Bulletins (Please scroll to the bottom of the page for this week's and past weeks' bulletins.)

This week on Thursday the Church remembers St. Valentine, who was martyred for his faith. For most people, Valentine’s Day is dedicated to expressions of affection and love. At this time of the year, Valentine’s Day is a good reason for a school party, a dinner out for married couples, or a cozy movie. Every relationship needs a little pick-me-up once in a while.

On the liturgical calendar, the same day is dedicated to Saints Cyril and Methodius, brothers who were missionaries to the Slavic people in the 10th century. These two men must have been gifted linguists who devised a special alphabet to record the Scriptures and prayers for the native people in their own language. They had a huge impact by founding the Church in that area of the world and are still venerated there today.

Today that area of the world is referred to as Czechoslovakia which was formed with the redrawing of boundaries. That area of the world suffered greatly during the Communist era of the USSR, and the Church was brutally persecuted. Many people remained strong in the faith, while others withered under the oppression.

Many Slavic people settled in the southern part of South Dakota more than 100 years ago, and Slavic names are still common in our state. We are grateful to Saints Cyril and Methodius who planted the faith and watered it. We are grateful that their spiritual descendants still make up a vibrant branch of the Church.

Last Sunday, we welcomed Bishop Swain to our parish for the celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation. It is always an honor when our diocesan bishop visits our parish as a visible sign of the unity and universality of our Church. We were also grateful to present to him a great sign of the Church's future.

Now it's time to begin planning for our next cohort of Confirmation candidates. It has been very hard to pick a time for an initial meeting that respects the many obligations that parents and students already have in their schedules.

9th grade students and their parents are requested to come for an organizational meeting on Wednesday, February 13th OR Wednesday, February 20th at 7 p.m. in our Multipurpose Room. At this meeting, we will explain the preparation process for those who wish to be confirmed a year from now.

Each family has been informed of these meetings, but occasionally we overlook a candidate who might be out of synch with a particular grade level, someone who missed Confirmation earlier, or someone who recently moved into our parish. We would certainly like to know about additional candidates who might have been omitted from our initial mailing.

From time to time, people ask me about retirement for ministers of the Church. In regard to bishops, the Code of Canon Law requires that diocesan bishops submit a letter of resignation to the Holy See upon reaching the age of 75. This letter may be accepted or may be postponed, depending on the needs of the individual bishop and the needs of the local church. Currently, the Diocese of Sioux Falls is awaiting the appointment of a new bishop, since Bishop Swain reached the age of 75 this past year.

In the Diocese of Sioux Falls, priests may request retirement at age 70 or 75 (depending on what year they were ordained). This is the age when a pension becomes available. They may choose to keep working on a full-time or part-time basis, according to their own ability and wishes, and the needs of the Church. 

In fact, those in Sacred Orders never really retire. They simply exercise their ministry in different ways, often without the burdens of administration.

Financial Report: Last weekend, we welcomed exceptionally large crowds to our parish Masses, and we were pleased to find $8,377 in the offertory collection. This month, we expect to receive an average of $11,000 from online giving. Thanks so much for your generosity.

A Stewardship Testimonial: "Even when we serve out of a sense of duty, our service still gives us joy."

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