Melrose-area community comes together in wake of St. Mary Church fire

The Visitor On the morning after St. Mary Church in Melrose suffered a devastating fire, small groups of people gathered around the building to survey the damage, take photos with their cell phones, and offer comfort to one another. Some, like parishioner Bob Leukam, had gathered there the night before, too, when fire departments from…

Local bishops remember Bill Clemens

By Kristi Anderson The Visitor Catholic philanthropist and St. Cloud entrepreneur Bill Clemens passed away March 2 at the age of 95. Bishop Donald Kettler, who had the opportunity to visit with Clemens several times since arriving in the diocese two and a half years ago, said the two became friends. “He was always warm…

Former convent will house temporary workers

By Kristi Anderson The Visitor A zoning request to allow the former convent owned by St. Anthony Church in St. Cloud to house temporary workers for St. Cloud-based GNP Company’s Cold Spring processing facility passed in a 4-3 vote by the St. Cloud City Council Jan. 4. The building, constructed in 1955 and located at…

“Here I am Lord” National Catholic Youth conference 2015

NCYC – National Catholic Youth conference Story and photos by Dianne Towalski The Visitor Youth and adult leaders from across the country converged on Indianapolis Nov. 19-21 for the 33rd National Catholic Youth Conference. The theme was “Here I am Lord.” The St. Cloud group, 141 youth and 55 adult leaders, joined the crowd of more…

Speaker provides tools for handing on Catholic faith to children

By Kristi Anderson The Visitor Following a 9 a.m. Mass Nov. 21 at St. Michael Church in St. Cloud, national speaker Father Michael Schmitz from the Diocese of Duluth spoke to some 200 people about passing on the Catholic faith to children and teens. “The reality and the stakes are that it is possible to…

Local mission groups strive to meet needs near and far

By Kristi Anderson The Visitor Parish mission groups are making a difference around the world — whether it’s helping families in need in their own communities, or sending supplies around the state to places like the Red Lake and White Earth reservations, or reaching across borders into countries like Nicaragua, Haiti, Kenya and Uganda. More…

Serve, care for each other, pope tells families at closing Mass

By Dennis Sadowski Catholic News Service Pope Francis urged the hundreds of thousands of people gathered for the closing Mass of the World Meeting of Families to serve and care for each other as freely as God loves the human family. The pope called upon the faithful to embrace signs that the Holy Spirit can…

Local pilgrims see pope, listen to spontaneous talk on families

For Mary Jo Ruhland of Assumption Parish in Eden Valley, the four-hour wait on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia to catch a fleeting glimpse of the popemobile as it went by Sept. 26, was definitely worth it. “It is the steadfastness that people have in their hearts to wait for that moment when he…

Vatican expert presents at DMD, discusses papal visit and new book

By Kristi Anderson The Visitor John Thavis is a journalist, author and speaker specializing in Vatican and religious affairs. He grew up in Minnesota and graduated from St. John’s University. In 1983, he took a job reporting with Catholic News Service and began covering the Vatican daily, traveling with St. John Paul II and Pope…