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

Chaplain

 

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!

Good afternoon!

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

As All Staff Orientation begins to unfold at St. Joseph’s Indian School, you can almost hear the pitter patter of little (and big!) feet. The Lakota (Sioux) students will arrive for the upcoming school year in less than a week! All our staff are busy making sure everything is ready.

The orientation process gives veterans and new staff the chance to get to know one another, share insights and to ask and answer questions. All these preparations make the opening of the school year easier for everyone when the homes open Sunday and the students arrive.

Houseparents will put final touches on their home to welcome the students to their home-away-from-home. Teachers also are getting their classrooms in order and doing last minute decorating to welcome the children.

St. Joseph’s Family Service Counselors work with houseparents, teachers and support staff to help everyone understand how they can best prepare themselves to deal with the various experiences and needs the students will have.

Orientation will cap off Thursday with a picnic for all employees to share some good food and camaraderie for the opening of the 2014-2015 school year.

As part of the effort to make our program at St. Joseph’s Indian School interesting and challenging, our Principal, Kathleen, took part in a conference on education sponsored by the Priests of the Sacred Heart (SCJs) this summer.  She and the principals of other SCJ schools from around the world met to share ideas and foster ways of promoting the spiritual values of Fr. Leo John Dehon, SCJ and Founder of the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart.

The Lakota children will return to St. Joseph’s on August 10, so homes and classrooms are being prepared.

St. Joseph’s houseparents are stocking cupboards and getting ready for the Lakota boys and girls to return for the start of the school year!

It has been a bit noisy around the Chamberlain community these last few days. Bikers are passing through on their way to the Black Hills and the annual Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota.

In the past we have had the opportunity to bless a number of the riders and their motorcycles.  We wish them safe travels and an enjoyable time!

The beautiful green of early summer is quickly fading to shades of tan and gold. Rain has been scarce lately. Hopefully, we will be blessed with rain between now and powwow so things will be nice and green for the event. We would love to have you join us for our annual powwow September 12-13. You can register to attend and find more information at stjo.org/powwow.

We hope you have a great week! Please keep us in your prayers as we prepare the arrival of our Native American students, and for safe travel of our students as they return for the upcoming school year! May God continue to bless and reward you for your generosity to for the care and education of the Lakota children attending St. Joseph’s Indian School.

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ

Chaplain

Summer is nearly over at St. Joseph’s Indian School!

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

I just received a note from Donna, our Human Resources Director – things are looking great for the upcoming school year (which is just around the corner)!

Donna mentioned that our teaching spots have been filled, which is a special accomplishment. Newspapers recently reported that 30% of open teaching positions in South Dakota have not been filled.  We even have two new Family Service Counselors hired. The only area still to be filled is for three houseparents.  Please keep in your prayers that these openings may be filled with the right people.

See St. Joseph’s available career opportunities here!

New staff orientation started today. All staff orientation begins the first week of August. The Lakota (Sioux) students return August 10 and classes begin August 11.  Where did the summer go?

St. Joseph’s hosts donor luncheons in cities across the U.S. Hear the Lakota students tell you their story!

St. Joseph’s students Wankiya and Alan will travel to Cincinnati, Ohio in August for donor luncheons.

Just after school starts, we’ll host our next donor luncheons in Cincinnati, Ohio, August 16 and 17.  Two of our students, Alan and Wankiya, will be there with staff to meet you and share their experiences at St. Joseph’s. Register online now or call 1-800-584-9200 for more information. You can also take a look at our event calendar to see if we’re coming to a city near you!

As we continue moving through summer, it’s rodeo and powwow season throughout central South Dakota – fun for all ages! I hope to see you at St. Joseph’s annual powwow on September 13.

Whether you can attend powwow or not, you are always welcome to stop in and visit St. Joseph’s Indian School and see the good you are doing for the Lakota children. Be sure to make time for the Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center!

May God continue to keep you in good health. Know we are praying for you in gratitude for your generosity.  Pilamaya thank you!

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ

Good afternoon from deep in the heart of Texas!

With orientation for new staff and all staff just around the corner, I have taken a few days to make a quick visit to my mother in the San Antonio area and enjoy some vacation time.  Seems hard to believe summer is going by so quickly!

Though I am away from campus, I wanted to take a moment to express some pride in the people who are part of St. Joseph’s Team.

Brock, one of St. Joseph’s fifth grade teachers, was honored for his dedication to community baseball.

Brock, one of St. Joseph’s fifth grade teachers, was honored for his dedication to community baseball.

Brock, one of our fifth grade teachers, was honored with the Distinguished Professional Achievement Award for his years of service to the Chamberlain baseball program!

He started as a volunteer in 2001 with the Chamberlain High School baseball program. He stepped down last year after spending the last six seasons as head coach. He also served as head coach of the Chamberlain Legion baseball team from 2002-2013.

In addition to coaching, Brock has been groundskeeper at the field trying to encourage others to enjoy this summer sport.  He still is active in the baseball program in the area by serving on the Chamberlain Baseball Association Board.

We are proud to have Brock as part of our St. Joseph’s Indian School team!

 

Deacon Bud and Frances are active at St. Joseph’s and in the community.

Deacon Bud and Frances have dedicated their lives to serving the Native American people.

Deacon Alfred “Bud” Jetty and his wife, Frances, are also a vital part of St. Joseph’s Indian School, the local community and the Diocese of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Deacon Bud serves at St. James Catholic Church in Chamberlain and frequently helps with our Sunday liturgy. He is a positive example to the Lakota students and is also on St. Joseph’s Board of Directors.

Bud and Frances were named Native American Liaisons by Bishop Paul Dudley in 1991. Bud and Frances were both featured in the July 2014 issue of The Bishop’s Bulletin.

Deacon Bud was selected to be State Deputy for the Knights of Columbus (KOC) in 1991 and thus far has been the only Native American to hold the top post in the state.  One of his programs was the establishment of a KOC student exchange program giving both Native and other students the chance to experience other worlds.  More than 50 such exchanges took place in the first three years and still continue today.

Bud and Frances both take great pride in the canonization of St. Kateri Tekakwitha – the first Native American Saint. Deacon Bud was a representative of the Diocese of Sioux Falls at her canonization ceremony in Rome.  Frances and Bud are looking forward to attending the annual National Tekakwitha Conference in Fargo, North Dakota in August.

Congratulations to Bud and Frances! We are honored to have their support and involvement with St. Joseph’s Indian School. We pray their ongoing example of service and dedication is a reminder that each of us is gifted in a variety of ways and are indeed all related and called on to be present to one another as we fulfill Jesus’ command, “love one another, as I have loved you.”

I hope everyone continues to have a safe and enjoyable summer! I look forward to getting back to campus and welcoming new staff to St. Joseph’s Team.

Your prayers are appreciated that orientation go smoothly so staff will be ready to welcome the students as they return for the opening of school on August 11, 2014.

Sincerely,

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ

Chaplain

Hello my name is Julie and I’m the Manager of our Personal Care Center. As a Personal Care Specialist I have the privilege of working with our awesome donors, answering any questions they might have about the school or our Native American students, and also just getting to know them a little more which is the best part!

Julie, Personal Care Center Manager

Julie, Personal Care Center Manager

We currently have six people working at the Personal Care Center and they are the best group of people to work with. I love hearing all the conversations everyone is having over the phone with our donors – you can tell we all love what we do!

We always laugh a little when we get into a “thank you war” – when we thank the donor and then the donor thanks us but then we thank the donor…well you get the point.

I guess you could say both the donor and we here at the Personal Care Center are very grateful for what we are able to do for the Lakota boys and girls!

I am actually pretty new to St. Joseph’s and to the Chamberlain area. I moved to South Dakota with my husband and two daughters in January of this year from San Diego, California and started at St. Joseph’s not long after our move.

My husband grew up in Chamberlain, so I had visited a couple times before we moved. However, I was shocked to see this amazing school in such a small town! Having lived here for 6 months now, I couldn’t imagine a better place for our students to be and receive a great education.

Although working as a Personal Care Specialist keeps me pretty busy, I love being able to participate in activities with our students and learn about Native American culture.

My favorite memories so far would be helping out at the gymnastics performance, attending eighth grade graduation, Senior Prayer service, attending the staff Inipi (a traditional Lakota (Sioux) purification/prayer ceremony), and visiting the seventh grade Native American Studies class.

In addition to her regular job, Julie participates in lots of activities with the Lakota boys and girls.

Julie, formerly a gymnast herself, helped with St. Joseph’s gymnastics camp!

I also had the opportunity to have dinner in one of the homes where the students live during the school year. It was so nice to see how well-mannered and polite they were when I visited with them. We had a nice healthy meal made by one of the houseparents and one of the students gave me a tour of their home. She was really excited to show me her Hello Kitty bedspread and decorations in her room!

Being in the home that night made me think of how important our houseparents are and just how loving they are to the students. A thought came to me later about what a great houseparent my mom would be.

And wouldn’t you know – my mom will be moving from San Diego to be a houseparent starting next month!

It’s funny sometimes how things work out.

I feel blessed to be at St. Joseph’s Indian School doing what I’m doing, surrounded by great people, great kids and all the great work we do here.

 

Thank you for your generosity!

Julie, Personal Care Center Manager

Greetings to you!

Yesterday was the Feast Day of St. Kateri Tekakwitha, the Lilly of the

Fr. Anthony is St. Joseph’s Chaplain

Fr. Anthony with the Lakota children

Mohawks.  She is the first Native American to be canonized and holds a special place in the heart of the Native American people.  I’ve had the privilege of visiting the village where Kateri grew up in in New York State.

One of the stained glass windows in Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel on St. Joseph’s campus is dedicated to Kateri.  We ask for her intercession that the Great Spirit will give His blessings and strength to all who seek to follow her dedication and commitment to follow Jesus.

On behalf of all the SCJs, I thank you for your prayers for the success of the recent Provincial Chapter held last week in Hales Corners, Wisconsin. I had the chance to join with Fr. Steve Huffstetter, SCJ and 42 other priests and brothers to discuss various issues to help the members of the Province be supportive of one another and renewed in our dedication to serving the people of God as ‘prophets of love and servants of reconciliation.’

Thanks to your prayers, the Spirit helped move the Chapter in a very positive direction.

We also got to do some celebrating.

Fr. Leonard Tadyszak, SCJ, celebrated the 70th anniversary of his vows. Among Father’s various ministries was his time serving in north-central South Dakota on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation.

The next day, we celebrated Br. Clay Diaz, SCJ, and his Final Profession of Vows.  As part of his training, Br. Clay served at St. Joseph’s Indian School.  His next assignment will take him to northern Mississippi.

On a sad note, we received word that Fr. Larry Rucker, SCJ passed away.  Fr. Larry had served in South Dakota and many in this area still remember him. Please keep Fr. Larry in prayer.

As we continue moving through the summer, various rodeos and powwows will take place throughout central South Dakota. The powwows at Lower Brule and Fort Thompson will take place in early August. I hope to see you at St. Joseph’s annual powwow on September 13.

Remember, you are always welcome to stop in and visit St. Joseph’s Indian School and see the good you are doing for the Lakota children!

May God continue to bless you and keep you in good health. Know we are praying for you, in gratitude for your generosity.  Pilamaya thank you!

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ

Chaplain

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