We are the hands and feet and Sacred Heart of Jesus doing his work here on earth. Each of us, as baptized Catholics, have a role to play. We are called to reach out to others and bring them into the loving embrace of a new or deeper friendship with Jesus Christ. Your support of the Diocesan Annual Appeal creates good work in the Diocese of Crookston.
Our youth are catechized in their parishes but being catechized is not necessarily being evangelized. Through the Office of Formation in Discipleship, many powerful opportunities are generated for young people to strengthen their relationship to God and the Church. At these events, young men and women learn to respect themselves and to respect each other and understand God’s plan for them.
This year we were able to join with the Diocese of Fargo in a truly momentous Convocation of Parish Leaders. The generosity you have faithfully provided for forty years has given us an opportunity to move into a new era with an Office of Communications. We are now equipped to enter the everchanging digital landscape and engage Catholics of all ages where they spend a significant amount of time. Your gifts support seminarian education, which is so critical to our future as a diocese. Beyond these exciting areas of growth, I must thank you for your support of the administrative body of the Church. Your personal sacrifices aid the Office of the Bishop, the Tribunal, Safe Environment, the Office of Finance and Chancery support ministries that include maintenance and hospitality, as well as outreach to the poor.
You truly are the hands, the feet and the Sacred Heart of Jesus doing his work here on earth. God bless you.
+Most Reverend Michael J. Hoeppner
Office of Vocations and Seminarians: The Vocations Office provides support to seminarians throughout their discernment and theological education. We currently have five young men discerning a call to the priesthood. The Office is directed by Fr. Xavier Ilango, Vocations Promoter is Fr. Matt Schmitz, Chancellor Bonnie Sullivan serves as Vocations Secretary.
Office of Formation in Discipleship:The primary goal of this office is to help form missionary disciples who bring others into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. It supports parishes in providing the lay faithful with formation in marriage, family and respect for life as well as formation of youth through support of religious education, youth formation, and emerging adult engagement. Beyond the parishes, the office works with the MN Catholic Conference, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and Catholic Relief Services among others to help the Church engage those found at the margins. This Office is directed by Deacon Mark Krejci, Ph.D.
Office of the Bishop:Bishop Michael Hoeppner presides over ordinations, confirmations, jubilees, consecrations and special Masses as the spiritual leader of our diocese. He is a member of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Minnesota Catholic Conference (MCC). Support staff and housing for the Bishop are funded through this office.
Office of the Tribunal: After a civil divorce, people in need of an annulment can apply to the Tribunal for a study of their marriage. Through this ministry the Tribunal seeks to bring healing, communion and reconnection to those who feel separated from the Catholic Church due to divorce. Fr. Joe Richards is the Judicial Vicar and Maureen Novak is the auditor of the Tribunal.
Chancery General:Bishop Hoeppner is assisted in his apostolic ministry by the Vicar General Msgr. Michael Foltz. Msgr. Foltz also acts as the Moderator of the Curia. In this role, he coordinates the Chancery Staff and acts as a liaison to the presbyterate (our priests and pastors). Bishop Hoeppner is also assisted by his executive secretary, Bonnie Sullivan, who serves as archivist and Chancellor to the diocese. Expenses of these offices are attributed to the Chancery General budget.
Office of Catholic Schools: There are eight Catholic elementary schools and one Catholic High School in our diocese. The Office of Catholic Schools provides important resources and support to the principals of these schools, helping them maintain a quality educational experience and strong Catholic identity. Andrew Hilliker is the Director of Catholic Schools, as well as the principal of St. Joseph’s School in Moorhead.
Campus Ministry: Our diocese actively supports campus ministries. St. Philip’s in Bemidji has a Newman Ministry. Moorhead Catholic Campus Ministry serves Moorhead State University, Concordia College and MN State Community Colleges. The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception also sponsors a Newman Ministry at the University of Minnesota, Crookston.
Office of Worship: This office coordinates the worship life of the diocese. It provides resources and presenters for ongoing liturgical formation, servicing parishes and organizations throughout the diocese. Director Mary Dahl, provides workshops on the local and diocesan level for extraordinary ministers of holy communion, lectors, lay leaders of prayer, cantor, musicians and ministers of hospitality, as well as parish liturgy committees. The RCIA process falls under the aegis of the office of Worship.
Office of Communications:The mission of the Office of Communications is to create and deliver messages that are timely, coordinated, consistent and relevant to Catholics in northwest Minnesota. Director, Janelle Gergen, develops and implements communication strategies that serve to enhance the work of diocesan offices and ministries. This office is responsible for managing the diocesan website, publishing the “General Mailing” e-newsletter sent to clergy and parish staffers, and administration of diocesan social media accounts. The work of the Office of Communications is key to our crisis mitigation and public response as well.
Office of Safe Environment:This office is charged with the responsibility of teaching our children, clergy, employees and volunteers how to recognize and report signs of child abuse and neglect. We carefully evaluate all adults who have contact with our children through legal background checks and compliance with safe environment training programs before they may serve in our diocese. Rene Tate is the coordinator of this office.
Permanent Diaconate:This office supports the Permanent Diaconate Formation Program. The community of men who serve as Deacons throughout our parishes provide critical support to our presbyterate and parishioners. Deacon Mark Krejci, Ph.D. guides this office. A portion of the expense of diaconate training are born by the deacon candidates and/or their home parishes. The office also facilitates and serves as a liaison to the entire Diaconal community through the Deacon Life Committee.
Continuing Education of Priests: This program supports educational workshops and meetings for the priests of the diocese as well as spiritual program through support groups and retreats. Also, special programs (sabbaticals) in theology or pastoral studies are provided for several priests each year. Expenses covered include tuition, room and board and salary.
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