Like mustard seeds, Pay it Forward projects grow

Three group projects turn $600 into $3,565 for people in need By Nikki Rajala The Visitor One Pay it Forward for Lent project leader likened her group’s project to a mustard seed — starting small but multiplying. “This Lenten project was blessed by God,” said Sarah Heidelberger. “I am amazed at the generosity of people.”…

St. John’s basketball coach Jim Smith retires after 51 seasons

St.  John’s University basketball coach Jim Smith, Minnesota’s all-time leader in college basketball wins, announced his retirement March 17. “This has been a very difficult decision and one that has required a great deal of thought and lost sleep,” Smith said in a press release from St. John’s University. “I will miss my associations with…

Local immigrants would benefit from ‘Safe Roads’ bill

By Kristi Anderson The Visitor Education efforts are under way in the Diocese of St. Cloud to discuss Safe Roads Minnesota, a legislative proposal that would allow everyone to apply for a driver’s license regardless of immigration status. Mayuli Bales, director of the diocesan Office of Multicultural Ministries, has been meeting with area legislators, concerned…

Holy oils symbolize Holy Spirit’s power, presence, Bishop Kinney says

By Kristi Anderson The Visitor When the bishop breathes upon the openings of glass vessels filled with fragrant chrism oil at the annual chrism Mass, he does so as a reminder of Christ breathing on the Apostles after his resurrection, telling them to “receive the Holy Spirit.” The Catholic faith is rich with signs and…

‘The Francis Effect’

St. John’s grad who wrote and directed film about pope says Francis’ far-ranging influence rests on his walk-the-talk, back-to-basics approach to Gospel Sebastian Gomes, a native of Perth, Ontario, and a 2011 graduate of the St. John’s School of Theology in Collegeville, returned to his alma mater for a March 11 screening and discussion of…

Blessing the Holy Oils

Annual chrism Mass is time of renewal, preparation By Kristi Anderson The Visitor Every year right before Easter, the bishop of each diocese blesses the oils that will be used in its parishes for the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, holy orders and the anointing of the sick at a special Mass called the chrism Mass….

Partners in need of prayer

With political unrest and disease taking their toll in Homa Bay and Maracay, central Minnesota Catholics are being asked to pray By Dianne Towalski The Visitor Prayer is a pillar of any global solidarity partnership, and our partners in Maracay, Venezuela and Homa Bay, Kenya need our prayers more than ever. The St. Cloud Mission…

Focus groups give voice, hope to families

By Kristi Anderson The Visitor Marc and Teresa Dvoracek had several reasons for venturing out to St. Anthony’s Parish Center in St. Cloud on the blustery evening of Feb. 23. The couple, members of Holy Spirit Parish in St. Cloud, were among Catholics who participated in focus groups this week at the request of Bishop…

Diocesan TV Mass gets HD-technology overhaul

By Dianne Towalski The Visitor Viewers will soon notice some big changes in the diocesan TV Mass. Thanks to an anonymous bequest designated for TV Mass equipment, the diocesan Office of Worship has, over the past few months, purchased and installed new broadcast equipment. “We were able to get all new recording equipment — from…