Fr. Riccardo will address creation, modern evils and redemption

By Shawna Hanson “We were so blessed as a family to be at the Summit.” ~Summit 2018 participant “I really want to extend my gratitude for the experience at Terra Sancta. It was so great and I truly feel the presence of the Holy Spirit. I thank God for giving me the opportunity to be […]

Speak up and sing out — believe in what you are doing

By Fr. Michel Mulloy

Eucharist — Part III

In the love relationship of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Jesus eternally offers himself to the Father in the power of the Holy Spirit. We come to Mass to join our sacrifices to Jesus’ eternal sacrifice. Jesus offers himself to his Father through us. Amazing isn’t it — to realize that at Mass as we join ourselves to Jesus in his sacrifice, we are caught up into the very life of God.

Priest and people are joined to Jesus Christ in baptism. We receive the Holy Spirit. Therefore, when we gather for Mass, we are Jesus Christ present. The priest is Jesus leading his body, the people. He continues his sacrifice in, with and through us, each in our distinctive roles. The simplest way to express how we join the sacrifice of Jesus is with the following phrase. We make room, speak out and believe in what we are doing.

We make room in our lives for each other. That is as literal as it sounds, but it is also attitudinal.  We are asked to slide down in the pew, to look at each other, to smile, to greet one another. We come to the Mass from a variety of dispositions, interests, needs and wants. Being attentive to one another can be self-sacrificing in that we tend to be self-serving. Making room is both physical and internal. We also make room in our lives for one another by wanting to be present and by participating with the community in the action of the Mass.

We speak out. Through the responses and prayers, we give ourselves. We pray in a way that manifests our conviction and belief. We mean what we say. We also speak out to support one another. We encourage others by our enthusiasm to voice their own prayer if they can hear us. Some might prefer to pray quietly. There are moments for silence in the liturgy. However, when we are called to vocalize a prayer, we are self-sacrificing in our willingness to be heard.

We listen up. There are several times when listening attentively can be a real sacrifice. We all know the challenge of being attentive to someone when they are speaking to us. Our mind wanders. We focus on the proclaimer, the presider or the cantor. We must not only hear what they are saying but take it in and let it sink into our lives. The effort put forth to really listen is participation in the self-sacrifice of Christ.

We sing out. Singing is praying. This is an area where many of us need to be challenged. We think of the music as “extra,” something that isn’t necessary to the Mass. Singing and music are essential liturgical action. Our voices joined in song, elevate our spoken prayer and enhance our self-giving.

Some say, “I can’t sing.” They mean they do not have a good singing voice. We also have different speaking voices and different capacities for hearing. If my voice is not as pleasing as another’s, should I not speak the prayers at Mass; if I do not listen as well as another, should I not listen at all? No. Why then do we decide not to sing if our voice is not wonderful? For some self-sacrifice means bending our stubborn wills and accepting that singing is important. Singing, like speaking and listening is essential for joining our sacrifice to Christ’s.

All this activity at Mass is sacrificial not simply by our doing it but more importantly by our belief. It is essential that I believe that Jesus is present, that he is offering himself to God the Father, and that I am participating in his sacrifice through understanding what is happening and consciously engaging in the sacrifice of the Mass. 

With this basic understanding of what we are doing in the Mass, I will, in the subsequent months, look at each part of the Eucharist and explore how we encounter Jesus in his sacrifice during the Mass.

Who’s minding the store? What’s next?

By Fr. Michel Mulloy There are two questions I get asked a lot these days. Who is running the diocese? Have we heard anything about a new bishop?
The first one is easy to answer. When a bishop is installed in a new diocese as Bishop Robert Gruss was, or if a bishop dies, the College of Consultors are required to meet and select an administrator to run the diocese until a new bishop is ordained or installed. A bishop who has been transferred to a new diocese can request that another bishop be named administrator if there are special circumstances that warrant that choice. In our diocese the administrator was chosen from the priests working in the diocese now.
Once the consultors met, the name of the priest they selected was sent to the apostolic nuncio in Washington D.C. The nuncio is the pope’s representative in America. For us that is Archbishop Christophe Pierre. The nuncio acknowledges the receipt of the name that is put forward and sends it on to Rome. In this instance, I was elected and I am grateful for the trust placed in me by the consultors and priests of the diocese in asking me to be the diocesan administrator.
A diocesan administrator does what a bishop did with some exceptions. An administrator cannot begin anything that has not been previously approved by the former bishop. The administrator cannot ordain or bless the holy oils. Finally, an administrator cannot make any changes in priestly assignments for one full year.
The answer to the second question is a bit more complicated. The Catholic Church divides the world into dioceses. The dioceses are grouped into provinces for governance purposes. Every province has an archbishop. For us, our province consists of the dioceses in the Dakotas and Minnesota. Our archbishop is in St. Paul/Minneapolis. Each year, bishops in the province are asked to submit names and qualifications of priests in their diocese who would be potential bishops. These names are collected and shared with all the province bishops. At the annual meeting they vote on which names should be sent the nuncio.
After receiving this list of names, the nuncio conducts his own investigation regarding the suitability of each candidate on the list. In addition, when a diocese is without a bishop, the nuncio investigates the situation and needs of that diocese. The broad consultation includes former bishops of the diocese that is vacant, key diocesan personnel and bishops from the province and the country. This takes some time to complete. Once the situation and needs of the diocese are understood, the nuncio will narrow the list of candidates from those he has received from the province or elsewhere in the country. Another round of consultation will happen concerning each of the proposed candidates on the nuncio’s short list. All this material is collected and reviewed by the nuncio who interprets the information. He prepares a list of three names ranked by preference and sends that list to the Congregation for Bishops in Rome.
The Congregation for Bishops in Rome reviews the paperwork to ensure it is in good order. A full report is made to the members of the congregation who meet twice a month. The congregation discusses the appointment and votes. They may follow the recommendation of the nuncio, choose another candidate not on the nuncio’s list or even ask for a new list of names.
Once the three names have been approved by the Congregation for Bishops, the prefect of the Congregation presents the recommendations to the Holy Father. The Holy Father reflects on their recommendations and informs the Congregation of his decision. After the Holy Father has selected a candidate, the Congregation notifies the nuncio in America who in turn contacts the candidate and asks if he is willing to accept the appointment. The candidate can say yes or no to the request to be ordained a bishop.
This process can often take six to eight months or sometimes longer from the time the diocese becomes vacant until a new bishop is appointed. Once the candidate accepts the appointment, he has three months to be ordained a bishop and take possession of his new diocese.
So the short answer to the second question is no, we have not heard anything about a new bishop. We probably won’t for six to eight months or longer. Please pray the “Prayer for a New Bishop” that your pastors distributed. Pray too for those of us who are charged with keeping the diocese afloat in this transition.

Curia Corner — Match Game Edition

When it was announced that Bishop Robert Gruss was being moved to the Diocese of Saginaw, the Diocesan Archives received many questions regarding the history of the bishop’s office. The diocese has had eight bishops, an Vicar Apostolic of the Dakotas and a Coadjutor Bishop. Each of them developed their own crest and motto. Can you name which bishop goes with which crest? Need help? Here’s a list of bishops:

Bishop Martin Marty
Bishop John Stariha
Bishop Joseph Busch
Bishop William McCarty
Bishop Leo Dworschak
Bishop John Lawler
Bishop Harold Dimmerling
Bishop Charles Chaput
Bishop Blase Cupich
Bishop Robert Gruss

Notice there are eight crests and 10 bishops on this list. We don’t have a record the crests for two bishops. Answers are below. Good luck.

Answers: 1) Bishop Harold Dimmerling, fifth bishop, 1969-1987; 2) Bishop Robert Gruss, eighth bishop, 2011-2019; 3) Bishop John Lawler, third bishop, 1916-1948; 4) Bishop Blase Cupich, seventh bishop, 1998-2010; 5) Bishop Charles Chaput, sixth bishop, 1988-1997; 6) Coadjutor Bishop Leo Dworschak, 1946-1947; 7) Vicar Apostolic of the Dakotas Bishop Martin Marty, 1879-1895; 8) Bishop William McCarty, sixth bishop.

Eucharist Hymns