Gift of Hope takes on new format for 2021

The 21st Annual Gift of Hope Event will have a different look this year due to the realities of COVID-19. But the new format won’t be short on helping its beneficiary, Catholic Family Services (CFS), in a big way.

Set to begin 8 p.m. Saturday, April 10, “Lighting a Path to Hope and Healing” will focus around a candlelight celebration in front of the Cathedral of Saint Joseph on Duluth Avenue. This celebration will bring people together to hear inspirational messages from Bishop DeGrood and CFS Executive Director Emily Leedom, praise and worship music from Jon Konz, and a moment of remembrance for long-time CFS director, Dr. Marcie Moran, who passed away January 21.

Jan Feterl, director of marketing and special events for the Catholic Community Foundation of Eastern South Dakota who sponsors the event, said much work went into creating this year’s Gift of Hope.

“It was through a lot of prayer and conversation that we landed on the concept of a candlelight celebration in front of the Cathedral of Saint Joseph,” she said. “We feel this new event format speaks directly to where our world is today—searching for hope and healing. We are placing the success of this event in God’s hands, as we truly believe and trust that He’s got this!”

Gift of Hope candles and luminaries will be pre-sold and ceremonially lit during this event. Proceeds from these sales benefit the Gift of Hope Endowment Fund which enables CFS to offer programs that support human flourishing in times of grief, uncertainty or transition. Your participation supports: Camp Sydney (a youth grief camp), support groups for separated and divorced, grief support groups, counseling for high school students and teachers, pornography education and prevention, healing retreats, natural family planning and much more.

We will be pre-selling the candles and luminaries, which can be personalized to remember a loved one. If you are unable to attend the event in person, we will light and display them on your behalf. For more information and to order, visit, email us at or call our office at 605-988-3765.

This event can be a light to many in our community. The light of a candle signifies God’s presence and beckons us to remain present with Him. Let us be present to each other through the light of Christ.