Enjoy the March edition of the West River Catholic
Foundational Ministry: Social Services & Outreach
GOAL: Establish a task force to assess the needs of the Hispanic community and make recommendations to the Bishop by January 1, 2017.
While the predominant non-European ethnic group in our diocese is Lakota, the Diocese of Rapid City also includes a Hispanic/Latino Community that comprises about 5-10 percent of our Catholics. Many of these Spanish speaking parishioners have some English language capability but do not speak or read English well enough to fully participate in programs such as Veritatis Splendor Institute, Pastoral Ministry Days or other diocesan programs. In addition, very few others in western South Dakota speak enough Spanish to help facilitate better communications with Spanish-speaking Catholics.
The diocese has no office for Hispanic ministry. Father Janusz Korban serves as a chaplain for the Spanish Masses in Hill City and at Blessed Sacrament in Rapid City. Father Korban is originally from Poland. He received four months of Spanish language training in Mexico prior to taking on this ministry.
As a first step in establishing a Hispanic Ministry Task Force, Bishop Robert Gruss met with a group of interested individuals on December, 13, 2016. The group included Fr. Janusz Korban, Barbara Linares, Maria Munoz, Mary Ireland, Dr. Romeo Vivit and Jaime Munoz. They discussed the goal for Hispanic Ministry in the diocese and the possibility of bringing in a team to help start a program called V Encuentro*, which would provide education and support for local Catholics in Hispanic ministry. Bishop Gruss tasked the group with assessing the needs of the Hispanic Catholics in our diocese and creating a plan to implement V Encuentro in the Diocese of Rapid City.
Father Korban had already put together a group to look at ways to form and strengthen Hispanic leaders in our diocese through V Encuentro. The V Encuentro Committee met on January 29 to begin work on the needs assessment. M. Delores Munoz, Mary Ireland, Chava Correa and Cristina Cruz have joined several committee members working on this project. In addition to the experiences and familiarity that each member brings to this discussion, they decided to survey the Hispanics/ Latinos about the needs to make sure that everyone has a chance to be part of the process.
The survey is available in both Spanish and English, in paper form and online. The survey will be available through March 5. Online surveys can be found at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HispanaFeb2017 (Spanish language) or https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Hispanic2017 (English language) The committee will review the survey data and use it to prepare a prioritized list of needs along with suggestions and comments about how those needs might best be served. They will then present these findings and recommendations to Bishop Gruss by April 1.
* V Encuentro is an organization dedicated to supporting and educating leaders for Hispanic/Latino Catholics. It began under the USCCB to help bishops and communities work together in this ministry. In the context of this dialogue among the bishops and the community, we live a spirit of pastoral ministry illuminated by an ecclesiological communion and missionary vocation that seeks to reach out to those who find themselves estranged from the life and vision of the church. The main objective of the process of the Encuentro is to discern the way in which Hispanics/Latinos respond as church. Web address: http://vencuentro.org/.
Diocesan Pastoral Priorities: Funding the Mission
GOAL: Develop a Diocesan Facility Master Plan by March 1, 2017 to include:
• Plans for a new chancery building
• Plans for the Terra Sancta campus
The Priority Plan continues to unfold. Bishop Robert Gruss is moving forward to re-envision and if necessary realign the diocesan structure. He has contracted with the Catholic Leadership Institute of Wayne, Pennsylvania, to assist him with an assessment of chancery ministries.
Bishop Gruss said, “It is important that the diocese is able to do ministry as we want it done, as well as asking, ‘Do we have the staff to do it?’’
The assessment will begin by examining information on the roles, budgets and processes of diocesan ministries. A consultant from the Catholic Leadership Institute has already begun interviewing department heads via phone regarding strengths and needs of each ministry and office.
Once this is completed, Bishop Gruss will work with diocesan leadership to review the assessment along with the Priority Plan vision, mission and goals for the diocese to develop a plan for the chancery. This is similar to the Envisioning process that the diocese and many of the parishes have been working on since the Catholic Leadership Institute first began consultation with the diocese for the Good Leaders, Good Shepherds Program in 2013.
“By the end of May we should have a clearer vision of who we are, what we want to become and how to make any necessary changes,” said Bishop Gruss.
I would like to personally invite you to join our Diocesan Choir for the Chrism Mass April 2, 7pm, at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Rapid City.
In following our Bishop’s call to be “good stewards” for our diocese I strongly encourage you to prayerfully consider joining us for this very special Mass and be a good steward of the gifts God has given you. The Chrism Mass is a blend of music, holy oils being blessed, and a time for laity to support their priests. I have listed the dates and times of our choir rehearsals, all of which are held at the Cathedral. I would ask that if you live near Rapid City, you attend at least two of these rehearsals. If you are not able to attend these rehearsals but would still like to share your musical talents, please contact me at email@example.com or by calling 605-341-1143. If you have any questions please contact me and I will be happy to help you as I am able.
Rehearsal dates at the Cathedral (choir loft) are as follows:
Saturday, March 25 – 10am-noon
Sunday, April 2 – 1-2:30pm
Please prayerfully consider joining us for the Chrism Mass — even if you decide not to sing in the choir — so that we can show our support to our priests as they renew their commitment to the ministry to which they were ordained.
Thank you and may God’s grace be upon you!
To develop ministry opportunities, provide training, support and resources in the diocese for youth and young adult ministry. Click here for a full job description.
Practicing Catholic; Bachelor’s degree, preferably in theology, catechetics, or related field with a sound Catholic theology. Past experience in parish youth ministry helpful. Understands, supports and articulates the Catholic faith as taught by the Church. Love of youth and understanding of the developmental stages of middle and high school youth. Must have excellent organizational, communication, and leadership skills, and ability to relate to pastors, adult youth ministers, youth, and young adults. Requires energy and willingness to travel throughout the diocese, including some weekend and evening work.
Interested individuals should send a resumé and letter by e-mail or postal mail listing three professional references along with a completed application to”
Office of the Chancellor
Diocese of Rapid City
606 Cathedral Drive Rapid City SD 57701
In the Diocesan Priority Plan, Vocations is one of our foundational ministries and remains an important focus. An emphasis will be in promoting a culture of vocations, not only in the diocese as a whole, but in every parish and in every family. One of the core values in the Priority Plan is the family. Some of the behaviors under this value specifically address the truth that the seeds of a vocation to priesthood or consecrated life are grounded in family where couples are intentionally living their vocation to marriage. There has been much discussion regarding the need to increase the number of seminarians in order to maintain or even increase our current level of diocese.
To that end, it was felt that a new vocation prayer could assist in this endeavor. The new Prayer for Vocations reflects this focus in the Priority Plan and makes a connection to the mission statement of the diocese as well. Praying a new prayer gives us all the opportunity to pray these new words with a lively faith.
In time, they will be printed as prayer cards and made available in all parishes.
New Diocesan Prayer for Vocations
Invitation: We ask for God’s blessing on those discerning a vocation to priesthood, diaconate, marriage or consecrated life as we pray our Vocations Prayer:
Heavenly Father, Inflame our hearts with the fire of your love.
Inspire our families to eagerly say “yes” to the Holy Spirit,
as did Mary and Joseph.
Help our parishes become schools of prayer,
forming intentional disciples of Jesus who desire to live for him.
Assist us in building a culture of vocations,
creating an environment where all disciples
will seek your will for their lives.
Teach married couples to live their vocation
in the Spirit of Christ
so that their families may become a “domestic Church,”
reflecting the life of the Trinity.
Inspire young men and women to seek
a living encounter with your Son
so that they will courageously respond
to your call to priesthood or consecrated life,
giving themselves generously to the Church
in service of the Gospel.
We ask Mary, Mother of the Church and our Mother,
to intercede for us.
Pour out anew upon our diocese your Holy Spirit
and make us courageous witnesses of Christ’s love.
May our lives “attract and form intentional disciples
who joyfully, boldly and lovingly proclaim and live
the mission of Jesus Christ, leading to eternal life.”
We make this prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.
By Teresa Spiess
At the First Friday Luncheon on December 2, Bishop Robert Gruss talked to participants about the Strategic Plan that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has approved for 2017-2022 (www.usccb.org/about/strategic-plan.cfm).
The December West River Catholic carried a brief story about the USCCB strategic plan on page 6: “U. S. Bishops’ strategic plan similar to diocesan priority plan.” What Bishop Gruss pointed out was the many connections between this plan, which he received at the USCCB meeting on November 15, and our own Diocesan Pastoral Priority Plan, which he published in his pastoral letter,
The USCCB plan is a reminder that the church is universal. We are connected by the mission of Jesus Christ with Catholics across our country. The common themes in the USCCB Strategic Plan and the Priority Plan of the Diocese of Rapid City are a source of hope and reassurance for our local church. We are in step with the wider church in America. Following our Priority Plan will help us to move forward in union with the church, inspired by the Holy Spirit, through the love of our Lord.
Structurally, the documents are a bit different. The USCCB plan has five strategic priorities, which are filled out with emphasis areas. The plan is backed up by operational plans for 34 committees, subcommittees and departments. The operational plans contain objectives and activities for fulfilling the priorities.
Our plan has six core values, three pastoral priorities and five foundational ministries. The core values are defined and behaviors to enforce the values are described. The pastoral priorities and foundational ministries have supporting goals.
The first strategic priority for the USCCB plan is evangelization. It was described as:
Open wide the doors to Christ through missionary discipleship and personal encounter.
The USCCB emphasis areas for evangelization are:
- Go into all communities with the message of eternal salvation to awaken all God’s people through a personal encounter and relationship with Jesus. This call to discipleship should be addressed particularly to the marginalized and those most in need of Christ’s merciful love.
- Inspire youth and young adults to enter into the joy of a sacramental relationship with Christ.
- Rekindle the fire of Christ’s mercy, reconciliation, and healing among those who no longer attend or have left the Church.
- Foster personal commitment among Catholics to faithful weekly participation in the celebration of the source and summit of our faith, the holy Eucharist.
Although organized differently, these ideas sound very familiar to those who have read the Priority Plan of the Diocese of Rapid City.
Core Values of the Diocese of Rapid City
Our core value of Prayer includes a call to daily prayer to renew a personal encounter with Christ and an encouragement for everyone to actively participate in Sunday Eucharist and celebration of sacraments.
Our core value of Stewardship is described as living a life of generous hospitality, lively faith and dedicated discipleship. Evangelization through invitation is the first behavior described for this value, which really touches on all of the emphasis areas in the USCCB priority.
Solidarity is the third value in our plan, and the behaviors described for Solidarity include reaching out to others, particularly those who are marginalized.
Our values of Mercy and Charity include the mercy, reconciliation and healing that the USCCB plan points to in “Rekindle the fire.”
In our value of Family we include the call for families to educate and form youth in the faith.
Pastoral Priorities of the Diocese of Rapid City
Our Pastoral Priority of Reconciliation goes even further in the call to “invite others to experience the good news of God’s love through an encounter with Jesus Christ.”
Forming Disciples is the Pastoral Priority that specifically speaks to that underlying event which prompts Catholics to participate in the life of the church, to seek a greater understanding of the faith and to share that good news with others.
Our third Pastoral Priority, Funding the Mission, is not something that the USCCB brings up specifically in their strategic plan, however it is included in their operational plan, and reflects the practical nature of South Dakota Catholics. In order for our plans to succeed, we need to know that they will be supported by the necessary resources.
Our Foundational Ministries
The USCCB priority of Evangelization is also directly or indirectly supported by each of our Foundational Ministries: Sacraments & Worship, Education & Formation, Governance & Finance, Social Services & Outreach, and Vocations & Evangelization. The quote from Matthew 28 which is listed under Vocations & Evangelization in our plan is a reminder to us that we are an evangelical people, called to share the Gospel with others. “Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to
observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”
May Jesus, who has promised to be with us, bless these plans of the USCCB and of the Diocese of Rapid City, and plant his Spirit deep in us so that we may use these plans to build up his kingdom in the world around us and to live out our Sacred Mission: We, the Diocese of Rapid City, through the power of the Holy Spirit, are called to attract and form intentional disciples who joyfully, boldly and lovingly proclaim and live the mission of Jesus Christ, leading to eternal life.
(Note: Copies of Bishop Gruss’s Pastoral Letter, Through Him, With Him and In Him, as well as copies of the Priority Plan for the Diocese of Rapid City are available at parish and diocesan offices.)
By Nancy Haugen
Director of SSM&T Newman Center
Have you ever wondered what the Bishop’s Luncheon at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help is all about? Once a month, during the school year, students at the Newman Center plan and put together the luncheon for the bishop’s Mass. As a fundraiser for the center, all the proceeds assist our students in registration fees and travel expenses to the Fellowship of Catholic University Students conference that occurs every other year.
The bishop’s luncheon is an opportunity to hear, in a small group setting, Bishop Robert Gruss. Topics vary from month to month and offer great insight to true Catholic teachings from politics to daily living. The luncheon usually falls on the first Friday of each month, but this date may vary due to holidays. Make sure you check out the West River Catholic newspaper or the diocesan website — www.rapid
citydiocese.org — to verify the date. It begins with Mass at 11:15 a.m. and lunch is served at noon. Bishop speaks from 12:30-1 p.m. Cost for meal is $6.
The FOCUS conference, according to the website, helps college students strive “to live the Catholic faith in the midst of the secular world.” We hear from speakers who encourage and challenge us. The conference is five days long with more than eight thousand college students attending from around the United States. The conference offers fabulous speakers, amazing worship and great artists. All topics are geared to impact our young adults.
“Focus is a great opportunity for college students to deepen their faith with many other students at a time in their life where it’s easier to forget about the church,” said James Morris, a mechanical engineering graduate. “The talks and activities of focus engage you and you’ll leave with a new understanding of God. FOCUS was a great booster in my faith, and even two years later, my daily prayer life is a direct result of Focus.”
The Newman Center students encourage you to attend the Bishop’s Mass and Luncheon. It will brighten your day as our university students from the Newman Center serve you.
Featured image: School of Mines students prepare and serve lunch at the Bishop’s Mass. (WRC photo)
606 Cathedral Drive
Rapid City, SD 57701
Chancery Annex at Terra Sancta
2101 City Springs Rd Ste 200
Rapid City, SD 57702
Terra Sancta Retreat Center
2101 City Springs Rd, Ste 300
Rapid City , SD 57702
Victim Assistance Coordinator