Bishop Nickless




Bishop Nickless Schedule

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Bishop Nickless’ homilies

God works powerfully to call us back to his ways

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

May the blessings and joys of the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ renew in your hearts and homes a living and holy faith, hope, and love! Merry Christmas!

The mystery of Christmas, that is, the mystery of the Incarnation, is one of the pillars of our Catholic faith. God the Son, the second person of the Trinity, being totally and eternally God and uncreated, “remaining what he was became what he was not,” adding to his divine nature every aspect of our finite and created human nature except sin, taking flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary, and now appearing to the whole world as the infant adored in the manger by both shepherds and kings. He did this for no other reason than his love for us, so that he might open the gates of heaven to our eternal salvation by his life, death, passion and resurrection.

Christ hid the infinite power of his divinity in the weakness of a helpless baby. It would be easy, perhaps, for us to submit to the rule of a king who was obviously more than human, and to obey his laws and commandments out of fear. But God’s plan for our salvation is more generous than that. He accepts the greater burden on himself, in order to teach us to love, and to obey and follow him more out of love than out of fear.

Christ was born in a hidden way, too, in Bethlehem, a tiny village in a backwater province of the sprawling, mighty Roman empire. In our pride and sinfulness, we too often imagine that God’s ways ought to accord with our human ways. We expect great things to happen in great places – and we calculate “greatness” only in human and worldly terms.

Christ’s birth reminds us that Rome (or Washington D.C. or Des Moines) is not closer to God because of its power. Nor is Bethlehem (or Larchwood, or Madrid) far from God for being overlooked by human kings. God works most powerfully where and when we least expect it, to call us back to his way.

Over and over again in the Bible and in the lives of the saints, we see God working with the poor and the little ones, to rebuke the worldly and powerful. When the angels proclaimed the birth of the Messiah to the shepherds, in their simplicity and poverty they heard with joy, and believed with living faith, and ran to worship the infant king. Yet the magi were not poor or weak, but wealthy and well-educated, and they too recognized the signs and came to adore the Messiah.

Jesus, who, without necessity or compulsion, did become a little child, taught us, “Unless you turn and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 18:3). Here, too, he wants us to have faith like the shepherds, hearts open and receptive to his word; and faith like the magi, holding the things of this world lightly, clinging only to him.

The mystery of Christ’s birth invites us again to renew our faith, and our hope and charity. In his holy birth in the stable in Bethlehem, he took on all our weakness and littleness, so that we might come to share his priestly and royal majesty in heaven. Let Christ once more reign in your heart. Merry Christmas!

Your brother in Christ,

Most Reverend R. Walker Nickless
Bishop of Sioux City

December 20, 2018: God works powerfully to call us back to him

December 6, 2018: Preparing our hearts for Jesus

November 15, 2018: Bishop reflects on listening session

November 15, 2018: Holy Trinity households receive letter 

November 1, 2018: Christ opens the gates of heaven for us

October 18, 2018: Take time to explore spiritual health

October 4, 2018: ‘Reparation’ rooted in understanding of God

September 20, 2018: In response to current abuse crisis, listening sessions to be held at 3 sites

September 6, 2018: Much to think and pray about 

August 23, 2018: Bishop responds to abuse news, calls for prayer and fasting Sept. 7

 August 9, 2018: Speak the truth in love

July 12, 2018: Humanae Vitae teaches on human sexuality

June 28, 2018: Two moral aspects of immigration issues: asylum requests and family separation 

June 14, 2018: Sacred Heart devotion reminds us of fundamental aspects of faith

May 24, 2018: Season of ordinations, graduations 

May 10, 2018:  May is the month to honor Mary

 April 19, 2018: God calls all people to holiness

March 22, 2018: Christ chose cross, so must we 

March 8, 2018: Turn to Christ to receive light

February 22, 2018: Christians must face moral evils

February 8, 2018: Journey of Lent leads to sacrificial love

February 8, 2018: Bishop asks for prayers, support of WYD pilgrimage

January 25, 2018: Bishop gives thanks to all who support Catholic schools

January 11, 2018: Listen to quiet voice of God 

December 21, 2017: Christmas should shine brightly in us, through us 

December 7, 2017: May Advent joy grow in our hearts

November 16, 2017: Be filled with gratitude this Thanksgiving

November 2, 2017: God must save us through his plan

October 19, 2017: Catechism express true church teachings

October 5, 2017: Be not afraid: Light shall overcome the darkness

September 21, 2017: Prayer humbles one’s pride

September 7, 2017: Catechizing children: Pass on a vibrant and meaningful faith

August 10, 2017: Fatima message emphasizes God’s love

July 27, 2017: Strive to love more perfectly

July 13, 2017: Called to be disciples of Jesus and lead others to follow him

June 29, 2017: Centering faith on Christ, called to be bold for him

June 1, 2017: Planned Parenthood closings illustrate a victory of prayer

May 18, 2017: Holy Spirit lives within each of us

May 4, 2017: Praise, thanks to God for all his gifts

April 20, 2017: Joy of Easter at heart of Gospel

 April 6, 2017: Easter’s joy awaits us

March 23, 2017: Lent calls faithful to greater discipline, renewal of sacrifice

March 9, 2017: Confession important opportunity of Lent

March 9, 2017: Give generously to Catholic Relief Services Collection

March 9, 2017: Bishop commutes Lenten obligation for March 17 

February 23, 2017: Lent is a time to pause, turn to God

February 9, 2017: Valuing the covenant of marriage 

February 9, 2017: Bishop releases immigration statement

January 26: 2017: Catholic Schools: Instruments to spread Gospel, do Lord’s work

January 12, 2017: Forming best plan to journey forward

December 22, 2016: Catholic Charities offers support, guidance

December 22, 2016: Welcome Christ into your hearts with joy and love

December 8, 2016: Faith, hope and love: Celebrate Christmas for the right reasons 

November 17, 2016: Pledged to be true servants of Christ

October 20, 2016: Rely on God’s mercy to avoid devilish influences

October 6, 2016: Worldly culture committed to lies cannot bring about peace, justice

September 22, 2016: Pastoral planning committee reviews, evaluates feedback

August 25, 2016: Spending deliberate time in prayer enhances other areas of our lives

August 11, 2016: Prayers for youth, adults as they prepare to go back to school

July 28, 2016: Voters must be Catholic first

July 14, 2016: Ordination offers opportunity to evaluate diocesan needs

June 20, 2016: Seeking the face of Christ in suffering 

June 16, 2016: Keep the faith this summer

May 19, 2016: Be aware of God’s presence

May 5, 2016: Pastoral care for families: God’s plan for marriage, family taught by Jesus Christ

April 21, 2016: Papal document affirms marriage

April 7, 2016: Pray, discern God’s will during pastoral planning process

March 24, 2016: Find joy in exultation of Jesus

March 10, 2016: No longer time to coast, Lent brings time for conversion

February 11, 2016: Trusting in Lord’s mercy, seek a deeper conversion of heart

January 28, 2016: Being a good disciple is giving a consistent witness to Christ

January 14, 2016: Pray, work more willingly for end to scourge of abortion

December 17, 2015: Jubilee Year of Mercy:  Birth of Christ opens door of mercy

December 3, 2015: Diocese of Sioux City promulgates safe environment program

November 19, 2015: SPOTLIGHT: Movie reminds us to be vigilant

November 5, 2015: GOD’S MERCY: Moving sinners to conversion 

October 15, 2015: Family life: Faithful families know hope and joy

October 1, 2015: Pope’s visit a joyful one

September 17, 2015: Pray for safe travels, success of family meeting and for pope

September 3, 2015: Families contribute to student faith, school success

August 6, 2015: Caring for the most vulnerable

July 23, 2015: Build laws on good laws and truth

July 9, 2015: SUPREME COURT DECISION: Rejecting four marks of natural marriage 

June 25, 2015: POPE’S ENCYCLICAL: Boldly confronts us about creation, bishop says

June 11, 2015: Being a disciple of Christ

May 14, 2015: United with Christ in this life

April 30, 2015: Prayers sought as priest changed implemented

April 16, 2015: Mercy asks to seek opportunities for forgiveness and healing of sin

April 2, 2015: Seeking full, perfect union with Jesus

March 19, 2015: Turning back to the Lord during Lent 

March 5, 2015: Celebrating the charisms of professed vocations

March 5, 2015: Diocese to take up collection for Catholic Relief Services

Feb. 19, 2015: SEASON OF LENT:  Time of contrition, penance

Feb. 5, 2015: Bishop comments on Pope Francis’s remarks on children, family size

Jan. 22, 2015: Uphold human dignity, recommit to light and mission of Christ

Dec. 18, 2014: Blessings of the Season: God wills each of us gifts of grace and holiness

Dec. 4, 2014: Embrace spirit of gratitude, humility this Advent Season

Nov. 6, 2014: Bishop asks for prayers for vocations

Oct. 16, 2014: Don’t lower the bar to achieve holiness