July 7, 2021

Synod small groups

Dear Parishioners,

These past couple weeks, I have mentioned in my homilies how excited I am about the small groups that will be meeting in every parish throughout the archdiocese as part of the Synod. These groups will meet for eight weeks from September through November, but it is my hope that they can be a kick-start to an ongoing small group ministry in our three parishes.

The Synod small groups already have their format and topics laid out: how to make our parishes more evangelizing, how to keep our young people in the Church, and how to be authentic missionary disciples. After that, though, we will be free to choose our topics and reflection materials as we strive to grow in discipleship together.

Bishop Cozzens recently wrote about the importance of small groups in his own life, saying he would meet regularly with a group “who prayed together, shared faith and struggles, and supported, encouraged and challenged each other as they sought to grow in the Christian life.” We all need a group of people who know us better than most, and who are invested in walking together on the path of discipleship. It is amazing to be a part of a global Church, where we can go practically anywhere in the world and find a local parish to celebrate the sacraments, but we can’t go to the entire Church when we need to talk or find support. Small groups help us engage with the Church in a way that is more personal.

This is a great opportunity for growth, in our archdiocese and our parishes. Please pray for the success of the Synod, and pray for the success of our small group ministry, that they will bear fruit in helping us grow as disciples.

Fr. Liekhus


June 25, 2021


Through prayerful discernment, the Parish Council and Fr. Liekhus have decided upon Mass schedules for the three churches of Assumption, St. Peter and St. Richard. Please click below to read letters from Fr. Liekhus which explain the factors that went into determining the new Mass schedules.



May 20, 2021

The Parish Council is Hard at Work

I hope you’ve all had a chance to watch the introductory videos from our Parish Council members! They are working hard, meeting every other week to prepare for our closer collaboration. Please keep them in your prayers.

Their current focus at the meetings is making a recommendation to me regarding the new Saturday evening/Sunday Mass schedule. Changing a Mass schedule is not something a pastor takes lightly or wants to do often, but it can’t be avoided. We will have two priests serving the three parishes of Assumption, St. Peter and St. Richard beginning July 1, and we can only be in one place at a time!

More than that, though, I’m hoping the new schedule will give more people access to Mass in Richfield and the surrounding area. Before COVID, all three parishes had Mass at 9:00 am and 11:00 am on Sundays; I imagine we’ll be able to provide more opportunities than that between the three parishes once we have a new schedule.

Because your ability to attend Mass in person is so important, the Parish Council wants to hear from you before making its recommendation. You can help by completing a survey on Mass times, locations, and preferences. 

To participate follow this link to the form and complete the short list of questions. All survey questions are optional, so you can answer as many or as few as you like.

Thank you for your patience, I hope to be able to announce a new Mass schedule in early June. Please keep me and the parishes in your prayers.


Watch for further updates from the parish in e-blast updates* and the parish bulletin.

We have established a centralized phone number, 612-440-7573, and email address, [email protected], so that you can send us your questions, and someone can follow up with you personally.

*To be added to the e-blast mailing list, call the parish office at 612-866-5089, or email [email protected] and include the email address where you would like the e-blast sent.



May 13, 2021

Over the past few weeks, we have presented videos of each of our new Parish Council members. Hear what makes them excited about this collaboration and how they hope to be able to serve.

Please continue to keep our parishes in your prayers, as we work to spread the gospel and make disciples of Jesus Christ.


PLEASE NOTE: Due to unforeseen circumstances, Cheryl Sarno has had to resign from the combined parish council. We thank Cheryl for her commitment and positive influence. We will announce her replacement in coming weeks.


March 21, 2021

I am happy to introduce to everyone our new Combined Parish Council:

Anne Marie Gavel – Chair
Beth Coleman
Maureen Mahowald
Angela Piram
John Rimstad
Dennis Alvarado
Alma Dominguez
Casey Martin
Roma Lee Rasmussen
Cheryl Sarno

Of course, that’s not much of an introduction; it’s just a list of names. In the coming weeks, I’ll have them introduce themselves in the bulletin, so you can put a face to the name and learn more about your fellow parishioners on the council. By the time you read this, we will have had our first meeting. I hope it went well! Please continue to pray for the parishes, for the council, and for me, that we will bear fruit in forming disciples of Christ.


March 14, 2021

We have a Combined Parish Council!

After much discernment, ten parishioners have been called to serve on this council. They bring a variety of gifts, perspectives and experiences, but they all share an enthusiasm for the good we can accomplish together. It is an exciting time for our parishes. Earlier this week, I recorded a very brief Zoom meeting with them, just to introduce them to you all. You can watch the introduction below, or by clicking https://youtu.be/-JJglfIoLCQ. We will have more extensive biographies of them in bulletins to come. 

Thank you to everyone who has been involved in this process, most especially to all of you who have been praying. Please continue to pray, that we will touch the hearts of those whom we serve, and bring them closer to Christ.



March 7, 2021

The Final Stages of Forming Our Combined Parish Council

Our Parish Council is in the final stages of formation. To recap: there were 49 people nominated for the Parish Council, with at least a dozen from each parish. They were invited to attend a group meeting to hear more about the council, and I’m nearing the end of speaking with each of them individually. I’ll be taking these names to prayer this week, and then invite ten of these candidates to serve on the Parish Council. Please pray with me and for me, that I will be open to the Holy Spirit’s promptings.

Thank you to everyone who submitted a nomination, and to those who were nominated. As I mentioned to them at the group meetings, whether or not they are asked to serve on the Parish Council, they have now been made known as “one who can serve,” so they can expect a call at some point to serve in another way.  There will be plenty to do and many ways to get involved, so if you hear the call to help, please don’t hesitate to make yourself known, as well.


February 21, 2021

The Next Stage in Forming Our Combined Parish Council

The formation of our combined Parish Council is moving into the next stage. Thank you to those who submitted nominations; everyone who was nominated has been invited to a group meeting to hear more about the vision for our combined Parish Council, and to ask any questions they might have. If you meant to nominate someone but didn’t get around to it, there’s still time! There are more group meetings scheduled for this upcoming week, so please submit those names.

As a reminder, I envision the role of the Parish Council as helping us to stay focused on our mission of making disciples. This means both reaching out to make new disciples, and helping those already here to grow as disciples. Knowledge of how we already accomplish this at each parish will be important, as will be the ability to then set aside individual parish affinity and consider the good of the whole.

This will take a lot of creative thinking and openness to the Holy Spirit! Please continue to pray that those with gifts of vision and leadership will prayerfully consider stepping forward to join our combined Parish Council.


February 14, 2021

Gifts that would serve well on the Parish Council

As you have read in this space, one of the first steps we’ll take to support the growing collaboration of the Richfield parishes is form a combined Parish Council. A big part of that formation is finding those with the right gifts and inviting them to serve. And when I say “right gifts,” I don’t mean to imply that there are “wrong gifts.” God has made each of us unique, has given us gifts to share in ways that only we can, and that’s beautiful. We all have a part to play in the mission of the Church.

Gifts that would serve well on the Parish Council include the gifts of leadership and visioning. Other qualities that are a good fit for the Parish Council role include:

  • They are prayerful, open to hearing the Holy Spirit’s calling to bring their gifts forward to serve.
  • They are outward looking, visionary and focused on the mission to reach out to everyone and make disciples of Christ.
  • They are humble servants, actively participating in Parish life.
  • They have integrity, are honest, open, and respectful.
  • They are accountable and have sufficient time to devote to supporting 
  • the collaboration efforts.

Please pray that the Holy Spirit will touch those he has called to serve on the Council!


February 7, 2021

The role of the Parish Council

What is our mission, and are we accomplishing it? Those are questions that every organization should keep in mind; parishes are no exception. If we lose sight of our goal, we won’t know if what we’re spending our time and energy and money on is doing any good, and our parishes will suffer for it. What is our mission, and are we accomplishing it? Those are the questions I envision the combined Parish Council keeping front and center.

Our mission is not something we need to discern; we have been given our mission by Jesus Christ: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations.” (Mt 28:19) Our mission is to reach out to everyone, and make disciples of Christ. How to best do that is where the Parish Council comes in. There are empty places in our pews. What can we do to fill them?

This will mean having an open mind and a big imagination. The path of least resistance is to keep doing what the parishes have always done, only now together. But is it possible that together, we can accomplish something even greater? Can we work together in new ways to reach more people and make disciples? That is the mission we’ve been given, so we can’t ignore it. The Parish Council is not for those who are content with those empty places.

For whom is it, then? Stay tuned! Next week, we will speak about the qualities that are a good fit for this role. Please, continue to bring this to prayer, and ask the Holy Spirit to inspire those He has chosen to answer the call.


January 31, 2021

We begin our process of prayerful discernment to form our combined Parish Council. Discernment is a way of decision making that will allow our communities to be led by the Holy Spirit through a process that honors the place of God’s will in our parishes. In the upcoming bulletins, I will describe the role of the Parish Council and the gifts that will be most needed. Consider your own gifts for service to the parish and prayerfully consider if you are called to serve on our Parish Council.

All members of the Church of Assumption, St. Peter and St. Richard are invited to enter into this intentional process to serve on our combined
Parish Council.

If you or someone you know is interested in serving in this essential ministry, email your nomination to [email protected] or submit a printed nomination form into the boxes that are provided at the church doors.

Nominations will be accepted through February 24th. 

Those nominated will be contacted to attend a consultation session to learn more about the Parish Council before deciding whether or not to remain a nominee.


January 24, 2021

Hopefully by now, you have all heard the news that the churches of Assumption, St. Peter and St. Richard will have one pastor, beginning in July. So far, the most common response to me has been, “You’re going to be busy!” My response has been “Yes, but I’ll have a lot of help.” One of the most important groups that will provide that help is a new, combined Parish Council. Forming that council will be our next step.

To do that, I’ll need your help. I’m new to Assumption and St. Richard, and only know a few people at St. Peter, so I don’t know who all the leaders are in our parishes. I’m hoping you do. Over the next couple of weeks, I will write in this space about the role of the Parish Council, and the gifts that are best suited to serve on it. As you read these articles, I invite you to prayerfully discern whether you or someone you know in the parish has those gifts and would be a good fit. You will then be invited to nominate those persons for the council, and I will reach out to them and move to the next step.

In the meantime, please join me in keeping our parishes and this process in your prayers. All of the diligent planning and initiatives will be in vain if they are not blessed by God and a part of His will for us. May our efforts find favor with God, as we do our best to follow where the Holy Spirit leads.