Bishop Paul Swain dies in hospice care

Bishop Swain died on Saturday, November 26, at the age of 79, in hospice care after suffering...
Bishop Swain died on Saturday, November 26, at the age of 79, in hospice care after suffering significant medical complications in recent weeks.(Dakota News Now)
Published: Nov. 27, 2022 at 12:41 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin announced Sunday the death of Most Reverend Paul J. Swain, Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Sioux Falls.

Bishop Swain died on Saturday, November 26, at the age of 79, in hospice care after suffering significant medical complications in recent weeks. In recent days, Catholics in the Dioceses of Sioux Falls and Madison were asked to pray for Bishop Swain, as his condition worsened.

Funeral arrangements in Sioux Falls are pending.

Bishop Swain retired from his work in Sioux Falls in 2018. Dakota News Now spoke to him about his service to the church at that time.

According to a news release from the Diocese of Madison, Bishop Swain was born on September 12, 1943 in Newark, New York, located between Rochester and Syracuse.

He attended elementary and high school in Newark, graduating in 1961. He went on to attend Ohio Northern University in Ada, OH, where he graduated in 1965 with a degree in History. In 1967 he earned a Masters in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin.

From 1967 through 1972 he served in the United States Air Force as an Intelligence Officer, including service in Vietnam where he earned a Bronze Star. After military service, he returned to Madison and the University of Wisconsin to complete his studies in law. After earning his law degree in 1975, he practiced law in Madison until becoming involved in the campaign and administration of Wisconsin’s Governor Lee Sherman Dreyfus, who served from 1979 to 1983. Bishop Swain served during those years as legal counsel and director of policy.

At the completion of Governor Dreyfus’ term, he returned briefly to private practice.

Near the end of his service to Governor Dreyfus, Swain started to consider the priesthood. Swain became a Catholic in 1983 and later studied at Blessed John XXIII National Seminary, Weston, Massachusetts. He completed his Master of Divinity and was ordained as a priest of the Diocese of Madison on May 27, 1988.

His pastoral work took place at several parishes in the Madison, Wisconsin diocese.

Pope Benedict XVI appointed Paul J. Swain as the eighth bishop of Sioux Falls on August 31, 2006 and he was consecrated as Bishop of Sioux Falls on October 26, 2006.