September 2020
Notes from Diocesan Offices
Birthdays of Retired Priests

Please feel free to put the Sunday TV Mass
in your parish bulletins at

September 7 Feast/Solemnity of Saint Cloud – All parishes should celebrate the Feast/Solemnity of Saint Cloud during their daily morning Mass. How do you know which it is for your parish? September 7 is a solemnity in the parishes and institutions within the city of St. Cloud since he is the patron of the city. September 7 remains a feast for all other parishes and institutions within the diocese since he is the patron of the diocese. For additional resources, click here.

September 20 Catechetical SundayThis year's Catechetical Sunday theme is, “I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you.”  As we journey through this pandemic together it is important to honor and thank the catechetical leaders who are helping us navigate this new territory. Free resources are available for print from Catholic Current using this link

September 23-November 1 40 Days For Life Fall Campaign – View the St. Cloud 40 Days for Life website for details -

Office of the Chancellor ♦ Jane Marrin ♦ (320) 251-2340

Official Catholic Directory (Kenedy Directory or OCD) – The Official Catholic Directory (OCD) will continue doing all changes to parishes, institutions and organizations, within each diocese, electronically. Sometime in the near future you, or a staff person, will receive a notice via e-mail about the data being gathered for the directory. Please read the information carefully and follow the directions carefully as well. I was so proud of you last year as the majority stepped up to complete most of the information requested by the OCD. Let’s see if we can make it a 100% participation this year!! There were times that an answer was a “guess” on my part and we really should have accurate information being published. One area often left blank was the contact person, so I automatically filled in that spot with the pastor’s name. You are no longer submitting this data to the Chancellor but rather sending it directly to the OCD – again electronically. Once the deadline for submission has passed I will receive a notice to go online to approve information before publication. I am unable to approve your data if any of the areas are left blank. So PLEASE fill out fully to the best of your knowledge. Thank you, once again, in advance for your due diligence with this challenging undertaking.

David Fremo ♦ (320) 251-0111

Parish-Diocesan Ministries COVID Guidance The guidance for re-opening all parish and diocesan ministries can be found on the diocesan COVID preparedness page This guidance document is meant to be a resource for parishes to create their own preparedness plan. Questions regarding this document can be directed to

In the Ministry of the Word – In the Ministry of the Word, our catechist formation program, will be on hiatus for the rest of 2020. During this time, we will be working on new methods of presenting the program utilizing technology. If you need resources to help form your catechists, please do not hesitate to reach out to us and we will work with you to find those resources.  
Coordinators of Faith Formation and Youth Ministers are welcome to join CEM for Zoom meetings going over models of Faith Formation that are in line with the COVID-19 Guidance for Ministries in the Saint Cloud Diocese. These meetings will offer a time to share how you are adapting your curriculum and program to be safe and pastoral during this pandemic. The meetings will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 9 at 7:00 p.m. and Thursday, Sept. 10 at 10:00 a.m. register at:
Catholic Schools – The Catholic schools are prepared to safely welcome back students for the 2020-2021 school year. Each school has developed a comprehensive COVID-19 Preparedness Plan, informed by guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health, Minnesota Department of Education, and health and educational resources connected with the Diocese of Saint Cloud. Schools will follow, and adapt to meet present and changing requirements and needs of their communities. They are committed to having safe, faith-filled environments that provide for learning and growth in flexible models and formats. Please continue to support our Catholic schools through your prayers and generosity.
Family Together webpage ( – Beginning in September, our online weekly for the domestic church, Family Together, will be offering a new resource called Becoming Eucharist, replacing the weekly family sessions. This monthly resource can be used for family faith discussions and formation at the dinner table. It will include a format for discussion and prayer as well as discussion questions for each Sunday’s gospel. A printable version to make a table tent will also be available.

Saint John’s School of Theology and Seminary celebrates Lay Ecclesial Ministers –
In Remembrance of You: Prayer Service of Gratitude – This event will be held virtually on September 10 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. In March, the work of lay ecclesial ministers was disrupted by the pandemic. Without a pause, and with many moments of uncertainty, most lay ecclesial ministers became the digital diaspora for their organization bringing faith formation, streamed liturgies, spiritual direction, retreats, and conversations online. Saint John’s School of Theology and Seminary, Collegeville, MN, invites lay ecclesial ministers and their co-workers for prayer and fellowship in this pandemic time. This free evening service will create space to give gratitude for their persistence in ministry and lament the hardship during this pandemic. For more information and to register:

Joe Towalski ♦ (320) 258-7624

Stewardship Week — Thank you to everyone who participated in this year's 3-day virtual Stewardship Week. if you missed any of the four sessions, you can view the recordings of them online:

You can find other stewardship resources from the event at

Bishop’s Annual Appeal Update – As of August 24, the Bishop’s Annual Appeal for 2020 has raised total cash and pledges of $1,117,286 toward our goal of $1,300,000 (85.95%). This was made possible through the generous donations of 7,712 people throughout the 16 counties of our diocese.
A new solicitation letter for the appeal was mailed on August 28, to donors who have yet to give in 2020.

Patrick Flynn ♦ (320) 252-4721

Natural Family Planning Classes For September
A First Instruction in the Billings Ovulation Method will be offered in:
  • Little Falls: Tuesday, September 1 & October 6 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Long Prairie: Monday, September 28 & October 26 at 7:00 PM 
  • Rice: Monday, September 14 & October 5 at 6:30 PM
  • Sauk Centre: Monday, September 21 & October 19 at 6:30 PM
  • St. Cloud: Thursday, September 24 & Monday, October 19 at 6:30 PM
  • St. Michael: Tuesday, September 1 & October 6 at 6:00 PM
  • Wadena: Friday, September 25 & October 23 at 5:30 PM
For additional sites, information/register, visit or contact Sheila Reineke / 320-252-4721 ext. 308
September 12 - Engaged Couples Retreat (formerly known as) Marriage Preparation Course – This event will be held at the Church of St. Peter in St. Cloud from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Doors will open at 7:30 a.m. See our website for more details

Catholic Women’s Conference, Saturday, September 19, 2020 - CANCELLED

2020 Honoring Marriage Day, Saturday, September 26 - CANCELLED
Parishes are still asked to send names and addresses of parishioners celebrating 50, 60 & 60 plus years of marriage in 2020 to the Office of Marriage & Family, 305 7th Avenue North, Suite 100, Saint Cloud, MN 56303 or via email to Jan at or fax (320) 258-7658 as soon as possible. Certificates will be sent to the couples celebrating these milestones.
October 3 - Sponsor Couple Training – This event 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 (September 25) before training. Call Janet at (320) 258-7616 or email to register. The parish will be billed $110 per couple for the cost of training (which includes Fully Engaged supplies).
October 10 - 2nd Marriage Engaged Couples Retreat (formerly known as) 2nd Marriage Course – This event will be held in St. Cloud at the Pastoral Center from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. This Retreat is for couples preparing to marry after the death of a spouse or an annulmentMarriage preparation must be completed at least three months before the date of the wedding celebration. It is recommended you complete the course well in advance (six months or more). Many couples take the course one year before their wedding.
October 24 - Engaged Couples Retreat (formerly known as) Marriage Preparation Course – This event will be held at Sacred Heart Church in Sauk Rapids from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Doors will open at 7:30 a.m. See our website for more details
November 14 - Spanish Speaking Engaged Couples Retreat (formerly known as) Hispanic Marriage Course – This event will be held in St. Cloud at the Pastoral Center from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Couples should register at least two weeks before the course (October 31) and include the $110 registration fee per couple. For more information, contact the Office of Marriage & Family at 320-252-4721 or click here.
December 5 - Engaged Couples Retreat (formerly known as) Marriage Preparation Course – This event will be held at Sacred Heart Church in Sauk Rapids from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Doors will open at 7:30 a.m. See our website for more details

Elizabeth Neville ♦ (320) 251-1100

Mission Month, World Mission Rosary and World Mission Sunday are on the way! Resources will be emailed to parishes as well as packets mailed to assist you with the promotion of these collections and events. Thank you in advance!

Teresa Trout, our new mission educator, has been reaching out to leaders in faith formation, youth ministry and in the schools to assist with the promotion, education and formation for mission in your programs. If you would like to connect with Teresa, please contact her at and 320-251-1100.

Linda Kaiser ♦ (320) 251-2340

This should be an interesting opening to the Catholic schools and faith formation programs this year. Principals, site administrators and others should have received a copy of the student training for this year.  The plan has some options to address the different needs of parishes and schools.
  • Please remember that all employees of parishes and schools must have background checks and complete safe environment training.
  • All volunteers who work with children, youth and vulnerable adults must complete training and a background check before volunteering.
As we begin this new catechetical year, let us model respect for one another. If everyone would respect the dignity of the human person as our Catholic social teaching tells us, this training wouldn’t even be necessary.  
Blessings on this new catechetical year.

Kateri Mancini ♦ (320) 229-6020

September 19-20 – Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) Special Collection Just a reminder that the special collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development will take place the weekend of September 19-20 in all parishes of our diocese. CCHD is the anti-poverty initiative of the U.S. 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 St. Cloud Diocese, for the last 50 years! Envelopes should be included in parish packets already; if you need additional envelopes, or resources, please contact me. You can also find more information and promotional resources at the USCCB’s website. Below is a sample announcement to share in parishes prior to and on September 19/20’s 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) leading up to the CCHD collection on September 19/20:
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), the anti-poverty initiative of the U.S. 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 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 grants to groups working with those in poverty right here in our diocese, 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) 
Parish Social Ministry Gathering going Virtual – Mark your calendars and have your computer available for the annual Parish Social Ministry Gathering, that will take place this year virtually on Saturday, October 3! This year’s event will be a virtual gathering, including prayer, keynote presentations by Laura Kelly Fanucci, and various interactive sessions with Social Concerns staff and other local leaders. Participants will have the opportunity to reflect on and learn more about empathy and social discourse, including what our faith says about these days of so much division and divisive rhetoric in our communities and nation, and practical skills for engaging in dialogue with those with whom we may disagree. The event is free and open to all. Registration materials, including schedule and session details, will be available through the Social Concerns website soon. 
There’s Still time to share your input If you haven’t already done so, please complete the Rural Life, Parish Social Ministry and Community Needs Survey, and share it with other leaders in your parishes as well. Catholic Charities is looking at some new and exciting ways of serving our rural communities this year and in order to do so, we are asking our parishes to share your thoughts, questions and needs with us:
Catholic Rural Life Thriving in Rural Ministry Retreat – Catholic Rural Life staff are now preparing for the Fall Thriving in Rural Ministry retreat that will be held at Green Lake Retreat Center in Green Lake, Wisconsin, October 12-16, 2020. They are putting all of the proper safety protocols in place to make the retreat both memorable and safe. If you are interested in gathering with fellow priests from rural parishes and dioceses such as ours, please consider this helpful gathering! Visit CRL’s Registration page to learn more and sign up. 
Commit to Vote Minnesotans are heading to the polls – and the mailbox – to vote in the November 3 general election. People of faith understand citizenship and the duty of voting as an essential way to act on their values. We are reminded of this duty in the words of the late civil rights legend and Congressmember John Lewis, “If not us, then who? If not now, then when?” Commit to voting in-person or absentee (also known as vote-by-mail). Here are several resources to help: 
For more information, visit, brought to us by the Minnesota Catholic Conference.

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) -OR- 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:
  1. All testimony is gathered and sent to the Court Members.
  2. The defender of the bond presents its brief to the Judge.
  3. Judge(s) renders a decision. Petitioner and respondent are notified.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Fr. Scott Pogatchnik ♦ (320) 251-5001

New Seminarians – Congratulations to two new seminarians, Jack Tyrrell from Sacred Heart, Staples, and Peter Zabinski from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Isanti. Jack and Peter will be in College 1 at Saint John Vianney, in St. Paul. Please pray for all seminarians as they start seminary studies this fall.
Prayers – Prayers for Lucas Gerads as he steps out of seminary formation.
National Vocation Awareness Week: November 1-7 Pastors and Parochial Vicars please make a special effort for vocations during National Vocation Awareness Week. Vianney Vocations has great vocation resources available, here’s the link: If we can help in any way, please contact the Vocation Office at 320-251-5001.  

Aaron Carpenter ♦ (320) 255-9068

Blue Mass – Bishop Kettler has decided to cancel the Blue Mass for 2020. In place of this Mass, he is asking pastors to consider utilizing the blessing and recognition found here. Blessing and Recognition document (PDF)
Mass for Health Care Professionals – Bishop Kettler has decided to cancel the Mass for Health Care Professionals. The planning team is putting together a packet of information and liturgical tools for parishes to use locally. Watch the next newsletter for information.
Liturgical Resources Ordering – The Office of Worship is once again offering the use of its account with Liturgy Training Publication (LTP) for parishes in the diocese to receive a discount. Please see the ordering guide (PDF) for details on ordering items like: Lector Workbooks, Liturgical Calendars, etc. Contact Laura at in the Office of Worship with any questions.
Important Dates
  • Rite of Election – February 21, 2021
  • Chrism Mass – March 25, 2021
  • Confirmation of Adults – May 22, 2021

Annette Jesh ♦ (320) 249-0280
From Bret Reuter, Director of Mission and Spiritual Care, CentraCare: Please join me in welcoming Bethany Tollefson to her new role as Health Ministries Coordinator.
Bethany Tollefson comes to us with a PhD in nursing and currently works as an assistant professor for the College of St. Scholastica School of Nursing, St. Cloud Campus. Prior to her current job as an educator she has worked in both Emergency and Psychiatric Nursing. Bethany was also trained as a parish nurse while in Moorhead at Concordia University.  Bethany will continue in her role as an educator for St. Scholastica while also embracing this new role which she began on August 10. She is excited about this new opportunity and brings abundant energy and ideas to the ministry of Faith Community Nursing. As we say hello to Bethany, we also say goodbye to Annette Jesh. Annette served in the role of Health Ministries Coordinator under the Chancellor of the Diocese of St. Cloud from November 2011 until April 5, 2015,when FCN Coordination was transferred to CentraCare Spiritual Care. Annette has done a marvelous job developing Health Ministries and Faith Community Nursing during that time. A couple of her greatest achievements were obtaining a grant to reestablish a program of training for Faith Community Nursing and developing the “Find a Nurse” program. Under Annette’s fine leadership, the program has truly grown in strength and impact throughout Central Minnesota. Thank you Annette for your passion and investment in Parish Health Ministries. The ministry has truly flourished under your leadership! 

  • Foundations of Faith Community Nursing Classes for 2020 – 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 website. *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.              
  • CANCELLED – October 20 – CMFCNMC Fall Workshop, “Developing Trauma Responsive Caring Faith Communities”  
  • The FCNs now have a private Facebook site to share news and communicate with the group. To connect or if you have information to share, contact our president, Carol Engelhart, FCN, at
  • September 16 – The Central MN Faith Community Nurse Ministry Committee meetings will resume with Webex online, 9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. 
From Annette: It has been a true blessing to work in this position. Thank you all for your collaboration and support. What a talented and faith filled group! Bethany brings wonderful nursing and education skills and deep faith.
Minnesota Catholic Conference ♦ (651) 256-7579

September 9 – MCC hosts a webinar, “Open Wide Our Hearts: The Catholic Church Confronts Racism." It will be a Zoom webinar featuring Bishop Shelton Fabre of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, who is the chairman of the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism. There will also be a panel of speakers and time for a moderated Q&A. Full details and registration are available at

Immigration Sunday Minnesota is now moving to September 27 to coincide with World Day of Migrants & RefugeesTo begin considering how your parish can mark Immigration Sunday Minnesota we encourage you to view the following resources. We will also keep you updated with further information and resources in the coming weeks and months.
If you have any questions or would like to let us know how your parish will be marking Immigration Sunday Minnesota, please email Minnesota Catholic Conference communications manager, Katherine Cross at

Happy Birthday to our Retired Priests

Reverend Ralph Zimmerman will celebrate his 70th birthday on September 15.
308 Third Street South
Sauk Rapids, MN 56379

Reverend Silverius Schmitt will celebrate his 92nd birthday on September 20.
308 Third Street South #205
Sauk Rapids, MN 56379
Telephone: (320) 309-1946

Reverend Kenneth Riedemann will celebrate his 82nd birthday on September 22.
800 Nanne Marie Circle, Apt. # 217
Little Falls, MN 56345
Telephone: (320) 232-0726

Reverend David Maciej will celebrate his 71st birthday on September 27.
808 Anne Marie Circle, Apt 301
Little Falls, MN 56345
Telephone (320) 232-0346

Reverend Eberhard Schefers will celebrate his 82nd birthday on September 27.
702 2nd Avenue NE
St.Joseph, MN 56374
Telephone (320) 363-4693