Students take a stand for the protection of life!

MANKATO – On Oct. 3, 2017, St. Mary’s Sleepy Eye junior and senior high school principal Andrew Bach and teacher Neil Kirchoeffer led their 9th and 10th grade students in praying the Rosary while standing in front of the Planned Parenthood facility in Mankato. The group made the school trip to Mankato as part of the 40 Days for Life prayer campaign to end abortion. The goal of the quiet and peaceful assembly was to educate and inspire the community about hope and options like adoption for women who may be challenged with a difficult and personal decision that may first arise during a visit to the clinic.
                                                                (Read more about the 40 Days for Life campaign on page 11.)

New vacation bible school curriculum piloted at Christ the King AFC

LAKE BENTON – Alecia Rolling of Lake Benton has developed a Vacation Bible School curriculum for young children. Called CREDO Summer Faith Camps, Rolling piloted her new program this past summer at the Church of St. Genevieve in Lake Benton which is part of Christ the King Area Faith Community including the parishes of St. Peter and Paul in Ivanhoe, St. Dionysius in Tyler, and St. John Cantius in Wilno. Rollings (left), teaches songs with actions to help camp goers remember such things as the Corporal Works of Mercy. Pictured back row, (l-r) are students Jack Skordahl, Andrew Landsman, and Justin Nunez. Front row, (l-r) Grace and Emma Skordahl.       Read more on page 11 of the September Prairie Catholic.

Archbishop Hebda visits New Ulm

NEW ULM - Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis,
made a pastoral visit to the Diocese of New Ulm on Tuesday, May 30. This was the archbishop’s
first time in the City of New Ulm. He was treated to lunch, visited the Pastoral Center, walked the
Way of the Cross and Loretto Park, and visited the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity. The day concluded with Mass and dinner at the convent of the Handmaids of the Heart of Jesus in
New Ulm. Pictured (left), Earl LaPlante points out details in the statuary of the first of 14 stations during the archbishop’s tour of the Way of the Cross. Also pictured is Paul Hillesheim and Bishop John M. LeVoir (far right). Both LaPlante and Hillesheim serve on the Way of the Cross and Loretto Park Committee and are two of the numerous caretakers of the over 100-year-old shrine.

                                                                                             Read The Prairie Catholic - June 2017


Generations of faith

FOREST CITY - On Sunday, March 26, 2017, Bishop John M. LeVoir celebrated the last Sunday Mass with parishioners and friends of the Church of St. Gertrude in Forest City. Pictured with Bishop LeVoir are the oldest and the youngest parishioners who are present. They are (l-r): Millie Turck and Tattrie Ficker, and Tyler Randt (back).

Read more about the last Sunday Mass in Forest City in the May 2017 edition of The Prairie Catholic.

Diocesan Financial Reorganization: a step toward hope, healing, and peace

On March 3, 2017, the Diocese of New Ulm filed for financial reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. This filing allows the diocese to reorganize its finances and establish a plan to pay its creditors, who are victims and survivors of sexual abuse as minors by clergy, while continuing its operations. (Read more in the March issue of The Prairie Catholic.)

Learning from the chief teacher

Bishop John M. LeVoir of the Diocese of New Ulm explains the design of his crosier to first and second graders Feb. 1 at St. Raphael School in Springfield. The bishop celebrated Mass, visited classrooms, and ate lunch with students at the school to celebrate Catholic Schools Week, which ran Jan. 29 through Feb. 4 this year. St. Raphael was one of eight Catholic schools in the diocese to receive a visit from the bishop during the week.
          (More Catholic schools coverage can be found on pages 8-9 of the Feb. 2017 Prairie Catholic).

Prayerful Plea for Peace

Pope Francis gives his “Urbi et Orbi” blessing in St. Peter’s Square on Christmas Day 2016. In his traditional message “urbi et orbi” (“to the city and to the world”), the pope prayed that the Child Jesus, who is also the Prince of Peace, would bring a real and lasting peace to those suffering from violence and conflict around the world. He prayed specifically for areas of the world which are affected by violence, including Syria, countries that make up the Holy Land, various parts of Africa, Myanmar, Colombia, and Eastern Ukraine.  

                                                (For more on the pope’s Christmas message, see page 11 in the January Prairie Catholic.)

Closing of Year of Mercy

NEW ULM - Faithful of the diocese greet Bishop John M. LeVoir as they exit the the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New Ulm on Sunday, Nov. 20 at the conclusion of a Mass celebrated by the bishop to end the Year of Mercy. As Holy Doors closed in churches and basilicas around the world, including in Rome, it is estimated that over 20 million people participated in the Church’s Jubilee Year of Mercy at the Vatican – and a billion people may have participated in churches worldwide. For photos of the diocesan event, visit

Read more about the conclusion of the Jubilee Year of Mercy on page 1 of the December Prairie Catholic.

December 2016


Faith for the future

Faith for the future

Jeff and Ann Franta (top and bottom left) are this year’s chair couple for the Diocesan Ministries Appeal, which kicks off in parishes Nov. 12 and 13. Parishioners of the Church of St. George in West Newton Township, the couple provides their unique perspective on this year’s theme, “A legacy of faith, a future of hope,” in the DMA video. They are shown here with their son Ryan and his wife Chelsey teaching their grandchildren Leah and Sean about Jesus and Mary in front of the pieta at the back of their church.                                                   (Photo by Dan Rossini)

For more on this year’s DMA, see pages 6-8 in the November issue of The Prairie Catholic.

November 2016 issue

Pilgrimage of mercy

Pilgrims from the Diocese of New Ulm visit the St. Faustina Chapel at the Divine Mercy Sanctuary in Kraków, Poland on July 26. The visit was part of the group’s week-long participation in World Youth Day, which ran July 25-31 in the Polish city. In the first row are Troy Timmerman (left); Bryan Reising, diocesan director of Religious Education and Adult Faith Formation; Monica Reising; Monica Timmerman; Lori Timmerman; Kelsey Timmerman; and Sara Jirak. Second row: Fr. Paul Timmerman (left), pastor of the parishes in the Holy Family Area Faith Community; Msgr. Eugene Lozinski, pastor of the Church of St. Mary in Sleepy Eye, St. Michael in Morgan, and Japanese Martyrs in Leavenworth; Andrew Dieter; and Mary Kate Larsen. Back row: Irene Anderson (left); Matthew Larsen; and Carl Anderson. Missing is Kennedy Pelzel.

Sept. 2016 issue


Priest of Mercy

Priest of Mercy

(photo by Jeanine McMahon)

NEW ULM – Bishop John M. LeVoir of the Diocese of New Ulm lays his hands on Deacon Garrett Ahlers during his ordination Mass, in which he was ordained to the Catholic priesthood. A full assembly of priests, deacons, family, friends, and other well-wishers witnessed Father Ahler's priestly ordination June 25 at the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New Ulm.

July 2016 issue

Rock of redemption

  (photo from video by Dan Rossini)

DASSEL – The Alex Street Band provides the live entertainment at the Junior High Rally April 24 at Dassel-Cokato High School. Sixth through eighth graders from around the Diocese of New Ulm gathered for music, games, socializing, and Nic Davidson’s humorous presentation of his conversion to the faith. The event also included prayer, adoration, and Sunday Mass with Bishop John M. LeVoir.    

May 2016 issue



Hands of mercy

(Photo by Chris Clancy)

NEW ULM – To celebrate the Jubilee Year of Mercy declared by Pope Francis, Catholics from all corners of the diocese gathered at the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New Ulm for a Day of Mercy celebration on April 3, Divine Mercy Sunday. As part of the day’s events, faithful of all ages took part in a corporal work of mercy. The diocese partnered with Catholic Relief Service’s Helping Hands project to package 10,000 meals during a three-hour period. The meals are destined to feed the hungry in Burkina Faso, a desperately poor West African nation.

A photo collage of the Day of Mercy is posted on the Diocese of New Ulm Web site,

April 2016 issue

Your Support Matters!

Your Support Matters!

Jamie Karels of Rosen has been deployed twice as a soldier in the Minnesota Army National Guard, including a stint in Iraq. Even when he’s stateside, he must be away for training one weekend per month and several times a year for two-week periods. All those absences are tough on his wife Stacey and their growing family, who are members of St. Joseph's Parish in Rosen. Pastor Brian Oestreich appreciates the selfless service of Catholic solders and has some specific suggestions to help them.

The series on Catholics and the military continues on page 5 of the March issue of The Prairie Catholic with the Karels' story. (Cover photo by Krista Hartman)

Witnesses for Life

(Photo by Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit)


St. Paul - Bishop John M. LeVoir of the Diocese of New Ulm greets Taylor Otis (left), Abby Bianchi, and Elizabeth Griebel following the morning prayer service that preceded the March for Life Jan. 22 at the Cathedral in St. Paul. The three girls are seventh graders at Cathedral High School in New Ulm. Bishop LeVoir led this year’s service, which attracted a standing-room-only crowd the day of the March. Over 200 students from the diocese’s three Catholic high schools, including St. Mary’s in Sleepy Eye and Holy Trinity in Winsted, made the trip, along with three other busloads of Catholics from the Marshall, New Ulm, and Willmar areas.

February 2016 issue

¡ Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe !

MONTEVIDEO – Maria Vargas and Carlos Cortez re-enact an appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe to St. Juan Diego in 1531 at Tepeyac Hill near Mexico City. The theatrical presentation came at the end of Mass celebrating the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe Dec. 12 at the Church of St. Joseph in Montevideo. The evening’s festivities also included matachines dances, a procession, and a potluck supper. (Photo by Krista Hartman)

January 2016 issue



Doors of Mercy

Holy Doors to be opened for the Year of Mercy provide an “extraordinary path” to God, enabling us to receive his merciful grace and salvation. Bishop John M. LeVoir will inaugurate the Year of Mercy in the Diocese of New Ulm on Sunday, Dec. 13 with a special Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New Ulm. The event will begin with a procession from the high school gym at 3 p.m. and include the opening of the Cathedral’s Holy Doors, making it a special place of pilgrimage throughout the year. (Photo by Dan Rossini)

December 2015 issue


Field trip photo with the bishop

NEW ULM – Students from St. Pius X Catholic School in Glencoe spend a few light-hearted moments with Bishop John M. LeVoir of the Diocese of New Ulm before a photo op that followed the diocese’s 12th annual Children’s Holy Field Trip Oct. 7 at the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New Ulm. Over 200 children from 14 diocesan schools attended the event, which included adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, recitation of the Rosary, a homily by Bishop LeVoir, and Benediction.

November 2015 issue