Bishop Nickless

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Bishop Nickless Schedule

Confirmation Schedule

Bishop Nickless’ homilies

Season of ordinations, graduations

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Two weeks ago, I ordained five men from our diocese as permanent deacons. This was the seventh such ordination for me as your bishop. I am always moved by the commitment and dedication of these men, and by the generosity of their families, in offering husbands and fathers to a life of greater service in the church. They have answered God’s personal call to serve as deacons, serving you all as “heralds of Christ” and “icons of Mercy” for the rest of their life.

Likewise, next week I shall have the same joy in ordaining three men as transitional deacons for our diocese. Transitional deacons are the same as permanent deacons, except that, as the two adjectives imply, transitional deacons hope also to be ordained as priests, while permanent deacons do not.

These three deacons will spend the summer serving in parishes in our diocese, and then return to seminary for their final year of formation. By God’s grace and calling, next year I will be able to ordain them as priests. Please pray for all our clergy and men in formation to be deacons and priests, so that God will guide and sustain them in their formation and ministry. We need more such holy and committed leaders, to reap the harvest of souls to heaven.

May is also the time of graduations from high school and college. To the young adults who are taking these momentous steps, I say, congratulations and blessings of God. You have worked hard to earn your accolades, and your futures and vocations in Christ await you with beckoning brightness. Please continue to grow in faith and prayer and remain close to Christ and to our Blessed Mother throughout your life. The world offers so much that is good and worthy of your commitment, yet it can also lead us away from God and from true happiness. Stay close to the church. Cling to your Catholic faith. Most especially, never forget that Christ was willing to die for you, and that his mercy is infinitely greater than anything you can do against him. Never be afraid or reluctant, therefore, to turn back to him and seek his gracious forgiveness. This humility will never lead anyone astray.

To the families of our graduates, I share your joy at your child, or grandchild, or sibling’s milestone. I urge you, never stop praying for them. Furthermore, never stop striving to be, yourselves, disciples for our Lord Jesus Christ. Your simple and daily witness to the importance that faith brings to living makes such an impression on our youth. Let your children, and others, see that you love Jesus Christ, and they will have a chance to learn to love him, too.

It is true that our culture increasingly puts pressure on all of us to hide our faith in Christ. The media that we consume most often ridicules those who act with faith. In many careers, those who act secularly and parrot the ideas of the culture are preferred and promoted.

In our engagements in civil society, expressions of faith are frequently discouraged and muted, even as marriage and family and virtue continue to erode. And many institutions claiming to be Catholic make more and more compromises with the demands of the world. There seems to be less and less space in which admitting our faith or acting on it does not bring negative responses from those around us.

Yet recall that even our Savior had to drag the cross up the hill of Calvary and told us we would do likewise. And recall also that he warned us that the “broad and easy way” of drifting with the culture, of going along with the lies and blandishments of “the world, the flesh, and the devil,” does not lead to God. Resisting the aggressive secularism of our times is part of our carrying of the cross.

We should take note, however, that it is still true that the easiest places to begin clinging more to God than to the world are the bedrock actions of our spiritual life: regularly going to Mass and confession and forming the daily habit of prayer and devotion, all within the community of the family.

Indeed, it is very difficult to know and love Christ in our exterior life of discipleship, if we do not first know and love him in our interior life of the heart’s desires. And we will be much more likely to have the courageous “holy boldness” of true disciples and attentive discernment of the promptings of Christ and the Holy Spirit in our hearts about when and where to speak up or take action before others, if we are close to him in our interior life. Or to be blunt, what I am saying is that, if we want to change the world, we must always start with changing ourselves to become like Christ.

Please pray, then, for our new clergy and our new graduates, and for their families. Pray for our pastors and our parishes, and for our deeper faith and conversion throughout our life. Pray for fidelity in every vocation, and especially the “big three” vocations of marriage and family, clergy, and consecrated life. And please pray for me, just as I always pray for all of you.

May the light of Christ and the Pentecost outpouring of the Holy Spirit ever form and guide us and bring us safe to our true home in heaven. God bless you and keep you in all things. Our Lady, Mother of the Church, pray for us.

Your brother in Christ,

Most Reverend R. Walker Nickless
Bishop of Sioux City

 

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