Carola Home- Spotlight

Every Tuesday for the next few months, we will be highlighting one of our 20 homes on St. Joseph’s campus.

Here at St. Joseph’s, we provide nationally-accredited home-away-from-homes for Native American children in grades one through twelve.

There are no dorms at St. Joseph’s. Children live in one of our campus homes with two specially-trained houseparents. They live and play together as any family would. The boys and girls learn life skills and enjoy spending time with their ‘St. Joseph’s family’.

St. Joseph’s Carola Home is one of our High School Boys Homes on campus.

Continue reading “Carola Home- Spotlight”

Christmas and Basketball at St. Joseph’s Indian School!

Good day from St. Joseph’s Indian School.

These past few days have been cold and windy… but there has been no heavy snow, which had closed the Interstate the previous week.  The cold has kept the Missouri River frozen, which is what those who will be taking part in the ice fishing tournament next weekend like to hear.

Since St. Joseph’s students are away from campus for Christmas spending time with friends and family, we celebrated Christmas here the first Sunday after they returned (January 8).  I was wondering what we should call the day and a young student came up to me and said, ‘happy St. Joseph’s Christmas!’  It is as good a name as anything else! Continue reading “Christmas and Basketball at St. Joseph’s Indian School!”

Programs and Helping Others at St. Joseph’s Indian School!

Holiday greetings from St. Joseph’s Indian School here on the banks of the ‘frozen’ Missouri River!

There was an article in our local newspaper about ice fisherman enjoying this time of year, as they can now get out on the ice and have some fun.

As you may have seen on local weather reports, the upper Midwest has been blasted.  Last week, a rain and ice storm closed the Interstate all the way from Chamberlain to the Wyoming border.  The weather is predicted to be nice now until Tuesday.  We hope this is correct since Monday is the scheduled day for our students to return and we do not want them to be out in a storm trying to get back to campus.  Please pray for good weather on Monday as our students travel back to St. Joseph’s.

Aside from the weather, the holiday break seems to have been rather peaceful here.  We’ll be hitting full stride again on Tuesday when we have the Prayer Service to kick off the third quarter of the school year.

CHRISTMAS PROGRAM

Since it has been rather quiet on campus, I want to take this chance to bring you up-to-date on various activities our students were engaged in this month.  In mid-December, the students took part in the annual Christmas program, where those who have been practicing musical instruments get the chance to share their newfound skills with staff and their peers. Each class also recited a poem or sang a song.

This year each song, poem or musical number was introduced, giving some background on who wrote the song or poem or where a musical number was first performed.  The talent was impressive—there were songs done on the pipe organ, drums, flute, trumpet, guitar and clarinet under the guidance of our music instructor.

The students were very happy to see that several family members were able to attend the performance!

DANCING DOLLS AND DUDES

On Sunday, December 4th, a good number of our students took part in Dancing Dolls & Dudes! Dancing Dolls & Dudes is a dance group that includes dancers from pre-kindergarten through 6th grade. Each age group performed a few routines for the crowd.

For boys, this is the second year that they have been able to participate. 10 St. Joseph’s young men decided to take part.

The Chamberlain Armory was packed with proud parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and houseparents for the recital.  As you watched, you could tell that a lot of time and effort had gone into the production—each group even had their own costumes!

Two of the adult leaders were members of St. Joseph’s staff and some of our high school girls even got involved as dance instructors for various groups.

We are so proud of everyone that took part!

HELPING OTHERS

As Christmas is more than just gifts, decorations and special music, it was nice to see the young ladies of Summerlee Home get into the spirit of giving and helping others.  Their houseparent, Vicki, has been down with some medical issues and they wanted to help with her medical bills.

The girls created six baskets filled with various goodies, treats, games and a trip to the movies that students and staff could purchase raffle tickets for.

They sold the tickets at the wrestling match that gave our younger students the chance to show off what they had learned over the past month or so of practice.  There was some great matches as the boys went at each other with great enthusiasm.

While that was exciting, the Summerlee Home girls were happy they had the chance to show their support, love and encouragement for their houseparent.

FLAT FRANCIS

‘Flat Francis’ was a guest of Summerlee Home recently and enjoyed having the chance to share a meal or two and take part in the video game JUST DANCE.  In the one picture, it looks like his hand raised in blessing is right in line with the reaching for the sky move the girls next to him are doing.

Over Christmas, our Religious Education teacher Joe has been fixing him up a bit due to some nicks and bruises he has picked up in the process of being passed from home to home.  He’ll be in great shape once the students return and is anxious to see what his next adventure will be!

On behalf of all the students and staff here at St. Joseph’s Indian School, I would like to wish each of you a very Happy New Year filled with good health, much happiness, peace and joy now and throughout 2017.

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ

Chaplain

What a great week at St. Joseph’s Indian School!

Good day from St. Joseph’s Indian School.

It has been a busy, and snowy, last few days at St. Joseph’s Indian School.

On Friday, we were scheduled to send 12 hand game participants and 17 archery contestants to Rapid City, South Dakota to take part in the 40th Annual Lakota Nation Invitational (LNI), but the roads were projected to be too dangerous to travel. LNI is a yearly gathering of Native Americans to take part in arts and crafts competition along with athletic, cultural and language contests.

Our Knowledge Bowl participants headed out on Thursday, so they were able to compete over the weekend. St. Joseph’s team earned 3rd place overall! Lily and Justin, two of our high school students, were awarded 1st place
in Grammar and Literature, respectively. We are so very proud of them.

Continue reading “What a great week at St. Joseph’s Indian School!”

Snow, Graduation, Family Night, Basketball and Thanksgiving at St. Joseph’s Indian School!

Holiday greetings from St. Joseph’s Indian School!

SNOW
The good weather South Dakota has been blessed with took a harsh turn when snow, wind and falling temperatures all hit at once. Just across the Missouri River, nearby towns were hit with 3 inches of snow.

A special thank you to our maintenance staff who were hard at work early in the morning to keep our campus open.

20161117_154954The temperatures had dropped and the wind had come up the day before, which made for a chilly blessing for our new outdoor basketball court, donated by a benefactor from the Chicago area. The court will be a new spot for our students to develop their skills and have some fun. Continue reading “Snow, Graduation, Family Night, Basketball and Thanksgiving at St. Joseph’s Indian School!”

Native American Day, Acalympics and a Dance at St. Joseph’s!

Hello from St. Joseph’s Indian School.

It has been busy here on campus.  We celebrated Native American Day on October 10 (South Dakota is the only state to recognize Native American Day in substitution of Columbus Day- read more below), hosted an Academic Acalympics Competition on October 19, and enjoyed a Halloween Dance sponsored by the National Honor Society students this past Friday.

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Continue reading “Native American Day, Acalympics and a Dance at St. Joseph’s!”

Adventure and ‘Way to Go’ at St. Joseph’s Indian School!

As the new school year quickly approaches, St. Joseph’s wanted to take a moment to look back at the past school year. 

Cathy, Houseparent

Hi! My name is Cathy. I am a houseparent in the William Home, one of St. Joseph’s 4th-6th grade girls homes.

Adventure and Way to Go!! are always a couple of the themes interwoven into the William Home’s experiences.

Adventure 

Adventure is defined as ‘an unusual and exciting experience or activity, especially the exploration of unknown territory.’ It also means taking chances. 

Adventure walks were one of our students’ favorite things to do last year! Normally, their favorite activity was the playground, but sometimes an adventure/mystery walk would be offered.  Continue reading “Adventure and ‘Way to Go’ at St. Joseph’s Indian School!”

A celebratory trip, the Akta Lakota Museum and day camp at St. Joseph’s Indian School!

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain
Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

Good day from St. Joseph’s Indian School.

As some of you may know, this year has been proclaimed a Holy Year of Mercy by Pope Francis. Part of the celebration calls for people to visit the Cathedral and pass through the Holy Door as part of a pilgrimage. I joined parishioners from St. James Catholic Church in Chamberlain and St. Margaret Catholic Church in Kimball to visit the Cathedral of St. Joseph’s in Sioux Falls.

To meet the requirements for the plenary indulgence, the trip was geared to have the opportunity for Confession, to offer prayer for Pope Francis’ intentions and to receive the Eucharist by joining in the noon Mass. After the Mass, we were given a guided tour of the Cathedral and the renovations that were done in the past few years. The group joined together at a local Perkins for lunch before heading home. We enjoyed sharing reflections of what had impressed people the most about the experience and the tour.

The team at the Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center has received some great reviews from recent visitors! You can read some of the reviews for yourself by clicking HERE.

Continue reading “A celebratory trip, the Akta Lakota Museum and day camp at St. Joseph’s Indian School!”

Fireworks, elephants and construction, oh my!

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain
Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

Good day from St. Joseph’s Indian School.

It has been an exciting few days at St. Joseph’s Indian School! On Monday, the city of Chamberlain put on a wonderful fireworks display and on Wednesday, a storm with fierce winds and rain moved through town. Luckily, there was not much damage with the storm, other than a few tree branches here and there.

The students in the Summer Break Home all headed home this week. Prior to their departure, they made a trip to Omaha, Nebraska. They seemed to have enjoyed themselves! They swam in a wave pool, rode a roller coaster, raced go-carts, visited an aquarium and made a trip to the zoo to see

Picnic
A picnic in the park was a cherry on top of the Summer Break Home’s trip to the zoo!

orangutans, polar bears, gorillas and elephants—certainly animals that are not normally seen on the plains of South Dakota! Continue reading “Fireworks, elephants and construction, oh my!”

Our summer is starting off wonderfully at St. Joseph’s Indian School!

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain
Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

Greetings from St. Joseph’s Indian School here in Chamberlain, South Dakota!

 
The weather has been beautiful these last several days. The temperature is predicted to climb over 100 degrees today, but things are still nice and green due to the rain we have received.

 
You can tell that summer vacations are beginning to pick up speed—the interstate is full of campers and cars heading in all directions. Last week, we had a large caravan of 12 RV travelers visit the Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center. They nearly took up the entire parking lot.

 
Our Dining Hall staff is very busy! The Rising Eagle Day Camp for the children from the Crow Creek Reservation is in full swing and students from the Chamberlain area taking part in the PAWS (P-programs and pupils, A-after/before School, W-winners in School, S-success) Program are enjoying nutritious meals multiple times per day. This free summer lunch program is just one of the ways that St. Joseph’s seeks to use our facilities to meet needs in the local community.

 
On Tuesday, those taking part in the Rising Eagle Day Camp had the opportunity to learn some water safety from members of the Game, Fish and Parks Department. The instructors explained to the children how important it is to wear your lifejacket and stay seated when the boat is in operation. They also reminded them to be aware of which direction and how strong to current is when swimming, so as not to get swept away from shore. They had a fishing boat the kids could climb around in and life jackets they could practice putting on.

 

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Summer fun and water safety at St. Joseph’s Rising Eagle Day Camp!

We are grateful to the instructors and hope the children put what they’ve learned into action each and every time they are near the water. Lessons like this are very important since Ft. Thompson, Crow Creek, Lower Brule and St. Joseph’s are all located right on the banks of the Missouri River.

 

This past Saturday, nearly 100 alumni and former staff gathered to celebrate an Alumni Reunion with the purpose of renewing old ties, looking over old pictures to see who could be identified and thanking Mary Jane, our Alumni Liaison who is retiring after 45 years at St. Joseph’s.

 
The day started at 9:30 AM and went until 2:00 PM. We all gathered in the Medicine Wheel Garden for an opening prayer. Soon after, many former staff and alumni took tours of campus and re-visited the underground tunnels. Some of the alumni visiting campus were here prior to 1970 when St. Joseph’s was still utilizing dorms and an old school building, so they were very surprised to see all of the changes!

 
After lunch, a group photo was taken and door prizes were distributed. The day ended with an Honor Song for deceased members of St. Joseph’s alumni and their families as well as St. Joseph’s Alumni who have served our country.

 

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I enjoyed visiting with the Summer Break Home! 

This past Sunday, I took some time to visit with the students staying in the Summer Break Home. They have been having a variety of experiences and journeys around the area. They have really enjoyed spending many days swimming at the local Chamberlain pool since a lot of waterslides and other activities were added last year. They have also been to the Black Hills and Pierre. This weekend, the students and their houseparents hope to head to the Twin Cities in Minnesota for some sightseeing.

 
As you can see from the picture, they were very excited to share what they have been doing. I’ll try to touch base with them upon their return and share with you what they did in Minnesota.

 
This weekend I’ll be away too as I have been invited to the ordination of a young man in Indiana who I baptized when I was stationed in Houston, Texas. He tracked me down last year and invited me to his Deaconate Ordination and now I have been asked to come again for his priestly ordination and 1st Mass. It will be a very special honor. Please keep Michael in your prayers, that he has a long and fruitful ministry serving God’s people.

 
I hope all of you have a wonderful week. May God continue to bless and reward you due to your generosity towards St. Joseph’s Indian School.

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ
Chaplain