Guest Blogger: Fr. Anthony

Greetings from the banks of the Missouri River!  The weather is still mild, which is great for the hunters, but not so nice for the farmers and ranchers.

Fr. Steve and a group of students and staff headed for the Big Apple this weekend for a donor luncheon.  Last year when they tried, Hurricane Irene brought everything to a standstill.  This year they are coming in right behind Superstorm Sandy.  The group took letters of support and encouragement from all the students at St. Joseph’s to those impacted by Hurricane Sandy.  They were passed out at the lunches so that our guests and others would know that they have not been forgotten as they face the challenge of putting their lives back together.

A variety of things happened here at St. Joseph’s that highlight the activities and events our Lakota students can get involved in.  Our student council leaders went to the state capitol in Pierre, South Dakota to be part of more than 90 schools, churches, veterans groups, social clubs and others designated to decorate the Christmas trees that are being set up around the capitol building.

Our inter-city basketball league is going great guns and we have been able to see some good results.  There was a young lady last year from Chamberlain who got involved but did not seem to get a lot of playing time.  This year when the Chamberlain Cubs came to play the St. Joseph’s Braves, she was part of the team!  She seemed to be the first or second one off the bench.  It shows the impact the program can have because it gave her the opportunity to improve herself and make new friends.  The boys from the area are taking part in the program now and the games have been interesting.

This past Sunday, the Diocese of Sioux Falls, South Dakota held a Mass of Thanksgiving in honor of our first Native American Saint, St. Kateri Tekakwitha, the Lily of the Mohawks.  Several of our students went to the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Sioux Falls to take part.  Besides the Mass, a statue was erected in her memory and honor.  As Kateri is a patron saint for ecology, the group then visited butterfly complex to see beauty in flight.  They ended the day by driving by the water falls that give Sioux Falls its name.  The falls are lit, making for a very picturesque scene.

Recently one of our high school students, Erika, had the privilege of casting her first vote in a national election. What really made it special, however,was that she was interviewed as she came out of the polling area and was asked which issue meant the most to her.  Her response was the bond issue the local high school was trying to get approved that would help fund a new cultural and activity center at Chamberlain High.  Erika saw it as a valuable addition to the school, but sadly it went down to defeat since it needed 60% plus one of all those voting.  It only got in the mid-50% range.

Things are getting interesting for our high school students as the winter sports of wrestling and boys’ and girls’ basketball get under way.  Wrestling started last week and some of our young men are going out.  Girls’ basketball got underway today, which means several girls will be staying over the Thanksgiving Break so they can attend practice.  The boys hit the court next Monday and a good number are planning on going out for that.

As we approach Thanksgiving, it is a reminder of our gratitude for your generosity.  The students and staff  keep you in their prayers.  May the Great Spirit bless you with good health, much happiness and safe travel if you are heading ‘over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go!’

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


St. Joseph’s Indian School

Hurricane Irene affects St. Joseph’s Indian School

Good afternoon!

The first item I want to share is that Fr. Steve, the students and staff of St. Joseph’s that went to New York City for  donor luncheons are safe, but stuck.  Father called yesterday afternoon to say that they were able to have the luncheon on Saturday, but only seven Benefactors were able to attend due to the approach of Hurricane Irene since public transportation was shut down.  I’m sure Fr. Steve will have more to blog at his next opportunity, but he wanted everyone to know they were safe.  Due to the backlog of air travelers, he felt that they might have to stay an extra day or two before being able to fly back to South Dakota.

As mentioned in my last memo, the local Chamberlain School system opened last week and the high school kicked off their volleyball, football and soccer season.  The Cubs pulled off a big upset in knocking off Hot Springs 16-14 in football.  Four of our students are on the team, one is a cheerleader and even the mascot is a St. Joseph’s Indian School student.  The soccer and volleyball teams did not fare as well.  The soccer team is 0-3, but got a nice word of affirmation from the referee at their last game since he was impressed at the progress they have made since this is only their second year.  The volleyball team won the JV game 2-0.  Two St. Joseph students are on that team while one is on the varsity which gave a good effort but also had opening game jitters that helped contribute to losing the match 0-3.

I also mentioned that a variety of meetings have been underway here on campus and that was highlighted by various reports being generated regarding our strategic planning as we dream dreams for the future and how we can continue moving St. Joseph’s forward over the next several years.

On Saturday, three Benedictine Sisters from Yankton, South Dakota came by for a visit to campus.  Sister Doris is the blood sister of Sister William after whom one of our Homes is named.  One of the other Sisters had been to visit St. Joseph’s years ago and mentioned how impressed they were with the look of the campus and all the “new” additions they noticed.  It is always nice when those who have some history with St. Joseph’s visit and then share their memories of previous visits, especially if it has been awhile.

St. Joseph’s hosted about 15 families who attended a FAST (Families And School Together) Weekend.  The program is an outreach of our Family Service Counselors  geared to help students and their families  deepen relationship and interaction skills while facing the challenges of family life.

Lots of activities for the students this week as the cross-country, volleyball and 7th/8th grade football teams are practicing for their upcoming seasons which begin next month.  Our 5th grade Lakota (Sioux) students will also have the chance to check out the opportunity to form a band here at St. Joseph’s as part of a program in conjunction with the Chamberlain School system to help younger students start learning musical instruments, so as to be ready to transition into the high school band.  It may be a bit noisy around here for the next several months or so, but we are also looking forward some beautiful music as the year moves along.  Another area of practice will be for those preparing to dance for the powwow on September 17th.

Now that the students are back and the year is underway, I’ll be going into each of the Homes to bless them for the upcoming school year.  It is a way to remind our students we want to provide a safe and secure experience for them and the blessing highlights God’s presence so as to enable all within the Home to be supportive and encouraging to each other.

Again, our thanks to all of you for your generosity, prayers and encouragement.  May God continue to bless and reward you.  Have a great day!


Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


St. Joseph’s Indian School