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Let’s hear it for the nuns!

Let’s hear it for the nuns!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

6 Comments

When Mary Margaret Gefre’s boyfriend drove her to the train station in their small North Dakota town, the 19-year-old farm girl didn’t tell him where she was headed on that brisk December day, clutching a small bag containing a rosary, her childhood prayer book, a few dresses and a pair of shoes. She was bound [...]

Mercy in the city

Mercy in the city

Saturday, February 1, 2014

7 Comments

It’s 15 below with a wind chill of minus 39 when I arrive at the cathedral tonight. The holy water is partly frozen. Perched atop Summit Hill in St. Paul, Minn., the Cathedral of St. Paul is the mother church of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, a Vatican-appointed National Shrine of the apostle [...]

Winter’s wonder

Winter’s wonder

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

5 Comments

Just when you think you’ve seen everything – every lion hugging human, every shark-eluding seal – the World Wide Web churns out a picture that makes you stare. We process a barrage of images so glibly that it takes something special to keep us from skipping and scrolling right by. And yet here it was: [...]

Waiting for a baby

Sun, Dec 1, 2013

2 Comments

Waiting for a baby

For years folks told Mike and Maria Slavik that their blue colonial-style house looked like a Christmas card. Maria would be out mowing the lawn in the middle of July and someone would stop to say he loved the way it was decorated for the holidays. So they decided to make it into a card, [...]

Door-to-door evangelization

Fri, Nov 1, 2013

5 Comments

Door-to-door evangelization

Going door to door to tell strangers about Catholicism and his plan to become a priest had to be the most daunting assignment Neil Bakker had ever received. The 34-year-old from Austin, Minn., had never done anything like it – never gone door to door to sell coupon books or magazine subscriptions, let alone the [...]

The duty of delight

Mon, Jul 15, 2013

20 Comments

The duty of delight

Father Dave Korth’s dad had been declining for five years. That was the slow, haunting grip of dementia. The stories Leonard loved to tell had started to unravel. Something was missing from the hardy Nebraska farmer, so his wife and seven children began to wrap him in a patchwork of goodbyes. His early-morning death one [...]

Love, marriage & pizza delivery

Sat, Jun 15, 2013

17 Comments

Love, marriage & pizza delivery

It should come as no surprise that the story of how the Domino’s Pizza founder met his wife involves pizza. But indulge me in the details. It was a Monday night in early February, 1962, and the phones weren’t ringing at Tom Monaghan’s pizza store in Mount Pleasant, Mich., so the restless 24-year-old decided to [...]

The power of prayer

Wed, May 15, 2013

14 Comments

The power of prayer

A woman’s mind is like a teleprompter of to-dos that never stops turning. Unanswered email, unwritten thank-yous, unfolded laundry. Tupperware that needs to be washed and returned. Overdue RSVPs and expired milk. Empty gas tank, full memory card. Birthdays and deadlines, the personal and the professional knotted together beyond the point of repair. Which is [...]