Introducing Bishop-elect Donald DeGrood

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 time.
You come from Minnesota. I came from Wisconsin. Both states have plenty of trees, forests, lakes and hills. I must admit that when I arrived here for the first time I was taken aback by the wide open spaces. In my over 13 years of car time as bishop here I have grown to appreciate the prairies and plains, the vistas and the sky, to the extent that when I now return to Wisconsin I feel closed in by those trees and hills. This unique part of God’s creation is a treasure to be savored and preserved.
You were raised on a farm so you already appreciate the work ethic and faith grounded in hope that those who farm and ranch live and witness every day. Those core values are deeply ingrained here not only in the rural areas but in our cities and villages as well and therefore in our parishes and people.
You will learn to appreciate the priests, deacons and laity, though shaken by the scandals in the Church these days, remain focused on the their belief that they are called to their individual vocations based on the truth that Christ instituted the Church and with the Holy Spirit continues and will continue to guide her.
I am grateful to God and His Church to have been the 8th bishop of Sioux Falls. My vision though not fully fulfilled, has been reflected in the prayer for the diocese we just prayed. We look forward to your vision and your spiritual and pastoral leadership in the days to come.
Be assured that I will support you in any way I can. The most practical gift I can give you I think is to get out of your way. I will.
May Saint Joseph, patron of the Diocese of Sioux Falls, and Our Lady of Guadalupe whose feast day we celebrate today, watch over and protect you and this special diocese.
Welcome Bishop-elect DeGrood to the Diocese of Sioux Falls.