Saturday, October 27, 2007

Bishop Swain's Year in Review in Sioux Falls


Year In Review
South Dakota Roman Catholic Bishop Paul Swain celebrated his first anniversary on Friday at St. Joseph Cathedral. Swain was installed one year ago as the 8th bishop to be based in Sioux Falls. So what has he accomplished in the past year?

One year ago, Bishop Swain dedicated his first months to learning and listening to the South Dakota Catholic community. And those who follow him say he's lived up to his promise and more.

"It's been wonderful. He's a very gracious and humble man," said Julie Kolda, a Catholic Church member.

A year ago, the South Dakota Catholic community welcomed a bishop they knew very little about. But in a short time, they have come to appreciate everything Bishop Paul Swain has done and continues to do.

"He's helping us build our new church. He's our Sheppard building the new church west of town. His love of youth and his love of prayers," said Kolda.

Over the past year, Bishop Swain has traveled across South Dakota learning and listening to the Catholic community.

"And that goal has really been accomplished. He's gotten a good sense of who the people in the church and the prairie are and the diocese of Sioux Falls," said Father Justin Wachs, Bishop Swain's secretary.

And while he's happy with what he's accomplished, the responsibility came as some what of a surprise.

"It's been different from what I expected. I knew it would be difficult because I've worked for bishops, I've been around them, I see the types of issues that come their way. But it's also a blessed opportunity," said Bishop Paul Swain.

But today wasn't only about the past, it was a look to the future. And a large part of the bishop's vision includes the renovation of St Joseph's Cathedral.

"So we'll be dealing with those structure things, but also restoring it to the extent we can," said Bishop Swain.

All for a community he's come to call home.

Bishop Swain isn't the only one that has grown to appreciate Sioux Falls. His mother, who currently lives in Kansas, has also decided to move here after falling in love with the city. Bishop Swain traveled to over 80 parishes and over 50,000 miles during in his first year to learn more about South Dakota.

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