Colorado parents to witness only-child’s final vows

When she was in second grade, Julia Eden MacLean was a nun for career day. That day became a foreshadowing of her calling to the religious life as a Religious Sister of Mercy of Alma, Mich. MacLean, now Sister Miriam, the daughter of Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception parishioners Joseph and Kathleen MacLean, is preparing to make her perpetual vows Aug. 16 in Saginaw, Mich. After her profession, she will serve in Lake Charles, La., in the diocese’s department of religious education.

Sister Miriam was born and raised in Manchester, N.H., the same place where Mother Mary Frances Ward brought the Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma, Mich., order to serve in the United States. Sister Miriam graduated from Ave Maria University in Florida at age 19 and entered the order at 20.

She said she always wanted to say “yes” to Jesus the first time she heard the Gospel passage about how he told the rich man to sell all his possessions and follow him.

During her formation, she earned a master’s degree in social work and is now enrolled in a doctoral program at Michigan State University for social work. She is employed as a counselor at Catholic Charities of Lansing, Mich.

“People need to know they are loved,” Sister Miriam has said.

Her mother is the organist at the Cathedral Basilica and her father works at St. Joseph Home for Veterans in Denver.

“We have been richly blessed through our daughter’s vocation,” Kathleen MacLean said.



Dominican novices profess simple vows

Two Dominican novices made their first profession Aug. 10 at St. Dominic Church.

Brother Christopher Alan Johnson, O.P., who hails from Fargo, N.D., studied at Loras College in Iowa. He became a teacher and taught high school social studies for five years and was a cross-country coach. A friend encouraged him to take his faith seriously. He then met a vocations director for the Dominicans. After a long discernment, Brother Johnson felt called to the live the order’s values of prayer, community, study and ministry.

Brother Benjamin Raymond Kuzemka, O.P., also made his first profession. He grew up in a mixed-religious background but converted with his family while he was in high school. After graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he taught in China and his faith grew. He returned and completed his master’s degree and then discovered the Dominican order.


COMING UP: Colorado bishops issue letter on the Hyde Amendment and other pro-life Congressional policies

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We, the Catholic bishops of Colorado, urge Congressional Representatives to support the Hyde Amendment and the Walden Amendment. We also ask the Faithful to sign The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) petition to lawmakers encouraging them to preserve the Hyde Amendment, which can be accessed at:, and to contact their Congressmen and women to support the Hyde and Walden amendments.

The House Appropriations Labor and Health and Human Services subcommittee recently passed a spending bill that strips protections for pre-born children, healthcare providers,and American taxpayers by excluding pro-life provisions, including the Hyde and Weldon amendments.

The Hyde Amendment, which prohibits taxpayer dollars from being used to fund abortion in most cases, except for rape and incest, has received bipartisan support since its inception in 1976 – including by pro-abortion administrations. Hyde is critical in saving lives. The Charlotte Lozier Institute estimates that approximately 60,000 pre-born babies are saved every year because of the Hyde Amendment.[1] This is the first time in 40 years that the Hyde Amendment was not included in the annual appropriations bill[2] and failure to include pro-life amendments will only further increase divisions in our country.

The Weldon Amendment prevents any federal programs, agencies, and state and local governments from discriminating against health care practitioners and institutions that do not provide abortion services. It ensures that pro-life individuals and organizations can enter the health care profession without fearing that the government will force them to perform a procedure that violates their well-founded convictions. It has also received bipartisan support and was added to the appropriations bill every year since it was first enacted in 2005. [3]

Congress’ recent actions endanger the lives of pre-born children and infringe on the rights of millions of Americans who do not wish to participate in the moral evil of abortion. A recent Knights of Columbus/Marist poll found that 58 percent of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortions[4] and a 2019 Gallup poll shows that 60 percent of Americans think abortion should either be illegal or only legal in a few circumstances.[5]

The government should neither use taxpayer funds for the killing of pre-born children nor compel medical practitioners and institutions to violate their well-founded convictions. Congress must uphold these long-standing, common-sense bipartisan policies that promote a culture of life in our nation.

Human reason and science affirm that human life begins at conception. The Church objects to abortion on the moral principle that each and every human life has inherent dignity, and thus must be treated with respect due to every human person. There has never been and never will be a legitimate need to abort a baby in the womb.

It is critical that Congress continue its long-history of supporting policies such as the Hyde and Walden amendments, and that all Colorado Catholics and people of good will make their voice heard in supporting these life-affirming policies.

Sign the petition to Congress here:

Contact your Congressional Representatives here:

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Samuel J. Aquila
Archbishop of Denver

Most Reverend Stephen J. Berg
Bishop of Pueblo

Most Reverend James R. Golka
Bishop of Colorado Springs

Most Reverend Jorge Rodriguez
Auxiliary Bishop of Denver