Fr. Steve’s updates

Monday, February 8, 2010

Today’s mail brought in another batch of bills and forms from doctors, the hospital and the insurance company.

Thankfully, I’m one of the fortunate ones with good insurance. As an administrator, I deal with complex paperwork all the time, but I have to admit these forms can be intimidating.

I’m sensitive to the needs of people who don’t know how they’ll ever afford needed medicine or treatments, and those who get lost in the paperwork system or are denied coverage.

I had supper in the Afra Home, which is home to our 1st – 3rd grade girls.

As a way of promoting reading, I sat on the couch after supper and let the girls take turns reading stories, which all were excited to do.

The biggest difference I see between this semester and last is the progress the first graders have made with their vocabulary and comprehension skills.

During a break, one of the first graders started talking about her family.

Prior to St. Joseph’s, she spent a lot of time in a shelter. There were times as a kindergarten student when she was responsible for babysitting and caring for her three younger brothers and sisters for long periods of time.

Some of our kids have been through a lot, and I encourage them to talk it through with houseparents, teachers and counselors. The younger students freely talk about everything. The older students tend to hold more within and need to build trust so they can share.

I received a book in the mail today – the reflections of Cardinal Joseph Bernardine of Chicago, written during the months when he was dying of cancer.

I was in Chicago for graduate school during that time and admired the way he so openly and freely shared with people. During that journey, he found the ability to live so fully each day.

When you look around, you can always find people who inspire us with their love and compassion during the hard times they’re going through.

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.

9 thoughts on “Fr. Steve’s updates”

  1. Father Steve,
    I really look forward to your notes. Something to be learned each one. I lost my sister, 7 years my junior, 5 years ago with lung cancer. I kept waiting for some kind of talk about how much we both didn’t want this inevitable “thing” to happen but I felt I had to take the lead from her and not introduce it myself. We never had that talk, we just knew what was coming, but I still wish I had been able to say “I don’t want you to die”. She did not fear dying, she had been saved, but she feared the process. Fortunately, it was a very peaceful, undramatic passing, and for that I was grateful. I hope she knows now, suppose that is possible?

    God Bless,
    Ann Short

  2. Steve your words brought tears to my eyes. In your own time of crisis to hear the words of the little ones around you! We were so blessed to have grown up the way we did. Surrounded by parents who could provide for us. Both physical needs and love..Hang in there brother, we do not walk this path alone.

  3. Dear Father Steve,
    Although I don’t know you personally, I am adding you to my prayers. Each night I say a Novena to either St Theresa or St Jude, sometimes both. I wish you good health and a speedy recovery! I don’t think I have cancer, but a couple of weeks ago after having a CT scan done, some odd spots showed up in and around my abdomen region. It was decided after more tests, that it was plaque. I already had a small blockage, so naturally my doctor ordred Nuclear Cardiology tests. This past summer I came close to dying from a very severe kidney/urinary tract infection because I was going into septic shock, but the urologist who was assigned to my case took me for emergency surgery as soon as he got there and he saved my life. I later found out if he hadn’t performed the surgery to clear the blockage in my kidney and place a stent in it to drain the infection, I wouldn’t have survived the night. As if all this weren’t enough, it was found my liver enzymes are way too high, the infection I had last summer has come back now for the 3rd time and my type 2 diabetes blood sugar levels have gone way up. I have no energy or motivation and also tire easily.
    I just received a letter from my doctor telling me the cardiology test came back OK! One down and a few more to go, but I have put my faith and trust in God and St Jude who is my buddy and St Theresa, since she is the saints name I chose for my confirmation. I have a great back-up team! I’m worried, sure. But faith will see me through, just as it will you. Thank you for sharing your story and I will keep up with you on your journey. I really believe you are going to overcome this cancer and get back to doing what God has called you to do. God Bless you Father Steve,
    Carolyn

  4. FATHER STEVE Inspirations from others is what I like about life sometimes. Many people I look to and who mean the most to me, have been things said by little kids. They never cease to amaze me. Out of the mouth of babes. THE HEARTS OF CHILDREN SAY SO MUCH, MANY TIMES WITHOUT A WORD SAID. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and wisdom on things. Have a Great Weekend. Best Wishes The Clapper Family

  5. Father Steve,

    God love you. We had the great fortune to meet you a couple of years ago in Richmond, VA. We are treatment foster parents and had the good fortune to bring one of our children with us Daymar who still often speaks of Nicholas his Indian Brother!!!! We have had the good fortune to move into a much larger home and if you all are ever in Richmond again we would love to offer lodging to the young ladies or gentlemen you bring with you. I would love for them to meet our other four special children. Funny but you are our inspiration to helping those in need and while we would love to be there with you assisting these children we do assist those we can here with love and safety. We are able send you a small monthly donation and try to answer your emergency needs with at least something and always we remember those who have left this life with a memorial gift. Godspeed to becoming cancer free and we keep you daily in our prayers.
    God Bless
    The Poh Family: Vincent, Ceily, Jessia, Daymar, Keitoine and Lucy

  6. Prayers and best wishes to Father Steve. The power of evil is great in this world and the evil one tries to destroy God’s good in this world. Your life is an example of faithfulness and God will bless though we may not see the fruit of His doing in this lifetime. May God heal you according to His will for your life. My prayers and sympathy are with you.
    Rachel Kemberling

  7. Fr. Steve, A family member of mine was raised an orphan here in NYC. He is 88 years old now and to this day, he remembers how badly people treated him in the orphanage when he was 12.
    I don’t think anyone asked him to speak about how he felt. Well he never spoke about it. He kept it inside all those years. He is still in pain.
    Thank you for being there for those kids! A kind word to a child makes a world of difference and reading your blog brings a smile to my heart.

  8. Fr.Steve,
    I dont know if you accept children’s clothing but I do have sizes 7 to 12 boys and girls Shirts, Jeans etc from my Grand Children and would like to give them to someone who appreciates clothing.
    If there is someone who will be going that way , I would be more then happy to send them to you.
    I live on a fixed income, otherwise I would ship them to you.
    Thank you and God Bless you.
    Mrs Whelan

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