Goodness and mercy

I enjoyed breakfast and a good conversation with my brother-in-law Ed this morning. He was on a brief visit, driving home a camper for friends who toured the Black Hills. He rolled in last night and was off again this morning, but I sure appreciated his company and getting caught up on family.

I made the rounds in the classrooms. Richard had the first graders in Religious Education class. They were learning the sign of the cross. A few had the basics down, but for many it was a brand new concept. A lot of the children who come here, even if they have been baptized in some tradition, are mostly unchurched. Hopefully they will deepen their knowledge of God, teach me a thing or two about God’s ways and surpass us all in goodness and mercy.

Frank, our 6th – 8th grade Residential Coordinator and Jenny, our Student Coordinator, met with all the 7th and 8th graders to lay out some guidelines which will help our American Indian students down the road if they want to get accepted into our high school program. We want all of our students to keep their eyes on the future and realize the choices they make now can either contribute to their later success  or become a roadblock. We plant the seeds now and hope they will take root.

I ate supper in the Dennis Home (1st-3rd grade girls), where half of the girls are brand new to St. Joseph’s. I was surrounded in the playroom by more dolls than I’ve seen in a long time; familiar play things that help the girls relax, have fun and help their adjustment to new surroundings.

Before becoming a houseparent, Peter was a chef, and he fixed up a wonderful stir fry from scratch. It’s a constant challenge to make sure kids are eating healthy and tonight they had a mixture of chicken, broccoli, celery, onions, green beans, cabbage, water chestnuts, mushrooms and rice on their plates. Not only did I hear no complaints, but many of the girls asked for seconds!

None of the new kids had ever been around a priest much and were very curious about my all black attire. They asked, “When are you going to change clothes?”  (I do all the time – they just look the same!). Later when I ran into the group again by the Rec Center, in my gym trunks and tennis shoes, they had to check those out too.

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 90 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.

4 thoughts on “Goodness and mercy”

  1. What a delightful blog posting! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and felt in a small way that I had shared in the day. That supper ex-chef Peter cooked sounded delicious! Yummy!

    The email we received about the first day of classes, and the pictures accompanying it, brought up a question for me: Do you use the textbooks recommended by the State of South Dakota? Do your teachers have to be certified by the State of South Dakota?

    1. Good afternoon Jean, what a great question!
      Yes, our teachers must be certified to teach in South Dakota and our curriculum meets all the standards set forth by the state – we are a fully accredited educational facility.

      Pilamaya – thank you again for supporting St. Joseph’s Indian School! God bless; have a great day!

  2. Blessings, good thoughts, and prayers at the beginning of another school year. We are thinking of you, and love hearing that you are learning, growing, and helping one another.
    Your friend,
    Mary Latela, Missouri

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