St. John Paul II — October Saint of Mercy


Karol Wojtyá was born May 18, 1920, into a devout Catholic family in Wadowice, Poland. His early life was marked by suffering and loss. When he was eight years old his mother died, and three years later his older brother. With the instruction and example of his father, Karol drew close to Our Lady and found solace in prayer. His father died in 1941 and at the age of twenty Karol was left alone in the world. Karol excelled academically and attended the prestigious Jagellonian University in Kraków; however, his studies were interrupted by war and the Nazi occupation. He went to work as a manual laborer in a quarry where he was known to sing and lift the spirits of those around him. Wojtyá entered the seminary in secret in 1942.

Pope John Paul II blesses the crowd of about 40,000 gathered for Mass in the central city of Santa Clara, Cuba, Jan. 22, 1998. He presided over a two-hour liturgy during which he urged Cubans to turn to Christ to bolster family life. (CNS photo/Reuters)

Pope John Paul II blesses the crowd of about 40,000 gathered for Mass in the central city of Santa Clara, Cuba, Jan. 22, 1998. He presided over a two-hour liturgy during which he urged Cubans to turn to Christ to bolster family life. (CNS photo/Reuters)

After the war ended, he resumed his studies and was ordained a priest in 1946. As a priest he spent much of his time ministering to young adults, often going on camping trips with them, and later taught philosophy at a Catholic university while earning his doctorate. In 1958, he was ordained auxiliary bishop of Kraków, then installed as archbishop of Kraków in 1964. While bishop, he attended all four sessions of Vatican II and worked to undermine the tyranny of Soviet communism. Wojtyá was named a cardinal in 1967 and then elected pope on October 16, 1978.

God’s mercy was a central theme of John Paul’s pontificate. In his famous homily at his inauguration Mass, John Paul exhorted the world: “Do not be afraid. Open wide the doors for Christ.” Having witnessed the atrocities wrought by war and hate in his own country he knew well the depth of sin and evil; yet, he knew that God’s mercy was deeper still. Later, he wrote the encyclical Dives in Misericordia in which he emphasizes Jesus’ message of mercy to those who suffer: the poor, the outcast and the sinner, holding up the parable of the prodigal son as a “simple but profound” illustration of the “reality of conversion.”

John Paul not only spoke and wrote about mercy but he lived it. One of the most notable examples is when he visited Mehmet Ali Agca, his would-be assassin, in prison and forgave him. Another powerful example is the story of a priest who while visiting Rome stumbled upon a man begging outside a church who looked strangely familiar. Upon asking the man, the priest learned that they had in fact studied and been ordained together. The man related that after several crises he had renounced his priesthood, been stripped of his priestly faculties and was reduced to a homeless beggar. Later that day, in a private audience with the pope, the priest quickly blurted out the story of his encounter with the beggar. The priest received word from the Vatican that he was to dine with the Holy Father and was instructed to bring the homeless man. Though reluctant, the homeless man accompanied the priest. After dinner John Paul asked to be alone with the homeless man. After fifteen minutes, the man emerged from the room in tears. The priest eagerly asked the homeless man what happened. He recounted that John Paul had asked him to hear his confession. When he protested that he was a beggar and no longer a priest, John Paul replied saying: “once a priest, always a priest!” and “I too come before the Lord as a beggar.” After asking if he desired it, John Paul reinstated his priestly faculties and the beggar priest heard the confession of the pope. John Paul then sent him forth, instructing him to return to the parish where he had sat outside begging, that he was to be an associate pastor there and minister to his fellow beggars. With the love of the merciful Father, he welcomed his lost sheep back into the flock then sent him out to go and do likewise.

Near the end of his pontificate, John Paul canonized St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, the Polish nun to whom Jesus revealed the Divine Mercy image and chaplet, and he established Divine Mercy Sunday as a feast for the whole church. He brought this message of Divine Mercy to the world as he travelled to 129 countries while pope. After suffering from Parkinson’s disease for several years, John Paul died April 2, 2005 on the eve of Divine Mercy Sunday. He was canonized by Pope Francis on April 27, 2014. In his homily at John Paul’s funeral Mass, then-Cardinal Ratzinger said: “Our Pope — and we all know this — never wanted to make his own life secure, to keep it for himself; he wanted to give of himself unreservedly, to the very last moment, for Christ and thus also for us.”

Prayer to St. John Paul II

O Holy Trinity, we thank you for having given to the Church Pope John Paul II, and for having made him shine with your fatherly tenderness, the glory of the Cross of Christ and the splendor of the Spirit of love.

He, trusting completely in your infinite mercy and in the maternal intercession of Mary, has shown himself in the likeness of Jesus the Good Shepherd and has pointed out to us holiness as the path to reach eternal communion with you.

Grant us, through his intercession, according to your will, the grace that we implore, in the hope that he will soon be numbered among your saints. Amen.

Faithful Citizenship

The Challenge of Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship

This brief document is Part I  and Part II of a summary of the US Bishops’ reflection, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, which complements the teaching of the bishops in dioceses and states.

“If indeed ‘the just ordering of society and of the state is a central responsibility of politics,’ the Church ‘cannot and must not remain on the sidelines in the fight for justice.’” So writes Pope Francis, quoting Pope Benedict XVI.

Our nation faces many political challenges that demand well-informed moral choices:

  • The ongoing destruction of a million innocent human lives each year by abortion
  • Physician-assisted suicide
  • The redefinition of marriage
  • The excessive consumption of material goods and the destruction of natural resources, harming the environment as well as the poor
  • Deadly attacks on Christians and other religious minorities throughout the world
  • Efforts to narrow the definition and exercise of religious freedom
  • Economic policies that fail to prioritize the needs of poor people, at home and abroad
  • A broken immigration system and a worldwide refugee crisis
  • Wars, terror, and violence that threaten every aspect of human life and dignity.

As Catholics, we are part of a community with profound teachings that help us consider challenges in public life, contribute to greater justice and peace for all people, and evaluate policy positions, party platforms, and candidates’ promises and actions in light of the Gospel in order to help build a better world.

Click here to read the full statement.

West River Catholic: September 2016

Enjoy the September edition of the West River Catholic

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—Reconcile—Make Disciples—Live the Mission— September

Bringing the Priority Plan to life at home and in the community

—Reconcile—Make Disciples—Live the Mission—


Reconciliation and Communities

Two Envisioning Team members were asked what has to happen before we can genuinely invite others to experience the good news of God’s love through an encounter with Jesus. Fr. Christopher Johnson, Pine Ridge, said, “We need to recognize that we have failed in love, and we need to believe that God, who is love, came among us as one of us to share the good news and that despite our failures, we can, in any moment, discover how we have gone astray, correct course, and step into the kingdom of God. We then need to see others as we see ourselves, as loved sinners longing for communion.”

Fr. Steve Biegler, Rapid City, said. “One thing we need to realize is our mission to be ‘church’ is inviting others to experience the good news.

“We have gained some ground in that territory, we are getting people to understand that our mission is to evangelize and reach out. We are helping people see that a parish is a mission center — I think that’s an image used by Pope Francis.

“If we are going to invite them here they have to have a place to land that they feel is welcoming and safe. Obviously that means a place of hospitality.

“A lot of people don’t see themselves as people who invite, welcome or evangelize.

“My experience in the last several years, is that for people who are unchurched or who are not regular in a Catholic faith journey, the Mass is too much for them.

“I would say before we can genuinely invite people we need another place for them to enter. We have to explore that, another experience of prayer and liturgy that might not be the Mass. It might be an adoration experience or healing service. But we need to figure out some of the language from the Making Disciples workshop; we need a ‘lower threshold.’

“I’ve found, for example, that couples who come for marriage or baptism instruction, are exploring, but not sure they want full participation. They need an in between step.”

The priests also considered how our core values need to influence the way we work towards reconciliation in the church and local communities.

Father Johnson said, “Through prayer we find ourselves loved and called to love. Through prayer we find ourselves children of God, surrounded by brothers and sisters. In the sufferings of our brothers and sisters, we find that we too suffer, and our hearts reach out in love. When our families pray and foster care for one another, reconciliation happens. In seeing all people as children of God, as brothers and sisters, this reconciliation can extend throughout the world.”

Father Biegler added, “Everyone on the Envisioning Team was convinced that prayer is the most valuable place to start. The work of prayer, which is a spiritual work, is integral to the success of any ministry in the church. I always tell people who come to confession, and need reconciliation with someone, to pray for that person. Pray for the grace you need for yourself. God can work something through prayer in ways that we could never work.

“Many people who say in confession, ‘I know God forgives me, I can’t forgive myself.’ Then, they are not receiving God’s forgivenesss. We aren’t very good at receiving mercy and I don’t think they really believe in Christ’s mercy.”

“Solidarity is a really strong value for being a brother or sister toward everyone, we think of reconciliation with people who have hurt us, we might not think of people we may have ignored, immigrants, unborn, elderly, and other races.”

Making Disciples with Prayer

The Mass is the source and summit of becoming disciples ourselves, so we can go out to make disciples of others. Fr. Michel Mulloy, an Envisioning Team Member from McLaughlin, said, “Being a disciple of Jesus requires spending time with the Master. Spending time with Jesus can take many forms, but there is no substitute for praying the Mass. The Mass is Jesus’ self-surrender to God the Father through the Holy Spirit. As we celebrate Mass, we join with Jesus and learn over and over how to live our discipleship.”

Father Mulloy also explained that being in love with Christ forms the basis of our desire to spread his Gospel.

“When I love someone, the loved one is the source of my activity and the end of all I do. I want others to know the one who has captured my heart. When I love the Lord, then I want to spread the good news of who he is to everyone I meet so that they can come to know and love him as well.”

The practice of loving Christ inspires a conversion of hearts and minds. At the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Rapid City, Stephanie Hatley joined the Catholic Church at Easter Vigil. She said, “My conversion was an entire mind, body, and soul transformation. From my daily thought patterns and attitude, to my physical health, to my heart’s deepest desires, I am literally a new creation.”

Hatley works as a cleaning lady. She began getting several new clients who were Catholic. She talked to them about church doctrine and started researching things on her own. Two of her clients she said were particularly influential, Courtney and Nancy Lien. Courtney served as her sponsor going through RCIA.

“I was trying to cope with the wounds of an absent father, I spent 14 years searching for love and happiness in the world. I lived a noisy life, desperately seeking the approval of others, while attempting to mask the pain and guilt with alcohol and drugs,” Hatley said.

She continued, “God captivated me with his mercy. As my heart began to embrace what Jesus endured for us, my life rapidly began to change. My addictions and bad habits fell away. I began to love my work, appreciate my family, and have a profound desire to live life God’s way.

“In search of the truth, led by prayer, I came in to full communion with the Catholic Church. It is through His church I have been able to experience the grace and mercy I have needed all my life,” said Hatley.

Living Our Faith

In living the mission of the church and diocese, first we need to recognize that all people, at all stages of life, are important. Sue Jimmerson, Rapid City, has been active for many years with the Pro-Life Commission, which subsequently became the Social Justice Commission.

Jimmerson said, “As Catholics and Christians we believe that human life is a gift from God, each person is created in God’s image and thus deserving of care and protection. Our challenge is to promote human dignity, extending from conception, through all situations in life, until natural death.

“Unfortunately, our culture can reduce the value of a human person to an arbitrary standard that can change through laws like Roe v. Wade or assisted suicide legislation. A utilitarian view looks only at how a life would benefit others, e.g. embryonic stem cell research, the buying and selling of unborn baby parts, pornography, sex or labor trafficking, unjust wages.

Jimmerson has worked with many inter-denominational and secular groups promoting the dignity of life over the years.

“We don’t need religion to recognize that fetal development is part of the wondrous progression of human life; that poverty, unsafe living conditions, and lack of food or medical care are detrimental; or that abortion and assisted suicide are violence. Advancements in science and increased knowledge of conditions that hinder or degrade life can form our thinking and actions. There are even national atheist groups which have become involved in supporting pro-life causes.

“For example, young pro-life pagans participated in the Texas March for Life this year; Secular Pro-Life defends life in blogs and on college campuses; and Pro-Life Humanists are defenders of the marginalized and champions of human life.”

She continued, “In S.D., there are many secular or non-religious groups that affirm the dignity of human life and strive to protect it. We could not have made progress in promoting pro-life causes without uniting with such groups. Christian faiths and those with no religious faith have worked to limit Planned Parenthood’s work in Rapid City; with a civic group in Lead to ban nude dancing and adult-oriented business advertising; and with various groups on state legislation. These have always been inspirational and dynamic alliances. Today, the Social Justice Commission and parish groups help promote or aid pro-life efforts by Habitat for Humanity, Fair Trade, Right to Life, and Family Heritage Alliance.”

Being pro-life means more than just advocating on behalf of life, it means lending a helping hand. At Catholic Social Services, Family Services Supervisor, Natalie Lecy works with the Uplifting Parents Program. It is a coalition of more than 30 Rapid City social service agencies combining resources to lift single parents out of poverty.

Started in April 2014, the program has nine graduates and 14 current participants working on a degree or learning skills that will allow them to provide a better life for themselves and their children.

Lecy said, “This program is so near and dear to my heart. You are working in the trenches with folks doing everything they can to raise their family out of poverty and to create a life for their kids that most of them never had themselves.

“I’ve been doing social work for over 10 years and this is one of the most inspiring programs to work with. You see close to immediate change when people are accepted into the program. They receive scholarship and stipend money, often times they can put their children in childcare or enroll in an education program that they never thought they’d be able to go into.”

The program helps with needs like: tuition, books, transportation, housing, and childcare. Applicants must have a concrete goal and a workable time line. “We try to provide wrap-around support for the entire family. If you are coming from generational poverty and you don’t have a support system it’s easy to fall through the cracks,” she said.


—Reconcile—Deacon Greg Sass, Retuning Catholics Program, Call 939-0579

The Returning Catholic Program is a series of six classes for people who have been away from the church and are interested in returning. Deacon Sass sees it as stewardship — an ongoing invitation that calls for making room for others.

He said to welcome someone who has been away from the church, first meet him or her where they are. He advises asking if there is anything they would like you to pray about in their life. “That can be such a simple little thing and it is easy to do,” he said.

In the Book of Matthew it says, “knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” Deacon Sass sees himself standing by the door, inviting people in and answering their questions. “I may not know the answer to every question; however, I tell them I will find it for them,” he said. Keeping Jesus in mind, he does not chide them for not attending Mass. He looks at their struggles and compares them to areas where he himself has struggled.

“Most of the people who attend are divorced. I had one person come through the program because people asked her why she came to church — she was a divorcee. She left the church because others did not understand the church’s teachings,” said Deacon Sass.

“It is important for everyone to know and keep studying our faith. The education on church teaching is the real benefit of this program. It is giving them that information in a non-threatening way and helping them with mercy and forgiveness,” he said.


—Make Disciples—Adoration

The Envisioning Team determined prayer is the first value. Adoration is praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament. According to Valarie Brown, Faith, Adoration is held after Friday morning daily Masses.The parish started it when (the late) Fr. Brian Fawcett served the parish in the 90s. Brown’s husband, Deacon Larry Brown, was instrumental in getting it started. She said it was originally a time to pray for vocations and the parish has had a two men go to the seminary to discern a vocation.

“Adoration is a call to spend time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. It’s a different kind of prayer. You might say your daily prayers quickly and go on with your day. This is a time of quiet,” said Brown. She said she gets a sense of peace and quiet. “It’s a time you can ask God for things in a more personal way,” said Brown.

Deacon Ray Klein, Belle Fourche, said, “Adoration is being alone with Jesus. We know Jesus is in the church. We should know He is in everybody we meet, but we don’t.

“Adoration is calming, it seems you go in there with your problems and just sit — sometimes the prayer is just to sit there and look — sometimes the answers or solutions to a problem just pop into your head,” he said.


—Live the Mission—John Litenberg, Love INC., (Love In the Name of Christ) 718-5683

“Everything Love INC., does is a shared ministry of our area churches coming together and giving parishioners an opportunity to put their faith to work. They don’t have to create a roll, its already there for them to step into,” he said.

The main office is in Rapid City and this year Love INC., is also working in Sturgis.

“We have a lot of individual volunteers and church congregations involved. Classes are taught by volunteers or organizations. The night starts out with a meal provided by an area church, and there is child care provided for adult classes,” said Litenberg.

He said word of mouth is a powerful way to attract people to their programs. “For instance, Catholic Social Services has excellent parenting classes.They are pulling in people through their organization. We are pulling people in through ours. We are doing what we can to promote brother agencies.”

One of the programs under development is “Thrive” an outdoor adventure resale store. The store will be an employment opportunity for youth that will include mentoring in job and life skills. The program will also have walking, biking and running events.

Fall classes: Financial Freedom; Bridges to Freedom, Star Quilting 101; Strengthening Families, Common Sense Parenting, Concerned Persons Study, Jobs Class, Nutrition on a Budget, Christianity Explored, Rebuild Your Broken World, Marriage, Stepping into Freedom, and Storyline: Live a better story.






Experiencing the universality of our church



In July, I was part of the pilgrimage of young adults from our diocese who journeyed to Krakow, Poland for World Youth Day. As part of our pilgrimage, we were blessed to have not only Bishop Robert Gruss join us, but also two religious sisters, Sr. Joy of Martyrs and Sr. Dove of Simplicity from the Servants of the Lord of Our Lady of Matara. Their presence, and their faith and joy in the Lord added much to our WYD experience.

As I look back on my encounter of WYD, there are three things that repeatedly come to mind. The first is mercy, which was the theme of World Youth Day taken from the fifth beatitude: Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy (Mt 5:7). The second and third are: generous hospitality and lively faith. These words should sound familiar to us because they are the first two lenses of our stewardship initiative. I experienced them being played out in so many ways throughout our pilgrimage.

Our first week we stayed in a hostel in Fr. Andrzej Wyrostek’s home town of Izdebnik, Poland. The pastor of St. Margaret Church, where Fr. Andrzej received the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist, opened up the church several times for us so that we could celebrate Mass and a Holy Hour. He even had a U.S. flag hanging outside the church as way to welcome us.

One of the first nights, the mayor of Izdebnik came and officially welcomed us as pilgrims and as friends. The day before we left for Krakow for the WYD gatherings, the owners of the hostel offered to do laundry for us — 20 loads of laundry! It was quite funny to see all our laundry laid out on a big table when we returned from touring that day. Next to it was a big sign that read: “American — Polish Power Ball.”

We were so blessed to stay in hosts’ homes in Wadowice, the hometown of St. John Paul II, during the WYD events. Throughout our stay, our host families were incredibly generous and showed us great mercy on a number of occasions. One of the things that struck me is that their faith was so evident and alive. Because of that, offering generous hospitality and showing us great mercy came naturally to them.

For instance, the opening night of WYD, the trains were not quite working the way we had expected. We arrived back at the train station at 3:30 in the morning, and then we had another 2.5 mile walk back to our host homes. Even so, when we arrived at the train station, our host families were there to greet us with big smiles, hugs and high fives. And when we arrived home, we were greeted with a simple meal.

On another night, it was pouring rain when we arrived at the train depot ready for the walk to our host homes. There again our host families were waiting to welcome home their tired pilgrims and to feed them again.

At dinner the first night with our host families, I was sitting behind a statue of Our Lady and I felt a movement of the Holy Spirit to ask if they wanted to pray the rosary with us. So after dinner, Kristof, the father, pointed to the deck and he took the statue of Our Lady sitting behind me and placed her on a table on the deck with a lit candle. The host family’s lively faith was shining.

Robert Kinyon, a third year college seminarian, tells of his experience of this encounter:

“My principal desire for World Youth Day was to experience the church universal by which we derive the name ‘Catholic,’ and from this I wanted a stronger aspiration to follow the will of the Father as he guides his church on earth.

“This desire was chiefly satisfied one evening while praying the rosary with my homestay family in Wadowice. We took turns leading each mystery with our Polish family, alternating between English and Polish, and ending with the “Salve Regina” in Latin. This, for me, was a beautiful moment of consolation. How magnificent is our church — spanning thousands of years and countless languages!

“Truly, in that moment, the Lord fulfilled the desires of my heart and gave me a new vigor to follow him, bolstered in faith and hope.”

This experience of generous hospitality and lively faith at WYD, especially with our host families made me think how important lively faith is in our lives, and how lively faith impacts everyone around it. Lively faith is contagious. It also made me more aware of how hospitality and lively faith are intimately connected. One flows out of the other and each is enriched by the other.

The next time you are hosting a meal at home or at a family gathering, why not end your time together with the rosary or praying with one another? You never know what one invitation to prayer — which would be a joining of generous hospitality and lively faith — might mean to someone.


Our country is facing political challenges

In a culture which is becoming more and more secular each day and the moral values on which this country was founded are in steep decline, this upcoming election is one of the most important elections of our lifetime. I urge all Catholics to take seriously their obligation as citizens to engage in the political process, beginning with exercising the right to vote. All Catholics have a moral obligation to this responsibility.

More than any other time in history, our country is facing political challenges that demand urgent moral choices. This current presidential campaign and upcoming election provide an important opportunity to help Catholics and non-Catholics alike understand the magnitude of acting in the political arena with a properly formed and informed conscience.

Neither I, nor any bishop, can tell people which candidates for whom to vote. But the U.S. bishops state in The Challenge of Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship (www.faithfulcit that voting “is a decision to be made by each Catholic guided by a conscience formed by Catholic moral teaching.” The role of bishops is to help form the consciences of Catholics in the light of church teaching so they will make sound moral judgments.

In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph #1777 states: “Moral conscience, present at the heart of the person, enjoins him at the appropriate moment to do good and to avoid evil. It also judges particular choices, approving those that are good and denouncing those that are evil. It bears witness to the authority of truth in reference to the supreme Good to which the human person is drawn, and it welcomes the commandments. When he listens to his conscience, the prudent man can hear God speaking.”

In the context of the political process, forming our conscience takes place when we seriously examine the issues and are open to the truth and what is right according to Catholic teaching. It requires the study of sacred Scripture and the teachings of the church, especially in regard to Catholic social teaching. Then we must examine the facts and background information about various choices and prayerfully reflect and discern the will of God. The prudent advice and the good example of others help support and enlighten our conscience. The authoritative teaching of the church is an essential element as well as the gifts of the Holy Spirit in helping us to develop our conscience.

In voting for a candidate for public office, we must be guided by our moral convictions, not any self-interest or attachment to a political party or interest group. It would irresponsible to vote for a candidate because we have always voted for that particular political party. The USCCB document The Challenge of Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship states: “Catholic voters should use Catholic teaching to examine candidates’ positions on issues and should consider candidates’ integrity, philosophy, and performance. It is important for all citizens “to see beyond party politics, to analyze campaign rhetoric critically, and to choose their political leaders according to principle, not party affiliation or mere self-interest” (USCCB, Living the Gospel of Life, no. 33).”

But what happens in a race where Christians are faced with two morally problematic choices? When both candidates are not good, then who should I vote for? This is a question on the minds of many people in this election cycle. In reality, very few candidates or political parties advocate policies which line up completely with Catholic Social Teaching. That being said, all political issues are not equal. Some parties and candidates have policies and planks within their platforms which promote serious mortal sin. This is a cause for grave concern. Human life issues, religious freedom issues, immigration issues and education issues are just some of the major concerns in this election year. But there is a hierarchy of truths in Catholic Social Teaching. Defending innocent human life, protecting the sanctity of marriage and concern for the poor lead the way.

Again as stated in Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, “As Catholics, our focus is not on party affiliation, ideology, economics, or even competence and capacity to perform duties, as important as such issues are. Rather, we focus on what protects or threatens human life and dignity.” Therefore, a formed conscience, enlightened by the teachings of Christ as it comes to us through the church’s moral teaching, must be our guide for all of the issues. If you would like to know more about the Seven Themes

of Catholic Social Teaching, this

website will be of value.

Through voting and involvement in the political process, Catholics help shape the moral character of society. It is the church’s role to help build and shape a society that animates the love and charity which the Gospel demands. This is a requirement of our faith and part of the mission of Jesus Christ that has been given to each member of his body. Our faith offers us the opportunity to make a unique contribution in our society through our efforts to advance the common good for all in building God’s kingdom. Therefore we must carefully discern which public policies are most sound in accord to Gospel values and vote for the candidate which most likely will embrace those policies.

At times Catholics may choose different ways to respond to social problems, but we cannot differ on our obligations to protect human life and help build a more just and peaceful world through a lens of Catholic morality.

In the words of Mark Twain: “A Christian’s first duty is to God. It then follows, as a matter of course, that it is his duty to carry his Christian code of morals to the polls and vote them … If Christians should vote their duty to God at the polls, they would carry every election, and do it with ease. … It would bring about a moral revolution that would be incalculably beneficent. It would save the country” (Colliers Magazine, September 2, 1905, pg. 17).

Let us pray that the Lord will give each of us the wisdom, guidance and moral prudence needed as we go to the polls on November 8. Come Holy Spirit!

Position Opening: Chief Financial Officer

Position Summary
The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is responsible for the overall financial operations and strategy for the Diocese and for fostering the professional, honest, and prudent use of its temporal resources in carrying out the Diocesan mission. This position is directly accountable to the Bishop of Rapid City. Click here for a full job description.

Applicant Qualification
Education and Experience: This person must be a practicing Catholic. Experience in financial management, supervision of staff, and not-for-profit accounting required. The successful candidate must have excellent communication skills and the ability to collaborate with multiple organizations and boards. Undergraduate degree in business administration, finance and/or accounting required. CPA designation and/or Master’s degree in business or finance desirable.

Click here for an application.

Please send completed application and resume to:
Margaret Simonson, Chancellor
PO Box 678
Rapid City SD 57709
or email to

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