Archive for the ‘St. Mary’s School’ Category

Schedule for All Souls’ Day: Monday, November 2nd

Thursday, October 29th, 2015


Monday, November 2nd:

The Solemn Commemoration of

All the Faithful Departed

Since this Monday is All Souls’ Day, Fr. Lawrence will offer three Holy Masses: the first two will begin at 6:15 a.m. (Extraordinary Form) and one will follow the other (for those who would like to assist at these Masses).  At 8:15 a.m., we will have the parish Mass (3rd Mass; Ordinary Form) and following this Mass, as has been the tradition at St. Mary’s) the school children will go by bus to St. Mary’s Cemetery where Fr. Lawrence will lead them in prayers for the Faithful Departed.  Once we return to the school, we will have doughnuts, juice and coffee, etc.  The adults who come to the morning Mass are welcome to join us at the cemetery and then for refreshments in the school afterwards.  Fr. Lawrence is switching his day off from Monday to Tuesday this week.



Plenary Indulgences for the Holy Souls Nov. 1st through 8th

Thursday, October 29th, 2015


May 8, 2015: St. Mary’s School 8th Grade and Kindergarten Graduation

Thursday, June 18th, 2015
8th Grade Graduates

8th Grade Graduates

Kindergarten Graduates

Kindergarten Graduates

Photos of Opening Mass on First Day of School: August 21st

Thursday, August 21st, 2014


Friday, August 8th, 2014

CELEBRATION OF THE FEAST OF ST. PHILOMENA ON MONDAY EVENING, AUGUST 11th AT ST. MARY CHURCH, SALEM, SD:  All are invited to participate in a special Evening Mass on Monday, August 11th at 7:00 pm in celebration of the Feast of St. Philomena, Virgin and Martyr, and Patroness of the Children of Mary.  Following Holy Mass, we will have devotions in honor of St. Philomena with veneration of her holy relic.  After the devotions, we will process to the parish school and bless the new statue of St. Philomena located in the school vestibule.

The Mass will be celebrated in the Ordinary Form this year.  Please spread the word, especially to those who have a devotion to the Little Saint, so loved by the Cure of Ars.  All are invited to participate!

September 10th: St. Nicholas of Tolentine

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

ST. NICHOLAS OF TOLENTINE, CONFESSOR {1245- 1305}, Patron of the Holy Souls in Purgatory

Born at — Sant’ Angelo, in Pontano, near Fermo, in the March of Ancona

His parents, said to have been called Compagnonus de Guarutti and Amata de Guidiani (these surnames may merely indicate their birth-places), were pious folk, perhaps gentle born, living content with a small substance. His mother was a model of holiness. They were childless until a pilgrimage to a shrine of the original Saint Nicholas at Bari, Italy where his mother asked for a son whom she promised to dedicate to God’s service. When her wish was granted, she named the boy Nicholas. He soon gave unusual signs of saintliness. Already at seven he would hide away in a nearby cave and pray there like the hermits whom he had observed in the mountains.

His religious formation was greatly influenced by the spirituality of the hermits of Brettino, one of the congregations which came to form part of the “Grand Union” of Augustinians in 1256, whose communities were located in the region of the March where Nicholas was born and raised. Characteristic of these early hermits of Brettino were a great emphasis on poverty, rigorous practices of fasting and abstinence, and long periods of the day devoted to communal and private prayer.

After hearing the inspired preaching by Reginaldo da Monterubbiano, Prior (local superior) of the Augustinian monastery in Sant’Angelo, he felt a call to embrace the religious life. His parents gave a joyful consent. His piousness so impressed the Bishop of Fermo that he permitted Nicholas to join the minor orders as young boy. As soon as he was old enough he was received into the Order of Augustinian friars and made his novitiate in 1261. At age eighteen he made his profession and entered the monastery at Tolentino where he was very active in administering the sacraments to the local community. He quickly won over the trust and love of the locals; he was often called upon to pray for the deceased loved ones and was affectionately referred to as the “Patron of Holy Souls”.

As Nicholas entered the Order at its inception he learned to combine the ascetical practices of the Brettini with the apostolic thrust which the Church now invited the Augustinians to practice. At times Nicholas devoted himself to prayer and works of penance with such intensity that it was necessary for his superiors to impose limitations on him.

At one point he was so weakened through fasting that he was encouraged in a vision of Mary and the child Jesus to eat a piece of bread signed with the cross and soaked in water, to regain his strength.

Nicholas repeated these steps throughout the community to help the sick, resulting in numerous miracles of healing. In his honor the custom of blessing and distributing the “Bread of Saint Nicholas” is continued by the Augustinians in many places to this day including his shrine.

On account of his kind and gentle manner his superiors entrusted him with the daily feeding of the poor at the monastery gates, but at times he was so free with the friary’s provisions that the procurator begged the superior to check his generosity. Even before his ordination he was sent to different monasteries of his order, at Recanati, Macerata etc., as a model of generous striving after perfection.

He was ordained in 1271 and said his first Mass with exceptional fervor; thereafter, whenever he celebrated the holy Mystery he seemed aglow with the fire of his love. He lived in several different monasteries of the Augustinian Order, engaged principally in the ministry of preaching.

In 1275 he was sent to Tolentino, and remained there for the rest of his life. He was known for his humility, meekness and sanctity. His preaching, instructions and work in the confessional brought about numerous conversions, and his many miracles were responsible for more, yet he was careful not to take any credit for these miracles. “Say nothing of this,” he would insist, “give thanks to God, not to me. I am only a vessel of clay, a poor sinner.”

As a priest and religious, he was full of charity towards his brother Augustinians as well as towards the people to whom he ministered. He visited the sick and cared for the needy. He was a noted preacher of the Gospel. He gave special attention to those who had fallen away from the Church. People considered him a miracle worker. He often fasted and performed other works of penance. He spent long hours in prayer.

Nicholas worked to counteract the decline of morality and religion which came with the development of city life in the late thirteenth century. A fellow religious describes Nicholas’ ministry in these words:

“He was a joy to those who were sad, a consolation to the suffering, peace to those at variance, refreshment to those who toiled, support for the poor, and a healing balm for prisoners.”

Nicholas’ reputation as a saintly man and a worker of miracles led many people to the monastery of Tolentino.

He worked as a peacemaker in a city torn by civil war. Preached every day, wonder-worker and healer, and visited prisoners. Received visions, including images of Purgatory, which friends ascribed to his lengthy fasts. Had a great devotion to the recently dead, praying for the souls in Purgatory as he traveled around his parish, and often late into the night.

Reported to have resurrected over one hundred dead children, including several who had drowned together. Legend says that the devil once beat Nicholas with a stick; the stick was displayed for years in the his church. A vegetarian, Nicholas was once served a roasted fowl; he made the sign of the cross over it, and it flew out a window. Nine passengers on ship going down at sea once asked Nicholas’ aid; he appeared in the sky, wearing the black Augustinian habit, radiating golden light, holding a lily in his left hand; with his right hand he quelled the storm. An apparition of the saint once saved the burning palace of the Doge of Venice by throwing a piece of blessed bread on the flames.

He spent the last thirty years of his life in Tolentino preaching with wonderful success, where the Guelfs and the Ghibellines were in constant strife. Nicholas saw only one remedy to the violence: street preaching, and the success of this apostolic work was astounding. “He spoke of the things of Heaven,” says his biographer St. Antonine. “Sweetly he preached the divine word, and the words that came from his lips fell like flames of fire. Among his hearers could be seen the tears and heard the sighs of people detesting their sins and repenting of their past lives.”

Towards the end diseases tried his patience, but he kept up his mortifications almost to the hour of death. He died surrounded by his community. He possessed an angelic meekness, a guileless simplicity, and a tender love of virginity, which he never stained, guarding it by prayer and extraordinary mortifications. Many of the cures obtained through Saint Nicholas’ prayers were received while he himself was infirm.

In 1345 a lay Brother cut off the arms of his body intending to take them to Germany as relics, and the friars then hid his body to prevent further attempts of this kind. It has not been found to this day, but the arms have been preserved. It is recorded that they have bled on several occasions, usually; it is said, before some calamity that befell the Church or the world.

When in 1884 Nicholas was proclaimed “Patron of the Souls in Purgatory” by Pope Leo XIII, confirmation was given to a long-standing aspect of devotion toward this friar which is traced to an event in his own life. On a certain Saturday night as he lay in bed, Nicholas heard the voice of someone who identified himself as Fra Pellegrino of Osimo, a deceased friar whom Nicholas had known. Fra Pellegrino revealed that he was in Purgatory and begged Nicholas to offer Mass for him and for other suffering souls so that they might be set free. For the next seven days Nicholas did so and was rewarded with a second vision in which the deceased confrere expressed his gratitude and assurance that a great number of people were now enjoying the presence of God through Nicholas’ prayers. As this event became known, many people approached Nicholas, asking his intercession on behalf of their own deceased relatives and friends.

Like many of the saints, Nicholas received from God a particular calling. It was not to feed the poor, although he did, nor to be zealous for the salvation of souls, although he was. His call was to help the Holy Souls in Purgatory.

St. Nicholas had a great love for the Holy Souls. He would offer Mass, pray and do penance for them so they could more quickly enter Heaven. Because many Catholics have forgotten about the souls in Purgatory, except when November 2nd – All Souls Day – comes around, St. Nicholas can teach a valuable lesson.

Nicholas died in Tolentino on 10 September 1305. He was canonized by Eugene IV in 1446: the first member of the Augustinian Order to be canonized.

Saint Nicholas’ body is “preserved” and venerated by the faithful in the basilica in Tolentino in the city of Tolentine which bears his name. His feast is celebrated by the Augustinian Family (and on the Universal Calendar of the Church) on the 10th of September.

Baccalaureate Mass & May Crowning of Our Lady

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

On Mothers’ Day, the External Solemnity of the Ascension (May 12th), we had our Annual Baccalaureate Mass to honor our parishioners who are members of the High School Graduation Class.  We concluded Holy Mass with the Annual Crowning of the statue of Our Lady of Grace in the grotto Fr. Joseph Ripp installed in the back of our church.  Miss Natasha Frances Krempges, a graduate of St. Mary Catholic School and a member of the McCook Central Class of 2013, crowned Our Lady’s statue:


Photos from Bishop Swain’s Visit to Parish School Children

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

On Rogation Tuesday (May 7th), His Excellency, the Most Rev. Paul Joseph Swain, Bishop of Sioux Falls, made a Pastoral Visit to St. Mary Catholic School to pray the Rosary and visit the children in the school following the Rosary.  Bishop Swain also blessed the Crosses for the Farms and Fields traditionally blessed on or around May 3rd, the old Feast of the Finding of the Holy Cross.  In between each Mystery of the Rosary, the children sang “Mary the Dawn” from The St. Pius X Hymnal and the Regina Caeli, with its versicle and oration, ended the prayers in church before His Excellency headed over to the school.

St. Mary School Open House

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Salem’s Bulletin Cover for Catholic Schools Week 2013

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

St. Mary Catholic School was founded in 1888 – three years after the Parish was founded.  This year, beginning with Catholic Schools Week, we begin a year-long celebration of the Quasquicentennial (125 years) of the presence of Catholic Education in Salem, under the protection of Our Lady, Help of Christians: