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 week on Wednesday, we’ll begin our new Fr. Robert Barron series at 6:30 a.m. and again
after the school Mass. The first session will continue on Sunday, Sept. 28th at 6:30 p.m. and
on Monday, Sept. 29th at 6:30 p.m. I will lead the Wednesday sessions, Deacon Denny will
lead the Sunday sessions, and Gae French will lead the Monday sessions. A full schedule will
be distributed at the meetings, and the days of the week are interchangeable if you need to
change days on some weeks.
Fr. Robert Barron is certainly one of the foremost leaders in the New Evangelization. He is a
wonderful speaker with solid theology. He is able to express profound theological concepts in
language that is accessible to the average person in the pew. He also has an excellent grasp on
the life of the world around us and what might be missing in the current context. I urge broad
participation in this new series.
This weekend our parish is engaged in our annual stewardship renewal. In recent years we
have been recognizing that the church is more fully alive when many people donate their gifts
for the common good. The liturgy is more fully an expression of the faith of the community
when many people participate actively in the various ministries and when people in the pews
also actively participate. Likewise, the social ministries of the Church and the consultative
bodies are more fully an expression of church when many people are involved.
We are commissioned by our Baptism and strengthened by our Confirmation to be actively
involved in the life of the Church. Through our regular participation in Holy Communion, we
are strengthened in the unity of the Church. When many people live roles of service in an
active manner, the Church is so much stronger than it would be if just a few people did
everything. Please consider how you might volunteer to be more fully involved.
This week on Thursday, we will begin our new cycle of R.C.I.A. Several people have indicated
that they will participate in this process as catechumens or candidates for Full Communion,
along with their sponsors. Several parish members have also indicated that they will
participate as witnesses of the faith and companions to those who are exploring the Catholic
way of life. If you know of anyone else who might interested in the RCIA, please point them in
our direction. Classes will begin at 7 p.m. in the Gathering Space. Please remember to pray for
On Saturday this week, the Church remembers St. Vincent de Paul who lived in France from
1580-1660. Vincent began his priesthood, wishing only to have a comfortable life. At some
point, he became aware of the physical and spiritual poverty of those on the margins of
society. Vincent recognized in the faces of the poor the suffering face of Jesus and dedicated
his life to relieving their suffering, both physical and spiritual. He organized groups of men
and women to assist the poor with their needs.
Today the St. Vincent de Paul Society which bears St. Vincent’s name and continues his good
work among those in need. This society was founded by Blessed Frederic Ozanam (1815-1853).
In our own parish, we have a very active group that regularly responds to calls for assistance
and meets twice monthly to review their work.
Vincent once said, “The poor will forgive you for the bread you give them, if you give it with
love.” Naturally, the poor do not wish to be poor, nor do they wish to beg for their bread.
They may be resentful that I have bread while they are hungry. When we are able to assist
them in their time of need, we should strive to be generous and gracious and so lighten their
embarrassment at having to beg. St. Vincent has also reminded us that the poor are a stand-in
for Jesus, Who became poor when He lived among us.
I was reminded of St. Vincent’s counsel Monday morning when I joined our parish group at
The Banquet. It has long been a hallmark of The Banquet that those who come for food are
treated with great hospitality and helped to feel welcome. Once each month, St. Katharine
Drexel Parish supplies the food and labor to serve a meal to those who are hungry. I am
confident that this service is as important for those who are serving as it is for those who are
receiving. Over the years, I have always appreciated the manner in which the corporal works
of mercy are carried out at The Banquet.
Our parish has a wonderful record of service to those in need. It is amazing to notice how
many people come to our Parish Office during any week, asking for groceries or diapers. I am
very grateful that we always have something to give, thanks to your great generosity.
Last weekend we were pleased to welcome lots of faithful people to our parish church for
prayer. Especially on Sunday, the pews were nicely filled. Then, as we counted the weekend
offering we found envelopes filled with $5,259 and another $1,616 in the loose offering, along
with $6,089 that we received through online giving. Thanks so much to all those who assist us
in meeting our spiritual and fiscal obligations.
A Stewardship Testimonial: “We thought about how much we had already given and decided
that we had done enough. Then we thought about how much God had blessed us in our
family life and careers, and we decided that maybe we should do more.”
"Untold Blessings," a new video series from Fr. Robert Barron, will begin this week, with
sessions at 6:30 and 9 a.m. on Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m. Sundays and 6:30 p.m. Mondays.
There are no printed materials to go with this series, so you are welcome to attend
whatever session fits your schedule best each week. A full schedule of meeting times will
be given out at each first session.