Lent Group Reconciliation Schedule

Lemmon, St. Mary, Friday, Mar. 10—8 p.m (TEC retreat)
Midland, St. William, Sunday, Mar. 12—1 p.m.
Presho, Christ the King, Tuesday, Mar. 14—6 p.m.
Rapid City, Cathedral, Tuesday, Mar. 14—6:30 p.m. (Mercy Night)
Rapid City, St. Therese, Thursday, Mar. 16—7 p.m.
Burke, Sacred Heart, Friday, Mar. 17—6:30 p.m.
Winner, Immaculate Conception, Sunday, Mar. 19—6 p.m. CT
Deadwood, St. Ambrose, Sunday Mar. 19, 4:30
Lemmon, St. Mary, Sunday, Mar. 19—7 p.m.
Bison, Blessed Sacrament, Monday, Mar. 20—7 p.m.
Piedmont, Our Lady of the Black Hills, Monday, Mar. 20—7 p.m.
Fairfax, St. Anthony, Wednesday, Mar. 22—6:30 p.m. CT
Keystone, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Thursday, Mar. 23—4 p.m.
Hill City, St. Rose, Thursday, Mar. 23—7 p.m
Wall, St. Patrick, Sunday, Mar. 26—4 p.m. 
Colome, St. Isidore, Sunday, Mar. 26—6 p.m. CT
Timber Lake, Holy Cross, Sunday, Mar. 26—7 p.m.
Isabel, St. Mary, Monday, Mar. 27—6 p.m.
Rapid City, Blessed Sacrament, Monday, Mar. 27—7 p.m.
Buffalo, St. Anthony, Monday, Mar. 27—7 p.m.
McLaughlin, St. Bernard, Tuesday, Mar. 28—7 p.m.
Gregory, St. Joseph, Wednesday, Mar. 29—6:30 p.m. CT
Martin, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Wednesday, Mar. 29—7 p.m.
McIntosh, St. Bonaventure, Thursday, Mar. 30—6 p.m.
Ft Pierre, St. John, Thursday, Mar. 30—6:30 p.m. CT  
Rapid City, St. Isaac Jogues, Thursday, Mar. 30—7 p.m.
Murdo, St. Martin, Thursday, Apr. 6—6 p.m. CT
Dupree, Sacred Heart, Palm Sunday, Apr. 9—4 p.m.
Eagle Butte, All Saints, Palm Sunday, Apr. 9—4 p.m.  
Faith, St. Joseph, Palm Sunday, Apr. 9—7 p.m.

S.D. Bishops Joint Statement

Statement Regarding Senate Bill 149
A bill to uphold religious freedoms afforded to adoption agencies and child placement services
On February 14, Bishop Robert D. Gruss, Diocese of Rapid City, and Bishop Paul J. Swain, Diocese of Sioux Falls, issued a statement supporting S.D. Senate Bill 149. SB 149 would help assure the legal protections of religious freedom so that our faith-based adoption and child placement service providers might continue their important works in accord with their missions. SB 149 would also preserve the diversity in child placement that exists today and ensure that the well-being of children remains the first and foremost concern when being placed with families. Click here for a the full statement.

Employment Opportunity: Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry

Position Summary
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. 

Applicant Qualification
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.

Click here for an application.

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


Prayer for Vocations

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.

The Diocesan Priority Plan — December 2016

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.)



Pastoral Ministry Days 2017

Pastoral Ministry Days is coming April 2-4, 2017! This year’s conference, “Abide in Me” with a focus on “Dedicated Discipleship: Creating Intentional Communities of Service to God and Neighbor.”  Keynote speakers are Fr. Michael White & Tom Corcoran, authors of “Rebuilt” and “Tools for Rebuilding,” based on their own parish experiences.

The conference officially begins on Monday morning, April 3, and ends the afternoon of the 4, but we’ll have a Holy Hour and hospitality on Sunday evening, April 2, for anyone who can join us, along with an opportunity for early check-in.

Click here for a flyer for this years event.  The cost is $75, but if you register before March 15, you can get an early bird rate of $60.

Online registration, the flyer, and a schedule can be found here:  www.PMD2017.com

We encourage everyone to register online, if possible, for purposes of accuracy of information, but if you are unable, you can also register by calling the Terra Sancta Retreat Center at 605-716-0925, and they can register you over the phone.

If you have questions, or would like more information, feel free to contact Susan Thompson (sthompson@diorc.org) or Susan Safford (ssafford@diorc.org) at 605-716-5214.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Pope calls new cardinals to be agents of unity in divided world

Cardinal Blase Cupich, and Bishop Robert Gruss, Rapid City, in the sacristy of Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi before Mass. A group of 32 people from the Diocese of Rapid City made a pilgrimage to Rome to attend the consistory. (Courtesy photo)


VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Catholic Church’s 17 new cardinals must dedicate their lives to being ministers of forgiveness and reconciliation in a world — and sometimes a church — often marked by hostility and division, Pope Francis said. Even Catholics are not immune from “the virus of polarization and animosity,” the pope told the new cardinals, and “we need to take care lest such attitudes find a place in our hearts.” Creating 17 new cardinals from 14 nations Nov. 19, the pope said the College of Cardinals — and the Catholic Church itself — must be a sign for the world that differences of nationality, skin color, language and social class do not make people enemies, but brothers and sisters with different gifts to offer. Three of the new cardinals created during the prayer service in St. Peter’s Basilica were from the United States: Cardinals Blase J. Cupich of Chicago; Kevin J. Farrell, prefect of the new Vatican office for laity, family and life; and Joseph W. Tobin, whom the pope asked to move from being archbishop of Indianapolis to archbishop of Newark, New Jersey. Only 16 of the new cardinals were present for the ceremony. The Vatican said 87-year-old Cardinal Sebastian Koto Khoarai, the retired bishop of Mohale’s Hoek, Lesotho, was created a cardinal although he was unable to travel to Rome.

Outlet store offers shopping by the pound

Rapid City Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Outlet in Box Elder, Dec. 1. Store manager Andrew Shepard used giant gold scissor for the occasion. (WRC story and photo by Laurie Hallstrom)

A Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting ceremony was held Dec. 1, for the St. Vincent de Paul Conference Thrift Outlet in Box Elder. Following the success of the SVDP Thrift Store in Spearfish, the society opened the outlet store. The location is 640 Box Elder Rd. W., Box Elder. (Coming from Rapid City, at I-90 exit 63, take the first left turn, about one block from the interstate.)

The outlet store is unique place to shop because everything, except furniture and mattresses, is sold by the pound. According to JoBeth Meyer, executive director for Store Development, opening day prices for clothing and other goods were 99-cents per pound. The regular rate is $1.49. Check Facebook for specials.

The store carries low cost mattresses are individually priced. The mattresses are stripped to the springs and recovered in Chicago, Ill; however, the thrift outlet cannot accept mattresses as donations in this area. The mattresses and box springs range from $150 to $249 for double pillow top set. Full sets are $200, Queen sets $250 and King sets $395, and bed frames start at $39.95. Meyer said, “For the month of December, mattresses are 25 percent off these low prices to celebrate the Christmas Season and our grand opening. Delivery is available for $20 extra.”

The store is accepting donations of clothing and household items. Since there is no washer on site, the store personnel appreciate having clothes washed before donating. To have furniture or large items picked up call 605-791-0707. Store hours 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Sunday. Also, the store does not accept electronics more than five-years old. Video tapes, CDs, DVDs and records go for 50 cents each. Donations of canned and boxed foods are given out on Vincentian home visits to people in need.

The thrift outlet operates with a combination of paid workers and volunteers. It has created employment opportunities in Box Elder. Proceeds from the Spearfish and Box Elder stores help fund SVDP outreach.

“We are very close to having given out $100,000 of assistance since May 2016 between the three conferences (located at Rapid City Cathedral, Piedmont and Spearfish-Belle Fourche-Newell.) Each conference does fundraising and receives cash donations as well as funds from the stores. The need seems to be especially great this holiday season and we are in need of both cash donations and goods,” said Meyer.

She said the SVDP stores are a great place to use conference vouchers. “The conferences will help a friend with a voucher to get the household items and clothing they need. Because our prices are so low a friend can get a lot for even just $25,” she said.

There are plans to open more stores in the area.

New Chief Finance Officer Hired

Rick Soulek, Rapid City, has been hired as the new Chief Finance Officer for the Diocese of Rapid City. He graduated from Wagner Community School, Wagner. Soulek earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, in 1986. Also at USD, he earned his MBA in 1991. Soulek has experience in finance, operations and management. He began serving the diocese Dec. 1. He and his wife, Lynn, are members of Blessed Sacrament Parish, Rapid City.