President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops releases message for Holy Week 2020

April 2020, Bulletin Extras
WASHINGTON – Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued the following statement for Holy Week. Archbishop Gomez’s full statement follows: “Future generations will look back on this as the long Lent of 2020, a time when disease and death suddenly darkened the whole earth. As we enter into Holy Week, these most sacred days of the year, Catholics across the United States and the world are living under quarantine, our societies shut down by the coronavirus pandemic. “But we know that our Redeemer lives. Even in this extraordinary and challenging moment, we give thanks for what Jesus Christ has done for us by his life, death, and resurrection. Even now, we marvel at the beautiful mystery of our salvation,…
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We must pass through the cross to share in new life

We must pass through the cross to share in new life

April 2020, Headlines
[caption id="attachment_4923" align="alignright" width="270"] Patricia Irvine, theology teacher at O’Gorman High School and parishioner at St. Lambert Parish, Sioux Falls.[/caption] One year, I told my students that Easter is the Solemnity of Solemnities. It is the grandest feast of the year, even bigger than Christmas. The joy of Easter is so magnificent that for an entire week we celebrate as though it is still Easter Sunday. A student looked at me and said, “Then how come we don’t get more time off of school?” Of course, the measuring stick for significance as a student is the number of days one gets away from school. The joy of Christmas is much easier to enter into than the Easter Sunday glory that comes from passing through the grave. The world isn’t very…
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Activity ideas for Holy Week and Easter

Activity ideas for Holy Week and Easter

April 2020, Headlines
By Renae Kranz Holy Week and the Easter season are the most holy time in the Church year. Beautiful Masses and rituals lead us on a walk with Jesus from the Last Supper, into the Garden of Gethsemane, along the Way of the Cross, to the darkness and silence of the tomb, and finally to the glory of the resurrection on Easter Morning. It’s a time to really focus in on our faith and the sacrifice Christ made for our salvation. At the moment I’m writing this, we don’t know if we’ll be able to celebrate Mass together in person or only with our families in our homes. It’s most unsettling to all Catholics. The Lord is asking us to trust Him and suffer along with Him once more. I’m…
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Divine Mercy Sunday provides a lifeline to the mercy of God

Divine Mercy Sunday provides a lifeline to the mercy of God

April 2020, Headlines
[caption id="attachment_4910" align="alignright" width="233"] Pope Francis greets a crowd after celebrating Mass marking the feast of Divine Mercy in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)[/caption] Every year on the first Sunday after Easter we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday. This year’s feast will be April 19. If you’ve noticed this Sunday in the liturgical year but never paid much attention to it, this is a good time to take another look at this beautiful feast in the life of the Church. The Feast of Divine Mercy is based on the private revelations of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska who had visitations from Jesus for several years during the 1930s. In those revelations, Jesus told Saint Faustina to do something very specific for him. “My daughter, tell the whole world…
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Bishop Donald DeGrood takes a tour of the Diocese of Sioux Falls

Bishop Donald DeGrood takes a tour of the Diocese of Sioux Falls

April 2020, Headlines
[caption id="attachment_4905" align="alignright" width="300"] Students at Sacred Heart School, Yankton, offer a blessing to Bishop Donald DeGrood.[/caption] Bishop Donald DeGrood started touring his new diocese recently to get the lay of the expansive area he will shepherd. He made stops in Yankton, Mitchell, Miller, DeSmet, Huron and Watertown. During his travels, he visited a variety of Catholic institutions including Catholic schools, parishes, Catholic hospitals and clinics, assisted living centers, monasteries and convents, and Catholic higher education institutions. It was important to the bishop to get out right away after ordination to get to know the people of the diocese. “I’m finding a lot of goodness, wholesomeness, in the people,” Bishop DeGrood said. “People have been extremely warm and welcoming.” To see more photos from the bishop's tour, read the full…
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Offer it up: Making sense of suffering

Offer it up: Making sense of suffering

April 2020, Featured
By Renae Kranz Do you remember when you were young and your mother or grandmother would offer some tidbit of advice to help you through a problem? The one phrase I remember most from my own mother was “offer it up,” usually said in response to some type of suffering I was going through. My reaction was to roll my eyes or just walk away. I remember thinking, “How is that going to help me?” I didn’t understand what “offer it up” meant and I never bothered to ask. Thinking back, I was probably a really annoying teenager. Our moms and grandmas had only our happiness and salvation in mind. And guess what? I know now had I listened to their advice and learned more about it, it really would…
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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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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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