Session Two

A 500 Year Conversation: Catholics and Lutherans Talk

Presenters: Fr. James Ermer/Pastor Jeff Brown
2017 marks the 500th anniversary of what is popularly known as the Protestant Reformation that began with Martin Luther in Wittenberg, Germany.  Fr. Ermer and Pastor Brown will examine the life and times of Martin Luther; major historical moments in Lutheran and Catholic relationships in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries; and the contemporary state of affairs between Lutherans and Catholics.

Fr. James Ermer is pastor of St. Leo’s Catholic Church in Casselton and St. Thomas Catholic Church in Buffalo.  He was born and raised in Walhalla, North Dakota, went to St. Paul Seminary and was ordained in 1978. Pastor Jeff Brown is pastor of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Page and Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Hope.  He was born in Great Falls, Montana and raised in Cut Bank , Montana, went to Luther Seminary and was ordained in 2015.

Why Marriages Fail, and What to Do About It

Presenter: Mr. Timothy Olson
There is no question that marriage is under siege in our culture.  Fewer and fewer people marry at all, and those that do marry too often go through divorce.  Drawn from the presenter’s experiences as a Tribunal Judge dealing with marriage nullity (annulments), the class will examine what marriage is through history, the “red flags” that often lead to the breakdown of a marriage, and a brief overview of the “annulment” process.

Mr. Timothy Olson, JCL earned his Licentiate in Canon Law from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and has been an official at the Tribunal of the Diocese of Fargo since 2012. Prior to working for the Tribunal he was a missionary and team director with the Fellowship of Catholic University Students.

Discernment of Spirits

Presenter: Fr. Andrew Jasinksi
How do we stay true to our call as Christians when the road gets rough and we are tempted to quit? This course will present the “rules of discernment” by St. Ignatius of Loyola, which can help guide us during these tough times.

Fr. Andrew Jasinski was raised in Milwaukee, WI and ordained in 1998. He currently serves as the Chancellor of the diocese, as well as the Director of the Office of Catholic Education and Formation.

Our Lady Mary's Contemporary Mission: The Completion of Vatican II

Presenter: Msgr. Robert Laliberte
Pope Paul VI, in his opening address to re-convene the Second Vatican Council, stated four principal goals to direct the conciliar discussions. The Council positioned our understanding of Our Lady Mary as the embodiment of the identity and mission of the Church. From this perspective, an understanding of devotion to her is a fulcrum for the Church to complete the conciliar goals: to reform the Church, to unlock ecumenism, and to smoothen dialogue with secular humanism, Islam, and Judaism.

Msgr. Robert Laliberte, retired, former Associate Professor of Cardinal Muench Seminary, alternates seasons between South Omaha and Nativity Parish, where he resides.