Monsignor Dennis Skonseng, pastor of Valley City's St. Catherine Catholic Church, said Tuesday, "I am thankful and joyful to have a new bishop."
Bishop John Folda, the newly ordained bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Fargo, will speak at “Faith through the Ages” events July 30 at St. Catherine’s Catholic Church in Valley City and Aug. 14 at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Grand Forks.
The presentations begin at 7 p.m. and will be followed by refreshments and an opportunity to meet Bishop Folda.
Skonseng said, "I'm looking forward to it. The bishop is going to give a presentation on the power of faith from the Middle Ages through the Reformation."
According to a release from the diocese, the world was undergoing barbarian invasions, the Bubonic plague, the Crusades, the rise of Islam, and crises within the church: schisms, the Inquisition, and corruption. Despite the darkness of those days, a light shone brightly to bring hope to the despairing people. This time in church history saw the rise of the Monasticism, the great movements of the Scholastics and Mendicants Orders and such personalities as St. Benedict, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Catherine of Sienna and Martin Luther.
“Faith through the Ages” is a project of thanksgiving and ‘giving back’ from the graduates of the diocese’s Education for Parish Service (EPS) program.
Skonseng said following the presentation, the bishop will have lunch at the church, giving parishioners a chance to meet with and talk with the bishop.
The monsignor said the church also plans to present the bishop with a "Spiritual Bouquet."
Spiritual Bouquets are prayers or devotional acts that someone (the giver) has or will offer for someone else (the recipient). It can be given from an individual or group to an individual or group to express joy, sorrow or best wishes, often in commemoration of a special occasion. The recipient is given a card or something similar indicating who the giver is and what the spiritual bouquet consists of. This can be the number of Masses attended, Holy Communions offered, rosaries and/or other prayers said, or good deeds performed.
Skonseng said he has met the bishop several times, including during his ordination as bishop, the previous evening and a visit to Maryvale on River Road to honor a nun.
The monsignor said former Archbishop Samuel Aquila, former bishop for Fargo's Diocese, had planned to visit the basilica in Jamestown, but once Folda became bishop plans were changed and Valley City's St. Catherine Catholic Church was asked if it was willing to host the bishop for a visit.
The talks are open to everyone. The events are free thanks to the generosity of the underwriters: Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in West Fargo and Knights of Columbus councils of St. Joseph’s in Devils Lake, St. James in Jamestown, and St. Anthony of Padua in Fargo.
Visit www.fargodiocese.org/faiththroughages  for more information.