Knights donate to St. James
The Fourth Degree McGolrick assembly in Duluth donated $5,000 as a matching grant to St James School to purchase Smart Boards as learning tools. Presenting the grant were Jim Perrault, Robin Tellor, Father James Bissonette, pastor, Julianne Blazevic, principal, John Lepak, and Fred Olson.
A candlelight procession to the nativity creche was held after the vigil Mass for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary at Blessed Sacrament Church in Hibbing. This Marian feast celebrates that Mary was conceived without original sin. Deacon Grant Toma read Scripture before Father Nick Nelson, associate pastor, blessed the creche, which was set up and illuminated by Knights of Columbus Council 1649.
Advent retreat draws Handmaids
As part of the preparation of souls for the coming of Jesus at Christmas, Fathers Gabriel Waweru, pastor, and Nick Nelson, associate pastor, conducted an Advent retreat at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Hibbing. Father Waweru spoke of Advent as the anticipation of God coming out of concealment. No matter how it may feel at times, God is not distant. He also told the participants that St. John Paul II said that Advent is synonymous with hope. It is a certain hope that the longing for God can be fulfilled. Sisters of the Handmaids of the Heart of Jesus, from New Ulm, also spoke at the event.
Parish merger, closure completed
Another merging of parishes, resulting in a closure, was completed during 2016. Sacred Heart Church in Federal Dam merged with St. Mary Church in Deer river on Dec. 5. The closing liturgy was celebrated on Aug. 9. The church is now closed and will be sold.
The Widows of Prayer of Blessed Sacrament Church in Hibbing held a Christmas tea for the women of the parish. The widows’ ministry is dedicated to praying for priests and those in church leadership, being devoted to Jesus present in the Holy Eucharist and promotion of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
Our Lady of the Lakes parish members contributed shoes, money or sorting help to make the parish shoe drive a success. Between the parishioners and the middle school students of Pequot Lakes, 254 pairs of socks and 1,027 pairs of shoes, weighing 1,195 pounds, are on the way by semi-truck to Coconut Creek, Florida, to the Food for the Poor Headquarters. Because of import taxes, Father Lukasz and his bishop arranged for Food for the Poor to work with getting the shoes to Jamaica. The three huge cardboard boxes on pallets will be loaded into a container in Florida to be shipped by ferry to Jamaica to Father Lukasz’s parish. Thanks to donations by parishioners and a generous donation by the Knights of Columbus, the shipping costs from Pequot Lakes to Florida have been covered. Pequot Tool and Manufacturing provided the three cardboard containers on pallets and negotiated for the shipping to Florida. Organizers offered special thanks to Garry Grewe, the student council and students of Pequot Lakes Middle School, arlo Goerges and Pequot Tool and Manufacturing for their enthusiastic involvement. Also, six boxes of warm slippers and winter boots collected in the shoe drive were delivered to Sharing and Caring Hands in Minneapolis in November. Our Lady of the Lakes parish consists of the churches of St. Alice, Pequot Lakes; St. Christopher, Nisswa; and Our Lady of Lourdes, Pine River.