A lovely Christmas

Sunday, January 02, 2011


I made my first, long overdue visit home to Indiana for Christmas in 14 years. My family knew that when I became a priest, I wouldn’t be home for most holidays. After last year’s cancer scare, this was a special Christmas that I really wanted to be home for. I made the rounds with different members of my family and got to meet my newest grand-niece for the very first time. We had lots of laughs, ate too much, revisited the old stories and caught up with new events in our lives. My Christmas was lovely.


When I drove onto campus yesterday, our facility crew was hard at work removing snow. On New Year’s Eve, Chamberlain got about 8 inches, and winds whipped the drifts high. Interstate 90 was closed down for the day to prevent travelers from getting stranded out in the country. On my travels, the road surface itself was fine, but the biggest problem I encountered was snow blowing across the highway which caused white-outs at times. But the campus is shaping up, and everyone is able to get where they need to go today.


Our St. Joseph’s homes opened back up today at noon for the children. While most of the students take some time to trickle in, one 7th grade girl was at the Pinger home with her grandmother as soon as the houseparents opened the door. While there are always some tears of homesickness as students are dropped off and families part, generally our students are glad to come back. Today was a day to catch up with students and staff and share holiday stories and memories.


I ran into several houseparents at the dining hall, which also opened today so the Homes can do their grocery shopping and replenish refrigerators that sat empty for two weeks. Each of the homes stocked up on milk and eggs, fruits and vegetables and all the makings for the next several days of meals.

Author: St. Joseph's Indian School

At St. Joseph's Indian School, our privately-funded programs for Lakota (Sioux) children in need have evolved over 90 years of family partnership, experience and education. Because of generous friends who share tax-deductible donations, Native American youth receive a safe, stable home life; individual counseling and guidance; carefully planned curriculum based on Lakota culture and individual student needs and tools to help build confidence, boost self-esteem and improve cultural awareness. All of this helps children to live a bright, productive, possibility-filled future.

3 thoughts on “A lovely Christmas”

  1. Dear Fr. Steve,

    Happy to hear that you had a nice Christmas. Happy New Year to you and all at St. Joseph’s.

    We were glad that you made it back in one piece. We know all too well what it’s like to be caught up in a blizzard.

    One time when we were up visiting relatives in upstate NY we were caught in a whiteout blizzard and lost sight of the road.

    When we got to a clearing the police were checking out if everything was okay with travellers of the road.

    They asked us where we came from we pointed to the road we thought we were on, only to find out we were actually on a lake.

    Thank God that it was frozen enough for us to drive across it safely. The cop laughed and said it was probably a safer path than the one that was actually the road because there were many accidents on the roads that night. He wished us luck getting back and had us follow a sand truck/plow until we were back in familiar territory. Very nice people up there.

    A few dasys later, we were watching the news and it showed where we were. A man had died in his car because he pulled over to wait the storm out and got plowed under. We saw him there and considered vdoing the same thing. TGhankfully we didn’t.

    We would have been the ones there if we had decided to wait it out like he did instead of continuing on slowly.

    Tell thed kids and staff we wish them a Happy New Year. Hope this year is a better one for all of us. Especially for the school.

    God Bless,

    Nancy & Kenny

  2. Nancy and Kenny..YIKES..! Fathe Steve..Prayh real good for those two..be sure that angel oversee’er stays with them.!
    In Nebraska, we have not had much winter at all this year..but it may be yet to come. Constantly nice weather gets boring. Right now we could use a blizzard or two…
    Let it snow..Let it snow…Let it snow..!
    Blessings to ALL..
    Mia and Bob

  3. I’m glad that you were able to spend some time with your Family. I don’t think, that I could take a Southern Hemisphere’s, “Green Christmas.” I, “gotta,” have snow.

    10 weeks ago, I became an, “official,” 9 year, “survivor.”

    Until I hsd to start working two jobs, I always was able to help with our Parish’s, “Feeding the Homeless.” They’re still using my recipes from over 35 years ago! Our Parish, again, had our, “giving tree.” In our City, many, many Families, who were always able to donate food to the local Food Bank, were on the receiving-end this year.

    It was nice to hear on our local News Radio Station, that the people of our State, were, “fed up,” with this, “Happy Holiday,” stuff. The people wanted Christmas back. I wore my, “Keep Christ in Christmas,” button.

    The Stores took down their, “Happy Holidsy,” stuff and replaced them with, “Merry Christmas,” banners and other advertising items.

    My old friend, Sam, [now deceased) told me that if it wasn’t for Christmas, Hallmark wouldn’t even make Hanukkah Cards. Christmas drives the marketing.

    However, at home, we only put up the Mansger. No trees, no tinsel, et cetera. Christmas was, hosted,” by our daughter. I passed, “the baton,” to her, several years ago. She is also a cook.

    We had our, “Blizard of 2010,” on the Sunday/Monday after Christmas.

    Tonight is the 12th Night of Christmas. La Befana coomes tonight. Still seeking the Magi and the Christ-child.

    I’ll continute to keep you in my daily prayers. St. Raphael – Archangel, is my, “upstairs,” buddy.

    I’m up, past my bedtime. My alarm is going to sound in 6 hours!

    “Missy,” Susan Pauline

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