Fr. Steve’s updates

Ash Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What I’d really like to give up for Lent is cancer!

Usually when Lent comes around, I take on some small sacrifice of doing good or giving up to remind me of the need to embrace the cross.

This year, the cross has embraced and chosen me, so my task is to bear the cross of cancer with hope and good will.

The first and second graders aren’t old enough to have received First Communion, and several of them come from other faith traditions, so I don’t often see them coming up to the front of church during services. But, Ash Wednesday is a great equalizer, as all our students and staff who wanted had the opportunity to receive the smudge of ashes.

With the littlest kids, some only 3-foot something tall, instead of bending over, I found it natural to squat down and face them at eye level. I understand others better not when I tower over them, but see life from their perspective.

As ashes trickled down their forehead onto their nose, a few got the giggles, but most were very serious as we were all reminded to turn away from our sins and turn toward the gospel.

All the students recognize daily how sinful actions cause hurts and tears, and we all have room to improve.

Today was about meetings, large and small, as we reviewed upcoming budgets and looked over building and remodeling plans, sorted out personnel issues and reviewed how outreach programs are going.

But, it’s life’s little joys that don’t get written into minutes that touch you the most: A note of support from “100 prayer warriors in Texas”; an email from my cousin saying he’s including me and another cousin in his Hail Mary’s for his own kids each night; the worn, but nostalgic, baseball cards my brother included in a get well card to celebrate the opening of Spring Training.

Hope springs eternal, and is renewed each day.

Hope springs eternal, and is renewed each day.

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.

12 thoughts on “Fr. Steve’s updates”

  1. Dear Steve,
    We are so sorry to hear of your cancer. The prayer in your recent letter is on the office bulletin board. We will sincerely pray for healing and renewed health for you. We so appreciate and admire you for all you do to help the children.
    Yours in Christ,
    June & Gary

  2. Fr. Steve:

    God will get you through this and you
    will be a testamony to His healing power.

    God healed me of breast cancer six years ago.
    Actually it was 200o years ago because
    Isaiah 54:17 tells us that “By His stripes we were healed.” You were healed then too.

    God Bless you we put you on our prayer circle and folks all over are praying for you.

    God hears the prayers of His people.

    God loves you!

  3. Father Steve,
    You are in our thoughts and daily prayers during your fight against cancer.
    God Bless You for all the work you do at St Joseph’s Indian School.

    Edward & Dolores Sidwell
    Garfield, Arkansas

  4. Fr. Steve

    I got my Bible verses mixed up.
    Isaiah 53:5 “…By His stripes we were healed…”

    Isaiah 54:17 “..No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper.”

    God Bless You!

  5. Fr. Steve,
    I so look forward to your posts.I am buoyed up by your positive and prayerful attitude. I hope you keep these coming even after this “down” period of your life is over. You are an example to all of us how to graciously accept and work through the major trials of our lives. Thank-you and God Bless You with returning health.

  6. Fr. Steve. It’s freezing here in Denver today. Certainly not as warm and sunny as you have it there in Haw…….ooops. My bad.
    Stay warm in that chilly South Dakota! You are BATHED in prayers from PK and Trisha of Colorado. And we love you!

  7. Fr. Steve,

    I remember playing “chicken” by digging our nails into our hands when we were kids… seems like everything old is new again! Sounds like the boys have good hearts though…but the key thing is that they are teenagers!!! What an adventure it must be to have so many of them at the same time!

    Take good care of yourself – you are special to so many people!

    The next time I’m wide awake at 3 a.m. I’ll be thinking of you!!!

    Best wishes,

  8. Dear Father Steve,
    A friend of mine forwarded an email about St. Joseph’s. She said that Brother Clay was mentioned in it. Clay and I were in the ICN program in Chicago together. He is a great guy. Please give him my best. I am sorry to hear of your cancer. Know that I will hold you in prayer.
    In Christ,
    Sr. Ann

  9. Father Steve,

    Cancer struck Doug 3 years ago and I requested prayer from you and the children. We were devastated; but our faith, the prayers of the righteous and our doctor’s help beat the Stage IV tongue cancer. Praise God, Doug is cancer free and enjoying life. You are important to us and we feel as if we know you. You are like family and we love you. We pray that your treatment will be effective and you will get the sleep that your body needs. Thanks for all you do. God be with you. You have made our life better! We have the little champion dog O’Shea, you and the children prayed for her and she became a Master Champion in 2009. Prayer works! Big Hugs to you.
    Doug and Gina Edwards, Palm Desert, CA.

  10. Dear Father Steve; my wife & I have been interested in you Indian Mission ever since my Dear departed Brother Bill was stationed at Grand Forks Air Force Base (Underground Missles)close to 45 years ago! We visited Bill & his family and Bill belonged to the Knights O Columbus Council on Base there and he & I drove over to your Mission that his K of C Council had “adopted” at that time!
    I it so impressed me at the time that when we signed up there at your Mission; My Dear wife & I have tried to support your Mission in all-be-it ‘small way’ all these years!
    I am 82 years young now and we jsut celebrated our 49th wedding Anniversery! And now I too am weighted down with the expected ailments of advanced age (Cancer being just one of my Ills!) Know Father Steve you will be in our prayers for a complete recovery from your cancer affliction! Sincerely; Peace; and may the Good Lord send his healing powers upon you; We Pray; Tom & Sally Haverland
    (“Keep ThE Faith)!! Tom

  11. Fr. Steve,

    Yesterday when I made a donation to your school I asked the lady answering the phone how you were doing. It was nice to get a report from her. I truly enjoy your online “updates”. Prayers continue for your recovery and well being–God Bless you.


  12. Dear Father Steve,

    I am sorry to learn of your medical condition. The life choices that you have made to love and serve are an inspiration for me and so many others. May God bless and keep you as He guides you through recovery to full health and a return to your daily activities. You are in my prayers…God bless you.


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