for the heated discussions.

Daniel O'Connell was one of the alleged slaying victims of Father Ryan Erickson in a mortuary in Hudson, WI, last Fall.

The organization that Pence led with respect to the Rainbow Sash movement was the Ushers of the Eucharist.

Pro-Life News from South Dakota

Amy Welborn, owner of the most popular Catholic blog on the Internet, has a nice piece today on what has been going on in South Dakota with respect to their new Abortion Amendment.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Catholic Life in Downtown Minneapolis

Greetings from Mitchell at Our Word and Welcome to It! Ray has graciously invited Judie and I to contribute to his blog, and we're pleased to be along for the ride. There are some excellent members of this roundtable already, and we just hope to be able to keep up with them!

Ray's already written about the saint in Collegeville, so I thought I'd start out modestly, with a way we can all improve our chances of becoming saints. Did you know that St. Olaf Catholic Church, the downtown Minneapolis church, offers Eucharistic Adoration every Friday afternoon? It begins in the Chapel after the noon Mass, running until the 5:15 p.m. Mass. It's a great opportunity for those of us who work downtown to get away from the chaos and stress of the workplace for a few minutes, and spend some quiet time with our Lord.

I should also mention that St. Olaf also features Morning Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours following the 7:00 a.m. Mass Monday through Friday. Confessions are available after the morning Mass Monday through Friday, and after the noon Mass Tuesday and Thursday.

Believe me, this is a wonderful service being provided by St. Olaf. For those of us who are limited by time from attending our own parishes during the week, St. Olaf offers much to enrich the soul. Readers of Our Word know that from time to time I've pointed out aspects of St. Olaf that don't particularly appeal to me (the African Mass, for example), and it is worth noting that we aren't members of St. Olaf, even though it's about a 15 minute walk from where we live. But there's no question that having St. Olaf around has been spiritually enriching for me, and I'd encourage anyone who happens to work downtown to take advantage of what it has to offer.

Not sure where St. Olaf is? It's at the corner of 2nd Avenue and 8th Street, or you can check the map here.

Saint Buried In Collegeville

Just north of St. Cloud, Minn., there is something resting underneath a church that is even rarer than the relics of the departed saints that line the walls.

"Benedictines are rooted in history," said Br. Richard Oliver with St. John's Abbey. "We've been in one place for centuries at a time and so we sort of watch history go by around us. We keep an eye on it."
At St. John's Abbey, in Collegeville, Minn., people want to know about what is downstairs. Covered with silk and silver is the body of an actual saint, dating back to the year 192.

We're off!

Well, taking baby steps, I guess we're ready to start.

As you can see from the title above, I am gong to try to be a clearing house for news and activities, good and not so good, of Catholic Church activities that are going on in Minnesota and surround states. At the same time I want to give publicity to a lot of the smaller blogs working hard in the wilderness and maybe if we all work together, we all will get our messages out to more people.

Right now, it so happens that there is a lot of bad news regarding the Church and Minnesota. I don't intend so much for this to be a muckraking attempt, but more a place where people can come to get clearer answers as to actually is happening.

I have my opinions with respect to lots of things, but I will attempt to keep them muted and forgive me when I slip, for I am sure to. I will be inviting other area bloggers to advise, monitor and contribute items that they are
aware of. More later on that.

The reason that I'm starting tonight is not so much that I am ready but that I have found something, really neat, and worth mentioning: a real saint in Minnesota.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Good morning. I'm looking out at a Spring storm in Minneapolis, and it's still Winter for another eight days.