In a living room in Cottage Grove, faith unites people from different cultures. Three young Mormons left their homes in the western United States to come to Minnesota, learn to speak Hmong and serve the Twin Cities Hmong community.
Her mom felt a twinge as the soft curls hit the floor, but 8-month-old Maggie Lund met the scissors with a smile. "She was born with a whole head of hair," said her mother, Sarah. But now it was time to trim back.
Tessa Vigoren started thinking about getting a tattoo when she was 12. At age 21, when the time was right, she did not just choose a small butterfly tattoo on her ankle. She decided on a tree branch with flowers, leaves and birds that covers half her back and wraps around her waist. "He drew up something that I really liked," said Vigoren of the design by tattoo artist Matt (Poohki) Ward. Total tattooing time is expected to be nearly 10 hours. "It hurt as much as I expected," the University of Minnesota music student said. "Pain I think is psychological and if it's to ends that I want, it's a whole lot different than if I was getting injured." She has to go back for a final session for two birds and some details. "I am happy about how it turned out," she said.
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Lucia, aka Linnea Cederberg, led attendant Nicole Ellis and head star boy Rutger Van Huber through the American Swedish Institute mansion Sunday in Minneapolis. In Scandinavian countries, Lucia is celebrated Dec. 13 in a ceremony where a girl is elected to portray its namesake -- an Italian saint who was adopted by the Swedes. Wearing a white gown with a red sash and a crown of candles, Lucia walks at the head of a procession of girls, each holding a candle. The candles symbolize light in winter's darkness and the fire that refused to take St. Lucia's life when she was sentenced to be burned.
John Wehrly, above center, joined the growing ranks at the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity for the opening mass of the school year last weekend. His class of 33 is the largest since 1981 at the seminary, located at the University of St. Thomas. "I've had this desire towards the priesthood and towards the life of single service to God's people and God since I was an undergrad," said Wehrly, 27. Still, he wavered about making the commitment. On April 1, he said, he prayed to God for an open heart and got his answer. "You've got me," he said. "At least for this next year, and if this is what you want of me, I know it is going to fulfill me. So I say yes."
Valentin Solakhau, the performing arts teacher at the Twin Cities German Immersion School in St. Paul, helped fifth graders Nele Roth left, Matu Mueller and Ingrid Sampson with their tango moves. Valentin is a native of Belarus is preparing the k-6 students for their Friday night performance of Carnival of Cultures, a celebration of song and dance from around the world . The event will take place on Friday 11; at St. Thomas More Catholic Community and school starting at 6pm. Valentin has a masters degree in German Literature and has been a teacher at the school for the past two years.
The Durst quadruplets have huddled around a single bathroom sink in their Buffalo home for the past 17 years, but Saturday required extra coordination. It was prom night, the biggest formal event of their lives.