A number of area Catholic parishes would not have regular Masses by 2012, while other parishes would be grouped together and share priests, under a proposed plan for the Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls.
Bishop Paul Swain has released the proposal for the diocese, which covers the eastern half of South Dakota bordered by the Missouri River. The bishop held several meetings last week, including one at St. Benedict Church in Yankton, to explain the demographics and priest shortage facing the diocese.
The proposed pastoral plan has been posted on the diocesan Web site at www.sfcatholic.org.
Under the proposal, the current area parishes without regular liturgies (celebrations of Mass) by 2012 include St. John, Lesterville; St. Mary, Marion; St. Columba, Mayfield; St. Agnes, Sigel; St. Vincent, Springfield; and Holy Rosary, Tripp.
The proposed parish and priest groups by 2012 include the following:
• St. Boniface (Idylwilde), Freeman; St. Christina, Parker; and St. Magdalen, Lennox; with one priest;
• Good Shepherd, Centerville; St. Theresa, Beresford; and St. Patrick, Wakonda; with one priest;
• St. Joseph, Elk Point; University of South Dakota Newman Center (St. Thomas More) and St. Agnes, both of Vermillion; with two priests;
• Blessed Theresa of Calcutta, Dakota Dunes, and St. Peter, Jefferson, with one priest;
• St. Benedict and Sacred Heart, both of Yankton, with three priests;
• St. George, Scotland; St. Wenceslaus, Tabor; and St. Leo, Tyndall; with one priest;
• Sts. Peter and Paul, Dimock, and Sacred Heart, Parkston; with one priest;
• Assumption, Dante; St. Paul, Marty; St. John, Wagner; and St. Paul, Armour; with two priests;
• St. Ann, Geddes; St. Mark, Lake Andes; and St. Peter, Platte, with one priest.
According to Swain, the proposed parish and priest groupings are only a suggested plan. No final decisions have been made, he said.
The upcoming consultation meetings are “to allow review, alternative thoughts and creative alternatives,” he said.
Yankton Press & Dakotan