It looks like our Indian Summer may be over in South Dakota – that dreaded word ‘snow’ is in the forecast. It won’t be a lot, but it does remind us we are moving later into the year and our warm, sunny days will not be around for a while. We saw some evidence of snow and slush yesterday up in Fort Pierre on my way to a board meeting in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation. We visited the abused women’s shelter and residential care center for Native American youth in that community, both sponsored by St. Joseph’s Indian School. They are doing wonderful work as they reach out to the local community on a variety of fronts.
Several of the homes for St. Joseph’s older students got together and headed to Mitchell, South Dakota to go through a haunted house and pay a visit to McDonald’s as well. They had a great time! With our Halloween party and costume contest coming this Thursday, it may have given them some ideas for costumes.
Last Wednesday, I was invited by the local Kiwanis to be their guest speaker. I shared an update on recent happenings on campus, encouraging them to visit our new Alumni and Historical Center. I also filled them in on Fr. Steve’s new role as Provincial for the Priests of the Sacred Heart.
Our students worked with an artist in residence last week to create Christmas ornaments for the National Christmas tree in Washington, DC! Currently 48 ornaments are nearly ready to go. St. Joseph’s Indian School is the only school in South Dakota to take part in decorating the tree, so this was a very special opportunity indeed. Stay tuned for more information on this exciting project!
On the sports front, the Chamberlain High School football team has qualified for the State playoffs! The first game will be tonight. They are hosting Todd County, whom they recently beat. We hope they are able to repeat the victory. Several St. Joseph students are contributing their talent and skills. Go Cubs!
Sunday, our inter-city basketball league got started. This program gives St. Joseph’s Lakota students and local 6th, 7th and 8th graders the chance to play basketball on Sundays. They play together on four teams and compete against each other every Sunday afternoon. We see it as an important way for the students to meet each other now so that when they enter high school they’ll know each other a bit better.
The experience of playing together also helps them to be aware of each other’s talent, which is great in high school. The upcoming boys’ varsity basketball team for Chamberlain High School should be a good team this year. Last year, the “C” team was undefeated; it had several St. Joseph’s players on the team, so we’re looking forward to an exciting year!
I hope each of you has a great week. May God’s blessings be with you now and always.
Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ