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Local News in Brief - March 2017

The Northern Cross - March 2017
Local News in Brief

Lenten regulations

Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are obligatory days of fasting and abstinence for Catholics. In addition, Fridays during Lent are obligatory days of abstinence.

For members of the Latin Catholic Church, the norms on fasting are obligatory from age 18 until age 59. When fasting, a person is permitted to eat one full meal. Two smaller meals may also be taken, but not to equal a full meal. The norms concerning abstinence from meat are binding upon members of the Latin Catholic Church from age 14 onwards.

If possible, the fast on Good Friday is continued until the Easter Vigil (on Holy Saturday night) as the “paschal fast” to honor the suffering and death of the Lord Jesus, and to prepare ourselves to share more fully and to celebrate more readily his Resurrection.

Source: USCCB

Good Friday collection

Pope Francis has asked parishes to support the Pontifical Good Friday collection, which helps Christians in the Holy Land. Support helps the church minister in parishes, provide Catholic schools and offer religious education. The collection also helps preserve sacred shrines. The wars, unrest and instability have been especially hard on Christians. In these times of crisis, the collection provides humanitarian aid to refugees. Last year’s collection provided many areas of aid: supported 29 parishes, four homes for orphans, three academic institutions; helped keep schools open for over 10,000 pre-K to grade 12 students; supported 120 men preparing to be priests or brothers; helped rehabilitate 80 homes for Christian families; provided senior care facilities in Bethlehem and Nazareth; created 1,500 jobs in the Holy Land for Christians and preserved 54 shrines connected with the life of Jesus and the prophets. For more information about Christians in the Holy Land, visit

Scout Mass March 12

The annual Scout Recognition Mass will be held Sunday, March 12, at 2:30 p.m. at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary, 2801 E. Fourth St., Duluth. The Mass is sponsored by the Diocese of Duluth and hosted by the Diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting. Bishop Paul Sirba will preside and present religious emblems and patches to recipients. All adults, youth and leaders involved in scouting are invited. All levels of Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts are included. Registration in the Cathedral’s entry from 1:45 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Refreshments will follow in the social hall, freewill offering will be accepted. Scouts and Scouters are requested to attend in uniform.

Native Ministry program has openings

Beginning in or wanting to learn about Native Ministry? A Basic Directions in Native Ministry workshop will be held June 12-19, 2017 at the Sioux Spiritual Center, Rapid City Diocese, South Dakota. There will be 30 hours of classwork associated with the workshop. Speakers will cover topics that include Native culture, missiology, anthropology, liturgy, catechetics, health issues and principles of recovery using AA. Very limited space and they fill quickly. Register early. Contact Sister Marie Rose Messingschlager, CDP, at the Pastoral Center (218) 724-9111 for more information.

Mothers of priests gather

Some of the mothers of priests of the Diocese of Duluth met in Hibbing for an afternoon of camaraderie, support and prayer. The organization, initiated by Bishop Paul Sirba, meets at the deanery level several times a year. On the diocesan level the mothers meet in the fall each year with the bishop for Mass and a luncheon, in August the fathers and mothers gather with their sons for a barbecue. Several times a year they gather to pray for our priests and the bishop. At the recent meeting, a request was made for information on Widows of Prayer, a Private Association of Christ’s Faithful. Attending the gathering were (top row from left) Kathy Forsman (mother of Father David Forsman), Diana Moravitz (Fathers Brandon and Ryan Moravitz), Teri McKusky (Father Kris McKusky). Bottom Row: Francie Skarich (Father Bill Skarich), Patti Gogolin (Father Seth Gogolin), Theresa Garry (Father Michael Garry) and Jane Bissonette (Father Jim Bissonette).

Valentine visit

On Sunday, Feb. 12, 40 students from St. James Church in Aitkin visited the Aicota Health Care and Assisted Living Center in Aitkin. Students from preschool through sixth grade shared hand crafted Valentine’s with the residents. In addition, the students sang for patients as they enjoyed their lunch.

Snowshoeing in Baraga’s footsteps

Curtis P. Chambers, former chair for the Burt Lake Band of Ottawa and Chippewa, will share his snowshoe adventures of following in the footprints of Bishop Baraga through the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. While sharing his thoughts on Bishop Baraga and Saint Kateri Tekakwitha. Come and extend a warm welcome to Chambers and learn more about the bishop who is so important to our own diocese. The talk is Friday, March 3 at 6 p.m. at Holy Family Church, Reservation Road, Cloquet. For more information contact Sister Marie Rose Messingschlager, CDP, at the Pastoral Center at (218) 724-9111.

Knights raise $4,000 for seminarians

The Brainerd Knights of Columbus Council 1491 ran a Canister for Vocations program for the second summer in a row last year. Parishioners of St. Francis, Brainerd, and All Saints, Baxter, took home canisters on Memorial Day and filled them with change, cash and checks. The canisters were returned to the parish around on Labor Day. The summer of 2016 saw more than 300 canisters go out, and more than 140 of them were returned. From the generous contributions of the parishioners through this lowdrag, easy-to-run fundraiser, Council 1491 collected $4,000 for seminarians and vocations. $2,000 of the collected money was shared with seminarians as part of the Knights of Columbus RSVP program.

Knights’ free-throw contest

Five Hibbing boys and girls were named local champions of the 2017 Knights of Columbus Free Throw Championship and have earned the right to compete at the district level. Hibbing Council 1649 sponsored the local competition at the Hibbing Lincoln School gymnasium. All youngsters ages 9 to 14 were eligible to participate. The champions were Carson Brown, 10-year-old boy level; Lucy Grzybowski, 10-year-old girl level; Drew Forer, 11-year-old boy level; Mayson Brown, 13-year-old boy level and Gunnar Lindstrom, 14-year-old boy level. Each contestant was allowed 15 free throw attempts in the contest. Ties were settled by successive rounds of five free throws per contestant until a winner emerged. Each of these winners will compete in the district competition that was held Feb. 26 at St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Grand Rapids. Winners of the district competition will move on to compete at regionals on March 12 with hopes of moving on to the state competition.

Called and Gifted workshop draws 200 in Brainerd

On Saturday, Feb. 4, about 200 people from many parishes and several neighboring dioceses attended the Called and Gifted workshop in Brainerd. Attendees learned about and began discerning the specific gifts (charisms) God has given us for the building up of his kingdom.

Social justice retreat

The ecological crisis, wrote Pope Francis, is a call to renew our relationships with God, each other and the created world. An opportunity for such renewal is being offered through “Living in Francis’ Church,” a Lenten retreat hosted March 5-7 by the tri-parish cluster of St. Pius X, Solon Springs; St. Mary, Minong; and St. Anthony, Gordon. Directed by Father Dennis Mullen, a retired priest of the Superior Diocese, frequent retreat director and presenter, the retreat will feature a series of presentations on Pope Francis’ call for the church’s outreach to the poor and marginalized, and for responsible stewardship of God’s creation. In addition, a daylong symposium, “Save the Earth, Save the Poor,” on March 7 will feature an interfaith series of presentations featuring Catholic actor and social justice advocate Martin Sheen, as keynote presenter, and representatives from other Catholic and non-Catholic organizations. The symposium welcomes people of all faith traditions, is free of charge and includes continental breakfast and lunch. There is no cost for any part of the retreat or symposium but guests are asked to bring a dish to share for potluck dinners. Attendees are asked to register with St. Pius X Parish at (715) 378-4431 ext. 2 in order to plan complimentary meals. St Pius X Parish is located at 11651 South US Hwy. 53, Solon Springs; St Mary Parish is located at 506 Main St., Minong.

Confirmands take on service

Confirmation students from St. Mary’s, Deer River, and St. Joseph’s, Ball Club, have been busy this winter with group service projects. During the Christmas season the confirmands sang carols at a local nursing home to bring Christmas cheer to the residents and staff. They also spent a day in January washing fire trucks for the local fire station. To help students in their own school community the students also donated personal care items to the Deer River high school’s student closet. The confirmation class has 12 students. One student attends high school in Bigfork and resides in Bowstring, one is a resident and student in Grand Rapids, the other students reside and attend Deer River high school. The confirmands are preparing for confirmation in the spring of 2017.