My prayers for a blessed New Year
We have celebrated the Lord’s Nativity during the rich and grace-filled days of the Christmas season and have entered a new calendar year. In the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day media reports are filled with highlights from the past year and predictions of what awaits us in the coming months. While a lot of these stories are done in advance to take the place of regular reporting as people take vacation days over the holidays, they do remind us of where we have been over the last twelve months and give us some sense of what lies ahead.
The month of January is named after the Roman god Janus. You might remember that Janus had two faces so that he could see the future and the past. Janus was considered the god of beginnings, gates, doors, and endings. While we see everything in the light of Jesus Christ, classical Greek and Roman culture and history are still with us in many ways.
As we begin a new year it is natural to look back over the past year and to look forward into the coming months.
I am grateful for the many blessings of 2022 including the retreats and other events that were hosted by our beautiful retreat centers, Terra Sancta and the Sioux Spiritual Center. We celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the opening of Terra Sancta and began development efforts to endow the Sioux Spiritual Center. Both of these centers provide wonderful opportunities for us to grow in our faith.
Our Western South Dakota Catholic Foundation celebrated its 30th Anniversary, a great milestone of legacy gifts that fund so many important ministries in our diocese.
We celebrated the ordination of Joshua Lee to the priesthood in June and also experienced an increase in men discerning a call to the priesthood this past year. Two young women from our diocese made professions to religious life and we welcomed Fr. Leonard and Fr. Francis sent to us by Bishop Zziwa in Uganda, who has shared his priests with us in the past.
Along with Catholics across the United States we began the Eucharistic Revival — a three-year movement to reignite our love for the Lord’s Real Presence in the most important moment in the life of the church, the celebration of the Eucharist. Please pray that the Holy Spirit will guide and empower the Revival in our diocese so that it touches many hearts.
These are just a few of the blessings of the past year. I am grateful to God for providing for our needs and for the generosity of so many who continue to support the diocese with their time and talent as well as through contributions to our Annual Appeal and with legacy gifts in their estate plans.
What blessings will God share with us in the New Year? I am certainly looking forward to finding out. Please know of my prayers for you as we begin this New Year. May God bless you richly as you continue to serve him and share your faith with those around you.