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
Several weeks ago for weekday Masses, the Church read from the Old Testament Book of
Tobit which tells the story of a pious Jew living in a foreign land. Near the beginning of the
book, we are told that Tobit managed to maintain his religious observances, even though
many of those around him did not follow the laws of God. At times with risk to himself and his
family, he had to break the laws of the land when those laws were in conflict with God's laws.
I recalled Tobit's story last week when the Supreme Court declared the legalization of same
sex marriage for the whole United States. For several centuries now, the people of the United
States have agreed to live together by the rule of law. For the most part, this agreement has
served us well. The laws of our various levels of government have imposed obligations and
rights that help us live together in harmony.
When laws clash or are unclear, we have a whole system of courts to interpret the meaning of
the laws and how they apply to individuals or groups of individuals. Many times the courts
have provided for an evolution of law through their interpretation of the constitutions or
legislation. Usually the courts have served us well.
Sometimes our legislatures and courts have legislated or legalized practices that we find
contrary to our Christian morality. In 1973, the Supreme Court legalized the right to abortion, a
practice that is contrary to the Christian belief in the sanctity of all human life. For over 40
years, many have worked tirelessly and valiantly to overcome the court's immoral judgment.
In recent years, there have been important victories for pro-life groups that seek to curtail the
number of abortions performed, but there will be many more battles in the fight to uphold the
holiness of human life.
In legalizing "same-sex marriage" the Supreme Court lined up with the majority of states
where this practice had already been legalized over the past several years. But legalizing
"same-sex marriage" does not imply that it is moral or in any way acceptable to those who
base their lives on the Word of God. Nor can we say that "same-sex marriage" is equivalent to
traditional heterosexual marriage.
In saying this I do not mean to impugn anyone's intentions, nor do I wish to impugn anyone
who experiences same-sex attractions. As the Holy Father has frequently reminded us, we
wish to see first of all the person created in the image and likeness of God before we notice
any particular aspect of the person. Sexual attraction is one of the great mysteries of being
human. It is an internal energy that calls us out of ourselves and into relationship with
another. Many people, both heterosexual and homosexual, experience their sexuality with
confusion and insecurity.
In the United States where we so identify legality with morality, it is important that we be clear
on certain issues. Just because something is legal, it is not, thereby, moral. These are two
separate issues. As Catholic Christians, we believe that marriage was established by God to
join a single man and a single woman together in an unbreakable covenant of love, that the
two might become one. We believe that Jesus raised the natural bond of marriage to the
dignity of a Sacrament, one of the seven.
There will be many responses to the recent Supreme Court decision. Some will be indignant.
Others will actively work to change the ruling. Some will treat same-sex partners with disdain.
Others will simply accept the new status quo. We can be assured that the Church will not be
witnessing any "same-sex marriages," even when the state is issuing licenses.
It appears to me that the most positive outcome of this decision would be that the Church
would consider the meaning and value of traditional marriage and support married couples
and families in a very positive way. I hope that married couples take this opportunity to
nurture their love for each other and to work at making good marriages even better.
The Holy Father has often called upon the pastors of the Church to “accompany” those who
find themselves in difficult circumstances. Over the years I have noticed that is often my most
important pastoral role, to walk with others.
Like Tobit in a foreign land, sometimes we experience being out of step with the world around
us. It is important that we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus Who will teach us how to live.
Financial Report: Last weekend there seemed to be more people in church. Our Collection
Counters found $5,741 in the envelope offering and another $2,311.29 in the loose offering
from our many guests, as well as $6,980.60 from online giving. As we begin our new fiscal
year, I am grateful to all those who helped us achieve a balanced budget for the past year. In
the new year, we will have to account for inflation and the rising costs of doing business. As
we all pull together, I am confident that we will remain solvent. I also harbor a wish that we
could do a little more on the parish debt.
A Stewardship Testimonial: "I can't help as much as I used to, but I'm glad to do what I can.
It's wonderful to be involved."
The Parish Office closes at 3 p.m. on Fridays from May 15th-August 14th.
Baptismal Planning Class will be Thursday, July 9th at 6:30 p.m. in Parish Office
Conference Room for all parents planning to have a child baptized at our parish in the next
few months. No pre-registration is necessary.