Browsing The Northern Cross

Local news in brief

Grandparent ministry

Some of the Blessed Sacrament Parish Grandparent Ministry met for the first time since the COVID-19 virus shut-down. The mission of the ministry is to hand down the faith to children and grandchildren and to be a support for each other as members live out their mission. The participants enjoyed the outdoor gathering as well as the homemade ice cream, cookies, and ice tea.

Latin Mass

The Feast of the Assumption of Mary was celebrated at St. Mary’s in Cook with the Traditional Latin Mass, followed by a procession through the city. A statue of Mary, patroness of the parish, accompanied the faithful as they venerated the Mother of God with song, the rosary, prayers, and incense. Little children made a path of rose petals as they went. Returning to the church at noon, Father Nick Nelson, pastor, led the people in praying the Angelus. The celebration concluded with an ice cream social in the parish hall. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, when people were prevented from going to church to worship and receive the Eucharist, Father Nelson brought the Eucharist to the streets, holding numerous eucharistic and Marian processions through the cities of Cook and Tower, giving public witness to the faith, interceding on behalf of the people and glorifying God.

Widows of Prayer

The Widows of Prayer of Blessed Sacrament parish hosted a prayer vigil at City Hall in Hibbing. The event was open to anyone who wanted to pray for the end of the COVID-19 pandemic and those who were suffering from the illness as well as the needs of the nation and of the church.

Real Presence Radio’s Incredible Parish Challenge

The Real Presence Radio network serves almost 1,000 parishes throughout 10 dioceses. These parishes support RPR by publishing information about fundraising events, sharing the RPR mission through parish talks, and displaying RPR parish stands and marketing materials. RPR is returning their kindness by including parishes in the Incredible Parish Challenge during the upcoming Fall Live Drive, Oct. 6-9.

During the Live Drive, participating parishes have the opportunity for a 20-minute on-air interview where the priest or a parish representative will showcase incredible happenings unique to their parishes. Donors who then call in during the Live Drive can pledge their support to RPR, mention the parish name, and their donation will be attributed to that parish in the challenge. There will be two first prizes and two second prizes awarded. One $1,000 prize will go to the parish that raises the most money for RPR. The second prize of $1,000 will go to the parish that has the most call-in pledges. The second-place prize in both categories will be a $500 public awareness campaign that can be used within the next year.

Tune in to Real Presence Radio October 6-9 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to hear more about these incredible parishes, inspirational stories of faith and hope, and your chance to win one of the daily drawings including books, gift cards, RPR gear, and a few surprises.

MCC webinar

The Minnesota Catholic Conference will host a webinar Sept. 9 in conjunction with the Memorial of St. Peter Claver. MCC is hosting “Open Wide Our Hearts: The Catholic Church Confronts Racism.” It will be a Zoom webinar featuring Bishop Shelton Fabre, bishop of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, who is the chairman of the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism. There will also be a panel of speakers and time for a moderated Q&A. The webinar is aimed at clergy, educators, and lay ministers but is open to the public. It is free, but registration is required to get the Zoom link. Full details and registration are available at

Senior officer joins Catholic United Financial

Catholic United Financial, the oldest fraternal life insurance provider domiciled in Minnesota, announced that its board of directors has hired Paul Zastrow to become the association’s senior vice president and secretary/treasurer. In this role, Zastrow joins the board of directors and serves as the association’s chief financial officer, responsible for the day-to-day operations of the billion-dollar insurer, including the oversight of finance, accounting, investments, operations, member services, technology, and industry compliance. He succeeds Michael Ahles, now president and CEO of Catholic United, in this role. “Catholic United is a special organization given the way we protect the financial interests of our members and support our Catholic and broader communities,” Ahles said. “That’s why Paul, with his deep knowledge of insurance, financial services, and finance, coupled with his extensive leadership experience and drive, plus his Catholic faith, is an exceptional fit for us. We’re so lucky to have him.” Zastrow and his wife, Patty, live in Mendota Heights and are active members of the Holy Spirit Catholic Church in St. Paul. They have eight children, all of whom attended Holy Spirit School.