Staff Directory 10645071

Jean Hopfensperger

Reporter | Reporter - Philanthropy/Nonprofits
phone: 612-673-4511
Jean Hopfensperger is a news reporter covering religion, faith and values.
Recent content from Jean Hopfensperger
Bloomington Islamic Center picks up pieces after explosion

Bloomington Islamic Center picks up pieces after explosion

Mohamed Omar, the center's executive director, was daunted by the prospects of hosting a community event Tuesday night expected to draw thousands of supporters. But he was also very grateful.
Tourist season fills Minnesota churches Up North

Tourist season fills Minnesota churches Up North

As Twin Cities churches lament their empty pews this time of year, the metro faithful can be found in the chapels of lakeside towns.
REVIEW: 'The Unwomanly Face of War,' by Svetlana Alexievich

REVIEW: 'The Unwomanly Face of War,' by Svetlana Alexievich

NONFICTION: This oral history by Nobel winner Svetlana Alexievich gives voice to the hundreds of thousands of women who served in World War II.
Minneapolis gathering highlights growing global role of Lutheran women

Minneapolis gathering highlights growing global role of Lutheran women

The triennial gathering of the Women of the ELCA, running through Sunday, shows how the rank and file has been carving its own path in Lutheran service.
Shobi's Table food truck church serves up food and faith

Shobi's Table food truck church serves up food and faith

Minnesota's first food truck church delivers the gospel and a calzone while offering a model in how to spread the Good News in the 21st century.
Voice of America holds town hall on Somali measles outbreak

Voice of America holds town hall on Somali measles outbreak

Discussion of community's suspicions and worries was broadcast on Voice of America.
First 'TriFaith Fourth' brings religious diversity to July 4

First 'TriFaith Fourth' brings religious diversity to July 4

A group of Christians, Muslims and Jews is holding the metro's first "TriFaith Fourth of July."
Gregorian chants get a sacred encore and a showcase in St. Paul

Gregorian chants get a sacred encore and a showcase in St. Paul

Experts and students of the ancient sacred music have gathered at the University of St. Thomas for what is billed as "the most in-depth teaching conference ... on sacred music in the world."
Objections to Twin Cities Archdiocese bankruptcy plans air in court

Objections to Twin Cities Archdiocese bankruptcy plans air in court

Archdiocese doesn't have to liquidate its assets, judge says.
Lou Anne Kling, legendary farm advocate in Minnesota and nation, dies at 77

Lou Anne Kling, legendary farm advocate in Minnesota and nation, dies at 77

The activist, national farm advocacy educator and former U.S. Department of Agriculture manager died May 17.
Judge laments $15M in legal fees in Twin Cities archdiocese bankruptcy

Judge laments $15M in legal fees in Twin Cities archdiocese bankruptcy

The victims, not lawyers, should benefit, Judge Robert Kressel said, adding "it bothers me so much."
DeYoung is new CEO of Minnesota Church Council

DeYoung is new CEO of Minnesota Church Council

Interfaith social justice leader to replace the Rev. Peg Chemberlin.
Chemberlin retires as MN Council of Churches CEO

Chemberlin retires as MN Council of Churches CEO

The Rev. Peg Chemberlin led Minnesota Council of Churches for more than two decades.
Bible apps with 'the most sought-after content in the world' grow in popularity

Bible apps with 'the most sought-after content in the world' grow in popularity

No one is predicting the demise of the Good Book. But the Greatest Story Ever Told is increasingly being spiced up with photos, video, 3-D graphics, maps and social media shares.
Suit: Crookston bishop threatened to retaliate against abuse victim

Suit: Crookston bishop threatened to retaliate against abuse victim

Lawsuit accuses Crookston bishop of threatening alleged abuse victim and failing to report abuse.
Mount Zion celebrates 160 years of Jewish life in Minnesota

Mount Zion celebrates 160 years of Jewish life in Minnesota

Members of Mount Zion temple celebrated a historic anniversary Sunday for Minnesota's Jewish community — the 1856 founding of Mount Zion as the state's first Jewish congregation. Born before Minnesota was a state, Mount Zion put Minnesota on the map for the early waves of Jewish immigrants to the Midwest and laid the foundation for a community of about 45,000 today.
Minn. church leaders wary of Trump's order blurring line with politics

Minn. church leaders wary of Trump's order blurring line with politics

The order allows religious leaders to endorse and campaign for political candidates without risking their tax-exempt status. But many leaders say it opens the door to more.
Churches trade old names for new and younger members

Churches trade old names for new and younger members

Rebranding, long a strategy in the business world, is taking off in congregations hoping to attract newcomers, update their images and shed any negative perceptions of their denominations.
Minn. 'Eco-Palm' project sends nearly 1 million palms to churches

Minn. 'Eco-Palm' project sends nearly 1 million palms to churches

It started as a Palm Sunday experiment. A Minnesota forestry professor tested the idea of offering environmentally friendly palms to churches to protect the forests in Central America and to support the palm laborers' communities.
Peter Laird, Archbishop Nienstedt's former top deputy, leaves priesthood

Peter Laird, Archbishop Nienstedt's former top deputy, leaves priesthood

Laird, who resigned post in 2013 as clergy abuse controversy exploded, had urged Archbishop Nienstedt to resign.
Not so fast! Most Minn. Catholics CAN eat meat this St. Patrick's Day

Not so fast! Most Minn. Catholics CAN eat meat this St. Patrick's Day

Corned beef is back on the plate, with lifting of no-meat mandate this Friday.
Complaint puts New Age healers on Minnesota regulators' radar

Complaint puts New Age healers on Minnesota regulators' radar

A former client is claiming Mas Sajady's supernatural healings are tantamount to practicing medicine, and he should follow state regulations for alternative health care.
New Ulm bankruptcy makes Minnesota No. 1 in church bankruptcies

New Ulm bankruptcy makes Minnesota No. 1 in church bankruptcies

It's the 16th Catholic religious organization in the nation to seek protection from clergy sex abuse claims made through a 2013 state law.
Ashes To Go puts a speedy twist on Ash Wednesday for the time crunched

Ashes To Go puts a speedy twist on Ash Wednesday for the time crunched

Minnesota churches join in growing national trend.
Minnesota parents lobby for kids at 'Dyslexia Day' at State Capitol

Minnesota parents lobby for kids at 'Dyslexia Day' at State Capitol

Families seek programs and state support for students struggling to read.
'Like the Cold War': Minnesota Russian community worried

'Like the Cold War': Minnesota Russian community worried

Minnesota's Russian-speaking community is reacting to growing tensions between Russia and the Trump administration with a mix of concern, curiosity and skepticism.
God, Allah, Buddha, Great Spirit: Minnesota hospital chaplains adapt to diversity

God, Allah, Buddha, Great Spirit: Minnesota hospital chaplains adapt to diversity

More than 520,000 patients checked into Minnesota hospitals last year, carrying religious baggage that wasn't as neatly packed as it used to be.
Surrogacy is the latest reproductive rights debate at the Minnesota Capitol

Surrogacy is the latest reproductive rights debate at the Minnesota Capitol

Battle pits infertile couples against faith groups, who call it "renting a womb."
Priest's research sheds light on lesser-known Holocaust atrocity – mass shootings

Priest's research sheds light on lesser-known Holocaust atrocity – mass shootings

He spoke about mass shootings at Remembrance Day event.
Archdiocese abuse victims to vote on bankruptcy plans

Archdiocese abuse victims to vote on bankruptcy plans

Survivors of clergy abuse will vote for one of two competing compensation plans, or none of the above.
Sister Joan Tuberty, Catholic Charities' most unusual resident, moves on

Sister Joan Tuberty, Catholic Charities' most unusual resident, moves on

At an age when most Minnesotans ease into a cushy retirement, Sister Joan Tuberty moved her worldly belongings into a tiny apartment in a 95-bed…
January: In the land of Luther, church pews are mostly empty

January: In the land of Luther, church pews are mostly empty

On the streets where Martin Luther preached, about 85 percent of residents have no religion, 40-plus years after Soviet rule ingrained a deep skepticism of God and religion.
'It's a Wonderful Life,' Minnesota style

'It's a Wonderful Life,' Minnesota style

A Minneapolis church has concocted a formula to remind everyday heroes that their lives have made a difference — albeit without the help of actor Jimmy Stewart and an unlikely guardian angel.
December: 95 things you never knew about Martin Luther

December: 95 things you never knew about Martin Luther

Facts about Luther that will blow your mind.

Nativity plays are drawing one and all – in Minnesota and abroad

If Mary and Joseph were looking for a little alone time after Jesus was born, it’s a good thing they weren’t searching for an inn…
Obituary: Jim Torok, Univac physicist and jazz musician

Obituary: Jim Torok, Univac physicist and jazz musician

Ernest James "Jim" Torok was a physicist with more than 40 patents to his name, as well as the leader of a Dixieland jazz band…
Meteorologist Paul Douglas hopes to bridge Christian climate change debate

Meteorologist Paul Douglas hopes to bridge Christian climate change debate

Paul Douglas is one of Minnesota’s best-known meteorologists, delivering weather reports with a droll sense of humor. But he’s dead serious in a lesser-known side…
Twin Cities Archdiocese fund for abuse victims to reach $130M

Twin Cities Archdiocese fund for abuse victims to reach $130M

New insurance settlements boost archdiocese payout plan for 400 abuse victims.
MIA, Lutherans help pull rare Martin Luther exhibit to Minnesota

MIA, Lutherans help pull rare Martin Luther exhibit to Minnesota

The Minneapolis museum is host to a rare exhibit of personal items that have never left Germany and, officials say, likely will never be seen together again.

Clergy Appreciation Month gains steam

Although calendars show Teacher Appreciation Week, National Police Week, and even Truck Driver Appreciation Week, those hardworking clergy haven’t quite had their day in the…

Hennepin Avenue holds big slice of church history

When Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church marked its 100th anniversary this month, it joined the ranks of its historic neighbors on the edge of downtown…
Choice of Trump vs. Clinton leaves evangelicals reeling

Choice of Trump vs. Clinton leaves evangelicals reeling

It's created an excruciating moral dilemma for a bloc that represents about one in five voters and attend churches across Minnesota.
Minnesota woman wins landmark settlement in priest abuse case

Minnesota woman wins landmark settlement in priest abuse case

The woman who sued an Indian Catholic diocese last year for reinstating the priest who sexually abused her in Minnesota has reached a landmark settlement…
Bible Museum brings color, controversy

Bible Museum brings color, controversy

The National Mall in Washington, D.C., may be best known for the Smithsonian museums, including the new National Museum of African American History and Culture…
Court files reveal details of St. Paul archdiocese troubles

Court files reveal details of St. Paul archdiocese troubles

Documents give more insight into investigation of former Archbishop John Nienstedt and ex-priest Curtis Wehmeyer.

Lawyer fees reach $11 million for Twin Cities archdiocese

The spending, revealed in the archdiocese's monthly financial reports filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, offers a rare view of the financial operations of the archdiocese
The Rev. Nancy Nord Bence leaves the pulpit to take on gun violence

The Rev. Nancy Nord Bence leaves the pulpit to take on gun violence

The Rev. Nancy Nord Bence presided over six funerals resulting from gun violence, and has counseled the children and families of Minnesotans killed or injured…
Obituary: Mary Ann Huelster, St. Paul teacher and disabilities advocate, dies

Obituary: Mary Ann Huelster, St. Paul teacher and disabilities advocate, dies

Mary Ann Huelster was a pioneering advocate for children with Down syndrome and other disabilities. More than 60 years ago, she and her husband, Howard,…
In Minnesota churches, let there be light – solar light

In Minnesota churches, let there be light – solar light

Cost savings, pope's plea to go green spur clean-energy boom
Abuse victims say St. Paul Archdiocese can afford $80M in compensation

Abuse victims say St. Paul Archdiocese can afford $80M in compensation

Panel says $13M proposed by archdiocese in bank­ruptcy court is too little.

Presbyterians rank oldest, Muslims among youngest in new Pew survey

As religious groups across the nation grapple with ways to grow and sustain membership, new research underscores the pressure on aging mainline Protestants.
Judge rejects bid to tap parishes, schools in archdiocese bankruptcy

Judge rejects bid to tap parishes, schools in archdiocese bankruptcy

Victims' attorney Jeff Anderson slams ruling, promises to appeal.
Nienstedt says he's 'relieved' investigation's fate is now public

Nienstedt says he's 'relieved' investigation's fate is now public

"I am a heterosexual man who has been celibate my entire life," the former Twin Cities archbishop said in an e-mail, asserting that he did nothing improper.
Memo: Vatican emissary halted investigation into Nienstedt

Memo: Vatican emissary halted investigation into Nienstedt

In dropping charges against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Ramsey County released documents that disclosed a social connection between a priest and the former archbishop.
Dog video festival makes its Twin Cities debut

Dog video festival makes its Twin Cities debut

Inspired by the wildly successful Internet Cat Video Festival, a Twin Cities nonprofit is launching a Dog Video Festival to give dog lovers their day…
Minnesota emerging as a leader in global philanthropy

Minnesota emerging as a leader in global philanthropy

Minnesota evolves as a powerful force in international philanthropy.
Minnesota becomes the Quaker state as conference draws 1,000 faithful

Minnesota becomes the Quaker state as conference draws 1,000 faithful

They gathered in Minnesota this week as they look for ways to expand their humble, quiet faith.
Judge to rule whether St. Paul Archdiocese parishes can be tapped for abuse claims

Judge to rule whether St. Paul Archdiocese parishes can be tapped for abuse claims

Should archdiocese schools and churches be considered assets to compensate clergy abuse victims? A bankruptcy judge heard arguments Thursday.
In St. Paul, evangelist Franklin Graham holds 'no hope' for either party

In St. Paul, evangelist Franklin Graham holds 'no hope' for either party

Son of Billy Graham says he has no hope for the major parties
Sent, sealed and to be delivered: Minn. nonprofit packs off a whole hospital for Somalia

Sent, sealed and to be delivered: Minn. nonprofit packs off a whole hospital for Somalia

Risks aside, the group known as Matter steps up with needed medical aid, from bandages to beds to dialysis machines.

Charitable giving hits record $373 billion

Americans donated an estimated $373 billion in 2015, breaking last year’s record for charitable giving to schools, churches, social services and more. Individuals contributed the…
Obituary: Gary Erickson was talented ceramics artist and dedicated teacher

Obituary: Gary Erickson was talented ceramics artist and dedicated teacher

Gary Erickson’s office space at Macalester College offered a window into his life. Ceramic art pieces crafted by him and by his students. Books of…
Minnesota council offers ways to support Muslim neighbors in Ramadan

Minnesota council offers ways to support Muslim neighbors in Ramadan

The Muslim holy month of Ramadan began this week, and the Minnesota Council of Churches is inviting Minnesotans to break bread with their Muslim neighbors…
Archdiocese plan would create $65M fund for abuse victims

Archdiocese plan would create $65M fund for abuse victims

Archbishop Hebda calls it a "just and timely" resolution; victims' advocates cry foul.

Gap between men and women's church attendance shrinks

The gender gap in worship might not have been a great thing, but some religious leaders might prefer that to what’s happening now. The share…
Attorney: Archdiocese engaging in 'massive scheme' to defraud creditors

Attorney: Archdiocese engaging in 'massive scheme' to defraud creditors

Archbishop denies accusation, says Twin Cities Archdiocese has "cooperated fully" with bankruptcy court.
More than 800 sex abuse claims filed under Minnesota law

More than 800 sex abuse claims filed under Minnesota law

Law that lanced victims' pain and roiled Catholic Church hits deadline
Hebda brings a new energy as Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Hebda brings a new energy as Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis

The Twin Cities' ninth Catholic archbishop seeks to break the ice – and tensions – as he prepares to be installed Friday.

Attorney works to reclaim art stolen from Jews by Nazis

Attorney Don Burris is widely known for pursuing works of art belonging to Jewish families that were looted by Nazis during World War II. One…
As Jehovah Witness, Prince's 'beliefs were very, very strong'

As Jehovah Witness, Prince's 'beliefs were very, very strong'

A low-profile member in life, the star draws attention to Jehovah's Witnesses after death.
Lawsuits accuse reinstated St. John's priest of sexual abuse

Lawsuits accuse reinstated St. John's priest of sexual abuse

The Rev. Timothy Backous is second to be accused in recent weeks.

Offbeat fundraiser brings in 10,000 new pillows

Sarah Nielsen appreciates a good night’s sleep. But that’s not why she had 1,632 new pillows stuffed into her father’s garage last month. The pillows…
Minnesotan takes fight to remove priest convicted of abuse to federal court

Minnesotan takes fight to remove priest convicted of abuse to federal court

Minnesota woman outraged at reinstatement by Vatican files a lawsuit.
Obituary: Harvey Rockwood, longtime Twin Cities suburban journalist

Obituary: Harvey Rockwood, longtime Twin Cities suburban journalist

Harvey Rockwood spent 30 years at police stations, school boards and Main Streets across the Twin Cities, chronicling stories big and small. He was an…

Minnesota Catholics react to pope's document on family issues

While some see hope and humanity in his call for priests to exercise "individual conscience"' in marriage matters, others hoped for more change on related issues.
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