Our Admissions Board began meeting today. Over the next week, we will review case files, applications and determine which students will be accepted into St. Joseph’s Indian School’s upcoming school year. We also prioritize the waiting list so that if one child ends up not coming, we can quickly invite someone else. We try to service many on the waiting list, but can only take as many students as we have room for in the Homes. We look to be full for the start of the year.
At 5:00, as I drove west to Lower Brule, the thermometer peaked at 104 degrees. With all the water on the river and moisture in the soil, it’s also unusually humid for South Dakota. Instead of spending the evening in a cool place, I was in the sunshine on a hill overlooking the prairie. I attending a ceremony to dedicate and bless a tombstone for a family cemetery. A Lakota prayer leader blessed the site with sweetgrass and an eagle feather. I sprinkled Holy Water and used some traditional prayers of the church, before offering words of support and comfort to the family. When it is extremely hot or cold I think God understands when my prayer style speeds up a bit, and my reflections get a little shorter and more concise. Perhaps a hundred family and friends gathered to remember their mother and grandmother on what would have been her birthday. Afterward, we gathered in a shady spot in the backyard for a meal – frybread, soup and many delicious side dishes.