MADISON — The St. Thomas More Society of Madison, an organization of Catholic lawyers, jurists, government officials, and others, welcomes Bishop Paul J. Swain, bishop of Sioux Falls, S.D., to speak on “God’s Faithful Servant First: Comments on Threats to Religious Liberty.”
The event takes place following the 12:10 p.m. Mass at St. Patrick Church, 404 E. Main St., Madison on Friday, June 22, which is the Feast of St. Thomas More. His keynote address is part of the Diocesan Fortnight of Freedom drawing attention to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services mandate on provision of services contrary to Catholic beliefs.
Bishop Swain earned a bachelor’s degree in history, a master’s in political science, a law degree, and a Master of Divinity. It is not only his educational background that qualifies him to speak on threats to religious liberty, but also his career path before he became a priest. He served in Vietnam as an Air Force Intelligence Officer, earning the Bronze Star and also served in state government as legal counsel and director of policy for Governor Lee Dreyfus.
He felt called to the priesthood before he was a Catholic. Through study and discernment he entered the seminary and was ordained in 1988. His service to the Madison Diocese included being pastor of many parishes and also vice chancellor, moderator of the curia, vocations director, and vicar general. With this distinguished career, Pope Benedict XVI appointed then-Monsignor Swain to be the eighth bishop of Sioux Falls, S.D., in 2006.
Before he left the Madison area, he spoke about his choice of symbols for his coat of arms and mentioned that St. Thomas More, also a lawyer and government official, was important to his faith. With his experience in the military, state government, and Church, as well as academic credentials, Bishop Swain is eminently equipped to speak on the Feast of St. Thomas More to the Society and guests on being a faithful servant while maintaining religious liberty.
Members of the St. Thomas More Society will have priority for purchase of tickets to the lunch and keynote address through Wednesday, June 13. Interested members of the public will be welcome and tickets may be obtained after June 13 by contacting Deb O’Brien at
or by phone at 608-395-6707.
Tickets for members are $20, for non-members, $25, and tickets for law students are $15. To reserve a place, send checks payable to the St. Thomas More Society to Deb O’Brien, 2 East Mifflin St., Ste. 600, Madison, 53703-2865.