After nearly three years of “silence,” the pipe organ in the choir loft at Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel thrilled under

Clare, St. Joseph's Director of Pastoral Care and Native American Studies

Clare, St. Joseph’s Director of Pastoral Care and Native American Studies

the fingertips of local music teacher and organist Faye S. on December 7, 2014 – the Second Sunday of Advent. It was a special event set in motion by the annual tuning visit of Radanovich & Associates, the company that built and installed the organ. Joseph Radanovich had reminded Aaron (Faye’s son and employee of St. Joseph’s Indian School) that, unlike many instruments that grow out-of-tune by use, the organ must be played.

That reminder led to a collaboration between Faye and me, which resulted in the special Mass. Some 20 students attended a practice with Faye the Wednesday beforehand. The purpose of the practice was not only to polish the Advent music sung only during this season, but also to get past the jitters and excitement of singing from the choir loft – a rare treat.

When Sunday morning arrived, Faye teased powerful, expressive praise from the organ, accompanied by Aaron on the bass. The choir filled the loft with their presence and Our Lady of Sioux with their song: Come, come, Emmanuel; Son of God appear. Heaven and earth rejoice. Salvation is drawing near.

The assembly below bustled with a true sense of rejoicing. Following the celebration, many offered notes and comments of appreciation.

What a joy to have the opportunity to celebrate this season of joyful anticipation in this way! And what a remarkable thing that this organ, which was a gift to St. Joseph’s, can continue to bless and praise through the years.

Of interest: The organ was donated by St. Aloysius Parish of West Allis, Wisconsin, and dedicated on June 22, 1998. Joseph Radanovich was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he is owner of Radanovich & Associates. He lists his heritage as Polish, Serbian, Croatian, Hungarian, Russian and Jewish, with a splash of Swedish, Spanish, Irish and North African just for flavor! A Byzantine Catholic, he follows Native American spirituality as well. Adopted into a Lakota Sun Dance family at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, which straddles North and South Dakota, he is a Pipe Carrier and Traditional Dancer.

I was recently blessed to be able to take in this gathering of people from around South Dakota who share a common goal: we want to build a

LaRayne is St. Joseph's Native American Studies teacher.

LaRayne, St. Joseph’s Native American Studies teacher

“Bright Future in Our Schools.”

I learned so much during two days of meetings, meals and mingling! The sessions were interactive with technology, discussions and hands on activities and ideas to help teachers, administrators, vendors, community business leaders, students and parents from all walks of life.

I had several favorite sessions. One entailed hearing ideas from a teacher in our state who gets her students to write while they think they are in an art class. This same presenter shared her passion to teach because, in this generation, she was not taught about the indigenous people who were living on this land before her ancestors came across the ocean. What

Native American Studies, powwow dancing and more are part of our curriculum at St. Joseph’s Indian School.

All St. Joseph’s students take Native American Studies as part of our regular curriculum and have the opportunity to participate in powwow and other cultural activities.

she is doing can be done by any teacher in any state to help students to learn by indigenous practices and to really care about their own education.

Another favorite group was a program we are using called “Wolakota Project.” This program allows teachers from any school, including St. Joseph’s, to access video interviews on a website. This curriculum will be incorporated into our 1st -3rd grade classrooms, helping adults and students to understand cultural stories, ways and sensitivities to Oceti Sakowin Oyate (Seven Council Fires Nation).

Other sessions I soaked up will help not only with my daily classes but also with the planning and execution of our seventh grade cultural trip, which will be here again before we know it!

I was able to mingle with fellow allies through wonderful meals of buffalo stew and lots of wakalapi (coffee). Creating a network of people with whom to share ideas is always a strong part of the summit. I listened to school board members, parents, community leaders, Tribal leaders, higher education officers, students, professors and family members of students share their ideas, worries, solutions and works as well as personal motivation that keep us all loving what we do every day.

Sharing the culture of our people from the Seven Council Fires is what I have done for the past 12 years here at St. Joseph’s Indian School. It is motivating for me to see that the work we are striving for together is going to help fulfill not only my part in the mission here at St. Joseph’s, but also to build a “Bright Future in Our Schools” for all students.

Greetings from St. Joseph’s Indian School!

Hope everyone’s week is off to a great start and your taste buds are ready for turkey and pumpkin pie.

Cousins and siblings enjoyed making Thanksgiving decorations together for their families.

Students gathered in family groups to make table decorations to take home for Thanksgiving.

Last Wednesday, St. Joseph’s students took part in the National Family Week Project. They gathered in family groups (siblings, cousins) so they could make up table decorations to take home for Thanksgiving.

One was a turkey and the other was a big pumpkin which had a slot in it that contained space for small pieces of paper. Students used paper ‘seeds’ to write things they are grateful for. Everyone enjoyed dinner together, followed by some fun playing bingo.

Also last week, we had 19 students from Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, South Dakota on campus for two days. The group was made up of young men and women planning a teaching career. They got some firsthand experience in the classroom and it was a great learning experience for everyone.

Each year, students take home a table decoration and food boxes to help their family celebrate the holiday.

Last Wednesday, St. Joseph’s students took part in the National Family Week Project.

After basketball games at home tonight for the fourth, fifth and sixth grade Lady Braves, we will have fall sports awards at the rec center tomorrow. Cross country, volleyball and football players will receive their honors for Most Improved, Best Team Player and Coach’s Choice. Congratulations to everyone involved!

On Sunday, we held a Lakota Mass on campus. Deacon Bud is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band in North Dakota, serves on St. Joseph’s Board of Directors and helps out at St. James Catholic Church in Chamberlain; for Mass, he led us in the Lord Have Mercy in Lakota.  LaRayne, one of our Native American Studies teachers and a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, led us in reciting the Our Father in Lakota and Happy Birthday to those celebrating their birthdays this week.

Pilamaya thank you – for your generosity for the care and education of the Lakota (Sioux) students. May your holiday be filled with many blessings and safe travels!



Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


Welcome to Winter!!

The South Dakota winter is here!

It’s a cold, snowy day in South Dakota.

The big winter storm coming moving across the upper Midwest is hitting South Dakota today.  Chamberlain is just on the fringe of the storm but we have snow, cold winds and some slush. We are expecting cold temperatures all week.

Boys in the Explorers Club learn valuable life lessons.

The Explorers learned the proper way to fold a flag at one of their recent meetings.

The Explorers, a local service group, have been out raking leaves but they may have to switch over to shoveling snow!  In addition to community service projects, the boys learn useful life lessons. At one of their recent meetings they learned how to properly fold the flag in preparation for Veterans Day tomorrow.

Our kitchen crew will honor all the veterans on St. Joseph’s staff by inviting them to a free lunch on November 11. This is a small way of saying pilamayathank you – to those who protect our country and the freedom we enjoy every day.

Since November starts off with the Feast of All Saints and All Souls, we have put up a Remembrance Tree in Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel. Students and staff were asked to submit names of their loved ones who have passed on that could be put on the tree.  It will stay up during November as a reminder to us of those walking their journey back to the Heavenly Father.

Tomorrow, we’ll be starting the Novena of Masses for all our benefactors’ special intentions.

Recently, a new program was introduced to the Lakota boys and girls entitled “I See You.”  The purpose is to encourage positive actions all over campus.  Staff have been given dog tags inscribed with a positive act such as Hope, Belonging, Independence, Sacrifice, Accepting and Loved, which are written in English and Lakota (Sioux).

In November, we are remembering deceased loved ones in prayer.

Our Remembrance Tree will be in the chapel for the month of November.

When staff members see a student showing one of these positive things, they give the tag to the student to let them know their positive act was witnessed. The students then have the opportunity to pass on the tag when they see a fellow student or staff member doing the act mentioned on their tag.  The program’s purpose is to encourage everyone to have a positive attitude and good interaction with one another.

Wishing you a great week, and may you experience God’s blessings in a variety of ways. Pilamaya thank you – for your support and encouragement of everything we do at St. Joseph’s!

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


Good morning friends of St. Joseph’s!

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

This week, the Lakota (Sioux) students join thousands of others in celebrating drug free lifestyles with Red Ribbon Week. Monday, students wore their pajamas to class to remind one another ‘Follow your dreams — don’t do drugs.’ Tuesday, they showed their drug free school spirit by wearing blue and gold. Later in the week, they will be wearing special sobriety celebration T-shirts that say ‘Our School has SWAG (Students Who Achieve Goals).

Friday, of course, is Halloween. The children have had a wonderful time preparing ghoulish costumes and decorating their homes. Wendy manages our in-kind gifts and has collected a good supply of costumes and accessories for the day. After trick or treating on St. Joseph’s campus, students will gather in the rec center for the Costume Grand March. Prizes will be awarded for best costume, scariest pumpkin and the home with the cleverest decorations.

St. Joseph’s holds sobriety celebrations with the Lakota students three times per year.

Monday, students wore their pajamas to class to remind one another ‘Follow your dreams — don’t do drugs.’

Pilamayathank you – for your donations of gently used decorations and other items for every holiday of the year!

In addition to these festivities, preparations have begun for those students participating in the Rite of Christian Initiation for Children (RCIC) program to receive Baptism, First Communion or Confirmation. With the support of their families, students have the chance to learn about and deepen their faith commitment in a special class offered each week. Families join their students on campus for a one-day retreat to offer support and encouragement to their child.  Please keep these young people and families in your prayers as they prepare to receive these Sacraments in April.

I spent Monday at a board meeting in Eagle Butte, South Dakota.  As part of St. Joseph’s outreach to Native Americans, we support a domestic violence shelter, a thrift store and an adolescent care facility on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation You can read more about their work and other outreach programs of St. Joseph’s Indian School.

I hope each of you has a great week and a fun Halloween! Remember, this weekend we move our clocks BACK an hour.  Enjoy that extra hour of sleep!


Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


My name is Chelsey and this is my first “official” year at St. Joseph’s Indian School. While finishing up my Master’s Degree in Counseling and Human Resource Development

St. Joseph’s Family Service Counselors spend time with the Lakota children and their families.

Chelsey loves the time she spends getting to know the Lakota children.

last year, I was an intern here. I grew up right here in Chamberlain, South Dakota, however, and have been familiar with the school my entire life.

I have always enjoyed participating in activities on campus and a trip to the Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center is still one of my favorite ways to spend a day. I’ve always had an interest in the Native American culture, and now I have the privilege of working with the Lakota (Sioux) students and their families on a daily basis.

When I first considered going into the counseling field, I asked to shadow a few of the counselors at St. Joseph’s. As I was asking many questions about the field and how things are done at St. Joseph’s, I remember one counselor telling me he could sum it up in one word…relationships.

After being at St. Joseph’s for a little over a year, I could not agree more. There are so many relationships that impact my job and daily responsibilities.

The most important relationship in my life is that with God. I feel so blessed to work at a place where I can openly share my faith while participating in mass, prayer services, and home prayers.

Relationships with the students are next, especially in my position as a Family Service Counselor. My favorite times during the week are spent in sessions with the students and after school in their homes.

Closely following the relationships with the students, is the relationships I have with their parents/guardians. One of my main responsibilities as a Family Service Counselor is to be the main contact person with the families. This allows me work through the struggles of each student with their parent or guardian, and also join in celebrating their successes.

Working at St. Joseph’s also gives me relationships with my co-workers and other staff who are all working toward the same mission: to educate the Native American youth for life – mind, body, heart and spirit.

St. Joseph’s Indian School is truly a family of its own and I am so honored to work for this organization.

Each day, I see examples of the staff coming together with different ideas, activities and projects to further the mission of St. Joseph’s Indian School and serve those around us.

With the years to come, I look forward to strengthening my relationship with God, building long-lasting relationships with the students and their families, and continue to fulfill the mission of St. Joseph’s Indian School with the wonderful staff that surround me.

Chelsey, Family Service Counselor

At St. Joseph’s Indian School, we strive to education the Lakota (Sioux) children we work with for life – mind, body, heart and spirit. With a safe environment and enough to

eat, the students are ready to learn! As a fully accredited facility, St. Joseph’s meets all the academic standards put forth by the State of South Dakota. Because we are a private school, we also have the privilege of having Religion and Native American Studies part of our regular curriculum.

Nancy’s third graders won the trophy and pizza party this quarter.

Nancy’s third grade class had the highest GPA for first through third grades. They win the trophy for the quarter and a pizza party!

First quarter has ended for the Lakota boys and girls, so school is in full swing!

Earlier this week, we held awards assemblies honoring those students who made the honor roll as well as those who had perfect attendance.  We also introduced our traveling academic trophies. The trophy will now be part of the awards ceremony honoring the class with the highest collective grade point average. Our first winners were Brock’s 5th grade and Nancy’s 3rd grade; the classes also get a pizza party to go with their trophy.

Traveling trophies will now be awarded to the class with the highest collective grade point average.

St. Joseph’s new Academic Traveling Trophies.

This was an idea borrowed from St. Joseph’s high school program. The high school program awards the trophy by home rather than class, but still recognizes the highest cumulative GPA and fewest missing assignments. We have five high school homes at St. Joseph’s, and our students attend Chamberlain Public High School

In addition to recognizing academic achievements, we have an Acalympics team. Acalympics is an academic challenge in which students answer questions across the curriculum spectrum.  St. Joseph’s students have taken part in several of these over the past few years. Recently, our team hosted teams from Pierre and White River.

Brock’s fifth graders won the trophy and pizza party this quarter.

Brock’s fifth grade class had the highest GPA for fourth through sixth grades. They win the trophy for the quarter and a pizza party!

Congratulations to all the teams! Pierre came in first, White River second and St. Joseph’s team took third.

These are just a few of the things we do at St. Joseph’s to educate the Lakota children for life – mind, body, heart and spirit. Pilamayathank you – for being such an important part of our mission!


Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ



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