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

125 Years of the Sioux Falls Diocese: A Legacy of Faith

Stained Glass Windows: Three are Coming Soon!

Totus Tuus: Totally Yours

Our Youth are on a Mission!

Building Project Update

Upcoming Events

Totus Tuus

Sunday-Friday, June 21st-26th


Youth Mission Trip

Sunday-Sunday, June 21st-28th


Sioux Falls Diocese Legacy of Faith Event

Woonsocket--Saturday, June 27th


Serve Breakfast at The Banquet

Thursday, July 2nd


Sioux Falls Diocese Legacy of Faith Event

Marty--Sunday, July 12th


Serve Supper at St. Francis House

Friday, July 17th


Serve Supper at The Banquet West

Wednesday, July 22nd


Youth to Steubenville North

Friday-Sunday, July 24th-26th


Sioux Falls Diocese Legacy of Faith Event

Sioux Falls: Friday-Sunday, August 14th-16th


SFCS First Day of School

Thursday, August 20th


Parish Picnic

Sunday, August 23rd at Sertoma Park at 5 p.m.


Becoming a Compassionate Church    


When I was a child, our family had a custom of going to Confession on the First Friday of the month and then attending Mass together. I don't know when it dawned on me that these First Fridays were days specially dedicated to honoring the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I do know that it was good spiritual discipline for me.


Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is parallel with a topic frequently stressed by Pope Francis, the mercy of God. Already in the Old Testament, we read about God's heart being "stirred with pity" for His people. In the fullness of time, God took a human heart when He became flesh and lived among us. The Gospels often mention that Jesus was "moved with compassion," as He reached out to teach, to heal, to include.


Whenever our prayer is authentic, it draws us closer to the heart of Jesus where we experience His compassion. We also discover all the other people that Jesus holds close to His heart.

In our own age, Pope Francis is calling us once again to recapture this central meaning of the Incarnation. God did not become human with us because we are so perfect, but because He is merciful. And so God's Church is also called to be merciful.


The Holy Father has often reminded us that the Church is not to be a refuge for the perfect, but a field hospital for those who need God's mercy. When our hearts have been touched by the mercy of God, then the doors of our Church will always be wide open for all those who wish to enter.


Father Gregory Tschakert

St. Katharine Drexel Parish


125 Years of the Sioux Falls Diocese:   

The formal Diocese of Sioux Falls was established on November 12, 1889 by Pope Leo XIII. South Dakota had become a state just ten days earlier, on November 2nd. At that time, our diocese included all of South Dakota. The current territory of the diocese, which includes all of South Dakota east of the Missouri River, was established when the Diocese of Lead (now Rapid City) was created in 1904.


For the past year, the diocese has been celebrating our 125-year Legacy of Faith. If you haven't had the opportunity to join in our anniversary celebration, there's still time!


Sunday, June 27th--Rural setting near Woonsocket
Liturgical celebration and a recognition of the faith of the people who live and worship in the central part of the diocese

Sunday, July 12th--Saint Paul Mission, Marty
Liturgical celebration, meal, and speaker, on the Feast of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, paying tribute to the history and faith of the Native Americans in the diocese

August 14th-16th--Convention Center and Arena, Sioux Falls
Diocesan-wide gathering with keynote speakers; multiple educational, spiritual, and prayer opportunities; liturgical celebrations; banquet; youth activities; priest, deacon, and teacher continuing education offerings.


And here's just a sampling of who you can see and what you can do at the August finale:

  • Hear from speakers Scott Hahn, Curtis Martin, Jennifer Fulwiler, Archbishop Robert Carlson, Archbishop Samuel Aquila, and many more!
  • Come to a Catholic Festival on Saturday afternoon for families, singles, and people of all ages.
  • Enjoy a Craft Beer Tasting Event on Saturday afternoon. Sample brews from around 40 regional craft brewers
  • Participate in a 5K road race or 1-mile fun run/walk.
  • Attend Daily Mass.
  • Spend some time in Eucharistic Adoration.
  • Visit exhibitors from all over the nation.
  • Enjoy a Pancake Breakfast, hosted by the Knights of Columbus.
  • Laugh along with Christian comedian and author Ken Davis.
  • View parish banners (spanning all 125 years) and parish historical displays.


Some quick links to descriptions of events, vendor/sponsor opportunities, and registration:


And if you have questions or need more information:


Send an e-mail to

Legacy of Faith Website 

Legacy of Faith Registration 



Stained Glass Windows--Three will be installed soon! 


Our Liturgy/Art/Environment Committee has been working very hard for many months, hammering out details of the stained glass windows. Early in the process they surveyed the parish for input. Parishioners chose five saints for the windows that show our parish lineage. These will be placed below the window of the Nativity.

  • Christ the King
  • St. Joseph
  • St. Michael
  • St. Paul
  • St. Peter


The good news: Christ the King, St. Joseph, and St. Michael are in production and expected to be completed and installed in July.


For the other side of the Nave, under the Ascension window, parishioners chose:

  • Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta
  • St. Francis of Assisi
  • St. John Paul II
  • St. Kateri Tekakwitha
  • St. Therese of Lisieux


Two other stained glass windows are planned for the confessionals:

  • Divine Mercy
  • Our Lady of Guadalupe


And more good news: Through continued generous donations from parishioners, we now have enough funds to purchase another window, the fourth of our planned windows: Our Liturgy/Art/Environment committee chose St. Peter to be completed next.


Dakota Stained Glass is manufacturing the windows.  Bruce Medema, the artist, lives in Inwood, IA. Bruce has painted all of the stained glass windows installed in our church. He will provide drawings of all the planned windows, which the Liturgy/Art/Environment Committee has matted and put on display in the Gathering Space.


Donations to the Stained Glass Window Fund can be made at any time and are always welcome. You can give online, in the weekly offering at Mass, or contact the Parish Office at 275-6870.



Totus Tuus (Totally Yours)


Totus Tuus is coming to St. Katharine Drexel Parish Sunday-Friday, June 21st-26th. Totus Tuus is a Catholic youth summer program dedicated to sharing the Gospel and promoting the Catholic faith through catechesis, evangelization, Christian witness, and Eucharistic worship. A Totus Tuus team, comprising two college-aged men and 2 college-aged women, will lead the week-long summer Bible camp in our parish.


The goal of Totus Tuus is to help young people grow in their understanding of, and strengthen their faith in, Jesus Christ. It is a program aimed not only at teaching the faith, but also igniting the hearts of the team members and the young people. Team leaders are hired for their energy, enthusiasm, love for the faith, and their commitment to spiritual growth. The young men and young women also have a strong desire to share their faith with youth. They are a shining example of the Catholic faith lived.


Fun facts about Totus Tuus:


And now the lowdown on Totus Tuus at St. Katharine Drexel Parish, June 2015:

  • Middle school/high school: Sunday, June 21st-Thursday, June 25th, 7:30-9:30 p.m.
  • Grade school children going into 1st-6th grade: Monday, June 22nd-Friday, June 26th, 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
  • Cost is $35 per student.
  • Students need to bring their own lunch.
  • Sign up anytime up, but earlier is better for snack planning!
Our Youth are on a Mission! 

Later this month, 22 youth and 6 adults from St. Katharine Drexel Parish will travel to Martin, SD, to serve our Native American brothers and sisters. Our youth started inquiring about going on a mission trip after attending the annual Steubenville Youth Conference the last few years. It became evident that they were ready to move from inquiring about their faith to putting their faith into action and serving others. 

When we first started looking at a mission trip, the Youth Council talked about our mission at St. Katharine Drexel Parish and St. Katharine's own love for and service to the Native American and African American people. Wouldn't it be good to serve the people she was devoted to? Wouldn't it be inspiring to visit the places she worked? We have the poorest of the poor in the United States in our own state, and St. Katharine Drexel served those people, so in keeping with her spirit and love for the Native American people, we looked for an experience that would serve them.

We began researching companies for our mission trip. We looked at many things: the communities they served, the cost, what ages would be able to attend, and how many adults we would need. After much research and communication with various companies and the people who had worked through those companies, YouthWorks came very highly recommended by, among others, a Catholic priest from Michigan.

YouthWorks is both a youth ministry organization and a mission organization. They've been inviting churches on mission trips for over 20 years, with the purpose of helping middle school and high school students experience more about Jesus' love through service.  Every summer, more than 30,000 youth and adults join in their mission sites spread across the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada. 

YouthWorks focuses on ministry. They don't call the places they serve "work camps" or spotlight repairing homes. Instead, the "works" in the name "YouthWorks" are about what God is doing in the lives of his people: teenagers, staff, community members, and adult leaders. YouthWorks desires to be Christ-centered in everything they do. They believe the most important thing we as a people can do is to live out the love of Christ with each person God puts in our path each day. The relationships we will cultivate and build are more important than the work we set out to accomplish on the trip.

While in Martin, we will be painting houses, making minor home repairs, cleaning up debris, and volunteering in community gardens. We will also work with a program for community children ages 5-10 years old called Kids' Club, and we will take part in service partnerships such as visiting the elderly, serving at feeding programs, and sorting donations. In the evenings, we will have an opportunity to experience some of the Native American culture. 

On our way to Martin, we will visit Marty, SD, where St. Katharine Drexel was a missionary. A huge thank you to the members of St. Katharine Drexel Parish who have been so very generous in helping the youth gather items to donate to the Kateri Center in Marty!

Our mission trip is a wonderful opportunity for our junior and senior high youth and adult leaders to serve others as Christ did, and grow in their relationship with Him.

Mary Jo Gallagher, Youth Minister


Building Project Update

The addition to our Education Center is nearly complete! A memory refresh: Digging of the footing began in June 2014, and volunteers began working inside on various projects in October 2014. Since last October, builders, painters, cooks, and lots of prayers have made our new building addition come alive!


What have the volunteers raised, installed, and painted over the past nine months?

  • cabinets
  • flooring
  • HVAC
  • interior walls
  • lighting
  • hallway benches and hooks
  • wiring and cables for internet access and Promethean boards


What's left to hang, install, polish, wax?

  • blinds
  • bulletin boards
  • doors
  • Promethean boards
  • storage room shelving
  • trim work
  • floor tile


How will the four large rooms in the new addition be used?

  • 5th & 6th grades will move into two rooms
  • Music/Band/Orchestra will move into the third room
  • Academic Services  will use the fourth large room
  • small office for the school counselor
  • storage room that will serve that end of the building and provide some other much-needed storage


And the last details . . .

  • modular unit will be returned to Harrisburg sometime in July
  • classes that used the modular unit will move into the building, so teachers will be shifting rooms in the older section of the Education Center
  • four classrooms in the older section will be painted
  • in-kind value of labor and materials is in excess of $100,000
  • the addition, which will be open for the upcoming school year, will make us a fully-functioning one-section school from Preschool through Grade 6

St. Katharine Drexel Parish on the Web   


  Mass Schedule, Calendar, Online Giving, Readings, and much more. Watch for an updated website coming soon!



 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. You'll also see photos from our Stewardship Fair last September. Check back for photos of more events as we build an online photo album of our parish. Want to help us? Contact Carol Deering (274-2521 or of the Communication 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 

Communication Committee (274-2521 or