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!”

Welcoming in 2017 at St. Joseph’s Indian School!

Greetings from St. Joseph’s Indian School.

Things were a bit hectic here Monday as students began returning from Christmas Break. Due to the recent snow storms and cold snap in the upper Midwest, we are still missing a few students who have been unable to return.

We hope all students will be here by Sunday, Continue reading “Welcoming in 2017 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!”

St. Joseph’s Participates in Girls on the Run!

Hi All!

My name is Kelli. I serve as St. Joseph’s Indian School’s Development/Child Services Liaison… which means that I get to spend time with the children at St. Joseph’s on a regular basis. Pretty cool!

Recently, I was able to spend 10 weeks with our 4th and 5th grade girls through our Girls on the Run Program.

dsc_0003Girls on the Run is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is dedicated to creating a world where every girls knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams.

Continue reading “St. Joseph’s Participates in Girls on the Run!”

Thanksgiving, Charlie Brown, Girls on the Run, Flat Francis and Healing at St. Joseph’s Indian School!

Greetings from a snowy St. Joseph’s Indian School.

We were lucky it was not snowing on Sunday when our students and staff returned to campus after Thanksgiving Break, but the weather has been making up for it since with wind, snow and low temperatures.

Break Home

While everyone was away for the holiday, it was rather quiet here on campus.  We only had a few students in the Break Home, but they enjoyed themselves.  On Black Friday, they Continue reading “Thanksgiving, Charlie Brown, Girls on the Run, Flat Francis and Healing 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!”

Summer Camp Winding Down, Bookmobile Busy 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!

 

Even though summer officially began on Monday, temperatures are and have been very high around here for a few weeks. I hope everyone is making sure to stay cool and hydrated.

 

Last week, I was able to attend the ordination for two new priests for the Diocese of Lafayette, Indiana. During the 1st Mass of the newly ordained priest that I had baptized 25 years ago in Houston, Texas, the pastor mentioned that the parish has had 18 priests ordained in the last 11 years and will have another next year.  The parish has also been supportive of those who have entered the Brotherhood or convent.  May we keep the need for more vocations in our prayers.

 

We hosted our yearly Scranton Prep students from Scranton, Pennsylvania last week. They raise funds every year to bring their upcoming senior class to South Dakota. During their time in-state, they do some sightseeing in the Black Hills and visit several reservations prior to working as counselors for our summer camp. Several of the students mentioned how helping out at St. Joseph’s has really educated them of the Native American Culture. They appreciated the opportunity to bond with the young people at camp.

 

16002794Today is the last day of the 2016 Rising Eagle Day Camp. We’ve had a great time getting to know over 200 children from the Lower Brule and Crow Creek Reservations and look forward to some of them returning to campus for school this fall!

Continue reading “Summer Camp Winding Down, Bookmobile Busy at St. Joseph’s Indian School!”

I have a dream…

Claire, Paraprofessional
Claire, School Librarian

Greetings from St. Joseph’s Indian School!

Last week in the school library, we celebrated the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. I started out each class by asking the students what they already knew about MLK.  Some of them knew quite a lot, and others (depending on their age) not so much.  They were quick to volunteer what they did know: He was shot! He worked to make whites and blacks get along!  He had a dream!

I talked to them about what King’s dream was—that his children would not be judged by their skin color, but by their insides… “the content of their character.” Then I asked the students to write down what their dream for the future was: two sentences, please, or one sentence plus a picture for the younger students.  I let them know that the dreams would be posted in the library and in the hallway.

Asking kids about their dreams is exciting because you never know what you’re going to get. Some students were confused because they “could never remember their dreams when they woke up.”  This led to some discussion about the difference between your dreams at night, and the things that you hope about for the future.

Dreams ran the gamut from immediate (Claire will give me some candy) to long term (I want to go to college, get a job and take care of my family). There were a lot of future NBA/ NFL hopefuls, as well as potential nurses, teachers and doctors.  Some students wanted to meet (or beat) their icons, like Stephen Curry and Adele.  Others wanted to vote for a Native American presidential candidate.  And one kid wanted to go the evil genius route and rule the world. Bwa ha ha.

Many students had dreams of seeing better things in the world, like no war, bullying or ISIS. They would like people to stop fighting and doing drugs.  They dreamt of having their Lakota (Sioux) culture and language preserved, and of going to powwows and sewing regalia.  One student wished that single moms didn’t have to work so much that they couldn’t spend time with their kids.  Another dreamed of having lots of money so they could help out their family.

Some students were quite adamant that they had “no dreams.” I wasn’t quite sure whether they meant that they were in full-on despair, or that their “dream” was to avoid having to write two sentences.  Maybe both?

It is risky to talk about dreams, because maybe they won’t come true.  Or maybe people will laugh.  Or maybe their dreams have been stomped on enough that they aren’t worth having.  I don’t know.  I just dared them to dream anyway—even if it was just that we would have candy for lunch.

What I do know is this: being at St. Joseph’s helps these students reach for their dreams. They are able to be connected to their culture, get an education and give back to their communities.  Maybe playing for the St. Joseph’s Braves or the Chamberlain Cubs is their first step towards playing for the Golden State Warriors, and maybe graduating middle school/high school is their first step towards a teaching degree.

Thank you for supporting our students and staff as we reach for the future.

Claire

What a week!

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

What a week here at St. Joseph’s! You may recall we were hit with over six inches of snow a week ago Monday and now we are wondering where it all went! The snow was on the ground for several days, but when area temperatures began to rise, it melted quickly. However, do not fear… the students were able to get some sledding in, snowballs thrown and snow forts built!

To help those in Dancing Dolls and Dudes have enough time to get ready for their big recital debut on Sunday, we moved our normal Sunday morning Mass to Saturday afternoon. At the end of Mass, St. Nicholas, St. Joseph’s own President, Mike, stopped by to visit with the children and pass out goodies to those who could answer some questions he had. Everyone was excited seeing Saint Nick, knowing he’ll soon be making his rounds on Christmas Eve.

The Dancing Dolls and Dudes recital went well! The Dolls were divided by age and each group performed two or three dance numbers. The young men taking part all danced together. A few days later, at the end of the Mass on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, we had our dancers stand and took a moment to congratulate them on their performance with a round of applause.

The Akta Lakota Museum and Cultural Center was recently honored by the South Dakota Department of Tourism with the South Dakota Great Service Star for 2015. This is an award given to tourist spots within the state that give exceptional customer service. We want to extend our congratulations to Dixie and her team at the museum for their efforts! They truly do a fantastic job.

Some of our sixth, seventh and eighth grade boys participate in the local Explorers group with young men their age from the local public school. Every year, the young men ‘take to the town’ and perform odd jobs as a way to raise funds for a worthy cause. This year, they began their quest to raise money to assist in purchasing an automated external defibrillator (AED) for the Chamberlain Middle School. After they began saving their money, they became aware of someone many of the boys knew who had just been diagnosed with cancer and decided to make that person the main focus of their money raising efforts! They will still be making a donation for the AED, but the boys are all excited to give back to someone who means a lot to them!

President Mike dressed as St. Nick!
St. Nick (President Mike) visited the students this past Sunday!

With Christmas getting closer, various decorations are going up around campus. The nativity scene was put up where the tipi stands just outside the Akta Lakota Museum. Several of the Homes have also gotten into the holiday spirit and the rest will get busy this weekend so they’ll all have everything in place by the time Christmas break arrives.
I hope your time of preparation for Christmas is moving along smoothly. While it is nice to get all the externals—baking, cards, gifts and decorations—going, may we take a moment to get ourselves ready so there will be room in our hearts when the Prince of Peace comes. Have a great week.

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ

Chaplain