Discovering purpose: Answering the call to be a prayer warrior

Discovering purpose: Answering the call to be a prayer warrior

Featured, October 2020
By Dr. Marcus Ashlock The seasons of our lives bring many challenges, opportunities and rewards. The spring finds each of us learning and growing as children into teenagers, finding out what it means to be members of our family, students in school, members of groups and followers of our faith. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) states: “The family is the community in which, from childhood, one can learn moral values, begin to honor God, and make good use of freedom. Family life is an initiation into life in society.” (CCC 2207) We learn how to be effective members of our immediate family, as well as our societal families in school and in our parishes. Learning to value the role of family early and the role we each play…
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NET Ministries: Bringing the missionary fire of God’s love to the diocese

NET Ministries: Bringing the missionary fire of God’s love to the diocese

Featured, September 2020
By Renae Kranz Catholic parents and parishes want the same thing: vibrant young people on fire for Christ. This common goal is difficult to attain but so necessary to keep our Catholic faith thriving and growing. We already have several diocesan programs like Going Deeper Retreats, Confirmation Retreats, D-Camps, Totus Tuus and Bible studies. But to have a lasting impact on young people, more evangelization needs to happen at the parish level. So how do we do that with many small, rural parishes? We bring in a NET Ministries team to light the fire of missionary discipleship. In light of the vision Bishop DeGrood has sensed from God for the diocese for lifelong Catholic missionary discipleship through God’s love, the bishop and the diocesan Discipleship and Evangelization Office want to…
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The Chains of Pornography Addiction: How it harms marriages and how to heal the damage

The Chains of Pornography Addiction: How it harms marriages and how to heal the damage

August 2020, Featured
By Renae Kranz A wife pokes her head into her husband’s home office late one night and sees something she never imagined she would see. A husband comes home unexpectedly and notices his wife’s phone on the counter. It’s on and displays a website that shocks him. Pornography has invaded these marriages. How can spouses experiencing pornography addiction break its chains and free their marriage? The Lord offers a place of rest and healing, a place of forgiveness and mercy. All they have to do is reach out for it. An offense against chastity The Church has had a clear stance on pornography since the beginning. It is an offense against chastity. Jesus himself equated watching pornography with adultery. “But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman…
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Missionary Discipleship: God’s call for every Christian

Missionary Discipleship: God’s call for every Christian

Featured, July 2020
By Father Scott Traynor The Gospel according to Saint Matthew concludes with the disciples receiving the Great Commission from Jesus. Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:16–20) Each of us, by virtue of our baptism, has received this mission from Jesus. In our families, with our friends and co-workers, and in our communities, each of us is called by Jesus to be on mission to help others encounter…
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Catholic artists: Creating beauty with help from the Holy Spirit

Catholic artists: Creating beauty with help from the Holy Spirit

Featured, June 2020
God created a world full of beauty—morning dew resting on the petals of a garden tea rose, a mother duck leading her flock of ducklings through a busy city to the river as cars stop to let them pass, a mother receiving her newborn on her chest moments after its birth. As His most precious creation made in His image, God gave us the ability to create beauty as well. One way we do this is through various forms of art. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) describes these gifts this way: “Created ‘in the image of God,’ man also expresses the truth of his relationship with God the Creator by the beauty of his artistic works. Indeed, art is a distinctively human form of expression; beyond the search…
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Transform your fear into the Lord’s hope

Transform your fear into the Lord’s hope

Featured, May 2020
By Renae Kranz Many of us feel fear and uncertainty in our hearts. It’s hard to tamp it down much of the time, and ignoring it isn’t a long-term solution. When we let fear fester and gain a foothold, it can drown out the voice of the Lord in our lives. And a life full of fear, anxiety and worry is no way to live. God offers us a different way, a better way—the life of hope. If we embrace this gift, we can use this time to appreciate the slowness, the family time, the time for prayer. We can find Him in the silence and let Him comfort our racing thoughts. We can let Him transform our fear into His hope. Our hope is in the Lord [caption id="attachment_4999"…
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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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Welcome Bishop Donald E. DeGrood

Welcome Bishop Donald E. DeGrood

Featured, March 2020
By Renae Kranz On Thursday, February 13 our new shepherd, Bishop Donald DeGrood, was ordained and installed as the ninth bishop of Sioux Falls. Many around the diocese witnessed the Mass at the Cathedral of Saint Joseph. Soul-raising music, fragrant incense and ancient traditions came together to create a day of great joy and moving moments. [caption id="attachment_4869" align="alignright" width="300"] Archbishop Christophe Pierre (Apostolic Nuncio to the U.S.) reads the Apostolic Letter to the congregation and delivers some remarks for Bishop DeGrood. (All photos by Michael G Brown of Michael G Brown Photography.)[/caption] When Bishop DeGrood said a few words at the end of the Ordination Mass, he had to remind himself to change his thinking and remember to call himself a bishop. The experience had clearly moved him. “God…
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Sharing our gifts makes a difference

Sharing our gifts makes a difference

Featured, February 2020
By Renae Kranz No parish is an island. No Catholic is on their own in their faith journey. But sometimes parishes and the Catholics in them might feel like the challenge to grow the community of God is too big and the resources are too few. I’m just one person. What can I really do? As Catholic adults, we can have a massive impact on the people around us, especially young people. Adult faith formation in our parishes is the linchpin that supports all the other programs and makes them more effective. These programs are an essential part of growing the family of God. And you are a critical part of helping to provide your parish and all parishes in the diocese with the tools they need to help make…
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Eucharistic Adoration: Finding Jesus in His sacrament of love

Eucharistic Adoration: Finding Jesus in His sacrament of love

Featured, January 2020
By Renae Kranz I have lots of excuses not to go to eucharistic adoration: it’s intimidating, I’m too lazy, too busy, have to work, it’s too early, too late, right in the middle of the day, and what would I do for an entire hour anyway? I don’t think I’m alone in those excuses. But then the disappointed words of our Savior to the apostles in the Garden of Gethsemane ring in my ears as if He’s saying them directly to me: “You could not keep watch with me for one hour?” (Mark 14:37) His words cut to the heart of it. I think it’s way past time to go to adoration. Make us long for you Lord Eucharistic adoration is simply worshiping the real presence of Jesus in the…
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