Laudato Si’ study guide – Chapter 6: Ecological Education and Spirituality

Pope Francis wrote his encyclical “Laudato Si’” for “every person living on the planet” not only to read but also to “enter into dialogue with all people about our common home.” In an effort to keep the conversations going, The Visitor is publishing a six-part faith formation series in which guest writers help to “unpack”…

Christmas liturgies and prayer opportunities

Thursday, December 24 Collegeville • Vigil of Christmas service with the St. John’s Monastic Community at 7:30 p.m. (Evening Prayer) and Christmas concert at 9:30 p.m. in Abbey Church followed by Christmas Eve Eucharist at 10 p.m. St. John’s Boys’ Choir and St. John’s Abbey Schola will sing in the concert and during Mass. Little…

The Twelve (Catholic) Days of Christmas

by Father Thomas Knoblach In digging through a box of prayer cards and such, I came across a short article titled How to Decode “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” I would like to share some of its information with you since we will hear this familiar song many times in stores and on the radio….

Our Lady of Guadalupe

People from around the diocese gathered to celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. John’s Abbey and University in Collegeville Dec. 13. The event included Mass with Bishop Donald Kettler followed by a procession to the Warner Palaestra on campus for music, food and dancing. “As we celebrate the feast of Our…

Open wide the Holy Door

At the start of the Mass Dec. 13 at St. Mary’s Cathedral in St. Cloud, Bishop Donald Kettler “opened wide” the Holy Door, a special designation to mark the Extraordinary Year of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis. Despite the rain, attendees processed from the Mary Center to the front of the church and up the…

Bringing to light the saints and lore of Christmas

By Carol Jessen-Klixbull The Visitor The traditions we cherish and carry on each Christmas season have a richer history and meaning than some people realize. What stories lie behind some of our favorite customs and characters? Santa Claus He’s make-believe, right? How did this ever-so-generous, roly-poly, “jolly fellow” who sports a white beard and lives…

Christmas poster contest winners

First-place winners, one in each of four grade categories, were chosen from among 402 entries in The Visitor’s annual Christmas contest. Young artists were invited to complete and then illustrate the sentence: “In this Year of Mercy, this Christmas I will … .” Entries were judged on originality and artistic ability as well as how…

Pope Francis house will finally be a home

Story and photos by Dianne Towalski The Visitor Well-wishers filled every corner of the Habitat for Humanity house built in honor of Pope Francis for the blessing and dedication of the St. Cloud home Dec. 3. Mohamed Elmi and his wife Ubah Mohamed will move their family of 10, which includes their seven children and…