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
Delivery driver Bob Bezecny delivered a meal to Lois Seltzer, 96, from the Kosher Meals on Wheels program on June 15 in her St. Paul home.

For Jewish seniors in the Twin Cities, kosher Meals on Wheels provides a 'way to connect'

Metro-area program, operating for more than 10 years, helps Jewish seniors stay true to their faith.
Former Minnesota BCA Superintendent Tim O'Malley is director of the archdiocese's Office of Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment, stood beside J

Trust grows with new archdiocese system to address clergy sex abuse

New process subjects clergy abuse reports to prompt, tight scrutiny.
Jim Flannery of Shorewood holds his 15-month-old grandson Joey Ryan Flannery, of Chaska, to touch a fragment of the veil of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Traveling exhibit of more than 150 saints' relics shows staying power

The exhibit, "Treasurers of the Church," draws the Catholic faithful to an old tradition.
Victims’ attorney Jeff Anderson embraced Marie Mielke, who was abused by a priest starting when she was 12, after she spoke during a news conference

Twin Cities parishes step up to help pay the $210M for clergy sex abuse

The $210 million settlement brought somber closure to years of disputes that have transformed the archdiocese.
Childhood clergy abuse survivor Marie Mielke gestured while speaking about her abuse and the settlement reached between abuse survivors and the Archdi

Victims of clergy abuse settle with archdiocese for $210M

More than 400 victims of sexual abuse will share in the settlement, which ends a protracted bankruptcy dispute, attorneys said. It still must be approved by a judge.
Nadia Alsherif, of Minneapolis, bowed her head for a prayer before Friday’s service honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

New Minnesota faith alliance takes on racism

Black and white church leaders are banding together to take on a "national crisis."
Matt Throne, Mark Warder, and Andross Martinson with the Pulse Twin Cities’ install team put up a large banner at Lebanon Lutheran Church promoting

Pulse Twin Cities Christian music fest and pillow fight comes to U.S. Bank Stadium

The May 18 event is the first major religious event to be held in the Vikings stadium.
Leo Tudela testified in 2016, when Guam lifted its statute of limitations on child sex abuse. He is plagued by memories of what happened to him as an

Minnesota priest accused of abusing 60 boys in Guam

Dozens of men accuse a 96-year-old priest of molesting them when they were boys.
National Guard chaplain Philip (Buddy) Winn held a “Blessed Ramadan’’ lawn sign, which was created by the Minnesota Council of Churches three ye

'Blessed Ramadan' lawn sign campaign in Minnesota is unexpected success

A campaign to support Muslims during their holiest month has attracted thousands of churches, schools — and the Minnesota National Guard.
Worshipers exited St. Paul Cathedral after the noon Easter Mass in St. Paul.

Parishes can't be forced into archdiocese bankruptcy, court affirms

Appeals court affirms assets of parishes, other entities not available for bankruptcy settlement.
Songwriter/activist John Bell will lead a “Big Sing” to mark Earth Day on April 21.

Earth Day 'Big Sing' comes to Minneapolis church

Group sings, once mainly religious, are being embraced by social activists — including on Earth Day.
Anwar Yahya, 11, Ismahaan Issack, 10, Mellisa Huesman, 21, and Said Yahya, 9, took turns jumping rope at Trinity Lutheran in Minneapolis.

2 Easters, 3 languages and a community of faith at Trinity Lutheran

150-year-old Trinity Lutheran keeps its welcoming arms wide open
Andy Heil grabbed some dessert at "Breaking Bread,'' an alternative religious service at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church.

At Apple Valley worship service, faith and ravioli make a nice pairing

Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church offers potluck smack in the middle of the service.

First clergy abuse settlement approved in Minnesota

The Crosiers, a small religious order in Onamia, will pay $25 million to 67 abuse victims.
Nina Berglund, 18, hopes to discuss archaic papal decrees with Vatican officials in Rome.

American Indian teens head to Vatican, hoping to overturn historic papal decrees

They formed the basis of the so-called Doctrine of Discovery, which shapes U.S. Indian policy to this day and haunts Indians' well-being, the group says.
Victim Ben Januschka and attorney Mike Finnegan spoke at a news conference about the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis attempting to block a cle

St. Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocese objects to Crosier abuse settlement

Abuse victims argue late objection puts their hard-fought settlement in jeopardy.
Jesus, played by the Rev. Erik Lundgren, hugged audience members and exclaimed “He is risen!” during a dress rehearsal for the passion play at St.

Shakopee church keeps Easter passion play tradition alive

Passion plays date to the Middle Ages and are still popular in Minnesota.
“First there was the sex abuse. Then years of coverup. Then the archdiocese fought against us in the Legislature. Now it’s three years with no set

March 3: Archdiocese bankruptcy is dragging on, taking toll on all

Victims and parishes in Twin Cities Archdiocese dwell in uncertainty as bankruptcy enters its fourth year with no settlement in sight.
Insight: Andrew Scarborough asked a question at a Baltimore conference after study findings were unveiled.

Study shows why young Catholics leave the church

There are the growing numbers of young Catholics leaving the church — the focus of a new national study to examine why they're departing and where they're landing.
Bishop Donald J. Kettler in St. Cloud.

St. Cloud Diocese to declare bankruptcy after sex abuse claims

It's the fourth such bankruptcy in Minnesota.
Rev. Billy Graham was instrumental in launching powerhouse radio station KTIS at a time when Christian radio was a rarity.

Rev. Billy Graham rose to prominence during his years in Twin Cities

Graham's footprints still seen at University of Northwestern, KTIS.
Dave Zwick celebrates anniversary of Clean Water Act.Photos courtesy of: Clean Water Action, Washington DC

Obituary: David Zwick, a "Nader Raider" and clean water pioneer, dies

David Zwick was a student at Harvard Law School in the early 1970s when he joined a group of promising attorneys working with consumer activist Ralph Nader. He wound up heading a groundbreaking study of the nation's water pollution and launching the first grass-roots clean water movement.
Instructor Diane Bloomfield leads a Torah Yoga class at Mount Zion Temple in St. Paul.

Torah Yoga: A new path to Jewish teachings

It is among a variety of faith-based yoga practices now being embraced by Minnesotans.
Ward nurse Ashley Vick at work. Vick, of Lakeville, assisted a patient aboard Mercy Ships docked in Cameroon last week.

Floating Mercy Ships hospital offers free medical care to Africa's poor

Ten Minnesotans are among the volunteers helping with care.
John Steger, on right, led a prayer group in prayer before they organized at Jaur Cafe coffee shop Friday in Minneapolis. The church outreach group or

Does God have a hand in Super Bowl? Minn. faithful weigh in

One in four Americans believe God plays a role in athletic games.
Hanna Bloomfield, left to right, and her husband Bob Karasov welcomed New England Patriots super fan family from Boston. Naty Katz, rear right, and hi

St. Louis Park synagogue has great Super Bowl offer, few takers

Just one group of seven — a family from Boston — took up the offer of housing.
With J.D. Steele conducting at right, Becky Bratton soloed with the Mill City Singers choir during the Bold Hope in the North program Sunday afternoon

Faith and football combine at unusual Super Bowl event

Nearly a thousand faithful celebrated at an official Super Bowl event that put the spotlight on one of Minnesota's less glitzy claims to fame — its national leadership in multifaith cooperation.
Calling it modern stained glass, Westminster pastor Tim Hart-Andersen showed off windows coated with a 3M product that looks like stained glass.

Westminster Presbyterian Church opens gleaming expansion to downtown Minneapolis landmark

A landmark downtown Minneapolis church opens its doors to the future.
The Rev. Columba Stewart is racing worldwide to digitize sacred manuscripts before they are destroyed.

Minnesota monk rescues ancient manuscripts from threats around the world

The Rev. Columba Stewart and his team at St. John's Abbey in Collegeville use digital photography to permanently preserve the treasures for the world to see.
Children sang in the the annual children’s Christmas pageant at the Salvation Army Lakewood Worship & Service Center in Maplewood.

Salvation Army's good deeds grow from little-known church

Salvation Army's mission stems from distinct Protestant sect.
The Rev. Curtiss DeYoung

New CEO of Minnesota Council of Churches a true believer in reconciliation

Curtiss DeYoung's unlikely track included Washington, D.C., South Africa and Chicago.
As part of the process, President Donald Trump will instruct the State Department to begin the multi-year process of moving the American Embassy from

Trump's move to call Jerusalem Israel's capital draws criticism, praise in Minn.

While some state religious leaders praised the president's decision to break with longstanding U.S. policy, others were nervous.
The Rev. Wes Felter of Berean Baptist Church in Burnsville.

Burnsville church is among the nation's fastest growing

Berean Baptist Church ranking is based on the annual survey of Protestant churches by Lifeway Research and published in Outreach magazine.
Warner

Obituary: Charlie Warner was 'heart and soul' of Minnesota's affordable housing efforts

An upbeat, gregarious man with a deep knowledge of housing policy, Warner inspired generations of Twin Cities leaders, one said.
After the parchment pages of the Saint John's Bible traveled to exhibits across the United States and Europe, they have landed a permanent home at a m

Acclaimed Saint John's Bible gets permanent home

Collegeville now hosts one of the few hand-scripted Bibles created in the past century.
Chaplain Dale Swan visited with Don Holberg, 99, in hospice care in Shoreview. Swan is being honored by the Cancer Society.

Twin Cities chaplain receives award from an unlikely source

Dale Swan is a hospice chaplain best known for visiting hundreds of terminally ill patients. He provides not just spiritual support but everything from birthday parties to mock college graduations to veterans' events.
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Can you be good without God? Most U.S. adults now say yes

In a new poll, 56 percent of adults surveyed say you can be a good person without divine faith.
Kaanasia Msangi, a Tanzanian student studying to be a minister, served communion at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, where the Swahili con

'Lutheran is not Lake Wobegon': After 500 years, faith expands to new cultures

The denomination, eroding in Europe and the United States, is being embraced by thousands in other countries -- and they're shaking up the old rituals.
The National Lutheran Choir performing at the Basilica of St. Mary

Martin Luther celebration spirit sweeps Minnesota

Martin Luther is the star of symphony, song and celebration as 500th anniversary draws to a close.
“You have to be careful about what you say, and who and where you say it,” said
Katie Zuraff, a pastor’s wife.

Marriage to a minister is mixed blessing, survey finds

A new survey of pastor spouses, conducted by LifeWay Research, found many feel isolated with few close friends and considerable financial worries.
Syeda Tarannum, right, of the Northwest Islamic Community Center, chatted with Rabbi George Nudell and Liba Casson Nudell.

Minnesota Muslim-Jew alliances multiply in new political climate

Thanks to groundwork laid by religious leaders over the years, and jolted by heightened anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic tensions, Minnesota leaders of the two faiths are forging new alliances and bolstering existing ones.
Archbishop Bernard Hebda is known for being an accessible bishop. Here, he chats with Simon Strand, 11, after the Rural Life Mass at the Dahlheimer fa

Archbishop Bernard Hebda has embraced Minnesota — and his flock

Archbishop Bernard Hebda never expected to land in the Twin Cities, but he embraced Minnesota life.
“We soon realized we were doing something pioneering,’’ said Mount Olive’s Art Halbardier.

Mpls. church seeks for earth to power its heavenly work

The faithful at Mount Olive Lutheran Church just wanted to make their 80-year-old building energy-efficient, a tangible step to care for God's creation. They didn't know they'd be blazing a trail for geothermal heating.
St. John’s Abbey, facing more than 60 lawsuits related to sexual abuse of children, released the names of three more monks accused of abusing childr

Names of 3 more St. John's Abbey priests who sexually abused children are released

The Collegeville abbey still has more than 60 lawsuits pending.
Emma Townsend, 4, of New Richmond, Wis., drew pictures on a cardboard box used to pack dried meals for Hurricane Harvey victims in Houston. She was vo

Minnesotans gear up to help hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and at home

Relief workers and volunteers are heading to Texas, and now Florida, to help storm victims.
A woman held a book about reformer Martin Luther as she stood by Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, in 2016.

American Protestants believe more like Catholics, survey finds

Some U.S. Protestants are unaware of the Reformation, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center.
Archdiocese bankruptcy plans face off in court

Archdiocese bankruptcy plans face off in court

Judge hears competing plans to settle the claims, assigns the archdiocese some homework.
Bill Hirabayashi

Obituary: Bill Hirabayashi, 93, survived internment camp

Bill Hirabayashi was eager to enlist in the U.S. Army after Japan bombed the U.S. Navy base at Pearl Harbor in 1941. At the recruitment…
Amal, center at right, and Hamda Abdikader practice Arabic with Muse Hussein during class at the Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center on Monday.

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.
Pastoral intern Kurt Hagestuen led congregants in prayer before communion at the Crosslake Lutheran Church outdoor service.

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.
Svetlana Alexievich Photo by Erik Refner/ New York Times

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.
LeeAnn Baker from Marcell, Minn., right, and Marilyn Martell from Mason City, Iowa, left, filled bags with toiletry items at Women of the ELCA confere

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.
Pastor Margaret Kelly, right, talked with Lucky King who picked up food from Shobi's Table food truck in St. Paul.

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.
Abdirisak Jama, left, who said his child didn’t have autism until he was vaccinated, told his family’s story and questioned a panel of experts.

Voice of America holds town hall on Somali measles outbreak

Discussion of community's suspicions and worries was broadcast on Voice of America.
Brother Ali surveyed crowd during his afternoon set on the main stage.

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."
Conductor Paul Weber led a rehearsal Thursday in the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas at the University of St. Thomas 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."
St. Paul Cathedral

Objections to Twin Cities Archdiocese bankruptcy plans air in court

Archdiocese doesn't have to liquidate its assets, judge says.
Lou Anne Kling

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.
Two victim compensation plans are before the court, one from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and one from the committee representing 400-s

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."
The Rev. Curtiss DeYoung

DeYoung is new CEO of Minnesota Church Council

Interfaith social justice leader to replace the Rev. Peg Chemberlin.
The Rev. Peg Chemberlin, center, stood as fellow clergy members put their hands on her while Shari Prestemon said a prayer during a retirement recepti

Chemberlin retires as MN Council of Churches CEO

The Rev. Peg Chemberlin led Minnesota Council of Churches for more than two decades.
Bethel University students in Prof. Mike Holmes' Introduction to Bible Studies class use their cell phone Bible apps to follow him while he uses a Bib

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.
Patty Vasek looked on as her husband Ron Vasek said he was abused by Msgr. Roger Grundhaus at 16 and how 46 years later, as Ron studied to become a de

Suit: Crookston bishop threatened to retaliate against abuse victim

Lawsuit accuses Crookston bishop of threatening alleged abuse victim and failing to report abuse.
Senator Al Franken, right, joked with Governor Mark Dayton about him being a gentile at the site of the original Mount Zion Temple. In the center is R

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.
Mariaha Dean, and her son Tytist, 17, of Roseville, bowed their heads in prayer during Thursday night's faith-based gathering outside U.S. Bank Stadiu

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.
This 50-year-old sign came down last month as Trinity Baptist Church in Maplewood became LifePoint Church.

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.
The Eco-Palms are all orchestrated through a low-budget operation based in a small office on the University of Minnesota campus and the homes of a for

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 had been vicar general of the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis, the No. 2 position. Now he is no longer a priest.

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.
Corned beef in New York, March 2, 2017. For a large number of Americans, particularly Irish-Americans and particularly at this time of year, corned be

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.
“You heal yourself,” Mas Sajady says of his practice.

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.
On March 29, 2016, in St. Paul, Kim Schmit, one of the victims of the Rev. David Roney, holds a photo of herself at the age when she was abused. Schmi

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.
Pastor Christine Chiles left greeted Noreen Faulkner as she arrived during a drive through service of Ash Wednesday March 1, 2017 in at Maple Grove Lu

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

Minnesota churches join in growing national trend.
Kristin Erb, center, and her son Max, 10, took part in the Dyslexia Day rally in the Capitol Rotunda on Tuesday.

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

Families seek programs and state support for students struggling to read.
Mark Stipakov, second from right, second row, a real estate agent in Plymouth, went to grade school with Russian President Vladimir Putin, third from

'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.
Myo-O Habermas-Scher, right, a Zen Buddhist priest, comforted patient Sue Smith at the University of Minnesota Medical Center.

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.
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