Fr. Steve’s updates

Chamberlain High School held its fourth annual powwow today. Many of our students are active in the Native American Club at CHS, and they all pitched together to make it a successful day.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Chamberlain High School held its fourth annual powwow today.

I was so pleased when the school decided to sponsor such an event. Many of our students are active in the Native American Club at CHS, and they all pitched together to make it a successful day.

Not all of our students are dancers. Some used their talents to cook, organize or work at one of the many tables with information or raffle prizes. Many hands working together surely made the job easier.

At powwows, I enjoy walking through the crowd and catching up with old friends. I saw families from the nearby reservation communities where I served as pastor. This provided an opportunity to say hello and catch up on news. So many people assured me of their prayers and also asked for mine for family members who are having a hard time.

I had the chance to visit another crowd of folks in the evening when I attended a 60th wedding anniversary gathering.

Dick and Mae are active in the downtown parish, but I see them each Wednesday when they come to the daily mass here at St. Joseph’s. Their whole clan was gathered, as were many folks from the area. 60 years of commitment inspires me to keep going, even when the journey gets difficult. Again, I received lots of prayers and support.

Fr. Steve’s updates

We had some controversy at Chamberlain High School when a group of students were asked to change a racially charged T-Shirt they wore to school. The issue highlighted tensions that need to be addressed in our community in an on-going way.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

We had some controversy at Chamberlain High School when a group of students were asked to change a racially charged T-Shirt they wore to school. The issue highlighted tensions that need to be addressed in our community in an on-going way.

It’s my hope the anger and passion raised on different sides of the issue can be a teachable moment. I pray for people to channel their energy into better understanding and work through the problems.

Our SCJ mission statement calls us precisely to be bridge builders between cultures, prophets of love and servants of reconciliation.

Our SCJ mission statement calls us precisely to be bridge builders
between cultures, prophets of love and servants of reconciliation.

Our team called a meeting for our high school students after school, and I stopped in to listen.

Sometimes, it’s hard to get teenagers to talk about what’s going on inside, but today our students spoke very freely and honestly.

We want our children to be proud of their culture, but they all know the sting of being “eyeballed” due to the color of their skin. One student spoke of the difficulty of finding your way between two cultures. Another told how important it is to hang tough and not let discouraging remarks get you down.

On a lighter note, while I was working in the office, I saw soap bubbles drifting by my window.

I just had to take a break and go out and see what the kids on the playground were up to. Some of the girls had to show me their flips and spins on the playground equipment.

Then, I got involved in a game of tag. First, that meant lots more running around than I wanted to do, but as our ranks quickly grew, everyone bunched together and just kept exchanging quick taps of “you’re it!”

Those brief breaks and encounters with the kids are what keeps me going.

Fr. Steve’s updates

During the prayer service, one of our counselors read some prayer reflections on what people got out of the weekend – mostly the chance to more deeply appreciate one another.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Home in Chamberlain!

Fr. Hendrick from Lower Brule helped with the driving, and we made it back last night. While cliché, there really is no place like home.

Today was a settling back in day, doing laundry and starting to dive into the piles of mail and paperwork surrounding my desk. It was also a day to start reconnecting with students and staff.

I feel a great sense of relief and will be happy to return to as much of a normal routine as I can over the next month.

This morning we had the graduation for our FAST (Families And Schools Together) program.

Ten families took part over four weekends; they appreciated the structured activities our program offered to help them improve parent/child communication and relationships.

During the prayer service, one of our counselors read some prayer reflections on what people got out of the weekend – mostly the chance to more deeply appreciate one another.

After certificates and an honor song on the drum, we gathered in the school assembly room for a meal. Rain squashed plans of an outdoor picnic, but the grilled food tasted almost as good inside.