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

Last Sunday, we had another tremendous expression of life in our parish with our annual Turkey Bingo. I am certainly grateful to all those who organized this event and to all who participated. Each year, this gathering is filled with joy, even as we face the coming cold weather of winter. We haven't paid all the bills yet, but we will clear about $20,000.

In this month of November, we will celebrate Thanksgiving Day on the 28th. We will have our Thanksgiving Eve Mass at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 27th, followed by a parish social with pie and beverages. This is always a nice event when we can visit across the table without a need to hurry.

I have often reflected that this civic holiday is really religious in its roots. In some ways, our religious faith begins in gratitude. Like the 10th leper, we become aware that our lives have been touched by something or Someone outside ourselves, and we return to give thanks. The word “Eucharist” is from Greek and means thanksgiving.

Even when our lives are not unfolding exactly as we would prefer, there is still plenty for which we can be grateful. When we take time to count our blessings, we can still compile a long list, and recognizing the goodness of life makes us happier.

I often remember an incident from another parish where I stopped by the home of a couple who had lots of problems. The husband was suffering from dementia; their son had a bagful of issues; the wife's sister had just died, and their roof was leaking. The wallpaper was falling off the walls.

When I expressed my condolences, the wife said, "Oh, Father, there are lots of people who have it worse than we do. We've got each other and a place to stay." A couple days later, I saw that woman lugging two bags of groceries to the church for our Thanksgiving collection.

We all have something for which to be grateful. Please do plan now to participate in our Thanksgiving Eve Mass.

This week on Thursday, the Church will celebrate the Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the temple. This event is not recorded in the Gospels, but tradition tells us the Blessed Mother was consecrated to the service of God from an early age.

This is the feast day of the Presentation Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary who have played such an integral part in the history of the Diocese of Sioux Falls. For many decades, they ministered in many of the parish schools of our diocese, as well as our high schools.

Generations of children were formed in the faith by these generous women of the Gospel. Many of the schools they established continue today, building on the legacy of the sisters.

They have also had an oversized part in establishing Catholic healthcare in our diocese. The Presentation Sisters established hospitals in Aberdeen, Mitchell, and Sioux Falls, as well as nursing homes in these cities. Today, all of these institutions continue as a part of Avera.

Today we know that there are few sisters to carry on the mission of total dedication to serving the Lord and His Church. We are grateful for their work. Today is a new time in the life of society and the Church. The same work that was formerly done by vowed religious has passed to the hands of dedicated laypersons. The mission of living the Gospel through works of charity continues.

Next weekend, the Church will celebrate the Solemnity of Jesus Christ King of the Universe, the final Sunday of the liturgical year. This solemnity was established by Pope Pius IX in 1925, a time when the old political order was fast fading, and dictators were arising in various nations. In establishing this feast, the Holy Father wanted to remind us that all earthly power is temporary and should be exercised only in concert with God Who is the true King.

Throughout the Gospels, Jesus reminds us that His Kingdom does not belong to this world. When we accept Jesus as our King, we know that we will live with our feet in two worlds. We are still on earth, but striving for life in the Kingdom of God. On this solemnity, we are invited to lift our eyes above the din of this world and renew our efforts to gain the Kingdom.

Financial Report: As the weeks of fall move ahead, we are glad to see more people in our pews. Last weekend we were grateful to receive $7,793 in the offertory collection, along with the offerings given online. Thank you very much.

A Stewardship Testimonial: "I am so grateful to live in a country where we are united in our best ideals, even as we disagree with particulars."

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