Browsing The Northern Cross

News in brief

Clergy assignment

Father John Petrich has been assigned as administrator of St. Joseph in the Duluth Heights neighborhood, in addition to his chaplaincy duties, effective Nov. 27, 2021.

700 Boxes of Joy contributed to Cross Catholic Outreach

(Submitted photos)

St. Joseph’s parish in Grand Rapids, has been filling Boxes of Joy for Cross Catholic Outreach for the last five years. St. Joseph’s schoolchildren assist by assembling boxes and helping to pack. Under the guidance and leadership of Council of Catholic Women, the project has grown over the years. The parish and school families enjoy giving back to those less fortunate. It’s become a great project for all to get involved. In the past couple of years, the parish has filled an average of 600 boxes, but this year it exceeded its goal and filled 700 boxes. Seven hundred children were blessed with a special gift for Christmas. These boxes are filled with necessities, like toothbrushes and toothpaste, bar of soap and a wash cloth, school supplies, toys, shoes, and a new article of clothing. Boxes are sent to the impoverished countries of Haiti, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, and Honduras. Each child receives a rosary and a story coloring book about Jesus. Jesus calls us to be servants and help the poor. That is what St. Joseph’s of Grand Rapids has done. Before the boxes were shipped out, the boxes were given a special blessing by Father Blake Rozier. Parishioners pray that the recipients of these boxes are blessed with God’s love and peace. To learn more about this project, visit

Ugly Sweater Party

(Submitted photo)

Father Daniel Weiske, of Blessed Sacrament parish, got into the spirit of the Faith Formation Christmas Ugly Sweater Party. He hung a miniature sweater, complete with tiny clothes hanger, from his pocket and completed the look with a giant Frosty the Snowman hat. The youth enjoyed pizza and participated in a white elephant exchange and a treasure hunt. They also made thank you cards for the Faith Formation volunteers and Christmas cards for homebound. The evening concluded, as it began, with prayer.

Christmas Tea

Widows of Prayer held a Christmas Tea at Blessed Sacrament parish. The apostolate is dedicated to praying for priests and those in church leadership, devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, and promotion of adoration of our eucharistic Lord. The tea was open to all women of the parish. Father Daniel Weiske opened the event with prayer.

UMD Newman purchases property

It was announced Dec. 16, 2021, that Seven Bridges Properties, LLC, a subsidiary of the University of Minnesota Duluth Newman Center, is purchasing the properties around the present Newman Center house for future development. Given the growth of the Newman Center Catholic ministry to students on and off campus, projected facility plans call for a new Newman house and chapel to be built in the block of the present Newman Center. Father Mike Schmitz, chaplain of the Newman Center, states that the purchase of additional land will provide wonderful possibilities for the growth and expansion of Newman Center ministry and outreach.

Christmas social

Father Daniel Weiske of Blessed Sacrament parish met with Catholics residing at the Life Enrichment for the Elderly Center. Father heard confessions and said Mass for them. A Christmas social followed the sacraments.

St. Raphael’s Knights

In August, the St. Raphael’s council assisted with the parish picnic by setting up tents and chairs, worked on weeding and pruning shrubs and flower gardens around the parish and parish house, and organized a kayak float trip down the Brule River for members, their families, and parishioners. In September, it organized work crews to remove unwanted brush between the parish house and the parish, to haul unsold books from a parish book sale to donate to Savers, and to add fill around the perimeter of the parish to help divert water away from the building. Knights also repaired the dishwasher in the parish basement. In October, they had several members work to prep, paint, and clean up the walls in the parish basement. They also held a Coats for Kids fund drive and purchased several cases of coats that were distributed at Damiano Center and Fond du Lac School. They also purchased and gave out hats. In November, the Knights organized a Christmas poster contest for the youth education programs at St. Raphael’s and St. Rose. They gave out thank you gifts to the deacons of the parishes, and gave a birthday gift to Father James Bissonette.