I have the chance to share what’s happening here at St. Joseph’s Indian School since Fr. Steve is away for a donor luncheon in the Denver area.
This past Thursday saw the sign up for the girls’ basketball teams. Each grade from 4th to 8th have their own team and will play local schools in the area. They are now practicing in preparation for the opening of the season in early November.
Chamberlain’s High School football team had their last game prior to the state play-offs Thursday evening and it was an adventure as the weather made it difficult to do anything. The wind was blowing 35 to 40 miles per hour with some wind gusts as high as 60-79 mph. Though the Cubs came up a bit short, they qualified for play-offs and will journey northwest to play Cheyenne-Eagle Butte on Tuesday.
Friday saw the kick-off of Red Ribbon Week as inflatables were brought into the rec center for the students to have some fun. Lots of shouts of glee the students climbed up, slid down and bounced on various inflatables. Each home also provided a delicious snack to be shared. During this upcoming week the students will celebrate such days as wearing their pjs on Monday with the theme ‘follow your dreams … don’t do drugs!’; on Wednesday they’ll wear their Red Ribbon Week T-shirt which states ‘Be the change you want to see in the World’ and paint their faces blue to stress ‘I will say NO to drugs until I’m blue in the face’; and on Friday they’ll be asked to wear the colors of red, white and blue so as to make the statement ‘I elect to be drug free!’ There will also be a trivia contest held over the school intercom to remind the students of the danger of drugs and give them some insights as to how they can stay strong and say NO.
Saturday brought lovely weather which gave everyone the opportunity to get outside and work off some energy. It was also the opening of the pheasant hunting season which brings a lot of hunters to the area. I heard some shots from across the Missouri River on Sunday afternoon.
Just as the NBA is in their pre-season, so those taking part in the inter-city basketball league had a practice game on Sunday. We have four teams made up of 6th, 7th and 8th grade boys from St. Joseph’s and the Chamberlain area. In January, when the boys’ basketball season begins the girls’ will then have their inter-city basketball league. The program gives the young people in the area the chance to get to know and interact with each other so when entering high school they will already know each other.
Sunday was also very special since the first Native American Saint, Kateri Tekakwitha, was canonized in Rome, Italy. The homes were alerted that EWTN was showing the ceremonies live at 2:30 AM Sunday morning with a repeat at 10:00 AM.
Deacon Bud Jetty and Deacon Steve McLaughlin, who help the Priests of the Sacred Heart minister in Chamberlain and on the Lower Brule and Crow Creek Indian Reservations were designated by the Sioux Falls Diocese to represent the diocese at the canonization. We look forward to their return to hear how everything went.
Hope each of you will have a wonderful week ahead! May our Loving God continue to bless and reward you for your generosity towards and interest in the Lakota children we serve at St. Joseph’s Indian School. You are remembered in our prayers.