St. Michael's was established in July 1979 by Father James Michael Doyle. The Bishop of Sioux Falls Catholic Diocese at that time was Bishop Paul Dudley. The name St. Michael was chosen because 1979 marked the centennial year of Catholicism in the city; 100 years since the first St. Michael Catholic church was dedicated in Sioux Falls. The first St. Michael church burned in 1881, and a new pro-Cathedral of St. Michael was dedicated in 1882, which lasted until 1915 when it was replaced with St. Joseph Cathedral on the same site.
From 1979-1981, parish business was conducted and daily Mass celebrated at the pastor's residence, and Sunday Masses were celebrated at O'Gorman High School and Peace Lutheran Church. In 1981, ground was broken for the new Parish Center. Mass was first celebrated in the new building on Christmas Eve. In March of 1982 the center was officially dedicated.
Founding Pastor Msgr James Doyle 1979-1989
Fr. Michael Wensing, Pastor 1989-1999
Fr. Joseph Vogel, Pastor 1999-2004
Fr. Charles Cimpl, Pastor 2004-2015
Fr. Terry Weber 2015 – Current
Mosaic meanings and history…
- The first mosaic by our Baptistry was donated from the estate of Jean Ann Hentges. Jean Ann was an instructor and hair stylist for many years. She loved bright colors. Jean Ann also assisted with the process in which people join the Catholic Church. Therefore, the mosaic in her honor is very colorful and represents her passion for assisting others in their faith journey. The yellow is symbolic of the fire and the Easter Candle. The primary symbol in the Church for the light of Christ. This candle is lit at the Easter Vigil, a ceremony and Mass that Jean Ann loved. The blue colors are symbolic of water, the primary sacred symbol of baptism. The splashing of other colors are reminiscent of the way the wind of the Holy Spirit blows around the earth turning chaos into order. Many of the colors used in the mosaic were the favorite colors of Jean Ann.
- The second mosaic in front of the altar is an image of St. Michael, patron of our parish and defender of the faith. This spot is where caskets are placed during a funeral liturgy. The wings of the St. Michael become a metaphor for one’s journey and faith in the resurrection. The predominant red color in this mosaic draws in the beautiful Rose Window that was put in at the beginning of our parish. The reds also compliment the stained glass windows in the front of our church–the “Dance of the Holy Spirit.”
- The third mosaic placed at the base of the altar display iconography associated with the Eucharist. This sacred spot marks the place where couples stand in front of each other to recite their marriage vows. Breath, wind, fire, and water are all elements of the sacraments. Their movement, energy, and color suggest a living presence, yet remain theologically accurate, precisely reflective of the Vatican II exhortation.
- The mosaic pieces were so designed that each time you look at them something different may stand out in what you see and in what feelings it provokes in you. The symbols and figures within the mosaics are ambiguous enough to appear fresh and new each time you look at them.
Good news!! The Saint Michael’s mosaics have won a 2015 Faith & Form Award in Liturgical Art in the Annual Religious Art and Architecture Design Awards program co-sponsored by Faith & Form Magazine and the Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art and Architecture (IFRAA), a Knowledge Community of the American Institute of Architects. These awards are international in scope. The actual award will be given in Philadelphia next May at the annual AIA conference.