Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Twin Cities Area Parish Festivals


Parish Festivals – Fall 2012

July 21 — Burnsville: Summer Celebration at Mary, Mother of the Church following 4 p.m. Polka Mass, until 8:30 p.m. 3333 Cliff Rd. Visit
July 21 and 22 — Brooklyn Center: Fun Fest at St. Alphonsus, 7025 Halifax Ave. N., includes a classic car show, live music by the Dweebs, games, food and refreshments.
July 22 — Cedar Lake Township, near Jordan: Outdoor Mass at 10 a.m. at St. Patrick, 24425 Old Hwy. 13 Blvd., Jordan. Chicken dinner from 11a.m. to 2:30 p.m., antique tractor display, games and more.
July 28 and 29 — Shakopee: Julifest at St. Mark, 350 Atwood St. Polka Mass at 5 p.m. Saturday followed by a street dance from 7 to 11 p.m. Sunday features continuous entertainment from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
August 5 — Faribault: Spiritfest Family Festival at Divine Mercy. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 139 Mercy Drive.
August 5 — Dayton: Festival at St. John the Baptist from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 18380 Columbus St. Features a chicken dinner, wine tasting, carriage rides and more.
August 5 — Lonsdale: Parish festival at Immaculate Conception, 116 Alabama St. S.E. Features a roast beef and ham dinner from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., live music, games, ice cream stand and more.
August 10 to 12 — Columbia Heights: FunFest Summer Jam at Immaculate Conception, 4030 Jackson St. N.E. Hours are Friday 5 to 10 p.m., Saturday 4:30 to 10:30 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Outdoor Mass Sunday at 10 a.m. Also features live bands, food, inflatables and more.
August 11 and 12 — Long Lake: Corn Days at St. George features a Mexican fiesta from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Mass at 9:15 a.m. Sunday followed by a pancake breakfast and parade. Festival continues until 5 p.m. Sunday at the corner of Brown and Watertown Roads. Visit
August 11 and 12 — Brooklyn Park: Harvest Festival at St. Vincent de Paul, 9050 93rd Ave. N. Features live music food, rides and more. Faster than the Pastor 5K run Saturday at 8:30 a.m. Visit
August 11 and 12 — New Prague: Festival at St. Wenceslaus features a polka Mass at 5 p.m. Saturday followed by Euchre tournament, bean bag tournament and video game competition. Continues Sunday with polka Masses at 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. followed by a chicken dinner until 2:30 p.m. at 215 E. Main St. Also features games, raffles and music.
August 12 — St. Paul: Ice Cream Social from 1 to 3 p.m. at St. Agnes, 548 Lafond Ave. Enjoy food, ice cream, music by Bandana and games.
August 17 and 18 — St. Louis Park: Festival at Holy Family, 5900 W. Lake St. Dinner and auction Friday from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Continues Saturday from 2 to 10 p.m. with games, a chicken dinner, and live music. Visit
August 18 and 19 — Minneapolis: Festival at Ss. Cyril and Methodius, 1325 Second St. N.E. Outdoor Mass at noon Saturday followed by soccer and volleyball tournaments, food, and games. Bi-lingual Mass Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Followed by championship soccer game, food and more.
August 19 — Hampton: FunFest at St. Mathias, 23315 Northfield Blvd. Begins with Mass at 11 a.m. followed by food from noon to 3:30 p.m. Also features games, live music and more.
August 19 — Marystown (Shakopee): Fall festival at St. Mary of the Purification begins with Mass at 10 a.m. at 15850 Marystown Road, Shakopee. Smorgasbord/turkey dinner from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Features wall of wine, train rides, country store and more. Live music at 4 p.m.
August 19 — St. Bonifacius: Countryfest, hog roast and social at St. Boniface begins with a polka Mass at 10:30 a.m. followed by a roast pork dinner at 4025 Main St.
August 19 — Centerville: St. Genevieve parish picnic and chicken dinner from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 6995 Centerville Road.
August 24 to 26 — Buffalo: Glory Days at St. Francis Xavier, 223 19th St. N.W. Hours are 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Features fireworks on Friday and Saturday evenings and a turkey dinner Sunday. Visit
August 26 — Minneapolis: Heart of the North Side Festival at St. Bridget from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 3811 Emerson Ave. N. Features a pig roast, food, games and fun.
September 7 and 8 — Bloomington: St. Bonaventure fall festival at 901 E. 90th St. Features a chicken dinner Friday and a parade Saturday with free entertainment all day.
September 8 — Mahtomedi: Corn Fest at St. Jude of the Lake from 3 to 10 p.m. at 700 Mahtomedi Ave. Features climbing wall, games, crafts and more. Chicken dinner at 5:30 p.m.
September 8 — Annandale: Fall festival at St. Ignatius, 35 Birch St. E. Begins with a polka Mass at 4 p.m. followed by a chicken dinner, meat raffle, cake walk and more.
September 8 and 9 — Shoreview: Fall festival at St. Odilia, 3495 Victoria St. N. Hours are Saturday noon to 11 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. Features live music, inflatables, food and more. Visit
September 8 and 9 — White Bear Lake: Fall festival at St. Mary of the Lake begins Saturday at 3 p.m. with a 5K run/family walk at 4690 Bald Eagle Ave. Outdoor Mass at 5 p.m. followed by a spaghetti dinner. Sunday features a turkey dinner from noon to 2:30 p.m. Event also features a jewelry sale, wine toss, inflatables and more. Visit
September 9 — Stillwater: Wild rice festival at St. Mary features dinner from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 423 S. Fifth St. Games, quilts, bingo and more, visit
September 9 — St. Paul: Fall festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Sacred Heart, 840 Sixth St. E. Features Mexican and American foods, music and dancers.
September 14 to 16 — Oakdale: Fall festival at Transfiguration from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday features live country music, food, 5K walk/run and more at 6133 15th St. N. Continues Saturday from 3 to 11 p.m. with live music by The Dweebs at 8 p.m. Sunday outdoor Mass followed by a pork feast.
September 14 to 16 — Minneapolis: Autumn Daze at St. Helena, 3204 E. 43rd St. Hours are 6 to 10 p.m. Friday with fireworks at 10 p.m. Continues Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. with a parade at 10 a.m. and Sunday 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Features live entertainment, games and more.
September 15 — St. Paul: Annual Tent Event features a craft fair from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. Pascal Baylon, 1757 Conway St. Live music from Uncle Chunk and more from 6 p.m. to midnight. Tickets are $15.
September 15 — Minneapolis: St. Law­rence Church and Newman Center, 125th anniversary celebration and fall festival  from noon to 4 p.m. at 1203 Fifth St. S.E. Visit
September 15 and 16 — Jordan: Fall festival at St. John the Baptist, 210 Broadway. Polka Mass at 5 p.m. Saturday followed by live music. Fun continues Sunday at 9 a.m. with a chicken dinner, quilt auction, fun land for kids.
September 15 and 16 — Hastings: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish festival begins Saturday with Golf Fun Day at Hastings Country Club and Mass at 4:30 p.m. followed by movie night and entertainment. 11:30 a.m. Mass Sunday followed by activities for all ages, a chicken dinner and more at 2035 15th St. W. Visit
September 16 — Kilkenny: Fall festival at St. Canice, 183 Maple St. W. Mass at 10 a.m. followed by a chicken and ham dinner served until 2 p.m. Activities from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. include crafts, country store and more.
September 21 and 22 — Minneapolis: Block Party at Our Lady of Peace, 5426 12th Ave. S. Features Fat Lorenzo’s spaghetti dinner Saturday, food, rides and games all weekend. Visit
September 22 and 23 — Minneapolis: Touch of Lebanon Festival at St. Maron, 602 University Ave. N.E. Hours are 1 to 8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Includes authentic Lebanese cuisine, games, raffles, gift shop and live music.
September 22 and 23 — Cottage Grove: Fall festival at St. Rita, 8694 80th St., begins at 4:30 p.m. Saturday with a chicken dinner, 5 p.m. polka Mass, country store and bingo. Teen night from 7:30 to 11 p.m. for those in grades 6 to 11. Continues Sunday after the 10:30 a.m. Mass with auctions, games, food, wine and more.
September 23 — Delano: Fall Harvest Festival at Delano Catholic Community, 204 S. River St. Polka Mass at 10:30 a.m. followed by a turkey dinner. For more information, visit
September 23 — St. Paul: Fall festival at St. Pascal Baylon from noon to 5 p.m. at 1757 Conway St. Features a home cooked spaghetti dinner, bingo, raffles and more.
October 6 and 7 — North St. Paul: Fall festival at St. Peter begins at 4 p.m. Saturday with a Polka Mass followed by more live music. Continues Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 2600 N. Margaret St. Features “Father D’s Rockin’ Ribeye,” car show craft boutique and more. Visit

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

MN Marriage Minute #29: Negative Consequences of Redefining Marriage in Massachusetts


Samuel Aquila's Denver Return Marred by Tragedy

The new archbishop of Denver is dealing with the aftermath of the Aurora theater tragedy just two days after his installation.


Archbishop Samuel Aquila was installed July 18 as the fifth archbishop of the Archdiocese of Denver. The appointment brings Archbishop Aquila home to the archdiocese where he was first ordained 36 years ago.

His first week has been a difficult one, given the tragedy at the Century Aurora 16 theater just two days after his installation. He spoke July 24 with Register senior writer Tim Drake about his installation and the Aurora tragedy.

How is the Church responding to the Aurora tragedy?
The Church has reached out to the victims and the wounded. The priests and deacons in Aurora have visited the hospitals and been present to the families who were impacted in different ways.
On Friday afternoon, I celebrated Mass at Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Aurora. There were well over 1,000 people there. One young girl had been in the theater, and another had five friends who were injured. The Church has continued to reach out amidst the sadness, the tragedy and the evil of it.
There will be three Catholic funerals. We’re visiting with the families and trying to respect everything they are going through. Catholic Charities has made counseling available for those who desire it.
There has been a real outreach to the families who have lost loved ones and those who have been wounded. There’s been great compassion and charity shown toward them in carrying out the corporal works of mercy to those who have been impacted by this.
Anytime where there is such a violent act that is so unexpected there is the shock and horror and questioning that goes on. We’re trying to help people with those questions and help them to bring it all to the Lord, whether they are experiencing vengeance, anger, emptiness.
There’s a tremendous hole when one loses a spouse, a child, a friend. That unique individual will never be replaced on this earth. There’s a tremendous sense of loss there.
In addition, dying a violent death is quite different from an accident. All those who went to the movie theater went to enjoy a film. Suddenly, that’s been shattered by the power of evil and sin, and it’s so unexpected.
In some of the conversations I’ve had with some of the people impacted, I’ve tried to help them to see how they can bring their suffering to the cross and see how the Father permitted his only Son to suffer a violent death — and to remember that that death and the evil that was present did not conquer the love of God.
Rather, God conquered death and evil with the Resurrection and the gift of eternal life. I let them know that they stand at the cross with Mary and John. They experienced the death of Jesus Christ, and so Mary and John intercede and are with them.
The questions they are asking are likely the same questions Mary and John asked. So, I encourage them to remember their humanity in it all and their deep faith and love to stand with the Lord.
The Church is very much in solidarity with those who have been wounded and hurt and lost their lives.

Is there any indication of how many of the victims were Catholic?
Of those who were killed, we know of three. I’ve met with one of the families and will be meeting with the other two.  Bishop [James] Conley or I will be present for the funerals. I would ask all people of good will to continue to pray for those impacted.
What many of these people experienced will take time to heal. After the funerals will be the greatest part of the adjustment, when they need our continued prayer.

This tragedy has occurred just days after your installation. You were ordained a priest here. Does it feel like you’ve come home?
In many ways, it does. I served as a priest here for 25 years, so I know a lot of the people. Even though I was away for almost 11 years, there were a lot of friends and contacts that I had here.
In that way, it is very much like a homecoming. There’s been a lot that has changed. When I looked out at the clergy, there were a number of younger men who have been ordained over the last seven or eight years who I did not recognize. Archbishop [Charles] Chaput also brought in some new religious communities.
I look forward to reconnecting with people and look forward to meeting the new clergy and all those in seminary, the staff at the pastoral center and the diocese.

What was the highlight of your installation?
The installation Mass itself was filled with meaning and tremendous joy. Never in your imagination do you think you’ll ever be in the diocese where you were ordained a priest. As we celebrated Mass, there were a flood of memories of being ordained at the cathedral. I was in residence at the cathedral for almost eight years and celebrated Mass there.
There were also memories from World Youth Day in 1993 and being an assistant emcee for Pope John Paul II. There is a stained-glass window of the Council of Ephesus that has always spoken to me of Mary’s love and protection, and that was very much present. There was also the strong face of the people and the reception I was given as I entered into the cathedral. To see so many of the clergy present who I hadn’t seen for 11 years and so many of the faithful — my heart was filled with a great love for the Father for his providential love for me.

In what ways is the Archdiocese of Denver different or similar to the Diocese of Fargo, N.D.?
They are very, very different. The Diocese of Fargo is a rural diocese. It has 130 parishes, and about half of those have about 75 households or less. It’s a much smaller community.
Denver is a huge metro area, and there are more than 550,000 Catholics there. In Fargo, there were about 75,000 Catholics and about 100 priests. Here, there are over 380 priests. The differences are quite great, in terms of size and territory. The Archdiocese of Denver is about 40,000 square miles. Eastern North Dakota was about 35,000 square miles.

What are the major challenges that you face in Denver?
I think, certainly, part of it is the size of the diocese. It’s much more complex than Fargo. Denver is much more secular, in terms of belief and in terms of political views than Fargo, and in that way it will be a new challenge, because the people of North Dakota were primarily a people of faith.
About 90% of the people of North Dakota had some type of faith. Here, in Colorado, they told me, it’s about 30%. That itself will be a challenge.
How do you keep God in the public square and engage in conversation with society to promote the common good?

You made the restoration of the order of the sacraments of initiation a primary focus during your time in Fargo. Do you anticipate looking at that issue in the Archdiocese of Denver?
It has already surfaced, and it’s certainly something we’ll look at, especially after the encouragement I received from Pope Benedict XVI during the ad limina visit. He encouraged me to continue in that direction.
I will continue to speak to that and reflect on it with the priests and lay faithful of the archdiocese.

Denver is home to a rich diversity of apostolic efforts. I understand there are a couple of new efforts under way (Lighthouse Crisis Pregnancy Center and Christ in the City). What can you tell me about those?
Lighthouse is certainly something I’ve been aware of. The founders came up to see what we had put together in Fargo. They visited the St. Gianna Maternity Home and First Choice Clinic, an ecumenical response to crisis pregnancies and helping women choose life.
Given my own work in the pro-life movement and concerns in that area, I’m very supportive of it and look forward to meeting those involved. It falls under the auspices of Catholic Charities, so will now be a part of the ministry of the archdiocese.
Christ in the City is a movement of young people in the inner city bringing Christ to those who are homeless and poor and in need. Christ in the City combines solid Catholic intellectual and spiritual formation with service to the poor. I encourage young people to look into it.

What do you see as Denver’s greatest strengths?
It’s a young, vibrant, zealous Church. I think it’s a Church that has taken the New Evangelization seriously.
When I see things like the Augustine Institute, Focus [Fellowship of Catholic University Students], the Catholic Biblical School, movements like the Neocatechumenal Way and Communion and Liberation and the Oblates of the Virgin Mary, and the seminaries, they are tremendous signs of light in the archdiocese.
There is a tremendous amount of life and proclaiming the Gospel of Christ and carrying out the mission of Christ in the archdiocese.

What kinds of things do you enjoy doing when you’re not “on duty?”
I enjoy golf, fishing, and I enjoy sitting quietly in prayer, reflection or reading. I also enjoy going out and being out and about.
When I lived here, I would go out and hike on trails in the mountains. I used to ski, but gave that up. My knees are not what they used to be.

Do you have a favorite saint?
There are a lot that I go to. There are two that stand out the most.
Our Lady of Guadalupe: I have a deep devotion to her, just in terms of her deep desire to share her Son with the world and give us the gift of the tilma. I’ll never forget the first time I saw the tilma and realized it was almost 500 years old. What a great gift it is.
Also, St. Joseph, in terms of his fatherhood, his manhood and his deep love for Jesus and Mary — in protecting them and being the one who formed the humanity of Jesus as a father.
It demonstrates the great confidence of God the Father to trust to Joseph the care of Mary and Jesus. I seek his intercession often for being a spiritual father to the faithful and seek his help in that.
When we talk about the saints, something I’ve discovered throughout the years in my own walk of faith is that they are really our friends. The more I read them, the more I see their sanctity and their cooperation with God. They are each unique, and all of us are called to be saints.
Each one of us has a particular relationship with the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, and we’re called to live that out in the life of the Church.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Wyoming Cowboy Carmelites

Wyoming Cowboy Carmelites
Rollin', rollin', rollin', Though the streams are swollen, Keep them dogies rollin'
Move 'em on, head 'em up, Head 'em up, move 'em out, Move 'em on, head 'em out Rawhide!  

The Diocese's Shepherd visits his motorized shepherds

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth, Americans!

Meet one of the world's most amazing priests

According to one of the world's most amazing  Catholic newspapers, the Catholic Herald of the United Kingdom!

5. Fr George Grafsky
Fr George Grafsky is the parish priest of St Anne in Le Sueur, a suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is a bitterly cold, frosty spot. Fr George has a cheerful expression and a relaxed, child-like face, which is not what one expects from a priest who meets many challenges in the most frenzied and panicked of situations.
As well as being chaplain to the Le Sueur County Sheriff’s Department, he also works side-by-side with the police and is often one of the first people they call when they have harrowing tasks to perform. Fr George is unflappable. A police sergeant, Dave Struckman, was alone at the scene of an accident when he had to pull two dead bodies from a car. None of his colleagues were available and so he called Fr Grafsky to help him, and together they pulled the bodies from the wreckage.
Fr George is not indifferent to the pain caused by sudden death, and he has a special way of guiding families through their grief after they have lost a loved one to an accident or fire. Some tragedies do unsettle Fr George’s serenity. One concerned a boy who drowned a mere day after making his First Communion. While he was saddened, Fr George did not shirk from accompanying the mother as she watched her son’s body being fished from the water.