Guest column

Supreme Court case could cause pro-life shift

Supreme Court case could cause pro-life shift

Guest column, October 2021
By Nick Michels [caption id="attachment_6105" align="alignright" width="300"] Nick Michels, Deputy State’s Attorney, Minnehaha County, and Member of St. Thomas More Society of South Dakota[/caption] To paraphrase the author of the book of Ecclesiastes, there are no new sins. What mankind wrestled with as far back as Adam and Eve, it still wrestles with today. This reality comes to mind when one considers the following passage from the prophet Jeremiah: “The people of Judah have done what is evil in my eyes, says the Lord. They have set up their detestable things in the house which bears my name, thereby defiling it. In the Valley of Ben-hinnom they go on building the high places of Topheth to sacrifice their sons and daughters by fire, something I never commanded or considered” (Jeremiah…
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Tending to our humanity is not for the faint of heart

Tending to our humanity is not for the faint of heart

Guest column, September 2021
By Emily Leedom [caption id="attachment_6042" align="alignright" width="300"] Emily Leedom, executive director of Catholic Family Services[/caption] At the start of 2020, when newly appointed Bishop DeGrood shared that he had been discerning a vision for the Diocese of Sioux Falls, it felt like a rallying cry to gather the troops. As that vision rolled out, Catholics throughout eastern South Dakota began discerning for themselves, their families, their parishes and their communities how they might enter more deeply into lifelong missionary discipleship, rooted in the love of God. As I pondered this vision, I found myself asking questions. What keeps people from being lifelong Catholic missionary disciples? What are those challenges that keep us from being who God truly created us to be? What keeps us from being a bridge for other…
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Incubating an apostolate leads to flourishing service

Incubating an apostolate leads to flourishing service

August 2021, Guest column
By Jon Konz in·cu·ba·tor /ˈiNGkyəˌbādər/ noun 1. an enclosed apparatus providing a controlled environment for the care and protection of premature or unusually small babies. [caption id="attachment_5985" align="alignright" width="300"] Jon Konz, director of Faith Formation at St. Katharine Drexel Parish, Sioux Falls.[/caption] Growing up as a farm kid on the fertile soils of southwestern Minnesota, we were never short of random pets. One day, Dad brought home some duck eggs he found while working in the pasture. We were all excited to see the ducks hatch. When they did hatch, we sat in awe of the life unfolding before us—a silent, sacred moment. The pure excellence of this experience was enough to help us forget about how boring everything was leading up to the ducks hatching. Days full of nothing.…
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Keeping faith in college looks different for everyone

Keeping faith in college looks different for everyone

Guest column, July 2021
By Kassondra Gooley Jeremiah 29:11 reads, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,” yet sometimes the struggles of college can cause one to question if this is truly God’s plan. College brings late nights and tough classes, and causes you to question your choices and beliefs. Failures and fears often leave college students wondering if God equipped them. Sometimes it is difficult to remember that God’s definition of success, his definition of prosperity, can be different than our definition. What do you do when God laughs at your plans? That is one of the questions college students must discover the answer to. When I started college, I didn’t think I would add…
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Trust the Lord with all your crop, and your livestock

Trust the Lord with all your crop, and your livestock

Guest column, June 2021
By Jake Geis [caption id="attachment_5887" align="alignright" width="225"] Jake Geis is a parishioner at St. Martin Parish in Emery and ranches with his parents.[/caption] Faith and farming—an alliteration so timeless that it dabbles in being cliché. Yet the two must go hand-in-hand, because the only alternative explanation for placing your family’s livelihood at the whim of weather, world markets and waspy livestock is insanity. Seeing a distinct shortage of people planting fields in straightjackets, I’m guessing the first option is why we keep farming. This makes farms and ranches great laboratories to explore the value of faith. In a culture suffering from turning its back to Jesus, taking a moment to observe how faith sustains the family farmer can provide insights for urban and rural folks alike. Hopes are built on…
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The Blessed Mother’s fiat leads us into wisdom

The Blessed Mother’s fiat leads us into wisdom

Guest column, May 2021
By Lois Heron [caption id="attachment_5830" align="alignright" width="215"] Lois Heron, parishioner at the Cathedral of Saint Joseph[/caption] My first encounter with the beauty of our Blessed Mother came through the 1968 release of the popular song “Let It Be” by the Beatles. What the Beatles communicated in that song, though not exactly scriptural, began to draw me to Mary long before I converted to Catholicism decades later. The notion that the mother of Jesus could speak words of wisdom to me intrigued me. Later in life when I was a tenderfoot Catholic, I began contemplating all the words of our Blessed Mother and I found that praying “let it be” could usher me into the grace the Lord has for all who will magnify Him. How so? By observing this grace-filled…
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God asks us: Whom are you looking for?

God asks us: Whom are you looking for?

April 2021, Guest column
By Father James Zimmer When you “come up empty,” pay attention. You may bump into someone so real, they could be divine—in fact, the Risen Christ. On the day of resurrection, Mary Magdalene came up empty. Peter, John, Thomas—the guards, chief priests and elders, for that matter—came up empty. That emptiness ushered some into a new, unimaginably beautiful life. Others missed the chance and went on with the “same old, same old.” This is what I mean by “coming up empty”: What you wanted didn’t happen. Better, what you thought you wanted didn’t happen. You wanted something good; it didn’t happen. You wanted something virtuous, holy; it didn’t happen. Maybe you wanted something unvirtuous, unholy, downright evil; it still didn’t happen. In fact, you can’t make it happen. Or, you…
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Stations of the Cross immerses us in Jesus’ sacrifice

Stations of the Cross immerses us in Jesus’ sacrifice

Guest column, March 2021
By Deacon Joseph Graves [caption id="attachment_5652" align="alignright" width="249"] Deacon Joseph Graves[/caption] A number of years ago, while hunting for something to read in a second-hand book shop, I came upon a title I couldn’t resist, “I Like Being Catholic.” The tome served up a smattering of reasons, big and small, consistent with the book’s title, as well as scads of essays by American Catholics on their reasons for liking Catholicism. Parts of the book were enjoyable, other parts disappointing. Completing it left me in the mood to make a list of my own. It is a monumental task; the list goes on and on. I like being Catholic because it is a vehicle for salvation. Hard to beat that one. But there are so many other facets to what it…
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Young people can make Lent full of joyful hope

Young people can make Lent full of joyful hope

February 2021, Guest column
By Eric Gallagher [caption id="attachment_5543" align="alignright" width="300"] Eric Gallagher[/caption] I’m sitting down to write this column shortly after attending the funeral of Bailey Lauret, a 24-year-old son of our diocese who was serving as a FOCUS missionary in Memphis, Tennessee. He died suddenly as a result of a pulmonary embolism. The funeral was a profound moment for me as I prayed with hundreds of others, many of whom traveled from around the country to be there, in order to enter into, or rather celebrate, the death of Bailey. Many reading this may have encountered Bailey through his service at D-Camps in the summer, as he served around the diocese as a Totus Tuus missionary, or maybe as he discerned the priesthood as a seminarian. Anyone who met Bailey would be…
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