The first item I want to share is that Fr. Steve, the students and staff of St. Joseph’s that went to New York City for donor luncheons are safe, but stuck. Father called yesterday afternoon to say that they were able to have the luncheon on Saturday, but only seven Benefactors were able to attend due to the approach of Hurricane Irene since public transportation was shut down. I’m sure Fr. Steve will have more to blog at his next opportunity, but he wanted everyone to know they were safe. Due to the backlog of air travelers, he felt that they might have to stay an extra day or two before being able to fly back to South Dakota.
As mentioned in my last memo, the local Chamberlain School system opened last week and the high school kicked off their volleyball, football and soccer season. The Cubs pulled off a big upset in knocking off Hot Springs 16-14 in football. Four of our students are on the team, one is a cheerleader and even the mascot is a St. Joseph’s Indian School student. The soccer and volleyball teams did not fare as well. The soccer team is 0-3, but got a nice word of affirmation from the referee at their last game since he was impressed at the progress they have made since this is only their second year. The volleyball team won the JV game 2-0. Two St. Joseph students are on that team while one is on the varsity which gave a good effort but also had opening game jitters that helped contribute to losing the match 0-3.
I also mentioned that a variety of meetings have been underway here on campus and that was highlighted by various reports being generated regarding our strategic planning as we dream dreams for the future and how we can continue moving St. Joseph’s forward over the next several years.
On Saturday, three Benedictine Sisters from Yankton, South Dakota came by for a visit to campus. Sister Doris is the blood sister of Sister William after whom one of our Homes is named. One of the other Sisters had been to visit St. Joseph’s years ago and mentioned how impressed they were with the look of the campus and all the “new” additions they noticed. It is always nice when those who have some history with St. Joseph’s visit and then share their memories of previous visits, especially if it has been awhile.
St. Joseph’s hosted about 15 families who attended a FAST (Families And School Together) Weekend. The program is an outreach of our Family Service Counselors geared to help students and their families deepen relationship and interaction skills while facing the challenges of family life.
Lots of activities for the students this week as the cross-country, volleyball and 7th/8th grade football teams are practicing for their upcoming seasons which begin next month. Our 5th grade Lakota (Sioux) students will also have the chance to check out the opportunity to form a band here at St. Joseph’s as part of a program in conjunction with the Chamberlain School system to help younger students start learning musical instruments, so as to be ready to transition into the high school band. It may be a bit noisy around here for the next several months or so, but we are also looking forward some beautiful music as the year moves along. Another area of practice will be for those preparing to dance for the powwow on September 17th.
Now that the students are back and the year is underway, I’ll be going into each of the Homes to bless them for the upcoming school year. It is a way to remind our students we want to provide a safe and secure experience for them and the blessing highlights God’s presence so as to enable all within the Home to be supportive and encouraging to each other.
Again, our thanks to all of you for your generosity, prayers and encouragement. May God continue to bless and reward you. Have a great day!
Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ
St. Joseph’s Indian School