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He Has Come for All

Volume CVII, Number 4

Celebrating the Season:

4 issues per year

a note from

father wall
Catholic Extension has published Extension magazine since 1906 to share with our donors and friends the stories illustrating our mission to build faith, inspire hope and ignite change in communities across America.

Catholic Extension 150 S. Wacker Dr., Suite 2000 Chicago, IL 60606 800.842.7804

Dear Friends, The seasons of Advent and Christmas are times of hope and joy. As people of faith, we are reminded of Gods incomparable love for us. Gazing at the image of a baby in a manger, who is truly God with us, instills condence in our hearts once more that we are on this earth with divine purpose. It is through the mystery of the Incarnation that God communicates one of the most powerful messages that we can ever come to know: God has come for all of us, not just some of us. I am very proud of this issue of Extension magazine and the stories inside about God coming for all of us. You will read about a newly ordained priest from war-torn Syria, a laywoman serving the homeless in Michigans Upper Peninsula, and several Catholic migrant farmworker communities. Even without the benet of permanent homes, these farmworkers are rmly grounded in their faith thanks to the heroic eorts of Catholic leaders supported by Catholic Extension. Youll also hear from Archbishop Gomez of Los Angeles on Americas Christian and missionary roots. And youll discover how Bishop Dewane of Venice, Florida, is taking steps in his diocese to ensure that no one is beyond Gods care and concern. This has been an extraordinary year in which our new Pope has spoken boldly and with inspiration about our innate responsibility as Christians to ensure that all people, no matter their circumstances, know the loving presence of Christ. The rail car illustration on the cover reminds us that this has always been the mission of Catholic Extension. For more than 100 years, we have worked to extend Christs love to those on the margins whether geographically or socioeconomically. Thank you for your support of Catholic Extensions mission. May Gods love ll your hearts and your homes this Christmas and throughout the newyear. Yours in Christ,

His Eminence Francis Cardinal George, OMI Archbishop of Chicago


Most Reverend Joseph E. Kurtz, DD Archbishop of Louisville


Reverend John J. Wall

Vice CHaiR Of COmmittees aNd SecRetaRY

James M. Denny Most Reverend Paul S. Coakley Archbishop of Oklahoma City Elizabeth Hartigan Connelly John W. Croghan Most Reverend Blase J. Cupich Bishop of Spokane Most Reverend Daniel E. Flores, STD Bishop of Brownsville Mary Louise Gorno Most Reverend Curtis J. Guillory, SVD, DD Bishop of Beaumont The Honorable James C. Kenny Peter J. McCanna Andrew J. McKenna Christopher J. Perry Pamela Scholl Most Reverend Anthony B. Taylor Bishop of Little Rock Most Reverend George L. Thomas, Ph.D. Bishop of Helena Edward J. Wehmer
Your investment in Catholic Extension is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Catholic Extension is a nonprot 501(c)(3) organization. ISSN Number: 0884-7533 2013 The Catholic Church Extension Society. All rights reserved. Principal photography: Rich Kalonick, Chris Strong, Ron Wu Art Direction: Pressley Johnson Design Extension is a publication provided to you and your family by Catholic Extension. If you do not wish to continue receiving Extension, e-mail 2 EXTeNSION and we will remove you from this mailing list.

Rev. John J. Wall President


Fe At UR es
8 20 22 30 32

| One Couple Shines Light of Christ to Thousands PERSpEcTIVE | The Church and Americas Catholic Roots STORIES OF FAITH | Reaching Out to the Periphery HALLElUJAH! | There is Room at the Inn UNSUNG HEROES | Mission on the Reservation





Recently, as we were going through our archives, we came upon this beautiful illustration of one of our three rail cars, adorned in Christmas dcor. We decided to travel back in time and look at how Catholic Extension has evolved over the years. This illustration depicts how, in our earliest days, priests rode into tiny frontier towns in rail cars and motor coaches to celebrate Mass and gather the people together in faith. Today, Catholic Extension continues to reach out to poor Catholic communities of faith by investing in people, infrastructure and ministries, that

strengthen and build up the Church in our countrys most under-resourced regions. As we look to the future, we keep in mind the words of Pope Francis, who reminds us that, The measure of the greatness of a society is found in the way it treats those most in need, those who have nothing apart from the poverty. Through the years, this has been at the forefront of the mission of Catholic Extension. We are sincerely grateful to you, our donors, for supporting us in this work. We hope you enjoy some of the other covers from more than 100 years of Extension magazine. CHRISTMAS 2013


TidiNgs Of COmfORt aNd JOY

Donors and grant recipients marvel at the good news
Connect with us!
We love to hear from you! Please send us letters and we will make every effort to print them, or share them on our website at We may edit letters for clarity and length.
D ea R FatH e R Wall , D eaR CatH Olic E XteN si ON ,

Send letters to:

Extension magazine 150 South Wacker Drive, Suite 2000 Chicago, Illinois 60606

Or send emails to: Thank you!


fall 2011

christmas 2011

spring 2012


summer 2012


Support for Seminarians in the Mission Dioceses

Congratulations on a continuing excellent publication of news and the addition of a Bishops Commentary. Every time another issue of the Extension magazine arrives, I am excited all over again. Although we do not need to know the effects of our prayers or our donations, the Stories of Faith, News Briefs, Roundtable and feature stories lift the heart and bless the reader. I was most edied with An Answer to Our Prayers in the Spring 2012 issue of Extension (shown left) telling of increased calls to the priesthood in the mission dioceses. Fostering religious vocations has been and continues to be one of my most ardent efforts. Praying for you and your staff, Sister Antonella Bayer, CSJ Diocese of Wichita, Kansas

Enclosed is a donation in memory of my sister, Rita Felix, who died June 8. Please remember us in your prayers. I usually pick choices at Christmas so spend money in several places. Always, Mrs. Clara George Livermore, California Diocese of Oakland
D eaR FatH eR Wall ,

Inside This Issue:




Thank you for your email informing me that we have been approved for a grant for our seminarian education. We have a challenge to meet the educational needs of 10 seminarians! It is a good challenge to have, and your nancial support is much needed and greatly appreciated. Please know that I am grateful to you, your staff and benefactors who make this much-needed nancial assistance possible. Sincerely yours in the Risen Lord, Most Rev. Michael J. Sheehan Archbishop of SantaFe, NewMexico P.S. Most seminarians in 40 years!

You and the people you serve are doing a tremendous service for our diocese and the Catholic mission dioceses throughout theU.S.A.


Access extended information, photos and videos about the articles in this issue of Extension at

DeaR FatH e R Wall ,

D ea R FatH e R Wall ,

On this beautiful feast day of Saint Pius X, during whose reign Catholic Extension was founded, I want to acknowledge and thank you for your letter informing me that Catholic Extension has touched our lives here at La Posada. How exciting and what a blessing that I have been selected among the 2013 Lumen Christi nalists, which is accompanied by a $10,000 award! God be praised! The past six months have been exciting for all those who supported me/La Posada in the voting process. The local and national press coverage that La Posada received, I believe, has helped many become aware of the plight of refugees and asylum seekers. The role of La Posadas ministry is making Gods providence visible by being a beacon of hope to all those who come to us with only the clothes on their back and immigration papers in their hands and by building faith in God and in themselves, inspiring hope for a better life, and igniting change in their lives. I also want to let you know what an honor and privilege it was to welcome you and the Catholic Extension staff to La Posada. It was truly a memorable day! Gratefully, Sister Zita Telkamp, Director La Posada Providencia San Benito, Texas Diocese of Brownsville

Thank you for the recent grant payment to the Diocese of LakeCharles. These funds, which provide a subsidy for the operations of the Ofce of Religious Education, are greatly appreciated. They will be used to help meet the needs of the certication of catechists and catechetical leaders in the 38 parishes of the diocese as well as in our seven Catholic schools. The generous contributions from donors across the country to

Catholic Extension make grants such as this possible. The continued generosity of Catholic Extension to my mission diocese is overwhelming. I very much appreciate the kindness. Your work, indeed the efforts of everyone at Catholic Extension, are always in my prayers. Gratefully yours in our Lord, Most Rev. Glen John Provost Bishop of Lake Charles, Louisiana

Sister Zita Telkamp, director of La Posada, an emergency shelter in the Rio Grande Valley, celebrates a wonderful harvest of vegetables with one of the shelters occupants. Most arrivals at La Posada are temporarily seeking asylum from political oppression or are fleeing natural disasters and other life-threatening situations.



GO Tell it ON tHe MOuNtaiN

Over the hills and everywhere, Catholic Extension is making a dierence and making news.
Diocese of Louisville, Kentucky

Catholic Extensions Vice Chancellor Elected President of USCCB

We warmly congratulate Most Reverend Joseph E. Kurtz, Archbishop of Louisville, Kentucky, and Vice Chancellor of Catholic Extensions Board of Governors, who recently was elected president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) for a three-year term.


Archdiocese of New York, New York

Cardinal Dolan Welcomes Catholic Extension to the Big Apple

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop of New York, welcomed Father Jack Wall to New York on October 22 to recognize Catholic Extensions efforts to develop future leaders of the Church. Said Cardinal Dolan, When youve got a jewel like the Catholic Church Extension Society, it deserves national support. Diocese of Spokane, Washington

Join us online to get a behindthe-scenes look at the people and parishes Catholic Extension supports. Join Father Wall on a virtual visit to a mission diocese, and meet the priests and sisters who inspire their communities. Watch videos, view photos, read our blog, and get the most up-to-the-minute information about our journey to build faith across America. Follow us on social media to be part of the conversation and hear from other committed Catholics like you.

Bishop Cupich Writes About Pope Francis

Bishop Blase J. Cupich of Spokane, who is a member of Catholic Extensions Board of Governors and chair of the Mission Committee, offered a compelling perspective on Pope Francis in the September 26 edition of America magazine.
Diocese of Little Rock, Arkansas

Arkansas Sees a Surge in Seminarians

The Diocese of Little Rock, which is supported by Catholic Extension, proudly boasts 41 seminarians this year its largest group ever. This uplifting story made TV news on CBS afliate KTHV in Little Rock.


Read more online at:


Catholic Extension invites you to make some noise!

Spread the word among Catholic youth!

Imagine your good works seen by Pope Francis!

Organize an Extension Day a day dedicated to extending Christs presence to others through acts of prayer, service or philanthropy. Then, create and share a video about your Extension Day your good works could be seen by Pope Francis and earn your group a $500 to $1,000 grant from Catholic Extension to advance your ministry! Video submissions are accepted through February 3, 2014.
For details and ideas about how you can make some noise:




lumen christi award
Diocese of Stockton

One Couple Shines Light of Christ to Thousands

Go to the margins, go to the edges of society, go to the people who have been marginalized in society and bring and proclaim and give witness to the good news of the Light of Christ in their lives.
With this profound message, shared by PopeFrancis earlier this year, Catholic Extension President Father Jack Wall presented the 36th Lumen Christi Award to a married couple in the Diocese of Stockton, California. Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton nominated Jos and Digna R. Lpez to receive Catholic Extensions highest honor. It was the rst time the award was presented to a Hispanic couple.


Jos and Digna R. Lpez, third and fourth from left, in one of the many lay leader formation sessions where they bring the Light of Christ to thousands in the Diocese of Stockton.



Jos and Digna truly embody the loving commitment to solidarity with the poor that Pope Francis is calling us to do in our society and our world.

Jos and Digna share the Lumen Christi Award with all those gathered at the Cathedral of the Annunciation in Stockton during the Mass of Celebration.

Jos and Digna personify the very essence of our mission, said Father Wall. They have journeyed from their immigrant roots and become inspirational leaders of the youth and Hispanic ministries in their diocese. Grounded in a deep faith, which has shaped their lives and ministry, they have inspired hope and eected real change in their community. Jos and Digna truly embody the loving commitment to solidarity with the poor that Pope Francis is calling us to do in our society and our world. Since a young Jos and Digna rst started volunteering at their church in 1979, they individually and together have touched and impacted the lives of thousands. They have taught young people to believe in themselves, and have encouraged them to step up to be leaders in the Church instead of succumbing to lives of violence. And, with their personal understanding of the challenges in the lives of migrant workers, they have brought great dignity to the farmworker and to the people in the Hispanic community, said Bishop Blaire. Added Father Wall, I have never seen a couple whose presence is felt more strongly throughout an entire diocese. Everywhere we went, people shared stories about how Jos, whom they fondly call Pepe, and Digna believed in them and brought them into the Church. They are role models and mentors to thousands of young people, many of whom they have trained, and they are advocates and beacons of hope to the poor, to those who live very tough lives and toil in the elds up to six days a week. For more than 30 years, this humble couple has been a bright light of Christ inStockton.

A place with challenges

The area has needed them. The Diocese of Stockton covers 10,000 square miles, including struggling urban areas as well as the San Joaquin Valley, where thousands of farmworkers harvest up to 250 crops annually. Its been called the worlds most productive agricultural region. Rampant poverty in the area has led to a culture of drugs and violence, especially among young people. The need for the Churchs presence and lay leaders like Jos and Digna could not be greater.

Dignas story
Digna is the dioceses director of Hispanic ministry. Throughout her more than 30 years there, she has identied, developed and trained thousands of young adults who have gone on to lead all areas of Hispanic ministry. She also has worked with parish priests and leaders to address the complex needs of Hispanic Catholics, a population that has more than doubled in that time. Bishop Blaire calls her an invaluable presence. Digna calls herself a multiplier. With so many needs across the diocese, she believes her calling is to inspire young people to believe in themselves and bring their talents toministry.

I have never seen a couple whose presence is felt more strongly throughout an entire diocese. Everywhere we went, people shared stories about how Jos and Digna believed in them and brought them into the Church.



Joss story
A natural leader, Jos rst worked in youth ministry within the diocese, while continuing to work in the elds with family members. However, as Bishop Blaire explained, When I arrived as bishop in 1999, Jos began telling me about the desperate, unmet needs of migrants, especially those of single men under 20 years of age. As a result, I invited him to leave the elds and work full time at the diocese by adding migrant ministry to his youth ministry responsibilities. The rest is history. Like Digna, Jos is sought nationally for his expertise as a leader in migrantministry.

A strong team
Jos and Digna, who married in 1991 and are the parents of three children, met at a parish youth group activity a tting beginning for their partnership. They run a Congreso Hispano each year, drawing more than 1,000 young people, many of whom credit the Lpezes with using their strong faith to steer them away from trouble. They also tap their renowned organizational skills to help produce the dioceses Our Lady of Guadalupe procession and Mass, which draws 10,000 people annually. Adriana Calderon credits their youth groups for helping her overcome numerous challenges and the insecurities she felt as a minority. She went on to earn a bachelors and masters degree and is now a social worker, giving back to her community by being a diocesan youthleader. Arturo Chavez, Ph.D., president of the Mexican American Catholic College (MACC) in San Antonio, Texas, and a nationally known leader in Hispanic Catholicism, said Jos and Digna are in a league of their own when it comes to building and spreading the Catholicfaith.

Above: A migrant worker for many years, Jos has a special ability to minister to the thousands of farmworkers spread throughout the diocese. Center: Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton notes that Digna and Joss presence is invaluable when it comes to understanding the complex needs of Hispanic Catholics in his diocese. Left: Chapels are set up in makeshift tents in migrant camps. Lay leaders trained by Digna and Jos hold prayer services, catechesis and the praying of the rosary.




They are role models and mentors to thousands of young people, many whom they have trained, and they are advocates and beacons of hope to the poor.

While their parents are out working in the fields, the children in migrant camps attend religious education classes, which are set up outdoors under the trees. The classes are taught by lay leaders inspired by Jos and Digna.

Supported by Catholic Extension and other grants for formation of lay leaders, Jos and Digna have each taken groups to MACC for training; when the groups they have recruited become too large, Arturo Chavez goes toStockton. While other weekend workshops run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., said Chavez, not so with Jos and Digna. They know that for these young Catholics, this is their university, this is their only opportunity to go to college. These young people have a tremendous hunger for knowledge, for training, and Jos and Digna have made these opportunities available tothem. Jos and Digna, he explained, understand that the Church must reach out to Latino Catholics and not simply wait for them to

come. For Latinos, being Catholic is part of our being, part of our identity. But, most Hispanic Catholics are not being reached by the typical model in the U.S., which is wait for them to come to us. Like Jesus Christ, we have to go out to them. Jos and Digna understand this in a profound way. They dont wait, they go out to the people with the beauty of the Catholic faith and the message of Jesus Christ.

The Mass of Thanksgiving

Jos and Digna accepted the award on behalf of the entire Hispanic community in the Diocese of Stockton. It was a special celebration, lled with people who had come to say thank you to a special couple who have inspired and transformed many lives.



Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton and Father Jack Wall of Catholic Extension celebrated the Mass of Thanksgiving for Jos and Digna.

These young children are learning all about the Mass and how the Church is there for all of Gods children. Although they do not have a formal classroom at the migrant camp, lay leaders make sure they receive catechesis.

Jos and Digna bring thousands of young adults into the Church each year. They host an annual retreat for young adults called the Congreso Hispano. Many young people active in the Church today said their lives were changed by the Lpezes simply believing in them.

Kathy and Peter Markell, who split their time between homes in Milton and Orleans, Massachusetts, have enjoyed The Felician Sisters in Kingstree, becoming involved with Catholic South Carolina, including Sister Extension over the past year. They Mary Susanne Dziedzic, CSSF; said, Knowing of Catholic Sister Mary Johnna Ciezobka, Extensions help with the poor in CSSF; and Sister Mary Jacqueline building mission chapels, Benbenek, CSSF, received nancially supporting seminarians Catholic Extensions Lumen Christi and bringing God to young and Award in 2012. Of this years old is a cause that all Catholics nominees, the sisters said they should nd encouraging. The were deeply moved and inspired Markells were honored to serve as by the length, height and depth judges and said that getting to of their faith and dedication. In know this years nalists gave them addition, the sisters said, Our great hope for the Catholic beliefs about the plight of Church in the United States. individuals in rural America have been reinforced ministerially Michael OHalleran, who lives in Winnetka, Illinois, is inspired by and spiritually. Catholic Extensions ability to bring Aubrey and Tina Ferrao live in religion, people and resources Naples, Florida, and were moved including nancial to areas of our by the compassion and acceptance country that are either remotely that the 2013 nominees offer to located or underserved. Michael those they love and serve. I learned found the stories of the 2013 the missions devote themselves to nominees to be truly inspiring and developing the whole person, tting with the theme of the Holy mentally, physically and spiritually, Father that giving back is the from a rm foundation in Gods mission of all Catholics, and in fact, love much like a gardener who all faiths. cares for his or her plants, watering, Bob and Kay Welsh live in feeding and pruning for the Chesterton, Indiana, and value perfectly beautiful, sturdy plant grown from choice, fertile ground, Pope Francis reminders about the importance of serving the poor. said Tina. We thought we understood the Peter and Eileen Maren live in outreach of Catholic Extension Gainesville, Florida, and have prior to reading the nominee been involved with Catholic proles, they said. However, after Extension for 13 years, noting that reading the proles, we were Catholic Extension truly is an impressed with the breadth of extra arm of the Church and it people that Catholic Extension serves all people, not just the actually reaches and the assistance Catholic community. Of the 2013 it gives to the needy in their religious Lumen Christi Award nominees, and everyday lives. the Marens said they were inspired by their untiring inner strength to help those less fortunate.

Meet the Judges for Catholic Extensions 2013 Lumen Christi Award



donor spotlight

Parting Gift

Brings a Long-Awaited New Church

One mans generosity breathes new life into a rural Arkansas parish
Holy Spirit Church, in tiny Hamburg, Arkansas, was in the process of converting a tire store into a new church. But it desperately needed more funds to nish the project. In Mountain Home, Arkansas, more than 250 miles away, lived 90-year-old Tom Deehan, a devout Catholic. As recently as a year ago, Holy Spirit and Tom knew nothing of each other. But now they have a powerful, lasting connection because of a special gift that Tom made to Catholic Extension.
To understand Toms gift, it helps to understand the man himself. He was kind, funny, and above all, he was devoted to his country, his family, and his Catholic faith. According to his cousin, Bill ODonnell, of Bloomeld Hills, Michigan, Toms faith was forged when he was a child. He was very religious, said Bill. He came from County Derry in Ireland; thats where he got the faith, and he carried it with him his whole life.

Tom Deehan

He gave a generous donation to Catholic Extension to nish the project.

When he was a boy, Tom emigrated from Ireland with his parents and sister. The family settled in the Astoria neighborhood of the New York borough of Queens, where his father was a trolley car conductor and his mother was a seamstress. They came with nothing, said Bill. Tom graduated from Fordham University in New York and entered the seminary, but he left to serve in the Army during World War II. After the war, he moved to Florida, attended law school and had a long career with EasternAirlines. Tom spent much of his life

Hundreds wait in line and fill the pews for the dedication Mass at the new Holy Spirit Church, which was completed because of Toms generous gift.



Bishop Anthony B. Taylor of Little Rock leads the ribbon cutting while Holy Spirit Pastor Theophilus Okpara and others look on with joy. The new church was once a tire store.

caring for others so much so that he delayed getting married. But later in life, he fell in love with a woman who had cancer. Despite her prognosis, the couple still wanted to get married. They had less than a year together as husband and wife. Even though they were together for a short time, he was very devoted to her, said Bill. After retiring in the early 1990s, Tom moved to Mountain Home, Arkansas, where he was a parishioner at St. Peter the Fisherman Church. He loved his church and attended every funeral Mass because he believed everyone deserved mourners, his cousin said. Tom also attended 7:15 a.m. Mass every day. It was on his way home from morning Mass last spring that he found himself praying about making a gift to Catholic Extension. He said he had been praying because he was touched by a story he had read in the spring issue of Extension magazine, said Julie Turley, vice president of development at Catholic Extension.

(The story was about a storefront church in Oklahoma hoping to buy a building.) Tom knew his health was deteriorating, and he wanted to make a gift like that to help a poor parish. He wanted to make a dierence before he died, so the sta at Catholic Extension told him there was church in his own state that needed help. Holy Spirit Church had been using a run-down shack for its church building. But, with help from Catholic Extension, it had purchased the tire store and was in the process of converting it into a bigger, new church building. He gave a generous donation to Catholic Extension to nish the project, said Julie. We were hoping he could be there for the dedication of the new church, but the last time he spoke to us, he said, I dont know if Ill make it. My next stop is heaven. Tom died on June 18, leaving no children or relatives behind, with the exception of his cousin,

and his godson, Tom Devine of Laurel, Maryland. But his funeral was packed with mourners a tting tribute to a man who had always mourned and prayed for others. And on October 12, in a Mass celebrated by Bishop Anthony B. Taylor of Little Rock, the new Holy Spirit Church in Hamburg was dedicated. It includes seating for 250, along with a beautiful and spacious parish hall in what used to be oil changing pits. Said Father Jack Wall, president of Catholic Extension, If only Tom Deehan could have seen the hundreds of people waiting in line for the dedication Mass. But his generosity will long be remembered, not only by this extraordinary new church, but also by the plaque inside that bears hisname.

To read more about Holy Spirit Church and see photos of the moving dedication Mass, go to




Finding Faith

in Appalachia


Father Terry Keehan knows what it takes to run a big parish in a large urban area. With nearly 4,200 families and 123 staff members, Holy Family Parish and its school in Inverness, Illinois, comprise a big, beautiful, bustling Catholic campus.
But Father Keehan and some of his sta were hungry to know more about what goes on in the countrys mission dioceses, in places where a parish might not even have a sta. They approached Father Jack Wall, president of Catholic Extension, to learn how Holy Family might support the mission dioceses. Father Wall immediately invited them to come and see the small Catholic communities that Catholic Extension sustains. So the Holy Family sta Sue Geegan, Ro Geisler, Owen Walsh and Father Keehan headed to the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky. Upon returning, the Holy Family sta shared insights from the trip with Extension magazine the good, the bad and the downright surprising. The groups rst stop was Our Lady of the Mountains in Stanton, Kentucky. When you are in a diocese like Chicago and in a parish like this (Holy Family), there is such an abundance, and so people give all the time, Ro explained.

Above Left: Father Terry Keehan, third from left back row, and Father Jack Wall of Catholic Extension, far right, were inspired by the tight-knit community of worshipers at St. Pauls Church in McKee, Kentucky. Above: St. Pauls brings in very little in its weekly collection, but the parishioners can-do spirit makes it a joyous place to be.

When the group learned that the Stanton parish collects only $450 per week on average, they were humbled by how the parishioners had to personally sacrice to keep the parish going. I have goosebumps when I think of them, Ro said, referring to their deep faith and attachment to their parish.


They are grateful for what they have; they work together toward a common goal and a simple common mission.

Mass at St. Luke Church in Salyersville, Kentucky, is celebrated in a trailer. The parish was destroyed in a tornado last year. A site for the new church has been identified, but the parish still is in the process of trying to rebuild.

Father Keehan added, The grip of poverty on that community, it was palpable. Having people talk about the lack of jobs, the industries that had moved away, yet in the midst of that there was a generosity that is the human spirit when it is enriched by faith. The groups visit coincided with Our Lady of the Mountains annual distribution of socks and underwear to schoolchildren. It doesnt matter that many in the community are not Catholic; the parish hands out these supplies because, quite simply, people are so poor that they cant aord these necessities. Holy Family staers marveled at the collaborative spirit they encountered in each of the parishes they visited. The priest, the nun, the parishioners they are all in it together, Owen said, noting the can-do spirit that abounded. Catholics are a minority in the area, but a remarkable 80 percent of them are converts. While they may be small in number, they are extremely committed to the faith. Its amazing how intimately they knew each other, the concern and support that they showed for one another, Sue said. These were community parishes in the truest sense of the word. On their nal stop, the team met Rebecca Koury, the young adult pastoral associate on the sta of St. Paul Church in McKee, Kentucky. Catholic Extension

supports Rebeccas ministry at this mountain parish. The group was awed that a young woman from Pennsylvania, who rst visited this area during a college service trip, would be drawn back. Rebecca told the team about the time her car broke down and rolled into a ditch. As she stood, looking for help, a man pulled up and said, If you need help around here, call the Catholics. That sentiment prevailed on the trip if you need help, turn to these small Catholic parishes that are working hard to build up their communities. It seems that the strong, committed Catholics from the farthest reaches of Kentucky did more than win over their big city visitors. They made a deep impression onthem. We do wonderful stu at our parish because we have so many resources, Father Keehan said, but, Im almost envious of their simplicity, their camaraderie and their sense of community, which is the greatest resource. And, added Owen, There was not one ounce of pessimism. They are grateful for what they have; they work together toward a common goal and a simple common mission. The group realized how grateful these Catholics are for a hand up and not a handout from Catholic Extension donors.




A Service Project in Michigan Makes a Dierence for Givers and Receivers

DIOcESE OF KAlAMAzOO CatHOlic COmmuNitY CeNteR Benton Harbor, MI

A reection by Jack Connelly

Jack Connelly, a 16-year-old sophomore at St. Ignatius College Prep, and 16 young people who live in Chicago and vacation in Grand Beach, Michigan, participated in a service project for the Catholic Community Center in Benton Harbor. The center is run by Sister Maureen McGrath, OP, and Sister Mary Pung, CSJ, whose salaries are supported by Catholic Extension. The teenagers painted, cleaned, picked vegetables from the centers garden, and learned about the sisters ministry to the poor. Jack wrote the following remarks after the project, which took place in August.

I had a far greater experience than I could have imagined and one I still think about months later.


This past summer, when I learned about the Catholic Extension service project, I was planning to check o some service hours from my high school requirements. My expectations were straightforward: Id spend the day painting the community center, hang out with my friends, and then call it a day. Instead, I had a far greater experience than I could have imagined and one I still think about months later. First, the service portion of the project was accomplished quickly because our group had a large amount of volunteers who showed up ready and eager to participate. Thanks to the hard work of the volunteers, we had time to learn about how the work we were doing was benetting a community in need. The more I learned about the community and its members, the

Jack Connelly (foreground) was part of a group of dedicated teenagers from Grand Beach, Michigan, who gave their time to the Catholic Community Center in Benton Harbor in August. Among their projects were cleaning and painting the centers thrift shop.

more I appreciated the work I put forth. I heard about the budgeting program, learned about their economic needs, saw the garden where food for the members of the community was locally grown, and got to step inside the beautifully renovated chapel where they worshipped together. I was sincerely moved by this experience. My volunteer group and I were making a real contribution to the lives of people who could use a few helping hands. In the end, while I thought I was the one doing the giving, the community gave me far more.

What pays you great rates, secures your income and grows the faith? A Catholic Extension Charitable Gift Annuity.
Well show you how! When you invest in a Catholic Extension Charitable Gift Annuity, you are investing in your future and the future of the Catholic Church. Lock in our great rates, secure your income for life, and receive tax benefits. Best of all, your investment will directly help 13 million Catholics in poor mission dioceses experience faith through building projects, vibrant ministries, and the support of ordained and lay leaders. The Catholic Extension Charitable Gift Annuity program is one of the largest, oldest and strongest of its kind. Lock in a payout rate today and know that you are securing more than just your income you are securing the future of our faith. Rates Effective January 1, 2012
Age 55 - 59 60 - 64 65 - 69 70 - 74 75 - 79 80 - 84 85 - 89 90+ Annual Payout Rate 4.0 - 4.3% 4.4 - 4.6% 4.7 - 5.0% 5.1 - 5.7% 5.8 - 6.6% 6.8 - 7.6% 7.8 - 8.7% 9.0%

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Learn more by contacting us at 800.842.7804, emailing or sending in the form below. Act now and receive tax benefits before year's end!

Please show me how I can support poor mission dioceses and secure my own income with a Catholic Extension Charitable Gift Annuity.
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Per spect i v e


and Americas Catholic Roots

n his new book, Immigration and the Next America, Most Reverend Jos H. Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles, offers a compelling look at the deep roots of the Catholic presence in America, dating back to the 16th century. His words remind us of the rich history of our faith in this land. Those of us who are part of the Catholic Extension movement are fueling an ongoing missionary effort to evangelize our own land andpeople.

ollowing the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico became the missionary base from which most of North America and South America, and parts of Asia, were rst evangelized. Within decades, Spanish missionaries from Mexico had spread the Christian faith not only throughout Latin America and North America, but also into the Caribbean, the Philippines, and deeper into the countries of Asia and Oceania. This is the beginning of the rest of the story of Americas founding. A century before the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth Rock, and long before the English settlement at Jamestown, the Hispanic Catholic presence was rmly established in America. Spanish priests traveling with Ponce de Len near southeast Florida in 1521 celebrated the rst Eucharist in the present boundaries of the United States. Catholics from Asia began arriving during this period, too, with the rst Filipinos arriving at Morro Bay, California, in 1587 on a Spanish ship named for the Mother of Christ, Nuestra Seora de la Esperanza (Our Lady of Hope). The rst Thanksgiving was not celebrated by the Pilgrims in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1621. It was celebrated by Spanish missionary priests a half-century earlier in what is now SaintAugustine, Florida, in 1565. Father Lpez de Mendoza Grajales, one of four priests traveling with the pious Spanish explorer Pedro Menndez de Avils told the story of that rst thanksgiving. Their expedition rst spied land on the day the Church traditionally remembers the death of Saint Augustine, August 28. Following a series of skirmishes with French warships, Menndez and his crew were eventually able to land two weekslater. It was September 8, the date on which the Church celebrates the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Father Lpez said he and his brother priests came ashore and planted a large cross in the sand. Then all the crew marched up to the cross, knelt down before it, and kissed it. The whole time, they were singing an ancient hymn, Te Deum (Thee, O God, We Praise). While that was going on, a crowd of native people gathered on the beach and they began doing what they saw the missionaries doing kneeling and kissing the cross themselves. After that, the priests celebrated a solemn Mass in honor of the Nativity of Mary. Then they all sat down together with the natives and ate a thanksgiving meal. By the time of that rst thanksgiving, the Hispanic Catholic presence had already been established on the other side of the country, in the American Southwest, for at least twenty years. Within a decade of the apparition at Tepeyac, Juan Rodrguez Cabrillo had come up from Mexico and explored the California coast in a ship called San Salvador Holy Savior. He brought a priest with him, Fray Julin
Immigration and the Next America



by Archbishop Jos H. Gomez

de Lescano, an Augustinian monk. Fray Julin probably celebrated the rst holy Mass on California soil. California was originally Mexican mission territory. Generations of missionaries came up from Mexico to spread the faith. The most famous was the great Franciscan priest Blessed Junpero Serra. He and his colleagues built mission churches up and down the long Pacic coastal road they called the Kings Highway, El Camino Real. Los Angeles was founded relatively late, in 1781. It was rst called El Pueblo de Nuestra Seora de los ngeles and was named after the little chapel in Italy that Saint Francis of Assisi used as his headquarters. The chapel was dedicated to the angels of God and the Mother of Jesus Christ, who is the queen of all the angels in heaven. By that time, Hispanic immigrant missionaries had for centuries been naming this continents rivers, mountains, and territories for saints, sacraments, and articles of the faith. We take these names for granted now Sacramento (Holy Sacrament), Las Cruces (Crosses), Corpus Christi (Body of Christ), Santa Fe (Holy Faith), San Francisco (Saint Francis), even the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, named for the precious blood of Christ. Even our geography testies that our nation was born from the encounter with the Christian missionaries. These Hispanic missionaries from Mexico were the rst giants of the American spirit. People like the Franciscan Magin Catal and the Jesuit Father Eusebio Kino who evangelized the Southwest and Northwest territories. One of my favorite gures from the rst evangelization of America is Venerable Antonio Margil, a Franciscan priest who left his homeland in Spain to come to Mexico in 1683. He told his mother he was coming here because millions of souls [were] lost for want of priests to dispel the darkness of unbelief. People used to call him the Flying Padre. He often traveled forty to fty miles a day, walking barefoot. Fray Antonio had a truly continental sense of mission. He established churches in Texas and Louisiana, as well as in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Mexico. These missionaries from Mexico built a new civilization in the Americas. They built roads and churches and homes. They introduced the principles and practices of agriculture, industry, education, and government. They were serious students of the indigenous cultures they found here; they became experts in local languages, customs, and beliefs. They composed some of this continents rst dictionaries, Bible translations, prayer books, and ethnographic studies. These missionaries were creative and innovative in the modes of popular culture teaching Christian faith and morals through music, dance, drama, art, and architecture.
Archbishop Jos H. Gomez

Immigration and the Next America by Archbishop Jos H. Gomez

A century before the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth Rock, and long before the English settlement at Jamestown, the Hispanic Catholic presence was rmly established in America.

Archbishop Jos H. Gomez. Published by Our Sunday Visitor Publishing, Inc. 1-800-498-6709.



Per spect Stor ies of ive fa i t h

to the Periphery, the Often Forgotten


Reaching Out


...bring Christ into every area of life, to the fringes of society

ope Francis continues to remind us of our duty to care for one another and reach out to the poor and marginalized. At Catholic Extension, this has always been our mission, so we are armed and energized by Pope Francis words when he challenges us to bring Christ into every area of life, to the fringes of society, and to reach those who are the most distant, those who are forgotten. . .

Pope Francis calls on Catholics everywhere to serve the poor and forgotten, which is the mission of Catholic Extension.

In the following pages, you will discover how Catholic Extension continues to live out this mission by serving some of the poorest of the poor in our country. You will read about ministries that are bringing the gift of Christs love to farmworkers and their families in Michigan, Ohio and Virginia. You also will learn about three extraordinary women Veronica Rodriguez, Alma Ciriello and Claudia Trznadel who work tirelessly to coordinate these ministries. Because of your generous gifts to Catholic Extension, they are able to shine Christs love and illuminate the darkness where it is needed most. CHRISTMAS 2013


Stor ies of fa i t h

The Warm

A young woman from a migrant camp gives back what she received

Embrace of the Church

eronica Rodriguez understands the needs of migrant workers in the Diocese of Kalamazoo, Michigan, because she has walked in their shoes literally. I, myself, was a migrant farmworker, said Veronica, who now works for the diocese in a position funded by Catholic Extension. The summer she turned 14, Veronica and her family moved from Texas to southwest Michigan in search of eld work. Her father recently had died and the family needed to earn a living. My mom had less than a rst-grade education, so picking fruit was her only way of sustaining us, she said. It was at a migrant camp during Veronicas rst summer in Michigan that a seed of hope, a vision of a better life through faith, was planted in her. I attended a Mass for conrmation candidates from our camp, she remembered, and I watched the bishop embracing these kids. He said, We at the diocese embrace you. This is your diocese. Remember that. I can still picture that image. I could just see the love that the people from the Church had for us; it was in their eyes.

Bishop Paul J. Bradley of Kalamazoo offers a blessing to a young girl and her family during Mass at a migrant camp in July. The workers are poor but they have such love for Jesus Christ.

I had a lot of mentors in my life, and now I want to be that person for others.


I could just see the love that the people from the Church had for us; it was in their eyes.
She added, We had all these people coming to us (at the camp). The priests would always say the same thing: This is your diocese. This is your Church. Dont forget your faith. I felt so welcomed. Veronica and her family returned to the camp every summer when she was in high school. But after high school, when her mother and brother went back to Texas after the harvest season, Veronica stayed and attended Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. Today, it is Veronica who is in the role of welcoming people to the Church, especially youth, young adults and families in the Diocese of Kalamazoo. I had a lot of mentors in my life, and now I want to be that person for others, she said. When you see me, I want you to see the love of Jesus Christ. Thats what I saw in the bishop and other people from the Church. Migrant ministry is an important part of Veronicas job. The workers come as early as March, and many dont leave until late November or early December. Her work includes connecting them to nearby parishes so they can attend Mass. She also collaborates with other departments in the diocese to bring parish volunteers to the camps, along with priests and religious sisters. One priest here calls this a listening ministry, said Veronica. When they (the workers) hear were from the Catholic Church, they open up to us. We may plan to be there only 45 minutes, but then we end up staying for two or three hours. They really open up to the priests and sisters. While Veronica knows she is an important role model at the migrant camps, especially to the young people, she nds that her own faith is deepened every time she visits a camp. Through our ministry, we give the best of ourselves to the people, but we also become even more evangelized than before, she explained. The workers have nothing economically. But they have such love for Jesus Christ. They live their faith as Jesus would have.

Veronica Rodriguez has a unique understanding of the people she serves.

Photo credit is courtesy of Vicki Cessna, Diocese of Kalamazoo

A young man kneels in prayer during Mass at a camp.




Stor ies of fa i t h

Hunger for Faith

ministry of outreach led by Alma Ciriello, whose position is funded by Catholic Extension. As part of her ministry, Alma works with the migrant community in Hartville, which includes approximately 300 people. I love the people, said Alma. They are humble and genuine. Alma works hard to hand deliver the Church to migrant families in Hartville. She begins by coordinating Mass. Every two weeks, a priest from the Diocese of Youngstown celebrates Mass in a makeshift chapel that is adjacent to one of the fields. The migrants set up an altar and bring their own religious statues and icons to adorn their place of worship. At the end of the season, when they go south to work farms in Florida or Georgia, they take their statues and icons with them. Last year, the chapel was about half full for Mass, said Alma. This year, we started earlier and worked hard to invite people so the pews have been completely full. Once the migrants arrive in the spring, Alma also begins preparation for baptism, rst Communion and conrmation. She knows she only has a few short months while the families are in Ohio. This past season, 30 children received one or more sacraments administered by the bishop in a special Mass on September 15. Some

The Diocese of Youngstown hand delivers the Church to devoted Catholics in the fields

Alma Ciriello, whose ministry is funded by Catholic Extension, works hard to ensure that migrant families have access to the Church and the sacraments.


very spring, a community of migrant workers arrives to work in the fields of northeastern Ohio. They stay until September or October, when they are done cultivating and harvesting crops, such as radishes, parsley, onions, lettuce, cauliower and broccoli. Almost all of these workers, who possess a strong work ethic and a devotion to their families, are Catholic. And while they cultivate food for others, they themselves have a deep hunger for their faith. In the Diocese of Youngstown, the Church is working hard to satisfy that hunger by providing a

While they cultivate food for others, they themselves have a deep hunger for their faith.
families already start leaving in late September, Alma explained, so we have to do it before then. These sacraments are eagerly anticipated by adults and children alike. One young girl, Melissa, who arrived in Hartville with her parents and grandparents and lived with them in a trailer, begged to be put into a rst Communion class. But she is only 7 years old, so shell have to wait until she returns to Ohio next summer. She likely will return because her grandfather, Juventino Delgado, not only values his faith, he

Melissa, who is eager to learn about her faith, will make her first Communion when she returns to Ohio next summer with her parents.

values his work. Work is a gift that cannot be taken for granted, he said. He explained that when his contract is renewed and he is invited back to work in these elds, he is thrilled. While the children were in their classes over the summer, Alma taught a Bible class to their parents. After the Mass on September 15, the parents class ended, but many begged Alma to keep the classes going for as long as possible. Some of them didnt want to stop, she said. One of the people who yearned for more classes was a worker named

Francisco Mendoza. The father of four daughters, he worked nine-hour days in the elds and often skipped dinner so he could get to Bible class on time. Francisco didnt miss any classes, which were held while his daughters were preparing for their sacraments. If people like Alma arent around to teach us, we cannot get closer to our faith on our own, he said. Alma is grateful to Catholic Extension donors for supporting a ministry that is centered on bringing people to their Catholic faith and


allowing them to experience a supportive community. With your help, we are able to evangelize many families, she said. And there are many people we still hope to reach, such as migrants who are single men who come without their families.

Stor ies of fa i t h

The Poor

Serving the Poor

Committed Catholics on Virginias Eastern Shore turn their gratitude into action, creating a ripple effect that builds faith


Claudia, whose position is supported by Catholic Extension, leads faith formation and leadership training at St. Peter the Apostle Church.

f you drive through Onley, Virginia, and see St. Peter the Apostle Church, its hard to imagine that this is a thriving Catholic community. Located on the Eastern Shore, which is separated from the rest of Virginia by the Chesapeake Bay, St. Peters is truly on the margins both geographically and economically. Many of its parishioners are eld workers and laborers who struggle to make ends meet. But despite the challenges here, this church community is building faith, serving the poor and growing in numbers with help from Catholic Extension. Claudia Trznadel is one reason St. Peters is flourishing. Claudia is a laywoman who was hired with funding from Catholic Extension, and her mission is to extend the Churchs presence in the Diocese of Richmond, in poor and isolated communities like Onley. She provides critical faith formation and leadership development at St. Peters, nurturing parishioners so they, too, can minister to others. Claudia, who is a regional coordinator for the Eastern Vicariate, loves the energy at St. Peters. This community is so strong, she said. I have seven parishes I work with. This is the most active with the most

desire and the most commitment. Parishioners at St. Peters expressed the same love and gratitude for Claudia. It is a blessing to have Claudia, who comes here and does formation with us, said Basilisa Jimenez, who now serves as a marriage preparation coordinator and Eucharistic minister. While these parishioners arent sure they can pay Claudia or the Church back for all that they have been given, they are committed to paying this gift forward. While most of them work in the elds picking tomatoes or cucumbers or do odd jobs or clean houses to get by, they feel a sense of duty to serve those they perceive as having even less than they do, such as the migrants who come to the Eastern Shore for seasonal work. Basilisa said that when she is not wielding a machete in the elds or cleaning houses, she wants to give back to the Church because she feels deeply blessed by God. He gives us so much and that is why everyone here is so committed, she explained. God calls on each person, and we have to answer to serve God and our community. A nahi Roblero is another parishioner who answers the call. She is part of a group at St. Peters that reaches out to migrant



These dedicated Catholics believe the greatest poverty people can experience is the poverty of not knowing their God.
Claudia prays with parishioners at St. Peters. Although they dont have material wealth, the members of this close-knit faith community believe they have much to give to others.

workers, bringing help, as she said, to the people who need it most. This includes bringing food to the migrant camps, along with faith. The migrant workers dont have cars to bring them to church, so the parishioners at St Peters bring the Church to the camps. There is one migrant woman we work with; she told us that she wants to learn, said Anahi. She just wants to learn more about her

faith, so we are working with her. We go and we meet with her in the elds so she can learn. We go out there to evangelize. The people of St. Peters understand that although they do not have material wealth, they have much to give. They believe that the greatest poverty a person can experience is the poverty of not knowing their God. We do not earn a lot and we have families we need to support, but we are not here by chance, and we can give to others, said Anahi. I am happy to stay late any day to become more committed and to build community.

Claudia nds it deeply rewarding to see the ripple eect of her ministry, whether it is in the outreach of people like Basilisia and Anahi or in the nearly 400 people at Sunday Mass, who overow into the parish hall at St. Peters. She also is grateful to Catholic Extension donors for making the ripples possible. You make it possible for me to continue being an instrument of the Lord, she said. I love working with this community to help them be better, to help them serve better. Keep us in your prayers.




On a snowy, frigid, below-zero day

one February in Marquette, Michigan, Helen McCormick found herself working alone at the St. Vincent de Paul Society. A man walked in and told Helen he was camping out. She gave him food, and offered gloves and a hat, which he took. The man walked out, and Helens life was forever changed. I could not get that man out of my mind, Helen recalled. Marquettes mid-winter weather is erce. Its the third snowiest city in the United States, with an average annual snowfall of nearly 150 inches, and average midwinter temperatures of 14 degrees Fahrenheit.

There is Room at the Inn

A N a N gel , t H e H O lY S pi R it a N d A S H elte R is B O R N

This small mission church is one of 72 parishes and 22 missions scattered throughout the Diocese of Marquette, Michigan. Located at the top of the Upper Peninsula on Lake Superior, Marquette is the third snowiest city in the country. 30 Extension
Courtesy of The U.P. Catholic

Helen McCormick, foreground, and a group of Room at the Inn volunteers are seated at the Agape Caf in the basement of the Faith in Christ Fellowship building in Marquette. The caf provides a place for the homeless to have breakfast and coffee.

Helen, who was 72 years old at the time, said she was plagued by thoughts of what had happened to the man. She also had tremendous regret that in the moment she hadnt thought to offer himshelter. After her daughter told her that she needed to quit crying and do something, Helen set out to nd out what shelters were available in the area. She learned that aside from services for youth under age 21 and women in abuse situations, there were few options. After researching effective models used in other communities, Helen had a plan. She reached out to every church in the county, including the four Catholic churches, and also made a presentation to the City of Marquette Housing Commission. Seven years ago, Room at the Inn was born. An interfaith coalition of 13 churches, it provides an opportunity for guests to focus on life transitions without the worry of nding food and shelter. Each church takes weekly turns serving as the inn. A completely volunteer-run organization, Room at the Inn and Helen were nominated for Catholic Extensions Lumen Christi Award in 2012. Upon being named a nalist, Room at the Inn received a $10,000 grant from Catholic Extension, which went a long way to help the edgling organization. (Through Lumen Christi, Catholic Extension seeks to nd unsung heroes such as Helen who are truly transforming lives and communities through their good works.) In its rst year, more than 400 people stepped up to

volunteer at Room at the Inn. Today, more than 1,000 volunteers participate, many working four-hour shifts in the middle of the night. Helen noted that at rst there was a bit of trepidation among the volunteers. There is a fear of interacting with the homeless, she said, and many of us were afraid at the beginning. But, we have doctors, lawyers and judges volunteering a whole gamut of skill levels and experiences. Many of the volunteers are just as passionate about the cause as Helen. We meet the people, we feed them. You see the face of Christ in the homeless, she added. And, we have so much more in common than what separatesus. A mother of ve, Helen chokes up when retelling the story of meeting the man who inspired Room at the Inn, the man she now fondly calls her angel. He certainly moved her, she said, adding, when the Holy Spirit wants you to do something, you literally dont have a choice. Helen also laughs when recalling that she once told her daughter, Ann, that she wanted to die at age 70. Ann now reminds Helen that if God had taken me at 70, there would be no Room at the Inn, so God must have known what He was doing. Today, Helen still works at the St. Vincent de Paul Society. Ever humble, she says working there simply makes her deeply grateful for what she has. Whats more, Helen knows that if her angel or anyone else is seeking warmth and shelter, she now indeed can say, There is room at the inn.

The Room at the Inn schedule, right, is posted throughout Marquette County so that the homeless know which church they can go to for shelter. Thirteen churches work together on the effort, and volunteers say they see the face of Christ in the poor.




Father Richard explained that at any time of day or night, parishioners come to the rectory door. Home and work are all together, which was a new element to me. When someone comes to our door, they walk right into our kitchen and living room, said Father Richard. Ive learned graciousness and hospitality from Father Joseph, who always invites them in for coffee. It can be 11:00p.m. or 6:30a.m. Joseph gets up and answers the door or phone at any time of day or night.

n Hays, a tiny community on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation, the St. Paul Mission Church can appear small against the backdrop of the Little Rockies and the vast Montana sky. But looks can be deceiving. The mission, founded by Jesuit missionaries in the 1880s, is a big part of the daily lives of the people in this rural area where cell phone service is nearly impossible and the nearest big city (Havre, population 10,000) is 85miles away. With quiet fortitude, much like the sandstone and lumber mission church itself, Father Joseph Retzel, S.J., has been ministering here for nearly three decades. In2012, Father Joseph welcomed an associate pastor, newly ordained Father Richard Magner, S.J. Catholic Extension subsidizes the salaries and travel costs for both of these priests, who live at the mission but also serve three more parishes and a school on the 1,000-squaremile reservation.

A newly ordained priest and his revered mentor work together in a ministry ofpresence.
Native people yearn for faith
Although people drop in constantly, seeking food, clothing or simply a kind word, what they are truly yearning for is spiritual sustenance. Father Joseph and Father Richard are the face of the Church on the reservation, and their constancy and dedication keeps faith alive and growing here. In addition to saying Mass at four parishes, they visit the sick, bring Communion to the homebound and elderly, and ofciate at funerals, which are numerous. (They presided at 55 funerals last year.) People might not make it to Mass, but they all come to funerals, said Father Richard. Thats one way were reaching people through funerals. We make contact there and then we get them to come toMass.

A powerful role model

Father Richard, who is a native of Houston and describes himself as a city kid, arrived at the mission one month after his ordination, not knowing what to expect. But Father Joseph, who has spent his entire priesthood in Montana and is much beloved by the Native people, has been a powerful role model. He has a great love for the people here, said Father Richard. Its been great to learn the ways of Native ministry from him.



Father Joseph Retzel (left), Father Richard Magner and the St. Paul Mission, which includes a school, are integral parts of life on the 1,000-square-mile reservation.

The priests also provide spiritual support for families facing deeply entrenched problems. According to Father Richard, the unemployment rate in the area is 70percent, which leads to domestic violence and alcohol abuse. The St. Paul Mission School, which has been in continuous operation for more than 125 years, also is an important part of their ministry. The school serves approximately 100 children in kindergarten through sixth grade, many of whom show up hungry on Mondaymornings. Drug addiction and alcohol abuse mean that people dont use resources well, said Father Richard. At the end of the month, theyre often short on food and money. With this in mind, the mission recently began a direct food aid program in which they buy food in bulk and distribute it to the hungry.

Signs of hope
Despite the darkness and the poverty he witnesses, Father Richard is undaunted in his hope for the future. He is encouraged not only by Father Josephs ministry of presence, but also by the strong family support systems he sees among parishioners, and their powerful blending of Native and Catholic traditions. One woman here went through a rough period of alcohol dependency as a teen, but the religious signicance of both her Native practices and her Catholicism helped her overcome alcohol, he said. Today shes very strong in her Catholic faith, attends Mass regularly and is a leader on the reservation. There are other signs of hope, including an increase in both Mass attendance and requests for sacramental preparation. Said Father Richard, Its so important that the Church is on the reservation. There is no better hope than what we offer in Christ.

St. Paul Mission Church

Drug and alcohol addiction are deeply entrenched problems here, but the Church is a source of hope.

Catholic Extension has supported ministries on reservations for more than 100 years. To see a photo gallery of the St. Paul Mission in Hays, Montana, and other Native ministries, go to





A Newly Ordained Priest from War-Torn Syria Receives Support from Catholic Extension

to the priesthood. Then hile the the war broke out and loss of the disrupted his studies. Christian Father Alaa yearned to presence in continue his sacred journey. the Middle East has long With the help of his local been a concern of bishop, in early 2012, he Christians (and Catholics) was invited to Washington, worldwide, there is one new D.C., to complete his Syrian priest who will not seminarian studies. He said, beswayed. God, through Bishop For the last several Gregory Mansour, called years, the world has me to serve His Church in watched as a humanitarian Father Alaa Issa is deeply grateful that he was able to come to America and the United States of crisis has unfolded in Syria. complete his seminarian studies. America, in the Eparchy of Yet, in the midst of this Saint Maron of Brooklyn. incomprehensible tragedy The Eparchy of Saint is a story that offers a The ordination gave them Maron of Brooklyn is one of glimmer of hope. Its a story light and joy, especially during ve Eastern Rite churches in about a young Syrian, the U.S. currently supported newly ordained to the that Christmas season. by Catholic Extension. priesthood, with whom Many Catholics are not Catholic Extension donors aware that there are both have a unique relationship. Eastern Rite and Latin Rite Father Alaa Issa was or Western Catholics in the Church, who are in unity born in a small Christian village in Syria. He was raised with one another under the same Holy Father in Rome. Catholic in this predominantly Muslim country. In spite Blessed John Paul II described this unity, saying the of the dangers of his minority status, Father Alaas call Church must breathe with two lungs, East and West. to the priesthood was strong. He said he heard the Upon his arrival, Father Alaa began taking courses at voice of God, calling me to be a priest. So he entered The Catholic University of America. And, because seminary in Lebanon and spent ve years on the path




Father Alaa was now in a U.S. diocese, Bishop Gregory of the Eparchy turned to Catholic Extension to help fund his education. In December of 2012, Father Alaa returned briey to the village in Syria where he was born and raised to be ordained. The ordination gave the people of his village reason to celebrate. The ongoing war that the people of Syria are suffering these days has weighed enormously on them, he said. The ordination gave them light and joy, especially during that Christmas season. After his ordination, Father Alaa returned to Washington so he could continue his training, improve his English and serve in parishes in the U.S. Currently, he is the pastoral administrator at Mary, Mother of the Light Maronite Catholic Church in Tequesta, Florida a church that receives support from Catholic Extension. Father Alaa is not sure what the future holds for him, but he trusts that God will lead him. I believe God stays with me and guides me and protects me and helps me wherever I go in America or Syria, he said. He added, I appreciate the seminary and you (Catholic Extension) because you helped me. My vocation was not easy, and was hard in a time where the war is devouring my country and the Christians of the Middle East. He then noted that helping all seminarians is important because, The Church, we are one body. We say this as an idiom in Arabic: We cant use one hand; we have to use both of them to create a sound. Father Alaa then put his hands together and clapped.


YOUR PRAYERS AND SUPPORT WILL HELP HIM ALONG THE WAY. One of the biggest expenses for mission dioceses is funding seminarian education. Your support can make a major difference. Please give today. or 1.800.842.7804


ONe Gift Leads tO ANOtHeR

While fullling a mothers bequest, a son is moved to give

argaret Anders was a member of the greatest generation. Born in 1915 and raised on a farm near Quincy, Illinois, she longed to be a nurse. Her father, however, thought that she should study business, so she did. But when she left home and went out on her own, Margaret got her nursing degree, which enabled her to enlist in the Army as a nurse immediately following World WarII. While Margarets decision to enlist was adventuresome, she also felt called to serve. So, in 1945, she volunteered to go overseas, was sent to Japan and nally had the chance to pursue her love of nursing. It was also in Japan where Margaret met her husband, Charles Anders, a career army ocer. They met at Sendai in Japan, recalled their son, Mike Anders. They married in 1948, then welcomed Mike into the world the next year. Margaret, who was raised Methodist, converted to Catholicism after meeting Charles. She nurtured and lived her faith throughout her life. She played the organ, sang in the choir, counted the collections, and greatly enjoyed getting to know the priests at each parish the familyjoined. As an Army family, Margaret, Charles and their children moved constantly, living in Oklahoma,

Margaret and Charles Anders met in Sendai, Japan following World War II. He was a career army officer and she served as a nurse. The couple courted and wed in Japan.

Margaret developed a penchant for supporting seminarians because she loved her priests and always had a real generosity of spirit when it came to seminarians.

Georgia, Virginia and even Germany. But everywhere they went, Margaret found Catholic schools and parishes that became their own. Along the way, Margaret developed a penchant for supporting seminarians because she loved her priests and always had a real generosity of spirit when it came to seminarians, Mikeexplained. Margaret also was drawn to supporting the needs of Native Americans, whom she encountered rsthand during the familys stays in Oklahoma. We were at Fort Sill, Mike recalled. We were there multiple times. When I played football, we always played a team from the reservation. Mom always had the feeling that she wanted to help. She felt blessed in her life and her faith, and she wanted to help those less fortunate.

A lasting gift
Toward the end of her long, accomplished life, Margaret told her three children that she wished to make a legacy gift to Catholic Extension. The children listened closely, happy to fulll her wish, but they were intrigued that Catholic Extension was the only charity


she mentioned. Thats because at one point, their generous mom was giving to close to 100 dierentcharities. When we visited her, Mom would have a suitcase lled with all the requests from dierent causes, and we would help her sort through them, Mike added. Upon their mothers death, Mike and his brother and sister worked with Catholic Extension to fulll their mothers wishes. Ultimately it was decided that her gift would go to support seminarian education and the ministries of those serving Native Americans on Indian reservations. After fullling his mothers wish, Mike and his wife, Susan, decided themselves to become Catholic Extension donors. It was a very easy decision, Mike said. I read the website and the magazine (of Catholic Extension).

The Anders family supported numerous charities throughout their lives, but Catholic Extension is the only one that Margaret wished to remember in her will.

Its a way to remember Mom, a way for me to honor her. I think about her a lot. We also like the idea of reaching out to areas outside of normal parishes.

My idea of what the Catholic Church should be doing, where we should focus our eorts, was there. Whats more, Mike said, Its a way to remember Mom, a way for me to honor her. I think about her a lot. We also like the idea of reaching out to areas outside of normal parishes. Recently, Mike, Susan, his siblings and their families, traveled to Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C., to inter their mothers ashes next to those of their father, who died in 1996. The couple is now once again together in their nal resting place, having served their country, family and church better than most of us canimagine.

For more information on estate planning and how you can leave a gift in your will, contact Melissa Babcock at 800.842.7804.

Thank You
To our Legacy Club Members


We deeply appreciate your decision to include Catholic Extension as a beneciary of your estate plan. This thoughtful gift ensures that the mission of Catholic Extension will remain vital far into the future.


To learn how you can add Catholic Extension to your estate plan, and become a member of our Legacy Club, contact Melissa Babcock at 1.800.842.7804 or

BISHOPs Commentary

Seeing the Face of Christ in the Poor

Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice
Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, recently sat down with Extension magazine to discuss migrant ministry. Raised on a Wisconsin dairy farm, he has tremendous respect for migrant workers. Watching his parents care for the people who worked their elds showed him that our faith calls us to see the person of Christ in everyone we meet. He is working within his diocese to provide housing for the Christ said, Whats the greatest poor as well as to promote justice and commandment? Love God. human rights for farmworkers and And what came next? Love for all people. Following are excerpts your neighbor as yourself. You just have to do that. of his remarks.
that into action. I believe people are fundamentally good and want to help their brothers and sisters. I think there is a great deal of trust put in the Church. That might seem strange to say in light of what we may read today, but you still have within the Church an organization that individuals feel safe approaching. The Church does not turn them away if they need something; it doesnt judge them either. The Churchs philosophical vision of the person is that, having been made in the image of God, people have rights. These rights are not granted by others but must be recognized by others. When it comes to providing housing, food and water, you are recognizing the individuals dignity and rights. Christ said, Whats the greatest commandment? Love God. And what came next? Love your neighbor as yourself. You just have to do that. Recently, I was in Wauchula with a group of farmworkers who gathered because they knew the bishop was coming. I could see in their eyes and smiles that these were men and women of faith, and that they wanted to bring their children up well. As our parents did, theyre doing what they think is best for their childrens future. And, thats what people respond to, seeing the face of Christ in one another. When our parishioners go to the food pantry or soup kitchen in Immokalee, they immediately want to help. From then on, they come every week, even if it means driving two hours. Why? Because they see something in the face of the poor and in themselves. It calls them to be more. For me, its inspiring. Its about Christ, its what were called to do.

rowing up on a Wisconsin dairy farm, I witnessed firsthand the life of migrant farmworkers. It is hard work, and I have tremendous respect for what they do. In our area, canning companies employed the workers. They provided water, but most of the time there was no food. My dad would tell my mom, Oh, there are 10 guys in the elds today. Just put some food on. This is where I learned that you do something for people in need. As we get older, we reect about how we were raised. I realize that it was because of my parents faith, that they did what they did. I get much joy by going out to be with the farmworkers. It is hard work, and Im always aware of how tiring it is. The farmworkers here in Florida are in the elds 1012 hours a day, sometimes every day of the week. Thats why I want to help the farmworkers, and I think the Church is uniquely positioned to help. The call of Christ is a personal call. The organized Church puts


$25 provides religious

by t he number s

education supplies to four students in the Diocese of Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Giving the Gift of Love

ChristmasWish List To see more wishes, go to:

$1,000 helps a

financially struggling parish in the Diocese of Lafayette, Louisiana, buy new windows for itschapel.

$75 educates a seminarian

for a day in the Diocese of Colorado Springs, Colorado.


Pope Francis August 23, 2013

For more than 100 years, Catholic Extension has been going out in the streets and the frontier and the elds to extend the gift of Christs love to poor Catholics across America. Thank you for joining us on this journey with your generous support. As we enter this special season of joy and light, we invite you to make an additional gift by fullling a wish from Catholic Extensions Christmas Wish List. Even a small donation at this time of year can be a big gift for a strugglingparish.

Merry Christmas! And thank you for making their wishes come true!


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Merry Christmas

from all of us at Catholic Extension!

Inside the Christmas




pg. 8


pg. 14


pg. 38