Knights honor clergy, religious from parishes in Dakota County

| May 16, 2017 | 0 Comments

On an evening dedicated to clergy and religious appreciation, Father Charles Lachowitzer gave an overview of the state of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, painting a hopeful picture of the future.

A vicar general and the moderator of the curia of the archdiocese, Father Lachowitzer highlighted clergy’s dedication and the archdiocese’s efforts to bolster their formation and oversight, following a sexual abuse crisis that has rocked the local Church.

“The worst in a few of us does not take down the best in all of us,” Father Lachowitzer said. “That’s giving sin too much power, and ultimately, it denies the cross of Jesus Christ. That is why, in the worst crisis in the history of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, the best things — by the grace of God — have come out of this tragedy.”

Father Lachowitzer spoke at the Knights of Columbus’ Mother Teresa Fourth Degree Assembly’s clergy and religious appreciation night May 11 at St. Joseph in Rosemount. He said that, “we have policies and procedures, protocol and processes to accept our responsibility, to handle effectively misconduct in the clergy and the personnel of our Church.”

He noted the archdiocesan Ministerial Review Board, which reviews cases of priest misconduct, includes professionals in psychiatry, social work, law enforcement and child protection advocates.

A Knight since 1978, Father Lachowitzer said he became familiar with the Knights’ biennial appreciation event while serving as pastor of St. John Neumann in Eagan from 2002 to 2013. In his remarks, he reflected briefly yet fondly on his time at the parish.

The Mother Teresa Assembly holds the event to recognize the priests, deacons and religious who serve in the parishes of Dakota County. This year’s event drew about 20 active and retired clergy from the area, along with local religious sisters from St. John the Baptist in Vermillion and St. Joseph in Rosemount. More than 100 lay men and women, mostly Knights and their wives, also attended.

“We need to get behind clergy and support them, and … also thank them for what they do,” said Mel Meier, a fourth degree Knight and parishioner of Mary Mother of the Church in Burnsville.

Meier, who emceed the event, said the dinner is a “good way to start promoting more religious vocations in our area.” Active and retired clergy from the area along with local religious sisters from St. John the Baptist in Vermillion and St. Joseph in Rosemount attended the event.

During the evening, Father Jim Perkl, pastor of Mary, Mother of the Church in Burnsville, and Father Paul Kammen, pastor of St. Joseph in Rosemount, received Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus swords; both were gifts from the assembly, an organization of Fourth Degree Knights in Dakota County parishes.

“It’s a beautiful gift,” said Father Perkl, a member of the Fourth Degree, who added that he found the gift fitting, since the archdiocese’s patron saint, St. Paul, is depicted with a sword.

The Mother Teresa Assembly formed in 2003 and began hosting the dinner and program in 2008. The assembly draws from Mary, Mother of the Church in Burnsville, Risen Savior in Burnsville, St. John Neumann in Eagan, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Hastings, St. Joseph in Rosemount, St. Michael in Farmington, St. John the Baptist in Vermillion, St. Peter in Mendota, St. Thomas Becket in Eagan, All Saints in Lakeville, St. Joseph in Miesville and St. Pius V in Cannon Falls.

Robert Penas, a deputy for the Minnesota Knights of Columbus state council, attended the event. He said that not all Fourth Degree assemblies or councils have clergy and religious appreciation nights.

Clergy present the St. Joseph event included retired priests Father Thomas Sieg, Father Marvin Klaers and Father Martin Siebenaler, who all served parishes in the assembly’s area. Priest honored also included Father Thomas Krenik of Risen Savior, Father Mark Pavlak of St. John Neumann, Father Terry Beeson of St. Pius V and St. Joseph (Miesville), Father Cole Kracke of St. John the Baptist and Father Sebastien Bakatu, chaplain at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. St. Paul Seminary student Deacon Jeremy Bock, who will be ordained a priest for the Duluth Diocese, also attended.

Permanent deacons honored included Deacon Marty Meyer of St. John Neumann, Deacon Stephen Boatwright of St. Joseph in Rosemount, Deacon Tim Hennessey of St. Peter and Deacon Russ Shupe of St. Michael.

Religious honored included St. Joseph School, Rosemount teacher Sister Annette Reedy of the Schools Sisters of Notre Dame. Franciscan Clarists Sister Tresa Margaret Sauriammackel, Sister Mary Noel Aranjaniyil and Sister Navya Memattathil were also honored. They serve St. John the Baptist School in Vermillion. Also honored were Franciscan Clarists Sister Jancy Nedumkallei, who serves at Mary, Mother of the Church, and Sister Pranitha Parambil, who lives at the parish.


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