After the Mission Education conference on St. Joseph’s campus, the Board of Directors meeting went off as scheduled. Half the folks had to phone in since winter storm Walda closed Interstate 90 in South Dakota from Sioux Falls all the way to Rapid City, a distance of 350 miles!
The dynamics of a meeting change considerably when you can’t view power point presentations. After reports from Child Services, Development and Human Resources, we heard from those groups who work so hard to make a difference on the reservations.
The main work of the day was to consider and vote on next year’s budgets. Fr. Tom, our SCJ provincial, and Fr. Jack finished their 3-year terms on our board, and we showed appreciation to them by gifting them with a star quilt.
The generous support we receive from our donors makes the wide range of our programs for the Lakota children and their families possible.
After the meeting, I ran into James and Marion, two such donors, touring the museum. They were on their way home to Montana and were stranded in Chamberlain by the storm. At first, they were just looking for something better than watching TV in their hotel room. It was their first time St. Joseph’s Indian School, so I took them on a tour of the school. They were delighted to meet students and staff, and see the students’ campus homes. They said the stop was far more than they expected, and a highlight of their trip.
Back in class after the storm, St. Joseph’s students were busy with Dakota Step testing, and the school halls were again very quiet.
The SCJ novices from Chicago stayed with us a few days after the Mission Education conference. They were originally hoping to hear South Dakota reflections from the priests and brothers who’ve served many years on the Indian Reservations here, but the snows limited them to our crew at St. Joseph’s. We shared around the supper table and they reflected on what they had learned and observed from the conference. Hopefully, in a few years when their schooling is complete, we can interest them in this great work.