Bishop’s Annual Appeal supports work of vital diocesan ministries

  Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, One of my greatest joys of being your bishop is visiting parishes around our diocese for confirmations, festivals and other special events. I am grateful to see your faithful witness to the church and for all you do to build up the Body of Christ. Our Catholic faith…

Mother Teresa embodied true compassion for sick, dying

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, Some of the most memorable photos of Mother Teresa are those in which the saint is offering comfort to the poor, the ill and the elderly. In those images, she looks intently at the people, holding their hand or offering a healing touch. At that moment, no one was…

May Christmas foster peace and solidarity in our hearts

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, We are nearing the end of the Advent season, a time of waiting and preparing for the coming of Christ as a baby in the manger at Bethlehem and also for his second coming at the end of time. The church encourages us to use these weeks before Christmas…

Election highlights need to bridge divisions, work for common good

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, This year’s elections were the most contentious I’ve experienced in my lifetime. The presidential race in particular shined a spotlight on the deep divides that exist in our nation. These divisions — over issues such as race, economic disparities and immigration — have been festering for a long time….

Building the body of Christ throughout the world

“When mercy encounters a person, it brings deep joy to the Father’s heart; for from the beginning the Father has lovingly turned towards the most vulnerable because his greatness and power are revealed precisely in his capacity to identify with the young, the marginalized and the oppressed. He is a kind, caring and thoughtful God…

Answering our call to be faithful citizens

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, “Do not be afraid,” Jesus told his disciples. In this election year, as we prepare to vote for candidates who will make important decisions for our country and our state, I would add: “Do not be discouraged!” We modern-day disciples face many challenges when it comes to voting and…

Let us be instruments of Christ’s peace, healing

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, Last September, I had the privilege of attending Pope Francis’ address to Congress during his visit to the United States. During his talk, he spoke about the challenges facing immigrants and refugees — including those coming to the United States — and what our response needs to be. He…

Healing the wounds of violence and division

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, Shock. Sadness. Frustration. Like many of you, I have felt a range of emotions over the last 10 days in the wake of the shootings in Dallas, Baton Rouge and right here in Minnesota. The violent loss of life, no matter the circumstance, is always a tragedy. I ask…

Prayer, love, mercy are best response to Orlando shootings

  Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, Over the last several days, I have been praying for the victims of the horrific mass shooting in Orlando and for their loved ones who must cope with this senseless act of violence. I have felt a range of emotions: shock, sadness and anger. But I have also…

‘The Joy of Love’: Accompanying families on their journey of faith

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, A few weeks ago, Pope Francis released an important document on the family, “Amoris Laetitia” (“The Joy of Love”), reflecting the discussion that occurred at the 2014 and 2015 synods of bishops on the family. The pope convened those gatherings because he believes strongly that healthy families are essential…