Happy first day of autumn!

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

The trees are beginning to change color in South Dakota; the sun is not up as early and is going down earlier each night. Mornings and evenings are much cooler than they have been.

With autumn comes football, and it is homecoming week at Chamberlain High School! Football players are busy preparing for their game on Friday night; tonight Homecoming Royalty will be crowned.  One of our high school students, Shawn, has been nominated for king. Maddy, a candidate for queen, is also part of our St. Joseph’s Indian School family – her father Mike is St. Joseph’s Director. You might remember that last year we were in a similar situation. Congratulations to everyone who has been nominated!

St. Joseph’s volleyball teams are working hard to prepare for their upcoming games.

In their first home game, St. Joseph’s volleyball team swept their opponents – Go Braves!

Last week St. Joseph’s girls’ volleyball teams got into action. They hosted Todd County’s sixth, seventh and eighth grade teams and swept all nine games! Everyone was excited about the victory, but the girls know they need to keep working hard as they get ready to play some tough teams in the coming weeks.

The St. Joseph’s Braves seventh and eighth grade football team will have their home opener tomorrow night. Go Braves!

Football season is underway for the St. Joseph’s Braves.

The St. Joseph’s Braves seventh and eighth grade football team will have their home opener tomorrow night.

I hope you all have a wonderful week and take the time to see the beauty of creation all around you as Mother Earth begins to

brighten things up with the changing of leaves and cooler temperatures.

May God continue to bless you for your generosity towards the Lakota children at St. Joseph’s Indian School.  We greatly appreciate your support, prayers and concern!

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ

Once powwow is over, most look to take it easy for a day or two, but St. Joseph’s fifth graders are off and running this week with Starbase!

St. Joseph’s fifth graders participate in the Eggbert experiment.

Space shuttles zip down the line with fragile cargo in the Eggbert experiment.

The program combines science, technology, engineering and math to deal with various problems and challenges.

Monday the students conducted the ‘Eggbert Launch.’ After devising ways to protect an egg strapped into the model space shuttles they were given, the shuttles were launched down a wire into a head-on collision.

The Lakota students came up with some unique ways to protect the eggs as they slid to their fate, but only one survived completely. Taps were played over four of them, two were deemed to have survived but needed a trip to the egg hospital.

Tomorrow, the class will make a trip to Rapid City, South Dakota to visit Air & Space Museum at Ellsworth Air Force Base, get hands-on with space food and view constellations in the dome from the Journey Center.

One egg survived the Eggbert experiment when St. Joseph’s fifth graders participated in Starbase.

Nateela, LaShawn and Barrett devised a way to keep their egg from cracking in a head-on collision as part of the Eggbert experiment!

In all the excitement of powwow on St. Joseph’s campus this weekend, our 2014 seniors are experiencing a whole new kind of excitement: the next chapter!

Mike and his wife April have been houseparents at St. Joseph’s Indian School for six years.

The Sheehy Home, including houseparent Mike, Errol, Cody and Wyatt.

They have taken their next step in their lives, whether to college, technical school or something else.

Mike, one of St. Joseph’s houseparents, had the privilege of taking one of the boys to college:

My wife and I have been houseparent’s at St. Joseph’s for six years now. Our first two years were in the 6th-8th grade community. The last four were in the high school program.

One student, Errol, has been in our homes for all six years. Watching him become the young man he is has been a privilege. He graduated with honors as member of the National Honor Society.

In July I received a call asking if I would be willing to drive him to the University of South Dakota so he could register for his classes and finalize all the paper work. I quickly agreed and counted it as another privilege.

On our way back to his house that day I asked him what his plans were for getting to school in August. He smiled and said, “Well, I was hoping you would take me.”

I was glad to help and we made plans for the move-in day. When August arrived, another one of my graduates, Cody, was playing basketball with my home in the gym. Cody would be leaving for South Dakota State two days later. I told him I was going to pick up Errol and take him to college the next day and asked if he wanted to ride with me. He said sure he would like to go.

The next day, most of the ride they debated which school was better and why the other one should transfer. Once we arrived at Errol’s new home for the next four years, we were happy to see Errol’s roommate, Wyatt, was also moving in. Wyatt is also a graduate from St. Joseph’s Indian School.

Errol, Wyatt and Cody lived in the same home during their high school years at St. Joseph’s Indian School.

Errol, Wyatt and Cody on move-in day!

Of course they were laughing about how they were going to fit everything into such a small dorm room and they realized their rooms at St. Joseph’s were much bigger, not to mention they had air condition and the dorm room doesn’t. Once settled, in Errol ask if we could drop him off at the Native American Center for his orientation class. We pulled up in front and I was expecting to say our goodbyes, but Errol and Cody both got out and went inside…

I had to circle the block and find a parking spot.

When I went inside the meeting had already started, so I motioned for Cody to come with me and waved bye to Errol. Errol waved back and said thank you.

As Cody and I started out the door towards the car he said “What about Errol?”

“He is staying here,” I answered.

“We are leaving him?” Cody asked.

I said yes.

Cody asked again, very thoughtfully, “We are leaving him here all alone?”

“Yes Cody,” I replied. “We are leaving him here all alone. He’s in college now, buddy.”

After a moment’s thoughtful silence, Cody said “I can’t believe we are leaving him here all alone.”

I reached up and put my hand on Cody’s 6’4’’ 290lb. back, and reminded him that in two days his mother would drive him to South Dakota State University and watch as he moved in to his dorm room.

“Then,” I said with a quiet voice, “she will then leave you there. And you’ll be in college too.”

We rode in silence for a few miles, not entirely sure where the most sniffles were coming from. After a few minutes, Cody broke the silence.

“We will always have St. Joseph’s.”

Mike F

Sheehy Home houseparent

Greetings from South Dakota and happy powwow week!

The Lakota boys and girls waited a month, but St. Joseph’s new playground is finally done!

Shouts of joy erupted from the playground when the Lakota students finally got to play on the new equipment!

The BIG news today is the blessing of the new playground equipment! Students and staff came out during their first period yesterday morning so we could offer a prayer and express our gratitude to our tiyospayeextended family – who made it all possible. There was a lot of excitement and glee as they slid, climbed, swung and checked out everything.

As one staffer put it:

The kids finally got to play on our new playground! They have been waiting for a month and were incredibly patient. Today it was awesome to witness them experience it for the first time. Yep, all 164 kids at once – priceless!!!!!! If only everyone could have heard the joy that erupted from St. Joseph’s this morning…we are truly blessed!!!!!!!

Pilamaya thank you – for your generosity!

And in the midst of this excitement, powwow week is upon us!

Last week we began the process to determine our royalty for the powwow.  The students taking part had to write a short essay about why they wanted to be Miss St. Joseph’s, Jr. Miss St. Joseph’s or the Eagle Staff Bearer.  They were also asked to demonstrate their dancing skills and answered questions from our panel of judges. The results will be announced Friday afternoon, September 12, at the cultural presentation in the Rec Center.

Even the big kids wanted to check out every corner of the new playground.

All the Lakota students – big and little – checked out every corner of the new playground.

Powwow guests are already arriving at St. Joseph’s Indian School! Our first visitor so excited he came a week early. He knocked on our door Saturday morning wondering where everyone was. Activities officially begin Thursday morning with a bus tour of nearby Indian Reservations (pre-registration required). In the meantime, guests can visit the Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center and take in the sites in and around Chamberlain. Check out the full powwow schedule!

You can learn more about powwow, including the definition of the event and various dance styles, at www.stjo.org/powwow.

I hope each of you has a wonderful week.  Please keep us in prayer that we’ll have good weather and a successful event for our Lakota (Sioux) students, their families and all our guests!

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ

The Lakota children say pilamaya – thank you!

Wopila tanka – many thanks – for your generosity!


Greetings from St. Joseph’s Indian School!

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

I hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend!  We were honored to have a lot of guests visit the Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center as they were passing through on their travels. I love driving through the parking lot to look at the license plates and see where everyone is from. I hope you may have the chance to visit us one day!

It was a busy week here on campus. One of our high school boys’ homes hosted the Chamberlain High School Varsity football team for dinner Thursday night. It is a way to strengthen team unity and help give the local players and coaches a chance to see how the St. Joseph’s students live. We have several St. Joseph’s boys on the team.

St. Joseph’s powwow will be September 12-13; the Lakota children are ready!

The Lakota boys and girls are practicing their dance steps for powwow!

Sadly, the team lost their season opener Friday night against a team ranked at the state level. However, the Cubs will have the chance to rebound with their home opener this Friday.

In volleyball news, the varsity season opens tonight with the Lady Cubs hosting Stanley County.  Just like the football team, we have several students on both the Varsity and JV teams.

Go Cubs!

The high school students had Friday off as well as Monday. One of our homes took advantage of the time off and offered a car wash on campus. Their goal was to raise money to attend the LifeLight Music Festival in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, which is a three-day Christian music event. The car wash was a hit and they had a great time at the festival!

Here on campus over the long weekend, the younger Lakota students took in a movie – Guardians of the Galaxy – at our local theater. A picnic was planned afterwards, but they had to avoid some rain drops! They also had the chance to enjoy being outside, swim and just take it easy – it was a wonderful, relaxing weekend!

With the holiday weekend behind us, all the focus now shifts to St. Joseph’s powwow September 12-13.  We are praying for good weather! The students are busy preparing regalia and practicing their dance steps. We hope you can join us!

We hope you will all have a great week! May God’s blessings and guidance will be with you.

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


Greetings from Chamberlain, South Dakota!

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

There was a nip in the air this morning that gave a hint that fall is on the way. We had several warm days last week and got some much needed rain. The rain has helped bring back some color to our grass. A few local cattle seemed to believe the old saying, ‘the grass is greener on the other side.’ Saturday morning, we discovered about a dozen had broken through the fence and were grazing on St. Joseph’s football field!

Last week, students and staff gathered in front of the school building to have a group photo taken in the design of the Morning Star, also found in the Lakota Star Quilt.

St. Joseph’s sports teams are getting ready for the opening of their seasons.  Our sixth, seventh and eighth grade students started volleyball, football and cross country practices this week.

Speaking of the cross country team… The other night I heard voices up at the SCJ Community House where Fr. Bernie and I live. All of a sudden, 15-20 youngsters and several adults came around the corner of the house. It was a bit of a shock since we don’t usually have many visitors!

I found out later that our rec center staff had plotted out a new cross country path that led them up the hill where the house is. The team members not only run around campus but also up and down hills for better training. Some of them stopped for a break at the top of our hill before finishing the practice for the day.

The Lakota students and St. Joseph’s staff members gathered for a Morning Star group picture.

St. Joseph’s students and staff gathered for a special group picture in the shape of the Morning Star.

Some of our runners got in some extra practice over the weekend as they took part in the Chamberlain Youth Triathlon.  They were able to compete on teams or individually.  Two of our teams won first place in their divisions and several individuals also won medals!

Everyone is getting excited as our 38th Annual Powwow draws closer.  Our students have been practicing their dancing and the staff has been going over their notes to see where adjustments can be made to improve the experience for our guests.  Today, some of the student tour guides are having a practice run for the school tours they will provide.

The Lakota children competed in a youth triathlon and did great!

Several St. Joseph’s students participated in a youth triathlon. Several earned places!

The final touches are being put on the new playground and will be dedicated on the morning of the powwow. I hope you can come and enjoy the weekend with us September 12-13! If you still need information, call 1-800-584-9200 or visit stjo.org/powwow.

If you cannot attend, please keep us in your prayers that we’ll have nice weather – just like Goldilocks said, ‘not too hot, not too cold, but just right.’

Have a great week! May everyone have a relaxing and enjoyable Labor Day weekend. If you are traveling, please drive safely.

God bless!

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ



Good afternoon! I am Angela, St. Joseph’s Speech Therapist.

Angela, St. Joseph's Speech Therapist

Angela, St. Joseph’s Speech Therapist

It’s been a busy and productive start to the school year at St. Joseph’s! We started our third week today. To help get the Lakota boys and girls off to a good start, we do some screenings to make sure they are ready to learn.

Last week, the South Dakota School for the Deaf (SDSD) screened our entire school – 208 students – for hearing proficiency. The SDSD team consists of a licensed audiologist and two audiology technicians who screen hearing and complete full evaluations when necessary.

During our screens, two students were identified with ear infections and one with wax build-up posing significant challenges with their hearing. After medical intervention, the students will then be re-screened by our speech-language pathologist to ensure that intervention was successful and they are able to pass their hearing screen. We are so fortunate to be able to offer health services here on campus!

The Lakota students participated in hearing screening.

All St. Joseph’s students had their hearing screened to start the school year.

It is reassuring to know our students have good hearing and can effectively learn and participate in the classroom. We are blessed to have SDSD share their commitment to education and health with St. Joseph’s Indian School each year. Feeling very grateful, we have already penciled them in for the same time next year!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 854 other followers