News briefs for June 13, 2019

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Accused vandal in court
The man accused of vandalizing St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Neillsville, in the Diocese of La Crosse, was in Clark County Court for a pre-trial conference June 6. Seth A. Meier, 42, Lublin, is charged with felony counts of burglary and criminal damage to religious property for the March vandalism. Out on a $1,500 cash bond, Meier made his initial court appearance May 2. Witness and officer statements described Meier as talking in a “demonic voice”; he had reportedly joined a cult before allegedly breaking statuary and other items, and desecrating the altar.

Anniversary Mass in July
The Diocesan Wedding Anniversary Celebration will be held Saturday, July 20, at Cathedral of Christ the King, Superior. The 11 a.m. Mass with Bishop James P. Powers will be followed by a catered luncheon. Milestone years are numbers ending in 0 or 5. Other anniversary years will also be considered. Sign-up sheets are located at each parish.

Summer theology program in Wausau
A continuing education and adult faith formation opportunity is available Aug. 12-16 at St. Mary’s Oratory, Wausau. This five-day course combines an in-depth study of St. Thomas Aquinas’ commentary on Galatians with daily Latin Mass and opportunities for prayer and confession. For more info and to apply, visit www.albertusmagnuscss.org and select “Summer 2019 – USA.”

School of Servant Leadership seeks applicants
The Office of Ecclesial Ministry and Diocesan Consultation is offering its ninth year of the School of Servant Leadership, which requires a monthly commitment of Friday evening and Saturday, and is now accepting applications for 2019-20. Contact Chris Newkirk: 715-394-0204 or gro.s1563782175odcil1563782175ohtac1563782175@krik1563782175wenc1563782175. For information, see https://tinyurl.com/y2rq5jbf.

Solanus Casey play in St. Paul
“Thank God Ahead of Time: A Drama about the Life and Times of Bl. Solanus Casey,” written and produced by Molly Delaney Druffner and directed by Mary Kratz, will be performed by the John Paul II Players on Sunday, July 28.

The show will be held at 7 p.m. in the lower level of St. Patrick Church, 1095 DeSoto St., St. Paul. The event will include an opportunity to venerate and receive a blessing with the relic of Bl. Solanus Casey, and to hear from the vice postulator of his cause for canonization. Proceeds from the play will assist the brothers in replacing the roof of the Bl. Solanus Friary, next door to St. Patrick Church. Tickets are available at the door. The cost is $15 for adults; $12 for seniors and students; and $10 for ages 12 and younger.

Diocese of La Crosse to host youth camps

Youth from the Diocese of Superior are invited to participate in a Catholic camp experience during the weeks that the Diocese of La Crosse will host their camps at CrossWoods Camp in Mason. Dates being offered are July 21-26 and Aug. 4-9. Contact Cheryl Kaufer at CrossWoods for more information, 651-308-8576 or ten.m1563782175mocve1563782175b@kwa1563782175hsog1563782175.

Ericksen accepts plea deal
The former diocesan priest who was prosecuted in criminal court more than 30 years after allegedly sexually abusing children will finally be sentenced for his crimes.

A plea hearing was set June 11, after press time, for Thomas Ericksen, accused of molesting boys while serving at parishes around the Diocese of Superior.

Ericksen, who is charged with four felonies, is pleading no contest to two of them, according to Sawyer County Circuit Court records. Records indicate statements stemming from additional, uncharged crimes will also be read at the hearing.

Each of the felonies carries a maximum penalty of 10 to 20 years in prison, and all four felonies will be read in during the sentencing; Ericksen, who is 71, could spend the rest of his life imprisoned.

A longer story on Ericksen’s history in the diocese will follow in an upcoming issue.

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