Be thankful and give back

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.


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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