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y Sam Patet The Prairie Catholic Minnesota’s Most Rural Diocese Diocese of New Ulm Vol. 26 No. 9 May 2012 SLEEPY EYE – Five years of hard work have finally paid off. On Saturday, April 21, Bishop John M. LeVoir ordained 11 men to the permanent diaconate at the Church of St. Mary in Sleepy Eye. He couldn’t be more pleased. “I’ve gotten to know these candidates and their families over the years,” Bishop LeVoir said in his homily, “and it’s certainly a privilege for me to be here today to ordain these men to the diaconate.” In November 2006, Archbishop (then-Bishop) John C. Nienstedt announced that the Diocese of New So that we can provide timely coverage of the June 30 priestly ordination of New Ulm seminarian Deacon Aaron Johanneck, there will be a July edition of “The Prairie Catholic” in place of the June edition. Ulm would be starting a permanent diaconate formation program. Its funding would come from the Diocesan Ministries Appeal. Twelve men entered the five-year program in the fall of 2007. Today, with the loss of two men and the addition of one, 11 new deacons are ready to serve. Deacon Mark Kober, director of the permanent diaconate program, said it took a lot of dedication for these men to finish. “We’ve just got wonderful people, wonderful family guys that are overachievers,” he said. by Sam Patet The Prairie Catholic NEW ULM – On Saturday night, April 7, Darla Ramirez of Browton did something she had been dreaming about since high school: She became a Catholic at the Church of St. Anastasia’s Easter Vigil liturgy. The 25-year-old is glad she finally took the plunge. “I’m extremely happy that I’m Catholic, probably the happiest I’ve ever been,” Ramirez said. “I feel like I should have done this a long time ago.” The Easter Vigil is the most important celebration of the Church year because it commemorates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. At this liturgy, non-Catholic adults enter the Church through some or all of the sacraments of initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist. This year, 47 adults in the Diocese of New Ulm became Catholic. The Prairie Catholic • Page 1 • May 2011 (photo by Ivan Rojas Photography) Priest of diocese turns 100! In April, Fr. Stephen Adrian celebrated his 100th birthday surrounded by friends and family. (read more page 5) Over 900 on hand to witness ordination of 11 men to the permanent diaconate NOTICE to our readers Visit us online! www.dnu.org (continued on page 6) Forty-seven from diocese enter the Church at the Easter Vigil Darla Ramirez (left) meets with St. Anastasia RCIA instructor Sr. Lucille Haas as part of the process of becoming Catholic. (photo by Sam Patet) There’s no place like home Ramirez was baptized in the Catholic Church as a baby, but she grew up attending different Christian churches. When she was in the eighth grade, her family converted to the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and she started attending (photo by Sam Patet) Eleven men were ordained April 21 to the permanent diaconate by Bishop John M. LeVoir. Pictured, front row (l-r): Deacon Ken Stalboerger, Deacon Michael McKeown, Deacon Roger Osborne, Deacon Michael Thoennes, currently serving Holy Trinity, Winsted and St. Mary’s, Waverly. Middle row: Deacon Robert Reitsma, Deacon Timothy Dolan, Deacon John Hansen, Deacon Steven Spilman, Deacon Mark Kober, diocesan director of the permanent diaconate. Back row: Deacon Rick Christiansen, Deacon Jim Guldan, Bishop John M. LeVoir, Deacon Jason Myhre, and Deacon Paul Treinen. Maplewood Academy, a Seventhday Adventist boarding school in Hutchinson. One experience, Ramirez said, that inspired her to consider the Catholic faith happened her junior year of high school. Maplewood Academy’s choir travelled to the Cathedral of St. Paul (St. Paul, Minn.) to sing. While her classmates flicked holy water at one another, Ramirez couldn’t help but bask in the cathedral’s beauty. What touched her heart the most, though – even more than the cathedral’s beauty – was experiencing the presence of God. “I also felt a sense of, like, a sense of (continued on page 10)

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