Recent News

Recent news and musings by the Catholic Center


Homily Sunday March 24, 2019

Posted by on Mar 26, 2019 at 7:11 pm

This Lent, don’t take the Grace of God or His call to you for granted. Treasure and cultivate His encounters with you and keep them a regular part of your life.


Using the readings from the 3rd Sunday of Lent.

This homily recorded at the 6:30p Mass at Pius XII Catholic Newman Center, 3/24/2019.




Homily from 8/26/2018

Posted by on Aug 26, 2018 at 7:30 pm

In the light of troubling news and troubling accusations within the Body of Christ, the Church, what shall we do? We must not forget that Jesus purifies his Church. In Ephesians 5 we hear about how He purifies Her with Water and the Word. Our Lord is still purifying His Church. What shall we do? Who will listen to us?

The One who hears is the same One who has counted every hair on our heads. We will be troubled, but we must not loose faith.

Also, if you have been hurt by anyone in any way, whether by Church, by school or by family, that hurts needs to carefully be brought to the light of day. You deserve justice. How can I help you bring your hurt to the light of Christ and to justice?

And, a little comfort from St. John of the Cross:
“Fire, when applied to wood, first dehumidifies it, dispelling all moisture and making it give off any water it contains. Then it gradually turns the wood black, makes it dark and ugly, and even causes it to emit a bad odor. By drying out the wood, the fire brings to light and expels all those ugly and dark accidents that are contrary to fire. Finally, by heating and enkindling it from without, the fire transforms the wood into itself and makes it as beautiful as it is itself.” St. John of the Cross”


Readings taken from the 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time.



Job Opening for Secretary/Bookkeeper

Posted by on Apr 7, 2018 at 7:31 pm
  • Secretary/Bookkeeper position at Pius XII Catholic Newman Center.

    Pius XII Catholic Newman Center invites applications for the position of Secretary and Bookkeeper. The successful candidate will possess skills in data management, bookkeeping, organization, scheduling, and word processing. They will also have a friendly disposition for first contact with students, parents, and alumni, whether on the phone or walking in the door. This full time position includes benefits. Interested applicants can send a cover letter and resume to Fr. Andrew Dickinson at 1321 8th St., Brookings, SD 57006 or by email, frandrewdickinson [at]



New Hire at Pius XII Newman Center

Posted by on Oct 10, 2017 at 3:01 pm
Pius XII Newman Center is pleased to announce the creation of an Alumni Relations Director. Julie Lambert, of Madison, SD, begins this new chapter in the Catholic mission to SDSU.
Julie is a wife and mother with many years experience in sales, journalism, and business. She comes to this position with a desire to put her gifts and talents at the service of the Catholic Church. Having sent four children through college, including two Jackrabbits, she is sensitive to the need to provide dynamic and powerful campus ministry.
The Alumni Relations Director that Julie fills was created to empower our Catholic Jacks alumni to develop our Newman Center ministry. We know what motivated alumni can do for a university, but we’ve never harnessed our alumni in this way. Through Julie’s work of motivating and engaging our alumni, Pius XII Newman Center will be able to better fulfill its mission to bring the Catholic faith to SDSU.
If you’d like to visit with Julie, contact her by phone: 605-270-9877 or email: CatholicJacksAlumni [at]



Holy Thursday 2017 Homily

Posted by on Apr 17, 2017 at 5:31 pm

Homily for the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper.

What is the meaning of Jesus’ washing of the disciples feet? How can understanding the feet washing in light of the Old Testament give us greater confidence in the Holy Eucharist?



All Saints Day Homily

Posted by on Nov 3, 2016 at 5:27 pm

The true answer to our problems will only be found in sanctity and holiness. Come Lord Jesus in your power to transform our lives from weakness and failure by your grace!



This homily uses the readings for All Saints Day.



Midnight Mass Homily

Posted by on Dec 25, 2014 at 6:20 pm

Homily from Midnight Mass readings.



Experience Christmas by imitating the Blessed Mother who adores and contemplates in the freedom of poverty.



Good Friday 2014

Posted by on Apr 23, 2014 at 8:09 pm

A short homily from the Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion.



I was speaking with a priest from Minnesota one week ago, the Friday before Palm Sunday. He spoke of the rise of sin in the world. He spoke of how people now call morally evil acts to be good. He spoke of how people speak against morally good actions. In fear for the salvation of his flock he even wondered when God when answer with judgment.

Many people speak about God judging the world. Back in 2006 and the natural disaster of Hurricane Katrina, some people even spoke that God had issued judgment on New Orleans. Hogwash.

In the Cross of Christ we see God’s judgment on the world. The world is sinful but the world is worth saving. The sinful world is worth saving through the death of Jesus. The sinful world is worth saving through the sufferings of the body of Christ. How will God give new judgment today? In the sufferings of the Body.

We are the Body of Christ. If our world grows more sinful. If our culture grows more sinful, we can expect the Body to suffer. But that is not the end.



Christmas and an End to Poverty?

Posted by on Dec 28, 2013 at 8:52 am

Merry Christmas!

Yesterday was the Feast of St. John the Apostle. One of the twelve Apostles and one of the four Evangelists (Gospel Writers). In our readings for yesterday’s feast, we heard from his 1st letter and his encounter with Jesus, the invisible Word of God made visible. It brings to mind the emphasis on the spiritual meaning of Christmas.

I am visiting my mother and as I drive around my hometown I see almost a dozen pay-day loan places. That is almost 1/1000 people. This is a sure sign of practical poverty. My mother heard a radio ad promoting a $100 loan at only $0.99 per day. If you took a year to pay off that loan, you’d pay $361.35 to have a $100 today. That is 361.5%! This is NO help to poverty.

How can we help the poor? In this brief note, I don’t want to talk about direct assistance. I want to talk about larger issues. Strategy as opposed to tactics, if you get my drift?

Many people focus on economic systems, tax philosophies, and more. These are good discussions to be had but they are incomplete. Whatever efforts are made in those areas they will be doomed to fail- even decades later. Instead, two things must change if we are to have a real effect on poverty. A conversion of culture and a conversion of souls.


Conversion of culture would effect our view of happiness. I imagine that many pay-day or title loan customers are those who “can’t make ends meet.” What are those ends? It is easy to envision such individuals and households enslaving themselves to such loans for the sake of material possessions beyond what is needed to live. Our culture places happiness in the achieving o

Conversion of culture also includes making time for the best of things. Pursuing the qualities of life that are freeing, the spiritual goods: freedom, love, wisdom, justice, courage, and more. Our cultural focus and obsession on the material blinds us to the pursuit of these greater goods. Unless we equip individuals to be the master of possessions and not mastered by them, we will never end poverty. Being mastered by possessions is called materialism. Much more should be said on this.

Conversion of souls is also necessary for an end to poverty. Most of the exterior solutions: economics, tax policies, and more are superficial changes. Man’s heart has always been the seat of his decisions. You might systemize charity but men will always find loopholes if they have not become charitable. Is our culture aimed at creating people with the habit of charity? Generosity?


Conversion of souls also entails how we look at others. Materialism in our culture today leads us to look at an individual solely as a source of material gain or a drain on material supplies. This is an inhuman and inhumane vision. This leads to business owners fearing to share profit margins with employees. This same materialism simultaneously leads to employees begrudging their employers and viewing them has a hindrance or oppressor, rather than a compatriot.

Much more should be said on these points but we do need to refocus our discussion on poverty away from material sources and towards the spiritual/immaterial causes of enduring poverty.



The harmony of Truth and Love

Posted by on Apr 16, 2013 at 5:44 pm

Today, April 16th, is the 86th birthday of our Pope Emeritus, Benedict. I love Pope Benedict, Joseph Ratzinger. I love his Christian imagination, his heart of prayer, and his gift for teaching. Pope Benedict saved my vocation to the priesthood.

Somewhat. When I was in seminary it was during the pontificat of Blessed John Paul II. Most all of my brothers LOVED JP2 and raved about his writings: the Theology of the Body, Love and Responsibility, Veritatis Splendor, and more. I couldn’t read JP2. I enjoyed what he said, I just hated reading of it. I’m intellectually lazy in some ways.

That always bummed me out and it was a small question in my heart. “Am I NOT supposed to be a priest because I don’t love JP2’s writing?” Then I was assigned to read Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. His writing amazed me. His writing spoke directly and simply to my heart. I had finally found a “Catholic celebrity” to read! All the more exciting then was his elevation to the papacy in 2005, just over a month before I was to be ordained a deacon. What a gift!

Today I want to share a favorite passage of his writings, one of the ones that made me fall in love with theology and see how good writing and teaching can lead hearts- my own included- closer to Jesus. You might find it inaccessible and hard to understand. Don’t worry, this is not a test of your Catholicity but a sharing in the riches God has provided for me. Keep reading good Catholic theologians, though, and you’ll find your own “Catholic celebrity.”

“If an individual is to accept himself, someone must say to him: “It is good that you exist”-must say it, not with words, but with that act of the entire being that we call love. For it is the way of love to will the other’s existence and, at the same time, to bring that existence forth again.

We now come to the all-important question: Is it true, then, when someone says to me: “It is good that you exist”? Is it really good? Is it not possible that that person’s love, which wills my existence, is just a tragic error? If the love that give me courage to exist is not based on truth, then I must, in the end, come to curse the love that deceives me, that maintains in existence something that were better destroyed…

It raises the question of truth: Is it good that I exist? Is it good that anything at all exists? Is the world good? How many persons today would dare to affirm this question from the heart- to believe that it is good that they exist? That is the source of the anxiety and despair that incessantly affects mankind. Love alone is of no avail. It serves no purpose if truth is not on its side. One when truth and love are in harmony can man know joy. For it is truth that makes man free.

The content of the Christian evangelium [Greek word meaning good news, where we get the word Gospel] reads: God finds man so important that he himself has suffered for man. The Cross, which was for Nietzsche the most detestable expression of the negative character of the Christian religion, is in truth the center of the evangelium, the glad tidings: “It is good that you exist.”- no, “It is necessary that you exist.” The Cross is the approbation [formal approval] of our existence, not in words, but in an act so completely radical that it caused God to become flesh and pierced this flesh to the quick; that, to God, it was worth the death of his incarnate Son. One who is so loved that the other identifies his life with this love and no longer desires to live if he is deprived of it; one who is loved even unto death- such a one knows that he is truly loved. But if God so loves us, then we are loved in truth. Then love is truth, and truth is love. Then life is worth living. This is the evangelium [good news]… Christianity is, by its very nature, joy- the ability to be joyful.”

From “Principles of Catholic Theology.” page 80-81.


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