A Celebration to Unite the Community
Aberdeen’s Catholics strive to serve the community - and some pancakes, too.

A Celebration to Unite the Community

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Pictured back row left to right are David Vetch, Jeff Steele, and Keith Schumacher. Front row left to right are Bill Kimball, Laurie Campbell, and Steve Nemmers.

“I am the vine; you are the branches.” John 15:5 – the inspiration for the One Vine, Many Branches event – depicts the importance of cooperation with Christ and the fruit of collaboration, which creates a loving community. 

The One Vine, Many Branches event is a first for Aberdeen’s Catholic community. This collaborative celebration involves St. Mary’s Parish, Sacred Heart Parish, the Presentation Sisters, as well as the Aberdeen Catholic School System, Presentation College, Avera Health System, and the Diocese of Sioux Falls’ mission, St. Thomas Aquinas Newman Center at Northern State University. 

Aberdeen’s Catholic community has a rich legacy of service and is always focused on better ways to serve. That legacy is visible across Aberdeen. Northern State University has a memorial to Father Robert Haire, credited as a founder of NSU. Fr. Haire was also the founder of Sacred Heart Parish. Additionally, the Avera Health Mission was originally a Presentation Sister mission, and later a collaboration with the Benedictine Sisters, created in 1901 following a request of civic leaders in response to a health pandemic. 

“Our history and legacy have helped make Aberdeen a great place to raise families. We are excited to celebrate that legacy, and we’re equally excited to point our eyes to the future. Our ‘Future Full of Hope’ is really the theme of the day,” Dave Vetch said.

The One Vine, Many Branches event will be on Sunday, June 5 at the NSU Barnett Center. During the celebration, the six regular Sunday Masses will not be held at the two parishes. All are invited to take part in this unique Eucharistic celebration with Bishop Donald DeGrood. Doors will open at 8:30 AM, and there is no fee for admission. Anyone in the community is welcome and encouraged to attend. 

The celebration will begin with a keynote address from retired Archbishop Robert Carlson. Archbishop Carlson served as the Bishop of the Sioux Falls Diocese from 1995 to 2004, and his message will highlight the ‘Future Full of Hope’ vision for Aberdeen. 

Following the program and Mass, the area Knights of Columbus councils will be hosting a free-will donation pancake feed. Knights of Columbus is a men’s fraternal, charitable, service organization, with chapters in Aberdeen as well as surrounding communities. Family friendly experiences, including games and youth activities will be offered. Booths sponsored by local and regional ministries will provide resources and information for those attending the celebration.

The vision for a community-wide Catholic celebration began over three years ago, with then St. Mary’s pastor, Rev. Michael Griffin. Preparations and logistical planning began in earnest last fall. 

“I’d like to thank the development offices of the Presentation Sisters, Presentation College, Aberdeen Roncalli, the Avera Foundation, and the CCFESD-Catholic Community Foundation for Eastern South Dakota. The development offices as well as a host of volunteers have made this event possible. I’d also like to thank our volunteer event coordinator, Laurie Campbell, for her leadership,” said Vetch. //

For more information, call David Vetch at the Aberdeen Catholic Foundation at 605-218-0072 or email at dvetch@ccfesd.org.