South Dakota priest named bishop of Cheyenne

Bishop-elect Steven Biegler. Photo courtesy of the USCCB

Pope Francis appointed Father Steven Biegler, a priest of the Diocese of Rapid City, SD, as bishop of Cheyenne. He replaces Archbishop Paul Etienne, who was appointed Archbishop of Anchorage in late 2016.

Bishop-elect Biegler, 57, a South Dakota native was ordained in 1993. He attended the School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City before earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona, Minnesota. He also holds a Bachelor’s of Sacred Theology degree (S.T.B.) from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and a licentiate of sacred theology (S.T. L., Scripture) from the Pontifical University

He has served in a wide variety of pastoral and administrative assignments and is currently vicar general. He was diocesan administrator in 2010-2011.

His episcopal ordination is scheduled for June 5.

For the USCCB Press Release, click here.

For the Catholic News Agency (March 16, 2017) report, click here.

For a report from Rocco Palmo’s (March 16, 2017) blog, click here.

Update on the Catholic Second Wind Guild

Father Ron Knott, a priest of the Archdiocese of Louisville and founder of the Catholic Second Wind Guild, a ministry to help bishops and priests in the Caribbean islands of the Grenadines and Barbados, is looking for priests who would consider a “mission vacation” in the Caribbean.

We wrote about the Catholic Second Wind Guild in NFPC This Week, #675 – 8/28-9/3/2016 [].

To find out more about a “mission vacation,” click here for a PDF.  Or contact Fr. Ron at (502) 303-4571. E-mail: [email protected]

Father Stanley Rother to be beatified in September

Fr. Stanley Rother. Illustration courtesy of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City

The Catholic News Service (March 13, 2017) reported that Father Stanley Rother, a priest of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, who was gunned down in his rectory by assassins in Guatemala in April 1981 will be beatified on Sept. 23.

In an interview published March 13 by The Oklahoman daily newspaper, Archbishop Coakley said Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, will be representing the pope at the beatification ceremony in Oklahoma City. It will take the priest one step closer to sainthood. In general, following beatification, a miracle attributed to the intercession of the person being considered for sainthood is required for that person to be declared a saint.

The Vatican congregation recognized Father Rother’s martyrdom last December. [See NFPC This Week, #688 – 11/27-12/3/2016]

A 2015 biography of Fr. Rother, published by Our Sunday Visitor Publishing described the life and ministry of the Okarche, OK priest. The book written by Maria Ruiz Scaperlanda, is titled “The Shepherd Who Didn’t Run: Fr. Stanley Rother, Martyr from Oklahoma.”   

For the CNS report, click here.

For the NFPC This Week annotated review of Fr. Rother’s biography, click here.

Employers “commit grave sin” if workers transferred or dismissed due to shady business deals: Pope Francis

Near the end of Pope Francis’ Wednesday general audience on March 15, he mentioned that businesses that close down factories and dismiss or transfer employees due to “unclear economic maneuvers or negotiations … commit a very grave sin.”

The pope was referring to the Italian television company, Sky Italia, hoping that “their employment situation may find a rapid solution, respecting the rights of all, especially families.”

According to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Sky Italia claimed the move was due to rising costs and an outdated digital infrastructure in Rome. Local workers’ unions have criticized the company’s decision that will force 300 workers to transfer from the capital while an estimated 200 employees will be left without a job.

For a transcript of the pope’s Wednesday general audience courtesy of Zenit News Agency (March 15, 2017), click here.

For the Catholic News Service (March 15, 2017) report, click here.

A report on the John S. Marten Program in Homiletics and Liturgies

Crux News (March 11, 2017) reports on the Marten Program in Homiletics and Liturgies at the University of Notre Dame. The program is sponsoring its biennial preaching conference at the Notre Dame campus July 24-26.

For the Crux report, click here.

For more on the Preaching Academy, click here.

16th Annual Acculturation Seminar for International Priests, June 19-23

The 16th Annual Acculturation Seminar for International Priests will take place from June 19-23 at the Queens Campus of St. John’s University in Queens, NY.

For more information contact, Vincentian Center for Church and Society, St. John’s University, 8000 Utopia Pkwy., Queens, NY 11439. Tel: (718) 990-1612. Fax: (718) 990-1901. E-mail: [email protected]. To go directly to the web site, click here.

Station to Station: An Ignatian Journey through the Stations of the Cross

Station to Station: An Ignatian Journey through the Stations of the Cross, by Gary Jansen is a different kind of Station of the Cross book than one might expect. As Jansen writes in the Author’s Note, this 147-page volume, “focuses exclusively on events that are found in the Bible.” He goes on to note, “Encounters such as Jesus meeting his mother or meeting Veronica, who wipes his face along his way to Calvary, while traditionally rich in imagery and feeling, do not actually appear in the Bible. The focus here is on Scripture, because reading the Word of God, the Bible, brings us even closer to the Word of God, Jesus.” The book is divided into two parts: Part 1 – Why This Journey? And Part 2 – Now We Go, with Jesus. Available for $9.95 from Loyola Press, 3441 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago, IL 60657. Tel: (800) 621-1008. Fax: (773) 281-0555. E-mail: [email protected]. Web site:

Busy Lives & Restless Souls: How Prayer Can Help You Find the Missing Peace in Your Life

In Busy Lives & Restless Souls: How Prayer Can Help You Find the Missing Peace in Your Life, Becky Eldredge examines how the spirituality of St. Ignatius can help and show readers “… how to find God in our most mundane minutes and amid our most difficult questions. He can help name the restlessness in our lives. He can show us how to find God right where we are.” The 10 chapters include the following titles:

– Acknowledging the Restlessness

– Creating Space

– Beginning of a New Identity

– Living Awake

– Awakening to God’s Love

– Re-situate Your Life

– Prayer within the Reality of Life

– Through the Tough Spots

– Sent Forth

– Embracing the Railways

This volume helps make Ignatian spirituality accessible. An excellent primer for the Spiritual Exercises. Available for $13.95 from Loyola Press, 3441 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago, IL 60657. Tel: (800) 621-1008. Fax: (773) 281-0555. E-mail: [email protected]. Web site:

The First Easter Bunny Is Here Again

The First Easter Bunny is a charming narrative aimed at a youthful audience.  It deals with the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus—as seen through the eyes of a little rabbit.  In the story, the bunny is the first creature to see the resurrected Jesus, and so is bestowed with the honor of bringing sweet treats to children every year at Easter to celebrate and emphasize the actual meaning of the Easter event.

With Easter approaching, parents, grandparents, clergypersons and religious educators search for a tool to teach children the truth about this feast day. Father Richard Lewandowski, Sacramental Minister at St. Richard Parish, Sterling, MA, first published his story, The First Easter Bunny, in 1999. Illustrations by Anne Schaper Englot. The paperback edition has been reprinted, and is being distributed through Amazon. Also available at many bookstores.  Available for $7.50 plus S & H. For more information, click here.

Council Notes from Monterey (January 2017)

Bishop Garcia reported the death of Bishop Jose J. Madera, M.Sp.S., Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, on Jan. 21.

– The Latin Mass Community was discussed

– Human Resources for Priests and Mandated Reporter Training for Priests is being planned for the near future.

– The new Director of the Diaconate introduced himself to members.

– An extensive discussion took place on the topic of the Sanctuary Movement. Members expressed a variety of ways in which the diocese and parishes can assist without breaking the law. Catholic Charities would also be involved in helping immigrants at risk.

– The diocesan Parish Relationship Manager for Catholic Funeral & Cemetery Services is doing outreach to parishes on the new Catholic cremation guidelines (Ad resurgendum cum Christo – “To Rise with Christ”).

– The Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) requested to bring their program to the diocese. Minutes note the diocese would benefit from establishing a Department of Campus Ministry. Also would inquire if the CCC has a statewide vision for campus ministry.

– The Chrism Mass is scheduled for April 10.

– The Diocesan History Book has been delivered to most parishes.

– The Solar Energy initiative is on track. Bishop Garcia participated in a press conference on Jan. 20, to announce the rollout.

– Bishop Garcia appointed the vicar general to help with upcoming Confirmations.

– Minutes note the diocese has 19 seminarians in various phases of formation. 7 are in their Pastoral Year. 4 are scheduled to be ordained to the diaconate in May and 4 to be ordained to the priesthood in June.

–  The recently retired director of Pastoral Planning for the Diocese of San Bernardino will speak to a joint meeting of the Pastoral and Presbyteral Councils in March. The goal is to do training of personnel in models of Pastoral Planning. A suggestion was made that the diocese form an office of planning.

–  Minutes note the director of the Diaconate Office will be directing Lay Leadership in the diocese.

– The Intentional Presbyterate process was discussed.

– The Synod for Young People to take place in 2018 per a handout form the USCCB

– National marriage Week observed Feb.7-14.

– The Design Meeting with an organization specialist from the Taos Institute and vicars is scheduled for March.

– Minutes note the diocese will sponsor a Catechetical Conference this year.

– The diocese’s Golden Jubilee Mass is scheduled for Dec. 17, 2017.