The following are the remarks Randy Barnhardt offered during the Diocesan Convention in Pierre on October 1st in regards to his pending retirement, March 31, 2017.
I began serving you and the people of this place we call The Diocese of South Dakota on March 16, 1987.
I stand before you with a humble and grateful heart, and ask you to bear with me today. At the risk of offending my wife, who is a Minnesota Twins fan, if I may plagiarize and quote a New York Yankee great, Lou Gehrig, – “ I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth”.
I am lucky that God has given me 30 years to serve you. There have been many times I felt inadequate for the tasks placed before me, and I am sure there have been times I fell short and for my shortcomings, I sincerely apologize.
If I have wronged anybody by things I have done or left undone, said or left unsaid, I am truly sorry and humbly ask your forgiveness.
I am lucky to have been able to drive many thousands of miles across this great state and visited every holy church in this diocese. I have seen eagles fly over me, all sorts of wildlife, sunrises, sunsets, the black hills, the prairies, the badlands, and the lakes. I have said many times there is beauty in this state.
I am lucky to call you my friends, brothers and sisters.
I am lucky that Bishop Robertson placed his trust in me in 1996 when he appointed me administrator for this Diocese.
I am lucky that Bishop Tarrant allowed me to continue in that position. And so lucky that he is my biggest supporter. For that I will be forever grateful.
I am lucky to have worked with great treasurers from E.B Morrison, Jim Black, Chuck Bahnson, Gary Conradi and Chris Clem.
I am lucky to have had great chancellors to support me with Bob Maule and Steve Sanford. I am lucky to have worked with super staff members, Mary Armin, David Hussey, Rita Winters, Rita Powell, Portia Corbin, Marlys Fratzke, Karen Hall and Paul Sneve.
I am lucky to have worked with many mission clergy. In my humble opinion, these men and women who serve on the missions are the most dedicated and hard working people that I have ever had the privilege to know. Father Chan, Father Fonder, Mother Henninger, Mother Red Owl, Mother Stanley, Mother Watson, Father West, and Mother White Horse-Carda, and those who have left us.
I am lucky that God blessed us with two beautiful, wonderful children. My son Zac and daughter Rachel, with Zac’s fiancée, Sarah and Rachel’s significant other, Pat.
I am so lucky that God blessed me, with my wife Linda. She keeps me humble, is not afraid to point out my when I am wrong, and has been my support and the love of my life for almost 35 years.
But maybe it isn’t luck, I think that it is perhaps God’s Amazing Grace and his unfailing love that has given me this wonderful life, and I will be forever thankful.
So now, I move into retirement and the next stage of my life in the diocese, doing the thing I really love to do, working with the numbers.
Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for making my life so much better than I could havehoped or imagined.
Randy (AKA Barney)