What a wonderful weekend at St. Joseph’s Indian School!
Friday, June 27, we celebrated the Feast of the Sacred Heart, which is very special to our religious community. SCJ is Latin for sacerdotes cordis jesu (priests of the heart of Jesus).
We were honored to have St. Joseph’s former President, Fr. Steve Huffstetter, SCJ, back among us for the day.
The members of the Priests of the Sacred Heart who minister here in South Dakota gathered for an adoration period in which we renewed our vows of commitment to the Congregation and the people of God. It is always a wonderful time to join with fellowSCJs and share somecamaraderie and dinner together.
Wonderful as it was, we were a little sad too. On Sunday, Fr. Guy Blair, SCJ, said good-bye to the parishes of St. Anthony in Pukwana and St. James in Chamberlain as he moves on to his new assignment.
The SCJ community has helped the Sioux Falls Diocese with local ministry over the last 25-30 years, but the Province was not able to replace Fr. Guy with another SCJ, so the communities gave the parishes back to the Diocese of Sioux Falls. Fr. Steve was here to extend the thanks of the Province for all the support and encouragement the parishes have given to the SCJ priests who have served over the years.
The Akta Lakota Museum and Cultural Center’s Medicine Wheel Garden was chosen to be on the annual P.E.O (Philanthropic Educational Organization) Yard and Garden Tour this past Thursday. We were honored to be chosen along with four other homes in the Chamberlain area.
Monday and Tuesday, I was in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, taking part in the Board meeting for Cheyenne River Indian Outreach. The SCJ’s operate a domestic violence shelter and youth residential program on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation. In addition to a safe place, a thrift store also helps provide new or slightly used household items for victims needing to start over.
Tomorrow, we are looking forward to a visit South Dakota’s senior Senator, the Honorable Tim Johnson. The Senator is making a farewell tour of the state as he will not be running for re-election this year after serving three terms in the United States Senate.
The Lakota (Sioux) students participating in our summer program will welcome him and share about St. Joseph’s. The
Senator has been helpful when our students visited Washington DC and has also taken an active interest in Native American issues during his years of service. I’ll share with you how the visit went in next week’s blog!
We hope you all have a safe and memorable Independence Day! As you enjoy time with family and friends, remember the values our country stands for and continue to find ways to pass them along to future generations.
Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ