Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Heads of Two Dioceses Meet to Address Pro-Life Issues

Archbishop John Nienstedt of the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis and Bishop John Quinn of the Diocese of Winona will join forces at 7 p.m. on Sunday, March 20, 2011, to address a spectrum of pro-life issues. The joint address will be held at Divine Mercy Catholic Church in Faribault, Minn., a central location for many of the bishops’ faithful.

The title of the bishops’ talk is “The Sacredness of Human Life from Beginning to End.” Bishop John M. Quinn will address the important and foundational issue of the dignity of every human being from the first moment of conception. In order to build a culture of life, the most vulnerable must be protected, who are the unborn children. To be a truly compassionate and just society that reaches out to the poor and the hungry and seeks to provide employment for workers, that compassion and justice begins with seeing and respecting the unborn children in the womb of mothers. Archbishop John Nienstedt will address end of life issues and how to live out the Christian call to respect and care for the sick and dying.This presentation is a collaboration of the Respect Life Groups of South Central MN (Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis) and The Call to Be Catholic Speaker Series of Owatonna (Diocese of Winona). The goal of both groups is to work across parish boundaries to promote knowledge and understanding of the Church’s teaching on life issues, and to thereby motivate and inspire Catholics and other Christians to actively work for a culture of life.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has identified a long list of “Life Issues” dealing with threats to innocent life that are always morally unjustifiable and intrinsically evil. These issues include abortion, human cloning, fetal research, fetal stem cell research, euthanasia, partial birth abortion and the culture of death in general. The bishops from two of Minnesota’s dioceses are well-prepared to address several of these issues in their presentation.

Archbishop John C. Nienstedt was ordained to the priesthood in1974. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Sacred Heart Major Seminary; a Bachelor of Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University; and a Licentiate and Doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Institute of Saint Alphonsus, Rome. His doctoral topic was “Human Life in a Test-tube: the Moral Dimension of In Vitro Fertilization and Embryo Transfer.”

On June 12, 1996, Pope John Paul II named Archbishop Nienstedt an Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit. In 2001, Pope John Paul II named Archbishop Nienstedt the third bishop of the Diocese of New Ulm, and on April 24, 2007, Pope Benedict XVI named him the Coadjutor Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis and Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of New Ulm. In 2008, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.

Bishop John M. Quinn was ordained to the priesthood on March 17, 1972. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit; a Master of Divinity from St. John’s Provincial Seminary, Plymouth; and a Masters in religious studies and Masters in systemic theology from the University of Detroit/Mercy. He also has done graduate work in religious studies at the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.

Bishop Quinn has held a variety of parish and administrative assignments, including serving as director of the Education Department of the Archdiocese of Detroit and as the Cardinal’s delegate to Sacred Heart Major Seminary. He was an adjunct member of the faculty there for twenty years and a part-time spiritual director. Bishop Quinn was designated a Prelate of Honor with the title of Monsignor by His Holiness Pope John Paul II in 1990.

Bishop Quinn was ordained as the twenty-third Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit on August 12, 2003. In October 2008, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI named Bishop Quinn as coadjutor and eighth bishop of the Diocese of Winona, which comprises twenty counties in the southern part of Minnesota with a population of 131,000 Catholics in 114 parishes. The bishops’ presentation is fifth in the Culture of Life series. The kickoff speaker, New York Times bestselling author and television host Raymond Arroyo, drew a crowd of nearly 800 people to Divine Mercy Church in Faribault. Nationally respected bioethicist Fr. Tad Pacholczyk spoke in April 2010 on the science and ethics of stem cells and cloning, and Cardinal Raymond Burke, who heads the highest court in the Catholic Church, spoke to more than 1,000 people last August. Former KSTP news anchor Kalley Yanta was the most recent speaker in October 2010.

The presentation is free and all are welcome. Free-will offerings are accepted and appreciated. Digital images of the speakers are available upon request. For more information, contact Dr. Richard Weiland at 507-645-2633 or Anne Fredrickson at 507-645-2348.

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