Kristi is a multimedia reporter and blog coordinator for The Visitor. She is also a wife, mother of three and grandmother of two who loves spending time being creative in the kitchen, at the workbench and with words. She has a master’s degree in pastoral ministry which she hopes is being put to good use in helping others tell their stories.
Lucas is a student at St. Cloud State University and is pursuing a degree in Philosophy and English with an emphasis in Linguistics and Rhetoric. Born and raised in St. Cloud, he has lived here for the 19 years of life and two years in Winona when he attended Saint Mary’s University. He attends St. Mary’s Cathedral and is active in ministry at St. Augustine Church and Christ Church Newman Center in St. Cloud. He enjoys almost anything to do with the outdoors such as rock climbing, hiking, kayaking, camping and will always be ready to hang in a hammock and waste a day away with a cup of black coffee.
Steve Gottwalt is a member of the Church of Saint Peter in Saint Cloud. He and his wife Paula have five children and four grandchildren and live in west Saint Cloud. Steve is a journalist by education and training, and now works as an independent health care policy consultant and executive director of the Minnesota Association of County Health Plans. He served nine years as director of communications for the Diocese of Saint Cloud during which time he also served on the Saint Cloud City Council. Steve went on to serve six years in the Minnesota Legislature, chairing the House Health and Human Services Reform Committee for two years. He also serves as one of the Minnesota Catholic Conference representatives on the board of Minnesota’s Joint Religious Legislative Coalition (JRLC). Steve and Paula have volunteered with the diocesan Office of Marriage and Family and in numerous other diocesan activities for more than thirty years. Steve is particularly passionate about our universal responsibility for faith in the public arena, faithful citizenship and respectful dialogue.
Sarah is a wife and homeschooling mom of five who keeps their days steady with her planning and organizing skills. Striving for simplicity alongside grace in the every day as she and her husband raise their children and chickens in the country, Sarah says they stay bound together through faith and lots of love.
Sheila is a department and program coordinator at St. John’s University and the College of St. Benedict. She is active in the St. Rose of Lima parish. She completed a master’s degree in business, researching Catholic parish clustering and best practices. She loves reading, particularly political, legal, and historical fiction and nonfiction. She finds God everywhere – from Sunday Mass to sunrises and sunsets, but particularly in people – college students discerning their vocation, high school students using lectio divina during religious education class, church basement ladies quilting, hospice patients she sits with.
Carol Jessen-Klixbull is a copy editor at The Visitor. She is a former Family and Consumer Science teacher who has a passion for all things “food.”
Timothy is the Director of Worship for the Diocese of St. Cloud.
Rita is a regular columnist for the The Visitor.
Stephen is a member of St. Mary of Mount Carmel, Long Prairie. He is: not a native Minnesotan; not a cradle Catholic; a former librarian; likes kids, somewhat baffled by adults and is married to the smartest and most beautiful woman in the world with whom we have six astonishing children.
Geralyn Nathe-Evans has been called to the vocations of wife, mom, Lay Ecclesial Minister, nurse and friend. Geralyn began her education following high school becoming a nurse. Geralyn continued on to receive her Master’s Degree in Pastoral Ministry from St. John’s University as well as a certification from the Center for Loss and Life Transition; Colorado State University in Death and Grief Education. Geralyn married her high school best friend in 1979 and after 34 years, 10 months and 6 hours, Dave died in June of 2014. They have three sons, Michael 30, Matthew 27 and Luke 23, who are of great pride and joy. While God entrusted them with their children, they are now serving in the world. Geralyn is presently the Director of Faith Formation for the Parishes of St. Peter’s and St. Paul’s in St. Cloud and a member of St. Benedict’s in Avon.
Molly is not a native Minnesota girl. Rather, she hails from Atlanta, Georgia, and lived in several different states and countries before she landed in Minnesota in 2017. She is a wife and mother of two. Prior to staying home with her two young daughters Molly spent twelve years working as a teacher and campus minister. Molly loves chatting about her faith. Other things you might find her doing include watching or playing sports, reading a book, indulging her love of chocolate or traveling.
Dianne Towalski is a multimedia reporter for The Visitor as well as the paper’s page designer. She worked for The Visitor as a full-time photographer from 1991 to 2005, before taking a job first as a page designer and then as a multimedia reporter with The Catholic Spirit in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, where she worked from 2005 to 2014. She and her husband, Joe, returned to work in the Office of Communications and The Visitor in 2014. They live in Sauk Rapids and have two grown children, Erin and Christian. They are members of Sacred Heart Parish in Sauk Rapids.
Dianne’s likes: Anything photography related, the Chicago Cubs and Blackhawks, SCSU Husky hockey, the Green Bay Packers, the Minnesota United FC, country music, fashion and good red wine.
Joe Towalski is communications director for the Diocese of St. Cloud and editor of The Visitor newspaper.
TRICIA AND NIKKI WALZ
Tricia and Nikki are proud Minnesotans who were born and raised in the heart of St. Cloud with their younger sister Briana. Tricia uses her biochemistry degree to provide exceptional jokes which never fail to baffle Nikki, whose master’s degree in theology doesn’t seem to help her in this regard. When Tricia is not working at Medtronic she can be found at St. Peter’s and St. Paul’s volunteering with the youth, trying to regain her youthfulness by shooting hoops or taking full advantage of “Boneless Thursday” at Buffalo Wild Wings. Nikki, the younger of the two who uses that fact to remind Tricia that she will never be as old as her, recently embarked on a new adventure as the Faith Formation Director at St. Mary’s Cathedral and St. Augustine’s. Nikki can often be spotted in the adoration chapel, trying to imitate Taylor Swift on the guitar or keeping Cherry Berry in business with her love of chocolate. As cradle Catholics who discovered the treasures of the Church in their teenage years, they are extremely excited to share their experiences as they walk this crazy journey called life together!
Tim is the Consultant for Educational Technology at Catholic Education Ministries, Diocese of Saint Cloud, MN. With more than 35 years of experience at the parish and diocesan levels, he is continually searching for ways of journeying with others to implement proven technologies that can serve ministry (especially catechesis).
DEACON STEVE YANISH
Deacon Steve is a husband, father, grandfather and retired nursing home chaplain who is currently serving as deacon at St. Francis Xavier Church in Sartell.