to the St. Katharine Drexel Parish (Sioux Falls, SD) Website
The mission of St. Katharine Drexel Parish is to gather together as a
community of faith, sharing the Word of God with all of our neighbors
through our words and example. We emphasize the sanctity of the
Eucharist in our daily lives and encourage good stewardship and
lifelong Catholic Christian education. Our consistent message is
"Come home to Christ".
Are you new to our parish? We would love to have you become an active part of our
faith community. Please stop after Mass and introduce yourself to Fr. Tschakert. He will give
you a card of introduction to fill out. Or, you can request more information, ask a question,
or have someone contact you by filling out the simple form here. Welcome!
Click on the image above
to read a biography.
Born: November 26, 1858
Died: March 3, 1955
(Parish Feast Day)
Canonized a Saint:
October 1, 2000
“If I can say of an action: ‘I
did it out of love of God,’
there is something about
it that will last through all
St. Katharine Drexel
Image courtesy of the
Archives of the Sisters of
the Blessed Sacrament.
“Peacefully do at each
moment what at that
moment ought to be
St. Katharine Drexel
Image courtesy of the
Archives of the Sisters of
the Blessed Sacrament.
O GOD OUR CREATOR,
From Your provident hand we have received our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
You have called us as Your people and given us the right and the duty to worship You,
the only true God, and Your Son, Jesus Christ.
Through the power and working of Your Holy Spirit, You call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world,
bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel to every corner of society.
We ask You to bless us in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty.
Give us the strength of mind and heart to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened;
give us courage in making our voices heard on behalf of the rights of Your Church
and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith.
Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father, a clear and united voice to all Your sons and daughters gathered in Your Church
in this decisive hour in the history of our nation, so that, with every trial withstood and every danger overcome—for the
sake of our children, our grandchildren, and all who come after us—
This great land will always be “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
WHY CONSCIENCE IS IMPORTANT
During the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, Americans shone the light of the Gospel on a dark
history of slavery, segregation, and racial bigotry. The civil rights movement was an essentially religious
movement, a call to awaken consciences.
In his famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail” in 1963, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. boldly said, “The goal of
America is freedom.” As a Christian pastor, he argued that to call America to the full measure of that
freedom was the specific contribution Christians are obliged to make. He rooted his legal and constitutional
arguments about justice in the long Christian tradition: “I would agree with Saint Augustine that ‘An unjust
law is no law at all.’… A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An
unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law.”
Some unjust laws impose such injustices on individuals and organizations that disobeying the laws may be
justified. Every effort must be made to repeal them. When fundamental human goods, such as the right of
conscience, are at stake, we may need to witness to the truth by resisting the law and incurring its penalties.
The church does not ask for special treatment, simply the rights of religious freedom for all citizens. Rev.
King also explained that the church is neither the master nor the servant of the state, but its conscience,
guide, and critic.
Catholics and many other Americans have strongly criticized the recent Department of Health and Human
Services (HHS) mandate requiring almost all private health plans to cover contraception, sterilization and
abortion-inducing drugs. For the first time in our history, the federal government will force religious
institutions to fund and facilitate coverage of a drug or procedure contrary to their moral teaching, and
purport to define which religious institutions are “religious enough” to merit an exemption. This is a matter
of whether religious people and institutions may be forced by the government to provide such coverage
even when it violates our consciences.
What we ask is nothing more than the right to follow our consciences as we live out our teaching. This right
is not only about our ability to go to Mass on Sunday or pray the Rosary at home. It is about whether we can
make our contribution to the common good of all Americans. Can we do the good works our faith calls us to
do, without having to compromise that very same faith? Without religious liberty properly understood, all
Americans suffer, deprived of the essential contribution in education, health care, feeding the hungry, civil
rights, and social services that religious Americans make every day.
What is at stake is whether America will continue to have a free, creative, and robust civil society—or
whether the state alone will determine who gets to contribute to the common good, and how they get to
What can you do to ensure the protection of conscience rights?
The U.S. Bishops have called us to get informed, pray and advocate. To send your message to HHS and
Congress telling them to uphold religious liberty and conscience rights, go to www.usccb.org/conscience
today! Thank you for joining the effort to end this unprecedented government coercion.
FROM FR. TSCHAKERT
Each Sunday in the Nicene Creed, we profess our belief in a Church that is “one, holy, catholic
and apostolic.” These designations are called the 4 Marks of the Church. As we profess our
faith in the Church, we recognize these words as a description of the Church, but also as
something yet to be accomplished.
The Church is one but sometimes experiences divisions and so is called to strive for greater
unity. The Church is holy through the power of the Holy Spirit, and yet sometimes its members
are sinful, and so we are called to recommit to a holy way of life. The Church is rooted in the
teachings of the apostles, but sometimes we don’t live fully the life handed on to us by the
The Mark of the Church that perhaps is most confusing to us is the word “catholic.” While we
are Roman Catholics and rightly profess our belief in a Church that is “catholic,” many non-
Catholics also use this word as they recite the Creed. The word “catholic” with a lower case c
means “universal,” which lends itself to many descriptions of the Church. As one author said,
“catholic means ‘here comes everybody.’”
Catholic means that that Church is spread over all the earth. In many different countries and
cultures across the earth, the Church has taken root, and the Gospel is proclaimed in hundreds
of lands and languages. Catholic means that the Church has very broad arms and so embraces
very conservative people and very liberal people. It is possible to fall off on either side, but the
arms of the Church extend very far in either direction. A Church that is catholic is able to bring
unity out of great diversity.
A Church that is catholic has both saints and sinners in its membership. Pope Francis has often
spoken about the Church reaching out to the margins of society and ministering to those who
are most in need of the mercy of God. Those on the periphery have often been marginalized
through no fault of their own, but sometimes they have brought on their difficulties through
bad or sinful choices. It is never our role to judge, but the Gospel calls us to go out to those
who are in need of our help.
A Church that is catholic is also for those wealthy in the goods of the world and for those who
are lacking in the world’s resources. The Gospels portray Jesus as often reaching out to those
who had been shunted aside by society. Jesus Himself grew up in poverty, and the poor
found a special advocate in Him. The Gospels also show that Jesus depended on those with
material resources to assist Him in His ministry. In these past weeks, I have been awed by how
much our parish follows the example of our patroness, St. Katharine Drexel, in our ministry to
those in need. The response to our recent plea for diapers and groceries was phenomenal. I
am very grateful.
Now we are in special need of help with tuition assistance for our parish school. It is my hope
that we would never have to turn away parents who desire a Catholic education for their
children but just can’t afford it. Many of these parents need temporary assistance as they get
back on their feet after medical expenses, loss of employment, or divorce. When we are able
to assist them, we are providing a hand-up as these children will be formed in the life of the
Gospel and become active members of the Church in the years to come. The inclusion of these
children also makes our school more catholic.
If you can help with this important ministry of the Church, please make your contribution
marked for tuition assistance. There will be a special envelope in the September packet of
It is always our task to help assure that our Church is catholic in fact as well as in name.
Our parish certainly makes a joyful noise unto the Lord as we gather on the Lord’s Day. This
joy is also exhibited in your generosity to the Church. Last weekend we received $7,120 in the
envelope offerings, $1,639 in the loose offering from our many guests and $6,577 through
online giving. Thanks so very much!
A Stewardship Testimonial: “I have been so blessed in so many ways that I want to share
what I have received.”
Parish Picnic next Sunday, August 24th at Sertoma Park! Backpack Blessing at 4:45 p.m.
and supper at 5 p.m. Please bring the following according to the first letter of your last
name: A-H: dessert, I-Q: hot dish, R-Z: salad. Our parish will provide chicken, chips and
tableware. We'll play Bingo and yard games after supper. Hope to see you there!
Sponsored by the Parish Activities Committee