Reformation events around the diocese


On Oct. 29, Pastor Paul Shumaker and Pastor Adam Butler from Paynesville Lutheran Church joined Father Glenn Krystosek at the 9:30 a.m. Mass at St. Louis Church in Paynesville to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the start of the Reformation.

Pastor Butler and Father Krystosek shared introductory prayers and a final blessing at the end of the Mass. Pastor Shumaker gave a reflection.

Father Krystosek then participated at the 10:30 a.m. service at Paynesville Lutheran Church, sharing the same prayers.

— Submitted by Father Glenn Krystosek, pastor of St. Louis, Paynesville; St. Agnes, Roscoe; and St. Margaret, Lake Henry

Little Falls

About 150 people filled the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls’ Sacred Heart Chapel for a special prayer service commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Father Joe Herzing and [Lutheran] Pastor Jake Dyrhaug presided and Rev. Hank French offered a reflection. The liturgy and music were beautiful, and the anthem “One Song” by the St. Francis Community Chorale was perfect for the occasion. Rick Dietz initiated this ecumenical effort between the Franciscan Sisters and local Lutheran and Catholic churches.

“Through mutual study, prayer and guidance of the Holy Spirit, we have come to appreciate that as Christians we have grown in our mutual appreciation of our common baptism and commitment to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” said Franciscan Sister Clara Stang.

“It is with joy and thanksgiving that we now come to recognize that what unites us is far greater than what divides us,” she said. “We now celebrate and give thanks for our mutual witness of faith in the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is important and a joy to witness together the mercy of God and our commitment to service to the world.”

— Submitted by Elizabeth Rydeen, director of community relations, Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls


A group of Lutherans and Catholics from Princeton and Zimmerman traveled by bus to the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis to attend a concert by the National Lutheran Choir on Oct. 27. With the arrival of new Lutheran pastors in town, we were looking for some way to commemorate the Reformation. We decided to have some events that were fun and social as well as educational to mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. We look forward to holding an educational event in February.

— Submitted by Molly Weyrens, pastoral associate, Christ Our Light in Princeton and Zimmerman

St. Joseph

To commemorate the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, on Sept. 9, the Sisters of St. Benedict hosted an ecumenical event, “Here We Stand: Reforming Anew,” aimed at exploring questions such as: Where do Catholics and Lutherans now stand in relation to each other? Can we stand in unity in proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Can we work together for justice, nonviolence, mercy and hospitality in a world hungry for these Gospel values? In other words, to what new reformation do our churches and our world call us?

Kathryn Johnson, director for ecumenical and inter-religious relations for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, guided the discussion and gave the keynote address, “What Difference Does This Anniversary Make?” Benedictine Abbot John Klassen of St. John’s Abbey responded, reflecting on the gifts of the spirit to both religious traditions. Bishop Donald Kettler of St. Cloud and Bishop Jon Anderson of the Southwest Minnesota Synod of the ELCA opened and closed the day with prayer.

— Submitted by Benedictine Sister Karen Rose, communications director, St. Benedict’s Monastery, St. Joseph


A joint evening of fellowship and prayer took place Oct. 15 between Sacred Heart Church in Staples, St. Michael Church in Motley and Faith Lutheran Church in Staples. The event included a potluck meal followed by a celebration of “Holden Evening Prayer,” a form of vespers composed by Marty Haugen.

This event was held in recognition of the common faith elements that unite us as “Children of God,” but acknowledges there are differences in our various traditions. In some ways, we are following Pope Francis’ encouragement of a year ago at the ecumenical prayer service at the Lutheran Cathedral of Lund in Sweden to join in prayer with our Lutheran friends to acknowledge the 500th anniversary of the efforts of Martin Luther to bring a renewal to the church.

— Submitted by Father Joe Korf, pastor of Sacred Heart in Staples and St. Michael in Motley

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