More time listening than talking

People sometimes imagine administrators as spending much of their day talking, presenting, or even telling people what to do. Today was fairly typical with meetings and encounters around St. Joseph’s Indian School’s campus for me, and it struck me that I spend far more time listening than talking.

Donors on the phone have concerns and questions. Sometimes they just want someone to listen and care. This morning one of the priests who visits me for spiritual direction stopped by for a session. An important part of spiritual direction is listening to the person sitting in the chair across from me, and also to how the Holy Spirit is working in their life. When I keep the attention where it should be, on the directee, I am usually more blessed and inspired by what they share than I am able to give them. In the afternoon I had a visit from one of the sisters who works in the nearby Indian reservation parishes. She will be moving on at the end of the school year and I was moved by her reflections as she looked back over the ministry she has given so much of herself to.

During the weekly Monday finance meeting, I heard not just numbers and reports, but ideas about how we can move forward. Planned Giving filled me in on plans for future luncheons, and how we can improve those events by listening to the evaluations from our guests who attend.

After school I stopped in at Carola and Sheehy, (both high school boys homes) to see what the guys had been up to. Then I ventured over to Dennis Home (1st-3rd grade girls) for supper. Two sisters, Dejah and DeOnna made their First Communion on Sunday, and I listened as they relived those memories of the celebration.

It’s also important to listen to your body. After a full day of sitting and listening, I hit the treadmill hard this evening, and am look forward to a good night’s sleep so I can start off on the right foot with the new day and new people the Lord will send my way tomorrow.

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.

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