I’ve been blogging for almost two years now, and Adria, who helps me with the technical work on my blog, tells me that I just completed my 500th post!
I started as a way to keep a lot of people posted about my battles and recovery with cancer, but also to let people know about the day-to-day events that make up the St. Joseph’s Indian School experience. I go back to the doctors in a few weeks for my next check up, and am feeling well. And each day that goes by at school, is another day of blessing, with lots of little events that touch my heart and bring a smile to my face.
Today was All Souls Day. Fr. Anthony suggested the homes give the students a chance to write down names of their loved ones whose death is close to their hearts. At Sunday mass, the kids placed small scraps of paper, or a whole page of neatly written names into a basket. Today before mass, I read through them, and prayed for all people who grieve and are trying to find the way forward without those they love to walk with them on life’s journey. I’m also reminded that we’re all ultimately on a journey towards our heavenly home, and remembering and praying for those who have died gives us a better perspective on how we should live our lives today.
Chris Grant is a law enforcement officer whose specialty is preventing gang violence in Indian Country. He did a series of student presentations today, and I sat in with the 4th and 5th grade boys from Cyr and Perky Homes.
When he asked the boys how many of them knew someone in a gang, all but two hands went up.
Sadly, it is a very real problem even in rural South Dakota Indian reservations. When he asked what gangs do, one of the students said, “Gangs fight for colors”. Just wearing the wrong color can be dangerous in many places.
Officer Grant showed some graphic photos about the kind of harm violence can lead to. He had our boys complete attention the whole time through. We hope and pray our students make the choice not to become involved in gangs!