Voice from the Valley

VFTV: June 1, 2017

Congratulations Deacon Nate Brunn 

The years of study and formation and hard work have paid off and Nate Brunn is now Deacon Nate Brunn. I had the delight of ordaining Nate on May 20, at St. Joseph Parish, Moorhead. What a wonderful liturgy and celebration it was! Congratulations to Deacon Nate, and to his parents Leonard and Mildred, and their entire family. Deacon Nate will exercise the ministry of deacon this summer at St. Philip Parish in Bemidji and then return to St. Meinrad Seminary to complete his final year of preparation for being ordained a ministerial priest of Jesus Christ. As we began the ordination liturgy, I reminded all present that it is as bishop I am asked to ordain this man to the Order of the Diaconate. It is not Nate who asks this, nor his family or friends. It is our Holy Mother Church who asks the bishop to ordain, Holy Mother Church who knows the needs of her children and who, with deep love, desires to provide for them through the deacon’s life of service. The life and ministry of a deacon is one of service to God’s People, a service described as the ministry of Word, of Sacrament and of Charity. A deacon is a proclaimer of the Good News of Jesus Christ. He is a teacher of the faith. He proclaims the Gospel at Mass, prepares the altar and sacrifice and is an ordinary minister of Holy Communion. He presides over public prayer, administers Baptism and assists at and blesses marriages. He brings Viaticum to the dying and conducts funeral rites. Deacons are also ordained ministers of charity, sent especially to look after the poor. Truly, Mother Church takes care of us through the life and ministry of our deacons. How blessed are we, the faithful of this local Church in the Diocese of Crookston, by the service of the deacons God has called forth for us. Give thanks to God and thank our deacons too.

Congratulations Graduates 

We have many young people being graduated from high school through our diocese, and others too who are finishing degrees in higher education. To all our graduates we say: “Congratulations and well done!” These milestones are important ones not only for those being graduated but also for their parents and families. Congratulations to you too. And, of course, graduations are important for us all as those finishing school, having developed their talents, now use their gifts for good. God bless all those being graduated this year and through the contribution they make, may God bless us all.

Our Northland Diocese

As your bishop, I am the publisher of Our Northland Diocese newspaper, our fine OND. Last fall, I appointed a Communication Task Force and mandated them to survey clergy and parish staff members from all of our 66 parishes and gather feedback regarding OND, as well as our diocesan website, social media and other methods our diocese uses to connect with you, God’s faithful here. I have reviewed the results of the Task Force’s work and their recommendations and now am happy to share with you some changes that will be implemented by OND staff. In the upcoming months, we will begin to diversify our offerings for readers and expand our digital footprint. In addition to OND newspaper sent to your mailbox, a website will be developed completely dedicated to full news stories, commentary and photos gathered from around our diocese. In addition to these local stories, national and international Catholic news will be available to you online. OND’s mission, and the goal of  OND staff, remains the same: “to publish Good News for the purpose of strengthening and furthering the Reign of God in the Diocese of Crookston.” 

It is my hope that you will continue to keep yourself well informed of our Catholic life both here and around the world to assist you in living your vocation and furthering the Reign of God. I am excited that soon, in addition to our fine OND newspaper, we will have a new website to help us all do just that. You will hear more about these changes in a July issue of Our Northland Diocese newspaper.