Browsing News Entries

Browsing News Entries

National Vocation Awareness Week Highlights the Diversity and Unity of Vocations in the Church

WASHINGTON - The Catholic Church in the United States will celebrate National Vocation Awareness Week, November 6-12, 2022. Across the United States, dioceses, parishes, and Catholic organizations will host events to promote vocations to the ordained ministry and consecrated life. The faithful are encouraged during this week to renew their prayerful support for those currently discerning a vocation to the priesthood, diaconate, or consecrated life.

 In his Message for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, Pope Francis, reiterating his call for the Church to become increasingly synodal, compared the diversity of vocations in the Church to that of a beautiful mosaic. “As Christians, we do not only receive a vocation individually; we are also called together. We are like the tiles of a mosaic. Each is lovely by itself, but only when they are put together do they form a picture. Each of us shines like a star in the heart of God and in the firmament of the universe. At the same time, though, we are called to form constellations that can guide and light up the path of humanity, beginning with the places in which we live. This is the mystery of the Church: a celebration of differences, a sign, and instrument of all that humanity is called to be.”

 Bishop James F. Checchio of Metuchen, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations emphasized that vocational discernment always takes place within a community. “Each year, the CCLV Committee commissions the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate to conduct surveys of those recently ordained and religiously professed in the past year. These studies consistently show that vocations are the fruit of communal accompaniment. The family, healthy and holy friendships, youth group, campus ministry, and the broader parish and diocesan community form supportive environments in which vocations are first nurtured and grown.”

 Observance of Vocation Awareness Week began in 1976 when the U.S. bishops designated the 28th Sunday of the year to call attention to the importance of upholding vocations and praying for those discerning a religious vocation and celebrating those who were in ordained ministry and consecrated life. In 1997, the celebration was moved to the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord and in 2014, the USCCB’s Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations moved the observance of National Vocation Awareness Week to November to influence youth and young adults by engaging Catholic schools and colleges.

 Resources for dioceses to utilize during National Vocation Awareness Week, including homily aids, recommended reading and discernment tips, prayers of the faithful, and bulletin-ready quotes are available on the CCLV website.

Support of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development Collection on World Day of the Poor Works to End Poverty and Injustice

WASHINGTON - On the weekend of November 12-13, Catholics across the United States have the opportunity to honor the World Day of the Poor and help their neighbors who struggle against poverty by giving to the annual special collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD).

 Established more than 50 years ago, CCHD’s mission continues to empower people most impacted by economic and social injustice in the United States to advocate for better communities. Coinciding with the annual observation of World Day of the Poor (November 13), established by Pope Francs in 2017, CCHD responds to the call to accompany our brothers and sisters experiencing poverty: “Where the poor are concerned, it is not talk that matters; what matters is rolling up our sleeves and putting our faith into practice through a direct involvement, one that cannot be delegated.” (Statement for the Sixth World Day of the Poor

 Community groups awarded grants from CCHD typically train residents of neglected neighborhoods to become leaders who help others discern their community’s most pressing problems and work for solutions. For example, seven dioceses in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Texas engaged in an initiative, “Recognizing the Stranger,” where 700 immigrant parishioners were mentored to become social and pastoral leaders. These new community leaders facilitated conversations between members of the community and local law enforcement, and the dialogue yielded powerful results, including three police departments agreeing to honor parish identification cards for those lacking government identification. This eased community tensions and led to a surge in parish registrations by Catholics who had previously stayed in the shadows.

 CCHD-funded organizations help improve conditions for marginalized communities today, they also help families achieve their dreams of a better tomorrow. With support from a CCHD grant, Grounded Solutions Network assisted community land trusts from Baltimore to Lake Tahoe in their work to make the American dream of homeownership in stable, safe communities possible.

 “The work supported by CCHD is empowering communities to build resilience and stand in solidarity with their most marginalized members,” said Bishop David G. O’Connell, auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee on the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. “Whether it is assisting a family to gain access to affordable housing or facilitating dialogue among members of a local community and law enforcement, CCHD is an essential part of the Church in the United States’ social mission. I wish to express my gratitude to those who have given to this national collection and invite you to continue supporting this important work by giving generously this year.”

 In 2021, CCHD distributed more than $12.7 million to over 200 groups across the United States that are addressing the root causes of poverty and empowering people who are most vulnerable. In addition to supporting grassroots anti-poverty efforts around the country, 25% of the national collection remains in the local diocese to address the root causes of poverty locally.

 More information about CCHD as well as the national collection is available online. #iGiveCatholicTogether also accepts funds for the CCHD collection.

Diocese announces most recent official appointments

Bishop Chad W. Zielinski has announced his first official appointments since being named the fifth bishop of the Diocese of New Ulm by Pope Francis.

Effective Sept. 25, 2022.

Monsignor Douglas Grams to serve as Vicar General of the diocese in addition to serving as Moderator of the Curia, Bishop's Delegate in Matters Pertaining to Sexual Misconduct, rector of the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, New Ulm, pastor of the Holy Cross Area Faith Community (Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New Ulm, Church of St. John the Baptist in Searles, and Church pf St. George in West Newton Township), and Canonical Administrator of New Ulm Area Catholic Schools.

Monsignor Eugene Lozinski to serve as Chancellor of the diocese and parochial administrator of the Corpus Christi Area Faith Community (Church of St. Mary in Arlington, Church of St. Michael in Gaylord, Church of St. Joseph in Henderson, Church of St. John-Assumption in Faxon Township., and the merged parish of Church of St. Brendan in Green Isle and the Oratory of the Church of St. Thomas in Jessenland.)

Fr. Mark Steffl to serve as Judicial Vicar and Vice-Chancellor of the diocese in addition to pastor of the Divine Mercy Area Faith Community (Church of St. Paul in Comfrey, Church of St. Michael in Morgan, Church of St. Joseph in Clements, Church of the Japanese Martyrs in Leavenworth, and Church of St. Mary in Sleepy Eye.)

Carol Hacker to serve as diocesan director of the Office of Finance.

Pro-life leaders strongly criticize Minnesota attorney general’s alert about pregnancy centers

(ABOVE) Teresa Collett, center, a law professor at the University of St. Thomas in the Twin Cities, talks during a press conference at the State Capitol Sept. 13 by a group of mothers known collectively as MOMS — Mothers Offering Maternal Support. At left is Renee Carlson, general counsel for Minneapolis-based True North Legal, who served as emcee of the press conference.

by Barb Umberger
The Catholic Spirit

Twin Cities pro-life leaders decried an Aug. 23 consumer alert issued by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison criticizing the state’s crisis pregnancy centers, with one leader calling it “horribly disingenuous and harmful.”

Teresa Collett, a law professor at the University of St. Thomas’ Minneapolis campus, serves as lead counsel to “Mothers Offering Maternal Support,” a group of about 50 mothers of at least one minor daughter, who filed a motion Sept. 12 to intervene in Dr. Jane Doe, et al. v. State of Minnesota. 

She said she found it “astounding” that in three years of litigation, Attorney General Keith Ellison failed to consider a fact known to every parent of a teenager: They often make risky decisions and are susceptible to stress and pressure.  

MOMS held a news conference at the Minnesota State Capitol Sept. 13, where Collett and three members of MOMS spoke. Renee Carlson, general counsel for Minneapolis-based True North Legal, which supports the MOMS group’s effort, emceed the news conference. 

“We are optimistic that the district court judge will, in fact, allow us to enter the case, reopen the judgment and allow us to defend these laws that the attorney general failed to defend,” Collett said.  

The Minnesota Catholic Conference and other pro-life groups support MOMS’ efforts, said Jason Adkins, MCC’s executive director and general counsel. A decision on the motion is expected relatively soon, he said.  

Mothers who have at least one minor daughter and are interested in becoming involved with the MOMS group can email [email protected]

A Fresh Approach to Conversation About Abortion

On Saturday, Oct. 1, at Lumen Christi parking lot off Bohland Avenuethe Minnesota Catholic Conference, the political voice of the Catholic bishops of Minnesota, will host a training day featuring national pro-life leader Emily Albrecht.

Albrecht is a speaker, writer, and coach with Equal Rights Institute. She is the former co-president of Oles for Life at St. Olaf College, where she has worked to transform campus culture using ERI’s apologetics to foster respectful and productive dialogues about abortion. At ERI, she is using her educational background to write, develop curriculum, and teach pro-life advocates how to change minds, save lives, and promote a culture of life in their communities.

Emily is particularly passionate about reaching the youth of the pro-life movement. As a recent college freshman, she understands what it feels like to walk unprepared into a culture that is overwhelmingly pro-choice. Until she found ERI, she was faced daily with challenges to the pro-life position that she didn’t know how to answer, and she was afraid to speak out. She wants to equip pro-life students with the tools to intimately understand and articulate their pro-life convictions in a productive and compassionate manner.

During the training day, Albrecht will equip participants with a large successful tested set of practical tools to use in future conversations surrounding the abortion issue. Conversations will be practiced so that you will be confidently prepared to engage any pro-choice advocate who defends abortion with arguments based in difficult circumstances, biology, personhood, and bodily autonomy.


8:30 a.m. Check-in (Lumen Christi Catholic Community)
9:00 a.m. Morning Session
11:45 p.m. Lunch Break
**12:00 p.m. Afternoon Session Check-in Begins
12:45 p.m. Afternoon Session
4:00 p.m. Conference Concludes

*Optional anticipatory Mass at 4:30pm in the parish church


$15 Half-Day Adult Registration
$20 Full-Day Adult Registration
$10 Half-Day Student Registration
$15 Full-Day Student Registration
(High School & College-age students)
$5 for an optional boxed lunch


We are offering boxed lunches at a subsidized cost of $5.00. You can add a lunch to any ticket option during checkout! 

You are also welcome to bring your own lunch. (There will not be opportunity to leave and pick-up a lunch elsewhere, so be sure it either bring or order one!)


Parking is available in the Lumen Christi parking lot off Bohland Avenue.

Additional parking is available on surrounding side streets including S. Kenneth Street, and S. Wilder Street.

To purchase tickets visit