We are truly members of one human family

We are truly members of one human family

Fr. Mike Griffin's Column, July 2020
We are used to having alerts and warnings in our lives because we want to be informed and warned of impending danger. Once I slept through a tornado, and soon after bought a weather radio for my bedroom that definitely wakes me up if there is a storm or tornado warning in my area. The weather radios and warning apps, the security systems we put in, the alarms and the devices we use all serve a purpose, to keep ourselves, our families and property safe from harm. I suppose car alarms are meant to do the same. The intention is simple: someone tries to break into your car and the alarm goes off, which either alerts others to the crime, or drives the would-be thief away. That is the way…
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Even alone we are bound together in God’s light

Even alone we are bound together in God’s light

Fr. Mike Griffin's Column, June 2020
Like most people, I love springtime. It is such a gift to move from winter, with its cold darkness, into the growing warmth and light of spring. It is renewing in hope and transforms us as the world around us comes to life again; the growth inspiring us to grow and come to life again as well. Not that springtime does not have its struggles. While I love the season, it is the most difficult time for dog walking. Of course, my Keisha loves to run in spring, and I love to walk as she runs with new excitement, but the mud and the standing water of spring rains and melting snow make the walk a mess. I come home, each day, with muddy pants, and shoes almost an inch…
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There is a healing in returning to Mayberry

There is a healing in returning to Mayberry

Fr. Mike Griffin's Column, May 2020
For these past weeks of social distancing, I have taken the opportunity to check in on some friends, old and new, through various means of social media and phone calls. Recently I had a friend mention to me that he thought I was probably not as busy recently as I may be used to, and I had to agree. My life, as are the lives of everyone, is vastly different than it once was, and I think about things differently than I once did. Every day I look forward to walking the dog and I have come to deeply appreciate the chance to get outside and stretch my legs while she runs with her usual abandon through the pastures. I appreciate the little signs of spring around me and a…
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The sun will rise over the Promised Land

The sun will rise over the Promised Land

April 2020, Fr. Mike Griffin's Column
Every year, every Lent, the Church invites us to a unique place, for a unique time. It begins every year on the First Sunday of Lent when we walk with Jesus into the desert, there for a time of testing and self-discovery. From that moment forward, the wilderness becomes the enduring image of the season. Of course, the usual experience is that we walk out of the wilderness into the verdant garden of Easter; that is our expectation and our desire, we spend our 40 days in the wilderness and we are rewarded with light, oil, flowers and joy. Today, we are facing a new reality, one that mocks our expectations. We face a Lent that ends, not with the luxurious joy of Easter, but of more time dealing with…
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What makes each Lent unique is you

What makes each Lent unique is you

Fr. Mike Griffin's Column, March 2020
A few years ago Bishop Swain honored me with a request to become the pastor of Saint Mary parish in Aberdeen. While I was sad to be leaving Pierre, I was excited about the challenges and opportunities a new parish affords. However, unlike any of my other transfers, this one brought me home. I was born and raised in Aberdeen, and so I occasionally have a small flashback to my youth as I make my way through town or simply go through the day. A few weeks ago I had one of those moments. The city of Aberdeen, and the northeast portion of South Dakota, was hit by two blizzards in January, and after helping dig out around the church, I made my way to the house in which I…
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Pausing before entering the intersection

Pausing before entering the intersection

February 2020, Fr. Mike Griffin's Column
F or several months this past summer and early autumn, the road along our parking lot, Kline Street, was torn up to replace some sewer lines and for other routine maintenance. For those months I had the chance to watch the workers as they labored their long hours, rolling in as I unlocked the church and still working as I locked up. I appreciated their hard work; however, while the work was stunningly efficient, it did cause some minor inconvenience getting into and out of the church complex. It did not take too long for the staff and parishioners to figure out how to make it work, and we certainly appreciated the work being done because it was necessary. It was not until a few weeks into the project that…
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Hearing gentle lessons in winter coziness

Hearing gentle lessons in winter coziness

Fr. Mike Griffin's Column, January 2020
Thanksgiving is long over, Christmas Day is behind us, and even New Year’s Day has passed. We are still celebrating the beautiful season of Christmas in our parish churches, but for many the decorations in the home are being put away for the year. This takes us into January. Now this is not a huge problem for me. My birthday is in January, so I have something to look forward to, but for most others, January is simply an entrance into three months of a long winter. Granted, the days are getting longer now, but not so much as to make a difference. It is simply winter, and we have to deal with it. It is that simple. Yet, the difference is, how to deal with it? A few weeks…
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Making our support tangible

Making our support tangible

December 2019, Fr. Mike Griffin's Column
Several years ago I was standing in the Exchange store at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. I was a few days away from graduating from the Army Chaplain School and was there to pick up my dress uniform from the tailor. I also knew I was just a few days from leaving for my deployment to Afghanistan. I stood in the store and pondered if I should buy anything that might be difficult to find back home. I thought about what my life was going to be like for the next few months, and then I saw the blue star banner for sale on a rack. I remembered the blue star banner was hung from the door of a family who had a soldier overseas during World War II. I was…
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Growth and change, day by day

Growth and change, day by day

Fr. Mike Griffin's Column, November 2019
A few weeks ago I drove to Brookings for the annual Hobo Day festivities. This has become something of an annual tradition, and because of that, certain rituals and routines have arisen. I tend to park in the same place, stop in at the Newman Center on my way to the parade, watch the parade from the same spot, walk to Nick’s Hamburgers for four hamburgers (mustard and onions only), sit next door to eat them, and then walk to the game, watch the game and then drive home. As a human being, I find the rituals comforting and a good way to assure a Jacks victory in the game. Yet, each year as I walk around Brookings and observe Hobo Day around me, the changes become evident. I am…
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The challenge of a giant leap

The challenge of a giant leap

Fr. Mike Griffin's Column, October 2019
When I was 6 years old, just a few weeks before I started first grade, a lunar module designated “Eagle,” landed on the moon. A little over six hours later, Neil Armstrong, the commander of the mission, stepped from the module to the lunar surface. The first human being to step on a soil that was not the Earth’s. Nineteen minutes later, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, Jr. joined him while their crewmate Michael Collins flew overhead. This was a world-changing event, the 50th anniversary of which we celebrated a few months ago. I was a bit nostalgic this past summer thinking about the Apollo 11 flight, watching documentaries and miniseries, reading articles and histories, but I will have to be honest about my own personal recollections regarding this event. I think…
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