Lent 2016

By Archbishop Michael Jackels
Witness Publisher

AB Jackels suit 600x743In last week’s issue of The Witness there was a reminder concerning the Church laws about abstaining from meat on Fridays of Lent and fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

Before I go any further, let me say that penance, like abstinence and fasting, is good and needed:

To express our sorrow for sins we committed and our purpose of amendment;
To satisfy justice, repairing the harm caused to the order of creation caused by the selfishness of our sins, and hopefully reducing the likelihood of future … Continue reading…

Couple tells story of dealing with infertility

Faith, NFP helped them conceive after years of struggle

By Jeff Keen
Special to The Witness

KeenFamilyWAVERLY — Our story starts in 2004. We were seniors in high school and, though we didn’t know each other, had both decided to attend a Teens Encounter Christ (TEC) weekend at St. Henry Parish in Marshalltown. Ashley and I hit it off on the first day and quickly became friends. We had a great TEC experience together but college in different places kept us from … Continue reading…

Understanding Catholic teaching on infertility

Treatments, NFP, moral boundaries are explained

By Jill Kruse
Witness Editorial Assistant

DUBUQUE — Infertility is one of the most heartbreaking experiences married couples can face. The church has great compassion for men and women who long for children but struggle to conceive. It encourages couples to try to find ways to overcome their infertility, but teaches that the methods used must protect the dignity of human life and respect God’s plan for married love.

Catholic teaching holds that human sexuality has two essential aspects … Continue reading…

Marian shrine in La Crosse draws faithful

Dubuque parish’s groups among its many visitors

By Dan Russo
Witness Editor

OLG TripLA CROSSE, Wis. — With pilgrimages being encouraged greatly during this Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, people have many options when deciding which holy sites to visit — whether that be the Holy Door at St. Raphael Cathedral in Dubuque or somewhere else in a foreign land.

But you don’t have to go to Rome or Lourdes to find a place as beautiful as many of the most famous shrines in the … Continue reading…

Experiencing the power of pilgrimage

Cathedral parish is accepting pilgrims for Year of Mercy

By Dan Russo
Witness Editor

DSC_0298DUBUQUE — With the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy going into its second month, grace has been flowing to people from around the archdiocese who have elected to embark on a holy journey to St. Raphael’s Cathedral, the mother church of the archdiocese, in Dubuque.

A pilgrimage is one of the practices recommended by Pope Francis during this special year. The cathedral contains the official “Door of Mercy” for … Continue reading…

Catholic Schools Week 2016

AB Jackels suit 600x743Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Dubuque serve a very important role in the faith formation of students. They not only offer Religion as an academic class, but gospel values are infused throughout the curriculum and service activities.

At an opening school mass in the Archdiocese, I was struck with the local tradition of high school seniors in the procession, each holding the hand of a kindergartner. The older students were there to help, guide, and be a role model for the younger ones. What a great metaphor for what … Continue reading…

Storm adds drama to March for Life trip

Catholics from Iowa among those stranded on road

By Dan Russo and Jill Kruse
Witness Staff

IMG_1680CASCADE — After protesting for the sake of unborn children in this year’s March for Life Jan. 22 five bus loads of people from around the Archdiocese of Dubuque — many of whom came from Catholic schools and parishes — were among those stranded on a Pennsylvania turnpike because of a massive snowstorm.

Despite over 20 hours on the roadside, those who made the trip came back energized for … Continue reading…

LaSalle musicals inspire students, audiences

Many elements come together in theater experience

By Jill Kruse
Witness Editorial Assistant

AnnieCEDAR RAPIDS — To turn a middle school student into a “teacup, an evil octopus or a long-necked giraffe,” all it takes, according to Barb DeMeulenaere, is the right combination of fabric and everyday objects, along with a healthy dose of “outside the box” thinking. DeMeulenaere has created costumes for musical productions at LaSalle Middle School and Holy Family Catholic Schools in Cedar Rapids for the last 23 years, … Continue reading…

Appreciation Mass draws scouts to cathedral

By Dan Russo
Witness Editor

DSC_0254_2DUBUQUE — Dozens of Boy Scouts from around the archdiocese gathered for an appreciation Mass recently where they were presented with several types of religious emblems, earned after learning about and living out their faith.

The liturgy, concelebrated by Archbishop Michael Jackels and Father Dwayne Thoman, pastor of Holy Spirit Parish in Dubuque, took place at St. Raphael Cathedral.

Dressed in full uniform, scouts of different ages and levels and their families processed in to begin the Jan. 24 … Continue reading…

Local churches, schools among caucus sites

Beckman Catholic H.S. students use opportunity to learn

By Jill Kruse
Witness Editorial Assistant

IowaCaucusDYERSVILLE —On the evening of Feb. 1, Iowans will brave the cold, the snow and whatever else winter may throw at them, to support the presidential candidate of their choice and to participate in the state’s first-in-the-nation caucuses. The Iowa caucuses, different from primaries, in which individuals go to a polling place, cast a ballot and quickly leave, are instead more like meetings, where people gather together with their neighbors … Continue reading…