Diocese of Winona Social Concerns   
News and Announcements
 "To promote and support parish social action through education"

Our committee meets on a monthly basis to discuss the issues of Social Concerns within our Diocese, and to plan opportunities to learn and explore issues of concern. Updates and information are available below. Feel free to contact us by responding to this newsletter, through the feedback button at the bottom of the newsletter, or through our Facebook page with any questions or feedback. 
Profiles in Justice: Angela Schultz
Visit the imprisoned, it’s one of the Corporal Works of Mercy, but most of us don’t live close to a prison. So how are we supposed to live out this work of mercy? The social justice committee at St. John Vianney decided to focus on the Corporal Works of Mercy during the Year of Mercy. The pastor, Fr. Schuster, would preach on the works and then after Mass we would have tables set up in the gathering space with ideas and suggestions on how to live out the works. As a committee we needed to come up with these ideas. As we were brainstorming, one of the members, Angela Schultz, shared with us how she had started writing letters to prison inmates as a way of “visiting” them. What had started out as a Lenten practice for Angela turned into a ministry that she has now shared with the community. We were very moved by her stories and wanted to pursue this further. Angela shared her experience at Mass and in the bulletin .....Full Profile.
Local Efforts
Help for Victims of Recent
Hurricanes and Earthquakes
We are called to help those in need. Join the Diocese of Winona in helping the victims of Hurricane Harvey and Irma by making a donation through the below button. The donations will go to Catholic Charities , the official domestic relief agency of the Catholic Church. Your donation supports disaster response and recovery efforts including direct assistance, rebuilding, and health care services.  100% of funds raised are going to those affected.
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
- Galatians 6:2
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has set up funds to receive donations to help the survivors of the recent hurricanes and the Mexico earthquakes, should parishes wish to donate. Contributions will be used to support the reconstruction and pastoral needs of the Church as well as humanitarian and recovery assistance through Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico and Catholic Relief Services in Mexico.

Office of National Collections, Hurricane Maria Fund , P. O. Box 96278, Washington DC 20090-6278

Office of National Collections, Mexico Earthquakes Fund , P. O. Box 96278, Washington DC 20090-6278  (More info on the CRS response to the earthquakes below)
Pray:  God of hope and mercy, we lift up to you all victims of recent natural disasters as well as those responding with assistance and aid. Protect all who are in any form of danger; provide practical help to all those in need; strengthen the weary; console the grieving and heal the suffering; and bless those engaged in disaster relief efforts with safety and courage. Help all people of goodwill to respond with compassion and generous hearts. Amen.
What are you doing in your community?
Is your community doing a project or working on an issue that you would like to share? We would love to highlight your efforts, events and ministry! Let us know what you are doing.
Upcoming Events

Diocesan Social Concerns Retreat

Join us for
Compañeros de Viaje
 (Companions on a Journey)
Diocesan Social Concerns Retreat Day and Mass
An opportunity to prayerfully consider the issues of immigration, solidarity and our Christian responsibility. The day will include information, reflection, and shared stories, as well as time for prayer.  All are welcome.

October 28, 2017 at 10 am – 5:30 pm
St. Charles Borromeo – 1900 E 6 th St., St Charles, MN 55972
Registration fee for the day is $10.00 per person (includes lunch), payable to Catholic Charities.

Email registration can be sent to Tom Parlin – tparlin@ccsomm.org 
Please send registration information (including name(s), contact information - email and or address, and home parish) and indicate whether you plan to bring your payment along on the day or send it to the address below.

You may also register by sending your registration information and payment to:
Catholic Charities
C/O Tom Parlin
PO Box 379
Winona, MN 55987
Please register by October 20, 2017

This three-session series of “Standing Together” will bring together Muslims and Christians to learn about each other’s faith and traditions.
Observing basic guidelines for Interfaith Dialogue, participants will address:

1. Core Beliefs of Christianity and Islam on October 10;
2. Foundational Practices of Islam and Christianity on October 24; and
3. Prayer and Ritual in Christianity and Islam on November 7.

Time: 6:30-8:30pm
 
A second three-session series will be offered in Winter/Spring of 2018.
 
Rana Mikati, a Muslim, and Father Jim Kunz, a Christian, will facilitate the discussion.

October 14, 9:30-11:00am

$10 preregistered/prepaid. $15 at the door.

Explore the topography of Assisi Heights’ 110 acres, which is held sacred and preserved through the implementation of the Franciscan values of: caring for the soil; respecting and living in harmony with the wildlife; offering compassion for those who seek solace and peace; walking the pathways and offering healing programs to cultivate personal renewal. Learn the stewardship practices that manage and sustain this piece of earth entrusted to our community. Wear walking shoes!
Marlys Jax, OSF, program coordinator for the Spirituality Center, will guide this expedition, detailing the history and practices of Assisi Heights’ environmental programs.
DATE: Saturday, October 28, 2017
SCHEDULE: 
  • 8:00 AM - Mass at St. Mary's Chapel (Saint Paul Seminary)
  • 8:45 AM - 12:30 PM - Continental Breakfast and Symposium in Woulfe Alumni Hall in the Anderson Student Center (Anderson Student Center)
LOCATION: University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota
COST: $25 per person. Learn more and register .
Dr. Molla, daughter of St. Gianna, who practiced as a geriatrician in her local Italy before giving up her career to take care of her aging father, will share from her professional and personal experience on the unexpected joy to be found in caring for another.

She and a number of local speakers will offer a positive Catholic response to the ongoing end-of-life care conversation -- especially timely in Minnesota, as legislation to legalize assisted suicide has been introduced here. 
Worthington, MN
October 11 -12, 2017
Worthington Event Center
$50 participation fee (covers both days) and registration is required.

Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Conference (CSEC 101) is a community training model for service providers, child advocates, educators, medical and mental health providers, law enforcement, prosecution, child protection, those who work closely with or within the juvenile or criminal justice field, faith-based and community organizations. This training was developed by GEMS (Girls Educational Mentor Services) in New York and is provided by the Southwest Crisis Center as the Southwest Minnesota Safe Harbor Regional Navigator Agency.
Saturday, October 14, 2017 | 8:30 a.m. ~ 2 p.m.
Our Lady of Good Counsel 
170 Good Counsel Drive, Mankato, MN 56001

We invite the community to explore the richness and talents of the sisters. Enjoy time reconnecting with the sisters at the Apple Pie Café. Visit the Wood Carving Studio and Ceramic Haven. There are also over 30 booths with items available for purchase, some of these items include:

Breads and Bakery, Jams and Jellies, Salsa and Soups, Fair Trade Coffee, Ceramics, Crafts and Quilts, Soaps and Fused Glass, Plants, Jewelry
Leaders Partnering to End Poverty:
Leadership Capacity Building Series

As part of the Leaders Partnering to End Povery (LPEP) you are invited to join community members from Luverne as they build leadership capacity in the community to increase opportunities for people to move out of poverty.

  • It works to develop an understanding of poverty as a community issue by identifying its causes, and approaches to deal with these issues.
  • It provides the opportunity to learn from each other’s experiences.
  • It builds personal and working relationships among participants across economic disparities.
  • It strengthens their leadership skills, and provides the tools to organize a focused community effort to move people out of poverty.
Session dates are as follows:

  • Session I         October 26, 2017 from 9:00am-4:00pm
  • Session II        November 16, 2017 from 9:00am-1:00pm
  • Session III       January 11, 2018 from 9:00am-1:00pm
  • Session IV       February 8, 2018 from 9:00am-1:00pm
  • Session V        March 8, 2018 from 9:00am-1:00pm
  • Session VI       April 19, 2018 from 9:00am-1:00pm
  • Session VII      May 10, 2018 from 1:00pm-6:00pm
 
All sessions will be held at Grand Prairie Events (105 South Estey Street) in Luverne.

We cover the cost of the program (meals, and training sessions). The participant cost is your time and travel to and from sessions. If attendance creates a financial hardship, enabling funds are available through the  Rural Leadership Access Funds .
Leaders Partnering to End Povery (LPEP) is designed for community members of all income levels and backgrounds. Your voice matters!
Spotlight on Resources
October is Respect Life Month. The USCCB has a wide variety of pro-life materials ranging in topic from:

The Church Responds to the Earthquakes in Mexico
On September 19, a 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck south of Mexico City, killing at least 273 people. The quake struck less than 2 weeks after an 8.1 earthquake hit Oaxaca, Mexico, killing dozens of people and damaging thousands of homes. 

Catholic Relief Services is bringing help to earthquake victims alongside the Catholic Church and other local partners. CRS works on behalf of Catholics in the United States to assist poor and vulnerable people around the world. Click on the "Pray, Learn, Act and Give" buttons to learn more. 
Act
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you . Jesus calls us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Now, Pope Francis is calling us to share a journey with our neighbors – all our neighbors, not only those who live near us, look like us, speak like us or pray like us.

Our neighbors include many of the world’s most vulnerable people: migrants and refugees fleeing war, poverty and persecution, people who seek nothing more than basic needs and a path forward. Just like us, they are children of God, deserving of dignity and love. We as a church are answering the Pope’s call to encounter and walk with these migrants and refugees in support and solidarity."

For more information, including toolkits and stories click here for the full website.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
This month, take some time to pray over the USCCB's statement: When I Call for Help: A Pastoral Response to Domestic Violence Against Women (2002) . The statement:
  • Addresses abused women, men who abuse, and pastors and pastoral staffs
  • Offers updated statistics, resources and information about domestic violence (updated again in 2016)
  • Includes practical suggestions for dioceses and parishes based on actual experiences

The Statement is also available in Spanish .
A tool kit, from Catholics for Family Peace, is also available for free download:

Prayer for Racial Healing
CCUSA has produced a new resource, " Prayer for Racial Healing ," which is suitable for group and individual use. 
Opening Prayer:
"God of justice, In your wisdom you create all people in your image, without exception. Through your goodness, open our eyes to see the dignity, beauty, and worth of every human being. Open our minds to understand that all your children are brothers and sisters in the same human family. Open our hearts to repent of racist attitudes, behaviors, and speech which demean others. Open our ears to hear the cries of those wounded by racial discrimination, and their passionate appeals for change. Strengthen our resolve to make amends for past injustices and to right the wrongs of history. And fill us with courage that we might seek to heal wounds, build bridges, forgive and be forgiven, and establish peace and equality for all in our communities. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen."
Those Blessed Among Us:
Happy Birthday St. GIanna Beretta Molla!
St. Gianna Beretta Molla is the patron saint of mothers, physicians, and unborn children.

October 4, 1922 - April 28, 1962
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