Diocese of Winona-Rochester Press Releases



September 27, 2019

CONTACT: Matt Willkom
                  Director, Office of Communications
                  Phone: 507.858.1263     email:

St. John the Evangelist Co-Cathedral, 11 4th Ave. SW, Rochester, MN, will host a relics tour of St. Padre Pio on Wednesday, October 2nd from 1:00pm to 9:00pm. Being held in collaboration with the St. Pio Foundation, the event will begin with Bishop John M. Quinn of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester celebrating Holy Mass in honor of St. Pio at 12:10pm in the main church.

Born Francisco Forgione in 1887 in Pietrelcina, Italy, Pio was ordained a priest in 1910. The Capuchin Franciscan was known for his wisdom and charity, as well as the quality of his preaching. He famously urged his listeners to, “pray, hope and don’t worry.”

Pio’s gifts hinted at the supernatural. For example, many penitents coming to him in the sacrament of confession have said that he knew details of their lives that they had never mentioned. He also received the stigmata, or wounds of Christ, in his hands, feet and side – a phenomenon which remains unexplained. Pio suffered from other health problems, including cancer which was miraculously healed after just two treatments. Seeing Jesus in all the sick and suffering who came to him for help, Padre Pio inspired the construction of a new hospital in 1946, called the “House for the Alleviation of Suffering”. Pio died in 1968 and was proclaimed a saint of the Catholic Church in 2002. Several people have reported cures they believe were received through the saint’s intercession.

“It is a great privilege and blessing especially in this city, so well-known for healing, to host the relics of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, identified by many as a sign of hope and healing in the midst of extreme suffering,” said Bishop Quinn. “I invite anyone who wishes to encounter God’s love through the veneration of these holy objects.” While distinct from the sacraments, which provide God’s grace, Catholics believe that the veneration of, viz., giving honor to, relics, such as the bodily remains or personal effects of saints, can lead people to receive or respond to grace.

Bishop Quinn is available for interviews about the tour. Those media representatives also wishing to attend the event are asked to contact the Office of Communications at 507.858.1263 or email More information is available at

Padre Pio - Image



June 24, 2019

CONTACT:     Matt Willkom
                         Director, Office of Communications
                         Phone: 507.858.1263

Deacon Matthew Wagner will be ordained to the priesthood by Bishop John M. Quinn at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona on Friday, June 28, 2019, at 2:00 p.m.

Deacon Wagner is from Stillwater, MN, the son of Daniel and Nancy Wagner, and brother of Andrew Wagner. He graduated from Stillwater Area High School, attending college at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota. While studying Business and Sports Management, Wagner was fully received into the Catholic Church, receiving his first Holy Communion and Confirmation as a Catholic. After growing in his own love of God, and inspired by the witness of several friends and classmates, he started discerning a call to the priesthood, joining Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary (IHM) in the fall of 2013. Wagner graduated from IHM Seminary in the spring of 2015, and continued his theological studies at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, MI, where he recently graduated with both a Master of Divinity degree and a Bachelor in Sacred Theology degree as well. After ordination he will serve as Parochial Vicar of the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart and St. Casimir's Parish in Winona.

The ordination Mass will be streamed live on the DOW-R Facebook page. Media representatives wishing to attend the ordination Mass June 28 are asked to contact the Office of Communications at 507.858.1263 or email

Deacon Matthew Wager - Image