Blessings upon our American Indian youth

Very special day at St. Joseph's Indian School.
A day of celebration at St. Joseph’s Indian School.

18 of our students received First Holy Communion at mass today. Of that group, most had gone through a year of classes in the RCIC (Rite of Christian Initiation of Children). Twelve of those students were also baptized and confirmed and one made her profession of faith.

Our small daily chapel was set up for pictures. As families arrived, Aaron took some great snapshots for the students to have and for us to remember. One of our houseparents who works with our youngest girls, had to remind an excited child scampering down the hallway “Today is not a day for running.” A few minutes later, I saw Celesia and Kyla showing off their flowing white communion dresses, spinning around, like a fairy tale Cinderella at the ball. I heard the same houseparent caution again, “Girls, today is not a day for twirling!” But how could they help it with the joy and excitement?

Everyone looked so sharp dressed up. I felt a little guilty ruining the hair do’s that took so long to get right when I doused the students with water three times. Those who were baptized definitely got good and wet.

After mass families and students were invited over to the Dining Hall where staff prepared and served dinner. We also had a couple of beautifully decorated cakes wishing congratulations and blessings. When I witness and participate in sacramental celebrations, especially with children, I pray I can be a good example and deepen my own commitment to the Lord.

Preparing for the Sacraments

Greetings from Richard!

The Lakota students continue their journey toward making their Sacraments in April. We have 26 students scheduled to make their sacraments, ranging from second grade to high school.

On Saturday, February 25, St. Joseph’s Indian School will be hosting a day retreat for the students who are in the RCIC program and their families. In the past, many families have attended this event and it has always been meaningful to all who have participated. During the day, we discuss the various sacraments the students will be receiving and students and families work on different projects together.

Students and their families decorate the Baptismal stoles they will wear when they are baptized. We also do a guided meditation on the Last Supper and a game to help the students learn about the gifts of the Holy Spirit in celebration of their Confirmation. The families will also do individual banners in commemoration of the students’ First Holy Communion.

The day culminates with Mass, during which we hold the Rite of Election where the students sign their names in the book acknowledging their willingness to become Catholics. I ask you to remember the students and their families in your prayers on February 25.