Fr. Steve’s updates

Sunday, February 21, 2010

At Mass today, I presided over the Rite of Enrollment for our students preparing for Baptism.

Having so many members of their families present gave it extra festivity.

It mostly went well, and was uplifting, but during the prayer of the faithful some of the younger students, enthralled with the new children’s Bible we gave them, quit paying attention to the prayers and kept flipping through the pictures.

The boys, in particular, were fascinated by the hero action stories of the Old Testament.

I wondered if we were going to have some David and Goliath slingshot action played out in front of me!

I felt great energy grow throughout the ceremony. These days, when I feel great energy, I know it’s soon to be followed with a crash, which meant a monster two-hour nap after church.

This evening, I visited the high school girls in the Hogebach home and stayed for some delicious homemade beef vegetable soup.

I like to visit and hang out and find out what’s going on in their lives. While my white blood cell counts are low, I don’t get over to the homes as I’d like to. The doctors want me to limit the chances of picking up a cold or virus.

The most pressing question about my treatment and recovery for the high school girls was, “ When are you going to start playing basketball with us on rec center nights again?”

That’s another incentive to press on toward full recovery!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

We had a retreat for the families of our students who are preparing for Baptism at Easter time.

One of the moms came 10 hours from Denver, and one set of Godparents drove 3 hours from Sioux City, Iowa to be here. It’s special for our students when their families can visit, and we try to make it welcoming and special for them.

We started with lunch, and then our high school girls took on babysitting duties for the younger children who came along.

Everyone laughed and enjoyed the lively “get to know you” icebreakers. Then, we began a series of prayers, presentations and activities to help the students learn about the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist they will soon receive. Many of our staff pitched in to make the day successful.

I made one presentation, and stayed for about half the retreat. Then, I retired to my Sleeping Beauty (probably more like Rip Van Winkle) mode and spent the rest of the day taking it easy.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday is my day off, and I often take off to see a movie or get in some entertainment and relaxing. Today, I mostly slept and rested with some reading in between.

Many people told me laughter and having fun is a real help to recovering from any illness, but especially cancer. For me, music is what’s most fun and enjoyable. This evening, I dusted off some of my favorite CDs let the music do its magic.

There’s a song (and a saying) that to enjoy life you’ve got to dance like nobody is watching. From Blues to Big Band, Country to Cha Cha, nobody was watching as I moved to the music and let it lift my spirits.

… to enjoy life you’ve go to dance like nobody is watching.

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.

18 thoughts on “Fr. Steve’s updates”

  1. Fr. Steve,

    It’s encouraging to hear of your progress. I’m so happy it’s coming along fairly well for you.

    Having both a sister and her husband with cancer I know first hand how hard the road back truely is. You will always be in our prayers and in our hearts.

    I hope you don’t mind but, I am borrowing your quote of the song and saying about life.

    I have a space on Facebook and everyday I try to put something for a quote of the day on top so people can either feel good or know how I am feeling. My Diabetes is not going too well lately. I have 3 ulcers on the left leg and ankle but to hear of your progress makes me want to push onward also an get past this very painful ordeal. I suffer with you. Hopefully, through the Grace of God, all of our ailments will survive and make us all stronger and closer in the long run and soon. Take care and God Bless you Fr. Steve.


    Nancy (& Ken) Raymond.

  2. Steve, So enjoying your Cancer journal. I hope lots of people are reading it. I’m taking a course at Doctor’s Hospital at Renaissance here in Edinburg, Tx. For Ash Wednesday I was a volunteer to distribute ashes. I did so from 7 A.M. till 1:00. The most moving part was giving ashes to the Cancer patients receiving Chemotherapy and their families. I thought of and prayed for you. Dave Jackson

  3. Father Steve…It is sooo good to hear that you are doing something that I have always done and believed in..! Fun to dance, isn’t it..? Do you Rhumba..? And Tango, too..??
    Good for you..! Your letters are always a joy to read..I always look forward to them..Keep on Truckin’…..
    Love and Blessings..
    Mia Archer

  4. Your personal updates mean so much. This is the first I’ve read since leaving my comments recently. You are inspiring to helping me live my own life. My mother just died a year ago, my father preceeded her five year before. I am an only child and have felt very ophraned and along now that my parents are both gone. As I begin a new chapter in my life I am serching to find which way God is directing me. I am still fresh with grieving my mother’s death. I have never been with anyone as they lay dying. We prayed together even though she was in a nonresponsive state. I held her hand and was with her when she passed. I took care of her especially after my father’s death. Through all you are enduring, you are giving me strength. I only hope I can give you mine. You can fight this and God is only testing your faith and spirit. You surely are considered special to Him and his blessed Mother. You can do this and I know you will recover. I did recover from two forms of cancer that I had at the same time.
    I am still remembering you in prayer daily.

    Rozanne Schmidtlein
    Milwaukee, WI.

  5. Fr. Steve – God be with you throughout this challenging journey.

    “When I fear, I will trust in you,
    in God whose word I praise.”

    Psalm 56

    Rene Sykes
    Mt. Airy, MD

  6. Dear Father Steve,

    I am praying for you and know that you are in the Palm of His Hand. When I have an issue that needs to be healed, I say these words out loud and under my breath throughout the day: The Lord’s healing power is working in me now. He has done great miracles by just confessing these words. I learned this from Joel Osteen.
    You are always in my prayers.

    Lenore Curry

  7. Dear Fr. Stephen,

    I want to join my thoughts and prayers, rectified by the Holy Spirit, with others who are praying for your healing and full recovery. I pray that the Lord will be ever present with you and grant you whatever graces you require for each ongoing step of your journey.

    Happy Lenten walk…

    God bless,

    louisa (coG/com)

  8. I LOVE these updates, Father Steve. And, by the way, dancing is the best of the best cures for the blues and cancer. Long may you run. Long may you dance. Can’t wait to meet you one fine day. In the meantime, take it from present moment to present moment. Before you know it, you will be a survivor giving encouragement to others to join the ranks. Much love and prayers!

  9. I am so sorry to hear of your illness. We wonder why the good have to suffer so much and we understand too that illness is no respecter of anyone. We pray for a full recovery. I know that there are so many boys and girls that are depending on your guidance. May God heal and continue to bless your work. Sincerely ; Jamie Willingham

  10. Fr. Steve,

    I was very sorry to hear of your illness and I am praying for your full recovery. My daughter and I enjoyed attending the Pow-wow at your school in 2008.

    Best wishes,

    Carol Poff
    River Falls, WI

  11. Father Steve,
    I am sorry to hear about your illness. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I am glad you are blogging and am excited to get the St. Joe’s updates. I miss the kids and hope they are all having a great year!
    Be well,

  12. Father,
    You are as wonderful as the Priest that went before you, so you will overcome, I’m sure. When I am ill, I pray: Take courage. Do not be afraid, it is I. I am with you.
    God knows your children need you and He will be merciful to you and heal you.
    My prayers go with you each day.
    Happy Year of the Priest. You are super!
    Love, Nina Sanfilippo

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