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Christmas Blessings from the North Dakota Catholic Conference

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Former Legislator Jim Kerzman was Friend of the Conference

We at the North Dakota Catholic Conference are saddened to hear of the death of former Representative Jim Kerzman.  Jim served as the chair of the legislature’s pro-life committee for many years, sponsored bills for the North Dakota Catholic Conference, and was always there to take a lead for social justice and life.

More importantly, he was a humble statesman and friend, whose Catholic faith permeated everything he did. Requiescat in pace. . .

Letter to Forum: Editorial misrepresents work of ND Catholic Conference

Historian Arthur Schlesinger Sr. observed that anti-Catholicism is “the deepest-held bias in the history of the American people.” A persistent theme in that bias is the idea that the Catholic Church is a sinister force that uses power and threats to thwart American values. The Forum continued that ugly tradition with its editorial on SB 2279 (“Pass ND housing, jobs bill,” March 25).

Read the rest . . .

Christ is Risen! Truly, He is Risen!

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Make a Difference: Support Parental Choice Legislation

The Norcsw_15_fullcolor_pngth Dakota House is considering two parental choice bills.

HB 1254 would provide a tax credit to help cover the expenses of tuition and books for parents with children in nonpublic schools.

HB 1355 would provide a tax credit to corporations that contribute to an endowment that provides scholarship opportunities for low income students to attend a nonpublic school.

Please contact the House Finance and Tax Committee members and House Majority Leader Al Carlson and express your support for HB 1254 and HB 1355.

Al Carlson acarlson@nd.gov
Craig Headland cheadland@nd.gov
Mark Owens mowens@nd.gov
Jason Dockter jddockter@nd.gov
Glen Froseth gfroseth@nd.gov
Jessica Haak jehaak@nd.gov
Patrick Hatlestad phatlestad@nd.gov
Tom Kading tkading@nd.gov
Matthew Klein mklein@nd.gov
Alisa Mitskog amitskog@nd.gov
Vicky Steiner vsteiner@nd.gov
Mary Schneider mschneider@nd.gov
Marie Strinden mjstrinden@nd.gov
Nathan Toman nptoman@nd.gov
Wayne Trottier wtrottier@nd.gov

Download a flyer to handout at Catholic Schools Week events!

Bishops Express Thanks on First Anniversary of Pope Francis, Highlight Concern for Poor, Reform of Curia, Outreach to Alienated

Pope Calls on Catholics To Renew Gospel Values

Wants Church To Be for the Poor, Reach Out to Marginalized

Emphasis on Mercy, Humanity Inspires People Around the Globe

The first anniversary of the election of Pope Francis, March 13, is a time to give thanks, said the U.S. bishops’ Administrative Committee, meeting in Washington, March 11-12. The Administrative Committee is the highest ranking body of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops when the bishops are not in plenary session.

“He has encouraged us to be a Church of the poor and for the poor, reaching out to the marginalized and being present to those on the periphery of society,” the bishops said in the statement issued March 11. “He has set an example by choosing a personal simplicity of life, by washing the feet of prisoners, and by taking into his hands and kissing the badly disfigured.”

The entire statement follows.

STATEMENT OF THE USCCB ADMINISTRATIVE COMMITTEE

ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE ELECTION OF POPE FRANCIS

Gathered together in Washington, DC, for their annual March meeting, the members of the Administrative Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have noted with thanksgiving the first anniversary of the election of His Holiness Pope Francis as the 266th successor of the Apostle Peter.

In his first year in office, Pope Francis has consistently called upon Catholics to look again at the fundamental values of the Gospel. He has encouraged us to be a Church of the poor and for the poor, reaching out to the marginalized and being present to those on the periphery of society. He has set an example by choosing a personal simplicity of life, by washing the feet of prisoners, and by taking into his hands and kissing the badly disfigured. His Holiness has also set in motion a process that will lead to the reshaping of the Roman Curia in a way that will enhance the effectiveness of his ministry and better serve the needs of the Church in our present day.

In this way the Holy Father has brought to light new dimensions of the Petrine Ministry and added new life to the office he holds. His constant outreach to the alienated, his emphasis on mercy and his sheer humanity have served as an inspiration not only to Catholics but also to other Christians and people of good will around the globe. On this first anniversary of his election, the Administrative Committee invites the prayers of all the faithful that Christ our Lord will bless Pope Francis and grant him many years of fruitful ministry as Bishop of Rome, as the Servant of the Servants of God.

New Lenten Calendar

Catholics can take inspiration from Pope Francis and find advice and ideas for observing Lent on this downloadable calendar.

Christmas Blessings

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Bishop Ricken Welcomes Pope Francis’ Exhortation on the New Evangelization

Pope Francis is leading the world to deeper faith, and the U.S. bishops look forward to sharing his words in their dioceses, said the chairman of the Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Bishop David L. Ricken of Green Bay, Wisconsin, welcomed the release of Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), the pope’s post-synodal apostolic exhortation to 2012’s Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization.

“I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day,” Pope Francis wrote in the opening of the document. The pope presented the exhortation over the weekend in Rome, at events commemorating the end of the Year of Faith, which began October 11, 2012. It is the pope’s official response to the discussions held as part of the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization, which occurred October 7-28, 2012, in the Vatican. Bishops from around the world gathered to discuss how the Catholic Church can renew the energy of Catholics, strengthen their faith and better share the Gospel with the rest of the world.

“Pope Francis is a living model of the New Evangelization,” said Bishop Ricken. “He is showing us how to live the Gospels and reach out to the world with what every person needs, a relationship with God. He is leading the world to deeper faith, and the bishops of the United States happily receive this exhortation with faith and look forward to sharing it in our dioceses.”

The Vatican has posted the exhortation online: www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium_en.html

USCCB has also made the exhortation available for order online: www.usccbpublishing.org/

The Synod of Bishops is an international gathering of Catholic bishops, convened every few years for discussion and to advise the pope on specific concerns related to the Church and the world. It was first convened by Pope Paul VI in 1967 and has subsequently met to discuss Scripture, the Eucharist, priesthood, the laity, pastoral circumstances in different regions of the world and other topics. Pope Francis has announced an Extraordinary Synod on Pastoral Challenges to the Family in the Context of Evangelization, to be held in October 2014, followed by an Ordinary Synod on the same topic in 2015.

St. Gianna’s Maternity Home Celebrates Ten Years

A terrific story from the Grand Fork Herald: http://www.grandforksherald.com/event/article/id/270923/