Archive for February, 2013

Prayer for the Church from the Knights of Columbus

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Prayer for the Church

Prayer for the Church

O Lord Jesus Christ, Supreme Pastor of Your Church,

we thank you for the ministry of Pope Benedict XVI

and the selfless care with which he has led us

as Successor of Peter, and Your Vicar on earth.

Good Shepherd, who founded Your Church

on the rock of Peter’s faith

and have never left Your flock untended,

look with love upon us now,

and sustain Your Church in faith, hope, and charity.

Grant, Lord Jesus, in Your boundless love for us,

a new Pope for Your Church

who will please You by his holiness

and lead us faithfully to You,

who are the same yesterday, today, and forever.


For more information, go to:

In Thanksgiving for Pope Benedict XVI: Bishop Swain’s Homily

Thursday, February 28th, 2013


Mass of Thanksgiving

Commemorating the Pontificate of Benedict XVI

The Most Reverend Paul J. Swain

 Bishop of Sioux Falls

February 28, 2013

Cathedral of Saint Joseph

Today, in an historic moment and in the last hour of his pontificate, we gather to celebrate the holy sacrifice of the Mass in thanksgiving for the sacrificial witness of faith of His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI. For the last time we will pray in holy Mass for “Benedict, our pope”.   But it will not be the last time we pray for Benedict, Pope emeritus.

There is a sadness to this day. Earlier this morning when I watched the Pope leave the Vatican tears came to my eyes. An unique era is ending. Yet the reality is that this moment is also a hopeful time. The Holy Father has reminded us that it is Christ who is head of the Church and others, including popes, are only his instruments. Earlier today His Holiness met with the Cardinals of the Church as one by one they came forward to offer signs of respect and gratitude. We do so here this day.

How, we might ask, has this Pope touched our lives and our diocese. Allow me to cite a few ways:

He appointed me the eighth bishop of Sioux Falls. The jury is still our whether that was a wise decision.

He was especially influential in helping us recognize the importance of beauty in the spiritual that lifts our sights to the transcendent. It is reflected in sacred art and music which influenced the restoration of this Cathedral of Saint Joseph and in the liturgies and concerts that are prayed and performed here and around the diocese.

He also has been an inspiration to many young people, and some of us older folks as well, teaching and calling us all to know the faith and defend the truth with courage and perseverance.

He has been a model for me of a patient shepherd; I only wish I had been a better student.

While we could revel in the brilliance of this Pope as a scholar, author, linguist, and more, it is the humble priest that strikes me as his lasting impression and most significant contribution.

The first reading from this Thursday in the second week of Lent captures his priesthood. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose hope is in the Lord.” How appropriate that is for this wise pope who, in his remarks in his last general audience yesterday noted, “Loving the Church also means having the courage to make difficult, trying choices, having always before one the good of the Church and not oneself.”

The Gospel reading recalls the beggar Lazarus who is comforted and therefore rewarded in the world to come though ignored in this world. When Benedict was asked how does the Pope pray, he responded, “As far as the Pope is concerned, he too is a simple beggar before God – even more than all other people.”

In an interview he was asked: “You did not want to become a bishop, you did not want to become a Prefect, you did not want to become Pope.” (I might submit that in his heart he did not want to retire because of physical limitation.), the questioner went on, “Isn’t it frightening when things happen quite against your will?” His response was:

“It is like this: When a man says Yes during his priestly ordination, he may have some idea of what his own charism could be, but he also knows: I have placed myself into the hands of the bishop and ultimately the Lord. I cannot pick and choose what I want. In the end I must allow myself to be led. I had in fact the notion that being a theology professor was my charism, and I was very happy when my idea became a reality. But it was also clear to me: I am in the Lord’s hands, and I must be prepared for things that I do not want. In this sense it was certainly surprising suddenly to be snatched away and no longer be able to follow my own path. But as I said, the fundamental Yes also contained the thought that I remain at the Lord’s disposal and perhaps will also have to do things someday that I myself would not want.”

 This likely is such a day.

 Yet he did and does them in humility, love and faith. He summed up his papacy in his remarks yesterday:

 “[These years] have been a stretch of the Church’s pilgrim way, which has seen moments of joy and light, but also difficult moments. I have felt like St. Peter with the Apostles in the boat on the Sea of Galilee: the Lord has given us many days of sunshine and gentle breeze, days in which the catch has been abundant; [then] there have been times when the seas were rough and the wind against us, as in the whole history of the Church it has ever been – and the Lord seemed to sleep. Nevertheless, I always knew that the Lord is in the barque, that the barque of the Church is not mine, not ours, but His – and He shall not let her sink.”

 Thank you God for Joseph Ratzinger, priest and Benedict XVI, pope. May Our Lady watch over him.

 Viva il Papa, Viva il Papa emeritus.


Triduum to Our Lady of Lourdes for the Sick: February 9th – 10th and 11th

Saturday, February 9th, 2013

The Prayer we recite at Holy Mass:

Shrove Tuesday, Feb. 12th: Feast of the Holy Face – Solemn Adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013


On April 17th, 1958, His Holiness, the Venerable Pope Pius XII approved the observance of the Feast of the Holy Face of Jesus on Shrove Tuesday (Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. His Holiness granted this Feast to honor a request of Our Lord Himself to Blessed Pierina in 1938: “See how I suffer. Nevertheless, I am understood by so few. What gratitude on the part of those who say they love Me. I have given My Heart as a sensible object of My great love for man and I give My Face as a sensible object of My sorrow for the sins of man. I desire that it be honored by a special feast on Tuesday in Quinquagesima (Shrove Tuesday – the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, or Mardi Gras, or Carnivalé). The feast will be preceded by a novena in which the faithful make reparation with Me uniting themselves with My sorrow.”



This ancient and venerable Catholic practice is rooted in the representation of the Face of Christ said to have been left on the towel or veil used by a holy woman thought to be named Veronica. Through the revelations made in the 1840’s to the Servant of God, Sister Marie of Saint-Pierre and the Holy Family (1816-1848), a Carmelite Nun of Tours, and the work of spreading the devotion by the Venerable Leo Dupont (1797 – 1876) , a layman of Tours, the Archconfraternity of the Holy Face was established in Tours, France in 1884. The members make reparation for the blasphemies hurled at Christ, especially those which blaspheme the Holy Name, and for the profanation of Sundays and Holydays of Obligation. Since St. Therese’s devotion to the Holy Face has become known, this devotion has spread worldwide.

In addition, a devout and pious nun, Blessed Mary Pierina de Micheli (1890-1945), was given many visions of the Lord Jesus and Our Blessed Lady. They urged her to make reparation for the many insults Jesus suffered in His Passion, such as to be slapped, spit upon and kissed by Judas, as well as now being dishonored, by ordained and lay persons alike, in the Blessed Sacrament through neglect, sacrilege, and profanation.

Monday, Feb. 11th: Day of Prayer for the Sick & the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013