St. Katharine Drexel Parish December 2017 e-Newsletter
In This Issue

Upcoming Events

Saturday, Dec. 9th
1st Reconciliation Retreat 9:30-11:30 a.m. (Nave)

Saturday & Sunday, 
December 9th & 10th
Youth Bake Sale after all Masses (GS and MPR)

Sunday, December 10th
Youth Pancake Breakfast
8:30 a.m.-12 p.m. (MPR)

Nativity Play Practice 
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
(Room 203)

Knights of Columbus meeting (Room 203)
7-8:30 p.m.
Monday, Dec. 11th
Serve breakfast at
The Banquet
5:30-8 a.m.

Parish Council Meeting
6:30 p.m. (Room 203)

Thursday, Dec. 14th
Baptismal Planning Class 6:30 p.m. (Parish Office Conference Room)

Friday, Dec. 15th
Serve supper at the 
St. Francis House
5-7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 16th
Parish Men's Group meeting 7:30-9 a.m. (Gathering Space)

Sunday, Dec. 17th
Nativity Play Practice 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Nave)

Communal Reconciliation Services
2 p.m. Christ the King & St. Mary Parishes
7 p.m. St. Katharine Drexel & St. Lambert Parishes

Monday, Dec. 18th
Communal Reconciliation Service 
7 p.m. Holy Spirit Parish
Tuesday, Dec. 19th
Serve supper at
The Banquet West
4:30-7:30 p.m.

Communal Reconciliation Services
7 p.m. St. Michael & St. Therese Parishes

Wednesday, Dec. 20th
Nativity Play Practice 5:30-6:30 p.m. (Nave)

Youth Large Group meeting 6:45 p.m. (MPR)

Thursday, Dec. 21st
Extra Individual Confessions 7 p.m. (Nave)
Friday, Dec. 22nd
SFCS: early dismissal

Extra Individual Confessions 12:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. (Nave)
Sunday, Dec. 24th
Christmas Eve Mass
4 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Monday, Dec. 25th
Christmas Day Mass
9 a.m.
Monday, Dec. 25th - Tuesday, Dec. 26th
Parish Office closed

Monday, Dec. 25th - Wednesday, Jan. 3rd
SFCS: no school

Monday, Dec. 25th - Tuesday, Jan. 2nd
SFPS: no school

Wednesday, Dec. 27th
Anointing Mass 6:30 p.m. (Nave)

Monday, January 1st
Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God Mass 
9 a.m. (non-obligatory)
Monday, Jan. 1st - Tuesday, Jan. 2nd
Parish Office closed
Friday, Jan. 5th    
7 p.m. in our Chapel

7-10:30 p.m. (O'GHS PAC)

Wednesday, Jan. 10th
Serve breakfast at The Banquet 5:30-8 a.m.

Thursday, Jan. 11th
Baptismal Planning Class 6:30 p.m. (Parish Office Conference Room)
Sunday, Jan. 14th
Youth Pancake Breakfast
8:30 a.m.-12 p.m. (MPR)

Knights of Columbus meeting 7-8:30 p.m. (Room 203)
Monday, Jan. 15th
Parish Council meeting 6:30 p.m. (Room 203)
Friday, Jan. 19th
SFPS: no school

Serve supper at the
St. Francis House
5-7:30 p.m

Saturday, Jan. 20th
Parish Men's Group meeting  7:30-9 a.m. (Gathering Space)
Sunday, Jan. 28th - Friday, Feb. 2nd
Catholic Schools Week

Tuesday, Jan. 30th
Anointing Mass 6:30 p.m. (Nave)

For more events, visit our parish calendar, where you can automatically add events to your personal calendar!

Dear Friends,
For several years our Parish Council had served as a sort of clearing house for our multiple parish committees. Month by month committees reported on their many activities or upcoming events. We have several excellent committees who help us remain a vibrant parish.
Recently, our Parish Council has been limiting its discussion to several topics that have a pastoral dimension, trying to take a wider view of the Church's mission. For several months, the Council has been discussing the level of Mass attendance in our country and in our parish.
In the United States it is estimated that 25% of Catholics participate at Mass on a regular basis. In our parish we have abou t 1,100 people at Mass each weekend from a total census of 2,731. That means we are above the national average, but we could still do better.
Members of the Parish Council have shared their own experience of people they know who have ceased Mass attendance or who have joined other churches. Even in this small group of Council members, it is clear that people stay in the Church or leave for a variety of reasons. We have also begun to reflect on what Pope John Paul II called "The New Evangelization," as way of drawing people back to a deeper and more active participation in their faith.
At our November meeting, we viewed one session of a DVD series on the new evangelization called "Relit. "   This is an 18-part series that can help us understand the concept of evangelization and give us some practical tools to witness to the faith in our own families, neighborhoods, and places of work.
For many years now, I have been recognizing the need for better evangelization directed toward those who have grown weak in their depth of commitment. More and more frequently, I have parents and grandparents who tell me their children no longer practice the faith. I have often wondered how we might invite people to a fuller experience in the life of the Church.
At the same time, I have recognized that many people practice the faith more deeply with more intentionality than they did in former years. They participate in adult education that was not available even when I was first ordained, and they pray with greater commitment.
I believe this program on evangelization could bring together these two facets of life in the Church. " Relit"  is a program that explores the process of evangelization and gives some tools to us to reach out to those who have grown tepid in the practice of their faith and to those who may never have been evangelized.
Fundamentally, The New Evangelization invites us to spread our Catholic faith, beginning by the way we actively live our faith in everyday activities. Most often our faith is passed along from person to person through this silent witness.
Then as people notice the quality of our lives, they begin to ask questions, and the door is opened to evangelization. This process might be in our own families, in our neighborhoods, or the places where we work.
We have a bit of study and reflection to do yet as we work toward implementing The New Evangelization more intentionally in our parish. Please do watch our weekend bulletins for more ideas on how we might promote evangelization in our parish.
Father Gregory Tschakert
St. Katharine Drexel Parish

The Advent Giving Tree Returns      
Our St. Katharine Drexel Parish Advent Giving Tree is now on display. A big thank you to both the Religious Education students and the St. Katharine Drexel School students for coloring the gift ornaments of stars, angels, bells, and the Baby Jesus.
This year the labeled gift ornaments found on the tree will support seven organizations that provide for the needs of others. As a special project, we have twenty gift ornaments labeled "laundry baskets" for the Bishop Dudley Hospitality House. We are working with the Volunteers of America collecting gifts in support of twenty area Veterans. Your gifts will also benefit the following: St. Paul Parish of Marty, SD, Call to Freedom, the St. Francis House, The Children's Inn, and the St. Katharine Drexel Parish Food & Diaper Pantry. There are hundreds of gift ideas from craft kits for kids to reading glasses to gift cards and many more.
Our St. Katharine Drexel Parishioners will provide hundreds of gifts that will help keep someone warm, fed, and hopeful. Thank you for sharing during this Advent Season. You are appreciated.
Spiritual Adoption Program  

The weekend of January 20th & 21st will mark the beginning of the 5th year of St. Katharine Drexel Parish's Spiritual Adoption Program! Over the past 4 years, more than 700 unborn babies were given names and prayed for by our parishioners, school children, and visitors. Babies unknown to those praying, but known by God.
If you are new to the parish and unfamiliar with this pro-life program, it is very simple and yet more effective than one can imagine. At the heart of the program is a short prayer written by Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen in 1973 after the legalization of abortion:
"Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I love you very much. I beg you to spare the life of [baby's name] the unborn baby that I have spiritually adopted who is in danger of abortion."
Participants choose a pair of either boy or girl baby socks with this prayer attached to them to put in a prominent place as a reminder over the next 9 months to pray for their child. In addition, the names given by the "adoptive families" are displayed in our church entryway along with a baby development poster that is changed monthly. In October, at the end of the 9 months, a baby shower is held, and a playpen is set out for those wanting to bring diapers in honor of their "adopted baby." The diapers and are in turn given out to those in need that visit our parish's food and diaper pantry.
Please visit the "Spiritual Adoption" page on our website if you are interested in more details about this program.
St. Vincent de Paul and Our Parish Relic

More good news! Our statue of St. Vincent de Paul has arrived, is now being painted, and should be displayed soon. As many of you know, our parish has a relic of St. Vincent de Paul in our altar. When our parish was built there were no relics of St. Katharine Drexel available. A relic of St. Vincent de Paul was an excellent alternative to St. Katharine Drexel.
While St. Katharine Drexel was an American, St. Vincent de Paul was French. St. Katharine came from a very wealthy family and lived an early life of leisure. St. Vincent de Paul was born to a peasant farming family before receiving an inheritance from a wealthy benefactor, but first spent years as a slave after being captured by Barbary pirates. Of course, these differences are superficial while their similarities are enduring. Both spent their lives in service to Our Lord. St. Katharine Drexel joined the Sisters of Mercy in Pittsburgh before establishing the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. St. Vincent de Paul was ordained a priest at the early age of nineteen before becoming a member of the Congregation of the Missions (Vincentians).
What both remarkable saints shared was a commitment to serving the poor, under-privileged, marginalized, and forgotten. St. Katharine Drexel worked among the Native American and African American communities building schools, universities, and providing funds for an assortment of charities. St. Vincent de Paul worked among the poor, down-trodden, and imprisoned galley slaves mostly in France. He is the patron of a federation known as the Vincentian Family . Here in Sioux Falls, we are blessed to have a council of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Our parish also has a St. Vincent de Paul Conference that is very active in serving local needs. As is St. Katharine Drexel, St. Vincent de Paul is honored by schools, universities, and parishes that bear his name. We should be mindful of how fortunate we are to be associated with these two illustrious saints and do our best to follow their example of helping those most in need.       
Parish Fast Facts 

January to December 2017
Families: 891
New families registered: 64
Baptisms: 59
First Holy Communion: 56
Confirmations: 45
Weddings: 16
Funerals: 5 
Ministry Volunteers for 2017-2018 total 633 parishioners which includes:
Adult Choir: 15
Altar Linen Launderers: 8
Altar Servers: 70
Bakers: 144
Book Bearers: 48
Cantors: 17
Children's Choir: 22
Children's Liturgy of the Word Helpers: 32
Children's Liturgy of the Word Leaders: 15
Coffee & Rolls Servers: 93
Collection Counters: 33
Eucharistic Ministers: 134
Gift Bearers: 169
Greeters: 226
Lectors: 78
The Messengers (jr./sr. high school choir): 12
Rosary Leaders: 19
Sacristans: 33
SFCS Certificate Sellers: 34
Ushers: 127
Weekend Mass Receptionists: 9
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/