We had our first Sunday mass of the year. Often, I tell stories when I preach to young people, to help them imagine and connect with the gospel message. Today, it was more about teaching and basic catechesis. We have 42 new students and for some of them, mass was a brand new experience. I took my time with extra explanations and tried to make everyone feel at home and welcome. We had a smaller crowd than normal, since many of the kids from Fort Thompson went back home this weekend for the Crow Creek Powwow. Also, our high school students didn’t return to campus until this evening.
A few folks from last night’s wedding visited us for mass. Georgia went to school here in the late 50’s, and the students were impressed to learn she is a Tribal Judge. I try to hold up alumni like that and urge our kids to aim high in the education and their dreams.
I stopped in at Crane Home (HS underclass girls) and welcomed everyone back. Besides getting bigger rooms than jr. high students, the high school students also have more freedoms and privileges – but also more responsibility as they have to learn to live more independently and get ready for what awaits them in the world beyond St. Joseph’s campus. There’s a good spirit and lots of excitement – if not about starting school, at least about reuniting with good friends and starting a new year.