Bulletins (Please scroll to the bottom of the page for this week's and past weeks' bulletins.)

I am really happy to announce that Mr. Jonathon Konz has been hired to become our parish Religious Formation Director. Jon is a native of Adrian, MN, and a graduate of Briar Cliff College in Sioux City, IA. For 7 years he was the Director of Campus Ministry at O’GHS. For the past two years, he has been the Director of Faith Formation at a parish in Chicago, IL. Jon and his wife, Brooke, and their son, Michael, recently returned to Sioux Falls. I am looking forward to his being on our staff.

Faith formation is certainly one of the primary activities we undertake as a parish family. At some point in each of our lives, we are touched and formed by families and parish communities on our journey toward God's Kingdom. There are many little pieces that go into this process of faith formation, and as a parish, we want to be attentive to the needs of our children. They are the next generation of disciples.

Over my many years of ministry, I have been involved in many different forms of faith formation, and each of them had its strengths as well as weaknesses. None of them ever worked as well as I hoped they might. I do know that faith formation has to develop along with the changes in our world. In every age, the Word of God is given to penetrate our hearts and the culture in which we live.

Over the next weeks, as we begin to gear up for a new year of faith formation, I am sure that many members of our parish will again respond generously when called to serve.

It won't be long before we begin planning for our annual Turkey Bingo which is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 10th this year. As we look toward this important event, we will be looking at a couple of changes. First, we are looking for a new major prize for the raffle. In past years, we have raffled a weekend cabin in the Black Hills. This cabin is no longer available, so we are looking for another generous donation. The value of the cabin was about $1,200.

Second, we are aiming to change the silent auction a bit. We are hoping that we would have fewer items. If a couple families or a group of families would coordinate their efforts, the baskets or other donations could be of a little higher value.

Sometimes, our Rosary Groups have put together baskets with each family adding to the basket. The silent auction does inspire creativity, and many people have been very generous, but with so many baskets and other items, sometimes the bids did not match the value of the items. Turkey Bingo is still pretty far off, but it's a good time to be thinking ahead.

On June 30th, we concluded our parish fiscal year, and our diocese follows the same reporting cycle for reporting sacraments. In the previous 12 months, we celebrated Baptism for 50 infants. Even after all these years of baptizing babies, I am still thrilled every time I pour the water and announce those sacred words, "I baptize you in the name of the Father..." We rely on the commitment of their parents to continue their faith formation so that they will take further steps in the life of faith.

This year we celebrated First Penance and First Communion for 50 children, following a period of preparation by their parents and our parish catechetical programs. We were especially pleased to introduce a new home study program, "Blessed," to help the children prepare for these sacraments. Many parents mentioned how user-friendly the program was, and many mentioned that other family members also participated, renewing their own understanding of the sacraments.

In the middle of a long, cold winter, Bishop Swain visited our parish to celebrate Confirmation with 47 young people who had completed their period of preparation. Confirmation imparts the gift of the Holy Spirit who helps us fulfill our many Christian commitments.

Financial Report: With many people gone for the 4th of July holiday last weekend, our crowds were on the light side, so we were especially happy to find $8,372 in the offertory collection to begin our new fiscal year. Thanks very much to everyone who helps keep our parish afloat fiscally.

A Stewardship Testimonial: "I often notice that giving helps me feel more connected."

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