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
This weekend the Church begins its triennial reflection on the Bread of Life which will
continue over the next several weeks. One little aspect that I'd like to focus on has daily
implications for our lives. Jesus took the bread, and He gave thanks.
This is the same language that is used to describe the Last Supper and has become so much a
part of the Church's memory that we call our central act of worship “Eucharist.” The word
Eucharist comes from the Greek word for thanksgiving.
Today it is often hard for us to give thanks, not because we have been deprived, but because
we have come to expect that life will be good. We can be complacent, or worse yet, we can
become chronically dissatisfied with life.
Gratitude is what wells up within us when we realize that we have been touched from outside
ourselves, that we have received something that we did not create or earn. Gratitude is not
just for the big events like births, graduations, promotions or weddings. Gratitude is also the
minor daily events, the small accomplishments or the harmony of family life—things we may
often take for granted.
I remember several years ago having traveled in Israel and Egypt for several weeks and
growing accustomed to frequent stops at check points. A couple of weeks after arriving
home, I had to travel several hundred miles and noticed how quickly the trip sped by with no
check points. It gave me real perspective on living in a country with so few constraints on my
personal freedom to come and go as I please.
Occasionally I meet someone with a very restricted diet because of health concerns. When I'm
able to bite into the fruit or vegetable of the season or some holiday treat, I'm especially
grateful for the gift of health and active taste buds. Sometimes we don't appreciate good
health until it is threatened.
I remember meeting a man once who told me what a delight it was for him to go to work each
day. When I asked why, he told me that he had been without work for a very long time and
how demoralizing it was as he searched for new employment. When he finally landed a job, it
wasn't quite what he was looking for, but it gave him a whole new lease on life simply to be
able to go work each day and feel productive.
Gratitude has very little to do with what we have or what we lack. Gratitude is an outlook on
life that counts blessings, rather than deficits. Gratitude sees life as a gift, rather an
entitlement. Gratitude is a religious outlook that leads in a natural way to God Who is the
giver of all good gifts.
In our contemporary world, I think we will achieve a grateful outlook only if we do it
mindfully. It is so much easier to be dissatisfied than it is to be satisfied. It seems that we are
often longing for something more. I propose that we consciously try to count our blessings
each day. When we make a list of blessings, it is really quite long. Then, when we focus on our
blessings instead of our wants, we become happier and more content. I don't think we can be
grateful and grumpy at the same time.
Secondly, I suggest that we teach our children to be grateful. Again, this is harder because
they so rarely long for anything. When they get pretty much what they want, it's harder for
them to build up a sense of anticipation and then to experience appreciation. At a minimum,
we can teach them to say "thank you" when someone assists them with something or gives
them a gift. Our parish has such wonderful traditions of assisting those in need. It is a real
blessing for our children to be a part of those traditions, too.
Financial Report: Last weekend our Mass attendance enjoyed a nice uptick, and so did our
weekend collection. Thanks so much to those who contributed $7,260 in the envelope
offering, $1,851.10 in the loose offering and $8,010.25 through online giving. Thanks so much
to everyone who assists in our fiscal needs. We are also happy to report that we used our
fiscal year surplus of $26,000 to make a debt reduction payment last week.
A Stewardship Testimonial: "I've been blessed in many ways, so I'm always happy to help
when I can."
The Parish Office closes at 3 p.m. on Fridays from May 15th-August 14th.
Are you registered for the 125th Diocesan Anniversary Legacy Event yet? If not, check out
all the great speakers, concerts, workshops, craft beer tasting, and fun that will be a part of
this awesome event at http://www.sfcatholic.org/Legacy/