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
The other day I received a report from our local St. Vincent DePaul Conference that represents
our parish in so many wonderful works of charity. A big emphasis of this group is visiting the
homes of those who request help and meeting people face to face. This work is quite labor
intensive because many calls for help are received. I'm sure that our local members could relate
heart-wrenching details of some of their visits.
Our local conference meets twice each month for prayer and reflection on their work. They are
always looking for new members and would welcome your assistance. Perhaps you could
donate a few hours each month to these great works of charity.
Currently one of the greatest needs of our local conference is some additional funds that can
be dispersed to provide housing, clothing, utilities, groceries, or medicine to those in need.
You can be sure that any donations you make to St. Vincent DePaul will be invested for those
who are most in need. In our Gathering Space, there is wooden alms box to receive your
In this holy season as we focus on the Holy Family of Nazareth seeking shelter for the birth of
Jesus, we are reminded of those who assisted Mary and Joseph and those who left “no room
in the inn” for a destitute family. Near the end of His earthly life, Jesus told us that “whatever
you do to the least of my brothers and sisters, you do for Me.”
In some ways, our St. Vincent DePaul Conference operates “under the radar,” as compared
with some other charities. The work they do is appreciated every bit as much as the work
accomplished by the more notable groups.
There has been an amazing amount of merchandise arriving at our parish for our Advent
Giving Tree. There are wonderful charities that are assisted through this annual project, and
more importantly, there are people who will be the direct recipients of these gifts. At all times
of the year, there’s a human longing to be connected to other humans. This longing becomes
especially sensitive at Christmastime. Anything we can do to help lift the loneliness of another
or to offer a sense of hope is a great investment.
I notice that every time we seem to be running low on ornaments on the tree, new ones
appear. I'm pretty sure this is not the work of the “Elf on the Shelf,” but the work of several
people are seeking to point the way to Jesus in this season of Advent. I am grateful to the
awesome people who organized this project and the many people who are participating.
This weekend the church begins to focus more intently on preparing for Christmas through
the Sacrament of Penance. The practice of confessing our sins before Christmas is ancient in
the life of the Church and still very relevant today. In a way, Confession clears out a space in
our souls where Jesus might be born again.
Over the past years, there has been a lot debate about the Sacrament of Penance. Actually,
the history of the sacrament shows that there has often been debate about Penance.
Theologians and pastors have often debated about the optimal frequency of Confession,
what sins should be confessed, and what are appropriate penances to be imposed. At the
same time it must be admitted that we have had different experiences of the value of this
What we do know for sure is that Penance is one of the 7 Sacraments that was given to us by
Jesus Himself. It is a source of grace in our attempts to overcome sin and a source of healing
for the wounds inflicted on us by our sins. I hope there will be many people taking advantage
of this opportunity for grace in the next few days.
Financial Report: Last weekend it was real pleasure to welcome so many people to our church
for the celebration of the 2nd Sunday of Advent. It was also a pleasure to receive a report
from our money counters who found $8,105 in the envelope offerings, $2,345 in the loose
offering and another $6,374.10 given online. Thanks so much to all those who assist the fiscal
well-being of our parish.
A Stewardship Testimonial: "I really enjoyed working at The Banquet last week. It was my first
time there, and I felt so good about being a part of such good work."
Men's Group led by Deacon Denny will meet Saturday, Dec. 20th from 7:30-9 a.m. in the
Youth Room--open to all men of our parish
Come help decorate our church for Christmas on Sunday, Dec. 21st following 10:30
a.m. Mass! Many hands make for light work : )