24th Annual Bishop’s Charity Hunt

Support college students’ faith through Catholic Campus Ministries

Bishop Paul J. Swain and priests from the diocese will trade in their traditional black for blaze orange hunting gear during the Bishop’s Charity Hunt on September 23 and 24, sponsored by the Catholic Community Foundation of Eastern South Dakota.

The fields at Horseshoe K Ranch in Kimball offer a perfect setting for the two-day pheasant hunt. All proceeds help support the Catholic Newman Centers at the four state universities in eastern South Dakota: SDSU in Brookings, USD in Vermillion, NSU in Aberdeen and DSU in Madison.

Father Andrew Dickinson, director of the Pius XII Newman Center in Brookings and pastor at St. Paul Parish in White, knows pheasants are plentiful and an important part of South Dakota’s economic and cultural lifeblood. So why pay money to hunt them when you could just ask an area farmer to hunt in his field?

“The Bishop’s Charity Hunt is more than just a chance to blast some birds. It’s a chance to support the future of eastern South Dakota,” Father Dickinson says. “It is in college where the future leaders of agriculture, business, medicine and education are making their life-long decisions for Jesus Christ and His Catholic Church. If we want to have healthy families, towns and economies for the future of South Dakota, then we have to support Catholic Newman Centers and Campus Ministries.”

Eighty percent of Catholics leave the faith between the ages of 18 and 24. Decisions made during university years will impact the rest of one’s life. Strong Catholic Campus Ministry forms the leaders of tomorrow in our society and our Church—from strong husbands and wives to dynamic priests and religious.

Father Dickinson has noticed that news media narratives often portray college students as lazy, party animals, and incapable of criticism. But he sees the students involved in the Newman Centers as “truly breaking the mold in regard to those narratives and expectations.”

“When a college student decides to make Jesus Christ and the Catholic faith a priority in their life, a wide range of options are available: discernment of religious life and priesthood, what sort of spouse they want to have, or how they will live as a nurse, teacher or farmer,” he says.

Father Dickinson says the Bishop’s Charity Hunt is an opportunity to support a powerful cause, even if you have other options for hunting pheasants.

“Help us form the leaders of tomorrow. In the lives and stories of college graduates impacted by Campus Ministries, you can see how they break the mold and lead to a future full of hope,” he says.

Join the bishop and many others to support this great cause. Lodging is on-site and included in the fee. For more information or to register, visit www.ccfesd.org or call 605-988-3765.