Inspire others

Our younger students who remain on St. Joseph’s Indian School’s campus take part in a mix of summer school and field trips. Yesterday I was running errands in the business office and saw a group of them taking a tour. When asked what was the best part, Louie replied, “the mail machines.”

The kids were fascinated to watch our staff load cards and bookmarks and dreamcatchers into envelopes bound for all parts of the country and beyond. Two were very tickled when they saw their very own picture on the outside of one of the envelopes. While it is a good education for our Lakota students to learn how things are done and made, it is also a boost to our development staff when they get to interact more directly with the students. They’re reminded of the reason they do the demanding work of raising funds for our mission.

This week has brought more organizational meetings. I reviewed goals with the Director of Child Services at his annual performance evaluation. It’s helpful to step back and see what gifts an employee brings, and talk about possible growth areas. I met with the architects, Akta Lakota Museum designers and facilities crew getting caught up on the many work projects going full speed on campus. If you visit St. Joseph’s Indian School you’ll find lots of disarray in the midst of construction, but in the end we are making some great improvements.

Today I’m off to the ordination of three priests for the Diocese in Sioux Falls. When I attend such celebrations I catch a bit of the enthusiasm and idealism I remember from when I was first ordained. When mixed with the experience and wisdom of 23 years of priestly ministry, hopefully I can inspire others to search for God’s will in their life, and act with charity and justice toward their neighbors.

I’ll be on the road for a few weeks, and yesterday I lined up some guest bloggers who will keep you posted on what’s going on around campus during that time. Next week is pure vacation, with no work; relaxing time with family and friends is the only item on the agenda.

I’ll check in periodically, but it is healthy to take some time off and turn the responsibility for ongoing work to others who care and are passionate about St. Joseph’s Indian School’s mission.

Parade of Lights

We are just returning from our Thanksgiving break here at St. Joseph’s Indian School.  I hope everyone enjoyed their break and spending the holiday with their friends and family.  Last week, here at St. Joseph’s, a few of our staff were preparing a float to enter into the Chamberlain Parade of Lights festivities.  With the theme being, “12 Days of Christmas” our float entry was the first day of Christmas.  Does anyone remember what was asked on the first day of Christmas?

“On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me…. A partridge in a pear tree.

St. Joseph's Indian School's float, "A partridge in a pear tree".
St. Joseph's Indian School's float, "A partridge in a pear tree".

There was a parade committee that gathered to put their heads together to come up with the wonderful idea for the float.  However, our facilities grounds supervisor, Foster, was what I would call the leader of the group.  Foster put in a lot of time working and building the float for the parade, along with many other facilities staff to help create his masterpiece.  The float looked wonderful all lit up, with the famous Partridge Family song “I Think I Love You” being played as they drove it down the main street of Chamberlain, South Dakota.

Some of the Native American youth here at St. Joseph’s Indian School that stayed on campus in our break home also got to help out and participate in the parade.  There were some students that got to ride on the float and some of them walked alongside and handed out dreamcatchers to all the spectators.  Can you imagine what fun it was for these children to participate in something like this?  They were able to help out and be a part of something with their “St. Joseph’s Family”.  Great fun was had by all!

‘Tis the holiday season, so we just want to wish everyone a Happy Holidays!!

– St. Joseph’s Indian School Facilities Department