Respecting our elders, changing our view of aging

It is time we prepare our communities for the rapid increase in older Minnesotans in the coming years “Where the elderly are not honored, there is no future for the young.” — Pope Francis speaking on the value of the elderly, March 4, 2015 The Diocese of St. Cloud includes communities, especially toward the western…

Driver’s license bill is ‘important human rights test’

Among the reasons this legislation is good public policy is that it will create safer roads by helping to ensure drivers meet basic standards Bishop Andrew Cozzens provided the following testimony March 25 to members of the Minnesota House Transportation Policy and Finance Committee. Good afternoon. My name is Bishop Andrew Cozzens, and I am…

Archbishop Romero and the Spirit of Palm Sunday

By David Gibson Catholic News Service Palm Sunday 1980 still is remembered as the day of the assassinated Archbishop Oscar Romero’s funeral, celebrated on the steps of Holy Savior Cathedral in El Salvador’s capital city of San Salvador. Six days earlier, Archbishop Romero had been shot and killed while celebrating Mass at the altar of…

Service as true presence

A Holy Thursday reflection by Maureen and Jim Otremba If you have never participated in the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper, then you might understandably expect the Gospel reading for this liturgy to recount the meal in which Jesus gave us his body and blood in the first Eucharist. But you may be…

Easter Vigil shows that God’s love conquers the darkness

By Nicole Walz “This is the night of which it is written: The night shall be as bright as day, dazzling is the night for me, and full of gladness.” I found myself singing these simple yet profound words of the Easter Proclamation (“Exsultet”) two years ago in Haiti on a mission trip during our…

LETTER TO THE EDITOR – Reader raises concerns about vaccines; physician responds

In an interview with Father Thomas Knoblach regarding the church’s teaching on the use of vaccinations [The Visitor, Feb. 13], he urges readers toward vaccination as part of being responsible citizens. This is based on his knowledge that “vaccination risks are far outweighed by the public health dangers of not vaccinating.” The question I’m posing:…

State must take long, serious look at surrogacy arrangements

Forming a legislative commission to study surrogacy is one of the best ways to help ensure Minnesota is protecting vulnerable women and children from the unintended consequences of surrogacy arrangements In 2014, the Minnesota Catholic Conference worked tirelessly to successfully stop problematic legislation that would have legitimized commercial surrogacy contracts, which are currently not recognized…

A welcoming parish starts in the pews

While Mass is about encountering Jesus in the Eucharist, we also find Jesus in the families squeezing past us in the pews How do we make church a welcoming place? There are many strategies: introductions, name tags, friendly ushers, doughnuts after Mass. And, yet, the real work of welcoming isn’t something we can delegate to…

Use the winter slowdown to grow closer to God

by Doug Scott Contemplative prayer has a rich history in our Catholic tradition Many people in the Diocese of St. Cloud are used to the challenges of winter. Blustery weather and long nights can keep some of us inside for days on end. With the extra solitude comes an opportunity to grow closer to God….

St. Anne, grandmother of her savior

By John Garvey The National Museum of Women in the Arts, with support from The Catholic University of America and the Archdiocese of Washington, will soon open an exhibit titled “Picturing Mary: Woman, Mother, Idea.” The exhibit, which comes just in time for the Dec. 8 feast of the Immaculate Conception, will feature more than…