Rural priest imparts wisdom, experience on ‘Laudato Si’’ panel

By Kristi Anderson The Visitor Before entering the priesthood, Father Joseph Backowski studied water resources management and soil science at the University of Minnesota in Crookston. Father Backowski’s parishes, St. Mary of the Presentation in Breckenridge and St. Thomas in Kent, in the Red River Valley rest in the heart of sugar beet country, where…

DCCW: ‘Walking in God’s love with the family’

By Rita Meyer For The Visitor Having a “radiating influence” was the phrase that Deborah Savage used to describe the gift of women to more than 150 attendees at the 62nd annual fall conference of the St. Cloud Diocesan Council of Catholic Women. This year’s event, with the theme “Walking in God’s Love with the…

Council discusses Catholic Community Schools, reviews communications

Linda Kaiser, director of Catholic Education Ministries for the St. Cloud Diocese, explained plans for the structure of the new Catholic Community Schools system in the St. Cloud metro area and answered questions from members of the Diocesan Pastoral Council at their meeting Sept. 12 at St. Francis Convent in Little Falls. What is the…

Mass, blessing for health care professionals set for Oct. 18

By Frank Lee For The Visitor They care for the physical and mental needs of others, and now those they serve will show their appreciation at a special Mass and blessing at Sacred Heart Chapel in St. Joseph. All are invited to celebrate the White Mass for health care professionals at 2 p.m. Oct. 18…

Father Henry Fehrenbacher, author, university teacher, dies at 95

Father Henry Francis Fehrenbacher, 95, died Sept. 18 at St. Benedict’s Center, St. Cloud. The son of Henry and Martha (Engel) Fehrenbacher, he was born Aug. 19, 1920, in St. Cloud and attended Holy Angels Grade School and Cathedral High School, both in St. Cloud, and St. John’s University in Collegeville. Father Fehrenbacher received his…

New men’s group hopes that no man goes unchanged

By Kristi Anderson The Visitor Like many Catholics, Richard Miller is saddened by events happening around the world and wished he could do something about it. “The broken condition of family unity is the root of our nation’s problems and is what inspired me to take action,” Miller said. “We find ourselves in the midst…

Father Roger Thoennes a gentle spirit, working for justice

“I have known Father Roger Thoennes for 30 years,” said Father LeRoy Scheierl, pastor of St. Peter Parish and St. Paul Parish in St. Cloud. “As a priest, his biggest concern was being kind to people. He was a gentle spirit who did not want to leave anyone out. He did his best to be…

Locals react to Pope’s address to Congress

By Kristi Anderson The Visitor Before dawn on Sept. 24, spectators gathered at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., where Pope Francis spoke to a crowd of tens of thousands who were both inside and outside the Special Joint Session of the U.S. Congress. College of St. Benedict president Mary Hinton, who was invited by…