My Dear faithful, consecrated men and women, clergy and seminarians,
In my heart today I have been holding you in prayer. The fondness in my heart that the Lord has given me is the deep longing of grace and blessing for each of you especially in these trying times. After reading, reflecting and praying on the thought provoking message of Pope Francis (Read Pope Francis’ Urbi et Orbi Message) I sensed in my heart that I should send it to all of you hoping it will be a source of good prayer and reflections upon his encouraging words of faith and trust but also challenging words to help us pray into those areas of our lives where we are not yet filled with the Lord in our love for Him and others rather than getting caught into the many things that distract us from what is “really” only necessary and important for good and holy lives and eternal life. Know of my prayers for each of you and I humble ask for yours that I might be the spiritual father God desires me to be so I can worthily serve God and you as one of his servants in the vineyard with all of you in the vocations you each have been called to.
May the remainder of this Lenten Season unite us all in solidarity in the Lord and what really matters in the end!
Most Reverend Donald E. DeGrood
Bishop of Sioux Falls