CSS and Diocese establish COVID-19 Fund

Catholic Social Services, in collaboration with the Diocese of Rapid City and with the blessing of Diocesan Administrator Father Michel Mulloy, 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.

Fr. Mulloy 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

Suspension of all public Masses due to the COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic

Click here to read Father Mulloy’s video address (PDF download)



JOINT STATEMENT: THE SPIRITUAL LEADERS
OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC DIOCESES
OF SIOUX FALLS AND RAPID CITY

Suspension of all public Masses due to the COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic

March 17, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Our national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, relying on data that shows the real progression of the COVID-19 virus, has now updated its recommendation to limit gatherings to ten people.  The recommendation limits the potential for transmission of the virus.  Ultimately, the recommendation is rooted in serving the common good, including those most vulnerable to the virus and its devastating effects on the body.

Mindful of our own call as Catholics to seek the common good, we have directed that all daily Masses and all Sunday Masses prayed in parishes are suspended until further notice.  This suspension takes effect on March 18, 2020 and includes all gatherings for social and educational purposes in Catholic facilities. It will remain in effect until further notice.  This extraordinary measure has been directed after prayerfully asking God for His assistance in guiding His Church, in collaboration with the diocesan consultors and careful study of information gathered by government officials and recommendations given by medical professionals.  We believe it is the prudent decision in keeping with the directives of many bishops throughout the United States who have made this prudential decision.

This decision is one of the most exceptional pastoral decisions we have faced and its impact on the Catholic faithful of South Dakota weighs heavily on our hearts.  We will continue to monitor the situation with the intention of restoring the full access to the Sacraments and public prayer within our communities as soon as it becomes appropriate to do so.  Projecting a timeline has been difficult to do accurately in the wake of this pandemic.  So, we ask for your patience and flexibility when further adjustments become necessary.  

While no decision has been made on Holy Week liturgies at this time, we acknowledge that current recommendations for limiting the size of gatherings extend beyond April 5-12, 2020.  Therefore, it is probable the suspension announced today will also impact these liturgies prayed during the most solemn moments in our liturgical calendar.  Mechanisms for live streaming these liturgies are already in place.

Until then, some practical ramifications of the suspension of public Masses and public events will be shared with the priests and people of our two dioceses in a separate memorandum. This will be available later today or tomorrow. 

Most especially during these trying times, let us continue to remember that the Sabbath is God’s command, not His Church’s.  We can unite ourselves to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ through our participation in televised Masses which are readily available.  In addition we are urged to make “Spiritual Communions” while joining in radio, television, or online broadcasts of the Sunday Mass.  Again, more information about these opportunities as well as additional resources for sustaining our spiritual lives during this extraordinary fast from the regular reception of the Sacraments will be made available through the memorandum each of our dioceses will issue. 

We continue to urge all Catholics to offer additional prayer during this pandemic.  We would ask all Catholics to pray for the intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church and St. Joseph, Protector of the Church.  Let us continue to pray for the sick and dying, for those caring for them and for those working to minimize the impact of COVID-19.  Let us pray for our own protection and care, for those who fear illness or death without knowing the Lord’s loving care.

Most Reverend Donald E. DeGrood  
Bishop of Sioux Falls                                      

Very Reverend Michel Mulloy 
Diocesan Administrator                                 
Diocese of Rapid City                           

References
www.sfcatholic.org
www.rapidcitydiocese.org


Click here for a full PDF of the press release

Diocesan Disease Prevention Recommendations

Click here to download a PDF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, 

We are all aware of the public health concerns that have spread to our country in recent weeks due to the various strains of viral flu and upper respiratory illness that have been reported. Whereas it is good to be cautious, we have no reason to be fearful. There are practical choices individuals can make to help reduce the risk of infection and there are certain liturgical practices which can be modified to be prudent in times when risks are particularly high. 

Common practices that help prevent the spread of illness include washing hands frequently, including before and after Mass, avoiding contact with possible sources of contamination and refraining from touching one’s eyes, mouth or nose, all places where any virus can easily be introduced. Using hand sanitizer is also helpful in situations where soap and water are not present. 

In addition to these precautions, all Catholic people need to understand that missing Mass because of illness is not sinful. Rather, it is a heightened form of charity toward others to stay home from Mass when you are ill. Persons who are sick or caring for someone who is sick and cannot be left unattended are requested to remain home from Mass to avoid spreading viral infections to others. 

After consulting with the priests of the diocese and noting the decisions of several other dioceses in the United States, we will also take some additional precautions in our diocese with the following temporary directives. These are not permanent changes to our celebration of the Mass.

 First, I would ask all pastors to suspend the distribution of the Blood of Christ to the assembly until further notice. We believe that we receive Christ, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, in both forms of Holy Communion, and it is only necessary to receive under one form. While receiving under both forms is a fuller sign which we have practiced in the United States for many years, Communion is not diminished when only one form is offered. 

Second, I would ask that all parishioners offer the Sign of Peace to one another verbally without shaking hands or engaging in other forms of touch. Exchanging a gesture of peace in anticipation of the reception of our Lord in Communion is a beautiful and meaningful part of the Mass. It is not necessary to eliminate this ritual completely. However, it is prudent to temporarily modify the gesture to a verbal greeting. Other forms of greeting, such as waving, are not in keeping with the dignity of this moment. 

Third, the general guidelines do not prescribe a particular posture or gesture during the Our Father, so, although it is common in many communities to hold hands during this prayer, please refrain from doing so during this time of heightened concern about the spread of disease. 

Finally, while every parishioner always has the option to receive communion in the hand or on the tongue, you might consider receiving in the hand for the time being to avoid the possibility of transferring saliva to the hand of the communion minister and then to another communicant. This last guideline is not required but offered for each person’s consideration. 

My brother priests and I will monitor this situation and consult with knowledgeable advisors. You will be notified when we determine that it is reasonably safe to begin these ritual practices again. 

May God bless you and protect you from all illness, now and always. 

Sincerely in Christ, 
Very Rev. Michel Mulloy 
Diocesan Administrator

Father Hofer to serve as Chaplain to the South Dakota National Guard


Warrant Officer Lonny Hofer, retired National Guard, swears in his son Father Adam Hofer, while First Lieutenant Pat Moran holds the microphone during the ceremony. (Photo Courtesy Brenda Schneller) Visit our Facebook page to see the full video of the swearing in: www.facebook.com/DioceseofRapidCity.

Father Adam Hofer, Blessed Sacrament Church, Rapid City was sworn in as a First Lieutenant in the South Dakota Army National Guard in November. An informal celebration was held at the parish December 8 to celebrate the occasion.

“My decision to become a chaplain in the National Guard was influenced by the serious need for chaplains in general and for Catholic priests in particular to serve as chaplains in the National Guard,” he explained in a statement to the West River Catholic. “About 24 percent of the soldiers in the South Dakota National Guard are Catholic. Also, my dad served a long career in the National Guard and I have a significant appreciation for his service and example, as well as for the chaplains and their services and support provided throughout my dad’s career. As a priest, I believe that I can support our men and women in uniform who sacrifice for the freedom that we enjoy as Americans. My service is also founded in permission to serve from the Office of the Bishop.”

His service will entail attending the “drill weekend” with the Joint Force Headquarters unit each month as well as for two weeks during the summer. He will also attend a Chaplain Basic Officer Leadership Course at Fort Jackson, S.C., to learn military protocol and chaplain specific training to effectively serve the soldiers.

The Perils and Promise of the Amazon

In 2017, when Pope Francis called for a regional synod on the Amazonian region to take place at the Vatican, it surprised many Catholics. The Amazon invokes images of dense jungle pierced by its namesake river. The region is much more than that. Five times the size of Alaska, it has a population of 31 million, of which 3 million are indigenous peoples. It is undergoing a rapid, some say ominous, transition, as small-scale farmers, corporate ranchers and miners clear the land and often come in conflict with local tribes. The region is plagued by widespread environmental damage as well as military strife, drug trade and human trafficking.

Binding the region together is the presence of the church. Its missionaries and pastoral workers, priests and men and women religious, sometimes at great risk, have ministered to the indigenous peoples as well as the settlers and farmers. In the sprawling shantytowns and in the villages, the church struggles to accompany the people of the Amazon.

Catholic News Service over the past several months has reported extensively from the Amazon, helping Catholics to understand both its spectacular diversity and the threats that endanger it. In preparation for the Oct. 6-27 synod, here are some stories highlighting the region.



Articles from Catholic News Service




Pastoral Center plans take shape

 

May 15, Chancery employees Mark Hazel, facilities director; and Deacon Greg Sass, Director of the Permanent Diaconate and Lay Ministry Formation; review the preliminary plans for remodeling the former credit union. (WRC photo)



At the end of March, Bishop Robert Gruss purchased the building vacated by a local credit union. (WRC photo)



Susan Safford, Michael Wilhelmi, Dottie Borowski, Tammi Williams and Dionne Eastmo check out the future copy/server spaces. (WRC photo)

Living the Mission 
By Fr. Michel Mulloy, Vicar General

In January the West River Catholic broke a story about the new diocesan pastoral center. The Diocese of Rapid City purchased the former Black Hills Federal Credit Union building on the east end of Main Street in March. Although the original plans, developed before the Living the Mission Campaign started in the diocese, called for a new Pastoral Center to be built on the campus of Terra Sancta, Bishop Robert Gruss did not stop looking for a suitable facility that would house the chancery staff. The credit union building has adequate space.

The credit union has moved to their new location. The bishop, vicar general, Chancellor Margaret Simonson and the Chief

Finance Officer Rick Soulek have been meeting with ARC International, an architecture firm. The diocese also hired Rangel Construction to manage the renovation. This group is working on the plans for remodeling this newly acquired facility so that it will best accommodate the chancery staff. The first draft of the renovation plan was shared with the full chancery staff to receive their input. Once the design is complete, the remodeling will begin. The projected date for the construction to commence is mid-August.

The building has two floors and a half basement. The basement  will  be  used  primarily for housing the archives of the diocese. These are all the records, both historical and financial, dioceses are required to keep.

The first and second floors will have enough offices for the chancery staff, currently about 40 employees, as well as a few extra offices for possible expansion of one department or another. Most of these offices are already in place. A section of the second floor that was previously filled with moveable cubicles will be converted to permanent offices.

The second floor will also have a small chapel. There are two reasons for this. First and foremost, a place to gather for Mass and prayer is a strong reminder to the chancery staff that our work is grounded in our diocesan mission to attract and form disciples of Jesus who want to live and proclaim the Gospel. In addition, the chapel will be used for daily Mass and times of prayer for the staff.

To accommodate meetings and committee work, the new pastoral center will have conferences and meeting rooms. Some of these already exist and some will be added during the remodeling process.

The design is simple and functional. This will be the place from which the bishop and his staff reach out in service to the diocese, that is, to all of us. Plans include ways to reflect the whole diocese in the artwork of the new Pastoral Center.

As you think about and reflect on your contribution to the Living the Mission Campaign, realize that the bishop and his staff are working to use the gifts that have been offered well. The diocese needs a new pastoral center and the purchase of this credit union facility will allow us to realize that aspect of the case elements in the campaign in a cost-effective way. 

Why I am Catholic by Father Leo Hausmann

Father Leo Hausmann
Lead/Deadwood
 Homily
September 9, 2018

This is why I am a Catholic and always will be. Jesus Christ. That is why I am not only Christian but why I am a Catholic and always will remain a Catholic.

My faith is in Jesus Christ. I am a cradle Catholic, but have come to know and believe that he is the Son of God, that He died for me, He has risen, and if I cooperate with his grace, he will bring me to live with Him in heaven for all eternity. I echo the words of St. Peter, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”

I am Catholic because my faith is in Jesus Christ who chose twelve apostles as the foundation stones of His Church. One of these twelve became a traitor, allowing Satan to induce his heart. That was the first scandal in the Catholic Church and a clear teaching of Christ that even under His direct care scandal does not nullify the Church He established, as some fifty days later the Holy Spirit descended upon His church at Pentecost confirming it as His chosen instrument to bring grace into the world.

I am Catholic because my faith is in Jesus Christ who proclaimed to Peter, “And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

I am Catholic because history from the earliest years of the Church shows that even while some Apostles still lived after the martyrdom of St. Peter, the Church understood that St. Peter’s special place of authority In Christ’s Church was to be passed down to the bishop that followed him, even to our present Pope, Francis.

I am Catholic because Jesus promised His Church He would never abandon it when he said to his disciples: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

I am Catholic because Jesus said to the crowd, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.” And at the Last Supper “Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, “Take and eat; this is my body.”Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.”

I am Catholic because the Church has understood from the very beginning that the authority to consecrate the bread and wine to become the Body and Blood of Jesus was given to those who are ordained priests and bishops.

I am Catholic because no one can proclaim themselves a priest, but they must be chosen by the Church and then ordained by a bishop who was ordained by another bishop, who was ordained by another bishop extending back in a historical unbroken line back to the Apostles. As a Catholic I truly receive Christ’s Body and Blood, and not just a symbol, because of this historical succession of priests and bishops.

I am Catholic because it is only in that historical link to the Apostles in the priesthood that I can receive sacramental confession for the forgiveness of my sins. It was to the Apostles, the first bishops and priests of the Church, that Jesus breathed on and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”

I could go on saying why I am Catholic because of all of the other Sacraments that come through the Catholic Church, as each one is vital to my happiness and eternal life. I could also speak about the great comfort I enjoy knowing that the Church will never lead me astray because in the teachings of faith and morals the Church is preserved from error through the Holy Spirit. These are the things of the Catholic Church that are rooted in Christ’s living presence and the work of the Holy Spirit that are essential and true even to the end of the world.

These reasons for which I am Catholic and will always remain Catholic can never be wiped away by the bad behavior or the poor judgments of men. Christ is the invisible head of the Church and keeps it true even during times of scandal and disappointment caused by men, even those who have high places of authority in the structure of the Church Christ instituted.

I am Catholic also for the very many beautiful and glorious works of the Church through its history. Like the Catholic hospitals and schools that have brought healing and learning to so many, especially the poor. Like the great religious orders of women and men whose members have served God’s people in so many beautiful and wonderful ways, such as St. Theresa of Calcutta who gave dignity to the poor and forgotten dying in the gutters of India. Like the priests, bishops, cardinals and popes over the ages, and even today, who were true servants of Christ offering their lives in His service. Like the blessed martyrs who bravely professed their faith in Christ even in the face of torture and death. Like the lay faithful who in marriage have lived their marriage vows with deep sacrificial love for their spouse and their children. Or the lay faithful who with that same spirit of sacrificial love serve their local parishes in care of their church building, serving funeral dinners, teaching catechism and so many other things.

I am Catholic and I am boldly Catholic, honored and proud to be associated with Jesus Christ, with His Holy Catholic Church, and with the beautiful works and saints that it has produced throughout its history.

No bad behavior and poor judgment by any man or woman during any age will ever change me from my love and devotion for Christ’s Church, even in times when their bad behavior and poor judgment has brought us all humiliation before the world.

I continue to love the Catholic Church because I know and believe that it is truly the Body of Christ that St. Paul proclaimed it to be. I love that Body of Christ especially when it is suffering in its members as it is today because of the scandal that has touched it. In fact, I love it even more, because I believe the suffering we endure will bring a new spring of purity and renewal that will one day make the Church shine forth in glorious beauty before all the world.

I am Catholic and will always remain Catholic. Boldly Catholic, even in these times when I am embarrassed and ashamed by the behavior of some. I proudly profess my faith in Jesus Christ and His Church.

For those of you who are troubled by the events of our time I leave you with the words from our first reading: “Thus says the Lord: Say to those whose hearts are frightened: Be strong, fear not! Here is your God, he comes with vindication; With divine recompense he comes to save you.”

God has not abandoned His Church and nor should we. Rather, let us pray for the Church and be part of its renewal. Let us pray for the victims of this scandal and those whose faith has been shaken by it. And now, more than ever let us be Catholic. Let us be boldly Catholic.

Living the Mission