Office of the Bishop

Priest Assignment Changes -July 2021

Effective July 1, 2021, the Most Reverend Donald E. DeGrood has decreed the following appointments which relieve the following priests from assigned ministry and thus permit them to retire:

Reverend Jerome Kopel, from Pastor of Sacred Heart, Gettysburg and St. Pius X, Onida, to Senior Priest.

Reverend Kenneth Koster, from Pastor of Holy Rosary, Kranzburg, and St John, Castlewood, to Senior Priest.

Reverend Michael Schneider, from Pastor of Holy Trinity, Huron, to Retirement.

Reverend Andrew Swietochowski, from Pastor of St. James, Chamberlain, and St. Margaret, Kimball, to Senior Priest.

Reverend James Zimmer, from Chaplain Sanford Hospital and Health System to Senior Priest.

Effective July 1, 2021, at the recommendation of the Pro Ecclesia Sancta community and the endorsement of their religious superior, the Most Reverend Donald E. DeGrood has decreed the following appointments:

Reverend Yamato Icochea, PES to Parochial Vicar of the parishes of Holy Family and Holy Spirit in Mitchell.

Reverend Cesar Valencia, PES, to Pastor of the parishes of Holy Family and Holy Spirit in Mitchell.

Effective July 1, 2021, the Most Reverend Donald E. DeGrood has decreed the following appointments which have the effect of creating new pastoral linkages between parishes:

Reverend Thomas Anderson, in addition to his current role as Pastor of St. Benedict, Yankton, to Pastor of Sacred Heart, Yankton.

Reverend Andrew Dickinson, in addition to his current role as Pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, Aberdeen, to Pastor of St. Mary, Aberdeen, and Priest Director of St. Thomas Aquinas Newman Center, Aberdeen, and Temporary Parish Administrator of Sacred Heart Parish, Westport.

Reverend Michael Griffin, from Pastor of St. Mary, Aberdeen, and Administrator of Sacred Heart, Westport, to Pastor of St. Joseph, Mobridge, St. Michael, Herreid, St. Anthony, Selby, and St. Joseph, Eureka.

Reverend Christopher Hughes, from Pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle, Faulkton, and St. Liborius, Polo, to Pastor of St. Mary, Clear Lake, St. Peter, Gary, St. Francis de Sales, Estelline, Holy Rosary, Kranzburg, and St. John, Castlewood.

Reverend Mark Lichter, in addition to his current role as Pastor of St. Wenceslaus, Tabor, and St. John the Baptist, Lesterville/Sigel, to Pastor of St. George, Scotland, and St. Boniface, Idylwilde/Mayfield.

Effective July 1, 2021, (unless indicated differently) the Most Reverend Donald E. DeGrood has decreed the following appointments to pastorates and chaplaincies:

Reverend Thomas Clement, from Pastor of St. Michael, Herreid, St. Anthony, Selby, and St. Joseph, Eureka, to Pastor of St. Peter the Apostle, Platte, and St. Ann, Geddes.

Reverend Kristopher Cowles, from Pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Sioux Falls, to Priest Director of the St. Thomas More Newman Center, Vermillion.

Reverend Thomas Fitzpatrick, from Pastor of St. Nicholas, Tea, and St. Christina, Parker, to Pastor of St. Katharine Drexel, Sioux Falls.

Reverend William Hamak, from Pastor of St. Joseph, Mobridge, to Pastor of St. Margaret, Kimball, and St. James, Chamberlain.

Reverend Thomas Hartman, from Pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Groton, and St. Joseph, Turton, and Sacramental Minister of the St. Thomas Aquinas Newman Center, Aberdeen, to Pastor of St. Michael, Sioux Falls.

Reverend John Helmueller, from Pastor of St. Mary, Clear Lake, St. Peter, Gary, and St. Francis de Sales, Estelline, to Pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Sioux Falls.

Reverend Steven Jones, from Priest Director, St. Thomas More Newman Center, to Pastor of St. Mary, Salem, and St. Patrick, Montrose.

Reverend DeWayne Kayser, from Pastor of St Mary, Salem, to Chaplain Sanford USD Medical Center & Hospital, Sioux Falls.

Reverend Paul King, in addition to his current role as Pastor of St. George, Hartford, to Pastor of St. Ann Parish, Humboldt.

Reverend Robert Krantz, from Pastor of St. Patrick, Montrose, and St. Ann, Humboldt, to Pastor of St. Mary of Mercy, Alexandria, St. Martin, Emery, and St. Stephen, Bridgewater.

Reverend Grant Lacey, from Pastor St. Peter the Apostle, Platte, and St. Ann Parish, Geddes, to University Chaplain and Director of Campus Ministry at Mount Marty University and Sacred Heart Monastery, Yankton.

Reverend Ken Lulf, from Pastor of Holy Family and Holy Spirit, Mitchell, St. Martin, Emery, St. Mary of Mercy, Alexandria, and St. Stephen, Bridgewater, to Pastor of Sacred Heart, Eden, and St. Joseph, Grenville.

Reverend Tyler Mattson, from Parochial Vicar, Christ the King, Sioux Falls, Chaplain at O’Gorman Junior High School, Sioux Falls, and Associate Vocations Director for the Diocese to Pastor St. Nicholas, Tea, and St. Christina, Parker, and Campus Ministry Coordinator in Sioux Falls.

Reverend Randy Phillips, from Pastor of St. George, Scotland, and St. Boniface, Idylwilde/Mayfield, to Pastor of St. Thomas, Faulkton, and St. Liborius. Polo.

Reverend Larry Regynski, from Pastor of Sacred Heart, Yankton, to Pastor of Holy Trinity, Huron.

Reverend Brian Simon, from Parochial Administrator of Sacred Heart, Eden, and St. Joseph, Grenville, to Parochial Administrator of Sacred Heart, Gettysburg, and St. Pius X, Onida.

Reverend Shane Stevens, effective May 1, 2021, while remaining Pastor of St. Mary, Dell Rapids, from Temporary Administrator to Pastor of St. Rose of Lima, Garretson, and St. Joseph the Workman, Huntimer

Reverend Gregory Tschakert, from Pastor of St. Katharine Drexel, Sioux Falls, to Pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Groton, and St. Joseph, Turton.

Reverend Terry Weber, from Pastor of St. Michael, Sioux Falls, to Pastor of St. John, Plankinton, St. Peter, White Lake, and St. Mary, Stickney.

Reverend Andrew Young, effective May 1, 2021, after having completed his service to the United States Air Force, to Vicar General and Pastor of Risen Savior, Brandon. Fr. Young will share in the duties of vicar general with Fr. Cimpl (the current vicar general) for a time in order to facilitate a smooth transition.

Effective July 1, 2021, (unless indicated differently) the Most Reverend Donald E. DeGrood has decreed the following priest appointments to parish and other assignments:

Reverend Mark Axtmann, from Chaplain, Avera St. Luke’s Hospital and Sacramental Minister at St. Mary, Aberdeen, to Parochial Vicar, St. Joseph, Mobridge, St. Michael, Herreid, St. Anthony, Selby, and St. Joseph, Eureka.

Reverend Timothy Cone, from Parochial Vicar, Holy Family and Holy Spirit, Mitchell, to to Parochial Vicar at Sacred Heart and St. Mary in Aberdeen.

Reverend Brian Eckrich, effective May 1, 2021, from Parochial Vicar of Cathedral of St. Joseph, Sioux Falls, to Parochial Vicar of St. Mary, Dell Rapids, St. Rose of Lima, Garretson, and St. Joseph the Workman, Huntimer.

Reverend Michael Kapperman, in addition to his current role as Parochial Vicar, Sacred Heart Parish, Aberdeen, to Parochial Vicar at St. Mary Parish in Aberdeen.

Reverend Anthony Klein, in addition to his current role as Parochial Vicar, Holy Spirit Parish, Sioux Falls, to Chaplain, O’Gorman Junior High School, Sioux Falls.

Reverend Robert Lacey, effective April 12, 2021, from Pastor of St. John. Plankinton, St. Mary, Stickney, and St. Peter, White Lake, to Parochial Vicar at Sacred Heart and St. Benedict, Yankton.

Reverend Monsignor Charles Mangan, from Parochial Vicar in the parishes of St. Martin, Emery, St. Mary of Mercy, Alexandria, and St. Stephen, Bridgewater, and Chaplain to the Our Mother of Mercy and St. Joseph Monastery, Alexandria, at the invitation of its rector, to Spiritual Director and Faculty Member at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

Reverend Jeffrey Norfolk, effective May 1, 2021, while remaining Chaplain to the South Dakota State Penitentiary, from Pastor of Risen Savior, Brandon, to Parochial Vicar of the Cathedral of St. Joseph, Sioux Falls.

Reverend Robert Wullweber, effective April 12, 2021, from Parochial Vicar of St. Lambert, Sioux Falls, to Parochial Vicar of Sacred Heart and St. Benedict, Yankton.

Additional priest assignments, including those for candidates for priestly ordination, will be announced when they have been decreed.

Thank you for holding each of these priests in prayer as they undergo these transitions in their ministry.

View Printable Official Statement

Message to the Catholic Faithful Explaining the Rationale of New
Priest Assignments