Parish profile – St. Francis of Assisi, St. Francis

In 1914, the first church was built with no architect — the local farmers planned and constructed the building from their own knowledge and experience. When, in 1954, St. Francis of Assisi decided to build a new church, the old building was donated to the Catholics in Upsala and was moved there. St. Francis Parish…

Farmers markets encourage healthy lifestyles

By Nikki Rajala The Visitor In light of Pope Francis’ recent encyclical “Laudato Si’, On the Care of Our Common Home,” Catholics in central Minnesota who shop at or are vendors at farmers markets can take pride in the knowledge they are already following many of its precepts. By supporting local growers who use environmentally…

Fun on the farm

Mass, picnic highlight celebration on Morris farm The Visitor About 400 people attended the annual Diocesan Rural Life Celebration Aug. 23, at the farm of Craig and Joanie Murphy near Morris. The event, hosted by Assumption Parish in Morris, included Mass with Bishop Donald Kettler with music by the parish’s Renew Choir. A talk by…

Parishes working together to make a difference

By Kristi Anderson The Visitor Jen Honek believes that small things make a difference. “For something to be done well, it takes prayer, love and time,” Honek said. “Nothing is done in a day and every day makes a difference. Every person makes a difference. God gave each person his or her own unique gifts…

Community garden a labor of love

By Dianne Towalski The Visitor Moises Waldo is a gardener who works hard tending to the vegetables and flowers he planted in his 20-by-25-foot section of the Community Garden in Rockville. And he is seeing the fruits of his labor. After working in the garden Aug. 21 with the help of his five children, they…

Program gives seminarians a taste of farm life, ministry joys and challenges

By Kristi Anderson The Visitor As part of its outreach, Catholic Rural Life developed a rural ministry practicum, a weeklong workshop held each summer at St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity for seminarians entering their third year of theological studies. For half the week, seminarians participate in classroom training led by Christopher Thompson, academic dean…

Waite Park family chooses life despite obstacles

By Kristi Anderson The Visitor On May 12, Lucia Torres Ramirez and Victor Torres Limon, who are expecting their fifth child in September, headed to their local clinic for their first ultrasound. They were happy to learn that their four children, Christopher, 11, Madeline, 8, Kailynn, 5, and Hellen, 2, would soon welcome a new…

Diocese named in two lawsuits alleging abuse

The Visitor The Diocese of St. Cloud has been named in two civil lawsuits alleging that Father Donald Rieder sexually abused two minors in the 1960s while he was assigned at St. James Parish in Randall and St. Anne Parish in Kimball. In January 2014, Bishop Donald Kettler included Father Rieder on a list he…