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A reader recommends the following story from the Rapid City (S.D.) Journal:

Prairie priest: Many miles separate rural churches

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By the time he finishes visiting with Bison parishioners like Dan and Stacy Kvale or Jess and Susan Carmichael, it's usually dark for the drive home. Back in Lemmon by 10 p.m., [Fr. Tony] Grossenburg unwinds with a smoke on his pipe, a glass of Cabernet and his breviary -- a daily reading of Psalms and other prayers that he views on his iPad. He’ll be up again at 6 a.m. for coffee, morning prayer and two more Masses to celebrate.

In less than 18 hours, he’ll drive 150 miles and preach four sermons; he prays for more rain and more vocations to the priesthood four times; he offers the same blessings for mothers, or new graduates or fathers sitting in the pews four different times; and he consecrates four eucharists.

It’s a schedule that's familiar to many priests in rural western South Dakota, because the Catholic Diocese of Rapid City covers a vast area that is bordered by the Missouri River and the surrounding states of Wyoming, North Dakota and Nebraska. The diocese has far more churches than it has priests ...

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October 10-23, 2014

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