TV Mass Homily 02/9/2020

TV Mass Homily
On Thursday the Ninth Bishop of Sioux Falls, my successor, will be ordained and installed. I will retire and assume the role of Bishop Emeritus. As a result this will be my last recorded Mass for television and social media. When the Holy Spirit guided me many years ago to personally celebrate this Mass I had no idea what a blessing it would be to me personally and to others. I have been humbled by so many not only in our diocese but around the country and the world who have become part of our spiritual family. Thank you for your support, your patience, your perseverance and your faith, and that of the parishioners and priests of the Cathedral of Saint Joseph over the years. You have allowed me to…
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Sunday TV Mass Homily 02/02/2020

TV Mass Homily
Today we celebrate the Presentation of the Lord when Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the Temple to present him to God as was the custom, tradition and the obligation of the religious law. It is a beautiful gesture of recognition that children are gifts from God. That is an important reminder as we face the attacks on life in what Pope Francis has called our ‘throwaway’ culture and that this child, the Christ child, is a unique gift from God becoming man for a purpose - our redemption. This is also World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life, recognizing the beauty of the religious who by vows of poverty, chastity and obedience have dedicated their lives to serving the Christ child. With grateful hearts let us pray for, remember…
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TV Mass Homily 01/12/2020

TV Mass Homily
Today the Christmas season comes to an end with the Baptism of the Lord. Why would Jesus seek to be baptized? After all he unlike us was born without sin. John the Baptist wondered too: “I need to be baptized by you,” John said. Jesus gently replied; “allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Righteousness in this sense likely means the will of the Father. In other words, my baptism is part of God’s plan, and I came to do His will. The Baptism of Jesus can be seen as revelation, as inauguration and as a statement of mission. The baptism of the Lord is revelation, making clear in no uncertain terms who Jesus was and is and revealing the mystery of the…
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TV Mass Homily 01/05/2020

TV Mass Homily
Today we celebrate the Epiphany. Through the visit of the Magi, the baby Jesus is revealed as the Messiah, Son of God, and Savior of the World, longed hoped for by the people of Israel. There are at least three lessons from the wonderings of the Magi, or three kings or wise men as they are familiarly called. First is the recognition that divine revelation is necessary to enhance what we can learn on our own, faith and reason are complementary. We don’t know it all. When the Magi, certainly learned men, saw the star, they likely studied it, theorized about it, discussed it and finally determined that their knowledge was not enough. They had to follow it to discover where it led, what it meant. It was not until…
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TV Mass Homily 12/29/2019

TV Mass Homily
Today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. After the preparations, celebrations and cleanup from the most recent Christmas Day, I imagine many of you a bit weary and yearn for some downtime. Christmas in the Church however is not only one day; it is a season for reflection, for reflection on the purpose of the birth of the Christ child. It is not yet ordinary time. Have you ever wondered how Mary and Joseph felt in the days after the birth of their son, the first Christmas day? You who have been parents have some understanding – exhaustion, elation, concern, wonderment may be some words that come to mind. From today’s Gospel we know that it was never to be ordinary time for…
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TV Mass Homily 12/22/2019

TV Mass Homily
Today we lit the last of the Advent candles. Our wait for the coming of the Lord is almost over. Christmas Day is only three days away. Whether Christ is with us on that day and the days that follow depends on whether we see the light of Christ in the window of our hearts. We desperately need the one who came and is to come again to guide and console us through the storms of life. We need, the Light of the World. A few years ago Catholic Digest told of a Native American on a reservation here in South Dakota who in the middle of a winter blizzard had to go out for wood. He had tied ropes from the house to the wood pile before the storm,…
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TV Mass Homily 12/15/2019

TV Mass Homily
Today the third candle on the Advent wreath has been lighted, purple vestments are replaced with rose ones, as we celebrate Gaudete, Rejoice, Sunday, for the coming of the Lord is nearer. In less than two weeks we will celebrate the Nativity of the Lord, Christmas. As we anticipate that joyful spiritual and family time, what does the coming of the Lord mean for us? What will Christmas mean to us this year? In the first reading from Isaiah, the scribe describes what will occur when the Messiah arrives. “Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared, then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the mute will sing. Be strong, fear not.” But he does not suggest…
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Introducing Bishop-elect Donald DeGrood

Statements and Documents
It is a great pleasure to introduce to you the soon to be 9th Bishop of Sioux Falls, Bishop-elect Donald DeGrood from the Archdiocese of St Paul and Minneapolis our neighbor. I say that it is a pleasure not only because I can now actually retire, but because the diocese will have a discerning bishop who is well-respected as a seasoned, prayerful, compassionate and upbeat priest who loves Christ and His Church. Bishop-Elect DeGrood, Pope Francis has appointed you to lead a very special diocese. Here in South Dakota the state is divided by the Missouri River as are the dioceses of Sioux Falls and Rapid City familiarly referred to as East River and West River. East River our diocese is 35,000 square miles. Get ready for some significant car…
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TV Mass Homily 12/8/2019

TV Mass Homily
Those my age grew up enjoying Peanuts cartoons both in the daily paper and on TV. I am a bit nostalgic for the simplicity and subtle moral message told with humor they brought every day. Fortunately every year we have the opportunity to view once again on television A Charlie Brown Christmas. Now decades old, it does not have the dazzling graphics of today’s media. It does retain the dazzling message of the real meaning of Christmas. Christmas ought to be about Christ. The initial focus of these cartoon characters is on what they want for Christmas, a not outdated focus in our day. Lucy, mulling over what she expects in gifts decides that this year she wants real estate. Sally, Charlie Brown’s sister, writes a letter to Santa Claus…
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TV Mass Homily 12/01/2019

TV Mass Homily
I pray that you all had a thanks filled Thanksgiving Day and took the opportunity to count your blessings and thank God for them. Someone said that gratitude is the memory of the heart. Every Thanksgiving day I try to remember who helped shape my life – my grandparents and other relatives, teachers, friends, some of you. I recall my 8th grade English teacher who had us diagram sentences on the blackboard, which is now an outdated teaching tool, for what seemed like hours, but imbued in me a love for the English language. I don’t know how one could diagram text messages the popular means of communication today. I think of the Bishop who allowed a new convert to the faith to go to seminary at an older age.…
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