Making memories and remembering past ones

Sunday, September 5, 2010

 There were fewer students on campus this weekend as many got checked out to be with their families over the long weekend. For those students still on campus, many of the homes took advantage of the activities all around us for Home Trips on Saturday. After mass today I heard about all the adventures.

One of our High School homes went to Sioux Falls for the Lifelight Christian music festival. Another home drove to Huron to take in the State Fair. The 4th and 5th grade boys went to Pierre and took in the Drag races. We give each of the homes a budget to let their kids experience activities outside of St. Joseph’s. Each age group has different interests, but houseparent’s give them a variety of choices.

 Tonight I went to a wake in Fort Thompson. A 47 year old mother of five died suddenly of a heart attack. She was very active in church when I was pastor there and wanted to be of support to her husband and children.

 Wakes are filled with different people who say a few words of remembering, tell stories, pray, and share words of support for the family. I was struck by one man who is studying for ministry in the Episcopal Church. He lives 60 miles away and has no car. Reliable transportation is a real issue for many families on reservations. He wanted to be here, so just started walking. He didn’t put his thumb out as a hitchhiker would, but trusted for someone to pick him up and help him along the journey. He obviously made it, thanks to a trucker passing by.

I remembered Jesus’ words about taking nothing for the journey, and just going out to try to do the will of God. I can’t imagine myself making such a journey. It was a call for me to have more trust and faith.

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.

4 thoughts on “Making memories and remembering past ones”

  1. Thanks for calling our attention to the “real stuff” of life !
    When I was a child, I was the only Catholic in the family. On Sunday mornings I walked alone to church..the distance of 2-3 miles. No one ever picked me up or offered me a ride. EVER..I wonder if the truck driver was Indian..?
    We are so afraid of each other, really, and so unconscious of the other..
    Great post, Father Steve, as usual.
    The loss of the mother was a very sad thing for the rest of the family. I am sure that your presence there was a very positive thing for them, that will help for a long,long time, to see them through.
    When are you going to write some books…?
    How is Neven..? We haven’t seen him on here for quite awhile..
    Prayers and Hugs..
    Mia and Bob

  2. Another excellent blog, Fr. Steve! I truly admire the man who set out on a 60 mile trip with the anticipation of help being provided along the way. That is faith in action. And I just have to comment on Mia’s memory of walking 2 to 3 miles to church as a child. When my brother was a toddler and I was 5 years old, my mother used to carry him and we would walk to church every Sunday morning. Mom didn’t drive at that time and Dad was an over the road trucker who was seldom at home on weekends. I don’t remember us ever being given a ride by a passerby either but the memory of the 3 of us walking to church is still beautifully vivid in my mind!

  3. Dear Fr. Steve,

    We’re sure that the kids who went to the events that you mentioned had a great time. We know we would’ve had a blast if we were them.

    So glad you could be there for the family of that poor 47 year old mother. That’s an awefully young age to have a fatal heart attack like that. Our hearts and our prayers go out to that family for their loss.

    As far as you going the distance by walking the miles to go to them. We’re sure that given the option of walking or staying home & sending the family a card of condolance, you would’ve gone some way or another.

    God saw that you wanted to be there for the family though and provided you with the proper transportation to go to them.

    He knows how much you have been through and that you needed to be there for the family.

    He knows that you couldn’t make it by walking and saw to it that you were able to be there for them. The other Episcopalean Minister got a ride by the Grace-of-God as well so that you both could be there to give support to a family who obviously needed the extra support to get them through the tough times ahead for them.
    Something like that is a difficult thing for a young family to go through.

    Never doubt your devotion or service to God. Your devotion to the school, the children, a well as, your parisheners present and past shows how devoted to doing God’s work you truely are. Your daily blogs make it so obvious to us and the whole world.

    May God Bless you Fr. Steve and always keep you safe and in His protective, loving hands.

    In Faith,

    Nancy & Kenny

  4. What a touching post today.
    It was heartwarming to hear of the children given the opportunity to experience those activities away from their usual surroundings.
    It was sad to hear of the mother who died so young.
    And it was inspiring to hear of the young man who trusted God to get him to the wake.
    Thanks for keeping us updated on your health,your ministry and the people you serve.
    God’s Peace, Love, and Joy,

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