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Creation of the Vicariate of Dakota  
Thursday, August 14, 2014  11:14 AM
When Pope Leo XIII created the Vicariate of Dakota in 1879 (the territory was all of what is now North Dakota and South Dakota), Martin Marty was named vicar apostolic and a bishop.

Ten years later when the Diocese of Sioux Falls was created, Bishop Marty became bishop of the Diocese of Sioux Falls.

The territory included all of South Dakota until 1902 when the Diocese of Lead was created (becoming the Diocese of Rapid City in 1930).



Sitting Bull and Bishop Martin Marty  
Thursday, August 14, 2014  11:13 AM
During his approximately 59 years on this Earth it is probable that the Sioux chieftan Sitting Bull met only one white man he trusted implicitly: Martin Marty.

In 1883 Sitting Bull was baptized into the Catholic faith by Bishop Marty, joining some 2000 other Sioux who had converted to the Faith.

- The-American-Catholic.com 

The bishops of the diocese who have served the people  
Thursday, August 14, 2014  11:09 AM
Pictured at right are the bishops who have served the people of eastern South Dakota during the life of the diocese.
125 Legacy of Faith event set for Yankton  
Thursday, August 14, 2014  11:02 AM
Friday, September 19 - Celebrating 125 Years – A Legacy of Faith event will be held on the campus of Mount Marty College, Yankton.

A liturgical celebration, picnic and entertainment will be featured paying tribute to Bishop Martin Marty and also celebrating the faith of the people in the southern part of the diocese.

The celebration includes: Mass at 10 a.m., speaker/entertainer Chris Padgett at 11:15 a.m. and then a picnic at noon.

Registration opens August 1 at http://www.sfcatholic.org/125thAnniversary/. 

Snapshots: 125 years of Catholic faith on the prairie  
Wednesday, August 13, 2014  11:29 AM
“With grateful hearts, remember those courageous and faith-filled men and women, clergy and consecrated, native and immigrant, who nurtured and nourished the land and built the visible church on the prairie and commit ourselves to honor them by being good stewards of their legacy.”

In 2007, just a year after arriving in South Dakota for the first time, Bishop Paul Swain wrote those words as part of a prayer for the Diocese of Sioux Falls.

In his, then, short time here, he had already grasped the essence of what has driven and sustained the faith of natives, pioneers, entrepreneurs, farmers, ranchers, business people and everyone else through droughts, floods, infestations, land rushes and desertion in the 125 years since Pope Leo XIII formally created the Diocese of Sioux Falls in 1889.

“When I was first named bishop I had never been in South Dakota and so I needed to learn its history, the culture and the dynamics,” said Bishop Swain.

His first weeks were filled with a pilgrimage all around the diocese, celebrating the Eucharist and meeting people.

“As you do that, you recognize that there is a history unique to each place but all coming together for the diocese and for the state.”

Bishop Swain said the prayer helped him bring together the various elements of what he experienced in that first year as bishop.

“Being very respectful of those who went before, the nature of the prairie, the mix of ethnicities, both of those as immigrants as those who are native here … it’s a complex but beautiful tapestry and that’s what I discovered.”

Celebrating 125 years as a diocese

The opportunity to celebrate 125 years as the Diocese of Sioux Falls is meaningful, said Bishop Swain, for multiple reasons.

“In part to be grateful for what we have inherited and to recognize and remember those who went before, many of whom we don’t know their names, but we know what they passed on from one generation to another,” he said.

“Secondly, to learn from that history the lessons, some good, some not so good, which help us look to the future. And finally, we can look forward, even though the future for us is as uncertain as it was for them, we can see the faith being lived in that beautiful way and the future seems possible, even with all the complications of the culture these days”, said Bishop Swain.

“There is a tendency in our day just to look at “today” as though what is happening now is the most important time in the world,” he said. “But we need to recognize that there is a past that influences us and that we can learn from, and that we need to open our hearts to the uncertain future, being strengthened by today, but also by yesterday, the lessons learned and the legacy that has been presented to us,” said Bishop Swain.

The Beginnings

Missionary priests began travelling up the Missouri River into what became South Dakota beginning in 1838. By land too they brought the Gospel and the Sacraments to Native Americans, French traders and soldiers at frontier forts. The creation of Dakota Territory in 1861 and the Homestead Act of 1862 served to encourage settlers and missionaries had ever more souls to reach. The first resident priest was Father Pierre Boucher who served the French settlement known as Jefferson and established there the first parish in the territory, St. Peter. Others served more briefly until the arrival in 1876 of a Benedictine abbot, who as a young man in Switzerland read of the work of that first missionary in South Dakota, Father Pierre DeSmet, and never forgot it.

Martin Marty was born in Switzerland in 1834 and as a young priest was sent to the new Benedictine outpost at St. Meinrad in Indiana on what was to be a temporary assignment. He ended up staying and became the abbot there. In 1876 the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions was trying to find priest help for the Dakotas. Abbot Marty and another priest volunteered and that was the beginning of the ongoing significant Benedictine influence in the Dakotas.

Though Bishop Marty came to serve the needs of the Native American community, and serve them he did, it soon became clear that homesteaders and the towns that developed with them would also need the services of the Church. By means of sled, surrey, stagecoach, rail and any other means possible, Bishop Marty traveled to confirm, teach and preach.

His priests did the same – often stationed at one parish but traveling to many others to serve the growing number of small towns along new rail lines and rivers. The growth was fueled by seekers of a better life coming from big cities in the east and by immigrants. French, Czechs, several distinct German groups, Irish, Polish and other ethnic groups tended to settle near each other creating strong Catholic communities scattered across the region.

The Prairie

The uncertainty of the prairie had initially caused a slower pace of development than in other places. The suitability of the prairie for agriculture was unknown and grasshopper infestations were reported. Eventually, the demand for land created a rush and soon homesteaders and others seeking a better life found the wonders of the prairie to be impressive and challenging and with endless potential.

“I have found, more than other places I have lived, the influence of the land, of the prairie, of the uncertainty of nature, is a real strength in being able to deal with the challenges and the change that is constantly coming,” said Bishop Swain.

He tells the story of watching a storm coming across the wide open space as he drove near Faulkton. With the sky getting darker he thought about the early farmers, “What would those on a family farm in the 1800s have thought of this thing coming at them,” he said. Though none of the resources we take for granted today were available to them, “they endured it and built on it … that element of trusting in the land and God’s will and God’s way with those things you can’t control is part of who we are as a diocese,” Bishop Swain said.

The Bishops

In addition to the founding bishop, Martin Marty, seven more successors to the apostles have led the Diocese of Sioux Falls. Each bishop brought to the role a unique set of talents, perspectives and personality which helped them teach and share the faith through the challenges of their day.

Bishop Swain said challenging decisions faced each one, citing Bishop Marty’s decision to move the see city from Yankton to Sioux Falls when the diocese was created as an example of a significant decision born out well over time.

Bishop Marty’s 18 years in the Dakotas ended in late 1894 with his transfer to the Diocese of St. Cloud. Having spent himself as a missionary, his health was already in decline and he died in September of 1896.

Msgr. Thomas O’Gorman, a St. Paul priest and professor of Church History at Catholic University was named the second bishop of Sioux Falls. His service as a priest in the developing days of Minnesota provided good preparation for his work in South Dakota. Bishop O’Gorman took full advantage of the foundation prepared by Bishop Marty, and it was needed as continued growth in the population meant continued demand for churches, schools and the priests and religious to serve them.

Transportation challenges eased some with automobiles, but getting to western parishes could still only be accomplished via rail through Nebraska. No doubt that factored into his recommendation and the ultimate decision by Pope Leo XIII to divide the diocese creating the Diocese of Lead on July 28, 1902.

Another key moment in the diocesan history was Bishop O’Gorman’s decision to build the Cathedral of St. Joseph, a landmark to this day with “such beauty and such size,” said Bishop Swain.

“People from all over the diocese on farms and with small contributions over the years” allowed Bishop O’Gorman to make the decision “to build this visionary place which continues to awe people,” he said.

Other key moments in the early history of the diocese were more challenging – to everyone – not just the Catholic community, particularly the Great Depression and the dust bowl years. “The impact that had on so many people’s lives and many people left the state and the diocese actually went into bankruptcy to survive,” Bishop Swain said.

“That had to be a tough time, but also a shaping time and people came out of it stronger,” said Bishop Swain.

That challenging era was dealt with by both of the next two bishops, Bernard Mahoney, who served from 1922 until 1939 and William O. Brady, who led the diocese from 1939 until 1956 when he became the Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Bishop Brady also led through the years of World War II. “He led in a special way through some very hard times, always with great love.” Bishop Swain said.

The only native son to serve as bishop for the diocese followed Bishop Brady. Lambert Hoch, an Elkton native, had served as secretary and chancellor to Bishops Mahoney and Brady and was named bishop of Bismarck in 1952. He returned to South Dakota in 1957 and embarked on an effort to add nursing homes, Newman Centers at state universities, a minor seminary and a centralized charity bureau. He also attended the sessions of the Second Vatican Council in Rome.

Bishop Paul V. Dudley became the sixth bishop of Sioux Falls in 1979 and in his day the challenges facing the family farm and range of life-related issues made all the more important his joy of faith, his proclamation of the Gospel and his motto “Jesus is Lord.”

The Religious

No less critical to the development of the faith and church on the prairie were the women religious, who like others on the frontier often lived in difficult conditions, had sometimes meager diets and yet who persevered in teaching, health care and missionary work. The first, not surprising, were fellow Benedictines who came at the call of Bishop Marty. Other communities of religious came for a time but did not stay. For example the Sisters of Mercy also came to Yankton in 1878 and began a school on the location now housing Mount Marty College. After their departure the school was run briefly by the Sisters of St. Agnes, but they too left in early 1889.

The long-term religious communities included the Benedictines, who initially came to serve at Standing Rock in what is now North Dakota. They moved multiple times before finally settling at Sacred Heart Monastery in Yankton and serving widely across the diocese as teachers at Catholic schools. They also established Sacred Heart Hospital and Mount Marty in Yankton.

It also include the Presentation Sisters, who also endured some wandering times after their initial arrival in 1880, first setting up in Charles Mix County, then very briefly in Deadwood, and ultimately establishing a foundation in Fargo. In 1886 Father Robert Haire convinced at least some of them to return to South Dakota and in Aberdeen they found a permanent home.

Both communities endured through extremely challenging beginnings and have continued to serve the people of the Diocese of Sioux Falls and beyond through education at all levels, the Avera health care system and in many other ministries.

Many other religious also served through the years, among them Dominicans, Ursulines, Notre Dames, Franciscans and Daughters of St. Mary of Providence. These religious served as teachers and nurses and administrators in parishes, schools, hospitals and nursing homes around the diocese.

Special note should be made of the Oblate Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, founded at Marty by St. Katharine Drexel. The Sisters of St. Francis of Our Lady of Guadalupe formed in the diocese in the 1970s and the Perpetual Adoration Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament arrived in the diocese in 2002. A Carmelite community, the Monastery of Our Mother of Mercy and St. Joseph was established in Alexandria in the late 1990s.

Monks and religious brothers and priests began as missionaries in the earliest days of the diocese. The Benedictines were the most numerous, but the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, the Sacred Heart Fathers and Brothers, the Third Order Regular Franciscans, Jesuits and others also served Native American and other parishes.

St. Meinrad has figured prominently in this diocese, not only sending Bishop Marty and other pioneering missionaries, but also founding Blue Cloud Abbey near Marvin. The land for the Abbey was purchased in 1949 and with their own hands the monks erected the beautiful cross-shaped building which served as their home and place of work and worship. The Abbey served as a base for work with Native Americans in both North Dakota and South Dakota. The Abbey also housed a retreat center used by many Catholic organizations through the years. Lack of new vocations and the age of the remaining monks forced its closure in 2012.

The Priests

Early in 1884 Bishop Marty reported that he had nine students in seminary, 82 churches and 45 priests to serve them (this was still all of Dakota Territory). He was constantly recruiting and some who came did not stay; it took a certain heartiness for priests, like those they served, to survive the frontier conditions. Because of distance and lack of communication capabilities, they also needed to be self-sufficient and motivated.

Important early day priests included Fathers Robert Haire, John Ahern and Thomas Flynn, who became the first priest to be ordained in Dakota Territory in 1881. He went on to be the long-time pastor in Madison, spending 44 years there. Many of the early priests, like Bishop Marty, spoke multiple languages which helped them serve the various ethnic groups who most often only spoke their native tongue.

Over time, home grown vocations became more plentiful, though every bishop could have used more of them.

Pius Mardian was born in 1918, less than 30 years after the creation of the Diocese of Sioux Falls. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Sioux Falls in 1944 and now in his 96th year, has served the diocese for well over half of its 125 year history. Of his five siblings, one married, another became a priest and three were vowed religious. The family lived west of Aberdeen not far from Bowdle. On the eve of beginning his first assignment at St. Mary, Aberdeen, Fr. Pius’ father revealed to him the seed of his vocation, illustrating the faith of those who built and shaped the Church on the prairie.

“On the way into your baptism you were to be named John,” Father Pius said his father told him. Somehow in that moment it came to him that his baby should be named Pius and it was as Pius he was baptized. “After the baptism I laid you on the altar and offered you to God,” his father told him.

That the story was not revealed to him until after he was ordained indicated the freedom that his parents wanted for him to find his own vocation. Father Pius credits his parent’s prayers and dedication to fostering his own vocation, and that of his siblings as well.

Father Pius said life was simpler when he was growing up. “You had a good pair of overalls and an everyday pair of overalls. We didn’t have much but I never thought we were poor.”

That sense accepting life as it was seemed common among those who came to South Dakota to homestead or who started small town businesses. And that sense continued through the coming of the railroads, infestations, the depression and dust bowl days.

As Fr. Pius explained his family, like most other farm families, was reasonably self-sufficient and sold eggs and other produce to buy the things they needed.

In earlier days, even families that lived in town often had at least some animals.

“Like many people those days, we raised chickens in our back yard in Lennox,” writes Msgr. James Doyle in his book, Amazed By Grace. “My sister and I used to go out and get the eggs for lunch.” Msgr. Doyle was born in 1931 and ordained in 1957.

Father Al Krzyzopolski, born in 1924 and ordained in 1950, recalls the impact left by the Great Depression, the diocesan bankruptcy and World War II. “It was just a different world than it is now,” he said. Yet as he approached ordination and began his work as a priest there was more hope after living through those difficulties. “It was a good time for the Church, the churches were all crowded and I remember hearing confessions forever on First Fridays and Saturdays,” he said, speaking of his first assignment at Immaculate Conception, Watertown.

The Laity

It was the deep faith brought to South Dakota by the families from the east or from other countries that drove much of the development of parishes and churches. The longing for the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, inspired clusters of families to seek the services of a priest, even if it was only occasionally. Homes or business spaces were offered as places for the Mass to be celebrated until a chapel or church could be built. And the church did her best to keep up with the ebb and flow of the booms and busts that occurred in communities because of a shift in rail lines or roads or because of bad weather or lack of moisture or poor soil. More than 200 parishes have been opened for some time in service to the people and closed since the arrival of Bishop Marty.

Families that remained often have deep roots in particular communities. Good examples are the Miles and Paul families who lived around Doland and Turton. Norbert (Tip) Miles and Alyce Paul were married in 1953 at St. Joseph, Turton. Both grew up in farming families, as did the majority of people in those days.

Tip describes the deep memories left on those who experienced the “dirty 30s.”

“The sand banks that accumulated in yards were like snow banks and the sand was very fine,” he said. When he was four years old, his mother came rushing to find him one day as he played in that sand. He looked up “and right upon us it was black, the dust storm had started… it was like a blizzard,” Tip said. Safely in the house he remembers his mother covering the food on the table with a sheet and Tip said “you saw that white sheet turn gray” from the dust coming through the outside walls.

After their marriage Tip and Alyce started out farming themselves, so poor said Tip that when completing the paperwork for an FHA loan and needing the papers notarized, he was short the typical 50 cent fee.

At the time of their courtship and marriage, it was less common for a Catholic and non-Catholic to get married. While the Miles family was deeply Catholic, the Paul family was equally deeply Methodist. But Alyce’s dad said to her “Alyce, if you are going to marry Tip, you should become Catholic.”

“Knowing of his deep faith, his approval was all I needed,” she said. She remained grateful for the ongoing support from her parents as her family grew. The respect went both ways, with grandchildren later making sure their grandparents were able to attend services at the Methodist church, and then going to Mass themselves.

Alyce’s entry into the church also led to the unusual situation of her receiving five sacraments in a week. Father John Mulkern, pastor at Turton at the time provided the necessary instruction and Tip said “I got a Catholic education myself just sitting at the table listening to him.”

The day before their wedding she received a conditional baptism (more common in those days), went to her first confession and received her first communion. After their wedding and a short honeymoon, they found out Bishop Brady was in nearby Frankfort for confirmation and Alyce was confirmed with the youngsters.

Their first child came three months premature, which in 1955 most often didn’t offer much hope. Not only was she small, at 2lbs 1 ounce, but the isolates used then sometimes blinded the babies because of the way the oxygen came in. “She’s truly a miracle,” Alyce said as God’s kind hand helped her grow to a normal and healthy child, and they went on to have four more children.

The Last 25 years

In his January of 1994 column in The Bishop’s Bulletin Bishop Paul Dudley wrote of his first 15 years in South Dakota. “I have traveled thousands of miles in East River South Dakota. This has not been difficult; rather, it provides wonderful opportunities to meet thousands of marvelous people- young, old, Catholics and many other faithful people,” he wrote. He wrote of the highlights such as ordinations, the centennial and of Renew, a parish based faith renewal process.

He recounted the joy of being active with youth efforts such as TEC and Search retreats, and of World Youth Day in Denver (the diocese had more than 900 attend). He also wrote of the challenges - life issues and of abuse cases. “Perhaps the greatest pain I have experienced has been the wounds inflicted on the Body of Christ – our Church – and especially the wounds from within. Cases of abuse by clergy are deeply troubling and there is absolutely no excuse for such behavior and sickness within our clergy.”

Just a few days after this column was published Pope John Paul II appointed Bishop Robert Carlson as coadjutor. Bishop Carlson also came from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and became bishop upon Bishop Dudley’s formal retirement in early 1995.

During his tenure he reorganized diocesan ministry offices and greatly expanded the Catholic Foundation for Eastern South Dakota to serve parishes, schools and ministries. Broom Tree Retreat and Conference Center near Irene was built and opened during his tenure, and the diocese celebrated the new millennium in response to the apostolic letter from Pope John Paul II with a series of diocesan gatherings called “Journey to Holiness” aimed at evangelizing, teaching and living the faith boldly.

Like his brother bishops, the sense of the prairie resonated with Bishop Carlson. Writing in his final Bishop’s Bulletin column in February of 2005 he said “I will always have a special place in my heart for the prairie and the great people of many faiths I found here. As I look back over the years I see the hand of God at work, and I know that the Diocese of Sioux Falls is a special place rich in gifts and blessings.” He was transferred to the Diocese of Saginaw and installed there February 24, 2005. He was later named Archbishop of St. Louis where he continues to serve today.

For twenty months, Fargo Bishop Samuel Aquila served as apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Sioux Falls. In late August of 2006, Pope Benedict XVI named the Vicar General of the Diocese of Madison to be the eighth bishop of Sioux Falls and on October 26, Paul V. Swain was ordained.

After his initial pilgrimage and time spent coming to know the people, parishes and places of the diocese, Bishop Swain undertook two significant efforts: completing the restoration of the Cathedral of Saint Joseph and completing a comprehensive pastoral planning process.

The Cathedral effort was a multi-year process primarily focused on the interior (foundational and exterior work had previously been completed). The restoration was completed in the summer of 2011 bringing alive through color the many plaster reliefs, including the Nativity high above the sanctuary.

The pastoral planning effort required wide consultation around the diocese aimed at four goals: making the sacraments, especially the Eucharist available to all, ensuring faith formation for all ages, vibrant faith communities and the spiritual and physical health of priests. The resulting effort led to many parish mergers as the demographics, number of available priests and other factors came to bear. In his January 2014 Bishop’s Bulletin column Bishop Swain said, “While I have intentionally held off substantial implementation of parish adjustments until absolutely necessary, that time has come. Having received the great gift of the Church on the prairie from those who sacrificed in the past, we are called to prepare and pass on a diocese with vibrant parishes to the next generation.”

Evangelization and discipleship efforts have also been significant during Bishop Swain’s tenure with the evolution of youth events and development of tools to assist parishes. It also includes use of the communication opportunities such as the TV Mass, social media, a revised Bishop’s Bulletin format and the ongoing development of Catholic radio.

(More information about these early days as well as the entire first one hundred years of the Diocese of Sioux Falls can be found in With Faith, Hope and Tenacity, by Robert Karolevitz and credit for much of the history found in this story goes to it as well.)

 

Dell Rapids parish hosting its annual dinner and bazaard  
Wednesday, August 13, 2014  10:43 AM
Sunday, September 21 - St. Mary Parish, Dell Rapids, willhosts its annual turkey dinner and bazaar on Sunday.

Serving will be from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Cost will be $9 for adults, $5 for 7-12 year olds, $2 for those ages 3-6 years olds and children 2 and under are free.

Carry outs are available for $9.
 

Bishop Dudley hospitality House to help needy moving torward reality  
Tuesday, August 12, 2014  10:44 AM
The Bishop Dudley Hospitality House is on track to open near the first of the new year, pending construction and fundraising efforts.

Bishop Paul J. Swain recently addressed media and interested project supporters to update them on progress being made and next steps.

The bishop shared that, in addition to the overnight shelters, it is expected the Good Shepherd Center will relocate and expand its daytime shelter ministry at the Bishop Dudley Hospitality House.

Bishop Swain stated open meetings with neighbors and others interested will be held this fall so that operating and security policies can be explained and suggestions offered.

The Bishop Dudley Hospitality House will have seven family units, 20 emergency overnight beds for women and 80 emergency overnight beds for men. The areas will be segregated and secured. There will also be separate, enclosed outdoor areas, one for men and one for women and children.

Purchase of the building and construction costs are estimated to be about $3.6 million.

The diocese will also establish an endowment of $3 million whose investment earnings will provide stability for building operations along with care and maintenance of the facility so that service providers can focus on the needed ministries.

The bishop announced there are commitments of over one-million dollars for the building acquisition and construction costs. Another $400,000 has so far been pledged through future estate gifts toward the endowment.

An anonymous donor passed along a gold bar (one ounce - worth about $1300) with the challenge to encourage others to find their own unique way to give.

And that is happening - gifts of grain have come in and also planned gifts in estates.

More information is available and donations accepted at BDHH.org.

125 Legacy of Faith event set for Yankton  
Tuesday, August 12, 2014  10:41 AM
Friday, September 19 - Celebrating 125 Years – A Legacy of Faith event will be held on the campus of Mount Marty College, Yankton.

A liturgical celebration, picnic and entertainment will be featured paying tribute to Bishop Martin Marty and also celebrating the faith of the people in the southern part of the diocese.

The celebration includes: Mass at 10 a.m., speaker/entertainer Chris Padgett at 11:15 a.m. and then a picnic at noon.

Registration opens August 1 at http://www.sfcatholic.org/125thAnniversary/.

Aberdeen parish to host annual bazaar and roast beef dinner  
Tuesday, August 12, 2014  10:33 AM
September 20-21 - St. Mary Parish, Aberdeen, will host its annual bazaar and roast beef dinner the weekend of September 20 and 21.

On Saturday, September 20, serving of dinner will be from 4:30 - 7 p.m..

The midway wuill be open and operating from 3-9 p.m.

On Sunday, September 21, serving of dinner will be from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m..

The midway on Sunday will operate from 3-7:30 p.m.

Cost of the event is $10 for adults and $4 for children (12 and under).


Catholic Foundation is Growing, evolving and rebranding for the future  
Monday, August 11, 2014  9:49 AM
The Catholic Foundation for Eastern South Dakota has a new identity and logo.

The foundation is now the Catholic Community Foundation for Eastern South Dakota and will have a new logo and look.

President of the Catholic Community Foundation for Eastern South Dakota, Mark Conzemius, said, “As the Catholic Community Foundation has evolved over the years, we have come to better understand our role as a tool to help people in the stewardship of the gifts God has given them and through the years we have realized the great joy there is in giving.”

That idea sparked further discussion and resulted in the process to update, revitalize and redefine what the foundation is and does.

The new logo is designed to be welcoming, inviting and represents the person of Christ, the Sacred Heart of Jesus and an uplifting opportunity for people to consider their own gifts from God.

The Catholic Community Foundation for Eastern South Dakota manages some 700 accounts.

Those accounts are for parishes, from the smallest to the largest, for schools, for cemeteries and for various outreach ministries that support the poor and the needy to the diocese’s seminarians.

“It’s the breadth and width and depth of the Catholic community,” said Conzemius. “We have always been that, but people interact with us and we have evolved to a point where we are a tool and a resource for all Catholics and even for some non-Catholics who really value the teachings of the Catholic Church.”

Pat Wingen, chair of the foundation board and a member of the communications committee agrees. “Our name was out there but we just felt that if we are going to attract people to investing in our Church through the foundation, that can only happen if they are aware of who we are,” he said.

Wingen added that with the diocese embarking on its 125th anniversary, there will be additional opportunities for the foundation to shine. “That’s going to be a big thing for us,” said Wingen.

Tim Czmowski, former foundation board chair and the current chair of the foundation’s communications committee also played an integral part in the chage. “The intent is really to depict what we do as a foundation including a new look for a new era,” said Czmowski.

“Hopefully, sharing the joy of giving through the look of the logo and putting the word ‘community’ in there is something that allows us to reach out to more people and provide for more to do God’s work in more way and in covering more people in more cross sections of society.”

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