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News In Brief - February 2017

The Northern Cross - February 2017
News in Brief

Lenten practices

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

CCW enjoys mini retreat and luncheon

The Council of Catholic Women of Blessed Sacrament Parish held a luncheon and mini retreat for the women of the parish. The event was planned to give the women a time of reflection, refreshment and renewal. Father Nick Nelson, associate pastor, spoke on the gift that is the Mass. At each Mass it is the same victim, Christ, the same priest, Christ — through the ministry of the priest — and the same God, the Father, to whom the sacrifice is offered. Father Nelson reminded the women that the Mass is an activity of the whole Body of Christ and that they too can participate in the offering of the sacrifice by uniting themselves, personal sacrifices and prayers with him.

JRLC Day on the Hill Feb. 23

The 2017 JRLC (Joint Religious Legislative Coalition) Day on the Hill will be held Thursday, Feb. 23, at St. Paul RiverCentre and Minnesota State Capitol. Join others to advocate for just state policy at this annual policy briefing and lobby day. The theme for 2017 is “Here I am, Lord. Send me.” Participants are briefed on the JRLC issues that are being debated and voted on at the State Capitol. Clergy and lay people from across the state attend Day on the Hill to show interfaith commitment to social justice and to participate in the lawmaking process. The event includes a meal, inspiration, issue briefings and opportunities to take action. Registration is required, visit Registration fees: early bird $30, standard $40 and student/ low income $15. JRLC is unable to offer refunds after Feb. 15. JRLC is Minnesota’s largest and most inclusive interfaith public interest group and they represent nearly 2.4 million people in Minnesota who identify themselves as having a religious faith that is connected to JRLC. Visit the website above for additional information about the organization. Members of JRLC include the Minnesota Catholic Conference, Islamic Center of Minnesota, Jewish Community Relations Council and Minnesota Council of Churches.

Christmas comes to enrichment center

Members of Blessed Sacrament Parish residing at the Life Enrichment for the Elderly Center in Hibbing had the opportunity to prepare for Christmas at the facility by prayer and receiving the sacrament of penance. After confessions the residents and Father Nick Nelson, associated pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church, enjoyed a coffee social.

New grotto at St. Andrew

The courtyard at St. Andrew’s Church in Brainerd has had some enhancements this fall. Tommy Wells cleaned the area as part of an Eagle Scout project. The courtyard is also graced with a new grotto, which is seen from many of the classrooms of the building. James Thielen constructed the grotto as an Eagle Scout project.

Post-abortion healing

Hurting after abortion? You are not alone. The Diocese of Duluth is here to help you heal through our post abortion ministry, Project Rachel. This ministry offers a confidential helpline for you to speak with someone about your experience. A willing person to listen who has been specially trained to help you sort through unresolved feelings and conflict is just a confidential call away at (218) 421-7110. Move beyond the pain, call today.

Conference registration open for men and women

The annual diocesan conferences for men and women are both coming up in March.

First out of the gate is the Men’s Conference, featuring speaker Trent Horn, which is set for March 4 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Marshall School in Duluth. Horn is a convert to the Catholic faith with a degree in theology from Franciscan University. He is currently pursuing a graduate degree in philosophy from Holy Apostles College and is a regular guest on the radio program Catholic Answers Live, a lecturer and author of two books.

The Women’s Conference is the next week, March 11, also at Marshall School. The featured speaker is Jennifer Fulwiler, a mother of six young children and a convert from atheism to Catholicism, who is a best-selling author and host of the “The Jennifer Fulwiler Show” on SiriusXM. The conference will also have another presenter, Angela Neumann, speaking on charisms.

Both conferences will have Mass with Bishop Paul Sirba. For registration information, see or call (218) 724-9111.

Knights engage in service projects

St. Raphael’s Knights of Columbus Council 6791 organized a parish drive for Coats for Kids. The Boys and Girls Club of Duluth received 60 winter coats collected from the drive. These coats will help dozens of children stay warm this winter. Members installed new LED lamps donated by Elevation Lighting Services Company of Colorado. The church wattage use dropped from 6,150 watts to 900 watts. They also installed LED lamps in the basement, which also lowered the use of wattage. The council held a turkey bingo for the holidays and helped the parish St. Theresa’s Circle with making pasties. In December the members and parish religious education students assisted the Salvation Army by folding boxes donated by Super One Foods which are used for toys or food distributions during the Christmas Season. This was the 18th year and 1,200 boxes were folded and stacked. The Council assisted the religious education program by helping in the kitchen during a taco meal fundraiser for summer mission trips.

Coats donated

The Neil F. Scott Council 5318 of the Knights of Columbus sponsored a Coats for Kids drive. The parishioners of St. Michaels Church in Duluth donated just over $1,000 and the council was able to purchase 48 children’s coats. The coats were donated to St. Michaels Lakeside School and CHUM of Duluth.