Introducing Fr. Darin Michael Schmidt, your New Pastor…
To start, I am the youngest of nine kids (seven boys and two girls) born to Arlynn and Dorothy Schmidt. We all grew up in Elk Point, an hour south of Sioux Falls, and belonged to St. Joseph Catholic Church. My own life as a Catholic and my vocation to the priesthood grew steadily over time. I attended Elk Point-Jefferson Public Schools. There, a close Protestant friend really challenged me to live out my faith not just on Sundays, but to allow it to affect everything I did. His questionings of Catholic teachings and practice were also occasions for me to really understand the reasons behind them and, in a certain sense, to take personal ownership of my Catholic faith. It was no longer just something handed on to me by my parents, but I had a sense of discovering the faith for myself, or of being found by God, as I encountered more deeply the Truth and Person of Jesus Christ, the Truth who sets us free.
For many who are considering a call to the priesthood, as I was even then, the question of celibacy and remaining unmarried can be a big factor. Different times when I would date, though, I think I always had a sense that I would be limiting what God wanted to do with me. He had made me for more than to love just one woman or one family, as wonderful as that would be. So, just after graduating high school, I attended St. John Vianney College Seminary for four years, studying philosophy at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. Afterwards, for another four years, I had the great privilege of studying theology and then specializing in spiritual theology in Rome, Italy, living at the Pontifical North American College and attending classes at the Angelicum University. My time at the heart of the Catholic Church in Rome was a tremendous experience of the Church spread throughout the world. In October of 2014, I was ordained as a transitional deacon in St. Peter’s Basilica with the rest of my class in Rome.
On June 26, 2015—by God’s providence, the 27th anniversary of my Baptism—I was ordained to the priesthood at the Cathedral in Sioux Falls with Fr. Grant Lacey. My first assignment was two years as Parochial Vicar of Holy Spirit Parish in the southeast part of Sioux Falls. My second assignment for the past two years was serving as a Parochial Vicar at the Cathedral of St. Joseph and as the Diocesan Master of Ceremonies, often on the road for Confirmations. My previous assignments were both grace-filled and challenging, but it’s great to be away from the big city for a change. I feel privileged to serve as your pastor, and I will be looking for your assistance as we work together in our common mission, to spread the love of Christ and the truth of the Gospel to your homes, your friends, your workplaces, and to everyone we meet.