Fr. Terry's Sharing

Bishop Degrood's Coat of Arms

The Seal of the Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls In the seal there are three symbols: flowing water, a cross on a staff and a snake wound around the staff of the cross. The flowing water indicates the Sioux River upon which the Diocese is established and the cathedral city is located. The cross stands for the Catholic Church, which is located on the banks of the Sioux. The snake wound around the staff of the cross indicates the efforts of the Church to counteract evil by bringing the “Good News” of the Gospel to the people of the plains. Taken together the symbolism of the Seal of the Diocese of Sioux Falls is this: “This is the Church in the land of the Sioux by the waters of the Big Sioux River.”

Bishop DeGrood’s Coat of Arms

The Colors Blue symbolizes Mary. It also points to the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” in Minnesota where Bishop DeGrood was born and was ordained a priest. It is also a reminder of the blue color that is used on the seal of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Green symbolizes the Earth, where Christ came down from heaven to save us. Black on the cross reminds us of Jesus’s sacrificial love and that every disciple is called to die to self so they can live for Christ: “The grain that falls to the ground and dies bears much fruit” (John 12:24).

The Symbols represent both the humanity and the divinity of Christ and how that relates to the human and spiritual components of humanity. The carpenter’s square and the sheaf of wheat represent the human aspect of Christ and humanity. The letter M, chalice and stole represent the sanctified elements of divine life that flow from God into humanity through grace.

The Black Cross reflects the central theme of the sacrificial love of God. This was chosen because of the motto, “God is Love,” expressed in 1 John 4:8 and further explained in 1 John 4:10 “In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins.” It is also a reminder that the fullness of life is found when it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me (Gal. 2:19-21), for the Christian journey is always to be about conforming ourselves to Christ crucified (Phil. 3:10). As missionary disciples we are reminded in John 14:13: “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” Every saint, like Mary, St Joseph, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. John of the Cross, St. Theresa of Avila, St. Therese of Lisieux, and St. John Vianney, received the love of God and shared it with God and others in a sacrificial manner, which serve as an inspiration to Bishop DeGrood. These saints and every disciple are called to follow Jesus’s example of sacrificial love through humble service as witnessed by Jesus when he washed his disciples feet before celebrating the last supper: “I have given you an example that you also should do as I have done for you” (John 13:15).

The Sheaf of Wheat is composed of five stalks of wheat. The five heads of wheat are the fruit of the sacrificial marital love (5 sons) that came forth from God and Bishop DeGrood’s parents. Having grown up on a farm near Faribault, Minnesota, and appointed to be the bishop of the largely rural Diocese of Sioux Falls, agricultural imagery is a reflection of his agricultural roots and future ministry. The wheat stem symbolizes St. Thomas Aquinas who, at the end of his life, after having received a vision of Christ on the cross, turned to his Summa Theologica and said, “It is but straw.” This is to be a reminder that all we do in this world is simply straw compared with the amazing love God has for us.

The Chalice and Confessional Stole represent the ministry of St. John Vianney, a farm boy who became the patron saint of parish priests, co-patron of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, St. John Vianney College Seminary and personal patron of Bishop DeGrood. The Chalice is to show the centrality of the Eucharist (sacrifice of the Mass) as the source and summit of the Christian life (CCC 1324). The stole is to display the importance of God’s mercy extended to those in need of healing.

The Carpenter's Square symbolizes St. Joseph as the foster father of Jesus, patron of the Diocese of Sioux Falls, and Bishop DeGrood’s deceased father. It is also a reminder of the importance and dignity of human labor reflected in the many generations of immigrant laborers in the United States. It is a remembrance that Jesus was born into a human family, and that we too are invited into the life of the Holy Family in Nazareth. The carpenter’s square also is a reminder to Bishop DeGrood of his father’s labor of love through prayer, family life, manual labor on the farm, and promoting Christian values. The angle of the carpenter’s square has the meaning of a rafter which holds the roof of the church, having then a meaning of protection. This, coupled with the letter M and the cross is to be a full representation of the Holy Family in Bishop DeGrood’s coat of arms.

The Letter M is a direct tie to the papal coat of arms of Pope St. John Paul II. He was the pope who most influenced the vocation and priestly service of Bishop DeGrood. It is also a reminder of the importance of the motto of Pope St. John Paul II, “Totus Tuus,” (all yours) which reflects the central role Mary had in the life of Pope St. John Paul II, as well as Bishop DeGrood’s severely-disabled uncle Donnie Noy, who inspired Bishop DeGrood to rely upon Mary’s spiritual motherhood. The letter M, along with the carpenter’s square, are simple symbols to display that the life of Nazareth, the life of every Christian, is to be one of great humility, simplicity and love with absolute reliance on God, so we can be like Mary who allowed the ordinary things of life to become extraordinary through God’s grace.

January 5

Fr. Terry’s Sharing...

The signs of the times sometimes demand of us to face the reality of the situation. With the larger number of priests retiring over the next five years and the low number of ordinations, our Diocese is going to have to go through another reorganization on parish levels. Here in Sioux Falls, the parishes that have associates do not have them full time anymore. Both Holy Spirit and Cathedral share them with O’Gorman Junior and Senior High as Chaplains. We will have the Chaplain of Avera living in the rectory. His name is Fr. David Krogman. He will be full time as Chaplain to the hospital, but in exchange for a place to live, he will help us out with our weekend Masses. And, he will occasionally help me to have a day off. Obviously this will affect our parish. On the other hand, the parish is not the priest. In other words, it is all of us…it is our parish. I have every confidence in the staff we have chosen to help coordinate our ministries to meet the needs of our parishioners. But the bottom line is that even with the staff, we would fail if not for all of your involvement. YOU make the parish with the help of God who gave you the heart and talent to care for others. To be family together under God is what we are capable of and it is what we are called to through our Baptism. God will provide us with what we need. Let us renew our commitment to pray for each other and to help each other as the St. Michael family of God.

Fr Terry's Homily for his mom

Funerals are hard for priests. We try to avoid making the person into a saint. And we certainly do not want to spend more time in the homily talking about the person rather than our loving and faithful God. So please understand that when I talk about my mom, I am mentioning how she is made in the image of God like we all are. None of us are perfect, only God is perfect. But I and my family have been blessed to see the glimpses of God in my mom.

I have a deep respect and gratitude for the strong Lutheran faith that was the foundation of my mom’s life. She had parents and family who made room for God to be the center of their lives. To them, I want to express my gratitude and appreciation for the faith they shared with my brothers and sisters. It was an act of love. Having said that my mom struggled going to the Lutheran Church alone while my dad took us children to the Catholic Church. She prayed and wanted our family to be one faith and to worship together in one church. She made the decision to join the Catholic faith on the occasion of my first communion. It was very hard on her, her parents and her sisters. But mom stood by her choice made in sacrificial love. It has led to many times in prayer reflecting on the Sacrificial love of God and especially in the life of Jesus. Mom later in life developed a strong connection with Mary. During times of struggle and of hopelessness, Mary was a comfort and strength to mom. It led her to the rosary group and making rosaries for others.

I choose the first reading because it reflects the total sacrificial gift a wife and mom makes for others. Mom lived this not only in the family but also in her choice and dedication of being a nurse……

Paul tells us in Corinthians that even though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is at peace in the Lord. This reading and how the church looks at Mary teaches us that Everything of God and done by God is Permanent. Nothing is transitory. Mom will always be our mom…..watching us, loving us and wanting the best for us. Because that is what God wants for us.

Gospel tells us where I am there you are ......mom did this physically...nurse

Mom did this in supporting our dreams

Mom did this emotionally around kitchen table

Mom did this spiritually....my experience of mom and dad praying

dad solar heat for their bedroom ( a story shared by Fr Terry)

The sign of cross and daily prayer with mom Mom’s message to us is this: I am not dying from something but rather I am dying into something…eternal life

SILENT NIGHT sing with me

memories shared by family

In her heart and in her soul, my mom was always a nurse. Nursing is a profession focused on the care of individuals and families. The desire to help, comfort, and to heal was always with her. Her family and friends received the benefits of her nursing occupation. When we needed help, comfort, or healing, she was always there.

My mom was known for her cooking. When family members came to visit, she always tried to make their favorite foods. We have a large family, so it continuously amazed me how my mom remembered what everyone liked. When I went through her recipes, I found the secret: She had notes stating, “Terry no onions”, “Stan no caffeine”, “Diane likes meat spread”. Some of our favorite foods included my mom’s port cutlets, gizzards, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, and her pies. My mom made wonderful homemade pies, especially her apple and rhubarb pies. She always wanted to make sure that you had enough to eat, often insisting on seconds, thirds, and sometimes even fourths.

My mom made everyone feel welcome. Her grandchildren felt that they could talk to her about anything and she would listen and understand. She even understood my brother-in-law Les’s sense of humor, although she did often say to him, “Oh, come on now” Her vocabulary was a reflection of her childhood, referring to a couch as a davenport, calling lunch dinner, saying “you are in a pickle”, or calling her grandchildren fuddy duddies, but she was always there for them, concerned and caring.

My mom was a stickler for cleaning. She could clean anything and make it look new. This came in handy for the many garage sales my parents had. If we moved out of an apartment, my mom would come and help us clean [pause]. We always got our full deposit back. She believed in old fashioned cleaning, washing the kitchen floor on her hands and knees, and did not use a dishwasher. I think she enjoyed washing dishes, but I think she enjoyed the conversations we had with her while doing the dishes even more.

My mom could find a way to mend almost anything. Even as adults we would bring our mending back home to Mom. One time, one of her granddaughters was visiting, and was wearing jeans with several rips in them, the latest fashion trend. My mom determined the tears were more than she could mend and offered to buy her a new pair. Her granddaughter tried to explain that it was a fashion trend, but my mom just couldn’t comprehend.

My mom loved growing up on the family farm. She checked on the farm on a regular basis right up until the time she went into memory care. Her love of farming carried over into her love of flowers and gardening. Her tomato plants were amazing and she always had rhubarb growing [pause], which we ate raw with salt. It wasn’t until I was an adult, that I learned others ate their rhubarb with sugar. My mom canned and froze many of the things she grew in her garden. Every fall my mom would clean out her flower beds, saving the marigold seeds and canna bulbs to plant the next spring. She always had a rose bush or two. Her mother loved yellow roses and they became my mom’s favorite flower too.

My mom loved to fish. She fished with a bamboo pole, often catching bullheads at Ethan Lake by the family farm. She once was driving back from fishing with my younger siblings, when the station wagon she was driving was hit by a pickup truck that ran a stop sign. At the emergency room, when my mom went to get her wallet out of her purse, it was a bit slimier that she was expecting, she found a bullhead!

My mom liked to read and do puzzles. There was often a puzzle started on a table in the living room and everyone visiting was encouraged, sometimes strongly encouraged, to help with the puzzle.

My mom was cautious about the money she spent and worried about her children. If you were visiting, she always insisted you take a coupon for a discount on gas before you filled up at M&H. The coupons could be found on the kitchen calendar where you could find notes about a variety of things. My mom was very organized. Sometimes we would say she had notes for her notes.

My mom loved to sing, dance, and play the piano. In memory care, everyone was amazed at how she could kick up her legs and dance. The song “Dancing in the Sky” reflects what I hope my mom is doing now:

I hope you are dancing in the sky

And I hope your singing in the angels choir

And I hope the angels know what they have

I bet it’s so nice up in heaven since you arrived.

We love you mom.