Category Archives for "A Day in the Life"

Aug 01

A DAY IN THE LIFE: Youth ministry coordinator Kelli Kleinschnitz

By From the Heart | A Day in the Life

My husband Thomas and I met while at Franciscan University where we were blessed to be a part of such a dynamic Catholic university. We currently live in Rockville and have three children; Landon, 5, Evelyn, 4, Audrey, 2, and we are due with twins in September.  The vocation of motherhood is filled with what I call intense flares of extreme joy mixed in with utter chaos. I was taking my first semester of grad courses when we got the news about the twins, so I will resume my masters at a later time.  As my sister-in-law put it so beautiful, “Kelli, God obviously loves you but he really doesn’t like your plans.” God does give you more than you can handle but it is accompanied with more graces to help you grow through the process.

A day in the life for me is never consistent being a part of the tri-parish cluster of St. Louis in Paynesville, St. Agnes in Roscoe and St. Margaret in Lake Henry. Youth ministry is a very small sliver of what I do. I truly feel like the more I do with youth, the more my passion is driven to reach parents and the older generation, too. We are all called to constant conversion and growth in our knowledge of the faith, not just the young people.

I try to give my time to office work on Monday and Tuesdays preparing for Wednesday afternoon/evenings. I have found that in central Minnesota especially in a rural parish cluster, our teens are very busy with school, activities, and work. We have weekly middle school youth group gatherings every Wednesday night with our high school being once a month. I truly value the consistent classroom time I have teaching our 11th grade confirmation students. If we want to create lifelong Catholics, my goal is for them to understand and love the Eucharist. Priest, musicians, fellowship are ever changing in parish life, the one thing that stays the same is the Eucharist which is the source and summit of what it means to be Catholic. One former student put it ever so bluntly, “ If I had more credible sources in my life living it out, I would be stronger in my Catholic faith.” I want to encourage not only my students, but their parents to strive to live for Christ even though it is challenging.

Parish life is important to me because I see so much potential in our parishioners. I helped start a ministry called “Faith & Friends in 15 minutes,” which is aimed at understanding the “whys” behind the “whats” during Mass. We play a short video from Father Mike Schmitz (disclaimer* he is one of my favorites) and then afterwards we have fellowship. I truly believe our fellowship gathering has increased due to the high top tables (pvc pipe leg extenders) that don’t have any chairs. Our space is very welcoming and who doesn’t like donuts off a donut wall?  Too many Catholics go through the motions but don’t understand the meanings. Once you do, the Mass will forever be different.

Another ministry I am blessed to be apart of is our family days. We have activities for young families usually in the form of a kick-off in September, Halloween party, Advent party and an Easter Egg hunt on Easter Sunday. Our goal again is to get young families to Mass first. I love how our young children are making memories being a part of a church community.

I love Theology of the Body and St. John Paul II is one of my favorite saints. Last year, I was part of a planning committee that put on a tea party for young women discussing the feminine genius which is coined from his letter to women. It was one of the most rewarding experiences because our young women were being told that their worth and dignity comes from the creator which is very counter-cultural.

I also am responsible for planning trips such as Steubenville conferences and other outings through the Diocese. The paperwork gets daunting, fundraising can be stressful, but to see young Catholics come alive in their faith makes it all worth it. This past Diocese’s Castaways retreat, I was asked to be the speaker for the weekend. I truly believe that at my confirmation, the Holy Spirit filled within me the desire to share my faith with those I encountered, and also he removed the fear of public speaking. I truly hope to do more speaking as a profession later on in life.

Outside of church, I have been a volleyball coach at Paynesville for the past 5 years. I truly have a passion for volleyball and being active outside. I love spending time with my large extended family. Fall is my favorite season and my family always enjoys going out to the various pumpkin patches. I am Fr. Mike follower, so I love listening to his Ascension Present Youtube videos and UMD Bulldog Catholic podcast. I highly recommend them!

Jun 01

A DAY IN THE LIFE: Father Doug Liebsch

By From the Heart | A Day in the Life

Father Doug Liebsch. Gosh there is so much to say about this guy! Father Doug is one of the youngest priests in the St. Cloud Diocese and has spent his first two years of the priesthood at St. Mary’s Cathedral and the Church of St. Augustine. I was fortunate enough to be able to interview Fr. Doug about what his typical day looks like!

Father Doug’s day-to-day schedule is not very consistent, but he typically has his alarm set for 5:30 AM (he said that ideally he also wakes up at this time). He has Mass at either 7:15 AM or 12:05 PM and normally spends 6:15-7:15 AM in prayer unless he is playing basketball which he does 1-2 days a week at 6 AM. His mornings usually consist of meeting with people or popping in and out of classrooms at St. Katherine Drexel school. In the afternoon he might be making some visits to the Hospital or nursing homes and once or twice a week he looks forward to a potential nap! Father Doug’s evenings are consumed with meeting with people or attending different events, including some of the local sporting events.

Of all his priestly duties, Father Doug looks forward to hearing confessions the most. “I have experienced the Mercy of God so powerfully in the Sacrament for myself, both before and after ordination to the Priesthood. This same Mercy of God I am able to see at work in the eyes and hearts of so many who come to this great sacrament.”

Sundays are Father Doug’s favorite day of the week because it is the most fulfilling and re-energizing. He typically gets to spend most of the day with people but also has a little time to relax and spend time outside.

When I asked Father Doug what surprised him most about the priesthood, he said how normal it felt. He said everything didn’t necessarily come naturally, but it felt right.

When Father Doug was in kindergarten he wanted to be a firefighter. In first grade he wanted to be a professional basketball player and in second grade he wanted to be a priest.



Fr. Doug’s favorite:

Meal of the day: Supper  

Food: burritos

Sports team: MN VIKINGS!!

Favorite way to pray: “I like having adoration. One of the amazing privileges as a priest is having constant access to the Church and the Blessed Sacrament. Spending time with Jesus in His Silence is very, very peaceful.”

Favorite thing to do in his free time: “On my day off I am usually on a lake fishing, unless it is in the fall, then I will be hunting. Yes, I know, my mom says I need some different hobbies as well. Does bow-fishing count as a different hobby?”

We are so blessed to have such holy men serving us as priests in our diocese, living out their vocation with joy, humor, and heroic sacrifice! Let’s continue to pray for all of our priests and that young men who are called to this beautiful vocation would have the strength and courage to say yes to God’s invitation.



Tricia and Nikki Walz are proud Minnesotans who were born and raised in the heart of St. Cloud with their younger sister Briana. Read more about them on the “Meet Our Bloggers” page.

May 19

A DAY IN THE LIFE: Seminarian Rick Aubol

By From the Heart | A Day in the Life

Seminarian Rick Aubol

Introducing a new monthly series called, “A Day in the Life.” This section will feature a day in the life of Catholic folks from around the diocese. This is the first in the series and features seminarian Rick Aubol, who is studying for the priesthood at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. He is scheduled to be ordained as a transitional deacon on June 16 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Mary’s Cathedral in St. Cloud.

From Rick:

This is my first view early in the morning. We wake up very early to pray morning prayer and Mass so we have time for breakfast and walking to class.

Next is of us walking into the chapel for prayer as said above.

Then breakfast.

On the walk to class. This is the market in il Campo de Fiori. Here they sell all sorts of produce and products.

The second is from a different route along one of the main roads through town which goes by San Andrea delle Valle, which is like a mini St. Peter’s.

This is part of the excavated Roman ruins and Trajan’s column with a statue of St. Peter atop it at the bottom of the hill my university sits on.

The gate of my university, the Pontifical University of St. Thomas in the city, or the Angelicum for short.

A view inside a classroom.

Place for breaks, the back garden. Beautiful and peaceful, especially in the spring with the orange and then lemon blossoms bloom. Also home to the biggest olive tree I’ve ever seen.

On the way home, Trajan’s column and twin Marian churches.

Back roads way home where we have a community lunch, or pranzo, in Italian.

My somewhat messy room where I often study. The afternoons are our time to get everything done, including meets, apostolates, and homework.

Going into the chapel for vespers. After this dinner, or cena in Italian, is served. Then the night is often free. Guys may watch movies, read, study, hang out, etc. Some go out to eat in the city instead.