What does the church teach about vaccinations?

Minnesota law requires all students in kindergarten through 12th grade to show they have received immunizations against certain diseases or have an exemption based on medical reasons or the “conscientiously held beliefs” of their parent or guardian. In light of the recent debate over whether parents should be required to vaccinate their children against measles…

Spitzer Center leads diocesan staff on ‘Journey to Excellence’

The Visitor Staff members of the Diocese of St. Cloud are participating in a new formation program that aims to strengthen their service to the church by fostering better teamwork and a renewed culture of evangelization in their offices and ministries. A key starting place is understanding happiness and how it shapes a person’s decisions,…

Finding Faith and Following His Heart

When student Peter Yang arrived at Cathedral two years ago, he had little time for anything to do with religion. Now, thanks to his own curiosity and the support of the school community, he is preparing for full initiation into the Catholic Church. By Kristi Anderson The Visitor Who was Jesus? Why do we need…

How can the church serve families better?

Focus groups, surveys seek answers ahead of synod on the family By Kristi Anderson The Visitor Bishop Donald Kettler is asking Catholics in the Diocese of St. Cloud to share their views regarding the needs of today’s Catholic families and what the church can do to provide better pastoral care, especially to families here in…

Church has role in helping families find hope, healing

By Kristi Anderson The Visitor Ryan Pflipsen had just purchased his first semi truck and was looking forward to working alongside his dad Mick and brother Bill in the family trucking business near Melrose. Known for his strong work ethic and easygoing style, Ryan could often be found working on their farm or spending time…

Breaking the silence around suicide

Speaker stresses importance of being aware of warning signs and symptoms By Kristi Anderson The Visitor Darren Reed is an alcoholic. He has struggled with addiction and mental illness. He knows what it is like to live with a pain so great he could not see beyond his own darkness. Reed eventually escaped the “tunnel…

Judge dismisses nuisance claim against diocese

The Visitor A Stearns County judge has dismissed a nuisance claim against the Diocese of St. Cloud in a case alleging sexual abuse committed by James Thoennes, a priest of the diocese, in the mid-1960s. “While I welcome today’s decision by the court, I continue to pray for all victims of clergy sexual abuse, and…

Open houses mark Year of Consecrated Life

The Visitor Several religious communities in the Diocese of St. Cloud are opening their doors to the public on Feb. 8 as part of events celebrating the Year of Consecrated Life. The special year announced by Pope Francis began Nov. 30 and ends Feb. 2, 2016. The open house events include the following: • Onamia…

Parents bring to light challenges, rewards of Catholic education

Proposed legislation aims to give families more options By Kristi Anderson The Visitor Each weekday morning, Stephanie Heinze of Bertha packs up the family vehicle and drives the 34-mile round trip to bring her daughter Evelyn, 6, to kindergarten at Christ the King School in Browerville, while her husband Loren stays with their two sons,…

Faith, family and a fearless spirit

Principal Erin Hatlestad’s commitment to core values, innovation and steadfast leadership have earned her a national education award By Kristi Anderson The Visitor Nearly every afternoon, Principal Erin Hatlestad stands on the playground behind St. Katharine Drexel School in St. Cloud and helps students pile into cars to head home with their families — families…