Pope Francis taps Minnesota farm boy to lead Sioux Falls diocese

Vatican City, Dec 12, 2019 / 04:42 am (CNA).- Pope Francis Thursday accepted the resignation of Bishop Paul Joseph Swain of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and appointed Minnesota priest Fr. Donald Edward DeGrood as his successor.

Bishop of Sioux Falls since 2006, Swain’s resignation was accepted after he reached in 2018 the age of 75, the minimum age of retirement for diocesan bishops.

Bishop-elect DeGrood, 54, grew up outside Faribault, Minnesota, one of five boys in a farming family.

A priest of the Saint Paul and Minneapolis archdiocese, he has been pastor of Saint John the Baptist Parish in Savage, Minnesota since 2017.

On the Saint John’s website it states that “life was great as a farm boy,” and that DeGrood first felt called to the priesthood around age seven.   

Saint John’s serves more than 2,100 families, according to its website. The church also has a parrochial school with preschool through 8th-grade.

From 2013 to 2017, Bishop-elect DeGrood was the archdiocese’ episcopal vicar for clergy.

DeGrood has been pastor of Saint John Parish in Savage, Minnesota since 2017. The parish serves more than 2,100 families, according to its website. The church also has a parrochial school with preschool through 8th-grade.

The bishop-elect is also the member of several diocesan committees and on the board of the Saint Paul Seminary.

He was a formator and spiritual director at Saint John Vianney Seminary in Saint Paul from 2000 to 2004.

The Diocese of Sioux Falls is one of two dioceses in South Dakota. It covers the eastern part of the state and has over 120,000 Catholics.

 

This story originally stated that Saint John Vianney Seminary was in Denver. The story has been updated to identify that the seminary is located in Saint Paul. The mistake is regretted.

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