January 30, 2022

January 30, 2022

Tanner E., Neva M., Olivia M. and I joined up with the Immaculate Conception Parish chaperones at the Pro-Life Mass in St. Joseph Cathedral last Wednesday, January 19, 2022. We began our journey after that Mass and returned to Sioux Falls last Sunday evening. We thank the individuals who donated toward this pilgrimage including John Langer.

We traveled 24 hours overnight, lodged, and then attended the March for Life rally in the morning with music and speakers. We marched with about 150,000 pro-life people from west of the Capitol on the Mall, down Pennsylvania Avenue, to the front of the Supreme Court building. The group “Silent No More” was giving a speech there while we prayed. They are a group of people who have had abortions and are willing to now speak up and help those who are suffering the after effects of having an abortion. (This organization is opening an office with Mission S.O.S. in the Gas & Goodies strip mall next to the apartment next to Planned Parenthood at 41st Street and Sertoma Avenue across from Roosevelt High School.)

That evening our group went to the national Bible Museum and Fisherman’s Wharf. We then did a lighted evening walk to the memorialsin the Mall area. (We walked a total of 20 miles that day.)

We had free time all day on Saturday until the Sunday Vigil Saturday evening Mass at St. Dominic Church and our departure for another overnight trip back to Sioux Falls. The diocese did not have anything specific planned. I worked out a plan for the day with all of the chaperones on the bus. I gave them a tour of the Franciscan Shrine of the Holy Land and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. (As a seminarian, I was a tour guide there and served the Masses there.)

In the afternoon I took them to Arlington National Cemetery and the United States Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima Memorial). I was “wiped out” after returning and walking the slowest of all people with a limp. I eventually recovered this past week. We are hoping this will be the last March for Life. If the present Supreme Court cases lead to the overturn of Roe vs Wade and Doe vs Bolton, then the abortion issue will probably return to the states other than international funding. Pro-Life presidents use the Mexico City policy to block the United States from paying for abortions abroad.

March for Life Pilgrimage

March for Life Pilgrimage

By the time you receive this bulletin, I should be returning from Washington, D.C. with our diocese March for Life pilgrimage. We leave D.C. Saturday evening and return to Sioux Falls Sunday evening. I plan on staying overnight to run errands and attend appointments. I will probably return Monday evening. Pope Francis started a two-year process in the universal Church he calls Synod on Synodality. Synods are a process going back to New Testament times for representative bishops and other leaders in local Churches to consult together to discern a common path forward. It’s a way to provide input to the Church universal.

For our part, our diocese has developed a survey to gain input on how to implement Bishop DeGrood’s vision for our diocese Lifelong Catholic Missionary Discipleship Through God’s Love. Bishop DeGrood encourages our participation by going online to complete the survey that will be available online February 1 - 28, 2022. Go to sfcatholic.org/synod to download the survey. I will also have it available in our church gathering spaces.

I added my sister Lynette Singleton’s name to our Prayers of the Faithful since her husband and I admitted her into Avera Oahe Manor in Gettysburg room 16 on January 13, 2022 and started hospice care. She was diagnosed in May 2015 with Anaplastic oligodendroglioma, IDH mutant and 1p/19q-codeleted. It is a rare malignant glioblastoma brain cancer that is Grade 3. She was first diagnosed with having a Grade 4 cancer with the prognosis being a few months to live. Lynette is the daughter of Steve Jr. and Alice Simon from Hoven with four older brothers. (She says her name is “And Lynette,” because the names of the five children are Craig, Gerard, Steve, Fr. Brian, and Lynette.) She is married to John Singleton from Ft. Pierre and has one nineteen-year-old son Alex. She was the Branch Manager of AAA Travel Agency in Pierre, SD. Her prognosis now is indefinite. (That is my word choice.) The oncologistsaid there is no way of knowing her prognosis. Hospice care can be for a long time or this could get worse fast if her cancer becomes Grade 4. There is no hope for her health getting better other than a miracle! Please pray for her. I hope Lynette can be with us for quite some time without significant pain for God to bless us with her presence. Those who know her, know what I mean. St. Peregrine the Cancer Saint, Pray for us! For more information on her, to read my journals, and to provide support, go to https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/lynette singleton.

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

This Sunday, we celebrate the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Liturgically, it is a very unusual one. It marks the end of the Christmas season and the beginning of Ordinary Time. It is both, at the same time, a Christmas event being a revelation of God as the promised Messiah and Savior to come into the midst of His people in a most humble way and the beginning of the public ministry of Jesus which we celebrate in Ordinary Time where Jesus associates Himself with sinners who are willing to repent.

John baptizing in the Jordan River is the scene with crowds responding to his call to repentance to prepare for the coming of the Anointed One (the Christ) of God. They are longing for their salvation necessary due to their sins and to begin new life as adopted children of God.

When I was on a Holy Land Pilgrimage during the Jubilee Year 2000, I couldn’t wait to go to the Jordan River where Jesus was baptized. I envisioned it to be a grand, majestic river, fitting for the Baptism of Jesus, our Lord and our God. Like many people, I was very disappointed that we did not go to the probable location, and the river was very dirty. I hesitated to take any water with me so that I could do baptisms with it after I returned to my parish. It would be embarrassing to have this dirty water in the Baptismal Font!

I decided to take dirty Jordan River water home with me anyway. Isn’t that the point? Jesus stepped into that mucky water to be united with us. This is where He found sinners willing to repent, in the midst of our mucky lives and souls. The Good News is that Jesus associates Himself with we sinners anyway! He came not to cleanse our outer self but our inner self through the physical sign of the ordinary water of this earth. This cleansing is necessary so that we can live the new life of God’s grace that flows like the grand, majestic river that we do envision and that St. John envisioned in the Book of Revelation.

May we all respond to God’s call of repentance out of our mucky lives of sin, not only to be washed clean but to be baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire!

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Published on  May 9th, 2022

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