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Farmers to Families food distribution set for Oct. 30

NEW ULM — The USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program will distribute 1,200 25-pound boxes of dairy products, meat and fresh produce beginning at 1 p.m., Friday, Oct. 30, in front of the Brown County Fairgrounds grandstand.

Food will be distributed free of charge, no questions asked. Enter the fairgrounds at the west gate near Washington School and proceed to the grandstand area. Food will be distributed until 5 p.m. or until it is gone.

Local sponsors include Catholic Charities USA, the Diocese of New Ulm, Knights of Columbus and the Brown County Fairgrounds.

“As winter seems to have set in, now is a good time to help our neighbor,” said New Ulm Council 1076 Grand Knight Dr. Gary Neubauer. “There is more hunger in our country now than perhaps ever before. Please help by letting people you know become aware of this opportunity and help us help everyone in need.”

Prepackaged food boxes will be placed in each vehicle before it exits out the south gate by the Isaak Walton League building.

USCCB offers ‘Election Novena’ as way to prepare for Nov. 3, pray for nation

Catholic News Service Feature,

WASHINGTON (CNS) — As it did in 2016, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is encouraging people of faith to take part in an election novena beginning Oct. 26 and ending Nov. 3, Election Day.

A closing prayer for elected leaders will be offered Nov. 4, the day after the election.

“Bearing in mind our nation’s challenges and the need for wise, moral, civic leadership, four years ago our conference offered an electronic ‘Election Novena’ to help Catholics prepare for the 2016 election,” the USCCB said.

This is a graphic for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ “Election Novena.” The bishops are encouraging people of faith to participate in a novena to prepare for Election Day and pray for the nation for nine days, beginning Oct. 26 and ending Nov. 3. A closing prayer for elected leaders will be offered on Day 10, Nov. 4, the day after the election. (CNS photo/courtesy USCCB)

“Shared through social media and various email lists, the prayer effort was widely popular with the laity and very much appreciated by clergy, who are often asked to promote more partisan or issue-specific prayer campaigns,” it added in a letter sent by about a dozen USCCB committee chairmen to all U.S. bishops.

The signers’ committees represent the broad range of issues reflected in the novena intentions: cultural diversity, migration, international and domestic justice and peace, pro-life activities, racism, Catholic education, catechesis and evangelization, the promotion and defense of marriage, religious liberty, and family life and youth.

The website has the daily intentions, a link to sign up to receive the intentions daily by email as well as links to PDFs of the intentions in English and Spanish and to other resources including the bishops’ quadrennial statement: “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship.”

Participants are encouraged to pray one Our Father, one Hail Mary and one Glory Be after each day’s intention.

The daily intentions are as follows:

  • Day One, Oct. 26: As we prepare for the national, state and local elections, in the midst of a global pandemic, may our political engagement be guided by our Catholic faith.

  • Day Two, Oct. 27: In this month of the Holy Rosary, may Our Blessed Mother guide us in confronting racial inequalities and restoring peace in our communities.

  • Day Three, Oct. 28: May all Americans recall the necessity of dialogue, civility and humility in this election season.

  • Day Four, Oct. 29: May all people understand the moral and ethical dimensions of political decisions and decide accordingly.

  • Day Five, Oct. 30: May voters and elected leaders uphold the dignity of every human life in their political engagement.

  • Day Six, Oct. 31: May Catholics recall all aspects of Catholic social teaching as they consider their votes.

  • Day Seven, Nov. 1: May there be a transformation of politics to focus on the dignity of the human person and the common good.

  • Day Eight, Nov. 2: May we keep in mind the gift of religious freedom and our duty to defend and exercise it as faithful citizens.

  • Day Nine, Nov. 3: Today, as we approach the polls, may we understand and embrace the principles of our faith that should guide our political engagement.

The closing prayer for Nov. 4 is: May the leaders elected this week be guided by the Holy Spirit as they fulfill their positions.

Knights of Columbus Giving 3,000 Coats for Kids

MINNEAPOLIS — For many, the COVID -19 pandemic has been devastating.  It has taken a terrible economic and social toll with many out of work and wondering how to keep their children warm this winter.  Others are only able to see the many things they cannot do, the people they cannot visit with and feel no longer able to do the things they love to do.  While many are paralyzed in response to the pandemic, the Knights of Columbus will leave “no neighbor behind” and are continuing their charitable outreach programs in every way they can.  Knights of Columbus all over Minnesota will be distributing nearly 3,000 coats for kids to their partners in COVID safe distributions on or around Saturday, October 24.  

Coats for Kids are funded by donations.  Twenty Minnesota Knights of Columbus councils will distribute 2982 warm coats worthy over $62,000 to children in need, most of which will be given away in one morning.

The Knights of Columbus have given away some 300,000 coats to children since 2009. The Coats for Kids program originated in Connecticut and has expanded among the organization’s local chapters.

 “Coats for Kids perfectly represents the Knights’ No Neighbor Left Behind Initiative,” said Minnesota State Deputy Dave Whatmuff.  “We are Knights of Charity and will do whatever we can to find and help those less fortunate, especially when things are tough – as they are now.”

“We give these gifts of warmth – gifts that keep giving every time they are worn – because every child is made in the image and likeness of our God. Our Faith in this God who loves us compels us to action to help those in need.  We act because we must,” added Whatmuff. 

Coats for Kids co-chairman Patrick Farrelly explained, “We want to do something positive together to respond to this pandemic.  Our Councils want to help and we know the need for coats is larger than ever because so many are out of work. Families will need coats as soon as the cold weather is upon us. Our national organization is helping us step into the breach to help families in need.  This is also a great way to honor our founder, Father McGivney, who will be beatified October 31.”

In the Diocese of New Ulm, the Knights will be collecting coats in Marshall. For further information or other locations throughout Minnesota, click here.


Minnesota Catholic Conference Sponsors: The Role of Politics in the Modern World

NORTH ST. PAUL - On Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020, at the Church of St. Peter in North St. Paul, the Minnesota Catholic Conference (MCC), the political voice of the Minnesota Catholic bishops, live streamed “The Role of Politics in the Modern World in hopes of assisting Catholics prepare for Election Day 2020.

The event took place at the Church of St. Peter in North St. Paul.

The presenter was Jason Adkins, executive director of the Minnesota Catholic Conference.

This important talk is available for viewing on the Minnesota Catholic Conference election resources page. The MCC encourages parishes, small groups, families, and individuals to watch this talk as part of their preparations for election day and to be renewed in the ongoing work of forming one's conscience.

“Minnesota, Our Common Home” six-week study begins October 4

Is your parish looking for an easy way to engage parishioners this fall? On Sunday, October 4, mark the Feast of St. Francis, patron of ecology, by starting a six-week study (either in-person, virtually, or a hybrid) of “Minnesota, Our Common Home”.

This document and study guide were inspired by Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato si’. It is designed to explain the message of Laudato si’ in terms of its significance for Minnesotans today. Study participants will gain a greater understanding of “integral ecology” and how care for all of God’s creation is connected.

Learn more and order copies here:

Open Wide Our Hearts: The Catholic Church Confronts Racism

  • ZOOM Webinar to be held Wednesday, Sept. 9 from 10 a.m. - noon.. REGISTER HERE.

The tragic death of George Floyd has ignited a public conversation about ongoing racial inequity and injustice in America. How can the Church uphold the dignity of all human persons and foster the common good during these contentious times? What issues do we need to address with our own Church that prevent an appropriate response?

The Minnesota Catholic Conference, the public policy voice of the Catholic Church in Minnesota, is hosting this forum on the memorial of St. Peter Claver to provide an opportunity for formation and reflection on these critical issues in our community, and how we as a Church can respond. This forum is primarily for priests, deacons, educators, and lay ecclesial ministers and is also open to the public.

Attendees will hear from Archbishop Bernard Hebda of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and Bishop John Quinn of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester. Scroll down to view the biographies of our featured speakers and panelists.

Monsignor Douglas L. Grams elected to serve as administrator of the Diocese of New Ulm

NEW ULM – Monsignor Douglas L. Grams was elected by the diocesan College of Consultors to serve as the diocesan administrator of the Diocese of New Ulm, effective Aug. 10, 2020. This follows the Aug. 6, 2020, announcement by Pope Francis of the acceptance of the retirement of the Most Reverend John M. LeVoir, who has served the diocese since 2008.

 According to the Code of Canon Law, when the bishop of a diocese vacates his office, and no simultaneous appointment is made by the Holy See to fill the office, a diocesan administrator is elected by the College of Consultors to govern the diocese. As administrator, Monsignor Grams will assume the administrative responsibilities of a diocesan bishop until the pope appoints a new bishop. In 2007, when the Diocese of New Ulm became vacant due to the appointment of Bishop John C. Nienstedt as coadjutor bishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Monsignor Grams was elected diocesan administrator of the diocese, serving from December 2007 until the appointment of Bishop LeVoir in 2008.

 The current members of the College of Consultors are Monsignor Eugene Lozinski, Rev. Steve Verhelst, Rev. Mark Steffl, Rev. Craig Timmerman, Rev. Anthony Stubeda, and Monsignor Douglas Grams.

 Following the election, Monsignor Grams commented, “I am honored to serve as interim administrator for the Diocese of New Ulm until our Holy Father, Pope Francis, appoints a new bishop for our diocese. My prayer is that the Lord will guide me in this new leadership journey and that a bishop will be appointed soon.”

 Monsignor Grams was ordained to the priesthood on June 13, 1987, at the Church of the Holy Rosary, North Mankato, by Bishop Raymond A. Lucker. Since ordination, he has served parishes in the communities of Sleepy Eye, Searles, Tracy, and Walnut Grove. He currently serves as rector of the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New Ulm and is pastor of the parishes in the Holy Cross Area Faith Community (Lafayette, New Ulm, Searles, and West Newton Township).

Diocesan positions he has held include defender of the bond and associate judge for the diocesan Marriage Tribunal, chancellor, and director of priest personnel. Since 2002, Monsignor Grams has served concurrently as vicar general of the diocese under the last two bishops.

 In addition to his diocesan administrator responsibilities, Monsignor Grams will continue to serve as the Diocese of New Ulm’s Bishop’s Delegate in Matters Pertaining to Sexual Misconduct, a position he has held since 2002.

Pope accepts resignation of Bishop John M. LeVoir of the Diocese of New Ulm

NEW ULM - The Most Rev. John M. LeVoir has resigned as bishop of the Diocese of New Ulm due to health reasons. Pope Francis accepted his resignation effective Aug. 6, 2020. Bishop LeVoir, 74, who was appointed bishop of New Ulm on July 14, 2008, is now considered a retired bishop. A typical retirement age for a bishop is 75.

Since early July, Bishop LeVoir has been undergoing a physical and psychological assessment at Sacred Heart Mercy Health Care Center in Alma, Mich., operated by the Religious Sisters of Mercy. He will remain in Alma until early September to undertake a therapy plan.

“Although these last years have been very challenging for the diocese and the life of the Church, it has been a privilege to have served the faithful of the Diocese of New Ulm. As bishop, it has not only been a great honor, but an enriching experience as I have come to know many people throughout this local Church. I have been impressed by their love for Jesus Christ, their willingness to share their Catholic faith, and their concern for the less fortunate. It would not have been possible to serve as their shepherd without their continued support, cooperation, and prayers,” said Bishop LeVoir.

According to the Code of Canon Law, when the bishop of a diocese vacates his office, and no simultaneous appointment is made by the Holy See to fill the office, a diocesan administrator is elected by the diocesan College of Consultors to govern the diocese. The diocesan administrator is elected from the active priests of the diocese and is at least 35 years of age. Once he accepts the election, he holds the power of a bishop until the pope appoints a new bishop.

There is no timeline for the appointment of a new bishop. However, the search for a replacement will begin immediately, a process run primarily by the Vatican.

Msgr. Douglas Grams, the vicar general of the diocese under Bishop LeVoir offered prayerful best wishes to him. “I applaud Bishop LeVoir for recognizing his health concerns and making the request for early retirement. I thank him for his devoted leadership during his tenure as the shepherd of our diocese.”

A native of Minneapolis, Bishop LeVoir was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in 1981. He was serving as pastor at the Church of St. Michael and the Church of St. Mary in Stillwater, Minn., when Pope Benedict XVI appointed him on July 14, 2008, as the fourth bishop of New Ulm.

Established on Nov. 18, 1957, the Diocese of New Ulm consists of 15 counties in south and west-central Minnesota: Big Stone, Brown, Chippewa, Kandiyohi, Lac Qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, McLeod, Meeker, Nicollet, Redwood, Renville, Sibley, Swift, and Yellow Medicine, a total of 9,863 square miles. It encompasses nearly 50,933 Catholics in 61 parishes served by 35 assigned priests and 19 permanent deacons. There are 13 Catholic elementary schools and three Catholic high schools.

Diocese of New Ulm Appoints Dr. Michelle Kramer as Director of Catholic Schools

NEW ULM - Bishop John M. LeVoir has appointed Dr. Michelle Kramer as the new director of Catholic Schools and Continuing Education for Clergy for the Diocese of New Ulm effective July 16, 2020.

As director of Schools, Kramer will serve as the bishop’s delegate in matters relating to Catholic schools within the diocese as well as provide guidance and assistance to pastors, elementary and high school principals, and appropriate school lay leadership. As director of Continuing Education for Clergy, she will address clergy needs for continued spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral growth in order to effectively carry out the Church’s mission in the diocese .

For the past six years, Kramer has served as the principal of St. Philip Catholic School in Litchfield. She has recently completed her doctoral coursework in Educational Leadership from St. Mary’s University in Winona and the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis.

A native of Winsted, Minn. Kramer attended Holy Trinity Catholic Schools. She and her husband Norb have five children.

Glimpse of the Past: New Ulm's Way of the Cross built in 1903-04

By Edie Schmierbach [email protected]

NEW ULM — An image of steps at the entrance to The Way of the Cross is featured on new street banners in New Ulm. The banners displayed along a section of Broadway Street showcase 20 of the town’s most popular tourist attractions.

The Way of the Cross is dedicated for meditation on the Passion and the death of Jesus Christ; however, people of all faiths are welcome to stop at each station and read the German and English inscriptions.

Visitors using the steep pathway that begins near North Fifth Street travel up a shady hillside until they reach a small brick chapel. Many making the 700-foot-climb are seeking peace and serenity along with outdoor exercise.

Fourteen brick-and-concrete niches containing century-old statuary provide walkers with restful meditation points. A stone grotto marks the path’s halfway point.

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