The Church has a critical role in protecting children

The Church has a critical role in protecting children

Headlines, March 2021
By Renae Kranz In April each year, we observe Child Abuse Prevention Month nationally. The Unites States Conference of Catholic Bishops encourages every diocese to use this month to bring greater awareness and focus to the protection of children. In our own diocese, the Office of Safe Environment takes this month to collaborate with mental health practices and school systems to promote child abuse awareness and to highlight ways they currently provide safer environments for children throughout the diocese. Alison Conemac, safe environment coordinator for the Diocese of Sioux Falls, oversees the training implemented by the diocese within all programs related to children, minors and the vulnerable. The training highlights signs and symptoms of abuse, predator behavior and ways to respond to disclosures of abuse. The training equips people with…
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House bill would help secure conscience rights

House bill would help secure conscience rights

Headlines, March 2021
By Chris Motz, executive director of the South Dakota Catholic Conference “To refuse to take part in committing an injustice is not only a moral duty; it is also a basic human right.” Pope St. John Paul II wrote these words 26 years ago this month in his great pro-life encyclical, “Evangelium Vitae” (The Gospel of Life). He’s referring to what is called conscientious objection. John Paul specifically explains this basic human right as being of fundamental importance for those working in health care when he goes on to teach, “What is at stake therefore is an essential right which, precisely as such, should be acknowledged and protected by civil law. In this sense, the opportunity to refuse to take part in the phases of consultation, preparation and execution of…
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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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The essential gift of patience  for a missionary disciple

The essential gift of patience for a missionary disciple

March 2021, Missionary Discipleship
By Katie Eskro In the June 2020 issue of the Bishop’s Bulletin, Father Scott Traynor describes missionary discipleship as “encountering the love of Jesus Christ, growing in relationship with him, and inviting and helping others to do the same.” I love this definition. The first thing that strikes me about this description is that the first two steps have to do with us: are we aware of the encounter of Jesus in the events of our everyday lives, and are we growing closer to him and his Church through these ordinary, everyday events? The last part of the definition, to invite and help others, can only flow from what we’ve received. Indeed, if we are to live the Christian life of community in its full, we are not just sharing…
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Vocations Q&A with Deacon Scott Miller

Vocations Q&A with Deacon Scott Miller

March 2021, Vocations
[caption id="attachment_5648" align="alignright" width="226"] Transitional Deacon Scott Miller[/caption] Deacon Scott Miller is a transitional deacon in the Diocese of Sioux Falls. He will be ordained to the priesthood May 28, 2021. This month we get a peek at one of our soon-to-be new priests. Q. Tell us a bit about your family and where you grew up. A. I grew up in Sioux Falls. My parents are Todd and Linda Miller, and I am the youngest of three boys. Ryan and Chad are the oldest and middle, respectively. Q. How did you get your call to the priesthood? A. The thought of the priesthood came to me at age eight, when I distinctly remember at every family gathering my grandparents would ask me, “Scott, what do you want to do…
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Do I have to go to confession during Lent?

Do I have to go to confession during Lent?

Does the Church have an answer?, March 2021
Question: Why does the Church require going to confession during Lent? Answer: Actually, the requirement for Catholics is to receive the sacrament of reconciliation or confession at least once per year, but it does not specify when that should be. Many Catholics, however, do receive this sacrament during the Lenten season, and for good reason: Lent is an especially penitential season, meaning that during Lent we are called to make an extra effort to examine our lives and to strive to live in greater conformity with our faith, to imitate Jesus in a greater way. During Lent we also take on some extra penitential practices in order to grow in holiness and be free from the bondage of sin. Because of this, it is fitting that many Catholics choose to…
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Better entertainment choices bring lasting benefits

Better entertainment choices bring lasting benefits

March 2021, Next Generation Catholic
By Laura Melius From the moment we open our eyes each morning, countless sources of entertainment vie for our attention. We may awake to a favorite song. Our cell phones report how many social media notifications have appeared overnight. News, music or talk fills the background of our morning routines and as we drive to school or work. A wait at the doctor’s office is an opportunity to catch up on texts or news feeds. A free Saturday afternoon provides uninterrupted hours to conquer a new video game or binge-watch a new TV series. We no longer need to leave our homes to seek out entertainment—it constantly surrounds us. This is not all bad. When healthy entertainment options are consumed in moderation, the benefits can bring us closer to friends…
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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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In the silence, God speaks

In the silence, God speaks

Bishop DeGrood's Column, March 2021
Perhaps you are much like me in wanting to hear God speak to you. After many years of learning more about prayer, I have found that it is important for me to be in silence so I can hear the voice of God speaking to my mind and heart. Learning how to receive all the good things God wants for me and His direction in my life is not always easy. But if I can find the right environment, time and an open disposition to really listen, I am much more able to hear and receive God’s interior messages in my mind and heart as I prayerfully try to listen intently. One such place in our diocese I find helpful to spend time in silence is Broom Tree Retreat Center…
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