Our Lady of the Lakes Magnificat will be hosting Barbara Heil, a Catholic missionary and evangelist, Saturday, Aug. 22, the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. followed by breakfast at 9 a.m. Heil grew up on the West Coast and during college had a life changing encounter with Jesus Christ. She moved to Virginia, where she learned a life of prayer, worship, and devotion at an international ministry community. Her experience is wide and varied, from living in Hong Kong to ministering in Asia, to living in Jerusalem, to being on staff at a street mission in San Diego, California, to ministering to the needs of the homeless during the beginning of the AIDS outbreak. She has ministered in 55 nations, has been a missionary, an evangelist, and pastor. She has spent the last few years traveling the U.S. and the world over conducting worship seminars, retreats, and conferences, leading missions trips, offering prayer and counseling, and seeing thousands healed and set free inside and out, equipping lives for the Glory of God. Heil did not know until recently that she had been baptized as a child in the Catholic Church, and after much prayer and deliberation, she received the Rite of Confirmation in St. Paul in April 2013. Today, based in Iowa, Barbara continues to be involved in a wide spectrum of Christian endeavor and ministers with Protestants and Catholics alike. She lives in Iowa with her husband, Jeff. She is the joyful mother of four and grandmother of two. Together she and Jeff have 8 children and 10 grandchildren. The Magnificat meal will be held at Charlie’s Up North restaurant, located at 6841 Highway 371 N.W. in Walker. Cost of the meal is $15. Please call Lorri at (218) 507-0953 for reservations.
“Living our faith in a pandemic” was the theme of Blessed Sacrament Parish’s ongoing Theology Around the Fountain. Father Jeremy Bock led the discussion by first recounting what it has been like, from the perspective of the clergy, in following the guidelines set out by the CDC, the state, and the USCCB and from personal reflections. Aside from the shutdown, social distancing and sanitation requirements, the question of shepherding the parish in the face of the restrictions the COVID-19 virus requires has been challenging. Innovative ways of staying connected with parishioners were developed, such as “resting in the rosary” where Fathers Jeremy and Samson lead a live rosary on Facebook, weekly videos by Father Jeremy for the school children to walk them through Lent, Easter, and other aspects of the faith, and Father Gabriel Wareru simply asking people to pray the Apostle’s Creed every day. Participants were invited to share their frustrations and their insights as they navigated a world without access to the Eucharist, social interactions, or normal celebrations of life. The overall consensus expressed at the event was that even in the midst of a pandemic it is still possible to hold onto their faith and in some ways to grow stronger.
As international travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 virus are being lifted, Father Samson Kigorwe M’rinkanya is preparing to leave Blessed Sacrament parish to return to his home in Kenya. Father Samson arrived in Hibbing in late January to help out at the parish in the absence of Father Gabriel Wareru, pastor, who left around the same time for a sabbatical in Italy, Ireland, and Kenya. Father Samson assisted Father Jeremy Bock, the associate pastor, in duties such as distributing ashes on Ash Wednesday, celebrating Mass and sacraments, and participating in school and community activities. It is anticipated that his long-delayed departure will coincide with Father Waweru’s arrival, whose return was also delayed by the travel restrictions. Father Samson has a parish, school and home for children in Kenya with many needs that he is anxious to return to.