March 27, 2022

The Sacred Heart Parish Council has been planning for a long time to do some work on the main floor of the rectory. Many volunteers and some contractors have been working hard on it. So, it’s time for a status report.

It has been disruptive in office work and living but manageable. We still have not been able to move our parish offices back into the rectory from the Mission Center, but we are getting close. The exercise room generously stocked with exercise equipment by Fr. Kopel is now available for use. No excuses anymore. People have done much hard work to keep that equipment available for me and future priests!

We replaced the carpet, linoleum and original tile flooring with modern tile and plank flooring. Much of the floor trim wood work has been refinished or replaced. We repainted almost all of the painted walls and ceilings. A contractor cleaned the central air duct system. The air conditioner and blower still has to be replaced. It is so old, the bearings are gone. Also, the old ceiling speakers need to be replaced with ceiling fans.

We thank our volunteers who have put in many hours up to this point to get us here. We need many volunteers next week to finish painting and to do a thorough cleaning starting at 1:00 p.m. this Monday. The new living room furniture arrives this Tuesday. We bought a couch, sofa, and rocking recliner. (I didn’t get exactly what I wanted!) Msgr. McPhee’s recliner is going downstairs. The built-in heat, massage, and phone don’t work anymore. Does anybody want to sit in the old captain’s chair?

Fr. Kopel previously made the old housekeeper living quarters useable as a priest bedroom and study. (Thank you Fr. Kopel!) We repainted it, replaced the carpet, and bought some bookcases. I am looking forward to having my own, private study that will end up quite messy, I am sure.

Surprisingly, we found all the furniture we were looking for scattered in three different furniture stores. We even found a mule chest to put into the Sacred Heart Parish Hall under the smart TV. With minor modifications, it will be a nice place for computer use in showing videos online and provide storage space for the Altar Society and YFF.

If you have not been involved in helping so far, please consider it. We need your help to finish this project, have an Open House, get me moved back in, and finish the rectory basement.

Housekeeping 3/20/22

Those who read my column regularly know that I keep you well informed on what is going on in our parishes including the reasons why we are doing what we are doing. I do this periodically but also give spiritual reflections as space allows. This week is a list of explanations.

First, a warning about a recent text scam. We recently had two people who have their names and cell phone numbers listed in our parish bulletins who had attempted scams. This type of scam has been going on for several years. Their contact information is taken from the parish bulletin or website. The scammer uses this information to send a text message making it look like it is coming from their parish priest such as the following: “(Name), I need a favor from you. Please text me back as soon as possible. Fr. Brian Simon” The scammer then requests that the parishioner buy $300 gift cards, etc. so that the priest can use them for somebody in need. There is no chance I or any other priest would ever do this because we have various ways of handling a request for help without involving an individual parishioner.

Second, I am receiving requests for the Extraordinary Eucharistic Ministers to use hand sanitizer before distributing Communion. For the most part, they are doing this. It should be used but not in the sanctuary if at all possible since is not an approved liturgical action and certainly not on the Altar which is not a table. In Sacred Heart Church we have it up front in the corners of the outside aisles where everybody could see it being used if they are concerned. In St. Pius X Church we have it on the credence table (Altar servers' table) due to limited space.

I am providing our Holy Week and Easter Liturgy schedule in our parish bulletin columns. You may notice some changes from previous years. I am only making the changes as I understand are liturgically required. For instance, an individual priest is to celebrate only one Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday. Also, the Easter Vigil fire is required to be outdoors at night fall if possible. I will do this weather permitting. We will also use congregational candles at the Easter Vigil.

The Mass attendance survey continues through March 27.

CFSA 3/6/22

CFSA 3/6/22



A brief introductory explanation may be helpful to some parishioners regarding the annual Catholic Family Sharing Appeal. This is Bishop DeGrood’s direct annual appeal to parishioners throughout the Diocese of Sioux Falls to support the local Church of eastern South Dakota in its direct ministry of serving the people of eastern SD and in supporting our parishes in its operations and administrative responsibilities.

The information mailed out to our parishes and the appeal letters mailed directly to our parishioners has been delayed. One of the main concerns of our parishes is the CFSA Parish Share or goal determined each year for each of our parishes that needs to be paid in full by the end of the calendar year. The total pledge response from the parishioners goes towards their respective parish goal. If their contributions fall short of the goal, then the parish pays the remainder out of its resources. If it goes over the goal, the remainder stays in the parish.

If the diocese falls short of its budget, then they may do direct phone call appeals to parishioners who have not responded with a pledge. If a parishioner can only offer prayers for the diocese, that is an appeal response.

The method for setting each parish’s goal is complicated, necessarily, so that it takes into account many varying factors among the many parishes of our diocese using the most recent parish fiscal year reports to the diocese. It was approved by the Diocesan Presbyteral Council (a council of representative priests) and put into place in 1995. The worksheet used for determining the goal for a particular parish is provided to parish priest. In turn, I provide them to the Parish Councils. Basically, the individual parish’s ordinary income and deductions as a percentage of the totals for all parishes is given two-thirds weight and the individual parish’s number of households as a percentage of the total for all parishes is given one-third weight. For more information go to

The final 2022 CFSA Parish Share for Sacred Heart Parish of Potter County is $32,200.00. It was $30,000 in 2021. The final 2022 CFSA Parish Share for St. Pius X Parish of Sully County is $15,600. It was $14,000 in 2021. (Special collections and national collections are not included.)

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Published on  August 29th, 2023

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