Bishop Nickless

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Bishop Nickless Schedule

Confirmation Schedule

Bishop Nickless’ homilies

Joy of Easter at heart of Gospel

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Easter greetings and blessings to you! Our Lord Jesus Christ has risen from the dead, and has opened for us the gates of heaven! May we continue to rejoice with great joy for this most precious gift of faith and salvation.

After the rigors of Lent and the sadness of the passion, the joy of Easter returns to our hearts, families and parishes. Do you feel this joy?

Those who are newly-baptized and fully-joined to the church surely feel it. Those who are newly-confirmed, or are about to receive this beautiful sacrament of the Holy Spirit in the coming weeks, perhaps feel it, too. We who received the fullness of our initiation into Christ and the church long ago – do we feel the joy of Easter, or are our hearts dulled to God’s life in us by worldly distractions?

The joy of Easter is the heart of the Gospel, the Good News of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ever since the fall of Adam and Eve, our human lives have been ruled by prideful sin and grasping self-interest. Our predestined place in God’s house and garden has been lost to us, less because God does not permit us than because, in our darkness, we cannot find the way. Over the many centuries, God has reached out with many guides, especially the law and the prophets, until, in these days, he has sent his own son to be our true and final guide.

Do we grasp just how much Jesus shared our humanity with us? Do we grasp enough to be grateful and joyful for what God has done for us? Jesus Christ has paid the price of our redemption for us!

Freely giving his own life for us, he has risen from the tomb, conquering sin and death and setting us free from the inheritance of Adam’s sin! Now, in him and in his church, we are no longer slaves of sin and darkness, but adopted sons and daughters of light and life.

No longer bound to sin, we are free to love because Christ has so loved us. Though our feet still walk the paths of this world, our minds and souls have been enlightened and set free – if only we do indeed grasp this tremendous gift of faith, the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, and live in him.

My dear sisters and brothers, Christ has made all things new, by bursting the bonds of death on that first Easter morning. He longs to renew our hearts as well. Jesus died so that we might live – not merely in body, but above all in soul. It is His love and mercy that we all desire, wherever we might look for it.

Now – here at Easter – it is poured out for us with such abandon, how can we not see? It pours forth from Jesus’s most sacred heart, pierced through on the cross with a soldier’s lance, yet still alive, still burning even now with the unquenchable fire of divine love. Will you not let your heart also catch this holy fire of love, and with great joy and newness of life, turn away from all that holds us back from God?

May these most joyful days of Easter set your heart burning with holy love for God and all people and renew once more your faith and devotion. Please pray for me, just as I pray daily for all of you.

Most joyful Easter!

Your brother in Christ,

Most Reverend R. Walker Nickless
Bishop of Sioux City

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