Bulletin Extras
Local stories and or articles that are not available in any of the current printed versions of The Bishop's Bulletin.
Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico welcomes release of Alan Gross, change to U.S. policy toward Cuba  
Wednesday, December 17, 2014  1:35 PM
Washington, D.C. - Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico, chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) welcomed the announcement by President Barack Obama of the release of Alan Gross and other prisoners, and of the administration’s action to normalize relations with Cuba, December 17.

Full text of the statement follows:

STATEMENT ON RELEASE OF ALAN GROSS AND
THE CHANGE IN U.S. POLICY TOWARD CUBA
Most Reverend Oscar Cantú
Chairman, Committee on International Justice and Peace
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
December 17, 2014

We share the joy of the family of Alan Gross and of all Americans upon hearing the news of his release from over five years of custody in Cuba, as well as the humanitarian release of other prisoners. We are also encouraged by today’s announcement by the Administration of important actions that will foster dialogue, reconciliation, trade, cooperation and contact between our respective nations and citizens.

Our Conference has long held that universal human rights will be strengthened through more engagement between the Cuban and American people. For decades, the USCCB has called for the restoration of diplomatic relations between our nations. We strongly support the review of Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism.

We believe it is long past due that the United States establish full diplomatic relations with Cuba, withdraw all restrictions on travel to Cuba, rescind terrorist designations aimed at Cuba, encourage trade that will benefit both nations, lift restrictions on business and financial transactions, and facilitate cooperation in the areas of environmental protection, drug interdiction, human trafficking and scientific exchanges. Engagement is the path to support change in Cuba and to empower the Cuban people in their quest for democracy, human rights and religious liberty.

For more information, see this page on the USCCB website: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/global-issues/latin-america-caribbean/cuba/


USCCB chairman decries opening of family detention center in Dilley, Texas, proposes more humane alternatives to detention for vulnerable families  
Tuesday, December 16, 2014  2:13 PM
Families are traumatized from journey
Detention not a tool for deterrence
More humane alternatives exist

Washington, D.C. - Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, auxiliary bishop of Seattle, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, decried the opening of a 2,400-bed detention center in Dilley, Texas, constructed to house, among others, families fleeing persecution in Central America.

The detention center, operated by a private, for-profit group, was inaugurated December 15.

“It is inhumane to house young mothers with children in restrictive detention facilities, as if they are criminals,” said Bishop Elizondo December 16. “Already traumatized from their journey, these families are very vulnerable and need care and support, not further emotional and psychological harm.” Studies have shown that detention has a harmful psychological impact on children.

Bishop Elizondo added that the Obama administration’s pursuit of a deterrence policy– including detention and interdiction– against children and families fleeing violence undermines basic human rights.

“Many of these families are fleeing persecution and should be afforded the full benefit of domestic and international law,” Bishop Elizondo said. “As we saw in the case of Artesia, detention denies mothers and children with valid legal claims meaningful access to due process, including legal representation.” A temporary detention facility in Artesia, New Mexico, housing families was recently closed down, in part, because of strong opposition to due process violations and conditions there, especially for children. The average age of children detained in Artesia was six and a half years old.

Bishop Elizondo added that humane alternatives to detention exist, particularly community-based alternatives based on a case management model.

“Past community-based programs have shown that vulnerable groups such as families can be placed in a community setting and still appear at their immigration hearings, provided they are given the proper support,” Bishop Elizondo said. “The government should explore this humane alternative and not cause further harm to these families, particularly children.”


Mount Marty College Vespers to be broadcast Christmas Eve  
Tuesday, December 16, 2014  11:42 AM
The Benedictine Sisters of Sacred Heart Monastery and the Mount Marty College Music Department will present their annual Vespers performance entitled “Et al” on Sunday, December 7.

The free performances are at 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. in Bishop Marty Chapel on the Mount Marty College campus.

"This year we are celebrating everyone at the manger scene: the shepherds, the kings, the animals, the angels, all who were there those many years ago. This Vespers performance will also place ourselves at the manger as we sing the carols that help connect us to that time and place, bringing us all to the manger,” states Dr. Kenneth Tice, Director of Choral Activities.

Tickets to Vespers are free and space is limited to 500 people per performance. Due to overwhelming popularity of the event, tickets are no longer available. For those unable to obtain tickets to the performances, the event will be broadcast this year on radio and on television. The television broadcast will be on South Dakota Public Television Christmas Eve, December 24, 2014 at 9:00 pm Central Time. Check your local television listing for channel information. The radio broadcast can also be heard Christmas Eve at 5:00 pm on KYNT 1450AM or online at www.kynt1450.com.

For questions or further information on Vespers, please contact Wyatt Yager at events@mtmc.edu.

Mount Marty College, located in Yankton, South Dakota, is a Catholic, Benedictine, coeducational institute of higher learning founded in 1936 by the Sisters of Saint Benedict of Yankton, South Dakota. In keeping with the Benedictine tradition, the college exists as a community of learners. Primary emphasis is placed on the development of each person as a complete human being with intellectual competence, professional and personal skills, and a composite of moral, spiritual, and social values. With an enrollment of over 1,100 students on all three campuses and approximately 600 students located on the Yankton campus, Mount Marty College is the region’s premier institution for higher learning. To learn more about Mount Marty College visit www.mtmc.edu.
 

Mount Marty College Nurse Anesthesia Program receives continued accreditation  
Tuesday, December 16, 2014  11:34 AM
December 5, 2014 – The Mount Marty College Master of Science (MS) Nurse Anesthesia Program recently received notification that its routine accreditation resulted in its continued full accreditation extended through the year 2024. The accreditation process at MMC was done through the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA).

The COA accreditation included a glowing form of congratulations. An accreditation term of ten years is infrequently delivered and very few programs are granted accreditation with no progress report required. Therefore, the directors of the COA were particularly pleased to offer their congratulations to everyone at the program who demonstrated their commitment to meeting the requirements for continued accreditation.

Dr. Alfred Lupien, Director of the Nurse Anesthesia Program, is delighted with the news. “We are honored to know that the Council on Accreditation recognizes the nurse anesthesia graduate program’s commitment to sustained excellence. This positive accreditation outcome would not have been possible without the unwavering support of the college’s administration; the program’s faculty, students, and staff; and the clinicians who volunteer to provide outstanding learning opportunities for our students.”

The Mount Marty College graduate program currently represents a long history of high quality in nurse anesthesia education. The current program was preceded by the diploma program at Sacred Heart Hospital (Yankton, SD) in 1942 and the baccalaureate program at Mount Marty College initiated in 1971. It was then upgraded to a Master's program in 1983. The recent accreditation also reflects the high quality of faculty and the many partnerships in clinical and educational experiences that are contributing to the education of the nurse anesthesia graduate students. This is the second consecutive ten year accreditation term that Mount Marty College’s graduate nurse anesthesia program has received from the COA.

For more information on the Mount Marty College Master of Science in nurse anesthesia program, please visit www.mtmc.edu/msna or email the program at msna@mtmc.edu.

Mount Marty College, located in Yankton, South Dakota, is a Catholic, Benedictine, coeducational institute of higher learning founded in 1936 by the Sisters of Saint Benedict of Yankton, South Dakota. In keeping with the Benedictine tradition, the college exists as a community of learners. Primary emphasis is placed on the development of each person as a complete human being with intellectual competence, professional and personal skills, and a composite of moral, spiritual, and social values. With an enrollment of over 1,100 students at all three locations and approximately 600 students located on the Yankton campus, Mount Marty College is the region’s premier institution for higher learning. To learn more about Mount Marty College visit www.mtmc.edu.

Subcommittee on the Church in Central and Eastern Europe awards $2.8 million in grants  
Tuesday, December 16, 2014  11:32 AM
Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe approved 79 grants for a total of $2,854,878 in aid to finance pastoral projects in Central and Eastern Europe. The subcommittee evaluated and approved grant proposals for 2015 during the bishops’ annual fall General Assembly on November 9 in Baltimore.

The projects focus on rebuilding Catholic schools and orphanages, charitable programs, formation programs for seminarians, and the preservation and dissemination of Catholic education and intellectual life. The geographical area served by these projects includes 20 countries and extends into Central Asia. These grants are funded by the annual Collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe.

“Our brothers and sisters in Central and Eastern Europe stand in great need of our help and solidarity,” said Archbishop Blase J. Cupich of Chicago, chairman of the subcommittee. “In these countries, the Church continues to face enormous challenges, both from the recent political upheaval in many areas and from the continuing influence of the secular culture on families, and particularly on the youth. Through our funded projects, Catholics in the United States offer a strong message of support and gratitude to the faithful in these countries.”

Several grants focused on Catholic education in Albania, one of the poorest countries in Eastern Europe. The subcommittee approved 6 grants for pastoral work in Albania, which include several grants that will support schools. Many Albanians attend Mass regularly and the faith is growing and spreading among the population. Most of the students are from very poor families who do not have the resources to support the schools or pay full tuition. Faced with this need, many of the Catholic schools are run by religious orders, which finance the schools through their own limited means. The subcommittee funded one grant that will purchase uniforms for a Jesuit-run high school in Scutari. Another grant will install a central heating system for a nursing school located in Elbasan, which is run by the Sisters of Charity of St. Jeanne-Antide Thouret.

In Hungary, one funded project is the Benedictine Archabbey of Pannonhalma. Founded in the tenth century, the abbey operates a boarding school for 900 boys, vineyards, a winery and a renowned archival library. The abbey is unusual in that it also functions as a diocese, with the abbot serving as the bishop for 15 parishes in the surrounding region. The abbey has faced many financial challenges over the years. In 1950, the communist government confiscated all abbey properties, which were not returned to the abbey until the 1990s. The abbey runs many charitable and catechetical programs in its parishes, which are all staffed by Benedictine monks from the abbey. In order to facilitate transportation of lay ministers and parishioners to workshops and other events, the subcommittee also funded the purchase of a nine-passenger van. This vehicle will help the monks to continue supporting and educating the people of their diocese.

“I offer my sincere thanks to each person here in the United States who has contributed to this collection,” said Archbishop Cupich. “We need your prayers and financial support to continue serving our brothers and sisters, who live in the ancestral lands of many of our immigrant families. These projects build up their faith and give them the resources they need to continue their struggle oftentimes in the face of an anti-religious, secular climate.”

The national date of the collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe is on Ash Wednesday, which will be on February 18, 2015. However, some dioceses take up the collection at other times during the year.

The Subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe oversees the Collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe as part of the USCCB Committee on National Collections. More information on the work of the Subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe is available online at: http://www.usccb.org/catholic-giving/opportunities-for-giving/central-and-eastern-europe/index.cfm


South Dakota Chorale Concert set for Dec 20  
Tuesday, December 16, 2014  11:12 AM
The Mount Marty College Music Department, and the Sisters of the Sacred Heart Monastery are pleased to present the South Dakota Chorale in concert on Saturday, Dec. 20 at 7:30 p.m., in Bishop Marty Memorial Chapel.

Their concert, “A Rose is Blooming” will feature Hugo Distler’s Lo, How a Rose, along with music by Scandinavian, Polish, and British composers, and other familiar carols for the holiday. A recently composed piece by South Dakota composer Craig Carnahan will also be featured on the performance.

Tickets are $15 for general admission. Mount Marty College students get in free with their student ID. Tickets are available at Pages Bookstore on the Mount Marty College campus, in the Sacred Heart Monastery gift shop, and online at www.southdakoachorale.com.

The South Dakota Chorale is under the direction of its founder and Artistic Director, Dr. Brian A. Schmidt. Schmidt is Assistant Conductor and Administrative Coordinator of Chapel Music at the Duke University Chapel in Durham, NC. He recently completed graduate degrees in choral conducting at the University of North Texas (UNT) under the direction of Dr. Jerry McCoy and Dr. Richard Sparks. While at UNT, he was a participant in the prestigious Priddy Fellowship program for arts leadership.

As a conductor, Schmidt founded and directed the Dakota Men’s Ensemble. During his six years with them they appeared as a demonstration choir at the National Convention of American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) in 2005 and as a performing choir at Regional and State ACDA conventions in 2006. The South Dakota Chorale will be singing in Salk Lake City at the National ACDA convention in February of 2015.

For more information on this event contact Dr. Kenneth Tice, music department chair, at kenneth.tice@mtmc.edu or 605-668-1539.

Mount Marty College, located in Yankton, South Dakota, is a Catholic, Benedictine, coeducational institute of higher learning founded in 1936 by the Sisters of Saint Benedict of Yankton, South Dakota. In keeping with the Benedictine tradition, the college exists as a community of learners. Primary emphasis is placed on the development of each person as a complete human being with intellectual competence, professional and personal skills, and a composite of moral, spiritual, and social values. With an enrollment of over 1,100 students at all three locations and approximately 600 students located on the Yankton campus, Mount Marty College is the region’s premier institution for higher learning. To learn more about Mount Marty College visit www.mtmc.edu.
 

USCCB launches daily readings in Spanish online  
Tuesday, December 16, 2014  10:12 AM
Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has made the daily readings for Mass in Spanish available online.

“Being able to provide the daily readings in Spanish online has been a long journey. We are happy to see this work turned into a reality,” said Bishop John C. Wester of Salt Lake City, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Communications. “This is part of our continued efforts to answer the pastoral needs of Hispanics and Spanish speaking Catholics and to provide them resources and information in ways that encourage them to grow in their faith.”

The daily readings in Spanish are drawn from the Lectionary published in Mexico and approved for use in the United States by the U.S. bishops.

Hispanics represent 16 percent of the total U.S. population and about 40 percent of U.S. Catholics; 64 percent of Hispanic Catholics attend church regularly.

The daily readings in English are among the most popular resources on the USCCB website with a monthly average of 3.3 million unique page views. Nearly 49,000 people receive the daily readings in English by email, a feature that soon will be available for the Spanish-language readings.

The daily readings in Spanish can be found at www.usccb.org by selecting: “Bible,” “Today’s Readings,” and “En Español.”

USCCB also provides updates on USCCB news and faith-building resources in Spanish on Facebook at www.facebook.com/USCCBEspanol and Twitter at https://twitter.com/USCCBEspanol.

Bilingual resources for dioceses, parishes and ministry groups are also available at www.myusccb.org.


Avera Queen of Peace receives accreditation  
Friday, December 12, 2014  11:19 AM
Queen of Peace Hospital was one of three Avera hospitals to receive a three-year accreditation from the Joint Commission and earn “Top Performer on Key Quality Measures” for 2013.

Avera Queen of Peace received its accreditation earlier this year and was notified in mid-November that it would be recognized as a Top Performer in Pneumonia and Surgical Care. Avera Sacred Heart Hospital, Yankton, and Avera St. Mary’s Hospital, Pierre, also received the prestigious honor.

“We are thrilled to receive this prestigious honor,” said Tom Clark, Avera Queen of Peace Regional President and CEO. “Receiving this honor from the Joint Commission is truly an affirmation of the quality of work by our physicians and staff. The Joint Commission is the ‘gold standard’ when it comes to surveying health care facilities for quality measures. This achievement demonstrates our commitment to assuring that evidence-based interventions are delivered in the right way and at the right time – because it’s the right thing to do for our patients.”

All health care facilities in South Dakota are subject to accreditation surveys from the state. Some hospitals, such as Avera Queen of Peace, choose to take quality a step further and participate in the Joint Commission’s rigorous accrediting standards.

The Joint Commission accrediting process is designed to help hospitals provide safe, high-quality care, treatment and services by identifying opportunities for improvement in processes and advice on improving and implementing those processes.

Avera Queen of Peace, along with Avera Sacred Heart and Avera St. Mary’s are featured in the Joint Commission’s “America’s Hospitals: Improving Quality and Safety” annual report, on the Joint Commission website and on the Joint Commission’s Quality Check® website.
 

Avera’s Wall of Heroes honors organ and tissue donors  
Thursday, December 11, 2014  3:17 PM
Avera McKennan Hospital and University Health Center recently dedicated its new Wall of Heroes, honoring those individuals and their families who made the courageous choice of organ and tissue donation.

The Wall of Heroes is actually two video screens in “Heritage Hall,” the curved hallway leading from the lobby of Avera McKennan that tells Avera McKennan’s story in pictures and displays.

For six months of the year, from October through December and April through June, the Wall of Heroes will be on display.

The screens show a photo and short biography of the donors whose families have chosen to honor them this way. Families so far have submitted approximately 100 photos and stories.

Among donors recognized on the Wall of Heroes is Andrea Cleveland of Corsica, S.D., who died Nov. 1, 2011, at age 16 of injuries sustained in a car accident. Her parents, Jeff and Marlene, honored Andrea's decision to be an organ and tissue donor, which she had proudly marked on her driver's license. Andrea's gifts of organ donation saved the lives of five people, and her gifts of tissue donation benefited people across the country. "I am so proud of her for doing this," said her mother Marlene. "The accident was going to happen whether she marked 'donor' or not. If she hadn't signed up, those people would have gone through the same thing we went through. Because of Andrea, they made it."

A number of hospitals across the United States have “donor walls.” Yet a wall display provides only limited space, and doesn’t provide enough space for changing exhibits or the story behind a name and a face.

Each year, Avera McKennan employees raise hundreds of thousands of dollars through the Employee Giving Campaign. A portion of these funds go toward the “Pay it Forward” grant program. Avera staff can write a grant application, and receive funds to purchase equipment or launch a program to benefit our patients and their families.

Avera’s transplant staff wrote a “Pay it Forward” grant for a local Wall of Heroes. Rather than a static exhibit, they decided upon the novel approach of a video display.

In 1993, Avera was a pioneer in this region with the first kidney transplant program in the Dakotas. In 2003, the solid organ transplant program was expanded to add pancreas transplant, and a liver transplant program is underway. The Avera Transplant Institute along with the Avera Cancer Institute oversee the Dakotas’ only bone marrow transplant program as well. A total of more than 1,100 transplants have been performed.

“Avera transplant surgeons have not only extended life, they have given many patients an improved quality of life. Yet it would not be possible if not for the generous hearts of individuals who are willing to be organ donors,” said Dave Kapaska, DO, Regional President and CEO of Avera McKennan.

Avera partners with LifeSource in the organ donation process. Along with the dedication of the Wall of Heroes on Dec. 9, Avera presented LifeSource with a check for $10,000 as a community benefit donation.

LifeSource presented Avera McKennan with its Workplace for Life award, in recognition of activities that raise awareness for organ donation.

One donor can save up to 60 lives through organ and tissue donation. Individuals who wish to signify their desire to be an organ donor should have this marked on their driver’s license, and speak to their closest family members, should this decision need to be made in the event of their death. To learn more about organ and tissue donation, please visit www.life-source.org

To learn more about transplant services at Avera, go to AveraTransplant.org


Mount Marty College to hold fall commencement on December 13  
Tuesday, December 09, 2014  9:44 AM
Doug Ekeren will be the keynote speaker at the fall commencement exercises to be held at Mount Marty College. The ceremony will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, December 13, 2013, at Marian Auditorium, 1105 West 8th Street, Yankton.

Doug Ekeren is the regional president and CEO for the Avera Sacred Heart region. The Avera Sacred Heart Region consists of five hospitals, including Avera Sacred Heart, five long term care facilities, multiple ambulatory services and 1500 employees.

Ekeren has served on the administrative team at Avera Sacred Heart Hospital for the past twenty one years and during this time, he has led efforts to build relationships with critical access hospitals in the area, including the purchase of two facilities and management of two others. These building blocks assure Avera’s mission of providing complete access to quality health care throughout the region. Ekeren has also overseen numerous building projects which have extended Avera’s connection into several outreach locations. This additional growth ensures that residents in our smaller, rural communities have access to high quality health care.

Ekeren has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of South Dakota in Health Services Administration, and a Master’s Degree in Hospital Administration from the University of Minnesota.
Doug and his wife, Karen, have three grown children: Michael, Katie and Laura. He has been involved in his parish here in Yankton and also served as President of the Yankton School Board, President of both the Yankton Area Transit Board and Yankton Chamber of Commerce. Currently he is South Dakota’s representative to the American College of Healthcare Executives, a professional organization serving over 40,000 healthcare professionals worldwide.

For more information on the event please visit www.mtmc.edu/academics/registrar/commencement.aspx.

Mount Marty College, located in Yankton, South Dakota, is a Catholic, Benedictine, coeducational institute of higher learning founded in 1936 by the Benedictine Sisters of Sacred Heart Monastery. In keeping with the Benedictine tradition, the college exists as a community of learners. Primary emphasis is placed on the development of each person as a complete human being with intellectual competence, professional and personal skills, and a composite of moral, spiritual, and social values. With an enrollment of over 1,100 students on all three campuses and approximately 600 students located on the Yankton campus, Mount Marty College is the region’s premier institution for higher learning. To learn more about Mount Marty College visit www.mtmc.edu

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