Greetings once again!
Fr. Steve is away on a Donor Luncheon to the Santa Barbara, California area, which gives me another chance to share with you what’s been happening here at St. Joseph’s. Initially it seemed like a quiet weekend, but, upon closer inspection, it turned out to be a normal hectic pace with activities happening all over the place!
As you may be aware, last week was Catholic Schools Week around the country. Fr. Steve and I helped with the spelling bee contest for each of the classes in the elementary program. There was a lot of reflection on ‘i before e, except after c,’ and the Lakota students did a great job!
Three of our students will be taking part in the contest that crowns a national champion in Washington, D.C. and the others will take part in a state-wide contest later this month in Mitchell, South Dakota.
The fourth and fifth grades sponsored a Catholic School’s Week food drive to gather items to benefit a local domestic violence shelter and St. James’ parish, which is the local Catholic Church in Chamberlain and is also staffed by an SCJ (Priest of the Sacred Heart).
Afra Home (first, second and third grade girls) went to Lower Brule, South Dakota as part of their social outreach program. They attended Mass and then served the community with cookies and juice. Each student home does some sort of outreach activity for an entity in the local area. As many of our Native American students come from the Crow Creek and Lower Brule Indian Reservations, they like to go back and do something for the elders and their families at home.
On Friday, one of our eighth-grade students, Cassidy, went with the Chamberlain High School gymnastic team to a meet in Wall, South Dakota – home of the famous Wall Drug Store! Chamberlain has a very good team and Cassidy has been part of the JV squad for the past two years. They are looking forward to qualifying for the state competition.
If you recall, I had mentioned that Chamberlain High School had taken part in the state-wide one act play competition. Each team must set the stage, perform and take down their set in 45 minutes or less. This year, they did a play by Mark Twain that dealt with trying to improve prices for an artist’s work by putting out the word he was dead. They performed the play at the regional competition in Pierre, South Dakota, and qualified for the state finals.
Their time slot was 8:00 AM this past Saturday morning. One cast member said it took several alarm clocks to make sure he got up in time! Despite the early time, they gave it their all and won a superior rating. One of the leads, Chris, a St. Joseph’s senior, was singled out for extensive praise by the judges.
Sunday was the feast of St. Blasé, and we had the traditional blessing of the throats for the students and staff at our Sunday morning Mass. In giving the blessing, we ask St. Blasé to intercede and protect those who receive the blessing from any aliment of the throat or other illness.
It was probably good that we did that since there was a lot of screaming and hollering during the Super Bowl later that day. One of our high school homes hosted a Super Bowl party for the other high school homes, and also invited the eighth graders to attend. They split the fans of the two teams so each could cheer watching their own TV. There was a lot of good-natured ribbing back and forth and things really got excited and loud when the 49’ers made their late run to try and catch the Ravens. All sorts of crazy contests—like number of M&Ms in a jar and gag prizes for whenever something special happened in the game – added to the fun.
Saturday gave our fourth, fifth and sixth grade boys’ basketball teams a chance to play their counterparts from Chamberlain. We play each other twice per season, with each side providing the officials for one of the games. This time they were from Chamberlain, which may explain why the swept all three games. The games were close and a good crowd attended.
The weather was crazy as well. On Thursday many areas of the State called off school because the weather was in the minus 30 degree range! Yet, by Sunday, we were back up to the mid 40’s with lots of melting.
I hope you all have a great week ahead and that our loving God will continue to bless and protect you now and always! We are grateful for your interest in and concern for St. Joseph’s and the programs we offer for the Lakota (Sioux) children. Pilamaya – thank you!