If you’re a regular reader of The Central Minnesota Catholic, you know that for the last two-plus years my column has appeared on page 4 of every issue. Starting this month, you’ll find it toward the end of each edition, so I can offer a “last word” of sorts — something every editor appreciates.
On the column’s former page, you’ll now find “Why Should Catholics Care About …?” featuring snapshots of important events and observances during the month viewed through a Catholic lens.
It’s just one of the new sections in the magazine for 2021. I want to highlight two more that we began earlier this year and that I hope you’re already somewhat familiar with:
Good Samaritan — Inspired by Pope Francis’ recent encyclical “Fratelli Tutti” (“On Fraternity and Social Friendship”), which includes a lengthy reflection on the parable of the Good Samaritan, The Central Minnesota Catholic is featuring stories of Good Samaritans in our diocese — parishioners who are models of discipleship that can inspire others to “go and do likewise.” So many individuals in our diocese fit this description and get little recognition for it. Good Samaritans, of course, aren’t looking for kudos. They act in response to Christ’s call to love and care for their neighbor. Amid all the challenges that our world and Church face today, however, their stories offer an important witness of hope and goodness. These are stories we want to tell. If you would like to suggest a person to feature in a future issue of the magazine, please contact associate editor Kristi Anderson at email@example.com or 320-258-7630.
Catholic social teaching 101 — In March, the magazine began a monthly series highlighting the seven principles of Catholic social teaching. If this teaching is, as many say, among the Church’s best-kept secrets, this series will be revelatory in many ways. Each installment features an educational article about one of the principles, a lesson plan for further study and a story illustrating the principle in action. I’d like to know what you think about the series. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 320-258-7624.
In addition to these highlights, here are a few reminders:
Spanish-English — All Spanish articles in the magazine are also available in English on The Central Minnesota Catholic’s website: www.thecentralminnesotacatholic.org. This includes profiles of local Catholics featured in the section “Dando Voz a Nuestras Viviencias de Fe” (“Giving Voice to Our Experience of Faith”).
Weekly news updates — Please consider subscribing to the magazine’s weekly e-newsletter, “The Monday Morning Update.” This will ensure that you receive the latest local, national and international news updates — delivered straight to your in-box. These updates often include messages from Bishop Kettler, updates to diocesan COVID-19 protocols and additional stories from parishes around the diocese. Sign up here.
Lastly, I want to share a note I recently received from a TV Mass viewer from the Twin Cities area. The writer thanked the priests, singers and musicians for sharing their gifts at each Mass. The note also included this excerpt:
“For at least 40 years, I also have been a song leader and lector along with my friend. … We have also sung in choir and chorus — this we miss very much, but because of you we have developed something deeper. After Sunday Mass we call each other and discuss the Gospel and sermon. We also comment on the service music and hymns — which ones we remember by heart, and today we did well. All these years while singing, we never had time to share our feelings on the readings other than a nod or raised eyebrow. But now we talk and help each other to see a different view …”
It’s a wonderful example of the power of the Church’s ministries to enrich our faith and bring people together, even amid the ongoing challenges of a pandemic that is entering its second year. As we enter the Easter season — a season of hope — let’s recall the power of the Good News to change lives. We are all called to be Good Samaritans, to live out Catholic social teaching, and to answer the call to discipleship in-person and online. Alleluia!
Joe Towalski is the editor and director of communications for the Diocese of St. Cloud.