Basketball games, one-act plays, and cold weather

Dear Friends of St. Joseph’s,

I have the privilege of sharing some insights as to what has happened here at St. Joseph’s over the weekend since Fr. Steve and some students and staff have been at a donor luncheon in Florida.

The weekend began with the Chamberlain High School’s boys’ basketball teams taking on the Mt. Vernon/Plankinton Titans.  The schedule offered the chance for the “C” team, junior varsity and varsity to play.  The Cubs were able to win all three games with the help of the 11 St. Joseph’s students on the “C” and junior varsity teams, plus two more on the varsity.  High school games highlight the impact the inter-city basketball program, sponsored by St. Joseph’s.  You can see the interaction that took place in younger grades paying off as the St. Joseph’s and local Chamberlain students now play together.

This was also the opening weekend for the girls’ inter-city basketball program on St. Joseph’s campus.  Again, a good mixture of St. Joseph’s students and players from the Chamberlain area played some good games before a good-sized crowd of spectators.

Chamberlain High School also presented its one act play, Mark Twain’s “Is He Dead?,” which will be their entry in the state competition this coming Wednesday.  One of St. Joseph’s students, Christopher, had one of the lead roles and several other students were active behind the scenes.  The performance lasted about an hour, but we were told at the start that the rules of state competition require that a one-act play must be completed within 45 minutes.  They will have to do some further cuts, but they wanted the local public to see the ‘full’ performance, which brought laughter and enjoyment as we watched the play unfold and deal with trying to make an artist ‘famous’ and thus his paintings more expensive by faking his death.

This coming week, the Lakota children in grade school will continue to benefit from the continued presence of our Artist in Residence, Mr. Markus Tracy, who completes his two-week commitment to St. Joseph’s this Friday.  He is working with our students to produce a mural in the school.

This past Saturday was the second week of our bowling season.  The sixth, seventh and eighth graders sign up and then are assigned to teams headed by various staff members, several of whom are on bowling teams in Chamberlain.  We bowl two games and try to help the students learn and improve their bowling skills.  It is a popular event.

The weather let us down a bit in that it was forecast to be very cold (single digits and below zero!), which is one reason why I think Fr. Steve scheduled the donor luncheon for Florida (Ha!), but it has not been as bad as predicted, nor did we get any more snow.

What snow we had at Christmas is mostly gone now, which has been frustrating for our Native American students since many of them received snow boards from Santa and our benefactors, but have not been able to use them. During recess, many of the younger students have been sliding down the hill on their stomachs looking like a bunch of seals!

In closing, I would like to say pilamayathank you – for your generosity towards the Lakota boys and girls at Christmas.  It was a joy to go from home to home to witness the students opening their gifts.  There was lots of excitement and many ooh’s and aah’s.

May the Great Spirit continue to bless and reward you as the new year unfolds.


Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


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.

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