Guiding our Native American youth

I traveled to Sioux Falls, South Dakota today, where the diocese rededicated St. Joseph’s (good name!) Cathedral. It has been closed for renovations for almost two full years. For me the most intriguing part of the blessing of the altar came after the relics were set under the altar stone, and workmen brought up trowels and mixed some cement on the spot and sealed the marble. With restored sculptures and murals, the warmer original colors make for a bright and inspiring space.

At the luncheon, I sat across from a couple of diocesan priests that I didn’t know so well, but enjoyed the conversation. One had a couple of encounters with Mother Theresa as a seminarian, and she has continued to serve as such an inspiration to him. The other works as a prison chaplain. While the Native American population is about 8% of the state, those in the correctional system is much higher, perhaps 25% of the population. That’s another reason to recommit ourselves to the efforts at St. Joseph’s Indian School – to guide our students away from such troubles and towards a better path.

After reading Joseph Marshall III’s book “Walking With Grandfather” I had the chance on the drive back to listen to the CD commentary included with the book. He gives an insightful overview of his Lakota heritage, and the lessons of wisdom he learned from his grandfather. He also wrote, “The Lakota Way”, a book I also recommend for anyone interested in Lakota lifestyle and culture.

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 “Guiding our Native American youth”

  1. I was blessed to have met Mother Theresa as well. In 1976, at the age of 16 I met her at the Eucharistic Congress held in Philly that summer. She was the special guest speaker at the youth mass held as part of that event. My older brother and two friends and I were there. It was an incredible experience. One I have never forgotten.

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