Sunday, November 28, 2010
I drove 30 miles to the church on the Lower Brule reservation for mass. We started out with a small crowd but people kept filtering in until the small church was mostly filled. There were a lot of young children. Most of them were being cared for by their grandparents. While they provide so much care and love, I always found it important to reach out to young parents and support and gently challenge them to be more involved in their children’s upbringing. It’s only by strengthening the families that we can help build a better future.
I stayed for lunch and caught up with Fr. Joe and Fr. Hendrik, two of the priests in my congregation who serve on the reservation.
Back at St. Joseph’s, I had supper in Pinger Home (6th-8th grade girls) to welcome the students back after break. I met Jessica, one of the two new students that is now part of St. Joseph’s. The new students who come are usually quiet and a bit overwhelmed at first. Hopefully some of the other students will show hospitality and help her feel at home. With houseparents, counselors and teachers all working together, the students usually adjust fairly quickly and enter into our schedule of many activities.