Greetings friends of St. Joseph’s Indian School! I hope the Feast of All Souls Day finds you doing well!
Things here on St. Joseph’s campus are going well! It is hard to believe we have finished our first quarter of school and are already a couple of weeks into the second quarter. My, how times flies! The students are working hard to keep their grades up and do well in school.
Halloween was a great hit. Most of the kids dressed up in costumes and there were some great costumes! The students were able to trick-or-treat here on campus and then take part in a costume contest. Some of the homes also went into Chamberlain to trick-or-treat as well. All of the students I have talked to say they really enjoyed Halloween!
With Halloween past us now, the next big events on the campus of St. Joseph’s Indian School are girls basketball, Thanksgiving and Christmas. We haven’t seen much snow here yet, so I wonder if we will have a white Christmas this year!
Our girls’ basketball seasons kicks off on Monday, November 5. The girls are very excited to begin their season. The girls are working hard in practice and learning all they can in the short time they have before their games begin. Basketball season is always a busy time as all of the games take place between early November and Christmas Break. With as fast as this school year is going, both Thanksgiving and Christmas will be here before we know it!
As we move closer to Thanksgiving, I would like to thank each and every one of you for all of the support you give to St. Joseph’s Indian School. Please know that you are remembered in our prayers!
Fr. Anthony had a morning all school mass for students and staff. Fr. Guy is away for a few days, so I covered the evening mass in the parish. I expected a very small crowd, since it was at the same time as the Chamberlain school Christmas program. But with our St. Joseph’s high school homes all making the trek downtown, we did have a good group and good spirit.
Our Akta Lakota Museum had their pre-Christmas open house for staff today, with discounts on Christmas gifts. As a way of thanking our school for the business we do in Chamberlain, several businesses donated very nice door prizes. Our kitchen staff put together some tasty treats, both healthy and otherwise. This time of year, I have a particular weakness for the holiday shaped sugar cookies. While that was going on inside, outside the construction crews were pouring cement and preparing all the inside footings for the museum expansion. We’ve been blessed with some mild December temperatures so far, and the work has been able to proceed at a good pace.
Kermit, one of our child care workers from our sister organization, the Sacred Heart Center (Cheyenne River Indian Outreach) in Eagle Butte, was on campus today for continuing education for our staff. They covered Lakota (Sioux) star knowledge and world view.
Fr. Gary is a retired SCJ who lives here in Chamberlain, South Dakota. We invited him over for lunch and to celebrate his birthday.
Tonight was our final girls basketball game of the season. After Christmas, the girls will switch to inter-city and the boys will begin playing other schools.
Hey! Have you heard that St. Joseph’s Indian School’s sixth-grade girls are having a great basketball season? My name is Jona. If you’ve visited St. Joseph’s Indian School and had a tour of St. Joseph’s Indian School’s campus, chances are you’ve had a conversation with me!
In addition to my office duties, like providing tours for visitors, writing stories for our website and organizing special projects, I also take time each fall to coach basketball for the sixth grade girls.
My dad, Jon, is an electrician on the maintenance crew here at St. Joseph’s Indian School, and I am assistant coach to his head coach. We have a great time getting to know the Native American students a little better and, of course, I have a lot of fun spending this time with my dad!
Our team this year is a talented group, but what’s even better is the encouragement they show one another on the court and during practice. As St. Joseph’s motto says, We Serve and Teach, We Receive and Learn. I am learning wonderful things from these young ladies every day!
Our mail room is a busy place as lots of holiday mail starts streaming in. I am so grateful that people think of us as Thanksgiving and Christmas approach. I realize this is a tough time for many people out there, which makes the generous sacrifices all the more meaningful.
I finished off a day of meetings by relaxing with girls basketball at the gym after school. Our 6th grade girls came alive in the 4th quarter, scoring 10 of their 16 points then, and coming from behind to defeat Pierre Indian Learning Center. I took in the action on the court part of the time, but sitting in the bleachers surrounded by 1st and 2nd graders, I had a whole group crowded around wanting to talk and tell me things. Tayron in particular had question upon question that reminded me of my baby brother Dan.
Every answer I gave, was always followed up with another, “How come?”