Three upcoming events may have you wishing to mark your calendars and get a registration in: a Day of Fasting and Prayer in Reparation for a Culture of Violence on Jan. 22, the annual men’s conference on Feb. 13 and the annual women’s conference on Feb. 27.
The Diocese of Duluth is sponsoring a diocese-wide Day of Fasting and Prayer in Reparation for a Culture of Violence and Disrespect of the Human Life on Friday, Jan. 22. Bishop Paul Sirba will celebrate the 7 a.m. Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary, and Masses and Eucharistic Adoration will occur throughout the diocese. In addition to the local effort of prayer and fasting, the faithful are encouraged to join others in the state for the annual March for Life in the Twin Cities Jan. 22. A diocesan group will depart by bus from the Cathedral in Duluth after Mass and return to Duluth at 5 p.m. The cost is $5 per participant, and a light snack will be included. Registration for the buses is available here.
The event was initially organized by the Minnesota Catholic Conference, and similar events were being held in other dioceses across the state, beginning in early December. The events were partly inspired by a series of undercover sting videos discussing the sale of human body parts from aborted babies by Planned Parenthood officials. However, the day is meant to encompass the full Catholic teaching on a consistent ethic of life.
All the faithful are invited to offer their fasting and prayers for the intentions. Organizers suggest that for this voluntary fasting one might take on the fasting and abstinence one would on Ash Wednesday or Good Friday — no meat, and one normal meal with two smaller meals that don’t add up to a full meal.
This year’s fifth annual Duluth Catholic Men’s Conference is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 13, at Marshall School in Duluth. The featured speaker is Father Bill Baer, former rector of the St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul. Check-in starts at 8 a.m., and the conference begins at 9 a.m. and concludes with vigil Mass at 4 p.m. The conference schedule and registration are available at www.duluthcatholicmen.org. Hard copy registration forms are also available in parish offices. The cost of the Conference is $30 for registrations submitted on or before Feb. 1 and $40 after Feb. 1. College student cost is $15.
The fourth annual Catholic Women’s Conference will be held on Saturday, Feb. 27, also at Marshall School in Duluth, starting at 7:30 a.m. and ending in a Vigil Mass at 4 p.m. The powerful speaker Colleen Carroll Campbell, who is a national speaker, former presidential speechwriter and author of the spiritual memoir “My Sisters the Saints,” will be presenting on this topic. Before Mass the women will enjoy a brief comedy performance by a Chicago comedy troop called Bible Bingo. The Vigil Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Sirba, and families are encourage to join in. The priority registration fee is $30 for those registered by Feb. 17; after that date the registration fee is $40. College student cost is $15. Register here. Call (218) 724-9111 or email [email protected] with any questions.
— The Northern Cross