St. Joseph’s students are busy!

Good day from St. Joseph’s Indian School.

As the calendar keeps rolling along, sports and other activities change and our students take turns trying new things. Since the weather had been so nice, they are enjoying a variety of great options!
Continue reading “St. Joseph’s students are busy!”

Back in the swing of things

I’m getting back in the swing of things after a 10 day stay in the hospital for an obstructed intestine, apparently caused by scar tissue in my abdomen from the previous cancer surgery. Lent is often a time of fasting, and I had to go the first 7 days with no solid foods at all to help the system relax and clear itself out.

When I finally got to eat some chicken broth, it tasted finer and richer than Thanksgiving dinner! I had good care in our local hospital and thank all the nurses and doctors who looked after me.

Being close by also had the advantage of a steady stream of visitors. Staff dropped by to inquire, pray and support. One of our 2nd graders, Kyla, had to come up to the clinic for tests, and she stopped by the room with a homemade card and hug that brightened my day considerably. LaToya, one of our high school juniors who works an after school job at the hospital brought me my tray of food and greetings from the Crane Home. As I roamed the hallways, pushing IV pole ahead of me to get some exercise, I ran into a whole variety of folks from the community with health concerns of their own, and tried to be a caring listener to them.

Hospital stays trigger so many different moods and emotions. At times during the week I felt anxious. Once they determined I wouldn’t need to have surgery, but just wait it out, boredom became a struggle. A few times the hospitalization had a retreat-like quality, as I had plenty of time for prayer and spiritual reading. With no meals to break up the day, the Divine Office, with its various prayers at each time of the day, took on greater significance to mark and celebrate the passage of time. I tried to listen carefully to what God might be saying in the midst of sickness and struggle.

Being active, it’s hard to slow down and my mind raced with the many things I could be doing. Now that I’m home and have both the freedom and opportunity, I don’t have the energy I’d like. It’s important to pace yourself and not overdo it.

Beginning the season of Lent

Our high school students went downtown to church this evening, but all the rest of our Native American students and a good number of staff gathered in Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel this morning for mass to begin the season of Lent. The first graders are the ones with the most giggles as ashes smear their foreheads and sprinkle down on their nose. But I sense a seriousness too, about wanting to become a better person. The dark crosses on foreheads were noticeable around campus all day.

My prayer is that I can have more discipline in all the areas of life that will help me to understand and follow God’s will. I get more serious about my growth in the Lord’s ways during this season. Lent is meant to inspire us to overcome sinful and selfish ways and to become more like God. That starts by picking up the daily crosses we are asked to embrace.

I always pick something concrete to give up. This year it is desserts and computer games. I play games a lot more than I watch TV, and with the extra time can spend more time in prayer or doing things for others.

I also try to focus on improving an attitude or a virtue. I get many requests each day from every corner of the campus. Sometimes it feels like a burden rather than an opportunity to serve. I’m reminded of Mother Theresa’s attitude of trying to treat each request as direct from God, and find a way to say yes to whatever was asked of her. I hope to be more generous in responding to what is asked of me.


What did you give up for lent?


Guest blogger: Fr. Anthony

With the approach of Lent, it was time to bring things to an end and begin here at St. Joseph’s Indian School.

The homes were asked to bring their old palms to church today so they can be burned and used on Ash Wednesday.

The inter-city girls’ basketball season came to an end with a 6th, 7th and 8th grade all-star games.  As part of the end of the season activities, there were free throw and three-point contests as well as drawing for door prizes.  Trophies and ribbons were then handed out to those on the championship team.

My one arm feels a bit longer than the other since we had bowling yesterday for our regular bowling league of 6th, 7th and 8th graders and then did it again later Saturday night with our high school students and some of their house parents.  It is exciting to see the improvement some are making and frustrating as others keep find the gutter rather than the head pin, your humble scribe included.

As Sunday was Girl Scout Sunday, we honored those in  scouting in grades 1 to 5.  We asked them to stand at Sunday Mass and then gave them a round of applause for their willingness to help others while having fun and discovering various things about themselves and the world around them.

Frances Jetty, the wife of Deacon Bud Jetty, who helps out at St. James in Chamberlain and here on campus at times, has been facing some medical problems.  The students here have been keeping her in their prayers and today she asked that the Mass be offered for all the sick of the area.  At the start of Mass, the students were asked to pause for a moment to think about anyone they knew who is struggling with health issues and then we lifted them all up to be remembered in the Mass intention.  I lifted up any of our Benefactors who are going through some physical or emotional difficulties at the moment.

Fr. Steve is schedule to return on Monday afternoon from the donor luncheon in Milwaukee, WI; he could be running into another big snow storm that is supposed to hit our area again.   Please say a prayer that he and the group that went with him will be able to make it back to campus safely.

Have a great week.  May your Lent get off to a wonderful start with the celebration of Ash Wednesday as we begin a time of reflection on what we can let go of so as to draw closer to God.

Thanks again for your interest in St. Joseph’s Indian School.  Our students and staff are grateful for your generosity.

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


PS – Remember that Day Light Savings goes into effect next weekend.  Set your clocks ahead an hour when you retire this coming Saturday night.

Fr. Steve’s updates

Jesus prayed those words on the cross, and they sound so full of agony. But, when you read the entire psalm, after deep and honest soul searching the psalmist comes to a deeper trust of God.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Palm Sunday, and the readings focused on the Passion. The 22nd  Psalm, used as a Response, stood out most for me – “My God, My God, why have you abandoned me?”

Jesus prayed those words on the cross, and they sound so full of agony. But, when you read the entire psalm, after deep and honest soul searching the psalmist comes to a deeper trust of God.

When we’re sick or in trouble, it’s OK to bring our groaning and frustration before the Lord. And God can turn our cries into an experience of letting go and letting God.

God can turn our cries into an experience of letting go and letting God

Reflecting on the experience here, there is plenty of goodness, kindness and beauty, which helps. Yet, each day, I face the reality of the cancer and a serious surgery eventually coming up.

Like the passion, it’s ultimately about dying and rising. The cancerous part of me must die before new and healthy cells can be reborn.

On the spiritual side, Lent reminds us that we all have parts of ourselves that must die in order to produce new life – the self-centeredness and laziness, those areas where we are tempted and sin. That’s what I’ve been most aware of on this journey of 40 days and beyond.