Browsing The Northern Cross

News in brief

Lenten regulations 

Ash Wednesday, Feb. 22, and Good Friday, April 7, 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, as well as two smaller meals that together are not equal to 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: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops 

Baby shower 

(Submitted photo) 

Catholic Daughters of the America, Court St. Margaret No. 1888, Eveleth, held its 14th annual Birth Rite baby shower Jan. 14 through Feb. 1. Catholic Daughters, Eveleth Knights of Columbus, and parishioners of Resurrection and St. Joseph donated 262 layettes and clothing items plus $300 in gift cards and checks. All items collected were donated to the Family Life Center in Virginia. The Family Life Center is a “life affirming organization dedicated to promoting healthy choices for women and men and protecting the well-being of children, pre-born and born, by offering counseling, information, and assistance.” Items collected benefit families in the surrounding Iron Range area. Participants earn the baby care items by attending parenting classes and volunteering at the centers. 

$25,000 for life 

(Submitted photo)

In December 2022, the clustered parishes of Immaculate Heart in Crosslake and St. Emily’s in Emily hosted a fundraiser entitled “Open Your Heart for Life.” The event raised $50,000. Half of the money was donated to the Women’s Care Center in Duluth, and the other half was given to the Respect Life ministry of the two parishes. Pictured is the $25,000 check presented to the Women’s Care Center. In the center of the picture holding the check is Father David Forsman from Immaculate Heart and St. Emily’s parishes, to his left is Deb Ellingson, executive director of the Women’s Care Center, and to his right is Benedictine Sister Lisa Maurer, WCC board president. Other individuals pictured are members of the Open Your Heart committee and Respect Life ministry of Immaculate Heart and St. Emily’s. 

Beier releases book of poetry 

The Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord marked the release of “Like the Dewfall,” the first of two books of spiritual poetry by Mariana (“Ana”) Beier, a member of St. John the Evangelist parish in Duluth. The book contains reflections that arose mostly during times of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, and Beier offers them in the hope that others might find them meaningful too and be drawn more intimately to God. “Prayer is the soul’s love language,” Beier says on the back cover of the book, and she considers her poems to be the fruit of prayer. The book is available on Amazon for $7.99, with profits going to support agencies that provide food, shelter, and clothing for people in need. She expects her second book, “Light From Light,” to be released later this year.

Sister Veronica Schweyen

On Sunday, Feb. 12, Maryknoll Sister Veronica Schweyen and other jubilarians were honored in a special Jubilee Mass at the Maryknoll Sisters Chapel of Annunciation, located at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, New York. Sister Veronica was born in North Dakota and earned a bachelor’s degree in English from St. Scholastica College in Duluth in 1958. Prior to entering the Maryknoll Sisters, she taught in public schools in Tower and Rochester. Veronica (Roni) Schweyen entered the Maryknoll Sisters Oct. 18, 1963, at the novitiate in Valley Park, Mo. Sister Veronica served many years in Tanzania and with the Maryknoll Office for Global Concern before retiring in 2019.

CRS Rice Bowl 

With ongoing conflicts, extreme weather events and widespread inflation making it more difficult for families around the world to put food on the table, Catholic Relief Services invites Catholics across the United States to pray, fast, and give alms through its annual Lenten program CRS Rice Bowl, which began Ash Wednesday. 

While CRS Rice Bowl donations go primarily to CRS programs around the world dedicated to ending hunger and poverty, 25% of the funds stay in the diocese where they are collected. As families in the United States struggle with increases in the cost of living, supporting these same efforts here at home remains of vital importance. 

CRS Rice Bowl participants are encouraged to reach out to their local parishes to give, or visit for more information.