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Local News in Brief - December 2015

The Northern Cross - December 2015
Local News in Brief

Parish mergers completed

As part of the implementation of the diocesan Strategic Plan, the following civil mergers and other changes were completed during this calendar year:

Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Pine River, merged into St. Alice Church, Pequot Lakes, on Aug. 24.

St. Christopher Church, Nisswa, merged into St. Alice Church, Pequot Lakes, on Aug. 24.

- St. Margaret Mary Church, Duluth, merged into St. James Church, Duluth, on Aug. 21.

- St. Elizabeth Church, Duluth, merged into St. James Church, Duluth, on Aug. 21.

- Sacred Heart Church, Mountain Iron, merged into Holy Spirit Church, Virginia, on June 24.

- Sacred Heart Church, Virginia, merged into Holy Spirit Church, Virginia, on June 24.

- St. John Church, Biwabik and Queen of Peace Church, Hoyt Lakes, merged into Holy Rosary Church, Aurora, on April 20. The merged churches were named Our Lady of Hope Church, Aurora, on Sept. 15.

New diocesan staff and appointments

The following staff appointments have been made at the Pastoral Center for the Diocese of Duluth:

- Father Anthony Craig is serving as assistant to the Office of Marriage and Family Life and chair of the Human Life and Development Fund committee.

- Forrest “Mike” Beery is now working as staff accountant for the Finance Office.

- Annette Merritt, who had been working as support staff for Catholic schools, religious education, youth and young adult ministry, Newman and CREED Fund, maintained her roles with religious education, youth and young adult ministry, catechetical resources and CREED Fund.

- Laurie Bisel, who was support staff for the Duluth Area Catholic Schools, is now support staff for the Department of Catholic Schools.

Monastery hosts open house

St. Scholastica Monastery is offering an open house invitation to the Diocese of Duluth faithful to visit on Sunday, Dec. 6, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The open house will include tours of the monastery, a chance to meet the sisters and learn of their past and present ministries, and to participate in a prayer service at 2:30 p.m. in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel in commemoration of the Year of Consecrated Life.

Collection for retired religious is Dec. 12-13

The annual Retirement Fund for Religious collection will be held Dec. 12-13 in the Diocese of Duluth. The appeal offers support for senior Catholic sisters, brothers and religious order priests whose communities lack sufficient retirement funding. Some 33,000 women and men religious past age 70 benefit. Parishes in the Diocese of Duluth contributed $43,8455 to the last collection. 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. The 2014 appeal raised $28.3 million, and the NRRO distributed more than $25 million in monetary support to 395 religious communities.

Crucifixes donated

Guardian Angels Health and Rehabilitation Center in Hibbing received a bequest from the estate of Veronica Michelich for the purchase of religious articles. The donation was used to acquire a crucifixs for each resident room. Father Gabriel Waweru, pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church in Hibbing, and Father Seth Gogolin and Deacon Richard Johnston, pastor and deacon of St. Cecelia Church cluster of parishes in Nashwauk, blessed the crucifixes after the weekly Mass at the center.

Festival of Saints

Blessed Sacrament Church in Hibbing celebrated the Solemnity of All Saints with Mass and a Festival of Saints party for children. At the festival, some of the children dressed as saints. They colored saint pictures, played games related to different saints and enjoyed sweet treats.

St. Raphael Knights earn fourth degree

St. Raphael’s Knights of Columbus Council 6791 of St. Raphael’s Church, Duluth, had members Father Joe Sobolik, Paul Sever, Jan Sherepa and Ted Windus advance to the fourth degree in October.

St. James in Aitkin burns mortgage

Members of St. James Church in Aitkin celebrated paying off the mortgage of the new church Oct. 18. Construction was completed eight years ago. Prior to “the burn,” close to 200 well-wishers enjoyed a catered brunch, which included a thank you to the many who made the new site possible, an overview of the building process and door prizes.

Caps of Love from Grand Rapids

Caps Of Love is the only U.S. affiliate of the International Charity “Bouchons D’Amour,” dedicated to helping the disabled. Recycling plastic caps raises money to buy wheelchairs for disabled children. St. Joseph’s Council of Catholic Women of Grand Rapids recently sent 53 boxes, 375 pounds, of caps to the Caps of Love collection area in Florida. Many parishioners and community members collected and sorted the caps for nearly a year. Broking’s Transport, from Grand Rapids, agreed to deliver the caps when they have deliveries in the area. The collected caps are sold to a recycling plant in Kentucky, and the money received is used to purchase wheelchairs for the disabled children. Recycling the caps also has an environmental benefit. For more information on Caps Of Love contact Valerie Mathieu at