This has been an interesting few days weather-wise. You’ve heard the statement ‘March comes in like a lion or a lamb and goes out the opposite.’ The addition of a leap year day kept that truth in place here at St. Joseph’s, since that was the day (not the 1st of March) that got the bad snow storm. The month ended on a wet and windy day which set the tone for more snow on April 1st, and that’s not a joke. One benefit is that the grass is turning green nicely.
The big event of this past weekend was the reception of Sacraments for 24 of our students at Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel – four made their 1st Communion, 16 were Baptized and two made a Profession of Faith. 18 of these students also received the Sacrament of Confirmation.
We were honored to have family and friends join the St. Joseph’s community in witnessing the reception of the Sacraments. As always, several of St. Joseph’s Houseparents, teachers and Family Service Counselors served as godparents or sponsors for the students.
I hope everyone had a blessed and Happy Easter. Our students and staff arrived on campus Monday morning rested, refreshed and ready to go for the remainder of the school year. Thankfully, our students were all able to return to campus before the snow began falling.
This week is very special for a number of our students as they are in the homestretch of their preparation for reception of Sacraments (Baptism, 1st Communion and Confirmation). The students prepared by completing our Rite of Christian Initiation for Children (RCIC) Class.
On the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation, there are only two priests serving eight parishes. Sister Anne was scheduled to have a communion service in Cherry Creek today, so I volunteered to ride along and have mass.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
On the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation, there are only two priests serving eight parishes. The furthest parish is 90 miles away! Because of this, it’s not possible to have mass at all the churches every Sunday. Sister Anne was scheduled to have a communion service in Cherry Creek today, so I volunteered to ride along and have mass.
Cherry Creek is one of the oldest communities in the area and also one of the poorest and more isolated ones. Many of the families had gone to Dupree for a powwow and the centennial celebration, so we had a very small crowd in church … only eight people!
After driving 45+ miles for a small crowd, I felt tempted to look out at the empty church and ask, “Why am I here?” But, I came to the point where I could usually look at the same small crowd, know the suffering in people’s lives and think, “This is why I’m here – to make a difference in an area where it’s difficult to get any services, let alone religious outreach.”
After church, Sister Anne put on a pot of chili, and we went to the hall and visited with the parishioners. Each day can be a struggle to get by, and I did my best to listen and encourage.