St. Katharine Drexel Parish December 2015 e-Newsletter
In This Issue

Upcoming Events

Thurs.-Sun., Dec. 17th-20th
Christmas at the Cathedral
Saturday, Dec. 19th
Men's Group
7:30-9 a.m. Please call
Deacon Denny with questions @ 261-7232.
Sunday, Dec. 20th
St. Katharine Drexel Parish Communal Reconciliation Service
7 p.m.
Thurs. & Fri., Dec. 24th & 25th
Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord
Masses are 4 p.m. & 10 p.m. on Dec. 24th, and 
9 a.m. on Dec. 25th
Thurs., & Fri., Dec. 31st & Jan. 1st
Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
Masses are 6 p.m. on Dec. 31st, and 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 1st
Friday, Jan. 1st
First Friday Eucharistic Adoration from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. in our Chapel
Saturday, Jan. 9th
2nd Annual Youth Dinner Show in the MPR at  6:30 p.m. 

Tuesday, Jan. 12th
Serve breakfast at The Banquet; Sign-up sheet is in the Gathering Space

Sun.-Wed., Jan. 24th-27th
Parish Mission, lead by Bill Wagner
"God's Mercy-Our Mercy"

Tuesday, Feb. 2nd
Serve supper at The Banquet West; sign-up sheet in the Gathering Space

Sunday, Feb. 7th
Youth Pancake Breakfast in the MPR 8:30 a.m.-12 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 10th
Ash Wednesday
Masses are 8 a.m., 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.
The Primacy of the Weekend Mass   
In the Gospel of Luke, we are told that Jesus went to the synagogue, "as was His custom." In other words, Jesus' weekly gathering with the local faithful community was His habit.  
Very soon after the resurrection of Jesus, it became a habit for the Christian community to gather on the Lord's Day for the celebration of the Eucharist. The Letter to the Hebrews urged its readers, "Do not absent yourself from the assembly, as some do."
Through the long centuries, the celebration of the Sunday Eucharist has always been a hallmark of Catholic identity. In the context of the liturgy, Christians gathered to be instructed by God's Word and to be strengthened by the Body and Blood of Christ. Then, blessed by the Lord, they went home to live the Christian mystery for the next seven days, until they would gather again.
In recent years we have seen a gradual diminishing of commitment to make Mass a weekend priority. Many people live at such a fast pace that they can barely scrape together an hour for Mass. Many families are so preoccupied with following club sports, tournaments and music competitions that Mass becomes an occasional option.
I am always thrilled by the number of people who gather in our parish church each weekend. The extra effort that is needed for young families to gather in prayer with their children is especially appreciated.
At the same time, I am always concerned about those who drift from the altar toward other pursuits. I am constantly wondering how we can cultivate more committed participation in the liturgy of the Church.
I am often reminded of a comment I once heard from a friend who said, "I find that if I don't go to Mass every seven days, I forget who I am." That is really the point of going to Mass--to remember who we are and to be strengthened in our Christian identity.  
If Jesus found it helpful and necessary to gather with the faith community every week, it's hard to imagine that we could do with less. 
Father Gregory Tschakert
St. Katharine Drexel Parish

Questions about the Mass  

In the Parish Survey conducted last spring, parishioners asked a great variety of questions. Three are answered below:
Sanctuary bells are small bells that are rung at special parts of the Mass, such as the consecration. Long ago, it was difficult for the congregation to hear and see what was happening during Mass. The bells were a signal that the consecration was about to take place. The bells thus helped the faithful to acknowledge and focus on the Real Presence. Today it is up to the parish whether or not the bells are rung.
The candles we use in worship are "sacramentals," objects blessed by the Church as special symbols. Altar candles encourage reverence, helping us petition for and receive grace from the Eucharist. The flame also represents Christ, who is the Light of the World.
A novena is a public or private prayer of petition or of thanksgiving that is said for nine consecutive days. It can also refer to any lengthy series of prayers. The novena has always had more of a sense of urgency and neediness. The nine days recall the nine days that the Apostles and the Blessed Virgin Mary spent in prayer between Ascension Thursday and Pentecost Sunday.
Jubilee Year of Mercy   
Last March, Pope Francis decreed a Year of Mercy, running from December 8, 2015 through November 20, 2016.
"Dear brothers and sisters, I have often thought of how the Church may render more clear Her mission to be a witness to mercy; and we have to make this journey. It is a journey which begins with spiritual conversion. Therefore, I have decided to announce an Extraordinary Jubilee which has at its center the mercy of God. It will be a Holy Year of Mercy. We want to live in the light of the Word of the Lord: "Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful." (cf. Lk 6:36) And this especially applies to confessors! So much mercy!
This Holy Year will commence on the next Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and will conclude on Sunday,  November 20, 2016, the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe and living face of the Father's mercy."
Our parish began the Year of Mercy by distributing a special Magnificat for the Year of Mercy. We have distributed 500 of these devotional books. Please watch our  weekly bulletin, this quarterly newsletter, and our   parish website for parish events and activities focusing on this Jubilee Year of Mercy. A few of the special events and activities our parish has planned:
On each of the First Fridays of the month during the Year of Mercy, Fr. Tschakert will be speaking about some area of mercy, as we designate some particular group for which to pray. On the First Friday of January, we will be praying especially for God's mercy for ourselves. We pray for the insight to know of our own weaknesses and the grace to overcome our weaknesses. In addition to our usual Eucharistic Adoration, we will add an evening Mass to our First Friday schedule during the Year of Mercy.
Set aside time in January to attend "God's Mercy and Our Mercy," a parish mission directed by Bill Wagner from Good News International. Watch the bulletin for more information.
Our parish Social Ministries Committee will be focusing on the Corporal Works of Mercy in the upcoming year. Watch for announcements about their activities, and about how you can get involved.
Websites where you can learn more about the Year of Mercy:

Jubilee Year of Mercy, The Vatican
Jubilee Year Of Mercy, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Rediscover Mercy, Dynamic Catholic
Saints for the Year of Mercy

Year of Mercy Facebook Page
Year of Mercy on Instagram

Meet Our New Youth Minister, 
Annamarie Trevvett
Hello St. Katharine Drexel Parish families! It has been a joy to meet some of you and work with the 6th-12th grade students we have in our parish these past few months. Prior to my commitment as Youth Minister for St. Katharine Drexel Parish, I was a graduate teaching assistant at South Dakota State University where I taught 3 sections of Speech 101. Many of my hobbies are surrounded by the arts, theatre in particular, which was my undergraduate focus at SDSU. As with many, I was not interested in what God could offer me; only what I could provide for myself during my early years of college. Fortunately, through a lot of challenges and prayers from my mom, I saw the beauty and joy of being a Catholic Christian. I have been committed to God and His infinite love ever since. Some of you may have met me when I came to visit my mom, who was a member of our parish for 8 years. I am so blessed and excited to work for the place I call my home.
Some of the things we will be doing with the youth in 2016 include: Youth Group each Sunday starting at 6:30 p.m.; the Youth Room is open on the 3rd Monday of each month at 5:30 p.m. for students to come and study in a quiet atmosphere; and fundraisers: Drexel's Diner Variety Show (Sat., January 9th), Holiday Child Care on Valentine's Day (Sun., February 14th), Pancake Breakfasts in February, March, and April, and a Spring Bean Bag Tournament in May (Sun., May 29th). All of these fundraisers are meant to help with funding our Mission Trip and Steubenville Conference coming up this summer. Any youth who is able to attend these fundraisers can receive credit toward these trips rather than paying for them entirely out of pocket.
Many of you might have heard about the Fire and Ice Retreat that was planned for October 2015. The Youth Council (we meet each 3rd Sunday at 5 p.m. in the Youth Room) decided to offer this retreat April 29th-May 1st. It will be geared toward any 6th-12th grade student and will fulfill the retreat requirement for 2017 Confirmation candidates. More information will be available soon.
Our Mission Trip is to Milwaukee, WI, June 12th-18th. The students who will participate in this trip will deepen their relationships with Christ through Catholic Heartwork Camp by renovating homes in the urban areas of Milwaukee. Registration forms are available in folders near the Youth Bulletin Board or in the Youth Room. We have only 20 spots for our Mission Trip. Our Steubenville Conference will be in Rochester, MN, July 15th-17th. We hope to have as many people attend as possible. The deadline for registration is Monday, January 11th.
Scholarships are available for anyone who is in need of them. Please contact Annamarie for more information.
My information:
Annamarie Trevvett
Twitter: @skdyouth1
Facebook: St. Katharine Drexel Youth Ministry

Our Updated Parish Website
Did you know that we have a   brand-spanking new, refreshed, revamped, redesigned parish website? It's beautiful, and so very easy to use. Take a few minutes to explore what you can find and do:
Have a comment or suggestion? Contact our Parish Office at 275-6870.
Turkey Bingo 2015: Recap

If you missed our annual Turkey Bingo that was held in early November, you missed a good one! Pull out your 2016 calendar and pencil in this fabulous, stupendous, must-see-it-to-believe-it annual extravaganza for November 6th next year. Think I'm stretching it a bit? Nope, and here's the proof:
Fun Stuff We Did
  • Played all kinds of Bingo games to win turkeys and hams
  • Bought raffle tickets for a 4-night stay in a beautiful Black Hills vacation home, $500 cash, or a pizza/pool party for the family
  • Took chances on a 50/50 Cash Raffle
  • Bid for gift baskets, gift cards, and more in our Silent Auction
  • Entertained the little ones in a kids' area that was full of games and activities
  • Enjoyed hot dogs, chips, pop, and homemade desserts
Fun Facts about Turkey Bingo 2015
  • More than 70 tables and 450 chairs were set up in 30 minutes by our Knights of Columbus
  • 35+ volunteers to planned and worked at the event
  • 25+ turkeys and 20+ hams were donated as prizes
  • $700 was the amount the 50/50 Cash Raffle winner took home, and it was the winner's birthday!
  • 175 items were up for bid in the Silent Auction
  • The two highest dollar bids in the Silent Auction: SF Canaries Luxury Suite ($610) and Fr. Tschakert's Pork Loin Dinner for 6 ($600)
  • $22,500 - Money we raised for our parish, after expenses
  • $750 - Overall expenses
Many Ways We Gave to Our Parish and Those We Assist
  • $2,427.30 - Youth Concessions (Food Sales and Auction Items)
  • $269.70 - Youth Concessions Tithe to SKD Food Pantry
  • $8,923.02 - Stained Glass Windows
  • $8,923.02 - Debt Reduction
  • $1,982.90 - Parish Tithe to SKD Food Pantry
Many thanks to the many families, Y-Disciple Groups, students, and businesses who donated items for our Silent Auction, as door prizes, and for our raffle. And a huge THANK YOU to Laurie Christensen and our Parish Activities Committee as well as dozens of other volunteers who did their part to make our annual Turkey Bingo another fabulous event!
St. Katharine Drexel Parish on the Web   
  Mass Schedule, Calendar, Online Giving, Readings, and much more. Our Parish Web page has been updated and redesigned.  Check it out!

 Have you "liked" St. Katharine Drexel Parish yet? It's a great way to stay up-to-date on Parish events. Visit

Log on to our Flickr site to see photos of our beautiful Sanctuary and Nave as well as our stained glass windows. Want to help us? Contact Carol Deering (212-5218/ of the Communications Committee.

Our Parish YouTube page includes eight videos. Do you have an idea for a video on our channel? Talk with Fr. Tschakert (275-6870/ or Carol Deering of the 
Communications Committee ( 212-5218/