Guest Blogger: Cindy

Hello and welcome back!  I’m Cindy and I blogged in October about the many things that take place at the beginning of the school year.  I like to think that it is the busiest time of the year but it has not slowed down at all!

We are just returning from Thanksgiving Break (where did the time go?) and the students are starting to look forward to Christmas (and break: hooray!) that will be coming up in a few weeks.

Most of our students were able to go home for the Thanksgiving Break.  The day before Thanksgiving is a chaotic, but fun-filled day.  The student’s guardians all come and pick them up at the school.  The Dining Hall puts on a delicious lunch for them to enjoy.  Many of them have been coming to St Joseph’s for many years and it is fun to catch up on their lives.

We do have a few students that stay on campus during this time.  They are housed in what we refer to as the “break home.”  Their time is filled with fun activities such as shopping, movies and games.

This year, the students and staff who stayed on campus were able to participate in the Thanksgiving dinner at St. James Catholic Church.  This is a wonderful experience to have fellowship and visit with people from the surrounding areas.  It is wonderful that the local people put this on in order to alleviate the loneliness that can be associated with this time of year.

I enjoy this time of year.  As my family is grown, I still enjoy going to sports activities. The connection to my St. Joseph’s family is great as I now watch the St. Joseph’s girls play basketball.  They are a lot of fun and I love to watch them play.  This allows me to interact with the students outside of the school setting.  I really enjoy visiting with the students the next day at school on their accomplishments during the game.

Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas!

As we are preparing for the Christmas Season, two of our 6/7/8th grade girls homes will be featured in the local Parade of Homes this year.  This is a local event when people decorate their homes and allow the community members to tour them.  This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to connect  with the town of Chamberlain.   The girls are giddy as they are enjoying decorating and getting ready for the tours.  It is the first time that the homes have participated in the “Parade of Homes” showing off their home, their Christmas  decorations, and spirit of the season.

We are also busy educating the students about Christmas during religion and Native American Studies classes.  We celebrate the advent season in the school by having a ceremony every Monday morning.  We try to get the students to realize that there is more to Christmas than just the presents under the tree.

I want to extend Christmas wishes to all our benefactors this Holiday Season.  May your days be very joyful, fun-filled and blessed.  Thank you for all the support you have given to St. Joseph’s throughout the years. 

“Celebrate the feast of Christmas every day, even every moment in the interior temple of your spirit, remaining like a baby in the boson of the heavenly Father, where you will be reborn each moment in the Divine Word, Jesus Christ”—St. Paul of the Cross


Be thankful and give back

Joe from Milwaukee has been a longtime friend of St. Joseph’s Indian School. He told me he still has a holy card with a picture of Our Lady of the Sioux that is at least 60 years old, from when he was a boy. Joe installs and services pipe organs, and every few years comes out to spend a few days to clean up and tune up ours. He and his friend Jay arrived yesterday.

Today during mass, I had asked them to pull out the stops and let the students hear what the pipe organ can do. We don’t have many in our area who play, and relish the chance to hear some good sacred music. The prelude music as the students were coming into chapel for mass helped set a prayerful mood that carried over to the liturgy. And instead of running right home, afterwards a few of our kids stayed afterwards just to hear more.

The four Benedictine Homes (1st – 3rd grades) had an early communal Thanksgiving dinner, with turkey and all the trimmings. Each home contributed its part to provide a festive banquet for everyone. Afterward, everyone helped clean up, and I had to laugh at the efforts of first graders moving chairs that in some cases were taller than they were.

The Ambrose home did their service project today. They gathered toys and took them to the domestic violence shelter to share with the residents there. One of our students remembered when his mom sought refuge there. They knew the kids didn’t have many toys to play with, and wanted to share some from campus to bring them a little joy. Not just at Thanksgiving, but all year, we try to teach our students to be thankful and give back.