News Notes: Longtime champion for life to retire at end of year

| October 28, 2011 | 0 Comments


After 14 years of guiding the family and pro-life efforts for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Kathy Laird says it is time to move on. She will retire Dec. 31 from her position as director of the Office of Marriage, Family and Life.

“The reality is at my stage and age I don’t want to be working full time,” she said. “I have loved the work. It’s been a privilege to have done what I have so enjoyed.”

Laird said she has been enriched by the people who have come to the office looking for the support of the church; by the staff and volunteers who have worked to support life; and by the strong support of Archbishop John Nienstedt and Archbishop Emeritus Harry Flynn.

She also credits the support of her husband, Stewart Laird, who recently retired for the second time, she said.

“We’ve had this [winter] place for 20 years and I haven’t spent three weeks there yet,” she said, with a laugh. “I’ve been blessed to have a lot of energy. My dad used to say if you’ve had more laughter than tears, you are a lucky person.”

$109,000 goes to Basilica

Thanks to the many votes cast for the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis on the Partners in Preservation Facebook page, the church will receive a $109,000 grant to help preserve and maintain its historic building. Partners in Preservation, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express focused on historic buildings in the Twin Cities, for this year’s $1 million in grants. The remainder of the funds will be distributed to the other 24 sites that were competing for the top prize.

DVD marks merger

A DVD celebrating Como Park’s first Catholic church was produced to mark the merger of the 116-year-old Church of St. Andrew with the Church of The Maternity of The Blessed Virgin in St. Paul, according to Father Peter Williams, pastor of Maternity. The DVD includes two of the final Masses at St. Andrew; a photo tour of the church set to the music of the parish’s combined choirs; and reflections by parishioners and former pastors, including Auxiliary Bishop Lee Piché who led the parish from June 2008 until his appointment as bishop in 2009. Cost is $20, with profits going to the newly merged parish. To order, call the office at Maternity at (651) 489-8825 by Nov. 10.

Praying for your enemies

Father Terry Rassmussen had a sad announcement for parishioners at St. Joseph Catholic Church of Plymouth and New Hope, where he is pastor. On Saturday morning, Oct. 22, he walked out to check on what he thought was a fallen gravestone in the parish cemetery, which is next to his residence in Plymouth and the 100-plus-year-old “Little Church.” That is when he discovered the challenge of the Sunday Gospel message and his homily about loving God, your neighbor and praying for your enemies.

The cost of the vandalism to more than 40 gravestones — some that date back to the 1800s — is estimated to be as much as $15,000. The destruction made him angry, he said during the Sunday evening Mass at the parish center in New Hope. There were no suspects at the time The Catholic Spirit went to press.

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Category: News Notes