MONTHLY DIOCESAN NEWSLETTER
Notes from Diocesan Offices
Birthdays of Retired Priests
Please feel free to put the Sunday TV Mass
The following events are
subject to change pending status of state
and federal health mandates/guidelines.
Clergy day for priests
(including Jubilarian celebration) through the office of Continuing Education for Clergy. This event will be held at St. Paul's (St. Cloud) starting at 1:00 p.m. Bishop Quinn of Winona-Rochester will talk on issues facing clergy, 4:00 p.m. Mass and presentation of certificates. A box lunch will be provide for all.
- Reverend Edwin Kraemer (Ordained June 4, 1955)
- Reverend Kenneth Thielman (Ordained June 4, 1955)
- Reverend Roger Botz, OSB (Ordained June 4, 1960)
- Reverend Frank Tomasiewicz (Ordained June 5, 1965)
- Reverend Paul Folsom (Ordained June 5, 1965)
- Most Reverend Donald J. Kettler (Ordained May 29, 1970)
- Reverend Thomas Becker (Ordained June 6, 1980)
- Reverend David Maciej (Ordained June 13, 1980)
- Reverend Gregory Mastey (Ordained June 3, 1995)
- Reverend George Michael, VC (Ordained December 30, 1995)
- Reverend Oswaldo Roche Gerdel (Ordained October 14, 1995)
ACC Care Teams
– Teams of two from our diocesan staff have recently contacted each ACC chairperson and/or the priests to touch base and see if there is any way we can be of assistance at this time. Originally the goal of the care team was to talk more in depth about your ACC goals and to see how a Regional Ministry Gathering in your area might be helpful in implementing your goals. While the goal hasn’t changed, the approach will for now. We are in discussions about what Regional Ministry Gatherings might look like this year. Know that we are here to support you and your Area Catholic Community.
Office of the Vicar General ♦ Fr. Robert Rolfes ♦ (320) 251-2340
As you know, diocesan staff has been working remotely since mid-March to help mitigate the potential spread of the coronavirus. The diocese continues to monitor the situation, particularly in light of guidelines offered by the CDC, Minnesota Department of Health and the governor’s office. We are currently developing a plan to bring staff safely back into our offices starting this month. This will be a gradual transition, and I anticipate that many staff will continue to work from home for the time being. Please continue to reach out to them for your needs by phone, email or video conferencing. I will keep you updated as we move forward.
NOTES FROM THE DIOCESAN OFFICES
David Fremo ♦ (320) 251-0111
- The end of the school year has been marked with so many creative and inspiring celebrations and events. God bless our school communities, as we continue to pray, listen, and respond to the needs and opportunities before us in our educational ministries. Catholic Education Ministries is collaborating with many educational leaders and experts to see that our schools are ready for teaching and learning with students this Fall. We are preparing to welcome students back into our buildings, with several key areas of focus, including: community safety and COVID-19 risk mitigation, training in teaching and learning for flexible instruction, partnership with parents, nurturing faith and deepening Catholic identity. Contact David Fremo at
, for more information about our Catholic schools.
Training for Teachers and Principals
– CEM is collaborating with Resource Training and Solutions to customize a design-thinking training for teachers and principals. The training will be flexible, student-centered learning experience through coursework in design-thinking. Design-thinking centers on building curriculum and course frameworks to support learning goals, with special focus on portability of practices that can support face-to-face, hybrid and remote learning. Contact David Fremo at
, if you are interested in registering for this course.
Weekly Family Sessions
- Are you looking for a resource to help your family keep holy the Sabbath day at home? Perhaps you are looking for a way to build up your family’s faith life. Visit
where you will find weekly sessions based on the Sunday Gospel.
Online Vacation Bible School
Camp Creation, Day by Day with God
A group of Faith Formation Directors is collaborating on an online Vacation Bible School based on Genesis 1 for the week of August 3-7. This will be hosted at
. It will be an ‘asynchronous’ experience, which means parishes and families can join in during the week, or whenever they can afterwards. Activities can be done from 9:00 a.m. - noon, or adapted to a schedule convenient to you. The activities will also be available in a printable format so that it can be used by those with limited Internet access. If you would like to view Day 1, check out
- Please take a moment to fill out the brief catechetical survey from CEM. This survey is intended to help us know what resources are available in our parishes. Once we know what resources are available in parishes we can better share additional resources. The survey can be found at
Class of 2020
- Congratulations to the graduates in our diocese. Catholic Education Ministries distributed graduation and blessing cards from Bishop Kettler to 1,200 high school seniors with the amazing help of parish staff personnel. Please continue to keep all graduates in your prayers as they navigate their future in the midst of a pandemic.
- As we continue to shift in the ACC planning process it has come to our attention that some email addresses and primary work locations are changing. Please email Kate Steinbach at
with any changes to your parish staff or their contact information.
Joe Towalski ♦ (320) 258-7624
Bishop's Annual Appeal Update
– As of June 29, the Bishop’s Annual Appeal for 2020 has raised total cash and pledges of $1,013,905 toward our goal of $1,300,000 (77.99%). This is made possible through the generous donations of 6,783 people throughout the 16 counties of our diocese.
Stewardship Day 2020
– Plans to have an in-person Stewardship Day at the end of July have changed due to ongoing health and safety concerns posed by the pandemic. The Communications and Development Office is working on an alternate date for an online-format event. More information will be forthcoming as plans are finalized.
Bankruptcy reorganization updates
– Please visit the diocese's reorganization webpage at
for reorganization-related information, such as public statements, legal documents and frequently asked questions.
Bailey Ziegler ♦ (320) 258-7655
New Health and Wellness Benefit
– The Diocese of St. Cloud is proud to offer a new health and wellness benefit beginning this month to our employees or dependents on our health plan that have been diagnosed with diabetes. We are partnering with Pops Diabetes Care through PreferredOne to offer a simple solution for managing diabetes. No need to carry around a separate meter, lancets, lancet device, and test strips. It’s all-in-one, and at no cost to you! For more information, please see the
or contact Bailey Ziegler in the office of Human Resources at
Patrick Flynn ♦ (320) 252-4721
July 19-25 – Celebrate Natural Family Planning (NFP) Awareness Week
Plan now to celebrate NFP Week. This year’s theme from the USCCB is, “Live the truth and beauty of God’s plan for married love!” View this year’s
. Please provide your parishioners this opportunity to learn about NFP and God's plan for married love. If you would like an NFP Week display table, an NFP Witness Couple, or additional information, contact Sheila Reineke at (320) 258-7609 or
Saturday, September 19 – Catholic Women’s Conference –
Will be held at St. Peter’s Church in St. Cloud from 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Bishop Donald Kettler will be celebrating Mass. This event will feature many local speakers as well as keynote talks from international Catholic speaker Sarah Swafford.
Honoring Marriage Day
for this year. This celebration was originally rescheduled for September 26 and is cancelled due to the continued risk posed by the coronavirus.
October 3 – Sponsor Couple Training
– The training will be held at the Pastoral Center in St. Cloud from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Registration for couples (
names, address, phone number, parish and email address
) should be made at least one week (
) before training. Call Janet at (320) 252-4721 extension 320 or email
to register. The parish will be billed $110 per couple for the cost of training (
which includes Fully Engaged supplies
Elizabeth Neville ♦ (320) 251-1100
Thank you to all who have rearranged and rescheduled your Missionary Appeals these past couple of months for later in the summer and into the fall. We understand this could pose some challenges with schedules and movement to different parishes, but these organizations are still actively doing mission, just differently, and still need our support. Please thank your communities for their generosity!
The Mission Office is open for sales (don't forget our fair trade coffee and gifts), contributions (mission group quilts, personal care items and rosaries) as well as donations (appeals, collections and mission support.) Please call (320) 251-1100 for a visit. Thank you!
Brenda Kresky ♦ (320) 251-2340
July Mass Counts
– Twice a year, in July and October, the Diocese of Saint Cloud requests Mass counts from parishes in the Diocese. This year is no exception even with the unusual circumstances. We know the numbers will be down significantly due to the covid-19 pandemic. We are also including a livestreaming option. This information will not be added to the parish profile, however, we do want to know who is livestreaming and the numbers we are getting for our livestreaming experiences. The numbers you supply this year will give us vital information as to how people respond to our current situation. Please send your information to the Planning Office by August 15.
Linda Kaiser ♦ (320) 251
The courts are now open and background checks are going through very quickly. This is a great time to be sure your paid staff and volunteers are all up to date with training and background checks.
No one is to work with children, youth or vulnerable adults until a background check is cleared and training completed.
A new site administrator guide is available on the resource sidebar on the CMG connect platform/dashboard. This is a great tool for anyone who is a site administrator or any new site administrators for schools or parishes.
Please call or email with any questions to Linda Kaiser
or (320) 251-2340. Thursdays is my day to be in the office. I check my email on a regular basis.
Kateri Mancini ♦ (320) 229-6020
Update: Rural Life Celebration, Catholic Century Farm Awards and Rural Life Fund
– The Rural Life Celebration previously scheduled for Sunday, August 2 has been postponed until 2021. A small celebration will take place with Bishop Kettler that day honoring the Catholic Century Farm Award recipients for this year. Please join in praying for these 12 farm families from the diocese in gratitude for their hard work and strong faith during their generations of family farming, and for continued blessings upon their land and work. More information about this year’s recipients can be found at:
The annual Rural Life Celebration has traditionally included a special collection taken up for the Rural Life Fund of the diocese. Without the event this year, this fund is in danger of having limited funds available to offer to individuals and families throughout the diocese who find themselves in need of one-time emergency assistance funds. Knowing that the economic needs of many of our communities are increasing as a result of COVID-19 and its impact, we believe this fund will be needed more than ever in the coming year. Please consider ways that you and your parishes might be able to support this fund in place of the event collection on August 2 or throughout the coming months.
Welcome New Rural Life Coordinator
– Social Concerns is proud to welcome a new member to our team. Rebecca Fiedler is serving as Rural Life Coordinator for the Eastern region of the diocese, and collaborating with the entire team on our social concerns efforts of the diocese. Rebecca is available to help support existing parish social ministry teams and efforts, to help train leaders looking to begin or enhance such a team, and to help connect your parishes to other community resources that can help address the needs of our farmers and rural parish communities. You can reach out to Rebecca with questions or needs, or to welcome her, at
Resources on Racism and the Catholic Response
– The events of the past several weeks have brought renewed attention to the racial inequalities of our state and nation. As conversations continue about this, and what our response as Catholics is to be, I encourage you to (re)read the
US Bishops Pastoral Letter against Racism,
Open Wide Our Hearts
. Printed copies are available for leaders and small groups by
contacting us at Social Concerns
. Accompanying resources, including study guide and prayers, can also be found
online from the USCCB
. If you are looking for additional resources and reflections on issues of racial injustice, or wish to talk more about how your community can study, pray and act upon the Church’s response to racism, please reach out to us to see how we can help.
Catholic Campaign for Human Development Collection (September 20)
– The Catholic Campaign for Human Development is the anti-poverty initiative of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, and has been supporting organizations working to end cycles of poverty and support leadership development among low-income and marginalized community members of dioceses across the country, including the St. Cloud Diocese, since 1970. This year marks CCHD’s 50
anniversary. It also marks an unprecedented year in which we are witnessing a growth in struggling communities as COVID-19 has the potential to drag people just above the poverty threshold into poverty. It is a critical time for our church to respond to those impacted by poverty. The annual CCHD special collection will be taken up in the parishes of our diocese the weekend of September 19-20,
2020. Envelopes should be included in parish packets already; if you need additional envelopes, or resources, please
. Below is a sample announcement to share in parishes prior to this collection weekend. Thank you in advance for helping us encourage the faithful of St. Cloud to support their nearly 39 million US neighbors, and over 10% of residents of our diocese, who are living in poverty.
Please share the following information in your parises the week(s) prior to the CCHD collection on September 19/20:
This year marks the 50
anniversary of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), the anti-poverty initiative of the US Catholic bishops. Over 38 million people in the United States, 12 million of them children, live below the poverty line, and growing numbers of seniors and families are finding themselves very close to the poverty threshold. We will take up a special collection along with the parishes of our diocese the weekend of September 20 to support the U.S. bishops’ important work of fighting against poverty. Twenty-five percent of funds collected are used for local diocesan grants to groups working with those in poverty, and all funds collected support further grant possibilities and efforts for our low-income and marginalized neighbors near and far! Please prayerfully consider how you can support the CCHD collection on the 19/20.
Note: Please also indicate in the announcement for your parish where parishioners can find their special collection envelopes (ie. in envelope packets, with bulletins, in the back of church, in the pews)
Civilize-It Resources and Prayers
– Although begun as a way to help parishes prepare for respectful dialogue and avoid divisive conversations as we approach 2020 elections, the
program and its resources can also be helpful in light of current conversations taking place around racism and current events in our state, as well as for the ongoing debates regarding COVID-19 precautions and emotional impacts of these last several months. Check out these useful resources and prayers at:
Fr. Virgil Helmin ♦ (320) 251-6557
The Tribunal of the Diocese of St. Cloud has established a policy that the annulment process will not be started until six months after issuance of the final divorce decree.
No wedding date must be set until an affirmative decision has been rendered.
The annulment process requires the following:
A) The petitioner contacts his/her parish priest or a Tribunal staff member in order to petition and begin the annulment procedure.
1. The petitioner needs to present the following documents at the time of the application:
a) Baptismal certificate and/or Profession of Faith of self and of former spouse.
b) Certificate of marriage and/or Validation and/or Dispensation
c) Divorce decree (Final Judgment).
d) Current address of former spouse.
2. The petitioner has a recorded preliminary interview (conducted by a parish
priest, deacon, parish minister or a Tribunal Staff Member) -
- writes a
narrative that covers in depth the following factual information about the
petitioner and his/her former spouse:
a) Description of childhood and home life of self and former spouse. Alcoholism
or chemical addiction in family background?
b) Description of dating process and maturity of self and former spouse.
c) Description of how the decision to marry was reached.
d) Description of ability to communicate and resolve conflicts.
e) Description of problems that developed in the marriage and when they
f) Description of attempted solutions to the problems.
g) Description of performance of roles of husband/wife, father/mother.
h) Description of how the decision to divorce was reached.
B) When there are ground(s) for a declaration of nullity, the Tribunal will contact both, the petitioner and the respondent.
C) Prior to the formal hearing, the petitioner must complete and return the witness list. Witnesses include 2-3 adult people who knew them prior to and during their marriage and can give us information about the marriage. At the time of the formal hearing, the petitioner must bring these witnesses in with them. A witness can be a brother, sister, parent, friend, co-worker, neighbor or a member of the wedding party. Witnesses should not all be relatives. We do not interview children of the marriage. At the formal hearing the petitioner and the witnesses will be questioned privately.
D) If the petition comes to formal hearing the following will occur:
- All testimony is gathered and sent to the Court Members.
- The defender of the bond presents its brief to the Judge.
- Judge(s) renders a decision. Petitioner and respondent are notified.
- Both the petitioner and the respondent have the right to appeal the decision of the Court of First Instance. Also, both are notified of the decision and given 15 working days to review that decision and/or to appeal the decision.
- If the decision is not appealed by either person, the defender of the bond signs off on the waiver. Once that is returned to the Tribunal office the process is complete and the petitioner and the respondent are notified along with the parish of baptism and parish of marriage.
- A vetitum (prohibition) may be attached to the decision, requiring that either or both spouses must attend professional counseling with a counselor approved by the Tribunal before being allowed to marry in the Catholic Church.
The average length for the Tribunal to process a petition is 12 months. If the process is appealed by either parties, the process may take longer than 18 months.
No wedding date can be set until an affirmative decision has been rendered.
The Court could require that the person participate in an evaluation or counseling with their intended spouse. This requirement is made so that the future marriage may be happy and fulfilling.
As of July 1, 2016, the Tribunal of the Diocese of St. Cloud no longer charges a set fee for annulments. If you wish to make a donation to help defray the cost(s) of the work of the Tribunal, it would be greatly appreciated. Please make checks payable to: Tribunal of the Diocese of St. Cloud. Or, you may go to:
to make an online donation, under “Tribunal – Annulments”. Thank you for your kind donation.
♦ (320) 249-0280
Foundations of Faith Community Nursing Classes for 2020
– The next class:
November 12-13, 19-20
. This class will be held on-site at Grace United Methodist Church in St. Cloud or virtually if in-person is not possible. $250 Scholarships are available from the Central MN FCN Committee and other financial support options are listed on our web site.
*This 38 hour class is required for currently licensed Registered Nurses who want to add the Specialty of Faith Community Nursing and minister in churches.
October 20 – CMFCNMC Fall Workshop
– “Developing Trauma Responsive Caring Faith Communities” More information to come.
We now have a private Facebook page for our FCNs to share news on and communicate with the group. To connect or if you have information to share, contact our President, Carol Engelhart, FCN, at
No meetings in July and August.
September 9, we will resume Central MN Faith Community Nurse Ministry Committee meetings with a Webex and on-site at CentraCare Plaza, if possible.
We will have a new Parish Health Ministries Program Coordinator, possibly by July, as interviewing is now approved amid the Covid-19 needs. This 10-hour-a-week position.
2020 Health Care Mass
will be held Sunday, November 8 at 10:30 a.m. at the Sacred Heart Chapel at St. Benedict’s Monastery with Bishop Donald Kettler presiding.
♦ (320) 650-1641
Catholic Charities Behavioral Health Clinic
– Losing your health, a loved one or your job are the fears and realities of many as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus can produce feelings of anxiety and hopelessness, taking a toll on your mental health. Catholic Charities Behavioral Health Clinic currently offers both in-person and telehealth diagnostic assessments and individual psychotherapy. We offer telehealth therapy services utilizing video-chat platforms as well as talking on the phone, and individuals can schedule in-person appointments if they prefer. The clinic also offers psychiatry services for individuals who are currently engaged in therapy services at the Behavioral Health Clinic. Call (320) 650-1660 for more information.
Catholic Charities CARES for Community
– Last year, Catholic Charities provided services to 53,493 individuals. Though we do not know what the coming days, weeks and months may hold, we do know that our supportive community powers what we do and has kept us going during these challenging times.
Today as we navigate the current pandemic, your support of Catholic Charities is needed more than ever. Programs like Catholic Charities Emergency Services Food Shelf and Senior Health and Dining Services will continue to see an increase in demand in the months ahead.
We give thanks to our generous donors who have contributed to the Catholic Charities CARES for Community Campaign and to the Find a Way Initiative, and ask that you prayerfully consider a donation to Catholic Charities today.
With you at our side, we are able to feed more, empower more and do more for our community, and together, we can make a different tomorrow. Support Catholic Charities today and donate online at
Happy Birthday to our Retired Priests
Reverend Tim Baltes
will celebrate his
Street N, #414
Sartell, MN 56377
Reverend Frank Tomasiewicz
will celebrate his
308 Third Street South #201
Sauk Rapids, MN 56379
Telephone: (320) 240-7974
Reverend Edwin Kraemer
will celebrate his
308 Third Street South #202
Sauk Rapids, MN 56379
Telephone: (320) 248-6352
Reverend Harold Pavelis
will celebrate his
1181 Court Lane
Concord, CA 94518
Telephone: (925) 825-8259