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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Journeying toward holiness: Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect

Journeying toward holiness: Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect

December 2019, Featured
By Renae Kranz The Word became flesh to make us “partakers of the divine nature”: “The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods.” (CCC 460) John the Baptist was an infant in his mother’s womb when the Angel Gabriel visited Mary, and Jesus, the very Son of God, was made incarnate. Years later when Jesus was about to begin his public ministry, John knew his role had to change when he said, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30) During the preparation time of Advent and the celebrating of Christmas, we tend to increase much more than we should. Shopping, planning, decorating and traveling become the main focus of our daily…
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Homegrown saints: Holy men and women abound in America’s own backyard

Homegrown saints: Holy men and women abound in America’s own backyard

Featured, November 2019
By Renae Kranz Have you ever had a really good friend who was with you through a difficult time? They comforted your sorrow. They held your hand when you hurt. They prayed with you and prayed for you. In today’s scattered world, we all need these good friends in our lives. Did you know you have thousands of these friends waiting to accompany you through life’s challenges? They lived similar lives in many cases. They came from similar places. They felt many of the same sorrows. All you have to do is call their name. And each name starts with one word: saint. Saints in our American backyard This month we celebrate and honor our friends in heaven with All Saints Day on November 1 and all the faithful departed…
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Human Dignity: The ultimate gift from God

Human Dignity: The ultimate gift from God

Featured, October 2019
By Renae Kranz [caption id="attachment_4411" align="alignright" width="300"] Fr. Ed Anderson, priest at Avera Prince of Peace, greets Pat Gustaf and his sister Jean Gustaf after Mass in the chapel at Prince of Peace. (Photo by Renae Kranz)[/caption] When you see someone you perceive as different from you, maybe a homeless person or someone who is disabled, what pops into your mind? If we’re honest with ourselves, we probably wouldn’t want anyone to know what we’re thinking. It might go something like this: That person makes me uncomfortable. I don’t like to be uncomfortable. If I pretend I don’t see them, they’ll probably leave me alone, and I won’t have to deal with them. I’m glad that’s not me. Sound even a little familiar? It sounds familiar because many of us…
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It’s a beautiful time to be a priest: Discerning a vocation in a time of crisis

It’s a beautiful time to be a priest: Discerning a vocation in a time of crisis

Featured, September 2019
By Father Michael Griffin In March 1992, Pope John Paul II presented to the Church the apostolic exhortation “Pastores Dabo Vobis (I Shall Give You Shepherds)” on the formation of priests. In this document, the mystery of vocations was presented as “an inexpressible dialogue between God and human beings, between the love of God who calls and the freedom of individuals who respond lovingly to him.” (PDV, 36) This dialogue was present at the beginning when God entered into a relationship with human beings, continued through the call of prophets and apostles, and endures to this day as God calls the baptized to their vocation in life; God calls in love and we respond in love. Since the beginning of the Church, God has called men to the vocation of…
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