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Local news in briefs - October 2014

The Northern Cross - October 2014 


Local News in Brief

St. John’s commissions handmade statue of St. John Paul II

St. John the Evangelist parish in Duluth has an impressive new piece of sacred art: a statue of Pope St. John Paul II hand-carved from linden wood by an 80-year-old Italian artist. Father Richard Kunst, the parish pastor, who says he has “a deep devotion” to the saint, commissioned the work, which took five months to create. The statue had to be shipped from Italy to Duluth, and what was supposed to take days ended up taking four weeks when it was accidentally shipped to Brazil, instead, without important paperwork. “There’s humor in it, because John Paul travelled so much,” Father Kunst said. The statue eventually was installed and blessed in mid-August. It was paid for by parishioner donations, which came in quickly, which Father Kunst said illustrates how much the parish is also devoted to the late pope.

Father Schmitz makes appearance on EWTN

Father Michael Schmitz of the Diocese of Duluth and speaker Chris Stefanick were guests on the Sept. 19 episode of the Eternal Word Television Network series “Life on the Rock.” The two were appearing on the hour-long show, hosted by Father Mark Mary, MFVA, and Doug Barry to discuss “Chosen: A Journey toward Confirmation,” a new program for passing on the Catholic faith to young people. Father Schmitz is director of youth and young adult ministry for the Diocese of Duluth and chaplain of the Newman Center at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Both he and Stefanick are nationally known speakers. The episode can be viewed at EWTN’s website,, or on YouTube.

St. Raphael Knights engages in service projects

St. Raphael’s Knights of Columbus Council 6791 in Duluth held its fourth annual Knights family potluck picnic at the Antus home on shores of Grand Lake in August. They also organized a work group to set up tents and tables, cook, help run children’s games and tear-down for annual parish picnic at St Raphael’s. The council held its fifth annual whitewater kayak down the scenic and wild Brule River in Wisconsin; everyone stayed dry this year. They also organized a work group to help move and transport items from a storage unit to a new home for a parish family and fellow Knight.

MCC touring to present on church and politics

The Minnesota Catholic Conference, the public policy voice of the Catholic Church in Minnesota, is offering an opportunity to go beyond partisan politics and explore how to better “think with the church” when considering policy issues, decisions and people we choose to support. Join one of the events below. The talks are free and open to everyone. Reflect on how to live as a faithful, Christ-filled citizen in a challenging culture. Receive new, Minnesota-specific tools to help make tough, informed decisions about the elected officials you support during the upcoming election. To find other locations and dates visit look for “Upcoming MCC Events.” The remaining schedule within the Diocese of Duluth includes St. Andrew’s Church, 1108 Willow St., Brainerd, at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 9, and St. Patrick’s Church, 203 Lawler Ave. S., Hinckley at 7 p.m. Oct. 14.

Shovein honored for volunteerism

On Aug. 24, St. Rose Church in Proctor held its annual potluck in commemoration of its patron saint, St. Rose of Lima. On that day, Father Joel Hastings honored Earl Shovein with a “Certificate of Achievement for a Lifetime of Volunteerism.” Shovein has been a member of St. Rose for 87 years, since his baptism in 1927. He has spent his life dedicated to his family, his faith and his parish. Over the years he has served on the parish council, St. Rose school board and, following in his father P.J. Shovein’s footsteps, has been a long-time usher at Mass, which he continues to do. Shovein was a Boy Scout leader for St. Rose for eight years, for which he received the Silver Scout Award. Father Dennis Hoffman was one of his scouts. He loved St. Rose School, which he attended, and dropped everything when called upon to fix things. He worked every Wednesday for over 15 years with the St. Rose men’s work crew that did jobs around the school, rectory and yard, saving the parish many dollars. Shovein has been a “go to guy” for priests serving St. Rose. The parish thanked him for his service and wished him God’s blessings.