From the Desk of Fr. Greg: December

Children enjoying the December snow at St. Joseph’s Indian School.

The Christmas season gives us a multitude of reasons to rejoice. There is the opportunity for families to gather, eat together, exchange gifts and exchange laughter and excitement. Too often in the midst of preparing ourselves for family gatherings, meals and laughter we can easily find ourselves overwhelmed with a mound full of to do lists.

Fr. Greg Schill, SCJ

For example, preparing guest rooms for our relatives, setting up and decorating a Christmas tree, placing additional Christmas lights outside, going to the grocery store with fifty items to purchase and to go online or to a store to shop for that perfect gift for our loved ones.

And so, here we are in this most joyful time of year to observe and celebrate the entire purpose of the Christmas celebration and that is the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ. The birth of Jesus fulfilled the prophecies of old, being a great light in the midst of darkness. Jesus, through his words and actions brought into the world the invitation to imitate his actions by being of service to others.

The staff here at St. Joseph’s has been proactive in working with the students to help bring to them great light in their Christmas celebration. For example, the students had the opportunity to go to our local thrift store and get donated items for their family. The staff on a cold Saturday morning, the day after a significant snowfall wrapped these gifts for the students so that they could go home and exchange gifts with their families. On behalf of St. Joseph’s Indian school, I offer my sincere gratitude for your generous donations that have allowed our students to choose from a variety of items that they too may enjoy the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.

Thank you again and wishing you a blessed Christmas and blessed New Year!

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.

3 thoughts on “From the Desk of Fr. Greg: December”

  1. Today, Jan. 31, 2022, I received the 2021 Christmas Appeal package. I was shocked at the amount of free stuff included in the package. Not to mention the timing of it. I read the letter and wonder why there is a concern for the electricity for the children’s home. Isn’t the school residential? Is it heated? A number of years ago my wife and I traveled through the Pine Ridge reservation and can understand the need. Since then I have made many contributions to your appeal. However, this year is way beyond what I consider acceptable in terms of free stuff that you obviously spend lots of money to send out. You should save the money and spend it on the needs of the children you serve.

    As a consequence of what I consider waste of limited funds I will not be making a contribution and am requesting that you remove my name from your mailing list.

    William Ferara

    1. I am so sorry to have offended you by sending our latest fundraising mailing. Our main focus at the school is to provide a loving home, an education and medical care for over 200 Lakota boys and girls at our school. In order to do this, a series of mailings are sent to people throughout the U.S. asking for their support. Our school is located in the rural town of Chamberlain, South Dakota. We don’t receive regular, ongoing federal support nor do we receive large donations from huge corporations. Instead, we rely on caring individuals to support our work through tax-deductible donations, one gift at a time. Our work is life changing and we want to share with as many people as possible about the programs for the Lakota children in our care.

      You might be surprised to know, judging by the mailers we are able to send to donors and prospective donors, of each dollar raised, 73 cents goes to the children in our care and for future planned program growth. These funds help provide a loving, safe, living and learning environment for the Lakota children. Our program and supporting funds also provide needed services for the Lakota people on three reservations. These services include a domestic violence shelter, licensed adolescent group care center and counseling services. A critical performance measure is not the amount of money it costs to raise a dollar … it is the number of children we can help!

      If you would still like to be removed from our mailing list, please email your mailing address to We’re unable to complete this request on this platform.

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