Thursday, May 14, 2009

New Assignments in the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings

This is from our diocesan webpage.

Official Priest Assignments Announced
Effective July 1, 2009

Rev. John Houlihan, Pastor of St. Patrick Co-Cathedral in Billings, will retire and assume the role of Pastor Emeritus.

Rev. William Hogan, Pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Billings will retire.

Rev. Raymond Nyquist, Pastor of Most Blessed Sacrament Church in Black Eagle, will retire.

Rev. Robert Grosch, Pastor of St. Jude Thaddeus Church in Havre, is assigned to serve as Pastor of St. Patrick Co-Cathedral in Billings.

Rev. Stephen Zabrocki, Pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in Wolf Point, with attached missions, is assigned to serve as Pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Billings.

Rev. Dale Yurkovic, Pastor of St. Mary Church in Livingston and St. Joseph Church in Big Timber, with attached missions, is assigned to serve as Pastor of St. Jude Thaddeus Church in Havre.

Rev. Wayne Pittard, chaplain on the Pastoral Care Staff of Benefis Hospital in Great Falls, is assigned to serve as Pastor of St. Mary Church in Livingston and St. Joseph Church in Big Timber, with attached missions of St. Margaret in Clyde Park and St. William in Gardiner. This assignment is effective August 10. During the interim starting July 1, Rev. Anthony Ozimek, OSB, supply priest in Billings, is assigned to serve as sacramental minister.

Rev. Anselm Ofodum, Parochial Administrator of St. Philip Bonitus Church in Scobey, with attached missions, is assigned to serve as Parochial Administrator of Immaculate Conception Church in Wolf Point, with attached missions of St. Joseph in Frazer and St. Ann in Vida. Rev. Francis Schreiber, Pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Poplar, is assigned to serve as his supervising Pastor.

Rev. Domenico Pizzonia, Parochial Administrator of Immaculate Conception Church in Fort Benton and St. Margaret Church in Geraldine, is assigned to serve as Parochial Vicar of Most Blessed Sacrament Church in Black Eagle.

Rev. Paul McKane, OSB, presently serving as a priest in the Diocese of Rapid City, is assigned to serve as Parochial Vicar of St. Luke the Evangelist Church and St. Joseph Church in Great Falls.

Rev. Patrick Zabrocki, Pastor of St. Luke the Evangelist Church and St. Joseph Church in Great Falls, is assigned to serve as Pastor of St. Joseph Church in Plentywood and St. Philip Bonitus Church in Scobey, with the mission of St. Patrick in Medicine Lake.

Rev. Marcel Vogel, Pastor of St. Joseph Church in Plentywood, with attached mission, is assigned to serve as a supply priest in the Great Falls area.

Rev. Leo McDowell, Director of Vocations, is additionally assigned to serve as Pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in Fort Benton and St. Margaret Church in Geraldine.

Rev. Jay H. Peterson, V. G. ., is additionally assigned to serve as Canonical Pastor of St. Joseph Church and St. Luke the Evangelist Church in Great Falls and Most Blessed Sacrament Church in Black Eagle.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


VATICAN CITY, 12 MAY 2009 (VIS) - According to a decree made public today and signed by Cardinal James Francis Stafford and Bishop Gianfranco Girotti, O.F.M. Conv., respectively penitentiary major and regent of the Apostolic Penitentiary, Benedict XVI will grant priests and faithful Plenary Indulgence for the occasion of the Year for Priests, which is due to run from 19 June 2009 to 19 June 2010 and has been called in honour of St. Jean Marie Vianney.

The period will begin with the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, "a day of priestly sanctification", says the text, when the Pope will celebrate Vespers before the relics of the saint, brought to Rome for the occasion by the bishop of the French diocese of Belley-Ars. The Year will end in St. Peter's Square, in the presence of priests from all over the world "who will renew their faithfulness to Christ and their bonds of fraternity".

The means to obtain the Plenary Indulgence are as follows:

(A) All truly penitent priests who, on any day, devotedly pray Lauds or Vespers before the Blessed Sacrament exposed to public adoration or in the tabernacle, and ... offer themselves with a ready and generous heart for the celebration of the Sacraments, especially the Sacrament of Penance, will be granted Plenary Indulgence, which they can also apply to their deceased confreres, if in accordance with current norms they take Sacramental Confession and the Eucharist and pray in accordance with the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff. Priests are furthermore granted Partial Indulgence, also applicable to deceased confreres, every time they devotedly recite the prayers duly approved to lead a saintly life and to carry out the duties entrusted to them.

(B) All truly penitent Christian faithful who, in church or oratory, devotedly attend Holy Mass and offer prayers to Jesus Christ, supreme and eternal Priest, for the priests of the Church, or perform any good work to sanctify and mould them to His Heart, are granted Plenary Indulgence, on the condition that they have expiated their sins through Sacramental Confession and prayed in accordance with the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff. This may be done on the opening and closing days of the Year of Priests, on the 150th anniversary of the death of St. Jean Marie Vianney, on the first Thursday of the month, or on any other day established by the ordinaries of particular places for the good of the faithful.

The elderly, the sick and all those who for any legitimate reason are unable to leave their homes, may still obtain Plenary Indulgence if, with the soul completely removed from attachment to any form of sin and with the intention of observing, as soon as they can, the usual three conditions, "on the days concerned, they pray for the sanctification of priests and offer their sickness and suffering to God through Mary, Queen of the Apostles".

Partial Indulgence is offered to all faithful each time they pray five Our Father, Ave Maria and Gloria Patri, or any other duly approved prayer "in honour of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to ask that priests maintain purity and sanctity of life".

Friday, May 1, 2009

Notre Dame, My Mother

The following is from First Things

For many members of the Notre Dame Class of 2009, the uproar surrounding the university’s decision to honor Barack Obama with this year’s commencement address, and to bestow on him a doctorate of laws, has provoked strong feelings about what the ensuing conflict will mean for their graduation.

I know how they feel. Ten years ago, my heart was filled with similar conflicts as we came closer to the day of my own Notre Dame commencement and my commissioning as an officer in the United States Army.

You see, I was three months pregnant.

That March, I had gone—alone—to a local woman’s clinic to take a test. The results were positive, and I was so numb I almost didn’t grasp what the nurse was getting at when she assured me I had “other options.” What did “other options” mean? And what kind of world is it that defines compassion as telling a young woman who has just learned she is carrying life inside her that she has the option to destroy it?

Be sure to read the whole story

My Bishop Speaks on Notre Dame Issue

Here is a letter sent by my bishop :)

Dear Fr. Jenkins,

I am adding my name to the list of bishops who are dismayed at your decision to invite President Obama to offer this year's commencement address and receive an honorary law degree on May 17. Given the position he has publicly taken pertaining to abortion, this invitation has more than sufficient potential to undermine Catholic teaching on the fundamental principle of right to life. As you should know well, those who take such positions are not to be provided platforms where they may espouse their views or be allowed a context by which the matter of abortion seems trivial. Until there is clarification, this decision will prevent me from advocating participation by members of this diocese at the University of Notre Dame.

Notre Dame's decision is particularly disturbing because it seems to be one in a series of decisions. These decisions have sent a shamefully ambiguous message concerning Notre Dame's fidelity to the Church's teaching on the sacredness of human life and the dignity of the human person. As an example of this, one does not need to look further than Notre Dame's decision last year to ignore Bishop D'Arcy's call to cancel the lewd "V-Monologues" with its mockery of Catholic teaching on human sexuality.

It is my intent not to support Catholic formation programs offered at Notre Dame until its leadership discontinues making decisions that are inconsistent with the promotion of the Catholic Church's teachings on the sacredness of human life.

Yours in Christ,

Michael W. Warfel
Bishop of Great Falls-Billings

Thank you, Bishop Warfel

From Rock Star to Seminarian

I got the following from Writing for the Lord blog.

From Rock Star to Seminarian
In 1994 his album “Over the Hump sold more than 4.5 million copies throughout Europe. In Germany it is the biggest selling album of all time. Bigger than the Beatles.
The group has sold over 50 million records worldwide.
At twenty years old he was a teenage sensation, a huge rock star and lived in a 17th century castle in Europe He had all the riches, fame, fortune and the adulation of millions. His name is Paddy Kelly.

He was born in Ireland to American parents. He was the star of the incredible singing group “The Kelly Family” He has eleven brothers and sisters and most sing in the band. They started out singing in the streets of Europe but quickly their incredible singing talents took them to the top. Paddy Kelly became a huge idol with adoring female fans. He needed body guards in public. He was hounded by paparazzi where ever he went and traveled by private jet and helicopters. He was recognized everywhere he went. He had it all... this amazing young man had everything, but despite the fame and money he began to feel empty, isolated..

He felt lost... He felt his soul was dying. He had lost his mother when he was five years old but toured the world with his family that gave him love and support.

Even with thelove of his family he began to fall into depression even despair. It all began to break down for Paddy Kelly. He lost the sense of who he was and all his ideals and false securities began to break down. He felt like he wanted to end his life.

Nothing made sense to him anymore. Material goods and money, not even music made him happy.

This was when a deep search for the truth began. He asked himself “If all this doesn't make me happy then what is the sense of life. Why do I exists” . He then asked the question “Who can tell me who I am ? Who has the true answers to my questions. As he began to ask these questions, he realized he had no real friends he felt alone and empty. At a moment of deep crisis, standing on a ledge of his room he sensed in him a voice telling himto “Hold on Hold on” .. and after this moment passed he wept bitterly at what he almost had done.

Soon after he began to search his spiritual side.. He read about eastern religion like Buddism even the Koran but it was the Gospels that seemed to pull him in a new direction. He felt the Gospels were alive.

At a chance meeting with a gathering of priests near his palatial home the 17th century castle he felt his spirit grow. Still he struggled with depression and sadness and then one day...he was “zapping” his televison and by chance he came across a program about Lourdes, the shrine dedicated to a apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

His first thought was that it was “Only for blue-haired grandmothers and naive people who believe anything” But he felt pulled to Lourdes like a magnet. He decided to go. But he was certain that the town would be filled with “horrible plastic statues” and would be no place for a “rock star” to find God.So he went and to his surprise not only were “Gray haired grandmothers praying the Rosary but many young people dressed he thought “cool” and they liked rock and roll. He therefore joined the youth program.

Then that evening with the youth group there came a moment of “Prayer and Silence” and during that moment he felt a simple yet a deep peace in his heart. He was experiencing a deep presence of someone inside of him. Wow! He thought God is accessible and this came to him through the Blessed Virgin Mary. He realized that Mary was not some Christian myth, but no she was a person.

He felt she was asking him to give life a second chance. He felt she wanted to help him and no longer felt alone. He had grown up Catholic but now he knew that he could meet God and that night he gave life a new chance. He was to live his life according to Gods will. He knew Mary had planted the seed of faith in Lourdes and now he also knew only through prayer could his faith grow. As his spiritual quest moved forward he found his brothers and sisters also saw that money and fame did not bring happiness.

And in the summer of 2000 he and two of his brothers and sisters decided to go to the Youth festival in Medjugorje. Here he met Father Jozo and quickly through his words, counsel and abundance of graces a deep movement of conversion with God came to his brothers and sisters and in the months and years to follow. Through Mary, through Medjugorje, he finally came to know Jesus. He believed that God existed but he had not yet experianced the Holy Spirit in a deep and powerful way. He wanted to know if he was truly the Son of Man.

He wanted to believe it and not just tell himself so or because the Church said so. He wanted to feel the interior confirmation of the Holy Spirit. Then one morning the Holy Spirit entered his heart in a real way.

He called his brothers and sister he loved so much and said to them “Jesus is God, Jesus is God, Jesus is God.”

Today Paddy Kelly still sings but now as a seminarian a Monk. He goes by the name of John Paul Mary.