Our History


(original insert in bulletin 12/24/17)

To wait is to stay in one place and anticipate or expect something. After Bishop Swain’s listening session, we are more eagerly waiting! We are anticipating this incredible journey and the certainty of taking this leap of faith and being established as the newest parish in the Diocese of Sioux Falls-a rarity not just for our Diocese but during this time-period for the country as well. Certainly much of the journey has commenced and it is important to thank all those who have made it possible to get to his place of waiting.

Many people: those who are a part of the community and long worked in dialogue with the Diocese for this establishment. Many who have gone to their rest or have moved to different places who also prayed for a Harrisburg parish. We must acknowledge Bishop Dudley and Bishop Carlson who in various ways discerned and prayed about what God’s will would be. Their patience was also a part of God’s plan. During these years, Fr. Morgan and numerous people worked hard to prepare and plan for this possibility. Those documents and efforts are still with the community. Fr. Cimpl and Fr. Schmidt for undertaking the beginning of a mission Mass from Holy Spirit Parish. Thank you!

Thank you to all the people in these past few years who have stepped up and responded to this amazing opportunity to bring forth the Gospel in the third millennium. Thank you to those who made phone calls, prepared for the visit, and helped make the day a great success.

Finally, thank you Bishop Swain for coming to visit us and listen to our hearts desire and witness the Holy Spirit at work among us. We wait with great anticipation!

A Few Thoughts on Bishop’s Listening Session

  • It was incredible to watch the Holy Spirit work in our community. I saw His presence among us in so many ways, especially those who spoke, the many who attended and also those who desired to but were unable to be present. Thank you!

  • It is NOT a matter of “if” but “when”! This was great to hear Bishop say numerous times!

  • Bishop Swain knows we can’t remain in limbo for too much longer.

  • The variety of speakers was also exceptional and more than anyone could have planned!

  • The topics covered a great variety. I was grateful that the hard discussions about our differences and the discussion about money and financial burdens was brought up. Where human beings are, differences will exist. Where Christians are, we should be able to look at these differences with faith in God who makes us one.

  • I understand the “if we build it, they will come” statement. However, I would like to stress “WE”! This is a risk that WE take and the financial and communal responsibility to ensure we are capable of building according to our current and future needs, will be ours. Of course faith will require some kind of leap!

  • In order to build, the Diocese requires that 50% of the needed funds are possessed in cash and the remaining must have a good plan for how it will be collected. It is a dynamic of faith to take a leap and the Diocese wants to make sure the risk isn’t too overwhelming for us.

  • It is possible to build in phases and stages, which is a very likely route. Those details will come with lots of consultation among us and with the Diocese.

  • I take seriously what was said about the rapid growth and need to find land soon. Be assured this is the first item out of the chute and something that has been passed on to us from previous work before my arrival and sort of always been on-going.

  • Finally, it was a joy to hear of faith so frequently! You are a people of faith and in faith we wait for the establishment of a parish and a patron Saint to unite us.

Who Pays for This Future Church?

During a recent Mass, a man was detailing for me how the Germans built certain parish churches in our Diocese and how incredibly beautiful they are even today. We will be the same, while we are now a people from many ethnicities, we will "raise" the structures and find the land we desire for the sake of living and growing in faith. The Diocese helps by purchasing land in anticipation of a campaign. We then buy the land from them once we begin the process of building.

*Our dowry of $250,000 from Holy Spirit Parish ensures we are not going in debt. I am pleased with our steady climb to financial stability and excited to have reached our first week of solvency on December 17th, 2017! It would be desirable over the next 6-12 months to increase above our needs and pay back the dowry as a way to keep that contribution for the beginning of a campaign.