Today the Lakota (Sioux) students begin Easter break.

We had a very busy weekend at St. Joseph’s – Saturday was packed, but started on a sad note.

In the afternoon, Chamberlain saw its first Annual Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Walk.  The walk was held in loving memory of Mason Naser, a young child from the area who suffered fatal abuse at the hands of his father’s girlfriend. He was a sibling of one of St. Joseph’s boys in the Ambrose Home.

To show support for their housemate, the boys and their houseparents took part in the walk to affirm Dr. Seuss’ statement and the walk’s rallying cry – “A person’s a person,

St. Joseph’s staff coordinated the Mr. Relay for Life Pageant to raise money for cancer research.

Stefen, a St. Joseph’s alumnus, was crowned Mr. Relay for Life 2014!

no matter how small!”

Saturday evening held the second annual crowning of Mr. Relay for Life – a ‘beauty’ pageant for Chamberlain area men.  There is a lot of laughter involved in support of dealing with something that isn’t funny — cancer.

Some of the outfits put Lady Gaga to shame as the participants took part in an evening gown competition, talent contest — thankfully only a minute in length – and an interview.

St. Joseph’s Residential Director Julie helped organize the event which, in its inaugural year, raised over $4,400.00 for cancer research! We were blessed to have many more

St. Joseph’s staffers involved, including Bryan, our Rec Center Director, and Doug, a houseparent, as contestants!

At the end of the evening, St. Joseph’s alumnus Stefen was crowned Mr. Relay for Life 2014!

Kudos to everyone who participated and helped exceed last year’s results by raising a whopping $7,000!

One local group that helped raise money for the event was the Explorers.  This is a program for middle school boys, giving them opportunities for camaraderie and service, working to raise money for local needs.

Recently they had the chance to take a trip to the State Capital in Pierre, South Dakota. They had their picture taken with Governor Dennis Daugaard and had the chance to visit with Marty Jackley, the South Dakota Attorney General.

They are currently planning their big car wash fundraiser in late April, with the profits being used to buy some much-needed playground equipment for the park at American

The Explorers got to meet South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard.

The Explorers got to meet South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard.

Creek.

Several St. Joseph’s students are involved in this and have been officers in the program over the past few years.  They will end the year in May with a trip to Kansas City for a professional baseball game.

God bless you this Holy Week! May we all take time to reflect on what takes place as we celebrate Holy Thursday, when Jesus gives us the gift of Himself in the Eucharist and appreciate the price He freely chose to pay to redeem us from sin by His Passion and Death on Good Friday and the joyous victory He achieves over sin and death by His resurrection on Easter.

Fr. Anthony

Chaplain

Memo to Mother Nature — enough is enough, please make up your mind! This past Saturday was gorgeous but Palm Sunday was cold and windy, which kept our blessing of the palms indoors.  I hope spring has really sprung for you, wherever you may live.

Last week, we were honored to have Fr. Steve back on campus.  In his new role as Provincial of the United States Province he had two tasks to fulfill during his visit to St. Joseph’s Indian School.  First, he visited with all the SCJs in ministry here in South Dakota to check in on how we are doing in terms of health, ministry and spiritual lives.

St. Joseph’s eighth grade girls matched up against staff for a basketball game.

St. Joseph’s eighth grade girls vs. staff.

Second, he was part of the board meeting that reviews finances and ministry of the work the community is doing.  The meeting was held in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, so board members could visit St. Joseph’s Donor Care Center. The board was impressed by the ability of Donor Care Center staff to reach out to our benefactors, offering birthday greetings, answering questions and helping people learn more about St. Joseph’s Indian School and the programs we offer the Lakota (Sioux) people in Chamberlain and on South Dakota Indian Reservations.

Before heading to Sioux Falls for the meeting, Fr. Steve enjoyed watching the basketball games between staff teams and our eighth grade boys and girls’ teams.  Our young ladies were up first, and staff players gave us a glimpse of glory from their younger years.  The effort was there, but it took them awhile to hit their stride.

It was 12-11 in the staff’s favor at half.  The fans were into the game, pulling for their side in good fun. The staff team was in the lead as the final few minutes wound down. The eighth grade coach sent his whole team out to play in a sneak attack that resulted in the eighth graders getting the ball for one last shot! They made a long 3-point shot to tie it at the buzzer ending the game tied at 33 all!

Many laughs were had by all, setting us up for the boys vs. staff game.

When the game got ready to start, Fr. Steve came out to administer the opening toss up and then scrambled out of the way as everyone rushed to get the ball.  The staff team came at the eighth graders in waves – they had enough players to sub in and out. The eighth grade boys, however, had just five players!

St. Joseph’s eighth grade boys matched up against staff for a basketball game.

St. Joseph’s eighth grade boys vs. staff. Derek, a houseparent, is cleverly disguised in a St. Joseph’s Braves uniform.

The boys held their own, however, and lead at half 13-9. Once the second half got underway, it got a bit confusing – many staff were wearing St. Joseph’s team uniforms, so it was hard to make sure you were passing to your teammate and not the opposition.  The fans kept rooting for the students as the minutes ticked off the clock. There were lots of oohs and aahs as shots went up but not in. At the buzzer, the staff escaped with a 23-21 victory.

It was a great way to finish the week!

It was a busy weekend at St. Joseph’s, so stay tuned to hear more about Saturday’s many activities.

We hope that whatever activity you chose for Lent has proven beneficial and has you ready for Holy Week. May God continue to bless you all and reward you for your generosity.

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ

Chaplain

St. Joseph’s eighth grade girls had another opportunity for hands-on learning last week when they attended a GEMS (Girls in Engineering, Math and Science) conference at

Claire is a St. Joseph's houseparent

Claire

South Dakota State University (SDSU) in Brookings, South Dakota.

 

As one professor pointed out, eighth grade is a critical time for girls in math—some of them are taking algebra and for the first time are struggling to “get it.” Later, they may start avoiding taking math and science classes based on the faulty belief that it is too hard, or they just can’t do it. Besides, girls don’t do math, right? HA!

 

GEMS was an opportunity for them to learn that not only are math and science accessible for girls, they can be a lot of fun! They had 15+ volunteer role models to show them how great it is to be a girl-geek in engineering. Both students and professors were on hand to show them around and guide them through four activities.

 

St. Joseph’s eighth grade girls programmed a robot to navigate an obstacle course as part of the GEMS workshop.

The girls were careful to start their robot in the same place each time to navigate the course.

Engineering is all about solving problems, so the girls were given several cool tasks to try out for themselves.

 

Problem #1: Control a Robot. Instead of using a remote control, the girls wrote the actual program to guide the robot through a maze drawn on a floor mat. Wow! Just like the Mars Rover! They wrote lines of code and then tested them out on the robot, tweaking distances and degrees of turns. All the while, their college mentors modeled how to solve problems. “You might want to shorten the turn there. Make sure you always set the robot down in the same spot.” The girls were fascinated, frustrated and elated.

 

Problem #2: Solve a Crime. Oh no! Somebody broke into the lab, broke a planter, stole some copper wiring, and spilled a suspicious white powder on the floor. Plus, they left

While learning about how buildings are constructed, the girls wore regulation Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE.

Personal Protection Equipment – it’s what all the cool girls are wearing!

behind their half-eaten chocolate bar. That’s just WRONG.

 

The girls got to use techniques like fingerprinting, dental casting, foot printing and chemical analysis to figure out whodunit.  I can’t wait until someone’s snacks go missing in Pinger Home, because I am sure the St. Joseph’s CSI team will be on the case. Stand back!

 

Problem #3: Build a New Laboratory. Well, the girls didn’t actually have to help construct a building. But they had a very enthusiastic tour guide explain to them all the different teams who have to work together to complete a complex structure (not unlike the crew who completed the Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center renovation last fall). Plus they got to wear PPE – Personal Protection Equipment – goggles, hard hats and reflector vests. It’s what ALL the fashionable girl geeks and engineers are wearing!

 

Problem #4: Build a Bridge. This was their absolute favorite activity. It involved working in a team with a tour guide. They had to build a working 6-foot bridge with tinker toys, cardboard, string and two bricks. As one girl said:

At first, I saw the space between the two desks and I thought we could never do it. And then we just… started building. I really had to exercise my brain.

The importance of mentors became really clear.

I liked building the bridge because our guide stayed with us the whole time instead of rotating to other stations. She could tell we were really into it.

The Lakota girls worked in teams to build a bridge spanning 6 feet using only string, cardboard, two bricks and tinker toys.

Their favorite task was building a 6-foot bridge, working only with cardboard, two bricks, string and tinker toys.

 

The girls really enjoyed their trip to SDSU, even though it meant getting up at 5am (on a Saturday!) to make the 3-hour trek from St. Joseph’s Indian School to Brookings. I really hope their experience will help them the next time they get stuck in math class.

This may be hard, but I can do hard things. I can solve this problem.

Once again, I thank our generous donors and SDSU for giving our Native American girls such an awesome learning opportunity. Girls Rock!

We hope this finds you all healthy and doing well! The weather in Chamberlain is keeping us guessing, but the last couple of days have been warming up… Dare we say spring

Fr. Anthony is St. Joseph’s Chaplain

Fr. Anthony with the Lakota children

is really here?

St. Joseph’s Native American students have taken advantage of the nice days and are getting out for some activities. Tonight, the junior high softball league will start. The fourth and fifth grade softball will have a meeting today and start their season in the next day or two. Our youngest students (first, second and third grades) take part in T-ball and they kick off their season tomorrow afternoon.

Last Thursday, I had the chance to attend the Chrism Mass at St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The oils used in church rituals during this year were blessed and then distributed to all the parishes. The clergy gather to re-affirm our commitment of service to God’s people and to take the oils home as a sign of unity within the diocese. These oils will be used on April 27 when our Lakota (Sioux) students who are taking part in the Rite of Christian Initiation for Children (RCIC) program will receive their Sacraments.

Saturday was a big night for our high school students – prom! Since the festivities go through the night, we decided to push back our Sunday Mass at St. Joseph’s Indian School to late afternoon so everyone could get some sleep. It was nice to see other prom goers from the community join our later service after taking the opportunity to sleep in. Check out our photos from the evening!

Most of St. Joseph’s high school students attend the Chamberlain High School prom last weekend.

St. Joseph’s students and their dates at the prom!

Everyone was very excited to have Fr. Steve back with us to be the celebrant at our afternoon Mass. He is in South Dakota for a board meeting this week and to visit with the local SCJ community members in his role as Provincial Superior.

 

It is hard to believe Palm Sunday is coming up this weekend. We hope it will be a special day for you as we continue our journey to Easter.

 

Take care and know we are keeping you and your intentions in our prayers.

God bless,
Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ
Chaplain

Happy Spring!

Julie is a counselor for the Lakota boys and girls at St. Joseph's.

Julie, Family Service Counselor

Even though the weather cannot seem to make up its mind here in South Dakota, spring is officially here! The Lakota (Sioux) students returned from spring break a couple weeks ago and all seemed to have enjoyed the time they were able to spend with family. As we move into April, the final weeks of classes at St. Joseph’s Indian School year will become very busy.

 
Track has started for our students – the team is 24 strong! St. Joseph’s high school students will run track for Chamberlain High School. Good luck Cubs!

 
St. Joseph’s junior high students (grades 6-8) students will also start softball in the near future. Hopefully, the weather will start to cooperate and we will have some nice days for our students to participate in these sports.

 

St. Joseph’s students learn basic softball skills – hitting, catching and throwing.

Swing, batter batter, swing!

Our seniors are getting anxious and ready for graduation, as are our eighth grade students. It’s time for pictures, dress and suit shopping; the joy our graduates are feeling about their accomplishments is nearly tangible!

 
We wish them all a happy remainder of the school year. Hang tough graduates, the end is near!

 
We are also fully immersed in the Lenten Season, and the students are looking forward to one more short break for Easter. As we are called in this Lenten Season to prepare our hearts for Resurrection of our Lord, we are also called to serve one another.

 
I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of our donors and benefactors for their generous donations, which make it possible for all of the staff of St. Joseph’s Indian School to serve the Native American people. Without your support, we could not do the good that we do.

The Lakota children play softball each spring.

If the weather cooperates, the Lakota children will have lovely green grass to play on by the end of the school year!

 
I wish you all a warm and joyous Spring, Lenten Season and Easter Season.

May the Lord bless you abundantly and keep you and yours safe and healthy!

 
Julie, Family Service Counselor

How does the old saying go? March comes in like a lion or lamb and goes out like the opposite?

 
This year is an exception. We had bad weather at the start of the month, and a blizzard with strong winds and snow raged yesterday! Several staff members headed home early and Chamberlain students (including St. Joseph’s high school students) were dismissed at 1:00 PM. Thankfully, the freezing rain passed us by and we only got 2-4 of snow. But it’s cold this morning – only 12 degrees!

 
It’s hard to believe, but Sunday we enjoyed a lovely spring day – temperatures in the high 60s. The Lakota (Sioux) students got into the spirit of the opening day of baseball by playing an afternoon ball game.

 
Last week, our high school students and staff took a few trips to college campuses. Several sophomores went to Southeast Tech in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, for a career day. We have a couple young men interested in law enforcement and public safety, engineering, transportation, photography and web design. Two of our young ladies are looking into possibilities in the health care field.

 

St. Joseph’s sophomores visited Dakota State University.

Danisha, class of 2012, shows St. Joseph’s current sophomore boys around Dakota State University, where she is attending college.

Another group went to Dakota State University in Madison, South Dakota to look into music, digital design and gaming.Later this week, some will head out to the Black Hills to visit Western Dakota Tech where one of our seniors, Dean, has already been accepted to the law enforcement program.

 
Mary Jane, St. Joseph’s alumni coordinator, passed along some updates from former students:
• Ben, eighth grade class of ’77, lives on the Rosebud Indian Reservation where he works as an investigator for the tribal police department. His wife also works for the tribe. She was recently able to finish her college degree thanks to St. Joseph’s Scholarship Program.
• Kristin, eighth grade class of ’07, graduated from the Navy Recruit Training Center in Great Lakes, Illinois on March 7, 2014.
• Raygina, who attended St. Joseph’s from 1992-1999, is involved in the nursing program up at United Tribes in Bismarck, North Dakota. She is looking forward to finishing her degree and moving into the next stage of her life.

 

You may recall that last week I mentioned St. Joseph’s was taking part in the Acalympics (Academic Olympics) in White River, South Dakota. There were 12 schools with teams made up of sixth, seventh and eighth grade students; St. Joseph’s team came in ninth.

 
Kathleen, our principal, said the team did well, but scoring demands teams to be very precise in regards to spelling and complete answers. A neighboring school to the west of us, Lyman, was the winning team.

 
We hope each of you has a great week and that spring does indeed come as we move into April. May God bless and reward you for your generosity towards the Lakota boys and girls at St. Joseph’s Indian School. We keep you and your intentions in our prayers.

 
Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ
Chaplain

Greetings from St. Joseph’s Indian School! Today is class picture day and all our students are putting on their best smile for the yearbook.

Fr. Anthony is St. Joseph’s Chaplain

Fr. Anthony with the Lakota children

The Lakota (Sioux) children are enjoying the first week of spring. Last week, a golf course in Mitchell, South Dakota (70 miles from Chamberlain) tempted Mother Nature by announcing the course was open. As the saying goes, ‘it’s not nice to fool Mother Nature,’ and she brought a screeching halt to that endeavor by dropping 3.4 inches of snow on the Mitchell area!

 
Yesterday, we had a Penance service for our third, fourth and fifth graders along with the Stations of the Cross. We offer the Sacrament during the Lenten and Advent seasons specifically, as well as other times throughout the year and whenever we receive requests from students or staff.

 
As warmer weather begins to move in, the students are enjoying riding their bikes and scooters and shooting some hoops outside. This week, some of our Native American students will participate in a weeklong gymnastics camp hosted by the Chamberlain school district. Preparations are underway for St. Joseph’s track season, as well as the junior high softball league. The younger students will play T-ball.

Reuben, a St. Joseph’s senior, was named to the Big Dakota Conference Basketball Team. Way to go Reuben!

Reuben is one of St. Joseph’s seniors.

We are excited to share that two members of the Chamberlain High School boys’ basketball team, Skyler and Reuben, were selected for the Big Dakota Conference team. Reuben is one of St. Joseph’s seniors and Skyler is the son of a St. Joseph’s teacher! Congratulations to them both!

 
On Wednesday six of our students—Anthony, Helena, Nate, Camron, Rain and Alyssa — will be taking part in what is called the “Acalympics” in White River, South Dakota. It is a kind of Knowledge Bowl for grade school students. This will be our third year participating in the event.

 
We hope you have a great week! May the blessings of the Great Spirit be upon you, bringing you good health and much happiness. Thank you again for your kindness and concern for the Lakota boys and girls. We are grateful for the support and prayers you share with these precious children!
Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ
Chaplain

We greet you from the banks of the Missouri River as the last few days of winter slip away in

Fr. Anthony is St. Joseph’s Chaplain

Fr. Anthony with the Lakota children

South Dakota.  It’s not going out quietly… we had some snow on Saturday evening and are facing a winter storm today!

Last week was fairly quiet at St. Joseph’s Indian School while our Lakota (Sioux) students in grades 1-8 were on spring break.  They returned Sunday and this week kicks off the fourth quarter of the academic year!  Wednesday we will have a prayer service honoring our patron, St. Joseph, and asking the guidance of the Holy Spirit on the students and teachers for the final quarter of the school year.

Monday, eight students took part in an Opiciye OkiziA Good Place to Heal.  This special program is a “healing camp” for students who have recently lost someone close to them. Each child was joined by a family member for the day.

During the camp, St. Joseph’s staff members facilitate activities designed to start conversations and help the children reflect on life and death and talk about how we can honor and pray for those whom the Great Spirit has called home.  It gives the students a chance to ask questions, especially if they have had a hard time dealing with the loss.  The day ended with a traditional ceremony called the ‘wiping of tears.’

We hope you all have a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day.  Pilamayathank you – for making these programs possible for the

St. Joseph’s healing camp helps children work through the loss of people close to them.

Healing camp helps the Lakota children who have experienced the death a loved one cope with the loss in healthy ways.

children and families who need them. May God’s blessings continue to be with you to reward you for your generosity!

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ

Chaplain

Good day from the staff and Lakota (Sioux) girls in the William Home (4th and 5th grade girls)!

Mike works with the Lakota girls in 4th and 5th grades

Mike, a St. Joseph’s houseparent

The year has gone by quickly; it is hard to believe, but we will be starting the final quarter next week when school resumes after spring break.

We have finished up our walking program for the year. Each morning, we got up early to go to the rec center and walk laps. As a home, staff and students walked a total of 21,460 laps this year.  That is equal to 1,070 miles!

Now, hopefully the weather will cooperate so we can get outdoors and play in our free time. We have our home trip coming up soon and everyone is excited. A fun weekend away from campus towards the end of the year is always a great time to reflect on our school year and the relationships we have built.  We are planning on going to Sioux Falls, South Dakota and visit the Butterfly House, the Washington Pavillion to take in some science exhibits and then the Sky Zone for some trampoline time.

Right now, I am working in the spring break home. Some of St. Joseph’s students stay on campus during breaks for a variety of reasons. There is always a place for them here. It is a relaxed time and the kids enjoy recreational and leisure activities.

The girls in St. Joseph’s William Home walked over 1,000 miles to meet their fitness goal!

The Lakota (Sioux) girls in the William Home got up early every morning to walk at the rec center and meet their goal.

Staff members can apply to work one of the shifts in the break home, or just take the time off – it is not mandatory for any staff to work in break homes.  Many students in the spring break home are younger and I also have a couple girls from the William Home. It is nice to get to know younger students and spend some extra time with the kids I already know.

We hope you have all survived the winter months! I hate to say it, but I’m done with my shift today and headed out to hit some golf balls – our snow is gone and we’re supposed to get up to 60 degrees!

Blessings to all,

Mike and the William Home girls

Greetings from St. Joseph’s Indian School!

Things are kind of quiet right now as our elementary school students (grades 1-8) are on spring break. St. Joseph’s high school students attend Chamberlain

Fr. Anthony and the Lakota children.

Fr. Anthony spends time with St. Joseph’s students.

High School, and they are still in session.

When classes let out on Friday and spring break officially kicked off, I rode along to the Pine Ridge area in southwestern South Dakota to take some of the Lakota students home.  We try to send two staff members in each van or mini bus, and it was very helpful to have an extra staff person this time!  One of the student’s relatives was late getting to the pick-up spot in Martin, South Dakota. I was able to wait with her while the others continued on to Pine Ridge.  As we drove back through the Rosebud Indian Reservation, it was nice to see some of the towns our students come from.

Three of our high school girls recently made a trip to the University of Minnesota in Morris (UM-M).  Ashley is already accepted to the college and will take pre-veterinary classes; Amber and Michelle went along to support Ashley and check out the campus. The nice thing about UM-M is that, once a Native American student is accepted, tuition is paid in full.  Of course, some expenses still remain, like books, room and board and incidentals, but tuition is a huge help.

Pam, who chaperoned the trip, works with the juniors and seniors to help them find college programs they might consider entering.  She makes several of these trips with our students at this time of year.

We are disappointed to report the Chamberlain Cubs’ basketball season is over.

The Lady Cubs went up against the team from Winner last week … the team lived up to their town’s name and defeated the Lady Cubs to knock them out of further contention.

On Monday night, the boys took on Cheyenne-Eagle Butte to see who would be punching their ticket to the Boys’ State Basketball Championship.  Chamberlain held its own until the third quarter and then ran into trouble with turnovers, fouls and poor shooting.  The Cheyenne-Eagle Butte Braves were able to win the game at the free throw line and will move on to Sioux Falls for the State A tournament.

Though we’ll be losing some good senior players, we are excited about next year. Those lost will be replaced by Junior Varsity players, and the Cubs’ JV squad has not lost a game in two years!

On Monday, I attended the Board Meeting at Cheyenne River Indian Outreach (CRIO) in Eagle Butte, South Dakota. St. Joseph’s and CRIO are both operated by the Priests of the Sacred Heart and work together in a variety of ways. CRIO operates a shelter on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation for those suffering from domestic violence (the only one of its kind for 100 miles in any direction), a thrift store and a residence for at-risk youth ages 10-17.

Just a few days ago, St. Joseph’s received a call for help from CRIO – their thrift store shelves were nearly bare. They would soon be unable to help meet the needs of the community in terms of clothing and household items.

Thanks to you, St. Joseph’s was able to send a load of clothing and other needed items to help re-stock the shelves.

Your faithful support makes a real difference to so many people in need. Pilamaya – thank you!

May God continue to bless and help you have a reflective and beneficial Lent.  You are remembered in our prayers.

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ

Chaplain

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