Month: September 2020

September 30: The Feast of St. Jerome & The Vulgate Version of the Bible

In a special way, we remember Father Jerry Weiss, long-time pastor of St. John & St. Joseph, whose feast day it is today. God bless you, Fr. Jerry!

St. Jerome, pray for us!

It was Saint Jerome who translated the Hebrew scriptures from Hebrew and Greek into Latin, the language of the common people.  His was a great gift to the Catholic church, and we celebrate the gift of his life to our Church.

Saint Jerome, pray for us!

Wednesday, October 1st: Feast of Therese of Lisieux & Message from Fr. Seth

After next Tuesday, October 6th, the only Masses to be videoed are the Wednesday school Mass & Sunday at 10:30. This will also be in the Sunday bulletin! Thank you!

Reminders: There is plenty of space for people to attend Wednesday school Masses on the side aisles. You can still socially distance & are more than welcome to attend.

Feast of Therese of Lisieux

On the Feast of the Archangels
Father Seth Gogolin’s Homily

This is one of my favorite feasts days because it really shows how God works, not only with the angels, but, in turn, with us.  You can hear this in our first reading today in the book of Revelations. You notice that at the end of the Bible, some things that precede even the creation of man.

We hear what happened when Lucifer and the other angels decided to rebel against God.  And notice that the angel who is spoke of who is defending God is Michael the Archangel.  And we pray the prayer to Saint Michael, and we see images of Michael who was a pretty strong angel.

And, yet, if you take a look at the choirs of angels, archangels are the second lowest of the angels.  We don’t know, perhaps, with certainty,–we don’t have any Biblical reference—which choir Lucifer belonged to, but we have evidence from the church fathers that he probably was one of the top two—either the Cherubim or Seraphim.  We think the Seraphim, not only because of his name, Lucifer, “Light,” which is closest to God, but also because of the fact that he did not want to see God become man.

And so we have this battle then raging between Lucifer and his angels and the workers of God led by St. Michael the Archangel and Lucifer and the Seraphim defeated by the Archangels.

And we see it wasn’t St. Michael’s power as an archangel defeating the great Seraphim, but it was God’s power working in him.

I think sometimes for us we take a look at ourselves and think we have so little to offer in the mission of the Church.  We think, “I don’t have much, I’m lowly, I think there are other people who’d be better suited to do the work of God.”  But we look today at St. Michael.  Yes he was an Archangel, but lowly in the choir of angels, but look what God did through him?  He cast out Satan and all of his fallen angels with him. 

And he does the same with us.  He does such great things with us, even if we think we’re of such lowly stature, even if we think we don’t have much to offer, even if we think there’s someone more highly qualified to do something for the Lord.

The Lord has chosen us for a specific purpose.  Let us open our hearts to the Lord’s Grace that we may do His work in and through us.

Seraphim, which means “the burning ones”: Lucifer was a seraphim, but we will save that for another apologetics column.

Cherubim, which means “fullness of wisdom”: This is where we get the word “cherub,” but, as I said, they are not fat babies; they are among the highest of angels.

Thrones: They contemplate God’s power and judgments.

Dominions: They are the commanders of the angels below them.

Virtues: These run the heavenly bodies of the universe.

Powers: They fight the evil influences that oppose God’s providence.

The final three levels of angels are the ones who deal directly with human affairs:

Principalities: These care for earthly principalities like countries. Did you know that the United States has its own angel?

Archangels: These are the ones that are actually named in the Bible: Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. These are the ones who carry God’s most important messages, like the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary.

Finally, the lowest level of angels are our guardian angels.

Sept. 29th: Feast of the Archangles

Archangels

St. Michael: Defender in Battle

St. Gabriel: God’s Messenger at Pivotal Moments in Salvation History

St. Raphael: Bearer of God’s Healing

The Truth About Angels, God’s Messengers
The Northern Cross

Very often, saints and angels are thought of being very similar, but in fact they are very different — two totally different species on God’s list of creation. The Catholic Church honors the three biblically named archangels on September 29. It will honor our guardian angels next month on October 2.

The whole concept of what angels are has taken a beating over the past few years. Angels are not fat babies with wings. They are not gold lapel pins. In fact, the word “angel” is not even what they are; it is what they do!

The word “angel” means “giving a message, a messenger.” And, in the angels’ case, they are messengers from God. What they do is bring messages; what they are, are spirits. They are spirits who are fearsome and formidable; they are warriors. Nearly every time angels appear in the Bible, they first say, “Do not be afraid.”

The lowest of angels has a more brilliant mind than 100 Einsteins put together. They have power far beyond the most fantastic fictional character. Superman would not have a chance. (And to think that we each have our own personal guardian angel, but more about that later.)

Angels are all of this, but in reality they are nothing — they have no parts, no physical energy; there is nothing about them that is physical or tangible. They do not belong to the universe; they are guests.

When angels appear in the Bible, the appearances are not the angels themselves, but disguises they take on. Contrary to greeting cards and garden statues, angels do not have wings or harps; these are all images created by human artists.

If we believe in Jesus, then we have to believe in angels because he mentions them several times. If they don’t really exist, then Jesus was not telling the truth, and if Jesus was not telling the truth, then he is not divine, he is not God.

In fact, all three monotheistic religions have a firm belief in angels. Angels are repeatedly mentioned in the Jewish and Christian Bible, as well as in the Muslim Koran.

According to Sacred Tradition, there are nine choirs of angels. This is not a dogma of the faith, but it is scripturally based and steeped in Sacred Tradition. Without going into much detail, here they are in order from highest to lowest:

Seraphim, which means “the burning ones”: Lucifer was a seraphim, but we will save that for another apologetics column.

Cherubim, which means “fullness of wisdom”: This is where we get the word “cherub,” but, as I said, they are not fat babies; they are among the highest of angels.

Thrones: They contemplate God’s power and judgments.

Dominions: They are the commanders of the angels below them.

Virtues: These run the heavenly bodies of the universe.

Powers: They fight the evil influences that oppose God’s providence.

The final three levels of angels are the ones who deal directly with human affairs:

Principalities: These care for earthly principalities like countries. Did you know that the United States has its own angel?

Archangels: These are the ones that are actually named in the Bible: Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. These are the ones who carry God’s most important messages, like the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary.

Finally, the lowest level of angels are our guardian angels. As I stated above, this hierarchy of angels is not dogma, but it has been the belief of the church from very early times, at least to St. Gregory the Great, who was pope in the sixth century. But the person most responsible for fleshing out the details of the angels was St. Thomas Aquinas.

The angels most important to us personally are the guardian angels. Jesus himself refers to our guardian angels (Matthew 18:10). Our guardian angel is first and foremost concerned with our spiritual well-being, not our physical well-being. If someone survives a terrible car accident without a scratch, very likely a guardian angel had something to do with it, but only for the purpose of eternal salvation in mind. Our angel is always with us, never leaving our presence. If we keep this always in mind, it might help us live a more virtuous life.

Even though angels are always with us, it is at the Mass where they are most present. We have statues of angels in our churches to point to the reality that where God is, so, too, are the angels; when the Eucharist is present, so, too, are the angels. Our churches are packed with them.

St. Alphonsus de Liguori once wrote that when we receive Communion, twelve angels surround us, worshiping the Eucharist we have just consumed. A little food for thought the next time the devil tempts us to leave Mass early.

With Thanks to Our Wonderful Choir

Ana Beier gifted me this morning with this beautiful Totus Tuus music which was sung at Sunday Mass. Pope St. John Paul II, pray for us!

Totus Tuus sum, Maria, Mater nostri Redemptoris, Virgo Dei, Virgo pia, Mater mundi Salvatoris. Totus Tuus sum, Maria!

Mary, I am completely yours, Mary, Mother of our Redeemer. Virgin Mother of God, blessed virgin, Mother of the world’s Savior. I am completely yours, Mary!

St John Paul II’s apostolic motto Totus Tuus, by which he gave everything to Jesus through Mary, was from St Louis-Marie:

“Tuus totus ego sum, et omnia mea tua sunt”
– I am all yours, and all that I have is yours, O most loving Jesus, through Mary, your most holy Mother
” (Treatise on True Devotion, n233).

A Prayer for Priests from the Mothers of Our Priests

To be prayed for the priest who is celebrating Mass

Gracious and loving God, I thank you for the gift of our priest. Through him we experience your presence in the sacraments.

Help Father Seth & all our priests to be strong in their vocations. Set their souls on fire with love for your people. Grant them the wisdom, understanding and strength they need to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.

Inspire them with the vision of your kingdom. Give them the words they need to spread the Gospel. Allow them to experience joy in their ministries.

Mother Mary, Mother of the church, pray for our priest that they will be able to do your son’s will this day and that your Immaculate Heart will be their courage and strength.

O Jesus, eternal priest, keep our priests within the shelter of your Sacred Heart.

I ask this in your name, who lives and reigns as our eternal priest.

Amen

Mothers of Priests, Diocese of Duluth, thank you!

Mrs. Morris: Information for All Faith Formation Families

Sonya Morris, DRE All East-End (6) Parishes

Hello Faith Formation Families

The start of a brand new faith formation year is upon us. We are blessed to be able to bring all of our faith formation programs together this year to collaborate and form the East Duluth Catholic Faith Formation program. 

This model will include the parishes of Cathedral of Our Lady, St. Mary Star of the Sea, St. Benedict’s, St. John’s, St. Joseph’s Gnesen and St. Michael’s. Together we envision a faith formation program that utilizes the talents, resources, and gifts of all 6 parishes.  These gifts and talents have helped create the vision of this new program and will continue to help us develop this program into one that is inspirational to our youth and our families.

During this year of uncertainty with covid-19 we understand that things will need to run a little bit different. We will be offering online materials for those that are not comfortable meeting in person along with in person classes. The in person lessons will be shortened and less frequent than normal years. We will be following the guidelines put out by the Diocese of Duluth and the CDC to ensure that our spaces are clean and our students and families are safe.

Please click on the link below to go to our landing page for our new faith formation program. There you will find information on all our programs.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns please let us know. 
Here is the link with all the info


ttps://www.smore.com/wxt09

Let me know if you have any questions.
Thank You!

Nat’l Day of Prayer & Fasting September 24th: Join Us!

Fr. Seth Goglin

On Thursday, September 24th, after the 8:00 am Mass, in the presence of the Holy Eucharist, I will lead a procession around the St. John’s grounds to call attention to this Nat’l Day of Prayer & Fasting for our country. It is a day dedicated to fast and abstinence, nation-wide. We will pray the rosary together as we process. We’d love to have you join with us in any or all parts of this–Mass, Adoration, Rosary, Procession! God bless!

Please consider joining us for this special prayer service. –Father Seth

A Catholic Liturgical Procession

Bulletin News

After this bulletin, which is again a two-week version we will go back to one week bulletins.  Since this is another double bulletin, I have a lot of information to share with you.

The first thing as I mentioned at Masses last weekend, is parishes of the East Side of Duluth (St. Benedict’s, St. John’s, St. Joseph’s, St. Michael’s, the Cathedral and St. Mary Star of the Sea) will be having a combined Faith     Formation Program that begins this fall.

We will have two full time staff members, one who will coordinate Grades K-5, and the other who will coordinate Grades 6-11.  Each parish will maintain having Grades K-5 at their own sites unless they choose to combine with one of the other parishes.  Grades 6-8 will meet at St. John’s, and Grades 9-11 will meet at the Cathedral.  St. Benedict’s and St. Michael’s will be used both for 2nd Grade sacramental preparation as well as large group opportunities for middle school and high school.

I have been working with the other three pastors on the East Side of Duluth along with Sonya Morris (our current Faith Formation Director), and David Walsh who is the outgoing Faith Formation director at the Cathedral to come up with curriculum, schedules, coordination of sites and other plans.  I am excited for this opportunity for our young    people in middle school and high school to be together as they are at school, but equally excited to have our parishes work more closely together.

As I mentioned in a previous bulletin article, the East Side of Duluth is the only place in the Diocese that still has work to do for strategic planning which will mean at the very least re-clustering of some of our parishes.

Schedules and registration forms will be coming soon for Faith Formation, but I want to say that we are planning on having no more than one thing going per week on any given Wednesday to encourage distancing and sanitizing         procedures to take place to keep everyone as safe as     possible and allow for more families to grow in the faith together.

 Specifics will come when the schedule is published, but we are looking at something like this:

· 1st Wednesday of the month K-5 at each of their      respective parishes (Sundays could be used instead).

· 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month 6-8 and 9-11 at St. John’s and Cathedral respectively.

· And 3rd Wednesday of the month 2nd Grade              Sacramental preparation. 

Sonya Morris will stay on for us as our K-5th Grade         coordinator for all six of our parishes, and we are currently looking to hire a person to coordinate our 6-11th Grades.  Thank you for your support and please pray for success for this exciting endeavor. 

Beginning with Tuesday, September 8, all daily Masses at St. John’s will go back to 8 am.  I will look into evening options once the parish schedule solidifies.

The next thing is to thank our ushers for beginning the use of our collection baskets that have the long arms again.  This is a safe way to do the collection while bringing back a little more normalcy to our Masses.

Speaking of things that aren’t normal in our Masses, many   people have asked me why we have Communion after Mass.  The simplest answer is that it is what has been asked of us by our Diocesan Administrator, and in obedience to him we are doing it.  The longer answer is that it gives opportunity for those who are not planning on receiving Communion to be able to leave after Mass, and then also an opportunity to leave after receiving Communion since Mass is over already.  In other words it was designed to get people out quicker.  Whether it in fact does that or not it is the current protocol being asked of us by our diocese, and so we will be doing it at our parishes.  Thank you all for helping follow diocesan protocols, and being kind and charitable.

Some Stark Facts about Duluth Parishes from the NC

A Sure Way to Keep Your Parish Open
Apologetics September 2020

     Of all the priests in our diocese there is one in particular who you might call our “living history book.”  I have had many occasions to listen to Father Dick Partika talk about everything and anything you wanted to know about the history of the Diocese of Duluth.  I have always been amazed at all the facts he has contained in his memory, so if he is reading this column he might very well find reason to confirm or correct what I am about to say.

            As I write this, I am half a century old.  In these past 50 years, in the city of Duluth, we have had a lot of parishes close permanently.  According to my “non-Father Partika” memory these are the names of the churches that have closed during my lifetime: Good Shepherd, Holy Cross, St. Margaret Mary, St. Joseph’s in the Heights, St. Joseph’s in Lakewood, Sacred Heart, St. Anthony, St. Clement’s, St. Jean’s, Sts. Peter and Paul, Holy Rosary Chapel, St. Peter’s, and Our Lady of Mercy.

            That is 13 Catholic churches closed, and in Duluth proper there are only 10 that remain.  We might say that a dwindling population is the cause of such contraction, but the city of Duluth has not lost 65 % of its population in the last 50 years, not even close.  It might be more likely that it is a combination of fewer Catholics practicing their faith along with the fewer men answering the call to priesthood.  Either way, both could accurately be called a tragedy.

            Every parish closure is also a tragedy.  Thankfully, as a priest I have never been in an assignment that I had to oversee a closure; I am thankful for that, because I know how much pain and anguish there is for the parishioners.  Think of your own parish church and all the memoires associated with it, from weddings to funerals to Confirmations and first Communions, not to mention all the other social gatherings that have happened in those sacred walls.

            No doubt our Catholic faith is much, much bigger than any parish church, but it still hurts to see your place of worship come to an end.

            Jesus is pretty clear on our need to pray for vocations when he says, “The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are scarce.  Beg the harvest master to send out laborers for his harvest: (Matthew 9:37-38).  The vocations prayer which was penned by Bishop Dennis Schnurr while he shepherded our diocese was not meant to be a nifty way to conclude our petitions at Mass. No, Bishop Schnurr made it abundantly clear the absolute need we have to pray for more vocations, particularly for priests.  Thirteen closed parishes in the city of Duluth over 50 years is the exclamation mark for such a need.

            I would implore my brother priests to make sure we keep praying our vocation prayer at each Mass.  Do not drop the practice, as our diocese’s future is literally on the line.  And I would implore the faithful of the diocese to keep praying for vocations as well, and encouraging them whenever you see a young man who you think just might have the call. 

            One way of looking at this need is to figure out: when was the last priestly vocation that came out of your parish?  There are some parishes in our diocese that have been “rock stars” of vocations, but there are far more other parishes that have not seen a single vocation in years or even decades.  That is not a good sign of parish life.  All too often I think parishioners just assume that there will be a priest that comes to serve their parish, that they will always be provided for, but that is not necessarily so.  Just ask the people from any one of those closed parishes that I listed above.

            We as the faithful need to foster vocations to keep our parishes viable and vibrant.  We cannot assume that some other parish will produce the vocation we need to keep our parish open.  We must beg the harvest master for laborers and then encourage them when we see a potential priestly candidate.

            To my way of thinking, the best thing ever said about this issue of vocations and parish life was said by Pope St. John Paul the Great when he was a bishop speaking to seminarians and seminary staff: “If there is a lack of vocations to the priesthood in a Christian community, if they are not born, if they do not come to the seminaries, if they do not reach priesthood, then the community bears a negative witness of itself as a Christian community, revealing its inner weakness, proving to be a poor soil.”

            Beg the harvest master for laborers.   —Father Richard Kunst

DULUTH DIOCESAN PRAYER FOR VOCATIONS

Almighty Father, we beg You for an increase in religious vocations and holy marriages in our diocese.

Help us to be generous in our response to Your call. Choose from our homes those who are needed for Your work and strengthen us with the courage to say “yes” and to follow You.

Help us as a diocese, as a parish, as families to encourage and foster vocations to the priesthood, permanent diaconate, and consecrated life. We commend our prayers to our patroness, Mary, Queen of the Rosary, and ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

– Most Reverend Dennis M. Schnurr

September 17: Feast of St. Robert Bellarmine

Era: 1542-1621

Robert Bellarmine was born October 4th, 1542 at Monte Pulciano in Tuscany to a noble though impoverished family. His mother was the sister of Pope Marcellus II whose papacy lasted for twenty-two days in 1555. While still very young, Bellarmine distinguished himself academically. He knew Virgil by heart and was himself a poet writing in both Italian and Latin. In 1560, Bellarmine entered the Jesuit order and began a systematic study of theology. By 1569 he was sent to Leuven to study the prevailing heresies of his time. He was ordained there and earned a reputation as a professor and preacher. He was the first Jesuit to teach at the university and his course was the Summa of Thomas Aquinas. He taught for seven years before study and asceticism compromised his health. In 1576 he journeyed to Rome where Pope Gregory XIII commissioned him to teach polemical theology at the new Roman College. He taught for eleven years and also wrote his Disputationes which was a compilation of the various controversies of his time. This work had an immense affect on Protestants
and to this day it is still the classic treatise on the subject.

In 1589, Pope Sixtus V chose Bellarmine as theologian to accompany the papal legate to Paris to help negotiate new treaties with France. Pope Clement VIII chose him to write the preface of the new edition of the Vulgate. In 1592 he was made rector of the Roman College. By 1599, Robert Bellarmine had been made cardinal and a Cardinal Inquisitor. He wrote strongly against non-residence, that is, a bishop not residing in his own diocese, a widely accepted practice at the time. When made archbishop of Capua, he left within four days for his diocese and devoted himself to his new duties.

Robert Bellarmine is noted for his work during the Counter-Reformation in which he implemented the decrees of the Council of Trent. He was famous throughout all of Europe as a theologian and as a strenuous defender of the Faith. His prolific writing included works of instruction and devotion. During his retirement he wrote several short books intended to help ordinary people in their spiritual life.

In The Ascent of the Mind to God, he said,

May you consider truly good whatever leads to your goal and truly evil whatever makes you fall away from it. Prosperity and adversity, wealth and poverty, health and sickness, honors and humiliations, life and death, in the mind of the wise man, are not to be sought for their own sake, nor avoided for their own sake. But if they contribute to the glory of God and your eternal happiness, then they are good and should be sought. If they detract from this, they are evil and must be avoided.

Robert Bellarmine died in Rome on September 17th, 1621, at the age of seventy-eight. Pope Pius XI beatified him in 1923 and then canonized him in 1930. In 1931 he was declared a Doctor of the Church. He is buried in the Church of Saint Ignatius, in the chapel of the Roman College next to the body of his student, St. Aloysius Gonzaga.

The following commentary was written by Papal Artifacts’ Expert, Father Richard Kunst, for the Duluth, Minnesota diocesan newspaper, The Northern Cross:

On Sept. 17, the Catholic Church honors the memory of one of its intellectual giants, who also happens to be a saint. St. Robert Bellarmine, who died in 1621, was a great teacher, churchman and cardinal. But from the secular side of things he has a bit of controversy, because he played a role in the Galileo affair.

Bellarmine, on behalf of the Holy Office (today the Congregation of the Faith), had to admonish Galileo for teaching the heliocentric theory, which claimed that the sun and not the earth is the center of the universe. At the time, the thought was that the heliocentric theory was contrary to the Scriptures, so the issue became problematic when Galileo, a scientist, started to make theological claims.

The Galileo controversy is one that many anti-Catholics cite when they want to attack the church as anti-science or to claim that the church is not infallible as it claims. A little knowledge of history easily dismisses both claims.

First the church has been one of the most supportive institutions of science in history. For example, the first major scientific study done on the heliocentric theory by Nicolaus Copernicus was dedicated in honor of Pope Paul III. Any elementary knowledge of scientific history will show how many clerics (including Copernicus himself) were scientists and how often elements of the church were sponsors of scientific experimentation.

As far as the infallibility claim, that is actually preposterous. No pope ever tried to make an infallible ruling in the Galileo case. There was no ecumenical council ever called regarding Galileo. In fact, the pope was not even the primary player in the controversy. Rather it was an ordinary tribunal of the Holy Office that judged Galileo, and that is far from an infallible claim; no issue of infallibility should ever be associated with this case.

Even though it was many years earlier that Copernicus first proposed the heliocentric theory, it’s Galileo who is most associated with it because of the controversy which spilled into theology. In 1614, Galileo was challenged by many charging that his theories were contrary to Scripture since there are several passages that refer to celestial motion and the Earth’s stability. Up until this point, the overwhelming number of scientists held the geocentric theory that the earth was the center of the universe and that everything, including the sun, revolves around the earth. Galileo had cautioned against a literal reading of the scriptures; the church was understandably wary of a scientist making personal interpretations of the Bible, considering it had recently endured the Protestant Reformation. The church did not want a scientist speaking “authoritatively” on a theological matter.

Galileo pushed the envelope in 1623 when he wrote a book called “Dialogue on the Two World Systems,” when he used the argument of the church (or the pope for that matter) and put the pope’s argument in the mouth of a character named Simplicio. You see, even really smart people can do really stupid things. Pope Urban VIII did not take too kindly to Galileo, or to Simplicio for that matter. It is here that things started to go really badly for Galileo. The pope felt mocked, and indeed he was, but contrary to urban legend Galileo was never tortured. He was, however, put under house arrest and forced to recant the heliocentric theory.

For all the people who like to throw barbs at the Catholic Church for not adopting Galileo’s teaching and for reacting to him in an admittedly bad way, it needs to be noted that had the church adopted his heliocentric theory, it would still be in error. Modern science has made it quite clear that the sun in our tiny solar system certainly is not the center of the entire universe, as Galileo claimed.

The worst that can be said of the church in hindsight is that the penal aspect of how Galileo was treated was not appropriate by today’s standards, something Blessed Pope John Paul the Great addressed in 1992 when speaking to a commission from the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. The pope said, “The Galileo case has been a sort of ‘myth,’ in which the image fabricated out of the events was quite far removed from the reality. In this perspective, the Galileo case was the symbol of the Church’s supposed rejection of scientific progress.” The pope went on to say that there was error on both sides and that the conflict between Galileo and the church should never have happened, because faith and science properly understood can never contradict one another.

So today Galileo is exonerated and we still pray to St. Robert Bellarmine for his intercession.

Diocese of Duluth: Victim Assistance Information

Reporting Sexual Abuse by a Priest, Deacon or a Staff Member or Volunteer

If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual misconduct by a volunteer, an employee or a member of the clergy and you need to talk with someone about your feelings of betrayal or hurt due to this abuse, exploitation or harassment,

We urge you to:

  1. Contact civil authorities
  2. Contact the Diocese of Duluth
  3. Contact a Diocesan Assistance Coordinator

We are open to and respect your complaint.

While diocesan representatives are open to receiving your complaint, we urge you to contact civil authorities first. Both justice and compassion, however, call us as diocesan officials to respond to the harm you or someone you know has experienced from a person in a position of trust. We sincerely want to listen and address the hurt that may have occurred because of the improper exercise of pastoral care.

Please know your complaint will be heard in confidence and only those who have a right to know will be informed. Even if civil authorities are involved, your complaint may go before the Diocesan Review Board in accord with our Sexual Misconduct Policy and Code of Pastoral Conduct.

Reporting Abuse or Misconduct of a Catholic Bishop

If you suspect abuse of any kind, your first call should be to law enforcement.

The Catholic Bishop Abuse Reporting service allows for individuals to relay to Church authorities any reports of a living U.S. Catholic bishop who has: forced someone to perform or to submit to sexual acts through violence, threat, or abuse of authority; performed sexual acts with a minor or a vulnerable person; produced, exhibited, possessed, or distributed child pornography, or recruited or induced a minor or a vulnerable person to participate in pornographic exhibitions; or, a diocesan bishop, or a cleric overseeing a diocese in the absence of a diocesan or eparchial bishop, who has intentionally interfered with a civil or church investigation into allegations of sexual abuse committed by another cleric or religious.

To report sexual abuse or related misconduct by a Catholic bishop, we encourage you to contact law enforcement. To report such abuse or misconduct1 to the Church, you should contact the Catholic Bishop Abuse Reporting (CBAR) service. CBAR is a third-party reporting service that gathers and routes reports to the appropriate Church authorities for investigation. Individuals may go to ReportBishopAbuse.org in order to make a report in English or Spanish. Reports are also accepted via 800-276-1562 in both languages.

When a report is received, it will be forwarded to the local metropolitan archbishop who will undertake the responsibility of initially assessing the report. The Archbishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis is the metropolitan who presides over our province which includes the following suffragan dioceses: In Minnesota, St. Paul/Minneapolis, New Ulm, Winona/Rochester, St. Cloud, Duluth, Crookston; in North Dakota, Fargo, Bismarck; in South Dakota Sioux Falls and Rapid City. If a report is received that concerns Archbishop himself, then the report will be forwarded to the senior bishop of our local province in years of ordination.

Sexual abuse by a priest, deacon or a staff member or volunteer of the Church within the Diocese of Duluth should be reported first to law enforcement, then to the Diocese of Duluth.

The Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel

Father Seth announced today St. John’s will resume the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel. Below is some information about this prayer, its author & why.

The Prayer to St. Michael

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the malice and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.

Pope Leo XIII and the Prayer to St. Michael by Kevin Symonds

Mention is often made of Leo XIII and a famous vision that he saw – that of an attack being made or planned by the devil against the Church. The facts about this vision, however, have been unclear for many decades, for there are different versions of what occurred, and of what was or was not said in that vision. What is fact and what is fiction about this event in modern papal history? To provide clarity about Pope Leo’s vision, Kevin J. Symonds began a historical investigation to arrive at the facts, and to distinguish between rumor or hearsay and the authentic history of the event, as well as to explain its meaning for our time in the light of the teaching of the Church, and in particular of the contemporary Popes. Related to this vision is the well known Prayer to St. Michael and a special prayer of Exorcism. What became known as the Leonine Prayers began to be recited after Masses throughout the world, taking their name from Leo XIII, but their origin came from his predecessor, Blessed Pius IX. Moving into the twentieth century, the author then examines the relationship between Pope Leo’s vision and Fatima, and the decision of Pius XI, after the Vatican’s reconciliation with the Italian government, to continue the Leonine Prayers while adding the conversion of Russia as their intention.

Still, the author’s research does not end there, because the events of the second half of the twentieth century have raised even more questions regarding the assaults of the devil, the importance of the message of Fatima, and the tragedy of what Pope Paul VI called the “smoke of Satan” entering the Church. The account goes all the way to the most recent Popes, who were instrumental in the dedication of a new statue of St. Michael inside the Vatican.


“In the Vatican Gardens there are several works of art. But this, which has now been added, takes on particular importance, in its location as well as the meaning it expresses. In fact it is not just celebratory work but an invitation to reflection and prayer, that fits well into the Year of Faith. Michael – which means “Who is like God” – is the champion of the primacy of God, of His transcendence and power. Michael struggles to restore divine justice and defends the People of God from his enemies, above all by the enemy par excellence, the devil. And St. Michael wins because in him, there is He God who acts. This sculpture reminds us then that evil is overcome, the accuser is unmasked, his head crushed, because salvation was accomplished once and for all in the blood of Christ. Though the devil always tries to disfigure the face of the Archangel and that of humanity, God is stronger, it is His victory and His salvation that is offered to all men. We are not alone on the journey or in the trials of life, we are accompanied and supported by the Angels of God, who offer, so to speak, their wings to help us overcome so many dangers, in order to fly high compared to those realities that can weigh down our lives or drag us down. In consecrating Vatican City State to St. Michael the Archangel, I ask him to defend us from the evil one and banish him.