Respecting life in all aspects

By Archbishop Michael Jackels
Witness Publisher

AB Jackels suit 600x743Not long ago I was driving down the highway, when a car with pro-life bumper stickers went speed­ing by, way past the limit. Maybe the driver had a reason for speeding; who am I to judge? But if there was no justification other than “I want to,” and if the driver will not slow down, then at the very least the bumper stickers should be removed. Why?

Because the behavior – exceeding the speed limit – contradicts the message of the bumper stickers, even holds it … Continue reading…

Beckman teacher authors new book on contraception, NFP

By Dan Russo
Witness Editor

BSOC coverDYERSVILLE — It’s the elephant in the room, or rather, in the bedroom, whenever Catholics discuss sex — contraception. The church has held firm in its condemnation of contraception and other forms of artificial birth control. Instead, the church advocates the use of Natural Family Planning (NFP), a method that tracks natural signs of fertility to postpone or achieve pregnancy.

Despite the official teaching of the magisterium, a majority of Catholics today re­ject the church’s position on contraception, a … Continue reading…

Military aims to identify chaplain’s remains

World War II Navy hero was a priest in the archdiocese

By Jill Kruse
Witness Editorial Assistant

DSC_0221DUBUQUE — Just three days after his 32nd birthday, Father Aloysius Schmitt, a native of St. Lucas, Iowa, and chaplain in the U.S. Navy, was killed aboard the battleship the USS Oklahoma during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Now, nearly 75 years after his death on that infamous December day, new efforts are underway to identify Father Schmitt’s remains and bring them home to … Continue reading…

Midwest March for Life draws crowd

By Kelly Mescher Collins
Special to The Witness

IMG_2183DES MOINES — The bitterly cold weather didn’t stop hundreds of Iowans from attending the annual Midwest March for Life on Saturday, Jan. 16.

The day started off with Mass celebrated by Archbishop Michael Jackels of the Archdiocese of Dubuque with Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines, Bishop Martin Amos of Davenport and Bishop Walker Nickless of Sioux City.

During his homily, Archbishop Jackels emphasized the need for well-rounded pro-lifers, who care not just for the unborn, but … Continue reading…

Sister Water Project gives drink to the thirsty

Franciscan charity embodies Corporal Work of Mercy

By Jill Kruse
Witness Editorial Assistant

Africa1DUBUQUE — When a friend told her about a service trip to Honduras in 2008, Sheri Hosek, a member of Resurrection Parish in Dubuque, knew she wanted to be part of it. She had been searching for some new way to live out her passion for social justice, and a trip with the Sisters of Saint Francis of Dubuque to help provide villages in Central America with access to clean water sounded like … Continue reading…

Drops in the bucket at Spires of Faith Cluster help Haiti

Collection to aid clean water project

By Jill Kruse
Witness Editorial Assistant

People wash clothes in Haiti riverDYERSVILLE — As part of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, the Archdiocese of Dubuque has designated seven weeks throughout 2016 to be “work weeks,” in which parishes are asked to perform a service project specific to one of the Corporal Works of Mercy. The first work week begins Sunday, Jan. 17, and for it, the Spires of Faith Cluster has organized a service project that will give parishioners the … Continue reading…

After years in ministry, retired brother needs kidney transplant

By Dan Russo
Witness Editor

DSC_0199BALLTOWN — After a long and fruitful ministry of serving others in the education field and at the parish level, Brother Stephen William Markham, a consecrated religious, is back in the community where he grew up. Now retired at age 72 due to health issues, he is in need of a kidney.

“It’s good to be back in this area,” said Brother Stephen of returning to live in the Rickardsville/Balltown section of the Archdiocese of Dubuque.

Brother Stephen is now again a member of the St. LaSalle Pastorate, a group of … Continue reading…

Praying for and working toward Christian unity

Ministerium: an example of unity for today’s world

By Dan Russo
Witness Editor

DSC_0200DUBUQUE — This year, Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 18) coincides with the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Jan. 18-25); an annual event wherein members of many Christian denominations ask God to help bridge divides spiritually and in the practical sense.

Catholics have been working with Christians of other churches for generations — including during the civil rights movement of the 1950s-60s. During this period, Rev. King, a Baptist minister, … Continue reading…

Woman raised in New Hampton to speak at National March for Life

Former writer for Cosmo converted to Catholicism at 57

By Jill Kruse
Witness Editorial Assistant


DUBUQUE — As a freelance writer for the well-known magazine Cosmopolitan, Sue Ellen Browder spent many years promoting casual sex, artificial contraception and abortion to America’s single women. This January, Browder, whose views on abortion changed dramatically after becoming Catholic in 2003, will be one of the speakers at the 43rd annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. In an interview with The Witness this past October, Browder discussed her life, … Continue reading…

A letter to Elin Faith: reflecting on baptism

View this week’s -Scripture readings at: http://www.usccb.-org/bible/readings/092715.cfm

IMG_6813Dearest Elin Faith,

Last Sunday you were dressed in a long white gown with satin, lace and pearls. Water was poured, oil smeared and words spoken: “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

You have become God’s beloved daughter—an identity granting you the highest dignity and the greatest beauty. I pray you will claim your identity each day for the rest of your life. I pray you … Continue reading…