Cedar Rapids group visits European holy places

By Michelle Tressel
Special to The Witness

IMG_1966CEDAR RAPIDS — A group of 30 parishioners, family and friends from St. Jude Parish, Cedar Rapids listened to the first reading at Mass on the first Wednesday in Advent, and our ears perked up when we heard “On this mountain the LORD of hosts will provide for all peoples…” for we were on the first day of our trip in the Alpine countries. Although mountains are mentioned numerous times in scripture and signify an encounter with God, we … Continue reading…

Six local sisters honor legacy of martyred churchwomen

Visit El Salvador with delegation 35 years after murders

By Rhonda Miska
Special to The Witness

MassatGuarjilaDUBUQUE — “It’s like those four women just died last week. Their memory is so fresh and deep,” marveled Franciscan Sister Charlotte Enright, OSF. “Their spirit is so alive.”

Enright joined five other sisters from Dubuque-area congregations – Franciscan Judy Sinnwell, Sinsinawa Dominicans Mary Howard Johnstone and Pam Mitchell, and Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Paulette Skiba and Carolyn Farrell – on a delegation to El … Continue reading…

Christmas Vigil Mass

Robert Pailthorpe – Elberon

After I converted to Catholicism back in 1984, my mother (a Baptist) promised me that one day she would attend a Mass with me. While home on holiday leave from the Navy, I finally decided to take mom up on her offer and the two of us set off to the Christmas Vigil Mass. She sat mesmerized watching the incense rise, listening to the choir and watching the beauty of the liturgy. At the end of Mass, she turned to me and said, “That was beautiful!” We hugged and she whispered in my ear, “Merry Christmas son.” … Continue reading…

Our Daughter Cora

Rahni Kay Haverland – Cuba City, Wisconsin

It’s Christmastime again. Although it is that time of year again, it is different than past years. This is our second Christmas season with Cora. God sent us Cora, our daughter, without us asking for her. I laugh now, and remember the saying, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” We were very content being an aunt and uncle, as we had many family members with children. But obviously God had His own plan. We are now Mom and Dad to our little girl. She has completely changed our lives … Continue reading…

Archbishop’s Christmas Message 2015

AB Jackels suit 600x743In Jesus

The Father’s mercy has a human face

A voice that pardons and a hand that serves

A body to be laid down in sacrifice

And so, Merry Christmas!

In Jesus’ followers

His mission of mercy continues

In the ministries of the Church

In works of mercy by each of us

As a consequence, Happy New Year!


This story is provided courtesy of The Witness, the official publication of the Archdiocese of Dubuque.

Bethlehem today: life in the birthplace of Christ

Event at cathedral focuses on current events in Holy Land

By Jill Kruse
Witness Editorial Assistant

DSC_0134DUBUQUE — “Jesus wept.” This message can be found on the graffiti-covered concrete that makes up part of the barrier wall dividing the West Bank from Israel. A photograph of these spray-painted words were shared during the presentation “O Little Town of Bethlehem: Birthplace of Christ Today,” held at the Cathedral of Saint Raphael in Dubuque on the evening of Dec. 10. Speakers were Dr. John Eby, a … Continue reading…

A local perspective on the Syrian refugee crisis

By Jill Kruse
Witness Editorial Assistant

13 step vetting processDUBUQUE — More than four million Syrians have fled their country in recent years as a result of the civil war taking place there and the rise of the Islamic State, commonly known as ISIS. Most of these refugees have gone to neighboring countries, such as Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt, while others have continued on to Europe. In response to this growing humanitarian crisis, the U.S. and other nations around the world have agreed … Continue reading…

Door of Mercy opens at Cathedral of St. Raphael

Archdiocese marks the start of a Jubilee Year of Mercy

By Dan Russo
Witness Editor

DSC_0165DUBUQUE — A challenge was laid down soon after a procession, including Archbishop Michael Jackels, several deacons, priests and lay people, walked through the official “Door of Mercy” for the Archdiocese of Dubuque: Can a year dedicated to God’s mercy lead to a “revolution of tenderness”?

“We shall enter and give thanks to the Lord,” said the archbishop as he prayed during the opening of the door Dec. 13. “This … Continue reading…

Angel of Hope service at Xavier

20151206_185537_LLCEDAR RAPIDS — About 350 people gathered at the Angel of Hope statue on the campus of Xavier Catholic High School Dec. 6 to remember children who have died and pray for them.

This year marked the second time the vigil has taken place since the statue was placed on the campus in 2014 after a major fundraising effort initiated by graduate Kylie DeWees. The statue is based on “The Christmas Box,” a book by Richard Paul Evans. In the book, a parent who has … Continue reading…

Regis Mock Trial Team wins state championship

Students contribute to legacy at Cedar Rapids school

By Dan Russo
Witness Editor

State Mock Trial 015CEDAR RAPIDS — It was a make or break moment for Grace Frazier as she sat on the witness stand being cross examined during Iowa’s Mock Trial middle school state championship recently. A lawyer from the opposing team attempted to “impeach” her — a legal tactic wherein an attorney challenges the truthfulness of a witness’ testimony using past statements which are allegedly inconsistent.

The Regis Catholic Middle School student knew the … Continue reading…