Lawsuit alleges sexual abuse by priest in early 1970s

The Visitor The Diocese of St. Cloud and James Thoennes, a priest of the diocese, have been named in a civil lawsuit alleging that Thoennes sexually abused a minor while he was assigned at St. John Parish and School in Foley in the early 1970s. The lawsuit, filed Jan. 7 in Stearns County District Court,…

President of U.S. bishops’ conference to keynote Diocesan Ministry Day

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, will be the keynote speaker for Diocesan Ministry Day Aug. 31 at River’s Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud. The archbishop will speak on “Pope Francis: Prophet of Hope and Mercy,” an extension of the DMD theme “Voice of Hope.” He…

Bishop, Islamic center leaders meet following vandalism incidents

The Visitor Bishop Donald Kettler met Dec. 22 with leaders of the Central Minnesota Islamic Center following several recent acts of vandalism at the St. Cloud mosque. “It was important to come together,” the bishop said after the meeting. “I appreciated the warmness of the people from the Islamic community who attended, especially the imam.”…

Brooklynn’s Buddies are ‘guardian angels’ for girl with leukemia

By Kristi Anderson For The Visitor Students at St. Boniface School in Cold Spring are regularly praying the Guardian Angel prayer. Brooklynn Niemi, a third-grader there, learned it with her class just days before her ninth birthday — and, just days before she and her family would need to lean on their own guardian angels….

Immigration Sunday

Family hopes executive order will bring them ‘out of the darkness’ By Dianne Towalski The Visitor Sixteen years ago, Senaide kissed her parents and her 3-year-old daughter Yessi goodbye and started her journey from Mexico to the United States to join her husband, who had left six months earlier. The family faced a difficult economic…

Send ‘Pay it Forward for Lent’ project ideas by Feb. 2

By Nikki Rajala The Visitor The Visitor will again sponsor a “Pay it Forward for Lent” initiative, our seventh year. The annual contest is inspired by Jesus’ parable of a man who left a portion of his wealth with three trusted servants. Each one handled the money differently — and those who increased it the…

Praying, marching for life

Events, including film, mark 42nd anniversary of legalized abortion To commemorate the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 United States Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, the film “40” will be shown Jan. 18 in St. Cloud, followed by Vespers for Life. Pro-lifers are encouraged to attend events observing this anniversary and to…

Mission society with Minnesota origins helps kids around world

By Sue Schulzetenberg-Gully The Visitor Stephan Cismowski can still clearly recall a traumatized girl he saw at an orphanage in Sonora, Mexico, when he was on a mission trip  there through the Blessed Nuno Society. “She was shaking in fear,” Cismowski said. “She had been prostituted and raped.” A couple of days later, Cismowski and…

Opening the door to tradition

College group organizes Las Posadas celebration, seeks other opportunities to support Latinos and engage the wider community By Kristi Anderson For The Visitor Jocelyn Alcala loves to celebrate her Mexican heritage. Though she was born in Utah, her parents were born in Mexico and she grew up observing Hispanic traditions. Many of them, like Las…