Welcome to St. George Catholic Church of Hartford, SD, located ten miles west of Sioux Falls, SD . Founded in 1882, we are older than the state of South Dakota and the Diocese of Sioux Falls. Though old, in 2010 we built a brand new and beautiful church to accommodate the growth of the Hartford area. We are a growing and thriving parish made up of many young families who wish to know, love, and serve God and his Church in this life and forever in the next. Currently we have 370 families and we are always adding more each month. All we need to have a perfect parish is you! Click here to learn how to join!
Saturday @ 5:30 pm
Sunday @ 8:00 am & 10:30 am
Tuesday & Thursday @ 5:30 pm
Wednesday & Friday @ 8:00 am
1st Saturday @ 8:30 am
First Saturday: Before and after 8:30am Mass
8:30 am-1:30 pm
For online books, movies, bible studies, talks and more sign up for the free parish program called FORMED.
Use the parish code: Y883W7
A Reflection from Father King
This Sunday is the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord which brings the season of Christmas to an end. We have kept the Christmas decorations until now for that reason even if Christmas seems a distant memory. The feast brings the infancy and hidden life of Jesus to an end with the revelation of Jesus to Saint John the Baptist and the first disciples right before he goes into the desert to prepare for the public life of preaching and miracles.
The feast is an opportune moment to go back to the sacrament of baptism which I wrote about until the end of October, which was quite a while ago. I finished then writing about the role of the godparents and now I would like to address some aspects of the Rite of Baptism which is simple and short but rich in significance for the baptized and their family.
At the very beginning of the baptism of a child, the priest asks the parents what they are seeking from the Church – the answer to which is “Baptism.” So, baptism is a gift of God but which also is a gift from the parents to their child. Some people have said that babies should not be baptized at all because the child should be free to decide for themselves at a later age – a common objection that we hear in these parts from some Protestant neighbors. Some have even called the baptism of children a form of child abuse by which a baby is forced into an evil cult of God worshippers who will deprive their children of the truths of science and free thinking and free living. That is why in some European countries there are politicians who have proposed making the baptism of children a crime punishable by imprisonment either of the parents or the priest or both.
A truly Christian way to look upon the sacrament of baptism is to see it as the great gift of God. A gift is something not deserved but given out of the goodness and love of the giver. It can be freely accepted or rejected by the recipient, which many baptized people have chosen to do. However, it is a gift of God’s love and it is the fruit of Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection by which we are given the unwarranted reward of belonging to God, being counted by the Father as His child – His daughter or His son – just as Jesus is His divine Son. As some saints and ancient writers have said, we are made God. That is not something to be seen as a terrible abuse or burden but an incredible act of love on the part of God and of our parents. I thank all our parents who seek the baptism of their children despite the many voices who try to lure them away from seeking such a gift for their children.