Basketball games, one-act plays, and cold weather

Dear Friends of St. Joseph’s,

I have the privilege of sharing some insights as to what has happened here at St. Joseph’s over the weekend since Fr. Steve and some students and staff have been at a donor luncheon in Florida.

The weekend began with the Chamberlain High School’s boys’ basketball teams taking on the Mt. Vernon/Plankinton Titans.  The schedule offered the chance for the “C” team, junior varsity and varsity to play.  The Cubs were able to win all three games with the help of the 11 St. Joseph’s students on the “C” and junior varsity teams, plus two more on the varsity.  High school games highlight the impact the inter-city basketball program, sponsored by St. Joseph’s.  You can see the interaction that took place in younger grades paying off as the St. Joseph’s and local Chamberlain students now play together.

This was also the opening weekend for the girls’ inter-city basketball program on St. Joseph’s campus.  Again, a good mixture of St. Joseph’s students and players from the Chamberlain area played some good games before a good-sized crowd of spectators.

Chamberlain High School also presented its one act play, Mark Twain’s “Is He Dead?,” which will be their entry in the state competition this coming Wednesday.  One of St. Joseph’s students, Christopher, had one of the lead roles and several other students were active behind the scenes.  The performance lasted about an hour, but we were told at the start that the rules of state competition require that a one-act play must be completed within 45 minutes.  They will have to do some further cuts, but they wanted the local public to see the ‘full’ performance, which brought laughter and enjoyment as we watched the play unfold and deal with trying to make an artist ‘famous’ and thus his paintings more expensive by faking his death.

This coming week, the Lakota children in grade school will continue to benefit from the continued presence of our Artist in Residence, Mr. Markus Tracy, who completes his two-week commitment to St. Joseph’s this Friday.  He is working with our students to produce a mural in the school.

This past Saturday was the second week of our bowling season.  The sixth, seventh and eighth graders sign up and then are assigned to teams headed by various staff members, several of whom are on bowling teams in Chamberlain.  We bowl two games and try to help the students learn and improve their bowling skills.  It is a popular event.

The weather let us down a bit in that it was forecast to be very cold (single digits and below zero!), which is one reason why I think Fr. Steve scheduled the donor luncheon for Florida (Ha!), but it has not been as bad as predicted, nor did we get any more snow.

What snow we had at Christmas is mostly gone now, which has been frustrating for our Native American students since many of them received snow boards from Santa and our benefactors, but have not been able to use them. During recess, many of the younger students have been sliding down the hill on their stomachs looking like a bunch of seals!

In closing, I would like to say pilamayathank you – for your generosity towards the Lakota boys and girls at Christmas.  It was a joy to go from home to home to witness the students opening their gifts.  There was lots of excitement and many ooh’s and aah’s.

May the Great Spirit continue to bless and reward you as the new year unfolds.


Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


Guest Blogger: Fr. Anthony

Greetings from the banks of the Missouri River!  The weather is still mild, which is great for the hunters, but not so nice for the farmers and ranchers.

Fr. Steve and a group of students and staff headed for the Big Apple this weekend for a donor luncheon.  Last year when they tried, Hurricane Irene brought everything to a standstill.  This year they are coming in right behind Superstorm Sandy.  The group took letters of support and encouragement from all the students at St. Joseph’s to those impacted by Hurricane Sandy.  They were passed out at the lunches so that our guests and others would know that they have not been forgotten as they face the challenge of putting their lives back together.

A variety of things happened here at St. Joseph’s that highlight the activities and events our Lakota students can get involved in.  Our student council leaders went to the state capitol in Pierre, South Dakota to be part of more than 90 schools, churches, veterans groups, social clubs and others designated to decorate the Christmas trees that are being set up around the capitol building.

Our inter-city basketball league is going great guns and we have been able to see some good results.  There was a young lady last year from Chamberlain who got involved but did not seem to get a lot of playing time.  This year when the Chamberlain Cubs came to play the St. Joseph’s Braves, she was part of the team!  She seemed to be the first or second one off the bench.  It shows the impact the program can have because it gave her the opportunity to improve herself and make new friends.  The boys from the area are taking part in the program now and the games have been interesting.

This past Sunday, the Diocese of Sioux Falls, South Dakota held a Mass of Thanksgiving in honor of our first Native American Saint, St. Kateri Tekakwitha, the Lily of the Mohawks.  Several of our students went to the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Sioux Falls to take part.  Besides the Mass, a statue was erected in her memory and honor.  As Kateri is a patron saint for ecology, the group then visited butterfly complex to see beauty in flight.  They ended the day by driving by the water falls that give Sioux Falls its name.  The falls are lit, making for a very picturesque scene.

Recently one of our high school students, Erika, had the privilege of casting her first vote in a national election. What really made it special, however,was that she was interviewed as she came out of the polling area and was asked which issue meant the most to her.  Her response was the bond issue the local high school was trying to get approved that would help fund a new cultural and activity center at Chamberlain High.  Erika saw it as a valuable addition to the school, but sadly it went down to defeat since it needed 60% plus one of all those voting.  It only got in the mid-50% range.

Things are getting interesting for our high school students as the winter sports of wrestling and boys’ and girls’ basketball get under way.  Wrestling started last week and some of our young men are going out.  Girls’ basketball got underway today, which means several girls will be staying over the Thanksgiving Break so they can attend practice.  The boys hit the court next Monday and a good number are planning on going out for that.

As we approach Thanksgiving, it is a reminder of our gratitude for your generosity.  The students and staff  keep you in their prayers.  May the Great Spirit bless you with good health, much happiness and safe travel if you are heading ‘over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go!’

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


St. Joseph’s Indian School

Guest Blogger: Fr. Anthony

Dear Benefactors,

I have the chance to share what’s happening here at St. Joseph’s Indian School since Fr. Steve is away for a donor luncheon in the Denver area.

This past Thursday saw the sign up for the girls’ basketball teams.  Each grade from 4th to 8th have their own team and will play local schools in the area.  They are now practicing in preparation for the opening of the season in early November.

Chamberlain’s High School football team had their last game prior to the state play-offs Thursday evening and it was an adventure as the weather made it difficult to do anything.  The wind was blowing 35 to 40 miles per hour with some wind gusts as high as 60-79 mph.  Though the Cubs came up a bit short, they qualified for play-offs and will journey northwest to play Cheyenne-Eagle Butte on Tuesday.

Friday saw the kick-off of Red Ribbon Week as inflatables were brought into the rec center for the students to have some fun.  Lots of shouts of glee the students climbed up, slid down and bounced on various inflatables.  Each home also provided a delicious snack to be shared.  During this upcoming week the students will celebrate such days as wearing their pjs on Monday with the theme ‘follow your dreams … don’t do drugs!’; on Wednesday they’ll wear their Red Ribbon Week T-shirt which states ‘Be the change you want to see in the World’ and paint their faces blue to stress ‘I will say NO to drugs until I’m blue in the face’; and on Friday they’ll be asked to wear the colors of red, white and blue so as to make the statement ‘I elect to be drug free!’  There will also be a trivia contest held over the school intercom to remind the students of the danger of drugs and give them some insights as to how they can stay strong and say NO.

Saturday brought lovely weather which gave everyone the opportunity to get outside and work off some energy.  It was also the opening of the pheasant hunting season which brings a lot of hunters to the area.  I heard some shots from across the Missouri River on Sunday afternoon.

Just as the NBA is in their pre-season, so those taking part in the inter-city basketball league had a practice game on Sunday.  We have four teams made up of 6th, 7th and 8th grade boys from St. Joseph’s and the Chamberlain area.  In January, when the boys’ basketball season begins the girls’ will then have their inter-city basketball league. The program gives the young people in the area the chance to get to know and interact with each other so when entering high school they will already know each other.

Sunday was also very special since the first Native American Saint, Kateri Tekakwitha, was canonized in Rome, Italy.  The homes were alerted that EWTN was showing the ceremonies live at 2:30 AM Sunday morning with a repeat at 10:00 AM.

Deacon Bud Jetty and Deacon Steve McLaughlin, who help the Priests of the Sacred Heart minister in Chamberlain and on the Lower Brule and Crow Creek Indian Reservations were designated by the Sioux Falls Diocese to represent the diocese at the canonization.  We look forward to their return to hear how everything went.

Hope each of you will have a wonderful week ahead!  May our Loving God continue to bless and reward you for your generosity towards and interest in the Lakota children we serve at St. Joseph’s Indian School.  You are remembered in our prayers.

Guest Blogger: Fr. Anthony

Greetings from the banks of the Missouri River! Fr. Steve is away for a meeting and that gives me the chance to share what’s happening here at St. Joseph’s.

It was a relatively quiet weekend since the powwow is over. Chamberlain High School had an open weekend for sports since their Homecoming was last weekend. Though it seems we just started the school year, our high school students are already at mid-term and had Friday afternoon off. It gave our high school students the chance to work on any “incompletes” they may have. This is important, since all five of our high school homes are have a little competition – whichever home has the fewest “incompletes” will receive a trophy and, of course, bragging rights.

One of the key points our upper classmen share with the incoming freshmen is don’t fall behind in your studies. It is hard to catch up!

The Chamberlain High School soccer team had their last home game on Saturday against Belle Fourche and it was Parent Appreciation Day. Though none of our students are on the team this year, several of our staff have sons and daughters on the team. I was there as an assistant referee (AR), and some of our younger students came up to enjoy the game since they are involved in soccer here on campus.

Native American kids learning about space!
The youngsters here at St. Joseph’s Indian School learned so much in their Star Base classes!

Our fifth grade students had the chance to visit Ellsworth Air Force Base in Rapid City, South Dakota to complete their Star Base class held here at St. Joseph’s all last week. They study physics and other sciences, planting a seed that may encourage our young people to dream about trips into space or perhaps become part of NASA one day.

The sixth, seventh and eighth-grade volleyball teams did well as they traveled to Pierre Indian Learning Center in Pierre with each team winning their matches. This week they will play against Chamberlain, our cross-town rivals. Also on the calendar is a seventh and eighth-grade football game against the Chamberlain Cubs to be held here at St. Joseph’s on Tuesday.

St. Joseph's Indian School presents its Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Orville’s son and daughter-in-law accepted the Distinguished Alumnus Award on his behalf.

There is a conference on Native American Education taking place at Cedar Shores, a hotel and convention center just across the river from us (the same location where the banquet for our powwow guests was held). One of the presenters is Mr. Bud Webb, the son of Orville Webb, a member of St. Joseph’s first graduating class back in 1928. He had represented his father last year when his dad was honored, along with another graduate in that class, with St. Joseph’s Indian School’s alumni award. He stopped by on Sunday to attend Mass in Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel.

In the “be careful what you wish for” category, we had been praying for good weather for the powwow, which we got. We also prayed for cooler temperatures and we got them. We have had cool weather in the mornings, but Saturday stayed nippy all day even though the sun was out. It was in the mid 50’s but seemed cooler since things had been so warm. We do still need rain, but the cooler temperatures were nice to experience.

We hope you have a wonderful week! Thanks again for your interest in and support of St. Joseph’s Indian School. Know that we are grateful and keep you in our prayers.

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ
St. Joseph’s Indian School

Guest Blogger: Fr. Anthony

Dear Benefactors:

Greetings once again from the banks of the Missouri River at St. Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain, SD.  Fr. Steve is in transit coming back from a donor luncheon in the Boston area.  He stated there was good attendance and when they were finished the team had a chance to do some whale watching.

Since he is away, I was asked to ghost write his blog.  My name is Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ and I am the chaplain here at St. Joseph’s. I had the chance last year to help out when Fr. Steve was away and am happy to be in contact with you again.

The students and staff are starting to settle in as we begin the third week of school for grades 1-8 and second full week for our high school students who started on August 15th.

Several of our high school students are part of the Chamberlain High School Cub’s football team.  They had their first game this past Friday night out in Hot Springs, in the Black Hills, and brought home a 7-0 victory.  This Labor Day weekend, they will have their first home game against Valentine, Nebraska.

Football is in the air at St. Joesph’s just as many of the pro-teams are in the midst of their training camps.  Practice is underway for the Chamberlain/St. Joseph’s youth tackle football fundamental league open to students in the 5th and 6th grades.  The young people have some fun while learning the basics and it is a good way for all involved to make new friends.  In early September flag football will get underway for those in grades 1-4.  There will be footballs being thrown, kicked, fumbled and caught four nights out of the week.

This past Saturday morning, we saw 60+ young people from the local area around Chamberlain come to St. Joseph’s campus to take part in a youth triathlon.  Those under six took part in a bike ride and run.  The 7-15 age group  swam, biked and ran around the campus.  Many of our younger students took part in this event.  St. Joseph’s is always honored to take part in events that strive to offer fun and safe activities for local young people and their families.

Progress on renovations at St. Joseph's Indian School.
Progress on the Akta Lakota Museum!

The new addition to the Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center is making a lot of progress since the groundbreaking at last year’s powwow. (Reminder that this year’s powwow will be September 13-16.  Hope you can come.)  Most of the new structure’s exterior is done and the remainder of time needed to get it ready will take part inside as the new display area is worked on along with the section on the history of St. Joseph’s Indian School.

One benefactor came through this past weekend on her way to view the Powwow at Pine Ridge.  She is coming back to visit St. Joseph’s and make a tour of our campus and facilities.  She came all the way from New York state.  The students welcomed her at our Sunday liturgy and then many of them and our staff thanked her for the items she brought.  We are always grateful for your generosity and keep you in our prayers asking that God will continue to bless and strengthen you.

Hope all of you have a safe, relaxing and enjoyable Labor Day weekend.

Student successes and living drug free

Greetings once again from St. Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain, South Dakota.  Fr. Steve Huffstetter, SCJ is away on another donor luncheon to New Hampshire and Maine and thus I have the opportunity to again share what’s been happening this week here on campus.

Fr. Steve relayed what took place during the Mission Awareness presentation given by our confreres in northern Mississippi on Monday and Tuesday. It was a rewarding and inspirational time.

On Wednesdays our rec center staff sponsors Enrichment Night during which various homes take part in activities that encourage teamwork and fun.  This past Wednesday Perky and Cyr Homes had the chance to practice some soccer drills and then play the game which resulted in hot action but ended in a tie.  Later the girls of Stevens and Mathias Homes had to figure out how to work together passing water from one can to another with some interesting restrictions which even drew the houseparents into the action.  They finished off the evening with a softball game.

Our Principal, Kathleen, recently asked teachers to share moments of student success that highlight the progress they have made this year.  It has been wonderful to hear how some students are coming out of their shell and becoming more confident.  Progress is taking place in the classroom and concern for others is being witnessed as those who understand the assignment are helping fellow classmates.  Some still have issues they need to face but they are getting a handle on things and not letting them disrupt the daily activities as easily as they may have in the past.  Your prayers and generosity have helped provide an environment where this growth can take place as students, teachers, counselors and houseparents work together to help each other make progress.

Our Director of Alumni, Mary Jane, put out word about five former St. Joseph’s students who, because of your generosity, have received scholarship help which has enable them to graduate with two-year degrees in Business Management, Nursing and Automotive Technology.  She also mentioned that 10 other alumni, who have also benefited from scholarship help, will be graduating from two and four-year programs. Pilamayathank you – for the generous help you offer to those who have gone forward and continue to prepare themselves to offer their skills and talents to help their people.

Spring Sobriety art for 2012.
Congratulations to Trinity, our sobriety art contest winner!

The 17th Annual Sobriety Walk is supposed to take place today, but we are not sure about what the weather will be like.  Some predictions are saying there is a 80% chance of rain with cool weather and wind gusts of 20-30 miles per hour.  Hopefully this will hold off so that the students can make the walk.  We have the students and staff divide into four groups that walk around Chamberlain wearing a student designed t-shirt that witnesses this year’s theme, “Live Drug Free.”  The walk ends back on campus with a school-wide picnic—weather permitting—and then there are activities for the younger grades and a presentation for the upper grades by someone local who has struggled with alcohol and drugs.  There is a Plan B, should the rain and wind come, but please say a prayer that the walk may be able to take place.

Hope your week has been a good one and that the weekend ahead will be rewarding and relaxing.  Thanks again for your interest in and support of St. Joseph’s Indian School.  We pray for you and your intentions during the Sunday liturgy each week.


Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ
St. Joseph’s Indian School

A bit of everything

Greetings once again from St. Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain, South Dakota.  As Fr. Steve Huffstetter, SCJ is on his way back from a donor luncheon in the Miami, Florida area, I have been asked to bring you up-to-date on what happened here at St. Joseph’s over the weekend.

It was a weekend that had a bit of everything happen.  Friday afternoon had one of our 4th grades present a ‘living’ Way of the Cross entitled The Week That Changed the World to our students and staff.  Friday also saw the end of the bowling season as all the participants had a fun afternoon in which trophies were awarded and snacks provided.  A lot of fun was had this year and several of the students improved remarkably over the course of the season.

While we were at the bowling lane, word was received that the Chamberlain water supply was experiencing some difficulty and that the water should not be drunk.  The whole town and campus were affected.  As those working on the problem were not sure how long it would last, there was a run on bottled water.  Luckily the disruption was fixed overnight and we could drink and use the water in cooking.

The end of the month also brought an end to our Home Prayers for March and the theme of St. Joseph.  We had the homes pray the Litany of St. Joseph and talked with the students about who St. Joseph was and why he plays an important role in salvation history as the husband of Mary and foster father of Jesus.

Saturday saw the Spring session of FAST (Families And Schools Together) hold its graduation.  We had five families complete the program which encourages interaction among the students, their families and St. Joseph’s staff.  It was wonderful to see several homes attend the graduation as a sign of support and encouragement for their students who took part in the program.  A nice reception took place afterwards.

Should the popular movie, The Hunger Games, have a sequel, several of our students are ready to try out.  Due to the beautiful weather we have been having, those who have been practicing their archery skills were able to shoot outside on the football field.  They seemed to really be into the experience as they were out there for several hours.

Several of the younger grades are taking part in a gymnastics camp offered in the Chamberlain community.  It seems a very popular event; one of our students even participated on the Chamberlain High School Gymnastics Team as a 7th grader.  We hope that taking part in such a camp helps the students get the basics and establish some friendships with Chamberlain students. When they meet up again in high school, we hope good team work values may be established and will bear fruit as Chamberlain’s gymnastics team competes locally and on a state wide basis.

You know Spring has come when you see your first riding lawn mower!  I am not sure if it was out to be used or was being moved to be prepared for the upcoming grass cutting season, but it was moving about the campus.  I hope that is a positive sign that no more ‘wintery’ weather will hit the campus until next Fall and Winter.

Yesterday was Palm Sunday and we began our liturgy by gathering outside in front of the Benedict Homes for the blessing of the palms and then the procession into Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel.

I hope that each of you will have a meaningful and grace-filled Holy Week.  As we continue our journey to Easter and witness what takes place on Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter, may we be grateful for the love and mercy the Great Spirit shows His people through the witness Jesus gives as He willingly pays the price for our sins.  May we always be grateful and echo the statement of the Roman officer heard in yesterday’s reading of the Passion,

‘Truly this man was the Son of God.’

May we live out that gratitude by following Jesus’ example of love and service to all those we encounter in our journey through life.

During our Sunday liturgy we make various announcements.  Our high school program asked us to share some wonderful news.  Erin, one of our high school seniors, has just been awarded the opportunity of a lifetime.  She is one of only six South Dakota students to receive a Davis-Bahcall Scholarship.  This will enable her to spend a month studying particle physics at some great laboratories world-wide.  She’ll spend a week at Sanford Labs in Lead, South Dakota, which used to be an active gold mine, and then two weeks at the Fermilabs just outside Chicago, Illinois, where the Manhattan Project was begun.  She ends the program with a visit to northern Italy where CERN’s Gran Sasso lab, which houses the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest, is housed.  The Chamberlain High School principal stated he ranked this as one of the two highest honors a student could receive in the science field.  We congratulate Erin on this honor.  It was also mentioned that Erin and D’Kera have both been accepted at South Dakota State University following graduation.

Have a Happy Easter and know we continue to keep all of you in our prayers in gratitude for your generosity.

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


Prayers for Fr. Steve

Dear Benefactors,

I have been asked to give you a brief up-date on Fr. Steve Huffstetter, SCJ and his health situation.

A week ago, on February 26th, he went to Mitchell with one of the High School Boys’ Home for a movie and dinner. When he got back later that night his stomach began to act up and he had flu-like symptoms.

On Monday morning he was still feeling the effects and visited with the nurses here on staff at St. Joseph’s.  They looked him over and suggested that he needed to go to the local hospital to be checked out.  I drove him up mid-morning.

He called about noon and said they were admitting him.  It seems there was blockage in one of his intestines, caused by a piece of scar tissue from his operation last year.  He was hooked up to an IV and later in the week had a tube to help drain his stomach.

The Doctor kept close watch.  Towards the end of last week things began to take a positive turn.  The medication produced good results and surgery will not be needed. He is still on the IV, but is now taking some liquids and soft food.  The Doctor kept him in the hospital so he could observe how Fr. Steve’s body reacted to the intake of food.  Fr. Steve’s spirits are up and he will be coming home this afternoon – he is especially looking forward to having some good things to eat.

This notice is not sent to worry you, but to bring you up-to-date on how things are going with Fr. Steve.


Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ
St. Joseph’s Indian School
Chamberlain, SD

Hello from Fr. Anthony

Dear Friends,

It was another hectic weekend here on campus at St. Joseph’s Indian School.  Fr. Steve Huffstetter, SCJ and a group of students and staff were in Austin, Texas for a donor luncheon, which gives me the opportunity to bring you up-to-date on what’s happening here in central South Dakota.

Group shot of Native American kids in the snow.
These Lakota youngsters stopped sledding to pose for a picture!

We are still enjoying a mild winter.  What snow we got a few weeks ago is fast disappearing, which means that the students are missing out on sledding.  The rec center staff sponsored a “midnight” sled fest recently – they turned on the football field lights so the students could sled on the hillside next to the field – and you could hear the shouts of laughter and joy all over campus.  Sunday morning started out with fog, but as it lifted the cold evening air had given all the trees a frosted look which sparkled as the sun came out on another beautiful day.

This past week saw some activity at the construction site of the addition to the Akta Lakota Museum. Large beams were floating through the air as they were lifted into place.  One benefit of the mild weather is that it is giving the workers the opportunity to get a lot of work done.

On Friday three of our high school students, Christopher, Jatonne and Erica,  along with their fellow cast mates took part in the 56th annual One-Act Play Festival in Aberdeen, South Dakota. Chamberlain High joined with 42 other high schools to perform before the judges and public. Each play has 45 minutes from set-up to take down.  The Chamberlain High players performed “We wear the Mask” about some of the issues teens and young adults face.  Chamberlain High received superior acting awards, a standing ovation, and much praise from the judges, other coaches and students for the courage to present such a hard-hitting message.  On the hardwood court, the Chamberlain boys’ basketball team journeyed to Sioux Falls, South Dakota to take part in the Dakota Schoolers Border Classic against Corsica-Stickney and won.  St. Joseph’s has three students on the team—Nick, Claye and Elijah.  The team currently has an 11-3 record.

Saturday gave me a chance to see the energy of our Native American students in action.  Many of our 6th, 7th and 8th graders are active in bowling.  I followed the bus home from the lanes on Saturday after two hours of setting them up to knock them down.  As the students poured out of the bus in front of their homes, many of the boys raced into their homes and were back out again heading to the gym for some basketball.  They seemingly have energy to burn, which is why the rec center with its gym, workout room and pool is such a blessing – to give our students the opportunity to burn off the energy the Great Spirit has blessed them with.

Sunday brought the Super Bowl and our students and staff got caught up in all the excitement as many did around the country.  Several homes hosted Super Bowl parties on campus and it was nice to see that the older homes invited some of the younger students to take part in the festivities.  There was good food to munch on and various door prizes to be won during the game itself.  I had the chance to attend one at Cyr Home where the 4th and 5th grade boys hosted some of the Benedictine Homes’ boys (1st through 3rd grades) and the one at Sheehy Home where the high school boys hosted the other high school homes along with 8th graders.  It helps give them some insight into what the future might hold for those continue in our academic program.  Everyone had a great time, although I’m not sure if everyone was happy at the results of the Giants beating the Patriots, but the G-men did seem to be the choice of many of the students.

The Girls’ Inter-city Basketball program had a good day of play on Sunday.  They also had the chance this past Friday evening to have some fun as the inter-city players from Chamberlain were invited out to have a swim party with the young ladies from St. Joseph’s.  It was a way to have fun and help the girls continue to get to know each other to build up teamwork and help prepare them for when they’ll be together in high school.

The boys’ basketball team, about half way through their season, will meet one of our arch rivals, Lower Brule, as our 5th and 6th grade teams go there today, and Lower Brule’s 7th and 8th grade teams come here to play.  These games should help us get a handle on what sort of team we have as the young men prepare for the St. Joseph’s boys’ basketball tournament this coming Saturday.  It will be especially interesting since Fr. Steve has two of our stars with him on the luncheon visit to Austin, and they will not be back until after game time.

Again thanks for your prayers and generous support.  We pray for you each Sunday at Mass.  This Sunday we had the blessing of the throats for any of the students and staff who wished to receive it as the feast of St. Blasé was this past Friday.

Have a great week and may the Great Spirit continue to bless and reward you.

Until next time,

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


St. Joseph’s Indian School

A word from Fr. Anthony

Dear Benefactors,

I have the privilege to share with you what has been happening here at St. Joseph’s over this past weekend since Fr. Steve, several of our Native American students and some of our staff have been on a donor luncheon in the Napa Valley area of California.

The Native American students playing basketball.
Basketball is one of the favorite pastimes for our Lakota (Sioux) youth!

From the students’ point of view, the biggest thing on campus is the start of the boys’ basketball and the girls’ intercity basketball seasons.  The boys kicked off the season against Lyman here at the rec center and St. Joseph’s came out victorious with the 7th and 8th grade teams, but our 6th graders came up a few points short.  The 7th & 8th grade teams also had the honor of being invited to attend a recent Chamberlain High School (CHS) basketball game, on which several St. Joseph students are playing, and sit behind the varsity bench and visit the locker room.  This came about since the CHS team had been able to use our gym to do some practicing and the coach came up with this as a way of saying thanks.  The girls’ intercity began this past Sunday with young ladies from the Chamberlain, South Dakota area joining with 6th, 7th and 8th grade students here at St. Joseph’s Indian School.  They are divided up into four teams.  Their season will run through the start of March.  You may recall that when the boys had their season they had a special five-minute quarter for those who were 6th graders so they had the chance to play a bit; but the girls are trying out a different wrinkle in that each player has to play in each quarter.  The coaches are trying to sub so that each plays about 3 minutes per quarter.  The purpose of the intercity is to give the young ladies a chance to get to know each other so that when they meet up in high school they will already know something about the new classmates.

Another sports activity, geared to give our students something to do during the months that there should be snow outside, is our bowling program.  Again this is offered to the students in the upper grades on Saturday afternoons with staff serving as team captains and coaches.  The students enjoy it since there are quarters to be won for strikes and picking up the various splits that occur.  The local alley also offers a choice of free drink or nachos if one of the participants gets a strike when a special pin is the head pin.  To keep things on an even keel, each bowler has a handicap so that extra pins are given to make it as even as possible at the start.

Lynn and her present from Santa.
The Native American children had such a great Christmas at St. Joseph's Indian School!

The weather finally turned a bit winter-like.  We received some snow and cold temperatures mid-week which allowed the students to hit the slopes and try out their sleds and ski boards received when they opened their ‘Christmas gifts.’  They enjoyed being out of the homes going up and down the hills.  The joy they experienced reminds me to again say,

Pilamayathank you’ for your generosity towards our students.

It was amazing how generous you were and how excited the students were to be pulling apart paper and ribbons to see what else “Santa” brought them.  Fr. Steve and I enjoyed having the chance to go to the various homes on campus to see the excitement.

However, the change in weather also brought some tragedy to the local Chamberlain community.  Since we have had such a mild winter, the arrival of snow and ice did cause a few accidents.  One especially, touched many here in Chamberlain as the pastor of the local United Church of Christ, Rev. Gregg King, was killed as he and his wife were taking their daughter to the airport in Sioux Falls.  He lost control, crossed the meridian and hit an on-coming vehicle.  Several of our staff are members of that local Faith community.  We ask that you keep Reverend  King in your prayers.

The new Bishop of Rapid City, South Dakota, the Most Rev. Robert Gruss, is scheduled to take place next week.  He has just recently been installed as Bishop.  The Diocese of Rapid City covers all the state of South Dakota west of the Missouri River.  As many of our students come from West River areas, Bishop Gruss is their shepherd.

May the Great Spirit continue to bless and reward you for your generosity towards St. Joseph’s.  I hope each of you have a great day and that your new year is offer to a wonderful start.  Am happy to have had this chance to share with you some of what is happening here on campus.  Looking forward to the next time I can share with you.

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


St. Joseph’s Indian School