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Life News in Brief - December 2017

The Northern Cross - December 2017
Local News in Brief

Men’s and women’s conferences

The seventh annual Men of Faith Conference will be held Feb. 17 at Marshall School in Duluth. This year’s theme is “Men of the Spirit.” The guest speaker is Peter Herbeck, vice president and director of missions for Renewal Ministries. He is a co-host of the weekly EWTN television programs “The Choices We Face” and “Crossing the Goal.” He also hosts the daily radio show “Fire on the Earth.” Registration and information is available at

The sixth annual diocesan Women’s Conference will be held Feb. 24 at Marshall School in Duluth. This year’s theme is “Beyond Me,” and the speakers are Teresa Tomeo and Father Jim Sichko. You will come away from the day blessed by their humor, inspiration, and passion for Christ. Visit for updated information.

These conferences make great Christmas gifts, too!

Collection for aging religious is Dec. 9-10

Catholics in the Diocese of Duluth will have the opportunity to “give to those who have given a lifetime” as part of the collection for the Retirement Fund for Religious, to be held in parishes Dec. 9-10. Coordinated by the National Religious Retirement Office in Washington, D.C., the annual appeal benefits 32,000 elderly Catholic sisters, brothers, and religious order priests whose religious congregations lack adequate retirement funding. Last year, the Diocese of Duluth contributed $46,259.95 to the appeal. Women and men religious who serve or have served in the diocese but whose communities are based elsewhere may benefit from the Retirement Fund for Religious. Roughly 94 cents of every dollar aids senior religious. Communities use these funds to bolster retirement savings and subsidize expenses, such as prescription medications and nursing care. Despite this generosity, many religious communities still struggle to provide for aging members. Only 41 of the 539 communities submitting data to the NRRO in 20 6 were adequately funded for retirement. Visit to learn more.

All Saints marks 10 years

On Nov. 1, 2007, then Bishop Dennis Schnurr established a brand new parish in the Brainerd Lakes area. Because this all took place on the feast of All Saints, and because this new parish would be given a beautiful collection of relics of many saints, it was decided that this new community would have, as its patron, All Saints. Having been 10 years since the beginning of that community, Bishop Paul Sirba came together with the people of All Saints parish to celebrate its 10-year anniversary on Nov. 5, the Sunday closest to the feast day. Bishop Sirba noted in his homily that he had been at a few other celebrations of anniversaries of communities established much earlier than All Saints parish. But he also noted that despite being only 10 years old, All Saints was a place that was vibrant in the faith and poised to continue its growth in numbers of families in the parish.

Brainerd Knights named Star Council

Knights of Columbus Council 1491 of Brainerd has earned the distinction of Star Council, one of the organization’s top awards, for the 2016-17 fraternal year. The organization’s headquarters, located in New Haven, Connecticut, made the announcement. The award recognizes overall excellence in the areas of membership recruitment and retention, promotion of the fraternal insurance program, and sponsorship of service-oriented activities. The award was presented to the membership by Robert Penas, Minnesota Knights of Columbus state deputy, at a special ceremony held Nov. 2. In announcing the local winner of the Star Council Award, Carl A. Anderson, chief executive officer of the organization said, “Please accept my sincere congratulations upon attaining this prestigious award. Your dedication to the order is seen in the high standard of excellence you have achieved. At the same time, I encourage you to carry forward this enthusiasm to meet the challenges that will face Knights of Columbus in the years ahead. May his award be a reminder and an inspiration to the members of your council to continue to promote the ideals of Columbianism for the good of the church, community, and the order.” Keith Gadacz, head of Brainerd Council 1491, stated, “Receiving the Star Council Award is quite an honor for us. We’re extremely proud of this accomplishment.” The Knights of Columbus is the world’s largest Catholic lay organization. With more than 1.9 million members in over 15,000 councils around the world, the Knights of Columbus annually donates more than $177 million and 75 million hours of service to charitable causes.

Knights collect coats for kids

The Knights of Columbus Cuyuna Range Council 3473, together with generous donations of others in the community, provided 180 new coats and 40 pair of snow pants to local elementary schools. On Nov. 6 these coats were distributed to Rippleside Elementary School in Aitkin and Cuyuna Range Elementary School in Crosby. The coats will now be distributed by the school staff. This endeavor was possible because of the support from the following organizations and people in the local community: Rutgers, American Legion Post 86, VFW, DAV, Bay Lake Lions, Ed Kirk, Bob Jensen, Bob Wander, River Oak Dentistry, Mark Greninger, Blackrock Terrace Residents, Bill’s Sportsman, Marilyn Thompson, Bev Spreigl, Mid MN Bank, Roth RV, Susie Morrison, and Paul Perpich DDS. Thanks go out for the generosity to provide a new warm winter coat to a child who would otherwise go without.

BHS CEO attends Vatican conference

Rocklon B. “Rocky” Chapin, FACHE, president and CEO of the Benedictine Health System, was invited and did attend the XXXI International Conference Addressing Global Health Inequalities November 16-18, in Vatican City. Sponsored by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development in cooperation with The International Confederation of Catholic Health Care Institutions, this conference had the specific objective of addressing the subject of disparities and inequalities in world health. A main goal of the conference was setting in motion study and dialogue between all Catholic health care institutions of the world to establish a global network that will ultimately diminish health disparity for the world’s citizens. Invited to this global conference were 350 representatives from the world’s leading socio-economic and health care institutions. Scheduled presentations included those from Italy’s Minister of Health, Beatrice Lorenzin; Professor Vinvent Han-Sun Chiang, Fu Jen Catholic University in Taiwan; Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Switzerland, and many others. The conference concluded with a private audience with Holy Father Francis on Saturday, Nov. 18. The Benedictine Health System is a Catholic, non-profit health system based in Duluth, sponsored by the Benedictine Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery, Duluth. BHS has served the health care needs of aging adults through the services of its short-term care and rehabilitation centers, longterm care centers, and assisted and independent housing in Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri, North Dakota, and Wisconsin since 1985.

Mass for deceased parishioners

A Memorial Mass was held at Blessed Sacrament Church in Hibbing to honor and remember in prayer 74 members of the parish who had died in the past year. Parishioners as well as family and friends came together to ask God to bring their beloved dead to refreshment, light, and peace, to console one another, and to look to Christ as the source of healing.