Catholic Athletic Association Hall of Fame inducts new members

| February 2, 2012 | 0 Comments


Ruth Opatz Sinn and Jeff Whisler both played grade school sports in the uniforms of St. Peter School in North St. Paul, and both later were successful high school coaches at Hill-Murray School in Maplewood.

Monday evening, Feb. 13, both will be inducted into the Catholic Athletic Association Hall of Fame at a dinner at the Mendakota Country Club.

Sinn, head women’s basketball coach at her alma mater, the University of St. Thomas, played both basketball and softball in the CAA league in grade school. After coaching at Hill-Murray, she led a winning program at Apple Valley High School before taking the UST post.


Whisler played both hockey and baseball at St. Peter. He coached Hill-Murray to the state hockey title in 1991, the final year of the one-class tournament. Whisler is currently director of student activities at Mahtomedi High School.

For reservations and information about the hall of fame dinner, call Mark Courtney at (651) 227-1741.

Father Joncas honored for theological scholarship

Father Jan Michael Joncas, composer and associate professor of Catholic studies at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, has been chosen as the 2012 Sophia Award recipient.

Father Joncas

The Sophia Award is one of the highest honors Washington Theological Union grants to a scholar whose work defines national excellence in theological scholarship contributing to the ministry of the Catholic Church.

Father Joncas, 60, a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, will be honored at the 16th Sophia Award and Lecture at Washington Theological Union in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 12.

He recently began writing for The Catholic Spirit about new works by local composers of religious music. He is the author of three books and more than 200 articles and reviews in journals such as Worship, Ecclesia Orans and Questions Liturgiques.

Basilica happy there will be no Vikings stadium near

Gov. Mark Dayton has taken the proposed Vikings stadium sites near the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis off the table. Father John Bauer, rector of the Basilica, said in a statement Jan. 24 that he was “pleased” with the decision and “very grateful for [Dayton’s] leadership on this challenging issue.”

Father Bauer called on parishioners and community members to contact government officials to voice concerns about two proposed Vikings stadium sites near the basilica, particularly the Linden Avenue site some 300 feet away.

The concerns with the proposed sites included the increase in traffic that would make it hard for parishioners to get to Mass and other activities at the basilica; the Linden Avenue site would have affected the Basilica Block Party, which raises money for the ongoing restoration of the building; and concerns about structural damage to the building during construction of a stadium that close to the church.

White Bear Lake couple among those still missing

Jerry and Barb Heil, parishioners of St. Pius X in White Bear Lake, are among those still missing after the Costa Concordia cruise ship sank off the coast of Italy Jan. 13.

“We so badly want Mom and Dad to be found so that we can bring them home,” the family said in a blog update Jan. 25. “The last few days have yielded the recovery of several passengers, but we have received no notification that they have located Mom and Dad.”

About 450 friends and parishioners of St. Pius X gathered to reflect on the lives of Jerry and Barb Heil at a prayer service Jan. 18.

On the blog, members of the Heil family expressed gratitude for the continued prayers and support of the community.

Seminarian instituted to the Ministry of Reader

Nicholas Vasko, a seminarian of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, was instituted to the Ministry of Reader during a Mass at the Pontifical North American College in Rome Jan. 15.

Vasko, who is in his first year of theological studies at the college, was one of 66 seminarians instituted.

The Ministry of Reader is one of the ministries seminarians receive as they proceed towards diaconal and priestly ordination. The reader proclaims the Word of God during Mass, instructing children and adults in the faith and preparing them to receive the sacraments.

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Category: News Notes