Local/National Faith Briefs

Catholic Daughters to meet Monday at Holy Redeemer

The Catholic Daughters of Americas will have its monthly meeting Monday following the 5:30 pm. Mass at Holy Redeemer Church. The “Installation of Officers” and a reception for new members will take place in Carlin Hall. Lunch co-chairs are Lois Henkel and Gin Windey. The public is welcome.

Widowed, divorced or separated weekend retreat is Oct. 5-7

Beginning Experience of SW MN is offering a weekend retreat that provides an individual with the opportunity to encounter self and to grow with a purpose to achieve inner peace. The experience is to help close the door gently on the past and move on with renewed hope and purpose. The weekend retreat will be Oct. 5-7 at Shetek Lutheran Ministries. Deadline for registrations is Sept. 28. Email swmnbe@gmail.com or call/text MaryAnn at 507-828-2866 or Laurie at 507-829-6692.

Fall rally is Sunday at Living Word

Living Word Church will have its fall rally Sunday. Coffee fellowship is at 8:30 a.m., and worship service starts at 9:30 a.m. Students are asked to bring their backpacks labeled with their name to the sanctuary steps prior to worship. All children pre-K through 12th grade are encouraged to participate in the school backpack blessing. A lunch will take place for a suggested donation of $5. A carnival will take place for children pre-K through sixth grade.

Former Iowa church to become homeless shelter for women

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) — A former church in the Fort Dodge area is being turned into a homeless shelter for women and children in six central Iowa counties.

The former St. John’s Lutheran Church in rural Webster County will become the home of the nonprofit Lotus Community Project, The Messenger reported. The nonprofit offers housing, support and resources to women and children in need.

Iowa District West, a part of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, has donated the property. The district took control of the church after it closed last year.

“We were asked that it be repurposed for a good use or have it torn down,” said the Rev. Steve Turner of Iowa District West. “We can’t think of a better way to repurpose this structure.”

Renovations costing about $105,000 will need to be completed before the shelter can open in December, said Lotus Executive Director Ashley Vaala.

The shelter will potentially have eight rooms available to provide temporary housing to women. Women will be eligible to stay in the shelter if they belong to Webster, Hamilton, Humboldt, Wright, Calhoun and Pocahontas counties, she said.

“When people come in we will have an intensive intake process,” she said. “We will look at financial security, natural supports, and health status. Maybe help apply for disability. Learn their history and coordinate a unique plan based on their structure. We will have support staff help them execute their plan.”

Lotus also plans to help people find employment or education opportunities, Vaala said.

“We need to help people secure financing or they are not going to be successful,” she said.

Virgin Mary statue in New Mexico reportedly ‘weeping’ again

HOBBS, N.M. (AP) — A Virgin Mary sculpture in a New Mexico Catholic church that has appeared to be weeping in the past is reportedly crying again.

Devotees say the bronze Our Lady of Guadalupe statue in a Hobbs, New Mexico, church was seen shedding tears again on Saturday — months after the figure was seen crying by parishioners, the Hobbs News-Sun reported.

Believers at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church said it’s the first time in more than three months and the fourth time overall the statue has “wept.”

The Catholic Diocese of Las Cruces is investigating the Virgin Mary sculpture.

Las Cruces Bishop Oscar Cantu said if the cause of the phenomenon is deemed supernatural by church investigators, church officials “must discern if it is from God or from the devil.”

“The statue is made of bronze,” Cantu said when giving an update on the investigation last week. “As the hollow interior was examined, nothing was found on the interior that could have created liquid. There were cobwebs in the hollow interior…The liquid samples collected from the statue were sent to a lab for chemical analysis.”

Cantu said two distinct methods of analysis indicate the same outcome: The liquid is olive oil with a scented mixture, chemically, to the Sacred Chrism — an oily liquid used in Baptisms and other sacraments and Catholic ceremonies.

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