God’s continued blessings

This morning the Chamberlain/ Oacoma Fitness Council sponsored a youth triathlon and used St. Joseph’s Indian School’s campus for most of the activities. The youngest crowd, 6 and under, rode their bike once around Wisdom Circle, then finished with a 100 yard dash. The 13-15 year olds swam 200 yards, biked 7 miles and ran for 2. The other age categories had in-between distances.

Three groups of our students put together teams and did one leg of the triathlon each. Three of our students competed on their own and did all three. It was the first time any had competed in such an event, and they made a great effort and had fun in doing so. I enjoyed seeing kids from St. Joseph’s and from town mingle together. Angel (7th grade) won her division. Cassidy gave it a great try, but on the last ½ mile of running she hit a wall. She almost gave up, but the other girls from Pinger Home were there to support her and walked the course with her until she caught her breath and finished.

I admire such fortitude, especially when you know you’re not going to win – but are a winner because you hang in and finish.

In the afternoon, I had some visitors stop by campus who were parishioners when I was stationed in Eagle Butte. Janelle’s mom attended St. Joseph’s Indian School and I gave them a tour of the chapel, school and one of the homes. They told me they were in town for a wedding reception across the Missouri River at Cedar Shores and I should stop by if I had the time. Later that evening I did drop by, and between two of the larger clans on the Cheyenne River Reservation, I probably knew about 80% of the people there. It brought back so many memories of my work there; lots of hugs, hearty handshakes and reminiscing. I saw kids who I baptized who now have children of their own.

I also went to the open house of a couple who have been married for 50 years – Jean and Dwain Blackwell. Jean has been on our staff in donor services for many of those years. I enjoyed meeting family from out-of-town that I’d not yet met.

Congratulations and God’s continued blessings!

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.

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