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.
Good Day from St. Joseph’s Indian School!
You’ve heard the saying, ‘the king is dead, long live the king,’ and we’ve seen an indication of it here at St. Joseph’s!
Most of the Christmas decorations came down right after our Christmas celebration on January 10 and several decorations promoting St. Valentine’s Day went up – not just commercially, but on campus as well. There is a sign welcoming you to the infirmary with two big hearts, a set of lips and the greeting ‘hugs and kisses.’
St. Joseph’s staff participated in the annual Chili Cook Off yesterday. We have yearly contests to find the best chili and soup! Those entering need to make a good amount so the staff can come and taste the variety of entries. Staff make sure they come early so as not to miss out on the goodies! The various dishes were tasted by our judges and prizes were awarded.
As our second semester gets under way, we’d like to update you on how our recent grads, alumni and scholarship recipients are doing! Kyron, JaTonne and Angela are back in class for the second semester. RJ is working here in Chamberlain at Sanford Hospital. Shawn is in Yankton looking for work. Cody, a 2014 grad, is back in class at University of South Dakota. Erica is discerning what her next step will be.
Joe from Milwaukee has been a longtime friend of St. Joseph’s Indian School. He told me he still has a holy card with a picture of Our Lady of the Sioux that is at least 60 years old, from when he was a boy. Joe installs and services pipe organs, and every few years comes out to spend a few days to clean up and tune up ours. He and his friend Jay arrived yesterday.
Today during mass, I had asked them to pull out the stops and let the students hear what the pipe organ can do. We don’t have many in our area who play, and relish the chance to hear some good sacred music. The prelude music as the students were coming into chapel for mass helped set a prayerful mood that carried over to the liturgy. And instead of running right home, afterwards a few of our kids stayed afterwards just to hear more.
The four Benedictine Homes (1st – 3rd grades) had an early communal Thanksgiving dinner, with turkey and all the trimmings. Each home contributed its part to provide a festive banquet for everyone. Afterward, everyone helped clean up, and I had to laugh at the efforts of first graders moving chairs that in some cases were taller than they were.
The Ambrose home did their service project today. They gathered toys and took them to the domestic violence shelter to share with the residents there. One of our students remembered when his mom sought refuge there. They knew the kids didn’t have many toys to play with, and wanted to share some from campus to bring them a little joy. Not just at Thanksgiving, but all year, we try to teach our students to be thankful and give back.