Parish Resources

2019 Catholic Ministries Appeal

Mini Stories

Select a Witness Testimonial Mini Stories each week to include in your bulletin, your website and your Facebook page. You may also want to consider printing a mini story to hand out to parishioners or make available in public gathering spaces. You are free to pick and choose which stories to feature. Note: if you choose to use the Text Only version, please attach the official Appeal Logo.

Mini Story: Marian Chrysler - St. John the Evangelist, Rochester

4”x 6” version - Download

Text Only: When I was able to get myself to Church, the TV Mass wasn't as vital, but now that I physically can't get out, it has become much more important to me - and I'm sure there are many more people who feel the same. I like that the TV Mass shows churches and priests from across the diocese, as I'd heard of many of our churches but never had the opportunity to see them. Without the Communications Office and TV Mass, so many of us across the diocese just wouldn't be able to get that connnection to our faith. It makes you feel like you are still part of the Church, even when you can't physically be in attendance.

Mini Story: Fr. Michael Cronin

4”x 6” version - Download

Text Only: Giving to the Church is ultimately a sign of faith. As the pastor of three relatively small parishes, I rely heavily on the involvement of the lay parishioners, and whatever I can do to help the individuals, helps the parish in return. Similarly, the Dioceses of Winona-Rochester needs its individual parishes just as the parishes need the diocese.

Over the years, the Diocese of Winona-Rochester has enhanced all its ministries across the whole spectrum of parish life - lay ministry, liturgical ministry, marriage ministry, youth ministry, vocations, you name it. The CMA, like the ministries it supports, is not here to serve itself, but to serve the parishes and faithful across the entire diocese.

Mini Story: Aaron & Shanna Filzen - St. Thomas More Newman Center, Mankato

4”x 6” version - Download

Text Only: At the Newman Center, students have a chance to learn about their faith and the depth of love of the Father. With opportunities like Bible studies, mission trips, pilgrimages, and retreats, the Newman Center helps people walk with Christ in a new way. The Newman Center is not making men and women who just go to Mass on Sundays, but men and women who are dedicated to their faith and on fire to share that with the rest of the world.

By investing in the Newman Center through the Catholic Ministries Appeal, you invest not only in a building, but in students who are the next generation of Catholics and you are equipping them to be leaders in parishes, in families, and in the community.

Mini Story: Fr. The Hoang

4”x 6” version - Download

Text Only: One of the most concrete ways we can support the Diocese of Winona-Rochester is by supporting youth events and programs. Instead of simply focusing on what the Church looks like right now, we should ask ourselves, “What do we want the Church to look like in the future?” Events such as Steubenville and Camp Summit have been a huge success; each year, Camp Summit hosts around 350 youth who learn about their faith while having funconnecting with other youth from across the diocese. What better way to think about CMA, than expanding for the future? Having exceeded our goal for last year’s CMA,our parish was spent the additional donations to provide our youth center with a new roof that will serve young people for years to come. Through your support of the CMA, you help raise young men and women who live out their faith in their daily lives.

Mini Story: Rebecca Gust - Director of Catechesis, Austin

4”x 6” version - Download

Text Only: For many years, our faith formation relied on a book-based program that taught facts about the faith, but our children didn't always know what to do with that knowledge. To solve this we have started using the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program with our 3-to-6-year-olds. This program starts with the foundation of building a relationship with God.

It's hard work starting a new faith-formation program, and the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, with funds from the Catholic Ministries Appeal, not only helped to coordinate the training for multiple parishes, but also offered scholarships to lessen the financial burden of sending teachers to the training. Yes, there is a dollar sign attached to starting a new program, but that should never stand in the way of being able to offer our children these beautiful experiences.

Mini Story: Emily Luke & Jackie Hensel, St. Thomas More Newman Center, Mankato

4”x 6” version - Download

Text Only: The Newman Center attracts students who are all in different places on their faith journeys. Whether they were raised Catholic or have just started the process of joining the Catholic Church, all of the students here are searching for a deeper level of intimacy with God. By offering Bible studies, nationally-renowned speakers, pro-life ministries, and campus debates, the Newman Center provides a place for students to grow in their relationship with Jesus and fall in love with Him.

Supporting the Catholic Ministries Appeal and the Newman Center is important because this place has such a big impact on students' lives - an impact that will follow us into our future as parishioners in the diocese.

Mini Story: Fr. The Hoang, Pax Christi Parish, Rochester

4”x 6” version - Download

Text Only: By supporting the Catholic Ministries Appeal, you support programs that parishes need to stay strong - programs like RCIA, Marriage Preparation, Youth Ministries, and the Catholic Schools that so many of our young parishioners attend. Without the assistance from the Diocese of Winona-Rochester and the funding provided by the CMA, these ministries would not be able to function at the level we need them to function.

As we affirm that we are "One Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic church," we affirm that we are not just one parish, but a collection of parishes that work together toward a unified goal. Thinking on all the graces God has given, the jobs that we have, the ways we have been influenced by the programs offered by the Church, we are also called to think about the financial assistance we can give back.

Mini Story: Maggie Holm-Wachholz - Co-Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Rochester

4”x 6” version - Download

Text Only: One of the requirements to get married in our parish is to go on a marriage preparation retreat put on by the Diocese of Winona-Rochester. I had high expectations for the retreat, and it still blew me away - we loved it. We heard from a number of speakers convering a variety of topics and situations to prepare for in marriage. This program has helped me become grounded in what type of wife and mother I want to be.

By supporting the office of Life, Marriage & Family through the Catholic Ministries Appeal, we build stronger parishes and communities, with strong couples who raise piritually stronger children.

Mini Story: Randy Horlocker - Pax Christi Parish, Rochester

4”x 6” version - Download

Text Only: The heart of a deacon is to serve, and the Permanent Diaconate program provides candidates the opportunity to serve at the altar, in our parishes, and in our communities. As candidates, we deepen our knowledge of theology and philosophy through lectures and theology courses funded by the diocese. We share that knowledge with our parishes as we work toward becoming permanent deacons.

We are all very grateful for everyone who supports the Catholic Ministres Appeal to fund and encourage us in our studies.

Mini Story: Eric Klein - Men's Conference Participant

4”x 6” version - Download

Text Only: The moment I most look forward to when I attened the Men's Conference is during Mass when all the men are standing saying the Our Father together as one. There is something truly unique and special about spending a day in prayer with other men, even if only to reassure me that I am not the only one trying to live a life of faith.

Good things in life are worth investing in. Diocesan events such as this are worth that investment because they affect more than just the men in one specific parish. After connecting with and encouraging men from across the diocese, these men go back to their home parishes and share all that they have received, and they would not have had that experience if each parish only held their own conference.

Mini Story: Fr. Andrew Vogel, St. Thomas More Newman Center, Mankato

4”x 6” version - Download

Text Only: The students the Newman Center serves are at a corssroads in the their lives - away from home and making decisions, such as how best to spend their time. Here they have a place where they feel welcome and can join with like-minded students of their own age who are on fire for Jesus and love the Church. Once these students have graduated, they go back to their parishes wanting to be a part of the Church community, and not just for an hour on Sunday.

By supporting the Catholic Ministries Appeal and the Newman Center, we are raising up a generation of students who want to go back to their parish and contribute their enthusiasm and love for Jesus.

Mini Story: Jane Petrie - St. Joseph the Worker, Mankato

4”x 6” version - Download

Text Only: I used to be really involved with my parish, but recently I have not been able to be as involved, and getting to Mass each week is hard. But the TV Mass, supported by the Catholic Ministries Appeal, allows me to connect with both my parish and the greater Catholic Church.

Seeing the parishes through-out the dioceses and hearing from a number of priests, many of whom I recognize as my former pastors, is very nice. If I am up early enough, I watch it twice on the two stations where it is broadcast. Thank you to all who support the CMA for helping me to keep watching Mass.