Fr. Steve’s updates

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

One short nap before lunch and nodding off for a few minutes while watching the news – my energy level is climbing!

One of our long range strategic planning goals is to look at replacing the old and outdated storage for our museum, and in the process, adding space for a historical center on campus.

We hope our alumni would find it a natural gathering place to see pictures and artifacts from the past that they helped create, and visitors might enjoy also seeing how the school has changed and evolved over the years.

We’re still probably a couple years away, but we’re working with a group that is helping us plan. They were on campus today, and I was part of a brainstorming group most of the day. We also talked with an architect to get a lot of the practical questions in the mix.

Parts of our story are hard – children were punished for speaking Lakota in the early years. It was 1976 when St. Joseph’s started Lakota language classes.

Parts of our history inspire – when a fire destroyed the main building in 1931, despite the Depression, people had the faith to carry on and rebuild.

The children and people who have passed through our campus are the main characters in our story. As I learn more about the past, I’m grateful that I too am part of this story.

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.

13 thoughts on “Fr. Steve’s updates”

  1. Dear Father Steve, We are hoping that you do and feel well during the treatments and that you will be healed. We will pray for you.

  2. Good for you..! Sounds like you are on the rebound..! More treatments to go, I know..but it seems that it is all adding up to a very positive score..! Keep dancing…!
    See you on Broadway..?
    Love and Prayers..Mia and Bob

  3. Dear Fr. Steve,

    It was wonderful to read that your energy levels are climbing. We were so happy to hear that and are also happy that you are also going to be a part of the lakota history museum on campus. Hope all geos well with the project. Love to the kids and to your staff and as always Love to you Fr. Steve.

    God Bless you and your school, kids and staff,

    Nancy & Kenny Raymond.

  4. Hi Father,

    My mother, Verna Ftacek, donated to St. Joseph for many years. She passed in 2001. I have been a donator for many years also, both monetary and clothing.

    I am praying for you to “beat” your cancer. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in August of 09 and had surgery in October. My last MRI was clear. I pray that you will also get “good news”. Cancer is a frightening word and seems to come out of nowhere when first hearing it related to yourself.

    You seem to have a positive attitude and loads of love and support from your school family. That is more than half the battle. Keep the faith and God will see you through.

    Best wishes,

    Judy Russell

  5. I thought I was the only person who nods off during the news! I think that’s when the day definitely catches up with a lot of us. You sound like you are doing well.

    Part of human growth is realizing that mistakes were made – and then taking the initiative to make sure they don’t happen again. That’s what history is all about! We all learn.

  6. Good to read, Fr. Steve, that you are “hanging in there” and it is not surprising that you have a positive attitude! That shows in all the mail I get from St. Joseph’s and in the children’s faces as well as your’s. Laughter is an important part of healing as well as prayer. I’m grateful to God that I laugh….and pray a lot and we can never know how many are praying for us! In my response to the first mailing from St.
    Joe’s I mentioned that I was probably one of the VERY
    few people who had not only been through Chamberlain but on 3 different occasions we stayed at a motel on the high hill with the magnificent view of the Missouri river and so are the sunsets…plus the food at THE drug store. The children from PIne Ridge are blessed to be at St. Joseph’s. Godspeed and love, in Christ’s name.
    Liz Stark

  7. Dear Fr. Steve, We are happy to hear that you are doing good, keep up the good work. We haven’t been to St. Joe’s in a couple years, we sure miss coming there. I can’t wait to see the new changes. I don’t know when we will be getting back that way again.
    Well you take care & God Bless You
    Angie & Kenny Dunford

  8. Dear Father Steve,
    Im so happy to hear your up and about alittle more and the story of how reading can open whole new worlds of understanding was an enjoyment, ive always believed in “if you can read and understand-you can learn just about anything you might desire” i have been concerned for your health not only because you care so deeply for the children and they would be lost without your love for many more years to come but also because all those seeds of dreams still germinating in your heart towards the lakota peoples and for Gods glory might go unrealized. Today while reading different ap news stories, one of what i would call native americas biggest stories since before columbus landed on virgin shores crossed my path, it has been heart wrenching to me to see and live in the poverty of native america both in body and soul due to all the evil influences and hatreds garnered over our countries history and to know my son also may become one of those statistics if his father and i arent ever mindful of what is right and well and the work of gods hands in every color in a flower and leaf on the trees protecting us both summer and winter, and yes this has been a long winter, and hard on some but the earth herself is so tired a good deep sleep will renew and refresh many oof gods creations that have not seen much other than hardship for so very long, anyhow back to the story…. the headlines are a simple one liner “American Indian reservation reaping oil benefits”, while this might be little to nothing when read by most of the people i know and skipped over after the headlines with the assumption well there goes another casino to steal money from us, this story i believe will dissapear as soon as spring snow in the noon sun, it to me however was significant… ill tell you why…first because i thought of you who have dedicated so long your heart and love to the lakota children, and remembering how it broke your heart to think your illness might result in even one child not getting the help they need, and then i thought about something i was told once, “all in gods time”, meaning not our wishes or fears or our dreams, but his hope and our faith seen or unseen. so back to the highlights of the story in case you havent run across this miracle of gods salvation of his “other nations” that were not yet known of during the time of christs advent, that all the way back then even that far back god had a plan to oversee his children here as well, leading me to be renewed in the rememberance that god has a path for us all and faith is all we need….well the story talks about how underneath a lake that the government made by flooding 10 percent of one of what was thought to be one of the most worthless pieces of land in the whole u.s. in the midst of 1500 square miles of native owned land, was the largest and most significant find of oil the us geological society has ever assessed. in yet another one of what i call gods best wool pullings, there but for the grace of god that made that lake using the evil intentions of men, there where it may have been discovered many years earlier and with the then current administration in power and with thier blatant disreguard for the rights of an entire sovreign nation, that oil would have been taken and nothing but a dry sinkhole left to further destroy one of the last best open pieces of sky and land in the usa. so there it was in black and white how god used the dumb to confound the wise, how gods timing is perfect even if we dont agree and how one mans hatred is gods love in action “the government meant it to them in ND for bad but god meant it to them for good. Will good now come from it? yes and no… for evil still exhists in the hearts of men and it is there we are all the same regardless of our skin tone… so with all of that said i wish you many long and happy days more to come, if for some reason it may be that it is time for a different path then may you still know that god looks out for those we love even if its to call them home early. and to those who may have read this thinking im native ranting saying ha ha, well im not, just a lover of those things which are mighty good…peace love hope joy and happiness both to you and your children and to all those who might read this to the end… yeah im a bit long winded when im really excited 🙂

  9. Dear Father Steve,
    I’m so glad to be part of eclub so that I can read your messages everyday! I’m also thankful that God strengthens you to continue writing them! God willing I would love to come visit this summer; meet you,staff and children. Until we meet, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
    Blessings,
    Cyndi

  10. Father Steve
    That sounds terrific on the museum. I can’t wait till I can see it someday. Glad your feeling better and have more energy, that helps. Staying active is so important to mind ,body and soul. I teach a small class on Ancestry and it is a lot of work doing research but so worth it. Keep smiling and glad your feeling better. The Clapper Clan!!!

  11. I will pray that God’s strength and love surround you and give you courage, strength, and peace of mind during your coming months of treatment. As a member of a church community which has a prayer chain, I have asked the Prayer Circle to offer prayers of healing for you. May God keep you in His loving embrace and guide you in the months to come.

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