Putting the Last First - Syrian Refugee Relief

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Thursday, November 8, 7:00 - 8:30 PM, Dining room
For 30 years, Questscope has walked alongside young people whose lives are ravaged by war and poverty. They provide emergency assistance, alternative education, and mentorship. And places to bloom again where hope is possible. In the current crisis inside Syria, Questcope supports over two million people who have been made homeless (internally displaced) by this conflict. Through local partnerships a network of 4,000 staff and volunteers supply food, medicine, water/sanitation, and shelter in 100 locations across Syria. They also provide psychosocial counseling, protection care for the most vulnerable, and education for out-of-school children.

Our Lady of Grace has also partnered with Questscope. OLG and The Minnesota Orchestra have had two benefit concerts raising over $150,000 for Syrian relief. What difference has that made? Come, join us Thursday night Nov 8th and find out. Light refreshments.

Voting Resources

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Melissa Miller, Director of Community Life & Social Justice

Questions for Reflection

The “mid-term” election is coming quickly and, if you’re like me, perhaps not quickly enough. I’m tired of the incessant campaign ads, emails clogging my inbox, as well as the negativity and mud-slinging from candidates. So I was particularly happy to see some thought-provoking questions and information from leaders of the Catholic Church. Not all of these questions have answers, and not all the answers that are provided are perfect, but all the questions are valuable and worth consideration. I thank the Minnesota Catholic Conference for them.

  • As people of faith who believe that every life is unique and sacred, we need to know where the candidates stand on abortion and assisted suicide. Does the candidate support contracts for gestational surrogacy? Does the candidate support access to affordable health care and housing? Does the candidate support social and economic policies that encourage economic participation and the payment of a living wage?

  • Here at OLG we understand that education changes lives, and that access to quality education is important for every child. Does the candidate support legislation that would provide a tax credit for donations to scholarship-granting organizations?

  • Pollution is threatening our clean water. Does the candidate support legislation to lean up and protect our state’s water resources?

  • Does the candidate support religious freedom—not just the right to practice one’s faith, but the ability of that faith to operate and serve the general public in a manner consistent with the tenets of that faith?

These are just a few of the many issues that affect people of faith. Please think about these questions as you prepare to vote. Please do vote and vote your values. Something to think about.

Election Novena

When I’m discouraged by the vitriol, irritated by the exaggerations, angered by the blatant lies and when those negative emotions threaten to overwhelm me, I turn to prayer.

I’m especially grateful that the USCCB has published an election novena filled with prayers and practical suggestions. I share the first six days of it here (the last three days coming soon) and encourage you to pray it prior the election:

Day 1: Pray for religious liberty for all, that we may practice our respective faiths and serve the poor and vulnerable fully.

Heavenly Father, you created us to love and serve you in everything we do. Please help us support candidates who will protect the rights of citizens to worship and fully practice their faith. Amen.

Day 2: Pray about life, bioethics and that the US support a culture of life that values life from conception through natural death, recognizing that each of us is a unique, beloved child of God.

Heavenly Father, may we elect candidates who have a profound reverence for the sanctity of human life. Amen.

Day 3: Pray for the poor and vulnerable. Jesus tells us that we must care for those on the margins of society and strive to build a more just world.

Heavenly Father, You are present in the “least of these.” Please help us elect officials who will support policies that complement our own individual efforts to care for the poor and vulnerable. Amen.

Day 4: Care for creation is a moral issue. Protecting the land, water and air we share is part of the religious duty of stewardship.

Heavenly Father, may we elect leaders who pursue policies that respect the gift of creation and ensure its bounty is available to all, now and in the future. Amen.

Day 5: Labor and economy assessed according to whether they protect or undermine the dignity of the human person.

Heavenly Father, Help us to elect officials who recognize the dignity of work, and are committed to just economic policies. Amen.

Day 6: Marriage and family life. Families are essential to healthy societies. We need policies that support families, such as parenting leave, and leave to care for an ill family member.

Lord God, help us to discern and support elected officials who will support the integrity of the family through public policy. Amen.

Day 7: Pray for immigration reform. Reform should provide a pathway to citizenship for immigrants and prioritize family reunification, while addressing the root causes of migration and maintaining the right and responsibility of nations to control their borders.

Christ Jesus, you call upon us to welcome the stranger in our midst. May we elect officials who pursue policies that recognize the dignity of all migrants. Amen.

Day 8: Pray for access to quality education for all young people, including those who are poor and those with disabilities. Government policy should help provide options for parents, especially those of modest means, to exercise this right. All persons have the right to receive a quality education and to be given the opportunity to develop intellectually, morally, spiritually, and physically, allowing them to become responsible citizens.

God the Father, you ask all parents to lead their children on the path of wisdom. Help us to discern and elect candidates who will support parents in this important vocation. Amen.

Day 9: Pray for affordable and accessible health care for all. The nation’s health care system needs to be rooted in values that respect human dignity, protect human life, respect the principle of subsidiarity, and meet the needs of the poor and the vulnerable. Employers should be able to provide health care without compromising their convictions, and individuals should be able to purchase health care that accords to their faith.

Heavenly Father, you desire that all your children are adequately cared for. Guide our election day decisions so that we might choose leaders who are committed to ethical care for all. Amen.

Complete Election Novena. This wonderful novena includes prayers and questions to ponder along with video snippets from Archbishop Hebda, Bishop Cozzens and other US bishops.

Additional Resources

As the midterm elections approach, here are some guidelines for voting:

Find a Place to Vote

Polling Place Finder
League of Women Voters

Vote Your Conscience

For information on voting your conscience, you can visit the Minnesota Catholic Conference website which has great resources to form consciences, inform votes, and transform our state, including a candidate questionnaire. They have thoughtful articles and links to upcoming ways to make your voice hear in state politics such as “Catholics at the Capitol” on February 19, 2019 where you will have the opportunity to hear inspiring speakers and meet your legislator.

Annual Report 2017 - 2018

Please find below a downloadable version of the 2016-2017 Our Lady of Grace Parish Annual Report. In the words of Fr. Kevin, “Let the reading of our Annual Report inspire you to deeper gratitude for how our parish carries out the mission of making Jesus Christ known and loved. Let our Annual Report be a way to ponder how you and your family might serve within our parish community.”

Download

To download a copy of the 2016-2017 Annual Report click the image on the right or click here.

Birth Mother's Retreat

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Saturday, October 27, 9:00 - 1:00 PM, Cassidy Hall
OLG is hosting an annual retreat for women who have given up a child for adoption. The retreat includes a talk by a therapist, prayer service, an opportunity for the Sacrament of Reconciliation as well as continental breakfast and lunch. Cost $15. Scholarships available. Contact Melissa Miller at melissamiller@olgparish.org or in the Parish Office (x9040) for more information.

Respect Life Sunday

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The USCCB has designated October 7 as Respect Life Sunday. Quite often the focus of the Church’s respect life activities is opposition to abortion. That is a very good place to start. But we need to be clear that pro-life activities cannot stop there.

To be truly pro-life we must feed, clothe, house and educate children after birth. We need to be certain that they have access to healthcare, grow up in an area free from violence, and that they have jobs that pay them living wages. In other words, being pro-life means believing and acting as if every child born is a beloved child of God and entitled to dignity.

I think that dignity is especially important also as one approaches the end of life. Those who are frail or elderly still benefit from love and companionship. They continue to deserve good medical care, including pain relief.

Our Lady of Grace is a profoundly pro-life parish. We believe that each person is a unique gift from God to be loved and cared for as the unrepeatable individual he or she is. If this statement resonates with you, the Dignity of Life Committee invites you to join us as we work to support families, from crisis pregnancies to the elderly. Our next meeting is Tuesday, October 9 from 6:00 - 7:00 PM in the Parish Office. If you’re not a ”joiner”, consider buying diapers, writing an elected official or saying a rosary for the end of abortion. Something to think about.

Melissa Miller, Director of Community Life & Social Justice

San Max Movie Night

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Thursday, September 13, 7:00 PM, OLG Dining Room
Join the San Max Sister Parish Committee for a Movie Night featuring "Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe" a documentary by the Servant Brothers of the Home of the Mother. Free light hospitality available. Please RSVP to Patricia Mudoy at 612-559-7294.

RISE and SHINE Breakfast

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The RISE & SHINE Benefit Breakfast has a mission to raise funds for scholarships serving underprivileged students in Ghana, helping them to receive an education.


Event Hosts

Honorary Chairs
Mary Lynn & Warren Staley

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Our Lady of Grace - sister parish to St. Joseph parish
in Ghana and sister school to OLG Senior High
School Ghana, Africa

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Belinda obtained her AMS Seal of Approval for broadcast meteorology and has worked for the National Weather Service. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin at Madison with a Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology.

She has also done graduate work in secondary education through the University of Utah. She enjoys serving her community through involvement in the schools, trying to involve students, particularly girls, in science.

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Kate is the Founder and CEO of House of Talents, established in 2009. Originally from Ghana, West Africa, Kate taught herself how to read at the age of ten and dedicated her youth to achieving a sound educational foundation. With financial support, she was able to advance her education, finally earning a degree in Economics from the University of Ghana, Legon. Kate’s integrity, energy, and persistence led her to build a successful early career in business consulting and luxury resort management in Ghana.

Kate met her future husband, Phil, an American working with the Peace Corps in Ghana, and ultimately moved to Minneapolis, MN. She and Phil became parents to their three wonderful sons.

Ever since departing Ghana, Kate has had the desire to provide opportunity to others in need, as others have for her. In fact, a growing ambition to help her peers gained focus through her pursuit of a Master’s Degree in Business Administration at the University of St. Thomas. There, with the help of her professors and classmates, she developed the concept for House of Talents.

After completing her MBA in 2009, she finally brought her dream to fruition, founding her new enterprise immediately after graduating. Kate hopes that through the House of Talents mission her journey will come full-circle as those with whom she partners will in turn lend a hand to others they encounter in life as well.


Commitments

Table Host - $250
Mission Supporter Sponsor - $1,000
Mission Champion Sponsor - $5,000

RSVP

By Friday, September 7th by check to:
Our Lady of Grace
Attn: Kara Souther / Alison James
5071 Eden Ave. Edina, MN 55436
or online at: one.bidpal.net/riseandshine2018

Feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe

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Tuesday, August 14
Join in solidarity with members of San Max, our Honduran sister parish, and celebrate the Feast of St. Maximillian Kolbe. Members of San Max will attend a special Mass that day, pray rosaries, novenas and especially for prisoners, drug addicts, the sick, family unity, justice and peace.

Gathering of Hearts and Minds for San Max

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Thursday, August 2, 7:00 - 9:00 PM

The San Max Sister Parish Committee we would like to invite you to join us to talk about how to deepen our involvement with our sister parish.  This will be an informal gathering at the home of Carlos Alfonzo and Patricia Mudoy (5533 Malibu Drive, Edina).  We’ll get to know one another, spend some time brainstorming about how to deepen the connection, and talk about the planned trip to Edina by a group from San Max  as well as our next Mission Trip to San Max.  We hope you can join us, but if you can’t we ask that you pray for the success of our sister parish relationship.

Please RSVP by July 28 to Patricia Mudoy at alfonzo.mudoy@gmail.com.  If you have any questions, contact Melissa Miller in the Parish Office (x111).