Bishop Paul J. Swain, eighth bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls, today served as the U.S. Senate’s “Chaplain for a Day.” U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) nominated Bishop Swain for this honor.
“He is a pillar of our community and a spiritual leader to over 100,000 Catholics in East River South Dakota,” said Thune. “Bishop Swain’s episcopal motto is ‘Give Praise to the Lord.’ Mr. President, today we in the United States Senate are giving praise for Bishop Swain’s unwavering devotion to the word of the Lord and to the service of his people. I thank the Bishop for joining us today.”
Click here for Bishop Swain’s full biography.
Thune’s remarks (as prepared for delivery):
“Mr. President, I rise today to welcome Bishop Swain to the United States Senate.
“On behalf of myself, my colleague from South Dakota who is currently presiding over the Senate, and thousands of grateful believers in South Dakota, I want to thank Bishop Swain for his service to our Lord and to our communities of faith.
“Bishop Swain was sworn in as the eighth Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls in late 2006.
“But his journey of faith and service to his country began far before that.
“Paul Joseph Swain was born in Newark, New York, and was one of eight children.
“After graduating from Northern Ohio University with a degree in history and earning his masters at the University of
“Wisconsin, Bishop Swain joined the Air Force as an intelligence officer.
“He served our nation in the Vietnam War where he earned a Bronze Star.
“Part of Bishop Swain should feel right at home on the floor of the United States Senate because after serving in
“Vietnam he tried his hand at politics.
“He completed his law degree and went on to work on the campaign and administration of Governor Lee Dreyfus who served as the governor of Wisconsin until 1983.
“After a short stint in politics, Bishop Swain answered a much, much higher calling.
“He was received into the Catholic Church, graduated divinity school, and in 1988 entered the priesthood.
“Years of dedicated pastoral work ensued in the Diocese of Madison Wisconsin, and a decade ago, we were truly blessed when Pope Benedict named him Bishop of Sioux Falls.
“On the day of his ordination, Archbishop Flynn gave the homily at the high mass.
“He noted that as successors to the apostles the service of bishops is to spread the word of God and promote the sanctity of their flock.
“Bishop Swain has not forgotten that counsel.
“He understands that the church has a role to play in the public square – particularly on moral issues.
“He never shies away from the challenges facing the poor and disenfranchised.
“And he never hesitates to stand up for values that protect life and family.
“He is a pillar of our community and a spiritual leader to over 100,000 Catholics in East River South Dakota.
“Bishop Swain’s episcopal motto is ‘Give Praise to the Lord.’
“Mr. President, today we in the United States Senate are giving praise for Bishop Swain’s unwavering devotion to the word of the Lord and to the service of his people.
“I thank the Bishop for joining us today.“I yield the floor/suggest the absence of a quorum.”