An opening ceremony will be held for Hindu Samaj Temple, a new Indian cultural center and temple that will also house religious activities for local Hindus, Sikhs and Jains, at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 17 at 911 11th Ave. N.W. in Rochester.

The opening of Hindu Samaj Temple represents the first time that the local Indian-American community has had a permanent place of its own to house local cultural and religious activities. A major motivation for forming the center was a desire that cultural and religious traditions get passed along to the younger generation.


Several former members and pastors returned to Calvary Evangelical Free Church last weekend as the church celebrated its 50th anniversary with an open house and banquet on Saturday and two Sunday services at which Evangelical Free Church of America president William Hamel preached.

The congregation that started with 21 members now ranks among the largest churches in terms of worship attendance in Rochester, attracting an average of 700 people to weekly services.


The church is selling a 48-page history book that was released in conjunction with the 50th anniversary celebration and is also taking orders for a two-disc DVD that features a pictorial history and footage from the 50th anniversary celebration.

The anniversary will be the last Calvary marks under the leadership of the Rev. Gene Follis, who will retire at the end of November after 17 years of service to the congregation.


Catholics begin the Year of the Eucharist this month, starting months of celebration and study that will culminate next fall in a meeting of bishops for what could be a closely watched discussion of rules governing the Eucharist.

Observance of The Year of the Eucharist in the Diocese of Winona will likely include groups to study Pope John Paul II's recent pastoral letter on the Eucharist; a renewed focus on social justice efforts; celebrations of the Feast of Corpus Christi that may include 40-hour devotions and a procession, a diocesan pilgrimage to the Vatican led by Bishop Bernard Harrington; and a Eucharistic Day celebration today at Mayo Civic Center Auditorium.

According to Catholic News Service, the meeting of bishops next fall will include discussion of rules governing who should and who should not receive communion, an issue that has received increased attention this year after a small number of bishops said they would deny Holy Communion to John Kerry and other Catholic politicians who support abortion rights.


Trisha Stark, a staff member of the Neighborhood Involvement Program in Minneapolis, will give a talk titled "On Depression" at 10:30 a.m. Sunday at Christ United Methodist Church in Rochester.


The talk is part of Christ United Methodist's adult forum and is being held in conjunction with Depression Awareness Month.

Christ United Methodist is at 400 Fifth Ave. S.W.


WINONA -- The Winona Voice of the Faithful group will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday at St. Mary's Catholic Church.

The Winona Voice of the Faithful group aims to support survivors of abuse, to support priests who are faithfully living their vows, and to work for structural changes in the culture that contributed to the U.S. Catholic Church's sex-abuse crisis.

For more information visit or call Jim Allaire at (507) 452-7224.

News items for Faith Focus are due by Wednesday noon prior to the Saturday publication. You may e-mail information to or mail it to Faith Focus, Lifestyle Section, 18 First Ave. S.E., Rochester MN 55904.

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