Quality time with the Lakota (Siioux) youth

Basketball season is a favorite pasttime at St. Joseph's Indian School!
Basketball season is a favorite pasttime at St. Joseph's Indian School!

After cheering on our girls teams last semester, our 6th, 7th and 8th grade boys’ teams tipped off their basketball season against the first school west on I-90 rival: Lyman County. They took the 6th grade game and our 7th and 8th grade team claimed bragging rights. In the nightcap, the score never got farther than four points apart the entire game and we prevailed 52-49. A couple of my former altar servers from Kennebec were on the Lyman County team, and it was fun to visit with their families and check up on happenings in their community.  At halftime and in between games, I helped with the concession stand, where you get to run into so many students, staff, parents and visitors.

D’Kera, one of our high school seniors, started a part-time job working at the development office. After school, she calls donors to say thanks, which they appreciate. Or she might wish a happy birthday for the folks we know are celebrating a special day. She relayed to me how many people sent me their personal regards. I wish I could thank everyone more personally, but have many others helping me so that I can not only do other work, but spend quality time at ballgames and events which are special for our Lakota students.

Improvement and heavy questions

I made the rounds at St. Joseph’s Indian School this afternoon during reading intervention time. All the teachers had small groups of students working on language art skills, particularly needed by each group. I watched the six American Indian students in the upstairs computer lab who have been identified as needing to improve their comprehension and reading speed. A teacher supervised and reviewed comprehension with them while the computer timed their word speed. Their immediate goal was to improve to 100 words per minute.

I visited the Religious Education classroom. Richard had class with the 15 2nd– 4th graders who are preparing for sacraments this year. He had medals of Mary to give to each of the students and we prayed a prayer of blessing before giving them out as a reminder of Mary’s love.

Tonight at the Fisher Home (6th– 8th grade boys) the initial talk was of sports, the upcoming basketball season and tonight’s NCAA football championship. But later, Thomas and Andrew started asking many big religious questions.

What happens to your soul when you die?

What are Heaven and Hell like?

Do you think the world is going to end soon?

Can God forgive any sin if you are sorry?

I welcome those kinds of questions and wish they came up more often, but never feel I do them the justice they deserve when they do arise. But I encouraged them to keep thinking and searching to the answers for those types of questions.