Browsing News Entries

Browsing News Entries

National Eucharistic Congress releases schedule, offers scholarships and weekend passes

By Joe Bukuras, CNA Staff

With the National Eucharistic Congress just eight months away, the U.S. bishops announced that scholarships and single-day and weekend passes will be available to make it possible for more Catholics to attend the event to be held next July in Indianapolis.

As many as 80,000 Catholics are expected to attend the event from July 17–21, 2024, at Lucas Oil Stadium, home to the Indianapolis Colts.

Almost 30,000 tickets have been sold for the full five-day congress, which has just released an updated schedule of events. A complete and detailed schedule will be available in January.

The congress is the climax of the bishops’ three-year National Eucharistic Revival initiative, which was launched in part because of a Pew Research poll that suggested only one-third of adult Catholics in the U.S. believe in the Church’s teaching on the Blessed Sacrament.

Additional polling data released has challenged that poll’s findings but still indicates a large number of Catholics don’t accept the Church’s teaching, or if they do, don’t go to Mass regularly. 

Addressing the U.S. bishops at their fall plenary meeting on Nov. 15, Bishop Andrew Cozzens of the Diocese of Crookston, Minnesota, said that “incredible things are happening” as a result of the revival.

Cozzens, the chairman of the National Eucharistic Congress, Inc., pointed to several statistics and updates indicating the revival has already borne fruit. His remarks were reinforced by several bishops who stood up and announced Eucharistic revival initiatives happening in their own dioceses.

Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois, spoke about his diocese’s Eucharistic congress, which occurred in October, saying that there’s a “spiritual high” among the faithful following the event. 

San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone also mentioned the Eucharistic congress, which left his archdiocese in a spirit of “prayer and intensity.”

Cozzens shared that the Eucharistic revival has garnered almost 8,000 volunteer “parish point persons” while more than 12,000 parish leaders have downloaded the revival’s leader’s playbook, a resource that gives concrete steps on how to cultivate the revival in one’s community.

Another resource, “Jesus and the Eucharist,” a seven-session small-group video series, is being used in “thousands of parishes” with over 32,000 hours viewed, he said.

Tens of thousands have engaged with the revival’s “Spark” series, which is a set of prayers, reflections, and spiritual initiatives emailed to one’s inbox over nine days, Cozzens said.

The revival’s weekly newsletter with reflections on the Eucharist has reached 70,000 subscribers, Cozzens said, adding that the revival’s Instagram account has 32,000 subscribers.

Additionally, Cozzens announced that early next year a new “preaching series” will be released, “which is linked to the Sunday readings in Lent as well as a tool kit for parish teams to begin reaching out to parishioners who have not yet returned since the pandemic.”

Tim Glemkowski told reporters at a press conference at the U.S. bishops’ meeting that just under 30,000 tickets to the congress have been sold. 

He said that after consulting another “head of a major Catholic gathering,” he learned that a significant number of attendees register in the two months prior to the event. 

“That does keep me up at night. But I would say we’re off to a pretty good start then, if that’s how today, event registration trends,” he said. 

Single-day and weekend passes

Those wishing to attend the congress will be able to purchase single-day or weekend passes in early January. 

Single-day passes will cost between $49 and $95, depending on which day is chosen, and weekend passes will be offered at $125.

A “limited” number of single-day passes will include a discount for participants who purchase them “early,” according to a Wednesday press release from the congress.

Five-day passes continue to be available online. 


In his speech, Cozzens announced that more than $750,000 has been raised in a “solidarity fund” to offer scholarships to those wishing to attend the conference and who are in need of financial support. Some of that funding also came from private donors and foundations.

“We’ve heard well the concerns of some that they find the length or the cost difficult, and we’ve worked hard over the past year to find ways to make it affordable and accessible so that it can be a gathering for the whole Church so that we can literally open wide the doors to Christ for people to come,” he said in his speech.

Those scholarship applications open Jan. 4, Cozzens said, and more information will be made available then on the congress’ website.


Leading up to the congress is the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage, which will consist of four Eucharistic processions starting from differing points in the country and finishing in Indianapolis for the start of the congress.
This pilgrimage will take place over a two-month period, and groups of young adults will make the full pilgrimage, while anyone is invited to join for any portion of the route. 

Cozzens said that “hundreds of thousands” are expected to join some portion of the pilgrimage.

“And we’re delighted to announce that the apostolic penitentiary will be issuing a decree granting a plenary indulgence to anyone who participates in one of the four legs of the pilgrimage, as well as those who participate in the National Eucharistic Congress,” he said. 

Minnesota bishop issues letter about steps needed for Sister Annella Zervas’ cause

By Patti Maguire Armstrong

CNA - A letter from Bishop Andrew Cozzens of the Crookston Diocese released Oct. 15 announced that preliminary steps are being taken that could lead to opening a cause for the canonization of Sister Annella Zervas, OSB.

Zervas died at the age of 26 in 1926 in her family home in Moorhead, Minnesota, after a debilitating and painful skin disease. 

Amanda Zurface (no relation to Zervas, although pronounced the same), a canon lawyer, read the bishop’s letter at the Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto in the St. Benedict Monastery cemetery in St. Joseph, Minnesota, where Zervas is buried. Approximately 150 people gathered for the event, many of them part of a monthly group that has been praying for Zervas’ canonization.  

Sister Annella Zervas, OSB, entered the Order of St. Benedict in St. Joseph at age 15 in August of 1915. She made her perpetual vows in 1922 and worked as a music teacher until a peculiar skin disease eventually made it impossible. Credit: Photo courtesy of Joanne Zervas

Although Zervas died almost 100 years ago, she remains very much alive in the hearts and minds of a growing number of people, largely because of the efforts of Patrick Norton, a house painter, husband, and father of three from Avon, Minnesota.

On Oct. 27, 2010, while painting light posts in front of the grotto, Norton says a religious sister in an old-style habit appeared to him and told him he was doing a good job. They chatted a bit, and when she turned to go, she vanished before his eyes. He later identified her as Sister Annella Zervas through photos and discovered she was buried in that cemetery. Since then, he has felt called to share her story far and wide. 

In the letter he wrote, Cozzens thanked the group for “perseverance in prayer and witnessing to the importance of living a holy life as seen in your commitment through spreading the message of Sister Annella.” 

The bishop shared that he too is inspired by the nun’s story, which he first learned about through his own sister. He acknowledged receiving many requests from people to begin the formal process of investigation to determine her holiness. However, he noted, “there are formalities and stages that involve canon lawyers, historians, theologians, and doctors to instructing a cause of beatification and canonization. … I ask that you be patient as we follow the procedures set out for us by the Church for a study such as this, and I also ask for your prayers.”

Cozzens shared the website For the Promotion of the Life of Sister Annella Zervas, OSB, for people wanting to stay informed about the study of Zervas’ life, to share a story about her, or to report answers to prayer through the nun’s intercession. (People can also email [email protected].)

When Zervas died, many believed she was a saint. Two booklets about her life were written: “Ticket to Eternity,” by James Kritzeck, published in 1957, and “Apostles of Suffering in Our Day,” written by Benedictine priest Joseph Kreuter and published in 1929.

There is uncertainty as to whether there was ever a cause opened for Zervas.

Older writings often refer to Zervas as “Servant of God,” a title given to a candidate for sainthood after a cause has been opened and is under investigation prior to being declared “Venerable.” (Venerable is the title given to a candidate whose cause has not yet reached the beatification stage but whose heroic virtue has been declared by the pope.)

“That is one of the things that needs to be investigated,” Zurface told CNA at the cemetery prior to the reading of the letter. She credited Norton with resurrecting an interest in Zervas’ life.

According to Norton, 100,000 copies have been distributed of the booklet “Apostles of Suffering in Our Day.” 

People have also learned of Zervas through an interview Norton did in a video titled “The Sanctity of Two Hearts.” 

Those praying for the Benedictine sister’s intercession have reported miracles and answers to prayers. But the Church is always cautious about such things, Zurface said, so it’s premature to say any more than is in the letter. 

The nameplate on the gravestone of Sister Annella Zervas, OSB, in the Saint Benedict Monastery cemetery in St. Joseph, Minnesota. Around 150 people gathered for an event where a letter was read from the bishop about steps being taken to look into opening a cause for Zervas. Oct. 15, 2023. Credit: Patti Armstrong

Monsignor David Baumgartner, rector of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Crookston and the other canon lawyer preparing the groundwork for the cause, noted in a phone interview that the main tasks right now are to work on bylaws to form a guild and to establish it as a nonprofit organization. 

A “guild” is the traditional association formed to support, through prayer and promotion, a candidate for sainthood. 

“When the guild is established, they will be the ones to petition for a cause to open,” he explained. “The letter was presented at this time, so people will be aware of what the diocese is doing in regard to Sister Annella.”

After the reading of Cozzens’ letter, Norton shared with the group his own story of how he came to know Zervas. And Rose Lindgren from Sartell, about 10 miles from St. Joseph, told the group she was healed of bladder cancer five years ago without treatment after praying to Zervas.

A life of suffering

Zervas was born Anna Cordelia Zervas in Moorhead, Minnesota, on Palm Sunday, April 7, 1900. Even as a young girl, she had a deep interior life, taking great pains to prepare for her first holy Communion and walking a mile daily to attend Mass.

Childhood photo of Sister Annella Zervas, OSB. Photo courtesy of Joanne Zervas

She left home for the Order of St. Benedict in St. Joseph at age 15 in August 1915. Her letters home reflect her happiness, but she also battled with terrible homesickness. When she made her perpetual vows in 1922, she said that any doubts as to her vocation vanished. But by the following year, a peculiar skin disease attacked her body, which included terrible itching day and night. 

Zervas continued her work as a music teacher at St. Mary’s School in Bismarck, North Dakota, until eventually her condition made it impossible. Her body began to swell, her skin turning a deep red and burning. Her swollen limbs oozed and developed sores; her skin sloughed off in chunks and strips; thornlike stickers developed within her pores and had to be painfully removed. 

Zervas was diagnosed in 1924 at the University of Minnesota with pityriasis rubra pilaris, a chronic skin disease that had no medical treatments at the time. With the consent of her superiors, she was transferred to her parents’ house in Moorhead, Minnesota, where her mother cared for her for two years until her death. 

“The pains became more intense; the patient’s cheerfulness remained the same,” Father Kreuter wrote in “An Apostle of Suffering in Our Day.” “’Yes, Lord, send me more pain, but give me the strength to bear it,’ is a prayer that was repeatedly uttered by Sister Annella in the midst of excruciating pains of body and anguish of soul which lasted almost continually for two long years.” 

Fr. John Goggin, a long-time advocate for the Guatemalan poor, dies at age 85

A MEMORIAL MASS will be celebrated by Bishop Chad W. Zielinski on Saturday, November 18, at 11:00 a.m. at the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New Ulm.

Fr. John Goggin, a native of DeGraff, Minn., a priest of the Diocese of New Ulm, and pastor of the San Lucas Toliman Mission in Guatemala, died on Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023, at the age of 85. A Mass of Christian Burial was held on Oct. 26 in Guatemala, where Fr. Goggin was buried.

Several years back, Fr. Goggin had been diagnosed with cancer and since August was under 24-hour care at the Mission Hospital in San Lucas.

Fr. Goggin was ordained for the Diocese of New Ulm on May 30, 1964, at the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New Ulm by Bishop Alphonse J. Schladweiler. Following ordination, he served as associate pastor at the Church of St. Anastasia in Hutchinson until July of 1967, when he began studies at the University of Ponce in Puerto Rico for approximately three months to study Spanish before being assigned to serve as associate pastor at the Diocesan Mission Parish of San Lucas Toliman on Dec. 8, 1967. He was appointed pastor on June 14, 2012.

A quiet and self-effacing man who preferred humble service over the spotlight, Fr. Goggin devoted his life to serving the people of San Lucas. His parish work was focused on the communities surrounding San Lucas, where he performed thousands of baptisms, confirmations, weddings, and funerals.

He will be remembered for his sly sense of humor and his full-throated laughter, often gently slapping the table to emphasize the hilarity of it all. Fr. Goggin greeted everyone with a twinkle in his eye and a proffered hand. In the earlier years, he stayed connected with the outside world through his ham radio and installed the first parabolic dish in San Lucas.

During the transitional years of the Mission (2012-2015), following the death of the Mission’s longtime pastor Monsignor Greg Schaffer, Fr. Goggin was instrumental in navigating a settlement with the workers of the Mission and became the principal architect of the Mission which so ably serves the community today.

Once asked what was the most formative and important value that informed his ministry, Fr. Goggin said, “To follow the Gospel and treat everyone as a child of God.”

Seminarian Brent Sundve takes next step in discernment as a formal candidate for Holy Orders

LITCHFIELD, Minn. - On Sunday, August 20, 2023, Bishop Chad Zielinski joined the Shepherd of Souls Area Faith Community at St. Philip’s in Litchfield for their 8 a.m. Mass in celebration of the Admittance to Candidacy for Mr. Brent Sundve.

Along the road toward a man’s priestly vocation, there are a number of steps or stages that they must pass through. Many of these formal stages of development arise once he enters his graduate studies in the Major Seminary. Admittance to Candidacy is the first formal stage in this process followed by, Installation as a Lector, Installation as an Acolyte, Ordination to the Diaconate, and finally Ordination to the Sacred Order of the Holy Priesthood of Jesus Christ.

Each Stage represents greater conformity to Christ in the Heart of the Man answering Christ's invitation to become his priest, but it also marks a formal relationship between this man and the Church as they discern this invitation of Christ together. Just as the vocation of marriage is discerned between two spouses to be, so too, in the Church, a vocation to serve Christ through his Church is not a singular decision, but rather, it is a continual conversation between a Candidate for Holy Orders and the Church he will be serving.

The Diocese of New Ulm congratulates Mr. Brent Sundve as he takes this next step in intentional discernment as a Formal Candidate for Holy Orders.

The Relics of Three Remarkable Saints Coming to the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis

The relics of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux and her parents, Saints Zélie and Louis Martin, will be touring Minneapolis and Saint Paul between October 4 and October 15. Learn more about the “Little Flower’s” “Little Way” and her impact in her short life on Earth.


Below are the locations and dates open to the public. Please visit the following websites for details and events:

October 4 - 5: St. Mary’s in Stillwater –

October 6 - 7: Cathedral of St. Paul –

October 7 - 10: Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis –

October 12 - 15: St. Therese Parish in Deephaven –


Visit  for more information about this inspiring and rare opportunity to venerate this family of saints outside of France. 

Cemetery of Innocents set up by Summer Blast Caritas

On July 19, youth from the Summer Blast Caritas set up the Cemetery of the Innocents.  They set up about 300 white crosses to commemorate all the unborn babies that have been lost to abortion.  Did you know that in 2022, in Minnesota alone, there were 12,175* abortions? Twenty youth set up the crosses at the New Ulm Catholic Cemetery where it is visible from both Highway 14 and North Garden Street.  You can view the memorial until around August 5.

(photo by Christy Baker)

* From the Minnesota Department of Health, “Induced Abortions in Minnesota January – December 2022: Report to the Legislature” Induced Abortions in Minnesota January-December 2022 (

Protect Children Online and Stop Child Exploitation

Online child exploitation threatens the safety and well-being of our young people and destroys families and communities. In recent years, these abuses have increased exponentially, in large part due to the internet and mobile technology. 

The Catholic Church is sadly familiar with the grave consequences of a culture that fails to give adequate attention to the problem of child sexual abuse and exploitation, and we have a responsibility to act to ensure children and the vulnerable are safe. 

Thankfully, members of both parties in Congress are putting forward various pieces of legislation that would address and help prevent the destructive effects of online child exploitation. Your voice is needed to urge Congress to use their authority to protect children and vulnerable people online.

Join United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in asking your member of Congress to protect children online today!

Send your message now!

To learn more, read the USCCB’s letter outlining three moral principles Congress can use to protect children online: 1) respect for life and dignity; 2) the call to family; 3) the call to community and participation. Within their letter, they urge Congress to enact safeguards to ensure that online pornography causes minimum harm and to protect children from exposure and exploitation. They also ask for parents to be empowered to protect their children from the harms of social media. 

The bishops write: "The ability of a child to grow into adulthood in peace and security is both a human right and a demand of the common good: the dignity of the human person requires protections for our young people so that they may flourish as they mature. . . . Legislation should ensure that social media platforms do not permit abuse by predators or undermine the rights of parents to protect their children from harm." 

Act Now

One Minute: Send a message to your members of Congress asking them to stop child exploitation and to protect children online. 

3 Minutes: Read the USCCB letter urging Congress to protect children online.

More Time: Learn about our local efforts to limit the harms of social media by reading or watching MCC testimony from 2023 urging the Minnesota legislature to prohibit the use of social media algorithms on youth.

Minnesota Catholic Conference · 525 Park St, Suite 450, St. Paul, MN 55103, United States

Make sure to join the Catholic Advocacy Network. Click HERE to receive regular updates and alerts from the Minnesota Catholic Conference, the political voice of the Minnesota Catholic bishops.
You can also keep up with Minnesota Catholic Conference on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.