God’s greatness shines through our humility

God’s greatness shines through our humility

Bishop DeGrood's Column, January 2021
When I think of humility as I look back on my 55 years of life, what stirs in my heart and mind is how much humble people and our humble God have inspired me. I think of my parents who came from humble beginnings in farm families trying to get settled in America. Neither of them liked having to speak in public or be on church committees, but they loved just being on the farm doing their daily tasks as farmers. As country school students for most of their education years and the need to work hard to get ahead, they learned the value of humble beginnings, humble lifestyles, and a humble disposition before God. When I think of humility, I think of my severely disabled uncle Donnie who humbly…
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Waiting is essential for growth in holiness

Waiting is essential for growth in holiness

Bishop DeGrood's Column, December 2020
I prayed, longed for and waited 23 years for a rural parish until God blessed me with a mostly rural diocese! Wow what a gift beyond my imagination, but only a foretaste of heaven. Man is it hard to wait for what I want. This has been my experience most of my life. It seems I always wanted the next thing, the ideal, the fullness of my desires. Much of my life I tried various ways to fulfill those desires, sometimes discovering what I was desiring was more surface things like the pleasures of money, power, possessions, the mind or the body. In seeking and having some of those things I would eventually discover they didn’t satisfy my heart where my deepest longing is. My heart has and always will…
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The “thirst” of Jesus is deep and strong

The “thirst” of Jesus is deep and strong

Bishop DeGrood's Column, November 2020
The striking words of Jesus on the cross “I thirst” have long been understood in our Catholic faith as Jesus’ thirst for all of humanity to receive God’s love. Consider these words written by St. Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa) to the sisters in her community explaining the meaning of Jesus’ “thirst”: “Not only [that] He loves you, even more—He longs for you. He misses you when you don’t come close. He thirsts for you. He loves you always, even when you don’t feel worthy. Even if you are not accepted by others, even by yourself sometimes—He is the one who always accepts you.” As a kid I just figured Jesus was thirsty for some water to drink, but as I am learning more and more to receive the love…
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God calls each of us to a purposeful life

God calls each of us to a purposeful life

Bishop DeGrood's Column, October 2020
One of the people who has had the greatest impact on my life is someone whom, by the world’s standards, was a “burden on society.” He was a man who never earned a living, someone who relied on everyone else for his basic needs all his life, someone who consumed a lot of other people’s time, energy and resources. Some may consider his life worthless, costly and unworthy of an investment of time and resources. He was however, and continues to be though he died in 1984, a man who helped me find my purpose in life because of his love, prayer, insights and humble witness. That person is my uncle Donnie, whom I was named after. My uncle Donnie, severely disabled since birth, was classified as having cerebral palsy.…
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What does “Lifelong Catholic Missionary  Discipleship Through God’s Love” look like?

What does “Lifelong Catholic Missionary Discipleship Through God’s Love” look like?

Bishop DeGrood's Column, September 2020
If your experience has been like mine, faith has been more a personal matter between God and me. Through my years as a Catholic layman, priest and now bishop, I have a much deeper understanding of the importance to know, love and serve God through study, prayer and sharing my faith with others. I have learned to receive and share what God intends for others. As I look back on my life I am grateful for those wonderful examples in my family, friends and teachers who have taught, loved and challenged me in a good way to become comfortable talking about my faith with others. It is so great to no longer fear sharing my faith with others and the joy of doing it has brought a great sense of…
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God’s love helps preserve and restore innocence

God’s love helps preserve and restore innocence

August 2020, Bishop DeGrood's Column
On December 11, the night before the announcement that I was appointed the new bishop of our diocese, I was driving from Minneapolis to Sioux Falls. It was a lovely evening. As I headed through the rural areas of Interstate 90, I was struck by the lovely cold evening as the moon shone over the barren, partially snow-covered farmland. My interior spiritual sense was that I was returning to a Nazareth sort of place—a new home in which the innocent life I loved and remembered as a child was being restored to me. It was this spiritual experience in my prayerful ponderings that inspired these two lines in my “God is Love” prayer which I felt inspired to write: “Protect us from evil and help us to live a holy…
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God’s promptings in the silence of my heart

God’s promptings in the silence of my heart

Bishop DeGrood's Column, July 2020
In each of my assignments as pastor and now as your bishop, I have received a particular grace (spiritual insight from God) to provide a clear vision or focus for everyone to follow. The clear sense I got in prayer for our diocese is that God desires for everyone in our diocese to focus on lifelong missionary discipleship through God’s love. Our feature article this month is written by Fr. Scott Traynor who is working with the diocesan Discipleship and Evangelization Team so they all can support the missionary discipleship efforts of clergy, staff and parishioners in all our Catholic parishes, schools and other Catholic institutions. Here are some insights from Fr. Traynor and the team he is overseeing. The team has been engaged in fruitful efforts around the diocese…
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The Divine Artist is always at work

The Divine Artist is always at work

Bishop DeGrood's Column, June 2020
One needs only to ponder the creative and intricate nature of all of God’s creation to see the Divine Artist (God) at work. If we look at the formation of a child in the womb of its mother and how amazing newborns are, one realizes there is a Divine Intelligence that knows how to creatively and perfectly make each of us with our own unique characteristics yet in His own image and likeness. God chooses each of us to be a creative expression of His goodness based on our vocations as married, single, consecrated men and women or clergy. We each have a role to play in allowing God’s creative design of each of us to be relished and shared, to bring Him glory and honor, and to share His…
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Hope is a gift from God

Hope is a gift from God

Bishop DeGrood's Column, May 2020
For much of my life I tried to muster up enough hope in others, myself and even God. Only after years of trying so hard the wrong way have I come to learn and appreciate that if my hope is in God I will NEVER be disappointed. St. Paul made this point explicitly when he wrote that “hope does not disappoint.” Why? He went on: “because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us” (Rom 5:5). A few years ago I was struggling to have hope that the challenges we were faced with in my home diocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis would turn out for the good. I remember on one of my days of recollection…
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Our Lenten trial of coronavirus

Our Lenten trial of coronavirus

April 2020, Bishop DeGrood's Column
One never knows what sort of trials, sufferings, disappointments or illnesses may come our way. This year it is the coronavirus which provides us a great opportunity to turn to God, ask for His help and offer our sufferings to God as an act of love in a joyful way. How do we do this? In this context the words written by St. Paul in his letter to the Colossians are especially striking: “I rejoice in my sufferings” (Col 1:24). He rejoices in his sufferings? For most of us, pain and suffering are things to be avoided at all costs, and yet St. Paul wrote to the Colossians in the mid-first century—and to us today—that he not only endured his sufferings for good reason, but he rejoiced in them. Why…
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