Greetings and a final farewell

It is strange the twists and turns our life journeys take us on. I have been reflecting these past few weeks about my time here at St. Joseph’s Indian School and about the impact the students made upon my life. I was thinking of one particular student I used as an example of going above and beyond what is asked of any of us. For many years, I used her as an example of her selfless action to help another in need in several of my classes.

Years ago, when this girl was in sixth grade, she had beautiful long hair and was very proud of it. One day she heard about a woman undergoing chemo therapy and was losing her hair and was in need of a wig. My student had her head shaved and donated all of her hair to help make a wig for this woman dealing with cancer. This past Friday, after several years of not seeing her, I bumped into her at a store. We were so glad to see one another and I was amazed at what a beautiful young woman she had grown into. I spoke to her husband and related what she had done in my class and he said she was still a woman of conviction and great compassion. This young woman is a true example of one the success stories of St. Joseph’s Indian School.

I am so proud of all of the students I’ve worked with. They have touched me, and I hope I have also had an impact on them. Some of the eighth graders have commented that we have known each other for eight years and, as they embark on a new journey, so shall I.

I have known my mentor match since first grade, when he hid in the closest of the classroom and would not speak to anyone but me! Now, he towers over me and is still growing (and I am over six feet in height!).

I will miss each student here and I thank each one for allowing me into their lives and trusting me with their stories of growing up Lakota. What an honor I have been bestowed with.

To all, I wish you peace and joy each day of your lives. Never stop dreaming and make those dreams become reality. I have always lived my life so there would never be any “should of, could of, would of…” and never stop believing, as Anne Frank said, “In the goodness of people.”

God bless,
Richard

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.

6 thoughts on “Greetings and a final farewell”

  1. I know Fr. Steve has cancer so don’t know if he is leaving or someone named Richard. But irregardless, I pray for Fr. Steve for healing and peace and for Richard. God bless all who have helped the young people of the Lakota Reservation. In Jesus Divine Love

    1. Lynn,
      I (Fr. Steve) am not leaving. Richard teaches Religious Education and is retiring at the end of the school year.
      I’ve been feeling pretty good. I was in the hospital for some time in March, but it was a side effect from the surgery, and the and cancer still seems to be in check. I go back to the doctor’s at the end of May for a 6 month check up, and hopefully a clean bill of health.
      God Bless
      Fr. Steve

  2. This student, is truly full of his teachings,and is Proud to tell it….ALL being a part of GOD and LOVE, being taught to him. Each always is an individual in his/her own way. I must say Richard, YOUR OWN WAY, is one to be so PROUD of, and I truly PRAY that you will spread it around to others…,that also need your guidance in life.–What we remember, is what we are TAUGHT, no matter the age of a person, our being TAUGHT’ is what is remembered, and usually swayed to, even if not the best decision…..Just the way TAUGHT’. Richard, I can see that you will be an excellent teacher and all that learn from you, will be so BLESSED.– You should say THANK YOU, to your TEACHER’. God Bless’-
    Cynthia MILLER’-skaggs
    Fort Worth, Texas

  3. Dear Richard,
    You have had such an impact on the children at St. Joe’s, and they have had an impact on your life also. I wish you the very best as you take the next step in your journey. God bless you!

  4. May Grandfather bless and keep the schools students and teachers walking the road of peace and giveing. May all your dreams come true.

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