Gazing on the face of Christ: the freedom and love of the cross

Gazing on the face of Christ: the freedom and love of the cross

April 2021, Featured
By Renae Kranz [caption id="attachment_5775" align="alignright" width="300"] Photo by Ellen Keena[/caption] When you look at the face of Jesus on the cross, do you see only the face of the God who set us free? Or maybe you see the face of a man in excruciating pain, his head hanging low in agony. It’s hard to imagine the pain, emotions and thoughts our Lord had while he hung on the cross, dying for each one of us. We do know from the Gospels that he did several important things in his last moments. Some seem somewhat random or unimportant, but each word he says from the cross is carefully chosen to open the door to our salvation and establish the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church. Father James Morgan, rector…
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Meeting God in the silence: An invitation of love

Meeting God in the silence: An invitation of love

Featured, March 2021
By Renae Kranz Five or six years ago, I was driving home alone after doing something at church. Maybe I had gone to confession, maybe it was Stations of the Cross. Somehow that detail escapes me now. Whatever I had done at the church that night had stirred a new thought in me as I drove. I felt prompted to turn the radio off and drive in silence. I never do that. In fact, I always have something on to create noise. It’s how I have functioned my whole life. As I drove down 57th Street in silence, God found me. I think he had been waiting for some silence so I could hear him. He said to me, “I want you to write for me.” Once the initial “Wait,…
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Connecting us as One Faith, One Family

Connecting us as One Faith, One Family

Featured, February 2021
By Renae Kranz Each year when the Catholic Family Sharing Appeal begins, many of us can probably think of one or two ways we’ve come into contact with some of the things offered by the Diocese of Sioux Falls. Maybe one of our children went to a youth conference or a college-aged child is involved in the Newman Center on their university campus, or maybe we attended a talk by Dr. Chris Burgwald to deepen our knowledge of our own faith. This past year has been one where nearly every Catholic has regularly felt and seen some of the things the diocese provides for parishes and for all Catholics: Sunday TV Mass, The Bishop’s Bulletin, parish websites, and online parish giving just to name a few. These things have come…
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The virtue of humility: Learning to surrender to our littleness

The virtue of humility: Learning to surrender to our littleness

Featured, January 2021
By Renae Kranz Pride is a sneaky sin. It’s the sin of the Fall in the Garden of Eden. It creeps around seeking the ruin of souls. It seems like pride would be easy to recognize since it’s considered by many to be the root of sin, but it’s surprisingly stealthy in its manifestations. One way we often see it is when we think to ourselves, “I can do this on my own.” Or it could be, “I don’t need God for this.” Or even, “Look at all the good I’ve done.” It’s an easy trap to fall into—we want to be our own god. This was the sin of Adam and Eve, and it continues to be our biggest downfall. God didn’t leave us without an antidote, however. There…
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Hope lights the way as we wait for the Lord

Hope lights the way as we wait for the Lord

December 2020, Featured
By Renae Kranz Advent is a beautiful opportunity to wait with joyful hope for the coming of our Messiah. It can also be a time to refresh our souls with prayer and the sacraments, making ourselves ready for the Christ child on Christmas Eve. The wait during Advent seems easy because we know what the end of the wait will bring. But in our daily lives, we often face times of waiting that can leave us discouraged and rob us of our hope. You might be waiting to find a spouse to share your life with. You might be waiting to have a child. Or, you might be waiting to be healed from a disease. Whatever it is, the result you desire might seem impossibly out of reach; you wait…
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The Eucharist: Real presence, real life

The Eucharist: Real presence, real life

Featured, November 2020
By Father Michael Griffin The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), quoting canon law (para.1247), is explicit, “The precept of the Church specifies the law of the Lord more precisely: ‘On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass.’” (CCC 2180) That is the “what” of the Church’s obligation and it is something most of us grew up with; we knew we were obligated to go to Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation under penalty of sin. While this is important, equally important is to not stop at the “what” and forget the “why” of the Church’s obligation. [caption id="attachment_5374" align="alignright" width="208"] Father Chuck Cimpl and Deacon Pat Derrington celebrate the Eucharist at Holy Spirit Parish in Sioux Falls. The…
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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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