Tag Archive | God

Father Kevin’s Reflection – September 6, 2015 – Happy Labor Day!

Happy-Labor-Day-Animated-GifIn his writings, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, has emphasized the importance of resting from labors so that we can routinely renew ourselves in mind, body and spirit. Up until 40 years ago Sunday was truly a day of rest with most businesses and restaurants being shut down for the day. Those that could not would go as far as trading weeks so family and employees could have every other week off from Sunday work. Sadly, that all changed with the advent of 24-hour stores that don’t distinguish one day from the next…with many employees having to work a Sunday Shift. Not only is this preventing people from attending Church to worship God as He commanded, but it’s also robbing them of the time they need for rest and renewal. Now, don’t get me wrong…sometimes there is no other recourse (and I thank Wal-Mart being open 24 hours when I live in Hoven, SD). I do have a problem when the Catholic Christians who live in Aberdeen and Pierre pile in and on Sundays.

At Christian companies, religious principles can (and should) complement business practices.  Yet, it is interesting how our modern American society is beginning to treat the corporations that voluntarily respect the weekend free tradition as – not only peculiar…but…with suspicion of being social radicals. The business hours sign will read: “closed on Sundays to allow employees time for family and worship.” Chick-fil-A, Hobby Lobby, Mardel Christian Bookstore (not to mention those great Orthodox Jewish deli’s which close on Saturdays, Muslim owned businesses closed on Fridays) are some examples of corporations hearing and authentically living their faith.

So, this weekend we celebrate Labor Day, a day that used to fill the parks and lakes with people taking a special day off of work. But now it’s become nothing more than an opportunity for businesses to get more money by luring the many people who are off of work into their stores for a sale. What began 133 years ago as a day of reward to American Laborers, has become just another day for businesses to bring in the almighty dollar. I hope that you will act to reclaim the Labor Day holiday as it was intended, a day of rest for all in the American workforce. So don’t go anywhere where people have to work! Don’t go to the mall or the movies or to a restaurant or fast food place. Those people should be home resting too! America is blessed with a wonderful labor force…let’s let everyone celebrate with the day (weekend) off! Happy Labor Day!

Praise be Jesus Christ for the 125 Years of the Local Church

BishopSwainby Bishop Paul J. Swain – 8/27/2015

Publisher’s note: Below is the homily I preached during the Holy Mass Commemorating the 125th Anniversary of the Diocese of Sioux Falls celebrated at the Sioux Falls Arena
August 16, 2015.

Praise be Jesus Christ. Now and Forever. Praised be Jesus Christ for the 125 years of the local church of Sioux Falls. Praised be Jesus Christ for your presence today as we pray the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the source and summit of Christian life, of our faith.

As we celebrate this anniversary we do so with the underlying truth that Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever. With that hope-filled and consoling Truth in mind, this past year we have celebrated this anniversary with three purposes: to remember, honor and thank God for those who went before us; to learn of and learn from their history and experiences; and to look to the future with hope.

And so we remember, honor and thank God for your fathers and mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers, great-grandfathers and great-grandmothers, the lay men and women, clergy and consecrated, native and immigrant who with courage and sacrifice built and sustained the Church on the prairie and who bequeathed to us an inspiring Legacy of Faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Over this year we recalled: our roots beginning with our first Bishop Martin Marty in Yankton, consecrated life in Aberdeen, rural life in Woonsocket, Native American life in Marty, Catholic education and formation with nearly 4,000 Catholic school students here in this arena, the erection of the diocese in 1889 by Pope Leo XII and our patron and protector Saint Joseph at the Cathedral, culminating in these last several days of spiritual enrichment. The banners just displayed, lovingly created by so many, identified over 300 parishes, schools and institutions that have existed at one time or another in our diocese over the years. They are icons of the thousands of faithful who loved the Lord, persevered in faith and passed its beauty and its strength on to us. These banners are also reminders that change is ever-with-us and that we need the Church, the sacraments and the Magisterium as the stabilizing presence in the midst of constant change.

To read the whole article, click HERE.