Pope Francis this morning named Father Donald DeGrood, a priest of the Archdiocese, to replace retiring Bishop Paul J. Swain as the bishop of the Diocese of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Bishop-elect DeGrood is currently the pastor of Saint John the Baptist Church in Savage, Minnesota.
A native of Faribault, Minnesota, Bishop-elect DeGrood, 54, entered Saint Paul Seminary in Saint Paul in 1993 and was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis in 1997. His previous assignments in the Archdiocese include Vicar for Clergy for the Archdiocese, pastor of Blessed Sacrament in Saint Paul, pastor of Saint Peter in Forest Lake, Spiritual Director at Saint John Vianney College Seminary and parochial vicar at All Saints Church in Lakeville.
Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda said of the pope’s decision to elevate Father DeGrood: “The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis is honored that the Holy Father would have chosen a priest of our Archdiocese to become the next bishop of Sioux Falls. In making this selection, Pope Francis seems to have recognized the extraordinary priestly gifts that have long been apparent to Father DeGrood’s parishioners and brother priests. When I arrived in the Archdiocese in 2015, I felt blessed to have him serving as Vicar for Clergy and pastor of Blessed Sacrament parish. I quickly noted his gentle spirit, his compassion for his flock, and his deep love for Christ and his Church. I have been especially impressed by the depth and authenticity of his outreach to, and respect for, survivors of clergy sexual abuse. The faithful of the Diocese of Sioux Falls will soon be welcoming a kind, loving and caring shepherd. I very much look forward to working with him as a brother bishop in our Province.”
Auxiliary Bishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, Andrew Cozzens, said, “I have had the privilege of calling Father Don DeGrood a close friend for more than 25 years. We met our first day of seminary in 1993 and have been close friends ever since. Father DeGrood has proven to be one of the finest pastors in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis who brings his deep relationship with Jesus Christ to people of all ages in his parishes. He brings a healing presence to many people and has worked closely with victim/survivors of clergy sexual abuse. He is also a revered priest in the Archdiocese and served very well as our Vicar for Clergy. He is the kind of priest who other priests seek out for spiritual direction and mentorship because he is so deeply rooted and such a compassionate leader. Most of all he is a man of prayer who will bring his deep relationship with Jesus Christ to all as the Bishop of Sioux Falls. The diocese is blessed to have a visionary leader who will accompany the lay faithful and priests deeper into their own holiness of life.”
Bishop-elect DeGrood was born on February 14, 1965, to Robert (deceased, 2003) and Joanne DeGrood. He is the fourth of five brothers, grew up on the family farm outside of Faribault, attended Catholic grade school and graduated from Bethlehem Academy Catholic High School in 1983. Bishop-elect DeGrood graduated with a B.A. in philosophy from the University of Saint Thomas in Saint Paul in 1987, and then worked for several years in the business world. During that time, he continued to be drawn to the priesthood. He earned a Masters of Divinity from The Saint Paul Seminary and was ordained by Archbishop Harry J. Flynn May 31, 1997.
His episcopal ordination and installation as the ninth bishop of Sioux Falls is scheduled for Thursday, February 13, 2020. The ordination and installation will be live streamed on the Diocese of Sioux Falls’ YouTube channel.
A Mass of Thanksgiving for Bishop DeGrood will be held Sunday, February 16, 2 p.m. at the Cathedral of Saint Paul. See details on the event page.