January 2021

Bishop’s initiative provides insight on challenging culture

Bishop’s initiative provides insight on challenging culture

January 2021, Missionary Discipleship
By Renae Kranz The first generations of Christians, led by the Apostles, faced an enormous challenge after Pentecost: convert to Christianity a world hostile to the good news of Christ’s resurrection and the gift of salvation. They faced great persecution and even death, but their work and the perseverance of many generations after them built a Christian culture that has survived for centuries. This was a culture built on the foundations of Christian faith and Catholic institutions that made practicing faith a natural part of life. That Christian culture, known as Christendom, is now gone. In the early ’70s, Archbishop Fulton Sheen said of the state of Christianity, “We are at the end of Christendom. Not of Christianity, not of the Church, but of Christendom. Now what is meant by…
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Thoughts from a college student:  It’s not enough to just be nice

Thoughts from a college student: It’s not enough to just be nice

January 2021, Next Generation Catholic
By Meghan Vogel As modern-day Americans, we live in a very busy and often self-centered culture. This culture lacks the value of pausing and taking silent time to reflect on life and the real gravity and sacredness of what it means to be a human person created in the image and likeness of God. Our culture maintains some slight sense of Christian values which become more apparent during the Christmas and New Year seasons as we give gifts and share time with family and friends. We also see this as we make resolutions to try to improve ourselves or our lives in a meaningful way. We feel a sense of longing for something better, for something more, but many people do not seek that in the person of Jesus who…
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Vocations Q&A with Father Martin Lawrence

Vocations Q&A with Father Martin Lawrence

Headlines, January 2021
[caption id="attachment_5482" align="alignright" width="239"] Father Martin Lawrence[/caption] Father Martin Lawrence is the pastor of St. Dominic Parish in Canton and St. Magdalen Parish in Lennox as well as the director of the Office of Liturgy and Worship for the diocese. He was ordained to the priesthood June 13, 2003. This month, he is the lucky first subject of our new page focusing on religious vocations in our diocese. Q. Tell us a bit about your family and where you grew up. A. I grew up in the city of New Orleans, and I am the third of three boys. My parents, Joseph and Helen, are both deceased as well as my oldest brother, Anthony. I am the product of Catholic education, and firmly believe in Catholic schools. I met then-Bishop…
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The power of praying for your kids’ friends

The power of praying for your kids’ friends

Headlines, January 2021
By Melinda North [caption id="attachment_5478" align="alignright" width="232"] Melinda North, executive assistant to the bishop for the Diocese of Sioux Falls[/caption] When my husband and I found out we were pregnant with our first child, we did what I imagine most first-time parents do—we purchased the book “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.” Little did we know advice and help would come pouring in even when we didn’t ask for or particularly want it. We quickly learned to choose what recommendations we wanted to implement and which ones we didn’t. When a family is given the wonderful gift of caring for a child, the responsibility seems overwhelming. You are tasked with loving and caring for this little human in hopes they will grow up into well rounded, healthy, happy and holy…
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Bishop DeGrood consecrates diocese to Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Joseph

Bishop DeGrood consecrates diocese to Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Joseph

Headlines, January 2021
Bishop Donald DeGrood offered prayers of consecration for our diocese to Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Joseph at a Mass on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. As our spiritual mother, Mary is the patroness of the Americas, and St. Joseph, as a spiritual father, is patron of our diocese and the Universal Church. In a statement announcing the Mass, Bishop DeGrood said, “By consecrating our diocese to these two amazing spiritual advocates, protectors and intercessors, we can be assured of great spiritual fruitfulness in our diocese and in souls who are open to the amazing transformational love of God.” The statement went on to say that through these prayers, our bishop—who is our spiritual father and high priest of the diocese—is praying in a profound way for…
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Read a book-a-month to feed your faith

Read a book-a-month to feed your faith

Headlines, January 2021
We’ve been spending more time at home lately given the current circumstances of the world. While we’re there, why not use our time well and feed our faith? To start the new year off right, we’ve gathered recommendations for great Catholic books from readers in the Chancery offices. Pick one each month and grow closer to Christ this year. Dr. Chris Burgwald The Adventure of Discipleship - Daniel Keating Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II - George Weigel Brianna Wingen You are Enough: What Women of the Bible Teach You About Your Mission and Worth - Danielle Bean Emily Leedom Men, Women and the Mystery of Love: Practical Insights from John Paul II’s Love and Responsibility - Edward Sri An Introduction to the Devout Life -…
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It seems like the Church has too many rules

It seems like the Church has too many rules

Headlines, January 2021
Question: How do I answer others who complain that the Catholic Church is all about rules? Answer: It’s unfortunately the case that many people—including many Catholics—believe that the Church is overly focused on “rules,” particularly when it comes to questions of morality. There are a number of ways to respond to these sorts of questions and complaints; this month I’m going to focus on a couple possible responses. First, it’s worth noting that while it can seem to some that the Church is all about “no”—what we can’t or shouldn’t do—the truth of the matter is that ultimately, the Church is about “yes”: about our yes to God and to our neighbor, about our love for Him and them, and about their true happiness and our own. All of our…
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Pope Francis proclaims Year of St. Joseph

Bulletin Extras, January 2021
(CNA) - Pope Francis announced a Year of St. Joseph on Dec. 8 in honor of the 150th anniversary of the saint’s proclamation as patron of the Universal Church. The year begins Dec. 8, 2020, and concludes on Dec. 8, 2021, according to a decree authorized by the pope. The decree said Francis had established a Year of St. Joseph so “every member of the faithful, following his example, may strengthen their life of faith daily in the complete fulfillment of God’s will.” It added that the pope had granted special indulgences to mark the year. The Dec. 8 decree was issued by the Apostolic Penitentiary, the dicastery of the Roman Curia that oversees indulgences, and signed by the Major Penitentiary, Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, and the Regent, Msgr. Krzysztof Nykiel.…
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Catholic Schools Week kicks off January 31

Catholic Schools Week kicks off January 31

Headlines, January 2021
For the 47th year, Catholic Schools Week will celebrate Catholic education in the U.S. from January 31 to February 6. This week-long celebration is marked with Masses, assemblies and activities for students, families, parishioners and the community. The theme for this year is “Catholic Schools: Faith. Excellence. Service.” Our Catholic schools are tasked with forming students to love God and their neighbors, and become good members of society, bringing the Gospel to their communities and living as an example of faith. Brenda Anderson, principal at St. Lawrence School in Milbank, says this week allows them to share the great things Catholic schools do for their communities. It’s a great way to show how invested they are in their students’ education and how much they appreciate the community’s support. “We love…
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God’s greatness shines through our humility

God’s greatness shines through our humility

Bishop DeGrood's Column, January 2021
When I think of humility as I look back on my 55 years of life, what stirs in my heart and mind is how much humble people and our humble God have inspired me. I think of my parents who came from humble beginnings in farm families trying to get settled in America. Neither of them liked having to speak in public or be on church committees, but they loved just being on the farm doing their daily tasks as farmers. As country school students for most of their education years and the need to work hard to get ahead, they learned the value of humble beginnings, humble lifestyles, and a humble disposition before God. When I think of humility, I think of my severely disabled uncle Donnie who humbly…
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