Greetings for St. Joseph’s Indian School!
St. Joseph’s recently hosted the Superior General of the Priests of the Sacred Heart, Fr. Jose Ornelas, SCJ. He was accompanied by Fr. John van den Hengel, SCJ. Father Ornelas visited Canada and the United States to meet with all the SCJ priests and brothers and see our various ministries in action. St. Joseph’s Indian School was founded by the Priests of the Sacred Heart in 1927.
Their visit began with a community meeting of the SCJs here in South Dakota. Fathers Jose and John then toured St. Joseph’s campus, visited the Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center, as well as the Tokéya uŋkí nájiŋpi Historical and Alumni Center. They watched some of the Lakota (Sioux) students practice their dancing for the upcoming powwow, looked in on classrooms to see the students in action and helped with homework in several of the homes before having supper with our high school boys in Sheehy Home.
Tuesday, they visited the Crow Creek and Lower Brule Sioux Indian Reservations, where the SCJs began their ministry to the Native American people back in 1923. They met with members of the pastoral team and drove around the area to get a feel for the land and work being done.
We also kicked off the Olweus Anti-Bullying Program last week at St. Joseph’s. As part of the program, the Lakota students will meet each week and discuss the effects bullying can have on people. We want to encourage a positive environment for our students, where everyone is treated with respect and dignity. Teachers, house parents and staff will also take part, and students’ families will be involved as well.
The powwow is on the horizon! We find ourselves in a ticklish situation as we are praying for rain for those areas of the country that are suffering from drought or fires, yet we also want good weather here at St. Joseph’s so that our guests will have an enjoyable (and dry) experience as powwow activities unfold on September 20-22. One guest we look forward to welcoming is Father Steve!
Have a great week and may God’s blessings and strength continue to be with you. Pilamaya – thank you – for your support of St. Joseph’s!
Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ
St. Joseph’s Indian School