At their cloistered monastery tucked away on DeMontreville Trail near Lake Elmo, two priests and five brothers — one of whom is studying at the St. Paul Seminary — dedicate their lives to praying for others, looking to many great saints of the Carmelite tradition, St. Therese of Lisieux and St. John of the Cross among them. But one in particular guides them through their days not just of prayer, but also of study, outreach and craftwork, by which they support themselves.
It was the summer of 1860. The bishop of St. Paul, Thomas Grace, needed more priests, specifically more priests from a certain island nation: Ireland.
Irish who fled starvation and economic servitude at home and the crowded cities in the eastern U.S. came to Minnesota to farm and build the railroads as the country expanded westward.
“The Irish people of his diocese were demanding Irish priests,” wrote sociology professor William L. Smith, and the second bishop of St. Paul knew where to look.
After three years of fighting the disease, Hall’s body finally is giving way. He has dropped 20-plus pounds off his already ravaged body since Christmas, and he now weighs less than 100 pounds. His sunken, gray face gives away his current condition.
Every year since 1974, parochial schools across the United States have been celebrating National Catholic Schools Week — this year, Jan. 25-31.
A pope’s impact on the College of Cardinals is naturally discussed after his death when his nominees and those of his predecessors enter the Sistine Chapel to elect a new pope.
“My favorite book of the year is ‘The Joy of the Gospel’ by the pope who gives me hope.”
That’s the word from Father Greg Esty, and he’s not alone in enjoying Pope Francis’ work; it appears on the top 10 list of book sales at St. Patrick’s Guild, then St. Paul merchant of religious goods. Father Esty, who is pastor of St. Genevieve in Centerville, was one of several clergy who responded to a Catholic Spirit email survey that asked what books they either were giving as Christmas gifts or recommending to others.
A parishioner walks up to her pastor and says, “I want to give you my kidney.”
Pastor smiles and says, “OK.”
Don’t expect a punchline. It’s no joke.
In the situation that has become known as simply “Ferguson,” Sgt. John Wall of the St. Louis County Police Department knew in the second week of August that the time had come to stand up and be counted. Peaceful protests after the Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown by a police officer during a confrontation had devolved into rioting and looting.
Dennis Cavanaugh describes his time in the pottery room at the Benedictine Center as a “prayer event, where pottery is the vehicle.”
In the midst of his third pottery series led by Benedictine Sister Virginia Matter on the campus of St. Paul’s Monastery in Maplewood, Cavanaugh enjoys working with clay, but said the experience offers so much more than practical pottery techniques.