Fr. Steve’s updates

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My Mardi Gras party was not beads and revelry, but I rested long enough in the afternoon to see our last two home basketball games for the 7th and 8th graders.

Tonight, we played Chamberlain, so bragging rights for the city were at stake. It’s a spirited, but fun, rivalry for a couple of reasons.

Lots of students on the Chamberlain team have family who work at St. Joseph’s, so those Chamberlain students join us at school picnics and other events throughout the year.

Also, because we hope our students can make friends with town kids as they move into the High School Program, we run an intramural league in the off-season where these kids play with each other instead of always against each other.

They all know each other well. Still, there’s an intensity to win, and there weren’t many parking places near the Rec Center by tip off.

Chamberlain bested our 7th graders, but our 8th graders won. I think it was the first time since they started playing in 4th grade that St. Joseph’s beat that group, so they were feeling proud of their accomplishment. Both sides played hard and with good sportsmanship; they all gave us a lot to cheer for.

My “In” basket is still growing faster than my “Out” basket.

I write a lot of cards and brief notes – staff birthday cards, sympathy cards, get well cards, cards of prayers and cards of thanks. Hopefully a few sincere words can help lift someone’s day. But, I’m still getting more of them sent my way.

Today was also a day of phone calls as family and friends are starting to check in now that I’ve finished a few days of recoup time. People are surprised how upbeat I sound, without realizing that their calling connects me with that spiritual strength only family and friends can give.

One downside to my chemo is I get dehydrated and gravelly voiced. But, maybe today it’s not just from talking, but yelling and cheering at the basketball games!

Author: St. Joseph's Indian School

At St. Joseph's Indian School, our privately-funded programs for Lakota (Sioux) children in need have evolved over 89 years of family partnership, experience and education. Because of generous friends who share tax-deductible donations, Native American youth receive a safe, stable home life; individual counseling and guidance; carefully planned curriculum based on Lakota culture and individual student needs and tools to help build confidence, boost self-esteem and improve cultural awareness. All of this helps children to live a bright, productive, possibility-filled future.

23 thoughts on “Fr. Steve’s updates”

  1. DEAR Faher Steve,
    You are SOOOOO socially adept..! Your enthusiasm for and with others is BRILLIANT.
    Keep up the great work, buddy..!
    Our prayers are with you constantly..
    What you are doing and have done is inspired by God..and will continue forever…
    Thank You for doing what you were called to do..
    Mia Archer

    1. We were very sad to read of your illness in your recent letter. You will be in our constant prayers for a complete healing.

      Supporters from Florida,
      Bette & Leo Hebert

  2. Dear Fr. Steve,

    Am so glad that you’re starting to feel a little better and was able to enjoy yourself at the basketball games. I have been praying that you go into remission and never come out of it. I pray for your speedy recovery every day and hearing how well you are coming along gives me hope that my prayers are truely heard by ourn Father in Heaven.

    God Bless you and keep you in his care always,

    Nancy

  3. Father Steve
    I’m glad you got to enjoy the games. That spirit of competition is a good one at times. Glad your able to enjoy the day. In pa. the weather is basically the same, cold and windy and lots of winter snow. I teach a class on ancestry and history,etc. on Sundays at church. so, I spent the day educating myself. Ha! I enjoy teaching, mostly in seeing people learn things. I hope your week goes super and you get to spend more time with the children. God Bless The Clappers!!!!!

  4. Prayers for you from a distance! The work you do with the Lakota is so important! Blessings to you! – and ALL the children, too!

  5. DEAR FATHER,
    MAY OUR LADY OF THE GREEN SCAPULAR
    HEAL YOUR CANCER,THE GREEN SCAPULAR HAS HEAL MY LUNG PROBLEM, TRY IT ,IT WORKS, FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE LET ME KNOW. AND I WILL GIVE YOU MY LUNG INFORMATION FROM MY DOCTOR.
    GOD BLESS YOU
    SGTMCDOWELL USA RET

  6. Dear Father Steve,
    We are so very sorry to hear about your diagnosis. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers daily. We hope for remission. God Bless you and keep you in his care always,
    Tom & Lori

  7. Dear Fr. Steve,
    I am praying for you, your fight against cancer, your healing and your work. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.
    Today I read this quote from St. Katharine Drexel: “The patient and humble endurance of the cross — whatever nature it may be — is the highest work we have to do.” Apparently God has given you a new cross for your highest work. Let us pray to St. Katharine Drexel to intercede for you and to assure your patient and humble endurance.
    Peace and blessings to you.

  8. Dear Father Steve;
    My thoughts are with you, i too was diagonosed with cancer in 2006 and know the battle you are going through after seven months of intense chemo and radiation(which allmost wasted me away)i beat it, an am in remission now. You went into it with the right attidude,an i have faith you will win the battle.Good luck to you, keep the faith, an god bless you.
    Sincerly,
    Ric

  9. Dear Father Steve,

    Please now that you are in my thoughts and prayers. I know several people, including family members (my dad, aunt, & uncle), that have or have had cancer. I know it’s a long hard road, but everything is in God’s hands. I hope for remission for you. Attitude makes all the difference!

    Good luck & God Bless!
    Michelle

  10. Dear Fr. Steve: I recently messaged you that I had lost my job of 21 years (and 30-plus years in the field), and you sent a very kind reply to me. My wife and I are doing fine, and it really hit me that you had given me encouragement like that while you were going through a much scarier life experience. Thank you for your kindness! I might be driving by Chamberlain in 2 wks; maybe I can say hello or scribble you a note at the office.
    All the best to you, sir: –Mark

  11. Dear Fr. Steve….I don’t know if you remember me or us…but when you were in Jourdanton, TX, we lived across St. Matthew’s Catholic Churcn in Jourdanton. My twin daughters were close to you and in contact with you for some time. Their names are Brandy and Candy Coronado, they Altar Served here at St. Matthew’s until their High School Years… that is enough on us.
    I just wanted to let you know that you were often prayed for before we found out about the cancer. We remember always..your friendliness….you playing your guitar…your smile that brought many smiles and still does and the fact that you liked to dance…(we met up at a dance class on one of your visits to San Antonio…..)
    I just want you to know we think of you and ask our Almighty God to walk close to you,especially during this time. Please email me if you can.
    Your friend in Jourdanton
    Mary Navejar

  12. Dera Fr. Steve
    My prayers are with you as for myself. I was operated on for colon cancer & have had a lot of infections from the surgery. So I know how things are with you. Thank God for our faith without it we would be lost. Yes I question what I did to deserve this horrible disease & than I see or hear of someone worse off than I am & I thnak Him for all He has done for me.
    God Bless You,
    Margaret Suarez

  13. Dear Father Steve,

    I just learned of your illness and want you to know that you are in my prayers.

    A friend in Florida.
    Theresa

  14. Dear Fr. Steve,
    I am dismayed and sorry to hear of your cancer. By the grace of God, I have had only a small bladder cancer, but I have lost two wives to the disease, one to breast and one to lung cancer. I tell you this from the vantage point of my almost 85 years to let you know that I am not without some experience in the matter.
    Please, for the love of God, reject all conventional treatment. The routine of cut, burn and poison, in any sequence, will so weaken your body and ruin your immune system that you will have hell on earth. At first you will think that you are strong enough, but the cumulative effect will ruin you as it has so many others. If you ask your oncologist whether he would use the procedures he is urging on you to treat himself or his wife, the chances are he will say No.
    But even in our country nonstandard procedures are available, and better methods are available in Germany. Please do not rush into disastrous treatments which do not promise more than a potential 5-year survival. Alternatively, you can be CURED. Cancers do not grow like weeds. Please take the time to look for the right treatment.
    If you are determined to avoid all treatments, now or later, find a physician who will support you in your last days by keeping you out of pain. Morphine is the only painkiller that will work, but few physicians understand that people in pain do not get a morphine high, that energy being absorbed to fight the pain.
    My annual contribution to St. Joseph’s will be in the mail in the morning, but I am prepared to provide $1,000 to any alternative treatment facility in the U.S. or up to EUR 10,000 for treatment in Germany.
    My prayers are with you.
    Cordially, with warm regards,
    Christopher Brent

  15. Dear Father, Cancer is ranpid among my friends. I pray each night for healing for all of them including you. Hom many times have I turned to St. Joseph’s children to comfort and heal now I do it for you as well. God has a plan, I know, but I am asking for HIM to keep you strong. Barbara.

  16. Dear Fr. Steve,
    I was very sorry to learn of your illness. I am an oncologist in Boston affiliated with MIT. The cancer that you are thought to have is quite rare and rather difficult to treat. If you would like to discuss your situation or consider additional review of your case, feel free to contact me by reply email to set up a convenient time for a call.

  17. Dear Father Steve,

    You will be in our daily prayers for a successful outcome in your fight against cancer. After all, the Lord must realize you are way too “needed” in your mission here on earth in all of the wonderful things you do, and of those whom you inspire daily! It is a blessing that we live in a time where modern medicine can
    provide us with hope and success for a complete cure. God Bless!

    Love from the Murray Family in Massachusetts

  18. Dear Father Steve,
    You will remain in our thoughts and prayers for a complete recovery. God bless you for all your good work with the children and families of St. Joseph’s and may it continue.
    God bless you,
    The Tworck Family

  19. The night I received your email about your Cancer was the night before my Breast Cancer Surgery. It made me feel like we are battle buddies! I start my radiation next week and had my markers put in yesterday. I pray for you everytime I pray. We will be fine because we have too much to do yet. Love and Prayers, Lyn Collina

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