CSS and Diocese establish COVID-19 Fund

Catholic Social Services, in collaboration with the Diocese of Rapid City, announces the establishment of a COVID-19 response fund for western South Dakota families. CSS will allocate the funds, prioritizing applications from households anywhere in western South Dakota that meet one or more of the following conditions:

  1. A household member who has a positive test for COVID-19, which has adversely impacted the family’s income.
  2. Temporarily lost employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic which has adversely impacted the family’s income.
  3. Health care providers in the family whose employment has resulted in financial hardships for the family.
  4. Lost income due to a lack of childcare.
  5. Members with pre-existing medical conditions that has caused them to self-quarantine, resulting in financial hardship for the family.

At this point, CSS has limited financial resources to assist with this effort and the amount of assistance per household will depend on available funding and the number of applicants. To apply for assistance, please visit the Catholic Social Services website at cssrapidcity.com to access the application form, or call CSS at 605-348-6086 for information.

Anyone interested in contributing to these efforts, please send donations to:
529 Kansas City St Ste 100
Rapid City, SD 57701
or go to cssrapidcity.com/relief webpage and click on the ‘donate here’ button.

Bishop Peter Muhich encourages all Catholics in western South Dakota to pray for all those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and to continue to support their local parishes that depend on financial contributions normally collected during Sunday Mass.

CLick here for a printable PDF

Televised Mass and Online Resources

Special Prayer of the Holy Father

The Secretariat of State of the Holy See has requested that all local Churches be informed that all members of the faithful and other Christians are invited to participate in the special prayer of the Holy Father, Pope Francis,  taking place in Saint Peter’s Square this FRIDAY, MARCH 27, 2020.

This prayer with the Holy Father will be broadcast by Mondovision and streamed on the website of Vatican News (WWW.VATICANNEWS.VA) at 6:00 P.M. in Rome, 11:00 A.M. (MDT)/12:00 P.M. (CDT)

Click here to see the full annoucement

Generations have risen to call his name Blessed — The Fruits of Fr. Columban

Fr. Columban Bregenzer, OSB

Preserving a Catholic Community By Kathy Cordes, Diocesan Archivist

Interview with the Very Reverend Fr. Columban Bregenzer, OSB, VG, on August 12, 1941, titled Easter Sick Call.  Some license was taken to correct grammar, terminology and it includes two interviews.  In his own words, “the following story illustrates the difficulties under which the early missionaries were forced to labor.” 

After conducting the strenuous Easter Holy Week services at St. Martin Convent I was called in the later afternoon of Holy Saturday, to accompany the doctor to a distant ranch on a sick call.  We traveled in the usual conveyance of that time, a spring wagon with a horse. 

It was close to midnight by the time I had completed the religious rites and I desired to return immediately. I knew that penitents would be waiting for me Easter morning, but the fatigue of the horse and condition of the roads, for it had begun to rain, made my return impossible until morning.

The sick calls in those days were awful working conditions. When the people came to get the doctor, I, Father Columban (as I wish to be called), went out with him. When it snowed, once, I got so lost so I let the reins loose and the horse went home. Sometimes, a team was hired at the livery stable for me.

In 1902, with Bishop Stariha as first prelate, there were five priests, including myself to take care of the 41,000 square miles. The country was full of cattle men who came in once or twice a year to get supplies and then went to holy Mass and communion — those days the church was packed! 

The best that the family could offer me for my lodging was the garret and a sack of straw. The scurrying of the mice over my body was not conducive to sleep. As early as possible I was on the road and reached Sturgis about eight o’clock in the morning. 

The sisters had been waiting for two hours for holy Communion; the soldiers from nearby Fort Meade crowded the church waiting for a chance to make their Easter duty. After giving holy Communion to the sisters and hearing the confessions of the soldiers it was time for the ten o’clock high Mass. After Solemn Vespers in the afternoon I could finally seek much needed repose. 

I was not the first Benedictine in the Hills. Father Joachim came here in 1892. My Abbot told me that he wouldn’t leave me here longer than holy week. He also did not tell me about the size of the field, or about traveling to Lemmon and Faith. I came out to a little church. Yet, I said “you ought to have a holy man for this work.” Little did I know, that weeklong assignment would turn into 39 years!

Fr. Columban was hailed for his charity, his sense of justice, and his great desire for unity. His efforts as a priest of God and the spiritual guidance he gave his parishioners was an inspiration to the entire community and the surrounding settlements.

On September 10, 1988, Father was entered into the South Dakota Hall of Fame. This award was posthumously accepted by Sr. Marmion Howe.

The history of our own diocese remains fruitful and continues to bear fruit as the Gospel of St. John commands, “your fruit shall remain” (Jn 15:16-19).


Is our diocesan community willing to invest in the hearts of young people?

In 2016, Bishop Robert D. Gruss, wrote Through Him, With Him, and In Him: A Spiritual Guide to the Diocesan Priority Plan. Our sacred mission — why we exist as a diocese — is expressed very powerfully in our priority plan:

“We, the Diocese of Rapid City, through the power of the Holy Spirit, are called to attract and form intentional disciples who joyfully, boldly and lovingly proclaim and live the mission of Jesus Christ leading to eternal life.”

In our priority plan we have six core values that will decide how we are to communicate and behave as a diocese. Those core values are prayer, stewardship, solidarity, mercy, family and reconciliation.

We also have our foundational ministries: Sacraments and Worship, Education and Formation, Governance and Finance, Social Services and Outreach and Vocations and Evangelization.

This past month I have been reflecting once again on the call that all of us have in building a vibrant culture of vocations in our families, parishes and diocese. In my prayer I felt moved by the Holy Spirit to return to our diocesan priority plan, in particular the section on Vocations and Evangelization, (pages 120-125).

Everyone’s responsibility

We hear in our priority plan that promoting vocations is the responsibility of all of us. It must involve everyone. This compelling quote from the Code of Canon Law, of all places, explicitly speaks of this responsibility that we are all called to embrace:

“The duty of fostering vocations rests with the entire Christian community so that the needs of the sacred ministry in the universal church are provided for sufficiently. This duty especially binds Christian families, educators, and in a special way, priests, particularly pastors. Diocesan bishops, who most especially are to be concerned for promoting vocations, are to teach the people entrusted to them of the importance of the sacred ministry and of the needs for ministers in the church in order to encourage and support endeavors to foster vocations, especially by means of projects established for that purpose” (Paragraph 233).

Bishop Gruss states that in “dioceses where vocations are flourishing, there resides a culture that has created an environment for young men and women to view the priesthood and religious life as a viable way of life and to view sacramental marriage as a vocation centered in Christ.”

The bishop continues that “such an environment has, in some way, awakened the hearts of these young people. At the heart of this environment is relational ministry.”

Invest in young people

One aspect, then, of a vibrant culture of vocations is a community willing to invest their lives and hearts in young people.

Several weeks ago, I was in Rome visiting Robert Kinyon, who is a second-year theologian at the North American College. Robert and I made several day trips to celebrate the Eucharist.

One of our stops was to the Sanctuary of Saint Maria Goretti in Nettuno; the other trip was Bolsena — Orvieto, the place in which a eucharistic miracle took place in 1263. A German priest, Peter of Prague, celebrating Mass at the tomb of St. Christina, had barely spoken the words of consecration when blood started to seep from the consecrated host and trickle over his hands onto the altar and the corporal. These were powerful places which encouraged some great conversations.

In one of our conversations Robert shared his desire to become another divine physician-Christ. Robert said too many people see the priest as simply a counselor or social worker rather than the divine physician of the soul. In Robert’s words:

“The priest is an Alter Christus (another Christ) who is called to live in complete conformity with Jesus and work as Christ in the world. Christ’s mission was fundamentally salvific. Every action he performed whether it be counseling, feeding, healing, or teaching was directed toward the eternal salvation of the people with whom he interacted. 

“So, too, it ought to be with the priest. Having received a special order from God, the priest participates in Christ’s work. His job is to serve as a bridge between God and humanity. Nowhere is this more evident than in the administration of the sacraments where God dispenses his divine life to his chosen people through the hands of the priest.”

Becoming a divine physician

As the Gospels attest, Jesus was a healer of body and soul. He came to bring life. He came to wage battle against sin and death. So, too, in a real way does the priest in whom, through his ordination and the power of the Holy Spirit, he makes present the very body and blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ. 

It is through ordination and the power of the Holy Spirit that the priest, in the name of Christ, forgives sins, reconciling the human heart back to Christ. It is how he brings healing to the sick through the sacrament of anointing. The priest is truly the divine physician of the soul.

In addition to investing our lives and hearts in young people, we must also present a compelling vision of priesthood, religious life and marriage. We must speak clearly, boldly and creatively, both by example and by words, the fullness of the beauty of these vocations given to us by Jesus.

Fr. Mark McCormick and seminarian Robert Kinyon by the Sanctuary of Saint Maria Goretti in Nettuno, Italy. (Courtesy photo)

Prayers & Devotions

Special Indulgences in the current pandemic from the Vatican

Audio Rosary with Bishop Gruss & Rapid City Seminarians

Divine Mercy Novena & Chaplet

Divine Mercy Chaplet chant video

Divine Mercy Chaplet melodic video

Prayers from the USCCB

Tera Sancta live prayer events

Stations of the Cross by St. Alphonsus Liguori

Stations of the Cross for Vocations – downloadable booklets from the Office of Vocations

Stations of the Cross with Bishop Barron (video)

Liturgy of the Hours on the computer

Liturgy of the Hours on the app

Liturgy of the Hours audio version

Children and Teens

Life Teen Global Life Night Live Sundays 3pm

Magnifikid’s March & April issues are free online

Daily podcast for kids and free resources 

Sophia Institute Press for Teachers has some great resources for the classroom that can also be used in the family:   

EWTN videos for kids

Holy Heroes has some free activities and videos for kids 

Ignatius Press online programs offered free

Youth Ministry Nights online

Steubenville Fuel e-spirations

Formation Opportunities