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Sioux Falls Bishop Paul Swain dies at age 79

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The man who once served as bishop of the Sioux Falls Catholic Diocese for more than a decade has died.

Bishop Paul Swain passed away Nov. 26 at the age of 79 according to a news release from the Diocese of Madison.

He was in hospice care after suffering medical complications in recent weeks.

Swain was born in Newark, N.Y. in 1943. He received a master's degree in political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and later served in the Vietnam War as an intelligence officer.

Swain converted to Catholicism in 1983 and was ordained a priest in 1988. Pope Benedict XVI appointed Swain as the eighth bishop of Sioux Falls in 2006. He resigned in 2019, but he served until he was succeeded by Bishop Donald DeGrood in February of 2020.

A burial mass will take place Saturday, Dec. 3 at 10 a.m. at St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Sioux Falls, according to his obituary.

Josh Chilson is the news director at South Dakota Public Broadcasting. A Florence, S.D. native, Josh graduated with a journalism degree from South Dakota State University. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and videographer, and most recently as managing editor for Dakota News Now. Josh is based out of SDPB's Sioux Falls studio.